Category Archives: Weightlifting

Fitness Friday: A Whiny Post on My Lack of Self Control

Me after a run in Florida in April
Me after a run in Florida in April a few years ago, but it does depict my current annoyance!

Hooooo boy. You know, it’s like one step forward, two steps back lately for me. I’ve been on a great training rotation, and then it was less good, and then it was adequate, and then I started eating garbage and it basically destroyed all the work I’ve put in. [insert various curse words here] Why am I telling you this since it’s not especially uplifting? Because I don’t want anyone thinking that exercise, fitness and appropriate caloric-intake is always smooth sailing.

My “happy” weight is around 147-149 – that’s where I feel the most comfortable. But I’m around 158-160 right now and it’s BEEN DRIVING ME NUTS. That being said, it’s been driving me nuts for two years now  so clearly I’m not headed in the right direction. I occasionally fluctuate down to 156 at times, but I can’t seem to cross back into the 155 and under area. My pants are fitting uncomfortably tight right now and it’s making me super damn grumpy.

I exercise about 5-6 times a week and that may seem excessive to some people, but I enjoy it. (I run 2-3 times a week, weight lift 2-3 times a week and play soccer once.) So it’s not like I’m lacking in the physical fitness department – I am exceptionally strong and my endurance is such that I could go out and run a half marathon on a whim.

So my problem isn’t how much (or little) I exercise, but rather my food and alcohol intake. I frigging love food and I frigging love wine. And I have a bad habit of consuming a lot of both. I’ve gone through phases in my life where I’ve had a lot of willpower, I mean, I did go from 196 pounds down to 149 several years ago:

So I know it’s possible, but I seem to be lacking the drive to get there in the last few years. I need to somehow relocate my sense of self control when it comes to food, but damn if it isn’t hard!

Anyway, thank you for listening on this rather off-track blog post, but if you’re struggling with something, maybe you’ll take heart in the knowledge that you’re not the only one! If you’re up for sharing, let me know what your current personal complaints are and maybe what your goals are! I always find it motivating and uplifting to hear others talk about their plans so maybe you’ll give me the drive to more forward with mine. 🙂

Fitness Friday: Finally Back On Track

It’s now the end of February, and it’s taken me two whole months to finally get back on track with my running and weightlifting. That feels like an excruciatingly long time. I’m still slipping up every now and again (3k calorie days are cramping my style), but for the most part, I’m feeling positive and upbeat – frustrated at times, but still mostly positive.

YMCA indoor track - photo courtesy of blog.to
YMCA indoor track – photo courtesy of blog.to

February has been spent mostly running around the track above at my gym (I snagged that shot from blog.to – that’s the track I run on, but I’ve never seen those people there in my life). I was originally gearing up for a 10K race I intended to do in Panama City, Florida while on vacation in April, but the whole race moved to the week before we’re going to be there, so I’m kind of training for nothing right now (so irritated… who moves a race that people have already signed up for?!?!). However, having a schedule is what’s helping me stay on track so I’m sticking with that. I’ve been running indoors this winter season because the sidewalks are a goddamn disaster in Toronto!

Best pants
Best pants

I do have a St. Patrick’s Day 5K that’s rapidly approaching and I’m a bit nervous for that because I don’t feel like my 5K race pace is anywhere near what it was last year. And sinceI’m planning on breaking a sub-25 minute 5K this year, I’m fairly confident this won’t be the race I do it in. I do, however, enjoy St. Patrick’s Day immensely so I’ll wiggle my butt into my green running pants and freeze my tush off during a mid-March race. If anything, it’ll help me get back into the swing of things.

Most of my running plan has been adapting Hal Higdon’s Intermediate 10K race plan as it’s geared towards lowering my race times. And man, I was not prepared. The tempo runs are interesting, and I can definitely see how they’re speeding me up, but those interval days can go die in a bloody fire.

I’m also planning on running the Sporting Life 10K (early May), a half marathon during Ottawa’s Race Weekend and, of course, the Pride Run in June (when it’s always face-meltingly hot).

My gym... except this shot was probably taken during the summer... because right now it's covered in snow.
My gym… except this shot was probably taken during the summer… because right now it’s covered in snow.

I’m also really happy to report that my weightlifting is also back on track!

  • Currently squatting 125 pounds with plenty of room to grow.
  • Bench pressing 75 pounds, although this one is a bit dicey – I’m quite weak in the chest area.
  • FINALLY doing deadlifts again after more than a year of not doing them due to a piriformis issue (I started back at 95 pounds and like with squats, there’s plenty of room to grow there).
  • Amongst other many other smaller muscle groups that are all coming together nicely.

While running gives me that “hell yes I’m a super hero!” feeling, it’s really weightlifting that makes me feel the best about myself. It’s shaping my muscles the way I want to be shaped and it’s tightening areas that were wobbling around only last month. I’ve also happily dumped three pounds in the last thirty days which I can only attribute to the consistent exercise.

Now if only I could stop thinking about all the food I want to eat ALL. THE. TIME….

Fitness Friday: Current (Frustrated) Musings

So I’m kind of irritated with myself when it comes to my exercise routine.

