The Week in Workouts [5.26 – 6.1]

Things returned mostly to normal this week and whatever was ailing my entire right side (Foot! Knee! Hip! Shoulder!) abated. I still didn’t push it too hard this week, but I stayed fairly active.

[147/365] Leaving campus.

Here’s what went down:

Monday: 3-mile walk. I was still feeling things out on Monday and wasn’t ready for a real run yet, so I just hoofed it out the door and got my butt moving for a while.  I also started a PT mini-session, but I can’t count it because I got distracted by something and only ever did super mans. Maybe it was a micro-session? [Steps: 8,803]

Tuesday: 1.9-mile Elliptical + Body Pump. Back to the gym. I decided I’m going to try the elliptical machine as a pre-weights warm-up instead of running/walking. On a day when I don’t have a scheduled run, switching to lower impact activity couldn’t hurt, right?  Body pump class was good. I increased weights on a lot of the muscle groups. My only problem: I’d like to add weight to my squats, but I was having trouble getting the heavier bar over my head into position, so I took the added weight back off.  [Steps: 9,722]

Wednesday: 4-mile Run + PT Mini-Session. I almost only ran three, but I was honestly feeling so good (pain free!) that I made it four. The afternoon heat had me moving pretty slowly, so I figured I wasn’t at risk of pushing it too hard. PT consisted of bird dogs, single-leg balances, and squats while cooking dinner. Bonus points?!  [Steps: 11,675]

Thursday: 2-mile Elliptical + Body Pump. Same routine as Tuesday. I am so happy that this class is offered on Tuesdays and Thursdays — two days when I can absolutely attend! Last semester, it was Wednesdays and Fridays, and I could only make the Friday class 2-3 times the entire season. Two weights classes a week is just what I need. I had the same problem with the squat bar this time — it took me a while, cognitively, to realize that I needed to focus on a solid clean-and-press form to get it up there. I figured it out too late, after I took the added weight back off. Next week, I’ll try again. SHEESH. This seems like a problem you only have when you have huge legs and baby-bird arms like I do.    [Steps: 9,231]

Friday: PT Mini-Session.  Clam shells, single-leg bridges, and airplanes. [Steps: 5,100]

Saturday: 5.5-mile Run. Oh, y’all. This was almost a perfect run. My legs felt great throughout, but I had to stop and walk (and almost quit) at about mile three, due to poor bathroom planning. I guess at this point I am just no longer used to the “go before you leave home” necessity of longer runs. A 3-4 mile run? Woulda been fine. At any rate, I found a public restroom after walking about a half mile, and then picked up the run (and re-started the Garmin) from there. It was actually a 6-mile route, but I only ran/tracked 5.5. Better luck next weekend! [Steps: 13,960]

Sunday: PT Mini-Session.  Squats, scissors, supermans. I’d wanted a walk today, but I opted to lie on the couch reading a novel and snacking all day. No regrets. [Steps: 2,847]

Totals: Steps 61,338

Screen Shot 2014-06-01 at 6.08.53 PM

Goals: This coming week, I’d like to get in three solid runs, two body pump classes, a bike ride, and 4-5 PT mini-sessions. It’ll be a lot, but I think I can swing it.

The Week in Workouts [5.19 – 5.25]

This wasn’t the greatest week for workouts. At various points I had the distinct and discouraging feeling that my entire body was falling apart. The inflammation I had going on in my hip Monday took a couple of days to go away. I also had a sore, awkward-feeling foot and some weird pain in my shoulder. All on the same side. I have no idea what started it, but I assume they were all related in some kind of chain reaction.

Foam roller, I love/hate you.

At any rate, I did my best to listen to my body and not do anything that would aggravate any of the angry areas. This meant more rest, less intensity, less distance, etc. Here’s how it all shook out.

