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Another Peak Performance Week (or Some PRs and Some Not-So-PRs)

Another Peak Performance Week is done and to be honest it didn’t quite go the way I thought it would. It seems like most of the time during that week I will PR or come really close to getting a PR on all the challenges. But this week didn’t have that in the cards for me and it’s not easy to accept that. I know so many of my posts about my workouts lately have been how I need to go easier on myself, and this week was another example of that.

Monday’s challenge was the 500 meter row. It was a 3G class and I started on the treadmill. But because I knew the rowing would be after my first treadmill block I took the treadmill pretty easy. Once I got to the rower, I knew that my PR going in to that workout was 1:53.7. My goal in my head was to get it under 1:50 flat. I went pretty hard and fast as soon as I started and fortunately I didn’t seem to gas out until the very end of the row. I tried to not look at the timer on the rower and just focus on the countdown for the meters. And when I got to the last 100 meters I went as hard as I could since I knew it would be done soon. When I got my 500 meters done, I took a look at the timer and was pretty surprised with myself.

I had a feeling I had gotten under 1:50, but I had no idea I had done it that quickly! That’s about 7.5 seconds faster than my old PR which was only done earlier this month! I was not expecting to have such a huge improvement in such a short time frame.

After the rower challenge was done, we were into a more normal 3G workout that had a strength focus. I pretty much overdid it with the rower and was still dealing with a bit of nausea so I walked everything on the treadmill. On the rower, besides having the challenge we had 200 meter sprints with 20 seconds of rest in-between and also a 3 minute row for distance (I didn’t do so great with that since it was at the end of class). And on the floor, we mainly did upper body work but there was a bit of ab work and some squats thrown in there too.

Wednesday’s challenge was the floor rep challenge. I have done this before but I hadn’t looked at what my previous rep counts were before this class. This class had 4 blocks on the treadmill and 4 blocks on the floor and I started on the treadmill. The first treadmill block I was able to do my normal running for the push paces and walking for my base paces. Next on the floor was some lunges, abs, and a 200 meter row. Then I headed back to the treadmill.

I knew that right after this treadmill block I’d be doing the floor challenge so I walked the 4 minutes I was on the treadmill. I didn’t want to get too tired before the floor work and I think most people were taking it easy for that same reason. Then I went to the floor where it was 4 minutes of continuous work. The challenge is that you count how many reps in those 4 minutes you do. It’s 1 minute of squats, 1 minute of push ups, 1 minute of pull ups on the straps, and 1 minute of sit ups.

Since I didn’t know what my old count was, I didn’t worry too much this time on what I wanted to get done. I did 95 reps total in those 4 minutes and felt pretty happy with myself. Then back to the treadmill where I did another 4 minutes of walking before going back to the floor to do the floor challenge again. This time, the exercises were reversed (so sit ups, pull ups, push ups, and squats). During the squats I knew I’d be close to 95 again so at the very end I did 2 really speedy squats and got my count up to 96. All I ever want to do is at least 1 better than what I did before and that’s exactly what I did. But after class I realized that I had done well over 100 reps the last time I had this challenge and I was a bit disappointed that I wasn’t able to do better.

And Friday was the last day of Peak Performance Week and it was the mile challenge day. This is always what I look forward to and fear that I will struggle with. I don’t know how I got it in my head that the mile challenge is such a big deal, but that’s what I think of it. Since I knew I wanted to get it done first, I made sure that I started on the treadmill. I had been trying to plan out how fast I need to go for how long to get a PR. I already knew that I wasn’t going to try to run the entire thing but instead do intervals with really fast sprints.

As soon as we got started, I did my first sprint. I did 1 minute at 6mph followed by 1 minute at 5.5mph. I then walked for a minute to recover at 3.8mph (this is the same pattern I had when I PRed). This worked really well for 2 rounds and then things started to fall apart. I was already having a bad hip day and had only gotten about 3 hours of sleep the night before so my body wasn’t feeling so great. And after my second round I knew that I was overdoing it. I had to jump the rails to take a quick break. Since I didn’t stop my treadmill, this is totally cheating and I’m not happy about it.

For my third round, I reduced the run time and increased my walking because I knew the last round was coming up for me to finish my mile. And I knew that I’d be pretty close to what my old PR time was so I wanted to make sure I went as fast as I possibly could go. I don’t remember the exact speeds I went, but I think I was between 6-6.8mph for the last 90 seconds or so. And once I got my mile done, I stopped my treadmill.

This is exactly what my PR was from before. But since I jumped the rails to catch my breath, it doesn’t really count. But to know that I was able to tie myself isn’t too shabby. I haven’t been doing as much running lately as I had before the last Peak Performance Week and I was dealing with some physical issues this time. So I think to have expected to PR was almost unreasonable even though that’s exactly what I had hoped for.

After the mile challenge, we moved to the floor where we had some arm work and rowing. I was still working on catching my breath and wasn’t feeling so great so I was going pretty slow. But at that point, I didn’t really care what I was doing as long as I kept going in class. After the other group finished their mile challenge, my group was back on the treadmill. I knew I’d be walking because I was in pain and I was actually walking slower than I have in a long time. But I got it done and that’s what counts. We ended class with a block on the floor that included burpees, running man, back extensions, and ab work. I was exhausted after that class but I was glad I survived the 3 days of Peak Performance Week that I set out to do.

Saturday’s workout was back to a normal workout (Peak Performance Week is just Monday-Friday). It was 3G like it normally is on Saturdays for me and it was a mix of strength and power. Since I was still hurting a bit from Friday’s workout, I knew going into the workout that I’d be walking. But I was a bit disappointed when I saw the workout because it would have been a great one to work on my running.

We had 3 blocks at each station and we switched after the first 2 back to back. Every block was 4 minutes long and it was pretty much a 4 minute run for distance on the treadmill. The first block was increasing inclines, the second block was decreasing inclines, and the last block was at a flat incline. I would have loved to work on running for 4 minutes at a time, but my body wasn’t in any shape to run. I knew if I even tried that I would probably end up hurting myself. But I couldn’t just walk and not try for anything extra so I did increase my walking speed each time I was at the treadmill. I felt like this made up for having to walk extra slow the day before after the mile challenge.

On the floor, it was more leg and plank work than anything else and I decided to work on trying to be better with what weights I used. We started with lunges that had shoulder/arm work (front and lateral raises). Normally for lunges I use 15 or 20 pound weights and for those arm moves I use 12 pounds weights. But I decided to split the difference and use 15 pounds weights. It was tough to do the shoulder/arm moves, but since it was only 6 reps I was able to keep it up. It was nice to have something feel like it’s improving since I haven’t really felt that way on the treadmill. We also had decline mountain climbers, Spiderman planks, lateral lunges, and squats.

