Monday, January 30, 2012

Weekend WODs

I was too tired to actually post what I did this past weekend until today.  I have declared today a rest day because I pushed myself pretty hard over the weekend:
Second training with the Complete Runner program, today was running 6 miles or 60 minutes at a comfortable pace (conversational) at Shelly Lake Sertoma park on the greenway starting at 7:30AM.  I did not feel like running at a conversational pace because I've noticed that this equates to just not trying very hard which equates to no improvement in my performance.  I don't plan on running a ton of miles so every run needs to count.  On Saturday, my goal was to run the 6 miles at a 10 min/mile pace (which was my 10K race pace in 2010).  And I accomplished that goal although by the end I was feeling the burn!  I also did not take any water which was a mistake, I was a little dehydrated even though it was 40F.   I'm not sure if it was the pace or just not getting any caffeine but I was spent for the rest of the day, I ended up watching the last episode of Spartacus Season 1 and taking it easy since I had the mountain bike race on Sunday. I slept a good 10 hours on Saturday night and felt much better on Sunday morning.
After an excellent breakfast of 2 eggs with onions/brocolli and a little chai, I started packing up for the race.  I filled up my 100 oz Camelbak with water and took 3 energy bars and 3 packets of Sport Jelly Beans (yes, sugar was ingested).  The race started at noon.  Around 11, I ate some of my ground chicken with blackeye peas and tomatoes and I had one diet Coke because I thought I needed the caffeine.  I got to the race starting area at the Governor's Creek MtB Trail in Sanford, NC.  Here is the official race map:

Storm's Endurance Mountain Bike Race

My # was 40 and it was just a sticker on my helmet:

While waiting for the race to start, I had an informal interview with Jim on my pre-race training plan.  You can view it here:
The race was started on the road with about a 1/2 mile to the trailhead.  Jim got some good video of the start of the race and then my start of the race:

The first section was all singletrack and about 6.5 miles, then it was back on the road for 30 miles (the map is lying!) and then a repeat of the trail again. 
I thought I got "lost" on the road and ended up doing a little more than 42 miles.  In the end I did 44.4 miles in 5 hr and 15 minutes (I think, I stopped my Garmin when I stopped to eat).  I ended up eating 2 Cliff peanut butter bars and 3 packs of the Sport Jelly beans (total calories = 700 calories).  Jim was very nice to supply me with a Nesquik Chocolate milk when I finished and that was probably 400 calories (I had both servings, 16 oz!).  My Garmin said I burned 2275 calories and my average heartrate was 141 bpm and my max was 178 bpm.  I had much time to think during the ride but was mostly thinking "should I quit" and this is hard and I suck at this and I wish I had done more riding before I did the race.  Still I was happy I did the race and am not sore today (Monday).  My new seat turned out to be very comfortable considering I hadn't been on the saddle in over 4 weeks.  Now I just need to ride (a lot) so that I can get faster and better for the next race (Feb. 25!). 

Friday, January 27, 2012

Friday WOD

This was a good WOD to end the week:
Row 200M (supposed to run but it was pouring this morning)
15 Wall balls (16 lb ball!)
75 situps (using an Abmat)
Row 200M
15 Wall balls
50 situps
Row 200M
15 Wall balls
25 situps
My time: 11:09
I'm a little sore from the back squats yesterday but will try to do some indoor rock climbing tonight.  I did end up going on the training run on Wednesday night, it was 3 miles and some foot exercises.  Another training run tomorrow at 7:30 am and then the Mountain bike Marathon on Sunday.  The mountain biking should be interesting as I have not been on a bike for at least 3 weeks now.  I thought the ride was 32 miles but it is really 42 miles, suffice it to say, this will be a painful training ride for me. Have a great weekend!


