Tag Archives: struggle

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A Planned 3 Workout Week (or Medication and Workouts)

2 weeks ago, I had an unplanned 3 workout week. It wasn’t easy on me because I’m getting so used to 4 workout weeks. And I knew this past week was going to be a 3 workout week so having 2 of those in a row was a bit frustrating to me. But this 3 workout week was so much better than the week before because this one was planned for and I knew what I needed to do. Of course, when I plan it doesn’t always go that way and that’s exactly what happened.

Monday’s workout was totally my best one of the week. It was an endurance day and pretty much all the work was 90 second push paces with varying base paces. The base paces were either 60, 45, or 30 seconds so it did make the 90 second push paces a bit harder. But I’ve said it before that I’ve been testing the idea of shortening my walking during my run/walk 5Ks and this was the perfect way to test out my endurance for that. I think that 30 seconds was a bit too short for me, but it’s always good to push myself and see what I can do.

The floor had 2 blocks and each block started on the rower. The first block was 500 meters and the second block was 1000 meters. I managed to somehow PR on the 1000 meter row which shocked me. It was toward the end of the workout and I was tired so I didn’t think I could do it. But I must have pulled strength from somewhere (or just was really mad I didn’t PR on the 500 meter row) and managed to get a new best time. The rest of the floor work was pretty mixed between upper body, lower body, and abs.

Wednesday was a tough day for me. I didn’t realize it until almost the end of class, but this was my first workout with the increase in medication my therapist set for me. Vyvanse raises your heart rate so it’s no surprise that I was having issues with my heart rate being super high. But because I wasn’t thinking about that during the workout and I was getting a bit frustrated. I was struggling and couldn’t figure out why. And it should have been a workout that I really excelled in.

It was a power run/row day which meant all the segments were on the shorter side. But it was a unique format that was not the normal run/row. First, we had 3 rounds of running .25 miles (I ran it each time) and between each round we had 2 different arm exercises. After that we had 3 rounds of 150 meter rows with the same 2 arm exercises in between each round. After that, it was a more traditional run/row. For the running, I started at my normal speed but our coach set goals for us to hit on the treadmill. She wanted me to get to at least 7mph at some point. I knew I would need that to be during my last round and I did 7.2mph for the last .05 of my last round.

On the rower, I kept my 150 meter rows between 28-30 seconds which isn’t a record but isn’t that bad either. But I only made it through the rowing and weights by the time we had to switch. I never made it to the last segment that was the more traditional run/row format. That was tough for me, but I know that I worked really hard.

Once I was on the floor, we had 2 blocks with a good variety. The first block was squats, shoulder swings, planks, and sit-ups. But we also had a few different times that we were told to stop what we were doing and hold a plank for 30 seconds. Those 30 second plank breaks almost did feel like breaks to me since we’ve had so much plank work and I had my plank challenge in May. In the second block, we had power jacks which I was able to do with a weight, skaters, rowing with the straps, and more plank work. I was taking a lot of breaks during that second block because of my heart rate, and I was trying to not be upset with myself. It was then that I remembered about my medication being increased so I knew that it was something beyond my control. But it still doesn’t make it easier on me when I always want to do better than I have before.

Friday’s workout was another endurance day. And even though I struggled on Wednesday with my heart rate, I had forgotten about it by Friday and struggled with heart rate issues again. But fortunately, I remembered it much sooner this time and was able to go a bit easier on myself and not beat myself up over those struggles. It also helped that I had an amazing group of friends at the workout on Friday that were next to me and keeping me motivated!

I do totally notice a difference when I’m working out in a class with friends versus a class that only has acquaintances or people I don’t know as well. I’m so lucky that I usually will have at least 1 friend in class, but to have 4 friends in class is a rare treat!

There were 3 blocks on each side and I started on the treadmill. Every treadmill block was a similar pattern. It started with a 3 minute push pace followed by a 90 second base pace. Then it went to a push pace to all out pace, but the time of the push pace changed each block. I ran all the pushes and all outs, but it wasn’t easy. Even though I know I can run longer than 3 minutes, there was something about those 3 minutes each time that seemed longer and longer. I just tried to get into a zone and not think about the time passing by. And in the 28 minutes I was on the treadmill before switching to the floor, I did about 1.9 miles which isn’t that bad!

