Old Mutual Two Oceans 13.1M | Cape Town 26 Mar 2016


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Hello. Thank you for comments on previous posts, it’s been a while. I took a deliberate break after the Paris Half February this year, to concentrate on personal matters. I was very sad to put not only this race aside, but including the gym. But now, a month ago, I made the choice to apply for an overseas place and to handle both. I was delighted to get in and now only have my fitness and the cost of the flights to contend with!

It is said to be the Most Beautiful race in the world, how can I not combine my desire to see this place with a return to running? 

————- TRAINING THOUGHTS ————-

13 days countdown / 12 Mar Sat:
Run 11.9K – 82mins
From a week of day bookings and evening bookings of work, I was barely sleeping and hardly eating.  An old colleague wanted to me to use his guest gym pass and check out his gym. It was the Canary Wharf one which I found the clientele far too posh and standing around chatting all day, for my liking. I prefer gyms to be about sweat and hard work. I was barely stringing a sentence together, and quite light headed. These 24hours were to be mine. And as I tried to find the right spot to run, my mind had problems to drift, but soon I found the zone and I was delighted how much even though my brain was mush, I was immensely tired, I was able to keep going. I didnt pressure myself, but to just get out and about. Tomorrow I have work so today was a day for me.

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5 mins – on a water rower! ha!
The space in this gym and its facilities were great, just not for me and at that fee.
It was smooth, though as I was going on, the end of the duration, was very tough. The bar and it’s feet holders were much higher and different than what I’m familiar with on a normal rower. But still, nice to try.

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18 days countdown / 7 Mar Mon:
PT Training.

1) TRX Squat, row, lunge.

2) TRX Squat Bicep curl

3) Kettle bell swing

Repeat 1) 2) 3)

4) TRX Single leg Reverse lunge, knee raise
I fund this one hard, with my ankle wobbling, but I kept going.

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5) TRX Plank Pressup 30″
Hands flat down, arms straight, hips up. Hold. Use core.

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6) TRX, tap the other foot as I then lunge down, keeping chest up.

Repeat 4) 5) 6) 4) 5) 6)

7) Battle ropes. Much thiner, both together, as fast as I can.

8) Situp crunch
On floor mat Arms, above head, feet out. Lifting tucking legs in, I’m to pull up into a crunch, arms tapping the feet. 

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24 days countdown / 1 Mar Tues:
PT Training.

1) Knee lift raise.
A box in front, step onto it with one foot. As you plant your foot, drive with your other foot bringing your knee up as high as you can. Lower it back down and step back onto the floor. Repeat on the other side.
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2) Lunge with the Vipr bar above my head, then lower on to the same side leg. Stand back up with Vipr bar raised, and lunge forward with alternative leg, lowering, twisting the trunk of the torso to the other side. There and back.

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Repeat 1) 2)

3) Vertical jump.
Box in front, driving with both arms, to jump onto the box, landing as gently and silently as possible. Step down.

I felt invincible ha! At first it was very hard, as I refocused and had the new element of to do it with no sound, it made it so much simpler.

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Repeat 2) 3)

26 days countdown / 28 Feb Sun:
Run 6K – 40mins 1st Run Outdoors.
Definitely feeling my ankle very sore and stiff now a few hours after I’ve come indoors.

Agreed by PT to test the ankle outdoors. I knew I had to overcome this bizarre fear I’ve taken on. I couldn’t sleep Friday evening thinking about what if something went wrong? I decided to message PT and he was encouraging. Today It took me over hour and 40mins to get out the front door. I didn’t know if it was the fear or personal matters. Once the door banged, I was fine. I layered up, it’s been super windy at 4-5degrees, very brisk at 15mph and more, against the face and pushing the body. I had no idea of direction, but had decided I needed quiet and away from everyone, I chose to go visit Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, as I had always wanted to.

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The paths and varied slopes and twists and turns were ideal. I saw other runners and cyclists on this windy day and it made me feel motivated to keep going. I felt if I just aimed for a light jog, if I felt anything, I’d speed walk.

I was okay… and soon I was able to look away from the ground and look around me at the amazing sights and memories of 2012 London Olympics when these paths were packed in the crazy summer heat back then.

I first checked my watch and wow, I was surprised I had clocked past 20mins and I was fine. I carried on exploring, and I was glad I didn’t pick Victoria Park or Greenwich Park, as they would have been crowded with the usuals and with pushchairs. I needed a new place. I was getting close to 5K.. and I was feeling okay, that is the thing about running outdoors, is that whenever you get tired, you are faced you have to go back the same distance to get home, ha! I was good, and still mindful not to over do it or face possibility of another injury.

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I saw a runner ahead and started using him as a marker, only he suddenly stopped to walk and as I passed him, I wanted to urge him to carry on. My ankle felt it on sudden change of slopes going down hill or up, but I adjusted and soon was back on flat. The ground was a mix of tarmac and resurfaced with flat grit.

I paused a couple of times when i realised I was faced with construction sites blocking me, or when I came across these cool training points. ha! I couldn’t resist. very cool. Shame only these two. I’m sure there are more planted in and around the park.

I hope my ankle will be okay later.  Now more than 3 hours later and I can feel body feeling it now slowly, but more so of the ankle. It was a good thing to get out and about, I know I’ve also had problems with that, unable to get back out. Sunday and was glad I made use of my morning.

29 days countdown / 25 Feb Thur:
PT Training. Worked on squats today with the resistance bands to try and stop my knees doing weird things. I had an intense night of 1hr sleep before dashing off to Richmond for a early morning meeting which was so rushed in 50mins and then was stressed for when I returned to LAX gym, and needed to send off some emails, which made me 5mins late, sending files!

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I was to get used to moving forwards, backwards, sideways with this band in various places, pushing outwards with the knees.
• Remember to keep low and back upright. Knees out.

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Using quite a heavy bell, I was to sit back onto the box, bum up out and hips to hinge back to seat back. Shoulders pinched back and straight. I couldn’t seem to do this – arrgghh! I felt to myself my back was straight and the bar was in place. I’d align my elbows to my body. However on recording, we’d note that yes my back is straight, but as I rocked forward out of the box to stand and push upwards to stand, I’d rock too much forward and thus arching my shoulders and elbows and back are at an angle, and not vertical.
• When elbows are pointing down south, this will make shoulder pinch, making a resting place for the bar.

I was shattered. From a long day, mind wandering with work, body tired from restless lack of sleep, and eventful of personal matters pushed aside in my head.

I tried doing a run or slow walk on the treadmill, but no.. couldn’t even do that as my mind was just occupied and I’ve tried before where I would be just not focused and waste my efforts feeling frustrated.

30 days countdown / 24 Feb Wed:
My whole body is feeling it. Gosh I miss this feeling of pushing yourself hard. Body achy, but also is my ankle. It feels so stiff. Hmmm.

31 days countdown / 23 Feb Tues: Training
Had my Hepatitis A vaccine ready for South Africa. Visas all checked if needed. I’m also starting MyFitnessPal again to help with eating the right diet. Arrived early and wanted to test a more reasonable run today.

Run – 7.3km 42mins
Much better speed, was mindful of the ankle and despite feeling tired, I was in the zone as my legs, arms pumping felt natural and I felt that happiness of just sailing through. Coordinating my breathing and finding the rhythm that suited me to go on and on. I was tempted to speed up after 25mins, but I wanted to get myself used to it and learning not to over do it. I was also aware I had PT after this ha!

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Training
1) Vipr 10kg 48″ – Dragging
Haha. What was this? A ViPr weight. A cylindrical rubber tube of various weights was facing me.

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Tied to it was some TRX handles. With the two handles, bent knees, leaning back, using the hips, to thrust forward with the hinge and pull upwards and back, so I’d unfold upright and pull back the Vipr. With friction, it was harder than it looks, but once you try a few times, you get into a rhythm. Along the distance of the floor markings and back.

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2) Vipr 10kg 48″ –  Pulling
OH MY DAYS! I was to become my HERO!! haha. #GeoffCapes!! okay, minus the truck, but here I was, arms bent, close to body and I was to pull the Vipr down the track and back. Keeping momentum, back straight. Haha. LOVED IT.

