My Weekday Workouts

Anyone who knows me knows I am not one for change, I typically find a routine and then stick to it and when something shifts I start to dread the chaos and freak out. Strangely, with my workouts I am often quite the opposite. Very quickly I become bored with the same thing day after day and I seek out new adventures! Maybe that is what draws me to trail running? It is almost never the same experience even with the same course.

Most of my friends have some type of routine and I know a lot of them love to run or train with groups, and I like to do my own thing every now and again. I wanted to take today though to share with you the many different forms of exercise I have access to during the week and what I normally do and what I hope to continue with in the future.

Monday

The day to kick off the week and really sets the mood for all other days. If I skip a workout on Monday I may as well throw the whole week in the trash it seems. Monday I go to Zumba with my coworker 99% of the time. Even days where I am sore or tired or cranky I try to make it to Zumba even if it is the saddest performance of my life, simply to keep the routine going. It is one of the classes offered free to employees, and while I’ve noticed other companies giving watered down versions of classes, this is not like that at all.

After Zumba I try to make it to my gym. The last 2 weeks I’ve been doing weight training. I really am not comfortable with free weights, so I’ve been using machines. Other fitness classes I’ve attended include strength/cardio, cyclye/core, and yogalates. What do I do for my weight training? I’ll tell you, but please don’t laugh…in no particular order.

Leg press: I like this machine because I can feel it in my quads and butt. I try to make it so it also works my hamstrings. I do 3 sets of 15 reps at around 40 to 50 pounds depending on the day.

Prone hamstring curl machine: This machine is the bane of my existence and also the best thing to ever happen to me. Out of ALL the exercises and stretches and whatever elses I have done over the last year, this is what finally made me go OH MY GOD THAT’S THE ISSUE! I couldn’t finish my sets or reps the first day and that was on the lowest weight of 10 pounds! I’ve made my way up to 3 sets of 8-10 reps with 10 pounds. My left side still feels weak, but I know it’s making a difference.

Leg extension machine: I always underestimate this baby. To me it seems “easy” but whenever I start to use it I can feel my quads barking at me. Sometimes I’ll try it with just one leg at a time, mostly I do it with both. I believe I’m up to 3 sets of 10-15 reps with 40 pounds. Of course a day after a race or hard workout and that becomes much harder

Lateral pull down machine: Makes me feel good to work out the upper part of my body. I know I tend to neglect things from the waist up and that’s bad. I can feel this machine working, which makes me feel cool when I do use it. Right now I’m at 3 sets of 15 reps with 25-35 pounds of weight.

Hip Adduction / Abduction Machine: This set of machines is probably my second favorite after the hamstring curl. Partially because they’re the two I can use at the highest amount of weight. They are the “Don’t make eye contact” machines. Haha. Really they work the insides and outsides of the thighs/hips. I can feel myself growing stronger and more stable especially in the muscles where my ITB starts to hurt. It might be all in my head, but it almost seems like the tightness and pressure from my butt down through my leg is getting better. I can sit and lift without pain. I’m at 3 sets of 15 reps using 75-85 pounds.

Seated push up machine: I struggle with this one SO MUCH. I can only do 3 sets of 8-10 reps with the lowest weight of 10 pounds. I’m working on it though. Hoping to get better shoulders and triceps, maybe nicer looking arms for summer sleeves?

Seated chest press: Another area I suck at currently. I know I need serious help with my upper body and I am SO embarrassed using the machines, but I have every right to use them as much as anyone else and I’m not getting any better simply by looking longingly at them, right? At any rate, I’m at 3 sets of 8-10 reps of 10-15 pounds depending on the day.

Back extension machine: At first I didn’t like this machine. I was taught it last year and it hurt to use. Now my pain and issues have subsided slightly and I can use it without many side effects. If I’m being “lazy” I can do 3 sets of 15 reps at 45 pounds. I notched it up to 55 one night and boy did I feel it the next day! Ha!

Recently I read I should be doing fewer reps with more weight…I’ll work on that this week. Weight training is still very new to me.

Tuesday

I’ve been taking Tuesday as a rest day. However I have the option of doing a water aerobics class at work, or at my gym they offer tabata, yoga, or Pilates.

Wednesday

Work offers Zumba again on this night and I had been going on my own. Then I learned there is Zumba at my gym and I think about doing it instead. Lately I’ve been doing my weights routine for a second night and then using the treadmill or elliptical for some “running” mileage. I have done the strength class at my gym too, but I like trying to stick with my own weights routine for now.

Thursday

I LOVE Thursday. My coworker and I go to the water aerobics class together. Honestly, it doesn’t always provide a GREAT workout, but one week I stayed and did laps in the pool while she took swim lessons and that was great. I’ve thought about hauling ass over to the weekly trail run with CRTR. When I get my speed up and weight down and the weather isn’t nasty and crazy I probably will start doing that after. For now my friend and I hang out in the sauna and gossip and relax which IMHO mental/emotional fitness is JUST as important and I can tell when we miss out weekly hang outs I always feel so “off” for a while. Work also offers Zumba with a different instructor this night, we did the class a few times when we didn’t feel like getting wet, but it’s been moved to Tuesday nights. Boo. Last week we hiked 3 miles on the local paved path instead too. She agreed to possibly go with me to CRTR, but to do the route as a hike as she is not a runner and has no desire to run. I’m cool with that. Thursday classes at my gym are the same as Tuesday, I’ve never gone in though.

