As I mentioned in yesterday’s blog entry, Kirk and I have been working out for the past 9 weeks. Outside of high school where I took a weight class to finish up my PE requirements….well, I have avoided any use of the words “training” and “working out” like a plague. I spent my 20’s and early 30’s figuring I could hike all I wanted – even if I wasn’t in the best of shape.I had a delusional belief that hiking 3 days a week would keep me in shape.
This past year as I increased my mileage on hikes I noticed something – my knees were killing me. They hurt going up and down. My back injury never healed from a couple years back. I was getting old and that didn’t sit so well. If I crossed 3,000 ft of gain or 14 miles I could barely walk the next day. So how do you get where you want to be? I did a 20 miler last fall and while I crawled for days afterward, that is what I wanted to be able to do, day after day. Often, it was my pride that kept me going on hikes – that I would finish no matter what. Enjoyment often was low and as my saying went “Death marches are fun later, when you tell the tales of them”.
Then I injured my foot in late fall and spent the start of winter in pain.
Kirk and I then made the decision – we had to start working out. I felt like I was in an alien world entering a gym in January. We picked one that had opened up only 2 or so weeks before. Clean, modern and welcoming to both women and men. Yes, I felt overwhelmed. We started going at first every other day at first. I hid upstairs in the cardio area. A treadmill I could understand – they were not scary. But….those treadmills were making my plantar fasiictis even worse.
Kirk decided to go for training and got a personal trainer. Watching him got me wondering – maybe time with one would be good as well. Kirk was teaching me what he learned but I am not one to press myself to exhaustion. So I went for it. They let us share use of the trainer. Suddenly I found myself doing core body workouts, working on my balance and well, frankly, finding out I had NO shape. It hurt so bad. I could do one pushup before I would collapse, I had no upper body strength.
The weeks have blended and it is awesome – you know, it does get easier after awhile. This week I realized during my training session that I could do 45 pushups total. From 1 to 45? Not bad in my world. When we started I could hold a plank position for maybe 5 seconds, now Kirk has me doing side planks.
We work out 5 days a week now, some times I do a 6th. It gave me foot time to heal. My blood pressure meds are now 1/3rd less a day. I crave working out 😀 And that shape? Yeah, it is starting to show! But most of all? As I have mentioned before, my back pain is nearly gone. Most days I have no pain anymore. From daily pain to almost gone is worth every step taken!
In week 2 I was walking on the treadmill – behind the treadmills is a line of Precor Crossramp machines:
I wondered how anyone could use that thing – it looked painful. Now I spend at least 2 days a week on it, for 65 minutes each session. For cardio it is about the best machine around – it works those hiking legs like nothing else. It doesn’t hurt my foot (low impact) so often you might see me on it 5 days a week for the cardio part of our workouts.
My knees don’t hurt like they used to either. On my last hike I noticed I stood tall, I moved easier and I wasn’t out of breath, red faced on the way up.
So maybe training isn’t a bad word? Yeah, I can take long in learning that lesson!
As well, I finally pulled out my copy of Conditioning for Outdoor Fitness: A Comprehensive Training Guide
and dusted it off.
I was reading it yesterday and realized that for the most part we are doing a higher intensity version of their workouts. A bit dry of a book, but an excellent book to read if one needs a boost. It covers training for hiking and backpacking as well.
They brought a newer version of the book out a couple years ago as well: Conditioning for Outdoor Fitness
So looking forward to further workouts – it has been awesome to see my body change, to feel so much better. Spring is here…..that means 3 months till the good backpacking starts. Start now and those hills won’t hurt so bad! 😀
PS: And as a side benefit I am down 19 lbs this morning. Yay!