Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Silly Cat

i'm so cute
Originally uploaded by terpkristin.
This is my cat, Oz. He's a terror, but he's got me well-trained and he knows he's my terror. He'll come into my story in a little bit.

I haven't written in over a week, how shamemful! It's not that I haven't been working out (I definitely have!), it's just that with work being a little crazy and the holiday, I don't have a lot of time when I get home from the gym to blog. But last week I was a good girl, working with Brian on Tuesday, Friday, and Saturday, doing cardio on my own on Monday and Wednesday, resting the other 2 days (and let's face it, eating a lot of really good food on Thursday). Cardio lately has not been swimming, as much as I enjoy it. When I swam on Friday (the 17th I guess?), I think they shocked the pool with an extra dose or 10 of chlorine. It was so potent that after my swim, my sinuses hurt for 3-4 days. Needless to say, I'm not exactly looking forward to that again, so instead I've been doing time on the elliptical trainer.

This week has been rough, from a workout standpoint. I was feeling pretty sick on Saturday afternoon and all day Sunday and Monday. Not sick sick, but a little achy (outside of normal training muscle aches) and worn out. I think I've probably been fighting off some low-grade illnenss that hasn't managed to surface fully. Hopefully it'll stay down-trodden. Anyway, I had a long day at work yesterday and really didn't want to go to the gym afterwards, but I was a good girl and decided to do it. I just was planning on doing cardio, 45 minutes on the elliptical. Even though I've done that type of workout (at that intensity level) before, yesterday my average heart rate was about 10 beats per minute higher than it "normally" is at that intensity. So that wasn't fun, but one might think that after a tough day like that, I'd be ready for some good sleep. Oh no, as it turned out. I couldn't fall asleep, and when I finally did, I was tossing and turning all night. I literally woke up every 30 minutes or so. At around 3:30 a.m., I woke up and couldn't fall back asleep until 5, then was up again at 6:30 and have been up since then (my alarm normally wakes me at 7 a.m. To top off the bad sleeping, when I was awake, Oz the Psycho Kitty either wanted to play or wanted food (or both), as he kept attacking my hands until I dove under the covers and then he started batting things off of the nightstands by my bed (I have one on either side). At one point I scruffed him and threw him off my bed, but all in all it was a bad night.

Surprisingly, I had a good workout with Brian today. After a "normal" day at work, I got to the gym to do my regular 30 minute warmup (so much for it being 5-7 minutes beforehand...). During the warmup (on the elliptical), I noticed my heart rate was back to its normal rate for the level of intensity I was working at, which was good to see. I warned Brian that I was pretty tired, but it turned out to be a good workout.

I'm pretty tired now, so I'll probably crash early tonight...hopefully the furball won't disturb me too much tonight (I swear he knows I'm writing about him as he's staring at me right now).

Friday, November 17, 2006

Note to Self

Note to self: doing a long swim workout the day after a tough upper body workout with the trainer isn't exactly a bright idea. Actually, it wasn't that bad, but boy are my shoulders tired...I could really use a massage. But I digress...let's see. When last we left, I was getting ready to take a shower after a swim.

Tuesday's workout with Brian was (as promised) a full-body workout. I'll be honest, it didn't FEEL (afterwards) like a full-body workout. When all was said and done (on Wednesday), I was really feeling my quads, biceps, and triceps. That might be because the workout included:
wall-sits/squats leaning up against a fitness ball on the wall
pseudo-squats and shoulder presses on the bosu board/ball/thing
leg press on the Cybex machine
wall-sits for length of time (30 seconds and 40 seconds)
tricep push-downs to fatigue
bicep curls to fatigue

Needless to say, on Wednesday I could barely walk, and when I got on the elliptical on Thursday before working out with Brian, I could STILL feel my quads burning a bit. Luckily (or not...), Thursday was an upper body day. It was a good workout, as I'm feeling my biceps again today and am feeling my traps and delts a bit. Oddly, I'm not feeling my pecs which I worked out pretty hard, too (flys on the fitness ball are tough!).

Anyway, today's swim was good (and I've already showered), as I swam 3/4 mile:
1/2 mile (900 yards, but it may have been 950 or 1000 as I lost count and may have swam an extra lap or two) continuous
150 yards (1/12 mile) kick
150 yards (1/12 mile) pull with gloves
150 yards (1/12 mile) kick
TOTAL 1350(ish) yards (1050 swim/pull, 300 kick)

It was a good workout and I can't complain, but I'm looking forward to my rest day!!! :)

Monday, November 13, 2006

I Need A Shower

What a title for a blog entry, I know, but it's the truth--I really need a shower. However, I figured it'd been a couple of days since I last posted so I wanted to be sure to post (and doing it sooner than later is a sure way to guarantee I don't forget). I last posted on 7 Nov (a Tuesday). On the 8th, I took a day of rest for myself--I'm aiming to workout 5 days a week, with Wednesdays and Sundays as my rest days. Of course, that's subject to change, but I'm definitely hoping to keep the 5 days a week part.

