Monday, March 31, 2014

Slower Run

Last night I had planned to do a tempo run. However, within about 3 minutes, I realized that there was no way I was going to make my tempo pace for 6 miles.  My legs were still really sore from boxing on Saturday, and I've had a mild cold.  Apparently that added up enough to make the run really tough.  So I slowed it down to my goal pace (5.8 mph) and did 6.0 miles in 1:01:54.  It was still tough to finish.

This morning I did Insanity the Asylum vol. 2 Agility Tutorial and Ab Shredder.  I burned about 180 calories.  My legs are still really sore, especially the quads.  I am not sure exactly what that boxing class did to them, but apparently I'm going to pay for it!

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Doubles Win!

Last night, Jill and I won on #2 doubles in our 3.5 match.  We won 6-4, 6-4.  We had to really dig in and work for it.  Jill definitely did not have her usual energy and movement, so we had to compensate for fewer of her overhead put-away shots, but it worked out.  Our team won all the other courts, too, so it was a good night!

This morning I did my usual Sunday boxing class.  My legs, especially my quads, are really sore from the different boxing class yesterday.  I'm not sure which of the moves did it.  Today's class was a good one.  I'm feeling it in my core.

I was going to do a 10K race this morning through Montgomery County Road Runners Club, but it was way too cold and rainy.  I would still like to get a 10K race in as a prep race before my half-marathon.  I may do the Clyde's of Columbia 10K on April 13.  I have to decide by tomorrow if I don't want to pay the higher registration fee.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Interesting Mixed Win

Last night, Bill and I played our last mixed match of the season.  The man we played on the opposing team was a 4.0 with a really, really good kick serve and other really good shots.  In the first set, I just couldn't seem to hit anything right.  His serves just blew me away, and it seemed like everything else I hit went out, too.  We lost the first set 6-3.

We knew we had to change things up somehow in the second set.  Bill decided that we needed to do something to rattle them and get them off balance so that the guy, especially, could not keep hitting whatever shots he wanted.  So on my serve, Bill started up at the net at the center line.  He signaled me which way he was going to go when the return was hit, and then I would go the other way to cover the court.  This ended up doing really well for us.  I don't think our opponents knew quite what was going on with Bill in the middle, so their returns were not as good.  Bill was also able to get some good poaches.  We won the second set 6-2.  We continued this strategy on my serve in the match tie-breaker, and we won that, too!  A nice way to end the season!

This morning, I went to the 11:30am boxing class.  That's not a typical class for me to go to, but it's raining, so no tennis this morning/afternoon.  The class was pretty good.  It had more of an emphasis on core and strength than I would prefer, but that was OK. 

I have a 3.5 match tonight, so hopefully that will go well!

Friday, March 28, 2014

Speed Intervals

Yesterday afternoon, my run involved speed intervals.  I've been struggling with moving up to 7.2 mph for the intervals, so I went back to 60-sec intervals.  I did 17 60-sec intervals at 7.2 mph alternating with 90 sec at 3.5 mph.  There was a 5-min warm-up and 5-min cool down.  This totaled 4.12 mi in 52:30.  And finally I could stay at 7.2 mph for all the intervals!    I'll be working on increasing the length of time I'm at that speed.

This morning I did P90X2 Recovery + Mobility - my shortened version.  Fridays are usually my rest day, but I have a mixed doubles match scheduled for tonight, so I will have no rest day this week.  I can get away with that occasionally, but if I do it too much, I get tired.  Plus, the rest day really lets my body relax so my waist circumference the next morning is minimized.  Oh, well.  My measurement tomorrow morning will probably be a little higher than it has been.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Doubles Loss

Last night, I had played doubles with Fran on our 6.5 combo team.  We were on #2 doubles, and lost 6-3, 6-3.  It was a frustrating match.  Both of us felt like our opponents were keeping the pace too slow, making us not play as well, but nothing we tried seemed to change things much.  We also had a lot of unforced errors, which really hurt us.  It's one of the few matches that I didn't really enjoy, because I felt like we weren't playing at our potential.  Dang.

