weight lifting

Dropped off the Face of the Earth?

“You win some, you lose some, and some get rained out, but you gotta suit up for them all. “
– J. Askenberg

Just in case any one has been wondering (or worried), no I have not dropped off the face of the earth… or stopped training.  Life has simply gotten chaotic, and given the choice between getting in a blog post and getting in a workout- I’m going to pick the workout every time.  Don’t be offended! I still love you all. 🙂

SOOOO here’s a quick summary of life post Tough Mudder:

  • Went to the chiropractor who, instead of scolding me for running, asked how it was and told me how he’s always wanted to do one.  Unlike me, he hasn’t because he’s afraid of getting injured and missing work.  I think he should stick with that plan until my shoulder is all healed.
  • Did some light training so as not to further aggravate my shoulder in the week after the Tough Mudder.  This included some running and [stationary] biking (love pedaling around in circles!!!! not really… but at least it gives me time to read) because that’s pretty much all that I’m allowed to do.
  • Celebrated Mother’s Day, and found out my sister was pregnant- SUPER EXCITING
  • Got a message from my sister the following day after her doctor’s appointment that it was twins and they were expecting a miscarriage.
  • Spent time off from work with my sister who was understandably devastated. I brought her important grieving tools- Ben & Jerry’s, chocolate candy and cookies, and tissues with aloe.  She told me thanks for making sure she would still look pregnant even if she wasn’t any longer.
  • Found out my Ultra Beast training/lifting buddy had ditched me for my cooler boot camp friends (who he met after I invited him to do the Tough Mudder with us).  This is likely partly do to him feeling responsible for injuring my shoulder and partly because they are shiny and new (plus I can’t compete with single women).  After initially being hurt about the fact our friendship has pretty much fallen to the wayside now that he is over his break up and in better shape- I’ve decided that I will just use this as further motivation to train harder and kick his ass in September…. jk…maybe
  • Worked some crazy off shifts at work
  • Attended my brother’s graduation for his master’s degree- SUPER PROUD OF HIM!!!
  • Started some light weight lifting because my shoulder felt “normal” for several days, and I can’t help but push it… I used really light weight to be on the safe side.
  • Spent several days putting together a graduation party for my brother
  • Did a little more light lifting and some trail running (where my legs felt like lead… maybe from the 20 miles on the bike and lifting the day before…)
  • Felt elated that my shoulder is still behaving despite the fact that I haven’t exactly been 😉
  • Spent an afternoon on the boat with Adam and some friends- including my girl Kelly.  I was a very good girl and didn’t attempt any skiing or knee boarding… even though it was killing me not to!  Still managed to have a good time anyway. 🙂
  • Finally had my family over to celebrate my brother’s graduation yesterday and ate WAY too much.

That pretty much brings us up to the present.

I also went to Home Depot this past week and picked up some sand bags for a very exciting home craft project.  All I need to do now is pick up some colorful duct tape…. more on that to come.

Today my plan is to maybe get a run in and hit the gym later depending on how my shoulder is feeling.  I am REALLY trying not to over due it.  I don’t want any further setbacks!  However, now that it is feeling better it’s really hard not to want to push it- especially with the Spartan Ultra Beast coming up!  For now I am trying to sit tight as best as possible and remind myself that I still have plenty of time to train (even if I don’t completely believe it).

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Easter Update

“Dedication and commitment are what transfer dreams into realities.”

First off, Happy Easter everyone!!!! I hope you all are having a fabulous weekend!  

I started my Easter Morning right- by getting back on track with Insanity!  It was bugging my knee and shoulder a little bit, but didn’t cause any pain.  In fact, I was able to stay pretty comfortable (at least from an injury standpoint) by taking it a little easy and resting when I needed it.  Plus, all the stretching felt GREAT!  I used the foam roller for some added insurance, and it hurt like hell just as I expected.  Almost 12 hrs later, I’m feeling pretty darn good.  Score 1 for me- Nagging injuries 0 (fingers crossed this trend continues…).

