Weekly Workout Roundup

This was a crazy busy weekend! My aunt and uncle from Minnesota came a visited Friday and Saturday and then Saturday my niece and nephews came over.  It was totally fun chaos in our house Saturday.  Sorry no pictures, I try to respect people’s privacy and not broadcast everything to the world.  I was so sad when everybody left Saturday evening, and now I feel family-less again. Boo.

Since everyone was at my house Saturday, I shifted my long run to Sunday.  Let’s just say that it went pretty terribly.  Like painfully terrible.  I woke up Sunday with the intent to get 18 miles knocked out before church but I knew pretty quickly that that was not going to happen.  It 98% humidity and I was seriously struggling; by mile 5 I felt like I had already ran 10 miles. Then the pain started to kick in.

Between the kettlebell workouts and running around with my niece and nephews (think piggy back rides up and down the stairs) my upped and lower body muscles were horribly fatigued.  The cherry on the top was having excruciating foot pain.  I ordered new shoes last week and they came in Saturday but I didn’t have time to check them out.  People, DON’T RUN IN OLD SHOES! This includes me.  Duh, Gina.  I ran the 18 miles 3 weeks ago and felt amazing.  Oh well, bad runs make the good ones that much better, right?

So I came home, showered and grabbed my “better then sex kit” which consists of Pro Compression socks, my foam roller and the newest addition, Perform Pain Relief kit.  I joked about throwing a bottle of wine in the kit for good measure.  After a few hours, I started to feel better.


My “Better Then Sex Kit”

For the rest of today’s post I wanted to give a workout recap. One of these days I’m actually going to start consistently posting my weekly workouts and goals.  Every week I plan on it and then something comes up or I decide I want to talk about something else.   I’m linking up with Kat from Sneakers and Fingerpaints for the weekly workout roundup.


Here are last weeks workouts:

  • Monday – Easy paced 4 mile run.
  • Tuesday – Speedwork; 6 mile run with 4 Yassos at a 7:53 pace.
  • Wednesday – My first Kettlebell workout!
  • Thursday – 5 mile run with 3 miles at marathon pace; worked shoulders at the gym.
  • Friday – Kettebell workout.
  • Saturday – Rest
  • Sunday – 18 mile long run followed with lots of icing and stretching.

Well, there you have it.  A total of 33 miles and 3 strength workouts.  Did you notice anything missing?  How about any stretching (yoga) or cycling?  I’m asking for an injury by ignoring those two crucial things.  (What’s ironic is that I wrote those last few sentences before the terrible 18 mile run.)

My goals for this week:

  • Get all my training runs in.
  • Two kettlebell workouts
  • One strength training session at the gym
  • One cycling session to keep the legs loose.
  • Two yoga sessions; specifically seated hip openers to help with my tight lower body.

Also, I’ve decided to start the 100 pushup challenge again.  I have exactly 6 weeks of training left (EEK!) until the Rock-n-Roll Marathon and the 100 pushup challenge is 6 weeks long…..Perfect!

Question:  How do you track your workouts?

100 Pushup Fail

If you remember about 7 weeks ago (I know, that was like an entire year ago) I wrote about my 100 pushup challenge.  The basic premise of the challenge was to increase my upper body and core strength through a 6 week program designed to get you to 100 pushups.

pushupsIf you’re the type who skims posts, I’ll give save you the trouble and give you the short and not so sweet version:  I failed.

For those of you still reading, here’s what happened.

I started the challenge out with realistic expectations.  I had very little upper body strength and wanted to do something about it.  So I downloaded this 100 Pushup app and set on my merry way.  I did a fitness test before starting the challenge to see what level I should start on. I was able to do 10 good form (boy) pushups which meant starting on level 2 (there’s only three levels).  The program has you doing pushups 3 days a week and uses a rep/rest pattern.


This was the day I quit on. At first glance it seems harmless until you realize that you do 14 pushups, rest 45 seconds, 14 more, rest 45, 15 pushups, rest, and so on & so forth. The final tally is 150 pushups for the day.

Week one went by and yes, it was challenging but doable.  The first day I had to do 25 pushups and by the end of the week 1 (day 3) I was up to 42 pushups.  Week 2 came and I found myself still trucking along at a total of 60 good form pushups at the end of week 2 (day 3).

Week 3 (day 1)  started with 72 pushups and the last day ended with 88 pushups and a fitness test.  Apparently I failed my fitness test because I actually got knocked down to level 1.  I’m not going to lie, I was pretty happy to be demoted.  Also, during week three I wrote a brief update on my dislike for the program; I hadn’t yet been demoted.

