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El Jay's race to be more awesome

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Since I did my last stronglifts workout of the challenge today*, may as well close that out.

Starting weights

  • Squat - 60lbs
  • Overhead Press - 45lbs
  • Deadlift - 95lbs
  • Bench Press - 50lbs
  • Barbell Row - 70lbs

(Almost) End of Challenge

  • Squat - 135lbs
  • Overhead Press - 60lbs
  • Deadlift - 185lbs
  • Bench Press - 85lbs
  • Barbell Row - 105lbs

I definitely cleared my goal on the deadlift. My old 1RM was 155, and I have 30lbs on a 3x5RM over that now! That's some awesomesauce right there. My most proud one at the moment though? I actually got that 60lb on the OHP this morning. I was determined to freaking get it this time, and I did. At a minimum, I'm glad I've been able to keep up the weight work while upping my mileage. It's a challenge to get it all in, for sure, but for now I have the time, so I'm making sure to make the best use I can of it.

*ETA: Wait, is Monday part of this challenge? I guess I'll re-update this post then.

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Run a sub-2:05:37 1/2 Marathon. This was my pace and PR in March, and I wasn't thrilled with my time. I have another chance to beat it in May - so let's do this! STA: 4

Results: I freaking CRUSHED my goal. In only two months, I was able to knock more than 12 minutes off my time, running 1:53:25. I'm already training for my next major half, in the fall, and am going to continue to rock this out.


Deadlift 160lbs. My best 1x from around a year ago is 155, and I started Stronglifts last week. I think it's a reasonable expectation to lift more. STR: 4

Result: 185lbs 3x5RM. I wasn't sure what to expect on this, and I'm only now starting to get to a point of really getting challenged on this lift the last few times out. I'm so impressed that I got further in 6 weeks of the challenge than I did in 6 months at crossfit. Specificity FTW!


Run a sub-25:00 5k. Where as the half is testing my endurance, something I have been working on for a while, leaving endurance at the door and going for sheer speed is relatively new for me. This will be a PR pace. DEX: 4

Result 24:15. A PR by 1:13! If I was going to come short anywhere, this was going to be it. The course changed locations from when I originally planned to PR, and I joined a new VERY challenging half marathon program where the long run pace is faster than my race pace. We had our long run the morning before this race, and it was hot and hillier than expected. On a flat course, I can't imagine how fast I'd be, but I can't wait to find out.


Put on makeup, even if just some lipstick or eyeliner every weekday in an effort to be less stuck in the momzone, and dress in a way that I feel proud of. I don't have the budget for new clothes right now, but I will make an effort to make myself look more put-together when I'm out and about. Is it a bit petty? Maybe, but it goes a long way in making me feel like I am part of the world and not just part of my 2 kids' worlds. CHA: 3

Result: Success. I actually feel a bit off without makeup, and friends have noticed how put together I look, literally using those words this afternoon. I feel like I walk a little taller, care a little more, and am not afraid of running into anyone while I'm out and about. Isn't that part of why we all take care of ourselves? I'm glad my outside is starting to match my inside as I level up my strong.


This has been a fantastic experience for me. I would have run and lifted during this time, but having concrete, measurable goals have been huge. I'm glad I didn't set a Paleo goal quite yet, because I'm still finding out what I need in terms of fueling myself with the level of activity that I do. However, I think I'm honing in on it, and will likely do that next round. I'm so proud of the hard work I put in, and am eager to find out what else I can accomplish.

Also, the challenges? So fun, I love being a scout. I wouldn't have biked or swam at all if not for the prompts, and those got me thinking about how I really can do a triathlon one day. Thanks everyone!

ETA - How could I forget, and forget to put this on the final spreadsheet?!?!? I can do chin ups now! Wasn't even thinking it was on the horizon, and I totally can do one! Multiple chin ups, coming next challenge, dangit!!!

Edited by ElJay

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Frickin' amazing job all around! I've had a blast following your challenge - I can't wait to see what you come up with next time!

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You rock - great job!! I was really inspired by your goals when I first joined this challenge, and I'm even more inspired seeing your end results!

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Nailed it!! Nicely done. Congrats on all the PRs. What do you think was the biggest element that got you those results?

The running stuff was really based on my spring training. I was put in a pace group :30 slower, but really evaluated where I was and pushed myself into a faster group. I then did all of the workouts (95% I'd say) as prescribed, aside from backing off if I felt twinges of a potential overuse injury coming. For the lifts, same thing - it's a proscribed plan. I do well when there's a tried and tested "DO X and Y will occur" scenario. That's why food is actually so much harder for me.

Just took some measurements and pics as well for the end of the challenge.

Natural waist (I am so high waisted it isn't funny. My ribs are literally lower than my natural waist)

Start: 30.5"

End: 28.75"

Navel (since that's where I really carry my fat, without question)

Start: 36"

End: 34"

Hips (unlike many women, I don't tend to carry fat here, so I'm fine with junk staying in my trunk!):

Start: 38.5"

End: 37.75"


Start: 145

End: 144.7


Start: 33%

End: 31.3%

Now, I was down as low as 142 during the challenge, but then realized I was simply not eating enough carbs or food overall and was getting crabby and ravenous. So I upped both, and "eating my exercise" so to speak, in terms of not simply eating the 1500 goal based on a non-active day. I am very active and that's just not gonna cut it. I'd rather drop bodyfat than pounds, so again, this is where I'm going to tinker next round.

Pics are in order: This January before I started speed workouts and bodyweight brigade, day 1ish of the challenge, and today.



Edited by ElJay

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Awesome progression. The pictures really do tell the story. I agree, you have to not worry about weight when you're working out hard. If BF goes down, and the weight stays the same, that means MORE MUSCLE! YEAH!

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