Saturday, March 15, 2008

Motivation for Fatcats and possibly Fatcat Chumlies.

Top of the saturday to you, I and my cheesy grin greet you and hope you are all in fine fettle. I am off to Howth within the hour, to source fish with the paramour, and to take photos, for I am that lame. I hope I capture the lesser spotted Gay Byrne on film.
A patchy sort of week for me exercise wise I must admit. I only came back from Balmoral on Monday evening and to be quite frank I was banjaxed. Running up mountains has got absolutely nothing to do with easy 10k loops a couple of times a week and as such I feel slightly found out.
I was just saying to the paramour yesterday-after a run ( where I worked on speed blocks, one of the chaps, expert marathon man Don Macgregor gave me some sterling advice) that on a scale of 1 to 10 in terms of fitness, I would honestly consider myself to be about 4. This alarmed the poor paramour for if I am 4, he reasoned, then he must surely be zero. How the man landed on zero when it went from 1 to 10 is beyond my ken, but he seems to know his business.
See, I can run for an hour no problem, I can bike for an hour or two, I do weights, I do yoga, I row hard once or twice a week, all of these things are imminently doable, but when faced with running up a mountain last week, I felt really colly wobbled.
On the first day we ran six miles, and though it was tough I did it, and did it quite fine really. On the second day we had a long run and the weather was fierce, the higher we got the colder the sleet and wind, and once we broke through the tree line and out onto the moor. I was struggling and my left lung was still feeling the effects of whatever illness I acquired the previous Tuesday when suddenly I had a eureka moment.
Eureka, I said to my self, this is really fucking unpleasant and I am utterly against it.
So I conferred with my squad leader and he rather graciously let me go back down, albeit by a longer loop by the river, and this chumlies, is where they great recovery kicked in.
Once I was out of the group and once I made it back to the relative shelter of the trees, I pulled my hat down low, popped my music in and stone me, off I set at my own pace and proceeded to poodle along. I poodled along for almost an hour, stopping to go EEEE over some ponies, and made it back to the castle and, more importantly, to the showers, first.
Now I accept that most of the people at Balmoral are all training for the London marathon which is only a few weeks away, so they would be at their peak in terms of fitness levels and long runs, where as I don't even start training for the Dublin until say, May, but still.
The truth is I don't like training in groups. I said it to Finn over coffee that evening-Finn is a terrific runner and therefore not in my group, that running in a group displeased me. I don't like to be told what speed to run, I don't like to chat as I run, although the people there were lovely. I like to listen to music and poodle along gawking at stuff. I like to slow down and speed up at will, I don't like rain, I sure as shit don't like hills.
I am a fucking lazy runner.
The next day we had a recovery run, which was climb up to the top of a hill (walking, single file, bit steep you see) and then run back down and around by the river for a further mile or two. I found the third run easy, and kept to the group, but I couldn't help it, I kept thinking how much more I'd enjoy it if I was alone.
Then we did an hour of pilates and core strengthening which was awesome and then we had a lunch, which was even awesome-er.
I really enjoyed Balmoral, I especially liked talking to Don and John Bryant, who is quite an inspiration. I will use everything I learned there and put it to good use. As soon as April roll to an end I will begin training in earnest. I plan to shave at least half an hour off my marathon time this year.
In the mean time I will pull my finger out and see if I can drag my reluctant corpse higher up the 1 to 10 scale. Even a 6 would do me. My body will complain and it will be loath to leave the comfort zone, but leave it it will.
And so, this week, although it was patchy,

WEdnesday-I ran 10k in the gym, alternating speeds. Finished with half an hour of core pilates as thought by Emma in Balmoral.

Friday, ran for 80 mins, used the park to operate running in blocks to increase speed. I was wreaked on the way home, my legs felt like jelly, so it must be doing something different.

Tomorrow I"m running in the Phoenix park with the chaps. 5 miles.

There you have it for this week. Patchy. But next week will be better. It's time to roll up the sleeves and whip this Fatcat into shape. Anyone else feeling they're just poodling along in the comfort zone?



Anonymous Kacy said...

You surely are brave running up those mountains, I only walked a little way up the ones in Sligo only to have to retreat on seeing sheep waiting for me at the top

11:09 a.m.  
Blogger Dr. James McInerney said...

That sounds great FMC. MUst surely find time for me to go on a fitness sabbatical. Might even do it next week. Three good sessions in the gym early in the week. Eating very healthily and not so much booze. Overall, feeling pretty healthy. Thoughts of trying once again for Dublin City Marathon are flickering across my consciousness. Write more about DCM to guilt me into starting. Y'see, I trained for six weeks last year with DCM in mind, but then had back trouble and it all went the shape of a pear. Would love to do a marathon, just to say i did it.

