Dumbbells in the gym

Back in the gym, a goodbye and a new beginning

Welcome to Sunday!
I’ve been extremely tired this week. Either it was a shock for the body to go straight from summer to winter, especially with our cold house (did we have it so cold inside the other years?), or it was because of a sinusitis I had on and off while we were in Italy. Or both.

Lately I’ve been thinking… should I keep posting to the Weekly rundown link-up, since I’m not going to run again, and it’s mostly a link-up populated by running bloggers? But then, it’s described as for fitness bloggers, not necessarily runners, so why not! I enjoy reading what the runners are doing training-wise and otherwise, and it’s a good thing for me sharing my fitness endeavours and documenting my progress in the gym.

So let’s talk about this week and the return to the normal fitness routine.

Monday – PT + Walk, 4,6 km + a bit of shoulder strength
Tuesday – PT + indoor cycling 17 km

Wednesday – PT + back to the gym!
Thursday – PT + indoor cycling, 9,5 km
Friday – Gym
Saturday – Walk, 5,96 km
Sunday – rest


This Monday was a bank holiday. What a bummer when all I wanted was to get back to the gym! But honestly, I was quite happy NOT going to the gym because I felt exhausted after the travel home, and it probably did me good to not dive straight into the weighted squats and bench press. Instead I went for a walk. And what weather we had! The morning was chilly and since Sunday offered 5C, I prepped with full cold weather gear. But when I went out, the sun nicely warmed my face and it was at least 15 degrees. I had to go back inside and take off a layer… or two. What a treat!

I walked about 2 km and then (too soon!) felt my feet were getting tired so I turned back. In total I walked 4,6 km. My feet still get easily tired but it’s ok. I’ll gradually increase distances and I’ll get to 10 km eventually.

While I was at it, I did some arm & shoulder strength exercises with my slightly too light (4 kgs) dumbbells. Better get them used to some action again!


I got back on the bike, a random route in the French alps (via Kinomap) that they called “scary descent”. What was supposed to be scary I don’t know – the deep canyon by the side of road? You don’t scare me so easily!

It was nice to be back on the bike however and I rode 17 km. Not the most exciting route with only descents, but at least I got to move my legs a bit.

In the evening we went to the Halloween music session in the hotel bar in town. We hadn’t been able to prep any fancy costumes but played with black clothes and some white face paint. My husband looked like “death” in “The seventh seal”!


Back in the gym! Yaay!

First a warmup with bodyweight squats and lunges. I’m quite familiar with them by now! Then I got straight into the meaty stuff.

  • Squats, barbell 30 kgs
  • Deadlifts with hexbar, 33 kgs
  • Dumbbell pullovers, two 9 kg dumbbells
  • Dumbbell row, 15 kgs
  • Flyes, 9 kg dumbbells
  • Push-ups
  • Lateral raise, 5 kg dumbbells
  • Upright row, barbell 17,5 kgs

Everything was very challenging. But how lovely it was to lift some heavy weights again! Particularly the upper body exercises were hard, which I expected after only doing push-ups during my time away. I managed to get to the end of all of them, but everything was hard. The dumbbell rows seemed a lot heavier than before, but I was surprised that the lateral raises went much better than expected – because I had done some shoulder work, although light, on the Monday?


I was so slow to get going this day. Bit by bit, mixed with coffee, I did my PT done, and since a music session (with the slow session group) was planned for the evening, I needed to awaken my concertina skills so I dusted off the concertina box and sat down to go through tunes (with mixed success, I must say). Later I got onto the indoor bike and did what was described as 8,6 km on the app but in the actual video turned out to be 9,5 km… a route near Lake Tahoe with some nice uphills.

In the afternoon I went to see my physiotherapist, for the last time.
It was planned I would continue going until Christmas, but after assessment and chat, we both agreed that I’ve made so much progress, that I’m now where I need to be with strength and function and that I can continue from here on my own, and with the help of my trainer. The physio will send an e-mail in a few weeks to check how I’m doing, but other than that I’m done.

It was such a bittersweet feeling! He’s been so good and so incredibly supportive during this awful time, has been a “safety net” in a way and has really gone the extra mile with everything to get me as close as possible to where I wanted to be and a bit further too. I’m forever grateful, and I’m coming out of this stronger than I was before the injury, because I’ve never worked so much on my foot and lower leg strength before.

He recommended how to move on, doing single leg heel raises holding dumbbells for example, and we also discussed doing careful plyometrics because I asked about how to approach some low impact training which would be good for bone stimulation. I’ll wait with that for now, but will definitely try heel raises with added weight.

I felt a bit sad leaving, but also had a good feeling that I had started a new chapter, and could leave the old miserable one behind.


