Tag Archives: weight lifting

Weightlifting Failure

I blog a lot about running, and a lot about success. Partially that’s because success is what inspired me to blog, and, to be honest, I haven’t faced a lot of real adversity. I ran slow, I’ve had a couple of worth-mentioning injuries, but overall the trajectory of my running has been really good. Sure, I had a heartbreaker when trying for sub-2 hours in the Half Marathon, but that’s not exactly a failure.

Well, last Thursday, I felt like a failure. My weight routine has been a consistent rotation of 4 exercises intended to be total body exercises. Clean & Jerk, Squat, Bench Press & Pullups. The ‘centerpiece’ of it is effectively the Clean & Jerk, because it is a truly great total body lift.

If you do it right. Which I found out on Thursday that I don’t. And when I tried to do it right, I bashed myself in the collarbone, screaming out a curse at the top of my lungs. After that, I was pretty much done. I couldn’t focus, anger-induced adrenaline had replaced the functional excitement to do physical activity. I felt like if I picked up something heavy again that night, it was going to be to throw it.

I skipped my Saturday weightlifting session, hoping to get some distance between me and that miserable session, but when I arrived on Tuesday, I wasn’t feeling much better. I still don’t know how to do a proper Clean & Jerk. But I started over, reduced the weight and am trying to learn. Ideally, I’d have someone who knew what they were doing to tell me, rather than just my vague recollection of youtube videos. But alas, the trainers at my gym aren’t really interested in talking to me, and their style doesn’t quite mesh with mine, so I think I’ll just keep fumbling my way toward it.

Fumbling my way toward it is how I’ve gotten this far in everything else. Here’s to feeling like a failure, and getting back on the horse. Er, bench. I don’t really like horses.


Carrying the weight

I’ve had a happy and a long racing season, starting with the Pittsburgh Half Marathon and culminating with my 2:00:31 performance in the Stomp The Grapes Half. After wrapping up the Stomp the Grapes, and notching my belt with another PR, I took a 2 week break from running.

It wasn’t that long ago that my whole life was a break from exercise, so it shouldn’t seem as momentous as it has, but maybe there’s something to that adrenaline/dopamine response thing. Taking two weeks off from serious running has been both convenient (my job is crazy right now) and completely intolerable. The scale hasn’t lurched up too high, thankfully, but I missed the routine and the exhilaration of running.

I woke up yesterday and broke the rest period with a 5 mile run to the Romulus Athletic Center, which is the fitness center Steph and I use. It’s a familiar route, but I almost always run the reverse, heading home instead of heading out. The weather was unseasonably warm for November, 55 degrees and sunny. I ran in shorts and the shirt from my Brooksie Way half, along with running gloves & hat. I stripped off gloves and hat after just a short time on the road, and carried them for quite some time, sweating hard in the bright winter sunlight. Steph took my accessories at about mile 3.5, since she was passing by in the car on the way to the gym. My overall time was right about a 10 minute pace, which makes for a good return from running. I felt good, though I was tired by the end of the 5 miles, which is probably just a consequence of a light overall month of running.

Steph met me at the RAC, and we did some weight lifting.

My plan, for this season, was to begin a course in weight lifting, to support a lower mileage schedule in the winter. Weightlifting can be so intimidating and complicated, that I’ve elected to pick the simplest possible ‘circuit’. Squats 3×10, Clean&Jerk x10, Bench Press 3×10, and Pullups 3×10. I started this immediately, and have already done 5 workouts. I managed to fit them in, even with multiple 12 hour days at work lately. It would have been tough to keep up with running at the same time.

But now, work has calmed, by one notch, though it’ll still be busy up to, and past, the upcoming Christmas shutdown. As always, I function better with a plan, so here’s my new schedule!

Monday – Rest
Tuesday – Weights
Wednesday – EZ Run (5 miles)
Thursday – Weights
Friday – EZ Run (5 miles)
Saturday – Weights
Sunday – Long Run (6-10 miles)

That’s 19-23 miles per week with no major workouts (counting a 1 mile warmup run on each weight day). I’ll be focusing on keeping my fitness and keeping weight in control while weightlifting gives me some new challenges for my body. I will need to keep an eye on my pace over the winter, try to keep it easy and gentle and not get excited and end up over exerting while I’m intending to rejuvenate.