All the lifts

I haven’t been to the gym in a week, what should I do on this quiet Friday? ALL THE LIFTS.

Bench – 5@115lb, 2×5@135lb, 2×5@145lb, (1,1)@150lb
Squat – 5×5@135lb
Upper accessory, 2×10: biceps, triceps, OHP, BO row (2×5)
Lower accessory, 2×10: leg press (at 275lb it was a pretty ridonk accessory), back extension, one-leg RDL, weighted side bends

All that mess took me a full hour to get through and I am wiped out and wobbly.

So bench is now up to 150lb and the singles didn’t feel too hard, even at the end of all those sets. On the other hand, I struggled through light squats. I tried really hard to keep my back up, lift with my legs and not cheat with my lower back. It was brutal. I’m going to be a little disappointed if I’ve managed to add 20lb to my bench but am 50lb less on my already wimpy squats (and don’t get me started on deadlift, I haven’t even considered trying to get close to maxing out since the injury, maybe next week). Injury recovery stinks.

My mom is on some low-carb diet plan (it’s from that awful book my aunt sent me, that religious weight loss book) but she bought and brought with her two grocery bags full of bagels– like 10 packages. Between my dad, my husband and me (she wouldn’t eat any) we got through 2 of them. It’s not like they were just around the house and she brought them to get rid of them, she bought them just for us and they’re going to go to waste. Why??

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Whipping weather

Yesterday it was in the 40s and torrential rain. Today, 80s and all that rain turned into humidity. Blech. But the last 3 days have been without formal workouts, and I’m working at home today, so I thought I’d go for a run. It was awful. I went 30 minutes and covered a bit over 2 1/4 miles, walked a lot, and even managed to trip and stub my little toe (but not fall on my face!) I came back into the house overheated and immediately took a cold shower, which helped.

My parents came to visit the first half of this week to help us (me, more like; my husband had to work) do some repairs around the house, mostly drywall. This is one of the perks of having a dad who’s a carpenter! Our condo has had problems with settling and really dramatic-looking wall cracks, so we did some patching with fiberglass tape on the small cracks and put in brand new tape on the big ones. Everything is covered in joint compound dust, although the carpet looks fantastic because I’ve vacuumed about 10 times in the last 3 days. We did repairs in most of the rooms of the house, and so basically the entire place needs to get painted now. And that’s not a job we can really do piecemeal, so maybe in June sometime we can carve out a couple weekends and get that done. It is motivation to finally get rid of the ugly yellow paint in the kitchen, though!

And speaking of torrential rain, I did go to the March for Science over the weekend and got thoroughly drenched, despite wearing rain gear. My raincoat does a good job of shedding water in most conditions, but 6+ hours of downpour soaked it through. And my poor foamcore sign lost all its structural integrity. But it was totally worth it. Marching through the streets and starting up a chant “Show me what a scientist looks like!” and having this great big crowd shout back “THIS IS WHAT A SCIENTIST LOOKS LIKE!” was pretty great.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Little workouts, big science

Another early morning where I crammed in 30 minutes on the elliptical before running off to my all-day training. So I should have fresh legs (and hopefully no soreness or pain, but I’m taking a stash of ibuprofen just in case) for marching tomorrow, yay!

The training I took today was good and I learned a TON that I can hopefully put to good use. I’m struggling, though, with the idea of being a female scientist in a mostly male office who’s working on her “soft skills”. On the one hand, those soft skills are really important (and the lack thereof is one of the reasons many of my male colleagues have roadblocks in their careers). On the other, I have to struggle to not be pigeonholed now, and that will only get worse as people start to see me as “that lady on the management track” (even though I am on no such track).

My boss (who could have used this training himself, ahem) always pushes me to double down on the science side of my work, while still asking me to take on these softer management-y tasks. It feels like a mixed message. On the other hand, after being around for 10 years, I’m finally being included in the “science bros club” with its proposals and publications. So I just get to do both I guess, and be really busy.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , | 3 Comments

Havoc and housecleaning

Yet another sprint of a workday. I am thankful that I have M-W next week off, even if it’s because my parents are visiting to help us with some major repairs around the house. I will gladly take carpentry over office work for a couple days.

Today was another upper lifting day, as quickly as I could manage. The weight room was oddly deserted as I finished my sets early this morning, so I was spot-less and had to bench very cautiously. I still did my heaviest set, but stopped as soon as it got dicey because I don’t need 145lb dropped on my ribcage.

