Saturday, May 14, 2011

A little off the course of Asylum....

 It's been a struggle for me this week and I'm used to being a "fit" athlete. I feel so out of shape with Asylum!

My schedule this week had some unexpected changes. On Wednesday (5/11), I completely skipped my Back to Core workout and focused on teaching my kickboxing class instead. I had woken up feeling too run down, so again, I listened to my body.

A little background on me. I'm not trying to be a super-sensitive "wuss" when I cut back. I had a severe bout of anemia last year that ended in the hospital, so I have to be very alert when I feel wiped out.

Thursday was supposed to be Vertical Plyo. I ran a hilly 6 miles (first run of the week) and planned on doing VP after work. In the evening, I popped in the dvd and my legs were heavy, sluggish, and burning for the warm-up. It was too much, so I stopped and started the Back to Core instead (I missed it on Wed).

Back to Core: I LOVED IT!!! I appreciated the slower pace and how it really focuses on your back, without the use of the pull-up bar. I had a shoulder impingement toward the end of Insanity in March. It was due to weakness in my left sub scap muscles, so my shoulder blade was rotating up too much during all the planks and push-ups. Back to Core hones in on the muscles that are weak in my back and I can really see how it will help in shoulder stabilization. I'm so excited and happy Shaun T added this to the mix!!

Friday was supposed to be Rest. I still had not conquered VP.....and was dreading it. I went for an 8 mile run instead, with hills and the dog. After the run, I decided my house needed cleaning. Can you say total procrastination for VP, or self-sabatage? I did not do VP on Friday.

Saturday(5/14): As I type this, I'm not sure of what I should do today. It's important that I increase my mileage this week. I do have Vertical Plyo, Speed & Agility and Strength on the schedule before the week is done. I'm a little torn.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Insanity's Asylum Day 3: Strength

Today, I did the Strength workout for Day 3 of Asylum.  I have mixed thoughts and feelings.  During the warm-up, I felt a little frustrated because Shaun T has a weight in your hand first thing.  I think Tony Horton has spoiled me with his P90X warm-ups.  Pushing through, I made it through the mini-stretch portion.  After, we started a rotation that was a curl, squat, jump back in to push-up/plank and back again.  You are supposed to keep your hands on the dumbells while doing the push-up/plank, which I found a little wobbly for me.  I had to make sure my weights were not going to roll out from under me, so it took me awhile to find my rhythm.  I was hesistant to increase the weight for any of the moves because I had no idea of what was next.  I'm still not sure whether or not I liked the workout.  Since it was brand new to me, I feel my impressions are jaded.  After a few more tries, I will be able to offer a more accurate assessment.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Insanity's Asylum Day 2: Speed & Agility

Day 2: Speed & Agility (45 minutes)

One word.....BRUTAL

Lots of agility training.  There was more focus on speed toward the end and I think I enjoyed that part more.  I seriously felt like an uncoordinated weakling! I know, I know...that's just my perfectionist demons surfacing.  I realize I need to be patient and not be too hard on myself.  All the moves were so new and I couldn't get my body to match what my mind wanted it to do.  Muscle memory takes a little time.  I struggled, sweated, drooled, cursed, whimpered, grunted and at one point...almost vomited.  My HR didn't get too high, so I knew I wasn't being unsafe.  I will take this one day at a time. 

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Insanity's Asylum Day 1: Fit Test #1

What can I say?  This program is not going to be easy by any means.  The Athletic Assessment was challenging, humbling and a little exciting.  I didn't use the jumprope to warm up because it kept hitting the ceiling and furniture, even after I shortened it.  The ladder is a real trip.  You mess it up, you have to fix straighten it out AND that rep is void.  Here are my numbers:
1. Agility Heisman 6
I kept thinking too hard about this and felt like a total klutz
2. In & Out Ab Progression 27
OMG!  My core/hip flexors/quads where on FIRE
3. Pull-up/Push-ups 20
I opted for the lat push-ups and after reviewing the video, my form is HORRIBLE!
4. Mountain Climber Switch Kicks 70
I tried so hard to pull the legs up and engage the hip flexors.  Harder than I thought it would be!
5. Agility Shoulder Taps 5.5
I am so slow!
6. X Jumps 35
DEEP quad burn, ughh!
7. Moving Push-ups 5
Bad form and super slow, needs work
8. Agility Lateral Shuffle 14
I had fun with this one; I actually could do it!
9. Agility Bear Crawl 5
So embarrassing and I could not get my body and mind on the same page

So there you have it.  Day 1 is in the books.  Tomorrow is Speed & Agility.  I watched a little of it on my tv.  It looks INSANE!  Can't wait.......

My Boston Marathon 2011 Story

An incomprehensible robot yodel broke my slumber and I flailed about until I found my iphone to turn off the alarm.  A few seconds later, the hotel alarm clock blared.  About a minute after that, the courtesy phone call came in.   I was AWAKE!

