Tag Archives: hell week

Welcome To Hell (or Pushing Myself Even More)

This past week of workouts was the beginning of Hell Week. Today is actually the last Hell Week workout for me so I can earn my free shirt, but I did 4 of the 5 workouts I need to earn that shirt this past week. And because Hell Week was going from Tuesday to Tuesday, I ended up doing my first ever 5 workout week in order to get in the workouts I needed!

Monday was my only non-Hell Week workout. It was a mix of power and strength and it was a 3 group class. Because I knew that I’d be doing 4 Hell Week workouts that week and this was the beginning of 3 workouts in a row, I knew it was in my best interest to walk all the treadmill work. We had 2 blocks on the treadmill. The first block was longer pushes that I did at 6, 8, and 10% incline. The second block started with 30 second intervals and ended with 45 second intervals. But that second block was a bit tough so I ended up doing everything at 6% incline instead of working on my inclines like I did for the first block.

The floor had a very interesting first block. It was one long move that included bicep curls, squats, shoulder presses, and lunges in a fluid motion. So instead of doing a set of each thing before moving on, it was just one long movement. I was surprised that I didn’t find this as difficult as I thought it would be. Something about the order of the movements and continuously going helped me and it felt kind of badass to be doing it! The second block was more of a normal format with squats, row work with weights and straps, and mountain climbers. And on the rower the first block was 500 meter rows with lunges between each set and the second block was 250 meter rows were we worked on stroke counts.

Tuesday was day 1 of Hell Week and the name of the workout was Don’t Fear The Burpees. While the burpees were bad, it seems like the rower is what I needed to be scared of that day. I had run into one of my coaches in the parking garage before the workout and he recommended that I start on the rower instead of the treadmill for this workout. And I’m so glad I listened. On the rower, we had 3 rounds of 6.5 minute rows for distance. The first 2 rounds were coached where we were told when to do base, push, or all out paces on the rower. And the last round was on our own and just trying to get the best distance possible. Round 1 I got 1335 meters, round 2 I got 1354 meters, and round 3 I got 1372 meters so I was very happy to have made improvement with each endurance row.

After doing all that rowing, I was very nervous about the treadmill workout which had all the burpees in it. My legs felt like jello and I knew that I had to walk on the treadmill. The fact that I walked at my normal power walking speed was a victory enough for me because I was feeling so tired. The treadmill segments were all pretty short and after each segment we headed to the floor to work on burpees. There were 4 types of burpees we had to do and each round we did more of each type. I only made it to the third round because I was taking a lot of breaks. But I was still glad I did the rowing first because I don’t think I would have done any better if I had done things in the opposite order.

Wednesday’s Hell Week workout was called Don’t Breathe. This was originally going to be another walking day for me since this was my 3rd workout in a row, but as soon as I saw what the workout would be I decided to work on running. The first block on the treadmill was 8 rounds of 30 second all out paces followed by 30 second walking recovery. I was able to do all 8 of those at 5mph. The next block was 5 rounds of 45 second all out paces followed by 45 second walking recovery. And the last block was 3 rounds of 1 minute all out paces with 1 minute of walking recovery. And we ended with a 90 second all out. For the second and third block, I did all the running at my normal push pace of 4.5mph. But to do that much running felt awesome and I was so glad that I was there for that workout!

The floor was 1 long block with progressive work. Every round started with the same 3 things (bicep curls, tricep work, and rows on the straps) and each round we added one more core movement to the end of that. The core work included bicycle crunches, regular crunches, heel taps, and hip dips. Also, each round we had increased the number of reps we had with the first 3 moves of the round. We started at 10 reps and the last round was 25 reps. It didn’t seem too bad in the beginning, but at the end it was very difficult to do 25 bicep curls or rows on the straps. While this wasn’t the hardest Hell Week workout, it was still tough and I pushed myself a bit more than I normally would.