The gratitude of being demoted didn’t last long because I soon found level one kicking my tail.  Week 4 came and went and then I made it through my first set of 100 pushups on week 5, day 2.  I thought I was going to die.  I managed to do all of them the regular “boy” way but found myself with a whole slew of problems during the last few reps.  My wrists and palms started hurting really badly, I developed a shoulder ache in my left shoulder and I was having trouble breathing. Not to mention I’m pretty sure I altered my form to help ease some of the issues I was having.

This is exactly how I felt.  Like someone cut my arms off and then beat me with them.

This is exactly how I felt. Like someone cut my arms off and then beat me with them.

Week 5, day 3….120 pushups.  Oy, what was I doing?! Week 6, day 1….130 pushups.  This was where I quit.  I made it almost all the way, I only had two more days left and I would have finished the program.  However, those 130 pushups killed me.  In fact, around 100 I had to stop doing ‘good form’ and finish with the girl ones.  I found myself almost in tears after finishing those stupid 130 pushups.  Tears from both pain and frustration.  I’m not one to quit but I knew there was no way I was going to be able to complete the 150 pushups week 6 day 2 had scheduled or the 170 pushups week 6 day 3 was prepared to heap on me.

So what did I learn from this?  First to forgive myself; I’m not a failure.  It’s ok to draw boundaries and acknowledge what I’m capable of.  I was not physically capable of finishing the last two days.  Does it irritate the snot out of me that I didn’t finish something? YES! But do I feel bad about it? Nope.  I did notice an increase in my strength; mainly my core, shoulders and back.  I was really hoping to increase the muscle tone in my arms but as you can see from the before/after shots, that didn’t happen. Oh well.

Before (100 pushup challenge) edited


I was trying so hard not to laugh while taking this picture.

Would I tell people about this app? As much as I hated it, I probably would.  Would I give it a glowing endorsement? Definitely not.  I really think this program should be stretched out to 8 weeks.  The intensity of going from only doing 10 pushups in a day to 130 (170 if I had finished it) is just way too much for me personally to handle – at this time.  To end on a positive note, I will at least say I enjoyed the structure of program.   And I did manage to do a total of 1,049 pushups during my 5 weeks and 1 day.

So there you have, the good (what there was of it), the bad and the ugly. And I guess I’m a masochist, I’m actually considering trying it again.  I hate that something got the best of me.

Question: Have you ever reached a physical or mental breaking point? What did you do to overcome it?

Catching Up

Whew! Is it really Monday, already?? Who else wants a do-over of the weekend?  I got back Saturday afternoon from a work trip to Washington, DC, and I still haven’t really caught up on every thing that went on while I was gone.  For those of you that are new to my blog, in real life I work with victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking.  It’s a job that I love and one where I really feel I’m contributing to the greater good of others.   One of the things I have to do to stay in compliance with various grants is attending conferences periodically; so off to DC I went.

Greetings from the White House.Or in my case.  From outside the White House like every other tourist.

Greetings from the White House.
Or in my case. From outside the White House like every other tourist.

It was a good conference, not great (it was entirely bureaucratic), but it’s always nice to be around others who are driven by the same passion. We did have at least one really interesting day, but it wasn’t because of the conference.  It was because of a bomb threat at the Dept. of Justice building.  The entire city block -hotels, restaurants, businesses- were evacuated for 2 1/2 hours until they determined it was just a hoax.  I think I would have found some humor in it if I had at least been able to grab a jacket.  DC in November without a jacket is COLD!

This was as close as I could get to the action. What you don't see is the million and one unmarked cars that showed up.

This was as close as I could get to the action. What you don’t see is the million and one unmarked cars that showed up.

I have a 1/2 marathon next week so I made sure to get some running in; not as much as I wanted but that’s ok.  I wasn’t comfortable running outside at night in DC so that meant treadmill miles….And I learned the hard way that the hotel treadmills are set to shut down after 60 minutes of use.  I was in a really good groove on the ‘mill when all the sudden it shut down.  Has this ever happened to you? I was pretty irritated but started it back up and finished my run.

It's not what I'm used to, but it got the job done just fine.

It’s not what I’m used to, but it got the job done just fine.

Does anyone else have trouble taking self portraits? I HATE doing this.

Post 7 mile treadmill run.
Does anyone else have trouble taking self portraits? I HATE doing this.

I also ate waaaaay too much in DC; mostly healthy, but still too much.

Ok, now for the catching up part….

The 100 Pushup Challenge.  Oy!! This is going to be the death of me! I just finished week 3 (out of 6) and man, oh, man it is challenging. No pun intended.  I really am not happy with this challenge and don’t see much improvement, visually at least.  I’m going to stick it out but I don’t think I’d recommend it.


