The started-as-elliptical-turned-into-treadmill run

Tonight at the pool I got on the elliptical, intending to do a full workout.

Six minutes and twenty seconds later I stopped because my knees were hurting too much I won’t say I suffered a thousand agonies, but it was probably at least 600. I tried adjusting the machine multiple ways, but it made no difference. I have a pretty high tolerance for discomfort, but could not abide this.

I did manage to burn 64 calories before packing it in.

I switched over to the treadmill, which went much better. The workout there was almost a mirror image of Friday night. I say almost because I walked a little longer during the cooldown period at the end, which slowed my overall pace. I also felt a bit tired to start (probably from the elliptical) and this made me want to drop to walking more often, but I checked my BPM, it was good, and I pressed on.

The stats, with Friday’s in brackets:

Distance: 4.22 km (4.24)
Time: 29:35 (29:28)
Average pace: 7:01/km (6:57)
BPM: 156 (157)
Calories: 327 (330)

Walking at the pool and the effect of heavy rain

We went to the Canada Games Pool twice on the weekend, around 5 p.m. on Saturday and today (Sunday) around 1 p.m.

Saturday it was pretty quiet, most likely because it was around dinner time and people go out to party on Saturday night, not exercise.

Today was the opposite. The pool was packed. The swirl pool looked like one of those rocks that has a thousand sea lions on it. The other pools were bustling. Every treadmill, elliptical and all but two exercise bikes were in use. I had to wait my turn (though only a minute or so) to use an elliptical. I chalk this up to the earlier time of day, it being Sunday (“I must now work off my sins”) and the fact that it was not merely raining, it was a downpour, making any outdoor activities doomed to extreme sogginess.

I also really noticed for the first time that most people walk on the treadmills. I did see one guy actually running and felt a little bad for him, as (I have recounted before) running on treadmills feels alien and wrong. This isn’t a huge observation, I’m just not sure why I never really noticed before. And a surprising (?) number of people leave their stuff in the lockers without actually locking them (the key costs a quarter). Maybe the only thing they leave in the lockers are smelly clothes. I’d be a bit nervous if I had anything more valuable than some stinky socks in there, though. There’s nothing to stop someone from pretending a locker is theirs, plundering anything of value, then sliding over to the next one, providing a “whoops, haha, that wasn’t my locker” shrug to anyone who might glance their way.

Then again, most of the guys in the change room are in various stages of undress and eye contact, while not frowned upon per se, rarely happens because guys get nervous around other guys, especially when in various stages of undress. For both right and wrong reasons.

Anyway, I had a nice workout. The new training shoes work well and look spiffy, so I’m stylin’ while I’m sweatin’.

The sixth elliptical and I get all klutzy

For the first time in a little over two weeks, I finally returned to the Canada Games Pool and did a half hour workout on the elliptical. Or rather I did a 27-minute workout, reached out with my right hand to adjust something or other, snagged it on the cord of my iPhone earbuds and whipped the phone out of the holder of the elliptical. It landed on the right foot pad, next to my right foot.

I immediately pressed the handy pause button on the machine, reassembled phone and earbuds and then hit the pause button again–you know, to unpause (resume) the workout. Instead, it started it over. Was I supposed to hit OK? Just start going again? (My hunch is the latter is the correct answer, as that’s how you normally begin a workout). I had about eight minutes left so started a manual workout and kept going until the watch dinged at 325 calories burned, my overall goal. I suffered no other clumsy incidents for the remainder.

I had the elliptical set to 14/12 and actually kept it at 14 the entire time, adjusting the resistance from 12 to 10 for the manual restart.

I sweated a lot and forgot my water bottle. These things are related.

It was nice to be active again. Now I must resist eating an entire cake as a reward for doing so.

And get more exercising in soon.


Calories burned: 394 (345 active)
Time: 31:00
BPM: 156

A fifth of elliptical

There’s not much to say about working out on an elliptical because the environment and machine never changes. I suppose if the machine magically came to life and galloped outside with me hanging on for dear life it would be different but so far that hasn’t happened.

Tonight I started with 14/12 on incline/resistance and eventually dropped the resistance to 10 before bumping it back up slightly to 11. At one point I felt muscles in my legs actually burning. Not literally on fire, just really feeling them stretching and such.

I also brought a water bottle tonight. It helped, though the cup holder is designed for righties. Prejudice!

I began to feel pretty tired near the end but finished with 350 calories burned on the machine and 364 according to the Apple watch (I let it run about a minute long before remembering to end the workout).


Calories burned: 414 (364 active)
Time: 31:31
BPM: 155

I will likely do a treadmill run (bleah) next as I’d like to keep alternating. Plus the treadmills at least have dual cupholders so I don’t have to test my rightie hand-eye coordination when going for a sip.

