INSANITY Update

It’s a sad, sad day when at the tender age of twenty a girl finds out she has bum knees…

And that’s the reality that was brought to my attention at my recent doctor’s appointment.  Since as long as I can remember I’ve had an extra bump just below my knee.  Some of you may be familiar with this, it’s called Osgood-Schlatter disease.  It was a result of my extreme hockey conditioning I endured in my younger years and has lasted with me into my twenties.  Osgood-Schlatter’s pain can stay dormant for years if it’s not irritated.  Unfortunately, jumping, squatting, and high impact moves trigger the knee pain and intensify it.

The verdict? My doctor suggests I step away from INSANITY as it will only continue to worsen my knee pain and warned that if I keep it up, my running will become jeopardized.  

So with a heavy heart I write that I am abandoning my INSANITY journey… BUT my journey does NOT end here.  As per my doctor’s advice, I have swapped INSANITY with a gym membership and am going to start lifting!  I am aiming to incorporate 3 days of lifting with 5 days of running to make up my summer fitness regime (gains will be evaluated in September and a new plan formulated to fit the needs of the time).

I hope y’all continue to follow and read my blog as I will be posting my daily workouts and fitness adventures. I will continue to take my measurements and post them as well.

Enough is ENOUGH!

Every year I struggle in March.  The weather is still cold, the days are still short, and to top it off I’m right at the start of term paper season with exams looming.  It’s not a good situation and every year it’s where I fall off the wagon.   This past March I went from being 144 to 155 by the time exams hit in April.  It was the sort of situation where I would find myself sitting down to write a paper with a new tub of ice cream and find myself polishing off said tub of ice cream as I typed my conclusion.  It’s a situation that becomes a large problem when you find yourself facing 6 papers in two weeks.  Not my proudest moments (but I did get honours for every paper I wrote if that counts for anything).

Now it’s May and I’m still carrying my 10 extra “ice cream” pounds and struggling in over half my workouts and disliking how I look in the mirror.  It’s time to ask myself honestly what’s going on!

After my latest weekend spent being disappointed with my reflection in the mirror, feeling useless in my fitness journey, and turning to ice cream for comfort (it’s a vicious cycle isn’t it?), I’ve finally had enough.  It’s time for me to realize that unless I fuel properly, workout efficiently, and give it time to work, I won’t break the cycle I’m stuck in.

First things first, it’s time for me to kick my sugar cravings out the door.  I’ve done some research, and usually I never turn to cleanses as they do not produce long term results, but simply for the purpose of eliminating my sweet cravings I am going to give one a try.  This (http://www.hungryforchange.tv/article/3-day-detox-plan) detox is considered a “mild” detox.  Although, anything that has me skipping my morning coffee I consider extreme.

I’m excited to finally have solidified my motivation and determination back again, I could feel it slowly creeping back with INSANITY and my new running schedule, but this puts the final piece in the puzzle.  Working out + good nutrition = results

Hopefully by the end of this weekend I will be able to blog about the amazing results this detox brought.  A positive is that my mum is on board with the cleanse too and I’m doing it over a weekend so hopefully my focus can be bang on.

But I must know before going into the cleanse that this is not the start and Sunday the end.  Once my cleanse ends I have to be willing to step up to the plate and ensure good nutrition all the time. No more of this staying on track until dinner time and then letting it all go.  It’s time for me to realize that this is a lifestyle and not some outfit I put on for the day; what you eat in private you wear in public!

I will keep you all updated on how this goes, as well as with my INSANITY and running, and I hope that in a month y’all can read my posts and be proud with me of my progress! Time will be the test! 

Stay tuned.

 

Sweat Baby Sweat

Last night my boyfriend and I met up to do my INSANITY workout.  I could tell after I got home from work that my motivation was waning and I needed to figure out something that would get me doing my INSANITY workout and get me doing it with high intensity.

Naturally I turned to my girlfriend skills and used my boyfriend’s competitive and fit nature to my advantage when I challenged him to try doing Pure Cardio with me.  He quickly agreed to trying it with me and just like that I had locked myself into doing my workout (plus it made for an extra date night this week).

We met up just before 9 o’clock at a local park, laptop charged and ready, to do the workout.  We found a well lit area suitable for our needs and started it up.  It was a wonderful night, just around twenty degrees Celsius, with a light breeze; a much better atmosphere than my dark and damp basement.  As well, doing the workout outside allowed for ample space to do the moves (long stretches to do suicides on, no ceiling to hit our heads when we jump, etc.).

