Mindset matters!


I'm writing this post on the most BEAUTIFUL Sunday afternoon we have had in quite a while! It finally feels like spring here!! This weekend has been crazy busy, but so much fun and enlightening! Yesterday, my sister-in-law and I flew up to Missouri for a one day training seminar for the nutrition company we work for. It was split pretty much 50/50 between product education and personal development. One of the opening quotes really hit home with me. Unfortunately I don't know who originally spoke it and I don't have the exact wording, but it goes something like this:

"You are where you are because of choices you have made or choices you have let others make for you."

Now, I understand none of us has total control of our lives; which is a good thing. God's plans are far better than our own and I'm grateful for his sovereignty. In saying that, I do believe we have a large say in who we become and what we do in our lives. All day, every day, we are making choices and it is our responsibility to make them for ourselves and in a way that propels us toward our most important goals. If we let the weather or someone else's mood or a comparison between our place in life and our friend's place in life alter what we know should be done, we have let someone else make a decision for us. We have cheated ourselves.

My challenge for this week, and hopefully for some of you, is to be more cognizant of the choices I make; especially the sub-conscious choices. I can train and do PT every day, but if in the back of my mind I'm thinking "I will be hurt again in a few weeks", I'm cheating myself. We have to reprogram our thoughts to match our goals. If we don't believe we can do what we are training to do and working to do, we will never be able to do it.

Before I get to this week's workout log, here's a picture of my sister-in-law and I from this weekend! :)

Sunday, March 30th
Core X by Jay Johnson. This is getting easier every time, thought I still struggle with the rockies.
Lunge Matrix by Jay Johnson. I'm glad I tried the lunges again. I put a muscle and pain cream on my knee about 15 minutes before doing this and actually didn't have much pain on the forward lunges. 
18' walk-jog in my neighborhood. 6 minutes of 30" jog, 1' walk, 6 minutes of 35" jog, 55" walk, 6 minutes of 40" jog, 50" walk. This is the first time I skipped the 3' walk in the beginning by my legs felt very loose and awake after the lunges so I wanted to start right off the bat. This is also 3' longer than I've been going! Still had knee tightness and pain, but per usual, it is feeling better now.
18' HIIT workout. 3 sets of 6 exercises, 45" each with 15" rest. Assisted pull-ups (45 lbs), push-ups, bench dips, crunch twist, wall sit, marching glute bridge.
15 lateral lunge steps, each direction. 2 x 5 single leg squats.

Monday, March 31st
20 captain's chair leg raises
3 x 8 strength [squat into overhead press (15 lb dumbbells), bicep curls (15 lb dumbbells), tricep kick backs (15 lb dumbbell), bent over rows (15 lb dumbbell), weighted calf raises (20 lb dumbbells), weighted crunches on decline bench (10 lb med ball), weighted russian twist on decline bench (10 lb med ball), lat pull downs (60 lb), prone leg raises on back extension machine]
8 romanian deadlift to clean (bar only)
1M walk with Jake in the evening... just because the weather was so nice!

Tuesday, April 1st
Cleanse day!!!! :)

Wednesday, April 2nd
Core X by Jay Johnson.
Lunge Matrix by Jay Johnson.
18' of 45" running, 45" walking. I started at 6mph and finished at 7.2mph for the running (I bumped it up by .1 each time I started running again). My knee and hip both hurt again, but it's been just over an hour since I got home and I already feel fine.
18' HIIT circuit. 6 exercises for 45" each, 15" rest in between each one. Squat into overhead press (15 lb dumbbells), side lunges, mountain climbers, flutter kicks, bicycle crunches, marching glute bridge.

Thursday, April 3rd
I attempted another run but my knee was too sore. No time for a trip to the gym before my flight, so this was an unplanned rest day!

Friday, April 4th
In California! Another unplanned rest day! Won't be able to do anything but walking at the meet and to get meals this weekend. The hotel we're at, though extremely pretty, is more like a motel. There is no lobby or gym area and the room definitely is not conducive to an inside workout. The good thing is next week I start running, so it's kind of like a nice last minute rest for my body!

Saturday, April 5th
21' run/walk! I did 45" running, 45" walking for 21 minutes before we left for our early morning flight. It was BEAUTIFUL and the weather was just right! Loved it!


