Blast from the Past: Boot Camp Hill Running Day – First week

Since my post on Monday, I have been reliving my Boot Camp emails from 4 years ago.  It cracks me up.  I was so out of shape back then… and if my 2012 self told my 2008 self that in four years she would be running half marathons, I think my 2008 self would have just died laughing.

With out further ado… here is the email I send to friends on Day 3 of my Boot Camp… the infamous Hill Running Day.

Ugh… so today was a running day.  I will say half the time we ran. Okay, today we were at Red Hill Elementary School in Tustin.  This is considered a “stealth” location.  This means when we count out our reps we have to whisper; unlike the “non-stealth” location, such as the Washington Mutual.


Anyway, we started off with the usual stuff stretching, punches, kicks, sit ups, and push ups.  There were two people that arrived late and apparently for every person that arrives late, we have to do twenty push-ups.  That is forty total this morning for the latecomers.


Then… we ran… and it felt like we were running for quite awhile.  The elementary school is in this hilly neighborhood and it felt like they kept running in circles and up more hills.  I pretty much was at the back of the pack, until it was me and this other girl, the former swimmer girl.  She and I made friends and chatted about how in swimming you can’t be left behind in a pool.  The worst that could happen is they do 75s (3 lap sets) and end up on the other side of the pool.  We also chatted about how awesome it would be to run through people’s sprinklers… that just sounds like a wonderful idea.  so back to the run… we got lapped, well since they were running some crazy route, we just got to start running with the pack when the looped back around to the street we were on.


After the run, they stopped us all at the bottom of the hill and lined us up in groups of 4 for one big spring up the hill.  Sheesh!  Then we jogged back to the parking lot.


They wouldn’t let up get water at this point.  They made us line up again in 2 single file lines.   We had to hold our arms out straight on our sides rotating our arms like we were pouring milk or something as we walked around the parking lot.  We did a bunch of these types of arm movements where we couldn’t drop our arms to our sides.  My arms were on FIRE!  And I had a HUGE grin on my face!  My last trainer would tease me about my smiling when I was working out… but whatever… it was HARD.


FINALLY, we got to stretch and go home.  Thank god!  There were a lot of people missing today that I have seen the last 2 days… I wonder if it was because of the hills!


Oh and on a side note, I have not had my food journal taken away as of yet, but apparently I have not been eating enough fruits.  And he told me that my “sugar free” hazelnut americanos should be avoided until after the boot camp.  Even though it’s sugar free. It’s no bueno.  I miss coffee…



Four years running… looking back at day one

I have been terrible about adding new blog posts, but after the last two weekend of great runs, I had to add one.

Finishing the Rock n Roll Chicago and The San Francisco Marathon Progressive 5k in the last two weekend really made me reflect on how far I had come.  So this is my quick blog about how the running madness started.

About 4 years ago I started a Boot Camp that changed my lifestyle… and ultimately I became a runner.  Initially I started this Booter to get fit for my best friend’s wedding where I served as the Maid of Honor.

Below is the email I sent to my friends after my first day of class… please note the week before I started the instructor asked me to run a mile so when I ran the mile at the end of class we could see how much I had improved… When I attempted this initial mile, I couldn’t even run the length of one song on my iPad before being out of breath (and stopping).

Thanks for letting me share. 🙂

Hi Friends…

So I have had many questions this morning about my Boot Camp that I started this morning.  It was good.  When I woke up at 4:30 this morning, I was definitely thinking I was a little CRAZY.  Also, since I really didn’t know what to expect this morning I was also nervous.

I arrived 15 minutes before the 5:30am scheduled start time to talk with the main guy in the morning to sign the liability forms and “sign up.”  He gave me a Boot Camp “Survival Guide” which includes a list of things I should and shouldn’t be eating.  It also has a food journal which he checks DAILY.  Apparently if he takes your journal, it means you were “bad” and you have to stay after to do some additional exercises.  Today, they did an extra set of sit-ups.

As for the actual class, we are required to bring a thick exercise mat, set of 5lbs weights, and a jump rope.  We started out with some “boxer shuffles” to get us moving, and then did some punching moves.  I am SO uncoordinated!

Then some stretches, then on to some push-up things and sit-up.  they we in sets of 15.  the push-ups were a little different.  We would start standing, hop down, hop back up; that is a 4 count. Then we hopped down, did one push up, hoped back up; that was a 6 count.  Then the 8 count was the same, but with 2 push ups.  They we did another variety of push-up. Oh, and we did jumping jacks… I don’t remember jumping jacks being to tiring.

After this portion, we went on a run.  Yeah, I can’t run.  My poor body is just not used to running… I’m a Swimmer… no pressure on my joints.

