Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Core/Resistance/Strength Programme . . .

A request to post the new core/resistance/strength programme I have been following (thanks Sonia!). It is a combination of some articles that I have read, a lot from one of the trainers at the gym, and some of my own combinations. All I have been using is two 10 pd hand weights, one 10 pound leg weight, a resistance band, and a balance ball. The order is just my own, feel free to put each exercise in any order that suits you. The reps are my own at this time, feel free to start where ever you want. I increase the reps when they get easier to do. The whole program usually takes one hour. I sometimes take two rests in the midst of this, because I find it tough. I also play music loudly so the neighbours can't hear me swear real loud.

Exercise 1: Benchpress with dumbbells is just lying on your back and pushing up the dumbbells to the ceiling at the same time. I have been doing 3 sets of 10 each. I have been using 10 pd weights.

Exercise 2: Sit ups are self-explanatory. I have been doing 3 sets of 25 each.

Exercise 3: Lateral raises are tough! Keep your arms straight and lift up to shoulder height and back down. I have been doing 3 sets of 8 each with the 10 pd weights.

Exercise 4: Leg extensions with leg weights. I sit on a bench or chair and wrap the 10 pound leg weight around my ankle and just raise my lower leg off the ground to straight from the knee. I do 3 sets of 15 on each leg.

Exercise 5: Leg curls with leg weights. I have the leg weight wrapped around my ankle and I just bring my leg up. I have been doing 3 sets of 15.

Exercise 6: Dumbbell raise. Done with my 10 pound weight behind my head, I raise the weight from about the middle of my shoulder blades to above my head and down. I do 3 sets of 15. Supposedly to get rid of the dreaded "bat wings." You can feel the pain right in that area afterwards, so it must be working, right?

Exercise 7: Tricep pull down. I put the resistance band around the door knob and I pull down with the top of my arms facing the ceiling at all times. I do 3 sets of 15.

Exercise 8: Shoulder shrugs. You really feel this in the shoulders and the back. I hold the resistance band above my head and slightly towards the back and pull for 3 sets of 15.

Exercise 9: Dumbell curls. I use my forearm to lift the 10 pound weights up and down for 3 sets of 10. I have weak arms obviously.

Exercise 10: Dumbbell presses. Start with the weights at your shoulders and push up to the ceiling with the weights with straight arms. I do 3 sets of 10 each, but they really hurt.

Exercise 11: Lateral Pull Down. I wrap the resistance band around the door knob and facing the door, pull the resistance band outwards and to the back. I am doing 3 sets of 15 each.

Exercise 12: Push Ups. I cannot do a proper push up yet. So I am using the posture ball to do them until I can. I am presently doing 25.

Exercise 13: You can really feel this one in the back of your legs and your butt. You start in a crouch and you extend the leg with the leg weight to straight out behind you so its even with your back. I am doing 3 sets of 10.

Exercise 14: Lateral leg raises. Stand straight and lift the leg with the leg weight to the side for 3 sets of 10.

Exercise 15: Leg Squeeze. lying on your side, nestle the balance ball in the leg lying on the floor. The top leg sits straight on top of the balance ball. Squeeze the ball between your legs and hold each squeeze for 1 second. 3 sets of 15 each leg.

Exercise 16: Ball crunches. Balance the ball in the small of your back and do slow crunches towards the floor, using the ball to support your back. I am up to 25.

Exercise 17: Lunges with ball. Hook one leg over top the ball, using your abdominals for balance. Then use opposite leg to lunge. I am doing 15 per leg right now.

Exercise 18: Deep lunges 15 each leg.

Exercise 19: The plank. Hold it as long as you can. I am weak and only up to 30 seconds.

Exercise 20: Back extensions. With your abdominals on the ball, I do back extensions on the ball. I am doing 25.

Exercise 21: Oblique Twists. Like sit ups, but on the way up, you twist towards one side. I am doing 25 both sides.

Exercise 22: Tricep Dips. With your hands on a small bench, lift with your arms your body up and down. I am presently doing a modified tricep dip with my legs bent because I can't do a true one yet. I am doing 25 modified ones.

Exercise 23: Lateral Pulls. Pull the resistance band with your arms at the level of your waist. 3 sets of 15.

Exercise 24: Leg Curls 2: With the leg weight on, lift your leg, bending at the knee and keeping the thigh straight. I am doing 3 sets of 15 on each leg.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Scary incident . . .

