Week 3 of Training

Put a fork in me, I am done. This was a hard week, not just the workouts, but the solo parenting with a child that is hitting the¬†“terrible threes”. The latter made it more important than ever I get the workouts in. This week was just overly challenging. Great news, next week will be, too. At least, I am prepared and ready for Thanksgiving week. ūüôā

This week focused on lifting weight to muscle fatigue with a good amount of cardio (tempo and speed work). So, here we go… week 3 breakdown.

Sunday – 6 miles with 4 at tempo

Monday¬†¬†– ¬†Easy 6 miles with core & back work, chest, back, triceps¬†and biceps for weight lifting. Remember to work your whole chest then your triceps then to back to biceps. Always work¬†a-posing¬†muscle groups. Hence, the need to work abs then back. Each weight lifting exercise was done 3 times with 12 reps with the last rep being to muscle fatigue. IE, if I did another up and down I would either pull a muscle or not make it. If you have not been there, go an additional 2 to 4 times from the point you think you can’t.

  • Chest workout
    • Flat bench chest press
      • 25 crunches and 25 reverse crunch
      • Superman 25 times.
    • Incline chest press
      • Repeat Ab and Back work
    • Dumbbell Pullovers, I do this move with only my shoulders on a bench, keep your spine inline abs in gauged, knees 90 degrees, feet flat on the floor. After your last set move directly to tricep presses right over your chest as many as you can do.
      • Repeat Ab and Back work
  • Triceps
    • Seated Tricep Extensions
      • Repeat Ab and Back work
    • Tricep Kickbacks
      • Repeat Ab and Back work
  • Back (Thank you to Jack for this workout, he created the workout with dumbbells. Great guy, very helpful and excited to help and even followed up on the workout to make sure it was working). ¬†The fact he is a ‘Bama fan is just an added bonus! ūüôā You can find him on twitter here¬†and his website here, Jack’s website.
    • Single dumbbell bent over row
      • Body weight squats 10
    • Double dumbbell bent over rows (performed standing, no bench involved)
      • Body weight squats 10
    • Bent-over double dumbbell lat fly
      • Body weight squats 10
    • Bent over Dumbbell pull-backs
      • Body weight squats 10
  • Biceps
    • Hammer curls
      • Body weight squats 10
    • Biceps curls
      • Body weight squats 10

Greatest way to know you lifted correctly is move directly into push up position, if you are not shaking during the execution or if you just can’t even perform the push up, you reached your muscle fatigue. Depending on your recovery rate you may be able to do a push up or two. If you are handling this easily, you are stronger than you believe and you need to adjust your lifting to reach the point of muscle fatigue.

Tuesday –¬†Shoot me now, 10 miles on the treadmill followed by 25 8-count body builders. The body builders took me some time, I was a little¬†sore from the day before. Plus, I really really, did I mention really hate body builders. I mean really, who came up with this god forsaken workout, a form of a burpee set to a rhythm count. If I ever met this person, I am not sure I would punch or hug him/her. Either way… another, lovely workout J taught me. ¬†The run on the treadmill was tough mentally. The only thing that got me through this run was “From Paris With Love”. Yes, the weapons fire, explosions, and awesome character playing by John Travolta made 10 miles seems like a walk in the park.

¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† One of my favorite quotes from the movie is,¬†“Kitchen staff!?! What kitchen staff ?!? Kitchen staff doesn’t shed lead like that.” ¬†Anywhos…..I highly recommend the movie if you have not seen it. Great effects with some awesome movie liners like the one above.

Wednesday – No cardio, just repeat of Mondays weight lifting. Plus, yoga and stretching. I wasn’t overly sore. Weight lifting then cardio helps work out the lactic acid build up. Plus, the more efficient your body becomes the better the recovery.

Thursday Р First off, I am so stoked I completed this. (8.5 miles total) I learned this workout from J. It was a workout he did some many moons ago. Well, half of it. I just repeated the cycle.

  • Block 1
    • Easy warmup one and a half miles. You can make this a mile if you want. I said easy for a reason.
  • Block 2
    • Four quarter-mile sprints with 30 second working recovery* between each set — you can make the rest period up to 45 seconds
    • 45 to one minute working recovery after your last quarter-mile sprint.
    • Two half mile sprints with 60 second working recovery* between each set — you can make the rest period up to 90 seconds
  • Block 3
    • Working recovery* for one mile.
  • Block 4
    • REPEAT Block 2
      • Try and maintain the same pace of your first round of Block 2. By the third half mile repeat or maybe the first half-mile repeat you should be swearing and pushing yourself through the “I want to quit” stage. Just remember, the saying “Pain is inevitable, suffering optional.” You choose suffer through it or push forward. I use a mantra when things get real tough, I find it’s a way to calm my mind and body, it’s rather simple. Be Strong, Be Confident, Believe. Short simple and repeated whenever I need it.
  • Block 5
    • One mile cool down. Add whatever miles you need for cool down. I did 1.5. I have an A-Type personality and the warm up and cool down need to match and the cool down needs to make the total mileage complete or at a half mile. IE after the decimal the number needs to be 0 or 5.

