Friday, March 21, 2008


Gear list for a late summer/early autumn run:

  • running tights
  • t-shirt
  • running shoes
  • watch
  • optional Camelbak or Gu if on a really long run
Gear list for a late summer/early autumn bike ride:

  • cycle shorts
  • cycle top
  • helmet
  • sun-glasses
  • cycle shoes
  • gloves
  • arm warmers
  • two drink bottles - one Replace, one water
  • one power cookie (at minimum)
  • cycle computer
  • cell phone
  • cash
  • spare medication
  • tire tubes and Co2.
Having said that, my new white sunglasses (thanks Crankworks closing down sale) totally rock! Those cookies aren't exactly a hardship either and I LOVE my arm warmers. So much so that I wear them even when I don't really need them.

I've been feeling very sore this week and spent a lot of mental energy debating the merits of rest versus completing the programme. My right glute has finally raised a white flag, resulting in a huge knot and a tightness radiating down the front of my right quad and into my knee. I've spent a lot of time stretching everything out, and if things don't improve I'll submit myself to the massage table next week.

After Monday's run I got up on Tuesday morning and did my lower body workout before work. The programme involves lots of squatting and lunging and swinging movements intended to promote stability and glute strength. While I will no doubt end up with buns of steel (and H is very appreciative) I'm finding it hard to keep on top of the aforementioned tightness. I don't want to have to keep rolling around on a tennis ball for the rest of my life!

I was still sore after work, when I met with Sarah for an RPM class. Does anyone else think that it's wrong for an instructor to advise their class to drink Horleys sports drinks to give them extra energy while they are spinning? Great - let's just negate all that good work we've been doing by filing up on sugar! And was I the only woman in the world who didn't realise that the sweatshirt and baggy tracksuit pants brigade in RPM may well have eating disorders and be wearing all that gear to sweat off a few extra kilos? Sometimes the gym can seem like a very unhealthy place.

I didn't intend on having a complete rest day on Wednesday, but the soreness and tiredness had really kicked in. I was going to go for a swim but then realised I'd left my contact lenses at home. I' m too blind to lane swim without them, so it was off home for a rather fine glass of Pinot Gris instead.

Then it was Thursday and Duck. We went a little old school with a return to power bags. Lots of jumping and hopping over rows of power bags, squats and shoulder raises and jumping onto a step. Unfortunately the single leg jumps did show up the issues I'm having with my right side this week. My right leg was noticeably weaker and I'm anxious to get that fixed up so that it doesn't interfere with my power when I'm cycling.

At one stage Duck had me crab stepping backwards and forwards around a row of power bags. She timed me over three sets and I got consistently faster each time as my movements became more efficient. We followed that up with several sets of squats on an upturned bosu ball, then she threw a medicine ball at me as I did sets of lunges on one of those balance disc things. I love the way I improve so quickly at these balance exercises. It's so satisfying to be able to go from wobbly to stable so quickly.

One of the last things she had me do was squat down into a two-legged jump. I had to power forward as far as I could with each jump. We did three sets of five, and she measured how far I traveled with a water bottle each time. I was quite pleased with my distance the first set, but then the Mad Dog kicked in and I totally flew past the water bottle on the second set. I was certain that there was no way I'd be able to beat that third time around, but I tried so hard that on my third jump I landed badly and toppled over onto my left side. Now I have a sore wrist and thumb! It was worth it though. I made it past the water bottle, even though I only beat my second attempt by around half a foot.

After work I was down for a run up to the summit of Mt Vic but I wasn't going to have time to head back that way because I had a 4.15 appointment in Brooklyn to get another B12 shot (and flu shot - one in each arm). Instead Duck suggested I run up Wadestown Rd at lunchtime. I was a bit apprehensive about running uphill on tarmac, but I was in the mood to give it a shot, even with dead quads. The weather was on my side. It was both sunny and mild. I started off up Bowen and immediately registered a change. I bounced up that road like it were flat.

