end-games

the olympic games are over. in my household, where between 2 of us, we have 3 nationalities (american, which we share, and then respectively, hungarian and south african), watching the games and deciding who to root for has been a schizophrenic experience. the latter 2, though,  featured so little, that i suppose we had to root for them by default! though we will not discuss south africa’s medal count! uh-uh! not going there!

though, I definitely have a gold medal in olympic watching. or maybe i take silver seeing that gold goes to  lasz who surpassed even me. admittedly, he did warn me before the games that he’s an olympics junkie – and he wasn’t kidding! at least i have an excuse for being a sofa spud the last 2 weeks. seeing that i’ve been under par for the what feels like forever, i’ve spent days on the couch watching other people at the pinnacle of the various extremes to which the human body can push itself. i think i could feel my ass spreading, fusing with the couch as i watched  people with lithe, ripped bodies exceed and succeed. talking about lithe, ripped bodies and exceeding – need i mention usain bolt? yelena isinbayeva? pamela jelimo? and uhm, some geeky guy called michael phelps? and special mention to maria mutola who at 35 was running in her 5th olympic 800m final. at these games, world records were dominoes just waiting to be toppled.

my living room has been transformed into a screening room for the past few weeks, with a projector set-up which has been the envy of most of my friends. we’ve been able to watch the olympics almost life-size, which i have to admit, is THE way to do it. 

needless to say, i feel like the original sloth. i’ve just taken the dogs for a walk in the park and i need to go and take a nap (this from someone who 3 weeks ago was running 10k’s! – illness can be so debilitating!)  maybe now that i can no longer watch other people exert themselves 18 hours out of every day, i’ll get back to some exercise myself. that is, if my lungs will ever recover from this pharyngitis and upper respiratory infection which, 2 courses of antibiotics later, will not quit! maybe i’ll step out of the olympic rings and into a few of my own! 🙂

Hula Olympics pictures

image found here

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pedestrian

so today, a much more pedestrian post, one involving pi-pedal motion. the totalsports ladies race is coming up this saturday,  and my week is hectic, so i won’t have any time to run later in the week. yesterday was the only time i could get to the track, so i went and managed to get in 20 laps/8ks.

i’ve managed to lose about 3kg in the past few weeks since i was complaining about my weight (thanks to stress and replacing a lot of my drinks during the day with  hot water and lemon) and i have to say, yesterday’s run felt remarkably different. so much easier. i felt more stream-lined, like i’d thrown off a whole pile of baggage. it was the fastest time i’ve managed yet: 5k’s – 31:45, 16 laps – 41:30, 8k’s – 52:19. and i actually managed to speed up during the last lap and a half!

i was very sore and exhausted afterwards, but at least i’m confident that i can do it! i must say, i can’t wait for saturday to be able to tick off this particular goal and say done! at least i know my will-power can allow me to achieve whatever i set my mind to. and i have staying power.

though that’s not always such a good thing. but that’s a story for another day.

18 weeks later…

tuesday march 25th: the day i started running. the schedule: walk 1/2 lap. run 1/2. huffing and puffing, it seemed just barely doable.

tuesday 29 july: 18 weeks (4.5months) after i ran my first 1/2 lap, i ran 25 laps/10k’s  (not counting the 7 seconds it took to re-tie my shoe-lace) non-stop. huffing and puffing, it seemed just barely doable. slow (1h15min). sore. interminable.

but i did it!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

now i can stop! 😛

hanging over

so thanks to face book, i find myself up at 6:15 on saturday morning in order to go and join some women i’ve never met, for a run. the person who’d facilitated the whole thing, i only discover when i get there, has gone out of town!

ok, let me back up here a minute. a few days ago, i notice a journalist who’d interviewed me for a magazine article, has updated her fb profile to say that she’s entering a race. i’ve been searching for running partners for ages with no luck, so i quickly get in touch with her. i promptly sign up for the race and she then hooks me up with the woman who’s organizing the run, which is how i’m out on the road at 7a.m. on a cold johannesburg morning. with said journalist nowhere in sight.

i discovered the local university of johannesburg track on my very first run in march, so this is my first time out on the road since that day. it starts out ok, but one of the ladies ups the pace (they run almost every day) so that we run 5k’s in about 31 minutes, which is about 5 minutes faster than i’ve been managing on the track lately, and i really feel it. we were going to try for 10k’s (yeah right!), but i feel like i’m pushing at the limit of my endurance and it doesn’t feel good. my toes hurt. i should be feeling all amped, getting ready for this race, but i actually feel somewhat discouraged. i’m been looking at my schedule for this coming week and i’ve got quite a lot of scenes, so i’m trying to plan my runs, but i’m not feeling very enthusiastic.

we plan on going out to a club called playground saturday night, in view of jon qwelane’s article last sunday, but my friend shirley cancels at the last minute, so my friend crys and i move the living room furniture and hoop up a storm. it feels sooo good. it’s been too long since i had a regular hoop practice. i used to hoop almost every day, but since i bought this house, i’ve slipped.

crys leaves for another engagement and her ex, simon comes over after breaking up with his rebound french girl. (i really dig simon and crys, so it’s sad that these days there’s a lot of negotiation as to when either or them is coming over. we have to make sure it’s not at the same time, so as not to cause any awkwardness – and invariably they come over on the same day! i think they’re beginning to be friends again, so hopefully we can all hang out together soon). anyway, si persuades us to go to a birthday party with him. i take some hoops as well as my psi-hoop and poi and do some more hooping while managing to get thoroughly plastered over the course of the evening. when we get home, we stay up till about 3, watching “fur” starring nicole kidman and i wake up with what feels like construction workers breaking down walls in my head.

no wonder i’m feeling out of sorts today.

the home stretch.

