Running on Ice

Okay then, time to be honest.

We are reaching a crossroads in the training regime. I used to kid myself I’d go and ‘run’ at the Gym, but actually it was all HIIT work, no more than 500 meters at a time. Then Blaze came along and suddenly I was forced to run for 3 minutes at a time without a break. That forced a rethink. So now, I try and run a KM at a time, with a break. This is proving quite hard.

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The red line there is my heart-rate, which sat steadfastly in the amber zone when flat out and does not appear to be capable of hitting red which is absolutely fine because honestly, I would have hurled. That, today was 1km on, 1km off, and me getting to 800 meters before my lungs pretty much told me to fuck off. I’m not sure how this gets broken, to be honest, other than exhaustion, recovery and then the same again. Building stamina is hateful. Yet, undoubtedly, something has begun to change.

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I’ve booked a second Blaze class. Not gonna lie, it is because the teacher made me feel really comfortable, and there’s a definite positive to having someone else teach me other than my PT. My membership supports this so frankly, it’s time to get my money’s worth. If it all works out next week, I’ll reorganise January’s exercise around the change. What needs to happen is more pushing, and less slacking, though considering the number of hours I now do, maybe a bit of slacking can go on over Christmas without getting too stressed.

We’ll have an overview at the end of December, i think.

The Comfort of Strangers

This article appeared at an apposite moment this morning, after a night of Blaze which was, for the first time, questioned as being worthwhile.

I went to Blaze without any kind of body monitoring: Fitbit was left at home, no heart rate belt was borrowed. The freedom this gave was, it must be said, quite considerable, and that’s the first point to make. This class’ main selling point is showing you  EXACTLY how much work you’ve done. I’ve monitored my exercise via heart rate monitors for seven years in January. SEVEN YEARS. I don’t need to know sometimes. It’s just more liberating not having the silent judgement there as an ever-present, waggling finger. If I am only in competition with myself, last night giving my mind a night off was a very sound idea.

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The second point is the notion of ‘enjoyment’: my husband asked last night if the class was fun. No, it wasn’t. I was so tired at the end everything hurt, struggled doing every exercise and even the running/jogging was, quite frankly, horrendous. At the end all that was wanted was sleep, and I couldn’t, because brain frankly refused to ramp down from the stress that was generated. However, this time around, that manifested far less externally and considerably more internally.

So, why bother if this is the result? Well, there’s been an important realisation overnight, meaning I am glad that the effort was made. This isn’t about the exercise, or the heart rate recording, or indeed around the other people that are taking part. Last night’s class was only seven people, and even with the reduction in numbers there was no change in the level of internal panic. This really is about how my brain processes information, and the translation of that into action.

My stress generates from what I’m being asked to do.

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I’ve been taught by three people thus far, all of whom have been informed in advance  about my comprehension issues. They all have been faultless in not only support but encouragement, but all of this is irrelevant. My frustration is the translation of what is seen into what needs to be done, and that it takes so much mental effort to transform that into the associated physical actions. So, this week in Blaze class I learnt that enjoyment may never ever happen if brain takes everything as an exercise in accuracy and perfection.

The biggest problem, it appears, is trying to achieve what subconscious considers as perfect.

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I’m booked for next week, and in the intervening period there’ll be some thought given to how enjoyment can be obtained, or whether it is in fact obtainable at all. The amount I have learnt since this journey was begun has far exceeded expectation, and makes a push out of the comfort zones more than worthwhile. Maybe if this were a younger me there could be the thought of being less harsh on myself… Life has become worth living thanks to the constant reminders just how miserable I was in the days when nothing was ever done that was frightening.

I was the problem, back then. Sure, there’s lots of other stuff that can be blamed, but ultimately had I know realised that it was up to me? We’d not be here at all. So, when you are capable of not only accepting shortcomings, but prepared to push past them… that’s what has to happen. Eventually, if the time is taken to listen to your own mind and soul, there are solutions.

The biggest problem of all, of course, is explaining this rationally to other people.

