Tag Archives: running

Lots Of Running (or Dri-Tri Prep Week)

This past week of workouts was one that I was taking a bit more seriously than other weeks. I knew I’d be doing the Dri-Tri on Saturday (that’s going to be a post for another day) and I also knew that I probably hadn’t been training as much for it as I had in the past. I wasn’t super worried about how I would do in the Dri-Tri, but I also didn’t want to feel horrible when I was done. So I spent this past week of workouts trying to do the best that I could every day in the hopes that the training would get me ready for Saturday.

Monday’s workout was the 3 group workout that focused on power. On the treadmill, we pretty much did 90 second intervals the entire time that were push to all out paces with variations on how long each push or all out was (but they all added up to 90 seconds combined). I was able to run all of the 90 second intervals which made me happy. I do want to get my running intervals up a bit and the last 5K I did was with 2 minute running intervals. I’d love to be at 3 minute running intervals for my next race (which I’m not totally sure when that will be), so 90 second intervals was good practice and something that shouldn’t be too tough for me.

On the floor, we had 2 blocks. The first block was lunges, chest presses on the straps, and squats. I knew I’d have lunges and squats during the Dri-Tri and that we would have push ups so chest presses are close. And the second block was more lunges, squats using the Bosu, and plank work. And when I was on the rowers is was mainly sprint rowing work. The first block started at 400 meters and went down 100 meters each time with squats to bicep curls in-between. And the second block started at 100 meters and went up 50 meters each round with squats in-between. I wish I had a long row that day because I was nervous about the 2,000 meter row, but there wasn’t one that day.

Wednesday was a run/row day that focused on endurance, strength, and power. It was an interesting run/row because we had weight work between everything so it felt almost like a full workout just in the run/row. It started with a 500 meter row, then 10 front raises with weights, then a .1 mile run, and the round finished with 5 arm snatches on each side. Then the next round had the row go down 100 meters and the run go up .05 miles.

I told myself that I would try to run the run segments in full as long as I could. I figured that I probably would need to take a walking break when I got to the .25 mile run but I’d try to run the earlier segments in full. Fortunately (I guess) for me, I never made it to the .25 mile run so I did manage to run all the run segments that I had. And for the rowing, the 500 meter one was a bit tough because I went a bit too hard in the beginning. But the other rowing segments weren’t too bad and I was able to take it easy since I was tired from the running.

The floor had 3 blocks. The first block was squats with the Bosu, lateral lunges with medicine ball presses, kneeling wood choppers, and sit ups with rotations. This block was pretty hard for me and I was taking a bunch of breaks. The wood choppers were especially hard and I think it’s because we haven’t done them for a while and I’m out of practice. The second block had plank jack to pop jacks (which I had to end up doing as plank jacks only due to hip pain), crunches, and hip raises. And the last block was lunges using the straps and swimmers. I felt pretty strong during those last 2 floor blocks so that made up for feeling so off during the first one.

And Friday’s workout also ended up being a run/row day and it was focused on power. I knew I didn’t want to overdo things because of the Dri-Tri the next day. Fortunately this format actually worked well for taking it easier than normal. Our class was small so we ended up working in 1 group that all started on cardio instead of splitting up and having half of us start on cardio and half of us start on the floor.

The first block of the run/row started with rowing. We rowed 200 meters and then however long that took on the rower was the time that we ran on the treadmill. Each round we went up 50 meters on the rower and used that time for the treadmill. All of the times for me were under 2 minutes so I knew I could run it all. I kept my running at my usual push pace which is the pace I’ve been able to use for some of my distance running.

After that block we all moved to the floor where we had 2 blocks. The first block was a timed block with 30 seconds for each thing. We had bicep curls, squats, and skaters. We did the series of moves for 3 rounds and then moved on to the next floor block which was by the number of reps (not timed). That block had lunges, running man, and side plank rotations. And then it was back to the run/row.

The second block of the run/row was similar, but flipped. We started on the treadmill for a .1 mile run and then went to the rower and rowed for however long it took us to do the run. Each time on the treadmill went up by .05 miles and then we used that time for the rowing that round. I had a similar idea with the running as I had on Wednesday. I knew running .25 miles was probably going to be a run/walk but I could run the shorter ones in full. And again, I never made it to the .25 mile run so I was running them all in full. The rowing was all pretty much sprint rows since they weren’t too long so again I was a bit nervous about my lack of endurance row training. But the key was just trying to not go too hard in the beginning and to stay steady since that’s what I’d need to do with a 2,000 meter row.

