Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Fulfilling Day

Today was completely jam-packed.

This morning I did Workout B in NROL4W Phase 3 for the first time. I'm definitely loving this phase.

In general I like working out alone - I'm not distracted; I don't feel self-conscious; I can completely focus on what I'm doing and take my time while I'm doing it. There are other times, however, when I feel like it would be great to have a workout buddy. I have lots of friends at the gym, but none of them workout the same way I do (and I don't work out the same way that they do). I know that I could workout with a trainer, but I really want to finish NROL4W - and I have a feeling the trainers would have me doing a lot more than what's in the program ... but for once in my life I want to finish something I've started. This is a long journey I've chosen, but I am determined to get through - even with all the obstacles, and there have been many obstacles - namely, surgery, travel, and the never-ending PhD. In any case, having a partner to workout with on days that I do weights would be great so that I could have someone check my posture, so I could have someone spot me when I'm lifting heavier weights, and so that I could have someone really push me.

To say that I'd like someone there to really push me is not to say that I don't push myself. I do try. Still, I know that I feel apprehensive about some things, and I'd really love to be able to keep pushing through that ... someone to urge me through that would be so great -- I wonder if Jillian Michaels is free to train me?!


Back to today's workout.

I did my usual 1 km warm-up and shaved off another 30 seconds. I am determined to run. I am determined to run. Even if it takes me a year to train, I really, really, really want to be able to run without it being such a struggle.

Then on to the weights workout:
Single-leg squats
Lateral pulls (wide-grip)
Back extension
YTWL (like doing the YMCA but with weights - and in the shape off YTWL)
Swiss ball crunches
Prone jackknives -- hello again my long, lost friend!
Lateral flexion
Prone cobra

... followed by 15 minutes of interval training.

I'm not going to go into all the details of my workout right now, but I just wanted to talk about 3 things ...

First of all, the wide-grip lateral pulls. I've been pulling 41 kg for the past few workouts. It's challenging. I can do it with good posture, but I don't find it easy. I had to wonder, will I never make it to the next weight ... the issue I had is that the next weight is 48 kg. That's a 7 kg jump! Seven kilos is no laughing matter -- would I ever be able to get there? One of the things I really like about only doing 3 sets of 6 reps is that you have a chance to take it to the next level. (This is what I meant about it being helpful to have someone to push you/encourage you). I knew that it was only fear that was holding me back from trying the next weight level. After doing 2 sets at 41 kg I thought - alright, enough is enough. It's only 6 reps. Surely I can try 48 kg for 6 reps. If it's excruciating or if I'm barely able to get the bar down, then I can change it back to 41 ... but at least let me try.

So I tried, and I did it. They weren't perfect (well, I maintained my posture, but couldn't bring it all the way down), but I tried. I just wanted to get it down to nose/mouth level -- and with a lot of determination, I was able to bring it down. So, next time, my goal is to aim for the chin, and then eventually the chest. Pulling at 48 kg was really difficult, but I don't want to go back to 41 kg again. I've had enough with that weight group.

The second exercise that gave me pause was the prone jackknives. Pre-surgery I had really improved since the first time I ever did the exercise. However, today was another story ... it had been so long since I had done the exercise. It's really challenging, and it puts a lot of pressure on your abs. With the pain I've been in, and of course my post-surgery tension, I had to wonder, would I be able to do it? The answer, of course, is yes. It's just about getting into the right framework. I've got to push the surgery out of my head -- I have fully recovered from the surgery. My incision is fine. That chapter of my life has ended. The pain, on the other hand, is another story ... but I'm fine with pushing through that as well. Anyway. Back to the prone jackknives -- I'm so happy that I was able to complete the exercise without much difficulty. It'll take some time before I'm back to doing 50 at a time, but I'll get there. I know I will.

Finally, there was the interval training.

I skipped the interval training after the Workout B's in Phase 2. I was just healing at that time and was in no shape to do the training properly. I'm a big fan of HIIT training, but I always wonder if I'm putting enough intensity during the 'high intensity' parts ... in any case, today I tried. It was only for 15 minutes -- 1 min hard, 2 min slow repeat. It was good. Perhaps I could have gone a bit faster during the 'hard' parts -- once again, that damn fear holding me back, but I'm pleased with what I did today. Next time, I'll take it up a notch.

Overall, great day with the workouts. I went back in the evening for Zumba class (loving it!!!) . So today I put in 2.5 hrs at the gym ... perfect just before dinner out.

Ok this has already become a very long blog post, so I'll post about dinner out later. It definitely made me realize something about my eating habits ... stay tuned :)

Hope everyone had a love-filled day!

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