Saturday, October 31, 2009

Good Vibrations

Had been thinking about a run yesterday afternoon as I was on my way back from a pamper trip into Covent Garden (leg wax if that's not too much information!) but when I got in Mark was about to head to the Gym so I tagged along with him. Went to the Virgin Express gym in Wood Green, blimey it was hot in there! Honestly I think they had heating on it was like working out in a sauna. Had a short treadmill run (don't ask) and then a few weights. I was a bit pushed for time but while on the treadmill had been eyeing up the vibration training machines - I've always fancied trying one out but not enough to pay to go to one of the vibra-train places in Hamilton so took the opportunity while I could. I didn't do much, just a couple of the basic 'poses' - to be honest it just felt odd and I can't imagine it was doing me any good - other that the basic stretch I was getting anyway without the vibration. But at least now I've tried it so I can tick that off the list of things I wouldn't bother to do again and look forward to getting back to some normal training in a couple of weeks when I'm home.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Ally Pally

One of the (many) nice things about staying at G&M's is the proximity to Alexandra Palace, one of the many lovely green spaces that London has tucked all over the place. This combined with the unexpectedly mild Autumn weather was more than enough to encourage me to get out for a run this week. I must admit the 7 mins of running through Bounds Green Streets to get to the Park are not the nicest, but once there it was most pleasant to slowly (and I do mean slowly!) jog around parts of the grounds enjoying the view and the lovely weather. The short slow run left me more than a little hot and bothered which is a good warning of the things to come once I get home and start running properly again. In the meantime I'm getting plenty of walking done round the mean streets of London too so it's not all partying and beers.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Electro-Surfing and Wii-ing

My sister has an impressive collection of exercise equipment. Most of it, she would be the first to admit, is unused and buried somewhere in the house never to be seen again. However since my arrival in Dawley I have been eyeing up the Bodi-Tek machine which is still new enough to be out in the open in the lounge and available for use, and so in the name of blog-research I decided to give it a go. The machine aims to target core muscles and leg muscles by simulating surfing type motions which make you readjust your balance and work to keep upright and stay on the board. There are 3 levels of difficulty and each pre-programmed session lasts for 15 mins. I lasted less than 5 minutes on level 1 - and this included falling off once! I think my feet got more of a work out than anything else - clearly I was trying to grip on with these rather than relying on my core and balance and I got terrible cramp in my toes and feet which is what caused me to give up fairly quickly. As an exercise machine I give it a fail, although my sister has managed to get up to level 3 and says that she can feel the effects on core and leg muscles after using it. Oh, and my heart rate was 90 when I got off, which I guess is not bad for something you can do in front of the telly. Think I'll stick to sit ups and running! Later in the evening we had a session on the Wii balance board which included slalom skiing, ski jumping, heading footballs and a step aerobics session. I was consistently sucky at all of the things that involved shifting balance - I guess practice is required to work out how far to move etc. on a more positive note I was pretty successful at the step routine and it was so much more enjoyable than step classes at the gym as there was no one shouting at you.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Reactivated Legs

After over a week off I finally got my running legs working again today. Nearly put off by the rain (ha! just like being at home) but thankfully it stopped so I managed to get myself out. Took it very easy, just a gentle 40 mins with my major goal being to not get lost - which I just about achieved with one minor hiccup at the last roundabout on my way home (but quickly reset myself back on the right path). My sore butt had finally just about recovered from being squished to death on the flight, but I could certainly feel it as I plodded along on my run - I assume it was doing it good. Now back at my sister's lowering the tone of the neighbourhood with my running gear hanging out of the window :-)

Sunday, October 18, 2009

A Long Way From Home

This latest blog is brought to you from the slightly chilly domain of South Wales. Have been in the UK for 2 days now and just about recovering from the trip over. I swear each time I fly planes get more uncomfortable. Is it just me or does everyone else get a really sore butt after 10 hours on a plane? I had to sit on a cushion from Singapore to London...!
My left knee also totally seized up and is still grizzly, I should really get out and have a run on it, kill or cure! I suspect not today although by tomorrow I'll probably be stir crazy enough to need to get out for at least a short run. Despite my moaning it's great to be back in blighty, albeit for a short visit, will make the most of my holiday week before I head to London and start thinking about work again (which reminds me I really should finish that presentation ....). The wonders of skype on an iPod touch means I've been able to chat to BIP for free despite the fact that I've got my laptop with me - that must count as cool technology in anyone's book :-)

Monday, October 12, 2009

Crash and Burn

I was a bit iffy about going down to the marathon clinic for this evening's run, but as I'm going to be away for the next 4 weeks I thought I should really make the effort to catch up with everyone. Anyway it was one of 'those' runs - hideous from start to finish. I think my exertions in the garden yesterday had caught up with me and I pretty much had to drag myself around. L kindly said that we were going at a fair pace - but to be honest I was a human anchor all the way round and I don't think my pace was much to brag about! Ah well, it got done, now home to recover and who knows when I'll next get out for a run, I might even be looking forward to it by then.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Who Needs a Gym?

