Snow day? here’s something to chew on…

winterscene

Its another snow day here in Cincinnati.  I really love snow days because its a great excuse to cocoon (interpret as sit in front of fire, read, watch movies, work on the computer), and do anything except exercise.  Ever since I got pneumonia several years ago, I can’t run outside.  One more excuse to skip my workout.

But, this year is different because I am committed to training (yes, actually following a training program like I teach) for a May triathlon.  Let me back up a little bit.

So, for the past two years or so, I haven’t been racing, so I haven’t been training.  I’ve been so busy training others that it was really hard for me to get my own training in.  And my friend and training partner got sick 2 years ago, then was working ungodly hours at work.  So that’s my excuse.  I was unmotivated and kind of was in victim/blame mode.  This year something is different.  I actually heard myself.

You know what I mean.  Its like we have this conversation in our heads:

me: I should run today

my head: oh yeah, lets call Mary and see when she can go

me: she can’t go, boo ho0.  I should go anyway.

my head: yeah, but it won’t be as fun, and maybe when you get there it might hurt and then I’ll be sore or hurt myself, and besides its cold out.

me: yeah, better play it safe.

Okay, so then one day in January I was able to step back and really hear myself.  I was like–Oh my gosh!! I sound just like the clients who never come to the gym!  I am so lame!! I am letting everything get in the way of me working out!  If I want to change then I have to take charge and do it.  Pull up my big girl panties.  and Just Do IT.

So, for the past two weeks I have been spinning and running, doing brick workouts, lifting, swimming.  This morning I ALMOST fell back into complacent mode, but I went to the gym (thanks to some motivation from my daughter) and had an awesome workout!!!  Feels so good!  Victorious over my sloth-like tendencies.  🙂 Here is what I did on the treadmill while I watched part of the Pink Panther (I did weights yesterday and missed spinning so I did this today):

Ran at 5.5 (rather slow) for 3 minutes. Then did tabatas at 7.5  (thats 20 seconds run hard/10 rest 8 times).  I rested at 4.0 then sped up to 6.0 until I got to 10 minutes.  Then I did another tabata set same as the first.  Rested until 16 minutes and ended with another tabata set.  That brought me to a little over 2 miles and 20 minutes.  Felt great!!!  Don’t get me wrong.  It was hard, but I have to share this key insight:

As I was doing my second set of tabatas (at about the 4th round), I started to feel more relaxed.  I definitely was keeping track of my form, very conscious of using my core and hamstrings/glutes, but I started to feel like I could breathe slower.

Physiologically this isn’t really earth shattering, but I want to share it with you because of this:

We tend to feel that something is hard and then stop because it hurts, or we feel weak.  This happens when I swim.  My first 100 m my arms are burning, but then it goes away.  Push ups are the same way.  Once warmed up, the muscles, given the proper rest, can keep going and the burn goes away.

So, two lessons here…

#1:  Listen to yourself.  are you playing the victim card?  do you blame other people, your situation, your family for not doing what you really want/need?  work that out.  being a victim is all in your head, so you can change it.  Read a book for inspiration about an athlete who beat all odds and conquered the worst to rise above.  this is a great story.  Listen to some inspiring music like Eye of the Tiger or Firework.  Might sound kind of corny but it works.

#2: Keep going.  Don’t stop when your muscles start to burn (there is a difference between burn and hurt–listen to your body).  Push past the burn and see if it goes away.

Happy snow day!  Share your favorite snow day workout in the comments below!

Elyse

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