Tag Archives: injury

Easing My Way Back Into My Normal Workouts (or Not Being Upset I’m Slow)

I wrote about how recently I likely broke my toe. It’s unfortunate that it happened, but there’s nothing I can do to change that. And I probably pushed myself a bit too much in the beginning of that week of workouts and I’m paying for it now. My toe is getting better, but I realized that I needed to be easier on myself in my workouts. I am back on the treadmill, but I’ve had to decrease my speed (and there is no running happening). And while that it’s ideal for me, at least it’s more than doing nothing.

Monday’s workout was a 3 partner 3 group workout. A lot of times with a partner workout there is just a long block for the entire class. This time, there were 4 blocks that were 10 minutes each. And each of those blocks had a bit of a different format. For the first block, the floor person set the pace by doing squat flys and running man. While the floor person was working the treadmill ran for distance and the rower rowed for distance. In the second block, the treadmill set the pace. I did it as a power walk so I went .1 miles at 6% incline. And while I was doing that the rower rowed for distance and the floor person had a series of things to do. The floor included dumbbell swings, uppercut lunges, strap roll outs, and strap low rows.

The third block was paced by the rower who rowed 400 meters before switching. The treadmill person ran for distance and the floor person continued working on the same moves as the previous block. And for the last block the floor person set the pace with plank reaches and toe touches while the treadmill ran for distance and the rower rowed for distance. For each of the 10 minute blocks, we didn’t reset the rower and the idea was to see how far we could go as a group in 10 minutes. Some groups did well over 2000 meters, but my group averaged about 1800 meters each time. I felt a bit bad that I wasn’t pulling my weight in the group, but I think we were all pretty equal in ability so I tried to feel better about that.

Wednesday’s workout was one that I wasn’t sure would happen. The fires were really bad that day and I didn’t know if I’d be able to make it to Orangetheory. But I decided to try seeing if I could get there (I knew they were still open) and it ended up being the fastest I’ve ever gotten there. I guess most people were staying home and only the crazies like me were on the freeway.

It was a run/row workout with endurance, strength, and power elements. There were 2 blocks in the run/row. The first block was a 600 meter row, a 6 minute run for distance with increasing the inclines every minute, and then another 600 meter row. My row wasn’t too slow but on the treadmill I did have to lower things. I was able to do my normal speed for the first 2 minutes but then I had to lower it and stop increasing the inclines. The second block was a 300 meter row, a 6 minute run for distance with increasing inclines, and another 300 meter row. Again, I started at my normal speed but lowered it after a bit. I also was only increasing the inclines every other minute instead of every minute.

The floor also had 2 blocks. The first block was shoulder work, high row lunges with weights, bicep curls on the straps, and knee tucks. The second block was chest flys, more shoulder work, pop jacks and pikes on the ab dolly. I wasn’t able to do the pop jacks because of my toe so I did weighted goblet squats instead. And I couldn’t do the pikes (my hip and the broken toe prevented those) so I did more knee tucks. I was feeling a bit better about my workout that day and while my toe was still hurting it was less than it had been before so it seemed like progress.

Friday’s workout was an interesting one. I almost always start on the treadmills but there is currently holiday bingo at my studio and one of the squares of bingo is to play equipment card roulette. That means you don’t get to pick where you start and you don’t get to pick the number you start on. My friend Dani had already done it for that class so I did it too and we both started on the rowers. But for some weird reason, everyone in class started on the rowers! It’s usually that everyone wants to start on the treadmills so to have nobody starting there was something I had never seen before. Also, we only had 12 people in class so we ended up being a 1 group class which is also rare.

So I started on the rower for my warmup and then the floor for the first half of class. There were 3 blocks on the floor. The first block was single arm snatches, a lunge low row with weights, and release pull ups. The second block was single arm snatches, swing lunges (which I held on to the straps for support), and ab work. And the last block was 10 strokes on the rower for distance, single arm snatches, 20 strokes on the rower for distance, and push ups. For the distance rows, I was able to do about 115 meters in 10 strokes and 220 meters in 20 strokes so I was pretty happy about that. I know my personal goal is always at least 10 meters a stroke so to do better than that is always good.

Then we went to the treadmills and we worked on inclines. I knew that it was going to be very difficult for me to do all the inclines and my toe was already a bit sore so I took it easy. I did a much lower speed than normal and didn’t do the inclines as high as we were supposed to. I also had to keep taking breaks. My hip doesn’t like doing treadmill work after weights and I also know that my stride is off right now because I’m being careful with my toe. Those combined make treadmill time difficult, but I was just trying to keep reminding myself that I have to start easy again to get back to where I was.

