83. A victory over the mind

I started the morning tired.  A shift worker in the house is something I am still getting used to, and he was quite late last night.  This didn’t stop me, however, and I was out of the door before the Sun decided to be nasty and burn everything.  I had no plans to stop at the gym; thus, I foolishly left the pass at home.  Buoyed by the success of my last two morning walks, I started at a great pace, and then the shin splints arrived with a vengeance. 

The last two mornings, I had walked about 1 mile with shin pain from my speed, but I stopped in at the gym, did some arm exercises and continued at the same pace with no problems.  The shorter walk worked as a warm-up.  Today, that did not happen, and I had to stop and do some shin stretches standing on curbing in the complex.  I really must remember to warm up my legs if I am going to ever get to the stage of jogging the entire way.  On the positive side, my stretches were successful.

The struggle was with the time and the distance today.  I have no idea why but I wasn’t feeling the walking love this morning.  After one lap I was so very tempted to call it quits. However, I was reminded of something a friend had posted on Facebook. “ Give it 5 minutes.”  This is a trick to get you started on a task where you dedicate just 5 minutes to the task.  What happens then is that you have begun so you tend to continue.  I know I was already 20 minutes into my walk at this stage, but I applied the 5-minute rule and thought I will walk for another 5 minutes.  This turned into – before I stop for the mail, I’ll do another lap around the lake.  And then after the lap around the lake, I’d done a further 5 minutes and was 30-minutes into the walk.

The halfway mark is magic for me.  If I can make it halfway, then I find it very easy to finish.  Despite being no more than about 400 meters from my apartment at the extremes of the complex, once I have reached the magic halfway mark of a goal, it is easier to finish the goal.  30 minutes later, I had not quite completed 5 kilometres, so my time was slow however, by the time I made it back to the apartment, I had done 5 km in 1 hour and 6 minutes.

Fastest split: 12:37 mins/km

Slowest split: 13:32 mins/km Not a bad walk in terms of consistency of speed and the fact that I had a victory over my mind.  It seems like a small thing but for me – I need these small wins so when I start running properly, I can push through the barriers my mind installs.

82. I did it again

If you know the song https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CduA0TULnow “Opps – I did it again” by Britany Spears, I am repeating the “I did it again” part quite happily – despite the weather.

I started my walk about 10 minutes earlier than yesterday’s walk for no reason other than I was more organised.  However, when I stepped out of the door I was hit with a wave of humidity that almost made me turn around and go back inside.  The thing is, we all need to get outside, the sun was shining and I couldn’t see the haze usually associated with a bloody hot day (It was there, I just couldn’t see it from my front door 😊).  So I walked.  I didn’t think I started out as fast as yesterday; it just felt slower, but I didn’t check my phone for times either so it was a bit harder to tell.

I got to the gym after about a mile and did flappers again, bicep curls and dumbbell rows.  Flappers have a real name – Iron cross – who knew, the personal trainer who taught me them always called them flappers.  I was using a 5 lb weight which is very light (except for the flappers, then it feels like a lead balloon!) but the next weights up were 10 lb and there was no way I could do flappers with them.  I also didn’t want to sanitise lots of different weights after use so I just did lots of repetitions until my arms started to feel “the burn”.  At least that way I could concentrate on getting the movement correct.  It was quite fun (except for the flappers but I do like punishing myself 😊).  I continued on my merry way.

I have to admit today to struggle after the gym session.  The sun got very hot, very quickly and it was only in the deep shade that it seemed to be any cooler.  However, I already had a glass of electrolytes ready to go back at the apartment (heat wave here and I was sweating buckets) so I pressed on and made my 3 miles in under an hour.  I am stoked at the time.  Four days ago, I was wondering if I would ever get any faster.  3 miles per hour is only 4.8 km per hour.  That is slow by my historic count so to get a little bit faster than that is a win.  I know that is a good time for many, and that’s fine, but I used to be a 6km/hour girl, and I’d love to get back up there.  When I returned home, I discovered that I had managed a very consistent walk today.  This is another win for me.  (Maybe not stopping to take photos is of a benefit 😊).

Fastest split: 12.02 mins/km Slowest split: 12.41 mins/km

Day 81. Heatwave

It was an early start this morning as I figured it’s been too hot to do much later in the day (i.e. by 8:30 am) thus, I found myself up and out by 7 am this morning, planning to go to the gym.  However, when I went to put the rubbish out (the first of many chores today), it was quite pleasant.  So I walked.  The electronic pass for the gym slipped into my pocket “just in case,” I discovered that the sun was too hot for a full 3-mile walk. 

