Thursday, 30 April 2009

A break from my broken body

Life and the universe is getting in the way of my exercise routine this week! I haven't been since Monday, mostly because of work. I'm rather used to my daytime being my own.

I'm very tired, and very tense, and I feel like a workout would help a lot. But no time, ho hum. Because I've been at work and I'm finding it mentally taxing, I've been drinking tea and eating rubbish and I feel worse for it. My own fault but I'm not bothering for the moment.

In place of my yawn-inducing gym diary, here is another update on The Boy :)

Yesterday he had his second round of mesotherapy and steroids into his SI. They decided not to medicate the spaces in his vertebrae this time, because steroids always pose a risk of laminitis and they didn't feel he needed another dose. So that's pretty good that he's needed less drugs this time around. He also had another dose of Tildren.

Everyone at the practice adores him from what I'm told, they love his cheeky personality and think he's a little star. I think he'll be missed. At the weekend, when it's quiet, he has free roam of the enclosed yard, and tries to help make up feeds for the other patients *lol* I'm very lucky to have a great friend in the area who visited him today, so he got some carrots and some kisses.

There's already talk of a ridden physio programme. I am happy to keep working him in-hand until he's a lot stronger but I'm thrilled that he's come so far so quickly.

6 sleeps until he is home. It's ironic that I'm now in the office, I could really have used the time off to make all the phone-calls and do all the shopping I need to. And it's hard to concentrate on what I'm supposed to be doing, when all I can think about is playing ponies!

Monday, 27 April 2009

Busy busy

I am earning a crust in the office this week, so I got to the gym at around 6pm.

It's so different at this time of day, I managed to nab myself the one free treadmill. Every other machine was occupied! I forgot my headphones so was without my own tunes. It wasn't so bad, I just watched The Simpsons without sound *lol*

The gradient on the treadmill was ramped up to it's maximum, and I power-walked solidly for a half hour. Concentrating all the time on lengthening my stride and trying to maintain posture. I did catch myself in the mirror a few times and saw my bottom trailing behind the rest of me, rather in the fashion of farmyard poultry! But I tried :) I didn't feel too tired by the end and to be honest could easily have walked for longer, but the weights machines were free so I had to grab my chance! So I'm really pleased with how well my puff is improving.

Upper body weights this evening, I was feeling smug that I am now able to lift slightly heavier weights. The improved tone in my arms also means that movements are more smooth and fluid, I don't have to throw my weight behind what I'm doing. I can start to rely on the strength I'm developing. I didn't get to complete my session as one of the machines I needed was busy with people chatting and using it, so I gave that a miss. I also couldn't warm down because the mats were full!

I wish the gym wasn't at the opposite end of town from my office! I could go early in the morning...I don't mind going in the evening but it is a little frustrating when I can't complete my session, especially when I was so full of enthusiasm and drive. I hope at least I don't lose that....

Sunday, 26 April 2009

Lazy Sunday

Rest day today because yesterday's session has left me aching!

It was my mini-triathalon day. 15 minutes of rowing, 15 minutes of cycling and 15 minutes of running. Rowing was ok, although I seemed to be rocking on one seatbone so I finished quite sore. Only one seatbone, the right one...wonder why I'm sitting oddly?

Anyway, cycling went as well as ever. I pushed hard and sprinted, my face purple by the end. But I felt ready to run. Sadly only two minutes in and I got pains in my chest. I am of the opinion that my cleavage is too big for this running lark, coupled with my lofty gait I think it's hurting my chest? I don't think I'm built to jog so I will continue to walk for now. My heart rate doesn't change whether I walk or run, I just don't cover as much ground. Although, my hip flexors are still are tight as a drum so for now we shuffle...

The remainder of my session was upper body training. It gets easier with each attempt :) It was mostly using the machines, my arms tremble towards the end, it must look so silly but that's really how lacking in substance my upper body is! I did have some free weight work to do too. And more abdominal crunches!

Lovely day off today, and back into it again tomorrow

Thursday, 23 April 2009

Quadi update

Since I'm having a rest day (from the gym anyway!), here is the latest on the patient:

All signs are good. The physiotherapist checked him earlier this week and he is not reacting to palpation of any previous sites of pain. This made me very happy to hear. He is coming along nicely in the Pessoa. Tries to evade a little bit to start but once he's working correctly he sticks with it. It will take a while to increase strength in his abdominals and his back so hopefully this need to evade will decrease with every session, and disappear altogether over time. I'm sure a lot of it is also muscle memory, and developing trust in us that what we are asking will no longer hurt like it has previously.