Elliptical the Fourth

Yes, for the fourth day in a row I went to the gym (Canada Games Pool). I have never done this before. I may never do it again. But I did it this week.

I chose an elliptical workout with a setting of 14/11, adjusted down to 14/10 for a bit before going back to 14/11.

On the machine itself my step and calorie count were down slightly (sad face) but on the watch the calorie count was up slightly, perhaps reflecting the fact that I was ever-so-slightly heavier and this burning more.

Calories burned: 389 (341 active)
Time: 30:09
BPM: 156

Last night:

Calories burned: 383 (334 active)
Time: 30:56
BPM: 155

I actually felt myself getting tired earlier tonight, which isn’t that surprising given it was my fourth day in a row working out and sweat was literally pouring down my face. I made a tactical error in soaking in the swirl pool for about ten minutes before the workout. The logic was the dip would help my slightly stiff muscles loosen up. Although I felt I’d cooled off in the time it took me to dry off and change, I probably was still running (ho ho) a little hot.

Still, the end result was surprisingly consistent and I didn’t feel as wobbly heading down the stairs after.

I’m taking a break tomorrow (Monday) but should be back Tuesday, when I will likely tackle the treadmill again. Not literally tackle, because that would hurt. This also gives me time to find a groovy water bottle to help keep me hydrated and super-fast and such.

Elliptical, Part 3 or I can’t stop going to this place

For some crazy reason I went to the Canada Games Pool for the third day in a row, trading in the dreaded treadmill for the much less-dreaded elliptical again.

I managed to start things off a bit better by making sure the fan was running and started the elliptical activity on the watch only a little late. I adjusted the height and speed to 14/10 instead of 12/7 but in the end, I only burned six calories more than the previous time, 345 vs. 339. I apparently did 3,750 steps in the half hour workout. My advanced math skills (and calculator) tell me that’s 125 steps per minute. I have no idea if that’s good, bad or average.

Overall the workout went fine. I didn’t feel inordinately tired for doing this three days in a row (and four times this week) so that’s good. We’ll see how my various muscles feel about it tomorrow morning. I am apparently more serious than I realized about getting in shape.

One time I lost my rhythm and my left foot started to pop out of the foot guard or whatever you call it. This caused me to briefly stop until I got it back in. The equivalent thing on a treadmill would result in me flying off, so this is a definite advantage of the elliptical.

I was good and sweaty by the end so it at least looked like I worked out hard. And I’m all about looks.

And getting in shape, too, I suppose.

If I’m feeling extra nutty I may even go again tomorrow.

The elliptical and old men bathing

Today I finally remembered what exercise felt like. With a fresh layer of snow falling on New Year’s Eve and a forecast that calls for either clear skies or yet more snow, it’s looking iffy for running outside any time in the next few weeks (which will make it more than a month overall, kind of boggling for this region, really).

Instead of continuing to lament the icy conditions and eat Bugles, we headed to the Canada Games Pool. After soaking for a bit in delightfully warm swirl pool, I changed into my usual running gear and headed upstairs for the first exercise in weeks. It turned out all of the treadmills were occupied by people still determined to stick to their New Year resolutions (this will change dramatically in the next week or two), so I opted to use the elliptical instead.

I cleverly remembered to track the elliptical workout on my Apple Watch (and got a shiny badge for it) and was surprised that it and the machine seemed to be in almost perfect agreement on calories burned. The machine gives you a variety of pre-set workouts to choose from. Given that I am fat I chose “weight loss” and began 30 minutes of walking in place.

The first ten minutes went by without concern. After that, I started to sweat and my legs felt funny, as if they had turned to marmalade. I kept on and the marmalade feeling went away, replaced by a more general sensation of muscles being used in ways they were not used to. Which is to say, they were being used.

While everything seems fine now, I suspect that come the morning my legs will eagerly reminding me of the thirty minutes of action I put them through today.

Here are the stats, straight from the elliptical display (I think the distance may be miles):

Distance: 2.37 miles (?)
Calories burned: 260 (I sprinted at the end to get to a nice round number)

The Apple Watch recorded more calories, in part because I forgot to stop the workout for about five minutes after. Sayeth the watch: 374 calories, with a BPM of 154 BPM.

Also, when we first entered the swirl pool I swear the average age of the men (and it was exclusively men) using it was 90. On the one hand, it was nice to see so many gray old men out and being active (sort of). On the other hand, it felt a little weird to be the young guy at 52. Eventually, some younger guys showed up and even a few women, too. One guy was busy dunking his Apple watch in the water. I hope it was a Series 2 or he’s out $500.

Overall the experience went well and I look forward to doing again in our new frozen wasteland that once allowed people to run outdoors.