Friday’s workout was called 28 Reps Later. I wanted to run, but I was dealing with a bit of lack of sleep and just wasn’t feeling like I could. The treadmill work was all runs for distance which I usually love for running but this day was just something I had to get through. We had a 3, 4, 5, and 6 minute run for distance and I really didn’t focus too much on the distances I was getting. But I did try to play with both incline and speed with my walking. So when we were doing longer pushes, I would first increase my speed from 3.5 to 3.6mph and the next minute I would bring the speed back down but increase my incline. It was something different from what I normally do and it helped to make the distance runs more interesting since I wasn’t focused on the distance.

The floor work is where the name for the workout came from. We had a slightly different format where we did 28 reps of one thing before going to the rower to do a 280 meter row. Then we’d come back to the floor and do 28 reps of another thing and did the rower. So it felt a bit long since there wasn’t any variety in the floor work between each row, but I tried to break things down in my head so I wasn’t just waiting to get to 28 reps. The moves on the floor includes walk outs to push ups, lunges, side plank crunches, and pop jacks. My rowing wasn’t anything great and I was almost using it as recovery time after doing so many reps on the floor.

And Saturday was my first time having a 5th workout in a week! I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to do it, but I’m so glad I did. I had to take it easy because I was dealing with a bit of hip pain that day, but that was ok because it was a 3 group workout. This one was called Thighday The 13th and I really felt like my thighs were on fire. Every section had 2 blocks and I started on the treadmill. The first block was rounds of 90 second push paces with inclines. The idea was to get to 13%, but I was keeping it at 6 and 8%. And the second block was rounds of 45 seconds at 13% incline and then we went behind our treadmills where we did 13 goblet squats and then 13 normal squats. For this block, I did have the treadmill at 13% since it was only for 45 seconds but I decreased my speed a bit.

On the floor, the first block started with hop overs and then had skier swings, tricep work, and push ups. The second block was mountain climbers, squats, froggers, and lateral raises. I felt pretty good on the floor and it didn’t seem too tough for me, but that could be that I wasn’t feeling as tired from the treadmill work. And the rower was kind of the opposite of the treadmill. The first block was either 130 or 260 meter rows with 13 goblet squats and 13 regular squats after each row. And the second block was 90 second rows for distance. We had 3 rounds of those and I got 315, 325, and 349 meters on those. I was very happy to get better with each row even though I was getting more tired each row.

By the time you are reading this, I’m probably done with my workout today so I got my Hell Week shirt! But to know that I did my first 5 workout week this past week was almost a bigger victory. It wasn’t that long ago that a 4 workout week seemed to be impossible and that is now the norm for me. I don’t think a 5 workout week will become the norm for me, but I’m not saying never. But to prove to myself that I am stronger than I thought I could be is exactly what Hell Week is all about. And to not only do those workouts successfully but to do more workouts in a week than I ever have is the best thing ever!

12 Days Of Christmas Workouts (or This Feels A Lot Like Hell Week)

This past week of Orangetheory was the main part of the 12 Days of Workouts that they have going on. Technically last week had the beginning of it and next week will be the end of it, but the bulk of the workouts were during this past week. I managed to do 4 workouts in the week, which I thought would be fine. But I had no idea that these workouts would resemble Hell Week as much as they did!

Monday’s workout was not only super rowing focused, it was a back to back partner challenge class! I love partner classes because there is no way you can slack off in them. Your partner is waiting on you so you can switch, and I never want to let them down. I had no idea that the rest of the week was going to be as tough as it was, so I was pretty happy to go for it on Monday! I would regret that a bit later as I was exhausted at Disneyland later that day, but at the time it was awesome!

The first half of class was a challenge where the person on the rower determined the pace. I got to partner up with my friend Terry (he is one of my Monday workout friends who is pretty competitive). For this challenge, one of us was on the treadmill while the other was on the rower. The rowing segments were 1,000 meters, 750 meters, 500 meters, and 250 meters. When you were done, you switched spots (so we each had to do each of the rowing segments). I know I was slower than Terry, but he didn’t make me feel badly about it. And we actually were able to get through all of the segments before the challenge was done!

