Back in the saddle again

Apologies for the ear worm!

This past week I’ve done two Bikram classes, run nearly 7km and walked another 14km. I’ve also given up coffee. Let’s just pause to acknowledge the caffeine withdrawal headache here. Holy moly, it’s a killer. I’m working towards not even drinking decaf, but lets do it one thing at a time.

The weather in Melbourne this week has veered from 42c, blisteringly hot with storms and bushfires; to 20c, piddling it down with rain and lots of fire-people thinking ‘Thank goodness’. This weekend will be miserable again, but at least it gives everyone a chance to get fires under control, particularly in South Australia where they’ve had a horrendous time of it the past week-ten days.

I’ve been enjoying exercising again, although I’m still wary of my knee, so I’m not going gung-ho. I don’t want to break myself all over again on my way back from injury, therefore I was very pleased when both yoga teachers this week told me that I’d not lost my form or technique, I just needed to build my stamina and strength back up again. Given that I thought I was either going to fall over and / or be ill this morning in the class, that was a great compliment.

Mind you after the class on Tuesday night, I was so stiff I could barely move. Today’s class at 6am took a while for me to get in the groove. I’m hoping to get to a class over the weekend, it just depends on our diary. But I am running on the tan on Sunday morning with KB and her trainer. Apparently, hill sprints will be involved in the training session. Joy. We’ve plotted out our runs for the year, culminating in 21km or half marathon for the Melbourne Marathon festival. Gulp.

Wibbly wobbly camel

I was aiming for an early night all yesterday afternoon. Particularly after BossMan said ‘You look tired today’, yup, I was tired, but thanks for noticing! I also gave myself a day off running as my left hip was (is) still sore, those pesky flexors, I thought I’d hurt myself more if I ran at lunchtime. I’m not sure if it’s my gait, sitting down at a desk, or if when I wobbled and fell out of a pose at yoga I’ve managed to tweak something; either way, it ain’t clearing quickly. Any hoo, I had ‘Be in bed at 9pm’ firmly in my sights as I headed home.

Picking up Peanut, we did the grocery shopping, driving home with the Frozen soundtrack (again), I got told off for singing, you really know you can’t sing when your toddler says ‘Please stop Mama’. He’d requested pancakes a couple of times this week, so I halved this recipe and while I put the groceries away, cooked them, emptied the dishwasher and reloaded it, put the load of bedding I’d washed on timer into the tumble dryer, set another load off and fed the cats. Talk about multi-tasking.

He was practically falling asleep over his dinner, so I packed him off to bed, he’d evidently had a busy Chief Brodyday at his nursery. There were maple syrup finger prints all over his place setting. I cleaned the table from end-to-end, no mean feat – it’s huge, glass and as I wipe there’s a kitten trying to catch the cloth from underneath the glass. Then the kitchen bench got a wipe down with vinegar and bicarb, then the butchers block, then the hob, then I had to stop because Chief Brody decided that sitting in the sink would be a good idea.

I pretended Mt. Foldmore wasn’t there and started to pack my bag for yoga. I was going to the 6am class this morning, so had to get everything ready. From breakfast to lunch, from undies to washing stuff, it was taking a while. Particularly as this week I’d decided I need two wash-bags, so I don’t have to remember to transfer the one from gym bag to yoga bag. I need to lay out everything I want to wear to the class, then pack everything I want to wear to work. Then get breakfast, snacks and lunch ready. Check my diary to make sure I’ve got all I need to work on through the day in my tote. Being Friday, it’s dress-down day at work, so I also swapped handbags. Talk about making life hard work for myself.

I’d left work at 5ish and eventually got into bed at gone 10pm; apart from sitting down to eat dinner, until I got into bed, I did not stop. What early night? Then Peanut woke up just as we were dropping off with a dry and croaky throat. After some water and paracetamol he went back to sleep, but it took us a while to get back off. Goodness knows what time we actually got to sleep, with my alarm set for 5:15 in the back of my mind.

Through the standing poses I was wobbly. My right side is strong, I can hold my balance easily now, only when I push deeper into the poses do I wobble, and my control is getting better. But my left side? Flipping heck, I was falling out all over the place. We got to triangle, I just sat down on the floor as I did not want to get frustrated with myself; to get my leg parallel with the floor I have to have such a wide stance, I knew my hip and ergo my balance just wasn’t going to be up to it today. Standing head to knee pose, right leg fine; left leg – forget about it. Tree? Disaster.

During those 90 minutes this morning my mind was wandering all over the place. Normally I concentrate on what is being said, this time while I was listening, I was only half there. However, I didn’t wipe my face once, and my water bottle was over half full at the end. I’ve got a long way to go before I can go a whole class without drinking, especially first thing in the morning.

