Tag Archives: training

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Getting Back To Normal (or Finishing Hell Week and Race Prep)

This past week of workouts was a 3 workout week, but I didn’t go easy on myself at all! My week started with the end of Hell Week and then my last 2 workouts were very focused on getting ready for my 5K. I was feeling pretty much completely normal, so I saw no need to try to take it easy and decided to go all out on the 3 workouts that I had.

Monday was the end of Hell Week and it was a Trick or Treat 3G workout. That meant that on each part of the workout (treadmill, floor, rower) we pulled a card from a plastic pumpkin and it told us what to do. There were some good cards (the treats) and some cards that were really tough instructions (the tricks).

I got to start on the treadmill and first pulled a Treat card. I had to do 30 second push paces, 30 second all out paces, and 30 second walking recovery for 3 rounds. I was running for both the push and all out paces, but I was keeping my speed the same since the walking time was less than I’m used to. I got through that card pretty quickly and then went over to pull my next treadmill card. It was another Treat card that said I had to do 1 minute push paces, 1 minute all outs, and 30 second walking recoveries. I did walk the push paces at 8% incline, but ran much faster for my all out pace than I did for the first card. I only made it 2 rounds before the time was done and I headed over to the floor.

My first card on the floor was a Trick card. I had to start with 31 burpees before moving on to the workout plan. Those 31 burpees were not easy at all and I had to take breaks after 4 or 5, but I did manage to get through it and was able to move on to the rest of the floor work. It was a good mix of upper and lower body work and I had to do pushups, ab work, and lunges. Just as I was finishing up all the work, it was time to switch over to the rower for the end of the workout.

On the rower, I pulled another Trick card. It was to for 3100 meters and we only had about 13 minutes left in class for the day. I knew that I wasn’t going to be able to get my full 3100 meters in, so I decided to just try for the best and see what I could do. I did have to take breaks every so often because I was so exhausted from all the other hard work that day, but I managed to get just about 2200 meters done before class was done.

And after completing my 5th Hell Week class, I was officially a Hell Week Survivor and earned my shirt!


Wednesday we were back to normal workouts, but they weren’t easy! That day was a strength day so I ended up doing quite a bit of walking. We had a lot of higher hill work and most of my walking was done at 10-14% incline. We did have a few things at a flat incline so I was able to run for those, but a majority of my work was walking at an incline. We also had a mini run/row assignment that day. I ran .15 miles (which took me about 2 minutes) and then rowed 300 meters. I didn’t make it through that many rounds of the run/row, but it felt good to get that running practice in.

When we got to the floor, I was able to work a lot harder than normal and it felt really great! We did have some ab work which wasn’t so great for me (I’m still occasionally feeling weird pressure in my stomach when I do sit-ups or crunches) but the rest of the work was either at the level I was at before or better. I was able to do squats and lunges with better form (and less stability issues) and was doing my arm work at 15 pounds. And when we did pullovers, there were no 20 pound weights for me to use so I had to use the 25 pound ones. It was a struggle to use the heavier weights, but I was able to get through the sets and realized that my strength didn’t get worse with my time taking it easy.

My last workout of the week was on Thursday (I didn’t work out on Friday since I had the race on Saturday morning). It was a power day and that made me so happy. Power days are usually my best days to work on my running and I needed that confidence boost before race day. Most of the time, we had a lot of the same stuff on the treadmill. It was push pace to all outs and usually they were 45 second intervals. So that was 90 seconds of running and then we’d usually have a minute to walk to recover. This was a more intense interval than what I do when I work on my running on my own, so this was a great way to build some extra endurance for the race. And once we were done on the treadmill, I realized that I had reached a workout goal. For a while, I have wanted to get to 2 miles during the treadmill time in a workout. That would mean I was close to 15 minute miles during class. So it was great to see this screen when I was done.


On the floor, we had a bunch of upper body work. I was doing chest presses and we had lunges that had weighted twists (I really felt that in my shoulders). And to finish the workout, we had a short rowing block. It was a similar pattern to the treadmill where we had 45 seconds intense rowing and then 30 seconds to recover. And after that workout, I felt as ready as I could be for my race on Saturday.

This ended up being a great week of workouts for me. I gained a lot of confidence I lost after being sick and finally was feeling more like myself and able to do my best on my race. I’ll write about the race tomorrow, but if you follow me on social media, I think you know how it went!

My First “Real” Run (or Testing Out My Birthday Present)

While I’ve been doing bits of running for a few months at Orangetheory, that’s the only place I’ve been running since I started again. It feels safe to run on the treadmill. Nobody at Orangetheory is judging what I can or can’t do. Nobody cares if I’m dripping sweat. Nobody (except my coach) is even really paying attention to me. I’m able to feel safe in trying things and pushing myself to new limits.

