By the Power of Grayskull, I now declare this rest period over!

Yep – that should do it.

But just in case, I’ll also pull out my magic wand (Expecto…Rest-o-stoppus?) and add a sprinkle of fairy dust. That always works…right?

Actually, there’s a lot to be said for rest periods – any runner will tell you that they’re important for recovery.

Example: Run 10k, rest. (Easy, right?)

Nailed it.

I think you’re meant to run again after a few days… but whatever. I’ll leave the technical stuff to the experts.

I discovered I was really good at the resting part and got excited to have a new goal (I love being good at stuff!!). It does take a bit of dedication though – all of that distraction and avoidance is tough work.

Referring back to last year’s Diddly Squat challenge for a few pointers helped a lot, and I even reached Expert Resting Level recently (for those playing at home – that’s the stage where you can physically see your butt imprint in the couch cushions).

So having ticked off that goal, it’s time to set a new one:

Run (or do some other form of exercise) every day in June.

That’s right – it’s Juneathon time!

juneathon_participant_logo

 

 

 

 

 

 

I haven’t taken part before, but figure since it starts on the first day of winter, requires exercise every day, and I haven’t run in months, it’s really quite a sensible thing to do.

Logic has always been one of my strong points.

You do also need to blog – or microblog – about your Juneathon efforts every day, so I’ll be updating here and on Twitter.

I’m actually looking forward to it, and have my trusty treadmill and never-used rowing machine ready as backups on those too-frosty / too-rainy Tasmanian winter days.

Good luck to others taking part, and happy running!

 

Now where did I put my gear…?

The Walking Dead Workout

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In the spirit of mixing it up and trying new things, today’s exercise routine was brought to you by Season 3, Episode 10: Home.

Or as I discovered after about 25 minutes: ‘The One That Killed My Abs’.

It started off pretty slowly and provided more than enough time for a lengthy warm-up (walking / jogging on the spot) and a few stretches.

21 minutes in – it begins!  A baby cries (squats), a woman screams (burpees), and guns are drawn (push ups).  Then there’s barely any breathing time before it’s onto Daryl and his awesomeness ‘the living’ versus the Walkers (crunches, crunches and more crunches!).

I won’t go into a blow-by-blow, but let’s just say it was a fantastic way to get the heart rate up and the blood pumping.  There were times when I actually had to pause the episode just to catch up (those crunches!), and when baby Judith appeared in one scene I was silently willing her not to cry (saved by the bottle, luckily).

The planking was hard, but appropriate (a minute of silence for each of the fallen).

Then around the 38-minute mark came a van full of Walkers!  I swear the van was more like one of those ‘clown cars’ you see at the circus – they just kept coming and coming, and therefore so did the crunches.

So. Many. Crunches.

I never thought I’d say this, but there was a point I was actually on the side of the Walkers. Not for long, mind you – all I wanted was just enough time to stop my abs from screaming.

Then it was over (oh, the relief).

I’m really thankful that there was no assigned exercise for ‘Feeling like you want to hug or *high five* Daryl’.  If that was the case I would have truly over-exerted myself (the guy rocks!).

Daryl Dixon

I’m not sure if I’ll attempt it again, but it was great to try something a bit strange new.  All-in-all it was a fun, challenging workout, and I can definitely feel it.

Oh, and not too many burpees (thank you, script writers) and that’s always a good thing.

Zombies I can handle, but burpees…they’re just evil.

Something spooked my horse and I fell off the wagon!

(There’s an excuse if I’ve ever heard one)

I’m referring to the exercise-and-healthy-eating wagon that has, up until now, been drawn by a calm and very patient horse.

My trusty companion is now nowhere in sight.  He bolted about a week ago and is somewhere off in the distance – hence my thinking he’s been spooked (why else would it have happened?).  Meanwhile, I’m nursing bruises from having to do a ‘commando roll’ to safety (OK, not really – but what’s a bit of exaggeration between friends, right?).

Photo: Fall from wagon

We’d been getting on so well!

Sure, there’s been the odd bump in the road along the way, but nothing that a bit of coaxing (on my part) and slowing down (on his part, to let me catch up and jump back on) hasn’t fixed.

Rocky roads will do that, especially at the start of your journey when you’re both finding your way.  After a while though (when the initial saddle-soreness has eased), you’ve established a routine, and even feel comfortable enough to try new trails, to ‘up’ your pace, or stop to and re-evaluate where you want to go next:

“5km in one go?  OK, horse – let’s do it!”

