Fridays

I work from home on Fridays, so it’s a great opportunity for me to head out for a longer run on a day when it won’t eat into family time (just work time, heh). I love starting my day this way, and I often make it even more fun by running in a different part of town after dropping the kids off at school.

Their “school” is a daycare, by the way, which means that they have to provide meals— breakfast, lunch, and afternoon snack. They don’t also have to provide breakfast and coffee for parents, but they do. In the parents’ lounge just off the main entrance, there’s always a huge pot of coffee and a tray of something like muffins, mini bagels, or biscuits. But on Fridays, there are cinnamon rolls. Warm, soft, cinnamon rolls with a drizzle of icing on them. Y’all. They are SO GOOD.

What I’ve been doing is grabbing one on my way out the door and leaving it in my car for post-run fuel. It’s not exactly still warm an hour later, but it’s still pretty damned delicious. Today I even leveled up by placing a mobile order with Starbucks to pick up right after my run so I had hot coffee to go with it. It’s taken me over forty years, but I feel like I’ve finally learned some things about how to do life.

I am a Powerlifter

I started a 4-week intro to powerlifting class in January with a friend of mine, and we liked it so much that we continued on with our trainer after the class ended and have been lifting about twice a week ever since. It’s been such a fun addition to my fitness pursuits!

Before I started the class, I thought “powerlifting” was a general term that encompassed just… all manner of lifting heavy. That is not the case, as it turns out! It’s actually focused on three lifts: squats, bench presses, and deadlifts. So we work on getting better at those three along with a variety of other accessory strength exercises that will help us toward those goals.

Today was our second session of the week, which is usually deadlift day. So…we did a lot of deadlifts. (Squats and benches were Monday.) We also did planks, overhead/military presses, bent-over rows, lat pull-downs, half-kneeling torso rotations, dead bugs, and probably a few other things I’m forgetting. Or trainer mixes it up in a really engaging way and is super knowledgeable, so it’s always a good workout.

If you look at what I’m lifting, the numbers might not be super impressive, but I’m going to own it and call myself a powerlifter anyway. Here’s why: yesterday at the track, I was listening to a panel discussion on why it’s an exciting time in women’s running, and one of the themes of the discussion was the need to open up running and make it accessible to not only women in general, but to all underrepresented populations. The panelists were great. They spoke about how important it is for us runners to call ourselves runners and not to demur because we “only” ran a short distance or because we’re “just” mid- or back-of-the-packers. If we don’t own our identities as runners, how will the people watching us feel like it’s something they, too, can participate in? Oh, just listen to the podcast! At any rate, I’m going to do the same for powerlifting: I am a powerlifter.

Oh, Butter Irony

I started a post about powerlifting earlier today but I am too tired to finish it, oh butter irony*. Tuesdays are usually my most exhausting days of the week, and this one did not disappoint.

On a typical Tuesday, I’m up at 5:30 and out the door by 7:00, teaching classes from 8:00-2:00, in office hours/meetings after that, and then I hit the gym or track. By this time I’ve already walked about two miles on campus in dress shoes that make my feet angry so I’m feeling grimly determined to get the run done nevertheless. Today it was a track workout on tap. I somehow messed up the stats that display on my watch, the end result being that I ran my intervals significantly faster than needed, felt bad about myself because the workout seemed too hard, and almost barfed at the end. My stomach still feels pretty iffy, to be frank.

By the time I get the kids from daycare on Tuesdays, get home, do dinner/bath/bedtime, and so on, I generally start to feel like I’ve been run over by a truck. Then, the 30-60 minutes after bedtime when the kids insist on coming back out of their room for Very Important Kid Reasons, but during which I’m also trying to shut down the house by completing my final chores before bedtime, is the most difficult hour of the day. I’m crouching in the bathroom holding a geriatric/paraplegic dachshund over the toilet so I can express his bladder, for example, and suddenly there is a child climbing on my back and shouting in my ear about how they just needed to get back out of bed to see what Egon was doing. And as soon as I get all that taken care of and go to lie down for a minute I’m confronted with a pile of laundry I forgot about or with the ping of my daily phone reminder telling me to set up the coffee pot for tomorrow or or or.