Thursday, January 26, 2012

The Back Squat WOD

Adam put us through some agility exercises before the workout and again I realize how far I have to go, my agility is fairly poor- hopping on one side of a line and quickly moving to the other side and back is actually hard to do for 30 seconds!
The WOD today:
10 Back squats (85 lb bar)
10 jump squats (jump as high as you can and land in the squat position)
10  one-arm dumbbell rows (25 lb dumbbell)
30 double-unders (or for me 90 singles jump-rope)
4 rounds 
I finished in 8:40.  It was short but good.  I tried to go below parallel on the back squats and 85 lbs was doable, I might have been able to do 95 lbs but I know that I tend to not go as deep in the squat when I have 95 lbs.
I finally got around to posting my toes-to-bar demonstration and how I do kettlebell swings.  I did realize after looking at the video that I definitely have a tendency to not squat if I can get away with it.  I was doing the kettlebell swings correctly but in order to go heavier, I need to squat more to push the kettlebell off.  Right now I can do 35lb kettlebell swings and the next one up is 44 lb (I wish we would get something in-between!).  If I move up to the 44lb kettlebell, my form needs to be excellent in order to not hurt my lower back.  The correct form for many of the exercises we do are all tied in together to having good form and depth on the squat and a neutral back, I just have to keep reminding myself of that when I workout. 

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Cardio-intensive WOD

This morning's WOD looked simple but turned out to be a heart accelerator:
Row 200M
15 Pushups
20 slamballs (20 lb ball)
5 rounds
I finished in 14:06
I tried doing regular pushups and managed well the first two rounds but then had to switch it up to knee-pushups because I felt like I was going to collapse trying a regular pushup!  And 100 slamballs wasn't going to happen with the 30lb ball, I really wish we had 25lb slamballs because 20lbs was getting too easy.

It was a good workout, tonight I'm going to start another running program at Capial Fitness, I did The Complete Runner program last year and despite my doubts, it really did help me!  I'm not so sure if it was the programming or just the fact that since I had to show up for 2 days a week and do whatever they told me, my running became more consistent and I did get faster on my long-distance (half-marathon) run.   Since I have not been that regular with my runs, I want to see what another 12 weeks of coached runs will do for me.  My budget for exercise is expanding this year but right now I feel like it is worth the money, hopefully I'll still believe that in May.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The WOD didn't beat me today

I looked at the board for yesterday's WOD and apparently it kicked everyone's ass except for a few outliers!  Today's WOD was tough but I did pretty good:
20 box jumps (20" box)
15 toes to bars (hang from the bar, with straight legs, get your toes to touch the bar)
10 cleans (75 lbs)
4 rounds for time
I finished in 15:58.
I was very happy that the cleans were "easy" to do today!  I still reverted to power cleans when when I was getting tired but my form was great and really, I think after another month, I should try upping the weight to 80 or 85 lbs (it will feel weird doing more than the Rx!).  Box jumps are tough, and I ended up splitting between jumping up and just stepping up because after a while I get tired and I know one day I am going to skin my shins because I will miscalculate the height I need to jump to get on the box.  So I tend to err on the side of caution.  My first round of toes to bar was perfect and then over each round, it degraded, the hardest part is just hanging there.  I ended up ripping some of my calluses on my palms (no bleeding though).  I bought a Pedi-pro to maintain my calluses but have yet to actually use it. So today I used it after the workout and it worked pretty well.   Hopefully I can maintain my hands without ripping them on the bar exercises. I should have gotten some video of the toes to bar and hopefully will have time tomorrow post it.

Monday, January 23, 2012

WODs are harder when you feel sick

I woke up today feeling like my head was about 5 times larger than normal, the headache I had last night exploded into a heavy feeling indicating an impending head cold.  I still got up to go to the gym though. I was hoping that maybe exercise would alleviate some of my discomfort.  It only made me not think about it for 30 minutes. I'd like to blame my poor performance today on how I was feeling but I think this was a pretty tough workout that would chew me up even on a good day:
Run 400M
10 Burpees
20 Push Press (45 lbs)
30 Kettlebell Swings (35 lbs)
4 rounds
I finished in 24:55.
By the third round, I had to break up the push presses in sets of 10 to finish and had to put the kettlebell down after 20 reps and start over to finish.  Also in the last two rounds, I'd say I was "jogging" and even walking more than running.  It was a hard workout.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

A slow weekend

I was not very motivated this weekend.  Saturday was rainy and lazy, Sunday turned out to be much colder than expected so I cancelled the run I was planning.  I ended up only doing some bench presses and dips:
3x10 bench press 70 lbs Smith machine

2x2 tricep dips

I'm hoping motivation returns tomorrow because races are coming up and I'm into the 90-day body fat challenge.  Temptation is everywhere!  I can't believe how hard it is to eat out and not get a diet coke or bread or nachos, etc. 