By the time I made it back, we separated into 4 groups at stations.  First I was at the station that did squats and lunges, then rotated to the triceps/bicep station, then to the sprint work training (at this point I was feeling a bit nauseous, and needed a little break.), and finally we went to the last station, which was another set of arm training.  When we were done, we stretched and that was it.

So today and tomorrow are in the parking lot of the Tustin Washington Mutual… yeah… straight up parking lot.  Then on Wednesday we are at an elementary school. And from what I understand, there are hills involved.  My fellow boot campers let me know that I would LOVE it! Great!! Then Friday it’s a different park.

So I still need to do my fitness assessment and get measured officially.  He didn’t want to make me do the assessment after my first day, so I will get assessed another day.

So all in all, I think this will be prefect.  It’s not too crazy, but structured enough where I will get in shape for Maui.

Okay… I hope that makes sense.  I definitely feel as though I could have gone home to go to bed instead of work, but whatever 🙂

Booter Day 5 & 2mile Run (Two-a-day)

Yesterday was my first “two-a-day”; I went to boot camp at 6am and then went to the gym at 630pm for a 2 mile run.  I didn’t expect to be as tired as I am, but I am.

So, yesterday at Booter we did the thing we did last Wednesday where we have the different stations and go through multiple reps of 20 seconds on and 10 seconds rest again.  I think that this boot camp has a structure of circuit training on Monday, this 20secs on/10 secs off on Wednesday, and “challenge” day on Friday (which is essentially another circuit training).

Honestly… It’s kinda boring to me. Granted, I would not be doing all these different types of exercises on my own.  I think I was expecting much more in a boot camp.  On top of what is turning out to be a monotonous structure, the boot camp leader seemed “out of it” yesterday.  We were to go 6 rounds of 20 on/10 off at each station.  She kept losing count of how many rounds we had done.  I’m sorry, but part of the reason I have a trainer is to count for me.  I just get too wrapped up in form, breathing, and the pain to count for myself.

Again, I think I was and am expecting more in a boot camp.  My last booter was more dynamic. We did different types of work outs day to day – circuits, football drills, hill running day (always Wednesdays, always hated it (but secretly loved it)), basketball drills. Anywho… I am glad I got a Groupon deal for this booter and won’t be returning for more.

Okay so the stations we did 6 rounds of 20 seconds on and 10 second rest:

  1. Rows with a free weight
  2. Monster walks – essentially taking ones step forward and backward while in a perpetual squat
  3. Bear Crawls – on hands and feet crawling. foot to hand, foot to hand
  4. Froggie Jumps – pretty much a squat jump
  5. TRX Biceps (3 rounds)/Triceps (3 rounds)
  6. Lunges with our back leg on an elevated platform
  7. Dive bombs – I think this is a yoga move where you start in a downward dog and go into the cat stretch without having your body touch the ground
  8. Lateral Speed Skater jumps

So after boot camp and an eight-hour work day, I noticed that the half marathon training schedule I am following showed that I was due for a 2-mile run.  I know it’s only 2-miles, but I was not ready for the whole gym in the morning, gym in the afternoon thing.  Next week when I have another two-a-day, I will prepare by packing my running shoes in my gym bag.  I usually don’t bring them because at boot camp we can be shoeless (I usually show up in my flippie floppies and do the routine barefoot).

Wednesdays while doing this boot camp will look like this:

  • 6-7am: Boot Camp
  • 715-745am: shower and get ready at the gym
  • 8am-4pm: Work work work!
  • 415-5pm: back to the gym for running
The run itself was good.  I think as much as I just complained about boot camp it is doing what I want it to do: making me stronger to help my running endurance.  I felt strong and steady.  So, boot camp, do your thing…. Make me strong! Make me fast! Get me ready for this half marathon!

Booter Day 3 & 4 – Friday July 15 & Monday July 18 (and the weekend in between)

I am really lagging on my booter updates. I am updating for Friday July 15 on Monday the 18th.

Friday was “Challenge” day.  For Challenge day, we had 7 stations where we would count our reps for the time we were there (I am totally drawing a blank on how many seconds we were at these stations for…). Our instructor pair us up and sent us around with a piece of paper and a pen.  After each we wrote our number of reps down.  Each time around, we would try to beat ourselves and do more reps.

Well, I don’t remember all the exercises we did last week, but all i remember were the Mountain Climbers.  I hate mountain climbers.

Let me telling you about my weekend. I did the same run in the city I have been doing for the last 2 weeks; San Francisco Ferry Building to AT&T Park and back. Then grabbed an Ice Coffee from Blue Bottle Coffee Co. and a sandwich.  This week in addition to my friend I had been meeting up with, my roommate decided to join too.

I have really been enjoying this run because you start seeing the “usuals” out running with you.  It’s nice to have “friends” out there with you, even though you don’t know them.

