Sunday, April 18, 2010

Adventures in Fitness

I challenged myself to do 2 workouts a day last week. The morning workouts would be strength training with a little bit of elliptical, and then the afternoon would be running. I decided that Monday, Wednesday and Friday would be upper body strength training, and Tuesday and Thursday would be for legs. I haven't been getting much strength training in, so I was excited!

MONDAY: the alarm went off at 5:00am. I had packed up my bag the night before with the things I'd need to shower at work, along with what I was going to wear that day. Thankfully last week was "Jeans Week" at work - that made my choices pretty easy. I had more energy than I expected. When I got to the gym, a woman was in there walking on the treadmill already. I got there around 5:45, did a 10 minute warm up on the elliptical, and then hit the upper body work out. Bench press, back rows, shoulder press, bicep curls, tricep extensions...and some ab work for good measure. I was able to shower and get up to my desk by 7:55. Not bad! That afternoon, I decided against running with the RunStrong Meet Up. The course they run for the Monday night 4 miler is a bit much for my Achilles right now. I ran a 3-miler at the greenway and called an end to day 1.

TUESDAY: It was a little harder to get up this morning. I was feeling the effects of Monday's activities. I got to the gym at work a little before 6:00, and no one else was in there. I was by myself, and would be for the rest of the week. 10 minutes warm up on the elliptical, and then on to my leg workout. Dead lifts, calf raises, lunges, and squats. I cooled down for 10 minutes or so on the elliptical. That hot shower felt good. And best of all, I was using someone else's hot water. :lol:

That afternoon, I decided to join the RunStrong meet up for my first ever speed work out with them. I haven't done a speed workout since high school. And what I was doing in high school was geared towards a sprinter/jumper, not a distance runner. Needless to say, I was not prepared. :lol: There were 7 of us all together. The assistant organizer - Laura - and 3 other experienced runners, and then myself and two other girls who were less experienced (read: ran much slower). Warm up was a 1 mile jog. Followed by 1 mile of Indian sprints - we all jog in a line and then the person in back has to sprint to the front, and so on. The problem was, the two other girls I mentioned and myself just could not keep up with their pace. We fatigued quickly and could not finish the whole mile. After that we ran a pyramid - 400m, 300m, 200m, 100m - each run at maybe 80% of full speed, with a 100m walk in between...although I think we may have walked 200 in between the 400 and the 300. After that, a cool down with another mile of Indian sprints. I knew I ocould not do the whole mile, so I did what I could, and then myself and Kelly just dropped for a regular jog. Interesting!

WEDNESDAY: This was probably the hardest morning to get up. Literally. Tuesday's speed workout had my quads, calves and hamstrings screaming at me! But I made it up and made it to the gym right around 6:00. Same workout as Monday, and then that afternoon I just did not have it in me to hit the greenway. I pulled out my trusty rebounder, and that evening's workout was 35 minutes rebounding while I watched the Young and The Restless. Hey - better than nothing, right? :)

THURSDAY: Legs starting to feel a little better this day, but it was time for another leg workout in the gym. I did well and I'm happy to be getting in some strength training. That afternoon the RunStrong meet up was going to do a 3-4 mile run in Highland Creek, but it's very hilly and I didn't want to take the chance. I called my friend Keisha and we went for a nice 3 mile run at the greenway. Thank goodness for K, or I wouldn't have run at all!

FRIDAY: By the time Friday hit, I was starting to get used to my routine. By the end of the week one thing was certain - I need to do a better job of getting to bed on time during the week! I also need to make some dietary changes...I was running out of energy and I knew I needed to get some more protein and some more carbs. I will try to work that out this upcoming week. Friday was a gorgeous, sunny day but I left work late, so I didn't feel like getting the afternoon cardio. I decided I'd just get up and run with the Purple Butterfly running club on Saturday. I think I'm going to treat all Fridays like that - I'll still do the morning session, but I'll rest in the afternoon.

SATURDAY: Saturday morning was gorgeous! Quite a few ladies showed up for PBRC. I somehow got lumped into the "advanced" group (lol). Myself and 3 other ladies. Everyone else was doing interval running, but we were the group that could run the whole distance. Looking at Ashley, I could tell that she was truly a "runner." The other girls and I were running closer to 10 minute pace, but Ashley said she ran a 9 minute pace. The girls hadn't run the greenway before, so I explained to them how it was marked every 1/4 mile, and then we set off. I decided that I'd try my best to keep up with Ashley for as long as I could. We ran the first mile in 9:46 and we all stayed together. When we got to the 1.25 marker, the other two girls stopped to walk for a bit, but I pushed myself to keep going with Ashley. At 1.50, I checked Nike+ (which has been working GREAT as of late - go figure!) and we were at 14:35. We could have turned around, but we ran up to David Taylor Drive and then turned back - that adds an extra .25 to the run.

When we got back to the 1.25 marker I told Ashley that I'd have to slow down and she could go on. I don't know what it was - maybe she could sense that I needed an extra push...or maybe she knew I could do it even when I didn't think I could - but she didn't pull ahead. We stayed together, and the whole time I was talking to myself. This really is a mental sport. I'd say, "ok, when we get to the 2 mile mark I'm going to slow down and let her keep going." We'd get to 2 mile and then I'd say, "ok, at 2.5 I'll stop and walk." But I just kept pushing on. Once we had 1/2 mile to get to the finish, I just felt like there was no point in stopping - we were almost there! But I'm not gonna lie, my breathing was heavy and this was definitely pushing it for me. Surprisingly, when we got to the end, I still had enough energy to pick up the pace and push it in!

And guess what that time was? 3.25 miles in 30:55 - average pace, 9:30!!

I was on a runner's high for the rest of the day! I couldn't believe I had run that. The PRBC had been planning to run the CPCC Skyline 5K next week and I hadn't signed up. After that run, I knew I needed to. I should definitely be able to beat my time from the Runway 5K back in October - that's the last time I ran a 5K race.

This turned out to be a great week for me, as far as fitness. Yes, I'm sore. Yes, I was fatigued during some of those workouts and just wanted to quit. But I'm so glad that I didn't. I saw a lot of new faces on Saturday, and I found out at the end of my run that Ashley is one of two authors who run the fabulous blog, Black Girls Run! (hey girl!)

I think I'm going to continue with my double sessions until it's time for my trip to Vegas (5/13 - 5/18). I hope everyone is doing well with their own fitness goals, whatever they may be.


Tazzee said...

What a great fitness week. I have to be careful for the next few weeks, my dress fits perfectly - I can't gain or lose weight, LOL.

I'm glad you posted the link to black girls run - I just thought that blog was abandoned. I wish I had a group like that in my area. There's a running group in Fulton county but nothing in my immediate area. Oh well, I may have to start one after I get accustomed to my new life.

Marilie said...

Hey Tazzee! Yeah, you have to be able to get into that dress, so I know you are in chill mode. The day is almost here! :)

BGR is compiling a list of running groups, so there may be a few in ATL. I don't think they're done with the list yet.

Becka said...

You're rockin' it!! Wish I could still do my morning workouts, I have so much more energy at 4:30 in the morning, lol :)