Thank you for joining my weekly wrap. Actually, I am going to begin my week with last Saturday so I can tell you about the three-hour timed trail run I did with my hubby Bill and my friend Nancy.
CJ’s Resolution Challenge is a race that I have done each of the past four years. Obviously, I really enjoy the race. The challenge is to run a 1.5-mile loop as many times as possible in 3 hours.
This year, Bill and I ran together; Nancy was ahead of us. The weather at the start of the race was 40 degrees with light rain. The light rain was preceded by a downpour the previous night, which was preceded by the wettest year on record for this area.
That’s a long-winded way to say that the trails were a muddy mess. I have taken many showers after the race, but mud is still ground in around my toenails, even though I scrubbed them with an old toothbrush.
Muddy trails are a playground for true trail runners, but Bill has an aversion to dirt. Poor guy! He never once complained when we hit the unavoidable puddles.
Bill thinks the course is about 2/3 gravel park road and 1/3 trails, but I think it is more like half and half. Let’s compromise and say that 5/12 of the course is trail and 7/12 is road. You have no idea the convoluted math I did to calculate those fractions.
My hip held up for about two hours of the three-hour run, then started hurting pretty badly. I was happy with my results, however; we ran the same number of loops as last year, nine. Our finishing time was 2:57.
After the race, we headed for the aid tent for homemade vegetarian lentil and chicken corn soup, along with homemade cookies, chips, crusty bread, and piping hot coffee or cocoa.
I did not run on Monday, but I did do my plank challenge. I slacked on the planking over the holidays, so, after getting my plank time up to 4:45 before Christmas, I was back to 4:30 this week. After 4:30, my arms began shaking and my midsection felt the inexorable pull of gravity. I called it quits. I also did an hour of Body Pump with one of my favorite instructors, Theresa.
On Tuesday, I did a pool workout. Bill got me new training flippers and a new cap for Christmas, so I had to try them out. My workout includes a warmup of 10 laps, 14 laps of just kicking with my flippers (no arms), and a 10 lap cool down. That takes me a little over half an hour, and at the end of that half hour, I was beat!
Wednesday began with another plank. This time, I could hold the plank for 4:45. I was happy to be back to my pre-holiday planking time.
Bill and I did an hour of trail running with our friend Al. I have not run with Al since he had an allergic reaction to some hornet stings in a trail race last summer. His summer trail-running days are over, but there was little chance of hornets this week, so he felt comfortable hitting the trails with us.
On Thursday I did a short run beginning from our local rec center. The wind was crazy. I started my run amid farm fields, running directly into the howling gale. This made a very difficult start of the run, but by the end, I was the beneficiary of a ferocious tailwind.
Friday was my birthday and I had a birthday fitness goal. Before going to the rec center for a Body Pump class, I wanted to hold my forearm plank for five full minutes. Five minutes has been my goal ever since I began planking months ago.
I turned on the TV for distraction, got down on our bedroom floor and began planking. The first two minutes were easy. I didn’t look at the time, instead, I counted to 30 in my head, very slowly, with my breath.
I counted to 30 once, twice, three times, then looked at my watch – it was already at 3:50. “I can do this!” I thought. I counted to 30 one more time and looked at my watch again – 4:30. My arms began shaking, but I held my form. I watched the clock count up – 4:45, 4:50, 5:00. I did it!
I won’t hold a plank that long every day, but it was gratifying to do it once. I notice a big difference in my core strength since beginning the challenge.
And, that’s a wrap.
What were your fitness highlights this week?