Who Are You Running Against?

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It has been so long since I have written a post that my blog page fell off my commonly clicked sites. Hmm…Time to write. My lack of writing has not meant lack of living, thinking, or cooking. Just distracted with new developments.

Recently we discovered that I am pregnant…again with our now third child. This has been an exciting curveball, as I also signed up for my first half marathon. My swollen feet will be lined up at the starting line in just 2 weeks, 6 days, 22 hours…etc. This is not how I imagined things would be happening, but here we are. It has been a real challenge to keep up my regimen for training. Honestly it has dwindled down to a few strength and agility exercises here and there, along with the occasional run. Never have I felt more disappointed in my efforts. What only helps is when my eyes pass over a story about a 9-month pregnant rock star who runs a marathon and delivers a few hours later. What human strength and perseverance!

Then something occurred to me. A new perspective was brought about after a recent 5k. The crowd was huge and people of all sorts of fitness levels came out for the fun run, but for me I pay to compete with myself. Or so I thought. All this time of training and years of hitting the pavement I have been comparing myself to the best I know. Their performances push me to achieve as good a performance. When I fall short of whatever unrealistic expectation I set, the belt tightens and more rigorous guidelines apply. Perfection has kind of always been something I knew I could never be. I’m too ____(You name it)___. However, I somehow deceived myself into thinking that if I were only ___(You name it)___ I would be able to meet these ridiculous goals.

Before you get worried that I am a highly demanding person, you have to know that I am only this way with myself. When it comes to others my eyes are pretty accurate and I tend to extend others far more grace. My husband says that when I look at myself it is like looking into a fun house mirror. The races I have been running up to this point have been races against myself by comparing myself to unrealistic expectations. For this race I decided to change my mentality. This race I accepted that I am pregnant and haven’t been at my best. The race I run needs to be against the self I am now and not the person I wish I could be.

Crossing the finish line of the 5k, an amazing feeling swept over me. My eyes glanced at the timer and it said a time of 23 minutes. This was not my fastest time, but somehow it was acceptable. The old me would reprimand myself all the way home and come up with a solution to fix it for next time. This time being healthy and carrying a baby was success enough.The other runners began to fade from my concern and being strong in the moment became at the forefront of my mind during the run.

One friend reminded me in a conversation recently that you never know how you will feel on race day, and that feeling is a big indicator of your time and performance. Sometimes training your mind is an important factor forgotten in race prep. To be healthfully competitive, you have to race against who you are today. Maybe in a session you had a 5:30 min/mile, but the day before the race you sprained a muscle or became ill. Is it fair to beat yourself up for not performing as well as your best training time? Think of the successful races as a reward for your training and not just what you run for.

No matter if you are running a race, striving for weight loss, or are working onĀ other health-behavior changes, we all need to cut ourselves some realistic slack. When we beat ourselves up, we are not helping, but hurting progress. We all have a bad day or fail a meal (or several). It is not about where you messed up, fell short or even if you won. The important factor is how you ran towards your goal. So, be strong in the moment and hold on the best you can. Let less than perfect be okay. Each moment is a new opportunity to improve and enjoy the journey you are on. The end result will take care of itself.

P90X2 Phase 2 Review

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This regimen really pushes you. Many people could honestly stay in this phase of training and continue to see results. Tony Horton continues to provide a challenging atmosphere with modifications for most exercises. You definitely need to feel very comfortable with Phase 1 before attempting to move on here. This phase offers some nice alternate workouts to exchange. Again I did not partake in the Shakeology or supplements. I do not feel it is right for me. I ate how I always eat while training.

I have completed Phase 2 and here are my 60 days stats:

Ending stats of Phase1: Weight: 135 lbs Waist: 29″ Total inches: 162″
Ending Phase 2 Stats: Weight: 134 lbs Waist:28″ Total inches: 160.75″

Results: Lost 1 lb, but noticed a dramatic change in strength and definition. My overall ability to perform functional tasks with ease increased. Got down to a size 6 for the first time!

Phase 2 Workout plan:
Day 1: Chest+Back+Balance &X2 Ab Ripper OR V Sculpt& X2 Ab Ripper
Day2: Plyocide
Day3: Rest OR X2 Recovery + Mobility
Day 4: X2 Shoulders + Arms & X2 Ab Ripper OR X2 Chest +Shoulders +Tris & Ab Ripper
Day5: X2 Yoga
Day6: Base + Back & X2 Ab Ripper
Day7: Rest OR Recovery+ Mobility

What I like about this set up is that it builds in workouts that you have gotten the hang of in the previous phase. The Plyocide and X2 Yoga are back. This helps motivate you to continue and exceed previous performances. It motivates you by unveiling a new routine with some familiarity and you think “Okay I can do this!” The two also provide a base for overall strength and power. Ab Ripper returns like a two-headed monster here. Make sure to plan for the extra 15 minutes if you are tight on time. If you are wondering why you may initially be doing worse at it than in Phase 1, remember you are now performing it 3 times a week instead of one. Once you get used to doing it 3 times a week, you begin to perform better.

