Archive for the ‘Workouts’ Category

Week 3…

Posted: January 5, 2016 by Roberts in General Post, Workouts

Week 3

This last week of the year has been uneventful in the sense of running. I was still nursing the sprain. So how does one stay fit while unable to put weight on your ankle? Ok, no weight might be an exaggeration. Minimal weight. All braced up and nowhere to go, what am I supposed to do? There have been many exercises I have been neglecting over the past year. Strength training, stretching, core work… I find them so tedious. They are necessary, but their contributions are not instantly recognizable. How to make things interesting? Gamification!

What a great word, gamification. To make the mundane into a game. How to do that? All good games involve a level of chance, variety, and every increasing difficulty. What to do? I went to the local office supply store and picked up printable business cards. On each card I put an exercise, reps, and weight. The plan is as I complete the workout, I know if I should increase the reps or the weight each time. So how is the game played?

Each morning I roll a six-sided die, and add four to the result. That number is the number of cards I draw. That’s my workout routine. Just get it done. Combined they might be focused in one area, spread out, who knows. It’s all random. After each routine, I mark down right there before I can think straight, should I raise the weight or reps next time.



Reps Weight


The exercises I have so far are:

Calf Raise Squats Step Back Lunges Dead Lift Squats Calf Raises Superman
Hammer Curls Seated Bicycles Jump Squats Alternating Reverse Lunges Crossover Lunge
Running High Knees w/ Weight Butt Kickers w/ Weight Lateral Step Romanian Dead Lift Alternating Split Squat Jumps Dumbbell Front Squats
Lateral Lunges Crossover Deadlift Tuck Jumps Burpees Push Ups w/ Yoga Ball
Push Ups Sit Ups Sit Ups w/ Yoga Ball Planks Lower Body Russian Twist
Shoulder Shrugs Curls Throw the Bomb Scissors Mason Twist w/ Medicine Ball


The first week has been great. Next week, I’ll be adding 5 to the roll.

Hitting a step goal without running was very challenging. I have an office job, so my natural step count is very low. Add the sprain, and something that is normally difficult, becomes amazingly difficult. The solution was taking it real slow and walking on the treadmill while watching TV. Real slow, like 20+ minute pace per mile. I would like to report that I successfully did it.

So what’s next? 14k starting on Monday. I should be back on the streets by midweek, if not, 14k is going to be a challenge.

I want to keep increasing the variety of exercises over time to keep it interesting.

My question for you all is, are there any other exercises I should add to my deck? Take away?


If you have been following along, you know I am benched from running with a sprained ankle.  I can’t afford to get too lazy while I recuperate.  I have come too far to let it melt away.  The elliptical is now my litmus test of recovery.  If I get to a day after an elliptical session when my foot fails to remind me that it is sprained, then I can return to the road.  How I have missed you, cold and lonely road.  Going forward, I will use the elliptical every other day.  Today was no different. 

Looking back on my journey, the elliptical was the beginning, and now, injured, I return to it.  It seems my workouts have come full circle.  After logging over five hundred miles on the road, elliptical workouts represented constraint and boredom.  It was nowhere near as exhilarating as the cold bite of the open road.  Until my last injury, I had not touched it in a year.  Only a few weeks ago, my wife even asked if we could sell it.  I promised I would find a way to add it back into my routine.  It only took a face plant into pavement to keep that promise.  Now it offers freedom from the boredom of recovery.  It doesn’t stress my sprained ankle’s mobility since it is only a third of my stride. 

I try to keep myself entertained on the machine, but it is difficult.  I have rigged up a portable DVD player to the display.  I tend to watch TV shows since they last about 45 minutes.  It is about the right amount of time.  The show this time was Battlestar Gallactica.  I’ve seen it enough times already, though.  Are suggestions on other shows, I am open to anything? 

Looking around the room I could see the evolution of my routines.  The basement is filled with the story. First the elliptical, next on to the treadmill, and finally just my running shoes.  The least expensive and complicated is the best.  Maybe I should get an exercise bike?  How much exercise equipment do I need before my basement becomes a gym?  There isn’t space for one anyway….unless I move…NO…when would I have time to add another routine?

