Tag Archives: progress

Feeling More Progress (or Olympic Workouts)

This past week at Orangetheory was another themed week. This time, it was Olympic week. Each class would have a challenge that we would all do and they would post the top people each day (each challenge had 4 winners, men under and over 40 and women under and over 40). I had no expectations of being number one for any challenge, but I think you all know that I love a challenge and I was ready to see what I could do!

I was warned that Monday’s workout was the mile challenge, so I went in expecting that. Turns out, it wasn’t the mile but instead a mile by mile challenge. The plan was that we would do a total of a mile on the treadmill and a mile on the rower, but it was broken up into quarter mile segments. Even though I know I can run a quarter mile, I was still feeling the run class a bit so I didn’t want to push myself too much. So I did my 1 minute run/1 minute walk plan and did .18 each round (runners were supposed to do .25 and walkers .125 so I tried to do something in the middle). The treadmill went well and I can actually feel that my form is starting to get better.

The rower is where I was struggling a bit. My form has always been a bit off because of my hips, but I was just feeling like I couldn’t get my legs to do what I needed them to do that day. I know my rowing was really sloppy and probably didn’t look that pretty, but I got them done. I don’t know what my exact time was for the challenge, but I did get it done within the first half of class which is good. I hate when there is a challenge but I’m not able to complete it due to time issues.

On the floor on Monday, I ended up doing a lot of squats and lunges. Normally that would be ok for me, but my hips were starting to get really weak and I could feel the pain coming on. I was trying to do my best, but I know that I was doing less than I typically could. I know that I’m really tough on myself and I shouldn’t be when there is a real physical issue stopping me, but I’m still frustrated at times that I can’t do what everyone else is doing.

Wednesday’s workout had a 4 minute row challenge. I did this challenge after some of the treadmill work, so I was a little tired but also a bit warmed up. We were challenged to try to get at least 1,000 meters in 4 minutes, but I knew that wasn’t going to be possible for me. I know that the average that I could do would be 800 meters, so I really wanted to get to 900 meters this time. During those 4 minutes, I tried to zone out and not pay attention to the clock or the computer on the rower. I wanted to not think about how much more I had to do or get frustrated if I wasn’t going to reach my goal. When we were told that we had 1 minute left, I tried to get as much speed and wattage on the rower and when it was done I finally looked at the rower computer. I got to 890 meters, which is much better than I normally can do but just shy of what I wanted to do. But overall I’m pretty happy with that distance.

On the treadmill, we had some hill work so I was walking for those. But for the non-hill work I was able to run almost all of the push paces and then all of the all out paces. I’m starting to notice my endurance is getting a little bit better, but it’s not getting better as quickly as I thought it would. Hopefully by the time I have my next 5K it will be closer to what I need it to be for the race! But I did push it a bit on the speed and every time we had a 30 second all out, I was going at 6mph (instead of 5.5) so that felt pretty amazing!

Friday was a workout that I should have been waiting all week for, but I had no idea that it would be the challenge that I look forward to the most: the mile challenge. I really didn’t know that was on Friday (all the challenges were surprises) so I had no time to get excited or nervous about it. Fortunately this time, we had a run/row after the mile challenge so I wasn’t feeling too rushed to get it done.

I know I had an insane PR my last mile challenge, so I went into this mile not caring if I got a new PR. I just wanted to run/walk the entire thing and to be under 15 minutes for sure. I kept things the same as last time with my 1 minute run/1 minute walk, but I was going faster with the speeds than last time. The mile wasn’t easy and I did have to take 2 small breaks for water but I was definitely doing better than I ever had before on the mile challenge. At about the half mile point, I saw that I was pretty much on pace with my last mile, and I was very happy about that. Again, I had no intention of trying for a PR because that last PR was so tough for me and my body felt it afterwards and I didn’t want to go through that again. I ended up running the last .1 straight and went a lot faster than I usually do, but in the end I managed to easily be under 15 minutes and got a new PR too!

My Mile

This is 11 seconds faster than 2 months ago! And not only that, this mile was less painful and hard on my body than the one 2 months ago! Again, this is just proving to me that even if my progress is feeling slow to me, my body knows better and there really is some great progress happening with me!

I didn’t get a ton of the run/row done after the mile. I got my 600 meter row done and then was on the treadmill for the last 2 minutes of that part of class. I know that some people got the entire run/row plan done, but to me it was most important to try to do the best I could do on my mile. And I think I did exactly that!

The floor work after the mile challenge was a lot of arm work so I was using 20 pound weights for most things. We had a lot of squats and some plank and ab work (during which I felt like I could finally catch my breath). And when we were stretching at the end of class, I felt a lot more flexible than usual which is odd for me. I’ve always been a pretty flexible person and even after my hip surgery my flexibility wasn’t affected too much. There are a few stretches now that I really can’t do because of the issues with my hips, but in general I can stretch pretty far. But to feel extra flexible after a workout really made me feel amazing and I’m glad that my mile challenge day ended that way!

I also had a workout on Saturday, but the Olympic week was over by then. Even though I told myself before that 4th workouts in a week would be on the bike, I went for the treadmill this time. My hips don’t hurt as much when I’m running as they do when I’m walking, so I’m not hurting as much in my 4th workout as I was before. I’ll still probably use the bike from time to time, but I’m glad that I’m able to do more running work in a week.

