Winter Workout Recap

Until today, my workouts had moved from outside to inside (the YMCA).  Icy streets, chilly wind, and dull skies don’t lure out to run, so I used the time to cross train and strengthen.  I opted for the YMCA instead of my basement because basement workouts require an extra push of motivation to keep going, in my experience.  Something about being inside a fitness center makes me 10x more likely to finish those push ups.

YMCA at 9am:
-60 minute elliptical
-arm circuit: 3 x 15 reps of each: hammer curls, overhead extensions, front raises, curls, tricep kickbacks, lateral raises

YMCA at 10:30am:
-60 minute elliptical
-30 minutes of random weights

YMCA at 8am:
-40-minute pool run (5 min easy, 6 x 2:30 hard (with :30 rest between), 6 x 1:30 hard
-4 mile run (treadmill)

After a lazy morning of coffee, peanut butter banana oatmeal, and Gretchen Rubin’s book Happier at Home, I laced up my shoes and headed out the door for a run.  The sun was shining, which made the freezing temperature much more appealing, and I cranked out a little over 10 miles.  I started at a snail-crawl but sped up with each mile.
My legs and lungs were fine, but my left side bothered me–

  • On Friday morning, I sneezed and felt a sharp pain under the ribcage on my left side.  The pain has stuck around for a few days, and I especially feel it when I rotate my torso or move certain ways.  (I bet it would also hurt with ab exercises, but I wouldn’t know, since I haven’t done any of those lately.)  I have a bad habit of unrealistically diagnosing myself through Google, so I am trying to assure myself that I do not, in fact, have a broken rib.  Anyway, the pain was mild during the run, but it’s been worse since the run.  I am being very careful with any movement and hoping that it feels better soon!



I woke up to a flurry of huge, wet, snowflakes!  A few inches covered the ground, and the weather channel predicted “the blizzard” to continue all day.  My dad was already back from a work out at the YMCA and recommended staying off the roads (I declined his offer to go in favor of sleeping in and going later.  Backfire!)

Because I was not about to run in a slippery blizzard, I pushed a workout to the back burner and curled up with a book, coffee, and pumpkin walnut oatmeal instead.  A spark of motivation came along around noon–I jumped on it and changed my clothes faster than I could change my mind.  I found a great circuit on Peanut Butter Fingers to do in my basement and completed her “No Nonsense Circuit” four times through.  Confession: I stopped to pant after almost every exercise during the last round!  I was a sweaty mess in no time!

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to all!  May your day be filled with family, friends, and fun.

Christmas Eve and Christmas day here are pretty relaxed.  Along with church and presents, my family celebrates with lots of Euchure and Christmas cookies!

This season’s cookie winners:

  • In third place… Hershey Kiss cookies!
  • In second place… caramel and chocolate covered pretzel rods!
  • In first place…Awesome Cookies!  The cookie of all cookies that tops my list at every occasion.  Also known as “freezer cookies,” “peanut butter-oatmeal-chocolate chip-m&m cookies,” and the “This is healthy, right? There’s oatmeal in it” cookie.

Runner Ups include: caramel corn, coconut and chocolate chip cookie bars, and the chocolate-covered peanut clusters that one of my mom’s students made for her (and I shoveled down).

Workout Talk:
I felt pretty stuffy and achy Christmas Eve morning, so I made myself some pity hot chocolate and insisted I would only exercise if I started feeling a little better.  Surprisingly, my meds kicked in and at noon, I did a 50-minute bodyweight circuit.  In my basement.  (I’m still in shock that I found motivation to do this.)
Five rounds: 60 walking lunges (30 per leg), 25 push ups, 50 squats, 20 tri dips, 25 bicycle kicks, 30 donkey kicks (15 per leg).
My lunges and squats have been a bit neglected in the past few weeks, so I’m glad that I brought them back!

After a morning filled with presents, coffee, breakfast casserole, and euchre, my dad and I went out for a run.
This is how we felt about running:

Our mantra: “We will only run as fast as the slowest runner.”

The weather was chilly and dreary and the first half of the run was a rough, but we got into the groove and kicked up our pace at the end.  It ended up being a great run!

The a workout under way, the rest of the day will be devoted to more cookies, bits and pieces of A Christmas Story, and family time!