To be perfectly honest, this about sums it up.
To be perfectly honest, this about sums it up.

I have a 5K race coming up mid-March (Achilles St. Patrick’s Day Run) and a 10K planned at the start of April in Panama City, Florida (we’ll be on vacation there), but I’m feeling kind of like I’ve shot myself in the foot in regards to training. I put on a heap of weight in December and I’m struggling to get it off. All while trying to work on getting my running distances and speed back up to parr. I know that as the weight comes off, my speed will increase, but it’s frustrating. It’s frustrating because while I’m not starting from scratch, I’m working back up from a deficit just from having whacked on the weight and not exercised much throughout December. And that’s just stupid. Why do we do this to ourselves? We just let exercise fall by the wayside and then when we dive back in we’re in all kinds of pain and/or frustration. So while I’m lugging myself to the gym four times a week, I’m still annoyed that it’s gotten to this point. No one likes starting from scratch.

201412_ff_recap2

I’m lifting low amount of weight right now since I need to re-adjust myself so that my muscles don’t cave under the sudden pressure. I’m also only running around 5-7k at a go, which feels really, really puny compared to what I was doing when I was training for that half marathon last year. On the upside, I do have another half marathon planed (Ottawa Race Weekend in May) so I know that at some point I’ll be covering those distances again.

Last year a 5K, this year a half!
Last year a 5K, this year a half!

Anyway, that’s a brief amount of moaning about my miseries. It’s not always easy to try to stay fit. I’m not really motivated all that much right now, but I am thankful that I have enough of a “must exercise” mentality that I can drag my ass to the gym at 9 pm at night without having to put too much thought into it. One of the massive upsides to having maintained a consistent level of physical fitness last year is that I no longer find it difficult, or strenuous to push myself to go to the gym. Now it’s just a matter of fact and I do what needs to be done.

So while it’s not always easy, I’ll persevere regardless. I’m sure in a month or so I’ll feel back to normal, but for now… I grumpily push on, all while reading fitspo tumblrs to try to get me motivated! How about you? Are you struggling with your exercise routine, or your motivation to start one?

Fitness Friday: Goals for 2015

Last year I started something I’d never really put down on paper before; my fitness goals for the year. Having a handy list online to refer to was great at keeping me motivated (even though, realistically, the only one keeping tabs on myself was me) and for having an easy reference point whenever I wanted to re-focus my fitness efforts.

I didn’t succeed on all of last year’s goals, but that’s okay: Not succeeding in all my goals makes me realize I need to refocus if some of them are just too far off the mark (or completely unrealistic).

Here’s my list of things I’d like to accomplish in 2015:

  1. WeightLoss – Let’s try for 145 pounds instead
    • Jesus, Mary and Joseph, this must be on everyone’s list and I don’t think it’s ever really going to disappear from mine. I had a goal of hitting 140 pounds last year and never made it. I originally chose 140 as that would make me “healthy” if we were going by those nasty BMI charts (I know, I know, BMI is a really bad indicator of “healthy”). The closest I ever got was 147, and that was pushing it. I only managed to hit that when I was at the peak of my half marathon training in September, and I definitely wasn’t able to sustain it, since I blew up like blowfish throughout December when my running bottomed out. I’m currently looking at a weight of 157 on the scale and it’s… uncomfortable. I felt the healthiest around 148, so I’m kind of aiming for around 145 pounds (gives me some leeway cuz I love me my wine and fries).
      lol ain’t it the truth?
      lol ain’t it the truth?
  2. Race Pace for 5 and 10Ks – Sub 25 minute 5K, sub 54 minute for 10K
    • While I really enjoyed running two half marathons in 2014, I’m not really looking to work too hard on my pacing for that long of a stretch of time (pushing myself for two hours straight? Nothankyou.). What I would like to do is achieve an under 25 minute 5K (my personal best right now is 26:10) and an under 54 minute 10K (pb of 55:14). I’m going to have to work more on interval and speed training (something I really, really despise) and I’m going to go have to get on it PRONTO because I’ve got races already starting in March! I think this is the toughest goal I have set out for myself this year because it means I can’t just “naturally” get better at running, I have to actually push myself to do so, and that can be discouraging and frustrating to me.
      Toronto Island 10k – clocked my personal best for a 10k in 2014
      Toronto Island 10k – clocked my personal best for a 10k in 2014
  3. Weightlifting – STICK WITH IT
    • I really enjoy lifting. It makes me look leaner, burns more calories when I’m sitting on my ass and gives me bulges in nice places as opposed to the not-so-nice places when I’m not lifting. I had goals for how much weight I wanted to lift last year, and never managed to achieve them. I hurt myself pretty significantly throughout the year and I want to avoid that, but I also want to STICK with lifting. I feel like I’d go back to it every few months, get sick or injured, then stop for another couple months, THEN go back to lifting and start at rock bottom again. So while I would like to see a 100 pound bench press and a 160 pound squat out of this body, what I really want is to just freaking stick with the lifting and not let it fall by the wayside. Lifting is the first thing I drop when I need some space in my schedule, and it’s kind of stupid because it’s the one that takes the least amount of time out of my schedule – seriously, 30 minutes three times a week? I can’t manage that? Come on now.
      I looked, and was, stronger than I am now. Need to get back to it!
      I looked, and was, stronger than I am now. Need to get back to it!
  4. Run more – run over 550k in 2015
    • In 2015, I would like to run slightly further than I’ve run in previous years. Given that I have no intention of training towards a full marathon, or working towards consecutive halves, this basically means I just have to run more consistently. I’m not bad when I have a plan, but there were some months throughout 2014 when I only ran about 20k (or like December… 10k :s ). However, I have done as much as 80k a month, and that’s closer to what I would like to be doing. So the goal to run over 550k in 2015 is only a small jump from the previous year (514k) simply because I want to remain consistent.
    • For reference, here are my distances for the previous four years:
      • 2014: 71 runs, with an average distance of 7.2k. Total distance covered: 514k
      • 2013:  77 runs, with an average distance of 5.4k. Total distance covered: 417k
      • 2012: 46 runs, with an average distance of 4.3k. Total distance covered: 200k
      • 2011: 50 runs, with an average distance of 3.4k. Total distance covered: 173k
        Nike+ 2014 log
        Nike+ 2014 log

