Monday, October 26, 2015

Workout Plan

First, I want to thank you for the outpouring of support (via the blog, Facebook, text messages, phone calls, etc.) upon my last blog post. It's hard coping with a major lifestyle change when you're away from everything you know, but I am extremely lucky and incredibly thankful for the amazingly supportive friends and family I have from afar as well as the absolutely wonderful girlfriends I have made in Minnesota. A transition like this is never easy, but you all have helped me tremendously, and I am so grateful.

Now, let's get down to business: the business of the working-out variety.

When I left you last year, I had just finished the Summer of Running: I ran the Lincoln Half Marathon in May, eleven miles of the Market to Market Relay six days later, the Dam to Dam Half Marathon a couple of weeks after, and the Chicago Rock 'n Roll Half Marathon in July. In the midst of all of that, I had a cortisone shot in my knee and cycled approximately 20 bazillion miles.

Cardio was my middle name.

Amber and I prior to Dam to Dam 2014

Me after Dam to Dam

Aly, me, Stacey, and Leslie after the Rock n/ Roll Chicago Half Marathon

After the Rock n' Roll Chicago Half Marathon (aka the hottest, most miserable race I have ever completed -- note to self to never sign up for a race at the end of July)

In September, I thought I'd give the knees a little break and focus more on strength-training than cardio. I used a Groupon to join MaxT3, a killer bootcamp at a downtown CrossFit box. These workouts were phenomenal: lots of pull-ups, kettle bells, ball slams, squats, etc. I was certainly wiped at the end of each workout, and I both felt and looked stronger. However, these workouts are just not for me: I get too focused on the goal (going fast to beat everyone else) and end up disregarding form, not upping weights, etc. Also, the gym was super unorganized (and is now something else entirely), so I did not have a hard time letting go of that membership.

When I started coming up to Minnesota in December, I began working out with S. He is a powerlifter and in crazy-good shape. He put together a training program for me, and we started working out together at a lifting gym up here. I absolutely loved spending time together at the gym; S. was basically my personal trainer and gave me such great feedback, helped me with my form, spotted my heavier lifts, and praised my growth. I continued this powerlifting routine in Des Moines and felt amazing. I lost weight, I gained muscle, and not only was I noticing visible change in my body, but I was also feeling so much better, so much stronger.

Unfortunately, the workouts fell by the wayside when I got crazy-busy this summer. I couldn't work out as much as I wanted during tennis season due to late nights and lack of a gym (since I was using the school's weight room in Des Moines). In addition, my nutrition was less-than-stellar as I did not plan enough in advance, was out late for meets, etc. Then I was out of town and/or packing much of the summer, which in turn cut into my routine. When I moved up here, I worked out a few times (enough to get a membership at the lifting gym), but shortly thereafter, things took a turn for the worse relationship-wise, and again, exercise was the first thing to go.

About six weeks ago, I started doing yoga, however. A friend convinced me to go to CorePower Yoga with her, and I ended up getting a free two-week pass. I think I went at least six times in that two-week period. I loved it -- and it was just what I needed, especially because I was an emotional disaster. Yes, there were definite physical benefits to my practice (even in that short amount of time), but there were far more spiritual benefits: yoga grounded me -- centered me -- during this time of absolute turmoil. I felt tremendously better during the classes, but that feeling of tranquility (and those ujjayi breaths) really, really helped me in the many periods of distress that followed.

I moved out of my home nearly three weeks ago. Unfortunately, most exercise has ceased in that time period. My free-trial ran out at the yoga studio, and while I bought a Groupon for another studio, I want to wait until I'm settled in my new place to start that. (As you can imagine, trying to start a new routine while living out of a suitcase is not an easy feat.) I have done a few things, though:

First, I went on a few walks. My mom and I walked three miles around Lake Zorinsky when I was hOmaha, one of my new best friends and I walked around Lake Harriet in Minneapolis, and that same friend and I wandered around the Galleria and another cute shopping area in Edina this weekend (and yes, that does count as walking).

I call this one Lake Harriet in Autumn.

Second, I had a night of dancing with three great girlfriends -- who just so happen to also be my colleagues. I am totally counting this as a workout, as I wandered around downtown Minneapolis and danced my booty off in three-inch heels. Two days later, my quads are still burning.

Seriously, how gorgeous are they?!

While the walking and dancing count for something, I am in dire need of a legit routine. So, here's the plan:

  • I want to continue powerlifting (squats, deadlifts, bench, overhead press, and accessory work). I have never felt better in my life. Seriously. First, lifting heavy weights makes me feel like an absolute badass. Second, it makes me feel grounded (check out this article by Henry Rollins). And third, it makes me feel (and look) soooooo good.  My plan is to lift three times per week.
  • I want to continue yoga. I bought a Groupon for ten sessions at Heat Yoga Studio, and while it's not CorePower Yoga, I am nevertheless excited to continue my practice. Like with lifting, I feel so grounded (and spiritually connected), and I also know that it does wonders for my physique. My plan is to practice yoga at least one or two times per week.
  • I want to start training for another half marathon. Thirteen point one miles is my absolute favorite distance, and my goal for next year is to PR. I would love to hit 2:30, and I strongly believe that I can do this, especially with continued lifting and yoga. Running during the winter in Minnesota sounds a bit problematic, but I will have treadmills (ughhhhhh) at my new place, so there are no excuses. I will run outside until it gets unbearable (either in regard to temperature or precipitation), and then I'll resort to the treadmill. I want to start off with low mileage -- like, a mile at a time -- and build up speed and endurance. I also need to select a race to schedule. (Any ideas?) That will help me set up an actual training schedule for when the weather gets a bit nicer. My plan is to run at least three miles per week.

While that's a lot more exercise than I am doing currently, I am really, really looking forward to getting back into the groove. I'm going to start this plan next week but also give myself a little leeway since I'll be getting settled; I will legit start the week of November 8th -- no excuses.

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1 comment:

  1. So glad you're back and glad to hear that things are moving along in a good direction!