Saturday’s workout was another 3 group one and it was a day full of squats! I started on the treadmill where there weren’t any squats but the entire time we were on the treadmill was one long block! Again, I had to be slow but fortunately I didn’t have to go too high with my inclines. We did have some 3 minute push paces that I did at 6% incline and had to take some breaks. But I was a bit faster than the day before and I think I took fewer breaks than before as well. It’s all progress even if it is slow.

Next I was on the floor where we had lateral raises, Y-raises on the strap, triceps on the strap, and hip work. But between each move we had to do squats. The first time we went through it we had 9 squats in-between everything. The second time we had 12 squats between everything. I was just starting the round where we had 15 squats between everything when time was called for us to move to the rower. And the rower had more squats. We had timed rows with squats in-between. The first round was a 45 second row with 9 squats. Next was a 90 second row with 18 squats. Then it was a 3 minute row with 27 squats. And the last round I did was a 90 second row with 36 squats. The goal was if you got to where you repeated timed rows to do better the second time. I managed to get about 10 meters further the second time so I felt like I ended my workout on a really high note.

I don’t know how much longer my toe is going to be an issue, but I’ve learned from past experience that I need to be patient with myself. If I’m not, I’m at risk for making the injury last longer and I don’t want that. I hate that I set a goal to get back into running and to do better than I had before and then I had this setback. But maybe this is just setting me up for some amazing workouts in 2018!

A Week Of Walking and Biking (or Getting Through Some Low-Key Workouts)

It seems that whenever I have a really great plan to try to get my workouts back to the progress I am trying to make, something happens that stops me. But at least now, even when things stop me from making progress it doesn’t stop me from doing my workouts. So this past week of workouts ended up being much more low-key and low-impact than I wanted them to be, but I was still there.

Monday’s workout could have potentially been a day I worked on running, but it was a day that had endurance, strength, and power in it and I knew I couldn’t do the endurance or strength portions as a run. The endurance block on the treadmill had a 3 minute push and the strength part was all running on inclines. Between the incline runs, we also had frogger squats which were a nice break after incline work. The floor work was one long block that had low rows on the straps, front raises, squats, hip bridges, and plank work.

And when I got to the rower I finally felt like I could do better than I had in the rest of the workout. We had 2 blocks on the rower and in the first block we had 400 meter rows with squats using weights between each row. But where I really did my best was in the second block where we had timed rows. We started with a 3 minute row and then had a 90 second and 45 second row. The goal was to do more than half of the distance we had done in the row prior. And each of the times I was supposed to do that, I was able to go much further than half of the previous distance.

Wednesday’s workout was an interesting one. On Monday, after I got home from Universal Studios, it seems like I might have broken my toe. I was taking off my shoes and jammed my toe into the leg of my couch. As soon as it happened, I knew it was bad. My vision went white, I was in horrible pain, and my toe was not looking normal. Tuesday I was starting to be able to walk a little bit more on it (I think the damage was to the top of my toe and not the side or bottom), so I decided to try to walk slowly in my workout. It was another endurance, strength, and power workout and I just tried to take it easy. By the end of the treadmill time, I realized that I probably would have been better off using the bike but it was too late.

When I got to the floor, I had to focus on taking some of the pressure off of my toe. The first block on the floor had 400 meter rows with strap reaches and plank rows. I adjusted where the rower strap went on my foot to keep me from pressing off the foot plates with my toe. The second block was squats, shoulder presses, lunges with rowing, and ab work. It was tough to stay on my heels and not my toes, but I did my best. And the last block was squats with 150 meter sprints. By the end of my workout I was feeling a bit more pain in my toe, but it was still feeling better than it did when I hurt it on Monday.

When I got to Friday’s workout, I knew I needed a break from the treadmill. I went on the bike for our endurance day. This workout would have been a good one to work on my running, but it wasn’t meant to be. It was a single block where we had different distances to go with walking recovery. We did everything at our own pace and I tried to stick with the plan for the bike. When I started I thought it would be nice if I could make it to 10 miles on the bike, and that’s exactly what I got to when it was time to switch to the floor.

The floor work was another interesting set up. Everything was timed so we didn’t have to count reps or worry about it. It was 3 rounds of deadlifts, squats to walk out push ups, shoulder raise to lateral raise, side plank rotations, and 2 minute rows. It was nice having it all timed so I could focus on the work, but it was tough. It’s sometimes easier when I know how many more reps I have before changing moves, but this time I just had to try to get through the time and knew that it would be done before I knew it. My rowing wasn’t anything spectacular, but I did row the entire time without stopping each round.

And when I worked out on Saturday, I stuck with the bike again. It was a 3 group workout, but I figured that my toe needed the rest (I’m not sure how much longer I’ll be on the bike, but I’m going to try to go easy on myself). It was an endurance, strength, power day again; but I really didn’t pay too much attention to the workout when I was on the bike. I was dealing with my toe plus some bad nausea so my goal was mainly just to keep moving and not stress about much else. I had to take breaks while on the bike, but for most of the time I was able to go at a slowish pace and just move.

