Working Out Hard and Breaking Records

I’ve been dogsitting for the past few days. It’s been fun hanging out with my canine friends. There’s Scooter…


…and Pepper…


…and Molly:


They make a really cute trio (when they’re not being little hellions):


Their owners, my friends Kristy and Mike, live in a part of town called Encino, and yesterday, after taking the dogs for their morning walk, I laced up my shoes and went for a run. They live pretty close to Lake Balboa, a 27-acre man-made lake in the middle of a giant park, and I hadn’t been there in a few years. It’s a pretty place to run!


The babbling brook, lake, trees and mountains in the distance makes that photo look like a Bob Ross painting come to life!

I ran to the lake, around it twice, and most of the way back. Total time: 45 minutes. Total distance: 4.1 miles.


The lake is pretty and all, but my favorite part of the run was my stopping point: a pedestrian walkway along the Los Angeles River that goes under Balboa Blvd. Call me weird, but I love places like this:


It was a great run (my best run in a few months), but what I’m really excited about is how, in the past week, I’ve tied or broken THREE of my own exercise personal bests.

1) StairMaster Ten-Minute Warm-Up Challenge. One of the things I do while training for stair races is see how many floors I can climb on the StairMaster during my 10-minute warm-up at the gym. I set my current personal best six months ago, when I climbed 65 stories (beating my previous best of 63) on February 21st. I haven’t come close since then (I took a few months off of stairs after the San Diego TOWERthon), but on Friday, August 22nd, I tied my record and climbed 65 stories in 10 minutes!


I did it by spending all 10 minutes at Level 12, so that means I can break my record next time if I bump it up to Level 13 for at least a few minutes. It’ll be tough, but I’ll give it a try!

2) Treadmill Sprint. I don’t spend a lot of time on treadmills, because I prefer to run outdoors, but they’re a key component of classes at Barry’s Bootcamp, which I’ve now been to four times. In June, I blogged about how I set a new personal speed record on a treadmill by sprinting at 8.5 mph, and then I beat that record a week later when I sprinted at 9 mph.

My most recent class at Barry’s, on August 24th, was the toughest class yet, but I kept up as best I could and pushed myself. The class was led by Erik, a great teacher that emphasizes retraining how you think about yourself, your capabilities, and your limits (I wrote more about Erik here), and, in the process, kicks your butt. He ended the class with a couple sprints on the treadmill, and during the final sprint, I got up to… 12.5 mph! It was only for 20 seconds, but those 20 seconds seemed like forever, and I did it, and I’m proud.

3) Wells Fargo Center Stair Climb.  Lately, I’ve had access to the 55-story Wells Fargo Center on certain days and times for stair training.


I’ve been three times (so far), and climbed all 55 floors three times during each visit. On my first visit, my fastest time up the stairs was about 14 minutes and 45 seconds. On my third visit (August 25th), I made it to the top of my first climb in 13:45 – a full minute faster! WOO-HOO!

Keep it up, David!


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