Tag Archives: OrangeTheory

Learning More Patience (or Figuring Out Where I Can Succeed)

This past week of workouts were up and down for me. I really thought I’d be doing better with my medication but I also ended up allowing myself to feel ok with doing what I can do. I feel a bit lackluster in some of what I was doing because I keep comparing myself to what I was doing recently. But I think if I wasn’t comparing myself against that version of myself and maybe focused on comparing to where I was in the beginning to where I am now I could be happier. But the struggle is real and I am really working on accepting it.

Monday’s workout was a strength based workout. I wanted to use the treadmill (even with having to do inclines), but I was dealing with some random and unexpected nausea that morning. I debated about using a treadmill, but I knew that walking would probably make me feel worse so I ended up on the bike. But because I’ve used the bike a lot lately, I decided to try to do things a bit harder than normal. There were two blocks on each section and for the cardio it was a pretty similar pattern with a push pace, a base pace at an incline, and a push and all out pace at an incline. With the bike, you use heavier gears to replace incline so I tried to make my gears higher than I normally do with the regular push and all out paces on the bike. I did end up at a gear that made it really tough to keep going, but I was able to keep my wattage up on the bike which is what my coach emphasized I should be focusing on for my workout.

Next I was on the rower and finally my nausea was starting to go away. The first block on the rower was rounds of 500 meter rows with some rest between each round. I don’t know if my rower was acting weird or I was just having a bad rowing day but all of my 500 meter rows were taking longer than they normally do. I was trying to go at it a bit harder, but I wasn’t able to get my time to what I’m used to. But with the second block, we had 250 meter rows with bicep curls using the rower handles between each row. And with that block, I was able to get my rowing to be just a bit longer than normal. But that it to be expected when I’m getting tired so I was feeling much better about the rowing. And I ended class on the floor. The first block was chest presses, lunges, and plank work. I was using some pretty heavy weight with my chest presses which made up for not using weights in my lunges in my head. And the last block was using the workout bands for hip bridges and plank side leg lifts. I put the bands lower on my legs this time (which made things much harder) and I did much better with the bands. They were still twisting a bit, but not nearly as bad as the first time I used them. And I’m sure that in time I will get more and more used to using them and will get better at it.

Wednesday’s workout was an endurance, strength, and power day. This was after I talked with my therapist about my medication and I felt much better about taking things easy. I still didn’t like doing it, but it seems like it’s not just an issue I’m having. And while it is frustrating having this issue last longer than I expected, it does help to know that my doctor thinks I’m doing the right thing and it’s ok to ease back into normal workout endurance. And as much as I wanted to try to run during the power block, I held back. And I knew I needed to because even walking at my normal speed was spiking my heart rate. During the strength block, I didn’t go too high with my inclines but I did work with them. I wish I had more interesting things to say about my treadmill work, but it seems like this might be the trend for a little bit longer.

On the floor we had one long block and I really enjoyed it. We had 1 rep of 5 different moves that were supposed to be done as a single movement. We had a deadlift, a low row, an upright row, a squat, and a shoulder press. I could have gone heavier with my weight for the deadlift, but because we were supposed to use the same weight for the entire circuit I used my normal deadlift weight (which was heavier than normal for the rest of the moves). After doing 6 rounds of that, we had 6 burpees and then ab work before we went to the rower. Then it was back to the floor to do it all over again. It was a challenge to do those 5 moves as a single movement, but it was a good challenge to have and I was really focused on my posture and form during the entire thing.

Friday’s workout was a special partner day for the Olympics. On cardio we were supposed to have teams of 4, but with my group there were 10 people so they did 2 groups of 4 and 1 group of 2. My friend Grace and I volunteered to be the group of 2. We thought it would be good because we were both stressed about letting a team down and knew we would be fine not worrying about that with each other. But it turns out having our group of 2 actually made things harder for us! It was a run/row format with 1 person on the rower setting the pace and the rest of the team on treadmills. When the first partner was done with the row, they tagged the next person and they rowed (and the first partner went to a treadmill). They went through all the partners this way. But because Grace and I were on our own, we were just tagging each other. So we had much less rest time between rowing than the other groups. In the end I was just taking my 30 seconds on the treadmill to catch my breath and drinking water, but I tried to do a bit of walking each time I was on there.

Once the partner workout was done, we were on the floor for the second half of class and it was much more of a standard format without the partner work. The first block was speed skater lunges, shoulder work with weights, and running men. The second block was skier squats with weights, regular squats, and sit ups. And the last block was Y raises on the straps, pop jacks, running men, and sit ups. The floor work was so tough after the cardio, but I tried to limit my breaks. But I was definitely feeling done mid-way through the floor work and I know that I wasn’t doing my best in class.

Saturday’s workout is where I feel like I turned things around. I could have used the treadmill, but I decided to use the bike. I was thinking about how when I started doing 4 workouts a week that I set the 4th workout to be on the bike. And I worked hard on the bike each time. But lately I have looked at the bike as a second choice, and while I have been working on it I knew I wasn’t working as hard as I could. It was an endurance based workout with 3 groups so I was on the bike for the first 15 minutes of class. We had longer push paces with base paces after each and I really focused on pushing myself on the bike. I wasn’t using as high of resistance on it so I could focus on pedaling faster. And it seemed to work because it felt like the hardest bike workout I’ve ever done! I’m thinking I should probably use the bike once a week or so while I’m getting over this medication issue and I bet it’s going to benefit me when I’m back to running.

Next I was on the floor where we had 2 blocks. We had upright rows with weights, bicep curls, and high rows on the straps in the first block. And in the second block we had squat low rows with weights, side plank pendulums, and lateral lunges. And I ended on the rower where we had decreasing rows with lunges between. We started with an 800 meter row and I managed to get within 5 seconds of my PR! Not bad for the end of a workout! I didn’t do quite as well with the 600 meter row but I did PR by 2 seconds on my 400 meter row which was the last thing I did in class! It’s pretty tough to do that well when I had been working so hard during the rest of class, so I was pretty impressed with myself.