But I’m aware that running on a treadmill is very different from running outside. And if I really do want to run/walk my 5K in November I have to start getting used to being outside and not being dependent on a treadmill to control my speed or intervals. I did a bunch of research last month about running outside and different apps for intervals to see what I could do to help me in this journey. And when I talked to my “running guru” (who is my best friend) she recommended looking into running watches.

I’ve had workout watches in the past. They always seemed to be too complicated to figure out how to do what I want to do. None of them had GPS on them so I could pretty much just time things and not know my pace or distance (unless I was doing a race and then I knew the distance). But the more I looked into running watches, the more it seemed to make sense. So when my parents asked me what I wanted for my birthday, I told them I wanted a running watch. And I found last year’s model (it still seems like one of the better models) without the heart rate monitor option for a pretty decent price!

While I had gotten the watch about 3 weeks ago, yesterday was the first day I was able to test it out. I’ve been working on getting my sleep schedule back on track, so I’m finally waking up again at 7am each day. And yesterday I had a free morning before I started work at 10am, so I figured I had to stop making excuses for myself and get my butt outside to do a run/walk.

There is a path not too far from my house that has no traffic on it. You can technically run all the way to the beach, but then you will encounter some crosswalks that you have to get through. But I figured I could just go back and forth on one section between two crosswalks and then I wouldn’t have to worry about traffic, getting stopped at a red light waiting to cross, and if I got really tired I’d be close enough to my house.

Before going out, I set my watch to do intervals of 1 minute each. I actually ended up setting it up a bit incorrectly, but the error was in how many intervals I wanted total and not the timing so it worked out ok for me. And I had read the instructions for the watch and it seemed pretty easy to start and stop the timer so I wasn’t too worried about how this would all work.

As soon as I got to the path, I started the watch and started running. Because I hadn’t run outside before, I had no clue if I was going quickly or slowly. But I was going and it felt pretty good so I was happy with it. The first interval ended quickly and I was glad that running for that minute outside didn’t feel too bad or that different from being on the treadmill. I know that my walking was slower than I’m used to, but again, this run was all about trying it out and not trying to work on speed or anything.

I did 6 sets of the run/walk intervals (so 6 minutes of running and 6 minutes of walking) when I was starting to feel pretty tired. I’m used to being able to stop to drink some water or wipe away sweat and I really wasn’t doing that this time. It was starting to get a bit hot out and one of the directions I was running was into the sun. After one more interval, I was heading back toward my street and I was feeling a bit too tired to run (and I didn’t want to risk hurting myself by doing sloppy running). So I spend the rest of the way walking back and cooling down a bit.

Once I got to the end of the path by the crosswalk, I stopped the watch so I could see what I had done. I’m sure there is a way to see my pace or distance on the watch while I’m moving, but it was only showing me the intervals so I didn’t know how far I had gone and I honestly was feeling pretty clueless about it. It felt like I was not going that far, but I knew I was out there for 17 minutes so I figured I’d be close to a mile at least. I was pretty happy when I finally saw the result.


I would have loved to have gone farther, but I also have to remember that I’m trying to ease my way into running outside. The downfall in the past for me have been doing too much too fast. If I can only do a mile at a time for the next few weeks, that’s ok. Eventually my endurance is going to be better and I can go farther and run/walk longer.

Once I got back home, I was checking out more stats from my workout. A lot of things don’t make sense to me yet (I don’t really get the cadence stuff), but there was one screen that I totally got and was super happy to see.


This is not a mile PR for me, but the fact that I was under a 15 minute mile when I didn’t have a treadmill telling me my speed or distance is awesome! My big goal for my next race is to average under 15 minute miles, so this made me so happy! Again, the endurance thing is my main concern now, but I know I can work on that.

I feel like this was a very successful first run/walk outside. I’d love to be able to do 1 outside workout a week and hopefully I can make that happen. It is a bit intimidating running outside where people can see me (and judge me), but I need to not worry or focus on that. I know that I’ve made massive improvements in my running over these past few months and that’s the most important thing.

Fit2Fat2Fit (or A Book and TV Show That Get It)

I while ago, I heard of the book “Fit2Fat2Fit“. It was the story of a personal trainer named Drew who gained 75 pounds so he could understand what it was like for his overweight clients to lose weight. Immediately I was interested and got the book to read. I read it so fast and loved the message that the trainer shared.


So many trainers and coaches out there have never had to deal with a weight problem. They don’t understand the mental and physical toll excess weight puts on a person. They see someone overweight and think that the person is uneducated and just needs to be taught how to work out and eat better. They think it’s just as simple as that.

