Tag Archives: OrangeTheory

Feeling Better About My Progress (or Coming Back From The Dri-Tri)

After my Dri-Tri, I was feeling pretty low about myself. I lost so much confidence in myself and my abilities in the workouts. It’s really a bad place to be in and I know that I need to believe that I can do better. But it’s tough to take myself out of a slump when I’m in it.

Monday’s workout was a strength 3 group class. There was a weird amount of traffic that morning and I ended up starting on the floor, which I never do. We had 2 blocks at each station and we rotated after each block so I didn’t stay on the floor for too long. The first round was all 8 minute blocks for us. On the floor we did goblet lunges, goblet squats, pull overs, and knee tucks. And then on the rower we started with a 200 meter row and 20 lunges and each time we went up 50 meters on the rower and down 2 lunges.

Then it was time for the treadmill. I was pretty grateful that it was a strength day so that I didn’t even try to run. I was still feeling awful about the Dri-Tri and I know I would have pushed myself to try to run even if I shouldn’t. It was all 90 second hills and I was more than happy to walk everything.

Then we had the second round and everything was 5 minute blocks. On the floor we had sumo squats, tricep extensions, and crunches. And then on the rower and treadmill we had the same pattern with a 2 minute push, 1 minute base, 1 minute push, and 1 minute all out. I just tried my best to row for 5 minutes without stopping and on the treadmill I just walked it all even though it wasn’t hill work. I wasn’t feeling so great about myself after the workout, but I knew that I was there and I did the work so I couldn’t be too upset.

Wednesday was the day that I think turned things around for me. It was an endurance day and I was feeling pretty awesome going into the class. I was still a bit down about my workout progress after the Dri-Tri, but I was more optimistic about things. And this ended up being the perfect workout for me when I was feeling like that.

I started on the treadmill and we had 3 blocks. Each block on the treadmill had a similar pattern with a push, a base, a push, an all out. The push paces changed times from block to block, but the pattern was consistent. I decided to see how much I could run of the push and all out paces but wasn’t expecting to be able to run them all. But somehow, I did manage to run all of them with walking my base paces. I noticed toward the end of the 3rd block that I was going to be very close to doing 2 miles in 30 minutes. So for the last all out pace, I ran at 6mph for the entire minute and I was able to hit that goal!

That totally proved to me that my performance at the Dri-Tri was just a bad day and not a real setback. Even though I had been telling myself that, I needed the proof that it was true and this totally proved it to me.

After that awesome running, I was a bit tired when I got to the floor. I took a bunch of breaks during each block, but I was able to get everything done. The first block was lunges with presses, hammer curls, and plank hip dips. The second block was all strap work with Ys and roll outs. And the last block was back extensions, crunches, and squats. It wasn’t the toughest floor work I’ve done, but I needed it to be a bit easier to recover from my cardio.

Friday was a strength day so it was another day of walking for me. I could have tried to run the all out paces because they were on a flat incline, but I ended up walking it all. Most of the inclines for me were at 6 and 8% but I tried doing some of the work at 10%. That’s still a bit too high of an incline for me but I need to keep testing myself and seeing what I can do.

On the floor, we had 2 blocks. The first block was a long one and we did deadlifts, lateral lunges, front raises, and plank rows before going to the rower. The rowing started at 400 meters and then went down 100 meters each time. I didn’t get spectacular times on my rowing, but I was always under the goal time which I was happy with. The second block was pushups to side planks, squat rows, and crunches. By the end of the floor work, I was feeling a bit off but fortunately that was at the end of the workout and not at the beginning.

And even though I didn’t feel like doing a Saturday workout this past week, I made myself do it. The next 2 weeks are going to be 3 workout weeks due to scheduling issues, so I knew I needed to have a 4 workout week this week. It was a power workout with 3 groups. We had 3 rotations around the room and every block was 4 minutes (so 12 blocks total).

On the treadmill, it was mainly push to all out paces. I tried running the first push pace on the first block and realized that running wasn’t going to be happening for me. I was disappointed because I usually am able to run the power days, but my body wasn’t feeling right and I’m working on listening to my body more. I did all my inclines at 6 and 8% and it was ok but I didn’t feel like I worked hard enough.

On the floor, it was tough to keep going for the 4 minutes but I did my best. One block had shoulder and pop jacks. Another block was lunges using the straps with more squats. And the last block had some plank work which was nice for being toward the end of the workout. And the rower was interesting. The first block was a 4 minute row for distance and I did get over 800 meters. The second block was seeing how few pulls you could do to get to 200 meters and I got it down to 16. And the last block was the same pattern as the treadmill with push and all out paces. While I was not feeling like going to the workout before being there, I’m glad I went because I did feel pretty decent when it was all done.

Now I’ve got 2 weeks of weird workouts. I’m still going to fit my workouts in, but it will not be when I’m used to going and I’ll have more time off between workouts from this week to next week than I’m used to. I hope that it doesn’t affect me too much, but at least now I’ve proven to myself that I have made progress and even if I have an off day I can get back there.

Third Time’s Not The Charm (or Being Ok With An Ok Dri-Tri)

This past Saturday was the Dri-Tri at Orangetheory. This would be my 3rd DriTri, but even though I had done it before I was pretty nervous. I might have been more nervous this time because not only did I know what I was in for but I had high expectation of what I could do. But I also was nervous because I knew I didn’t feel as prepared this year as I had in the past.

My week of workouts leading up to the Dri-Tri seemed pretty good, especially with my running. I was really optimistic that while my rowing might not have been where I wanted it to be that I could make up the time for the overall timing with my running. Ideally, I wanted to beat my time on the rower, on the half 5K, and overall; but I would have been happy with just having a best on 2 of those things.

The morning of the Dri-Tri I was feeling a bit concerned, but I was excited to get there and do it. There were multiple heats for it and I got a space in the first one. It was later than I’m used to working out on a Saturday, but not that much later. When I got there, I got a rower and sat down while trying to calm myself down. I tried to focus on taking deep breaths and getting into a relaxed headspace. I knew that I didn’t want to overdo it on the rower and I was just reminding myself that I didn’t have to race anyone and that I could just focus on me.

Before we got started our coaches went over how the entire event would work. This was pretty familiar to me but the floor work always seems overwhelming when they go over everything that we have to do. Once we got back to the rowers to get started, I just kept reminding myself to take it easy because I knew that the row was going to take a while and I didn’t want to have to take breaks.

Once we got started, I tried to zone out. I didn’t look at the rower computer or really focus on anything. I just tried to keep my breathing and rowing to a pattern and steady. I did start a bit harder than I wanted to, but I quickly got into a comfortable rowing speed and was feeling pretty good. By the time that other people were done with their row, I started to focus a bit more again and see how I was doing. In my last Dri-Tri, my row was completed in under 9 minutes. This time, I was hoping to be done in under 8 1/2 minutes but I realized that it wasn’t going to happen.

I didn’t think I was going that slow, but I think that I wasn’t pushing hard enough with my legs. My wattage was lower than it should have been and that made my rowing distance go by slower. I knew I’d be able to get it done in under 10 minutes for sure, but I really wanted to be as close to my last 2,000 meter row time from the last time I did it. When I was done, I was exhausted and ready to move on. I was the last person to finish on the rower, but that was what I figured would happen. But I took almost 9 1/2 minutes to complete my row. It was pretty disappointing and I started to get down on myself. But I was still hopeful that I could make up some time on the floor and on the treadmill so my overall time was still improving.

On the floor, we had 300 body weight exercises. Those included push-ups, squats, step ups (or for me, lunges), hop overs, and plank jacks. We had a certain number of reps to do for each exercise, but to complete 300 reps we did them all twice. This part has been one of the toughest for me in the Dri-Tri because I’m usually so tired after the rower and it’s not easy to do all these exercises. Plus, I’m so competitive with myself so I don’t take all the breaks that I should. I’m not good at planning my breaks when they aren’t built into the workout so I usually go without breaks for the beginning and then take more breaks than I should toward the end.

