Category Archives: Fitness

Reflecting Back On 2017 (Kind Of Reaching My Goals)

I can’t believe this is my last blog post of 2017! It seems like it wasn’t that long ago that I was writing my goals for the year. This year definitely wasn’t what I expected it to be, but that was mostly for the best. But because of things not being the way I thought they would, some of my goals didn’t end up happening the way I thought. For some goals I totally surpassed what I expected and for others they didn’t happen. But even with the non-successes (I don’t consider them failures), I learned a lot.

My first goal I had for 2017 was 181 workouts. When I set that goal, I expected to be out for a little while when I had surgery so I thought it might be a bit of a stretch. I tried to make up for the time I thought I would be missing by doing more weeks of 4 workouts a week. That ended up being my new normal which was pretty exciting. And then I didn’t have surgery so I didn’t have to take the time away that I thought I would. But that didn’t slow me down and as long as the last few days this month go as planned I will be ending the year with 196 workouts!

I was pretty shocked when I looked at my total and saw how far over my goal I had gone. I knew I was going to be doing more than I thought, but I didn’t think I’d be 15 workouts ahead of my goal. That’s pretty amazing and even if every workout wasn’t the best one, consistency is so important and I think I’ve proved to myself that I have that.

My next goal I had for the year was to get through my liver surgery as easily as possible. I’ve got a history of having an easy time with surgeries, but this was going to be the first time I would have to stay overnight at the hospital and it was a much more extreme surgery than any I’ve had before. Well, as you all probably know from all of my posts about it, I didn’t have surgery. So technically there was no way for me to accomplish this goal. But I reframed it in my mind to be more about getting through this entire situation about my liver with less stress. And I think I did accomplish that. I think that I will always be a little nervous before going in for an MRI because I don’t want the tumors to grow, but beyond that time I really don’t think about my tumors that much at all. I do think about them once a day when I do visualization, but after that I try to not focus on it.

Next was to work on my recovery and hopefully reduce my binge episodes. I’m torn on how I did on this goal. I think that I have made some big strides in my recovery and there was some time where my binges were the most infrequent they have ever been, but that didn’t last. I don’t know what I need to do to keep that momentum, but my awareness is higher than ever and I consider that a win. I think this past year I’ve also become more aware of how long this recovery journey may take and that even if it doesn’t feel like I’m taking steps forward I am. I wish that some of my progress was more obvious and the results could be seen, but I think I’ll just have to wait a bit on that. But it’s a good thing that there isn’t a deadline to be recovered.

Next was a money related goal. I wanted to reduce my debt to be at a number that I had in my head. That reduction would have been about 25% of the debt I have and would have been amazing. I didn’t quite make it to that number, but I did get my debt down about 19% which is better than I have done before. This is also after getting a major reduction in my hours at one of my jobs. I went from 12-15 hours a week to 4 which cut my income down a lot. So to be able to reduce my debt that much and re-budget my life with the reduced money coming in is a big step. I wish I could have done more, but I also know that the circumstances weren’t easy and to reduce the debt at all took a lot of work.

I also set a goal to have a new PR in my 5K race. That worked out pretty well for me since I had a new PR at the one 5K I did this year. I had that PR on the course with the hills which usually slows me down. But because I had my running intervals longer that made up for any decrease in speed I had on my hills. To PR is awesome and I’m so happy that I was able to do that. But I was sad that I only had 1 race this year and that I didn’t have another chance to try to improve on that PR. Next year will be weird because neither of the 5Ks I usually do will be happening, but at least I know that I hit my 2017 goal for my races!

And my final goal for this year was to have more fun. I think I totally succeeded in this! I had so many Disney and Universal adventures with friends. I went to a lot of fun parties and just tried to have a lot of fun with the random things of life. And even though dating can be crazy and stressful at times, I’ve been having fun with that too. It does help that I’ve been turning all the bad stories into stories for my book so whenever I have a bad date I think about how funny it will be when someone else reads it. I haven’t gotten serious about anyone yet, but to have fun with dating is something that hasn’t really been in my past before and I’m glad that’s kind of my experience now.

Overall, I think I had more wins than non-successes with my goals. I might not have achieved everything I wanted, but that’s not really what goals are about. If they were all easy to reach then I didn’t set them high enough. I need to be striving for things and not reaching my goals does motivate me to do better. Look at my workouts as an example. I missed my goal in 2016 but far surpassed it in 2017. Missing that goal last year motivated me to do even better this year.

My next few posts will all be about what I’ve got in mind for 2018. I’ve got some big goals again that I’m thinking about and I’m excited to share them next week. But for now, I guess that’s a wrap on posts for 2017! It was a great year for me and I’m so grateful for you all following me on my journey! Have an awesome NYE (and please don’t drink and drive!) and hopefully we all have an incredible start to 2018!

Holiday Workouts (or Getting Some Confidence Back)

This past week of workouts ended up being one of the better ones I’ve had lately. I didn’t expect that at all, but I love when my workouts end up surprising me and I have some great accomplishment! Things didn’t really get awesome until the end of the week, but the entire week was still a good one.

Monday’s workout was a 2 group workout instead of the 3 group that we usually have on Mondays. There was a focus on endurance, strength, and power but for me I did most of the treadmill work the same way. I did my normal walking speed and my base pace incline was 4% and my push pace and all out pace inclines were at 6%. The endurance block was longer push paces with the pushes increasing throughout the block. The strength block was supposed to be hills, but I just used my 2 inclines. And the power block was 6 rounds of 30 second all out paces and 30 second walking recoveries. That last block was so tempting to try to run, but I chickened out because I knew I’d be going to San Diego right after my workout and I didn’t want to be in pain if running was going to hurt my toe.

On the floor, we started with upper cuts with weights, Y raises on the straps, and heel touch abs. The next block was upright rows with weights, bicep curls with weights, and skaters. I’m getting a lot better with the skaters and that surprises me since so much of it has to do with balance on one leg. I struggle with most single leg stuff, but somehow I’m not having as much trouble with the skaters as I do with the other stuff. And the last block was decreasing rows starting at 400 meters and going down 100 meters each round. And between each row we had frogger squats. None of my rows were amazing times, but they were all pretty decent and within the range I like to be in.