But that’s not the case at all.

Compared to most of my friends who have never had a weight issue, I’m possibly more educated about nutrition. I can guesstimate calories with the best of them. I know what is good, what is bad, and what is ok as a treat. Every bite I take I know if I should be ok eating it or if it’s something that I need to think of as an ok indulgence. I know the food pyramid, how many servings of each thing I should have each day/week, and how many calories my body takes to be alive. I might not be the most educated on what workout routines I should do, but I’ve got nutrition and food down. I may have an eating disorder, but I don’t have a lack of education.

Lack of education may be the issue for some people, but it isn’t for the majority. We know what we should and shouldn’t do, but there is something else in our bodies saying otherwise. And unless you have been there, you don’t get it. I try to explain it the best I can on here, but I know that the voice in my head is so much louder and more persuasive than I could ever explain.

That is why I loved the book so much. Drew didn’t understand at first that when you are heavy, you might not have the same motivation or energy to work out. Or if you are used to eating fatty foods that your body craves them and that eating healthy doesn’t give you the same joy that food has given you in the past (and you have depended on that joy from food). Once he gained the weight and tried to immediately get back to his old routine, he realized that it was not as easy as that. People don’t need to be educated, they need to be understood and guided to a healthy lifestyle.

I’ve been lucky at Orangetheory that none of my coaches have judged me or have tried to talk down to me because of my weight (that has happened with coaches/personal trainers in the past). They understand that I have an eating disorder and am working my way toward recovery. They get that I need support but not lectures. But I know that not everyone has that experience. As much as I think that all trainers should do this experiment to understand what their clients go through, I understand that it isn’t realistic. But I think reading the book can help them get it.

I’ve loved the book for a while, but I discovered last week that now there is a TV show on A&E with the same name about the same concept. A trainer takes 4 months to gain as much weight as they can and then work with an overweight client to take the weight off together. I’ve seen the first episode so far, and I really enjoyed it (and didn’t hate-watch it like I do with other weight loss shows). The trainer didn’t quite understand that things would be hard when he gained weight at first. But once it was time for him to get back into his regular routine and try to lose the weight, he got it. He understood the food withdrawal and the exhaustion of exercise. He became more empathic about what clients might be going through and saw the journey from the client side instead of the coach side.

I’m sure that all the episodes will follow a similar format, but I think that it is an amazing show to watch. I know that people will still judge me and other’s based on appearance, but hopefully they can understand the issues we face just a little bit more.

Daily PRs (or I Did Reach My Peak Performance)

This past week was a 4 workout week (yay!), but I just want to talk about my first 3 workouts of the week.

Monday-Friday was Peak Performance Week at Orangetheory. Every day there was a difference challenge (almost like the Monday Challenges) and the goal was to push yourself to go the most you could do. And the top people each day got a prize.

I knew that there would be no way for me to rank #1 in the challenges so I was only competing against myself. I like that I wasn’t stressed about competing against others so I could really focus on myself.

Monday’s task was 24 minutes on the treadmill for distance. I really didn’t have a goal distance for this one. I just knew that I wanted to do my best and since this was the first time I had done a 24 minute distance challenge that whatever I get would be considered a PR. In my dreams, I would love to have been as close to 1.55 miles because that is half of a 5K, but that would have meant that my speed would have been significantly faster than anything I’ve done.

The first 3 minutes of the 24 minute distance time was at a push pace, which for me meant 10% incline. I was at 3.4 miles an hour and after those 3 minutes were done I went back to my “flat road” of 4% incline. Then I decided to see if I could go 3.5 miles an hour for more than a minute or two. So I bumped up the speed to 3.5 at 4% incline. 2 minutes went by and I was feeling good so I decided to go close to a push pace again at 8% incline (still at 3.5 miles an hour).

I did the last 21 minutes of the challenge at 3.5 miles an hour alternating between 4 and 8% incline. The final minute I kept bumping up the speed because I saw that it might be possible to get to 1.4 miles in 24 minutes. In the end, I didn’t quite make it.

OTF Distance

But even if I didn’t go quite as far as I thought I would, I still did 21 minutes at 3.5 miles an hour! I’ve been working toward that goal for a while and I finally made it!

Wednesday’s challenge was a plank challenge. I used to be amazing at planks. I remember back when I was losing weight for my hip surgery that my personal trainer was always amazing that I could hold a plank for what seemed like an endless time. But after my hip surgery, I could barely hold a plank for any amount of time. It has to do with how my hips sit when in that position. It causes my bones to rest against each other in an awkward and uncomfortable position.

