Monday, June 29, 2009

6.29.09 (and two days before!)

Saturday - Pool running, 25 minutes. Elliptical 45 minutes.
Sunday - 1 hour cardio - 30 minute treadmill run, 10 minute stairmaster, 20 minute elliptical

Today -
6 min walk to gym
10 min elliptical

squat 15/40
1-leg deadlift w/body bar 12/24 each side
sumo squat 15/40
Repeat for 3 sets

5 minute treadmill run

kettlebell swing squat 12 sets/15 lb
reaching squat w/body bar 12/24 each side
leg band side step with weight 12/15
Repeat for 3 sets

5 minute treadmill run

Hanging ab raise 15
medicine ball touch the sky 20/10
wide leg sit up 10
1 knee in crunch 20 each side
Repeat for 2 sets

20 minutes stationary bike
6 minutes walk home
Total time: 82 minutes

At the chiropractor:

seated row 15/70
standing row 15/70
front & back lat pull 15/60
Repeat for 3 sets

U-T-Is 15 each/7 lbs

Rowing machine 4 minutes over hand, 4 minutes underhand.
Total time: 20 minutes

Later: 25 minute walk (with a bit of running at the end) w/JNo ... It rained on us and the wind started blowing. An old antenna came flying down from the roof of a house far too closely behind us.

A bit more than I intended on doing in one day. Trying *not* to succumb to the temptation to over train.

Friday, June 26, 2009

6.26.09 workout & links

Got to the gym bright & early for a quick hour before VBS workout:

10 minutes elliptical

15 minute compound set:
lat pulldown (front & back) 15/55/3
seated row - stripping down, 15/90, 15/85, 15/80
shrugs 12/50 (I never do shrugs, but Doc said "Do shrugs.")

10 minute treadmill run

15 minute compound set
Ys, Ts, Is 15/10/3 each (Oh, I hate these, hate these, hate these...but they're good for me)
Dumbbell pullover 15/25/3
Single arm dumbbell row 12/20/3 each side

10 minute treadmill run

Some stretching...

Lately there have been some great blogs posted about what is bulky, what is the ideal female body, and even a reference back to a GREAT oldie by Josh Hillis.

Valerie Waters - Can Women Get Too Bulky?

Leigh Peele - Bulky Muscles and Female Training

Leigh Peele - The Ideal Female Body
(I love the last question with the pictures. It's funny that all the people who said Jessica Biel was "too bulky" in prior questions sure did want her body!)

Josh Hillis - How Thin is Too Thin - Many women workout because they want to be attractive for the opposite sex - and they become emaciated thinking the skinnier the better. Take it from a guy, skinny isn't appealing! This is a good one.

I haven't checked out Valerie Water's new bikini workout, but I will say that Red Carpet Ready is a good program and definitely not a bulking up program.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Running more..

I had my first trigger point injection today and I'm already noticing some improvement. I'm definitely noticing the expected "ouch" effect, too, now that the numbing agent has worn off. My days are all screwed up - I thought my appointment with the pain management specialist was on Monday. Instead I got an automated reminder call yesterday. I was a bundle of nerves thinking about the possibility of a needle in my muscle. I envisioned lots of needles in lots of muscles! Thankfully, there is a rule: one injection per visit.

The doctor did go on a seeking mission and found many hot spots. When she pressed on my forearm trigger points (which are secondary to the trapezius pont), while it hurt like heck, I felt release in my stiff hand. Amazing. Quite possibly treating the hot points in my trapezius will take care of the rest and they'll release with just the help of the masseuse.

She picked a major trigger point on the right trapezius to be the first to hit. My Type A personality kicked into gear and I asked a million questions, trying to make sure nothing would go out of control. Hmmm, being a control freak helped get me to this place, maybe I need to chill a bit and not dissect every situation? Next time maybe!

My back was sprayed with a cooling spray. The numbing agent was injection in the muscle. I asked for 1/2 the usual dosage. It worked. Whatever poking/probing had to be done was done. The doctor then had directives to give me. I knew it was coming...

I never met a pushup I didn't like, but once again here was a doctor telling me: Lay off pushups for a while. Please don't let anyone come along and tell me to lay off squats! I already had to cut down on deadlifts, lower the weights extremely, etc, etc.

I've come to the point where I'm sitting back and reexamining my whole concept of fitness. Once I was a runner. I worried about running local 5Ks and 10Ks, not even to be fast - just for the personal accomplishment and for the T-shirt. I ran a trail marathon for my 40th birthday with one of my best friends. We took the wrong fork in the trail and our marathon went from 26.2 to around 28.5 miles. After that, I turned to more weight training - which I had been doing to complement my running, not replace it.

Suddenly I was listening to these eBook authors who mock on the "cardio bunnies" at the gym. Heavier weights, negative sets, etc, etc, etc. I found that I was no longer taking Saturday morning long runs and was spending less and less time on cardio, more and more time on muscle.

It's not that I didn't like it - it was different, but still my body was moving and that's what I liked - to be moving.

So here I am in a place where it's "Ouch!" followed by "Don't do that any more!" "Cut out this for a while!" and I'm starting to run more to fill the void. There was a time when I logged more than 1200 miles a year running - and log it I did, at I'm thinking of picking that log up again, but perhaps not being so extreme. I think my days of extremity need to fade a bit....maybe 1000 miles a year instead, lol.

