Weekly Recap 9/20-9/26

This week went pretty well. I’m struggling with the long run portion of my training plan because it’s difficult to find enough time in my schedule for a run that increases in length every other week. Right now I think I’m going to try to break it into two smaller runs, but it’s probably unlikely that I’m going to be able to get all the miles in. Based on the hours I work, it’s just not feasible. I’m going to do the best I can with that understanding.

I’m also hoping that since I’ve modified the Galloway plan to exclude walking, that it’ll keep my legs strong even though they’ll be tired.

My mood was all over the place this week and I felt like it was reflected in my workouts. I had some cramping issues on Thursday that shorted my run by a little bit, but since I got a decent distance in I don’t think it was a big thing.

I also learned that there’s a decline on some of our treadmills so now I can do hills and valleys.  I think my goal for the upcoming week is to add more incline/decline variety as a result. I’ve been doing random hills for my workouts, but adding declines will stress my legs in a different but good way. Also, I want to do some more core work. I’ve been neglecting that with my lifting.

Lastly, I think it might be time to start thinking about getting some new shoes. My Brooks Ghosts are starting to wear through around the toes. I thought I’d snagged it on a bush a while back, but I noticed the other day that they’re both showing the same signs of wear. At least I’m consistent, right?

Weekly Rundown 9/13/15-9/19/15

This week I didn’t feel too badly. I ran every day and even hit some good paces in there, too. I had a really killer leg workout on Friday with squats, deadlifts, lunges, and leg extensions and curls that left my legs leaden.

I’m trying to find a happy medium somewhere in there. I know weight training and lifting is so important to overall strength, but I also have to get the miles in running and some days it’s hard with the other physical requirements I have for regular work. I’m especially worried about the long runs. Even if I break them into two-a-days it’s going to be difficult to find the time for them. I guess I will just have to do the best I can and work with what I have.

Foam rolling, looks goofy but hurts so good.

Foam rolling, looks goofy but hurts so good. Also, terrible potato quality picture.

I thought about switching to the Hal Higdon plan, but I think I’m going to stick with Jeff Galloway and just add in some extra mileage so that I’m running every day. I know I can do a full, and I know I can do two in two weekends, so theoretically this should not be impossible. I can do it, I’d just like to also be able to walk around and enjoy my time with my husband, too.

I found this in a box by the Chaplain's office.

I found this in a box by the Chaplain’s office.

What’s Up With My Supps?

I mentioned a while back that I’d recently added protein powder to my diet. I’m still doing it and loving it. I like knowing that I’m adding a clean source of protein to my diet and having it right after my workout means it’s getting to my muscles when they need it most.

I’ve been doing more reading on lifting and supplements and decided to add two more to my routine. I chose to add BCAAs first. BCAAs are Branched-Chain Amino Acids and work to increase the rate of protein synthesis which translates to muscle gain and maintenance.

The other I added was creatine. Creatine not only boosts endurance but also helps with recovery. I’m hoping it will make my legs less sore after a long run and my arms and back less sore after a heavy workout. Additionally, it also helps with increased muscle mass.

I didn’t plan on buying the same brand, but they were rated very highly on Bodybuilding.com, where I’ve been going for advice, workouts, and now supplements. I bought the creatine in “Snow Cone” flavor and the BCAAs in “Arctic Ice” flavor and while I mixed them both together, they were absolutely delicious. I have a huge sweet tooth so it was great to drink something so tasty and know that it was also good for me, too.

And not a supplement, but I also got my pumpkin spice-flavored high protein peanut butter in this week from Nuts ‘n More. It is delicious, though a tiny bit grainy from the added protein. I imagine it would be good on toast and waffles as well, though my preferred form of eating it has been with my spoon.

I love pumpkin spice flavored things and I am missing my PSLs this fall like nothing else. This helps fill that hole in my heart/stomach a little bit.

I’m looking forward to seeing how these added sups will increase my strength and endurance in the gym which will lead to me being stronger.

Workout Rundown

This past week went pretty well. I ran every day and even kept up with the P90X. As I mentioned in my last entry, I even finished Yoga X, though not in one go.

To be honest, I’m not sure P90X is entirely for me. The workouts are great, but they take so long and it’s hard to find the time to do both that and my running and I know I’m always going to pick running over Tony Horton. Sorry, Tony!

