Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Upper body stuff

So, I went to Urban Active and skipped the cardio. Surprise, surprise.

Here's my routine:
  • bench press
    • just the bar, 15 reps
    • 55lbs, 15 reps
    • 75 lbs, 2 sets of 15 reps
    • 85 lbs, 2 barely mentionable sets
  • decline fly
    • 10 lbs, 15 reps
    • 12.5 lbs, 15 reps
    • 15 lbs, 15 reps
  • overhead press
    • 10 lbs, 15 reps
    • 15 lbs, 15 reps
    • 17.5 lbs, 15 reps
  • side and front lat raises
    • 5 lbs, 15 reps
    • 10 lbs, 15 reps
    • 15 lbs, 8 reps
  • gorilla lifts
    • 40 lbs, 15 reps
    • 50 lbs, 15 reps
    • 60 lbs, 12 reps
  • behind the head tricep things
    • 20 lbs, 2 sets of 15 reps
    • 25 lbs, 15 reps
  • curls
    • 10 lbs, 15 reps
    • 15 lbs, 15 reps
    • 40 lb bar, 15 reps?
Not so sure on those curls, but that gives you a general idea of the workout. I didn't feel particularly strong, but nothing hurt either.
I don't feel a real deep desire to improve the bench press weight; I just want to stay lean.

Blogging from a secret location

I am at an alternative secret location for my blogging; I suppose it shouldn't be much of a secret. I'm at the Panera in Deerfield Township. It's an amusing place with a definite "look" to the people who come in here. There's a certain degree of chaos to buying a simple bagel and coffee, which makes me feel like I'm back East.

So, the plan for today is meet a colleague this morning, workout at Urban Active, and then head to campus.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Official Rest Day

Today I'm not working out nor doing much of anything athletic. Sorry if you were tuning in to read about my latest adventure.

My plan is to hit Urban Active tomorrow for an upper body workout; depending on the weather, I may also run outdoors.

I feel unmotivated today. I could go running, but I choose not to. There's also a box of donuts on my table. I could eat one now, but I choose not to...for now.

Monday, April 28, 2008

A depressing leg workout at the icky gym

So, I went to the icky gym to do squats. Those of you who know me know which gym THAT is.

This is what I did:
  • squats
    • no weight, 15 reps
    • 50 lbs, 2 sets of 15 reps
    • 70 lbs, 2 sets of 15 reps
  • plie squats
    • 70 lb, 2 sets of 15
  • squats
    • 70 lbs, 2 sets 0f 10
  • bend over things with bar
    • 2 sets of 15 reps
  • 10 minutes on elliptical
The place smelled funny; I smelled funny; we all smelled funny. It was not a pleasant workout. The mirror is a funhouse type mirror that distorts you so much you really have no clue what you're doing. My right knee is still giving me a bit of trouble too. I think it's because of my right foot issue, which has now extended to my right knee. Wah. Not being able to really see what I'm doing in the mirror doesn't help the issue.

Overall, I am not happy with my leg workout, but with the Flying Pig this coming weekend, I won't be doing any more weight stuff with my legs. Tomorrow I'll run.

Today's plan:


Sunday, April 27, 2008

Does carrying Lo while hiking count

as an upper body workout?

Went for a bit of a walk on the trails - nothing too difficult - but decided to bring Lo, who was a real trooper. She would have walked for miles and miles, but I picked her up at certain points just because I imagined she was getting tired...even though she didn't indicate that. I tend to watch her tail as an indicator of her mood. It was up and wagging while walking, so usually that means she's good. Once it starts to droop, it means she's tired.

So I suppose I worked out a bit today. Tomorrow I'll probably do a leg workout at Urban Active.

Hiking today?

I think I may go for a hike today...just somewhere local where I can wander for a bit.
Would be terrible to waste this gorgeous day by staying indoors and cleaning, which is what I'm doing now.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

The results are in...

Click on the link in the title to see the list, but here are my stats:

98 8/32 Marianne 31/313 Middletown 34 26:07 8:25

That time seems a bit slower than what it showed when I came under the banner (26:06... oh well)

and YET AGAIN a darn CLYDESDALE finishes ahead of me (See the 50 year old who is two places ahead of me).

It's like Noodle is somehow running 10 seconds ahead of me at every race! That's my NIGHTMARE.

But I KNOW Dr. Huffinpuff would need binoculars to see my BACK during a race. And he KNOWS any time he wants to try to bring it, I'll kick his slow rear back to Tennessee.

Riding Levi's wheel

Trent Lowe stays in yellow, I believe. Just saw the end of the stage. Levi couldn't shake Lowe despite a few accelerations. The last 1km hit 25% grade, which is just brutal. I can't imagine cycling that sort of ascent.
Sorry, Levi, that you didn't get your stage win nor the yellow jersey, but maybe if you were a tad less boring a cyclist, I could root more enthusiastically for you. You had two teammates with you; Lowe had none. You still couldn't ride him off your wheel. Bah!