Monday: PT. Clam Shells (RB), Bridges (RB), Single-Leg Bridges , Scissors (RB) , Supermans, Squats, Duck Walks (RB), MC Hammers (RB), Single-Leg Balances, Airplanes, Stretch/Foam Roller [Steps: 5,163]

Tuesday: 2.7-mile Walk-Run + Body Pump. I walked around the indoor track at the rec center for a total of 8 laps (1/3 mile per lap), alternating running and walking. It didn’t feel quite normal, even though most of my pain had faded. I kept it slow and stopped when I felt I needed to. In Body Pump class, I felt good and didn’t encounter any problems — while my shoulder had been hurting me off and on, none of the exercises seemed to bother it, so. [Steps: 10,341]

Wednesday: Rest. I went and hung out at my friend B’s pool in the afternoon. My shoulder was bothering me again, but one dose of ibuprofen knocked the pain out and it didn’t come back for several days.  [Steps: 5,481]

Thursday: Yoga. A pretty gentle hatha-type class at the rec center. I love this teacher for being so kind and encouraging, but at heart I’d rather have a power/vinyasa flow class.   [Steps: 5,803]

Friday: Rest. Also, happy hour.  [Steps: 4,299]

Saturday: 3-mile Run. First legit run of the week. I ran really, really slowly and took a walking break each mile (about 0.05-0.10 mile each time). No pain in my foot or hip or shoulder during the run, but my shoulder was sore again after. Huh? Once again, a single dose of painkiller fixed it. No idea what’s causing that problem, but it hasn’t reappeared since, knock wood. [Steps: 8,975]

Sunday: 3-mile Walk-Run + PT Mini-Session. While out on my slow, gentle walk run (alternating quarter miles), I came up with a new strategy for doing my PT: I have been struggling to get in two real PT sessions, so I decided I would try to do a daily (or almost-daily) mini-session, limiting myself to three major moves each day and switching them up. I think/hope that with the knowledge that I only have to commit to doing three moves, I’ll find it easier to get going each day. Clam Shells, Single-Leg Bridges, Squats (narrow & wide). [Steps: 11,619]

Totals: 51,681 Steps

Screen Shot 2014-05-26 at 6.20.57 PM

Goals: This coming week, I hope to return to some more regular runs, body permitting. I’d also like to hit Body Pump class twice and get in at least 5 PT mini-sessions.

 

The Week in Workouts [5.12 – 5.18]

This was another good week for workouts — I managed to get another long solo bike ride done as well as a fourth run (which I am thinking of in my head as my “bonus run”). Classes started back on Friday, which meant I got one day of on-campus-type walking as well. That sort of thing certainly doesn’t feel like exercise, but it has an undeniably positive effect on my step count and general activity level. When I don’t leave the house for work, I will literally sit on the couch all day, exercise excluded. Getting some non-exercise activity is always a good thing. This week, my total step count was about 10K higher than last week. Success.

Goofing around in the woods

Monday:  Approximately 3-mile hike in the forest preserve with my husband. We kept the pace up and had plenty of fun goofing around. CW got the idea to add in a few little bursts of running here and there, as well as balance training (walking on logs) and strength (push-ups on stumps). It was fun. [Steps: 11,774]

Tuesday: 4-mile slow run through the neighborhood. After running on Saturday, walk-running on Sunday, and hiking on Monday, my legs were tired! I kept the pace easy and just got it done. I’d ideally like to bring my shorter runs up to 4-5 miles and my longer runs up to 6-8, so this was a step in that direction.  [Steps: 10,240]

[134/365] Crossing this wooden bridge was one of my favorite parts of today's ride.

Wednesday: 20-mile bike ride. I was more tired at first than I had been last week and my overall speed for the ride reflects that. After my legs got warmed up, though, I started feeling faster. The only problem with this ride was that I started feeling some real fatigue and soreness in my bad hip, so I tried to baby it with stretching and foam rolling afterward. [Steps: 5,029]

Thursday: 3-mile progressive run through the neighborhood. I felt slow at the beginning, but as I started to warm up I felt better and better, so I decided on the spot to make it a progressive run and increase my pace in each mile, going 10+, 9+, and then just sub-9 for the last mile. That was fun to see! [Steps: 9,103]

Friday: PT. Clam shells (RB), Bridge (RB), Single-leg bridge, Supermans, Bird dogs, Squats, Lunges, Scissors (RB), Single-leg balances with eyes closed, Airplanes, Foam roller. I forced myself to do this by telling myself I couldn’t have my post-work glass of wine until it was done.  The wine needed to chill, anyway. [Steps: 6,305]

