Category Archives: Fitness

Not The Workout Week I Was Expecting (or At Least I Made It To My Workouts)

This past week of workouts was a bit crazy for me. I went into the week thinking it would be a 3 workout week. I was supposed to have a minor procedure at the dermatologist on Thursday and that would have prevented me from working out for a few days. But that appointment got moved to next month and that changed things back to my normal workout week. But then I got sick and it got changed back to a 3 workout week but different days that I planned. For someone who likes routine and planning, this wasn’t great. But I did still make my workouts and that’s sometimes all you can hope for.

Monday was the only workout I went into the week knowing I’d be doing that ended up happening. And it was the Everest Challenge workout. I’ve done that before, but this time it was slightly different because it was during a 3 group class and not a 2 group class. So the treadmill time was only 15 minutes and we went up by 2% each minute instead of 1% like you do when you have 30 minutes on the treadmill. But just because we had less time on the treadmill didn’t mean that it was easy for me. I was dealing with the combination of not working out for 5 days plus starting to get sick again. So while I wanted to walk the entire thing at my normal speed, I had to slow way down for most of it.

I was on the rower next. We started with a 100 meter row and then squat presses and woodchoppers. Every round we went up 100 meters and I made it to the 400 meter row. My rowing was slow and not powerful but I knew that the combination of feeling exhausted and sick was pretty much ruining that part of my workout. Then I went over to the floor where we had 2 blocks. The first block had chest presses, hammer curls, and shoulder presses. And the second block had plank rows, triceps, and leg lifts. I used lower weights than I’m used to for all the floor work, but again I was just trying my best when I knew I wasn’t feeling my best.

My original plan was to work out on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. After my dermatologist appointment was canceled, I switched to my normal Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday. But on Tuesday I was feeling pretty awful and realized that working out the next day wasn’t going to happen. It’s a good thing I didn’t because I was exhausted just from working and I was feeling just off. But on Thursday I started to feel better so I decided to do my Friday and Saturday workouts.

Friday was a Friday the 13th themed workout. While I was feeling better, I was not totally better and I knew that I was going to be going very easy on myself. And it was a bit sad I had to do that because this would have been an amazing workout to work on my running. Everything in the cardio section was 90 seconds (or 1 minute and 30 seconds). It would have been amazing to work on running for 90 seconds at a time, but there was no way to run and I had to walk. And not only did I have to walk, but I walked pretty slowly. And it wasn’t easy to walk. I was surprised at how difficult it was for me but I did it. And while it was one of the lowest distances I’ve done on the treadmill in a long time, I’m proud for doing it at all.

The floor work was one long block and again it was themed with 13. We had a 130 meter row and then floor work that was all 13 reps. We had jumping jacks, chest presses, skier swings, biceps using the straps, and squats. I had to go slow again with everything and my rowing was pretty pathetic, but I made it through it. And I’m glad that I went to the workout because I was actually feeling a bit better after finishing it all.

Saturday’s workout was an endurance day and even though I was feeling better I knew it was still going to be an easy workout. Especially with it being an endurance day I knew it was going to be a day I had to walk slowly on the treadmill. But I was able to bump up the speed a bit compared to the day before so I was closer to my normal walking speed on the treadmill. And it was a 3 group class so I was only on the treadmill for 15 minutes. It was mainly 2 minute or 90 second push paces and I just kept my speed low and worked on my inclines a bit.

On the floor, we had 2 blocks. The first block was deadlifts, strap work, and plank work. For my deadlifts, I was using 20lb weights which is what I use a lot. And the second block was all Bosu work with hip bridges, back extensions, and crunches. I did those as I normally do. And on the rower, all the rowing was 250 meters. I didn’t do any spectacular times, but they were much better than the day before. And in between the rowing we had lunges, squats, and swings with weights. I had to take it easy with all of those, but it was much closer to normal than I thought it would be.

Overall, I can’t be too disappointed with my workout week. It didn’t go the way I planned at all, but I still managed to get there 3 times this past week and did my best considering the circumstances. I’m not feeling 100% better yet (this cold feels like it will never end!), but I have a feeling that this week of workouts will be much better. And we are coming up on Hell Week so I want to get back to normal as soon as I can!

3 Workouts In A Row (or Using Fitness To Beat A Cold)

This past week of workouts was an interesting one. First, I had only 3 workouts in the week. Plus those 3 workouts were 3 days in a row. I don’t usually do 3 days in a row, but it was the only way I could do 3 workouts this past week. But it also ended up being a week where I was working out while not feeling my best. I was hanging out with a friend on Saturday night who ended up having a cold on Sunday. I think I caught it from them and was fighting a cold all week. But I knew I couldn’t be sick last week because of everything I had, so I was determined to sweat the cold out of me!

Monday’s workout was an endurance 3 group workout. That was the first morning I was feeling a bit sick, but I was mainly contagious and didn’t feel light-headed or anything. So I knew it might be tough to workout, but I could do it. There was no way for me to run, so I walked everything. It was a bit annoying to walk because this endurance workout was actually pretty ideal for me to work on my running. The first block was 1 minute intervals so that’s something I’m used to running. And the second block was all 45 second intervals. But I was just focused on being a good power walker and taking the breaks to catch my breath that I needed to.

Next I was over on the rower. The first block started with a 500 meter row with 20 bicep curls using the rower handles. Then each block the rowing went down 100 meters. I was very focused on keeping my rowing steady and not too fast. It means my rowing doesn’t get as high in wattage as I’m used to, but my form is better. And my coach even noticed that my rowing was improved and commented on how much better it was looking! That made me feel a lot better considering that I was not feeling my best that day. And the second block on the rower followed the treadmill block with 45 second intervals and again I just tried to focus on keeping my rowing speed lower than I used to and steady. The goal was to get 1300 meters in that block, but I only got about 1100 because my wattage was low. But I’m ok with that since my form was better and I was working on what my coach wanted me to work on.

Once I got to the floor, I was feeling better and worse at the same time. My congestion was better, but I was feeling a bit exhausted from all the other work I already had done. But I just told myself to take it easy and do what I can with taking breaks when necessary. The first floor block was rows with weights, squats, strap work, and plank crunches. And the second block was high row on the straps, plank leg lifts, and situps. It was a bit tough to do plank work or work where I was on my back because of the congestion, but I pushed through.

On Tuesday I was feeling a bit better and was thinking that maybe my workouts would help me beat the cold. But I was still not feeling like I had beat it completely so it ended up being another walking day for me. And again I was frustrated because it was a run/row day. I really wanted to try to run, but I knew that if I did that I wouldn’t be able to keep having good form on the rower. The run/row started with a .25 mile walk at 6% incline for me and then a 500 meter row. Next was a .05 mile walk at 10% and a 250 meter row. Then .2 miles at 7% and 400 meters on the rower and .05 miles at 10% and 250 meters on the rower again. I was just working on the .15 mile walk on the treadmill at 8% when time was called. I kept my speed on both the treadmill and rower pretty steady although nothing was as much as I could normally do.