Caterpillars, sand, and coal!

There is no question God is working on me this year! It's nearly April and I think I've run fewer than ten miles in all of 2014 thus far. Not only that, but over half of this year I have not even been doing any form of cardio! I'm not an exercise addict and I do enjoy taking days off and enjoying not having anything to do, but I am competitive and I love challenging myself. That and I enjoy how it feels to to be tired and out of breath and keep working. Lifting weights has been fun and a good experience, but I am beyond ready to be done "healing" and get back to sweating and huffing and puffing and feeling my legs and my lungs burn! And I'm looking forward to having a schedule to follow for training! :)

Luckily, I'm only supposed to have two more weeks until I'm allowed to get started! The only "IF" remaining is if my knee heals up! The good thing is this week and next week should go by really fast thanks to lots of plans! I researched some physical therapy exercises that are recommended for people with various knee injuries, so I'm planning to go through those once per day, in addition to whatever other work I can do without pain! I would rather do absolutely nothing for the next two weeks and be able to run on the 5th than workout every day and have to wait longer for this knee to get back to normal!!

Sunday, March 23rd
40' in the gym. I was at a friend's gym, so my workout was extremely unorganized since I didn't know where things were and didn't want to waste time! I ended up with with a good mix of abs, legs, and upper body, so it all worked out! I also walked through my pre-run drills again. Hurts my knee though on the high knees and it pops every time I do a butt kick, so I may back off of them this week.
Core session with Jake

Monday, March 24th
15' foam rolling
Core X. This is a new version of Jay Johnson's Core H workout. It was challenging for some segments, but could definitely be done twice instead of once. The rockies are the part I struggle the most with, so I'll need to practice those with my hands on a bench.
40' physical therapy exercises for knees. I basically went through one video after another on youtube, doing all the exercises they suggested. Sometime in the next couple of days I will compile a list of the ones I like the most and will stick to that list (and share it here!).

Tuesday, March 25th
5' foam rolling
15' walk-jog on the treadmill!!! 3:00 @ 3mph, 3 sets of 1:00 @ 4mph, 1:00 @ 5mph, 1:00 @ 6mph, last 3:00 at 3mph. I was cheesing BIG TIME on the jogging portions! It's funny because two days ago I thought there was no way I'd be able to run on April 5th, but I've been religious about some knee strengthening and stretching for about a week now and I'm noticing huge differences. I had no pain going down stairs to my car or rushing from the bedroom to the office, so I knew something good was happening and thought I'd give it a try! :)
15' body weight circuit. Five different exercises; each done for 45" with 15" rest. repeated the circuit for a total of three rounds. Exercises were squats, lunges (yes, I did them!), mountain climbers, flutter kicks, bicycle crunches.

Wednesday, March 26th
20' foam rolling
5' stretching
30' physical therapy exercises

Thursday, March 27th
15' foam rolling
15' walk-jog on the treadmill!!! 3:00 @ 3mph, 4 sets of 1:00 @ 4mph, 1:00 @ 5mph, 1:00 @ 6mph. I will be 100% honest, my knee did hurt doing this. BUT, as I went through my strength work afterwards, the tightness and pain gradually left (it was gone when I left the gym!). If this is truly one of those muscle imbalance injuries that runners get, then I figure I'm going to have to strengthen those muscles somehow. Might as well do it in a way where the pain leaves in the next 15 minutes!
15' body weight circuit. Five different exercises; each done for 45" with 15" rest. repeated the circuit for a total of three rounds. Exercises were assisted pull ups, push ups, bench dips, crunch twists, and wall sit.
Core X again! :)

Friday, March 28th
15' walk-jog in my neighborhood! :) 3 minutes walking, then 12 minutes of 30" jog, 1:30 walk. It was too pretty outside not to go! My knee tightened up from the start and I considered stopping when I got back to my house, but I knew it would go away a little while after stopping so I finished it out! ;)
15' HIIT workout. Same one from Tuesday this week! :) I made one modification by changing the lunges to side lunges. For some reason I have ZERO discomfort doing side lunges but front lunges are like death to my knee! Same thing with squats... no pain at all on those!

Saturday, March 29th
Trip to St. Louis with my Sister-in-Law!! We're going to a one-day conference for the nutrition company we work with and I'm super pumped! I love our company's events! So many energetic, positive people trying to make a difference in the world!