On the floor, we had a progressive workout. Each round started with chest presses and then we added on moves from there. We also had triceps on the straps, low rows with weights, lunges, and abs. I was just getting toward the end of the plan when time was called to switch. I had to take breaks to not feel nauseous which did slow me down a lot. But I got through almost everything so I was proud of myself. And on the rower was where I struggled the most. We started with 3 rounds of 90 seconds for distance. I did ok, but it was not easy to keep rowing for 90 seconds based on how I was feeling. And after that, we had rounds of 200 meter rows with squat work between. I was feeling pretty relieved when the workout ended because I was feeling done.

Obviously I couldn’t predict that I was going to break my toe, but my nausea is something I can plan for. I never know how bad it will be each month, but it comes without fail every month. I need to keep working on how to workout and not let it get to me since I can’t take a week off every month. But having a tough week like this past one was a great training week for pushing through whatever my health circumstances may be.

Taking Things A Bit Easier (or No More Injuries)

This past week of workouts ended up being a week of being cautious. I have no clue what happened, but on Monday morning last week I woke up with a very stiff knee. I didn’t do anything over that weekend that should make things hurt, so I’m wondering if I slept in a position that tweaked something. The knee pain is almost only at night (it wakes me up if I shift positions at night) and hurts a little in the morning when I get up. So since I was dealing with that, I didn’t go as crazy during my workouts because I didn’t want to hurt myself more.

Monday was a partner workout which was awesome because my friend Dena came try her very first Orangetheory class! So she and I partnered up together for the workout. During the partner time, the person on cardio controlled the switching. The cardio person did a 200 meter row and a run on the treadmill at inclines. The run was supposed to be .2 miles, but I know I can’t run that long nor did I really want to run on hills. So I decided to walk at inclines so I was only doing .1 miles each time. On the floor, while we waited for our partner to be done with their cardio work, we did arms, chests, lunges, and abs. We kept going the floor work until our partner came over and switched us out.

I have to say that Dena and I made pretty good partners for this. We were pretty equal on time for cardio, so neither of us was stuck on the floor waiting for too long. I was working on using some heavy weights on the floor, so I was mainly using the 20 pound ones for my work. At the end of the partner time, we had a small block that was like a normal block. While it was still hills on the treadmill, I did run during the 1 minute all out at the end so I got a little bit of running done.

Wednesday was an endurance, strength, and power day that didn’t switch between the blocks so I was on the treadmill for 30 minutes straight. It was an interesting day because all of the blocks were pretty short. Again on the treadmill, I walked for most of the time. I did run for the all outs again which were a minute each time. Running for a minute is getting a bit easier for me, but my heart rate is really high during it and I have a bit of trouble catching my breath after. I know that this will be worked out the more I run, but it’s a big adjustment to get used to.

During the floor, we had some lunges and arm work, but the big thing to me was the timed row blocks. We had 2 blocks where we had timed rows. One was for 3 minutes and one was for 2 minutes. I really wanted to do well, but I was also so tired after the cardio time so I knew that I wasn’t going to be hitting my best distances during those times. So I just wanted to get the minimum of what we are supposed to do, which is basically 100 meters every 30 seconds. For the 3 minute row, I got 606 meters which met my goal. But for the 2 minute row, I was just too tired to keep my momentum going and I only got 355 meters in. I know I could have probably gotten to 400 meters if I really tried, but my legs just weren’t having it (and a majority of rowing is leg power).

Friday was another strength day, but fortunately we were switching between blocks. Again, I walked almost the entire time on the treadmill. Since it was a strength day there were plenty of hills to work with and I really tried to keep my inclines where they needed to be. I did run during the all outs (either 30 seconds or 1 minute long), but while runners were supposed to run at a high incline, I kept it at either 2% or 4% (4% is the flat road for walkers). I’m really not ready to try to run at an incline where I’m still struggling to run at all.

The floor ended up being a really great day for me. We did have a 400 meter row, but rowing wasn’t a big part of the day. I was using 20 pound weights for my arm and chest work (including bicep curls) and during the burpees we had to do I was always adding in pushups. We also had an entire block just using the TRX straps. Most of the strap work was core work, so I was feeling pretty awesome t the end of class.

My knee did hurt throughout the week, but again it was almost only at night. I woke up almost every single night with pains in my knee while I was moving. In the morning, I would be very stiff but after an hour or so the pain would end. I never felt pain during the workout (that’s a good sign) but it wasn’t getting better or worse through the week. I really have no clue what I did and I doubt doing to the doctor would give me any guidance. There’s always a chance that my hip issues are causing the knee pain, but again, I can’t really do much to fix that. Over this past weekend, I pretty much did nothing to try to rest my knee and that seemed to help.