I went through my pre-race morning ritual.  Breakfast was Starbucks Via (x2), plain greek yogurt with strawberries and a dash of granola on top.  I carefully applied bodyglide to prevent future chafe and put on my race “uniform”.  I was ready to roll……

David drove me to the north entrance to Hopkinton Park and dropped me off in front of the buses parked by the glistening water around 7am.  The sun was out, but the air was CHILLY!  I boarded the bus and found a seat.  I was strangely calm and I felt like somebody other than myself.  Bus dropped us off and I followed the heard on the long walk to the Athletes’ Village.  It felt long because I just wanted to hurry up and sit.
Upon entering the village, I noted locations of all the stations I would need (bag drop off, bathrooms, body writing, etc.)  It was kind of cool to hit up the Adidas swag tent for mini body glide, sunscreen and other random running accessories.  I looked over the sea of people and turned on my Marathon Maniac radar in search for my buddies.  A ha!!  The neon Brooks nightlife jacket is easy to spot.  Smack dab in the middle of the village was a blanket full of Maniacs: Betsy, Matt and Bob (another one too but I forgot his name).  I settled down with this fun gang, snapped a few pics and shared a few laughs; it was a great way to kill time (~8:30am).

By 9am, my good friend Candace met up with me.  We started prepping our gear to get the show on the road.  After farewell/good luck hugs to the MM group, Candace and I decided to get body drawing done and had our names written on.  We kept intercepting two girls, Kate and Rachel.  The 2nd time we spotting them, we found we were all in the same corral and needed the same bus for bag drop off.   A strong believer in fate, I knew it was a good idea to plug their emails into my phone.  I now have two new running buds, yay!

All four of us started the march toward the start line.  I was impressed by how efficiently everything was run at the Boston marathon.   It was well organized for the 24,000 runners.  We slipped into corral 7 without and problems and waited.  I still felt strange.  Was I really here?  I put my phone in airplane mode to save precious battery juice.

The gun went off and it took ~5 minutes to cross the starting mat.   Hit garmin start, GO!  The first 4-5 miles involved a lot of weaving to pass until I found a gang with my desired pace.  I knew I needed to haul ass to make up for lost time on the hills later in the race.  I love thumbing through my garmin splits, so here they are:

Mile1  7:44min/mi  (hand warmers tossed)                                           
Mile2  7:36min/mi
Mile3  7:44min/mi  (5K hit in 24:01)
Mile4  7:40min/mi
Mile5  7:48min/mi
Mile6  7:40min/mi  (shortly after, I crossed the 10K mat in 48:15; I was pumped up knowing many got a text)
Mile7  7:30min/mi
Mile8  7:59min/mi (starting to get a little too warm, had to back off some)
Mile9  7:58min/mi
Mile10  8:01min/mi  (shed arm warmers)
Mile11  8:10min/mi
Mile12  7:52min/mi
Mile13  7:55min/mi  (hit halfway in 1:43:17, not bad)
Mile14  7:52min/mi
Mile15  8:06min/mi   (something not right with GI, starting to look for bathrooms without a line)
Mile16  8:02min/mi  (shortly after, hit a bathroom, ~2minutes, had stopped watch) 
Time for the Newton hills…….
Mile17  8:24min/mi
Mile18  8:27min/mi
Mile19  8:08min/mi
Mile20  8:36min/mi (The Newton hills were taking a toll on me.  Kate found me and I focused on her calves in her fancy white socks to pull me through.  The perfect song came on, “The Best of You” by the Foo Fighters:

"Were you born to resist or be abused?

Is someone getting the best, the best, the best, the best of you?

Is someone getting the best, the best, the best, the best of you?

Were you born to resist or be abused?
I swear I'll never give in
I refuse”

Mile21  8:54min/mi (This was Heartbreak Hill.  Not a HUGE hill, but I FELT it.  The crowd was thick and loud with cheers.

"Are you gone and onto someone new?
I needed somewhere to hang my head
Without your noose
You gave me something that I didn't have
But had no use
I was too weak to give in
Too strong to lose
My heart is under arrest again
But I break loose
My head is giving me life or death
But I can't choose
I swear I'll never give in
I refuse”

Mile22  8:01min/mi (Hills are over, start of a downhill and BOOTYLICIOUS by Destiny’s Child!)
Mile23  8:15min/mi  I buddied up with Kate and tried to cheer her on
Mile24  8:30min/mi  (My left quad was seizing up on me, blisters on my toes were screaming.  I went to my special place in my mind where I ignore the physical pain.)
Mile25  8:20min/mi  (I made a silent vow to my body to treat it so well if I broke 3:35…….)
Mile26  8:14min/mi  (digging deeper, “My Body” started to play in my ipod, started to laugh…so PERFECT for this last stretch)

 My Body tells me no!

