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Xena

Seeking Renewal (Xena)

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I find its definitely harder to get up during these darker, shorter days. But on the bright side, December 21st is almost here. Then the days will start getting longer again :)

Recovery is good -- even if it seems a little boring. And the fact that the numbers are headed in the right direction while recovering is icing on the cake!

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Today was pretty good. 3 mile run/walk this morning. My body was tired from yesterday, which is perfectly reasonable. After work went to the gym...did 10 min on the treadmill (hills!) and some core stuff. Tried a bit of leg stuff, but didn't do everything I normally would. Felt like I was too tired. Wouldn't have done so much except I know I won't get to exercise more than a few minutes tomorrow. 

 

Little concerning about the elbow though, would a physio perhaps help?

 

also how are the deadlifts going?

 

I'm going to give the elbow a little time. Not surprising that it hasn't gotten better since I kept lifting. Read yesterday about the tendons around the elbow and saw how to get at it with a ball or foam roller. Worked on it with the foam roller today and decided to take a few days off the upper body lifting. It's not an intense injury, more like the way an irritated ITB feels from running. I know a bit about how the ITB heals, and I'm guessing this will be similar. I'll have someone look at it if it isn't better in a couple weeks.

 

I would say deadlifts are only so-so. They still kind of feel like a waste of time. The trainer didn't want me putting on more weight until I get the form down a bit better. So I'm consistently working with just the bar, but I don't feel much effect. I'll keep doing them...they work the flexibility if nothing else. I'll also keep doing the single leg deads (which at least work my balance and stabilizers). As you suggested (I think), I figured out Saturday that I can target some of the same muscles with lunges or split squats, especially once I load with some weight. I still have some space to improve and build up there.

 

With the holidays and some early January travel, I think I'll be busy enough just trying to keep up with what the trainer showed me. Then I need to think about what my goals really are. For upper body, I'm relatively weak and would like to build more strength...the path is still pretty clear. Plenty of gains to be made with basic moves like pushups and progressions toward pull ups. I like doing core work, but haven't been doing a ton lately and will probably add more. For lower body I'm not sure my goal is really to lift much heavier. As a runner, my legs are already pretty strong. I want to work on any muscle imbalances, work on my stabilizer muscles and maybe build more explosive strength, not just bulk up my legs. Moving forward will probably include going toward more difficult moves like progressions toward pistol or shrimp squats, harder stuff on the bosu, or more plyo-type moves.

 

Plus I'll be building my miles up again, so will have to think about how much time I realistically want to put into lifting. It's really fun, but isn't really my main thing.

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The other day, I was thinking that this challenge felt a little flat. I'm doing what I said I would do, but it doesn't feel like all the much progress. Then I remembered that the whole point of the challenge was to recover and recharge from the hard marathon training of the fall.  ...So I guess I've recovered and am ready for more :-)

 

Today awesome 10 miler. Repeated the same run from last week, but did it 6 minutes faster. Faster pace the whole time and cut it down from 5 walk breaks to 3.

 

2. Morning - Only 10/15 this week. I think the darker mornings have made it harder to get up. Now that I realize the problem I can work harder on

enforcing the routine. 61/75 so far. NEED 14/15 next week for full credit!! TIME TO ENGAGE BEAST MODE :-)

 

 From what I've read, Iceland sounds awesome enough (even in the winter), that I might just go anyway.

 

Wow, you are finishing strong. Go to Iceland! Or spend extra time exploring Norway. How often do you get work to pay for an international flight? Have an adventure while you are there. :)

 

Probably will just stay with my current, very sophisticated plan for one more challenge and see what happens. I'll be happy with even very small changes as long as they start to add up.

 

Yep. Small changes and a plan you can live with. I admire the way you are avoiding the junk. I have not been good about that. :(

 

Today was pretty good. 3 mile run/walk this morning. My body was tired from yesterday, which is perfectly reasonable. After work went to the gym...did 10 min on the treadmill (hills!) and some core stuff. Tried a bit of leg stuff, but didn't do everything I normally would. Felt like I was too tired. Wouldn't have done so much except I know I won't get to exercise more than a few minutes tomorrow. 