For the second half of class, it was a competitive challenge so I ended up with a different partner. I actually ended up in the only 3 partner group so things were a bit easier on us. With everyone else, there was one person on the floor (who determined the pace) and the other person was on the rower. And the challenge was to see how many meters you and your partner could get in the rest of class. With my group, we had one person on the floor, one on the treadmill, and one on the rower. And not everyone was rowing (they used the bike instead) so we didn’t get to track our distance. It was a tough challenge even with the breaks my group got on the treadmill. The floor was squats, push-ups, and ab work and it seemed like we were going at a crazy pace! But I’m proud of the work that I got done that day and that I didn’t let any of my partners down.

Wednesday’s workout was endurance focused and we had a 700 meter row challenge. Normally, I can do 700 meters on the rower in about 3:30 (sometimes 3:15). It’s a longer row challenge and sometimes I push too hard in the beginning and get burnt out before I’m done. This time, I was hoping I could do under 3 minutes and decided to try to focus on pacing myself in the beginning and then increasing my speed and power as the time went on. My focus paid off because I got an awesome row time!

That was below the time I was hoping for! For the rest of the workout, I did my usual stuff. For the 3 minute push paces I did my 1 minute intervals and for all the shorter push paces I ran for the entire time. That’s starting to become more comfortable so I’m happy with that progress. And when we got to the floor, we had a couple of types of squats and arm work.

Friday’s workout was endurance, strength, and power and it was a good one! For the endurance block on the treadmill, I had my usual intervals for the 3 minute pushes and running for the shorter ones. And during the power block, we all 90 second intervals so I could run the entire time. But where I had some great progress was during the strength block. I’ve said I needed to work on my running at inclines and this was a great workout to test it with. We had 2 different hill challenges, the first one where the incline increased and the second where it decreased. For the increasing one, I was able to run at 3% and 5% and then for the higher inclines I was walking at 10% and 12%. We had some flat road recovery between the hill challenges and when we started the declining hill challenge I was actually able to run for 30 seconds at 9% incline! It was really hard, but I made it through. I walked after that and then did the 5% incline at a run again! I’m curious with my next 5K how long I would have to run up the bigger hills. I think it might be more than 30 seconds, but it can’t be that much longer!

After the running on the inclines, I was happy that the floor work was a bit easier that day. We had rowing on each floor block (between 150-600 meters) and mainly ab work to do that day. We didn’t have to use that weights that much and being able to do ab work was a nice rest after the running. It wasn’t easy, but it was easier than having to stand and try to lift weights.

And Saturday’s workout may have been one of my favorite workouts we’ve ever had at Orangetheory! This workout was a power workout and it seemed to be custom-made for me! For the treadmill, with the exception of a 2 minute push in the beginning of the workout, it was completely 1 minute all outs with 1 minute walking recovery in between! This is exactly the intervals I’m used to doing and I took advantage of that.

I started my all outs at 5 mph and was increasing by .2 mph for the first few intervals. Then it was starting to get a bit tough running that fast and being able to recover so I was only increasing it by .1 mph. I was going a lot faster than I’m used to doing especially since when I usually do my super fast speeds it’s the very end of the treadmill time. But when we were down to the last 3 intervals I decided it was now or never to push myself. I had pushed myself the entire week with the workouts and I didn’t want to skip doing that on Saturday. So I did 6 mph for one, 6,5 mph for the second to last interval, and for the last minute on the treadmill I ran at 7 mph. I don’t know if I’ve ever run that fast in my entire life. It was incredibly difficult and I was thinking of slowing the speed down a few times during that minute, but I made it through! And even though this wasn’t the farthest I’ve done on the treadmill in class, it is the farthest I’ve gone in under 30 minutes in class. And technically this distance within this time is faster than what I was doing my last 5K at.

After that running, I wasn’t ready for the floor work that day and it wasn’t an easy one either. There was only 1 long block for the entire time. We had rowing and then we were doing various exercises in between. I’ll admit that I was taking more breaks during the floor work that I probably should have, but it was a tough day and I was having a lot of trouble catching my breath. There were a few times I was starting to feel a bit light-headed (the problem with Saturday workouts is that I usually don’t eat lunch right before going) and I wanted to take it easy on myself. But I still got a good chunk of the floor work done before time was up.

