marathon

Insecurities

“Accept everything about yourself – I mean everything, You are you and that is the beginning and the end – no apologies, no regrets.”

Clark Moustakas

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****DISCLAIMER****

This blog is directed at the female population, not because I don’t believe men also suffer from insecurities (or because I don’t care that they do), but because it was in honor of Intentional Women’s Day.  As such, I wanted a post something to make women feel empowered.  It was not in an effort to make any of my male counterparts feel slighted, and I do genuinely appreciate all the gentlemen who stepped up to comment!  If you are a man and you happen to be reading this, I do believe the core message here still applies to you, so feel free to substitute “man” for “woman” and “handsome”, “hot”, “sexy” or whatever other term you’d prefer for beautiful. Ultimately, I believe EVERYONE: man or woman deserves to be happy, and that starts with loving and accepting yourself.  

I started this post yesterday in honor of International Women’s Day.  I thought it would be a topic we could all relate to, and a nice break from discussing my daily workouts.  Apparently, I was not the only one with this idea because when I pulled up Facebook this morning, there was a bunch of other chatter about this very issue. 🙂

We all have them.  It doesn’t matter if you’re a size 2, 10, or 20- if you’re a super athlete or super model- there are things you are going to feel self conscious about.  Sometimes it’s things you can change like your waste line or thighs; and sometimes it’s something your stuck with (unless you opt for surgery…) like stretch marks, loose skin, or even a less than perfect nose.

I’m not sure why as a society we tend to value the appearance of beauty more than beautiful character (and diversity!), but it’s clearly something that impacts all of us.  I’ve never been a “pretty, girly girl”, but I do have a lot of personality.  I am also caring, warm, compassionate, and have a big heart.  As you can imagine, I’m not the lady getting the most attention from the opposite sex.  At least, not at first glance.  I’m one of those people who becomes more attractive the more you get to know me, and I’m okay with that.  Of course, that doesn’t mean that when I go out with all my gorgeous friends that I don’t get self conscious.  As much as I appreciate being the girl with the personality and not the killer looks, it can still be difficult- at times– to live in a society where the latter is more prized.  After all, everyone wants to feel sexy and beautiful every now and then.

That is where working out comes in for me.  While I can’t go out and make myself as stunning as some other women (ok maybe I could, but it would be extremely expensive and likely violate my low maintenance nature), I can work hard at being the best version of myself.  That means making myself as fit and strong- mentally and physically- as possible.  Working out can boost your confidence and give you more energy to conquer your day.  Let’s face it, endorphins make you feel good in the moment, and getting results will make that feeling last.  Plus, THERE IS NOTHING MORE BEAUTIFUL OR SEXY THAN A WOMAN WITH CONFIDENCE- ESPECIALLY WHEN SHE TAKES CARE OF HER BODY.  Go get that PR you’ve been working on and then tell me you don’t feel good about yourself.

All that being said, even a person like me- who works out like a nut– can still have body image issues.  Even getting in great shape won’t take away all your insecurities.  For example, when I was training for the marathon and lost weight no matter what I ate, there were still days I felt fat (stupid hormones!).  The image of myself in the mirror was dramatically affected by my mental image of myself, and it wasn’t until Adam took pictures out on the boat one day that I realized just how thin I had gotten.  I immediately asked him “Why didn’t you tell me I looked like I needed to eat something!?”

Even now,  I sometimes have a hard time adapting to a more muscular build than I am used to.  Runners normally have very lean muscles, but since I started doing so much cross training, my calves and quads have gotten huge (not really huge- ok maybe my thighs are huge. And my butt! lol).  I know in my head that I am still thin.  I fit in a size 2 for Pete’s sake!  But, it’s something I have to remind myself of on a regular basis when I look in the mirror and see a “stockier” version of myself than I am used to seeing.