I’m hoping that this week, things will be a bit better for me. I would like to try to push myself a bit more in my running because Peak Performance Week is coming up soon. I know I’ll be doing the 1 mile challenge day, but I don’t think I can do the other treadmill challenge days because of my schedule. So I’m trying to focus on what I can do to prepare for that day and making sure that I have the best workouts possible leading up to it.

New Challenges In My Workouts (or Breaking Some Of My Own Rules)

I had a full and challenging week of workouts last week. Not only was it a 4 workout week, I did 3 workouts in a row! That’s a double whammy in my mind! But even with the possibility of things being really tough for me, it wasn’t that bad of a week.

I did get off to a very odd start on Monday. I don’t know if I was too tired or just feeling out of it, but for the first time since I got them I forgot to wear my calf sleeves for my workout. I have no clue how I did this (my heart rate monitor lives under my calf sleeves so I had to move them out of the way to put on my heart rate monitor), but it happened.

The calf sleeves are good for helping my calf feel stronger, but they also help my shin splints so I was extremely nervous to work out without them. It was a 30 minute treadmill block and while I had a little pain, the treadmill wasn’t nearly as bad as I had expected it to be. I did try to keep things a bit easier for me since I was so scared to injure myself, so I didn’t push myself too much with the incline or the speed. But it was worth going easy on myself if that is what kept me from getting hurt.

After the treadmill block, I tried to be tough on the floor work. I ended up going lighter than usual on the arm work, but I still tried to be kicking butt on everything else. We had some rowing on the floor blocks including a 250 meter row. And I was able to do my 250 meter row in 56 seconds! That’s not a personal best, but it was better than my goal time of a minute! The only downside on the floor work was when we had to be in a plank position and I did it on my toes (which I’ve been testing out doing instead of being on my knees). I didn’t think about doing it without the calf sleeves and I felt my calf muscle pull a bit. It wasn’t a painful pull, more of pressure, but it still scared me and I dropped immediately to my knees so I didn’t risk hurting myself.

All things considered, my workout without the calf sleeves wasn’t bad, but I don’t plan on repeating that mistake again anytime soon.

Forgot Calf Sleeves

Tuesday I was thinking that maybe I would be on the bike (to help break up my 3 workouts in a row), but then I saw that my friend Amanda was in class so I took a treadmill next to her. Everything was in 5 minute blocks and we did do switching between blocks so I was pretty happy. When we switch, I don’t hurt as much on the treadmill so I felt like it was a bit of an easier treadmill day. The last block of that day was a partner block, so Amanda and I got to work together. One person had to row 200 meters and the other person had to do squats the entire time. It wasn’t an easy block and I’m sure that Amanda was wishing that I would row faster so she could stop with the squats, but we got through it without too much trouble.

Wednesday we were back to not switching between blocks, but since we had a switch day the day before I was ok with that. We had a 3 minute push pace, which is still one of those big challenges for me. I was able to do it at 6% incline at 3.5 miles an hour, so I was pretty happy with myself. I’m starting to think that I’m almost ready to have my base pace back at 3.5 miles an hour. I might test that out another day when we have switching between blocks because it won’t be a solid 30 minutes at 3.5 miles an hour or faster. But since I’m able to do the longer pushes without too much trouble, it’s a really good sign. I also decided to test out my speed on my all out pace. When we had one, I decided to go a bit crazy (for me) and set the treadmill at 3.8 miles an hour. It was super tough for me and I know that I’m not ready to have the treadmill at that speed on a regular basis, but I got through it and it was a nice little challenge for me. After all that speed on the treadmill, my legs were feeling a bit weak by the time I got to the floor work. There were a ton of pushups that day, so even though my arms were so tired my legs got a break.

Friday should have been my day to be on the bike since I’ve decided that my 4th workout of the week will be on the bike to make sure that I don’t push myself too hard. But when I found out it would be a run/row day, I knew I wanted to be on the treadmill (it’s easier to transition quickly to and from the rower from the treadmill for me instead of the bike). I figured since it was a run/row day that it would be ok to push myself a bit more because the treadmill time would be a bit limited.

The treadmill segments were .125 and .15 miles and I was doing all of them at 3.5 miles an hour and 8% incline. That’s a high incline for me considering that the treadmill segments took me over 2 minutes each time. I typically only do 8% incline for all outs which are always a minute or less. But I was able to do all my treadmill segments like that (I just had to take a little break after each segment to catch my breath before moving on to the rower) and my rows were ok. I wasn’t pushing myself as much as I did earlier that week, but I was still doing my rows within the recommended times.