On Saturday morning (0430) I heard a pounding at the door. The dogs freaked out. I go to the door and see someone through the peephole. I did not open the door. I asked what the person wanted. A woman's voice. I want to use the phone. I said, I'm not opening the door, do you want me to call for help? No, I want you to open the door. I said, I am not opening the door. She pounds on the door harder and harder. I told her again, I am not opening the door. I'm going to call the police. She starts to talk to someone, down the walk around the corner of my house (or that is where her head was looking). She said, are you going to open the door, I am cold. I said I am calling the police. She said, open the door now! I call the police, and let them know what was going on. The police where there within seconds. It actually looked like they were up the street. The woman was gone. I started looking out the windows to see what was going on. I saw the police slowly driving up the street, with one of the patrolmen with a large flashlight, walking along the police car, searching in our driveways and bushes. They went up the opposite way. I then saw another police car drive back toward the way the first police car backwards very fast. I saw the lights and the cars stop. I was hoping that they found the person. I tried to go back to sleep.

I was almost asleep before the light cover in the kitchen fell down. Scared the crap out of me. I tried to go back to sleep again. I almost went back to sleep again, before I heard another pounding at the door. OMG I was scared. The dogs were flipping out again.

I look out the peephole and saw a police officer at the door. I open the door and he comes in to ask me my account of what happened that morning. I told him what I have put here. He wanted to know if I can write all of this out in a statement. Okay. He doesn't tell me what happened. He says it might cloud my statement and that he will tell me afterwards. He wants me to be as detailed as possible. Here I am in my dirty kitchen at 0700 in my pyjamas, with my three dogs jumping all over and shaking - writing out this statement. I can just imagine what the police officer was thinking.

Afterwards, he said the woman was claiming she was sexually assaulted. I said that was odd, that it appeared to me that someone else was with her hiding around the corner. I said I had no proof of that - she could have been talking to herself - but she never asked for help or sounded like she was asking for help. She sounded forceful and angry. I said her demeanor was scary and I am glad I didn't open the door and I am glad the police got there when they did - no matter what her situation was. He said they weren't sure of her story, that they were running down all the leads, and the neighbours gave similar stories - that she kept giving people different excuses to open the door and that someone else said they thought she was with a man who was hiding.

Scary situation. I thought I had put into the back of my head by last night, but I was in the backyard with Stella, waiting for her to go to the bathroom, and I heard a sound from the street. I felt a wave of fear and wanted to go in the house with Stella and lock the door.

Back to running - slowly . . .

After a week of this anemia treatment, I was back to running. Slowly at first, I've been doing 4K every couple of days, with a great core/strengthening/resistance training in between to regain or discover some new muscles. I stepped it up to a 6k run last week and hope to do another one today. I find the core program really tough, but the results are palpable within a week. I feel stronger, my clothes have gotten bigger, and my body fat index has gone down 2% in a month, whereas it used to take a couple of months to go down that far. My waist has shrunk by 1.5 inches in a month alone. No real gains in weight loss though, maybe 2 pounds. It would be nice if the new leaness would translate into a weight number also, but I am satisfied that I am on the right track now. If I could only pick up the running more often now. I feel like I could probably pick that up this week now. The energy is slowly coming back.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Anemia sucks . . .

So I got a call from my GP's office saying that I should come in a discuss some blood work abnormalities with him. I ignored the call, because I was busy. I then got a call last week saying that I should come in right away and discuss my blood work. I finally showed up the next day. I have been feeling very drained lately (since before Rattle Me Bones) and even that race I felt so drained that I ran it as a LSD, and still ran it quite slow (1:29 - granny-slow!).

So I knew one of the things they were going to find was anemia - I could feel it and I was quite symptomatic. I would get comments every morning when I came into work - "You look really pale today," "Are you sick? You don't look well," "A little anemic?" As soon as I started feeling the symptoms though, I was starting to pile up on the iron-rich foods, like chickpeas, kidney/black beans, tahini, etc - with citric foods like lemon juice, lime juice, etc. But I kept slowly spiralling down and just lost all energy by two weeks ago.

So, of course they found anemia. I knew my normal levels are anemic or borderline due to long-term anticonvulsant therapy but it was below that level. So I was put on Palafer and given a shot of Epo and to return in three weeks for follow up blood work. I was told to stop running for two weeks to let the therapy take effect.

I had slowed down my running to twice a week due to weekness, and only about 8-10K weekly. I stopped for a week. I don't think I could have run anyways. It took about 5 days to start feeling energy again, and by the 7th day, I went out running and felt great. I even did 1 hour of strength/core training today. I feel so much better.