I also remind myself that I am a STRONGER version of myself than I used to be, and THAT is well worth the trade off.  The truth is that the more I strength train and run, the more my muscles will become lean and stronger.  Besides, there is nothing wrong with the way I look now.  Every time I feel that urge to pick myself apart I remind myself: 1) I have WORKED HARD for this body.  I earned every muscle through sweat and determination. 2) This body has carried me through a Tough Mudder, a marathon, several half marathons, hundreds and hundreds of miles of training runs, and numerous insane workouts (with minimal injury!).  It is strong, and THAT is beautiful. 3) My body is a work in progress.  It doesn’t need to be perfect.  My flaws are part of me and I like who I am.

Every woman is beautiful.  No matter what shape, size, race, or background.  No matter where you are in your journey:  YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL.  Your flaws are part of what make you, and you are exactly the way you were meant to be.   Perfect is boring and unoriginal.  WORK WITH WHAT YOU’VE GOT.   Everyone has insecurities no matter how perfect or put together they seem.  Not everyone makes the choice to get over them.

I spent over 5 years of my life with a person who picked me apart on a daily basis, pointed out every flaw, and continually tried to convince me that “[I] make everyone around [me] miserable”.  It took a LONG time to let go of any lingering belief that it was true- especially the last part, but I did and life is better now than it ever was before.  If I could learn to love and accept myself again- after all of that– then there’s no reason you can’t too.  No one has the right to pick you apart- including you!  You deserve better than that!

LOVE YOURSELF!

My Body, It’s a Changing

“Ask yourself ‘can I give more?’ The answer is usually ‘Yes'” 
-Paul Tergat 

Usually, but not always.  Today is the last day of February, and the pull-up bar is still winning.  However, it was NOT because I didn’t give it my all.  I did.  I gave my all this whole month, and not just in pull-up training.  I did a month of Insanity, ran a brutal half marathon, started self-defense training, learned how to properly throw a punch, and hit the climbing gym hard.  Am I guilty of overtraining? Possibly… But getting an endurance junkie/fitness fanatic to admit to overdoing it is like getting an alcoholic to admit he/she has a problem.

In endurance training, we frequently won’t rest until our bodies force us too. Why? Because we cling to a delusion that our super human power of mind-over-matter can conquer anything.  We train through pain, fatigue, emotional breakdowns, and injuries until the only thing keeping us going is pure will power.  When our bodies can’t push any longer and our muscles are shaking and numb, we conquer with our hearts.  There is no “can’t”.  There is no “too much”.  There is no “take a break”.  There is only indomitable will.  Good luck trying to reason “overtraining” with that!  Especially when most of the time we get away with it.  We work out 2 or 3 times a day and we aren’t tired.  In fact, we feel great– accomplished even.

After all, just because a person works out more than you might be able to right now, that doesn’t necessarily make it unhealthy.  While it may be true that sometimes I push a little too hard and my body makes me pay, it is also true that most of the time I feel great.  I also get sick significantly less frequently than my friends and coworkers, and when I do it usually for a shorter length of time.  However when I do get sick everyone is so quick to point to overtraining as the culprit, as if that is the only reason an athlete ever gets sick.  (Of course, when you’re sick I don’t point my finger at you and say “see that’s because you DON”T work out.  I told you being sedentary wasn’t good for you!”)

Yup, that's how I roll. No I'm not going to change.

When I do have issues, it’s not generally because I’m doing more than usual.  Instead, it’s me trying to do my typical amount when I’m sick or sleep deprived.  Getting three good workouts in on a day off does not usually send me into a tail-spin.  However add in a stomach bug and some serious dehydration the day before, and yeah it probably wasn’t the greatest idea.  Lesson learned.  No it doesn’t mean I need to work out less.  It means I need to train smarter.

While I may be pretty frustrated with not being able to push hard at the moment, I am trying not to let it detract from what I have accomplished in the past month.  Not making the pull-up deadline has made me feel like I haven’t been improving at times, however then I do something simple like try to put on my skinny jeans and realize that I can’t pull them over my calves or quads!  I tried on a size 2 pair of jeans in the store and they were baggy.  Walking past the mirror I realized I now have definition in both my calf muscles, as in the are two distinct muscle groups (something I hadn’t even achieved running in vibrams). I am stronger and I can feel it.  I am jumping higher, my endurance is better, and my body is changing.  It’s an ongoing process, and as long as I continue to put the work in I know I’ll continue to have results.

