Saturday, April 29, 2006

April training in review - a good month

A few months back my trainer got me started logging my daily workouts. I eventually added in a monthly goals section and a month-end review to see if I had achieved the goals I'd set out.

I think he felt that he'd unleashed a bit of a monster... I logged... and logged... and logged... Then I'd ask him to review it all. The poor guy took an extra hour of his own time to read through all my comments for our last session earlier this month. I told him he was a freak for having done so, but that I appreciated it all the same.

Today, I reviewed my log myself, looking back at the month of April, what goals I’d set out… what I’d done or not done. I must admit… I was relatively happy, which is unusual for me, since I am more likely to feel that I have accomplished nothing, not gone far enough, not done well enough, etc. But this month… it’s pretty much all good…

I got the custom-made orthotics and subsequently ditched my hot little bionic leg (that’s a knee brace to everyone except Rob… to him it’ll always be a hot bionic leg, bless his heart). To make things even better, I officially got the green light from Tim, my physiotherapist, to go back to the bike. (Yaaay! Land cardio!)

Despite taking up "land cardio" again, I even made an attempt to go and practice swimming one day, with another woman from my swimming class. We spent more time laughing than we did swimming, but at least we got out there and tried.

I have been practicing on that blasted bosu almost every day and I daresay that my balance with the new orthotics is coming back. It's not there 100%, but it's much better than a few weeks ago.

And I’ve been doing 80 (yes, count ’em… as in 40 per leg) ab- and adductor extensions per day, six days a week. Despite the fact that they are getting hideously boring, I am getting more stable and can do the last set of each exercise “hands-free” now.

Still keeping up with the daily physio exercises (minus the squats, which we figured out contributed to the leg swelling.) Otherwise, I am nauseatingly disciplined... but it is worth it.

Why? Because my leg and knee are less swollen than they were and the pain has subsided considerably... I only feel it occasionally now. I am also better able to manage the inflammation now, too. Same goes for the back pain that was definitely a problem in March. Between modifying my activities and being very pro-active about being kind to my back, I have been able to take my physio appointments from once a week to once every two weeks.

A very personal breakthrough was that I was able to start using the mirrors in the gym this month. I have avoided using them for reasons I won’t go into here (hint: poor body image). In case you are wondering, I have learned all my exercises without the aid of a mirror… perhaps not doing them 100% correctly, but well enough to avoid a trip to the hospital. One day it occurred to me that if I was really going to integrate fitness with my values, I had to be able to “face myself”, in every sense of the word. And so, I have.

On the downside, I must say that I feel a bit isolated working on my own these days, but that is OK. My goal remains the same as it has for the past couple of months... to get the injury healed and be in good enough shape to run. When I am there, I will get "plugged in" to Calgary's running community. I am considering volunteering at a race or two this season, even if I can't participate. I figure that might be a good way to get connected...

But overall this month, there have been huge strides forward… healing and getting stronger.

In May, I have signed up for both Hatha yoga and Pilates, just to add a new challenge… I am looking forward to next month!


ipodmomma said...

wow! you really have gotten into this exercising thing... :)))

I am so glad that your leg is so much better!!! that is fantastic...

well, keep up the good work. looking forward to hearing those running stories, one day soon!

Janice said...

Hi Sarah,

Or is that ms. Butterfinger?

That's great! You have come a long way with your leg, and now it so much better--congradulations!

If your feeling isolated when you work out, maybe you can find an exercise partner? Just an idea.

I tried Yoga, and found that some of the stances can be hard on the feet. I hope you don't have any problems when you do it. Pilates is something I always wanted to try, but they just don't have the equipment or the instructors here in my home town. Good luck with your new exercise routine.


Sarah Elaine said...

IPM - Not so much "getting into this exercising thing", as wanting to live differently. The connection of fitness to values was key for me. Exercise doesn't seem half so appealing as being fit!

Janice - Yes... er... workout partners... There are a couple of girls I sometimes head over to the gym with, but we each do our own thing while we are there... Which is perfectly OK with me. :-)

I've done Pilates before. It's a heckuva workout! No equipment involved in a beginner class... If you ever get the chance, I highly encourage it!

backofpack said...

It's great that you are feeling so much better! Way to push through and conquer those injuries. I was at a Y instructors meeting yesterday and met one of the yoga instructors - she's starting a new class that should work into my summer work schedule, so I'm going to give it a try too. I've actually never done yoga! I teach the Pilates mat class at the Y and I love it. Can't wait to hear what you think!

Turtle Guy said...

Thanks for the tips on logging, sweetie - makes a world of difference to physically see the results - whatever it is... physical fitness or money and business management.

Robb said...

You make an excellent point Sarah regarding your personal breakthrough - being able to "face yourself" in every sense of the word.

Congratulations on sticking with it...that's cuz yer a bluenoser ain't it?!

D said...

Great news on the green light for biking!! Keep up the great work!

angie's pink fuzzy said...


What exercises do you do for the hip ab/adductors? I need to work on those more...