He is wearing heart bar shoes behind, and has plastic resin wedges along to the heel. In addition to this, he has a sort of putty filler along the sole which is intended to increase the weight bearing surface of the foot. He was taking a lot of weight around his heels, and this needs to change. Hopefully this current, short term set-up removes the pressure on his lumbar region and his stifles. If I'm honest his feet are the part that worry me more than his body. I don't think I'll truly unclench until he's out of the heart bars! I don't like heart bars at all...

The great news regarding shoeing is that he can be safely turned out this way, with boots and supervision. So he can get out and get moving once he's here :)

It's very important for me to remember that he will never be cured. I suppose you could compare this to something like laminitis or ulcers, in that you can never get complacent and it's a lifetime management issue. He used to get physio with me every six months, just for a check-up. It will have to be more frequently now, but the hope is that if he reaches a healthy plateau we can gradually increase the space between check-ups.

Likewise, I must pay constant attention to his reactions to touch. Any changes in behaviour, or resentment towards grooming, being handled, mounting, riding are symptoms. Not that I ever think of horses as naughty, behaviour like this is communication of a problem. If he does show signs like this, it's best to be safe than sorry and nip any backward steps in the bud. It's going to take a long time to get him sound and keep him sound, and it wouldn't be difficult to undo all that good work.

He is due to receive his second round of mesotherapy before he comes home. Which is in less than two weeks. And I'm still not sure I'll see his lovely face before I leave!

Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Top of the class

That's me!

I toddled off to the gym mid-morning, lady of leisure me. Confession time: it was such a thought to do today's work. Day 2 on my programme is cycling and leg work. Or Torture Of The Lower Limb...

Here's the good bit. My cycling training, when I adhere to the script, is interval training. So, 5 minutes on a high resistance setting, followed by 2.5 minutes on a low setting, and so on. I did this today, and I pushed hard. After 30 minutes though, the only reason I had to stop was because I had run out of water :) I felt I had more in my legs but I was so thirsty I didn't want to make myself ill. So I guess I'm progressing quite quickly. My legs have always been muscly, they're just hidden under cellulite these days :o

What is niggling me though...I was paying attention to my the movement of my legs. The right knee, the one I hammered off a tree at a fast clip years ago (on a horse of course!), bends in, so it's not running true. And I feel like I put more weight down my left side. I tried so very hard to keep my leg straight. It hurt a bit, I guess that's the out-of-place muscles voicing their objections to being worked in a different way. Not sure how to change how I sit, that's part of the bigger picture. It's a little overwhelming right now to address the squintness...head is firmly buried in the sand at this point!

I followed the cycling with my lower body training. Calf extensions, they burned. Weighed lunges, they burned too. Actually, they really hurt my hip flexors. Only for a while after, they're not sore now. I can't be surprised, I spend every waking day sitting down...I tackled my leg raises one limb at a time. Lifting both together is impossible as I have zero core strength, I sort of end up half sitting up and half lifting my legs instead!

Oh, I mustn't forget. 120 sit-ups! Forty straight up, and forty working each side of my obliques. My tummy muscles were scorching by the time I'd finished, I felt sickly. But I pushed. I do think perhaps I ought to do my sit-ups prior to to any cardio. Cardio makes me so thirsty I consume a lot of water. So when sit-up time came, every time I engaged my tummy, there were sloshing and bubbling noises. Somewhat embarrassing *lol*

My knees and back are sore tonight. I am undecided between this being a necessary evil to break the bad habits of my posture, and warning signs that I am doing something wrong. I do wonder if I should take ibuprofen and push through, or...well, I don't know what else I can do?

But in summary I am quietly pleased with myself today, just that I found my motivation and I gave today my greatest effort. I felt great for it. I enjoy the exercise for what it is, I'm not worrying too much about what I'm working towards :)

Monday, 20 April 2009

Knuckling down


Of course I haven't lifted a finger since my last blog. Terrible. Today I decided I would jump back into my training programme with alacrity. Both my big feet first of course!

Day One is power walks on the treadmill and upper body. What in fact happened was I got a stitch after only fifteen minutes, what a poor specimen I am! Cardio was hastily completed on the bike, sitting down seemed much easier!

