Treadmill Running, I touched the barbell, & Wedding Dancing

You know how I hate treadmills. But they’re so good at forcing me to stick to a pace… I think I’ve come to accept that treadmills runs need to be part of my training for the time being. I call the treadmills my tempo runs – my pace, perceived effort, and happiness level are better when I run outside, but the treadmill is teaching me stamina. I’m starting to run miles faster and faster, but when I have to do 3 miles in a row it gets really tiring. I’d love to run for 30 straight minutes, but I know without walk breaks I’ll be so worn out and slow by the end that it ruins my overall pace. By no means do I consider myself a beginner runner but my athleticism is sort of at a beginner stage – you spend so many years not doing any type of sport, of course it’s going to take time and hard work to see any improvements. I say this because I’ve been running on the treadmill after work, which is great for a few reasons:

1) My husband started a new job a few weeks ago, and he gets home about 45 minutes than normal. I am a dog of Pavlov, and I am accustomed to eating dinner about half an hour before that, so that time in between me getting home and him getting home had become a sort of eat-what-you-can-find free for all of bad choices. Staying at work to run on the treadmill has been forcing me to realign my priorities and get my run in.

2) Running on a treadmill is so much harder than running outside. Maybe it’s just me, I don’t know. Treadmill runs kick up my training a notch or two by forcing me to use different muscles and really think about my breathing and form and arm swinging, because there’s literally nothing else to think about.

3) The treadmill is in a rarely-used gym. Seriously, maybe I hear two people a week work out in the gym. (It’s right down the hall from my office in the basement so I can hear when people are playing music and dropping weights. Close to gym = added bonus.) The gym also has weight machines and free weights, so I can also do some cross training after my run.

The machines in the gym are easy enough to figure out, except for the giant yellow praying mantis machine that has like fifty arms and I can’t figure out what I’m supposed to do with any of them. The free weights though… so the dumbbells are easy enough to figure out, but since I’ve started cross-training, I hear it’s all about that barbell. There is one barbell in the gym, (well, and one on the Smith Machine but I’ve been warned not to do squats with that since it constricts your natural movement) and I don’t know if it’s a regular barbell or a training barbell, but I do know that I have very little upper body strength and do not want to hurt myself, so I’ve been avoiding it for a long time. On Friday… I touched it. I took the weights off, and did squats. I did a few deadlifts, but I’m not sure how good my form was – wish there was a mirror in the gym. I also want to be able to do a pull-up, something I have never done once ever, so I started working towards that with inverted pull ups and boy, are my arms SORE.

So a ten minute treadmill run at a really slow pace, free weights.. and weddings! We’ve had two weddings in the past two weeks and have definitely gotten our dance on. It’s been fun and so special to share in the weddings of two of our most favorite people! Today we will be doing more garage cleaning – Gary’s mom rented a dumpster so we’ll be doing a lot of moving and lifting today. Need to get breakfast… need to look into buying training plan, because I want to PR at my 5K in October.

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