getting buff

Monday, July 31, 2006

Race strategies

So, my first fun run the Queen of the Lake is on Sunday. I pretty much have been looking towards this run since I began my program so it has been looming.

I thought it was an apt time to consider my strategies for the race. Back in a past life I have run fun runs before so I am familiar with the drill (provided that they haven't changed things too much).

My goals for this race are simple:

I am trying not to think too much about particular times, but I am gently hoping that I can run it faster than my normal training pace. I plan to try to run at about or not much faster than normal pace for the first 3K and kick it up a notch for each of the last 2K. I am perfectly happy having a really crappy time for this run because then in twelve months' time I can mention it in an offhand way and say "Can you believe that I ran my first 5K in that time!?"

deege said this at 10:28 am | 4 comments |

Sunday, July 30, 2006

competitive edge

I am competitive by nature. Sometimes my best motivational tool is comparing myself to the people The only problem is that at my current state of health and fitness, I have to choose wisely to ensure that there is some comparison I can make which will show me the winner. Kind of like "Well, you might have a teeny tiny bottom, but I have my treadmill incline at 2% more than you".

Pathetic, really.

I was doing it this morning. "You there watching the people play soccer - why don't you get off your bum and run twice around Princes Park for once". Or "Look at that guy meandering along - bet he hasn't run twice around Princes Park in a looong while". Or "So, you made all that effort to pass me and two metres later you pull off the path to rest - slow and steady wins the mindgame, loser."

So I ran twice around Princes Park today (6.4km). I was pretty pleased with myself.

deege said this at 12:08 pm | 2 comments |

Thursday, July 27, 2006

gym schmim

So I have some lingering annoyance from the gym assessment the other night. This is why. The person who was doing my assessment was lovely. I explained that since my last program, I had taken up running and told her how much and how often. She made all the appropriate impressed noises. And she designed a program exactly as I wanted - a variety of specific weights for upper and lower body, particularly core strengthening and very little cardio (because I am using the running for that).

So I was really happy until I finished being shown around the new routine and the gym owner (who I normally like) has a look at the program and arcs up that there is not enough cardio in it. Now recently he has mentioned on a couple of occasions that he hasn't seen me for a while (which is often true - if things get busy, the gym gets visited less frequently). So I just know that he thinks I am slacking off, even though I have told him that I am doing all my cardio on the outside.

He wanted me to justify why I didn't want to do gym cardio and he was pretty much pissing me off. I appreciate that some people might not push themselves as hard as they should, but I am not friggin one of them!! (at least not this time) If he had done my assessment he would have known all the answers to these questions, but he didn't and still wanted to make all these assumptions about me, or suggest that if I am self-motivating then I am not doing the right thing. The stupid thing is that he was holding the results of my assessment which were evidence that I was actually doing really well with the whole self-motivating thing. In the end I said something like "We did talk about all this stuff in the assessment, you know."

Anyway, I thought it was stupid of him. I like him and the other owner, but the reaction to hearing that I was exercising more outside of the gym than inside should have been "That's great!! Tell us how we can help you achieve your goals." Instead I was annoyed and less convinced that I will renew after my twelve month membership runs out.

PS. Actually the really funny bit was when my blood pressure was above the level that they like it to be (I am going through a process with my Doc to address this) and he wanted a note from my Dr. I said that he didn't need a note from the Dr, that I was voluntarily assuming the risk and I was happy to sign any sort of waiver or release that he wanted, and that I would even draft it for him (I am a lawyer). Of course, he said that wouldn't be necessary.

deege said this at 5:21 pm | 5 comments |

Wednesday, July 26, 2006


toby on sasha
Originally uploaded by danmccredden.
Okay, I am trying to help someone with uploading an image, so I thought I would show you my cute puppy dogs as a test. Aren't they sweeties? (The little one is much bigger now).

deege said this at 11:45 am | 4 comments |

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

the incredible shrinking woman

I had my fitness test at the gym today, which is the first one since I started at the gym (about 2 weeks after I started this whole lifestyle change caper). So, you know how I have been trying to convince myself that even though my weight loss is not lightning quick, I am actually shrinking?

Well, it turns out that's true!!

