Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Whew!

A couple of weeks back when I first started the On Ramp of CrossFit, I had pre-scheduled a work out with K for today (I have sessions left that I need to use up).  Since it was only a 30 min session, I decided to go ahead with it after looking online for our WOD since I am officially starting as a full member today!!!

I actually packed two work out bags for today:  1 with my running shoes and a set of clothes, and then the other with my minimalist shoes and a clean set of clothes to change into before going to CrossFit.  My regular gym and my CrossFit 'box' (gym) are a block apart from each other which makes it very convenient!  My appt with K was for 5:00, then I can make the 6:00 CF session.

Ran on the treadmill at the gym for 45 min or so, nothing fast, as first off I was sore as hell yesterday from my Sunday workout, and then went to KW hills last night (which worked out the kinks), but still kind of feeling just beat up today.  A lot of my fatigue has to do with it being lady week and all, so I am just trying to power through it somehow.

So I got in 45 min on the treadmill.

Then 30 minutes of brutality from K, which I told him 'lets do legs since my CF workout is mostly upper body'.  After I was done with K, I had second thoughts about going to CF knowing what the work out was, but since I had 20 min to spare before CF started, I popped in to talk to one of the coaches on how I would be able to 'scale' the workout

CrossFit 'Hero' WOD (Murph)  Or rather a mini-Murph since a full on Murph is double the following:
  • Warm up:  Medicine Ball
  • WOD - for time
    • 800m run
    • 50 pull ups
    • 100 push ups
    • 150 air squats
    • 800m run
  • Scaled - for time
    • 800m run
    • 50 pull ups (I used rings)
    • 100 pushups (mostly girl)
    • 150 air squats
    • 800m run
We were instructed that we could 'break up' the middle sections any way we wanted.  So I did 10/20/30 of each times 5 rounds to finish out every single rep!

That last 800m run was brutal.  It was all brutal actually.  With the warmer temps and the humidity, somewhere around the 3rd round I couldn't see because there was so much sweat rolling into my eyes.  Ugh.

Total time:  25:36



I stacked up nicely amongst all the players from the day (the board is a running total of all classes through the last one before the On Ramp classes begin).

After that we had to do 3 rounds of 25 butterfly situps and 10 hip extensions.  I have never been so happy to have to do situps in my life.

I have no idea how I am going to feel tomorrow because I know I pushed the envelope today.  It won't always be this jam packed though.  I can't keep up this kind of pace.  However as I had mentioned before, this week and probably next I am going to have to experiment with how to get in what I need to get in running wise.  I have a lot of races coming up in March and April and I have to keep up the endurance as far as running goes. 


When I got home I couldn't fix food fast enough to shove into my piehole!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Product Review - Garmin 610

Remember back when I posted that I got a new toy?

Well I have actually run with it several times and thought I would give you my thoughts on it.

I have been running with the old school Garmin 205 for several years now, and while the thing still works splendidly (only had to replace the strap just recently), I was longing for the new Garmin 610 once they came out with it after the disaster that, in my opinion, is and was the Garmin 405 and 410.

I was recently gifted with this lovely 'time piece' and couldn't wait to try it out.

After initially charging it up, I began the set up, which I will admit, using the touch screen takes a bit of getting use to (amount of pressure for example).  A few times I would get aggravated (after the initial set up) when trying to manuever through screens to change some things.  Once I got down the amount of finger pressure to use, it went much more smoothly.

I love that you can set up to 4 custom screens that you can scroll through for information during your run, at a water stop, or whenever.  I however do not need all that since all I care about are distance, pace and overall time (1st photo below).  This is how I have my main screen programmed.

I do love that the 2nd screen is the actual time in big fat numbers (no picture posted)!  On my old Garmin, I never knew what time it actually was, but with just a touch/slide the time shows up then after a few seconds reverts back to the original screen.

Pony had said that she remembered reading on another review (possibly Runners World) where the fact that it was difficult to manuever through the screens while running. First off I have no idea why one would be doing that, unless like me you want to know what time it is (which I don't care while actually running a route), but to see if it was a hinderance, I tried it this past weekend.

Wasn't that difficult.  Took me 2 swipes before the screen moved but again, set the thing up the way you want it, and you shouldnt have to do it and if you do, and its difficult then stop for a few seconds.

Blurry photo huh?
One of the best things about this Garmin is the big fat numbers.  The older Garmin, while I could make out the numbers, it wasn't always easy and certainly not while actually running.  This one is clear and easy for someone like me with vision issues for anything small and closer than arms length :O)

Another great thing that I love about this new Garmin is the ability to wirelessly connect (see picture below).  You just put the ANT stick into your computer, set the watch within an inch or so, and bamm!  It starts connecting and downloading.

The one thing though is the first time I couldn't figure out why it wouldn't connect and download and it was because I hadn't 'ended' my run.  I had stopped the watch, but I hadn't reset it (which is done the same way as the Garmin 205/305; by holding down the reset button (bottom right) until you see the 3-2-1.  Then it will connect and download.


In addtion to the easy peasy wireless download of data, I really love the slick new and updated screens of viewing and analyzing of the data from your run.
Route by street; while not new feature, it seems slicker, easier to view/read


Elevation and/or changes; side bar has useful information as well such as running time, actual time, pace for each, etc.

Splits

I absolutely love love love this new Garmin!  Its thin and light weight so if you wanted to, its ok as a watch as well.  I am not a fan of the band, but after a few times I'm use to it.  Its just thicker than my velcro band, plus its new and just not very pliable just yet.  I'm sure once its broken in, it'll be better.

