Workouts

The Hardest Thing I’ve Ever Done

“I not the strongest. I’m not the fastest. I’m really good at suffering.”

Amelia Boone (The Michael Jordan of OCR).

Way before I began serious training, I had to work on my mental toughness. I read many books, listened to podcasts and talked to a lot of people who have accomplished incredible events including two of my closest friends who have completed the Death Race.

I had so many doubts about my ability to take on the Joe Warner Bragg Heavy. I have never considered myself the type of person who could take on such an event. So why the hell did I sign up?

My sister and I were visiting my parents who live in Fayetteville. I grew up at Ft. Bragg. I was trying to convince my sister to register for a Tough that was taking place where we both live now, in Tallahassee, FL. She was on the computer looking at events and then said there is one at Ft. Bragg and that we should sign up and stay with my parents. We were both so excited about the opportunity to do an event on the hallowed grounds that my dad trained on for so many years. We registered AND THEN read about what the event entailed. I was terrified and immediately began my typical doubts in my ability and my mental strength.

This was in June and I figured I had plenty of time to train. At this time I had done a GORUCK Tough and a Light. My second Tough was the following month.

The first Tough I did several years earlier, I hated. I was in way over my head and wanted to quit many times. I even thought about falling off a curb and breaking my own ankle to get out of it. Yes, I was that miserable. Seven of us finished and I was one of them. I came home and threw my patch in a drawer and swore I would never do one again.

The following year a bunch of my friends and clients (I am a personal trainer and own my own gym) signed up for a Light so I got suckered into doing it. It was a great event and soon I forgot how traumatized I was about the Tough I had done.

I signed up for the Tallahassee Tough against my better judgment, but again, my friends and a few of my clients were doing it. I succumbed to  peer pressure.

I never work on conditioning and I hate cardio. I had spent the last couple of years training and competing in powerlifting. Anything over five reps was enough cardio for me.

I finished the Tough along with our whole group and not once did I think about breaking my own ankle. Although it was very challenging, I was hooked.

With 7 months until the Joe Warner Bragg Heavy, I figured I had plenty of time to train.

I downloaded a few different programs online and began to focus on becoming an endurance and cardio girl.

I soon found out I was not good at rucking longer distances. One of the first things required for a Heavy was a 12 mile ruck in under 3 ½ hours. My sister, an endurance athlete had no trouble. I on the other hand was dying. I was slow and had all kinds of pain in my feet. My mind began to work against me. I’ve never had much self-confidence and training for and failing the simple task of fast rucking only made things worse.

From the very start, I was thinking about how I could back out.

After screwing around for a couple of months and not getting any better, I hired a coach, Flo Zurkinden who had done many endurance events including the JWBH and several Death Races.

The first few workouts sucked. I was taking a lot of breaks and left gasping for air. The doubt really set in. I made sure that everyone who knew I was signed up, knew I wasn’t sure I had the mental strength to finish. My doubts, my lack of confidence and my fears permeated every part of my life. I became a loser before I even started.

My workouts included running and I hate running. Many times I be out on the trail and as soon as I started getting out of breath and uncomfortable, I quit.

It took a couple of months before I started getting some endurance. I still couldn’t ruck fast even when I added spurts of running. The thing that scared me the most was being last and left behind.

I finally started working on my mindset. I even met with a sports psychologist, things were that bad. We came up with several techniques, the first being to quit telling every one that I lacked mental toughness.

I started training my mind. One of the best things I did, although weird was to read and copy Mark Klemm’s (number 35 in selection) quotes. I had one quote put on a bracelet that I never took off. I had the quote as my screen saver and had a copy in my car. I had my friends and family write personal letters which I laminated and kept in my pack. The other important thing that one of my friends wrote for me was to focus on the task at hand and don’t give any thought to what might be next. That became my mantra.

I covered my weight plate with a picture of my dad receiving his Silver Star after a heroic event he performed in Vietnam. My dad, who served 35 years and is a retired SGM was my inspiration. He spent so much time training at Camp Mackall and I wanted to be there.

Finally everything came together. I was at a place that I was confident in my physical abilities and I began to believe that I could finish. I would finish no matter what.

My sister and I arrived in Fayetteville on the Wednesday before the event. My mom was sick and my sister decided to spend the time with her and not to do the Heavy with me.