And on the rower we started with seeing how far we could go in a certain number of pulls on the rower. It started with 25 pulls and went down by 5 each round. Normally I can average 10 meters on each pull, but with the pain in my hips I wasn’t able to get as much power behind my rows as I normally can. I decided to not pay too much attention to the distance since I knew I wouldn’t be happy with what I saw. Another block was 200 meter sprints with froggers in-between each set. Again, I lacked the power I normally have so I didn’t look too much at my time for the row. And the last block was 150 meter sprints with squats in-between the sets. We were supposed to try to squat so low that we touched the rails of the rower, but I couldn’t get that low down. But I’m pretty certain my squats were lower than they probably ever have been.

This was not how I thought Peak Performance Week would go for me, but it wasn’t all bad news. I was able to work on being more patient with myself which is slowly happening for me. I did get some PRs and I learned how to push myself better. And that’s all I can ask for a Peak Performance Week. Now I just want to focus on seeing what gains and improvements I can have before the next challenge week!

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Mixing Up The Workout Week (or Still Working On Being Easy On Myself)

This past week of workouts was another 3 workout week. I originally planned for it to be a 4 workout week, but some plans for Saturday changed that (more on that later this week). But honestly, having it be a 3 workout week was probably for the best since it was another tough workout week. I hate when my body isn’t willing to do what I know it can do and I struggle with not pushing myself to do more than I’m able to do. But this week allowed me to practice being easy on myself and hopefully that will get me ready for this week since it’s Peak Performance Week again!

Monday’s workout was not what I was expecting. First, I arrived at the same time I usually get there at but all the treadmill cards were already gone! It’s pretty rare for me to not get a treadmill card (maybe under 5 times in the 3 years I’ve been working out) so to have to start on a rower was very weird. But while I was preparing for that weirdness, we also found out that the workout was going to be a 3G workout too. That time on Monday may be 3G from now on so that will be different. But maybe that will be a nice since then in a 4 workout week I’ll pretty much have 2 3G and 2 2G workouts each week.

With the 3G workout we had 2 blocks at each station and we switched between each block. On the rower we started with increasing row distances and had squats with medicine balls between each row. And on the second block we had decreasing row distances with shoulder work with the medicine ball between each row. That went pretty well for me even though I wasn’t going that fast and didn’t have times that were close to my PRs. On the floor, it was a mix of upper and lower body work. Between the 2 blocks we had bicep curls, lunges, deadlifts, hip bridges, shoulder work, and back extensions.

But the treadmill is where I really struggled. I can do fine in switch or partner classes so I thought maybe started on the rower would have been ok for me. But I think I’ve realized that the problem comes from not warming up no the treadmill. Maybe my hips need that walking time to get ready to run? I’m not sure but whatever the reason the treadmill was not my friend during class. When I got to the treadmill for the first time, we started with a 2 minute push. I started by running but had to stop within the first 30 seconds. My hips were hurting so badly and I was scared that I would hurt myself if I kept running.

It’s frustrating to not be able to run and it seems like this is happening more and more often. I need to look into more stretching and hip strengthening work because there is something happening that I need to work on. I did everything in that first block as a walk and just tried to think about it as something I had to do to stay healthy and safe. But fortunately the second block had 30 second all out paces so I did run those and felt a bit better about myself. But for this class, I had my lowest calorie burn ever (even lower than when I was on the bike or just starting out). That’s tough to see since I know I worked hard, but again I also know that I tried my best given the pain I was in.

Wednesday ended up being my best workout of the week. It was an endurance day and we didn’t switch between blocks. What we had were 2 different 11 minute distance challenges. Lately when we’ve been doing distance challenges, I just try to run for the entire distance. But I’ve been feeling like I’ve been burning myself out lately and I haven’t been doing a lot of speed training. So I decided to follow the coached program and run for the push paces and walk for the base paces.

The first challenge was decreasing push paces so I tried to bump my push pace up .1 mph each time. And for the second challenge it was increasing push paces. But since I knew what I was able to do with the decreasing push paces, I went even faster than I had with the same time in the first attempt. It wasn’t my fastest running ever, but it was pretty good. My distances aren’t records for me, but I’m still happy that I went further on the second attempt than I did on the first and that I did get my speed training done.

Once I got to the floor, I was a bit tired from the running, but nothing too horrible. The first block on the floor had squats, abs, and lunges and then we had a 2 minute row for distance at the end of the block. The second block was strap lunges/squats, pull ups on the straps, and more lunges. And again a 2 minute row for distance at the end of the block. I was feeling a bit off (my period was starting and I’m still having issues with feeling sick when I have my period) by the end of the floor, but again it was nothing too horrible.

Friday was another off day for me. I knew it was going to be a strength day so I assumed I’d be doing a lot of walking. But within the first 2 minutes of the warm up in class, my nausea took over and I was feeling like I needed to throw up right away. This is exactly how my period was for me as a teenager (and the reason I went on birth control originally to stop my periods) and it’s annoying that I still have the same problems now. Fortunately I didn’t get sick, but I did step out of class to take one of my anti-nausea pills. Most of the time those pills kick in right away, but I don’t know what happened because I never felt better in class. I tried to focus on walking on the inclines the best I could, but I was taking breaks every few minutes to put my head down because I was pretty much dry heaving. I wasn’t feeling so horrible that I didn’t think I could continue with class, but it was pretty bad.

Once I was on the floor, I decided that I was going to take it easy and just do what I could. There were 3 blocks on the floor and the first block was triceps, chest, and squats with burpees. Fortunately most of that didn’t seem to make me feel that nauseous. The next block was squats with shoulder work and then rowing. I wasn’t focused on making my rowing fast or strong, just good form. I did the 400 meter row in just under 2 minutes which really impressed me. I wasn’t expecting to be even close to what I can normally do. The last floor block had arms, strap rowing, and running man work. During that last block I was finally feeling a bit better although still not 100%. I was pretty happy that the workout was done since I knew I just needed to get home to rest.

It’s weird to me how much having my period back affects my workouts. But I guess I should just consider myself lucky that I got a 15 year break from this and only started to have my period again at the end of last year. But I do need to think up a better plan on how to handle the issues I have in my workouts during that time. I don’t want to have to take a week off each month because I feel horrible.

I was originally going to work out on Saturday, but I had some plans change and ended up cancelling that workout (more on that later this week). But it was probably better that I skipped the workout since I was feeling so off. And I know I needed the rest and break time so that I could do the best I can during Peak Performance Week! I’m excited to see what I’m able to do now and can’t wait to report back to you all next week!

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A Weird Workout Schedule (or Out With The Old And In With The New)

I’ve had a few weeks of 3 workout weeks, so it was nice to be able to get back to a 4 workout week this past week. 4 workouts a week is starting to feel so normal to me which still surprises me. But even though this was a 4 workout week, it was a bit of a weird week. It was weird because of a few things including the holiday and my Orangetheory location was getting an equipment upgrade and was going to be closed down for 2 days. But none of the weird stuff was going to stop me from getting my workouts in.

