The Rubik’s cube beckons. A friend tells me the altitude in there is higher than Mount Kosciusko; the highest mountain in Australia. Although that’s not possible he says, how can they do that? Plumbing boy says "you’re reading too much into it mate. It will be like a vacuum created with two doors". Um no I tell them, it’s not, there is only 1 door. But the oxygen percentage increases & the altitude decreases if the door is opened & closed too many times in succession.
It’s the altitude training room at my gym. It’s approximately 4 treadmills wide x 9 stationary bikes long (but with 3 treadmills across, 6 bikes down one side & 2 arc trainers & a rowing machine along the other, with some space in the middle to do other stuff). 3 sides are glass. In my head I call it the cube, or the Rubik’s Cube.
It would be nice if the air smelt like the mountains or the bush, but it doesn't. It’s kind of sweet & almost musky. Absolutely unlike the air out there, in the regular part of the gym. I can’t quite put my finger (or should I say nose) on the exact scent.
Who will be in the cube today? Rovers 1, 2 or 3?, Ruck, Mr Crossfit, Mr Ultra, Miss more interested in her mobile than her training; couples 1 or 2? I know it’s bad to pigeon hole people based on their appearance, but that’s how I remember them.
Yesterday I was walking between Rover & Ruck. They made me feel slow & inadequate with their super speedy pace. I would fall off the treadmill if I tried to run at that speed. Maybe they would fall off too @ my incline (bugger all but more than theirs) & @ my distance. Why do I do that? Compare myself to the impossible? Or is that the possible, that I could do it if I put in the effort & training??
Back to the task at hand. The run. I much prefer to run outdoors, but some mornings it’s hard to get out of bed. And they tell me that altitude training is really good for you. Don’t you love people whose response to many things in life is “They Said”? always want to ask who the F#ck is they?
Everything I've read about training & altitude says the BEST combination is to live high (at altitude – sleeping, eating & going about your normal day) & train low (exercise at sea level). This kind of defeats the purpose or training at altitude for 30 minutes 3 times per week. But various research papers say it helps. So we give it a try. It’s certainly harder than running outside. Or on the treadmill outside of the cube. But, I've increased my pace & distance over the past 3 months so I must be improving, right?
So. Who is in the cube today? No-one to start with. Just me. No TV to distract in here. Just some terrible music. Ha. I suspect one of our management team is a budding DJ in her spare time. I always feel like I'm in some sort of doof doof club when I'm here. No recognizable melody, synthesized noise, heavy on base. Does this mean I'm getting old? So it’s me & my pod. And my whiny brain. Did I mention no TV? Just my reflection in the glass wall of the cube.
1/2km warm up done. Time to start running. Quick hitch of tights & adjustment of ear buds & we’re off. 1.5 degree incline, speed setting 9. No, let’s make it 9.2 today. Time for a PB. You've got this. Push. That spare tyre you've developed over winter aint going nowhere unless you work harder.
My pony tail is very bouncy in the reflection today. Hope the hair tie stays in properly. Hm chin down girl, you’ll get a sore neck if you keep running with your head like that. Posture! “Everyone is full of shit, Born & raised by Hypocrites” “From the Cradle to the Grave” “I don’t care” First song done. It’s a Green Day two parter (well, really a 5 part over 2 songs) – “Dearly beloved are you listening? I can’t remember a word you were saying” – ha story of my life. 2 songs per km. 5kms to go. This is hard. Shut up brain. Just do it.
Ohh good second tune Falling Joys – Jennifer – instantly transported back to the early 90’s & grungy pubs. I think I was equally in love with the lead singer & the base guitarist. She was a rock n roll goddess, & he was just, well, you know. In a band & hot. Now I'm grinning (or perhaps grimacing) like a crazy person remembering the last gig my mate T & I saw them play, at the Annandale in Sydney on our first ever grown up holiday. Not their last gig, just ours seeing them.
1.5kms down, 4.5 to go. In comes Rover. Flash him a quick grin & ponder for the bazillionth time why the girls at this gym are so unfriendly?? The 2 girls on the front desk are super friendly & know everyone by name & will introduce you to other members, both genders. But the girl members – bah – in 3 months I reckon I've managed to get two to smile back at me. Although I got my 3rd smile today in the car park. As I arrived a lady was leaving – I said hi & smiled & she smiled back! The blokes however, I'm on a nod or verbal g’day with half a dozen regulars already! Why???? I'm just not that intimidating. Maybe it’s the grinning like a lunatic on the treadmill……… or the lip syncing??. Sigh.
“I Got Bills, Bills to Pay” Disco tune. Awesome. Now I can imagine my mate Ev skipping & disco dancing on the treadmill next to me. Today he can be in a white sequinned elvisesque body suit. Ha. He’d love that. He has Jazz hands & is playing air trumpet!! How he never falls off that tready even dancing backwards never ceases to amaze me.