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Repeat 1) 2)

3) Vipr 10kg 48″ – Push, Squat and lift
With the Vipr upright, I was to topple it by pushing it, then to walk forwards and squat down, keeping back straight and lifting the weight upright again. Down the track and back

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5) Vipr 5kg 40″ – Bear Crawl and Drag
Hated this! Starting in plank position, to crawl ahead, with the ViPr between my legs. Pause and underhand grip and drag the Vipr as hard as possible forward ahead of me. Then to crawl ahead after it, and repeat down the track with the right hand and back with the left hand. It’s exhausting as I grew wheezy and forgetting to breathe.

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6) Vipr 10kg 48″ – Side lunges
Facing the track, Lunging left, right hand reaches for one end of the Vipr and pulls up to vertical position. Then left hand would lower the Vipr, lunging with the right, making you slowly go down the length of the track as you alternate hands with side lunges. This was fun once I got in the rhythm and remembering which hand to which leg! Down the track and then back again.

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Repeat 1) 2) 3) 4) 5) 6) 1) 2) 3) 4) 5) 6)

From picking up momentum and rhythm, I learnt which ones to straighten back and which ones speed was your friend. I was getting very wheezy. It surprised me. It was the 5)Bear crawl one which had me each time and I hated it. It was so much fun this session I was laughing as I reach the end and PT would be there to help spin the Vipr around to go back up.

7) Ab Straps – Core strength
Suspended by these straps, tucked into the armpit, I was to let my legs drop, and from there perform knee lifts. x20.


8) press up shoulder touch
Arms below the shoulders, hips up, back straight, the idea was to raise one hand and touch the opposite shoulder. By faster tapping, this reduced the natural swaying of the hips and body so you work your core. x 20 seconds.

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Repeat 7) 8) 7) 8)

haha! BEST SESSION. I felt great. Shattered but definitely a work out. 5k run and got to be Geoff Capes! 31 days to go till half marathon. Yes I am nervous of uneven footing – but I am progressing. Grrrrr!! ‪#‎JenCapesFu‬ ‪#‎NoExcuses‬ ‪#‎NoGivingUp‬ ‪#‎Strengthen‬‪#‎BeatTheAnkle‬


32 days countdown / 22 Feb Mon:
Went for a sports massage to address my legs. I can feel the tightness prohibiting me from flexible movement in my calves. 30mins. New therapist. Was good. Sore on leaving as usual for rest of day.

Upping the desire for more cardio and training. A month to go. Not worried as such. Just the ankle, because of the way it just gives way, due to no particular strenuous exercise or vigorous movement at the time.

36 days countdown / 18 Feb Thu: Training
Been cooped up indoors, but also tied to my laptop. Four days of sorting out airport capsule, and time machine and two times of backing up, which meant unable to leave, as needed to check no disruption and power charged.

Run – 40mins. 6.3km
Went on-site basic gym to keep it up. Much different. Felt okay, but felt tired.

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38 days countdown / 18 Feb Tues: Thoughts
Yep. My body is feeling it the day after. Ha!

Saw this video by #OMTO Fantastic. How previous OMTO has 90% of their waste recycled. This year they are aiming to hit above that. Inspiring. Though It is worrying or strange that Cocoa Cola is being offered during the run? Quite strange. Then again I remember Copenhagen’s offering beer at the end!

OMTO – Run Clean

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39 days countdown / 15 Feb Mon:
With my PT’s comment of I’d better make use of the gym in his absence whilst he is away at a conference, I was eager to not let him down and get some cardio behind me. With not many days to go, it’s been a week or so after the 3rd minor re-injury on the ankle, I headed into the gym.. and OH. MY. GOSH. It was so packed, I’ve never seen (or felt that) packed! It was so warm from just the number of bodies packing all the gym equipment and it’s meant to be the largest gym in London City! Admittedly it was a Monday and it was bang on lunch time at 1240, more people were spilling out from classes on to the floor. After successfully finding a free treadmill, I looked down and hoped silently for my ankle to be okay. I thought, I need to at least stay on here for duration and stamina, if anything, like speed walk.

Training: 8.4km 60mins.
15mins – slow walk gradient
30mins – slow run – fast jog speed gradient
20mins – speed walk gradient
I watched, no felt, how my body was reacting. There was a pull on the ankle and side of the leg, but I checked and gaged how it was more of a ache, than a pain, and went through it. I don’t know if I was supposed to, but I carried on. If I felt a pain, I would immediately stop and walk it. I was very happy, creating a consistent pace and aiming for stamina. This would be new for me.

It was reassuring that my PT actually said I’m half fit and it’s only due to my ankle, that is limiting. I’m half fit! I don’t actually feel it ha! I used imagery to project how race day would be, I just needed to carry on and make it across the finish line. Thoughts of it would not be a flat surface was a reality to me, I would have to face. But I am / my ankle is getting stronger. People next to me were pounding on, sweating and determination, didn’t put me off this time, but made me keep on going.

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I then bumped into my friend DDB who was the one who had recommended the gym to me. Exhausted, I went on:

5mins – good row.
Rest
3mins – pathetic row. haha. My arms felt like jelly haha.

But overall, a good day. I know tomorrow I will feel it…

43 days countdown / 11 Feb Thur:
No training today. This week off work, but was “on call” with work. In ways, it frees up time to properly rest the body and brain, and especially my ankle, but I also use the time to look ahead of how I want to train and how I have been. 43 days. Not long eh. I am heavy at 61kg. 9kg than what I would like. With flights PAINFULLY purchased at £1350, than the hefty watched prices reach £1800, at least I can now breathe and begin to focus on training purely and also think about how I’d like to enjoy my trip there.

Purchased a new sports bag. I didn’t have one. My old school Nike holdall used to be my fathers and I used it to throw in back of the boot when I used to drive with my Muay Thai gear. I need one I can carry along side with my heavy rucksack as well. I wasn’t intentionally looking for one, but came across one in Descente. Perfect size. New gear will always cheer you up and spurn you on to keep going.

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45 days countdown / 9 Feb Tues Evening:
I couldn’t go on the treadmill. I was back in the gym, after Friday’s re-injury. I gazed over that direction of the runners hitting the pace, but held head up. I went over to face the rower.

Row 20mins
The ankle range of movement was very tight once again. But I was able to row in a shorter way. I still needed to keep my stamina.

1) Holding with both hands on the 5Kg disc, I was to squat, raising the disc with arms straight each time to look through. I started getting the giggles as my knees were misbehaving haha. x 20 reps.
• Remember = rock back so you are using your heels

2) Holding the disc, raise above head, and then down to either side of the body, rotating the torso, working the core. x 20 reps

Repeat 1) 2)

3) Kettle bell swing
Core engaged, thrusting using hips, keeping arms loose but hands firm.

4) Squat with soft medicine ball, so elbows inside the knees, and raise to stand up, using the elevation energy to push and chest press the ball high up pass the grey patch above the line on the wall. x 20 reps.

5) Raise soft medicine ball and slam down on one side of the body as hard as you can so it will bounce for you to catch. Catch and then lift up over the head, and bring down the other side to slam down again as hard as it can so it will bounce. x 20 reps.

6) Raise medicine ball above head, and slam down, then go down, placing hands on the ball, and do a single press up. Pick up the ball stand back up and repeat. x 20 reps.

Repeat 4) 5) 6)

7) Two 5kg hand dumb bells.
A tough one. Start with dumb bells close at chest. Rotate torso and as you do, pump one dumbbell up above head, whilst pivoting the opposite foot, but keeping leg straight.
• Remember = not to have knees cross over or bend. Leg is to be straight.

8) Yoga Ball – Hamstring curl
Lying on floor in front facing up, heels on the ball, bent knees, I was to push ball out, extending legs, keeping control of the ball in a line, and as I bring ball back, to lift hips up and the back down to floor. x 10 reps.

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9) Yoga Ball –
Feet on the ball, moving ball further out, so feet were placed on ball, knees slightly bent, I was to lift hips up and back down to floor. x 10 reps.

