Posts Tagged ‘C210K’

I completed my goal today of running 30+ minutes a day for 90 consecutive days. It has done exactly what I expected it to do: make fitness a priority. I had to change lots of behaviors in order for this to work and I kept it going even on days when I felt I couldn’t. Regardless of how the numbers come out, that is an accomplishment in and of itself.

As part of making running and exercise a habit, I had to first claim about an hour a day for those purposes. When I sleep for (ideally) 8 hours and work for 8 hours and drive for ~1 hour, that leaves me with ~7 hours to fill. Many things compete for those hours including work and school responsibilities, chores, leisure, additional travel, hygiene, and food. It was also very hard for me to get started on a workout when I don’t begin immediately upon returning home from work. I don’t have the discipline to do a workout before work, so after work was good. When it comes down to it, there was no excuse as long as I planned accordingly.

Stretching is also important. I have a brief routine now, but when I began I didn’t stretch enough and later I did a lot of extraneous stretching that took up more time (which I later converted into actual workouts by adding weights). Now I have about 6 standard stretches that I do before and after a run that take up about 5 minutes of time.

I met with some setbacks as well. Due to the nature of this goal, I left myself no off days. I augmented my running with time on the elliptical so that I could “run” without the footstrike. This helped me battle shinsplints and rest up between actual runs. As shinsplints got worse, I used the elliptical more. This was mixed blessing because I can run faster and longer on this machine, which gives me a false sense of accomplishment. Still, there’s something to be said for the confidence I got–false or otherwise.

The community on Fitocracy has been wonderfully supportive. Getting props and encouragement from people who are also working on fitness and running was very helpful. I learned a lot about stretching, running, barefoot running, training, resting, etc. It was also very humbling knowing that my personal best on any given day is someone else’s warmup.

I’m also very happy about the support I received from friends/family on Facebook. My RunKeeper app updates to FB automatically, so people see my progress each day and comment there as well. Between Fitocracy and Facebook, that’s about as close as I’ve gotten to having a running buddy, though I’m sure one day I’ll share the road with a dog 🙂

I started this goal to make fitness a weekly part of my life. Research shows that doing an activity daily for 90 days helps to change your behavior and instill a new habit or routine. Most exercise programs capitalize on this and Alcoholics/Narcotics Anonymous encourage attending 90 meetings in 90 days when first beginning to maintain sobriety. Now that I’ve completed this goal, it is time to consider my next goal(s).

I have yet to complete a trufax 5K or 10K. Those are definitely on my list. I also want to complete P90X, but I have a ways to go for that. I plan to take a week off to rest my legs before I do anything. During that week I’ll give some thought to what I’d like to do next. Once my legs are better and I can get 2-3 good runs in at a consistent 30 minutes without too much injury (still working on form) I’ll sign up and do my first 5K.

As for P90X, I need to meet the minimum requirements before I begin. I’ve finished P90 and done several weeks of P90M, but that was over 2 years ago. I plan to push myself with the Ab Ripper routines and do an amalgamation of P90 and P90M exercises over the course of 1-2 months to work my way up to the P90X minimum on the fit test (see below). I’m still out of shape, but I’m better off than I was 90 days ago 🙂

So, for now, rest and recuperation. Starting in about a week I will alternate running with general workouts at our local gym to build up strength with the goal of passing the P90X fit test. From there, I’ll start P90X for reals and run as often as time (and my body) allows.

I’ll take any/all advice and well wishing in the comments section (for the half dozen of you who read my blog). I’m excited about completing my goal, but I’m also excited about starting a new one.


Running total from 90 day goal:

231.46 miles | 49:20 h:m | 13:15 avg pace | 35,829 calories | 12.0 lbs lost

Past measurements from P90/P90M exercise (circa 5/31/10)

  • Weight = 207 lbs
  • Waist = 39.5 in
  • Neck = 16 in
  • Thighs = 24 in
  • Biceps = 14.5 in
Current measurements (7/7/12):
  • Weight = 200.0 lbs
  • Body Fat = 26.4%
  • Waist = 38.5 in
  • Belly = 45.0 in
  • Hips = 42.0 in
  • Neck = 16.0 in
  • Chest = 43.0 in
  • Thighs =21.0 in
  • Calves = 16.0 in
  • Biceps = 13.75 in

P90X Fit Test goals:

  • Pull ups = 3
  • Push ups = 15
  • Wall Squat = 1 minute
  • Bicep Curls = 10 reps x 20 lbs
  • In and Outs = 25
  • Jumping Jacks (heart rate) = 90 sec @ steady; 30 sec @ sprint
  • Vertical leap = 5 inches 
  • Toe touch = 6 inches from toes 


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Week One

I have finished my first week of consecutive running. I have a bit of a system down now and it is looking more and more like a routine. I’ve been running with both Zombies, Run! and RunKeeper apps going simultaneously. Zombies runs for the game content and music (it’s quite motivational and fun) and RunKeeper tracks my stats (which you can see on my “Running” page by clicking on the tab at the top of my blog’s homepage).