For starters, my resting heart rate was down by about 4 bpm since the last time I checked. But the really exciting changes came in my measurements. I should have written them down, but I was kind of reeling from the shock.

Biceps - minus one cm each
Calves - About the same
Hips - for some reason a completely different measurement (suspect that they haven't got the consistency of measuring spot going with that one).
Boobs - Minus, like, 8cm.
Waist - Minus, 8 or 9 cm
R Thigh - Minus 8cm
L Thigh - minus 10cm (!!! - she measured this one twice)

So howzat, suckers. Kicking arse. (Just a little bit pleased with myself)

deege said this at 9:09 pm | 4 comments |

WWI the sixteenth

Starting Weight - 107.5kg
Current Weight - 103.5kg
Total weight loss - 4.0kg
This week's weight loss - -0kg

This week's result still affected by a bit of water retention and the fact that I had a nice supper at midnight with a house guest who arrived at 11:30pm. Have a fitness assessment and new program at the gym tonight which should be good because it will incorporate new measurements of all my bits. Intuitively these should be good results because I know that I fit into a lot of stuff that I didn't when I had my last assessment, but we will wait and see.

deege said this at 9:47 am | 0 comments |

Sunday, July 23, 2006

gorgeous day

I was hemming and hawing about going for a long run today, but I kicked myself in the butt and drove down to the foreshore so that I could take advantage of the beautiful weather and run through the winding paths along the beach.

45 mins makes it my longest run yet. It was lovely running and I feel much better having that extra time in my legs.

deege said this at 4:38 pm | 0 comments |

Saturday, July 22, 2006

springing into shape

Well got our for my first decent hit out this week on the hilly streets around the weekender. Did 30 minutes with most of it up hill. Upped the pace for the last 5 minutes; enough to make me a little bit uncomfortable but felt okay. Felt so happy when I had finished. Still a little back pain to manage, but have decided I am going to get me one of those fitballs and take some advice from Guru Beki on core strengthening exercises.

Have decided to aim for doing the Spring into Shape series as my next goal. So that is three 8km runs about a month apart. Hopefully if I put in the time and avoid injury I will be able to score better results over the course of the series.

I am loving this running caper.

deege said this at 7:52 pm | 1 comments |

Thursday, July 20, 2006

slow on the uptake

Earlier this week I was talking about how I was feeling all achey painey. Back in June, I felt about a hundred. In May, I was really struggling with sore legs, particularly during the cold nights. Anyone noticing a pattern? Given that all of these bouts of muscle stiffness and soreness have occurred in the week before that particular time of the month is due to start, I might have to consider whether there is a hormonal element to this extra muscular soreness.

I went for a brisk walk last night in lieu of a run and confirmed that I do in fact run faster than I am able to do a brisk walk. At least that is something. Hopefully up for a short run tonight.

deege said this at 9:19 am | 0 comments |

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

WWI the fifteenth

Starting Weight - 107.5kg
Current Weight - 103.5kg
Total weight loss - 4.0kg
This week's weight loss - -0kg

Happy to stay this week. Spent yesterday in bed with upset stomach and expect that also retaining water this week. All of that has subsided into a sore lower back, which means I have to ease my way back into exercise and haven't been running since Saturday. At the moment it seems that every time I go for a slightly longer run, I end up having to take an extra day off to account for the extra niggles - last time with a sore knee and this time with lower back pain. V frustrating, particularly when my long runs are not that long.

So I am going to switch back to three runs per week. Much as I like to be able to run 4 times, these extra niggles mean that I struggle to do my 4 runs, and then end up not doing as much as I would like. At least eating has been goood (that's what a couple of days of dry toast and bland meals will do for you).

deege said this at 9:29 am | 3 comments |

Monday, July 17, 2006

boobs flopping

Saw on my statcounter today that someone made their way here from a technorati search for "boobs+flopping". I love the mind which says "I'm a gonna read me whatever blogs use both of these words in one post (Oh, and it turns out not to be a very exclusive group).

In a related thought, yesterday I was going through the underwear drawer culling those items which had completely lost their structural integrity.

[Seriously, day to day knickers cost at most a couple of bucks each. And I have like a thousand pairs. So why do I insist on retaining those ones which are well past their prime? Sentimentality? Affection? Sloth?]

