P90E Week 8: Rest

Rest week!  And I did just that, though I had good intentions of sticking to the actual rest week schedule.

Monday:  Shane just finished building up a new bike, so we biked to work together!  Whoosh!  I arrived home sweaty and wobbly-legged, so called that my workout for the night.

Tuesday: Just under 3 miles in 25:20.  Awesome.

Wednesday: The first of two No Good Very Frustrating Days kicked off with a sweaty bike ride to work and culminated with a very angst-inducing ride home.  I arrived home, my cheeks stained with tears of frustration, not wanting to do anything other than Eat All The Food.  Shane talked me out of it, though he agreed that I should probably take the night off from further exercise.

Thursday: 5 miles home, with a pit stop in the middle.  I’m not sure if it was the Mexican food or the unexpected 90 degree heat on a day when I was underhydrated, but my stomach was cramping!  Otherwise, a great run.

Friday: A belated Chest, Shoulders and Triceps.  My lifts keep going up, but I felt really weak and tired this week.  Just proof that I need to keep working hard!

Saturday:  Food got kind of weird today.  Saturday is our normal cheat day, but since we knew we’d be indulging at a wedding on Sunday, we tried to be good.  At the same time, I did my long run, so I was HONGRY.  7 miles will do that to a girl.  Also it is worth noting that we did our belated 60 day measurements before leaving town – while most of my numbers have stayed the same, my body fat percentage is down by 3% since June.  And THAT is awesome.

Sunday: Someone in the Daily Burn Four Hour Body group set up a virtual 5K for this weekend, so I logged my 3.1 miles in 28 minutes first thing in the morning while the rest of the house was still waking up.  I also danced well into the night at a super fun wedding, but I’m sure that effort barely made a dent in the champagne I was simultaneously consuming. 🙂

P90E Week 8: 71% brought, 29% punted


Things I Don’t Believe In And/Or Just Don’t Care About

  1. Flu shots. I don’t get ’em. It’s fine if you want to, but I don’t.  Vaccines, on the other hand, I am all for, and will take whatever is necessary.
  2. That antibacterial gel stuff.  What does it do other than give you a false sense of cleanliness and contribute to the development of resistant strains of bacteria?
  3. Biking on the sidewalk, even though there are places where it is encouraged by signage and permitted by law.  I don’t buy it.  There is exactly one stretch of sidewalk on which I will bike, and that is only because it is the only safe way to cross through a Y intersection to get to our house.  If I have to bike on the sidewalk otherwise, I will walk my bike.
  4. Lady Gaga.  There.  I said it.  I really couldn’t care less.
  5. Protein shakes.  While I understand that they play an important role in the lives and diets of many and are firmly ensconced in the Academy of Broscience, I don’t believe in them, and refuse to consider any diet that would require incorporating them into my life.


I spent a couple of days struggling with the disappointment and frustration of Saturday’s race showing – and thinking hard about what my goals are and should be right now. Is it realistic to try to do everything I’m trying to do? I don’t know. I emailed bad-ass runner friends for advice. I did a lot of reading. And I came to the conclusion that I need to make some changes in my diet if I want to be a happy runner for the next two months leading up to the Detroit half. So I’m working on that, and am starting to notice improvements in my energy. I also took measurements this weekend and found that while I haven’t lost really any weight since starting on this little plan of mine, I have lost at least 2% body fat, which is something!

Monday: Core Synergistics. Superman! Banana! Superman! Banana! No joke. I was tired and sweaty, but I brought it.

Tuesday: 3 miles in 26:45. I can’t even tell you how happy I was. I really, really needed that. I also carried on the fine tradition that I established last semester of teaching my LEEP class in my nasty workout duds. The students can’t see (or, importantly, smell) me, so everyone wins. That is, until Shane told me that I smelled like a burrito and insisted that I shower before bed.

Wednesday: Legs & Back. Let me tell you, doing this workout twice within 7 days is BRUTAL. My calves were screaming at the end of the calf raise sequence. I upped my weight almost everywhere. I’d consider that brought.

Thursday: 3.85 miles home from work, finishing at the Westside Farmer’s Market. I took it a bit easier on Tuesday as my calves were like angry fists and my thighs were feeling the squats and sneaky lunges from the previous night. I made an ill-advised stop by the garden, still sweaty from my run, and was attacked by a swarm of mosquitos. It’s been like this every time I’ve gone to the garden for the last month, but I still persist in thinking that I can stop by for a few minutes without bug spray. OH NO. Instead, the combination of workout exhaustion and at least a dozen bites in 5 minutes was enough to trigger a full-on panic attack. I took a hot shower and went to bed early.

Friday: Rest. I was supposed to do Chest, Shoulders, & Triceps, but put it off til Sunday.

