Starting from scratch in an elite fitness-blog-world full of expensive gear, and Personal Records she couldn't beat with a car.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Push it real good!

I think maybe I pushed it a little too good?

Salt n Pepa got nothing on Jillian Michaels!!!
Friday afternoon I went back to Retro Fitness to test out the gym by taking advantage of their free personal trainer session offer. I figured that would give me the best overview of the place and make it a little less awkward to be running around looking like a spaz.

Garrett and I started with a rough overview: my diet, experience, interests, goals, body fat % (I think it was 24% which is apparently the upper end of "fit"?) and a very general idea of how they structure their programs. He pretty much went out of a binder on this part which was admittedly not terribly impressive but I suppose they can't all be Bob Harper.

We got going with a few minutes warmup on the elliptical and then moved on to body weight exercises in their TRX Training area. This basically worked out to doing immensely awkward movements while holding onto a pair of wall mounted straps. Oh, and sweating a whole lot. This is the sort of thing I think most people are going to want to do with some sort of live instruction as the body mechanics are not terribly intuitive. Looking like a spaz achievement: UNLOCKED!

See how effortless they look? Now imagine THE EXACT OPPOSITE.

After that we bounced between a few machines sort of whirlwind style. My favorite was the assisted pull up machine because a) I miss being able to do pull ups b) I had to really climb to get on to it (I'm five foot two) and c) I had to climb off three times for him to adjust the counterbalance to be lighter because I was stuck on top of the arc like the small kid on the see saw.

I was very sweaty and felt terrible that I did not have the opportunity to wipe the equipment off as we were going through. Proper hydration is so overrated. I have a towel ready for next time though (actually I had it ready for that time, not sure why he suggested I leave it with the rest of my stuff). I feel this was an excellent object lesson in wiping off machines before I begin.

We finished up by doing intervals on an elliptical and I got to show the trainer how whacked out my heart rate is!

During the intake we were talking about intervals on the cardio machines and he said something like "you would do say a minute at an easy pace and then maybe a minute at a hard pace, aiming for say a heart rate of 150..." at which point I laughed. He looked at me quizzically and said "I'm a hummingbird, my heart rate runs fast". He asked how my blood pressure was (insanely low, for the record) and said "well as long as you don't have that in combination with high blood pressure it shouldn't be too bad".

Fast forward back to the actual intervals, I'm chugging away and he's standing off to the side so that he can reach the controls but isn't really watching the readouts too closely. He ups the difficulty and I'm going at a pretty good clip, sweating and expending effort but not feeling too badly (still conversant but a bit out of breath) and I look at the HR readout which reads 195. I point it out and he blinks at it a few times and says "I... I don't even know what my body would be doing... wow".

The trainer session was neat and I'm glad I did it, but in the "pitch" part of the session at the end I found  that their cheapest deal is the Black Friday special which involves a mandatory full year signup with a minimum of ONE SESSION A WEEK.

The DISCOUNTED price of $20 a session comes to just over a grand with fees (keeping in mind that membership for the entire rest of the gym is only $240) and the internet indicates that their trainer sessions are even harder to cancel than their memberships.

Overall it was pretty enjoyable though I feel bad that the trainer went so deep into my potential training possibilities pretty much entirely for nothing.

The next morning my legs were doing surprisingly well (a bit of quad soreness but not terrible) but my upper body was PISSED. I got to do everything T-Rex style for about three days because my arms pretty much refused to do anything useful.
My left biceps was so tight I couldn't straighten my arm for most of the weekend. I feel good now but after Sunday's run I actually got stuck getting out of a new blinding orange mesh jacket (Low light visibility issues you say? Solved!) to the point of requiring assistance. Removing my sports bra for showering involved many curses, a couple of popped stitch noises, and possibly bending space very slightly.

Regardless of what my upper body felt about physical activities I ended up running Sunday and decided about a mile into it that I would keep things easy pace-wise but aim for 3.5 miles instead of my usual 3.1. This made it my longest non-stop run ever.

3.5 miles at an average of 11:05 per mile -  total time of 38:48, max pace of 5:24 (???)
Avg HR of 193bpm

Overall I felt good and while my pace was sort of all over from minute to minute, my splits were extremely consistent. My quads were still a touch sore to start but I think running actually helped work a lot of that soreness out. The inside of my right foot was complainy for a bit but otherwise it felt great!

I'll be doing gym sign-up tomorrow, though ironically I'll probably do a road run since I have the day off. I plan on testing out a new Handful Adjustable bra I won in a giveaway from For The Love of the Run (I've only tried it on standing still so right now all I can really say about it is "SHINY PURPLE!" and "ooh, bonus matching mesh laundry bag!").

I've decided to hold off on the half marathon training for a bit and will be doing some sort of 5k to 10k training program in the meantime, but I haven't decided which yet.

I'm leaning toward getting the same brand of app I used for C25K, but I'm not sure how well it will work on the treadmill.


  1. I've said I feel like frickin' Houdini getting out of a sweaty sports bra!!

    1. Did you see the reply on FB with the back opening sports bra? Cold weather gear is next up on my running purchase list, but I have a feeling I'll be investing in a couple of those come Spring.

  2. I just found your blog and I absolutely love it! Good for you for braving a gym... I can't bring myself to do that. And your t-rex comment made me laugh!

    Jennifer :)

    1. Aww thank you Jennifer!

      I followed back to your running and quilting blogs and both look pretty awesome! There are a number of things you mention that really resonated, so I look forward to following along.