Tag Archives: rowing

A Long Workout Week (or Being Emotional And Going Easy)

This past week of workouts was a bit crazy for me. I was on such a high from my amazing 5K race the weekend before. Then I was nervous because I knew that this would be my last big workout week before my surgery. Then I found out I’m a medical miracle and my surgery was canceled. My emotions really got to me this past week and it did affect my workouts. And since I was emotional, I ended up overdoing it at times and having to take it easy when I really didn’t want to. If this was my last 4 workout week before surgery I probably would have been a bit disappointed. Fortunately, that won’t be the truth so I can feel a bit better about how I did.

Monday’s workout was a mix of endurance and power and it was a run/row day. I was still feeling a little bit sore from my race, but I really wanted to see what I could do since I was feeling so amazing from my PR. The running portions were .6 miles and .15 miles. I started doing my 2 minute running intervals, but after those first 2 minutes I had to stick with walking for the .6 mile parts (which means I did .3 miles since power walkers go half the distance). I did manage to run the .15 mile segments in full, but it was a bit slower than I’m used to. And for the rowing, we had 150 meters and 600 meters and just like the running I ended up doing those a bit slower than normal. I tried to just tell myself that it was a recovery workout, but I struggled not to push myself more.

I did much better on the floor that day. We had squats with bicep curls and lunges with arm raises which both went pretty well for me. Lunges are still a weak point, but they didn’t feel too bad. We also had 2 rounds of 1 minute of knee tucks and while I was hoping to do them on my toes I ended up doing them on my knees. My hips were hurting a bit more by that point and I knew that pushing myself would hurt more than help. And we ended with a core blast with plank work and sit ups.

Wednesday’s workout as a mix of endurance, strength, and power. This was my first workout after finding out my surgery was cancelled and I was feeling on top of the world. I think that feeling had me wanting to push myself to new limits to prove how great things are. All of the blocks were 5 minutes (4 on the treadmill and 4 on the floor) so I decided to test out my running again on the treadmill. I had some time to recover and my legs and hips were feeling pretty good. So for the first block we had a 4 minute progressive push followed by an all out pace. I increased my speed .1 mph each minute and managed to run for the entire 5 minutes. The second block was 30 second pushes to 30 second all outs and I managed to do the last all out at 7.7 mph which felt almost too fast but at the same time felt amazing to do it! The third block was all inclines and while I tried to run them it wasn’t happening for me so I walked everything until we had the all out pace at 3% incline (I told myself it was good practice for the giant hill on the 5K next year). And the last block on the treadmill was kind of mix of everything we had already done. We were on the treadmill for about 28 minutes and I almost went 2 miles. That’s faster than my 5K pace and that was pretty incredible to me!

On the floor, we focused a lot on leg work which felt a bit tough after all that hard treadmill work but I did my best. We had squats, lunges, and squats to walk out push ups which were new to me and very tough to do. We also had a rowing block where we did static squats between rows. And we ended with a core workout for the last floor block.

Friday’s workout was a power day and I had really been looking forward to it. The blocks were short and had a lot of great opportunities for me to work on my running some more. All of the push paces were quick and we had a lot of 30 second all out paces with walking recovery back to back. I maxed out at 7 mph which isn’t my all time best but still pretty respectable. The only downside for me was that I was feeling pretty light-headed by the end of the treadmill block. I’m not totally sure what caused it, but I did have to go to the hospital for some blood work that morning so that could be the culprit. Whatever caused it, it wasn’t fun and it really affected my floor work.

On the floor, it was arm focused with chest presses, skier swings, squat rows, and shoulder work. I really was trying to work hard, but the light-headedness really was getting to me on the floor. It felt like I needed to take a break every few moves and I know that I didn’t get that much work done compared to normal. Again, I knew that I needed to go easy on myself but it’s tough to do that when I know what I can normally do. But I also was scared that I would get worse so I just took my time, focused on my form, and did whatever I could get done before we were done with that block. And when we ended on the rower we were working in time with the treadmills but I didn’t worry too much about rowing with a push or all out pace. I just rowed when we were supposed to and took rests when we were supposed to.

Saturday’s workout was a 3G workout and I was pretty grateful for that. I was having a tough morning and I was glad that I didn’t have to spend more than 15 minutes at any section of the room. I started on the treadmill and as soon as I started I knew that I wasn’t going to be able to run at all. My hip was killing me and I was dealing with some pretty bad cramps. So I did only walking for the entire 15 minutes. It was an endurance workout so we had a lot of longer push paces which for me meant having the incline at 6 or 8%. I didn’t feel like I was working that hard and my heart rate monitor was showing that my heart rate was much lower than normal. But I had to just consider this workout a recovery day and be ok with that. Walking for 15 minutes is still better than if I hadn’t been at the workout at all.

Next I moved to the floor where we had 2 small blocks of work. The first block was squats, plank leg lifts, and core knee tucks. I was doing fine with the plank leg lifts (which normally cause me some issues) but I really struggled with the knee tucks. My body just didn’t want to bend that way and I worked to find out how I could sit to do the best modification I could do. But on the second block I had much more success with the work. We started with single arm rows on the straps and this was the first time I didn’t have a tough time keeping my shoulders down. I was visualizing my back muscles moving and for some reason that helped me from not bringing my shoulders up and I felt the work a lot more than normal. And the last move was doing push ups with one hand on the Bosu ball. I had to do the push ups from my knees, but I was feeling really great about how I was able to balance nicely with the push ups and was able to get farther down that normal.

And I finished my workout on the rower with long rows (3 minutes first and then 600 meters after) and some squats and lunges between rows. The rowing went ok for me and I was able to get my 600 meter row in under 2 minutes which is always my goal. But the squats and lunges were getting really hard with my hip bugging me so I took my time and balanced myself on the rowers. Fortunately, there was an empty rower next to me so I was able to use both my rower and the rower next to me to hold on to.

Even though my surgery was canceled, this week’s workouts will still be based on the schedule I had thinking I would have surgery. I’ll still be able to get 3 workouts in, but it will all be in the beginning of the week. My parents will still be in town so I didn’t want to take time away from hanging out with them to do my workout. But in another week, I’ll be almost back to my normal schedule and I’m so grateful for that. I’m on track to hit my workout goal for this year so I’m glad that I won’t have to worry about taking any time off from my Orangetheory classes!