11:36 a.m.  
Blogger Andraste said...

Oh dear. If you are a fitness 4, I must be a 1, at best!

But a good couple of weeks for exercising for me. Managing, because the sun's up earlier, to get up at 6:30 every Tuesday, WEdnesday, Thursday morning, and get a good sweat in before leaving for work. Resting on Mondays and Fridays, then having longer, tougher workouts on the weekends, because time permits.

So, Tuesday - incorporated some yoga stretches as a warmup, which has been HUGE for my back. 40 minutes elliptical, some ab stuff I got from a yoga instructor on the tube.

Wednesday - lunges with 5 lb. weights, squats, 40 minutes on the elliptical and some tricep and bicep curls with 10 lb. weights.

Thursday - same a Tuesday.

Friday - rest.

Saturday - only had time for 40 mintues on the elliptical and some yoga back and ab stretches, for now I must shower and get the train to town where I will negate all the good I just did all week by drinking large amounts of stout, and shouting at sweaty hockey players to "fucking skate, you pansy - oh, and KILL HIM!!!!"

If I'm not too hungover tomorrow, I'll do some more exercise stuff (to be determined by intestinal mood and tolerance.)

1:02 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Err.. If ye are 1/4.. I am minus 7. I play soccer (kick arounds) three nights a week. have a treadmill I sue then maybe twice a week.. hard walking/extremely slow jogging for an hour. Need to lose weight before I can start jogging propery.

1:18 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Nothing brave about it. I didn't see any sheep mind you. But there were plenty of deer and red cows that look like yaks. They've three pairs of golden eagles too, which I did see but would have liked too, although I did see a small reddish coloured hawk.

Docky, do! I'll be starting in about a month, we can talk ourselves into it. We can wince and eep and frown at times together. The DCM is terrific and I really enjoyed doing it last year.

Andraste that's a fine week indeed. I too am suffering the after effects of beer today, but a seafood chowder has set me right. The brighter mornings and evenings really make such a difference. As does the stretching. I promised Emma I would use what she taught, so I'm sticking to it.

Anonymous, that's a busy enough week. Especially the football. I've seen the state of the paramour after a game, it can be pretty intense. One thing though, if you're easing into jogging and running, make sure you have a good pair of runners. When I started I wore a poor pair and I really hurt my knees, but as soon as I got my feet checked and got the right footwear I was flying. Well, going faster in less pain.
Good luck!

3:10 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wish I could say I was comfortably poodling along, but to be honest at this stage my legs simply aren't strong enough for even a 30-minute run to be "easy. I'm frustrated as I can be at not making more progress more quickly, but if I push much harder I'm afraid I'll end up re-injuring whatever it is that makes my knees so sore and throbby sometimes. Am I just going to have to hang in there and be patient? Because I'm not all that great at being patient.
That said, this week was pretty fair. I did 2 miles on Tuesday and Thursday, walked on Monday, biked on Wednesday. Baked two cakes yesterday, which counts as exercise since my mixer died and I worked up a sweat whipping everything by hand. There was also a round of Pilates and free weights thrown in, doing that again today after we walk to fetch the car from last night. Spouse and I are doing a 4-mile run tomorrow, which should be interesting--it'll be the longest run either of us have ever attempted.

3:16 p.m.  
Blogger Medbh said...

FMC, if you're a 4 then I am a -4.
I haven't done much this week but yell no and run after fast puppies.

Have fun in Howth. We loved it. There was hardly anyone about and it was so clean and crisp. We ate at the Bloody Stream which was cozy and the food was great.

3:19 p.m.  
Blogger Bock the Robber said...

That's terrifying. I stay fit by playing very loud music with the window open.

3:50 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Well done Grims, and you're quite right to take it easy, building gradually helps a great deal in staying injury free. I hope tomorrow goes well.
Medbh- your way of exercising sounds so much nicer. Oh puppies. It's a bit wet today, but still Howth was lovely and we went gadding about. I even saw some seals in the harbour. We also hit Wrights and bought two huge sea bass, a bag of mussels and some escallops which we're going to pan fry with garlic and butter. Nom nom. I have to go now and get some white wine. I will be in jammies by six and full of fish by eight. Huzzah!

Bock- air guitar, that's all I'm saying.

4:02 p.m.  
Anonymous nonny said...