The beginning of the week was a bit of a frustration, but I did come to the realization that I could focus on things I can do and try to not think about what I’m struggling with. And by the end of the week I was able to create new goals and accomplishments for myself which was awesome! I do still want to get back to running and that is going to be a focus of mine, but I’m continuing to practice patience and I think it’s finally starting to kick in.

Still Managing My Expectations (or Still Able To Surprise Myself)

It was another workout week of needing to take things a bit easier. It is frustrating because I will feel so ready to be pushing myself when I walk into the workout and then as soon as I start it I feel like I can’t do it. This is something I do need to talk to my doctor about when we have our phone call because I don’t know if maybe I do need to go back to a slightly lower dose. I don’t want to have to struggle with my workouts like this for a long time because I can feel my progress slipping, especially with my running. But even with those issues, I did still manage to kick some butt this past week.

Monday was an endurance based workout. I had to start on the rower and I knew it would be a tough workout because it was my first morning workout on the new dosage. The rower I was on was acting up (for example it said I did under 200 meters in 3 minutes when it should have been more like 600 meters), but that might have been the best for me. I knew I was struggling on the rower and not knowing how much I was really struggling was helping me not feel as horrible about it. We had timed and distance rows, but for the distance rows I just rowed for the time it should take me to complete them. For example, the 200 meter row would have been probably about 3.5 minutes according to the glitchy rower, but normally that takes me about a minute. So I rowed for a minute.

Next I was on the floor. The first block was a pretty standard block. We had deadlifts, pull overs, and single arm rows using the weights. But the second block was when things got interesting. Orangetheory just started using strength bands in the workouts and Monday’s workout was the introduction of them.

I’ve used workout bands in the past, but not anytime recently and my experience with them was limited. For this workout, we had weighted squats, squat walks, and ab twists using the bands. I struggled with the bands, especially getting them on me without them twisting and feeling uncomfortable. I figured out that I could use them lower on my legs (which would make it a big harder, but that could be good) and I wouldn’t have struggled as much. But I tried my best and I’m looking forward to using the bands again.

And I was on cardio last and I was feeling pretty exhausted by then. I also knew I’d be going to Disneyland after the workout so I stuck with being on the bike. I’m glad I went with the bike because we had 5 minute distance challenges. If I was on the treadmill, I probably would have tried to run and possibly hurt myself. But since I don’t really have an idea of what I can do in 5 minutes on the bike, the pressure was off a bit. For the first distance challenge I did 2 miles on the bike and for the second one I did 2.1 miles so I was happy with the small improvement between the two attempts.

Wednesday’s workout was a power day. It was a bit frustrating to still not be able to run especially because when I got to class I was so sure I’d be working on running. But even walking was getting my heart rate up pretty high so I had to stick with walking. All the blocks were 4.5 minutes long and they were all pretty much the same pattern with a push pace, base pace, and push to all out pace. I was doing my normal walking speed and inclines and I tried not to focus on my desire to run. By the way, the fact that I have a desire to run is still a bit of a novelty for me and I think it’s pretty funny.

Things were more back to normal when I was on the floor. Again, all the blocks were 4.5 minutes long so things moved pretty quickly. The first block was full thrusters using weights and plank low rows using weights. The second block was snatches with weights and plank Spiderman. The third block was the toughest for me because it had full burpees but the other move was squat reverse fly with weights which was a nice break from burpees. And the last block was rounds of 100 meter rows with skier swings. With the rowing, I was able to get my wattage up pretty high, but I still couldn’t PR which was a bit frustrating. You’d think by having the best wattage on the rower I would get a better time, but it wasn’t happening that day.

Friday’s workout was a struggle for so many reasons that I’m just glad I survived. First, I was still dealing with adjusting to the new medication dosage. Also, I was dealing with horrible craps and nausea. And finally I ate too much at lunch that day (my friend Dani brought sandwiches over and we were hanging out before the workout). All of those things combined just made the day so difficult. It was an endurance day and I really didn’t think much about it. I just tried to get through it. There were 3 blocks on the treadmill and they all had longer push paces with going back to base paces. I was able to do my normal speed and inclines, but I did have to take a ton of breaks in the middle of each block.

On the floor the first block was a longer one. We started with an 800 meter row (I was done in just under 4 minutes) and then we had a bunch of exercises. Those included chest presses on the straps, lateral lunges, side plank leg raises, and sit-ups. Then it was a 400 meter row and the same exercises again. I was just getting through the exercises again before time on that block was done. Then we had a quick block with static lunges, bicep curls on the straps, and bicycle curls. The floor work was a bit better for me than the treadmill, but it was still a bit of a struggle.

Saturday’s workout was an endurance, strength, and power workout and it was a 3 group workout as well. I was still feeling off when I got to the class, so I used the bike instead of the treadmill. Each block started with a longer push pace and then had decreasing push paces with base paces in-between. With the bike, I’m not as familiar with my abilities (although I should be) so I don’t know if I was doing more than I normally could. I was getting my heart rate up and I was sweating, so I figured that was pretty good.

Next I was on the rower. We started with a longer row and then we had sprint rows with medicine ball squats in-between. We were doing 100 meter sprints and I decided to see if I could PR. I hadn’t checked my records before class, but I was pretty sure I knew what my best was. I had my coach stand on my rower (sometimes when you go really hard the rower can jump a bit) and I rowed what felt like the hardest I had ever rowed. I was really disappointed when I was done because I was sure it wasn’t a PR. But I knew it was my best average wattage for a 100 meter row so I took a photo of it for my records.

To my surprise, when I got home and checked my records, I actually did PR! I took 4/10ths of a second off of my 100 meter row! I wish I had known that in class because I think I would have been happier with things instead of feeling annoyed that I couldn’t PR even with trying the hardest I could. I’m glad the hard work did pay off though! And I finished up on the floor where the first block was clean to press with weights, triceps with weights, and half squat swings. And the last block was a core blast with sit-ups and superman extensions.

