Category Archives: exercise

Another injury

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Another day, another injury.  This time, I hurt my leg (my left, always the left) going down an escalator.

Yep.

Went to step down, and…TWANG went something in my quads.  Took it relatively easy, the next day it seemed fine.

The day after (or was it that same day?) was walking down the stairs at work.

TWANG.  Goddamnit!

I don’t understand, how in heck am I hurting myself by simply walking down some stairs??

Today, I attempted to go to the gym while JJ went rockclimbing.  My leg had been…well, I could feel it every now and then, it didn’t pull up as quickly as it had the first time.  First couple of steps on the elliptical, and I knew.  This workout was a no go.  Workouts for the rest of the week will be a no go.  Even riding, if I have to push down fairly hard I can feel it twinge a little bit.

I admit it.  I cried.  I.  Am.  So.  Frustrated.  I’m sick of being injured.  I’m sick of being held back.  I’m sick of not running when I want to.  I’m sick of not being able to just get the f*#! on with it and f*&$ing exercise without something stopping me every few weeks.

I just can’t do it anymore.  And of course we haven’t been grocery shopping for a couple of weeks, so I haven’t been able to cook dinners, make lunch or even bring snacks to work so my food/diet is out of whack.  I can’t exercise.

Yes, I made it below 60kg (woohoo!) but…there’s more to it than that.  Working out was a thing I had that I could do, for an hour or so all I thought about was what I was doing.  Everything else fell to the wayside, I was focused completely on finishing my reps, trying to absolutely push myself.  You simply don’t have the energy to worry about other things when you’re sweating and struggling and your muscles ache!  And seeing as I don’t have a social life, that was kind of…my substitute for that, I guess.

The injury means that I don’t have that at the moment, and won’t for probably a week or so.  It just sucks.

Then JJ called to ask what had happened, and would I join them for dinner at Pizza by the Metre?  Ah, no.  I can’t eat a hugely calorific meal considering the fact that I didn’t get to the gym.  I don’t give a flying f*#& if it’s delicious, I can’t eat it right now.  No, I just can’t, I don’t have the calories spare.  Okay, sound judgemental and wary then, I don’t give a f*&*.

He seems to forget that I’m not him.  I can’t eat whatever I want and not see the consequences.  I can cut my calories right back and watch the weight creep slowwwwwly off, and watch it fly back on should I slip up for a few days.  Yes, I’ve lost a lot of weight, but I still have a lot of work to do.  I’m flabby and untoned, my legs are a disgrace, and I need to lose more.  And I simply don’t know how to do it without the gym (the toning, I mean) and it makes me want to cry that I’ve got another pointless setback.

Progress

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Finally!  Progress!

Based on doctor’s orders (no, really) I bought new sneakers.

 

Look at that!  They’re so pretty.  The guy had a look at my feet and my stance, then selected a few shoes based on what I would need (support, and lots of it!).  For each pair I tried, I hopped on a treadmill and did a bit of a run.   A camera behind the treadmill recorded how I ran and how my feet were landing – this was not a flattering angle by any means, but it was interesting to see.  I’m all over the place!  Which he didn’t seem too concerned with, so I’m guessing it’s fairly normal for running nOObs.

End result: new shoes!  I love them.  I look totes pro, bru (I’m learning this generation’s speak via my niece’s FB, and apparently talking like a Kiwi with an English chav inflection is the in-thing.  Also, starting to date at 13, calling each other ‘babe’ and declaring true love forever is in.  Not doing duck face in photos is out).

Also based on doctor’s orders, I was permitted to try a little bit of a run (once I’d warmed up on the elliptical first).  Now…the problem is, this pain in my leg has been such a constant thing that now I don’t even know if I’m feeling it, or if I’m convincing myself that I’m feeling it when I’m actually not.  So of course, my warm up on the elliptical I swore I could feel it, walking around the gym to the weights section I swore I could feel it, and when I stretched a little bit I swore I could feel it.  But, nevertheless, I jumped on that treadmill (carefully, lest it hurt) and had a go, armed with instructions to only do an easy jog for 1-2km and already certain I was in pain.

I made it about 1km before I convinced myself I could definitely feel a bit of a twinge and should probably stop.  Still not entirely sure if there or in my mind, but nevertheless, I gave it a go and next week I’ll hopefully give it a better go!

