Saturday, December 17, 2022

Hitting it Hard

I've been hitting it hard this month, lifting heavy weights to max out as we do this time of year, and this week I really felt it with heavy legs, especially on my runs. Running is my first love and I started strength training many years ago as a way to build strength for running and prevent injuries. Every year, when I hit my peak lifting weights and feel like this, I have to remind myself that I'm building for the upcoming year. With my focus shifting to trail running, I'm really looking forward to seeing how this plays out, especially on those hills of Wisconsin...and maybe beyond. Stay tuned for that!

In the meantime, just like we runners do with a goal race, I'm looking forward to being done with this strength cycle!

Weekly Rundown
Sunday: Ice Age Trail Run 8.14 miles
Monday: CrossFit
Tuesday: pool running
Wednesday: trail run 4.25 miles
Thursday: strength training
Friday: yoga with Adriene
Saturday: trail run 6.25 miles

Running

We spent last weekend up at the lake and as always, I was excited to take my feet to the IAT for some trail miles. Deer hunting season is over and the Lodi Marsh segment was open again. With a couple inches of fresh snow on the ground, I knew it would be slow going. I made a goal to keep my miles under 15m/m, which is a challenge even when this trail is dry. Guys, it was HARD. The snow was heavy and slushy, causing me to slip and requiring extra agility. Normally, I do the whole 9+ mile distance, but my hamstrings and low back were letting me know that they were unhappy, so I turned around when I hit 4 miles and retraced my steps back to the car. Those seat warmers are a gift!


Oh, the weather on Wednesday was frightful and I considered running on my treadmill. When the radar showed a break in the rain, I decided to go for it and drove to the trails. My legs were still pretty fatigued from earlier in the week, so I decided to do a 4 mile loop around the east side of the preserve. I had a feeling there would be a lot of deer out and I was right! I don't think I've ever seen so many deer on a run there. I stopped multiple times to snap photos and just observe them. One big buck was on the trail and he didn't seem to be bothered by me as I passed by. I really enjoyed this run in spite of the conditions and just goes to show that it's always better to run outside!


I skipped my usual Friday run because the rain and falling temperatures overnight made me concerned about ice. This also gave me an extra day to rest my tired legs. On Saturday, I layered up and headed back to the forest preserve to run the single tracks on the west side. When I started out, BRRRR and it was so tempting to head back to the car, but I reminded myself that I'd warm up quickly. Plus, once I got deep into the woods, the wind wouldn't be so bad. I was right and this was a really enjoyable run. I didn't count on the water in the creeks being so high and I was a little nervous crossing on the downed trees! I do multiple creek crossings on these runs, but usually, there are only a few inches of water in the creeks. This time there was much more but I stayed dry. I did see a few deer munching on leaves and that was a treat. 

CrossFit/Strength Training

Time to challenge the 1 rep max! The class did back squats, but since SJ wants to work with me on that a little bit longer, I did deadlifts. After Sunday's hilly hamstring killer, my legs weren't completely rested, but I was able to eek a new PR out of this, with the encouragement of my coach. I hit 202.5# on my 3rd attempt to pull the bar up off the floor! There were a lot of PRs in class and it was fun to hear the bell ring multiple times. I can't help but wonder if I wasn't so tired from Sunday's trail run, could I have lifted more? Of course, this was a class, and we all did the MetCon after this. It was a 12 minute AMRAP of 15 ball over shoulder (30#), 10 v-ups (I subbed in ab mat situps), and 8 dumbbell clean and jerks (15#). I completed 6 rounds and yep, I was glad to be done.


I woke up Thursday morning really achy--no surprise with the blustery, raw weather we've been having. When I got to the gym for my strength session, SJ told me we were working on bench presses and doing an assisted pull-up/kipping pull-up combo. I was happy to give my legs some much needed rest. I did 4 sets of 6 bench presses at 60#. They were hard but when I was done, I was wishing I had taken her up on her offer to put a little more weight on the bar! Who am I? I alternated those with the assisted pull-ups/kipping pull-ups and finally, finally! I got the hang of those kipping pull-ups. Maybe some day, I can do this without her help. After we finished that, I did 4 sets of 1 legged V-ups, 30 seconds each. 

Off the road...

On Thursday, the hubs and I joined my sister and her hubs for dinner and Lightscape, the annual holiday light extravaganza at the Chicago Botanic Gardens. My hubs and I went in 2019, right before the pandemic and we were awed. This year brought back a few popular displays, but mostly it was all new. The temperatures were in the low 30s and with light snow falling, it was positively magical.  There is just nothing like it and we had such a good time! 


How was your week? Are you running outside in the cold? Or do have sunshine? Did you check out any holiday light shows? Do any other holiday activities? 

I'm linking up with Deborah and Kim for the Weekly Rundown. 


27 comments :

  1. Congrats on the new deadlift PR! We couldn't get Lightscape tix until 12/29 but at least I got some. We're doing the show at the Morton Arb. on 12/23, it'll probably be frigid but what can you do?

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    1. I'd love to do the one at Morton Arboretum--but we'll wait until next year. Anxious to hear what you think.

