Thursday, January 20, 2011

WEIGHING IN on the WEIGHT ROOM and other topics...

I left the weight room a few hours ago and can't help but feel:
  • on a RUSH to be back at it consistently
  • satisfied to have put up some heavier loads than last session (still not squatting my body weight, but doing high rep)
  • amazed (still) at Abby's video of herself doing 9 (yes 9!) consecutive pull-ups
  • and also see if I'll be able to hit my easy pace time zone tomorrow...or if I'll be too sore with DOMS.  Here is an interesting link to an article on DOMS that I read recently.

I believe that to reach my full potential, I need to be using the weight room or doing some other type of forms/plyometrics similar in design.

I may have mentioned this before on here, but I was very fortunate to go to a larger high school that had a no-nonsense weight lifting class offered for PE. This is a skill I enjoy and hope to keep using well into my white-hair years-- to keep from being the hunch-back of Small Town. For now, I hope it gives me the power I need to build more speed.

How much can it help? I am not really sure what the answer to that question is.

If I were a man, I am not sure I would be in the weight room at all. I might do as Pfitz suggests, and just offer my legs up to hill work. (Don't worry- I still do plenty of those- just not as repeats for strength training.) After all, men have to worry about such things as testosterone and I am pretty sure I don't have much of that!  (Last I checked anyway).

So, since building massive amounts of muscle is out of the picture, I am free to use the barbells and dumbbells and other machines to develop balanced muscles in both legs, hips, abdomen, arms, etc...
I must confess this is of concern to me, since I tore a hip running hills in late '09 4 months after Levi was born. Part of me thinks that my body might have been (and could still be) off-balance from carrying a baby on one hip (my left) most of the day.

Will I be able to hit those paces tomorrow? Maybe. . .. For the first few weeks I was back at the weights, I cannot tell you how fatigued I felt during running- even on my easy days. It wasn't until after the next couple of runs got fresh blood through my legs, (and all those upper-body muscles I forgot I had) that I felt relieved. Just in time to do the next weight workout.

I may be a little sore at first tomorrow- or more likely on Saturday for my (short) long run.  Regardless, I have been in it now for 4 weeks and I will stick with it until my taper. (Then I am not really sure what to do! I am guessing to ease up) The fatigue seems to be going away in the upper-body, and the legs feel like what (I imagine) normal marathon training stress should feel like. This gives me hope for a big dividend in store!

For my running readers: How do you like the weight room?  How do you work strength training into your running schedule?

My pattern is to lift after a hard work out, like a tempo or intervals and/or when I know that I don't have that type of run the following day.
I do a variety including lunges, squats, calf raisers, bench press, lat pulls, bent row, upright row, arm curls, cleans, shoulder press. The other days I try to do some basic stuff, like ab work, push-ups, chair dips, no-weight squats & lunges.

I didn't mean to make this entire post about the weight room. Oops! Blah!! Hope I didn't lose you!!

In other news, my husband has recently declared he will be doing a 5k "soon" and is running on the TM downstairs!!

This is very exciting, as he used to run a pretty decent mile, but at present weighs 210 and would like to drop about 10 pounds. He doesn't think he can get much below that number "without feeling the effects of starvation" as he put it.  Haha.

So the training is on! His and her schedules: me in the morning, he after the kids go to bed.

I must also mention that he thinks the TM must have some sort of "break-away" feature on it to keep a 215 lb guy from running fast. Well...I should say he can run fast, but the belt slips.  It has never given me any problems, ??? though the screen is a bit tough to read. Maybe I need to go test it out to make sure he didn't break it =D.

This gets me to thinking about the Biggest Loser show. (And here is where you find out how sheltered a life I live- I saw my first full episode (ever) of BL online this week.) I am now caught up and will watch the whole season. You just can't help but root for each and every one of those people to succeed!


  1. Hey, thanks for the shout out, now I'm embarrassed :)

    I like what you said about strength training for balanced muscles. That's a lot of what I focus on now. Carrying kids and car seats for all those years definitely causes imbalances. Rolling with the pvc pipe has been what really has helped me start to fix some of it. I roll and then stretch the muscles that are tight and I also do a lot more unilateral training so that I can strengthen the weak muscles without the stronger ones taking over. I recently learned that my tight calves were causing my glutes not to fire to their best ability. It's all so interesting.

    That's awesome that your husband is going to run a 5K!!! That's one of my missions this year is to convince my husband to do one. I want to see if he can beat Jeremiah!!