In relation to study, this week is slightly hellish.  I’m exhausted (getting up at 8 and coming home nearly 12 hours later kills me, I’m such a wieney), and the idea of once again revising the upper and lower limbs only to forget it all (again!) tomorrow is not appealing.

x

PS. But my back is better!

Woes

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So, there are two ways to deal with setbacks.

1. Cry.  Hard.

2. Accept them as life-changing challenges that will make you a better person.

3. Whinge and moan about it (in your head), then just effing deal.

(Okay, so there are three ways).

I am not going to pretend at all that I am saintly when it comes to things that may not have been expected and that are definitely not welcome.  I know what you’re meant to say and think and do.  I know what you’re not meant to say or think or do.

So what lead to this seemingly pointless musing?

I hurt my *%*$&*ing back this morning!   Cycling to uni, more specifically to the gym.  The same trip I have done 5 times per week for the last two months with no problems whatsoever.  How did I do it?  Who knows!  It just happened!

I DON’T LIKE IT.

Leaning forwards hurts.  Leaning sideways hurts.  Twisting hurts.  Sitting in a chair hurts.  Sitting in bed hurts.  IT ALL HURTS WHY.

My first instinct was, ‘What the hell was that?  Oh well, push on!’

After ten seconds on the elliptical, I changed that to, ‘Maybe not push on.’

By the time I got home after all day at uni I was almost a teary wreck.

By the time people starting arriving home I was a teary wreck.

Right now I’m slightly less of a teary wreck because of a) dinner and b) nurofen OH YES pain relief.

I’d love to say that I had an epiphany somewhere between buying nurofen (and then dropping it on the floor, much to someone’s amusement) and hobbling my way home and gulping down the whole packet.  That I realised it could be so much worse.  That I’ll just miss a few days of exercise, and what’s that in the grand scheme of things?  That it’s all part of learning how to cope with challenges and overcome adversity.

But right now I’m sitting in bed and my back *#&*ing hurts so I’m going to eat cake instead.

 

 

RIGHT.

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Right.

I’ve been maintaining for the last couple of weeks (amazingly!) after pushing past that 65kg barrier.  I’m not entirely sure what happened…I think because I reached that huge milestone part of me went, ‘phew!’ and relaxed a little bit.  I didn’t have that huge pressure of ‘GET TO 65KG NAAAOOOOO’ because hey, I’d already done it!

(Plus there’s been two weddings, two funerals and three assignments.  And a broken car.  Oh, proper groceries, I miss you ).

The good news is that I (for the most part) didn’t gain for that couple of weeks (although I think I’ll avoid Monday’s weighing because of the Grill’d dinner I just ate OM NOM).

The bad news is that I didn’t lose.

So now, I’m kicking back into gear.

I’ve got a gym plan.  I’ve got a car.  I’ve got motivation.  I’ve got support.  So really, I have got NO excuses.

My aim is to continue into week two of this plan (I did week 1 last week and couldn’t walk properly for two days after the legs session).  However, while she recommends doing no cardio for the first phase in order to build up the muscle, the idea of going 12 weeks without any cardio…it isn’t fathomable.  I can’t…not.  It keeps me going!  (Literally.  I ride everywhere).

Fingers crossed!

In other news, I’m using this fine Saturday night to scope out music and bemoan the kids of today for having no taste.

x

New Gym

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I realised the other day (well, it wasn’t a sudden realisation, this had developed over a couple of weeks or more) that if I’m going to get serious about getting fit, then I should probably join a gym.

This is not to say that you cannot get fit at home!  You absolutely can, and many people do.  I was, on a running/cycling program that seemed to be working.

The thing is…the thing is…I kind of enjoyed strength training.  And when I say kind of, I mean really enjoyed it.  Although again, that’s not strictly speaking accurate.  I guess what I enjoyed was getting better at it…I enjoyed seeing muscles develop (which took close to two months when I was first seeing a PT!) and I like the idea of being strong and being able to lift heavy things.  Which is all kind of strange, because I never thought I was into that.  I remember saying, 5 or more years ago now, at the first gym I joined that, ‘I don’t like weights, I have no interest in doing weights or anything like that.’

I think the reason behind that is that I didn’t have a full appreciation for what strength training can do.  In my very inexperienced mind, strength training meant getting totally ripped to incredible proportions.  It meant chugging protein shakes and chomping down protein bars and pumping iron to the Rocky soundtrack.

Even my muscles have muscles!

