Cross-training, Strength Training, New Clothing?

January 23, 2009 at 12:02 pm | Posted in Cross-training, Strength Training | 10 Comments

Strength Training – Thursday Evening, Jan. 22nd

Time of Day: 5:20 PM

Weather: Climate-controlled

Duration: About 40 minutes

Notes: Another crowded gym day. I’m getting tired of hauling a mat, dumbbell, and stability ball to the gym hallway so that I have room to workout. I did, however, get to do lat. pulldowns today. Not much to say about the weights, so I’ll just report. Besides, I have a lot to say about my cross-training session this morning and don’t want to make the post too long.

2 x 15 reps of the following:

  • Lat pulldown
  • Lat row
  • Chest press
  • Vertical butterfly

1 x 15 reps of the following:

  • Biceps curls on stability ball
  • Tricep dips
  • Lateral shoulder raises with a dumbbell
  • Dumbbell shoulder press on stability ball

Core exercises (all of these in Ultimate Abs):

  • Back extensions, 25 reps
  • Swiss hip extension, 10 reps then 11 reps each side
  • Erect lateral bends, 15 reps each side
  • Turkish get-ups, 15 reps each side

Legs:

Cross-training – Today, Jan. 23rd 

Time of Day: 5:55 AM

Weather: Climate-controlled, yet freezing

Duration: 50 min. elliptical

Notes: My gym has three elliptical. I like exactly one of them, and I use the term “like” very loosely. Today I showed up early, and yet the gym was already crowded.  Apparently they’ve been opening a little earlier and not telling me. Anyway, my favorite elliptical was taken. My second favorite elliptical, also taken. I had to use the reject elliptical, the one that feels stiffer and more awkward than the others, despite being the same make and model. Sad story, I know.

Thankfully, that is not the most interesting thing to happen to me today, because somehow, before 6 AM, someone managed to ask me:

“You must wear children’s clothes.”

I’m not quite sure how to respond to such a statement. Was this woman complimenting me? Should I be offended? Is she saying I look fit? Does she think I’m too skinny?

But then it hit me: her statement is rude, but brilliant. Because you see, readers, I’ve been buying pants in petite sizes and then attempting to shrink them in the dryer to make them shorter. I should just cut out the middle man and buy kids’ clothing.

And then the statement hit me even harder: I can go shopping at Limited Too.

Most of you may not realize the significance of the above realization, but it’s huge, people, HUGE. You see, when I was 9 or 10 years old, my best friend had many, many pretty clothes, most from Limited Too. And she let us all know they were from Limited Too. She pranced in her Limited Too jeans. She preened in her Limited Too tees. She sparkled around school with her shiny blonde hair and her Limited Too matching ensembles. At least I was smarter–the Velma to her Daphne, if Velma was good at Freeze Tag.

I also wished to dress in Limited Too, of course, so I would drag Mumsly into the store, where she looked at the price tag, laughed at the manufacturer’s apparent audacity, and redirect her silly daughter to the sales rack of a much cheaper store.

But now, readers, I have my own money, most of it expendable. I can buy all the Limited Too I desire. I may desire none, but it’s the principle.

Also, I’ll be able to tell people I wear size 14 pants next time they rudely inquire (yes, a co-worker did this!). I’ll leave out the information about children’s sizes. They can ponder that for the rest of the day.

Cross-training, Strength Training, a Question, and a Big Shout Out

January 16, 2009 at 1:28 pm | Posted in Cross-training, Racing, Strength Training | 6 Comments

Strength Training – Thursday Evening, Jan. 15th

Time of Day: 5:30 PM

Weather: Climate-controlled

Duration: About 40 minutes

Notes: So it occurred to me today that when I post both my morning workout and the workout from the night before, I always go in reverse chronological order.  And that just does not make sense. Silly me, I will correct this now.

Yesterday I brought my Garmin to work with me so that I could view the data before updating my blog and then use it again in the evening to track my heart rate while lifting weights. My Garmin spent the afternoon beeping at me from my purse and eventually letting the battery run out completely, so no heart rate experiment for me.

Ironically, I forgot my Ipod at home, charging its battery. It was a music-less, stopwatch-less workout. At least some of the January Gym Rats have given up already. (I feel guilty for being happy about that).

Anyway, I did the same workout as last Thursday, but added a few reps to some of the leg exercises. My workout is feeling easier!