So far the workout I enjoyed most was Shoulders & Arms

I still like having something to complement my running so I’ll keep hunting around. Until then, I’m back to my friend Lee Labrada and his 12-week program. Today was a leg day and I’m sure I’ll feel it tomorrow.

Dopey training steps up this week. I am not sure yet how I will find the time to get the long run in, but I’ll figure it out. It can be a little difficult to carve out several hours in my schedule right now. I’ll do my best and that’s the best I can do.

What I Want vs What I Need

Have you ever noticed how hard it is sometimes to do the things we know we need to do, but may not be the things we want to do? Like eating all of our vegetables, making sure we go to the gym, and not skipping workouts in P90X.

I don’t like Yoga X.

There, I said it.

I had heard about it but I figured, I like yoga, I can handle it. I woke up early yesterday to make sure I had time for it and I got tired of it 45 minutes through and hit pause.

Why are we dong so many vinyasas? I’m tired of this. Warrior pose is boring.

The thing is, I definitely need yoga. I need the balance and the flexibility and the mental dedication. Which is why after I ran my workout for Dopey yesterday, I came back and finished Yoga X.

What we need isn’t always what we want, but a lot of time will get us where we want to be.

IMG_6900

Turn On for What?

Back home in Alaska, sometimes it would get too cold to workout outside (imagine that!) so once in a while we’d be treated to P90X or Insanity. I knew that when I got here and lost our gym that I’d need something to keep me motivated, so I ordered P90 thinking it was P90X.

It wasn’t what I’d really wanted, but I tried it out anyway and was happily surprised at what a good workout it was, especially the ab workouts.

I still wanted P90X though so next paycheck I treated myself. Some people might wonder why I bothered to keep with a DVD physical fitness program when I have a gym now, and honestly, it’s because it’s fun. I like pushing myself, I like the cheesy jokes and I like the challenge aspect of it.

Look what showed up here!

Look what showed up here!

I did the first day, Chest & Back, but skipped the Ab workout because I was short on time and had to get a run in still. The workout was HARD! So hard! I even do push-ups on a regular basis because it’s part of out PT test and it was still really challenging.

Some of the main criticisms of the program are how long its workouts are. I can see, especially since Yoga X is 90 minutes long. I think I am going to have to find new ways to wake up in the morning to get it in. I wish I could just do it during the day with the rest of my workout, but as I’m training for Dopey there are some days where I’d have to shortchange it in favor of miles and I don’t want to do that.

Cheesy bathroom selfie

Cheesy bathroom selfie

I’m looking forward to seeing how I get stronger and leaner though it’s going to be hard to get myself motivated to wake up early when we work such long days here.

Treadmill Training

I am especially bad at following training plans. I’ve lost count how many have fallen by the wayside. Life just gets in the way sometimes, and when my work hours and unpredictable, or there’s an FTX involved, or I had a paper due for my master’s degree, getting in all the miles unfortunately just wouldn’t happen sometimes.

With that in mind, although I’ve run several full marathons, an ultra-marathon, and completed both the Glass Slipper Challenge and Pixie Dust Challenge, two multi-day races, running four races on four days is going to be very different. I respect the distance and I respect Florida’s heat, but I also respect my previous failures so I am going to use Jeff Galloway’s plan to “Finish in an Upright Position.”

Since I registered a little late, I’m jumping into the plan at Week 10/11. It’s three days a week with a long run on the weekends. I think I can do it.

The other part is what I have to run on. This is my “track.”

It also doubles as the HLZ. It's about 200 meters around, half the size of a normal track.

It also doubles as the HLZ. It’s about 200 meters around, half the size of a normal track.

As a result, I’m using the dreadmill most of the time. There are a few keys I’ve figured out to keeping me happy on it:

  1. Random/hill setting – makes sure that I am still getting the benefit of running on uneven ground and hills.
  2. Intervals during the run – I’ll pick up the pace for a minute or two, either based on a song I’m listening to or the clock on the treadmill. It really helps to break a workout down into smaller, more manageable chunks.
  3. Headphones – seriously necessary.
  4. TV – I am fortunate that this gym has TVs in front of its wall of cardio machines. I pick something that looks interesting (usually sports because it’s active, unlike whatever movie is probably playing) and pick a machine near it.
  5. I cover up the menu with a towel. Otherwise I obsess over the distance and it goes by so much slower because of that.