(Because someone will wonder: yes, CW is involved in all this work, too. But this is my blog so it’s gonna be all about me, dammit.)

Current status: lying in bed, sweaty and stinky but wearing fresh lounge clothing, next to the aforementioned dog (curled up under my blanket), contemplating getting up to find my roller so I can work on my calves before I fall asleep. It’s 7:56 pm, y’all.

*autocorrect, obviously, but I’ll let it stand.

Fall Back

Thanks to the time change, the children and I woke up at 5:00 this morning. What a delight. I’m not going to launch into a long discussion of their sleep habits, though — another time, maybe?

What wound up happening was that after about forty five minutes of trying to convince them to snuggle up quietly in our bed or to go play in another room, the sun had started to come up. I decided to take advantage of the early light and my own annoying alertness and I got my butt out the door for a run. I felt mildly bad about leaving two raucous preschoolers with my husband, who was trying to get more sleep, but obviously not bad enough to stay home. I think the kids watched Daniel Tiger in bed with him while I was gone.

It was cold and delightful and I threw in a few hill repeats just for funsies and then came home and drank all the hot coffee.

Running has been nice lately — all the more so since the temperatures started to dip, of course, but also since I have quit looking at pace on my watch during easy runs. I used to think my “easy pace” needed to be around a certain number, but it doesn’t. If I’m trying to hit certain intervals during a speed workout, of course pace matters. Otherwise, IDGAF. So freeing!

Tomorrow I meet up with my lifting partner and our trainer for a powerlifting session, which is something I’ve been doing since January and it is so much fun. I should do a full post about it— maybe tomorrow. It seems like I’m actually sticking with the old NaBloPoMo so far, so maybe that will actually happen.

November is Here

Today feels like one of those days when everything is coming together perfectly. The weather finally got cold, for one thing. I went out for a run this morning and needed long sleeves. I swear there is nothing more wonderfully invigorating than a long-ish run in the cold.

Long-ish, you know. Long-er. Long-adjacent. I went for 6.2 miles today, also known as 10 kilometers. Not on purpose; it just wound up being a perfect 10K route that I ran serendipitously and by feel. The trees are starting to turn; the sidewalks are littered with the pine needles, acorns, and other seasonal detritus; the parks are full of older people walking their dogs and children collecting leaves and sticks. At home afterward I had hot coffee waiting for me and a slice of leftover pumpkin bread I could pop in the toaster.

My main task for work today is to make some significant progress toward finishing the novel I’m teaching in a couple of weeks. It’s rare that I assign a book I haven’t yet read, but I have it on good authority that this one will be a great addition to my class, so it’s time to dig in. I suppose I’ll have to spend some amount of hours today reading, snuggled on the couch with a blanket and another cup of coffee. I cannot complain about this life. It’s a work-from-home day, by the way, which is what allows me to do things like go for a 6-mile run and then read on the couch all day on a Friday. Yes, I am grateful for the flexibility of my job and no, I do not take it for granted.

Tonight is Pizza Friday, and I am making a couple of New York-style pies featuring this dough recipe (which is pretty much flawless) and maybe the kids will be in a happy mood when they get home and maybe we’ll watch a movie and have some leftover Halloween candy. Hell, man; anything is possible.

Year in Review: 2018

Look, we’re two full weeks into the new year and I’m sure no one cares. However, I have not missed a year of this annual survey since I started it in 2007 so buckle up!

Previous years’ answers are available here: (200720082009201020112012201320142015, 2016, 2017). Over time I have modified and  deleted some of the original questions, but here’s what I’m working with this year:

1. What did you do in 2018 that you’d never done before?

I wore a bikini in public, made a child’s Halloween costume, joined a running team, and started an SSRI.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

Last year, I wrote that I’d like to: “Get a general practitioner so I can stop going to urgent care, spend less on frivolous purchases. Keep up my yoga practice. Race in another 5K and a 10K, as I’m now in a new age group!” And although I didn’t think of it as an official resolution, I decided that my leisure reading would only include books by women authors. I did really well on these!