All the old features are still there, intervals, running partner, etc, but there are 2 features that are new that I am absolutely in love with!!!
  1. It vibrates.  Meaning it vibrates first when its found its satellite, so you don't have to continually stare at the screen waiting...waiting...waiting...It also vibrates at every 'lap'.  In my case I have my laps at each mile. So every time I hit a new mile marker it vibrates and flashes the last miles pace.  In big numbers too!  It will also vibrate if you are using intervals.  So if you are doing 400's with a 1 min rest instead of having to listen for a beep, it will vibrate.  This is great for someone like me that loves to run with music and never hears a darn thing.
  2. In addition to the intervals still being there, which most people used for run/walk as well, there is a new feature located under Alerts called....you guessed it....Run/Walk.   LOVE!  I tried this feature out the first day (which is the screen shots from above if I am not mistaken) and haven't again since, but I did indeed love it.  The only thing is that when you turn on the run/walk alert, you have to remember to turn it off the next run if you are not wanting walk/run vibrate/beep alerts.  And yes, it also vibrates whenever its time to walk and when to run again.  Again this is pure gold for anyone that listens to music or just has a bit of a hearing issue.  I use to miss the beeps all the time even when not listening to music since I would zone out, traffic would be loud or something.

    I used it again this evening during our hill workout which were relays (2 person teams) and I liked that I had it on auto pause when not moving (since I had to wait until my person hit a certain point before beginning my hill loop again), so it would vibrate when I stopped moving and then vibrate again when I started running.  I was easily able to see the numbers to know that each 10 min session I was moving faster than the last 10 minute session.  I haven't downloaded the data just yet, but anxious to see what kind of feedback it gives me on the workout.

    My old Garmin is officially retired.
    Love love love this new Garmin.

    Questions via comment or email will be answered!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Weekend Wrap Up

When the alarm went off on Saturday morning, I most certainly did not want to get up to do the KW long run.  I just felt really tired, and the only thing that got me up, out of bed and out the door was a nudge and the thought of having to do it on Sunday.

It was about 50deg so it was cool out but that did nothing to help my motivation where generally it would have.  The route this week was an initial 8 mile loop (one of my favorites through the Heights) and if you needed more you added on accordingly.  Since I have a plan of no plan (first time in YEARS I havent had a printout of my monthly KW schedule on the fridge), I was just going to do whatever.  I got in 1 mile before starting with the group and then proceeded to do the route.

It was a very light morning people wise, with a lot of folks running at Conroe for a Boston marathon training long run/route, and with even more doing the Rodeo Run 10K later that morning.  I hate hate hate that race for so many reasons, but mostly the crowds and the 'type' of runner that does it.  It had 15K this year (a record) and ugh.  So glad I got that one out of my system after doing it twice in my early running years.  Coach won masters though! (32:xx) So fast.

My run was less than stellar and even before I started I knew I was going to take it nice and easy and just do the mileage.  My average pace was 10:46 with a big negative split which is always a plus.  I don't know if I was just overly tired from CrossFit still, but it felt difficult.  I also took it a bit slower because I had plans to run with a friend again on Sunday morning.  She just lost her mom a couple of weeks back and she requested a girl talk/run.  I knew I wanted to do about 5-6 with her and I didn't want my legs too tired from my Saturday run and also working an 8 hour shift on my feet afterwards.

Mileage = 9

**********************************************
Fast forward to Sunday morning.  Alarm goes off at 5:30 with a meet up time scheduled for 6:30 for a few miles with a dear friend going through a very difficult time right now having just laid her momma to rest a week ago.

It was colder out this morning (41) so I put on a long sleeve, with a pair of shorts, ate an apple and caught the first 15 min of the early morning local news before I was about to leave the house and my phone let me know I had a text.

She was cancelling.  She had had a rough day yesterday and just felt really tired and wanted to stay in and rest.

While initially I was a bit aggravated, I then remembered not so long ago having gone through the same exact thing and the stress and emotions that goes along with having to bury a parent, my aggravation quickly went away.  I didn't feel like running alone (still dark out), so I just put on some pajama pants and decided to relax until the gym was due to open.  I figured I would take the opportunity to put in a good hour of boot camp/CrossFit kind of workout on my own to tax the muscles a bit going into my first real week of CrossFit.

I worked a bit of circuit before hitting the free weights for some deadlifts, lunges, box jumps, clean and jerks, squats and thrusts.  I also did the assisted chin up bar, but with a lot more resistance (nice to see improvement! and CrossFit is completely the reason why).  Also when on a few of the circuit machines I had to up the weight from my last session on those things as the weight I was doing previously just felt too light.  Nice!  Beastly strong!  :O)

I actually had a bit of ouchy IT band thing going on yesterday, so its probably best that I didn't run again today anyway.

Additionally, it was actually good to not have gone out to run so early, as by 9:20am I had done 2 loads of laundry, got my breakfasts for the week done, went to the bank, gone to the grocery store and worked out hard for an hour.

A very productive Sunday morning indeed!

Splurged a bit at the grocery store with some fresh scallops to make for my Academy Awards viewing!  Along with roasting fresh brussel sprouts and a bit of whole grain pasta.  Looking forward to that for sure!

It's going to be an experiment this week, working in CrossFit with KW and running in general.   I think I have it figured out (at least in my head), so hoping it all comes together!

Friday, February 24, 2012

CrossFit (On Ramp) - Day 8 - Finito!!!!

So the last night of CrossFit (On Ramp) has come and gone.  But as previously mentioned I went ahead and signed on for 6 months (actually 7 with the free month), and once I let go of the cash, I was happy I had done it.