Rowing And Partners (or Enjoying A 4 Workout Week)

I didn’t realize this until after I completed this past week of workouts, but this was second to last time I will be doing a 4 workout week that I know of. I plan on getting back to 4 workout weeks eventually, but I have no clue how my recovery will go and how long it will take me to go from 3 workout weeks to 4 workout weeks. But I’m really glad that I pushed myself to do more 4 workout weeks because they now feel comfortable and normal to me. I remember when the 4th workout was a struggle and I am glad I got over that feeling. Hopefully this will make getting back to 4 workout weeks much easier for me when I am able to do so.

With the 4 workouts I had this week, I seemed to have a decent amount of rowing to do (which has been a trend) and a couple of partner workouts. It’s nice that it felt like there was a bit of a theme for the week and even though there were similarities with the workouts they were all different and had their own challenges.

Monday’s workout was a power day and we did a bit of switching between blocks but not with each block. All the blocks were about 5 minutes of less and that allowed me to pretty much do all running on the treadmill. We had a lot of 90 second push paces or 1 minute push pace to 1 minute all out paces, so the running wasn’t too long for me. The first and second block on the treadmill were similar (and we did those two blocks back to back without switching). And for the third and fourth block we mainly did push to all out paces which helped me keep running for all of the treadmill segments. It’s nice when I can do that and limit my running, but I also have started to wonder if I’ll ever be just a runner and not do any walking. I don’t know if I want to do that, but it’s giving me something to think about.

On the floor, we had a lot of lower body work and then some core work. We also did some bicep curls on straps and push ups on the ground. And the very last block wasn’t on the floor but on the rower. We were on the rower for 5 minutes and we did 20 seconds at an all out row followed by 10 seconds of a recovery row (basically going as slow as possible for those 10 seconds to get ready for the next 20). In those 5 minutes, I ended up doing over 1100 meters which really surprised me. I’m so used to averaging 100 meters every 30 seconds even though I’ve been doing much better than that lately. It was nice to have this 5 minute row to reinforce that I’m much better at rowing than I was even a month or so ago.

Wednesday’s workout was a partner workout and I got to partner with my friend Dani. We had 2 blocks each of which were a partner challenge for 23 minutes and each of which had one of us on the rower. The first block was one where the rower controlled the pace and the other person was on the treadmill. The rowing segments were 1000, 750, 500, and 250 meters and we switched between the rower and treadmill each time. And the person on the treadmill was just running until they were tagged out. I started with running on the treadmill, but I was getting exhausted from the rowing so I ended up walking after my first treadmill time. We didn’t quite make it through the entire challenge (Dani got to do 250 meters but I didn’t), but I think we did pretty awesome.

The second block was one where the rower just rowed for distance and the other person was on the floor controlling the pace. The floor person was doing chest presses, rows with weights, lateral raises, and plank work. And when they were done they tagged out the rower and started rowing. We didn’t reset the rower between switches and the goal was to get to 5,000 meters between us in 23 minutes. I tried not to take too many breaks on the floor because Dani was waiting on me on the rower, but it was a tough block. And at the end of the 23 minutes, we only made it to 4,900 meters so I was a bit frustrated that we didn’t make the goal. But again, considering how tough the workout was I was proud of us both.

Friday was a power day and again it involved rowing. We had 4 cardio blocks and while a majority of the time was on the treadmill, for the first 3 blocks each time we started with a 45 second all out row. I was surprised how tired I was feeling after just 45 seconds on the rower, but I think I went a lot harder on the rower than I normally do because I knew I’d be done in 45 seconds. After that, we headed to the treadmills and we had push to all out paces. I did manage to run all of those but I was walking when I could between to take a bit of a break from things. The last cardio block had no rowing, but it was all push to all out paces back to back.

On the floor, the first 3 blocks started with 45 seconds of bench hop overs. My form was fine for the first one, but it really got sloppy after that because of how tired I was. The rest of the floor work was a good variety with lunges, bicep work, plank jacks, and squats. And for the last floor block we headed back over to the rower. We had push to all out rows on the same timing as the treadmills and by the end of class I was so happy that I was done.

My 4th workout of the week was on Sunday instead of Saturday (I had something I couldn’t get out of on Saturday), but it worked out nicely to have that extra rest day before that workout. Sunday’s workout was a 3G workout and we were switching between blocks so we were never at one part of the room for more than about 7 minutes. For the treadmill, the first block was push paces to all out paces and each round the push pace got shorter. We started at 2 minutes and ended with 30 seconds. I was able to run all of it but it wasn’t easy. Our walking recovery within the block was pretty short so each time it was time to run again I was really wishing there was a bit more time to walk. The second block was pretty much all 1 minute all out paces with 30 second walking recoveries between. Again, I ran it all but toward the end I was cutting my all out paces a bit short to walk a bit more than the 30 seconds we had. I was starting to be a bit sore, but I was able to get back to running after recovering a bit longer.

On the floor, each block was 3 different moves. The first block was squats to bicep curls, frogger squats, and atomic mountain climbers. And the second block was weighted flys, jump squats (I do squats with calf raises), and plank work. Even though these blocks were each about 7 minutes, they felt really long. I think it’s because I was able to get through the work quickly so I got a lot of rounds done each time.

And on the rower we had one normal rowing block and one partner rowing block. With the normal rowing block, we had sprint rows and then we got off the rower to do squats and lunges. And on the partner block we had a partner who rowed 100 meters while we did burpees and then we would switch. I was a slower rower than my partner, but I hate burpees and he wanted to work on his so that worked out well. And at the end of the partner rowing block we had a 1 minute squat hold.

For being one of my last 4 workout weeks for a while, I’m glad that I had a decent amount of variety in my workout. It’s crazy to think that I only have a few more weeks of normal fitness blogging before my posts on Mondays will be either about a lack of working out or what I’ve been doing to start getting back to workouts with my recovery. I’ve been doing these Monday workout recaps for over half of the time that I’ve been blogging and I’ve loved doing them. It’s going to be a weird transition when I’m not able to blog about fitness the same what I’m used to. But hopefully my recovery journey will be as interesting as my fitness journey has been.

Dri-Tri Time (or Beating My Own Records)

As I mentioned in my workout recap post this week, my 4th workout of the week was the Dri-Tri at Orangetheory. I’ve done the Dri-Tri once before, and while it was tough I had a great time. I had such a sense of accomplishment when I was done with the event and it felt like I had really been able to push myself more than I ever knew I could. So when I saw that the Dri-Tri was coming up again, I knew I had to sign up.

I was hoping I could get one of my workout friends to join me, but nobody was able to do it too. But that’s ok since we had an amazing group of people doing it and a bunch of the Orangetheory staff was there to cheer us all on.