The floor work was a pretty good variety of moves. We had some lunges, arm work, ab work, squats, pushups, and leg work. I was able to do my lunges with one foot on the workout bench, but I wasn’t able to hold weights in my hands because I needed to keep balancing myself on the wall. I’m very unstable balancing on one leg, but I really want to get back to where I used to be with my balance. And the only way to do that is to push myself even when it’s not the most comfortable thing. I also pushed myself on the TRX straps. We had to do lunges to single leg squats, and I used to always do double leg squats instead. But on Friday, I decided that I was going to go slow and see if I could do the single leg squats. They weren’t pretty or fast and I had to use my other leg for balance, but I was able to do them for the first time! Again, I was pretty unstable and unbalanced, but the more I’m able to do these the better I’m going to get.

I felt like almost every workout this week was a different challenge for me, and I think that I succeeded in all of them. This week will be a bit easier for me, but now that I know some new limits that I can push myself to, I’m going to test them out if I can!

Some Holiday Workouts (or Back On The Treadmill This Week)

For Christmas week, my workout schedule was a bit funky. This was due to my work schedule being weird (we unexpectedly got Christmas Eve off when we were told before we had to work) and Orangetheory not being open on Christmas (which I totally get). But even with the weird schedules, I still managed to get my 3 workouts in this week.

After being on the bike all week the week before, I decided to try to the treadmill and see how it felt. Fortunately for me Monday was an easy treadmill day. The treadmill time was very short and I think the warmup was actually the longest I spent on the treadmill without a break. That was a great way to ease back into the treadmill and I was so happy to not have the shin splint issues I was having before.

My Wednesday workout was a bit tough. The class did do the treadmill blocks back to back so I was on the treadmill for about 30 minutes straight. While between blocks we got to cool down a bit (3 miles an hour instead of 3.4), it was still a long time on the treadmill. I was terrified that the shin splints would come back then, but they never reappeared. I did take things a bit easy, but I was still pushing myself a bit because I’m so close to my pre-calf injury speed. I really want to be back to where I was, but I don’t want to hurt myself.

Since Orangetheory was going to be closed on Friday, I did a workout on Thursday. Originally I scheduled it to be after work, but since my work day was cancelled I got to go in the morning! Bruce was the coach for that class and he wore the Santa hat that I got for him last year.

OTF Christmas

It was a run/row day so the time on the treadmill wasn’t as bad as the day before. That was good because I was so tired from the workout on Wednesday. With the shorter treadmill blocks I didn’t have any issues with my shin splints or calf, but my hips were starting to bug me after a few rounds because of the incline we were using. So I lowered the incline and things felt much better.

With all the focus on the treadmill this past week, it would have been easy to ignore working on my floor work. But I tried really hard to focus on the floor when I was there and forget about the work I had done on the treadmill.

I was able to use the 20 pound weights for a lot of things this week. I was using them for squats (which I’m used to doing), triceps work, and hammer curls. The 20 pound weights are still a bit tough for me, but I’m starting to notice that a lot of the time the 15 pound weights don’t cut it for me anymore. They are feeling light at times and I know that if they are feeling easy it’s really time to push myself more and if I need to move down to the 15 pound weights partway through the block, I can do so then. But I’m working on starting higher on the weights and going down if needed.

I was originally planning on working out this past Saturday, but there were some things that were potentially going to be conflicts. So I just stuck with my 3 workouts for the week and was happy with that.

The end of the year is almost here and I’m almost to my workout goal for the year. My next workout blog post will be after I’ve hit my 2015 goal and after I’ve announced my 2016 goal (and have gotten a workout or 2 done with the new goal)!

There’s No Problem With Orangetheory (or My Side Of The Article)

A little over a month ago, I got an email from a writer from Refinery 29. They were doing a story on Orangetheory and wanted to hear about my experience! I was so excited that someone wanted to talk to me about my workouts and agreed to a phone call with them later that day. I actually got the email while at Orangetheory so I mentioned something to the studio owner about how I was being interviewed and he seemed excited for me as well.

As soon as my phone interview started, I knew that this writer really didn’t want to hear about my Orangetheory experience. She saw my post about when I tore my calf and was asking questions about how the workout caused my injury and how they wouldn’t help me or offer me modifications. I think that any of you who are regular readers on here know that is not the case at all. Orangetheory is the first place that took my hip issues seriously and was willing to work with me to figure out how to still get in a great workout. I wasn’t happy about the interview and told some friends how I felt like she was reaching for a story that didn’t exist. But I figured that after the writer spoke to me that she wouldn’t include me in the article anymore because I was not injured because of my workouts.

Well, yesterday the article went live.

