INSANITY results

Sorry that it has taken me so long to post.  I always get nervous before posting results pics.  As many of you guys know, I failed at INSANITY once before and a few months back, I vowed to conquer Shaun T.  Well, I did it. INSANITY is a 60 day program.  With my obstacle course training added in, it took me a few more than 90 days to complete it.  I still feel AWESOME about the accomplishment.

The results… I lost inches on every measurement including 2.5 in my waist.  I also lost 14 lbs. Now for the pics…

Before:

And After:


Still got a ways to go, but I am still on the path.  (As I write this, I have cheese puff residue on my fingers.  I think my diet may still need adjustment. Haha!!)

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Running tips for Newbies like me and OUCH!!

As many of you know, I have started running. Obstacle course racing has really made me realize this deficiency in my fitness and I am trying to correct it.  I am still learning so found a cool article on form in Runners World online.  I summarize it below but the full article can be found here.

The Perfect Form … its the name of the article, I am not commenting on the subject runner!! 😉

Head Tilt – look at the horizon and not your feet.

Shoulders – Shake out your shoulders to release tension if they creep up toward your ears.

Arms –  Don’t clench your fist and don’t allow you arms to swing across the front of your body.

Torso – Run tall — stretch yourself to your full height when running.

Hips – “When trying to gauge the position of your hips, think of your pelvis as a bowl filled with marbles, then try not to spill the marbles by tilting the bowl.”  I have no idea what this means…

Legs/Stride – “slight knee lift, a quick leg turnover, and a short stride. Together, these will facilitate fluid forward movement” Foot should land directly below your body.

Ankles/Feet –  “land between your heel and midfoot–then quickly roll forward. Keep your ankle flexed as your foot rolls forward to create more force for push-off. As you roll onto your toes, try to spring off the ground. You should feel your calf muscles propelling you forward on each step. Your feet should not slap loudly as they hit the ground. Good running is springy and quiet.”  For what that is worth.

I have been trying to improve my form, concentrating on the shorter strides, tension in the shoulders, and running tall (i.e. the ones that make sense to me). Saturday I ran over 5 miles.

Afterward, the top of my left foot hurt… a lot.  It felt like the bone between my big toe and ankle was bruised or something. I stayed off it on Sunday. On Monday, I did an upper body P90X2 routine to try to protect it.  It was feeling a little better today so I went for my run (well on the treadmill, but that still counts, right?).  It ached the first mile or so, but feels better now.  I read somewhere that it was caused by tying your shoes too tightly and your feet swelling.  I kept them really loose today.

Has anyone else experienced this?

No, he didn’t!!

With time at lunch, I headed home to do the next INSANITY workout.  However, it was so pleasant and (relatively cool – 81 degrees in Alabama) that I decided to put the workout off and use my new app, RunDouble, to continue to get ready for longer runs.

It was much more difficult today.  The temperature kept rising (85 degrees when I got finished).  The hills were far greater than South Alabama.  And I had to keep jumping off the road as cars came (longer distances mean I ran out of the subdivision… I think I may just do a couple of laps instead in the future.) Not counting warm-up and cool-down, I ran 3.87 miles in 44 minutes (40 running and 4 walking).  I was disappointed to have a pace over 11, but I can only improve.  Total distance including warmup and cool-down was 4.31 miles, so that is good.

So I got back from my jog and noticed that my neighbor had seen my garage door open and, thinking we had forgotten to shut it, closed it for us.  Unfortunately, I was now locked out of my house.  “Why did you leave the garage door open when you ran?” A very good question and one asked by Coach Crystal when she came to let me in.  I don’t know, but it seemed like a good idea at the time.

And then we were in the kitchen and I was getting water.  Crystal asked where the dog was.  I told her that he was outside and went to let him in and found that … THE BACK DOOR WAS UNLOCKED!  I had not thought to check it even though I had let the dog out before my run.  I don’t think Crystal would have even noticed if the chagrin on my face hadn’t given it away.  She was not happy in the moment (she had to skip her jog), but can laugh about it now.

