My workouts have been rather sporadic for the past couple of weeks.
The week of January 2nd, I worked out three times.
The week of the 9th, only twice.
There was a lot of snow last week, it’s true. And that kind of weather prohibited me from getting to the gym. I’ve learned that if I don’t get to the gym and get there EARLY, then the chances of it happening decrease exponentially with each hour that passes.
Still, I can’t blame it all on the weather. I CHOSE to stay up late watching Dr. Who.
I did NOT choose to pop a workout DVD into the player, even though I could have.
It is certainly better for me to exercise at the gym. There, I am totally focused on what I’m doing, and on me! When I’m at home, I’m thinking about all the other things that I NEED to be doing and I’m trying not to step on or accidentally kick one of my kiddos, should they decide to wander into the room. (While I’m doing knee lifts, people. I don’t randomly kick my kids if they wander into the room.) It’s really difficult for me to exercise at home, but honestly, despite the distractions, it’s definitely possible.
The cool thing is, I popped in the “Leslie Sansone 5k with a Twist” video. Forty-five minutes, with “boosted” intervals (jogging, slightly higher impact). It is a very fast pace (12 or 13 minute miles). I completed it–it was a good workout, challenging, but did not kill me. I would have never made it past the first 15 minutes three months ago. (Maybe not even the first five!)
Monday’s workout was a really great one. Totally of 55 minutes cardio with weightlifting. I was happy that despite not being at the gym as frequently last week, I didn’t seem to lose any fitness. A few weeks ago, I started implementing HIIT (high Intensity Interval Training) into my workouts. It is much shorter, but much more intense (hence the name!), and is supposed to be more effective at burning fat and conditioning your heart than steady state cardio. Although I wouldn’t consider what I do steady state (I match my speed to the beat of whichever song I’m on), I thought I would give it a try. On the elliptical, I warmed up for 3 minutes, and followed this by an all-out 30 second sprint–for me, this was taking the RPMs up to 160-180 or so. Then for the next 90 seconds, I took it down to an easier recovery pace, about 80-85 RPMs. I repeated that 30/90 cycle eight or nine times, and then cooled down for a couple of minutes. After that, I did some circuit training–lifted a set of weights, followed by 4 or 5 minutes of cardio. It was a really good workout, and worked up a serious sweat. I haven’t done any interval training since. (Last time was January 6th.) I think what I would like to do is the longer cardio three days a week, and the interval training two days. While I understand what the studies say, it’s tough for me to grasp that something much shorter than what I have been doing will be more effective than something longer. And right now, I don’t mind doing a 55 minute cardio session. I am just thankful to be able to move for that long. I will never forget how challenging it was for me to do even 7 minutes on that elliptical.
It’s been awhile since I’ve blogged, and the last time I did, I was frustrated. I wasn’t feeling particularly encouraging or positive about anything, and I simply didn’t want to share the blah. But that’s not really very honest of me. The truth is, this journey is emotionally difficult. I’m up, I’m down, I struggle with feelings of defeat and despair, and then I am reminded of the progress made and the victories won. Just when I am feeling hopeless, God sends someone with a word of encouragement–and it is just the push that I need to keep moving! The cool thing is, they may not even know it. It could’ve been something they said that wasn’t even directed specifically to me. I love it when that happens. I can’t promise you, blog readers, sunshine and rainbows on every post. My life simply isn’t like that. No one is always “up.” For me, it’s not being down sometimes that is a problem. It’s choosing to staying there.
“We lose our way, we get back up again
It’s never too late to get back up again
And one day you gonna’ shine again
You may be knocked down, but not out forever”
(Toby Mac, “Get back Up”)