22% and Levi

Watching the end of Brasstown stage... of course, Levi is in the lead. Snooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooze.


at the 2 mile mark....Fooled ya.....

My time - according to what I saw on the clock - is about 26:06. Not bad.

Overall, I had a decent run, and I was definitely struggling at points. I looked like Dr. Huffinpuff at the end of the race....for a moment.

The run was out of the Centerville HS parking lot and into a neighborhood. The roads were decent and I tried to stay in the middle just to stay on a flat surface. It was rolling with no significant hills. The weather was good for running - cool and with a slight breeze to start, but once you are running, you are very warm.

There were a lot of folks - about 650. I always seem to run alone though. I did see another Clydesdale a bit ahead of me. Not sure if he finished ahead of me though. There were some pretty well built guys running near me. I kept trading positions with this one guy; I'm reasonably certain I beat him in the end. For much of the race I was running behind a gaggle of highschool girls (at least they looked that young to me). I'll be curious to see how I placed.

Well I may write more about the run later but I'll end this now.

PANERATHON race day... and the outlook is

overcast, raining, and slightly coooool... like me.

So, I'm ready to head to Centerville shortly for this 5k race. Not sure how many runners will be there, but given it's sponsored by Panera, I am guessing it will be a busy race.

I've decided - I think - against wearing a watch. This means that I won't know how long I've been running while I'm running. This could be good, or it could be bad.

Also, I couldn't find the route on the Web site so I have no clue where the 5k will take me. I asked Marathon Man if he thought Centerville was hilly at all, and he said no. Should I trust him? Of course.

Well, I'm going to stretch for a bit and then use my fine bathroom before heading out.

Friday, April 25, 2008

11 Exercises can't be wrong...

I'll update this / revise it later, but
  • bench
    • no weight, 15 reps
    • 20 lbs on bar, 2 sets of 15
  • incline bench
    • no weight, 1 set of 15, 1 set of 12
  • decline bench
    • no weight, 2 sets of 15
  • pulldown
    • 40 lbs, 2 sets of 15
  • overhead press
    • 10 lb db, 1 set of 15
    • 15 lb db, 1 set of 15
  • side lat raises
    • 5 lb, 1 set of 15
    • 10 lb, 1 set of 10?
  • cable row
    • 40 lbs, 1 set of 15
    • 70 lbs, 1 set of 15
  • seated tricep machine
    • 50 lbs, 1 set of 15
    • 100 lbs, 1 set of 15
  • curls
    • 15 lbs, 2 sets of 15
  • tricep bar over the head thing
    • 20 lb, 2 sets of 15
  • tricep pulldown
    • 30 lbs, 2 sets of 15
  • 10 minutes on elliptical
  • 5 minutes on treadmill
I haven't done any weight stuff in a good amount of time, so I felt very weak. It's strange how being "off" from lifting can make you feel like a wimp when you get back to it. I know it's good to take a rest, and given my shoulder issue in the past, I really did want to rest my upperbody. So today I only did 2 sets of each exercise. That felt pretty good.


I just registered for your Panerathon!

I'm going to eat the most bagels and win the Panerathon award!!!

Seriously, I just registered online, which means I have to go or my 20 dollars will be wasted. Hopefully the shirt will be cool.

There's a chance of rain in the morning, but I'm not afraid of rain.

Also, this will mark the debut of my new Brooks GTS 8 sneakers. Woo hoo!


I'm contemplating running a 5k tomorrow. It's called Panerathon.
Given my bad experience with the last "5k", I'm a bit hesitant, but this will be my last opportunity to test my time before the Flying Pig.

My plan is to run the last four miles of the Marathon. Then I can tell folks I finished the marathon without the hassle of running all 26 miles. Good plan, huh?

I haven't written much here lately. Not sure if I've just been uninspired or too busy.

Also, I really need to goto the gym and do some lifting. When's the last time I wrote about THAT? So, perhaps I'll do that this afternoon down at Urban InActive.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Is it me or

does the Tour of Georgia seem really boring? Can't wait for Levi to take the lead on Brasstown Bald....snooze.

Who runs at noon on an 80 degree, bright, sunny day?

I do!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

And the winner is...

trail running...

80 degrees with bright sun, so it felt a lot warmer to me. I didn't run as long as I wanted to, but I kept a good pace. My dang right foot is still a problem, and that causes right knee problems. Bunkers. But hey, I ran.

The trails are so beautiful and lush right now - just this wild color of green (of course, the tint in my sunglasses helps). It felt great to run, and I truly love trail running. I even caught up to and passed some guy at the end of the trail (would not have done in in the midst of the trail for obvious reasons). That felt good.

Another gorgeous day... will it be a trail run, a 4 mile run, or a trip to Urban Active?