10) Yoga Ball –
Only ball of feet now on the ball, to keep the ball in place,  lifting hips and then down to floor. x 10 reps.

Repeat 6 ) 7) 8) 9) 10) 6) 7) 8) 9) 10)

haha. PT was definitely testing me now. I kept having the giggles as the ball was moving side to side trying to escape.

11) Yoga Ball –
Tips of feet on the ball, ball is now far away, and I had to do everything at same time to keep the ball in place,  aiming hips up and the back down. x 10 reps.

12) Yoga Ball –
It is now extremely far away. Tips of feet on the ball, ball is now far away, and I had to do everything at same time to keep the ball in place,  hips up and back to floor using my core tight, and hips as high as I could. x 10 reps.

We then moved over to the ladder on the floor.

13a) Soft Medicine ball on floor. Squat to pick up the ball, lift above head and slam down.
13b) Placing hands on the medicine ball, one burpee, placing each leg back and then bringing back up close
13c) Picking up the ball, Chest pass throw to PT.
13d) PT catch to step back.
Repeated the length of the ladder and back.

14a) Soft Medicine ball on floor. Squat to pick up the ball, lift above head and slam down.
14b) Placing hands on the medicine ball, one burpee, placing each leg back and then bringing back up close
14c) Picking up the ball, turning torso to side, to twist and a throw pass to the side to PT.
14d) PT catch to step back.
Repeated the length of the ladder and back.

Repeat 13) 14)

15) Row 250 distance

Haha. what a work out. PT says I worked so hard.

46 days countdown / 8 Feb Mon Chinese New Year:
New beginnings. 2016 already has been positive as I shed the personal issues I tackled and addressed in 2015. I used the free time I now had, after plans had cancelled, to do a clear out and an admin check, long overdue. I knew I had to get the Cape Town flights, they were getting to be a ridiculous price again back up to £1700s. I felt it was hanging over my head. But mentally, emotionally, I was feeling on track, deciding work choices and making decisions in areas I had to put aside and was getting back on track for 2016.

49 days countdown / 6 Feb Fri:
YOU CANNOT BE SERIOUS. Coming late out from a long exhausting day at work, non stop, no lunch, or time to leave for any sort of break, my ankle gives way. *Sigh.

This 3rd time, I was not in tears, yes, I was in immense pain again. But much shorter and no sound of any snap. I hobbled safely where I could just see if I could move the ankle.. ouch. Painful, but bearable. Unlike last two times, i was able to put some sort of weight on it and hobble to meet a friend. He was mortified and asked if to rush to hospital, but instinct knew even if I got there, they can’t do anything with it. The good signs I replied, were that at least this time I was in motion, and able to put weight on it to move. I could go down the pavement to cross the street. I was in my flat boots (like trainers) and whether it was supporting the ankle, who knows. During as we stood for a drink, it began to be painful and dull. I realised it may be the blood towards that area, so my friend directed me to sit. Every now and then, it ached, so I lifted it to gently massage it shown by the physio through the boot. It helped.

I was, as we joked hesitating and delaying the eventful journey home. Friend asked if I should get a cab. I said I will be fine. I was noticing, I could walk some how, yet certain positions was very painful. I made it slowly and safely home. Inside I was feeling “no… this cannot be happening, three steps forward, two back.. ” It had been about 8 weeks of progress with Physio and PT. What it felt like, was immense pain, but somehow I think my actual ankle was stronger than the initial damage as i was able to walk. It gave way, yes, but it was certainly not like those two times, where i couldn’t even walk a couple steps with weight on it.

I messaged my PT. I was accepting this. But I was not upset, nor was I giving up. The pain I feel is like it’s 5th or 6th week. So it’s set progress back a couple of weeks, but certainly it has improved and improvement is the direction to go. #NoGivingUp #KeepOnGoing

50 days countdown / 5 Feb Thurs Day:
I was not at work today. I had my first 2nd PT in a week session and it was amusing to be around 1400. My legs were stiff from last time. Ha! So we stuck to being upstairs.

1) Cable machine –
Double handles, close to chest to begin with, leaning back, lunge one leg back, and as arms go straight length, to pull the knee up.

2) Cable machine – Diagonal up
Double handles, side ways to the machine, starting the handles by side of your left leg, keeping arms in a fixed front loop position, pull up and diagonally across up, so you are stretched up over your right shoulder. This then works the torso and obliques.
• Remember = Keep your front chest always facing the handles, so your trunk is doing the pulling, working your core, and not your arms.

3) Cable machine – Across
Double handles, side ways to the machine, at some distance, start the handles across your chest. As before, pull across as an arch round to the opposite side. This will open up your chest.
• Remember = Keep your front chest always facing the handles, so your trunk is doing the pulling, working your core, and not your arms.

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4) Cable machine – Diagonal down
• Remember = Keep chest up and out.

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Repeat 1) 2) 3) 4)

Added more weight.
5) Cable machine – overhead squat
Facing into the machine. Single handle, starting with close to the chest, leaning back, feet apart, lower into a squat, elbows inside the knees, and then pull back up and into raised arms above your head

6) Cable machine –
Facing into the machine. Kneeing down, leaning back, start with elbows tucked in, pull the handles as push chest out, feeling the shoulder blades come together.

Repeat 5) 6)

7) Using the bench, facing the floor, place both feet onto the end of the bench, raising up on your hands. Place one leg down on side of bench, then return. Alternate legs, so that you are continuously on your hands.
• Remember = keep hips up, so to use the core. Tighten.

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8) Squat bench
Facing away from the end of the bench, stand holding a 5kg weight disc close to the chest. Start to squat onto the end of the bench, as you raise the 5kg weight in front of you arms stretched, so you can look through the disc. Then lay back, as you raise the weight over your head. Return to standing back up.

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Repeat 7) 8)

Added more weight on Cable Machine
Repeat 2 ) 3) 4)

9) Cable Machine – Chest press lunge
Facing ahead, standing with handles either side, with arms at 90 degrees up. Extend both arms out as you lunge. Keeping core tight

10) Cable Machine –
Facing ahead, start with handle either side at chest height, keeping elbows in. Pull both handles down towards one side of your leg and return. Alternate other side, working obliques and turning your trunk to really keep core in.

11) Cable Machine –
Facing ahead, step one leg back, to counter balance as you push one handle out. Arm straight, and alternate.

Added weight
Repeat 7) 8 ) 9) 10) 11)

Wow. Used a lot of strength in this work out. Was really good.


52 days countdown / 2 Feb Tues Evening:
First time excited to test my ankle on the treadmill. I was approaching it like a new toy, excited but not wanting to break or cause any damage. I had left work on time and was feeling good.

Training:
A very slow jog 4.4km in 30mins

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I watched my feet and felt each step, monitoring how it felt, and how assessed how they moved. Should they be like that? Was I pounding too hard? Was I using my core and arms the way I should? Was I compensating? Naturally it felt rather strange, I don’t even run for buses or cross the road in any hurried fashion the recent months. But I was moving! Yes I wasn’t running, but I was doing it! Who cares how slow I was going, I was moving. Then as I found a comfortable mindset, I regulated the breathing into something manageable for this pace and away I went, for the 30mins I had timed before PT came over.

PT noticed as I came down the stairs, that I looked good. He said I was walking normally down the stairs and not thinking about the ankle.

I smiled and said, yes, I am happy and feel good. I told him I tried a Granny jog. And although it felt odd, it was good.

1) TRX raised arms Squat
1) TRX press ups
1) Battle ropes. Ripple Time
1) Battle ropes. Big waves. Time
1) Squat Star jumps
1) Press ups onto alternate elbows Time
1) shuttle run
1) 5 kg disc, to lunge step, raise above head, to either side of lower body

59 days countdown / 26 Jan Tues Evening:

66 days countdown / 19 Jan Tues Evening:
I was early from work yet all bikes were occupied. I was amazed how pack the gym was for first time, classes going on on the warm up mats, nearly every machine was being used. I decided to try walking on the treadmill with a gradient as PT has suggested. Wow. I haven’t been anywhere near a treadmill since ankle. I had 10mins when PT found em and surprised me as I warmed up.