Wednesday was a strength and endurance day. There were 2 blocks on the treadmill and 2 blocks on the floor and we switched between each block. Both of the treadmill blocks were similar with 4 rounds of 90 second push paces followed by 45 second base paces. Both blocks also ended with a 1 minute push pace to a 30 second all out. But in the first block we were supposed to increase the incline each round and on the second block we were supposed to start at a higher incline and decrease it each round. But I kept my same plan with just 4 and 6% inclines. I did try 8% for a bit but it felt a bit too high for me. It’s been a while since I’ve had the higher incline so I think I need to start working toward that.

On the floor the first block had single arm chest presses, bicep curls on the straps, plank low rows, and tricep pushups. The second block had tricep work, shoulders, double crunches, toe touches, and a 300 meter row. I tried to make up for my lack of strength (aka incline) work on the treadmill by going a little bit heavier on my weights on the floor. I hate that I feel like I’m not pushing myself, but I also know that recovering from an injury is always frustrating for me because I always mentally feel ready to be back to normal before I’m physically ready.

But after feeling a bit let down on Wednesday, I totally made up for it on Friday! First of all, I was very excited for this workout because I knew my coach, Bruce, would be wearing the Santa hat I got him 3 years ago. This was the 4th year of a Santa Bruce workout and I feel so happy seeing him wear the hat that I randomly got for him my first year at Orangetheory.

But the festive outfit was only the start to my awesome workout. We had a run/row endurance day which started with a 1 mile run. I knew that there was no way I would be getting a PR on my mile, but I decided to use this opportunity to see if I could get back into running. The goal was to do the mile with 2 minute run/1 minute walk intervals but I didn’t know if I could do that or maintain it for the entire mile. But I wanted to see what could happen so I went for it.

It wasn’t an easy or pretty mile, but I think I did pretty decent. I was able to keep the intervals for the entire time except at the end I just kept running instead of adding in any walking. And I bumped up the speed at the very end because I wanted to see if I could be close to 14 minutes. Of course, after seeing what I got I was kicking myself that I didn’t bump up the speed sooner or went a little faster.

But considering that I hadn’t run in about a month it was a huge accomplishment to do any running at all, let alone do run/walk intervals for the entire mile! This wasn’t a PR, but it was one of my faster mile times so I was pretty excited about that! After the mile run, we had a 400 meter row. I was still catching my breath when I was rowing, so it wasn’t the best time. And because my mile took so long, I only was working on the next treadmill interval (which I did as a walk) before it was time to switch to the floor.

The first block on the floor was goblet squats, hop overs, and seated knee tucks. And the second block was lunges, pullovers, pushups, high rows on the straps, and running men. It was a tough floor block because each move was hard and the blocks were long. But I was trying to do the best that I could after the longer run and I think I was pretty successful on the floor work too.

After a really successful Friday, my Saturday wasn’t as great. It was a combination of factors including having some pain which was likely caused by the running as well as only getting about 2 hours of sleep (when I hurt I don’t sleep as well). It was a 3 group workout which did help because I wasn’t anywhere for too long. Each section had 2 blocks and we switched between each block.

I started on the treadmill and realized that it wasn’t going to be the best option for me. So within a few minutes I stopped the treadmill and headed to the bike to do that for my cardio. When I’m on the bike, I’m not as focused on the intervals but instead just trying to be consistent with my cadence. I know I didn’t get as much of a cardio workout as I would have gotten on the treadmill, but I also knew that if I had been on the treadmill it would have caused me to be in a lot more pain so I’m glad I avoided that.

On the floor, the first block was plank work, squats, and burpees. And the second block was arm swings with weights, mountain climbers, and lunge hops on the straps. And on the rower the first block had all out rows with recoveries. And the second block was timed rows with squats using medicine balls between each row. I wanted my rowing to be great, but it just wasn’t my day for that. I know that my workouts suffer a lot when I’m tired, but sometimes it’s not my choice to be tired and I just have to do the best I can.

This week of workouts will be a bit weird with my schedule, but I’m still getting them in. I’m excited to know that I’ve really done amazing with my workouts in 2017 and can’t wait to see what the last few workouts of the year have in store for me!

Not Wanting To Wait Until The New Year (or Managing The Crazy Times)

My schedule has been crazy for a while. Part of it is my fault with planning a lot to do, but I think that the holidays are always a crazy time. I keep saying that things will be normal again on this date or that date but then something else comes up that changes that entire plan.

For a long time, I said my schedule would be fine once the 300th episode party for the podcast would be done. But then I had more parties to go to (even if I didn’t end up going to all of them) and then family things to help with and that seemed to stress me out. I think also not having any extra time off for the holidays is throwing me off because it won’t feel like I have a break. I just have my regular work schedule happening and my next day off work for a holiday isn’t until the 4th of July (too many holidays happen on a Monday which is already my day off work). So it feels like I’m in something that just keeps going and going without a break to have a sense of having time to catch up. I still have 2 days off a week, but usually for holidays I get at least one extra day or one regular day becomes a half day. Not so much this year.

With all this craziness, I’m lucky that my fitness schedule isn’t too affected. Next week and the week after will be a bit weird, but I will still get in my workouts one way or another. I know that this is something to be proud of because for so long I would consider this craziness an excuse to take a break and not work out. But instead, I’m almost annoyed when I can’t get in as many workout as I want to because of holiday schedules. And while in the past my food plan might have gotten out of control too, it isn’t as bad as it has been in the past. It’s not great, but I know it could be so much worse. But since I know it could be better I want to work on that. And it’s just far too easy to say that I’ll work on it when I know things are normal again.

I don’t want to get into the mindset of waiting to fix things that aren’t going the way I want them to be. That’s the problem of waiting until Monday, next month, or next year. And with it being near the end of the year it is really easy to think that I’ll just fix it on January 1st. But I know if I wait to do that, it won’t happen. It’s far too easy to procrastinate and get myself deeper and deeper into whatever hold I’m digging myself into.