After the run/row we had 4 blocks on the floor. And again I had the same problem I had on Monday with the congestion affecting when I was doing some of the work. The first floor block was squats, row with weights, and plank work. The second block was lunge and tricep work and this was the block I did the best in. Despite feeling off, I was using 25lb weights instead of 20lb weights. It helped that both moves were upright moves so the congestion didn’t bug me as much. The third block was lunges, pullovers on the Bosu, and situps on the Bosu. And we ended with a core blast which was the toughest part because my nose felt so clogged and I was coughing a lot. But again, I was so proud of myself for working out when I didn’t feel great and I was continuing to be optimistic that working out would get the cold out of my system.

I continued to feel a bit better on Wednesday, but I still wasn’t totally back to normal. Plus having it as my third workout in a row made it a tough workout even if I was feeling awesome. So it was another power walking day for me and again I was sad because it was a power day and I really like to work on running those. We had 4 blocks and every block was 4.5 minutes. Every block was a mix of 1 minute and 45 second intervals and I just has to focus on walking. I did all my push paces at 6% and all my all out paces at 8%. I didn’t bump up my speed or incline really at all but to me it was most important to just keep going.

The floor was also 4 blocks that were 4.5 minutes each. The first block was a rowing block. We had 150 meter rows with medicine ball work between each row. I knew I only had 1 good row in me (even though we were encouraged to improve on our time each time we rowed), so I told my coach I was going to go all out on the first one. Because I can be pretty powerful on sprint rows, she stood on the end of my rower to keep it steady and I went for it. I didn’t worry about form, I just wanted to go as quickly and as hard as I could. And it paid off because I got a new 150 meter row PR! I did it in 27.8 seconds which is pretty impressive (you know I wasn’t feeling 100% myself because I forgot to take a photo of my row time with my phone). After that first row, I went pretty easy on all the other times I rowed.

The second block on the floor was shoulder work with weights and push ups. The third block was more 150 meter rowing with squats and plank jacks. I didn’t worry about speed with that row because I knew I was exhausted. And the last block on the floor was pull ups on the straps and more plank work. Even though I was still feeling a bit sick, Wednesday was the day I felt the most like myself and that was an accomplishment.

I went into this past week thinking I would just have an awesome 3 workout week with 3 days in a row. And it ended up being a week that I had to put my mind over what my body was saying and trying to do my best. If I was really sick, I would have skipped the workout. I’ve done that before. But I knew that I could fight this cold and it seems I might have actually done that with this past week of workouts!

Feeling Better About My Progress (or Coming Back From The Dri-Tri)

After my Dri-Tri, I was feeling pretty low about myself. I lost so much confidence in myself and my abilities in the workouts. It’s really a bad place to be in and I know that I need to believe that I can do better. But it’s tough to take myself out of a slump when I’m in it.

Monday’s workout was a strength 3 group class. There was a weird amount of traffic that morning and I ended up starting on the floor, which I never do. We had 2 blocks at each station and we rotated after each block so I didn’t stay on the floor for too long. The first round was all 8 minute blocks for us. On the floor we did goblet lunges, goblet squats, pull overs, and knee tucks. And then on the rower we started with a 200 meter row and 20 lunges and each time we went up 50 meters on the rower and down 2 lunges.

Then it was time for the treadmill. I was pretty grateful that it was a strength day so that I didn’t even try to run. I was still feeling awful about the Dri-Tri and I know I would have pushed myself to try to run even if I shouldn’t. It was all 90 second hills and I was more than happy to walk everything.

Then we had the second round and everything was 5 minute blocks. On the floor we had sumo squats, tricep extensions, and crunches. And then on the rower and treadmill we had the same pattern with a 2 minute push, 1 minute base, 1 minute push, and 1 minute all out. I just tried my best to row for 5 minutes without stopping and on the treadmill I just walked it all even though it wasn’t hill work. I wasn’t feeling so great about myself after the workout, but I knew that I was there and I did the work so I couldn’t be too upset.

Wednesday was the day that I think turned things around for me. It was an endurance day and I was feeling pretty awesome going into the class. I was still a bit down about my workout progress after the Dri-Tri, but I was more optimistic about things. And this ended up being the perfect workout for me when I was feeling like that.

I started on the treadmill and we had 3 blocks. Each block on the treadmill had a similar pattern with a push, a base, a push, an all out. The push paces changed times from block to block, but the pattern was consistent. I decided to see how much I could run of the push and all out paces but wasn’t expecting to be able to run them all. But somehow, I did manage to run all of them with walking my base paces. I noticed toward the end of the 3rd block that I was going to be very close to doing 2 miles in 30 minutes. So for the last all out pace, I ran at 6mph for the entire minute and I was able to hit that goal!

That totally proved to me that my performance at the Dri-Tri was just a bad day and not a real setback. Even though I had been telling myself that, I needed the proof that it was true and this totally proved it to me.

After that awesome running, I was a bit tired when I got to the floor. I took a bunch of breaks during each block, but I was able to get everything done. The first block was lunges with presses, hammer curls, and plank hip dips. The second block was all strap work with Ys and roll outs. And the last block was back extensions, crunches, and squats. It wasn’t the toughest floor work I’ve done, but I needed it to be a bit easier to recover from my cardio.

Friday was a strength day so it was another day of walking for me. I could have tried to run the all out paces because they were on a flat incline, but I ended up walking it all. Most of the inclines for me were at 6 and 8% but I tried doing some of the work at 10%. That’s still a bit too high of an incline for me but I need to keep testing myself and seeing what I can do.

On the floor, we had 2 blocks. The first block was a long one and we did deadlifts, lateral lunges, front raises, and plank rows before going to the rower. The rowing started at 400 meters and then went down 100 meters each time. I didn’t get spectacular times on my rowing, but I was always under the goal time which I was happy with. The second block was pushups to side planks, squat rows, and crunches. By the end of the floor work, I was feeling a bit off but fortunately that was at the end of the workout and not at the beginning.

And even though I didn’t feel like doing a Saturday workout this past week, I made myself do it. The next 2 weeks are going to be 3 workout weeks due to scheduling issues, so I knew I needed to have a 4 workout week this week. It was a power workout with 3 groups. We had 3 rotations around the room and every block was 4 minutes (so 12 blocks total).

On the treadmill, it was mainly push to all out paces. I tried running the first push pace on the first block and realized that running wasn’t going to be happening for me. I was disappointed because I usually am able to run the power days, but my body wasn’t feeling right and I’m working on listening to my body more. I did all my inclines at 6 and 8% and it was ok but I didn’t feel like I worked hard enough.

On the floor, it was tough to keep going for the 4 minutes but I did my best. One block had shoulder and pop jacks. Another block was lunges using the straps with more squats. And the last block had some plank work which was nice for being toward the end of the workout. And the rower was interesting. The first block was a 4 minute row for distance and I did get over 800 meters. The second block was seeing how few pulls you could do to get to 200 meters and I got it down to 16. And the last block was the same pattern as the treadmill with push and all out paces. While I was not feeling like going to the workout before being there, I’m glad I went because I did feel pretty decent when it was all done.