Last nights attendance was sparse.  I guess those that knew they weren't going to sign on past the 2 weeks just figured, why go at all?  Happy that several of us that became friends in the 2 weeks all signed up and exchanged phone numbers so that at least in the beginning we have someone with similar skill level to go with.  Even Lucy decided to go ahead and sign up (even though she didnt stay for the workout), and Ben and Daniel did as well!  Ben is awesome and Daniel, while he gets on my last nerve sometimes with his hyperactivity, is a cool guy and always encouraging me throughtout the whole session.

We started out with 10min of medicine ball warm ups and I did SO much better than the first night we had this same warm up.  I didn't drop that ball at all!!  Ended with 10 burpees before starting the WOD.

Remember when I mentioned briefly that the cast of '300' worked out with CrossFit-like workouts while preparing for the movie?  Well there is actually a '300' workout that was named for their specific workout.

Since us newbies would probably die if we had to do that (or it would take us all night!), our WOD for our last night was the '151', which is half of the 300.

If you are wondering how 151 is half of 300, its because of the kettlebell clean and press (you have to do an even number since its 2 sides.  13x2)

Here is the board with the workout (for time):

Everyone pretty much 'scaled' the workout, except for a few of the guys I think (not sure if anyone actually did Rx)

I scaled the following:
Pull ups (10 on the bar, then went to rings)  Arms/shoulders were just so sore from previous nights
Floor wipers (I did 35lbs instead of prescribed 65lbs)
Deadlifts (55lbs instead of prescribed 65lbs)
Kettlebell Clean and Press (20lbs instead of 25lbs)

Josh came in at just over 13 minutes. 

After everyone was done, we finished up the night with tabata of 'superman' and planks.  Ugh.  I loathe core stabilization.  Loathe.

When everyone was done and we had broken down all our equipment, one of the coaches said 'congratulations, you guys were possibly the best on ramp classes we've ever had'.  I said 'I bet you say that to everyone at the end'.  He said 'nope.  honestly most of the time the on ramp'ers suck.  You guys are tough'.

So today I rest up for tomorrows long run with Kenyan Way.  Going to run with the Garmin 610 again, and then write that review for you guys.

I've run with it a couple of times now and just absolutely looooooooove it!

Ugh, I just looked at the WOD for my CFB (crossfit box), and its a 10K.  Now why couldn't we have had that on one of the nights during On Ramp :O)

Thursday, February 23, 2012

CrossFit (On Ramp) - COMPLETE

I've signed on for the next 7 months (6 months and I got an extra month for free; and considering how much CrossFit costs, an extra month definitely makes a difference).  I figured a 6 month commitment was doable, and when I put pen to paper, taking into account the additional free month, the cost came out to what I pay for a trainer for a looooot less time, access and attention.  And no where near the workout I get from CrossFit.

Now it's on to the really good stuff...and yes that is sarcasm.
I see the WOD every day on the website for the non-on-ramp people and I have to admit, its freaking scary...I know what a lot of the terms mean, and I'm so going to be getting my ass handed to me on a regular basis.

SO EXCITED!!!



Here is my question for the readers:  Are you even remotely interested in me blogging CrossFit workouts?  I don't want to shove it down anyone's throats, but I know a lot of folks are very interested in CrossFit...so what say you?
Yay?  Nay?  Couldn't care less?

Why I Gave Up Social Media for Lent

Facebook’s social mission is “to make the world more open and connected.” Google is “focused on improving the ways people connect with information.” Twitter “connects you to the latest stories, ideas, opinions and news about what you find interesting.” 

Lent however is generally where one gives up a vice (or distraction), adds something 'meaningful' to their life (for example prayer), and with the extra time (or $) from that vice, they contribute to a 'cause'. 

Lisa commented recently that she gave up Diet cokes I think it was for Lent, and since she drinks 2 every couple of months..well, in my mind, that doesn't count.  If it did then I would give up liver and onions because...well I don't eat liver and onions! 

You get my point.  So onto why I chose what I did for my 'giving up' during the Lenten season.

Connect, connect, connect.

We’ve become obsessed with the need to connect.  Why?  Because it makes us feel important. Unique.  Special.  Recognized.  It’s not enough to just be a good person, work for a living, get stuff done, and have some fun once in a while.  Now we have to feel important all the time.  Look at me.  Pay attention to what I think is cool funny, inspiring.

Me, me, me.

Instant gratification.  Constant distraction.  That’s what 99 percent of all those texts, tweets, likes, posts, updates and shares are all about.  But hey, I get that.  I’m more than a little neurotic.  I felt the urge to check my email, Twitter status and blog metrics all day long.  I admit; it’s hard to resist.

But there’s so much about social media that I don’t get.  I don’t get why anyone would think that all the endless stuff they post and tweet is important to anyone else.  And I don’t get how anyone has time to write all that useless garbage.  

I know nobody has time to read it, that’s for sure.  Or do they?  YES! They do!  That's why I think as a society and in social circles, communication has gone bye-bye.  Good old fashioned communication.  And why no one 'has time to do [insert whatever].

Excuses.

I know that I was a so-so Tweeter, but I loved my Facebook and I sure that I had plenty of 'friends' that unsubscribed so as not to see my endless drivel of running, CrossFit, healthy eating...because for the most part, and I know this to be true, it makes them uncomfortable with their own choices, or more often than not, their 'un'choices.

It makes me wonder what everyone is giving up so they have all that time to connect and network.  Do you think people are watching less TV?  Playing fewer video games?  I seriously doubt it. 
They’re certainly not eating and spending less, that’s for sure.  And, I bet people are bragging on Facebook and Twitter what they are 'giving up'.