I know I’ve said this the past month or so, but I don’t know how much longer I will need in this adjustment period. I know that my workouts are suffering a bit because of this but it will be worth it in the end. I’m working on my patience with myself and it does seem like it’s paying off in my strength and rowing work. And hopefully soon enough it will be paying off in my cardio and I’ll be back to running.

Another Week Of Taking It Easy (or Feeling Strong While Not Working As Hard)

Even though I’m continuing to increase my medication and it’s affecting my workouts, I’m starting to get used to having to be a bit easier on myself. It’s not easy to do it because I always do want to push myself, but I’m more accepting that this is a temporary issue and that I’ll be done with increasing my medications soon and I’ll get used to this new dosage.

Monday was a bit of a tough workout for me. It was the first time on the increased dosage that I had a morning workout (which meant I worked out about 90 minutes after taking my medications) and I really felt it. It was a strength based workout so I was fine with walking on the treadmill. And since it was a 3 group class, I was only on the treadmill for about 1/3 of the class and not 1/2 of the class. I was able to do my normal speed and kept my inclines at my normal inclines. I did have to take more breaks than normal, but overall I was pretty happy with myself.

On the rower the first block was decreasing rows starting at 500 meters with bicep curls using the rower between each round. My times were never that great, but they weren’t that horrible. I did have to take some breaks on this rowing block because of my heart rate going up too high, but it wasn’t anything unmanageable. The second block on the rower followed the same pattern as the second block on the treadmill with doing base, push, and all out paces. The idea was to not stop rowing for the entire block (which was about 5 minutes) and to get to 1100 meters. By the end of the block, I was just at 1100 meters. And on the floor we had squats with weights, triceps with weights, knee tucks using the ab dolly, lunges with weights, hamstring work, and roll outs on the ab dolly.

Wednesday was the first day on a higher dosage of Vyvanse (and what should be the dosage I’m sticking with so hopefully the last increase). It was difficult being on the higher dosage and my body felt it. I dealt with a little bit of light-headedness (I don’t think I drank enough water before class either) and my heart rate was getting super high. I knew that this would happen on the first day of the new dosage but expecting it didn’t stop me from being a bit frustrated at times that I wished I could be doing more. The treadmill format would have been a good one for me to do some running in normal circumstances, but I had to stick with walking. I did my normal speed but only used 4% and 6% inclines.

The floor was one long block. We had sumo squats, skier swings, triceps on the straps, push up to plank jacks, and knee tucks. And after doing all of that we had rowing. The first row was 1200 meters and I managed to do it in 5:45 and didn’t have to take any breaks. That seemed like a huge accomplishment considering how I was feeling. I then had the second round of the moves on floor and then a 600 meter row. This was at the very end of class and my rowing wasn’t my normal speed or intensity. I had to take a few breaks and just as I finished the row class ended so I never made it to a third round on the floor.

Friday ended up being a much better day than Wednesday. I was feeling more adjusted to the new dosage and the workout was a partner day so that helped to keep me motivated and focused. My friend Grace was in class that day so she was my partner. It had a bit of an odd format, but I liked it. Blocks 1 and 2 were the exact same thing. One partner was on the rower and one was on the treadmill. The person who started on the treadmill was the pace setter and did .25 miles on the treadmill (I walked so I did .13 miles) and then tagged the person on the rower. Then they rowed 400 meters and tagged the person on the treadmill. The other partner just ran and rowed for distance. One of us was the pace setter for the first block and the other was the pace setter for the second block.

After those blocks, we had the last block that lasted about half of class. It was a bit more complicated but basically the partner on the treadmill or rower was the pace setter while the other partner on the floor did exercises until they were tagged (so we rotated throughout the block who set the pace). The floor exercises were squat thrusters, upright rows, froggers, high rows on the straps, and mountain climbers. The pacer had .5 miles on the treadmill to start (I walked .25 miles). The next round was 800 meters on the rower. And the last round was .16 miles on the treadmill (.08 for me) and a 260 meter row. Grace and I each were able to complete all the cardio portions before time was called which was awesome! I didn’t want to be the slacker partner and I think that I was able to hold my own.

Saturday’s workout was a bit more like Wednesday’s. I was struggling a bit with the medication dosage and I felt it in the workout. So I just took things nice and easy and did my best. And it helped again that it was a 3 group class. I started on the treadmill where we had rounds of push paces that decreased as the block went on. I was at my normal speed and used all my normal inclines. I was tempted a few times to try running for the 30 second all out paces, but I knew that this was just the beginning of the workout and I didn’t want to overdo it.

Next I was on the floor where we had 2 blocks. The first block was weighted lunges, plank work, good mornings to tricep kickbacks with weights, and pop jacks. The second block had squat jumps, side plank hip dips, squat jacks, and sit ups. And I was on the rower last where we started with a 200 meter row followed by 10 squat jacks. Then it was a 30 second all out row followed by 10 squat jacks. Then 15 pulls on the rower followed by 10 squat jacks. Then we started back at the top again with the 200 meter row but had 15 squat jacks between each rowing segment. I took quite a few breaks and none of my rowing was what I know I could do, but it was the end of the workout plus I was dealing with everything else.

I’ve debated if I should have gone down to 3 workouts a week instead of 4 while I was adjusting to new medication dosages, but I’m glad I didn’t. I did struggle at times but I like staying in this good habit. And now that my dosage won’t be increasing again, I can focus on getting things back to normal and being able to do my workouts the way I want. It still may take another week or two, but I know I’ll get back there eventually.

Managing My Setbacks (or Taking My Time With Adjustments)

This past week of workouts were a bit tough for me. I had a few things that were preventing me from doing my best, but I knew that was going to happen ahead of time. I think knowing the week was going to be a bit of struggle before getting to each workout was actually an advantage because I set my expectations lower than normal and didn’t have to worry about reaching goals that probably wouldn’t be possible.