Now I’ve got 2 weeks of weird workouts. I’m still going to fit my workouts in, but it will not be when I’m used to going and I’ll have more time off between workouts from this week to next week than I’m used to. I hope that it doesn’t affect me too much, but at least now I’ve proven to myself that I have made progress and even if I have an off day I can get back there.

Third Time’s Not The Charm (or Being Ok With An Ok Dri-Tri)

This past Saturday was the Dri-Tri at Orangetheory. This would be my 3rd DriTri, but even though I had done it before I was pretty nervous. I might have been more nervous this time because not only did I know what I was in for but I had high expectation of what I could do. But I also was nervous because I knew I didn’t feel as prepared this year as I had in the past.

My week of workouts leading up to the Dri-Tri seemed pretty good, especially with my running. I was really optimistic that while my rowing might not have been where I wanted it to be that I could make up the time for the overall timing with my running. Ideally, I wanted to beat my time on the rower, on the half 5K, and overall; but I would have been happy with just having a best on 2 of those things.

The morning of the Dri-Tri I was feeling a bit concerned, but I was excited to get there and do it. There were multiple heats for it and I got a space in the first one. It was later than I’m used to working out on a Saturday, but not that much later. When I got there, I got a rower and sat down while trying to calm myself down. I tried to focus on taking deep breaths and getting into a relaxed headspace. I knew that I didn’t want to overdo it on the rower and I was just reminding myself that I didn’t have to race anyone and that I could just focus on me.

Before we got started our coaches went over how the entire event would work. This was pretty familiar to me but the floor work always seems overwhelming when they go over everything that we have to do. Once we got back to the rowers to get started, I just kept reminding myself to take it easy because I knew that the row was going to take a while and I didn’t want to have to take breaks.

Once we got started, I tried to zone out. I didn’t look at the rower computer or really focus on anything. I just tried to keep my breathing and rowing to a pattern and steady. I did start a bit harder than I wanted to, but I quickly got into a comfortable rowing speed and was feeling pretty good. By the time that other people were done with their row, I started to focus a bit more again and see how I was doing. In my last Dri-Tri, my row was completed in under 9 minutes. This time, I was hoping to be done in under 8 1/2 minutes but I realized that it wasn’t going to happen.

I didn’t think I was going that slow, but I think that I wasn’t pushing hard enough with my legs. My wattage was lower than it should have been and that made my rowing distance go by slower. I knew I’d be able to get it done in under 10 minutes for sure, but I really wanted to be as close to my last 2,000 meter row time from the last time I did it. When I was done, I was exhausted and ready to move on. I was the last person to finish on the rower, but that was what I figured would happen. But I took almost 9 1/2 minutes to complete my row. It was pretty disappointing and I started to get down on myself. But I was still hopeful that I could make up some time on the floor and on the treadmill so my overall time was still improving.

On the floor, we had 300 body weight exercises. Those included push-ups, squats, step ups (or for me, lunges), hop overs, and plank jacks. We had a certain number of reps to do for each exercise, but to complete 300 reps we did them all twice. This part has been one of the toughest for me in the Dri-Tri because I’m usually so tired after the rower and it’s not easy to do all these exercises. Plus, I’m so competitive with myself so I don’t take all the breaks that I should. I’m not good at planning my breaks when they aren’t built into the workout so I usually go without breaks for the beginning and then take more breaks than I should toward the end.

The floor work was going fine for me until the first set of burpees. My hip popped out during those and I just figured I’d get it to pop back in and keep going. I pushed it back like I normally do and thought I got it done. But it kept coming out. This does happen from time to time and it’s really annoying when it does because it seems like it takes forever to make better. But I didn’t have forever to work on it so I just had to keep going and stopping when I needed to put pressure on my hip to make it feel better. I tried to count in batches so it didn’t seem so overwhelming when I was trying to count to 30 and that helped a bit. And like with the rower, I was the last person to finish on the floor before moving to the treadmill.

The treadmill part of the Dri-Tri is a 5K. If you are a power walker, you do half of a 5K. I originally thought that I’d try to see how far I could get into a 5K before I had to stop, but my official time would be with the half 5K since that’s what I’ve used every other time. I was going to do my treadmill work as a run/walk and since I had some great running earlier in the week with my workouts I was hopeful that it would go well. My big goal was to do the running as either 2 or 3 minute intervals with 1 minute of walking and see how that felt. But because of my hip, I barely made it 1 minute of running at the start before I had to walk.

I thought that maybe I’d just have to do 1 minute intervals even though I didn’t want to be slower than before, but when I tried to run the second time I knew my body just wasn’t having it. It was tough to accept that I would be walking the entire time, but I knew that I had to do it. I kept my speed steady at 3.5mph which is my standard base pace and I kept my incline at 4% which is also what I use for my base pace. I knew I could do it normally, but this wasn’t normal circumstances. My hip wasn’t happy and I had to take lots of breaks to try to make it feel better.

There were plenty of times I felt like giving up on the treadmill. And there were a few times I was close to tears because I was so mad at myself. I questioned if I did too much in my workouts leading up to this and made things harder on myself. I questioned if doing the Dri-Tri in general was the right decision for me. And I wondered where things went wrong and caused all the issues that I had that day. The other problem was that it takes much longer to do the half 5K walking than it does as a run/walk, so it felt like it was taking forever. But when I got close to the end I decided that I had to push myself and ran for the last minute or so until I got to 1.55 miles. This was not the best time I could have gotten on the treadmill, but it’s what ended up happening.

It’s slower than what half of a 5K would have taken me for the past few races, but again there was almost no running this time. And when I do 5K races I didn’t do 2,000 meters of rowing and 300 body weight exercises before my race, so I guess I can’t really compare it.

The first time I did a Dri-Tri, I wanted to finish in under an hour and I finished in just under 53 minutes. My second Dri-Tri I wanted to just do my rowing in under 10 minutes (which I did) and I did the entire thing in under 44 minutes. This time, I thought maybe I could do the entire thing in under 43 minutes and I could beat my rowing time. I didn’t beat my rowing time and my overall time was just over 50 minutes. I’m not happy with myself at all, but I’m trying to be. I know that not everyone can do this fitness event so just getting through it is an accomplishment. But when you have such high hopes for yourself it’s tough to accept something less than what you wanted.

I’ve spent the past few days trying to think about what I could have done better, but I think that things were just not in my favor that day. I don’t know if I could have changed anything and that’s part of what’s tough for me to deal with. But I keep reminding myself that this was just one time doing the Dri-Tri and I should have plenty of chances in the future to do another one. I can work harder on preparing and see what’s possible. But more than anything, I need to just remember that I did it and that’s the most important thing!

 

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Lots Of Running (or Dri-Tri Prep Week)

This past week of workouts was one that I was taking a bit more seriously than other weeks. I knew I’d be doing the Dri-Tri on Saturday (that’s going to be a post for another day) and I also knew that I probably hadn’t been training as much for it as I had in the past. I wasn’t super worried about how I would do in the Dri-Tri, but I also didn’t want to feel horrible when I was done. So I spent this past week of workouts trying to do the best that I could every day in the hopes that the training would get me ready for Saturday.

