Week 40: workouts

This week the stresses of life took control during the first part of the week and caused me to back down a bit to take a mental rest.  I also went heavy on the lifting and had to re-evaluate my running schedule.  With the addition of swimming to my morning workouts, my twice weekly short runs have taken a back seat and I’ve lost some of the running fitness I once had.

Monday morning I woke at 5am to lift weights at the Meadowbrook gym.  I did an 8 minute warm up on the treadmill before embarking on the usual heavy weight circuit.  I don’t mind repeating a workout many times, but I could probably benefit from mixing it up a bit.  I did 5x pull-ups and dips with 50 lbs removed, 10x inclined push-ups, 6x 10lb dumbbell curls, and 8x 10lb shoulder presses.  I did three sets, then abs, then another two sets.  Something I did during the ab routine, though, tweaked my right knee and I found myself limping afterwards.  It felt like an IT band issue (which I’ve dealt with before).

Monday night and Tuesday morning were awful for reasons that I won’t go into, so I skipped my swim workout that morning.  That night and the night before I also didn’t eat dinner because I was so stressed and I just wasn’t hungry.  I definitely wasn’t my best self.  Life happens and working out isn’t always the best way to deal with stress.

I continued my workouts on Wednesday morning with another lifting routine.  I began the workout with 8 minutes on the stationary bike, then focused on back, chest, and abs by doing two types of exercise for each.  My recent lifting workouts hadn’t left me as sore as I’d like to be so I decided to really push it this time.  When I got home from the gym I went for a 2 mile run around a nearby park.  I could tell I hadn’t been running much recently, and I was dizzy when I finished.  Overall, though, I was happy to have finished the run in 19:33.

Thursday morning I woke at 5am to swim even though I was sleepy.  During the warm up, everything felt natural and I had the best swim thus far.  I focused on keeping my arms out to the side more to utilize more of my back.  I felt ready to swim longer than I had previously.  Luckily Adam had the same idea (and he’s the one who plans these workouts for me).  I did 200m warm up, 100m kick, 50m one-arm, 50m catch-up, 300m, 200m, 100m, 100m kick, and 100m backstroke.  I took my time and enjoyed the longer distances rather than sprinting.  I felt much more comfortable in the water than I was just a few weeks ago.

Friday was another 5am lifting routine at Meadowbrook with Adam.  I could tell I was still tired from Wednesday’s workout, but I managed to finish the same routine I did on Monday.  Instead of doing push-ups, though, I used the bench press bar with Adam as my spotter.  At the end of all five sets we did the ab routine together and this time I didn’t have any trouble with me knee.

On Saturday I spent the entire day working on a paper for work, so I didn’t get to exercise or do my usual chores.

For my long run on Sunday, Adam and I stayed around home rather than wake up early to drive to the trails.  I planned to do six miles, but that was overly ambitious.  I hadn’t been running lately and it showed.  Luckily Adam was there to help me rethink my approach.  We decided to keep that long run to just four miles and increase the distance over the course of many weeks.  I would start with biweekly two mile runs and a four mile run on the weekend, then add a half mile for the shorter runs every couple of weeks while keeping the long run at double the length of the shorter ones.  This seemed like a much more manageable approach.  I struggled through my 4 mile long run in 40:52.  I had heartburn the whole time and my quads felt super weak.  I’ve plenty of room to grow and it’ll take work to get my running back to where it was in May.  Hopefully I’ll be able to regain that running strength without giving up my new-found interest in swimming.

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