And if I keep telling myself that I’ll wait until it gets normal, I know that won’t ever happen either. There may be a small break of time where things seem very routine and easy for me, but I know that it’s not all the time and when it happens it is very brief. More often than not, my life is crazy with times of insane stress of too much stuff and then insane stress that I’m not doing enough. And I want to work on being better prepared for those times.

As much as I want to say that my life will be normal again after the holidays, I know that there’s no way that it will be true. I’ve got a trip planned with my mom and sister-in-law in February, I’ve got the busy season at my day job, it’s almost pilot season for acting and I’m hoping to have some more auditions, and I’m guessing that my dating life is going to continue to be crazy for a while. All of those things have a good chance of stressing me out and making it feel like my life isn’t normal.

Maybe I just have to think of all the craziness in my life as the normal times and when things are easy for me those are the crazy and weird times? I don’t know. But I do know that the more I’ve had to work through times like this (and it happens a lot because I know I blog about it a lot) the better I get at managing it. This is one of the first times that it’s really seemed much easier for me and I don’t feel like I’ve had a huge setback when dealing with the stress. I’ve had minor setbacks, but they are much smaller than they have been in the past. So I think they are also easier to bounce back from.

I know that each time I write about this I say how I should be happy that I’m seeing progress and acknowledging that I have to work on these things is major progress. It doesn’t always feel like that when you are in the crazy times, but I think that I’m finally starting to believe it.

Another Walking Week (or Trying To Not Be Anxious About Progress)

I had another week of workouts where I couldn’t run. It’s tough to be patient with myself, but I do feel like my broken toe is almost better. I still don’t know how much longer it will take before I feel ready to try to run again, but I hope it will be soon. It’s always annoying when I have a workout that I know would have been a perfect running day and I have to walk it, but I know that it’s the best thing for me right now.

Monday’s workout was a power day with 3 groups. On the treadmill, the first block was a pretty basic power type workout with 1 minute intervals with a walking recovery in the middle. I had my normal walking speed for all of it, but I kept my incline at 6% as both my push pace and my all out pace inclines (usually it’s 6 and 8%). The second block on the treadmill was 1 minute all out paces with thrusters with weights between each all out. I was so tempted to try to run at least 1 of the all out paces, but I stopped myself by reminding myself that if I did that and it hurt that the recovery would take a lot longer. The floor work had lunges, ab twists, jacks with medicine balls, and crunches.

On the rower, the first block was the same pattern as the treadmills with the 1 minute intervals. But the second block was a pretty awesome one for me. We had a mix of 10 pulls on the rower for distance and counting pulls for 100 meters. On the 100 meter counts, my best was 8 pulls and I did repeat that a lot. I’d love to get it down to 7, but that’s probably going to take a little while. But for the 10 pulls for distance I really kicked butt! I’ve learned that for the pull for distance rows that you have to go as slow as you can tolerate. A lot of people rush through it thinking it would help get them more distance, but you need the pause in the middle of each stroke to help get the meters going. My best attempt was 157 meters in 10 pulls which was the best of any girl in class (some of the guys managed 200 meters). I was pretty proud of myself for that!

Wednesday was an endurance day. I was again able to use my normal treadmill walking speed with my lower inclines for class. We had some longer push paces which are tough but doable. But this time my body just wasn’t able to handle it and I had to take some breaks in the 3 minute push paces. I don’t know if that was because of my toe, my hip, or if I’m getting out of shape. But whatever caused it was very frustrating because I know I can do those. I’m hoping it was just because of my toe because I don’t want to believe that I’m getting out of shape when I feel like I’m working pretty hard given the circumstances right now.

On the rower, we started with a 1 mile (1600 meter) row. I knew we had this coming up so I had looked at my records to see what my best time was for this. It was 7:12 so I decided to set a goal of getting it done in 7:11. I knew it was going to be difficult to do that, but it was possible. I tried to remember all the techniques I’ve been working on with my rowing like going much slower than I think I should and focusing on keeping my timing and pace steady. I thought I was going pretty hard but I guess it wasn’t quite enough to beat my old PR.

Then again, I had just spent 30 minutes on the treadmill and I was still recovering my toe so I probably should be just very proud of myself that I was close to my PR. It was significantly better than what it’s been in the past and I did keep my pace steady for almost the entire time. The rest of the time on the floor was one block that had squats with high rows on the straps, chest presses with weights while on the Bosu, pullovers on the Bosu, and crunches. I was a bit slower than normal on the floor because I needed time to recover from the row, but I was using some heavier weights than normal so I was happy with that.

Friday’s workout was a pretty awesome one. It was called the Orange Inferno and it was a run/row format. For the 30 minutes of cardio, you had rounds of 200 meter rows and .25 mile runs. I had to do it as a power walk so I had .125 mile walks and I kept my inclines at 6%. The goal was to do as many rounds as possible but to do at least 5 rounds. I decided I wanted to try to do 6 rounds and knew that the only real place I could make up time would be on the rower.

My rows were all pretty good. I was always under a minute which is ideal but none of the rows were close to my record. But I wasn’t overdoing it because I knew that I wanted to be able to start on the treadmill without too much of a break. It was just constantly going back and forth and I tried to limit the time I used to catch my breath or to drink water. And I finished my 6th round with about 30 seconds left before we switched! I could have gone back to the rower to start my 7th round, but I figured with that little time left it would have just been me getting to the rower and strapping in so I stayed on the treadmill for that last bit of time.

On the floor, we had 3 blocks. The first block was power push ups, chest fly with weights, tricep work with weights, and scissor kick ab work. The second block was plank rows with weights, low rows on the straps, hammer curls with weights, and ab work. And the last block was a core blast for about 4 minutes. We had straight leg raises which I had to modify because my hips were feeling pretty done by that point and sit up rotations which I had to modify to bicycle crunches. It was a pretty amazing workout and I really felt great about myself after it was done. I wish I could have done at least a little running, but I still felt very fast and powerful which are the best feelings I can have after a workout.