But I won’t quit

I want more, I want more
My Body tells me no!
But I won’t quit
I want more, I want more”

Mile0.2  6:48min/mi  (I think I was ready to be done)

3:34:29  my body gets some rest now, whew!  So grateful for what it just did for me!!
I took my phone out of airplane mode and it started to vibrate like crazy from all the texts; I almost dropped it out of my shaking hands.  I hobbled through the finishing shute to collect my mylar blanket, medal, food,…..sanity.  The runners hobbling with blankets tied at the neck looked like a sea of zombie superheros.  As I proceeded, the tears came.  Relief, joy, exhaustion, and pride overwhelmed me.  Kate found me again in the sea; so good to see her glowing face and to share stories of the race.   I wanted this moment, finally qualified for it, and now it was done.  A little bittersweet, but I DID it!!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Insanity DONE....almost

Today was my last full length Insanity workout.  I will admit, the last week was brutal for me.  I had a few factors against me.  I tweaked my rotator cuff early in the week with a heavy backpack, female "events", and I just felt un-motivated the whole week.  I did it though.  All I have left is one more Fit Test and final photos.  I am going to wear my "Insanity, I earned it" t-shirt with upmost pride.  The biggest thing I look forward to now is hitting the track and logging in some miles.  Boston is ~4 weeks away.  Yikes! 

Monday, January 31, 2011

My passion project

 I am married and have a supportive husband and two amazing dogs.  I have been running marathons and ultra-marathons for close to 8 years.  My health history includes several major running related injuries, stemming from overuse and imbalances.  I decided to get certified as an RRCA running coach, to better coach myself and stay healthy.  I started coaching others to reach marathons and found their successes to be even more rewarding.

Over the last two years, my weight kept creeping up.  I exercised intensely and did my best to eat a healthy diet.  I hired personal trainers to help me get trim, but it got too expensive to keep up with.  I tried to lift weights and cross train on my own, but had a hard time with motivation.  In the spring of 2009, I ordered TurboJam.  I LOVED it!  It was such a breath of fresh air to have FUN while working out (besides running, of course).  Soon, I ordered Chalean Extreme and ordered my select tech weights.  The strength gains were amazing!  I followed with P90X classic and continued to improve.  September 2009, while heading into my 3rd month of P90X, I watched my marathon times improve significantly (from 4:30 to 3:55).  I never felt stronger!  The exciting thing is, there is room to improve MORE.

I became a certified TurboKick instructor on my 90th day of P90X.  I now teach three classes per week and love it!!  I just became certified in Hip Hop Hustle recently to change it up.

I continue to see improvements and the weight has been melting off.  Since July 2009, I have dropped 18 lbs!  I changed my diet to only whole, unprocessed foods and I was able to kick the night time snacking.  This was very hard, considering I was a full blown popcorn addict!

So far, I have done Turbo Jam, Chalean Extreme, P90X, Brazil Butt Lift, TurboFire and just started Insanity in January 2011   Since incorporating these programs into my workout regimen, I have been injury free.  I am now up to 53 marathons/ultra and I Boston qualified in the fall of 2010.  I'm registered for Boston 2011 (yeah, baby, yeah!!) Crazy, I know....but that is another conversation ;)

My new life goal is to reach out to others and help them realize how much they are capable of.  We only get one shot at life and it is so important to have strength and confidence to enjoy it.  This is why I became a Beachbody coach.  I think there will be nothing more rewarding than to know I've influenced someone in adapting to a healthier lifestyle.  Give yourself the chance to find your true potential within.   Feel free to contact me if you ever have any questions for me personally or about Beachbody products. I am here to help.  This is my passion!

One month down....

I can't believe we are onto February already.  2011 is already flying!   Slow down, Time!  
I started week 4 of Insanity today.  I'm a little nervous because after next week, the longer, more intense workouts begin.  I've heard the first month really prepares you for it.  I hope to see big changes, especially in my day60 photo.  My new profile pic is my day20 photo.  I can already see changes in my shoulders and back.  I hope the abs join in too, but I know that will depend on eating well.  I want muscles!  Not too much, but definitely improved tone. 

Monday, January 24, 2011

Fitness fury for 2011!

The moment the new year rang in, I was ready to really make some changes this year.  I started 2011 with the completion of triple marathons (12/31, 1/02 and 1/02).  It was intense.  It pushed my limits.  I finished without injury and for that (in my mind), makes me a winner.

After a week of gentle recovery, I dove head-first into the Insanity program by Beachbody (I am a coach and can tell you more about that later).  It is a humbling program.  What I love about the program is the 2 week fit tests to track progress.  I wasn't sure if I was improving.  My 2nd fit test from yesterday proves it.  Remarkable improvements!  I can tell my legs are getting more powerful.  Hopefully, this will lead to faster running.

Just the tip of the iceberg of what I have in store for this year.  I had to start from somewhere, being my first blog and all ;)