Monday’s workout was the 3 group workout that focused on power. On the treadmill, we pretty much did 90 second intervals the entire time that were push to all out paces with variations on how long each push or all out was (but they all added up to 90 seconds combined). I was able to run all of the 90 second intervals which made me happy. I do want to get my running intervals up a bit and the last 5K I did was with 2 minute running intervals. I’d love to be at 3 minute running intervals for my next race (which I’m not totally sure when that will be), so 90 second intervals was good practice and something that shouldn’t be too tough for me.

On the floor, we had 2 blocks. The first block was lunges, chest presses on the straps, and squats. I knew I’d have lunges and squats during the Dri-Tri and that we would have push ups so chest presses are close. And the second block was more lunges, squats using the Bosu, and plank work. And when I was on the rowers is was mainly sprint rowing work. The first block started at 400 meters and went down 100 meters each time with squats to bicep curls in-between. And the second block started at 100 meters and went up 50 meters each round with squats in-between. I wish I had a long row that day because I was nervous about the 2,000 meter row, but there wasn’t one that day.

Wednesday was a run/row day that focused on endurance, strength, and power. It was an interesting run/row because we had weight work between everything so it felt almost like a full workout just in the run/row. It started with a 500 meter row, then 10 front raises with weights, then a .1 mile run, and the round finished with 5 arm snatches on each side. Then the next round had the row go down 100 meters and the run go up .05 miles.

I told myself that I would try to run the run segments in full as long as I could. I figured that I probably would need to take a walking break when I got to the .25 mile run but I’d try to run the earlier segments in full. Fortunately (I guess) for me, I never made it to the .25 mile run so I did manage to run all the run segments that I had. And for the rowing, the 500 meter one was a bit tough because I went a bit too hard in the beginning. But the other rowing segments weren’t too bad and I was able to take it easy since I was tired from the running.

The floor had 3 blocks. The first block was squats with the Bosu, lateral lunges with medicine ball presses, kneeling wood choppers, and sit ups with rotations. This block was pretty hard for me and I was taking a bunch of breaks. The wood choppers were especially hard and I think it’s because we haven’t done them for a while and I’m out of practice. The second block had plank jack to pop jacks (which I had to end up doing as plank jacks only due to hip pain), crunches, and hip raises. And the last block was lunges using the straps and swimmers. I felt pretty strong during those last 2 floor blocks so that made up for feeling so off during the first one.

And Friday’s workout also ended up being a run/row day and it was focused on power. I knew I didn’t want to overdo things because of the Dri-Tri the next day. Fortunately this format actually worked well for taking it easier than normal. Our class was small so we ended up working in 1 group that all started on cardio instead of splitting up and having half of us start on cardio and half of us start on the floor.

The first block of the run/row started with rowing. We rowed 200 meters and then however long that took on the rower was the time that we ran on the treadmill. Each round we went up 50 meters on the rower and used that time for the treadmill. All of the times for me were under 2 minutes so I knew I could run it all. I kept my running at my usual push pace which is the pace I’ve been able to use for some of my distance running.

After that block we all moved to the floor where we had 2 blocks. The first block was a timed block with 30 seconds for each thing. We had bicep curls, squats, and skaters. We did the series of moves for 3 rounds and then moved on to the next floor block which was by the number of reps (not timed). That block had lunges, running man, and side plank rotations. And then it was back to the run/row.

The second block of the run/row was similar, but flipped. We started on the treadmill for a .1 mile run and then went to the rower and rowed for however long it took us to do the run. Each time on the treadmill went up by .05 miles and then we used that time for the rowing that round. I had a similar idea with the running as I had on Wednesday. I knew running .25 miles was probably going to be a run/walk but I could run the shorter ones in full. And again, I never made it to the .25 mile run so I was running them all in full. The rowing was all pretty much sprint rows since they weren’t too long so again I was a bit nervous about my lack of endurance row training. But the key was just trying to not go too hard in the beginning and to stay steady since that’s what I’d need to do with a 2,000 meter row.

The floor in the end was similar to the other floor blocks. We had one block that was timed and one block that was by reps. For the timed block, it was 3 rounds of 3 exercises for 30 seconds each. This time we had bicep curls on the straps, sumo squats, and skaters before moving on to the last block. The final block was squats, plank shoulder taps, and abs. That last block was a bit tough because I was tired and feeling a bit off that afternoon (I think I was dehydrated), but I made it through.

Even though I did a ton of running, I still know I haven’t been doing as much running as I should. Part of the reason has been that I’m not clear on when my next 5K will be so I don’t feel like I’m training for something. I usually have a 5K in November. This year it was supposed to be in October but nothing has been officially announced and there are no sign ups. And my race that I do in April seems to be changing and there might not be a 5K anymore. I’m still waiting on seeing what happens, but knowing that April might be my next race isn’t that much motivation. I need to find something other than a 5K to push me to work on my running so that when I have the Dry-Tris I will feel more prepared.

Mixing Up The Routine (or Almost PRs And Dri-Tri Prep)

This past week of workouts was an interesting one for me. I’m so set in my routine that when things change it can throw me off. And this past week, I couldn’t work out on Wednesday and I switched it to Tuesday. I don’t want to say that I’m set in my routine, but it is weird when I’m not doing my normal schedule. My Tuesday felt like a Wednesday, my Wednesday felt like a Tuesday, and I didn’t know what day it was on Thursday since I had 2 days off from working out. But I still managed to get my workouts in and it’s good for me to mix things up sometimes.

Monday was a 3 group class and we did a mix of a partner workout and a tornado workout. It was very unexpected but it was pretty awesome! It was a 3 partner workout for most of the class, but only the partners on the floor and treadmill switched. The treadmill partner did .1 all out runs 3 times with some recovery between and then tagged the floor person. I did the first and third .1 as a run and the middle one as a .05 power walk. When it was my turn on the floor, we had a mix of jumping jacks, push-ups, abs, pop jacks, and arm work. But I was never on the floor that long because my partner on the treadmill would tag me out.

My turn on the rower was in the middle of the workout and it was just a 10 minute distance row with some guidance of when to do push or all out on the rower with some recovery. Overall, the goal was to get to 2000 meters and I thought that was perfect because I have the dri-tri soon and 2000 meters is how we start the dri-tri. But in the 10 minutes I was on the rower, I only made it to 1700 meters and it made me realize that I need to work on distance rowing more to get ready for the dri-tri.

After the partner workout was done, we had a 2 minute tornado workout around the room. So we were only at each station for 2 minutes. On the treadmill it was a 1 minute push pace to a 1 minute all out. I was pretty tired by that point so I ended up walking it. On the floor we had 2 minutes of plank work. And on the rower we had a 2 minute row for distance and I was just under the goal of 400 meters.

While I’m getting pretty used to working out 2 days in a row, it was still very weird to me to work out on Tuesday. It’s pretty rare that I’ll work out then but it was the only time I could fit in the workout in my schedule unless I wanted this past week to be a 3 workout week (which I didn’t want). The workout was a mix of endurance, strength, and power and we did switch between the blocks. And I was very happy to start on the treadmill after all the times I haven’t been able to start on it lately.

