Let me start by sharing a little secret about myself. When I sign up for something and pay my money, I am making an agreement with myself to follow that program. One example would be e-coaching with Jeff Galloway. I had been running 2/1 intervals and he had cut back to run 15 sec/walk 45 sec when I started the program. I wasn’t thrilled with that change but I did it. And during my 6 months e-coaching stint I earned new PRs in both the half and the full marathon as well as finishing the Goofy strong despite a hot weekend. My Princess Half finish was my 2nd fastest finish time and I had enough energy to push a stroller around Disney World for 8 additional miles after the finish (if only it had been possible to shower first!!!).
So when I signed up for Boot Camp 13, I similarly made an agreement to follow the program. And at the end of the first week of the 8 week program I think it’s a good time to make an assessment. For my interval training I did my regular runs on Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday using my 30/30 intervals that have become so comfortable for me. I’ll post another time about whether or not I should be working to increase my run intervals but for now I love the 30/30. Tuesday was a fitness test – push-ups, sit-ups, planks, and jumping jacks – to assess where I am. We did some additional strength training after the test. Thursday I did another strength work-out which was mostly upper body with some cardio mixed in. Although it was a fun work-out, I think I preferred Tuesday’s strength training. I think I prefer the more traditional (hard core?) strength work-out. There are 3 different coaches who do these work-outs so I will continue to experiment to see which videos I like best. Friday I walked 25 minutes on the treadmill. I usually take a rest day before a long run but, in the spirit of Boot Camp, I thought a slow walk was a reasonable choice. I haven’t decided what I’ll do today. Maybe another strength training or else I’ll just fit in some walking.
In addition to the work-outs, I’ve done a better job of drinking water and tracking my calories. I use myfitnesspal.com as my calorie counter. We are not allowed to eat dessert doing Boot Camp and I’ve done well with that. I also have consumed very little alcohol over the past week more due to circumstances than to active decision-making. I’m not a huge drinker by any stretch of the imagination but I do have an occasional beer or glass of wine with dinner, especially on the weekends. This weekend we had not one but two potluck dinners at the synagogue which precluded alcohol consumption. I’ve done a good job of bringing healthy snacks to work and eating every 2-3 hours. I’ve also done a good job of eating breakfast before going to work rather than eating at work. (We’re supposed to eat breakfast within an hour of waking up to jump start metabolism.)
I’ve joined the online Yammer community that was set up for Boot Camp and seem to have found some people like me doing the program. They have a fitbit group that I’ve joined so I can participate in some friendly competition. I’ve done all the Daily Missions, even when I wasn’t sure they really applied to me. And I’m trying to be an active participant in the program.
So what have I found?
1. Weight Loss: My weight on the first day of Boot Camp was at the higher end of my normal weight range which is going to make my results look better. Nonetheless one of my goals in joining Boot Camp was/is to lose those final 10 lbs to get back into my ideal weight range. This morning (after I ate breakfast) I was down almost 3 lbs. Most of that is fake weight loss as I’m pretty much back down to where I was before the Princess Half Marathon but it’s still great! And I love that I’m seeing these results.
2. Speed/Strength: Another reason for joining Boot Camp was to get more strength training/cross training done to try to become a stronger and faster runner. Although it’s only been a week, I think I could feel a difference during Saturday’s 14 mile run. My core felt stronger and my legs were less sore. I was able to run negative splits during the run. My target pace was 13 min/mile (or about 2 min/mile slower than the 11 min/mile goal I have for a half marathon – even if it’s not my next half marathon). I ran 12:47 min/mile and felt good at the end. My legs are barely sore at all today and I definitely could have gone farther and faster if I had wanted (only farther if I hadn’t been bored to death on the treadmill for 3 hours).
3. Overall well-being: This is where I’ve seen the least benefit. I don’t feel tons more energy or extra happiness or anything. Maybe it’s years worth of sleep deprivation combined with daylight savings time but I was pretty exhausted all week. I’m hoping that will improve with time. This wasn’t really a goal of mine in joining the program anyway but is something they promote.

Overall I think joining Boot Camp has been an excellent decision for me. I truly believe I will see benefits in weight loss and improvements in my running. I guess I’m ready for Week 2!