I have a meeting later this morning - well, two - and then I'm going to either run the trail, run the big big block, or head down to Urban Active. The weather is gorgeous, so I'm tempted to run the trail. I also still have that gift card to the running store, where I purchased those terrible trail running sneakers that caused me TWO sprained ankles the TWO times I used them. So what am I thinking of doing with that gift card? Using it to buy ANOTHER pair of trail running sneaks!

I'm sorry that my entries have been pretty weak lately.

As I type this, Rockwell's "Somebody's Watching Me" is playing in the coffeeshop. I remember when this song came out - I loved it - Michael Jackson sings backup - I think Rockwell is Berry Gordy's son. He was a one-hit wonder. Then again, if you're Berry Gordy's son, do you even need a hit?

Sunday, April 20, 2008

A taste of trail running...first of the year!!

Today I walked the trail for a bit with a friend and then took off on my own for a run. I love walking trails, but even with someone else, I prefer quiet.

The run went ok - it was drizzling a bit, and some of the trail is still pretty muddy. But I just love the feeling of running the trail, things flashing before my eyes, looking for a place to safely place my feet, etc. It makes running fun.... I believe this is the first time I've been on the trails running, but I could be mistaken.

I didn't run that far, because I had walked a good bit. I also didn't feel entirely comfortable on the trail for some reason, and I trust my instincts, so ...

Well, at 3pm there's Paris-Roubaix on VS. Unfortunately, they're two weeks late with their coverage. Not sure if they're also covering Amstel Gold. They have two hours of race coverage scheduled, and the last time I watched, it was terrible - they combined two races...showed the second race first. Very weird.

I want to hike today!

The weather seems like it may be somewhat pleasant; it looks gorgeous right now. So I really want to get out and walk a trail or two. If I don't do that, I'll probably go for a run or head to the gym to lift.

What are you doing today to exercise?

Saturday, April 19, 2008

I have failed you...

Those of you tuning in because you thought I'd be writing about my glorious 5k run will be disappointed. I didn't do the 5k this morning for an assortment of reasons.

I hear your "boos" and I heartily apologize, but it was for the best.

Instead, I'm going to tell you what I did yesterday afternoon: I bought some flowers, a new boxwood, and then spent a couple of hours outdoors planting / mowing. Woo hoo! The front of my house has a bit of color thanks to the hyacinth, geraniums, and coreopsis. I love coreopsis. Not sure I'll like the hyacinth, but it reminded me of T.S. Eliot's The Waste-Land, so ...

"They called me the hyacinth girl."

Friday, April 18, 2008

Saturday 5k... Praying for good weather!

Tomorrow I plan on running the 5k at VOA for the Mother Teresa Catholic Elementary School. Not sure whether the weather will be good, but I can run in the rain. I wish the Web site had a map of the course, because I have no clue what it's like to run in that area. I assume it's flat, but I could be mistaken.

Anyone else running or walking for Mother Teresa?!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

And I ran... I ran so far away...

Um, I didn't run that far. I did what used to be considered my big block this evening. It went ok. I'm somewhat disappointed with my workouts this week. But there's always tomorrow!

Btw, for those of you who don't have your speakers turned up, I'm singing A Flock of Seagulls song in the subject heading.

Catch me if you can...

I'll be running today!!!! I'm faking excitement with the hope that it will actually make me excited. Ok, it didn't work.

In an hour or two, I'll head out on the big big run. I really should start working on my speed, but this isn't the week to start that.

I'm hoping the weather holds for the Mother Teresa 5k this Saturday. I thought she was dead, but apparently she's organizing a 5k. With the Pope being in the US, it seems appropriate to run a 5k sponsored by a Catholic elementary school.

If the weather is too bad on Saturday, I won't run that 5k but look for something on Sunday.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008



My workout:
  • 10, 6 pullups
  • knee raises, 25 center, 15 left, 15 right
  • cable rows
    • 40 lbs, 3 sets of 25 reps?
  • bench press
    • 55 lbs, 25 reps, 20 reps, 15 reps
  • shoulder press
    • 10 lbs, 15 reps
    • 12.5 lbs, 15 reps
    • 15 lbs, 15 reps
  • pec fly
    • 30 lbs, 2 sets of 15 reps
  • calf ex on leg press
    • 90 lbs, 50 reps
    • 180 lbs, 50 reps?
  • seated calf raises
    • 45 lbs, 3 sets of 15 reps
At some point, I did some leg lifts... I forget when. I just did one set... but that's a bit of ab work in there.

My left shoulder hurts me. I could feel it on the bench and on the fly. BOO! Bad shoulder! Boo!

Overall, a very unimpressive and uninspired workout. I'm disappointed. But there's always tomorrow... I hope.

Future Memory of a Workout

Am reversing my pattern today and am at my secret location BEFORE hitting the gym for an upper body workout.

The subject heading is a Nabokov reference for all you Nabokovians out there.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Seeking redemption? Run with me in West Chester this Saturday!

Ok, so, I think I'm going to try another 5k this weekend. There's one down in West Chester at the VOA. I have no clue what the course looks like, and I can't seem to find any indication of the route on the Web site, so who knows what I might be getting myself into.