T-minus 3 weeks! (hopefully!)

I have three weeks left until I'm supposedly cleared to run. I'm really not a fan of date-based clearances, but I suppose that's better than going back in every week to see if I'm cleared. I was really looking forward to getting in the routine of using the Alter G treadmill and doing quality strength work, but I've hit a bit of a wall in the past week. My knee is not healing at all like I would have expected after a week of total rest, so I'm really not sure what my plans are for the rest of this coming week.

Cute reminder for the week!
My #1 goal is to be ready to run on April 5th. Yes, I would love to be already in moderate fitness from cross training and strength work, but none of that will matter if I cannot run. That being said, I may continue to take more time off this week to see if the pain will pass. I am scheduled to go back to the chiropractor on Thursday, but may try to get in today as well. I actually thought it was getting better, but then I tried to do some forward walking lunges and had pain from the very first one. No such luck! Going down stairs is still by far the most painful thing, so hopefully that helps my chiro narrow things down a bit!!

Sunday, March 16th
20' foam rolling
10' stretching
30' physical therapy exercises
*ice massage until the 4 cubes melted!

Monday, March 17th
Walk through pre-run drills
10' bike [4' hard, 1' easy, 4' hard, 1' easy]
3 sets of [8 slow, single-arm bicep curls (15lbs)/ 10 straight leg captain's chair leg raises/ 12 prone hip extension; 15 single-leg leg extension (20lbs); 10 leg curls (45lbs); 15 standing high cable row]
20' foam rolling

Tuesday, March 18th
20' foam rolling
Walk through pre-run drills
Physical therapy and core work

Wednesday, March 19th
Impromptu off day. Jake and I took a spontaneous recruiting trip to San Antonio and the hotel didn't have anything I could use in the gym. 

Thursday, March 20th
Walk through pre-run drills
15' bike [3' easy, 4 x 1' hard, 2' easy]
General strength work [bicep curls, lat pull downs, lateral and front raises, tricep kickbacks, leg extension, hamstring curl]
*chiropractor visit

Friday, March 21st
20' foam rolling
10' stretching
Basic core session with Jake

Saturday, March 22nd
Rest day! Spent the WHOLE day out of the house doing things! Like from 6:30 AM until 10 PM!


Future-Focused Training

I am a perfectionist and a planner, and very type-A... If I start thinking too much about tomorrow (or later) it's really easy for me to get stressed or overwhelmed. I am constantly thinking and my mind rarely slows down so I really have to force myself to limit things to what will affect "today". Training, however, is one of the few exceptions; especially since I'd like to continue running for many, many more years.

Regardless of your personality and tendencies, I really think the quote above is something everyone needs to live by. Tomorrow is never guaranteed, but each day is an opportunity for us to make the possibility of what tomorrow brings even better. You can wake up a year from now feeling sluggish, achy, tired, and unmotivated, or you can wake up feeling lean, strong, energetic, and optimistic.

Who you are today is a combination of the choices you've made in the past.

The choices you make today, and tomorrow, and the next day will work work together to shape who you are a year from now.

I have REALLY enjoyed my AlterG running, but 30 minutes of it has not been much of physical workout. That being said, if I really do want to be stronger, faster, and healthier this year, I need to be adding something else to those days. This week I'll have my 3 "running" days again, another personal training session, and a couple strength days on my own. My goal is to also add three or four "doubles" during the week, where I'll either do core work, yoga, the elliptical, or maybe even something at the pool. I don't plan on penciling those in on my schedule as they'll really depend on how I feel each day and what my schedule allows. I'm also going to try to eat fewer inflammatory foods and more anti-inflammatory ones. And I'm still trying to be more consistent with my tissue, muscle, and bone regeneration oils, which I believe have made a huge difference in my groin/ hip flexor.

Sunday, March 9th
Full body circuit. 5' elliptical, 15 med ball squat-to-press, 10 e/s med ball wood chop squats, 2x10 e/s back lunge with curl and press while rising up, 2x15 standing rows, 2x15 e/s straight-leg dead bug on bosu ball, 5' elliptical, 2x10 e/s step-ups with med ball press, 2x10 tricep pushups, 2x10 stability ball pikes, 2x10 bent over rows, 5' elliptical, 2x10 lying tricep extension in glute bridge (toes lifted), 2x10 lying tricep press in glute bridge (toes lifted), 2x15 e/s stretched side crunch on bosu ball.