The floor work was going fine for me until the first set of burpees. My hip popped out during those and I just figured I’d get it to pop back in and keep going. I pushed it back like I normally do and thought I got it done. But it kept coming out. This does happen from time to time and it’s really annoying when it does because it seems like it takes forever to make better. But I didn’t have forever to work on it so I just had to keep going and stopping when I needed to put pressure on my hip to make it feel better. I tried to count in batches so it didn’t seem so overwhelming when I was trying to count to 30 and that helped a bit. And like with the rower, I was the last person to finish on the floor before moving to the treadmill.

The treadmill part of the Dri-Tri is a 5K. If you are a power walker, you do half of a 5K. I originally thought that I’d try to see how far I could get into a 5K before I had to stop, but my official time would be with the half 5K since that’s what I’ve used every other time. I was going to do my treadmill work as a run/walk and since I had some great running earlier in the week with my workouts I was hopeful that it would go well. My big goal was to do the running as either 2 or 3 minute intervals with 1 minute of walking and see how that felt. But because of my hip, I barely made it 1 minute of running at the start before I had to walk.

I thought that maybe I’d just have to do 1 minute intervals even though I didn’t want to be slower than before, but when I tried to run the second time I knew my body just wasn’t having it. It was tough to accept that I would be walking the entire time, but I knew that I had to do it. I kept my speed steady at 3.5mph which is my standard base pace and I kept my incline at 4% which is also what I use for my base pace. I knew I could do it normally, but this wasn’t normal circumstances. My hip wasn’t happy and I had to take lots of breaks to try to make it feel better.

There were plenty of times I felt like giving up on the treadmill. And there were a few times I was close to tears because I was so mad at myself. I questioned if I did too much in my workouts leading up to this and made things harder on myself. I questioned if doing the Dri-Tri in general was the right decision for me. And I wondered where things went wrong and caused all the issues that I had that day. The other problem was that it takes much longer to do the half 5K walking than it does as a run/walk, so it felt like it was taking forever. But when I got close to the end I decided that I had to push myself and ran for the last minute or so until I got to 1.55 miles. This was not the best time I could have gotten on the treadmill, but it’s what ended up happening.

It’s slower than what half of a 5K would have taken me for the past few races, but again there was almost no running this time. And when I do 5K races I didn’t do 2,000 meters of rowing and 300 body weight exercises before my race, so I guess I can’t really compare it.

The first time I did a Dri-Tri, I wanted to finish in under an hour and I finished in just under 53 minutes. My second Dri-Tri I wanted to just do my rowing in under 10 minutes (which I did) and I did the entire thing in under 44 minutes. This time, I thought maybe I could do the entire thing in under 43 minutes and I could beat my rowing time. I didn’t beat my rowing time and my overall time was just over 50 minutes. I’m not happy with myself at all, but I’m trying to be. I know that not everyone can do this fitness event so just getting through it is an accomplishment. But when you have such high hopes for yourself it’s tough to accept something less than what you wanted.

I’ve spent the past few days trying to think about what I could have done better, but I think that things were just not in my favor that day. I don’t know if I could have changed anything and that’s part of what’s tough for me to deal with. But I keep reminding myself that this was just one time doing the Dri-Tri and I should have plenty of chances in the future to do another one. I can work harder on preparing and see what’s possible. But more than anything, I need to just remember that I did it and that’s the most important thing!

 

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Mixing Up The Routine (or Almost PRs And Dri-Tri Prep)

This past week of workouts was an interesting one for me. I’m so set in my routine that when things change it can throw me off. And this past week, I couldn’t work out on Wednesday and I switched it to Tuesday. I don’t want to say that I’m set in my routine, but it is weird when I’m not doing my normal schedule. My Tuesday felt like a Wednesday, my Wednesday felt like a Tuesday, and I didn’t know what day it was on Thursday since I had 2 days off from working out. But I still managed to get my workouts in and it’s good for me to mix things up sometimes.

Monday was a 3 group class and we did a mix of a partner workout and a tornado workout. It was very unexpected but it was pretty awesome! It was a 3 partner workout for most of the class, but only the partners on the floor and treadmill switched. The treadmill partner did .1 all out runs 3 times with some recovery between and then tagged the floor person. I did the first and third .1 as a run and the middle one as a .05 power walk. When it was my turn on the floor, we had a mix of jumping jacks, push-ups, abs, pop jacks, and arm work. But I was never on the floor that long because my partner on the treadmill would tag me out.

My turn on the rower was in the middle of the workout and it was just a 10 minute distance row with some guidance of when to do push or all out on the rower with some recovery. Overall, the goal was to get to 2000 meters and I thought that was perfect because I have the dri-tri soon and 2000 meters is how we start the dri-tri. But in the 10 minutes I was on the rower, I only made it to 1700 meters and it made me realize that I need to work on distance rowing more to get ready for the dri-tri.

After the partner workout was done, we had a 2 minute tornado workout around the room. So we were only at each station for 2 minutes. On the treadmill it was a 1 minute push pace to a 1 minute all out. I was pretty tired by that point so I ended up walking it. On the floor we had 2 minutes of plank work. And on the rower we had a 2 minute row for distance and I was just under the goal of 400 meters.

While I’m getting pretty used to working out 2 days in a row, it was still very weird to me to work out on Tuesday. It’s pretty rare that I’ll work out then but it was the only time I could fit in the workout in my schedule unless I wanted this past week to be a 3 workout week (which I didn’t want). The workout was a mix of endurance, strength, and power and we did switch between the blocks. And I was very happy to start on the treadmill after all the times I haven’t been able to start on it lately.

There were 2 mini blocks on the treadmill for the 2 times we were on it. And all of them were pretty much the same format. We had a 1 minute push pace which I was able to run, a 2 minute hill which I walked, and a 30 second all out pace which I ran. I was happy that I was able to do a little bit of running and since I rarely run on hills I didn’t mind walking my hill work.

On the floor, we also had 2 blocks and each block started with rowing. The first block had an 800 meter row and the second block had a 400 meter row. Both rows were under the time we were supposed to be under, but neither were spectacular times for me. And besides the rowing we had squats, abs, planks, and lunges on the floor. Even though it felt weird to be working out on a Tuesday, it was the first workout in a while that felt totally normal to me. I felt like myself and that I was working out as hard as I could.

Friday’s workout was a challenging one. I knew going into the workout that we were going to have a 23 minute run for distance challenge. Usually I would check my records to see what I usually can do for those challenges, but I forgot to this time (I’ll come back to that). I’ve been pushing myself more with my running and have found that sometimes I can run for a lot longer than I thought I could. I was pretty certain that I couldn’t run for 23 minutes without stopping, but I figured that I could do my best and see what happened.

I didn’t follow any of the coaches instructions of when we were doing base or push pace because I just wanted to run at a steady pace that I know I can handle. And it did start off pretty rough and I debated if I just wanted to do some intervals instead. But I decided that I was just going to go for it and when it got to be too much that I’d take a walking break. I focused a lot on the clock on the treadmill and was telling myself when I was 10%, 25%, 30% done because it did help me think that I was doing ok. And I eventually decided that I would take the middle minute of the challenge as my first walking break. So when the clock on the treadmill said 11 minutes, I went down to a recovery walk.

Originally, my plan was to run the last 11 minutes after taking my walking break, but my body wasn’t going to do that. For the last 11 minutes, I took 2 or 3 more walking breaks (I honestly can’t remember how many I took) but they were each only about a minute. And when we got to the last minute of the challenge, I bumped my speed up a bit. My long-term goal for the 23 minute distance challenge is to be able to do 1.75 miles, so I was pretty happy with my distance when I was done this time.

