Thursday, 31 March 2016

Donkey Kong

It's on. It's on like, well, you know.

I've been AWOL for a while now. From the blog, the gym, exercise in general. You see, I have been in vacation mode for quite some time. Normally the week before vacation begins I let my food/beverage guard slip a little and start the celebrating early. The same thing happened this time around only it happened about a month in advance.

And then there were the two weeks of vacation. I had every intention of working out at least four times. I managed one run. It was 5k and for the first time in the history of the world I was visibly sweating. Maybe I was working harder than I have ever done before. More likely it was because it was 30 degrees.

I did try and not overeat and I took the stairs most of the time, which on a cruise ship is a feat in itself. I must have done something right because I managed to come home the same weight I was when I left. For now I will ignore the fact that I put the cruise weight on BEFORE I even left home.

But now I'm back and it's time to get serious. I've scrolled back through My Fitness Pal data and calculated that I am currently 16.4 lbs heavier than my lowest recorded weight. I'm at a place where I swore I would never be again.

I've got my support team to keep me accountable and now that we've registered for a couple of local races, the girls seem to be ready to get serious too. My gym membership is up and I'm heading back outside to the group runs. It's time to get my butt back in gear and hopefully in my now slightly snug pants.

Saturday, 12 March 2016

If Your Treadmill Spits You Out, It's Time to Run Outside

My first run since my confession was a huge relief. I went to the gym again with the girls and realized that they had also been feeling pretty much the same way I had. Who knew.

We ran on the treadmills and it turned out to be a decent experience. It renewed my resolve to keep running, at least until after the half. We made plans to run again the next day.

The next day turned out to be decent weather wise. When I finished work the temperature was a balmy 6 degrees. I was already thinking ahead to our evening trip to the gym and I suddenly had the overwhelming urge to run outside instead. The air was fresh and semi warm and it was still daylight. I couldn't pass up the opportunity.

After a quick text to the girls to let them know I was abandoning them, I set out from my house, planning to run the 5 km route I had been using last year when I had first conceived the notion to run a half marathon. The first minute was horrible. I had started on a small incline and by the time I reached the top my lungs were screaming and I was seriously considering turning around and heading back to the house.

But I persevered. By the time I made it to the top of the street, my breathing had evened out and I had fallen into a comfortable pace. The fresh air was amazing, even the bits tinged with car exhaust. 

There were several more hills along my route and by the time I reached the top of the fourth and final hill (the biggest and longest as well) I was feeling amazing. Julie Andrews amazing.  

Four days later, I ran the route again. Running outside is so much better than the dreadmill. Perhaps this beautiful weather is a sign that it's time to head back outside, rejoin the PRC group runs.

That was February 26th. I haven't run since. Why? The weather has been crap and I can't bring myself to go back inside to run. To be fair, I did try to go to the gym one day last week, but Hardcore Lori wouldn't let me. You can read all about that over at the PRC blog.

The guilt of not running obviously got to Lori so plans were made (by Lori) for the four of us to go to the gym on Friday for one last workout together before our memberships expire. We would cap the night off with the long awaited fries from Canteen Matters.

Friday arrived and Paula lets us know that she's bailing in favor of a Paddy's Day party. Lori also drops out because she's not feeling the greatest. I'm automatically thinking that Renee will agree to skip it as well if I ask her. No such luck.

By the time I get to the gym, Renee has already been there for 15 minutes, walking on the treadmill. I hop on the machine next to her and she starts telling me that she's been having pain in her calf muscles. We start to talk about stretching, new sneakers and other possible solutions when Renee suddenly turns into a baby deer, legs cramping uncontrollably, going in all directions and she struggles to stay upright on her moving treadmill.

"Stop me! Stop me! Stop me!"

Like a mama beer trying to rescue her cub from danger, I lean over the rails of my treadmill trying to reach the red kill switch on Renee's machine, completely forgetting that my machine is still running. I start to fall as well, but luckily I catch myself in time. I pull my own kill switch and then go back for Renee's.

As the treadmills stop and all imminent danger is gone, Renee relaxes her death grip on the treadmill hand rails and tries to stretch her leg muscles. It's at this point that her demon possessed treadmill decides to put itself into reverse. I watch in horror (and some amusement) as Renee falls on her butt and is shot like a cannon ball off the front of the treadmill.

Here is a reenactment:

I jump off my treadmill and run around to the heap of Renee on the floor. (FYI - this short run was the most strenuous part of the night's workout) She's on her hands and knees trying to stand so she can stretch her muscles, but she can't get up. I try to lift her up but it's not happening. She's obviously in a lot of pain and I don't know what to do about it. I finally decide to get down next to her and start massaging her legs.

So here we are, two ladies, proudly wearing our PRC sweatshirts, sprawled on the gym floor, one looking like she's in the middle of her daily prayers and the other with her head precariously close to the first one's butt as she rubs her legs with unskilled precision.

Whatever I did seemed to help and Renee was eventually able to stand again. I had managed to walk for one minute before pulling my kill switch and I was good with that workout but Renee insisted I keep going while she worked out the remaining tension in her legs. She debated getting back on the treadmill and even though I advised against it, she figured she would try.

She managed to walk for a while without any other incidents which is probably due to the fact that she was trotting along at Nan speed.

By the time I finished my 30 minute walk, Renee said she was feeling much better, But I had my doubts, since at one point during the walk I caught her checking out these on the Costco website:

So here's how I see it - if your treadmill kicks you out, it's time to end your relationship. No more gym, just outside running and I can honestly say I'm looking forward to that. But before our next run, I think I'll study up on some effective massage techniques, just in case.