Week 03 Summary

Week 03 was tricky. I feel like I didn’t do as much as I should have, even though I got all my runs in and they went really, really well.

  • mon: rest
  • tues: 4.8 miles of Speedwork
  • wed: weights, upper body and abs
  • thurs: rest
  • fri: rest
  • sat: 75 min / 6.3 mile LSR
  • sun: rest

Total Week #03 mileage: 11.1, although it will be a bloc of 14.1 after tomorrow (I’m moving today’s easy run to tomorrow because I had to bump the LSR to Saturday; it just depends on when you start your bookkeeping.)
(week 02: 12.5 mi)

Days weightlifting: 1 day only

And in terms of eating, because health isn’t all about working out:

  • Weekly calorie balance: 2469 calories under maintenance for the week, ~350/day below maintenance target
  • Macronutrients: 42/25/32 carb/fat/protein (week 02: 42/27/31 week 01: 45/27/28) (goal: 45/20/35)

So, week 3 in review.

My neck/shoulder condition has been a clincher this week. I only felt comfortable doing one day of weights and I probably shouldn’t have even done that. The runs were good, although the tabulating is off because I had to bump everything down by one day. This week’s actual mileage will be 14.1. Either way running feels a lot better, so I’m pleased with that.

My macronutrient balance is slowly moving in the direction I want, towards more protein and less carb and fat. It’s hard though. It looks like I’m already at a “balance” point that works for me, since it hasn’t changed very much in three weeks. If I really want to change it up more it’s going to take some effort.

I’ve been under on calories – significantly – for 3 weeks running, actually 4 or more (although my bookkeeping wasn’t quite as anal until I started this blog). According to the math I should have dropped 3 pounds over the last 4 weeks. During week 04 when I’m resting I’ll “weigh in” every morning so that I can take an average over the days and see whether my weight is trending as it should. 3 pounds is not really significant though; I can gain or lose 3 pounds just by drinking coffee and taking a trip to the bathroom. Nevertheless, I should be able to see something.

For week 04:

Week 04 marks a rest week. This is important. I also have a personal trip this weekend (see how I did that?) so I won’t have time for as much anyway.

  • I won’t be lifting weights or doing BodyRock at all, in the hopes that my neck/shoulder bit will recover.
  • Weekly mileage will be 9-10 miles, in increments no longer than 4 miles, as best as I can fit them in. They’ll all be slow.
  • won’t be tracking calories over my weekend.

I have some posts lined up this week to keep things interesting while I’m resting. 🙂

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Week 03: schedule change up and Worrying Important Thoughts

Two things to talk about today.

First: I ended up having to go to work today. Today’s supposed to be my day off. But a meeting was scheduled for the afternoon, there was no warning and no other time to re-schedule it, and I didn’t really have a choice. So instead of spending the morning painting in the basement and the afternoon relaxing and doing my long run, I spent the morning painting and the afternoon at work. It was a bad meeting with bad news: a really stressful discussion that left me feeling super angry and upset, very personally frustrated and stressed, and also overall exhausted.

It was already late in the day, I was upset, and I’d completely thrown off my eating schedule: so I decided to skip my LSR. Instead, I’ll get up and do 75 minutes of running tomorrow morning. There’s a birthday party tomorrow night, so I could probably use the extra calorie burn tomorrow (I know it’s all the same; just saying mentally).

So. That sucks. But one of the biggest things standing in the way of consistency for workouts with my is my job, and it always has been. Some days work just robs me of the will to do anything that isn’t “watch stupid shows on TV” or “play PS3”. That’s my life. I need to learn to deal with it. Not necessarily by forcing myself to run – by doing an honest survey of my state and deciding at to do instead.

(today’s answer was a double gin and tonic.)

The second thing on my mind is just as bad.