We had me on the InBody reader again before my workout. ha!

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20 January 2016

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24 November 2015

Funny. He says I’ve more muscle but at same weight. I said yes, my festive periods have been different where I don’t sit around eating, but am the opposite, non stop on my feet and at Crisis long hours. We both were interested seeing how I’ve had to come off fitness since ankle, and I’m dependent on PT session rather than I was training around it, to support his PT session. I am to bring last time’s sheet so we can compare hee hee.

1) TRX reverse lunge, and then lift knee up and raise up on toes single leg

2) TRX squat and raise up both feet to tip toes

3) Using two fixed arms for support, tip toe single leg and raise as far as I can go and back down.
Two fat tears escaped and rolled down my cheeks, as it was so clearly to anyone, that I could simply not tip toe. I wasn’t wobbling as I was holding on with the fixed arms, yet it was just so easy and I reach so high up on my left foot, something I haven’t done in months. The pure difference in range, left me facing reality of how little my right ankle allowed me to move off the floor. And this was me in supportive running trainers. PT understood and was emotionally supportive that it will happen, the time will return and a bit at a time. I nodded and whispered that at least it was hurting, it just feels like a wall now. It’s frustrating. That’s the word. PT understood and not to feel let down. He said we will get there.

4) TRX squat onto heels and lean either side. Putting on weight, as comfortable as I can go either side.
I found I couldn’t go right very much. It felt like a wall there. PT insisted not to worry and that not to push. It will come. I could feel the difference. He could watch and learn the range I was capable and what was comfortable.

5) TRX squat onto heels and lean forward as much as I can, chest up. Doesn’t matter if heels lift slight up.
I learnt that PT had a better right ankle and that I would be able to watch profile side on that as he said it would, his left heel would start to lift up when he leant forward. I asked sincerely does it bother him? He shook his head, and said no, he said if he wanted he could work on that and focus to make it have a greater range too. It was new news to me. Part me accepted that it was ever so slight and he said our bodies aren’t completely exact.

6) Agility Ladder, on toes, tiny steps both feet in each square, keeping feet low, on balls of feet. There and back. x 2 sets.

7) Agility Ladder, on toes, tiny steps both feet in each square, then side step out of square either side, and then back in the next square in front, moving forwards. There and back. x 3 sets.

Repeat 6) 7)

8) Agility Ladder, on toes, tiny steps both feet in each square, knees up, on balls of feet. There and back. x 2 sets.

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9) Agility Ladder, side stepping into the squares diagonally across into the square and then out on to the other side of the square, moving forwards. There and back. x 3 sets.

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agilityladderdrills5

10) TRX squat then raise arms up x 20 x 2 sets

Repeat 8) 9) 9) 10)

Repeat 9) 10)

11) Agility Ladder Lateral Push-up position, hands in first square, facing the ladder, and in synchronising, hand moves into next square, as the opposite foot moves shoulder width along. Repeating this, means you slowly crab lengthwise along the ladder, hips up, leaning forward so your weight is on straight arms. There and back. x 3 sets.

200x200-03-pushup2

Repeat 9) 10) 11)

Repeat 9) 10) 11) 11) 11)

Bike. No resistance. 15 minutes.

73 days countdown / 12 Jan Tues Evening:
I was excited and looking forward to gym tonight. But suddenly after lunch, I was feeling very nauseous. After work, I dithered whether to go home, drop bag, or get to the PT session 40 minutes early. I began to feel very queasy and so I popped home to freshen up. The trains en route were delayed that meant instead I was now running late and arrived to my PT session 15 minutes late. Sigh.

We were to work on the cable machine. Ooh!

1)
2)
3)
4)

73 days countdown / 12 Jan Tues:
I was to see my Physio for my follow up appointment. He was happy with progress. Unable for full range of movement. 32degrees. The two ligaments are still not healed at it’s tightest which is prohibiting the range, such as unable to tiptoe stretch, or crouch down when going to put on footwear for example. Muscle around the ligaments are still quite weak. No longer hobbling, or in immense pain struggling to go up down steps. Walking like a normal person at least.

Ankle  hasn’t suddenly given way since (phew) Reported that I had tried tiniest kitten heels for wedding photos, but only 5mins and was in much pain, to return to trainers.

Physio advises I’m still not allowed to run. Hard to sleep with ankle unable to lie certain positions. Hate it. Next set of daily exercises to stick to, will help focus on range which will continue to strengthen. Tested for single leg tasks and very weak but at least no more pain, just feels like I’m hitting a wall and unable to go further. If I push it hurts very much and that is dangerous to damage further.

PT supporting my return to mobility and core. Hate doing the daily exercises as it hurts. Aches every so often when stationary. Unable to rotate ankle in complete circles. Physio says that’s okay, but to do small circles and the range will come back. Only when I can do standing one leg, leg lifts say 1-2 weeks, I can look at returning to running again. Last week did a lunge and tried pressups – wasn’t perfect at all, wobbly and compensating, but at least I can start to move onwards 5 weeks on. I can try bike with no resistance. Blah.

New Daily Exercise 1) calf stretch on wall
• Stand and place both hands on a wall, with your feet about half a meter from the wall.
• Place one leg behind the other and lean your body forward. Slowly straighten your back leg as much as possible without pain
Sets: 3 Repetition: 30sec Frequency: 1 x day

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New Daily Exercise 2) eccentric plantar flexion
• Stand with your weight equally on both feet.
• Lift your heels off the ground, pause briefly and descend on only the affected foot.
Sets: 3 Repetition: 10 Frequency: 1 x day

Screen Shot 2016-01-20 at 00.01.45

77 days countdown / 08 Jan Fri:
Missing the routine I had begun with running is apparent. The good news is during the festive period the price of the Cape Town flights went soaring back up to £1600+! My eyes could not be wilder, how could it go drastically up? Then today, out of the blue, it jumped from £1535, down to £1094. The lowest it has been since I’ve entered OMTO. I have faith it will get lower.

I decide to start with the Squat App again.
Squat x 61
Felt definitely warm, but knowing I need to keep up some sort of practice on my own.

80 days countdown / 05 Jan Tues Evening:
New Year! I was absolutely eager for tonight. Over the festive period, I was doing my usual volunteering with charity Crisis, and it is a guaranteed mentally, physical and emotional exhausting 9 consecutive days with long hours of constant upbeat, focused and attentive period. I was at a new site and faced with stairs to the third floor, with double stairwells and in addition the new role I was doing meant I was on my feet and like my day to day, on my feet about the studio, only I was on my feet non stop seeing to new guests and back and forth to the advice team. I was very poorly but still remaining upbeat as much as I could for the guests and team.

Prior to that I was whisked away to a long weekend away and we were confident we have certainly clocked up 1000 steps easily only third of the day or quarter perhaps. I was very careful on my ankle and up and down pavements were tricky, but got the hang of it. I was down with the cold from the wedding, which became a cough and triggering my asthma into a proper wheezing 4 days with very much difficulty. So you could say I had been through the wars by the time 2016 came round!

PT Training:
Warm up row 150m

1) TRX Squat Lunges x 12

2) 4KG Dynamax large padded medicine ball squat and push x 20 x 2
– Must remember to keep arms inside of the knees

3) Slam Down
Squat, picking up the mini squidgy ball, i was to stand up, reaching ball above my head and as soon as it got to the top, i was to slam it vertically down and squat to pick up back up.

Repeat 1) 2) 3)

4) Battle Ropes – Separate ripples x 15″
5) Battle Ropes – Joint ripples x 15″

6) TRX Row, Squat and Overhead, Squat x 12

7) 4KG Dynamax Push Up Pike

Repeat 4) 5) 6) 7)

8) Speed Row Beating PB x 140m
Which I was determined and was trying to beat initial 35. My best out of four attempts was 33.1

I was so happy. Just the fun of the session but my first session of 2016 and I felt more confident on the ankle. Yes it hasn’t full mobility, but I was starting to move it more singularly.