  2. let's see - how do I like the wgt room? HATE it. Thanks for asking.

    break away feature - cannot wait to read your research on that one. Sounds right to me.

  3. I love the weight room!!

    Weren't Abby's pull ups a work of art?

    Great job hubby!! I wish my husband would do short races with me...or short training runs, but I can't get him to join me :-(

  4. Weights, yeah, I seen 'em once. They were being pulled into the caves with the Artesians. (OK this is a beer reference for the North-westerners of a certain age). I need to get to the weights more than I do...all reps no hassle (or something like that).

    Good the the Hubby. That is where I was at weight wise last year about this time. I actually shaved 20 lbs off without changing the diet much.

    Biggest Loser was an odd concept, I think when NBC first proposed it they didn't realize what kind of a powerful, feel-good, root for everyone show they were actually creating. It is really hard not to cheer them on.

  5. i heart biggest loser. i literally cry every week! every season there is someone that i just feel for and end up routing for...they never win...but its so fun!

    i don't do "weights" i do jazzercise. i actually just posted all about it! :)

    so exciting that your hubby is doing a 5k. is he a runner, or is this his first experience with it all? that will be super fun to cheer him on. mr. dawn toys with my emotions all the time, saying that he'll train for a 5k. but he's 100% a it would be the most shocking thing EVER.

  6. I don't mind the weight room since it is my living room... However, I do not like actually lifting them. Yet I am still doing it twice weekly. So proud!

    9 pull ups = AMAZING!
    Hubby running = very cool

  7. Impressive-you are dedicated!

    I used to spend a lot of time in the weight room before I started running. I am still really faithful with core and upper body but not as good with the leg strength work when my miles get up there. So hard to run through fatigued legs (major excuse) although I'm sure the pain certainly has it's longterm benefits!! Good for you for really trying to maximize your potential!! Oh-yeah I would definitely ease up during the taper and let your hard work "work" for you. Big dividend for sure!!!

    Congrats to your hubby and the 5K. Hope he didn't break your "new" treadmill:) Joe runs a bit but doesn't really have a passion for it. He likes the races though. His non-passionate running absolutely smokes my passionate running....

    I love shows like the Biggest Loser etc. So inspiring to see people feel what its like to feel "good" about themselves!! Have a great weekend:)

  8. I feel like such a weenie. In high school I couldn't even bench press the bare bar.

    I will start doing something. I will start it this weekend! Granted it will be in my living room, but it will be a start!

  9. Weight room: when (if) I have a dedicated space - Cool. I have six exercises that I like to do (and at least two alternative exercises for each depending on how I feel/equipment available).

    I'm impressed you read that DOM article.

  10. Oh I HEART the look of your new blog!!

    I remember you mentioning that you miss really lifting...I miss circuit training. A killer workout, but I honestly rarely lift now. :(

    Congrats to Mr. Small Town runner!!! He has a great coah already!

  11. defintely use the weight room. Light conditioning. High rep on medium weight. Lots of core and balance work! SO great for those runs. Keep it up woman!

  12. I know when I took my training into the weight room 2-3 times/week, with leg work included, I took my running to a whole new level. I felt better on a hundred levels and I knocked off massive minutes on my marathon times and all other race distances. I learned in my coaching classes that you gain about 10-15% improvement by weight lifting 2-3 times/week so I'm a strong believer! :)

    Very cool the hubby is doing the 5k ... you're going to have to have to sign-up to use the treadmill now :).

  13. The weight room scares me. When we had a gym membership I would avoid it cos I had no idea what I was doing and didn't want to do something stupid and...well anyway.

    I have some weight at home where I do simple exercises, 2-3 times a week, but that's about it.

    How exciting that the DH is running! That is so cool! =)

  14. Hey you! Good for you for getting into the weight room! :) I used to lift weights a ton in college. It was part of our practice schedule. I was BUFF. :) In fact, back in say 2000 or 2001, I could do a good 8 or 9 pull ups but now I'd be lucky to do 1. ha!

    Now I do Jillian for 40ish minutes (trying for 3 times a week but I'll take two). If I have not done it in awhile and do it, it hurts so bad. Not the same as the weight room or having more weights here but I feel it making me strong. :)

    Yay for your hubby doing a 5K. My husband is doing the Shamrock 5k with me in March and a half marathon in April. I miss running with him. We used to all the time.

    Anyway, won't write a blog on your blog here...:)


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