This was a pretty incredible week of workouts for me. I got to work on a lot of my rowing skills including working on my rowing endurance. And I made some amazing progress with my running in my speed and with the inclines. I said that since I wasn’t going to hit my workout goal for 2016 that I was going to focus on making each of my workouts the best one it can be. And I think I really did get that done with these 4 workouts.

Getting Back To Normal (or Finishing Hell Week and Race Prep)

This past week of workouts was a 3 workout week, but I didn’t go easy on myself at all! My week started with the end of Hell Week and then my last 2 workouts were very focused on getting ready for my 5K. I was feeling pretty much completely normal, so I saw no need to try to take it easy and decided to go all out on the 3 workouts that I had.

Monday was the end of Hell Week and it was a Trick or Treat 3G workout. That meant that on each part of the workout (treadmill, floor, rower) we pulled a card from a plastic pumpkin and it told us what to do. There were some good cards (the treats) and some cards that were really tough instructions (the tricks).

I got to start on the treadmill and first pulled a Treat card. I had to do 30 second push paces, 30 second all out paces, and 30 second walking recovery for 3 rounds. I was running for both the push and all out paces, but I was keeping my speed the same since the walking time was less than I’m used to. I got through that card pretty quickly and then went over to pull my next treadmill card. It was another Treat card that said I had to do 1 minute push paces, 1 minute all outs, and 30 second walking recoveries. I did walk the push paces at 8% incline, but ran much faster for my all out pace than I did for the first card. I only made it 2 rounds before the time was done and I headed over to the floor.

My first card on the floor was a Trick card. I had to start with 31 burpees before moving on to the workout plan. Those 31 burpees were not easy at all and I had to take breaks after 4 or 5, but I did manage to get through it and was able to move on to the rest of the floor work. It was a good mix of upper and lower body work and I had to do pushups, ab work, and lunges. Just as I was finishing up all the work, it was time to switch over to the rower for the end of the workout.

On the rower, I pulled another Trick card. It was to for 3100 meters and we only had about 13 minutes left in class for the day. I knew that I wasn’t going to be able to get my full 3100 meters in, so I decided to just try for the best and see what I could do. I did have to take breaks every so often because I was so exhausted from all the other hard work that day, but I managed to get just about 2200 meters done before class was done.

And after completing my 5th Hell Week class, I was officially a Hell Week Survivor and earned my shirt!

hell-week

Wednesday we were back to normal workouts, but they weren’t easy! That day was a strength day so I ended up doing quite a bit of walking. We had a lot of higher hill work and most of my walking was done at 10-14% incline. We did have a few things at a flat incline so I was able to run for those, but a majority of my work was walking at an incline. We also had a mini run/row assignment that day. I ran .15 miles (which took me about 2 minutes) and then rowed 300 meters. I didn’t make it through that many rounds of the run/row, but it felt good to get that running practice in.

When we got to the floor, I was able to work a lot harder than normal and it felt really great! We did have some ab work which wasn’t so great for me (I’m still occasionally feeling weird pressure in my stomach when I do sit-ups or crunches) but the rest of the work was either at the level I was at before or better. I was able to do squats and lunges with better form (and less stability issues) and was doing my arm work at 15 pounds. And when we did pullovers, there were no 20 pound weights for me to use so I had to use the 25 pound ones. It was a struggle to use the heavier weights, but I was able to get through the sets and realized that my strength didn’t get worse with my time taking it easy.

My last workout of the week was on Thursday (I didn’t work out on Friday since I had the race on Saturday morning). It was a power day and that made me so happy. Power days are usually my best days to work on my running and I needed that confidence boost before race day. Most of the time, we had a lot of the same stuff on the treadmill. It was push pace to all outs and usually they were 45 second intervals. So that was 90 seconds of running and then we’d usually have a minute to walk to recover. This was a more intense interval than what I do when I work on my running on my own, so this was a great way to build some extra endurance for the race. And once we were done on the treadmill, I realized that I had reached a workout goal. For a while, I have wanted to get to 2 miles during the treadmill time in a workout. That would mean I was close to 15 minute miles during class. So it was great to see this screen when I was done.

