Tag Archives: fitness

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!

What Fitness Goals Are Next? (or Continuing To Impress Myself)

You may have noticed in my past few fitness posts that I’ve been hitting some amazing goals lately. I don’t know why things have been going so well for me, but I think it might be that the weight of thinking I need surgery is off of my mind now. I’m able to focus on me again and doing what I want to do and I don’t have to stress about a setback that would potentially set me back months.

With this positive flow going in my workouts, I’ve started to question if I’m doing enough. I’m not in a plateau or anything, but I wonder if I could do more or better. And I also have to figure out what that more or better means to me. I want to do so much, but figuring out the steps to get there are tough for me. So this past week of workouts, I focused on just doing my best and seeing what I could do so I could start planning some ideas for new fitness goals.

Monday’s workout was a power based one and we switched between each block of work. Not only did we switch between blocks, every block was only 4.5 minutes long which isn’t that much. I knew I would need to focus on doing as much as I could in those 4.5 minutes each time to maximize the time I had in that section of the room. The treadmill work started with push to all out paces and I was running everything. I kept my speeds where I’m comfortable with my push at 4.5 mph and my all out at 5.5 mph, but in the end we were just doing all out runs with very short walking recoveries. I wasn’t able to recover that much in those short walks so I had to bring my running speed for those all outs down to my normal push speed.

On the floor, we had 3 blocks with 2 moves in each block. It was a good variety of work with squats, weighted arm work, sit ups, hop overs, and single leg deadlifts (which I was able to do as single leg deadlifts with one hand on the bench for support). With the blocks being so short, I never got to do too much of each exercise so I didn’t really get too tired at all. And the last floor block was actually a rowing block that had the same pattern as the treadmill (45 second all out rows with 30 seconds of recovery in between).

Wednesday’s workout was an endurance day and it was the perfect day to test out some new fitness goal ideas. I’ve mentioned in the past that I’m wondering what I should do as far as training for my next 5K. I’m torn between increasing my run time (like I did with my last 5K) or decreasing my walk time. I don’t know what would be best for me and I haven’t really had a lot of opportunities to test each out. That is until this past workout.

Pretty much the entire treadmill time was 90 second push paces followed by either 30 second or 45 second base paces. I ran all my pushes and walked all my bases. While 90 seconds is less running time than I did in my last race, the walking time was decreased too. It was an interesting test for me to see how my body would take it and I think that it’s still something that I need to try out more often. I was feeling a bit more tired than usual during the workout because of the reduced walking time, but I wasn’t feeling like I couldn’t keep doing it. And it make it happy to see that even with the shorter running time, I was still able to do more than 2 miles in class.

The floor had another day of a good variety of floor work. There were squats, hamstring work, ab work, and shoulders. We also had a 1 minute timed row. My best 1 minute timed row was 313 meters, but that was a while ago. I know that I can do 300 meter in a minute since I finally got that back down, but this time I was so tired at the end of the workout that I knew I wouldn’t be able to get that far. But even with the tiredness, I was able to do 285 meters on the first round and 288 meters on the second. Not too shabby for me.

Friday was a power day which meant a ton of running for me! There were 3 treadmill blocks that all had the same pattern. It was push to all out paces where the all outs in block 1 were a minute, block 2 were 45 seconds, and block 3 were 30 seconds. Since there were no base paces except during the warm-up, I pretty much ran everything that was supposed to be a run. I wanted to work on increasing my all out pace and was able to bump it up a bit each block, but I finished that workout knowing that I probably could have done more than I did. I hate that feeling, but sometimes I don’t know how far I can push myself until I’m done.

The floor had 3 blocks this time. The first block had skater lunges, plank work, weighted swing work, and rows with the straps. There was also a 250 meter row in that block. I only made it to the rower once and that was a bit annoying to me. The next block was all core work with mountain climbers, planks, and sit ups. It was so tiring working my core that much, but I’m glad I got through it. And the last block was on the rower with decreasing rows with frog squats.

Saturday’s workout was a strength day and it was also a 3G workout. The very beginning of class was a mini tornado workout. We were on each part of the room for 2 minutes and switched. The treadmill was 2 minutes on a hill, the rower was a 2 minute row, and the floor was a mix of push ups and squats. After those 6 minutes, I felt like we had done half a class! But then it was time to get the class really started.

I started on the treadmill but I knew as soon as I got to class that I’d be walking the entire time. I had worked pretty hard the rest of the week and taking one easy day is helpful to make sure I don’t exhaust my body too much. I think I’m finally finding the good balance that will allow me to make 4 workout weeks the norm and not something I do only sometimes. The treadmill work was some pretty high inclines. In fact, even for the people who run they were instructed to walk so I didn’t feel as bad about having to walk for that class. It was only 15 minutes on the treadmill, but we were pretty much at an incline the entire time. I was usually between 6-10% but there were a few times we were up at 12% and that was starting to get a bit too much for me.

Next I was over on the floor where we had one long block with lunges, shoulder work, arm work, and abs. Even though it was just one block, it felt pretty quick unlike some of the other times that one long block feels endless. And after 15 minutes it was time for me to head to the rower. On the rower, we had 500 meter rows with lunges in between each row set. I didn’t really have that much of a goal in mind with my rowing because I couldn’t remember what I had done in the past and I wasn’t going to look it up on my phone. I decided that maybe under 2 minutes would be nice. And for both of the rows, I was able to do just that! And it turns out that my second row was actually a new PR for me!

I’m glad that I did some new PRs and tested some new things this past week. I’m still working on what I want some new fitness goals to be but at least I have a much clearer picture in my head on what my body is able to do now!

Rowing Adventures (or A Funny Workout Injury)

This past week of workouts were very rowing focused for me. This could be because I’ve been making a lot of progress in my rowing and I want to continue doing that. I’ve got some really high goals that I’m trying to reach in rowing and it’s getting tough to get there since it’s now trying to take off fractions of a second in many cases. And because of my intensity with my rowing, I ended up starting off my workout week with what might be my funniest workout injury.