Saturday: 5-mile run around town. Not a great feeling run — I had various aches and pains and things throughout — a tired hip, a sore ankle, and a mega side stitch. Got it done nonetheless, at a glacial pace.  [Steps: 12,630]

Sunday: 3-mile run-walk (“bonus run!”) through the neighborhood. I went on my 3-mile route and just ran the back half of each mile for 1.5 miles running and 1.5 walking. I had intended to do PT immediately after and…it looks like I forgot? What the hell is wrong with me?! [Steps: 11,388]

Totals:  Steps: 66,469

Screen shot 2014-05-19 at 9.56

Goals: This week I have some conflicting goals. I woke up this morning with the front of my hip feeling very tender to the touch and a little bruised. This is not the same deep ache and throb that I typically feel with a hip flexor injury, but it certainly seems related. I don’t have any motor problems — it feels fine to walk and yesterday’s run was totally gentle and painless. More like, it just hurts when I press on the area. So weird. So, My goal HAD been to do a speed workout this week, but now I think my goal should be to listen to my body and keep the activity gentle if needed. Running and biking will take place if/when it feels right. We’ll see. Other goals: two PT sessions, two strength classes.

The Week in Workouts [5.05-5.11]

This week was a great week for workouts! I had a lot of fun by incorporating some hiking and biking along with my runs. One thing I noticed this week, though, was that when I am working from home, a three-mile run is just not enough activity to get me to my 10,000 daily steps goal. If I were to teach on campus and then run, I would exceed that goal easily. Hanging out on the couch with my laptop? Not so much. So even though I covered more miles in my workouts this week, I got fewer steps than last week.

Longleaf Pines

Monday: 2.75-mile “hike” (fine, walk) through the forest preserve with Becky. It is lovely to get out there in the woods and get moving. We tried to keep the pace a bit vigorous, but also got to talking, so I don’t think we were moving terribly fast. That’s fine by me. [Steps: 8,587]

Tuesday: 3-mile run. I’m up to running 3 miles at a time in the Newtons this week, which means on short runs like this one, I no longer have to go home for a wardrobe change in the middle of the run. Quite the relief! I don’t have to stay so close to my house any more, so I took a different route around town. It is HOT out these days. [Steps: 11,009]

Wednesday: 20-mile bike ride, discussed here. Loved it. Looking to do another one this coming week. [Steps: 4,452]

Thursday: 3-mile run. I tried to treat this as more of a tempo run and wanted to hit paces in the low 9s, but my average was about 9:35 or something. Running that uphill finish toward my street corner is always rough, but especially so when trying to run fast in hot, humid, Alabama-summer weather. OOF. Also, this run was the last known appearance of my orange sunglasses. Where are you? Come back to meeeee. [Steps: 8,874]

Friday: Rest day. [Steps: 2,333. Forgot my fitbit for most of the day, but I wasn’t very active anyway.]

Saturday: 5-mile run. Longest run since before my last round of PT, so I am pretty thrilled about this! I ran the first two miles in my old Brooks and then finished with three miles in my Newtons. I am looking forward pretty eagerly to the time when I can run 5-6 miles in the same pair of shoes, as I’ll finally be able to venture farther out from the same neighborhood streets. [Steps: 13,524]

Sunday: 2-mile walk/run + PT. I would really like to be able to run 4x per week consistently. This is something I’ve never done for any real length of time — just tried it every now and then. I have tended to get injured easily in the past, which is the main reason I’ve mostly stuck to running only 3x per week. However, I think that with a good PT protocol in place, if I stay consistent with my exercises and try to listen to my body, I can try for that fourth run each week. I am starting small: this run was really a half-mile warmup walk, one-mile easy run, and half-mile cooldown walk. Next week, I may add a mile. PT consisted of clam shells, single-leg bridges, supermans, squats, duck-walks, and M.C. Hammers. [Steps: 7,515]

Totals: 56,294 Steps

Screen shot 2014-05-12 at 1.20

Goals: Next week I need to do two PT sessions, even though I won’t feel like it. I can’t slack on that any more. I’d also like to do another bike ride, 3 regular runs, and hopefully a fourth short/easy run. I’d also like to try working some more steps into my days. This might happen on campus some days, but on the days I work from home, I’ll need to try to get up more often.

Riding Solo

Yesterday I got up in the morning and did something I don’t know that I’ve ever really done before: a solo 20-mile bike ride.