Here are more photos of the run along the Embarcadero (and my Iced Coffee):


Then on Sunday, I had a gal pal from my days in So Cal visit.  We are both Los Angeles Anaheim Angels fans so we decided to head to Oakland and catch their game against the A’s. This game was pretty much over from the moment we sat down! It was a terrible 1st inning by the Angels… It was 8-0 A’s after the 1st inning. we still stayed till the 8th to enjoy the day.

Okay lets fast forward to today… (since I can remember the workout). A new girl started today and total there were about 6 of us (that is about half of the people from last week). After the usual stretch, dynamic warm up, laps around the springy floor and core work. We did a 7 station circuit, 40 seconds at each:

  1. Dead lift squats
  2. 5-yard lateral shuffle
  3. TRX Rows
  4. Wall Squats
  5. Under/Over – Since we are at the gymnastics studio, we used the balance beam. We had to duck under it, then climb over it.
  6. Push ups on the lower balance beam
  7. I don’t know what these thing were called, but we had to jiggle this huge rope while doing a backward lunge – Coordination needed here!!!
We went through the seven stations 4 times.  Then stretched and that was that for today.  I think Mondays are already rough, but getting up for Booter on Monday makes me to tired by 8pm (and the sun is barely down in the Bay Area).  I am off to bed. Good night.


Booter Day 2

After last night’s Foodspotting Eat-up I really needed to get moving today. So today at 6am I showed up for Day 2 of my booter. I got to the gymnastics studio close to 6am and we pretty much got started right away. I know now if I want to have time to use the foam roller to work my sore/tight muscles, I’ll have to show up a little earlier.

We got started with some stretches and dynamic moves to get the blood flowing.  After this we jogged the perimeter of the springy floor again. (I felt like I was prancing… love that springy floor). After a couple laps of running, skipping, high knee skipping and laterals, we got in a big circle to do planks.  Planks with a little bit of a twist.  Our booter instructor counted as we had to touch each knee to the ground; One (right knee), two (left knee), three (right knee), four (left knee), etc… all the way up to 40. Ouch!

After the planks with a twist, we split into six pairs and moved through stations.  At each station we were to do 8-sets of 20-second intervals with a 10-second rest in between each set. Here are the stations:

  • Flutter Kicks – Our ab work
  • Sit-ups with Medicine Ball Toss – I remember doing a variation of this when I was in swim team (a lifetime ago).  Throwing the ball against the wall we were set up at was a little difficult because the ball wouldn’t bounce back at us.  It would just dribble on the floor. Ha! So we just had to improvise a little.
  • TRX Low Rows – I was actually looking forward to using the TRX. The are these cable things and you essentially use your own body weight as the resistance. So for the low row, we had to get down low facing the ceiling and pull ourselves up in that rowing motion.
  • Front and Back Lunges – Front lunge then right into a step back lunge. I have a feeling these will make me sore tomorrow.
  • Squats – Well you know a squat with a weight.
  • Elevated Push-ups – We put our feet (or in my case, knees) on an elevated pile of mats and did a push up.
  • Suicides (as a group at the end of the 6 stations) – more running back and forth.  A good way to end the session.
So according to the Half Marathon Training Program I am following, I am also supposed to run 2 miles today, but I am exhausted from the day.  I know I shouldn’t miss a run, but today I am.  I am just not ready for these 2-a-days. The alarm clock is set, and I will wake up at “boot camp” time to hit the gym, for my scheduled 3 miler tomorrow.  You can quote me on that!
The sun is barely down here in SF, but I’m off to bed!  Good night!

Booter… once again!

Okay, so yesterday there was a Groupon deal for Boot Camp near me in Burlingame.  I was contemplating buying and joining all day.  I did a Boot Camp in SoCal about 3 years ago and I LOVED IT.

I am hoping that the boot camp workouts can add to my run schedule and get me stronger, so I can run farther.  Boot Camp was actually what got me into running in the first place.  I remember the very first day of boot camp when we took a “quick jog” around the block I couldn’t keep up.  I walked most of it and thought I would be left behind!  By the end of boot camp I ran my mile in less than 10 minutes (9:59 to be exact) and then ran my first 5k shortly after.

Anyway, after some thought, feedback, and a re-reading of my very last boot camp email to my friends & supporters (essentially my very first fitness blog), I took the plunge.  I bought the deal last night and today I made is uber official by registering for classes!

I start on Monday at 6am!  Here I go!

Update- I decided to add the email I sent to my friends and supporters after the first boot camp was over:

Hello Everyone!!!

I just finished Boot Camp officially!  I think I could shed a tear.  I really am just so happy and proud.  I am just filled with so many emotions this morning.

