And I thought I was in good shape.....

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Well this morning I had a wake-up call... I have thought I was in pretty good shape. I've been working out regularly, can do 35 minutes on the elliptical, and get that heart rate up there. I live in Orlando, where it is flat, and in 29 days we are heading for Seattle and then onto an Alaskan cruise. There are lots of hills and mountains to be climbed on the trip, so I am trying to get into shape for that. Today I decide to use the Stair Climber...

There are 2 types of stair machines in my gym. One is a pedal type and the other is actual stairs like a little escalator... first I jumped on the pedal one. It wasn't operating smoothly, and I got off after a minute or so, and the girl on the one of the 2 other type machines said that she was leaving, so I could have her machine. OK!!!

I clambered on.. it's pretty high to get onto. Right next to me was this woman about my age, but teeny tiny. She uses this for an hour every day. So I start the machine. It's not fast enough, for sure, and I don't know how to make it go faster. Then I realize the level button does it. So I speed it up... 7 seems about right. Still a little slower than the one on my left, but I am doing it for the first time! After 30 seconds, I was starting to feel tired. At a minute my heart rate was up quite nicely. At 2 minutes I was panting and wheezing. I gave up at 2-1/2 minutes. My heart rate was 144 and I was winded. My legs were jello.

I was absolutely mortified... the stair master had me for breakfast! I jumped over to the nice safe elliptical machine, and did my normal workout. Although I did do it at a higher level for most of the 36 minutes... because I was quite warmed up, LOL. I also kept my heart rate up over the 80% number for the entire time, which was great.

Will I try the stair machine again? Yes. Not this week, but next week, and I'll start with level 3 or 4 and see how that goes. I'm going to shoot for 5 minutes. And try to get up to 15 minutes by the time we leave on our trip.

One of my Sparkfriends said she had never heard of someone trying to train for vacation before. I really hope that by being at my best and having active shore excursions planned I can return in as good of shape as I left in. I fantasize that I will come back at the same weight I leave at, but that probably is a fantasy. But hey, a girl's got to dream, right??
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    1529 days ago
  • NUMD97
    Can I adopt you? I stumbled onto your blog quite by accident, following a SparkBuddy's page. I love the idea that you are training to go on vacation! It's an interesting concept to maximize what you plan to do while you are away, and get the best of all the vacation sites have to offer.

    I look forward to hearing how it all worked out.

    All the best as you continue on your journey to better health,

    1737 days ago
    Sounds fun . We did the Seattle and Alaskian cruise last year it was fun. hope you have a great time.
    1739 days ago
    You can come back the same size or even smaller! I did my last cruise! Just allow a day or 2 b/c evidently something about the salt water and salt air makes you retain water! Girl, the eliptical still eats me for breakfast! No shame in trying something new and needing to warm up to it! Keep us posted! I know you will make that 15 minutes! Awesome start!
    1739 days ago
  • NHES220
    I think training for your vacation is a fabulous idea. If you live in a flat area and are going to a hilly area, you will be ready for it! Good for you. It is also great to shake up your exercise routine once in a while and introduce something new.
    1740 days ago
    Wow that is quite a challenge to master the stair climber! You can do it!
    1740 days ago
    I also live where it's very flat, and my house is a single-storey. I can't remember the last time I climbed a flight of stairs, it might have been at the mall. I also use the elliptical at the gym, and I exercise to WATP videos.

    It's true about training for your vacation. A couple of years ago, my husband and I went to Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico. We decided to enter via the natural entrance, rather than take the elevator down to the cavern. It was a long walk down, with a lot of switchbacks. I felt fine, took the cavern tour - all's well. We got back to the hotel, changed for dinner, still fine. The next morning, I got up to go the bathroom and nearly fell out of bed. My legs wouldn't work! My thighs were killing me, and I could barely walk. We were supposed to share the drive home, but I didn't dare try to drive because I couldn't lift my leg to hit the brake pedal. We had to stop every 2 hours so I could get out of the car and walk a little, and we had an 8 hour drive. After about 3 days my legs were back to normal.

