Friday, April 27, 2012

An ounce of performance is worth pounds of promises - Mae West

Spartan Shape Up, Day 281 & 282:

So, I have to apologize, BlogLand. I've been combining updates like crazy lately, but I'm just TIRED. I work kind of a weird schedule and by the time all is said and done for the day, well, I choose between Blogging and Sleep. Given my inability to sleep like a regular human, any time my body decides sleep would be a good plan, I just GO WITH IT.

However, I think it's okay, the last couple of WODs were not anything too blazingly exciting:

Day 281:
So, I played with my schedule this week because my body just NEEDED a rest day a little sooner than usual (it was an action packed weekend!), and today ended up being a day for a home-wod. All things considered, with the equipment, etc. that I have now, "Home-WOD" doesn't really limit me anymore. However, my brain was tired, I couldn't think of what I should do, even though I knew it needed to be some sort of strength based wod... so, I did what any reasonable person would do; I consulted the all-knowing fount of knowledge, My GT.

Sometimes, though, consulting the GT is a little bit like passing up the money and taking door number 2. If you just "took the money" and did the straight forward home WOD that you thought of, you'd know exactly what you were getting into, and your potential suffering level. If you take door number 2 from the GT, you'll for sure get SOMEthing.... but you may not enjoy it.
Today... Door number 2.

His decree was that I should do a Power Hour: Push Ups.  Now, for the unfamiliar, a "power hour" wod means that you do something (assigned number of reps, for example) every minute, on the minute, effectively completing 60 rounds of something. He decided that for me, today, it should be Push Ups.


Sorry. My T-Rex arms had a little bit of a temper tantrum when they read that message. When I asked how many per minute (I assumed maybe like... 2... given the fact this is not my strong suit...), he answered: 4. FOUR!?.... I may die. He did give me the caveat that IF I absolutely needed to, I could cut that down as I go, but I better get to at LEAST 200 push ups in the hour (if I completed as instructed, I would get to 240.).

Okay. Challenge accepted. How hard could it be, if I'm only doing 4 at a time? (SOMEday, I swear, I will learn.)

First, I had to prep. I plugged in my phone (timer) and set it up on the floor. Got a glass of water. A pen and paper (have to make notes about progress)..... AND... get something good on TV. By some weird rationale, I decided the Boondock Saints would be appropriate viewing material for this. I figured it was a cult movie that I've seen lots of times, so I wouldn't need to "pay attention", it had an appropriate amount of humor and violence to set the mood and the soundtrack (lots of dropkick murphy's!) would be great push up music.

Here was the only dilemma. I was pretty sure I'd have to do this whole WOD on my knees. I can't do a on-toes "real" push up, really, yet, can I? I figured I better try first.

ELEVEN!!!! ELEVEN, BlogLand. I can do ELEVEN "real" push ups now. Granted, I failed completely after 11, but I got through 11! I used this as my first "minute" and decided to see what I could do from there.

Feeling good from my little victory, I did my first 12 rounds as real (on-toes) push ups. Apparently, I can in fact, do 4 at a time. YAY!!!!!! This is a big victory. Perhaps I better start pushing this a bit more in my WODs. To be honest, I've just been assuming that I still can't do it. Note. to. self.... DON'T ASSUME.

After round/minute 12, I couldn't handle the real push ups anymore and dropped to my knees for the remainder of the hour. I was feeling pretty good about this.... right up until about minute 46 or 47. Then my arms started to get tired, and I started to feel the push ups become way more effort.

Then, crisis struck.

So, minute 48, I'm on my knees busting out my 4 push ups. When you're doing push ups on your knees, your feet are up behind you. While I was struggling with the push ups, I must've started tensing my feet or something and BOOOM!!! triggered a huge seize in my calf. I instantly went into screaming fetal position, while breathing like a woman in labor and trying to force myself to move my leg to work it out, and feeling like it would be better just to cut my leg off.

I massaged it. I whimpered. I cursed. I massaged more. It eased up "enough". I needed to just finish out a few more rounds, then I could foam roll and such to my heart's content. I pushed onward, to the soothing sounds of guns and swearing emanating from the TV.

Minute 60. I survived!!! Although I did this WOD with pants on, my knees got pretty ripped up. I didn't notice it as I was going along, but apparently I rubbed off the first layer of skin on my knees. This is clearly further motivation to continue to chase down the ability to do more real push ups. No rug burns. haha

I went to bed last night expecting to wake up feeling run over by a truck.... but this morning... nothing. My upper body felt fine... Whaaaaaat?! My t-rex arms had no objections this morning?! In the sage words of the GT:
"It's a good thing. Don't question it. We don't judge workouts on soreness."
Touche, GT. Still... it was weird. 240 pushups, and my upper body was FINE today. Weiiiirddd..... Is this what more "in shape" people feel like?!?

Moving on....

Day 282:

Today was 5K training day with a couple of my co-workers. Everyone's working so hard to be ready for our upcoming Corporate Cup 5k in a little less than a month.

Our little trio (and the adorable wee munchkin stroller ride-along!) headed out today, *despite* the crazy weather. Last week, I was in a tank top and sweaty... today, there was a freezing wind and snow in the air. WTF?!

We were all sort of in our head-space today, which is one of the things I have found beneficial about running. It really helps clear the head. You just get into this rhythm and your brain thinks a little more clearly. Plus the happy-endorphins put a better light on most situations. We ran.

Momma decided to push her own munchkin today, so I was freed up to just run. So... I did. I just ran at what was comfortable... which I found was a lot faster than I have been used to running. After the first Ugly Mile of warm up (which is tricking when you're only doing 5K), my legs felt good, my breathing was on target, so I just let loose a little bit. I didn't push my pace, per se, but I just ran a little more to my capabilities. I just let me legs do what they could do.

Finally, as I saw the marker indicating my last mile, my body was feeling all warmed up and ready to go (despite the icy wind!), and since everyone was running at their own pace and space today, I decided it was time to push it and see what my legs could do.

I didn't go all out. I would say I went at about 85% ish for the last mile. I still could've gone faster, but I was pushing the "comfortable" line, into real work. This speed was much faster than I ever thought I could be. And I could maintain it.

I surprised myself a little bit. I can not WAIT to see how I do on my next 5K, between all the sprinting and running and training I've been doing. I should blow all my previous PR's out of the water. Today, I am pretty positive I would've come in under a half and hour. Woot!!! (and no... I didn't officially time it. We had distance markers, and I find that I do better on these regular 5K's if I just relax and run them. )

Upon finishing this run and feeling really awesome about the strides (get it?! hehe) I've made with my running, I text the GT my excitement over this victory. I credited Sprint WOD of Death (Schadenfreude Tuesdays!) with assisting to build this new found speed. He agreed, then added:
"You'll love the day I program 400's into your training."

...... I wanted to die thinking about that (currently, I do 200m repeats).

......... but oddly..... wondered when (with anticipation), I'd get to start tackling that next ungodly challenge....

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