On the floor the first block was squats to rows with weights and plank work. The second block was bicep work on the straps, plank work, and abs. And the last block was 300 meter rows with tricep work. 300 meter rows are something that I usually use to measure my progress, but these weren’t that great for me. I was tired, dealing with my heart rate issues, and ready for the workout to be done. Normally I strive to get my 300 meter row under a minute, but I wasn’t even close this time. I don’t remember my exact times, but I was around 1:12 each time. I was trying to not be upset and frustrated, but again it’s tough for me to be easy and kind to myself.

I’m glad that this past week of workouts was a 3 workout week. While this was not my worst workout week, it was a tough one and I think my mental state made it more difficult on me. I needed to take some time off so I could get back into a better head space to start this week of workouts. It had been so long since my medication had been changed and I forgot how tough that adjustment could be on my workouts. I’m glad that I remembered it but I wish that I had remembered it sooner so I wouldn’t have felt as bad in the moment. But I guess I needed this past week as a reminder and hopefully this week I can be easier with myself and happier with what I am able to do in a workout.

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!

Routine Time Again (or Getting Back On Track)

After the incident¬†my oven breaking, things got a little weird for me. The routine that I had been in for a while was stopped because I couldn’t do my meal planning the same way. I had been given multiple dates that my oven was supposed to be fixed where the repair people never showed up, so I stopped trying to plan things out. It just got frustrating getting food thinking I’d be able to make it, waiting hours for the repair guy to show up, and then having to go to the store to get something else to eat because I couldn’t cook what I had just bought.

Finally this week, after waiting more than a week to get my oven fixed someone came by. I’m grateful to have my oven back, but I’m a little annoyed that it took over a week for someone to come by for a repair that was completed in less than 10 minutes (I’m serious). I finally started to try to eat the foods that I couldn’t make because they needed to be cooked in the oven to get things back on track. I had been living off of a lot of microwaved meals while my oven was broken and I know they aren’t always the best choice for me. There are worst choices like getting delivery food, but the best stuff is usually things that I’m making in my oven.

When my meal planning stops like it did this time, it’s a bit tough for me to get back on pace. The way the meal planning was successful for me last month was to do all the planning and shopping one day and then just work through that food doing the week. And with the timing of the oven issue, it disrupted 2 meal planning weeks with last week and this week not being the way I wanted. And I’m struggling a bit to get back to it now.

I don’t want to sound like I’m putting things off until the weekend (that sounds like people who put off dieting or exercise until Monday or the next month). But I haven’t been able to take the time out to plan like I normally do or go to the store to get what I need. Fortunately, this week is almost done and I should be able to do my normal meal planning on Sunday like I like to.

With my food being thrown off, a few other things in my life got weird too. With work, I’m so used to having my lunch planned out in advance so it was easy to grab what I was going to eat in the middle of working (funny how it only took a month for this to feel normal to me). With the lack of meal planning, I was spending too much time thinking about food. And with thinking about food a lot, there were some not so great food days.

I’ve said this so many times before, but each time I have a setback like this I have to be grateful that I recognize it as a setback sooner rather than later. I can focus on getting things back to how they have been instead of waiting until I’m very uncomfortable or have gained back a ton of weight to do so. I can easily remember what I was doing a week or two ago that was working instead of struggling to remember what I was doing a month or a year ago.

I’m glad that I’ll be able to get things back quickly so I can focus on all the other things I need to focus on in my life. I can do some great meal planning for the week coming up so that all my other time can be focused on work, going to Orangetheory, having fun, and getting things ready for surgery. Time is much better spent on those things than trying to figure out what I want to eat for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

I feel like a broken record sharing a similar story over and over again. But I feel it’s important to do this. I don’t remember reading any bloggers who talked about the ups and downs and the random struggles that they had that set them back a few days. But when I talked to people, it seems like this is the norm. It’s especially the norm when you are recovering from an eating disorder. But people don’t seem to blog about it because it’s not interesting or attention getting. But it’s the truth and that’s exactly why I wanted to share it. Hopefully¬†sharing my struggles will help someone else realize that things are hopeless and they can get back on track too.

Not What I Want To Weigh (or About A Month To Go)

As soon as I knew I’d need liver surgery, the first thing I thought about was wanting to lose weight before surgery. I know that at a lower weight the surgery will be easier and I’ll have a smoother recovery. Needing to be at a lower weight for surgery is why 11 years ago I did the RFO diet at UCLA. It was more important then because I was having joint surgery, but it is just as important now.