Friday, January 20, 2012

Partner workout: fun with kettlebells

This morning's WOD was unsuspectingly hard:
With a partner:
Row 300M
Partner holds 2 kettlebells upright (stovepipe position) until you finish rowing
6 rounds for each person

Kettlebells: much harder than it looks
I alternated between holding 2x30 lb dumbbells or 2x26 lb kettlebells (3 rounds for each).  And the kettlebells were harder! My arms were shot by the end of the WOD.  The rowing was not so bad but when you have to stand their with the kettlebells in one position until your partner finishes the rowing, it feels like infinity by the fourth round. We finished in 22:15.
Biking: Going to try and going mountain biking this weekend as long as the rain holds out and my legs still work, I haven't been on the bike in over 2 weeks! 
Last night, I ran 3 miles at Umstead on the bridle trains but was feeling tired and only managed an 11:30 min/mile pace. I need to step it up!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Deadlift your bodyweight and more

We did an un-timed workout today:
20 Wallballs (14 lb ball)
5   Deadlift your bodyweight (135 lbs)
20 Wallballs (14 lb ball)
5   Deadlift your bodyweight (135 lbs)
20 Wallballs (14 lb ball)
3   Deadlift your bodyweight + 10% (149 lbs)
20 Wallballs (14 lb ball)
3   Deadlift your bodyweight + 10% (149 lbs)
20 Wallballs (14 lb ball)
1   Deadlift your bodyweight + 25% (170 lbs)
20 Wallballs (14 lb ball)
1   Deadlift your bodyweight + 25% (170 lbs)
The wallballs in between really accelerate your heart rate making it an interesting workout. I did consider using a 16 lb ball but 120 wall balls sounded like a lot and I still need to work on the height I can get the wall ball up!
Here is a video of me today doing 170 lbs deadlift, I still need to work on pinching my shoulder blades and keeping my back straight on the return.

I started recording my workouts at Forged Fitness in December 2010 and here is the history of my deadlifts at the gym, the best I've done is 190 lbs.  I'm not sure if I can break 200 lbs yet!

12/28/1012Deadlifts44 lbs
1/4/115-5-5-5-5-5Deadlift 33-44-55-67-78-896
1/13/1115Deadlift 55 lbsBody weight deadlift
1/27/111.0030Deadlifts 68 lbs130 reps in 1 min
2/4/1120.006Deadlift67 lbs99 rounds for time!
2/8/111Deadlift138 lbsI could have done more, it was hard but not to point of failure
3/1/118-7-6-5-4-3-2-1Deadlifts 66-83-113-123-133-143-1538
3/10/11Deadlifts 1335-5-5-5-5-5Couldn't do 143 lbs
5Deadlifts 1256125 max today, I think I could have done 135
4/14/113-3-3 repsDeadlifts 115
4/21/1110 min10 to 1Deadlifts 11510could have done 125, Rx was 155 for women
5/3/1118.0012Deadlifts 635
5/3/111Deadlifts 1651did after the workout, max 165 lbs
5/9/1120Deadlifts 1053
5/19/1110Deadlifts 1354
6/1/1110Deadlifts 952
6/1/1110Deadlifts 1154
6/1/1110Deadlifts 2
8/23/11Deadlifts 16515-10-5-4-3-2-1It was hard to do 165 at the end today, I started off at 95 lbs for 15 reps
8/23/11Deadlifts 95
8/29/1110Deadlifts 1155
10/11/118.0090Deadlifts 851AMRAP
10/19/115-5-3-3-1-1Deadlifts 170after the workout: started at 95, 115, 135, 155, 165, 170!
10/21/114Deadlifts13521started to lose form on round 19 but kept it up
10/27/115x2, 5x1Deadlifts19010started with 95 lbs and incrementally went up to to 190 lb, first 1 rep was with 165 lb which still felt hard but it must be mental now.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Fight Gone Bad Redux

