Sunday, February 12, 2017

Wintering in Wisconsin, and the 10,000 BURPEE CLUB

After the Dopey Challenge in Florida, I was home for all of one day before heading out to the Midwest for 2.5 weeks (which ended up being 3 weeks).  It was a good one day, though, because I got to try out a newly opened gym at work's new campus.  It's nice, with one room for group exercises (with a web-based selection of recorded classes and spin bikes and other group class equipment) and another room for cardio and weights.  All good equipment, with personal TV monitors, and a good selection of gear.  Foam rollers and everything.  They did a good job of planning it out and choosing to invest in their employees' mental and physical health.  Exercise is as much about mental health as it is physical health, to me.

Wednesday, Jan 11:
I went on a run, for my first workout at the gym.  6.0 in 46:17, 7:43 average, 2 degree treadmill.  It was a bit warm, but tolerable.  I used to go to work, go home, eat dinner, watch TV while letting it digest for a couple of hours, go to the gym at 9 or 10pm, come home, shower, watch TV for another hour or two, so it left lots of TV time that may not be the best use of my time.  Since I was already at work, I went straight to the gym, I'd be able to shower there, then come home, eat, watch TV, and sleep.  Much more efficient.  Hopefully, this will be better for my time management.

I drink a bunch of tea and decaf coffee at work, so I didn't need water during the run.  I nose breathed the whole time,t oo, because I was able to.  I was surprised to be able to go strong at this pace with nose breathing.  I wonder if it was adaptations from Dopey, already kicking in.  Or was it prior work, not that I trained much for Dopey.  I was surprised that my feet were able to handle such a workout, too, just 3 days after a marathon that had left them wrecked earlier.

Splits> 8:00, 15:42 for 2 (7:51 ave), 7:39, 7:33, 7:22.

Friday, Jan 12:
Flew out to Chicago.  It was my birthday, so I swung by Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore on my way to Wisconsin.  I power-hiked/ran the 3-peak challenge of 3 dune "mountains", then ran a gorgeous lakeshore trail that sat on the ridge of the dune.  I've never run anywhere like that before.  It was gorgeous and peaceful.  It was cold, too, and it was strange to be traversing sand dunes with hail on it, and to see waves from Lake Michigan crash onto icy shores.  Some of the dunes had steep drop-offs on either side.  I kept my phone in my sports bra at those times, to not risk losing it in case I slipped or dropped it.  It was so pretty.  I ran part of it in a ski jacket, which got warm quickly, and the rest in warm-ups that weren't the most comfy for running, but I made do with what I had.


7.0 in 1:47:37, 15:24 average.  Not particularly timed, and it included some times when I was walking, and start-and-stops from taking pictures.

There were also some sweet geocaches in the state park, like a beehive, a secret sign, and a water treatment canister.

And BBQ at night.  A good birthday.

Then it began, the long winter...

Then, crazy work started.  16-hr days on end.  Lots of eye-straining, hand-cramping, non-stop work.  It was tiring.  I was in Boston marathon training, though, so I still had to try to fit some workouts in where I could.

Sunday, Jan 15:
At 11pm, after work, I got in 7.0 in 56:48, 8:07 average.  No official dinner, but I had had lots of ubttery popcorn while at work, and an orange earlier, and almonds right before the run, which would bite me during the run with some intestinal pains at mile 6 for a while.  At least the Holiday Inn Express had a newly rennovated fitness room, with some good equipment.  It used to be a tiny closet of a room with only a couple pieces of equipment that people would have to hope to get a spot at in the morning.

Wednesday, Jan 18:
Got this one done at 5am.  Did a strength workout for 50 minutes, for the Deez Nutz WOD that I had started on July 1st of last year, and am still trying to chip away at.
  • Sit-ups: 115 + 60 = 175
  • Plank: 3 + 2 = 5 min
  • Squats: 70
  • Flutter Kicks: 30 + 50 + 35 = 115
  • Stairs: 3 x 18 = 54
  • Burpees: 30 + 30 = 60
  • Push-ups: 20 were hard
  • Jumping Jacks: 100
  • Lunges: 120
  • + Assorted dumbell exercises
Thursday, Jan 19:
6.0 in 48:35, 8:06 average.  Nose breathed during this run.  It felt easy, and I felt strong during this run, for the dfirst time in a long time.

