A Plank a Day Challenge: Day 30, 3:00 and done!

I decided to take on the plank a day challenge for 30 days. I have never held the plank position for more than 90 seconds at one time so I am wondering if I will really be able to hold it longer than that as time wears on.

(2.17) Day 30 – 3:00 sec: Well, I did not end my 30 day challenge with a new PR and I was two days late. Saturday’s half marathon (my third half marathon this year) was more demanding on my knee than I was prepared for. So, I decided to finish my weekend and my challenge with a 3:00 plank in honor of day 30. I never thought I would get to 4:00 minutes and am quite proud that I have. A buddy of mine has texted me and challenged me to plank every day till the end of the year to see what kind of PR we can set. HHmmmm…. I am still not sure if I am ready to accept this challenge.

Recap:

(1.17) Day 1 – 30 sec: Pretty Easy. I did two sets to help prepare for what is to come

(1.18) Day 2 – 40 sec: Almost forgot about the challenge already. Ended up doing the plank at 11:00 at night just before bed

(1.19) Day 3 – 50 sec: Still hanging in there. Feeling strong like this is doable.

(1.20) Day 4 – 60 sec: Doing okay. Hubby got down and had to show off by holding plank way longer than my 60 seconds.

(1.21) Day 5 – 70 sec: Almost forgot about my challenge already. Had to get out of bed and did alright.

(1.22) Day 6 – 80 sec: Thought I would change it up and start my day with this challenge. Dismal failure. Lasted 30 seconds, then 15 seconds, than another 15 seconds. Going to attempt to revisit this challenge tonight. Starting t think I should have added 5 seconds a day.

(1.23) Day 7 – 90 sec: I did a 2 hr bike ride first thing this morning and then worked chest n tri’s at lunch. Did not look forward to my 90 second plank after dinner. Anyhow, got down on the floor and had my hubby time me so I couldn’t see the clock. I swear he set the timer for 2 minutes or more. I did survive the 90 seconds, and I literally felt my body temperature increase and start perspiring with each passing second.

(1.24) Day 8 – 100 sec: With sore tri’s and chest and a belly full of pizza, I grudgingly took on day 8 of this challenge. It is amazing the gamut of emotions that can go through one’s mind in 100 seconds. 0-30s, felt pretty good… I think I can do this…. 30-60s, okay not so bad…. 60-70s, okay I am starting to sweat and my body is beginning to shake… 70-80s, why the heck am I doing this I am screaming in my head… 80-90, still screaming at myself and convinced I am going to have heartburn from the exertion, 91… 92… each second felt like forever… 99, 100… held it. Officially a new record for me. What will 110 seconds bring tomorrow?

(1.25) Day 9 – 110 sec: I am proud to say that I was able to hold the plank position for 110 seconds. It did not feel much harder than the night before (which was hard) and knowing that tomorrow I will hold for an even 2 minutes, made tonight a little easier. I’m setting up an oscillating fan for tomorrow though.

(1.26) Day 10 – 2:00 minutes!!! Whooohooooo!! Yes, held it for the full 2:00 minutes. Not going to tell you how tough it was — too stoked at the moment.

(1.27) Day 11 – 2:10 sec: I thought the fire would be gone after attaining the elusive 2:00 minute hold. While watching the Shawshank Redemption tonight, I decided to take on Day 11 of the challenge. I figured that watching the movie would help the 2:10 go by faster. No. My plan didn’t work. I was able to hold to 90 seconds pretty good, but those last 40 seconds were torture. As I lay there sweating and shaking all I could think was there were songs shorter than 2:10 and that I could hold the plank through a whole song. I reached 2:10 and set yet another new PR. Bring on Monday!

(1.28) Day 12 – 2:20 sec: A daunting challenge indeed. I got dear old hubby to get down and plank with me for 2:20 for moral support. After a minute into the challenge, the realization occurred to me that this might be the night I don’t make it. It was about that time that my 2-yr old got on daddy’s back. He still held his plank for 45 seconds until she decided to move on to the next task. With 10 seconds left, I had broken into a full sweat, my lower back was hurting, my arms were shaking, and the toddler was eyeballing me to crawl up on my back for a piggy back ride. I somehow managed to make it to 2:20 and collapsed in pride and exhaustion. I am sure my hubby could have held it for 5 minutes without a problem.

(1.29) Day 13 – 2:30 sec: Yes, I was full of excuses today. I did a 2 hour bike ride this morning and my throat is sore so I am probably getting a cold. Anyhow, I laid on the floor and set the timer on my phone. 2:30 is a long time. It’s a long time for a pre-schooler to sit in timeout, it is longer than the attention span of some dogs (and kids), and it is longer than I have ever held my body in the plank position. Until tonight that is. Somehow, I made it through all 2:30, but when I looked at my phone and saw 45 seconds remaining I near about collapsed. Then, my cat started rubbing against my head and I couldn’t shooosh him away. Afterward, I rolled onto my back and got in the “dying cockroach” position to relax my muscles. How many of you know what the “dying cockroach” is anyhow?

(1.30) Day 14 – 2:40 sec: Somehow I pulled this one out of the hat… on the second attempt that is. The first attempt was a disaster – 45 seconds in my toddler walks by and lets me know without words that she just did #2, which did me in. After collecting myself and freshening up the room, I attempted again. I had to dig deep to get to 2:40 but somehow managed to make it. My lower back did not appreciate it and I can’t figure out why my shoulder were burning. I am fighting a head cold, so I have no idea what tomorrow holds. The mere fact that tomorow marks the halfway point of the challenge makes me want to hold 2:50.

