The human body is an amazing powerhouse that is capable of so many great feats.
I’m thankful to have a fully functioning body that allows me to do the things I do. I’m thankful that running is one of those things. There are a ton of features in our body that make us essentially born to run–one of the major ones being the legs. My legs have seen their share of bug bites, crawling fire ants, scratches, bruises, blood, fierce poison ivy, shin splints and combined miles of walking, cycling and running. They have yet to let me down. Every run I go on–whether it’s my best run or the most pathetic run ever–the complex system of ligaments, tendons, and sinewy muscle enclosed in my legs always does its job. A runner’s legs are truly invaluable. I try to remind myself how awesome my legs are–how awesome legs are in general.
Moving away from the awesomeness that are our legs, I read an article the other day about the running capabilities of humans compared to the rest of our animal counterparts. We all know that most mammals can out-sprint a human but when it comes to distance running, us humans have it in the bag. Score for us. Scientists can safely say that humans are able to outlast a horse in a 26.2 mile marathon. Throw in the other endurance runners in the animal kingdom: dogs, wolves, hyenas and antelope. Yep, we’re capable of outlasting them too. (Source)
How crazy, right? Crazy enough that I’m tempted to go sign up for a marathon! Alright, pulling in the reins…I’ll do that soon enough but now isn’t my time. Until that time comes, though, I will continue to take advantage of the awesome things the body is dexterous enough to take on.
Random thought: Can’t believe we’re almost halfway done with 2012. Wow.
So, Kyle and I were successfully able to get through the first full week of P90X! Pat on the back for the both of us. That deal is no joke. It’s hard work but boy if it ain’t the hard work that’s giving me the results I’m seeing, then I don’t know what it is. I mentioned last time that I didn’t feel sore the morning after my first day of the program (chest, shoulders and abs). I had spoken too soon, though. I noticed later that day that my upper body was definitely fatigued. I want some more of that!
Day 2 was plyometrics. I wish I could define plyometrics as an exercise that does all sorts of fan-freaking-tastic things for your body. More technically put, though, it’s a “method of training for power or explosiveness.” (source) I feel like I have a love/hate attitude towards plyos: I did not enjoy getting my butt kicked but at the same time it was satisfying knowing I had given the routine my all and completed it to the best of my ability. I knew my body would benefit from it…it just wouldn’t feel like it at first. I definitely understand how important it is for runners to incorporate plyometric workouts into their training. It works to improve balance and improve speed and agility–three elements necessary for running.
Yesterday (Day 6), we completed our first kenpo workout. Kenpo is an American system of martial arts that uses crazy combinations to create a high intensity cardiovascular workout (source). It was one of the more enjoyable workouts but it did get intense during some parts. I’m not sure if I was having an off day yesterday but I just seemed to be the most imbalanced and uncoordinated person ever. (It’s important to note that balance and coordination are key to kenpo so…fail for me.) Kyle definitely looked 10 times more graceful from my point of view. We had fun and that was the best part (aside from getting a fantastic workout, of course)! Obviously, we were pros in the art of street fighting after that workout, so we thought it’d be fun to go out and get in some fights. Instead, we just beat up on each other for a little while. I love my workout partner.
Now, focusing more on the strength training aspect of P90X, I’m excited about the “muscle confusion” method that is the principle of the program. It’s true, if you keep doing the same reps with the same weight your body and muscles are going to accommodate to the repetition. The P90X system calls for a switch up in your strength training. That way your body avoids plateauing and you see results. I think it’s awesome that I can honestly say in the week I’ve followed through with the program, I’ve seen results in the muscle/definition department. My arms are killing it! I love it. Kyle himself is getting some beastly leg muscle definition. The boy’s got some fine legs.
Today is our choice of Rest or X-Stretch day. Who needs rest!? Well I do, but I’m definitely looking forward to finding out what x-style stretching is like, so I can’t wait to do that later this evening. I’d like to go for a run as well but I think I’ll just go on a nice long walk with the puppy. It’s my “rest” day anyway….
I almost forgot it’s Monday. Have a great and productive week!