Still, I'd really like to get a legitimate 5k time rather than a 5K+ time as I earned last weekend. My run today felt ok, but I don't believe I'm running with any sort of speed. Maybe I'll start doing some speed training depending on the outcome of this 5k. If I'm still running 9 minute miles, I probably will. I have a feeling I can run 8:30 miles, but perhaps that's too ambitious.

My body is working at cross purposes... I love the leg workouts, but those don't help my running. If you look at what I'm doing, you'll see that I really am trying to limit the weight I'm doing and I'm increasing reps, but ... I still am moving a lot of weight with my legs. Once I start cycling, it will be interesting to see what happens with my body.

Ok, I need to get back to work.

I feel dirty...

I just ate a grilled cheese and french fries at MUM. Bad me.

"I drove all night..."

Ok, I didn't drive anywhere. I ran. But I didn't run all night. I just ran around the block. So I can say I did my four miles. Woo-hoo!

I've been thinking that I'd really like to sing as I run, but I'm not sure everyone else would like me to do that. Then again, who is really going to hear me as I'm zipping by?

No time to post anything too long as I need to shower before a late morning meeting.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Be very quiet....

I'm resting today.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

"Under Pressure"

I am here in my study with some chicken salad and a roll as a post workout meal. Probably should have gone with a protein shake and a banana, but ... I'll have that for dinner.

The subject heading refers to a song that's on my iPOD when I do my runs. The lyrics also resonate with me today for a reason I'll keep to myself. Let's stick with workout stuff.

So, today I did go to the gym. I bet you all thought I'd be lazy and take the day off. Well, you were WRONG! Here's today's workout:

  • 15 minutes on elliptical
  • WALKING LUNGES (I do these in a big mirrored room with these nice wooden floors)
    • no weights, 40 steps
    • 15 lbs in each hand, 50 steps
    • no weights, 40 steps
    • 15 lbs in each hand, 50 steps
    • no weights, 40 steps
    • 15 lbs in each hand, 50 steps
  • plie squats
    • 55 lbs, 3 sets of 15 reps
  • abductor
    • 60 lbs, 3 sets of 15 reps
  • adductor
    • 60 lbs, 15 reps
    • 70 lbs, 2 sets of 15 reps
  • leg press
    • 90 lbs, 2 sets of 50 reps
  • seated calf raises
    • 45 lbs, 3 sets of 15 reps
  • calf exercises on leg press machine
    • 90 lbs, 50 reps
    • 180 lbs, 2 sets of 25 reps
  • ab work
    • 2 sets of leg lifts (15 reps?)
    • that thing where you're on your back and you put a ball between your legs (yeah, great description I know), 2 sets of 15
  • 10 minutes on elliptical
As I read this, I'm wondering if I forgot something; I'm also wondering if I have the order here accurately. Oh well, this was a decent workout for me. I haven't done walking lunges (I keep typing "lunches"!) in some time. They hit your rear, so we'll see how I feel tomorrow.

Also, I wish to comment more on my wonderful experience at the Kidney Run yesterday. It wasn't so wonderful although I don't blame the organizers. It was the first time they did it, so I suppose I should have expected kinks, but when a guy on a bike asks you as you're warming up, "Do you know how the route goes?" and that guy is supposed to be LEADING the runners, you know you're in trouble. Clearly, I didn't know the route, because I ran off course along with everyone else around me. Thing is: there was a volunteer at the end of where everyone seemed to run off course with a CONE, which seemed to indicate that's where we were supposed to run. Ugh.

So even though my time was respectable, it wasn't great. I'm not sure how much time I lost. I really should have run harder at the end. I wasn't bent over gasping for breath when I completed the race. In fact I was fairly relaxed. I can usually get a few seconds in that last tenth of a mile because I start to sprint. I didn't really do that.

Earlier I also promised to comment on the loud music and the gasping Clydesdale. There seems to be a definite pattern at these races where the organizers feel the need to play very LOUD supposedly inspirational rock music when everyone is registering, etc. So I had to listen to some terrible music at 8am. Not exactly how I want to start my morning when I haven't had java. Yep, I did NOT get coffee, so no caffeine in my system - that probably cost me too. ;)

Now, as to the gasping Clydesdale. As I'm starting out the race (caught behind some very thin women who took up way too much room on the path; I should have zigzagged around them but I didn't want to expend the energy - in retrospect, I could have gained some time by passing them because they were going too slowly for me), I hear this incredibly heavy breathing. I'm thinking someone is ready to pass out. Then I notice a tall, large, grey haired man with incredibly large calves pass me. It's THAT guy. He is breathing so heavily I really want to ask him, "Dude, are you ok?" But I don't. Well, for much of the race we were near each other. If you look at the results (just click the blog link for the previous post!), you'll see he finished about 10 seconds faster than me. I probably could have closed that gap, but as I said, I didn't push myself at the end. Yep, that sounds like an excuse, and it is. I think hearing that guy gasping the entire race freaked me out too.

