Pilates sending me off a cliff

Pilates sending me off a cliff. Well not quite, as Pilates saved me from running off a cliff in a weird sort of way, but more on that later! 🙂

These training weeks are certainly flying by, in fact scarily so. I’m guessing I’m going to be standing at the start of the NF100 in a couple of months going, “What the heck am I doing here?”, well actually I can guarantee my language will be quite a bit stronger than ‘heck’! And for the 20 odd hours of the race, I’m guessing the mantra will be repeated many, many times. LOL!

Actually come to think of it, I seem to be repeating that mantra even now!

Seriously though, this week has been good. I pulled up a bit sore in the calf after last weekend’s 32km, but nothing serious. Just a tightness/ache in the calf, which for me means I can keep training but I MUST reduce the intensity and walk. If I try to run too much then the ache will become a sharp jabbing pain and an ensuing injury with a layoff. So this week has been about rehab and making sure that I don’t push the calf over the edge. And I must say that, it has been ok. I’ve really looked at this week as a bit of a recovery week and just made sure that I’ve kept mostly to walking, but still completing the required distance for each session. It’s taken me longer but without pain and to some degree, it has been extra time on my feet, which isn’t a bad thing. I even managed a full session walking up and down my local sand hill and set a PB (see last post).

I did have one encounter that made me laugh as I was trudging up the sand hill. I had a guy ask me what I was training for. When I explained what the MdS was he simply said ‘Why the F#$K would you want to do that’. I seem to be getting asked that a lot. 🙂

About to run off the cliff
About to run off the cliff

Funnily enough the reduced speed probably saved me from a rather embarrassing accident this morning and running over the edge of a 30-40m cliff. I was trying out a new track on my 21km trail run and should have realised that not many people are using the track due to the number of spiders webs that I had to run through.

As an aside, I’ve often thought that if I’m ever lost in the bush and the police search and rescue need to use the helicopter to find me, it should be rather easy. Just launch early in the morning and follow the trail of broken cobwebs. It should be pretty easy to spot from the air, or even from space, the webs on the track are often that thick. Of course I’ve often worried that when the webs do eventually bring me down, I’ll end up wrapped up in cobwebs and hung in a tree. aka Shelob and the dwarves in the Hobbit. Anyway I digress.

The track simply disappeared
The track simply disappeared

I came down the track this morning, through the bush and the ground just fell away, no warning, no ‘danger cliff’ edge. Just a trail and then NOTHING! So to a degree I’m glad I’ve taken up Pilates, if I hadn’t been injured after my first Pilates session then I would have been running rather than walking fast, and over the edge I would have gone! 🙂

Which brings me to Pilates. I’d always thought of Pilates as being a bid timid, something you do when you’re in your 60-70’s and off to an early grave, not something a true Ironman or Endurance athlete would do.

How wrong I was! (As I usually am)

I’ve now done a half dozen or so sessions and I’m finding it incredibly frustrating (I’m not an expert after 3 attempts) and surprised at just how difficult it is, even at the easiest levels. We have a great instructor at the class I’ve joined who starts each of the exercises easy for the beginners and makes them progressively harder for those that are more experienced. That being said, she used to be a professional ballerina, so even the easy exercises leave me as a blubbering mess on the ground. aka She’s doing a side plank off one elbow and the other arm pointing high into the air and I’m struggling to lay straight on my side, let alone getting into the plank position.

And unfortunately there is no-where to hide in the class. The music is relaxing, the class of 60 year old grandmothers get into the plank/pushup position with their feet gently resting on the fitball. ‘Now draw your knees in to make the knife position’ says the instructor.

The class all move in a beautifully syncronised group.

AGHHHH!!!!!! Thunk, crash, goes I as I crash to the ground for the 5th time in the session! Making more noise than an elephant thundering into the room.

Then there are the butterfly kicks and the toe taps. For some unknown reason everytime they are mentioned, my abdominal muscles desert me and obviously disappear to the nearest pub to wait for me to come to my senses.

That being said, something must be working because I do seem to have gained some flexibility and the PES/Knee issue seems to be improving and I do seem to be running more upright and don’t seem to be dragging my knuckles on the ground quite as much when I run.

I’m sure Quasimodo can still outrun me though.

Let’s see what this week brings…..