It’s not as if we all woke up one day and realized we didn’t have enough to do provide us with a sense of gratification.  Why the sudden addictive behavior to the point where we can’t put our iPhones or iPads down for 10 minutes without feeling disconnected?

The cold hard truth

I’ve given this way too much thought and, basically, I think it comes down to this:

We’re not really important, unique or special.  We’re all just flesh-and-blood people.  We’re born, we live, and we die.  And what happens after that, nobody knows.  So, not only are we more or less insignificant, but we don’t even know where we’re heading.  It’s sad, depressing and scary.  Nobody likes to feel that way.  So we stay busy and try to feel special.  But it’s just like wearing unique clothes, getting a tat or a piercing, or dying your hair fuchsia. It’s all surface. Skin-deep.  It’s an illusion of significance.

We’re acting like children.  Children are, by nature, selfish, manipulative, egotistical narcissists.  That’s because their survival is dependent on their needs being met, on making their parents’ lives all about them.  But somewhere along the line we learn that the world doesn’t actually revolve around us.  

That’s called growing up.  When we, as adults, act self-important and seek instant gratification, we’re acting like children again.

We’re trying to control our environment.  When I sit down in my office to write or work, I feel very much in control.  My problems and fears just melt away. It’s comforting, like a warm, cozy cocoon.  If only life could be like that all the time.  No bubbles bursting, financial crises, relationship problems, or health issues.  There’s nothing like dealing with other people’s problems so you don’t have to face your own.

Look, this is all starting to feel just a little too preachy, even for me.  Let’s get real for a second.  I was feeling disconnected to what’s important in life. My priorities changed. And I’m not about to go back to a life of self-importance and distraction.  Not me.

The cure

You know what? I don’t want you to fall into that trap either. So, when you feel the tug to tweet, the lure to link, the pull to post, I want you to consider three things:

Your goals and priorities.  For example: Does blogging make me feel needed, perhaps important? Yes, of course it does.  Actually, I get a real charge out of sharing insights and what I’ve learned over time as it pertains to fitness, running and now…CrossFit.  It’s gratifying to know it helps people.  

That’s why I do it.

It’s how I meet my goals.  Beyond that, I have no illusions that what I have to say matters.

Your feelings. One of the great ironies in life is that the only real cure for narcissism is to focus on you.  Really, it’s true.  When you’re constantly trying to expand your sphere of communication, you’re actually trying to get people to pay attention to you.  That’s narcissistic.  The fix is to spend some quality time alone.  If you focus on you, you’ll come to understand what’s going on inside your head and be a little more present.

Embrace the chaos. Life is ugly, messy, chaotic.  If you spend too much time trying to comfort yourself and control your environment, you’re escaping from the realities of life.  Yes, life is scary.  If you’re not scared some of the time, you’re not living.  No pain, no gain.  No risk, no reward.  So throw caution to the wind: disconnect, embrace the chaos, and live a little.

You’ll be happier and more successful. I guarantee it.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Ash Wednesday - Lent

Gave up Twitter and Facebook.  Actually deactivated both accounts earlier today (well, I actually deactivated Twitter last week).  It's already awesome; giving me back time that they suck from my day.  Twitter wont be reactivated at all, but I will go back to Facebook.  
I think.  We'll see.

CrossFit (On Ramp) - Day 6

In the comments of my last post, Robin asked a) if I liked CrossFit and b) if I thought it was worth the money, so I will address that first.


A)  I absolutely love CrossFit.  I have only been in the On Ramp classes so far, but I am so glad I did it!  I got in on a $25 Groupon and it has been the best $25 I have ever spent.  It not only teaches you how to properly do the movements, but you get a full workout in addition to that each day.  At my CrossFit, On Ramp is a REQUIRED course for 2 weeks and I think every 'box' should have and require it.  Plus it gives a person the opportunity to decide whether they will hate it, love it or be indifferent about CrossFit and whether or not its something they want to continue with.  Additionally if cost afterwards is a determent, each 'box' posts the WOD of the day on their website, and you can do it on your own.  If you are disciplined enough this can work for you.  If the WOD is something you are unsure of, you go to YouTube, and find the movement and there ya go.


B) Yes, I would have to say CrossFit is worth the money.  If you love it and you are going to go the most amount of times that you can to get your moneys worth.  Going once a week is not going to cut it (unless you do a few more days on your own I suppose).  Its very hard and to be honest with you had I been doing any of these days on my own, I dont know how many I would have completed in the manner that I did without the competition of others around me and at the encouragement of the coaches.  There have been so many times that I wanted to stop, puke and/or pass out.  Even like today with a lot of running in the WOD, being a runner I was more optimistic than I should have been.  With the additional movements in the WOD, it kicked my ass.  And even now, with only 2 more classes in the On Ramp, I have to make a decision (by end of class on Thursday) whether to join or not to get a better rate.  Its a lot of money and I keep going back and forth.  I won't go in the pro's and con's, because they're my pro's and con's, and each person needs to weigh into that.  I have noticed a tremendous change in my body and my running due to CrossFit in just a short period of time. 


***************************************

Here was the WOD for today.


We did probably 5-7 minutes of stretching first, then on to barbell rollouts (65lbs for girls) then 10 floor wipers (times) 3.  Here are videos representing each:

Barbell Roll Outs

Floor Wiper (side note: the cast of 300?  CrossFit is how they all got into that kind of shape; if you've seen the movie, you know what I am talking about)
I clearly had to rest between each set of 10x2.  Holding 65lbs above your head and raising your legs to the side is not easy.  After the 2nd round I went down to 35 lbs total weight.  It was too much stress on my disc in my lower back.

