Sunday, 20 April 2014

90 minutes on an elliptical machine is a loooonnnnnggggg time

I have continued to kick my ass with exercise this week, and am now up to 6 days of working out and eating well.  I am almost entirely back in the saddle; another couple of weeks and I will be officially back on the healthy routine, and these last few months of binge eating will just be a distant memory.

Yesterday was a 90-minute elliptical workout day, and I swear to god it almost killed my spirit.  It turns out that 90 minutes is a very long time when all you want to do is get off the elliptical machine.  I wanted to stop at 30 minutes, then I very badly wanted to stop at 45 minutes, and then again at an hour.  I don't know how the hell I managed to push for the entire 90 minutes, but it was more grueling than usual. 

I can put my finger on part of the reason why the workout was tougher than usual - - my old groin strain (gotten from a failure to bend my knees during my second-last move) has been flaring up since my ill-fated attempt to run.  It's not painful, per se, it just gives me twinges and maintains a dull ache with occasional sharp stabby bits once in a while.  Not super fun.  It makes the elliptical a little more challenging than normal.

The other reason why 90 minutes on the elliptical felt like it would never end is that I was reading a book that was ok, but not great.  I have many good non-fiction books on the shelf to read, but for some reason I prefer to read pulp fiction on the elliptical - - I can't have anything too intellectually demanding for my early morning workouts.  Usually it works great, as pulp fiction books are usually sufficiently engaging and distracting that they make the time pass.

I have been going through series after series of detective thrillers - Lee Child's Jack Reacher books, Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum series, Sara Paretsky's V.I. Warshawski books, the Kay Scarpetta series by Patricia Cornwell, Howard Engel's Benny Cooperman mysteries, Ellis Peter's Cadfael books, the Kinsey Millhone series by Sue Grafton, Kathy Reichs' Temperance Brennan novels, and Tess Gerritsen's Rizzoli & Isles series.  Most of these series have strong female leads or good action, and I have generally enjoyed most of the books. 

Some of these books are better than others, however.  The Cooperman series was a little too self-deprecating to be true escapist fare - probably what I should have expected from a Canadian author.  The Stephanie Plum books were good, but the lead character deals with stress through eating donuts and junk food, and I found that I was craving those foods as well just from reading the series.  Thank god I have read everything in this series, because picking up those eating habits helped to erode months of progress.  I have literally never craved donuts like I did when I was reading the Plum books - - sheesh!

I just finished the first two Eve Duncan books by Iris Johansen.  They were all right, but not nearly distracting enough to keep my mind from clock watching during a 90-minute elliptical session.  I have picked up the next couple of books in the series to give the works a fair shake, but if they aren't engaging enough I may need to bring out the big guns and go back to non-fiction. 

Today was Sunday and both the Nerd and I were up at 7 am to work out - - we both did weights and elliptical, and I did a bit of walking on the treadmill as well.  Three years ago our Sunday morning would have started with a lie-in until 9.30 or 10 am, followed by a breakfast of bacon, eggs, hash browns with cheese, and hollandaise sauce full of butter, washed down with coffee with Baileys Irish Cream liqueur.  3 mugs of it, at least.  Those were probably 2,500 calorie breakfasts, and it goes without saying that there would have been no workouts in that era.

The Nerd and I were waxing nostalgic about those days whilst we sweated in the workout room this morning (mostly missing the hollandaise, cheese, and Baileys Irish Cream), but you know what?  Although it's not super fun to get up early to work out, neither one of us would go back to the way things were.   That's progress, I think.  I know that and a buck fifty will get you a double double at Timmy's, but I'll take it (the progress, not the double double!).

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