Gym day! Today I had some more energy despite a night of poor sleep. I warmed up with inchworms and bodyweight Bulgarian split squats. Then on to this set:

  • Bulgarian split squats, 6 kg dumbbells
  • Romanian deadlifts, barbell 30 kg
  • Dumbbell chest press, 10 kgs
  • Good mornings, barbell 20 kgs
  • Parachutes
  • Renegade row, 6 kg dumbbells
  • Forward raise, 5 kg dumbbells
  • Seated bent-over raise, 4 kg dumbbells

Today I got the “nice” surprise that the Renegade rows I’ve been doing earlier were modified, and that we’re now moving on to real Renegade rows, with one push-up between each lift. Holy *****, that was hard! Only on the last set I started to get the hang of it and I really enjoyed the challenge.


This week has been so busy so I had promised myself to have a soft Saturday and my only plan was to go for a walk down to the sea and back. I’m 100% determined to get my walking distances back on track, and I have several loops as training – from 6k up to 10. 10-15k is what I used to walk frequently before my injury. In Italy I did manage to walk up to 7k in, more or less, one go, but mostly I’ve been up to 4 or 5 km. The walk to Ballinglanna and back is about 6k and includes some challenging hills so I thought that would be a nice one to try.

So how did the actual walk go? I was happy to realise that my feet didn’t get tired until I was almost home, and that both my leg strength and cardio fitness must have improved a LOT. This road is a long downhill that ends with a steeper part when you get down to the beach, and so of course a long uphill to get back. In January I needed to stop and rest halfway up the hill, both to get my breath back and to rest my calves and hamstrings.

Today getting uphill was nothing, and even my legs were happy enough despite being quite sore after the week’s deadlifts and whatnot. I felt good – yay for all the heel raises, squats and lunges lately! The main problem was an insane wind, the road leaning sideways (which made my left peroneals complain, they’re not used to this lately) and a lot of annoying traffic.


This is the first day since we came home that I have some good energy. I didn’t have a plan for today, and mostly consider it a day of rest. I have root vegetables in the crockpot, apples prepped for a pie I’ll make later, and my husband is making chili jam for a cheese board. Sounds like it could be a good day, don’t you think?

This coming week should be a totally normal week with gym sessions x 3, some cycling (going to try Zwift again) and walking. I also plan to keep up the good work for my feet and lower legs by continuing some of the exercises my physio gave me, on the non-gym days. Heel raises will definitely happen but also lunges, ankle strength & mobility, and balance exercises.

I hope you are doing well and had a good week. Tell me about your highlights in the comments!

Thanks Kim and Deborah for hosting the Weekly rundown link-up!

22 responses to “Back in the gym, a goodbye and a new beginning”

  1. Deborah Brooks avatar

    Yes! Definitely please keep posting and joining us for the weekly run down. I love having a pen pal across the ocean. 🙂 Running is cyclical for sure.Any fitness blogs are welcome

    1. Susanne avatar

      Thanks Deborah! I enjoy having a connection with some good US based bloggers too… I mostly read Australian and some European blogs before I found this link-up. I like connecting with people from around the world.

  2. Wendy avatar

    I second what Deborah says! Did I ever tell you that I had a penpal from Sweden when I was young? We have kept in touch over the years–thanks to social media, lol

    Plus I love reading through your strength workouts. Not many of the group does heavy strength so it’s nice to have another person to compare notes. I’m so glad you are feeling better and are getting back at it.

    1. Susanne avatar

      Yes, I agree! It’s nice to read from other heavy lifters! I always enjoy reading yours too although the units have me very confused (this happens with everything non-metric).
      I’m SO happy to be back doing all the normal things in the gym. Even if I didn’t have a valid reason to give up running, I’d hesitate to get back to it because of the risk of getting injured and having my strength training disrupted again.

      That’s so cool about your Swedish pen pal! I used to have a lot of pen pals when I was younger. I’m still connected to a few of them that I got to know in my 20s after I started learning Italian. One of them lives in Abruzzo and he’s the main reason why we started going there!

  3. Chocolaterunsjudy avatar

    Fitness is fitness. And we all learn from one another!

    Your recovery is going so well. Happy to hear the feet don’t get as tired as quickly. It does look so green there, as Ireland is supposed to!

    My fitness has been kind of minimal lately. But now it’s a good time to slow down and enjoy the winding down of the year anyway!

    1. Susanne avatar

      Yes! We all learn from each other! And even if I don’t run anymore, I still find it interesting to read about runners, problems they run into, and how they organise their training.

      Yes it’s very green here!! And every time people whine about the rain (although this October I don’t blame them because it’s been disastrous), I think about the green and how Ireland wouldn’t be so green if we didn’t have the rain.

