Thursday, October 11, 2012

Motivated Monday, Workout Wednesdays and Tough Mudder recap

First off, I am sorry for missing both  my Monday and Wednesday posts this week.  We ended up staying in Austin for a few extra days after the Tough Mudder because of some business my husband had out there and Wednesday I was back out in the oil fields with him.  But, this actually works quite well for all of these topics to come together!

So to start, the Tough Mudder was AWESOME! I can't begin to describe both how fun and how incredibly rewarding this challenge was.  I doubted myself so much leading up to this and then the day of, I decided I can do anything I set my mind to (one of my team mates is a really big believer in creating your own destiny and your own surroundings and I think he is right on - it definitely let me believe that my huge blister on my ankle didn't hurt during the Mudder!).  Our team worked incredibly well together and we pushed and encouraged each other through every obstacle - even my husband, who was out for most of the summer with severely sprained ankle, dominated the course.  The feeling of crossing the finish line with my 3 teammates was indescribable and I highly recommend that if you've ever thought of trying this challenge, you gather some friends and do it.  Everyone helps everyone and encourages everyone and you will see feats of athleticism that you can't believe.  The Tough Mudder is really big with the armed forces and you see a LOT of veterans who were seriously injured in war (lost limbs even) completing this challenge!  It's inspiring beyond belief.  You get super muddy, you get cuts and bruises, you are exhausted at the end and you CAN NOT WAIT for the next one!  Our team is already planning on 3-4 Mudder runs next year!

Now to Motivated Mondays!  After the Mudder, my friend Atina worried that not having that big goal ahead of her would derail her awesome progress.  But on Monday she texted me and said how weird it felt not working out together that morning and could we please do our usual Monday and Tuesday AM workouts the following week.  So you see, motivation comes from you! Yes gaols help, surrounding yourself with positive people helps, committing to big challenges helps but ultimately, it's YOU! You decide that it's worth it, that you are worth it and you keep at it even when you've reached your goal.  When your reach your goal, you set the next one.  That's motivation.

Workout Wednesday time!  Well after doing the Mudder I felt really pleased with my endurance levels.  I honestly have a very hard time admitting that I am in shape and am hyper critical of myself.  The Tough Mudder was amazing for making me realize that unlike most of the world, I can run for many miles! I had no problem running any time my team was ready (we had a few injuries holding back full running) and I truly believe I could have run the whole thing - 12 miles (the obstacles provide some built in recovery moments).  How did I get this endurance? I do a combination of HIIT sprints, long slow distance runs, and tempo runs (shorter run designed to increase your speed per mile).  I also hit the elliptical, stair master and do wind sprints.  And it works; changing up your cardio routine is great for increasing your endurance for any activity.

That being said, I felt like despite my strength gains from 2+ years of weight lifting, I wasn't totally happy with my functional strength.  That means that while I can curl 20-30lb dumbbells, I can't pull myself up a rope! husband and I are changing our workout style to more functional strength training.  Now I still believe in weight lifting (it helps build muscle and more importantly, helps with bone density) but our plan is to include more body weight and functional moves - push-ups, pull-ups, chin-ups, squats, lunges and ab work.

Here's a look at my new plan:
Monday: Upper Body (push-ups, chin-ups, horizontal pull-ups, lat pull downs and dips) and cardio (long run)
Tuesday: Lower Body (alternating runs with narrow squats, wide squats, side lunge squats, and walking squats)
Wednesday: Cardio - HIIT sprints and elliptical
Thursday: Upper Body (same as Monday)
Friday: Lower Body (same as Tuesday)
Saturday: Plyo  (jump squats, mountain climbers, jack squats, plank jacks, side to side single leg jumps, forward jump squats, and lunge jumps) and wind sprints (back and forth across our basketball court with handstand push-ups, or jumping jacks, or plyo moves and abs at the end of each sprint).

Stay tuned for how this new workout regime pays off and for more details on our upcoming Mudder plans! We are currently planning on Austin in April 2013, Vancouver in June 2013 and Houston in October 2013 - if you're interested in doing a Tough Mudder, let me know; we're looking for more teammates at all these events and will consider other locations!

How have you been active lately?  Ever thought about doing the Mudder? How often do you change up your workouts?

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