Monday’s workout was a 3G power class. Normally this would be an amazing workout to work on running, but that wasn’t the plan this time. First, this was my first class with taking my Vyvanse all in the morning instead of splitting it up between the morning and lunchtime. Also, this was my 4th class in a row because I had my normal classes the week before plus the special 500 class on Sunday. Because of those factors, I didn’t try to run at all. We had 3 blocks on each section and we switched between the blocks.

The treadmill was all the same pattern for all 3 blocks. We had a push pace, a base pace, a push pace, and an all out pace. I managed to use my normal walking speed and the inclines I’ve been using for a while so that seemed like a victory to me. On the rower, the first block was doing 15 pulls and seeing what distance we got. Then we tried to get to that distance in fewer pulls. The second block was the same idea but with 300 meters. And the last block was just rowing for distance. My rower was acting funny and it wasn’t doing the meters correctly so I just tried to row straight through each block. And on the floor we had 2 moves for each block. And those moves included lunges, push-ups, hop overs, lateral raises, pop jacks, and upright rows using weights.

Wednesday’s workout had its own struggle. It was the first day on a new dosage of Vyvanse. Fortunately since it was an afternoon workout it didn’t affect me as much as it did in the morning, but I still have to make sure my heart rate doesn’t get too high. It was an endurance day and I did start trying to run but realized that I couldn’t do my running intervals. So I stuck with walking with my normal walking speed and was able to do my inclines. The goal for the class was to get ourselves back to base pace (instead of increasing push or all out paces) so I tried really hard not to jump the rails on the treadmill during the workout. I did have to do it when my heart rate got a bit too high, but I was doing better than expected. On the floor, the first block was squats, hamstring work, and knee tucks. The second block was rounds of 200 meter rows with hammer curls in-between. And the last block was sumo squats, half squat swings, and plank jacks.

And just when I thought things would be a bit more normal, I had a new issue on Friday. This time, I had a minor freezing procedure on my foot so it was a bit tender. It wasn’t as bad as it’s been in the past, but again I knew I needed to stick with walking. This time it was a power day and all the blocks had rounds of push to all out paces. I stuck with my normal speed and inclines, but since I was on the treadmill I still felt pretty good. I debated about using the bike, but I know my treadmill workouts are better and I’m glad I was able to do that. And the floor had skaters, plank twists, deadlifts, alligators on the straps, mountain climbers, and plank dips. And the last block on the floor was the same pattern as the treadmills with push to all out paces.

Saturday’s workout was a bit better than the rest of the week. But of course when I was debating if I could run it ended up being a strength day so I didn’t want to run inclines. It was a 3 group class and I’m pretty glad that it was because this was a tough one! On the treadmill, we had rounds of 3 minute or 90 second hills. I wanted to try to get my inclines higher, but I was feeling a little light-headed so I stuck with my usual inclines. On the floor we had lunges, upright rows with weights, lateral raises, chest flys, and weighted ab work. And on the rower we had decreasing rows starting at 500 meters and between each row we had squats and push-ups.

This week I will be increasing my medication again so I have a feeling I will have a similar week to the past week. I need to be careful with my heart rate and I’m glad that I go to a workout that makes it easy to monitor it. This week should be the last medication increase and then it might take another week or two to have this dosage feel normal. I’m just going to keep focusing on trying to do my best and realize that I have setbacks that might not be allowing me to do everything I’d like to do.

Joining The 500 Club (or A Special Workout Class)

As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, I actually did 5 workouts last week. I had my normal workouts on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday. But I also had a workout on Sunday as well. But this wasn’t just any workout. This workout was a class that you had to be invited to attend.

I found out that this class was only for the select few members who have done at least 500 classes. I don’t know exactly how many people have done that, but they mentioned that it was a pretty small number. And even though this workout would mean that I would end up doing 4 workouts in a row between last week and this week, I knew that I had to take the class no matter what! And the class was coached by Drew, who doesn’t usually teach when I go, so I wanted to make sure I made it for his class.

The class was a pretty tough one. It was strength based so there was a lot of inclines on the treadmills, heavy weights on the floor, and lots of rowing. There were 3 groups in the class so we did switch and that helped. But that doesn’t change that I think all of us wanted to show our best ability in class because we knew that we were an elite group. The social media manager for the studio was there taking videos and photos of us during class, and I saw myself on their Instagram feed after class was done.

This post isn’t a workout recap. To be honest, I don’t remember a ton about the workout because I was super focused on doing my best and not remembering what was happening each block. This post is about how I diminished and underestimated my accomplishments and never realized that I have become one of the hard-core members of my studio.

I’ve been going to Orangetheory at least 3 times a week every week since they opened. Since then, I’ve almost attended 650 classes (that does include my workouts in San Diego at Thanksgiving). That’s a pretty amazing accomplishment, but I just assumed that a lot of people have done that. I see a lot of the same people in class from week to week and I always thought that most of them take other classes at times that I don’t go. So while I know that over 600 classes is an accomplishment, I figured that a lot of people had done that.

But to realize that there weren’t that many of us who have done enough workouts to be invited to this class was eye-opening. I had to take a moment to think about it and realize how this shows my dedication to my fitness. This isn’t to say that people who haven’t done 500 classes aren’t dedicated. A lot of my friends either didn’t join as early as I did or go to other workouts throughout the week, and they are super dedicated too. But for me, who never probably did 500 classes of any other workouts combined, this is proof of my work. While I don’t see the proof all the time on my body, this has gotten it into my mind.

After the class was done, they had cake out in the lobby for us all.

I was going out to dinner right after the class so I skipped out on the cake. But they also had special Orangetheory hats for us all that had “500” embroidered on the back that I got. That is a really awesome hat and I know that I will wear it with pride!

I really love how my Orangetheory studio does special stuff like this for members. They always work on building us as a community and not just as random people who work out. It’s such a special feeling to know that I am part of an amazing group of athletes. Even if I don’t feel like one myself, I know that I am getting there. I can’t do as many workout as I have without at least making steps to being the elite athlete that so many members are!