Since I struggle with planks, I didn’t have a ton of expectations for this challenge. I didn’t want to be the first person to drop, but beyond that I didn’t know what I could do. My trainer wanted me to make it 90 seconds, so I figured I’d try for that. I don’t have any photos from my attempt (I was busy holding my plank), but I did manage to hold it for 2 minutes exactly!

While I was pretty happy with my plank time, I hated what happened to the rest of my workout. Because of the pain from the plank (the plank was the first thing in the workout), I was struggling to just walk after that. I wanted to go back to 3.5 miles an hour, but my hip was catching and the pain was making me tear up. So I went back to 3.4 miles an hour and just tried to focus on walking and not quitting. I hate when my hip issues cause problems like this, but I need to know that the pain and discomfort is temporary and won’t be there for all my workouts.

For the final day of Peak Performance Week, we had a 1 mile run (or for me, 1 mile walk). I didn’t know what my PR for a treadmill walk would be, but I looked at my fastest 5K time and the mile time that went with that. That mile time was 17:23 so my plan was to just be faster than that. I really wanted it to be under 17 minutes, but I would have been happy with even 17:22. Just anything that proves I’m making progress.

I did the entire mile at my “flat road” of 4% incline and started at 3.5 miles an hour. At about .3 miles in, I decided that I’d try to bump it up some more (I know, I’m crazy). I went to 3.6 miles an hour at that point. Then the coach bugged me that I needed to bump up my speed some more so I promised that I would try to bump it up another .1 miles an hour at .7 miles in. And as I promised, I did just that.

When I was at .9 miles in I realized that I was easily going to get a mile PR time and that it might be possible to beat my old PR by a minute! So I kept bumping it up bit by bit as I got closer to the mile mark. In the end, I got up to 4.2 miles an hour but that was crazy fast and uncomfortable for me.

But I did manage to get another PR this week with my mile time.

OTF 1 Mile

53 seconds faster than my mile time at my last 5K! That’s pretty amazing! The only thing I wonder is if I could maintain this speed for 3.1 miles and not just 1 mile. Also, I do have the advantage in my races by being at a real flat road and not my 4% flat road. So I have no idea what this means for my 5K time just yet.

But no matter how this relates to my 5K time, this is still faster on the treadmill than I was going before my last 5K. So I feel pretty confident that by the time November gets here (when I’m doing my next 5K), that I should be able to get another race PR.

I really feel good about how I did during Peak Performance Week. I definitely pushed myself to do better than I have in the past and I’ve proved to myself that maybe my mind has been holding me back when my body was ready to be pushed. I’m hoping that I can maintain 3.5 miles an hour for my treadmill workouts. If I can’t maintain it for my entire workout I at least know now that I can start there and go back down if I have to.

I’m hoping that Orangetheory will do another Peak Performance Week soon. I really liked it and it really motivated me to keep pushing my workouts to be better and better.

Fitting In My Workouts No Matter What (or Last Workouts Before The 5K)

It was not easy to get my 3 workouts in this week, but I did it.

I knew that it was going to be an odd week of workouts even before having to go down to San Diego. I had the Hollywood Half 5K on Saturday and knew that I would not be working out on Friday. And there was a chance that I was going to be at Disneyland on Monday with a family friend.

So the original plan was to work out Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday afternoons.

Then my grandpa passed away and my schedule got crazy.

I cancelled my Disneyland plans right away. Then I started to wonder how I could get 3 workouts in during the week.

It’s probably stupid that I was worried about my workouts when there was a death in the family, but I guess that is how I was coping.

I started to think about what time I would have and how late I would be getting back from San Diego on Tuesday to see if I could do a Tuesday evening workout. But after debating it all for a few minutes, I figured out a schedule.

I would do my Wednesday and Thursday workouts as planned and add an early Sunday workout before driving to be with my family.

Sunday morning was not a great workout for me. Again, I had issues with getting my heart rate high enough (I guess the side effect of a speedy heart rate with my new medication went away). I was also pretty stressed out about going to San Diego. It didn’t feel real that my grandpa died, so I was worried that as soon as I got to San Diego it would all hit me (it did, but not in the way I was expecting it to). I tried my best to get through the workout, but I know that I wasn’t doing my best.

Wednesday was a pretty good one for me. I was worried that I would feel a bit out of shape from the lack of exercise and the good food from the past few days, but it didn’t affect me nearly as much as I thought. The biggest challenge I had in my workout on Wednesday was the 800 meter row.

We had to do this 2 different times in the workout. We had to write down our first time and then try to beat it the second time. And for every second longer our second time took, we had to do a burpee. I pushed myself like crazy on that rower. My goal was to be under 4 minutes, and I did it!

