Reflection on the 1 Hour, 40 Minute Plank

This was the first gorgeous day we’ve had in weeks!  Despite the salt trucks I see hiding in nearby bone yards, winter is finally, perhaps over.   I took in Springbrook today and knocked down a good 5- mile run, about a 9 minute/mile average.  This in prep for the 100 minute plank I would set out to do later in the afternoon.  The run was highlighted today at about the 2 mile mark when a hawk swooped down in the recently burned out brush and picked up a snake and then flew up to a nearby telephone pole where it proceeded to eat it.  Awesome!  This after I had just passed my good friend Kathy Weitmann who was midway thru her run….always good to see Kathy anytime…she can light up a room and did so many a time for I and the crew during so many rides….she was no different on the trail today and I even saw her on my return as well….a double dose of Kathy in one afternoon, priceless!   Rested a bit against the wall afterwards where I took a brief nap…i had felt tired because I was up at 3AM for a client at the club at 4 and I’ve had some long days this week…my nap was interrupted at times by this somewhat of a dull roar, like a fan blowing inside the bathroom building.  I went inside and noticed there is heater installed up in the corner which clicks on sporadically and blows hot air into the bathroom….I’ll make additional inquiries, but it appears that its powered by electricity which may or may not be generated from what appear to be solar panels on the roof.   I’m not sure why such a heater is in the bathroom, presumably to warm the place in the winter?  Not sure, but in this day of ever increasing energy costs, little ways to cut back or simply turn off get my attention.  Afterall, it was here that i brought to light the frustration of only being able to get one square of toilet paper off the holder in the bathroom at a time.  Wasn’t long after that actual rollers were placed in the bathroom much like you’d see anywhere else.  Now, if we could only get the toilet to stop flushing over and over at the slightest movement…..again, its only water.

I went to X Sport for a meeting at 2pm which finished early and I was able to prep for the plank.  Started the plank at about 3PM and went for the goal time of 1 hour, 40 minutes.  I wore a heart rate monitor this time and burned about 521 calories, 42% of which were “fat calories”.   The entire plank was done in the fat burning zone with an average HR of about 93 bpm.   This time I took an S-CAP to ward off any cramping which I sensedcoming on after the previous 80 minute plank.  I also had a 5 hour and a Myoplex bar as an energy snack as I hadn’t eaten since my late breakfast and I didn’t want to be tired going into the plank.  The first 20 minutes went by quick and I started to take duration in 20-30 minute chunks and looked forward to the hour mark as before.  I was locked into the position a little stronger than last, a sign that repetitive training during the week is paying off.  First sign of discomfort came at about the 45 minute mark and i felt it mostly in my upper thigh and hip flexor area…the hardest part of the plank was the last 15 minutes.  The strength i’ve harnessed by doing countless pushups and planks paid off in the final push to finish as I drilled both forearms into the deck at right angles.  I came down from this plank a bit quicker than prior, certainly not the cramping as before….did a couple good quad stretches and I was good to go.

I wanted to thank my clients Connie, Lisa, Mary and Bobby who came by to do their own floor work in light of the plank and support me in my effort.  Many also sent me messages from afar, which simply make me smile…Cathy sent me a very inspirational verse that really inspired me and which brought back memories of the faith component that exists in just about everything I/we do.   Congrats to Connie, who was so inspired she knocked down a 12 minute plank and to Lisa who qualified for the 3 mile run portion of the USMC PFT Competition with a time of 31:05.  Marcia leads in the Flexed Arm Hang w/a time of 64 seconds and Connie and Mary lead in the Situp portion of the PFT…..i’m patiently waiting for the first in the female field to put all 3 events together and knock down a qualifying score in the PFT competiton.  I appreciate the effort by so many who really do strive to be their best and who unleash their potential over and over again accomplishing goals along the way….it inspires me to know that my training has facilitated their success in some small way.  My one client Troy M is doing his 5K tomm and my trainer colleague Mark R is running a marathon in Kentucky…..he’s shooting for a finish time of 2:39!  Mark is a good friend at the club who routinely informs his clients of my plank feats and the benefits of doing such an exercise. I appreciate his genuine support!

I’m continuing to establish various parameters regarding this particular feat….GWR does not recognize the plank as a record type event.   So, I’m left to establish my own standards if you will for executing this particular plank event.  I’ve come up with a few standards which include, but are certainly not limited to the following:

1.  4 points of contact, i.e. toes of both feet and both hands and arms are to be fixed on the floor.

2.  Lateral, fore and aft micro movements of the body are permitted.

3.  The integrity of the “plank” must be maintained, i.e. the back must remain straight, no kipping or pike position allowed.

I’m forging new ground here with the establishment of such standards, which are vested in my own personal knowledge of the plank and its relevance to core training.  I’m certainly open to other suggestions which perhaps, at some point, may very well manifest itself in a formal proposal to recognize such an event.  I’m not sure if this would qualify as a “marathon” of sorts, which would trigger the 5 minutes of rest for every completed hour that one is in the plank position.  I’m thinking that the “break” might do more harm than good.

Was also sorry this week that the President of the United States, yes, the President of the United States had to once again defend himself with regard to his birthplace.  You’d think we’d have other, more important issues to deal with.  And whats this I see about the average price of gas being $3.88/gallon!  Where in the hell is this???  Certainly not in my neighborhood!  Just filled up myRAV IV the other day for a whopping $57.00!  The wrong people are making money on all of this at our expense and its gonna send us right back into the depression we just maybe had been turning the corner on.   I’m more frustrated now than ever before at the fiscal mismanagement of our national budget.  One wouldn’t run a business or their own household like the fed runs our government.  Outrageous debt and spending money you dont have.    We need a hard break it seems, a sudden stop and a major correction in how we do business.  Yes, some may get pinched in the process but that’s a heck of a lot better than the casualties we’ll suffer when we have the ultimate train wreck!  Looking forward to a great weekend, if the weather holds!


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