Thursday, July 31, 2008

Week Tw0, Day Four - Thursday

Sorry to one and all - it's been a bit quiet this week! I've got end of semester exams coming up at uni and I've actually realised that I need to do some work for them. Duh!!!

So here's a couple of days update into one...

Tuesday - Cycling 20mins
I don't like the grips on the exercise bike, I actually think they're beginning to hurt my hands. It's not from gripping too tightly I just think the bike is designed so badly that it doesn't matter what height you adjust it to, you end up putting a decent amount of weight on your hands and arms. Shoulders and arms are doing fine, but the hands hurt!

Cycling was easy. I've been trying to jazz it up a bit to see if I can make it more exciting for myself - I can't! Never mind, I'll stick with it for the time being because I've only got a couple more weeks of doing it twice a week and then it's only once a week.

Beelzebub and Pups were outside again. I wasn't presented with balls this time, but what appeared to be a half eaten lizard... nice!! Apparently cats bring you presents (ie dead mice) because they think you're lacking something in your diet. If it works the same with dogs then mine seem to think I need to eat more lizard! I think not!

Wednesday - Run/walk 30secs/4mins 30 secs
I managed about 15 minutes walking and 2 runs before I turned around and came home. I went out earlier than usual and there were heaps of cars around and what looked like a mid week party going on in one house. It was too busy for me. Plus I think I had too many layers of clothes on. I thought it was quite cold outside so I layered up as I did for the last run, but it was actually warmer than I thought and I was wearing too much. Can't wait for it to get a tiny bit warmer so I can wear my shorts and technical tshirt (more on those later!) without having to think about getting too hot/cold

Just as I decided to go home I had a car pull onto the road I was on, put their lights on fullbeam, and drive very slowly towards me and then as soon as they'd past me they sped off. I'm sure I heard them laughing...

I got quite angry/upset at that but, with an ABBA inspired epiphany I thought "f*ck you dude, Imight be wobbling all over the road, but at least I'm out here giving it a go. When was the last time you went out for a run?" Knowing my luck it'll have been some bloody olympic athlete or something!!!

Thursday - Should have been cycling, but I did the run/walk thing instead!
Since I didn't finish last nights scheduled run/walk, I dropped the cycle and did it tonight instead. It went ok, although I've learnt a few lessons about clothing and footwear.

1) Technical Tshirts are a g-dsend! They allow the moisture and heat from your body to escape, without letting you get too cold or keeping you too warm. They've not got seams in the same place as normal tshirts so you don't get rubbing under your arms. I heart my technical tshirts
2) If you're wearing technical tshirts there is no need for a singlet underneath. I was searing this skin tight singlet thing and it's just not allowing the tshirts to do their job. I'm not wearing it for running again!
3) Socks should be a pair and should be long enough to stay over the tops of your shoes so you don't get blisters or rubbing round the ankles. Thankfully it's not happened yet although tonight I was wearing odd socks and one of them fell down a bit and I could feel a spot on my heel getting a bit irritated.

Tonight was quite an exciting little jaunt because I was wearing my NEW SHOES!!!!! Yes, I went shopping tonight. I had an old pair of New Balance shoes but they were a bit tight and didn't feel very good for running in. HID has a pair of Saucony trainers that I've been running in. They fit really well but I'd decided that I was looking for a pair with a bit more cushioning.

So I trotted off to The Athletes Foot (Note to US/CAN/UK readers - over here athletes foot is a sports shoe shop, and not a fungal infection you get between your toes. In Australia we call that athletes foot 'tinea'. Yah, I agreed - f*cked up!) and picked up a pair of Brooks Ghost. Seems they've only been available for a couple of weeks!! They look like this...

They feel great - plenty of cushioning in all the right places. In saying that after running in them tonight I need to wear them about town for a few days to break them in a bit. They're not the prettiest shoes around (well I don't think so) but out of the 3 I tried on in the shop these ones felt the best. At the end of the day I'm not running a fashion show, just a marathon (just... HA!).

I also picked up a new technical tshirt. I got a short sleeved one for under the long sleeved one I've already got. I'd show you a picture but it's really not that exciting. It's blue - the kiwi would tell you to expect nothing less. Blue is, apparently, my colour!

Tomorrow is my night off, and then saturday is my last 30second run. hopefully I'll get a post up some time over the weekend.

Keep the comments coming - it lets me know my procrastination is not wasted!

the blob - to the finish line, and beyond...

