Tag: workouts

Back to workouts and back to writing

Last night, I did some writing, mostly plotting-related work on my current novelette. It felt pretty good to sit down in front of the computer and get some stuff down, instead of just thinking about writing. When I finished, I decided I should take that momentum and attempt a workout.

I haven’t worked out in a while, and I think it shows. Not only do I feel out of shape, I imagine I look pretty out of shape at this point. This is rather sad commentary, considering it was only four years ago (to the day!) that I was in the best shape of my life. But priorities change over time and the hours in the day stay the same. That’s not really an excuse, but it’s the best I’ve got. I imagine laziness is a factor as well.

But lately, I’ve also felt unusually stressed out. Part of the stress comes from the day job, I imagine. It’s been amusing to see how it manifests itself. For one thing, I’ve been using an unusual amount of profanity–especially for someone who is generally not profane. Most of this seems to be directed at other drivers on the road, who it seem, can do nothing right. But when I think about it, I realize that I am just wound up and that the drivers on the road are the same that they have always been.

So last night, after writing, I headed downstairs, climbed onto the elliptical machine, and did a 30 minute workout. In the past, I would be very specific about my goals for the workout. So many miles, so many calories, so many beats per minute, etc. But last night, my goal was to break a sweat, think about my story, and not worry about the numbers. And I think it worked. I did a 30 minute cardio workout, and finished in a dripping sweat. It felt good. During the workout, I thought about my story, about plot problems, character motivations, etc. Mentally, I felt much better after the workout. I even felt a little bit less stressed out, despite the fact that this website had been down for hours and there was nothing I could do about it.

I’m hoping to stick with these workouts. The cardio workouts especially allow me to focus on the stories in my head. I can get my blood pumping, and come away feeling a little less stressed out. And eventually, I’ll get into better shape. There’s no particular rush on the latter. I’m easing into it, taking extra care not to strain myself. But it did feel good to be back at cardio. And back at writing, too.

Workout #19 (cardio)

I slept in again this morning so I went the gym right after work with Kelly.  A long stressful day and so I pushed myself hard on the elliptical and ended up with a pain in my right shoulder.  It was bad enough to force me to stop after 30 minutes instead of the usual 40 minutes.  The pain went away almost as soon as I stopped. 

Workout #18 (cardio)

We went into work late today because of the snow so both Kelly and I headed to the gym together before work this morning (trudging through snow and slush to get there).

I did 40 minutes of cardio on the elliptical.  Tried to keep the pace up and I think I did pretty good.  I was supposed to do a group of chest/back afterward but there wasn’t time.  I had to get to work.

As a side note, I completed 17 out of 24 scheduled workouts in the month of February.  Not great but not terrible.  I hope to do better in March.   There are 26 scheduled workout days in March.  I’d like to hit at least 20 of them.

Workout #17 (Lower body)

Up at 3:50 after a strange dream where I watched a guy walk into the propeller of a small airplane.  Made scrambled eggs for breakfast and then sat down to read for about 40 minutes.  I headed to the gym at 4:50.  I was the only one there for the first 20 minutes or so, which is weird because there is usually this one woman on a treadmill when I get there and it always seems as though she’s been there for a while.  She wasn’t there this morning.

Lower body today and I upped the weights in various places, lifting a total of 19,552.5 pounds.  That’s 2,000 pounds better than my lower body workout from two weeks ago (last week I only got in a partial workout of around 15,000 pounds).   It’s still about 4,000 pounds short of my peak, but I’m getting there.  I even threw in stationary lunges, which I hate because they are so damn hard.

Half day at work today because we have a doctor appointment this afternoon.

Workout #16 (Cardio)

Since I didn’t go to the gym this morning, I headed there as soon as we got home from work, knowing that I’d be too lazy to go if I waited until after dinner.  I did 40 minutes of cardio on the elliptical.   I upped the level to 3 this time.  And I kept a pretty good rate going throughout the workout.

The gym was pretty crowded when I finished, and I needed to get back and prepare dinner, so I skipped the full group of lower body that I would normally have done.  But I’ve got a full lower body workout planned for tomorrow morning.

Workout #15 (Chest/back)

After an internal battle of will that lasted about 15 minutes (but in my head seemed to last an eternity, I finally pulled myself out of bed at about ten minutes to 4, headed downstairs and cooked scrambled eggs for breakfast.  Then I settled down to read for 45 minutes, nearly finishing Fred Pohl’s The Way the Future Was.