I am not sure if it was the result of having an afternoon nap, running earlier that day, or just having a later workout time than usual, but I could tell that my speed was not as fast as it could have been.  This could just be me being overly-critical of myself, an issue I struggle with a lot, but it is worth noting.  Another anomaly of this workout was my water intake.  Normally I only drink ~500mL throughout my INSANITY workout (even when I did Pure Cardio), but this time I ended up finishing just about 900mL (also an interesting note as there’s only 3-4 official water breaks in the workout)!

All in all, I am very glad that I did the workout and happy that I could share the time with my boyfriend.  He’s really enjoyed INSANITY so far (he’s only done two workouts) and stated that he would much rather do an INSANITY workout than go for a run with me (something I have pressured him into doing at least a couple times a month).  I’m happy with that trade off as normally for my runs I do not need extra motivation but I have found that turning on the INSANITY DVD helps if I have added incentive.

Yours in fitness.

Progression Run

I have started a new running program in hopes to increase my 10 km time.  I have embarked on a 6 week program that has me running speed repeats, hills, tempos, and now progression runs.  Before I started this program, my running schedule consisted of your basic runs – allotted distances with the occasional tempo and weekly long, slow distance.

Today my plan called for a 6 km “progression” run that wanted me to start slow and increase my speed by 20 s/km every 1.5 km so that by the last 1.5 km I was running at my 5 km race pace.  I figured that since this was my first attempt at a progression I would start at a 6:00 min/km then drop 20 seconds off that every 1.5 km so by the end I would be running around a 5:00 min/km.  This is slightly slower than my optimal 5 km race pace but I thought it best to ensure I still had some gas in the tank by the end.  Also, I was running on my lunch break at high noon so the sun was shining bright (I’m not complaining though!).

Since this was my first time doing a run like this, it had me constantly checking my Garmin to ensure I was on pace.  The first km naturally felt very slow but I was able to maintain the 6:00 min/km pace without too much trouble.  My issue occurred when I was supposed to be running at a 5:40 min/km pace.  For some reason everytime I checked my Garmin I would be going too fast.  Then I would adjust my speed but end up going too slow.  This flip flopping endured for the duration of that 1.5 km section. The 5:20 min/km went by without much issue.  A couple times I caught myself speeding up but held myself on pace for the majority of that section.  By the time the last km came I was running around a 4:45 min/km and for the last 500m I ran as fast as I could mimicking a sprint and ended up getting my pace to a 3:30 min/km (although any longer and I could not keep that up).

All in all, I was so happy to be back to running outside on my lunch that the run went by relatively quickly.  I enjoyed switching up the paces and think that if I keep this up it will definitely help me achieve negative splits come race day.

I’ll let you know how INSANITY goes later.  I am planning on doing that after work later tonight around 7.

Back At It

If you’ve been reading my blog for the past week, you’ve probably noticed that I’ve altered the INSANITY schedule a little bit throwing in an extra rest day before my race and not working out on Mother’s Day.  I want to let you know that all stops today. I am 100% back at INSANITY and going to keep up with the schedule, giving INSANITY all that I have!

Today calls for the Fit Test, which I will be doing after work around 5 o’clock.  I am also going to throw in Cardio Abs afterwards since that is part of the workout that I missed on Mother’s Day.

Today is also a special day as it is the start of my new running plan.  I will be posting more on this later but today’s running workout calls for 5 x 1000m repeats with a 4 minute break between them.  It’s a good thing this is my first round of repeats as I don’t have anything to compare it to.  It will be following on the tail of my INSANITY workout and I may be a little tired to begin with, but hopefully that means that by the next speed workout I’ll see faster results.  

I’m an Insane Girlfriend

After my race on Saturday I was supposed to meet up with my boyfriend around 2 o’clock.  But, the bf had to work late and couldn’t make it until 4. Unfortunately, he didn’t let me know he was going to be late until after 2 o’clock passed.  Now here I had a decision to make… I could either be mad that he was late and didn’t keep me informed or I could decide to put that behind me and move on. I chose to do the latter option with a twist.

To my bf’s surprise, when he arrived at my house I was dressed head to toe in my workout gear and bouncing around getting prepped for a workout.  What did this mean for him? Well, I decided that instead of being upset that he was late, I would just make him do my INSANITY workout with me.  Surprisingly, he put up little rejection to the idea.  That’s the wonderful thing about having a fit and competitive boyfriend; you face him with a challenge and he will accept no matter how much he would rather not do it (remind me later to tell you of when he came to my advanced hot yoga class).  

