Thursday, September 27, 2007

Frozen peas feel good ...

Well since I keep dosing off in the middle of my work, I might as well take a break and re-energize my mind with a blog post. I can’t believe I’m more than halfway through the third week of bootcamp! The instructors are asking and encouraging us to sign up for another round which would begin 2 weeks after this one ends. I must continue with SOMETHING but I just haven’t figured out what yet, especially with our current cash flow crunch (yeah, we’re officially “house poor” now, luckily it’s a stunning house and I never want to leave it to hang out anywhere else so that’s good). I think Operation Bootcamp provides a fantastic value but I just don’t know that we’ll have the cash available. I’m also a little scared of working out in the park into November. We’ve had PERFECT weather so far and it’s so nice to be out there in short sleeves before the son comes up with a nice cool breeze and the cool wet grass. I just can’t imagine lying in that same grass when its covered in frost! BRRRR.

We do have this great house with lots of space, I SHOULD be able to just work out at home….right? But that has NEVER worked for me before, I really need a group commitment, and the time limited nature of bootcamp has helped me too. Knowing that we only have 4 weeks has been a huge motivator to not miss camp, I want to go to the graduation party knowing that I’ve done everything I possibly could. So that remains up in the air . . .

In other news, I believe I officially have shin splints, I started feeling pain in my shins while running 2-3 days ago. I pushed through it the first day but the second day it was bothering me all day at work. I talked to Jojo about it yesterday and she emailed me some suggestions but also told me that, to a certain extent, shin splints are a right of passage as you move from a non-active lifestyle to an active one. That makes sense to me. I iced them last night with two bags of frozen peas which was lovely. They were hurting a bit this morning but I still did all the high impact stuff (except for a couple of exercises that I modified . . . like the jump-squats) and I still ran around the field because we weren’t going long distances at a time and it was on soft grass. I don’t want to slow down, the cardio and the running are my two biggest bugaboos on this journey and I feel like if I cave to the shin splints then I’m making excuses to avoid those things I enjoy the least. Of course the fact that my husband came today (for Bring a Friend day) also motivated me, I didn’t want him to see me slacking. It really wasn’t too bad, pain doesn’t really stop me much, as I’ve stated before I’m accustomed to some sort of chronic pain pretty much all the time and I’ve learned to just block it and get on with things.

Instructor Tim said something that really resonated for me today though, at one point when I was winded he commented that he could tell I was more accustomed to being winded after a couple of weeks of bootcamp. He said that when I first started I had sort of a panicked expression when I got out of breath. He’s right. Not feeling like I’m getting enough air does make me panic, and its something I struggle with at every workout. Maybe it has always been that more than muscle pain that has scared me away from exercising. I developed asthma in adolescence, I didn’t grow up with it. Those first few attacks were earth shattering for me. When I was in my late teens there was a teen model I believe (can’t remember her name) who died after overusing a rescue inhaler. I was accustomed to sucking on mine all the time by that point, especially after any kind of exercise, and it totally freaked me out. Even though I haven’t really had to use my rescue inhaler at bootcamp thanks to my preventative meds, I do feel like my lungs are just never big enough for what I need them to do. I know enough to know that I can rebuild lung capacity through regular cardiovascular work outs but it is a long and scary road for me and I really appreciated Tim being more tuned into that detail than I was!

So, I’m sure you’re dying to know what we DID at bootcamp for the last two days! Yesterday was Jump School. Again, as with the Airborne Ranger workout I’d have preferred an actual parachute! It was fun though, we were divided into teams and each team had a course of zig zagging cones and then closely placed straight line cones and we did relays with different combinations of movements…. i.e sprinting through the zig zags and jumping over the straight line cones, or skipping through the zig zags and “ice skating” through the straight line. After several sets there we moved to squares where we had to traverse the perimeter doing different movements and gaits between each cone, with the last side of the square always involving running down and back up that 45% angle hill I’ve mentioned before and then doing sit ups or push ups or planks or something strength building in the middle of the square. Other than my shins bugging me I did a pretty decent job of keeping up and I felt pretty good at the end.

Today was Bring a Friend day and thanks to my sweet and always saving my ass friend Shane agreeing to spend the night so that we wouldn’t be leaving our 6 year old home alone in the wee hours my husband was able to come with me! Yay! Poor guy, this has been hell week for him in his career as a photographer, he’s been booked solid on long shoots since Sunday and he was already exhausted and sore and nursing an injured knee and had a sore throat. . . . but he came anyway! What a warrior! It meant so much for him to SEE what I was doing and to appreciate it on a visceral level, which I think he definitely does now, even though the workout didn’t seem too bad to me (look at me…..I’m getting cocky….Jojo’s going to kick my ass tomorrow!). Of course I was dreading a distance running workout which we seem to be overdue for (unless Jojo in her infinite wisdom has decided that I should never have to run further than around the field again which would be FINE with me!) so another circuit workout seemed very doable.

This one was called HOUSE OF PAIN (sorry, a name like that requires caps). After the warmup we were divided into groups and we ran and skipped and backpedaled and sprinted and side shuffled and kareoked (sp?) between circuit stations (jazz hands optional) where we did calisthenics and strength building exercises. The PAIN part came in with the number of circuits we did……it seemed like there were a LOT of them. My husband was convinced they had run over by like 15 minutes by the end, he was shocked to see it had been less than an hour when we got back in the car.

So here we are. I have to make up Monday’s missed workout on Saturday. I’m dreading that a bit for two reasons, first, it isn’t until 9 or 9:30 which means the sun will be up and second, that means I only get one day of rest before Monday. The sunshine thing is a big deal to me…..I HATE getting overheated. I know . . . why do I live in Atlanta then? Well, see the top of this blog post, I also hate being really cold! Also, working out in the dark has been very freeing for me, especially with so many of the other campers being so fit. Knowing that at many times we can’t see each other that clearly means I don’t have to be self conscious about my jiggly bits . . . in the full on daylight those jiggly bits can’t hide! But I absolutely DON’T want to receive my t-shirt at graduation with anything less than the maximum number of group work outs under my belt.

One last thing, I’m starting to get really scared about the PT test on the last day. First, I’m worried about whether I really will be able to run a mile any faster or better than I did the first day, especially if I’m still experiencing shin pain. And I’m just worried in general. At one of the sit up stations Instructor Michelle asked me as I was struggling through sit up 15 or so how many I had been able to do on the first day. Well I actually did 24 in a minute on the first day. Into my third week I’m tired and sore and I seem to struggle more with push ups and situps and tricep dips now than I did on the first day when my body hadn’t yet figured out what I was doing and hadn’t yet mustered a rebellion. It’s not the pain though, I can push past soreness, I just get to a point sometimes where my muscles fail to respond no matter how hard I’m trying to get them to move in a certain way. So I have this big fear that on the last day I’ll do WORSE in my PT test. As I’ve only noticed slight differences in the way my clothes are fitting and as I haven’t lost any weight (well I don’t THINK I have because of course I haven’t been on the scale) I NEED to see some progress in a measurable fitness goal or I’m going to be really really bummed.

No matter what happens, achieving mind over mattress (yeah, I borrowed that) is a huge accomplishment in and of itself. Now that I know I’m not completely incapable . . . I want to BE one of those fit campers, and I have a tendency to get impatient.

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