Torture Report: 31 Days of Burpees, Benadryl & Other Lowlights

This is much how we felt about 2016 by the end — mud on the bottom of our shoes.

(G): A lot has happened since we were all here together in mid-December. When we last caught up I was midway through a burpee challenge. I was doing the same number of burpees each day as the date of the month. (If you are unsure about what a burpee is, here’s a nice tutorial).
As I mentioned “last year” on the first few days of the month it was awesome. My burpee allotment for the day didn’t take much effort, thought, or time. Then around the 15th of December it started to get real. I had to psych myself up. I started clapping and jumping around like a prize fighter before I got started. I am not sure if that did anything for me but in my mind I was boosting my adrenaline or something.
I probably would’ve been better off just preserving my energy for the actual burpee onslaught.

The last few days of the month were completed despite some adversity because, frankly, I was too far in to quit. On Saturday, with a full-blown head cold I cranked those 31 burpees out. And it was U-G-L-Y. I had to take more breaks. There was way more huffing and puffing due to my inability to breathe through my nasal passages. But I got those things done. But speaking of being unable to breathe I also learned that burpees can be hazardous to your health in a way I never anticipated.
Around December 17 or so I had just returned home from getting my hair done. It was all pretty, shiny, and flat-ironed so I didn’t want to pull it back in a ponytail because despite all the hype there isn’t a single hair holder in the world that doesn’t leave a crease along your hair.

So there I was all blinded by my shiny hair as it whipped around during my burpee excursion when it happened. I nearly suffocated. I was breathing so hard that I sucked some of my free-flowing hair into my mouth and halfway down my throat. I stopped just in time to fish my hair out of my throat so I could begin breathing again. I did consider momentarily while sitting on the floor with my saliva soaked chunk of hair that possibly burpees weren’t that great of an idea but stupidity, once it’s gained momentum, cannot be stopped.



It started out as a controlled fall and then it got away from me… quickly.

I did return to running again just before Christmas and even had an adventurous 8 miles on Christmas Day as I was trying to get back into shape to start training as of January 1 but my immune system had other plans. I picked up a cold from Swaggy J late last week so my running has been on hold but I feel confident that before this week is done I will be back at it.

My efforts at curing the cold.
My futile efforts of trying to stop the cold from becoming…

I did, however, stick to the strength training consistently over the running break and holidays and I am slowly starting to see the pay off in strength. I might be able to see it in how my clothes fit if I hadn’t hit the food table just as hard as the weights. As they say, it’s called balance.

I have, as always, big race plans for the year, serious training goals, and I am even thinking about repeating the burpee challenge in January. In fact, I did a burpee on Sunday and two yesterday just in case I decided to commit.

This pesky cold has put me behind so stay tuned for next week when I regale you with all my absurd plans and ways I plan to torture, I mean train, myself this year.

(L): As  you know I had big plans for December.  It started out well with the the low number of burpees that we had to do.  I mean, even I can jump off the sofa and do a burpee or 5.  December, however,  had different plans for me. It began with my youngest getting the flu, which turned into a 24-hour job for a week.  We literally did not sleep for 3 straight days. I didn’t have much energy for anything, but I continued to do my burpees and do some strength training.  I kept reminding myself that anything was better than nothing and I would just be that much further along when January arrived.

By mid-December I was regretting the burpee challenge and, quite frankly, NOT blocking G’s texts and emails altogether.  All she has to do is send me some stupid message about some challenge and I am like, “oh, yeah, bring it!”  Twenty-four hours later I am cursing her and her stupid challenges, but I am too competitive to quit.  I am not too embarrassed to tell you though, that I did start spreading those burpees out over the course of the day.  I am not sure that was the intention, but I didn’t see any rules.

Sadly, days before Christmas, December took another shot at me and she won this time.  I woke in the night with a fever, sore throat, congestion, and an achy body.  I begged December for mercy and alternated ginger tea, Tylenol, Ibuprofen and as many vitamins that I could safely take.  It was enough to take the edge off, but then the cough came…

I added 45 cough drops/day to make sure my family didn’t lock me out of the house and a mixture of ginger and turmeric that soothed my throat.


It still wasn’t enough to stop the cough so I did what any good mother on vacation in the mountains would do.  I stole my daughter’s inhaler and began drugging myself with Benadryl at night so I could get some sleep.  It worked, mostly.  Sure, I had no idea where I was in the morning and when my kids talked to me before 8am it took me a few minutes to figure out who they were and why they were telling me where they were going.  Fortunately, the guy in bed beside me, who swore he was my husband, translated really well.

While my burpee challenge  fell by the wayside, I did manage to walk around the lake many times and get one day of skiing in.


I am pretty sure I left my right lung somewhere on the slopes, but it was a beautiful day and so worth it.

img_0827 img_3752-2

What I can say for December is that she is  persistent and while she may have gotten the best of me for a couple of weeks I am back.  Today, I am starting over. It’s not where I hoped to be as I slid into January, but as Arthur Ashe said, “Start where you are. Use what you have.  Do what you can.”

So, here I am 2017!

Sunshine & Sarcasm,

Lowi & G


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