Fitness Ups and Downs
Hey! I hope you had lovely weekends. First of all, thank you for you comments on my last post about weight loss and maintenance. I was actually quite nervous about posting it because weight is such a personal issue and while I’m more comfortable talking about my successes in weight loss, the fact that I still struggle sometimes is more difficult to deal with. It seems like a lot of you can relate, so thanks for your support.
Today’s post is about all things fitness related. There are some good things and some not-so-good things to tell you about, but I think I’ll start with the good.
Rediscovering an old favourite
When Virgin Active approached me about their #beyourpersonalbest campaign one of the things I was most excited about was that they offer Body Combat classes. A few years ago I was obsessed with Body Combat and did it three or four times a week. Then I moved cities and my new local gym didn’t offer classes.
After work on Friday I finally managed to get to a 45 minute class and I wasn’t disappointed. I’d forgotten what hard work it was though! Within minutes I was warm and sweaty, but I had a huge smile on my face. I love how much fun the moves are and I like imagining that I’m beating someone up. I’m quite mild-mannered in real-life, so throwing some punches is like having a bad-ass alter-ego.
I find Combat fairly easy to follow, although it took a few times to get the hang of some of the moves again. It was certainly easier to follow than Zumba! It’s also incredibly aerobic, so I got a real buzz from getting my heart-rate up. Combat works your upper body as well as the lower body and I was certainly feeling some muscle soreness in my arms, back and obliques for a few days afterwards.
I’ll definitely be going back when I can, although that might be in a few weeks’ time (see below).
Bridlington Half Marathon
I wasn’t looking forward to this one if I’m honest. The buzz of the Great North Run had worn off, I hadn’t trained very much, and I felt tired and a bit sore. I hadn’t tapered properly either and could still feel the after-effects of Body Combat. So, do as I say and not as I do, and make sure you rest up before a race and definitely don’t try a new exercise class two days before.
Anyway, on Sunday morning things looked positive. The sun was shining in Leeds and I was about to take the bus with fifty other runners from my running club. However a little way down the motorway things got foggy, very foggy, and stayed that way all the way to the coast. It was so foggy in Bridlington that I could hardly see my hand in front of me.
The race started on time and I trotted off at what seemed like a reasonable pace. I felt tight and sore from the start and was mentally thinking about ways I could drop out. After a few miles I found my stride and things didn’t seem too bad, although it felt like I was going slowly. I’d been told that it was a “flat” course, but it was actually more-or-less uphill for the first 8 miles! At least I couldn’t see the hills coming because of the fog.
The last three miles were rough because my right side felt so sore, but I kept going and although I wanted to walk I didn’t give in. Apparently on a clear day you can see the finish from miles away, but I didn’t see the flag until I was 100m away. I think that was actually a good thing because I just trundled along without that “so near, yet so far” feeling.
I didn’t wear my Garmin, so I didn’t know what time I’d done, I just hoped that it was under two hours. I was pleasantly surprised that I actually ran it in 1:55:30. Three minutes slower than GNR, but I felt so rubbish yesterday compared to a month ago in Newcastle that three minutes isn’t bad.
I’ve been told that it’s a lovely scenic race, but I wouldn’t know! I couldn’t even see the sea and I was standing right next to it.
Now I hurt
My legs felt sore throughout the race and very sore straight afterwards. We stayed in Bridlington for a few hours, then took the bus back. I knew when I got off the bus that my right leg was suffering. I’m not exactly sure which bit is injured – it feels like hamstring, IT band and piriformis combined. It’s stiff and sore when I first get up, but a bit better once I’ve moved around a bit. I know that I need to let it recover though.
My plan is to rest for a couple of days, ice, take ibuprofen and then see how it is. If it’s a bit better I will try some yoga and gentle cross-training later in the week. I’m then on holiday for a couple of weeks (yay!), so I won’t be doing any serious exercise. I’m hoping that by the time I get back I will be able to start training again.
My legs have been tight for a while, so I know I need to try and change something to get them feeling better. I’ve had two sports massages so far and I’m trying to warm-up and cool-down better. More yoga and strengthening may also help, but hopefully a period of rest will get me off to a good start.