I tend to look at the big picture and approach each situation with somewhat of a wide angled lens. Maybe it’s the Sagittarius in me, always looking to the next big thing, the end result, the grand scheme of things. I don’t think it’s necessarily a bad thing; it’s this open minded, optimistic state of mind that has allowed me to arrive at some pretty great challenges and successes, making me goal-driven and determined to reach them, believing the sky is the limit. At the same time, however, it’s given me a bit of an ‘all or nothing’ approach to things. I jump into new endeavours with the end result in mind and nothing else, wanting results, wanting the bigger picture. I strive so hard for it that I sometimes forget about the here and now, about the process of getting there. My issues with Lefty, while a huge pain in the butt and total bummer, have started to put things into perspective and forced me to slow down. (Well, in my own way, of course) ;)
After work the other night, this all just kind of hit me, while I contemplated going to the gym for a half-assed late night workout or going home to sleep, that maybe I was doing too much too soon and now I’m paying for it (and chose the sleep). I know I’ve said it before, but this time I really am going to slow the fck down, ease up, lighten up and get serious without getting too serious and losing the fun, the heart of it all. Because at the end of the day, I truly love fitness and running, and to realize that my zest for it could actually be jeoporadizing it is a huge wake up call.
After the Failure 10K, things kind of started winding downhill for me. It was a blow to my ego for sure, and afterwards I felt like I needed to do more, work harder, run longer, run faster, cross train more often and at higher intensities, lift heavier, etc., to compensate, to undo the fail. So, I was incorporating more speed/hill workouts, and increasing my daily mileage, increasing the weights I was lifting, cross-training more and harder, and going to new group exercise classes (flexi-bar, bodypump, newbody) to challenge my body even more and in new ways so that I’d be more well-rounded, so that I could get fitter. I was hitting the gym hard. When I’m not in the gym, I try to keep my sitting time to a minimum, since being sedentary sort of works against all the training and working out one does. So, I go for walks and fuss about the kitchen trying out recipes, I ride my bike, or just get up and walk around. I just like always doing something. I didn’t realize I was just setting myself up for over-doing it. When I’m in the gym, I try to fit in as much as possible because my time there is limited. I can’t just leave when I’m done, I rely on someone for rides so I have to be done within a certain time. So, I try to be superwoman and do it all. Long story short, I think I might have been trying to do too much instead of not enough, and because I try to do it all my workouts end up being not as effective. It’s time to really pay attention to quality instead of quantity.
After reading just the first pages of Run Less, Run Faster, the concept of quality workouts over quanitity makes even more sense to me. When did I notice my pace increase seemingly out of nowhere? A couple of weeks after I ran more hill/speed interval workouts. It’s a shame that just as soon as I had begun to see the benefits of those workouts, Lefty took the hit. But I’m a big believer in things happening for a reason, and I think this short time out, while sucking major balls, was just what I needed to slap me in the face, wake me up and realize I was doing it all wrong, that there’s a different approach that could work for me as long as I’m willing to ease up, open my mind and give it a shot!
Yesterday, I tried little blips of jogging on my walk with Charlie and for the most part Lefty was alright with it. I decided last night would be a good night to see what else Lefty can handle, to see where we were on the ‘getting better’ scale. So I came up with the “Ease Into It” Workout. Basically, each superset starts off with no weight and high rep, then increases to higher weights with lower reps. It looked like this:
SUPERSET 1: 30 Static Bodyweight Lunges; 15 DB Staggered Lunges; 10 DB Clock Lunges
SUPERSET 2: 30 Bodyweight squats with an abduction; 15 DB plie squats; 10 Barbell squats, slow.