2-miles-otf

On the floor, we had a bunch of upper body work. I was doing chest presses and we had lunges that had weighted twists (I really felt that in my shoulders). And to finish the workout, we had a short rowing block. It was a similar pattern to the treadmill where we had 45 seconds intense rowing and then 30 seconds to recover. And after that workout, I felt as ready as I could be for my race on Saturday.

This ended up being a great week of workouts for me. I gained a lot of confidence I lost after being sick and finally was feeling more like myself and able to do my best on my race. I’ll write about the race tomorrow, but if you follow me on social media, I think you know how it went!

Hell Week Part 1 (or Not Pushing It Too Much)

Last week was the first part of Hell Week at Orangetheory. Technically part 2 of Hell Week is only today, but it’s still covering more than one week. This year, to earn the Hell Week shirt, you have to complete 5 out of the 8 days. Before I got sick, there was no question that I was going to do this. I signed up for all my classes and got super excited about it!

After getting sick, while I still knew I’d do my 5 Hell Week classes, there was a bit of hesitation. I didn’t want to push myself so much that I got worse but I didn’t want to not try either. So I tried to take it day by day and figured out what the best plan for each day would be for me. And last week, as planned I got 4 of my Hell Week workouts done! And each of those days ended up being a 3G workout, which I actually think helped me survive it despite the pain in my stomach!

hell-week

Monday’s workout was a hill based one, but I knew that I would be on the bike for it. I was able to increase my resistance on the bike a bit more than I had done the past few workouts. Plus, I was able to increase the resistance for the hills as well. It was still a bit of a struggle on the bike and I had to take some breaks while riding it, but it was much better than the week before. When we were on the rower, we had to row and then do squat arm work with weights. The rower was still tough because of my stomach so I was rowing pretty slowly. And the weight work was also tough because my body didn’t want to bend like normal. But I took breaks when I needed to and even though I didn’t do as much work as I would have liked to, I still did something. And finally, I was on the floor doing lunges, planks, and mountain climbers which surprisingly didn’t bother me too much!

By Wednesday, I was feeling so much better. I thought about going on the treadmill that day, but I knew that I would want to push myself more than I should so I stuck with the bike. And it’s a good thing that I did that because the workout had a distance challenge element to it. We had 2 segments that were 6 minutes each on cardio. The first time, we were given guidance on when we should be in base, push, and all out paces. The second time we were just supposed to beat that original distance. I really went crazy on the bike and I think I was working harder on it than I normally do on the bike! And I was very happy to see that I was able to beat my first distance when I had my second attempt.

bike-challenge

Next we had a rowing challenge that was set up the same was as the cardio challenge. 6 minutes to do our best, and then we did it again to try to beat the first time. The rower was still a bit tougher for me than it normally is, but I was very happy to see that I was able to row for the entire 6 minutes both times without stopping! And again, I beat my distance the second time (which I was not expecting at all)!

row-challenge

Finally on Wednesday, we had our floor work which had some lunges and mountain climbers (again those weren’t bugging me so I was able to work hard on them). We also had some arm work and I really wanted to use 12 pound weights again. I didn’t feel ready to use my normal 15 pound weights, but when I looked around all the 12 pound weights were being used by other people. So I was forced to use the 15 pound ones (I wasn’t going to use the 10 pound ones) and while it was a bit of a struggle I managed to get through and felt very accomplished!

Friday was the first day that I went back to using the treadmill. I knew my next 5K was coming up, and I wanted to see how I was doing after taking time off and feeling sick. I know that my expectations for what I would be able to do at my race need to be reevaluated because I’ve had those set-backs, but I still want to train as much as I can. For this workout, we started with a round of 3 minutes at each station. For the treadmill and rower, the plan was a 2 minute push and a 1 minute all out pace. I was able to do that for the rower, but for the treadmill I did a 1 minute run, 1 minute walk, and 1 minute run. The running felt different to me, but it wasn’t impossible. And on the floor for those 3 minutes, we had squats.

