Back in Training: Week Three – Gettin’ Down to Business


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I really kicked it up a notch this week.  The pain is beginning to subside and I no longer feel like I should be in traction after a workout.  Next week I want to incorporate a couple of walk/runs into the mix.

My next session with my trainer I’ll be doing a Level One Fitness Test for my age group.  Our focus this week was taking me through the components of the test then working on core and cardio.  I am quite confident that next week I’ll ace the fitness test.

I have just drawn up a workout schedule for the week ahead and will incorporate all of the fitness test components into the workouts I have at the gym.  This is what it will look like.

Workout Schedule for Week Four

  1. Crunches w/ medicine ball – 40 x 2
  2. Step-ups w/ medicine ball (on aerobic stepper) – 15 on each leg leading = 30 x 2 sets
  3. Up and Over’s touching down (on aerobic stepper) – 20 x 2
  4. Leg lifts – 20 x 2
  5. Seal Jacks – 20 x 2
  6. Mountain Climbers – 30 x 2
  7. Side Steps – 30 seconds w/ squat at end x 2
  8. Triceps Push-ups – 15 x 2
  9. Skipping – 30 seconds x 2
  10. Plank – 45 seconds x 2
  11. Bridge – hold for 1 minute x 2
  12. Overhead Towel squat – 30 x 2
  13. 45 degree Suspension Row – 10 x 2
  14. Push-ups from knees – 10 x 2
  15. Kettle bell swing – 8 lb. 40 x 2
  16. Back extensions – 20 x 2
  • Continue w/ 20 minutes on Bike
  • Continue w/ 15 minutes on Elliptical
  • Three upper body machines (Optional)
  • Three lower body machines. (Optional)

18.  Two walk/runs over my 5 km route (45 min – 50 min)

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Each gym workout will take 1 1/2 hours in length.  I start with 35 minutes of cardio on the stationary bike then jump on the elliptical.

My diet has improved exponentially as well.  I only ate out once and that was a pit stop at Subway on Monday evening as I ran late at the engineer’s office and didn’t get home until 8:30 PM.  I had nothing prepared so I opted to just pick up a sub sandwich.

The last two Saturday evenings I’ve cooked at home.  Again, not something I’m used to doing.

Funny the habits we get into.  Back in 2005 when my daughter was taking her graphic design program I took on a couple of other jobs to help her out.  Also I didn’t want her to have worry about working as it is often stressful enough just trying to get through your studies.

One of the part-time gigs was at a diner in Vancouver.  For close to five years I worked 20 hours a week there.  Friday’s I left my day job at 5:00 PM and started at 6:00 PM  to 10 PM. Every Saturday was from 2 PM to 10 PM and Sundays from 8:00 AM to 3:00 PM.

Consequently Saturdays found me coming home and getting cleaned up then heading up Commercial Drive for  a nibble at Wazubees (no longer there), Havana (now very pricey), a little Greek place (no longer there), or a number of other restaurants.  Because I was working so often I neglected meal planning in a big way.

My organizational skills were still somewhat challenged back then.

What I’ve discovered to be key in managing a busy schedule is to actually plan out your week meals and activities.

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When I left the restaurant back in 2010 I purchased my current home.  The last four and half years have been a whirlwind!

Because I was working so much for those five years my social life was pretty much non-existent as well.

Fridays became synonymous for heading down to the Heritage Grill, the Brooklyn, Hops, the Terminal or a host of other places that are within walking distance for a pint and nibble followed by a writing marathon. I would wander home at 1:00 AM once I’d finished whatever it was I was working on.

Saturdays saw me turning into a social butterfly of sorts.

Sundays were for domestic duties of cleaning, laundry and picking up groceries.

Still I wasn’t planning my meals all that well throughout the week.  My daughter was still living with me so we took turns cooking and for a time it worked.

I was committed to good health and had found the love of running once again.  Emotional issues that I’d long neglected came to fore and finally I had the strength to work through them.  And just as I felt that I’d laid that beast to rest then came the challenges of heart disease and cancer.

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A little over a month ago I finally accepted that physically I was right back at square one.  This body had gone through punishing treatment and I tried to convince myself otherwise.  I would head out with my running group on Tuesday evenings and the following couple of days my hips and lower back would be in total agony.

The strong core I had once possessed had effectively been destroyed by treatment.  With this admission a depression had set in….and as I am wont to do when this occurs I cried in many, many beer as I nibbled on pizza.