I don’t know if there will be another milestone class thing like this. I am over halfway to 1,000 classes so maybe there will be one for that. But even if there aren’t other classes like this again for me, I love knowing that I have done over 500 classes and got to celebrate that accomplishment!

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Back To Balancing (or A Pretty Routine Workout Week)

This past week of workouts wasn’t that eventful of one. That’s actually kind of a victory for me since having things be routine is a pretty big milestone for me. It’s nice that even with some setbacks and struggles, the workouts felt so normal to me. Technically this was a 5 workout week, but the 5th workout was something special so that will be in tomorrow’s post.

My workout on Monday was endurance, strength, and power based. It was a 3 group class and we had 2 blocks on each side. I ended up walking for all of the treadmill work. It was going to rain and when it rains my hip hurts. It’s an annoying fact of my life, but I also know there is nothing I can do to fix it so I try to make the best of it. The first block was a long push pace and then a push pace to all out pace. And the second block was 1 minute or 30 second all out paces but we had to increase the incline each time. If we didn’t have the inclines I probably would have run, but I know I’m not ready to run on inclines right now. So I started at 6% incline and bumped it up .5% for each of the all out paces.

Next I was on the rower where the first block was a 1,000 meter row to start. My time was pretty slow (it was longer than the goal time for the class) but I also wasn’t as focused on the rower as I have been in the past. After that row we had lunges and then sets of 250 meter rows until the block was done. The next block was 500 meter rows (I got a slightly better time than half of my 1,000 meter row) and then 100 meter sprints. I was excited for the sprints because I know I can go pretty hard on those. I really wanted to get my time under 18 seconds but I wasn’t able to get it under 19 seconds that day. And on the floor the first block was chest presses on the straps, chest flys on the ground, and plank taps. The second block was bicep curls, plank rows, and torso rotations.

Wednesday was a strength day without switching between blocks. Since it was strength that meant we had hills on the treadmills and I wasn’t going to run it. It was also my first class with a slightly different plan for my medications so my heart rate was a bit odd. Each of the blocks on the treadmill were a similar pattern with a push pace (it was on a flat incline for runners), then a push pace on a hill, and ending with a push pace to an all out pace on a hill. While I didn’t get my inclines as high as recommended for power walkers, I did get it to be between 6-10% for the hill sections. I did struggle a bit with some dizziness (and I’ll probably have that for a few weeks as my medication adjusts), but I took my time when I needed it and felt pretty great when we were done on the treadmill.

On the floor we had 2 blocks. The first block started with a 250 meter row (I did it in under a minute) and then we had seated shoulder presses to stands and leg raises. The last block was a longer block and it started with deadlifts, low rows, and lunges. After 3 rounds of those we moved onto a core blast that was scissor abs and crunches. I wasn’t using heavier weights than normal on the floor, but I was able to use my regular weights which was good considering I was struggling on the treadmill.

Friday’s class was a mix of endurance, strength, and power. I had a couple of friends in class with me so that always makes the workout better! I was still struggling a bit with my heart rate so I stuck with walking everything. For the endurance block on the treadmill we had longer push paces. On the strength block we had increasing inclines for each segment and I was able to keep things between 6-10% again. And the last block was on the rower which was a nice change of pace. It was 30 seconds of a push pace, 30 seconds of an all out pace, and 30 seconds of recovery for 4 rounds.

On the floor, the first block was lunge jacks (I did them as regular lunges), roll outs on the straps, and plank work. The second block was single arm clean to presses with weights, lunges, and knee tucks on the bench (I did the knee tucks instead of any modifications). And the last block was on the same pattern as the rower. We had 3 rounds of 30 seconds of skater lunges and running man. And then the last minute was a plank hold. This class seemed tough to me because of my heart rate issues, but my friends agreed that this seemed like a really tough (but really awesome) class!

And Saturday’s workout was one that I wasn’t planning on going too crazy. It was the second day of what would end up being 4 workouts in a row (Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday). I originally thought I’d go on the bike, but I decided to use the treadmill and modify where I needed to. And I’m so glad I stuck with the treadmill! It was a 3 group class and the beginning of class was a round of 4 minutes at each section. On the treadmill it was a 4 minute run for distance. I thought maybe I’d do intervals with walking, but I decided just to run and see what happened.

I stuck with 4.5 mph because 4 minutes of running was more than I had done in a while. And it was difficult and I really thought about switching to a walk. But I just kept thinking how I was 1/4 of the way done, 1/3 of the way done, 1/2 of the way done and so on. I just watched the clock and decided to try to do the entire thing as a run. I had in my head that it would be amazing to get to .3 miles in 4 minutes and I saw that I was going to be close. So I bumped up my speed for the last 10 seconds and managed to hit my target perfectly!

On the floor, we had 4 minutes of bicep curls using weights, bicep curls using straps, tricep kickbacks using weights, and tricep work on the straps. That was a really tough 4 minutes since it felt like my arms never got a break! And on the rower, it was a 4 minute row for distance. While our coach said we should try for 1,000 meters, I knew that I couldn’t do that. So I set my goal at 850 meters which seemed pretty conservative to me. But when I missed it by 1 meter, it really made me mad! I knew I could have done better for a few seconds to get there but I didn’t do it and it showed.

The next round was about 10 minutes on everything. On the treadmill, it was longer push paces and I stuck to walking. My heart rate was having trouble recovering during the base paces like it normally would so I didn’t want to overdo anything. The second block on the floor was incline chest presses, upright rows with weights, toe touches, and weighted torso rotations. It was a tougher block, but it seemed much easier to me than the shorter block. And the last block on the rower was an 800 meter row followed by squats and then a 400 meter row. I got my 800 meter row in under 4 minutes and my 400 meter row under 2 minutes so I was happy. Getting a good row in at the very end of class isn’t easy!

Like I said, this was actually a 5 workout week. But I will be writing about that last workout tomorrow. But for the first 4 workouts of the week, I think I did pretty amazing!