And yet, I did this today:bikram-postures-camel-pose_0Camel, the full back bend. Only my third since I’ve been going back. I did my first one on Wednesday night, in the second set. I came up out the pose with a huge grin on my face, I’m not sure that’s entirely normal. Did both sets today, again, came up grinning – my heart pounding in my ears.

While my mind may have been wandering, my balance may have been off, the hardest thing I will do all day (after getting out of bed at 5:15am) was done by 7:30am, mind you, we can probably add trying to get your newly washed jeans on after a Bikram class to the ‘too-hard basket’: it ain’t going to happen…

Three showers in one day

This blog title works best if know of the Crowded House song “Four Seasons in One Day” written about Melbourne’s weather, which is so changeable, the saying goes, ‘Don’t like the weather? Wait five minutes!’ (As an aside, hasn’t Neil Finn got the most beautiful voice?) The weather this week however has been mostly persisting down; although not as bad as last week where we had inches of hail, flooded gutters and brown sludge pouring over my white load of washing which would have been nearly dry as it hangs under a deck. No, I wasn’t happy. I dropped the f-bomb so vociferously I could hear Peanut saying ‘Ooh, Mama’s grumpy’ upstairs.

Anyhoo, yesterday (Tuesday) I had a shower in the morning, went for a run 3.5km on the treadmill at lunchtime, (slowly getting quicker and I felt really strong). I think the polite term is ‘glowing’, in reality, any time I do any exercise, I’ve always gone beet-red and sweaty, so I have to have a shower afterwards. I do run for longer at the weekends, but there is only a finite amount of time I can spend at the gym on my lunch break without taking the Michael. Then after work, I whizzed off to a Bikram class, which was lovely, but hard, hard work yesterday. When I got home, Hubs had Peanut in the shower, as soon as he’d finished, I hopped in the shower and was in my PJs before Peanut, who was busy charging round the house doing rudey-nudey runs.

We had a leaving lunch for an out-to-here pregnant colleague today (Wednesday) so I knew I wouldn’t get a run in, hence me doubling up on my exercise again. Not sure if it’s sustainable if I do Bikram in the evening, I’m just spent, although I did hold my balance better. I’ve not had a chance to do a class before work yet though, although as it finishes at 7:30 and I’m supposed to be at my desk at 8:15, it would be a close squeak just to get to work on time. Let alone showering too.

Last night in Shavasana before class, out of nowhere the trampoline classes I used to take wandered into my head. This must be over 25 years ago that I took them; called Horizon 2000, the senior (high) schools in my home town used to organise extra-curricular classes on anything from chess, to photography (which I also took), to various sports at their campuses, spreading the costs I guess. I loved trampolining, loved the feeling of freedom bouncing about. I wasn’t worried about doing all the tricks and jumps. I did an assisted somersault once, whizzed over so quickly (all those years of tumble turns in swimming) they weren’t ready to catch me, so I grazed most of the skin off my chin. Most attractive.

One girl walked up to me after class one day and said that the class was fed up with my just bouncing up and down, they wanted me to do more in the lesson, like seat drops and so on. I was mortified. I just liked the feeling, after the somersault incident, I didn’t particularly want to do any tricks. I just wanted to do something for pleasure. Swimming was a chore, training in particular, up and down, up and down. Anything up to 4km a night, then three mornings a week, plus land training, plus a special diet – it had gone from being something I loved to something I did.

I honestly don’t remember if I ever went back to trampolining.

Last night while I was trying to still my mind and get ready for practice, I realised why I was excited to learn about the Bikram studio nearby. I was able to do something I loved again. No matter how blooming hard it is. Like running, it’s addictive. Three classes back and I can’t imagine it not being part of my life again. Confronting as it is staring at your hot and sweaty self in the mirror, breathing hard through your nose, feeling nauseous, grunting with effort, I really enjoy it.

The past two to three months of my life I’ve made a concerted effort to prioritise exercise, my diet, me. I don’t ever want to feel shame or mortification for doing something I want to do. No matter how trivial other people think it is.

If you want to bounce, just bounce, go ahead. I’ll spot you.

Bicep, rotator cuff and deltoid, oh my

You know when you’ve hurt yourself. I’ve been living in and using this body for 39 years. When something just doesn’t feel right, I can tell, and on Friday, I could tell. No matter how much my colleagues said ‘You’ll be sore for a couple of days max’ after boxing.

Saturday morning I could barely move my left arm. Getting dressed was difficult, reaching for anything was difficult. Peanut at one point was sat on my lap when I needed to reach around behind me to release my bag, it brought tears to my eyes and a squeak from my throat. (Anyone else’s default pain noise a squeak or squeal? No? Maybe it’s a good job I didn’t go into labour after all).