The first event of the Dri-Tri is the 2,000 meter row. I’ve been doing a lot of rowing lately and my power and speed have been improving quite a bit. But even though I’ve been doing significantly better on the rower, 2,000 meters is a long distance. We rarely do rowing that long (although we did have the 2,017 meter row in January) so I was feeling a bit unsure about my ability to do the rowing. Last year, I really wanted to do my rowing in under 10 minutes and couldn’t do that. So I decided to set my goal to something that seems reasonable and wanted to do it in under 10 minutes.

While I was rowing, I tried to zone out. I didn’t go that hard because I knew that I could do too much in the beginning and burn out. I wanted to keep a relatively steady pace and just hope that I could get through it quickly enough. I was starting to notice other people finishing their row and getting up, so I knew that I must be getting a bit closer to finishing my row. I ended up being the last person off of the rower, but that doesn’t matter since I was only competing against myself and what I was able to do last time. And I ended up not only doing my row under 10 minutes, I did it in under 9 minutes! I did my 2,000 meters in 8:45.2! That was so much better than I ever imagined that I could do.

But there was no time to celebrate my amazing row because it was time to move on to the second part of the Dri-Tri: the floor work. This was a set of 300 body weight moves that we had to do. There were 2 rounds of the floor work (each round had a total of 150 reps) and it consisted of squats, push ups, burpees, hop overs, plank jacks, and step ups (I had to do lunges instead of step ups). I was pretty tired from the row, but I knew that last time the floor work was a struggle and I needed to stay focused.

I was taking breaks for water, to wipe off sweat, or to catch my breath quite a bit. But each time I was taking a break was when I was switching moves and not in the middle of a set of something. While it’s nice to have things broken up into 2 rounds, it was hard to think after the first round that I had to do that all over again. And again, I was the last person to be done with that part but I was ok with it because I knew I had the treadmill still to go.

The treadmill portion of the Dri-Tri is a 5K run. If you are a power walker, you do half of a 5K. I knew I’d be doing run/walk intervals and thought that I would try to go for the full 5K this time instead of doing half like I did the time before. I had my intervals at 2 minutes running/1 minute walking and that was going ok for me. But my hips were starting to really hurt (which usually happens when I do rowing or floor work before the treadmill) and I realized that it would be best for me if I only did half of the 5K. I was a bit sad that I wouldn’t do what I set out to do with doing the entire 5K, but I also realized that this way I would find out exactly how much faster I was this year.

I kept my intervals up for the entire thing. My speeds were pretty stable except for the very end when I took it to a sprint for me so I could get as many seconds off as I could. And I was happy to see that my half 5K was faster than what half my 5K was during my last race by about 20 seconds.

This gives me high hopes that my race coming up next week may be a PR again! But I’m still worried about how I will do with a full 5K as a run/walk again. But I couldn’t focus on that because I completed my Dri-Tri! And when compared to my Dri-Tri last year, I took just over 9 minutes off my total time. That’s a pretty impressive improvement in my mind.

When I was done, there were still a few runners finishing their 5K run. I was more than happy to hang out and cheer everyone on because I know this is a pretty tough challenge to do. This is much more difficult than a regular class since you are not stopping between blocks to pay attention to instructions. Once the clock starts, you are on the go until you complete everything. And even though I was done in under 45 minutes, it didn’t feel easier than an hour-long class.

I’m so lucky that I’ve been able to do the Dri-Tri twice so far. And I know that I will be doing it again in the future. It may be another year before I do another one because of the timing of things, but I’m excited to see what I’ll be able to do whenever I have the next one. Maybe I can take more time off of my row. Or maybe I can do the full 5K! Whatever I can do, I’m just so happy that I’ve been able to prove to myself that I’m so much stronger and powerful than I was last year!

Friends and Rowing (or More Records In My Workouts)

Another great week of workouts for me! I’m seriously so happy that each week lately has been going pretty great for me. Even with the few setbacks I’ve experienced, overall I’d say that these workouts really are going better than normal and that I’m able to do a lot more than I’m used to. I hope this keeps being the trend for the next few weeks because I’m going to be getting in as many workouts as I can!

Monday’s class was promoted as a signature workout. I wasn’t sure what that meant, but it pretty much means that it’s a workout that we’ve done before. This is a way that we can track out progress (like Peak Performance Week) and see what we have been able to do. I track my workouts on Evernote so I can see my progress all the time, but it was nice to have this workout as another way to track things. The format of the workout was a modified run/row. Each block started with a timed row and then we went to the treadmill to finish. The rows were 1 minute, 2 minutes, and 4 minutes. I had goals set for each one and the only one that I missed was the 1 minute one (I wanted to do 300 meters and only made it 299).

But I had set my 2 minute goal to be 500 meters (I did 504) and my 4 minute goal to be 900 meters (I did 933), so that is pretty incredible for me. It wasn’t that long ago that I thought of rowing as my weak point in my workouts. And while they aren’t as great as everything else, the improvements I’ve been making in rowing has been helping a lot. After those timed rows, I really wanted to run on the treadmill but my legs were having it. I ended up power walking the entire time doing my push paces at 8% incline and my all out paces at 10% incline.

Wednesday’s workout was an endurance day and as a surprise, JZ (who used to be the regular Wednesday coach) was coaching! I do miss seeing her on a weekly basis, so it’s nice when I’m surprised and get to have her as my coach. With the endurance workout, I know it can be tough for me to try to run as much as I would like, but I decided to test myself again. The first block started with a 4 minute progressive push pace. Each minute, we were supposed to increase our speed and I did go .2 mph faster each minute. It’s still a bit tough for me to run for 4 minutes, but it was good to test myself like that.

The rest of the first block and the entire second block were shorter push paces (between 1-3 minutes) and I walked all of my base paces so it wasn’t too tough to keep doing the run segments. I also ran all of the all out paces (as I pretty much always do)j and tried to bump up my speed as much as I could. I was able to do 2 miles on the treadmill in under 30 minutes which keeps giving me hope that I can do another PR at my 5K in about 2 weeks.

On the floor, both blocks started with a 700 meter row. I wanted to do that in under 3 minutes, and I was able to get that done both times and was able to get faster the second time I tried!