  4. Jenny avatar

    Hmm… I guess everyone who does the Weekly Rundown does run, at least a little- but I’ve never really thought of it as a “running” linkup, more like a general fitness link. I think it’s fun reading about all different sorts of workouts- if it was all just running it would be kind of boring!
    Glad you’re getting back to your routine. Yes, I’m sure it was hard to say goodbye to your PT but it’s time to move on- which is a good thing. The photos from your walks are BEAUTIFUL!

    1. Susanne avatar

      You’re probably right! It’s just that I always saw it as a mostly-runners link-up because so many who participate are runners. And I agree, I also really enjoy reading about all the different workouts.
      I had such mixed emotions when I left the physio clinic! But afterwards I felt good, that I could leave all the misery behind and start again.

  5. Kimberly Hatting avatar

    Yes, do continue linking!!! While we have a lot of runners linking, many of them (myself included) also incorporate other forms of exercise into our fitness and well being. I worked with a PT for almost eight months (late October of last year until sometime in April, I believe), and it was kind of sad when she set me free. You have a solid regimen of strength, and your walking is really impressive. Glad things are going so well!!

    1. Susanne avatar

      Sometimes I wonder if I do too much with the walking! (I definitely did some days in Italy!) The thing is that I’ve always loved walking and it’s so normal to me going for longer walks. But I feel good and I mix it up with gym sessions and cycling so it should be ok.

  6. Coco avatar

    Oh my goodness, definitely keep joining this link-up. I’m enjoying getting to “know” you and your photos are gorgeous. 😉

    I definitely am afraid of long/steep descents on my road bike, but I don’t think it would be as bad on my stationary bike. 😉

    Congrats on graduating from PT. I’m almost done, but not sure I’m almost better.

    1. Susanne avatar

      I wouldn’t enjoy any steep descents on a bike either! Walking them is bad enough!
      I hope you continue to improve, especially if you’re supposed to be done with PT soon.
      And thanks for your nice compliment on my photos!! I managed to get my photography inspiration back when we were in Italy. It was about time, because it was long before my injury that I kind of lost my spark with it. Now I’m even thinking of buying a new lens.

  7. Lisa @ TechChick Adventures avatar

    Yes, keep on posting and linking! I do love to see what is going on at the other side of the world 🙂 Congrats on heading out of PT. Onward and upward!

    1. Susanne avatar

      Thanks Lisa! I’m looking forward to a new fresh start and a continued, hopefully injury-free fitness journey! And I’ll definitely keep posting.

  8. Leanne | www.crestingthehill.com.au avatar

    Hi Susanne – for someone who was feeling tired and is still recovering from her foot injury, you’ve had an amazing week of fitness. I just do my 5km walk each day and think I’m doing well (I’ll never cross the threshold of a gym!) So, really good to read all that you’ve achieved and to see the photos of the countryside in the process.

    1. Susanne avatar

      5 km a day is great! I’ll find a good route in town to get some walking done on my gym days too, now that I’m back in the office on training days. The short walk from the office to the gym and back doesn’t count!
      Many people are very against going to a gym so you’re not alone. To me strength training is essential, my number one priority when it comes to fitness and wellbeing, and even more now after knowing I have low bone density.

  9. Debbie avatar

    Yes, please keep linking up because I love reading about your strength training workouts and seeing pictures from your walks! Glad to hear your feet are getting stronger and the walks longer!

    1. Susanne avatar

      I’m glad to hear that, Debbie! I’ve been wondering who is really interested in my strength training other than me! I’m glad to know so many here enjoy reading about that. For me listing my weights and exercises makes it like an archive of what I’ve done in the gym and I can go back and see what progress I’ve made, and it’s searchable too!

  10. Jessie avatar

    Great photos as always! Love that green…and the sun! I think the link-up is more about the connections across the internet…I enjoy documenting for myself, but then it does allow for a weekly touchpoint to maintain “friendships” with people I otherwise would not know! So…in summary, keep doing it, ha!

    1. Susanne avatar

      Thanks Jessie! Yes, isn’t it lovely how blogs allow to connect with people you otherwise wouldn’t have known? I probably wouldn’t be blogging if it wasn’t for the community aspect.

  11. Darlene S Cardillo avatar

    I agree with everyone… you don’t have to run to join the link up… who knows? you may again.

    so Inspired by your gym visits. I just use the machines.

    Love seeing your country and having a new virtual friend.

    1. Susanne avatar

      Yes, who knows…. we’ll see what happens.
      I’m glad you’re inspired by my gym sessions! When I went to gyms in the past I mostly used machines too, but learned some good dumbbell exercises from a book my sister gave me once. Now I’m very happy to have a trainer who pushes me to do more (heavier) than I probably would on my own.
      It’s good to have you here and I’ll keep posting.

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