The floor in the end was similar to the other floor blocks. We had one block that was timed and one block that was by reps. For the timed block, it was 3 rounds of 3 exercises for 30 seconds each. This time we had bicep curls on the straps, sumo squats, and skaters before moving on to the last block. The final block was squats, plank shoulder taps, and abs. That last block was a bit tough because I was tired and feeling a bit off that afternoon (I think I was dehydrated), but I made it through.

Even though I did a ton of running, I still know I haven’t been doing as much running as I should. Part of the reason has been that I’m not clear on when my next 5K will be so I don’t feel like I’m training for something. I usually have a 5K in November. This year it was supposed to be in October but nothing has been officially announced and there are no sign ups. And my race that I do in April seems to be changing and there might not be a 5K anymore. I’m still waiting on seeing what happens, but knowing that April might be my next race isn’t that much motivation. I need to find something other than a 5K to push me to work on my running so that when I have the Dry-Tris I will feel more prepared.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Another Peak Performance Week (or Some PRs and Some Not-So-PRs)

Another Peak Performance Week is done and to be honest it didn’t quite go the way I thought it would. It seems like most of the time during that week I will PR or come really close to getting a PR on all the challenges. But this week didn’t have that in the cards for me and it’s not easy to accept that. I know so many of my posts about my workouts lately have been how I need to go easier on myself, and this week was another example of that.

Monday’s challenge was the 500 meter row. It was a 3G class and I started on the treadmill. But because I knew the rowing would be after my first treadmill block I took the treadmill pretty easy. Once I got to the rower, I knew that my PR going in to that workout was 1:53.7. My goal in my head was to get it under 1:50 flat. I went pretty hard and fast as soon as I started and fortunately I didn’t seem to gas out until the very end of the row. I tried to not look at the timer on the rower and just focus on the countdown for the meters. And when I got to the last 100 meters I went as hard as I could since I knew it would be done soon. When I got my 500 meters done, I took a look at the timer and was pretty surprised with myself.

I had a feeling I had gotten under 1:50, but I had no idea I had done it that quickly! That’s about 7.5 seconds faster than my old PR which was only done earlier this month! I was not expecting to have such a huge improvement in such a short time frame.

After the rower challenge was done, we were into a more normal 3G workout that had a strength focus. I pretty much overdid it with the rower and was still dealing with a bit of nausea so I walked everything on the treadmill. On the rower, besides having the challenge we had 200 meter sprints with 20 seconds of rest in-between and also a 3 minute row for distance (I didn’t do so great with that since it was at the end of class). And on the floor, we mainly did upper body work but there was a bit of ab work and some squats thrown in there too.

Wednesday’s challenge was the floor rep challenge. I have done this before but I hadn’t looked at what my previous rep counts were before this class. This class had 4 blocks on the treadmill and 4 blocks on the floor and I started on the treadmill. The first treadmill block I was able to do my normal running for the push paces and walking for my base paces. Next on the floor was some lunges, abs, and a 200 meter row. Then I headed back to the treadmill.

I knew that right after this treadmill block I’d be doing the floor challenge so I walked the 4 minutes I was on the treadmill. I didn’t want to get too tired before the floor work and I think most people were taking it easy for that same reason. Then I went to the floor where it was 4 minutes of continuous work. The challenge is that you count how many reps in those 4 minutes you do. It’s 1 minute of squats, 1 minute of push ups, 1 minute of pull ups on the straps, and 1 minute of sit ups.

Since I didn’t know what my old count was, I didn’t worry too much this time on what I wanted to get done. I did 95 reps total in those 4 minutes and felt pretty happy with myself. Then back to the treadmill where I did another 4 minutes of walking before going back to the floor to do the floor challenge again. This time, the exercises were reversed (so sit ups, pull ups, push ups, and squats). During the squats I knew I’d be close to 95 again so at the very end I did 2 really speedy squats and got my count up to 96. All I ever want to do is at least 1 better than what I did before and that’s exactly what I did. But after class I realized that I had done well over 100 reps the last time I had this challenge and I was a bit disappointed that I wasn’t able to do better.

And Friday was the last day of Peak Performance Week and it was the mile challenge day. This is always what I look forward to and fear that I will struggle with. I don’t know how I got it in my head that the mile challenge is such a big deal, but that’s what I think of it. Since I knew I wanted to get it done first, I made sure that I started on the treadmill. I had been trying to plan out how fast I need to go for how long to get a PR. I already knew that I wasn’t going to try to run the entire thing but instead do intervals with really fast sprints.

As soon as we got started, I did my first sprint. I did 1 minute at 6mph followed by 1 minute at 5.5mph. I then walked for a minute to recover at 3.8mph (this is the same pattern I had when I PRed). This worked really well for 2 rounds and then things started to fall apart. I was already having a bad hip day and had only gotten about 3 hours of sleep the night before so my body wasn’t feeling so great. And after my second round I knew that I was overdoing it. I had to jump the rails to take a quick break. Since I didn’t stop my treadmill, this is totally cheating and I’m not happy about it.