Monday’s workout was endurance, strength, and power mixed together. I was dealing with some odd hip pain (I think I slept funny) so when I was trying to run on inclines I was having some issues. I was able to run at 2 and 4%, but anything higher than that ended up being a power walk. In the endurance block, I was able to do the 3 minute push and pushes to all outs as runs (which is always a good thing). And for the power block it was a bunch of 30 second all outs and I ended up getting to 7 mph!

The floor was split into 2 blocks and the first one was a shorter block. It was chest work with the straps, hip bridge chest fly work where I could do the hip bridge part, and plank work (which again made me laugh because of my monthly challenge). The second block was a longer one with squats, squats to bicep curls, squat fly work, and push up with rowing with weights. And then we also had rowing sprints. It was supposed to be 100 meters to start and each time we got back to the rower it went up 100 meters.

I really wanted to PR on my 100 meter row and I know that in order to do that I have to go pretty crazy on the rower. I must have a ton of power and I need to have very long pulls. And I guess that I was going a bit too intense because somehow the seat of the rower went forward and I went backwards! My feet were still strapped in, the seat was under my knees, and my butt landed hard on the rails of the rower! It took me by surprise and fortunately I was able to bend forward to unstrap my feet and get up, but I couldn’t believe that happened to me. I’ve never seen someone fall off of the rower before!

My Monday coach, Brendon, told me that he’s seen it happen a few times when people are rowing super hard. And he said that I should look at this as a badge of honor because it doesn’t happen that often. He knew I was working on PRing on my 100 meter row, so when I went back to the rower I did 2 rounds of 100 meter rows instead of 1 round of 200 meters and Brendon was coaching me and giving me tips on what to do. I still didn’t beat my 100 meter time, but I’ve got some really great things to work on and I have a feeling that I’ll be getting a new PR soon.

After falling off the rower, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to have rowing on Wednesday but we ended up having some rowing again. My butt had some impressive bruises from falling off but I was determined to do my best. But since I started on the treadmill I had some time before I had to worry about that. Wednesday’s workout was a strength day which means hills on the treadmill. We had 3 blocks on the treadmill that each followed the same pattern: a push on flat incline, base pace, 2 minute push on a hill, base pace, and an all out on a flat road. The hill running ranged from 6-8% and I was determined to do what I could with the hills before going down to a walk. And somehow, I was able to run the 2 minutes on the hill each time! Even at 8% which has been a struggle for me to walk at in the past!

Because I was doing a lot of running on hills, I was able to get my 2 miles in on the treadmill. This used to be a huge accomplishment for me but lately it’s been happening most days that we don’t switch between blocks. But to know that I did this on a hill day was even more special since running on hills is something that has been tough for me since I started running.

On the floor we had 2 blocks and a lot of the work was squats or ab work. But I was really happy with that because I did get to test out how much stronger my core muscles are now with the ab work. I usually can’t do the core work that involves lowering and raising my legs because it bugs my hips. But because my core is getting much stronger the pressure isn’t as bad on my hips and I’m able to do them! And on the second block on the floor we had 300 meter rows. I’ve been working on getting my 300 meter row down under a minute again and while I was a little worried about falling off the rower again I wanted to see what I could do.

And to my surprise, I was able to do it in 59.9 seconds! I was so excited and then I realized my phone was over by the weights section and I couldn’t take a photo of the proof! So when I had another attempt at the 300 meter row, my only goal was to get 59.9 seconds again so I could take a photo. Not only did I do that, I took another .5 seconds off of my time. Those small decreases in time is all I can ask for at this point so getting half a second off is huge for me!

Friday’s workout was another day with endurance, strength, and power. With the endurance block on the treadmill, I was able to do my usual plan of running the push and all out paces and walking my base paces. But I did increase my base pace to 3.5 mph (instead of 3.4 mph) so that was pretty great for me. On the strength block, I ran when we were supposed to be at 2% but when I tried 4% my body was just too tired. I ended up walking everything else above 2% for that block. And the last cardio block was on the rowers with 30 second push, 30 second all out, and 30 seconds of rest. I really didn’t pay too much attention to how far I went but my wattage was pretty low for me so I know it wasn’t anything too great.

The floor work was more squats and abs! This was totally the week for squats and abs. I was able to do some single leg squats using the straps for support and did some good modified ab work. And the very end of the floor time was 30 second timed intervals of speed skaters, mountain climbers, and weighted torso rotations. It was tough to switch every 30 seconds and I sometimes wasted a bit of that time trying to catch my breath but it was a good challenge to end the workout.

Saturday’s workout was a tough one for me. I debated cancelling class because I felt like I might need it as a rest day, but I went and decided to do my best. It was an endurance day but since it was a 3G class I knew I wouldn’t have too much time at any particular part of the room. For the treadmill, I started the first push as a run and realized within 30 seconds that it was not going to be a running day for me. My legs felt like lead and I didn’t want to risk getting hurt. So I did the entire treadmill block as a power walker and noticed that I just couldn’t get my heart rate up into the correct zones. I don’t know if my heart rate monitor was acting up (I’m thinking about getting one of the new armband ones instead of the chest strap I use) or if my body is just really used to running so walking isn’t enough of a workout anymore. But I tried to not focus too much on my heart rate and just think about the workout.

After the treadmill I went to the floor where it was a lot of arm work. We had 2 small blocks with shoulder work, chest press, low rows with weights, bicep curls, tricep kickbacks, and a little bit of ab work. I was using some pretty heavy weights and was happy to see that they weren’t as tough as I thought they would be. I think I might be getting close to being able to increase my weights again on the floor work. And my last block was on the rower with 3 minute timed rows. The goal was to get over 700 meters and the first time I did it I only got to 640. But the next time was just over 700 meters so I was happy that I was able to reach the goal that was set.

