Good news first! When measuring this week, my weight decreased by two pounds and waist by one inch.

Nothing like smaller numbers to make you feel like the queen of planking!

Also, last week I averaged twenty-six minute miles on my two mile dog walk. I’m trying to get faster and farther there as well. Not bad considering I stop for “doggie breaks” and flower photo ops.

Rose with Raindrops

Who can resist, right? I’ll take the hit on timing.

Now, the bad news.

Despite trying to cheat up my time, my ninety second plank didn’t happen as smoothly as I’d hoped.

On the first attempt, I stopped the clock to rest at sixty-seven seconds. I could feel my body breaking down. (Remember how I said collapse was a bad idea? For sure I won’t be able to finish the challenge in a timely manner if I hurt myself.) I leaned on one knee for about three seconds and then finished the final twenty-three seconds.

Sunday, the mountain goat rested.

Monday, I tried the plank pretty early in my day, and I got to about a minute and fifteen seconds before my body rebelled. I followed the same pattern – a three second rest and then completion.

Since I’d had two attempts without success, I decided to do three sets of thirty second planks later that evening while watching television.

Tuesday dawned dark with rain. I waited until the end of the day so my body had recovered completely from my brisk morning dog walk.

By late afternoon, the sun finally appeared. I hit play on “Chapel of Love” (a classic by the Dixie Cups), lowered myself to the carpet, and hit go on the stopwatch app on my phone.

The introduction of the song took me to thirty seconds. I made myself look away until after the first verse. One minute.

I concentrated on the words and poured my strength into my belly, willing it to hold on.

“Going – to the Chapel – of Loooo-oooo-oove!”

The last chiming harmony of the chorus slipped into the second verse. I looked up.

One minute twenty-nine seconds flipped to one minute thirty.

I lowered a knee to the ground and hit the stop button. Rolling onto my back, I cheered.

Day 15 Success
Look at that big black “X”!

Then, I danced in celebration.

Now all I have to do is extend my time. The next two days are listed as two minute planks.

Since cheating up my time was impossible (WTF was I thinking?), adding the sets of planks in the later evening seems like a good plan. My three sets of planks will add up to the total time I’m trying to achieve, so for two minute planks, each set will last forty seconds. I figure that breaking the task down into stages gives me a chance to hit those longer times.

Plus, if I don’t achieve the total time in one go, I’m doubling the amount of planking I’m doing in a given day. Big incentive to get it done in the first go!

Also, I need distraction to get through these longer challenge times. Not only does distraction relieve the boredom, it pushes the physical duress to the back of my mind.

Stephanie came in and sat with me one day, chatting away and giving me good critiques about my position. As soon as she said, “is your butt supposed to be that high?” I knew I was starting to pyramid. I got myself settled in exactly the right position again with her guidance and concentrated to cement that feeling of my body in the correct position.

On Saturday, I did my plank very last thing in the evening while watching a television show. Unfortunately, regular dialogue is too uneven to track my time. I found myself watching the clock more than listening to the program.

I have had success with television in the past during commercials. Commercials usually last anywhere from thirty seconds to a minute, which is great for timing, but they are horribly boring, so not so great for distraction.

Monday, I tried to read a book, but couldn’t concentrate on the book OR the plank.

With the success of listening to the Dixie Cups, I’m sticking with music for now. At least I can track my progress by verse and refrain.

And I can sing along.

If I have any breath left.

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