The first block also had squats and single leg deadlifts. I usually do single leg stuff as double leg stuff because my balance isn’t so great, but I gave the single leg deadlifts a try (with lighter weights than I usually use) and was happy to see that they weren’t as tough as I expected. I had to keep putting my back foot down to get my balance again, but as long as I took my time I was able to get them done. I don’t know if I’ll be able to do a lot of balance work after surgery (that involved using my core and I know I’ll be restricted on ab work), but this is a good sign that maybe I can keep working on balance stuff later this year.

Friday’s workout was a mix of endurance, strength, and power and was a run/row day. And I also had a friend (Elizabeth, who was with me cheering on marathon runners) taking her first class ever that day! I love having friends join me for class, and a lot of them are signing up for memberships so I get to keep seeing them in class! Elizabeth started on the floor when I started on the treadmill, so we didn’t get to work out next to each other, but I could tell she was having fun.

The run/row format was a tough one. It was a .15 miles all out pace run at 15% incline and each round you brought the incline down 2%. I might have been able to do a little bit of running at that incline, but I didn’t want to overdo things because I knew I would have the Dri-Tri the next day (spoiler for a post coming up later this week!). I ended up power walking all of the treadmill segments but I did bump up my speed a bit more than I normally do so I could make sure that I was getting into the right heart rate zone.

The run/row felt really long this time and I was really glad to be switching over to the floor. We had 3 blocks on the floor this time each. The first block was some weight work with squats, strap work with chest presses, and body weight work with running man and hip bridges. The second block was all work on the BOSU ball with doing arms and ab work. And the last block was all medicine ball work with squats and lunges. It wasn’t an easy class, but I felt super accomplished when I was done. And I think that Elizabeth liked it too and she’ll be coming back to try another class next week!

As I spoiled earlier in this post, I did the Dri-Tri on Saturday (which I’m counting as my 4th workout in the week). But because that’s something special and not really a regular workout, that will get its own post later this week!

Lots Of New Records (or Killing It In My Workouts)

This past week of workouts may have been the best week of workouts ever for me! I have no clue how I had such an awesome week or what changed in my life that made it work out so well for me! But whatever the reason, I seemed to break records of mine every single day.

Monday’s workout was an endurance day and we didn’t switch between blocks. It really felt more like we had one long treadmill block and one long floor block. On the treadmill, we started with a 4 minute progressive push which means that every minute we are supposed to get a bit faster. I was able to run all of it and I did increase my speed each minute (but I only did it .2 mph instead of the suggested .5 mph). For the rest of the treadmill block, we did a lot of 2 1/2 minute push paces, which I ran, plus a couple of 1 minute all outs. By the time I was getting off the treadmill, I had done over 2 miles on there! That was something I have done before, but it’s still impressive to me that I can get that much done in class!

The floor block was a pretty crazy block. It was just a single block with a long row in the middle of it. We had to do jumping jacks, running man, squats, push ups, toe touches, pull ups on the straps, and 4 point planks. It was tough but I was very happy to get through it. The jumping jacks were exceptionally hard and we had to do 70 of them. I can’t remember the last time I had to do more than maybe 20 jumping jacks in class. After getting through all that, it was time for a 1,000 meter row. That is a pretty long row and I didn’t have too much in mind as far as a time goal goes. I knew I wanted to do it in under 5 minutes, but I had no other plan in my head. I knew I was tired after doing all the floor work so I didn’t want to set expectations for myself. But somehow, not only did I do it in well under 5 minutes, I did my best 1,000 meter row time ever!

I’ve been working on my rowing technique over the past few weeks, but this improvement wasn’t something I thought I could do at all. After that row, it was time to get back to the floor work again to do the same exercises I did before the row. Everything was a bit tougher the second time around, but I was feeling on top of the world after the 2 miles on the treadmill and the PR row that I wasn’t too focused on being tired.

Wednesday’s workout was a mix of endurance, strength, and power and we didn’t switch between blocks so I knew I could try for another good distance on the treadmill that day. The endurance work was a 3 minute push pace, 90 second push pace, and 1 minute all out that I was able to run (I walked all the base paces). The power work was all 45 second intervals which mainly were push to all out pace (so 90 seconds of work) that I was able to run. And the strength work was all at 4% so I was able to run at that incline instead of taking that as a walking break. The very last thing on the treadmill was a 30 second all out pace on a flat incline and I knew I was super close to the distance I had done on Monday so I decided to push it and do those 30 seconds at 7 mph and was able to get even farther on the treadmill than I had on Monday!

On the floor, we had 2 blocks which both had rows. The first block was lunges, power jacks with a weight in one hand (which is so much harder than holding the weight in both hands), and a 200 meter row. I did the row in 42 seconds both times which is a good time but I was really trying to get it below 40 seconds and just couldn’t do it. The second block was pretty arm focused and we did chest fly, triceps, chest press, and hammer curls. Then it was a 100 meter row which I really wanted to push myself on. I wanted to see if I could get it under 20 seconds and my first attempt was in 19.5 seconds so I was pretty happy. Then our coach was saying how our second attempt is just to take fractions of a second off since it’s such a short sprint row. But I decided to see if I could get at least one second off and managed to take almost 2 seconds off and did it in 17.7 seconds! That’s by far my fastest 100 meter sprint and now I know I probably could have done my 200 meter row in under 40 seconds if I really push myself.

Friday’s workout was an endurance day with a 10 1/2 minute distance challenge. The last time we had that challenge, I proved to myself that I can run for 10 1/2 minutes at a time. So I knew I needed to do that again this time. On the first attempt of that challenge, I did manage to run the entire time. But the big difference this time was that last time I did the entire thing at 4.5 mph and didn’t pay attention to the push or all out paces. I just wanted to run the entire time and not worry about it too much. This time, I did increase my speed during the push and all out paces and then went back down to 4.5 mph during the base paces. I didn’t do my pushes as fast as I normally do, but any increase in speed with I’m doing an endurance run is a huge accomplishment. And because of that speed work, I was able to get much farther this time than I have in the past!

I was so happy about that and was really excited to see if I could beat that distance for the second attempt. Things started off really great and I was going faster than I had the first time. But about 3 minutes in my contact lens was starting to bug me and I couldn’t seem to make that feeling go away. And about 4 minutes into the run my contact lens actually fell out! I freaked out for a second because I need my contacts to see and I have no depth perception without them. I stopped the treadmill quickly so I could stop to see if I could find my contact lens, and my some miracle it had fallen straight down and into my sports bra! I guess I’m lucky that I’m not flat chested because then it might have fallen onto the treadmill belt!