Saturday’s workout was a power day and we didn’t switch between blocks. But I like the power workouts because they tend to have shorter pushes with all outs, so I can do more running. We did have one longer push that was 2 minutes, so I only ran 1 minute of that. But for pretty much all the other pushes I ran everything. And we had 8 all outs and I ran them all. I even bumped up my speed a bit on the 30 second all outs with going 6.3mph. That’s a bit too fast for me right now, but it was fun to try going that fast to see how it felt.

All of the floor work on Saturday was pretty short blocks, so I never got too tired in a single block. There was a ton of arm and chest work that I did with 20 pound weights, and some lunges that I did without weights (my balance isn’t super great and the weights make it a bit too tough for me). We also had sprint rows of 100 meters and then after each 100 meters we had to do power jacks using a medicine ball. By the time we were done with the workout, I was ready for a nap!

This really was a great week of workouts for me. I loved the Olympic week challenges and each day I was pushed quite a bit. I got a new (unexpected) PR on my mile, and I did running on the treadmill for 4 workouts in the week! I don’t think I could have expected anything more than this and I’m glad that not only did I have some great workouts but I feel like I did some great work! The plan for this week is to do 3 workouts, but I think that because of the work I did last week those 3 workouts are going to be amazing!

Guess I Motivated Myself (or No More Feeling Stuck)

Last week I posted about feeling a bit stuck with my progress in running. It’s hard not to be frustrated with a plateau, and that’s exactly what I was feeling. I didn’t like feeling that way, so I guess putting it out there in my blog post motivated me to do something about it. This week I had some really great progress and I was able to continue to feel motivated and to do more than I really thought I could.

Monday’s workout was a run/row, but some of the run segments were a bit longer than I can do. When we were supposed to run .3 miles, I ran for 90 seconds (instead of the 60 seconds I usually do) and then walked until I got to .2 miles (I did in between what we were supposed to do as a runner and as a walker). Those 90 seconds weren’t easy, but I got through them and I felt so accomplished after that. The next run segment was .25 miles, which I know I can do. Again, this wasn’t easy, but it helped me remember that I’ve done this before and I could do it again. I did this .25 miles a bit slower than I have in the past, so that meant that this was the longest time I’ve run yet!

1:4 Mile

After doing that long run, I wasn’t able to fully run the last segments which were .2 and .15 miles. I was able to run a majority of those, but I know if I hadn’t pushed myself to do the .25 miles as a run I could have run those as well. Our rowing was between 150-300 meters, and since they were fast I did take some time between the treadmill and rower to catch my breath and prepare myself for the next thing I had to do. Overall, this was one of my best running days yet!

Once I got to the floor, I felt like I had already done a full workout, but I tried my best to continue to motivate myself to do more. We had a lot of upper body work with the straps and push-ups and we finished with abs (after which I was barely able to sit up). I surprised myself by how much I was able to do as well as how little pain I was in after class. Not hurting is a good sign and I know I was doing the right thing that day.

Wednesday was an endurance day, and we didn’t get to switch between blocks. I knew the treadmill work would be a tough day, but I was trying to focus on how far I could get the distance to be on the treadmill. My dream is to eventually get the treadmill to make it to 2 miles in class when we don’t switch, but I’m not quite there yet.

The endurance work has been the hardest for me to do with my running, but I was not going to make excuses for myself. When we had 3 minute push paces, instead of walking the entire thing since I know I can’t run the entire thing, I ran half of it and walked the second half. So for every 3 minute push, I ran for 90 seconds. I did the same thing for the 2 minute push paces. I can run for 2 minutes, but I was feeling really tired so I wanted to pace myself. I’m happy with how much running I did in those long pushes instead of just walking. And of course, as I’ve been doing for a while, I ran all of the all outs.

When the treadmill block was done, I shut down my treadmill and was pretty impressed with what my distance had been in class.

Endurance Day

I wish I had noticed when I reached 1.55 miles because that is half of a 5K, but I missed seeing that. But I know that my speed is up so my times are getting better and better.

For the second half of class, we had some sprint rows of 300 meters, arm work on the straps, squats using the Bosu, and ab work. Again, it was another workout that I was exhausted at the end of, but there was very little pain so I considered it a big success.

Friday was another run/row day, and this time I was able to run all of the distances we had to do! We had to do .2 and .15 miles each time (there was also a .1 segment but I didn’t make it down the list that far in the time we had). I ran every single time and didn’t do any walking except to cool down a bit after the run. When I added up everything that I ran, I did .85 miles of running. Of course, this wasn’t non-stop, but I still think that that’s pretty amazing!

The rows between the treadmill time were between 100-200 meters so they were pretty fast, but I was taking a lot of time in between to catch my breath and to let my heart rate get down a bit (it was super high all during class). I didn’t take it easy during the floor work where we had to do lots of arm work (I worked with 25 pound weights), burpees, plank jacks, and hop overs. It was another exhausting but worth it workout.

I think I got myself out of my slump. I just needed to put it out there how I was feeling to realize that I was in control of my progress and I could take it to the next level. I wrote about 3 workouts last week, but technically last week was a 4 workout week. But the 4th workout is going to be its own post, because I attended the 1 hour run class at Orangetheory for the first time! And trust me, that is worthy of being its own post!

Going Back To Normal (or An Early End To My Birthday Adventures)

I’ve had a really great birthday this year. I loved having dinner on my birthday with my birthday twin and my birthday party was really one of the highlights of the year so far. I feel so loved and I’m so grateful for the amazing friends that I have in my life. I am so lucky.