For my third round, I reduced the run time and increased my walking because I knew the last round was coming up for me to finish my mile. And I knew that I’d be pretty close to what my old PR time was so I wanted to make sure I went as fast as I possibly could go. I don’t remember the exact speeds I went, but I think I was between 6-6.8mph for the last 90 seconds or so. And once I got my mile done, I stopped my treadmill.

This is exactly what my PR was from before. But since I jumped the rails to catch my breath, it doesn’t really count. But to know that I was able to tie myself isn’t too shabby. I haven’t been doing as much running lately as I had before the last Peak Performance Week and I was dealing with some physical issues this time. So I think to have expected to PR was almost unreasonable even though that’s exactly what I had hoped for.

After the mile challenge, we moved to the floor where we had some arm work and rowing. I was still working on catching my breath and wasn’t feeling so great so I was going pretty slow. But at that point, I didn’t really care what I was doing as long as I kept going in class. After the other group finished their mile challenge, my group was back on the treadmill. I knew I’d be walking because I was in pain and I was actually walking slower than I have in a long time. But I got it done and that’s what counts. We ended class with a block on the floor that included burpees, running man, back extensions, and ab work. I was exhausted after that class but I was glad I survived the 3 days of Peak Performance Week that I set out to do.

Saturday’s workout was back to a normal workout (Peak Performance Week is just Monday-Friday). It was 3G like it normally is on Saturdays for me and it was a mix of strength and power. Since I was still hurting a bit from Friday’s workout, I knew going into the workout that I’d be walking. But I was a bit disappointed when I saw the workout because it would have been a great one to work on my running.

We had 3 blocks at each station and we switched after the first 2 back to back. Every block was 4 minutes long and it was pretty much a 4 minute run for distance on the treadmill. The first block was increasing inclines, the second block was decreasing inclines, and the last block was at a flat incline. I would have loved to work on running for 4 minutes at a time, but my body wasn’t in any shape to run. I knew if I even tried that I would probably end up hurting myself. But I couldn’t just walk and not try for anything extra so I did increase my walking speed each time I was at the treadmill. I felt like this made up for having to walk extra slow the day before after the mile challenge.

On the floor, it was more leg and plank work than anything else and I decided to work on trying to be better with what weights I used. We started with lunges that had shoulder/arm work (front and lateral raises). Normally for lunges I use 15 or 20 pound weights and for those arm moves I use 12 pounds weights. But I decided to split the difference and use 15 pounds weights. It was tough to do the shoulder/arm moves, but since it was only 6 reps I was able to keep it up. It was nice to have something feel like it’s improving since I haven’t really felt that way on the treadmill. We also had decline mountain climbers, Spiderman planks, lateral lunges, and squats.

And on the rower we started with seeing how far we could go in a certain number of pulls on the rower. It started with 25 pulls and went down by 5 each round. Normally I can average 10 meters on each pull, but with the pain in my hips I wasn’t able to get as much power behind my rows as I normally can. I decided to not pay too much attention to the distance since I knew I wouldn’t be happy with what I saw. Another block was 200 meter sprints with froggers in-between each set. Again, I lacked the power I normally have so I didn’t look too much at my time for the row. And the last block was 150 meter sprints with squats in-between the sets. We were supposed to try to squat so low that we touched the rails of the rower, but I couldn’t get that low down. But I’m pretty certain my squats were lower than they probably ever have been.

This was not how I thought Peak Performance Week would go for me, but it wasn’t all bad news. I was able to work on being more patient with myself which is slowly happening for me. I did get some PRs and I learned how to push myself better. And that’s all I can ask for a Peak Performance Week. Now I just want to focus on seeing what gains and improvements I can have before the next challenge week!

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Being Patient With Myself (or Being Ok With A 3 Workout Week)

I originally planned this past week to be a 4 workout week because I knew that this week was likely to be a 3 workout week. I’m now having 4 workout weeks be the norm and 3 workout weeks to be rarer instead of how it used to be the other way around. But this week was another one where my body was telling me stuff and I just had to listen. So I had 3 workouts and they weren’t all up to my normal abilities.

Monday was a strength day. I knew I’d be going to Disneyland that day, plus I was dealing with some hip pain and nausea, so I decided to walk the entire workout. It was probably a smart choice for me because a lot of the work was longer segments on the hills. I can do running on hills for short bursts, but I definitely can’t really do longer running on hills just yet. Most of my walking was at 6, 8, or 10% and it was tough to feel like I was getting a good workout in because I’m so used to running.