2 x 15 reps of the following:

  • Lat pulldown
  • Lat row
  • Chest press
  • Vertical butterfly

1 x 15 reps of the following:

  • Biceps curls on stability ball
  • Tricep dips
  • Lateral shoulder raises with a dumbbell
  • Dumbbell shoulder press on stability ball

Core exercises (all of these in Ultimate Abs):

  • Back extensions, 25 reps
  • Swiss hip extension, 3 x 7 reps
  • Erect lateral bends, 15 reps each side
  • Turkish get-ups, 15 reps each side

Legs:

  • Squats with a stability ball between my back and a wall, 2 x 10 reps
  • Balance run, usually 3 x 30 seconds, but I had no stopwatch so I guesstimated
  • Heel raises, 1 x 8 each leg
  • Hamstring push-up, 1 x 8 each leg

Cross-training – Today, Jan. 16th

Time of Day: 5:55 AM

Weather: Climate-controlled, yet freezing

Duration: 50 min. elliptical

Notes: I remembered my Ipod. In fact, after lifting weights without it last night, I immediately put it in my purse so I wouldn’t forget it this morning. I also put my Self magazine where I would see it before leaving. Must have distractions lined up for elliptical.

I can tell I trained hard this week; my quads took time to warm-up on the elliptical and my body felt tired for most of the workout. I have a long run tomorrow so I didn’t push the pace. I did, however, get through my entire Self magazine. I even took a quiz to determine if I will be overweight in the future.

That’s right, January issue of Self contains a quiz with a series of questions determining whether or not you will end up overweight. According to the quiz, I will not be overweight, but I already knew that, Self, and I don’t need you nagging me for not biking to work either. I do not have time to bike 60 miles a day. My bad.

No wonder women have body issues.

This silly little quiz got me thinking, however, about how often we are faced with Fat Talk from the media. Don’t do that, you’ll get fat! Do this or succumb to a lifetime of obesity!

So my question: Is the quiz offensive? Or, is America’s obesity level so high that we actually need this information pushed in our face? Do we need to calm down or do we need a strict lecture and some tough love?

And now, on to a completely different topic…

A Big Shout Out

I’m headed to Houston for the weekend, which means quality time with MSB and a nice, flat long run. Many other runners are headed to Houston this weekend as well to run the Chevron Houston Marathon. It’s going to be a huge event and several of my friends will be running their very first half marathon, so…

Good Luck Austin, Zeena, and Kate! Run fast and have fun!

Cross-training: More Importantly, New Leg Exercises

January 9, 2009 at 2:07 pm | Posted in Cross-training, Strength Training | 11 Comments

Time of Day: 5:55 AM

Weather: Air-conditioned

Duration: 50 min. elliptical

Notes: Some of you may remember my foot and Achilles injuries from White Rock. No, they aren’t back, although my Achilles does feel tight on occasion. However, those injuries have scared me into taking out one easy run a week from my training plan and replacing it with the elliptical. That way I get a good workout while giving my joints an extra day of rest.

Unfortuantely I picked the warmest morning of the week for this day of rest, and the bank clock said 66* when I drove past. Seriously. At least it was a humid, icky 66*, but still.

I chose Friday this week in the hopes that the January Gym Rats would be all, “I’m sleeping in, ‘cuz it’s Friday! And then I’ll eat the donuts in the breakroom, ‘cuz it’s Friday! And then I’ll go out for margaritas after work, ‘cuz it’s Friday! New Year’s diet is only Monday-Thursday, people!”

And I was right, which makes me a little sad, but not really because there are only three ellipticals in my gym. I didn’t push the pace today because I have a long run tomorrow. Luckily, my sister left a Marie Claire magazine at the house and it turned out to be a decent elliptical read.

Strength Training – Thursday Evening, January 8th

Time of Day: 5:20 PM

Weather: Air-conditioned

Duration: About 40 minutes

Notes: Finally, gym access on a Thursday evening. Predictably, the gym was crowded, but at least I got in a second strength training workout this week and my big Monday workout should not make me as sore this time. Also, I finally got to incorporate the leg exercises that I’ve chosen in the hopes that they will make me faster and less likely to get injured. I’ll still be doing my home therapy exercises in addition.

I did an easier version of Monday’s upper body exercises, a few of my favorite Ultimate Abs exercises (linked in sidebar), and my new leg exercises. I started very easy on the legs because new leg exercises make Cranky Knee angry. The exercises seemed a little too easy when I was doing them and I’m not as sore as expected, so I will probably add more reps next time.

2 x 15 reps of the following:

  • Lat pulldown
  • Lat row
  • Chest press
  • Vertical butterfly

1 x 15 reps of the following:

  • Biceps curls on stability ball
  • Tricep dips
  • Lateral shoulder raises with a dumbbell
  • Dumbbell shoulder press on stability ball

Core exercises (all of these in Ultimate Abs):

  • Back extensions, 25 reps
  • Swiss hip extension, 3 x 7 reps
  • Erect lateral bends, 15 reps each side
  • Turkish get-ups, 15 reps each side

Legs:

This Weekend

I haven’t been home on the weekend since December 7th, the weekend before I traveled to Dallas for my marathon. I’ll finally be home this weekend, but my dad is visiting from Germany! He gets here tonight and leaves Wednesday, which is a very short visit and I will still have to work my normal hours. So, I may not be posting this weekend, it depends if we stay around the house or not during our limited time together. Don’t worry, there will be some cookie recipes soon. Dad has a sweet tooth.

