Posts Tagged 'health'

Last Chance Workout! (Saturday)

Saturday is the last day of exercise at BL. There is a hike as usual in the morning, but they give you a choice of three different hikes (Easy, medium and hard). I always choose the beach hike, (easiest) because I figure I’m in Malibu, California, I should be able to enjoy the ocean when I can. The beach hike isn’t a particularly hard hike, but it does get your heart rate up. You walk in the sand for a while, then you climb up a long flight of stairs and continue on a winding path and even get to look at some houses. (one of them supposedly belongs to Julia Roberts, I have no idea if that’s true). There is a beautiful overlook partway up that is worth the effort to get to! Once again we saw dolphins swimming – that sight never fails to thrill me. We also saw (and heard!) Sea Lions and rock climbers scaling a cliff. Lots to look at to keep your mind off hiking!

When we returned to BL, we had just enough time to get ready for the Last Chance Workout. They changed this workout recently because of the hot weather. They usually have a circuit workout in a field on the BL property but changed that to a mini triathlon. Just the word triathlon gave me an anxiety attack, but I kept reminding myself that it wasn’t going to be as intense as an actual triathlon, or even a sprint triathlon (which Rick has done).

The BL triathlon consists of 20 laps in the pool, 8 miles on a spin bike, and 1.5 miles on a treadmill. I have never done any of those things, let alone all in a row without resting, let alone after a six mile hike. I was so, so, scared. The only reassuring thing was that I was at BL so I knew it would be okay. If I really couldn’t physically do it, nothing bad was going to happen to me. I knew I was safe – surrounded by people I knew and trusted. Originally I was going to skip the swimming section. I am an awful swimmer. I mean really awful! I know how to do the strokes, but I’m really slow. The staff allowed us to skip one of the events, but if we did we had to increase the distance on one of the other ones. That option didn’t really sound much better to me – how was I going to add miles on the spin bike when I already doubted I could make the eight I was already doing?! I went to the sign up sheet (you could choose the order you wanted to do the events in) and signed up to do the bike and 2 rounds on the treadmill. During dinner on Friday night one of my friends, Alex, gave me a pep talk and told me she really thought I’d be able to do the swimming, and she really thought I should try, because how would I know whether I could do it if I didn’t even try? She asked “what’s the worst thing that could happen?”. If I had a slower time than everyone else, who would know or care? They don’t do the triathlon as a contest, where they declare a winner, they just use it as a challenge, to push people even farther than they’ve already been pushed. Alex was right, so I went back to the board and added the swimming section. I decided I was going to do this, even if I was the last one to finish of all the 68 people there! (and I believed that was a possibility!).

My friends decided to do the three events in the actual order of a triathlon (mainly because Alex is doing one this Fall. She’s 22 years old and in really good shape). I regretted that decision….nothing like getting on a spin bike soaking wet…We started with the swim. I varied my strokes to save myself from drowning. (no joke!) I did all twenty laps, and I could hardly believe it when finished! I hopped out of the pool, quickly threw on a pair of shorts and a tank top over my wet bathing suit, and ran to the gym. I hopped on a spin bike and pedaled about ten times and thought “there is NO way I’m going to do this for eight miles! I’m not going to make it to one! My legs were killing me! And the pain in my legs was nothing compared to the pain elsewhere! There is nothing, in my opinion, more uncomfortable than a spin bike seat. At BL they call them your “sit bones”. I’m sure there is a technical name for them, but you know what I’m talking about. OUCH! The girl next to me told me to try standing up. No. I tried and that made it harder on my legs. I put my towel over the mileage gauge and tried to just listen to the music and go to my happy place. That is hard to do when your sit bones are screaming in pain and your legs are screaming louder. It took a while, but eventually the gauge did reach eight miles. I jumped off that wretched bike and realized I was basically numb from my hips to my knees (and not numb: as in having no feeling, but numb: as in tingly and weird, like when you hit your funny bone). I literally hobbled to the other gym, where the treadmills were. I was trying to think about how far 1.5 miles was. I was picturing my neighborhood. Our blocks in Arizona are each one mile long. I figured that 1.5 miles was the same as going from Dobson Road to Price Road, then halfway back. That didn’t seem too far! Of course, I had now done 20 laps in the pool and biked eight miles, and this was going to make a difference! I jumped on the treadmill and started on my little trip, repeating to myself “1.5 miles isn’t that far!” over and over. I quickly realized that 1.5 miles was far -for me! My legs were dead. They also hurt. My butt hurt, my arms hurt, everything but my hair hurt. I could hear different people saying “Good job, Kathy!” and “Keep going, you’ve got this!” but I was really struggling. There was no way I was going to quit now, though! I was going to finish this thing! And I did! The gauge hit 1.5 and I thought “I’m done! The week is over! I can get off this stupid treadmill and not get back on! I can rest for the whole afternoon! What’s for lunch?”


Day One

Monday August 13, 2012

Calories burned: 2528

Distance walked: 9.49 miles

Steps taken: 22,397

Flights (equivalent to flight of stairs): 119

One thing I found out when I arrived yesterday was that they changed the food part of the program.  The other two times I was here we ate 1200 calories a day.  They recently changed that to 1500 calories, and they increased the protein and lowered the carbs.  I’m really glad they made that change.  That was honestly my only complaint about the food before – I thought it had too little protein.

Our hike today was Latigo Canyon – Backbone Trail.  It was 6.3 miles long.  Malibu is having a heatwave, just like the entire country, so it was pretty hot.  I’m thankful the hikes are in the morning before it gets too bad.  (It’s still way, way cooler than Phoenix!) They have been really warning us to hydrate well to avoid heatstroke.  We wear Camelback hydration backpacks on the hikes so staying hydrated is easy.  I didn’t have any problems on the hike today.  A huge fear of mine is injuring myself, so I’m always relieved when I make it through a whole day without hurting myself!  I would hate to pay the money it cost to come here and then injure myself and have to go home or modify my activity.