Why I Love (and sometimes hate) My Trainer

“Dedication and commitment are what transfer dreams into realities.”

-Unknown

I never thought I could afford to work with a trainer.  I always thought it’d be really expensive.  Then I joined boot camp and met the instructor Mike.  Initially, I had my doubts.  He seemed kind of angry and yelled a lot.  That was before I got to know him.  The truth is that Mike is one of the most dedicated and committed people I have ever met- and not just in terms of training (and, yes, he still yells a lot- but he’s also the first person to give you a high five fist bump and tell you when you’ve nailed it).  He takes his role as a boot camp instructor and personal trainer very personally.  He truly wants his clients to succeed, and is always willing to go that extra mile to make it happen.

Case in point, our boot camp class is supposed to be an hour long; however, it typically runs at least an extra 15 min if not longer. Why? Because Mike stays until everyone is finished.  At boot camp we don’t finish when we are tired, we finish when we’re done (whether it’s late or not!).  His group training sessions are no different.  The last one Adam and I did ran almost an hour over (that’s double the length) and Mike did the whole workout with us (after his workout on the stair climber with a weighted vest…he still kicked our butts- hate him! jk).  I have personally even seen him stay late to give someone that extra push to meet a goal when he stayed an extra hour after group one night to help a client conquer her fear of the tall box.

I am GOING TO OWN YOU EVIL PULL-UP BAR!!!

This past month, Mike made everyone at boot camp come up with a goal, which basically turned my 2012 goal of doing a pull-up into my February 2012 goal.  The problem: my lats refuse to cooperate on this one!  I bought a pull-up bar and hung it in the guest room door way (right by the bathroom, so I have to walk by it 50+ times a day) and have been doing negative pull-ups like it’s my job.  So far, the only thing I have to show for it so far is some really sore muscles and the feeling that my shoulders are going to fall off.  Meanwhile, everyone else has been annilating their goals.  As ecstatic as I am for them, it’s making me feel like a total loser.

I know it’s not right to compare and that the part that really matters is I’m putting in a lot of effort.  However, I’m someone who pushes myself to the limit on my own so having this deadline is only making me frustrated.  Most of the time, I really appreciate Mike pushing me hard, but in this case I am pretty much hating him for it (not all the time…just when I look at that damn pull-up bar).  While I am POSITIVE I will get to the point of doing a pull-up, I’m a little doubtful it’s going to happen in the next week- and THAT is going to make me feel like a total failure until I make it.  The worst part is I just had an awesome run yesterday and I have knocked out 3 wks of Insanity, but all I can think about is that stupid pull-up!  It’s going to be the bane of my existence until I get up there.

Of course, despite all my drama with the pull-ups I really do love training with Mike (and the rest of the boot camp crew!).  They have really become a second family to me and have helped me grow as a person.  When I first started boot camp and training with Mike I went into every workout anxious about whether I would make it through (despite being in shape enough to run over 15 miles).  Over time I got to the point of approaching the workouts with the attitude of “I can get through this”.  Now my attitude is always “BRING IT ON!”

Working out with Mike is always a challenge.  His boot camp classes have been tough enough to make Insanity seem easy in comparison.  Making it through his group sessions and boot camp have made me feel like I can truly conquer anything- including pull-ups!

I don’t know that I would have made to the point of being this tough (mentally and physically) if I had not signed up for that first month of boot camp.  Running a marathon was a challenge, and it without a doubt changed my life.  Yet, it doesn’t even begin to compare with what working out with Mike and my boot camp family has done for me.  Running is a solitary sport- it’s just you and the distance you need to conquer.  There’s no peers for support and no one to push you other than yourself.  It’s great for building discipline and character, but it can only take you so far.  Having the support of other people to push and motivate you is what makes the difference.  It’s what makes a workout that would otherwise seem insurmountable seem doable.  At the core of that workout support for me is Mike.

