This last week was crazy. Monday I started on the first day of the experience of my lifetime. It was the first time in nearly 10 years that I’ve had to be up before 7. It’s the first time in nearly 12 years that I had to be up at 530.
My days start earlier than 530 now, but that’s only because I wake up several times at night to make sure I didn’t sleep through the alarm. At 530 I get up, put on workout clothes, I load my truck with all of my books and gear for the day (snacks, lunch, etc). At 6 or so I leave and arrive at about 620. At 7 I do PT. Each day is the hardest workout I’ve done in idk how many years, but probably almost 20. I think the last time I worked out this hard may have actually been 2014, but probably 2002 when I spent 5 months working out 3x a day and took my mile run time from 12+ minutes down to 5+ minutes. I’ll cover that later. I’m not going to continue about my day, but I’ll say that between working a job and studying during the day, it’s been tight. I work from 8am to about 9pm each day before falling asleep. I actually get more done now than I did a week ago.
Today, I am beyond sore. Tuesday I was fine. We finished our session with some stretches and I think I overdid a stretch because both legs in the same spot have the same pain. I’m fair sure it’s the Gluteus Medius and the stretch was crossing my leg in front of my other leg and leaning forward because now I can’t pull my legs into a figure-4 or cross them. I’m going to stretch them this weekend before I return to the morning workout on Monday.
Earlier I mentioned cutting my run time down to 5+ minutes. Starting in May of 2002 I started with runs of about 2 miles once a day. I studied everything I could about running and what it took to get faster. I wasn’t able to run the 2 miles without walking some, but I did ok. Once I was able to get to 2 miles without walking and that means I could even jog some, I started increasing resistance. I would do 2 miles on the road, then later in the day I would do up to 2 miles on a treadmill and increase the angle. It took about 2 months of running every day to get to where I could run 4 miles in a day, spread between the two workouts. After that, I first started with a few sprints after my morning run on a treadmill. I had a section of road that I could see end-to-end was 1/10 of a mile. I ran as fast as I could and took note of that time. At first, I would rest at least 60 seconds and up to 120 seconds (by design), no more than 120 seconds. Then I would sprint that tenth of a mile and see if I beat my time before. At first, I started with one mile eventually moving up to 3 miles of sprints. Now, I liked this so much I started skipping the morning long run and just did 3 miles of sprints. I would then go to the gym at noon and get in either a 3-mile walk or run, though I preferred the run there were days I would just walk. Then after I got home from work I would run another 3 miles. When I went to the gym I would also do strength training.
The PT Test
By the time I took my PT test in October, I had focused so much on the run that pushups and situps were barely there. I think I missed my pushups by one or something. I started the run. I’ve never been the first one around the track ever… like not ever. I was the first one around the track it was fast. I was quite proud. I knew I could do a mile between 5 and 530 or so. I made the first half-mile in just about 230 or so. But I was done. I was so worried about the physical I also had that day that I didn’t eat before I left. I didn’t eat the night before because I was worried about having to stop along the hour and a half drive to the test. I had no energy. I laid down. I probably could’ve walked the rest of the laps, but I had nothing left. It was one of the most disappointing days I’ve experienced. Despite knowing why it happened I never went and trained to run again.
Well, Monday did suck for PT. I mean it sucked hard. I had to walk the mile and a half test. I did 4 push-ups. And I held a plank for 30 seconds. The mile and a half was in 14-degree weather with frost on the ground. I was miserable. I’ve learned, from the Army, that it doesn’t matter how long it takes if you keep moving you’ll get to the end. Ruck marches were like that. Tuesday, was pretty rough, but I did all of the exercises listed 1.5 times. I was ok with that. Thursday I ran pretty hard for the sprints despite having both gluteus medius muscles in pain. I did most of the exercise list. I’m proud of that. Also being the most flexible person in my training group despite also being the oldest and fattest was a pretty proud thing for me.
Thursday when we did the warm-up I wasn’t dying like I was on Monday and Tuesday. I know my body will adapt fast. That’s what I can count on. The first two weeks suck, but after that, it gets much easier and my gains will hit hard and fast. What I am going to do is stretch a lot this weekend. I’ll do light stretching, probably take a lot of Tylenol and ibuprofen, apply a heating pad, take hot showers, and drink lots of water to try to loosen up the muscles and prevent injury on Monday. I’ll probably also get in a few weight exercises, maybe a few walks on the elliptical with a weight vest again. Not too much, just something to keep loose. Monday’s PT is going to be hard and fast.
My Humble Advice
If you are currently not working out or stopped working out after being in shape, and you’re not injured, I would encourage you to get back out there and do something. I made the mistake of getting discouraged and then instead of getting back up and at least doing something, even if it wasn’t at the same level. That led to not doing anything for workouts because I didn’t care. It was depressing to have worked so hard and then fail spectacularly, despite knowing I was capable I had just made a mistake in not eating something the night before and then an hour or two before the test. That was enough to discourage me. Don’t do what I did. If you don’t want to workout hardcore that day, just walk, do a pushup, just something. I would also encourage you to do something for you. I have spent a lot of time taking care of all of life’s emergencies that I haven’t taken time for me. Make time for you, you’re worth it. The other mistake I made was working. I would work 50-80 hours a week. I wasn’t taking time to workout AND even though I was eating ok I was drinking a lot of Coke. I love Coke. The problem was that I wasn’t eating breakfast or lunch and was just eating everything for dinner. As well as having between 8 and 10 cans of Coke a day during work. The Coke alone was about 1500 calories. I was sedentary.
You have one life. You don’t know when it’s going to end. Follow your dreams. You’re not too old. You’re not too fat. You’re not too busy. If you want something bad enough you’ll figure out a way. Never give up just because you had a setback. I don’t regret the last nearly 20 years of not working out like I would’ve liked. I’ve had a lot of fun and have had a great life. When I was working out I didn’t do anything but workout and work. I get fully involved. I do, sometimes, wish that I had at least kept up running 3 miles a day even if that’s all I did differently. It’s not too late.
Until next time. Dodadagohvi. ᏙᏓᏓᎪᎲᎢ.