Saturday: A perfect morning for a run, and I got in 6.5 miles before breakfast. Now that I’m feeling a bit better, I need to start building up my weekend distances before the half EXCEPT that I’m out of town 3 of the next 4 weekends. Oh well – I’ll make it work! Knees and calves felt a little iffy, so I walked some of the hills, but still finished in good time and then ate all the Afternoon Delight.

Sunday: I had good intentions of either Chest, Shoulders, & Triceps or an evening yoga class with friends, but last week’s twingey shoulder was back, so the best I managed was 2 hours in the garden (WITH Deep Woods Off) and a bunch of around the house sorts of things.

Week 7: Brought

P90E Week 4: Brought

This was Phase 1 recovery week, meaning that next week I should be ramping up to Phase 2, where I work to failure at 10-12 reps and do a bunch of new exercises.  Instead, we’re going on vacation, so the only reps I’ll be doing will be zipping and unzipping the tent.  I’m hoping for lots of hiking, swimming, and relaxing and not one minute of P90X, though I suspect I’ll miss Tony, Dreya, and the gang.

Monday: Yoga X.  Now, I’m not really sure how yoga can be EXTREME, but I was impressed by the sequences in this video.  I did 75 minutes and would’ve done more, but Shane was done with his workout, we were both hungry, and my butt hurt from the previous day’s Legs and Back.

Tuesday: 2 fast miles home from work so that I could make a 4:15 conference call.  Not the best of runs, but it was almost 90 out and I had to dodge Art Fair traffic.  I made it home in time to get a cold drink, take off my shirt, and answer my phone.  By the time the conference call ended at 5, I had mostly stopped sweating.  Did I mention that my butt still hurts?

Wednesday: Core Synergistics.  I still hate it, but each time I do it, I notice I’m able to do more.  For that reason, it’s nice to have a single workout that is repeated every week.  I still can’t do full pushups, and it was way too damned hot – even at 10pm – to do Dreya rolls, but I brought it and was glad that I did.

Thursday: The heat index was 115.  My building was closed due to electrical problems in a cooling facility.  We don’t have air conditioning.  The closest thing to exercise that I could manage was slowly walking from Shane’s air conditioned office to the Union for my blood donation appointment and back while drinking a lot of water.  This heat wave has been brutal, and I can’t wait for it to pass.

Friday: We took the 30 day photos and measurements this morning before leaving for vacation.  My weight is exactly the same, but I’ve lost an inch or two between arms, waist, hips, and thighs.  I gained an inch around my chest, and I’m not sure if that’s because I have pecs or because I was wearing a different sports bra.  Not as much progress as I would’ve liked, but then I haven’t been super serious about the diet either.  That’s what August is for.  I ran 2.5 miles and got overheated and winded, so had to stop for water and a walking cool down.  My butt still hurts.

P90E Week 3: Brought

Monday: Core Synergistics, I WILL own you. Tonight was sooooooooo much better than last week. Like, exponentially better. I’ve figured out modifications for the hard stuff I can’t manage (read: pushups), and did those until my arms burned. CORE SYNERGISTICS.

Tuesday: 3 tough miles home in the heat.  I’m developing a serious stop at the bodega, buy a Powerade habit.  I feel bad for spending the money on something with basically no nutritional or recovery value AND ALSO for the fact that I only go to the bodega when I’m ABSOLUTELY DISGUSTING, but not bad enough to stop.  I chugged the liter of cold and delicious “grape” on the way to the garden.

Wednesday: So I had good intentions of catching the 3:48 bus home and doing Shoulders & Arms before Shane got home from work.  Instead I missed the dang bus – after running for the morning bus in absurd platform sandals – and so walked home in said absurd sandals.  Which is to say that I walked 1.25 miles in absurd sandals, and an additional 1 mile barefoot.  After that, I felt justified in literally putting up my feet and skipping a night with Tony, even if it meant back to back punishing workouts over the weekend.

Thursday: A totally lovely day, and 5 miles home on a new route.  True to form, it all got easier after mile 3, though I still stopped for a Powerade during my cool-down.

Friday: Woke up feeling iffy, so went back to bed for a few hours.  By late morning, I felt well enough to spend some quality time outside, followed by a quality hour in the basement with Tony and the Shoulders & Arms crew.  I learned the meaning of lifting til failure, and wrote down a few WOWs on my worksheet when I finished exercises I couldn’t manage during 30DS.  A good, good workout.  I even managed half of Ab Ripper X!

Saturday: 6.5 miles at 7:30 am while Shane, Orin, and Derek slept in.  It was warm.  I was really, really tired.  I meant to go 7 miles, but was happy with what I managed, and then ate the hell out of a Veggie Delight.  I’m really liking this Saturday morning run, breakfast at Afternoon Delight, trip to the Farmers’ Market routine we’re in.

