Category Archives: Workouts

My Workout Buddy, Tony

In the past, I have added cross training to my running schedule to improve core strength, leg strength, flexibility and etc.  I’ve used programs such as Christine Felstead’s Yoga for Runners, Rodney Yee’s yoga programs, several different Jillian Michaels’ workouts, and lest I forget the trusty ol’ weight machine.  When I’ve done these workout series, it usually wouldn’t last more than two weeks, three at the absolute longest.  But this week, I committed to 90 days of the newest workout on the market…. P90X3!!

Yep… I have a date with Tony Horton, himself, six days a week at 5:30 in the morning.  Well… Saturdays will be a little later.  I’ve completed the first three days of the LEAN option of the program, and I’m feeling it.  My core, legs and even arms are all a little sore, but it’s a good type of sore.

Tony and meTo make it even better, my 18-year-old son is doing the workouts with me.  He’s a senior in high school and plays sports year round.  (The picture to the left is of him and me before the Senior Night football game in November 2013.)  At first, I doubted he would be interested, but he seems excited to be doing it.  Because of space issues, we do the workouts at different times, but we keep track on the same calendar.  I make the \ slash of the X, and he makes the / to complete the X.  It sounds silly, but it’s our way of completing the team goal… and it matches the Tony Horton’s X theme.  (Oh and by the way, my son’s name is Tony, too.)

Working out… whether it’s running, circuit training, lifting weights, spin class or whatever…. it’s always a lot more fun when you have a partner.  It helps to have someone hold you accountable.  I don’t know about you, but I tend to believe the stupid, crazy excuses I make up to keep from working out or cutting a session short.  But with P90X3, I’ve given my son strict instructions to keep pushing me no matter what I tell him.  Trust me…. he’ll do it…. he likes to watch me suffer.  😀

Tony (my son) and I are also part of a Facebook P90X3 challenge group.  There are 15 of us in the group together encouraging each other, motivating each other, and crying on each other’s virtual shoulder.  We leave tips, hints and recommendations, and of course lots of praise and high-5’s for accomplishments.  So far, it’s working great and a definite added support system to help me live through the next three months.

tony3

I’ll keep you appraised as to how I progress through the program, what transformations occur and whether or not I’m successful meeting the goals I’ve set for myself.  You are welcome to hold me accountable as well.  I can use all the help I can get.  I have my first 25K scheduled at the end of March which is right at the end of this program, so being successful with P90X3 might make or break that race for me.

The beginning of a new year always entices people to make improved physical fitness a New Year Resolution.  Unfortunately, it’s just a short-lived fad for the majority of people.  Having a support group or a workout buddy helps improve the odds of being successful with the resolution.

Did you set a physical fitness resolution this year? 

Are you a part of a support group or have a workout buddy to help you out? 

What type of support group do you have to help you be successful?  Is it a physical group or virtual group, or a combination?

If you have come up with a unique idea, I would love to hear about it and I’m sure other readers would, too.  You might just have the answer to help someone else be successful in completing their 2014 physical fitness resolution.  😀

Enjoy the run!! 😀

To Treadmill or Not To Treadmill

I just finished Jillian Michaels’ “30 Day Shred” workout and running a couple of miles on the ol’ dreadmill… I mean treadmill. It’s the first time I’ve used the treadmill in months.  I have to say, I loath it. Now that I think about it, I’m pretty sure I’ve said that in other blog posts. I run and run and run and get nowhere. I’m breathing heavy, my legs and lungs are burning and I could run a hundred miles… but for the life of me I’m still in the same d@#* spot I was in when I first started. There’s just something wrong with that. I’ll watch TV, or the next Jillian Michael workout so I can get familiar with the new moves, or crank the Sirius music up loud enough to drown out the monotonous sound of the rolling rubber belt and continuous boring rhythmic thump of the souls of my Brooks hitting the mat…thump, thump, thump, thump… but it’s no fun at all.

treadmill-running

At least when I run outside, my rhythm changes up a little as I dodge mud holes or rocks, fallen limbs, patches of ice or the occasional reckless, distracted driver. I’ll speed up because I’ve gotten my second wind, or I’m doing intervals or I just heard something move off the left in dark woods. I’ll slow down when I’m running up a hill, I get a little tired or as I try to find the berm because headlights have blinded me. Sometimes I’ll even stop to watch a young calf play in the field, to calm an angry dog, talk to the neighbors Morgan mare, watch a couple of playful squirrels or simply admire a beautiful sunset.  I can see beautiful things, I smell the aromas of the country side (sometimes that good, sometimes not-so-good), I hear the melodious sounds of nature all around me, I run up on friends and neighbors who will chat with me for a minute or two, I feel a cool breeze, the warm sun and the ground beneath my feet.

