TWIR #97: Snow + Schnitzel + Stiffness, oh my!

In many ways, this week has felt all over the place. There was a long weekend, a road trip, a strange week at work, further attempts to run, and further SI stiffness as a result of said running attempt.  And on top of all that, I ate so, so many carbs throughout the week. In other words, I am a creature of habit and as soon as I deviate from my routines, I have no idea what’s happening in my life.  Enough rambling.  Let’s see what the week looked like.

Saturday
Activity: planned rest day
Relevant Stats: minimal walking, maxium carb-age
Observations:  Road triiiiiip!!! I spent most of the day on my ass, eating donuts (okay, that sounded like I ate multiple donuts, when I promise that I only ate one) and sausage and schnitzel. But we did walk for maybe, like, 2 km so that obviously balanced out the sitting and eating, right?  I know, I know. It doesn’t. The worst part is that our favourite schnitzel place was closed and the place I chose as a backup sucked, which means that I ingested thousands of schnitzel calories that weren’t even worth it. Schnitzel fail.

Sunday
Activity: mini hike
Relevant Stats: 9.2 km, elevation gain unknown (but very moderate)
Observations:  I cannot say this was my favourite hike. We definitely either ended up on the wrong trail or the trail descriptions were wrong about the distance (quite likely since three sources showed three vastly different distances). Either way, we never found the ridge and encountered a river of mud and melting snow for what felt like a solid kilometer, all of which made me grouchy. However, the day was redeemed with the following: outstanding Mexican dinner, mucho craft beer tastings + fudge from a roadside fudge shop.

Monday
Activity: semi planned rest day
Relevant Stats: so much car sitting + border waiting
Observations:  This felt like the world’s longest day thanks to some serious border lines. It shouldn’t have been a surprise as it was a long weekend. When we left the cabin, I was fine with not stopping to hike on Stevens Pass, but by the end of the day I wished we had because sitting for six hours straight is not good. Also, I ate way too many carbs, breaking the cardinal rule that just because you slip a little bit in one day, doesn’t mean you have to spiral into excessive carb consumption.  You win some, you lose some.

Tuesday
Activity: personal training session
Relevant Stats: 60 min.
Observations: OMG, 5:25 a.m. felt so very, very early. And then my trainer did so many activities that involved me holding a squat position, or that required coordination (of which I have none). It was the kind of training session that made me feel both weak and like a lumbering oaf.  On top of that, I felt a bit stiff from Sunday’s hike, not because it was strenous but because I was careless walking on crappy snow and mud and jolted my body a couple of times. That’s what I get for hiking grouchy.

Wednesday
Activity: running intervals + core work
Relevant Stats: 45 min (8 x 2-3 minute running intervals)
Observations: I cannot explain how excited I was to do running intervals, if for no other reason than to break up the monotony of strength training.  I was still a bit stiff so I took it slower than usual on the old treadmill, but pushed it a bit harder for at least one minute of each running interval. I found mixing running with core work meant my legs had more energy for the running intervals, so that was a win too.  Happy Valentine’s Day to me!

Thursday
Activity: strength training (core and glutes)
Relevant Stats: 45 min.
Observations: Alas, of course I was stiff from running intervals. I took it a bit easy and focused on very controlled core and glute work, and felt pretty good by the end of the workout. I celebrated with some fantastic aburi sushi at one of my favourite destinations, and tried not to think about the fact that it was probably the last time I’d eat there for a very, very long time…or the fact that I was ingesting more mid-week carbs…

Friday
Activity: strength training (legs and arms)
Relevant Stats: 43 min.
Observations: I know, what’s up with the 43 minute workout right? After a few sets of heavy prowler pushes, the first I’ve done on my own in a long time, I was just done. I no longer feel the need to ride out a workout just to a ensure it’s a certain length. When the old body says ‘that’s enough’,sometimes you just have to call it a day.

