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Work, and running, and weights

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Work is getting a bit busy right now. That's unusual for this time of year, but not unheard of. For work purposes, it would have been good to put in six to twelve hours over the four day Thanksgiving weekend. In reality, I did nothing but monitor emails (without responding) over that weekend.

I'm not sure whether that was the best thing to do for balancing work, leisure, and health; but it sure felt nice to have those four days. And I got two runs and two weight lifting sessions in on those four days, so I guess fitness won over career.

Now it's payback time, and I need to be diligent about doing the paid work between 8 and 5, and maybe sneak a bit of time in after 5. This tends to cut down on the step count, as "being diligent" in my line of work translates to sitting down more.

Today I am thankful that I can work at home 2 days a week. This arrangment allowed me to run 5K on my lunch break in spite of having a conference call scheduled right at 1 PM. The added time overhead of getting between the office and the gym would have precluded this on days I work in the office, even when I still had the gym membership.

The lunch run went well. Because of the tight time schedule, I deliberately held it to my flat 5K course from home, and went with shorter stretches than I would absent a time deadline. At 38° F (3°C) with a chilly southwest breeze, it wasn't quite cold enough to need gloves; but it was cold enough to drive me inside to do my stretches. The run timed out at 21:30 on 3.11 miles, for a 6:55 pace per mile. I'm not sure how much of that was just feeling good and running on a flat course, and how much was hurrying to be sure I got through in time to be on the conference call.

Got to a stopping point on work by 5:30, and broke for dinner. By the time I was done with that, I was feeling better. Sat down to write a blog, and the words weren't flowing. So . . . it's 7 PM, and I want to be in bed by 9:30. And the pedometer says I'm a little light on steps. Guess I have time for a short weight lifting session, and pacing between sets will be enough to get the step count up to average.

I know, lifting weights on the same day I run isn't ideal. But tomorrow is a packed day, and it's a given that I would get neither a run nor a weight lifting session in tomorrow, even if I had taken today as a total rest day. So let's do the weights this evening, but not overdo it. Be satisfied with a major leg lift, a push lift, and a pull lift.

For the pull lift, I decided weighted chinups. Left my jeans on, and strapped on 5 lbs. of ankle weights. Weighed myself, and it came out 173.4 (as compared to this morning's weight of 161.4 dehydrated and in my underwear). Managed 3 sets of 10 chinups with the weight, with a minute between sets. That third set was a lot more challenging than the third set of 16 pullups at stripped down body weight this morning. I see a dip belt in my future, to better incorporate chinups and pullups into weight training.

For the major leg lift, it was deadlifts. Warmed up at 155, then said what the heck. Let's try 205, which is a sentimental number. That's where I first deadlifted my weight. I did 3 sets of 8 deadlifts at 205, though I had to reset my grip twice during the third set. Then I racked the bar, and thought about playing with 215 or 225. Ended up deciding that 205 is enough for today.

For the push lift, I did dumbbell chest presses with my new 45 lb. dumbbells. Got three sets of 10 in and tested them with incline chest presses at a 30° angle. (I already knew I couldn't manage the 45 lb. DBs on incline chest presses at 45°.) No dice, couldn't get the presses started. But I did manage a set with 42.5 lb. DBs (= 40 lb. DBs plus 2.5 lbs. of Plate Mates). I'd failed with 42.5 DBs at 45° incline chest presses last time I tried.

The interesting thing is, this short exercise in lifting weights fit into a half hour total time. I'm loving the time efficiency of lifting in my basement, as compared to the gear up and gear down time required to get to a gym. The time efficiency makes it practical to just do 2 or 3 lifts; if I were going to the gym, I'd feel that this little wasn't enough to justify the time spent gearing up and gearing down.

So what's the point of this rambling? Mostly, it's notes to myself. I need to remind myself of a few things to remember as work gears up and demands more of my time and attention:

1. Running 20 minutes is much better than not running at all. Instead of worrying about wanting to run more, take the partial rest to let the bad foot get better.

2. Weight lifting doesn't have to take a lot of time. So make up your mind and do it, instead of playing Sudoku on the iPhone twice.

3. Getting the exercise in helps with controlling the food intake. I've noticed a tendency to eat from stress on work at home days. Looking forward to a lunch run helps control this in the morning, and having run at lunch helps control this in the afternoon. Then when my calorie count is normal instead of above average at dinner time, the evening feels more normal and less stressed.

4. Point in time check on the body: The sore thigh is almost normal now, and will likely get better even if I am running 3 days a week. Weight lifting seems to help the thigh. The bad foot may or may not be getting better, slowly. It will require continued monitoring, and I might have to take a day off running now and then to facilitate the recovery.

Gotta keep my head in the game. When work is slow, I might slide by just going through the motions on diet and exercise. But with work as it is now, I need to pay attention and get the exercise I can in the time I have. I have the time; I just have to use it wisely.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Keep you head in the game! You can do it!
    1970 days ago
    6:55 pace for over a 3 mile distance- wow! I am impressed! I don't think I ever beat 7 in the 1 mile race back in my serious running days. Way to go!
    1971 days ago
    "So what's the point of this rambling? Mostly, it's notes to myself. "
    Exactly! *and* rambling makes interesting reading : )
    Gotta grab me some of your dedication!
    1971 days ago
    Another good blog filled with information. I agree the less time I am sitting around the less time I have to eat and the less I feel like eating. The more exercise I get the more I want to stay healthy. What I eat tends to be healthier.

    1971 days ago
    Great stuff as always. I really like the take home message, especially "Running 20 minutes is much better than not running at all."
    1972 days ago
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