 

Plus I'll be building my miles up again, so will have to think about how much time I realistically want to put into lifting. It's really fun, but isn't really my main thing.

 

You did a lot for a day after a long run. Great that you are enjoying lifting. Between lifting and yoga you can get the strength and flexibility to support your running. I hear you about the time though. So many fun things, so little time.

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Not much yesterday (just some brief morning core work and stretches), but that was planned.

 

Today's track workout. I wasn't in charge today, but sometimes I substitute for the coach (not really coaching, just leading/encouraging/bossing people around). I felt so much positive energy from them. We were doing fartleks today. Not my favorite, so I almost skipped. But it was really fun. For our last run, someone even picked to do a 400 with 5 burpees after each 100. And they re-named the burpees after me! Quite an honor. I'm also flattered and still surprised that they ask me to lead a bit of yoga after the workouts. It's limited what we can do in a few minutes after workout, but fun, particularly because it's new to most of them. Today I broke out "dancing warrior" (warrior II, side angle, reverse warrior), which they thought was cool and complicated

 

Haven't done any upper body lifts since Saturday (just a few burpees today, which I quickly scaled to knee) and my elbow feels about 70% better. Will try a few more days off. When I have no pain, I'll start gradually with things that don't seem to irritate it. I know it's very obvious, but I guess I just needed to let it rest a bit.

 

The good and bad news is that I have to replace those upper body lifts with something. I'm a little dubious about adding more leg stuff...so it looks like I'll have to punish the core!

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Today I broke out "dancing warrior" (warrior II, side angle, reverse warrior), which they thought was cool and complicated

 

This made me smile.  I think that I too thought that it was cool and complicated at one time.  Now I am old and jaded I suppose. ;)

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Pretty normal good day. 3 point morning with a little yoga. Did the crazy hill treadmill workout and then some weights, concentrating on legs and abs. My elbow doesn't hurt right now, so I think by the weekend I can try a light upper body workout (no curls or lat pull-down...maybe just some incline pushups and OHP...those things didn't seem to bother it before).

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The track workout sounds like fun. Clearly they like you. :)  Good to hear that your elbow is feeling better. You can do a lot of upper body work without weights. Do you have Supermans in your routine? I think they would be good for your arms and back with little to no stress on the elbows.

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I am, as always, impressed. Sorry I didn't do much of the Ranger challenges - I got confused about math for the lifting and carrying, then got sidelined by SNOW in SHIKOKU.

winter-1.jpg

 

But anyway, thanks for being an inspiration and a great partner! I'll see you for the January challenge in the Tent?

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I am, as always, impressed. Sorry I didn't do much of the Ranger challenges - I got confused about math for the lifting and carrying, then got sidelined by SNOW in SHIKOKU.

winter-1.jpg

 

But anyway, thanks for being an inspiration and a great partner! I'll see you for the January challenge in the Tent?

 

You were a great partner! Thanks so much.

 

I'll post a wrap-up tomorrow...I still have to do some yoga tonight to get my full points for the week :-)

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Week 6 recap

 

Running: Good on this one. 3 official runs (plus bonus 2 mile treadmill hill workout) with a 12 mile trail run over the weekend. Felt pretty strong on the trail. For my “misc†workout did some P90X and a restorative yoga session. Had a little panic yesterday because my heel became inflamed and painful. It is much better today. I don’t think it’s tendonitis. I think it was just bruised or something. I’m taking a couple days off, but I think it’s going to be fine.

 

Morning: 14 points this week. Overslept one day

 

Gym: Two fairly good sessions.

 

Saturday night: Giving myself half credit for this one. I tried to put together something more ambitious, but it didn’t work out. Decided I had to do something, so I took myself out for sushi. Wasn’t out the official whole time, but made an effort.

 

Dream: Worked on travel planning. I have a ticket and will be spending a couple days in Iceland!