A New Year Of Workouts (or Finally Starting To Feel Like Myself Again)

This past week was the first week of workouts for 2018! I’ve got a big number as my goal for my workouts for the year, so I’m glad I got off to a good start!

I did do a class on New Year’s Day since I usually do a class that day plus it was a Monday (one of my normal workout days). But this time it was weird for a few reasons. First, I was still not feeling good so I knew I would have to take it easy. But also, this was my 4th workout in a row! I think I’ve only had 4 workouts in a row once before (I know there may be another one coming up soon) and it’s a lot. So I was pretty tired going into the workout and knew that combining being tired with not feeling great meant I wasn’t going to have my best workout to start off the year. But I did start it off in style with breaking in some new workout shoes!

The workout was an endurance and power day. And despite it being the first day of the new year (so you’d expect a ton of resolution people at the workout) the workout wasn’t that packed so it ended up being a 2 group class instead of a 3 group class. It was a run/row format but I did it as a bike/row. And this type of run/row workout was one where we built upon each block. So we started with block one of the run/row and then we did block one and block two and so on. I made it to the last block when time was called so I was pretty impressed with how far I got even though my workout didn’t feel that strong.

On the floor we had one long block. The moves included plank punches, mountain climbers, plank jacks, squat rows with weights, high/low row combos on straps, and hammer curls. All the moves that had me in a plank position or bent over were making me feel pretty nauseous so I had to go easy on all of those. It wasn’t an easy floor block to get through, but I pushed as much as I could and was just glad that I showed up when I know in the past I would have used how I was feeling as an excuse.

Wednesday I was finally feeling better so I could have a good workout! It was a power day with 3 blocks on each side. On the treadmill, blocks 1 and 3 were pretty similar with push to all out paces. And block 2 was 4 rounds of a 45 second all out pace followed by a 30 second walking recovery. Between the 3 blocks, we had 11 45 second all out paces! I decided to try to do some running so I walked the base and push paces but ran for all 11 of the all out paces! It felt so good to feel normal again and I was so happy that it was a workout that I could push myself in.

On the floor, the first and third blocks were on the floor. We had push ups, chest presses, triceps with weights, squats, side raises, lunges, pull ups on the straps, and triceps on the straps. And the second block was on the rower where we had the same pattern as the treadmill with 45 second sprints with 30 seconds to recover in-between. While I didn’t do anything spectacular on the floor or rowing work, the fact that I felt like myself was such a victory that I didn’t care. Even though I was only feeling sick for a week, it seemed like forever and I worried when I would be able to get back to working on my workout goals.

Friday was an endurance day with no switches between blocks. As much as I wanted to work on running again, I also knew that I need to take things easy as I got back into it so I did all my treadmill work as power walking. All of the blocks had a similar format with a 2 minute push pace and a 2 minute push pace to a 1 minute all out in them. I did 6% for my inclines on my pushes and 8% for my inclines on the all outs.

On the floor we had 1 long block that started with a 500 meter row (I finished it in 2:11 which is pretty decent). Then we had add-on blocks on the floor. Every block started with burpees and then we added things on like squat thrusters, roll outs, swings with weights, and knee tucks. Doing all those burpees wasn’t easy, but somehow I managed to get them done. And we were supposed to do a second 500 meter row once we finished all the moves on the floor, but I was just finishing up my floor work when time was called so I never got to do the second row.

And even though I started the week with my 4th workout in a row (3 of those workouts being for the week prior), I still got a 4th workout in this past week! This time it was a strength based workout but it was a 3 group class. Because it was a strength class and I knew that meant inclines on the treadmills, I did another power walking day. Both blocks on the treadmill were similar with a longer base at an incline (I did 6%) and push to all outs at inclines (I did 8%). I was at my normal treadmill speed but I think I might have been able to push it a bit more in my inclines.

Next I was on the floor where we had 2 blocks as well. The first block was rows with weights, shoulders with weights, and plank leg lifts. The second block was uppercuts with weights, pushups, and running man. And on the rower we started with a 500 meter row and then went down 100 meters each time. After we got to 100 meters, we went back up by 100 meters each time. I made it to the second 300 meter row before class ended.

While this wasn’t the incredible start to my year of workouts, I think it wasn’t too bad. I was dealing with circumstances that I couldn’t control that affected how well I was able to work out, but I still showed up and started off the year with 4 workouts! Now I just can’t wait to see what will happen throughout the rest of the year!

The End Of My 2017 Workouts (or Finishing With A Whimper And Not A Bang)

This post isn’t going to be like my typical workout recaps. It was an interesting week of workouts for sure, but not at all what I thought it would be. But I am still proud on how I finished out my workouts for 2017!

My first workout of the week was Wednesday. Monday was Christmas so the studio was closed. And Tuesday they had a limited schedule and all the classes were during times that I worked that day. So Wednesday was my first workout since the Saturday before. That was a long break between workouts and I didn’t like it. I know that I’m going to work on not letting that happen again if I can help it.

Wednesday’s workout was a power day and we had 4 blocks on the treadmill and 4 blocks on the floor, with all blocks being 5 minutes. All the treadmill blocks were a similar format starting with a push to all out, then a walking recovery, and ending with a push, base, all out pace. For the first two blocks, I was able to run the push and all out paces and was very happy with that. But I got a bit tired and wasn’t feeling my best (a preview of things to come) and ended up walking the last two blocks.

On the floor we had 3 blocks on the floor and one block on the rower. For all the floor blocks we had 2 moves. The first block was power jacks with shoulder work and knee tucks. The next block was low rows on straps and knee tucks (technically they were supposed to be pikes but I can’t do those). And the last block was power pull ups on the straps and rotation sit ups. And when we went to the rowers we had the same pattern of what was done on the treadmill.

My other workouts this past week were on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday (I’m also doing a workout today which will make 4 workouts in a row). But none of those 3 workouts went the way I thought they would. On Thursday, I started to experience some pretty horrible PMS symptoms. My body does not react well to hormone fluctuations and that is why I went on birth control when I was 18. But since I can’t have any hormonal birth control now, I have to deal with my natural cycles and the issues that come with them.

