Dreading Starting Over…AGAIN

Confession: This week was my first official workout back in the gym with weights since my 2nd surgery in October. And I was dreading it.

But let me tell you why.

I have been weight-lifting since I was in middle school. Obi-wan made sure I knew proper form and how to put a routine together so that when I was on my own, I wouldn’t be intimidated by my surroundings.

Kiana Tom, my first weight-lifting guru. Courtesy of Obi-wan, of course.

Kiana Tom, my first weight-lifting guru. Courtesy of Obi-wan, of course.

Ever since, I could be found pumping iron (snort) in the weight room at college, in Brooklyn, and now at NYU’s Palladium alongside the undergrads and jocks. I never shied away from lifting with the big boys, even the Broncos, and often found that I was the only gal in many weight rooms throughout my young life.

Wedding day Gun Show.

Wedding day Gun Show.

After this surgery, I dreaded getting back into the gym. I dreaded feeling weak AGAIN. Only being able to lift light weights AGAIN. Being so, so, SOOOOOOO sore AGAIN. Starting from Square One AGAIN.

I feel like I’ve started over so many times this year, I dreaded that feeling yet again in the weight room.

From walking with my drugs to running with my friends, starting over has been hard.

From walking with my drugs to running with my friends, starting over has been hard.

I know that there are many days of crazy soreness ahead as I attempt to build my muscles back up to where they were pre-op. I know that there is frustrating fatigue waiting for me, probably weekly, as I find my new limits.

But I also know that I gotta start somewhere and I gotta start NOW. Well, and I’m allowed to start now, according to my surgeon.

But if not now, when? It’s only going to get harder and harder to force myself back to the gym, so why not this week?

20lbs is what I can do? Then 20lbs it is.

20lbs is what I can do? Then 20lbs it is.

I’m already sore from the hamstring curls, static lunges, abductor raises, tricep pushdowns, straight bar curls, overhead presses, and seated rows I did on Tuesday. Here’s hoping it doesn’t take too long for me to start feeling like the animal I know I can be in the gym 🙂

Do you lift? Have you ever had to start all over again after a long absence? Do you dread the soreness the way that I do? Ugh. There’s sore and then there’s the soreness that only comes from being away for months at a time and having your muscles atrophy substantially to the point of being sore from carrying boxes up and down 4 flights of stairs.

I feel like such a wimp. Here’s to wimpyness!

Now go out and run!

Friday Fitness News: Quickie

Good morning! I’m off to an all-day, all-weekend conference but I didn’t want to leave ya’ll hangin’ with the Fitness News this week. Here’s a quickie for you!

  • Here are 50 (!) ways to lean out as a runner, according to Runner’s World.
  • As One is expanding in NYC, which is awesome because these guys really know their stuff. Next stop, global domination!
  • Emma Stone is full of crap  (why get fitness advice from an actress anyway??): RUNNING IS NOT BAD FOR YOUR KNEES!
  • Attention lady runners on the Pill: you’re fine.
  • …and you will NOT bulk up from weight training (when will this myth die?!).
  • “Wellness Hotels” are popping up everywhere. Tell me, are you into it?
  • Diet pills are crap and every spokesperson is lying to you (I’m looking at YOU, Ms. Michaels).
  • If you are overweight, it’s costing you more than just your health.
  • This, and other youth-related overuse injuries, is one of reasons I’m going into PT.
  • The effect of statins on your exercise performance at the cellular level (getting all geeky-science girl on you).
  • Long run advice for the half-marathoner from the pros.
  • Male-only naked yoga. Sorry guys, but ewwwwwww.
  • We’ve talked about this. Thanks for the confirmation, RW.
  • And finally, this gentleman has run almost 300,000 miles. That’s a lot of shoes. And Body Glide.

I’m off! Have a great weekend everybody! Best of luck to all my homies running the NYC Half and especially my fellow lululemon Run Ambassador, Jessica, who is going to kick ass at her marathon this weekend. Go Jessica!

Minimum Leg Day

Many of you have asked me about strength training for your legs. I do two days of legs a week:

  • Maintenance Day
  • Plyometrics Day

Maintenance Day is an absolute MUST for every runner. You hit all of the muscle groups in the legs and hips to ensure maximum strength for those long runs. Here are the absolute minimum leg exercises that you should be doing every single week.

  1. Leg Extensions
  2. Hamstring Curls
  3. Squats (or Stand-up/Sit downs) OR Lunges (or both, if you can)
  4. Standing Calf Raises
  5. 3 Hip Exercises

For a brush-up on squat form, see this post. For a visual, you should look like this:

Exercises #1-4 should be done at a challenging weight. What does that mean? It means that you do 3 sets at a weight that makes this happen: the first one is no problem, second one is more challenging, the third one you should struggle to get to the 10th rep and have to push hard to get to the 12th. If you’re not struggling on the last set, the weight isn’t heavy enough to be making a difference in your life. If you can’t get through the 2nd or 3rd set at all, it’s too heavy. Back off.

For Exercises #5, see this post on stronger hips (see the photos below for a preview).

If you commit to your strength routine the way you commit to your running schedule, you will be a very successful runner. If you ignore your gym workouts, you will be a very sorry runner. So, hit the gym and get ‘er done!

Now go out and run!

Science Backs Me Up

A few links for your Friday reading enjoyment. Some old, some new. All worth taking a look:

Weight training improves performance.

Running does not destroy your knees. So there.

Running in races helps to make you a faster runner.

Even Paula Radcliffe has bad days and wants to quit. Phew! I thought it was just me.

-If you are not inspired by Team Hoyt, you are dead in your soul.

*Bonus for you New Yorkers out there*

Join me and Aleah Stander of Flywheel Sports for an awesome BRICK workout (bike and run), compliments of lululemon athletica. Click here for details. Work out with me. Come on, you can do it!

Happy Friday, everyone.

Now go out and run!