Finished up with core & back work and another 15 8 count body builders **insert sour loving face**.

Friday – Easy 5 mile run.

Saturday – As always family day. I am truly blessed to have a man or maybe a¬†vampire man in my life that when his flight is cancelled on Friday night, he will get a rental car and drive all the way home to arrive Saturday morning for family day. He did this knowing that early Sunday morning like 4AM he was heading back out to the airport and heading back to the location he just left. Saturday’s adventures were very¬†basic, we picked up our fresh turkey from a local family farmer, we did a little more Christmas shopping, of course watched some football, enjoyed building some great architectures, pig¬†piled on the bed for a few Christmas films, made time for¬†J¬†and M to have play time, followed by Abby getting¬†some solo couch time with J and I got 75 minutes¬†of almost uninterrupted peace and not so much quiet time to do adult things. The time flew by, but we¬†will take it. It is about quality over quantity.

*What I mean by working recovery is that you are still moving jogging or at an easy run pace. You are allowing your body to recovery and take in more oxygen at a reduction in intensity, but you are not standing still or allowing your heart rate to drop completely, I stay within 60 Р65% of max heart rate. The Thursday workout is all about working at a high intensity with minor breaks then back to high intensity. You are training you cells to recovery after high intensity and also training your mind to influence your body. Remember, fitness is not how skinny, built, how far you can run/hike/climb/swim or how much you can carry for a certain distance and/or altitude. Fitness is your rate of recovery. The better your fitness rate, the faster you recover, the faster your body returns to homeostasis. The place it wants to be. In times of stress that being fight or flight, work shit, family BS, disagreement with your loved one, you name it, the faster your body and your mind can make the adjustments and return to normal the better for you and your body.

Week Two of Training

I had to make some changes to my plan. This week we had a sick household. ¬†Everyone, but the dogs, got ‘the crud’. ¬†M had a low-grade temperature for several days, so we were the good parents and kept her home from pre-school and kept ‘the crud’ all to ourselves. The good news is¬†we all are over ‘the crud’¬†and ready to face week three with all cylinders firing at maximum power.

Week Two Workouts:

Sunday:¬†Off. It was supposed to be 8 miles, but ‘the crud’ and¬†a minor hive outbreak made things a little tough. The latter is getting overly exhausting.

Monday:  6 miles

Tuesday: 6 miles and one hour spin class (HIIT workout) — Did not do the spin class.

Wednesday: 5 mile run with a 16lb weight vest and 1 mile 15% incline walk with 16lb weight vest

Thursday: Started off with hives, but did my circuit training, which breaks down as follows:

Each round of exercise is done 3 times for 40 minutes with 20 second recovery then 60 minute recovery between each round. This week was about making friends with the floor for plank position and push ups. Here are the exercises:

  1. Round One
    • Grab a step (like the ones they use in step class) with 2 or 4 rises for each side or a low bench, stand to one side then place one foot up on the step towards the middle, bend to 90 degrees, jump up and return to bent position. Keep the landing light, soft, as quiet as you can. Keep your form, break when you need.
    • Bent over rows
    • Down the floor, plank position, execute a push up. If you cannot do a push up with perfect¬†form, then do a modified push up with perfect form. Return to plank position, then right leg, knee to chest, then another push up, then left leg, knee to chest. Repeat as many times as you can. Remember you form. Form is most important. ¬†If you do the modified push up, move back to the plank position and then knee to chest and back down. No harm and dropping to modified or starting at modified push ups. We all start somewhere, we all have our weaknesses. With that said, we are all stronger in another area. So, don’t get down on yourself if you can’t maintain or start with a push up.
  2. Round two
    • Back to Step, straddle it, bend over and place hands on the far end of the step, then jump your feet¬†up onto the step, landing on your toes and back down to the floor. Controlled and soft landings.
    • Deadlifts
    • Down to the floor for swimmers. Lay on your stomach, leg out (feet a little wider than hip width, arms out in front of you) pull your chest and hips off the floor as high as you can. Both arms and legs up and down as fast as you can while maintain the distance you just pulled up off the floor. This works your hamstrings and back.
  3. Round Three
    • Squats with overhead press
    • Down to the floor, again. Back to plank position for ‘around the world’. From plank position, lift left arm, left leg, right arm, then right leg. Repeat. You can do a left arm/right leg lift then right arm/left leg. If needed, go down to your elbow and perform the ‘around the world’.
    • Front raises,¬†keep your stomach contracted, if needed place one foot slightly in front of the other to protect your back or bend over.
  4. Round Four
    • Jumping jacks with 2.5 lb plate. Arms — ¬†in and out for 20 seconds then arms up to should height and down for 20 seconds. As many as you can. The jacks with in and out arms may require a bit more focus then your regular jacks. ūüėČ

