Tag Archives: workout

Hills And Power Outages (or Not My Usual Workout Week)

This past week of workouts was not how I had planned things to be. It’s not necessarily a bad thing. I know I’m very set in my ways and that having something change up is good for me. But fortunately, even with things not going as planned, I still had a good week of workouts.

Monday was a no switch day and we did endurance, strength, and power work. The treadmill was one long block without much of a break between things. We started by doing a 3 minute push at 2% incline, 2 minute push at 3% incline, 1 minute push at 4% incline, 45 second push at 5% incline, and then finally an all out on a flat incline. We did have base paces between everything (which I walked), but I ran everything else. Inclines are interesting for me since I’m used to working at 4% so that doesn’t feel too bad for me. But the higher inclines are tough and I’m proud of myself to trying them out.

The second half of the treadmill block was push to all out paces at 4%, 3%, and then 2% inclines. It was nice getting the inclines to go down and since they were lower inclines they weren’t as bad as the first half of the treadmill block. I’m curious what the inclines will be on my next 5K because I would love to try to train a bit more for those specific hills.

On the floor, we had 3 blocks that each had 2 moves and then a rowing segment. The rowing was 300 meters, 150 meters, and 600 meters which aren’t horrible but felt long after doing the treadmill and floor work. On the floor we had a mix of upper and lower body work with hip swings, shoulder work with the straps, and hammer curls. But my best thing was when we were supposed to do pikes on the ab dolly. Normally, I would just do knee tucks since pikes are very difficult for me and I don’t do ab dolly work on my toes. But I decided to keep testing out doing ab dolly work and was pleasantly surprised to see that I could do the pikes! They were mini-pikes, but they were more than I had done before!

Wednesday’s workout was a power day which was a nice break from doing treadmill inclines. A lot of the work was 90 second push paces and push to all outs. I ran for all the push and all outs (I say that pretty much all the time now, don’t I?) and was happy that my endurance is really improving. And since it was a power day, I wanted to do one really awesome speed segment. So I did the last 45 second all out pace at 6.5 mph. Between all that work I did and the awesome speeds, I managed to do more than 2 miles on the treadmill during class!

The floor was a tough day. We had 2 blocks that both started with a similar patterned. We had a 250 meter row, a lower body move, a 150 meter row, a lower body move, and then arm focused floor work. The first block was squats between the rowing and then tricep work with the straps and tricep push ups. The second block was lunges between the rowing and the bicep work with the straps, weights, and push ups. I thought it was very tough to have all the tricep work in one block and bicep in the other (instead of mixing them up), but I think it was designed to be tough that way.

I was booked for Friday’s workout, but in case you aren’t in LA and didn’t hear, we had a huge storm that day. Before my Friday workout, the power went out in the building where Orangetheory is located. So classes were canceled since there was no estimate for when the power would be back plus it was starting to get a bit dangerous to drive. I guess it was good that it happened because right when I would have been in class, my power went out. If I had been in class, I would have gotten home to a totally dark house, needing to search for my flashlights, and would have to take a cold shower in a very dark bathroom. But I was very glad I was already booked for Saturday’s class so I could still get 3 workouts in for the week.

Saturday’s class was a bit odd since my body was feeling weird from the power outage. When it got dark, my body felt like it was time for bed even though it was only 6pm. So I slept pretty weird the night before and was still feeling that when I got to my workout. But I perked up pretty quickly because in the lobby was Whitney, who used to be one of my regular coaches but hadn’t seen in over a year! Whitney was teaching at another studio for a while and when she came back to my studio, she was always teaching when I was working so I hadn’t seen her. But to see her again was amazing and I was instantly in a good mood!