This week's workouts so far:

Sunday - 1 hr race walk with my girls
Monday - 20 minute back workout, 1 hr cardio (cross training)
Tuesday - 1 hr 10 minutes legs/glutes/abs and cardio - 10 minutes elliptical, a compound set, 10 minutes run on treadmill, another compound set, etc, and so forth including the evil Stairmaster
Wednesday - 1 hr cardio split between the elliptical, the stationary bike and a 12 minute treadmill endurance test. (I was a bit peeved to get just "above average" and am now determined to work my way back to excellent).
Later Wednesday I ended up doing a 1 hr 4 min walk/run with my daughters. The first part was walking with my oldest having the jogging stroller along. Little Layla was not happy, so after 30 minutes, Jenna went home and Rhianna and I finished by running for the next 34 minutes.

Throw a good amount of stretching in there after every workout.

I'm not allowed to work out today. Doctor's orders are to call this a rest day.

Plans: I want to do the Potato Stomp 15K in the autumn, but I'll need to train Rhianna to do it with me. :) I like to have someone to chat with; I'm doing it for fun, nothing else. I'm pulling out my running books and I'm going to be working on a sensible plan to increase my speed and endurance once again. I want to cut down on some of this bulky muscle that I've created so while I'm not going to neglect weight training entirely, I'm going to go for lighter weights, greater reps and no more than 3X a week.

I want early Saturday morning to become LSD day again. No, not the hallucenogenic! Long Slow Distance! There is something so special about running on the trails when the sun has barely come up, seeing the wildlife, avoiding the heat of the summer's day...

I also have to get better at biking. I'm an idiot, an absolute spaz, when it comes to changing gears. My husband found me a good bike so that we can go out together. I really need to get over my technical difficulties so that we can do the more challenging rides. (See how i progress from going out for a ride with my husband to the idea of doing more challenging things? Type A, Type A, Type A).

Saturday, June 20, 2009

The blogging laziness continues...

I have still been working out regularly, I've just been too preoccupied to blog my workouts.

What have I been preoccupied with? My stinking numb/tingly/aching right hand. It gets better, it gets worse. The official diagnosis: cervical radiculitis. It is effecting the nerves in the thoracic outlet, but it is coming from nerves up by the cervical spine getting pinched.

Why? Too much chest/over head shoulder work. I'm sort of cursing the whole "lift like a man, look like a goddess" thing right now. Weight training like a man means focusing on a lot of shoulder and chest work. I was messing with my own variations on NWLW and Leigh Peele's Opt Remix, but there were so many things involving a million kinds of pushups (I love pushups) and shoulder presses of varying kinds. It seemed like such a good thing - help in defying age and gravity. I don't want the "girls" ending up down by my knees, so tell me 10 pushups will help and I'll give you 50!

I've been going to the chiropractor regularly. First three times a week, then two and now once. I arrive, get put through a work out consisting of a compound set: lat pulldown, seated row, upright row. 3 sets, 15 reps each. After this, I must do the chicken-head band thing. Lay on a table and do 15 reps each with 5 - 7 lb weights of U-T- and I's. After than, I sit on a rowing apparatus and do 4 minutes overhand grip, 4 minutes underhand grip.

Once that is done I have to lay down with my neck in traction, pumped up to a "good" stretch, for 10 minutes. It's medieval torture. After I have survived that, it is off to the masseuse for a half hour of trigger point massage.

When I first heard that massage was part of my treatment I was all "Whoo hoo!" Then I found out what trigger point massage was. Oh, I like it still, but it's not at all what I expected. It definitely is a "hurts so good" treatment. The masseuse finds "trigger points" - sore spots where the muscle has knotted up or is hyperirritable. It is more than a sensitive spot, however, it effects nerves and often causes referred pain. Rub one place on my neck and I'll feel shooting pain above my left eye. Rub another and my right ear will experience sharp pains. The therapist finds these spots and either applies pressure or uses a pincher grip. It is very uncomfortable but an hour or so later, you feel sooooooooo good.

After Carla is done with me, I'm off to see the doc and he adjusts my back and lectures me a bit on what I should and should not do. I try to obey but keep finding that I do things that probably were meant to be on the "should not" list, but I've sought out loop holes. That doesn't work in my favor.

With that in mind -- I've already been sworn off of any over head presses. Now I must give up chest work for a couple of weeks. I will be amazingly better, then have a chest day - even with heavy weights cut down drastically - and end up hurting or in discomfort again for another 2 days. I also discovered which ab exercises put undue stress on my cervical spine. Those will be avoided for a while, too.

This coming week I plan to use for recuperation. Vacation Bible School every morning is going to restrict my activities anyway. I plan to do a lot of cardio, a good amount of yoga and very limited weight training. I may slack off on the weight training for another week after this, as well, and focus on body weight work.

I've been afraid to do plyometrics for the past few weeks. I'll have to ask the doc whether I should continue to avoid them until my condition clears up.

That's the update - so far today I did 40 minutes of yoga. I do plan on some cardio later on, probably an hour. Father's Day is a rest day. Yesterday I did cardio (elliptical, HIIT on the treadmill, & a bit on the stationary bike) and 20 minutes of yoga. The rest of the week before that was the normal leg/glutes/abs one day, back/shoulders/biceps, and chest/triceps/abs with HIIT and all that jazz worked in.