Monday’s class was an endurance day where we didn’t switch between the blocks. We technically had 2 different 10.5 minute challenges, but I forgot to reset my treadmill before the first one and wasn’t able to do the challenge properly. So since the first challenge wasn’t going to be for distance for me, I did it with the plan the coach gave (instead of just running the entire thing). So I ran the push paces and walked the base paces without worrying too much about distance.

For the second challenge, I did remember to reset my treadmill and very determined to PR on my 10.5 minute challenge. I ran the entire thing which is still a big accomplishment for me. I started at 4.5mph like normal and occasionally did a bit at 4.7mph as a little sprint. I knew I’d be close to my old PR (which was .812 miles) so for a minute toward the end I went to 5mph and for the very last 30 seconds went to 7mph just to get every bit of distance I could get. I’m glad that I did that because I did PR, even if it wasn’t as much of a PR change as I was hoping it would be.

Once I got to the floor, I was pretty tired but I wanted to do the best I could. The first block was arms, lunges, and abs so that wasn’t too bad after all the running. The second block was arms with squats and ended with a 500 meter row. I was excited to try the row because I wanted to PR on it too. I didn’t know what my 500 meter PR was going into class so I was really excited when I finished it thinking I got a new best time. It was a bit frustrating to realize that I tied with my PR. I know I should still be happy to tie with my PR when I’m tired at the end of class, but as you all know I’m super stubborn with myself.

I also went to Tuesday’s workout since I do try to work out on holidays. This workout was a 3G 3 partner workout and it was set up as 3 blocks that were each 14 minutes long. A lot of partner workouts are for the entire class, so it was cool that this one was broken up into smaller bits. Each workout had a similar goal which was to see how far the group could get on the rower in 14 minutes even though each block had a different station controlling the switching.

For the round where the rower controlled the switching, it was 400 meter rows. For the other rounds, it was just rowing for distance but I think we all pretty much averaged 400 meters each time we were on there. When the treadmill controlled the switching, it was .2 miles (I did it as a power walk for .1 miles) and the other rounds were running or walking for distance. For the floor, we had a decent amount of variety. When the floor controlled the switching, it was lunges and ab work. For the other rounds there were biceps, pop jacks, dead lifts, and squats.

As a group, we did best on the rowing distance in our first round which was almost 3100 meters. The other rounds weren’t too bad with about 2900 meters each time but I know that we wanted to top our first round row. It was a pretty tough workout, but it was a good workout and a nice change from what we do normally. And knowing that we’d be switching between stations every 3 minutes or so was pretty helpful in getting through the tougher moments.

Wednesday’s workout was a power day and we switched after 2 blocks. Normally I would run that workout, but it was my 3rd workout in a row and I was feeling a bit sore and tired so I ended up walking. All of the treadmill blocks started with a 2 minute push pace and 1 minute base pace. After that, it was push to all out paces with different times. But on the very last block on the treadmill, I knew I’d do a little running. After Wednesday’s workout, all the treadmills and rowers were going to be replaced. It was my last time on the original treadmill 11 (my favorite treadmill) and we were encouraged to go for our fastest speed ever because we were ending on a 30 second all out. Since I wanted to give my treadmill a proper goodbye, I ended with 30 seconds at 8mph. It’s probably too fast for me (I think that speed is for someone with longer legs), but I was able to do it for 30 seconds and felt like I gave the treadmill good farewell.

And yes, I’m aware that I probably sound crazy for having a favorite treadmill like this, but I think most people at Orangetheory have their favorites and knew that the new treadmills probably wouldn’t feel the same as the ones we were used to.

On the floor, each block had a 200 meter row in it. I was averaging 37-38 seconds per row which isn’t bad but not my best either. We also had a lot of plank/core/abs work in the blocks. I was tired because I did a tough workout but also because it was my 3rd workout in a row. I knew that I couldn’t be too tough on myself that day for not always doing my best. And I’m happy to say that I was able to go easy on myself and felt glad that I was able to do what I could do.

Orangetheory was closed on Thursday and Friday to spruce things up and get the new equipment in, so my next workout was on Saturday. As usual for Saturday workouts for me, it was a 3G workout. I got there a bit late and was worried that I wouldn’t be able to start on a treadmill, but somehow not only did I get to start on a treadmill but I got to start on the new treadmill 11! The treadmills looked similar to the old ones, but I could feel a difference. They do still need to be a bit balanced out (very common issue with new treadmills), but it was good to be on my normal treadmill. I was dealing with some hip pain, so I planned on doing a lot of walking. And that worked out well because it was a strength day.

There was some push pace times at a flat treadmill incline, and I did run those. But for all the incline work, I walked and I’m glad that I did. It wasn’t a really difficult hill workout, but I know I couldn’t have done it as a run. I did try to run briefly at 4% and it was feeling pretty bad. So pretty much all my treadmill time with the few moments of push paces on a flat incline were walking.

On the floor, we had 2 blocks. The first block was lunges and shoulder work followed by abs. And the second block was lunges, abs, and pushups. Each block was only about 7 minutes long so it went by pretty quickly. And on the rower, we had rowing with work with medicine balls in-between each row. My rowing was pretty slow, but that might have been because of the new rowers. The seats are different with these rowers compared to the others so it might take me a bit of time to get used to it. But I’m sure they will feel normal to me soon.

After completing Saturday’s workout, I went to the app on my phone that I use to track my workouts. Having an app like that is so much easier to figure out if I’m on pace to hit my workout goal for the year than if I tracked it on paper or something. And Saturday’s workout was a bit of a milestone one for the year.

I’m ahead of pace to hit my workout goal for the year and that makes me pretty happy. Hopefully this momentum continues!

A Planned 3 Workout Week (or Medication and Workouts)

2 weeks ago, I had an unplanned 3 workout week. It wasn’t easy on me because I’m getting so used to 4 workout weeks. And I knew this past week was going to be a 3 workout week so having 2 of those in a row was a bit frustrating to me. But this 3 workout week was so much better than the week before because this one was planned for and I knew what I needed to do. Of course, when I plan it doesn’t always go that way and that’s exactly what happened.

Monday’s workout was totally my best one of the week. It was an endurance day and pretty much all the work was 90 second push paces with varying base paces. The base paces were either 60, 45, or 30 seconds so it did make the 90 second push paces a bit harder. But I’ve said it before that I’ve been testing the idea of shortening my walking during my run/walk 5Ks and this was the perfect way to test out my endurance for that. I think that 30 seconds was a bit too short for me, but it’s always good to push myself and see what I can do.

The floor had 2 blocks and each block started on the rower. The first block was 500 meters and the second block was 1000 meters. I managed to somehow PR on the 1000 meter row which shocked me. It was toward the end of the workout and I was tired so I didn’t think I could do it. But I must have pulled strength from somewhere (or just was really mad I didn’t PR on the 500 meter row) and managed to get a new best time. The rest of the floor work was pretty mixed between upper body, lower body, and abs.

Wednesday was a tough day for me. I didn’t realize it until almost the end of class, but this was my first workout with the increase in medication my therapist set for me. Vyvanse raises your heart rate so it’s no surprise that I was having issues with my heart rate being super high. But because I wasn’t thinking about that during the workout and I was getting a bit frustrated. I was struggling and couldn’t figure out why. And it should have been a workout that I really excelled in.