It was a 3G style class so I wasn’t stuck on anything for longer than about 15 minutes. But since it was an endurance, strength, and power day those 15 minutes felt like 30! I started on the treadmill and we had 2 small blocks on the treadmill. The first block was like a normal strength block so we had inclines. We had pushes at lower inclines and finished with an all out at 6% incline. I ran for all of those inclines, but I kept my pace slow with the all out since the incline was so high. The second half was more like a power day with push to all outs. The combined time ranged from 2 1/2 minutes to 1 minute and I was able to run for all of them. I increased my speed each time the combined time was slower and ended with 30 seconds at 6.5 mph. And even though we had a shorter treadmill block than I’m used to, I got a lot of distance done. When I started at Orangetheory, it could take me 20 minutes to do a mile. Now I can do 1 1/3 miles in that time!

The rowing block was probably the toughest for me. We had rowing plus squats for 15 minutes without a break. The rowing was 700, 500, and 250 meters and by the end the 250 meters felt like 700. The squats between the rowing was tough too. My legs were feeling a bit shaky so I had to take my time doing everything and took breaks in the middle of each set. But even with my slow work and breaks, I managed to get all the rowing done and got into the bonus round (which was just repeating the final round again).

And when I finally got to the floor, I was so glad there was a lot of work that was on the mat or on the Bosu so I could rest a bit. We used the Bosu to do chest presses (using the Bosu as a rest for our heads) and to kneel on for tricep work. We also had plank work where we were supposed to reach our hips to the other side, but I wasn’t quite able to do that so I did something more like mountain climbers. We also had shoulder strap work and abs (which was done laying on the floor so I took advantage of that to catch my breath). When class was done, it felt so long but I was so glad I had signed up for it. I would have been sad if I only got 2 classes done because of the storm.

Even though I set out to do a 4 workout week, I’m glad I still got my 3 classes in and that I pushed myself hard in each of those classes. I’m slowly seeming more and more progress in class and that helps to keep pushing me along. I’ve got 2 months to go before surgery and I’m considering this training to get ready for it!

Walking And Running (Mixing Up My Workouts)

I was on such a high from my previous week of workouts that I didn’t know if I could do anything close to it last week. I tried to keep my expectations low going in to this past week because I didn’t want to burn out. But I also was feeling so great from all that I did that I didn’t want to lose the momentum. So I decided to try to alternate going crazy and having recovery days and see what happened.

Monday was technically an endurance, strength, and power day but to me it really felt like an endurance day. We had a crazy plan for the treadmill and I really pushed myself on it. The pattern started with a 3 minute push pace, 2 minute push pace, 1 minute push pace, and 1 minute all out pace. There was base pace in between each but it was still a lot. And the second half of the pattern was a 1 minute push pace, 2 minute push pace, 3 minute push pace, and 1 minute all out with the base pace in between. I managed to run all of the push and all out paces and in 23 minutes I did 1.55 miles which is half of a 5K.

On the floor that day, we had a 400 rep challenge. For some locations, this was a timed challenge, but it wasn’t for us. That was for the better since if it was timed I know my form would have suffered because I would have sped through things. We had 2 rounds of 25 squats, 25 hip bridges, 25 push ups, 25 rows on the straps, 50 hop overs, and 50 mountain climbers. It was very intense and tiring but I made it through. After completing my 400 reps, I had dumbbell swings and tricep work plus a 200 meter row. It was a lot, but I felt so accomplished after finishing the workout.

Wednesday was a strength day and we didn’t switch between blocks. I decided to do only walking on the treadmill that day and I’m glad that I did that. It was a nice change of pace from all the running I had done. We had ascending and descending hills with the inclines at 7, 9, and 11%. I also had 1 minute intervals at 8% with my speed at 3.8 mph which is pretty fast for my walking. And I was able to do my all out paces at 12% which is pretty steep for me.

On the floor, we had 2 blocks which each started with 400 meter rows. I was able to get those done in 1:31 and 1:28 which even surprised my coach! We also had regular and lateral lunges and lateral arm work. And I used the ab roller for knee tucks and push ups. But what went best for me was the ab work that day. We had abs with scissor kicks and crossovers. Normally those are really difficult for me because of my hips. But I was able to do them without modifications and I could really feel my abs working!