It still surprises me how much I’m able to do in my workouts now. And the achievements I had in my rowing this week was beyond what I expected could happen right now! I do still have the bruises on my butt as a badge of honor for falling off the treadmill, but that’s ok. Now I just need to focus on what I want to focus on for my next set of rowing goals for the workouts over the next few weeks!

Lots Of Running And Hills (or Back To A 4 Workout Week)

It’s been a few weeks since I’ve had a 4 workout week, so it was good to get back to it this past week. I am still on pace to hit my workout goal for the year, but I know that I can’t have too many 3 workout weeks in order to stay that way. I am trying to prioritize my workouts more again now, and by having a 4 workout week I think I did just that.

Monday’s class was a bit tough for me. I was having a lot of hip issues the entire class and I think it might have been due to me being in the car so long the day before. I hate when I have bad hip days because it’s tough for me not to push myself to do what I know I can do. But I tried my best to take things a bit easier. It did help that we had a bit of an odd format in the class. Our cardio was a mix of treadmill and rower and the floor was a mix of floor and treadmill. So while it wasn’t a switch day, we did switch back and forth a bit.

I was able to do my push and all out paces on the treadmill as a run despite my hip issues. And on the rowing, I got pretty close to some goals that I’ve been working on. We had 300 meter rows which I’ve been trying to get under a minute. I was able to do them in 1:01.6 which is pretty close considering that I wasn’t feeling right that day. But what threw me as a challenge in that workout is that the floor had an entire section that was plank work. Normally I don’t mind that, but Monday was day 1 of my new plank challenge. I hadn’t done my plank challenge before going to the workout, so I tried to do my best knowing that I’d be doing more plank work when I got home.

Wednesday’s workout was pretty amazing and I’m so glad that it was a class that I was in. It was a power day which always means short sprints on the treadmill. I love those because I know I can do some pretty great sprints and I get time to walk and recover after doing crazy speeds. This time, we did have some push to all out paces which were a bit longer, but a lot of the class was focused on very short all out paces (under a minute). I did most of the push paces at 4.5mph and the all outs right after them at 5.5mph, but I was going really fast for the stand alone all out paces. I was doing most of them at 6.5mph and got all the way up to 7.2mph at the end. And even though we had the walking recoveries between all of the fast running, I still did over 2 miles in under 29 minutes.

For the floor, we focused most on arm work which was a good break from using my legs. It was a lot of chest and tricep work with some pushups in there too. In the second block, we were on the rowers and followed the same pattern that the treadmill had with all out paces with recoveries. In 4.5 minutes on the rower, I was able to do just over 1,000 meters which is great for me!

Friday’s workout was a run/row (which I love!), but it was a challenging run/row. This time, we were doing hills with the run row and I was determined to run my hills. We pretty much had .1 mile runs with increasing inclines (starting at 1% and going up to 5%). There were also decreasing inclines but I never made it to that part of the run/row plan. Running on hills will probably never be easy for me but I’m so motivated to get better at doing them. I’m pretty ok with running at 2 or 3% and I used to be ok running at 4% but that’s become more challenging for me lately. And 5% has always been tough. But I managed to run every single hill (I did slow things down a bit for 5% but I was still running).

And for the rower, we pretty much had 100 meter row sprints. I had recently PRed on my row but of course I wanted to do better. But since I was coming off of the treadmill I was feeling a bit tired. I did take time to try to get my heart rate down so I could do a better row (which is probably why I didn’t get that far down the run/row plan) but I couldn’t get a new PR on my row. I was getting some higher wattages than I’m used to, but my stroke rate wasn’t as high. But it does give me hope that a new 100 meter PR might be coming up soon.

And when I moved to the floor, it ended up being pretty much one long block with adding exercises for each round of the floor work. We had a variety of burpees, shoulder work, using the straps for rowing work, and some ab work. And in the middle of the long floor block we did get a bit of a break (which was nice). But that break wasn’t easy because we were doing timed rounds of squats and 4 point planks. It felt like a pretty long floor block, but it was good and I felt pretty awesome after I was done with it.

I was a bit nervous for Saturday’s workout. It was my first 4th workout for a few weeks plus I had done the running on the hills the day before. And of course, this workout was running on hills again. I think that most of the time I would have just skipped running knowing that I had worked on my hill running earlier that week, but I decided to go for it and see what happens. Fortunately, the workout was a 3G workout so I was only going to be on the treadmill for about 15 minutes. We had push paces at 2, 4, and 6% and was able to run all of them. The 6% run was pretty tough and I debated about going to a walk, but I decided to stick it out and I’m glad that I did.

Next, I moved to the floor where we had 2 short blocks. The blocks were a mix of abs, upper body, and lower body work. We did squats, weighted rows, plank leg lifts, weighted arm fly, pullovers, and running men. And my last rotation was the rower where we had 2 short blocks as well. The first block was rowing with rests between each set and the second block was 250 meter rowing with squats between each set. My rowing was not that fast or that strong since it was the end of the workout, but I wasn’t trying to do anything too crazy at that point.

I’m so glad I got another 4 workout week in. It’s funny how not that long ago I was scared of 4 workout weeks and now I almost miss it when I don’t get in the 4th workout. Something feels like it’s not complete with my week if I’m not doing an extra workout in there. I do want to see about maybe adding some more workout stuff at home to do on my days off because I know that doing a little something every day is probably the best thing. But I don’t think I could do Orangetheory more days a week (maybe I could do occasional 5 workout weeks but not on a regular basis) but I want to see what else I can do to work on building up my physical fitness.