For this year, I don’t have a real resolution. I am going to sprinkle a few monthly challenges into my year, including Dry January (currently going on right now, yay?), a month of daily blog posting, a no-spend month, a run streak month, a decluttering month, and more to be determined later. My leisure reading will focus on the voices of women, people of color, and LGBTQ writers.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

Yes! Lots of internet ladies and a few work friends. So many little babies I need to hug.

4. Did anyone close to you die?

Not this year.

5. What places did you visit?

Atlanta (shopping), New Orleans (for a ladies’ weekend WHICH WAS AMAZING), Iowa (family visit), St. Louis (quick friend visit on the way home from Iowa), and Florida (family Christmas visit). I think that was it?

6. What would you like to have in 2019 that you lacked in 2018?

I’ll repeat last year’s answer, which is still true: “A sane president, mainly. I would also appreciate more time alone and a more organized house.”

7. What days from 2018 will you always remember?

Nothing comes to mind as I sit here. I may think of a day later, but if I do, it wouldn’t really qualify as a day I’ll “always remember,” so.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Figuring out that my overwhelming anger might be a symptom of anxiety. This was news to me! I hadn’t been feeling “anxious,” but whaddayaknow? Anti-anxiety meds made me significantly less angry. I mean, I still have swarms of bees coming out of my mouth on a daily fucking basis, but life is better.

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9. What was your biggest failure?

Healthy eating continues to be a struggle, as I mentioned last year, but I feel like I have improved my thinking on this front. I don’t feel like I had any “failures” this year.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

I had some back problems off and on this year, which are awful when they surface, but I am doing better with strength exercises that really help. My biggest health issue was in October — STOP READING IF YOU ARE SQUEAMISH — a spider bite (?) I acquired on a trip to the pumpkin patch that became infected and developed a huge, painful, horrifying abscess on the back of my leg. The doctor, ahem, took care of it for me and did a bacterial culture and it turned out to be MRSA and long story short, I still do not feel clean.  Thanks for nothing, festive fall family activities.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

My trip to NOLA was pretty amazing. And daycare.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

Mine, frankly.

13. Where did most of your money go?

Daycare. I’ll just keep repeating this answer every year until they start kindergarten.

14. What did you get really excited about?

Traveling with my BFFs, having our new friends move onto our cul-de-sac two doors down, and running a fast (for me) 10K in November.

15. What song will always remind you of 2018?

Not a new song, but Lil Mama’s “Lip Gloss” got a lot of play on my running mix.

16. Compared to this time last year, are you:

a) happier or sadder? Happier.
b) thinner or fatter? Same.
c) richer or poorer? Same.

17. What do you wish you’d done more of?

Socializing with local friends.

18. What do you wish you’d done less of?

Eating my feelings.

19. How did you spend Christmas?

We spent the week-ish before Christmas visiting with family in Florida. My in-laws have a place there and the rest of the family came down and stayed in a nearby hotel. It was stormy the entire time, so we spent a lot of the trip indoors (or driving through insane rain and winds to visit an aquarium). For the actual holiday, we were back home with just the four of us. The kids can talk and ask more questions about Santa this year, and they were absolutely ALL IN on the Christmas magic, which was pretty great.

20. What was your favorite TV program?

I continued to love The Great British Baking Show, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, and The Good Place. I also enjoyed Marcella, Jack Ryan, Atlanta, and Mindhunter, which were new ones for me this year. Very excited for Game of Thrones to make its return soon!

21. What was the best book you read?

Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng. Just perfection.

Here are some other highlights from this year, which was entirely devoted to reading women’s words:

  • Hunger – Roxane Gay
  • The Turner House – Angela Flournoy
  • The Wangs vs the World – Jade Chang
  • I’ll Be Gone in the Dark – Michelle McNamara
  • The After Party – Anton DiSclafani
  • The Witch Elm – Tana French
  • Career of Evil – Robert Galbraith
  • Why I Wake Early – Mary Oliver

22. What music did you get excited about?

Far too little. I kind of shifted from music to podcasts for most of my listening time this year. So…my favorite podcasts from the year were My Favorite Murder, The Ali on the Run Show, and The Popcast with Knox and Jamie.