The weight work was hard, and I can see, whilst using the free weights, how my arms are developing differently. There is a school of thought that limbs should be worked individually but I worry I'll strain my back if I do that. Perhaps this advice only pertains to lower body? I still haven't bought a shoulder brace and am unlikely to what with Quadi coming home. I've been very busy buying grooming kits and things instead...*g*

I also feel like my muscles are holding themselves into knots in my back, I can feel that when I use the free weights too. Not sure what the answer is there, will have to ponder that problem some more...

My mission for tomorrow is to phone around the vets up here and see which ones will be best to continue his treatment, and also which one uses the farrier(s) I like to complete his remedial shoeing work. And to find out how The Boy Himself is getting on, last report was that he is being a star :D

Thursday, 16 April 2009

Baby steps on big boats

Not so much snacking today and no tiredness :)

I probably won't tackle the gym on here, so no exertion until Friday, or possibly Saturday. I do have the extrordinarily tight calves. The steps on boats are steep and, coupled with my inactivity on here, they are really knotted! Too much sitting hunched up, it's no wonder my body is out of kilter!

Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Doughy middle

That's me!

I'm doing day trips offshore for a couple of days this week. So, offshore food plus one tired processor equals not much get-up-and-go!

In addition to big meals I've had a donut and ice cream...poor show.

I've been so sleepy today, feeling rather washed out. Can't decide if it's being in a windowless room with air con or whether it's whatever's been making me feel so grotty lately.

That sounds like a whinge! It's not, I promise :)

Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Still nothing

Why am I ill?!?!

I have even packed my gym bag for today, with the very best of intentions...

I don't suppose it helps that it's raining today. I don't see the point of trying to run today if my sinuses are making my teeth sore (I hope it's just the cold and not a toothache!) and my chest is tight. I'm probably being a flake but those are my excuses!

Monday, 13 April 2009

Going nowhere fast

Ugh, my headache from yesterday won't go away and my sinuses are blocked, so am going to spend another pathetic day at home :(

Sunday, 12 April 2009

I did it!


Feeling quietly pleased with myself as I managed to cycle 12km in less than 30 minutes! I had set myself that little target and I did it today. Actually, it wasn't too hard, so I will have to cycle for longer next time.

But, my knees and Achilles are a little achey today, so tomorrow I'm planning to get back into my training programme. Back onto the treadmill, to give me a chance to stretch out my joints. I am loathe to do too much biking right now, it always takes me a little while to get the feeling back into my ass and I always come away with sore joints, despite having it adjusted as best I can. I'm sure once I have a bike it'll be better :)

Oh, I also had a bash at some sit ups and crunches. I felt sick afterwards and I move my legs too much. Perhaps I ought to try out the physio ball?

Saturday, 11 April 2009

Old lady knees

Today is another day of rest because yesterday's endeavors left me with pain behind my left knee after cycling. I don't think it was saddle height as it came on suddenly after 25 minutes. Which is rather irritating as I was well on course to hit 12km in 30 minutes!!! So I had to slow right down and hope off early. Bum!

Have already had an uphill stroll today and it's sore but not as much as yesterday. Will have to figure out why I've hurt myself, I'm running out of ways to exercise!

Thursday, 9 April 2009

A spot of undecorating

No gym again today because I offered my services at home, helping my Mum strip wallpaper.

It didn't feel like hard work at the time, but I am quite achey this evening! Tomorrow's plan is to get to the gym mid-morning to partake in more cycling, see if I can push myself a little harder this time.

I'm getting regular updates on Quadi. He's being calm and compliant which is great, not that I expected anything less of him :) He's apparently a bit foot sore but he is due remedial farrier work, sadly this won't be until Tuesday but until then he is being gentled along on a soft school surface. I have been terribly paranoid and asked if they can triple-check his digital pulse to make sure it's nothing more sinister than the hoof balance. What with all the upheaval to him recently, and the medication he has received, combined with his ability to retain weight like a pre-hibernation bear...if I don't ask them about laminitis I'll not sleep. Even though he is at a vet clinic surrounded by professionals!

Pessoa work is something he is finding very hard, the lunge sessions are always a struggle to start with. I guess he'll slowly unlock all the parts of his body he needs to over the next week or two, and hopefully after that it will be nothing more than strengthening his tummy and relaxing his back.

One day at a time. One day at a time.

Wednesday, 8 April 2009

Day of rest

Quick one today. I decided against the gym this morning because I had sore legs and several friends always remind me not to work sore muscles I used to push through pain and injury but since I am so broken of body I doubt that strategy works in the long term! Since I've been rather lax in my efforts this past few weeks, I skipped today. Not that my laurels were rested on, I whirled like a dervish through the house and did lots of housework, and went out for a walk. Hope that counts!