This morning's workout was Fight Gone Bad!  The workout consists of three rounds with a one minute rest between rounds. The Rx for women: in each round you do 1 minute of wall balls (14 lb ball), a sumo deadlift high pull (55 lb kettlebell or barbell), box jumps, push press (55 lb barbell), and row for calories. Guys use 75 lbs instead of 55lbs. Each rep you do counts as a point and 1 calorie = 1 point. In the end it’s summed up and that is your score for everyone to see and for you to beat the next time. It’s called Fight Gone Bad because BJ Penn (MMA fighter) did the workout when they first created it and they asked him how he felt afterwards and he said “it felt like a fight gone bad!” It’s brutal and you have to push yourself mentally and physically.
So the WOD is a total of 17 minutes and I scored 266 (in September 2011 I scored 224!).
Here is a video of part of Fight Gone Bad from last September:

The Aftermath of Fight Gone Bad
I can't really remember what is happening during the actual workout because my heart rate was sky rocketing and I was delirious.  It's not a pretty picture and definitely an ass-kicker.  It's hard to imagine doing it for more than 3 rounds!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

What's my body fat composition?

I had my body fat measured using the caliper method with Chris Eschbach. I am currently at 135 lbs with 22.5% body fat.  According to Chris's scale, I'm in the "moderate" category for the healthy population.  To be "good" I need to be 14-19%.  To lose 25% body fat on the 90-day challenge, I need to get down to 16.8%!  We'll see if I can manage. 

After measuring my body fat, I stayed at the gym and did some snatch balances and overhead squats.  I managed to do 5 reps x 3 sets using 45 lb, 55 lb, and 60 lbs.  The 60 lbs was pretty tough, I think my shoulders were already tired from the morning workout.   I then did 2x1 mile tempo runs at a 9:20 pace and found that the "1 mile" we do near the gym is really 1.25 miles!  More tomorrow, have a good night.

Today's WOD was tough for me, partly because I had to use a heavier weight for the slamball and partly because I tried to use a heavier weight for the power snatch and then had to drop down because I just was not believing that I could get the weight up above my head!
The WOD:
Run 400M
9 Power snatches (56 lbs barbell)
15 slamballs (30 lb ball instead of my usual 20lb ball because we had 7 women in class today, not enough 20s)
21 situps
4 rounds for time
I finished in 22:55.
I wanted to try 63 lbs for the power snatch since I remembered the last time I did it, it felt pretty easy at 56 lbs but in warming up and trying 63 lbs, the bar was just not willing to go over my head!  I have so much to work on with the overhead exercises and really, they are all related to one other.  The more I can put over my head, the easier pullups will be and presses.  Likewise, the more I bench press, the easier pushups and dips will be.  But today, I could not get 63 lbs overhead on the power snatch.  Here is a video of me doing 56 lbs 1 week ago when 1 or 2 snatches felt easy, however, 9 in a row is not so easy:

The snatch move is definitely something I need to work on if I want to go heavier and I do want to go heavier.  I've been getting stronger and want to see how much stronger I can get!  The slamball exercise, holding a 30 lb slamball above your head and slamming it down on the ground where it is supposed to bounce a little as you catch it in the squat position and repeat,  was pretty tough since this was the first time I did it with a 30lb ball instead of the usual 20 lb ball.  However, I did feel like it was going well and will graduate to the 30lb ball from now on in the WODs.

Two days post-10 mile trail run and I feel really good.  The recovery process from a hard run/bike ride has been much quicker and easier since I started doing crossfit workouts at Forged Fitness.  I don't have any painful soreness and I don't need to rest for several days after a race, albeit, I'm not a contender in any of the races I participate in but I do push it as hard as I can.  So today's workout was good, it was a mixture of 2 sets of exercises with decreasing and increasing reps:
10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 reps of
bent-over rows 56 lb barbell
pushups (I did manly pushups today!)
1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10 reps of
back squats (56 lb barbell, clean and jerk the bar to get it up and on the back of my shoulders)
pullups (still need the green band to assist)
Finished in 16:00.