We also had one cardio block on the rower and it was a pretty fun challenge. The goal was doing 100 meters in as few pulls on the rower as possible. Doing as few pulls is tough because your brain is telling you to go super fast to get it done. But really you have to take your time and take long pauses at the beginning and end of each stroke. It’s an exercise in patience and I’m getting better at it. The goal was to be able to do 100 meters in under 10 pulls and I knew I could do that since on these pull challenges I usually average 10 meters a pull. In the time we had on the rower, I had time to do 4 attempts. 2 of those attempts were at 8 pulls and the other 2 were at 7 pulls. I’m pretty happy with myself with that effort.

Once on the floor, I focuses on heavier weights since my cardio wasn’t as good as normal. We did have rowing on the first block with 200 meter rows (I did them between 40-42 seconds each time). The second and third block on the floor was mainly arm work like pull overs, triceps, upper cuts, and raises. And the last block was all ab work like planks, crunches, and toe reaches. Even though I felt disappointed with my cardio, I knew I’d be doing a ton of steps at Disneyland and I feel pretty happy with what I was able to do on the floor.

Wednesday was a run/row day and I was pretty excited about it. I knew it was going to be a very difficult run/row, but it was a great opportunity for me to prove to myself that I’ve made some really great progress. On the running part, it started with .25 miles, then .5 miles, then 1 mile. And the rowing was 1600 meters, 800 meters, and 400 meters. I had a feeling I wouldn’t get through the mile so I put my energy toward the first 2 segments. I was able to run the .25 mile run pretty easily (it’s still so crazy to me that running that has become easy to me now) and then I headed to the rower.

I checked my records, and my previous PR for 1600 meters was almost 2 years ago and it was 8:15.2. I had a feeling I could do it in under 8 minutes flat and set that as my goal. Distance rowing is still tough, but I’m getting better at it since we’ve had some more opportunities for it. And I think the endurance I’ve been building with my running is helping my rowing too. I tried to not focus on the rower while I was rowing because I knew I’d be on there for a while. I finally looked down at around 6 minutes thinking I would be close and I was much closer than I thought I could be to being done! So I decided my new goal would be to go all out for the end and maybe be able to take a full minute off my 1600 meter row. I think I was in a bit of shock when I was done.

I did just over 1:02 faster than my old PR! That’s pretty insane and I think that it was a really great time for me. I knew I’d PR on my row, but to think I could PR by that much is mind-boggling. I was pretty exhausted after that row, but I still wanted to do my best on the next running segment. I’m not sure how I did it, but I managed to run the entire .5 mile run too. I did the 800 meter row in 3:27.5 which is less than half the time it took me to do double the distance so that was pretty great too. And I only got started on the mile run by the time it was time to switch.

The floor work had an interesting set up. There were 4 blocks and the first 3 blocks all started with a minute of timed work like squats, pushups, and rowing on the straps). After that, we had about 4 minutes to do 2 different moves. The moves after the timed work was mainly arm work and a lot of it was rowing (which seemed mean after doing so much rowing during the run/row). The very last block on the floor was timed ab work like crunches and leg lifts. We also had a 90 second plank hold to finish which felt pretty easy considering all the plank work I did in my challenge last month. I’m happy that planks have gotten so much easier for me and I’m excited to see what other plank progress I’m going to make soon.

Friday was another run/row day but it was also a strength day so that meant hills. I originally planned to do all the running as running and it started off great with a .5 mile run which was at a flat road treadmill (which is 1%). I actually was able to get my speed up and did it at 4.7 mph instead of my usual 4.5 mph. Next was a 450 meter row which I wasn’t too worried about since I was focusing on the next run segment.

Next was supposed to be .4 miles at 2% and I assumed I’d be able to do it. But my body was saying otherwise and after less than a minute I had to switch to power walking. It was disappointing because I was so set on running, but I’m really learning to be patient with myself and knew it would be best to not run. My body was hurting from some hip pain plus I had eaten too much the night before (more on that in a future post), but I was hoping that I could overcome that. But once I started walking I was feeling better so I know I made the right choice. I did the 350 meter row, the next run segment (as a walk again), and just had enough time to finish a 250 meter row when time was called. I didn’t get all the way down the run/row assignment, but I got almost done which is pretty good for me.

Once on the floor, I again wanted to do heavier weights because I felt like I had to make up for what I didn’t do on the treadmill. We started with lateral lunges and I was able to use 20 pound weights in each hand. It wasn’t easy and I had to take breaks, but I got through the entire set. I did my front raises with 15 pound weights (usually I use 12 pounds) and I even used weights for my hip bridges and scissor kicks which I usually do without weights. In the second block, I wasn’t using much heavier weights than normal, but I didn’t go easy on myself either. And we ended with a core blast with a medicine ball and I went for the 10 pound one instead of 8 pounds. I felt like I really made up for my lack of running with weights.

