Wednesday, 28 January 2009

Too much too soon

Oh dear. Think I may have overdone it, or maybe not warmed up enough.

TBH, I am cream-crackered at the moment and just didn't feel like getting totally out-of-puff on the treadmill. Instead I opted for a quick shottie of the weight machines I normally use. Easing myself back into things. Or possibly just being plain idle!

I don't know why I pushed myself too much? Perhaps guilt at not having indulged very much in exercise for almost a fortnight. Mucking out one stable and a couple of (albeit very hilly!) walks probably don't count!

Feeling rather stupid, I negotiated (read tumbled down) the stairs and felt relieved to just get changed and get home. Feeling even more stupid, I had to drag myself limb-by-limb back up the stairs to get the locker key I left with Boyfriend, who was enjoying a hot chocolate in the cafe!

I'm glad I didn't stay, the place was getting really busy. All the Thin People were arriving after a day in the office. And the Thin People seemed annoyed at my existence, especially when they couldn't get a locker where they wanted. Where I was trying to get changed. Trying to squeeze my wobbly bits back into my civilian clothing in a hurry so as to be out of their glare. I like it better during the day when the Normal-Shaped People are there. I don't feel so obvious then!

Glad there is usually the opportunity for me to visit during the day, don't think I could handle the wrath of the Thin People on a frequent basis! It is supposed to be fun after all...

Anyway, I am hoping a long soak will stop me from having to be helped out of bed (by a crane, davit or similar) in the morning.

Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Back to it

Had to cut my holidays short owing to a last-minute course for work this week. Back up north again, and back to the gym tomorrow. I really need to crack on...

Nothing to report until then.

Thursday, 22 January 2009

Holidays :)

So lazy!

Me updating my blog, not putting my feet up you understand... ;)

So, being away from home and therefore the gym, what have I been up to?

I have walked my poor feet sore in London, was there for work purposes but thought I'd make the most of it. The whole time feeling quite under the weather so I am sure I wasn't good company! Still, I took in some new sights and didn't catch any communicable diseases off of any surface on The Tube. I have also managed a couple of hour-long walks, which, in Devon, involve a steep hill of some sort. Tired myself out to the point where an afternoon nap was required yesterday...I say nap. In fact I entered into the primary stages of hibernation.

Have also been to visit my adorable horse, who was his cheerful and charming little self as ever. Didn't muck out and in fact went out for lunch instead. Naughty! Hopefully some good honest horsey work this weekend will see me right. Sadly I have been a total gannet so I'm sure the exercise I have managed thus far is nothing more than token.

Things have spiralled into wearing Boyfriend's joggers around the house because I didn't have anything with me I found quite so comfy. I'm on a slippery slope, and it's greased with good food and drink!!!

Thursday, 15 January 2009

Do Not Disturb

I packed my gym bag last night, my alarm was set. I planned to get there just as the office-types were leaving...

I was, I promise, full of good intentions to get up and get to the gym. Instead I spent most of the night trying to sleep with my knees up at my chin, such a snarling bellyache! Still not right this morning. Poor show really, I feel guilty. I am now, this afternoon, off on holiday for a fortnight.

I know if I had to get up and look after a horse, whilst I wouldn't feel anything like riding, I would have undertaken any grooming, in-hand work, poo-picking or mucking out with alacrity.

I'm hoping it's not a bug but a couple of those around me are feeling a bit under-the-weather. Wonder if it's my cooking?!

Anyway, I will have the many hills that Torbay has to offer at my disposal for energetic walks, to keep me ticking over till I get back. Perhaps even a dog to walk, and I dare say I will muck out a stable or two whilst away... :)

Wednesday, 14 January 2009

Excuses, excuses

I had every intention of going to the gym today, honest!

However, I have had an upset tumbly for a few days and today I've barely felt like leaving the house. I'm not sure I wish my power walk on the treadmill to become an extreme sport by way of introducing dodgy tummy into the mix! Perhaps I'm being a flake, but I was looking forward to going. Since I have been working hard on my abs I just didn't well enough for it today.

