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Dear self,

Starting today (Thursday 5/13), if you do all of your scheduled training activities for the next 30 days (barring any illness, injury, or weight room closures), I will save my fun money and get you a reward – a Garmin Forerunner 305.

If you do not do all of your scheduled training activities for the next 30 days, tough schist.  (I’m a geologist.  We like dumb geology puns.  My apologies.)

YOU ARE NOT ALLOWED TO PURCHASE THIS BEFORE THEN, SO STOP LOOKING AT IT ON AMAZON.  That’s right, I said close the window and put the laptop down!

NO EXCUSES, DO THE WORK.

– Me

I’ve accepted my fate and will be switching my registration down to the half for my race on May 30th.  I’m disappointed, but I know it’s what I need to do.

Tonight I sat down and figured out my new plan of attack for my training.  I have a lot of different elements I want to combine – especially now that I’m done with my busy teaching schedule until September.  I intend to make my training my focus for the summer.  I want to do this well and have a good race when my marathon rolls around in September.

So here’s the new plan…

There’s some gaps in there to accommodate random travels (Florida, and a workshop in Montana – hooray!) and miscellaneous events.

Annnnnnnd, go!

I struggled a little this week getting back into the swing of things, and getting my training schedule straightened out.  I switched the weekday system so I didn’t have set runs, just a mileage goal.  But when I tried it, I didn’t really like that system.  So I went back to scheduled runs and it seems to be going alright.

I also stopped using the Podrunner BPM mixes FOR NOW.  Not because I don’t like them (I LOVE them).  But because that’s all I was using and I was getting in a running music rut and I think it was making me bored.  So I’m making fun playlists with music that makes me happy, and just enjoying it when I run.

I also read The Complete Book of Running for Women (Claire Kowalchik) and really enjoyed it.  For my runs this week I focused on my breathing (3:2 and 2:1 patterns) and posture.  I tend to get hunched over with my butt sticking out and arms swinging across my body when I get tired.  And that makes it even harder to run, so then I get more tired.

I also decided to not do the WHOLE P90X program during my marathon training.  I think that was another thing that was making me burn out.  I wasn’t actually DOING the program yet, but the thought of doing a run (anywhere from 30 minutes to 2+ hours) AND another 60-90 minute workout was making me dread doing either.  So instead I’m going to use the videos for my strength training on non-running days.  I’ll do the actual P90X program after my marathon is over and then I can really see what it’s like!  I’m really looking forward to it, but right now it’s just too much to do all at once.

Monday – Rest day.

Tuesday – 3.03 miles outside (hooray!).  I brought my running stuff with me to work and ran around campus and downtown.  It was nice to get back outside!  I didn’t worry about my pace or where I was going.  I just ran and let myself enjoy it.  This was my first day back after taking my mental health break.

Wednesday – P90X Plyometrics – this time I got all the way through!

Thursday – 6.04 miles on the treadmill (1.5% incline) in 1:05:06 (10:47/mile).  Felt good, and was happy with myself for getting back into things.

Friday – Rest day.

Saturday – Went to yoga with my friend and LOVED IT!!

Sunday – 13.12 miles on the treadmill (1.5% incline) in 2:27:21 (11:14/mile).  It was AWESOME!  I had the best runners high ever.  My legs were fluid, everything was effortless! (I might still be on that runners high.)  I decided to skip the music this time and watch a Friends DVD.  I got through the entire first disc of season one and it was exactly the same length as my run (perfect!).  I really liked having that to watch as I ran and actually found myself laughing and enjoying the shows to the point that I didn’t even notice I was running.  I think I’ll be doing that on my long runs from now on.  This will be my chance to watch the entire series all the way through and in the right order.  Yes, I am a nerd.

I’m a little late in posting this, but here it is!

Monday – No workout today.  Mondays are my day off.  I also really wanted to let my knee rest after that monster 13.1 miler from the day before.  Today I went and purchased “The Complete Book of Running for Women” by Claire Kowalchik.  Looking forward to reading it!

Tuesday – Since tonight was a short run, I decided to push myself to increase my pace.  I did 4.02 miles on the treadmill (1.5% incline) in 38:56 (9:40/mile).  Hooray!  I got my sub-10:00/mile!  I definitely felt like I was pushing myself harder than I normally do on my runs.  But it was a good push.  Still having trouble fitting in my P90X (running plus at least an hour of other working out is a LOT to fit in), but it’s trial-and-error and I will work it out.

Wednesday – I tried to run tonight.  I put on my running clothes and shoes and went down to the treadmill.  I got about 1/4 of a mile in and just DID NOT WANT TO RUN ANYMORE.  So I decided to listen to my body and take a few days off.  I was burned out and tired and my body needed a break.