This morning when I woke up before sunrise, there was a pretty view out my kitchen window:  a thin waning crescent Moon along with Venus.  It looked rather ghostly through the bare tree branches.

This morning I did Insanity the Asylum Vol. 2 XTrainer and Ab Shredder.  XTrainer has to be one of the most overall effective workouts I've ever done.  It intersperses a lot of agility moves with functional strength moves, like push-ups.  It really blasts the calories, too.  Between both workouts, I burned about 350 calories. 

I always regret that XTrainer is 50 minutes long, and thus about 8 minutes too long for me to do on MWF.  I could reduce it by 8 minutes by removing the "moving matrix push-ups" and the pyramid weight sequence, but that seems like it would almost eviscerate the workout.  Ah, well.  I'm just stuck doing it TTH.

I also did foam rolling afterward, which my right IT band really needed. 

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Doubles Win!

Last night, Jill and I won #2 doubles on our 3.5 team.  Jill was not feeling well, but it didn't show in her play if you didn't know her.  I could tell she didn't have quite her usual energy level, but she certainly didn't let down her end of the play.  We won 6-2, 6-4.  Our opponents switched sides in the second set, which worked better for them, but wasn't quite enough.  Happily my elbow was OK.  I can feel that it aches a bit, but it doesn't have the acute pain I started getting a couple weeks ago.

This morning I did Insanity the Asylum Vol. 2 Agility Tutorial and Pure Contact.  Again, I skipped through the intro sequences of the Agility Tutorial to cut down the time a bit.  This gave me a reasonable burn.  The pike-ups in Pure Contact are killer.  I burned about 230 calories. 

OK, so this is a bit self-congratulatory, but someone I was talking to made me think about looking at my tennis record so far this season.  I've been doing really well, which has been fun!

In mixed combo, I've won 3 of 4:  the 3 I played with my husband, all on #1 doubles.

In women's 6.5 combo, I've won 7 of 9.  I've played myself as a 3.5 in this league, so all of my wins were with another 3.0, usually Joan or Fran.

In 3.0, I've won 3 of 5.  Surprisingly, this is my worst record.  One of the loses was against my nemesis, Marva.  One win was in singles.

In 3.5, I've won 8 of 10.  This is pretty amazing to me!  And not all of these were on #3 doubles, even though I'm 3.0.  Both of my losses were against a super-hard team, both on #2 doubles.  And they weren't horrible losses, either.  One win was in singles, as well.  Cool beans!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

So far, so good...

Last night I played two hours of tennis.  Some drilling, some doubles, some singles.    So far, the elbow is not bothering me.  I'm still wearing the sleeve/strap and wrist brace, and using the NSAID cream.  However, I can't complain that I'm getting through it OK.  However, I played horribly.  Just couldn't focus.  Weird.

This morning I did P90X2 Plyocide.  I've always thought that this is a very effective workout.  When I've looked up suggested lower-body plyo moves to help with tennis, a lot of the moves in Plyocide are listed.  I definitely prefer it to Insanity the Asylum Vertical Plyo because it doesn't insist on going, going, going with no breaks until you lose form.  From what I've read about training for plyometric ability, you should be taking breaks between the moves in order to be able to give the next one everything you've got.  In other words, you're not training your cardio fitness, you're training for power.  The end of the workout has some neurointegrated stretching, which has not impressed me so far, but I do it.  Give me my foam roller instead.  I burned about 220 calories in the workout.

Monday, March 24, 2014

New Phase of Workouts

This morning I started a new phase of my morning workouts.  These next three weeks are focused on performance.  For me, that means agility and plyometric ability.  This morning I did Insanity the Asylum Vol. 2 Agility Tutorial and Ab Shredder.  In the Agility Tutorial, I skip past the instruction part of the video and just do the at-pace parts of each agility move.  It causes a nice sweat.  However, Ab Shredder doesn't burn a lot of calories, so my total this morning was about 186 calories.