But the problem was that after the workout was done I looked at my treadmill records and saw that my PR was 1.640. I was only 0.001 miles off of my PR and that would have been only like 1 second less of walking or bumping up the speed a tiny bit for a second or two at the end. That was so frustrating to see and I was a bit mad at myself. I know if I had looked at my record before the workout that I would have made the effort to beat it this time.

After the treadmill work, I was pretty exhausted and fortunately the floor work wasn’t too bad. We started with a 4 minute distance row, but for me I was more focused on just getting through the row and not seeing what my distance was. I did manage to get over 800 meters, so I was happy with that. Then we moved on to the first floor block which was all Bosu work. I had to make some modifications with my workout so I did squats with one foot on the Bosu instead of lateral hop overs, plank leg lifts (but I skipped using the Bosu), and running man. And the second block was  strap work, push ups, and crunches on the Bosu.  And we ended the workout with a 2 minute row for distance.

Even though I was pretty disappointed after my workout with being so close to getting a PR on my run, I was still pretty happy overall because I did manage to run for more time than I ever have before in class!

Saturday’s workout had to be a bit of a recovery workout for me. I was still feeling my long run and I knew that I wouldn’t be able to do what I can usually do in class. We had a mix of endurance, strength, and power and it was a 3 group workout. Each section of the room had 2 blocks and we did both blocks for that section before we moved on.

I started on the rower and the first block was a series of 30 second all out rows followed by lunges and squats. I didn’t stress too much about how far I was going each 30 second challenge so I didn’t reset my rower each time. I know I did at least 100 meters each time, but I really didn’t think too much about it. And the second block on the rower was decreasing rows starting at 500 meters with weighted swings between each row. I only was able to complete the 500 and 400 meter row before time was called (I was working on the 300 meter row then).

Next I moved to the floor where again we had 2 blocks. The first block was arm work, squats with weights, and seated knee tucks. The knee tucks are tough on my hip, but I was able to get through half of the set before I had to take a break each time. And the second block was pull ups on the straps, skaters, and plank jacks. And all of those ended up being much easier for me than I thought they’d be.

Finally, I ended up on the treadmill. I knew that it was going to be a walking workout no matter what. We did a lot of 2 minutes of work either on an incline or at a push pace (which means at an incline when you are walking) followed by base pace for the time we were on the treadmill. Since I wasn’t running and this was at the end of the workout, I didn’t really focus on what I was doing and felt like I was a bit on autopilot.

This week is the dri-tri and I’m hoping that all the work I’ve done lately will help me get a new best time. I know that it might not be possible, but I can still hope for it. But I know that this crazy workout week that I had last week was good prep work since I had a long row and a long run to use as training. I guess I’ll have to see how it goes when I attempt the dri-tri for the third time this week!

An Off Workout Week (or Just Trying To Do My Best)

This past week of workouts weren’t that great for me. I seemed to have issues almost every workout day for some reason or another and it was tough to feel happy with what I was able to do. I do just try to keep reminding myself that working out is better than not working out, but that doesn’t work all the time for me.

Monday’s workout was a tornado class. That means that we had very short blocks and switched between each block. This time, every block was only 2 minutes long and we had 5 rounds around the room (15 blocks in total). I started on the rower because everyone seemed to get to class super early with it being a holiday and no traffic. I thought I was there early, but I was wrong.

For the rower and the treadmill, we had the same thing for all 5 blocks. On the rower, we had 45 seconds of a push row, 30 seconds of a base row, and 45 seconds of an all out row. I tried to get 400 meters each block because that would be about what I normally do, but I only ended up averaging about 350 meters each block which surprised me. That’s pretty low for me and I didn’t feel like I wasn’t rowing that different from normal.

On the treadmill, we had 75 second push paces followed by 45 second all out paces. On a normal day, I can totally run for 2 minutes. And knowing that I would be getting off the treadmill after 2 minutes would make running even easier. But I was dealing with some horrible nausea during class and running was making it much worse. So I ended up power walking for those 2 minutes each time. I did 6% and 8% which is pretty standard for me.

And on the floor, while each block was different they all had the same format. It was 2 moves on each block. Move 1 was for 45 seconds, move 2 was for 30 seconds, and then we did move 1 again for 45 seconds. It was interesting having everything as timed segments and not rep numbers and it helped me to keep going because I knew how much longer I’d be doing each move. The floor moves included deadlifts, upright rows, bicep work, plank work, strap work, squats, and lunge. It was a good mix of things and I think the floor was probably my favorite thing for the workout.

Wednesday’s workout was a very difficult one for me. First, again I had to start on the rowers. In some way I’m glad that I had my rowing challenge the week before, but I really don’t like starting on the rower/floor. It will never be my first choice in the workout. But that wasn’t the only difficult part about the workout. That morning I had an appointment with my dermatologist and she had to freeze something on the bottom of my foot. I didn’t think it would hurt too much during the workout, but I was wrong. My foot was pretty tender and I wasn’t able to put my weight on it like normal.

The floor work was 2 blocks. The first block was weighted swings, burpees, plank work, and rowing. For rowing, we started at 400 meters and went down 100 meters each time we got back to the rower. Rowing was a bit tough because you usually put pressure on your heels, so I had to just be gentle with myself. The second block was squat work, skaters, plank work, and more rowing. This time the rowing started at 100 meters and went up 100 meters each round.

When I got to the treadmill, I thought maybe I could just walk really slow and things would be ok. But after less than a minute I knew that the treadmill wasn’t going to be for me that day. I went over to the bike for cardio and it was an interesting change for me. It has been a while since I was on the bike but I’m glad that it’s an option in class because there was no way I could have done the treadmill. There were 3 cardio blocks each with a similar format of a long push pace to an all out pace followed by stand alone all out paces. It’s tough to judge how well I did since it had been so long since I was on the bike, but at least I was able to do it without my foot hurting too much.

Friday’s workout was a mix of endurance, strength, and power and we didn’t switch between blocks. My foot was feeling better but it was still a bit tender. So I ended up walking again even though I really wanted to run. We started with strength which was all incline work. I had to stick to my normal inclines of 6-8% because of my foot, but I did the hill patterns the way we were supposed to. For the endurance block I did all my push paces at 6% and for the power block I did all my all out paces at 8%. I was happy to be back on the treadmill, but not so happy that I couldn’t run again.

For the floor, we had 3 blocks and each block had rowing that was 100 meters to start and then adding 50 meters each round. Each time I only managed to get to 100 and 150 meters and none of them were exceptional times for me. But I was rowing much better since my foot was feeling better. We also had lunges, plank work, side lunges, biceps, squats and abs. But for me, the highlight on the floor was not having my foot hurt as much as it had on Wednesday.

Saturday’s workout was a strength workout so I knew that I’d be walking again on the treadmill. It was a 3 group class and we did switch between the blocks. I started on the treadmill and the first block I kept things pretty similar to how I normally do hills on the treadmill with being between 6-8% inclines. But in the second block I decided to push myself and did most of my incline work at 10% which is higher than I usually do. It was tough, but I’m glad I tried because I’ve realized that I do need to work on making my power walk workouts more of a challenge.

On the floor, the first block had chest presses, pull overs, and a single arm row and I was able to use 20lb weights for all of the moves. That’s pretty normal for me for the chest presses and pull overs, but for single arm moves I usually can’t do 20lb weights. So I was glad I tried and found out that I could do it. For the second block we had triceps, single arm fly, and ab work and for all of those I used 15lb weights. That wasn’t too unusual for me, but for ab work I usually don’t use weights and this time I did. And on the rower the first block was decreasing rows starting at 400 meters and with squats in-between each set of rows. And the second block was 200 meter rows each time with lateral raises in-between each set.