23. What did you want and get?

Democrats in the House!

24. What did you want and not get?

Impeachment.

25. What was your favorite film of this year?

I saw and enjoyed: Black Panther, A Quiet Place, and To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before. I also saw a lot of movies I didn’t enjoy all that much and, I’m sure, many I’ve completely forgotten! No standout favorites this year.

26. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

Went with the family to Krispy Kreme on the way to work/school, ran 12K (an almost-yearly tradition on my birthday) and got a manicure. My in-laws arrived that afternoon to spend a couple of days with us on their way down to Florida, so we had pizza and cupcakes that night. I turned 41.

27. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2018?

Lots of skinny jeans with blazers, for some reason.

28. What kept you sane?

Last year I wrote, “Coffee, running, and Twitter,” which is still true. This year I’ll add C3l3xa to that list.

29. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

I very much enjoy Celeste Ng not only for her novels but also on Twitter. Anna Friel. Still Lin Manuel Miranda.

30. What political issue stirred you the most?

What didn’t?! Jesus, what an absolute trashfire. But probably children in cages at the border. That, probably. I mean, unless it was Brett Motherfucking Kavanaugh. #angrybees

31. Who was the best new person you met?

I feel like I’m forgetting someone, but nobody stands out? Eeep.

32. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2018.

Take that spider bite to the doctor POSTHASTE.

And, as I say every year, qui patitur vincit.

33. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.

Not sure I have a song lyric this year. How about a lyric poem? This may be more “aspirational” than summative, but here you go:

 

“I Worried”

I worried a lot. Will the garden grow, will the rivers
flow in the right direction, will the earth turn
as it was taught, and if not how shall
I correct it?

Was I right, was I wrong, will I be forgiven,
can I do better?

Will I ever be able to sing, even the sparrows
can do it and I am, well,
hopeless.

Is my eyesight fading or am I just imagining it,
am I going to get rheumatism,
lockjaw, dementia?

Finally I saw that worrying had come to nothing.
And gave it up. And took my old body
and went out into the morning,
and sang.

— Mary Oliver

Lumbering Along: A Postpartum Fitness Report

Saturday I ran three miles for the first time since the twins were born. The first time since early in my first trimester, actually. (I was still running when I got pregnant and only quit because I had both a small subchorionic hematoma and a huge post-ovulation ovarian cyst, so the doctors advised me not to exercise.) It felt both more difficult than I imagined and more satisfying to be back running what used to be an easy base/maintenance run for me.

When I started getting active again after the twins, I focused on some transverse abdominal work to help rehab my core (thanks to the always helpful advice of my friend Kathleen of Oh Baby!, who is a fitness expert — check out their videos if you want some great prenatal & postpartum fitness tips). Then I started walking. After a while, I threw in a block or so of running here and there, and damn, y’all, it felt SO WEIRD. My core still felt really weak, like there were no muscles there at all. My hip flexors felt weak and sore and otherwise just not right, to the extent that it felt difficult to lift my legs up. I felt like I was just flopping around out there. I also was so intensely focused on engaging my pelvic floor and transverse abs that I had to concentrate really, really hard. It felt a million miles away from the effortless, easy running I (felt I) had earned after years of work. Bodies, man.

Since those first awkward, floppy blocks, I slowly built back my time and distance. I started the Couch-to-5K running program as a way of giving myself some easy interval work. This program is a proven success as far as I’m concerned — it’s how I got running again in my early 30s after a long hiatus from health and fitness. I figured it surely could help now. The first four weeks of the program were great, but once I got to the point of doing run intervals of 3-5 minutes, I figured I was ready to take the reins myself. I started running straight 5:1 intervals around my very, very hilly neighborhood loop, which turned out to be a little over 2 miles total. Once I felt comfortable with that, I went to 10:1 intervals and then started dropping the one-minute walks as I felt ready. That got me up to 2 miles of straight running. Then I started adding distance: 2.5 miles, then 3. And here we are!

