Before we get to breakfast, let me give you a little glimpse of the pain I just put myself through…
Before Unite Fitness this morning, I made myself a bowl of Banana Bread Protein Oatmeal Pudding. It was a bit of a cross between my Banana Bread Protein Oatmeal and Protein Oatmeal Pudding recipes, and it totally hit the spot.
This morning’s workout consisted of a 3.5 km warm up run down to the Unite studio, followed by a 75 minute class. The cardio portion this morning was tough as per usual, but the last 5 sprints really killed me. We brought the incline up to a high hill (I set my treadmill to 11%), and then had to try and run at a speed as close as possible to our 0% sprint speed for 30 seconds.
It’s too bad I wasn’t wearing my heart rate monitor today (<- need to figure out what’s wrong with it!), but if I was, I think I would have hit very close to my max HR. If I had to guess, I would say my heart rate hit the high 180’s, and maybe even 190. The only time I’ve ever recorded that high of a HR is last year when I had to play a squash match when I was very sick.
Today when I finished that last sprint, I felt so exhausted that I actually had to tell myself: “Nicole, this pain is temporary, you are not going to drop dead right now”. Fortunately, the feeling passed after a couple minutes, and I was ready to go for the strength portion!
Today was a very leg heavy day, which, at first I thought nothing of, as I grabbed heavy weights for squats. However, after a few exercises, I felt my right quad seize up, and knew right then I needed to back off of legs for the rest of the workout. As someone who rarely gets injured (knock on wood!), I actually get confused when I feel a strange twinge, and immediately try to determine the cause(s) for the pain.
After some reflection, I came up with the following reasons:
- Unite Fitness is really pushing my limits anaerobically. At home, I can do several hours of exercise, some of which at what I would estimate to be about 80% exertion, however at Unite I am getting pushed to nearly 100% every time. Having a trainer guide my workouts is forcing my muscles to work harder and faster, rather than longer, which seems to be imposing a different kind of stress on my body.
- I have been running as a means of commuting. At home, I will often count my commute to squash or the gym as part of my workout. However, in Victoria I don’t run to my destination- I cycle. This cycling commute is a good way to not only get a little extra cardio in, but to allow my muscles to warm up and cool down before and after training. Here in Philadelphia, I don’t have my bike with me, and so I have been running to (and sometimes from) workouts. Since it’s less than 5 km, I haven’t really been counting it as much of a workout, but I need to remember that it is not only a higher impact activity than cycling, but that it is also causing stress on my body.
- I did two back-to-back leg days. This was the really dumb mistake. Yesterday I was convinced to go to Unite to lift after my Body Cycle class, which was fine at the time, but I didn’t think about which muscles we would be strength training today. Turns out today was also a leg day, and my muscles hadn’t recovered quite enough from yesterdays’ tough workout.
- I’ve been doing longer 2-a-day workouts. By the time I leave my place, work out at Unite, and get home, I’ve been active for roughly 2 hours. This, combined with my late afternoon/early evening squash training (which lasts anywhere from 1-2 hours), makes for a lot of hours spent intensely exercising. I’m convinced my body is capable of doing this, but it that it needs some time to adapt.
Post Workout Recovery: Foam Rolling
After strength was done, Coach Jesse worked on my quad a little bit, and recommended that I also foam roll to help recovery. When I got home, I realized that I don’t actually have a foam roller here with me, so I had to improvise a bit.
After searching the apartment quickly, this is what I came up with in place of a foam roller:
I tested all 3 items out, and eventually settled (<- ha! what a pun) on the vodka bottle and candle. The fire extinguisher was fine, except for the fact that I was paranoid that I would trigger it somehow, and that I would end up with a foamy mess.
I’m convinced that foam rolling must be one of the most intense pains you can impose upon your body- especially if a muscle is already sore. Fortunately, the suffering paid off, and my leg is feeling a lot better now 🙂
As per usual, I got one of my favourite post-workout treats on the way home: a Wawa French Vanilla coffee. I also snacked on some crackers and almond butter as I prepared my (first) mid-day meal.
I ended up having a sweet potato topped with almond butter, and a pear on the side.
Did you know: 1 medium sweet potato contains 694 mg of potassium! Everyone always thinks that bananas are the best option in so far as potassium content, but they only have 422 mg per serving. (Source). Not bad, but I figured with my sore leg, that I needed that extra bit of K+.
Well, that was a couple hours ago, so now naturally I’m hungry again, and I’m thinking Greek yogurt is going to make an appearance!