Thanks for the pep talk

The last two days have involved early starts, late ends, uncertain schedules, and lots of walking all over town in the cold wearing uncomfortable fancy shoes (my steps yesterday were somewhere around 6 miles). I feel like I’ve been out of myself for a while! (The meeting was intense and actually very great in lots of different ways, but I’m tired!)

So today I’m back into my routine, but all drag-ass. I had 5x400m intervals on the schedule but my feet are all tired and I wasn’t sure I had it in me today. When I got to the locker room, though, I chatted with a woman who gave me a terrific pep talk– she reminded me that it was Friday and we survived the week and we could do the thing! Thanks to her I felt much more energized to go and tackle the treadmill.

So, 5x400m. After a 5 minute warmup, I got started running the intervals at 10’00" with 2 minute slow rest intervals between. It was pretty tough; those intervals felt very long. My sinuses are still inflamed (after like a month!) and breathing wasn’t as easy as I would’ve liked. But I finished all 5 intervals, stretched the barest amount, and decided I wanted to put a mat on the floor and lie on it for a bit. (This was glorious.) Then, shower and back to work…

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Holiday butt-kicking

My gym schedule is bound to be disrupted this week: work holiday party today, workshop rest of the week– so I wanted to get a good, solid workout in. My training app prescribed 6×200 sprints today, and on top of that I stacked a set of barbell complexes. Butt, kicked!

I went to the gym early today, too. Since I brought a fancy dessert in for the party and didn’t trust myself with it on the train, I drove, so I had to be out the door by 6. I was at the office a little before 7, but my computer was broken and I couldn’t work. So, gym time! (It’s fixed now, thankfully.)

First, the sprints. I warmed up with 5 minutes jogging, then got to it. My tracker completely failed at dealing with the faster speeds, but I ran the fast intervals at 9’00" or faster– there were 6 of those, with 1:30 slow running rests in between. The last interval was brutal.

And right after that, time for barbell complexes, 55lb again.. So hey, the long sets are much harder when I’m already cardio tired! I was gasping after the 6, 5 and 4 rep sets. There were a bunch of people I didn’t know in the weight room, and I felt kind of weird being totally wrecked by these quick, light sets with a bunch of random dudebros in there.

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Saturday, and the latest benchmark

Today is a GAMU Saturday and our friends are hosting it for a change, which means I have a little less to do. I took advantage of that, and went out for a run on this cold and windy morning. I had a 15 minute benchmark today and another 15 minute recovery run on the schedule for tomorrow, so I just combined them, for a grand total of 2.55mi done, and it felt like a proper workout.



The benchmark looked like most of my other benchmarks. A little slower maybe, but with decent endurance. It works.

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Not pregnant, just fat

I’m glad it’s Friday. This week has been nuts!

Yesterday was so nuts I forgot to blog my workout. It wasn’t special, just a half hour on the treadmill ("long run") in between everything else. I was tired, and my legs weren’t too happy with the run, but it got done.

Today, I did another one of those barbell complexes, with an addition of 10lb on the bar and a subtraction of good mornings. None of the articles I read made any mention of the part I’ve found the hardest: my hands! In the middle of the 4-rep set I had to put the bar down because my hands were ON FIAH. More effective than farmer’s carries, I guess! I could handle lifting more weight on the bar but I’m afraid that my hands would just crap out.

After the complex, I went through the first 30 minutes of the flexibility yoga video. It’s always nice when I "know" a practice, so I can go through it with just the audio cues.

Today, l a coworker asked when I was due. Ack. I think I might have slightly embarrassed him when I loudly said I wasn’t pregnant and started cracking jokes: "I know that’s like the next step after getting married, but I’m not there yet!" He claimed "someone" told him I was, so now I’m wondering if that’s true, and who else thinks I’m pregnant now… (not pregnant, just fat! all the time!)

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Shameless bribery (with cookies)

Well, if my total-body soreness is any indication, that complex yesterday was effective! Jeez. I even went to bed an hour early to try to get some extra recovery in, but everything still hurts. It’s not a really bad sore– on a scale of 0 to 10, where a 10 is "can’t move zomg", it’s probably about a 3 or 4. But it’s my whole body, which sucks!

Today’s early, quick fit-it-in-before-meetings workout was a brainless 30 minutes on the elliptical reading the post-election issue of The Economist (their understated, even-tempered British style is so appealing contrasted with breathless US media) followed by some stretching with more of those mini-vinyasa walkouts. I forgot I started a new training plan in my Nike app so I have another 30 minute bodyweight workout that I’ll have to fit in tonight if I want to keep current.

But tonight I am also baking cookies! My project has finally made it through the layers of bureaucracy that held it up so it’s going operational soon. I have two logs of World Peace Cookies in the freezer waiting for the occasion, so all the people who helped me shepherd this thing through are getting a stack. It’s the most effective way I have at my disposal to project manage without authority: I smile, I wheedle, I bribe with cookies to ensure that people make my project a priority– whatever it takes! They’re good cookies. I hope it works for the next time I need something done.

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Complex complexes

Okay, my race is done, so now I can get back to the weight room. Yay!

I’m exploring ways to mix some cardio in with my lifting, and came across the concept of "barbell complexes"– basically giant supersets done without letting go of the bar. Why not? I borrowed a complex from a website and gave it a try today, starting with 6 reps for the first set and decreasing each set to finish at just 1 rep for the last set.

Romanian deadlift
Bentover row
Power clean
Front squat
Overhead press
Back squat

It was interesting. There is a widely varying range of what I can lift here, so I had to keep it light (sure I can DL 200+ for sets of 6 but I cannot OHP that much obviously!) Today, just the bar. I don’t do Romanian deadlifts or goodmornings very often, and I hate doing GMs heavy; that was probably what gave me the most trouble just from a twingey lower back perspective. Everything else was fine and I’d probably put a couple little plates on next time (and maybe skip GMs).

Today’s big mess of a workout was 5 minutes running warmup, that complex thing, bicep curls, assisted dips and pullups, ball crunches, and 10 minutes on the elliptical. Sounds like enough for one day…

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I’d tentatively planned something HIIT-ish for today, but instead I wound up putting a nice YouTube yoga practice on. This one is simple and slow, but it left me with wonderful, stretched-out legs and even the down dogs felt especially lovely. The part of the practice that I have a love/hate relationship with– argh it’s so tedious, but it works– is these mini-vinyasas where the hands walk back from down dog into a forward fold, and back again into plank.

Once again, I’m going to say “I should really do more yoga…”

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