And just like that, the weekend is here. We have snow in the forecast (!!!!), which I wanted to be excited about, and yet I fear will never actually make it into the city. This is the one downfall of moving from the suburbs back into the city. We never get the snow. Alas, snow or no snow there shall be some golf watching, some wine drinking, and maybe even another attempted run. Happy weekend y’all.

I’d also appreciate all of you doing a snow dance for me.

 

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TWIR #96: ahhhh, life with a chronic injury

You go for one run and your body’s like “okay, I’ll teach you what you should already know: you have to ease into running, you dolt!!!!”  This perfectly sums up my week. After the joyous occasion of a legitimate (short) run, I spent the rest of the week cautiously working out in fear that my SI was not faring so well. Moral of the story: as ridiculous as it sounds to start with a 2 or 3 km run, it’s probably a wiser choice.

Still, the week wasn’t a total write off workout wise, so let’s see what I got up to.

Saturday
Activity: planned rest day
Relevant Stats: declined both a donut and Dairy Queen
Observations:  I sometimes wonder who I am becoming when I say no to both a donut and Dairy Queen in the same day, my only day of the week on which sugar consumption is a free for all.  Don’t get me wrong, I still ate sugar. I’m just shocked at turning down two of my faves.  In other news, we fit in some good walking, some beer flights, and a homemade pizza night. In other words, Saturday got a thumbs up in my books.

Sunday
Activity: run!!!!!!
Relevant Stats: 5.7 km run/40 min.
Observations: This run is a true testament to how much I loathe driving to the gym on weekends. When the alternative is a painful (not injury painful, but painful nonetheless) and painfully slow run, you know you really needed to spice up your workout routine. I was proud of this run. I felt accomplished. I was slow as molasses and, perhaps for the first time in my life, I avoided feeling utterly defeated despite being slow as molasses.  That’s growth.  But I gotta say, between the run and additional walking (another 4 or 5 km), my legs were done like dinner.

Monday
Activity: light strength training
Relevant Stats: 40 min.
Observations: Not wanting to push it too much after a running day, I kept things pretty light and pretty basic with Monday’s workout. I focused on controlled movements and reduced my weights.  My SI was feeling okay, so I was optimistic that all would be fine and perhaps running no longer had a vendetta against me.

Tuesday
Activity: personal training session
Relevant Stats: 60 min.
Observations:  Ugh. Just when you think your injury has maybe taken a back seat at long last,  you wake up stiff and tender. I suppose this is why they call them chronic injuries. As my trainer pointed out, it’s also ludicrous that I tried to go from running interval laps at the track to a 5+ km run in one fell swoop. Evidently, 5 km is not a small start.  I’d like to say lesson learned, but it’s probably not.  At any rate, she took it easy on me in some respects but not in others. For instance, she added weight to prowler chest presses  as if she knew I’d made comments on my blog about the fact that they were getting easy.  The worst moment, however, was when she subjected me to the horror of watching my form on film. There is nothing like seeing yourself in video to make you feel as though you are making no progress with how good your body looks.

Wednesday
Activity: strength training (focus on arms)
Relevant Stats: 35 min.
Observations: I tried, I really did, but I had nothing in the tank for this one. It could’ve been that it was my second early morning workout in a row, and that I’ve gotten too used to my cushy mid-morning workouts.  Who knows? All I know is that I tried to focus on my arms to give my stiff SI a break, and they had nothing to give me. Push ups were a disaster. Presses were wretched. It all just felt off.

Thursday
Activity: strength training (focus on controlled stability movements)
Relevant Stats: 40 min.
Observations:  Thursday’s workout could be summed up with the following words: still stiff, still no desire to work out. I cobbled together a decent workout, still being ultra cautious so as to protect my tender SI.  I have to tell you, though, that I was pretty frustrated by the fact that my SI wasn’t feeling 100% better even four days after a relatively short run. It’s one of the things that is most difficult to deal with chronic injuries. You just can’t count on your body to bounce back as quickly as you want it to, and you can’t always predict how it will respond to things.

