Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Results - Post Self Challenge and Yourself! Fitness

Well, this is a bit out of date, but since I just got these photos, I thought I'd show you a bit of before and after. The first photo is from last February's Kaiser Permanente Half Marathon, before I began my first 90 day challenge. The second is from the SF half marathon in July, after I'd done the Self challenge, the Women's Health cycle and a whole bunch of Maya/Yourself! Fitness workouts. It helps that I'm wearing pretty much the same outfit.

Kaiser Permanente Half Marathon - Feb '07

SF Marathon - July '07

Sunday, November 18, 2007

P90X Lean - Done with Phase I

Well, we've survived Phase I - the last workout (Yoga X) was today. I'm still not doing the optional Stretching on Mondays because I still maintain I need the day completely off for sanity purposes. Also, it's optional.

Here's what I've determined this first month:

* Core synergistics is always harder than I think it'll be
* Cardio X is always easier than I think it will be
* Yoga X always has about 5 or 6 more Vinyasa/warrior etc. than I ever remember
* My core is pretty strong
* My upper body is really weak

This recovery week wasn't so bad and it was actually pretty timely, because I just looked at a calendar and realized that if I'm really running the Kaiser Permanente half marathon in early '08, I'd better start seriously running again. So today, before my Yoga X session, I went for an 8-mile run... It wasn't too bad, but it's all uphill from here! Next week, I have to do a 9-miler before my Kenpo X. That'll be fun.

Next week, not only do we begin Phase II, but we begin it while travelling. We've determined that we're going to need to take our bands (to replace the dumbbells we normally use), my push-up handles, and load the workouts onto my laptop. I almost feel like we need to take our yoga mats and blocks too. As well as the recovery drink and snack bars. Man, good thing we aren't checking any luggage!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

I *heart* Kenpo X

It's true. Sundays have become my favourite workout day. It's not just that it's the last day of the week. If anything, that makes my body sorer and more exhausted by the time it rolls around. Having Kenpo X the day after Legs and Back is even harder because my shoulders and arms are killing me during the punching and blocking sequences and my legs and butt (oh, my poor butt) are so sore during the kicking.

I think what it comes down to is this workout is so much fun and so distracting. I mean, 5-7 minute blocks of punching or kicking with 2 minute jumping jack and other stuff interludes keep things varied enough that the workout is over before I know it. The 30-minute run we do pre-workout feels awesome! We get to the Kenpo and at first it feels like you're not gonna make it through the workout, with the run... but then next thing you know, it's over and you're pumped!

I spend the rest of the afternoon bouncing around the house, getting things done, super energized and kicking things.

OK. I'll admit it. I thing the main reason I love Kenpo X so much is all the punching and kicking. I love kicking combos. I love the hundred+ jabs at the end. But more than anything, I love Knuckles-Front Kick-Back Kick. I imagine that I'm fighting off two attackers at once, in the front and one in the back. *thwack* *thwack* *thwack* (OK... maybe that doesn't sound so tough to you, but it's lightning fast.)

Back when I was in college, I took Tai Kwon Do and it took years and years after I had stopped to stop kicking, blocking and punching around the house. Poor Big E... I'm once again a feisty ninja.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

P90X and The Runner

Having reached week three of the P90X Lean, I'm starting to get a hang of it and figure out how it's working out for me. The workouts are great - there isn't one that doesn't leave my whole body burning that good burn. The only thing that seems to be missing is maintaining my aerobic endurance. Now, normally, I don't get enough anaerobic exercise, so the P90X is a great change in that sense. It also is a great recovery phase in my running off-season.

However, now that it's been four weeks since my last race, I decided I was about ready to get back to some additional cardio. The workouts were satisfying but not quite scratching that running itch. It was time to work the running back in.

The main question was how frequently and what workouts to double up with. I am adamant about maintaining the sanctity of my rest day (for mental sanity purposes), so I first ran for a 30-min run before Kenpo X on Sunday. That worked out quite well, I felt great but definitely found that I'm losing a bit of my cardio endurance.

Monday is then off, and today we began our third week. (I'm thrilled to report that we were able to complete almost all of the moves this time and even added the bonus round! Yippeee!!) But I didn't think it would be a good day to double up. Tomorrow seems like a much better day. While I love Cardio X, and it gets my heart rate nice and high, it's not quite the same as a good hard run. So Tamsen and I are going for a run tomorrow afternoon, before Cardio X. Good times.

What other days would be good doubles days? Yoga X?

Thursday, November 1, 2007

New for P90X Lean: PlaChatQua

For all you fans of Core Synergistics, I'd like to present a new enhancement I created this week for Plank Chaturanga Run. Basically, you place yourself in plank position, begin the run, and just before you lower yourself into chaturanga, have a 5.6 earthquake throw you on your ass, make you wonder if you're drunk, and send you squealing like a weasel toward some uselessly perceived protection, like a doorway. Technically, it's called Plank Chaturanga Run-Like-Hell-It's-A-Quake!, but PlaChatQua is much more user-friendly.

For those of you not living in a quake zone, use this work-around:
- begin the exercise
- have a significant other or large pet kick you to the floor mid-plank
- play a pre-recorded message to yourself that proclaims you're going to die horribly OR will be subjected from this point forward to hourly updates on how Brangelina and the kids are doing, which will make you WANT to die
- spike your workout drink with Ex-lax so you crap yourself

Please note that this is not a Beachbody endorsed enhancement to the routine.

God, I miss tornado country.