I was able to run to the bathroom to clean my contact lens and pop it back in, but by the time I got back on the treadmill it had reset itself so there was no way to do the challenge again. I was trying to not let myself feel too down about it (it’s not my fault that my contact lens fell out) but I also didn’t want to overdo it to try to make up for things. So I ended up doing the rest of the challenge (I had about 5 minutes left) as a power walk with going pretty high up on the incline.

On the floor, we had 2 blocks both of which had rows in them. The first block was an 800 meter row which I did in 3:25. Then we had squats, hip bridges, and push ups. Then the second block was a 400 meter row (I did it in 1:29) which felt much better than the 200 meter sprints I had done earlier in the week. We also did single leg squats on the straps and I was able to do them as single leg squats and not regular ones! We also had knee tucks and I tried to do them on my toes but ended up having to do them on my knees. The floor work was a bit hit or miss with me that day, but I figured that the awesome run and row made up for it.

And since I’m getting in as many workouts as I can right now, I did a 4th workout this week (I’m hoping to do 4 workouts a week every week leading up to surgery except the week I have my 5K). The classes I’m going to now on Saturdays are almost always 3G workouts so I know there won’t be as much time on the treadmill and some extra time on the rower. But this time, that worked out perfectly for me.

We had 4 blocks on each section of the room (treadmill, rower, floor) and we rotated each block so we were never in one area for too long. The first block was 5 minutes, the second block was 1 minute, the third block was 3 minutes, and the last block was 1 minute. On the treadmill, since I knew that I would never be on the treadmill longer than 5 minutes, I decided to see if I could run for everything. Not just my push or all out paces, but also my base paces. I looked at it like how I did the 10 1/2 minute challenge the day before. The 5 minute block was a bit tough because we were doing all 30 second intervals, but I managed to run everything! For the 1 minute blocks, all we had was a 1 minute all out so that was easy enough to run. And for the 3 minute block, it was 30 second intervals again and I ran everything. This was the first workout where the only walking I did was during the warmup when it wasn’t a distance challenge (like the 10 1/2 minute challenge days). It wasn’t easy, but this was a huge accomplishment and I am so proud of myself for doing it!

On the rower, the long block was rowing sprints plus half squats. The 2 blocks that were 1 minute each were just 1 minute all outs on the rower (I got about 300 meters each time). And the 3 minute block was the same pattern as the treadmill with 30 second intervals. And on the floor, it was a mix of arms and squats for most things. We also had some plank work at the end, but since every block was so short there wasn’t a ton that we did on the floor.

This week of workouts was really incredible for me. I got new PRs on my rowing, did 2 miles on the treadmill for 2 different workouts, did another great 10 1/2 minute distance challenge, and did a workout where I did all running and no walking. This would have been impossible for me just a year ago. I know my running progress can be slow, but to me it seems like I’ve been doing really amazing! I know I’ll have a setback with surgery and I’ll have to build myself back up to all this, but I’m really hoping that all this training is going to make my recovery much easier.

Hills, Switching, and Working Hard (or A Crazy Week At Orangetheory)

This past week at Orangetheory was a pretty amazing and intense week for me. It was a a tough week because it was a 4 workout week, but I also think the workouts this week were exceptionally good and they were different compared to what I’m used to. Having things be different is good since I know you need to mix things up. And having things mixed up in class led to some great opportunities for me to test myself on a bunch of different things and I think in the end I really benefitted from that.

Monday’s class was a 3 group class because of the holiday (they tend to only have morning classes on holidays so they are all 3 group classes) and it was a strength day. But instead of the standard 3G classes that we have, this was very different and I really had to work hard on focusing what to do. With 3G classes you have a group on the treadmill, a group on the rower, and a group on the floor. And we technically did have that, but we didn’t stay that way. We had 6 blocks in the workout and they were all 6 minutes each. We all started on one part of the room, but as we did the workout we moved from station to station within the block. We didn’t have to stick with the same number on the floor, rower, and treadmill. We just had to go over to any place that was free.

It was tough with us all moving around all the time, but I think we managed ok as a class. On the treadmill, it was the same thing each time. It was supposed to be a .25 miles run, but if you run under 5mph you were supposed to do half the distance and at 4% incline (because you needed to be done with the treadmill fast enough to make it to all 3 stations). So each of the 6 treadmill times for me, I was doing .125 miles at 4% incline and I ran all of it. Running at 4% incline is tougher than a flat treadmill, but 4% is something I’m slightly more comfortable with. It was a good challenge to do, and since it was done pretty quickly it wasn’t too overwhelming. On the rower, we always had a 400 meter row. And on the floor, it was mixed up but we always had 2 different things to do.

We were supposed to see if we could complete and entire lap around the room plus possibly more. I struggled to make it through all the stations for many of the blocks. But somehow with the blocks were I started on the floor I was able to get through it all, so I did make the entire lap twice in class. But even though I didn’t do everything every single round, I know I got an incredible workout done and felt amazing for knowing I pushed myself and succeeded.

Wednesday’s workout was a strength day that was also a run/row, so I was pretty excited for that. But it was a run/row like we’ve never had before. Usually with run/row days, we don’t switch between blocks and we work on the run/row for about 20 minutes before moving on to the floor. I’m used to that and comfortable with that. But this time, there were 4 run/row blocks and 4 floor blocks and we switched each time. The blocks were all about 4.5 minutes long so we were switching a lot and often. The run/row was between .25-.1 miles at 3% to start. 3% feels pretty comfortable with me, but doing .25 miles at that incline felt so long and much steeper than it was. After doing the run, we did 100-250 meters of rowing and then went back to the treadmill to do the same distance again but at 6%. I only completed the second round on the 4th block (when the treadmill and rower distance was the shortest), but I was usually able to make it back to the treadmill each block.

On the floor, we had 3 blocks that each had 2 things. It was good that we only had 2 things to do each block because 4.5 minutes goes by pretty quickly. We had a lot of variety in the floor work with lunges, bicep curls, front raises, and mountain climbers. And with our 4th block, we had timed work (usually for 30 seconds) that was mainly on the straps. When we have timed work, I try to not take breaks. But sometimes 30 seconds straight doing something feels so difficult and you just have to rest.

This workout was one of the harder ones I think I’ve done. It was a combination of how fast we were switching, the running on inclines, and the feeling like I wanted to get through everything so I was rushing a bit. I was so tired after this workout (and not necessarily in the good tired way), but even though I was exhausted I was proud of myself for getting through the workout. On tough days like this one, I have to think back to where I was when I started. My very first Orangetheory workout was so tough that I was struggling to walk the next day. This workout would have killed me back then. I know that I’m so much stronger than I was before and knowing that helps me get through days that get to me.

