Category Archives: P90X

Marathon Training During COVID-19: Reset

With back-to-back DNFs on the last two Sunday runs, I decided to scale back my planned distances over the next month and start as if I had finished conditioning, instead of training for the Historic Half Marathon.

This Sunday I am going for five miles (course TBD) so I took the Shangri-La not-quite-three miles. I turned around at the corner of Willow Road and Great Mills Road, instead of going all the way up Shangri-La Drive. I guessed wrong about the actual turnaround point and came up at 2.95 miles instead of the full three.

Two things of note: 0500 and Daylight Savings Time doesn’t necessarily mean sunrise. I still need to dress for low-light/very early morning. Also, I had a nice sheen of sweat on my arms as I approached the two mile point; gonna be a very humid summer.

 

P90X, Day 80: Back and Biceps/ABX

Lessons learned on the final resistance/weights routine of the P90X lean Cycle:

  1. Learn to hit “pause” if you don’t know what to do on the lawnmower routines. I think I got some of them bass-ackwards.
  2. I didn’t hit the heavier band until the second half of the workout. Got a bunch of reps but did I get the pump or the burn?
  3. When I get down to my “fighting weight (maybe 205 lbs?) I need to hit a pull-up bar on base.
  4. GO BUY SOME WEIGHTS, DAMMIT!

Too tired, and not a good day, so no SOTD today. Yoga X tomorrow.

Dear Tony/P90X, Day 79: Bringing It to the End

Dear Tony,

Wassup? Yeah, I know, it’s been awhile. Not been writing you but I have been working out.

I am back at the office this week. 0500 workouts mean less time for breakfast because now I have to actually shower and get dressed for work…like I used to do back in March.

So, it’s back to late afternoon workouts until the end of this P90X Lean cycle. My goal is to try and work out no later than 30~45 minutes after I get home from work. Not bad today, not so good yesterday.

Saturday I did do my Kenpo X workout. I believe I brought it more than I ever have for keno because my beats-per-minute numbers looked higher than I have ever had them. Probably because I was breathing more and engaging the core (driving the hips with a square upper torso) more than I ever had.

BPMs: 69 @ 38:11/75 @ 28:16/61 @ 21:10/76 @ 14:51/72 @ 4:30.

I was kind of “blah” after my second Sunday Did Not Finish, so I chose to “rest” instead of “X Stretch.” The DNF must have had some kind of mental effect on my because I didn’t eat “brunch” until about three in the afternoon. Or maybe the “keto” diet impact is helloing my body that I don’t need to eat that badly…like that Panda character in Kung Fu Panda, who busts his ass sparring with the Sifu, and then Sifu offers Panda a meat bun, and then Panda says, “No thanks, Sifu…I’m good.”

Still should have done X Stretch as some kind of “gentle” penance.

Yesterday I ground through Chest-Shoulders-Triceps/ABX. I upped the bands to a thicker band when I could, and tried to focus on the last three reps wherever I could. This is the last week actively working the muscles (Back and Biceps/ABX tomorrow), so just focused on getting the work in and doing the routines as close to “right/correct” as possible/ Goal was to work the body part with what I had and get the most out of it as possible.

In other words, my fifty year old ass was on his knees doing the pushup routines. Including the one-armed pushups. I am not the second coming of Jack Palance.

I am at “grin and bear it” mode on Ab Ripper X; just get the routines in as best as I can, close my eyes and breathe through each exercise. Some of the numbers are actually a little better.

Just got done with Cardio X as I do laundry and await my ‘first” dinner. Today I didn’t get a meal until 1100, then at a Snickers and chugged down a 24-oz. Mossy Oak tumbler full of Mio-infused water about a half-hour before the workout. I still got my workout and my sweat on, although the numbers might not show it compared to recent cardio X turns.

Today BPM: Yoga, 59 @ 27:20/Kenpo, 66 @ 18:05/Plyo: 69 @ 10:53/Core 54 @ 3:30.

