Back to nature

The weather is gorgeous today– a beautiful early fall day. And I did go out for that park run! The trail was a bit damp, but it’s pretty well-drained (aka rocky) and there wasn’t much mud. The leaves have just started to turn here, and the wet leaves and undergrowth had the most amazing smell. It felt so good to be out in the woods for just a little bit!

It turned out to be a nice 3 miles in 40 minutes. I got a bit carried away in the park (like I always do) and the planned 30 minutes turned into more than that, since I had to run back from the park. It’s an interesting route; the land slopes towards the creek, so the way out is downhill, the park part is relatively flat, and the way back is all uphill. And the way I picked to get back had a ridiculous steep hill going up to the main road (and no sidewalks; dodging cars is fun). Today I was thankful for my strong quads.

This morning was chilly and I packed a pullover and wore it out, but I quickly realized that it was warming up quickly and I really would’ve been fine in my tank top… unfortunately I hadn’t brought my phone armband so the shoulder pocket on the pullover was the only way to keep my phone out of my hands so I kept the pullover on and sweated.

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Best laid plans

I walked out the door (so early) this morning with an ambitious set of workout plans: a lifting session in the morning, and yoga in the evening. I think work is going to kill any hopes I had for doing yoga; so it goes…

The lifting went well though. More squats, overhead press and deadlifts were on the program for today, and I loaded them pretty lightly (95lb, 45lb, 145lb) and finished it all up in 20 minutes. I didn’t think StrongLifts was supposed to be that fast? It helps that deadlifts was 1×5, but I still felt like I needed to spend some more time. I did the progression wrong though; I was supposed to add 5lb to my squats. Oops! Next time I will.

Since I was feeling like I’d barely done anything, I grabbed a jump rope and a kettlebell (not at the same time). Man, jumping rope feels like more work now than it did when I was a kid! Who needs calf raises? My lower legs were burning. And the kettlebell swings were hard too. Maybe I got more of a lifting workout than I thought.

Well, no yoga tonight, but maybe if the weather’s nice tomorrow I can go for a run in the park. That is, if my legs cooperate…

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Rainy day yoga

So that bit about StrongLifts not making you sore? It’s a lie. My hips and shoulders and pecs are definitely sore. I mean, it’s not at the ‘hard to walk’ level, but it’s definitely above ‘mild annoyance’.

A nice temporary cure for sore muscles that gets the blood flowing is some yoga, so I fit in a half hour practice. It wasn’t anything fancy, but my house is hot and humid today (ugh this weather) and I sweated like crazy. It’s like inadvertent hot yoga, right?

My hip flexors and glutes are chronically a mess, and I work on stretching and foam rolling them, but I often joke with my partner that I need a butt massage (I have not actually asked for one, joking aside). The last time I went in for a pro massage, the wonderful therapist spent some time on my glutes, but I have a lot of, uh, butt tissue there and she had a hard time getting into my piriformis (which seems to be the culprit of a lot of my issues). She brought out these round, weighted “bongers” on springy sticks, and basically hit me in the butt for a while. It did work, but maybe I should just stick to foam rolling…

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I can lift more…

I had a bit of an epiphany over the weekend, as I dressed in my costume for renfaire– I really like the fact that I’m muscular and strong-looking. I’ve been waffling over taking up a more aggressive running program, or doing more yoga, or finding a new lifting regimen. I have a hard time lifting the way I want and running the way I want at the same time, so I really have to choose, or half-ass both.

As I admired my shoulders on Sunday, I sort of on-the-spot decided that I wanted to keep lifting. Okay! So then what? I’ve given away my copy of NRoL4W to a friend (I hope it works out for her!) I don’t really want to go through it again. Stronglifts seems to be another popular one, so I checked out their website and the simplicity of it grabbed me immediately (despite the obnoxiously gendered language/bro-ness of it all). I know and love those simple lifts already. I’ll commit a few months and see how it works, I guess.

The website said to start at 40-50% of my 5-rep max; this assumes that I’ve done a 5-rep max, which I haven’t. So I started with weights I found easy; 95lb for squats, 85 for bench press, and 75 for rows. Not surprisingly, they were too easy. 5 reps is a short set! I’ll have to add more a little more weight next time.

One of the selling points for Stronglifts for me was the fact that they say you’re not supposed to be sore. We shall see…

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Catching up

I have been slacking on updating the blog lately… okay, I neglected to write about one workout, but it feels like I haven’t written for a while. Anyway.

On Thursday I went to yet another yoga class. People tend to drop in to these classes when their schedules permit, but I’ve been there enough that I get addressed by name and treated like a regular, with specific instruction. Cool. The best thing about the class, though, was lying in shavasana and suddenly remembering that I had put tea in my thermos before I left work. That tea made my day.

Today I managed to get out for a run. It’s been a while, and my legs felt good for a change and I had plenty of energy. The run was pretty solid and fast, which was nice. I decided to keep it to 30 minutes, and I think that was wise. By the end I was dragging a little. I had to wait for the rain to stop, and the weather was cool and damp with a nice light breeze. ┬áThe major problem, though, was my guts again. Running in the afternoon means that there’s food in my system and that never works out well.

Now I’m off to dinner with my partner’s folks. Fun times…

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All mixed up

I really couldn’t decide what I wanted to do at the gym today… so I did a little of everything. That’s probably not the most effective strategy for training, but I am without a goal at the moment so it works.

So the first 30 minutes was some light lifting; 4 sets of 5 pushups (on the floor, whee) and some incline situps, back extensions, crunches and good mornings and overhead presses with just the bar. My lower body is sore from all the running yesterday, so I didn’t want to tax it.

Speaking of running, though, I had tentatively planned to gut out 2 miles on my tired legs. However after just 1 mile I had had enough. So it goes. (It’s probably a good thing that I haven’t jumped right back into a running plan– I have no base right now.)

And then I wrapped up with a bit of yoga, focusing on my hips. Have I mentioned that I’ve fallen in love with reclining bound angle pose with a block supporting my lower back so that the fronts of my hips fall open? It is fantastic.

The weather is supposed to be nice tomorrow… maybe I can get in a run outside and yoga class in the evening? I feel like that might be ambitious…

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Extended play

Since I enjoyed last Tuesday’s yoga class so much, I decided to go back again this week. Of course, this meant getting up early. But I got to work in plenty of time for class. Since it’s a beginner class, the instructor likes to focus on one thing and really dig in– and today it was Warrior I, so we explored different lengths for the pose and worked through some good expressions. The class is interesting for me because I haven’t had a lot of face-to-face instruction; most of what I know I’ve learned from videos or the internet so it’s good for me to break it down and get some corrections to bad habits.

After yoga, I decided that it would be nice to have a run. It’s been a while, probably about 2 weeks? So I hopped on the treadmill and wrapped up a 5k in 37 minutes. And I remembered maybe 20 minutes in that I hadn’t eaten anything this morning– my stomach protested in hunger the rest of the run. Oops.

It was a long time to be away from my desk this morning, but I was in before 7am so I don’t feel all that bad about it. I don’t know what my workout pattern will be this week, but this seems like a good start.

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