A word of advice…. any time you think you are locked out, check all  your doors first!!

You can’t cheat the system

 I read this in a post of SociallyFit blog and had to comment on it, because it really hit home.  I use myfitnesspal to journal my food intake, but sometimes when i fall off the wagon, I just don’t use it that day.  I just start over the next day with a clean slate. While that is fine, my body does not start over clean the next day.  It remembers those M&Ms whether I wrote them down or not.  It remembers the weekends that I didn’t even try to stay on the diet. Yes, I have lost 20 lbs, but I am not at my goal… Its time to lose those last 10 lbs!!! 

Who is with me?!?

P.S. I don’t know why the best motivational slogans have women on them… how many of these posts do you think I can get away before I get in hot water with Coach Crystal?!?  haha.

Doing it again…

I just signed up to do it again!! May 20th — North of Atlanta, Georgia.  WARRIOR DASH!! Coach Crystal will be out-of-town, so I will be racing against her time…41 minutes. (Don’t tell her, but this course is a little shorter, so I have a chance.  (Though from its geographic location, I expect it to be hillier (is that a word… more hilly?))).  Anyone in  Georgia, South Carolina, or Tennessee want to come run with me??  I promise, it is a blast!!

Warrior Dash Results

The Warrior Dash was yesterday in Jackson. I thought I would let you know how it was (from the point of view of one “meandering toward fitness.”)

It was a cloudy, dreary day.  For the first time all spring, it didn’t get up to 60 degrees in the South. Our heat time was 8:00 a.m. So we got up and headed to the bus pick-up location about 6:45. Luckily, we stayed at a hotel just across the street.  (And it was complete luck, we booked our rooms before we knew where the pickup location was.)

Race Morning

Didn't we look excited?

We got checked-in, grabbed a free Monster drink, (yeah, free) and tried not to be nervous.  We were at the starting area with about ten minutes to spare. With about thirty seconds to go, the theme from Rocky started.  My adrenaline was pumping by then.  As we started, fire flamed up from the start gate, an impressive start!!

We jogged about .5 mile before coming to the first obstacle. (Well, I say that, it had rained very recently and the course had numerous places where the mud was knee-deep.  I did not try to count all the “mud holes” (which were not considered “obstacles”) but there were at least a dozen and probably more.)

1) Tires – feet up going through tires on the ground. Then another .2 of a mile.

2) Tires – on the ground and hanging from rope.  As other people beside you ran through, the tires would swing into you.  You would, of course, return the favor as you pushed through.  Then a jog of about .5 mile.  I set a pretty good pace and was a little in front of Coach Crystal.

3) Up and walk — walk up a ten inch wide board to about eight feet high, then walk about 30 feet in the air balancing before coming  back down.  Coach Crystal caught me here and we jogged together for the .2 mile to the next obstacle.

4)  Up and over and under – a four feet high wall for you to jump over followed by barbed wire for you to crawl under (about eight of these). Coach Crystal left me here, but I caught her on the .2 jog to the next obstacle. We passed the 1.5 mile marker here… Really, not halfway yet!?!?!

5) Rope Net Crawl — the rope net was about six feet high and 60 feet long.  Coach Crystal left me here and I never caught her again. The jog was about .7 to the next set of obstacles.

6) The next three obstacles were all back to back. First up, use the rope to climb the twenty-five feet high wall and down the other side. When I reached the top, a girl had gotten scared to come down, but with a little encouragement, she made it to the ground.

7) Then the military crawl under barbed wire and a wooden obstacle about a foot off the ground.  This was somehow not filled with mud, but rocks. My knees are a little scraped up from this experience.

