Saturday, December 29, 2012

12-29-12 Hotel WOD day 2

I was not very creative in my workout today:
Run 2.5 miles on the treadmill 30 min
3x30 sec plank holds
10 pushups
2x20 situps holding a 10 lb med ball
My butt is sore as are my legs from the running yesterday. My abdominal muscles are still sore from the situps on Tuesday!
It was still good to workout today but the eating has gotten out of hand, I do much better at home but hey it's a celebration right now so I'm not going to worry too much about what I'm eating and how much I'm eating.

Friday, December 28, 2012

12-28-12 Hotel WOD

Yesterday was a rest day even though it consisted of lots of driving and much eating!
I made up my own WOD at the hotel today:
1 mile run 10:55
3x10 1 leg deadlifts with a 25 lb dumbbell
6x10 straight leg pushups (aka real pushups chest to floor)
3x20 walking lunges 2x25 dumbbells
The 1 leg deadlifts are hard since my balance sucks but I think that's an indication I need to work on my stability and range of motion.
I also had the opportunity to help my mom train today and she did:
30 min on the elliptical
3x10 dumbbell bench press 15 lb dumbbells
3x10 tricep overhead 20 lb dumbbell
3x6 bicep curls 15 lb dumbbell ( she moved up in weight from 10 lbs!)
3x10 air squats

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

12-26-12 at home WOD squats burpees situps

Christmas day was a rest day for me, so nothing to report except for a little gluttony.
Today I made up my own workout since I'm at my parents house:
3x15 reps tricep kickback 10 lb dumbbells
3x10 1-arm dumbbell overhead squat with a 10-lb dumbbell , 3 sets for each side

Then a simple metcon:
150 burpees time 16:25
150 Abmat situps time 8:09
The burpees were tough, I almost convinced myself to quit at 50 and then at 100 but I didn't really want to give up so I pushed through.

It's snowing out and it's making me feel like eating lots of comfort food and seeking out some chocolate but luckily there is none in the house and I don't feel like cleaning my car or the driveway to go get some!

Monday, December 24, 2012

12-24-12 Christmas Eve WOD @ Noon

I forgot to set my alarm clock this morning and missed the morning WOD but lucky for me, Forged Fitness was generous enough to offer a noon class today which I made. It was a big class with 12 other people (and 1 other woman!).  All the usual strong people were there today but I did manage to finish in the middle of the pack so it was respectable.  The WOD we did was easier than the WOD Mike G gave the morning class so maybe I should be grateful to have slept in!
Our warmup consisted of doing a wheelbarrow, first I walked and then switched with the other woman to be the wheelbarrow and go across the gym and back.  It didn't start off so well because one guy who was getting in the wheelbarrow position kicked his foot up right into his partner's chin! I know it's mean but it was both funny and sad at the same time.  Luckily the guy was okay and suffered no permanent damage and didn't get any of his teeth knocked out.  Needless to say, I was cautious picking up Katie's foot for the wheelbarrow race!

And the WOD:
My legs felt tired from all the biking but seemed to do okay with 63 lb front squats:
Run 400M
10 front squats 63 lbs
10 bent over rows 63 lbs
5 rounds
My time 15:22

Afterward, I did 3x10 sumo deadlifts with a 53 lb kettlebell after being inspired by 
That is 8 straight days of working out so I think tomorrow will be a rest day unless I can motivate myself to go for an early morning bike ride!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Biking and more biking in cold weather

I got my full suspension bike back earlier this week with the forks serviced and feeling brand new.  I'm beginning to realize that upkeeping this bike is going to be a little bit over the original budget I set for myself!  Servicing both the rear and front fork is not cheap, especially when it's a 6" travel fork that has all sorts of bells and whistles.  Still, it felt so much easier to ride this bike than the singlespeed.  I got to ride the past 3 days:

Friday: 286 trails and the greenway for 16 miles. It was a cold, windy ride but surprisingly I stayed warm and had to peel one layer off. 

Saturday: Old reliable Crabtree for 13 miles, I actually started to feel worn out trying to push myself to go faster even though my times were not that much different than what I did on the singlespeed the week before. It was another cold ride!

Sunday: New Light! My first time out on New Light ever and it was great even though it kicked my ass.  Luckily it was not a hammerfest, we took our time, took some breaks and finished with 9.5 miles of intermediate level singletrack.  I did some of the rock gardens (not the Gauntlet) and some of the logstacks and had no crashes (always good).  My legs were feeling pretty tired towards the end so I was ready for it to be over but I will definitely be coming back here. It was a great trail.  Next time there will be pictures!

From the last three days of riding, I have learned that when the temperature is between 40-45°degC I need to wear a long sleeve base layer, a jersey over that and then my windbreaker jacket (Pearl Izumi SELECT Barrier Convertible Jacket - Women's) along with a skull cap underneath my helmet, fleecy mountain bike gloves and long pants or leggings over my shorts.  I always start off with one more layer beyond this and have to take it off after a mile or so of hard riding but I prefer that over starting off uncomfortably cold. 

Friday, December 21, 2012

12-21-12 Friday WOD cold running

It was the easiest WOD of the week:
Run 400M
8 ring dips (purple band assist)
10 box jumps
5 rounds
My time 14:32
Afterward we did shoulder rotations and ring rows. Plus I did 10 dead hang pullups with the purple band.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

12-20-12 Thursday WOD burpees

It was a little less hard today:
At the top of every minute do 3 burpees
12 bent over rows 45 lbs
14 kettle bell swings 26 lbs
16 dumbbell situps
Time 11:31
I tried using a 15 dumbbell for the situps but it became too hard after 2 rounds so I switched to a 10 lb dumbbell. 3 burpees every minute actually takes a big chunk of time as did the situps.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

12-19-12 Wednesday WOD wall balls and squats

I missed the morning class but made it in the evening. It was pretty simple today:
150 wall balls 14 lb ball
My time 8:59
Then back squats
75-85-85-90-95-105 lbs
I think I could have done a little bit more than 105 but am too cautious to try right now.
150 wall balls seemed impossible but I just broke it down into sets of 50 and then each set was broken down further until I finished, my arms survived.
Felt pretty good today.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

12-18-12 Tuesday WOD Cleans

I like today's WOD, doing cleans is fun!
3 power cleans 75 lbs
6 pushups
9 air squats
As many rounds as possible in 3 min, then rest 1 minute and repeat for 5 rounds
I did 4 rounds every time so that is:
60 power cleans
120 pushups
180 air squats
I feel stronger already!