The new and ugly routines are fantastic for the results you want. If you are not a Pull up King/Queen at this point no worries. This phase gives you a solid base for becoming one. If that does not sound interesting to you, fret not because there are plenty of other goodies in Tony Horton’s bag. Plyometrics are used outside of Plyocide to boost heart rate and burn those calories. It is a fantastic set of exercises to get you looking your best. Though the numbers do not necessarily reflect a high change, the difference in my appearance was quite noticeable. I was also able to get more done in a day as well. The science of the stretching and general movements are right on to maximize results.

Equipment Needed to Perform:
Again P90X2 does offer versions of exercises without much equipment. These usually still require different band resistances.
-Balance/Stability ball -up to 4 Medicine balls -Chin up and pull up bar -Resistance bands (varied resistances) -Plyobox/ sturdy chair -Hand weights -Yoga mat – Door Hook Anchor for resistance bands – hand towels

Tips:
– You can also switch up your days to confuse your muscles, as long as you keep similar muscle groups worked a day of rest in between.
-If commentary is getting old or annoying use the menu options to customize your experience. I personally like the silly comments and moments of encouragement.
-If you feel like you did too much, switch up your recovery day as needed. Never be afraid to use the Recovery Week program provided.
-Monitor your body’s signals. Tuning into your body’s signals will help you to safely continue.
-Make sure you contact your doctor for clearance if you have any known heart disease or metabolic diseases. Safety is key!
-Wear court shoes for plyometric exercises.
-Have fun with it. It is your workout and your results!

Overall Rating: 10/10

P90X2 Phase 1:Foundation Review

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Phase 1:
So I signed myself up for the Warrior Dash as some of you know, because I have posted a link to our fundraising site on this blog. After making good progress (a loss of 42 lbs) post-baby, I knew I still needed something to push me to get in the kind of shape needed to succeed and not merely survive the challenge ahead. I turned to P90X2. I heard rave reviews on the products Tony Horton has put out and decided to go for it!

Starting stats: Weight:145 lbs Waist: 30.5 inches Total inches: 168.5
Phase 1 Ending stats: Weight:135 lbs Waist:29 inches Total inches:162
Results: Down 10 lbs, loss of 6.5 inches, and more definition.

Note: I did not order the shakeology or nutritional supplements pushed by Tony Horton. I ate what I normally would eat. With that said, you know my philosophy by now on food so take that into consideration. I believe that you should not take supplements unless prescribed by your nutritionist or doctor. ACE (a leading Nationally recognized brand for exercise professional certifications) states in the ethics section that they do not believe it is within the scope of practice for exercise professionals to push or recommend these products. I agree.

Phase 1 Foundation consists of the following:

Day1: X2 Core Day2: Plyocide Day3: Rest or X2 Recovery + Mobility Day4: X2 Total Body & X2 Ab Ripper Day 5: X2 Yoga Day 6: X2 Balance+ Power Day 7: Rest or X2 Recovery + Mobility

The best part of this phase is it teaches your body how to stabilize and strengthen what needs to be strong in order to progress. This phase also shows how important it is to recover and introduces foam rolling. Be certain you are ready for the challenges these exercises will place on your body. There is a test you should take, included in the set, before attempting the program.

I love the way the X2 Yoga is set up. It really challenges your muscles and gives you the permission to fail. While everything about P90X2 is challenging, you can definitely relax in the fact that there is no pressure to be perfect, but he does motivate you to push yourself. There are modifications available for almost every exercise. Sometimes you don’t get the modified information until after you have “started” the exercise, but over time of doing the phase you will learn them and know when to do them. I also like that you can up the intensity with alternate versions of the same exercise. The explanations of the exercises are nice because you can visualize what your body should be doing and how you should be engaging different muscles.

This phase adds a new dimension to fitness you may have tried in the past. The plan suggests working a group of muscles together along with the connective tissue will build better strength and mobility. It is a growing, newer concept in the fitness world. You first have to build up individual muscle strength to correctly engage the connective tissue and perform these movements. If one muscle is too weak to perform a movement that takes a team of muscles and connective tissues, then you could risk injury. This is why it is important to do the fitness test that comes with it. Also if you have heart health issues, metabolic diseases, or high blood pressure, please consult a doctor before performing this. It is a high intensity routine and takes cardiovascular endurance as well on some routines.

If you are not in condition to start this program yet, maybe start off with walking and jogging interval training style. Slowly build up endurance for 45 minutes of continuous, vigorous activity. Good heart health is an excellent foundation to fitness. Add 2 days of resistance training (2-3 sets of 8 exercises at 6-12 repetitions) to create a base to build on. Once you feel comfortable try the fitness test again. Focus on areas you were weak on previously to help you be ready for the challenge.

I have almost completed the final phase 3 and feel that each phase has definitely brought its challenges and pushed my limits. I even feel that I could go back through the program again and get even better results as I continue to get stronger. I love the way this program works for me and allows me to pace myself as I need to. If you are looking for a challenge and want to improve your fitness, then this system might be right for you!

Equipment Needed to Perform:
-They do have versions of exercises without much equipment. These usually still require different band resistances.
-Balance/Stability ball -up to 4 Medicine balls -Chin up and pull up bar -Resistance bands -Plyobox/ sturdy chair -Hand weights -Yoga mat -Foam roller – Door Hook Anchor for resistance bands

Overall Rating : 9/10