Monday, March 10th
30' AlterG run @ 65% b/w. I spent the first 10 minutes at 7:30 pace, then 15 minutes at 6:58 pace, then 5 minutes at 6:31 pace. If you're just now dropping by and seeing these paces, they are NOT anywhere close to as fast as you're thinking. We're talking upper 9:xx pace on land at full body weight!!! :) It felt good again up until about halfway through and then my outer hamstring tendon (at the knee) start pulling and hurting. It seemed to get progressively worse over the course of the run so I shut things down early during the last minute. It did the same thing in the last three minutes of my run on Friday, but completely disappeared later in the day, so I wasn't concerned about it, but that hasn't been the case this time. :( Googled it and it looks like tendonitis in that outside hamstring tendon. I went to the chiropractor last night and go back again on Thursday.
35' full body yoga video during lunch.

Tuesday, March 11th
30' AlterG run @ 65% b/w. I showed up thinking a walk in the treadmill would help with blood flow and speed up healing for my tendon, but it was just as painful with low body weight as with full weight. The PT suggested I not do anything that hurts to allow for it to heal all the way.
Personal training mid-day. Cancelled due to neck and shoulder pain from last week and the hamstring tendon.

Well, you may have noticed that I was a bit MIA between Wednesday and today (Saturday). The truth is, I've had nothing to record so I really just didn't make it a priority to log in and update! On Wednesday the pain in that outer hamstring tendon was still intensely painful. Walking around the house was awful and the first steps were no different than the later steps. I was beginning to get worried! On Thursday morning, I had a glimmer of hope! I woke up and noticed only a faint ache and pulling feeling in the spot (it's not tight, just feels like it's been pulled?). Certainly something I could walk on, and I thought maybe even run on. Friday morning, I woke up got dressed for the AlterG, grabbed my purse, fixed a water bottle for the drive home, and went out the back door to roll down our trash and recycling bins before I left. Well... That's all it took. First step down the driveway and all of the same pain came back and it hurt the rest of the way down. The pain lingered a bit as I walked back up and through the house to the front door (yes, I still planned on running... the treadmill is flat, right?). I started walking down our front steps to get to my car and BAM, same pain. Like a true idiot, I got in the car and started driving anyways. I made it about three blocks before common sense kicked in and turned around and went home!!

It's now Saturday evening and I have not done any strength work or cardio at all since Monday morning's run! Neck and shoulder are both still killing me, so upper body options are super limited; outer hamstring tendon is sore enough that biking elliptical, swimming, lunges, squats, and rowing all sound like a recipe for disaster. Early in the week I thought I'd do yoga, but then I read that stretching the hamstring is a bad idea if you have tendon pain. I'm thinking I'll try something light and low-resistance tomorrow and slowly work back into things... Stopping, of course, if anything hurts!


I'm RUNNING again!!!!

Don't get too terribly excited yet - It's not "real" running, but it IS still running! :)  I'm officially starting my four-week program where I get a 30 minute Alter-G treadmill session three days per week! That means I'll get a chance to run for 30 minutes TWELVE times before I ever even start my return to running on land!! I'm really excited about this because it gives me that structure back to my training! It's a perfect set-up to run Monday, Wednesday, Friday mornings, and then I can lift weights three of the other days per week (choosing one day for rest based on feel). Also, since i'll be doing my runs before work in the morning, I can do any kind of core/ PT work that I need to do (or yoga) during lunch!