Saturday’s workout called for Cardio Power & Resistance.  This was the perfect workout to throw at my bf as if he were to do Pure Cardio I’m sure all I would hear is that this is a workout for cardio bunnies.  Instead this workout had him doing push-ups (his favourite and my least favourite exercise), squats, jumps, planks, and all those wonderful strength building exercises.  By the time the warm-up finished he had a good sweat on and after circuit one he got the hang of how the workout is structured.  By the end we were both out of breath and yelling at one another to go faster or squat lower.

It was excellent working out with him there because it made me really concentrate on having perfect form as well as pushed me to go as hard as I could for the full duration of each activity. By the end I had my boyfriend onside with INSANITY and even agreeing to do more of the workouts with me in the future.  As of right now we have an INSANITY date set for next Saturday.  I’ll work him through the Plyometric workout next and maybe eventually down the line throw Pure Cardio at him, but as for now the INSANITY workouts with the most strength building are the ones he’ll enjoy the most.

All in all, it’s a good thing I have him as I’m not sure the majority of guys out there could deal with such an “insane” girlfriend

Race Recap

When you sign up for a race in the middle of May, even if it’s located in Canada, you’d expect the weather to be beautiful.  It’s such a lovely time of the year, the flowers are starting to blossom and the weather warms up.  After being cooped up inside for the duration of winter, come May it’s such a wonderful feeling to run in shorts and a tank top.

Last year this 5k was on such a hot day that extra water had to be ordered.  Men ran with no shirts on and there was not a single person there wearing pants.  This year was a different story.

The reality of living in Canada is, even if it’s May, the weather is never set in stone.  That was a fact that was reiterated Saturday.  I woke up to a frosty morning with north east winds blowing in temperatures below zero.  By the time it was time to leave my house, the sun had peaked out and the temperatures were hovering just above zero. 

It was an outdoor race where the race packet pickup and post race food was organized to be outside in the park that it was being held at.  Luckily the location had a pavilion to set up everything as the skies were covered with ominous looking clouds (no rain ended up falling though); it did provide shelter from the chilly winds though.

By the time the race began, the weather had warmed up to around 7 degrees Celsius.  I opted for shorts, a long sleeve, and a jacket on top to block the cold wind.  It was a bit cold to be wearing that beforehand but by the first kilometre, I was warmed up.

Then the Canadian weather did something it does often and threw a curveball.  About halfway through the race the clouds cleared, the sun came out, and the wind dropped.  My body that was so happily clothed in a jacket all of the sudden became a hot mess.  Thank goodness this was only a 5k because if it was any longer I would have had to transfer my pined bib to my shirt underneath and shed the coat.

Now as for my actual race performance, it wasn’t all that bad.  Unfortunately, I woke up with the “runs” on race day (no pun intended) and didn’t want to risk eating breakfast and having a mid-race crisis to deal with.  This meant that my race turned into a fasted cardio workout.  Normally this isn’t a problem for me as I often workout early in the morning before breakfast.  However, the race didn’t start until 10 and by the time I lined up at the start my stomach was growling.  It was a good thing to experience, racing on an empty stomach, but not something I will do again.  At the 3km mark I ended up focussing a lot on the ache in my stomach and by the finish I felt weak from my low blood sugar.  Immediately I scarfed a banana down.  

I ended up running just under a 5:00 kilometre, finishing in 24:53.  This isn’t close to a personal best, but I wasn’t expecting to challenge that record for this race.  Coming so close on the tail of term paper season and exams and following a one week vacation, my training was not tiptop beforehand.  I came second for women 20-24, losing to the first place finisher by 12 seconds.  Unfortunately, I had first place in my grasp but was unable to achieve a negative split and was passed in the last kilometre.  I think it was a mix between the empty stomach, change of weather, and mental acceptance (that I was not going for a personal best) that left me flat at the end and unwilling to kick it up to maintain first place.

This race was a good learning experience and I did have fun participating in it.  My mother came out to support me and that made the morning wonderful.  She was adorable running from kilometre to kilometre to cheer me on and snapping pictures.  Every time I saw her (at the start, 1km, 3km, and finish) I couldn’t help but smile.  It does make a world of difference having a good support system at races for me!  

Moving forward, my next race is a half marathon in two weeks time.  More importantly is my goal race coming up at the end of June.  As of next Tuesday, the 14th, my new running schedule starts in preparation for my goal race.  This new plan includes tempo , hills, kilometre repeats, and progression runs.  I’m excited to see if sticking to a plan that incorporates these specialty runs will make me see some improvement.  Also, I will be sticking to my INSANITY plan so that could also help me see some changes in my speed.

Yours in fitness.

Rest Day

After yesterday’s unplanned rest day, today I feel ready to go!  Mind you I’m currently sitting in a  desk chair and have been for 4 hours now so I have a lot of energy stored up!