Another half km done. 4 to go & the sweat is about to start. Fast fwd this tune. Why is it still on my play list? It’s too slow for speed work!!! Even though we’re not really doing speed work. Nevertheless it is still too slow!! I wonder how many more times this conversation will play in my head before I delete the tune.
Jimmy Barnes “I’d die to be with you tonight” is up next, not sure if this should stay on the play list either; it’s a bit slow but it reminds me of good chunks of high school. The sweat is starting to pour out like an oil slick - starts out slow, then there's no stopping it! Forehead, neck, chest, dripping off my elbows. Eww. Towel is getting a good work out now, every 1/2km – head, neck, chest, elbows. Why does no one else seem to sweat this much in here?? Thank god Rover is two tready’s over otherwise I might be spraying him with spittle like sweat blobs!!! Double Eww.
3 to go, we’re at the half way point. Easy Peazy Apple Squeazy. Anyone can run 3kms. God damn it. Legs feel heavy & dead, but that’s the way it is in the cube. Posture check. Neutral head woman! Tuck that chin in. Shake shoulders & arms out. Perfect, Taylor Swift – Shake it out. Ev is back wearing Taylor’s white TuTu with Elton John Glasses! Hahahaha Elbows back into piston position, swinging forward & back (with the odd swipe against my shirt to alleviate the dripping sweat). Better. Now if only we could get our legs to maintain that proper running motion. Yes, I run like a girl with an arc like swing on my right leg. Which reminds me of the bloke I was running behind during the sandy point half, he did it on both sides. Not an attractive look. Must research what (if anything) I can do about that. Somehow I don’t think I’ll ever look like a gazelle running. Spose I should put up a photo illustrating that on the blog so people understand what I’m on about. One does always present one’s best look doesn’t one.
Rover is done. Heads out for paper towel. Why don’t they have a dispenser in here?? There is one precast wall it could be fastened to if they didn’t want to fasten it to the glass. And a bin. Back in again to wipe a minimal amount of sweaty hand marks off the treadmill. He is so bloody fit. That, his height & the footy shorts earned him the nickname rover. And he’s very strong. Possibly the same age. Or 10 years younger. Or 10 years older. I have no idea when it comes to judging other people’s age. I do admire his athleticism though. As I admire the majority of my fellow gym goers. 2.5kms to go. Feeling puffed which makes me feel anxious.
Puppies. Think about puppies. You can’t be anxious while thinking about puppies. My mate is getting a lab puppy soon. I can’t wait to meet him – the puppy that is. There isn't anything much cuter than a fat bellied lab puppy. Three deep breaths in & huff them out hard – get rid of all that old air in your lungs. Posture check. Focus.
Footloose – here’s a new idea. Ev is outside, in the gym facing me, doing the full dance routine from the movie! He did lead a dance troupe or three at Mardi Gras so believe me – he has the moves. Reminds me of the recent Adam Goodes/Racism incident. The best thing I read about that was “Ooh – we've turned into the town from Footloose – we’re afraid of a little dance”!!! Gold. Yes, I'm grinning like a lunatic again, threatening to break into dance to mirror Ev, but I would fall off the treadmill if I did that!!!
Almost time to speed up the treadmill for the last km. Better be a good song next. No. No. No. Fast fwd three times. Yes. Rage Against The Machine – Killing in the name Of. OK, up we go to 9.5 - 900 metres to go, 9.6 - 800 metres, 9.7 - 700 metres, 9.8 - 600 metres, 10 - 500 metres, 10.2 - 400 metres COME ON (Leyton Hewitt style) 10.5 - 300m, 11.5 - 200 metres 13 -100 metres SMASH IT OUT!!!!!!! TRIUMPH!!!!!!!!!!!! slow the bloody thing down before you fall off!!!
Towel off. Actually, leave the towel over your shoulders to soak up the excess. Cool down time - walk for half a km. get halfway through & feel like I could run some more. WHAT?? ARE YOU CRAZY. Just stick to the plan woman. 6kms today, 8 on Thursday, 21.1km event Sunday. God I hope it’s not raining on Sunday. Or windy. Yeah, as if that’s a possibility. They don’t call it windy Warrnambool for nothing.
OK, 7kms done. Time to clean up the slick. Why am I the only person who drips sweat on the lower frame of the machine?? I will not get the evil eye from anyone for not wiping up after myself!!!
Almost done with the cube, but not quite yet. Time for a mat. Smash out some core work;
inflict pain carry out myofascial release using spikey ball & then foam
roll legs from every conceivable angle.
Stretch! Hammies, Calves,
Achilles, Hip Flexors, Glutes.
Hmm. What's for dinner?????