My dad is currently in a nursing home with Alzheimer’s. We spent the afternoons and evenings visiting with him. Most of the time he doesn’t quite know who I am. Sometimes with coaching, he knows I’m his daughter but doesn’t remember my name.

I don’t want to get into this too much but it’s hard to see my dad, my hero, so vulnerable. I never know what to say to him because he can’t communicate very well anymore. I wanted to tell him what I was about to do but wasn’t sure he would understand.

The afternoon before the event, I asked him if he remembered, Camp Mackall. His face lit up and he said, yes. I told him I was about to do training there. I don’t think he understood that. I wanted so bad to talk to him, ask him questions and share this experience with him but I couldn’t.

I went to War Stories that night. It was great to meet so many people that I only knew from Facebook. I was thrilled to meet, Mark Klemm ie, number 35 from GORUCK’S hardest event, Selection. I wore my, “I finished the day I signed up” shirt. It was a statement he made during Selection that stuck with me. Of course, I got a picture taken with him.

I also took a huge risk by trying to bribe Cadre Dan with a handful of Dons, the official money of Pineland. I figured he’d either think it was funny or he’d make me regret it the next day. Thank God, he thought it was funny.

Bribery

Friday was a blur. I packed and unpacked my ruck several times. I started to panic. I was worried about bringing the right clothes, the right food and the right gear. My sister helped me weed out the contents of my ruck so it wouldn’t end up weighing 100 pounds.

We had one last visit with my dad before we headed to Southern Pines. I met up with a couple of ladies I knew from FB and had met the night before at War Stories. We made plans to stick together.

At 5:00, everyone was ordered to get in line. It was go time.

Stay tuned for Part Two, Joe Warner Bragg Heavy AAR (after action report)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oh How I Love My Data

[contact-form][contact-field label=’Name’ type=’name’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Email’ type=’email’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Website’ type=’url’/][contact-field label=’Comment’ type=’textarea’ required=’1’/][/contact-form] I am a data freak! I admit, I am one of those obnoxious runners that take five minutes to set my heart rate monitor,  MapMyRun app, my Round Timer and the perfect playlist. Thankfully, my running partners do the same. I love the data. I want to see my heart rate, how many calories I burn, how far I ran and how fast (slow) I went. The same goes for my weight lifting and gym workouts.

Although I haven’t done a bodybuilding competition in almost 20 years; I still have my workout and food journals. I knew every workout, weights lifted, sets done, how I felt and every morsel of food that went in my mouth. Yes, I was obsessive, but I had to be. I had to know where I was in order to get where I was going.

Setting goals, which I am adamant about and which I blog frequently about are one of the most important things you can do on your fitness journey. Once a goal is set, there needs to be a specific plan. It’s like taking a road trip. You have a destination (your goal) and your plug that into your GPS and follow directions. Next thing you know, you’ve arrived at your destination.

The best way to follow the map to reach your goal is by collecting and keeping data. Obviously, you don’t have to be as obsessive as I am, but you do need to figure out a way to track your progress that works for you.

The easiest way I find is with a good old-fashion training log. My personal favorite is the Convict Conditioning Training Log which you can see below.

My Favorite Training Log

 

Super Strong Nana gets a Movement Screen

I can’t believe it’s been over a month since I’ve blogged. To all of my readers, (mom) I apologize.

I’ve committed to writing a weekly blog for the Tallahassee Democrat and have basically neglected this blog. No more! I’m back and I have so much to tell you.

First of all, after having been registered for almost a year, I finally got to attend the Summit of Strength in OK. It’s my favorite workshop and I’ve attended for the past 3 years.

One of the things I did when I got there was to meet with Master RKC and all around awesome guy, Brett Jones for a Functional Movement Screen. I wanted to be assessed by someone who really knows their stuff and Brett is the man. I was nervous and even considered “practicing” the screen so I would get a good score. Yes, it’s dumb but I wanted to make a good impression. Having movement issues when I consider myself in great shape is kind of embarrassing. I thought it would reflect on what kind of person I am.

I know we joke around about having movement issues does not make you a bad person, but I guess I thought it would. God forbid Brett thinks I’m a bad person.

