Great Run, Sore Muscles

Since I discovered spinning a few months ago, I’ve been attending classes like a regular addict. It didn’t take long for me to become enthralled by the high calorie blast sessions. What with the upbeat music, great crowd and motivating instructors.

And then I tweaked my back.

And before I knew it, I hadn’t really worked out for about a month.

And then it was Valentine’s Day.

Oi.

This week I recommitted myself to working out regularly. Nothing like jumping right back into a workout regime with gusto.

Yesterday, I ran a 5k loop on base. My feet felt like lead; my lungs burned in anger; my heart sank into my stomach when I looked at my final time. I won’t even repeat it here because I’ll be honest with you – it was downright shameful. Ha.

This morning for PT, we ran the same 5K path. After my less than inspiring run from the day before, I felt extra motivated to get moving. My time improved and my breathing was definitely steadier, but oh my gosh, my leg muscles are definitely feeling it.

It’s a good burn. That’s what I keep telling myself. It’s my body readjusting after such an extended sedentary length of time.

So I’ll keep at it. Tomorrow I plan on weight lifting and doing some light cardio to torch some more calories (I did go a bit overboard on the sweets over Valentine’s Day weekend. Oops.). Friday I’m going down to Valdosta, but I have every intention of bringing my running shoes so I can jog around the neighborhood. I’m getting back on track Hodgepoders! And I’m excited 🙂

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How Do You Work Out?

For the better part of January, I kind of scaled back my exercise regime. First, there was my annual cleanse. Whenever I’m ridding my body of toxins, I prefer to not work out – too much stress on your body (in my opinion). The cleanse coupled with our family trip to Florida meant that I essentially had a workout free month.

It was great, but horrible. I can tell that I’m horrendously out of shape. My tolerance for strenuous workouts has been severely lowered, much to my dismay. Rather than let this discourage me, I’ve opted to view this as a challenge. Our bodies are amazing machines; I can get back into my old workout habits. It’ll just take some time.

This was my first official week back in the gym. Monday and Tuesday were dedicated to spin classes and Wednesday I ran. My muscles were burning in retaliation and my lungs were sucking oxygen, but there always seemed to be a lack of it. The best part of it though was that the sweat was dripping and my heart was pounding, but I knew that it was all worth it.

One thing I noticed on Wednesday while walking from the locker room up to the indoor track. You see, it was raining pretty hard and our PT leader opted for us run indoors. It’s a small elevated track that overlooks a basketball court on one side and the free weights and aerobics room on the other side.

As I ran aimlessly around and around, I noticed something: there are four main groups of worker-outers.

  1. The hardcore gym rat. We’ve all met them. They’re the guy and girls (yes, girls) who intently watch themselves lifting in the mirror. They seem more focused on how big their muscles look as opposed to their form. Priorities, right?
  2. The persnickety girl who talks on the phone while on the elliptical. If you’re on the phone, you’re not working out. Period.
  3. The Barbie gym-goer. They’re in every gym. Their hair is perfectly smoothed back, their eyelashes are curled and copious amounts of makeup distract you from the skin tight outfit that of course makes any quality workout impossible. Look, I’m all about yoga pants or spanky shorts, but unless you’re doing yoga or playing a competitive round of volleyball, I don’t need to see that while on I’m on the treadmill. You might think it’s cute, but it’s not. Ew.
  4. The normals. This group is pretty much the rest of us who go to the gym. We genuinely enjoy working out and being healthy. We wear old baggy soccer shirts and aren’t ashamed of a little sweat. In fact, sweating is encouraged. Most of us have earbuds in with amped up music pounding in our ears, urging us to go that extra mile or squeak out another set or rep. The gym is almost like our second home (minus that cult following that Crossfitters often share).

Which group of worker-outer are you? How do you work out?

Fitness Plan: Week 52

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About This Morning…

Every Wednesday, I have official PT with the other military folks in my office. There’s about fifteen or so of us that gather in the early morning hours to get a good workout in before the day starts. Like clockwork, I find that every Wednesday is both physically and mentally draining as the early morning workouts make the day drag on and on and on. (I’m really ot a morning person. Can you tell?)

Typically, we rotate between three exercise regimes every week. Week 1 consists of playing basketball. Now, above I said that fifteen or so of us gather to workout. All – as in fourteen of the fifteen – are guys. Combine that with different ranks, lack of coffee and a high level of competitiveness and you’ve got yourself one hell of a spectacle. It always starts out the same: an innocent basketball match, good humored and fun. But about ten minutes in, the elbows start flying and people get tripped and emotions run high as the fouls start adding up. As the only girl, I usually just run up and down the sideline, occasionally getting passed the ball and taking a shot; but there’s no way I’d ever want to get tangled up in that hot mess of a game. I hate saying this, but basketball PT days are my least favorite because I feel that it panders mostly to the male ego and temperament more than to mine.

To each his own though, right? I get it – basketballs not for everyone. So why don’t we switch it up between various sports? That’s a mystery I’ll never solve unfortunately 😦

Week 2 is usually a track workout. Some weeks it’s brutal and other weeks it’s a joke. It all depends on your individual motivation going into it. Personally, I hate being the caboose on any workout train, so I always push myself to at least be in the middle of the pack (and that’s on a bad day). I’d love to up in the front, but I doubt I’ll ever run a sub 7 mile. Oops.

Week 3 is my favorite: a 5k loop on base at your own pace. I bring my iPhone, turn up my music and zone out for 3.1 glorious miles as the sun rises. That is nothing short of perfection and on those days, I always find that by the time I fall in bed, I’m mostly only physically tired, not mentally. Running to me is therapy. I find it very energizing.

Today was a basketball day. Without exaggerating, I’ll just say that things go way too competitive. And that’s when I realized: I enjoy team sports, but I prefer solo workouts.

Please don’t take it personally if I decline to go running with you. When I work out, I’m not in the mood to gossip or chit chat. I want to get my heart rate up, my blood pumping. I want to work through some stress and pent up emotions. I want to zone out or reflect on the day, week or month. I’m not trying to be rude. I just enjoy alone time, especially when working out.

Funny what you can uncover in the midst of a tense basketball game, huh?

Fitness Plan: Week 42

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