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Fitness Ups and Downs

October 22, 2012

Hey! I hope you had lovely weekends. First of all, thank you for you comments on my last post about weight loss and maintenance. I was actually quite nervous about posting it because weight is such a personal issue and while I’m more comfortable talking about my successes in weight loss, the fact that I still struggle sometimes is more difficult to deal with. It seems like a lot of you can relate, so thanks for your support.

Today’s post is about all things fitness related. There are some good things and some not-so-good things to tell you about, but I think I’ll start with the good.

Rediscovering an old favourite

When Virgin Active approached me about their #beyourpersonalbest campaign one of the things I was most excited about was that they offer Body Combat classes. A few years ago I was obsessed with Body Combat and did it three or four times a week. Then I moved cities and my new local gym didn’t offer classes.

After work on Friday I finally managed to get to a 45 minute class and I wasn’t disappointed. I’d forgotten what hard work it was though! Within minutes I was warm and sweaty, but I had a huge smile on my face. I love how much fun the moves are and I like imagining that I’m beating someone up. I’m quite mild-mannered in real-life, so throwing some punches is like having a bad-ass alter-ego.

I find Combat fairly easy to follow, although it took a few times to get the hang of some of the moves again. It was certainly easier to follow than Zumba! It’s also incredibly aerobic, so I got a real buzz from getting my heart-rate up. Combat works your upper body as well as the lower body and I was certainly feeling some muscle soreness in my arms, back and obliques for a few days afterwards.

I’ll definitely be going back when I can, although that might be in a few weeks’ time (see below).

Bridlington Half Marathon

I wasn’t looking forward to this one if I’m honest. The buzz of the Great North Run had worn off, I hadn’t trained very much, and I felt tired and a bit sore. I hadn’t tapered properly either and could still feel the after-effects of Body Combat. So, do as I say and not as I do, and make sure you rest up before a race and definitely don’t try a new exercise class two days before.

Anyway, on Sunday morning things looked positive. The sun was shining in Leeds and I was about to take the bus with fifty other runners from my running club. However a little way down the motorway things got foggy, very foggy, and stayed that way all the way to the coast. It was so foggy in Bridlington that I could hardly see my hand in front of me.

The race started on time and I trotted off at what seemed like a reasonable pace. I felt tight and sore from the start and was mentally thinking about ways I could drop out. After a few miles I found my stride and things didn’t seem too bad, although it felt like I was going slowly. I’d been told that it was a “flat” course, but it was actually more-or-less uphill for the first 8 miles! At least I couldn’t see the hills coming because of the fog.

The last three miles were rough because my right side felt so sore, but I kept going and although I wanted to walk I didn’t give in. Apparently on a clear day you can see the finish from miles away, but I didn’t see the flag until I was 100m away. I think that was actually a good thing because I just trundled along without that “so near, yet so far” feeling.

I didn’t wear my Garmin, so I didn’t know what time I’d done, I just hoped that it was under two hours. I was pleasantly surprised that I actually ran it in 1:55:30. Three minutes slower than GNR, but I felt so rubbish yesterday compared to a month ago in Newcastle that three minutes isn’t bad.

I’ve been told that it’s a lovely scenic race, but I wouldn’t know! I couldn’t even see the sea and I was standing right next to it.

Now I hurt

My legs felt sore throughout the race and very sore straight afterwards. We stayed in Bridlington for a few hours, then took the bus back. I knew when I got off the bus that my right leg was suffering. I’m not exactly sure which bit is injured – it feels like hamstring, IT band and piriformis combined. It’s stiff and sore when I first get up, but a bit better once I’ve moved around a bit. I know that I need to let it recover though.

My plan is to rest for a couple of days, ice, take ibuprofen and then see how it is. If it’s a bit better I will try some yoga and gentle cross-training later in the week. I’m then on holiday for a couple of weeks (yay!), so I won’t be doing any serious exercise. I’m hoping that by the time I get back I will be able to start training again.

My legs have been tight for a while, so I know I need to try and change something to get them feeling better. I’ve had two sports massages so far and I’m trying to warm-up and cool-down better. More yoga and strengthening may also help, but hopefully a period of rest will get me off to a good start.

14 Comments leave one →
  1. October 22, 2012 6:26 pm

    I’m going to say well done for seeing the half through to the end and also *silly* girl to go do combat 2 days before … what were you thinking??? 😉 See a physio/osteo/chiro if you can in a few days xx

    • October 24, 2012 9:14 am

      I know, I know. Tbh I’d forgotten how tough Combat was because I used to do it so often that my body had got used to it. I have an appointment with massage therapist and chiro for when I get back off holiday. I’m ready for a telling off 😉

  2. October 22, 2012 9:40 pm

    Aww, the half marathon sounds tough 😦 I know too well what it’s like recently to run and really NOT be feeling it.

    I hope your injury clears up – with Combat it’s most likely to be hamstrings as those get an absolute shredding with all of the kicks. I can only do Combat once a week or my hamstrings start playing up. I would really recommend Body Attack once you’re feeling better though – I swear to God it’s the only class tougher than running!


  3. October 23, 2012 6:21 am

    Do you ever use a foam roller? I find it really helps with stiff/sore legs. Hope you feel better soon.

    • October 24, 2012 9:12 am

      My foam roller is used as a household decoration 😉 Seriously, I don’t use it often enough, so I need to get on there while I’m watching TV at night.

  4. October 23, 2012 8:29 am

    Hope you feel better soon, but great job on that half, it sounds like it was a really tough race but doing it in that time is amazing!

    • October 24, 2012 9:11 am

      Thanks. It was teh toughest one I’ve done mentally. I would like to do it again one day – maybe when there’s less fog!

  5. October 23, 2012 12:03 pm

    Well done on getting through the half- that time is fantastic! Hope you enjoy some rest. I would second the foam roller, I find it brilliant for any stiffness or tightness.

    • October 24, 2012 9:10 am

      Thank you! I am very pleased with the time, but was on a bit of a downer because I injured myself. I will enjoy the hard-earned rest!

  6. October 23, 2012 1:52 pm

    methinks a deep tissue massage could be beneficial………..

  7. October 24, 2012 9:41 pm

    Glad you’ve rediscovered your love for body combat! It sounds like a great class 🙂 Also, despite the not so ideal prep still a massive congratulations on your half! I think that’s super impressive! Sorry that your leg is still bothering you though, if it doesn’t improve it might be worth going to see a physio. Hope it feels better soon!

  8. October 25, 2012 5:49 am

    Eek, I feel your pain 😦 I’m no runner but I’ve heard foam rollers can be really good? Congratulations on the time though and not walking – and I hope you feel better soon.
    I’d love to try Body Combat but there aren’t any near me, it’s a great feeling when you know you’ve really got your heart rate up. Have a great holiday of you don’t post before!

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