The difficulty I always run into with planning out my workouts is that on MWF I can't do anything longer than about 42 minutes.  That's pretty limiting.  Yes, I could get up earlier, but I know I won't get to bed earlier, and I don't want to compromise my sleep.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Sunday Morning

This morning was a typical Sunday morning for me.  I went to my boxing class.  Someone different was teaching it today.  The class was OK, but I prefer the usual instructor, Nate.  We actually got done a little early, and I didn't get as much of a burn as usual.  I'm still a bit tired from my run yesterday, but that doesn't seem strange.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

First 12-mile Run

This morning I did my first 12-mi run, on the treadmill.  I did it at my goal pace, 5.8 mph, so it took 2:04:10.  The last 2 - 3 miles were really pretty hard, but I stuck them out.  My jumps onto the rails for a drink got a bit longer than usual, and I had one bathroom break.  It's nice to know I can go that far - that's almost the half-marathon distance.  I've got 13 miles coming up in a couple weeks in my plan.

This afternoon I had a tennis practice with my teams.  My legs were feeling a little dead, but I managed to play reasonably well.  The best thing is that my elbow didn't really hurt.  I wore the sleeve/strap and the soft wrist brace.  I put the topical NSAID on before and after, and I took ibuprofen before and after.  I've now done four days of exercises with the Thera-bar.  The elbow twinged a few times, but nothing bad.  Hopefully this is a good sign.  I have tomorrow off from tennis, but then I have three days in a row.  We'll see if the elbow can do it.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Music While Running

Yesterday I ran into a mention of an app that would sense your running cadence, translate that into BPM, and play music with that BPM to help you keep a steady pace.  Or, you could tell it your desired pace, and it would play music with the appropriate BPM.

Of course, this app was only available on iPhone.  However, I found a similar, if less featureful app, called PaceDJ, which works on Android.  The app went through the music on my phone and and found the tempos of most of my songs.  There were some that it couldn't, and it asked me if I wanted the app to look them up.  I didn't do that right away, but I did that later on.  At any rate, I didn't have a problem having enough music.

So I took it for an outside run - it was nice to be able to run outside on the first day of spring!  The app said that it could measure my cadence and translate it into BPM by running with it for 30 seconds.  I tried that three times, but got crazy-high BPMs.  That part didn't work for me.  So I choose 160 BPM, which the app said is typical for a 6.0 mph speed.  You can adjust the BPM as you go, but I didn't this time.

Running with the "paced" music was amazing!  It was so much easier to keep going to not speed up and slow down.  I never realized what a big difference it would make.  I only ran with one earphone, as I think runners should not be too closed off from their surroundings, but it still worked great.

I ended up running 7.08 mi in 1:08:02, which was like 6.1 - 6.2 mph on average.  That's the fastest that I have run that far and that long.  My run was supposed to be more of a goal pace run (5.8 mph), but turned into more of a tempo run.  I don't think that matters too much, but I'll have to change my BPM in future to control it more carefully.

I can see using the music like this to help me train my pace outside.  However, most races don't allow the use of headphones (Montgomery County Road Runners Club, for one), or don't allow awards if you're using headphones, so I can't use them in a race. 

Today is my rest day.  This morning I did my shortened version of P90X Recovery + Mobility, with the foam rolling and stretching.  It felt good.  I burned a whole 100 calories.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Healing Tennis Elbow

Yesterday I got two things I ordered from Amazon to try to help heal my tennis elbow.  First, a topical NSAID called Penetrex.  Amazon helpfully informed me that I ordered this almost exactly two years ago, the last time I had trouble with tennis elbow.  I did get the problem to heal then, so hopefully I will be able to do so this time.