I'm going to get my body fat measured tomorrow night and decide if I want to do the gym's 90-day Body Composition Challenge (pony up $75 and if you lose 25% of your body fat, you get your money back, if you don't lose it, the $75 goes into the pot and the overall winner takes all).  I checked how I did last year ($50 ante):
Jan 2011 I weighed 142 lbs, 25.2% body fat, with 35.8 lbs of fat
July 2011 I weighed 131.8 lbs, 21.7% body fat with 28.6 lbs of fat

So I lost 7.2 lbs of fat in about 6 months and started with 35.8 lbs giving me a 20.1% body fat loss. Which basically means I did a good job but I didn't get my $50 back last year!  The question is whether I can really lose 25% of my body fat now (and we'll find out tomorrow but I am pretty sure I am still around 22%-23% body fat).  I have many more goals this year and am signing up for more races so I think I'll have the exercising part down but diet is the key here and the question is can I just not eat sugar, ice cream, and cut down on the simple carbohydrates.  I have found one great, great, great substitute for ice cream and that is taking a frozen banana and 1 cup of strawberries with some milk and blending it all together- this creates delicious soft-serve "ice cream".  Will I miss chocolate chunks and chocolate ice cream? Probably, but I think I'm going to take the gamble and see how I do this year.   

Homemade strawberry-banana soft-serve does the trick in satisfying my cravings for ice cream

Post the 10-mile trail run race, I really wanted to do the prescribed strength and conditioning recovery workout yesterday but my body was not having any of it. I just wanted to rest so I ended up doing the workout today:
Abmat situps 3 x 15
Supermans 3 x 15
Kettlebell/Dumbbell swings 3 x 15 (I used a 30 lb dumbbell)
Bench Press 3 x 10 (70 lbs)
Pull-ups 3 x 10 (I did negative pullups since I still can't do a full pullup)
This workout is modified from what is recommended on Crossfit Endurance's website because I don't have access to a glute-hamstring developer, I'm hoping we get one in the gym but that may take a while.  I also went a little heavy on the bench presses so I only did 10 reps instead of 15 because I am trying to build up my repetitions for the 5K Pump'N 'Run in February. 

My diet this week still wavered a bit, I thought I wasn't going to eat out but still ended up at Chick-fil-a with co-workers and dinner at Applebee's (though no onion rings!).  And Saturday was a major eating out day but within the confines of the "No bread/no sugar challenge".  The diet Coke reduction plan also never got started! Sixteen more days to go before I can enjoy some chocolate again!

Food LogBreakfastSnacksLunch Dinner
1/9/20121/2 cup oatmeal with 1/2 cup 1% milk with 1 banana and chai1 mozarella stick, 1 cashew cookie Larabar,1 apple, 1 diet coke 20oz, roasted/salted almonds, cashews6 oz salmon with 2 cup brocolli, 1 cucumber4 oz chicken with 1/2 cup rice and 1/2 cup spinach
1/10/20121/2 cup oatmeal with 1/2 cup 1% milk with 1 banana and chai1 mozarella stick, 1 apple, 1 diet coke, 1 chai4 oz chicken with 1/2 cup rice and 1/2 cup spinach2 oz chicken, rice, spinach, blue corn tortilla chips and baby carrots with hummus
1/11/20122 eggs, 1 c brocolli, chai2 mozarella sticks, 1 apple, 2 diet cokes, 4 oz chicken with 1/2 cup rice and 1/2 cup spinachthai chicken salad, veg soup, blue corn tortilla chips, 1 red bell pepper, baby carrots with hummus and salsa
1/12/20121/2 cup oatmeal with 1/2 cup 1% milk with 1 cup blueberries and chai1 mozarella stick, 1 orange, 1 apple4 oz chicken with 1 cup brocolliApplebees- chili-lime chicken and artichoke dip
1/13/20122 eggs, 1 c brocolli, chaialmonds, 1 apple, diet cokeChick-fil-a southwest chicken salad and waffle fries4 oz chicken with sphagetti and sauce
1/14/20121 egg/brocolli, 1/2 cup oatmeal with 1/2 cup 1% milk and 1 cup blueberries with chai1 whey protein shake, 1 cashew cookie Larabar, 1/2 orange, 1/2 bananaTorreros scallops/rice/peper/onionsChicken Pietro @ Biaggis: 2 chicken breasts in balsamic vinegar sauce with peppers/onions/green beans and portabello mushrooms
1/15/20121 egg/brocolli with chai1 large popcorn, 1 grapefruit, tortilla chips with hummusStrawberry frozen custard (only strawberries and milk)Chicken Pietro leftovers with 1 cup spinach

