lifting weights

A Taste of Hawaii

I took a break from weight lifting for awhile. Part of it was when I hurt my back at the beginning of August. Part of it was just not feeling motivated to do it (first trimester fatigue) and all I could drag my tired butt to do was the elliptical and swimming. Then we got busy with houseguests, I ran a 5k and we went on vacation for our anniversary where we just hiked.

So recently I got back to lifting weights and was feeling a renewed sense of interest and desire and energy to do it. I was SO sore after those first few times lifting. I’m glad to be back at it but yeah, sore! Since I was still a little sore, I took it a little easy on this session. I did bicep curls, overhead tricep extensions, one-leg Romanian Deadlift, my ab workout (including planks and my PT exercises for my back), a seated row and then finished up with 3 miles on the elliptical.

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My energy level was great during the whole workout. A LOT better than it had been recently. A little bit later Michael and I met my friend Sam and her boyfriend for a lunch date. When Sam and I made the plans I’d been craving Hawaiian (but hadn’t said anything to her about it yet) and she suggested Ohana. Apparently my friend is psychic!

Ohana was a cute place. The service was great and the food was decent. It definitely wasn’t as good as the food we had in Hawaii but it was tasty. Michael got the spam musubi appetizer. It was something he was looking forward to when we made the plans. The spam musubi we had in Maui was a risky choice–neither of us had ever had spam and it sounded kind of….gross….but it was AMAZING. We were both hoping to relive that. Here was the Portland spam musubi:

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It was a little different than what we got on Maui, where it was small–like a sushi roll–that was deep fried and did I mention it was amazing?? This version was pretty good. I had a few bites. The flavor was fantastic. I wish it had been smaller, bite-sized pieces, but overall it was good.

For lunch Michael got a place of short ribs and chicken with rice and macaroni salad. I got the kahlua pig–of course! What I had been craving. It also came with rice and macaroni salad. The kahlua was tender and moist and really good, but on the salty side. Overall the meal was really good and I’d go back and try other things. I had a bite of the short ribs, which were great so I think I’d get that next time.

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I had a glass of iced tea sweetened with real lilikoi pulp with lunch. It was too sweet for my liking (I like plain iced tea instead of sweet) but it was kind of a nice treat. I also got a slice of the purple sweet potato and coconut custard pie to go for later. I just couldn’t resist!

Lunch was really filling and a lot of food so dinner was very light (it might have been popcorn and lemonade while we watched a movie). And then of course the pie for dessert. 🙂

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The pie was very mild and didn’t have an particular overpowering flavor. The sweet potato was mild, the coconut was mild. It wasn’t overly sweet . It had toasted coconut on top (yum) and the crust of the pie was fantastic!

Sunday

Woke up SORE. I’m surprised at how sore my lower body was considering the only lower body activity I did was the one-leg Romanian deadlifts. And I used two 10 pound weights and did 3 sets of 10. It’s not like I did something strenuous but damn I was sore. 🙁 I’m guessing this is a pregnancy side-effect. Extra extra sore everything.

Since it was a nice day and I was kind of feeling too sore to go to the gym, we asked Bella if she wanted to go for a hike.

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I think she was stoked! We did the Pittock Mansion Hike that starts at the Lower Macleay Park. I’ve never done it before, but I’ve seen parts of it that connect all over Washington Park.

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I think we picked up the trail in the middle of it. That happens a lot with the Forest Park trails–especially Wildwood trail (which is huge and connects all the trails in the park) because we definitely missed the Stone House (bummer) and it wasn’t 5 miles roundtrip. Where we started the trail was pretty steep and went up immediately and steady the whole way.

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This is a very popular trail and it’s also a popular spot for trail runners. We saw a bunch of trail runners and lots of hikers. Bella did so good on the trail! Not a single bark at any people or other dogs! We hiked for about 40 minutes I think and then we were at the top! Pittock Mansion:

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It was a popular place on a sunny Sunday. We walked around to the back and found a bench to sit on where we could eat our lunch in the sunshine. It was a gorgeous view.

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The grounds were pretty and there were lots of flowers till in bloom. My favorites were the dahlias, of course.

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After lunch (Michael had a sandwich, I had egg salad with crackers and an apple) we hiked back down Wildwood Trail to the parking lot. We’d considered going a little further to see what we missed on the other part of the trail but it was getting late in the day. Next time. I really want to see the Stone House!

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We did 2.77 miles roundtrip. It was a decent little trek in the woods, nice picnic, nice weather. I burned 353 calories.