It’s upsetting that I’m upset about not having a great workout week, but in a way that is more motivation for me to try to see what more I can do when I’m having off days to make them better. Hopefully this week of workouts will be better and if it isn’t maybe I can just have a better attitude about it.

Learning To Love The Rower (or Creating My Own Challenge)

Since pretty much the beginning of my time at Orangetheory, I always want to start on the treadmill. Part of this is because I want to get the treadmill work done first because it’s the hardest for me most of the time. But the other part is that when I start with rowing and floor work my hip can be very temperamental on the treadmill. I almost always struggle on the treadmill after being on the floor, so I figured I should just try to always start on the treadmill to prevent this.

But this past week, I ended up challenging myself to start on the rower/floor each class. I didn’t start the week with the challenge, but after my first 2 workouts of the week starting that way I decided to keep going with it and seeing what happened.

Monday’s workout was a 3 group workout that had a mix of endurance, strength, and power. I had to start on the rower because I was running late, but it ended up being a good thing for me. We had kind of partner workout between the rower and the floor work which made the workout pretty interesting. When I started on the rower, I started with an 800 meter row and then I went to the floor to tag my partner. I then did pull ups on the straps and crunches before my partner tagged me and I went back to the rower for a 700 meter row. I finished that row and then time was called to switch.

Next I was on the treadmill where most of the work was endurance type work with longer push paces. I started out with running, but my hips were really tight and my ankle was bugging me so I ended up walking the entire treadmill work. The end of the treadmill time was work on inclines so I knew that walking those would be the only option for me with how I was feeling. It was frustrating that my body wasn’t letting me run, but I also knew that power walking is a good workout when I do it fast enough and at a high enough incline.

After the treadmill, I went to the floor where it was the partner workout again between the floor and rower. On the floor I did squats, hammer curls, skaters, and mountain climbers. And while I was on the rower I did the 600 and 500 meter row before the end of class. The second time doing the partner workout was a bit easier, but I think that was also because I knew how the partner work was going to go and had a better idea of how long I’d end up spending on the rower.

Wednesday’s workout was a power day, and I started on the rower not by choice. It was very weird what happened because there weren’t that many people who got to class before me but they couldn’t find the treadmill cards. But I figured again that starting on the rower was a good challenge for me. When you start on the rower and it is a 2 group class, you usually start with floor work.

The floor had 3 blocks. In the first block we had lunges, squats, and plank crunch work. The second block was froggers, situps, and superman work. And the third block was burpees, strap work, and situps. I went a bit easier on the floor than I’m used to because I knew I had the cardio still to go and I didn’t want to be too tired when I got on the treadmill.

The cardio work was a run/row with weights. It started with an endurance run that was supposed to be .6 miles. I decided to do that as a power walk so I did .3 miles at 6% incline. Then we did shoulder and tricep work with weights before doing a power row of 150 meters. Then back to the treadmill for a power run of .15 miles. Since that was a pretty short run, I decided to do it as a run and not a walk. Then the weight work again before going back to the rower for the endurance row of 600 meters. I just made it back to the treadmill to start the endurance run (or for me, power walk) when class ended.

Friday’s workout was an endurance day and I chose to start on the rower. I figured that I might as well challenge myself to do the rower as the start for the week and see what I could do. And not only did I start on the rower, it was a weird day for me because I did a morning workout! I don’t do mornings on Friday because of work, but I had to take the day off work (more about that later this week) so I was able to do a Friday morning workout. It was fun because so many of my Monday morning people were in that class so we were all cheering each other on.

This time, we had 2 blocks on the floor and 2 blocks on the treadmill and we switched between blocks. On the floor, the first block was squats, rows using the straps, pushups to plank work, and a 600 meter row. I ended up going slower than normal on the row and it took me over 3 minutes to complete it. I think I was being a bit too cautious and worried about overdoing it in the beginning of the workout, and I could have done better. But there wasn’t a lot of time to be upset since that was just the beginning of the workout. The second block on the floor was squats, triceps, abs, and pop jacks.

When I got to the treadmill, I had already made the decision to walk the entire time. I had a big day of walking ahead of me (again, more on this later this week) and I didn’t want to overdo it because I didn’t want to spend the day in pain. The first block was decreasing push paces that started at 3 minutes and went down to 1. I did all my push paces at 6% and my all out paces at 8%. The second block was increasing push paces starting at 1 minute and going up to 2 minutes. And I did the same inclines on the treadmill this time.

Saturday’s workout was one that I was really thinking about cancelling. I was exhausted and have not been sleeping well because of the heat wave. But it ended up being the perfect way to end my rower challenge so I’m so glad that I went. It was a 3 group power workout and again I started on the rower. But this time, we had been told that Water Rower, the company that makes the rowers we use, was going to donate $1 toward the Red Cross for hurricane relief for every 1,000 meters we row and post a photo of on social media. So when I started on the rower, I didn’t follow the plan and just decided to row the entire block without stopping. I got just over 2,000 meters and then moved on to the treadmill.

I tried to run on the treadmill, but had to move to power walking after about a minute of running. But that worked out ok because I ended up having a plan in my head with the rowing and wasn’t thinking too much about the treadmill. I then went to the floor where we had some weights and ab work.

Then it was back to the rower where I decided that I wanted to see if I could stay on for more than just the rowing block. Someone else in class was doing the 10,000 meter challenge and I thought that maybe I could get to 5,000 meters total. So I knew I had to row another 3,o00 meters and that would pretty much take me 2 blocks. Fortunately, there was space in the class for me to stay on the rower so I started rowing and tried to get into a zoned out state.

Rowing over 2,000 meters is pretty rare in class. And any time we have to row 1,000 meters is extremely tough and usually I have to take a break. But I knew my time was limited and I couldn’t take breaks like I wanted to. So I just tried to stay steady in my rowing and not look at the distance that often. I was at about 1,500 meters when it was time for my group to move to the treadmill, but I stayed on the rower. I never thought I’d skip the treadmill to keep rowing, but I was determined to get to 3,000 meters. And when that treadmill time ended, I just got to 3,000 meters and was able to get a total of 5,000 meters in class!

That’s $5 that Water Rower is going to donate to the Red Cross! It’s not a lot of money, but between everyone in my class I think we got probably $50 in donations. And when you add up all the classes in all the studios that is going to be a lot of money!

I think that I pretty much killed it in my rowing challenge this week. I don’t think that I will be starting on the rower regularly because this confirmed to me that it is still tough for me to run on the treadmill after rowing and doing floor work. But I won’t be as worried or nervous about it now that I’ve proved to myself that I can do it.

Routine Is Still Progress (or Proving I’m Improving)

This week of workouts seemed like a routine one for me until I looked back at what I did. Sometimes it’s tough for me to see that I’ve done some awesome things until I look at the week as a whole and that’s exactly how this week went. It also was a week where I took a moment to reflect on what I’m doing now that seems normal when not that long ago it seemed like it would be impossible.

Monday’s workout was a 3 group workout with switches plus it was a strength day. So that combination was a mix of something I like (switching and shorter blocks) with something that is really tough for me (inclines on the treadmill). There were 2 rounds so with the switches we had a total of 6 blocks in class. On the treadmill, the first block was 2 minutes of hills with flat base paces in between. And the second block was a 5 minute decreasing hill. I walked everything and for the decreasing hill I ended up doing all 5 minutes at 8%. I knew I wanted to take it a bit easier on the treadmill because I had Disneyland after the workout. But to think that walking for 5 minutes at 8% incline is taking it easy is huge progress.