Normally, I have a ton of smaller birthday adventures leading up to and following my birthday. That usually happens because when I have a birthday party a bunch of people can’t make it. So I end up meeting them for dinner or drinks on another date to celebrate with them.

But this year, my birthday party had such an amazing turnout that I’ve gotten to celebrate with almost everyone who I wanted to celebrate with at once! I’m not used to having everyone in one place (and it was so much fun watching everyone meet each other and make new friends), and it was really just perfect.

But because of that, I’ve realized that my birthday celebrations are basically over. I still have to pick up a couple of the birthday freebies that I love and I might get birthday pie with a friend, but I’m done with planning birthday outings beyond that.

It’s not a bad thing that I’m done celebrating my birthday. I’m totally happy to have just one celebration and have that be that. It’s just weird when for so many years I’ve pretty much planned a birthday month and I feel like I’m missing or forgetting something now. But then I remember how amazing this past weekend was and I feel like I got all the birthday I needed in that one night out.

It is nice to be getting back to normal so quickly. I over ate during my birthday and I want to get the scale moving back in the correct direction. I need to focus on my health and recovery and birthday adventures are not the best time to plan that (I’m aware if I go for birthday pie that I will have to not focus on recovery for that moment).

I’ve been able to really pay attention to what I’m eating and what my behaviors are like. I got into some bad habits last week and it’s tough to break them but I know I can do it again. I’m working on remembering what I was doing earlier this summer when things were working really well for me and doing those again. And hopefully I will be back on track again within the week and if not, I know I’m making steps towards that.

I’ve got some big goals in mind for the next month or so, and I’m glad that I will be able to put my attention toward those. One of my biggest goals is with my next 5K race, which is the first weekend of November. I know that it will be here before I know it, and I want to make sure I take the time to do what I want to do. Things are going well so far, and I want to make sure that continues and things only get better!

While I’ve loved having a birthday month to celebrate my birthday, keeping things short may be the best thing for me right now. I need to focus on “real life” and not celebrating and going out for lots of meals that are splurges. I’m not eliminating the idea of a birthday month again in the future, but for right now this ended up being the perfect thing for me.

Working On Pushing Things (or Hoping I Am Stronger)

I’ve been feeling a bit stuck in my workouts lately. I think it’s because I was doing so amazing when I started running and was able to make huge jumps in my progress with very little effort. Now I’m feeling a bit in a slump because I’m not progressing like I feel like I should and I don’t know how to get better. I know that I’m being really hard on myself, but that’s just what I do. So this past week of workouts, I really tried to make some baby steps in my progress to feel like I’m at least moving forward and not being stuck.

Monday’s workout was endurance, strength, and power and we did get to switch between blocks. Those days are becoming one of my favorites (I think run/row days are still my favorites) because the blocks are short and I feel like I’m able to recover between each thing. For the endurance block on the treadmill, we had some long push paces. The push paces were 1 minute, 2 minutes, or 3 minutes. I ran for the first minute of each push (I know I could probably run the 2 minute one too, but I was scared to overdo it) and then walked the rest. I did run all of the all outs and tried to bump up my speed a bit each time. For the strength block, since those are hills I had to stick with walking. I can run a bit on hills, but I’m not really good at doing that. But for the power block we had 1 minute pushes and 30 second all outs and I ran for all of that.

For the floor blocks there was a lot of focus on arms, but we also got to do some sprint rows. I’m getting much better with my form for the rowing, especially with sprints, so I was happy to get to work on that a bit more. And I was able to finish up the workout with a block of ab work which was a nice way to end things.

On Wednesday, we had a strength day but we did get to switch between blocks. The blocks were pretty short, so they weren’t too bad. Most were under 5 minutes. I didn’t run most of the treadmill time because things were at an incline, but I did try to walk at a higher incline than normal. I did run the all outs (they were on a flat treadmill) and I also ran an all out that was on a 3% incline which was a nice challenge. Since I usually have my treadmill at 4% or higher while walking, 3% while running wasn’t too bad.

When I was on the floor, I took the fact that it was a strength day to heart. I wanted to do better than I normally do, so I decided to stick with 25 pound weights for my arm work. It was really tough for some of the moves, but I didn’t want to go down to the 20 pound weights (which is what I usually use). I had to take breaks during some of the sets, but I was able to get them done with the heavier weights and it really made me feel great! I still remember when I started how I was using maybe 10 pound weights and thought the 12 and 15 pound ones were so heavy. I’ve totally made progress from where I started.

Friday was another day that had endurance, strength, and power but there were no switches between the blocks. For the endurance block, I decided that I was going to walk the 3 minute push but then tried to run as long as I could with the other push paces. For the 1 minute one I was able to run the entire thing and for the 2 minutes one I ran for just about 90 seconds before I walked the last 30 seconds. 90 seconds isn’t the longest I’ve run, but since I’m doing mostly 1 minute runs knowing that I ran a bit longer than normal was good. I need to remember that 30 seconds of more running is still more running.

For the strength section, I walked everything except the all outs on the flat treadmill. I do think I could have run some of it, and I think I need to stop doubting myself and just go for it. The doubt is stopping my progress and once I get over that hurdle, maybe I won’t feel as stuck. But for the power block, since they were short pushes to all outs (with walking after), I ran all of that and felt very accomplished when I stepped off the treadmill.