Then it was on to the actual WOD, which for some reason had no name attached to it.

You ran 400m, then back to do 21 kettlebell swings (I used 25lbs instead of 35; as did every other girl, some even using 20).  KNOW YOUR LIMITS!  And its better to go down weight for correct form than doing a bunch of garbage with too heavy of weight.  Then you did 12 burpees, then headed straight out again for another 400m.  You did this 4 times.

I thought it was hysterical at the fact that 98% of the people today took off like a bolt of lightning for that first 400m while I hung at the back knowing full well that we had to do this 4 times.  By the time I got to the turn around, 3 girls were already walking.  And it just got worse on each time.

When I came back in the owner/coach said 'hmpf I thought you would be killing it'.  I muttered something like 'pacing.... Its gonna come back to bite them.'  And it did for a lot of folks.  Additionally I completed all my burpees with a FULL pushup, never opting for girl push ups.  I like to make it as close to Rx as I can.  Also there were 3 girls that only managed to do 2 rounds with running, and resorted to the rower's for the last 2.

I made one mistake that cost me about 20sec, as I thought after the last 400m, that was the end, then realizing that I had to finish with kettlebells and burpees!! Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrr...
 

Lucy killed it!  She's a runner as well (her next marathon is Chicago), Amber, myself and Britney, all runners.  We all pretty much hang together (Amber and I use to run KW together and also work out at the same gym).  Out of the 4 of us, I think Brit and I might be the only one actually joining.

Nighty night!

(p.s. ran 3 miles today in the midst of running all sorts of errands and having lunch with one of my friends at a great Argentine restaurant! So good!)

Monday, February 20, 2012

CrossFit (On Ramp) - Week 2 - Day 1 (aka Day 5)

Been a while huh?  Well Saturday morning when I woke up a few times before the alarm went off, it was raining each time.  Then when I woke up with the alarm it was raining harder.  As I checked the radar I knew that we were in for some terrible storms and also knew that KW would be cancelled.

Sure enough, not even a couple of minutes later my phone beeped with a text message from KW that the long run had indeed been cancelled due to storms approaching the area.  Note:  Kenyan Way now gives its members the opportunity to register for text updates such as weather, cancellations, change of venue and general notices.  So cool!

So I went back to bed but was repeatedly woken up with the thunder, lightning and torrential rain.

Saturday ended up being an unscheduled rest day since I was scheduled to work at the store.  Otherwise I would have at least run a few later in the afternoon on the treadmill more than likely.

So fast forward to Sunday morning and me waking up early to go run with BCRR on their normal Sunday morning 10 mile route through RO.  It was much colder and MUCH windier than on Saturday.  Additionally, I had worked on my feet the day prior for over 9 hours and my legs were not in the best shape.

Just to cut to the chase:  10 miles.  Cold.  Windy.  Dead legs.  Not a happy camper, but it got done.

Today I went and ran 5.5 miles on the treadmill sometime around lunch.

Then on to CrossFit....

*********************************
We started with a one mile warm up run, at which I ran in 8:56, even passing the owner/coach, but I am sure if he had been 'racing' he would have easily beat me.  I even stopped once to tie my shoe.

Then they demonstrated the 'thruster' which is sorta like the push/press and the Sumo deadlift, but with a bit of a 'hop' which a lot of the girls I noticed during the WOD were not doing it right, therefore making it easier.  Yes, I'm competitive, and if you are going to do it and count it, then do it right.

I didn't do it Rx as I used the bands for assistance on the pull ups, but at least I didn't use the rings (soooooo easy)



WOD was for time:  21 reps of thrusters, move to pull ups, do 21.  Then back to thrusters for 15, pull ups=15, then 9 of each.  Boy weight was 65lbs, girl weight was 45lbs (and shit, 45lbs is heavy, especially once you get to the 2nd round).  I had to stop and rest a couple of times before starting again.  I wanted to make sure my form was right, and resting for 20 sec or so was just necessary.  Once I got to the 9, I honestly didnt think I was going to be able to finish the thrusters.

 As you can see my time was high for the girls, but My and I were the only 2 girls that did the entire workout with the pull ups NOT using the rings.  Some of the girls tried the pull ups but then would jump down and go to the rings.  I tried the rings before and if I had done the rings I would have had about 2 minutes off my time...easy.  I am very pleased with my time considering that by the time I got to round 3 (9 of each), I could barely do the thrusters past the first 5.  I was...dying.  I wanted to just quit so badly, but the coaches are really good at making me believe I can finish.  And I did.


 In this video, you can see a few people setting up in the bands, and a couple of guys doing it Rx (which means as prescribed); then you see Britney coming over and doing the rings.  The only thing I see wrong in this video is that the girls, for the most part, don't bring their chin completely over the bar.  The swinging of the legs is allowed as that is what gets you over the bar and this is called a Kippling (sp?) pull up.

video

We finished up with a Tabata of core stabilization at the end, Good Mornings and flutter kicks.  Ugh.

My forearms are going to be so sore tomorrow from those pull ups...

Time for ibuprofen. 

Friday, February 17, 2012

Simplicity

I started writing this apparently a week or so ago…so now it’s edited a bit, and added on to since beginning CrossFit…

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It’s been 4 weeks since the Houston marathon, and I am still very much at peace with my decision to lay down my sword to the distance.

I love my little 4-6 mile weekday runs.  I am in love with doing hill and speed workouts again.  I love knowing that on any given Saturday my long run will never be more than 15 miles.  I love knowing that if I don’t want to get up on Saturday to run long, I can do it on Sunday all by myself and be perfectly fine with that.  I love that if I do all my runs on the treadmill one week it isn’t going to matter. 