SUPERSET 3: 30 Single Leg Deadlifts w/DB Fly; 15 barbell Deadlift+row; 10 Wide Deadlifts heavy
I wanted lunges first because a) I’m not a lunge fan and wanted them out of the way because I have zero balance and they suck and b) lunges are harder on the knees, so I wanted to gauge where Lefty was by testing the waters before doing the rest of the workout. I got through the lunge circuit, but Lefty was starting to hurt by the end of that superset, and when I attempted squats it just wasn’t happening, it hurt too much and I knew if I pushed it I’d be sorry. Time for Plan B, only I didn’t prepare one. On the fly workout time! Lefty-Approved Workout:
10x3 Hamstring Curl machine, 20lbs
Ankle Weights x3: (1) 15 Single Leg Raises (lying on a bench, legs hanging off the edge), then I dropped this to 10 for the last 2 sets bc my quads were on FIRE. (2) 15 Lying Abductions, then 10 for the last 2 sets. (3) Lying Adductions (4) Prone Lying Ham Curls/Glute raises (Buns on fiyaaa with these!!)
Afterwards, I talked to a trainer as she signed my workout card and I filled out my ‘Win $1000’ ballot for my 6th workout (better win, I’m there every day! lol) I asked her what workouts she’d recommend with a knee injury, and she gave me SO many good tips and new moves and variations I never thought of before! So, tonight I’m going to put together a whole new leg workout or two and put them to the test! First thing she said to me was ‘don’t do lunges’ - hahaha too late…
At first, she thought I meant workouts she’d recommend in general, not to work around the knee, so she started talking about lifting heavy and supersets and working out by body part - all these great things that I already do, that made me so happy because I know I’m doing something right. It just confirmed my confidence in my fitness and training ability, you know, and that I figured it all out on my own, by seeking out the information and putting it to use. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: knowledge is power!
Today was crrazzyyy cardio in the gym! Went to the co-ed one again to use the Octane elliptical, and boy am I glad I did. Saturday mornings are good turn outs, if you know what I mean ;). The StairMasters were all empty when I hopped on one for a 15 minute HIIT workout to warm me up before my ‘run’ on the Octane, and about 6 minutes in, a very attractive guy hopped on the one to my left and we worked out side by side for about 10 minutes. It was beautiful. I was heaving, but whatever. After that, I hit up the Octane for 8x400s! I love this machine, there’s a little ‘track’ on the screen so you can see where you are around it. The stats are all way off, (4.7 miles in 33 minutes? Yeah, okay.) but this workout was intense nonetheless. I was pouring sweat. After that, I still had some time to kill so I went on the treadmill and walked hill intervals for 15 minutes at 3.8mph on level 14.
It’s time for the Gym Round 2 now. I know what you’re thinking - Joanne, we just talked about overdoing it, and you already went to the gym today. Well, hold your horses, it’s not for cardio. It’s upper body day, and I’m still not comfortable lifting weights with the boys so I’m going to the women’s one for a quick upper body session, possibly followed up by an abs routine I threw together for last night that I didn’t get to try, and then coming home for much needed food.
Also tried my very first Clif bar after that intense cardio session today. It was carrot cake flavor, it was delicious - but holy sht the amount of syrups in those things! It’s why I’m always so hesitant to buy them when they go on sale. I see healthy food blogs/runners saying they eat these bars, but then I read the back and I’m turned off a little. But I worked hard, I was starving, and needed to refuel so I figured it was okay to have a bit of a ‘treat’. So yummy! Now I understand the hype around them. But the syrup still puts me off…
This is getting lengthy, I will save the prep/recipe for Chocolate Cake Batter Banana Bread N’Oatmeal for its own post later. Actually, I think it kind of deserves it because it was that good. Just wanted to end this saying I think I’m leaning towards getting the Garmin Forerunner 210, thanks to my girl Candice up at Sportchek for helping me out today. I love her, she’s so sweet and she knows me now because I always b-line it to Sportchek whenever I get a break at work to look around and she’s always there. We got to talking about watches and working out and all this great stuff, learned some more about her and just adore her even more, girl after my own heart! We were talking about lifting, and she lifts at the university gym with all the boys - I will do that someday. For now, it’s 2 gym sessions in one day. But I don’t mind, I love the gym :)
Questions for you:
(1) Do you ever hit the gym twice in one day? (2) Do you have the Garmin Forerunner 210? Thoughts? (3) Clif Bars: yay or nay?