It’s not that I’ve never ridden solo before — of course, I’ve done tons of that. Nor is it that I’ve never ridden 20 miles before — done that, too. I think I’ve just never gone out on a ride any longer than 10-12 miles without someone with me.

Recently I’ve been feeling more and more anxious when I think about riding on the roads — I don’t know why; it’s kind of a new development — and I’ve been using traffic as an excuse to keep my bike workouts indoors on the trainer. “I’ll ride more outside when school is out and the student-related traffic dies down,” I kept telling myself.

Before yesterday, my one and only outdoor ride this spring was Bike Bash, a huge group ride with police assistance at busy intersections. I hoped that would get me feeling a little more confident for road riding, and it did, but I still inwardly cringed at the idea of hitting the streets by myself.

Of course, I can usually persuade my husband to ride with me (he’s the more avid cyclist in this household, anyway), but I don’t want to feel like I’m dependent on someone else for my riding time. I also like to ride alone a lot of the time — by myself, I don’t feel like I’m slowing anyone else down (my husband is also by far the speedier cyclist in this household).

So. I had to do it. I got up, shimmied into my cycling shorts, found my helmet and my gloves and pumped up my tires and took my phone with me and off I went.

The ride wasn’t perfect. For one thing, I forgot one critical item: my water bottle filled with Nuun. I had to stop at a convenience store a few miles from home and the older lady working the counter just did not know what to make of me when I came up to pay for my water — “Did you ride a bike here?!” “Ah, yes.”

Once I got past the busy four-lane road near our house (which nearly gives me a damned heart attack every time I ride on it) and I made my way to some quieter streets with bike lanes, I started to get my rhythm. Traffic whizzing past me still makes me feel a bit panicky, though; I just can’t help it. I don’t know why, but at 9:00 on a Wednesday, it seemed like every single vehicle on the road was either a giant Mack truck or a pickup with the bed over-filled with loose lumber and construction equipment all bouncing around and ready to fly out and hit me in the face.

Nonetheless, I steeled myself and kept going. I knew that I’d soon find myself outside the state park on the south side of town where the traffic would disappear and I’d have access to a little bike/run path away from the main road. It was quiet and shady with the sunlight filtering through the leaves of the old trees along the path and no one to see except a few runners and a guy walking his dog. Lovely.

Solo 20-miler this morning to start my day.

I stopped out there for a quick bite of fuel and a photo and just took a minute to enjoy the scene.

Once out of the park, I had to head back north through town and head home. I ran into some construction on one of my favorite side streets (one I usually use to bypass a busier road), so had to change my plans a bit. I also then found myself just a mile from home, but with only ~17 miles showing on my Garmin, so I made a last-minute decision to take some neighborhood loops and add on a couple of extra miles so I could hit 20. Numbers-obsessed, you say? Guilty.

I wound up at home about 90 minutes after I’d begun — not a fast time for 20 miles, but a pretty respectable first solo outing nonetheless. Traffic won’t ever not make me nervous, I suspect, but I  will hopefully start feeling more confident the more I get out there, so I’m looking forward to making this ride a regular fixture this summer. Let’s go!

The Week in Workouts [4.28-5.04]

This week I managed to get all my runs in (that’s easy when all I feel like doing is running!), but I didn’t get any bike rides and only one strength workout. It’s fine: it was finals week and we hosted a party and I was glad just to get everything done that really needed to be done in the other areas of my life.

I decided to add my FitBit step count to each day’s entry this time. My daily goal is 10,000, which I usually only reach on the days when I run, when I usually exceed it. I’d like to at least average out to 10,000 a day (or 70,000 a week), but I’m not quite there yet. When I am back able to run more mileage, I bet that will happen.