I was going great, and I could feel that I was going much faster than usual because I started to get sore shins. However, as I promised myself I wouldn’t look at my phone until I was over walking I had no idea of my time.  It was relaxing, not worrying about speeds, and I was doing well with ignoring the phone until I came across a baby snake.  I don’t often say snakes are cute, but this one was.  According to my research, it was an Eastern Garter snake.  At the time, I decided to stay off the grass because after it posed for its photos, the snake completely disappeared into the grass.  The bugger was too small to have to go over the grass, it simply went through the grass. So I won’t be stepping on the grass anytime soon.

Of course, that was the end of my no phone rule because then I had to stop and ask a human resident if they knew what type of snake it was, which meant my fast walk time was going to be busted.  It was a good chat but it turns out she didn’t know much about the local snakes other than she assumed it was venomous and seemed somewhat scared.  I told her I was Australian, and she laughed and replied that was why I wasn’t worried about it.

My walk continued at a similar pace to my starting pace and I found myself pausing the walk and heading into the gym.  There I put myself through torture with a cycle of flappers (lifting your arms,  holding dumbells, from down to horizontal) and some other dumbbell exercises.  My arms and shoulders were feeling it.  My walk continued, and I even noticed that my speed was below 11 mins per kilometre some phone checks. 

In the end, I completed 5.23km (3.25 miles approximately) in an hour and 3 minutes.  I stopped the phone for my gym work so that was another 8 minutes of working out.  I was very impressed with myself.  When I got back to the apartment I see that the local parish (council for the Australians out there) have put a Heatwave warning out – Glad I went for my walk early!

Fastest split: 11:28 mins/km (Yeah! Broke the 5km/hour barrier!)

Slowest time: 13:21 mins/km (that included my chat and photography session). Super happy with the walk, the gym and the really cute snake 😊.

Day 80

I had a rough plan to exercise today.  It’s been a couple of days since I did a decent focused workout, and I woke up, did my usual troll of facebook. As I was awake earlier than normal, I thought a walk would be nice.  So that’s exactly what I did.  Just over 2 miles in one big lap in and out, around the complex meeting different dogs this time (as I was earlier).  By the time I had finished the sun had started it’s burn. So I think I had best start walking at 7 am each morning, then I am back at the apartment whilst there is plenty of shade and the sun is a little gentler.

Fastest Split : 12:13 mins/km

Slowest Split : 13:08 mins/km

And the awesome thing about my walk was that the average split was…12:34 mins/km.

I am getting so much faster.  The next step to improve my time is to get some hand weights and ankle weights (but don’t hold your breath – it takes me ages to get this type of thing organised 😊) Oh, and I almost wanted to jog today.  Win Win!

Day 79 Covid Day

Formal exercise did not happen today.  I got a covid 19 vaccine in the morning – bright and early and stirred myself to drive. Usually I’ve been letting others do that for me 😊.  The day got busy from there with lots of errands and before I knew it it was 4 pm.  Yikes.  Having said that, we had gone for a mile walk whilst the car was being serviced.  The walk was not quick because we had to pick our way along a very rough surface.  I guess you could say that it was functional fitness seeing as most of my exercise is in very controlled locations. Anyway, it was rough and sloping or walk beside a highway.  Finished off the day with cheesecake and wine – so nice and thanks to a wonderful lactase supplement, I had no ill effects (I have missed cheesecake!).

Part of my problem is that there are so many new foods to try.  Part of my problem is that I want to make the foods that I like – and now I have time to experiment with them.  Take cinnamon scrolls.  I quite like the ones that bakeries sell in Australia.  Over here, the scrolls seem to be loaded with sugar, coated in frosting.  I am not talking about the light drizzle that Australian bakers glaze their scrolls with – I am talking full coverage.  They’re lovely – do not get me wrong, but I want what I am used to.  Therefore I have to bake my own.  I guess the healthy choice is that I leave off the icing.  At least when I go back to work, I won’t have as much time to experiment in the kitchen.

The cinnamon scrolls were very nice and sweet enough with the sultanas (golden raisens for you USA folks) without any extra glacing, frosting or otherwise on the top. I used a naan bread dough for those who are interested.