Friday, December 23, 2011

Mini-Goal, Mini-Goal.... Yes! Yipee! Yay!

The week has been flying by toward Christmas.  I'm so excited to celebrate our 2nd Christmas as a family of four.  I feel so grateful to have my family around me and healthy.  Warmth, health, love and laughter - what more could I ask for?

This is a fitness blog though so I'll get to it.  Monday was a day off.  I'm finding this day off on Monday thing to be ok so far.  It's sort of nice to ease into the week.  On Tuesday I had a 3 mile run, which I did on the treadmill.  Mostly I did 5mph but I threw in a few 6mph to keep it interesting.  Then I did chest/shoulders/core work for strength training.  For some reason the pushups were noticeably harder than they had been.  With the half-marathon training I've dropped a day of strength training, now it's four days a week instead of five as I don't strength train on long-run days.  I wonder if that makes a difference?  Eh, pushups are just hard.  Speaking of hard, remember those hanging leg raises I was so proud of on Sunday?  Well, on Tuesday I felt sore in places I didn't even know were ab muscles!  Can your diaphragm hurt?  I was sore just below where your ribcage meets...weird. 

Yesterday, Wednesday, I got up at 5am to go to the gym.  Getting up for boot camp was easier somehow than getting up for the gym.  I got to the gym by 5:30am and started with a warmup walk.  After 4-5 minutes I got on the bike for my 25 minutes and it was SO HARD.  My muscles just felt so stiff (I was going to make a joke about being stiff at 5am but they all sounded so lame).  I usually push myself on the bike to reach certain rpms and this time I just went with what my body felt like doing.  I didn't have the mental desire to push through the pain.

That reminds me, I've been thinking about pain in relation to exercise lately.  There's the old, "no pain, no gain" phrase and I think a commonly held belief that exercise involves suffering.  And it's true, sometimes it does.  But it doesn't have to involve any suffering that I don't want to endure.  It doesn't have to hurt.  I think a lot of couch potatoes would be better off if they knew that.  Start slow, ease into exercise at whatever pace is comfortable.  You don't have to wreak havoc on your body to get into shape.  Now there are times when I'm willing to suffer and be uncomfortable - like on a long run, or during an event - but mostly I like to avoid suffering.  And I can get in shape and maintain fitness without it.  In training I can push myself just enough to know I'm challenging myself but not so much that I'm feeling "pain".  That's why I stopped doing lunges for a while, that's why it's going to take me longer to improve my pace, and that's why I think, for me, I'm more likely to maintain this lifestyle long term.

Anyway, back to the gym.  After the bike I did strength training - back/biceps/core.  My abs were still sore!  I lost form during the leg raises in the captain's chair because they were so achy.   I think they're back to normal now though.  But we'll see how the gym goes today.  I left the gym feeling very glad that my workout was done for the day but also hoping these early morning workouts don't always make me feel like my body is made out of old furniture parts.

Yesterday, Thursday, was another run - 4 miles.  I was really pressed for time and not sure if I'd be able to get the whole run in and still have time for strength training.  I had a chiropractor appointment with a massage that I didn't want to miss!  So I got going on my four miles and started doing this thing of running at 5mph as my base speed and then going up to 5.5 for a quarter mile of each mile.  During each mile I also tried 6.0mph for a quarter mile but was never able to complete it.  I'll keep at it and get it some day.

After the run I whipped through my legs/shoulder/core routine.  I was pushing myself so hard my heart rate was soaring!  I've made some changes to my legs routine, dropped the smith machine altogether and doing walking lunges again instead of reverse lunges.  Basically it came down to not wanting to suffer too much.  It was also about what was realistic for my body and fitness level right now.  I just can't fry my legs with each workout.  I was already starting to dread "legs" day and I would suffer the doms (delayed onset muscle soreness) for a couple days after.  The dreading was more concerning than the doms but both led me to go back to walking lunges and no smith machine.  I'm still doing increased reps and still doing the shoulder press with my squats so all is not lost.  I did a quick stretching session and ran off to the chiro.

I will have to write about the chiro tomorrow because it was interesting and I'd love feedback but this blog is already too long and I need to get toooooo....

Mini-Goal!!  I weighed this morning at 177.4 pounds.  Yes!  The goal came from wanting to weigh what I did after Marek was born back in 2009.  So now I am picking up where I left off and that feels spectacular!  I have lost 21.6 pounds of baby weight and I have 20 to go.  Then I'll be back to where I was when I got pregnant.  It's taken me 6 months to lose this 20 pounds.  If I can be down 40 in a year - wouldn't that be awesome????? 

So, the new mini-goal - to get down to 158.8 pounds, the all-time low I hit shortly after learning I was pregnant.  That's a loss of 19.6 pounds.  I remember back in my "big" days when I had 80+ pounds to lose I thought 20 pounds was nothing.  Now I know better.  But it's still not 80.  I am so grateful that I got back on the fitness wagon before I put on even more weight.  50 pounds to lose is serious, but 80 is serious-er.  And now I have 30, which is more like significant, but not serious. 

For now I am going to dwell in my success.  I feel great!!  Thank you for the support.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

My Wonderful Body

I am so happy with my body today, what can I say?  I went to the gym to do non-running cardio and strength training.  The upright bikes were taken so I hopped on the elliptical, which was probably a good thing because my knees, especially my right knee, were sore.  The elliptical is easy on the knees.  I had a nice 25 minutes and then set out for the weights.  I wasn't looking forward to legs and shoulders because with all the running - well, the thought of doing squats and lunges is not a pleasant one.

But I did them.  I had to modify things, instead of doing three sets of reverse lunges I did two sets plus one set of walking lunges.  I did all my squats but my new training plan called for a second 3 sets of squats.  I canceled that plan.  Again, not into torture.  One set of three is enough.  But I upped the challenge in my core area - I added a 4lb medicine ball to my decline crunches and I did hanging leg raises (in those arm sling thingies pictured - you know that's not me, right?) instead of straight leg raises in the captain's chair. I did two sets of 20!  It was fun to switch things up and I have never felt like my core was as strong as it is these days.  Maybe having a couple babies did something good?

After all that exercise I left the gym feeling so happy with my body.  I asked and it answered.  8 miles yesterday, cardio and a nice, solid legs/shoulders/core routine today.  It's a refreshing change that when I think of my body I think of it in terms of strength and endurance and not so much in terms of size.  What more could I ask for?  Oh, a day off.  Yes, tomorrow is Monday and I will be taking a break from the gym.  I think my knees will be grateful.  Now I just need to keep the food intake in check and all will be right with the world.