Also, because I’m sitting in my desk chair without piles of work to be done, and have been for the entire morning, I have had a lot of time to think.  Where does my mind wander? To my INSANITY  journey of course.  And what does this wandering produce? A burning desire, yes a desire, to do an INSANITY workout.  As I sit here and think about my INSANITY program and what I committed to, I feel so terrible that I’m “resting” (my mind substitutes “skipping” here) for two days.  But is there anything I can do about it?

I have this unwritten rule that the day before a race is a rest day, but depending on the week, may include a sloooooooow 3-5km jog; the length depends on the length of the race the next day.  Unfortunately, I don’t think an INSANITY workout would be equal to a slow twenty minute jog…

So where does this leave me?

I am writing to ask for some feedback.  In my heart of hearts I know that an INSANITY workout would be pretty intense to do the day before a race.  But… my race tomorrow isn’t a goal race. So, should I continue with my INSANITY plan? If I do does that mean I am more concerned about my overall fitness and not just my running? Is that a bad thing? But then what about my knee? It doesn’t hurt right now but I’m also not even standing on my feet.  What would happen if I start jumping around?  Should I give INSANITY a try and if my knee acts up then stop? Should I keep with my rest plan and skip INSANITY?

Please offer your opinions as otherwise I will just be left to my own mind wandering for the entire afternoon as I sit glued to my office chair.

Okay ya’ll… I have some bad news.

Okay ya’ll… I have some bad news.

Last night I was supposed to do the Cardio Circuit.  After work when I got home, I had a very large dinner so instead of doing my INSANITY right afterwards, I went for a walk in the beautiful spring weather to help digestion.  Long, boring story short, it was after 8:30 before I got in the INSANITY mindset.  

Now, as I’ve brought up numerous times, I have a race this Saturday.  Even though this is not my goal race (a race that I’ve specifically been focussing on to achieve a personal best), I still take race days seriously and want to perform to the best of my ability.  So why do I bring this up again?

As I started to warm-up for my INSANITY workout, I felt a pain in my right knee.  It was on the inside at the base of my knee cap.  Being a runner, I’m very familiar with aches and pains but this didn’t feel like the typical soreness that comes with pushing your body to excel in a sport.  

To describe the sensation, it felt like someone was stabbing a knitting needle into that area.

Not good, not good at all.  My mind went on high alert and sent out loud warning signals.  Because I have a race this Saturday and because I want to be able to continue with my running schedule and INSANITY for the duration of the summer without worrying about a pesky injury, I decided it was best to take an extra rest day.

It was a tough decision to make, knowing that this would throw me two days off of my INSANITY schedule, but sometimes you need to listen to your body and the signals it’s transmitting to you.  I’m really hoping that this situation can heal up in the two days that I’m giving it off and I’m praying that it doesn’t come flaring up during the race.

I’ll let ya’ll know how it goes from here and you can be sure that I’ll be back to my INSANITY regime on Saturday after my race.

I’ve Found Where Insanity Gets Its Name From…

Oh. My. Goodness.

This morning’s workout called for Pure Cardio. Now if you’ve been reading along with my journey you would remember that I skipped the first Pure Cardio workout and substituted in a long run. So, this morning was my first time attempting this workout.

I now know the true meaning of an INSANITY workout. This workout is CRAZY! It’s not necessarily the moves that make it more difficult (although the jump from level 1, an activity that combines 4 push-ups with floor sprints, to level 2, same as level 1 but with 8 push-ups, was a lot harder), but the intensity and lack of breaks. Yeah, you heard me. Shaun T, once the warm-up is finished, gives NO time for a water break. It is constant HIIT moves for 22 or so minutes!

This workout had me sweating, panting, cursing, grunting, and occasionally screaming. I am happy to report that I made it through and only took two brief pauses in working out (for 20 or so seconds each). I will admit that when Shaun T called for the level 2 moves, I stuck with level 1. But hey, everyone has their weaknesses and one of mine happens to be push-ups.

I performed this workout in the morning before work. Once again I had no time waking up and the warm-up got rid of any groggy feelings. I did do this workout before I had breakfast, which means I was in a fasted state. I think it’s best to do these workouts on an empty stomach otherwise I’m sure I would have made a mess on the floor, if you know what I mean.

Overall, I’m happy that I’ve found the workouts to be intense. That’s what it’s all about right, train insane or remain the same. And as for results, I weighed-in and took my new measurements this morning! Check out my progress (yes, after only 1 week I have a change in my stats!!) on the “measurements” tab at the top of the page.If ya’ll have any questions, feel free to comment or email me through the “contact me” tab located alongside “measurements” at the top. That’s all for now!