Posts Tagged ‘P90X’

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



Knees of Fire!

Posted: November 20, 2011 by Roberts in Running Log
Tags: , , , , ,
Distance: 7.07 Miles

Now the winter running has begun.  The temperature has dropped below thirty-five degrees.  The jacket has been tested, the podcast is loaded, and the watch is charged, it is time for a run.  What more can you want?  Sleep.  The week had been long and exhausting.  My muscles were cold, and no matter what stretches I did, they would not warm up.  Something was not right for the day, and for my body.

The watch synchronized with the satellites at an amazing speed.  The wind whipping at my face left it cold and frigid.  I watched the sunset’s last rays peek through the trees and it was now time to run.  This is a “Rest Week,” and the level of difficulty is harder than the first week.  Why even call it a rest week?  It should be called, “Slightly less hard week.”  Or it could be called, “Humiliation week, humiliating since we tell you it is a rest week and make you feel pathetic for hurting during it.”  I guess those titles are all too long.  The title of “Rest Week” will suffice, and only make you feel bad when you discover the truth of it.  My body has not had time to recover at all.  I have caught myself asking, “How can a muscle be sore when I didn’t even know it existed?” or “How can I be sore there?”  I need to keep pushing, forget the pain…It is just taking so long.  When will the time come that a ten-mile run is nothing?  Not soon enough.  Some days you just want to hit fast forward.

About two miles in, my foot falls got sloppy.  I started having too many heel strikes, the bounce was out of my step, and I wasn’t getting warm enough to fight off the cold.  By mile three, my knees were on fire.  It was a pain I had not felt since my early days.  The run was only seven miles,  and the last four were a trial.  They tested my will to finished this experiment in health.  During the last part of the run, my thoughts centered on questioning every step I took.  Eventually I could no longer hear the podcast, only my doubts.  Finally, I made it home.  The pace was terrible.  The run was terrible.

I have had too many of these runs in a row now.  I have a ten-mile run planned for Sunday.  I am dreading it.  Why?  I have done them before.  Let’s hope the Kenpo tomorrow doesn’t make me too sore.

My first race is on December 3rd.  It is coming up in just a couple of weeks.  Meanwhile, Thanksgiving, the Day of Gluttony, sits smack dab between them.  Why do I do this to myself?  Enough of that kind of talk.  I have come so far from where I started. 

Next Run: 10 Miles (Sunday)
Next Workout:  P90X (Disc 06) (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


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

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