Therefore, I want to calculate my actual 5k time based on these factors:
  • 28:22 (supposed time for "5"k)
  • -42 seconds for being sent off course
  • -1:30 seconds for not having coffee
  • -25 seconds for being caught behind wall of women
  • -35 seconds for having to listen to Clydesdale gasping for breath
  • 25:10 actual time for 5k! WOO HOO! (My math is probably wrong, but what the heck, you get the point)
Wow, so I ran a 25:10 5K. Yep, that sounds about right. Not!

5k Results

Received an email from the race director, who confirmed that we were sent off-track during the run (at least some people were). Not sure how much it added to the distance, but here's my stat line:

MARIANNE COTUGNO 34 F MIDDLETOWN OH 28:22 9:08 2/10 F3034 6/141 F

Saturday, April 12, 2008

When is a 5K NOT a 5K? When it's MORE THAN 3.1 miles (or so!)

Just got home from the run at Winton Woods. It was the oddest route I've ever seen there. It avoided the terrible crosswinds on the bridge, but it was very goofy. It also went up this huge hill that I've never run before even though I used to run there fairly frequently.

So, what was my time? It was under 28:30. Not sure of the exact number, but I was wearing my stopwatch, so I have somewhat of a sense. I ran the first mile in about 8:22 I think. I really don't trust any of the mileage markers on that course, because I'm pretty certain that it was probably 3.4 miles. It just felt longer than a typical 5k, and I wasn't the only person to say that. I'll see how the other folks did, but I felt ok about my time.

I'll post more about the race later (I really want a shower NOW!)...including LOUD music too early in the morning and the hard-breathing Clydesdale Doppelganger.

Until then.... don't forget to breath!


This morning at 9am, I will run that well-worn Winton Woods loop for 3.1 miles or so. I'll post my finishing time. I won't even offer a prediction.

One thing I hate about weekend races: getting up early. I also didn't sleep well last night - lots of weird dreams. At least I should be back home by 10:30am!

At least I'm not running 20 miles. THAT would be a fox! ; )

Friday, April 11, 2008

My body is 20 degrees hotter than yours

Looking ahead to this weekend, I am still contemplating the 5K race on Sunday. The weather is supposed to be 50s, rainy. Not exactly pleasant, but not terrible either.

When you run, the temperature you experience is about 20 degrees hotter than the air temperature--ok, maybe 10-15, but sometimes 20 too. So, if you are running in 30 degree air temp, it will feel like it's 50. Really, it works that way. I always loved running outdoors when it was cold for precisely this reason. I also think my body tends to run "hot". No jokes, please.

The downside of this is that as soon as the temperatures get to 70 degrees, you are going to start suffering even though the air temp is fairly pleasant. You can become accustomed to it, but it's not fun.

When I was living in Goldsboro, NC, I would routinely run outside when the air temperature was in the 90s. Wow, that was an experience. I remember sweating profusely and my hands feeling swollen (dehydration setting in). But I also ENJOYED it. My body felt completely loose. The first thing I'd do when I came into the house was sprawl on my cool linoleum floor. Then I'd grab a bottle of water. I couldn't immediately shower, because I'd just start sweating again.

Anyway, not sure what today holds for me in terms of working out. If I am going to run on Sunday, today would be the day to do the big big block, but it's not exactly nice outside right now. Tomorrow should be a rest or light workout today. Hmmmmm...what to do!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

World's Most Boring Workout Post

20 minutes on the elliptical followed by some ab and lower back work....booooring. See below for more interesting poets and posts.

Non-workout post: Dorothy Parker has something to say - Men make me sick and tired too, least sometimes.

After making myself pretty and going to a reception tonight (yes, I can pretty-fy myself; I'm not always in a sports bra!), I'm going to a discussion group that is reading some works by fellow JERSEY GIRL Dorothy Parker. I just stumbled on a poem that I really like:


They hail you as their morning star
Because you are the way you are.
If you return the sentiment,
They'll try to make you different;
And once they have you, safe and sound,
They want to change you all around.
Your moods and ways they put a curse on;
They'd make of you another person.
They cannot let you go your gait;
They influence and educate.
They'd alter all that they admired.
They make me sick, they make me tired.
There are a lot of other great poems by Parker; I wish I owned a collection of her poetry, but alas, I just have the collected stories.

Gotta love the girl from Long Branch, NJ, which back in the day was THE place to be in the summer. Oh, how things have changed.

For those who don't know, Long Branch is fairly close to my hometown, and of course, I spent everyday of my summers at Driftwood Beach Club !

Weekend plans?!

Ok, so I have this dilemma: to run or to run or to not run.

