Tuesday, June 28, 2011

P90X Week 1: Recap & Results

If you asked me to describe the first week of P90X in one sentence, here it goes: it kicked my ass, but I love it and I want more. First off, thanks to everyone following this adventure of mine. It sure seems to be a joyride, eh? I had several opportunities to get discouraged and throw in the towel, but I refused. I had to make myself recognize that I still am not at my normal strength level, and actually pretty well below it.

On Day 6, I woke up at 6 a.m. to do the Kenpo X. I physically could not do it. It took everything in me to take a shower and get myself to work for my weekend shift. On Day 7, even after a good 10-11 hours of sleep, I still did not feel well enough to attempt even the X Stretch. I'm pretty sure I was just beyond tired as well having some low iron days too. I literally slept the day away.

Not all is lost though! I still managed to end the week with some pretty surprising (at least to me) results. Drum roll please.... 3 inches lost in the waist as well as 1.5 inches in hips. I also saw marginal losses in each thigh, which is still awesome. My jaw still drops when I see those numbers (and I measured 3 times to make sure). I can honestly tell you I have never seen that kind of loss, ever, and to lose it at a point where I feel like I'm in pretty decent shape and modifying the program. Wow.

Yes, I am a bad blogger that not only forgot to weigh herself again (I don't believe in the scale), I also didn't take Week 1 pics because my body didn't seem much different than the beginning photos. I guess I know better now, huh?

I think I realized a couple of my struggles this past week: cutting into my sleep to work out and intaking enough good calories (target about 2700 with my activity level) to keep my body fueled while also trying to intake about a gallon of water a day. The sleep issue became a moot point when I told myself I need to be an evening workout person. I need to get the workout in right after work or sometime in the evening while my kiddos are preoccupied. The extra hour of sleep right now is crucial to my fitness. The calorie intake I'm still trying to balance. Following suggestions with my Meal Planner on teambeachbody.com, I've made sure to mix protein (i.e., cottage cheese, yogurt, etc.) with my fruit, have slightly bigger portions (this scares the crap out of me), and make sure I eat...all the time. I am looking into adding the P90X Recovery Drink and/or Shakeology to help up my nutritional needs as well during this extreme program.

With clearer objectives in mind, I transition into Week 2. The routine is the same as Week 1. Look for a late week update as well as Week 2 results intermingled with some Women's World Cup posts! Go USWNT!!!

Friday, June 24, 2011

P90X Day 5: Loving the Legs

Day 5 consisted of Legs and Back plus Ab Ripper X. After resting yesterday (thank you crazy digestive system) and a great night of sleep, I was ready to slash today's workout. My legs have always been stronger than my core and upper body. It's sometimes considered the curse of soccer players.

I loved the Legs and Back workout. The warm up and stretching alone helped me get my hammies completely stretched out. The last six months has been a struggle when it comes to my hammies. I often felt like I had dried up rubber bands in the backs of my legs, but not today! The Legs part consisted of squats, lunges, and various other body weight type exercises, but still it's mainly squats and lunges in many different versions. I really loved the way you were shown how to modify the exercises for less or more intensity. With adding more weight or more movement, you could really get your legs shredded. Heck, you could turn it into whole other plyo workout if you wanted. There's this one 'triple lunge with a kick' move that totally blew my coordination out of the water. I'll get it; probably by week 12, but I'll get it!

The Back part consisted of pull ups with grip variations, just like in the first work out. I definitely needed a stronger band. I did not want to be wasted by the time I got home from my workday though. I really want to slash the back workouts because as soon as I finish this round, I get to finish the BIG ink on my back. Just thinking about it makes me want to do a happy dance! *Wiggling with joyous excitement like my 4 year old* I ran out of time for the Ab Ripper, so I'll need to carve out 15 minutes this evening to bust it out.

Super positive note! It's day 5, and results are already noticed. Today I'm wearing a shirt that usually buttons a bit too tightly across the chest (you know, that one little gap that men love to try and sneak a peek through). It's buttoned and laying completely flat. I also noticed the cap sleeves aren't so tight on my upper arms. Very minimal results, but I wore this blouse two weeks ago, so it's noticeable. Minimal, but quick results of sticking to it and working hard.