Friday was another epic day for me and I surprised myself again. We had a 23 minute challenge and I didn’t focus on distance but endurance. The idea of the challenge was to run for .25 miles and then recover with walking for a minute. And we repeated that as many times as we could. Obviously, the faster you run the more times you could repeat it. But for me, I wanted to prove to myself that I could run .25 miles over and over again. This was a test for me to see what I could really do with intervals because I am planning for my next 5K. So I ran every time I did the .25 miles at 4.5 mph which is becoming a very comfortable pace for me. I did increase my speed a bit for the end to see how far I could go, but I like that I found a good speed for me. And I’m so happy that I was able to keep up my running every time and I didn’t feel too tired during it. This wasn’t my best distance, but like I said that isn’t what I’m focusing on right now. I’m really proud of myself and I feel more confident than ever that I can have an awesome 5K in April.

After that long run, I was tired but I was ready to get to the floor block. It was a long floor block so we didn’t get much of a break in things. We had rowing between 100-200 meters, squats, lunges, burpees, froggers, palms to elbows (but I did plank shoulder taps instead), and pull ups. My form wasn’t great on the floor, but it wasn’t too bad compared to other days when I was tired.

Saturday’s workout was another recovery workout for me. It was a strength day and I made the decision to walk the entire time on the treadmill again. I needed the break and it was nice again to mix things up. The inclines were pretty intense and a lot of times I was at 12 or 15% incline which I don’t do that often. I can’t remember the last time I did 15% incline. Fortunately, since that workout was a 3G day I only had to do 2 rounds on the treadmill.

For the rower segment, the first time we had to see how fast we could do 300 meters and then recover for 20 seconds before doing it again. I think I got 3 or 4 attempts at the row before we switched and I was pretty consistent with the time. The second time on the rower, we had a challenge I hadn’t done before. We were supposed to count how many times we pulled the rower handle and to try to get 300 meters in 30 pulls or less. My first attempt wasn’t that close but I was determined to make it happen. I took super long pulls and leaned really far back to make it as long as possible. It was weird to have my form like that, but it paid off because both of my next attempts made it to 300 meters in under 30 pulls.

And for my 2 floor segments, there was quite a bit of arms work. We had rows in plank and standing up plus shoulder presses. We also had ab work with plank jack push ups and crunches. I like 3G workouts since we change between sections a lot, but it also means that I feel really tired and sometimes the workout feels a bit long. But this time the fun in changing it up was more than the tiredness I felt.

Even though I did 2 days of walking out of my 4 workouts, this is another success week of workouts in my mind!

Building Up Endurance (or Shocking Myself)

This week of workouts started out pretty normally, but it ended with an accomplishment that shocked me so much that I’m still not totally believing it. But I know that the accomplishment was all because of the hard work that I’ve been doing over the past few months.

My Monday workout was an endurance day where we didn’t switch between blocks. There were 3 blocks on the treadmill and each block started with a 3 minute push pace. I know I can run for 3 minutes, but since I didn’t want to overdo things I did my 1 minute intervals for all of them. I’m not sure why I’m so scared to run for 3 minutes at a time when I have done it before, but I’m sure it has to do with the lack of confidence I have in myself while running. I’ve been running since the end of May last year, but I still don’t feel like a runner. I’m hoping that I can build confidence running soon, but I know I also have to be patient with myself. With the rest of those 3 treadmill blocks, I did 1 minute intervals for the 2 minute push paces and I ran all of the all out paces.

On the floor for that workout, I did some squats with arm rows using 15 pounds (which is pretty heavy for me). I also did some plank work on my toes which is still a newish thing for me. My right knee has been bugging me so being on my toes is a necessity. But it’s not easy to do plank work on your toes after doing them on my knees for so long. I also used 20 pounds weights for my standing tricep work (again, heavy weights for me). And we had 300 meter sprint rows to end the workout. I did those in 1:07 and 1:04 which isn’t too bad for me considering this was at the end of the workout.

Wednesday’s workout was a power day and we didn’t switch between blocks. It was technically a run/row, but it wasn’t a run/row in a traditional sense. We had 5 different blocks that were guided by the coach and we transitioned between the treadmill and the rower for each one (3 run blocks and 2 row blocks). All of the run segments were short and I ran for all the push and all out paces. I was still walking during my base, but now looking back at it I might have been able to run the entire time. And for the rower, we had 100, 150, and 200 meter sprints with jump squats between each sprint.