Friday
Activity: strength + treadmill running intervals
Relevant Stats: 40 min.
Observations: See? You really can’t predict things. After four days of SI stiffness, today my SI felt 100% absolutely fine. To stave off boredom at the gym, I decided to go crazy and do some slower running intervals. I kept the pace way low for my sets, and stopped after 7 sets because I was starting to get some stiffness around my tailbone, but other than that it felt fine. However, I also know that tomorrow will be the true test.

Speaking of tomorrow, we are off to Leavenworth for an annual trip that involves giant pretzels, schnitzel, spaetzle, beer and Bavarian-themed village fun. Oh, and road donuts…which are nothing more than donuts eaten while on the road.  In other words, I’m outta here for a weekend of fun and indulgence, along with some snowy outdoor adventures for good measure. Happy weekend y’all.

 

Training Tuesdays: Look what I can do!

Does anyone out there actually remember that sketch from Mad TV?  Just me? Okay then, moving on…

I was thinking of doing a lovely little retrospective of my fitness journey in 2017 but as I was reading through all my old TWIRs all I could think was “Damn this is depressing.” I had forgotten the sheer number of times my injury reared its ugly head last year. So instead of being a total bummer only nine days into the new year, instead I decided to share with you the brief but important (to me at least) list of things I can do at the beginning of 2018 that I couldn’t do at the beginning of 2017:

1. Four sets of 8 tricep push ups without needing a break or losing form. At the beginning of last year it was a struggle to do sets of three. That’s almost triple the push ups, friends. (sidenote: I still loathe push-ups)

2. 110 lb dead lifts. Okay, at some point earlier in 2017 I may have been able to do this, but then I got injured (again and again) and it took me right up until the end of the year to get back to that weight.

3. Negative pull ups: At the beginning of 2017 I couldn’t even do a negative pull up. At all. But now I can do four sets of 3 negative pull ups. I mean, I can barely move my arms the next day, but I can do it!

4. 50 lb + prowler weight chest press pushes without feeling like my arms will fall off the next day. Seriously, this is a major win. The first few times I did these it hurt to do basic things like type and, you know, move my arms at all.  I still hate them, but I no longer fear the DOMS aftermath.

5.  I can feel when my body is moving out of correct form. That isn’t to say that I always stop myself from going ahead with a squat or deadlift even when I’ve moved out of form–if I had mastered that, I wouldn’t have reinjured myself so many times this year–but at least I can tell.  It’s a stark contrast to points during last year when my trainer would tell me she’d see my shoulder dip forward during moves that hurt and I’d just stare at her like she had two heads.  Understanding your body is a really big deal for the chronically injured.

6. Most, most, most importantly, I’m bouncing back from injuries faster than before. For at least half of last year, it would take weeks for me to get back to normal after a tweak or twinge to my injury. I credit not trying to push my running agenda for this one, but finally I am at a point where, for the most part, I can bounce back from a setback with my SI or sciatic in days not weeks. This makes a huge difference to my state of mind.

So here’s to 2018, the year of strength. My sole focus in the fitness realm is continuing to build up my base strength as a means of managing my injury and, for the first time ever, I’m excited to see how much I can move the needle on strength in the coming year. Trust me when I say that if you’d told me I’d be saying that last year, I would’ve told you that you were crazy.

TWIR #91: Kicking off the New Year

It’s 2018! It’s time to set some insane fitness resolutions, right? Wrong. I don’t do resolutions. I barely even set goals for myself…aside from that one time I decided I was going to try to run an ultra marathon…but let’s just not talk about that.  I don’t struggle with keeping regularly active after so many years of making it a priority so I’m not sure what a fitness-related goal would even look like at this point.  But I do have a strong intention for 2018. Aside from the fact that ‘intention’ seems like the new buzzword for goal, I prefer it because it’s a little more nebulous, and I like the subtle vagueness of such things. At any rate, my health intention for the year is to do better at keeping my injury in check. I made progress last year, particularly in the last few months, but I recognize that I still need to do a better job of listening to my body and responding appropriately to early warning signs.  That’s it, though. It’s simple and small, but very, very important to me. With that out of the way, let’s see what this week in workouts looked like:

Saturday
Activity: strength training
Relevant Stats: 40 min.
Observations: I went to my second-least-favourite gym location and am incredibly proud of myself for lasting 40 minutes there. Seriously, it is almost always next to impossible to get a bench let alone the weights I want, but somehow I managed to score everything I needed. It was a Steve Nash Fitness World miracle!