 

Challenge wrap-up coming next

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Challenge wrap-up

 

In some ways this challenge was a little boring, but I think it served its purpose. I got a little rest from running and have been slowly building back into it. The last 3 weeks, I’ve been really happy with my long-ish runs, so I think it has worked.

 

Highlights: I did a great session with a personal trainer and learned some new skills. My friends on the forum provided some great encouragement. I tried something new, venturing out with a social ski club. I think I’ve maintained fitness while dialing down the running. I’ve pretty substantially improved my diet. Overall 4 A’s and B.

 

  1. Maintain. Ok no mileage goal, but I don’t want to quit running, just to take a break. I want to scale back but keep some fitness. The rules…
  1. Run at least 3 times per week (at least 3 miles). At least 1 run should be 5 miles or longer.
  2. Do either a 1-hour yoga class (can be at home), another serious exercise session (e.g., rock climbing), or do a 4th run each week.
  3. Run over 10 miles at least twice during the challenge.

Full “credit†for 5 solid weeks and getting in the two long runs.

 

Did all of this. It was really nice to take a break, but I think I’m ready to go back to targeted mileage goals. Also 2013 and 2014 weren’t my best running years. I’ve decided I’m going to set some “master’s†(post 40th birthday) PRs in the coming year!

 

  1. Morning has broken…. I’m going to roll in a few things that have become habits. Each weekday morning I’ll aim for three things:

(1) Out of bed by 6:45.

(2) Complete my list of 5 simple house chores (“house elfâ€)

(3) Exercise a bit. My idea is to do 10-15 minutes of gentle stretching, and maybe some pushups or core work.

Scoring…3 possible points each morning, so 90 for the challenge. Full credit for 75.

 

Exactly made this goal 75/90. I like all these habits, and I think I may have to keep this as a specific goal next time. There are definitely days I wouldn’t have done these things if it weren’t for the challenge. I’m usually more of a morning person, but I’ve been having a hard time recently…think it might just be the time of year. I’m giving myself an A, but it was close!

 

  1. Gym rat. Lift at least twice a week (this is the part I’m scoring, the rest is just for fun).  Each week do a max set of knee pushups (to a total of 40) and (on all other days) 15 full pushups.  Try at least one new exercise each week (something I haven’t done since going back to the gym this year). Start working in assisted pullups again. Also thinking about scheduling a trainer session to get some advice, especially with deadlifts.

 

Did the sessions and really enjoyed it. Didn’t really do some of the suggested things, but that’s largely because my program shifted a bit after meeting with the trainer. Got a little sidetracked because of some tendonitis in my elbow, but I think I’ll be ready to start up again with the new challenge. Got an A on this one.

 

  1. Saturday night’s all right all right. Simple idea: I should be out of my house for at least 2 hours after 6 pm each Saturday night....Effort counts…if I ask three different people to do something with no luck, or if I have plans that fall through, I get a pass. Full credit for 5/6 weeks.

 

Saturdays are just hard for me! I put in some effort and managed 4.5/6, so I’m giving myself a B. I can say, that if I hadn’t put in the effort, It probably would have been 1 or 2 out of 6. Need to think about what to try in 2015…I’m still not all that satisfied with my social life…

  1. Dream.  At least one hour per week doing any of these things: researching possible big trip next year, working on getting rid of junk in the house (making the house I have into the house I want…posting stuff on Craig’s list, etc), creative writing (had a surprising amount of fun with that in the Nerdhammer PVP last time around). I know this is a random list. I’m just not sure which things will appeal most. Any of them will take some motivation on my part. Full credit for 5/6 weeks.  

I wasn’t sure how this goal/challenge would go, and it turned out kind of weird. I started out doing some creative writing. I found the actual writing enjoyable, but gave up because I didn’t feel like it was going anywhere. I think I’m not strongly motivated to write. If I wanted to try it again, I would have to find some guided writing exercises or something to help get me started. Once I got bored of that, I wasn’t sure how to move forward. I did a little drawing and some travel planning. These satisfied the official goals, but I didn’t particularly feel like I was improving my life. I’ll move on to something else next time. But an “A†for following the rules I set up.