When I got sick, I dropped weight super fast. It was almost scary how fast it was going down and for a while I thought that trend would stick. In a matter of a week or so, I was down over 20 pounds. And even when I started to add more normal food into my diet, my weight seemed to be steady. I wasn’t necessarily losing weight, but I wasn’t gaining it either which I was expecting. And for a while, that was how it was and I thought it would be.

With the idea of surgery coming up, I had a number in mind that I wanted to get to in my weight loss. At the rate I had been losing weight, it was going to be a super easy goal. At the weight I was at, if I was losing 1-2 pounds a week it was a very possible goal. So I had no reason to expect that it would be an issue to get to the number I wanted to be at by April.

Now that I’m just over a month away from surgery, I’m not close to that number at all. In fact, I’ve gained a bit of weight back from that big weight loss back in the fall. It’s not a lot of the weight (only about 6 pounds), but it’s still so frustrating. I’m so mad at myself because I know this is my fault and that I have only made things more difficult on me and the surgery. I had no reason why this had to happen, but of course my eating disorder had other things in mind.

At this point, the number I had in mind is pretty much impossible unless I take unhealthy measures to lose weight. I will not do unhealthy things because I know they will backfire on me and I’m not willing to do that to myself. I can only try to do my best to get back on track and to be at the lowest weight I can safely get down to by surgery.

I’m trying to be hopefully that I can get closer to the number I had in mind than I am right now over the next few weeks. Realistically, I think the most I could safely lose would be 15 pounds. But I think that will be a stretch and difficult. I am doing what I can to keep my eating under control, but sometimes it feels like my food is the only thing that I can control in my life. And when I can control it how I want it to be, it’s not always the best choices. I’m trying to keep my health in my mind first over my eating disorder’s desires, but I don’t always win.

I’m lucky that my surgeon did not put pressure on me to lose weight before surgery. I know that I need to do it, but I don’t feel like he is expecting me to do so. Any weight loss I have will be a good thing and there is no feeling that I might be disappointing him with whatever the number will be on the scale when I weigh in before the surgery. I think if I had that pressure on me, I would be resorting more to unhealthy things and would probably still not lose as much as I should before surgery.

I really do want to buckle down and refocus for these next 5 weeks. I know that I can accomplish some really great things with my weight loss even if I do have the occasional setback. I don’t want to keep thinking of new goals to get to by surgery because I know that will be setting myself up to fail. Instead, I just want to make sure that whatever effort I am able to do that I feel good about it and know that I worked really hard to get to where I am.

I’m hopeful that I will probably have a decent weight loss after surgery because I’ll be on a restricted diet for a while. I don’t want to depend on that for weight loss because I know that it can be temporary. But it will be a nice time that I know the scale should be going in the right direction that will allow me to refocus my plan and to hopefully continue the momentum after I start to eat normal food again.

It’s so frustrating when I was doing so great for a while and then something happens that makes me feel like I’ve ruined all of my progress. I know that recognizing that I’m struggling is a sign that things are getting better because I am not allowing myself to ignore the fact that everything isn’t ok. I just wish that things were easier for me because I really do want to not have to worry about food like I am now. I want food thoughts to not dominate my mind. And I want my efforts to show physically instead of being hidden by the occasional destruction of my eating disorder.

Great Days And Not-So-Great Days (or Overcoming Workout Struggles)

This past week of workouts was a series of ups and downs. I’ve been working on doing more 4 workout weeks lately because I know I will be taking a break when I have surgery (and I don’t want that to affect how many workouts I do this year), but I’ll admit that this week I was really debating cancelling my 4th workout in the week. I’m glad I stuck with it, but it was really testing myself if I could do it.

Monday was probably the best and easiest workout I had. It was a power day and we were switching between each block which always makes things a bit easier for me. There were 2 main blocks on the treadmill, 2 main blocks on the floor, and then a partner challenge to end out the class. On the treadmill, the first block started with 30 second intervals and I ran everything even the base paces! I’ve never done that before and I felt on top of the world! The second half of the first block was 45 second intervals but I wasn’t able to run everything so I did my usual plan of walking all the base paces. The second treadmill block was 6 minutes long with 1 minute intervals and I walked the base paces again.

