This past week was a 4 workout week (yay!), but I just want to talk about my first 3 workouts of the week.
Monday-Friday was Peak Performance Week at Orangetheory. Every day there was a difference challenge (almost like the Monday Challenges) and the goal was to push yourself to go the most you could do. And the top people each day got a prize.
I knew that there would be no way for me to rank #1 in the challenges so I was only competing against myself. I like that I wasn’t stressed about competing against others so I could really focus on myself.
Monday’s task was 24 minutes on the treadmill for distance. I really didn’t have a goal distance for this one. I just knew that I wanted to do my best and since this was the first time I had done a 24 minute distance challenge that whatever I get would be considered a PR. In my dreams, I would love to have been as close to 1.55 miles because that is half of a 5K, but that would have meant that my speed would have been significantly faster than anything I’ve done.
The first 3 minutes of the 24 minute distance time was at a push pace, which for me meant 10% incline. I was at 3.4 miles an hour and after those 3 minutes were done I went back to my “flat road” of 4% incline. Then I decided to see if I could go 3.5 miles an hour for more than a minute or two. So I bumped up the speed to 3.5 at 4% incline. 2 minutes went by and I was feeling good so I decided to go close to a push pace again at 8% incline (still at 3.5 miles an hour).
I did the last 21 minutes of the challenge at 3.5 miles an hour alternating between 4 and 8% incline. The final minute I kept bumping up the speed because I saw that it might be possible to get to 1.4 miles in 24 minutes. In the end, I didn’t quite make it.
But even if I didn’t go quite as far as I thought I would, I still did 21 minutes at 3.5 miles an hour! I’ve been working toward that goal for a while and I finally made it!
Wednesday’s challenge was a plank challenge. I used to be amazing at planks. I remember back when I was losing weight for my hip surgery that my personal trainer was always amazing that I could hold a plank for what seemed like an endless time. But after my hip surgery, I could barely hold a plank for any amount of time. It has to do with how my hips sit when in that position. It causes my bones to rest against each other in an awkward and uncomfortable position.
Since I struggle with planks, I didn’t have a ton of expectations for this challenge. I didn’t want to be the first person to drop, but beyond that I didn’t know what I could do. My trainer wanted me to make it 90 seconds, so I figured I’d try for that. I don’t have any photos from my attempt (I was busy holding my plank), but I did manage to hold it for 2 minutes exactly!
While I was pretty happy with my plank time, I hated what happened to the rest of my workout. Because of the pain from the plank (the plank was the first thing in the workout), I was struggling to just walk after that. I wanted to go back to 3.5 miles an hour, but my hip was catching and the pain was making me tear up. So I went back to 3.4 miles an hour and just tried to focus on walking and not quitting. I hate when my hip issues cause problems like this, but I need to know that the pain and discomfort is temporary and won’t be there for all my workouts.
For the final day of Peak Performance Week, we had a 1 mile run (or for me, 1 mile walk). I didn’t know what my PR for a treadmill walk would be, but I looked at my fastest 5K time and the mile time that went with that. That mile time was 17:23 so my plan was to just be faster than that. I really wanted it to be under 17 minutes, but I would have been happy with even 17:22. Just anything that proves I’m making progress.
I did the entire mile at my “flat road” of 4% incline and started at 3.5 miles an hour. At about .3 miles in, I decided that I’d try to bump it up some more (I know, I’m crazy). I went to 3.6 miles an hour at that point. Then the coach bugged me that I needed to bump up my speed some more so I promised that I would try to bump it up another .1 miles an hour at .7 miles in. And as I promised, I did just that.
When I was at .9 miles in I realized that I was easily going to get a mile PR time and that it might be possible to beat my old PR by a minute! So I kept bumping it up bit by bit as I got closer to the mile mark. In the end, I got up to 4.2 miles an hour but that was crazy fast and uncomfortable for me.
But I did manage to get another PR this week with my mile time.
53 seconds faster than my mile time at my last 5K! That’s pretty amazing! The only thing I wonder is if I could maintain this speed for 3.1 miles and not just 1 mile. Also, I do have the advantage in my races by being at a real flat road and not my 4% flat road. So I have no idea what this means for my 5K time just yet.
But no matter how this relates to my 5K time, this is still faster on the treadmill than I was going before my last 5K. So I feel pretty confident that by the time November gets here (when I’m doing my next 5K), that I should be able to get another race PR.
I really feel good about how I did during Peak Performance Week. I definitely pushed myself to do better than I have in the past and I’ve proved to myself that maybe my mind has been holding me back when my body was ready to be pushed. I’m hoping that I can maintain 3.5 miles an hour for my treadmill workouts. If I can’t maintain it for my entire workout I at least know now that I can start there and go back down if I have to.
I’m hoping that Orangetheory will do another Peak Performance Week soon. I really liked it and it really motivated me to keep pushing my workouts to be better and better.