The second thing was the Thera-band Light Flex Bar .  There is actual research supporting the use of a specific exercise with this bar for helping to heal tennis elbow, so I thought I'd try it.  The last time I had tennis elbow, I did do some exercises to help with it, but I did not use this in particular.  It's definitely useful to watch the video on how to do the exercise, because the pictures are not totally clear.

Last night I went to a boxing class.  I don't usually do that on weeknights any more, but since I'm trying to avoid tennis when possible, I went.  The class was OK.  The instructor is an actual pro boxer, but he's not the most interested or enthusiastic in teaching a bunch of us total amateurs.  I am a little sore today in my lats, either from the class or from my morning kickboxing workout.

This morning I did Insanity Core Cardio & Balance.  I felt better doing it than on Tuesday morning, when I was pretty tired.  I burned about 190 calories.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Tempo Run

Yesterday afternoon I did a 6.0-mile tempo run.  My speed was 6.1 mph, so I finished it in 59:01.  I probably should push my tempo runs a bit harder, but after having so much trouble in the speed intervals, I am wary about that.

I watched the second episode of the new "Cosmos" series during my run.  This series is definitely a winner.  This episode focused on evolution, and it presented the evidence extremely well.  I was especially impressed with how it disproved one of the typical arguments of intelligent design.

This morning, I did Cathe Friedrich's 4 Day Split Kickbox workout.  Still a favorite of mine.  I burned about 220 calories.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Awesome Mixed Win!

Last night Bill and I played a 7.0 mixed combo match against the top team.  They had only lost one match out of 11 so far and only 3 individual courts.  Bill and I won against them on #1 doubles!  It was a close one: 5-7, 7-6, 1-0.  We were pretty worried after the warm up, because the opposing man had warmed up some very strong serves and groundstrokes.  However, he did not generally hit as well during the match.  The opposing woman had some awesome overheads and a really annoying short return.  We spent the first set adjusting to all of that.  During the second set, we did a better job of moving the ball around and staying away from the overheads.  Bill played amazingly well.  He kept the opposing man off-balance and played some great angles.  He's so fast on the court!

Unfortunately our team lost the other two courts, so we lost the match overall.  But our match was challenging and a lot of fun.

My elbow did not bother me too much during the match.  I know it's still a problem, though.  I have four days off from tennis now, so hopefully that will get it started on the healing process.

This morning I did Insanity Core Cardio & Balance to burn about 190 calories.  My legs are still sore from boxing on Sunday.  My legs sometimes get sore and it lasts for almost a week just from something that didn't bother me that much at the time.  I suspect this is going to be one of those times.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Made it through the match

I had a 3.0 match last night.  Unfortunately Fran and I lost #1 doubles 6-2, 7-5.  The good news is that my elbow did OK.  I wore the compression sleeve with forearm strap that I have.  I also wore a soft wrist brace of my husband's.  The elbow seems to hurt most when I pronate (perhaps not appropriately), and so I was hoping the brace would help with that.  At any rate, the elbow wasn't too bad.

The bad news is that we lost, and the team lost the match overall.  When Fran and I play, we usually play with me on the deuce side.  However, I wanted to hit fewer forehands and more backhands because of my elbow, so we started on the opposite sides.  Well, that didn't work very well.  We switched back to our usual configuration in the second set, and we played much better.  Our opponents wanted to lob and lob and lob.  In the second set, we also did a better job of taking the ball out of the air and moving it around.  We were up 5-3, but lost the set.  Grrr.  We should've won the second set, at least.  A few too many unforced errors in that set.

This morning began my recovery week for my morning workouts.  Even so, I did P90X+ Kenpo Cardio+, like I have been doing on Mondays.  It's a good all-around cardio workout.  I wanted a bit more of a burn (280 cal today), because we got a lot of snow so I'll be home all day and not moving too much.  I always have trouble with having a lower burn in my recovery week.  I did at least foam roll my legs afterward.  My legs are a bit sore today, probably from some of the jumping in boxing yesterday.