Monday, December 17, 2012

12/17/12 Monday WOD: deadlifts!

I don't have much to post from the weekend, I took the singlespeed out both days and got about 22 miles total of singletrack in, it felt great and I'm feeling better riding the singlespeed and getting used to this new bike.  I have to say again that not running has been great! I have way more energy now and both biking and Crossfit have become more enjoyable and productive.  I was definitely stretching myself thin trying to do all 3 so I might have to change the name of this blog to just bike & WOD. At the same I'm ambivalent, I think I'd like to stick to a little bit of running because the amount of potential energy it takes to go from no running to running regularly is huge and I don't feel like going through that again- I'd rather be in a steady state mode where I can run a 5K if I want to without much training.  The gym helps as I still regularly run 400M intervals there but I might have to inject at least one day of running 1-2 miles to keep up my stamina.

As for today's WOD (really modified for me)
5 handstand pushups (I put my feet on a 20" box and did a modified pushup)
10 pullups (purple band)
10 deadlifts (95 lbs)
10 double unders (30 singles)
7 rounds
My time: 20:00
My back felt pretty good with the 95 lbs but the callouses on my palms started to rip doing all those pullups and deadlifts.  I don't know how anyone could do 70% of the 1 rep max for a deadlift 70 times, it sounds like a lot of trouble for your central nervous system. I on the other hand will be able to go the gym tomorrow by not overdoing it today.

Friday, December 14, 2012

12/14/12 Friday WOD: cold running

It was a routine metcon today:
Run 400M in the freezing cold
10 back extensions
20 kettle bell swings 26 lbs
30 double unders (more like 10 attempts then 60 singles)
4 rounds
Time 20:38

I also got an extra workout last night removing the wet carpet in my basement. It really is no fun to find your water heater bubbling water all over the floor, but I cleaned it up and had the strength and energy to do it by myself so all this crossfit time has paid off!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

12/13/12: Thursday WOD Thrusters!

I was surprised by how well today's WOD went for me, I guess eliminating running from my life means I have way more energy to do these WODs heavier! 
Thursters 67 lbs
Lunges (both legs = 1 rep)
Knees to elbows
My time: 12:48
The hardest part was doing pushups right after the thrusters (a front squat/push press combo).  My shoulders and arms were pretty tired.  And my knees to elbows were not that great in the last round.  Still, a pretty good workout. The warmup we did prior to the WOD was also pretty good:
10 air squats
5 pullups
10 medicine ball cleans (14 lbs)
2 rounds

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

12/12/12 Wednesday WOD: smoked shoulders

I am not sore from yesterday's workout which makes me think I could have gone a little heavier in the weight!  But maybe it's a good thing to not be so worn out by a single WOD. Today, however, our shoulders were worked over:
The warmup consisted of a 200M row with 1 minute rest in between, 3 times.  I did my best to make a long stroke (getting my avg to be 22 strokes per minute) on the rower to improve my efficiency.  The WOD was all about the shoulders with a little running thrown in:
Run 400M
21 wall balls 14 lbs
12 shoulder presses 45 lbs
4 rounds
My time 19:41.
I had to break down the presses in sets of 5-3 after the first round in order to get them done, I wanted to go with a lighter bar (33 lbs) but Jason was there today and told me to stick with the 45 lb bar!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

12/11/12 Tuesday WOD and Chiro

This was a great WOD despite how low I had to go on the weight:
Squat clean
Floor press
I did it with 63 lbs. (Rx was 110 lbs!), the deadlifts were super easy, the squat cleans got to be harder when I got to 7 reps, basically I just tried to do 2-3 at a time to finish. And I made sure I was fully squatting so I expect some massive soreness in 12 hours. Surprisingly, the floor presses (an alternative to the bench press) were doable at 63 lbs. I probably could have done 65-67 lbs so I will think about upping the weight next time.

Monday, December 10, 2012

12/10/12 Monday WOD: working out at home

I didn't make it to Forged Fitness this morning so I modified the workout to do it at home:
3 rounds of:
5 hang power snatches 45 lb bar
5 snatch balance 45 lb bar
5 overhead squats 45 lb bar
10 knee raises on the dip bar 
I recorded myself doing one two rounds and it is painful to admit that my form sucks.  I had the bar too far back behind my head (instead of overhead) and can't squat for anything when the bar is over my head. So after my three rounds I did:
2x5 overhead squats (full squat to the floor)
1x5 snatches (full squat to the floor)
Definitely need to keep practicing this since I don't like to commit to a full squat!

Friday, December 7, 2012

12/7/12 Friday WOD

It was a tough workout today:
Run 400M
15 Front squats 75lbs
10 bar burpees (do a burpee, hop over the bar)
10 sledgehammers on the tire
4 rounds
My time: 21:20
Everytime I do squats I am reminded that I need to do more squats! It was a good way to end the week though.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

12/6/12 Thursday WOD: Pressing It!

Today's WOD was more fun for me than yesterday:
Strict Press 5-5-5-3-3-3  55lbs-55lbs-60lbs-65lbs-70lbs-65lbs

The 70 lbs was pretty hard and I did them more as 1 reps than a sequence of 3 reps, so I had to go back to 65 lbs for the last set.

then a mini-WOD:
10 Minute AMRAP
10 Wall balls 14 lbs
10 lateral hops
10 situps

I did 8 rounds and quit with 10 seconds left. 