It’s A Fitness Challenge (or Being Calm and Plank Time)

Last month, I set my monthly challenge to work on staying calm. That was a pretty easy challenge to do, but I had that be easy on purpose. I wasn’t sure what I was going to be able to accomplish last month and I didn’t want to set myself up for failure. Of course, I ended up not needing a simple challenge for the month and I was feeling like I didn’t really get that much done. I’ve really gotten used to pushing myself in my monthly challenges and last month didn’t push me. I didn’t know that my month was going to be the way it was, so I can’t be too upset. But that got me thinking about what would challenge me a lot in May.

As I mentioned yesterday, I realized in last week’s workouts how tough it was for me to hold a plank. I used to be great at doing a basic plank and could hold it for over a minute without any issues, but most of the time in workouts now they are planks with other movements too. It’s been a while since I’ve focused on holding a plank and it’s something that I just assumed I could still do. That’s not the case and I want to get back to having my core be as strong as possible.

There are a ton of 30 day plank challenges out there (even though May is 31 days, I can use a 30 day challenge and just repeat the last day). I’m going to be using an app I already had on my phone, but it seems like the set up is pretty similar to something I found online.

I don’t know if I’ll be doing the rest days, but it’s nice to know they are there in case I need it. I have a feeling that it’s going to seem really easy at the beginning but once it gets to doing them for a minute it’s going to be very tough and challenging for me. And that’s exactly what I want in a monthly challenge!

I think doing another physical monthly challenge will be good for me. Since I discovered I have the liver tumors, I’ve had some very mixed feelings about my body. I feel like my body has betrayed me because getting these tumors is such a rare thing. I’ve been working so hard on improving my body and my body decided to screw it all up. But I also feel so grateful for the strength I have now because I’ve been able to do at least 2 5Ks with the tumors in me (I have no clue how long I’ve had the tumors so maybe all my races have been with them). And by some miracle, my body has been able to shrink the tumors when nobody thought that would be possible.

Because I’ve had those mixed feelings, I need something that should be totally positive for my body and to help me reconnect with myself. It’s weird how disconnected I’ve felt lately and I don’t think I’ve ever experienced disconnection like this before. I had a similar feeling when I rapidly lost weight on the UCLA RFO diet, but this time it was even worse. I didn’t feel like I had any power over my body or what it was doing. I didn’t feel like I had control like you should have. And once I found out the tumors shrunk, that feeling continued because I don’t know what shrunk the tumors and I didn’t feel any different. How am I supposed to be connected to my body when I don’t feel the difference between a 10cm tumor inside of me versus it only being 4cm? I need to get back to feeling like myself again and I think doing a physical challenge will help me.

At the end of this month, I’m supposed to be able to hold a plank for 300 seconds. I honestly don’t know if I’ll be able to do that, but it will be interesting to see how close I can get to it. But if I can’t do it, that’s not what the priority of this challenge is for me. I need to reconnect to myself, feel strong again, and take control of my body in a healthy way. And hopefully by the end of this month I will be able to say that I accomplished that!

I know some of you have also been doing monthly challenges and I’d love to know what you are doing for May. And if you are doing a plank challenge, hopefully we can support each other.

Friends and Family Workouts (or Getting Pushed To Do Better)

This past week of workouts was awesome! And it’s not just because I had thought for so long that I wouldn’t be able to work out. I really had some great things happen in my workouts and in each workout I had someone with me to cheer me on! I was planning on doing 4 workouts once I knew that I wouldn’t be having surgery, but it ended up being a 3 workout week. But that’s ok because I think I got more out of each workout than a normal workout day!

Monday’s workout was while my parents were still in town. One day I’ll get my mom to take class with me, but this time it was just my dad. He’s done a couple of Orangetheory workouts before so he knew what he was in for. And since he reads this blog (hi Dad!) he knows what some of the workouts consist of so he can try doing things at his gym. Since going to Orangetheory he has started to use inclines on the treadmill and he pushes himself harder in his workouts. But he always says that he works hardest when he’s in a class with me because there is a coach pushing him on (plus, he and I are competitive).

The workout on Monday was endurance, strength, and power and we didn’t switch between blocks. My dad and I started on the treadmill and the first block was endurance based. We had some longer push paces and I was able to run all of them (I really did want to impress my dad with my running). The second block was a mix of strength and power and we had only short all outs but they were all on hills (3, 5, and 7% incline). I usually don’t run at those higher inclines, but again I wanted to impress my dad so I did it! It wasn’t too bad doing the 7% incline for only 45 seconds, but I don’t think I’m ready for longer running at that incline. So with the last block, it was longer hill time so I spent that block walking all my inclines. But even with the walking, I got to about 2 miles on the treadmill in class.

On the floor, each block started with rowing. Rowing is where my dad and I are most competitive. He easily beats me with running and I almost always beat him with weights. But rowing is where we challenge a lot. He still tends to beat me, but I’ve had some great rowing workouts lately and he doesn’t usually get to row at his gym. So I was happy to see what we were going to do. Between each of the floor blocks we had a 300 meter row (I did it in 1:03.3 and my dad did it in 1:03.1), a 90 second timed row (I got 384 meters and my dad got 387 meters), and a 15 stroke pull test (I don’t remember the exact numbers but I beat my dad that time). This was the closest I’ve been to beating my dad on the rower and that was awesome! I’m even more excited to see what I will be able to do by Thanksgiving!

While we were rowing, another friend in class took a photo of me and my dad getting our rowers set up. It is a super cute photo and I loved seeing that the official Instagram account for my Orangetheory location put it up in their Instagram story!

I think my dad was super excited to see us on there (and he doesn’t use social media so for him to be excited about it means it’s that much more awesome). For the rest of the workout that day we had squats, chest presses, lunges, triceps using the straps, plank work, and ab work. I think my dad had a great time working out with me and he said he was a bit sore the next day.

Wednesday’s workout was a power day and my friend Dani was in class with me! It was a switch day, but we did 2 treadmill blocks back to back before switching the first time. The running was mainly very short segments (either push to all out paces or just all out paces) and I ran all of those and then walked my base paces. It was a pretty good speed running day for me but I didn’t hit any new records with my speeds. But to me, I’m still so happy that I can run so I’m always impressed with running days. I did end up walking the last treadmill block, but that’s because of what I did on the floor.

