Tag Archives: gym work

Busy, busy, busy

Why is it that life gets in the way so often? Unfortunately, this blog is one of the first things to go when I am pushed for time. Not the running – that will be almost the last thing! (Feeding my children will probably be last.) Behind the scenes I have been very busy organising fundraising events as well as keeping up with my training. I have quite a few posts coming up so keep tuned but today’s post is about my training.

Dare I say it? I think it is going quite well.

My work in the gym is paying off and I am definitely getting stronger. I am now doing squats with a 20 kg weight. That is nearly one-third of my body weight! I am celebrating.

I am sticking with the yoga. Whether I am improving is harder to say but I am definitely enjoying the deep stretching along with the time out (Adriene calls it a rest for the brain!).

I think that I am getting fitter re my running but that is hard to say. Yesterday I ran 14 miles. It was hard towards the end but I did it :).

My biggest problem is where to go to keep my runs interesting. A week ago yesterday I think I was more stressed about where to go than the actual run itself; road, trail or a mixture. If I did a mixture what shoes to wear (trail or road). The weather was on the cool side. The ground was partly frozen but not completely so I knew that I would get muddy.

In the end I just went for it. I had a bit of a plan but nothing set in stone – I had definitely not measured out a distance. I did a mixture of everything. Here is my run in photographs:

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A wooded area

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I live near a ‘dyke’ – a raised bit of land.

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A muddy bridle path

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A not so muddy bridle path

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A cycle path

So you see – a bit of everything. Being mainly off-road this was quite a slow, tough run but all good for building strength in my legs. I even found some ‘hills’ which for me is a real novelty. I went exploring and found new paths , worried that I was trespassing and generally following my nose. These are the best type of runs.

How do you keep repetative tasks interesting?

What activities are the ones that are the last ones you drop?

 

 

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Why do we do it to ourselves?

Although this is a post about exercise, it can apply to many situations. I do it with my job, my hobbies and even my family.

I have just come back from the gym. I don’t go very often as running fits into my life a lot easier and running is ‘my thing.’ I go once a week, at the weekends with the main purpose being to strengthen my legs to help prevent injury. The advantage to going early in the morning at weekends is that I have the place to myself. Today was anything but.

When I walked in my heart sank as there was a bunch of what I call ‘gym lads’ congregated around the area that I needed to be.

You know the sort – all muscle and brawn. (Unfortunately there were more covered up than these guys!)

Intimidated? Me? YES! As I warmed up on the bike I heard a female voice and I slowly came to realise that there was a female among them. (I couldn’t check by looking as that would be too embarrassing and obvious!) My heart sank further. I could kind of ignore and work around the men but a woman was a different matter. It wasn’t until I was driving home that I was able to understand why the dread intensified as I realised that there was a woman there and that was because she was direct competition for me. I was drawn to compare myself to her. Sound familiar?

I see it all over social media, on Runmummuyrun people are always comparing themselves with others….

I managed 6 miles today but I am such a tortoise

How can I get faster?

Compared to many of you I realise that this is slow but today I ran my furthest ever.

I definitely do it all the time and tonight was no different. So I wasn’t doing as many full press ups, pull ups, squats etc as her.  No I wasn’t shouting about the fact that I ran 12 miles at the weekend – after a swim, no I am not exercising with the lads….

BUT

I am not her. So I wasn’t doing what she was doing but then she wasn’t doing what I was doing. Could she do my single legged squats, on a bench, on 2 mats? What about my weighted snatches?? I don’t know but I maybe not (and does it matter anyway?).

I also do not have hours to spend at the gym every night. YES I also ran 12 miles on Sunday but before I went I got breakfast for 3 children, changed 4 beds and sorted out what would happen whilst I was out running. I then ran 12 miles before spending the afternoon tidying the house and running after 3 children. Did she? Probably not. She probably had a lazy morning in bed before getting up and preparing for her exercise which was followed by a lazy afternoon.

So I probably cannot run as fast as her or, in reality, am as strong as her but I am not comparing like for like. (She was also several years younger than me!) So why am I comparing myself to her? As I drove home I couldn’t understand why I didn’t feel as pleased as myself after my work out and I think it was simply because I was comparing myself with her and not with myself. My single legged squats were better than they had been before and the other exercises felt easier but I didn’t feel strong.

What is really upsetting is that as we were in the minority (there were more men than women in the gym tonight) we should have supported each other (which is what happens on Runmummyrun). The only people we should compare ourselves to is us. We are all on our own individual journeys and at different points along it. We need to celebrate our own successes and not compare ourselves to others as it is not a’ fair test’.

Oh and I have absolutely nothing against the poor lady in the gym this evening she was simply an example of my own weaknesses. Please remember this as you go about your lives. Whatever you do please only compare yourselves to you and be kind. If you are learning something new concentrate on your successes and DO NOT compare yourselves to others. Yes, use others as inspiration but go no further.

I won

After all my exertion of Thursday in the snow, rain and cold. I was determined to keep warm yesterday so studiously ignored my son with his pleading to bike to school. It was icy anyway – far too dangerous. As it turned out the afternoon was gloriously sunny and I would have loved to bike home but the morning was not very enticing.

Preventing Hypothermia

I had thought that yesterday would be a rest day but in actual fact, I had an hour and thought that I could fit in another easy 5, effectively splitting a long run over 2 days or, to put it another way, getting the mileage in. It was very cold and I again put on 2 pairs of leggings, a short sleeve top, a long sleeved top, jacket, high-viz vest and gloves. The only thing I did  differently was wear a hat as I read some advice about preventing hypothermia whilst running in this cold weather. It seems a hat is important, as are gloves. The other thing is to try and stay dry – jump over puddles and wear waterproof clothes. If it is very cold head to forests etc where it is sheltered. The other things are to layer up and to run into the head wind on your way out (if there is one). Dressed up like Michelin man I was warm enough and enjoyed a 6 mile run.

Saturday

Tired this morning. I went for a walk and felt really tired. I kept thinking: “This time last week I was running 9 miles!” There was no way today…. but I had given my legs a bit of a hammering over the last 2 days. This afternoon was a gym session. I am loving these so much. This week I did 4 sets of 5 pull ups 🙂 I also tried a new exercise called dumb bell snatches:

I promise you, easier than it looks. I dread new exercises as my brain takes a while to process the new info and I usually look like a real fool! Luckily, I didn’t have that many problems with this one. YAY! I did 4 sets of 4 each arm, and on the last set even moved up a weight to 15 kgs).

We then moved onto single leg squats (I do this one without a weight, 3 sets of 6 on each leg). My PT said today that with this exercise he has nothing to say anymore. How good does that feel?

The leg squat is paired with bar bell lifts (3 sets of 6, weight 30 kgs)

I then do a set of three exercises, arabesques, press ups (3 sets of 8), and seated rows (3 sets of 12) The final set of exercises were based on the core: roll outs, Russian twists and dead bugs.

Enough for anyone! I am really pleased with how strong I am getting. I am not noticing visible differences in my body but with these exercises I am definitely Way, Way, Way stronger than this time last year. That is a really good feeling whether it helps my running or not.

Tomorrow will be a very cold cross country run (if it doesn’t get cancelled!)