I have a tough mixed match tonight with my husband.  Hopefully the elbow will hold up.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Boxing is OK for Tennis Elbow

This morning I did my usual boxing class.  I've not had any elbow problems with it, but given that my elbow has been hurting a lot, I was a little worried.  However, it didn't bother me at all.  I talked to the pro leading the class, and he agree that it shouldn't if you're punching with proper form.  Always keep your elbows in at your side and punch forward; don't "flap" your elbows and punch around from the side.  I generally keep pretty good form, so I guess that's why it hasn't bothered me.  Good!  I was feeling a little tired today during class, which I guess is no surprise after yesterday.

I have a 3.0 match this evening, so that will be the real test of my elbow.  Hopefully I can play smart and win without tweaking it again.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

10 Mile Goal Pace Run

This morning I did a 10-mile run at my goal pace of 5.8 mph.  It took 1:43:25.  The run felt pretty good.  I did it over 5 minutes faster than the previous 10-mile run that I did several weeks ago.

This afternoon I had a tennis practice with my teams.  I'd had three days off from tennis, but my elbow still hurt a bit.  Unfortunately I tweaked it during practice, and now it's worse.  Backhands aren't too bad, but hitting my forehand is not very good.  The worst is when I bend my wrist while completing a shot.  I'm not sure I'm supposed to be doing that, but apparently I usually do.  I had been wearing an elbow compression sleeve.   After practice, I iced the elbow.  I also dug out my husband's wrist brace - maybe that will help keep me from bending my wrist as much.  I guess we'll see.  I have a 3.0 match tomorrow night.  In the meantime, I'm going to put myself on ibuprofen.

My weight has gone back down from when I was concerned earlier this week, so that's good.  I think it was just some minor bloating.  My waist measurements this morning were also as low as they've ever been.  That all makes me feel better that my eating is under control.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Unexpected Run

I was supposed to play in a 6.5 combo match last night, but the other team had to default a court.  That means that Joan and I didn't get to play (although we won that court).  Fortunately, the team won one of the two remaining courts, so we won the match overall.  I could've asked someone else to sit out, since I'm team captain, but since my elbow has been hurting it seemed wise to take a break.

Since I had the evening free, I did a goal pace run that I did not have in my original plan.  I ran 6.0 miles in 1:02:04, which was a speed of 5.8 mph.  I'm really hoping that if I keep running at that speed on the treadmill, I'll be able to run at that speed outside.  Usually I try to run faster outside.

Today is my rest day.  This morning I did my shortened version of P90X2 Recovery + Mobility.  The foam rolling on the length of my legs in between quads and IT band felt really good.  I still don't know what that is, but running seems to make it tight.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Speed is hard

Yesterday afternoon, my run was speed intervals.  The plan was to do 8x3 minute intervals at 7.2 mph, with 90 seconds of walking at 3.5 mph in between.  However, it didn't quite go like that.  I got two intervals done at 7.2 mph, and then had to go down to 7.1 mph for the rest.  And even then I had to hop onto the side rails for some short breaks.  It's hard to increase speed! 

Clearly I need to adapt my intervals to do shorter intervals, but more of them, so I can do them at faster speeds.  I'll have to think this through for the next ones.  Overall, the run took 46:00 and went 4.13 miles.

This morning, I did P90X2 Chest + Back + Balance and X2 Ab Ripper for the last time in this phase.  Chest is definitely one of the stronger muscles for me, as I continued to improve those exercises.  I even got more reps in most of them than I did at my best the last time I went through the program.  The pull-ups were not so good, but I did get a few more chair-assisted reps.  I burned about 230 calories overall.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Bad Elbow

I did get to do cardio tennis last night.  A new instructor did it - Andrew.  It was fun.  The drills kept us moving and seemed useful.  I particularly liked the overhead and volley drills.  Unfortunately my right elbow started to hurt a lot more.  I think I'm going to have to cut down on the tennis to get it healed, but that's hard to do.  I should probably ice it after I play, but with my Raynaud's and overall coldness, I can't even imagine doing that at this time of year.

this morning I did Insanity: The Asylum Vol. 1 Vertical Plyo for the last time in this phase of my schedule!  Hooray!  I do think I did a bit better on it today.  I burned about 220 calories.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

3.5 Win!

I missed a day of blogging, so this goes back to Sunday night.

