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Saturday, January 31, 2015

Fridays with the Treadmill

Last night was Gym night, and honestly it is getting better. It is not getting easier, because each night I push a little harder. I have raised my target heart rate, significantly, and maintain it longer. Which means working until my lungs burn, and breathing is difficult.

Don't, ever, under any circumstances, let the machine, in this case a treadmill, dictate your workout. Last night, thinking it was time to take the next step, I chose "Zone Training" and the machine asked me for my age, I typed in fifty five, (not my real age (ok it is my real age)), and there was an odd noise, and a slight shake, the treadmill had laughed, softly, maliciously, and the digital display offered a suggestion for a target heart rate, which was about 115. After pressing the "OK" button we started, the treadmill and I were off.

With the program choosing the pace I was free to choose a song. In this case "Bright Lights, Big City" by Them, a band Van Morrison was with during the Sixties. I bought the album "Still on Top – The Greatest Hits" from Amazon, and this song was on there, along with one of my favorite versions of "Baby Please Don't Go."  It is a great song. In fact, I have decided to collect different versions. There are probably dozens of artists who have recorded "Baby, Please Don't Go," and I am on a quest to find all the copies that appeal to me,. Let me know if you have a version that you enjoy.

Anyway, the machine started slowly, letting me warm up. Then it increased the speed and steepened the incline, and I when I took my hand off the heartrate sensor to wipe the sweat from my forehead. it flashed,angrily and obnoxiously enough to cause a seizure, "REPLACE HAND ON HEARTRATE SENSOR!" I did, and the machine upped the speed, and the incline. Soon, the incline was as steep as possible.  It was like running up the side of a building. Van Morrison was spelling "G L O R I A, Gloria" in my ears, and it was miserable, not the song, the workout.  The song was great.

When I hit the target heartrate, gasping, sweating, lungs, legs, and oxygen deprived brain burning, the machine said "New Target Heartrate 136"  I think, my vision was a little blurry, it might have been the sweat pouring down my face.  The machine was giggling, shaking malevolently, or maybe I was having tremors it is hard to say. I pressed the button that said "Cool Down" wiped the sweat from my face.  After my heartrate dropped into the seventies we did it again, the treadmill and I, repeating it two more times. The first attendant told me to do that, she called it interval training.  And my wife told me she was serious about exercise, and very knowledgeable about training.

After a stop to clean the treadmill, hey we are not animals after all, and a refreshing drink of water, I was off the resistance machines. Last night I kept track of what I did, using Wunderlist. When it becomes more impressive I will post a screen shot on here, but now it looks kind of wimpy, and painfully small. But I did add another machine with "leg extensions," Though I know I need to work harder, add more weight, and push a little more, I feel good about that.

In fact, I feel good about myself, there is a euphoric lift from exercise, and I am glad I started. This was smart. If you are thinking about trying it, you should, trust me, I am no athlete, but am so glad I started. You will be also.8