Archive for the ‘P90X’ Category

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


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

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