Will be up early tomorrow, aiming to get there just after everyone leaves to go work. Should be nice and quiet :) Assuming I'm feeling better of course. Off to tuck myself in on the sofa with a blankie and some tea :)

Monday, 12 January 2009

Quality over quantity

Up bright and early yesterday. Yes, on a Sunday! I bounced out of bed and straight to the gym, I really look forward to going and the buzz it gives me post work-out. Must be those endorphins people always say you get from exercise, they must be telling the truth!

I was mindful to stretch properly before using the treadmill but I think I need to learn more and how to do them 'properly', am quite bendy in some joints and can easily 'cheat'. One for a personal training sessions methinks.

I only managed 20 minutes on the treadmill. I was working on a steep incline and walking hard, although all the while trying to think of engaging my abdomen up and in, which is very hard work. I could only do it for about 10 minutes the other day. The idea behind that is to try and retrain my body a little bit, as it's very easy for me to stick my butt out when walking/cycling/etc. I guess quality is more important than quantity; better to do 20 minutes of correct walking than stay on longer and stress my lower back. In my opinion anyway!

Sadly I hadn't remembered to plaster over my blister so it was a bit sore when I stopped, really didn't help trying to walk properly!

Then onto my lower body exercises, using some very intimidating-looking machines! It's funny, I was using my lower leg to push weights up and pull them down...very hard work and on the lightest weight I could. Still, breathing is all important as well as control. Interestingly, my left leg seems stronger than my right, wouldn't have thought that.

But then onto something called a leg press, where you put your feet up on a platform and push yourself, adjusting the weights in order to work your leg harder. I managed up to about 50kg, bizarre!

Also pushed on a little bit with a couple of sneaky upper body workouts. My shoulder is killing me today so I probably shouldn't have!

Then a second attempt at my sit-ups and crunches. Something else to ask the personal trainer!

Even managed to warm-down and struggle downstairs for a shower without needing to stop, or seizing up in cramps.

Must attack my pot-belly though, it's starting to make me sad...

Friday, 9 January 2009

Muscles...I feel them!

Couple of days off methinks, have spent the day getting progressively stiffer! Didn't feel like I overdid anything, I don't think sitting at a desk all day helped me very much. I can feel all the muscles I worked, it's the same sort of feeling one might get after horse-riding after a long break.

Hopefully nothing a hot bath won't fix!

Thursday, 8 January 2009

And already there are blisters...

Have discovered a blister on my foot. Just the left foot. Makes me think I walk very unevenly. I'd really like to tape myself on a treadmill, see how I am moving. Of course, my trainers are new and I'm still getting used to them. But I noticed with today's workout, I pull myself along with my right leg. Perhaps I need to slow down and concentrate more on correct movement?

Due to a slow day at work, I managed along this afternoon. Lovely, very quiet, didn't feel quite so silly this time around! Since I walked there I was pretty warmed up so hopped on a bike. I opted for the bike because my knees aren't great (more horsey accidents!!!) and am a little worried about them getting sore.

10 minutes later I staggered off of the bike, the muscles in my legs ablaze! Clearly I went too fast too quick, I kept catching sight of myself in the mirror, with my tummy hanging over my joggers. I think I was trying to cycle away from the flab!

Walked off the lactic acid build-up on the treadmill, again at a reasonable pace and incline. Achieved and sustained the peak heart rate I am to aim for, so after 20 minutes felt I was all cardio-ed out. One thing I did notice, post work-out, was my lower back was quite sore. I must have been sticking my backside out, possibly as some sort of counterweight, on the bike and treadmill. Must stop that, must slow down and concentrate on posture, or I will end up with a more hollow back and my abdominal work will mean nothing. Speaking of abdominal work, I had a go at my various tummy crunches as a warm-down. I resembled something akin to a twisting, flopping salmon having seizures...

Although I was trying to wait for my shoulder support before I started upper body work...I felt like my legs could offer no more so it was either give it a bash or go home. I figured it couldn't hurt to get to know the machines.