Today I started week 4 of Insanity…and did some more negative pull-ups.  I’m not sure what the rest of the day has in store for me, but it might just include a run to the gym. 🙂

I’m Seeing Double!

“Run with your heart instead of your mind.

When you think with your mind, you think of the things you can and can’t do.

But when you run with your heart you forget about what you can’t do, and you just go out and do it.” 
-Gerry Lindgren

 
Double digits that is!  Woohoo!  Today I ran 10.3 miles as part of my training for the Colchester Half next weekend.  It was the first time I covered that amount of mileage since the Marathon in October.  I have run periodically since then, but never more than 8 miles, so this was a big deal for me.
Up until now I was pretty nervous about how my IT bands would behave during the half, and whether I would be able to finish at all.  After a lot of talking myself in and out of going, I ultimately decided to run to my mother’s house.  I picked it based on the fact that it’s a tough, hilly ten miles (almost every street on the route has “Hill” or “Mountain” in the name if that helps you get an idea).  I figured if I could get through it, then I’d probably be okay this weekend.  Plus, it’s straight shot instead of a loop, so I knew I would have to keep going.  Quitting early wouldn’t be an option, unless I called for a ride.  I was extremely grateful that Adam offered to pick me up if my knees acted up, even if he and I both knew I wouldn’t.  In reality, I think he could tell I how nervous I felt and was, thoughtfully I might add, trying to reduce some of my anxiety.  He also gave me a big hug before I left, which I appreciated IMMENSELY.
The first mile of the run only served to strengthen my fears.  I had to walk a few times to get up the hills because my quads were burning.  I instantly started kicking myself for picking such a challenging run when I was already doubting my ability.  However, once my legs were warm, I ate those hills like they were breakfast!  I tried to visualize myself as a little Pac Man munching up all those little tenths of a mile.
Overall, I was surprised at how strong I felt, especially after my painful Vermont run.  I did some SERIOUS training last week and really beat up my body, but it didn’t seem to affect my run at all.  Not to say I wasn’t miserable at times, but it was SO MUCH BETTER than my previous ten miler on the same route.  It only took 1:48- less time than my previous attempt with more distance (since I couldn’t see Runkeeper in the sun, I ended up running extra because I was so afraid of coming up short on miles). 🙂
I was BEYOND GRATEFUL that all the Insanity and boot camp have been paying off.  I felt so much stronger than I expected.  I was able to keep
my form for almost the entire run.  It was such a great feeling to run easily so long into the run- especially when I was able to let go of all that anxiety!  I was so glad I dragged myself to do it!
The best part was the look on my grandmother’s face as she drove down my mom’s street and watched me run toward the driveway.  She asked where I came from, and her jaw dropped when I told her “from home”.
In the end, I outlasted my hydration pack which sprang a leak at some point during the run.  It actually turned out helpful as the cold water and weather effectively iced my lower back. 🙂  However, by the time I finished I was soaked (and stoked!).
It was a small victory, but a victory none-the-less.
I hope everyone else is having a terrific day and going after some goals and dreams!

Still Sick, but Not Defeated

“My greatest strength in life is that I am constantly underestimated. 

I am so much more than you perceive.”

The Running Thriver

It's that simple

Hello fellow bloggers, fitness fanatics, and people who clicked on this page by accident.

This morning I woke up still sick, but did my next Insanity workout anyway.  I am sure there are a lot of people who think that’s a really bad idea, but I am going to choose to tune them out. 😉  The truth is, that most people will  measure what you are capable of by their own perceived limitations.  It’s hard for other people to view the  amount of training I do as healthy, because they can’t see it as possible for themselves. 

For example, when I told my family I was going to run a marathon (which I only decided after running a full half in training) the response consisted of how concerned they were that I was training too hard and would injure myself.  I also heard from numerous other individuals that it isn’t healthy to run anything more than a half marathon and people who do are crazy to put their bodies through that kind of stress.  It’s like will live in a world filled with walls and barriers; and the fact that I’d rather go over them than live within them seems to make people nervous.  The thing is, I finished that marathon and didn’t injury myself.  In fact, it got me in great shape.  I did suffer from a few days of the flu afterward, but it certainly didn’t kill or maim me the way people predicted it would.

