Things I Do and Do Not Recommend

Things I recommend: feeling better after six weeks. Things I don’t recommend: getting sick in the first place.

Things I recommend: enjoying the holiday season. Things I don’t (necessarily) recommend (at least not frequently): earning a badge on Untappd for checking in an adult beverage for over a week straight.

Things I recommend: eating good food, often. Things I don’t recommend: not exercising, gaining 10 lbs, losing muscle, gaining fluff.

Things I recommend: back squats. Things I don’t recommend: dropping a plate directly on your foot from the racked barbell.

SO THAT’S BASICALLY WHERE WE’RE AT RIGHT NOW, FOLKS.

I finally feel better and it’s been a hell of a ride. For somebody who rarely gets sick, I felt like a whiner talking about my cold. Was it really as bad as I thought? Emphatically YES. Confirmed by multiple friends whining at week 3. Phew. Glad I wasn’t making it up.

Yes, I earned a badge on Untappd for checking in daily for over a week. I had a beer or glass of wine at home daily, sandwiched between a happy hour, dinner out and then another dinner out and $15 manhattans. My wallet wasn’t happy, neither was my liver I’m sure, but my oh my, my palate was loving it.

Yes, I also gained 10ish lbs from being sick and not exercising on top of my usual poor food choices. My middle is fluffier than it has been since college and while I know at least 10lbs of the 20lbs I’ve gained since college is definitely muscle, I’m sure a bit is mac and cheese, pizza logs, and hot pockets.

Oh yeah, and two weeks ago I went to clear off a barbell that was racked for squats and a 5lb plate landed directly onto my foot from shoulder height. Sure, it’s just 5lbs but that piece of metal had me convinced I needed my foot amputated. I haven’t been able to run since, nor walk further than 1 mile without feeling it the next day. I can’t do anything that involves flexing my big toe still, but it’s finally getting better, though still bruised. You don’t realize how often you bend and flex your toes until you can’t do it painlessly.

I’ve been trying to figure out in this time what I want to do about my running. The Lake Effect Half Marathon is in February and tradition to run, but they added a 5k option this year and that’s kind of where I’m leaning. I’m not sure I have it in me to dedicate to training for a half marathon this year.

I did make one decision though. I need to eat better. RP strength had a Black Friday sale on their templates and I gave in. I need to eat better and if I spend money on it, maybe I’ll finally do it. I know a few people personally who have had great success with it (think increased strength, better stamina, more muscle, less body fat, better recovery) so I figured why not? I started it Monday and I’m going to attempt to stick with it 90-100% each day, but realistically eating ANY vegetables and less processed food is an improvement. I plan to write up a more extensive post about RP strength soon, but I’m only a day (or two when you read this!) in so I need a few more days under my belt.

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Week in Review (12.30-1.5)

Well, 2014 has started off with a somewhat bad bang.

My new obsession (particularly since it's winter) = the sauna
My new obsession (particularly since it’s winter) = the sauna

My bike was stolen from behind my locked door (I have a locked door leading to a corridor which has locked doors to my apartment door and the apartment next to me) when I’m the only person living in these two apartments and my terrible rental company hasn’t returned my calls (they never do).  And I do not want to move again after moving once a year or so for four years and paying a security deposit each time.  Unhappy.

I also cannot run again.  Really, really, effin’ unhappy.

On the bright side, I’m finally switching duties at my job (same position, just doing something else) which is a breath of fresh air because I’ve been doing the same thing since April 2012.  It’s bittersweet because I have to move my desk and I won’t be with some people I really like (including J — yes, we sit across from each other and yes, it somehow works out that we have been dating for over a year rather happily).  At the same time it’s nice because I can shift my hours later (which most people hate) and work 8:15-5 which means morning gym times.  This sounds fabulous (yay two-a-days) but who am I kidding?  I can’t even run.

Monday – 30 min spin, 30 min body sculpt

  • Little did I know this was my last time teaching these two classes.  I told them I still had three weeks or so because they were training a new girl to take over the classes because at the time that’s what was happening.  Then I find out within the next couple of days that nope, a veteran instructor is taking over.  She starts on Monday (the 6th).  I couldn’t even say goodbye.  I’m so, so, so sad.  On the bright side, I don’t have to stress about teaching 4 days in a row.
  • Body Sculpt – Green Resistance Band/15 lb Bar
    • Typical combo movements today, but finishing with 2×10 push-ups (which I finally did on my toes!)
    • Included some of the new movements I learned from ABC last week with the bar for one-sided chest press and chest fly.
  • Spinning  – Sprints, Hills
    • Fitting that my last class would be 24 people, which is huge and double the largest I ever had before that.
    • We had my favorite rolling hill climb (Jai Ho) where you turn it up a tiny bit each time you hear “Jai Ho” and then somewhat recover down hill on the “catch me…” line.
    • Also finished with 4 sets of :30/:15 tabata drills to Auld Lang Syne by Mariah Carey.

Tuesday – New Year’s Eve (Rest!)

  • I suppose you could consider the quarter mile walk to (and from) J’s sister’s in the sub zero temperature with food and booze as a workout… but I feel like the cherry whiskey may have counteracted that (or the amount of wing dip and pizza I shoveled into my face!)

Wednesday – Rest!

  • I felt a little under the weather (same thing happened last New Year’s!) so I maintained my laziness and watched the Winter Classic on TV.

