May 18, 2015

Sunday Sweats - Exercise > Stress

Sunday Sweats Theme Inspired by Holly

Now that I'm past the hump and my to do list has dramatically decreased in size, I'm surprised at how well I handled the last couple weeks.  I rarely got 8 hours of sleep, and every hour of every day was scheduled, with rare breaks for free time.  But I felt less stressed than I did a month prior when I was (marginally) less busy.  And I think it's entirely due to one thing: Exercise.

Until recently, I never made time for exercise.  It was one of the more onerous things on my to do list, and the first thing to go when it became clear that I didn't have enough time to do it all.  But this time I made my list, decided exercise was a priority, and found a way to fit it in just about every day.  And I felt good!  Tired, at times.  But always confident in my ability to recoup and continue on.

A relevant conversation at the 10-miler 2 weeks ago.  I met several of Sister2's med school friends.  At some point the conversation turned to our running origins.  How long ago had everyone started running?  The answer was, for almost the entire group, 1 or 2 years ago.  While already enrolled in medical school.  With a schedule so ridiculously jam-packed that 8 hours of sleep is laughable, and some lectures have to be skipped to make time for homework in other classes.  What had driven these people to take on a hobby as grueling and time-consuming as running?

Sister2 summed it up succinctly, "Stress.  If we didn't do something, it'd be too overwhelming."

And, in my mind, that statement is both validation and verification.  Yes, this is important.  Yes, you can make time for it.  If the busiest people I know can make time for exercise and it improves their lives, then I definitely can, should, and will make time for it in my own life.

Going by the past few weeks, it'll be well worth it.

Weekly Workouts

Monday - Strength Training, Biking | DTT: 60 Min

At lunch time: bench press, flys, and ankle rehab.  We've only done flys a few times, but they're getting easier as my muscles get more comfortable with what was originally a very uncomfortable position.  My dad calls this a chest exercise, but I call it the armpit exercise, because that's what will be sore tomorrow!  Biked in the evening, which was actually kind of a victory since I forgot all about it until bed time and then wavered a bit before deciding to do it anyway.

Tuesday - Strength Training, Biking, 1 Mile Run | DTT: 72 Min

More clean and press (I'd actually forgotten all about these, so I was confused when my dad started loading up the "big" bar on "arm day").  The posture was a little easier the 2nd time around, but I was using my back too much, so probably another week or 2 before I try to do more than just the bar.  Also shrugs and ankle rehab.  After work, I jogged Luke around the mile loop instead of our usual meander, and then biked half an hour.  I've said it already, but working out with a buddy really makes the time fly!  I had sweat pouring down my face the whole bike ride and barely noticed because I was so entertained by our chit chat.  :D

Wednesday - Strength Training, Biking, Yoga | DTT: 80 Min

Did I mention I was using my back too much.  Sooooreness!  A light arm workout today because my dad said he was running errands and we'd do squats Thursday.  THEN he came back and did squats after I'd already finished my workout.  What a jerk (actually, it was probably a good thing what with the back being sore).  So squats tomorrow.

When I was walking Luke I jogged about a quarter mile in the toe shoes (I think I'm going to start working them into my schedule) and my ankle started to hurt a bit.  I started thinking about what compression gear actually does (or is supposed to do) - increase blood flow, and then I thought that maybe continuing to exercise would help because blood would still be flowing after the impact exercise has ended.  30 minutes later, my ankle felt way better!  And, after a calf massage and some yoga, it didn't hurt at all anymore.  So obviously the problem isn't the bone (which is what I was afraid of) and is more likely just soft tissue things that I can fix on my own.

Thursday - Strength Training, Biking | DTT: 60 Min

SQUATS!  Managed to move up to 175, which is getting pretty close to squatting my weight.  Am I excited?  You bet!  Also hungry.  My appetite has skyrocketed the last couple days.  :-/  After work, had a leisurely 30 minutes on the stationary bike.  My legs were tired, but I still managed to bump up the difficulty a bit.

Friday - Yoga | DTT: 15 Min

I almost pooped out on everything on Friday and then Ryan coaxed me into doing some light yoga.  Which was good, because my sore muscles needed it.

Saturday - 3 Mile Run | DTT: 36 Min

A little easier than last week but hot, humid weather makes it so much harder to run!  Give me a treadmill any day.  Compression socks are still a life saver.

Sunday - Yoga/Pilates | DTT: 60 Min

My mom specifically requested the 1 hr video that we had tried a couple weeks ago (Sean Vigue Yoga for "Beginners"), and at about the 4th vinyasa flow between down dog, plank, and baby cobra she said, "I don't think I'll be requesting this one again."  Lol!  Lots of upper body work.  I'm not currently able to keep up with the entire video, but I'm sure I'll get there eventually.

    Total Weekly Mileage: 4
    Weekly Total Time: 6 hr 23 min
    Weeks to Next Race: 13

    Thoughts Going Into Next Week

    I bought more compression gear to help with ankle/calf things, and I think I'm going to make a point of biking after running, because it really seems to help.  I'm pretty thrilled that I have ways to alleviate, or at least help with, the problem!  Another positive: I'm getting closer to my hour of exercise per day goal average!  I was pretty exhausted by Friday, but I used to get tired by Wednesday if I was lifting and doing cardio, so I can tell my energy levels are going up, and I'm hoping that trend will continue!

    How did your workouts go this week?  Do you feel less stressed when you exercise?

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    1. Exercise definitely helps with stress. I don't always do it though. It's hard to remember when I'm stressed.

      1. Oh, definitely! Kind of like getting enough sleep. Tomorrow will be so much easier to deal with if I get enough sleep tonight, but it's still always tempting to stay up late and "get everything done!" But it never works that way. :P

    2. damn girl that is amazing with your squats!! seriously. i am NOWHERE near that hahaha. like at all.
      it's amazing what a difference exercise makes for me stress wise. sometimes i forget though, and i sit around and be stressed.. haha. the stress doesn't even really show up if i am exercising regularly.

    3. Look at you go!!! The heat and humidity is really taking a toll on my running. I seriously thought I was going to die last Friday during my work out. I had to walk every 5 minutes or so of running because it was just unbearable. It has me rethinking my whole schedule and I may change running to just Tuesday/Thursday and concentrate on strength MWF and maybe some little cardio video or something to make up for it those days. I mean at 430 am you wouldn't think it would be bad...but it so is!!! I think that the exercise certainly helps with stress!


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