When we moved to the floor, we mainly had squats with shoulder work and then sprint rows in-between the sets. The sprint rows were 100, 150, and 200 meters and Dani and I decided to race. Dani is insanely good at rowing and I knew that she could always beat me, but the idea of racing her would probably help me get my sprint rows done faster. And while Dani did beat me each time, I managed to do some PRs and almost PRs with my rowing! The downside to that was that I was starting to hurt pretty badly after the rowing. My hip was killing me and I was starting to get some stomach cramps. So because of that, I had to take it easy for a lot of the workout (which is why I walked on the treadmill).

My last workout of the week was on Friday and my friend Elizabeth joined me! She’s a new member of Orangetheory and we aren’t always able to be in the same classes. But she might be able to start going to the same time on Fridays as me. And our workout this day was a run/row that had endurance, strength, and power elements to it. I was excited for a run/row and this one seemed pretty awesome for me. The running segments that I got to were .5 miles, .4 miles at 2%, and .3 miles at 3%. I was able to run all of them (not run/walk, just run) and it’s still so amazing to me that I can run for .5 miles without stopping!

For the rowing, I only got to 2 rowing segments which were 100 meters and 200 meters. My 200 meter row was good, but nothing special (I was also pretty tired by that point). But for my 100 meter row I decided to see what I could do. My PR for that distance is 17.7 seconds and I had done 17.8 seconds on Wednesday. I was going as fast and as hard as I could on the rower and I managed to get it down to 17.6 seconds! At the speed I’m going on that row, there isn’t a ton of room for improvement so just taking that .1 seconds off is a huge accomplishment! I didn’t get that far down the run/row plan, but that’s because my running is still on the slower end of things.

On the floor, each block was 3 moves and then we were supposed to hold a plank until time was called. We had a nice mix of things including hop overs, lunges, squats, burpees, chest presses, and bicep work I only made it to the point that I had to hold a plank once and holding the plank was tough. I don’t think I hold plank too often in my workouts and that got me thinking (more on that tomorrow).

I’m so glad that I was able to work out this week and that I’m already back to my normal workout schedule. I had been so worried about how much time I was going to have to take off and I’m glad that I didn’t have to experience that. I’ve made so much progress lately because I was worried about the time off, and I’m thinking that pushing myself all that time was perfect. I’ve proven to myself that I can do more than I thought and I have the intention to keep that momentum going.

A Short Workout Week (or I Would Have Ended On A High Note)

When I thought that this past week of workouts was going to be my last week before surgery, I knew it would be a short workout week. There were only so many days in the week before Thursday and I booked 3 classes in a row so I could at least get 3 classes in. And once my surgery was cancelled, I decided to keep my workout schedule the same since my parents would be in town and I was going to spend time hanging out with them. But if this week had been my last week of workouts before a long break, I would have been pretty happy with myself. It was a great week of workouts and I felt super accomplished!

Monday’s workout was one that I had heard about online the week before. It was called the Everest Challenge and it was 23 minutes on the treadmill all at inclines. We started out at 2% incline and went all the way up to 15%. I’m not that used to being at the much higher inclines as I was before so my goal was to try to wait as long as possible to reduce my speed on the treadmill. I made it until 13% incline at my usual walking speed that I use for my base pace and then I dropped it down a bit for the last 2 inclines. And even though I spent the entire time walking and sometimes walking slower than I’m used to, I still got 1.3 miles done during class.

The floor was mainly upper body work which was good after all those hills on the treadmill! The first block was chest presses, hammer curls, squats with shoulder work, and a 250 meter row which I got done in 50 and 48 seconds. The second block was a lot of work using the weight bench including leg lift ab work. I usually can’t do the leg ab work because of my hips but I decided to test it out and found that I could do them with a decent range of motion. It took me forever to do all my reps for the ab work, but I did it and that’s what matters! I totally felt it in my core and not in my hips which is a huge victory for me.

Tuesday’s workout was a power day that was a very unique switch format. There were 6 total blocks, but it wasn’t just floor, treadmill, or rowing blocks. I started on the treadmill and had all push to all out paces. Since there were no base paces, I was able to run everything. Next, I moved to the floor where it was all work with the Bosu ball. I had lunges, squats, mountain climbers, and sit ups all using the Bosu. Then it was back to the treadmill where we had more push to all out paces but in between each set we had squat bicep curls. Then it was to the rower where we had sprint rows with squat shoulder presses. Back to the treadmill again for more push to all out paces. And finally I was back on the floor for lunges, chest presses, and pop jacks.

It wasn’t an easy workout, especially for a power day which usually are my favorites. Moving around like that was fun and it was a nice switch from the standard blocks that we do most of the time. Even though it was tough, I was having a lot of fun and felt like I was challenging my body more than normal because the blocks were so short. I also had to think more about my workout than I usually do because it wasn’t the routine that I’m used to. All of these things are good things that challenge me that I don’t get to do as often as I probably should.

My last workout of the week was on Wednesday which was an endurance day. Originally, when I thought this was going to be a big deal workout since it was going to be my last one for a while, I tried to get a bunch of friends to sign up for a class with me. But once I heard that surgery was cancelled, some of my friends decided to try another class another time. It’s not a great time for many of my friends to take class and I’d rather have them in a class where they are more relaxed and not stressed about traffic.

The workout had 2 different 6 minute distance challenges on the treadmill. I know that I can totally run for 6 minutes and I was excited to see what I could do during the challenges. It’s not easy to do these challenges sometimes because I overdo it in the beginning and then the second challenge suffers. This time, I took it easy the first time just to get more comfortable with a longer run. But even though I took it easy, it wasn’t easy. And for the second attempt, I bumped my speed up more just because I wanted to be able to beat myself. And I managed to do over .5 miles each time which it pretty great for me!