Arm Warmer (no shirt for this race!)
Fast runners start first!
Yesterday I ran the Little River Trail Run 10 mile race.  I did the race with 3 friends (Jim, Lisa and Barbara) and Lisa's husband Edward was nice enough to tag along and take some great photos.  I had not been running much (only 12 miles total since the first of January) and in December I ran a total of 20 miles but I have been weight lifting regularly and going to the gym regularly.  Knowing that, my goal was to finish in 2 hours time (12 min/mile pace) and I achieved that goal! I finished the race at 2 hours.  The first half of the race went pretty well, I was keeping up an 11:30 min/mile pace but my legs really felt every hill climb and every descent in the last 3 miles of the race and I slowed down. 

I also got hungry at mile 7.5 and ate half of my cashew cookie Larabar, first time trying a Larabar during a run but I was determined not to eat my Sport Jelly beans since they have sugar in them.  Eating the Larabar meant stopping and having people pass me but I was in need of some calories.  I ran almost the entire race with Lisa so I had company the whole time, however, there was little conversation going on since I was working hard to keep up the pace!
Hand carried the water bottle
Slow runners (me) start in the rear of the pack!
Race day was cold, starting out at 27°F and by the time we finished I think it was a balmy 36°F.  I had layered up wearing my long winter pants, wicking shirt, wicking light jacket and a fleece jacket with hat and thin layer gloves.  And because I am a wuss, I decided to keep on my fleece jacket which was a mistake, I was getting uncomfortably hot after 1.5 miles on the trail and by mile 3, I gave my jacket to a volunteer.  I felt so much better after getting rid of the fleece jacket and hat! The male winner finished the race in 1 hour 57 seconds!  I still find that amazing that any one can run that fast on such uneven terrain but I guess with enough practice, it's more than doable. 
Crossing the finish line: 10 miles done!
4 trail runners
Food: race day was a great day for good eats.  Check out the pictures to see my food diary for today.  Besides what's shown here, right after we finished the race, I partook in the post-race food offerings (half an orange, half a banana, half cup of chicken noodle soup).  Also had a pre-dinner snack, I made a whey protein smoothie with 1 1/2 cups frozen strawberries and 3/4 cup of milk- it was so thick I felt like I was eating soft-serve ice cream!  Today I feel fine, no soreness, no knee pain, no achilles tendon pain. I'm off to do a strength recovery workout and feel motivated to keep up the running. 
Chai,1 egg/brocolli, oatmeal/blueberries
Nachos and salsa at Torrero's pre-lunch eats
Lunch: Mariscos Mexicanos- Scallops@Torreros!!! I didn't eat the refried beans.

Dinner: Chicken Pietro @Biaggis (with portobella mushrooms)

Thursday, January 12, 2012

An easy WOD

The WOD for today was not very interesting, which is maybe why I lagged behind today (#4)  :)
Russian twists (get in mid-situp position with feet off the ground and twist to each side holding a 20lb dumbbell)
Back lunges
Wall balls (16 lb ball!)
Ring rows (hold on to the rings, and raise yourself up straight (no knees bent, back straight)
Took me 12:24.
The Russian twists were new for me, and definitely are a great exercise for tightening up the abdominal muscles while working on the muscles used for balance around your core.  I will try to incorporate this exercise into my routine at home also.
I'm going to take tomorrow off so I have a rest day before our 10-mile trail run race.  There are going to be 550 runners out there at Little River!  I feel a little sorry for the trail now but the weather is supposed to be nice and hopefully we'll have a good time.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Pullups, dips, bench press and bicep curls

I found some motivation to go to the gym and do some bodyweight and strength exercises.  I started off on the dips and pullups since those are the hardest for me.  I managed 3 good dips with full extension and then two not so good dips.  I still can't do a pullup to save my life so I did ten negative pullups - putting a step under the bar and jumping up to get my chin to the bar and slowly coming down. I then did some dumbbell bench presses - 3 sets of 10 with progressively higher weights of 20, 25 and 30 lb dumbbells.  Maybe not so surprising, I found that in the dumbbell bench press, my left arm is slightly weaker than my right arm, this was most telling when I tried pressing the 30 lb dumbbells.  After about 5 reps, it took all my focus to get my left arm to get the dumbbell up but my right arm was acting like it was a piece of cake!  I definitely need to do dumbbells at least once a week to work on my weaker left side (true even for my legs also, my right leg is stronger than my left leg).  For extra credit, I did 10 bicep curls with the 20lb dumbbells.