107 days countdown / 09 Dec Wed:
Recovery
Burning sensation down the right hand side of my leg, where Physio had explained it’s the muscles that are being overused and tied to nerves. Sometimes the outside of the sole feels like it’s numb and achy. So far today no ankle give ways, but I’m not out and about too much today.

Doing my daily physio exercises.

108 days countdown / 08 Dec Tues Evening:

PT Training: Feeling glum, frustrated over prospect of how am I to do the OMTO half. PT got in touch and he was very enthusiastic and promising that we can do it and we will have fun. Was odd to enter the gym, it took quite a while hobbling, but when inside, slowly carefully changing, I felt lost, unable to go to my machines, my treadmill that I love.. But seeing PT, it filled me with confidence and we talked through what Physio had covered and PT agreed, no single leg for now, but we can still do a lot. As long as I’m honest and let him know immediately.

1) TRX Row and Overhead x 15 x 3
– Make sure when alternating between the two, to be smooth as possible.

2) Inch Worm Push Up
Squat low, hands in front and then walk palms ahead till you crawl into a press up, and lower your chest onto the floor, so it gives you the widest range as possible. Then press back up, and walk back to the squat and stand straight up completely.

Screen Shot 2015-12-09 at 22.10.55

Repeat 1) 2)

3) Power Bag 5kg (pink)
Holding the two hand straps, from the floor between my legs, bring up, so my elbows at parallel to the floor, bag touching my chest.
On way down, lower with straight arms and onto the ground as I go into a squat.

4) Power Bag 10kg (yellow)
Holding the two hand straps, from the floor between my legs, bring up, and flip so the power bag falls back into the folds of your inner arm.
Flip back outwards and bring to the floor in one smooth move to the floor into a squat.

Screen Shot 2015-12-09 at 21.55.38

5 ) Plank Knee To Elbow x 20
Face down on a mat into plank position. Being wary of my ankle, to lean on my knees. Bring each knee up from the side as high as possible.

Screen Shot 2015-12-09 at 20.58.14

6) 45 Degree Twist Medicine Ball 3KG x 20
Lying with back on a mat, knees brought up slightly. Leaning up slightly, with a 3KG large padded medicine ball, use core muscles to pick up and place side to either side of the body at the waist.

Screen Shot 2015-12-09 at 21.02.26

7) x 20
Lying with back on a mat, start with the 3KG Dynamax large padded medicine ball above the head. Knees slightly brought up. With both hands, pick up the ball, and crunch inwards, and bring one knee to the chest to touch the ball and then down, back into position above the head. Alternate each knee.

Repeat 4) 6) 7)

8) x 20 x 2
Start with 4KG Dynamax large padded medicine ball on the floor, legs apart. Squat to pick up, and as I stand chest press it to the wall, so it bounces parallel back, catch, rotate so hands now cup the ball, and lower to the ground.
– Arms must be straight as it goes down
– Arms must be inside of the legs
– Aim for smooth movement

dsaunders24-blogspot-com

Screen Shot 2015-12-09 at 22.23.00

We then went upstairs to the resistance machines floor.

9) Lateral Pull Down 30KG
Much wider apart than I have done previously, breathe out as I pull down to meet the chest.

Screen Shot 2015-12-09 at 21.35.56
10) Lateral Pull Down – Narrow Under Grip 30KG
– Make sure shoulders pinch together working it through and extend arms fully up.

Screen Shot 2015-12-09 at 21.40.44

11) Chest Press 20KG
Follow through. It helped me to imagine me doing jabs, where I’m to follow through the extension.
– Aim for straight wrist, to strengthen.

12) Lower Chest press 20KG
By changing the grip so it is lower, I found this much harder, it works the triceps. I was stuck, that PT helped (he says he wasn’t) but encouraged after a tiring workout, it was natural to feel tired. I liked this one.

Screen Shot 2015-12-09 at 21.47.17

Repeat 9) 10) 11) 12)

 

108 days countdown / 08 Dec Tues:

2015-12-08 11.35.01

 

Ligament 1 = Ok. Ligament 2 & 3 = Torn.
6-8 weeks to properly heal if following treatment.

Back from 2hr Physio at Pure Sports Med It happens to also be the exact same ankle as back in 1994 from basketball injury (I scored the three pointer I must add) as I landed and it (the loud crack sound) tore the ligament. Learnt our ankles have three ligaments. Physio concluded Ligament 1 okay. Ligament both 2 and 3 (at the back) torn from the sprain 6 weeks ago.

Ankle-Ligaments-Diagram

I did right thing then
R(est)
I(ce)
C(ompress)
E(levate)
only instead of everyone thinking a sprain will take 2 weeks to get better… it’s meant to be about 6-8 weeks.

It will be puffy up and down, even after it’s healed. It will also at times feel normal, but the ligaments inside are still torn and still trying to heal. Which confirmed the weak ankle and why it has been giving way, (I didn’t think at the time) and happened in a bad way again Sunday early hours on flat ground, without any notice. Together, we discussed exercises to follow, phase1 to slowly rebuild for the 6-8 weeks, if we don’t heal it, it will remain weak for rest of time.

So I have to be good with training (he’s definitely okayed) but to incorporate certain techniques and to hold back on any more burpees and lunges so early. He warns and understands why I went back and managed a run and deadlifts etc, as he says there will be times it feels all okay, and then suddenly not.

He has not diminished my Old Mutual Two Oceans Half Marathon (108 days to go) goal. It will all depend on the fitness i have put in before this, and also how I progress the next 6-8 weeks. Today the neutral strap – as it’s the Duct-Tape version than the previous neon colours you’ve seen me adorn! It’s holding my foot very very tightly for the ligaments to heal at the right length and position. We laughed that if I feel pain, this time I’m not meant to push through – I’m meant to STOP! As it will only stretch and tear the ligaments more.

The side sharp shoots of pain first felt last night up the steps and burning hot sensation is now my legs over working because of the ligaments. I am glum. Truth be told. 10months off. I wanted to return and have worked so hard training 4x a week. When asked and I’ve last Monday 9KM and Friday 10KM, he replied positively, that Cape Town sounds like it will go fine. You may not do a great or best run, but he knows I’ve spent a mortgage on this and missed sadly 2015 and really want 2016.

He said if past 6 weeks and no progress, will do an MRI to see what else could be the problem. All in all.. not feeling great. Hobbling like a GrannySnail. Need to get it so I can point, flex, and simply lift the heel as you generally would as you walk.

He doesn’t mind me choosing not to take pain inflammatories. ( I prefer to gage pain and when and what etc) Glum as I do feel two steps forward, one step back. Sigh. I’m to keep and work with the PT… slowwwwwly sigh…. #‎CantGiveUp ‪#‎WhatAYear #‎FallingApartFu‬ #‎WantABodyRefund‬‪#‎PainGoAway

I have these three exercises to maintain at home on my own as stage one.

1) Plantar/dorsiflexion
Supine, active ankle plantar and dorsiflexion mobility
• Lie on your back.
• Point your toes up and down as far as you can.
• Relax your feet.
Sets: 3 Repetition: 20 Frequency: 2 x day

 

2) Plantar flexion with elastic
Long sitting, resisted ankle plantar flexion with elastic
• Sit down with one leg outstretched and the other bent.
• Place an elastic around the ball of your outstretched foot and hold the ends of the elastic in your hand.
• Push down against the elastic with your forefoot and return to the initial position.
• The movement should occur at the ankle only. Do not push down with your knee.
Sets: 3 Repetition: 15 Frequency: 1 x day

 

 

3) Single leg stance
Standing unilateral proprioception (single leg stance – SLS)
• Hold that position for the recommended time.
Sets: 3 Repetition: 30sec Frequency: 1 x day

“Oh. And NO RUNNING till you feel comfortable on the other phase exercises!”  Yes I am crying inside.