In addition to using the elliptical, I have decided to accept the Peacewolf Pushup Challenge.  If you follow us on Facebook, you may have seen the post about it.  The concept is to do a set of pushups and go until you can’t go anymore, and do this for thirty days.  The question is, how many more can you do on Day 1 verse Day 30?  Day 1 I started at 25.  It isn’t that impressive, but it is a start.  I don’t have a set goal of where to end up, just every day improve and see where it takes me.  By Day 30, I should be back on the road. 

Here’s to not having pain in my ankle tomorrow!

Over the past couple days, I feel like I’ve been seeing runners everywhere as I drive home…not just once in a while, but EVERYWHERE!  It doesn’t matter if it is a cool day, or rainy, they’re out there.  As I drove through a downpour, three separate runners crossed the street in front of my car.  They keep finding me, and I want to join them!  If I had been on the road that day, I would have been soaked to the bone in a matter of minutes.  Strangely this appeals to me.  My wife thinks I am crazy.

After ten days of a sprained ankle, all I seem to have is jealousy and anger.  I am jealous of the other runners and angry at myself for allowing myself to get injured.  It was dumb, only a mile and half from home, and I stepped in a pot hole.  Next time, and yes there will be a next time, I will try to run earlier in the day or find a new path.  That road is riddled with pot holes, and I know it.  Since I have been road free for so long, I am feeling a little depressed.  It is hard to control my diet, I am gaining weight, I’m jealous of other runners and angry at small, pointless things.  No, I don’t need therapy.  I need to go for a run.

Today my ankle was bruise-free and no longer swollen (or at least not noticeably swollen).  It is trying to lull me into a false sense of security.  My biggest fear is hitting the road before I have healed and ruining my ability to run forever.  Since I stepped in that pot hole, many people seem to enjoy recounting stories of friends of friends who didn’t allow their ankles to heal, and now they can no longer run.  I need to run.  I NEED TO RUN!  I sound like a drug addict.

Writing the alphabet with my big toe twice a day is not enough exercise.  Not even close.  After reviewing my list of approved exercises, I decided upon the elliptical.  It is tried and true.  It gives a decent calorie burn; I just didn’t want to stress my ankle too much.

After forty-five minutes on the elliptical, I can now say it is good to at least be moving more than a slow limp down the hall.  The fifteen minutes of icing the foot was glorious.  My plan is to keep doing the elliptical until I can run again.  Once I can do that, I am restarting my twelve week program, P90X included.

Update: The next morning my ankle gave me a message written in pain, “WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU???”  Ok, forty-five minutes may have been too long on the elliptical.

Highbeams, Who Needs Them?

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

Distance: 7.14 Miles
Pace: 10’42”

My scheduled run did not occur, once again, last night. Thanksgiving, a day of family and feasts, got in the way; that, and falling asleep on the couch. Yet again, everything is being pushed back.  So today, Friday, I ran seven miles.  Saturday will be intense, with three sessions of P90X just to get me back on track.  I’m scheduled to run eleven miles on Sunday.  So much distance, so little time.

My pace today was slow even with the day of rest and turkey. I am disappointed in my results; I should have pushed harder. Recently I heard on a video, “if you can still get back up, you didn’t push hard enough.”  So I am clearly not pushing hard enough, because I can still walk.

I need to incorporate speed work into my routine. With some practice, I hope that my pace will increase and that I will get these runs done faster. The biggest downside I have found to this sport is time. If the miles keep increasing, soon I won’t have time to sleep; I only get five hours as it is.  Looking over the remaining eight weeks, and if I keep the same pace, I will be running until midnight every other night.  Mind you, I like the increased miles and calorie burn, but time is very valuable to me.  I guess my sacrifice is sleep.

While clicking away on other blogs, I found a great clip:

It is truly amazing what an elite runner like Ryan Hall is capable of accomplishing.  The mind boggling fact of the video is that he maintains that pace for the entire marathon.  It also makes for an interesting advertisement.

I only have one observation from this run: I have noticed that some people feel the need to turn their high beams on when I am running towards them.  I’m not sure why.  I see them just fine with their normal headlights.  Can you not see the six foot three guy running along the sidewalk towards you?  Do you need to flood the street with light in order to see me?  Do you need to blind me, so I smack into low hanging, leafless branches?  That makes them essentially switches cutting me across the face.  Maybe I should thank them for adding some sense of danger to my runs.

There is only one week left until my first race.  The goal is to simply learn the etiquette of it.  I need to learn how to run in a group before I can hope to run a longer race.

