I have a few too many gimmick-y things going on to keep me challenged with my exercise but it is definitely keeping me motivated. I often feel like I need to let one of them just go and get some equally important rest. My health seems to be better than ever though and I think the exercise is helping to balance so many other things that could make my weight creep up out of control. So, for now, I’m going to take my interest in the exercise as a positive and not worry about it. Currently there are 3 main priorities to my workout routine that I am trying to balance: 1) the mile a day “streak” 2) the 12 Koko workout strength sessions per month and 3) the 10K “Own It” training plan I’m using to get me ready for my Ragnar relay. Individually, each activity is not that hard. But when I need to get at least a mile done and work out 3x per week doing strength training AND run at least 4-8 miles 4 times per week, it doesn’t leave much room, if any, for a down day. I try to take at least one day per week off – but I still have to complete the “mile”, although I do walk that typically on a “pure” rest day. On my strength training days I also have to do a mile – again, not a big deal but I usually end up running it and, therefore, am not really resting either. I was hopeful that this month would end the run of the 12-workouts per month challenge at Koko but I just found out that it will continue, probably for the rest of the year. The trick to this challenge is once you don’t make the 12 workouts for the month, you go back to square one and have to start all over. After nearly 6 months of this, I’m not too interested in going back to the beginning. Unfortunately, due to many circumstances this month, I am cramming about 6 workouts into this final week. Not ideal.
So, have I seen any results from this increase in weight training? I think the answer is finally a big “YES”! I lost so much lean muscle when I lost nearly 100 pounds on Optifast. I could not believe how much strength disappeared along with it. Even though I was overweight at 265 pounds, I was really strong. It has been a bit of a mental struggle to see my strength tests limp along every month or so. I have not been able to gain muscle back like I had hoped. But, I think things are starting to move in the right direction now and I credit that with the regular (12 x per month) training. I did a strength test on Monday (we do them about every 12 workouts to measure our progress) and you can see things are moving up!
The numbers are slowly starting to approach where I was before I started losing weight. And, if I look closely, I’ll notice that my chest press is actually higher than it was at the starting point. My overall strength gain since joining Koko is now 35%. So, nothing to be disappointed in. I just keep thinking that at one point, before the weight loss, it was much higher. This is why Koko has another value called the “Q score” which scores your strength in relation to your BMI (or eBMI, the Koko version of BMI which takes lean muscle mass as measured on their Tanita KokoFit measurement system into account). I really should look at this chart more often to prove to myself that I am making strides. Even though I could lift more weight when I was heavier – I score better now lifting what I can at my new healthy weight/BMI. I was at a Q score of 40 when I started at Koko at my heaviest weight and now I’m almost double that at 78.
I would probably benefit from taking some classes. It’s easy to get a little burned out doing the same things, but at least the weight training circuits are changed up a bit every session. I also appreciate being able to track my results. Having a quantifiable measurement is important to me. So, I’ll keep at this for now…..
I am midway through Week 3 of the 10K “Own It” training plan. Last night I had a new activity added to my running which was a track workout. I was supposed to warm up with a 1-2 mile easy run, then run 4 800m (which is 2 laps around a high school track, or 1/2 mile) runs at a “race pace” or about 85% of your max. They are intended to help you run through fatigue. After each one, you jog or walk (I walked!) a 400m distance (or 1 lap/1/4 mile). The first one or two weren’t too bad. The second 2 were pretty awful. I was happy that I kept a pretty even pace for them, however. I was also thrilled to see a negative split on the 3rd interval. Cool down was another 1-2 miles – I probably only ran about 3/4 mile since I was running out of time before I had to pick up my daughter. I enjoyed the track workout for a few reasons. I went in the evening because I could get on the high school campus then. There were several lacrosse teams having practice so I had something to watch as I ran. I was beyond thrilled to discover that the restrooms were unlocked and available too. I really tried to up my water consumption yesterday but after my 1+ mile warm-up, I was strongly considering a trip back home to go to the bathroom before attempting the interval training…which would have probably negated the 1+ mile warm-up run. I went to my daughter’s high school and they have recently redone both the running track and the football field with a new synthetic surface. That, combined with a beautiful evening, made for a rather pleasant workout. When I was finished I climbed to the top of the bleachers and took a few pictures to send to Brennan.
I feel like I just don’t have enough time in my day to take care of everything but at least I am taking care of myself. Between getting ready to leave for a run or workout, the actual workout, then showering, etc. afterward, I am using at least 2 hours of my precious “kids in school” time for exercise. I never used to give myself this much time when things were busy in the past – but I know from experience that didn’t work out so well. In the long run, if I’m not healthy, things aren’t going to get done anyway.