109 days countdown / 07 Dec Mon: Evening
A first. Went up the stairs and ankle went weird. Sharp pain shot up the side. All day its been in pain from the weak effect, which is what I’m seeing physio about tommorrow. But this havent had before, I’m doubled over holding it. Breathng holding pain in. Pls i want a refund. My body falling apart again. I dare not move. Lying still as possible. Which means sleep is impossible. #‎GlumJen‬

109 days countdown / 07 Dec Mon:
I didn’t know if I wanted to blog today. Glum. Ankle in agony last night as I tried hard to find a comfortable position and then as I drifted off as best as I could from exhaustion of it all, my leg would do my hypnagogic jerk thing, and I managed to wake myself up twice in so much pain as my ankle twisted against what was okay for the moment. Sigh.

I just feel like that phrase, two steps forward and one step back.. Cannot believe this is happening again. How am I to ever be fit again. Physio is booked for tomorrow. I know it’s what I need and it will be agony. Gulp.

 

110 days countdown / 06 Dec Sun:

You can not be serious.

The same ankle gave way, and the same familiar “crack” could be heard as I collapsed to grab my boot that was now supporting my ankle. I was with my friend luckily as she could see tears of pain on my face, and I couldn’t move or say anything for at least 5 minutes. She checked and there was no obstruction or anything I could have tripped upon. I couldn’t bear weight on it. Early hours of the day, we were both out spontaneously, for me to avoid Chr**tmas television. It was about 3am.

She had to hold me up and hobble me to get me home. My god. So much pain. All I could hear was my cry of “noooo” I was so frustrated. That same feeling of so much hard work I’ve been putting in and the race, as I knew in my head automatically, 110 days away..

My friend is also a Personal Trainer, and says as much of the recent PT I have been doing, it has been around my ankle, that it is still a weak ankle. She ordered me to be honest with my PT and that I need to strengthen it so over time it won’t be like this. I listened through my tears and understood as she got the bag of very much used frozen peas and raised my ankle for it to be elevated. I was distraught. I was not going to bow out of this race. Too much was on it. It was my focus through the personal year I’ve had. I needed this.

The irony of only this (Saturday) morning, I was thinking to myself to get self checked out with the Physio as it was still niggly in certain positions…

Green-peas

112 days countdown / 04 Dec Fri: 
Training:
Run 11.3km in 67mins
BOOM. I was feeling delighted with how I could still go on. However, this workout was not as consistent with level of stamina as Monday’s 9KM. Although further, I was doing bursts, the thing which was good out of this was that the rest periods were able to become much shorter. Monday I could feel my arms pumping. Today, it was less of arms, but I felt stronger in my thighs or legs. Which was nice feeling. I stopped as the treadmill seems to only allow up to 65 mins or so, and when I tend to stop, my body slows down to think it’s over. Still, very happy.

Screen Shot 2015-12-07 at 23.26.54

114 days countdown / 02 Dec Wed:

Thought I would have a look at what I needed in terms of if I wanted to meet 2hours. I’ve always done 2hrs 12 or 2hrs something. But with a sprint finish. So i know it’s in me to be able to do it. It’s all about pace.

Screen Shot 2015-11-25 at 10.09.03

115 days countdown / 01 Dec Tue: 
PT Training: Feeling excited and ready after so much personal and ups and down.

1) Lunges x 10 pairs
Lunge forward and touch ground beside inner foot

2) TRX Squat and Row x
– Must bring elbows fully back, so I can feel my shoulders trap’ muscles in use.
Screen Shot 2015-12-02 at 02.21.59

3) Squat using the Barbell Rack 20kg x 10 x 2sets
Barbell on the shoulders, looking ahead, stepping back, feet shoulders width apart, as I go down I’m to sit back, weight on the heels as low as I can, and then thrust back up. I had problems where I felt my knees would sometimes go inwards.

Screen Shot 2015-12-02 at 01.34.33

I’m feeling very tight as I try to go lower. So we try doing some lunge stretches for the Adductors inside of the thigh / knee

Stretch:
Adductor x 10
Foot goes forward, hands reach the inside of foot, other knee lowers to touch ground. Gently push out the bent front knee to stretch.
– Must use often, I found this very useful.

4) Squat using the Barbell Rack 20kg x 10 x 1 set
with elastic band above knees to help me push my knees out on the way up. This time I felt with the band in place and me concentrating on that, me starting to lean forward sadly. I can feel this myself and begin to get frustrated.

5) TRX Push up Pike (with box for height setting) x 10
With me facing the ground, I was to start with both feet into the loops, and slowly distribute my weight onto my hands in front of me. From there, I did have the giggles as the PT made it look like (see example) like you are just lifting your bum in the air. Till I realised with feet together, you use your core and somehow your body folds, whilst keeping your shoulders over your hands. My wrists did ache a lot after this. But a nice workout again this one.

Screen Shot 2015-12-02 at 02.05.57

Technique Idea:
haha! This one made me laugh and I felt this has been the toughest yet! PT asked me to stand as close to face the wall and squat…! This means I was unable touch the wall, or in my case head butt! This also meant I had to think again about my knees and that I had to sit back! So hard! But it was – indeed, very clever and suited for my visual and thinking style of learning.

6) Squat using the Barbell Rack 30kg x 10 x 2sets
The wall techniques helped! It made me instantly feel natural to sit back first, than think of my bum, back or knees. More weights were added. Also an additional ball was rolled over as a marker for me to go as low as I could, which was distracting but I understood it. When removed, I worked hard.
– Must keep elbows pointed down
– Must practice lower

Repeat 5) 6)

7) Squat Thrust Slam Wall Ball x 10
Facing a wall, holding a 6kg Dynamax large padded medicine ball (which resembled a giant hackysack), I was to start squat, with ball against my chest, and upon thrusting up, I was to throw the ball up against the wall, beyond a marked line and as I catch it, go into the squat again. What didn’t help was my wrists were very achy and sore from 6)

Screen Shot 2015-12-09 at 22.17.00

8) 2x Burpees + 1x Jump thrust x10 x2sets
I was into this familiar drill, only my wrists by now were very achy and got stuck at set 6. I could feel self slow down. I didn’t give up and was determined to keep going, even if I paused.

Repeat 7)

9) Core Lower Abs x 30″ x 2 sets
Lying on back, raise shoulders, arms, feet off the ground. This I could do. I was used to what we used to call “fish legs” but as it was shoulders as well, I was in full focused on what would make it easier for me to do. PT could see i was concentrating and then I had the giggles and broke my focus haha.  It wasn’t as severe (as example) but i’d love to get to that!

Screen Shot 2015-12-02 at 02.23.27

Repeat 7) 8) 9) 8)
My god.. I was getting breathless, but wasn’t as bad as I’ve experienced. Maybe as we are doing up to 10, and not 15. Or I’m learning to breathe out. Moments of pause, but I was not to let the PT down. I was doing it.

Overall – very happy workout. Enjoyed by both, could see me learning fast. Everything new to me. So a case of body to get familiar and understand what parts are being used. It was lovely for PT to also be a sound board for 2mins at start so I could clear mind ready for our 60 min session. PT is laughing as he wants to hear how I feel with my squats two days on. haha. Evil! haha. Pure evil.

Run (instead a Stride) 20mins 2k
I was bothered to do another run afterwards. I decided to just ease a 20min stride.

Was happy with today. Nice. Will certainly feel new parts tomorrow..!

Flight price check: had wavered a bit up this morning from Black Friday and into December, now £1281.

116 days countdown / 30 Nov Mon: 
Training: Personal issues clouding my thoughts, clients messing up my bookings swimming round my head as I try and juggle all this. I need the run to help clear the mind. It was the perfect moment.

Run 9.5km in 63mins
Screen Shot 2015-12-01 at 18.23.16
I felt exhilarated. Where I pass that break and I can just feel my arms pumping away and my mind flashes pass everything. It does really help, and I can’t explain how or why. Yes I was tired, and had to pause at moments where my chest ached but I caught breathe and continued as much as I could. There wasn’t many people in the gym which was ideal.

Row 3.19mins 619m
Just a light warm down. First time been on the rower on my own at the gym. There’s something about the gym, that just doesn’t feel as open or friendly as others. I wonder if its the layout.