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Wednesday WOD 12/5/12 all cardio

Today was pretty simple:
Run 1 mile for time
Then row your 1 mile time
I was friggin' slow, must be the complete lack of running in my diet!
It took me 12:55 to finish the run, albeit it's really more like 1.2 miles and has a big hill.
Then on the rower, I averaged a 2:34 min/500M pace and got 2536 meters in 12:55.
I sweated a decent amount, but I wish I could run faster without a ton more running in my life.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012


The weather was too gorgeous to not bike so I tried out the singlespeed this past weekend and today.  The singlespeed is my new mountain bike that only runs one gear- right now 32x18.  Felt pretty good but way more work than I expected! I had to stand for most of the climbing but it turned out to be a good workout. That was 3 days of ~10 miles at Lake Crabtree (the easiest place to take your singlespeed mountain bike).  Best things heard about this singlespeed:
The guys at the bike store said I had a "cool bike".
A guy passed me biking and said "You're a tough girl, riding singlespeed!".
Yeah, I think I could get used to some singlespeeding. I promised the Blur I would not forget her though since I still need that full suspension on harder trails.  The singlespeed really works my quads though and makes Lake Crabtree more interesting to ride now. It needs a few upgrades but that will have to wait till next year.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Monday WOD 12/03/12

Run 400M
20 air squats
15 kettle bell swings 26 lbs
10 pullups (1" band assist)
5 rounds
Time: 20:38
A purely cardio workout.

Then I took 5 minute to rest and worked on my snatch balance with a 35 lb bar.

This is my fifth straight day of doing a Crossfit workout and I have to say, it's much easier to handle this without all the extra running and biking!  If I want to keep running (I definitely want to keep upbiking so there is no debate about that, it's just really cold right now and too dark by the time I get home from work), I'm going to have to really think hard about how much running I can do.  As much as I like running, my back doesn't like it and every run that has been more than 3 miles has resulted in a sore back for days after the run.  So for now, I'm think I'm going to stick to shorter runs and only do them 2-3 times a week or maybe even less than that.
This morning's WOD had sumo deadlift high pulls (SHP or SDHP), I don't particularly like this exercise and there have been a number of reports on how it's bad for you physiologically (see here for an explanation).  So I decided I'm not going to do them anymore unless we do the Fight Gone Bad WOD.  And so today, I did:
Row 500M
15 Push press 56 lbs
5 Rounds

Time: 17:18 I think.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Thursday WOD 11/29/12 Snatches!

I wasn't sure what to expect in today's WOD but I knew there would be no running in the freezing cold so I showed up this morning at 6 AM for this:
AMRAP in 15 minutes (as many rounds as possible):
10 burpees
10 power snatches (I did 44 lbs, the prescribed weight for women was 65 lbs)
I finished 7 rounds with 30 seconds to spare at the end.
I probably should have gone heavier on the snatch but my overhead snatch position has been pretty weak and I was afraid that I'd hurt myself. In reality, doing 7 rounds was a lot and it would have been better if I had finished 5 rounds at 55 lbs.

Food: I need to get back to writing about what I am eating because for awhile I wasn't acknowledging that eating at Panera and Mellow Mushroom was causing me to gain some pounds. I've stopped both for the last month but thinking about my diet and cooking for myself has been more on my mind lately. I think if I post my weekly food log again, I'll be less likely to stray for too long.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Wednesday WOD 11/28/12 Squat Cleans!!!!

This morning's WOD had cleans in it and I wasn't sure how my legs were but it turns out that I didn't push it hard at all last night to affect the workout this morning. On one hand, that's a good thing because the WOD wasn't painful but on the other hand that means that even though I thought I was making an effort last night, I really should have upped the weights!

In any case, this is what I did at 6 AM this morning (after dynamic stretching and warming up):
50 Double Unders (or in my case 7 attempts and then 140 singles)
Full Squat cleans [25-20-15-10]  @ 63 lbs
Run 200M
4 rounds

So in the first round it was 25 squat cleans, then in the second round 20 cleans and so forth.  At 63 lbs, I can power clean this but making the effort to go all the way down and squat with the weight and then get back up is hard. And I had to break it up into sets of 5 to finish. I'm supposed to practice the snatch tonight, we'll see if the DOMS has set in by then.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Tuesday WOD 11/27/12

The Tuesday WOD was both challenging and short:
Elevated pushups (feet on a 20" box)
Ring rows
12 reps each
7 rounds
My time: 12:28
The pushups got really hard by the 3rd round and I had to break them up in 8 reps/then 4 reps. 
After it was over, we took a few minutes break and then worked on the bench press:
45 lbs 5 reps
75 lbs 4 reps x 3 sets

Felt pretty good but my arms are sore now.

And then in the evening, I did a little lifting with just a 45 lb bar:
Cleans + Jerk 5x2+1 (5 sets of 2 cleans + 1 jerk)
Clean pulls 3 sets of 3 reps
Back squat 3 sets of 5 reps
I'm hoping that I can commit to doing more lifting this winter and build my strength.

I dragged myself out of bed and did the morning WOD:
Run 400M (it was in the 30s!)
25 kettlebell swings (26 lbs)
20 overhead lunges (15 lb plate)
15 pullups (purple band)
3 rounds
Time: 15:52
Although there was time to work on other stuff, I bolted out of there. Just was not in the mood for more working out.

I haven't felt very motivated to exercise since I gave blood, I'm still not sure if it is just a slow recovery or something else but my legs were tired up until this Monday.  I didn't workout on Monday or Tuesday but made myself go to the gym on Wednesday (11/21):
Thrusters (55 lbs)
Hip extensions (shoulders on the bench, bringing my hips up)
Air squats
Nine calories on rower
Kettlebell swings (26 lbs)
Floor wipers (55 lbs)
Sumo deadlift high pulls (55 lbs)
1st round: 11 reps each
2nd round: 22 reps each
My time: 17:09
It was tough, I felt out of shape but I finished.