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On days when I don’t run, I might do a long stroller walk with the babies. Pushing a double stroller for 3 miles in my hilly neighborhood is a much tougher workout than you’d imagine — and it’s a good way to coax them into the afternoon nap they usually like to resist.

I’ve also been doing some barre3 online workouts, which I just love. So far I’ve only been doing the 30-minute videos, but I hope to work up to 40 or even 60 soon enough. These are great for me to do at home when the babies are napping (whenever I am so lucky!) and sometimes I can even manage it if they’re happily sitting in the swing & bouncy seat. I love that barre3 also has tons of 10 minute videos to work into my day if I can only get a little bit of time. It’s easy to just roll out the yoga mat and go — I don’t even need to change clothes, as leggings and a nursing tank are perfect for this workout. Bonus: two of the women in the postpartum “bounce back” workout are moms of twins — one woman’s twins were only 3 months old at the time of filming. If she can do it, so can I.

Afternoon Calisthenics
What’s this? An off-topic photo of the twins I am including purely on the basis of showing you them doing their daily workout? Guilty.

So fitness is going well — difficult but rewarding. It always feels great to get out there and get moving. Weight loss, however, is not happening. In fact, I have gained back 10 of the pounds I initially had lost, so that feels shitty. I’m now 35lbs above my pre-pregnancy weight, exactly where I was at my 5-weeks-postpartum checkup. Apparently this is a normal thing, though. The body wants to save energy for making milk, hormones are out of whack, what have you.

Nursing and pumping make me extremely hungry — there’s never a time during the day that I don’t feel hungry, even during night-time feedings. It’s torture. So I’m eating a lot, whenever I can. My meals are generally pretty healthy, and I do try to include healthy snacks, but I also still have this unshakeable sweet tooth leftover from pregnancy. I just want to stuff myself with sweets 24/7. Doughnuts, cookies, pie, candy, cake — you name it; I’m eating it. I have eaten two mini Twix bars while typing this paragraph. I’ll probably eat 6-8 more today. I bought a 2-pound bag of Swedish Fish on Friday and it’s half gone. It’s ugly.

I think part of it is the craving from pregnancy that turned into a habit and now I’m addicted to sugar. I think another part of it is that eating sweets during the day, especially when I’m home alone with the twins and busting my ass to get through the day, feels like a way of treating my self. TREAT YO SELF, I say, reaching for the fifth cookie of the day, you survived another rough nap time/synchronized crying meltdown/messy diaper/projectile spit-up. I also don’t often get the time for a lot of self care or, hell, even basic needs. I don’t get to shower every day, for example. I often forget to brush my teeth. I don’t get time for leisurely trips to the bathroom to take care of, ahem, business. But it only takes two seconds to stuff my face with sugar, so I guess I’m doing THAT instead. Yikes.

So anyway. I don’t plan to try cutting calories deliberately until E&L are at least 6 months old. I assume that cutting calories will cause at least some dip in my milk supply, and I’d like to keep providing as much milk as I can for the first 6 months. After that, I’ll reevaluate. Right now, I am planning on trying to tackle the sweets issue. Once these bags of candy are gone, I’ll refrain from buying more. I’ll try to stick to food with “good” calories as opposed to “empty” ones (with the exception of wine/beer because like hell I am giving up my nightly glass right now). I’ll still eat as much as I want, but just not as much candy as I want. The Twix might be gone by tomorrow. I still have a pound of Swedish Fish left, though, so that should last me until at least…Wednesday. After that time, be prepared to hear my bitter, candy-free wail ringing through the air. You heard it here first.

The Week in Workouts [6.30 – 7.6]

This was a pretty decent week in workouts, aside from missing one of my usual runs. I stuck to my stated goals from last week, though, and tried not to push myself and to just let my workouts be whatever felt good. I think that was a success.

