Sunday, March 11, 2012
March 7th was my 1 year gym membership anniversary. I looked back at some of my first training logs and wow!
When I first started SP in January last year it took me almost half an hour to walk just 1 mile and I thought I was going to die by the end. When I joined the gym in March I was jogging; 2 miles in over 27 minutes and I thought I was going to die by the end. A 5k took me over 41 minutes and I wanted to die by the end. My weights on most of the machines was about 30 pounds and I had to rest every couple of reps in order to get to 15. I could do only 15 pushups in January, and only 19 by March.
I remember thinking that a 10 minute mile pace was SO incredibly fast and there was no way I could sustain that for 2 miles, let alone get to the minimum 9 minute mile required for black belt testing. I would secretly check out the stats on the treadmills next to me and feel discouraged inside because it looked so easy for them and I KNEW I would never be able to do it.
But still I kept plugging away, going to the gym at least 3 times a week throughout the spring. I signed up for a 5k race in April, kept track of my progress, remained upbeat and determined in my blogs...and still secretly believed I would never be able to get where I needed to be.
Until May 16, 2011. On that day I ran 2 miles on the treadmill in 17:42! Yes, I had to hold on to the treadmill for part of that run but I did it. That was the first day I actually thought that maybe I could really do the run in under 18 minutes. The voice of Old Me, constantly doubting and undermining, took a big blow on that day. www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
Shortly after that I remember walking from the treadmill area to the back of the gym to the ab machines, seeing a woman in the mirror and wondering to myself who she was; she was curvy in the right places and looked strong and confident. Then I realized it was me. I truly did not recognize myself initially; my mental image of who I was no longer matched the reality of who I was becoming.
My times continued to improve. I started training outside in June. I started training in July for a half marathon. By August I was regularly coming in under 18 minutes on the timed runs. By the end of the year my 5k time was just over 27 minutes....more than 10 minutes faster than my 2 mile time in March. A 10 minute mile pace is now my easy run. I have run 3 half marathons so far and have more scheduled for this year. I plan to run a full marathon in October. I had increased the weights on the ST machines to 50 lbs and no longer needed to rest between reps; now I am up to 70 lbs or more, depending on the machine. I can do 50 consecutive pushups and have the stamina to last several rounds of sparring (and win many of them).
And a few weeks ago I noticed the people on the treadmills on either side of me secretly checking out my settings and stats.
I have arrived!
Saturday, March 10, 2012
All purshups are military style unless otherwise noted.
Sunday - 4 sets of 20 pushups each
Monday - 4 sets of 20 pushups each
Tuesday - no sets, 25 consecutive pushups in class
Wednesday - 4 sets of 20 pushups each
Thursday - 4 sets of 20 pushups each; in class 35 consecutive pushups, 15 consecutive girl pushups, 7 sets of 5 pushups each during circuits (165 total for the day)
Friday - 4 sets of 20 pushups each
Saturday - 4 sets of 20 pushups each
Total for week - 590
Friday, March 09, 2012
And skies of blue above,
I'm shouting so, the world will know
That I'm in love
Ok, not really, "love" is not the "L" word I had in mind.
Today I reconnected with someone I used to work with at another company, who now works for the main division of the company that bought us last year. When we used to work together there was an attraction but we were both married at the time so nothing good could ever have come of that. I eventually left the company, we stayed in touch for awhile but lost contact a few years ago. In one of those twists of fate he wound up at the main division, which was one of my company's parents until they bought out the other parent, and now the 2 headquarters are consolidated into one building and we work for the same company again.
Today we had a "meet & greet" bowling event so all of us in the 2 divisions can get to know one another. Imagine the surprise when we ran into each other. Only now I am single...and so is he, only much more recently. So...we shall see what we shall see as time goes by.
In the meantime Best Buy has lost my daughter's phone that she left with them 2 weeks ago for warranty work. They have no record of it or idea what happened to it. My ex went all pyscho on them last night because he wants his deposit back for the loaner phone they gave her and got asked to leave the store. I was much politer and gave them until Tuesday to locate the phone or replace it before my claws come out. The wrath of FFK is a mighty thing, I hope they do not have to experience it.
I'm making fish with tomato and artichoke for dinner tonight and then off for my long run and ST, which is now much needed as I discovered I truly stink at bowling unless beer is involved; needless to say my 2nd game was much better than my first but now I have extra empty calories to account for. No regrets though and I got my pushups done for the challenge this morning, tomorrow is more light switch and outlet replacing and putting in a new bedroom door for my son's room.
Wednesday, March 07, 2012
With the sound of my curses. I dislike hills.
In addition to changing up my ST routine I've been doing a slight revamp to cardio as well. I actually started this in November but after the end of December when I went on vacation I just didn't really get back on a scheduled routine.