It was a power run/row day which meant all the segments were on the shorter side. But it was a unique format that was not the normal run/row. First, we had 3 rounds of running .25 miles (I ran it each time) and between each round we had 2 different arm exercises. After that we had 3 rounds of 150 meter rows with the same 2 arm exercises in between each round. After that, it was a more traditional run/row. For the running, I started at my normal speed but our coach set goals for us to hit on the treadmill. She wanted me to get to at least 7mph at some point. I knew I would need that to be during my last round and I did 7.2mph for the last .05 of my last round.

On the rower, I kept my 150 meter rows between 28-30 seconds which isn’t a record but isn’t that bad either. But I only made it through the rowing and weights by the time we had to switch. I never made it to the last segment that was the more traditional run/row format. That was tough for me, but I know that I worked really hard.

Once I was on the floor, we had 2 blocks with a good variety. The first block was squats, shoulder swings, planks, and sit-ups. But we also had a few different times that we were told to stop what we were doing and hold a plank for 30 seconds. Those 30 second plank breaks almost did feel like breaks to me since we’ve had so much plank work and I had my plank challenge in May. In the second block, we had power jacks which I was able to do with a weight, skaters, rowing with the straps, and more plank work. I was taking a lot of breaks during that second block because of my heart rate, and I was trying to not be upset with myself. It was then that I remembered about my medication being increased so I knew that it was something beyond my control. But it still doesn’t make it easier on me when I always want to do better than I have before.

Friday’s workout was another endurance day. And even though I struggled on Wednesday with my heart rate, I had forgotten about it by Friday and struggled with heart rate issues again. But fortunately, I remembered it much sooner this time and was able to go a bit easier on myself and not beat myself up over those struggles. It also helped that I had an amazing group of friends at the workout on Friday that were next to me and keeping me motivated!

I do totally notice a difference when I’m working out in a class with friends versus a class that only has acquaintances or people I don’t know as well. I’m so lucky that I usually will have at least 1 friend in class, but to have 4 friends in class is a rare treat!

There were 3 blocks on each side and I started on the treadmill. Every treadmill block was a similar pattern. It started with a 3 minute push pace followed by a 90 second base pace. Then it went to a push pace to all out pace, but the time of the push pace changed each block. I ran all the pushes and all outs, but it wasn’t easy. Even though I know I can run longer than 3 minutes, there was something about those 3 minutes each time that seemed longer and longer. I just tried to get into a zone and not think about the time passing by. And in the 28 minutes I was on the treadmill before switching to the floor, I did about 1.9 miles which isn’t that bad!

On the floor the first block was squats to rows with weights and plank work. The second block was bicep work on the straps, plank work, and abs. And the last block was 300 meter rows with tricep work. 300 meter rows are something that I usually use to measure my progress, but these weren’t that great for me. I was tired, dealing with my heart rate issues, and ready for the workout to be done. Normally I strive to get my 300 meter row under a minute, but I wasn’t even close this time. I don’t remember my exact times, but I was around 1:12 each time. I was trying to not be upset and frustrated, but again it’s tough for me to be easy and kind to myself.

I’m glad that this past week of workouts was a 3 workout week. While this was not my worst workout week, it was a tough one and I think my mental state made it more difficult on me. I needed to take some time off so I could get back into a better head space to start this week of workouts. It had been so long since my medication had been changed and I forgot how tough that adjustment could be on my workouts. I’m glad that I remembered it but I wish that I had remembered it sooner so I wouldn’t have felt as bad in the moment. But I guess I needed this past week as a reminder and hopefully this week I can be easier with myself and happier with what I am able to do in a workout.

Being Patient With Myself (or Being Ok With A 3 Workout Week)

I originally planned this past week to be a 4 workout week because I knew that this week was likely to be a 3 workout week. I’m now having 4 workout weeks be the norm and 3 workout weeks to be rarer instead of how it used to be the other way around. But this week was another one where my body was telling me stuff and I just had to listen. So I had 3 workouts and they weren’t all up to my normal abilities.

Monday was a strength day. I knew I’d be going to Disneyland that day, plus I was dealing with some hip pain and nausea, so I decided to walk the entire workout. It was probably a smart choice for me because a lot of the work was longer segments on the hills. I can do running on hills for short bursts, but I definitely can’t really do longer running on hills just yet. Most of my walking was at 6, 8, or 10% and it was tough to feel like I was getting a good workout in because I’m so used to running.

We also had one cardio block on the rower and it was a pretty fun challenge. The goal was doing 100 meters in as few pulls on the rower as possible. Doing as few pulls is tough because your brain is telling you to go super fast to get it done. But really you have to take your time and take long pauses at the beginning and end of each stroke. It’s an exercise in patience and I’m getting better at it. The goal was to be able to do 100 meters in under 10 pulls and I knew I could do that since on these pull challenges I usually average 10 meters a pull. In the time we had on the rower, I had time to do 4 attempts. 2 of those attempts were at 8 pulls and the other 2 were at 7 pulls. I’m pretty happy with myself with that effort.

Once on the floor, I focuses on heavier weights since my cardio wasn’t as good as normal. We did have rowing on the first block with 200 meter rows (I did them between 40-42 seconds each time). The second and third block on the floor was mainly arm work like pull overs, triceps, upper cuts, and raises. And the last block was all ab work like planks, crunches, and toe reaches. Even though I felt disappointed with my cardio, I knew I’d be doing a ton of steps at Disneyland and I feel pretty happy with what I was able to do on the floor.

Wednesday was a run/row day and I was pretty excited about it. I knew it was going to be a very difficult run/row, but it was a great opportunity for me to prove to myself that I’ve made some really great progress. On the running part, it started with .25 miles, then .5 miles, then 1 mile. And the rowing was 1600 meters, 800 meters, and 400 meters. I had a feeling I wouldn’t get through the mile so I put my energy toward the first 2 segments. I was able to run the .25 mile run pretty easily (it’s still so crazy to me that running that has become easy to me now) and then I headed to the rower.

I checked my records, and my previous PR for 1600 meters was almost 2 years ago and it was 8:15.2. I had a feeling I could do it in under 8 minutes flat and set that as my goal. Distance rowing is still tough, but I’m getting better at it since we’ve had some more opportunities for it. And I think the endurance I’ve been building with my running is helping my rowing too. I tried to not focus on the rower while I was rowing because I knew I’d be on there for a while. I finally looked down at around 6 minutes thinking I would be close and I was much closer than I thought I could be to being done! So I decided my new goal would be to go all out for the end and maybe be able to take a full minute off my 1600 meter row. I think I was in a bit of shock when I was done.