On the floor, we didn’t really focus on one specific area and did more of an all over workout. We had arms, legs, squats, abs, and the ab roller. I tried to do heavier weights for most of the work but I wasn’t able to lift the heavier ones like I had the day before. And we ended the floor work with a 3 minute row (while the cardio side was in their last treadmill block). Also, on Wednesday’s workout I had a friend in class with me for her first class! It’s been a while since I had a friend with me who had never been to Orangetheory before, and I was trying to help her out with following the pattern of class. It wasn’t the easiest first class to go to, but she did amazing!

Friday’s workout was an endurance day. And this was the workout that shocked the hell out of me! We didn’t switch between blocks because it was a distance challenge day. It was a 10.5 minute challenge which we had done about a month ago. The month before, I pretty much did 1 minute intervals and I think I did amazing with my distance. But instead of focusing on distance like I normally do (and try to beat my previous distance), I decided to see how long I could run for.

Since I started running back in May last year, I’ve been trying to build up my running endurance. But I’ve been struggling with it lately and I’ve been scared that I hit a wall in my progress. I haven’t really run for more than 3.5 minutes before (basically when I run for .25 miles), so this was a perfect chance to test things. Going into the challenge, I thought maybe I could run for 5 minutes and then take a little walking break before running again. But I also am stubborn as can be and I thought that maybe I could run for the entire thing.

Despite this being 3 times longer than the longest time I’ve ever run, I wasn’t going to hold back in this attempt. I knew that I’d have a second 10.5 minute distance challenge after this one, but I focused on the first one when I was the most prepared and least tired. And there were plenty of times during those 10.5 minutes that I thought that maybe I should stop and go back to my intervals. But all of that talk was mental and not physical. I was surprised that my body wasn’t hurting more, but I was also keeping my speed pretty slow at 4.5mph. And in the end, I ran for 10.5 minutes without taking a walking break, jumping the rails, or stopping in any way.

Even typing that I ran for that entire time, I still can’t believe that I did it. I thought that I was so stuck at running for 3 minutes or under, but all that talk was in my head and I really was able to overcome that and prove to myself that I could do it. This wasn’t my furthest distance and it is tough to be ok with that since I am competitive with myself. But focusing on endurance is different from speed and it’s time for me to do endurance.

In the second attempt, I tried to run for the entire 10.5 minutes again but I was pretty tired. I had to take a couple of breaks where I jumped the rails to catch my breath or pop my hip. And because I’m stubborn and competitive for the last 30 seconds of the second attempt I increased the speed a lot just so I could beat my original distance.

After doing those runs, I was pretty tired but also so energized by the fact that I did something that I didn’t believe I could do. I was on cloud nine during the floor and didn’t focus too much and didn’t get as many rounds done as I would have liked. We focused a lot on arms so I was using slightly lighter weights. In the second floor block, we had a 500 meter row (which I did in 2:12 and I’m very happy about that) and ab work. But to me, the highlight of that workout was the running.

Now that I know I have much more endurance than I knew, I’m thinking hard about how I want to do my cardio in the workouts now. I know I probably can’t run for the entire cardio time (which can be up to 30 minutes), but maybe I can start with running for my base pace and then going down to walking when I need to. During the next mile challenge, I don’t want to go for a PR anymore but instead want to see if I can run a mile without walking. I haven’t done that since I was a kid.

