Wednesday, 28 January 2009

Triumphant Return!

Whooo hooo! I feel a million and one times better than I did at the same time last week ... which isn't terribly hard considering last Wednesday I could hardly stand up and it hurt to walk, sit down, lie down and go in between. Hurrah!

Tuesday saw me suffering in agony at the physio again ... dear GOD in heaven the man is a sadist, but I guess I can't complain too much because I am sooo much recovered. I could still really only manage a good hour-long walk, up some mighty hills around here mind you, but today I decided to give Bikram a go and see how I went. I opted for the 6.15am class because the room isn't quite as heated as it is for the arvo classes (more like 34C instead of 38C+), and I think they shave about 10mins off the class time. I did 95 per cent of the moves, the only one I didn't do or even attempt was the sit up because the instructor recommended I not do this as it's known to aggravate lower back conditions. Which was a shame because I really like them! Instead I did some pelvic work - which my physio showed me - and then joined the rest of the class, felt mildly stupid ... but what the hell, better than putting my recovery back.

So, that is a very good start. Today went to the Sydney Aquarium for the first time since I've lived in Sydney (uhhh, nine years this month!) and had a fabulous time! I saw the Dugongs ... awww, they're sooo cute. And learnt that they're actually most closely related to elephants than any marine animal. Amazing. Walked all over Darling Harbour, and escaped the city before peak hour cranked itself up to full throttle.

Feeling sooo much more positive than at this time last week, mind you I felt like a cripple and really just wanted to crawl - painfully - into a hole for a while. But I didn't! And I've survived the worst (touch wood, touch wood), so things can only get better. Two weeks 'til training starts for the next half-mara, so that's all I'm thinking of/focusing on - being right to start with everyone else. I will do whatever it takes! Still no running, physio said maybe this weekend ... heh, am I terrible if I try it before then?? He IS the expert so perhaps I should respect this fact - and the fact that I am actually PAYING for his advice/service - but I am still tempted. Surely a teeny 20 minute run can't hurt? We shall see, I'll see how I recover from Bikram and today's walking efforts.

Anyhoo, that's really all for now. But I just needed to shout from ... uh, my blogspot, I'M BACK. Yeeees.

Friday, 23 January 2009

Ouch - warning, whinge ahead!

I just emailed a big whinge to a friend of mine and then had to immediately write another message apologising for doing nothing but complain in the email. Trying very hard to be positive but at the moment, it's quite difficult because (at the risk of sounding like a big ol' wuz) ... I'm in paaaaain. Not workout induced pain, nor heartache pain (thank god), but my-body-is-ageing-at-a-rate-of-knots-and-hates-me pain. My back has gone out. Specifically, my lower back due to a series of events that are completely unrelated except for the fact they screwed up my back. Event #1: Wearing four inch (YES four inch, I'm 5'2" and I need all the help I can get) heels on a night out. Event #2: Sea kayaking for four hours. While this was SO MUCH FUN, it also involves a lot of twisting and bending from the hips and using muscles I don't use in any of my exercises. Event #3: Loading up extra weight in Pump squat track. The clincher, however, is Event #4: Falling on my big-fat butt while walking down the stairs in my unit block with a large box of recycling (only one wine bottle, thank you!) In fact, #4 can possibly the lion's share of the blame - but the others certainly didn't help.
The result for someone with a weak-er lower back due to having an extra lumbar disc which is prone to inflammation? Hellooooo muscle spasms. Serious muscle spasms caused by the jelly-like matter between spinal discs getting inflammed by all of the above events and trapped nerves sending irregular messages to surrounding muscles. Heh, so what does that mean? A few things including, but not restricted to, the muscles all up the left-hand side of my spine tensing up and causing me to lean over to the left, similarly the muscles in my left butt cheek tensing up causing extreme pain when ... well, walking, sitting, standing, lying and going in between the four. It was all agony and horrible. The physio sessions (x2) were similar AGONY with my EVIL physio "massaging" the spasming muscles, remarking on how she's not seen someone so jammed up for ages while she digs her thumb into my hip flexor (about one inch inside hip bones) and rubs the constricted muscle fibres vigorously.
Urgh, I won't talk about it anymore except to say thank GOD for health insurance which meant I only had to pay $28 of $70 per torture ... uh, I mean physio session, and I HAVE BRUISES. On both the inside of my hips, my butt cheeks (oh yes, glutes got a "massage" too) and up either side of my spine.
Okay, so that's enough of THAT whinge. On to the next one which is ... I am SO p'd off about this happening now because I was on a fabulous exercise roll. Pump, Bikram, cardio sessions ... I was loving it all! And now I've got at least a week before I can consider any of the above seriously ... except for MAYBE Bikram. Heh, although having said that this arvo I am going to the gym for some light cardio stuff ... just the bike and walking on the treadmill I PROMISE. It's too hot to just go for a walk outside (it's 41C apparently) so will just hang out at the gym for a little while. Need to burn some calories as I feel like I'm turning into a blubbery whale ... oh, and just ate two bits of chocolate, so need to burn the guilt away too :P
Okay, that's enough for this entry ... far too much whingeing bubbling away inside of me ... will just melt it away at the gym and next post will be filled with positivity and happy thoughts. Promise!

