Day 3 of March Workout Plan: 2 Mile Run (Rest Day for Cleo’s RLNA)

Today is the rest day of Cleo’s Rocking Legs and Abs Beginner Workout plan…..and I am sure as hell taking it! The workouts on her DVD are far from easy. I wanted to take the time to explain today why I designed the workout that I did for myself: which is composed of 2 parts: (1) a 2.0 mile morning run Monday throughThursday and (2) Cleo’s Rockin’ Legs and Abs DVD – Beginner schedule as seen below:

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Let’s cover just the running component for today. I chose the 2.0 mile morning run for two reasons:

1) It’s convenient and

2) It’s my wake up call (literally and figuratively speaking)

Here’s some background info about me. From 2005-2014 I lived in downtown Washington, DC. GYMS EVERYWHERE GALORE. I worked as a Membership Consultant for a popular gym one year and then worked as a Personal Trainer the following year. In February 2014, I moved to Rockville, MD. I didn’t have a car because I can get to my job by walking or taking the metro. But because I didn’t have a car, I quickly realized that Rockville, MD is not Washington DC …..AT ALL. There are some shops here or there near the metro station, but for the most part there is nothing to do here….most importantly, no local gyms to work out at. The closest gyms to me were Gold’s (which I don’t really like honestly) and the gym where I work. So I decided to just work out at the gym where I work since it was closer to me. From there, I came up with my running routine:

In the morning, I wake up sometime between 6:00am and 6:15am. From there I put on my workout clothes, brush my teeth, gather my workout bag (pre-packed with toiletries), my work bag (pre-packed with my change of dress clothes for the day), and my lunch bag. My housemate kindly drops me off at work which is a 5 minute drive from where I live. The gym at my job has 3 treadmills, 3 ellipticals and a variety of different lifting machines. The gym also has a locker room with 3 showers. I drop of my lunch in the fridge upstairs and bring down my workout bag and my dress clothes. I place those things in the locker room and start my workout anywhere between 6:45-6:55am. I usually done with my run and stretching by 7:30am. I hop in the shower at 7:30am. Get dressed. I’m sitting at my desk at work by 8:00am.

For me this is VERY convenient. I get dropped off at my “gym”, I shower at my “gym”, I go upstairs to get to work which takes less than a minute. I get to workout 4x a week in the morning. Plus, I don’t have to pay a dime! The only days that it can be a hassle are when it’s crowded….but it’s usually not crowded at 7:00am which is good. The lunch crowd is much worse according to my coworker. That covers the convenience portion.

Now let’s cover the wake up call portion. The wake up call can be thought in two ways:

1) The Physical Wake Up Call – Running actually wakes me up. If I do my running conditioning correctly, by the end of my 2 mile run, I’m on cloud freaking nine. It’s amazing. It wakes me up in the morning and gives me a huge burst of energy…..better than a cup of coffee. 😀

2) The Spiritual Wake Up Call – I am the most aware of my body’s condition when I run. If I’m running, I’m engaging all my muscles, but mostly my lower body. If I’m working out my lower body for only 5 minutes and my body is telling me: STOP…. JUST STOP…. I HATE THIS…. then we have a problem. Five minutes of exercise is not a lot at all. The spiritual wake up call to my body is this:  While I run, I am communicating to my body that I can be more conditioned and that I can run further and faster. Why do I tell my body this? Because it’s better for my overall health and wellness.

Running was the very first workout I actually got into and felt passionately. Six years ago, I would run 5 miles no problem and 10 mile races were very doable with little to no training. Now, the thought of running non stop for even 1 mile is killer…..but it’s all in my head.

Now, I have to emphasize: The goal of my training is not to lose weight. My goal isn’t to look like Kerry Washington or Beyonce. My goal is be a better version of myself spiritually and physically. I am doing this by working out regularly, drinking 130 ounces of water daily, and taking my daily multivitamins. If that means I don’t lose a single pound….the better 😉

At the end of my run, while I’m sitting on the ground stretching, I’m noting and understanding my body more. I remember being more flexible than I am right now. My straddles were wider. My hip bridges were higher. Sitting at my desk in my office for most of the day has taken a toll on my body for sure. The only way to fully combat that is to quit my job (since my office does not allow standing desks and the nature of my IT work requires me at sit at my desk all the time). Since I’m not going to do that anytime soon, I will figure out ways to stretch more to reverse the damage that’s been done to my body from sitting at my desk.