After that crazy workout on Wednesday, I’m glad that Friday’s workout was a bit easier. It was a power day and we switched between blocks. I was grateful that we wouldn’t have hills during the workout and I was excited to get to focus on my running a bit more. Our blocks were between 5-7 minutes and since I knew we’d be switching I did push myself a bit more on the treadmill than I would have if we weren’t going to switch. Each of the treadmill blocks started with a 90 second push and then we had a bunch of push to all out paces (with walking recovery between one all out to another). A lot of the push to all outs were pretty fast, but we did have one that was 2 1/2 minutes total. Running faster than normal for that long is tough, but since I’ve been working hard on my endurance it was nice to get to work on my speed. My only regret with the treadmill time on this workout is that now that I know my endurance is pretty decent I want to start doing a bit of running during the base paces. This workout could have been ideal to test that out, but I didn’t do it.

Between each of the treadmill blocks, we had floor and rowing work. All of the rows were timed rows, which were a nice change from distance rows. We had 30 second, 45 second, and 1 minute rows and I was pushing myself like crazy for each of them. It’s a bit easier for me to push myself on a timed row because I can count down how much longer I have to work (unlike distance rows where I’m not totally sure how long it will take me). I think that my wattage on each row was higher than I ever had thanks to some work I’ve been doing on my rowing technique. I’m going a bit slower with my pulls on the rower, but I can get my wattage up higher when I have a good rhythm. After the timed rows, we had floor work which included weighted squats, plank work, and burpees.

And I got my 4th workout in this week (no blackout to deal with this time!) on Saturday. I’ve switched the time I go on Saturdays recently because I realized that I can go to a class a bit earlier than I thought I could after work. And now that I’m going a bit earlier, I’m usually in a 3G workout on Saturdays. And this Saturday was no different. I like the 3G format because it gives me time to work on my rowing (which isn’t in every workout) plus it’s a bit less treadmill time which is a nice break. I don’t care as much about having less treadmill time now that I’m working on running (somehow running on the treadmill is less stressful on my hips than walking), but I’m still happy to have a change from the norm.

This class was a switch day and also a strength day. So more hills for me on the treadmill and I knew it would be a tough day with hills. On the first block, I did most of the hills running. I was able to do a minute at 3%, a minute at 5%, and about 30 seconds at 7%. I couldn’t do more than that at 7% so I did some walking after that. We also had shorter bursts on the hills that I was able to do as a run as well. But when I got back to the treadmill for the second block, I just couldn’t run anymore. I really wanted to try, but I also knew that I had a big week of workouts and it was ok to take it a bit easy at the end.

When I was on the rower, the first block was rowing plus lunges and the second block was rowing plus squats. My rowing wasn’t as strong as it was earlier in the week, but again I took into consideration that I was probably a bit tired from all my workouts. And on the floor, we had a pretty good all over workout with arms, back, and core work. The floor was probably my strongest part of the workout because there were a couple of things that were either laying on the weight bench or laying on the floor to do core work. That felt like a nice break.

I’m really trying to do more 4 workout weeks now. I know that I have a workout goal for the year, and since I will need to take time off after surgery I want to get in extra workouts while I can. Doing that will help to keep my total number of workouts for the year near where it should be. I’m hoping I’ll only need a few weeks off from working out, but I also know there is a chance I might need a few months off (I’m really hoping that won’t happen). I’m also looking at right now as my time to train for surgery, so all the workouts I can do are working toward that goal. This week was only a 4 workout week, but with all the work I did it felt a lot tougher than that!

Lots Of Running and Rowing (or Proof Of My Progress)

For a while, I was making such great progress in my workouts. But I think from the past few weekly updates it’s becoming clear that I’ve been getting a bit stuck. I’ve been doing little improvements here and there, but in general I’m at the same level that I was a few months back. I’m not using heavier weights, I’m rowing at about the same wattage as I was before, and my running is still at the same speeds and lengths of time. I know I need to work on this, but it’s been tough. So this past week of workouts, I did my best with trying to see where I could make improvements.

Monday’s class was a strength focus but it was a run/row day. The run segments were .3 miles on a flat incline and .15 miles at 7-3% incline. For the flat incline part, I ran for 90 seconds and then walked for a minute and repeated that until I got to .25 miles (power walkers do half the distance so since I run/walk I try to split the difference). I was tempted to see if I could run .3 miles without stopping, but I was scared to test myself. And for the incline runs, I ran for 45 seconds and walked for a minute until I got to .15 miles (since that was a shorter distance I didn’t split the difference between runners and walkers). It wasn’t easy to run on an incline, but I was grateful I challenged myself to do it. For the rowing, we had 150 and 300 meter rows and those were nice quick sprints for me.

On the floor, we had really short blocks and we focused on upper body and abs mainly. I did have some small improvements in my floor work including doing my plank work on my toes instead of my knees. I also used some of the heavier weights for my deadlifts and rows. For my ab work, I did have to use more modifications than I would like but I was still doing the work and I felt it in my core later that day and the next morning!

Wednesday was an interesting day. We started with a 10 minute block on the treadmill and a 10 minute block on the floor. On the treadmill, we had pretty long push paces (90 seconds to 2 minutes) followed by 1 minute at base pace. I did all the pushes as a run and walked during the base. On the floor, we had chest presses, squats and sit-ups. Then we came together to do the rest of the class as a partner workout.

This was a rowing partner workout. The person on the rower would row for distance while the other person did floor and treadmill work. On the floor we had jumping jacks with a medicine ball, push ups, and plank leg lifts. Then the floor person would go onto the treadmill to run. We had .2, .15. and .1 miles to do on the treadmill and I decided to run for the entire time. The .2 miles part was tough, but running the entire thing was a nice boost to my ego since I thought I’d struggle more with it. After the run, we would tag out the rowing person so they could do the floor and treadmill work.

The time on the rower averaged about 3-5 minutes and it wasn’t easy to row after  doing the running. But there were goals set for how much distance we could do as a team during the workout so I rowed pretty hard. Each time on the rower, I was pretty close to 900 meters. In the 23 minutes that we worked, we each did the treadmill and rower 3 times (so 6 total switches) and between me and my partner we got 5130 meters on the rower. That’s not too bad considering how much other work we were doing in the workout!