Thursday was Thanksgiving!  I didn't think I would do any kind of exercising but my cousin was joking around and asking me about Tim Ferriss' 4 Hour body book and wondering if she should do some squats before or after dessert.  I told her we needed to do 40 squats before eating dessert in order to activate our GLUT-4 receptors and get the metabolism revved up.  So I went to the bathroom and did 40 squats! And she only did 15 because she was laughing too hard.  I'm not sure if it helped but I didn't feel bloated later on and I didn't gain any weight over Thanksgiving.  I also showed her how to do a manmaker and did a couple of those also.

The rest of the weekend was "restful". I did a little bit with 10 lb dumbbells but it was only 5 minutes of exercises (curl, tricep extension, press, lunges).  

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Donate blood, go mountain biking

I gave blood on Thursday night at the local Red Cross and felt pretty good about it even though it took over an hour to finish.  It did not help me with mountain biking on Saturday though.  We biked the 286 trail and had fun but I was struggling the whole time. My legs felt like jelly and even small hills sucked my energy up.  It was a long 2 hours and 10 minutes for 13 miles!  After that, there was much rest and much eating the rest of the weekend.  And when Monday rolled by,  I didn't feel like going to the gym and I still didn't feel like going to the gym on Tuesday but I did go mountain biking again!  This time it was out at San Lee park on the toughest trails in the Triangle area.  My legs still felt "tired" so we didn't go fast but I did try many of the trail features.  Jim got some good video which I will hopefully be able to post soon.  I was pretty thrilled with the new things I could handle (rocky sections, logs, berms).  Now I just need to get my aerobic conditioning up to my new skill levels! 

Thursday, November 15, 2012

A brief synopsis of the Week's WODs

My calves were ultra-tight and sore from the 10K.  My feet were okay (still wearing the "barefoot" shoes for running) but my legs definitely were smoked from the run. That didn't stop me from doing a WOD in the morning (it actually helped).

On Monday 11/12: Tabata WOD
Tabata: 20 seconds of work, 10 seconds rest, 8 rounds with a 1 minute rest in between each set, the only round that "counts" is the one where you did the least number of reps
Squats: 12
Pushups: 6
Situps: 9
Box jumps: 6
This means that in the first couple of rounds, I did do more reps of each exercise but got smoked and then tried to maintain. The pushups and the box jumps are the hardest for me. Pushups because I still have poor upper body strength and box jumps because I have reverted to how I felt about them when I first started Crossfit: terrified.  The first couple rounds, I couldn't convince my legs that they could jump on the big tire (I wasn't even mentally ready for wooden box!), so I did step ups. But I persevered and did jumps in the last 3 rounds. I just need to keep doing them. 

That evening I went to my swim lesson and learned all about the breast stroke which was too hard for me to actually do for more than 3 strokes.  I went back to practicing the freestyle stroke and treading water.  I was able to tread for 30 seconds! Progress is slow in swimming but I'm feeling more comfortable in the water.

Tuesday 11/13: A Run WOD
I slept in Tuesday morning and spent a good part of the afternoon trying to convince myself that I didn't need to go do the WOD but I manned up at the last hour and made it to the 6:30 pm class:
Run 400M
10 Pull Ups (purple band)
15 KettleBell Swings (30 lbs)
20 Double Unders (I did 60 singles)
5 Rounds: 21:33
Glad I went, the pullups were better, I think I'm actually kipping a bit.  Double unders are non-existent for me. I have a cool speed rope from Rogue that I never use, and I probably should bring it and try.  I might get a couple done then.

Wednesday 11/14: Clean & Jerk
Find your 1 rep max on the clean and jerk:
I got up to 83 lbs and just mentally couldn't get past it, and it didn't help that my lower back still is sore a bit. So 83 lbs was pretty good. I have a video clip and in this one, I did a very poor "jerk", since I pressed out the weight. For the record, I can do a decent jerk, just didn't get it on camera.

Then it was a "mini" WOD and I use the term mini loosely here because it felt like a real full-length WOD to me:
15 power cleans 55 lbs
15 push presses 55 lbs
15 slamballs 20 lbs
4 rounds, Rest 1 minute between rounds
My time was 13:30
I did attempt to do this at 65 lbs but after the first round of power cleans, I was too spent to get the bar up for push presses so I dropped the weight to 55 lbs.

I went to my last swim class and am feeling better about my abilities. I still have much to practice but treading is getting easier and my breathing is better on the freestyle. I am really glad I took this class and will continue to practice swimming!

Thursday 11/15: More shoulder work:
Handstand pushup (modified to pivot on a box)
Ring dips (purple band assist)
Time: 9:21
Even modified, my arms and shoulders were spent and I was a little annoyed that the WOD had handstand pushups and regular pushups in it.  I didn't see the point of it but there is probably a reason (I hope). This actually did turn out to be a mini-WOD for me (my definition is < 10 minutes). I bailed on the "extra work" since I had to get to work early.

One big post about what I've done over the weekend:
Rest day last Thursday 11/8.

Friday 11/9: WOD
5 power cleans 75 lbs
5 front squats 75 lbs
5 pull ups (purple band assisted)
5 push ups
5 rounds
Time: 9:29
The power cleans and squats was supposed to be done at 90% body weight but I'm no where near that for a clean, much less a front squat! I still need to get comfortable with getting my ass to grass on the squats!  I think once I do this consistently, all the lifts will get easier for me and will help me progress in weight.

On Friday night, we had a little fun climbing at Triangle Rock Club.  I did two 5.7s and two 5.8s and attempted a 5.9 (couldn't get past the first overhang though!), I think my forearms were done.

Saturday 11/10: MTB
Mountain bike ride @ Rocky Road. Awesome ride, awesome weather, awesome biking friends.  Rocky road continues to kick my ass but at least now it's more of an ass-kicking because of the anaerobic exertion and not because I'm getting beat up falling on rocks or endo'ing.

