Category: Fitness

May you live in interesting times

It’s all a bit mad isn’t it?

I’ve been reminding myself over the past couple of weeks that it’s okay not to get some things done. It’s fine to have a lazy morning, or afternoon, or day. We’re not in dire straits and this feckin thing is going to be a marathon. I was saying to Herself the other day that another National lockdown looms – but then I said hang on, we don’t go anywhere anymore so what would change for us?

It’s definitely a bit mad.

Regular exercise is helping. I’m in the fourth week of a five week program. Then I start a twelve week one. It’s four times a week currently then I use the rowing machine on the off days. In fact I’m writing this post to specifically delay a thirty minute row – because I’m tired today 🙂 It’s good, it’s working. Although I’m beyond the ‘new and fun’ stage and well into the ‘Let’s show you where you’re quite weak’ phase. It’s my hamstrings. They’re like bloody ships cables. So when I’m doing Yoga Herself dies laughing as apparently “Yer not getting my head down there cos it doesn’t go that far” is not something said during Yoga sessions.

It’s certainly what I say.

Squats are bloody evil things as well – but it’s all helping.

I’ll have to crack on with clearing the house out soon as well. I’ve had about a month off. That’s the handy thing about writing here – you can look back…yes, September 8th was when I’d made it acceptable. But still so much stuff to clear out if we want to have the renovations done next year. Everyone approaches grief in a different way – and I think I’ve figured out how Herself is approaching Hers. Any discussions about it raises her stress levels to eleven out of ten. It’s down to me to crack on with it, sensitively, and then she’ll join in. A perfect example is we have a very tall freezer, and a half freezer thats part of a tall fridge/freeze combo. And it was packed. Which is quite odd for two people. Especially as I use a freezer only for frozen chips and ice for my drinks. But it’s never been sorted through. It was a tiny little bit of stress for me that added to a few tiny little bits of stress. You see one of the drawers had frozen food that her Mum had made. Two years frozen is enough though. I’m fond of an experiment but even though she insisted she’d still eat it – I didn’t fancy witnessing that. So the other day I cleared the whole thing out – just before the binmen came obviously (I’m not daft).

“It’s done”

“Was it really bad?”

“There was fish in there that was best before 2017…”

“Oh”

“And a leg of lamb…unknown date”

“Thank you”

We’re getting there. Once the house is cleared and renovated we can then get a dog. We both desperately want one. I still miss my other dogs. So it’s a bloody good driving force.

Time for rowing. Maybe I’ll have another cup of coffee first…

Namaste

We have a decent amount of fitness equipment in the house. Pull up bars, Bosu ball, bench, rowing machine, kettlebells etc.

So not exercising comes down to mental blocks rather than ‘Cant get/be arsed to the gym’. We’re doing quite well with it. Exercise every other day.

I downloaded an app ‘Fitify’ to try as it allows you to add your own equipment. Free trial for five days and then £53 a year afterwards. I think I’ll be buying it.

I did some Yoga for a wind down. It murdered me. Jayzuz how much can one man sweat? And me balance is not great at the best of times! I needed to do it though and I need to do some more. I’m finding it tight to raise my right leg. Not painful, it just doesn’t go as high as it used to. Of course I looked it up online and no doubt I’m heading for a hip replacement – but the more likely reasoning is I’ve sat on my arse too much this year.

Jayzuz that yoga is a bugger though. Namaste – even though I didn’t feel very bendy afterwards…more collapsey.

I’m an eejit #136

So I went for the bike ride. It’s just over 5km.

I was sitting finishing another cup of coffee. About 75% awake and thought to myself ‘Just get out there fella, you’ll feel better for it’. So I grabbed the Brompton (only the second time I’ve been out on it) and put it together. Wondered why the steering was a bit wobbly and then remembered to fasten the frame together.

“Ha! I’m a bit of an eejit” thought me.

Then I went for a ride and it was painful. Good god how unfit have I got in lockdown? The hills were just awful. The Brompton’s six gears are a little tricky and only when I got back did I realise that I’d mixed them up. So didn’t use half of them.

Practice makes perfect though right? But jayzuz it was a tough ride. A women passed me on the road on her bike with a cheery “Morning!”

“Morning!” Says I back. Wondering why in three months I’d got so unfit and also couldn’t work my gears. I was normally the person passing people on bikes.

Eejit right?

Well I got home and thought I’d better check the tire pressure. They didn’t seem too bad. Brompton tires need about 4.5 – 7.5 bar in them. Quite a lot. What’s the pump say they’re at?…

0.5 bar each.

Lads. It was basically like pedalling a tractor up the hills.

I’m an eejit. But a little more relieved that I’m probably not that unfit.

Let’s not speak of this again.

It’ll be good for me…

Morning,

The feels like temperature is 14 degrees. That’s not exactly what I expect from June weather. It rained again last night. Still damp outside.

But I’m going to go out for a quick ride on my bike. Not the Pashley but the Brompton (because I got it just before lockdown and haven’t really used it).

Cardio exercise, it’ll be good for me…I’m sure. Twice around the neighbourhood before I get bored. Should be about 4 miles.

It’s a start.

One more cup of coffee first.

First run

It wasn’t the first run. I’ve ran a lot in my life. But I haven’t ran at all this year. Christmas was a lot of feasting and generally being merry. So I was starting to feel the effects and needed a little bit of exercise. Something that didn’t involve opening a bottle of wine or just walking to the fridge. It’s been a very hectic and busy year. We all get the same amount of time in the day – but running just wasn’t on the agenda (excuses, excuses).

Jayzuz it was awful.

I remember when I was a child I ran everywhere. Nothing like just running and running and feeling like you can go on forever. I still remember that feeling, so surely a thirty minute run will be no problem? A gentle jog, it’ll be easy.

That thought lasted about 500m before the ‘Oh, this is going to be awful’ thoughts started.

My heartrate went up to 142 and steadily climbed for the rest of the run. Every bottle of booze I had consumed this year was metaphorically strapped to my legs. At the mile mark my brain started with the “Why? Why? WHY?!” and that’s when Spotify decided to quit playing through my running app. So it was me and just very heavy breathing to get me through.

But I had decided to go for a thirty minute run. Fifteen minutes along the country track next to our house, as soon as I hit that mark, then turn back. It wasn’t a big or complicated target. No distance or pace involved. Just run for fifteen minutes, turn around and get back home.

I didn’t enjoy it. I stopped to walk a number of times. I only managed 2.6 miles. My heart rate was maxed out most of the time. I was at least four minutes off the pace I used to have. So many things to be disappointed at. But I did it. I didn’t sit on my arse and watch TV. Even though it was blowing a gale. I set myself a very simple task and didn’t think much beyond getting it done.

I always ask myself ‘What do I need to do next?’. It can be the simplest tasks or most complex project but if you ask yourself that, then it breaks it down rather simply. In this case: pick a time for running, put my kit on, stop whining like a baby and push start on the app and get out of the door, run for fifteen minutes, turn around, run home.

I’m glad I did it. Not my best run. But I can try and beat that time on the track for the next run.

Same thing as writing a blog post. Instead of thinking ‘What will I write about?’ for days. What do I need to do next? Sit down and write – doesn’t have to be brilliant.

Little steps make habits etc. Both good and bad.