Refinery29

The article now has the click-bait title of “This Gym Chain NEEDS To Address This Important Issue”. But there really isn’t an issue that I can tell in the article. The writer went to one class and wasn’t happy with the modification options she got (she told me during our phone interview that they showed modifications but they weren’t exactly what she needed and she didn’t ask for any more help). She got the impression that nobody gets modifications and interviewed me about my injury and another member about their involvement in the weight loss challenge (I won’t be discussing what the other member talked about since I don’t know them).

The author made is seem like I had a white out of pain, complained, and my coach did nothing. That’s not how it happened at all. I’ve had white out pain issues since 2005 with my hips. Pre-surgery, I was having them dozens of times a day on average and on my bad days I’d have them with almost every step. I’m still having them 2-3 times a day, but that’s such a huge improvement over what it’s been. So the white outs don’t worry me too much.

When I tore my calf, I took a single step on the treadmill, felt a pop in my leg, and had a white out. I immediately went over to the bike because I knew I didn’t want to be on the treadmill anymore. The coach came over to me and asked if I was ok. I said that it was hurting to walk and I showed her the bruise on my leg (we had no way of knowing that was a sign of a torn calf because it looked like a normal bruise). My coach gave me modifications so I wouldn’t have to use my legs a ton for that workout and encouraged me to go to a doctor to get checked out before working out again.

While I didn’t go to a doctor, consulting with my parents helped me realize that it was a torn calf. All the things I was reading online said that doing low or no impact workouts can help fix the muscle sooner because it will keep blood flow going. I knew this from after my hip surgery because my surgeon told me that if I could go back to the gym as soon as possible, I’d have an easier recovery. And I was in the gym with my dad on the recumbent bike about 24 hours after my hip surgery. I did low impact workouts while I healed and shocked my surgeon about how fast I recovered. So why would I do anything different with a torn calf?

All the coaches gave me modifications if I asked and encouraged me to take it easy or rest if I needed to. They helped me figure out good stretches to do to help and encouraged me to do more foam rolling. They also helped me realize that getting calf sleeves would help my recovery and my future workouts.

But they were not the ones pushing me to be back in class right away. They understood that I wanted to be there because I had a routine and momentum and didn’t want to fall back into my old habits of only sporadically working out. In the past, I’ve used injuries as excuses to sit on my couch and do nothing. I’m not going to do that now.

From the comments on the article so far, it seems like most other members agree with me. Orangetheory is for everyone at every level. Yes, you might have to ask for specific modifications (as I’m quoted in the article, you have to be your own advocate and can’t depend on others to know what you need). But they have been the most flexible workout program I’ve ever been a part of. They are not scared by the fact that I’m heavy, not in the best shape, and have lots of physical issues.

I’ve dealt with trainers who don’t want to push me because I’m having a tough time, but I need to be pushed to be better. I’ve been in classes where they are so scared by my hip issues that they don’t give me a modification in fear that their modification will hurt me. And I’ve been in group workouts where I’m talked down to because the teacher assumes that I don’t understand what’s going  on and need everything dumbed down for me.

At Orangetheory, they respect me for who I am and what my goals are. They will push me and if I say that I can’t do more because of a particular reason, they will back off then but push me in other parts of the workout. And there’s nothing wrong with that. We are all in the workout to be pushed because we don’t push ourselves on our own.

I know that my blog doesn’t get the attention that Refinery 29 gets. But I want to make sure that my side of the story is heard and not just the bits and pieces of the interview that the writer has decided to share. If she included my entire interview, it would have included much of what I said here. I praised Orangetheory for being for all levels and for not being scared to work with me. I said that it was a coincidence that my calf tore in class because it could have just as easily torn getting in or out of my car that day. And I said that I went back to class right away because I wanted to, not because I was pushed or tricked into it.

To my Orangetheory family, I hope you know that the article does not reflect how I feel about you at all. I love that you guys have become my workout family and that you all care about my well-being (as well as everyone else’s). You guys make sure that everyone working out has a great class and feels like they had the best workout ever. I don’t think that you caused my calf injury or didn’t give me all the help and support I could need. You guys really are the first people who make me feel like I’m an athlete and not just someone lumbering through a workout class. Thank you for being there for me, encouraging me, and making me realize how strong I truly am.

Still Taking This A Bit Easy (or Not Going To Push Too Hard)

I had every intention of doing 4 workouts this past week. My calf feels normal most of the time and I’m almost back to my old treadmill speed. Instead, I only did 3 workouts and it looks like I’ll be doing that for the next few weeks as well.

It’s not really all about how my calf feels. I did feel some pain this week (many during a strength day when all the treadmill work was on hills), but it’s not unbearable. I also felt some hip pain that was a bit scary at first, but fortunately was not my cartilage tearing because the pain ended the next day.

