Archive for October, 2011

Stretching…to the EXTREME!!!

Posted: October 31, 2011 by Roberts in P90X, Workouts
Tags: ,

Workout: P90X (Disc 07)

Ok today was originally a rest day.  Since I got home early from work to trick or treat with the kids, I decided I could squeeze in a “Rest Day” workout routine, Stretch X.  Of course with P90X, everything is to the extreme.  This workout session was beyond stretching, it was a yoga stretching mix.  Now that I finished up the fifty-five minute relaxing workout, I can vouch for how well it does loosen you up.  In the session layouts, it is as an optional routine.  I would recommend it as a vital session.  It has loosened my shoulders, back, and hamstrings up.  Now my body is free to strengthen and grow my muscle mass.  I am going for a lean composite, and range of motion is important.

Going forward I might just insert this routine into any weekend long run day, time permitting of course.  Though it will add an hour to my workout sessions, I can already see the value.

Next Run: 5 Miles (Tuesday)
Next Workout:  P90X (Disc 01 & Disc 12) (Wednesday)
Next Race: Burlington Race for the Hungry 5K



Workout: P90X (Disc 3 & Disc 12)

This has been my first day with only a P90X workout.  A workout day without a run just seems wrong, even just a 2 mile run.  None , nothing, zero, zilch.  So lets spend the time digging into the workout session.

Disc 3 is the Shoulders & Arms program.  The routine cycles around a series of presses, curls, kick backs and every variation in between.  Since this was my first time doing this routine, I decided to learn from the lessons of the first session.  Use lower weights, and don’t burn yourself out too fast.  That way next time through I can set realistic goals, and not just guess.  After going through the routine I will be increasing my weight on several of the exercises.  I found that to be a better way to go than getting wiped out half way through the session.  As Tony Horton says in the video, “this is not a ’70s workout video.”  Pacing is important.  You need to be burned out by the end of the set, not during the entire set.

Disc 12 is the Ab Ripper X program.  This is a disc that comes up at least twice a week.  With the all the other routines so far, you can adjust the weights, or count to allow to adjust to your skill level.  With Ab Ripper X, that’s not going to happen.  It has a twenty-five count on each exercise.  And each exercise will show you just how pathetic your ab strength is.  I thought my core was getting strong from all the running.  Wrong!  This session will shame you, or at least it did me.  Several of the exercises I could not complete with perfect form, not from the lack of energy, but from a lack of flexibility and strength.  The point of this session is not to give you great looking abs, it is to give you an incredible level of core strength, a much-needed asset in the long runs.  By the end of the twelve weeks my goal is not only to complete every routine in good form, but  also to keep pace.

Normally Monday would be a rest day.  That is because my Mondays are so long at work I am wiped out by the time I walk in the door.  In this case, tomorrow is Halloween and I am getting out of the office early for the kids.  Since I will be home I plan on doing the P90X version of a rest day, X Stretch.  How can stretching be extreme?  I guess I will find out in the next 24 hours.

Next Run: 5 Miles (Tuesday)
Next Workout:  P90X (Disc 07) (Monday)
Next Race: Burlington Race for the Hungry 5K

Asics Storm Shelter Jacket

MSRP: $110

First the facts.  This jacket is designed and sold as a waterproof and windproof piece of appeal.  This is accomplished through several design features.  All seams of the jacket are sealed to make it waterproof and not resistant.  In addition the shell is made of a light polyester to cut the chill of the wind.  There is even a zip tie around the base of the jacket to snug its fit around your waist to prevent water and rain from coming in under the jacket.  To reduce overheating, the inside of the jacket has a mesh layer to pull moisture away from your body in this semi-fitted jacket.  If the rain stops or slows, there are zippers under the arms, which, once opened, will allow more venting of body heat.  Finally, inside the left side is a pocket to hold items such as a music players, identification, or your house key.   The pocket also has a small hole to allow a head phone cord into the waterproof pocket.

How about the field test?  By using this jacket during a sleet storm, the effectiveness of this jacket was definitely put to the test.  The temperature at the time was 35 degrees during the storm.  The jacket did a great job of keeping the rain and wind out.  The barrier is so strong, the only temperature I felt was what I was generating.  This can be good and bad.  It is great in a sense that the temperature outside does not affect you whatsoever.  The bad is that if you generate a large amount of heat, the jacket will retain it.  This jacket is obviously designed to be used well below 40 degrees, and most likely 35 or lower.

