There is no Finish Line...

After my run yesterday, I could have crawled into my bed and cried. Talk about going backwards and painful: I was so slow and my shins, my word they hurt. Instead, I slapped on some Tiger Balm and made a phone call. I've got to the point where I need advice. But again, whose can I trust?

There's so much information out there and so much of it is conflicting. Like many other industries, the fitness industry seems to have fallen into different camps that really don't talk to each other and spend a lot of time slagging everyone else off. They want you to spend your money with them exclusively. Throw diet into the equation and Oh My Goodness, welcome to hysteria. 

I picked up and called a gym wanting a proper fitness assessment. When I picked up the phone I thought having a proper assessment of my heart rate and VO2 max would be useful to me as a bench mark. Instead, I got a consultation. I think it was a good outcome. I went down there to have a chat and a look around last night.

The gym itself is small, shabby and smells of sweat and testosterone. Boy knows it's reputation as a body builders gym and was immediately concerned. When you go in, you immediately see the weights. Lots of space to lift. There are a few machines and the obligatory mirrors. The cardio machines are out back. I didn't bother to go there. It always seems to be a surprise to some. I'm stroppy enough that I enjoy the surprise.

My consult was with a young, strapping, dreadlocked, dude. He listened as I told him what I wanted. 

Apparently, what I want requires a bit of adjustment on his end of things. Because I want strength and speed and flexibility. Apparently, it's more normal to want one thing and to focus on that thing. I think that's just mainstream blinkers and laziness from their programme design end. From my own tiny bit of experience, I know I got on much better on the bike, after I did my exercise DVDs. Yes, in order to be a better runner I do need to pound the miles on the pave. However, if my legs, core and arms are stronger and work more efficiently, I will be able to bring power to my running. Something, I don't have a lot of right now. There are some who say more muscle mass means slower. If it means better endurance and an ease in the aching in my shins, I'm totally cool with making the trade off. But something tells me that won't be the case.

I don't think I will be ready for the Norwich Half Marathon this year.

This realisation irks me no end. I would have loved to have been able to run it this year. It would have given me great pleasure to have done it. To be able to run against the regular runners at work. But there you go. That's about ego.

The goals I've set aren't about this year, or even next. I haven't given myself a time limit. I will do those 13.1 miles and when I run them I'm going to do it from a position of strength, not a position of ego and desperation to prove myself. The miles aren't going to go anywhere. But if injure myself or knacker myself in the training I won't be able to do it; I'll get pissed off and stop.

Fitness for body beautiful doesn't interest me at all. If I was that bothered about my general appearance, I suppose I'd have lived my life a lot more differently. I'm not also particularly interested in fitness for fitness' sake either. I don't want to turn it into doing a DVD, running on a treadmill reading a magazine. I tried that and could never make it stick. I'm not doing it for the weight-loss. I'm smack bang within the bell curves of weight for age and BMI. Yes, I'd love to drop half a stone (that's 7 lbs for you over the water), I'd love to be size 8. But realistically, I'm probably going to gain a half a stone with the strength training. My body shape has already started to change, even with the light and gentle start. 

By the way, lifting weights is unlikely to turn me into Arnold Schwarzenegger. Women tend not to build muscles like men, unless they are dropping steroids. Not enough testosterone. 

I'm doing this so Dave and I can go biking in the summer. When the weather is good, we can take off on our bikes and go have afternoon tea in a small village tea room a couple of villages over. Dave also fancies walking the coast of Norfolk and I'd like to be strong enough to do it and carry my share of equipment. There may be camping involved. But we'll see how that goes.

The running...well the running is for me. I bloody love it and I want to see how fast I can go, how far I can run. I belt out of here and the pleasure of running in the early morning, before the World is up and at 'em, it's all mine.

There's a race around Fritton Lake in May that looks interesting. It's a 5k, perfect. I'm also going to look for a 10k later in the year. Dave and I have laughingly started talking about triathlons and I confess, I'm more than a little bit curious. I'm not sure I'm brave enough to race on a bike, nor is my swimming good enough for that level of competition. Hell, I can barely stop myself drowning. But it's a nice fantasy. 

I've booked 3 PT sessions next week, stupid o'clock in the morning before work. I had a think about things and I'm going to have to hold off on the running for the next few weeks. I'm going to be asking a lot from my body and I've also got to be sharp enough for work. Gently, gently is the pace right now. Get my strength routine bedded in and then back to the running. It feels like the right thing to do. That's the plan at any rate. I'm sure Life has a stack of spanners to throw at me.


  1. Goodness me; I had no idea exercise was so complicated. I am, as ever, impressed by your determination to achieve your goals.

    1. I think exercise is as complicated as you make it. For example, you could just do a brisk walk for half an hour every day and that could do just fine and dandy.

      Personally, I like gadgets, techie stuff and biometric information. For me, logging all the information and seeing how it changes over time, well, it's like shoes for some women.

      I know people who go to their local gym, pound an hour away on the treadmill, reading a celebrity magazine and are perfectly happy with it.

      Until now, I never found my motivation for it. I needed a reason: fitness gives me the ability to do more fun stuff!

      Yes, I'm weird. I'm okay with that. :D xxx

  2. Anonymous10:49 pm

    Roses, I'm just flatted. Talk about larchs and owls and that - hey, I'm mother owl. Your determination and developing of skills is just admirable. Do me a favour and do not overdo things, gently pushing the limits will surely be better than just jumping in - but of course, you know better what you can do and take.
    Again, I'm really gobsmacked.
    I have no clue about heart rate and stuff, all I know it goes up - and a healthy heart gets it down pretty fast again. When I walk around the hills all I watch is that after a steep incline, when I am huffing and puffing, it takes always a little less until I am back to normal and can keep on going. Longer brakes in excercise mean that this phase gets longer, but when one is in, better results come within days.
    Do take care for your joints (knees and stuff), good shoes may work wonders. And that's it from this owlish couch potato.
    Again, meine aufrichtige Bewunderung !

    1. Oh bless. I appreciate your concern and be reassured I am taking it slowly and at my own pace. I know I could progress faster, but I want to progress longer and for the long-term. Injuring my knees and back is to be avoided.

      You're absolutely right. The heart is a muscle and must be pushed gently with exercise to work more efficiently. The more you exercise, the more efficiently your heart works and recovers.

      I may scrimp on many things, but never on my footwear.

      Thank you my darling. xx


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