There were 2 mini blocks on the treadmill for the 2 times we were on it. And all of them were pretty much the same format. We had a 1 minute push pace which I was able to run, a 2 minute hill which I walked, and a 30 second all out pace which I ran. I was happy that I was able to do a little bit of running and since I rarely run on hills I didn’t mind walking my hill work.

On the floor, we also had 2 blocks and each block started with rowing. The first block had an 800 meter row and the second block had a 400 meter row. Both rows were under the time we were supposed to be under, but neither were spectacular times for me. And besides the rowing we had squats, abs, planks, and lunges on the floor. Even though it felt weird to be working out on a Tuesday, it was the first workout in a while that felt totally normal to me. I felt like myself and that I was working out as hard as I could.

Friday’s workout was a challenging one. I knew going into the workout that we were going to have a 23 minute run for distance challenge. Usually I would check my records to see what I usually can do for those challenges, but I forgot to this time (I’ll come back to that). I’ve been pushing myself more with my running and have found that sometimes I can run for a lot longer than I thought I could. I was pretty certain that I couldn’t run for 23 minutes without stopping, but I figured that I could do my best and see what happened.

I didn’t follow any of the coaches instructions of when we were doing base or push pace because I just wanted to run at a steady pace that I know I can handle. And it did start off pretty rough and I debated if I just wanted to do some intervals instead. But I decided that I was just going to go for it and when it got to be too much that I’d take a walking break. I focused a lot on the clock on the treadmill and was telling myself when I was 10%, 25%, 30% done because it did help me think that I was doing ok. And I eventually decided that I would take the middle minute of the challenge as my first walking break. So when the clock on the treadmill said 11 minutes, I went down to a recovery walk.

Originally, my plan was to run the last 11 minutes after taking my walking break, but my body wasn’t going to do that. For the last 11 minutes, I took 2 or 3 more walking breaks (I honestly can’t remember how many I took) but they were each only about a minute. And when we got to the last minute of the challenge, I bumped my speed up a bit. My long-term goal for the 23 minute distance challenge is to be able to do 1.75 miles, so I was pretty happy with my distance when I was done this time.

But the problem was that after the workout was done I looked at my treadmill records and saw that my PR was 1.640. I was only 0.001 miles off of my PR and that would have been only like 1 second less of walking or bumping up the speed a tiny bit for a second or two at the end. That was so frustrating to see and I was a bit mad at myself. I know if I had looked at my record before the workout that I would have made the effort to beat it this time.

After the treadmill work, I was pretty exhausted and fortunately the floor work wasn’t too bad. We started with a 4 minute distance row, but for me I was more focused on just getting through the row and not seeing what my distance was. I did manage to get over 800 meters, so I was happy with that. Then we moved on to the first floor block which was all Bosu work. I had to make some modifications with my workout so I did squats with one foot on the Bosu instead of lateral hop overs, plank leg lifts (but I skipped using the Bosu), and running man. And the second block was  strap work, push ups, and crunches on the Bosu.  And we ended the workout with a 2 minute row for distance.

Even though I was pretty disappointed after my workout with being so close to getting a PR on my run, I was still pretty happy overall because I did manage to run for more time than I ever have before in class!

Saturday’s workout had to be a bit of a recovery workout for me. I was still feeling my long run and I knew that I wouldn’t be able to do what I can usually do in class. We had a mix of endurance, strength, and power and it was a 3 group workout. Each section of the room had 2 blocks and we did both blocks for that section before we moved on.

I started on the rower and the first block was a series of 30 second all out rows followed by lunges and squats. I didn’t stress too much about how far I was going each 30 second challenge so I didn’t reset my rower each time. I know I did at least 100 meters each time, but I really didn’t think too much about it. And the second block on the rower was decreasing rows starting at 500 meters with weighted swings between each row. I only was able to complete the 500 and 400 meter row before time was called (I was working on the 300 meter row then).

Next I moved to the floor where again we had 2 blocks. The first block was arm work, squats with weights, and seated knee tucks. The knee tucks are tough on my hip, but I was able to get through half of the set before I had to take a break each time. And the second block was pull ups on the straps, skaters, and plank jacks. And all of those ended up being much easier for me than I thought they’d be.

Finally, I ended up on the treadmill. I knew that it was going to be a walking workout no matter what. We did a lot of 2 minutes of work either on an incline or at a push pace (which means at an incline when you are walking) followed by base pace for the time we were on the treadmill. Since I wasn’t running and this was at the end of the workout, I didn’t really focus on what I was doing and felt like I was a bit on autopilot.

This week is the dri-tri and I’m hoping that all the work I’ve done lately will help me get a new best time. I know that it might not be possible, but I can still hope for it. But I know that this crazy workout week that I had last week was good prep work since I had a long row and a long run to use as training. I guess I’ll have to see how it goes when I attempt the dri-tri for the third time this week!

An Off Workout Week (or Just Trying To Do My Best)

This past week of workouts weren’t that great for me. I seemed to have issues almost every workout day for some reason or another and it was tough to feel happy with what I was able to do. I do just try to keep reminding myself that working out is better than not working out, but that doesn’t work all the time for me.

Monday’s workout was a tornado class. That means that we had very short blocks and switched between each block. This time, every block was only 2 minutes long and we had 5 rounds around the room (15 blocks in total). I started on the rower because everyone seemed to get to class super early with it being a holiday and no traffic. I thought I was there early, but I was wrong.

For the rower and the treadmill, we had the same thing for all 5 blocks. On the rower, we had 45 seconds of a push row, 30 seconds of a base row, and 45 seconds of an all out row. I tried to get 400 meters each block because that would be about what I normally do, but I only ended up averaging about 350 meters each block which surprised me. That’s pretty low for me and I didn’t feel like I wasn’t rowing that different from normal.

On the treadmill, we had 75 second push paces followed by 45 second all out paces. On a normal day, I can totally run for 2 minutes. And knowing that I would be getting off the treadmill after 2 minutes would make running even easier. But I was dealing with some horrible nausea during class and running was making it much worse. So I ended up power walking for those 2 minutes each time. I did 6% and 8% which is pretty standard for me.

And on the floor, while each block was different they all had the same format. It was 2 moves on each block. Move 1 was for 45 seconds, move 2 was for 30 seconds, and then we did move 1 again for 45 seconds. It was interesting having everything as timed segments and not rep numbers and it helped me to keep going because I knew how much longer I’d be doing each move. The floor moves included deadlifts, upright rows, bicep work, plank work, strap work, squats, and lunge. It was a good mix of things and I think the floor was probably my favorite thing for the workout.

Wednesday’s workout was a very difficult one for me. First, again I had to start on the rowers. In some way I’m glad that I had my rowing challenge the week before, but I really don’t like starting on the rower/floor. It will never be my first choice in the workout. But that wasn’t the only difficult part about the workout. That morning I had an appointment with my dermatologist and she had to freeze something on the bottom of my foot. I didn’t think it would hurt too much during the workout, but I was wrong. My foot was pretty tender and I wasn’t able to put my weight on it like normal.