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  2. Wow, congrats on the deadlift PR! I'm with you where strength is secondary to running, but it does feel SO good sometimes...it's a different kind of endorphin than running...

    Lightscape looks beautiful! What a fun outing.

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  3. I bet Lightscape at the botanical garden was beautiful! We are so bad at planning things like that. I really need someone to nudge me into doing more... so I just turned to my hubby and suggested we go look at the lights in downtown Leesburg one night this week. Thanks for the nudge!

    Congrats on your deadlift PR. That's awesome!

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    1. I hope you enjoy the lights! It's really nice to have something like that this time of year.

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  4. So, you say you started lifting weights "many" years ago. How long did it take you till you could really lift heavy? Did you start with the bar? Were you working with a coach right from the start? Anyway, congrats on the new PR. That is impressive!
    I'm glad you were able to do all your runs outside- you won't see any deer on the treadmill.
    I haven't gone to a light show in years (since the kids were little.) I'll bet that Lightscape was amazing!

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    1. I started lifting in my early 50s and yes, with a coach. But I had done strength training by myself throughout the years. Just nothing like this--I used dumbbells. When she started loading the plates on the bar, I got butterflies in my stomach! It was really empowering and my confidence in all things fitness really improved. The coaching was and is the best money I've ever spent.

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  5. It's been cold here, for us! Low 40s and high 30s, I'm sure I'm more bundled up than you are. But as long as it's clear, I'm happy. We are heading to the Walt Disney Concert Hall this Friday night for the Arturo Sandoval concert. My dad was a trumpeter and Les still plays (Arturo was my dad's favorite), so we're really looking forward to this. We also like to walk our neighborhood one night during Christmas because so many houses are lit up.

    Your strength training inspires me! I've gotten better about it, but no where near the weights you lift.

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    1. I certainly wouldn't lift this much without my coach, but it has really been good insurance against injury!

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  6. This current weather stinks. We've been very lucky up until this past week, and this next week is looking even more cold. My treadmill is still sitting idle, and I plan to keep it that way ;-) My streak runs are gonna be challenging this week, but I can take it knowing the Solstice will be in the rearview window soon.

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  7. We've had weather in the 20s all week and it was icy on our club run (I was in charge - eeps!) and too cold to run on Thursday so I've only done 11 miles this week. Very glad I'm nowhere near my usual 1,000 mile target so can relax about that. It's meant to be getting warmer from today but snowed on our run this morning ... Well done on your wonderful strength, so inspiring to see!

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    1. I have to admit that because it gets so cold here, there really is never a 'too cold to run day'! LOL

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  8. Yes light shows are one of my favorite things... I saw a great one while working on LI.

    Trail running is hard... you are amazing.

    Looking forward to seeing what next year's goals are...

    I'm still at JUST running... we'll see where that it takes me...

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  9. Congrats on your deadlift PR! Strength training seems to have served you so well - you inspire me!

    Great photo from the Lightscape!

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    1. Thanks Michelle! Strength training has really benefitted me in so many ways!

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  10. 202.5 pounds!!! That must be double your weight! Incredible.
    I don't have a PR yet but I'm sure it'll be nowhere near that. Well done, Wendy!! Also, that AMRAP looked quite challenging as well.
    We had the "12 Days of Christmas" WOD last week and it nearly killed me. But still great fun!
    Kipping pull-ups are another thing I need to learn... just after those flippin' double-unders...

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    1. Haha, not even close to double my weight, but I appreciate the thought! LOL And just so you know, I've given up on double unders. I'm not coordinated enough to make that happen. In face, DUs are on the WOD today.

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  11. Congratulations on the deadlift PR! And well done with the chest press sets! It sounds (and looks like) you're doing really well with your strength training.
    Raised my eyebrows a bit when I saw the picture of you running in the snow! I can't even imagine how that can be done without slipping all over the place! Do you use some special shoes?
    How lovely to see deer during your run. Totally true as someone said, you wouldn't see them on a treadmill.
    My highlight of the week was the 9,5 km walk yesterday but sadly today I feel the return of pain in my knee tendon so I'll skip going out running as I had planned, very disappointing.

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    1. It depends on how deep the snow is, but usually if it's just a dusting or so, I'll wear my trail shoes. Deeper snow does require more traction and I wear my YakTrax, which strap onto my shoes!

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  12. Awesome job on your deadlift PR - that's huge!
    Lightscape looks like it would be so much fun! Such a nice holiday event to do with family.

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    1. I always like to something holiday-ish! It helps get me in the spirit of the season!

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  13. Who The Phuc Knowns If You Will Even See This - My Comments Vanish All The Time Here - Your Last Few Post Have Been Stellar - All The Family Photos Are Precious For Sure - Love This One Under The Lights - Sending Positive Vibes Your Way My Friend

    Big Hugs ,
    Cheers

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    1. Hopefully since I rescued you from the spam hell you were in, you'll be here full time! Thanks for continuing to show up! :)

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  14. Nice work this week! You did great, even with the weather! We saw some gorgeous lights already, and we will hopefully see more this week! I love the lights.

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    1. I do too. It's so dreary in January and February when the lights are gone!

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