But mostly I love that I am running because I love to run, not because I have some schedule to adhere to and that if a run here and there is missed its not a big deal.  At all.

I also love that my appetite is finally settling into my ‘new normal’.  I don’t recall being ravenous that week following the marathon, or since then either.  However with the injury, making it known that I was taking a break, and then getting sick, my mileage dropped off significantly.  But yet I was still eating 3 squares and snacking.  I was always mindful of what and how much I was eating, but apparently not enough.

I started to feel the F word again, and things seem to fit differently.  It became apparent to me that I was going to have to adjust my eating again to fit my new exercise regime.

I don’t need the amount of calories I once did that is for sure.  And while I never was a carb-loader, I was a food loader at times when it came time to run long (and just run-ger in general) and unless I watched it then, I am still prone to gain due to my hypothyroidism.  I don’t have a normal metabolism, and at my age its slower anyway.  Couple that with H-T and well, I just don’t burn as many calories for activity, even with the meds that I have to take every day.

That’s why I yo-yo.  Sometimes it just sneaks up on me because of one reason or another.  Mostly because I quit writing everything down.

This time it was because I hadn’t altered my diet and my activity, while still brisk, was not what it was for the past 9-10 months while I was training for all those marathons in the Fall/Winter.

While I do own a scale, I rarely use it (maybe once every few months if that), but rather go by how my clothes fit (which means my running shorts).  I could feel something had changed a bit from mid-January, so once I could start running again more frequently and with more intensity, that obviously would help, but then I got sick and that got me off track with that again, plus with my rotations at the gym. 

I have had to really alter how, what, and when I eat.

That is, if I wanted to continue to maintain/lose weight, which I do.  Now I don’t have to worry about fueling all the time to the degree my body wanted (or needed) before.

It just takes a bit of work and preparation on the part of the person and the body needs to adjust to the differences (activity and food changes).  This is where a lot of people make their biggest mistakes when trying to either maintain or lose weight.  While you may be hungry, you don’t need the food.

Not everyone is as concerned about their weight and how it affects not only their ability to be active/exercise, but just the toll it takes on the overall health system itself.  I could go into personal experiences and the observations I make when it comes to others that don’t seem to care much about what and how much they put into their body, but it should be because its more than just about vanity.

I know that some people think possibly that I am a bit extreme, but honestly, in comparison to some people that I know IRL, my rein on my food/weight/health is nowhere near the degree of obsessiveness that I witness in others. 

It is documented and I am upfront about my history with body dysmorphia, restriction (of food), etc., so it shouldn’t come as any shock that I still and will always have those tendencies (to restrict). 

However my ways of restriction have changed.  I know its still restriction but the motivation behind it is different.  Well the motivation is the same I suppose, but the reason for the motivation is different.  Confused?  :O)

Basically what I am trying to say is that before when I restricted it was, for about 98%, to overcome the voices from my past, whether it was my mother, or the kids in middle school, telling me I was too fat, or taunting me because I was too fat.  Then at some point it became about control when other things in my life seemed to be out of control, and then it became about not wanting to ever be any of that (overweight/ridiculed) ever again.

I also know that at any given moment, people still judge.  They can say they don’t and maybe they judge some people differently, but they judge. 

Especially women.

And unfortunately, at least in my case, I am my own worst critic.  And I think most people (women) are.  That’s why on any given day, someone is going to feel the need to argue or explain their lunch or snack choice to me.

Guess what?  I don’t care.  You obviously know you aren’t doing yourself any favors, so why are you doing it?

Anyway, I could get myself a lot of haters on this subject if I were to go into it too far, so I won’t.

To this day I still have a fear of being overweight (for vanity reasons), but also for my health.  I love to be able to be active and not feel like I am dying.  And I love that I am never sick, I don’t complain about all these aches and pains, about how I don’t want to get out of bed, or how tired I am all the time.

And I always preface my response with, don’t take this the wrong way but:  move more and eat less.  You’ll feel better.

And then today (2/17/2012) I add: 

This week of CrossFit has done amazing things to my body.  Yes in just 4 days.  Of course with the running AND the CrossFit AND the fact that I have been eating so clean, definitely helps, but isn’t that how it is supposed to be?  Since starting CrossFit, I find myself only wanting meat and vegetables (mostly meat).  I’ve had a piece of bread here or there (usually a fold over PB or with a piece of chicken stuffed in there).  I pulled my jeans on this morning and I was like WTF?  I doubt I have lost weight, but I guess I am smaller.  Lets keep this going why don’t we???  :O)

This also probably has to do with the fact that I eat the bare minimum after I run and before CF, and then when I get home (past 9:30) its too late to eat, so again grab a piece of chicken and 2 boiled eggs.  Yep, that’s what I have been craving all week long.  Chicken and boiled eggs.  Strange indeed.

I find that especially interesting because CrossFit is very much Paleo or Zone when it comes to nutrition.  If you look at their philosophy, nutrition is the number 1 building block. It is VERY important to CrossFitters and they take it very seriously.  We briefly talked about the CF philosophy last night after WOD, and next week, there is a brief stint covering nutrition.

Every night I show up at the CF box, the grill outside is going and there are chicken breasts or kabobs with meat/vegetables grilling.  Smells SO good.  I really need to look into buying one of those George Foreman electric stand up grills so that I can use it on my porch.  The grills we have where I live are AWESOME but who wants to have to go to the pool to cook?  Not me! 

It seems with each passing month, I simplify a bit more and more.  Thankfully I am at a place (physically and mentally) now where I can also simplify my way of eating and I love that I am not 'starving' all the time.