Sunday afternoon, I did a Bikram class, working on the assumption I need to get used to the heat, so if only laying or sitting there getting used to the heat was all I could manage, that would be good. Cobra I was expecting to hurt as I couldn’t weight bear with my arms at all, just rolling over in bed was a trial. However, wind removing pose, was difficult as I couldn’t reach for my knees. As an aside, I love the name of that pose; as another aside, being a coeliac with IBS, it’s great. Still at the end of the class completing what I could, I felt fantastic. My balance is still coming back, but I was able to do every pose for at least a few seconds, most of them for the majority of the time – not bad for my second visit. I went to the supermarket afterwards, glowing like a sweaty tomato, the studio has only been there a couple of months, so people aren’t used to seeing beet-red, sweaty faces out and about yet. Hubs said I look great when I get home from the classes, you can’t concentrate on anything other than your practice and your breathing, so for 90 minutes, my mind is my own.

This morning, Monday, my shoulder was still sore, still stiff in the morning. I called my osteo practice and got slotted in to see someone at lunchtime today. Andrea who has done boxing knew exactly what had happened when I told her, because my left arm is non-dominant, it wasn’t going back into the full resting position each time, firing off other muscles to support the joint. If I do boxing again, she’s told me to do what I can, at the speed I need to do to do it properly, otherwise I’ll cause more damage. She was pleased I went to Bikram though, she said that it helped stretch out the joint and also flood it with blood to help it repair.

Sunday morning I also went for a run, my legs felt great, but it was a bit cold so I should have worn another layer. I’ve entered into the 10km run in the Melbourne Marathon Festival in October, so I need to up my Ks and fitness levels. Hence the boxing, I’m not over-enamoured with it though, now I know the damage it’s done. I’ll head down to the gym tomorrow lunchtime and increase my speed on the treadmill to see how I go instead.

Happy training y’all this week.

I was right, it does hurt

Yesterday lunchtime I went to a boxing class at the gym down the hill from work. I was an ‘odd bod’ so was paired up with the instructor, affectionately known as Hercules. Instead of doing any spotting for my buddy, I did all the punching twice. I worked hard, as I had no-where to hide. Have you tried doing push-ups with boxing gloves on? You rest on your knuckles, it hurts.

Then as I’d managed to successfully miss the three Bikram classes I’d been planning to get to since last week, (1. turned up on the wrong night, 2. BBQ blowing out on Father’s Day delaying lunch to dinner, 3. feeling rough on Monday), I went to a class last night as well. I couldn’t complete the whole thing, it was the first one back in four years so I need to get used to the heat again. My balance isn’t the best at the best of times, so I wobbled a bit out of some of the poses and towards the end of the floor section I was just running on empty, still I went and am going again on Saturday morning. I was impressed by how much I remembered though, I found myself grinning at my reflection at one point.

I thought about packing my gym stuff again today to go for a run, but decided against it. It can wait until tomorrow. I’m a little bit tight. Only in every muscle of my body.

It’s gonna hurt

I ran at lunchtime today. Not far and not outside, I went to the gym down the hill from work and plodded out 3.5km on the treadmill. Plodded being the operative word, speed was not of the essence today. But I did it, and I ran 95% of it, (after I’d untangled my headphones) so that’s the main thing.

On Sunday morning I had also gone out with Peanut in Bob, our running stroller; 15kg of toddler, 11kg of stroller, two weeks of doing nothing, I did even less running than today, but again, I went. Despite Peanut cheering me on with ‘Come on Mama, faster!’ pushing that weight up and down the hill, it was an effort. We walked most of the route and I switched off my tracker when we got to the play park.

I’ll head out again on Friday lunchtime, I can’t wait for the mornings to start getting lighter and the nights to draw out, I don’t like running on my own in the dark. Funny how Hubs was the one that wanted to run, but I’m the one who’s still running. How does that work?

In the local paper last week there was a feature on Bikram Yoga, apparently there’s a studio next to the supermarket I go to! Never seen any signs for it at all and it’s right where the Farmer’s Market is held too. Never mind, I’ll find it tomorrow night as I’m going to go. Trying to work out when to get there as going once a week doesn’t cut it, but 90 minutes per class is a lot of time to find. Juggling the diary, I think I can get to three classes, provided I can either get out before work, or run at lunchtimes.

The perils of fitting into your jeans. No, not really, I’m not doing this for my wardrobe, I’m doing this for me as I feel so much better when I’ve exercised. Keeps the old Black Dog away, not that Rufus is any where near approaching.