Saturday’s workout was a strength day, so at least I knew in normal circumstances I would have walked it and walking didn’t feel as annoying to me. I started on the treadmill and kept the same routine I had done the rest of the week. I was at my normal speed, but the only incline I was going to was 6%. I could have probably tried 7 or even 8%, but I was feeling a bit tired that day and wasn’t ready to push myself. Since I wasn’t really doing the inclines, the entire time I was on the treadmill was pretty much going between 4% (which is what power walkers have for their base incline) and 6% for everything.

On the floor we started with front raises, bicycle presses (which are like a combination of a bicycle crunch and chest presses), and side plank work. And on the second block on the floor we had goblet side lunges, shoulder presses, and four point planks. The rower also had 2 blocks starting with a 2 minute row for distance and then a 1 minute row for distance. I was able to do more than half the distance when I did the 1 minute row so I was pretty proud of myself. The second block was another 2 minute row for distance (I beat my previous 2 minute row) and then lunges with 100 meter rows between each round of lunges. None of my 100 meter rows were a spectacular time, but I realized that there was just enough time at the end for me to do one more round so I went all out on the rower. I was just under 20 seconds which is pretty impressive for being at the end of the workout.

Next week will be the last week until my schedule gets a bit weird with the holiday workout schedule. I’m still trying to plan when to work out but I know I’ll be able to do at least 3 workouts a week. I just don’t know if I can do 4 each week without having to do 4 or 5 workouts in a row. I’m still working on the planning, but I know that I’ll be able to figure it out.

Easing My Way Back Into My Normal Workouts (or Not Being Upset I’m Slow)

I wrote about how recently I likely broke my toe. It’s unfortunate that it happened, but there’s nothing I can do to change that. And I probably pushed myself a bit too much in the beginning of that week of workouts and I’m paying for it now. My toe is getting better, but I realized that I needed to be easier on myself in my workouts. I am back on the treadmill, but I’ve had to decrease my speed (and there is no running happening). And while that it’s ideal for me, at least it’s more than doing nothing.

Monday’s workout was a 3 partner 3 group workout. A lot of times with a partner workout there is just a long block for the entire class. This time, there were 4 blocks that were 10 minutes each. And each of those blocks had a bit of a different format. For the first block, the floor person set the pace by doing squat flys and running man. While the floor person was working the treadmill ran for distance and the rower rowed for distance. In the second block, the treadmill set the pace. I did it as a power walk so I went .1 miles at 6% incline. And while I was doing that the rower rowed for distance and the floor person had a series of things to do. The floor included dumbbell swings, uppercut lunges, strap roll outs, and strap low rows.

The third block was paced by the rower who rowed 400 meters before switching. The treadmill person ran for distance and the floor person continued working on the same moves as the previous block. And for the last block the floor person set the pace with plank reaches and toe touches while the treadmill ran for distance and the rower rowed for distance. For each of the 10 minute blocks, we didn’t reset the rower and the idea was to see how far we could go as a group in 10 minutes. Some groups did well over 2000 meters, but my group averaged about 1800 meters each time. I felt a bit bad that I wasn’t pulling my weight in the group, but I think we were all pretty equal in ability so I tried to feel better about that.

Wednesday’s workout was one that I wasn’t sure would happen. The fires were really bad that day and I didn’t know if I’d be able to make it to Orangetheory. But I decided to try seeing if I could get there (I knew they were still open) and it ended up being the fastest I’ve ever gotten there. I guess most people were staying home and only the crazies like me were on the freeway.

It was a run/row workout with endurance, strength, and power elements. There were 2 blocks in the run/row. The first block was a 600 meter row, a 6 minute run for distance with increasing the inclines every minute, and then another 600 meter row. My row wasn’t too slow but on the treadmill I did have to lower things. I was able to do my normal speed for the first 2 minutes but then I had to lower it and stop increasing the inclines. The second block was a 300 meter row, a 6 minute run for distance with increasing inclines, and another 300 meter row. Again, I started at my normal speed but lowered it after a bit. I also was only increasing the inclines every other minute instead of every minute.

The floor also had 2 blocks. The first block was shoulder work, high row lunges with weights, bicep curls on the straps, and knee tucks. The second block was chest flys, more shoulder work, pop jacks and pikes on the ab dolly. I wasn’t able to do the pop jacks because of my toe so I did weighted goblet squats instead. And I couldn’t do the pikes (my hip and the broken toe prevented those) so I did more knee tucks. I was feeling a bit better about my workout that day and while my toe was still hurting it was less than it had been before so it seemed like progress.

Friday’s workout was an interesting one. I almost always start on the treadmills but there is currently holiday bingo at my studio and one of the squares of bingo is to play equipment card roulette. That means you don’t get to pick where you start and you don’t get to pick the number you start on. My friend Dani had already done it for that class so I did it too and we both started on the rowers. But for some weird reason, everyone in class started on the rowers! It’s usually that everyone wants to start on the treadmills so to have nobody starting there was something I had never seen before. Also, we only had 12 people in class so we ended up being a 1 group class which is also rare.

So I started on the rower for my warmup and then the floor for the first half of class. There were 3 blocks on the floor. The first block was single arm snatches, a lunge low row with weights, and release pull ups. The second block was single arm snatches, swing lunges (which I held on to the straps for support), and ab work. And the last block was 10 strokes on the rower for distance, single arm snatches, 20 strokes on the rower for distance, and push ups. For the distance rows, I was able to do about 115 meters in 10 strokes and 220 meters in 20 strokes so I was pretty happy about that. I know my personal goal is always at least 10 meters a stroke so to do better than that is always good.

Then we went to the treadmills and we worked on inclines. I knew that it was going to be very difficult for me to do all the inclines and my toe was already a bit sore so I took it easy. I did a much lower speed than normal and didn’t do the inclines as high as we were supposed to. I also had to keep taking breaks. My hip doesn’t like doing treadmill work after weights and I also know that my stride is off right now because I’m being careful with my toe. Those combined make treadmill time difficult, but I was just trying to keep reminding myself that I have to start easy again to get back to where I was.