On the floor, the first block was squats, lunges, and rows with weights. The second block was chest press, tricep, and plank work. And the rowing was decreasing distance rows. We started at 500 meters and decreased the row each time. In between the rows we had medicine ball work which included front presses, overhead presses, and front raises. The rowing felt a bit tough so again I tried to take things easy. I usually try to take it easier when I know I have Disneyland after a workout, but this time I was extra grateful that our Disney day ended up being a shorter one. Taking it easy is still pushing myself and I think I might have done more than I should have for a full Disney day.

Wednesday was a power day and it was an interesting workout. I usually do afternoons on Wednesdays, but because I had to be at FOX to work on the podcast that day I went to a morning workout. I’m not used to Wednesday morning classes, but it was fun because a lot of the people who are in my Monday morning class were in that class too!

The treadmill work was 5 blocks and we didn’t switch between blocks. The first 4 blocks had the same format. We started with a 5 minute block and each block was 30 seconds shorter. The blocks were a push pace, base pace, push pace to all out pace. The last block was just a 1 minute push pace to a 1 minute all out pace. I ran all the push and all out paces and tried to do them as push and all out speeds. But when it was a push to all out pace, I wasn’t able to increase my speed at all so I kept it at my push pace speed. But I had to remind myself that to be doing that much running is still impressive and progress from where I was a year or two ago.

The floor that day was one long block for the entire second half of class. Each round on the block started with 10 burpees, then we had increasing numbers of workout moves, and we ended with a 200 meter row. 10 burpees is a lot and it was tough to do that many, but I just took my time and got through several rounds of 10 burpees. For my rowing, my best 200 meter row was 39.2 seconds which isn’t a PR but it’s still pretty fast. And the moves that we added in between the burpees and rowing included planks with rowing, strap squats, tricep work, and plank jacks.

Friday was a strength day and I was ready to have a day of power walking on the treadmill. There were 3 blocks on the treadmill and each block had a similar pattern. The only time we had a push pace on a flat incline was at the very beginning of the first block so I ran that one. But all the other push paces and all of the all out paces were at inclines so I walked those. Each block had a push pace, a push pace to another push pace (changing the inclines), and a push pace to an all out pace. I pretty much kept a similar pattern with all my blocks with my inclines being at 6, 8, and 10%. It was a bit lower than the coach told us to do, but I also know that 10% incline is my limit a lot so I didn’t want to overdo things.

On the floor we had 2 blocks. The first block was squats, rows with weights, toe reaches, and roll outs on the ab dolly. The second block was a 90 second row for distance, lunges, hip bridges, torso rotation, and knee tucks. I made it to the 90 second row twice in class. The first time I did 330 meters which isn’t bad but I really wanted to get to 350 or more. So when I got back to the rower I went really hard and didn’t look at the computer to check my distance until my time was done. I was equally frustrated and amused that I did exactly 330 meters again. I don’t think I’ve ever had the exact same distance on back to back distance challenges before. At least I found a little humor in it instead of just being frustrated.

Saturday’s workout was another 3 group workout and it was an endurance day. I think I lucked out with power walking on Friday so that I was ready to go on Saturday. The treadmill was split into 2 blocks that were each 6 minutes. The first 6 minute block was 6 minutes for distance. I had it in my head that I wanted to do at least half a mile in 6 minutes. That’s pretty fast since I usually go at 4.5mph when I do any endurance work on the treadmill. But to get the distance I wanted, I needed to be at 5mph. I started at 5mph and decided that I would just see how it felt.

It did feel a bit fast to me, but not so unreasonably fast that I felt like I was at risk of falling off the treadmill or hurting myself. And when we got to the last minute, I decided to push it harder than I through I could to see how much I could do. I ended up being at about 5.7mph for that last minute and when it got to 6 minutes, I was so happy with my distance.

After I got home from class I did a bit of math and figured out that the average speed I was doing on this half mile was faster than the average speed for my best mile! And I felt better after this half mile than I did after that mile, so maybe I could do another mile PR soon. I’m so proud of myself and it’s been tough thinking that I’ve had some setbacks with my running. But this proved to me that I haven’t had setbacks, I just haven’t seen the progress I’ve made.

The second 6 minute block on the treadmill was more of a standard treadmill block, but I ended up walking it all. I know I pushed hard during the distance challenge and I had to take it a bit easier after that. But again I had to remind myself that I had just run for 6 minutes at a speed I usually only do for a minute. So I think I earned the walking.

Next I was over at the rower where we had distance rowing. We started at 600 meter rows and went down 100 meters each round. Between each rowing round, we had front raises and bicep curls. Because we didn’t have any recovery time on the rower, I had to take recovery time between the weights and rowing. So I didn’t make it as far down the rowing block as I thought I would do. And on the floor, we had 1 long block with squats, hop overs, situps, knee tucks, and planks. Everything was fine with those until almost the end of class when I hit my ankle bone on the weight bench. It wasn’t that hard of a hit, but it was the time of hit that takes your breath away for a second. And I now I’ve got a nice bruise as a reminder.

Overall, this was a pretty great workout week. I questioned my progress but then I proved to myself that I have been making improvements. I felt so strong each day and even having 4 workouts didn’t hold me back at all. Maybe being stuck in what feels like a plateau to me is really my body building strength and endurance so that when I need it I can do some amazing things.

 

Mixed Up Workouts (or Not Knowing What To Expect)

This past week of workouts was an interesting one for me. I usually know what to expect with my workouts because I know which classes are 2 group classes and what classes are 3 group ones. I also have a good idea of what the workout will be each day because I have found an online forum where people post it each day. I like knowing what the workout will be so I can prepare mentally and physically for what I’m going to be doing. But this week things didn’t go as I thought they would and maybe that was a good thing for me.

Monday’s workout was an endurance run/row workout. I was expecting it to not be a run/row because it’s supposed to be a 3 group workout, but it ended up being a 2 group class instead. I think even though it’s posted as a 3 group one, it’s not going to be that way that often. I know some people aren’t coming to that class anymore because they don’t like the 3 group classes and because of that we don’t have enough people in class to make it 3 groups. But it was nice to have the run/row and I was happy that I was able to do it.

We started with a 1,000 meter row which I did without stopping but not in that great of a time. Next was supposed to be a .5 mile run on the treadmill. But my body wasn’t up for running. It was a combination of being tired and my hips hurting from sitting at Hamilton the night before. So I did the power walk version of .25 miles at 6% incline. Next was back to the rower for a 750 meter row and then another .25 miles power walking on the treadmill. I was on the rower doing the 500 meter row when time was called to switch to the floor.

Once I got to the floor there were 3 blocks and it was mainly arms and core focused. The worked out well for me because my legs and hips were pretty done after the run/row. The second block was interesting because we had 30 second intervals with plank work and running man and that was pretty tough. 30 seconds isn’t that long, but when it’s back to back it gets hard. And the last block was tough too because we had a core blast but had to do 3 burpees in-between each exercise.

Wednesday’s workout was a strength day, so I went into it thinking it would be a walking day for me. But that ended up being the perfect plan because half of the treadmill workout was designed to be power walking only. The first 2 blocks on the treadmill were normal strength ones. I run the 90 second push paces because they weren’t on an incline but I walked all the incline work. But the second 2 blocks were power walking blocks where everyone was walking. The inclines were supposed to be a bit higher than I normally do, so I was at a lower incline, but it was still everyone walking and I didn’t feel bad about not trying to run on inclines that day.

When I went to the floor, we had 2 blocks. The first block was bicep work on the straps, chest work with weights, and ab work. We also had a 300 meter row which I did in 1:15. Not a great row time for me, but if I’m being honest I wasn’t trying that hard on the rowing. The second block was tricep work, biceps with weights, and shoulder work. And we had a 500 meter row which I did in 2:23. Again, not a great time but I know I wasn’t working as hard as I probably should have.

