Sunday, September 28, 2008

Exercise revisited

How many of you are Healthy Food Guide readers? I've loved this magazine from when it first hit our shelves, and have had a subscription for ages.

The October issue has some great stuff that sits well with how I'm feeling about food right now - making positive changes to build a healthy life. If you get a chance, I really think it's worth a read.

I've made a big change to exercise this week - for the first time I have a personal trainer. I really needed to work out why I wasn't making any progress with my running. This running thing is weird: I have no ambition to be 'a runner', but I really want to be able to run if I want to. And I want to be able to run this duathlon in November, not walk.

My first session with Karl (seems like a typical PT name to me!) was to assess my fitness - mostly he wanted to see how I run so we could work out what my problem is. He quickly decided it was what I suspected - my shallow breathing. My technique is okay and my fitness is good, I just run out of puff.

So he's going to concentrate on pushing the top end of my fitness. At the moment this centres around the bike: I start on Level 9 with rpm around 95. Each minute for five minutes I increase the level by 1 till I reach 13, then drop straight back down to 9. This is repeated 4 times. So my heartrate steadily climbs and then drops down for a recovery before climbing again. Have to admit there was a fair bit of sweat involved!

I'm going to see Karl twice a week for the next four weeks - hopefully it will make a big difference to my fitness. It will also cost me a chunk of money, but I reckon that will help motivate me; why waste the money by not pushing myself to get as much benefit from this as possible? After that I think I'll just see him every couple of weeks for a while.

I'm getting my full progamme from him on Tuesday - really looking forward to that!

This week I have been toying whether or not I want to keep blogging. But I think it will help me with this exercise focus, so I'll stick with it for now.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Running fool

So, last week's training wasn't great as far as regular exercise, but there were a couple of good things going for it:
I did two run/walks, and on one of them I ran a total of 3km, which is the most I've done this year,
Craig put road tyres on my mountain bike for me (and we rode 18km). Man, are they faster and easier!

This week I'm doing some research into how to run properly. That might sound silly, but I've never looked at the techniques of running - which is surprising when you consider what a geek I am! I will spend my running time this week practicing a couple of things I hope will help.

If I'm going to force myself to run, I may as well be smart about it.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Just when you thought it was safe...

I'd been lulled into that false sense of security September often brings. The blossom was coming out, my carrots were poking their leaves above the ground and I've been able to leave the house without 2 layers of merino underwear.

So spring must be here, right? Right!

So long as your accepted definition of spring is a few nice days interspersed with freezing cold rain and driving southerlies.

I do love Wellington weather, honest!

Mind you, I was lucky enough to have two glorious days in Christchurch early this week. Surely nothing can beat running in Hagley Park in the morning surrounded by spring blossom and daffodils.

Wish I had got out of bed to do it!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Hold your balls please

Okay, I didn't quite say it like that, but I certainly got a funny look from the waiter at our local Italian restaurant last night.

What I did say was "Can I have the spaghetti and meatballs without the meatballs, please?".

I love their spaghetti sauce. The meatballs, not so much.

My eating was dreadful last week. Days of over-indulging and WAY too much wine. And of course my weight has suffered. But there's no panic here yet.

Having read Anne's fabulous post about balance, I'm even more clear that I don't want to go back to a strict eating regime. I want to work out how I am going to eat for the rest of my life, so I can be healthy and maintain a healthy weight.

So, perseverance, my friends.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Yes, dammit, I am awake

For those of you who have never read The Food Whore - you should, because that is where I swiped this quote from:

Live your life in such a way that when your feet hit the floor in the morning, the Devil says;
"Shit, she's awake".

Boy, do I love that sentiment.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

A bit bilious

Last night I ate a meal I regretted.

The meal tasted really good. It was well-prepared and made from fresh, organic ingredients.

I didn’t regret it because of any ‘diet’ guilt.

I regretted it because I didn’t feel good after it – in fact didn’t feel good for the rest of the evening and still don’t feel too flash this morning.

Why didn’t I feel good? Because it was just too rich!