IMG_1485

 

Monday: 3.2-mile run. I’m still transitioning into my Newtons, running two miles at a time in them and doing the rest of my workout in my old Brooks. This week I switched to starting in the Brooks and then going to the Newtons for the end of the run. I wanted to see if the discomfort I’d felt a couple of times late in the run was related to shoes or fatigue. My feet felt just fine using the Newtons for the last two miles of the run. Good sign! [Steps: 10,692]

Tuesday: PT and Arms while watching TV. Clam shells w/band, bridges w/band, scissors w/band, single-leg bridge, chest press, chest fly, side plank, squats, hammer curls, bicep rotations, upright row, rotator combo, airplanes, foam roller. [Steps: 4,787]

Wednesday: 3.25-mile run. It was muggy, humid, and yucky outside on Wednesday and I did not feel like trying to pick up the pace AT ALL, so I did not. As always, no matter how bad the weather, it’s always good to be able to be out there. [Steps: 10,472]

Thursday: Short walk to get in some extra steps — would have liked to walk more, but I had to get dinner started. Probably about 1.25 miles. [Steps: 7,998 — couldn’t I have walked 2 more steps before bed? If I’d checked the fitbit, I surely would have done!]

Friday: Rest. I still came very close to meeting my step goal on Friday, thanks to lots of pre-party shopping and prep. [Steps: 9,406]

Saturday: 4.1-mile run. This run made me feel great because it’s one of the longest runs I’ve done since my most recent round of PT. Last time I attempted four miles was the time my foot freaked out and sent me home early with an embarrassing limp. Now I’m feeling back in the game — partially thanks to the new shoes. [Steps: 12,551]

Sunday: Rest. Hanging out at the pool and soaking up some vitamin D (though mostly through a layer of SPF 100, so, not much). [Steps: 2,313]

Weekly Total: 58,219 Steps

Screen Shot 2014-05-05 at 11.53.29 AM

 

Goals: This coming week, I’d like to try again for at least two strength/PT workouts and get a bike ride in there. The students will be clearing out of town, for the most part, making the roads feel at least superficially safer for road cycling. I’ll run three times, because that is the one thing I can always count on doing.

The Week in Workouts

I recently have been feeling the urge to step it up hen it comes to my workouts, and in particular to improve my running. I still have to hold back a little bit with the recent hip injury (and indeterminate foot weirdness?), but even though I’m not adding a ton of mileage right now, I’d like to work on some speed and consistency. Hence: the return of The Week in Workouts.

Seen on my run.

Here we go:

Monday: Ran one mile on the treadmill to test my Newtons and then finished my workout with another 2.15 miles in my old Brooks. The second phase of the workout involved a few one-minute speed intervals, working my way up to about 7:50 pace, which I haven’t seen in a while.

Tuesday: Walked about three miles through my neighborhood just to get some steps in, then later did some PT exercises in front of the TV. PT and TV go well together.

Wednesday: Ran one mile on the treadmill in the Newtons again, then took myself outside for another two miles in my Brooks. It was a beautiful day out, but at 4:30 PM, it felt ridiculously hot. I suppose I should get used to it: hot weather is upon us. After my run I also hit my last body pump class of the semester. I really hope there’s a class offered during summer that will fit my schedule — I love body pump and would love to go maybe 2-3 times a week if I can.

Thursday: Walked two miles through my neighborhood to get in some steps, but, disappointingly, I felt some more big toe joint pain afterwards. I iced it and it disappeared and hasn’t returned yet, so, maybe it’s not a big deal.

Friday: Rest. Too busy teaching my last day of classes, going to meetings, and happy houring. PT should have taken place, but did not. Can’t win ’em all!

I guess it's officially hot weather. Time for my shorts and some wacky sunglasses.

Saturday: Hot weather is here, people. I could not deny it any more and finally had to bust out the shorts and sunglasses. At this point, I have officially decided to keep the Newtons, so I took them on their inaugural outdoor run in my neighborhood — still only one mile, though. Next week, I’ll work up to two miles in them. After the Newton mile, I added another 2.8 miles in my Brooks. I had a little dull discomfort in my right mid foot again on this run, but nothing I’d call pain, per se. The notion of a possible stress fracture/stress reaction occasionally flits through my brain, but I think I may be paranoid. Nonetheless, I won’t increase my mileage or intensity until the odd feelings are well and truly gone. As much as I’d like to right now — I feel like all I want to do is run!

Sunday: Bike workout? Nope. No bike workout. That was my intention, but instead I spent some time potting a few flowers and cleaning up the patio. Not exactly a workout, but there you have it.

Weekly Totals:

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Goals: This coming week, I’d like to do another good speed workout plus two other runs, get in at least one bike ride, and two weights/PT sessions.