Once I moved to the floor, we had a couple of arm moves and I used my usual 20 pound weights (my arms were feeling a bit off because I slept funny the night before and I didn’t want to push too much). We also had sprint rows of 150 meters and I was able to improve on my time each row. While those parts of the floor work was good, we also had a couple of things that aren’t that easy for me. We had some lunges which sometimes are fine but my hips weren’t loving them at the end of the workout. I had to hold on to the wall to get my balance several times and I was feeling a bit stuck and sometimes couldn’t seem to switch legs. We also had pop jacks which are always so hard for me and Friday was no exception. Fortunately, I didn’t get my hips stuck on those and I just pushed through and was glad when I was done with them.

Reflecting back on the last few months of workouts, I really have made incredible progress even if I sometimes find it hard to see. Maybe before my workouts I need to review what I was doing a few months ago and seeing that what I’m doing now would have been impossible for me back then. Even if I am stuck in my progress, there is still progress that has been made. And I really want to focus on that idea instead of the negative.

Upping My Game (or Getting Serious About Running)

I think you can all tell from my past few workout posts that I’m getting more serious about running. This is the first time that I’ve really had a workout challenge like this that I’m working on and I think I’m surprising myself that I’m liking it! But I’ve felt lately that I’ve gotten a bit stuck where my running is now and I need to work on things differently.

I love my Orangetheory workouts (I can’t imagine my life without them now), but they aren’t the best workouts for me to work on my running skills on. I’ve been lucky that several workouts lately have been ideal for me to work on getting faster and running longer, but those workouts aren’t every workout and I can’t rely on them alone. So I’ve decided that I need to try to do some running workouts on my own.

My big fear is that I’m going to overdo things. I know that I did that at Orangetheory recently when I ran for .25 miles. Yes, I did it, but I probably shouldn’t have. My body didn’t hurt right away with that challenge, but I know that it wasn’t the best thing I could have done. If I start running training on my own, I’m afraid that I will push myself more than I should and that it will cause issues for me. I know I can run longer than I do now, but I also know that I probably shouldn’t do it.

So I’ve been asking for a lot of running advice from a bunch of different people. Some are bloggers I met at BlogFest and I’ve also been asking my friend Kate (who is always willing to help me). My biggest questions have been how to build up endurance without getting burned out and how I can make sure that I continue to progress at a good pace (and not get stuck like I’m feeling now). And fortunately everyone has been very helpful and willing to give me any advice that they can!

A lot of the advice I got was different run/walk training plans. I had a bunch of those already, but when you aren’t on a treadmill they aren’t too easy to use. I’m not going to join another gym just to use a treadmill every so often and I’ve got a running path a few blocks from my house that opened recently, so I asked everyone again for advice on how to time intervals for run/walk work.

Again, I got a lot of advice with different ideas. Some people suggested various apps to time myself, but I’m not sure I’ll always be out with my headphones in my ears (not too safe to do that outside). I got some recommendations for interval devices, but I wasn’t sure I wanted something that just did 1 thing. And then I got the advice to look at running watches, and that’s exactly what I did.

There are dozens of different running watches out there and many of them are very expensive. I’m sure they are worth it and some runners need all the bells and whistles, but I’m not one of those runners. A running watch that could time intervals and had a GPS on it (so I knew my distance and pace) is all I wanted. And I finally found what I believe will be the perfect one for me.

Running Watch

I found the Garmin Forerunner 220 watch. This is one of the few running watches I found that has the features I want but doesn’t have a heart rate monitor (I don’t need that since I can use my Orangetheory one if I want to track heart rate). This one is not the most recent model (I believe it’s a year or two old), but it was recommended to me by so many people. And one of the features is setting your own intervals so I can set it to be 1 minute running/1 minute walking and then adjust it as I’m ready to do more. I think this will be perfect.

And since my birthday is a week away, I asked my parents if this would be something they would get me for my birthday. It was on sale for about 40% off on Amazon and my dad checked it out and said it seemed like the perfect gift for me! It was ordered earlier this week and because I didn’t want to pay for shipping (it’s not Prime eligible) I won’t have it for another week or two.

But I’m fine with waiting for the watch because this was the cheapest place I could find it! My parents didn’t have to get me a birthday present since they paid for me to go to the family reunion, so I’m just grateful for any gift. And this is a generous one and I’m excited to test it out soon!

I’m not sure how I’m going to work in extra running training outside of Orangetheory workouts. Maybe I’ll do them on the weeks I don’t have a 4th workout. Or maybe I will do them on my off days but keep the workout pretty short. I’m still working things out and I’ve got time to figure it out. All I know is that my next race is in a few months and while I’ve done a mile with a run/walk pattern, I want to be able to do that for a 5K and get a new PR!

If I knew even a few months ago that I would be running and looking for ways to run more and improve my skills, I would have said you were crazy and I’d never do that. Then again, if you told me 3 years ago that I’d be working out 3-4 times a week and lifting weight I wouldn’t have believed it either. I love that I’m transforming into an athlete and I can’t wait to see what will be next for me!

Figuring Things Out (or Finding A Balance With Running)

This past week I did 4 workouts, and they were all pretty great. They were tough and at times during the workout I was wondering if I was overdoing things, but in the end I think each of my workouts really helped me get into a really good workout groove for the week.

