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.

Daily Run and Strength Training: Slowness and Vanity Achieved

January 21, 2009 at 3:09 pm | Posted in Daily Run, Strength Training | 8 Comments

Strength Training – Tuesday Evening, Jan. 20th

Time of Day: 6:40 PM

Weather: Climate-controlled

Duration: About 35 minutes

Notes: My hair appointment took longer than planned (my stylist is good, but she is slowww), and I definitely did not want to go lift weights afterwards.  But…I didn’t want to have to go today either, and I was in the neighborhood anyway, so I went. I was not rewarded by a nice, empty gym. Quite the opposite, in fact: I didn’t do use the lateral pulldown machine like usual because a man was on it literally the entire time I was there. Lifting a little, resting, lifting a little, being lazy and in the way, etc. Some people have no gym etiquette.

But I got it done and had a good workout in a relatively short amount of time.  Here’s what I did:

2 x 15 reps of the following:

  • 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
  • Birddogs, 1 set of 24 reps each side
  • I did planks and side planks in the morning before running, so I didn’t do these at the gym last night.

Legs:

In lieu of the lat pulldown, I put my feet on a stability ball and did push-ups until I had to stop at 31 reps. Then I took a short break and did 10 more. I wore my heartrate monitor as an experiment. Conclusion: lifting weights doesn’t get it up very high, except when doing push-ups, but does raise it a fair amount.

Then I finally went home to my DVRed coverage of the Inauguration. I envisioned myself sharing the story with my grandchildren: that long ago, Grandma made a veggie burger while watching the inauguration of the first African-American President, and ironed her work clothes while listening to him speak, but was touched and inspired despite the mediocrity of her food and chores. Maybe my grandchildren and I will be watching the inauguration of the first female, homosexual, Muslim President while I tell them the story, and they’ll think, “Wow, we’ve seen Presidents of all races and walks of life; Grandma must be really old if she remembers the inauguration of the very first black President. And yet, she doesn’t look a day over 25.” And then maybe they’ll ask, “Grandma, what’s ironing?”, because hopefully we’ll have invented a much better method of getting creases out of clothing by then.*

Daily Run

Time of Day: 5:50 AM

Weather: The high today will be in the 70s, but it was 27* for my run. Thanks, Mother Nature.

Duration: 48 minutes

Distance: 6.12 miles

Average Pace: 7:51/mile

Average Heart Rate: 151 bpm

Notes: I needed a slow, easy run this morning. Thankfully, that’s exactly what was on the schedule. I don’t have much to say about this run: it was cold and dark, but I was grateful for a chance to run slowly and therapeutically. Also, my ART appointment went well today. I’m sure my doctor thinks I’m a hypochondriac by now.

I hope the recovery run refreshed my legs. Tomorrow’s tempo run looks much more intimidating than last week’s.

*Bonus Jess Fact of the Week: Ironing is my most lacking domestic skill. 

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!

Strength Training: Waiting in the Cold

January 12, 2009 at 1:35 pm | Posted in Strength Training | 2 Comments

Time of Day: 5:45 AM

Weather: Air-conditioned

Duration: Almost an hour, broken up with driving time

Notes: I’m currently icing the back of my knee and worrying about it, but at least I didn’t have to use it this morning. And at least I didn’t have to run in the cold. I did, however, have to wait in the cold until the gym worker showed up 1o minutes late to open it. A lot of angry Gym Rats this morning.

I did my hard Monday weights workout. It was less difficult today, likely because I was more consistent with strength training last week. 

It’s amazing how little I have to say about weights today. I hope I get to do my speed workout tomorrow morning. I know I will try, at the least.

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.

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