Getting a movement screen was eye opening. I thought my scores would be much higher. I was a bit embarrassed and wanted to argue some of the scoring. But the beauty of the FMS is that it’s standardized and there is very specific criteria. When done by a certified FMS, there is no discussion. It is what it is AND it doesn’t make you a bad person!

So, many of you know I am freakishly flexible. Doing a deep overhead squat is easy for me. Shoulders move well and I can hit rock bottom. That is all great but what happens in a deep squat for me is that one of my feet turn out. Doesn’t seem like a big deal, but that tells me that something is going on with that side of my body. I want to fix it and do my squats without any compensations. Brett tested my ankle mobility which I thought would be off the charts…nada. Maybe that has something to do with my deep squat.

The rest of the screen was ok and we started on my corrective exercises. Brett explained that being hyper-mobile without stability was my problem. It’s important to have both to move well and help prevent injury.

My corrective exercises are pretty simple except for the half kneeling balance drill. That sucks! In a half kneeling position with front foot lined up with the down knee, I have to focus on keeping my pelvis level and centered. I can do just a few seconds before I tip over. When I was doing it my way, with my pelvis tilted, I could balance all day. But that is what we call a compensation and a lack of stability. The other corrective is the posterior rock with a stability ball. That one is great and I can feel my core firing but it’s one of those that looks pretty goofy. No way would I do that one in public or even in front of my workout partner.

I was feeling great and pretty excited until Brett told me not to workout (my regular workouts) for 2-4 weeks while I worked on my corrective exercises. I was deflated. I was just getting in a groove and getting strong and the thought of not working out was upsetting.

So during the Summit, I did my correctives and just a few “green light” exercises such as get ups, and super slow, light goblet squats. I missed out on quite a bit but still enjoyed and learned so much from the instructors.

A lot of the weekend was spent on movement, breathing and honing our skills. I know that the better I move, the stronger I will be. Going for max strength or even fitness with compensations is a set up for injury. Compensations are my enemy. I want to move well, be flexible and stable, strong and durable. I want to be able to workout for the rest of my life and I know if I don’t take the time to fix these issues, I won’t be able to.

Corrective exercises are not fun, not sexy (well, maybe the Posterior Rocking would turn someone on) and certainly not exciting. You won’t see me bragging about my ankle drills on Facebook and you won’t see me tweeting about my Thoracic rotations. But I know if I put in the time now, it won’t be long before I’m back online bragging about big gains in my fitness and strength.

If you are local and would like more information on getting a movement screen and corrective exercises, please leave a comment. I am certified in Functional Movement Screening as well as Z-Health.

Super Strong Nana is Sticking to a Plan

Yes, it’s worthy of a headline. If you read my last post, you have learned that I have exercise ADD. I spend a lot of time on the internet and I spend a lot of time reading about other people’s workouts and accomplishments. I get distracted and off track. I then end up starting a whole new workout program which may or may not be in synch with MY goals. Part of my problem is that I like to see if I can do something that someone else has done. There are a lot of strong women out there and I aspire to be one of them. My problem is that in the past, I just tried to incorporate random stuff into my workouts and have found that I haven’t improved on my own goals.

That all changed a couple of weeks ago when I made a decision to stick to a plan to help me reach my goals.

I’m entering my 2nd week of sticking to a workout plan. I have to admit, the hardest part is not getting distracted and not adding to it. I can already see improvements in my strength. My max one time Deadlift was 175. I did that once last month. Most of the workout days call for 2 sets of 5 reps so I’ve been using 135 pounds. I know that doesn’t sound like much but for me, it’s pretty tough. I have found that by the middle of the 2nd week, my 135 pound effort does not take as much effort. It’s getting easier. Pressing is still hard for me as well as the pull ups. I did notice strength I did not have before. I have been trying to climb our 12 foot wall with the rope but without using the foot holds. I’ve never been able to do this with just the rope. While doing a demo of wall climbing for our last Adventure Race Camp, I climbed up the wall..without the foot holds! My intent was just to show those who could, how to do it with just the rope and before I knew it, I was at the top of the wall, much to my surprise. So even though, I didn’t think I was making much progress in my pull ups, I was making some serious progress.

Although I am getting bored of doing the same thing, I love that the workouts are quick. The best part is that since I am not maxing out every time, I have energy left over to work on practicing some of the skills I need for strongman competitions.

