Tag Archive: push-ups


Great stretch for quads!

Great stretch for quads!

“S” is for stretch. I definitely concentrated on stretching this week to avoid injuries at all costs. I was in the final stretch (no pun intended… well, maybe a little pun intended; a punlet if you will) of my push-up challenge and I decided that the warmer weather was calling for longer runs. At this point 3 miles actually is a longer run for me. That will drastically change once I start my marathon training in a couple weeks. I hope everyone wanting to sign on to run “The People’s Marathon” get in. It’s a shame they can’t make it a two day event to make room for all the people who want to participate. But I totally get why it’s limited to one day since marathon routes tend to mess with traffic. D.C. has enough problems with traffic as it is. But here’s how my past week went. Enjoy.

Sunday: 3 mi 40 min; 75 push-ups

Monday: 80 push-ups

Tuesday: 3 mi 31 min; 85 push-ups

Wednesday: 90 push-ups

Thursday: 95 push-ups

Friday: 100 push-ups; 30 minutes of yoga

Saturday: Rest

Stretch

I wasn’t pushing myself by any means on my runs (as indicated by my times). That Sunday run was rough. I was a beautiful day out in the 70s but my energy was nil. Nothing hurt. I wasn’t out of breath. I was just running on empty. Maybe I was dehydrated or I waited too long after I ate to go for this run. I’m just glad that I made it from point A back to point A. It wasn’t pretty. I wasn’t even sweating or out of breath by the time I finished.

After some encouragement from some family and friends, I hit the pavement on Tuesday to do the same 3 mile loop. It was significantly cooler but that was fine because it was perfect for running. I read somewhere that your body warms on average of 20 degrees while running. Meaning that if the air is 55 degrees you’ll feel like it’s 75 degrees which feel pretty darn comfortable. As you can see I ran significantly better, but still nowhere racing pace. I’m definitely not thinking about speed right now. My goals are pretty simple. Run for as long as I can at a comfortable speed without throwing up. In all honesty, I stopped to walk a couple times. I’m not even really sure WHY I stopped to walk. No pain anywhere. My lungs burned ever so slightly but it wasn’t crippling. At this point I think it’s a mind game. I’m now in the position where I have to force my body to trick my mind into believing I can push further than it thinks I should. Overall, I was content with the outcome, but I’m definitely capable of more.

I probably should have run more but my husband was being occupied by the Marine Corps this weekend. I have not yet obtained a treadmill and my son is no longer at a stage where he wants to be in a stroller. So I get two days off from running. I certainly picked a crazy time to start my marathon training.

This week was also the end of my push-up challenge. I made it up to 100 push-ups. I actually liked doing it everyday so I’m sure I will continue to throw some push-ups in everyday. Read about what I learned from my challenge here.

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Small Victories

I made it! Push-Up Challenge Completed!

Here’s a quick recap of how it went down:

One evening while flexing in the mirror…..

KIDDING!!!!

 

Honestly, I decided to challenge myself not because there was a growing trend on a social network or I was jealous of Michelle Obama’s massive guns. I wanted to be able to hold my son in my arms for an extended amount of time without feeling like they were on fire. I wanted to wave my arms without feeling that extra jiggle. Sometimes you just have to say enough!

TAKE ONE….

My first plan of attack was a little overzealous. I got a harsh lesson in realizing that I’m no spring chicken and I can’t go zero to sixty in seconds anymore. So my first attempt of this challenge was to do 100 push-ups each day for two weeks. My joints screamed, my abdomen wept, and my chest surrendered. Day one was tolerable but difficult. Day two was almost… dare I say it?… fun. Day three I noticed a soreness in my chest and shoulders, but significant pain in my lower abdomen. Day four I admitted defeat that I had injured my abdominal muscles to the point where I had to rethink my course of action. It wasn’t pretty and although I didn’t want to quit, I did want to start over in a safer way.

GETTING SMART….

After getting over my initial feelings of failure and taking time to heal,  I revitalized my plan by starting at 20 push-ups. 20. Such a small number. Definitely manageable. The next day I would increase my reps by 5 and continue this pattern until I got up to 100 push-ups in one day. This gradual building of reps helped so much. Mentally, I could think I did “such and such a number” yesterday; I can definitely do that plus 5 more today. My previous plan had me thinking “Ugh can I 100 over and over again?” Sometimes you have to think small to gain something big.