One of the big reasons for not adding the 4th workout into my week yet is scheduling issues. I know that that shouldn’t be my excuse, but it is. And with my 5K coming up soon, I don’t want to push myself too hard so that I can do the best that I can at the race.

Besides only doing 3 workouts this week and having some pain issues, I did have some pretty great moments in my workouts. I’m still working on the rowing improvements (which I’ll need this week because it’s Hell Week!) and I had some great sprint rows. I know that distance rows are my weakest point, but those are rare in class and they get pretty painful for me to do.

On my weights, I did most of my things with 15 pound weights, but I was doing squats and pullovers with 20 pounds so I’m very happy with that. I’m hoping that I can do some of my stronger arm things (like bicep curls) with 20 pound weights soon. I’ve never been scared of bulking up by using heavier weights so the only thing holding me back is my own strength.

I’m still stuck at 3.4 miles an hour on the treadmill. And I have a feeling that I’ll probably be there for the next two weeks leading up to the race. If my race ends up being at 3.4 miles an hour, I won’t PR. But since my adrenaline on race day always makes me walk faster (plus I won’t be at an incline), there’s still hope for me. But I’m scared to increase the speed and hurt my calf because that will definitely hurt my race time. So I’m just going to focus on staying where I am for now and after my race is done I will reevaluate and see what I’m hoping to do for my race in April.

I’ve had so many huge improvements over the past year that it can be tough to feel stagnant and not moving forward anymore. But no matter what fitness level someone is at, there is always a point where you hit your max. I know I’m not there yet, but I have to get through this time now where my focus is recovery before getting back to working on improvements again.

Injury After Injury (or I Swear It’s Not Because I’m A Klutz)

I feel like the past few months have been me dealing with one injury after another. Of course, there is always my hip issues. Those are probably going to be around for the rest of my life (even if I have surgeries to fix them). Then I had my torn calf over the summer. I was hoping that would be better in a few weeks, but I’m still dealing with the recovery from that (but I’m feeling almost 100% again).

Because of the hip issues and the torn calf, I started favoring walking differently. This has been an ongoing issue with my hips (my shoes for the last 10 years have worn down in funny patterns), but with the calf I started to favor the other leg. In doing that, I caused some ankle and knee pain.

Then because of who knows what, I started getting the most epic blisters on my heels. It’s not because of my shoes (I’ve used the same type of running shoes for a while now), so I’m not sure what’s causing it. But it made it more difficult for me to walk and do other things.

I’ve been a klutz my entire life. I’m rarely without a bruise or a scratch of some sort. In fact, right now, I’ve got a pretty nasty bruise on my knee where I bumped into my front door (don’t ask). But these issues are not klutz related ones. These are real injuries.

My dad has said that this is what comes with becoming an athlete. And while I agree with him, it’s not fun and I feel like there must be something I can do differently to work on preventing or limiting these issues.

I’m working on stretching more throughout the day and trying to get up from my desk as least once an hour to move around. It hasn’t been easy with the injuries I’ve got right now, but I want to start building better habits for the future. I’m also trying to limit the number of painkillers I take in a week. I still take one before each workout, but I know that taking them only dulls the pain that I feel and doesn’t always allow me to know when I’m pushing myself too much. If I don’t have a painkiller in my system, I should feel pain sooner and therefore know to stop what I’m doing.

It’s funny to me that I’m dealing with so many more injuries now than I did last year when I was starting my workout routine. Of course, there was the quad strain after my very first Orangetheory workout that had me struggling to walk for a couple of days after (thank goodness that was just that one time). But since then I’ve been relatively injury free until this summer. Maybe I’m working that much harder in my workouts? Or maybe I was overdue for some injuries and they are all happening now.

No matter what, unless I’m horribly sick like I was 2 weeks ago, I’m not letting these injuries prevent me from working out. I’m looking at them like a badge of honor. Because unless my klutz injuries, I’ve earned these by kicking butt.

I just wish that they would hurt less and get better sooner.

Getting Back In The Groove (or Recovering From My Sick Break)

After only being able to do 1 workout the week before, I was pretty nervous about how my workouts would go this past week. Would it not seem so bad or would I hurt like I did for a few days after my very first Orangetheory workout ever? I decided to not push myself too hard and see how it went.

Monday was definitely a struggle. I felt like I was huffing and puffing through the entire workout but my heart rate stayed pretty low. I sometimes have that problem with my morning workouts, but this one felt worse than usual. I really tried to do what I could, but I felt like I had taken 1,000 steps back in my workout progress. I was also possibly holding back a bit since I knew I’d be at Disneyland that afternoon. I’m just grateful that my calf is starting to feel better because that was one less thing I had to worry about.

