Back into Training…

After last week’s disappointment that was the geocaching meet, I turned my attention to getting into some sort of physical shape.  First on the list was to see if I could shift the muscle spasms in the legs that are now a near permanent fixture.  Unless I could reduce those effects on my calves and hamstrings we were going nowhere in a hurry.

The office was first to feel the effects of the new regime.

“Thunk!” my heel crashed down onto the top side of my desk, followed by my inevitable squeak as the hamstrings complained about their blatant mistreatment.  The calves were next as I stretched them out using my desk for support.  The rest of the section were becoming used to this peculiarity of mine though, given the amount of pain I seemed to be in whilst carrying out this manoeuvre, some suggested it was more perversion than peculiarity.

At home, core strengthening exercises and a few basic stretches have become a regular evening feature.  Then there’s the diet.  No more biccies and buns for the moment.  I’m one of the lucky ones, I can lose weight fairly easily without dramatically changing the types of food I eat (other than the biccies and buns).  The red wine consumption has taken a tumble mind you.

Having set the scene it was time to grasp the proverbial bull by the horns – I returned to the circuit class, though carefully omitting any exercises that might compromise my remedial efforts.  It went as well as could be expected – no torn muscles, broken bones etc. but it felt odd to be operating on a much reduced capacity compared to a year or so ago.

The big test came on Sunday when The Fatdog and I headed for our standard training run – the Meikle Bin, the Kilsyth Hills’ finest!

It rained.

We don’t do rain, The Fatdog and I.

She looked a bit baffled as the wet stuff poured out of the dull grey sky.

We missed the unrelenting downpour part of the shower by staying in the car for its soggy 20 minute duration but eventually it reached the “make your mind up” point and so I gambled.  It would clear up soon, I reckoned.

Needless to say I reckoned wrong.

All in all it wasn’t too bad a walk.  The rain mindlessly drifted on and off as we strode up the forestry track.  The Meikle Bin doesn’t provide much of a challenge in hillwalking terms, but its easy gradients help loosen up the muscles.

We reached the summit only 5-10 minutes outside our best time which was pleasing.  It had taken my legs 40 minutes to loose the ache in the right calf and by the summit (70 minutes) the ache in the hamstrings was also easing…a bit.

It wasn’t a day for hanging about so after a couple of photos we headed back down.  The descent proved to be painless, which was good as I had expected the left knee to act up.  Maybe these exercises are beginning to help.

As most hillwalkers know sunny skies are reserved for the last couple of km of any walk…and so it was on Sunday.

Oh we go again!
Maybe old FD isn't up to this hillwalking thingy any longer!
A brave attempt at smiling for the camera after all that uphill.
Lookin' soggy!
Meikle Bin's most dangerous section..the forest bog! Many a walker has failed messily at this point.
Fully recovered The Fatdog goosesteps her way back to The Tank.

And the verdict after all these efforts; the diet, the exercises, the stretching, the circuit classes and the hillwalking?


I can just about get into my old Armani jeans again!  They’re 13 years old and haven’t been worn for…oh…about 13 years.  Just need to lose a bit more around the waist and I’m set for our hols in France.  Hopefully the rest of my summer clothes will now fit as well.

Oh…you thought it was about getting back onto the hills again?  Just goes to show…shouldn’t make assumptions. 😉