I didn’t consider myself a runner when I started this past week of workouts, but I have to say that by the end of the week I think I finally am starting to think of myself as a runner and someone who can just be a runner (instead of a run/walker) one day. I don’t know if I will ever run an entire 5K race, but then again a week ago I didn’t think I could run for .5 miles and I did that on Friday. This past week has given me a lot to think about and reevaluate and I am hopeful that my progress will continue, just not in the way I imagined it would.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ending My Challenge Early (or I Guess I Made A Mistake)

I just posted about how I was doing the new weight loss challenge at Orangetheory. And as of yesterday, I’m not doing the challenge any more. It’s due to a mistake that I made. I thought I had done everything that I needed to do for the challenge. I signed up and filled out the forms, paid the entry fee, and weighed in at the kick off party. I assumed that the weigh in at the party was enough since it did measure our weight and fat percentage, but I missed the instructions that I still need to do an official weigh in when Nutrishop was at Orangetheory or to go to Nutrishop myself.

I guess I wasn’t paying attention because I never did the second weigh in. I thought I was good to go and spent the past week and a half working hard in my workouts and trying to work on my food as much as I could. And then I got a text from the manager at Orangetheory asking if I weighed in with Nurtrishop because they weren’t able to locate the body scan I did with them. I could have gone to do it on my own, but by the time I would have had time to go it would already be 2 weeks into the challenge. And since it’s a 6 week challenge, I don’t feel like I want to pay to compete for only 4 weeks. Even though it isn’t about the money to enter (it’s only $25) or winning a prize, it just doesn’t feel right to do it anymore.

It’s weird to give up on a challenge that I started. That’s not who I am. But in this case, I would feel shorted if I did it. If I was close to placing in the top 3, I would be mad because I would think that if I had the full 6 weeks that I could have done it. I know how frustrated I would be with not doing the full challenge, and I think for me it will be easier to give up part way through instead of only doing 2/3rds of the challenge.

Giving up on the weight loss challenge isn’t really going to change much for me. I’m still on my own journey to lose weight and I am just as motivated not doing the challenge as I am doing the challenge since I have the goal of losing weight by my surgery date. That is the biggest motivation that I can have. I know that I need to do this to make my recovery from surgery easier. And the easier my recovery is, the quicker I can get back to life (and my workouts) after surgery. So that is a huge motivator for me. I just like doing fun challenges and since this one had some good prizes I was excited to see if I’d win.

Of course, I’m still going to do the required number of workouts that the weight loss challenge had (it was only 3 per week which is my normal). I’m going to track things the same way I did before (I might even still use the tracking chart on the window of the studio if they let me), and I will continue to support my friends who are in the challenge right now. Nothing is really changing outside of me not tracking my weight and fat loss through the studio and that I can’t win any prizes.

It’s a new feeling to give up on this challenge since I don’t usually let myself do that, but at the same time I almost feel a sense of relief. I can focus on my personal goals and weight loss patterns instead of trying to do what it takes to try to win. And yes, I know that I said that I wasn’t going to try to work hard to win this time, but that wasn’t happening. I wanted to see if I could win again and while I wasn’t doing anything crazy to do it, it was becoming a focus. Now, that competitiveness with others is gone and I can just be competitive with myself.

When the challenge ends, I’m going to weigh myself in at home and see if I hit my personal goal for the challenge. It won’t be easy (I’ve had a couple of not-so-great food days lately), but it will be a nice sense of accomplishment if I can do it without the challenge being my focus.

Yoga With The Balanced Blonde (or A Real Yoga Class)

I’ve already written about my workouts last week, but technically there was one that I skipped even though it happened at Orangetheory. For a while, my Orangetheory location has been doing yoga and wine nights on Friday nights. I never can make those because I have to be up early on Saturdays for work and the timing just doesn’t work out. So when they asked if any of us would be interested in a yoga class on a Sunday, I told them that it would be amazing if they could do that! So this past Sunday, I went over to Orangetheory without my heart rate monitor or workout gloves, but with my yoga mat.

The class was being taught by Jordan Younger who blogs at The Balanced Blonde and who I’ve gotten to know from being in Orangetheory classes together. She’s been working really hard at getting her yoga teacher certification and I was really excited to take a class with her! Plus, since she’s been so busy with her yoga training lately I haven’t had a chance to see her at a workout in a while.

I felt like I had gotten to the class early, but I ended up being the last person to arrive! I set up my yoga mat at the back of the room, but the room was small enough that it was fine. Plus, since I have to do a lot of modifications I prefer to be in the back. That way, my modifications aren’t too distracting to anyone else around me.