What I didn’t realise is that strength training can help you build lean, strong muscles without making you look like a condom full of walnuts.  The benefits of building muscle?  Well, honestly…there are pages and pages on it available online, and who knows what’s scientifically accurate and what isn’t.

Looks legit.

All I can say for sure is that building muscle in my arms and my legs definitely seems to be building tone and tightening up those areas.  I know I’m not losing overall muscle mass through my weight loss (which is also good).  Not to mention the fact that strength training also involves some energy expenditure…so that’s more calories out.  And I will one day be able to lift very heavy things.

You can't see, but I'm actually holding him up with my pinky

For this I very much wanted the facilities of a gym (barbells and weight machines) so I could press, push and lift to my heart’s content.  It was with this in mind that I headed to my uni’s gym (which is now only 10 minutes from home!), sucked it up and paid for the year’s membership.

It ends up being cheaper per week than other gyms I’ve joined.  The difference is that you have to pay it all in one go (ahhhhhhh!) and that’s your only option.  Thank goodness I’ve taken about 20 years to do this degree and got a student membership or I probably wouldn’t have gone for it

So here I am, somewhat poorer than I was a couple of days ago, but with a year’s worth of gym membership ahead of me and sore muscles from my first training session.

Blimey, I hope I use it.

x

Again!

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I went riding again!  This time rode from home, then wound around the ‘burbs a bit before we reached the main trail that follows the river into the city.  It was lovely!  It was sunny and nice and there were quite a few people out and about (we left around lunchtime meaning there were a lot of lunchtime walkers and riders).  There were a few hills, yes (including one that I had to attempt 4 times in increasingly lower gears before I finally grunted my way to the top), and also a children’s farm (goats!  cows!  children!), and then lunch next to the river because someone* was smart enough to suggest that food be packed before we departed.  Finally, we rolled into the city (22km later) and had a beer, then later a coffee at a place we’ve been meaning to try for a little while because it’s apparently awesome (it was).  I love cafes where you get a free biscuit with your coffee!  Granted, it was only 1.5cm across and had I not recently discovered a love of marzipan would have been gross, but damnit, it was a free biscuit.

Running has reached something of a standstill (so to speak) while I wait for my leg to fix itself.  We attempted a run the other night, and I made it 2km before I felt that familiar twinge…so I guess that’s a start!  Thankfully, riding doesn’t seem to affect it (my leg, that is), so I continue to ride to work and around the place and hope (fingers crossed!) that it’s enough exercise for the week.

Sadly, that is all.

*me, obviously.

Holy wow!

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I went riding!  Near a mountain!  There were hills!  And sticks and rocks and bumpy bits and hills and my legs hurt and I was quite slow and I loved every minute 🙂

What possibly made me look quite silly was that I was riding with a mountain biking expert…and we were only really on the outskirts of mountain biking.  A dip of the toe in mountain biking water on my poor little commuter (geared, but still very much designed for the casual ride), so the expert went careening along and I went wobbling after.

I’m not sure what the best part was.  It may have been going downhill with my brakes squealing in protest as I crawled at snail’s pace behind my trailblazing companion.  It may have been my total and utter joy at finally reaching the top of an agonising, thighs screaming hill.  Another possible contender was going over a tiny log and nearly face-planting into my handlebars.  Or even the hill that, ‘there was no chance [I] could get up on a casual bike.  Honestly, just walk it.’

Or was it once we finally got up fairly high, then had the complete and utter joy of going down steep roads really, really fast with no brakes on hoping for the best?

Although you may be thinking the latter has all the votes, I would say it was a combination of all the above (and more!) that made it super fun.  It was also perfectly blue skies and a lovely temperature.

Whee!  Again!

x

Success!

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So, probably should have posted about this when it first happened.  But, about a week ago, I achieved one of the first goals I made for myself when I started running – I wanted to do a full lap of the park (~3.2km) without stopping.

Honestly, I was pretty freaking ecstatic when I did it.  I ran a whole lap!  And I’ve done it another 4 times!  I actually am starting to feel like a legitimate runner now.  Especially because (on the basis of this achievement) I signed myself up for a 5k in July!  Of course, the Expert now thinks I should have signed up for the 10k because of ‘how fast I improve’, but for my first proper run (unless I do another one in the meantime), I think it’s best to start small.  Baby steps.  And even then, I can simply push it and see how fast I can go!  I’ve signed up for the 30-35 minute wave, but my aim is to be as close to 30 minutes as possible.  If under – wow!!  But that’s a huge goal when simply finishing will be enough for me.