Tomorrow, I shall get back on the bike and see if I can push things a little further. I was hoping to get back into my training routine next week but, wouldn't you know it, I'm due off to work again!

I also have volunteered to assist in redecorating efforts, so I will be working my arms tearing down old wallpaper :D

Tuesday, 7 April 2009

Beginning again in earnest

Today was the first day I have been to the gym, my gym anyway, in a few weeks.

Since I will be cycling 24km every day I go to see my horse, I thought the best place to start would be on the bike. They really aren't suited to my shape at all, I ended up with a numb backside. We were reacquainted later, thank goodness, but I really couldn't feel it for a while! I selected a hill program and managed just over 9km in half an hour. I figure I should be plenty fit for cycling to the yard soon. The road out is cycle path for about half the way, with traffic lights, and country road the rest of the way, so I reckon about an hour maybe? Maybe faster if I really push and some days I might, but 2 hours a day of leisurely cycling will be very good for me in the summer months. Good job I don't have to ride Quadi, my horse, straight away, my pelvis might fall off! I also have lots of offers of lifts for the days where I might not feel like cycling :)

I suppose since my horse is to return I should blog about what he is up to.

He was diagnosed with kissing spines a week ago. They are in his lumbar region, which is an unusual place to have them. The condition is rated between 1 and 4 and Quadi's is at 2, 2/3 for one vertebrae. His foot balance also requires correction as it is certainly exacerbating the problem. His treatment was injections of long-acting steroids into the spaces between his vertebrae (three in all) and another into his right SI joint. In addition to this, the vet administered 240 little injections into his back, and he was given a dose of Tildren. Poor love had to have his back shaven but he was an absolute superstar and never put a foot wrong the whole day he was there.

Currently, as of yesterday in fact, he is spending a few weeks at the vet clinic in order to receive Pessoa lunging 6 days a week. And he is also to have laser therapy along his back, as well as remedial shoeing and regular monitoring of his condition. I really wasn't sure about the shoeing as I was sure even correct balance would improve his chances being sound, but it hopefully will break the vicious cycle his posture and his lameness seem to be in.

Who knows if I'll ride him again. I am heavier and much more unfit than when I was last riding, and now that he has a sore back he is weaker. But he'll have to be kept fit and working for the rest of his days in order to maintain the condition in his back. We can do that with variations on all themes of ground work, and I shall certainly aim to get back on board if his treatment bears any success, which I am quietly confident it will :)

We will just take one day at a time, otherwise there is too much to think about. It'll certainly be fun and games having a horse whilst I work offshore but I've never done things the easy way!

I'm back!

Tsk, naughty Danni, a month without blogging! Life has been hectic hence the lack of posts.

So, what have I been up to during my Blogger hiatus?

About a month ago I had one of the trainers at the gym rejig my training routine, now I'm on something much more...well, cruel as far as I was concerned, but it'll be worth it!

My gym also offers healthy checks. Apart from my heart never coming below 100 beats per minute for that aspect of the test, I got a clean bill of health. Low cholesterol and no sign of diabetes, which I wasn't suspecting but always good to know. The fast heart rate only confirmed what I thought has been causing me to feel so rotten. A few happenings in all aspects of my world have caused me to be quite stressed out, despite my insisting I had nothing to be stressed about. Our bodies will always find a way to tell us when something is wrong, and the message was received loud and clear...eventually *lol*

What this called for was a sneaky holiday down in Devon. Which was lovely as ever. Except that I had no gym to go to (any in the area either had frankly pedestrian facilities or was prohibitively expensive), so any latent enthusiasm I might have had about starting my new routine withered and hid under a duvet for the best part of three weeks! I did go for walks to the park on Sundays, but palpitations intercepted even these attempts to exercise!

I was finding myself quite pathetic at one point. But I just need to take things slower and try hard not to harbour too much stress. I had it explained to me at the gym what negative physical effects this can have. So on a non-fitness front, I'm trying very hard to be a more relaxed bunny :D

And more exciting horse will shortly be joining me back in Scotland soon. The title of my blog couldn't be more apt as he has just been diagnosed with kissing spines. So we both have a long road of rehabilitation ahead, we can be lame old waifs together! For the summer anyway, I will be cycling 8 miles (which I worked out is 12km!) each way to see him, until I can get myself a car. Nothing like throwing myself in at the deep end!