So, that was my last four days since I last wrote you, Tony. Tomorrow morning is a nice, short run, and then tomorrow after work, it’s “the last gun show” with back and Bis/ABX.

See you next time, Tony!

Song of the Day: Today’s YouTube craze: medieval-styled covers of popular classic rock!

Gorgeous Kohlk/”Sail (original by AWOLNation)”

Modern Music of the Dark Ages/”I’m Blue (original by Eiffel 65)”

Samus Mordicus/”Paint it Black (original by the Rolling Stones)”

Graywyck/”Paranoid (original by Black Sabbath)”

MCM2020: Three Days/Friday

Ranieri Run 4

Forty-eight hours ago…

Reveille at 0430. Out of bed at 0445.

0450-0540: On and off the toilet for nearly and hour.

0555: Applying my Skin-So-Soft…and then abandoning the run.

Since I really can’t afford to lose any more miles, I am running all weekend: Friday and Saturday as well as the Sunday long run.

Today was a good pace for a short run, but I have to remember to throttle that pace back for Sunday. Can’t argue with a 10:55 pace; not bad for not having run in four days.

Really not that much to say. Out of bed at 0435, dressed and stretched, Skin-So0Soft and out the door at 0455. And I ran the Three Fireplugs after I crossed the 4 mile marker.

Business as usual. Where was this on Wednesday?

Aside from running three straight days I am also working P90X about 5:00 p.m. each day. Today is Core Synergistics, tomorrow is keno X, and Sunday will be X Stretch, provided I am in good health and better spirits come Sunday afternoon.

 

Interlude:

One more week with no COVID-19 symptoms. Going for my cataracts surgery pre-screen next Thursday.

This weekend I need to EAT as well as DRINK WATER.

 

P90X, Day 75: Core Synergistics

Dear Tony,

Another Friday, another buttkicker of a Core Synergistics workout.

For the second time in three sessions, I had to bail on the bonus round because i was worn out. Can’t really blame the run that much, and I did have something to eat before the workout. Also, note to self: watch the eating and the diabetic meds before the workout, so you don’t have to pause the workout to take a No. 2

Good Lord am I tired. Looks like another early Friday night.

 

Postscript:

I am running the virtual Marine Corps Marathon this year. If there is an onsite run in Arlington, Va., there will be up to 24 starting waves of 500 runners each…which may be a two-hour wait to actually start running. Not a good idea, regardless of the weather. Also, no finisher’s festival or beer garden. Probably no Runner’s Expo this year either.

Song of the Day: Fatboy Slim/”Praise You:” I loved the video directed by Spike Jonze. Flash mobbin’ before flashmobbin’ was ever a thing. I’m too tired for any more inputs, and I was fortunate to find the video.

Oh, and have you ever seen Fatboy’s original (and still used) recording/sampling set up?

Dear Tony/P90X, Day 74: Yoga X

Dear Tony,

Just got done with P90X and I’m waiting for my freshly-cooked green chicken soup to cool down so I can get something resembling dinner for the first time this week.

Last four days with P90X:

  1. Workouts starting between 4:30 to 5:30 instead of 0500 start time
  2. Eating meals has become an issue the last few days. Completely skipped breakfast on Tuesday and didn’t get anything until after Cardio X.
  3. Very little “dinner” after workouts.
  4. Sleeping like a baby though, with “bedtimes” being earlier than usual (9-9:30 p.m. vice 11-11:30 p.m.)

I really need to stress eating because that was part of the reason I DNF’ed last Sunday. So I need to set a goal of eating three full keto meals over the next two days. Scratch that: gets three full-sized meals (of any kind) over the next two days.

To recap the last two days:

Shoulders and Biceps/ABX: I treated this workout the same as Shou/Bi/Tri on Monday: pace yourself on the first set, then max it out on the second set. I got the best numbers I have ever got on this workout, and got the burning arms to match. Still kind of glad to see “The Gun Show” for the last time on the P90X Lean Cycle.