I did just over 1:02 faster than my old PR! That’s pretty insane and I think that it was a really great time for me. I knew I’d PR on my row, but to think I could PR by that much is mind-boggling. I was pretty exhausted after that row, but I still wanted to do my best on the next running segment. I’m not sure how I did it, but I managed to run the entire .5 mile run too. I did the 800 meter row in 3:27.5 which is less than half the time it took me to do double the distance so that was pretty great too. And I only got started on the mile run by the time it was time to switch.

The floor work had an interesting set up. There were 4 blocks and the first 3 blocks all started with a minute of timed work like squats, pushups, and rowing on the straps). After that, we had about 4 minutes to do 2 different moves. The moves after the timed work was mainly arm work and a lot of it was rowing (which seemed mean after doing so much rowing during the run/row). The very last block on the floor was timed ab work like crunches and leg lifts. We also had a 90 second plank hold to finish which felt pretty easy considering all the plank work I did in my challenge last month. I’m happy that planks have gotten so much easier for me and I’m excited to see what other plank progress I’m going to make soon.

Friday was another run/row day but it was also a strength day so that meant hills. I originally planned to do all the running as running and it started off great with a .5 mile run which was at a flat road treadmill (which is 1%). I actually was able to get my speed up and did it at 4.7 mph instead of my usual 4.5 mph. Next was a 450 meter row which I wasn’t too worried about since I was focusing on the next run segment.

Next was supposed to be .4 miles at 2% and I assumed I’d be able to do it. But my body was saying otherwise and after less than a minute I had to switch to power walking. It was disappointing because I was so set on running, but I’m really learning to be patient with myself and knew it would be best to not run. My body was hurting from some hip pain plus I had eaten too much the night before (more on that in a future post), but I was hoping that I could overcome that. But once I started walking I was feeling better so I know I made the right choice. I did the 350 meter row, the next run segment (as a walk again), and just had enough time to finish a 250 meter row when time was called. I didn’t get all the way down the run/row assignment, but I got almost done which is pretty good for me.

Once on the floor, I again wanted to do heavier weights because I felt like I had to make up for what I didn’t do on the treadmill. We started with lateral lunges and I was able to use 20 pound weights in each hand. It wasn’t easy and I had to take breaks, but I got through the entire set. I did my front raises with 15 pound weights (usually I use 12 pounds) and I even used weights for my hip bridges and scissor kicks which I usually do without weights. In the second block, I wasn’t using much heavier weights than normal, but I didn’t go easy on myself either. And we ended with a core blast with a medicine ball and I went for the 10 pound one instead of 8 pounds. I felt like I really made up for my lack of running with weights.

Leaving Friday’s workout, I had every intention of making it on Saturday. So I probably didn’t go as hard for that workout than I would have if I had known I was going to skip Saturday. But Saturday morning things changed and I knew it would be best for me to not work out that day. It’s not easy for me to listen to my body because I’m always trying to push myself, but I’m trying and I’m seeing the results when I do pay attention.

I’m a bit paranoid about not hitting my workout goal for the year, so I might try to see if I can fit in another workout this week. It might not be possible and I might have to be ok with 3 workouts for 2 weeks in a row. It’s not the end of the world, but I’m so set in my plan that it can be hard to deviate from it. But this is all a lesson in patience, listening to my body, and not being too hard on myself. It’s just tough for me to do that sometimes.

A Fitness Girls Night Out (or Yoga Time)

Most of my fitness things are all about Orangetheory. I love my workouts at Orangetheory and they are my main fitness thing. But it’s always awesome when I get to try something different and especially when that involves some of my friends! So when I heard that some of my friends were going to be attending an upcoming Girls Night Out event by New Balance, I knew I had to join in!

This event was being held at the New Balance in Santa Monica, so it was pretty close to my house. And I carpooled with my friend Elizabeth so I wasn’t alone. I’m always nervous going to events like this because I don’t want to be by myself and unable to find my friends. So knowing that Elizabeth and I would arrive together eased my nerves. And then when we arrived we immediately saw my friend Elisa (who is a part of my Pantages group). So I guess I didn’t need to worry at all!

We took a look at everything around the store since we were told that anything we purchased while we were at the event was 20% off. I would love to get some new shoes, but I don’t have the money to spend on them right now. But looking at all the awesome stuff there was fun and hopefully when I need some new shoes there will be a sale or something. There were also a bunch of different food samples out and I tried out some beef jerky and bacon jerky which was pretty good.

The fitness thing of this event was going to be yoga with Elisa Joan. I was reminded by a friend to bring my yoga mat, but I totally forgot. Elizabeth offered to share her mat with me, but I decided to look in my car to see if I had a beach towel or something. I didn’t have one, but I found my big beach blanket so I grabbed that and brought it with me. We were doing yoga outside the store so I didn’t want to have nothing to protect me from the ground. The blanket was a bit slippery, but it was better than the ground.

The class was pretty awesome! There were a few things that I couldn’t do because of my hip, but most of it is stuff that I’ve been doing in my yoga practice at home. It’s nice that so many of the poses are things that I’m feeling more familiar with since it was an unfamiliar situation. But having something feel like I’m used to really helped me out. It was a bit warm doing yoga outside when the sun was in our faces, but it cooled down quickly once the sun dipped behind the buildings.

There was also a live DJ there for the class and that was a new exciting thing. She played some really great songs and I think that it added to how much I enjoyed the class. And Elise is an amazing yoga teacher and really knew how to make everyone at every yoga level feel comfortable and feel like they had options they could use to challenge themselves.

The class was about an hour and when it was done Elizabeth and I got a chance to chat with Elise a bit. She’s such an inspiring person and I loved getting to talk with her! We talked about our mutual love of theme parks (she’s a Universal and Disney person too!) and some of the health struggles that we both have had. It was so nice that she didn’t try to talk down to me like some fitness instructors have done in the past. I’ve been very lucky with not encountering someone who looks at me and assumes I don’t work out, but it’s always a fear that I’ll deal with that again.

We all headed back inside the store where they were doing a raffle for various things. None of my group had won anything, but that’s ok. The only thing I think I would have wanted would have been the shoes, but I don’t need new shoes right now. But it till would have been fun to win. Elizabeth and I were ready to head out after the raffle was done and we were given a bit of swag (a nice fun new water bottle) as we walked out.

I’m so glad that I was able to attend this event and that I was able to go with some friends. I don’t think I would have enjoyed it as much without having friends with me because I would have been overwhelmed at it all. I need a buddy with me to keep me calm. And I’m so glad I got to meet Elise and I’m hoping that I can do another yoga class with her again soon! I have been a bit on the fence about doing more yoga classes that aren’t at home since I’ve had some not-so-great experiences, but I think I just need to find the right teacher. And someone like Elise would probably be perfect for me!

I guess I’ll have to look more into classes now and keep seeing where Elise might be teaching next!

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Running And Walking (or Accepting My Limits)

It was an interesting week of workouts this past week. I had some really great stuff, but again I’ve been having to understand what my limits are and how to work the best with them. I’m still in such a mindset of trying to improve by huge leaps every workout, but that’s not a realistic mindset. So I need to just focus on doing what I am able to do and do the best I can with that.