Yes, I was contributing to my own demise once again!

Oye!

I’m not one to wallow in self-pity, however, and in fact I have little tolerance for myself when I get like this.

And three weeks into training my core strength is returning.  The exercises Tamer has provided are excellent for core as well as whole body.  The workout above has many of the core exercises I’ve been working on .  Yesterday she had me take on the ropes.  These two ropes are about 15 feet in length.  Not to sure of their weight but you hold them in a squat position and can either wobble them back and forth (fabulous for the triceps) or up and down.

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She is pushing me and watching my form.  I am learning so much.  Here I thought myself so knowledgeable about fitness previously and well, in the last three weeks I’ve tackled several exercises that I’ve never done before.

If you are curious about any of the above exercise listed above please let me know.

On Friday evening I decided I really needed to replace the blender that had broken down a couple of months ago.  Heading out I found the Nutri Ninja which is what I wanted at a great price.  Later today I’m going to head out and load up on kale, spinach, and host of other goodies!  The veggie and fruit shakes are back, baby!  Yum!

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Thanks for stopping by.

Peace.

 

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Oil & Water


I managed to drag my butt out of bed this morning and made it to the gym.  Yesterday I went for a run which felt great.  I did all my menu planning for the week as well. My energy levels are still a little low and the sleep thing is a bit wonky still….but I’ll get there.
I have some kind of bug moving through me, however, as the voice right now sounds like I have been drinking whiskey for a week and smoked a carton of cigarettes to boot.  Neither of which I have or would do.  I had a decent workout then walked out into the rain and began walking down to the parkade.  It was bit like an ice rink as the oil had risen to the surface of the parkade entrance and yup, I decided to see once again if I could fly.

I walked away with a few scrapes but I think I’ll pull through.

Then I got to thinking about the whole oil and water thing and some things that have occurred lately.  Events as of late have given me some perspective on boundaries what I need to to.  At times I think I am totally misunderstood.  Case in point.  New Years Eve I attended a murder mystery party.  Having read the instructions, participants were encouraged to get into their role.  The character that had been selected for me was Kat Walker, a model.  She liked to wear minimal clothing and rub up against men.  Now most ‘cats’ do like to rub up against people.  So I thought ‘Okay, I can have fun with this.’

It wasn’t a big party.  Just 10 people in total.  I got into character and stayed in character as I assumed was expected.  And I just had fun with it.  A bit of drama occurred that I didn’t see coming but I dealt with it and just carried on.  I danced and just let loose.  Later I came to understand that one of the women thought I was coming onto her husband as we did dance quite a bit.  In truth, I was hamming it up and played my character about a stereotypical as I could imagine a model would be.

I told everyone at the party that I only slept with rock stars.  I did my little come hither thing that I think perhaps a model would do.  I have watched America’s Next Top Model a time or two…research you know.  So I really tried to carry a level of superficiality with a mix of arrogance?  I thought I was a bit campy in my actions actually.

No, I had no interest in her husband.  It kind of hurts though when someone thinks ill of you in that regard.  I mean, you invite me to a party, give me a character to play (which I apparently did quite well), then think I am like that?

What I realized though is that not very many of the people at this party really know me.  I met the majority of them only one time before at a Halloween party where I was dressed up as a man, a totally different character was introduced to them that night.  So they don’t really know me.  I think I felt a false sense of comfort at this thing.  The girlfriend I went with, well we are really close.  We’ve been tight for the last 20 years now.   She knows me really well.

The woman hosting the party we both went to school with.  I have socialized only a hand full of times with her so I think perhaps I felt she knew me better than what she actually does.  So a lesson was learned that perhaps I should be a bit more conservative.  I know I can be over the top at times.  I know I have a wacked out sense of humour that not everyone picks up on.

In the last few years I have worked so hard on self and really trying to strike a balance, so yes, I picked up a few pointers about boundaries that evening.  The fine line between oil and water and you have to be careful that you don’t slip and fall.  If you do though, just gotta get back up, dust yourself off and move forward.

Did I do anything wrong that evening?  No.  I just had silly fun as I thought that was the point.  Not everyone shared in this mindset though.   I find it astonishing that anyone would see me as a potential threat.  I almost want to laugh at that. The idea of hurting someone is abhorrent to me.   Somewhere in that performance of mine I was misread and judged.  I guess that’s the thing that hurts a bit but I will chalk it up to experience and move on.