During my field test, the sleet and freezing rain was thrown around by a 22 MPH wind.  After over an hour in the constant sleet, the only moisture under the shell was coming from me.  That being said, the moisture in the jacket did not sit on my skin, but was pulled into the mesh layer under the shell.  If it wasn’t for the weight of the jacket itself, the level of moisture wouldn’t have felt any different than a normal running shirt.

The last design feature is the internal pocket to store a music player, identification card or house key.  The internal pocket does a great job keeping its contents dry. A tip when using this jacket, or any jacket where your music player is inaccessible, make sure your playlist is long enough.

The jacket does a great job pulling the moisture off your body and retaining heat.  If you find yourself running hot, I  recommend  this jacket for temperatures below 35 degrees.  And if you find yourself with the desire to run in a snow or sleet storm, the jacket comes highly recommended by this runner.  You can pick it up at or your local retailer.

Neither snow nor rain….

Posted: October 29, 2011 by Roberts in P90X, Running Log
Tags: , , , , ,

Distance:  8.11 Miles
Pace: 10’26”

When I woke up this morning, all I could hear was the rain.  The temperature was below 40.  It was a steady, cold rain with winds blowing at 22 MPH.  My body was sore from P90X, an easy excuse not to run, and the weather was adding another.  I decided to wait until the freezing rain let up.  By five o’clock the weather had changed from rain to freezing rain and then to sleet and snow.  It is October!  The last time the weather was this bad this time of year was 1979.  It was only getting worse.  It was time to hit the road.

The first leg of my sleet filled run

Standing out in the rain and sleet waiting for the satellites to find me, I started to second guessing myself.  Why am I subjecting myself to possible pneumonia just for an 8 mile run?  I needed another reason.  I did have a new running hat and my new running jacket that needed testing.  If I didn’t use it in conditions like this, when would I use them?  Rationalization found!  The point of today’s run was to do a gear review of the hat and the jacket.  Yeah that’s the ticket.  The Nike watch chimed, and I was off.

As I was going along I knew my pace would be off.  First, my shoulders and abs were still sore from P90X and I had to keep a close on the sleet covered leaves.  The last thing I needed was injuring myself by doing something stupid, like running in a sleet storm.  Through the entire run, the precipitation kept cycling from freezing rain to sleet to snow and back again to freezing rain.  Moving along the road, I could not imagine seeing too many people out for the day.  I was wrong.  First, I passed a frustrated looking man walking his tiny frost covered chihuahua.  The little dog shivered as it did its business, while the walker glared.

The encounter was shortly followed by a pair of young kids trying to make a snowman out of sleet, wet leaves, and dirt.  It was not a pretty snowman, to say the least.  If anything, it looked like a snowman who had suffered a tragic accident with a leaf blower and a dust storm.  The kids kept trying.  Their parents must have wanted them out of their hair pretty badly to send them out in a storm to make a sleet and freezing rain creation.

Along my route I started noticing the occasional person looking out their window at me.  I imagine that their thoughts ranged from, “he must be crazy” to “wow, he is dedicated.”  To be honest, it was most likely the former and not the latter.  The strange thing was not the occasional person noticing me out their window, it was the frequency it was occurring.  It may have been my cold, addled mind, but it seemed like the number of spectators was increasing.  Perhaps the neighbors were calling ahead to each other to say, “Take a look out side!”  One person stared at me in such a way that made me swear that when she was younger she could well have been an extra from the Children of the Corn.  Her eyes stared straight as her head tracked my progress methodically along my path.  To keep the run interesting, every time I ran past someone, a passing car, or a neighbor staring out the window, I acknowledge their presence with a tip of my sleet covered hat.

At the halfway mark of the run, my tree cover disappeared.  Nothing was stopping the elements from their assualt upon me.  The sleet and freezing rain was attacking my face under the brim of my hat.  The visor does nothing!  Or at least when sleet moves sideways it doesn’t.  At this point I started to question my own sanity.  It was too late, I was past the point of no return.  Time to pick up the pace, tip my hat to a few more people and get on home.

Just before my run I received a challenge request from another Nike Plus runner.  The challenge is to lose 20 lbs over the next 30 days.  Since my weight has remained flat for the past three weeks, there could be no better timing.  Challenge Accepted!  I need to push through this 250 barrier.  I am doing my weigh in on Monday, and I have a feeling it has not moved.

One last word, for those running the Marine Core Marathon tomorrow including you, Patti, good luck.  I hope the weather doesn’t ruin it and everyone has a great time.

