Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Squats Are Paying Off

I started the squat challenge on February 18. I took some before photos (although really I took them a few days in) but I don't want to post them until I have "afters", and that won't be until March 19. I'm just about halfway through, and I am noting some changes.

The changes aren't physical, mostly. I mean, when I squat, I notice that my quads have some more definition. When I engage the muscles, there are actual muscles there to see.

But the main differences are in how I'm feeling. The squats aren't nearly as difficult as they were at first. I can easily do 50 in a row instead of sticking to sets of 25. I could probably do all 100 at once if I wanted to, but I'm enjoying doing sets of them at work with my colleagues.

Also, my runs have been fantastic. It may just be the normal road to recovery, but I'm surprised by how quickly I've been able to progress.
I've been expecting to run set intervals averaging ~10:45 for awhile before I saw much improvement in pace or stamina. I assumed I might get a couple runs in where I extend the first interval to about 5 minutes before wanting a break...But then I ran Monday night. And I just decided to trust my body.

What did my body give me? Three miles in under 30 minutes. The first two miles under 20 minutes. Two 30-second walk breaks at each mile mark; and I took those breaks because I felt I should, not because I felt I needed to.
My legs felt freaking awesome on that run. Strong. Powerful. Capable.

I truly believe this strength and flexibility is partly due to the squats. It may have been the cool weather. It may have been that I've been back to running for about eight weeks now and my body is remembering what it used to do. But really, I think a lot of it is the squats.

When this challenge is over, I think I'll keep it up anyway. Clearly, it's paying off.



  1. Squats are such a great exercise! I miss them immensely. They bother my ITB so much so that it will be THROBBING for several days. Maybe someday. :(

    1. I feel like you are so strong in your whole body, there MUST be a way to get your IT bands on board with squats. Can you do lunges, or do those bug it too?

    2. They bug it too. :( It's like all the things that are supposed to STRENGTHEN your ITB bothers mine.

  2. YES! I have noticed that strength training has helped me legs a lot since I've gotten back into a regular routine with it. My legs feel so strong and capable. I feel like I could run for years ... except sometimes my calves do still feel tight in an annoying way. Not like pre-surgery but also it doesn't feel great. I keep reminding myself that my PT said my calves are big and will *always* be somewhat tight, but at least I can run through it now!

    I just need my runs to get a little longer. I remember before I started having compartment syndrome issues it would take me about 30 mins of running before my calves loosened up just from normal tightness, so I feel like I just need to get my runs back up to that marker!

    You are killing it with your runs and picking distance back up! I keep hoping for/waiting for that moment you described before your 5K where everything just seemed to click.

    1. When my calves feel uncomfortable now, it's in a weird way because they are still partially numb. So at track practice, for example, my calves needed a break after we did some jumping jacks. And they didn't hurt like pre-surgery but they felt...lumpy? Like there was a little knot threatening to form. I think still have discomfort is definitely part of healing and neither of us is past that yet!

      I definitely need to be better about warming up because my legs usually need about 5 minutes of movement before they feel really good. Monday's run was the first that everything just felt GOOD the entire time. Honestly, it was a little freaky. I couldn't remember how it had felt before! I was like "woah, this is how I used to always feel?!"

      I know things will click back into place for you soon. Keep up what you're doing!! Patience is worth it!

  3. 50 squats at one shot sounds amazing!! good job!!