Enjoy your day everyone.

I am the wind…


I had really good workout this morning.  I really kicked it.  I get into these zones where I am just focused on breath and light and every little sensation and thought that moves through me.  I have been, over the past little while, very cognizant of our connection to each other and everything around us.  Funny how we think we are isolated and alone.  We are not.  If there is pain, it is universal and felt by all.  If there is joy it too is universal and felt by all.  And the great healer for all of us is love.  That is most definitely universal and felt by all.  My point I suppose it that all these things exist.  We all share them.  It is our choice.  That I suppose is the operative word…choice.

I think for a long time I rejected love because I didn’t feel that I was worthy to receive it.  I chose to live in fear because that was all I had known.  And there were many, many people that lived like that as well and there still are.  That is not to say that I was this completely negative and brooding creature who shunned everyone.  Quite the contrary, I have always been friendly and have always had a rather strange sense of humour.   But yes, I was likeable enough.  It was how I felt internally.  I had pulled myself away from that connection to our life source.  I had cocooned myself in a blanket of doubt and stayed there.

And then I ran a race and I finished it.  A thousand doors opened that day and I became the wind and the air and the rain.  I was the sunshine and the dew on newly sprouted leaves.  I made a connection, quite accidentally or was it?  But I made a connection to what at that time, I didn’t know.  Looking back I can see that the shift within has been going of for quite some time.  I just wasn’t aware of it.  Now there is this delightful exuberance that I feel.  I still am not too sure how to stay plugged into this beautiful energy all the time and I don’t even know if you can stay plugged in all the time, but it is so sweet.

This morning as I was working out, my knees were feeling a little rickety. And I just started to breath and really tried to think about my knees as being fluid.  The pain I was feeling subsided and I just closed my eyes and focused on the movements that my body was working through.  Just really focused on each muscle as it expanded and retracted.  Felt the breath move through me and deliver life to every cell.

And it was just so cool.  I felt like the wind on this grey and rainy Vancouver day.  I felt so strong and fluid.

Tonight I will be with my run group.  We will be doing intervals which is speed training.  So perhaps I will see if I can adopt the wind for this little venture tonight.  I will keep you posted.

Enjoy your day!

A fristy frosty morning it is….


What an absolutely beautiful morning!   And my camera is at home.  I really have to make it a point to keep it with me at all times because I am always seeing something really fabulous and making the proverbial “If only….” statement to myself.  The sky is clear in Vancouver…the Lions are covered in white and there is a pink glow on them as the sun begins its ascent.  There is a low fog on the water that makes it seem otherworldly right now.  During the drive in to work….I am at an elevated level and descend into this beautiful mist that…. while it is receding now…just adds that  sense of wonder.  I have this really strong urge to just go and play in it but work trumps play…at least for now.

Next week I will be changing up my running  schedule to three times per week.  I am ready for it.  Today is my zen day…I will be doing Yoga and and the knee is feeling pretty good.  It is probably at about 95% in terms of being completely healed from my fall a few weeks back…though the discoloration is still there.  One thing I am finding being on a blood thinner is that I don’t seem to have to do much to get bruised.  Now the thing is I am one of those people that is constantly smacking into counters….drawers….etc.  Never really thought that much about it in the past.  It was never really an issue…but now I will get up and wonder what the hell I did because I will be sporting yet another bruise.  They don’t hurt…they are just there.  A little annoying actually.  Perhaps I will become a bit more coordinated and mindful throughout this process as well.

It has been a good week.  Next week our run leader, Lara, will be showing us some core exercises that we can add to our work out regime.  I am currently really wanting to step that portion of my workout up a notch.  My daughter showed me this website called Tough Mudder.  They have this event everywhere apparently and it will be happening up in Whistler, BC.  To me I think it a bit nuts and extreme…but that’s just me.  The idea, I suppose, that at the end of this literally grueling obstacle course, and there are 22 obstacles to be completed,  you have to run through live wires and perhaps get shocked with up to 10,000 volts of electricity and run through fire…not my thing.  Still, for many I guess there is some inherent desire to accomplish…challenge themselves at such a level.   But I digress…she showed me the training format leading up to the event…and while that too would be a little bit too much…I could certainly take some of it and modify it to my requirements.  They had this treadmill running thing on there….but I don’t really like treadmill running….but I could do it outside….so I will have to give it a good review on the weekend and see what I can incorporate into my regime.