Sunday 11/11: RUN Raleigh Fall Fest 10K
This 10K is the same course as the Old Reliable Run that I did back in 2010 so I wanted to see how I've progressed since then (if any).  Plus for a 10K, it was only $25 which I thought was pretty reasonable until I got the shitty shirt (men's large because they ran out of medium and did not both to get both male/female fits).  Still the run was great!  So I don't regret doing it, I just wish the organizers (who were the same organizers for the Old Reliable) had stuck to their kickass tech shirts and the ambience I felt back in 2010. Anyway, it could have been a number of things.  The run was in downtown Raleigh, starting at Nash square and running up through Hillsborough street past NCSU and then a small loop through one of the old Raleigh neighborhoods and then back to Hillsborough.  I wore my heartrate monitor and averaged 178 bpm and maxed out at 193 bpm! I was working pretty hard on this run and kept telling myself it's okay to feel just a tiny bit uncomfortable. My calves were behaving even though I felt some muscle soreness, I tried really hard to make sure I ran on the balls of my feet and landed whole foot down with my heel kissing the ground.  For awhile Lisa was behind me but then she passed me and I just ran behind her ~5 feet. Around 5 miles, I decided to pull ahead and pushed on.  I ended up finishing in 58 minutes and 44 seconds and averaging a 9:28 pace! Let's look at 2010 and 2012:


YearChip TimePace (min/mile)

Still looking fresh after our 10K

Still needs lots of water post-10K
For some reason, I didn't recall that I did a 9:46 pace back in 2010, I thought I had done a 10:00 min/mile pace. Still I shaved of 18 seconds from my 10K pace.  I think I can do much, much better.  So despite the aches and pains I'm getting in my calves and my lower back (24 hours later), I want to keep running and running more efficiently and faster.  It's going to be uncomfortable.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

11/07/12 Wednesday WOD and some running

I got more accomplished today than I expected, fitting in a morning workout and a good strong run after work. 
The WOD was simple but slightly painful:
Power cleans 67 lbs
Lateral jumps over a parallette bar (~8-10" high)
Time: 12:31
That is a total of 84 reps, I really would have liked to have done it at 75 lbs but it was just too many reps for a heavy weight (for me).  Even with my time, I finished dead last and could distinctly feel my lack of endurance. A workout like this pre-back issues would have challenging but doable. By the third round I was resting every few seconds and having to break down the power cleans into sets of 3 to get them done.  I don't like this feeling, I much preferred it when I could just power through a workout without much pausing.  Which means I haven't done enough or maybe haven't done the right things to get back to where I was physically. 

This feeling continued when I went running after work.  It's gotten cold here, it's gotten darker way to early and that has gotten me de-motivated to run.  In order to get motivated, I signed up for a social run at Inside Out Sports.  I met up with a group of people (never met them before but found out one lady lives in the apartment complex I used to live in) and we were off doing the Turkey Trot 8K route around Cary.  Of the 9 people there, I was definitely the slowest by at least 30 seconds-1 min/mile.  They were kind enough to not ditch me and I made it the whole way without too many issues. I was breathing hard, my rate of perceived exertion was 7/10 and my calves were hurting (not running fast for so long had made them weak again).  I finished 5.3 miles in 55 minutes, according to Strava I did a 10:18 pace. A 10:00 pace on the road used to be easy for me and now I was huffing and puffing and slower than the old guy in a knee brace!  I have much to do and much to learn.  And the lesson tonight was I have to keep running with people who are faster than me so I get motivated and pushed to go faster.  After the run, I treated myself to a strawberry/banana/whey smooth and had my homemade beef stew for dinner.  Let's hope I can get up tomorrow without any issues.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

11/4/12 Monday run and swim

I decided to sleep in on Monday and missed the morning WOD.  Instead I went to work earlier and got home earlier so I could do a trail run at Umstead:
Loblolly to Reedy Creek Lake Trail ~4 miles, 50 minutes!
I still am slow on the trails and I haven't been running so there is no improvement!  Still, it was nice to get out there and do a run after work.  I then made a healthy dinner of ground beef with zucchini with spaghetti sauce and spaghetti squash. 

After dinner, I went to my swim class. Swimming is really hard for me. I feel like I struggle just to get halfway down the pool and that is when I try to relax!  I still can't tread water for more than 10 seconds and am still terrified of the deep end of the pool. More practice, and practice.  It's hard to believe that I only have 3 more classes! It went by pretty quick. 

I was too sore last week to sit down and write about what made me sore.  The Wednesday workout left me sore in my quads and hamstrings and Friday's workout didn't help much either:
5 Power Cleans 90% bwt (I did much less @ 75 lbs)
5 Front Squats 90% bwt (much less @75 lbs)
5 Pull Ups
5 Push Ups
5 Rounds

It was a good workout and a quick workout. 

On Saturday, the weather warmed up to a balmy 59 degrees so we went mountain biking on the local favorite trails.  It was good ride but I have no aerobic capacity anymore. It was 13 miles at a 6.3 mph pace (counting rest breaks/stopping).  I did clean one technical section that I hadn't been able to before and did the big rock pile so I was happy.  Happy but tired. 

Thursday, November 1, 2012

10/31/12 Wednesday WOD: More Squats

I didn't expect this WOD to be so hard but it nearly did me in:
3 front squats (83 lbs)
8 ring dips (used a 1 1/8" band to assist)
8 rounds

the first 5 rounds went well but my whole upper body got worn out by the dips on the 6th round!  I was surprised, usually with a band it's not that bad but I think I really worked it this time.  I tried hard to go below parallel in the front squats but I was lying to myself.  After the WOD was over, I tried doing front squats again (see the video below) and realize just how much work I have to do.  The first squat - not below parallel, the second squat was good, the third squat was a fail! 