Friday: 6 mile run with stretching. Later that afternoon, a 3 mile walk with my weight vest. The three miles broke out like this;

  • Mile one at¬†7% incline
  • Mile two at 11% incline
  • Mile three at 15 % incline

I wanted to run 4 miles at a 4% incline. But I toned it down to just sweat at low intensity and work the cold out of my system.

Saturday: Rest day — FAMILY DAY ūüôā It included, Christmas shopping, ‘The Incredibles’ with puzzles, building blocks, play-dough, M barking out commands to Abby and time as family piled on the couch. I’m amazed how two adults, one toddler and two large dogs find a way to fit on the¬†couch. At nap time, ¬†J & I watched the Alabama Football game. Roll Tide! Yes, I am from the north, but I married a man from Mobile, AL. ¬†When ‘Bama is on, I’m watching the game. I have no complaints. ZERO. When the Pats are on, he is game for watching it with no complaints. The joys of being married. Compromise. ūüôā

My mileage was a wee-bit better. I did not like cutting out my spinning class, but the chest congestion really made cardio at high rates a wee-bit tricky. ¬†The circuit training suffered do to the chest congestion, so I made the next day’s cardio a bit easier.

The weight vest training went well. Honestly, 16 lbs is a walk in the park, but with the cold the double session was tough. If you are starting out with a weight vest, stay within 2 to 5, maybe 8 lbs max for a few weeks. Work on your form. Weight carrying while running requires very good form and knowledge on how to use it. If not, you will end up with some or sever lower back pain.

There are many items to consider when purchasing a weight vest for running and other workouts. I will write-up a post later this week on the one I use and why. It’s been my lifesaver when training to carry M up and down mountains.

Wicked 10k Race Weekend

This weekend is summed up as the weekend of firsts. First time, running with someone during a race, first time meeting L (after 7-8years of emails, phone calls and texts), first time not really training for a race and first time just running a race for fun. A weekend full of firsts and every single one of them were great.

I did start off training for this race with a goal of breaking 50 minutes. It is rather doable, in fact, I believe I can get down into the 48 minutes, but a few urticaria outbreaks and a really bad chest infection made training or any type of physical activity problematic. I was out for a good solid 3 weeks. In addition, my friend, L, PR’d her half marathon the weekend before, so we both needed a good solid fun run.

The Wicked 10k is held in Virginia Beach usually the weekend before Halloween. The course is flat (of course, its held in southeastern Virginia!) and finishes along the broad walk with an ocean view to your left.  You can find out more about the race, here. You can expect to see many racers dressed up in a wide variety costumes. Those who choose to dress up can be entered into the costume contest. If you choose to participate in the costume contest it takes place before the race and at the post-race party. You can check out some of the costume winners at the Wicked 10k Facebook page, here. There was live music playing during the race and the bands are good. You definitely will have a few zombies hanging around the course, so watch out!. Truly, a fun Halloween race.

The race is run by J&A Racing. They are the owners of the Shamrock Marathon Weekend. I have run many of their races and most of them numerous times. J&A Racing runs the Big Blue 5k, the Shamrock Marathon Weekend, Wicked 10k, Santa 5 Miler,¬†the Crawlin’ Crab Half, and the Harbor Lights Festival. All the races are held in the southeastern part of Virginia, better known as Hampton Roads. I have never had one complaint about any of the races I have run by J&A Racing. Packet pick-up is easy and the vendors present are great. Many of the vendors are local companies and depending on the race, you will find a few military foundations at the expos. Race day is well-organized, corals are managed and water stops are well maintained. You can find more about J&A racing and the races they run, here.

Several weeks before the Wicked 10k, L and I tried diligently to figure out a costume. After all the brainstorming, we came up with not dressing up. We decided instead to support a newly founded non-profit organization that supports Special Operations Forces (SOF) military dogs called Warrior Dog Foundation. The foundation helps find retired or injured dogs that cannot return to service homes, helps those dogs injured in service recover and is home for those dogs that cannot make the transition into family life. Their organization website can be found, here.

