Back to Running

Ever since the Color Me Rad 5k over the summer, I have seriously fallen off my running game.. something I promised myself I wouldn’t do.

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Well, I have another race to look forward to and it’s time to get back into it! In December, I plan to do Hot Chocolate Run 5k for Safe Passage! The run is in support of an organization against domestic violence. I haven’t signed up just yet, but I definitely plan to.

My brother has done it in the past and convinced me to do it with him this year. And by “with him,” he doesn’t really mean “with him” since he is a beast. The most we will be doing together is drinking the complimentary hot chocolate together at the finish line. Last year, he placed 196 out of almost 3,500 runners… really? (Insert unamused face here). I think it’s safe to say that I will NOT be running with him this year. He will be nothing more than a tiny ant in the distance to me.

Anyways, I started running again this week. I hadn’t run more than a mile since my race (more than 2 months ago) because I jumped right back into heavy strength training as soon it ended. I was nervous that I had lost it.

So, on Tuesday the goal was to do 2 miles after some weights, and I was able to do it much easier than I anticipated! I mean, yea, I struggled a little bit toward the end, but it wasn’t as painful as I envisioned. I also didn’t do it as fast as I would have liked, but what did I expect? Like I said, it had been a while. My boyfriend/trainer said that it was easier than I expected because not only have I been doing .3-.5 mile warm ups before and/or after lifting, but also because a lot of my workouts consist of cardio-type lifts, such as super-setting and drop-setting. So, my body hadn’t fully forgotten.

I have 9 weeks to train. Based on this week, it should (hopefully) be cake – assuming I commit to training regularly!

Squat Day is the Best Day

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Seriously though. I LOVE squats.

You might think I am a lunatic, but they are easily my favorite heavy lifting workout. I even love them when it’s drop-set day. I might feel like I am going to fall over after I finish all of my sets, but I get over that quickly and fall back in love with them the moment I catch my breath.

The more I squat, the more I love them. Most likely because I am seeing more of a lift and an unfamiliar toning in my butt, and also because it is my strongest lift. I feel much more confident squatting than I do doing ANY other workout.

I am getting really good at them too! I go much lower than I used to be able to. I find myself busting my butt to get it as low to the floor as possible, with a nice big squeeze when I reach the top.

I wish every day was squat day.

Morning Burn

I had another successful gym session at the ass-crack of dawn this morning! I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to get up because I fell asleep no earlier than 1AM last night (this morning). Why was I up so late if I was waking up at 4:30 you ask? Oh, you know, just agonizing like a maniac over what I was going to do at the gym at 5AM. WHY. Who loses sleep over that??

Lucky for me, my oh-so-wonderful trainer dropped everything he was doing to come up with a really hard workout for me to do so that I could stop stressing like a freak and get some shut-eye.

And hard it was.

I have been trying to incorporate more super-setting into my workouts, so today I was assigned just that. I super-setted dumbbell rows with push-ups, pull-downs (probably not the technical term, but I don’t know what is) with bicep dumbbell curls, and squeezed assisted pull-ups, single leg deadlifts, hamstring curls, and a weighted ab workout in between.

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By the time I got to the pull-down/dumbbell curl combo, I felt like I was walking on death row. WHAT IS HE DOING TO ME?? THIS IS HOW HE IS GETTING RID OF ME?? I thought.

Despite the feeling of my muscles tearing and an impending puke, I trucked through it. I lifted a decent amount of weight and was psyched when I would hop on a machine and have to add-on some pounds to what was left there from the last person. That’s always an exciting feeling!

In addition to the extreme exercises, I am concentrating more on my diet. I am eating a lot more fruit, and eating small and frequently.

I am at my lowest weight… almost 26lbs down. My goal is to hit 30-32 by the time I go to Mexico mid-September. I hope I can do it!

Ay dios mio, what a tough weekend!

I had a brutal weekend of exercise. I worked out with my trainer on Friday and Sunday and my entire body is burning. Shoulders and legs are COMPLETELY out of the question for today’s gym trip.

Friday

On Friday evening we did drop sets of a few different arm workouts. This consisted of doing three sets of the same lift at various weights, one right after the other, and counting it as one set.

For example:

Incline Chest Press

One set: 12 reps with 17.5lb dumbbells, 10 reps with 15lb dumbbells, 10 reps with 10lbs dumbbells.

Repeat x4 or 5 (I was exhausted enough after 3 that I don’t remember how many sets we did!)

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Sunday

Yesterday was a leg day. We didn’t have time to complete the entire workout and I still feel like I just ran a marathon without stretching (but I did stretch!). Deadlifts, squats and a couple other quickies.

After doing a quick warm up run on the treadmill (about 0.32 mile in 3 minutes), we stretched and did our push ups. I have always done mine on my knees, but finally gave real ones a shot this weekend and was able to do 13 yesterday! That was surprising and exciting!

We then began our strength training with stiff leg deadlifts. My last set ended up being my heaviest lift so far!

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My trainer did the entire workout alongside me, which was nice. His deadlift warm up? 225lbs. Mine? …85lbs.

Usually I warm up with 75lbs total, 15 on each end of the barbell. Mr. Trainer, of course, made me start with more, 85lbs total, 20 on each end.

I added on 10-15lbs with each set, eventually ending with 145lbs at 5 or 6 lifts. The heaviest I had lifted prior to yesterday was 135. Progress! Let me tell you, my hamstrings, back and ass were (and still are) SO sore. I am hobbling around everywhere I go and am day dreaming about a nice hot bath.

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After deadlifts we did squats. I have struggled a little bit with my form so we spent a good amount of time concentrating on getting my booty as low as I could and keeping my chest out. My hip limits me a little as I add weight, but when we practiced with just the barbell I did it perfectly. I am always afraid to go too low in fear of my hip popping out. Yuck, I know.

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We did 4 sets of squats, ending at 135, 8 reps. I have squatted a little more than that before, but we decided not to go overboard yesterday.

In addition to the primary workouts, we did a few standing leg presses, and some leg lifts on the mats using a tension band. The exercises with the bands are meant to strengthen my hip in the long-run. They are DEFINITELY feeling tight today.

Today was supposed to be a shoulder day at the gym… side laterals, front raises, military presses, etc.

HA! No thanks. I think I will do mostly cardio with some push ups, pull ups, dips, and ab work. Yeehawwww.

Sore: The Most Satisfying Feeling

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I LOVE being sore. Really, I do.

I went on a long run on Sunday afternoon (after going to the gym.. go me!) and my whole lower half is still feeling it. I have exercised twice since then which only added to my soreness. It’s been great.

Being sore after a good workout is such a rewarding feeling. Not only do you know that you had a great workout sesh, but it’s a sure sign that your muscles are rebuilding and preparing themselves for another ass whoopin’!

Today will be a break day for me, after having exercised the past three days in a row. I will be back at it tomorrow through (hopefully) Saturday. Work has been absolutely nutso the past couple of weeks, with many late nights making it difficult to get a really great workout in, or get to the gym at all. I am looking forward to my schedule being back to normal!