Monday’s workout was a power day and we did a bit of switching. We had a total of 4 blocks on the treadmill and 4 blocks on the floor and we switched after 2 blocks. For the first half of the treadmill time (so the first 2 blocks), it was mainly push to all out paces. I was able to run all of them and feel totally fine. But when we got back to the treadmill for the last 2 blocks, I started to run and it just wasn’t feeling right. It was tough since I was doing so great with my running at the beginning, but I knew not to push myself too much. So I ended up walking those 2 blocks (which were mainly 45 or 30 second intervals).

On the floor, the first block was weight and strap work. The second block was pushups and crunches with rowing. The rows went pretty well for me, but I didn’t get any records. I was able to do 200 meters in 38.3 seconds and 150 meters in 28.3 seconds. The third block was more weights and straps work and the last block was timed work. We had 30 second intervals of pushups, squats, and running men and I figured it couldn’t be too bad. But those 30 seconds seemed to take forever to go by and by the end of that block I was exhausted.

Wednesday’s workout was a fun one. It was split in 2 and the first half was a pretty normal endurance, strength, and power workout. We had 10 minutes on the treadmill with a mix of longer push paces, short push paces, and push to all out paces. Then there was 10 minutes on the floor with biceps, froggers, plank work, and situps. And after that, we came together as a class and partnered up for a 23 minute partner challenge.

The way the partner challenge worked was the person on the floor and treadmill set the pace. We started with floor work with a medicine ball and then we went to the treadmill for a short run (.2, .15, and .1 miles). The other partner was on the rower just rowing until they were tagged and then you’d switch. I partnered up with Helena (who I’ve seen in class a ton but we’ve never partnered up together for a workout) and I started on the floor and treadmill. I did feel a bit bad because she was able to do way more rowing than I could do and I felt a bit slow, but she never made me feel bad about not doing my fair share.

There were goals in hit on the rower for that challenge. The minimum was 3,000 meters and I honestly questioned if we would be able to do that. I know we should have been able to do it, but my rowing wasn’t nearly as good as I know it can be. But I just made sure that I kept rowing and didn’t stop. I didn’t want to let Helena down and I wanted to make sure that we hit the goal. And I guess I didn’t really need to worry because we did way more than 3,000 meters!

Friday’s workout was a crazy one! It was a power workout but it was tornado style. Tornado style means that you are switching between each block and going in a circle around the room. But not only was this a tornado workout, the blocks were all only 2 minutes long! 2 minutes on the treadmill, 2 minutes on the floor, 2 minutes on the rower for 5 rotations (a total of 15 blocks). For the 5 times I was on the treadmill, I ran the entire time. Since each block was only 2 minutes, I knew I could do them as a run. Most of the time it was a push to all out pace (there wasn’t much time to do more than that).

On the floor, 4 of the 5 block was a block of 2 moves. We had squats, lunges, and plank work. But on the last block, we had a set of 30 second intervals with abs. The ab work usually isn’t too bad for me, but this time it was a bit tough. I think it had to do with how tired I already was and pushing myself to do some ab work that I know can be tough on my hip. And on the rower we had a few different things. 2 of the blocks were 2 minute rows for distance (I got about 440 meters each time), 1 block was all 30 second intervals, and 2 blocks were 200 meter rows for time with squats after. I don’t remember what I did for my 200 meter rows, but they weren’t records. I did like switching things up every 2 minutes, but it was much harder than I was expecting!

Saturday’s workout was the normal 3G workout. I was able to start on the treadmill but I knew that running just wasn’t going to be an option for me. I really wanted to run, but again I had to listen to my body and know that if I did try to run that it wasn’t going to be good for me. Instead, I worked on trying to get my inclines up a bit higher. The treadmill time was split into 2 small blocks. In the first block, there were a few different distances to do with recovery in-between. I decided that the way I was going to push myself was to not do the recovery. So I did all 3 distances without a break in-between and increasing my inclines during it. It felt pretty good and I felt pretty proud of myself. The second block was more incline work and I was able to get my incline up to 12% which is usually a bit too much for me.

Next was the floor where again it was 2 shorter blocks. The first block was strap rows and chest presses along with ab work. And the second block was chest press and hammer curls with weights and more ab work. The ab work was some of the stuff that is tough on my hips, but I was feeling like I was kicking butt at it this time. I wasn’t hurting but I did have to take breaks in the middle of the sets. And finally, I was on the rower. The beginning of the row block was to do 3 sets of 200 meter rows where the goal was to do it in as few pulls as possible. I was able to get it down to 16 pulls which is pretty good (the goal was 25-15 pulls). After doing those 3 rounds, it was rowing and squats. I was feeling pretty tired from the 200 meter rows, but I wasn’t too bad at my other rowing. I wasn’t fast, but I wasn’t slow either.

I’m almost halfway through the year and I’m more than on pace to hit my workout goal for the year. I have to focus on that and the other positives I’m having in my workouts and not what limits I might be hitting. I’m sure at the end of the year I’ll be doing better than I’m doing now, so the slow progress will be worth it.

Just A Normal Workout Week (or Being Ok With Being Ok)

I’ve had amazing workout weeks the past few weeks. Something has kicked in that has helped me reach so many amazing goals. It’s been so great that I’ve been struggling with figuring out what new goals to set for myself. I’m still working out new goals for myself, but this past week of workouts wasn’t anything spectacular. That’s not to say that my workout week was bad, it was just nothing super special. But that fact makes it special because it’s still crazy to me that this is my normal now.

Monday’s workout was a run/row day. I still love run/row days, especially now that my running and rowing are so much better. There were 3 blocks each with 3 runs and 3 rows in them. The first block was all 1 minute all outs at 1, 2, and 3% inclines. I was able to run all of those pretty easily. We all had 150 meter rows between the runs. I did ok on the rowing, but since I was tired from the running it wasn’t close to a PR. The second block was all 45 second all outs at 2, 3, and 4% inclines. Again, I could run all of those pretty easily although the 4% run was getting a bit tough. And between each run we had a 300 meter row. Again, no PR times for me but I was doing pretty ok. And I only made it to the beginning of the  third block which was a 450 meter row. All of my running was at 5.5 mph which is my pretty standard all out pace.

Once I got to the floor, we had 3 blocks each with 3 moves. Since it was an endurance, strength, and power day we had one move representing each element in each block. That was a pretty fun thing to have. We had a lot of rowing type moves using the straps and the weights. We also had skater lunges which have been something I’ve been improving on slowly. I used to always have to put my back foot down, but now I can pretty much do them without ever touching my back foot to the ground. There were also burpees that day which are always a tough one for me, but they didn’t seem as tough as usual for me.

Wednesday’s workout was a mix of strength and endurance and it was a switch day as well. Every block was 10.5 minutes long which seemed pretty great with the switching. The treadmill was pretty much all 90 second push paces with 45 second base paces. But in the first block we were doing our push paces on increasing inclines (1-5%) and in the second block we did decreasing declines (5-1%). For some reason, running was going really smoothly and I wasn’t having much problem running at 5%. It was nice to feel like things were falling into place even if I wasn’t doing anything too crazy.