Friday was an endurance day and I wasn’t planning on running because of that. But then when I got to class I realized we were going to do the 3 group format which meant less time on the treadmill. So I decided to try running and see what happened. We had 2 blocks on the treadmill and they all had the same format with a 1 minute push pace, base pace, 90 second push pace, base pace, and a 2 minute push pace to a 30 second all out pace. But the difference between the 2 blocks was that the base paces had different times. But to run all the push and all out paces was pretty awesome for me since I really expected to be walking the entire workout.

Next I was on the rower which was one long block. It was timed rowing with squats in-between each row. We started with 30 seconds and increased things by 10 seconds each round. Normally I love sprint rowing because I can do really well with it, but doing the squats in-between the rowing was tough and I wasn’t rowing as hard as I usually could. But it was a great block of work and was nice and challenging for me.

And I ended on the floor which was also one long block. It was deadlifts and work on the straps and then we had increasing numbers of exercises on the BOSU. Each BOSU thing was core work and while core work sometimes feels like a bit of a break and time for me to catch my breath, this time it was just constant work so I felt like it was just as tough as any other block I had done that day.

And I got my 4th workout in this week again. Saturday was a power day which usually means a running day for me. But that wasn’t going to be the plan for me this time. My legs were pretty dead from Friday’s workout and I ended up not being able to start on the treadmill like I usually do. I started on the rower, then went to the floor, and finally was on the treadmill. So by the time I was at the treadmill my body was not feeling like running would be happening.

There were 2 rounds in the 3 group workout so I spent 2 blocks on each section. With rowing, we had some distance rowing challenges. They were sprint rows but in the first block I wasn’t doing too great with them. They were decreasing distances with decreasing breaks between each round. But with the second block, we had 150 meter distance rows with some squats in-between. I was on my 2nd or 3rd 150 meter row when my coach came by. She normally gives me a challenge on the rower to do and she likes to make them pretty tough. I was averaging 40 seconds for 150 meters so she challenged me to do it in 30 seconds. I asked her to hold the rower because I knew I was going to go hard and I didn’t want it to move. She stayed there and I flew on the rower. I didn’t focus on the timer but watched the distance go down. And when I got to 150 meters, not only did I hit the goal my coach set but I beat it!

28 seconds is way faster than I ever thought I could do the row in! And I think my coach was pretty blown away by it too! It was a pretty high note to end my rowing with.

On the floor, everything was pretty quick. We had a variety of upper body, lower body, and core work. But the craziest thing we had to do on the floor were burpees with palms to elbows. But burpees and palms to elbows are tough enough on their own. But to combine them was almost just evil! I totally struggled with those, but I did my best.

And when I finally got to the treadmill, I started with trying to run the first push pace before realizing that it was just not safe for me to run. When I’m tired I can have sloppy running form and I didn’t want that. So I ended up walking on a day that I really was hoping to run. I felt a bit bad about walking because I knew I wasn’t getting as good of a workout as I would have liked to, but I just kept reminding myself that I was there and not sitting at home. Walking is better than nothing. And it was also my 4th workout of the week which is still something I occasionally struggle with.

No matter how much I try to prepare for my workouts, I guess the unexpected can always happen. Fortunately my fitness level is at the point where I can adjust and adapt as needed and my workouts don’t suffer too much. But I think I’m still going to prefer when I know what I’m in for when I walk into the workout.

Birthday Workouts (or Just Having A Good Week Of Workouts)

This past week of workouts was my birthday workouts! Since I usually have a birthday week, it only makes sense to have a birthday week of workouts. I didn’t have any expectations going into my week of workouts since I’ve had some really great running weeks and some really bad running weeks lately and I didn’t want to have something in my head that I wasn’t able to get done.

Monday was another 2 group class (instead of the 3G the it is supposed to be now) and it was a power workout. I was actually pretty excited since I know that power days are usually the best ones for me to work on running (and I wanted to run to burn off the calories I’d eat at Truxton’s later that day). In the 30 minutes on the treadmill, there were 13 all outs. It was pretty crazy!

There were 3 treadmill blocks and all of them started with a push pace which I ran. Then we had all out pace intervals with walking recovery in-between. The first block was 1 minute intervals, the second block was 45 second intervals, and the last block was 30 second intervals. I did the first block with my speed at 5mph and the second and third block with my speed at 5.5mph. I know I could have gone faster, but I’m really working hard at not burning myself out because I’m wondering if that is what has been causing the off weeks I’ve been having lately.

The floor on Monday also had 3 blocks. The first block had skaters, ground to press squats, row with weights, and a 100 meter row. I was pretty happy with my skaters because I was able to keep my back foot up the entire time (something that I still struggle with). With the 100 meter row, we were supposed to do both timed rows and counting the number of pulls. For the timed row, I did it in 18.1 seconds, which isn’t the best I’ve done but also isn’t that bad. And for my number of pulls, I got it down to 8 which beat my goal which was 9. The next block was lunges, ab twists, sit ups, and a 150 meter row. I only got to the timed row and did it in 28.6 seconds. And the last block was 200 meter rows (I didn’t focus on my time) and squats between each row set. Considering that this was my last workout as a 33-year-old, I was pretty happy about it!

Wednesday was a birthday workout! I was hoping that I’d have some friends with me in class, but it’s not easy for my friends to meet me at the time I go so I was on my own for the workout. But that was fine because the studio manager, Adam, decided to take that class and made sure that he pulled the treadmill card for my favorite treadmill and he took the treadmill next to me! And it was as if the universe was working in my favor because my birthday workout was a run/row!

It was also a strength day which means running on inclines, but I was determined to see what I could do. Usually a run/row is for the entire block and you go at your own pace. This time, there were 3 blocks and we repeated what we could in each block during that time. And then we switched with the floor between blocks. So I figured that since we would be switching I would try to run on the inclines. The first block started with a 400 meter row (which went down by 100 meters each time) followed by a .2 mile run. The run started at 2% and each round went up 1%. I was able to run the entire thing and even made it back to the treadmill to start the .2 miles at 3% incline. The next block was a 300 meter row (each round went down 50 meters) with a .15 mile run starting at 3% (each round went up 1%). Again, I was able to run it all but I only did the run once before time was called. And the last block was a 200 meter row (it stayed the same) with .1 miles at 4% incline. And I ran it all but only made it one round on the treadmill. Even though I didn’t do a ton of running, I ran all of it and did it at inclines which is a pretty awesome accomplishment for me.

The floor work was also 3 blocks and each block was a bit tough in the beginning since I was still catching my breath from the run/row. The first block was shoulder work, rowing with weights, lunges and abs. The second block was squats, flys with weights, and plank work. And the last block was all tricep work.

I would have to say that this was a pretty successful birthday workout. I’m glad that I spent my birthday at Orangetheory since it is such a huge part of my life now! And I think they were pretty happy to have me there that day too!

Friday was a power day (again, super happy because I could work on my running!). This time, everything on the treadmill was 30 second intervals. We had 5 blocks and the first 4 blocks all had the same pattern. Each block was 30 second push paces with 30 second base paces and the last minute of each block was a 30 second push to a 30 second all out. The first block was 5 minutes and each block got a minute shorter. The very last block was a slightly different pattern but the same concept with push to all outs with walking and more all out paces.

I was able to run all of my pushes at 4.5mph and all of my all outs at 5mph. I tried to do my base pace at my new faster base pace but I could only do that for a bit of the first block. All the running made me need to have a walking base pace that I’m comfortable with. But to me, being able to run as much as possible was more important than to work on my increased base pace. I’m glad that all the intervals were only 30 seconds because running was a bit tough for me that day. I was dealing with some nausea and I’m still experimenting with that time on a workout day it’s best for me to take anti-nausea medications.