Bench – 5x115lb, 2x135lb, 5x140lb, 3x145lb
Accessory biceps, triceps, OHP, BO rows, lat pulldowns, machine pec flys

And then I did a whopping 5 minutes on the elliptical because that was all the time I had.

I’m in an all-day training tomorrow, heading into town early for the march on Saturday, and my parents arrive Sunday afternoon. Have I mentioned the house is a mess? I think my husband (who is not marching with me) is going to get put on house-cleaning duty for Saturday– I’ll do as much as I can but there is no way I’ll be able to get it all done. (Why do I feel like it’s my responsibility to ensure the house is up to snuff? Argh.)

Speaking of marching, I haven’t yet decided if I want to do another lower rehab day tomorrow. I’m still sore from Tuesday’s. And I’m going to be on my feet all darn day Saturday…

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Squats and rehab

Came in early to get my workout in before my early meetings. Tomorrow is an even earlier meeting; I need to decide if I’m going to come in even earlier still or just go after the meeting. But then I’d be sitting in that meeting unkempt and unshowered. Fun.

As promised, today was squats try-it + lower body/core rehab work. Squats felt all right for as light as I did them. I also tested how my body responded to a light DL– no pain, and everything seemed to be firing how it should be. Maybe Friday I’ll test out some heavier singles.

Squat – 5x45lb, 2x5x115lb, 2x5x135lb
Experimental deadlift – 5x45lb, 5 singles @ 115lb
Accessory hams/quads, wood chop, plank, one-leg RDL, bodyweight back extension

And afterwards, 20 minutes on the elliptical because cardio.

I complimented a woman on her skirt in the locker room and it turns out she sewed it herself– and so we had a great chat about sewing for pear-shaped figures and she told me several pattern companies to check out and I am armed with new resources and excited! Like I need another project. But if I can make a skirt that fits me as perfectly as hers fit her (she’s shaped similar to me– smaller waist, bigger hips– and it’s always a challenge to find off-the-rack clothes that fit well) I will be very happy.

But wait… I’m an 18 in their sizing for the company she recommended, but most of their patterns only go up to 16. Well, that took a bit of wind out of my sails didn’t it…

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

New gym PR for bench press!

Last week I talked about bumping bench up a notch. This week I actually did it and it went much better than I expected! I got 3 reps at 145lb, after 4 other sets, so I was pretty pleased. A silly thing that felt like it really helped was gripping the bar hard like I was trying to break it. I guess it really does engage more muscles.

Usually I ask J for a spot, but I looked all around the gym and he was nowhere to be found, so I had to ask a stranger from the weight room (which was fine, he was very helpful). After my workout I went to find him at the office to ask if everything was okay– he said he’d forgotten half his gym clothes so had to skip his workout! I think this happens to everyone…

Bench – 5x115lb, 2x5x135lb, 5x140lb,3x145lb (!!!)
Accessory 2×10: biceps, triceps, OHP, BO row, one-arm DB row, lat pulldown (so much upper back work)

I’m trying to figure out how to work squats and DLs into my short, 4 day lifting week while doing them on different days and keeping recovery time for my back between. It looks like the best solution is to just train them once a week each, Wednesday and Friday. It’s not ideal but it’s better than getting injured.

Speaking of my back and being injured, the acute pain has softened to a dull ache finally so I’m feeling like it’s time to go back to training. I’ll give light squats a try tomorrow, and do the rest of my rehab work too.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Monday runday

Can you believe that this was my first proper run this month? (Not counting the 15 minutes on the treadmill after lifting, I guess.) Stupid injuries, grumble. I’m working at home and it’s a rainy day, but I got out the door during a pause in the rain and hoped for the best. It mostly worked; the last 10 minutes it started up again. Not a big deal for me, but I was a little worried about my phone (it survived, thankfully).

I went for 30 minutes and covered 2.4 miles, and my back feels okay (for now; we’ll see). My cardio conditioning is not what it used to be– my heart rate monitor says the average HR was 168 and it had me well into the 170s during uphill parts. Another thing to work on, getting some endurance cardio back into the mix.

But that’s not to say I’ve been inactive this past week– far from it. I ran out of exercise clothes and sports bras (today I pulled out my oldest, most worn one to run in and hoped for the best). I just washed all 7 and hung them up to dry. This is why I have to do laundry every week…

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | 1 Comment