While I do have medications to take to manage these symptoms, those don’t always work. And from Thursday evening through now I have been dealing with some extreme nausea and debilitating cramps. I am so lucky I work from home because I don’t think I could go to a job right now. I’m going to keep working with my doctors to see what new medications I can take or what other options we can try, but I also know that this may be my reality from now on and I need to learn to deal with it. I can’t let 25% of my life be wasted.

So even though I was feeling pretty awful on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday I still went to work out. I couldn’t walk on the treadmill because that made my nausea worse, so I stuck to the bike. Rowing was difficult and I couldn’t even work half as hard as I normally can. And the floor work was sometimes ok, but if I had to lay down or do something in a plank pose I couldn’t always do it.

I don’t really have a recap for any of these workouts because I don’t exactly remember what I did and I didn’t really do anything that great. I didn’t even really sweat at all on my workout on Sunday. But what I’m trying to focus on is that I was consistent and went to class. If this is what things will always be like each month (and I hope that isn’t the case), I need to learn how to deal with it.

But even though my workouts for most of this past week weren’t that great, I still ended 2017 on a great note! I managed to do 196 workouts for the year!

I love that I went beyond my goal for the year because I feel like things weren’t as good this year as they have been in the past. I dealt with a few different injuries plus all the hormonal issues I’ve been having. But this is proof that I did put hard work into my workouts! And even if my last workout of 2017 was not my best one, I’m glad that I was able to work out with some amazing coaches and other class members! Have great people in class with me helps me focus on something better than how I’m feeling and keeps me motivated.

And now I feel ready to start my 2018 workouts and see what those may bring!

Reflecting Back On 2017 (Kind Of Reaching My Goals)

I can’t believe this is my last blog post of 2017! It seems like it wasn’t that long ago that I was writing my goals for the year. This year definitely wasn’t what I expected it to be, but that was mostly for the best. But because of things not being the way I thought they would, some of my goals didn’t end up happening the way I thought. For some goals I totally surpassed what I expected and for others they didn’t happen. But even with the non-successes (I don’t consider them failures), I learned a lot.

My first goal I had for 2017 was 181 workouts. When I set that goal, I expected to be out for a little while when I had surgery so I thought it might be a bit of a stretch. I tried to make up for the time I thought I would be missing by doing more weeks of 4 workouts a week. That ended up being my new normal which was pretty exciting. And then I didn’t have surgery so I didn’t have to take the time away that I thought I would. But that didn’t slow me down and as long as the last few days this month go as planned I will be ending the year with 196 workouts!

I was pretty shocked when I looked at my total and saw how far over my goal I had gone. I knew I was going to be doing more than I thought, but I didn’t think I’d be 15 workouts ahead of my goal. That’s pretty amazing and even if every workout wasn’t the best one, consistency is so important and I think I’ve proved to myself that I have that.

My next goal I had for the year was to get through my liver surgery as easily as possible. I’ve got a history of having an easy time with surgeries, but this was going to be the first time I would have to stay overnight at the hospital and it was a much more extreme surgery than any I’ve had before. Well, as you all probably know from all of my posts about it, I didn’t have surgery. So technically there was no way for me to accomplish this goal. But I reframed it in my mind to be more about getting through this entire situation about my liver with less stress. And I think I did accomplish that. I think that I will always be a little nervous before going in for an MRI because I don’t want the tumors to grow, but beyond that time I really don’t think about my tumors that much at all. I do think about them once a day when I do visualization, but after that I try to not focus on it.

Next was to work on my recovery and hopefully reduce my binge episodes. I’m torn on how I did on this goal. I think that I have made some big strides in my recovery and there was some time where my binges were the most infrequent they have ever been, but that didn’t last. I don’t know what I need to do to keep that momentum, but my awareness is higher than ever and I consider that a win. I think this past year I’ve also become more aware of how long this recovery journey may take and that even if it doesn’t feel like I’m taking steps forward I am. I wish that some of my progress was more obvious and the results could be seen, but I think I’ll just have to wait a bit on that. But it’s a good thing that there isn’t a deadline to be recovered.

Next was a money related goal. I wanted to reduce my debt to be at a number that I had in my head. That reduction would have been about 25% of the debt I have and would have been amazing. I didn’t quite make it to that number, but I did get my debt down about 19% which is better than I have done before. This is also after getting a major reduction in my hours at one of my jobs. I went from 12-15 hours a week to 4 which cut my income down a lot. So to be able to reduce my debt that much and re-budget my life with the reduced money coming in is a big step. I wish I could have done more, but I also know that the circumstances weren’t easy and to reduce the debt at all took a lot of work.

I also set a goal to have a new PR in my 5K race. That worked out pretty well for me since I had a new PR at the one 5K I did this year. I had that PR on the course with the hills which usually slows me down. But because I had my running intervals longer that made up for any decrease in speed I had on my hills. To PR is awesome and I’m so happy that I was able to do that. But I was sad that I only had 1 race this year and that I didn’t have another chance to try to improve on that PR. Next year will be weird because neither of the 5Ks I usually do will be happening, but at least I know that I hit my 2017 goal for my races!

And my final goal for this year was to have more fun. I think I totally succeeded in this! I had so many Disney and Universal adventures with friends. I went to a lot of fun parties and just tried to have a lot of fun with the random things of life. And even though dating can be crazy and stressful at times, I’ve been having fun with that too. It does help that I’ve been turning all the bad stories into stories for my book so whenever I have a bad date I think about how funny it will be when someone else reads it. I haven’t gotten serious about anyone yet, but to have fun with dating is something that hasn’t really been in my past before and I’m glad that’s kind of my experience now.

Overall, I think I had more wins than non-successes with my goals. I might not have achieved everything I wanted, but that’s not really what goals are about. If they were all easy to reach then I didn’t set them high enough. I need to be striving for things and not reaching my goals does motivate me to do better. Look at my workouts as an example. I missed my goal in 2016 but far surpassed it in 2017. Missing that goal last year motivated me to do even better this year.