The floor work was 2 blocks. The first block was weighted swings, burpees, plank work, and rowing. For rowing, we started at 400 meters and went down 100 meters each time we got back to the rower. Rowing was a bit tough because you usually put pressure on your heels, so I had to just be gentle with myself. The second block was squat work, skaters, plank work, and more rowing. This time the rowing started at 100 meters and went up 100 meters each round.

When I got to the treadmill, I thought maybe I could just walk really slow and things would be ok. But after less than a minute I knew that the treadmill wasn’t going to be for me that day. I went over to the bike for cardio and it was an interesting change for me. It has been a while since I was on the bike but I’m glad that it’s an option in class because there was no way I could have done the treadmill. There were 3 cardio blocks each with a similar format of a long push pace to an all out pace followed by stand alone all out paces. It’s tough to judge how well I did since it had been so long since I was on the bike, but at least I was able to do it without my foot hurting too much.

Friday’s workout was a mix of endurance, strength, and power and we didn’t switch between blocks. My foot was feeling better but it was still a bit tender. So I ended up walking again even though I really wanted to run. We started with strength which was all incline work. I had to stick to my normal inclines of 6-8% because of my foot, but I did the hill patterns the way we were supposed to. For the endurance block I did all my push paces at 6% and for the power block I did all my all out paces at 8%. I was happy to be back on the treadmill, but not so happy that I couldn’t run again.

For the floor, we had 3 blocks and each block had rowing that was 100 meters to start and then adding 50 meters each round. Each time I only managed to get to 100 and 150 meters and none of them were exceptional times for me. But I was rowing much better since my foot was feeling better. We also had lunges, plank work, side lunges, biceps, squats and abs. But for me, the highlight on the floor was not having my foot hurt as much as it had on Wednesday.

Saturday’s workout was a strength workout so I knew that I’d be walking again on the treadmill. It was a 3 group class and we did switch between the blocks. I started on the treadmill and the first block I kept things pretty similar to how I normally do hills on the treadmill with being between 6-8% inclines. But in the second block I decided to push myself and did most of my incline work at 10% which is higher than I usually do. It was tough, but I’m glad I tried because I’ve realized that I do need to work on making my power walk workouts more of a challenge.

On the floor, the first block had chest presses, pull overs, and a single arm row and I was able to use 20lb weights for all of the moves. That’s pretty normal for me for the chest presses and pull overs, but for single arm moves I usually can’t do 20lb weights. So I was glad I tried and found out that I could do it. For the second block we had triceps, single arm fly, and ab work and for all of those I used 15lb weights. That wasn’t too unusual for me, but for ab work I usually don’t use weights and this time I did. And on the rower the first block was decreasing rows starting at 400 meters and with squats in-between each set of rows. And the second block was 200 meter rows each time with lateral raises in-between each set.

It’s upsetting that I’m upset about not having a great workout week, but in a way that is more motivation for me to try to see what more I can do when I’m having off days to make them better. Hopefully this week of workouts will be better and if it isn’t maybe I can just have a better attitude about it.

Learning To Love The Rower (or Creating My Own Challenge)

Since pretty much the beginning of my time at Orangetheory, I always want to start on the treadmill. Part of this is because I want to get the treadmill work done first because it’s the hardest for me most of the time. But the other part is that when I start with rowing and floor work my hip can be very temperamental on the treadmill. I almost always struggle on the treadmill after being on the floor, so I figured I should just try to always start on the treadmill to prevent this.

But this past week, I ended up challenging myself to start on the rower/floor each class. I didn’t start the week with the challenge, but after my first 2 workouts of the week starting that way I decided to keep going with it and seeing what happened.

Monday’s workout was a 3 group workout that had a mix of endurance, strength, and power. I had to start on the rower because I was running late, but it ended up being a good thing for me. We had kind of partner workout between the rower and the floor work which made the workout pretty interesting. When I started on the rower, I started with an 800 meter row and then I went to the floor to tag my partner. I then did pull ups on the straps and crunches before my partner tagged me and I went back to the rower for a 700 meter row. I finished that row and then time was called to switch.

Next I was on the treadmill where most of the work was endurance type work with longer push paces. I started out with running, but my hips were really tight and my ankle was bugging me so I ended up walking the entire treadmill work. The end of the treadmill time was work on inclines so I knew that walking those would be the only option for me with how I was feeling. It was frustrating that my body wasn’t letting me run, but I also knew that power walking is a good workout when I do it fast enough and at a high enough incline.

After the treadmill, I went to the floor where it was the partner workout again between the floor and rower. On the floor I did squats, hammer curls, skaters, and mountain climbers. And while I was on the rower I did the 600 and 500 meter row before the end of class. The second time doing the partner workout was a bit easier, but I think that was also because I knew how the partner work was going to go and had a better idea of how long I’d end up spending on the rower.

Wednesday’s workout was a power day, and I started on the rower not by choice. It was very weird what happened because there weren’t that many people who got to class before me but they couldn’t find the treadmill cards. But I figured again that starting on the rower was a good challenge for me. When you start on the rower and it is a 2 group class, you usually start with floor work.

The floor had 3 blocks. In the first block we had lunges, squats, and plank crunch work. The second block was froggers, situps, and superman work. And the third block was burpees, strap work, and situps. I went a bit easier on the floor than I’m used to because I knew I had the cardio still to go and I didn’t want to be too tired when I got on the treadmill.

The cardio work was a run/row with weights. It started with an endurance run that was supposed to be .6 miles. I decided to do that as a power walk so I did .3 miles at 6% incline. Then we did shoulder and tricep work with weights before doing a power row of 150 meters. Then back to the treadmill for a power run of .15 miles. Since that was a pretty short run, I decided to do it as a run and not a walk. Then the weight work again before going back to the rower for the endurance row of 600 meters. I just made it back to the treadmill to start the endurance run (or for me, power walk) when class ended.

Friday’s workout was an endurance day and I chose to start on the rower. I figured that I might as well challenge myself to do the rower as the start for the week and see what I could do. And not only did I start on the rower, it was a weird day for me because I did a morning workout! I don’t do mornings on Friday because of work, but I had to take the day off work (more about that later this week) so I was able to do a Friday morning workout. It was fun because so many of my Monday morning people were in that class so we were all cheering each other on.

This time, we had 2 blocks on the floor and 2 blocks on the treadmill and we switched between blocks. On the floor, the first block was squats, rows using the straps, pushups to plank work, and a 600 meter row. I ended up going slower than normal on the row and it took me over 3 minutes to complete it. I think I was being a bit too cautious and worried about overdoing it in the beginning of the workout, and I could have done better. But there wasn’t a lot of time to be upset since that was just the beginning of the workout. The second block on the floor was squats, triceps, abs, and pop jacks.

When I got to the treadmill, I had already made the decision to walk the entire time. I had a big day of walking ahead of me (again, more on this later this week) and I didn’t want to overdo it because I didn’t want to spend the day in pain. The first block was decreasing push paces that started at 3 minutes and went down to 1. I did all my push paces at 6% and my all out paces at 8%. The second block was increasing push paces starting at 1 minute and going up to 2 minutes. And I did the same inclines on the treadmill this time.

