Monday, November 11, 2013
First, to keep GHK off my back, I DID go to the gym yesterday.
The spin class I took on Saturday left my legs sore. This pleases me. I rarely get my legs to burn while I'm cycling because my cardiovascular system limits what I can do far more than my legs do. In fact, I opted out of a lot of the instructor's suggestions because my heart rate was already in the 140's or 150's. The soreness is good, because I'd like to increase the explosive strength in my legs.
I swam for a short bit yesterday. I didn't do any drill work. I just backstroked up and down the length of the pool. I don't feel like my legs are getting a workout when I'm in the pool, but I'm always a little wobbly when I get out; I have to believe my legs are getting more of a workout than my brain realizes. So far, I haven't over-done it in the pool. I've quit well before I'm exhausted.
I'd planned to go to another spin class today, but since my legs are still sore from Saturday, I opted for a hike. We have a treasure in the Tri-Cities called Badger Mountain. It's not a mountain as in snow-capped peaks and fascinating volcanic history. Badger Mountain and its neighbors were formed by the crust being pushed along - kind of like what happens to a rug is you push one edge of it. So the mountains here are rolling ripple-like bumps. (Unlike the nearby Blue Mountains, which are "real" mountains, and were once the coastline of North America.)
The reason I describe Badger as a treasure is that it's now mostly in public hands. Volunteers built the trails: one trail is multi-use, the other is hiker-only. This trail system gets tons of use. I don't think I've ever hiked it without encountering other people. (Any readers in the Puget Sound area? Badger is to the Tri-Cities as Mt. Si is to Seattle.) There were not a lot of people on it today, but I think the longest I went without encountering another person was five minutes.
Today I started from the west-side trailhead, hiked to the top, hiked down the east side, and then back over the mountain. Endomondo says I covered 6.6 miles. (Here's the route, if you're interested: www.endomondo.com/workouts/267987226
So I have the day off, and all the time in the world, and I did NOT go to the gym. But I did take on a Badger.
Saturday, November 09, 2013
Yesterday's session in the pool went really well. I'm on the roll over slowly to practice NOT leading with your head. It felt pretty good, even if it looked silly. The man in the lane next to me appeared to be swimming using the Total Immersion method; I'm sure the people at the club are used to people working through TIS drills.
I hoped to make it to the 8 a.m. group ride class. I slept in - I needed the sleep. Fortunately there's a 9 a.m. class. I'll go back, but I'm not that enthusiastic about it. It's a good workout - that's it.
I thought about swimming after the group ride, but the swim class was just getting out. The locker room would have been crazy busy. If I don't go back later today, I'll make time tomorrow.
And now, to try to get my Garmin HRM to upload.
Friday, November 08, 2013
I joined this gym solely to have access to the pool; I've come realize it's a much greater asset than that.
The gym has fitness classes every evening, Monday through Thursday. There are also morning classes Monday through Saturday. During the business week, the classes start as early as 5:15 a.m. The classes are always available. There's no need to sign up or RSVP.
Wednesday evening, I did a "Group Kick" class. The club describes it as an "electric fusion of martial arts and boxing movements" that will "define and shape your body and self confidence." (I've left out the exclamation points. Whomever writes the club's descriptions needs to cut back onthe caffiene.)
I'm not a big fan of aerobics classes. Even when I throw myself into them, they're never as fun as being outside. I won't describe this class as fun, but it did kick my ass. I'm sore in places I've never been sore before. It's not bad - I can move around just fine - but I'm impressed. At one point, I declined to jump up and down because I could tell my heart rate was already waaaay too high (no HRM needed - I could feel it was too high). I don't think that's ever happened to me during an indoor fitness class. Well done, crazily energetic lady at the front of the room. Well done.
The moves in this class were a bunch of pseudo-martial arts & self-defense moves. Since I'd never done the class, I had a heck of time following some of them. Fortunately, there was also an instructor a couple of places in front of me. Mostly I just followed her, but even so, I was pretty lost at times. That, in and of itself, will not discourage me. And I wasn't the only one in the room with that confused look on my face.
The advantage of this full class schedule is that I can stop by any night on my way home from work. We're getting close to the time of year that I stop commuting by bike. (At least this year I'm not being forced off the bike by a painful IT band. Yay, stretching and painful foam roller treatments!) I haven't ridden this week because the Hubs has been home, recovering from his emergency appendectomy nine days ago. The Hubs usually doesn't get home until 6:30 at the earliest, so my stopping at the gym on the way home won't cut into what little time we get to spend together in the evenings. (But I will definitely need to do a better job of using the slow cooker, or cooking big batches of stuff on the weekends so that there's a quick and easy meal available when I do get home.)