On the floor, the first block was sprint rows with squats and arm work. And the second block was timed work like burpees, medicine ball jacks, and ab work. But then we got to spend the last 12 minutes of class partnered up and that was awesome! We were rowing for distance as a team and we rotated between the floor and rower. The person on the floor had arm work and plank jacks and controlled the pace of the switching. It was a long 12 minutes but I knew my partner was counting on me so I worked really hard. And after 12 minutes, we got pretty far on the rower!

I’m not sure I did my fair share on the rowing distance, but my partner didn’t seem to mind and we were both very proud of what we were able to accomplish together.

Wednesday’s workout was just bad for me. It started out fine but then at the beginning of the class my hip popped out (like it does all the time) but I couldn’t get it to go back. It was causing me some very intense pain and I didn’t want to step out of class to take a painkiller since it usually takes time for them to kick in. So I just did what I could and sucked it up. On the treadmill, I walked everything. It was a strength day so I was able to work on walking hills, but I really was upset that I couldn’t do any running. I’m so stubborn so it’s tough to let myself take it easy when I know I could do better. But my body just wasn’t having it so I had to go with the flow.

The floor work that day was one long block where we did a lot of arm work. I was pretty grateful for that since I could do my usual stuff even with my hip hurting. The arm work was one sided work so that added some extra difficulty in things. But I think that I was still able to keep good form with the heavier weights I was using that day. We also had some spring rows that were 200 meters each. I really wanted to get it under 40 seconds but I did them in 41 and 40 seconds. That’s still pretty fast for me, but again it’s tough when I have a goal and I just fall short of it.

Friday’s workout was much better than Wednesday’s. I wasn’t really hurting that much that day so I was able to do running. I did take it easy because I didn’t want to overdo it, so all my push paces were at 4.5 mph and all my all out paces were at 5 mph. We were switching between blocks but all the treadmill blocks were all the same with intervals starting at 1 minute, then going to 45 seconds, and ending at 30 seconds. It was good to be able to run again and even though it wasn’t my hardest running it was still better than not running at all.

The floor that day had blocks that were all pretty similar. Each block at 3 moves in it and they were all mixed up between arms, lower body, and core work. The only bad thing was that because I was still feeling a bit low from my workout on Wednesday, I might have overdone it a bit with the weights because I wanted to prove to myself that I could do it.

And since I overdid it a bit on Friday, when I went on Saturday I was a bit sore. It was mainly in my hamstrings, so that was a nice change from being sore in my hips. And it was a 3G class so I knew I wasn’t going to spend that much time in any part of the room. But I didn’t get to Orangetheory as early as I normally do so I had to start on the rower instead of the treadmill. The rowing started with rowing plus medicine ball jacks. And the second half was rowing sprints with recovery in between.

Next I went to the floor where the beginning of the floor work was all straps. We did triceps, shoulders, and squats on the straps and that wasn’t too bad. But the second half of the floor was timed work and that was crazy. Everything was in 45 second intervals and we rotated between chest presses, shoulder presses, and crunches. We did that rotation 3 times without any breaks and it was so much tougher than I expected. I was pretty tired after that but I still had the treadmill to do.

The beginning of the treadmill was pretty easy for me with 45 second intervals all on 1% incline. I did my usual with walking the base paces but running everything else. Then for the second half of the treadmill time (which was the last 7 minutes of class) we did incline work. We did push to all out paces at 5% and 4% and I did manage to run those. Running at 5% feels so tough, but it’s not feeling impossible like it did before so I know there is improvement. We ended with 2 all out paces, one at 3% and one at 2% which pretty much felt like a flat incline to me after the higher inclines. I really hate doing my treadmill work last because I feel like I’m so tired, but it’s also good to mix things up from time to time.

There were some totally amazing moments in my workouts this past week and some seriously depressing ones. It’s so easy for me to work out when everything is going great, but it’s good to have a challenge to get through to know that I can push through it and still get it done. I’m continuing to do a mental countdown of how many workouts I can do before surgery. The number is getting smaller and smaller so I’m starting to feel like surgery will be here before I know it. But I’m also now trying to think of surgery as just another challenge for me to get through.