Thursday – Crossfit WOD

I'm officially official.  Funny how this comes the week I'm done teaching Spinning.
I’m officially official. Funny how this comes the week I’m done teaching Spinning.
  • On NYE, J’s sister’s boyfriend commented on their Crossfit gym’s workout for them to do at home.  I knew what everything was and I didn’t need equipment and the weather was really bad outside so I opted for this 25 minute total workout.
    • 10 sets with one minute rest – 10 x mountain climbers, sit-ups, jump knee tucks, sit-ups, mountain climbers
  • It looked so easy, but it sucked after about the 4th set.  My longest set was 2:19 and my shortest was 2:11, including the 60 seconds of rest.

Friday – Treadmill, stairs, bike

  • Treadmill plan was walk/run combo
    • Walk 3:00/Run 2:00 (about 6.0) and my ankle was sore instantly.  I did another set, inching up to 6.2 on the run and my ankle was still sore.  The last set I walked 2:00 and ran 3:00 at 6.4 because it felt so good to be running even though my ankle was sore and I knew I needed to stop.  Talk about discouraged.
  • Stairs
    • I hate them.  I managed 12 minutes and they were the longest minutes ever.
  • Cycling
    • Checked out the Keiser bikes (amazing) and did some sprints in the saddle on my own and a climb.
  • 10 minutes in the sauna

Saturday – Elliptical and Sauna

  • I’m supposed to do 7 miles to prepare for that half marathon I have in 7 weeks.  I can’t run.
  • Elliptical to Chiefs @ Colts for around the same amount of time as a really, really easy 7 mile run.
    • Started on the 2nd possession of the game (Colts) with max incline.  When possession changed, I put it to lowest incline.  Resistance stayed at 5 (out of 20).
    • I kept it going for the entire first half (1:22).  If there was a score, I switched right after the extra point or field goal.
    • 20 minutes in the sauna stretching

Sunday – Total Body Sculpt and Boot Camp

Breakfast prep: Burritos with eggs, veggies, and cheese (only in mine) in a whole wheat tortilla shell.  Freeze & heat up in the morning!
Breakfast prep: Burritos with eggs, veggies, and cheese (only in mine) in a whole wheat tortilla shell. Freeze & heat up in the morning!
  • I managed to wake up ready to go, early enough to have coffee, yet somehow left my house late enough to make me late.  Not the best first impression and so embarrassing!
  • Body Sculpt – 8 lb weights and step w/ 2 risers
    • One exercise per muscle group, then finishing with 1:00 plank — three sets
  • Boot Camp – 15lb/12lb body bar
    • They didn’t change the calendar from Step to Boot Camp so a lot of people were shocked but stuck it out. Only 6 people were here.
    • Worked on one muscle group for about 4 minutes then did 5 x :45 of various exercises — air squats, jumping jacks, mountain climbers, push-ups, and crunches

I’m trying to stay positive even though I cannot run right now.  It’s really, really tough.  I keep thinking about that half marathon at the end of February which I have been looking forward to and wondering if I will be able to run it at all.  Then I keep reminding myself of the long term goal I have — to finish a marathon, which is at the end of May.  I just need to remain focused on the distant goals and keeping up cardio in the meantime so when I can go, I can go.

Summer Goal: Break 22 Minutes

This summer is going to be absolutely amazing.

Last summer I was just trying to run more in order to cross the half marathon finish line.  I distinctly remember the day I ran six miles straight which was some combination of a mile warm-up and cool down, with the middle sets something along the lines of two minutes hard, three minutes easy.  Each week was some sort of personal record because before I started, I hadn’t run more than 5 miles straight.

Now I’m focusing on getting under 22 minutes for my 5k.  It’s an easy feat for some women, but for me I’ve been striving for this since my junior year of high school.  I remember the pep talks my cross country coach would give me while I was on the starting line doing some strides.  “Just run three 7:00 miles.  That’s it.  We will give you splits at each mile.  Just three 7:00 miles.”  It sounds so simple, doesn’t it?

The closest I came then was 22:08.
The closest I’ve come now was 22:15, in my first (and only) 5k of this year.

I am much more educated in terms of running, workouts, and my diet than I ever was in high school.  All my training since I started last year has been towards the half marathon and I’ve undoubtedly gotten faster in all distances since I started, but gearing everything towards a faster 5k makes me really excited to see where I can go.

My goals aside, there’s so many people I know that are interested in running together now which is also what makes this summer so exciting.  I love being able to check Twitter and see who’s running where, or ask if anyone wants to get a group run together.  We may all run different paces, but it’s awesome to have that support.  It’s really beneficial for those weekend long runs when planned early in the week — knowing other people are going keeps me accountable to get up and not sleep in another hour.  Then there’s the fact that the Mister enjoys running at the track and doing his own strength thing, so while he might not be running with me, being able to go with somebody keeps me motivated.  Last but not least, there’s a group of people who do some “unorthodox” (aka not gym-oriented) strength training every Tuesday and I think I’m going to make every effort to go almost weekly.  Again, thank you Twitter for allowing people to connect!  Oh, and how could I forget the fact that I have a bike now?  No more worrying about fitting in classes at Bike or Bar and being inside on gorgeous days to get my cross training in!

I don’t have a goal race planned because for a 5k, I don’t think it’s really necessary.  The heart of this summer is just enjoying what I’m able to do, with an agenda of breaking a time goal.  I’ll be running races all summer, why pick just one?

Below is the schedule I’ve come up with.  Hopefully I’ll be more successful with my training schedule this summer given everything above, but as always I’m sure I’ll change things given the weather and life.  I can’t wait to get started!

I will get faster at the 5k!