Next Run: 5 Miles (Tuesday)
Next Workout:  P90X (Disc 3 & 12) (Sunday)
Next Race: Burlington Race for the Hungry 5K

Running on the Grid

Posted: October 28, 2011 by Roberts in P90X, Running Log, Workouts
Tags: , , , ,

Distance: 2.02 Miles
Pace: 9’55”
Core Synergistics (Disc 08)

Last night when I got back from a late night at work, I could not get myself to hit the pavement. At the start of my commute home, geared up for a five-mile, I could not get home fast enough. By the end I was having trouble to staying awake. Getting home I knew if I went upstairs to get changed in my running gear, I wasn’t going to make it back downstairs.

So that means today must be a combination of a run and P90X. The entire day I had mixed thoughts. I was still sore from Wednesday. An hour run plus P90X just seemed insurmountable. I still don’t know how I did it.  The run, though the pace was slower then my most recent runs, was great.  I decided to listen to music, not a podcast.  This is unusual for any run over three miles.  The selection for the evening, Daft Punk – Tron Legacy Soundtrack (added to the Music/Podcast page).  After the initial track, The Grid, there are no words.  Only the road, music, and my thoughts.  I felt my heart beating with the rhythm of the music since I could not focus words or a conversation.  The song C.L.U. came on, and my pace quickened.  I took an effort to ensure I didn’t go too fast and lose my steam.  After the second mile, the soreness of the abs washed away; there was only the rhythm of my feet.

After getting back I popped in the Core synergistic program.  I put in the time and pushed myself to the fullest range my body could do.  By the end my muscles were shaking and I was exhausted.  P90X is not for the faint of heart.  Earlier this year I completed EA Sports Active 2 on the Playstation and the hardest settings, and it has nothing on P90X, nothing.  I can see why doing these routines for 90 days you get fit.  I have no doubt about it.  So I plan to keep this modified schedule of running, strength and core training.  After the twelve weeks are over, I hope not to recognize myself.

On another note, yesterday I got my haircut. A fact not normally worth noting in a post except they found a couple of white hairs. I can no longer claim them to be really blond hairs.  Forsaken by my hair, and I no longer one of the immortal youth.  Who is next to betray me?  So here I am, time is catching up and I still don’t know what I am running from or to. It is something. If you don’t know you destination, nor where you started, does that make you lost?  I am starting to find my health, just not what I am searching for.  Does each step take me further away, or closer to the answer of a question I don’t even know?

Next Run: 8 Miles
Next Race: Burlington Race for the Hungry 5K

P90X is no Joke!

Posted: October 26, 2011 by Roberts in P90X, Running Log, Workouts
Tags: , ,

Distance:  2.02 Miles
Pace: 9’36”
Chest & Back (Disc 01) / AB Ripper X (Disc 12)

The session started out with a nice warm up run.  I listened to a nice random sampling on the Ipod and kept on moving.  I didn’t want to push too hard considering a P90X session was to follow.  Even holding back slightly, my pace was great.  Once home, I immediately set my sights on Disc 01, Chest & Back.

Since this was my first run through of P90X, I didn’t know what to set for my goals.  By the end I could no longer do the push ups.  I felt so pathetic as the trainers just pounded through the reps.  This is just Day 1.  By week twelve it will be no sweat.  I can see why these guys are ripped after doing the ninety day program.  Disc 12 adds ONLY fifteen minutes to the workout.  My flexibility, or lack there of, would not allow me to do the full range of motion.  My training program has me doing this disc twice a week.

After those two discs, my shoulders are jello.  I have learned I am terrible at push ups, and need to improve quite a bit.  Tomorrow I will be hurting; I can feel it deep in the muscles.  It is a great feeling.  Time to recharge before tomorrow’s run.

Next Run: 5 Miles
Next Race: Burlington Race for the Hungry 5K

The Lonely Cold Road

Posted: October 26, 2011 by Roberts in P90X, Running Log
Tags: , ,

Distance: 5.01 Miles
Pace: 9’47”

The first run of the next twelve weeks is complete.  My legs felt exhausted the entire run.  I could have sworn my pace would be just south of 11’00.”  As you can see from the top of the post, I destroyed that pace.  As I get stronger, my pace does as well.  I hit the pavement late, just after ten.  The nice thing about a faster pace, you get done faster.  During the run I kept wondering if my twelve week plan is over extending my ability.  There is only one way to find out.  P90x looks intimidating; I guess that is the point.