If you find that your workouts and goals are all over the place, you owe it to yourself to check out Easy Strength.

Since I have energy after all of my workouts, I get to end with some fun skill work.

Everyone Needs a Joe

I am always amazed by people who are self motivated when it comes to working out. I can’t help but stare at people running alone and even more mind-boggling, without music and gadgets.

I admire people who do P90X alone in their living rooms or those who workout in garage gyms with equipment tucked between lawnmowers, paint cans and rusty tools.

Unfortunately, I am not that person. I have a home gym that rivals many commercial fitness studios. I have a top of the line Landice treadmill, a Precor elliptical and a fancy pants brand named recumbent bike. I have a Smith Machine, squat rack and a Hoist cable system. I have several sizes of Kettlebells and Dumbbells. I have plyo boxes, medicine balls, bands, balls and every other gadget you can think of. Best of all, it’s air conditioned.

Do I love it?? Yes! Do I use it?? No!

You are probably scratching your head about now wondering what the heck is wrong with me. I wonder that myself. I have an awesome home gym complete with a kicking air conditioning system and yet I get in my car and drive to my dirty, dusty, hot, mosquito filled gym to workout.

If you are one of those self motivated types, this makes no sense. You see, I admit, I am NOT self motivated. I hate working out alone and I don’t like working out at home. I’ve tried. I’ve schlepped my way up stairs, got on my treadmill, turned on the TV and started to run. It only takes a few minutes to realize I forgot my water. I get off the treadmill, go downstairs, grab my water see that there are dirty dishes in the sink. I quickly wash the dishes, grab my water and then decide while I’m here I might as well do a load of laundry. I grab my water, start heading up stairs and notice I have an email….oh and then I just have to check Facebook real quick. While I’m here, I might as well check Twitter….You can see where I’m going with this.

I just can’t workout at home. There are too many distractions. I get in my car and head to my work gym. I got my music and workout picked out and I’m raring to go. I put on some music and begin my joint mobility. I start looking around and realize the benches aren’t stacked on a straight line. It will just take a second to stack them and straighten them. I get back to my warm up and I can’t help but notice the Kettlebells aren’t in straight lines….This goes on and on and before I know it, clients are arriving for class.

I can’t fight it any longer. Call me what you will but I am not self motivated when it comes to exercise. I hate working out alone and when I do my workouts suffer. I don’t workout as hard as I could, I cut it short, I take long breaks, my mind wanders and I just end up finding something else to do.

I know me. I know how I operate. In order to be successful, I have to take who and what I am and make it work for me. I can’t just stand in an empty gym and will myself be self motivated. It’s not going to happen.

What I have done is to set myself up for success. I know I do better with a workout partner so I have workout partners. I have a lot of them! I have Jane, who likes, or rather dislikes running as much as I do. We go to the trails a couple of times a week and run. If needed, we walk and we don’t feel guilty about it. We don’t run for time, we run for exercise. We do have a running goal but if we don’t reach it, we really don’t care.

If you know me and you’ve been reading my blog, you know, I like to do some weird workouts. I like to do stuff that normal people would run from. These kind of workouts are just pure suckage. They must be shared with someone who likes to do things that suck. I have Jerritt or Ricky for that. Jerritt and I just started this new suck fest so I’ll see how long he lasts.

Last but not least are workouts that fall somewhere between social and suckage and that is where I have Joe.

My workouts with Joe are some of the training workouts for his May 50K run in the mountains of New Mexico. Joe runs. He runs far. He runs fast and he can do it alone if needed. Joe also has Megan for his ultra long distance training runs.

Joe and I meet once or twice a week for endurance training that doesn’t involve much running. In addition to stadium workouts, we meet once a week at Trinity Catholic School to run the hill and do Kettlebell swings. The running part is fun because it’s straight up hill. We are up to doing sets of a 100 Kettlebell swings alternated with 8 trips up the hill (Joe, not me). Running the hill gives him some hill experience while the Kettlebell swings gives him a ton of endurance training without adding more impact on his joints. The swings also strengthen his glutes, hamstrings and trunk.

Today we arranged to meet as soon as school got out. I was exhausted. I hadn’t slept much the night before and I had a very busy day. Last thing I wanted to do was workout but I couldn’t let Joe down. As I got closer to the school it started to rain. Secretly, I was glad. The hill is very steep and would be dangerous in the rain.