Monday, July 28, 2008

Week Two, Day One - Monday

Run 30 secs/Walk 4mins 30secs - 20 minutes

My lungs are burning, my nose is running, my eyes are watering and I can't feel my fingers. It's absolutely freezing outside! I know, I know... I'm from Scotland - I'm not meant to feel the cold, but obviously I'm aclimatising and a Brisbane winter now actually feels like a proper (as in Scottish) winter. In my defence they did report on the news tonight that Brisbane was headed for a particularly cold snap over the next couple of days - they're not wrong!

Today is the start of Week Two. The training schedule for this week is the same as well one in terms of days running/cycling. However, this week is when I start adding some running into my run/walk mix. So for this week I do a warm up walk (I've found ABBA's Take A Chance to be a good warm up song) and then run for 30 seconds, walk for 4 minutes 30 seconds. I repeat that 3 times (for a total of 20 minutes - I'm getting gooderer with my counting!) and then a walk for a cool down. 

I surprised myself with my running tonight. I was a bit excited when I was setting of on my first run and I thought I'd set off a bit too fast. I completed the 30 seconds with ease. I actually felt like I could run a bit longer - I know it was only 30 seconds, but lets not forget I've been sitting down for the last X years! After finishing the run it didn't take me long to recover, and although I was breathing fairly heavily I was never out of breath.

The first and second runs went really well, but by the third one I was taking much longer to recover although I recovered well in advance of the end of the walk. I don't think it helped that run three was actually up a slight gradient! Thankfully, run four took me down a very very slight hill and that made it a surprisingly easy one to complete. 

What I'm really surprised about is the distance that I managed to cover. The circuit that I went round on Saturday night took me maybe about 25-30 minutes to complete (that includes warm up and cool down walks). Tonight I completed the circuit twice (including warm up/cool down). I have thought about doing the longer circuit but I quite like the idea of keeping it a bit closer to home. Plus, by running the same circuit its going to let me keep a track of my progress more easily. 

HID joined me tonight! Well she came out after the first 10-15 minutes and walked in the reserve direction to the one I was travelling. I met up with her just before run three and told her to keep walking round so I could meet her on the home stretch. She was waiting for me at the end of run 4 and walked with me for the cool down. About 2 minutes before reaching home she headed off ahead to pop the kettle on for me....  bless!!

the blob - to the finish line, and beyond...

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Week One, Day Six - Saturday

Walking - 20 minutes

After dragging my backside home at 5:30 in the morning (it was all the Kiwi's fault - she made me stay up late!) I wasn't sure how I was going to hold up for my evening stroll on Saturday evening. But I've committed to this thing and I'm not about to let one late night stop me (because there's going to be plenty of them!)

I had a bit of a suss out during the day and discovered a nice little circular route which means that I can stop backtracking on myself. The walking so far up the road and then back again was good to start out with because it helped me check that I was keeping the same pace. The circular route is going to work out much better though. It#ve also discovered that by going one block further each time I can extend the circle further, and eventually I've got a brilliant 5k circuit that I can go round - yippee (positive mental attitude, positive mental attitude!).

So any ways... I geared up in my shorts and top and grabbed Beelzebub and headed out the door, turned around and headed right back in again. Gads it was FREEZING! So i grabbed a pair of trousers and put my long sleeved technical top on and headed back out again.

The walk was fine although I got a bit of pain in my shins towards the end. I slowed down a bit (good move there blob!) and the pain lessened. about 1 minute after getting home the pain had completely stopped. I think the pain was a combination of striding too far (trying to walk in time to the music I was listening to!) and also trying to hold on to mutley.

Yes beelzebub was not on her best behaviour last night. By the time I got out there (it was just before midnight) there were quite a few cats out for the evening. This meant I spent a decent amount of the latter part of the walk trying to hold her back. She doesn't pull on the lead too badly but I knew that if I dropped the lead she'd be off, only to return hours later - probably with a cat in her mouth!!

Now on the subject of music - if anyone has any good suggestions for music to listen to whilst walking/running then do let me know! all suggestions greatfully received - especially if they're really cheesy tunes!

the blob - to the finish line, and beyond...