The road was empty.  No one was out there on this lonely Tuesday.  This was the first night of the season that I decided to wear my cold weather running pants, and I think it needs to be a few degrees colder before I wear them again.  Note to self, 50 degrees is just a little too warm for running pants.  I am ready for the winter.  I have never had a true winter run.

I found an 8k coming up in November.  I am tempted to do it.  It will come up before my original first race, the Burlington Race for the Hungry 5K.  The 5k doesn’t have to be my first, it is just seems right that my first is a 5k.  A fellow runner is going to decide by the end of the week if they are going to do this run.  If they do, so will I.  I know I’m nuts, but then again, that is actually less then the run of 10 miles that I’ve already scheduled for that day.

Next Run: 2 Miles & P90X (Disc 01 & 12)
Next Race: Burlington Race for the Hungry 5K

After some thinking and some planning I have put together my next twelve weeks of training.  Here are the first 3 weeks.  I am going to give it a shot and see if it kills me.  I received some advice from an independent coach from Beach Body.  Her name is Jessica Watters.  With a little coordination with her, I believe we will be able to put together a great training program incorporating the two programs.  If anyone has done P90X and thinks this is too much or too little, let me know.

Date Distance P90X
10/25/2011 5
10/26/2011 2 Chest & Back – Disc 01
/ Ab Ripper X – Disc 12
10/27/2011 5
10/28/2011 0 Core Synergistrics – Disc
10/29/2011 8
10/30/2011 0 Shoulders & Arms – Disc 03 / Ab Ripper X – Disc 12
10/31/2011 Rest Day
11/1/2011 5
11/2/2011 2 Chest & Back – Disc 01
/ Ab Ripper X – Disc 12
11/3/2011 6
11/4/2011 0 Core Synergistrics – Disc
11/5/2011 9
11/6/2011 0 Shoulders & Arms – Disc 03 / Ab Ripper X – Disc 12
11/7/2011 Rest Day
11/8/2011 6
11/9/2011 2 Chest & Back – Disc 01
/ Ab Ripper X – Disc 12
11/10/2011 6
11/11/2011 0 Core Synergistrics – Disc
11/12/2011 10
11/13/2011 0 Shoulders & Arms – Disc 03 / Ab Ripper X – Disc 12
11/14/2011 Rest Day

The 250 lb barrier

Posted: October 24, 2011 by Roberts in Weigh Ins
Tags: ,

New Weight: 250 lbs
Difference: 0.8 lbs

You have got to be kidding!  I went down less than a pound.  250 seems to be a barrier I can’t just break.  Now, this past week was full of short runs and I didn’t stay on top of my diet.  Gee, do you think that could that be the reason?

Ok, I have 20 miles scheduled for this week. That should break me through the 250 barrier.  I am only 15 from my first major weight milestone.  Once there I can figure out the next goal.

Distance: 13.11 Miles

And so it is done.  I completed over 13.1 miles.  It is an amazing feeling.  This has been the longest run of my running career.  The best part was not just completing  the run, it was when I looked down at the watch and noticed the pace and time.  I thought my run was going to come in around 145 minutes, and I came in under 133 minutes.

Going into the run, I was worried if I could complete it.  It had been 2 weeks since the last time I did over ten miles, let alone thirteen.  These past two weeks I have questioned the training.  My weight was not going down since I wasn’t burning the extra calories.  Now my pace kept improving; that was it.  My first couple steps were shaky.  My waist has trimmed so much, the hydration belt is slightly too big.  It bounced on my hips a little too much.  One of the bottles bounced out three times in the first half mile.  It happened twice more during the first half of the run and one just before the last mile and half stretch.  I was worried my pace would suffer and every time I stopped I feared I might not be able to pick the run back up.  Of course that didn’t happen.  I finished well in spite of the mishaps and the reduction of mileage leading into the run.  Trust your training schedule.

So where are we now?  A twelve week training session is over.  Do I train for a 5k, 10k, half, or bump it up to a full marathon?  After putting some thought to it, I have decided to retrain for the half again.  This time, however, I am increasing the difficulty.  After reviewing the plan of action, I can definitely say that it is tougher.  There are more runs per week, and longer runs.  There is even a fourteen miler in there.  Tonight I should have the next twelve weeks plotted out with P90X incorporated.  I hope I am not taking on more than what is possible.  Of course I won’t know if I don’t try.  I have already stopped by the store picked up my resistance bands and yoga block.  Me, with a yoga block!

So here we go, time to step it up and push beyond what I thought was possible.

Next Run: 5 Miles
Next Race: Burlington Race for the Hungry 5K