I found a crop top which I used to wear back in the day when I was a runner. How on earth did I ever fit into it? It is a size 10 but smaller than I actually was at the time, as I had a preference for boob squashage (there goes another technorati search). When I put it alongside the sports bra I am currently wearing, it looked like a handkerchief with a couple of elastic straps.

Sigh. I have popped it in the rewards drawer where it shall reign supreme as almost certainly the last item to be liberated.

deege said this at 11:14 am | 2 comments |

Sunday, July 16, 2006

spas are better hot

I made the mistake of telling Hub about a thread on the ausrun forums about the benefits of ice baths immediately after running to aid in recovery. So, given that our hot tub is broken (don't ask - what is it with tradies who don't bother to let you know what the HELL is happening?) at the moment, he has taken to giving his legs a good dunk when he comes back from a run.

Of course I am a huge baby about stuff like this. But it is an offence to the honour of my family (or maybe it just pisses me off) that I am made to look like a wimp by refusing to do this.

So yesterday was my "long" run. It was drizzling and when I left the weekender I hadn't decided whether I was going to do the long run or a shorter one. But it occurred to me that I might have the chance to explore some tracks that I hadn't got to yet. So long run it was. I trotted from the weekender down to the beach and ran along the foreshore. Gorgeous run. It was wet but not too cold, and I managed to keep the legs turning over.

When all said and done, I ran for 40 minutes and felt pretty good, even despite my choice of route which meant that my out and back course had a huge hill to conquer about 5 mins from home. I didn't measure, but based on my ordinary training pace, would have been 5K or thereabouts.

And all of that was a much smaller accomplishment than forcing myself to stand in an icy cold hot tub when I got back. Ouch. It might not be as good for recovery, but I will prefer it when I can come home from a run and have a good soak in the really hot water (incidentally, while it doesn't heat, the bubbles still work. So I could have relaxed and experienced the icy massage of the bubble jets, but I am not crazy. Maybe I will tell Hub that people on the messageboards advocate this practice and see whether he takes the bait).

deege said this at 2:28 pm | 0 comments |

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Being precise can harm your health

So the extra day's break from running has put paid to my knee soreness, and I am looking forward to going out for a run tonight. Of course, going to the gym is just as likely to result in injury, as I found out during my weight session last night.

I really like my weight sessions. My program was originally designed to have both weights and cardio. Since then, I have rediscovered the joy of running, so don't feel the need to journey on the boring exercise machines that go nowhere.

As a result, going to the gym only takes half an hour or 45 mins if I am being really slack. Even when I am feeling really unmotivated, I can convince myself to drive two minutes down the road and do weights for 30 minutes. If I feel inspired, I do extra cardio. But most of the time I zip in and do my weights and then zip back out again, leaving me time to cook dinner, watch House (I predict a sexually transmitted disease or undeclared drug usage), reload my ipod and all the other things which would otherwise become excuses not to exercise.

Of course, the gym has its own hazards. I am currently sporting a rather nasty bruise on my leg where I dropped a dumbbell on it. But it was the circumstances surrounding this misadventure that prompted much hilarity from Hub and the Boarder. You see, I was ready to do my dumbbell raises and realised that someone had put the weights back on the rack IN THE WRONG ORDER. The 20kg dumbbells were sitting devil may care right alongside the eights!! So before starting my sets I had to put everything back in the right order, including the one that I dropped on my leg in the process.

deege said this at 11:03 am | 2 comments |

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

cold packs cause injury

Last night went for a quick run around Edwardes Park Lake with Hub (well, he went in one direction and I went in the other). I felt yucky though. It was freezing cold with an icy wind and my legs felt pretty heavy. I eventually did all of the time that I wanted to and more, but I had to stop a couple of times and bitch and moan to myself.

So when I was watching telly having dinner, I thought I would do the sensible things and ice my legs so that I would feel better next time, even though I wasn't experiencing any particular soreness. Good in theory, but my knees in particular started to feel really achy after icing them.

Hub says that this means I should take a couple of rest days. I say he should mind his own business. I hate it when he is right.