Friday

Ah Friday the end of the glorious week. Every week I have every intention of going to the gym and doing a workout. One week I DID go to my gym and I did my weights routine! Other weeks I’ve gone and did a few walk/jog miles on the treadmill or elliptical. Work doesn’t offer any classes that I know of and my gym only offers Zumba, but that’s a later in the night class. I have done it and it is SUPER fun, but it’s also at a weird hour. I do try to be social every now and again ya know. Also, if I have a race on Sat I’ll skip a Fri workout.

Saturday/Sunday

Honestly, I’ve been taking these as days off and time for friends and family unless there is an event. My gym offers Zumba at 1000 and I’ve gone a few times. We also have 930 yoga I’ve been meaning to hit up for Saturday. A friend of mine teaches the 900 yoga at a different branch on Sunday, but I have yet to make it out there. I prefer being outside on the weekends and I’ll go hiking or running.

PS: I was recently given a pedometer at my gym. My goal was/is to reach 10,000 steps per day. I’ve been wearing it constantly. Unless I go running I haven’t counted those steps toward any “extra” fitness. Some days I’ve made it to only 2,000 steps, one day I made it to 15,000. It is certainly making me more aware of when I need to walk around and of course the dog gets an added benefit of health too when I take her along for the fun.

Now you know what my little fitness word looks like. What do you think? Do you have as many choices? Are you as bad as I am with sticking to a routine? Are you nervous with weights or have any advice for me on how not to be as nervous?

Don’t forget I am on dailymile and you’re welcome to friend me to spy on my progress. Full disclosure though, I am constantly forgetting to update and often post everything for the week over the weekend. Tune in tomorrow when I’ll share what sorts of FUN things I do when I’m not working out and it’s the “freakin’ weekend”.

State of the Emme

Monday night one of my greatest fears became reality.

I arrived home from work and let my dog Emme out of the basement, we went to the backdoor and I opened it for her to go outside. Normally when it’s raining and it’s been a long day at work, I leave her and go back to the kitchen for a few moments, looking outside to make sure she hasn’t wondered off and isn’t harassing too many squirrels. However, lately at night she’s been wondering over toward my neighbor’s porch (we live in a duplex) and I have no idea why! She did it again Monday so I stepped out onto the porch to watch her to see if I could find what was so interesting since it was light out.

I noticed a quick grey movement near his (neighbor’s) trash cans. My immediate thought was “Oh God, it’s the possum from last year!” Followed by “Oh no, what if it’s a coyote?” Well, before I could even think to call her over a medium/large grey dog came running into my backyard. We have a partially fenced in backyard. My side has a gate, the other does not which is how the dog entered. We have A LOT of dogs in our neighborhood and at 5 pounds Emme is by far always the smallest. Every dog usually comes over and sniffs her and she quivers and they either lay down to not scare her, come over to me because I’ll clearly be more fun or run back to their owner. I HATE how many people don’t leash their dogs. Countless times Emme has been scared to death when a Golden or Lab has charged her while walking on the sidewalk.

At any rate, this strange large grey dog with a silver metal chain collar came up to her and she did her normal ball of quiver. I told the dogs to be nice dogs and everything seemed OK for a split second when all of a sudden the other dog bit Emme and began to shake her and growl and run around the yard. I completely flipped out and jumped on the dog and I’m fairly certain I punched it which is why my hand is slightly busted up. He dropped Em and I quickly scooped her up to run into the house to get my keys and rush her to the vet. Only the dog started jumping on me and attacked me. When I made it to the door it lunged and pulled me down by I think the hood of my hoodie. I lost balance and dropped Emme, at which point he grabbed her again, by what looked like the throat and again began to shake her and run around. This is when she stopped crying and totally went limp and I was convinced he snapped her neck. Again I jumped at the dog screaming and hitting and kicking and trying to throw myself on top of her if I couldn’t get her into the house.

Seeing her lying in the mud, in the rain, limp and bleeding was the most terrifying thing I have ever seen.

I managed to finally get her away from the other dog and ran toward my door. The grey dog continued to chase me and tried to break its way into my house. Once past the screen door, even with his face entering I slammed the wooden door and I honestly don’t care if I hurt the other dog or not.

With Em in my arms I ran through the house screaming, grabbed my phone and keys and jumped into the car, no shoes or purse or anything. I sat there screaming at the top of my lungs for a moment before I remembered to put the keys into the car, turn it on, get to the vet’s and call Mom. She had NO CLUE what I was saying as I ran stop signs and cut people off. All she gathered was “Emme is dying” and went to my house. When I wasn’t there she came and met me at the vet’s.