Next Run: 11 Miles (Sunday)
Next Workout: P90X (Disc 08, 10, 12) (Saturday)
Next Race: Burlington Race for the Hungry 5K


Rain Rain Don’t Go Away

Posted: November 22, 2011 by Roberts in P90X, Running Log, Workouts
Tags: , , ,
Distance:  6.3 Miles
Pace:  10’20”

Sunday was to have been my make up day.  It wasn’t.  I needed to complete 10 miles and an hour and a half of Yoga X.   All through that day I was sore, and my start time kept being pushed back.  Eventually it got to a point where I could not safely run the route since it would get too dark and there are no street lights. I decided to allow my body the time to heal and avoid being hit by a car.  I also figured Yoga should help stretch the muscles and help the recovery process.

I had not had a break from running for weeks. I needed it.  The yoga was still no break but it felt great in a weird, exhausting kind of way.  Of course this blog is not about the miles I didn’t log, but the ones I did.

Fast forwarding to Tuesday.  I had a six mile run scheduled.  The perfect excuse not to run was there – a cold downpour. I could easily have said, “it isn’t safe” or “I don’t want to get sick before Thanksgiving.”  But I had already run in a sleet storm, so rain couldn’t stop me.  It wasn’t cold enough to use my waterproof jacket, just the resistant jacket. Enough stalling, it was time to hit the road.  During my run I found that the harder the rain came down, the faster I ran.  This is what I ran for, the insanity of it all.  Dancing between the rain drops, avoiding the lake-like puddles, and leaping over the waterfall driveways was the world I wanted to explore over and over.

When the rains slowed down, the wind picked up.  The cold drained my muscles and sapped my strength.  My pace suffered, and in crept doubts. I found myself wishing for the bad weather to intensify.  The rains came and went, and came back again. By the time I got home, I was soaked from head to toe.

Why do I enjoy the insane conditions more than a relaxing fall run?  It is a litmus test of my own sanity.

Next Run: 3 Miles
Next Workout:  P90X (Disc 09 & Disc 12) (Saturday)
Next Race: Burlington Race for the Hungry 5K


Never Disappoint Yourself

Posted: November 17, 2011 by Roberts in P90X, Running Log, Workouts
Tags: , , , , ,
Distance: 3.2 Miles

Yes, I skipped a day again.  I went out of town and I could not squeeze in the two hours needed for the workout with all the meetings.  I made it up the next day, but now another session is pushed back.  Everything is now pushed back by a day and will be settled out by Sunday.  Unless I push hard and log in 17 miles over two days. I could have skipped the day entirely.  And who would know?  Me, that’s who.  Never disappoint yourself. You should be your hardest critic. Often enough, we aren’t. In my line of work I have seen so many talented people waste their abilities on excuses. They hide from me behind claims that “I’m sick,” “It’s too hard,” or “Times have changed.” None of it is true. At some point, everyone needs to look at themselves and say “Is this me? Is this how I want people to think of me?” Our actions speak to our character.

Running a 5k was nice.  I stayed below a 10’00” pace easily.  Since I had a day gap from the last run and no need to last six plus miles, there was no need to pace myself.  I just enjoyed it. I found a rhythm and added some bounce in my step for fun. Landmarks became finish lines for sprints and beats in the music became excuses to shadow box. It was just plain fun. With the air was crisp and mood good, it was perfect for an evening run.

During my business trip I found time to talk to the guy that got me using Nike Plus in the first place, Mike S.  About a year ago I had just gotten into running.  I was spending my time on a treadmill and looked at running as exercise or even a necessary evil, not a passtime.  Mike told me about Nike Plus and how he was using it. At that point I was game for anything to make the running seem marginally better.

At that time Nike Plus was only a plug-in device for your iPod.  It tracked your information and was downloadable through iTunes.  The fact that it was cheap helped too.  I am a data freak and once I got into it, there was no turning back.  Tracking my pace and distance became almost a borderline obsession.  Then Nike added the heart rate monitor! Eventually I switched to the Nike Plus GPS watch. The rest is history (or at least when it comes to data).

I have to thank Mike, because without Nike Plus my running career may never have gotten started.  If you want to see my thoughts on the watch, check out my review. So thanks, Mike.