Leaving Friday’s workout, I had every intention of making it on Saturday. So I probably didn’t go as hard for that workout than I would have if I had known I was going to skip Saturday. But Saturday morning things changed and I knew it would be best for me to not work out that day. It’s not easy for me to listen to my body because I’m always trying to push myself, but I’m trying and I’m seeing the results when I do pay attention.

I’m a bit paranoid about not hitting my workout goal for the year, so I might try to see if I can fit in another workout this week. It might not be possible and I might have to be ok with 3 workouts for 2 weeks in a row. It’s not the end of the world, but I’m so set in my plan that it can be hard to deviate from it. But this is all a lesson in patience, listening to my body, and not being too hard on myself. It’s just tough for me to do that sometimes.

Celebrating At Orangetheory (or 3 Years Down)

I didn’t realize this going into this past week of workouts, but this week was my 3 year anniversary at Orangetheory! It’s so crazy to think how 3 years ago I had my first class that was so tough I could barely walk the next day. I’ve come so far in those 3 years and I’m just so grateful that I was given the opportunity 3 years ago to try a class. I never thought I could fall in love with a workout so much, but here I am 3 years later loving things more and more and wanting to push myself further and harder.

Monday’s workout was a 3G because it was a holiday. Holiday workouts are always like that, so I was prepared going into class that it would be a 3 group workout. I started on the treadmill and it essentially was a 15 minute run for distance. It really was more like run 1.5 miles, walk, and then run more; but I knew that I couldn’t do 1.5 miles in 15 minutes so I looked at it as 15 minutes for distance. I had never run for 15 minutes before, but I’ve done close to that so I figured I should go for it and see what happens.

I did the first 12 minutes at 4.5 mph and tried to kind of go into my head and just think about anything other than running. I went through my schedule in my head and did some blog post planning and just kept running. Then for the last 3 minutes I was bumping up the speed a little bit each minute just because I wanted to see how far I could get. I didn’t really have a real goal in my head for how far I wanted to go, but I figured 1.125 miles sounded nice to me. And of course because of how stubborn I am, I was able to do more than that and ran the entire 15 minutes without stopping! Sorry for the blurry picture, I was so out of breath at the end of the run!

Next, I went to the rower where we had a 2,000 meter row. We don’t have 2,000 meter rows that often, but I do have them when I do the Dri-Tri so I’ve done them a few times. I was not expecting to PR on the row since my PR was during the Dri-Tri when the rowing was first so I wasn’t tired. All I wanted to do was row the entire time without taking a break. And I wanted to see if I could be under 9 minutes. Those seemed like good goals considering I had just come off of a 15 minute run.

Again, I just tried to get into my head and think of anything other than the rower. I was daydreaming and just trying to keep a steady rhythm on the rower. It was tough not to go really hard at the beginning since I do that a lot on my sprint rowing. But I started slower than I’m used to and was able to stay pretty steady the entire time. I didn’t take a break, did it under 9 minutes, and I was only 12 seconds slower than my PR! That was totally unexpected!

The floor work that day was pretty varied and I focused more on form than anything else since I was so tired from the running and rowing. We had chest presses, deadlifts, pullovers, strap work, and plank work. By the time class was done, I was feeling on top of the world from all the awesome work I did!

Wednesday’s workout was a power day. Every block was 4.5 minutes long so I decided to challenge myself to run everything including my base paces. With the blocks being so short, I would only have to run for 4.5 minutes at a time before having a walking recovery. It would be more running than I’m used to, but the length of each run wouldn’t be too bad. I used my normal push pace speed to be my base pace and only increased the speed about .2 mph to be my push pace. That’s not as much of a difference as you are supposed to have, but I didn’t think I could do much more and still come back down to a run. It wasn’t easy to not have the walks that I’m used to, but this was a good test for me with intervals for 5K training. Maybe I can do 4 minutes running/1 minute walking next time?

The floor was also 4.5 minute blocks and each block had 2 moves in it so it went pretty quickly. We had lots of chest and plank work in those mini-blocks and we had rowing in the last block. It was a 100 meter row and I wanted to see if I could PR. I had thought that my PR at the time was 17.4 seconds so I wanted to beat that. I did the rows in 17.6 and 17.5 seconds and was a bit upset about that. But then when I looked at my rowing record tracking, it looks like my old PR was 17.6 seconds so it looks like I did PR after all! I’m not as good at tracking my rowing records as I am with my treadmill ones (mainly because I don’t always have my phone with me to take photos on the rower) but I’m working on getting better at that so I can focus on those records now too.