For the rest of the workout, we had a 3 partner workout. It was a rotation between the rower, treadmill, and floor and the person on the floor controlled the pace (the floor work was squats, lunges, and ab work). On the treadmill, we were supposed to run for the time it took for the partner from the floor to tag us out. And on the rower we were working toward how far we could row as a group for the workout (so we didn’t reset it between people). For the treadmill, I tried to stick with a 1 minute run/1 minute walk pace. I was able to do that for most of the time, but I did do one round where I just walked for the entire thing. But considering how awful I had felt a week prior, I’m very happy that I can still run and I have hopes that I can do a run/walk pace for at least part of my upcoming race.

And I have to say, as a team we did a lot of rowing for that workout! We didn’t place in the top 3, but the fact that our total was 6666 during Hell Week was pretty funny and I enjoyed that.

group-row

By Saturday, I was feeling a bit tired from all the work I had put in. Even though I was taking it a bit easier than normal during Hell Week, the workouts are very intense and tough. And of course, I’m very competitive with myself and try to see how far I can push myself. It’s not the best trait I have, but it really did push me hard when I planned on going easy on myself.

Saturday was a tornado style workout. We were never on one thing for that long and kept moving around a lot. We started and ended the workout with the same thing: 3 minutes on each section. For the treadmill both times, I did the 1 minute run, 1 minute walk, 1 minute run plan. And on the floor we had to do ultimate burpees and hop overs. But in the middle of the workout, everything was a 1 minute section. That’s very short so we were moving before you knew it! I stuck with running for the 1 minute I was on the treadmill. On the rower, I had to take it a bit easy because that was the only time I felt I had to rest. And on the floor, we pretty much always had to do burpees (that was the theme for the day). By the end of class, I was ready for a nap and to relax!

Today will be my last Hell Week workout (so I can earn my free shirt!) and then I’ll have 2 more workouts in the week before my 5K race. It’s so soon and I’m trying not to be nervous about race day. If I can’t run at all, I’m still going to do it and finish and that’s what is important. But hopefully the 3 workouts I have this week will prep me for the race as much as possible!

An Off Week (or Being Ok Being Weak)

I had a weird week of workouts this past week. When I started the week, I had no idea that I would be getting so sick on Wednesday. But even though I was in the hospital that day, I still managed to get 3 workouts in (it was originally going to be a 4 workout week, but I’m proud of my 3).

Monday obviously was my best workout day. This was before I got sick and I was pushing myself quite a bit. It was a strength day and we didn’t switch between blocks, so I had a long time on the treadmill. I still am not running hills, but I decided to run the flat parts that I could and get my inclines as high as possible. We started the workout with a 2 minute push pace that I ran in full and we ended the treadmill time with a 1 minute push and 1 minute all out (both minutes were run). And in the middle we had 2 30 second all outs that I was able to run.

But besides those parts, I was walking the rest of the treadmill time. Hills are tough in general for me, so running hills is not a priority for me right now. I was keeping my inclines pretty high most of the time by averaging between 8-12% incline with my usual walking pace. The hills are starting to feel more like they did before I hurt my calf, so I was very happy with that. It’s been a long time since the hills felt like that, so I saw that as a huge improvement and something to be proud of.

The floor work was a bit tough for me. My abs were hurting (I thought it was because of the MRI, but I’m now wondering if it was something related to my current issue). When we were doing ab work, I was able to do it but things were tougher for me than normal. I wasn’t able to get up from being on the floor as easily as I usually can and I decided to be a bit careful with my weights for the rest of the floor work. I wasn’t going with really light weights, but I took it a bit easier than I probably would do on a strength day.

Wednesday’s workout didn’t happen because I was still in the hospital at that time and there was no way that I could go anywhere once I was done. I honestly thought that there was going to be a chance that I couldn’t do any more workouts for the week, but I decided that since the doctor I saw said I could work out once I was getting better I figured it was worth trying. I told myself that if I could only make it 10 minutes into the workout before I had to leave, that would be ok. So I kept my already scheduled Friday and Saturday workouts.