Saturday’s workout was another 3 group one and it was a day full of squats! I started on the treadmill where there weren’t any squats but the entire time we were on the treadmill was one long block! Again, I had to be slow but fortunately I didn’t have to go too high with my inclines. We did have some 3 minute push paces that I did at 6% incline and had to take some breaks. But I was a bit faster than the day before and I think I took fewer breaks than before as well. It’s all progress even if it is slow.

Next I was on the floor where we had lateral raises, Y-raises on the strap, triceps on the strap, and hip work. But between each move we had to do squats. The first time we went through it we had 9 squats in-between everything. The second time we had 12 squats between everything. I was just starting the round where we had 15 squats between everything when time was called for us to move to the rower. And the rower had more squats. We had timed rows with squats in-between. The first round was a 45 second row with 9 squats. Next was a 90 second row with 18 squats. Then it was a 3 minute row with 27 squats. And the last round I did was a 90 second row with 36 squats. The goal was if you got to where you repeated timed rows to do better the second time. I managed to get about 10 meters further the second time so I felt like I ended my workout on a really high note.

I don’t know how much longer my toe is going to be an issue, but I’ve learned from past experience that I need to be patient with myself. If I’m not, I’m at risk for making the injury last longer and I don’t want that. I hate that I set a goal to get back into running and to do better than I had before and then I had this setback. But maybe this is just setting me up for some amazing workouts in 2018!

Runner’s Fit And Fueled Course (or Planning On Starting 2018 The Right Way)

There are several things that I struggle with, but some of them are things I struggle with more often than others. And one of those things that is a constant struggle for me is nutrition and food. This will likely be a struggle the rest of my life as that is the nature of having an eating disorder. Hopefully the struggle is easier to deal with as I get into recovery, but I’ve come to the realization that it will never completely go away for me.

Another thing that has been a more recent struggle for me is getting back into running more. I’ve had some setbacks that have prevented me from working on my running, but I’ve also had excuses that really shouldn’t be stopping me. And I don’t have any 5K races that I’m working toward right now so my motivation for working on my running has decreased. But I do want to fix this as I know how awesome I’ve felt every time I’ve had a new accomplishment with running and I want to get that feeling back.

But I want to really work on both of these struggles in the new year and I think I found an awesome opportunity to do so! I was invited to participate in the Runner’s Fit and Fueled course that is starting on January 2nd! This course will include lessons, videos and handouts that is all about training as a runner and the proper nutrition that runners need.

In the course I’ll get sample meal plans, grocery lists, strength training workouts, a Facebook group for support, and guidance on how to get fit and reach my goals. This seriously sounds like the perfect way to start off the new year for me! It’s not as structured as some of the other nutrition things I’ve done before, but I think that will be good for me. This will teach me how to live normally but accomplish these goals. I won’t be on a strict diet plan that isn’t maintainable for me in the long run.

I’ve done a lot of nutrition things in the past, but this is the first time I’ll be doing a running course too. I know that I’m still a beginner runner, but I want to get better. I know that my endurance isn’t what it was earlier this year and I want to get back to that. I haven’t done a run outside of a workout in a while and now that it’s cooler in the mornings and afternoons I don’t have an excuse not to do them, but I haven’t been doing it. So I’m hoping that the guidance and motivation that I will get in this course will help me get back to that.

Of course, I’m a bit nervous about being such a beginner runner when others in the group might be people who have done marathons or other long runs before. But getting over those nerves to do something that is good for me is something else I need to struggle with. There is no reason why I have to be an expert before I try to get help. There’s nothing wrong with getting help at the beginning of my journey and I’m sure that the others in the group will be happy to help me out. That’s how I feel where there is someone new at Orangetheory and I can help them out.

Since I still have time before this course starts, I want to work on some goal setting ideas for what I want to get out of it. My big goals are a bit too big to be able to accomplish within a month, but I can create some smaller goals that I can work toward. Being better at cooking at home and not having as much sugar in my diet is one thing that I really want to work toward with my nutrition. And for my running I’d love to have some more running PRs with timed events and maybe even run further than I have before. And if I can find a 5K race toward the beginning of the year to use as a goal, that would be awesome too!

The Runner’s Fit and Fueled course starts on January 2nd, but the price goes up on December 15th so I recommend signing up now! And if you use the promo code BOMBSHELL you’ll get $5 off! I would love to have some of my readers in the course with me so we can support each other in reaching our goals!

A Week Of Walking and Biking (or Getting Through Some Low-Key Workouts)

It seems that whenever I have a really great plan to try to get my workouts back to the progress I am trying to make, something happens that stops me. But at least now, even when things stop me from making progress it doesn’t stop me from doing my workouts. So this past week of workouts ended up being much more low-key and low-impact than I wanted them to be, but I was still there.

Monday’s workout could have potentially been a day I worked on running, but it was a day that had endurance, strength, and power in it and I knew I couldn’t do the endurance or strength portions as a run. The endurance block on the treadmill had a 3 minute push and the strength part was all running on inclines. Between the incline runs, we also had frogger squats which were a nice break after incline work. The floor work was one long block that had low rows on the straps, front raises, squats, hip bridges, and plank work.

And when I got to the rower I finally felt like I could do better than I had in the rest of the workout. We had 2 blocks on the rower and in the first block we had 400 meter rows with squats using weights between each row. But where I really did my best was in the second block where we had timed rows. We started with a 3 minute row and then had a 90 second and 45 second row. The goal was to do more than half of the distance we had done in the row prior. And each of the times I was supposed to do that, I was able to go much further than half of the previous distance.

Wednesday’s workout was an interesting one. On Monday, after I got home from Universal Studios, it seems like I might have broken my toe. I was taking off my shoes and jammed my toe into the leg of my couch. As soon as it happened, I knew it was bad. My vision went white, I was in horrible pain, and my toe was not looking normal. Tuesday I was starting to be able to walk a little bit more on it (I think the damage was to the top of my toe and not the side or bottom), so I decided to try to walk slowly in my workout. It was another endurance, strength, and power workout and I just tried to take it easy. By the end of the treadmill time, I realized that I probably would have been better off using the bike but it was too late.