There are many ways to support this organization. Here is how…

  1. Catch up on some reading and learn about what these dogs do
    • Trident K9 Warriors: My Tale from the Training Ground to the Battlefield with Elite Navy SEAL Canines by Gary Brozek and Mike Ritland
      • Here is a link¬†that will give you may options from reading to listening¬†¬†(portion of sales goes to the foundation)
  2. Sport some logo gear…
    • Find logo gear, here
      • Just a side note, to-date, there is no size chart. I have found women sizes run a little small. I am normally a medium, but passed that along to L. L normally wears a small, but the medium worked for her. ¬†Men’s shirts are pretty true to size.¬†J had no problems.¬†In addition, material is good quality and there is no shrinking after washing. The company that makes the shirts is Forged, another great US company, find out more about them, here.
  3. Make a direct Monetary Donation
    • There are three main pillars¬†for donation,¬†K9 Outreach,¬†Education and¬†Handler and Gold Family Support. You can find a link on the top right corner below the menu bar on their website or you can click this link to make a donation. The organization uses Paypal for direct donations. If you like to support your USPS service, you can send checks to¬†Warrior Dog Foundation,¬†PO box 2450¬†Denver, CO 80201.
  4. You can send them items they need. As a former worker of a nonprofit organization, I suggest reaching out to them directly. You can do so via this email address, info@warriordogfoundation.org. I make this suggestion because you will know what they need and use. You will not purchase and send items they do not use or cannot use. Keep in mind, not everything can be used and most of the time organizations get overloaded with certain items and not enough of other needed items.

Before, moving back to the race. Remember to keep your receipts for Uncle Sam, especially the last two listed item, since they are tax-deductible. ūüôā There are numerous reasons to support this organization, whatever your reason is any action helps even if it is just helping to spread the word. For our family, our reasons are close to our hearts and those close to us know most of the details.

You can find the Warrior Dog Foundation on Facebook, here. Instagram photos, here. Twitter, here.

Race Day had a rather uneventful morning, which is great! M woke up with little hassle and J got his cup of coffee before leaving the house. Not bad for starting the morning at 5 with two of the worst morning people, I know. We arrived at the race start around 7 in the morning. Parking was easy and well-organized. We were able to park near the Virginia Beach Convection Center, the location of the starting line. L and I did some warming up and J got a picture of us before we headed to the starting line.  And yes, we got some blue paw print socks. If you would like a pair yourself, here is the link. They are not compression socks, but they stay up and keep your lower legs warm.

L & I before the race
L & I before the race

One of the nice things about this race is the corrals. They are actually managed and each corral has a gap of one minute. The race is rather large about 10,000 participates this year, I think. We started in corral two with Wonder Woman, the Playboy Bunny, Forrest Gump and numerous other characters. J was with M near the starting line and captured the beginning of the race.

Skelton Biker
Skelton Biker
Skelton Biker
Skelton Biker
Can’t miss those Wicked 10k Arm bands
Team Hoyt

The race was rather uneventful. L and I kept a pretty set pace around 8:50 minute miles with a two stops at two of the three water stations. We passed some zombies, live music, some dancers performing “Thriller” and numerous costumes. With the costumes, ¬†if you can think it up — it was there. L & I finished our easy run in ¬†54:58 on a beautiful day for a run.

At the finish
At the finish

We wrapped up the race with a picture with the King Neptune Statue. You don’t fly from California to Virginia Beach oceanfront without stopping by and taking¬†a picture. Even though, it adds about a two-mile walk after a running 6.2 miles. ūüôā

All and all, a great race followed by a long run of 10 miles that put my weekly mileage at 30. Not a bad way to start into training for hiking season which starts¬†the first week of November. I decided to add two half-marathons to the “to-do list” one in February and the other March. Also, to that list I added not letting another 7 to 8 years pass before seeing L, again. In the meantime, may the fun times of training begin….

Here is one of my favorite costumes from the race. Fabulous job. You can find a clip of this costume at the after party doing some dancing on the Wicked 10k Facebook page.

My Fav Costume
My Fav Costume

Lastly, I can’t have a post like this without the pups …Here’s one with L, Abby, Gabe and I.

L & I with Gabe and Abby
L & I with Gabe and Abby



When I first learned what an Ironman was, ¬†I thought holy crap those folks deserve a tons of respect. Shortly, after that thought, I said to myself — they are flirting with the line of insanity. So, for todays laugh I’m posting this video.

The ironic thing about this video is that I am the nutcase that wakes up at 0400 – 0430 to go running. LMAO — hello line of insanity!

Have a great night!