I am SO HAPPY to be “easing” back into my typical (rigorous) exercise. 😉  I am EVEN MORE HAPPY to get started on training for the Ultra Beast, which will be my biggest physical challenge to date!  I am incredibly grateful to have so much training support going into this race.  In addition to boot camp, I now have the added benefit of  a training buddy, and have already felt a huge boost from having that relationship of pushing and supporting each other.

So far I have been limiting myself to only one workout a day, and I’ve been trying to go light on any lifting involving my shoulder.  Friday I did some weight training with the boys and was able to get a new PR on dead lift of 155 lbs and seated row of 90 lbs.  My shoulder didn’t act up much, which was a HUGE relief.  (Of course I still babied it the whole time!)   I even got in an easy 2 mile run around the parking lot.  IT FELT SO GOOD!!!!  For me, running is truly the ultimate expression of freedom.  I can’t think of anything that feels better than hitting the trails and leaving every care and worry behind!

Yesterday I pushed it a little and went to the climbing gym.  I was definitely favoring my shouldering, but managed some of my toughest climbs yet.  Normally I avoid the walls that lean enough that you need to clip in to rest, but I did a couple really challenging ones and made it WAY further up than I thought I would (and showed up the boys- bum shoulder and all…not that anyone is keeping track).  I think I was primarily motivated by the intense fear of swinging way out if I fell. lol

The funny thing about me and climbing is I am actually TERRIFIED of heights- as in if there was a way to just climb over the top and not have to look or come down I would totally find it.  I also hate swinging on the rope- so much so, I will choose a harder route straight up in line with the rope to avoid it at all costs. Case-in-point: I didn’t even use the anchors to rest on the first route because I was so afraid to stop or let go. I made it all the way to the top of the lean (only a few feet from the ceiling) with spasming forearms and failing muscles (I literally couldn’t reach for the next hold) before I was willing to let go- proving that fear is sometimes an excellent motivator. 🙂

That’s all for now! Looking forward to some climbing again tomorrow, and maybe some boot camp…

Have a great night!

On the Eighth Day She Rested…

For fast-acting relief, try slowing down. 

~Lily Tomlin

My computer is mocking me...

And she wasn’t happy about it!

I feel like I’ve been taking a lot of rest days recently, so with my most recent shoulder tweaking I asked myself “What would Adam do?”  Adam wouldn’t take a rest day; he would take off the whole week (if not longer).  Adam would give his body a chance to get back to 100% before attempting to punish it any further.  However, Adam is not neurotic, so we’ll see how long I can pull this off.

Every time I get the itch to exercise I just remind myself of how long I’ll be down if I keep pushing and really injure myself.  Hopefully my shoulder and knee will both be good as new soon.  In the meantime I am going to have to find another way to de-stress that doesn’t involve snacking or spending money (retail therapy!).

Wish me luck people!!!

From Bad Day to Bad Week

“Success is not the result of spontaneous combustion. You must set yourself on fire.” 
-Reggie Leach

Borrowed from Marathon Sweetheart. Love her blog! Also love this pic (because this is what I fantasize I look like when I'm lifting)

Not to indulge too much in the drama (it’s not my style… no pity parties here peeps), but I have pretty much had a week from hell (not that couldn’t have been worse, but it was pretty bad).  I got totally run into the ground all week at work so I was REALLY looking forward to a RELAXING four day weekend.  Well, it didn’t exactly work out that way- as they say “people make plans and God laughs).

If you have been reading my blog for a while, you may have caught on by now that my mom is one of (if not THE) most important people in my life.  She understands me better than anyone on the planet and is probably the most kind, caring, selfless, and compassionate person on this planet.  She spends her entire life taking care of everyone around her- which is no small task with my dad being 100% disabled and my grandmother completely needy (and mean and spiteful…you get the idea- just not a nice person).