There are TWO possible 5k races that I'm considering for this Sunday (ssssshhhhh, don't tell that crazy long distance runner I know! it's a secret!! and sssssssssssssshh, don't tell that Clydesdale I know; it'll just make him cry yet again, and I'm sick of hearing him whimpering when I tell him about my amazing runs): Race A: TRAIL RUN! at Ault Park and Race B: The Matt Havercamp Foundation Run . Race C: DO NOT RUN!

I have yet to run a 5K this year, but I feel like my conditioning is improving. It seems like the 4 mile runs are no big deal to me, and I don't know that I would have felt that way a few months ago. The 5K is at the Spring Grove Cemetery. I'm not sure how flat the course is, or what sort of turnout they'll have.

I'd love to do a trail run, but I've yet to be ON a trail this year. Trail running requires a different sort of least for me. I'm far more intense on a trail run, because I'm worried about breaking an ankle. Given that I sprained my ankle twice last year, this should be a real concern for me. I've never even seen the trails at Ault Park, so that also makes me a bit nervous. But TRAIL RUNS ARE AWESOME!

So, I'm not sure what to do. Both of these races are on Sunday. There's even a Loveland trail run on Saturday that I could do.


Wednesday, April 9, 2008

"It's getting old"

The subject heading is "apropos of nothing." That always seemed to me a strange phrase. I should look up the origins of said phrase.

Here's what I did at the MUM gym:
  • bench press
    • no weight, 2 sets of 15 reps
    • 20 lbs on bar, 3 sets of 15 reps
  • overhead press
    • 10 lbs, 15 reps
    • 15 lbs, 15 reps
    • 20 lbs, 15 reps
  • side lat raises
    • 5 lbs, 15 reps
    • 10 lbs, 15 reps
    • 15 lbs, 6 reps
  • lat pull downs
    • 50 lbs, 3 sets of 15
  • incline bench flys
    • 10 lbs, 15 reps
    • 15 lbs, 15 reps
    • 20 lbs, 15 reps
  • bench press
    • 20 lbs on bar, 1 set of 15 reps, 1 set of 12 reps
  • kick backs
    • 25 lbs, 2 sets of 15 reps
  • seated curls
    • 10 lbs, 15 reps
    • 15 lbs, 15 reps
    • 20 lbs, 8 reps
  • 8 minutes on elliptical
Ok, as always, the above may not be quite accurate. I went to dinner at my favorite Indian restaurant, so I didn't have the chance to post this immediately after finishing. Plus, I never really can keep straight what I've done. However, it's fairly accurate, which is enough for me.

My left shoulder still does not feel 100%. I just don't trust it when I'm working out, which bothers me. I'm fairly happy with my upperbody's appearance, AND if I'm not doing the Pump N Run this year, then there's no need for me to worry about the amount of weight I can bench, so...

Honestly, I'm not feeling very post-y, so this is pretty dry. Apologies.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Attack the hills!

Just came back from my big big run. I admit to wanting to skip this run. Earlier I was on my porch doing some work, and I thought, ahhhhh, I can skip running today. But it's precisely on days when I don't want to workout that I should workout.

So, I decided to put in the earphones and head up Central, etc. I could immediately tell that my legs were lead-like. It was not a pleasant beginning. The mix I use starts out with two Cyndi Lauper songs, which are good for warming up. Then it's on to "The Chemicals Between Us," a favorite song of mine these days for all sorts of reasons - one being that I hear lyrics that don't exist, such as "There is no love in this place, lying in this bed" ...

Today was the warmest day of the season so far, so I was glad to get in the four miles without too much difficulty. Coming down University is a relief, because it's all downhill, and now it's beginning to feel SHORT. Oh no!

When I turned onto Aberdeen, I thought to myself MUST ATTACK THE HILLS. When I was running 5ks back at PSU with good ole Dave Hanny (where are you, Dave?), the best darn running partner on the planet, I would accelerate up hills. I also remember how he would be goofy as we were running trying to get me to push myself a little farther. Anyway, I enjoy attacking the hills even if it feels unpleasant. There's this rush I get as a crest Aberdeen - it's a kind of breathing zone...feels very odd. I suppose some would call it the runner's high.

Ok, I need to shower and find dinner.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Giving advice at the gym (and today's stupendous workout!)

So, today I did something I rarely do at the gym: give someone else unsolicited advice. I know that is difficult for folks who know me to believe, but really I don't offer advice unless I'm asked and even then reluctantly do.

But today I decided to be more proactive. I'm using the leg press and I notice a young guy on the hack squat. He's rolling forward on his toes and I see his heels leave the ground; I also notice his legs are really unstable. He wasn't doing a lot of weight. When he was done with his set, I contemplated saying something. Nearly did. Then didn't. Then did. I suggested to him that he change his foot position and focus on pushing through his heel. He actually seemed interested in what I was saying; he even asked me as he was setting up for his next set whether it looked right to me. I suppose I was expecting a different sort of response - ie "Oh, thanks" and then the guy doing the same thing. After his set, I asked him if he noticed a difference and he said "definitely." He then thanked me.

