I love Fridays

And no, not because it is the end of the working week*.
I get to go to the gym on Monday and Friday mornings at the moment and I have rediscovered a great love of pushing myself physically.

As you may remember, I’m rehabing a dodgy achilles and that means I’ve had to find alternative ways to keep and get fit.  One choice has been to use a personal trainer to make things a bit more interesting and also to keep me honest.  If I went on my own I know my form would be mediocre at best, and iffy at tiredest.

As part of my recent focus on γνῶθι σεαυτόν, I’ve realised just how much joy I get out of the mental and physical effort of exercising.  I love to push past what I think I’m capable of, and I’m getting to do that each time I turn up at the gym at the moment.  We’ve changed at least one exercise at each of the past four or five sessions – either bigger weights, more reps, different or harder versions.  And I’m feeling very happy as a result.

Today I went from squatting with a 3kg medicine ball on the bosu ball to squatting 6kg.  I think I’ll be seat-bound for the weekend, but I’m pleased that I managed to work out the balance point required to do this – and squat low too.  Frankly just having the balance to stand on the bosu ball was something of an achievement as I was convinced that I’d just wobble and fall off.
I’m still waiting to say that I can do pushups.  At the moment I’m about half-way down, which even six weeks ago would have been impossible.  When I started I could barely do little dips and now I’m nearly half-way there.  And that trend continues across all of the other exercises in my circuit.

So, pardon me while I sit here with a goofy smirk on my face.  Gently sore muscles, but a big grin.  Just the way life should be.

* like being a parent is limited to 5 day weeks – hah!

Lighthouses and Rugby

Last weekend I was lucky enough to get most of Saturday off courtesy of Mr Oh Waily.  I spent it walking and cheering.

So that sounds like an odd combination, and it would be if I were doing it all in one activity, but no.  I didn’t.  Late morning I took myself off on a walk that I’d been wanting to do for some time and knew would not be possible with the little people yet.

The Pencarrow Lighthouse had been nagging at me for a few months, but as Mr Oh Waily spent most of the first couple of months of the year gadding about overseas, I had to put it off.  But on Saturday I finally got to do it.  Here’s a link to the Google Map for those who aren’t familiar with Wellington.   And, here’s a link to a bit of the history of the lighthouse for the curious.

Naturally at this time of year the weather was a bit hit and miss.  I started out in sun only to be greeted fairly shortly into the walk by a rain front coming up from the south and across the Strait.  This made my plan to stop and take my time photographing things a bit difficult.  In the end I managed to get some photographs before the rain and at the lighthouse but that was all.  So here they are…

Yes, it’s true.  We are a nation of sheep.  They even go to the beach like the rest of us when the sun is out.

Sheep on a beach

No, really – all the way along the walk they were either on the beach, under the scrub or hanging off the side of a cliff. Although, as you can tell, they aren’t fond of surprise visitors gate-crashing their seaside picnic.

Picnic at the beach, anyone?

And while the sun was out I was chased and flirted with, then flitted off from by a huge number of Silvereyes (or Wax-eyes – you tell me what the difference is?) so I was lucky enough to find a tree they decided to sit in at one point. Otherwise they’d have kept giving me the bird equivalent of a thumbed nose and there would’ve been no actual wildlife photographs at all. (Sheep don’t count.)

Silvereye or Wax-eye

And, a slightly different angle after waiting patiently for another one to land and hang around.

Silvereye or Wax-eye?

I like them. They’re pretty, small, nippy and cheery birds to watch playing amongst themselves. I’m also amazed that I managed to get even one image vaguely in focus considering how fast they move, the large lense that I had on the camera and my own innate wobbliness.

So some time later (approximately an hour and a half – thanks rain & wind) the stubborn person that I am, made it out to the lower lighthouse.  It turns out that I could not have timed my eventual arrival any better.  Serendipitous I’d have to say.  The Interisland Ferry just happened to be entering the harbour just as I arrived at my destination.

Pencarrow Lighthouse

And it came so darn close to shore I could probably have had a chat with the Master.

It would’ve been nice, at this point to have caught a ride back to town, as I discovered that my walking shoes were not quite as broken in as I had thought.  Ouchie.  A nasty big blister eventually appeared by the time I made it back to the car and Eastbourne.
But it’s a small price to pay for having knocked off a walk that I’d been wanting to do for ages.  Next time I’ll give the upper lighthouse a go, but only if it’s not windy.

