Archive for the ‘Kittens’ Category

Spookathontastic!   5 comments

Having not done anything on Tuesday or Wednesday morning I thought I might be OK on Wednesday evening. I was not. Slow and generally a bit feeble. Another 7.5 miles for the book. Thus I felt maybe Thursday would be better as Wednesday was not. Wrong. Perhaps this meant I was still not fully well. Slumped around HovePark and moseyed up and down some hills. Did nothing on Friday or Saturday (didn’t even help at parkrun having woken up on the dot of 9 – oops – but probably good for my health).

Today (Sunday) was the charity spookathon at my gym (Alive, Castle Street, Brighton). Six back to back classes to raise money for LostCatsBrighton (where I work) and The Martlets. I couldn’t bring myself to do zumba or yoga but psyched myself up for four classes, a long day and plenty of cakes to keep me going. I started with the spin/circuit combination class which was good.

Still Alive in the first class…












Lots of people there and a good variety of exercises. As I hadn’t done anything proper since Monday I felt quite strong and got stuck in. Not long after I realised I still had three more classes to go and had already used up most of my strength. Oh dear. Never mind! Onwards. I refuelled with a tasty chocolate brownie and a banana. An hour later (after fitting in a bit of food shopping – tres excitment) I made my way in to the 80’s step class. Having never done step before I knew I would find it very hard as it involves coordination and concentration. I was so right! It was really really hard and complicated and I was getting all the steps wrong left, right and centre. It was without doubt the hardest but most fun I have done for ages. So funny! Thankfully there were plenty of people equally uncoordinated and getting themselves confused and tied in knots. I spent a good proportion of the time laughing and standing on my step bemusedly trying to work out how the heck those who were good at it were keeping up and getting the steps right. The trick was to focus on one person who was doing it right’s feet and copy their footsteps whilst not listening to Toby’s instructions or looking in the mirror as that just caused further confusion and falling about. It was without doubt the most fun I have had for ages and also really really hard! My legs and abs were wibbling like crazy by about 20 minutes in. Probably not helped by already having done one class and surviving on brownies in the interim. If this class were to be brought back I would sooooo do it. Even if only because it was so funny being so useless. This is the reason I don’t do this sort of class but in this case it just made me happy. Maybe because there were many others equally useless? Also I think I had become somewhat hysterical with lack of food and tiredness. I was already shaking, with dead quads and arms and this was only class two.

As I moved on to kettlebells (having scoffed another brownie in about 30 seconds) I was really feeling it. Quivery muscles, general shakiness. On the upside this had made me somewhat hysterical so I alternately laughed and died my way through. We finished with a (more gentle than usual as Jenny was also dead) Core & Stretch class. I was still laughing, shaking and fuelled on yet another brownie. But oh so knackered. Downward dogging, which I always hate, was an impossibility so I generally lay in child’s pose. Finally the  spookathon was over and I fuelled up on a vegan flapjack and wibbled home on my bike with legs o’ jelly.

All in all it was an excellent day which I thoroughly enjoyed even though it was a killer. God knows what state I’ll be in tomorrow but a superb time was had so no complaints.

Goodness gracious I think this might be the first wholly positive post I have ever written! Hoopla!

“Best swing in the class”   Leave a comment

Phew, back to Wednesday already! So much to tell you about. So, as is customary I shall begin with Monday. The day was filthy in the way of weather and I’d been soaked whilst at the cats resulting in having to borrow someone’s clothes (not the ones they were wearing – that would just shift the problem) whilst mine “do not tumble dry” were in the tumble drier. However by some freak of nature it wasn’t raining when we got to track though it was infernally windy. We started off with 3 x 800m @ 3.15 pace. The first in lane one, the second in lane 3 and the third starting 20 metres back from the finish line but still in lane 1. We then did 2 x 400m, in lane one then lane 3 @ 1.28 and 1.26. Following this a flat out 400 which I failed to do in any way flat out @ 1.21. To finish we split into pairs for 5 x 400m paarlauf. I joined two other girls (who were a group above me in the earlier part of the session) to make a 3 as on the short stuff I felt I could stick with them pace wise. Also a standstill recovery works for me. The 400s were run in around 1.22 (except for the last one where I totally died) so I was pleased as this is only 2 seconds slower than my supposed 400m pace for the first lap of an 800m and I don’t usually precede an 800m race with many 800s and 400s! Over all I felt I had run acceptably especially in the cold and windy conditions. I must try and remember that I would never before have thought I would join the speedy girls for any part of the session so I should take confidence from this. I am also trying to remember that I got a good result in my V02/oxygen efficiency test and am often told I have a good running style thus I must be more positive that I will one day reach what I feel is the correct level of ability. At the moment I am still very much hampered by my lack of belief in myself. This WILL change (rrraaahhhh… positivity)!