The club opens at 4:30 a.m. Monday through Friday, and there are two lap lanes available in Pool I every morning until 6 a.m Monday/Wednesay/Friday, or until 9 a.m. Tuesday and Thursday. Pool II opens at 6 a.m. Monday, 6:15 Tuesday through Thursday, and 6:45 Friday. (The Masters swimmers have the pool at 5:15 Tusday - Friday; once I can actually swim, I plan to join them so I can use the pool whenever they're using it. same for the Triathlon group.) Those times are early, but it would allow me to get in a workout, then come home and have breakfast with the Hubs before we both go to work. Only time will tell if I'm that motivated.
I have court at 1:30 today, but this is my afternoon off. Once court's over, I'm headed to the gym to swim. The club is across the street from the juvenile court, where I practice. And yes, that was a deciding factor in why I chose to join this gym and not the other one that met my needs. My back hurts from the Group Kick-my-butt class (sore muscles between the shoulder blades, not the "I'm-tired-and-old" backache), so I imagine the swim will feel good. (If not, the sauna sure will!)
But first, time to go put people in jail and make people cry.
Wednesday, November 06, 2013
I swam for a bit Monday evening. I was wrong about the gym always having lap lanes available. There's a chunk of the day during which there are swim lessons in both pools. Pool II opens at 7:15 p.m. Less than ideal, but I can go home after work and then head to the pool. (Pool I opens at 7 p.m., but I prefer Pool II. It's set to a cooler temperature, there's less traffic (the sauna, steam room, and hot tubs are around Pool I), and no children are allowed in Pool II.)
I backstroked for about ten minutes to warm up, then switched to my Total Immersion drill. I'm on drill one, just working on keeping your upper body & head under the surface. It really does feel different, and it's much easier to move through the water. But there's that thing about breathing...
During my next pool session, I'm going to try drill two. I did it for one length at the end of my workout, and it went pretty smoothly. I decided to quit at that point for a couple of reasons. First, I had a cramp in my foot that I'd mostly worked out, but it was still bugging me. I didn't want it to cramp up again because I find it really hard to focus when my brain is yelling "Cramp! Cramp! Ow ow ow ow CRAMP!" Second, my heart rate really goes up when I'm swimming with my face in the water. I'm working on moving slowly, to try to keep it down. I'm pretty sure this is a re-training issue. My inner coach needs to remind me I am NOT going to drown in the pool. (I was pleased that I swallowed a bit of water during my swim and I did not freak out. I'll take my victories where ever they appear.) I think my inner coach will start chanting "relax relax relax" next time.
I'm grateful I haven't had to share a lane, because I am as slow as a person can be and still be moving forward. I don't mind being slow - I figure it's just part of the process.
I spent a few minutes in the sauna after the pool. I developed a love of saunas back when I was a hard drinkin' sailor. Gatorade and a sauna can do wonders for a hangover. (No, there were no saunas on the ships I served in. There were saunas in the gyms at the land bases where I served. Having a hangover on a ship is miserable.) While I was in there, my inner coach and I had a talk. "That sucked," I said. "Yeah, so?" said the inner coach. "What are you gonna do, quit? No, you're not going to quit. You're going to do this. You just need to accept the fact that you have to learn how to do this. Welcome to the real world where everyone else lives." (I'm a good beginner. I tend to pick up things quickly. If I'm not good at something at first, I usually quit. Two exceptions: skiing and law school.)
So, despite my shaking my head at how much I suck at this, I'm confident and optimistic. Yeah, it's going to take time. (I know I could speed up the process by finding a coach, but between my medical bills and my husband's recent medical emergency and paying off debt from the Hubs being unemployed for a couple of years and my law school debt (lovingly referred to as "the house I bought that I'll never live in" - $130,000), I thought I was doing pretty good by joining a gym. So the coach will have to wait a while.) But that's okay. I am going to devote the time it takes, because I will do this. I am an athlete.
Monday, November 04, 2013
The Hubs is doing much better. He's sleeping on the futon in the living room so that I don't disturb him and he doesn't disturb me. He's been eating normal food (no dairy yet, though) and his digestive system appears to be working just fine. Yep, it's true: we're grateful he can poop.
I went for a walk/run this morning. I was wheezing like crazy, but I still managed my 2:1 run/walk ratio. It wasn't very long - about a mile and a half - and I averaged less than 5 mph, but it was so nice to get outside and be physically active. (We walked around the block last night, but Jim's still a little wobbly after being in a hospital bed for three days.)
I'll check on the Hubs before I leave for work, but I'm planning to swim tonight. That was my plan last Tuesday night, but we ended up in the emergency room instead. Having a one-week delay is pretty short, so I shouldn't complain. But this has happened to me more times than I can count: just when I feel like I'm getting things going, something derails my plans. I'm hopeful this is the last distraction for this calendar year.
I won't commute by bike until Jim goes back to work. I suspect he'll be back to work by the end of the week. He has a 75-mile one-way commute, so I worry about him trying too much, too soon. And his commute is along a 2-lane country highway. There's cell coverage most of the way, but if you're in trouble, it will be a while before law enforcement happens by.
But for now, I'm just happy he's home and healthy.
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