Last week I announced my recommittment to exercise. I publically vowed to get back into it, even if running could no longer be part of the picture for the time being. Mentally, it was tough– going to the gym after work, after a long day in 90 degree heat, was often the last thing I wanted to do, but I kept reminding myself how good I would feel if I did do it. And so I did– in fact, I managed to get in some sort of exercise every single day this week! I only have three more weeks of afternoon exercise before school ends and I can return to mornings– then, getting my exercise on won’t be such a challenge at all!
Here’s how my week broke down:
Monday, May 27th: 6.3 mile outdoor walk
Tuesday, May 28th: 65 minutes on the adaptive motion trainer covering 5.1 miles; weightlifting for arms and shoulders (7 exercises, 3 sets each)
I always used to refer to the adaptive motion trainer as the “running elliptical” because it allows you to simulate running without much impact. I googled around until I finally found what it is actually called– here’s what the one at my gym looks like:
I used to avoid this machine because I wasn’t sure how good of a workout it was. After having spent an hour plus on it, I realize it’s a great alternative to running during injury!
Wednesday, May 29th: 65 minutes on the elliptical covering 5.5 miles; weightlifting for legs (6 exercises, 3 sets each)
Thursday, May 30th: 3.1 mile outdoor walk and an hour and a half of physical therapy
Friday, May 31st: 65 minutes on the crosstrainer; weightlifting for chest and back (7 exercises, 3 sets each)
Saturday, June 1st: 6.55 miles outdoors (4 mile slow job and 2.55 miles walking); another 4.7 mile outdoor walk with the husband
Sunday, June 2nd: 8 miles on the treadmill (6 miles run with walk/stretch break after every mile, 2 miles walked); 5.9 mile outdoor walk with the husband
Looking back, I am proud of how much variety I incorporated into my routine this week. I am also pleased with the three lifting sessions I did! The best workout of the week was my first slow jog in months on Saturday. I still experience a lot of intermittent pain and stiffness in my lower back and leg joints but when I woke up Saturday, I felt pretty good. I did a ton of stretching before the run, and a ton afterwards too. The run itself was careful and slow– I did 11 minute miles and vowed to stop as soon as I felt any pain. I definitely felt stiff in my lower back during my run, but not pain. I also vowed to stop at mile four and not get overzealous. I know my slow transition into running has to be measured and extremely gradual. I have to admit that based on how just four miles felt, it’s hard to imagine me running a half anytime soon, not so much because of the endurance needed, but more because my body started to get very stiff by mile four. Still, I plan on taking it slow and steady and see how it goes.
One thing I did notice though was how slower my body recovers now. My upper body lifting session on Tuesday left me sore for three days! And running just four miles pretty much put me out of commission physically for the rest of the day. When I was taking anti-inflammatories every night, recovery from even sixteen mile runs was easy, but now, it’s a whole new ball game.
The hardest mental workout of the week was Fridays. You know how hard it is to want to exercise after work on a Friday? Well I am sure you do! But, I made myself go and am glad I did in the end.
I plan on keeping it going this week. Hopefully, my body will learn to bounce back faster!
How was your past week in fitness? What was your hardest workout, both mentally and physically, of the week?