Sunday night, Whitney and I won on #3 doubles in our 3.5 match: 6-4, 6-3.  We were down 4-1 in the first set, and came back to win the set!  One of our opponents had a very strong forehand and a good serve, so it took us a few games to adjust to her.  We mostly played to avoid her, which worked very well.  Her partner wasn't bad, but she was beatable.

Yesterday morning, I did P90X+ Kenpo Cardio+ to burn about 280 cal.  This is the last week of this phase of my morning workouts.

Last night, I played my usual doubles at TCCP.  I was feeling really off during the warm up and the first few games - I almost felt on the verge of being light-headed.  So I started off really badly.  But then I started feeling better, and ended up winning all three rounds with my partners.  Nice!

Unfortunately, my right forearm and elbow are really starting to hurt when I play.  I'm sure it's just too much tennis and repetitive motion with the racquet, as well as the gripping.  I'm going to have to decide what I want to do about it.

This morning, I did P90X2 Shoulders + Arms and X2 Ab Ripper.  I got another rep or two on some of the exercises.  I had been hoping to get some more reps on the Arnold shoulder presses (which I've been going with 25 lbs per hand for the first two rounds), but I was having a bit of a problem with my balance and couldn't do it.  I thought maybe I'd have trouble holding the weights today with the way my forearm has been hurting, but it didn't really bother me for this.  Apparently the pain is very tennis-specific.  At any rate, I burned about 180 calories for the morning workout.

I'm going to try cardio tennis again tonight.  Hopefully it will really happen this week!

Sunday, March 9, 2014

My Mom Did Some Boxing!

This morning I went to the 9:30am boxing class instead of the 11:30am like I usually do.  Fortunately Nate was teaching the earlier class, too, since I like his class.  My Mom is visiting, so I brought her along.  I couldn't talk her into putting on boxing wraps and gloves, but she did agree to do the various conditioning exercises with the class.  And then once she got going, she did some shadow boxing around the bag!  She did a great job, since the class was a lot harder the the Curves routines she usually does.  The staff at Champion Boxing Fitness was also very good about helping her out and keeping an eye on her.  It was a good morning!

Yesterday, I got the tank top I ordered from the Frederick Running Festival half marathon that I'll be doing.  I tried it on because I'd like to wear it for the race, but I don't think I can wear it before then.  I haven't earned it yet. 

Something I've been thinking about lately is whether I need to try eating anything while running in preparation for the half-marathon.  So far the longest distance I've run is 10 miltes, and I didn't feel like I was running out of energy for that.  I have never eaten anything while running.  I'm not sure I'm going to worry about it.  I've got some 12 and 13-mile runs coming up in my training, so we'll see how that goes.

Lately I've been doing my Saturday runs in the late morning before lunch.  This seems like good eating/digestion practice, since I eat breakfast and then run about two hours later.  So far I haven't had any stomach problems.  During one run I did have to take several bathroom breaks, but most of the time I haven't even had that issue.  Hopefully this means I'll be able to eat breakfast at home before the half-marathon and then by the time the race starts my stomach will have dealt with that food.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Goal Pace Run

This morning I did another 7.0-mile goal pace run.  I did it in 1:12:25.  I originally wanted to do 8 miles, but I got going a little late and didn't have time.  This was an extra run for me this week, since it was my third run for the week and I usually only do two.  However, with my mother visiting, I was not going to be able to go to tennis practice like usual.  So I ran 20 miles this week, which is certainly more than I've run in a week before.  I'm still feeling pretty good.