I have been told on numerous occasions that the limits I push myself to are insane.  People hear about the boot camp workouts and assume it’s unhealthy just because of the intensity and number of reps.  (I think it’s also hard for them to picture me doing some of the workouts because I’m petite and not visibly ripped)  Likewise, they can’t comprehend how going for a 3 or 4 hour run could not be damaging to my joints.

Damn straight!

What they’re missing is just how good really pushing hard feels.  A 3 or 4 hour run is as refreshing to me as sleep is for other people.  An intense boot camp session is like instant prozac for me.  Pushing my body to the limit is a constant reminder of how strong I am inside.  It’s an exercise in mind over matter.  Distance running is a mental sport.  It’s you pushing your body to keep going long after it wants to quit.  Boot camp and Insanity are no different- which is probably why I enjoy them as much as running.

I admit that there have been times when I have probably pushed my body a little harder than a should have (like back-to-back boot camp sessions less than a week before the marathon).  However, I have not had an injury in the past several years– DESPITE training harder and more frequently than I ever had in the past.  My point- if there is something wearing me to the point of being run down, it’s in spite of the exercise NOT because of it.  That is why sick or not, I was going to get in my workout this morning.  It’s a matter of starting my day on the right foot.  Plus, if I really was feeling awful, I would have stopped; and I have the whole rest of the day to take it easy… at least until boot camp.

If there is some far reaching goal that you have wanted to work toward but have put off out of fear (or fear of criticism)- JUST GO FOR IT.  Victories are won in inches, not miles.  Start today and make some progress.  When I first saw the ads for Insanity, I thought I would never make it through the workouts.  They had fitness instructors complaining it was too hard to finish.  Then I signed up for boot camp, and just a few months later I’m finding the program EASIER than what I’m already doing.  I didn’t just wake up one day and find I was in great shape (measured more by improvement in strength and endurance than appearance).  I built momentum over time.  I started with a 10K and worked up to a marathon.  I was terrified to do my first Tough Mudder, and then realized afterward that it was not nearly as hard as people made it out to be.  YES, it was all very difficult, but it wasn’t impossible.  Don’t let let anyone- including yourself- talk you out of what you really desire in life.  It can be yours if you’re willing to work for it.

I have spent a lot of my life being underestimated by other people.  I’m small, soft spoken, and (usually) polite.  These are all qualities people associate with weakness- but I am not a weak person.  I may be quiet, but I am also resolute.  I survived an abusive relationship and rebuilt my life.  I have endured a Tough Mudder, marathon, and boot camp.  People frequently ask me what I’m training so hard for, expecting me to list a bunch of races.  However, what I’m training for is life. Exercise and running has made me much more tough mentally than physically.  I am prepared to take on whatever life has to throw at me because I have pushed through every self imposed limitation.

Aside from my drive and motivation to meet my goals, there is nothing different or exceptional about me.  Anyone can do it.  Give up the excuses, crutches, and lingering doubts and just go do it.

Don’t Step on My Sunshine

“That’s my gift. I let that negativity roll off me like water off a duck’s back.

If it’s not positive, I didn’t hear it.

If you can overcome that, fights are easy.”

-George Foreman

Generally speaking, positivity is my baseline state of existence (possibly related to all the exercise associated endorphins).  However, I have noticed recently that there are some people in my life who are extremely annoyed by it and working hard to drag me down.

Specifically, I believe these people are threatened and dismayed by my refusal to get sucked into their negativity and drama (or by my overwhelming awesomeness…. jury is still out j/k)  In all seriousness, I have been making a very concerted effort to avoid negative thinking or speaking because it just ends up making me feel bad; and frankly, I’m just not a gossipy, mean spirited person.  I think everyone gets fed up to the point of complaining (including me), but I really try to reel myself in and cut it off.  Having struggled so hard to gain happiness back after trauma, I’m just not willing to risk engaging in anything that’s going pull me back down to that dark place.