Ab Ripper X: At this point it’s about powering through it so I can finish. I still work the core and the gut as much as possible during the workout, but man…what a grind.

Yoga X: No heart rate monitor today, and no pushups for the basic warrior/advanced warrior poses (too much ‘Gun Show’ this week)…just focusing on engaging the core, breathing, and focusing on the moment. I am bowlegged enough that properly executing the crane and plough stances will be a challenge…but I’m not going to stop trying.

P90X will be a part of my “five o’clock world” through Sunday. The next three days will be runs in the morning (4 tomorrow, 5 on Saturday, and 13 on Sunday) with P90X starting no later than 5:30 p.m. Depending on how I feel on Sunday, I will push for X Stretch in the late afternoon/early evening.

Green chicken soup: chicken drumsticks, two 32oz. boxes of chicken stock, about a pound of broccoli and cauliflower, a 14 oz. can of okra, chicken seasonings, chicken flavors, salt and pepper, parsley leaves and bay leaves. Yum yum.

Se you next time, Tony!

Dear Tony/P90X, Day 72: Cardio X

Dear Tony,

(Note to readers: Do NOT try this at home)

I was all kinds of lazy today. This is supposed to be Taco Tuesday, which means tacos chorizo y huevos for breakfast, and ground beef tacos with queso tacos and Pace Picante sauce for lunch and dinner. As of this writing, at 6:20 p.m. I have not had a solid meal all day. I am living on my fourth cup of coffee, and I have eaten handfuls of rice crackers, raisins, mini-chocolates, pigs’ feet, and Kawamata olives.

Today was Cardio X, and I was able perform without crashing. My heart rates were behind the curve for the yoga sequence, but as good or better for everything else. I also measured my heart rate immediately after the core routine was finished, instead of hitting “pause” on the DVD player, and got a high of 61 bpm. My bpm for keno wasn’t bad, considering I had to go check the phone first before I measured my heart rate.

BPM Scores: yoga-58 @ 27:20/kenpo-57 @ 18:06/plyo-68 @ 10:53/core-61 @ 3:43.

Tomorrow I am going to run the Ranieri 4, so P90X will be an after-work event for the third straight day. Hopefully I will have two full meals for Shoulders and Arms/ABX.

See you next time, Tony!

Song of the Day: Donald Fagen/”New Frontier:” Taking your girlfriend for a makeout date in your folks’ nuclear fallout shelter…a kinky idea by the former lead vocalist of Steely Dan. This song doesn’t fall too far from the Steely Dan tree. From Genius

“On The Charlie Gillett Show on London’s Capital Radio in 1988, Fagen said:

You’ll hear a little blues guitar played by Larry Carlton, and it’s kind of a track reflecting the spirit of the times. The storyline is basically about a bunch of kids who have a party in a fall-out shelter while their parents are away for the weekend.”

See? Told you so…

Dear Tony/P90X Day 69-71

Dear Tony,

Saturday was Kenpo X. I couldn’t find my heart rate monitor, so I just focused on pushing myself: working the hips with the punches and kicks, engaging the core, and breathing.

Yesterday, my lack of fueling on Saturday and my too-fast start caught up with me about mile 7 on yesterday’s run. I should have done X Stretch as a punishment for my DNF…but, grocery shopping and Merseyside Derby (sans crowds and “You’ll Never Walk Alone”) and then I ate dinner at 6:30 and fell asleep two hours later.

Just got done with Chest and Back/ABX. I did most of my pushup routines on my knees but made myself work the chest. Still feeling it across there as I type this.

I am using a heavier band on some of the exercises where I can use them, but damn, I could use a set of dumbbells.

All that being said…you were right Tony: pace yourself the first half, max out the second set. That’s exactly what I did. Oh, yes…talk about muscle confusion.

Whether I get my ass out of bed at 0500 or right after work…see you next time, Tony!