As I am finishing writing this, I must admit:  while I was so looking forward to Friday rest day, I'm a little sad there is no CrossFit tonight.

That scares me.

CrossFit (On Ramp) - Day 4 a/k/a That Time I Almost Puked

Ran approximately 5.5 miles after work.  Treadmill.  GREAT run.  Felt strong and fluid.

I am not even going to go into great detail about this evening at CrossFit; It incorporated some of what we had learned earlier in the week (push press and wall balls), and added box jumps, Sumo lift high pulls and rowing.

Prior to the minimal instruction on the couple of things we hadn't done yet this week (sumo, box jumps and row), we warmed up with several different jump rope drills (double unders are HARD, but I can do a couple! And will get better at it!)

Jumping rope drills will make your heart beat out of your chest.

The WOD is called "Fight Gone Bad"
Its named after an MMA fighter that needed a workout to help him out and this is what a CrossFit instructor came up with.
After it was over, they asked him "how did that feel?" 
He answered with "like a fight gone bad"
Hence the name.

And since in an MMA fight, there are 5 rounds, 3 min, or is it 3 rounds and 5 minutes?  Yeah, thats it.  3 rounds, 5 minutes each, 1 minute at each station with #6 being a 1 min rest  (or to rush back to station #1 with about 20seconds to spare.
Anyway, this has by far been the worst (or best) workout I have ever experienced.  I ALMOST threw up on the rowing machine in the middle of round 2.

Weight for Sumo and Push Presses (for girls) was 35 lbs.  Doesn't seem like much but trust me...



Watch this video to see what it looks like.

For scoring, you are responsible for keeping track of how many reps at each station you do.  Since the rowing portion is for calories, you just add the calories expended in the 1 min time frame to the number you had on the ones prior to getting on the rowing machine (basically its about 10cal and it shows on the screen directly in front of you)

Once you finish station 5, then its the 1 min rest (time to get back to your station #1, one of the coaches will yell out your name and you yell back your number for that round.



Elias at the bottom of the scoreboard?  The owners son, who is about 7 years old and was just being funny.  I think Brit cheated.  That girl was having issues with Sumo in the instruction part, so she must have made up for it somewhere else.  Girl is weak.  :)  But sweet as pie.  Really like her!

Now we get 3 days off from CrossFit.  Looks like our long run might get rained out tomorrow due to bad storms coming through overnight, so I will have to make up the run on Sunday if that happens. 
11 miles on tap.

Thankful for a 4 day weekend (even if I am working at the store on Saturday, its still a 4 day weekend in my mind!)

Enjoy!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

What. Is. CrossFit?

CrossFit (On Ramp) - Day 3

The morning after day 2 of CrossFit (on ramp), I woke up in some major pain, but the good kind.  Once I would get going (walking), it seemed to subside but still, painful to a degree.

Because of this, I decided to forego running before CrossFit this evening.  I went straight home from work, climbed into bed and rested/napped for 2 solid hours.  It did the trick.  When I got up I could tell that my muscles had indeed relaxed and I felt much better.

I will take the opportunity now to say that the hardest part of this is the late time that the On Ramp classes are held.  They have regular classes all day up until the last class at 7 (ending at 8) so ...It begins at 8pm and goes until 9:30 (actually we seem to get out at 9:25). 

Then when I get home, I eat a very small something, stay up for 45 min and try to go to sleep.  Its been impossible.  I generally am not falling asleep until sometimes an hour later.  My body is so amped up that it just makes it difficult.

Therefore in the morning when I still wake up at my normal time (5am'ish), I'm exhausted.  I am SO looking forward to the next few days of no CrossFit so that I can get some damn restful sleep!

OK, so day 3.

I got to the box a bit earlier, and hung out with one of the coaches talking about CF, triathlons etc. and I asked what we would be doing today and he said another 'girl' workout:  Grace

Here is the thing about the workout names that I didn't know, but he told me.  Boy names are the brutal workouts.  Girl named ones aren't so brutal.  And if the WOD has the word Hero: in front of it, its because that particular workout was named in honor of a fallen soldier.

Pretty cool huh?

Anyway, the workout 'Grace' is one that put into play what we had learned the night before during Deadlifts and Push presses.  Tonight we would be learning 'clean jerk' and 'thrusts'.


This video shows the proper way to do a 'clean jerk'.  Your beginning position is almost the same as a deadlift, however its the proper way to bring the bar/weight up to the 'rack' position.  It was interesting to see that so many people (and apparently the majority) just pick up the bar/weight and then basically do a 'curl'.
Wrong.

However in this video, it shows a split leg, which definitely makes getting the weight up and over much, much easier, however....

Now the 'Grace' work out is done for time.  To minimize the time it takes to do 30 clean jerks, doing a split leg lift can actually, depending on how long it takes you to bring the 2nd leg in and stabilize the lift, could put on at least a minute onto your final time.

Instead of doing a split leg, there is another option (albeit harder), which is demonstrated in the video below.  You will see the girl does the split leg almost exclusively, while the guy does not.  Edited:  After watching this again, he really sucks at it.  His back is NOT flat and he doesnt release the bar after each, which you should do.  He just starts again in a bad position and his lift suuuuucks.  Hers are WAY better even if she is doing a split leg while lifting.


Tonights workout started with 20 min of warm up and tonight it was all medicine ball...ugh.  Girls had the 14lb, boy had the 20lb.  We paired up for all the different rounds, and dang a dang dang.  Its hard to throw that ball in all those different ways/positions!  My heart was pounding out of my chest, and because a few of us dropped the ball a few times, at the end, we all had to do 20 burpees.