Sunday, March 2nd
15' bike + 30' of 45" jump rope, 45" rest + 10' core work. This was a bit of an impromptu workout. I had planned on this being my first true "cardio" session since back in January when I stopped swimming, but we had an ice storm blowing in and I left my keys in Jake's car, so I was stuck with workout out at home. I did the bike first, which was mostly fine, but it was hurting my groin. Not hurting to use the muscle, but hurting because that spot is still SO tender to touch and it pressing on the side of the seat was really painful. I chose to try jump roping halfway into the bike and had no pain! Score!! So I did 100 jumps, which took just about 45" and then, to make the math easy, I rested another 45" before going again. I continued this for a full 30 minutes so that I would get in 15' minutes of jumping (2000 jumps total). It didn't feel like much of a workout, but I know it was better than nothing and I'd rather baby myself right now than push things too hard! :)

Monday, March 3rd
30' run on the Alter-G treadmill at 3D PT in Dallas. For those of you who haven't heard of these, basically, your lower body gets suctioned into this air chamber and you can change the amount of air to where you are running on more or less body weight. I chose to run at 60% body weight today and it was really neat! I felt a bit bouncy for the first mile or so while I adjusted, but after that it got much smoother! I ran from my bedroom to the office about an hour later and it was weird how heavy my legs felt, haha! The idea is to gradually increase the percentage of body weight so there is less of a transition to running on land! I spent the first 10 minutes running at 8:45 pace, but was as casual as I'd be just standing so over the next five minutes I kept dropping it until I was at 8:00 pace and I forced myself to stop it there. I kept 8:00 pace all the way until my 30 minutes were up and could EASILY have gone much faster or much longer, which just goes to show how big of a difference body weight makes! I know running a SLOW mile on land would be hard for me right now! I'll have to play with pace over the next week or so to figure out what works best to get the full cardiovascular benefit without overdoing things. 

Here's what the treadmill looks like! The chamber at the back is where your legs go!
Tuesday, March 4th
Full body strength. I started with 15 minutes of general core work, but with a higher effort level than my usual exercises. Things like hanging leg raises and weighted versions of my usual exercises. The next thirty minutes or so were general body strength. I did my usual workout, but I omitted the cardio segments and instead of doing 30 reps, I did 2 sets of 15 and I increased the weight a tiny bit. 

Wednesday, March 5th
30' Alter G run before work. I am loving this!!! I feel like a new person on my "running" days!!! :) Today I spent the first 10 minutes at 8:20 pace and then dropped to 8:00 pace for the last 20 minutes. I don't want to go faster than that this week as I know I would be going INFINITELY slower if I were on land!! Still at 60% body weight. I figure I'll add 5-10% each week since I have four weeks. They had the cameras and monitor set up today as well, which means I spent the full thirty minutes watching my calves and the sole of my shoes, HAHAH! I tried to snap a picture, but couldn't keep my upper body still enough! Also, my abs are still super sore from yesterday, so no core at all today. 
Here's a blurry picture of my left leg.. I figure you would all enjoy seeing it! ;)
Thursday, March 6th
Personal training with Shane Freels. Shane (read more about him here) is a personal trainer and Camp Gladiator coach that works for the same nutrition company as me. This was (by far) the most challenging hour of strength work I've ever done. No words to describe it. We meet again next Tuesday, and let's just say, I'm quite scared, haha!

Friday, March 7th
30' Alter G run before work. I found a great article (read it here) which provides a very logical equation (yes, I went looking for one... I love numbers) to calculate equivalent paces on the AlterG. The variable is your percentage of body weight, and for each 10% decrease, you increase the mph by 0.6. That means that at 60% body weight, I need to bump up the mph by 2.4!! WOW! Using this handy mph and pace chart, that means that 6:40 pace on the AlterG would actually be 9:05 pace!! No wonder 8:00 pace felt so easy! SO, I decided to start the jump down to the 6:xx range today. 10' at 7:30, 15' at 6:58, and 5' at 6:31. It's funny because the thing that gets harder is the turnover, nothing else. It's all about how quickly you can move your legs and how long you can keep doing it. I'm not going to jump down to 6:30's for my full run yet because that still seems a bit aggressive, but at least now I know not to be concerned about running too fast!! It was another very pleasant, fun run though!! I'm absolutely loving these 30 minutes!! 
*I also got some great treatment from my chiropractor at Midlothian Spine & Sport today. He did some dry needling, adjustments, and graston to help my neck and then I jumped in for 90 seconds of cryotherapy. Brad Collins has been a huge help over the course of the past two months!

Saturday, March 8th
Rest day. And I am STILL sore head to toe from Thursday, haha! I go back Tuesday and when I left on Thursday he said I should be doing the same kind of work four days per week... I may only get two days this week, LOL! Oh well, better to build up than scale down!