Sunday: SHOULD be the day of rest, but instead I did Legs & Back.  This workout is hard, guys, especially since my legs were still aching from yesterday’s run.  I did my best, switched out the bands for the pull-down bar, and sweat through three rags in my 60 minutes.  No Ab Ripper X.  Sorry, Tony.

This next week marks the end of Phase 1.  I had planned on jumping right into Phase 2 since we’ll be on vacation the following week, but instead I think I’m going to stick with the program and start Phase 2 when we get back from our trip.  And with that, I’m going to go fall over.

P90E Week 2: Brought

Monday: Logged my fastest 5K ever in 26:18, despite having sampled all the beer the night before.  Before the race, Shane asked if I was going to run a 9 minute pace, then bet me that I could do 8:30.  I said no way – and then did it.  I was exhausted and definitely needed the Rice Krispies treat and banana that I picked up at the finish line, but felt so awesome for (1) getting up and bringing it and (2) running a faster pace than I thought possible.

Firecracker 5K

Tuesday: Followed up Monday’s awesome race with a terrible, terrible round of CORE SYNERGISTICS.  If last week was hard, this week was impossible.  Or very nearly impossible.  Like, collapsed on the floor sobbing between sets impossible.  I got through the last 10 minutes by imagining that I was at boot camp and that Tony was the drill sergeant – and then I slammed a healthy dinner, took a long walk for ice cream, and went to bed frustrated and discouraged at 10pm.

Wednesday: Shoulders & Arms, take two.  So far this is my favorite workout in the series – it’s tough, but I can feel and see progress, and I don’t generally get confused.  Also there’s no pushups or pullups.  I was awake early, so I hit the gym at 6:15 and was finished BRINGING IT by 7:30.  Happy days.

Thursday: 40 minute run, or a bit over 4 miles and feeling good.  Diet stuff is making me crazy, so it was good to have some time to clear my head.  Shane, on the other hand, has been doing really well with his diet and P90X – I’m really proud of him!

Friday: Up early for Legs & Back, which was soooo much better the second time around.  I wasn’t as sore, and only needed minimal support on the one-legged squats.  Totally brought, then off to Chicago for Keem and Paul’s wedding and dancing til I felt like my feet might fall off.

Saturday: Woke up at 8.  Thought “I should really get up and go run before it gets too hot.”  Had a moment of panic that we hadn’t confirmed that we could park where we were parked and so went outside to check.  Car was still there.  Went back to bed.  Woke up at 9.  Thought, “I should really go running.  If I don’t fall back to sleep in 10 minutes, I will go run.”  Fell back asleep.  Woke up at 10.  Realized that if I didn’t get out of bed and run RIGHT AWAY, it wasn’t going to happen.  My prescribed long run was out, but there was still time for a few miles – maybe even enough to get me to Lake Michigan and back.  Didn’t quite make it there, but did get in 4 fast and sweaty miles, a 10 minute turn around from run to car, and out to the burbs (still sweating) for brunch with Mom, Jenn, Max, and Fubs.  Success!

Sunday: Rest.  I wanted to do 3-4 miles by the lake, but lunch plans and laziness won out.  That’s OK – after sun and driving and friends and late nights, I needed time off.

p90E week 2: BROUGHT.

P90E Week 1: Brought

I realized that some of you probably aren’t in the slightest bit interested in this particular travelogue.  So why am I doing it?  A couple of reasons, all of which boil down to this: accountability.  If I’m in the habit of posting about my workouts and I know people are reading it, then I feel like it’s part of the program, and like you’re keeping me honest.  I know that my friend Natalie’s daily P90X reports have been a strong motivator for me to try the program, and I know that at least a handful of you have talked to me about trying the 30 Day Shred after I posted and talked about it.

So for those of you not interested in this stuff: feel free to skim/skip.  For the rest of you, let’s talk about it.

Day 4: my first attempt at intervals on a post-work run.  Instead of putting in the prescribed 5 miles, I strapped on my heart monitor, attended an impromptu wedding, then ran laps at Palmer Field, alternating between running a lap as fast as I steadily could (7:45-8 minute pace) with a lap at race pace (9-9:30) for 1.25 miles, then ran the rest of the way home near my race pace.  My heart rate monitor showed an average bpm of 163, nearly 100 beats above my resting rate.  Success!

Day 5: Up early to knock out Legs & Back before work.  Some parts were fun – like the ‘sneaky lunges’, which are basically walking lunges done on your tip-toes – but others made me groan and cry with exhaustion and frustration.  My balance sucks.  The exercise bands I was using in lieu of pullups pinched my fingers.  I didn’t even attempt the Ab Ripper.  Despite this, I felt awesome about myself all day – and also famished and tired.