Between those challenges we also had a regular treadmill block. I did my normal plan of walking all my base paces and running my push and all out paces. I probably could have run the entire time, but I wanted to save my energy for the last distance challenge. And I’m glad I did that because I’m so happy with both of my distances.

On the floor we had 2 blocks that were a nice mix of work. We had alligator and tricep work on the straps, 4 point plank and sit ups for core, and burpees and mountain climbers for all over body work. Plus, we also had a 600 meter row that I did in 2:28. Overall, the floor work was pretty awesome but I unfortunately was hit with some bad nausea while on the floor and I forgot to pack my anti-nausea prescription in my pill container I keep in my purse with the medications that I don’t take all the time (I keep pain pills in that container mainly). I was taking a lot of breaks on the floor to make myself feel better so I didn’t get as many reps in as I could have done. But it was important for me not to push things too much because I didn’t want to make the nausea worse.

Overall, these were 3 incredible classes where I got to push my body a lot and worked really hard. And if these were my last classes before surgery I think I would have felt ok about that. Of course, I’m much happier that I didn’t have surgery and I’m not missing any classes now. I’m back to my regular workout schedule already and can keep working toward more and more goals! I’ve got about 6 months before my next 5K race and I’m already looking at my workouts as training for that!

A Long Workout Week (or Being Emotional And Going Easy)

This past week of workouts was a bit crazy for me. I was on such a high from my amazing 5K race the weekend before. Then I was nervous because I knew that this would be my last big workout week before my surgery. Then I found out I’m a medical miracle and my surgery was canceled. My emotions really got to me this past week and it did affect my workouts. And since I was emotional, I ended up overdoing it at times and having to take it easy when I really didn’t want to. If this was my last 4 workout week before surgery I probably would have been a bit disappointed. Fortunately, that won’t be the truth so I can feel a bit better about how I did.

Monday’s workout was a mix of endurance and power and it was a run/row day. I was still feeling a little bit sore from my race, but I really wanted to see what I could do since I was feeling so amazing from my PR. The running portions were .6 miles and .15 miles. I started doing my 2 minute running intervals, but after those first 2 minutes I had to stick with walking for the .6 mile parts (which means I did .3 miles since power walkers go half the distance). I did manage to run the .15 mile segments in full, but it was a bit slower than I’m used to. And for the rowing, we had 150 meters and 600 meters and just like the running I ended up doing those a bit slower than normal. I tried to just tell myself that it was a recovery workout, but I struggled not to push myself more.

I did much better on the floor that day. We had squats with bicep curls and lunges with arm raises which both went pretty well for me. Lunges are still a weak point, but they didn’t feel too bad. We also had 2 rounds of 1 minute of knee tucks and while I was hoping to do them on my toes I ended up doing them on my knees. My hips were hurting a bit more by that point and I knew that pushing myself would hurt more than help. And we ended with a core blast with plank work and sit ups.

Wednesday’s workout as a mix of endurance, strength, and power. This was my first workout after finding out my surgery was cancelled and I was feeling on top of the world. I think that feeling had me wanting to push myself to new limits to prove how great things are. All of the blocks were 5 minutes (4 on the treadmill and 4 on the floor) so I decided to test out my running again on the treadmill. I had some time to recover and my legs and hips were feeling pretty good. So for the first block we had a 4 minute progressive push followed by an all out pace. I increased my speed .1 mph each minute and managed to run for the entire 5 minutes. The second block was 30 second pushes to 30 second all outs and I managed to do the last all out at 7.7 mph which felt almost too fast but at the same time felt amazing to do it! The third block was all inclines and while I tried to run them it wasn’t happening for me so I walked everything until we had the all out pace at 3% incline (I told myself it was good practice for the giant hill on the 5K next year). And the last block on the treadmill was kind of mix of everything we had already done. We were on the treadmill for about 28 minutes and I almost went 2 miles. That’s faster than my 5K pace and that was pretty incredible to me!

On the floor, we focused a lot on leg work which felt a bit tough after all that hard treadmill work but I did my best. We had squats, lunges, and squats to walk out push ups which were new to me and very tough to do. We also had a rowing block where we did static squats between rows. And we ended with a core workout for the last floor block.

Friday’s workout was a power day and I had really been looking forward to it. The blocks were short and had a lot of great opportunities for me to work on my running some more. All of the push paces were quick and we had a lot of 30 second all out paces with walking recovery back to back. I maxed out at 7 mph which isn’t my all time best but still pretty respectable. The only downside for me was that I was feeling pretty light-headed by the end of the treadmill block. I’m not totally sure what caused it, but I did have to go to the hospital for some blood work that morning so that could be the culprit. Whatever caused it, it wasn’t fun and it really affected my floor work.

On the floor, it was arm focused with chest presses, skier swings, squat rows, and shoulder work. I really was trying to work hard, but the light-headedness really was getting to me on the floor. It felt like I needed to take a break every few moves and I know that I didn’t get that much work done compared to normal. Again, I knew that I needed to go easy on myself but it’s tough to do that when I know what I can normally do. But I also was scared that I would get worse so I just took my time, focused on my form, and did whatever I could get done before we were done with that block. And when we ended on the rower we were working in time with the treadmills but I didn’t worry too much about rowing with a push or all out pace. I just rowed when we were supposed to and took rests when we were supposed to.

Saturday’s workout was a 3G workout and I was pretty grateful for that. I was having a tough morning and I was glad that I didn’t have to spend more than 15 minutes at any section of the room. I started on the treadmill and as soon as I started I knew that I wasn’t going to be able to run at all. My hip was killing me and I was dealing with some pretty bad cramps. So I did only walking for the entire 15 minutes. It was an endurance workout so we had a lot of longer push paces which for me meant having the incline at 6 or 8%. I didn’t feel like I was working that hard and my heart rate monitor was showing that my heart rate was much lower than normal. But I had to just consider this workout a recovery day and be ok with that. Walking for 15 minutes is still better than if I hadn’t been at the workout at all.