800 Meter Row

My name is toward the bottom of the board. And you can see that my second time was exactly 1 second slower than the first. So I owed 1 burpee. But considering that my goal was to be under 4 minutes, both my rows were pretty amazing!

After that exhausting workout, I was feeling a bit sore for my Thursday workout. But since it was my final workout before the 5K, I wanted to push myself as much as I could on the treadmill. I wanted to see if I could get a new PR on the 5K, and treadmill training is what will get me there.

The treadmill workout was all hills. I usually hate the hills, but I was grateful for them on Thursday. A majority of the 5K is on a flat road (there are a few hills), so since I’m used to training at an incline the 5K should almost feel like a downhill race.

Besides going hard on the treadmill, I’m still working on upping my weights when I’m doing the floor work. I’m finally starting to see (and feel) the results of the heavier weights. Even though the scale isn’t going down that much, I feel much lighter. And I have some pretty decent sized muscles now (they are just covered up by fat). Hopefully when the scale starts dropping again, the visually results will be seen more because I have more muscle to show off.

I’m so glad I got my 3 workouts in even though I was dealing with so much. I know I say this again and again, but it just proves to me how much of a priority working out is for me now. I never felt like that prior to Orangetheory and it makes me so proud that I’m dedicated to my workouts now.

In tomorrow’s post, I’ll be recapping the Hollywood Half 5K!

Getting Faster Bit By Bit (or Speeding Up My Heart And My Walking)

I’m getting more and more used to my heart rate being fast during my workouts. And the more days that go by, the more normal my heart rate becomes. In fact, it might almost be back to before the medication this week or next.

It was nice for a little while to have my heart rate faster than usual. I felt like I was getting more out of my workouts since I was getting more time in the orange zone. I know that it doesn’t really work that way when your heart rate is fast due to medication, but it felt like that to me.

But this past week, getting into the orange zone wasn’t as easy this past week as it was the week before. I’m working on using heavier weights during all of my workouts, but I know that I have to step up my cardio as well.

I’ve been using the incline on the treadmill a lot more than I did in the past. For my base pace, power walkers are supposed to be at 3% incline. I now always have it at 4%. During my push pace, I used to be at somewhere between 6-9%. Now I have it at at least 10%. My all-out pace is still at 15%, but that’s because 15% is the highest that the treadmill goes.

But as I get in better and better shape, my heart rate doesn’t go as high with incline as it used to (it’s real proof that my heart is getting stronger!). I’ve tried to slowly increase my speed, but it hasn’t been easy.

When I started at Orangetheory, I was usually at 3.0 or 3.1 miles an hour. I liked 3.1 miles an hour because then I knew that at that speed it would take me exactly an hour to do a 5K. Eventually, I was at 3.2 miles an hour on the treadmill. And a little while ago I went up to 3.3 miles an hour.

But this week, I really wanted to push myself. Maybe it’s because in my head I’ve realized that there is no way that I will not have another surgery on my hip in my near future. It’s inevitable and I better use my hip before it gets cut up and I have a long recovery. So I went to 3.4 miles an hour for all 3 of my workouts. I know that this isn’t that fast yet and I’m still below 3.5 miles an hour which is the bottom of what power walkers are considered at Orangetheory, but it’s improvement.

And I need to keep taking steps like this in increasing my speed. I’ve decided that if I ever decided to do a half marathon, the only one that I will consider will be one at Disneyland. If I’m going to do something that crazy, I might as well be at my favorite place in the world. All Disneyland races have a required pace time of a 16-minute per mile or faster.

So I found this great chart online to help me get to my goal of 16 minute miles.

Walking Speed Guide

I would probably want to be at 3.9 miles an hour on the treadmill to feel comfortable doing a Disneyland race. I know that those races have lots of awesome photo ops, and I’d want to have time to take advantage of those. On the Disneyland race website they even recommend having a training pace of 15-minute miles to allow for the photo ops. So that would bring me to 4.0 miles an hour on the treadmill.

That seems like so far away from where I am right now. But in reality, it’s not that much more of a jump than what I have done from when I started at Orangetheory to now. So maybe in another year (unless I have my hip surgery), I’ll be at my goal speed.

I’m thinking of making a training plan to figure out how to steadily increase my speed. I’m also looking at making a plan for increasing my weights as well. I might work on that this week when I have some time between customers at my day job.

But if any of you have ideas on how to make a plan to increase my speed (I’m not even starting to think about increasing my distance yet), I’d really love to hear your recommendations. I’m really so new at all of this, so I can use any help that I can get!