Hey guys!! I got a lot of great feedback from last night's post - thanks seems insufficient, but thank you anyway :)
So today..... today I chose NOT to hike... my knees have both been really hurting in the afternoon and evening, and the pain actually woke me up this morning. I've determined that it's my MCL on both knees - which is a ligament that helps stabilize the inside of the knee. It's inflamed, but feels better if iced and I take an Ibuprofen. I thought I'd give it a break this morning, though, so didn't hike. I did workout for an hour doing some core strength training, weights and stretching... sort of practicing for when I get home!! I took a stretch class and then did all 3 classes this afternoon, icing my knees between classes.
I didn't even want to walk on the treadmill during our Interval Training class today, so instead I worked out on the Jacob's Ladder.... have you ever seen one of these?! They are TOUGH and I have been very intimidated by it. But I made it a goal to conquer it this week, and I did! It's basically a ladder on an incline, it's self-paced and very intense. I was able to do it twice for 2 minutes, once for 90 seconds and twice for a minute. I was dripping with sweat every time I got off - even after just a minute! It's the best cardio workout in terms of bang for your buck and is considered to be one of the best full-body workouts out there. I was so proud and impressed with myself - I KNOW I wouldn't have been able to do it my first week here! Here's a picture of it (ahem, that's NOT me!) - my goal now is to increase my time on it.
Speaking of exercise, I've grown to really LOVE stretching and yoga... we don't really do yoga here, but our stretch instructor likes to experiment a bit, and I really enjoy it... I like how centered I feel, I like how tuned in to my body I feel, and I love seeing how I can stretch further every time. I've never felt comfortable signing up for a class because of how big I feel, I can do so much more these days because my stomach has gone down, and so this will definitely be something I will look into once home.
So.... I've experienced a couple of other successes this week.... all the workout bottoms I brought with me are now loose... and they actually feel uncomfortable.. I'm used to my workout pants being skin tight... they are made with spandex after all... and now that they're loose, they feel weird and baggy. Not complaining of course, but I don't know how much longer I'll feel comfortable wearing them!
When I arrived here, I would take my resting heart rate at night.... it was usually around 100 beats per minute... which is HIGH!!! Now, it's closer to 80 - an amazing improvement! It also takes a lot more for me to reach my maximum heart rate, and even when I do, it takes a lot less time to recover.
I can hold a plank for a whole minute! For those of you who don't know what a plank is, here's a picture... when I got here, I couldn't even get up on my toes (had to do it on my knees), so I made a goal to be able to get up and do it properly.... and today I held it for a minute.... so great! Because IT IS HARD!!!
So, it's been a good day.... and I can't believe I only have 4 of them left! I will go on the hike tomorrow and then I think I'm going to have a training session with one of the trainers here during lunch..... and I know I'll get my ass kicked. I'm training with a friend of mine, and I'm excited to see how well I do! I'm hoping by icing my knees, that I'll be able to finish off the week strong. I DON'T want to increase the injury to these ligaments as I don't want to arrive home injured and unable to exercise, so don't worry, I will listen to my knees and take it easy if necessary!!
Good night!! (Sorry, no pictures today!)