When I got to the floor, I had to focus on taking some of the pressure off of my toe. The first block on the floor had 400 meter rows with strap reaches and plank rows. I adjusted where the rower strap went on my foot to keep me from pressing off the foot plates with my toe. The second block was squats, shoulder presses, lunges with rowing, and ab work. It was tough to stay on my heels and not my toes, but I did my best. And the last block was squats with 150 meter sprints. By the end of my workout I was feeling a bit more pain in my toe, but it was still feeling better than it did when I hurt it on Monday.

When I got to Friday’s workout, I knew I needed a break from the treadmill. I went on the bike for our endurance day. This workout would have been a good one to work on my running, but it wasn’t meant to be. It was a single block where we had different distances to go with walking recovery. We did everything at our own pace and I tried to stick with the plan for the bike. When I started I thought it would be nice if I could make it to 10 miles on the bike, and that’s exactly what I got to when it was time to switch to the floor.

The floor work was another interesting set up. Everything was timed so we didn’t have to count reps or worry about it. It was 3 rounds of deadlifts, squats to walk out push ups, shoulder raise to lateral raise, side plank rotations, and 2 minute rows. It was nice having it all timed so I could focus on the work, but it was tough. It’s sometimes easier when I know how many more reps I have before changing moves, but this time I just had to try to get through the time and knew that it would be done before I knew it. My rowing wasn’t anything spectacular, but I did row the entire time without stopping each round.

And when I worked out on Saturday, I stuck with the bike again. It was a 3 group workout, but I figured that my toe needed the rest (I’m not sure how much longer I’ll be on the bike, but I’m going to try to go easy on myself). It was an endurance, strength, power day again; but I really didn’t pay too much attention to the workout when I was on the bike. I was dealing with my toe plus some bad nausea so my goal was mainly just to keep moving and not stress about much else. I had to take breaks while on the bike, but for most of the time I was able to go at a slowish pace and just move.

On the floor, we had a progressive workout. Each round started with chest presses and then we added on moves from there. We also had triceps on the straps, low rows with weights, lunges, and abs. I was just getting toward the end of the plan when time was called to switch. I had to take breaks to not feel nauseous which did slow me down a lot. But I got through almost everything so I was proud of myself. And on the rower was where I struggled the most. We started with 3 rounds of 90 seconds for distance. I did ok, but it was not easy to keep rowing for 90 seconds based on how I was feeling. And after that, we had rounds of 200 meter rows with squat work between. I was feeling pretty relieved when the workout ended because I was feeling done.

Obviously I couldn’t predict that I was going to break my toe, but my nausea is something I can plan for. I never know how bad it will be each month, but it comes without fail every month. I need to keep working on how to workout and not let it get to me since I can’t take a week off every month. But having a tough week like this past one was a great training week for pushing through whatever my health circumstances may be.

Thanksgiving Workouts (or Getting My Family Involved)

This past week of workouts were pretty awesome. I only got in 3 workouts (and yes, I’m laughing at the idea that 3 workouts is almost a letdown for me), but it included my Thanksgiving workout with my family! That is something I look forward to each year and I love that we have this tradition.

Monday’s workout ended up being a 2 group workout instead of a 3 group one and it was endurance focuses. As much as I wanted to run, I woke up that morning with a lot of hip pain so it ended up being a walking day. Not only did it have to be a walking day, I was walking slower than I normally go on the treadmill. There were 2 blocks on the treadmill and it focuses on longer push paces with base paces in between. I wasn’t too happy about the work I did on the treadmill, but I figured I’d make it up a bit on the floor.

The floor also had 2 blocks. The first block focused on arms and burpees. And each set had 12 burpees in it which is a lot. The idea was to do 3 rounds of those moves and then get to the rower, but I was just finishing up my 3rd round when the block ended so I never did rowing that time. But in the second block we started with an 800 meter row. I did it in 3:51 which isn’t too bad considering it was a bad hip day. After that we had a set of 5 moves with decreasing numbers of reps. We had 50 running men, 40 squats, 30 low rows on the straps, 20 push ups, and 10 4 point planks. I was just finishing up the moves as time was called so I was glad to get it all in.

My next workout for the week was on Thursday for the family Thanksgiving workout. We’ve had a decent sized group the past 3 years, but this year was our biggest group ever! We had 8 members of the family in class (over half of the family who was at Thanksgiving) and it was amazing! We had the same coach this year as we did last year and he even gave my family a shout out before the workout started. And this workout ended up being a 3 partner workout which was a nice thing for the family as well. We started with a quick tornado style workout where we had 3 minutes on each section of the room (3 minute run, 3 minute row, and burpees and abs on the floor). Then we split into groups.

I ended up being in a group with my dad and my brother and the rest of the class was a workout that we controlled the pace of. The person on the rower rowed while waiting to switch, the person on the treadmill ran while waiting to switch, and the person on the floor controlled the pace of the switching. On the floor, every round had hop overs and then each round had increasing numbers of exercises. Those exercises included tricep extensions, pushups, low rows using weights, lunges, and burpees.

While I trusted my brother and dad to work quickly, I wasn’t sure how long they would take to finish the floor work. So I decided to walk on the treadmill each time. We also were supposed to be on inclines and I don’t really do well running on inclines. But I still got in a great workout between the floor and rowing. It has become one of my favorite Thanksgiving traditions and I’m so glad that so many people in my family are joining in for the workout now.

And of course, we had to take a group photo when we were done with the workout.

I don’t know when we will have a group bigger than this, although we did figure out that in a few years my cousin’s oldest son will be old enough to come to a class and we will be able to have a class with 3 generations of my family!

My last workout of the week was on Saturday. I thought about trying to do a Friday workout, but there was no way for me to get back to LA in time and I didn’t have more workout clothes with me to take another class in San Diego. But I was feeling ready for my Saturday workout. It was a 3 group workout and had elements of strength and power in class.