Saturday’s workout was one that I was really thinking about cancelling. I was exhausted and have not been sleeping well because of the heat wave. But it ended up being the perfect way to end my rower challenge so I’m so glad that I went. It was a 3 group power workout and again I started on the rower. But this time, we had been told that Water Rower, the company that makes the rowers we use, was going to donate $1 toward the Red Cross for hurricane relief for every 1,000 meters we row and post a photo of on social media. So when I started on the rower, I didn’t follow the plan and just decided to row the entire block without stopping. I got just over 2,000 meters and then moved on to the treadmill.

I tried to run on the treadmill, but had to move to power walking after about a minute of running. But that worked out ok because I ended up having a plan in my head with the rowing and wasn’t thinking too much about the treadmill. I then went to the floor where we had some weights and ab work.

Then it was back to the rower where I decided that I wanted to see if I could stay on for more than just the rowing block. Someone else in class was doing the 10,000 meter challenge and I thought that maybe I could get to 5,000 meters total. So I knew I had to row another 3,o00 meters and that would pretty much take me 2 blocks. Fortunately, there was space in the class for me to stay on the rower so I started rowing and tried to get into a zoned out state.

Rowing over 2,000 meters is pretty rare in class. And any time we have to row 1,000 meters is extremely tough and usually I have to take a break. But I knew my time was limited and I couldn’t take breaks like I wanted to. So I just tried to stay steady in my rowing and not look at the distance that often. I was at about 1,500 meters when it was time for my group to move to the treadmill, but I stayed on the rower. I never thought I’d skip the treadmill to keep rowing, but I was determined to get to 3,000 meters. And when that treadmill time ended, I just got to 3,000 meters and was able to get a total of 5,000 meters in class!

That’s $5 that Water Rower is going to donate to the Red Cross! It’s not a lot of money, but between everyone in my class I think we got probably $50 in donations. And when you add up all the classes in all the studios that is going to be a lot of money!

I think that I pretty much killed it in my rowing challenge this week. I don’t think that I will be starting on the rower regularly because this confirmed to me that it is still tough for me to run on the treadmill after rowing and doing floor work. But I won’t be as worried or nervous about it now that I’ve proved to myself that I can do it.

Routine Is Still Progress (or Proving I’m Improving)

This week of workouts seemed like a routine one for me until I looked back at what I did. Sometimes it’s tough for me to see that I’ve done some awesome things until I look at the week as a whole and that’s exactly how this week went. It also was a week where I took a moment to reflect on what I’m doing now that seems normal when not that long ago it seemed like it would be impossible.

Monday’s workout was a 3 group workout with switches plus it was a strength day. So that combination was a mix of something I like (switching and shorter blocks) with something that is really tough for me (inclines on the treadmill). There were 2 rounds so with the switches we had a total of 6 blocks in class. On the treadmill, the first block was 2 minutes of hills with flat base paces in between. And the second block was a 5 minute decreasing hill. I walked everything and for the decreasing hill I ended up doing all 5 minutes at 8%. I knew I wanted to take it a bit easier on the treadmill because I had Disneyland after the workout. But to think that walking for 5 minutes at 8% incline is taking it easy is huge progress.

On the floor, the first block was squats, lunges, and rows with weights. The second block was chest press, tricep, and plank work. And the rowing was decreasing distance rows. We started at 500 meters and decreased the row each time. In between the rows we had medicine ball work which included front presses, overhead presses, and front raises. The rowing felt a bit tough so again I tried to take things easy. I usually try to take it easier when I know I have Disneyland after a workout, but this time I was extra grateful that our Disney day ended up being a shorter one. Taking it easy is still pushing myself and I think I might have done more than I should have for a full Disney day.

Wednesday was a power day and it was an interesting workout. I usually do afternoons on Wednesdays, but because I had to be at FOX to work on the podcast that day I went to a morning workout. I’m not used to Wednesday morning classes, but it was fun because a lot of the people who are in my Monday morning class were in that class too!

The treadmill work was 5 blocks and we didn’t switch between blocks. The first 4 blocks had the same format. We started with a 5 minute block and each block was 30 seconds shorter. The blocks were a push pace, base pace, push pace to all out pace. The last block was just a 1 minute push pace to a 1 minute all out pace. I ran all the push and all out paces and tried to do them as push and all out speeds. But when it was a push to all out pace, I wasn’t able to increase my speed at all so I kept it at my push pace speed. But I had to remind myself that to be doing that much running is still impressive and progress from where I was a year or two ago.

The floor that day was one long block for the entire second half of class. Each round on the block started with 10 burpees, then we had increasing numbers of workout moves, and we ended with a 200 meter row. 10 burpees is a lot and it was tough to do that many, but I just took my time and got through several rounds of 10 burpees. For my rowing, my best 200 meter row was 39.2 seconds which isn’t a PR but it’s still pretty fast. And the moves that we added in between the burpees and rowing included planks with rowing, strap squats, tricep work, and plank jacks.

Friday was a strength day and I was ready to have a day of power walking on the treadmill. There were 3 blocks on the treadmill and each block had a similar pattern. The only time we had a push pace on a flat incline was at the very beginning of the first block so I ran that one. But all the other push paces and all of the all out paces were at inclines so I walked those. Each block had a push pace, a push pace to another push pace (changing the inclines), and a push pace to an all out pace. I pretty much kept a similar pattern with all my blocks with my inclines being at 6, 8, and 10%. It was a bit lower than the coach told us to do, but I also know that 10% incline is my limit a lot so I didn’t want to overdo things.

On the floor we had 2 blocks. The first block was squats, rows with weights, toe reaches, and roll outs on the ab dolly. The second block was a 90 second row for distance, lunges, hip bridges, torso rotation, and knee tucks. I made it to the 90 second row twice in class. The first time I did 330 meters which isn’t bad but I really wanted to get to 350 or more. So when I got back to the rower I went really hard and didn’t look at the computer to check my distance until my time was done. I was equally frustrated and amused that I did exactly 330 meters again. I don’t think I’ve ever had the exact same distance on back to back distance challenges before. At least I found a little humor in it instead of just being frustrated.

Saturday’s workout was another 3 group workout and it was an endurance day. I think I lucked out with power walking on Friday so that I was ready to go on Saturday. The treadmill was split into 2 blocks that were each 6 minutes. The first 6 minute block was 6 minutes for distance. I had it in my head that I wanted to do at least half a mile in 6 minutes. That’s pretty fast since I usually go at 4.5mph when I do any endurance work on the treadmill. But to get the distance I wanted, I needed to be at 5mph. I started at 5mph and decided that I would just see how it felt.

It did feel a bit fast to me, but not so unreasonably fast that I felt like I was at risk of falling off the treadmill or hurting myself. And when we got to the last minute, I decided to push it harder than I through I could to see how much I could do. I ended up being at about 5.7mph for that last minute and when it got to 6 minutes, I was so happy with my distance.

After I got home from class I did a bit of math and figured out that the average speed I was doing on this half mile was faster than the average speed for my best mile! And I felt better after this half mile than I did after that mile, so maybe I could do another mile PR soon. I’m so proud of myself and it’s been tough thinking that I’ve had some setbacks with my running. But this proved to me that I haven’t had setbacks, I just haven’t seen the progress I’ve made.