Tuesday was practicing the snatch:
Get Max Snatch
10 Slamballs 20 lbs
Run/Row 100M
10 Push Ups
Run/Row 100M
5 Rounds:

I didn't do the max snatch, I just practiced the different steps to get better at doing the snatch with a 45 lb bar, it's hard.  My goal is to keep practicing and nail down the technique before going up in weight.  Much easier said than done.
The mini-WOD to 6:49 to finish.  And it was cold outside! I didn't warm up at all especially since we did the pushups and slamballs outside.  

Monday, October 29, 2012

10/29/12 Monday WOD Dirty 30

I took off pretty much the whole weekend and did not do much in terms of actually exerting myself other than bringing a fork full of mango cheesecake to my mouth.  Mango cheesecake is delicious and if you have not tried it yet, you must.  My legs are no longer sore from the back squats last week which really means I should do some tonight!  I am feeling anxious about exercising and want to get back into a routine again, it seems like with the marathon, there was a lull and I needed those few weeks to think about what's next but now I'm not so sure what's next and yet at the same time, I really would like a plan.  So I start by going to Forged Fitness more:
Today was quick:
"Dirty 30"
30 squats
30 box jumps (totally wussed out and didn't do a single jump, all step-ups)
30 situps
30 kettlebell swings (30 lbs)
30 burpees
30 pullups (band-assisted)
30 wall balls (14 lb ball)
Time: 11:37

And despite the desire to bury myself in a comforter and watch movies tonight, I will be going to my swim class and acclimate to the coldish water and swim!  Luckily I found my goggles so I don't think my eyes will get irritated tonight. 

Thursday, October 25, 2012

10/25/12 Thursday WOD: short sprints

My legs are still sore but I went to Forged Fitness anyway.  And I'm glad I did! It was a fun workout, although I think the sprints should have been a little longer than 10M:
Suicides 10M
10 deadhang pullups (used a band-assist)
Suicides 10M
10 burpees
Suicides 10M
10 floor wipers 75 lbs (check out my video below for how it works!)
5 rounds
Time: 18:35
The pullups are still a struggle. Getting the 75 lbs off the ground started to be a struggle in the 4th round but I did it! And it was the "rx" for women.  

The DOMS set in from yesterday's back squats.  It was hard to stretch with all the soreness.  Today we did a pretty long WOD:
400M Run
15 overhead squats 45 lbs
10 tire flips
4 rounds
Time: 19:14

The overhead squats were hard today! I am pretty sure it's because of the sore legs.

Then it was work and then home again and then swim lesson at 8 pm.  We progressed to the freestyle stroke and I was able to swim halfway up the length of the pool without pausing. I had problems keeping my feet parallel and kicking above the water until she told me to keep my chest down, it helped but I need to work on it.  My eyes got irritated (I really need to find my goggles before the next class) but overall fun and tiring! 

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

10/23/12 Tuesday WOD: Back Squats and more

I made it to the gym Tuesday morning and the assignment:
1 rep max on the back squat
First I did 5 reps of 45 lbs to warm up, then 3x75 lbs which felt pretty easy so I went up to 95 lbs and that also felt easy. I then did 105 lbs for 2 reps and then 115 lbs pretty well but with effort and I could feel my lower back working hard.  I gave 125 lbs a shot but I just wasn't confident in going below parallel in my squat so I ended there.  I looked at my old posts and I have done 125 lbs 1 rep max last year but I am not there yet.  Still, 115 lbs post-7 months a herniated disc is progress! 
Then we did a short WOD:
10 bent over rows 45 lbs
10 military press 45 lbs
10 good mornings 45 lbs
4 rounds
time: 6:06
I took a relatively long time to finish this! The strict press was okay for the first 2 rounds, I struggled in the 3rd round but still managed 10 strict presses and in the 4th round, I cheated a little and the last 3 reps I popped my legs to get the weight up (somewhere between a push press and a strict press).  Still it felt awesome to be able to do 37 reps at 45 lbs for a strict press! I definitely need to work on heavier weights now for this movement. 

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Monday 10/22/12: Swimming Lessons

I have a couple of friends who don't know how to swim and on different occasions, they've asked me to take private lessons with them since I am also not a strong swimmer (I can float, I can move around in the water but I'm still a little scared of the deep end). I did 1 private lesson this summer with Lisa and then another friend bugged me to go again. I didn't really want to sign up for more private lessons since it is expensive (even split between 2-3 people), so I signed up for an Adult Beginning swimming class at Triangle Aquatic Center thinking my two friends would also sign up. Well, neither showed up to the first class so I guess I will have to wait and see if they come on Wednesday!

The training pool, we stayed on the 4ft-5ft depth side!

The first class was me and 7 other people. For some reason, I didn't think about who else would show up but it still surprised me that it was 5 Indian guys, two white women in their 40s and myself (lone Pakistani, not yet 40!).  It really shouldn't have surprised me since the Cary/Morrisville area has a high concentration of Indians and many are immigrants who never learned how to swim back in India.  Three of the guys couldn't even float so they spent a good 45 minutes of the 1 hour class learning how to do that while the instructor worked with us on how to flutter kick (I got a calf cramp several times from trying to keep my feet in the right ballerina style position) and then learning how to do the back stroke.  I learned to arch my back and focus on keeping my stomach up so I don't get water sucked up into my nose and mouth.  I also learned that swimming makes me very tired.  I was out of breath attempting to swim!  I even asked the instructor if it was normal to be breathing so hard and she laughed and said swimming is a tough workout so yes, it was normal!

Overall, it was a good re-introduction to swimming and I'm glad I signed up. I'm hoping by the end of the class, I'll be way more confident in swimming in deep water.  Plus it will be something else I can do in the winter when it's too cold or rainy to bike. 

