Major Progress (or I Can Run!)

This past week might not have been my best week of workouts, but it was the best one in my mind. I had so much progress that week that I can’t believe it, and I’m terrified that somehow this week won’t be as good. But I’m going to try my absolute best to make sure that I keep making these giant steps forward!

Monday was a pretty typically workout. We had a mile by mile challenge which meant we did a mile on the treadmill and a mile on the rower (split into 4 parts). Since I’m a power walker, my treadmill segments were all .125 miles (instead of .25 miles) so I knew they would all be pretty fast. I was able to do all my treadmill segments at 3.7 miles an hour and at 6% incline, which is usually the speed I use for my all-outs. All of my rows were pretty fast too and I was able to keep them at about a minute or under. The floor work was a lot of lower body work, but I was able to use some good-sized weights like 20 pounds for squats and my upper body work with the pullovers was using the 25 pound weight (only one weight in my hands for that one). I was pretty happy with that workout especially with my treadmill times, but I had no idea how amazing the rest of the week was going to be.

Wednesday was a power day where we didn’t switch between blocks. During the 3 treadmill blocks, 2 of them were the same format. We had 5 minutes of work where it was 30 seconds of all-out and then 30 seconds of walking recovery repeated 5 times. The first time we had that 5 minute block, I worked on increasing my speed each time. I started at 3.6 miles an hour and worked my way up to 3.9 miles an hour by the 4th all-out. But on the 5th all-out of the block, I decided to run.

I’ve done basically no running in the last decade or more. I’ve been warned by hip surgeons that high impact stuff isn’t the best for me, but I’ve gotten to the point where I don’t care anymore. I know that I will need double hip replacements in my life. My original surgeon was so sure that by this point in my life I would have needed at least one of them done. But I haven’t and from my last set of x-rays, I’m actually looking better than I did a year ago. If I’m going to have to have the replacements done no matter what, I might as well use my hips now before they get replaced. They are going to be replaced if I push myself or if I just sit on my butt. So I’ve decided to push myself.

So for that last 30 second all-out, I ran at 4.5 miles an hour. It felt so good to do that and my hips didn’t really hurt at all (the bottom of my feet did a bit, but that’s totally different). I was feeling so amazing after those 30 seconds that I decided to push myself even more on the next 5 minute block like that. For all 5 all-outs, I ran at 4.5 miles an hour! I had a tough time with my walking recovery and I sometimes had to jump the rails of the treadmill to catch my breath, but I did it! I was on such a high from actually running that the rest of the workout kind of was a blur for me. We had some sprint rows for 150 and 200 meters and some squats and lunges. The lunges were a bit tough for me because my legs were feeling a bit wobbly, but I was still not in any extra pain in my hips because of the running! This was seriously such a huge step for me because I had believed for so long that I would feel the pain I had felt before surgery when I tried to run. I never thought that it wouldn’t hurt me any more than walking does!

Friday I was still on a high from running, and I had another great opportunity to test it out! We did a 12 minute challenge on the treadmill for distance. Our coach, Bruce, was going to call out when to be at a push pace versus at a base pace during those 12 minutes, but we could also follow our own plan. Most of the time, I follow the coach. But I was on a mission and I knew I had to do my own thing. For the first 11 minutes of the challenge, I followed the same pattern: I ran at 4.5 miles an hour for 30 seconds and then I walked at 3.5 miles an hour for a minute to recover. I was feeling pretty awesome through most of those first 11 minutes. I occasionally had to jump on the rails to catch my breath, but it wasn’t because of any pain issues. I just have to work up my cardiovascular strength. After those first 11 minutes, I had a minute of walking to do if I followed my original plan. But instead, I walked for 30 seconds and then finished up with 30 seconds of running! This was the most running I’ve done in over a decade and it felt so freeing! I was exhausted after those 12 minutes, but I had gone farther in those 12 minutes than I had in a 13 minute challenge earlier this year!

12 Minutes Treadmill

For the rest of the treadmill time on Friday, I just did walking. Running is so new to me so I have to take it easy and I didn’t want to overdo things. On the floor, we had a bit of rowing (between 200-400 meters) and a lot of arms and chest work. For my arms I was using 20 pounds and for my chest I was using 25 pounds. My heart rate was staying pretty high during the weights, but I know that it was because of the running. I’m hoping my body can adjust soon enough to get back to a lower heart rate, but this is so new and my body needs time to get used to it.

On Saturday I tried to take things a bit easier. We had 2 blocks on cardio and then switched to the floor, and for my cardio I was on the bike. That’s my standard 4th workout of the week plan and I know my legs and hips needed a bit of a break from the running and walking. My heart rate stayed a little lower than I would have liked, but it was also a recovery day for me so that is to be expected.

Once we switched to the floor, the first block was a lot of upper body work. We did chest flies, squats with bicep curls, and triceps presses. I was working mainly with 20 or 15 pound weights (I tried to do as many bicep curls as I could at 20 pounds, but I had to finish my reps with 15 pounds each time). The second block was a lot of core work including work on the straps. We had single arm rows and rollouts on the straps and then finished our block with some crunches.

After we all completed those 4 blocks, we got back together for a partner challenge. Because of the number of people in class, I ended up being without a partner, but for this challenge it actually worked out ok. Basically, we were split between the treadmill and the rower and we went for 90 seconds. Then the teams with partners switched spots and the goal was to see how many meters between the 2 partners you could get on the rower. I wasn’t able to see how many meters I got because the rower reset for me while I wasn’t on it, but that’s ok. For the first treadmill round, I went back to the bike until I realized how short the treadmill blocks would be. So for the second and third round I was on the treadmill. For the second round, it was a 60 second push and a 30 second all-out. I did my push at 3.5 miles an hour and 6% incline and for the all-out I ran at 4.5 miles an hour. And the final round was 30 seconds of a push and 30 seconds of an all-out and I decided to see if I could run for an entire minute. So I was at 4.5 miles an hour (2% incline since runners didn’t have to have incline) for an entire minute! I can’t remember the last time I ran for an entire minute (easily over a decade ago) and it was amazing!

Over the weekend, I didn’t have any extra pain in my hips from the running. My quads were a bit sore, but that could have been from other work too. I’m not sure how I’ll keep up the plan to try to do a bit of running during each workout. This past week just worked out really nicely for me to bring a bit of running back and I want to see how much I can do. I have no plans to try to run my next 5K (which is about 5 months away), but if I can run/walk it that would be incredible! I could easily get a new PR if I did that. Hopefully I can find a great way to add bits of running into my treadmill workouts from now on and this momentum will just keep moving forward!

3 responses to “Major Progress (or I Can Run!)

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