Friday’s workout was an endurance day where we didn’t switch between blocks. I didn’t try to do anything too crazy with my running since I had 2 very run heavy days already. The entire workout on the treadmill was basically 90 second pushes with bases in-between. The bases were between 30 seconds and 2 minutes and I did walk then for each one. I kept my pushes at my normal speed but worked really hard to sprint for the all out paces that we had (I got up to 6.7 mph). In the 29 minutes we were on the treadmill I got 1.95 miles done. So I was pretty much at my 2 miles in class target.

The floor work was in 2 blocks and the first block had chest presses and squats which I was able to do with 2 20 pound weights. We also had Spiderman planks and rowing. The rowing was 300 meters and all I wanted to do was be under a minute. My first attempt was 59.7 seconds and my second attempt was 59.2 seconds which was a new PR for me! I’m only able to take a few tenths of a second off of my rowing PRs which is tough for me since I’m used to huge PRs on  the treadmill. But any improvement is a good thing and I’m starting to get used to seeing only minor improvements. The second block was mainly strap work and abs which was a nice break and I was able to slow down my heart rate a bit and just focus on my form.

Saturday’s workout was a strength day and a 3G class. I had decided even before knowing it was a strength day that I would be walking. But it’s always easier for me to walk on strength days. It’s funny how I’m thinking of a day where I only walk as a recovery day compared to even a year ago where my recovery days were on the bike. It’s funny to me how much I’ve changed when I was so sure that I wouldn’t be able to do it.

The treadmill was pretty normal for a strength day. Lots of incline work and I just tried to increase my inclines a bit more than I’m used to. I was doing a lot of my work at 8-12% incline and kept my speed steady at 3.5 mph. I didn’t get my heart rate up as much as I would have liked, but again this was a recovery day and I knew I wasn’t going to be able to do as much as I normally do.

After the treadmill my group went to the rower where we had increasing rows with bicep curls on the rower and lunges off of the rower. The first row was 300 meters and I had no goals in my head. I wasn’t even worried about getting it done in under a minute. It ended up being around 1:06 (I’m not totally sure) but that was fine with me. The bicep curls on the rower were a nice recovery and I was able to go really deep with my lunges because I could steady myself on the water tank of the rower. My next row was 350 meters and I don’t really remember what time I did that in. My last row was 400 meters and I had an idea in my head that I want to be able to do this in 1:30. That’s really fast considering not long ago I was doing 300 meters in 1:30. But since it was my last row I went all out and ended up being pretty close to my goal! Now I’ve got something to work toward and I’m excited to see how long it takes me to get those last few seconds off.

On the floor, we had a longer block that had a lot of things that I was able to do with 20 pounds weights (lunges, deadlifts, single arm thrusters) and we also had a bit of plank work. And on the floor we ended with a 3 minute core blast where we had regular crunches, static crunches, toe reaches, leg lifts, and a 1 minute plank hold. That 1 minute plank hold wasn’t too bad, but I think that’s because I’m used to the super long planks from my last monthly challenge. I’m so happy that I’m seeing the results from that challenge in my workouts.

Overall, another amazing 4 workout week for me. I didn’t know it was my OTF anniversary until Thursday, so I think it’s awesome that I was able to accomplish some great challenges and PRs not even knowing that I was celebrating my time at OTF. I’ve accomplished so much in the past 3 years, and even more in just the past year. And I can’t wait to see what my fitness journey will look like in the next 3 years!

Setbacks and Goals (or Still Figuring Out What’s Next)

Last week I wrote about how I’m trying to figure out what is next in my fitness journey. I’ve hit more goals than I ever could have imagined and that has encouraged me to set my goals bigger and better. So many things I’ve done this year were not even an idea in my head a year or two ago. I never imagined a year ago that my running would be where it is now. So while I really do want to have more goals in my workouts, it’s hard to know what to set them at because I don’t know what I can do. But I decided to try this past week to see what I could do to try to get some new goal ideas.

Monday’s workout wasn’t one of my better ones. I’m still having nausea issues now that I have my period again. It’s much better than when I was a teenager (before I went on the pill), but I can get some days where it’s pretty horrible. Fortunately, my OB/GYN prescribed me some anti-nausea meds and those help so much. And I am now packing them in my purse with me for emergencies. But having them in my purse is a new thing and I didn’t think about it on Monday.

My workout on the treadmill started out ok. It was a strength day which meant running on hills. I started running at a lower incline when my nausea hit me hard. It almost took my breath away it was so bad at first. I immediately stopped running and started to walk. I did my inclines as usual, but the nausea was making me need to jump the rails of the treadmill pretty often to catch my breath. And when we were about 27 minutes into the 30 minutes on the treadmill, I remembered that I have my anti-nausea medication in my purse which was in my locker in the lobby. I ran out of class (probably the fastest I’ve ever run), got my purse, took my meds, and hoped the medication would take effect quickly. Most of the time, I feel relief within about 10 minutes and I knew I’d be on the floor then. It’s unfortunate that my treadmill workout had to suffer so much, but hopefully if this happens again to me I’ll remember that I pack my medication.

