Thursday, June 23, 2011

Bashed by a Duck Again

Never let my dedication to my workouts be questioned. It was only a horrendous cold which kept me on the sofa last week. Unfortunately, although I don't get sick often, when I do I do it in style. Even more unfortunately, the cold coincided with the Wellington half marathon. Goodbye $55 worth of entry fees. At least I didn't spend another $45 on the t-shirt! I also missed my 'big Saturday', a 15k Squad run and the 5k XTERRA night run. I was extremely gutted to miss the night run, as I've really enjoyed the XTERRA series this year. I still owe a race report from the third event out at Catchpool.

I tested my return to semi-wellness on Monday night with a wheezy, snotty flat 7.5k round the waterfront. I felt better than I'd expected, if somewhat slow. I followed that up with RPM on Tuesday night, and made it a point to keep the dial locked in. I was certainly feeling the burn by the end of the class.

I was expecting it to be wet and cold for my catch up session with Duck yesterday morning, being, as it was, winter solstice. I don't think we've really had a winter yet to be honest. Instead it was calm and warm and, thankfully, dry. I expected Duck to take it easy on me but there wasn't much hope of that as we ran stair repeats, threw in some one-legged squats, and did a series of kettlebell drills. In the face of another workout this morning, I decided caution was the best strategy, and didn't follow that up with a run.

If I thought I'd been worked hard yesterday I had no idea what was going to hit me today. Duck has a male client who used to be in the army, and while he's older now and apparently a bit unfit, for some reason she thought it would be a good idea to put me through the same workout for time as she'd just done with him.

We started off with a few hill repeats. Both of us noticed that my leg lift and turnover are suddenly hugely improved. It seems sitting on the sofa for a week equaled rest and recovery rather than physical diminishment.

From there it was on to the main workout. It went like this:

Complete 1 squat with a 16kg kettlebell, then one pushup (on toes), then one kettlebell swing, then rest. Each round is a minute long, so you then rest till it's time to start again. The next round you do two reps, the next round 3 etc, until you can no longer complete the exercises within the allotted minute. In other words, you get less and less rest.

Duck's client managed ten rounds, dropping to his knees for the pushups after about six. I got to halfway through round 11 before dropping to my knees. At the end of round eleven Duck told me that one of the other Squad girls had completed thirteen rounds. By about eleven the squats turned into the origin of all that is nasty in this universe. I've never really felt like I've maxed out on squats, but I got pretty damn close today. To add to this, the remnants of my cold were revealing themselves as it got harder and harder to catch my breath. By the last round I sounded like an asthmatic as my lungs did their best to push through the air.

I ended up taking 1.10 to finish round thirteen, but then I also slowed the squats right down because we knew I probably wouldn't finish it, so it seemed to make more sense to do them well. I do think that if I could breathe properly I probably could have finished within the minute.

We followed that up with 10 of a move where you start in a plank then reach out as far as possible to touch the ground, alternating arms. That was followed by 10 medicine ball throwdowns, squatting to catch the ball, then 8 plank reach moves, then 10 medicine ball throwdowns, then 6 of the plank, then 10 of the ball, etc.

By the end of this workout I never wanted to do another squat ever again. I can honestly say that I have not felt this shattered by a workout in a long time. It seemed deceptively simple, and yet it was incredibly hard. There was no way I could have even entertained the idea of a run after that!

I know I worked hard because my appetite went insane afterwards. Thankfully I've been feasting on brown bean soup for lunch all week and it does an excellent job of filling me up. As I sit here I can tell that I am going to be rather sore tomorrow. My biceps are already sore and I couldn't work out why till I realised it was from holding the kettlebell up under my chin during the squats. My lats are not going to want to move at all tomorrow. My glutes are quietly crying and my hamstrings are shriveling. I can also feel my core starting to kick in. Ouch - and I just poked at my pecs and it seems they're a bit sensitive as well! Hmm ... come to think of it, so are my shoulders.

Tomorrow is a rest day, for which I am extremely grateful, and then it's back into the running and Balance on Saturday. I'm starting to set everything in place for my marathon programme, starting in a few weeks. I'm eating a lot cleaner after a slightly disastrous binge while I was sick. I'm going to get back into the regular yoga and I'm going to stretch more. I also know I need to start up regular massages again.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

While I'm getting over a cold

Check out these beautiful photos (taken with my iPhone, so not the best quality) of my gym, Frank Kitts Park, at 7.15 one late May morning as I was waiting for my personal training session with Duck.

I love this sculpture - The Albatross.

Wellington Harbour, with the port to the far left.

Oriental Bay and Mt Victoria to the right.

So beautiful.