Sunday, July 25, 2010

Rest, Renew & Recharge!

Is is Sunday! Love my weekends. Saturday mornings I get up early for a run. This Saturday was a 6 mile long run. I had irritated my patella tendon last Wednesday in Zumba class. So, I had been icing my knee and skipped Zumba on Friday night to be sure that I could run on Saturday morning. I still wanted to be cautious during my six mile run. I selected a route that would allow me to get off the road and do some running in grassy areas and did two one mile loops of the soccer and practice fields on campus. Wow! What a workout!!! Running on soft surfaces is easier on your knees, but quite the workout for the hips! Oh, momma! After my run I eat the second half of my breakfast and get to work on my upper body workout. I decided to skip the gym and did push up, pull ups, lat pulls, seated row, bicep curls and tricep pull backs using my Total Gym for most of the workout. I like the assisted pull up on the Total Gym more than any other thing I do on it. I guess I just love the heavy weights, bars and plates at the gym.

Sunday is my time to sit and review the previous week and schedule my coming week. No workout planned for Sundays. I attend church in the morning. Then I wash any laundry that didn't get washed on Saturday. I dirty up a lot of gym clothes, running gear and sports bras in the week, so I need to make sure they are all clean and ready to go for the coming week. Sunday afternoon we usually cook up about 10 chicken breast on the grill. I boil a dozen eggs. Make some quinoa or brown rice in the rice cooker. Check over my menus for the week to make sure I have everything I need to pack my lunches. Then, I slip on my bikini and head to my lawn chair for an afternoon nap! mmmmmmm! Love my sunshine nap! I really don't sleep long, but it is a great down time for my body and it recharges me. I consider the weekend my spa time. I eat the freshest cleanest foods I can. I exercise, I rest, I read, I walk, I review and plan.

So, here is what my upcoming week looks like:

Food: Low Carb Day
Run: 3 miles
Exercise: Zumba afterwork
Crossfit Challenge: 10 Rounds of 6 Burpees & 6 Turkish Get Ups

Food: High Carb Day
Exercise: Lower Body Strength Training and weight circuit with Trainer. Heavy/Tough workout
Crossfit Challenge: 3 Bars of Death!!! Doesn't that sound fun! I will be modifying the weights for my current fitness and strength level. But as it is written: Deadlist 1 1/2 BW, Bench BW, Clean 3/4 BW !!!! WHAT! emoticon There are 10 rounds of this for time! First set is 10 reps and each round declines in reps. 10/9/8/7/6/5/4/3/2/1 reps. I am predicting that I will be pretty trashed after this workout.

Food: Low Carb Day
Run: 4 miles
Exercise: Zumba
Crossfit: 5 rounds for time: Run 400 meters/30box jumps/30 wall ball shots w/20lb ball

Food: Medium Carb Day
Run: 3 miles
Exercise: Upper Body Circuit with Trainer
No Crossfit

Food: Medium Carb Day
No Run
No Exercise (unless I just cannot resist Zumba)
Crossfit: For time: 1000 meter row, thruster 45lbs (50 reps), pull ups (30 reps)

Food: Low Carb Day
Run: 7 miles
Crossfit: 3 rotations for time:
1. 60 jumping jacks
2. 15-20 Spiderman pushups
3. 20 Walding Lunges
4. 20 (10 per side) Spiderman Climb
5. 60 second Wall Squat
6. 60 second Pland
7. 20 Burpees
8. 50 High Knees

Every other week I really crank it up. This is my crank week! It does make me tired. It is a workout!!! It is very important that I pay attention to how my body is feeling each day and make sure that I am getting the sleep I need and the nutrition my body requires to perform. Usually about Wednesday evening I will start feeling some soreness in my throat and fatigue around my eyes and I know I need to back off just a little to let my body recover and repair.

Following my crank week, I'll take a little longer nap in my lawn chair on Saturday and Sunday afternoon. Then the following week I drop the Crossfit challenges for a week which feels like vacation to my body! Gotta work for what I want and what I want is to be stronger and more fit. This is how I do it! Play hard, lift heavy, eat clean and rest to recharge!

That's how I do it!  How about you? 