Diet:
It’s been what? Three weeks? I am cooking once again, and just being reflective of what I am consuming. Once more for energy sustainability and balance. The past 9-10 months of inactivity and many consecutive late working, you end up reaching for what is convenient and quick. I started my fitness pal app where you log in like a food diary. I had did it to see what it is I consume daily. It does focus on calories, and at first i found it quite off putting and taking out the enjoyment of dining. It is a bit hard with knowing exactly what you eat, when you are working as you tend to purchase, but it is still good to encourage to get everything your body needs. The phone app shows charts visually which is better than the web version and you can scan in barcodes for easier find. However the web version is easier to enter the foods from history and I can log in my miles from my tomtom watch. All in all, now three weeks, I feel I’m treating my insides much better than past 9-10 months!

118 days countdown / 28 Nov Sat: 
Training: Tired. But need to get back and make up for loss days. Sadly when I went downstairs to basic gym, it was heaving. It was so busy for a weekend, classes blocking the studio space, so I couldn’t practice in private and clear my mind. Nevertheless, I tried my best.

1) Bicep Pull Down 20kg x 12 x 1
1) Bicep Pull Down 30kg x 8 x 2
My god how tired am I!?

2) Seated Leg Curl 25kg – 15kg x 12 x 4
I just couldn’t seem to set up the machine the way I needed it.

There was someone in front, a tall chap, who was very toned and he was only after I looked up, noticed he was doing deadlifts! I watched keenly how his bum was out, arch back so the shoulders are pulled back and he made it look effortlessly. Impressive and it made me want to practice today.

3) Deadlifts with plain bar
4) Deadlifts with 10kg Kettle ball
5) Deadlifts with 16kg Dumb bell

I practiced and practiced. I didn’t care who was in the room. I wanted to get the hinge as best as I could. I was obviously worried if I may be doing harm more than good. But i needed to feel the movement as something natural.

6) Caterpillar Crawl on Step Box x 8
7) Lunges touch inner side floor x 6
8) Sidestep Squats x 6

I then did a mix up of my own, where there was no space and ended up using it across a few mats and off mats. Not ideal, but I could feel the thighs working and the hamstrings in action which is good.

Upon leaving the weights floor, the cardio, all the runner machines were packed, and I felt the reminder of why I join additional gyms. It’s not feasible that I do pay ground rent for the onsite gym here, but it’s impossible to use what I need. I tried to go on the row, but I felt unmotivated today by just the way it was packed. I prefer clear mind to think and be in my zone.

119 days countdown / 27 Nov Fri: 
Training: None.
I was with great intention to work hard this week at the gym. Only  each day I tried yet woke up to another tough day. I had my Lumie on to try get me back on track, but I was heavy and just wanting to not engage. Work was not on for me this week. I can’t believe I’ve missed out on days of training. At same time, 2015: I’ve learnt to try and not shed the feeling of guilt. There will be days where I can’t train and I should not feel bad for it. Skies have been so bleak, Christmas is coming at me from every direction of outside, shoppers, social media, television advertising, and am still stressful with some of my inconsiderate clients of work with unpaid invoices owed to me. The only silver lining:

Flight price: come down £13150.

122 days countdown / 24 Nov Tue: 
PT Training: I felt good and ready after yesterday’s nice run.
Brief warm up on the row whilst waiting.

1) Lunges beside step box
Leaning over, walking your palms on the step box as far as you can, and then lunge forward with one foot to the side of the box, then walk back and stand back up. Then reverse.

2) Deadlift with plain bar
3) Deadlift with 30kg bar
4) Deadlift with 15kg Kettle ball
My god. What was wrong with me?! I couldn’t seem to get it right. The technique to me, was difficult as I seem to have so many things to think about. PT broke down the movement into segments, but I couldnt seem to get my behind out, and then hinge. Knees slightly bent and my shoulders back with arms straight. I was to roll and lower the bar so it is against my thighs as I hinge down. But somehow either my shoulders began rounding off, or I’d be crouching over like a turtle! PT filmed me and it only cause more inner frustration with myself. When the bar is to pass beneath the knees, I only then am to start lowering the knees into a squat, but only with the weight on my heels and not forward. For the life of me, I could only feel self leaning onto my front balls of my feet. I was going mad with myself. I recognised this in me, the need to keep trying and get it right. We mixed it with different weights, arms and hands different positions, but I couldnt do it.

columbo-deadlift

5) Burpees on step box
For a change up, I was to start on the box, drop down with feet on either side, and then go into a burpee and back up onto the box. This, now again, I have no idea what was happening, but mentally I was frozen to the box. I couldn’t seem to move. My mind was some reason scared. This was weirdest feeling. I’m used to the killer burpees, and PT says it’s the same but raised, your mind is telling you something’s different. I pushed through, I could feel the tiredness.

Repeat 3) 4) 5)
Concentrating on technique and not to be defeated, I was determined to try and get the deadlift correct. PT says at times I would get it right and then suddenly my posture changed! DOH! I have no idea how many times I worked on this. PT says that it’s because it feels unnatural right now.
– Must spend some time working on the behind out, straight back, shoulders back.

old-lady-deadlifting

Run (more like a crawl!) 2km in 22mins
OH MY DAYS. what has PT done to me! haha, I can only wince and laugh, as now the most strangest feeling of a muscle above my bum (unsure if that’s still the glutes) was tight as ever and made me unable to coordinate into a run! haha. Good grief. Never had this before! So I used the time and was determined to just walk it off as best as I could. haha. Groan! If i feel like that instantly, how will I survive next few days! haha.

Screen Shot 2015-11-30 at 12.44.35

123 days countdown / 23 Nov Mon: 
Training:
Run 7.9km in 47mins
A great run. I had been out the night before and had rather much to drink. As soon as I was up, I knew if I had any chance, I would need to rehydrate as much as possible. I felt fine and off I went along to my gym. Ankle was okay. I must get used to drinking and running again! My TomTom watch I invested (after my trusty Garmin’s GPS was a tad weak) now is linked to TomTom MySports / Strava / MapMyFitness / Nike+ which for each of it’s merits, for now I will stick to posting with Strava images, so I can see my progress. I do do mini runs afterwards, but won’t use them on this blog. Wanted to start on a low pace 9.6km/h and just stretch my stamina again. I need to get my heart rate up and feel this as the norm once again. As I powered up to 11.0km/h, I do certainly enjoy this pace very much as I can feel my arms do it’s natural thing and begin powering up and down, pumping on a beat. My mind was watching ahead the gaze I adopt 10foot yard stare, as my thoughts whizz through with no agenda.

Screen Shot 2015-11-24 at 17.03.06

As I came off the runner, I wandered over to the other side of the gym floor, yet still a newbie, I was rather shy of the weights, for some reason. Usually I never mind and just jump on it, yet I felt I was shy, maybe it’s because of the 10months I’ve had off. I must let my PT know. I thought about another run. In my mind I also knew my PT would certainly put me through my paces tomorrow, so best not to over do it. I was happy with what I done today.

Flight price: come down but still £13900. Sigh.

 

125 days countdown / 21 Nov Sat: 
Training:
Run 5.3km in 40mins
I knew I have missed out last two days. Still adjusting and finding a routine that suits. I was no longer booked for work today, so the lie in was very much welcomed. Personal things were troubling my mind and I felt a run would be perfect. Only when I got to my gym downstairs, one of the trainers there decided to be shouty and I have to be frank, bloody annoying. I needed to focus  and drift off into my zone, but all i could hear was his annoying voice and daft chat up lines that was taking place with two people. It was distracting and I felt rather irritated. Unlike me. I thought about my PT or my PT friends, how the chat is low voiced and remains on the technique and encouragement of the task at hand. I felt sluggish and couldn’t find my rhythm. I kept starting and slowing down, not quite in the zone. We were having one of those storms currently, and I would have now preferred outside and been blown away than listen to them ruin a run. When I’m in the zone, I feel I can self push, muscles, legs, count and feel my rate, and think about my arms, and my posture. Whereas when i am off the beat, I am irritated and simply discouraged. Not great. I left as soon as I could.