Ugh.  :O)

Then it was on to instruction before starting tonights WOD.


115lbs for guys/65lbs for girls
Some of the guys actually added weight, as did the girls.  I added an extra 10lbs, making mine 75lbs total.

I swear getting into position, knowing that any minute the buzzer/timer is going to go off is like a racehorse being in a gate.  It has to be.  One of the coaches will call out '10 sec' so you know you need to be ready and GO!

One of the other interesting things here is during that short time before the timer goes off, a coach will put on the music REALLY loud and its usually something very hard rock(ish) and down and dirty kind of rap.  Its so loud, you can't really think and you get into this 'zone'.  Last night, with everyone dropping their bars/weights after each lift (which is what you are supposed to do), it was kind of a weird exhilarating feeling.  Like you were a part of something really, really cool.


Boo.  Yah.  I swear I could lift heavy things all damn day long.  Makes me feel beastly strong.  I felt bad for Lucy, next to me, because she was really struggling and her form was just off.  I thought for sure she was going to drop that damn thing on her head.  :(  Obviously the boys had a rough time of it, but there weight load was a lot heavier, and the guys in this On Ramp (sans Daniel) are just starting out.

When I finished, I basically just fell onto the floor.  The tired you feel is crazy.  But had he told me to run out of the warehouse and run around the block a couple of times, I would have done it.

After everyone was done, we did a tabata (4 min) of some core stabilization which were 'reverse' supermans and flutter kicks.  I wonder if my ab's are ever not going to hurt ever again?

So one more night this week, and my body will get a break ... more than anything I am just looking forward to some sleep.
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Random shots from class.  I also took a video, but stupid thing wouldn't upload this morning, so I will try again later this evening.  (Sorry about the blurry ones)






Wednesday, February 15, 2012

CrossFit (On Ramp) - Day 2

As the day went on yesterday, I began to become more and more sore.  Mostly the inside of my thighs and my shoulders/upper back.  And of course my abdominals.  Day 1 of CrossFit was catching up to me.

I had brought my gym bag so that I could run on the treadmill, get some miles in before CrossFit, but I forgot to throw shorts in there, so home I went (thankfully realized this before I actually went to the gym). 

I would just run outside, which was a much better plan anyway.  It was sunny, high 60's and I could test out my new Garmin 610 (review on that in another post).

My legs felt like lead and I decided to do a run/walk (because of how I felt and also to test that feature out on the new Garmin).

So off I went, did 4 miles of 7/1's and then relaxed, fixed some chicken, which I had 3oz before heading over to the CrossFit box for day 2.

Once I got there, a few of the guys from the previous night were there and we all immediately starting talking about what hurt and where, and what possibly would be on the agenda knowing that everyone was sore on some level from the night before.  There was a class still going on, and whoa...that was intimidating.  Obviously those folks have been doing it a while.  In.Tense.

B and A got there, we talked about KW for a bit.  B is interested in joining and I am hoping A comes back even if its just a drop in on Saturday here and there.  I miss running with her!!

So the class starts, and we circle up for a warm up, which thankfully was no where near what we endured the 1st night.  Lots of stretching, some yoga poses (pigeon, down dog).  Once we were done (20min or so), we headed out of the box for a short run (2 times around the block).  Yay running!  :O)  By now I had loosened up a bit (from the run earlier and the stretching), so it wasn't horrible :O)  A and I finished in the front pack and all is well.

It became clear that tonight was going to be a bit more instruction into what would be our WOD, so we set up bars for the instruction, then were 'tested' on our form a few times on each manuever before setting up for the actual WOD.


WOD (Workout of the Day)  155lbs for boys/85lbs for girls
Push Press 45lbs for boys/ 15lbs for girls.  We used much lighter weights or empty bars during instruction to perfect the correct form.

We split the groups into 2 groups (I went first).  Each person does 21 of the deadlifts, then 21 of the push press (2 separate bars were set up for each, you just moved from one to the other, then back again), then 15 deadlifts, 15 push press, then 9 of each.  We did these for time, and once you finished, you yelled out TIME! and one of the coaches would yell your time out and you wrote it on the board (see below)

I held my own, even against some of the boys (obviously Matt was late writing his time down)!  And apparently Daniel is a bad-ass.
I can rock out lifting heavy things. 

New term for the night:  Rack.
Basically when you 'rack', as in the push press, its when you bring the barbell up to its 'starting' point (in this case up near your chin and shoulders)

So when the coach said to me 'nice rack', I knew he didnt mean.. well you know.. or maybe he did :O)
I could have lifted more on the push press, but during On Ramp I have to go with the majority since not all the girls could have.  I probably could have gone 10 more lbs on the deadlifts.  Maybe.  Not sure for all those reps though.

After we were done and broke down all the equipment, we circled up for about 10 min of 'core stabilization'. 

In CrossFit, you do not do 'abs'.  :O)

All I know is that it was pure hell.  I was all planked out.

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Here are some videos for the above 2 movements.
Apologies for some of the videos I am choosing, but I try to pick the one that shows the move that most represents what/how we did it in class (and also shows form/technique)


Deadlift



Push/Press


As you can see in this video, they are learning the correct form and how to push/press correctly.  Its not just shoulder presses, but instead of using 100% of your arms for the lift, you really only use 25% and the rest is done with your core and the barely there squat before the 'press/push'

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These are just some random shots that I took after we were all done for the evening.
One of the coaches


Rowing machines all lined up.  Wondering when we are going to get hit with those...

Not looking forward to these either...this was after class and some folks just messing around or chatting