Monday, August 8, 2011

Count Your Cadence


Saturday - c25k Week 4/Day 3 (I have a decent running cadence), The Dailey Method class
Sunday - Bike 25 minutes, chest and triceps. Sadly, no pool.

The details:

On Saturday I went to the gym and did c25k Week 4/Day 3. For the first time on Week 4 I felt solid. The rest day on Friday really made a difference. My heart was happy too, I stayed in the not-so-high range throughout all the runs. It felt really, really good not to be gasping for air on those runs. Earlier in the day I'd read an article on running form and saw this:
Count your cadence (how many times your right foot hits the ground) for 30 seconds, and multiply it by two. Aim for 85 to 95 steps per minute.
Of course I had to find out what mine was so I counted - 84. Not bad. I suppose I have to pick up the pace a tiny bit but I was happy to be almost in the recommended range. I googled for more info and of course found a blog by a triathlete - those neurotic tri people love this sort of crap. Anyway, Patrick McCrann says to aim for 90. He says if you get to 90 most of the rest (i.e. technique stuff) will fall into place. I like that idea, I don't need to be getting all nutty about my "form".

After the run I hopped off the treadmill and headed around the corner to The Dailey Method for a free class. They are opening a new location and offered free classes for this past weekend. Going to this class right after c25k really added to the challenge. I was also suffering from that inner thigh pain, which made some of the moves altogether impossible. The class was very challenging, they do a lot of high repetition exercises, so when you've been holding your leg in the air for what seems like forever, they add 8 more reps. Ouch!

I liked it but there are a few reasons why I'm not ready for it. First, I like to feel capable and competent when I exercise, not be repeatedly "quitting" before the reps are over. It should motivate me to get stronger but instead it makes me feel like I'm weak - not something I'm going for in my exercise routine. Second, my big fat stomach the fat in my mid-section gets in the way. I couldn't do some of the positions very well because of it. Finally, for my current goals I think I need to be doing a mix of cardio and strength training and this is all strength training (and balance/stretching). It probably sounds like I'm down on the Dailey Method (or bar method, or pilates, etc) but I'm not. I think this will be great down the road when I am stronger and lose more body fat. Hopefully this time next year I can buy some classes and really get a lot out of it. When I can do the movements and not poop out or feel my midsection getting in the way I think this class will be awesome. Then I think I will be inspired, not feel weak. Does that make sense?

After the class I asked the instructor about my inner thigh pain and she recommended two stretches, the Happy Baby pose - now there's a stretch I feel funny doing at the gym - and the Reverse Frog pose (or was it half frog?). Actually, both involve spreading my legs in a way that feels awkward for me outside of my living room. I appreciated the tips. I know this kind of attention will be appreciated when I take these classes down the road. Oh, that's the happy baby pose up there and here's a picture of the frog pose:

I headed home to my own happy babies and felt pretty good. As the evening and next day (Sunday) wore on my shoulders really started to hurt. I don't know what I did to irritate them (it doesn't take much) but it felt like any funny movement might make them cramp up or something. Speaking of cramps, have you ever gotten one in your abdominal muscle? Me either, until this weekend. It was SO weird. One of my abs on the left side cramped up while I was on the floor playing with the kids. Felt just like a Charlie Horse but in my abs. Of course I googled it and found I'm not a freak of nature.

Back to my weekend. My mother stayed over Saturday night for some extra face time with the kidlings and that was a lot of fun. They both light up when they see her, especially Marek, he just loves his grandma. We got to play a lot and there were smiles all around. On Sunday the kids had a swim lesson. Miguel was playing soccer so Stacy graciously stepped in to be parent #2. She was going to hold Myra but missy was in a pissy mood (ha!) so I ended up with her and Stacy had Marek. Again, they weren't so into the class idea but just wanted to do their own thing. Myra needed a lot of consoling - it didn't help that it was a cold summer day. Boo on cold weather at 11:30am in August! Back at home after everyone was warm, dry and fed they happily went down for their naps. Whew, those kids are exhausting!

When Miguel got home I took forever trying to decide if I wanted to swim or go to the gym or swim AND go to the gym. I finally decided to go to the gym then swim. I did the bike, Level 4, for 25 minutes then hit the weights. Today was chest and triceps so the only new thing I did was the scissor kicks with leg lefts. I chatted with Ian and he thinks this is why my inner thigh hurts. It only hurt a little during today's sets (I did 3 sets). After that I stretched (oops, forgot to do my stairs!) - and yes, I did the happy baby pose but I did it facing the wall - and headed out to go to the pool. Darn it, found out the pool was closing in 15 minutes. Pooey!

So I headed home to find Marek in the middle of a major meltdown. And it was a mysterious one too, he just woke up from nap crying and screaming and wouldn't stop. Anything we offered met a furious, "Nooooo!" with lots of kicking. He finally settled down when Miguel came in munching on goldfish crackers (food fixes everything, right?). Later when he talked about a tiger chasing him we decided he must have had a nightmare. The rest of the evening was a whirlwind of child caring and then sleep, lovely sleep.

p.s. did you notice no mention of my back? Woo-hoo! It's still tight when I wake up but by mid-morning I'm feeling cool and groovy :)


  1. That Dailey Method looks kinda interesting! But I've never been good at holding poses - too strenuous :) Gym THEN swim - that is hard work! I normally go the other way round so I can lift my arms out of the water....have a great week!

  2. I keep thinking of how military guys sing those songs as they jog along...just in case you get tired of counting at some point. Great work on the C25K progress!
    So happy to hear your back is getting better. That
    Dailey method sounds interesting, but you're probably right that it might take a bit to be ready for it. When I first started going to lift classes I used to get major upper ab cramps when I did ab work. Freaked me the heck out. It got betternover time tho. Keep up the progress. You're on quite the roll xo


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