I started on the treadmill and since we were going to be doing hills I walked again. There were 2 blocks on the treadmill and both of them had 3 minute hill climbs in it. I was able to get my inclines a bit higher than I normally have them so I was pretty happy with that.

Next I was on the rower. The first block started with a 500 meter row. Then we had frogger squats and then 100 meter sprints on the rower. We continued with the squats and 100 meter sprints until the block ended. Then in the second block, we started with a 500 meter row and then had wall sits for 30 seconds with 100 meter rows. I really wanted to get a new PR on my 100 meter row, but I just wasn’t able to do it. I was close, but I’m wondering what it will take to get a new PR. And on the floor, we had pull overs, curls, ground to presses, hamstring work, and roll outs. It was a pretty good all over workout on the floor.

The end of the year is coming up and I’m getting close to hitting my goal for workouts this year. Now I’m just trying to do some planning to see how I can go past that goal and do even more. And I’m already starting to plan on what I want to set as goals for 2018. But I know that one workout goal for next year is going to be to have another amazing Thanksgiving workout with my family!

Maybe Not That Much Running (or Training For Thanksgiving)

After my recent realization that I was not doing as much running as I should, I thought I’d be getting back to running a lot more. And that was my plan and my intention for this past week of workouts, but it didn’t quite work out that way. And that was very frustrating because I wanted to be the best I could before my workouts this week. My Thanksgiving workout is a family event and my dad and I are pretty competitive about it. But I know that I probably didn’t do enough running this past week to really be ready for it.

Monday’s workout was an endurance and power based day. It was a 3 group workout so I figured I’d be able to do running since we wouldn’t be on the treadmill that much. But that morning was just a horrible day for hip pain and I was worried about how I’d feel at Disneyland later that day. So after a few minutes on the treadmill, I got off of it and went over to one of the bikes to use that for cardio. I didn’t really pay too much attention to the intervals when I was on the bike, I just was trying to stay steady with my pace and increasing the resistance when we were in push or all out paces.

On the floor we had 2 blocks. The first block had arm work, goblet squats, and alligators on the straps. The second block had squats thrusters, front raises, and pop jacks. I wasn’t able to be that fast on the floor, so I focused more on not taking as many breaks and just continuously working. And on the rower we started with a 600 meter row and 10 bicep curls using weights and each round the rower went down 200 meters. The second block was on the same pattern as the treadmill with push to all out paces and my focus was just to keep going. I wasn’t able to do the same push or all out pace on the rower as normal because of the hip pain, but just moving is sometimes all I can ask for.

Wednesday’s workout was on where I thought I might try running, and then it ended up being a strength workout so all the treadmill work was in inclines. I know that I could have ignored the inclines and ran, but I like to try to follow the workout as much as possible. So this workout was al walking for me. We had 3 blocks on the treadmill and each block started with a 3 minute progressive hill. The first block I was between 6-8%, the second block it was 7-9%, and the last block was 8-10%. I was able to keep my normal speed for everything until the last minute of that last hill at 10% where I did end up bringing the speed down a bit. Each block also had a longer push pace but I ended up walking them too. It was tough not running on a day that I felt motivated to run, but I felt really good about my hill work.

On the floor we had 2 blocks. The first block was lateral lunges to rows with weights, regular lunges, and scissor ab work. And the second block started with a 500 meter row that I was able to do in 2:10. It’s not my fastest row, but considering how late in the workout it was I was pretty happy with myself. After the row we had squats, triceps, hip dips, and bicycle crunches. It was a tough floor block with getting up and down a lot, but again I just focused on moving and not how hard I was working.

Friday’s workout ended up being another walking one. I originally thought it would be a great one to work on running because I heard we had 2 different 5 minute runs for distance. What I didn’t realize until class started was that those 5 minute runs would be incline runs. So I ended up walking them. For each round, we went up 1% each minute. I started at 6% the first time and did ok. The second time I started at 4% because my hips were starting to hurt a bit more. We also had blocks on the treadmill that weren’t at inclines, but I was a bit nervous to try to run them since I knew how my body was feeling.

On the floor we had 2 floor blocks and 1 rowing block. In the first block, we had single leg squats using the straps, sit-ups, and plank work. And I actually was able to do the single leg squats as single leg squats. I was holding on tight to the straps for stability, but that’s still a big accomplishment for me. The second floor block was high rows using weights, uppercuts with weights, lateral raises, side plank crunches, and a 250 meter row. But I knew we had a rowing block after that so I didn’t go too hard with my rowing. And the last block was that row block were we followed the same pattern as the treadmills with push to all out paces. I was able to do my rowing a bit harder than I had done earlier in the week so I was happy with that.

Saturday’s workout ended up being the one time I really worked on my running, and I did a lot of running! It was a 3 group workout so I was only on the treadmill for about 15 minutes. There were 2 blocks and the first block was 3 rounds of 1 minute push paces, 1 minute all out paces, and 30 second walking recoveries. I ran at the same speed for those 2 minutes at my normal push pace speed. So out of a 7 minute block, I did 6 minutes of running! The second block was essentially the same except that the length of time for the push and all out paces were changing. But since I was doing the push and all out paces at the same speed it was the same as the first block. Again, I had 6 out of 7 minutes in the block as running. To have 12 minutes out of 15 (there was a 1 minute walk between the blocks) be running is pretty great for me!

On the row we had 2 blocks and the first block was 150 meter rows with squat thrusters using weights between each round. I wondered if my rower was broken because no matter how fast or how slow I went, it seemed like I always finished my row in 40.3 seconds. It was really weird. So I stopped worrying about the time I finished my rows in. The second block was also 150 meter rows but this time we had squats with medicine ball presses between each round. And on the floor for the first block we had squats, knee tucks, and mountain climbers. The second block was rows on the straps, lunges with high knees using the straps, and side to side crunches.

