Outside the (Black) Box

I am a morning person.  My whole life, I’ve loved mornings.  Like, really looked forward to waking up kind of love for mornings.  It’s just when you start waking me up way earlier than I’m comfortable with only to rush me out the door (I never even have enough time to brew a pot of coffee) that I get really b*tchy and become one of those people no one can tolerate before noon.  I don’t have to go to PT while I’m in class in San Antonio, so I’ve been getting back in touch with my roots lately–my alarm goes off at 6, I go prep the coffeepot, go back to bed and lay around until said coffee is done, consume said coffee, make breakfast, then putz around in my pajamas until about 8.  Amazing.  (And yes, I know 6 is early but keep in mind that I usually get up at 4:30, so bite me).

Oh, and another nice thing about not getting up at the a**crack of dawn…I have so much more energy to work out on my own.  I mean, sure, I usually get a second workout in at some point in the afternoon, but when you’re actually well-rested (I’ve been sleeping an average of 10 hours a night this week…oh yeah) I can work out once a day and get a whole heck of a lot more out of it.  Funny how that works.

I have both an APFT and the Austin Half Marathon coming up, so I’ve been making a point of running a bit more–or at least doing some sprint and speed work.  I’ll tell you, I don’t miss running a bajillion miles every day.  At all.  My run yesterday was short but I guarantee you I got more out of it than any 10-miler of yore.  This was on a treadmill but you could easily take it outside…it’s basically 1 minute of max effort and 3 minutes at a slow jog.

5 min – 10 min/mi
1 min – 6 min/mi
3 min – 10 min/mi
Repeat x 7 (Total 30 minutes)

I also worked my 5RM on shoulder press and the leg press machine…leave it to those Navy guys to hog the squat bar…

I’ll admit, I’m being extremely experimental by consciously not running much to train for the half.  In the past I’d be throwing at least two 8-10 mile runs in a week at this point and running up about 30 miles a week at minimum.  But over the last year I’ve gotten so much stronger and faster not doing that, and I feel better.  The first test was the Super Spartan in December, and The Man and I both did awesome having Crossfit-ed a whole lot without having run more than maybe a 10k for months (I hadn’t run that much in over a year thanks to being deployed)…I finished 4th in my age group and 12th overall out of 600-something women.

The Man finally got me dabbling in some of the Max Effort Black Box programming and adding more and more max effort lifts into my routine.  I’m no fitness expert by any means, but I like the philosophy behind it–you get stronger when you actually exert your max effort once in a while.  I’ll tell you, after a max effort lift, I’m generally ready for a long nap, so believe you me…your world can be sufficiently rocked in a couple minutes under a barbell.  What’s more, with my history of adrenal burnout, I like Mark Sisson’s point that it’s a lot harder to overtrain this way…when you’re hell bent on running long distances or slogging through a metcon every day, you’re more likely to complete the workout when you shouldn’t and cause damage to yourself.  When you’re trying to lift heavy and you’re burned out, you’re simply not going to be able to do it. Either the bar goes up or it doesn’t, and in the case of the latter you get a free wake up call–Hey, dummy, take a break.

OK, I know you all don’t care about that and will laugh until you cry when I attempt to run this half marathon and end up passing out and falling in the lake.  Whatever.  I would totally laugh at me, too, so no love lost.  You guys are great :)

Oh! Oh!  My blog is featured on Shape.com in Fitness Bloggers Reveal: What’s in Their Gym Bag…all of the other ladies have way better pictures than I do, but mine was taken at work and I always look terrible at work…Special thanks to Charlotte Hilton Anderson of The Great Fitness Experiment for putting this up!

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