Icy mornings, bung knees and strokes. Lots of strokes.

Running

I once heard someone say “as long as you actually get moving, it doesn’t matter what you wear. Exercise, and all its benefits, can be achieved as long as you just go and do it”.

Well kids, that person was a big ol’ liar. For the last two weeks (since arriving in the UK) I’ve been trying (important word that, trying) to get back to my previous fitness level. With another half marathon to work towards, I’ve been strapping on trainers and heading out into the FREEZING London streets as many mornings as I can muster the courage (not many).

I’m pretty sure it’s the eight weeks of doing very little and the sharp change in temperature from my normal training that’s contributing to my… well.. diabolical running ability. But I also think that it’s because I’m in all the wrong gear.

You’ve heard me harp on about my love affair with Skechers. The GoRun is just a perfect match for me (and probably you too – seriously, give it a go). You can read my in-depth reviews/love letters here and here (I’m smitten). Unfortunately, with the boy watching over (aka lording over) my packing for our South East Asian adventures, they didn’t make the cut. A 10 year old, overused and muddy pair of Nikes did. With the convincing reasoning behind the boy removing my fave trainers from my pack being that “I wouldn’t mind if the others got lost/dirty”. All through our intrepid journey, the boy was right. But now I am here, and my runners aren’t, I’m in huge distress.

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Two weeks of shockingly mediocre runs with bad shoes (featuring none of the right support), and my knee has actually given in, I’ve strained my ITB (google it, its far too boring for me to explain here) and I am now BED RIDDEN*.

Luckily, my one true loves are slowly making their way to me via a shipping container full of other stuff that we deemed important enough to send to the other side of the world. I imagine (upon arrival) I will probably look at the painstakingly selected items in disgust, questioning why on earth I chose to spend actual money, time and energy sending it… all except my beautiful Skechers. I will caress them. Cuddle them. Love them. And yes, I will prob even give them a little stroke. (Stop judging me).

I’m pretty sure, once reunited with my GoRuns, I will be able to whiz through my training. Right? Yeah. Its definitely the shoes and not my lazy butt. For sure.

Gulp.

*Okay, so I’m not ACTUALLY bed ridden. But walking is tough, going up stairs is tougher and if I want to get any sympathy (and maybe breakfast in bed) from the boy I have to say things like “bed ridden”. Ok? Cool. Glad we’re on the same page.

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Weightlifting, ass class and hundred dollar bills.

CrossFit

I thought that I didn’t quite have enough fitness fads going on in my life. You know, paleo, bikram, running, gyming and sugar free. I felt like my health plate was looking a little empty (yes, yes, I’m a crazy woman), so I signed up for a month of CrossFit.

Yup. CrossFit. That fitness buzz that has been labelled a ‘cult’. The one with daunting pictures of people lifting weights bigger than themselves. Well, I thought I would give it a go.

They don’t really let you join a CrossFit gym without doing an intro course. It makes complete sense, because a lot of CrossFit workouts involve heavy lifting, and you need to be doing it right or you will get hurt. So, don’t skip out these and think you will sale on through. You will probably die*.

I am just over two weeks through my four-week intro (at CrossFitNZ) and I must admit, I’m kind of addicted. I wish I could give a full CrossFit class a go, just to get a proper gauge of the intensity. What I am doing right now is a lot of learning, recapping and then short bursts of the most intense exercise I’ve ever done.

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I’ve never been into motivational quotes. Especially the kind you are meant to say in your head when running up a particularly difficult hill. In fact I usually take the piss out of them, and the people who use them. But, at my last CrossFit session, the workout was so difficult; I found one slipping out (well out into my brain – I didn’t actually say it out loud, that would’ve been a new level of workout geek that I am so not ready for).

What was my mantra I hear you cry? To help me get through my last 400 metre sprint I was saying “you will only let yourself down” in my head. Sounds a bit negative for a motivational quote doesn’t it? Strange that. What I was refer to was my deep desire to skip half the run. You see, no one was watching me. The run was like a lap outside the actual gym and I was a sufficient time behind the guy in front, and ahead of the guy behind me, that I could have cut a corner (or three). And my entire sore and exhausted body was begging me to do it.

I must admit, I suffer from this thought a lot. Like when I’m my regular ‘Rear Attitude’ gym class (or as I like to call it, ass class), and they say do 100 squats… its not unusual for me to just skip 10. I am competitive and I like being first, being fast, beating the rest, and as horrid a characteristic as it is, I am wiling to cheat to get there. (Now before I get a million complaints or fist waggling complainers, when I say cheat, I mean in a very superficial, picking up an extra $100 when I pass go on Monopoly, kind of way. Not like writing the answers to exams on my arm sort of way.)

Well, last week I wasn’t willing to cheat and I did run every single INCH I was meant to. Because you know what? My CrossFit trainer doesn’t care. It doesn’t change his life if I fudge a few metres on my run. It’s me, and my body, we are the ONLY people who loose out if I don’t do the full workout.

So, although I wish I could be pushed harder, faster and improve quicker in these four weeks, I think the lessons starting to come out are invaluable. Because the truth is, if I don’t do the work, I won’t see the results I want, and thats all on me.

In conclusion, good people of blogosphere, learn from my mistakes and don’t skive off on your workouts. It doesn’t matter if you finish last, first or not at all, just push your absolute hardest and next time it will be a little easier and you will be a little better.

Also, don’t judge me on the cheating thing ok? I admitted that shit on the internet man, that takes balls. And, as well as admitting it, I promise to not do it again! Except for with Monopoly. I will win at Monopoly always, and if it looks like I won’t, I will wait till you aren’t watching and flip that board so fast you won’t know what hit you.

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*Or for those of you who are not complete drama queens, you run the risk of hurting yourself. Or at the very least, embarrassing yourself in front of the cool kids in a naked-nightmare-in-the-school-cafeteria way. Except with clothes on. Hopefully.

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