As soon as I pulled into the school, it started to pour. I called Joe, who was just pulling into the parking lot. We stayed in our cars talking on the phone trying decide whether or not to stay. I was trying to be reasonable and responsible but my real motivation was to get home and get my nap on.

Joe started telling me about his new running shoes. I couldn’t see him but I could tell by the excitement in his voice that he was not leaving until he took the shoes out for a trial run.

The rain let up just enough for us to grab our Kettlebells and get them under the overhang. The rain let up as we started on the hills. We were actually a little disappointed. I did 2 hills to his 8. I had to take it slow. Since I was wearing my Vibrams, I ran around the outer edge of the hill and down the path rather than running straight down hill.

We ran to our Kettlebells. He did 100 swings and I did 80 snatches. I can’t even remember the last time I did snatches. I was so happy!

Then came the torrential downpour. As Forrest Gump said, ” Little bitty stinging rain… and big od’ fat rain. Rain that flew in sideways. And sometimes rain even seemed to come straight up from underneath”. Water gushed into the overhang and rivers formed around our Kettlebells.

It started lightening. We looked at each other, paused and headed out for another lap. We were like little kids. We ran though puddles and mud. We dodged rivers and ducked with each thunder clap. It rained so hard that I couldn’t see where I was going.

Joe finished a total of 50 hill sprints and 500 Kettlebell Swings. I did 12 hill walks, just over 100 snatches and around 300 swings.

It was awesome!! No way I would have done that by myself. I would have left and I would have missed out on an incredible fun workout. And, that is why I have Joe.

Who is your Joe?

Super Strong Weekend

I’ve taken 4 naps today and still don’t think I’ve fully recovered from this past weekend. Not sure where Monday and Tuesday went either.

Me and my gym, Boot Camp Fitness and Training hosted the Super Human Workshop with Bud Jeffries and Logan Christopher. It was a weekend of learning techniques to improve strength and endurance using some very unorthodox methods. Lectures were followed by hands on learning and I am pretty sure everyone in attendance set strength PRs.

Friday afternoon was spent preparing for the workshop and also the Strongman performance that was held Friday evening. Watching the process was both fascinating and alarming. Bud and Logan live across the country from each other so Friday afternoon was spent learning and practicing some new stunts. Let’s just say that Juggling Kettlebells of Death was aptly named.

I don’t want to go into a whole recap of the weekend. I am editing a video that will give you more information than you could possibly handle.

So, let’s talk about me!!

I threw most caution to the wind as I just had to try out some feats of strength. I am happy to report that I did hold back in certain areas due to my healing, but not much.

First thing I just had to try was taking a bowling ball to my stomach. I’m not sure how many people would watch that being done to someone and then immediately want to try it. It wasn’t that bad. I have some strong abs and it’s all about maximum contraction and trusting the person dropping the ball on your stomach. We started low and went higher. I didn’t get it on video but later that weekend, Logan took a few steps up the ladder and dropped the ball on me.

One of the things that I really wanted to be able to do was to bend a nail. I have tried several times in the past year and wasn’t even able to put a kink in it. I tried again on Friday and couldn’t do it. On Monday and under the careful instruction of Bud’s son, Noah, who can bend thick steel rods, I bent my first 3/16th nail! It wasn’t easy.

One of the great things about hosting the workshop was having access to so many experts. Everyone hung out at my house each day after the workshop. I talked to Bud about some ideas for celebrating my upcoming 50th birthday with some crazy feats of strength and insanity. We came up with a plan and he wrote me a workout.

My goal is to flip our 400 pound tire 50 times! But first, I had to learn the proper technique. Thanks to Bud, the tire goal seems reachable.

This weekend really helped get me excited about working out. Having a really cool, unique goal to achieve is the icing on the cake. Traditional workouts just don’t excite me and this workshop was just what I needed both physically and mentally to light my fire.

On Tuesday, I got with Noah one last time for a bending lesson. I bent 3 nails with ease. Since we didn’t have a thicker nail, Noah duct taped a 3/16 and a 1/8 together for me to try. That was tough and I had to use some different leverage to bend it but I did it. As you can see in this video, the 3/16 nail bend was easy. It was bent before I actually used all my strength.