It was chicken with a creamy mushroom sauce, served with gnocchi, pumpkin and spinach. The richness wasn’t helped by the fact the gnocchi was fried not just boiled.

Yes, the meal tasted great, but it just wasn’t worth how I felt afterward.

This is a big lesson for me – think of food not just in how it tastes and whether I ‘should’ be eating it from a calorie and fat intake point of view. Think of how food is going to make feel after I have eaten it.

Really, the Thai beef salad would have been a much smarter choice.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Rack off!

Right, Mr New Trainer Dude at the gym trying to drum up clients.

No, I don't want to chat about my programme. Not right now. When I'm 40 minutes into my run/walk intervals.

Need a hint on why not? Well, the sweat dripping off the ends of my hair would be a good start. Or the face the colour of a baboon's arse. Or maybe the fact my earphones are slipping out of my ears*.

Next time, try approaching me before I start exercising. I'll still tell you to rack off, but I'll be able to breathe while I say it.

*Am I the only person who suffers from sweaty ears?

Monday, September 08, 2008

In the zone?

The first week of duathlon training went really well. The weekend 10km ride got pushed to 12km, and as well as my run/walk session yesterday we went for a great MTB ride in the reserve near where our caravan is parked at the moment. I have to admit though, some of those steep climbs were pretty hard on the thighs after running only a couple of hours earlier.

I am enjoying having a structured training schedule again. Although I was exercising most days before, it was easy to slack off by doing slightly fewer exercises or less distance. Now I have my expectations down in writing, I'm much more likely to hit my targets. For instance last week Craig didn't feel like going to the gym one day, so I did circuit training at home instead of using that as an excuse to do nothing.

Of course not wanting to be shown up by my workmates adds extra motivation!

Also, Craig and I have decided to do the 50km ride at Waikanae again this year. That's mid-October, so 5 weeks before the duathlon.

Eating-wise, still feeling my way, but enjoying this style of eating much more than a rigid plan. I'm paying most attention to portion sizes and getting rid of mindless eating.

I get a whole week at home this week too, which is nice. Off to Christchurch next week as we have a new company down there, so some poor sucker needs to be trained on the World According to Sue.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Idle observations

  • Sitting in the club lounge at the airport. The only people who don't look tired are the ones speaking in irritatingly loud voices. Does constantly striving to be noticed give you an energy boost? I would have thought it would be dreadfully exhausting
  • Why are drivers so reluctant to give way to emergency vehicles now? Don't they get the whole life-saving situation thing?
  • Exercise done when you really don't feel like it truly is doubly rewarding
  • Most men wear their trousers at least 3cm too short
  • I know having all this lovely oestrogen racing round my body keeps me looking young, but, really, I'm over getting pimples with every period, like some cruel gift-with-purchase

Sorry folks, guess I'm tired and grumpy!

Monday, September 01, 2008

BHAG time (Big Hairy Audacious Goal)

We were talking duathlons at work this morning. As you do.

Somehow, I seem to have challenged all my staff to join me in one. Well, my three Wellington staff anyway. The two in Auckland don’t yet know what a lucky escape they’ve had.

The four of us haven’t just decided to do a duathlon. We’ve decided the short course is too easy. We’re doing the medium instead – 4km run, 24km ride, 4km run. Of course, I could just wimp out and walk instead of running. But no-one else seems to be going for that option. And I do hate to be shown up. Even if I am the oldest.

The good part about it – we’re doing it in mid-November. So when it was suggested we should go the whole hog and do a triathlon, I could legitimately point out the necessity of a wet suit when swimming in the sea at that time of year. No-one here has one, so we dropped that idea. Phew! I swim about as well as a three toed sloth does aerobics. I don’t think even the Grade 4 AC dislocation/torn rotator cuff excuse would have got me out of that one – but luckily the cost of wet suits did.

Of course, I once did fancy I could do triathlons. The biggest relief of my life was when they cancelled that swim.

So, serious training time again. And at the perfect time of year to get fit for summer. At least it’s only 5 weeks till daylight saving starts. That always makes training easier.

Hence – the return of Sue’s exercise-geek sidebar.