P90X Day 4: Yawning Yoga

Normally, yoga gets me fired up, especially this Yoga X. I believe it's such a great way to get combine meditation and movement. This morning, it took everything I had to get out of bed. I didn't feel like total crap, but I did feel "blah". I wasn't sure why either. I've been eating well, and I got a decent night of sleep.

I started the Yoga X, and yawned, and yawned...continuously for about 30 minutes. I yawned during my sun salutations, my warrior poses (my favorites), everything. It really did seem the most of the yoga happened with my yawns than with the rest of my body. I decided to actually press stop, roll up my mat, and go make some coffee. I told myself I'd try it again in the evening, but still wondered why I felt so "off".

I soon found out as the morning moved on. My lactose intolerance was kicking up. Apparently, I didn't pay attention to several of the foods I ate yesterday, and therefore paid for it all day yesterday. Thankfully I now knew why I felt "off". Calling this day a wash made me feel good that I was listening to my body and not pushing myself for a schedule's sake.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

P90X Day 3: Wishing for Weight

Let's just say this day was easy-peasy. Shoulders and Arms, sounds like it should bring on the burn. It did...a little. It's my own fault though. I stuck with my tiny mobile dumbbells of 2 lbs. Granted, I harbored a bit of fear of overdoing it or getting injured. Mostly, I think I wanted to get all the way through the workout and know for sure I could up the weight next week.

Yet, see, that's the beauty of P90X. I can modify as much as I feel I need to and then make adjustments (even mid-workout if I want) next time. I felt like I had a half-ass workout this morning, and maybe I should have done the Ab Ripper X instead of waiting until this evening. Again, all my own fault, but no regrets...at all. I have next week to step it up with more than enough confidence that I can handle it.

I had hoped to have P snap a shot of me in the middle of the gun show training workout, but I got pleasantly surprised when he told me next time he's borrowing my mat for his sit ups!

Day 2 results: Pooped after plyos. Slept almost all evening AND then a full night's of sleep. Oh! My ass is getting more sore by the minute as this day passes on (thank you, Tony Horton for making me do all those squats).

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

P90X Day 2: Slightly Dragging

Day 1 truly wore my ass out. Yesterday afternoon, I ended up taking about an hour and a half nap while my boys watched a DVD on the couch beside me. (Yes, I know I shouldn't have, but hey, it happens). This morning's alarm went off at 5:20 a.m. To be honest, this once 5 a.m. regular waker has not willingly seen anything before 6 a.m. in months. After a restless night with thunderstorms, I reluctantly got out of bed. Once I realized why I was up and at 'em, excitement began to build. It was Plyos day. (As much as they suck, I have always loved plyos, even as much as you'll hear me bitch about them.)

Plyos or ...
plyometrics (ˌplaɪəʊˈmɛtrɪks)
— pl n
( functioning as singular ) a system of exercise in which the muscles are repeatedly stretched and suddenly contracted.
Thank you dictionary.com
A.k.a. jump training or using jumping movements to create speed and strength. Plyos are an intense cardio workout that work your lungs and heart as much, if not more, than the legs and core. Plyos have been in some form of my workouts since I was at least 13. I am more than familiar with them (and I still love to hate them).
This morning, I took this hour easy. With smaller movements and many step-throughs instead of jumping, I decreased the high impact of this workout. I still ended the hour in sweat and still downed a bottle of water throughout the hour. Even later, I'm still a bit tired. My body is just getting in the groove again, and it's a tough groove to remember.

Note: The only soreness I feel from yesterday is my lower abdomen, which indicates I need to pick it up on the Chest and Back workout next week. Also, my metabolism has already jump started back to like it is when I run.

P90X Day 1: Jumping Right In

These first couple of weeks of this round of P90X, I'll be telling you that how this program can be modified to create less intensity and impact on your body until you feel comfortable hitting it full strength. You don't have to be in recovery to modify it either, you just have to bring it.

