Week 3: Climb for Clean Air – Week of Changes

The plan:

Mon: Interval + Strength Training

Tues: Strength Training with Weston

Wed: Long Cardio within Endurance Zone with 25lbs pack

Thu: REST day!!

Fri: Interval + Strength Training

Sat: Training Hike – 6 Hours Hike, 30lbs pack

Sun: Long Cardio within Endurance Zone

Oh, where do I begin.  Let see.   I introduced a lot of changes this week.  I changed my schedule around to accommodate holiday, used a new pack, hiked in the afternoon instead of the morning, have no rest days until the end and I struggled to identify what caused me to, well, struggled during the hike.   If there’s a lesson to be learned this week, I need to have compassion for myself.   I need to allow myself to fail, since failure is just a beginning to another success.  I need to learn to be more forgiving, more patient and not to introduce too much change at the same time.    As a Production DBA, I should have known better.  We hate that during deployment, yes?

In overall, this week is a week of changes.  I learned a lot about myself and my limit.   This is only my week 3, and I know I’m doing pretty awesome so far <this is me patting myself in the back>

How it actually went down:


I had a hard time finding motivation to do my training today.  I was super sore and just plain tired, and my schedule today is a bit out of whack so I can’t really work out in the morning and have to do it after work, which is very difficult to do after full day at work.   I did do it tho.   I started the work out with a Cardio Interval Training at the treadmill.   I ran 2.1 miles in 3o minutes, with 3:1 ratio again, which means – I ran with 6mph for 1 min to push my heart rate above 163, then slowed down to 3.5mph for 3 mins and let my heart rate drop below 163.   I did okay until the last 5 minutes when I can’t really get my heart rate down, so I didn’t push it and just coasted through the end of the interval.   Shortly after, I did the strength training, new routine that Weston designed for me.  Today its routine B as describe here.   Let me start by saying, I have a LOT of work to do.   First routine – I literally cried from being so frustrated due to not able to do even one rep.   My husband John was trying to help me by holding my back and feet, but I was being a way too stubborn and wanted to be able to do this routine on my own.  Did I do it?  Yes.  I did.  Second and third set – I did them all by myself without weight but this is just another thing that I know I have a lot of work to do.   The second routine – I suck.  Again.  I can not lift my hips from the floor at all, especially my left one.   So we improvised and only lifted my leg and I had to report this back to Weston tomorrow to see if he can adjust my routine.   The rest of the routine, I did pretty good.   Overall – I am not too happy with tonight’s strength training but I have to keep reminding myself that I’m creating a baseline.  This is where I am going to look and compare weeks from now to see how far I have become.


This is the day that I’m working out with Weston and I think the fact that I show up means something, or he probably just feeling sorry for me, haha, but he gave me a semi-rest day!  We didn’t really work out today, but worked more on doing a review on the plan and how I did.  I had to repeat a few exercises to him and show him things that I can’t do.  He adjusted a few things for me, showed me the right way to do a few routine. The most important thing that I took from today’s session is I have to do my repetitions slow, focused and within my range of motion. He’d rather have me do lighter weight, but complete reps, rather than heavier one.   We agreed that every strength training will consist of four hip exercises, lunges, squat, step-up, and four types of cores exercise.   Ten routines total, 12 reps, 3 sets.   We also talked about cardio and how important it is for me to build a lactic acid tolerance by doing a long cardio activity within my fat burning/endurance zone.   He used the comparison of a storm drain.   My body is trying to build more storm drains by doing a long cardio so lactic acid can be flushed faster and my endurance level will increase.   All in all, it was a very good session.


I changed my plan around.   Instead of long cardio, I decided to do an interval training and strength training today.   I did the interval at the elliptical this time, no weight.   I put on the interval program on the machine and go with it.   I made sure that my heart rate is pushing to 170 during the 1 minute interval and hover around 160 for 3 minutes and I was able to keep it the same interval for the entire 30 minutes.  I noticed a big different though.   I’m no longer struggling as much compare with last week.   That.is.progress!