Thursday I worked upper body with Brian. The workout was a bit unusual, as it was pushed back from a tentative start time of 5 to a real start time of 7. The 2 hour delay meant that before going to the gym, I needed to make sure I ate some dinner...dinner that wouldn't be too heavy, but something that would provide a bit of extra energy. I ended up going to Atlanta Bread Company and getting a turkey panini. Unfortunately, it wasn't as "light" as I'd hoped it would be, and the theme of the night became "keep dinner down." I ended up starting with 30 minutes on the elliptical, then Brian wanted to warm up my shoulders by having me work on a punching bag for a little while. I did some combination moves, and ended that part of the session with a 2 minute endurance drill. It was a tough workout, made more difficult by my dinner, and I was glad when I reached the end of it (without puking). After Thursday's workout, I really wasn't too jazzed to swim on Friday but I made a promise to myself so I went to the pool on Friday. I did a pretty good workout, totalling 3/4 of a mile, alternating kicking and swimming/pulling. In the end I did 750 swim/pull and 600 kick.

Bright and early Saturday morning, I was back in the gym, this time for a lower body workout. Brian had me do some work on a balance-ball-thing as well as wome serious core work. It was a beast of a workout, but it felt great. Tired and happy, I went to the Terps game to tailgate and enjoy the Terps 14-13 win over Miami, and came back dead tired. Sunday, I took a well-deserved rest day (in retrospect, tailgating--a bunch of standing up for awhile and then going to the game--a bunch of standing and walking up and down stadium stairs might NOT have been a wise choice of activities following a hard leg workout...).

Finally after work today I decided that even though I had no motivation, I'd hit the pool today. I had a pretty long day at work, and ended up staying there later than I expected to. I usually try to leave right at 4 on swimming days, because the later it gets, the more crowded the pool gets and the harder it is to get into a lap lane. I got lucky, as when I got there it wasn't too crowded and I was still able to get a good swim in. I only did 1050 today (slightly over 1/2 mile), but it was a quality 1050 (450 continuous swim, 150 kick, 150 free pull, 150 swim, 150 kick). I realized two things today while I was swimming:
1. I really need new swim paddles/gloves. One of mine has a hole in it now, and both have a tendency to unzip while I'm swimming which makes me compensate for it by altering my stroke in a weird way.
2. I tend to have only 1 or 2 songs stuck in my head while I was swimming. Today it was "The Wheels on the Bus" (don't ask why, it's a long story but it makes sense...) and some song by Keane, the title of which is escapting me at the moment.

So that's that. And now, I really do need to get the chlorine out of my hair, so I'm going to go work on that..

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Kicking My Butt

After working the complete circuit on Sunday (on the machines I did not like), I went through with swimming yesterday. Even though it had only been a few days since I was last in the pool, I felt almost akward in there, and I'm not sure why. Maybe it was just that my muscles were sort of "pre-tensed" but for some reason, my strokes didn't seem as smooth and my breathing was off. I tend to breathe every third stroke, which was fine, but it seemed like I was getting some water every time I breathed...it was odd. Anyway I did 1050 (450 free, 150 free kick, 150 free pull, 150 free, 150 free kick), and then was bummed out to discover that the whirlpool at the gym was broken. I tell you, that's my favorite part of my swimming workouts, and it was a bummer not to be able to relax in the hot tub afterwards. Oh well.

Today I worked with Brian again. I got to the gym a lot earlier than I meant to, so I took the time to do an extended warmup on the elliptical...I did 30 minutes on it, keeping my heart rate in the mid- to upper 140's which should have had me talking "in broken sentences" but I was still pretty conversational. Oh well, it felt like a good workout. Today Brian had me do a lot of leg work, including some standing squats and balance exercises, as well as work on the Cybex and Free Motion machines doing leg press, leg curl, leg extension, and some calf raises. I think all of the exercises went well, though I discovered that I'm pretty weak in my calves. I suppose, given my history of ankle issues, that shouldn't really be a surprise, but it was somewhat frustrating. I also did some stuff for my core including an ab exercise machine, oblique work, and a back strengthening Cybex machine.