Reunited with the Running Shoes

I woke up this morning with a terrible sore throat.  I scrapped my plan for a morning run and figured I would lay low with some fluids and let the temperature outside warm up before thinking about heading out.

Two water bottles, a cup of coffee, and a cup of hot chocolate later, I was ready to take on the world run.  I wasn’t feeling 100%, but I felt okay enough to try out a run.  Plus, the sun was shining!

I ran my old classic route–the “go to” loop when I’m home–and added a bit at the end.  The total distance was 8.5 miles, and my achilles did not complain at all!  (I figured it would be okay to jump to 8 miles after a week off since I was used the distance and had been keeping up with cardio this week.)  I am happy that my achilles were normal, but the overall run wasn’t great–I was way too hot in my tights and long sleeves, and my body was pretty tired.

Pool Running 2:30s

The Y opened at 8am this morning, so my dad and I were in the parking lot at 7:55, ready to pounce.  He swam, and I pool ran.
Workout: 10 minute warm up, 3 x 10 min (moderate), 6 x 2:30 (hard), 6 x :30 (hard), 3 x 2:30 (hard), 6 x :30 (hard), 15 minute cool down.
The reason why it sounds like an odd and random workout is because I only planned through the first set of :30 repeats–I made up the second half as I went.  The workout seemed to go by pretty quickly, and there was a lot to watch: shallow water aerobics, lap swimmers, adult swim lessons, the clock, and the artistic blue paint splotches on the wall.

Here’s a more structured pool running workout that focuses on hard 2:30 intervals:
2:30 is my favorite interval length: it’s short enough to keep up a hard effort, but long enough that you don’t have to sprint.

Achilles update: Both achilles tendons feel fine!   I haven’t run at all for six days, which was a good plan.  Not only did it give my achilles (and other tendons/joints/muscles) a rest, but it was a nice mental break, too.  I will hit the pavement tomorrow.

Weight Training Kick-Off

Today was the first day of pre-planned strength training!  Before I left my house, I scrolled through Pinterest to jot down a few strengh exercises, and I divided them into 2 circuits.

After a 10-minute warm up on the trusty AMT, I completed both circuits 3x:

  1. 50 squats (with weights), 15 tricep kickbacks, 15 bicep curls
  2. 20 walking lunges (with weights), 15 bent over rows, 10 front raises.

I finished off with a few minutes of abs and a cool down on the AMT.
My pink notecard, small weights, and dumbfounded look helped my confidence soar in the weight room!

Thoughts from a newbie: I without a doubt would rather be running, but strength training is necessary to become faster and stronger.  I didn’t feel like I got as tough of a workout as I wanted to, but two guesses: 1. I could have pushed myself harder and 2. My workout-making skill needs some fine tuning.  I’ll lay down a goal of two strength training sessions a week.

Who doesn’t love opening a new jar of peanut butter?

Stretch Sesh

I logged Day 2 of pool running yesterday!  I had planned to do 5-minute intervals but ended up with a 40-minute “tempo” instead, with some sprints at the end.  I get a harder workout with interval repeats than with continuous pool running, but probably because I tend to slack on tempo effort.

My legs were pretty tight after two days of pool running, so my dad and I had a nice father daughter stretch session after dinner.
We go way back…
Stretching together since 1992!

Stretching is something that I never feel like doing, so I am a big time slacker.  Having a stretch buddy to hold me accountable helps, so when marathon training starts in January, I may try to rope Ryan into weekly stretching!

I wanted to pool run this morning, but the local high school is now on winter break, so the swim team practices from 8am-10:30am until January.  Normally it would not be a problem to go earlier, but all bets are off on Christmas break.  I thought (for a hot second) about getting there at 6:30am but dropped that plan and got there at 8am.  I spent a sweaty hour on the AMT.  The AMT (Adaptive Motion Trainer…thank you, Google) is the machine that looks like the elliptical but its pedals don’t follow a set track, so you’re free to switch stride style.

It’s my favorite cardio machine.  My YMCA only has 2 of them, but they’re usually pretty lonely (the motion is tricky to get used to, and I’m pretty sure the senior Y members are scared off).

I tried and failed an arm workout when I finished on the AMT.  I picked up two free weights and kind of…lifted them in different ways.  This lasted about 4 minutes.  Frankly, I don’t know how to strength train and need to find some sort of pre-made checklist.  2013 goal.