Friday, March 7, 2014

3.5 Win!

Last night, Whitney and I won our #2 doubles match for my 3.5 team.  We won 6-4, 6-2.  It was a fun match, because pretty much all of the shots were with quite a bit of pace.  Not much lobbing or dinky shots.  It made it hard to poach, but I was glad to be able to keep up and not hit out a lot.  Also fun to win!  Unfortunately the team lost the match overall.

Today is my rest day.  I did my shortened version of P90X2 Recovery + Mobility and burned about 100 calories. 

My weight was back down a bit.  Still keeping my eye on it.  However, I did have splurge today.  I gave the colloquium at Goddard Space Flight Center and went to lunch at the cafeteria there before.  Yummy to have some french fries.  I imagine it was a lot of sodium.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Goal Pace Run

Last night I did my first goal pace run, which is just what it sounds like:  you run at the pace you're planning to run the race you're preparing for.  In order to finish my half-marathon in 2:15:00, I need to run at 5.8 mph or 10:20 min/mi.  So last night I ran 7.0 mi at that pace, which led me to finish in 1:12:26.  Happily enough, this felt like a pretty good pace that I could've done for longer.  Which is good!

I'm having a bit of a struggle with the thought of running my longer runs at a slower pace than this.  After all, my longer runs are still shorter or only as long as the half-marathon.  If I want to run the half-marathon at that pace, shouldn't I run the longer runs at that pace?  I guess the idea is that while I'm still running longer distances than I've ever run before, I should ease into it.  However, since I'm only running twice a week usually, I wonder if I should push that.  We'll see.  Since I'm still mostly running on the treadmill because of the cold weather, it's easy to set a pace.  I don't think I'm going to be nearly as successful pacing myself outside.  I suspect in the half-marathon I will start out fast and get slower, and hopefully just manage to finish in my goal time.

This morning I did P90X2 Chest + Back + Balance and X2 Ab Ripper.  This burned about 230 calories.  I did increase my numbers on most exercises.  One thing that has been nice is that coming back to this workout after a long break, my chest strength appears to have not suffered at all - in fact it may be better.  I'm banging out a lot of the push-up variations and balance moves.  The pull-ups are much harder since I really don't focus on them much otherwise.  It's cool to be able to do them, but I don't think the level of strength necessary for a pull-up is needed for much of my other activities.

My weight has been creeping up a bit this week for some reason.  It was even up a tad this morning after my run last night, and usually I lose a lot of water weight from a run.  I may be a little bloated.  I don't think I'm really making that much muscle.  I'll have to keep an eye on it, and I'll have to see what my waist measurements are on my Saturday weekly measuring.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Cardio Frustration

Well, I did not get to do cardio tennis last night.  The minimum to do the clinic is three people, and there were three of us signed up.  However, at least three have to actually show up in the first 15 minutes.  The third person was delayed, so it was canceled.  I ended up hanging around and doing some points games and singles with the two other guys, but it was not really what I had been planning on.

This morning I did Insanity: The Asylum Vol. 1 Vertical Plyo.  I still hate this workout.  It's so hard that even the people in the video can't keep going continuously after the first few minutes.  As I've seen someone remark, only Shaun T thinks that double jumps are "active recovery". I think the problem for me is that it's so hard that I just don't even feel like pushing myself that much, so I end up dogging it. I also worry about the impact on my knees with all the tuck jumps and power jumps, even though I try to land softly.  I burned 199 calories during it today.

Tonight I have a treadmill run scheduled.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Inside Run

Last night I did a tempo run on my treadmill since we had a snow day.  Since I'm no longer including my walking warm ups and cool downs in my distances and times, it makes the run pretty boring numerically:  6.0 miles in 1:00:00.  That was the plan!