UPDATE: Hmmm. Is it possible I have sore knees because I increased my total running time by more than 10% last week at the same time that I changed from 3 runs to 4? Naaaah. All the same, I might try a bit harder to stick to the schedule.

deege said this at 10:53 am | 0 comments |

WWI the fourteenth

Starting Weight - 107.5kg
Current Weight - 103.5kg
Total weight loss - 4.0kg
This week's weight loss - -0.5kg

Back down to the lowest weight since I have been doing this. I was thinking the other day that if I was prepared to go on an eating plan, my rate of loss could be improved. But I would prefer to continue following broad principles (no junk, more vegetables, more whole grains, smaller portion sizes, no sweets) because I avoid this whole feeling of failure when I inevitably have something which isn't the best. I have a regular dinner in a pub on Tuesdays. If I were on a strict plan, I would obsess about the fact that I always have a naughty evening meal that night. But this way, I just choose a more healthy option and try to be sensible about it.

My sister just lost a bunch of weight doing a particular program and keeps offering for me to do it, but I just know that it would be a bit counter productive for me. I don't want to be on a diet. My goal for this year was to lose 10kg. If I do that I will be happy. And I know that if I keep up with what I am doing at the moment, and particularly as my running improves by distance and time, then the energy in v energy out calculation will continue to improve.

deege said this at 10:16 am | 5 comments |

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Still one out there...

It was sometime in 1992. I was living in Templestowe and running regularly around Westerfolds Park, a great place with gorgeous views but with some particularly brutal hills. One week I noticed a sign strung across the gates advertising a 10K fun run at the park in a couple of weeks and I decided to enter. From memory it was my first fun run where I was running by myself - I had done my other races with a girlfriend from school.

It was a dreadful race for me. I wasn't really training very much by any stretch of the imagination, but that wasn't the only problem. The elastic went on my sports bra half way round, so it kept unhooking itself during the race. I finally stopped, and not caring who might see me, hoiked my top up and TIED the two straps of my bra together in a firm knot. Comfort wasn't fantastic, fit wasn't elegant, but at least my boobs weren't flopping around. I slowed over the latter stages of the race and everyone I had been in front of hauled me in without too many difficulties.

I arrived at the finish line to find it already being packed up. "Oh", said the nice lady, "I wondered whether there was still one out there". I was last in the field with a time of sixty something minutes, around 10 minutes slower than my 10K pb. I was standing there with my bra tied in a knot and the race organisers had not bothered to wait for me.

Today I ran even slower around Westerfolds Park than that day back in 1992. I had to go and visit my folks' place to pick up some fruit trees (as one does) so I decided to do my "long" run around the park, just to see how I would go. It is a lot hillier than where I normally run, so I took the biggest hill out of the equation by doing a warm up walk to the top of the Westerfolds Manor hill, and starting the run on the downhill.

At 4.8K around the park, I did about 4.6K after deducting the warm up, which is the longest run I have done so far. Apart from a couple of stops for a drink or to stretch one of my calves, I managed to keep the legs turning over (albeit slowly) for the whole way around the park. I tried to keep concentrating on different things so that I would stop thinking about stopping. Like the kilometre or so round the back of the park where I was concentrating on trying to reel in this eighty year old up ahead of me (who was walking). Amusingly, I didn't manage it as he turned off onto the main yarra trail just as I was finally coming up behind him.

So 4.6K in about 38min which I am pretty darn happy with at this stage of things. And I didn't even have to jury rig my bra.

deege said this at 3:11 pm | 4 comments |

Thursday, July 06, 2006

New look

Finally had time to install a decent template. ABOUT TIME.

deege said this at 9:16 pm | 1 comments |

shopping update

As an update on my expedition yesterday, one of the pairs of pants I bought turned out to be clown pants as well!! No wonder they were marked down to $8 or something.

But I did score one pair of decent running pants which have a drawstring, so I am bloody well going to wear them until I am a size 10. Incidentally, when I started this caper I had the same problems with gym clothes and I ended up making a bunch of tracky pant shorts for myself. Nothing flash but worked out at about $4 per pair so I was happy. Unfortunately a bit chilly for running at the moment, and I really prefer to run in a lighter fabric.