I missed my usual Monday morning workout because I was flying back from my trip, so I had my first workout on Tuesday afternoon. I hadn’t been feeling jet lagged at all on Tuesday morning, but for some reason Tuesday around lunchtime I started to feel very off. I tried to get myself back on track, but I realized it was going to be an off day and just accepted that. But I wasn’t going to let my workout suffer too much because of it. The workout was an endurance run/row day, so I was grateful that I didn’t have to do a ton of treadmill work. The pattern of the run/row was a 1 mile (1600 meter) row, .25 mile run, .5 mile (800 meter) row, .5 mile run, .25 mile (400 meter) row, 1 mile run. And we were supposed to get as far down the pattern as we could.

The 1600 meter row took me a while to get through, but I was able to do it without taking any breaks which made me pretty happy. For the .25 mile run, even though I know I can run that I didn’t want to push myself too hard. So I did the power walking distance of .13 miles and did 1 minute of running and 1 minute of walking. I did that same plan for the .5 mile run (I did .25 miles with 1 minute intervals) and I made it to the 400 meter row before the time was up. I didn’t expect to make it to the mile run, so I wasn’t disappointed that I didn’t finish all of the things.

On Wednesday, I was feeling much more like myself and I was feeling pretty good going into the workout. It was a strength day and we didn’t switch between blocks. I didn’t run for any of the incline work because I’m really not ready for that. But I did try to push my inclines up a bit higher than normal to make up for not running. I was able to run all of the all outs that were on a flat road (which is a 1% incline) and I even did the all out that was at a 4% incline (which is the flat road for power walkers). I’m glad I had some all outs to run during because I really don’t want to skip on running at least a little bit during each workout.

For the floor work, we had sprint rows for 200 meters and I was able to keep my times on those pretty short. My legs still struggle with the power I should have for the rowing, but I know that it’s just something that I need to work on and it will get better. Besides the rowing, the floor work focused a lot of abs and arm work. For almost all of my arm stuff, I was using 25 pound weights. It was a little too heavy at times for me, but I was able to finish each set and I know that in time the weight won’t feel as heavy.

Friday’s workout was endurance, strength, and power and again we didn’t switch between blocks.  During the endurance block, I was able to run during the 90 and 60 second pushes as well as the all out. The 90 second run was feeling a bit long for me, but I’ve been working on building my endurance so I know I need to push myself to go a little longer. For the strength time, I power walked for all the hills but I was getting the hills to the inclines I was using before I tore my calf, which is significantly higher than I normally do. I did run the all out, but it was on a flat road. And for the power block, we had short push paces to all outs and I ran for all of those. It was more running than normal for me, but I was feeling pretty amazing after.

On the floor, we had 400 and 100 meter rows and again we did a lot of ab and arm work. A lot of the work that day was using the straps, so that was a nice change from using the weights. The strap work sometimes is harder for me to do because my arms get wobbly when I’m tired, but that’s part of what makes it a good workout system for me.

And to complete my workout week, I went to Saturday’s workout. Normally on a Saturday I go on the bike since I feel like I’ve done enough treadmill work for the week. And I debated doing that this time, but something was pulling me to go to the treadmill and to break my own rules. So I went for it.

It was an endurance day and for the 4th time that week there were no switches between the blocks. There were some really long pushes on the treadmill, and I didn’t want to overdo things. So for the 3 minute push, I power walked. But for all the other push paces which were between 1-2 minutes, I ran. I wasn’t always able to run for the entire thing, but I at least ran for a minute each time. The 90 second pushes were much tougher than the day before, but I was still trying and that’s what’s most important to me.

And for the floor work, we had 1 long block to work on the entire time. We had 500 meter rows (which felt long compared to the sprint rows from earlier in the week) and then we went over to the weights to work on the rest of the block. We had rows and chest presses on the straps, tricep and bicep work with weights, and ab work on the floor. And we kept repeating the block over and over again for the entire time. It was pretty great because I wasn’t feeling rushed at all to get things done and I was able to get through a couple of cycles of it.

Overall, this week made me pretty happy with my running so far. I got really down on myself because I was making such great progress last month and I thought I’d be able to continue to do so again this month. I honestly thought I’d be able to run for 5 minutes by now, and I’m still struggling at times to run for 2 minutes. I’m working on some new plans to get my running progressing at a good pace (thanks a bunch to my friend Kate who shared a ton of websites with me!) and I think that this week of workouts really got me onto a good path again.

Wanting To Run (or Focusing On Running And Rowing)

My week of workouts last week were a bit interesting. I’m discovering that I need to push myself harder to get my heart rate up, but my endurance isn’t quite there yet. I’m finding the most trouble on the treadmill. I used to be able to get my heart rate into the orange zone while power walking, but now it doesn’t want to get there unless I’m running. I know this is a good sign and I’m getting much stronger with my cardiovascular ability. But I need to work on the endurance to get there too and I’m not finding it as easy as it was when I started running to build endurance now.

I don’t think I’ve necessarily hit a wall, but I’ve hit a small barrier. It’s like weight loss. When you start losing weight, you tend to lose very quickly at first and then it slows down. When I started running I found I could push my time by huge jumps without too much effort. Now, I’m finding it tough to run longer than a minute at times. I’m not giving up or losing hope, but it’s made me realize that I have to focus on training a bit differently now and perhaps I was just staying in my comfort zone before and now I’m truly pushing myself.

On Monday, we had a power day that switched between blocks. All the blocks were pretty short so I was able to do some good treadmill work. I was able to run during all of the all-out segments which were either 30 seconds or 1 minute long. I’m pushing things a bit with my speed on those all-outs, so I’ve been doing more at 5.5 mph when I’m not too tired (when I’m tired I’m scared I’m running sloppily and don’t want to hurt myself).