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Sunday 10/21/12: a short run

This Sunday saw the return of Tushar and Hua-ying to our running group. I'm not sure how consistent either will be (Hua-ying is super fast and Tushar is sometimes too busy with travel/work) but it was nice seeing them again and running together. We met up at Schenck forest and ran the Richland Creek Trail to Reedy Creek rd and to where it meets up with Loblolly in Umstead. Then the four of us (Jim, Barbara, Lisa and I) turned back to head for the car since we were getting our ~4 miles while Hua-Ying and Tushar went ahead to get some extra mileage. I averaged a 12 min/mile pace and felt pretty good. My left heel hurt a lot when I landed hard on it (several times), so I concentrated on running on the balls of my feet and just lightly touching my heel to the ground before bringing it back up, it was not such an easy thing to do since sometimes I would get it right and other times, still hit it too hard or not touch the ground at all (bad for your Achilles tendon).  Overall, a good first run since our marathon. We had actually talked about skipping this Sunday but I'm glad we didn't, now that I've run once, I think I will have the momentum to keep going. The days are getting darker quicker now so I need to look for my headlamp and learn to run at night. 

Post-marathon, I did nothing Sunday-Thursday.  On Sunday, I managed to be able to walk around the house and slowly as the day went by, my legs started to feel better. My left heel continued to hurt until Thursday and it mildly hurts now if I put too much pressure on it.  I was well enough to do one WOD on Friday:
10 push press (45 lbs, keeping it easy)
15 kettlebell swings (30 lbs)
15 box jumps (step ups on a 20" box)
5 rounds
My time: 9:23

It was a good short workout and perfect first workout since the marathon.  My legs felt a little rubbery still, I didn't think I could actually jump on the box (didn't even try) but it was good to go. 

On Friday afternoon after work, I packed my stuff up and hustled over to Harris Lake State park for a ride with John and Jim, trying to beat the sunset.  We got out on the trails at 5:20 pm and I made it a point to go as hard as I could through the Beginner/Intermediate section (2.1 miles) since I had Strava on and was trying to place #1 for women on this segment. And I did become "queen of the mountain" as I beat out Beth (fellow mountain biker) by keeping a 9.7 mph pace to her 9.2 mph. As soon as some hardcore female mountain bikers decide to deign their presence on little old Harris Lake, I will no longer be "Queen of the Mountain" :)
It was fun blasting it but I slowed down on the Advanced section and we spent a little time on the drops and I tried a steep drop that I never had the guts to do before and this time did it successfully. Overall a good bike ride with good friends. We covered about 8 miles according to Strava and 9 miles according to Jim's bike computer.  I wish Strava and Garmin would work out how GPS and elevation changes and the twistiness of singletrack equates to greater mileage. 

I've been procrastinating on writing up my posts since I did the Medoc Trail Marathon (my first trail marathon and actually first marathon ever) on Saturday.  Although I started to feel normal by Monday, I just didn't feel like making the effort to write about what I did! Pre-race: after Wednesday (10/10/12), there was an intense amount of resting and carb-loading.  On Friday night, with my running buddies (Jim, Lisa, and Barbara plus Lisa's husband Ed tagged along), we went to Outback Steakhouse and feasted on a bloomin' onion (cleaned it) and then I had a Victoria steak 6 oz butterflied and cooked medium well with a rice pilaf and brocolli.  It was delicious.  We stayed in a hotel in Rocky Mount so that we would only have a 30 minute drive to Medoc State Park after.  I got up early, showered, put on my race clothes, panicked because I couldn't find my headphones, and ate a breakfast of 2 slices of whole wheat bread with almond butter and tea plus 16 oz of water.  The hotel suite we were in didn't have a toaster in the little kitchenette so I ended up "toasting" my bread in a frying pan, it was okay.  We left the hotel at 6:35 pm and  got to the park by 7:10 AM (race started at 8 AM) and felt good. It was pretty cold- mid 40s but we were all excited!  Parking and picking up our race packets was easy.  DJ Digital Art was already playing good music and they continued that throughout the day! Besides the four of us, I also met two co-workers who were doing the 10-miler, Pete & Michelle.  I loved that other people from work were doing this race.
I decided to wear the Medoc long-sleeve shirt they gave us over my long-sleeve tech shirt instead of trying to run with a jacket on.  I also had bought a belt that held 1 water bottle and a little pocket for food, I was initially going to try and run with music but didn't prepare enough for that. So I was carrying 20 oz of Nuun-flavored water and 1 mini-Larabar (100 calories, cherry pie) and 2 Cliffshot blocks. 

The marathon started at 8 AM and the 10-miler race started at 8:30 AM.  We lined up appropriately in the back and took off slowly when the race started. It was funny, the race organizers greeted us by blowing into conch shells as we ran past them.  I have never seen that before at a race.  The start of the race was the bit of road leading into the park and then making a U-turn back and a left onto the trailhead, mainly to thin people out.  This is the last time I saw Barbara, Lisa, and Jim!  0.2 miles into the race and I was running in the back of the pack.  I'm glad we ran here in August because it was comforting to know what was coming up and being ready for the big hill at 1.5 miles.  I felt pretty good but even just 3 miles into the run, my legs were feeling it- I think I still had some residual soreness from the weightlifting earlier in the week.  At the first aid station, I drank 2 little cups of lime-yellow Gatorade and kept on going.  I had a Honey Stinger gel and more Gatorade at the second aid station and continued this pattern in every lap.  The first lap went pretty well and I was averaging 12:20 min/miles and saw that I had finished it in 1 hour and 50 minutes.  I got a little ahead of myself, thinking I could keep that pace and finish in 5 hours 30 minutes. That didn't happen.

I slowed down in the second lap, feeling a bit tired and trying to conserve my energy.  I had a Honey Stinger gel at every aid station to make sure I didn't get hungry and one time a cup of gummi bears and once some pretzels.  They offered potatoes (not enticing to me at the time) and chocolate chip cookies (definitely not what I wanted in a long run). I mostly ran alone, once in a while a faster runner would over pass me but it was nice just being out there. It warmed up pretty quick and when I finished the first lap, Edward was taking down people's times (he volunteered) and I gave him my top shirt and kept going.  On the second lap, I just kept telling myself to move and counting off the miles each time I saw a mile marker sign. It was great when I saw 18.4 miles done and still right under 4 hours so far!