Getting Back To Normal Workouts (or Balancing Hard Work And Taking It Easy)

After Peak Performance Week, I was pretty tired from all the hard work. I knew I’d still be doing my 3 workouts for the week, but I didn’t feel like I needed to push myself as hard as I had the week before. Having a recovery day (or a recovery week) is a totally normal thing to do. But I usually am so competitive with myself that I don’t want to do that. But this week, I knew that I needed to. So I tried to find a good balance between working really hard and taking the recovery I needed.

Monday was a power day that didn’t switch between blocks. But even though we didn’t switch between blocks it almost flew like we did because the first 3 blocks were only 4 minutes each. For those short blocks, I was able to run all the pushes that were 2 minutes or under and all of the all out paces. We had a 3 minute push pace followed by a 1 minute all out. I did run for 2 minutes and then took a quick 1 minute walk break before running my all out. The last block on the treadmill was 7 minutes which was a mix of push and all out paces. I tried to follow the paces perfectly (only walking during walking or base paces). And by doing that, I ended up doing 3 minutes of running at the end which felt pretty good for me!

The floor work that day was a similar pattern with 3 short blocks and 1 long one. Each of the short blocks was 2 different things we had to do and I was able to get through 2 rounds most of the time. And for the longer block, we mainly did squats followed by rowing. I didn’t take it too easy while on the floor since the blocks were so short. I was using 20 pound weights for my squats and 25 pounds for the deadlifts we had to do. Even in my recovery weeks, I’m finding that sometimes I can use heavier weights (especially doing lower body work), so I’m glad I still did that.

Wednesday was an endurance day, but fortunately we did switch between blocks. For the treadmill blocks, on the first one I ran for 2 minutes, walked for 1, and ran for 2 again. I was really happy to see that I felt fine doing that but then after that first block my body decided that it was done. I was feeling pretty light-headed (I didn’t have the best food day before my workout) and was dealing with a bit of pain all over. So for all the other blocks, I ended up walking even during the all out paces. I ended up keeping my speeds and inclines lower than I normally do on a walking day because of all the issues I was having. But I was trying to keep focusing on remembering that this was now a recovery day and that was ok.

On the floor, I used some medium to heavy weights when we had our squat work. In the last floor block, we also had a 400 meter row which I did get done in under 2 minutes. But the light-headedness and pain were affecting me on the floor too and I was taking quite a few breaks. I thought that the toughness of the workout was just because of my personal issues, but after class everyone else seemed to agree that for some reason it was an exceptionally hard class. That did make me feel a bit better about all the struggles I was having in class.

Friday’s class was a power day without switching. I was still dealing with a bit of pain (all the rain we’ve been getting in LA makes my hips hurt so much), but fortunately my workout didn’t suffer too much from the pain. All of the blocks we had were 5 minutes or under and that was helpful. We had a lot of all out paces (I think it might have been 8 or 9 of them, but I lost count). We had 1 minute pushes to all outs, 90 second pushes to all outs, and 2 minute pushes to all outs. And I managed to run all of it. I did walk during the base paces and walking recoveries, but it felt really good to run as much as I did. I still want to push my running more, and I feel like this workout was a good way to do it.

The floor was similar with the short blocks. We had a lot of squat work, a lot of ab work with the ab roller, and I even attempted doing knee tucks on the ab roller on my toes instead of my knees for the first time (that only lasted for 2 knee tucks, but it was the first time I ever did that!). But one of the floor blocks was all rowing for 5 minutes. We had base, push, and all out paces on the rower; but basically it was rowing constantly for 5 minutes. I know I could have done better than I did, but I think I didn’t do too shabby.

For this being a bit of a recovery week and a bit of a challenge week, I think I found a great mix. I listened to my body when I needed to and adjusted when necessary instead of trying to overcome the issues. Hopefully this will be a pattern that I’ll be able to continue doing for a long time!

An Off Week (or Being Ok Being Weak)

I had a weird week of workouts this past week. When I started the week, I had no idea that I would be getting so sick on Wednesday. But even though I was in the hospital that day, I still managed to get 3 workouts in (it was originally going to be a 4 workout week, but I’m proud of my 3).

Monday obviously was my best workout day. This was before I got sick and I was pushing myself quite a bit. It was a strength day and we didn’t switch between blocks, so I had a long time on the treadmill. I still am not running hills, but I decided to run the flat parts that I could and get my inclines as high as possible. We started the workout with a 2 minute push pace that I ran in full and we ended the treadmill time with a 1 minute push and 1 minute all out (both minutes were run). And in the middle we had 2 30 second all outs that I was able to run.