Day 6: I’m starting to question the wisdom of following Legs & Back with my long run.  I was up early and couldn’t get back to sleep, so I hit the road and put in my miles before Shane really woke up. I hadn’t taken this particular route in a while – not since the snow melted – and so had forgotten about the effing hills that were at points so steep that I had to walk. I was thankful for my GPS, which confirmed that I had indeed gone up a giant-ass hill and wasn’t just being a baby about it. On the bright side, I got to see the river in the peaceful early morning:

Saturday Morning Run

And then have the Morning Delight for breakfast:

Morning Delight

Day 7: Having totally earned the day off, we walked downtown and back for breakfast and coffee, then ate all the food and drank all the drinks with friends in celebration of the long weekend.

Week 1: Brought.  Exhausted, hungry, and sore, but brought.

P90E Day 3: Shoulders & Arms

After Monday’s workout, I felt pretty good!  Sure, I could barely do any of the push-up type moves, but I rolled and banana’d and lunged my way through the rest of it without feeling like I was going to barf.  I had a bit of residual soreness on Tuesday – just enough to remind me that I’d used muscles I don’t use very often.  I was feeling good!

And then came the 3.25 mile run home.  As I mentioned, I’m subbing in running for the Cardio X, Kenpo X, and Yoga X workouts, with progressively longer distances and/or intervals as the week goes on.  I headed east from work and looped around the track at Palmer Field, where I expect to start running intervals on Thursday.  At some point between Kerrytown and home, my belly started aching.  Was I hungry? Was this runner’s gut?  No.  This was CORE SYNERGISTICS coming back to haunt me.  Hello little core muscles!  Thanks for making it painful to cough, sneeze, or laugh!

Tonight I came straight home with my delicious farmers’ market goodies (sweet cherries, sour cherries, tomato, cabbage, and SMOKED FISH), plopped everything in the fridge, and hit the deck for Shoulders & Arms.  And man, did I bring it.  I’m still figuring out the Bowflex adjustable dumbbells, but I did my best and upped the weight on most of my second sets.  I even did the bonus round, grunting my way through the last few reps.  I am going to be S O R E tomorrow!

After checking in with Shane on dinner, I tried my best to bring it with Ab Ripper X, but only made it about halfway through before I had a danger sign: my hip popped.  This isn’t uncommon for me, but does give me a very legitimate reason to pause the workout.  I’m going to have to figure out how to make this work.

Days 2 and 3: Brought.

P90E Day 1: Core Synergistics

I feel like I need to write it in all caps. CORE SYNERGISTICS.  CORE SYNERGISTICS! If the blink tag weren’t deprecated, I’d be all up in that right now. ::blink:: CORE SYNERGISTICS ::blink:: CORE SYNERGISTICS

And that, my friends, is what they call “fake it til you make it”. Because that is what I had to do to get through CORE SYNERGISTICS tonight, what with the five or six kinds of pushups and the “superman banana” sequence. If I can set one goal for myself for this whole P90E process, it will be to be able to do a real push up and also a real pull up. Right now I can do neither, and it showed in this workout.

Day 1: Brought.


So hey, remember how I was going to start working out before work? Yeah, that hasn’t happened.

Which is to say that I woke up and ran before work once, and have every day since set the alarm for 6am but dragged my ass out of bed closer to 7am. I’ve been walking or biking every day that I haven’t had to take someone to the airport – but that’s not the same as getting in a run. Oh well.

Which brings me to my next point: P90X.

P90X – or POWER 90 EXTREME (all caps necessary) – is a crazily intense 90 day boot camp-esque program that promises significant change through muscle confusion. My friend Natalie started P90X two weeks ago and has been blogging her experience, which I’ve found totally amusing and inspiring. A colleague at a previous job lost at least 20 pounds doing it. We’ve been talking about it for a while, mostly because it’s an intense regimen of both strength training (which Shane prefers) and cardio (which I prefer). And this week, we’re bringing it.

Well, sort of. Shane is bringing it – P90X vernacular for what you do in your workout – while I’m still testing the waters. I want to keep running, but I need to build in strength training and core work as well. And we both could use a good kick in the butt, diet-wise. So while Shane is BRINGING IT P90X-style, I will be doing what I’m calling P90E – my mod of the program, subbing in running for the prescribed cardio. I’m also going to do the “Lean” program, which emphasizes cardio, working out to 3 days of strength training and 3 days of running, with alternating distances on alternating weeks: 3-5-7 miles or 4-6-8 miles. Distance-wise, this should segue nicely into my training for the Detroit half in the fall – and I should be in amazing shape for it to boot.

So, that’s what I’m doing. Last night we took hilarious “before” shots and measurements. I did the fit test. I’m ready to BRING IT, starting in 10 days when we get back from Cleveland. Stay tuned.