life, workouts

Fitness weekend!

It seems that you guys like certain topics around here… My photos, my lunchtime read posts and everything about all my fitness activities.

Well, I hope you will like today’s post – which was supposed to be written and published yesterday, but I was too exhausted to think!

So, last week I decided to give running another try. As you might know, I hurt myself a bit a few weeks ago and when running the Race For Life I injured it. I know the word “injury” sounds terrible. As far as I know, it’s not broken or permanently damaged (I say as far as I know because I haven’t gone to the doctor… More on that in a minute), it’s just painful when I run.

Anyway, I decided it wasn’t worth it going to the GP because they would tell me to take painkillers and rest it, and if it kept hurting for a while, then they would refer me somewhere, or tell me to go to A&E; so I took painkillers, and it didn’t go away, so I rested it a bit. It still hurt. I decided to wear a knee support, which actually made it a bit worse. Anyway, after a while, it didn’t hurt anymore. Hooray! So I decided to run a short slow one, see how it would go.

The idea was to run about 4k with a work colleague, along the river to Westminster Bridge and back to Blackfriars. We started off, got to the Big Ben and crossed. It was lunchtime, and sunny, so it was packed with tourists, which made me have to dodge way too many people, putting a bit of strain on the knee. By the time we ran past the London Eye and we were at the Southbank Centre, I couldn’t run anymore. So I guess it’s not fixed.

That was Wednesday.

Friday was spent at Henley Regatta with work. It was a lovely sunny day (and there were many attractive men around, the rowers!) so we had lots of fun sipping champagne and Pimms.

On Saturday, I had my first guitar lesson. I arrived a bit late, and almost got lost. When I took my guitar out of its case, 2 strings had broken!! Luckily, they had a spare guitar I could use for the class (which of course, was tuned, as mine surely wasn’t!) After the class, I bought 2 strings to replace the broken ones and one of the teachers taught me how to put them on the guitar, and even tuned it a bit for me.

After that, it was rushing back home to have lunch and then go to a concert in the evening. My friend Amanda, from Apples and Green, sings in a choir with the Starling Arts. They had this show called Abracadabra which was amazing. There were many songs I knew and loved, even if reading the title didn’t give me a clue at first! I really enjoyed it!

Back home again, and trying to go to bed early, as Sunday was going to be the actual active day!

At 11am, I was at Canada Water, ready for a parkour lesson with Parkour Generations. I’ve always been interested in this, so when I saw an Amazon Local voucher a while ago, I simply couldn’t let the opportunity pass!

Parkour is also called free running and it consists of using the city and all its elements to travel and to get a workout. You start running, and if you come across a bench, you don’t run around it, simply jump over it! Some of the pros can do pretty amazing stuff!

We started off with a brisk run to a more secluded area, near a canal. Over there, we did some warm up, which let me tell you, was already pretty hardcore! We ran, jumped, and competed! We even got to climb a bit of a wall at some point. We played rock-scissors-paper and the loser had to do a circuit (either burpees, or squats, or run around…) and the winner had to find another person to play against. Whoever won 7 games, won.

After that, we did a bit of transversing on a wall. I really sucked at this, not having any strength whatsoever in my arms, or core, or pretty much anywhere in my body. We had to go in pairs, but because we all were a bit of a mess, they decided we had to tie up our shoelaces together (only one foot!) and try again. It was a laugh, but difficult! I didn’t manage to transverse hanging from the arms, a bit like a monkey, and barely managed to do it by “walking” on my hands, body lifted above the wall, if that makes any sense at all.

It didn’t matter that the floor “was lava”, I died a thousand deaths there. We were supposed to rest on top of the wall, but when my arms said enough, I was simply falling. Epic fail! Still, it was fun!

After another jog, we went to practise our balance. We had to balance by stepping on one foot on top of a bollard, and then hop and swap feet. After mastering that, we needed to be able to rotate on one foot. Then, we had to jump on the bollard. It took me ages to manage this, but one of the instructors, Blane, was really helpful! Those who were a bit more advanced had to jump from bollard to bollard. I left that for my next session!

Another jog. We arrived at some bridge. I’m not sure how tall it was, 10 metres? 15? No idea. It was definitely lower than the tower I abseiled from. The thing here was to climb to the top of the bridge on all fours, then walk along the top, then climb down. I discreetly approached one of the instructors to tell him I wasn’t feeling that confident to try, and he gave me another “lava” task. I managed to walk along the side of the bridge, only on the metallic parts, without touching the ground. It was fun.

We went for another run, to a hill. In there, we did some reverse push-ups, some normal push-ups and some one leg lunges. After all that, we went to the bottom of the hill and did something that finished me off.

We had to go on our fours again, facing downhill. Then, we would move our legs up the hill on one big step, and walk our hands up. Yes, try climbing a hill, on your fours, backwards, after almost 2 hours of working out. My body would have laughed if it had had the strength to.

We finished off by some stretching and left.

Everyone was friendly and I felt at ease. I never felt pressured or embarrassed or anything of the sort. There were exercises for all levels, and everyone was very supportive (even when I was falling behind when running, there were a couple of guys encouraging me to continue – thanks Andy!)

After, I went to Greenwich Park, and I sunbathed for a bit (yup, I was wearing my sports bra, and yes, I have a funny sunburnt mark now around my neck) and watched Wimbledon in a pub.

Today, I had a Pilates class after work at the office. All I can say about it is that… It. Was. Painful. All my muscles hurt from yesterday, but I’m actually loving it.

It’s very likely I’ll go to the parkour session again on Wednesday, it was so much fun!

So there you go, a weekend full of fitness again!

What were you up to this weekend? Were you out working out? Were you sunbathing? Maybe you decided to get away and go somewhere even sunnier?