Form and function

Next week I’m away on work travel, so I’m making an effort to get my shiz together this week before I go. This includes hitting workouts hard enough to feel like I want a break for a week to recover (although I plan to still get some activity in on my trip). There is a bright side, though: I’m staying the weekend after and going camping with my friend. There will be mountains, lakes and canoeing. We’re planning on maximum fun. (This friend is always, always good for maximum fun, I miss her and I’m glad I get to see her!)

First half of today’s twofer was a 10 minute run warmup and the first half of my exercise prescription weirdo workout, focusing on lats and pecs. I understand a pec squeeze, but I always spend too much of my lat sets playing around with the exercise form until I manage to activate the lats properly, rather than my arms or obliques. I finally figured it out today and got the right squeeze on the back of my body. Tonight should be a 5x5B and squats are going to feel massive; my lower back is already slightly cranky.

Yesterday I felt the need to vroom and did another 3 mile in 30 minutes treadmill workout, but progressive rather than intervals this time. It was tough and I sweated everywhere, but it turned to be not really depleting. I followed that with bench press and some bicep/tricep/row/shrug accessories. Lifting all the things!

My friend is training for a half marathon at the end of September and is trying to get me to sign up with him. On the plus side, it’s along a canal, and I’m reasonably confident that I can shuffle my way through 13 flat miles. On the minus side, that’s within 2-3 weeks of my powerlifting competition and I’m definitely running a risk of my training goals opposing each other. But I’m not trying to be competitive in the half, just finishing it. Any thoughts from folks out there who both run and lift?

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House and workout and medical updates

You know, I feel like I’m running low on energy sometimes but I also realize that I take very little downtime – this weekend I hardly stopped moving! I finally got all the plants I bought last weekend into their forever homes – a fancy purple amaranth, 2 catmints, a Russian sage (smells amazing!), some vincas and marigolds for the deck flower boxes, a butterfly bush, and 3x creeping myrtle for some ground cover. The wildflowers are sprouting, the mint and catnip are doing okay in their pots, and my mother in law also gave me two big shiso plants from her garden that I put in a tough spot – they’re hardy and self-seeding so hopefully they spread some and fill it in. I ought to take some garden pictures!

I also bought a fancy compost tumbler and that’s assembled and set in the sun to help it cook the compost; I’m looking forward to turning coffee ground and kitchen scraps into nice top dressing rather than landfill.

The ground around our house is super heavy clay, hard as a rock. So before every plant goes in, I have to till and improve the soil. I’ve used a massive amount of peat moss, leaf compost and manure/humus mix. Tilling wouldn’t be so bad, but there are so many tree/shrub roots so it’s hard to dig in. It’s a lot of work, I’ve got shovel calluses.

Speaking of calluses, $husband has been complaining lightly about his lifting calluses. Gotta toughen up those soft computer hands! 5×5 is coming along; in yesterday’s A workout squats finally hit 150lb. $husband’s left knee is complaining and he’s been icing/wrapping it. Anyone out there got experience lifting with knee pain? I have no idea what to do. Bench is only up to 110lb, which is still pretty light for both of us. Rows, on the other hand, are at 90lb and that’s getting to the point where my form starts to break down at the end of sets. (Let’s not talk about how I’m failing 85lb seated OHP… had to deload that to 75lb. Debating getting microplates.)

Sunday’s run was a shorter run this week, 3.5 miles (in brutal humid hotness). I’ve kind of decided that heroic 10 milers leave me too fatigued to be able to lift that day or the next. Today I had a treadmill intervals workout – 5 minutes warmup, 20 minutes progressive 1×1 intervals (work and rest increasing by 0.1mph each set) and 5 minutes final fast cruise. 3 miles in 30 drippy minutes, not bad.

Finally, I also got the results of my physical bloodwork. I was kind of concerned that my lipids might spike with this weird way of eating, but everything came back in normal ranges. The only thing that needed attention was my vitamin D, which was just slightly low so the doctor asked me to take a supplement. I don’t know how it can be low, I’m out in the sun every darn day lately.

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so very TGIF

This week has been something else. I’m physically exhausted and sore, really busy at work, and still battling a massive case of the sads. Ironically, I’ve been getting excellent sleep all week, probably because I’m anhedonic enough that staying up to do anything feels like a waste so I just go to bed early. The bright spot in my week was supposed to be a day trip to the beach over the weekend but my friend bailed (her life is much less fun than mine right now, so I can’t be mad).

Anyway, Wednesday’s corebutt workout wrecked my hamstrings and glutes. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. I bailed on doing anything substantial yesterday – 30 mins on the elliptical was it – and scrubbed the evening’s 5×5 workout too.

Today my posterior chain is less sore so I did my weirdo accessory exercise prescription. Cable chest flys, a couple kinds of lat pulls, 1-leg leg press, rear delt flys, landmine rows, some unstable plank holds, and this weird thing called a Paloff hold while stepping on and off a platform. I’m having a "wtf is the point even" moment with this workout. But I’m having those kinds of feelings overall, so I’m going to roll with it for now. We should get a 5x5B in tonight.

I wound up putting a too-long post in a reddit fitness group about my lack of useful progress lately and the replies were all along the lines of "get a goal". I need to get my head straight first, but yeah…

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Brain bats and barbells

I’m not doing particularly well lately, feeling pretty depressed and tired and apathetic. I depend on a high energy level to get my work done! I have too much to do to sit at my desk and stare off into space and think about how everything is awful! I also feel like I ought to have some magical way to make my brain work better, and that doesn’t help either.