Some things I’ve noticed this week are as follows. My shins are not happy with me, but I have learned a few extra stretches to calm them. I’m also taking aspirin before my runs (instead of after) and I’m icing them after my post-run stretch for about 5 minutes. It seems to be the foot strike that fires them up, as they don’t bother me at all on the elliptical. I ran 1/3 mile before walking today. That’s about as far as I can go before the shins become almost unbearable. I’m new to all of this so I’m not sure where the line between pain and injury is drawn. I feel like my calves and shins are getting stronger, but there are times after running, and occasionally in the mornings out of bed, that they ache. I’m calling it an adjustment period and plan to go on my way.

I’ve also noticed that I can run longer and harder on the elliptical than on foot. My legs don’t tire as quickly and I can keep my heart rate up for longer periods of time. Running outside is my primary goal, especially with the weather so nice, but I think I can make good use of the elliptical as a way to “rest” my shins a bit while still getting a good cardio workout.

Setting my own pace is crucial. I am not competing with anyone directly, which is admittedly an opportunity for me to slack off, but I am adamant about improving from week to week and I’ll be damned if those zombies catch me! While my runs are currently a combination of short bursts of running with longer periods of walking recovery, I am working on increasing the frequency and length of my runs. Right now I consider everything to be practice. This month is a baseline. Whatever happens happens since I am just starting back up and letting my body adjust to this change. Since I’m already doing burst running, I might break out the ol’ Couch to 10K app and add a bit of structure in the weeks to come. For now, my goal is very simple: Run as often as I can for as long as I can stopping only when I need to.

Even now I’m looking ahead to future challenges. I want to run a 5K and a 10K and some day a half and full marathon. At this point I am confident I could finish a 5K if I entered one tomorrow, but I want to be able to run most of it, so that is still a future milestone. Reading posts on Fitocracy and other runner blogs I know I will need to consider nutrition, pacing, and other long-distance running strategies. For now though, I’m happy to run 1.5-3 miles a day. That puts me at running a marathon (26.2 miles) in just over 2 weeks (!). I will see progress as my average weekly mileage goes up and my average weekly pace goes down.

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When It Rains

I did not run today. The Ohio river is at or above flood stage and getting worse. Basically, it has been raining/storming almost constantly for the better part of 2 weeks and doesn’t look like it’s going to give up anytime soon. I run outside. You do the math.

I plan on trying to fit in a run tomorrow to keep with the schedule, but barring that, I should find some time next week as I travel to western Kentucky and hopefully dryer weather. I’m a lot more lenient on myself with my workout this time around. If I’m off by a day or even a few days it isn’t that big of a deal. I’m still exercising and I’ll complete the program eventually. I’m not working against a deadline or anything.

I’m still a running noob. I don’t have a rainy day alternative to running other than perhaps doing  a cardio video from P90M, but even then I’m just sweating, I’m not improving my running stamina/skill/tolerance. I’m more interested in that than losing a few pounds (though the latter would be nice too). I’m looking for a free alternative to running in the rain if anyone can recommend one. A gym or the Y come to mind, but they don’t fit with the “free” requirement. If I was going to pay to join a gym or go to the Y I would just do those things rather than workout at home. Hell, I could even get some swimming in in that case. Talk about your cardio! Digress. So yeah, any recommendations about places that I can run or even simulate running (e.g., treadmill) on days when cats and dogs and all manner of house pets are falling from the skies are very welcome. FREE PLACES. I’m broke afterall.

In other news, I have been issued a challenge. A peer of mine has challenged me to a weight off (well, it sounded clever as I typed it). She is working out to meet a goal and when she found out I had started working out she issued me a challenge. The specifics are still in discussion, but it involves money paid to the victor determined by who has lost the highest percentage of weight over a given time. It looks like about a 75 day time frame and a $25 buy in. She’s also trying to get a few other people involved to sweeten the pot. I’ll update once the terms are agreed upon (gosh, I sound so formal).

That’s all for tonight. Easter is tomorrow. I will do my best not to gorge, as is tradition during holidays. I foresee a big ol’ plate of leftovers coming home with me in any case.

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Takin’ it slow

When I purchased my Vibrams the man at the athletic store told me to take it slow with them if I’d plan to run in them. They take a while to get used to if you’re not accustomed to barefoot running. I took his advice and when I did my C210K workout today I didn’t push myself for the extra cardio. I didn’t get my heart rate up too high and I would occasionally wander into the grass to let my feet rest a bit. The trail over at the Sam Peden Community Park in New Albany is nice and surrounds a pond frequented by water fowl. The weather was decent. There was a breeze, it was slightly warm, and the clouds teased me with once-in-a-while raindrops.

I used my C210K app and listened to Gravel Peril, the third of Jim Butcher‘s Dresden Files books on audiobook. I found a new connection with Harry (the main character) in that I felt tired and achy (the latter from yesterday’s workout) as I ran, which is pretty much how he feels through 90% of the books. He works himself to near death at times and at other times creepy crawly monsters do all sorts of mean things to hurt him physically or otherwise. Also, as I’m typing this, I recall reading that Harry himself is a runner. Well, he does get chased by evil nasties a lot. The first rule of dealing with zombies is Cardio afterall!