So I have some sort of pinched nerve / muscle strain in my neck/shoulder area. I’ve had it for three or four years now, but it has always been intermittent: it shows up, starts to hurt, I put a hot pad on it and treat it really well, and it goes away. Maybe a couple days at the most. If I don’t start babying it – hot pad, ice, Advil – it gets to the point where it quite literally feels like someone is jabbing a red hot knitting needle directly into the space between my neck and shoulders. I can’t even turn my neck (therefore can’t drive a car, cant get to work). It always eventually goes away – usually the stiff sharp pain only lasts a day.

I’ve currently been fighting the pain for about four weeks now.

It hasn’t gone away.

I can still function, so I’ve been – not ignoring it, but sidelining it. I’ve been using my hot pad almost daily; I get neck rubs from friends whenever I can; I even went out and bought a new $60 pillow for extra support to try to help it. But it isn’t going away. In fact, it’s gradually getting worse. It’s driving me to the point of constant stress and almost tears. I can’t sleep. I can barely sit comfortably.

About, say, 5 weeks ago, I started seriously adding heavy weight lifting and Body Rock to my workout regime. Both of which are heavily upper body related.

I don’t believe it took me this long to put it together. I think somehow in my head I was thinking, working out will make it stronger! I’ll get better! or some kind of similar logic. Like, strengthening the muscles around it would obviously help put back into place whatever is so fucked up, help settle whatever the problem is, help balance out the obvious imbalance.

Maybe I’m fucking causing it.

Because it has never stuck around this long without any relief. Ever. In five years. And while I’ve done upper body workouts before, sure, this is my first time in a really long time consistently lifting hard, doing compound weight lifts like squats, deadlifts, etc, and combining it with pushups and planks and all that. And of course now it’s all that I can think of.

So. As of right now I’m taking a week off of weights and BodyRock. Next week is a rest week in my running training plan, so I’m going to make it a rest week overall: no lifting, no body weight exercises, nothing but easy runs.

It might do nothing; in which case, obviously, I need to go to a doctor. But it might get better. In which case I should probably also go see a doctor, but at least I will know.

It’s a big derailment, but I’m trying to be okay with it. I have to do it: the pain is getting to the point of unbearable. If I watch my diet and continue to run, I shouldn’t set myself back too much.

Week 03: Weds, Thurs

Yesterday I wasn’t feeling so great: allergies. I did get to the weight room, but I didn’t tack on anything that would have required exertion (like elliptical or BodyRock).

I stuck to solid lifts: pushups / seated row (90lb), alternating sets of 10 reps x 3 times, then shoulder press (30lb) / lat pull down (90lb), alternating sets of 10 reps x 3 times. I did the ab chair of doom in between.

Today’s a rest day. Which is good; I’m supposed to do a 75 min run tomorrow, and not only am I helping a friend paint in the morning but now I have to come in to work in the afternoon. Ugh.

Week 03: Tuesday Summary

Well, I should know this by now, but the best way to beat the workout-health-emo-doldrums is to work out.

Today’s run was great. It felt great – which is something I can’t often say for running; I’m a chronically injured asthmatic, so most of my runs feel like something passed through a meat grinder – and I’m happy with my performance.

The goal was 4-5 mi of speedwork. I decided to do what I like to call a Mile Dial Down (sounds cool when you say it!): run a mile at a medium tempo pace, and then step down – 1, 0.75, 0.5, 0.25, and 0.1 – getting faster for every interval. They’re separated by a recovery jog (which for me today was a recovery walk) just to recover breath and heart rate; I did 0.2 mi jogging or walking in between.

Here’s my run.

The overall average speed is slow, sure, but each leg gets significantly faster (it’s easier to see the progression looking at the splits; the overall averages are a little wonked because of the treadmill’s slow response to speed changes), and the average is weighted down by warmup and cool down respectively.

AND – important – my heart rate actually came down during my rest/off intervals. I’ve had problems not taking my rest intervals seriously enough in the past, and it’s ruined runs before, whether from asthma or exhaustion. Surprise – taking your running a little easier makes it more enjoyable. WHO KNEW

I’m pleased with this run. 4.8 miles, with some speedwork, and it felt good. Maybe I’m ready to put more speedwork back into this plan; maybe the last two weeks have been good for me and I’m ready to step it up.