On the floor, the first block had 4 moves but different numbers of reps. One round was endurance with higher reps and then we repeated the same moves with half the reps to represent strength. For the endurance reps I was using 15 pounds weights and for the strength rounds I was using 20 pound weights. The second block had rowing in it and we had a 300 meter row. This has become such a marker for me in my workouts and I thought maybe I could do it in 59 seconds flat. I ended up doing it in 59.4 which is still great and I had to remind myself that it is still considered an amazing time for me.

Friday’s workout was endurance, strength, and power. I was a bit tired (more about that in tomorrow’s post) and I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to do running. The endurance block on the treadmill was increasing push paces starting at 30 seconds and going up to 90 seconds. I was able to run all of those but it was a bit tough. The strength block was 45 second hill intervals and I knew that I just couldn’t run on the hills that day so I walked that entire block. And the power block was all 90 second intervals with a mix of push to all outs. And again I was able to run all of those.

The floor was also 3 blocks but I wasn’t feeling my best on the floor. I tried to do what I could, but I was just feeling really tired. The first block was chest, shoulder, and abs work. The second block was rowing with froggers. I didn’t go that fast on my rowing but it wasn’t that horrible either. And the final block on the floor was abs and arm work.

Saturday’s workout was an endurance day, but it was a 3G workout so there was only 15 minutes at each section. I started on the treadmill and the entire time we alternated 1 minute or 90 second push paces. Between each push we had a 1 minute base pace. And I did my usual walking for the bases and running at 4.5 mph for the pushes. I originally planned on walking that workout, but for some reason I felt like I should try running. And I’m glad that I did because the running felt really good. Again, it felt pretty smooth to me and very normal and regular to me. It’s such a nice feeling and I’m glad that I had that on a day that I usually look at as a recovery day.

Next for me was the floor work where we had one long block. It was nice to have it as a long block so I didn’t have to worry too much about what I had to do. The floor work was a mix of strap rows, squats, pull overs, chest flys, and mountain climbers. The 15 minutes on the floor seemed to go by really quickly for me.

The last part of Saturday’s workout was the rower which was a bit complicated but really awesome. It started with a series of timed rows and rests. We had a 3 minute row, 1 minute recovery, 90 second row, 45 second recovery, and 45 second row. At the end of those 7 minutes, we were supposed to see how far we rowed. I was able to do about 1300 meters which isn’t that great but I had to remind myself that I had a lot of rest/recovery time in those 7 minutes so I couldn’t think about it as a 7 minute row. After that timed row, we were supposed to take that distance and take it in half and then do that as a row (so for me that was 650 meters). And to end the workout we had a 1 minute wall sit and a plank until time was up. My last monthly challenge was plank work and I’m currently in a wall sit challenge, so I thought it was pretty funny that my workout ended with those.

So like I said, this wasn’t a goal or record-breaking workout week, but I still did a lot of great stuff. And the more normal this feels to me, the better I feel about my fitness journey. I want this to just feel like any other week and not something that I have to keep struggling to push myself to do better. I do want to keep improving, but I don’t want to burn out when I’m not able to break any records.

Setbacks and Goals (or Still Figuring Out What’s Next)

Last week I wrote about how I’m trying to figure out what is next in my fitness journey. I’ve hit more goals than I ever could have imagined and that has encouraged me to set my goals bigger and better. So many things I’ve done this year were not even an idea in my head a year or two ago. I never imagined a year ago that my running would be where it is now. So while I really do want to have more goals in my workouts, it’s hard to know what to set them at because I don’t know what I can do. But I decided to try this past week to see what I could do to try to get some new goal ideas.

Monday’s workout wasn’t one of my better ones. I’m still having nausea issues now that I have my period again. It’s much better than when I was a teenager (before I went on the pill), but I can get some days where it’s pretty horrible. Fortunately, my OB/GYN prescribed me some anti-nausea meds and those help so much. And I am now packing them in my purse with me for emergencies. But having them in my purse is a new thing and I didn’t think about it on Monday.

My workout on the treadmill started out ok. It was a strength day which meant running on hills. I started running at a lower incline when my nausea hit me hard. It almost took my breath away it was so bad at first. I immediately stopped running and started to walk. I did my inclines as usual, but the nausea was making me need to jump the rails of the treadmill pretty often to catch my breath. And when we were about 27 minutes into the 30 minutes on the treadmill, I remembered that I have my anti-nausea medication in my purse which was in my locker in the lobby. I ran out of class (probably the fastest I’ve ever run), got my purse, took my meds, and hoped the medication would take effect quickly. Most of the time, I feel relief within about 10 minutes and I knew I’d be on the floor then. It’s unfortunate that my treadmill workout had to suffer so much, but hopefully if this happens again to me I’ll remember that I pack my medication.

Once I got to the floor, I was waiting for the medication to kick in but I got to work on the first block right away. It was squats, tricep work, and knee tucks using the ab dolly. I’ve been testing out using the ab dolly on my toes and not my knees and was able to do about half of the knee tucks that way. I still need to work on strengthening my hips to be able to do all the work on my toes, but I’m getting there. On the second block we had lunges, roll outs on the ab dolly, and hip bridges followed by a 300 meter row. I’ve PRed on my 300 meter row recently and figured that feeling the way I felt I probably couldn’t PR again that day. But I still wanted to be under 1 minute (I’m so stubborn!). I worked so hard and felt like I was going to make it, but I did my row in 1:00.0 exactly. It’s a bit frustrating to know how close I was to hitting that goal even when I felt as bad as I did.

Wednesday’s workout went better for me. It was a mix of endurance, strength, and power and I was doing some pretty good running. I was fine with the longer push paces on the endurance block which included a 3 minute and 2 minute push. When we got to the strength block, I was able to run at 2% but after that I decided to walk. And in the power block it was push and all outs and I was able to run them all.

The floor was one long block that had a good mix of things to do. We had squats, hip swings, rowing on the straps, push ups, plank jacks, and ab work. But then there was a rowing component that started with a 1200 meter row. 1200 meters is a pretty long row and I remember back when I couldn’t row that much without taking a break. Back then, my goal was just to try to do it without stopping. Now that I know I can do that I’m working on what time goals I want to have. It used to be that I would do 100 meters every 30 seconds. My power on the rower has been increasing a lot, so I decided I wanted to see how close I could get to 5 minutes for the 1200 meter row. That would have been an average of 25 seconds for each 100 meters and that’s pretty fast for me when I’m doing more than 300 or 400 meters. But to my surprise, I was able to do it in 5:06.2! That’s a lot closer to 5 minutes than I thought I could be!

