September Shape Up 2014: Getting Back in the Saddle

September Shape Up 2014: Getting Back in the Saddle

In 2012 Holly Perkins launched the September Shape Up program on Facebook. The schedule was based on her Fitness 360 DVD featuring a mix of cardio, strength training and yoga. At the time, I was exercising almost every day and used it to take my fitness level up a notch. This time around, I’m training for the Rolex 5K yet again and want to maintain momentum during the colder months, which is something I’ve failed to do in recent years. Although I’m admittedly and shamefully not that good at dealing with heat anymore, I’m still a Caribbean girl at heart so when the temperature drops, all I want to do is cuddle under fluffy blankets and watch Christmas movies on Hallmark while drinking too much sugary tea. However if I want to be ready for that 5K in January, then running in the cold will have to be conquered, and I want to be ready. My regular readers are familiar with my obsession with that race. I trained for months only to get terribly sick and couldn’t run it in 2013. This year I was nursing a sore knee and did the fun walk instead but watching the sun rising on that asphalt only made me want to run even more. By the Grace of God, I’m going to run the 5K in 2015!

September Shape Up Print Version

September Shape Up 2012 Schedule (Photo Credit: Holly Perkins Fitness)

This program also taught me how to plan my workouts in advance and that it’s okay to take it easy on some days. As you can see Holly designed it so that we do just enough each day gradually increasing as the month progresses. There’s only one slight problem with this plan. Although September still has thirty days, they don’t coincide with the same weekdays as in 2012. So my rest days will be on Tuesdays instead of Sundays as Holly intended but I don’t think that’ll be an issue because my schedule is crazy anyway. This change was unavoidable but the next one is completely mine. Holly’s program has “Cardio Jog” and “Cardio of your choice” but instead of these, I’m going to use the Zen Labs C25K iPhone app to get back into form. The recumbent bike was great but didn’t give me what I needed the way running did in the same amount of time. However it did prevent my stamina from crashing and I didn’t realize this until Monday’s Day 1 Total Tone 360 workout. I figured this would be starting all over again like in April 2012 but was very surprised that I only took one little water break throughout the entire workout. Although using the bike didn’t get me what I wanted, it definitely kept me away from the what I didn’t want.

September Shape Up 2014 MH

My September Shape Up 2014

Wednesday brought a bigger shock when I was able to complete Week 1 Day 1 of the C25K program without any significant pain. I kept the speeds low: walking at 3 and running at 4, with an incline of 2.0. My knee started to pinch a little but then I adjusted my gait and the pain went away. In fact the pain stayed away once I maintained proper running form and posture. I intended to run outside but as usual my plans changed. Thank God for the treadmill! Another plus of the successful run is that I can do it anytime regardless of the weather. The hard part will be doing exactly that. One step at a time, right? Thursday’s Cardio 360 was more of a challenge. I had to stop because my calves were so stiff but my nephew rescued me with a Biofreeze roll-on. The relief was instantaneous and helped me to finish the entire workout without stopping again. Yoga Energizer on Friday will be a very welcome change of pace. This program will be tough and in all likelihood I’ll be sore for most of it, but this is long overdue. No retreat, no surrender and no excuses!