Since I didn’t start boot camp at the very beginning, I wasn’t quite sure where I was going this morning.  It was the Tustin Lodge and this is the location of orientation.  Anyway, when I got there, we had to go upstairs to this huge room where a couple of the instructors had mats and water bottle set up.  I went straight for the line to be measured.

One of the instructors, Matt (who is actually the head instructor for my 5:30am class) called me over to test out my push-ups.  So the water bottle is for the push-up test.  They only count the ones where you go all the way down to the water bottle.  I was never tested in, but a few weeks ago we did get tested in the middle of a session. I think that day I did 8 push-ups  in 2 minutes.  Today I did 16 (2 of them didn’t count because I didn’t make it all the way down to the water bottle).  But 16, I was impressed because I could barely do 2 full ones awhile back… or I would just do all of them on my knees.

After I tested my push-ups I went back to the line to get measured.  They pulled me in there and told me to face the wall with my back to the gal that was measuring me.  I guess they do this so you can’t see your results until they are done with measurements.  Okay, here we go in inches lost:

  • ·         Upper chest: 2.25 in
  • ·         Waist: 7.25 in (I’m a little shocked at this number, maybe it’s wrong… )
  • ·         Hips: 2 in
  • ·         Buttocks: 2 in
  • ·         Right Thigh: 2.25 in
  • ·         Right Calf: 0.5 in
  • ·         Right Bicep: 0.25 in

Yeah… I’m pretty shocked.  After measurements, I got weighed and measured for body fat.

  • ·         7lbs lost
  • ·         2% body fat lost

Okay, I was weighed in and measured 4 weeks ago.  I can’t even imagine what the measurements were when I started or MONTHS ago when I originally started with a trainer at 24 Hour Fitness.

They took my photo.  And then I still had to do the sip-up test.  But I think I was just so happy looking at the numbers written in my book.

Sit-up test time… well again, I was never tested in, but that day we tested a few weeks ago, I think I did 38. Today I did 45.  That last one was really hard.  It was a 2 minute sit-up test.  They kind where someone holds down your feet and you come all the way up.  I actually did more than the dude that held my feet down.  I think he did 38 or so.

So after our test out, we had a few minutes to stretch and grad water before the mile run.  As you know this was the thing I was all nervous about.  Since I don’t know what my mile time is anyway, I really just wanted to run it without stopping.  I actually made myself a mini play list for my iPod Shuffle last night.

Okay… I ran the entire route.  One mile… 9 minutes, 59 seconds… no stopping.  I definitely was struggling around the halfway point, but I really wanted to do it!  I heard all your supportive words and I was able to make it.  Once I hit the Wienerschnitzel (which my buddy Walter told me was the home stretch), I knew I couldn’t stop.  And then there was all the booters that finished before me… they were all cheering me and the others on. It was really motivating.  So 9:59… Just under 10 minutes, I’m proud.

And… I’m not done.

After the run, we all walked over to a little restaurant across the street, Quinn’s, where we had graduation breckie.  The food was healthy.  We had egg whites (which tasted decent with the pico de gallo), turkey bacon (um, I want REAL bacon!), whole wheat pancakes (uh… aka glorified cardboard), and fruit.  Yeah, unfortunately, the food wasn’t that great, but it was fun to sit, eat, and socialize with my fellow booters.

Apparently, they give out awards at this breckie, like we were in elementary school or something.  the instructors would say what award they were giving, like most improved, cleanest food journal, hardest working, etc… and then would describe the person and why they deserved the award… and then say the name and present them with a certificate.  Well, the gal to my right ended up getting Best Attitude and the gal to my left got the G.I. Jane award for overall awesome-ness in booter.

I was just sitting hanging out while Matt was describing the Hardest Worker award.  And then… he called my name.  Um… I was definitely surprised. I was thinking, Is there another Ann in the 5:50am class?  He said some nice things, like how I should be in platoon 1 if I come back to booter.  That’s really cool, a promotion in the ranks 🙂  Anyway, I got an award.  I think I will proudly display it at my cube.

I know this email is quite long, but it was quite the busy morning. After all the awards were handed out we all got t-shirts, key chains, license plate holders, etc…

I signed up again.  I almost signed up to do the 5 times a week maintenance, but I think 3 days a week will be fine.

I met some really awesome people at booter, and I’m really happy I decided to sign up.  It has been one of the best decisions I have made in recent times.  I am ready for Maui and I can’t wait to keep up the healthy eating habits I picked up.

Alright, I think that’s enough for this LAST email!  It’s a long one.

And I have to say this again, THANK YOU all for all the supportive email, texts, and conversations in the last 5 weeks.  Your support has really motivated me to finish strong.  I really appreciate it all.  Thank you for reading my emails every day.  It has been an amazing experience.

Have a great weekend/week!



PS… Let’s Celebrate!!!