So here’s my before and after:

Before Push-up Challenge After Push-up Challenge

Is there any real difference just by looking? no. I mean you can kind of see something starting to emerge if you squint and tilt your head to the left. But in reality, I wasn’t going to fool myself into thinking that I would suddenly be mistaken for Jillian Michaels. (LOVE her by the way). At the very least, this is proof that I didn’t wear the same shirt everyday. I have to say that I have noticed a difference in my strength level. When I play with my son I can throw him up in the air and hold him for longer periods of time a lot easier than before. A nice bonus is that I no longer may an awkward groan when lifting anything heavier than 20 lbs. I also give my husband more of a challenge when we arm wrestle for who has to do the dishes. I’m kidding about that BUT very glad that is not how we make decisions. So the improvement thus far is internal. This isn’t the end of my challenge. Now that I know I can do 100 push-ups in a day in under 10 minutes, I’m going to continue to do push-ups daily. I won’t have a set number in my head but just do as many as I can/want. Maybe 20 push-ups every time I think about that carton of ice cream in the freezer? Sounds legit.

The Push-Up Challenge: Day One Recap

I’ve decided to give daily short updates as I go through my challenge. Lucky you.

In short, I did it. I tackled 100 push-ups yesterday. I started of slow (wary?) and did 10 reps per set spaced throughout the day, but towards the end of the day I really got motivated. I did 3 sets of 20 and then a final 10 to finish out the night. I made sure I had proper form so I was going pretty slow. My pectorals are paying for it this morning. No amount of stretching was going to relieve me from this aching in my armpits. I’m sure it would be a lot worse and some aching is to be expected.

I’m not going to lie; The thought of doing 100 more push-ups doesn’t exactly have me jumping for joy (at least not with my arms above my head). I realize that the next few days may be miserable and that I may struggle to even lift a pillow, but I have a gut feeling that I’ll start to feel stronger and it’ll get easier. Except those divebombers. While fun to watch, it’s not so much fun to do. Perhaps I’ll do a short video when the time comes to give y’all a good laugh.

Next up for today: Single leg push-ups! (Oh Goody!!!!)

Down. Up. Down. Up. Down………..

The Push-up Challenge

I have to admit something that I am not proud of. I am upper bodily strength challenged. I can open a tightly closed jar. I can pick up my 30 lb. butterball of a son. But that’s pretty much where my feats of pathetic strength ceases. Of course this wasn’t always the case. I have vague college memories of being able to do a circuit of different push-ups from dive bombers to military style (chest to floor) to clapping push-ups with great ease. Rep after rep after rep. I was kind of a badass by my own definition. Of course, I refuse to go through this life having peaked in college.

So I’m going to challenge myself this next week starting today. I’m going to do 100 push-ups a day for 14 days. Will it take me all day? Yeah, it probably will for the first few days (The thought of 5 sets of 20 reps interspersed throughout the day doesn’t make me want to cry at this point). But I’m hoping by the end of this personal project I can do 100 within 30 minutes. That would be a big deal for me. I promise to give you a daily update. So let’s do a quick before shot of my bicep. Please ignore the lunch lady-ness of my tricep.

Before Push-up Challenge

Yikes. That’s a blow to the good ol’ self-esteem. On a side note: I need to get more sun.

The Rules:

  1. Each push-up has proper form or it doesn’t count (That will be important as the number of reps climbs higher. Exhaustion tends to wreak havoc on your form.)
  2. You can do whatever kind of push-up you want. Personally I’m going to do a different kind each day. (You may be asking yourself “Are there that many types of push-ups?” I can honestly say “yes” thanks to the devil’s workout aka P90X.)
  3. Stretch your shoulders and back really well before and after any sets. Stretching is your best friend in any physical activity.

Anyone have any personal challenges that they’d like to complete and follow along this self-improvement journey? Maybe crunches are more of your jam… pull ups? Yoga poses (maybe one rep is holding the pose for one minute)? Anyone actually want to do The Push-up Challenge with me? Add your own variations and check back in to let me know how you’re doing! Get ready for some bragging rights in T-14 days. It was nice knowing you Good luck everyone!

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