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Highlight of my week. Cheers @all_fired_up_pizza 🤩🤩

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Yesterday I ate light so I could accommodate this for dinner. I also did no ‘work’, which includes bike or weights. Therefore today I’ll do an hour’s badminton with the youngest, then a Gym session and finally my biking in one hit because yesterday everything in my brain and bones said ‘look, we know you have a plan, and rest is scheduled, but this is a day you just don’t, okay?’ So, instead I did laundry, cleared up the house and played old Sid Meier games, because sometimes DOS based GodSims are the only answer.

You see, I made a significant association yesterday that’s worth recording.

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At the start of this year I had the idea of learning to draw. It lasted until about March, when it became apparent there was neither time or desire to pursue this on top of everything else. Except, in the last week, a greater truth has revealed itself. I didn’t have the mental ability earlier this year to break down my issue: what that journey revealed was the means to obtain it. Surmounting Blaze in the last month proves the practical skills are now possessed.

Maybe it is time to give drawing another shot, but under less scrutiny.

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I’ve had some great ideas in the last year, many of which have not been given the time and attention they deserve. There can continue to be an evolution of self and life, but some important lessons have been learnt; it would be remiss to not start to go back and pick out the best moments from the last twelve months from which to further work on. I don’t start my new regimes in January, because life is to short to put stuff off until the New Year. Next week, we’ll decide what changes and alters going forward, and that can start in December.

This really has been an amazing year.

Run for Home

191118Here’s the plan. The aim is five hours a week MINIMUM on cycle/treadmill. PT/Weights are counted separately. Thursday is Blaze. Wednesday and Sunday I play badminton with my daughter for an hour. Saturday therefore by necessity becomes ‘fuck me what was I thinking doing this’ Day.

Cycling: I’m on Week Two of an FTP Builder Workout Programme, that finishes December 23rd (just in time for Christmas.) Then I’ll free cycle for a bit. Needless to say, the difference to leg fitness is beginning to show, especially on the Badminton court.

Running: Trying to get up to 10 minutes a Gym session, using the same programme used for cycling so it can be tracked on Strava (see above.) Trying to juggle multiple recording devices for exercise is HARD kids, but it is only for my personal benefit and to then know how much I can eat as a trade off.

This is to finally allow me to run gradients for Blaze. It’s also to help up a woefully small lung capacity thanks to that bout of pneumonia just over a decade ago.

I’ll tell you what, sleep’s not a problem right now.

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If you wonder where I am in the next month or so, the chances are I’m sweating somewhere…

Why Worry

This is earliest I’ve been up on a Sunday for a while.

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Yesterday was in turn interesting and painful. However, the progress made is undeniable, or else I’d not be up now and here (though a lot of that has to do with one small glass of extremely potent blended spirits.) I’ll go buy some beer in the week, which is far less likely to present fever dreams if something is required to act as relaxant after a tough day.

BOY was it good though…

I’ve missed one day’s training on the bike this week, and so will do two and a bit hours today (probably in two lumps) to make up to five. However, that’s not the only significant piece of progress. I took my iPad to the Gym on Friday, and have organised Zwift’s new running tracks to help me overcome my issues with doing that in the Blaze class…

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It might not seem like much, but being able to run without fear’s been at issue for a while. Once upon a time I could do 1k in eight and a bit minutes. That’s largely unsustainable in a HIIT class and so I’m working on slower and steadier to begin with. We’ll aim for 10 minutes uninterrupted at about 7 kph and after that? Anything is a bonus.

Now, it is time for a cuppa and to plan the upcoming week.

Love Hurts

I hate Blaze. There, said it. There is no enjoyment in this exercise class, no satisfaction in completion. It’s not the experience that they’re selling it as. In effect, for 45 minutes a week, I’m sticking myself through mental torture. Last night, after being sick in the gym Car Park, there were less tears than last time. Assuming that each week there’s decreasing stress, we’ll keep doing it.