The first rule of Zombieland: Cardio. When the zombie outbreak first hit, the first to go, for obvious reasons… were the fatties. – Columbus (from Zombieland)

That’s all for today. Time to make a sammich and work on my dissertation.

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I take it all back!

This morning showed me just how out of shape I really am. I did the Sculpt 5-6 workout from P90M, which I am at least familiar with and have completed before, and it sucked a lot. I completed each of the exercises, but didn’t come close to some of the reps. I’m talking maybe 8-10 reps when I have rocked 10-15 reps in the past (all exercises and weights being equal). Also, I opted for lighter weights for the time being so as not to hurt myself. I did several modified exercises and on some of the pushup exercises I was only able to do 3-5 reps. I will be upping the weight on several individual exercises and pushing for an extra rep or two on others next time. I’m still really getting used to the process again. It like falling off a bike. Or was it like riding a bike. I forget.

Even with this modified effort I still feel exhausted. I don’t ache (that’ll be tomorrow’s fun), but I definitely felt the difficulty of the exercises. I wobbled a lot and felt like my arms were made of lead during my shower. Ugh. I didn’t have any cardio problems, which is unsurprising since this is primarily weight training. I pushed myself during the warm up though, which included some cardio. Not too bad. Overall, I felt done after 30 minutes and was a little sad about having about 15 more minutes to go. Gotta learn to pace myself I guess.

In other news, I am satisfied with the performance of my Vibrams. They did exactly what I expected of them by providing more traction than bare feet on the carpet (sadly, I have to work out on carpet due to the layout of the apartment), while allowing for flexibility and balance from a barefoot workout. So far so good.

I start C210K tomorrow: 7 reps of running for 30 seconds and walking for 4 minutes 30 seconds. I think I may check out the park over by Walmart in New Albany for a trail or track. Prolly not a good idea breaking in the shoes on the random bits of everything found along the road until I am more comfortable with barefoot running in general and the feel of surprise rocks under my feet (ouch!).

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Out of Shape

Well, I can’t really say that I’m out of shape–I’m a nice round shape actually. But I’m going to do something about it starting this week. I have several toys to help me with this. Here’s the plan.

1. I got me some apps. I got a fitness tracker app for keeping track of my P90 progress and a Couch to 10k (C210k) app. Both are ~90 days, 12-13 weeks. The former will prolly help me more with P90X once I get fit enough to pass the introductory test (it’s sad, really). I say that because the exercises are already programmed in (for the most part) but the exercises I’m gonna be doing (from P90M) are prolly not programmed in, so I’ll have do do that myself.

2. I got me some new kicks. Vibrams are apparently really hard to come by. If you find the ones you want in your size, buy them. You’re prolly not gonna find them in your color though. The guys at the running stores (plural) I visited said the manufacturers are way behind on production due to the ridiculous demand. The Komodos (see below) are only sold in stores, not online. Also, they didn’t have my color 😦 Still, I wore them for a little while today and they felt great. I don’t think they’ll work very well as all-day-long shoes, but for 1-2 hours they’ll be fine. Everyone said to take them a bit slow when you first start out exercising with them so your feet can adjust. I can attest to that after walking on them for several hours. Still, I like how sensitive my feet are to the ground while wearing them. I walked across cobblestone and could feel the subtle differences in each stone.

Man I have hairy legs.

3. I got me a running partner. Sort of. John wants to run, even though no one will be chasing him, and he thinks the C210k might just do the trick. I see it as running for noobs. It takes the guesswork out of trying to get into running and challenges you quickly. Plus, the app I have is both idiot proof and allows me to listen to my iPhone/Pod. Also, come on. Couch to 10k. It is an exercise program that has the word “couch” in it. I can’t think of a more clear starting point. Anyway, running with a buddy is a bit more motivating, but even without a buddy, I got lots of books on tape. Dresden Files FTW. I’m on book 3 of 12 and book 13 comes out in July. I got some catching up to do (fyi, I am rereading them).

So here’s the plan. Pretty simple. I’m gonna do the P90M program, which is a step up from the P90 program I finished months ago, without the cardio. This program is very unorganized (the other P90 programs have excel files to track progress for crying out loud) and I had to track down a recommended schedule. The result is that I’m going to alternate Sculpt 5-6, Upper Middle Lower, Core Cardio, and (stab me) Plyometrics so as to challenge myself like the other programs do (3 weeks heavy, 1 week light, last month hell). I’ll do three of these videos each week alternating days with C210k. I’m thinking MWF weight training and TThSa C210K.

I am currently 225lbs. Yup, you read that right. When I finished this up last time I was 204lbs. Backsliding with a deficit of 21lbs. For shame. I can do 3/4 of a pull up (the P90X intro expects men to be able to do at least 3) and my pushups fail around 20 or so. I have no idea about my other measurements or my heart rate. I don’t feel the need to get bogged down in details until I’m actually doing P90X.

Tomorrow starts the suck. Be prepared for updates with me whining about how much I ache. It’s gonna happen.

EDIT: Wow. I must have been in a mood. I wrote “I got” a lot in this post. Whatever. I’m excited and a bit silly. No judging.

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