I Did That Push Up For Nothing!

Yeah, I’m getting back on the ol’ workout wagon.

While I’ve been running quite a bit since we got the treadmill last fall, I haven’t been doing much else despite having equipped our home gym with the following:

  • Dumbbells: 3lb to 50lb
  • Rower (well, we’ve had this for years)
  • Weight bench
  • TRX trainer (also had this pre-pandemic)
  • Kettlebells (4kg + 8kg)

I had my good friend J (who is a personal trainer) set me up with a workout program so I can start working my weak, ineffective T-Rex arms into something not so weak and ineffective.

Now I have four different workouts – one is a warm up for days I run – and three others that give a more full body workout with weights/bodyweight stuff. Annnnd I’ve only done the warm up one in the month I’ve had them.

Hear me out!

Pre-pandemic I was going to Orangetheory Fitness where half of the one hour class is on the treadmill and the other half doing weights/etc. It was super effective for me and how I always did it was run first – weights second. Therefore in my monkey brain, I’d do the same thing here! Do a run, then go do the weights.

Except that didn’t happen.

I’d run and wear myself out then not go do the weights. Oops.

J told me “do the weights first, then go run so you stop putting it off”. OMG FINE J.

I did that and instead of the 38 minute class I was going to take (shout out to iFit!), I just ended up doing a manual run and ran a mile and walked a quarter mile to cool down because I was wiped out.

I guess if I want to do longer runs I’ll need to skip the weights on those days. I have two separate but related goals to my running: get my mile per minute pace below 11 minutes per mile and to run a 10k again.

My last 5k (a virtual Easter race through iFit) I had a 12:30 min/mi pace with no walk breaks. I can do a mile faster than that, but my goal is endurance and not walking, so baby steps I suppose. Blows my mind that I used to run 10ks at 10 min/mi pace, but then I was almost ten years younger and forty pounds lighter.

Can’t get any younger, but the weight can creep its way off. Well, once I stop eating like an asshole.

Why can’t salads be as tasty as pizza? Come on people.

Time, Time, Time…and Fitness

I started this post a week ago.

I also started another post nearly three weeks ago.

Did I finish either one of them? Nope.

Why not? Time. You know, like the song…

Time, time, time, see what’s become of me
While I looked around for my possibilities.

Yes, I know Paul Simon wrote the song, but my first experience with it was with The Bangles cover of the song….

the_bangles

Oh my gawd, I so wanted Michael Steele’s hair back then. Curse you for being too chicken to dye your hair red and for being too afraid to ask your parents for a crimping iron!!

Oops, I got a bit off track. Sorry. 😛

What happened to make me feel like I didn’t have enough time? Life. Stress. Feeling like there’s not enough time leftover every day to indulge myself in writing. Feeling like all you can do is put one foot in front of the other just to make it through another day.

It’s exhausting. It sucks.

However, there are things you can do to help mitigate those feelings of worthlessness and anxiety. For some, it’s meditation. Others, doing something with their hands like gardening or knitting makes them feel better and helps them relax.

For me, and I’m sure a lot of you (all three of you that read my nonsense), it’s exercise.

And the past month, it’s been a bit up and down on the fitness front. I’ll just recap with a bulleted list (and in no particular order):

  • Life stress.
  • Eating and drinking my feelings.
  • My mind not being focused resulted in me aggravating my problem shoulder at CrossFit.
  • The scale not going down and my clothes not fitting again (more on that below).

Regarding my “problem shoulder” – I played as an outfielder in softball from the third grade up through my late 20s and a lot of those years competitively. Throwing my shoulder out wasn’t uncommon, but as a 17 year old, I didn’t have lasting problems with it. Well, not until my 40s, it seems. But if I look back on things, my right shoulder has been weaker than the left for a while and was more prone to soreness/muscle knots when I would start weight training. Since I work exclusively at a computer for my daily job, it was really only a matter of time before I had issues. Now I’m seeing a massage therapist every two weeks and have invested in some lacrosse balls for at-home massage therapy for those times in between. I’ve also slowed down on what I do with my training at CrossFit with regards to any overhead presses/pulls.

Speaking of CrossFit, my box had been ramping up for the two coaches to compete at an invitational somewhere up in Washington and it had felt like (right around the time I aggravated my shoulder) everything was all “push it! do or die!” etc. Very much not the environment that I loved when I first started – not the place where they were all about modifying movements to fit your ability.

My husband had come home from CF one night (I tend to go to an earlier class so I can make dinner) and he was really frustrated because he wasn’t getting them to understand he needed some modifications. He has some major limitations on the mobility of his hand due to some extensive tendon reconstruction surgery over 20 years ago. Certain core CF moves he can’t do because of it. After being told there wasn’t a mod for the move they were doing, he just gave up and came home. He didn’t go back for a while either, which was disconcerting.