Even though I set quite a few PRs this weekend and got to hang out with some very cool people including my girls in strength, Adrienne Harvey and Melody Schoenfeld. I also got to meet and learn from, Ryan Pitts of Stronger Grip. He makes the coolest grip and strength tools I’ve ever seen. I already have an order ready.

It was a great weekend but I must say, the best part was seeing my best girl, Ava..oh and finally getting the FSU Kettlebell that Ryan has been working on for months.

Flying By the Seat of My Pants Workouts

I’m in my 3rd week of working out again and I must say, I’ve never felt better. I’m still dealing with a few physical problems but mentally, I am stronger than ever.

I’ve put aside all of the strength goals I’ve had in the past year and I’ve just decided to be more intuitive with my workouts. Normally I wouldn’t recommend just “winging it” but for right now, it’s working. It’s been a long time since I haven’t had a goal. For the past few years my workouts have centered around getting my RKC, (check), getting my RKC 2, (check), achieving the Iron Maiden (no) and various other strength goals.

I’ve always had a workout that I HAD to do taped to the wall at the gym. I had to do specific workouts on specific days and I stuck to it no matter whether I wanted to or not. Some days I dreaded going to the gym. I would get so stressed out about my upcoming workout, that I would be covered in sweat before I ever got out of my car. I did whatever workout was scheduled and planned for the day no matter how I felt. There were quite a few times that I don’t even remembering working out. I was mentally, emotionally and physically exhausted and yet I pushed through. I was going through the motions. My motivation was gone and so was my strength. I was in pain and yet I stuck to my workout plan because I had a goal to reach and had a date to reach it by.

You know the rest.

This afternoon, I met a friend for a workout. I planned what we were going to do on my way to the gym. How crazy is that?

The great thing about Ricky is that he is game for anything. The crazier the better. We decided on doing 100 rope slams and then carrying 1 heavy chunk of concrete from the back of my gym about 100 yards and setting it down. We did 100 more rope slams and carried another chunk of concrete. We repeated this until all the slabs of concrete were stacked on the other side of the parking lot. We repeated this over and over until all of the concrete was stacked back up behind the gym again.

We didn’t set out to do this as fast as we could or do it in a certain amount of time. We just went until we were done. We talked, we laughed and I even managed to bust out a few of my old school dance moves. Fifty minutes later I was covered in dirt, sweat, bruises and cuts. My butt was kicked and I was in heaven!

Writing this, I realized why working out like this appealed to me. I was doing the kind of stuff I did as a kid. I was outside, picking up heavy stuff, carrying it around and putting it down. Even though the workout was hard, it was exhilarating. It was spontaneous.

I knew I was going to do some sort of hard workout and I had a general idea of what I wanted to do but it wasn’t set in stone….actually, I guess it was, just in that I was picking them up and carrying them.

Driving to the gym, the trail or the stadium is now filled with anticipation and excitement rather than dread.

I know I’m not going to work out like this forever. Eventually, I’m going to set some goals, and to reach those goals I will need a plan. Just for now though, I am going to be spontaneous. I am going to work out because I can. I am going to do things that excite me and that are fun. I am going to think outside of the box. I don’t need treadmills, ellipticals or dumbbells to workout. I can carry heavy rocks, climb hills, flip a tire, swing a bell, lift some logs, walk my dog, run with friends and so much more.

I’d love to hear about your experience with tossing the plans and schedules and being more intuitive and spontaneous. I have a feeling it’s going to help me come back stronger.

Because Someone Said it Would Take 2 girls

The second I heard that this size tire would be good for 1 guy or 2 girls to flip, I knew I would have to do it.

After a workout of

5 Heavy Kettlebell Deadlifts
15 20k Swings
20 Rope Slams
4 Heavy Tire Flips repeated 5 times. I gave the big tire a try.

Super Strong Nana is making a comeback!!



I’d like to introduce you to Nastasha

Today marked my 3rd workout post cast.

One of the things I’ve been struggling with besides getting started again is having a plan of action for my workouts. I have goals of course, but unless I couple that with action, my goals remain just a dream. I think that is a famous quote because it sounds familiar.