Once I got to the floor, I was waiting for the medication to kick in but I got to work on the first block right away. It was squats, tricep work, and knee tucks using the ab dolly. I’ve been testing out using the ab dolly on my toes and not my knees and was able to do about half of the knee tucks that way. I still need to work on strengthening my hips to be able to do all the work on my toes, but I’m getting there. On the second block we had lunges, roll outs on the ab dolly, and hip bridges followed by a 300 meter row. I’ve PRed on my 300 meter row recently and figured that feeling the way I felt I probably couldn’t PR again that day. But I still wanted to be under 1 minute (I’m so stubborn!). I worked so hard and felt like I was going to make it, but I did my row in 1:00.0 exactly. It’s a bit frustrating to know how close I was to hitting that goal even when I felt as bad as I did.

Wednesday’s workout went better for me. It was a mix of endurance, strength, and power and I was doing some pretty good running. I was fine with the longer push paces on the endurance block which included a 3 minute and 2 minute push. When we got to the strength block, I was able to run at 2% but after that I decided to walk. And in the power block it was push and all outs and I was able to run them all.

The floor was one long block that had a good mix of things to do. We had squats, hip swings, rowing on the straps, push ups, plank jacks, and ab work. But then there was a rowing component that started with a 1200 meter row. 1200 meters is a pretty long row and I remember back when I couldn’t row that much without taking a break. Back then, my goal was just to try to do it without stopping. Now that I know I can do that I’m working on what time goals I want to have. It used to be that I would do 100 meters every 30 seconds. My power on the rower has been increasing a lot, so I decided I wanted to see how close I could get to 5 minutes for the 1200 meter row. That would have been an average of 25 seconds for each 100 meters and that’s pretty fast for me when I’m doing more than 300 or 400 meters. But to my surprise, I was able to do it in 5:06.2! That’s a lot closer to 5 minutes than I thought I could be!

Friday’s workout was another strength one and I knew going into the workout that I wasn’t going to be able to do a lot of hill running. Fortunately, this workout has some decent flat road work and there was a walking segment built in. Each of the treadmill blocks started with 90 seconds of a push on a flat incline so I could run that. Then there was a 3 part hill climb where runners were supposed to run at 4%, 8%, and then power walk at 12%. I did that as a walk (6%, 8%, and 12%). And each block finished with an all out pace at 4%. 4% was a bit tough for me that day, but I’m glad I challenged myself and did it.

The floor work was 2 blocks and the first block was all work on the bench. We had chest fly, triceps, plank rows using the bench for balance, and hop overs. My hop overs are getting more like hops and less like steps, but there is still a lot of work to do to get those better. I’m not sure what work I need to do to make my hips move better for hopping (or if that just isn’t possible), but it’s something to think about. And the second block on the floor was lunges with bicep curls, strap work, ab work, and then rowing after. My first row was 350 meters and I did it in 1:14.4. That’s pretty good and I’m still thinking of a goal idea for 350 meters. And my second row was 250 meters which I knew I wanted to try to get it under 45 seconds. I did it in 47.4 which is pretty close to my goal!

Saturday’s workout was a power day and it was 3G so I was only at each section of the room for about 15 minutes. I started on the treadmill where we had 3 short blocks. Each block has a longer push followed by a shorter push and an all out. I ran everything except the base paces but I didn’t really do much speed work like I should have done for a power day. I think having this be my 4th workout of the week was making my running a bit slower than normal, but at least I was running.

Next I was on the rowers. The rows were all 200 meter rows followed by a lot of squats (seriously, my butt has been so sore lately from all the squat work!). I know that when I’m going really fast I can do 100 meters in about 17 seconds. So I was thinking and decided that I wanted to set a new goal for my 200 meter row and one day be able to do it in 35 seconds. Usually, I think my 200 meter row takes me about 40 seconds when I’m going fast, but for some reason I felt like I could do much better on Saturday. On my first attempt, I got my row done in 38.7 seconds. My coach was super impressed with me and said she wanted me to try for 38 seconds flat. I told her my 35 second long-term goal and said that I would be beyond excited if I could get it done in 37 seconds in that workout. And for my last row before switching to the floor, I beat my own goal for the day.