While I do stretching and flexibility training after my run, it’s a spiritual wake up call in which I take time to reflect on how I think I did and how I can improve my running techique/ reduce the amount of pain I feel while I run.

In my opinion, running does NOT help you build stamina for pole. 

Pole dance helps you build stamina for pole. Pole dance requires advanced explosive exercise and power training. So unless you focus on just sprints while you’re running, you won’t build stamina for pole dancing. Again, just my opinion.

Overall, I run because I like it. Which is a bit rare in pole community. Slogans like: “My pole is better than your treadmill” speaks volumes about the workout preferences for pole dancers. Moreover, conditioning yourself for running long distance actually decreases your flexibility if you forget to stretch at the end of your workout.

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— Everyone has a starting point for improving their flexibility. Here’s mine: This is how far I can lift up my leg without feeling intense pain. As you can see, my standing leg can not straighten completely because my hamstrings are so tight. 

I know that for myself, even though I hate running at first, once I get into it, I really love it. For me, I get nostalgic about the times I would run in the morning with my friends from college or about the time I ran my 1st 10 mile race and right after had ice cream with someone I loved at the time. Running makes me happy. So I chose running because 1) it’s convenient for me 2) it’s a wake up call and 3) I really like it. Here’s entry about my 2 mile run this morning.

7:00AM – 2.0 Mile Run on the Treadmill; 1.0 incline; Duration: 26 minutes

I want to first start off by saying that I absolutely love working out in the morning…but I absolutely HATE the sound of the treadmill machine. I feel like I’m working at a factory. Music helps, but the music can only block out the sounds so much before I do permanent damage to my ear drums. I decided that since I was sore for the past 2 days and I didn’t feel like running, that I would start of walking slow….painfully slooooooooow. I walked at 3.5 mph (around a 17 minute mile pace) for a half a mile. After my half mile, here’s how my run went:

.5 miles -.6 miles: 10 minute mile pace (1st sprint)

.6 miles -.8 miles: 17 minute mile pace

.8 miles -.9 miles: 10 minute mile pace (2nd sprint)

.9 miles -1.1 miles: 17 minute mile pace

1.1 miles -1.2 miles: 10 minute mile pace (3rd sprint)

1.2 miles -1.4 miles: 17 minute mile pace

1.4 miles -1.5 miles: 10 minute mile pace (4th sprint)

1.5 miles – 1.55 miles: 17 minute mile pace

1.55 miles -.65 miles: 10 minute mile pace (5th sprint)

1.75 miles -.85 miles: 17 minute mile pace

1.85 miles – 2miles: 7:30 minute mile pace (6th sprint)

I was proud of myself for 2 reasons: (1) I stuck to my schedule that I planned and (2) even though I sprinted at the end, I was able to hold my composure when I finished. I didn’t collapse on the ground. I WAS, however, sucking air like crazy trying to catch my breath….but otherwise, my mind was at ease. When I ran today, I did not feel any tingling or itching on my legs, my breath during my 10 minute pace runs were steady, and I had enough energy to lengthen my stride during my run. I still feel tightness in the lower portion of my calves 1-2 inches above my Achilles heel (most likely my Achilles tendon). I will have to focus on stretching that out too so that I can reduce the amount of pain that I feel when I run.

After I ran this morning, I did 4 different stretches on my left and right sides:

1) Pigeon

2) Bridge

3) Hamstring stretch (sit down, reach over and grab your toes)

4) Butterfly

My body is pretty much tight everywhere below the belt. Straddling my legs out still felt sore/painful after Cleo’s RLNA. Knowing that most of my tightness is in my hip flexor, I focused my attention on that today. I can’t wait until, I’m flexible again….those were the good old days 😉 I’m looking forward to picking up on Cleo’s RLNA DVDs. Tomorrow we’re expecting snow to start falling at 3am-4am anywhere from 6-10 inches of snow. If I’m working from home tomorrow, I will just do the Cleo’s RLNA DVD from home. See you tomorrow!

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