I am a bit like that. I am not really a team player. It has long been my stance that should a body tell me what to do I will promptly retaliate by doing the exact opposite. Another factor is all the people, the peer pressure. With so many participants the thought of doing the marathon turns my stomach in much the same way as driving fast over a big hill. I will still do though. I’ll don blinkers.

I would have thought you much fitter than a 4. How do you know you are a 4?
Did they do fitness tests the weekend? You seem to have a great deal of stamina, in that you can go the distance. I do outdoor activities, swimming in the sea, surfing and rock climbing but I am shit at running a great distance. Do you know if you can get fitness tests here?

4:03 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

I think you can get a test done in Trinity, Aisling got one done a while back and found it very effective. If she pops in she might give you the details.
I've no time for false modesty or any of that clap trap, but it was me who figured on 4, I think I'm operating in a very soft comfort zone and if I want to do better and get fitter I need to kick my own arse a little and shake it up. Train with balls to the wall, as Finn might say. Not all the time of course, but at least twice a week. Certainly the rowing helps as it taxes me to the max, but also I need to pay more attention to my running. I really want to knock some time off the marathon this year and the only way to achieve that is to train harder and maybe a bit smarter.
Right, off to get wine. Laters.

4:21 p.m.  
Anonymous nonny said...

Thank you most kindly. I will look into that Tuesday. Enjoy the vino!

4:36 p.m.  
Anonymous stipes said...

Due to LAZINESS have not run a step in 2 weeks, but will try tomorrow. can you explain,-running in blocks- .Is it Fartlek

8:24 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Pretty much stipes, except for time instead of distance. Don MacGregor ( new hero along with John Bryant) figured if I ran in blocks of 5 over an hour I'd get more from my training, so a twenty minute warm up and then a big division of my time into ten minute sessions consisting of seven minutes normal poodle and then 3 minutes seriously stepping up a gear. Not sprinting, but moving maybe a stride and a half faster. After which I lower back into my regular speed.
Actually I was doing this on the tread before I left-over distance, 1k faster 1k dropping- but it's nice to hear an expert and take on board what he is saying.

9:26 p.m.  
Blogger John Mc said...

Hey FMC,

The awful truth is to get better we need to spend time outside our comfort zone(hill running be great for that as long as you get rest periods), the key is to spend some time outside the comfort zone, (30 seconds), and drop back into your high but doable level of work, then back above your zone. Rinse and repeat. Heart monitors are great tools for this, but you need to know your thresholds. Training in a group is great as it forces you to work a little harder, but only if you aren't going way harder than normal.

My week

Sunday - fanny all, cycled 70 miles on Sat.
Monday - 90 mins indoor bike class, wattage training followed by a 20 minute run.
Tuesday - 2500 metre swim, long intervals.
Wed - 90 mins indoor bike class - wattage training.
Thursday 2500 metre swim, short fast intervals.
Friday 30 minute run, followed by 6 x 15 secs hill sprints.
Sat - 3 hr mountain bike ride, with some friends one of whom is 40 today. Hard but fun ride. Its sunny and the views of the Golden Gate Bridge were spectacular. This is the prelude to some debauchery tonight. The "recovery" pints afterwards were nice too :)

This is all working, I am feeling way fitter, and am about 7lbs lighter. 7 weeks until D-Day. It gets really tough in 2 weeks. 3500 meter swims - ugh they are boring enough as it is.

10:12 p.m.  
Blogger Manuel said...

NEVER! Manuel lives life in the fat lane, sorry I meant fast lane. I'm not even wearing my slippers as i drink my coco

12:34 a.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Yikes John, seven weeks, is that all? I don't know why I thought you had more time. Either way you'll nail it as you appear to be BTTW (balls to the wall) and I salute you for it. This week coming I shall definitely remove the finger.
Manuel, darling I know you're burning the oil right now, so I salute you for that either way,.

12:49 a.m.  
Anonymous laughykate said...

Okay, I did vacuuming yesterday.......lazy lazy lazy was I this week. Actually no, that is a lie, I wasn't lazy but time conspired against me and so did my health. The intention was there. I got wet only once and for forty lengths.

5:00 a.m.  
Anonymous Sam, Problemchildbride said...

Poor week for me too. I can't remember a good one lately.

Last Saturday 40 minutes on stepper machine and 20 min run on machine. Meant to leave time to go on the conditioning machines but the girls "tumbler" class was finished downstairs so I didn't even stretch very much and that's why nothing much happened on Sunday.

Monday, 20 min run in the morning then ran as fast as I could for 5 minutes back up the massive hill we live at the top of. Cream crackered.