So I have decent gear for the masters, but it won't be tonight. Through a combination of circumstances am without a car tonight which means no masters and no gym. So decided to have a rest night and give the legs a break.

deege said this at 7:30 pm | 1 comments |

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

enjoying shopping

Today I simply had to go and try and buy an alternative to the clown pants for running. It is one thing schlumping around the block near home, but I am thinking of going to the coburg masters on Thursday and while I have accepted that I may be humiliated by my running, I refuse to be humiliated by my attire (although when I went there last time there were a couple of guys running in footy jumpers so I have a sneaking suspicion it may not in fact be a non-stop fashion show.

Anyway, shopping is normally pretty frustrating for a generously proportioned individual such as myself. And apparently fat chicks don't exercise, because there is bugger all in the way of exercise gear in larger sizes (in fact the whole area of exercise gear seems to have been replaced with "leisure wear").

But today was one of the more fun expeditions that I have been on in a while. Because I was confident that even if the things I was buying didn't quite fit, then they could have a few weeks in the rewards drawer and I would probably be able to fit into them*.

Mostly it was good not to be totally depressed thinking that whatever happened I was going to be buying ill-fitting stuff and wasting my money. I might be buying ill-fitting stuff, but for the first time in a while I was confident that I would get my money's worth eventually!

*Of course, they might come out again looking like clown pants, but those are the risks you take.

deege said this at 2:54 pm | 4 comments |

Cool, another run!!

I have just finished the C25K plan and am loving the running. I have started putting together my own weekly program which is just great fun. I get to decide what are the most important things for me and think about the way that I think my body is going to respond best to increasing demands. I am keeping within the 10% rule and continuing to run on time but I generally feel footloose and fancy free (except for the bit where I am actually running and I feel like a bit of a lumbering frankenstein monster, but short).

During the course of the program, I sometimes felt the requirement to rest between runs a bit limiting. I have a couple of days a week where it is really difficult for me to do any exercise due to other commitments so I tend to designate those rest days. If any other day is a writeoff for exercise, or if I have to switch around sessions, then it can make it hard to fit in all the things that I want to do in the week while allowing appropriate recovery time.

So between now and the Queen of the Lake, I have decided I want to prioritise getting my body used to running more than 3 times a week and used to running two days in a row from time to time. So for me this looks like slightly shorter sessions more frequently with one longer run per week. I figure that if I have to drop a session during the week, then I can easily absorb that time into the other normal runs.

At the same time I am gradually increasing my total running time per week. Hopefully the slightly shorter sessions will enable me to run two days in a row if necessary while still continuing the work of getting the body accustomed to being out there on the track at all. The flexibility should help me to fit in extras like the NRG and even Masters nights when they are on, without me having to reschedule my life.

Initially I thought that it would fill me with confidence to go out to run for 20 min knowing that I can run 30, but I went out on Monday with the goal to do 20mins as slow as I could (after the faster run on Sunday with NRG) and felt pretty ordinary throughout.

The best thing about this program is that there are simply more days in the week when I can come home and ask myself what my exercise for the day will be and have the answer be "running".

deege said this at 12:21 pm | 0 comments |

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

counting stuff

I am definitely a tracker. I like measuring stats and keeping track of progress over time. Which means I am totally feeling inconvenienced that I can't get my garmin yet. Flippin' delayed gratification.

But I am loving the running log at cool running. I just plug in the info and it gives me an immensely satisfying readout which calculates the distance I have gone this week, month and year together with the average pace. And while my mileage is nothing compared to a lot of runners, when you stick it all in one place, it begins to look very impressive. I may just be inspired to graph things.

I still can't stop laughing at the clown pants. Seriously hard to go for a run when your pants are flopping around your calves. But hey, I paid a whole $20 for these from Target, so they are going to be worn.

deege said this at 3:21 pm | 2 comments |

WWI the thirteenth

Starting Weight - 107.5kg
Current Weight - 104.0kg
Total weight loss - 3.5kg
This week's weight loss - -0.5kg

At least going in the right direction again...

deege said this at 3:19 pm | 0 comments |

Monday, July 03, 2006

To gym or not to gym

A couple of years ago, I had my last fitness kick (before the current one). I knew that I needed to lose weight and get fit but had never quite figured out how to manage it with working full time. When I saw the box seeking business cards from those interested in foundation memberships, I threw mine in. When the call came I went in to see a gym which wasn't yet open and, thinking that any exercise was better than none, I didn't allow myself to question whether this was worth it. In the space of half an hour, I had a 12 month commitment, a new backpack and drink bottle.