My next few posts will all be about what I’ve got in mind for 2018. I’ve got some big goals again that I’m thinking about and I’m excited to share them next week. But for now, I guess that’s a wrap on posts for 2017! It was a great year for me and I’m so grateful for you all following me on my journey! Have an awesome NYE (and please don’t drink and drive!) and hopefully we all have an incredible start to 2018!

Holiday Workouts (or Getting Some Confidence Back)

This past week of workouts ended up being one of the better ones I’ve had lately. I didn’t expect that at all, but I love when my workouts end up surprising me and I have some great accomplishment! Things didn’t really get awesome until the end of the week, but the entire week was still a good one.

Monday’s workout was a 2 group workout instead of the 3 group that we usually have on Mondays. There was a focus on endurance, strength, and power but for me I did most of the treadmill work the same way. I did my normal walking speed and my base pace incline was 4% and my push pace and all out pace inclines were at 6%. The endurance block was longer push paces with the pushes increasing throughout the block. The strength block was supposed to be hills, but I just used my 2 inclines. And the power block was 6 rounds of 30 second all out paces and 30 second walking recoveries. That last block was so tempting to try to run, but I chickened out because I knew I’d be going to San Diego right after my workout and I didn’t want to be in pain if running was going to hurt my toe.

On the floor, we started with upper cuts with weights, Y raises on the straps, and heel touch abs. The next block was upright rows with weights, bicep curls with weights, and skaters. I’m getting a lot better with the skaters and that surprises me since so much of it has to do with balance on one leg. I struggle with most single leg stuff, but somehow I’m not having as much trouble with the skaters as I do with the other stuff. And the last block was decreasing rows starting at 400 meters and going down 100 meters each round. And between each row we had frogger squats. None of my rows were amazing times, but they were all pretty decent and within the range I like to be in.

Wednesday was a strength and endurance day. There were 2 blocks on the treadmill and 2 blocks on the floor and we switched between each block. Both of the treadmill blocks were similar with 4 rounds of 90 second push paces followed by 45 second base paces. Both blocks also ended with a 1 minute push pace to a 30 second all out. But in the first block we were supposed to increase the incline each round and on the second block we were supposed to start at a higher incline and decrease it each round. But I kept my same plan with just 4 and 6% inclines. I did try 8% for a bit but it felt a bit too high for me. It’s been a while since I’ve had the higher incline so I think I need to start working toward that.

On the floor the first block had single arm chest presses, bicep curls on the straps, plank low rows, and tricep pushups. The second block had tricep work, shoulders, double crunches, toe touches, and a 300 meter row. I tried to make up for my lack of strength (aka incline) work on the treadmill by going a little bit heavier on my weights on the floor. I hate that I feel like I’m not pushing myself, but I also know that recovering from an injury is always frustrating for me because I always mentally feel ready to be back to normal before I’m physically ready.

But after feeling a bit let down on Wednesday, I totally made up for it on Friday! First of all, I was very excited for this workout because I knew my coach, Bruce, would be wearing the Santa hat I got him 3 years ago. This was the 4th year of a Santa Bruce workout and I feel so happy seeing him wear the hat that I randomly got for him my first year at Orangetheory.

But the festive outfit was only the start to my awesome workout. We had a run/row endurance day which started with a 1 mile run. I knew that there was no way I would be getting a PR on my mile, but I decided to use this opportunity to see if I could get back into running. The goal was to do the mile with 2 minute run/1 minute walk intervals but I didn’t know if I could do that or maintain it for the entire mile. But I wanted to see what could happen so I went for it.

It wasn’t an easy or pretty mile, but I think I did pretty decent. I was able to keep the intervals for the entire time except at the end I just kept running instead of adding in any walking. And I bumped up the speed at the very end because I wanted to see if I could be close to 14 minutes. Of course, after seeing what I got I was kicking myself that I didn’t bump up the speed sooner or went a little faster.

But considering that I hadn’t run in about a month it was a huge accomplishment to do any running at all, let alone do run/walk intervals for the entire mile! This wasn’t a PR, but it was one of my faster mile times so I was pretty excited about that! After the mile run, we had a 400 meter row. I was still catching my breath when I was rowing, so it wasn’t the best time. And because my mile took so long, I only was working on the next treadmill interval (which I did as a walk) before it was time to switch to the floor.

The first block on the floor was goblet squats, hop overs, and seated knee tucks. And the second block was lunges, pullovers, pushups, high rows on the straps, and running men. It was a tough floor block because each move was hard and the blocks were long. But I was trying to do the best that I could after the longer run and I think I was pretty successful on the floor work too.

After a really successful Friday, my Saturday wasn’t as great. It was a combination of factors including having some pain which was likely caused by the running as well as only getting about 2 hours of sleep (when I hurt I don’t sleep as well). It was a 3 group workout which did help because I wasn’t anywhere for too long. Each section had 2 blocks and we switched between each block.

I started on the treadmill and realized that it wasn’t going to be the best option for me. So within a few minutes I stopped the treadmill and headed to the bike to do that for my cardio. When I’m on the bike, I’m not as focused on the intervals but instead just trying to be consistent with my cadence. I know I didn’t get as much of a cardio workout as I would have gotten on the treadmill, but I also knew that if I had been on the treadmill it would have caused me to be in a lot more pain so I’m glad I avoided that.

On the floor, the first block was plank work, squats, and burpees. And the second block was arm swings with weights, mountain climbers, and lunge hops on the straps. And on the rower the first block had all out rows with recoveries. And the second block was timed rows with squats using medicine balls between each row. I wanted my rowing to be great, but it just wasn’t my day for that. I know that my workouts suffer a lot when I’m tired, but sometimes it’s not my choice to be tired and I just have to do the best I can.

This week of workouts will be a bit weird with my schedule, but I’m still getting them in. I’m excited to know that I’ve really done amazing with my workouts in 2017 and can’t wait to see what the last few workouts of the year have in store for me!