Sunday
Activity: track workout! (i.e. running intervals with plyometrics) + walking
Relevant Stats: 20 or 25 minutes at the track + 13 km walking
Observations: Normally, my track workouts are my favourite of the week. I love being outdoors and the illusion that I’m able to run again. This workout, however, was incredibly rough right from the get go. I blame the increased drinking and sugar consumption for the week prior. I had zero energy. I survived five laps with some lame intervals and called it a day. Thankfully we spent a ton of time walking afterwards, so it didn’t feel like a bad activity day to round out 2017.

Monday
Activity: planned rest day
Relevant Stats: major sitting. major.
Observations: New year’s day is always slightly melancholy for me. It signals the end of the holiday season, and was also my last day off work after nearly two weeks of blissful vacation. I was a sad panda for most of the day and, as a result, did little more than eat my feelings in sugar and carbs and lay around like a slug. By end of day, I was developing a seriously unpleasant headache and I was turning into a major crankypants.

Tuesday
Activity: strength training
Relevant Stats: 40 min.
Observations: I awoke with the best of intentions for a great day but, thanks to my holiday indulgences, by 10 a.m. I felt exhausted, lacking in energy, and generally like garbage. During my workout, I briefly felt like things might be on the upswing. I rocked some excellent step ups and lower body exercises, but then the moment I got back to the office my head began to pound and got progressively worse throughout the afternoon. Ugh. Damn you, sugar!

Wednesday
Activity: attempted strength training
Relevant Stats: 20 min.
Observations: I awoke feeling slightly better, but by 10 am my raging headache from hell was back. Every time I stood up, walked, or bent over it felt like my brain was just rattling around in my skull.  I was supposed to see my trainer at noon, and can honestly say I was thrilled when she didn’t show up (she’s super reliable, but this was a rescheduled session that just didn’t end up in her calendar). I thought a workout on my own might make me feel better, but 10 minutes into the workout, I knew that I was wrong. Everything made my head heart. Everything. I called it a day after a mere 20 minutes and shortly thereafter called it a day from work. When an extra afternoon nap and Advil failed to make my head feel better, I started doing some serious research on my headache…

Thursday
Activity: strength training
Relevant Stats: 40 min.
Observations: …after three days of unpleasant headaches, I was ready to get to the bottom of it. No longer was I convinced that it had anything to do with going off sugar. It felt nothing like my typical sugar withdrawal headaches, plus I knew I hadn’t eaten enough sugar over the last 10 days to warrant a  three-day withdrawal headache. My internet research slowly convinced me that perhaps I was having an adverse reaction to way too much vitamin B12. It’s not something that happens to everyone, but it can cause some to suffer bad headaches. As my best hypothesis to date, I decided to back off my supplements to see if it would help. While I still had a headache, I was able to survive a 40 minute workout, including some seriously tough prowler pushes, and I made it through the workday. Best of all, my headache did not get worse in the evening like it had been. Promising!

Friday
Activity: strength training
Relevant Stats: 40 min.
Observations: My headache continued to be a subtle companion, but not in any way that interfered with my exercise at least. I managed a solid strength workout that was extra enjoyable because I took a break from both push ups and the prowler. I know that means I’ll have double down on them next week, but right now next week seems blissfully far away.

For a short week at work, I can definitely say that this week felt long as hell. Show of hands, who’s with me on that one? At any rate, I’m super pumped that it’s the weekend. I’m tempted to dig deep into the wine, but also worried that it will cause my head to explode.  Time (i.e. the next two hours) will tell whether threat or reward wins out on that one. Happy weekend y’all.