Sixteen days. I had let 16 days go by without going for a run at all. That hiatus was depressing especially considering that up until that last run, I had been doing well on my runs. Increasing my distance, keeping a steady pace. Taking a break from running that lasts that long is pretty hindering and initiates backtracking–so disheartening after having put in so much work and effort into my training.
Now, this unwelcome break wasn’t because I’m a horribly lazy individual. I blame this break in running to the fact that I suffered the most severe case of poison ivy I have ever had the displeasure of experiencing. Saying it was a nightmare, horrendous, pure torture from the Poison Ivy Gods does not begin to describe the agony I endured.
What was interesting is that I came into contact with the poison ivy on the day I would run my last run for a while–a Tuesday. I’m so glad I went on that run! But to nip any assumptions in the bud: I did not come into contact with the ivy during that run. Running would never do me like that. 🙂
The poison ivy didn’t manifest itself until Thursday. Friday came around, and I was full blown miserable. The swelling, blisters, oozing and rawness (gross, I apologize) lasted for a week exactly. The unbearable rash was concentrated on the inside of my legs around my knees. The swelling and blistering affected my ability to bend my knee and walk, confining me to my bed. My legs were worthless. I was ready for the drying out process to begin. That part was just as miserable, though. The itching sensation that came from the drying of my skin and blisters was overwhelming. I lost so much sleep during this whole ordeal, tossing and turning, looking for a place of comfort that I never could find.
I thought my immune system had check out for a while when random rashes appeared on my arms, side and other parts of my legs. It was driving me crazy and making me incredibly paranoid. Is it ever going to end?? Horrible.
I’m thankful that the torture is over now. I’m anxiously awaiting for my legs to clear up from the unsightly marks the rash left behind.
Imprisoned in my bed–while my leg muscles atrophied (terrible feeling)–I realized I had taken running for granted. I had taken for granted having the freedom to get out and run to my heart’s content. Valuing the ability I have once again to do this has driven a desire to go running everyday, or as often as I possibly can. Don’t take running for granted again, Cindy. I haven’t made this happen yet but I know I’d be capable of doing it.
Determination will have to be my new best friend for a while.How do you keep from falling into any workout lulls and coming back from them?
So begins the obligatory post proclaiming to the world that I’m beginning a new blog. I’m starting a blog of my own. Done.
I hope to focus my posts mostly around health and fitness–that of my own, for the most part. It’ll be a record of my accomplishments, setbacks, goals, random musings…I just hope I don’t bore myself or any future readers of this blog that I may gain along my journey.
I’m a 20-year-old college student at the University of Missouri. I’ve attended three semesters–would have been the fourth this past semester but I took it off hoping to save up money to pay for school. Well that plan didn’t work out so well, but I still intend to and plan on going back to school this fall. I don’t have a whole lot of support from my family to pursue a higher education so that makes it challenging for me. An “I’ll show them” attitude is my main incentive to succeed and earn a degree. It’s sad but it’s my reality.
I don’t consider myself as someone who has a lot of hobbies to keep busy with. In fact, I wish I had more hobbies because I find myself wasting my days away with meaningless activities. I do enjoy going out and having fun with friends, going to the movies occasionally, all that fun stuff. I used to have a good relationship with my Trek mountain bike…mostly because it was gift from my brother and I had to show him I appreciated it. He was kind enough to provide me with all my biking gear: shoes and clips, clipless pedals, helmet, bike shorts, gel padded gloves and matching Mizzou jerseys. Adorable, I know. We would go on long bike rides and tons of mountain biking trails. I got many sick cuts and bruises from those rides but I handled them like a big girl and “rubbed some dirt” in ’em just to show big brother how tough I was. 🙂
Now that I moved away from home, I don’t have my riding buddy anymore and I haven’t been taking advantage of my bike a whole lot. My brother would be disappointed in me. I’d like to get back into riding; and there are plenty of trails here in Missouri to do that. I just have to make an honest effort to make it happen and maybe find a riding buddy.
Running is something I appreciate, though, because as fun–and safe–as it may be to have a running partner, it’s something I prefer doing on my own. Mostly because I get to set my own pace and run as short or as long of a distance as I desire. I also use it to rid myself of stress and clear my head. It gives me a reason to always update my iTunes with beats that will pump me up through my runs. So that’s a plus, as well.
More on my love for running later. 🙂