P90X has become more popular among firefighters lately and that's how I discovered it. Seems firefighters are commited either to Cross-Fit or P90X (ultrarunner Catra Corbett is hooked on Cross-fit). For those who don't know, P90X is a 90 day workout system incorporating a lot of old fashioned exercises like pull ups and push ups, free weights, and cardio. It's made up of 12 DVD's, each lasting about 1 hour and you just follow the plan and do the prescribed workout on the right day and at the end of 90 days you'll be "ripped" (according to Tony).
I'm on Week 9 and although I'll never show "before" and "after" pictures (plus I still have 3 weeks to go), I know I'm getting into better shape. The push ups and pull ups have been great since I've always been weak in my upper body. I use pull up assist bands and I've been able to progressively use thinner bands as I've gotten stronger. You just put the band in a clove hitch around the pull up bar and stick your foot or knee into the band and the elastic helps "assist" you.
In addition to the P90X, I've gotten back on my road and mountain bikes to help keep up my fitness since the San Francisco Nike Womens marathon was looming on the horizon. Every year my cousin and I run a marathon together and this was to be our third year. However, she just had a baby in the spring and is dealing with some slight injuries and with my ITB problems we made the prudent decision to run the half marathon instead.
So my build up to the half marathon consisted of 7 weeks of no running, P90X, and bike riding. I finally decided to test myself before the race by running 2 miles the Friday before the race and 1 mile the day before and I was delighted to be pain free.
The hubby had to work all weekend so it was an all girls weekend in SF (plus my cousin's husband who would be on kid duty while we ran. How cool is that?) We had adjoining rooms at the hotel so we could open the door between them and the girls loved running back and forth. We decided to help them burn off some more energy by walking the mile to the expo to pick up our race packets.
Luckily, Joey had run the half the year before so she knew the layout of the expo which helped get us through a little quicker. It had been a long day already of plane rides and driving so we decided to head straight back to the hotel. Plus we're not that thrilled with large crowds (it's a Davis thing).
We had an early dinner then got our stuff ready for the next morning. It was such a relief knowing that it would be an easy walk to the start.
The next morning Joey and I headed out on our short walk to the start. As we got close we noticed a few people looking up into the dark sky saying "there's money falling from the sky". Yeah, right. But of course we looked up and holy smoke, there WAS money falling from the sky. Dollar bills floated down with the currents and we each caught one. We quickly decided that we are now elite runners since we got paid to race!
Joey and I fell into an easy pace and soon we were on the Embarcadero. This is what I had been looking forward to the most. I love early morning runs along this route and into Fort Baker and Crissy Field whenever we visit the city. However, this morning the runners would own the roads and it was great. I was enjoying the sights and smells so much that I didn't take any pictures until we were almost to Ft. Baker.
We kept an easy pace, walked when we needed to, and I even e-mailed and texted my husband and mom on my phone to let them know the race had started and all was going well. My initial instinct is always to push myself as hard as I can but I quickly put those desires on hold and told myself that this isn't the race to do that. Today was about spending time with my cousin and enjoy a beautiful run together. But I was pretty happy with how good I felt. We'd hit an uphill and I literally felt like I was bounding up it effortlessly. I guess 6 weeks off running but good strong cross training can really keep the fitness up.
Descending to the Great Highway
After taking advantage of every aid station and its goodies (oranges, Luna Moons, Luna bars, Ghirardelli chocolate; I think we weighed more after the race then before) we found ourselves running the last couple miles through the forest of Golden Gate park. I was happy to turn right when the half marathon made its split because I had started feeling a little tightness in my ITB since mile 8. Nothing serious, just happy not to be running 26 miles.
We crossed the finish line together in 2:38:09. I could hear the announcer saying they were expecting the marathon winner shortly. Caitlin Smith won in 2:48. So she ran twice as far as we did and it only took her 10 minutes longer!!! Wow.
We made our way through the finishers chute, collecting lots of goodies, shirt, food, chocolate milk (yeah, my favorite) and mylar blanket. It was still sunny but the wind was chilly, especially as we cooled off from running.
3 years, 2.5 marathons (San Diego, Big Sur, SF half)
We caught the bus back to the start line and enjoyed the quick walk back to the hotel. Showers, packing, and we finally went our separate ways, already planning next years marathon. After 3 years on the California coast we may make our way to Utah next fall. I think that's the best part of this sport, always planning the next event. Thanks, Joey, for another great run. And thanks Andy for taking such good care of "all" your girls. You're the best.
And now just a final note about what life is like with a 5 year old. This is a conversation I had with Caitlyn just the other day. I was doing my P90X Kenpo workout while the girls were watching me. Since I can't see myself I'm not always positive I'm doing the moves correctly so I asked Caitlyn:
Me: Caitlyn, do I look like the people on tv?
Caitlyn: You look better than them.
Me: (feeling pretty smug)
Caitlyn: Mommy, you sure work out a lot.
Me: Why yes I do.
Caitlyn: Is that so you can get rid of the fat in your belly?
Me: (ego deflates). Yes, honey.