So that’s where the running’s at!  I’m doing week 7 at the moment (3×25 minute runs), with one “free run” per week (which have been running laps and seeing how fast I do it).  As of, well, today I’m going to add in some extra strength and fitness training which I’ve gotten from Runner’s World magazine.

Sadly, haven’t really seen any body changes (ie. haven’t really lost any weight), except that my arms are looking more defined.  I’m thinking that I need to get even stricter with my diet (the other day I worked and did not eat a single piece of chocolate!  Not even a pastille!  Good habit to get into), and load up the vegies and protein.  But, the stronger I get and the further I can run, the more I’ll burn.  And the more muscle mass I have, the more I’ll burn!  Next investment will be weights.  Also, wanting to start yoga/pilates – for relaxation and building of lean muscle.  Next plan after that, at the end of this semester, is to join a tennis club and get playing.

I’m seriously excited!

x

New things!

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I just went for one of the most satisfying, if not THE most satisfying, runs ever.  Which, considering I’ve only been running for about 3 months, probably isn’t saying all that much.  Nevertheless, I’m putting it out there!

I was torn between doing W6D2 again, or just going straight on to W6D3.  I conferred with an expert, whose immediate response when I asked if I should repeat a day was,

‘Pfft, no!”

So that seemed pretty conclusive.  As a result, I laced up my shoes, forced myself to have a Power Gel (GROSS but I hadn’t eaten in 6.5 hours so it was that or collapse half-way through the run) and headed out into the evening to see if I could completely exhaust myself.

 

http://www.anaconda.com.au/Product/Bikes-and-Accessories/Food/Power-Gel-Chocolate

""It's like crystal meth in a can! It's crystal meth in a can! Powerthirst is crystal meth!"

The fact was, giving up was not even close to being on the cards.  It was as far away from the cards as it could possibly get.  One way or another, I was going to run for 25 minutes.  It didn’t matter if I were to be overtaken by snails or power walking old ladies, I was not going to stop.

And I didn’t!

I ran for 25 minutes.  My goal a few weeks ago was to run a lap of Princes Park and, by God, I did it.  Ran just over  a lap, actually.  Just over 3km.  That’s more the half-way to 5km!  (If anyone needs the calculations I used to work that out, just ask. I’m more than happy to provide them with a step by step explanation).

As far as pacing goes…well, those power walking old ladies smashed me.  Towards the end, it was barely faster than a strong walk.  But whatever!  Right now, this is strength training/distance training.  I’m not trying to go fast, I’m trying to not collapse in an embarrassing heap before the timer dings and the man helpfully says, ‘Cool down!’ at which point I weep and kiss his feet.

In news that isn’t related to running (by GOD what?)…I have a new phone.

What?

Yep.  It’s an iPhone.  An iPhone 4S 32Gb, thank you.  A white one.  Pretty shiny!

Also, a new bag.

It's like a sunset, if the sunset was green and upside down. And on a bag.

It’s brilliant!  It fits heaps, even though it doesn’t look like it will.  It’s an awesome colour (that there is sure the colour I got!), it’ll last forever (watch out, archaeologists of 3012!) and it’s got a handy strap to stabilise the bag while I’m riding.

Pretty stoked!  Now to get up confidence riding around the place so I can ride to work and uni and put this bad boy to good use.

Word.

x

Quick C25K update

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I haven’t abandoned the blog!  But working full time seems to take its toll – so tired!  But weekends off are incredible.

So far, C25K is going pretty well!  I’m up to W5D2, which I’ve done twice – that’s an 8 minute run, followed by 5 minute walk, followed by 8 minute run.  So far, so good – run at the same pace both times (although I think the second time I started off slower, and then compensated later).  In any case, I wasn’t slower the second time, and I certainly felt like I was running better – more in a groove, and like I could potentially keep going if I needed to.  Considering W5D3 is a 20 minute run (halp!), that’s a good thing!

I think I’ll do W5D2 again, though.  Just to make sure!

Today, Christmas shopping/packing up house.  Tomorrow, more packing up house (hopefully completed), then mum’s  birthday.  Then one day of work, then Darwin, then home, then Christmas 🙂

So for the 10 days I’m in Darwin it will be silent blog-wise.  But then I’ll be back!

x