 

And the unscored goal: I started the challenge at 148.6 lbs and 25% bodyfat. I arbitrarily set the goal of getting to 145.6 and 24%. I officially ended the challenge at 149.9 and 24.7%. I didn’t make the goal, but I’m encouraged. My official “rules†are for a three-day average (that ended yesterday). Today I weighed in at 145.2 and 23.9%, which is the lowest I’ve been the whole time. I think the “don’t each [much] crap diet†is slowly working. I’m going to try not to gain over Christmas and then set a similar goal for next challenge. I haven’t been perfect in what I’ve eaten, but it has been a noticeable change.

 

Overall-- I don't do stat points, but I'm going to add a level. Not quite sure what I'll do next challenge but here are some thoughts

- I'll have a mileage goal.

- I'll give myself a bonus for breaking any personal "over 40" record

- I'll probably have some kind of rep goal related to strength training

- I'll have some kind of goal to keep myself moving in the morning

- I'll have some kind of goal that forces me to put effort into my social life

- I might try to knock out some more "dreaded tasks"

- I'll incorporate something fun. I know it sounds weird, but I might combine the social goal, dreaded tasks and new fun thing into some kind of grab bag or "scavenger hunt" goal.

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Congrats on the challenge!!  It sounds like it was the break that you needed.  

 

I found that I could do my "put off" tasks when there was a random element to it.  I used little cards that I'd printed out - but you could have a list and use random.org to roll a number and set a goal to do it by the end of the day or the week.  

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Had a little panic yesterday because my heel became inflamed and painful. It is much better today. I don’t think it’s tendonitis. I think it was just bruised or something. I’m taking a couple days off, but I think it’s going to be fine.

 

I would panic too.  Take care of yourself, OK? 

 

Challenge wrap-up

 

Your challenge seemed extraordinarily successful to me.  You learned a lot, and re-energized your running.  You are going from strength to strength.  Very exciting to watch.

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I would panic too.  Take care of yourself, OK? 

 

 

Your challenge seemed extraordinarily successful to me.  You learned a lot, and re-energized your running.  You are going from strength to strength.  Very exciting to watch.

 

Thanks Erick! Will be heading out for a few days of Xmas with the family. Forced break from running, so I'll see what the heel does. Honestly no idea where that injury/tweak came from.

 

I really appreciate all your support. You've been a particularly good presence on the forum this time around.

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Great challenge! You made it through the challenge without a lag, unlike everyone else who I follow on the forums. I look forward to seeing what you will tackle next.

 

Happy New Year!

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Thanks Mistr! I did meet my goals pretty well...it was helped by the fact that the running was scaled back from what I normally do. It was still a good chance to push myself in some other areas.

 

Update on the past several days...took a few days off over Christmas to visit family. Would have been a pretty big deal to fit in exercise, so I just took the time off. Got in a decent trail run Sunday...was conservative on the distance because I'm being careful of my heel, but I think it's fine. Yesterday some yoga and good gym session*. Today morning core workout and 5.5 mile run at lunch.

 

* I'm still feeling tendonitis in my elbow despite almost no lifting with upper body. If it's not better by late next week (I'll be traveling in the interim) I'll think more seriously about seeing a doctor or PT (think I have to go to the doctor to get a referral...not sure).

 

Just signed up for a "Winter Warrior" challenge. You try to run or walk outside every day in January (5, 3, or 1 mile, depending on the level). Will be an interesting thing to try, and I guess I'll make it one of my goals...

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Hey I hope you had an awesome Christmas

 

I'm really looking forwards to seeing what you have planned for your next challenge, although I think it's time to go see the quack about the old elbow

 

Also loving the winter warrior thing, I am going to join you from across the pond

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Finally getting around to the last challenge wrapups...

You had a great challenge! It as fun to see you shift gears, get some rest from running, and bump up your social life. It sounds like you are refreshed and rarin' to go for the next one!

Brrr. The Winter Warrior challenge sounds like a great way to kick of the new year for an Amazon warrior princess!

Looking forward to working with you again as a Ranger ambassador, too!

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