Of course, this has not been going over well with certain individuals, and there’s been several comments made involving how I think I’m better than them and just love everybody- including people they dislike immensely.  Realistically, there are a lot of people I can’t stand and happen to interact with on a regular basis.  However, I still treat them pleasantly because it’s a reflection of who I am -not what I think of them, and no, it’s not fake.  I don’t think not liking someone is an acceptable excuse to trash him/her and be disrespectful.  Bottom line: talking sh*t about other people and treating them like dirt (even if it seems justified) only makes you look bad and wastes a lot of energy I don’t have time for that kind of negativity.  It has nothing to do with thinking I’m better than you.  It has EVERYTHING to do with preserving my own sanity.

The thing that has really been bugging me recently, though, is the constant barrage criticism directed at me.  Most annoying are the comments involving what I eat.  Since I started training for the Hartford marathon and working out a lot harder several months ago, I have been needing to eat every 2-3 hrs or I get light headed and develop a terrible headache.  It’s not like I’m pigging out on garbage (or even eating a lot in one sitting)- however one individual in particular feels the need to point out how many calories are in everything I eat and why he has a problem with me eating it (and no, I didn’t ask for his nutrition advice). He even told me yesterday “I hate you. You eat ALL THE TIME and you’re still so skinny.” Seriously???? Would you like to come work out with me?  Maybe you should try burning 4000 calories in a single run and then come back and tell me what I should or shouldn’t be eating.  I don’t smoke, I don’t use drugs, I RARELY drink, I work out multiple times a day, and have even given up diet soda (tear… 😦) and someone has the nerve to tell me I eat too much and he hates me for not gaining weight.  Someone please pinch me because I am living in an alternate universe where people suddenly feel they have the right to monitor what I’m putting in my mouth and give me an attitude about it.  I didn’t get thin and in shape by accident or luck. I  BUST MY ASS to look like this, so until you are willing to do the same, back off!

Also, if I am eating a soup (small soup for that matter…it was brocolli in case you’re curious) from Au Bon Pain, don’t come tell me what a waste of money it was and how I should bring my food from home.  I am well aware of how much I paid for it.  I don’t bug you every time you buy a coffee.  Yes, I paid $6 for a cup of soup and piece of corn bread- now let me enjoy it in peace.  It was worth the $6 to me to get a little happiness from a cup of soup after busting my ass all day and now you’re giving me attitude about it.  Despite what you may think you are not “doing [me] a favor”, you’re actually irritating me.  I don’t keep track of what you do with your money, please grant me the same respect.

Soooooo…. as you may have guessed yesterday was a stressful day at work.  Instead of burying myself in a bottle of wine or bag of name-your-junk food when I got home, I did the first Insanity workout.

Oh, and in case you were wondering, I managed to not blow up at any of the people getting on my nerves.  I did, however, point out to the food police (the soup thing was actually a different person) that if he stop drinking like a fish and worked out, he might find he’d lose the weight he wanted.  Just for the record, I actually do like the food police (he does, in fact, have many good qualities); he just has a way of taking out his own insecurities on other people.  I feel like I am much better at dealing with this behavior than I used to be, and a lot of it comes from just being more secure in myself.  That being said, he still irritated the H-E- double hockey sticks out of me yesterday.

Normally, I try to keep my posts pretty positive- but I’m human, and this was something that really bugged me.  Being an individual who tends to mind my own business, I can’t comprehend how a person can get so up in other peoples’ business and feel like they have the authority to tell them how they should be living their  lives.

I’m sorry to disappoint everyone who has an opinion about how much I work out, my eating habits, my relationship with Adam, or anything else going on in my life; but I am going to continue following my own heart and doing what’s best for me.  If I screw up, then it’s my lesson to learn.  If I get hurt, I’ll deal with the consequences.  From now on, if you truly want to be a part of my life, try keeping your negative comments to yourself- as frequently your “constructive critism” is really just critism and not constructive at all.  I’m a good person, I treat other people with respect, I take care or my body, I’m responsible, I volunteer, and I’m happy with my life.  I think I’ve been managing okay on my own.  I’m not going to stop being who I am because it threatens or offends you.  Let me be me.