    Now I know why to many trainers emphasize cross training.

    The last 2 cruises I was on, I lost weight. I made sure I used the stairs on the ship as much as possible, walked around the decks every day, and in the evening after dinner. We walked a lot on the tours also.
    1740 days ago
    Just keep dreaming! you gotta have dreams. That vacation sounds great BTW! I'm still chuckling over that visual you painted about your attempt at the stair machine...My daughter told me nearly the exact same story about being at the gym next to miss perfect on the treadmill in the super cute shorts, bum cheeks peeking out just so perfectly, pony tail a swing as if she were taking a stroll as SHE was grabbing for the rails in the ugliest sweatpants going AND the clincher was that at the University Gymanasium the treadmills are in front of a HUGE glass window..which is great during the day, beautiful view.... but at night it just acts like a giant mirror and everybody outside can see you FAILING at the treadmill LOL next to madame beautiful! She did not go back LOL but you plan on it so WOOHOO for you. You got this! And I'm sure it'll go better next time!
    1740 days ago
  • LESLIE2561
    Don't you hate those wake up calls! Glad you decide to try the stairs again, but at a gradual rate. I wish I had thought to train for the vacation I took to Greece. I have never seen so many steps in my life. And everything was built at the top of hills to make it easier to protect in ancient days. Hope you enjoy your vacation and share when you get back. I am trying to decide if I want to do a cruise to Alaska or see more of Europe. emoticon
    1740 days ago
    Been there too. For any type of machine - you are most likely either using different muscles or using them in different ways. It takes time to get your body used to them. Once you get used to it - it gets easier over time.

    Just remember - no matter what vacation you are going on - you probably won't be climbing as much as those stair climbers go - and you can go at an easier pace. Whatever work you are doing to prepare - it is going to make a huge difference.

    I can't wait to hear how your trip goes - and how things were improved because you thought to prepare. Enjoy yourself!

    1740 days ago
  • AMYD726
    I think it's great that you're preparing for vacation and trying new things. And there's always the gym on the cruise ship to keep you in peak shape! :)
    1740 days ago
    I, too, think it is a great idea to get in shape for your vacation. It is much different terrain than you are used to there in Orlando, and you will be able to enjoy your excursions so much more if you are prepared for them. Good luck on your training for vacation. You know you can do this! Don't let that stair machine win the war. It won a battle to day, but ultimately you will master IT and win the war!

    1740 days ago
    oh yeah, that type of stair machine is TOUGH (and you can't 'cheat' on those like you can on the pedal style)!

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    1740 days ago
    I think you are smart for planning/training for vacation! Especially if you know you are going to a terrain that is so different from what you are used to. I did that stepmill (that's what it's called around here, anyway) last night and it was hard. I did 2 sets of 5 minutes and I never thought it would end. WHEW! Good job on mixing up the equipment, it helps to prevent injuries!
    1740 days ago
    Beware of meals, midnight buffets, and ice cream socials on the cruise. Enjoy your trip.
    1740 days ago
    You know what? You can absolutely do this. I think it's cool that you're thinking ahead and training for your trip. And the Stairmaster is tough. It's a great workout. But as for vacation, with some planning, you can absolutely come back at the same weight you left. I know because I've maintained or lost on my last several vacations and not depriving myself of the occasional treat or local delicacy. It's the fact that I work out no matter what. If there is a fitness room at the hotel, I use it. If not, I pack a DVD to do on my computer. Or I walk...and walk and walk. Or rent a bike and ride. If I do more, I can eat more. It really works. So enjoy yourself and make good decisions most of the time you're gone and you'll do just fine.
    1740 days ago
    If you are careful about your food choices on vacation, and I assume you are going to be doing a lot of walking and moving around, I'd bet you do come back at the same weight or at least with a minimal gain. You don't have to deprive yourself on vacation, just exercise a little caution....... moderation in everything. You'll be OK!! emoticon
    1740 days ago
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