Friday, November 30, 2007


Bits of me hurt. Specifically, my hamstrings are at that particular stage of soreness that makes it extremely painful to sit down on a toilet seat. Too much information, I know, but hovering isn't exactly an option right now. I'm not so sure I can even blame this one on Duck. I think I've done this to myself.

I'm still not running again, but as Sarah and my physio both observed, that just means I do everything else harder. After spending Sunday hauling myself around in the bush at the Sanctuary, on Monday I got up and did my usual lower body weights workout. After work I jumped into Steve's RPM class and got shouted at because I supposedly wasn't going hard enough. Well, it felt pretty hard at the time! At least our RPM instructors hassle us from the safety of their bikes. I'm not sure I'd want an instructor wandering around randomly turning up my dial.

On Tuesday Mike was typically brutal in Balance. After work I was brutal to myself, spending fifty minutes on a x-trainer. Well, my ankle didn't like that, and neither did my sanity. All up things were feeling a bit niggly afterwards. Unfortunately though, there's only so much RPM a girl can do in one week without emptying her bank account, and the songs keep turning up in my dreams.

I was brutal to myself again on Wednesday. I couldn't get near the cable machines, so I mixed things up a bit, doing four sets of hovers, chest press, shoulder raises, upright row, tricep extensions and a couple of sets of pull-ups. I was already hurting from Mike's Balance the day before (I'm always overly optimistic about how many tricep push-ups I can do in one class, and my face was firmly fixed in a grimace during the standing strength track), so I was feeling satisfactorily fatigued at the end.

On Wednesday night Mike's replacement turned out to be a Westie chick who usually only teaches RPM out at the Hutt. We got shouted at again as she picked on our technique and exertion levels. Honestly though, I went really hard. Too hard, given that I was fairly confident Duck would be attacking my legs again in the morning. I was fairly confident she wouldn't do two interval training sessions in a row. I was picking we'd be doing some more lower body weights.

I'm fairly certain that my session with Duck is responsible for a fair proportion of today's soreness. She's just completed a functional training workshop and was keen to try out her new skills. We did some great cable work on one of the new machines, featuring two vertical cables side-by side. I got to do lunges (front and side)with a weights belt around my waist, so that I was lunging against the resistance of the machine. I got to do lots of them. When I first tried I unbalanced and nearly fell over each time I dropped into the lunge. It took my brain a little while to work out the logistics of the whole thing, but by the end I was lunging against those plates like a pro. I had heaps of practice though.

After endless sets I had that mastered. Turning to face the machine I took a handle in each hand and jumped from side to side, allowing the machine to pull me into the air and landing in a squat. As I landed I alternated sets of pull-downs and wood-chopper movements. I ended up gasping at the end of each set, but it was a lot of fun. As I got more confident I was able to jump higher and higher, using the weights to take me up.

Not so much fun was turning around and jabbing with my arms (ouch - those upper body weights from the day before were looking like a bad idea) while stepping from side to side. Functional training? This was the gym equivalent of rubbing my stomach and tapping my nose at the same time. Something to work on then.

And then, the finale. Picture me in a plank pose, with my hands resting on two 6kg barbells. I had to start with an upright row from the plank position, then move forward two steps in the plank position, then do the upright row with each arm again, then move forward again, etc. After I'd done enough of them I had to do one full press up, then a press up with my left arm out to the side, then my right arm, then my left arm forward, then my right arm forward, then another full press up. We did two sets of those. The upright row was the hardest. If I lifted the weight with my right arm my left leg would threaten to lift right off the ground. There were times I didn't think I'd be able to lift that darn barbell again. But quitting wasn't an option, so I just told myself to get hard, and each time that barbell would somehow raise itself into the air. And you know what? When I finished that session I felt strong, strong and co-ordinated.

And then I got up this morning and did RPM with Dee. And it was soooo not on. My quads hurt, and there was no way I was going to manage even the vaguest hint of a hover. But I still went hard, which is why I don't think I can blame Duck for the ouch factor. I'm supposed to be going for a bike ride in the morning. Um, yeah, right.

I'm feeling so much more bike fit though. I can really feel the difference all this RPM is making with each stroke. I'm pushing and pulling much more consistently, and I'm isolating the power in my legs much more effectively. I'm also holding my upper body much more still. There's a reason why I need to increase my leg weights.

Plus, there's the muscle. I can feel the difference in my quads, particularly the lower quads that take up the effort on a hill climb. My upper body's changed for the better lately as well. My shoulders are much more defined. The pull ups are getting easier. I still hate them, but I can do them!

To add to that there's the co-ordination. I've always said I didn't have any . Then last week I managed to save myself from a nasty accident. I was walking down a steep flight of tiled steps when the cuff of my jeans leg got caught on my right boot heel. As I was tipping forwards I was looking down that long flight of steps thinking "this is not good, this is going to hurt, and this is going to take a lot longer to get over than an ankle inflammation" (apparently the fact I was thinking about how this was going to interrupt my training is a sign that I'm completely mad). Then somehow, and I still don't know how, I managed to get my left leg forwards enough to rebalance. I landed very heavily on my left foot, jarring it badly. I had to limp the rest of the way to the bus, but at least I was alive. So, it seems I need to get better at my tailoring, but I might have a little agility after all.

All of which is stopping me from feeling too upset about the weight I saw on the scales this morning. Some of that must be muscle right? Gluttony. It had to catch up with me at some point ...


Lea said...

Ouch indeed!!! You take care of those hamstrings! Wore me out just reading your workout schedule... makes my pulling weeds look like a nap on the couch!

Sass said...

Good god, woman! Reading your workouts always make me feel fat and lazy!! And the reason why, if my friends suggest I should take a break from exercise, I go "but I barely do anything!!" ;p