Next I moved to the floor where we had 2 small blocks of work. The first block was squats, plank leg lifts, and core knee tucks. I was doing fine with the plank leg lifts (which normally cause me some issues) but I really struggled with the knee tucks. My body just didn’t want to bend that way and I worked to find out how I could sit to do the best modification I could do. But on the second block I had much more success with the work. We started with single arm rows on the straps and this was the first time I didn’t have a tough time keeping my shoulders down. I was visualizing my back muscles moving and for some reason that helped me from not bringing my shoulders up and I felt the work a lot more than normal. And the last move was doing push ups with one hand on the Bosu ball. I had to do the push ups from my knees, but I was feeling really great about how I was able to balance nicely with the push ups and was able to get farther down that normal.

And I finished my workout on the rower with long rows (3 minutes first and then 600 meters after) and some squats and lunges between rows. The rowing went ok for me and I was able to get my 600 meter row in under 2 minutes which is always my goal. But the squats and lunges were getting really hard with my hip bugging me so I took my time and balanced myself on the rowers. Fortunately, there was an empty rower next to me so I was able to use both my rower and the rower next to me to hold on to.

Even though my surgery was canceled, this week’s workouts will still be based on the schedule I had thinking I would have surgery. I’ll still be able to get 3 workouts in, but it will all be in the beginning of the week. My parents will still be in town so I didn’t want to take time away from hanging out with them to do my workout. But in another week, I’ll be almost back to my normal schedule and I’m so grateful for that. I’m on track to hit my workout goal for this year so I’m glad that I won’t have to worry about taking any time off from my Orangetheory classes!

A Shorter Workout Week (or Doing Some 5K Prep)

This past week of workouts was a 3 workout week, but that was for a good reason. I had the Hollywood Half 5K on Saturday so I couldn’t do a Friday or Saturday workout this week. I don’t do workouts the day before a race so I did a Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday workout and it seemed like each of these workouts were designed to help me get ready for the race.

Monday’s workout was an endurance day with a 5K challenge. The idea was to be on the treadmill for 23 minutes and get as close to a 5K as possible. I know there is no way I could do a 5K that fast, but I knew I would be able to get at least 1/2 of a 5K. There were intervals that were given to us, but I didn’t follow that guide. Instead, I stuck with 2 minutes of running and 1 minute of walking intervals since that was what I wanted to do at the race. I’m getting more comfortable with that interval set and it made me feel more confident about the upcoming race after knowing I could do that for 23 minutes. I did 1.616 miles, which isn’t the best I’ve done, but it felt good and that’s what was most important to me.

For the second half of class, each block started with a 1 minute row sprint. In the past, I know I’ve been able to row 300 meters in a minute but I just can’t seem to get back to that. This time, I did 233, 260, and 280 meters. Those aren’t bad at all, but I’m still working on breaking that 300 meter mark again. After those sprint rows, each block was 2 moves that were timed by the coach. Each thing was 45 seconds and we switched back and forth between each move. It was interesting to not have count my reps for any moves in the entire class and I could just work on my form and making sure I was doing everything right.

Wednesday’s class was a strength day and I figured that would be perfect since I wanted to get ready for the hills at the 5K. I tried to run at 3% for the first push pace, but I could only do that for a minute. It was really frustrating that I couldn’t do more and I was starting to feel nervous about the race, but I didn’t let it get to me. I ended up running all the all out paces which were on a flat incline but walked all my push paces at 8-10% incline. I told myself that I was still training for the hills even if I wasn’t running them.

The floor work was mainly arm work that day. We did rows with the weights, biceps on the straps, and triceps with weights. But the last block had an interesting row challenge. We were trying to do 100 meters with as few pulls of the rower as we could. That meant leaning back as far as we could on the rower and pausing while at the back. It seemed easy when it was explained to us, but it was actually very tough. The first attempt I did was 12 pulls of the rower, but I eventually made my way down to 7 pulls of the rower. No matter what I did, I couldn’t get under 7 pulls, but that was one of the lower numbers of the day so I was very happy with myself.

Thursday was my last pre-5K workout and it was a power and strength day which was kind of the perfect combination for me. We had push to all out paces on inclines plus stand alone all outs on inclines. I ended up walking the longer push paces but I did run all the all outs. And I even was able to run for 30 seconds at 9% incline! I have looked up the incline of the big since this workout and it claims to be about 3.5% incline, but it really feels more like that 9% run that I did! Either way, doing some running on inclines really made me feel prepared for whatever Saturday’s race was going to bring.

For the floor work, it was a lot more upper body and core work than anything else. I was grateful for that because I was starting to feel a bit nervous that my legs would be overworked in the workout and I would struggle at the race. So not focusing on lower body work helped me mentally feel ok. We did also have some rowing in the first block with a 500 and 400 meter row. I have been wanting to get my 500 meter row under 2 minutes, and I did it in 2:00.2. I’m so close, but just not there yet. But I think I’ll be there soon enough!

For a pre-5K workout week, I think this was pretty ideal. It challenged me but it also helped me build confidence going into the race. My last 5K was so spectacular that I was worried that this one might be a bit of a let down. I wasn’t trying to get my hopes up with getting a PR since there are the hills, but I also know that I’m running more than before. But this workout helped me focus back on the work and not as much on the results and that’s exactly what I needed.

And coming up tomorrow, my race recap of the Hollywood Half 5K!