Puzzled but happy I cruised down Tinakori, then headed off up Wadestown Rd, briefly running up Grant Street before realising I'd gone the wrong way. I paced myself up Wadestown Rd, but never really had to worry. My heartrate stayed at a thoroughly respectable level and my breathing stayed fairly easy. I was almost disappointed to get to the top, and ran a short distance down the other side because I wasn't quite ready to turn around. It seems that cycling up hills is excellent conditioning for running up hills! It's not like I've been doing much running lately, so that's the only explanation for the improvement.

I took it easy down Wadestown Rd, not wanting to aggravate my ankle, which was a little niggly but not too bad. However once I got a short way down Molesworth Street I picked up the pace, running reasonably quickly past parliament and sprinting down the Terrace to the gym. So much fun! Best of all, my ankle didn't really seem to mind that much and was fine again by this morning.

If my ankle feels fine I wish I could say the same about the rest of my lower body. I woke this morning to a very grey morning, the sound of wind and a sense that today's two-rides-in-one was not going to be easy. Duck had me down for two rides this week - five hill repeats up Mt Vic and a flat 40km ride. I hadn't been able to ride after work at all, so she suggested I combine both of them today. My quads were not impressed.

Riding down Farnham Street on my way to Alexandra Rd I noted that my chest and shoulderblades were really sore. I couldn't work out why until I remembered all that jumping and using my arms to propel myself. Ouch! Then I started the gentle climb towards Alexandra Rd and it was ouch again. My legs were NOT going to make this easy. One hill repeat later I was back in the little car park at the bottom of the road working hard to convince myself that I wanted to go up again. The wind was really strong, my body tired, and I was wondering what part of this was supposed to be fun. In the end I managed four hill repeats. My plan had been to ride up and over the top on my last repeat, but my legs just didn't want to play. It was hard enough to convince myself to ride towards Kilbirnie, then it was off along Cobham Drive. At the Miramar cutover I seriously considered turning round and riding back home. It wasn't so much that I couldn't do the ride, it was more that I didn't want to do the whole thing, into the wind AND on my own.

I gave myself a talking to, got some Replace and some food down, and kept going. The energy helped, and once I got far enough around the Bays the wind died off a bit to the point where in parts I may even have had a tailwind. This part of the ride was supposed to be at an easy pace anyway, so I felt justified in taking it slowly. Of course once I got over the Pass the wind was back. The tunnel under the airport runway simply channeled it and I was absolutely crawling along. That wind lasted all the way to Lyall Bay, where it again receded, but it then hit as I rode towards Owhiro Bay. As I turned the corner to start climbing up to Brooklyn the wind caught me again and took me sideways. I was facing that climb to home into a HUGE headwind. I stopped, threw my toys, and got Hamish to come and get me. I have my limits and today I simply reached them. Normally that ride would pose no difficulties for me but today the weather was simply too hostile the muscles too sore.

Several hours later, after a lunch of Mexican chicken, vegetables and rice, a cider, a peach and some very good corn chips, I am hobbling around the house like someone 60 years older (and this is the woman who got asked whether she wanted a child's or an adult's bus pass in Starmart yesterday). I'm chugging down the Magnesium and Zinc and doing the best I can to stretch out my quads. But I'm afraid, very afraid. Tomorrow I'm going to be standing up or dancing all day at Summerset in the Basin Reserve. I'm going to be getting to bed after midnight, and then on Sunday I have to be up at 7 to meet Gearshifters at 8.30. We're doing the Blue Mountains, and I very much doubt I'm gong to be recovered in time.

Pray for me!


Kate said...

Ooh! Have fun with Moonshine! WOW!

Very impressive week-I love the sound of some of Duck's workouts for you!

Pip said...

Oops, I think I meant Blue Mountains! Mostly flat, one big hill, very lovely, or so I'm told! I'm still in real trouble with this right leg, so we'll see how things go. I REALLY hope this wind dies off, and there will be no energetic dancing for me at the Basin today ... I'm even going along in my running shoes. So stylish!