But I can’t do any of that on this old treadmill.  It’s just me, my yoga mat on the floor, a couple of pieces of workout equipment made of steel and plastic, and the TV and DVD player.  It’s boooooring!!  But it’s sometimes necessary.  Tonight, I really had no choice but to hit the treadmill.  I got home from work too late to run before dark, and I’m home alone.  I had no one here to come check on me if I weren’t home at the specified time or come get me if I got injured or needed help.  So I did a workout and put some run-time on the rotating conveyor belt in my basement.  It got the job done… I’m tired and I can tell I got my exercise for the day.

To make it through, I try to think of the positive qualities I get out of a treadmill workout.  So far, I’ve come up with the following:

  1. It’s a good way to practice running a consistent pace.  I set it on a pace, and that’s what I run until I’m done running.  That’s a good thing to teach my body, legs, lungs and mind to do.
  2. I don’t get cold or wet since I’m inside and out of the elements.
  3. If I get too hot, I can turn on the fan.  (Can’t do that outside!)
  4. My shoes and clothes stay nice and clean… no mud, no dirt, no dog poo… just sweat.
  5. It’s safer… I don’t get bit by dogs, chased by rabid raccoons, attacked by a rooster protecting his hens, struck by lightning, hit by a car, kidnapped by some creeper and whatever else crazy, weird way I could get hurt, maimed or killed.
  6. I can multitask…. catch up on my favorite TV shows that I’ve DVR’d like “The Big Bang Theory” or learn the moves of a new workout DVD. Maybe I could learn to knit?
  7. Talk to my deployed sailor-daughter on Skype while I’m running.  That’s totally cool!!

Well…. that’s about all the positive aspects I can come up with to convince myself that using the treadmill is ok.   Most of these I am more than willing to sacrifice.  As a matter of fact, I could give them all up (with the exception of #7) just so I could run outside.  But as I said, sometimes it’s necessary to use the treadmill.

I guess that’s enough venting for tonight.  I feel much better now that I got that off my chest, and appreciate the fact that you took the time to read through it.  I have to wonder if you’ve sat there saying… “Oh yea, I can totally relate!” or “Geesh…. just suck it up and run on the d@#* thing!!”  But either way, do you have any other good reasons for using the treadmill?  I’d love to hear them…. just comment below and share your positive reasons.  😀

A Short Run and Cross Training

Yesterday proved to be a great workout day for me.  I was scheduled for a short, easy run of just 2 miles to begin the week, so I headed out the hollar to complete it.  I ran at around 8:00pm, so the temperature and humidity was just right, especially since a cold front had moved through again cooling everything off.  It had rained earlier in the day, but the clouds had moved on and the sunshine was showing through the tree limbs.

weider pro 8900

I had planned to run an easy pace of 11:30 min/mile, but ended up running 10:00 min/mile pace.  Running back into the hollar is a slow incline for almost 3/4 mile.  It can be somewhat daunting some days, but it isn’t too bad with short runs such as this.  So I had no problem finishing up the end of the run without walking up the hills.  It makes for an excellent workout.

When I finished up the run, I did some core work with Jillian Michaels and then some strength training on the new Weider Pro 8900 weight machine we recently purchased.  It allows for a lot of different varieties of workouts for upper as well as lower body.  For this particular workout, I just did upper body and abs because I had already run.   I did some lat pulldowns (I like to bring the bar down to the chest and behind the neck as separate exercises), seated rows, bench presses and the ab cruncher.   Today I’m feeling the workout.  🙂

This evening is a no-run day, so I plan on continuing with the Michaels ab workout, and will do some lower body weight lifting.  I’m anxious to see if this improves my running speed, and if so by how much.  I know the feeling of a stronger core is definitely awesome, and it motivates me to keep up with the hard workouts.