8) A fifteen feet climbing wall followed by a pole slide down the other side.  Then back to a jog … about .8 miles. You could hear the finish line music here, but the path kept twisting and it was a lot farther than it sounded. I turned a corner and saw Coach Crystal finishing the next obstacle about 300 yards away.  I didn’t see her again until the finish line.

9) Rope walk over water — walk on one rope, hands on another.  Probably the easiest of the obstacles, just balance.  The obstacles came fast from here to the finish.

10) Shallow water pit… if shallow is four feet.  The sign said shallow and I was mislead.  Haha. I fell back into an underwater root.  My left hip has an ugly 3″ diameter red and purple bruise as a souvenir. The pit was about 40 feet long. As soon as you get out, jog a very short distance and leave the wooded area.

11) Another water hazard… this time, it is deep. So you swim… with logs, you have to get over…did I mention the temperature.  Probably about 52 degrees.  And the water was freezing.  It took my breath away. We swam for about 200 feet.

12) A thirty feet tall rope net wall.  Climb up and down the other side.  I was exhausted, but the fire was the next obstacle!!

13) I saw the fire and sprinted to it and leaped over each fire lane in exaltation… I was finished!!!!!!

but I wasn’t…:( … after the fire I turned the corner, expecting to see the finish line only to see…

14) Another water/mud pit… the water was muddy, but it was more swimming than sloshing…under barbed wire… then get up and sprint to the end!!

Saw Coach Crystal cheering me on… got water and a medal and walked away from everyone so I would not hurl right at the finish line.  (Luckily, I

Finished!! Check how the color of Crystal's shirt changed from the first picture!! Haha.

didn’t puke at all, but it was a close thing). Our buddy who ran with us finished shortly behind me and we went over to have our picture made.

We got a beer, watched a few more people finish, listened to the good music, watched the video board of other parts of the course, grabbed some swag and a free beer (yes, at nine in the morning, don’t judge).  We were high on adrenaline, talking to people waiting for their turn to run. We met some fun people from Mississippi, Louisiana and Florida. It was a blast…But we were also freezing.  The kids stayed at the hotel because it was so cold. So we headed back.

I finished in 43:27:30.  That is 12:47/mile (including the obstacles).  # 1293 out of 7200 contestants. (That is top 18%!!!)  Coach Crystal finished in 41:58:80 (#1049).  We were both pretty proud of our first finishes!!

Runner's high?!? Or just excited to still be alive. HAHA!

YOU GUYS HAVE GOT TO TRY IT NEXT TIME!!! (We are thinking of doing the Barbarian Challenge in Gadsden, Alabama in June — who is coming with??)

Is that exercise appropriate for children…to see? (INSANITY — Pure Cardio and Cardio Abs)

Today was my first time doing Cardio Abs.  It was intimidating knowing that I had another routine following Pure Cardio.  Pure Cardio is warm-up, stretch, and 15 or 16 cardio exercises done for a minute each without any rest in between.  Well, it is not designed to have a rest, but I took a break or two.  (I think about everyone in the class did, too, including Shaun T). I was proud I was able to get through all three rounds of the warm-up without taking a break. (Yes, the warmup is hard.)

So after it was over, you have to press play again for Cardio abs and you get another warm-up.  I almost freaked.  Thankfully, it is only one time through and not as intense as a normal warmup.  The rest of the routine is on the floor.  (But no sit-ups or crunches). Just because it is on the floor, doesn’t mean it is easy. I was so wiped at the time, but I don’t think it is as hard as P90X’s ab ripper. I could do all the moves (though I did take some breaks). 

The last move was very… interesting.  You start out in plank and do, what can only be called a type of hip thrusts.  Then you sink to low plank (plank on your elbows) and do more hip thrusts.  Up and down for four sets. I felt like I was training for some type of pornography Olympics.  I diverted my eyes from the television because that was just more than I wanted to see…Haha~!

Has anyone else done Cardio Abs and felt very strange performing the last exercise? Am I just doing these wrong?