Today's workout is Chest and Back with Ab Ripper X at the end. I took it easy with only 5lb. resistance bands to simulate pull ups (a pull up bar would be too dangerous in our house with our two monkeys boys) and 2 lb dumbbells. I know the weight is really light, but I wanted to take no chances on injury since I'm just getting back into the groove. The only other modification I did was knee (or girlie) push ups for all but the decline and divebomber push ups. This was a big ego pill to swallow since only about six weeks before I could complete 100 standard push ups with no modification at one time.

In general, the Chest and Back workout rocked. It's a bunch of variations of pull ups and push ups. I do know I either need heavier weights and bands or more reps. I guess my weakling arms aren't as weak as I thought! Ab Ripper X, though, was a different story. My core has always been a tough area for me to work, but it took a beating during my kidney stone issue and recovery. Fortunately, I knew enough to modify the exercises where I needed to as well as take breaks to not injure my back.

All in all, I loved getting moving again. I kind of regret not ever doing a full round of P90X before now, but as Tony Horton frequently reminds you throughout the workouts, "Do your best; forget the rest".

Preparing for P90X

I contemplated on if I should start any of the versions (Classic or Lean...I was staying far away from Doubles) of P90X since I'm coming off 4 weeks of basically no exercise at all for medical recovery. My doc wanted me to take it easy, a sort of take it as I can type of mentality towards getting back into exercise. I had to do something, anything, to just get off my ass and move. I decided to modify the Classic P90X schedule with lighter weights and bands as well as less reps and smaller movements until I feel my body is getting strong enough to go full force again.

Since before any round of P90X measurements and pictures are essential to tracking your progress, I took measurements and pictures. I did skip the Fit Test (I know, I know), but due to family emergencies, I said screw it. (I still can't believe I'm putting the results of doing nothing for four weeks up on the big WIDE web.)

Beginning Measurements:

Right Arm: 10.75"

Left Arm: 10.75"

Chest: 36"

Natural Waist: 34"

Belly: 36"

Hips: 40"

Right Thigh: 20.25"

Left Thigh: 20.75"

Right Calf: 14"

Left Calf: 14.25"

Before Pics: (here goes nothing)

If you haven't seen what P90X is all about, take a little peek here to grasp a bit of the intensity.

If you want more info on P90X, contact me here!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

3TT: What to Learn from the Mavs

All week since the Mavs won the NBA title (the first in 30+ years) Sunday night, everything around here has been Mavs this and Mavs that. Even this morning, the news covered basically only the Victory Parade information. As I type this, live news coverage of the parade describes the details of the celebration. Even though I'm not a huge basketball fan, I am a huge sports fan, and many of my life lessons have come from playing sports. With that in mind, here's a few things we can all (especially athletes) can learn from the Mavs.

1. Persistence. The Mavs just kept at it, minute after minute, game after game. The Mavs rarely have flashy plays or major memorable shots, but they kept at it and kept making shot after shot. Their persistence in solid defense and offensive plays wore the Miami Heat down. The Mavs showed the world that consistency and tenacity pays off.

2. Trust in your team. Even though Dirk (one of the most notable Mavs players) did not play his best Sunday night, he trusted his team to make shots and keep their game play at a top level. They came through and brought the entire team to victory. Anyone who plays or has played team sports knows that if you cannot depend on or trust your team, the team breaks down. Even solo athletes and non-athletes need to depend on their support system of coaches, family, friends, etc. Support is essential to succeeding in your endeavors.

3. Finish strong. Any Mavs fans knows the Mavs put it all on the table in the 3rd and 4th quarters of nearly every game. They may be known as the "Comeback Kids", but their consistency to finish games strong brought them the title they were working toward for years. With any project, workout, game or race, finishing strong is key. Your finish shows all the determination, the effort, the time and the attitude you have put in.

Take these lessons and incorporate them into everything you do; your creative projects, your running, your training, your business.

Photo via flickr

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Run Virtually for JDRF!

A fellow running mom is hosting her first virtual 5K in support of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. She has awesome giveaways lined up, here's the lowdown on the race:


1. Donate $10 to register.

2. The race is from June 24-June 27th

3. Raffles begin on June 25th for all finishers.

Get more info here! Run it, walk it, heck, just donate if you can't do either. She's trying to raise $5K for the JDRF by hosting this 5k!!!!!!