Thursday – Rest day.

Friday – Rest day.

Saturday – Rest day.  By now, I was actually starting to look forward to picking back up.

Sunday – Rest day.

Monday – No run today.  Mondays are my day off.  Instead I worked around the house like a crazy person, so that was kind of like a partial workout.

Tuesday – 4 miles on the treadmill (1.5% incline) in 41:34 (10:20 min/mile pace).  I was foolish and tried to go out faster than I could handle (~ 9:00 min/mile).  At about mile 2, my knees stiffened up and I ran out of gas.  So I slowed it down and finished out my 4 miles for the day.  Mental note – don’t go out that fast yet!  I attempted to do my run during the day while my husband was at work, but the puppy FREAKED OUT so I had to wait until he got home.  Because of this, I wasn’t able to do my P90X plyometrics later that night (see previous P90X Plyo post).  I guess I’ll have to YET AGAIN, shift it back a day.  That’s alright.  It’s a learning experience with the dog.  I don’t know how he’s going to handle different situations yet.

Wednesday – 5 miles on the treadmill (1.5% incline).  I’m not even going to post the time because it was so slow.  For some reason, it was just an AWFUL run.  I was sluggish, tired, achy, tight muscles… all that fun stuff.  I couldn’t get into a rhythm or get comfortable at all.  I pushed through it, but there were SO MANY times I wanted to just stop.  I tried to get my mind somewhere else, but just couldn’t do it.  There’s been runs where I’ve been tired and achy and managed to get past it eventually, but today I lost the mental battle and just plugged through it.  Once again, I could not get the P90X stuff in with the dogs around me all day and night.  This is going to be interesting carving out time for it.  It will be much easier once my husband is mobile again.  Which is in THREE WEEKS.  ACK.

Thursday – I decided to take tonight off and rest.  I’ve been so exhausted lately and I think that has a lot to do with how crappy my last two runs have been.  Between taking care of gimpy and the dogs and running, I’m beat.  Thursday was time for some R&R.

Friday – No run tonight.  Fridays are my other night off.  Instead I went to my BFF’s (haha) house and made jewelry, ate cookies, and worked on our wedding albums.  All in all, a good night.

Saturday – Spent the night up to my elbows in wedding pictures, DVDs (burning copies of the pictures for people), and photo paper.  Didn’t get done with that little project until well after 10pm and was in no mood to go down to the basement after that.  This has been a pretty off week.  I suppose they happen, and I’m not going to beat myself up about it.  I think I needed a little mental (and physical!) break.  We’ll see if this helps for my long run tomorrow.

Sunday – 1.97 miles with the puppy in 21:56 (11:07/mile).  Granted, that’s including the sniffing and bathroom stops, so our pace was probably closer to 10 min/mile.

Later that night, I did my scheduled run of 13.12 miles on the treadmill (1.5% incline) in 2:20:58 (10:44 min/mile).  Wohoo!  This was my first “half marathon” and I am so proud of myself.  I’m really glad I took the last two days off because I definitely needed a mental and physical break.  It wasn’t all good though.  Around mile 7, my IT band got REALLY uncomfortable and started to make my whole leg ache up to my hip.  From then until the end of my run I had to stop every mile (and near the end, every half mile!) to massage it for about 30 seconds.  It was ROUGH.  But I made it.

Wohoo!

So this was definitely an interesting week.  Between the new dog and my husband’s knee surgery, things had to get shifted around quite a bit.  But overall, it didn’t turn out too bad.

Monday – No workout.  Sat at the hospital all day for surgery.  Whee.

Tuesday – 3 miles on the treadmill (1.5% incline) at 10:26 min/mile.  Not my best pace, but got the miles in anyway

Wednesday – No workout.  Absolutely exhausted from all the craziness going on here.  Unless you count taking the dogs out every 5 minutes in the sub-zero temperatures a workout.

Thursday – Same as Wednesday!

Friday – 6 miles on the treadmill (1.5% incline) at 10:05 min/mile.  I was pushing for that sub-10:00 min/mile but wimped out for a minute and it caught up with me.  This was also the wonderful day that I wore non-running socks for my run and ended up with two blisters that are STILL driving me crazy.  GRRR.

Saturday – 3 miles on the treadmill (1.5% incline) at 9:57 min/mile.  I was planning on doing a 6 miler to make up for some of the workout rescheduling, but then realized that two 6 miler days in a row right before my long run was probably not the best idea.