Here’s what went down:

Monday: PT. Clam shells, bridges (RB), supermans, squats, single-leg balances, tippy birds.  [Steps: 3,070]

Tuesday:  3.75-mile run. All I remember about this run was that it was hot and sweaty and miserable. I’m sure I was shooting for 4 miles, so I must have cut it off early. [Steps: 16,223]

Wednesday: 3.3-mile hike in the forest preserve. Eaten alive by bugs. Big, aggressive, biting bugs. Blech. Good company and a margarita afterward saved the day! [Steps: 10,816]

Thursday:  Rest Day. Normally this is a run day or something, but it was that Special Time in a woman’s life and I was NOT feeling it. [Steps: 4,906]

Friday:  Power Vinyasa class.  Went to yoga fly to meet up with a friend and wound up seeing two other friends there as well. It was a great class and made me wish I could afford to go there more often.  [Steps: 4,247]

 

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Saturday: 3.2-mile Walk. I had thought about doing my long run Saturday morning, but Friday night’s festivities were taking their toll, so I stayed home for the morning. I took this walk in the afternoon, testing out a pair of new sneakers I got for the upcoming trip.  They should be pretty comfortable. [Steps: 8,628]

Sunday:  8.5-mile run. This is my longest run this year, since going through my hip injury/rehab a few months ago. I’m so happy to be able to add on miles like this again! I think I’d like my goal for the summer and early fall to be running up to 10 miles on the weekend, which certainly seems reachable now. After I get back from our honeymoon, I may have to back up a little bit in mileage, but I’m sure a few weeks of regular running will get me back up to 8-10 miles. Yay. This run was really slow, especially in the uphill section around miles 5-6, but overall I felt strong and like the distance was no problem. [Steps: 20,430]

Totals: Steps: 68,320 D’oh. Even a 20K+ day couldn’t make up for skipping a run. Also, I seriously do NOT know how people who don’t run or walk for exercise get in 10K steps a day just from their daily activities. HOW?

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Goals: This week, I’ll only be in town doing traditional “workouts” Monday through Thursday — then CW and I leave for our belated honeymoon. I’d like to get in two runs, at least one walk, and at least one strength/yoga/PT-type workout before we leave town. We’ll be walking a lot every day in Europe, so I want to be ready for that.

The Week in Workouts [6.23 – 6.29]

This week was basically okay.  I didn’t hate it — or, I didn’t hate most of it. Fine. It was a week. A week that happened.

Countryside

Here’s what went down:

Monday: Normally a run day, but made it a rest day.  Did basically nothing. Did not regret it. [Steps: 3,163]

Tuesday: 4-mile run. Replaced my normal Tuesday workout with Monday’s neglected run; skipped my Body Pump class in continued effort to baby whatever is going on with my shoulder. Instead of going to the gym for speed intervals, I just tried to keep a brisk pace through the neighborhood — but, as it is summer in Alabama, that was a bit silly. First it was grey and muggy and humid, then it started gently drizzling, and the sun was never out. It was hot and gross, nonetheless, but this is about as good as I can hope for, weather-wise, at this point in the year. [Steps: 10,914]

Wednesday: 3.3-mile run. I never learn. It was the wrong time of day for this run. I felt great at first, but once again the uphill-in-the-sun finish did me in. Cut the run off early and walked it in. (I walked another 0.7 miles to round it up to four.) [Steps: 11,963]

Thursday:  2.9-mile elliptical; Body Pump. The warmup was uneventful. Body Pump class was mostly good, but turned out to be more of a struggle than I bargained for. My shoulder was definitely still bothering me during clean/press catches, shoulder raises, and tricep presses. Tried to baby it as much as possible and reduced my weights, but I think I’ll have to skip this class for at least another week or two. SAD.  [Steps: 11,222]

[178/365] Spotted on my walk today.