PS: Yes, I have been doing Ab Ripper X. At this point, it’s not about the numbers, it’s about pushing myself through the whole damn thing right after whatever workout I just wore myself out doing. Endurance now…six pack later.

Song of the Day: Elvis vs. Junkie XL/”A Little Less Conversation:” I discovered this remix of an Elvis Presley golden oldie during a Nike soccer commercial series way back in the aughts. Loved it so much I bought the single CD. I discovered the full original version during the movie Oceans Eleven (where have ye gone, George Clooney?) I love how the two sets of guitars are dubbed in.

From Genius: “Originally featured in the Elvis movie Live a Little, Love a Little and its soundtrack album Almost In Love, “A Little Less Conversation” was a minor hit upon release, peaking at #69 at the Billboard Hot 100. Then when it was featured in the Ocean’s Eleven soundtrack in 2001, Dutch DJ Junkie XL did a much successful remix that effectively put the song in the higher echelon of Elvis hits.”

 

Marathon Training During COVID-19/Throne

iStore 4: six and a half hours later…

After being in the throne room doing a No.2 on and off for an hour, I lost the “magic hour,” that period of time when I am prepped and motivated for a scheduled run. At 0530 I put off today’s run until 11:30 a.m.

Generally, the “heat of the day” takes place around 4:00-ish. However, the late morning was quite warm for being the last day before the First Day of Summer. Not any crushing humidity, but warm enough where I was glad to suck down a couple of bottles of water prior to stretching out at 11:10.

Speaking of stretching…those P90X stretches are money, yo!

An 11:19 pace over a sloping four miles is not bad (for me), but I’m not sure how I slowed down over the last mile. Mile three starts with the Three Fireplugs and ends coming back up to Abberly Crest, but the downhill and somewhat flat downhill toward the iStore facility should have been a little faster than a 12:06 final mile. Maybe I was anticipating hearing MapMyRun call out that last mile?

 

Interlude:

Spring has become summer. My diabetes is under control, but my blood pressure monitor is giving me scary readings. temporary “plantar” issue with my foot during the first mile of the run, but it’s fine now. Still no COVID-19 symptoms since I’ve been in shelter-in-place.

Eating chili for lunch as I write this. I anticipated the chili lasting a little bit longer than two days. Pho DeeLite for dinner tonight?

Planning on switching the scenery for the Sunday run: I am going on the base to run the ten-mile loop. However, I am going to tack on the run up Cedar Point Road up to Gate Two (all of it uphill) and then run it back down to the starting point at Drill Hall…where I ran to last Sunday.

Gear check: My Copper Fit ankle socks are holding up well. They stay on my feet, and I have never had any issues with blisters or sores. My Hanes ale socks are in the neighboorhood of over thirty years old. Most of them have holes in the big toes, but I have never had any ill effects when i run in them,

My asics Gel-Contend 5 is holding up rather well, for the mileage I have put on them so far. I overprint, so most of my shoe wear is in the outer rear edge of the heels. Lots of miles coming up this summer, though.

 

P90X, Day 68: Core Synergistics

I know I ate after the run today, so maybe five hours was not enough recovery time between the run and today’s P90X session? Whatever it was, I was doggin’ it in the last twenty minutes of the workout. I barely made it through the bonus round.

Looking at the numbers on my workout sheet, they’re comparable to two weeks ago, but yes, I was running on fumes after the towel hoppers. It didn’t help that I forgot to reach under after my first push-up on the reach-high-and-unders.

Just got done chugging my recovery drink; orange is kinda not my flavor. to for the brand I purchased from GNC.

I am just killing myself, but it looks like another night of Uber Eats…IF there are Uber drivers on the road who have the UE duty.

Kenpo X in the morning…see you next time, Tony!

 

Song of the Day: Utopia/”Cry Baby:” Because I am so, SO, SO tired of #BlackLivesMatter, #MeToo, #Antifa, and the rest of the Social Justice Warrior movement. Nothin’ but lyrics.