Mindful of the fact that neither of us are getting any younger and that the various demands of hockey, running, cycling, touch rugby etc. leave both me and BIP in need of a bit of tlc every now and again we had a bit of a splurge at the home show last week and bought a spa pool. Yesterday Barry the builder came around to measure up the area where the new decking is going to house the spa, at which point the penny dropped and I realised that I had 5 days before I go away in which to clear the space where the deck is going. As luck would have it the deck is going in the one bit of the garden we've ever done anything with, in a fit of enthusiasm about 8 years ago we dug over a fairly large patch of the garden, levelled it, laid down weed mat, and then covered it with decorative stones and pebbles and paving flags. It was such a hideous amount of work it was enough to put us off doing anything else since - and now all those lovely stones and pavers have to be moved, all over again - ugh! So I spent 3 hours this evening shovelling stones into a trailer and dumping them over by the garage. This was after I'd moved 21 paving stones. I suspect more sore muscles tomorrow, and that's before I even start complaining about the blisters ... At least the worst of it is done, so if I can do a little bit before I go I won't be leaving too much work for BIP to do while I'm overseas.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Bicycle! Bicycle!

Did I mention how sore my muscles were after doing weights last week for the first time in ages? Well on Friday I did a 30 min hill run on the treadmill and for the first 5 mins my pec muscles were squeak inducingly sore, hopefully anyone within earshot interpreted the "eep, eep" sounds as some sort of weird iPod sing along thing! Today is a beautifully sunny spring day - what a difference from the torrents of rain we got last Sunday, hmmph. Anyway I couldn't fight the urge to get on my bike any longer, so with a quick pump of the tires I was off and out to enjoy the sun. Just pootled out for a 50 min circuit which was undulating enough to be challenging but not so steep as to make me overly sorry in the morning. I feel this mad urge to get in as much exercise as possible over the next 5 days as 24 hours on a plane is looming - ugh!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Owww, Sore Muscles!

I was pleasantly surprised at how well my legs recovered from Sunday. Monday and Tuesday they felt fine, then on Tuesday evening I went for a short slow run (50 mins) with the marathon clinic gang and by Wednesday I was dead! It wasn't so much that my legs were sore/tired, I just felt totally and utterly exhausted. I managed to drag myself to the gym at lunch time as I've been promising myself a weights work out for weeks (I don't have the time/inclination to do weights when I have to fit in so much running but I do miss doing them). By the afternoon I was so tired I could barely keep my eyes open, I bailed out of work early and managed to naps on the sofa before I had to go out to choir later that evening.
Thankfully today I seem to have caught up with most of the excess sleep my body was demanding and I feel almost back to normal again. But did I mention, owwww, my bicep, shoulder and back muscles are complaining mightily about the weights workout! I've also been promising myself a nice long cycle ride this weekend (weather permitting) so watch this space for more complaining about how sore my butt is next week (bet you can hardly wait!)

Saturday, October 3, 2009

All Over

After all the training I did in the rain it was fitting that today was probably the most hideous weather I have ever run in! Prior to the race it was totally throwing it down so I was drenched before we even started and it pretty much kept it up all the way through. The funny thing was that just after the start there were some parts of the path totally flooded and people were trying to run round rather than through - as if they somehow thought they were going to keep their feet dry!!! The course was damn hard, very undulating all the way through so much more challenging than Huntly which was flat apart from the 1.2 km hilly section. The nice thing about it was that it was an out and back course, so as soon as you got past the turnaround at 10.5km you knew you were on your way home. Also apart from the top section between Fairfield bridge and Pukete the river path and river road are runs that I've done often enough to be able to just plod my through pretty much on autopilot. So despite the weather and the hills I ran all the way and finished in just about the same time as I did Huntly in - which is a result on this course. More importantly, I did it - yay for me. How happy I was to get home and get in the bath and then into dry and warm clothes. The picture is just before the finish line, so I am actually running even though my feet are barely off the ground! Well done to BIP for actually getting me in the photo this time! This is me signing off then, half-marathon and blog done.