ok folks, it’s official. i am entrant #119409 in the National Women’s Day Totalsports Ladies Race 10km Run – August 9th, 8a.m.. i’m signed and paid up – now all i have to do is actually show up and do it!

unfortunately i can’t say that my running program’s been particularly successful lately. after i managed 8k’s i just couldn’t get it together to get to the track for 2 whole weeks. ok, so i did go to the gym in that time, but i didn’t manage to do any long runs. when i finally made it to the track yesterday, it was swarming with high-school kids and their trainers. it seems track season is upon us. it was a little distracting sharing the track – i’m so used to being alone in the inside lane and i had to stick to the third lane because of the sprinters.

it was a rather unspectacular outing. i think i must be getting used to running on the treadmill because i was having trouble with lower leg pain like i haven’t had since i first started at the track. i eventually only ran 5k’s at a dismal time of 36.08″, but then i did go to the salsa class at the gym immediately after.

can i just digress here for a moment and talk about breast pain? OMG! as i get older the monthly fluctuations in my cup size (and the accompanying pain!), just seems to get worse! i think it’s this bad this month because i’ve started eating chicken again and i’ve heard that lots of places use hormones in the feed, which means i may just have upped my estrogen intake as well. the pain got so unbearable, that even though i wore 2 sports bras in order to run on monday, i was forced to take 2 advil just so i could go to sleep that night. the irony is that since watching dr. 90210, i start thinking about how big my breasts are in terms of cc’s (a minimum of 500 this month)! scary!

anyway, today i did a quick 20 minutes on the treadmill (about 2.5k’s), part of which i walked because my premenstrual mammary glands were killing me with every step. i eventually tied my sweater around my chest just  so i could run for at least a little while.

i followed my run with an hour of tai-chi which was pretty cool. i used to attend classes here in johannesburg with beautiful, amazoniam liz van heerden, an excellent sifu who teaches both chen and yang style, but it got too difficult to get to class what with my studio schedule. now i occasionally catch a class at the gym. at least i’m starting to cross-train again. 

anyway, time to get serious! back to the couch to 10k plan. i can do this!

wish me luck!

wednesday, july16

had every intention of going to the track this afternoon, but, (sigh) oh well. life got in the way. had to have my car washed as it was closely beginning to resemble a pile of dust and dog hair and pretty soon someone was going to come along and sweep it away. and they took so damned long at the car-wash. made a futile attempt to learn words while i waited. uhm, not so much.

so instead of the track, i headed to the gym and ran on the treadmill for 20 minutes and then did a 90 minute stretch class which was awesome and exactly what my very sore body needed. the guy who teaches the class is a treasure – someone i can implicitly trust to know exactly what he’s doing. the class was a mix of dance stretching, pilates and yoga – all of which i sorely need at the moment. so if you’re ever near virgin active, cresta on a wednesday afternoon at 5pm, check out ryan’s stretch therapy class. you won’t regret it!

Shefali Nayan / Soap Bubbles

image by shefali nayan

now it’s time for a concerted effort at learning those words or i’ll be in deep shite in the a.m.! by the time this is published, i will have wept and argued, and despaired and be in the middle of more of the same! oh the fantastic life of a soap actress! 😉

reaching bottom… if’s and butts

 


Big Butt Chair

 

uhm, this running thing…. hasn’t quite worked out the way i planned. 

life and work seem to stick out their peg legs and trip up my training schedule. by now i was supposed to have completed my 10k, lost 10lbs, be svelte and muscular, in short, bionic woman. well, uhmn…not.

i long ago stopped following the original couch to 10k plan, what with injuries and long days at the studio and even though i’ve managed to get up to 8k’s last week, i haven’t been able to make it back to the track since. admittedly i did plan to make it to the track saturday, but i woke up to a day more grey and horrid than a pile of belly lint. plus cold enough to make the proverbial witches tit shrivel up even further and fall right off. so much for my planned track outing – i wound up on the couch under multiple comforters, watched the boob toob and knitted up a storm (yeah, i’m getting used to the “grandma” comments at work, but at least a number of the actors are walking around in various items created by my dexterous fingers). i don’t think i made it out of my pj’s for at least 36 hours, but i did knit my niece a beanie and 2 scarves – yeah, i’m prolific, and at least my fingers got some exercise! 

sunday after waking really late, i felt sufficiently sloth-like to make me use the old mind over matter trick and take myself to the gym. i was planning on doing some interval training, but i started listening to “this american life” on my ipod and then just kept running, so wound up doing a 5 minute walk, stretched, then ran 40 minutes/5k’s (the treadmill, as i’ve said before, seems to measure distance differently to the track, so it seems to take much longer to cover any distance).

anyway to get back to what i said earlier, this running thing hasn’t worked out quite the way i planned. 

i haven’t been able to train as often as i when i started out, but when i started out, i was out at the track, running maybe 1k, or 2. now i’m running between 5 and 8k’s every time and still i find myself heavier than i’ve ever been in my life. i think i’ve gained about 6k’s since i moved from l.a. – that’s about 15lbs! jeez! i’m horrified as i’m figuring this out right now! every time i think that i’ve finally reached my upper limit, or my bottom (ha-not-so-bloody-ha) to use program speak, i seem to exceed my expectations and my scale yet again. it’s gotten so drastic, i’ve even started back at the gym. i’m even considering “weight watchers”. 

topanga sasssthe irony is, i was a fitness instructor in l.a. for many years and taught endless kick-boxing classes. i was ACE certified, so i know the theory of how to reverse this awful trend, and yet…

i feel though, like i’m hitting my bottom (pun intended) or at least getting close. it’s time to lose the winter coat. time to use the many hula hoops sitting around, jump into the hoop and start unloading some. especially what with world hoop day coming soon – 8.8.08.

watch this space!