Sunday, February 23, 2014

A new PR

So, the American Lung Association stair climb at the Republic Plaza was today. 1,098 steps, 56 floors. I did it in 2012 but missed last year because we had a snow storm that day. Here is the link to the climb post from 2012.

When I did it in 2012, my time was 29:04. Towards the end, I was resting every two flights. It took everything in me to finish. I was just happy to finish. I do note that this was my first event in a long string of events in 2012. It was a HUGE step out of my comfort zone and I so appreciate the women that pulled me outside of that zone. They continue to support me and they never make me feel like less of a person just because I can't keep up with them as well as I would like.

What a difference two years makes! Today my time was 18:26. I did stop to rest two or three times in the first 15 floors, but after that I just kept walking. I think I passed more people than the number that passed me. My time was not remarkable or anything as the winning times are less than 10 minutes (I think this year it was just over 6 minutes)....but for me, I am very happy with this improvement. It also is good because in 2012 we were practicing downtown in a 22 floor building and this year I didn't even get to Red Rocks to climb.

So, now I have a mark to beat next year. I plan on continuing this climb as long as I can.

Oh, and I continue to do burpees. I am up to 1,287. I hope to be at 1,500 by the end of the month. I really do love burpees.

Tomorrow is a rest day. I am trying the whole rest thing. I do try to be as active as I can be on these days...lots of walking and standing but my heart rate remains below zone 1.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

What I learned by doing 1,000 burpees....

At the end of January, a challenge was posted on Facebook. The challenge was to do 1,000 burpees before the end of February.Two friends and I have been challenging each other to do certain body weight exercises the past few weeks. Part of this has been 50 burpees a week. Although I was sort of joking when I invited them to do the challenge, part of me was considering it. In case you need a graphic on how to do a burpee, here is a sample:

Well, one of my friends started working on the challenge on the 27th. I caved to peer pressure and joined her on the 28th. Yep, lesson number 1 is that I still cave to peer pressure. In this case, not a bad thing. 

We started doing burpees, 30 to 50 a day. Then on Superbowl Sunday, I had the bright idea of doing a challenge, one burpee for each point the Broncos scored and two burpees for each point the Seahawks scored. Yes, I was one of those that really thought the Broncos would win and that the Seahawks would not have much of an offense. Who would have guessed that we would be in for NINETY-FOUR burpees by the end of the game! We both threw in an extra six to have an even hundred for the day. It was an exhausting time but we got through it. Second lesson -- if you have an event that you want to avoid overindulging in food and drink, plan a burpee challenge. You may be so busy doing burpees that you never get around to eating or drinking. AND I was busy doing burpees. I even did an extra thirty during half time to get ahead of the game. Well, if you watched the game, you would know that the idea did not help as after kickoff for the second half, fourteen of those burpees were used up in a matter of seconds. Still, it was a strange sort of way.

My next lesson was just how competitive I am. I hated behind my friend in our quest to get the burpees done. I did everything I could to be ahead. I would do 30 to 50 burpees in the morning, only to have my friend catch up or pass me in the evening. She was not "competing" with me but I so wanted to "win." Finally, I took advantage of the fact that she hurt her back falling on the ice. Not that I was happy she was in pain but I kept doing burpees even though she couldn't. She has been out of town the past few days and I did a shitload of burpees over those days, finishing up today with 150 burpees at the gym. Yeah, I am a little too competitive at times.

Some other things I learned:
  • I like burpees...maybe even love them. I can do burpees. They used to intimidate me so much. I even remember the first time I did a "true" burpee. It was an AHA moment for me.
  • I can be proud of accomplishing something. I am not usually a person that likes to share a lot but I told a lot of people at the gym about the challenge and about my progress. It felt good to be proud of an accomplishment. It felt good doing something that others thought was "crazy."
  • One of my favorite ways to get a number of burpees in was to "superset" them. I would run a quarter mile and then do a number of burpees (between ten and twenty). I would repeat this as many times as I could. In fact, today this is how I got in the 150 burpees I needed to finish up. It was a sweaty sweaty workout but it felt good to finish it. I am still going to do burpees along with my friend when she is able. I hope to be at 1500 by the end of the month. We will see.
  • I'm not quite as uncomfortable doing things like this in the gym. Believe me, burpees are not a pretty movement but I did them. Most of the time I would do them in a corner, out of view of most of the gym but other times I would be on the training floor.
  • Sometimes it is good to have support. There was one day that I had wanted to do a certain number of burpees but I just couldn't do any more. I needed ten more to meet my goal. Seeing my trainer as I was going to stretch, he asked if I had made my goal. After telling him I was ten short, he "encouraged" me to do the final ten and he did them with me. It definitely helped to have him do them with me that day.
During my work to complete this challenge, I have had to take some rest days. I hate rest days. It is sort of a sticky point with me and trainers (current and past). In many ways, I am obsessed with working out. Who am I kidding? In EVERY way, I am obsessed with working out. I set myself up to be cranky and upset by rest days. HOW RIDICULOUS IS THIS? 

Like the worst thing in my life is that I have to take a day off from the gym? Really? I know that I am still stuck in the "calorie in versus calorie out" mentality. Even though I know it is true, I so feel like I need to work out more, work out harder, work out as much as I can to see scale victories. In fact, it is hard for me not to think the scale frustration I had today wasn't caused by the rest day yesterday....but I am told constantly about the need for recovery and such.

This week I actually took TWO rest days. Believe me this did throw me for a bit of a loop but honestly I survived. I probably even was able to work out more intensely because of the rest days. After Sunday's rest, I ran three miles (the longest since I started to run again) Monday morning. After yesterday's rest, I ran a couple of miles, did 150 burpees, completed 110 Russian twists, and completed a team cardio workout...a total of two hours at the gym. Not that I wouldn't have done these same things without the rest days, but I am kind of seeing that I wouldn't do it and felt as well as I did. The jury is still out on rest days but I am trying it.