I ended my run with Yoga X from P90X.  It is ninety minutes of yoga.  I have always thought of yoga as merely advanced stretching.  I freely admit now, I was wrong – very, very wrong. It is much more than weird poses and stretching.  There are many stances I could barely hold, or not hold at all.  Once the twelve weeks are over, I hope to have the talent to complete this session perfectly.  If so, I will be in amazing shape.

Next Run: 7 Miles (Friday)
Next Workout:  P90X (Disc 06) (Saturday)
Next Race: Burlington Race for the Hungry 5K


A Pain in the A$$ Run

Posted: November 13, 2011 by Roberts in P90X, Running Log, Workouts
Tags: , , ,
Distance: 10.01 Miles

Today was the final make up day – a ten mile run plus two P90X workouts.  With these behind me, I will be back on track.  Before hitting the street, I was already sore.  It wasn’t just the thought of a run and two workouts ahead of me, I was actually sore from  the P90X workout, Core Synergistic, which kicked my butt yesterday.  It fact, that was the most sore part of my body.  Running sore is no treat.  Any soreness below the waist is only made worse by the run.  Of course, knowing and hoping are not the same thing.  I figured if I could last long enough, endorphins should kick in and wash away the pain.  Well, that was the plan at least.  The best laid plans…never work.

Around mile three I was finally distracted from soreness by a podcast.  Distraction from soreness is not the same from having no soreness.  Did I make the right choice to get out there?  My pace was not below ten minutes, and the run was a struggle.  I don’t want to over train.  At the same time, I don’t want to give myself an excuse not to run.  Anyone who has “tried” to run, does not need more excuses to not run.  One of my biggest fears is not that I will hurt myself, it is that I will quit.  If I quit, I’ll fall back into my old habits.  The weight and the gut will return with a vengeance and take no prisoners.  At the end of the day, quitting is a choice.  It is a choice that can spiral out of control.  It starts as, “maybe I’ll skip this run,” or “I’ve had a long day, I’ll do it tomorrow.”  If you say it too many times the next thought is, “can I still run?”

To get me through it, I stick to the plan.  It is twelve weeks long, and it must be followed.  Going on a business trip?  Make it work.  If you don’t allow yourself the option to give excuses, you won’t have any.

What keeps you going?

Next Run: 6 Miles (Tuesday)
Next Workout:  P90X (Disc 04) (Wednesday)
Next Race: Burlington Race for the Hungry 5K


The first three weeks finish tomorrow.  They went well.  Only twice did I have to postpone (not cancel) a workout.  The strength training is going well.  I can feel my core, back, abs and arms getting stronger.  I have not lost any weight however.  I need to push myself even harder than before if I want to see better progress.

It is time to post the next three.  Week 4 is called a Rest Week.  I’ll only be logging in 80 miles and and completing a 5k!  What kind of Rest Week is that?  I guess since the P90X portion is Yoga and Kenpo that makes it a rest week.  Then again…it will be EXTREME!

The point of P90X is muscle confusion.  I am looking forward to the mix up.  Not only will it confuse my muscles, it will keep me entertained and not bored with the sessions.

Date Distance P90X
11/15/2011 6
11/16/2011 3 Yoga X – Disc 04
11/17/2011 7
11/18/2011 0 Kenpo X – Disc 06
11/19/2011 10
11/20/2011 0 Yoga X – Disc 04
11/21/2011 Rest Day
11/22/2011 6
11/23/2011 3 Chest, Shoulders & Triceps – Disc 09 / Ab Ripper X – Disc
11/24/2011 7
11/25/2011 0 Core Synergistrics – Disc
11/26/2011 11
11/27/2011 0 Back & Biceps – Disc 10 / Ab Ripper X – Disc 12
11/28/2011 Rest Day
11/29/2011 7
11/30/2011 3 Chest, Shoulders & Triceps – Disc 09 / Ab Ripper X – Disc
12/1/2011 7
12/2/2011 0 Core Synergistrics – Disc
12/3/2011 5k Race Back & Biceps – Disc 10 / Ab Ripper X – Disc 12
12/4/2011 10.2
12/5/2011 Rest Day

Running of the Turkeys

Posted: November 6, 2011 by Roberts in Injuries, P90X, Running Log, Workouts
Tags: , , , ,

Distance: 9.00 Miles
Workout: Chest & Back – Disc 01  / Ab Ripper X – Disc 12

Today’s run was meant for Saturday, yesterday.  I needed to push it back for a day.  My family and I got back at just before sundown after running our errands.  Any run more than eight miles starts and ends on a dark road with no side walks, moderate traffic, and very limited sight range.  In short, a potential death run.  I have almost been hit traveling that road at dusk, let alone at night.  That compounded with my general soreness offered the perfect set of excuses to wait a day.  Of course that means Sunday would be fill with a nine mile run and two sets of P90X.

