When it comes to the exercise portion of the 12WBT some days are definitely easier than others. Whilst I don’t seem to have any dramas sticking to the food side of things (well OK some days I struggle to eat as much as I should), the exercise is a whole other story. The secret for me, is having other people to work out with. If I’ve committed to doing it with someone else, then I will definitely show up, and once there, give it my all. By myself, it’s an effort even to get started… and once I’ve started all I want to do is stop. It’s definitely not a “habit” for me yet, even after a few months.
This morning I did not want to do anything. Lucky for me, I had arranged with a friend to do a walk this morning… the same friend I had looked in the eye and made my commitment to back in pre season so I could hardly back out. Instead of the Bay, I opted to do one of our old walks around Ballast Point Park. I love the park down there – the council has reclaimed an old oil refinery and turned it into a great green space. they used rubble from the site to build retaining walls so there are all sorts of interesting bits and pieces in them – tea pots, plates, warning signs, valves, machinery, and it has a great view of the harbour. It also has some long steep staircases, as well as some flat bits which are good for running. I figured that a change of scenery and a walk I know I enjoy would help motivate me. It didn’t help.
My legs complained from the moment I set foot out the door. If I was alone I would have been lucky to do 30 minutes I think. It’s a fairly steep downhill walk to the park and my ligaments ached every step of the way. Instead of giving up though, when we got to the flat I decided to go for a run to warm them up. I swear I must look like an old woman when I run – I know I feel like one. It’s almost like it takes my legs a while to realise what’s being asked of them. Once I get through the first 50 m or so they seem to loosen up and I’m OK .. until I can’t breathe. Anyway I did a couple of runs and my legs were feeling OK. No idea what’s going on with my breathing though. I was huffing, puffing, wheezing and feeling like I was suffocating the whole time. I just could not get the air into my lungs, no matter how slow or deep I tried to breathe. It’s almost like there is a valve in my throat that just closes over and wont let any air through to my chest. Usually that only happens when I really exert myself, but on those first 2 runs my heart rate was only maxing at around 158bpm which for me is not high at all (bootcamp I usually spike at around 180). It was coming back down quick enough too, but my breathing was just all over the place.
Sometimes I think when I get frustrated I get mad and almost want to punish myself and force myself to do what I’m struggling with (when I’m not collapsing in a sobbing heap that is). So every time there was a choice as to which way to go, I opted for the longer route. By the time I got home 1 hr and 56 minutes later, we had walked pretty much the perimeter of Balmain, including the steepest streets I know. According to Endomondo, we’d clocked up 10.18km. The pace wasn’t that fast, but I was happy enough with it considering I’m not a fan of the hills (uphill and I’m out of breath, downhill and my legs hurt). Every step this morning was an effort. Heck even starting today was a JFDI instead of an “I want to”. Whilst I enjoyed the company and the scenery I cannot honestly say I enjoyed the walk. I am however glad I did it. I’m glad I burned 782 calories today. I’m especially happy with the burn as for some reason I had to get on the scales this morning (bad idea. Mid week weigh ins are not sensible) and I had lost nothing at all since last weigh in. I think the mere fact that I felt the need to weigh in is an indication that my head is not where it should be today. Perhaps that contributed to the struggle. What is good to know, is that even when the head is all over the place, I can rein myself in enough to do what I know I need to. So now my exercise is done and I can enjoy the rest of the day.