It soon became clear that this gym was different to my previous experiences. I asked about fitness assessments and programs and was referred to a deal to pay for personal trainer sessions. For my exhorbitant monthly fee, I might have had access to the DVD libary (!!) but I didn't get a fitness assessment, guidance with a program or anything else that might assist me to reach my goals. I could get access to these things, but only if I were willing to pay another $50 on top of my membership fee - something that I was not willing to do.

The result was that my enthusiasm for the gym quickly waned. It doesn't take long before getting up early (already against my natural instinct) merely in order to go and walk on a treadmill begins to get old. My membership allowed me to go to any of the gyms in the franchise, but at the time I joined, there were all of two of them.

Ultimately, I was utterly demotivated. There were lots of classes which never particularly enthused me. There were weights but I didn't really know what to do with them. There was a whole communal shower thing that made me feel absolutely terrible. In total, I went for about 6 months (if that) before losing my enthusiasm totally.

My current gym costs about half the price per month, and includes bimonthly fitness assessments and programs. Sure, it doesn't have a sauna, solarium, dvd library, headphones built into cardio equipment, multiple classes, barcoded entry or any of the other perks that are offered by one of the foremost fitness franchises in Melbourne.

But it does have one thing that FFF doesn't (or at least didn't for me) - people who actually want to help me get fit and lose weight. They remember my name and they are interested in my progress. I have already achieved better results at my gym (plus running) than I did for almost the whole time I was a member of FFF. And don't even start me on how difficult it was to bloody well quit the gym.

deege said this at 11:00 pm | 0 comments |

A running household

The other day, I was walking home from the station and saw this tall graceful guy running. I thought to myself that I wished I could get my legs to move as smoothly as that when I run. And add to that, he was running with dogs, which frustrates me, at least with our dogs.

Then of course I noticed that he was running with our dogs. Then I finally noticed that graceful runner guy was actually Hub. Who stopped to say hello and then offloaded one of the dogs on me to take home with me.

After seeing my success with the whole running caper, he has started his own program. Which, in typical disorganised fashion, he is just making up as he goes along (this would drive me mad). We actually have a bit of a routine going where we each go in a different direction with a dog each and it works out great - although when we get them back together they react as if they hadn't seen each other for MONTHS.

Anyway, I hope he will keep it up, even though he will never do the fun run thing or anything like that. Actually he better bloody well keep it up because I have just gone and bought him new running shoes which were MORE EXPENSIVE THAN MINE. That's it, when I get a second pair in a couple of months, I am getting Kayanos.

deege said this at 10:34 am | 2 comments |

NRG run Edwardes Park Lake

Yesterday met up with Lee and Kathryn for our NRG run at Edwardes Park Lake. It was great fun, and a pretty decent work out for me. They both have a bit more speed than I do, so it was hard work. I did the first lap (1.6K) okay, then stopped for a stretch and a drink before starting up again. The second lap I was feeling the effects of going out too quick (for me) and fell off the pace quite a bit.

Would have liked to have done another lap for distance, but that would have made it 4.8K which is the furthest I have run, and doing it at a higher pace than my normal run seemed to me to be a recipe for disaster. So I waved the girls off as they went around again and I hobbled home to stretch and recover a bit.

It wasn't an ideal preparation for me yesterday as had been up since sparrow's fart driving back from the weekender for Hub to get to work in the morning. That breakfast of sausage and egg mcmuffin was making itself felt later in the run. But the really fun bit about it was that I was searching for my running pants and couldn't find them, so pulled out a pair of three quarter length pants from the rewards drawer and they fit nicely, thank you very much. Although they did demonstrate that buying things without trying them on can have other drawbacks than just that they don't fit well. They have a weird cut, so the legs stick out a bit like clown pants at the bottom. Looks a bit odd, but they are only for exercising in, and the important thing is that THEY FIT.

deege said this at 10:14 am | 2 comments |