Female wild turkeys (Meleagris gallopavo) take...

Image via Wikipedia

This route takes me down an interesting trip.  The first set of buildings are industrial, a construction company, piano repair, and landscapers.  As I approach the end of the first mile I enter a semi-rural area with farm houses and a couple of summer camps.  As I took a bend I encountered a flock of eight to ten wild turkeys. Once they saw me coming, they ran away from me, directly along my route.  Just the strangeness of the scene prevented me from focusing on the run and my pace.  I was running with turkeys!  Not until I took my turn did the surreal Running of the Turkeys end.

My turn led me into your standard suburban neighborhood.  People were out blowing the leaves off their lawns, and kids were jumping in the piles.  Everyone was friendly as normal, and gave the customary wave or nod.

The final stop on my travels before I turned around took me to a neighborhood where the houses are still being built and selling for close to or over a cool million.  The neighborhood has playgrounds, yet many houses already have jungle gyms in their back yards.  The houses are vast, with three to four car garages.  I don’t fault the people who live their to having the ability to afford them, it just seems so strange to be so close to the other neighborhoods.  The school system is not the best, and the taxes are high.  It just seems like a strong set of reasons for those houses not to be there.  But what do I know? I am just running by them.  I enjoy looking at them as I run.

If I could only have been one minute faster on the entire run I would have made a decent pace for myself.  Sadly, the entire run I thought I was way off.  If only I had known I had to only push just a little harder.  The lesson here, push no matter what.  You can’t always see the opportunity before you, when you do it might be too late.

I have decided not to post every P90X workout routine anymore.  I am going to still keep up with the routines.  There rarely is anything interesting that happens in them, other than I completed the session.  If something interesting did happen, it most likely was a weight smashing into my face.  I most likely will not be in a position to write about it at that time.  I’ll try doing a once a week update if I am noticing an improvement in my strength and weight.  For weigh ins, I am planning on only posting at certain milestones.  With the P90X strength training and the holidays coming up, I don’t know how quickly the weight will melt away.

Next Run: 6 Miles (Tuesday)
Next Workout:  P90X (Disc 01 & Disc 12) (Wednesday)
Next Race: Burlington Race for the Hungry 5K


Distance: 2.05Miles
Workout: Chest & Back – Disc 01  / Ab Ripper X – Disc 12

The twelve week training program I am doing has me do a short run every week. They are great. I can knock out a great pace and not worry about running out of steam. Two miles is nothing now. It almost seems a shame to lace up and only do two miles. In these two miles I saw more people out then on my last run. Maybe it was the time of day or the weather getting a little nicer. I passed through a small crowd a teenagers who gave the stick eye. They seemed to be in a heavy discussion.  Then again, every discussion teenagers have seems to be overly important.  I didn’t hear them with the song “Faster” pushing me along. When I passed the recreation fields, it looked like a hockey game was just ending. I had to steer around and hurdle a couple loose duffel bags. How hard is it to put them off to the side?

At one point I started closing in on another runner. Another runner? People in my neighborhood run?  I decided to see I could close the gap between us before I reached my turn. Well, he turned before I caught up, and I enjoyed the rush. I can’t wait for my first race.

During this run I listened to Janelle Monae and her album The ArchAndroid .  The tempo of the album is ideal for keeping a great pace.  There is only one or two songs that lose the beat.  I need to find the next album for these shorter runs.

If you have been reading this regularly, you know that on these short days I add the P90X routines. This is week two for me. After the second round of Chest and Back, I will up my resistance bands and reps. Progress is a good thing. Oh, and I still hate push ups. I complain during every set of them, just ask my wife and dogs. I curse through every rep. The burn is there and it won’t stop.

So I have come to terms that I am addicted to lacing up the shoes and hitting the road.

Next Run: 9 Miles (Saturday)
Next Workout:  P90X (Disc 08) (Friday)
Next Race: Burlington Race for the Hungry 5K