A tough week after I donated blood on Tuesday evening which put a small wrinkle in my workout plans. I added a book to my weighted backpack for my morning hikes. I did manage to complete Body Pump class on Wednesday night, though I went easy on the weights. I met last week’s Stairmaster goal by time, not distance: 90 minutes, 6.29 miles and 302 floors, two days after my blood donation. Two hikes completed my workout week this weekend: a difficult, approximately 8 mile loop up to the East Peak of Mount Tamalpais on Saturday with Eric and a 4.6+ mile hike at Las Trampas Regional Wilderness on Sunday with Lindsay. Next week’s Stairmaster goal: 7 miles or 100 minutes.
My first Spin class was Monday. I liked the workout and will be back for more. Tuesday was an eye opener. I never realized how much I slouch. After the trainer got me straightened out (LOL), I made a conscious effort to squeeze and apple between my shoulder blades during my daily hike, while working at the computer, walking around the house, but most importantly, during my Stairmaster workout on Wednesday. Although my Stairmaster goal for the week was to go 5 miles and I’d planned to stay at Level 5, I was feeling strong, probably because my new posture makes it easier to breathe! I ended up doing 5.5 miles (75 minutes), 3 miles at Level 6. Friday, I took the usual Body Pump class, then did 40 minutes of Spin (self-directed). Because of a crazy busy weekend, Eric and I only went on a five-mile hike, but I increased my pack weight, so I felt like I was still pushing the envelope.
Next week’s Stairmaster goal – 5 miles at Level 6.
You’d think that my gradual approach to my Stairmaster goal of 1 hour at Level 6 would have made the journey tolerable. Monday’s goal of 2 miles at Level 6 and the rest of the hour at Level 5 went smooth enough, but Wednesday’s challenges was tough, tough, tough.
Here’s my survival guide:
1) Remind yourself that if you stop, you have to do it all over again on another day.
2) Music: St. Elmo’s Fire has become my theme song: I can climb the highest mountain. But using a lower tempo song seems to extend my endurance, even though those stairs are still coming at me at the same relentless pace.
3) Reach goals. Tell yourself you’ll consider stopping at the end of the next song, or after the next mile or when you’ve reached a new number of floors, then when you get to that goal, pick a new one. Each reach goal gets you closer to your target.
This week I also received a free trainer consultation with my new gym membership. After listening to my trip plans, he advised me to use a bike for cardio and use a sled to gain upper body strength, both would cause less wear and tear on my body, and one long hike on the weekend. Though pulling the sledding equipment is an option, I was instructed to push from behind. Trust me – pushing that weighted metal across a carpeted floor is no cake walk. Two sets of back and forth had my heart beating like a racehorse. The trainer recommended swimming only as bonus exercise, which was a bummer since I love the way my muscles feel after a long swim.
My week in review:
Monday – Usual morning hike carrying slightly less weight, 60 minutes Stairmaster – 4.4 miles, 210 floors, 2 miles level 6, rest level 5.
Tuesday – Usual morning hike slightly less weight, 60 minute Body Pump class. Added weights left my arms numb.
Wednesday – Usual morning hike – back up to 12 lbs , 60 minutes with Trainer (planning, floor exercises and sledding), 60 minutes Stairmaster – 4.7 miles, 225 floors, all level 6 (yay!).
Thursday – Usual morning hike with full pack. Dog agility sprints.
Friday – Extended hike (1.25 hr) with full pack, 1 mile Stairmaster at Levels 7 and 8, Body Pump – more weight for some exercises.
Saturday – Short hike with full pack. Dog agility sprints.
Sunday – 6.5 mile waterfall hike along Mt. Diablo with the girls, hubby and my sister. Lovely scenery, tough hills. A great workout.
Next week’s goals – Spin class, sledding and Stairmaster – 5 miles.
Monday started off not so great. My fall on Sunday had tweaked my knee. I only felt pain when I twisted my foot inward. I did a morning walk on city streets (still carrying my 12 lb pack) and a meager 20 minutes on Stairmaster (that felt like a lifetime). I knew if I were to achieve my goal of hitting 40 minutes on Stairmaster that I’d need a distraction. Reading didn’t seem practical, so I decided to try music. I unearthed my iPod from the back of my closet on Thursday. Catchy tunes and nostalgia did the trick and not only was I able to endure 40 minutes of Stairmaster (150 floors; 3.15 miles), I even pushed myself to Level 9 for the duration of St. Elmos Fire. Here’s a sampling of my playlist:
- Smoke on the Water – Deep Purple – Level 7
- Perfect Day – Hoku – Level 7
- A Thousand Miles – Carleton (Yes, it felt like it) – Level 7
- St. Elmos Fire – Parr – Level 9!!!!!
- I Hope You Dance – Womack (Dancing would be way more fun…sigh) – Level 5
- Time for me to Fly – Jonas (Flying would be much easier than climbing stairs) – Level 5
- Everytime We Touch – Cascada – Level 5
- Someday – Nickelback (Someday I will be off this machine) – Level 5
When I hit the 20 minute mark and really wanted to get off, I turned on Sailing by Christopher Cross which was the first dance at my wedding and for some reason this inspired me to keep going. It somehow seemed appropriate to end my workout with Better Days (i.e., when I was in better shape and my workout won’t be such a challenge) by the Goo Goo Dolls.
On Friday, I did a 1 hour and 25 mile hike in the morning, than I did an hour-long Body Pump class. I hadn’t really intended to climb aboard the Stairmaster afterward, but one of the machines happened to be open. Not wanting to lose the machine, I didn’t take the time to go to my locker and get my iPod. I slogged out 25 minutes at Level 5, but without music it was way tougher.