Screen Shot 2015-11-24 at 17.15.59

128 days countdown / 18 Nov Wed: 
Training:
So here we are. My first time in the new gym and I’m to start finding my way here so it feels like my home…. Only a slight problem and I recognised it only after a while.. where the settings of the pace is out of sync! I tried sticking with it, and tried to find my pace and rhythm, only by then it was too late and I was (most likely laughable) trying to find my pace, and had to keep stopping and tried altering the settings of the units, but it was in mph and I even leapt across other treadmills, but hmm, I’m sure yesterday I was fine?!

After four different attempts:
Run 0.4km in 5mins
Run 0.2km in 1mins
Run 2.5km in 16mins
It is only amusing now, as with Strava and my watch being able to look at my pace in my own units, I can try and work out what on earth I was doing!

No wonder I felt like I moving so fast! I don’t mind, but usually an increment! I had to jump off and then find out from a member of the gym team, they they too had to explain with confusion that some of the machines were fixed and preset and that did not make sense either!

Run 3.3km in 25mins
I can only laugh as I update this blog. 🙂

Screen Shot 2015-11-24 at 17.27.45

129 days countdown / 17 Nov Tues: 
PT Training:
I was to meet my new PT for the first time, from recommendation by the head of fitness at the gym who was lovely and understanding after several emails of what my background was and my intentions and gains.

1) Row 5 mins
Warm up and a chance for us to get to know.

2) Lunges x2 sets but over stretched and reaching down on the insider to touch.
Ankle was a test to balance.

3) Caterpillar Walk x2 sets
This had me the giggles, as you are doing a pressup like a plank, held and walking, and then on tiptoes walking up to your hands as much as you can. THIS i felt my hamstrings. Oooh-er, as I tried to get closer.

Repeat 2) and 3)

4) Elasticated band on ankles, side stepping x2
PT explained there were different strengths of bands. I had them on my ankles. It felt okay.

5) Elasticated band below the knees, side stepping x2
This one felt easier, yet I had to watch a mischievous knee when it would fold in. I need to push out.

6) Dumbbell Squats 10kg x 12 reps x 2 sets
I began laughing at this point as he was clearly pushing me and I did ask for it and want it. But still, for him to make me hug a heavy weight upon meeting, it only started off my giggles. I was to hug it so the heads would touch my rib cages, and as I squat, I remember back in the day of Esporta, the “duck” position. By now I was not dry faced as I was working hard. I was determined to do well and make sure I had the right technique.

7) TRF (leaning back) Low Back Row x
Wehey! I remember these from PT mate Steve, yet I also remember I would have to learn and overcome the trust that I was fine to lean back. I had to learn when to breathe out. The handles were to begin face palm down always, and as I pull into the TRF with my own body weight, I twist the handles and bring them into the sides of my body as close as I can.
I was feeling okay, tired by now! but it was the overcoming of trust I was not to fall.
– Must make sure my shoulder blades press together

7) TRF (leaning forward) Chest Press x
Oh gosh! haha! This one made MY ARMS SHAKE haha and I began giggling. The TRF handles again always start palm down, and this time the straps were on the inside of my arms. I was in a way doing a press up.
By now, looking at technique he said shaking was a good thing! That they are being put to use.
– Must make sure my body is completely straight as if I am a plank

9) Battle Ropes – Basic Ripple Rhythm for 15″ 3x sets
YEY! I had seen some of the body builders go on these at Jubilee Hall, when I used to run. I had wondered what they were for. So PT put on them, having told me, there were lighter and thinner ones, but he wanted me on these – much heavier! haha. And we were doing these at the end when by now, my arms were dead! The idea was to create a ripple in them, so they reach the end, and in tune for the length of time.
– Must work on, faster, as if you are drumming, keep arms closer in.

Repeat 6) 7) 8) but with legs planted further in.

Repeat 9)
My god my left arm was making me laugh as it felt like jelly! haha.

10) Row 120metres race
I was to race against my own time in three tries. PT guy taught me to look at the reader where it was an estimated time, yet I felt it was easier to look at the pace. I was to be above 40. (or was it 30?)
try 1 – 36
try 2 – 41
try 3 – 34
ha! I will practice that as much as i can. Only tried for stamina, not for time and speed.

It was great. We clocked off, and he put me for an InBody test. PT explained I was meant to be tested before hand, not after. But today we were doing the tests so PT could gage my levels and what I could do and what to work on. I loved the fact he joined in. He wasn’t afraid to explain to me what was happening as he checked my technique and posture. Overall very professional. He knows my goals. And we were to mix it up.

edited_1447783462218

I decided to after that buzz, PT said we only were only it for about 40-45mins which was great to work on areas that I needed someone to help me with, around the ankle. I then went to try my first treadmill here. It’s unusual, looking at the settings, I couldn’t find the music tv channel, and noticed its busy hours were dead on 1730 – 1800. I decided since my hamstrings were warmed up, I’d walk it off.

Speed walk 2km for 21 mins

Screen Shot 2015-11-24 at 17.44.59

PT now arranged for every Tuesday evening for 16 weeks, in the run up to the race, to have 60 mins. Yey! It’s up to me to keep up the fitness otherwise myself.

Flight price: Not budging. At £14500. Fellow colleague advised they will drop after Christmas. I hope so.

130 days countdown / 16 Nov Mon :
I had compared and reduced down to location being near-ish to home. It would have to be en route to home, as much as possible when it came to my work bookings which were not long, currently. I narrowed it down to:
gym 1) £101 pm. scenic. spa. open all week. closes 2230.
gym 2) £64pm. open M-F. reported to be the city’s largest. closes 2200.

After much email exchange throughout the day, I decided on the basis I would also need to include the funds needed for PT sessions, running up to the race as well, I would go with gym2. The front suit person was absolutely rude and completely put me off, in contrast the head of fitness was perfect, understood my Qs and needs and also recommended who would fit what I needed and as put us in touch. The PT and i hit it off. Another suit manager tried to show me around, yet it was so quick, he barely said any words and also had a moody face! what was going on?! Do they not like mondays or their jobs? As front of house, it’s their job to express welcome and friendliness. My gosh. Luckily I’m heads down and know what I need and am in and out. I asked some Qs and pressured on the spot to decide and pay, I found out I had a cheaper deal if I paid upfront on a 6months basis. I was certainly going to make use of this membership! This was the worse gym front desk ever.

I was in touch with the PT and we arranged to meet the next day seeing as I was working from home. Sunken in and determined, I want to feel strong and feel fit again. PT was going to help me.

131 days countdown / 15 Nov Sun :
Update: I was on a good roll with easing back into slowing feeling my way back into pounding the streets and gym once again for two weeks. I had successfully surprised myself with a couple of 8k runs, and the rest slow 5ks. I am weighing my heaviest at 61kg. I’ve always been 52 – 56kg the most. I guess that is what Feb – Oct of non activity means.

Then one day on a walk to the post office, I’ve sprained badly my right ankle on uneven paving. It was excruciating pain as I felt the ankle roll and heard two large crack sounds. I couldn’t move and only had to grab the joint for at least 15 minutes in the open streets hoping for not too serious damage. It had swelled up and was black and blue for a week. Three weeks on and now with slight concern, how walking is fine, but when I’m still it feels pain and it is puffy. Sigh. Just fed up how it happens.

My plan is now to find a routine once again. I got a buzz from sorting out my gym kit and putting it on again. It made me smile how much I lived in these items! Some had to definitely go! ha! From wear and tear over time. I’ve now made an area of my wardrobe so my gym kit is more accessible and I have no excuse. I wish to integrate it back into my life, regardless of a race or not. Feeling strong is indescribable.

My basic gym is fine when I’m off projects and there is no one there. But during peak, you simply cannot get on to a machine and it is November now, much darker by 1500hrs. Tomorrow, I’m finding a suitable gym with possible PT needed to address my ankle issues.

I’ve started using MyFitnessPal for seeing what it is I consume for dietary habits, it’s rather interesting. That I will save another day to talk about

Let’s do this.

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