Time to start the work day…then I can go play in the mist.  Enjoy your day everyone.

The OMG factor


I doubled up yesterday on the exercise thing and did an aerobics class last night to complement the gym work out in the morning.  It felt really good and the nice thing with this class that I attend from time to time, is that I get some new ideas for the gym routine.  I have done well this week.  I am definitely feeling much stronger and the leg is improving daily.  By next week I will hopefully just have some discoloration.   I am now down almost five pounds from two weeks ago so this good…that is about the pace I was looking at.   So I will continue to weigh-in weekly to ensure that I am being consistent in this regard.

It was so windy this morning…and of course, my hair did everything it was supposed to do and for a nano second I had the hair thing going on and actually looked quite good…then I walked outside and it all went for……ah well.  No point complaining.

Then I looked up at these beautiful pink and white clouds overhead and gazed over at the snow covered mountains that had that OMG thing going on.  The different hues that were radiating such warm pastels just took my breath away.  And I smiled thinking that if all I had to worry about was my hair…then I was doing pretty good.  I just love watching the sun rise in this city…mind you…I like watching it set as well.  There is something about early morning though.  Soon I will be able to run on Friday mornings again.  Totally looking forward to that.  I will likely begin this in a couple of weeks so that will have me running three times per week.

I am debating doing an 8k in March…as the Sun Run is in April this year…and I thought the Harry’s Spring Classic might be a fun little thing to do.  I think once I am running three times a week again I would like to start making Sunday’s run in different locations.  I will have to start looking into this and planning as it tends to materialize when I do plan it out.  It always makes it more interesting when I run in different locations.  I think that is why I cannot stand running on a treadmill.  I don’t like it at all.  What I do on the treadmill is power walk and I find that really helps my hip flexors…but run on it.  Nah!   I like running outside…period.

So I will get back to work now and start this fine day.  Have a fabulous day everyone!

….Ahem, that’s Fartlek if you please!


I had a really good run last night with my group and I am happy to inform you all that I have given up body surfing on cement!

Fortunately the rain let up a bit…at least until we were all hot and sweaty then you kind of welcome it at that point.  We ran a fartlek last night and anyone unfamiliar with this term it is basically when you run in a series of 30 seconds, 45 seconds & 60 seconds.  For 30 seconds you will run at about a mid-range pace…for the following 30 seconds you sprint…then the same format with the 45 seconds and 60 seconds…then repeat the entire process.  The fartlek exercise itself is 20 minutes in length or so.  This is an excellent conditioning exercise.  I am not great at it, but I have certainly noticed how quickly I recover with my breathing doing this drill.  Our group leader, Lara, is a brilliant woman when it comes to the science of running.  She is exceptionally knowledgeable.  I have been assured by her that there are in fact five (5) running zones…I think I may have two of them down and those  zones are slow and slower…

Actually I am doing quite well with the whole thing now but I can tell you when I first started running again…back in February 2010…listening to Lara talk, well it was a new language to me.  I had never really thought of the dynamics that are involved…I had never really thought of it as a science.  But it is.  I hope at some point that I will be such a finely tuned runner that I will be able to master all the different run zones…but at this stage I am still learning…and developing.  I don’t know that I will ever want to do a marathon.  I might do a 1/2 marathon at some point….I have done the 14k and I loved that.

This morning when I woke up I was laying in bed and thinking the time was likely close to the alarm going off.  I laid there for a few moments then checked the time…5:17 AM blinked back at me.  I jumped from the bed and threw my gym clothes on….I had forgotten to set the alarm!  I am usually up at 5:00 AM.  I have a pretty good internal clock…thank goodness!   Or at least I did this morning…I don’t want to have to test this theory too many times, though.  The work out was good and intense this morning….

Tomorrow I will do another weigh-in, as I did want to set this up as a Thursday venture.  My diet has been quite good actually….so hopefully the results that I am looking for will start to materialize.  Then it will off to get my Cholesterol levels tested.  Hopefully this will give me a good snapshot at where I am a month into this regiment health wise….

It is rather gray out there…but then this is Vancouver….and this is a typical winter day…I will have to go for a walk at lunch and enjoy the fresh air.  Have great day!