TWIR #90: Ho-ho-holiday workouts

Can you believe it’s the last TWIR of 2017? I can’t. Before I get all sad about the holiday season rapidly coming to a close, I’m just going to move right along into this week’s workout summary. I wish I could say I busted my butt more, especially since my sugar intake drastically increased this week, but at least I was able to fit in a few ho-ho-holiday workouts. Let’s see what I got up to.

Saturday
Activity: park workout!!!!!
Relevant Stats: 4.3 km of running (!!!!) + some intervals
Observations: One thing I learned pre-Christmas was that my posture while wrapping gifts is NOT appreciated by my lower back. The running didn’t both it at all, but it wasn’t having any side lunges, single-legged squats or anything else where form was critical to avoiding pain. Still the sun was shining, it was cold (my favourite temperature for running) and I didn’t slip on any of the many ice patches, so this was a workout victory.

Sunday
Activity: planned rest day
Relevant Stats: home for the holidays!
Observations: We flew home to my parents’ place to celebrate Christmas. This meant a lot of sitting on our butts, followed by a lot of delicious BX Cider (that we had shipped to my parents for Christmas), followed by a lot of quality time on our asses basking in the glow of my parents’ epic Christmas decorations. Also, there may have been a few baked goods consumed.

Monday 
Activity: Christmas day strength training
Relevant Stats: 45 minutes
Observations: I cobbled together a pretty good at-home workout if I do say so myself. I found a wooden stool that my parents use to reach tall cupboards and turned it into a make-shift box for step ups. I unearthed my parents’ free weights from the storage room. I even had a festive Christmas tree for a backdrop. It was all coming together nicely…until I realized that working out barefoot on carpet totally messes with my alignment. Suddenly even the basics were causing me pain again. You can’t win ’em all.

Tuesday 
Activity: strength training + arctic walk
Relevant Stats: 40 min. workout + 1.6 km walk
Observations: In a word, it was bloody cold out. I believe it was something to the tune of -30 with the windchill. We put in a valiant effort but a walk of any significant distance just wasn’t happening.  We did, however, make it to the local Goodlife gym, for which we had bought 2 week memberships. The biggest shock: no kettle bells!!!!! Why even have a gym if you aren’t going to have kettle bells? It’s more common than you think, and it annoys the hell out of me every time.

Wednesday 
Activity: strength training
Relevant Stats: 35 min. strength training + holiday clearance shopping
Observations: We made it back to Goodlife for a short workout, which was fine, but the real highlight of the day was heavily discounted Christmas decorations. We scored some new decor for next year’s Christmas for 50% off. However, we were sad to discover that we were too late to score the epically discounted Lindt Candy Cane Lindors. Sadly, they had already been scooped up by more eager post-holiday shoppers.

Thursday 
Activity: semi-planned rest day
Relevant Stats: the longest trip from Calgary to Vancouver ever
Observations: I considered a basement workout at home, but ultimately the timing just didn’t work out. Instead, we spent a total of six hours travelling from Calgary to Vancouver, which seems insane given that the flight time is about an hour and twenty minutes.  First, our cab arrived early, which meant an early arrival to the airport. Then, our flight was delayed by a half hour which turned out to be an hour when we sat on the tarmac waiting to be de-iced. Somehow, despite an hour’s delay we ended up arriving in Vancouver an hour and a half late. I have no idea how that happened and I’m still scratching my head over it.

Friday 
Activity: strength training
Relevant Stats: 45 min.
Observations: It’s safe to say that five days of sugar and carb consumption had caught up with me by today. I woke feeling sluggish and, for lack of a better description, yuck. To absolve me of my sins I forced myself to do prowler chest presses AND prowler supermans, the combination of which will surely leave my upper body immobile tomorrow. Sigh.

Although the holidays are a great time for indulgence, this week has definitely left me feeling firmly committed to continuing with my low-sugar, low-carb lifestyle once New Years is over. Until then, I’ll continue to load my body with all sorts of awful things and deal with the sluggishness. On that positive note, wishing you all a happy weekend to round out 2017.

TWIR #89: am I becoming a morning person???