After a short while at home feeling like the conquering hero and bragging to my small people about how fabulous their Mum was at walking for miles and miles and miles, I got myself and my dodgy blistered feet back into the car and drove in to town.  I was going to have a night at the rugby.

And like the good little trooper I am, I was dedicated to both my adopted team, the Hurricanes, and to my reviewing responsibilities over at t’other blog.

At the rugby

Capping off a great day out, the lovely boys in the background gave the visiting Waratahs what for.  I couldn’t have asked for a better end to the day.

Have you had a day out lately?  What did you get up to? Something fun, challenging or both?

The PT

Last Friday my darling husband dropped by at the gym daycare when I was picking up the kids.  This does sometimes happen, but not very often and not lately.  Turns out he had a surprise for me as well as the little Oh Wailys.  Their surprise was that they got to see their Dad during the day, my surprise was that Monday morning was to be the end of my excuses.

Some ratbag achilles tendon complaining of overuse was simply not a valid excuse for not exercising.  Apparently.  Mr Oh Waily had booked me in for an hour with his PT*.  It took me a few minutes to drag my chin back up off the floor and mouth a certain range of expletives.  I doubt the 3 year olds could lip read.  I hope.

I was part flabbergasted and part horrified.  And as time wore on became more petrified. So yesterday I turn up and am put through a range of exercises, bird dogs, planks, side planks, prone cobras, static jumps, a sort of glute bridge exercise and then on to a range of general strength exercises.  A bit of woodchopping later, a failed attempt at a push-up** leading to the softer option of one arm dumbbell presses, some emptying cans and sundry other sweat inducing throwing of weight arounds.

By the end of two rounds I was feeling remarkably okay.  A little hot and sweaty but not too bad otherwise.  The tendon took it all really well.  The rest of the day passed without incident and the dreaded achilles ache did not appear at dinner time, or any time after.

However, I had to get up a couple of times through the night last night and oddly enough around midnight everything was okay, but by 3:30 am every muscle in my body had gone on strike.  The PT could have had me run a few miles on top of the workout and I wouldn’t have felt any pain at all.  My whole body would have drowned it out.

I am now slightly worried about what tomorrow holds.  After all, DOMs always seems to be at its worst two days after the offending exercise.  At least for me.  If there’s no blog post tomorrow – you’ll know why – too much pain to write.

Wish me luck.

* PT = personal trainer  (I know it sounds poncey, but the effect of hiring one isn’t.)
** I am such a weakling.


“Solutions are not the answer.”

Well, I went and tried out the solution today.

As usual I couldn’t quite restrict myself to a simple warmup and weights workout. Noooo.  Not me.  I chose to walk instead.  Relatively mildly and meekly for the most part.  A slightly ponderous 5kph shouldn’t worry too many people.  It didn’t even worry me.
So I went a little faster and got up to my warmup speed of 6.5 kph.  Again, not a killer.  This was all going very nicely until a little over 2 kilometres in.  Then I began to wonder about the slight aches that were appearing.  Were they the tendon?  Were they the calf muscles?  Hmm.  Discretion is the better part of valour so they say.  So I slowed down and finished up the walk at 2.5k total.

No pain, no real discomfort, nothing.

Until dinner time*.

Bugger me if the damned tendon didn’t decide to become tender.  Enter Mr Oh Waily, a flexible ice pack and that sticky crepe bandaging stuff that holds you together when you’re falling apart.  After what felt like an excruciating thirty minutes but was, according to the Mr, only a matter of ten minutes of frozen heel I was ready to crawl into a hole.
Seriously, whoever thinks icing an injury is better than the injury needs their head examined.  After I got some sort of feeling back in my leg I have now been left with that stupid low grade ache.  I’m not in ‘pain’, but I’m damned sure I won’t be exercising again for yet another week (or maybe two) if a short walk does this.

Tendonitis is the most frustrating, low grade, irritating, stupid injury to grace the pantheon of injuries available to an aging, determined, back of the pack runner.

I’m off to find a corner in which to curse and laugh hysterically, alternately, in peace.  May your limbs never betray you and bring you to this.

* I go to the gym at 9am so it took all fricken day to work it’s panties up into a bunch !

You’ve gotta love the quote in the title of this post.  Only out of the mouth of a politician !
Thank you Richard M. Nixon for your handy observation that suits me down to the ground today !