“Train for 10km?  Are we up for it?  I guess we could give it a go.  Yes, yes – I’ll bring plenty of carrots.”

…so what have I done about it?

Let’s recap this week’s thinking about horse-searching efforts:

Monday: Ah, he’s just off somewhere having a rest.  We’ve been working really hard and deserve an extra day off. Besides, I start my new job today and that means getting into a new routine.

Wednesday: I’m too tired to look for him, but I’m sure he’s fine.  I’ll look tomorrow.

Thursday:  I’ll look after I meet my friends for breakfast.  It’s only been four days, that’s nothing! (I actually told them I was going home to exercise.  Nope, didn’t happen.)

Friday:  It’s too hot.  I’ll just sit here eating chips and drinking wine hoping he will come back.

Sidenote –  If you search for ‘crap’ in MyFitnessPal (as in, ‘I ate crap today but better track it nonetheless’) it comes back with actual results.  I personally went with the ‘Big Pile of Crap’ option.

Photo: MyFitnessPal

Which brings us to today.  Saturday.  At the moment, I’m feeling guilty and disappointed. I did a new PB at parkrun last week (32:35!) but today didn’t even make it to the starting line.

I know it’s only been six days, and that in the whole scheme of things it’s nothing – a mere blip!  I also know that the excuse of ‘something spooked my horse’ is just that – an excuse.  I am busy, I’m trying to fit things in and create a new routine, and I’m tired.  Apparently that also translates to: I need to blame something, and a spooked horse fits the bill nicely, thankyou.

I thought I had planned well enough for change, but as it turns out, writing ‘exercise’ in your calendar at the 6:00am slot doesn’t magically make you get out of bed (I know – I was really surprised as well!).  Especially if your routine has previously involved exercise at 8am (or thereabouts).

So in reality, it’s more feasible (and honest) that I jumped off the wagon willingly, then smacked my horse on the rear: “Go on!  Explore – I’ll come for you later.”

The learning:  slip-ups will happen, but they don’t mean it’s over.  I need to own it and move on.

Luckily, there’s another group training session on tomorrow afternoon (for the running program I’ve signed up for).  So that’s where I’ll start.

Sidenote 2:  The official Finale for the 12wbt program is being held in Melbourne this year on May the 4th.  My mind went straight to ‘Star Wars’ on hearing this news (I’m secretly hoping for a dress-up theme).  May the 4th be with you!

Photo: JFDI Star Wars

So for now I’m off to find my horse, jump back on the wagon, and…well…just do it (Jedi style)!

It’s all in the interpretation

Email from the lovely organisers of parkrun after today’s 5km event. 

(It’s OK if I edit to my own liking only pay attention to the important bits, right?)

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Sure, I came last. 

I also still struggled with the whole breathing thing again, but there were definite improvements on last week’s effort:

  • I jogged for 2.5 km before Smoker’s Lungs and Legs insisted on stopping for a time-out
  • I reduced my time by almost 3 minutes
  • I actually talked to the volunteers / officials as they passed on their encouragement at each checkpoint (instead of nodding and panting breathlessly). Admittedly they were only one-syllable responses, but still…

…and most importantly:

  • my track pants stayed up unassisted
  • my lungs were thanking me (quitting smoking is still a work in progress, but there’s definitely been a big improvement).

 

Being the last person to cross the finish line does have its benefits though.  In this case, in the form of a can-we-go-home-yet crowd cheering and clapping and generally making you feel like a rock star.

That bit was pretty neat.

In reality they were all probably thinking, “Thank goodness!  It’s cold / raining out here and now we can leave”.

But in the spirit of it being all in the interpretation (ie positive spin), I like to think it was more: “Yay to you, stranger we’ve never met!  Great finish, good on you for taking part, and hope to see you next week”!

So overall, it didn’t suck as much as last week, and my goal of actually being able to run 5km is looking more achievable.

It’s still early days (and there’s a long way to go) but I guess it’s not a bad effort for someone whose exercise 6 months ago used to be limited to walking the dog, occasional energetic bursts of can’t-find-the-TV-remote-so-have-to-get-up channel changing, and this:

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So here’s to persevering, to making slow-but-steady improvements, and to ‘chipping away’ at achieving goals. 

Good luck to you and to whatever yours may be!