Due to my semi-rest day on Tuesday and the fact that this Sunday is Easter, I decided to move my rest day to Sunday and do my long cardio today.   I set my music on, get my book ready on my iPad and just get going.  I made sure my heart rate hovered between 148-150,  which is the border of fat burning zone and the endurance zone and I was doing great.  I didn’t feel tired at all and I knew I could carry on conversation just fine with others during it.   I kept on going and going and going…. and when an hour pass, I looked at my iPhone and it said… 4.42 miles!!   Wow!   This girl just did 4 miles.   This girl.  I smile cheek-to-cheek.   I know for all of you runner out there, that prolly nothing, but for me — this is huuuuge!!!


Another long cardio day.     I had to cut down the work out time today to 45 minutes due to the limited time I have due to an event I was attending at our church.   I hopped on the elliptical machine and just started walking.   My iPhone app said I did 3.42 miles in 45 minutes and I was right on the border of fat burning and endurance zone the entire time.   I felt great and hopped off the machine.   Shortly after, I immediately felt this sharp pain on my right thigh.  I stopped walking and somewhat puzzled and kept walking.   Did my thing, went to my event and when I finally lay in bed, I realized this is not just “I’m sore and my muscle hurt” kinda feeling.   Few peeps on the twitter told me that this might be an injury or some sorta strain.   I kept stretching it, took some Advil and went to bed.


View from Top of Mt. Si

Hike day.   I had planned to go to Mt. Si for today’s hike.   With 3,700 feet elevation changes, I thought this would be a great hike to test how my training been preparing me.   I also switched my day pack and used what I called my “summit pack” and I put my usual 25lbs weight plus my 10-essentials.   I can’t ask for a better weather to do a hike!  It was one of the best weather!days so far this year!   I still felt the pain on my left thigh but I shrugged it off and headed out.    Due to an Easter Egg hunt activity in the morning, we didn’t start walking until 1:30pm.   It was pretty hot and even with the cold breeze, the sun is warming the whole mountain out!   Within 10 minutes of walking, I noticed a significant different on my strength and energy.   I was struggling.  My right thigh hurt, my shoulder hurt, I was breathing heavy, it was hot, and I can’t get my breathing or my pace right.   I slowed down, tried to find my pace but it wasn’t working.   Half hour into it, I gave up.   I looked at John and told him that I had to dump some of my weight (I put extra water as a weight on my pack) since I barely can walk.   It was very hard for me to do that mentally.  I felt like I’m moving backwards.   One step forward, two steps backwards.

Me at the top of Mt. Si

We hit 2 mile mark about 1hr 45 mins and decided to keep going.   As we went higher to the mountain, the air was getting cooler.  I breathed better, and was able to focus more on my walk.   I wasn’t struggling and managed to walk slow, focus and steady.   At mile 3, the trail was covered with ice.  It was slippery and I was quite amused to see others who walked on this trail with tennis shoes and slip and slide on this ice.   I didn’t bother to put my Yak Trax on and just kept walking since my boot had a good traction and I had my good hiking poles with powder basket on them, so I was on a good shape.   The only problem, the pain in my thigh was getting worse and I had to even walk slower.  3 hours and 45 minutes later, I was finally arrived at the top of Mt. Si, about an hour longer than I was anticipated.     Heading down the mountain turned out to be more challenging than I thought.    It was by far, the worst descent I ever had for the history of my hiking (and I did a lot of hiking in my life-time!).    My leg hurts every time I took a step down, and I used my poles to shift my weight to it and my left leg and I literally limp my way down to the mountain, for entire 4 miles!  It took me almost the same time we hike up to the mountain to come down.   It was a long day, a long hike.   I was soooooo happy when I took off my hiking boots and elevated my leg.   I did an 8 plus mile hike, for 7 plus hours.   That’s huge.   Yes, it wasn’t my best day and I was a little discouraged by it,  but as I write this post, I know that I accomplished something.    And I’m pretty darn proud about it.


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