Friday was really a challenge for me. I know I must have been getting better, but it was hard to believe that. I was still hurting so much and there were only so many positions that my body could be in that made the pain go away. There was no way I was going to walk on the treadmill (even if I kept it really slow, I would be tempted to push myself more), so I went onto the bike. I kept the resistance very low and didn’t pedal too fast the entire time I was on there. It wasn’t easy, but I made it through.

Friday was a run/row day, and I think that was the best thing I could have had. I didn’t spend too long on the bike for a stretch and the rower had the ability to be a good way for me to stretch a bit. My bike time wasn’t fast, but I wasn’t pushing myself at all. I just wanted to make it through what I could. The rower wasn’t that great for me (crunching my body up was hurting my stomach), but I just did a bit of a lazy row and got all the meters in that I needed to. My coach knew I was dealing with health stuff, so he wasn’t pushing me that hard and kept checking in to make sure I was doing ok.

When we moved to the floor, I decided there was no point in me trying to use my normal weights. I needed to keep things easy, and that means easy weights too. So when I usually would use 15 or 20 pound weights, I was using 10. I felt a bit pathetic and weak, but I had to keep telling myself that I was feeling like crap and wasn’t letting that keep me from the gym. Most of the floor work was focused on arms, but there was some ab work as well. I knew the ab work wasn’t going to happen, so I just skipped that part and did more arm stuff. I ended up leaving class a bit early because the last 3 minutes was a core blast, and I knew I couldn’t do any of it. Plus, I was feeling a bit exhausted since that was my first real workout or movement since I got sick.

I went into Saturday a bit more optimistic. I knew I could do the bike and make it through a workout with significant modifications. It helped the nerves go away since I knew I could do it. I got on the bike again and even though it was a power day (my favorite) and there were a bunch of push and all out paces, I didn’t do any of that. I just tried to ride the bike at a steady resistance and cadence for the entire time. I did have to take some breaks (my stomach would hurt or I needed to stretch out a bit), but I did ride for a good amount of time. The computer on the bike stops when I stop, and in the end it said I was on it for 25 minutes. Not too shabby at all.

The floor work was a bit tougher for me, but I stuck with my Friday plan and used 10 pound weights again. We had a bit of squat work to do and I was modifying those and doing what I could. I was feeling my muscles working so even if I felt like I wasn’t doing much, I was doing something. We had some ab work that I skipped (like toe touches) and some ab work that I tried (mountain climbers which were very difficult but doable) and we had a bit of rowing as well. My stomach wasn’t hurting more at the end of the workout than it did in the beginning, so I consider that a victory.

This was not the workout week I was expecting to have. But I did my best to make it the best I could. I’m not disappointed in myself since I know that it would have been so easy to decide not to go at all. But I still wish I wasn’t hurting so I could have done more.

With Hell Week starting this week (and going through the beginning of next week), I’m still planning on doing all the workouts I have signed up for. I’m hoping that I won’t be in pain for all of the workouts and can really push myself to see what I can do, but if I have to be on restricted exercises I’m going to try to make the most of it. I want to earn my Hell Week shirt and I know what I need to get it!

Extra Running Time (or Figuring Out What I Can Do)

This past week of workouts at Orangetheory were pretty great for me. I’ve been getting ready for Hell Week (I just booked all my Hell Week classes so I can get the shirt for completing it) and I’m starting to trust that my body can handle more than I think it can. My progress is still slower than I thought it would be, but I’m seeing improvements that keep me happy. I also think this past week of workouts went well because I only did 3 workouts (and skipped my run/walk training that I do on my own) so I had more energy. But just because I did fewer workouts doesn’t mean that I was slacking on things.

Monday was a power workout day. We had a bunch of really short blocks so we never were doing something for that long. Each block was only 4.5 minutes long and on the treadmill it was going by really quickly. I ended up running for 2 minutes at a time for each of the treadmill blocks that we had. 2 minutes still feels tough to me, but I’m able to do it more and more often on the treadmill so I’m feeling pretty great. I figure the more that I do 2 minute runs, the better the 1 minute ones will feel during my next race.