I signed up for this crazy facebook challenge, hosted by coach and fellow HHer Frannie Steele.  The goal is to do 10,000 burpees over 100 days, so 100/day, with video proof.  When I signed up, I thought that the 100 days would be finishing before Boston, but I had mis-calculated, so I may end up having to try to finish early, to give Boston a proper taper.  Prior to doing this challenge, I had only ever done 60 in a row before, so jumping up to 100 every day for 100 days would be quite a challenge.  The most challenging part has been just having the discipline to work them into the day each day.  It makes me sweat, so part of the incentive for me to squeeze them in was that I had to take a shower, anyway, so I might as well do my burpees beforehand.  It has been good for making me do more workouts, too, since I'd already be at the gym, or I'd already be needing a shower, anyway.

The first few days were tough, since my body wasn't used to it.  My arms are weaker than my legs, for sure.  It was about doing them with good form to prevent injury, and hoping that my arms would recover enough by the next day, to do it all over again.  At around day 10, I hit a turning point where they weren't as hard.  It was still hard, because you just end up doing them faster with less rest or slowness during the moves.  Some days are harder than others, depending on your recovery level, and depending on whether you have additional workouts that affect how strong your body is.

During the first few days, the heaviness in my arms and their tiredness impacted my running.  However, a couple weeks into it, I think it actually ended up helping my running.  I did an interval session, and I did as well on it as I ever did, despite sucking at intervals a month or two prior, having not done speed training in like a year.  I think it was the plyometric move of the burpees that made intervals much easier all of a sudden, plus core and arm strength.

For the video proof, I started using Facebook Live for the first time.  It saved me from having to find space on my phone to record, then upload the video.  Very convenient!  It's interesting to play with framing the videos, or trying different angles, too. The closed Facebook group has been good encouragement to keep at it, even when it gets tough.

Sunday, Jan 22:
My first run after starting the burpee challenge.  4.0 in 31:35, 7:53 average.  Biceps were sore, so I shook out my arms often.  No way could I have done this run just with nose breathing.  It felt harder than it should.

Yesterday, and today, I did get to see a college roommate that I haven't seen in like 2 years and a HS cross-country friend that I haven't seen in 12 years.  It's the sweetest thing, to be able to pick up on old friendships after so long, as if it had been no time at all.  It's also great when you see that they haven't changed, in that all the things you admire about them are still there, if not stronger than before.  Time and the world haven't taken that away.

Tuesday, Jan 24:
I was supposed to do a 12 miler the weekend before, so I tried to make that up today.  It was 11pm when I started.  12.0 in 1:42:30, 8:33 average.  The treadmill stops at 60 minutes, so I did 2 cycles of 6 miles.  Not too hard, thankfully.

Wednesday, Jan 25:
I did a 35 min strength workout after 11pm burpees.  Not much, but it was something.
  • Flutter Kicks: 45 + 40 = 85
  • Sit-ups: 155
  • Jumping Jacks: 100
  • Plank: 3
  • Squats: 75
Saturday, Jan 28:
My arms were still tired and were still the limiting factor for this 6am run.  5.0 in 41:05, 8:13 average.  Felt kind of jeally bear for not being able to do more.

Finally, after 2.5 weeks, a night off to chill with a co-worker from Milwaukee.  Game night!  It was awesome.  Makes me want to host game nights, too.  Fun people and fun times.  I haven't hung out with people into unique games like this since college.

Sunday, Jan 29:
Biked 14.4 mi in 1 hr.  I was watching Food Network TV like I often do while working out, and I was surprised when I saw a contestant on Cooks vs. Cons that looked like my sister's friend/classmate from childhood, and it was!  And she won, as a Con beating out Cooks!  Yeah!  She rocked it.  I was live-messaging the play-by-play action to my family while watching it at 1am at night.

Wednesday, Feb 1:
Intervals, the ones that went well that I referenced before.  4.0 in 29:02, 7:16 ave, 2 degrees of incline.  My arms still weren't 100%, but it was still okay, and maybe even helped with the needed pumping action.  My legs did better than expected, perhaps due to the jumps on the tops of the burpees.  The most reps I do in this workout is 4, and I did 3, which is still good, because early in the season, I typically can only manage like 3 reps of 0.5 mi, and this time, I did 3 reps of 0.75 mi.

1 mi warmup in 8:07, 3 x [0.25mi @ 7.5mph (1:58), 0.75 mi @ 9mph (5:00)]. 

I ended up extending my trip by another half a week.  I was glad to be able to finally go home.  It's been really tough.  I've done work trips like this before, with long hours, but this may have been the hardest, maybe because there wasn't even bus time to catch up on sleep on the way to/from work, because the plant was close to the hotel, and we had all of our meals there, just endless.  Survived.  I feel like I could sleep for a couple of days straight, though.

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