And don’t step on my sunshine…

Oh my abs…

“Decide. Commit. Succeed.”

-Beach Body

These are clearly not my abs…

But they are very sore!  Not sure which workout did it, but I even have pain in my love handle region (yup, even skinny, workout-a-holic, marathon runners can have love handles).  I am taking it as a sign of their inevitable demise… like they are crying out in anguish as I diligently work to annihilate them. “We’re meelllttting….meeellllttting!”

Sorry. Having a Wizard of Oz moment. 😉

For a while now, I’ve noticed that I haven’t been that sore after working out.  Not even after boot camp (despite feeling like I’m going to die DURING the sessions).  It’s been really frustrating because I’ve been pushing so much harder in my cross training, and I feel like my muscles are refusing to acknowledge my efforts.  Originally I thought it was because I wasn’t logging all the crazy running mileage lately.  Then I thought it might be the extra protein I’ve been cramming in- but either way it still made me feel like a slacker.

That is until Monday night- when I rolled over and woke up from the familiar sensation of pain in every muscle in my body. LOL   I’m not sure whether it was the rock climbing on Sunday or the triple workouts earlier that day that finally pushed me over the edge.

BTW , why is it that the real soreness hits 2 days after the fact instead of immediately?…It’s like a con to keep you working out cause you feel fine and then all of a sudden you feel like you got hit by a truck. (Or you hurt everywhere immediately and think “S%^T…Can’t wait to see what tomorrow feels like!” )

Anyway, initially I was sort of puzzled as to why my abs were so much more sore than the rest of my body because I didn’t feel like we did a ton of ab exercises at boot camp.  Then I did Insanity today and realized that maybe we did as I found myself doing ski abs (BOOO!!!) and  in & outs all over again.  (We also did body saws… which I hate even more than ski abs- picture a plank involving moving men, enough said– which is why I practice them regularly at home and remind myself that I once hated push-ups too… ok so maybe this also could be contributing to my ab pain)

Overall, boot camp Monday night was awesome!  We did 8 different exercise stations of 8 reps 8 times.  In addition to the in & outs, body saws, and ski abs, the exercises included burpees, push-ups, one legged dips (8 each leg), sprints, and walking lunges (8 each leg).  I was already sore from my previous 2 workouts, but plowed through the whole thing anyway (and still finished ahead of Adam by a healthy margin…but who’s keeping track?)  I think part of my determination came from the fact that I had just done the Insanity Fit Test and beat both the people in the video on their reps (who had already been through the 6 wk program)- clearly proving boot camp has improved my endurance!  Truthfully, even the first cardio workout today was easier than the stuff Mike puts us through.  While I admit I was getting tired by the start of the last interval- it was the LAST interval.  Mike has me working to the point of almost passing out or throwing up by half way through his classes on a regular basis- and this was no where near that!  That being said, it was still an intense workout.  Oh, and I really enjoyed the stretching!

Here is my initial Fit Test result:

Number of reps in 1 minute (with some dog interference)

Switch Kicks 136

Power Jacks 60

Power Knees 78 *

Power Jumps 64

Globe Jumps 12

Suicide Jumps (Burpees) 28

Push-up Jacks 31

Low Plank Obliques 115 **

*(I didn’t beat them on these, but also missed the fact I was supposed to switch legs…)

**(possibly why my love handles are screaming)

Also not me, but something to aim for…

In other news, I signed up for the New England Tough Mudder May 6th 🙂  A bunch of people from boot camp are doing it so it should be a lot of fun.

I have also set a goal for myself to be able to do a pull up (unassisted) by the end of the year.  I figure if I can get from struggling to do one push-up to 300, then it’s a pretty reasonable goal… even if I can’t picture ever being able to.  lol