Friday, 16 January 2009

Two slack days and a weekend of mad activity

Well, yesterday it was revoltingly hot in Sydney even at 6.30am when I attempted to go for a nice 10km run. I ran for 15 minutes before the overwhelming heat and humidity got to me, it was sooo hard to breathe and where I live there was no nice cool breeze to help me. I walked for about a minute to ease the throbbing in my head before jogging home for a shower and (gah - nanna) 15 minute lie down after drinking a good litre of water ... uh, maybe a touch less, but still. Was about 35 mins of running all up, but it sure felt like more.

Went to visit my bro at his new digs in gorgeous Clovelly and suffered from severe flat-envy. OMG, his place is soooo, so nice ... his kitchen is bigger than my parents' kitchen, and THAT is saying something. Bloody hell. We went out for breakfast which included a 15 minute walk there up some pretty gruesome slopes, and the same on the way home ... although slightly slower I must admit. I had fresh squeezed apple, carrot and celery juice and a piece of sourdough toast with ricotta, banana and strawberries ... with honey over the top. Mmm, so good! Honestly it was the best thing on the menu besides the fruit and yoghurt, and I'd already eaten a nectarine so I didn't want too much more fruit (baaaad side effects).

Raced home and then practically ran to the hairdressers where I made a spontaneous decision to chop three inches off my locks! Heh, spontaneous decision helped muchly by the heat - was sooo uncomfortable by the time I got there and I just felt the need to lighten up. Everyone loves it so far ... but I am still unconvinced. It's one of these "long bobs" ... it's quite slinky etc, or sassy as my friend described, but I'm not sure if I can pull it off. I've always gone more for the "cute" and "funny" look rather than slinky or sassy.

After walking home from the shops with some groceries for dinner I was pretty much stuffed and drank a huge amount of water before collapsing on the couch to watch Sex and the City for a while ... heh, well, sleeping in front of the TV with Sex and the City ON it.

Anyhoo - a slack day in terms of exercise. Today will be another slack one as I am meeting a friend for a drink or two directly after work ... wanted to skip lunch and leave an hour early and go to the gym for a quick workout, but now we have something that will keep us busy ALL night so I need to stay until 6pm. Big d'oh on that one.

I've just about come to terms with it all though and will go for a run tomorrow morning and then do arvo Pump before my girls' night out with a fab friend of mine. Hopefully that will relieve the guilt ...

Tuesday, 13 January 2009

No more driving

Gaaaah! I am SO sick of my car and driving. I have now done nearly 2,000km in just over two weeks and that is ENOUGH. Urgh.

A stellar weekend of activity though. Arrived on the coast on Thursday night in foul and tired mood owing to stupid drivers doing stupid things and nearly driving off the road avoiding one of them, then nearly hitting another bloody kangaroo. Get out of the way you silly things. Went to bed early after realising I was being a grumpy cow to my lovely parents and brother.

Friday I got up early-ish and went for a good 9km/50min or so then dragged my bro and mum to Pump for their first times! My mum was an inspiration and she stuck to it the whole way through ... although god her technique was shockin', ha ha - but I'm sure mine was my first class too.
My bro was funny though, he may be a buff army stud but he ain't so tough when it comes to doing five minutes of squats. He said he'd do whatever weight I did, so he loaded up 10km on either side. Hah, wrong! He was dying half-way through. Then he did the same for the chest, back, tri and biceps track and decided to go down to 2.5kg either side for the rest. The next day I dragged him out of bed at 8am (which is insanely early for him) for a 10km run and then, ha ha, just watched as he hobbled around like an old man for another two days. In fact, today - four days later - he said his chest is still sore. BodyPump 1, little brother 0.

30th birthday party I attended was bloody boring with bad mix of family and friends, a function room designed for 100 with a max of 40 people rattling around in it, baaaad bad DJ and not enough food. No highpoints really, although nearly died laughing (afterwards) when a hideous male friend of my friend - the birthday girl - TOTALLY hit on me. Don't think he associates me with the "fat chick" who he abused about four years ago for refusing to write an article about the appalling conditions Navy men have to endure. Anyway, he's foul anyway so there was no way anything was happening there.