The physical benefits of this exercise form are now largely irrelevant.

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This is hard to explain, but I have to keep going. Most people would simply stop the stuff they don’t like, walk away and not go back. That would seem the most sensible and rational course of action. That can’t happen any more. It is too late in my life to keep turning down the things that seem too hard or complex. My brain needs to grasp why it matters to overcome these obstacles.

Enjoyment is not why this class was taken. This is not about proving I can either: the only person who needs convincing of capability is myself. This has evolved from a simple idea into something far more psychologically important. All those times stuff was given up and wasn’t kept going, every moment something was trashed because I didn’t feel good enough are all queuing up as a reminder. There is a goal you have not yet reached.

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At the end of each class, everybody gets together and does one of those ‘all hands in the middle well done you did good’ things. Thus far, there’s not been nearly enough of a decent performance to warrant being a part of that huddle. It is not right or correct for me to say the job has been completed, because it hasn’t. I can’t run up inclines like everybody else, but will be able to, eventually. It will take time and effort, but that is possible.

It is all possible, if time is taken to get fitness up to a level that the rest of these people possess. Sitting here now, writing this, there are tears not because this is frustrating or anger inducing, but because attempting to unlock years of suppressed sadness and unhappiness really is hard on body and mind. Trying to explain this remains incredibly tough. Doing that in a class of strangers is impossible.

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This week, yet again, it was suggested online that my attitude to certain situation smacks of victim blaming. I’ve been a victim, and am tired of not feeling in control. My means of dealing with that undoubtedly will not make a lot of people happy. I am sure some will consider this approach not only less than optimal, but quite possibly completely contrary to what would be considered as ‘correct.’

Nobody is telling you how to live your life. This is not medical advice. This blog is not authorised to dispense wisdom. Should you choose to ascribe to these lifestyle choices they will be painful, difficult and throw you into a measure of mental chaos. The result however continues to provide multiple positive effects, and a continued strength and belief in self-ability. NOT EVERYBODY IS THE SAME.

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Finding people who understand is tough, but it is getting easier. Being able to explain the issues helps, and then there’s the continued benefits of fitness on mind and body. In the end, we’ll just keep doing this class until it becomes habit, and maybe then it’ll become fun. For now, the pain and anxiety is part of what was signed up for. To overcome my fears brings greater strength and depth to a soul that has been overlooked for far too long.

Next week is already booked. Lets’ see if we can not cry at all for the entire evening…

Do I Do

WordPress have introduced an upgrade to their editing pane. Whether I like this or not remains to be seen: a user can still edit raw HTML, so that’s fine, and we’ll see how it goes as time goes on. However, I’m not here to complain about change [inevitable, unstoppable] but how I react to it. Right, how does one stick a horizontal rule in now…?

[EDIT: The new Editor won’t let me specify Twitter posting options. Until it does? We’ll stick with actual flexibility and not showy cleverness :D]


Witness the Fitness

I weighed myself yesterday on the home scales, which has not happened since mid-October. Part of the plan was to get myself out of the daily habit of micromanaging rise and fall, and that’s worked really well. In 25 days, I’ve lost no weight. I’ve not gained any either, which should be the bigger takeaway, but what has happened is a fairly drastic alteration of body shape.

So, tomorrow I’m gonna go do the bio-metric weight scale at the Gym, which will show a weight gain, as there is considerably more muscle than fat on me right now. The problem, going forward, is how the latter gets shifted from areas it has been stuck to for the last 18 years. The current health regime will have an effect, it already is. I haven’t ached this much for at least a year.

Five times a week on the bike as well as PT was doable for a few months last year before the arm was injured and it all fell apart. HOPEFULLY the same problem won’t present this year, though there have been a number of unexpected aches and trapped nerves as muscles grow beyond their normal dimensions. The key of course, is to make sure there is rest (Saturdays has no exercise at all, I’ll probably skip Gym training Tuesdays too after PT which now happens on Monday.

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Time to stop typing and get on with it, then.