I headed to the gym at 4:55 AM.  Today was chest/back and I got in a full workout.  I lifted a total of 18,030 pounds, which is over 1,000 pounds better than last time, but it left me a little light-headed.  That’s was a due to a lack of water.  Our gym supplies bottled water in one of those big water cooler dispensers.  There was plenty of water, but no cups.  Finally, toward the end of the workout, I realized that there was a water fountain out in the hallway and made use of that.

I’m glad I struggled out of bed.  I’ve got too much to do to worry about squeezing in a workout tonight.

Workout #14 (Cardio)

I think the trick is not going to bed too early.  I called it a night around 9:15 PM and was up at 3:20 AM, but I lingered in bed until 3:45, which for some reason, seemed more reasonable.  Had some cereal and juice and then spent nearly an hour reading.  Then it was off to the gym for 40 minutes on the elliptical.  Getting to the halfway mark seemed to take forever but once I got over the hump, things seemed to move more quickly.  My body felt good this morning, no aches or pains.  After the elliptical I did one full group of chest exercises (and crunches) in preparation for the full strength workout tomorrow.

Workout #13 (Arms/shoulders)

I had a busy day planned today and I wanted to make sure to get an early start.  I was up at 7 AM, made scrambled eggs for breakfast and then headed over to the gym just after 8 AM for my arms/shoulders workout.  I lifted 13,400 pounds, which was almost 1,000 pounds better than my last arms/shoulders workout.  Last time, I couldn’t manage a set of 6 pull-ups.  This time I did two full sets of 6 and a third set of 4.  Overall, it felt good although there was some strain in my left forearm.  No workout tomorrow and then it’s back to the 4 AM routine on Monday.

Workout #12 (Cardio)

I didn’t get up early yesterday morning (or this morning for that matter) and so I headed to the gym with Kelly right after work.  It was a cardio night and I got in a good 40 minutes on the elliptical, although my right knee did flare up a bit toward the end.  It was crowded by the time I finished and I decided to skip the lower body group because I would have had to wait too long to use the machines.  I’m heading to the gym again this evening after work, this time for a full lower body workout.  I’ve been getting plenty of sleep, but just haven’t been getting up at 4 AM.  Hopefully, that will change tomorrow.

Workout #11 (Chest/back)

After 4 days off, I was back at the gym this morning.  Up at 3:50 AM.  I made scrambled eggs for breakfast and read for 45 minutes before heading down to the gym.  After the usual 5 minute warmup, I proceeded with the chest/back workout, lifting a total of 17,010 pounds, 700 pounds better than last week.  I was tired when I got up this morning, but I’m feeling a little better now.  Lunch is packed and I’m heading up to take a shower shortly.

Workout #10 (Lower body)

I went to bed early last night (~7 PM) and I actually slept well.  So much so that I decided to sleep in this morning and go to the gym this evening instead.  I slept until just after 6 AM and felt well rested.

I did get to the gym this evening for my 10th workout in 11 days.  Today was lower body.  I did 15,460 pounds today and felt pretty good overall.  I’m planning on going tomorrow evening too because I’m doing strength again (arms and shoulders) instead of cardio.  I’m swapping cardio days for the weekend away.  I should be back on the normal schedule Monday and then back to the gym early in the morning on Tuesday. 

Workout #9 (Cardio)

Up at 3:50 AM after not getting to sleep until after 11 PM, and then sleeping intermittently most of the night.  Had a bowl of cereal for breakfast, and then headed to the gym at about 5:50 AM.

Did a full cardio workout even though I wasn’t sure I’d make it.  At the 20 minute mark I felt like giving up, but I pushed on through and completed the full 40 minute cardio workout.  After that, I did a full group of lower body exercises in preparation for a full lower body workout tomorrow.  Because I’m heading up to Albany on Saturday, I plan on swapping workouts this week.  I will probably do back-to-back strength workouts Thursday (lower body) and Friday (arms and shoulders).  Saturday will be my off day and Sunday, if I can manage it, I’ll do some light cardio–possibly a short run up at strausmouse  and rmstraus‘s.  I’ll get back to the regular schedule Monday evening.

It was warm this morning and the temperature is going to be close to 70 today.  Too bad I’ll be inside working for most of the day.