My Wednesday workout felt a bit more normal. The only big issue I was dealing with was some horrible blisters that I got on both of my heels (not quite sure what happened, but they are still horrible). I didn’t have any pain leftover from my Monday workout like I thought I would and I was doing things at the same speed/weight that I was doing them before I was sick. The only thing that is still behind pretty significantly is my rowing power. That doesn’t seem to make progress like I would like and I’m wondering if it has to do with my calf, my hip, or maybe a combination of both. I’m adding it to my list of things I want to talk about with hip surgeons when I start meeting with them to decide for sure who will be doing my next surgery (and what my next surgery will be).

Friday I finally felt back to normal. And not only did I feel back to normal from being sick, I felt almost back to normal after the calf injury! For that workout, we spent the first half of the workout (about 26 minutes) on the treadmill without a break. When we had walking breaks, I brought my speed down to 3 miles an hour, but the entire workout time I was at 3.5 miles an hour! I’m almost back to what I was doing pre-injury! I’m still not able to boost my speed during the push and all-out paces, but knowing that I did 3.5 miles an hour for 26 minutes gave me a huge confidence boost! I’m feeling better about my next 5K and that I will be able to PR (even if it’s only a few seconds faster).

I feel like I might be ready to start back at 4 workouts a week occasionally. I’m still a bit nervous on how my calf might feel, but I haven’t had any popping or pulling sensations in it for about 2 weeks now. I think that it’s finally completely healed and I want to get in the extra workouts so I can still meet my 2015 workout goal. I also feel like while I’ve been pushing myself due to injury or illness, I haven’t really been pushing myself for real. It’s just been pushing myself to get back to what I can usually do.

Orangetheory will be doing Hell Week again during Halloween week. I’m feeling pretty sure that I can do 4 workouts that week. But I’m starting to think that maybe I should make it a challenge for myself to workout each day of Hell Week. Last year, they gave out a prize for doing that, but I don’t care about getting a prize. I care about proving to myself that I’m not in recovery mode anymore and I’m back to improvement mode.

Workout Struggles and Wins (or My First Early Workout In A While)

I’m still on the path of recovery for my calf injury (I laugh now when I think back at how I thought before it would only take 2 or 3 weeks to recover). I’m in a weird balance point of trying to push myself more and more and trying not to re-injury myself. I’m so terrified of another tear but I know that I do need to get myself stronger. It’s a weird thing for me to really want to hold back and push forward at the same time, but I think I’m finally understanding my body more and figuring out things I can do to both protect my muscle and build it at the same time.

I’m learning that if we are going to be on the treadmill for the first half of class uninterrupted (instead of either having a run/row day or switching between blocks), I’ve got to take it easy. Taking it easy is still at 3.4 miles an hour, but I’m not really pushing it any more than that. I’m feeling twinges in my calf when I go faster after being on the treadmill for an extended period of time, so I’m taking that as a sign that I’m not ready for that yet.

But when we are switching between blocks or doing a run/row day (we did both of these in workouts this past week), I’m able to do almost all my treadmill time at 3.5 miles an hour. I’m still keeping the incline on the lower end of things, but I’m testing the waters there a bit too. On Friday, we had very short treadmill segments on the run/row (1 minute or 45 seconds each), so I was able to try slightly higher inclines. But I’m not sure if I’m going to keep pushing myself on the inclines as much because I really want to focus on speed.

Besides the treadmill improvement, I’m still working on my form and other things like that on the rower and on the weights. The rower is tough because of both my hip and calf, but it’s getting better (and less painful). For weights I still have to be careful with some lower body things (I did something on Monday that made my legs hurt through Thursday) but I’m testing my limits there too.

The biggest struggle of my workout week was Friday. Because of my crazy schedule, I had to do a 7:30am workout. I don’t do those that often (I sometimes do 8:30am but that feels so much later than 7:30am), but it was the only way I could get in 3 workouts this week. I’m not sure if it was the early wakeup time or the fact that my heart rate monitor wasn’t registering correctly for the class, but I had the worst time in class. I was constantly dizzy and when I would look at the heart rate monitor for guidance if my heart rate is too high, it was showing false low heart rates. I tried to take my heart rate by feeling my pulse, and my heart was racing higher than it probably should be. I had to take it easy a lot during the rowing and weights segment, but I stuck it out through the entire class.

This week will bring another potential struggle for me. I’m going to be doing 3 workout days in a row. It won’t be the first time I’m doing this, but it will be the first time in a while. It’s not ideal for me to be doing this, but if I don’t I won’t be able to get 3 workouts in for the week and I haven’t done fewer than 3 workouts in a week since starting at Orangetheory. I’m going to try my very best in those 3 classes and I know that even a half-ass workout is better than no workout at all.

And I’ve got the new parking validation stamp from Orangetheory to remind me of that fact.

OTF Validation