Then nothing 'til today 'cos the chilluns were sick. I did some freeweights at home for a half-hearted 10 minutes and ran up and down the stairs 20 times.

Tomorrow we're going to the Aquarium of the Pacific with the girls - hooray!

Next week will be better although it's already getting too hot for me to run much after 10am outside. Then I'll be confined to the gym til about November. Plenty people do run outside here year round but I really, really hate running in that kind of heat.

There's no way you're a 4 though. A 30-something woman with a marathon under her belt who exercises at length multiple times a week is at least a 6. At very least. You're fitter than almost all my 30 something female friends, me included. I know people who gym it once, maybe twice a week or play football or something but you do stacks more than most women do. Seriously, I have pals I cannot even imagine breaking into a gentle trot supposing their houses were on fire. Fine people but - just far more in the 4ish field than you.

6:31 a.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

LK, time and tide waits for no man. I have no idea what this really means but gamma said it all the time. Normally after she'd been at the gin.

Ah Sam, you're too kind. I know I'm pretty fit compared to folk who do nowt, but compared to folk that do I'm still going to rest my head on a 4. It's not so bad, just a figure, a numerical impetus that I will use to drive my training.

Too hot? I am slightly jealous. Only slightly mind, yesterday was miserable here, and today, though dryer, is cold. However I have just come from the Paramour's pappy's house and I am filled with Sunday dinner, sticky toffee pudding, custard AND ice-cream. I have wine and many episodes of the Wire to watch. I believe I'm so happy I might burst.

8:00 p.m.  
Blogger aquaasho said...

It is hard to run in a group, but only a group of strangers (friends are more fun). It reminds me of my cycling weekend.

Nonny, Trinity (Anatony Dept.) do the tests during business hours only but ring up DCU, since they're a college they may do it out of hours and also the Peak Centre.

FMC I'm a huge fan of the hills, love 'em to death. Scotland sounds super! I'm a climber not a descender and only like going upwards. (Unless I'm knackered!) I've had a busy week, too busy in fact and think I'm showing signs of overtraining. So I'm listening to my body and reducing the workouts. It makes you low mentally though and I can feel a bit of a downer setting in. It's like you want to keep going and it's actually doing you harm. I'm still able to run and do all the workouts but I find I'm slower and not as strong. Only 4 weeks to my marathon though so have to sort myself out. At least I'm realising it now.

10:11 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Darling girl, if you like up then Balmoral is right up your alley/hillside.
I"m sure you're suffering a bit right now, but I have absolute faith in you, you will wing this marathon, keep strong, taper well and your extremely fit body will do the rest.

12:32 a.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have a fitness question pertaining to that longest-run-ever (a pitiful 4 miles) I did yesterday:
Why, oh why are my arms too sore to lift above my head this morning, when my legs are fine?
Was I running on all fours and just didn't know it?

Also, FMC, did you ever sort out that mystery ab soreness when you were training last summer?

12:57 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Probably to do with the angle you were holding your arms. When I started running first I used to get incredible aches and pain in my arms and shoulders -as well as the abs on longer distances- and a simple shake out every mile or so helps greatly and well as letting my arms swing more. I don't get it at all now. Although an hour on the rowing machine still twiddles my gazebo plenty.
The ab pain was a result from the way I was holding myself over longer distances. I'll probably run into the same thing when the marathon training gets underway. Once I go over the two hour mark things have a funny way of reminding me of my mortal state.

1:34 p.m.  
Blogger PI said...

No they've got it wrong. Your a nine and a hslf. In my book anyway.

8:28 a.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Oh snarf, I wish, but thanks Pat.

10:39 a.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks FMC.. ya my knees actually are sore a bit as I am new to it.. I would run all day if you put a ball in front of me.

But.. I notice when I do incline I am getting bad shin splints.. I have always suffered from these from when I was younger.. anyidea what I can do to prevent? Its rare it happens but man its so sore when they come on me and stupid here wont stop until the leg wont move anymore..


12:01 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

I think with shin splints the surface you run on counts a lot against you. And as far as I know there's nothing for it but to rest your legs for a few days if they're really bad.
They do go over time though, I used to get them in the early days too, but gradually less and less and now not at all. Painful buggers though. Try keeping to grass or clay where ever possible until your body adapts to the impact and stresses and strains, it will help.
Sorry I can't be of more help.
Good luck!

12:18 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks :-)

Looks like its the weight causing it so.. slowly and surely I will fight the bulge!


4:12 p.m.  
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