Out of my 4 workouts this past week, only 1 had any running in it. Not at all the ratio that I wanted to have but I also realize that I’m not in control of the situation all the time. I can’t necessarily control when I am in pain and I can’t control at all what type of workout we have at Orangetheory. And while I could adjust the workouts to be more running friendly when it’s an incline day, I also want to work on my inclines. It’s still a balance that I’m trying to figure out.

This week will be a bit weird with my workouts, but I am looking forward to my Thanksgiving workout. It should be the biggest group of my family at a workout yet and that should be fun. And I think that even if I can’t do all the running I want to do at that workout, it will still be a good one. And knowing that I’m getting a good workout in that morning will help me feel less guilty about eating all the delicious things that night!

A Mid-Week Realization (or Forcing Myself To Run)

Last week, I blogged about my lack of 5Ks in my future and how I felt that was affecting my workouts. That post was in the middle of this past week of workouts and it was what I needed to get my butt back in gear. I was struggling during the beginning of the week because I was having horrible nausea (I’m looking into finding new medications that should help me) but when I wrote that post I was coming to the end of the problem and was able to get back to what I know I should be doing.

Monday’s workout was a power and strength day and it was one of the worst days for my nausea. I was terrified that I would throw up during class and wondered if it would be dangerous to take more medication before I was supposed to (I didn’t, but for me to want to means it was really horrible). Because I was feeling so awful, I only had a goal to get through class and not worry about anything else.

It was a 3 group class and each section of the room had 2 blocks. On the treadmill the first block was increasing 1 minute hills and the second block was 45 second all out paces with front raises with weights in-between each all out. I had to decrease my speed for the entire time because just walking fast was making me feel sick. But I did manage to do what I could and didn’t give up which was all I could ask for.

On the floor, the first block was squats, lunges, and scissor ab work. And the second block was lateral lunges, rotations on the straps, and plank work. Unfortunately, there was a lot of up and down while on the floor and that again made things tough on me. I took time to sit and tried to feel more like myself while I was working because I knew that pushing myself harder wasn’t going to be a good thing for me.

And on the rower, the first block was 200 meter rows with shoulder presses in-between each row. I didn’t look at my rowing time because I knew it was bad. And the last block was a 6 minute row for distance and I ended up taking a break every minute or so to try to feel better. It was a tough class to get through and I tried not to be hard on myself because I know that these were not normal circumstances for me.

Wednesday I was finally starting to feel better and I had the extra motivation of trying to get back to my running. And this class ended up being a run/row switching format so it was a good opportunity to work on my running. It was interesting to switch a couple of times during a run/row, but that allowed me time to rest and recover. There were 3 blocks in the run/row and the first block was .1 mile runs with 200 meter rows. I was able to run every time I had the .1 mile run. The second block was 3 rounds of 30 second intervals, 2 rounds of 45 second intervals, and a 1 minute all out pace to end the block. I ran all the push and all out paces and walked my bases. And the last block was an incline .1 mile run which I ended up doing as a walk because I didn’t feel ok with running on an incline. And the rowing in the last block was 200 meter rows that increased each round.

The floor was a lot of arm work and lunges. The first block was single arm snatches, pop jacks, and lateral lunges. The second block was lunges with weights, upright rows with weights, and crunches. And the last block was rows on the straps, pullovers with weights, and plank work. I felt pretty strong on the floor and only had minor moments of nausea so I was feeling proud of myself. And I did a decent amount of running so that really helped my confidence.

Friday’s workout was a power day so it felt like another perfect opportunity to work on my running. All of the blocks on the treadmill were really short. The longest block we had was 4 minutes but most of them were closer to 3 minutes. The first few blocks started with a push pace that was between 30-90 seconds and then had a base pace and ended with a push pace to an all out pace. I ran all the push and all out paces and walked my bases. This was more what I was used to so I was feeling amazing!

On the floor, we mainly had 1 long block. In that block, we had 3 sections that each had 2 moves in them. We were supposed to do 3 rounds of the 2 moves in that section and then go to the rower to do a 1 minute row for distance. The moves were push ups, skaters, chest presses using the straps, low rows using the straps, lunges, and plank work). I think my rower was having issues because it was telling me I was only doing 40 meters in 1 minute when normal for me is around 200 meters. At the end of the workout, we went over to the rowers to row in the same pattern as the treadmills. It was a 3 minute row for distance and again my rower was having issues with telling me the distance. It ended up saying I did just over 100 meters when I know it was closer to 600. But I was able to row for the 3 minutes without stopping so that was an improvement over the beginning of the week.

I was feeling pretty awesome about my running when I got to Saturday’s class and found out it was an endurance day. Those are tough days for me to work on running, but I was going to do my best. Since it was a 3 group class, I knew I’d only be on the treadmill for about 15 minutes so that helped. The treadmill was distance runs on our own time. We started with a .25 mile run which I was able to run without stopping. Next was supposed to be a .5 mile run and I was going to try to do running intervals. I did about 90 seconds of running before going down to my walk and thought I could get back to running after about a minute. But my legs were feeling like they weighed 1,000 pounds and I ended up walking on an incline to finish it. But I did do it as a .5 mile run/walk and not doing the power walk option of .25 miles.

Next I was on the floor were we had increased rep work. Each round started with 5 burpees (I was so glad my nausea was gone because the burpees would have been horrible otherwise) and then we had squats, push ups, sit ups, and pull ups on the straps. Those other moves started at 10 reps each but went up 5 reps each round we did them. I made it through the 20 rep round before time was called to switch to the rower.

On the rower, we started with an 800 meter row and the row went down 200 meters each time. Between each row we had jumping jacks with a medicine ball. About halfway through the time on the rower, things switched to be squats with the medicine ball between each row. I was able to do my 800 and 600 meter rows without stopping and the only reason my 400 meter row had a break was to learn about what the new move was going to be in-between the rowing.

While this past week of workouts got off to a tough start, it ended on a pretty great note. I had 3 decent days of running including running .25 miles without a walking break. It wasn’t that long ago that running that distance without walking seemed impossible and I was able to just jump back into doing that. Hopefully I can figure out some more motivation for my running and I can figure out better ways to handle my nausea so this doesn’t become an issue for a week each month.