Rowing And Partners (or Enjoying A 4 Workout Week)

I didn’t realize this until after I completed this past week of workouts, but this was second to last time I will be doing a 4 workout week that I know of. I plan on getting back to 4 workout weeks eventually, but I have no clue how my recovery will go and how long it will take me to go from 3 workout weeks to 4 workout weeks. But I’m really glad that I pushed myself to do more 4 workout weeks because they now feel comfortable and normal to me. I remember when the 4th workout was a struggle and I am glad I got over that feeling. Hopefully this will make getting back to 4 workout weeks much easier for me when I am able to do so.

With the 4 workouts I had this week, I seemed to have a decent amount of rowing to do (which has been a trend) and a couple of partner workouts. It’s nice that it felt like there was a bit of a theme for the week and even though there were similarities with the workouts they were all different and had their own challenges.

Monday’s workout was a power day and we did a bit of switching between blocks but not with each block. All the blocks were about 5 minutes of less and that allowed me to pretty much do all running on the treadmill. We had a lot of 90 second push paces or 1 minute push pace to 1 minute all out paces, so the running wasn’t too long for me. The first and second block on the treadmill were similar (and we did those two blocks back to back without switching). And for the third and fourth block we mainly did push to all out paces which helped me keep running for all of the treadmill segments. It’s nice when I can do that and limit my running, but I also have started to wonder if I’ll ever be just a runner and not do any walking. I don’t know if I want to do that, but it’s giving me something to think about.

On the floor, we had a lot of lower body work and then some core work. We also did some bicep curls on straps and push ups on the ground. And the very last block wasn’t on the floor but on the rower. We were on the rower for 5 minutes and we did 20 seconds at an all out row followed by 10 seconds of a recovery row (basically going as slow as possible for those 10 seconds to get ready for the next 20). In those 5 minutes, I ended up doing over 1100 meters which really surprised me. I’m so used to averaging 100 meters every 30 seconds even though I’ve been doing much better than that lately. It was nice to have this 5 minute row to reinforce that I’m much better at rowing than I was even a month or so ago.

Wednesday’s workout was a partner workout and I got to partner with my friend Dani. We had 2 blocks each of which were a partner challenge for 23 minutes and each of which had one of us on the rower. The first block was one where the rower controlled the pace and the other person was on the treadmill. The rowing segments were 1000, 750, 500, and 250 meters and we switched between the rower and treadmill each time. And the person on the treadmill was just running until they were tagged out. I started with running on the treadmill, but I was getting exhausted from the rowing so I ended up walking after my first treadmill time. We didn’t quite make it through the entire challenge (Dani got to do 250 meters but I didn’t), but I think we did pretty awesome.

The second block was one where the rower just rowed for distance and the other person was on the floor controlling the pace. The floor person was doing chest presses, rows with weights, lateral raises, and plank work. And when they were done they tagged out the rower and started rowing. We didn’t reset the rower between switches and the goal was to get to 5,000 meters between us in 23 minutes. I tried not to take too many breaks on the floor because Dani was waiting on me on the rower, but it was a tough block. And at the end of the 23 minutes, we only made it to 4,900 meters so I was a bit frustrated that we didn’t make the goal. But again, considering how tough the workout was I was proud of us both.

Friday was a power day and again it involved rowing. We had 4 cardio blocks and while a majority of the time was on the treadmill, for the first 3 blocks each time we started with a 45 second all out row. I was surprised how tired I was feeling after just 45 seconds on the rower, but I think I went a lot harder on the rower than I normally do because I knew I’d be done in 45 seconds. After that, we headed to the treadmills and we had push to all out paces. I did manage to run all of those but I was walking when I could between to take a bit of a break from things. The last cardio block had no rowing, but it was all push to all out paces back to back.

On the floor, the first 3 blocks started with 45 seconds of bench hop overs. My form was fine for the first one, but it really got sloppy after that because of how tired I was. The rest of the floor work was a good variety with lunges, bicep work, plank jacks, and squats. And for the last floor block we headed back over to the rower. We had push to all out rows on the same timing as the treadmills and by the end of class I was so happy that I was done.

My 4th workout of the week was on Sunday instead of Saturday (I had something I couldn’t get out of on Saturday), but it worked out nicely to have that extra rest day before that workout. Sunday’s workout was a 3G workout and we were switching between blocks so we were never at one part of the room for more than about 7 minutes. For the treadmill, the first block was push paces to all out paces and each round the push pace got shorter. We started at 2 minutes and ended with 30 seconds. I was able to run all of it but it wasn’t easy. Our walking recovery within the block was pretty short so each time it was time to run again I was really wishing there was a bit more time to walk. The second block was pretty much all 1 minute all out paces with 30 second walking recoveries between. Again, I ran it all but toward the end I was cutting my all out paces a bit short to walk a bit more than the 30 seconds we had. I was starting to be a bit sore, but I was able to get back to running after recovering a bit longer.

On the floor, each block was 3 different moves. The first block was squats to bicep curls, frogger squats, and atomic mountain climbers. And the second block was weighted flys, jump squats (I do squats with calf raises), and plank work. Even though these blocks were each about 7 minutes, they felt really long. I think it’s because I was able to get through the work quickly so I got a lot of rounds done each time.

And on the rower we had one normal rowing block and one partner rowing block. With the normal rowing block, we had sprint rows and then we got off the rower to do squats and lunges. And on the partner block we had a partner who rowed 100 meters while we did burpees and then we would switch. I was a slower rower than my partner, but I hate burpees and he wanted to work on his so that worked out well. And at the end of the partner rowing block we had a 1 minute squat hold.

For being one of my last 4 workout weeks for a while, I’m glad that I had a decent amount of variety in my workout. It’s crazy to think that I only have a few more weeks of normal fitness blogging before my posts on Mondays will be either about a lack of working out or what I’ve been doing to start getting back to workouts with my recovery. I’ve been doing these Monday workout recaps for over half of the time that I’ve been blogging and I’ve loved doing them. It’s going to be a weird transition when I’m not able to blog about fitness the same what I’m used to. But hopefully my recovery journey will be as interesting as my fitness journey has been.