3TT: Still Recovering

I've been away for a few days taking care of me. More like total and complete rest, actually. I find it amazing how a kidney stone can bring even the healthiest to their knees. Yet, I realize I'm still learning more and more as recovery lingers on.

1. Recovery from a kidney stone is worse than both of my all natural, drug-free childbirths to this active, Type-A, semi-ocd personality. Even as tired as I was after both deliveries, I was still up and running around like normal with a week to 10 days. I'm currently at 3 weeks within recovery. I read in several places that average recovery from a kidney stone is 4-6 weeks. (ugh.)

2. Recovery time feels like actual time x 1,000 days (or something to that effect). I truly feel like I've been sick or off my feet for almost three months. Just this morning, I looked at the calendar and realized the time passed has only been three weeks. I feel there is only so much sitting on my ass I can do while watching movies and reading.

3. I truly know how to listen to my body now. I thought I did pretty well before all of this, but now each little twinge or discomfort tells me something. I can read the signs of wearing down before I actually get there. I think it's a little of me getting tired of losing a day or two after doing too much and a little me learning to read physical signals. I do know this.....I can't wait to feel "normal" again.

Friday, June 3, 2011

One Fav Running Spot

One of my favorite places to run is located on the far west side of my neighborhood right before cityside meets countryside. For the last few months, this entire area has been under construction as it undergoes transformation. This area used to be a local hotel golf course, but over the years my alma mater has purchased the land, built dorms on it, and expanded the athletic complex, a.k.a, Mean Green Village. As of last year, the lovely university began construction on a new football stadium, which resulted in the loss of 95% of all run worthy trails and paths. My running heart was broken, but I adjusted my routes and actually began running further distances as a result.

Over Memorial Day Weekend, we decided to go picnic at the accompanying duck pond in this area. To my surprise, I saw that several running routes that were previously closed with black, garbage bag-esque fences had been reopened to complete the loop around the pond. Also, several new gravel and paved trails leading around the pond and towards the stadium and dorms were installed. What a runner's delight!

Now to get back up to strength so I can go run these paths like crazy!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Three Things Thursday: My Family

While I seem to still be on the recouping list from this kidney situation, I thought it would be appropriate to brag tell you about the three people I hold fiercely near and dear to my heart, who also happen to support me in all my crazy running adventures.

  1. P:
    My husband of 12+ years, who's ridden (sometimes by the whites of his knuckles) on the roller coaster of our life and marriage. This guy works hard by day, rocks by night, and still manages to be a pretty great husband and dad. This is also the guy who barely left my side for four days while my body went through kidney hell and is still stepping up in immeasurable ways to make sure I recover completely.

  2. T:
    My amazing 11-year-old. This kid really can do it all. He's terribly brilliant academically (three years ago, his I.Q. had surpassed mine by 4 points already, and I'm a pretty smart chica). T not only has a penchant for the physics and know-how of things, he also inherited the musical talent from both of his parents. With a thirst for the rhythm and the opportunities for expression, his vocal and instrumental talents encompass different genres of music as well as different avenues of creating his music. He's even voiced the possibility of a violin centered rock band on several occasions. To top it off, he's created his athletic niche within the martial arts arena. Now as an Advanced Second Degree Purple belt, he loves to spar and utilize the fast and furious techniques in the ring.

  3. The Cy-Guy:
    My 4-year-old wonder. This little guy is one clever dude. He's irresistibly charming and makes everyone I know, including myself, smile (even despite his temper tantrums and scowls). He truly brings joy to everyone he meets and knows. He has a knack for making friends and loves adventure. Although his daredevil ways refuse to join us at mealtime, he rarely finds obstacles that can't be jumped, swung from, slid into, climbed on, you name it. He makes me wonder if Evel Knievel was in our blood lines somewhere. He will be the one that shocks and awes us in everything he does. I cannot wait to see the type of person this little guy will grow up to be in 2 years, 5 years, 10 years, and more!