Week One, Day Four - Thursday

Cycling – 15 minutes

Oh dear lord, no more... please no more! I think tonight I made the ultimate mistake of starting off to fast. I got to 4 and a half minutes and my legs were doing that wobbly shaking thing. I dropped the gears down a couple for the next minute and although my legs were still moving as fast I wasn't having to push as hard. It did the trick and I lasted the full 15 minutes. 

It was raining outside tonight and whilst it wasn't warm I managed to heat up quite quickly. There were a couple of really small cool breezes that passed through and they were really refreshing.

When I stopped and was doing my stretches I was convinced that one of the neighbours was watching me. All the lights in their house had been on when I started cycling, but now the ones in the back room were off. Yet I'm convinced I could see a figure standing at the open curtains. 

Now look, I know that australian tv leaves a lot to be desired (you know - in comparison to all the other countries in the world that have much better tv!) but still - there must be something more exciting than watching the blob cycling her little fat heart out for 15 minutes. I mean come on... Sandra Sully was on tv the whole time I was outside!!!!

Apart from the mishap at the beginning - today wasn't that bad really. Still - I'm bloody glad it's friday tomorrow and I get the night off!

the blob - to the finish line, and beyond...

Week One, Day Three - Wednesday

Walking – 20 minutes

Not much difference from Monday to be honest. I used some dance music again and that worked well. I was just walking up the road and then after 10 minutes turning round and coming back. I’m going to get really bored of that really quickly, so I’m going to have an investigate and see if there’s a block that I can walk around. All the streets round here either seem to go for miles, or just seem to stop at a dead end! Beelzebub came again and seemed to enjoy her walk.

It was spitting with rain as I went out and so I wore my uni jumper and a paid ovf tracksuit trousers. No good. I was sweating like a big when I got home. It’s bad enough where you’re a world class athlete who’s sweating like a pig, but when you’re the blob, it’s highly, HIGHLY unattractive. Tomorrow night is late night shopping and I’m considering a trip to the sports shop to get a decent top. I’ve actually got one decent adidas climacool top, but it was getting washed and was wet, so I’m going to need two to make sure I’m covered.

Tonight, again, I’d been really looking forward to getting out there. I’m finding that a bit strange because for some reason I think I should be hating this. After all it’s cold, dark, and I’m out side exercising for the first time in years. If anyone figures out why I’m enjoying this (at the minute) can you let me know please???

the blob - to the finish line, and beyond...

Week One, Day Two - Tuesday

Cycling – 15 minutes

I was really looking forward to getting on the bike tonight – I’ve got no idea why. I hopped on, got some music going, and I was off. Around 11 minutes I was a bit sore and feeling it a bit, but I actually managed the 15 minutes with very little difficulty. The setting on the bike was level 6 so I was having to work. I’d also found some Ibiza tunes on my ipod and the plan was to make sure my legs were turning with the beat of the music. That system worked really well and every time I looked I was cycling at over 25km per hour. My plan is going to be to try and make sure I’m always doing over 22km per hour, just because there were a couple of times tonight where I think I was going a bit slower that I was when I checked.

Pups McDuff was outside (where the bike is) when I was cycling and seemed to think that it was her cue to bring me all the tennis balls in the yard so that I could play with her. Well at least I know where all the balls are now – all around the bike!

My thighs felt like jelly when I got off the bike tonight – it took a good couple of minutes for me to stretch them out and make them feel better. Again I wasn’t sore, but I’m certainly feeling the effects of using my legs again!

the blob - to the finish line, and beyond...

Week One, Day One - Monday

Walking – 20 minutes

It seemed cold outside tonight. When I got back after my walk my throat felt sore from breathing in lots of cold air. I was off work today because I’d lost my voice and had a splitting headache since Sunday night. The walk actually helped clear my head a bit, but I’m not sure it helped with my throat.

The walk itself was fine. I didn’t have a watch on so had to judge my time by the amount of songs I listened to. I suspect I did maybe a bit over 20 minutes, but nothing more than 25 minutes I’m sure. Couple of twinges around the shin area when I got home, but no pain. I did a couple of stretches and that seemed to sort it out. I do need a new pair of runners though. My old ones are hurting my feet so I’m going to use Her-in-door’s ones for the time being.

And talking about Her–in-doors - she didn’t want to come tonight so I took Beelzebub with me. One thing I learned is that I need to find some music that’s got a decent steady beat. I’ve got a couple of old Ibiza dance albums kicking about with some of the great classics on them, and I think I might have to give them a go to see how they work out. 

the blob - to the finish line, and beyond...