T / TH are typically karate training. Some classes are more of a workout than others but I adjust for that by the number of fitness minutes I claim. I am making it a priority to get to class 2x per week now, plus on Saturdays I assist. I also assist on Tuesdays but there are 2 classes on TUE so I can assist in the first and train in the second. The 1st class is mostly little kids and I seem to intimidate them for some reason. I get a lot more "Yes, Ma'am" than the black belts get of "Yes, Sir". Honestly, I don't set out to scare the short people, maybe it's because I am pretty much the only adult woman training they just assume I must be such a mean person to compete with the men that I'll eat them for dinner or something.
If I can adjust my work schedule I'm going to try to get to yoga pilates on Thursdays as well. The class runs from 5:45 - 6:45 so it is a challenge to get there in time.
M / W / F are running days (and these are also the ST days). I developed a method for my madness, to focus on 3 distinct areas - strength, speed and stamina.
Mondays are my hill days - again under the principle of that which doesn't kill me and all that. I use the hill setting on the treadmill and run the program for 30 minutes at a comfortable speed of 6 mph (10 minute mile). I am up to level 7 this week which increases the hill intervals in sets of 0.9 on the incline. Until the highest incline where instead of a 5.4 the sneaky little devil boosted it to 5.7. Next week I'll repeat the level 7 and see if I can do it without holding on during the 5.7 intervals. Once I can do that I'll go to Level 8 and so on.
Wednesdays are about speed. Until my unofficial running coach starts the track workouts again I'll be doing my version of speed training on the treadmill. My version consists of running at an 8 minute mile pace as long as I can, dropping to a 9 minute pace until minute 20 (or a total of 10 minutes, whichever comes second) and then dropping to a 10 minute pace until minute 30. Example: last week I ran for 8 minutes at 7.6 mph, 12 minutes at 6.7 mph and 10 minutes at 6.0 mph. Each week I'll push to go at least another minute at the 8 minute pace, so tonight will be a minimum of 9 minutes at the fastest pace. If the day ever comes where I can run the whole 30 minutes at the 8 minute pace I'll start all over again with a 7 / 8 / 9 split (don't hold your breath, I'm a LONG way from that milestone and not at all certain I even want to be that fast over distances).
Fridays are for distance. I do my long run on Friday nights when the gym is mostly empty so I don't feel guilty about hogging the treadmill for such a long time. They have 2 treadmills that allow 99 minutes on the timer so that gives me an 8-11 mile run depending on how fast I choose to run.
Saturdays & Sundays are my "free" days with some sort of low impact cardio like the exercise bike or just walking / slow jogging. Or maybe the elliptical occasionally although I don't care for it too much.
If I'm really pressed I can force myself to use an exercise video or a Wii game. OK the Wii is not really forcing myself, it's forcing the kids out of the TV room and generally not worth the hassle.
I've been inconsistent in following the schedule in January & February and am making it a priority this month to get back in the groove.
Monday, March 05, 2012
Will make you more strong,
You rise, you fall, you're down then you rise again,
What don't kill you'll make you more strong
Grammatically incorrect but true nonetheless.
In any contest between speed and strength I have always landed squarely on the side of strength. Speedy Gonzalez I am not, nor have I ever been (unless you count driving a car and I have the tickets to prove it). But I have always been stronger than my female peers. Of course, given that many of my peers - Spark peeps excluded - are overweight and out of shape that statement is not quite as impressive as it used to be.
So going with the theory that what doesn't kill me will only make me stronger I have made a change to my fitness routine and entered a push up challenge with GETSTRONGRRR and SAFARIBABE.
Which I will win, of course. FANGFACEKITTY is an elemental force of nature against which mere mortals cannot stand. I have my own logo; there is no way I can lose. I also have zero issues with false modesty or low self esteem.
The push up challenge is about consistency. A minimum of 3 days with a minimum of 3 sets of a personally challenging number of pushups. Bonuses for 4 sets and / or 4 days. With training for black belt this is a perfect challenge at a perfect time. The more I do the stronger I will become and the more I will be able to do. I needed something external to motivate me to work on them consistently given the deep soul searing loathing I feel for pushups. And being mildly competitive I now have my motivation.
The other change is in my ST workouts. Previously I had become complacent, doing my 15 reps at the same weight when I actually bothered to do ST, maybe once a week at the most. Time to step it up. I need strength to do pushups and get through testing, and I need to strengthen my legs to avoid potential knee injuries.
I've decided to find my limits on each of the machines and then "hang out" at that level until ready to advance. I now go to 15 reps or failure, whichever comes first. If I reach the full 15 reps then the next time I use that machine I increase the weight by 5 lbs. and see if I can still do the full 15 reps. I've been doing this for 3 days now and am still increasing weights on some of the machines, surprising myself. I'm intending to do at least 3 days of ST per week, exclusive of the pushups.
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