I was really pleased with my efforts. Whilst I can only lift/move about 14kg, I can make the most of the exercises by correct breathing and not rushing through them. My arms, particularly the vestigial left arm, are a little 'dead' feeling but not sore at all. Fingers crossed I still feel as good tomorrow.

Am surprised how much I am enjoying myself...I my enthusiasm lasts!

Tuesday, 6 January 2009

So far so good...

I purchased the correct footwear…so my joints will be happy. I bought a sports bra that fits and works…so I won’t injure myself or anyone else in the same room/postcode.

I am still waiting on a shoulder support for my left shoulder, which will always be weak so best look after it now. Of course, I should have been looking after it when I broke it twice, both times in spectacular fashion, in the space of six months! Hindsight and all…anyway, until I get that I am not keen to work with weights.

I was hoping to start during quiet times so that as few people as possible were exposed to the excessive perspiration and blotchy red complexion of my exerted, unfit self. Circumstances conspired and I was there after work. Looking around it was not terribly busy, I alighted the nearest treadmill and pushed buttons. After several false starts, I was off. I’ve never really used a treadmill before, being of long stride and clumsy in nature, I suspect I might need one the length that equine horspitals have! New trainers are taking a little getting used to, as they put my foot in the right place (imagine!) and if I looked anywhere except dead ahead my gait slowed and my feet followed my gaze. A good way to make an unscheduled trip to hospital!

I managed half an hour of power-walking at a steep-ish incline. The incline helped my joints and helped me stop hollowing my back. Achieving my peak heart rate of 150-ish, I cooled off and hopped onto a rowing machine for five minutes. Hardly sounds like a worthwhile session, but I promise it was enough for me! Slowly slowly…

I daren’t catch myself in any mirror though, I am sure it wasn’t a pretty sight.

I weighed myself this evening, not something I do really. Currently sitting at 11st 4lbs. Acceptable for my height but not what is normal for a fitter version of me. So I am hoping I can shed at least 14lbs and drop a clothing size in trousers. Must remember to take some measurements this week so that if I don’t see a change in weight I might see a change in inches!

Still yet to muster courage for showers :s


The other day, I went to the gym to be shown around the facilities and have some equipment demonstrated. Presumably for Health and Safety reasons, so that I don’t end up in a tangled heap at the end of the treadmill (given how ungainly I am this is inevitable I feel!). It’s all very new to me, I’m an outdoorsy lass and the gym is a means to an end. I will enjoy it, and I will enjoy even more feeling better and hopefully looking a little healthier, but it’s all a little intimidating. Like any first day seeing or doing something new.

My aims are to improve my cardiovascular fitness and to improve my muscle tone. So, a programme of upper and lower body weights and cardio, and hopefully one class of pilates a week. Three or four days a week, when I’m onshore. The good thing is a lot of these exercises translate well when I am offshore. I might not improve much in fitness whilst offshore but hopefully I’ll be disciplined enough to maintain my good work.

Still not sure about the whole changing room set-up, am a little too shy to be wandering around anything less than fully clothed!

What's my motivation?!

Having stopped horseriding over two years ago (due to rider lameness!), and entering employment of the offshore variety, I have gained a couple (nearly three!) stones in weight and lost any residual fitness I may have had.

I’ve postponed attempts to get fit because of my body’s lovely idiosyncracies, the same things that stopped me making progress as a horserider. Well, I hope it was a lack of control over my body and not a lack of any talent whatsoever! I was keen to correct these problems as best I could by any physical manipulation available to me. Can’t say any of it has helped, although I have learned a lot along the way. So I figure why not just get my butt off the sofa and find a way to get fit(ter).

Santa kindly secured me a gym membership for Christmas! So now I’ve no excuse not to shed some weight and hopefully be able to climb a flight of stairs without needing medical attention…

I aim to maintain momentum by way of documenting my progress here. So that anyone in the wings may give me, virtually or otherwise, anything from a discreet nudge to a punch up the bracket if I start flagging and complaining!