Something weird has been happening to me this week. I have been waking up, without an alarm, at what I consider to be an ungodly hour. Like clockwork, around 5:10am/5:15am, I am awake. And I mean awake, not the groggy “Oh-good-it’s-only-5:15-so-I-can-go-back-to-sleep-for-an-hour” kind of awake, but the “okay! it’s-time-to-get-up!” kind of awake. Is my carb and sugar reduction finally paying off in energy? Is it holiday enthusiasm? I do not know. All I know is that, even on my days off this week, I have made it to the gym by 6 am almost every day, and that is unprecedented in my life. Will it last? Only time will tell. Enough waxing philosophical, on to this week’s workouts!

Saturday
Activity: planned rest day
Relevant Stats:  carb consumption: high
Observations: Saturdays are my cheat day, and usually that means that I eat as many carbs and sugars as I want and then also don’t work out. It’s a delightful combination and I encourage you to try it out. There was a breakfast donut, advent calendar chocolates, ice cream and an indian buffet dinner. It was a winning food day.

Sunday
Activity: unplanned rest day
Relevant Stats: laziness level: high
Observations: Once again, I meant to work out, I really did. I just cannot seem to drag my ass to the gym on weekends. I crave my park workouts and then sometimes the weekend weather hands me non-stop torrential rain and ruins my attempts at getting outdoors. How dare the weekend weather gods do that to me?

Monday
Activity: strength training
Relevant Stats: 40 min.
Observations:  Monday was day one of ridiculously early mornings. I arrived at the gym oddly awake and ready to rock my workout, so much so that I voluntarily did negative pull ups. I do them so rarely now that they cause me immense pain after the fact, especially when combined with push ups. Why must my arms take so long to develop true strength?

Tuesday
Activity: personal training session
Relevant Stats: 60 min.
Observations: It’s safe to say that Monday killed my arms and shoulders. I couldn’t even do a set of 8 bench push ups without stopping. I told my trainer that I’d done negative pull ups on my own the day before, and I think it made her so proud she cut me some slack and let me work with measly 20lb weights for my table rows.  I was so shocked and appreciative but then she went and ruined it by making  me do superman prowler pushes at the end of the workout. As if those aren’t bad enough at the front end of my session, doing them at the end was pure torture. If that was her idea of a Christmas gift to me, she does not understand how the holidays work.

Wednesday
Activity: strength training (lower body)
Relevant Stats: 30 min.
Observations: Overnight freezing cut this workout short. The ice on my windshield was so solid even my best quality window scraper wasn’t putting a dent in it. I had to sit in my car for a full 15 minutes waiting for the defrost to warm the windows enough to clear everything. Unimpressed. In terms of the workout itself, I gave my poor arms a rest after Monday/Tuesday and decided to kill my legs instead. It is amazing how exhausted you can actually get in a half hour of hard-core leg work.

Thursday
Activity: strength training (upper body)
Relevant Stats: 45 min.
Observations:  Despite it being my first day of Christmas vacation, I still woke up at 5. Ugh. I fit in a solid workout, with lots of arm action, though, and then spent the rest of the day running around like a chicken with my head cut off buying the last of Christmas gifts, running other errands and visiting with friends. The holidays are exhausting, yo. But I still love them.

Friday
Activity: strength training
Relevant Stats: 45 min.
Observations: Another early morning, another early workout. I have to admit, my body was tired by the end of the week. I barely managed to get through my sets of 30lb weighted step ups and gave up completely after two sets of push ups. It was either a sign of laziness, or a sign that the rest of my week’s workouts were super solid.

Now it’s Friday and the weekend is here and we are within mere days of Christmas!!!! I can barely contain myself.  Wishing you a wonderful pre-Christmas weekend, y’all!

TWIR #87: getting back to it

Another week of nothing but strength training and my body is starting to bounce back from its latest and greatest SI issues. I also haven’t even thought about the torturous spin bike in so long that it seems like a distant memory. I do not miss it. I am, however, sort of starting to miss running. That’s not an entirely accurate statement. It’s that I miss the thought of running, the freedom of being able to throw on shoes and work out at a moment’s notice. Having to go to the gym, on weekends in particular, feels like such a burden and ten times more time consuming than a quick run.  I suppose this is why they say you can’t have your cake and eat it too.

