Saturday, 9 October 2010

Back to the gym

I made it back to the gym on Wednesday morning and again on Friday. It's the start of a new 12 week program at Flames Fitness, the gym at the end of the street. The way the gym works is that there is a team of gym staff who each look after a handful of clients. You book in for your session so that there are enough staff to go around. If you don't show up for your session and don't ring them, they ring you. You can avoid the phone call by not booking, but if you don't show up for a few days they call to book you back in.

When you start a program you get a little more face to face time as they take you through the exercises to be sure you know how to do them. Áfter that, they set you up, keep a general eye on you, and off you go. Graham and I have been going together, which is great for me. I'd be all too tempted to stay in bed and skip the gym if he wasn't going.

Mind you, he's in China at the moment (work trip for four weeks) so I'm having to dig up my own motivation. I'd been struggling with it for a few weeks before my back went into melt down. After my first session back I realised that maybe my lack of motivation was really a sign that I was overdoing it. Mind you, I'd been in denial about some of the early warning signs, so that would make sense. Anyway, I really enjoyed myself on Wednesday.

What I did find was that, rather than ensuring that I didn't work so hard that I ended up injured again, I had to work at not wrapping myself up in so much cotton wool that I may as well have stayed in bed. Fortunately I was pretty sure that day 1 would focus on arms. It did. As for any exercises that involved using my legs, I told myself that I'd managed my short run the night before without any adverse effect. The session finished with a boxing circuit, that involved 10 wall to walls with 5 body weight squats after each one. I thought about leaving the squats out completely, decided to give them a go and stop if they hurt and ended up doing all 50. I also really enjoyed the w2w's for the first time in months. (Light bulb moment: my body had been trying to tell me something but I hadn't been listening.)

That day I felt like I was my old self. I'd done my morning exercise and felt terrific, which made me all bright and cheery at work.

I had been booked in to the gym on Thursday. I woke up tired, decided to switch sessions to Friday, and was grateful for the decision when later in the day I suffered a sor back followed by a little hip pain. I didn't feel the squats in my legs at all, which I think means that my leg muscles are still so tight that the pain is being referred straight to my back and hips. I'll have to run that theory past the physio.

Speaking of the physio, I have to reschedule my appointment as she went home with a migraine. I'm keen to see what sort of difference the "lift" that she's organising for me will make. On her advice I've put the innersole of one runner into the other shoe, but it's too soon to tell if it's doing anything. I want the answer to be that simple, so I'm hoping that it does.

As for the Friday session, I enjoyed the program that Jonno had written for me. After my hips hurting the day before I exercised my patience during the 1.5 km treadmill "fast as you can" run. I wanted to run the whole distance, but I did the "chi running" body check, paying attention to how my legs were feeling during the warmup. I started off walking, built up to a run, realised after 2 mins that my left knee was hurting, went back to walking as another warm up, then went to a jog 1 min, walk 2 min pattern which got me through the distance.

Later in the session I had to do leg curls. My paranoia started to kick in, and I seriously considered asking the PT to let me skip them. Fortunately I noticed he had the weight on about half of my usual weight so I decided to give them a go. I was able to manage them safely. In between sets my program had me scheduled to use the vibration machine. I had that exercise changed to an iso-squat, which I managed better than I expected.

I seem to have pulled up ok from that session as well, which is comforting. I've booked myself in for three gym sessions next week. Krissi is off in WA, competing in a mountain bike event. I've two running sessions booked with her the following week. I'm planning to do some walking sessions next week, as preparation. The dog will love that. :-)

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