Friday was a strength day and for some reason I was having a pretty bad day with my hips. I was hurting really badly and I couldn’t make the pain go away. I still went to the workout, but I knew it wouldn’t be a really great one for me. We didn’t switch between blocks and we started with a 2 minute push pace on a flat road. I did run for that, but that was the only running that I did. Since it was a strength day, which means hills, I didn’t mind too much that I was walking. I did my inclines between 6-10% and sometimes I increased my speed a little bit as well. It wasn’t my best workout, but I tried to take it as a recovery day and be ok with that.

When I switched to the floor, we focused a lot on arm and chest work. It was fine with me until for some reason my right shoulder was starting to hurt (I think I might have slept on it funny). Once I started to hurt, I used some lighter weights but kept going. And we did have 2 rows that were 250 meters each. The first time I did it in 1:01.2 and the second time I did it in 55.5 which made me pretty happy. It’s nice when even during a tough workout I have something I can be proud of.

I also did a Saturday workout. I debated cancelling it and for a while I was only on the waitlist which seemed like an easy way to not go. But I just told myself that I needed to do it and it ended up being the perfect workout to end my week on when I was struggling with progress. This workout was a run/row but it was not the standard format. This time, we had running with weights that we did 3 times and then we moved to rowing with weights 3 times. For the running, we had to do .25 miles each time. I’ve run .25 miles before, but it was a struggle and I wanted to see what would happen this time. It wasn’t easy to run the entire thing, but I did it. And I did it all 3 times! I did have a break between each .25 miles when I had to do weights, but technically I ran .75 miles in that workout! The rowing was 150 meters so that was fast and the weight work that we had to do between everything were shoulder and arm focused. But the sense of accomplishment I had each time I did my run made everything amazing in that workout.

On the floor, we had a lot of squats and ab work. I was using lower weights than I know I could have used but I also was very tired after doing my running. I was doing plank work on my toes again (which is pretty tough with my hips not being as great as they could be) and I was doing speed skater lunges without having to put my toe down which has been something that I’ve been working toward for a while. It seemed like this workout, which I questioned if I wanted to do, ended up being the workout that proved to me that even when it doesn’t feel like I’m getting stronger I really am.

I keep trying to tell myself that progress is slow and that I have to be patient with myself. And as long as I keep going that I will see progress in the long run. But it’s tough when you feel like you are stuck in a plateau to convince yourself that you are doing the right thing. So having a positive workout week like I did this past week helps to keep me motivated and feeling like I am on the right path.

Going Big During Peak Performance Week (or A Week Of PRs)

This past week was Peak Performance Week at Orangetheory and it went really well for me! Peak Performance Week is something that I do look forward to each time it happens. It’s a great way to prove to myself that I’m making progress and since I’m so competitive with myself I can get some of that energy out. My original plan was to only do 3 workouts, but I decided to go for it and do 4 workouts during the week (which meant doing 3 workouts in a row) because I really wanted to see what I could do.

Monday’s challenge was the 500 meter row challenge. I don’t have as crazy of goals with the rower as I do with the treadmill, but I still set goals for myself and want to do better than I’ve ever done. So with 500 meters, I set a goal of being able to do it in under 2 minutes. I started on the treadmill but we only warmed up while the first group was on the rowers. When they were done, it was our turn to row (this way, we weren’t too tired before doing the row). Even though 500 meters isn’t really a sprint for me, I knew that I could just go really hard and hopefully it would only be about 2 minutes of effort. So I did just that, and when I got to 500 meters, I was pretty excited to see my time!

1:55.9! Totally under my goal time and that’s all that I could have asked for! After doing the challenge, we had the rest of the workout. On the treadmill, I ended up walking for it all because I went so hard on the rower. For the longer push paces, I did my inclines between 6-8% and the shorter push paces at 10-12%. But walking was fine with me since I was tired and I knew I’d have more running during the week. And when I was on the floor, I stuck with slightly lighter weights for my lunges. We also had some strap work and ab work plus some short rows (which I took easy).

Tuesday’s workout was the one I wasn’t sure I’d be doing, but when the challenge for that workout was announced I knew I had to go. It was the 24 minute run for distance. I hadn’t done that one since I started running, so I wanted to see what I could do. I had a goal in mind to go .5 miles further this time than I did the last time but I mainly just wanted to do my intervals as long as I could. I was doing 2 minutes of running and 1 minute of walking. I mainly ran at 5 mph and walked at 3.5 mph and was doing pretty good with that speed with my intervals. At the end, I did a few rounds of 1 minute of running/1 minute of walking and tried to bump my speed up. I really wanted to make it to the distance goal I had (which would have been 1.896 miles), and I was close but just missed it.

Even though I didn’t make that distance goal, I’m so happy that I went as far as I did and that I did so well with my intervals. I hadn’t done the 2 minutes of running intervals for that length of time before so it was really great to realize that I could do it!

After the 24 minute distance run, I had 2 blocks on the floor. Each of those block started with a 300 meter row and we did some arms and squats after that. And then after those blocks, we had a 3 minute core blast on the floor that ended with a one minute plank hold and I was able to hold it for about 45 seconds. That’s not my best plank hold, but considering all the other work that I did that day I’m very happy with it.

Wednesday’s workout was a floor rep challenge day. Since it was my 3rd workout in a row, I knew it would need to be a bit of a recovery day. I tried to run at the beginning of the workout and realized that my legs were pretty dead so it ended up being a walk day for me. We did switch between blocks and there were 4 blocks on the treadmill and 4 blocks on the floor. The treadmill was nothing spectacular for me since I was so tired, plus I knew I would be working really hard on the floor.

For the floor rep challenge, we got to do it twice and add up the reps from both attempts. We had 4 minutes and did 1 move each minute. We were doing squats, push ups, pull ups on the straps, and sit ups). I tried so hard to go each minute without stopping, but it wasn’t easy. I think for me, the easiest ones were the push ups and sit ups but none of them were too horrible for me. On my first attempt, I did 124 reps between all the moves and on the second attempt I did 110 reps. I think that that’s not too shabby considering how hard those 4 minutes were without a break. I would have loved to have done more reps the second try, but that wasn’t in the cards for me.

And Friday was the day I was stressing out about all week: the mile challenge. I think that I judge myself by the mile challenge more than I do with any other treadmill challenge. And since I recently had a major PR with my mile, I was worried that I couldn’t beat that. I know that I don’t need to PR every time I do the mile challenge, but that’s what I want to do. I knew that I went really hard with that last PR and I spent time this past week trying to figure out what I would need to do in order to PR again.