Friday’s workout was another strength one and I knew going into the workout that I wasn’t going to be able to do a lot of hill running. Fortunately, this workout has some decent flat road work and there was a walking segment built in. Each of the treadmill blocks started with 90 seconds of a push on a flat incline so I could run that. Then there was a 3 part hill climb where runners were supposed to run at 4%, 8%, and then power walk at 12%. I did that as a walk (6%, 8%, and 12%). And each block finished with an all out pace at 4%. 4% was a bit tough for me that day, but I’m glad I challenged myself and did it.

The floor work was 2 blocks and the first block was all work on the bench. We had chest fly, triceps, plank rows using the bench for balance, and hop overs. My hop overs are getting more like hops and less like steps, but there is still a lot of work to do to get those better. I’m not sure what work I need to do to make my hips move better for hopping (or if that just isn’t possible), but it’s something to think about. And the second block on the floor was lunges with bicep curls, strap work, ab work, and then rowing after. My first row was 350 meters and I did it in 1:14.4. That’s pretty good and I’m still thinking of a goal idea for 350 meters. And my second row was 250 meters which I knew I wanted to try to get it under 45 seconds. I did it in 47.4 which is pretty close to my goal!

Saturday’s workout was a power day and it was 3G so I was only at each section of the room for about 15 minutes. I started on the treadmill where we had 3 short blocks. Each block has a longer push followed by a shorter push and an all out. I ran everything except the base paces but I didn’t really do much speed work like I should have done for a power day. I think having this be my 4th workout of the week was making my running a bit slower than normal, but at least I was running.

Next I was on the rowers. The rows were all 200 meter rows followed by a lot of squats (seriously, my butt has been so sore lately from all the squat work!). I know that when I’m going really fast I can do 100 meters in about 17 seconds. So I was thinking and decided that I wanted to set a new goal for my 200 meter row and one day be able to do it in 35 seconds. Usually, I think my 200 meter row takes me about 40 seconds when I’m going fast, but for some reason I felt like I could do much better on Saturday. On my first attempt, I got my row done in 38.7 seconds. My coach was super impressed with me and said she wanted me to try for 38 seconds flat. I told her my 35 second long-term goal and said that I would be beyond excited if I could get it done in 37 seconds in that workout. And for my last row before switching to the floor, I beat my own goal for the day.

36.7 seconds is so close to the goal I have right now for that row! And being able to do that has made me think that I might need to start tracking my rowing and running goals a different way. Right now, I have each time or distance written down in Evernote with a log of how fast I have done it. I put the fastest one on top (with the date) and then move them around as I get faster. But I might want to set something up to help me track what my long-term goals are for those as well. It’s a work in progress and I’m sure that eventually I’ll figure out the best way to work on my new fitness goals.

After the rowing, I was ready for class to be done but I still had the floor work to do. This time it was a mix of lunges, squats, pop jacks, plank work, and sit ups. I was grateful for the sit ups because that gave me some time to lay on the floor and catch my breath a bit. The rowing really took it out of me but I made it through the entire set of floor work just as time was called to end class.

I think considering I had some setbacks this week, I did pretty awesome. I gained some extra motivation for goals in my workouts and really started to think more about my workouts as training with goals than just a workout. I want to start tracking things better than I am right now. This blog is great because I can go back and remember what I did, but I might need to take things to the next level now. I have so much more than I can do, but I won’t know what I can do until I start tracking and pushing myself more.

1 Year Of Running (or A New Anniversary To Celebrate)

Earlier this month, I was talking to a friend of mine about my running adventures at Orangetheory and in my 5K races. In some ways, it seems like I’ve been doing my running for a long time. In other ways, it seems like I just started last month. And when my friend asked me how long I had been running, I had to think about it. I figured it was close to a year but wasn’t too sure. Fortunately, one of the benefits of this blog is being able to go back and look at when I posted certain things. And by going back to looking at that original running post, I realized my 1 year running anniversary is today!

I still remember that first class when I tried running. Running for 30 seconds seemed like it would be impossible, but I am so stubborn and when I was told to try it I knew I had to go for it. And it shocked me how easy those 30 seconds were for me. I was terrified that it would be painful to run since I was told that it could be with my hip issues. I think maybe I in disbelief about how easy those 30 second running spurts were. And that just got me into making some big plans with my running.

When I started running, things were coming very easily for me. Going from 30 seconds to 45 seconds or to a minute were pretty easy. I was able to get my speed up often without issues. I was on such a high about running and had some great ideas of what I wanted to be able to do. I hadn’t really run since I was a kid, so I had no idea how my body would react to anything and only based my ideas on how easy it was in the beginning.

After a little bit, I definitely hit a wall with my running progress. But I’m very lucky that I have so many running friends and I was able to turn to them for tips and advice. I worked on different stretching, increased my weights at Orangetheory to make me stronger, and planned out some interval training. I started to do my own interval work at Orangetheory instead of just following the coaches. But since all my coaches knew I was working on running, they were all very supportive and didn’t mind that I wasn’t following the standard workout.

Then I started to hit some huge milestones. I was able to run a 1/4 mile. I was able to run on inclines. I took a running class. I was able to run for 5 minutes without stopping. I ran for 10 minutes without stopping. I ran for a mile without stopping! I think running a mile without stopping is still something that shocks me and I’m so proud I hit that milestone.

I also started doing running on my own outside of my workouts. I got a running watch and did my own interval training work. I met up with friends to do running interval training and didn’t let me bug me that they were doing so much more than I could do. I focused on my own training and my own path and didn’t compare myself to others.

Even though I did all this work, I still questioned how my first attempt at a run/walk 5K would go. I had never done run/walk intervals for that long and I wasn’t sure my body would be able to take it. But I think between being stubborn and the adrenaline I get on race days, I was not only able to do it but I beat my big goal I had for how fast I wanted to do a 5K!

Then when I got to my second 5K as a run/walk, I was increasing my intervals and had hills to deal with. I hadn’t done as much running training as I had the first time (due to all my medical stuff) so I tried to not set any goals for myself. I knew the combination of all those differences meant that I might not be able to do better than my last time even though I was running more. That race was more of a struggle than the first one, mainly because of the hills. But I had to be flexible and willing to change my running plan. And by doing that (and probably again because I’m stubborn), I was able to PR at my race!

Now, I’m feeling more and more comfortable with my running. I’ve hit a few walls lately, but I think a lot of that has to do with other health issues. I’m running for pretty decent stretches at Orangetheory and I’m trying to plan what my goals are going to be coming up. I also may be meeting with a running coach soon to discuss a training plan and what may be possible for me in the long run (no pun intended). I’m also toying with the idea of trying to do a 10K for the first time, but that won’t be happening too soon since I need to do some training for that.

To think that I’ve come this far in just one year of running is insane to me! I never thought I’d be able to do most of what I’m doing now. And sometimes I do wish that I had tried running sooner because I’d be farther along now. But I can’t look back and wish I had done things differently. I can only work on moving forward and continuing to improve myself.

So here’s to my first full year of running! I never knew I’d get here, so I can’t even imagine where I’ll be when I’m celebrating my 2nd running anniversary!