Pink Floyd:“In the Flesh/Run Like Hell/Waiting for the Worms:” This sequence from Pink Floyd: The Wall is more about “Pink’s” descent into madness, but given the current societal atmosphere, this to me is kind of a glimpse into where I think mankind is headed. PS: In my mind, Pink here is not represented by the current POTUS. Jus’ saying.

 

Dear Tony/P90X Day 67: Yoga X

Dear Tony,

Twelve hours later…after getting up at 0430, then at 0459 pushing this ’til after work:

Today it was back to the basics for Yoga X: free the mind, engage the core, breathe.

After a week off, Yoga X was a bigger struggle for me than usual. Everything from Warrior Three through Twisting Half Moon was a challenge; i just couldn’t get enough balance to even get into a modified stance.

Plough to shoulder stance: well, I didn’t completely lose the ball on this one, but I lost some of my progress on this one. Crane was just not happening.

The big thing for me was focusing on the workout: following your instructions, clearing the mind, and focusing as much as possible on getting the moves as close to being right as possible.

As I finished off the last “ohm,” I wondered to myself, “Okay, why didn’t I just do Yoga X this morning?”

See you next time, Tony!

Dear Tony/P90X Day 66: Back and Biceps

Dear Tony,

This is going to be a short blog because I am tired and hungry and I don’t really feel like cooking dinner.

I am right now working from home, and today I was in teleconferences for most of the day. When the last one wrapped up at 5:10 p.m., I was sore and tired from sitting all day and not really in the mood for Back and Bis/ABX. But, I was tired of the reschedules, so I just decided to be a professional about it…meaning do it when I least felt like doing P90X.

This was the first time I had ever done Back and Biceps, and it was good to see you smiling and joking with the workout peeps during the warm-ups, so I felt a little better.

First life lesson: I really need to invest in some dumbbells. I did okay with the bands on the bicep routines, but getting that burn in the arms was tough. I know I can just get a heavier band, but i don’t really think it’s the same…for me anyway.

Second life lesson: drink more water. My feet started cramping on the Superman routines, which for me is a sure sign of being dehydrated without being in such a flop sweat. Speaking of sweat, I had no air conditioning on because it was rather chilly for mid-June…probably because of the rain.

I am ordering dinner out…just not enough get-and-go to cook tonight, especially after I ran four miles this morning. Ranieri Run 4 went well; I was a little slow in the opening mile, but I got negative splits until the end.

Yoga X bright and early…see you next time, Tony!

Dear Tony/P90X, Day 65: Cardio X

Dear Tony,

Is it me? Is it my $20 fingertip-reading heart rate monitor?

Cardio X beats per minute from May 20:

Yoga: 61 @ 27:18/Kenpo: 72 @ 18:05/Plyo: 58 @10:53/Core: 51 @ 3:50

BPM today:

Yoga 68 @ 27:19/Kenpo: 59 @ 18:05/Plyo: 60 @ 10:51/Core: 49 @ 3:49

My concern is how I started out in a rush from Yoga (of all things) and then made it above 60 only once? Honestly, Yoga is supposed to be the warm-up and Kenpo and Plyo have the most active movement of the four sets of exercises. And, yes, there’s kind of a drop-off from squat run to Superman/banana on the “finishing kick” of Core.

I still don’t know my target heart rate. It’s only been 65 days, no big deal.

Going running (somewhat) bright and early, and I’ll see you tomorrow after work for my first ever Back and Biceps/ABX workout. I will be a little late because I am attending a virtual “going away” ceremony tomorrow afternoon about 4;30~5-ish.

See you next time, Tony!

Song of the day: Okay, not gonna lie: I am damn near out of running inspirations songs, and I’m not that eager to dive into my pile of CDs that I otherwise haven’t opened this decade. SOTD is gonna get real scarce around this blog for the near future.