I’ve been doing yoga at home for a while now. This has pretty much been done exclusively on my iPad and most of the time I’m doing shorter classes. I usually do ones that are 10-15 minutes and that is the perfect length for me. But this class was going to be an hour which I knew would be a challenge. And it has been several years since I had taken a yoga class that was actually a class. So being in a real class is a challenge too.

I’m happy that this class went so much better than the last in person class that I took. A lot of the moves that we did are things that I’m used to and comfortable with from doing the iPad yoga. I was excited to know what Jordan was talking about just by the name of the pose and not stressing out to watch what everyone else is doing around me. And for the first half or so of class, I didn’t need any modifications which was unexpected.

But during the second half, my hips were ready to be done. There were a few moves that I knew my body would not want to do and I didn’t push myself too hard because I knew that pushing through this time would not be the best thing for me. So I used the modifications that I’m used to doing from yoga at home and I took little breaks when I needed to stretch out my hips.

Overall, the class was a bit more advanced than I’m used to, but not so that it was overwhelming or that I felt I wasn’t ready to take the class. I had to push myself from time to time, but it also felt familiar. I think this was the first time I felt comfortable being in class and not feeling like I am taking the wrong level or at the wrong studio. It was a nice feeling and I’m glad that I’ve learned that yoga isn’t something that intimidates me the way it used to.

Taking a yoga class for an hour is a bit too long for me, but I also think that it’s time for me to test myself with longer classes at home (and maybe also trying some classes at studios). I think for me right now, classes that are 30-45 minutes would be perfect to push me more than I’m doing with the 15 minute classes I’m doing now but also are short enough not to stress my hips.

After the class was done, there were some amazing salads from Sweetgreen in the lobby. I’ve been wanting to try their salads for a while since all of my Orangetheory friends rave about them (they don’t have a location in my neighborhood and I usually don’t stick around Brentwood after my workout is done). They had a bunch of different options so I know I’ll have to go there sometime to try the rest, but the guacamole greens salad I grabbed was so good!

I’ve got a lot of thinking to do about how I want to continue doing yoga but I know it will continue to be something I do for a while. I’ve noticed a lot of difference in my flexibility and I feel stronger when I’m working out at Orangetheory. I also feel calmer on days that I do yoga and feel like I can fall asleep easier. It’s been such a great addition to my life and I know I want to continue doing it. But I also know that I’ve been pretty set in my ways for a while and this was just the boost I needed to reevaluate and look to challenge myself.

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!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

New Year’s Workouts (or Ending 2016 and Starting 2017 With Orangetheory)

Happy New Year’s! I’ll be recapping my New Year’s Eve fun later this week, but as always for my Monday post I’m sharing my workouts from the past week. This past week I had my last 3 workouts of 2016 (getting me to 177 workouts for the year) and my first workout of 2017. They were all challenging workouts for their own reasons but I think that I ended one year and started the other with some really great work.

Monday’s class was an endurance day. We had 2 blocks on the treadmill back to back and I did my usual work with the push paces. I ran my 1 minute intervals for the 3 minute pushes and I ran the entire time for all pushes that were 2 minutes or under. In our second block, we had several intervals of 1 minute push paces with 30 second base paces. I ran the pushes and walked the bases and it gave me an idea of what this could be like if I did it for my next 5K intervals. I’ve been playing more with the idea of increasing my running time and not decreasing my walking time, but maybe I need to think more about it.

After the treadmill, I had my floor work which was supposed to also be rowing work. But because of how long each block took me, I never made it to the rower. The first block was squats, arm work on the straps, push-ups (I took the modification of using the straps for those because my knees were bugging me) and crunches. The second block was back and arm work mainly with some leg work at the end. I was dealing with some horrible cramps throughout the class, and while they would come and go I know that the pain was slowing me down a bit which didn’t allow me to get to the rower.