At that point, I started clocking the time and each half mile and had conversations with myself like "ok, there is only 6 miles left, that's only a little more than 1 hour" (not really for me but that is how I got myself to take the next step). I also had much time to think about what I was doing- why the hell was I running when I was so freaking slow? What was the point? Why did I sign up for a marathon when it takes me all day to finish!!!! I am never going to do this again. Why do I pay money to run? What's wrong with me. I want to do this again, I like running, I like the races because it motivates me and gets me going.  I love the atmosphere at a race and the excitement.  Maybe I can get faster, maybe I'm just slow now because I had a back injury this year and couldn't run at all from March-June.  I was running the gamut of thoughts during this race.

When I got to the first aid station on my 3rd lap, Frank Lilley (one of the organizers) was there very cheerful asking me if I wanted anything (he offered me everything they had on the table, I said no about 5 times since I just wanted water and a gel and was completely out of enthusiasm at this point as I had 5 miles left. So I said "I just want to finish these last 5 miles now".  I refilled my bottle and ate one more gel and went on my way. There was another woman right behind me and she ran behind me for 1 mile when I tried to pick up the pace (mainly because I had been running alone and now I didn't want to hear footsteps behind me). I lost her for a bit but at the next aid station, she caught up to me (we had about 2.5 miles left!!!!!) and we were off again.  Another woman got ahead of me while I was "snacking" at this aid station and all I could think of was "damn, getting left behind with less than 3 miles to go".  So me and this other lady continue to run and she trips over a giant root, I hear her yelp and I turn around long enough to ask if she is okay, she says she is (she didn't actually fall, just almost) and so I kept running and didn't see her again.  The other woman in front of me- I could see her always a little bit ahead, walking and then running but I finally caught up to her with 1 mile left.  Her boyfriend/husband/friend (?) was coming up on us from the direction of the finish and asked her how she was doing, she was a little emotional- her hips hurt/something else hurt which was why she was walking/running. He ran the last bit with her which was pretty thoughtful!  I finally made it close to the finish line and saw Barbara, Ed and Lisa on the sidelines (cheering me on!!!) and ran the last 0.1 mile to the finish in the very muddy grass. I could see the clock was close to 6 hours so I kept trying to run but it was so muddy I was losing any speed I had. I finished in just under 6 hours.  Jim was awesome and was there ready to take my picture crossing the finish line and Barbara actually ran over and also took my picture! Running buddies are the best!

I couldn't even smile at the finish line and just took my medal and hobbled over to a bench. I wanted to lie on the ground but didn't think it was appropriate.  So I sat down and then laid down on a bench.  I have never felt so tired as I did that day at that time. My legs just were jelly and once I stopped running my feet started to hurt. Those Merrell Barefoot Pace glove shoes were not much support for 26.2 miles. I also hit my left heel pretty hard somewhere on the trail and was feeling it now.  What was awesome: the red beans and rice they had for us! I ate two cups, perfect post-race food. I drank a bottle of water and changed out of my clothes. We all slowly walked back to our cars for the drive back to Raleigh. 

Some facts I found online:
Medoc Trail Marathon - Results
Hollister, NC USA
October 13, 2012
Finishers: 173, Males - 114 , Females - 59
Male Winner: 2:41:04 | Female Winner: 3:42:41
Average Finish Time: 5:00:26 | STD: 0:58:59

I finished in 5:59:05, ranked #145 overall and #42 womens.

I saw the male winner on the trails, he was a skinny guy just wearing shorts and running like a bat out of hell. I wish I could run with such abandon on the trails. I definitely took it easy on the downhills (really didn't want to fall) but I don't think I could ever do better than a 4 hour marathon on the road!    All of them did outstanding, Barbara blew it out of the water finishing in 4:27 and Lisa in 4:48 and Jim in 5:04.  It was Barabar's second marathon and first trail marathon. It was Jim's and Lisa's first marathon (although Jim ran 26.2 miles in the "fun run" we did at Medoc in August).  All of us were pretty happy, Barbara had a fantastic run as did Lisa, Jim's left knee died at mile 24 so he had to walk the last 2.2 miles but still had a good finish considering back in August- it took him 6 hours and 3 minutes to finish the same distance.  It was a great race, very well put together and I'm really glad I got to do many Sunday practice runs with Barbara, Lisa and Jim this past year consistently at Umstead and Lake Crabtree.  That is probably the best thing about running, knowing there are other crazy people who think this is a fun way to spend time.

All the good things about the Medoc Trail Marathon:
Organization, the trails (easier than Umstead but still challenging), the volunteers, the music, the goody bag (jelly beans and Honey stinger waffles, plus cool Medoc man sticker, the cool LONG sleeve tech shirt and more), the emails pre and post-race, the food at the aid stations, the food at the finish line, the runners doing the race, my friends doing the race withe me

The bad things:

I think I will be doing this again next year if I've got teammates to go with me!

Parking- well organized and not far from the starting line

Happy we made it to race day, still unaware of how hard the day will be!

As much as I like running, marathon training did not help me in the weight department, I gained 5 lbs of fat while my kitchen was being renovated and still running 30+ miles a week!

Lisa and Barbara posing with Medoc Man

The start of our race! We are in the middle of the pic.
I think Lisa smiled the whole time.

Barbara taking one look back before smoking us all!

Barbara at mile 6

Lisa at mile 6

Jim at mile 6

Medoc Man ~ mile 7?, they had Medoc man at different places on the trail, it was a big plus for this race!

Medoc man took a little time out to get a picture with me.

We had to do 3 laps before turning right to the finish.


I like how the clock can be seen on both sides of the finish line, it was very, very muddy here.


I was really tired, but my Garmin held up!

Enjoying my red beans and rice.

My medal, very nice.

Marathon finishers!