Great, now I am thinking about cake…

Saturday
Activity: planned rest day
Relevant Stats: co-hosted brunch for 17 + ate more cake (with ice cream no less)
Observations: I believe my cumulative step count for the day was at an all time low. I know that I walked fewer than 2 km, which is just insane and trust me when I say my sciatic was not pleased with me. Even though I certainly wasn’t walking, I did stand around on hard, unforgiving floors for probably close to six hours straight. In other words, my body wasn’t happy with me by end of day, so I absolutely had to appease it with cake and ice cream and a very, very cheesy made-for-tv Christmas movie.

Sunday
Activity: unplanned rest day
Relevant Stats: golf!
Observations: I was going to go the gym, I really was, but the forecast had promised me sunshine which convinced that I had to spend as much of the day as possible outside. If you had lived through almost three straights weeks of rain, you’d feel the same. Well, the sun didn’t exactly show up but it didn’t rain either, so we hit the links for a 9-hole round. I did squeeze in some bench push ups and step ups while waiting to tee off, so it wasn’t a totally write off for activity. Plus, there was a lot of jumping up and down when I got my par. That’s gotta work the heart muscles out, doesn’t it?

Monday
Activity: strength training
Relevant Stats: 35 min.
Observations:  I honestly have little recognition of what I did in this workout. This seems to be a Monday-related thing. Perhaps the horror of returning to work after the weekend combines with the exhaustion of returning to early mornings to render my memory utterly useless.

Tuesday
Activity: personal training session
Relevant Stats: 60 min. (upper and lower body)
Observations:  My trainer never ceases to amaze me with her ability to repeatedly integrate activities that I absolutely despise into my workouts. This week’s torture: something she calls prowler supermans. Basically this involved getting into a low squat with the prowler in front of me and keeping my arms/shoulders anchored and straight as I pushed the prowler forward to a plank position, then walked my feet back towards the prowler while still keeping my arms/shoulders straight and anchored, which is then repeated over and over again. Across the whole damn length of the carpet. It’s hard to explain. What you really need to know is that it sucked. A lot.

Wednesday
Activity: strength training (mostly lower body)
Relevant Stats: 40 min.
Observations:  My goal for this workout was to get my back squats back into action with a reasonable amount of weight, and I succeeded. I’m still not back to pre-SI-reinjury weight, but I’m getting closer. Also, I forced myself to do negative pull ups after weeks of avoiding them. In the moment my arms felt fine, but I assure you they did not feel fine on Thursday.

Thursday
Activity: strength training
Relevant Stats: 40 min. (mostly upper body)
Observations: Even after the dreaded negative pulls ups from Wednesday, I wanted to do a bit more work with my upper body. By the end my triceps and shoulders were screaming, which I assume means I did a good job of testing my arm’s limits (which continue to be very, very low).

Friday
Activity: strength training
Relevant Stats: 30 min. (mostly lower body)
Observations: I added another ten pounds to the prowler! I can’t say I even noticed the difference so I’m going to add another ten pounds next time around. After the hellish exercises my trainer makes me do with the prowler, standard high and low prowler pushing feels like a vacation. Bring on the weight! I also forced myself to try dead lifts on my own, which I’ve been afraid to do since the evil kettle bell incident a couple weeks ago. I kept the weights on the light side and checked my form before each lift and I am pleased to announce I have emerged unscathed!

I feel pretty good about this week. I didn’t fit in a lot of long workouts, but I do believe the workouts I had were quality workouts.  I’ll have to keep that momentum going this weekend, though, since I’m travelling Monday and Tuesday and others have micromanaged my schedule to the point that there is no hope of a workout. Sigh.  I’m trying not to think of that for now. Instead, I’m thinking of wine and holiday treats and two blissful days of freedom.  Happy weekend!