And that’s it for me! Pretty short and sweet. The goals are a bit more vague this year compared to last year, but I think it gives me opportunity to grow without getting panicky, which is what I started to feel towards the end of 2014 with my lifting goals (and promptly bombed out of every single one of them). Do you have any fitness goals for 2014? Tell me! I’d love to hear about them.  🙂

Fitness Friday – Mid-Year Goals for 2014 Update

At the start of 2014, I set out a few goals for myself for the year. This is a quick update to keep me on track and to keep me motivated for the remaining months left in 2014.

So here were my plans, accompanied by their excuses… errr… I mean, progress! 😉

Want to drop 10 pounds and see 140 lbs. on the scale by the end of year

I have to laugh because everyone has a goal like this for a new year! Unfortunately, I’ve had very little downward mobility in this department. I’ve fluctuated up and down 5 pounds  over the last few months but am currently sitting bang on 150 at the moment. I have, however, set myself up with some incredibly strict dietary restrictions until I go on vacation in September so my first mini-goal is to get down to 145 pounds before September 10th. From there it’ll be another 5 pounds down before the end of the year. I find my self-control with food comes in spats and then gets obliterated by a particularly bad eating weekend. Frustrating, to say the least.

Want to run a half marathon

I actually have a half marathon scheduled for September! I’m going on vacation with a good friend to Prague and I decided to sign up for the Usti nad Labem half-marathon, which is in a city roughly an hour north of Prague. I’m not sure how jet lag will factor into this whole equation since the race is two days after I land in the Czech Republic, but I suppose I’ll just muscle through it if it’s really that bad.

The training to get up to being able to run a half marathon has been slightly extensive and I’m still ramping up my kilometers every week in anticipation of the race. I have no real time goal for this other than just to complete it. I believe the cutoff for completion is three hours which, barring something happening to my body DURING the race, I should be able to clear that time with ease.

I have to say I am *really* excited about this half marathon. Not only to be doing it for the achievement, but also for the experience to be doing it in a different country, in a city I don’t know at all. This should be absolutely exhilarating!

Want to do an unassisted pull up

Progress isn’t good in this department. Having suffered a shoulder injury for five months out of this year, I’m only just now getting back to where I was in the weightlifting department. I still have a lot of work to do – I’m about halfway there, but it’s the remaining half that’s the hardest! (Currently doing 70 pound assisted pullups, which means I’m actually only pulling up 80 pounds of my own weight.)

Want to run multiple races

Mission accomplished! I’ve run six races so far this year and have another two or three scheduled before the end of the year. I’ve really enjoyed the whole routine of racing – from wearing a bib, to training, to the actual atmosphere on race day. It’s been a culture I’ve really liked getting involved in and I think I’ll be keeping it up over the coming years.

Want to bench press 100 pounds

I’m getting there! I’m sooooo close now! Just this past week I managed to get back up to my previous bench press personal best (75 lbs.) and surpassed it by doing several sets of 80 pound reps. I have to say that benchpressing that much weight is actually kind of scary: Every time I go up an increment of 5 pounds I feel like I’m going to suddenly drop the weight on me. It gets better every time, but dang, I wasn’t expecting to feel like my life could flash before my eyes at any second!

I’m only 20 pounds away from my target now, and I feel confident that I’ll be able to do 100 pounds by the end of the year. (This one is super exciting to me!)

Want to be able to squat 160 pounds

I’m starting to wonder if this is unobtainable this year. I’m up to 115 pound squats (10 pounds lower than where I was before), so it’s “only” forty-five more to go, but I’m going incredibly slowly because of my strained piriformis. (It does seem to be getting better though – I think going back to squatting has helped strengthen the muscles around it.)

So that’s my update. I’ll have an end of year update when we get there to see if I actually managed to accomplish everything! Did you have any fitness goals set out for yourself this year? How’re you progressing on them?