The second 6 minute block on the treadmill was more of a standard treadmill block, but I ended up walking it all. I know I pushed hard during the distance challenge and I had to take it a bit easier after that. But again I had to remind myself that I had just run for 6 minutes at a speed I usually only do for a minute. So I think I earned the walking.

Next I was over at the rower where we had distance rowing. We started at 600 meter rows and went down 100 meters each round. Between each rowing round, we had front raises and bicep curls. Because we didn’t have any recovery time on the rower, I had to take recovery time between the weights and rowing. So I didn’t make it as far down the rowing block as I thought I would do. And on the floor, we had 1 long block with squats, hop overs, situps, knee tucks, and planks. Everything was fine with those until almost the end of class when I hit my ankle bone on the weight bench. It wasn’t that hard of a hit, but it was the time of hit that takes your breath away for a second. And I now I’ve got a nice bruise as a reminder.

Overall, this was a pretty great workout week. I questioned my progress but then I proved to myself that I have been making improvements. I felt so strong each day and even having 4 workouts didn’t hold me back at all. Maybe being stuck in what feels like a plateau to me is really my body building strength and endurance so that when I need it I can do some amazing things.

 

Mixed Up Workouts (or Not Knowing What To Expect)

This past week of workouts was an interesting one for me. I usually know what to expect with my workouts because I know which classes are 2 group classes and what classes are 3 group ones. I also have a good idea of what the workout will be each day because I have found an online forum where people post it each day. I like knowing what the workout will be so I can prepare mentally and physically for what I’m going to be doing. But this week things didn’t go as I thought they would and maybe that was a good thing for me.

Monday’s workout was an endurance run/row workout. I was expecting it to not be a run/row because it’s supposed to be a 3 group workout, but it ended up being a 2 group class instead. I think even though it’s posted as a 3 group one, it’s not going to be that way that often. I know some people aren’t coming to that class anymore because they don’t like the 3 group classes and because of that we don’t have enough people in class to make it 3 groups. But it was nice to have the run/row and I was happy that I was able to do it.

We started with a 1,000 meter row which I did without stopping but not in that great of a time. Next was supposed to be a .5 mile run on the treadmill. But my body wasn’t up for running. It was a combination of being tired and my hips hurting from sitting at Hamilton the night before. So I did the power walk version of .25 miles at 6% incline. Next was back to the rower for a 750 meter row and then another .25 miles power walking on the treadmill. I was on the rower doing the 500 meter row when time was called to switch to the floor.

Once I got to the floor there were 3 blocks and it was mainly arms and core focused. The worked out well for me because my legs and hips were pretty done after the run/row. The second block was interesting because we had 30 second intervals with plank work and running man and that was pretty tough. 30 seconds isn’t that long, but when it’s back to back it gets hard. And the last block was tough too because we had a core blast but had to do 3 burpees in-between each exercise.

Wednesday’s workout was a strength day, so I went into it thinking it would be a walking day for me. But that ended up being the perfect plan because half of the treadmill workout was designed to be power walking only. The first 2 blocks on the treadmill were normal strength ones. I run the 90 second push paces because they weren’t on an incline but I walked all the incline work. But the second 2 blocks were power walking blocks where everyone was walking. The inclines were supposed to be a bit higher than I normally do, so I was at a lower incline, but it was still everyone walking and I didn’t feel bad about not trying to run on inclines that day.

When I went to the floor, we had 2 blocks. The first block was bicep work on the straps, chest work with weights, and ab work. We also had a 300 meter row which I did in 1:15. Not a great row time for me, but if I’m being honest I wasn’t trying that hard on the rowing. The second block was tricep work, biceps with weights, and shoulder work. And we had a 500 meter row which I did in 2:23. Again, not a great time but I know I wasn’t working as hard as I probably should have.

Friday was an endurance day and I wasn’t planning on running because of that. But then when I got to class I realized we were going to do the 3 group format which meant less time on the treadmill. So I decided to try running and see what happened. We had 2 blocks on the treadmill and they all had the same format with a 1 minute push pace, base pace, 90 second push pace, base pace, and a 2 minute push pace to a 30 second all out pace. But the difference between the 2 blocks was that the base paces had different times. But to run all the push and all out paces was pretty awesome for me since I really expected to be walking the entire workout.

Next I was on the rower which was one long block. It was timed rowing with squats in-between each row. We started with 30 seconds and increased things by 10 seconds each round. Normally I love sprint rowing because I can do really well with it, but doing the squats in-between the rowing was tough and I wasn’t rowing as hard as I usually could. But it was a great block of work and was nice and challenging for me.

And I ended on the floor which was also one long block. It was deadlifts and work on the straps and then we had increasing numbers of exercises on the BOSU. Each BOSU thing was core work and while core work sometimes feels like a bit of a break and time for me to catch my breath, this time it was just constant work so I felt like it was just as tough as any other block I had done that day.

And I got my 4th workout in this week again. Saturday was a power day which usually means a running day for me. But that wasn’t going to be the plan for me this time. My legs were pretty dead from Friday’s workout and I ended up not being able to start on the treadmill like I usually do. I started on the rower, then went to the floor, and finally was on the treadmill. So by the time I was at the treadmill my body was not feeling like running would be happening.

There were 2 rounds in the 3 group workout so I spent 2 blocks on each section. With rowing, we had some distance rowing challenges. They were sprint rows but in the first block I wasn’t doing too great with them. They were decreasing distances with decreasing breaks between each round. But with the second block, we had 150 meter distance rows with some squats in-between. I was on my 2nd or 3rd 150 meter row when my coach came by. She normally gives me a challenge on the rower to do and she likes to make them pretty tough. I was averaging 40 seconds for 150 meters so she challenged me to do it in 30 seconds. I asked her to hold the rower because I knew I was going to go hard and I didn’t want it to move. She stayed there and I flew on the rower. I didn’t focus on the timer but watched the distance go down. And when I got to 150 meters, not only did I hit the goal my coach set but I beat it!

28 seconds is way faster than I ever thought I could do the row in! And I think my coach was pretty blown away by it too! It was a pretty high note to end my rowing with.

On the floor, everything was pretty quick. We had a variety of upper body, lower body, and core work. But the craziest thing we had to do on the floor were burpees with palms to elbows. But burpees and palms to elbows are tough enough on their own. But to combine them was almost just evil! I totally struggled with those, but I did my best.

And when I finally got to the treadmill, I started with trying to run the first push pace before realizing that it was just not safe for me to run. When I’m tired I can have sloppy running form and I didn’t want that. So I ended up walking on a day that I really was hoping to run. I felt a bit bad about walking because I knew I wasn’t getting as good of a workout as I would have liked to, but I just kept reminding myself that I was there and not sitting at home. Walking is better than nothing. And it was also my 4th workout of the week which is still something I occasionally struggle with.

No matter how much I try to prepare for my workouts, I guess the unexpected can always happen. Fortunately my fitness level is at the point where I can adjust and adapt as needed and my workouts don’t suffer too much. But I think I’m still going to prefer when I know what I’m in for when I walk into the workout.