Go ahead and try not to fall in love with that face!

A couple years ago my siblings and I got my mom a french bulldog for her birthday to help her cope with empty nest syndrome.  She had totally fallen in love with my bulldog Lucy (the skateboarding one who she used to kidnap on a regular basis while I was at work) and wanted one of her own, just smaller.  We new a frenchie would be perfect for her, and the puppy she got could not have been a better match.

In fact, my mother and her little Maggie bonded so closely that even the vet commented on how in tune Mags was to any change in my mom’s mood.  We even got my her a second frenchie the following year because my she was concerned that Maggie was too attached to her, but then only ended up completely spoiling both of them.  Those dogs are her life now that all of us kids have lives of our own, and they are with her almost 24/7.  She literally plans her life around them.

So when I talked to my mom Thursday night and she said something was wrong with Mag Pie, I went straight to her house after work.  Poor Maggie had lost use of her back legs and was clearly incredibly stressed and tense.  My mom had rushed her to the vet and they started her on steroids thinking Maggie had gotten stressed because my mother was at her wits end dealing with my grandmother (who just broke her wrist and demanded my mother shuttle her to every doctor appointment and do EVERYTHING for her).  She had a similar previous episode the last time my mom was stressed out of her mind that had resolved on its own, so they were hoping this would get better too.

It didn’t.  I called my mom the next morning and she was hysterical.  Initially I thought Maggie had died, but then she was able to blurt out that Mags still wasn’t walking.  I immediately rolled out of bed and dragged myself over to her house.  We brought Maggie to the vet and they sent us right the the emergency facility in a neighboring town to get an MRI.  Poor Mag Pie had an MRI showing two herniated discs in her back and was rushed to emergency surgery.  My mother was completely beside herself, and the staff practically had to wrestle little Maggie out of her arms.  Luckily my sister was able to front the money for the surgery (it took my mom and I three different credit cards just to cover the deposit).  The good news is that Maggie pulled through the surgery like a champ, is already taking some steps on her own, and should be coming home tomorrow.  My mom has already gone out and bought her an orthopedic bed and new food dishes so she doesn’t have to jump or bed.

With all that going on, I having been working out like a nut to try unwind.  Wednesday night we had 1000 reps of abs plus sprints outside- in the goose poop. It was definitely hardcore with lots of profanity circulating in the ranks, but also super fun.  Saturday and Sunday I did some lifting with Adam and his friend G-dawg (no that’s not really his name. 😉 ) The first day we did chest, biceps, and abs. It was the first time I had benched since high school, so even though I wasn’t going super heavy I still feel like I did a respectable job.  I will definitely push it harder next time though!  We also did dragon flags again- I’m still not there yet, but definitely getting closer!

After all that benching, the following morning my shoulders were FRIED.  This became even more apparent when I tried to do Insanity almost fell on my face throughout the SEVERAL HUNDRED pushups scattered throughout the workout.  I told G-dawg that if Shaun T asked for one more pushup I would have thrown something at the TV (or kicked something, since my arms weren’t working AT ALL).

Sunday we did back and triceps which was not as bad as I expected, especially considering how fried my upper body was.  I was excited to get a few new PRs on dead lift (135 lbs, previous 95 lbs), seated row (80, previous 60 lbs), and triceps pull downs (60, previous 45 lbs).  I am even more excited to see what I can do when I’m not already fried (and exhausted from stress and sleep deprivation). 😉 This morning I started week 8 of Insanity.  It was torture, but at least there weren’t hundreds of pushups.  Of course, I still have boot camp tonight so we’ll see!!!!

Boot Campers Gone Bad

“Hard work, given time, will defeat talent.”

Ever wonder what happens when a group of boot campers go rogue? Twelve scoops of ice cream topped over 2 chocolate lava cakes with m&m’s, gummy worms, and who-knows-what-else turns into a sad empty plate… THAT’S WHAT!