With the power day, we also had rowing to do. The rows were timed sprints and they weren’t too horrible for me. We had 3 timed sprints (1 minute, 2 minutes, and 4 minutes) and while my wattage on the rower was pretty low for me, I was able to do all of the sprints without taking a break and I hit my goal for the distance each time. There was a rowing workshop this past weekend that I wished I could have gone to (I was out-of-town) but I really want to go to the next one. I know I could be doing better with my rowing and I’d like to work on improving that.

Wednesday was a power day again, but no switching between blocks. It felt more like an endurance day for me because of the long time on the treadmill, but we had several walking recoveries during the 23 minutes on the treadmill so that helped a lot. Some of the push paces were 2 or 2 1/2 minutes long, and for those I had to stick with power walking. I really wanted to run (or run/walk), but I knew I needed to save my strength a bit for the all-outs. I did run during the shorter 1 minute push paces including the time that we had a 1 minute push into a 1 minute all-out (so that was 2 minutes of running). While we had the shorter all-outs, I decided to really push myself (I had barely been in the orange zone at all with my heart rate) so I ran for 30 seconds at 6 mph. That is definitely fast for me and I don’t think I could have done it for more than 30 seconds at a time. But it made me happy and gave me a boost of confidence when I was losing a bit of confidence in my running.

After all that treadmill work, I was exhausted. But I was only half way done with my workout so I tried to catch my breath so I could do my best during the floor work. For the floor, we had 2 long blocks that had a couple of different things to do in each one. But we started each set in each floor block with a sprint row. One block was a decreasing row and the other block was a constant row. But they were always sprint rows. I was starting to feel a bit competitive with one of the people on the rower next to me so we decided to race each other for one of the 150 meter rows. The goal time for 150 meters is under 45 seconds. But in my race I was moving so hard that the rower was starting to move with me and I was able to do it in 29.8 seconds! I lost the race (the other person did it in 28.8 seconds), but I was still pretty happy with what I was able to do. And I did another race (but with myself this time) for one of the 200 meter rows at the end of the workout and was able to do it in 47.9 seconds (goal time is under a minute).

I didn’t work out on Friday (I was on the plane on Friday during my usual workout time) so I did a Thursday workout instead. Thursday was endurance, strength, and power all in one workout. And it was a run/row day so I was really able to work on those workout elements. Because there was endurance, strength, and power for the run/row; each of the segments of the run were different. Some were longer distances, some were at inclines, and some were super short. So I had to work on a plan on how to use running during them all. For the long distance one, I did 1 minute of running and 1 minute of walking. I did the walking distance for it (which is half of the running distance), but my coaches have all been ok with that. They know what I’m doing and they have all been really supportive.

For the strength running, since it was at an incline I had to plan carefully. But I did want to try the running with an incline because it’s a good way to push myself without having to run longer. I still did 1 minute of running and 1 minute of walking for it and I was splitting the difference between the running distance and walking distance. I ran at the running incline and walked at my usual walking inclines for push paces. This was pretty tough (especially running at 5% incline), but I was able to stick with my 1 minute/1 minute plan so I was feeling pretty awesome about that.

The power running were all short bursts of .15 miles. I really planned on just running the entire thing because I know I can do that and have done it plenty before. But this was at the end of the workout and I was pretty exhausted (I was rowing sprints between all of the running segments so that was a lot). I really tried my best to run as long as I could, but I was feeling like walking after 45 seconds. I stuck it out for the minute and then started to walk.

I felt a bit disappointed in myself but as soon as we were switching to the floor my coach told me how impressed she was with my running improvement. While I’ve been so focused on times and distance, I haven’t really thought too much about form. But I guess I no longer look like I’m struggling for each step and things are starting to look really smooth and fluid. That gave me a huge boost of confidence and made my floor work on Thursday a lot happier.

After my Thursday workout, I started asking my running friends about help on building endurance. A couple of them are going to be sending me some notes and advice that they’ve seen online or have heard in running groups. I need to start thinking more seriously about my running training if I want to keep improving. I never realized how hard I could push myself and train like this, but I’m so glad I’m doing it. Since the beginning at Orangetheory I’ve felt like an athlete (not just someone at a gym). But now I feel like not just an athlete, but an athlete in training and I need to take that mindset outside of just my workouts and start researching running and planning things out.

I’ve got a few more months until my next 5K race. I feel pretty good that I can PR on the race (unless I get hurt I will be doing a run/walk race for the first time). But I don’t just want to PR on the race. I want to set a goal for myself that is tough but achievable. Hopefully I can reach that goal and prove to myself that even if my running progress is stuck now that in the long haul I made huge progress.

A Few Setbacks (or Not Being Hard On Myself)

This week was a tough week of workouts. But they weren’t tough because the workouts were hard. They were tough because I was struggling. I know that having off days is a part of making progress, but knowing it doesn’t make things easier when I’m having an off week.

I knew Monday might be tough because I was still recovering from my night shoot over the weekend. But I got a lot of sleep on Sunday night, so I was feeling pretty good waking up on Monday morning. So I thought that maybe I wasn’t going to have a bad day and my exhaustion was done. And when I got to Orangetheory and saw that it was a run/row day, I was pretty excited because I knew that those days are easier on me with keeping the treadmill time to short bursts.