After doing about 20 minutes on the treadmill, we switched over to the floor where again we had super short blocks. We were only doing the sets for the same 4.5 minutes so I didn’t get too tired of any strength exercise. The focus was on arms but we also had a bunch of lunges to get through. And after that, we had about 10 minutes left in class so we did a quick partner workout.

It was basically a run/row where one partner was on the treadmill and the other was on the rower for 1.5 minutes. The treadmill was a push pace for a minute followed by a 30 second all out. I did run for the entire thing, but I wasn’t pushing my speed up too much for the all out time since I was pretty tired at the end of the workout. On the rower, we rowed for 1.5 minutes and we were supposed to not reset the rower between switching. But I think my partner kept resetting the rower because at the end of 4 blocks of this it showed we rowed 400 meters (which is what is usually done in about 1.5 minutes).

Wednesday was an endurance run/row day. I’m not a huge fan of endurance days, but I love run/row days so I was feeling pretty ok going into the workout. The run/row was one of the tougher ones I can remember. Each of the run segments was .5 miles. Since I do the run/walk instead of just running or just walking, I try to split the difference between the run distance and the walk distance (which is half of the run distance). So I settled on doing .37 miles for each of the treadmill segments.

For each time I did the .37 miles, I ran for 2 minutes and then walked for 1 minute. I finished it with running for whatever distance I had left, which usually ended up being a little longer than 2 minutes. I probably could have increased my speed to that I could have gotten that done a bit faster, but since I’m focusing so much on running for 2 minutes at a time, I didn’t want to work on speed at the same time. It ended up being  pretty great pace for me and I was tired but feeling good after each treadmill part.

For the rower, we had a 600 meter row each time. The first time, it was just 600 meters straight and the second time it was split up a bit so we had a break on the rower in the middle. There were 4 rounds we were supposed to get through, but I had a bit of a delay on the rower because the foot straps weren’t working and I had to find a different rower to work on. So I made it to the 3 treadmill part and felt ok with that.

On the floor, we had 2 blocks. The first block was pretty normal where we had a set number of reps to do for each exercise and we did as many rounds as possible. But the second block was insane! We had exercised to do, but instead of having a set number of reps, we had to do each thing for 1 minute and was told when we could move on. It got tough because I didn’t always know how much longer was left in the minute and I didn’t want to burn myself out. We had 2 rounds of each exercise for that minute and with a lot of exercises being squats I was feeling it when we were done.

My last workout of the week was on Friday which was another power day. We didn’t switch between blocks and while it was a power day, it really felt more like an endurance day. Each of the treadmill blocks had the same format: a push pace, 1 minute at base pace, and a 30 second all out pace. After each block, we had a minute to walk and recover. But those push paces started out at 3 minutes and then they got shortened by 30 seconds each time. For the pushes from 3 minutes down to 2.5 minutes, I ran for 2 minutes of that time. And for all of the ones 2 minutes and under I ran for the entire thing. I did run my all outs at a pretty fast speed (the best one was 6.3 miles an hour), but that was because it was short and I had some base pace walking before it.

The floor work was split into 2 blocks. The first one had a pretty good variety of things we had to do. Some things were using the TRX straps like triceps work, some things were body weight like squats, and we got to use the ab dolly to do some knee tucks and push ups. It was one of my favorite floor blocks that we’ve had in a while since the variety was really great and the way it was set up I didn’t have any muscle group feeling too tired from exercise to exercise. The second floor block was a mix of squat work using the medicine ball and rowing and we were running between the floor and the rowers the entire time.

I’m shocked that I was able to do 2 minutes of running for each of my workouts this past week. I think that I’m finally in a better spot to keep working on my endurance in my running and might try to push things a bit more in the next few weeks. I still think that for my next race, doing 1 minute intervals will be the best option for me. But like I said, the better my running endurance is by race day the easier those intervals will feel for me. This week of workouts will be the last week before Hell Week (which will go through the last 2 weeks of this month) so I better make sure I’m ready!