This morning, I did P90X2 Shoulders & Arms and X2 Ab Ripper.  I pushed a few more reps on some of the exercises.  Arnold presses on one foot with 25 lbs per hand are tough, but I feel strong doing them!  Also, I can lift as much weight with my triceps as my biceps, which seems unusual: 20 lbs for each for basic exercises.  In total, I burned about 192 calories in the workout according to my BodyMedia.

I am hoping to go to cardio tennis at TCCP tonight after work, but I suspect they won't have enough people to do it.  We'll see!

Monday, March 3, 2014

Snow Day

Last night I lost my 3.5 match.  Grace and I played a strong match on #2 doubles.  We won the first set 6-4.  One of our opponents was much weaker than the other, so we concentrated on hitting to her.  We lost the second set 6-2.  We let some lobs drop in for overheads, and they did make fewer unforced errors.  The match tiebreaker was very close - we were tied up 8-8, but then lost 10-8.  It was a lot of fun, though, because it was a challenging match but not overwhelming.  Unfortunately we lost all of the other courts, too, except #1 singles.

Today there is a big snowstorm, so the university is closed.  This morning I did my scheduled workout: P90X+ Kenpo Cardio+.  I don't do the warm up on the video for this workout; they do minimal warming up and then do some yoga stretches.  That doesn't work at all for me.  I need to be a lot warmer before I get started.  So I do my own warm up exercises (jogging in place, fake jump roping, jumping jacks, butt kicks, and high knees) and then I do some ballistic stretching of my hamstrings.  Then I get into the official workout.  This also saves me 90 - 120 seconds in the workout.  Today I burned 289 calories.  I felt like I had quite a bit of energy to do it. Afterward, I used the extra time because it's a snow day to do some foam rolling on my legs.

Because of the snow storm, I won't be able to do my usual tennis doubles tonight.  I will probably do a run instead.  Plus some show shoveling sometime today once the snow tapers off.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Signed up for the half marathon!

This morning I did my usual boxing class.  I was not as wiped out as I thought I might be after yesterday's long run and tennis practice.  Hopefully that will hold up for my 3.5 match tonight.

I did some number-crunching yesterday, and I think it's a very reasonable goal for me to finish my half-marathon in 2:15:00 or less.  I think I'm going to do some goal-pace runs of about 7 miles where I run at about 6.0 mph.  At that speed, I would definitely be under 2:15:00, so I want to get used to it.

For my runs so far, I've been including my 5-minute walking warm ups and cool downs in my times and mileage.  I don't think I'm going to do that any more, though.  It makes it hard to figure out what kind of pace I'm actually running at.  So for my tempo runs, goal pace runs, and long runs from now on, I will not include them.  I'll keep them in my interval runs, though, since those aren't really the same kind of runs.

I have signed up for the half-marathon!  I will be doing the half-marathon at the Frederick Running Festival.  I feel like it's a bit expensive, but my first one is definitely one to celebrate.  Of course, I missed the early registration date by 2 days, so I paid an extra $10.

Before then, I'm going to do at least one 10 K, and maybe two.  I'm thinking about the one in Gaithersburg on Mar. 30.  Possibly I will also do one next weekend on Mar. 9.  We'll see.  It's getting exciting to think that I'm actually going to be able to do a whole (ha ha) half-marathon.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Long Run and Practice

This morning I did a 9-mile run as part of my half-marathon training.  I did it before lunch.  My time was 1:36:46, which I was quite happy with.  It was a little faster pace than my 10-mile run two weeks ago.   It didn't feel really hard, either.  I also didn't have any bathroom breaks like I did with the 10-mile run, but that might have been because I did it in the morning instead of afternoon. I watched the first couple episodes of Stargate SG-1 while I ran, which was fun. 

This afternoon I had a practice with my tennis team.  My legs were still really fatigued, so I was expecting to play poorly.  However, I actually played quite well.  In fact, I was even hitting my forehands better than usual.  I was definitely running out of gas toward the end, though.