Saturday, November 22, 2014

Final Exam and Graduation

I was on a roll there for a while, posting after every Iron Tribe Fitness 101 class...and then life got crazy (as usual!).

We learned several other exercises to finish out the training which will set us up to do the "big kid" workouts.  Then, the last day of 101 was the retest.

If you remember the first night of 101 we learned how to do a proper air squat, kettle bell swing and sit up and we had a baseline test to see where we were starting out with fitness.  I came in "third" out of about 15 with a time of 6:09 (one of the two people who "beat" me was a female...insert glaring competition face here).  During the 4 weeks of 101 I had a few long runs, ended up with a little injury to my leg (more about that in another post) and had a little run in the woods (it was a 50K, 31 miles, a week ago today...I'll write A LOT more about that in another post).

I was more than a little concerned about how I would do in the retest.  I knew my legs were fatigued, and the night before the test I did a WOD with a "Try the Tribe" group* so my upper body was a little sore as well.  My injury didn't seem to be a big factor thankfully, but it wasn't completely gone either.  I not only wanted to beat my original time, I wanted to beat the other gal's baseline time.  ((I can NOT help it...I am competitive.))  Really what I wanted was for her to be at my retest so I could aim to beat her that day, but no such luck.

Anyway, I decided to just give all I had an to be satisfied with whatever result I got.  I started the 200 meter run like a BULLET.  I wish I had timed that run-it was seriously fast.  15 air squats, kettle bell swings (at the prescribed weight not scaled weight**), and situps, then 12 of all three, then 9 of all three...I could tell I was moving faster and I was holding on pretty well the whole time.  The test ends with a 200 meter run.  I was fast the 100 meters going out...but boy was I sucking wind on the way back.  It would have been nice to have someone there to race, but I ended up having to do my retest alone so all I had was my mind to tell me to PUSH.  The air was super cold and I sounded like an asthmatic trying to gulp oxygen into collapsing lungs!!  My chest HURT in that last stretch of run.  I could tell I was slowing down.

The first part of the run, and consequently the last part is a driveway into a parking lot.  You run on a sidewalk, so you go off the curb then back up to start and finish the run.  As I was coming back my mind started telling me I had better slow down or I might fall...what if I break a leg, or worse, my neck...I could hit my head and DIE!!!  ((Yes, I seriously had these thoughts as I was running as top speed.))  Interestingly enough, because of the previous two weeks of dealing with the "injury" I was able to put all of that out of my mind with one little phrase, "I do not live my life in fear."  I was able to push as hard as my body would allow and finish with a time of 5:31.

I cut 38 seconds off what I found out was a good time to start with anyway.  I did beat the other gal's baseline time, but I'm sure she will beat my retest time when she does her test...she is a beast.

Here's the thing...I was amazed at my improvement in the month.  Now, I know there is some speed with comes with familiarity.  But, we didn't do kettle bell swings or sit ups in the regular classes.  We did squats a good bit in conduction with various movements, but, in my opinion, speed wouldn't be a function of being more familiar with a squat.  I truly gave all I had in that baseline test.  I was gassed at the end of it, and I was sore the next day from it.  The improvement I made was even more significant when viewed through the understanding of what I had done in addition to the class in that four weeks.

There is no doubt in my mind that sticking with ITF will allow me to swim, bike and run faster (and more efficiently because I'll be using muscles that have been very under-developed in the past) and do it with less risk of injury.  I have said all along that I needed to add in strength training.  I just haven't done it.  It's very hard for me to go into a gym and do my own thing...and I KNOW what to do.  This "program", for lack of a better word, is more than worth the time and the money it will cost me.  (For the record, I will be going only twice a week since I'll also be swimming, biking and running.  If this were all the exercise someone was getting they would really need to go at least three times a week.)

This is going to be a banner year for me!  I. Can. NOT. Wait!

Until next time...
:D

*What is "Try the Tribe"??  Every month they have a special class where people can come to check the place/program out.  I will be "hosting" my own "Tri the Tribe" event on December 17th.  If you are in the greater Huntsville area and want to come check the place out, please come be my guest.  I will have some door prize drawings and there will be a special offer for any athletes who want to join the Tribe with me.  If your are curious at all...this is the time to check it out!  If you are on FaceBook, you can "join" here.  If you aren't on there, you can comment on this post or email me to let me know you are coming.  There is limited space available and I want to have a good count for some give aways!!  :D

**What is "prescribed" weight and "scaled" weight all about?  Every WOD (workout of the day) has a "prescribed" weight to shoot for.  There is one for men and one for women.  When someone isn't quite strong enough to use the prescribed weight (or do the movement exactly as it should be, like a pull up), they "scale" it down.  So I think the prescribed weight for the kettle bell swing for women is 16lbs (not sure?).  If I couldn't swing that with good form I would go down to 8lbs.  There is "always" a scale or a modification to make an exercise safe and effective.

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