Not sure what made me offer the advice; as I've written, I'm very quiet and focused in the gym, but I do watch what others do.

On to my workout:
  • 8 minutes on elliptical (and YES crazyhighrpmgirl was there!!)
  • 2 sets of pull ups; 9 reps and 4 reps (bah!)
  • hanging knee raises; 2 sets of: 15 reps wide grip, 15 reps close grip; 1 set of 15 reps to the left and 15 reps to the right (I think another 15 in the middle?)
  • leg press
    • 90 lbs, 50 reps close foot position, 35 reps medium foot position, 25 reps wide foot position
    • 180 lbs, 35 reps, 25 reps, 15 reps
    • 90 lbs, 35 reps, 25 reps, 15 reps (NOT REALLY SURE ABOUT REPS AND SUCH)
  • leg curls
    • 30 lbs, 15 reps
    • 50 lbs, 2 sets of 15 reps (not sure I'm remembering sets/reps correctly)
  • leg extension
    • 50 lbs, 3 sets of 15 reps (not sure about this)
  • prone leg curls
    • 50 lbs, 3 sets of 15 reps
  • another type of leg extension machine
    • 50 lbs, 15 reps
    • 70 lbs, 15 reps
    • 90 lbs, 15 reps
  • seated calf raises
    • 25 lbs, 25 reps
    • 50 lbs, 20 reps
    • 75 lbs, 15 reps
  • another type of seated calf
    • 90 lbs, 25 reps (3 sets?)
  • 10 minutes on elliptical


Sunday, April 6, 2008

The Importance of REST

It seems appropriate that on a Sunday I write about the importance of rest. To me, there are three KEYS to improving your body: exercise, nutrition, and rest. Most people can be very serious about the first. They go to the gym; they lift their weights; they are impressed by how much they can bench or squat. But those same people neglect the latter two elements. I am one of them. And I'm not even impressed by my benching or squatting ability. I'll talk about those first two elements elsewhere, but I want to focus on REST.

What IS rest? That's the first question. Rest is sleep. You need sleep. Your mind and body work while you sleep. Sleep is your body's way of getting your rational self out of its way so it can do the work it needs to do. When you are awake, you are IN THE WAY. Thus, you sleep. People who lift heavily need more sleep generally than those who don't. So, get your sleep.

Rest is also a state of being. You can be in a restful state and be awake. Have you ever just felt at peace with things? In those moments, I bet you are breathing more deeply, your heart rate is slowed, and your muscles are relaxed. As a person who tends to worry and stress, I know this is a difficult state of being to achieve, but I do experience it - probably MORE frequently than people realize.

So, how do you rest? Well, the first is obvious: make time for sleep. The second is more challenging. Striving to achieve a restful wakeful state requires effort, which seems counterintuitive. Many people misunderstand what they think are "Eastern ways of thinking" that advocate such things; they believe that it just means not caring about things, not stressing, etc. The act of letting go, of resting, isn't just throwing up your arms and saying, I'm not going to care anymore. See Elizabeth Bishop's "One Art". I'll post it some other time.

I wouldn't dare try to tell someone how to experience a restful wakeful state, but I'll make some suggestions. Initially, I think you have to be deliberate with your body. Just as you control your body when you're lifting at the gym, you need to control your body when you rest. Now, there are all sorts of things happening beyond your control when you lift, just as there are all sorts of things happening beyond your control when you rest.

Here are a few (maybe helpful) suggestions for achieving a restful state:
  • be aware of your breathing; do you breathe in with your nose and out with your mouth? do you feel your lungs filling each time you take in a breath?
  • be aware of your heart rate; take your pulse; imagine your pulse slowing, relaxing - don't think too hard on this, or you'll RAISE your rate!
  • be aware of your body; how do your muscles feel? are you tense? is there a place in your body that feels tight or sore?
When I'm at the gym, I try to rest. I know this sounds odd especially if you know the sort of workouts I do. But generally I don't speak with anyone there and I focus on my workouts. When I'm just sitting or standing between sets, I'm usually in a restful state. Seems strange to say, but it's true. Why? Because I am aware of my breathing, my heart rate, and my overall body!

Ok, this is enough babble. I'm watching This Week with George S., finishing my second cup of java, and reflecting on a FINE BOWL OF OATMEAL THAT I MADE! WOO!!

Non-workout post: Moses is dead

I may go to the Sharonville gun show today; seems appropriate.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

The headline below is more interesting than this one

Just got back from my big big run. It felt good, but I do notice my right knee bothers me; that's because of my nasty BUNYON (and I don't mean PAUL BUNYAN), which knocks everything out of alignment. It probably prevented me from having a world-class athletic career.

So, I am going to shower, read the new book I bought (1858), and then hit the 4:30 Maaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaassssssss (and that's not the sort you get from drinking a lot of protein shakes).

"So, how big is it?"

That's the question that has been turning up most frequently in my inbox. I have referred to the big block and the big big block, so I want to give you some dimensions.

