West Cork

Sameness can be a good thing

This week has been quite standard and with no particular excitement, which is a good thing. Every time I tend to feel bored over same-same weeks, I need to remind myself of last spring when I hobbled on crutches and could only dream of doing most of the things I do now. So, in light of that, sameness is wonderful and I’ve had a good week! I’ve done some good work in the gym and enjoyed myself with music, photography and gardening.

Monday – gym and walking

I stuffed quite a lot of activities into this day! The weather was absolutely fantastic with about 20 degrees (68F) after lunch. I went to the gym at 2 pm as usual.

Jävlaranamma blog

I have a love/hate relationship with barbell deadlifts. I still struggle with getting my knees out of the way and I don’t know how to fix it. If I lean backwards any further with weight on my heels as I’m instructed, I feel I’ll fall over! I do know I have a 50 kg counterweight in my hands in front of me but it doesn’t help! My trainer suggested standing with my face into a wall (and I really mean almost touching the wall with the nose) and doing squats without hitting the wall with my knees. I’ll probably try that.

However, I LOVE the movement of sumo deadlifts! These felt good, except the bruised knees.

The dumbbell bench press went so much better today than last week! And the Renegade row is beginning to be one of my favourite exercises. It’s so tough but yet such a nice challenge. Today I managed all the reps except the very last one and only gave up because I felt I was going to vomit, lol! After this, and having done the bench press just before it, my front delts were already toast and the front raise was really hard – it’s usually one of my stronger exercises. The shoulder shrugs felt like a breeze afterwards.

20 degrees, my friends!!!
So how did I take advantage of the good weather? I decided to cut the workday short and walk home. I’ve wanted to try that for a long time! The main road is no option for safe walking but there’s a small country road that starts just after you’ve left town and leads to another little village a few km from us. I did NOT regret this decision! It was a fabulous, fabulous walk! So beautiful up there and so peaceful with almost no traffic, and mostly farms, gardens and bluebells along the road. The walk was about 8,5 km in total. I probably could have chosen a shorter route but Apple maps aren’t particularly helpful in this area and I took the road I recognised, leading to the last end of my famous “cow loop”. My feet got very tired, but I’ll do this again soon!

West Cork

To finish off the day, I did a few rounds with the lawn mower. Do I need to say I was exhausted afterwards?

Tuesday

I had tons of work to do but when my camera club friend asked if I wanted to join her to the beach, I couldn’t say no. The weather was colder but still nice.

It was low tide and I walked around in an area of the beach where I don’t usually go. It’s stunning in low tide with all sorts of rock formations. The environment there feels like something from early Star Wars.

Sheep's cove, West Cork, Ireland
I LOVE all these colours and curves
Sheep's cove, West Cork, Ireland
This rock looks like a sleeping dragon

Fitness-wise I didn’t do much but I must say that doing photography in this kind of location can be quite demanding and requires a good deal of hip/ankle mobility. For some photos you get the best shot from getting down low and I often go down in a deep squat position instead of kneeling down. I’m thankful for all my leg work in the gym when doing this!

Wednesday

Another good day in the gym.

Jävlaranamma blog

I felt really good with the sumo squats. 40 kgs seem so manageable these days – a good sign that I’m stronger, which of course makes me happy. Kim mentioned on Instagram the other day how thankful she is about what fitness brought into her life, and I 100% couldn’t agree more! The feeling of both seeing muscles grow and the weight plates on the bar increase, knowing I can do this, AND feeling it in my body, is unbeatable!

The performance with the barbell lunges today was my best so far with this kind of weight. I also felt confident with the bench press but I had a harder time than usual with the barbell row, an exercise I usually feel very strong with. We’ve increased weight on this too recently so nothing strange really. And I continue to work on those shoulder presses… ugh. When will I get anywhere with them?

Thursday

This was a good rest day, and a quite event-less one, other than one thing. Do you remember that I talked about a broken tripod a while ago? I ordered a new, REAL (which means that it cost more than some of my lenses, lol) tripod recently and received it quickly since it was from a local shop, just to realise I couldn’t attach my camera to it! The tripod itself is really good and sturdy and will be perfect for any shot but I had no idea there are actually two sizes of the attachment screws. I own a few small tripods and other gear that is meant to be attached to a tripod, with ONE size only, so how was I supposed to know?