All in all, it was a good workout. I see Brian again on Thursday, and I think I will take the day off from working out tomorrow. The rest of the week I think will go something like:
Wednesday: rest
Thursday: work with Brian
Friday: swim
Saturday: work with Brian
Sunday: rest

I guess we'll see how I feel tomorrow, but right now I'm feeling pretty good.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

A Circuit On My Own

Let me first state that at the time I posted yesterday, I was sort of sore, but not terribly so. As the day wore on, the soreness increased to a point that laughing hurt and playing with my hair was a bit challenging. Of course, it was the good kind of soreness and today, I was feeling a bit better. Not perfect by any stretch, but good enough that I wasn't "afraid" of working out on my own today.

Per Brian's request, I went to the gym today to work out. The first thing I noticed: I need to find something to hold my iPod while I workout. I think I'm going to get one of those armband things. I did a 20 minute warmup on the elliptical, which I'm loving more and more each time I use it, then got down and dirty with the Hammer Strength circuit weight-training equipment. I did an "entire circuit" which consisted of 12 exercises including squat, leg extension, seated leg curl, incline press, high row, decline press, shoulder press, bicep curl, tricep extension, back extension, and abdominal crunch. I did not particularly enjoy using the Hammer Strength machines. I found them clunky to adjust to the proper position/seat height, and with the shoulder press, they forced you to use them one way that really stresses the shoulder. Given that I have a history of shoulder problems, I didn't like that at all. Anyway I went through the circuit once, using weights that I could do 2 sets of 12-15. I was seriously wiped out after the workout. I don't know if it's because it was tough, or because I needed to eat more prior to it, or if it was the lack of coffee, but I was definitely beat at the end. Again, the good kind of beat, but still beat.

I think the next time I have to workout like that on my own, I'll use the Cybex machines as I'm familiar with them and think that they adjust more easily in general. It'll be a longer circuit, but one I think I'll be a lot more comfortable using. of course, that is for naught right now, as tomorrow I'm going to try to swim, and then Tuesday I see Brian again.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Working Out with Brian

Last night was my first session with Brian, and I think it went really well. I was scheduled to start at 5, but he told me on Thursday that I should get there a little earlier than that to get on the eliptical and warm up for 5-7 minutes. I guess I was a little overeager as I got there about 15 minutes early so I did a 15 minute warmup on the elliptical. That was actually the first time since having all my ankle surgeries that I got onto an elliptical, and I'm glad to say it went well--that machine will definitely be incorporated into future workouts.

In the training session last night, Brian worked my core and my upper body. He told me that in every session he'd do some core work, so I expected it. Oddly, though I think I've worked my upper abs the "most" leading up to starting personal training, my upper abs are what's sore today, not my lower abs or obliques. Oh well. I also had to do a bit of upper body stuff including pushups, rows, lat pull-downs of a sort, delt push-ups of a sort, biceps work, and triceps work. The gym I go to has free weights as well as machines by Cybex, HammerStrength, and Free Motion. Most of what I did was free-weight or on the Free Motion machine. It was a tough workout, and my arms were definitely sore last night. They're not too bad today (yet), so I guess we'll see how they feel tomorrow (when I go back to the gym to do a weight session on my own).

I think the plan for this week is to go to the gym tomorrow (Sunday), swim Monday, session with Brian on Tuesday, swim Wednesday, session with Brian on Thursday, rest Friday, and then work again on Saturday. My work schedule (ever-hectic) may change that a little, but I'm fairly flexible with work, so I don't forsee too many problems holding that schedule.

And now, it's time to get ready to watch the Terps play against Clemson. GO TERPS!!!

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Meeting With the Trainer

Well, after a great workout yesterday, I was pretty exhausted and almost thrilled that today (Thursday) would be a "rest" day as I was to meet with Brian, the personal trainer. Yesterday's workout consisted of:
450 free, continuous
150 kick free
150 pull free
150 free
That totalled 900 yards (or 1/2 mile) and was done continously, with no break between the sections. The longest "break" I took was between the kicking and the pulling, as it took a little bit of time to get my gloves on. It was an endurance workout, and combined with my long workout on Monday and biking on Tuesday, after Wednesday's workout, I was pretty spent (the good kind of tired and spent).

Today I met with the trainer at the gym. In a 30 minute session, we went over my goals (as I outlined in my first post), he took some measurements of body fat and height and weight, and he asked me to do some simple exercises to get a baseline for where I am. I had to do the sit and reach (flexibility of the hamstrings), show my shoulder flexibility (which is now at a NORMAL level instead of being hyperflexible), do as many sit-ups as I could in a minute, and do as many push-ups as I could do, period. I was surprised by my push-up number, considering I haven't tried to do any push-ups since my shoulder surgeries, and I haven't done any arm-specific weight training. I suppose that the swimming has helped, but I was still surprised I could do them. All in all it was a good meeting and I'm really psyched to be starting working out with him. My first session is tomorrow, and I expect him to push me pretty hard, I'll report how it goes (provided I have enough strength left to type... ;) )