Here we are in the final 3 weeks of my summer challenge. This week I get to kick it up another notch with my workout. I have to say it’s hard but I’m glad it’s hard. If it was easy, I wouldn’t make any progress.
MONDAY: In week 2 of my 4 week Fat Blaster workout, I will reduce my reps with the weights by 2 (for a total of 10) and add 15 seconds to the cardio side of the weight/cardio combo sets. I am also adding an additional combo to the 5 I started out with last week. You wouldn’t think a measly 15 seconds would make that much of a difference but I’m here to tell you….it sure does! I could barely utter my name by the time I was done today. YEAH!! Bring it on!!
The cardio side of the new set is jumping rope. Again…45 seconds doesn’t seem like that long but it was. I had flashbacks of my childhood out on the playground in 4th grade jumping rope. I swear we would start as soon as we reached a rope and wouldn’t stop till the bell rang and ended recess. And 45 seconds was difficult?? My 9 year old self was really laughing at my 44 year old self this morning.
No more Debbie Downer for me either. I’ve been beating myself up and feeling bad about what seemingly little progress I’ve made and honestly, I’m sick of my own whining. Enough! How is that attitude going to help me?
I finally did something this weekend that I’ve been wanting to do since I started this journey 11 weeks ago. I bought new gym clothes! It was a lot of fun. It felt good to put on my new pants and shirt this morning and work out in new clothes. It added a little extra oomph to my workout. If you’ve never shopped for nice gym clothes, I highly recommend it. Find a good sale and take advantage of it like I did.
TUESDAY: With my glute muscle all healed up, I was able to do full-on cardio this morning on the treadmill. It was nice to return to my “old friend.” The cardio portion of this week’s workout involves intervals of jogging and sprinting….jog for 60 seconds and sprint for 30. I did as my nephew suggested and attempted to jog at 4.5 on the first interval and right away I knew my heart rate was not going to get even close to normal by the time I had to sprint again. So for the next intervals I dropped back to a walking pace. At the bottom of the sprint portion my heart rate was at 182 and at the bottom of the walk it was at 164. On Thursday, I’m going to try sprinting at 7.5. That scares me a little bit because I don’t feel as “in control” at that speed but I need to challenge myself with this. I should be “winded” at the bottom of the sprint and just beginning to gain my breath at the bottom of the walk. I wouldn’t say I was exactly “winded” today sprinting at 7.0.
WEDNESDAY: I had a bit of a slow start this morning. When I finally got out the door, I drove half way to the gym and realized I forgot my ipod. I rely on it to time my cardio and rest periods. Thankfully, I don’t live very far from my gym but the time it took to turn around and get it combined with my late start set me back about 15 minutes. I decided to forgo my 5 minute warm up on the treadmill. I think most trainers would frown on that (I know mine would!) but I had to do so much maneuvering of equipment this morning to get the bench in place and all my weights gathered, I was pretty warmed up from that. I wanted to make sure I got all 3 circuits done this morning so I also skimped a little bit on my rest periods. If I really needed it, I took the whole thing. Otherwise, if I had caught my breath and my heart rate was fine, I went on to the next combo even if I had 30 seconds of rest time left. This bought me enough time to get all 3 circuits done but, boy, was I tired at the end.
I’m also having a little trouble with my right leg after yesterday’s cardio workout (insert eye rolling here). I have no idea what I did. I noticed at around the 3rd interval that something felt like it needed to “crack” in my right ankle. This sensation transitioned into a “sensitivity” of sorts that made it feel like my right leg wasn’t as stable as my left. There was no pain involved, just this odd feeling. After I got home, the pain set in and it was difficult to walk. It seemed to get better as the day wore on but after my workout this morning, it’s back. I took some ibuprofen in the hopes that it’s just some inflammation. It hurts if I press up and down the sides of my shin bone. I hope it’s better by tomorrow so I can do my cardio on the treadmill again.
THURSDAY: My leg felt pretty good this morning till I got on the treadmill and began my cardio workout. It felt pretty bad afterward and I even got muscle spasms all the way up into my butt but you know what? I don’t even care. I started off my intervals at 7.0 then transitioned to 7.5 for the next 7 intervals. On number 8 I started at 7.5 then kicked it up to 8.0 for the last 15 seconds of my sprint. Then on the final interval I went all out at 8.0 for the entire 30 seconds. I feel fantastic! I am proud of myself for beating the fear of losing control at that speed and just doing it. It felt great! I took some ibuprofen for my leg and it feels a lot better now. I’m not going to dwell on it and I’m certainly not going to let it defeat me.
FRIDAY: This day is becoming my favorite part of the week for reasons other than it’s the last day of work for a couple days. I’m finding that I really need the 2 days of no gym time to recover from this workout. Don’t get me wrong…once I get going, I really enjoy myself in the gym and I love to sweat when I’m working hard. I finally feel like I’m leaving it all in the gym every day. I’m not leaving there at the end feeling like I could have done more. I’ve actually had to use my rest period to go into the bathroom and mop the sweat off my face and chest! I know if I stay on point with my diet I’m going to get results from this workout. If I don’t, there’s something wrong.
This workout is one of the hardest things I’ve ever done and next week it will get harder and it will again the week after that. By the time I’m done, I know I will have accomplished something. I know I will have challenged myself on levels I never dreamed possible 2 years ago. A quote from one of my all time favorite movies comes to mind. It’s from A League of Their Own. At one point, the star player, Dottie Hinson tells her coach, Jimmy Dugan, that she’s quitting baseball and returning to her home state with her husband who just returned from WWII. She tells Jimmy that it just got too hard. And Jimmy replies, “It’s supposed to be hard. If it wasn’t hard, everyone would do it. The hard… is what makes it great.” I couldn’t agree more.