Against my standards (I really dislike Amazon) I ordered a ball head and an adapter from Amazon, but I was very disappointed to learn it would come from China with a delivery time of over a month. I thought Amazon was for quick deliveries! The adapter, however, arrived today and was a small but very solid little thing so finally I can start playing with the tripod. Yay!

Friday

I had another good session in the gym.

Jävlaranamma blog

RDLs continue to be a challenge at this weight – mostly when it comes to grip strength, or whatever the problem is. The bar tends to slide and on the last few reps, I almost lift with the finger tips! Today I put liquid chalk before starting, and it seemed to work ok. The actual lifting feels quite good.

The hack squats (I’m used to this being a machine, not a technique! You always learn something) went quite well, I kept my heels on weight plates. I’m glad to feel so stable with my squats now and that I’m able to focus more on the lift than anything else, like it should be.

Inclined bench press…. that is so tough. And then push-ups on top of that! I did ok with roughly 10-10-8 (reps) on the bench press and 10-9-9 on the push-ups.
Talking about push-ups… I mentioned a while ago that I’d do a push-up challenge during April, similar to the Bulgarian squat challenge. That was a great idea, until I came back from Spain and back to the gym to do heavy bench presses.

Muscles need a few days to recover between sessions, just like you don’t do a long run two days in a row … so push-ups after a gym day with heavy bench presses and flyes is a stupid idea. I tried doing push-ups on a non-gym day but my body did NOT agree and I decided that I’ll leave push-ups for weekends or when I’m away from the gym. Challenging yourself is good but you have to be clever too!

Saturday

My husband wasn’t going cycling, and I really felt like doing something different, and felt like another challenge – finding something nice to wear when we go to pubs and whatever else that isn’t the gym or long walks. We went to Cork to attempt some clothes shopping. I bought a denim jacket that I had seen online, and a linen top for summer. We also visited some shops for camping/hiking/mountaineering etc, and got good hydration vests for the Wicklow Ecotrail – it’s time to start preparing for that! And managed to get 10 000 steps done.

When we’re in the city we usually enjoy lunch in a small Mexican restaurant. I had chicken tacos and my husband had chicken with mole and rice.

Cafe Mexicana Cork
Starter at Café Mexicana

Sunday

Today was all about garden workouts! We’ve had colder weather but today was good enough with 12-13 degrees and sunshine. I cut some grass, cleaned up the second garden bed at the front and moved plants. A good day! And don’t underestimate garden workouts – I’m exhausted. “Cleaning” a garden bed this year means a lot of digging, since they were totally abandoned last year when I was injured and now they’re all overgrown. FYI, I have plenty more similar work to do at the back.

Photos? No. Plants look miserable just after you’ve moved them. Maybe later!

How was your week?


18 responses to “Sameness can be a good thing”

  1. Deborah Brooks avatar

    Wow those beach photos are stunning! I agree sameness and routine can be good. As much as I love traveling, getting back to my schedule is always comforting. If you are more comfortable doing sumo deadlifts, who change it!?

    1. Susanne avatar

      Thank you! Everything is stunning about this beach! Sadly the knee position problem occurs with both variants of bent leg deadlifts, and is even worse with sumo! I just need to work on solving it.

  2. Jenny avatar

    i’m going to replace the word “sameness” with “consistency.” And consistency is a GREAT thing! You had a great week in the gym.
    Those photos of the rocks at low tide are amazing. And I love the photo of your walk home from work. AND, now I’m craving chips and guac- those look so good.

    1. Susanne avatar

      Yes, you are right! When it comes to sameness in the gym, it’s definitely consistency and is ALWAYS a good thing. With other things in life… variation gives some spice but even without it life can be good.
      That walk home was so lovely, everything was scenic and peaceful. The weather certainly helped too.