36.7 seconds is so close to the goal I have right now for that row! And being able to do that has made me think that I might need to start tracking my rowing and running goals a different way. Right now, I have each time or distance written down in Evernote with a log of how fast I have done it. I put the fastest one on top (with the date) and then move them around as I get faster. But I might want to set something up to help me track what my long-term goals are for those as well. It’s a work in progress and I’m sure that eventually I’ll figure out the best way to work on my new fitness goals.

After the rowing, I was ready for class to be done but I still had the floor work to do. This time it was a mix of lunges, squats, pop jacks, plank work, and sit ups. I was grateful for the sit ups because that gave me some time to lay on the floor and catch my breath a bit. The rowing really took it out of me but I made it through the entire set of floor work just as time was called to end class.

I think considering I had some setbacks this week, I did pretty awesome. I gained some extra motivation for goals in my workouts and really started to think more about my workouts as training with goals than just a workout. I want to start tracking things better than I am right now. This blog is great because I can go back and remember what I did, but I might need to take things to the next level now. I have so much more than I can do, but I won’t know what I can do until I start tracking and pushing myself more.

1 Year Of Running (or A New Anniversary To Celebrate)

Earlier this month, I was talking to a friend of mine about my running adventures at Orangetheory and in my 5K races. In some ways, it seems like I’ve been doing my running for a long time. In other ways, it seems like I just started last month. And when my friend asked me how long I had been running, I had to think about it. I figured it was close to a year but wasn’t too sure. Fortunately, one of the benefits of this blog is being able to go back and look at when I posted certain things. And by going back to looking at that original running post, I realized my 1 year running anniversary is today!

I still remember that first class when I tried running. Running for 30 seconds seemed like it would be impossible, but I am so stubborn and when I was told to try it I knew I had to go for it. And it shocked me how easy those 30 seconds were for me. I was terrified that it would be painful to run since I was told that it could be with my hip issues. I think maybe I in disbelief about how easy those 30 second running spurts were. And that just got me into making some big plans with my running.

When I started running, things were coming very easily for me. Going from 30 seconds to 45 seconds or to a minute were pretty easy. I was able to get my speed up often without issues. I was on such a high about running and had some great ideas of what I wanted to be able to do. I hadn’t really run since I was a kid, so I had no idea how my body would react to anything and only based my ideas on how easy it was in the beginning.

After a little bit, I definitely hit a wall with my running progress. But I’m very lucky that I have so many running friends and I was able to turn to them for tips and advice. I worked on different stretching, increased my weights at Orangetheory to make me stronger, and planned out some interval training. I started to do my own interval work at Orangetheory instead of just following the coaches. But since all my coaches knew I was working on running, they were all very supportive and didn’t mind that I wasn’t following the standard workout.

Then I started to hit some huge milestones. I was able to run a 1/4 mile. I was able to run on inclines. I took a running class. I was able to run for 5 minutes without stopping. I ran for 10 minutes without stopping. I ran for a mile without stopping! I think running a mile without stopping is still something that shocks me and I’m so proud I hit that milestone.

I also started doing running on my own outside of my workouts. I got a running watch and did my own interval training work. I met up with friends to do running interval training and didn’t let me bug me that they were doing so much more than I could do. I focused on my own training and my own path and didn’t compare myself to others.

Even though I did all this work, I still questioned how my first attempt at a run/walk 5K would go. I had never done run/walk intervals for that long and I wasn’t sure my body would be able to take it. But I think between being stubborn and the adrenaline I get on race days, I was not only able to do it but I beat my big goal I had for how fast I wanted to do a 5K!

Then when I got to my second 5K as a run/walk, I was increasing my intervals and had hills to deal with. I hadn’t done as much running training as I had the first time (due to all my medical stuff) so I tried to not set any goals for myself. I knew the combination of all those differences meant that I might not be able to do better than my last time even though I was running more. That race was more of a struggle than the first one, mainly because of the hills. But I had to be flexible and willing to change my running plan. And by doing that (and probably again because I’m stubborn), I was able to PR at my race!

Now, I’m feeling more and more comfortable with my running. I’ve hit a few walls lately, but I think a lot of that has to do with other health issues. I’m running for pretty decent stretches at Orangetheory and I’m trying to plan what my goals are going to be coming up. I also may be meeting with a running coach soon to discuss a training plan and what may be possible for me in the long run (no pun intended). I’m also toying with the idea of trying to do a 10K for the first time, but that won’t be happening too soon since I need to do some training for that.

To think that I’ve come this far in just one year of running is insane to me! I never thought I’d be able to do most of what I’m doing now. And sometimes I do wish that I had tried running sooner because I’d be farther along now. But I can’t look back and wish I had done things differently. I can only work on moving forward and continuing to improve myself.

So here’s to my first full year of running! I never knew I’d get here, so I can’t even imagine where I’ll be when I’m celebrating my 2nd running anniversary!