Cross-training: More Importantly, My NY Resolutions

December 31, 2008 at 1:37 pm | Posted in Cross-training, Life | 7 Comments

Time of Day: 6:00 AM

Weather: Air-conditioned

Duration: 50 min. elliptical

Notes: In the hopes that removing the pavement pounding will encourage my legs to heal, I decided to do the elliptical this morning. However, it’s been over a month since I’ve done a real elliptical workout, so I’m guessing my legs will do less “healing” and more “getting back at me with deathlike stiffness.” I didn’t do any speed intervals, but by the last few minutes my legs felt dead and shaky.

Cross-training is boring, but no more elliptical for 2008. Let’s talk about my New Year’s Resolutions instead.

Welcome, 2009

Yesterday, my Yogi teabag said, “You are unlimited.” What a wonderful saying for making resolutions! Today, however, it says, “Speak the truth.” Fine. I’ll do my best not to make my resolutions a work of fiction. I haven’t actually made resolutions in a long time, but I’m pretty good at sticking to them when I do. My sophomore year in high school I resolved to do an ab workout every single day that year. I’ve missed one day since 2000. May I never get the flu that badly again.

That goal only worked because it was realistic and concrete, so for my 2009 resolutions I’ll try to steer away from statements like, “Figure out life.” A very tempting goal, by the way.

So here they are, a mixture of personal and running resolutions for 2009:

  • Become ACE certified and begin a career in fitness. I really need to get on this. I was almost done studying and then the holidays hit and everything productive in my life came to a halt. This needs to be done in the first few months of 2009.
  • Attend church more often. In addition, attempt to be more spiritual in between church visits.
  • Set a personal record. In either the marathon, half marathon, 10K, or 5K.
  • Incorporate regular speedwork. This will help with the PR.
  • Communicate more with family and friends. Pick up the phone, Jess! Also, make communication count by letting them know I care.
  • Be less wasteful. I use too many paper towels and leave things plugged in. Bad!
  • Complain less. I’m shy, so sometimes I find myself complaining to make conversation. I like to think I’m a mostly positive person, so I need to express my optimistic side more often.
  • Lower grocery bill. I’m thinking of ways to do this without depriving myself of nice, healthy food. I’m thinking of giving up meat for one day each week. Any other suggestions?
  • Update wardrobe. I need a fun goal! Will spend money saved on food on buying clothing!

I can think of other things I want to improve about myself, but they will just have to wait until 2010. So there.

Many Miles, This Time on My Altima

This afternoon, I’m going to Houston yet again. Yes, it is sooo MSB’s turn to drive to Austin, but our options for New Year’s Eve look more exciting in Houston. This is mostly my fault because I avoid all social planning and organizing, therefore MSB must do the planning and I must drive. Not a bad exchange, really.

So this is my second 4-day weekend in a row, and I really think this is how the working world should be. I might update from Houston, or I might do a long wrap-up post again when I get back. If you’re lucky, I might do both. Either way…

Have a Happy New Year!

And don’t forget to enter the Onlineshoes Giveaway!

Grandma-Style Cross-training Before the Weekend

December 19, 2008 at 12:03 pm | Posted in Cross-training, Life | 8 Comments

I power walked before work today. Yes, power walked. And despite my embarrassment, I enjoyed it. I always have, actually, I just don’t consider it a challenging form of exercise. I find it relaxing, and I really just wanted to shake off my antsy feeling and ease my legs back into exercise before sitting all day at a desk job and then the car. I brought my Ipod. It was recreational. It was…not worth an entire blog post unless I dig down really deep and analyze the very meaning of the Power Walk. And I’m just not feeling that ambitious today. It’s Friday, after all.

Speaking of the weekend, I’m leaving work early and driving to Houston to visit MSB and three glorious college cross-country friends of mine, all convening in town for one GLORIOUS weekend. I may decide to take the quad out for a short run with them if our hangovers allow. MSB took his last medical school final of the semester today, I ran a marathon last weekend, and it’s celebration time.

The race photos are in, and because I’ve been unable to figure out how to rip them off for free, I’ve ordered a few. They’re annoyingly expensive, but I want that finish picture, darn it! I’ll try scanning and uploading them when they arrive, but I’m guessing it will be awhile.

What are you up to this weekend?

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