Had Sunday off exercise beyond a walk to the shops for stir fry stuff, then back to it on Monday with a serious and severe Bikram session where the room was heated to 43C!!! I nearly died ... again! Today just did some cardio at the gym at lunch as tonight have flat inspection from friend/landlord and want to do supreme clean so he doesn't kick me out. Not that it's likely, but still. Need to stay there until I pay my car off and figure out what the hell I'm going to do with myself for the next few years.

Thursday, 8 January 2009

Note to self

Oh god ... must add another resolution to 2009, wear make-up to work EVERY DAY. Have just run into/been introduced to a group of the South African cricket players ... with a glowing red (hayfever-induced) nose and tired-looking eyes (those 5am starts). Bloody hell!!! Not that I was going to seduce one (ha ha ha ha) and run off with him, but would've have preferred to at least not look like Rudolph's long lost cousin.

Ooooh the shame.

And while I'm here, am leaving for the coast in 10 minutes and have packed for warm weather!!! And it's 20C and windy/rainy. What am I going to do? Bearing in mind I have made a New Year's resolution not to buy any new clothes for six months ... not that there's any decent shopping to be done in Nowra/JB. Arrrgggh. Can probably borrow an item or two off my mum ... heh, some of my old clothes perhaps?

Hah, and one more thing. Had brilliant revelation earlier today. I had/have been beating myself up for not really losing weight in the last few years. But then I realised, I have not gained any weight in the last three years either! I have successfully maintained for three years. I have probably gained 2kg, but taken it off almost immediately through hard work. So, yay!

I have definitely been complacent in the last few months though ... so I'm going to set myself some new, serious, challenges. Hmmm. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, 7 January 2009


Day 3 of the New Year's plan and all is going well. Have been positively saintly with food after discovering new spinach salad (English spinach, cherry tomatoes, handful of chopped walnuts, capsicum with homemade dressing) - have now eaten that three days in a row. Have run out so will have to see what's in the fridge/cupboards at home tonight.

Monday - despite being desperately tired - I did Bikram and thought I was going to faint/die/vomit (not unusual - Bikram room gets SO hot on warm days, temp was at 42c) but felt FANTASTIC after sweating Dubbo-related toxins out. Tuesday was going to face Bikram again but was too damn hot, so just did my own gym workout (30 mins bike, 15 mins rower, 20 mins t/m run plus 20 mins weights - ouch), and today I did pump. Whoo hoo. Wheels come off a bit tomorrow as have to leave work and head straight down the coast, so will give myself one day off then go for big runs on Fri and Saturday, and will try to check out the local gym.

Still struggling from sleep deprivation. It's sad but true, but I do believe I'm getting old!

Sunday, 4 January 2009

The Plan!

Oh lord, the last four days have been mad, crazy days. Despite being incredibly exhausting, they were extremely refreshing, re-invigorating and life affirming. Some other time I will go into more detail about them.

I don't believe in New Years resolutions because then I feel compelled to stick to something out of duty rather than because I want to. Having said that, I have made some very vague and loose ones!

1. Figure out what I want to do. Have been tossing up 1001 ideas of what the future work-wise will hold for me, or what I want it to hold. Really time to stop faffing about and find my real career. Be it teaching or something else.

2. Don't buy any clothes for six months! Argh. My reasoning is essentially that I do not NEED any new clothes, I have everything I need for any occasion for at least six months. Underwear is not included as I need at least two new bras (black and white) and haven't restricted myself on running gear as will need at least one new pair of running pants and a pair or two of socks. Made the decision on this one after realising that my clothes - once all washed and not in the ironing basket - do not FIT in the wardrobe or large chest of drawers that I have!! No person needs that many clothes, especially when they only wear 10% of it!

Um, that's really it beyond making 2009 better than 2008, which really wouldn't be too hard.

New plan starts tomorrow. I want to lose at least 3kg before training for the next half-marathon starts. Not doing anything drastic, just going to eat much less processed stuff and stick essentially to fruit, salad and vegies and not eat too much meat. Plus do Bikram three times a week, run three times (two 30 min and one 1hr plus), and do Pump at least three times. After running training starts again things will have to be rejigged around the running schedule, but I'll cross that bridge when I get to it in a month.

Anyway, that's all for now. Need to eat nice light dinner and get to bed by 8.30pm ... really need some serious recovery sleep!