Sunday – 12 miles on the treadmill (1.5% incline) at 10:40 min/mile.  The first 7 miles kind of sucked (general tiredness/stiff/achy) but around mile 7 I got into the zone and felt much better.  I also had to split it into 10 miles and then 2 later because I had a retirement dinner to go to and didn’t plan my day out well.  Oh well… miles under the belt!  And a good dinner too…

Tomorrow my husband goes back to work, so then it’ll just be me and the dogs.  I’ll be picking my P90X stuff back up on Tuesday.  Or should I say, basically restarting it since I didn’t really have a chance to dive in in the first place.  There was just absolutely NO WAY I was going to be able to run AND do the P90X workouts this week with everything going on, so I went with the running.  Looking forward to getting my butt kicked again!

Day 2 of P90X and it’s already kicking my butt (in a good way).

Today was Plyometrics day.  First I had to take down the Christmas tree so I had enough room in the living room to jump around without knocking it over and freaking the dog out.  Once that was done, I laced up my sneakers, grabbed a glass of water, and popped in the DVD.

By the end of the warmup, my legs were burning.  And let me tell you, my leg strength is GOOD.  I can do squats and lunges all day (thank you, years and years of running, soccer, taekwondo, and rugby!).  But the going without much of a break (and the fact that I haven’t done squats and lunges in a while) makes the burning in my quads just build and build.

The easiest – the heisman jumpy thingy (jumping side to side from one leg to the other and posing like the heisman trophy).  I could do those without a problem

The hardest – squat reach jumps… squatting, touching the floor, and then jumping up and reaching for the ceiling.  Um, OW???

I actually only made it halfway through the DVD today because I hit a wall and started to worry that one of my knees was going to give out and I’d just hit the floor.  Also, I was a little nervous about my ankle (broken April 11th of this year) – I haven’t done anything like this on it yet and I’m still not totally sure how it will hold up.  So far it seems totally fine.  The ankle wasn’t a problem at all.  But my knees… MAN!

So once I crapped out halfway through the DVD I went down to the basement (where the treadmill is – and my husband’s “man cave” – although the treadmill is really for me) for my 3 mile run.  My legs were like jelly going down the stairs!

I started out my run and my feet felt SO HEAVY.  Eventually, once I got my mind off of the butt-whooping I had just received, I got into a rhythm and started to feel much better.  But then… around mile 1.5 my knees just started to tighten up and felt awful.  I felt so pathetic, ending my run after only 1.5 miles.

So note to self: do not do Plyometrics and then try to run right after – REST IN BETWEEN.  (it’s a learning experience!)

I’m going to try to redo my run later tonight after my legs have had a chance to rest.  As for the DVD, I’ll keep at it and I know I’ll get through the whole thing in one go soon!

Now I’m off to bake a winter squash…  If it comes out decent I’ll post the recipe.  I got two good new cookbooks from my sister for Christmas.

I’m so excited! I got my P90X stuff the day we left for Florida and I wasn’t able to start until today. So this afternoon I took out all the bands (I got the set of 10 because my husband is going to do it too – later, after his knee heals), labeled everything (Yes, I am that anal. But hey, now I know what “weight” they all are!), took my “before” pictures (OUCH), and dove in to day 1: Chest and Back and Ab Ripper.

I was debating with myself whether or not I would post my before picture on here tonight. I’m going to go with no. It’s so bad. Normally I don’t stand with my gut hanging out (I’ve gotten used to using my stomach muscles and keeping things tight so it doesn’t look like there’s a huge roll around my stomach), and it’s really scary to see. But once I’m done, I’ll post the before and after pictures. I promise.

I found the Chest and Back exercises to be not too bad. I wish I had been able to get the pull up bar and use that, because I KNOW that would kick my butt. But unfortunately, the doors in our apartment are too narrow and also too close to the corners, so it wouldn’t work. So for now (until we buy a house), it’s bands for me.

While doing the Chest and Back DVD I came to the conclusion that I have absolutely ZERO upper body strength. I can do basic push ups without a problem, but as soon as it’s anything other than standard, I wipe out. But that’s what I’m working on!

Now the Ab Ripper…. HAHAHA! I looked like a fish flopping around on the floor. I am SO GLAD my husband was not home because he would have thought I was insane. The first half of the Ab Ripper I could do. My ab strength isn’t too bad. Not wonderful, but not awful either. But then it got into the twisting touching the floor thing and the obliques. I looked like a crazy person! For some reason, my body just didn’t want to cooperate. I kept trying, and then breaking down laughing at the ridiculousness of what I was doing. But hey, it’s only day 1! I’m sure I’ll get the hang of it quickly.

Maybe I can find a pull up bar that will fit our door… Anybody have any suggestions? They’re narrow. Maybe one that will screw into the frame?

Looking forward to day 2 tomorrow! Plyometrics! And a 3 mile run after. Whee!

Need to contact me?

geonerdette at gmail dot com

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