The floor work was the same block pattern with the first 4 blocks being one minute shorter than the other. The 4 minute block and the 2 minute block were both rowing with the same intervals as the treadmill. The goal was when doing the 2 minute row to get at least half of what you got in the 4 minute row. In the 4 minute row I did 850 meters and in the 2 minute row I did 460 meters so I’m pretty proud of myself. With the other 3 blocks, we had a mix of squats, burpees, plank work, and biceps.

I felt like I had done a lot of great running work during the week and I was not expecting to be able to do much running on Saturday. But then I found out it was going to be a 15 minutes for distance challenge and I knew I needed to run. But there was no way I could work on running for the entire 15 minutes so I decided to follow the intervals that we were given.

It was a mix of endurance, strength, and power in the workout so the treadmill started with a 3 minute push pace. After that, we started to do push paces at inclines and I was able to run those as well. And the end of the treadmill block was 30 second intervals that were similar to Friday’s workout. And as always, we ended with an all out pace. I know that if I had run the entire 15 minutes I would have gone farther, but I’m pretty happy with the distance that I got to at the end of the cardio block.

Next I moved to the floor where we had one longer block and one short block. In the longer block, we had single leg deadlifts, squats, weighted swings, and strap work. Single leg deadlifts are a tough one for me since I don’t really have the ability to balance on one leg for that long right now. So I balance by holding onto the weight bench with one hand and then doing the single leg work. It is so much harder than regular deadlifts, so I know that I need to keep doing them to get stronger. I have no clue if I’ll ever be able to do single leg stuff without assistance, but I know the only way to find out will be to keep doing the work and trying. And the short floor block was situps and plank work for 3 minutes.

And I ended on the rower starting with a 3 minute row for distance. My goal was 650 meters and I wanted to scream in frustration when I got to 649 at the end of the 3 minutes. It was so annoying to be so close! After that, we had squats and more rowing. I didn’t go too hard in my rowing because I knew we’d be ended with another 3 minutes for distance and I wanted to beat 649 meters. The last 3 minutes for distance was a push, base, push, all out pattern similar to the treadmill and I really tried to do pushes and bases on the rower. It’s not easy for me to do that all the time because I’d rather be steady, but I wanted to see the difference compared to the 3 minute row I did at the beginning of the row block. I think my stubbornness paid off because I was able to get to 668 meters this time!

Overall, I’d say this was a pretty epic birthday workout week. I wasn’t expecting to do a lot of great running and somehow I did have that. And because I think I took it a bit easier than I could have done, hopefully this week of workouts won’t suffer from what I did the last week. I want to get over this one good week one bad week pattern and just have more consistent weeks. Hopefully that will happen for me soon!

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Back To More Walking (or The Heat Is Messing Up My Running)

Last week I wrote about how I got back into doing more running and how happy that had made me. I was on such a high from those workouts and really thought that I was getting back to what I was doing before and that more of my workouts would be able to be running based ones. But of course, life never goes that smoothly for me and this past week of workouts ended up being a lot of walking ones. I know that progress is not a straight line, but it’s crazy how I’m really having 2 steps forward 1 step back so often.

Monday’s workout was my best one as far as running goes. It ended up being only a 2 group workout (my Monday workouts are normally 3G ones) and it was a special Orangetheory bingo workout. That meant that we had 3 challenges that we could choose from for cardio and 3 challenges we could choose from for the floor. We didn’t have to get through all of them, but we were encouraged to see how much we could do.

The first cardio challenge I did started with .5 miles on the treadmill. That I was able to run in full and I felt pretty amazing. Then I had a 250 meter row before going back on the treadmill. My body was feeling so exhausted already and I wasn’t able to do the second .5 miles on the treadmill as a run (I did .25 miles at 8% as a walk). It was throwing me off so much that I couldn’t run. But I also know that sometimes when I do something after being on the treadmill and try to go back to the treadmill my hips don’t like it. So I just tried to accept it and move on. To finish this cardio challenge, I had a 500 meter row. I was just heading back to the treadmill when time was called to switch, so I only ended up doing one cardio challenge.

For the floor, I was much more successful. With the 3 challenges, each followed a similar pattern with the first move being 30 reps, the second move was 20 reps, and the third move was 10 reps. These moves includes squats, strap tricep work, burpees, situps, bicep curls, rows on the straps, and plank work. I actually made it through all 3 challenges and was getting ready to start on the bonus round when class finished. I wasn’t expecting to make it through all 3 challenges and I felt pretty great for doing that.

Wednesday’s workout was an endurance day. And going to the workout I was feeling pretty bad. There has been a heat and humidity wave in LA and it’s really been affecting me. But the worst of it is that I’m not sleeping as well as I normally do. And when I toss and turn at night, I can sometimes hurt my hip or make it painful in the morning. And that’s exactly how I felt when I walked into class.

The idea of this workout was to work on increasing our base pace. And I guess that worked out pretty perfectly for me because my base pace is pretty much always a walk (unless it’s a super short block and I’m trying to challenge myself a lot). My normal base pace now is 3.5mph and it can still feel a bit challenging at times for me. But this was a good opportunity to test myself and see what I could do. The treadmill time was 3 blocks and I decided to try to do the entire thing at 3.6mph. All of my push paces were at 6% incline and all my all out paces were at 8%, but I kept my speed at 3.6 the entire time. It wasn’t easy, but it was much easier than I expected it would be considering how I was feeling that day.

On the floor, the first block was squats, hamstring work, and rowing. For the rowing, we had 90 second timed rows and 30 pulls for distance. I didn’t do anything spectacular with either rowing thing, but if I’m being honest I wasn’t really trying either. And the floor ended with squats to hammer curls, hip bridges, and plank work. I was pretty exhausted after class and knew I needed to work on getting more sleep, but the weather wasn’t really letting me do that.

When I got to Friday’s workout, I was having the same hip pain I had on Wednesday and was still dealing with the effects of not sleeping well. But I was in a much better mood because that morning I found out that I won a prize during OTF Bingo! I honestly wasn’t expecting to win because I only had 3 raffle tickets, but I did put them all in the container to win a new blender (because my current blender can’t even blend frozen fruit). So to find out I won the blender totally put me in an amazing mood!

Even though I was in a good mood from finding out I was a winner, that didn’t change the fact that I was going to have to walk during this workout again. And not only was I walking, I wasn’t able to use my faster base pace that I had worked on the other day. It was a mix of endurance, strength, and power and most things were 45 seconds. For endurance it was 45 second intervals, for strength it was 90 second hills, and for power it was 45 second intervals again. I really thought about trying to run during the power block, but I knew that it was for the best for me not to do that. It’s tough to have the heat making things so painful for me, but at least it’s a temporary situation and not that I injured myself.

But because my cardio work wasn’t as good as I wanted it to be, I was pretty tough on myself on the floor. The first block was 45 second timed intervals to go along with the treadmill. We had chest presses, shoulder presses, and double crunches. I used the 20 pound weights for the first two moves, and while that was fine on the chest press it was a bit too tough for the shoulder press. I probably should have gone down to a lighter weight, but I wanted to be tough. The second block was all strap work with Ys, triceps, and lunges to Ys. And the last block was on the rower following the treadmill 45 second intervals.

Saturday’s workout was a 3G one and I’m glad it was that way because I was hurting and pretty tired. I knew I couldn’t take 30 minutes on the treadmill. I started on the treadmill where it was all incline work. Because of the inclines and because I didn’t sleep well again (I’m so ready for this heat wave to be done), I knew I’d be walking the entire time. But I tried to do as much of the work as I could at 3.6mph this time. I wasn’t able to do it the entire time, but it was much more than I thought I’d be able to and I’m really thinking I need to start using that speed as my base pace. Even if I can’t keep that up the entire time I’m on the treadmill, I should start that way and see how it goes.