Monday is assessment hike day.  They take you on a hike in randomly selected groups and the hiking guides assess you and put you into the group you will be in for the rest of the week.  They do this to insure that each group is evenly matched according to skill level.  This always makes me really nervous.  I have realized I’m kind of competitive.  I don’t want to look like a bad hiker so I push myself.  I don’t want to be too good a hiker because I’m afraid that will put me into the highest hiking group.  If I’m in the highest hiking group I might be the last person on the hikes.  I don’t like being the last person.  I know, someone has to be last, but  I don’t want it to be me.  Sick, huh?  Well, I’m honest!  This is the kind of thing I worry about while I’m hiking 6.3 miles up and down a mountain.  You’d think I could just hike, but no, it takes me back to first grade when they put us into reading groups according to reading skill.  Everyone knew the Hawks were the best readers and the Sparrows were the worst.  Everybody wants to be a Hawk and nobody wants to be a Sparrow.  I don’t want to be a hiking “Sparrow”.  I will let you know how this all works out!

Something kind of sad happened today. My friend Brenda from Scotland was in Orlando, Florida before she came to California.  She played tennis with her husband yesterday and she fell with her full weight on her arm. It hurt so bad she actually passed out – and her husband tried really hard to talk her out of getting on the plane to come to CA.  There was nothing that was going to stop her from coming though, especially since she was the ringleader in getting the whole group of us here.  So she got on the plane and by the time she landed in CA her arm was swollen and looked really bad. She realized when she got here that she was going to need an X-ray.  She went to urgent care today and found out that one bone in her arm is broken and the other is fractured.  They are either going to have to set it and put a cast on it, or she is going to need surgery then a cast.  The big complication in all of this is that she’s from Scotland.  She has their national health care and it’s not a simple thing to have things covered. The doctor here has to communicate with Scotland to get everything approved.  The worst part is that the doctor told her they will NOT, under any circumstances, let her get onto a plane with a cast. As you can imagine, this is causing her a lot of stress.  If they cast her arm it will stay on for six weeks.  That would mean she couldn’t go back to Scotland for six weeks!  It’s a huge mess and I feel really bad for her.  She goes to the surgeon tomorrow.  She’s actually thinking of staying here at BL for six weeks!  She’s quite a trooper!  Anyway, I will keep you posted on that saga.

I am really thankful that the wireless internet is working really well in my room!  The last time I was here I could only connect via ethernet cable, which meant sitting at the uncomfortable desk in my room.  Wireless allows me to sit on my bed and type – so I will probably be better about posting on this blog this time around.  Now it’s time to get off the computer and get some sleep – tomorrow is another long day!


Saturday’s Menu:

Breakfast – Granola (they make it here – I will post the recipe, it’s really good!), almond milk, fresh fruit – 291 calories

Lunch – Tortilla soup, chicken salad on sandwich thin, mixed salad w/berries – 509 calories

Dinner – Enchiladas, mixed fresh vegetables – 358 calories

Total calories – 1198

Total steps for Saturday – 22,403

Miles walked on Saturday – 9.67

Calories burned – 2422

I know I skipped days posting this week.  I had no idea it was going to be so hard to keep up!  The first problem has been the internet connection. The wireless doesn’t work here so I have to use an Ethernet cable to get onto the internet.  That requires sitting at the desk in my room on a straight chair.  By the time I am finished with activities for the day I don’t really feel like sitting up in a chair. And literally the only free time I’ve had every day is after dinner.  Needless to say, there is a lot I want to share about this week and I intend to do that – when I get home!

For now, though, let me recap my final day at BLFR.  Saturday is a half day.  There is a hike, as usual, but you get to choose from three choices.  If you don’t want to hike on Saturday that is fine, but you have to go to the gym and do two hour long workouts with trainers.  I decided the hike would be preferable to the gym workout and I chose the Pointe Dume Beach hike.  (if you don’t want it to sound so scary you can pronounce it Point Dumay, like it’s French.  That’s what we do here – it makes it surprisingly more tolerable.)

Once again it was chilly and foggy.  I love to hike in weather like that so it was a great morning.  It’s a tough hike – you start out walking on the beach, then you walk up a lot of stairs and along a pathway that overlooks the ocean.  You wind up back down on the beach and walk to a huge rock outcropping, then turn around and do the whole thing in reverse.  It was about 5.6 miles long and it was surprisingly easy – but I think that’s because I knew it was our last hike and I was really happy about that!

The very last activity of the week is the last chance workout.  For anyone that watches the Biggest Loser television show, this is how they end each week.  Before the contestants weigh in they have a really long workout with the trainers to get in their final calorie burn before weighing in.  The last chance workout was going to be with Sione.  He’s tough.  (nice, but tough!)  We had to meet in a big field on the property.  When I got there Sione had set up seven different stations around the field.  He explained that we were going divide into groups of four and go around the field and do the seven different exercises for 1 minute each.  After each two exercises Sione would yell “Lap!” and we had to run or walk fast out of the field and down a dirt road, then turn around and go back to the field and go right to our next station. Some of the exercise stations were – running up and down a hill, holding a plank for one minute, playing catch with a ten pound medicine ball …..a whole variety of exercises.  It was hard!  I was so exhausted my legs would hardly even move.  But I’m so glad I did it because afterwards my heart rate monitor watch said I burned 550 calories.

Once the last chance workout was over we were DONE!!! What a great feeling!  There were so many times during the week that I wanted to quit.  Every muscle in my body hurts.  I’m sunburned and bruised.  My hair might never be the same.  But I did it!

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