29 September 2009
Still at the gym four times a week, and some days are better than others. It really is something for which you have to be in the right frame of mind, else it can be purgatory.
My big breakthrough is that I've now learned how to run. Even when a fit youngster who won stuff in the swimming pool, I was bad at running. I managed to drag myself round the cross-country route in PE once a week but not because I knew what I was doing, merely because swimming had made me fit enough to get by.
My previous aim for the treadmill was a half hour session at 7 km per hour, which is the fastest available walking speed before the machine asks you not to hold the heart monitors for safety reasons. Now, however, I can do bursts at up to 11km an hour which is something of a medium-paced sprint for me.
I can't do it for very long before I slow myself down again, but as calorie shedding is my main aim, it seems to work well for me. Yesterday I got rid of 500 calories on the treadmill alone in 32 minutes - my target was 500 in 20 but it took me a while to get the rhythm going. It remains my target and I intend to achieve it before long.
I'm still doing some weights but whenever I turn up, there's always at least one bloke with the kind of muscles that suggest ten years of readily lifting or balancing weights that are twice - or more - the level I'm comfortable with. The last thing I want to do is injure myself in the name of some manner of masculinity competition, so I stay on the weights for no longer than necessary. I'm well aware thanks to the calorie count that the treadmill is beneficial, but I don't know how well I'm doing by lifting weights I can actually lift (albeit sometimes with involuntary exclamations and a bit of a sweat on) rather than aiming for a level with which I will seriously struggle.
These more muscular blokes always wear vests, and always have a tattoo of a flash of lightning covering one shoulder and bicep.
For the time being, I've given up using the pool as part of my fitness routine. It's simply because the hairdo swimmers are a total pain in the arse. They look daggers at you when you are resting at one end of the pool because a mild splash of chlorinated water may have touched their face. There are also always teenage lads trying to swim full lengths underwater (and failing - the part-timers; that sort of thing was a breeze when I was 15, meh) and attempting to tumbleturn (and again failing), and don't realise that they zigzag all over the bloody place as they do it. I spend half my pool time stopping or changing direction or slowing down or altering my technique and it simply doesn't do any good. Maybe the Masters is calling after all.
Anyway, I shall be back in that health centre later today, aiming for 500 in 25, and then eventually that target of 500 in 20 will come. This will be via the treadmill only, as the stepper and the cross trainer I still simply cannot use without my calf muscles going on strike after 30 seconds.
My weight has barely changed, and my stomach remains as visible as ever, but I'm sure that something good is happening somewhere. If nothing else, I'm sleeping extremely well...