At our vet’s (which luckily is maybe 1 mile away) they managed to get her stabilized  but she was in terrible shock and had already had a seizure. Mom took me to get my purse, some shoes and warmer clothes before we picked up Em to take her to the hospital.

The hospital said they were very concerned about her condition and she was in ICU from the start. Her vitals were stable, but low and it was anyone’s guess how severe the brain damage or internal damage was. It’s hard to gauge on such a small dog and some stuff doesn’t show up until later.

Over the next 24 hours we were given good news and bad news. There were points where she was in good spirits and points where she wasn’t responding visually and they wondered if she was going to be blind. Points where her blood work was normal, but she had the risk of falling into a depression. I was able to visit her 2x Monday night and 1x yesterday afternoon.

By a miracle. A complete miracle the other dog did not puncture her throat or other critical areas. Over the night her brain did not swell and she slowly gained back her strength and responses. As of this morning (Wednesday) she is set to enter surgery. During the attack her pelvis was shattered in 3 places. It’s hard to see on the x-ray, but hopefully once they repair the ball and socket joint she will regain full use of her leg over time. Last night she was attempting to use her other side, which is a very good sign.

I’m so scared about her having surgery. She’s so tiny to be put under anesthesia and it makes me sick to think we’ve come this far to lose her. The doctors assure me though, they have state of the art equipment and they would not do it if it was not safe. If we don’t do the surgery she will not heal comfortably, she will be in pain and eventually will need amputated…I can’t do that to her. She’s come so far and has been so brave, I need to give her her best shot. This is not me not wanting a 3 legged dog or anything like, this is me knowing my dog and knowing she would want to take this risk. Knowing she would want her shot at as normal a life as possible. Besides the doctors keep promising me it’s a safe procedure and she will be OK.

That is where we stand. The next time you hear from me, Emme should be home and resting.

Oh and me and the other dog? Since I was wearing such a thick hoodie, the attack didn’t break any skin. I keep having flashbacks and knowing if I wasn’t wearing it, he would have had my neck/throat and that makes me sick to my stomach. My hand was badly bruised and scraped, but I didn’t need any meds or treatment. I have NO IDEA who the other dog was or its owner which means the police and animal control can’t do anything. Even if I find it, then it’s my word against theirs. I now have to live with this memory and fear, as does my baby girl. I now have to spend the next who knows how long paying for the THOUSANDS of dollars this has cost me. I can’t put a price on my best friend though, so in the end I don’t care that I now have given up shopping, eating out, Christmas and who knows what else for the next 1-2 years.

All that matters is the health and happiness of those I love, myself, my family and my doggie.

Update: As of 100 PM on 10/31/2012 Emme has made it out of surgery and is looking to make a full recovery. Her fractures were too severe to save the ball/socket of her hip, so she had to have a FHO procedure. They said it means her joint now works more like a shoulder socket. With physical therapy she should be back to walking/running/normal life. All that is just details though…she’s going to be OK and she’s coming home tomorrow. <3

Halloween Weekend 2012

Don’t you love my creative post title? This past weekend is the time I spent celebrating my favorite holiday!

Things kicked off Thursday night when I went with Ian to his roommate’s boyfriend’s party. I was a terrible mess from stress at work and I was not very nice company. Not to mention I had some of the worst cramps I’ve ever experienced and I become very animal like around new people. Meaning? I want to hide in a corner with eyes the size of saucers and bite anyone who comes near me. Strange, but until I know you I have vomit-inducing fear of strangers. That is unless I’m giving a speech or I have any type of power or responsibility, then I’m golden. We stayed a few hours, before he took me home.

Friday, Ian broke things off with me. Can’t say I blame him, but can say it was crappy to do it over text message and to do it the day before my Halloween party. Mr B did that 2 years ago and I’m still bitter about it despite how close we’ve remained.

Saturday…the day of the party! Some of my last minute ideas didn’t work, which is why I need to stop with the last minute ideas, but in the end it all came together nicely. I was Maleficent from Sleeping Beauty. The dress I saw online a while back and fell in love. Of course if I ordered it a lil small it was $13, if I ordered it in the right size it was $45. Soooo yeah, I squeezed myself into that crap! Haha!

I arrived around 800 and started with the drinking and the socializing. Sent a few texts I probably shouldn’t have…and then ended up not drinking and leaving by 100 with Tom. We crashed back at my place after the party. BTW it’s really great when people bring up crap you did like 2-3 years ago and it wasn’t your finest moment. I can say I held myself together quite well for the whole sad + alcohol = bad news equation. At least I think I did. A few friends I haven’t seen in a lonnnng time were there and it was nice to be reminded of who I am and who I want to be. While break ups can make you question who you are and if you’re “good enough”, friends you’ve had for nearly 10 years can step in and save the day without even meaning to do it.

How did you spend the weekend? Are you Halloween costumes hung up now or will you being doing something on Wednesday? We have a luncheon at work and are allowed to dress up, but that’s about it.