The big big block is a little bigger than 4 miles. Not bad, but not marathon in any way. But for lil ole me, who hates to run, it's big enough.

And with that, I bit you adieu as I take off for yet another turn on the BIG BIG least I think I'll do it. Maybe I'll hit Rosedale and decide that the big block will do.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Well at least I tied!

I am here in my secret location enjoying a yummy bagel. I CRAVE this bagels. I ty to stay way, but I just can't help myself. It's like the call of the sea to a Marine. Wait, maybe not.

I know several of you are tying to know my workout secrets. You - who hides in a tree for days waiting for just the right moment to take the perfect shot - see me at the gym and think, how can I be ripped like that and still eat a whole apple pie in two days? Well, it's not easy. Many ty to imitate my workouts, but none have been successful. Still, I am happy to share the secrets of my gym routines, because there's really nothing secret at all about them.

So, here's the workout - my arms are still quivering:

  • 8 mins on the elliptical
  • plie squats
    • 55 lbs, 10 reps
    • 60 lbs, 10 reps
    • 65 lbs, 10 reps
    • 70 lbs, 10 reps
    • 75 lbs, 10 reps
    • 80 lbs, 10 reps
    • 85 lbs, 10 reps
  • bench press
    • no weight, 15 reps
    • 20 lbs on bar, 15 reps
    • 40 lbs, 4 reps
    • 40 lbs, 3 reps
    • 20 lbs, 12 reps
    • 40 lbs, 2 reps
    • NOTE: yeah my shoulder felt weak...wah!
  • overhead shoulder press
    • 10 lbs, 15 reps
    • 12.5 lbs, 15 reps
    • 15 lbs, 15 reps
  • side lat raises
    • 5 lbs, 15 reps
    • 10 lbs, 15
    • 10 lbs, 12
  • gorilla raises
    • 30 lbs, 15 reps
    • 30 lbs, 15 reps
    • 50 lbs, 15 reps?
  • seated curls
    • 15 lbs, 15 reps
    • 20 lbs, 12 reps?
    • not really sure about this one - I may have done a third set
  • tricep pulldown
    • 20 lbs, 25 reps
    • 25 lbs, 25 reps
    • 30 lbs, 25 reps
  • 10 mins on the elliptical

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

"I am Shiva, the god of death"

Subject heading is a quote from a movie I saw last night. Great film with a favorite actor of mine in it - Big Tom W.

So, I did another fantastically impressive run today. I decided to do the big "big" block rather than turning down Rosedale and heading home. Everything felt great today, even though I felt every muscle in my rear (thanks to that leg workout yesterday). I could have kept running, actually.

Now, before SOMEONE gets some sort of crazy idea that I like running, I want to dispel that notion immediately: I do not. I'm not a runner. I never will be a runner. I hate running. Also, I don't want a certain person to think I'll start running his "short" runs, which are LONG runs to me. Nope, not gonna happen, so you can just keep that idea to yourself, thank you very much.

I was listening to my iPOD. I added some Cindy Lauper songs to it. She's a great vocalist. The music keeps me focused on running, but I do start to zone out. That's a good thing. The less I'm aware that I'm running, the more likely I am to do it.

So, here's a big WOOOO for my run: WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

The weather is gorgeous right now, so...

I plan on going running. I won't run the BIG big block, but I will run the big block, so there you go.

I'm actually looking forward to running today. Perhaps I'll get ambitious and decide to do that huge loop I did on Sunday. Or perhaps I won't.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

"I want to thank my lovers, lovers, lovers..."

I'm quoting a song, of course. No lovers here. But if there were, I'd be saying, thank you and goodbye!!

Instead, just me, a cup of decaf, and a toasted bagel with butter.

I finished a leg workout a short time ago - felt good. I should have done some cardio at the end, but alas.... so here it is:

  • 8 minutes on elliptical (3 minutes on phone)
  • squat and hack squat: 1 set of 15 on each with no weight on bar; 50 lbs on squat rack and no weight on hack squat, 6 sets of 15 reps (I alternated between each)
  • seated leg press: 90 lbs, 3 sets of 20 reps (3 different foot positions)
  • abductor: 50 lbs, 25 reps; 60 lbs, 25 reps
  • adductor: 50 lbs, 25 reps; 60 lbs, 25 reps
  • seated calf raise: 45 lbs, 3 sets of 25 reps
  • buncha ab stuff
  • FINIS!
Doesn't seem like a lot, does it? Oh well, I think I had a good workout. My lower back feels a tad sore. Yesterday I wish I had some some sort of exercise, but I was so exhausted after riding around all day.

So I'm craving a second bagel. Will I get one? These bagels are so yummy.... I am tempted.

I'm running the Flying Pig

Ok, that's a really bad April Fool's Day joke.

Sorry, folks.

Yesterday I did not workout, and that is no joke. This morning I'll be heading to the gym after getting some work done at my local java source.

Hopefully there will be a post of some substance later in the day.