On Tuesday I went to Core & Stretch in the morning and then had acupuncture in the afternoon to attempt to loosen off some of my stiff parts (ie everything). The man told me I must must must stretch but of course I never will. Tsk. Why can’t I do something I know will help me? Anyway the acupuncture was splendid on my shoulders and neck and I am now able to turn my head fully in both directions (not like an owl) and can put my chin on my chest all of which I haven’t been able to do for many months. I then took my newly unstiff self to kettlebells where I found myself going for the 20kg on the double arm swing. It was quite tricky to get it started but once it was swinging it was OK, though stopping was a bit dicey! This meant I then had to use the 16kg for the single arm swing. Crikey it’s quite heavy. Any swing-based things I am OK at but I still find it hard with the overhead press single arm things as my inflexible-yet-too-flexible shoulders make me feel very unstable physically (not mentally for once) so stuck with the 9kg on these. Managed to squat with 18kg too which is fine as my legs are quite strong though usually pretty knackered from all the running without inflicting this on the poor things too! Matt told me I had the best swing in the class which was nice but naturally my swing became worse when he said that due to my not-very-good-at-taking-complimentsness (another thing to work on). All in all this was one of my more successful classes though I did still conk out a little towards the end. Inevitable I feel after Monday sessions.

Sorry, I told you this was going to be a long one! Today I went to spin and it was being covered by a different man and was a completely different style to the usual. I must say I prefered this class even though it involved a 22 minute and 6 second “climb” section that nearly killed us all. Thankfully I noted that the others were as red-faced and dripping as I. It was hardcore! This mammoth climb was only a relatively small piece of the class as a whole, though the emphasis was on climbs and climb sprints the whole was through. The session was a solid 50 minutes and by the end I was unsure if my legs would ever work again let along propel me home into the massive headwind. The discovery of this class has left me in a quandary. His normal slot is a Friday at 10am which means if I do his class I will noy have a full day off during the week which I’m not sure is a good idea. Of course it would give me Wednesday mornings off but perhaps I should be having a full day of nothing? I think I will do Wednesday’s class when I have a weekend race (like this week) but do the Friday one otherwise. A good compromise perhaps? Suppose the only way to find out is to try it. I do feel that my recent focus on things other than running is going well though. If I can pull my good running out of the bag on race day then it shall be a roaring success! Roll on Saturday to test this.

Here is me doing a lunge! OK, this is just a silly picture my friend made for me but after the success of the random kitten photo in my last post I thought I’d sling it in!

The FIRE in a feeble sandwich   Leave a comment

After my terribly feeble attempt at spin on Wednesday morning I wasn’t feeling confident of a good run in the evening. The prospect of 7 miles, most of it in darkness was in no way appealing but I dragged myself out regardless and man am I glad I did. I was on FIRE! I think this was a culmination of a few factors. One – I had been pretty cack at both my Tuesday gym glasses and the morning’s spin so was not too knackered. Two – I was expecting to be crap so had placed no pressure on myself. Three – I decided that I would make the run an interval session Steve style. In other words I would run fast for shortish stretches then wait for the rest of the group to catch up so I could give them directions and send them on without them stopping. I know I am much better at shorter bursts with stand-still recovery inbetween but usually choose to try and run at a consistent speed with no rest and thus get annoyed with myself when I am inevitably not very good at it! I positively sped up the Cabbage Patch (a long off-road drag up you guessed it…) waited at the top, send the rest of the group off then hurtled past them to the next place I had told them I would be to send them onwards again. I don’t know what was going on but I felt so fast and easy and full of running. Even when a husky stuck its head in my crotch I was undetered (when I usually have a great dog fear), even when its chavtastic smoking owners appeared out of the dark and failed to call it off. This amazingly good running streak continued for the whole 6 mile duration of the run. The others in my group asked me what drugs I was on or if I was an impostor. I can’t explain what happened but it was brilliant! The next thing is for this to happen during a race when it would actually be useful. I must remember not to work too hard in training next Thursday as my next race is Goodwood xc relays on Saturday so I must try and replicate as far as possible the Wednesday mindset and cane the race. I was not surprised to find on Thursday evening that I had absolutely nothing to give at Hove Park intervals so I just trotted round treating it as a recovery run. Naturally I did get angry with myself for being so utterly useless but only to a minimal extent.

All in all a good few days in body and mind. I must remain convinced that coming off antidepressants is the right thing to do. There have been some bad times but I must remember that this is a symptom of withdrawal and not the depression returning. The main thing I have noticed is that I can’t sleep well without the tablets but hopefully this will also settle down once I’ve been clean for a while.

I did no exercise on Friday, Saturday or Sunday so hopefully my body will thank me and we can have an excellent track session tomorrow (if the forecast gale has moved on).

Gratuitous (and irrelevant) kitten photo

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