Friday, April 22, 2011

Balance and Personal Training

Wednesday: Ran 5.3 miles in 44:07. Ran an extra 2 miles with friends for roughly 20 mins. Total=7.3 miles
Thursday: Personal training for 1 hour.
Friday: Ran 3.4 miles in 27:48.

Life is all about balance. The balance between work and play, exercising and resting, eating good food and not getting fat, doing what you have to do and doing what you want to do, helping others and being selfish, etc, etc. This concept is becoming more and more clear to me as I get older. This may or may not have something to do with that whole frontal lobe maturation by age 25 thing. As I read/stalk everyone's blogs, I'm constantly learning new things from everyone and this makes me think about my own opinions and ideas about running and my diet.

Balance is key. Too much of one thing and everything else gets out of whack. The most blatant example is with food. Nowadays, "everyone" gorges on fast food, fatty food, food that's just plain bad for them. Many people I know who eat bad foods don't have energy, aren't happy, and complain about being fat. Besides exercising, one's diet is the biggest thing one can control! I know for myself that if I have even one day of eating poorly, I feel bloated, depressed, and lethargic. Basically, I feel like crap. My body is used to eating healthy foods (except for my daily chocolate doses) and so when I don't eat well, I can drastically feel the difference.
Healthy, yummy Greek yogurt!
This leads me to my first personal training session I had yesterday at 24 Hour Fitness. Before I get to the actual supa-dupa-fly workout she gave me, I want to talk about something she said that really struck a chord with me. I had mentioned my issues with shin splints (see HERE) and my injury (see HERE), so Karissa (the cutest trainer ever!) talked to me about how to strengthen my feet. She said that no matter how much I build up my calves, that if I don't have strong feet, I won't be stable and nothing will work. Our whole workout was based on making me more stable (at least we weren't talking about mentally stable!) and having my muscles communicate with each other, rather than just doing isolating exercises like bicep curls. When everything talks to each other, they all get along (um...hello metaphor for life!).

For me, I've always known that you need strong hips to have strong knees to have strong feet. But I never thought about it going the other direction, that you need to have strong feet to have strong knees to have strong hips. If one part of the puzzle is missing, the whole system fails. I think this has been what I've been dealing with. I've just focused on having strong legs and forgot that my feet, my sole means of transportation, need some lovin' too! Lately, I've been pondering barefoot running and while I'm not ready to hop on board that crazy train quite yet, I completely agree with the idea that shoes have ruined our feet. I've decided that unless I'm wearing sneakers for running or school or what have you, I'm going to try to wear minimal shoes. This works well since summer is coming up. No more stupid flip flops that cause plantar fascitis pain. I don't care how dorky I look, my feet are vital to my running and I need to take care of them.

Ok, onto the workout she gave me. She really wanted to focus on doing workouts that would improve my running fitness, not just muscle strength, which I thought was the bomb diggity! Anything to help me improve my running I'm totally down for!

So here's what we did in circuits:
3 sets
  • diagonal lunges with knee cross-->15x/leg
  • single leg shoulder press with knee up-->8x/leg with 10 lb dumbbells
  • crunches with tricep extension-->15x with 5 lb dumbbells
3 sets
  • Free Motion cable machine (with machine arm down) deadlift and row, single leg and single arm-->12x/arm with 15 lbs
  • Core Board pushups w/rotation in each direction-->10x
  • high plank, diagonal knee to elbow-->10x/leg
And then I died. Never have I ever wanted to cry so much during a workout! The pushups straight to the planks KILLED me! I had to take breaks like every 4 reps. I can hardly lift my arms today and my lats are letting me know how much they didn't appreciate that workout. But I know it's good for me and I will get stronger every time I do it!

How do you keep balance in your life? What are the struggles you face to keep that balance from deteriorating?


  1. Thanks for checking out my blog!! Excited to follow you as well :)

    AND thanks for the suggestion about the Pure Fitness...I have not tried those yet :)

    Way to go on your Personal Trainer are so brave! I would be terrified to have someone tell me what to do because what if I just passed out in the middle?? haha.

    I DEFINITELY AGREE with the whole balance thing...I think all aspects of our life are totally about balance. I try to keep balance by staying in the present rather than always thinking or worrying about my past or future! have a good day :)

  2. I totally agree with the shoe comment. I bought some 5 Fingers from REI for my everyday shoes and I love them. I still wearing normal running shoes for running but I'm liking the 5 fingers. I got the cheapest ones, $80, plus I had a 20% off rei member coupon and a dividen credit, score!!!! Plus REI said if I didn't like them I could bring them back.