Sunday, 20 November 2011

Getting fit again!

I'll start with an apology for the length of the post - after not having a muse since my last post I started this morning and it all seemed to come out!

This week I am back on medication, at the start of the summer I began taking nose spray for hay fever. what I  assumed was a constant cold my doctor saw it for what it was and with the medication I was fine for the rest of the summer.

No sniffles, no aches and no thick head.  Wonderful!

When I got back from the UK I noticed that I was starting running low on the spray, but assumed that as summer and the associated pollen we over for another year I could leave it for a while.  I don't like the thought of taking medication 365 days a year. Then at the start of spring next year I could get my repeat prescription and start again.

And then I had cold after cold, thick heads and lots of aches and pains; just as I had at the start of the year.

This has impacted my life in a few ways, and none of them are good!  I am useless at keeping up the will power needed to work out when I have a bad head.  I get home from work and just want to collapse on the sofa.  Or at the weekend I just can't seem to get it together enough to actually get my running gear on and leave the house.  OK, there is also the question of dog owners at the moment - people who take large dogs out, without leads and fail to keep them under control.  Over the last few weeks I when I have had the will power to go running I have had problems with dogs and their owners at least once on each run.  Note to the dog owners: it's not funny, it's annoying as hell and terrifies the people on the receiving end.  When I had two Alsatians baring their teeth and chasing me whilst the ineffectual owner gently said 'come here, come here' and not moving from his spot 200m away my heart rate went from 145 to 190 from the stress.  Anyway I am off on a tangent again...

Another problem is that colds pour stress onto stress, and that is something I am struggling to contain at the moment.  This time of year is always stressful in the office, and whilst this year seems to be much better than previous years, it's still bad enough that I had an apology from my boss on Friday.  You see it's his first year, and in August I was making the planning and making sure that I had people available for my project now.  Everyone was adamant that we would have been ready and I was being over the top by making sure the people were still available.  Well...  We still have weeks of work for developers, there are times when being able to say 'I told you so' doesn't feel great.  But my boss spoke to me on Friday to apologise for not believing me when I was making the planning (though he didn't block my planning, he thought it was not going to be needed).  He can't believe that we are still working on it, but I get the feeling that next year the planning may just be a little better - he's the first one to actually admit that we need these people.

And then of course there is preparing for the fact that in 3 weeks I'll be working as Stacy.  Everything is ready.  I thought.  Hahahahaha.  Last week I was working out the planning for that and since then the stress has been that high that my IBS has had me in agony and yesterday I simply collapsed from exhaustion.  Literally.  A migraine that tablets couldn't touch, short term memory loss (Mrs Stace asked me for a drink and had to tell me three times in less than a minute what she wanted as it just would not stick in my head) and lots of borderline sleep through the day. 

Having the feeling of a constant cold was not helping matters at all!

So on Wednesday I arranged the repeat prescription, and on Thursday picked it up.  That is only three days ago, and the medication takes up to two weeks to really get to work, but I have noticed an improvement already.  The sniffles have gone, as have the thick heads.  The aches?  Well, they are still there, but not from a cold any more!

No, they come from the fact that over the last week I have been trying to get fit again.  Not running has left me a smidgen over what I would like to be size wise.  Nothing serious, and to be honest in clothes you can't even see it.  But I know it's there.  And I have terrible self body image at the best of times; knowing that I am stating to gain weight is just something that I see as the thing end of the wedge!  Something has to be done!

Running is not on the cards for me at the moment, the weather is to cold at the weekends and at night it's too dark.  My favourite place to run is the man made lake near where I live (where my sunset summer pictures in other posts are taken).  It's tranquil, pretty and a set distance - 1 lap is exactly 3km.  Unfortunately it's also unlit and by the time I get home from work it's pitch black - and when there is dog muck, possible glass from teenagers and possibly people lurking in the bushes around the lake (I don't know if the last one is true, but it's not something I like) I try not to do it in the dark.  Of course in the dark you also can't see the dogs and their owners!  So that's a no-no then :)

And so I am being a geek again :)  I pre-ordered 'Your Shape 2012' for the Kinect and it arrived on Monday, and has been used since.  I am trying to do three or four sessions a week, and I am trying to do 45 minute workouts at a high enough heart rate to get 400+ calories burnt per session.

It has different levels of work out for those just starting, those who have some experience and those who are really fit and annoying (I hope to join that group by the end of the winter ;p).

I started with the lowest levels - gentle movements and routines that lasted 5 minutes or so.  It is a good way to start, and a good way to get into the different moves that you have to do.  And the fact that you see yourself on the screen means that you can see when you are doing it wrong; OK a mirror would work just as well, but then you wouldn't be able to see the instructor!  The space you need is quite large - we only just have enough room in our house for it; and if we were in the UK with the tendency to have separate rooms rather than open plan living I don't think there would be enough space without shifting all the furniture to one side!

But, as I still have a baseline fitness the starter ones were really not for me.  I could not get my heart rate up enough, and I wasn't feeling like I had had a work out the end of them.

I tried the boot camp routine that it has (stupid of me, it's a level three routine even on the easiest level) and about collapsed at the end of the 6 minutes.  On the other hand my heart rate was definitely up!

So I settled for the level 2 routines.  I am concentrating on cardio at the moment as all I really want to do is burn calories and get my fitness level up. These take between 12 and 20 minutes per routine so I can do three different workouts and do my whole body.  Legs, arms and torso in separate workouts.  As this is something that I can't do with running I am actually enjoying it a lot!  I think though that I will still try to do one lap of the lake once a week for the fresh air!

Right then, I guess it's time to finish preparing the house for my brothers arrival this afternoon.  I was doing it yesterday but had to give up! It's been a while since I have seen him, and he is coming to change some radiators for us and plaster a ceiling and some walls.


  1. Three weeks

    I know that the fitness isportant, the health and stress doubly so but that one little phrase struck me. Ok I know you have been working up to it and it's not something you wish to jump up and down about but still want to say good luck to you.

    A major thing for you and hopefully a date that will mark the start of a less confused phase in your life.


  2. Three weeks? Wow, that seems to have arrived so quickly. I hope all goes well and stick with the exercise, it's Christmas soon. :-)

  3. Becca: Thanks. I've started stressing in the last couple of weeks! Hopefully after that date I'll have somewhat less stress :)

    Lynn: Two weeks now... The time is flying now!

    :) Christmas, still my favorite time of the year!


  4. I relate to the "head" part of this post. Constant allergy related headaches, almost all of my life, have just about ended since I have been using something called Verimyst. It has helped so much. The horrible headaches slowed me down and also, curiously, affected my short term memory.

    Three weeks! Yay!! Stay strong, girl!

    Calie xxx

  5. Yup, since starting on the spray again I've been much better. It's really annoying - not the being better part, the fact that it looks like I am on the spray for the seeable future...

    One week now. This time next week the whole company will know.