Friday, January 18, 2008

Back To The Gym

Yesterday was my first day back to my gym after a long hiatus.
I was dreading it a bit because even though I have been running a lot lately I have not been weight lifting and my muscles have become rather soft.

As I dragged myself in I hopped onto my favorite elliptical machine ready for pain and torture. What I found was a big surprise. It was actually a lot easier than I remember it being. Prior to marathon training, my steady elliptical level was no higher than an 8. Today I had it set at the familiar 8 and found it to be TOO EASY??? I graduated up to a 9...still too easy until I settled on a 10. Ok, if I really pushed it I could have done a 11 or 12. As I was in motion and in between my favorite iPod selections, I pondered this a bit. How could this be? Maybe all of that running really did something extremely positive for my endurance.

When I moved over to the weight machines I thought that this would be where I would really feel the effects of my absence. Again, to my surprise, the leg machines were rather EASY. I pursued the leg extensions at 70 lbs and had to move up to 90. Admittedly hamstrings were still a big tough. OK, maybe my quad muscles have really been shocked from the running so it makes sense that the leg extensions would be easier than normal. Ditto for the rest of the workout to the hip and inner thigh extensions to my ab work. It was all puzzling to me.

My reasoning is fairly simple. My frame of reference is very different now that it has been nearly a week since I ran a half marathon (I love just saying that out loud). I feel as though I have catapulted to a whole new level of fitness and that feels pretty good.

While the days of me as a skinny mini are gone (having 4 kids and being over 40 will do that to you), I have never felt more physically fit in my life than I do at this time. It feels really great. I plan on riding the momentum and hope that I can inspire others to get on board with me also.

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