It was 3:30 am when I finally gave in and looked at the clock on my nightstand. I was wide awake, and I could not turn off my stupid head. A cacophony of traffic noises assaulted my brain. That, combined with the raucous snoring of my little french bulldog, had me slamming my pillow over my head in frustration. Why is there traffic at 3:30 in the morning? I live in a tiny little town, where is all of this noise coming from? Is it this noisy every night and I just sleep through it? When I cannot quiet my mind, there is no way that my body will succumb to the fatigue of the day and sleep. My mind is racing, I am rehashing conflict and conversations; I should have said this, I should have done that, Next time I’ll do this… I am making myself insane. I need my sleep to allow my body to recover. Just knowing that I need to sleep and can’t is stressing me out even more. My mind is flying all over the place. None of the places are serene. Pretty soon, I find that I am going through different exercises in my head and trying to plan the workout for the day. Just a suggestion here, but if you are trying to go to sleep, I cannot recommend doing pushups and burpees in your head. Finally, when my little clock read 4:30 am, I just decided to give up and start my day a bit early.
I was worried, that given my lack of sleep, I would be running on empty with regard to my gym time. I surprised myself. Other than fatiguing a bit more rapidly than usual, my performance was spot on. I doubt that I could go too many nights without good quality sleep and not be more severely impacted. At any rate, after enjoying my coffee, I headed to the gym for my 7:00 am session. I was on the elliptical for 15 minutes before anybody showed. People oversleep sometimes… given that I had the opposite problem today, I am less than sympathetic, but it happens. A quick warm-up, and we headed outside. Yes, it is once again cooler outside than in the gym.
100 yard sprint, stairs, 100 yard jog, stairs, 10 fitness band squat rows, 10 push-ups, 10 bench dips
100 yard sprint, stairs, 100 yard jog, stairs, 9 fitness band squat rows, 9 push-ups, 9 bench dips
100 yard sprint, stairs, 100 yard jog, stairs, 8 fitness band squat rows, 8 push-ups, 8 bench dips
and so on…. all the way to 1
Jog back to the gym…
Bench Press Drop Set to Failure x 2 sets
Barbell Power Clean and Press 3 sets x 10 reps
Reverse Deltoid Flye 3 sets x 10
Elbow plank 75 seconds, rest 15
Plank to T-Stand 30 seconds, rest 15
Toe taps 30 seconds, rest 15
Shoulder taps 30 seconds, rest 15
Fitness Ball Knee Pikes x 30
Knee up crunches x 30
Once again, I am so impressed with the improvement I see from my training “victims”. While in the midst of the sprint / upper body countdown, I could feel my client breathing down my neck as she mirrored my pace and intensity. One of these days, and I don’t think it will be too far in the future, I will see her surpass my performance. It is a joy to watch somebody dig deep and begin to reach their fitness potential. As we were jogging back to the gym, we had a conversation about how much easier the running is now than when we first began. She lamented that in the beginning, just once around the block felt difficult. I remember it well.
It is not within my normal personality type to “ease” into things. While thru-hiking the Pacific Crest Trail (2662 miles) from Canada to Mexico, I was given the “trail-name” Splash. Long-Distance hikers often accept a “trail name” which accomplishes a couple of things, one it identifies us as members of the “super-secret-elite-club” and two, it helps to differentiate between the 4 Mikes and 5 Sues that are on the trail at any given time. My initial naming happened because of a rather spectacular cartoon style slip on a slime covered boulder which resulted in an equally spectacular “splash” flat on my back into a creek, but I have to say that I accepted the name for another reason entirely. I chose to accept Splash as a trail name because it really fits my personality. I have always had a tendency to jump into life with both feet. No questions asked. Make a big splash. It fits and I like it. That being said, I have not always approached running in the most intelligent manner. I have often started off with 3 or 4 miles runs, and being a bit obsessive, have completed these on consecutive days when my body, my joints, my tendons, my ligaments, and my bones, were not physically prepared for it. I have paid the consequences for over enthusiasm with event cancelling injuries. This year I vowed to take myself and my two running newbies, and shun my all or nothing tendencies in favor of a more intelligent and gradual running program. We began painfully slow with embarrassingly short distance runs, and we kept at it. Gradually adding distance, and then adding sprint intervals. I have said it before, I am not a natural runner. But here’s the thing, I have always yearned to be a runner. Six months into this program, and I can run faster and longer than I have ever done before, and guess what? No shin splints! No plantar fasciitis! No knee pain (this is especially miraculous given that I am a candidate for full knee replacements). I can’t say that I really enjoy running. It is still hard and it still hurts, but I am out there, and today, I feel like I am winning.
Now…. off to my windsurfing lesson! I can sleep when I am dead.