But it was also a strength day which meant hills on the treadmill. I tried to run the first segment on the treadmill (with incline), and it just wasn’t going to happen. After trying to run for that first segment, I realized that there just wasn’t going to be any more running that day. I did power walk everything else and it wasn’t my best speed or incline but I got it done. And we did have to do calf raises after each row segment so I was able to catch my breath a bit between rowing and the treadmill. Fortunately, I did a bit better on the floor that day. We did a lot of shoulder work and also had some rollouts on the straps (which I felt great because my body needed that stretch). We also had a 6 minute block on the floor that was just ab work using the Bosu ball, which also was less taxing on my body.

Wednesday I was finally feeling more like myself. I’m shocked how long it took me to recover from the night shoot, but I also think I pushed myself too hard the 2 days after the shoot so I wasn’t able to recover as fast as I could have. The workout was endurance, strength, and power and we were switching between blocks so the class seemed to go by pretty quickly for me. For the endurance and strength treadmill blocks, I walked the base and push paced but I did run for the all-outs. But on the power section we had 30 second all-outs followed by 30 second walking recoveries and I was able to run for all of those all-outs. I was going pretty quickly for those 30 second segments, typically staying above 5 mph.

The floor work was focused a lot on arms and abs. I was doing ok with that until the very end of class where we had a short buddy challenge. My friend Dani was in class with me so she and I partnered up. We had to be in a plank and alternate bringing one hand up to high-five each other while staying in the plank. At the beginning I was doing ok, but my body was so ready to be done by then. I tried to keep up my part of the partner work and to bring my hand up every time so Dani always had a buddy to high-five, but I wasn’t able to keep my plank the entire time and was feeling pretty out of breath while trying. Again, I was frustrated that I had to give up during the workout, but I was trying to remind myself that I had just done a big workout and did some pretty fast run sprints.

Friday was the day that I was back to my usual workout self. We had a strength day that did switch between the blocks. Since I’m really not ready to work on running on hills, I stayed with power walking for almost all of the treadmill work. I was keeping my inclines up around 6-10% and my speed was usually between 3.5 and 3.7 mph during all the push paces. One of the all-outs was on an incline so I walked that one too. But we did have 2 all-outs that were at a flat road and I ran those. For the 1 minute all-out, I ran for a minute at 5 mph which felt really fast that day but it was great not having to be at an incline! And for the 30 second all-out, I was going at 5.5 mph which felt like flying to me! I really love doing those sprints because I’m able to go really fast and I love feeling that. I just really need to work on my endurance so I can start running more often in the workouts.

The floor work on Friday was a good mix of rowing and arms. We had a bunch of 200 meter rows which I was able to do in under 55 seconds every time. The rows were tough toward the end of the workout, but since they were short they weren’t too bad. We also had to do ultimate burpees in the first block which were much easier for me than they have been in a while. I was able to include the push up with each burpee and I was using some pretty heavy weights for them as well. All of my arm work was done with 15 pound weights, which aren’t the best I’ve used but since there was so much arm work I was happy with that.

Friday’s class also marked the last class I’ll get to take with my friend Dani for a while. She’s leaving next week to go to Africa where she will be hiking up Mt. Kilimanjaro! While I’m sad I’ll be missing my workout buddy for a few weeks, I’m super excited for her! This is going to be a huge hike and I know she’s been working really hard on getting ready for the trip and making sure that she’s in the best shape possible. She’s been using super high inclines for all of her treadmill work and she’s been doing really long hikes every weekend to make sure her endurance is there. She got an Orangetheory hat as a gift from the studio we go to and I’m so excited to see the picture of her on the top of the mountain wearing it! So since this was our last class together for a while, I figured we had to get a post-workout sweaty selfie together.

Dani's Off To Africa!

The next two weeks of workouts will be working around my trip next weekend, but I’ve finally got it all figured out! I might not be hitting all of my workout goals this month (like wanting to try to run for 5 minutes), but at least I’m not giving up!

Testing Myself (or Running More)

I’m so happy to share that the knee pain I was dealing with recently finally went away! I have no clue what was causing it or how I made it stop, but it did and I’m so grateful for that. And I needed a good week because I had another 4 workout week this past week and I wasn’t going easy on myself.

Monday wasn’t my best day (I’m starting to wonder if Mondays are too early for me to be good workouts). While I wasn’t having knee pain, I was dealing with some hip stuff. I could feel the clicks in both hips and I was getting the pressure pain I get a lot. But even with that, I was trying to go hard in my workout. It was an endurance day and we didn’t switch between blocks, so I knew I had to pace myself on the treadmill. We had some 2 and 3 minute push paces, and I stuck to walking those. I’d like to try running for the first 30 seconds of them again soon, but I was scared with the hip pain that day. But even though I was walking for the pushes, I was still doing my running for the all outs. That day we also had endurance rows (400 and 500 meters) and I know that those were to get us ready for Peak Performance Week (which is this week!).

Wednesday was a power day without switching, but that was perfect for me to practice my running with! I’ve quickly learned that the best days for me to run are the power days because we have a lot of all outs and walking recoveries (exactly what I need). This time, we had all outs in blocks of 3 and it repeated 3 times. First we did an all out for a minute, then a walking recovery, then an all out for 45 seconds, and a walking recovery, and finishing with an all out for 30 seconds. We were encouraged to bump up the speed on the all outs as they got shorter and for the first time I followed that advice! When we were doing them for a minute, I stuck with 4.5 miles an hour which is what I’ve been doing. For the 45 second all outs, I ran at 4.6 miles an hour. And for the ones that were 30 seconds, I ran at 4.7 miles an hour. I’m pretty happy that I was able to make speed increases and I’ve learned that the additional .1 faster feels much easier as a runner than it does as a walker. So I might have to keep trying to get faster while I’m also trying to build endurance.