This time, I tried to stick with 2 minutes running/1 minute walking intervals. I had it figured out that I would only need to do that 4 times to get my mile done so it helped with getting my head in the right space. I started with doing as long as I could at 6 mph for my running time. I averaged going that for just over a minute and then I ran at 5.8 mph to finish out the 2 minutes. I did my walking at 3.8 mph, which is faster than I would have liked, but I knew I needed to keep my speed up. That plan worked fine for the first 3 rounds and then my stomach started to cramp up. I went back to 1 minute intervals and increased my speed even more. When I knew I had .1 miles left on my mile, I sprinted and kept increasing my speed. I knew it was going to be close to 11:48 (my previous PR) and I just wanted to get at least 1 second off of my time. And it made me feel so amazing that I did that.

It wasn’t a pretty mile for me. It was so difficult and I’ve realized that I need to figure out a new game plan for the next time I do a mile challenge since I can’t just keep increasing my speed. Hopefully I’ll have some time to figure it out before the next challenge, but for now I’m just happy that I got another PR.

We had a pretty low-key floor block while the other half of class did their mile challenge and then we all joined together to do a partner workout for the rest of class. One of us was on the floor and the other was on the rower. The rower person set the pace and had to do a 900, 600, or 300 meter row. While the partner was on the rower, the person on the floor had lunges, mountain climbers, ab work, and roll outs. We would repeat the floor work until our partner tagged us out.

I was pretty happy that we didn’t have to go back onto the treadmill. My right hip was really sore after my mile. It wasn’t my normal type of pain which is sharp and feels like an electric shock. This was more of a dull annoying pain and I didn’t want to push myself too much. I did take it easy on the floor since I wasn’t controlling the pace, but when I was on the rower I did my best to go as quickly as I could so I could tag out my partner. We each ended up doing 2 rounds on the rower so at least we were pretty equal with our work.

This Peak Performance Week was totally a win for me. While I didn’t meet every goal that I set for myself, I had a PR with everything. And those goals I set were pretty ambitious and I didn’t know if I could do every single one I set for myself. So to do 3 out of 4 isn’t too bad. Plus, I did 4 workouts in a week and 3 workouts in a row so that makes the week even more difficult! All of those things combined helped to make this week more amazing than I could have imagined!

New Year New Challenges (or Getting Ready For Peak Performance)

My first week of workouts for 2017 got off to a pretty great start! My first workout of the new year was on New Year’s Day and then I was ready for a regular full week of workouts. It was a 3 workout week since I had done 3 workouts over the weekend, but that worked out pretty perfectly for me. Monday and Friday were big challenge classes so it was nice to have those as my week’s bookends. Coming up this week is Peak Performance Week, so I considered these workouts my training to get ready for that.

Monday’s class was supposed to be a recovery day for me. It was my 3rd workout in a row and I knew I was exhausted. I had no expectations to do anything too crazy and was just happy that I was in class and doing something. Then I found out that we were going to have 3 distance challenges on the treadmill that day. We had 3 treadmill blocks and each was split in 2. For the first half of each block, I walked because I was still trying to take things a bit easy.

But for the second half of each block, we had a 3 minute distance challenge. I know I can run for 3 minutes at a time, but it is not easy for me. But when there is a challenge announced, I get very competitive with myself and need to push myself more than I think I can do. So for each of those challenges, I ran the entire time and I was so happy to see that I was able to increase my distance each time.

After doing all 3 of those 3 minute challenges, I was pretty tired but of course on the floor we had another challenge after that. The floor block started with a 2017 meter row (because of the new year) and that is the farthest row I’ve ever done outside of Hell Week. It wasn’t easy, but I’m very proud that I was able to do that row without having to stop for any breaks. I managed to get it done in 9:23, which is pretty good time too!

Wednesday’s workout was a power day. We had 3 treadmill blocks and all of those blocks started with a 90 second push pace which I was able to run for all the blocks. Then the first block was all 1 minute intervals, the second block was 45 second intervals, and the last block was all 30 second intervals. I ran for all the push paces and all outs and that included the back to back push to all out with the 1 minute intervals (so I ran for 2 minutes that time). And I ended my workout with doing the 30 second all out at 7mph.

Once I moved to the floor, the first block was pretty heavy with squats. We had shoulder work and burpees plus I did push ups on the straps. The second block was more core focused with plank work like mountain climbers and plank shoulder taps (I do those instead of palms to elbows because I can’t keep my hips stable enough yet). We also had to do some sprint rows in the second block and I was able to do 300 meters in 1:09 and 250 meters in :52 which are both pretty good times for me.

And the biggest challenge day ended up being on Friday which was an endurance day. I knew we had to do a 10.5 minute distance challenge because some of my friends posted about that on social media. So I was prepared to do that when I arrived at class. I started with 2 minutes of running and 1 minute of walking but about half way through I had to switch to 1 minute intervals. I was trying to keep my speed up, but I was dealing with being a bit congested that day so I had to try to keep things easy enough at the same time. After I completed it, I was so happy with the distance I got. And then I found out that we were doing another 10.5 minute distance challenge.

Normally when I know that we have multiple challenges in a class, I go a bit easier on the first round so I wouldn’t be too tired for the second one. But I did go all out on the first round and my second challenge suffered a bit. I did 1 minute intervals for the entire time, but I pushed my speed up a bit more for the run and the walk. And at the end I was bumping up my speed more and more hoping that I could get a better distance than the first attempt. I ended at 7mph at the end, but it wasn’t quite enough to beat my original 10.5 minute challenge.

I’m so competitive with myself and it was tough to not beat myself with back to back challenges. I almost always (or have always) beat myself when I do back to back challenges and it was not easy to accept that I couldn’t do it this time. But I also have to be really proud of the distance I went when you combine them. I did 1.618 miles in 21 minutes. That’s amazing!

After the treadmill, we headed to the floor where we had 4 short blocks. 2 of those blocks were leg and plank work. I had lunges in each of those blocks and we also had plank work like mountain climbers and Spiderman planks. But the other 2 blocks were on the rower where we had 3 minute distance challenges. This time, I was prepared to do 2 different rowing challenges so I was able to pace myself better. And I’m very happy with both of my distances, but even more happy that I was able to do better the second time!

With Peak Performance Week this week, I’m still debating which classes I want to go to. I know I’ll be there for the mile challenge, but I’m torn about adding a 4th class (which would also make it 3 classes in a row) to do the 24 minute distance challenge on the treadmill. I’d love to push myself to do it, but I also don’t want to overdo things. But no matter what, I’m so happy I had challenges last week to get me ready to have a full week of challenges this week!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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