But besides those parts, I was walking the rest of the treadmill time. Hills are tough in general for me, so running hills is not a priority for me right now. I was keeping my inclines pretty high most of the time by averaging between 8-12% incline with my usual walking pace. The hills are starting to feel more like they did before I hurt my calf, so I was very happy with that. It’s been a long time since the hills felt like that, so I saw that as a huge improvement and something to be proud of.

The floor work was a bit tough for me. My abs were hurting (I thought it was because of the MRI, but I’m now wondering if it was something related to my current issue). When we were doing ab work, I was able to do it but things were tougher for me than normal. I wasn’t able to get up from being on the floor as easily as I usually can and I decided to be a bit careful with my weights for the rest of the floor work. I wasn’t going with really light weights, but I took it a bit easier than I probably would do on a strength day.

Wednesday’s workout didn’t happen because I was still in the hospital at that time and there was no way that I could go anywhere once I was done. I honestly thought that there was going to be a chance that I couldn’t do any more workouts for the week, but I decided that since the doctor I saw said I could work out once I was getting better I figured it was worth trying. I told myself that if I could only make it 10 minutes into the workout before I had to leave, that would be ok. So I kept my already scheduled Friday and Saturday workouts.

Friday was really a challenge for me. I know I must have been getting better, but it was hard to believe that. I was still hurting so much and there were only so many positions that my body could be in that made the pain go away. There was no way I was going to walk on the treadmill (even if I kept it really slow, I would be tempted to push myself more), so I went onto the bike. I kept the resistance very low and didn’t pedal too fast the entire time I was on there. It wasn’t easy, but I made it through.

Friday was a run/row day, and I think that was the best thing I could have had. I didn’t spend too long on the bike for a stretch and the rower had the ability to be a good way for me to stretch a bit. My bike time wasn’t fast, but I wasn’t pushing myself at all. I just wanted to make it through what I could. The rower wasn’t that great for me (crunching my body up was hurting my stomach), but I just did a bit of a lazy row and got all the meters in that I needed to. My coach knew I was dealing with health stuff, so he wasn’t pushing me that hard and kept checking in to make sure I was doing ok.

When we moved to the floor, I decided there was no point in me trying to use my normal weights. I needed to keep things easy, and that means easy weights too. So when I usually would use 15 or 20 pound weights, I was using 10. I felt a bit pathetic and weak, but I had to keep telling myself that I was feeling like crap and wasn’t letting that keep me from the gym. Most of the floor work was focused on arms, but there was some ab work as well. I knew the ab work wasn’t going to happen, so I just skipped that part and did more arm stuff. I ended up leaving class a bit early because the last 3 minutes was a core blast, and I knew I couldn’t do any of it. Plus, I was feeling a bit exhausted since that was my first real workout or movement since I got sick.

I went into Saturday a bit more optimistic. I knew I could do the bike and make it through a workout with significant modifications. It helped the nerves go away since I knew I could do it. I got on the bike again and even though it was a power day (my favorite) and there were a bunch of push and all out paces, I didn’t do any of that. I just tried to ride the bike at a steady resistance and cadence for the entire time. I did have to take some breaks (my stomach would hurt or I needed to stretch out a bit), but I did ride for a good amount of time. The computer on the bike stops when I stop, and in the end it said I was on it for 25 minutes. Not too shabby at all.

The floor work was a bit tougher for me, but I stuck with my Friday plan and used 10 pound weights again. We had a bit of squat work to do and I was modifying those and doing what I could. I was feeling my muscles working so even if I felt like I wasn’t doing much, I was doing something. We had some ab work that I skipped (like toe touches) and some ab work that I tried (mountain climbers which were very difficult but doable) and we had a bit of rowing as well. My stomach wasn’t hurting more at the end of the workout than it did in the beginning, so I consider that a victory.

This was not the workout week I was expecting to have. But I did my best to make it the best I could. I’m not disappointed in myself since I know that it would have been so easy to decide not to go at all. But I still wish I wasn’t hurting so I could have done more.

With Hell Week starting this week (and going through the beginning of next week), I’m still planning on doing all the workouts I have signed up for. I’m hoping that I won’t be in pain for all of the workouts and can really push myself to see what I can do, but if I have to be on restricted exercises I’m going to try to make the most of it. I want to earn my Hell Week shirt and I know what I need to get it!

