Sunday, July 29, 2007

Boot Camp - week 1

So, I managed to survive the first week of boot camp. As I expected, things got a lot tougher on Days 2 through 5.

Each day starts with a "warm-up" run of three (count 'em - 3) laps around the track. If it was walking, I'd have no problem at all. I can walk miles and miles. But running? Not so much. Needless to say, I can't quite make it all the way without walking part of it. My strategy is to go at a comfortable, even pace and try to walk less each time out. I'm now down to walking for only one short break abut half-way through the run. I figure that's not bad progress in a week. Of course, I'm always last to finish – but you know what? I don't care.

One of the things I like about this class is that every day is different. Here's a re-cap of the rest of my first week:

Tuesday: Following warm-up, we did standing, leg exercises. I'm sure we did every variation of leg raise imaginable. By the time we finished and had a water break, my legs felt like jelly. Then it was to the mats to do a killer abdominal workout. Can you say "ouch"?
Surprisingly, it wasn't my abs that were sore by the end of the day. It was the quads in my legs. I had to use the handrails to help pull me up the stairs to my bedroom; and every step "down" was excruciating. I took a couple of ibuprofen and was in bed by 10:00 pm!

Wednesday: Cardio day – the toughest for me. We did a 25 minute walk/run; followed by more lower body work – this time done mostly on our mats. The hour flew by. Today, my hip flexors hurt. I have a feeling every day is going to see a different body part in pain.

Thursday: "Gauntlet Day" – a 40 minute, non-stop series of running exercises between cones to keep the heart rate up. OMG!!! Just when my legs were feeling a bit better, they're sore again. I am so looking forward to 2 days off on the weekend.

Friday: Circuit training. Four stations, 2 minutes at each, a different exercise at each station; three complete circuits; the exercise changes each circuit. This was tough, but actually rather fun. We were in groups of three at each station, so had a chance to talk and joke around a bit with each other.

The week was as difficult as I thought it would be, but also enjoyable in a masochistic way.

Some new things I learned this week:

  • Having a desk job following a hard workout when your leg muscles (well, any muscles, really) are sore is not such a good thing. After a couple of hours sitting down, your body tends to seize up, and it's near impossible to stand up without calling on a crane to hoist you up.
  • Those little handle thingies next to the car door are actually useful. I'd still be sitting in the car right now, if it weren't for the leverage afforded by those handles!
  • Every office should institute a mid-afternoon nap.
  • Going up the stairs is easier than going down when your quads hurt.
  • Whoever said you get used to getting up early, lied.

I'm pleased that I committed myself to this. As long as I remain injury-free (I have wonky knees and back) and finish, I'll be happy.


Anonymous said...

Good for you, Ell! My husband and I started consistently going to the gym about three months ago, and I agree with all of your observations (your description of "Gauntlet Day" made me laugh out loud!). Congrats on making it through Week 1! xo

Anonymous said...

Wow! That sounds difficult. Well done! I got tired reading it. There's no way I could do all that without building up to it for quite a while. Way to go!