From this...

In our defense, it was a special occasion (Kelly’s Birthday/St. Patrick’s Day) AND it took 4 of us to eat it… Alright, one person may have carried the team a little, but she has a six pack and manly biceps so that makes it ok, right?

Despite any slight pings of guilt any of us may have felt, it was a great time! We even got to torture Adam’s best friend about the endless reasons why he needs to join boot camp.  Ultimately, he continues to refuse, so we just told him we would bring a boot camp flash mob to his house. 🙂  He’s so funny thinking won’t wouldn’t actually do it!

Aside from pigging out on St. Patrick’s Day weekend (including yummy S’mores Sunday night!) I have actually been eating very healthy recent (very healthy for me anyway).  The thing that sucks about eating food that is actually digestible- I feel like I have a tape worm again and need to eat every 2 hours or I get light headed.  This is especially fun when you work in a profession where you don’t even get a real lunch break.  The fact that I also have been working out like nobody’s business and getting my butt kicked by month 2 of Insanity probably isn’t helping.

To this...ok there was a banana left, but not much else

That extra 10-15 minutes of intervals has been killing me!- no lie.  (Of course that may be in part from me over-doing it on a regular basis.)  I know it may seem a bit intense to some people that I pull so many doubles and triples. However, the truth is on the days I work it is very difficult for me to get a good workout in; so although I may be getting in 2 or three workouts on my days off, it’s still only (haha “only” I know what you’re thinking!) 7 or 8 (alright, sometimes more) sessions for the week.  Plus, I don’t really count going for a casual run or afternoon at the climbing gym a “workout” – even if it actually is one. 😉 To me, it’s just fun.  Like going to a movie, but without all the junk food.

The highlight of my weekend was surprisingly not the junk food, but rather lifting with Adam and his best friend.  I really like hitting the weights with them, because 1) lifting heaving things makes me feel like a total badass, and 2) Adam’s friend makes it a point to push me really hard.  (Plus, he is like a super man with the weights!  I am always super impressed by the amount he is able to lift.)  I even made it a point to wear my bad ass boot camp gear so I could feel even more like a badass!  (and I thought Adam’s friend would appreciate the badass socks)

We ended up doing back, shoulders, and abs.  In true awesome form, Adam’s friend was doing rows with more than my body weight!!!! He was also trying to teach me how to do a dragon flag, but my back was shot after the rows and completely uncooperative.  Apparently, it is something near impossible to do on your first try, but I gave it my best effort! Something to add to the goal list for sure!  I did have one great accomplishment for the day, however. I completely SMOKED the boys at back extensions.  Initially, they told me to do them until I got tired, but when I was over 60 in, they decided it was too easy and gave me a weight.  When that still didn’t wear me out, they (picked their jaws off the floor, and then) handed me a 25 lb plate and I knocked out about 25 more.

Adam tried to say it was because I wasn’t bending far enough over, but his friend totally backed me up that I was doing them correctly (secretly, I think he was impressed but his manly pride wouldn’t let him admit it 😉 ).  I think it probably worked in my favor that I’m so short and compact, but I’m also totally sure it had to do with the fact THAT I WORK HARDER THAN BOTH OF THEM PUT TOGETHER- especially Adam who tends to rely on his natural athletic ability (who could fault him, really?).   I get that it probably sucks for him when his athletically challenged girlfriend kicks his butt at something physical, but the reality is HARD WORK BEATS TALENT WHEN TALENT DOESN’T WORK HARD!  I may be tiny, but I have a lot of heart and I’m willing to bust my ass– which is EXACTLY what I do.

In other news, I am STILL working on the pull ups (and chin ups).  I’ve made some progress at lifting with my back but still can’t get my arms to bend.  The important thing, though, is I am closer than I was yesterday!!! I have also been nominated for a few more blog awards- which I need to get on posting pronto!

I hope everyone is having an AWESOME day!!!