Workout Rundown

Monday

Leg press, extensions, and curls, calf raises, and dumbbell deadlifts plus Day 8 P90.

Tuesday

30 minutes of running, which I substituted for P90 Sweat A, and then did P90’s Ab Ripper A.

Wednesday

Managed to get through P90 Sculpt A, but wasn’t really feeling it. One-arm dumbbell rows (25lbs), cable pull down (60lbs), barbell deadlifts (50lbs), and bicep curls (20lbs). I wish I’d paid more attention to these weights since I should have maintained the 50 lb deadlift yesterday, too.

Thursday

20lb dumbbell bench press, 10b dumbbell flys (which were still hard even with little weights), 10b felt raise (also hard), unassisted dips (holy-crap-hard), and 3.39 miles in 30 minutes. Plus P90’s Ab Ripper A.

Friday

Really just not into my workout today. I did about half of my P90 Speed Sculpt workout before I just quit it and went to the gym. It was an “active rest” day from lifting so I forced myself to run. 1.02 miles, 9:16

Saturday

Feeling slightly better, and I went to the gym in the morning before my life could catch up with me. 40lbs squat, deadlift, 25lbs dumbbell lunges, calf raises, P90’s Saturday Special, and 3 miles in 28:14 minutes.

Five Things for Friday

I can’t believe it’s already Friday.

Here’s what’s been on my mind this week.

1. BackBeat Fit headphones

I couldn’t take running with earbuds anymore so I took the plunge and splurged on bluetooth headphones and boy, am I ever glad I did. No strings attached.

Kind of like this

2. Fighter Diet Whey in Natural Chocolate flavor

I was looking for a protein powder that was clean without a lot of added fillers, artificial flavors, and without added sweeteners. I decided to try Fighter Diet and I can’t tell you how GOOD it is. I have a big sweet tooth so the chocolate flavor was a must. It’s made from grass-fed cows and has NO artificial sweeteners, artificial flavors, no artificial colors, and no preservatives.

It mixes very well with liquids and while it doesn’t taste amazing with water (it tastes like chocolatey water), if mixed with soy milk it is absolutely delicious. I usually drink it with vanilla soy milk but tried it with chocolate yesterday for a double chocolate experience and man, was that good.

It does now, however, taste as good when mixed with shelf-stable milk

It does now, however, taste as good when mixed with shelf-stable milk

3. TP Massage Ball

I picked this up back home on sale at REI. Um, amazing. I like to roll it against my back while leaning on the wall and it really digs down into my sore muscles in a good way. It’s small enough that it’s easy to take along while traveling. Some people use tennis balls but I think this one is a little more firm and up to the job than a tennis ball would be.
tp ball4. Any kind of hip stretch

I’ve been doing more running and more lifting more consistently and my hips are constantly tight. One of my new favorite stretches to relieve their soreness is the “Pigeon Pose” from yoga. You cross your leg in front of you with the opposite leg stretched back and then gently fold your upper body over the bent leg in front and feel the glorious stretch.

Hurts so good

Hurts so good

5. Constantly changing goals

The fluidity of things out here makes it hard to plan. Sometimes I think it’d be easier to nail Jello to a wall.

So it doesn’t look like I will be running the Air Force Marathon and my trip to Japan may not work out, either. Instead, I’m changing my focus to an entirely new goal (with less variables to mess it up) and I signed up for the Dopey Challenge!

What is the Dopey Challenge? It’s four days and four races. A 5K, then a 10K, then a half-marathon, and on the final day, a full marathon for a total of 48.6 miles. It’s also at one of my absolute favorite places – Walt Disney World!


I am beyond excited for the challenge and am going to register also for the Disney Castaway Challenge. After I’ve completed the Dopey Challenge, P and I will be on a cruise to the Bahamas where we will stop at the Disney-owed private island, Castaway Cay, and run a 5K there.


I think it will be a perfect blend of my favorite things as well as give me some much-needed relaxing time. Plus, I’ve never been to the Bahamas before so that will be really neat!