Wednesday’s class was a power day and we got to switch between blocks so it was even better! The first treadmill block was a 2 minute push pace that I was able to run and then we had some 1 minute all out intervals with walking in between. The second block was the same pattern so I did the same as I did in the first block. And our last block on the treadmill was all 30 second intervals so we did 30 second push paces, 30 second all outs, and then 30 seconds of walking. I didn’t do the last all out as a run because I was so tired, but I did run all of the rest!

When I moved to the floor, we had some rowing for each of the blocks. The first block was 150 meter rows and the second block was 200 meter rows. All of those were done pretty quickly and I was getting close to some of my best times for those distances. I also had a great moment during the first block when we had lunges with hops using the straps. I can’t do the hops yet, but I was able to do knee lifts with each lunge and I wasn’t having the usual issues with my balance. That was pretty amazing. We also had a lot of core work with 4 point planks and palms to elbows in plank.

I skipped my Friday workout (since I would be going on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday) so my next workout was my New Year’s Eve workout. It was a 3G class where we had 2 rounds between all 3 sections. The first round was 8 minutes each. On the treadmill, it was supposed to be a .1 mile run at 10% followed by a 1 minute walk at 10% and then you brought the incline down 1% each time. I was able to do the first run at 10% but then my body wasn’t feeling it so I had to power walk the rest of the time. Since I still wanted to push myself, I just kept the incline at 10% the entire time and didn’t bring it down. The second block on the treadmill was 4 minutes and I stuck with walking again, keeping it at 6-10% incline.

On the floor, the first 8 minute round was split into 2 sections. First we had 4 minutes of push-ups and squats and then we had 4 minutes of lunges and plank jacks. For the 4 minute round on the floor we had pop jacks and rowing using the straps. And on the rower, the 8 minute round was also split into 2 sections. First we had 200 meter sprints with squats as our break and then we had 100 meter sprints with bicep curls as the break. Those movements didn’t really feel like breaks, but it was nice to have something different between sprints. And for the 4 minute round, we had a 4 minute row where I was able to increase my wattage on the rower each minute!

It was not an easy class (3G ones can be some of the toughest ones), but I was glad I went on New Year’s Eve so I was able to end my 2016 on a good fitness note!

And then on Sunday, I started 2017 with a 3G workout. I had some car issues getting home from the party I went to for New Year’s Eve (more on that later) so I only got a few hours sleep that night before going to work out. I think the lack of sleep mixed with some stress got to me because I was struggling on the treadmill. I started out with our 2 minute push pace as a run but I started to get a headache and had to switch to walking. I pretty much did all walking for the first block on the treadmill but during the second block we had some shorter push to all out paces and I was able to run for those. My headache wasn’t bugging me as much by the end of my time on the treadmill, but it definitely made things difficult for me.

On the floor we had 1 block that was 15 minutes long. We had several movements like squats, triceps work, lunges, and planks and each round we did fewer reps than the one before (starting with 14 and ending with 6). I ended up making it through the entire assignment so I ended my time on the floor with a 1 minute plank hold. I did have to take some breaks with my plank, but I was in really good form while I stuck it out.

I ended on the rower where we had longer rows with some work with the medicine ball. It started with a 1,000 meter row and some squats and jumping jacks with the medicine ball. Then it was 500 meters with more medicine ball work and at the end of class I was just about to finish my 250 meter row. The rowing was fine but my headache started to come back while doing the medicine ball work so I was taking things a bit slow.

After that New Year’s Day workout, I was exhausted but so happy that I didn’t let my lack of sleep and car issues stop me from getting to Orangetheory (I had to take an Uber to and from the workout since my mechanic wasn’t open on New Year’s Day to look at my car).

I’m so happy that my workouts for 2017 got off to a nice start. We’ve got Peak Performance Week coming up soon and I’m still deciding what classes I’ll be taking that week since I want to work on beating my old records again! And, coming up later in the month we have the weight loss challenge again and I think I’m going to enter. I won’t look at the numbers on their scale when I weigh in, but I like the challenges and how they hold me accountable. I think that 2017 is going to be a really great year for my fitness even with the potential setbacks I’ll have when I have surgery later this year.