Learn To Love It

Back in the early days of this blog, I used to write a lot about the workouts I did. I was focusing on running and I used to run the waterfront loop during my lunch hour (man, I have so many fond memories of that). On the weekends Michael and I used to ride our bikes on the 40 mile Springwater Loop around Portland. These were the focuses of my blog. Weight lifting was pretty non-existent on 110pounds.com. I just didn’t like it. I didn’t really spend much time on it and didn’t see any changes in my body as a result. I thought it was a waste of time. Boy was I wrong. Several injuries that sidelined me from biking or running meant I had to find SOMETHING I could do. That’s when I started lifting weights.

Funny, when you lift weights FOR REAL, like it’s your main focus, several times a week for months on end–you DO see results! Who knew? That started the love affair with weight lifting. Once I saw a change and felt a change, I was convinced. I haven’t done a post in a long time about what kind of work I’m doing in the gym. I wanted to share what my favorite workouts are lately in this post.

Kettlebell High Pull

This is one that I learned at The Warrior Room but with two kettlebells. At first it was hard and I didn’t quite get it. I kept dropping my elbows but once I practiced a bit and found my rhythm it was easy and FUN. Check out this video on how to do the High Pull. Fast-forward to about 45 seconds in to see a demonstration of the move. The video is only using one kettle bell and when I do it, I use two. Currently I’m using two 15 pound kettlebells. This isn’t a great picture, but it gives you an idea:

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Kettlebell Swing

This is the basic swing, one move you learn on day one with kettlebells. I’m currently using a 30 pound kettlebell. I could probably go up to 35 but I tend to air on the side of caution when it comes to increasing my weights. I know, I know, if I want to see progress I need to up the weight! I try my best but my history with injury has made me overly cautious and as such, I tend to get stuck in ruts for awhile before I go up in weight.

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One Leg Romanian Dead Lift

This one can be done with free weights or with kettlebells, whichever feels most comfortable with you. I love this exercise because it reminds me just how imbalanced my body is. One side is ALWAYS more wobbly than the other. I also notice that if I take a break from doing this exercise I lose whatever balance improvements I’ve gained pretty quickly. I am currently using two 15 pound weights for this exercise. I’d like to go up to 17.5 pounds soon but I keep having setbacks and have to start over again.

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Chest Press

There is nothing flashy or fancy about this exercise but it’s functional and I notice a difference when I do it consistently. I lay down on the bench and then do a few sets of presses with a 30 or 35 pound barbell. I could probably increase to 40 pounds any day now if I’d stop being so cautious. 🙂 This is a move that helps me with day to day life. For example, Michael and I recently bought a new bookcase and had to move the old one into the office and then move the new one to the living room. These were very large, very heavy pieces and while there was no way I could life it all by myself, it was certainly easy with the both of us and I did not struggle with carrying the weight. Yay for weightlifting!

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Leg Abductions/Adductions

This exercise is something I’ve been doing for awhile, on and off depending on what kind of resources I have handy. My physical therapist suggested I do this to strengthen my glutes (when I was trying everything I could to fix my knees). It works. I can feel it! I use one of the machines at the gym and do both legs. If I don’t have access to the machine, or I’m at home, it can be done with those stretchy bands, but I like the machine better.

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Bird Dog

This one is a suggestion from my physical therapist, as well as a yoga move. It’s a funny name but it is so beneficial–for runners, for anyone with muscle imbalance or chronic injury. It works on the core as well as the glutes and hamstrings. I work this move into my abs workouts.

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The Result

A recent workout included all of the above moves, plus a few other various things (some balance exercises, ab exercises and weight machines), 15 minutes of the elliptical and 10 minutes of stretching. This was the calorie burn:

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Not bad, huh? I’m working on strengthening my core and still working on my glutes. I know they are a weak part of my body and if I’m going to be serious about getting back to running I need to focus on my weaknesses or this will never stick! I’m glad I’ve been sticking with the weight lifting. The focus may change (I go back and forth in focus between the glutes, triceps and abs) but the bottom line doesn’t: lifting weights makes me feel better and stronger. Read these two interesting articles I found:

7 Strength Training Myths Every Woman Should Know

Why Women Don’t (But Should) Lift Weights

If you’re on the fence about starting a strength training program, I recommend you give it a chance–at least for a few weeks. Give it four weeks of 2-3 sessions each week and you WILL see a change. It might be a change on the scale (most likely a loss!), you might notice you are stronger, you might feel better or you might notice some muscle definition you never had before. Sure you won’t look like Arnold Schwarzenegger after just a month of lifting weights, but trust me. If you stick with it, you will see a difference. Ladies: don’t be intimidated! You have every right to be there with the guys and show them what you got! Don’t be shy! I let my shyness keep me away for far too long. I am so glad I learned to love weights!