Ironically I’ve been sleeping really well lately, getting to bed early (mostly because I’m exhausted and nothing is interesting enough to justify staying awake). Doesn’t matter though; I still wake up groggy and sore. Maybe we need to save up some money for a new bed.

Yep I’m physically run-down too. I’ve tried swapping a couple workouts over to yoga and stretching and foam-rolling but recovery doesn’t seem to be sticking.

Yesterday’s morning workout was a yoga swap; in the evening $husband and I got some lifting in, his first since he hurt his back (again). Bench at 105lb was fine, substituted DL at 105lb was also fine (for me, not sure about $husband) but squats at 135lb just wrecked me. Every time I do squats, my lower back gets sore and my hips get super tight. They go up too fast in 5×5 and I’m just frustrated.

Today I rolled up to the gym early and had just zero motivation. I wound up doing more core/hip work– because that’s what you do when you have a chronically sore area right, work it harder? Glute/ham raises (3x10x25lb), 1leg RDLs (3x10x8lb dbs, each side), plank (2x90sec), barbell rear lunges (3x10x45lb), kettlebell side bends, kettlebell swings, kettlebell glute thrusters (3x10x35lb each).

Gonna go eat lunch now and hope that helps….

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A good day

Today started out with getting up a little bit early for a Sunday, drinking my coffee and then heading out for a 8.7mi run. I thought it was going to be a slog because I was kind of sore; it was, but now that I look back on it it doesn’t seem so bad. Then, some rest, some food, and off to the pool with friends. Very good day, A+ will do again.

Catching up on workouts… Friday was a curiously fast run, 2.4mi in 23:29, 9’54” pace. I ate some sugar before I headed out (I don’t usually eat sugar) and I think it acted like rocket fuel. My stomach hurt but I was fast.

Got a couple lifting workouts in this week too, but not as much going on there. My workweek was too busy and I skipped work gym a couple days (so sad!) There was a little bit of home lifting going on, but $husband tweaked his back again lifting a bag of peat moss so we postponed some of that. My back’s been crunky too, so I don’t really mind. I tried to foam roll really good today and work out whatever’s pulling on my lower back. Once upon a time I had really nice lower back flexibility, but lately something is really tight and it hurts.

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Marking miles

All right, I think I’m just going to accept that I’m going to be blogging several workouts at a time, and that’s okay. Now, since I last posted…

Friday I worked at home and got a 3.75 mi run in. I pushed the pace a little bit on this one (10’30”) and it felt pretty tough. I also ordered a new pair of running shoes, the latest refresh of the Mizuno Wave Rider. I’ve been wearing these for years now, it’s nice to have a shoe that fits reliably.

I seem to be making long runs on Sunday a habit– it’s been 3 weeks in a row. Yesterday I went out with the goal of hitting 11 miles. I took some water, and $2 in case I needed to stop and get more. (I was glad of that $2 when I ran past a gas station and decided to go in for a nice cold refill.) I didn’t actually make it to 11 miles, but 10.75 is plenty, and still the farthest I’ve ever run. (2:03:15/11’28”) When did I become a crazy distance runner? My legs were cramping by the end, electrolytes way out of whack (note: take salt!)

Also there was another first on this run: it was the first time a car’s deliberately driven through a puddle to get me wet; a truck swerved into a puddle on the shoulder and drenched me from the waist down. Ironically this was 10 miles in, I was already soaked with my own sweat, and I honestly did not care. Do your worst, asshole truck!

I felt pretty crappy afterwards; usually I take some ibuprofen right away to avoid a migraine but I didn’t this time and sure enough I felt sickly for a while and needed to nap it off.

It’s been raining like crazy here and on Saturday the basement flooded after 5″ of rain in one afternoon. Our house is old and the basement is weird; there are steps outside going to the cellar door but the drain is inside, in the basement. If it’s raining hard enough that the drain there can’t handle it, a river flows through the basement towards the other floor drains. One of those wasn’t draining right, and we wound up with a puddle up to my ankles. (Thankful it was just rainwater.) I swept the water into the other floor drain. That took care of most of it, and the dehumidifier is finishing the job. We evacuated most of the stuff in the flood path but there’s one shelving unit right in the way that my husband is being stubborn about moving. It’s particleboard and it’ll rot into a big mess.

Anyway the raging torrents stayed away from the squat rack and we were able to lift last night. OHP is up to 75lb and that’s feeling really heavy for me; I’ll try 80lb next time but won’t be surprised if I miss some reps. Husband thinks that’s easy peasy but is struggling with 105lb deadlifts because he’s got no posterior flexibility. At least he didn’t hurt his back again.

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No patience today

I have this one coworker who tends to get on my last nerve a lot. It’s interesting, because we actually get along pretty well outside of work, but in the office he’s a Whiny McWhinerson and I’m pretty sure if he spent his time solving problems rather than complaining about them he’d have less to complain about. Today’s one of those days when I want to tell him off. I might just be cranky.

I went to the gym this morning despite feeling utterly exhausted. The gym is a durable habit, but sometimes I wonder if it’s making things worse when I’m as tired and sore as I am now. It wasn’t anything heroic, 15 minutes (fairly fast) on the treadmill, followed up by some light-ish bench (5x5x115lb) and biceps/triceps and a stretch. Today’s a two-a-day so there’ll be more squat/bench/row tonight. For now I feel a little energized, at least.

Yesterday I did my exercise prescription workout. At least I’m getting the hang of it. And it still takes too long.

I shouldn’t have, but I got a big cup of coffee after lunch. Will I sleep tonight? We’ll see.

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