Friday: 4.3-mile walk. One of my longest walks in my neighborhood! I wanted to put in plenty of steps — partly because I am not going to campus and therefore not getting in any of those steps, and partly to help get myself ready for lots of walking in Greece and Italy. I enjoyed some of my neighbors’ amazing gardens — one with tons of the rare and beautiful Cahaba Lilies, above. This was mostly walking with a quarter mile of running thrown in a few times just for fun. [Steps: 11,538]

Saturday: 6.75-mile run. Let me just say: I am really happy to be regularly running more than six miles lately. So nice. I managed to get myself up early — I’ve just embraced the fact that 7:00 AM is “sleeping in” in my life now — and I got out the door before the weather was too unbearable. I am also embracing a really s-l-o-w pace on these longer runs, and it feels great. [Steps: 16,418]

Sunday Bike Ride

Sunday:  22-mile bike ride. Funny how the same exact route, ride, and company can be great one week and horrible the next.  Woke up feeling bad and should honestly have stayed home. A thousand little niggling awful things going on and that’s all I’ll say about that. [Steps: 4,371]

Totals: Steps 69,589 — close to my goal, and I’m happy with this, especially considering that I didn’t go to campus all week and took an extra rest day on Monday.

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Goals: This coming week, I am going to try to make an effort to bring some more of my PT exercises back into my life and to just do whatever feels good and makes me happy. It’s a busy week and I’m battling some cranky hormones, so I’m just going to let my workouts give me some restorative time.

The Week in Workouts [6.16 – 6.22]

This was a pretty good week for workouts, the only exception being that I missed my beloved Body Pump class due to the shoulder pain/injury I mentioned last week. I am feeling better now, so I may likely return to the class this week, at least once, with lighter weights.

In other news, I noticed I was retaining a ton of water on Friday-Saturday-Sunday, and I think it may have had to do with the fact that I was running and biking with plain water instead of anything with electrolytes. It’s so hot and humid and sweaty lately, maybe I need to use electrolyte products more often. Thoughts?

Anyway, here’s what went down:

Monday: 4-mile run. Once again, I took my speed workout to the gym treadmills to take advantage of the air conditioning. I did tempo intervals. Warmup of 1 mile in 10:00, then four repeats of 3:00 fast and 2:00 slow, them ran the remaining distance up to 4 miles as my cool down. Fast intervals at 8:34, 8:34, 8:20, 8:20. I felt good during this run, but also could tell I was challenging myself with the paces on those last two intervals. Success. [Steps: 12,715]

Tuesday: This is normally one of my Body Pump days, but instead I just went on a walk through the neighborhood. I ran about a mile in the middle, just to make this my “bonus run” for the week.[Steps:  10,009]

Wednesday: It was so hot and miserable. This run was just destined not to go well — I wound up needing to stop at home for the restroom at about mile 2.75, then planned to run the rest of the way to 4.0, but going uphill in the sun killed me again and I had to switch to a walk. Meh. It’s only June and I’m already in that state of bitter resignation about the hot weather. [Steps: 11,678]

Thursday: Rest day. Did a little extra walking around campus and downtown — but it didn’t amount to many steps. [Steps: 4,987]

Friday: 7-mile run. I ran my “long” run of the week on Friday instead of the usual Saturday this week, and I had to get up unusually early to fit it in — but I’m so glad I did. I had a really great run today – felt good the whole way, enjoyed the slightly cooler morning air, and was pain free. Mile six was like a damned obstacle run, though: I had to navigate my way through/around a big construction project, a swath of fresh tar, and an open fire hydrant! The rest of the day involved two separate trips to campus plus a post-exam happy hour, adding up to a lot of steps. I think this is one of only 2-3 times I’ve broken 20K steps in one day. [Steps: 20,140]

Saturday: 22-mile bike ride. CW and I and our friend Nolan got an early start and took a new-to-us route south of town. It was delightfully quiet on the roads, for the most part, and we had a few challenging hills, but nothing that completely killed me. Really nice ride. The rest of the day included driving to Atlanta and then wandering around our friends’ neighborhood — I think almost all my steps came from walking around Atlanta. Not too shabby.[Steps: 10,739]

Sunday: Rest day. Did almost literally nothing. [Steps: 2,671]

Totals: Steps 72,939

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Goals: This coming week, I don’t have any work obligations or reasons to go to campus. The good thing about that is that I’ll be free to put in my workouts whenever I like. The bad part is that when I don’t go to campus, I struggle to get very many steps in. My goals are to get in my three runs, one ride, and at least two strength or PT workouts — AND to make an effort to meet my step goal of 70K despite not going to campus.