Being Hard On Myself (or Pushing Myself To Not Be Sick)

Even though I was starting to feel better this past week, I was still feeling some of the effects of the cold I caught. The only thing really bothering me was feeling congested, and I really wanted to get over that. Since I wasn’t feeling too sick, I pushed myself pretty hard in my workouts and sometimes that worked and sometimes it didn’t.

Monday’s workout was the one where I was feeling the sickest, but it was still so much better than how I was feeling before. Mornings are also the toughest time for me feeling congested. I knew it was going to be a hard workout but I had to try my best and see what I could do.

It was an endurance day, which is always a tough one for me. When we had 2 minute pushes, I ran for 1 minute of it. When we had a 90 second push, I ran the entire thing. It wasn’t easy at all and I had some trouble catching my breath at times, but I got it done. And since we didn’t switch between blocks, I managed to do a decent distance on the treadmill between my running and walking.

monday

I was so exhausted after the treadmill, but I knew I had to get through the floor work too. We had 350 meter rows to do and they felt really long to me. 350 isn’t usually too tough for me, but they felt more like 1,000 meters after being so tired. The rest of the floor work was arm focused and we had core work during each block. The core work was plank focused and because of my congestion I was really struggling. I had to take a bunch of breaks with my planks, but I was just glad to get through the workout after being so horribly sick the few days before.

Wednesday’s workout was a real interesting one. It was another endurance day and we started with a 10 minute block. My 10 minutes on the treadmill went better than I could have expected. We had to do 2 minute push paces twice and I was able to run for the entire 2 minutes each time. We also had a 90 second push that I ran and a 1 minute push to all out that I ran. That was more running than I usually do, but it felt really good and I didn’t feel too sick at that point.

We then had a 10 minute block on the floor that was arm focused before we switched to doing a partner run/row for the remainder of the class. One person was on the rower and rowed until they were tagged. The other person had some floor work to do like pushups, side planks, and weight work and then went over to the treadmill. The treadmill segments ranged from .2 miles to .1 miles. I wanted to run for all of them, but I had overdone it a bit during that first 10 minutes so I ran for 1 minute and then walked the rest of finish the distance. Then the treadmill person tagged the rower person and they switched.

When I was on the rower, I usually spent about 4.5 minutes on it and I was rowing almost the entire time. I did take a bit of a break before rowing each time to drink some water because I didn’t want to do that when the switch was depending on me being fast. I didn’t want my partner to have to wait for me so I only took breaks when I was on the rower. We got through a bunch of rounds of the run/row and at the end of the class I was feeling a little light-headed but much less congested than I had earlier that day.

Friday was another endurance day (I guess I lucked out with all the endurance days I had this past week). There were 2 long blocks on the treadmill and we had some really long push paces. I pretty much stuck with running for 1 minute and walking the rest. The exception was the 3 minute push pace where I ran for the first minute, walked the second, and ran the third. I was feeling a bit more congested that day so I was keeping my running a bit slower. I didn’t want to try to up my speed and I really did just want to focus on my endurance.

I’ve had my new goal of being able to do 2 miles in class when we don’t switch between blocks, and I thought my distance on Monday was pretty incredible. But after doing the warm-up and both blocks, I got super close to my goal but not quite there.

friday

I have a feeling that soon I’ll be at that 2 mile mark in class and that’s going to be an awesome day!

The floor was one really long block, which really did test my endurance. We had rowing to do before each set followed by a series of strength moves. Each round we added more strength moves on so the rounds got longer and longer. The one strength move we had to do every round was doing ground to press, which I’m usually great at. But again, the congestion caught up with me and I struggled. I ended up not making it through 4 of the 5 rounds we were supposed to try to get through. I know if I didn’t have to keep taking breaks to catch my breath I could have done it. And it’s tough not to push myself to do more. But I know that this cold might still take another week or so to completely get over so I’m working on my patience.

This week of workouts will hopefully continue on the great momentum I build this past week. My schedule will be a bit off since I have to miss my workout today because I’m out-of-town (more on that soon), but I’ll still get in my 3 workouts for the week. And I’ve realized that I need to start getting a 4th workout in again more often, so I’m seeing if I can fit in 4 this week. If I can’t do it this week, I know I’ll be doing it soon.