May 3, 2011

Insanity update

Yesterday was supposed to be my Insanity Fit Test #2. (You’ll remember I did Fit Test #1 back about a month ago, two weeks before I even started the real program). I woke up crazy sore after Sunday’s marathon, mostly feeling it in my left knee, so I had no idea how I was going to get back to my regular schedule. Three days off felt like a lifetime! However, a Starbucks/Trader Joe’s jaunt in the morning seemed to get my legs loosened up, and by late afternoon when I finally geared up for the Fit Test, it actually felt okay.

While I’ve now done 64 marathons (in less than three years!), and usually don’t feel many after-effects, I usually don’t push myself too hard the day after a marathon. Yes, I’ve done “double” weekends (where I do one marathon on Saturday and one on Sunday), but when I’ve done that in the past, I’ve taken it easy the second day – I don’t think I’ve ever pushed myself to my limits the day after a marathon. I really did try to do that yesterday, but my body just felt too tired, and I think I kind of wimped out. It happens, and I just reminded myself that finishing a marathon exactly on pace and getting to cheer all of my wonderful runners on was totally worth it!

When I did my first Fit Test, I wrote the results down on a sheet of paper, and promptly got it all mixed in with my work papers and thought it was gone forever. However, after doing yesterday’s Fit Test, I actually managed to find it, and was able to compare how I did! You all know how insanely competitive I am, and how much I thrive on doing well when the chips are down (my current marathon PR was set at the hot and hilly Kentucky Derby Marathon, 7 days after I finished the Charlottesville Marathon and 5 days after I ran the Boston Marathon)… so you can imagine how much I wished I had my old results before the Fit Test so I could have pushed myself to break my old numbers. However, I also figured there was no way I’d even come close to my old numbers – the first time, I had done the Fit Test on a day when I was really well-rested after spending 10 hours sitting around on a plane from Europe; meanwhile, here I was trying to do the Fit Test the day after running 26.2 miles.

But lo and behold, when I compared the results, I had actually done significantly better in all but one test! (And that one I blame on the fact that it was extremely high impact and I was babying my injured knee). Check it out:
Switchkicks: 95 -> 118
Power Jacks: 40 -> 54
Power Knees: 87 -> 99
Power Jumps: 30 -> 29
Globe Jumps: 9 -> 12.5
Suicide Jumps: 12 -> 15
Pushup Jacks: 17 -> 21
Low Plank Oblique: 58 -> 63

If you don’t do Insanity and aren’t impressed by these numbers, check out clips of each of the exercises on YouTube (search for the exercise name along with Insanity and there will be a lot of demonstration videos). Remember that these are done as hard/fast as you can for 60 seconds, with only a short break in between before the next one. Insane!

The coolest part was that I finished each of the sets with way more reps than the first time – but also while taking it easy! The first time I did the Fit Test, I was soaked in sweat and ready to fall into bed after I was done; this time, I was a bit tired, but not really feeling like I had gotten a good workout in. If it hadn’t been for the piles of research I had to do for work, I would have gone to the gym to work out a bit more! I think that is a clear sign that this is working and I am getting stronger and faster. Oh, and the scale? Not going to share exact numbers, but I am down 2.96% of my body weight. I’m thrilled, especially since the day after a marathon I’m also usually totally bloated from salty Gatorade and excess fluid in my muscles. (And usually a few celebratory points, but on Sunday I skipped those).

Today it was back to the usual Insanity routine – Plyometric Cardio Circuit. I had to take breaks midway through to deal with the painful blister on my middle toe, but otherwise, it wasn’t nearly as bad as it once was (like Day 2, when I laid down and cried in the middle). But you know what that means when it’s getting easier – time to push harder and dig deeper!

How do you judge your fitness progress?


3 thoughts on “Insanity update”

  1. Congrats on the improvements – that is awesome! Right now just watching my running pace improve… but if I were doing strength training like I want to be doing it, would be watching my reps & weights go up!

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