Next I moved to the floor where we had 2 blocks. The first block had lunges, arm swings, and abs. And the second block had a new move that intrigued me. They are called swing lunges and you basically start with a reverse lunge and when you stand up you swing your back leg forward for a forward lunge. I knew there was no way I could do this unassisted, so I decided to see if I could use the straps for stability. I know my lunges weren’t pretty and I had to pause a lot to get balanced, but I was able to do them! I was so sure that I couldn’t and that the attempt was going to prove that. I’m glad to know that I was wrong and I figured out how to do a new workout move! Also in the second block we had tricep and plank work.

And my workout ended with rowing where I know I was extremely slow. This might have been my slowest rowing all year so far but I finished each row that I could. And in-between each row segment, we had squats to do. Unfortunately the squats made it a bit tough for me to get back on the rower, but again I just took my time and did what I was able to do.

Even though this past week was not as amazing as the week before, I still had some victories. I didn’t let not being able to run get me down as much as it has in the past. I did what I could to make my walking better by working on increasing my speed and I didn’t go easy on myself on the floor. And I didn’t feel like I was upset with myself as much as I had before because I knew that this issue wasn’t something I caused but was a result of the circumstances of the weather. I’m working on figuring out how to sleep better at night so the heat doesn’t affect my workouts this week, but I know that no matter what the heat wave will eventually end and I will get back to normal soon enough.

Back Into The Running Groove (or Feeling Really Great About My Workouts)

This past week wasn’t my best week of workouts, but it was exactly what I needed to do. I’ve been feeling a bit down about my running progress lately and how often I’ve had to power walk instead of run. And having a not-so-great Peak Performance Week really brought me down. I tried to not let it get to me, but it really was making me feel like a bit of a failure in my workouts. Fortunately, I was able to do some stuff this week that really helped me feel like I am strong again and that I’m just in a plateau and not losing progress.

Monday’s workout was a 3G one and it was a power day. Not only was it a power day (which are normally my best running days), it was a switch day so I wasn’t on the treadmill for very long at once. Each section of the room had 3 blocks (so 9 blocks total) and I was able to start on the treadmill like I like to. Each treadmill block started with a 90 second push pace followed 30 second all out intervals. I was able to run all the push and all out paces without struggling too much. It felt really great and freeing to be running like that again. I never knew that I could miss running, but clearly I had been.

On the rower, we had the same pattern as the treadmill with the 90 second push pace followed by 30 second all out intervals. I didn’t do any spectacular rowing, but that wasn’t really my focus during the workout. I do my best rowing when we have a timed or distance event that I can work toward. This time, I was just focused on trying to row the entire time I was on the rower and not how far I was going or how high my wattage was.

And on the floor, we had a nice mix of things. Everything that we did was 7 reps and that helped to make things easy. We had squat swings, mountain climbers, lunges with hops, squat jacks, and roll outs. We also had pike to knee tucks on the ab dolly. Those are extremely tough for me to do because I still struggle with doing knee tucks with my toes on the ab dolly. But it’s almost too easy for me now to do them on my knees. It’s tough that I can’t find a good middle ground, but for now I’m doing what I can on my toes before switching to my knees. This time, I only could do 1 pike on my toes before I had to stop. So I did double the knee tucks to make up for it.

Wednesday’s workout was an endurance day where we didn’t switch between blocks. Those are the toughest ones for me for running, but I had extra motivation to try my best in that workout. Whitney used to be one of my regular coaches, but she doesn’t coach at the times I go to now. The last time I saw her was when we ran into each other at Disneyland. So when I got to class and realized that Whitney was coaching, I was super excited! I love all my coaches and I’m always sad when I don’t get to see someone regularly. So this was a special treat and motivated me to push myself harder.

The treadmill was 3 blocks and they were pretty tough for me. The first block started with a 4 minute progressive push pace where you are supposed to increase your pace every minute. I was able to go from 4.5mph to 4.6mph after the first minute, but I couldn’t go any faster after that. But to do 4 minutes of running is good for me since I haven’t really done that in a while. After the long push, we had a long base pace followed by a short push to all out pace. The next block had a shorter first push pace but a longer second push pace. And the last block had an even shorter first push pace and a longer push pace leading up to the all out. It was a lot of running, but again it felt really great to do it.

The floor was one long block that took up the second half of class. It was a mix of weights, strap work, body weight work, and rowing. For weights, we did lateral raises and squat rows. For straps we had high rows and chest presses. For body weight work we had push ups and running men. And for rowing we started with 400 meter rows that went up by 200 meters each time. It was tough because it felt like some of the work we did back to back was using the same muscles (squat rows to rows on the straps and chest presses to push ups), but I managed to make it through 2 full rounds. The goal was to do 3 full rounds, but I didn’t quite make it back to the rower for the last round.

And of course, since it’s a rare treat to have Whitney as my coach we had to get a selfie together after class. I was so gross and sweaty, but I still had a smile on my face from an awesome workout!

Friday’s workout was a run/row day. I was pretty excited for a run/row since I had been making so many improvements with my running. And this was going to be a challenge for me. The running segments were longer than they usually are for run/row days. The first round was .75 miles and the second round was .5 miles. I kept my speed stable at 4.5mph and was able to run the entire distance both times! It wasn’t easy to do .75 miles but I felt so accomplished once I finished it. And while I only made it half way through the run/row assignment (the rows I did were 250 meters and 500 meters), I think getting the running done as a full run was worth the extra time it took me.

The floor had 3 blocks and they were a good variety of things. The first block was all body weight work with squats, pop jacks, and sit ups. The second block was all weight work and we were encouraged to try to use the same weight for all the exercises. We had rows, squats, shoulder presses, deadlifts, and lunges. The weight I used was a challenge for most things, but it was too light for the deadlifts. I probably should have switched my weights up for that, but I was more focused on getting through the rounds and not how easy the weights were for that move. And the last block was a core blast that had knee tucks, leg lifts, and crunches.

And I was able to do a Saturday workout too! And the running theme continued this week (it’s like Orangetheory knew I needed a running focused week) with the 3G workout I had. The treadmill block was a 12 minutes for distance run. I know that in the past I could run for 12 minutes without stopping, but I wasn’t sure that was going to happen this time. I was very tired from not sleeping that well the night before and I was tired from the workout the day before.

My plan was to keep the speed at 4.5mph and go as long as I could run before needing to take a walking break. Ideally, I would have been able to run the entire thing but I was realistic and didn’t push myself to the point that I was hurting. I managed to run for about 4 minutes before I had to go down to a walk. My plan then was to walk for about 3 or 4 minutes and then start running again. But after my walking break I tried to run again and my body wasn’t able to do it. I did end up running for the last minute of the 12 minute run, but it was disappointing that I wasn’t able to do as much as I wanted to. Still, my distance wasn’t too bad considering how much walking I did.

Next I went to the rowers where we started with an 800 meter row followed by squats. Then the row went down to 600 meters and more squats. I had just started the 400 meter row when time was called to switch. I didn’t do any spectacular times on my row, but just like earlier in the week my focus was really more on just rowing without stopping and not going fast. And on the floor we had squats, tricep work on the straps, plank work, and toe reaches. It was a hard block but I tried to only take breaks in-between exercises and not in the middle of a set.

I thought that the class was only going to have one rotation around the room, but there was one more short rotation after that. Everything was 2 minutes long. On the treadmill it was a push to all out pace and I had to walk it. The rower was also a push to all out pace. And the floor was skaters and plank jacks. It was a tough workout, but when it was done I was pretty happy that I had another running day where I was pushing myself.

This was exactly the week that I needed in my workouts. It pushed me harder than I had been pushed before and it reminded me what I am able to do with running. I’ve been underestimating myself and letting my mind control what my body can do. But obviously I’m stronger than that and this past week proved that to me again.