Defiant Athlete: Week 5

In her book Shape Up with the Slow Fat Triathlete, Jayne Williams talks about how sometimes it is the adverse conditions that makes you feel like a superhero. Going to work out in the rain or snow, for example. Or moving, even when you don’t feel 100 percent.

This week I had a killer, very mucus-filled cold. I still managed a few light workouts during the worst of it. Not really even workouts, more like just easy body movements so that I was doing something other than laying in bed feeling sorry for my sick self. And you know what? I did feel better because of them. Getting my blood moving was a good thing. Also, I was proud of myself for listening to what my body felt like doing, and not the little voice that said “Dude, this is the perfect opportunity to not have to do this.”

The day before yesterday, I felt better. Yesterday I felt about 90 percent. Maybe 95. And I had the best workout I think I’ve had in the last five weeks. I’ve been so frustrated by my physical inability to exercise as hard as I want to.  I start slow, and then get this incredible feeling like I just want to push and fly and move. And then my ankles start to go stiff, and then my calves start to burn. And I have to stop.

Yesterday while I was going at a slower pace on the treadmill than I wanted to, but not hurting, the girl next to me was going at the same pace, but had her machine set at about a 45 degree angle. I’m not kidding. She was holding on to the bar in front of her like she was a mountain climber pulling herself up a cliff. I was afraid if her hands slipped, she’d topple over backward.

But then I thought: I wonder if I could do hills? So I pushed the hills button–and I did hills! 30 minutes worth. My heart rate went right where I wanted it to and then the rest of the workout was right at the point that I could do it, but only just. Perfect! And my legs didn’t hurt, except for a light burn in my upper thighs. I was grinning from ear to ear when the cool-down started. The owner walked by and said I must have had a great workout. I did! I felt exactly what I wanted: like I was in training.

My grin looked something like this:

(Ruby was student of the week, which was awarded on PJ party day. She could hardly contain joy.)

Here’s this week’s ten list:

1. I started keeping track of training points. I’ll explain more of this, probably tomorrow. This week I logged 493 points, despite taking two days off and having two days of very light workouts. I’m really proud of this. (You can see my log by clicking on the Training Log page.)

2. Keeping a training log makes me feel like I’m coaching myself.

3. I can do 20 squats, without holding on to anything.

4. I ventured into the free weight section of my gym yesterday and I loved it.

5. I’m doing an old-school aerobics DVD today so I can review it for you. The woman who it features reminds me of a slightly-cooler, female Richard Simmons.

6. Ruby wants to learn how to swim when we get to Carson City so that she can join the competitive team–because she wants to be a Tiger Shark.

7. I am getting stronger. Yesterday I did 40 leg presses with 15 pounds of weight. Five weeks ago I could barely do 5 using only my own weight. Also, last night I realized I can now carry my 4’2″, 70 pound six-year-old at a dead weight to bed when she’s sound asleep with no problem. I couldn’t lift her 5 weeks ago without feeling like I was having a stroke for the next several minutes.

8. Five weeks ago, the treadmill shut me down when I tried to do hills because my heart rate went crazy (to the upper 160s.) Yesterday I did 30 minutes and it stayed at 136, which is 75 percent of my maximum heart rate and a good training pace for me. I could have done more.

9. I need a final project for my senior year of my BFA, and I think Defiant Athlete might be it. More on that later.

10. My blog was added to Notes from the Fatosphere. *waves at all the Fatospherians.*

I’ll be posting a Defiant Athlete update every Friday. Subscribe to my feed if you’d like. I’d also love-love-love to hear about your athletic exploits in the comments!


Filed under body

3 responses to “Defiant Athlete: Week 5

  1. Sounds like a great workout.. The rest/ light workouts probably did you wonders!


  2. TropicalChrome

    It’s pretty amazing what our bodies can do when we give them a chance, isn’t it? That’s one of the (many) things that keeps me working out – I am fascinated to watch how my body responds to different activities!

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