Proof Of My Progress (or I Am Doing Better)

I had a really amazing week of workouts this past week. I wasn’t expecting it to be awesome, but it really was one of those weeks that I wish would happen every single week. I lucked out in the workouts that I went to and I think that also helped to make my week the best one that I can remember in recent past.

Part of the reason why this week was so great was that I had 2 days where it was similar to the run/row format (which I love and makes me so happy). Monday technically wasn’t a run/row. It was a run/floor day. So basically we had an assigned distance on the treadmill (I was doing a quarter-mile at 6% incline) and then I headed over to the floor to do my floor work. The floor stuff was mainly ab work, so it felt nice to get a bit of a rest on the floor after being on the treadmill. We repeated that format for the first half of class before we headed to the rowers.

The rower segment was longish rows (800 meters) followed by arm work and sprint rows. The longer rows were a bit tough for me and I was really tired when I was doing the sprint rows. I tried to focus on technique and form so I know my rows were a lot slower than they should have been. But since that was the second half of the workout, I expected that I’d be pretty tired and it wouldn’t be as easy as if I had done the rowing first.

Wednesday was a pretty traditional run/row day. The one thing that was special and that I loved was that the run/row plan was printed out and taped to each treadmill.

Run:Row Guide

Normally the plan is on a whiteboard on the side of the room and I end up wasting time trying to read it (or walking over to read it if it’s too blurry or there is a glare). So having the plan on my treadmill helped me save time and kept me on track.

The basic format for the run/row for power walkers was that we started with a .08 mile power walk and then did a 100 meter row. Each round, we increased the treadmill by .05 miles and the row by 100 meters. I was trying to keep my walks at 6% incline and 3.5 miles an hour for each one. I wasn’t feeling my usual pain that day and I’m not sure if it was because it was a run/row day (so less time on the treadmill than normal) or it was because I started taking a new supplement for my hips. But it was nice to not hurt and to have a good cardio day. The floor work was a lot of TRX strap work and that seemed to go pretty well for me as well.

Even though each day was awesome, the most amazing day for me was Friday. I knew before going to the workout that it would be a 22 1/2 minute run for distance thanks to friends who had posted workout pictures on Instagram or Facebook after they did the workout in the morning. We had done the same challenge last month, so I had a goal in my head to just do a little bit better than I did then.

Since my treadmill work on Wednesday had gone so well, I decided to see if I could bump things up a bit on Friday. I followed the coach’s instructions for when we should be doing a push pace and when we should be at base pace (we had the option of doing whatever we wanted to get the best distance, but I wanted to follow the plan), but I went faster for both my push and base paces than usual. My base pace was at 3.5 miles an hour and my push pace was 3.6 miles an hour. We had a couple of really long push paces (3 minutes, 2 1/2 minutes, and 2 minutes) and those were really difficult with the increased speed.

But somehow I was getting through it and halfway through the challenge I realized that I will definitely be passing the distance I did the last month. I wanted to see if I could do 1.35 miles and by the last minute I knew it would be close. So for the final 30 seconds of the challenge, I actually ran on the treadmill which I’ve never done before! I was still holding on to the handles, but I was still running! I easily did better than I did last time (which was 1.303 miles), but I was just off a bit from my new goal.

22.5 Minute Run

This challenge was exactly what I needed. I had been feeling a bit down since my last 5K. I really thought I had been making progress lately. And even though I said I didn’t think I would PR at my 5K, in my head I was thinking there would be no way I wouldn’t PR. So when my 5K was one of my slower races, I was really feeling upset. I couldn’t believe that I was so wrong in making progress in my speed and I was questioning if I was just taking it too easy at Orangetheory. So having this challenge and showing that in 1 month I had gone .046 farther than last time gave me such a confidence boost and gave me faith again in myself.

The rest of my Friday workout was a bit of a blur for me since I was on such a high from my awesome progress on the 22 1/2 minute challenge. We did a bunch of squats and had some sprint rows. But to me, all I could think about is how all my self-doubt was for nothing because there is no doubt that I’m making progress.

I’m now also debating about trying running again. I did a tiny distance of running at my last 5K (just the bit leading up to the finish line) and now I did the 30 seconds of running on the treadmill. I had done a bit of running before I had my hip surgery, but I have been too scared to try it again. The hip surgeon I met last week gave me so much good feedback about how my hips are looking pretty good and workout restrictions weren’t even discussed. I’m not going to try to do most of the things that were on the restrictions list (I know it’s way too risky to try ice skating or skiing right now), but I might test out running.

I’ve downloaded the Couch to 5K app for my phone and I’m hoping to find a friend who will want to do it with me. I’m not sure when I’ll try my first running day, but I think it will be in the near future. Until then, I might try running again on the treadmill at Orangetheory (maybe just during the all-out moments) just to see how I feel. I don’t want this boost in confidence to go away any time soon. It’s just so amazing!

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