(1.31) Day 15 – 2:50 sec: HAPPY BIRTHDAY to me! So, I pretty much refused to fail on my birthday. I’ve got a full-blown cold and when I got down to plank I could feel the pressure in my sinuses. Still, I was not going to give up on my birthday – I think it would have been a bad omen for the year to come, not that I believe in superstitions or anything. Only 10 seconds stands between me and 3:00 minutes.

(2.1) Day 16 – 3:00 sec: Accomplished! However, 20 minutes later my back is still feeling it. I’ve officially passed the halfway mark on the challenge and I can’t believe I held the plank for 3:00, which is twice as long as I ever recall holding it. In fact, I think I have only held it 45 seconds at a time. It is pretty torturous to look down at the timer and realize you still have at least a minute to go and your entire body is shaking.

(2.2) Day 17 – 3:10 sec: I almost decided to not attempt 3:10 tonight. I figured that since I am running a Half Marathon tomorrow, that I should not plank in an effort to keep my muscles strong… Pretty weak excuse, right? After some deliberation, I decided to go ahead and plank it out. I planked and read an e-mail from my friend…. as the clock ticked on, I realized that 1:40 had gone by, I was half way done and sweating and shaking. When the clock reached 2:10 and I realized I still had another minute to go, I near about threw in the towel. I’m not sure how I made it to 3:10, but my arms, shoulder, quads, and back are feeling it now. I might have to give myself a break tomorrow after tackling 13.1 miles.

(2.3) Day 18 – 3:20 sec: Not attempted. The Tallahassee Half Marathon left me with an upset stomach and I was completely wiped out.

(2.4) Day 19 – 3:20 sec: Okay, so I missed yesterday’s challenge. After running in the half marathon, I was left with an upset stomach and generally worn out. Even though I don’t feel quite back to my old self, I attempted to hold the plank for 3:20…. Turned out to be a NO GO. My muscles are still tired and recovering from yesterday’s race. I made it to 2:40 tonight. Hoping tomorrow night will be better.

(2.5) Day 20 – 3:20 sec: I am still in denial about the fact that I made it to 3:20. It was not a pretty site and my arms, lower back, and quads are not happy with me, but I did it. I am starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel… I think I can make it to 30 days, but I don’t know about 5 whole minutes.

(2.6) Day 21 – 3:30 sec: Not so much, couldn’t even make it to 1:45 before throwing in the towel. On the second attempt, I barely made it to 1:00….. HUngry, perhaps… tired, definitely… attempt challenge again tomorrow, absolutely.

(2.7) Day 22 – 3:30 sec: I decided to hit the gym after work for a short workout. I figured if I started with the plank and held it for 3:30 I would be done with my 20 minute workout. As I was planking it out this evening, I thought about those DVD’s that came out years ago – 8 Minute Abs. Who remembers those? Well, all I could think of is who needs an 8 minute video when you can plank a day for 30 days. After that thought passed, I realized I still had 1:45 seconds to go, only halfway there. At this point I could feel my entire body perspiring and the last 30 seconds were true torture. If I survive 3:40 tomorrow, I will be closing in on the 4 minute mark.

(2.8) Day 23 – Didn’t happen. I did not forget about the challenge, my day just turned about to be very, very long!

(2.9) Day 24 – 3:30 sec: After swimming, a short run, and then an hour of mountain biking, I was still able to hold the plank for 3:30, but did not have the umph within me to push 10 more seconds.

(2.10) Day 25 – 3:40 sec: I think it is almost time for a happy dance. I made it to 3:40, but I was pretty much in tears once I reached 3:10. I decided to multitask with my iPad, phone and some cheerleaders. Afterall, you need something to distract you once you pass the 2:00 minute mark. I believe the plank a day challenge is the reason I have lost an inch in my waist over the past month!

(2.11) Day 26 – 3:50 sec: First attempt – made it to 2:30. Considered throwing in the towel. I waited about 15 minutes and tried again. I was able to make it to 3:50 but it wasn’t pretty and my form was awful from 2:30 – 3:20. My lower back is not enjoying this torture any more. If I can make it to 4:00 by the end of this challenge, then I am going to do some serious ab work next.

(2.12) Day 27 – 4:00 sec: The 4 minute plank did not happen tonight. I made it to a whopping 2:10. Maybe it was the 45 minute torture session on the bike this morning or maybe it was the lunch time swim with sprint intervals. It could quite possibly have been those jalapeno chips burning in my belly as well. 3 days left… I hope to conquer the elusive 4 minute mark by day 30.

(2.13) Day 28 – 4:00 sec: Well, the second attempt to hold for 4 minutes was not a success. 3:35 was my limit tonight. I will be doing an easy run at lunch tomorrow, so maybe I will start my run with a 4 minute plank warm up. I thought about recording a video clip of the planking episode, but who on earth would watch 4 minutes of someone just planking? V-Day might just be mine.

(2.14) Day 29 – 4:00 sec: After a houseful of little girls over for Valentine’s Day and full belly of pizza, I found myself drifting off to sleep on the living room floor. Suddenly, I remembered the 4 minute challenge that was still staring me in the face. Doubtful, I assumed the position. At the 1 minute mark I felt good enough to smile for a picture. At the 2 minute mark I could feel the pain, but there was also a glimmer of hope that I could indeed make it, after all I had passed the halfway point already. At the 3 minute mark I was sweating , my lower back was beginning to hurt and my legs burning. At 3:30 I was pretty much crying… but, I made it! 4:00 conquered… yes, I had to have a cupcake after that.

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