  3. Kimberly Hatting avatar

    Nice photos!! YOU have such a great perspective and attitude. YOU mentioned frustrations with the “sameness,” but look at what you’re doing these days! I can relate, especially when it comes to training for races. There was a time when I’s almost be in panic mode if I’d missed a training run or was worried about mileage, etc. Now, I have the reassurance that I have a strong enough base that a little fudging is permissible 😉

    1. Susanne avatar

      Thanks Kim! That reassurance must be a good feeling! I’m not completely there yet with strength and definitely not with legs (although it’s most certainly BS my brain is making up) but I’m mostly confident with everything else so I’m getting there.

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

    I’ve missed seeing your photos Susanne – and good on you for all the activity and exercise you’ve accomplished throughout the week – and 8.5km hike home after work is certainly an achievement in itself!

    1. Susanne avatar

      And I’ve missed taking them! I’m quite lost with photography at the moment. But the only way to get back on track with it is to go out with the camera, without plans or restrictions, just shooting what I like.
      The 8,5 km hike was also after the gym! So yes, an achievement!

  5. Jenn avatar

    Oh my goodness! We have a beach here that has what I call moon rocks… It’s an entire stretch that looks like the surface of the moon with craters and cool nooks and crannies. I”ll have to get a photo for you. It’s so cool.

    RDLs are one move I can do (and I really enjoy them). I like the idea of standing up against a wall.

    I always love seeing you rphotos. Please keep sharing!

    1. Susanne avatar

      Wow, that’s so cool about the beach! I’d love to see that!
      I also really enjoy RDLs. Standing up against the wall was for regular deadlifts, where I always scrape my knees against the bar – I’ve never heard of anyone else having this problem, lol. I’ll see what I can do about it.
      And I’ll definitely keep sharing photos! I always take the camera when I go for walks so there will be plenty of photos now when we go into the nice season.

  6. Lisa @ TechChick Adventures avatar

    For a couple of years I subscribed to an “outfit formula” website which would create a calendar for each season. Each day’s outfit was created from a group of clothes, so it was all mix and match. I did wear a few new things, and tried out some “different for me”, trendy clothes, but overall I always fall back into my reliable running t-shirts and joggers. It’s hard to change my ways! 🙂 It was supposed to be super easy because you didn’t have to think about what to wear, but it actually stressed me out because it didn’t feel like my own style! I am a huge fan of the jean jacket that resulted from those outfits though. I hope you enjoy your new clothes!

    1. Susanne avatar

      That is a really cool business idea! But it does have to support your own style and if it doesn’t, you’re not going to enjoy it. I’m very much struggling with style – I don’t know what my style is, but I know what I like and that much of it is against what’s in fashion. Also, my body has obviously changed with training so now I can look good in clothes I could never wear before. I’m also falling in love with leggings outside the gym so I’m exploring what I can wear with them and still look stylish. It’s fun but hard! I did some more shopping online later for long tops.

  7. Debbie avatar

    Your beach is so cool at low tide. Thanks for sharing pictures!

    Gardening is a great workout and should never be dismissed.

    1. Susanne avatar

      Yes, gardening is hard work! What I did on Sunday was hours of deadlifts and barbell rows and lunges… but differently.

  8. Jessie avatar

    Absolutely love those beach photos, what interesting rocks…so cool and you captured them so well!

    Your walk home from work looks like a lovely option, especially with these longer days we have now!

    1. Susanne avatar

      It’s such cool place! And it’s huge too so there’s always something new to discover.
      Looking forward to more long walks now!

  9. Anne avatar

    That beach is amazing. I hope to get there to see it soon!
    Consistency is the key, isn’t it? Well, consistency + challenge, I guess. Getting fitter and stronger is usually the goal. 🙂
    You’ve mentioned ending “the workday” in town a few times now. Are you renting space? Co-working? Hanging out in coffee shops or pubs? I’m curious now!

    1. Susanne avatar

      Definitely consistency in combination with challenge!
      We rent an office in town. Now the building is being sold and we just learned that the new owner is going to build apartments there. Very interesting that the news came the same day as the builders came to start making the slab for a new office in our garden! Someone is looking after us, it seems.

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