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Learning to Fly

Yesterday was a gorgeous day. Clear blue sky, low humidity with a gentle breeze. The kind of morning that just beckoned me to come run. However, my right knee had been bothering me a little on Friday evening and by Saturday morning I could barely put weight on it without feeling discomfort. Since my 'official' marathon training season starts this week, I decided not to push it. So, I iced my knee, took some ibuprofen and applied a topical ibuprofen cream. I then set out on my bike for the gym. This was supposed to be a lower body workout, but with the knee I wasn't so sure that was going to happen. I took the long way to the gym so I could get warmed up and get some circulation moving through that knee. By the time I got to the gym, the pain was gone and the joint was moving more freely.

So, time to hit those large muscle groups!
Deadlifts - 2 sets of 12 w/50# barbell
Hamstring Curl - 2 sets of 12 @ 40#
Cable Adduction - 2 sets of 12 @ 40#
Cable Abduction - 2 sets of 12 @ 40#
Plie Squats - 2 sets of 12 w/25# weight plate
Squat Press - 2 sets of 12 @ 75#
Hip Bridge - 2 sets of 12 w/25# weight plate on hip
Single leg bridge - 2 sets of 12 w/25# weight plate

Skipped walking lunges and full sumo squats during this session. I wanted to strengthen all the attachments around my knee without taxing the joint itself too much.

When I left the gym I was feeling so energetic and wanted to enjoy the beauty of the day. I slipped by my house to pick up a fresh bottle of water and headed out on my bike for an eight mile ride in the rolling hills heading out of town. Simply gorgeous ride. It was a joy ride. I wasn't out to break a speed record and wasn't aggressive in my attack of the hills. I just enjoyed it. I will say that the increased strength and endurance of my leg muscles made the ride much easier than it was a year ago or even three months ago. It felt easy and I felt free, like a bird.

While I'm feeling this peaceful easy feeling, I reflect on how truly awesome it feels to be healthy, strong, happy and confident. I think back to a year ago and how hard this was. I can see myself at 267 lbs when everything was hard and walking was impossible. The sadness and depression were overwhelming at that point in my life and I had come to an end of myself. Just then, the song that was my 'anthem' last year comes on my playlist! The playlists I make are very intentional in their order. One song will ask a question, the next will be the answer. Or one song will be a 'she said' and the next will be a 'he said' kinda thing. The song is "Her Diamonds" by Rob Thomas.

Even though I am smiling in this picture (kinda) believe me, that is a sad girl who is crying out for help.

Reflecting back does not make me sad anymore. I don't dwell there. But I know there is hope, I know there is an answer and I am not saddened. The very next song on my playlist is the current anthem of my life. As the song hits the chorus I'm at the crest of the hill and I put one arm up in the air and just enjoy the sensation of feeling like I am flying as the momentum carries me down the hill. It is one of those glorious freeing moments. The song is "Learning to Fly" by Kate Earl.

This girl is happy, strong, confident and learning to fly!

I've added the lyrics for the Kate Earl song because it soooooo applies to this journey.

I've made mistakes
But I won't be ashaimed
It feels like fate has lifted me
I can't seem to keep my feet on the ground
I no longer hide, so I let the sun wash over me
Cause theres no darkness left to hold me down
And I feel its light now I've found the SPARK
That was missing in my life And I earned these wings
I was not born with them and it's not accident
How I walked through the rain and the fire
Cause it taught me how to love it taught me how to play and finally I'm learning to fly

when you lose your way
when you cant escape
when you feel just like a prisoner of all the world says you will never be
thats when you cant give up gotta hold on tighter now then ever
answers will find you when you believe
and I feel this light now ive found the spark that was missing in my life and i earned these wings i was not born with them and its no accident how i walked through the rain and the fire cause it taught me how to love it taught me how to play and finally i'm learning to fly and i try yeah i tried to get somewhere that id rather be but sometimes the fastest way is not so easy and i earned these wings i was not born with them and its no accident how i walked through the rain and the fire cause it taught me how to love it taught me how to play and finally i'm learning to flyx7

I would be remiss if I didn't add that I have had the awesome privilege of having friends that love me unconditionally and supported me endlessly and pushed me to my highest potential. Thank you, my friends for teaching me to fly