I have to set myself up for success and one of the ways I have done that is to make plans to meet someone for workouts twice a week. My friend and boot camp client, Joe is training for The Jemez Mountain Trail Runs in New Mexico. I agreed to come up with several workouts to help him train for the steep terrain and the ever increasing elevation that he will be running.

Because we live in Florida, our options for elevation training are pretty limited. We decided one day a week will be workouts at Doak Campbell stadium, the other day will be running the hills next to Trinity Catholic School. Joe had never been on those hills and I had been a regular, pre-injury.

I told him that these were some of the steepest roads in Tallahassee and are at least a mile long. I was a little embarassed when Joe told me that he drove the hill and it was a mere quarter mile. It seems like a mile

On Tuesday Joe ran the hills while I patiently walked. Even when I was working out on a regular basis, these hills were challenging. Walking them for the first time in months was tougher than I’d like to admit.

After walking the quarter mile hill several times I decided to try a little bit of running. There are several cut through streets between the hills that are about 40 yards in length. I jogged those. My inner 20 year old, kept goading me into running up the hills. I tried hard to resist but ended up running some of the downhill portions. I felt fine but forced myself to stop while I still had energy. It felt great to workout again.

Today I met Joe at the stadium. Earlier in the day, I emailed him several hellish workouts designed for the stadium and the ramps. I told him to cut them up, fold them and open one when he got there. Doing that will help keep the workouts interesting and help him prepare for the unknown. He ended up with a ladder workout of the stadium steps and the ramps. The workout was one trip to the top of the steps and 1 run up the ramps. He added to the ramps while continuing to run one set of steps in between until he was running up the ramps 5 times. While he did this, I started walking up the steps. I watched Joe run past me several times. I had to force myself to stick to my plan of going slow, resting as needed and stretching throughout.

I went in to walk up the ramps that lead to the upper levels of the stadium and that is when Natasha appeared. I’ve decided to name my inner 20 year (that is trying to kill me), Natasha. The name conjures up the imagine of a raven haired assassin. As the new, smarter me was focusing on gradually building an endurance base while continuing to baby my newly healed foot, Natasha was whispering in my ear, mocking me.

I began to run. It was a constant battle. I ran up one level to shut her up and walked up one level to satisfy the new, smarter me. My big compromise was to stop even though I felt I could do a little more. I do have to admit though, my legs were shaking and I was beginning to feel a bit nauseous.

I left feeling on top of the world and with lots of energy to spare.

One of my goals for tomorrow is to write down my workout plan for the next couple of weeks. I am still being treated for shoulder pain so any upper body work is out. I am going to start adding squats, deadlifts and swings a couple of times a week in addition to meeting Joe for hill and stadium workouts.

The prospect of getting back into a regular routine is exciting. I just have to keep an eye out for Natasha.

 

 

It’s a long way to the top if you want to rock and roll

I am free!! I am cast free, boot free and dorky walking shoe free. It’s been since late November that I have been able to wear matching shoes. Today I gathered up all of my right shoes that have been strewn around the house and paired them back up with long forgotten left shoes.

The only thing holding me back now are my painful shoulders which I just started a new treatment for and a pesky hamstring that I re-injured trying to deadlift in a cast.

Other than that, I am good to go.

Tonight was my first workout. I was giddy with excitement all day. I met a friend at Doak Campbell stadium to do the steps. As usual my inner 20 year old, that is trying to kill me, wanted to take off and run to the top but my new smarter 49 year old shut her down.

I walked to the top. I was very cautious with my newly healed foot, making sure I planted my feet firmly on each step. I was able to the top 3 and a half times. I could have done more but why risk it? From now on I am taking care of this body of mine. It’s the only one I have and the only one I will ever have. From now on I will train smart. I will do adequate movement prep and joint mobility before every workout. I will not train in pain. I will not train when exhausted. I will properly fuel my body and give it adequate nourishment. Last but not least, I will take rest days.

One of the things I thought about during my short little workout was that there are so many people who can’t train. I thought about a new friend I met on Facebook, named Nancy who is a trainer and an RKC in CA. Nancy has been on bed rest and crutches for 16 weeks due to major foot problems, foot surgeries and non healing surgical wounds. She is so positive and is always looking at the bright side.

Tonight’s 3 and a half trips to the top of  stadium was for her.

Heal fast my friend!