A Run and a Lift.

Storm Sabrewin'Morning sunshine gave way to a big temperature drop and a torrential downpour; it was crazy to see roll in—it was like one of those late summer days in the midwest when the temperature drops 40 degrees, the sky goes all green and people start looking for funnel clouds and tornadoes. (Hmmmm... spellcheck says there's an "e" on the end of the plural "tornado"...looks weird to me. Anyway, moving along.)

Of course the temp drop was probably only 10 degrees or so, but San Francisco weather generally sits right on the sweet stop between comfortably cool and chilly, so the drop was noticeable.

With my plans to run outside thwarted, I headed over to the gym to get my run in on the treadmill. I wish I could report a great run, but alas it was not to be.

As cool as it is in San Francisco, places generally seem to be stingy with letting fresh air in. The 24 Hour Fitness I generally work out at down in the Marina tends to be a little stuffy. On rainy days, it becomes a bit of a sauna; no fresh air, high humidity, rising temperatures. If you can't find a treadmill in front of one of their few fans, you're in for a weight-cutting session.

I wasn't lucky enough to get one of those fan-blessed spots; the woman next to me was the lucky one, and at maybe 95 lbs and fit even she was sweating buckets. But she was also smoothly cruising at 7.7mph.

Yes, I do check to see what speeds other people run at. I'm always curious. There are some smoking-fast folks out there, for sure. I remember one day in San Diego going down to the fitness area in my apartment complex and seeing this absolute gazelle flying on the treadmill. Just all grace and good form and speed.

When she finished and it was my turn, I had to compliment her—I remember telling her that watching her run was probably one of the most athletic feats I'd seen in person in a long time, which it was. She looked like she was put on this earth to run. We chatted a bit after, I asked her some form questions, and she kept telling me that I needed to loosen up. It was like a friendly gait analysis lesson from someone who was apparently a track star at UCSD. I'll take free coaching wherever I can get it, and I still try (with varying degrees of success) to stay loose and not tense up when I run. Thanks for the tip, random track star lady!

Anyway, I digress. It was hot at the gym, I got all hot, and my left lower leg started to bind up a bit. Screw it. With ramping up my weekly miles and the heel lift changing my gate, I feel like I'm playing with injury fire here. So I stopped short and hit the weights. Maybe I'll run tomorrow, maybe I'll R*I*C*E it and put in a good effort on Sunday.


Bench Press: 3 sets of 5 reps @ 195lbs
Deadlift: 3 sets of 5 reps @ 135lbs
Still Dips: 3 sets of 5 reps
Pull-Downs: 3 sets of 5 reps @ heavy weight
Seated Rows: 3 sets of 5 reps @ heavy weight
Ball Crunches: 3 sets of 10 reps

Weights went a lot better than the run. Deadlifts are beginning to be fun, but you can definitely chew the crap out of your shins with the barbell. Good form dictates that you keep the bar close to your lower legs as you lift (to protect your back), and the roughened bar grip gives your shins a deep exfoliation with every rep. Good times.

I'll be adding more reps to the dips and crunches soon. I also just picked up a couple books on core training and lifting, so I'll probably adjust my routine once I've read them.

Man I was wordy today.

Have a happy Valentines Day tomorrow; even thought it's a Hallmark holiday, take it as an opportunity to enjoy whoever special you have around you, and remember (at least for one day) not to take their specialness for granted.

Photo courtesy Jpeg Jedi on Flickr.

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