That day on the floor, it was a lot of squats which I did with 25 pound weights. I also used that same weight for my tricep work, but when it came time for abs, I’m glad that I didn’t have to use weights because I was exhausted!

Friday was a run/row day. I was excited for this because I knew that I could test my running again during the run/row. All of the rows were 150 meters, so those were pretty easy. But the run part was a bit longer. It started for me at .25 miles, then down to .2, then to .15, and finally to .1. I walked for the first 3 sets (.25-.15 miles) because I knew that I couldn’t run that long and I didn’t want to push it too much. But when it came to the .1 miles part, I decided to see if I could run it. Before, the longest I’ve run is for a minute, and I know that it’s not .1 miles for me in a minute. But I’ve been hoping that at some point this month I could run for 90 seconds, so I figured this was the best time to try something in between. I’m happy that the longer run wasn’t as horrible as I thought it would be and I think that my endurance is really getting better because I wasn’t feeling like I was dying at the end of it. But that day I did run for the longest distance and longest time I’ve done so far.

Run

For my Saturday workout, I did end up using the bike like I’ve said I would on 4 workout weeks. I really did want to try running again, but I also want to pace myself and make sure that whatever that knee pain was doesn’t return. It was a good choice because not only did we not switch between blocks, it was a strength day which means more hills on the treadmill. On the bike, it just meant more resistance. I was trying to go hard on the bike, but my body was just so tired from the week (the heat has been making it tough to sleep) so I just focused on continuing to pedal and not to focus on the resistance levels.

The floor block on Saturday was actually pretty cool. It was a single block for the entire time that started with rowing and then had a bunch of other things we added on. The rowing started easy at 150 meters, but it kept going up and once I was rowing 450 meters I could feel my body being done with it. The highest I had to row was 600 meters and while my time for it was pretty bad, at least I finished. The rest of the stuff on the floor included squats, shoulder presses, and doing arm rows with weights. It was a fun block because I knew I had the time to work through each exercise and I wasn’t worried about when the blocks would switch. But at the end of the class, I was ready to take a nap!

With this week being Peak Performance Week, I’m excited to see what I’ll be able to do. I know that Friday is the mile challenge, which is always the big one for me. But since I recently had the PR on my mile, I’m not going to get too crazy about it. If I beat that time, that will be awesome! But because I know I made some seriously leaps to get that PR, I just want to be close to that time to prove that it wasn’t a fluke.

I’ve Made Progress (or I Think My Therapist Will Be Proud)

Yesterday, I had a phone interview/audition for a commercial about people who have binge eating disorder. I actually had auditioned for this commercial last year when it was slightly different, but when I saw they were shooting again I submitted myself.

Typically for auditions you don’t have a phone interview, but since for this project you have to prove that you have been diagnosed with BED by a doctor and meet other requirements that aren’t normally an issue with commercials, the phone interview is the first step.

I’ll start by saying that I’m not going to get the audition for this because they need to fit certain age and size requirements right now, and I’m not a match for that. It’s not a big deal and I’m totally ok with not being able to audition because I got so much out of this phone interview.

The woman I spoke with yesterday was actually the same woman who I spoke to last year for the phone interview and audition I had. It was nice to catch up quickly with her and she was excited that I had submitted myself again for the project (I was afraid that they wouldn’t want me to since I didn’t get it last year, but I figured it was better to try than not to).

The phone interview first covered a lot of technically stuff. You do agree that you are willing to share medical information with the production team (if you got the commercial, it wouldn’t be public so your privacy is protected) and you have to agree that you are ok with sharing the fact that you do have binge eating disorder. Since I share that on here, I have no issues with saying that in a commercial. I think that most people aren’t as comfortable being public with things as I am, and I understand why the casting team wants to check with the people they are talking with to make sure they know how public it will be.

After going over that I was diagnosed by a doctor, we went over what treatments I’m doing for my eating disorder. I mentioned that I’m still taking Vyvanse and that I’ve finally been seeing some progress with it. I think a lot of the progress is due to some personal development I’ve been doing along with the monthly challenges in my Spark Planner. But to be honest, until I had to share what things were like before versus what they are like now, I didn’t realize how much progress I’ve made.

My eating disorder is not gone (I still wish it was and I know that it is not a totally realistic goal to have), but my episodes are less frequent. The reduction has not been as much as I would have liked it to be, but anything is better than nothing. I’ve also had more clarity lately about things. I’m not letting myself stay down about stuff as long as I would have in the past. If I have a bad meal or bad day, I’m getting back on track a lot faster than I would have before. I’m not waiting until the next week to fix things.

I haven’t seen my therapist is almost 6 months now. When I last saw him, the plan was to go 6 months and to see what that brings. Of course, if I felt like I needed to see him sooner I could have made an appointment. But the past few months have been pretty awesome for me. And when I see my therapist again next week, I think he is going to be pretty happy with the progress I’ve made and hopefully he can help me plan out how to not just continue with what I’m doing but to continue making steps toward whatever recovery will end up being for me.