The #Holidayaday Instagram Challenge.  This challenge started Saturday and has taken off better then we (the girls that created it and myself) could have ever anticipated!  By Saturday night, we already had over 600 photos with Day 1’s theme #festive.  If you haven’t joined the challenge, what are you waiting for? It’s just a fun way to get more involved with social media.


The 1/2 marathon this weekend.  I’m running the inaugural Woman’s Half Marathon this Sunday and I don’t feel prepared for it at all.  Between the foot pain I’ve been having and the reduced mileage, I know that this will not be a PR race.  But that’s ok, not every race has to be a PR.  I’m going to run it in memory of my Aunt Kathy who died from ovarian cancer in 2003.


Marathon #2 training.  Today marks the 5th week of training for the Rock-n-Roll marathon in February.  I’ve been kind of silent on the training updates but that’s because there really have been any worth talking about.  The first month’s mileage was really low which was great; it gave me time to recover after the Marine Corps Marathon.  I’m looking forward to it intensifying soon; I’m really missing my long (15+ miles) runs.  On the downside, I’m really worried that this dang foot pain is going to interfere with my marathon plans.  I’ve made promises to my husband and running girls to get it checked out after the 1/2 if it doesn’t go away.  I think I’m going to try a chiropractor first to see if it’s an alignment issue and if that doesn’t work, off to the doctor.  I’m pretty worried about hearing the words ‘stress fracture’ and ‘no running’.

Ok, that’s all I have.  I know that was a lot of info but do you feel caught up? Sorry I crammed everything into one post.  I won’t do that again. Hopefully.

Question:  How was your weekend? Any fun races, holiday events? Or did you just relax and unwind?

100 Push Up Challenge

Thank you all so much for the encouragement and support from Friday’s post about my brother’s death.  It means more to me then you may ever know.  I had a blast over the weekend celebrating my brother’s life by getting splattered with paint at The Color Run in New Orleans.  I’ll have a full recap on it next week but here’s at least a bit of a teaser shot for you. 🙂

Looks fun, right? Well, it was!! I’m still finding random splotches of blue on me….

Onto the the heart of the post….If you are even a part time peruser of my blog than you know that it’s no secret I have basically 0% upper body strength.  And I’m not being modest; although, I wish I was.

As a runner, obviously, most of my energy is focused on my lower body but by doing this, I’m totally cheating myself out of the benefits that upper body strength can bring to the table.   Not only does have a svelte upper body look great but it also increases endurance in running.  Think about it this way, the faster and longer you can swing your arms while running, the faster and longer you can run.  During marathon training when I was doing 8 miles of speed work, I would feel every bit of those miles the next day in my traps and deltoids.

Now that I’ve started training for my second marathon, I want to make sure to address this deficiency.  And, I’m not going to lie, I kind of really want that svelte look I mentioned earlier.

I said svelte, not stacked, Arnold!

Several times throughout this past year I’ve gone to the gym and lifted weights only to find myself stopping after a few workouts for whatever excuse I could concoct.  I have the type of personality that responds really well to structure like training plans and challenges (like my no sugar detox which ends today) so when I found  100 Push Ups, I was pretty stoked.  Plus I can do it right in the comfort of my own home….in my PJs. They even have an app for your smart phone (their website’s pretty simplistic but the app is better).

If you’re wondering why I would rather do push ups instead of targeted weight training at the gym, the answer is simple: push ups are one of the most effective upper body exercises you can do.  Pushups work numerous muscle groups simultaneously and you’re already equipped with everything you need to do them – no fancy gym equipment required!

All the muscle groups worked by pushups.

The 100 Push Up Challenge is a 6 week program that is supposed to take about 30 minutes a week.  30 minutes…I think I can handle that.  It starts with an initial assessment and then works on increasing the amount of push ups you can do.  I was only able to do 10 ‘good form’ pushups so that’s my starting point.  Meh, there’s only one way to go and that’s up, right? Realistically, do I believe that I’ll be able to bang out 100 push ups at the end of 6 weeks? No.  But, if I can even get to 50 consecutive push ups, I’ll be completely satisfied.

I started the challenge last week and let me tell you, my arms have never felt like jello this much!  Saturday was the end of week one and I had to do 42 good-form pushups.  Yowza!  At least the program has you do a rep/rest pattern. To give you an idea, the break down of Saturday’s program went like this: 8 pushups/rest 120 second, 10 pushups/rest, 7 pushups/rest, 7 pushups/rest, and finally 10 pushups….Done, son.  I’ll give updates on my progress periodically over the next 6 weeks and hopefully I’ll have a great before and after picture to share. So here’s the before picture….GULP!

No filter used; just a bad self-timer. Can you spot the photo bomber?

Question:  Do you do any weights workouts to compliment your lifestyle?