I think after the competition was over, after hearing grumblings from others that things were getting too intense, and after a number of people were getting injuries there was an 180 on the attitude of the coaches – which I was so happy to see. Now that my coaches have been more accommodating with our limitations, it’s been slow going getting my shoulder rehabilitated, but it’s getting there.

To the issue of the number on the scale not moving; I know. I shouldn’t take that into account. But it’s frustrating working my ass off and not seeing any results. Yes, I can still put those jeans on that was my first real indication that CrossFit was a good thing for me health and fitness wise, but that goddamn number on the scale is still 10 lbs heavier than when I started and the jeans are starting to get a little snug.

But!

Last week I went to the Saturday class and got to see one of the primary coaches I don’t normally get to see (she works the early mornings and I go after work) and she said to me “you have really have slimmed down since you started – you’re more straight up and down now!”

I was taken aback. I’m 10 lbs heavier! My pants are starting to fit tighter again! She said “well yeah, you’re getting a booty now!”

A booty? Me?

Well, that would explain why my pants are starting to fit differently again. I can do a 200# deadlift now and squats are no big thing. Do you know what that means?

Now kick dem nasty thoughts!

Now kick dem nasty thoughts!

In addition to getting a booty, I noticed when I was getting ready for CF yesterday that my armpit fat is starting to disappear! For those of you who are 1) not women and 2) deal with sports bras, armpit fat is the fat near your armpit that gets squished out when you wear a tight sports bra. Just search Google images for “sports bra armpit fat” and you’ll see what I mean. You might ask “why don’t you get a looser sports bra?” Gurl, if you try to run and not wear a compression sports bra, you’re in for a lot of pain.

Back to yesterday; less armpit fat! This is great! It clarified for me that I didn’t gain all this weight in a day, and I’m not going to lose it in a day. I just need to take each day at a time, and over time I’m going to see results.

Just takes time.

What The Hell Is Happening To Me?

a.k.a. “Carolyn tries CrossFit”

Between being a giant ball of stress and being a giant ball of fat, I’ve had enough. While I have been running and sticking to my distance/heart rate training goals, I’m gaining weight.

It didn’t help that last week Moose ran the show for food since my husband was out of town all week for work.

06 totinos pizza rolls

Oh, yes I did eat Pizza Rolls for dinner one night. I REGRET NOTHING.

I did the math and there was a good two and a half day stretch where I did not eat a fruit or vegetable of any kind. Well, not unless you count the tomato sauce in those pizza rolls as a vegetable or that wine used to be grape juice and that came from a fruit.

Throw in the lovely bloat that comes ever 28 days, and you could put me next to Shamu and you’d have a hard time telling us apart. Ladies, you know what I’m talking about. The fat jeans don’t button anymore! Argh!

Drastic times call for drastic measures. I tried CrossFit.

amypohlerkidding

I know! That’s what I said too!

But I needed that kick in the pants to get me on the road to fitness again. The best shape I had been in my adult life was four years ago when I trained for a half marathon and did a bootcamp style class twice a week. Now while I’m not going to make the mistake of training for a half again, I do want to get back to running that 7-8 mile distance per run – that’s a distance that I really enjoy. Now that I live in a place where I don’t have to stop running outside between now and April, I’ll be able to keep up with the running progress I have made and improve on that distance-wise.

The other issue was the cross training aspect. Do I have access to a gym in my apartment building? Yep. Can I motivate myself to do the damn cross training and stick to it. Obviously not as I’ve used the gym a grand total of once the two and a half months we’ve been here.

I had the opportunity, but not the timing, to take an introduction to CrossFit class at the Automattic Grand meetup. I was bummed I couldn’t go, but going to the Olympic park was way more important. I found a couple of CrossFit gyms near my house and found one run by a woman who’s been doing CrossFit for over a decade. They had a free class on Saturday and I decided to try it out.

I was a skeptic for sure, but it ended up being more fun than I expected. I think that was due mainly to the fact that this one is run by some really laid back people. If it was one those crazy intense places that yelled, I would’ve been out.

crossfitfun

The class was Saturday morning. It’s Monday afternoon and my abs still hate my face. Because the workout we did was:

100m Run
50 walking lunges
200m run
50 situps (OW OMG OWWWWW)
400m run
50 squat thingies with a medicine ball. I’m sure they have a name for them.

Tonight is the next class, so we’ll see how painful that will be. Because I don’t know if I mentioned that my abs hurt…but by the way, THEY HURT LIKE A MOTHER. I sneezed earlier and I cried.

I didn’t gain this weight in a day, so I’m not going to lose it in day either. We’ll see what happens tonight!