I think I'm addicted to Forged Fitness workouts.  It's so satisfying to finish a WOD, I don't know if I'm finally getting those endorphins during exercise that everyone talks about or I just finally like to exercise but my day is already better at 7 AM because I did a WOD this morning.  And today's WOD was:
5 Front Squats (75 lbs)
10 elevated pushups (feet on a 20" box, execute a pushup)
15 box jumps (20" box)
5 rounds for time
I finished in 8:17, the box jumps were hard and I ended up sometimes just doing a step up instead of jump because I was getting tired and afraid I was going to skin my shins if I slipped on a jump.  Still, it was a great workout! There wasn't a prescribed weight for women but it probably is more than 75 lbs since it is so few reps, the tricky part is cleaning the weight to start the front squats.  I may have been able to do 85 lbs but I know that I don't squat deep enough to do that for five rounds with good form.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Not exactly Rx on Fat Helen

The 6AM class was packed today (9 people!).  The WOD was "Fat Helen" (5 rounds instead of 3 rounds for standard Helen):
Run 400M
21 kettle bell swings (Men 55 lb, Women 35 lb) I did 35 lbs.
12 pullups
5 rounds for time
I finished in 17:18 and had to use a green band to assist on the pullups.  Albert (fellow Crossfitter) called me out during the workout saying I should be able to do real pullups but I'm just not there yet (he said something to the effect "Come on Sarwat, you're still using a band, you should be doing it Rx!".  I really would like to figure out how to increase my upper body strength to just be able to belt out a couple of pullups, and I think this is the year to make it happen.  I finished the WOD in "2nd" place because there was this amazingly fast girl (Stacy), she blew me away on the runs (she didn't do the Rx on the kettlebell or pullups though, just for clarification!). We'll see if Stacy becomes a 6AM regular because she might become a good standard for me to reach on the runs.  After the WOD was over, I did 50 situps, I should have done 100 but time was running out.  Albert told me that I was killing it on the WODs (yes, I liked hearing that!) and that I needed to start Rx'ing it all the time.  I would love to Rx all the time but I can't do a single pullup or a full dip!  But that's probably the best thing about getting your ass kicked here, you always know there is something to work on.  

I have a 10 mile trail race this Saturday and I haven't been running as much as I should so I did some intervals on the treadmill (5% incline, 6 mph every other minute for 18 minutes).  Then I attempted some more dips on the pullup-dip station, still hard!  It was a short workout but better than nothing since I didn't feel like going to the gym in the first place.

There is a 90-day Body Composition Challenge starting up at my gym.  Each person will get there body fat measured and will weigh in at the start ($10 to get measured).  Everyone puts in $75 and the goal is to lose at least 25% of your body fat to earn back your $75.  If you lose less than 25%, your $75 goes into the pot and the person who loses the most body fat wins half of the money pot at the end of 90 days.  The remainder of the money pot will go to the winner at the end of 9 months if they are still within 2% of their body fat loss! If the original winner didn't maintain their body fat loss, the money will go to the 2nd place winner on the condition they maintained their % body fat loss.  The last time I measured my % body fat was back in July 2011.  I was at 21% body fat.  I think it's going to be tough for me to lose 5.25% but I am considering trying this.  But 9 months!  That will require a lot of will power and I am pretty sure absolutely no ice cream!  The exercise part is not that hard for me, the weather will be getting better and I can increase my volume of exercise but to resist ice cream and chocolate for 9 months seems near impossible.  I can't believe that I've managed 8 days so far without bread and sugar but to extend that to 9 months seems like infinity right now.

Today's WOD was pretty tough for me:
For 20 minutes on the minute: Men 185 lbs, Women 125 lbs
3 Deadlifts
3 Power Cleans
3 Push Press
After this, do goblet squats (55/35 lbs) until the minute is over
There was a scoring system whereby you add up all the goblet squats done, I got 126.

I'm weakest on the push press so I decided to use 75 lbs for all 3 exercises (mistake #1).  By the 2nd minute (!), I finished all the lifting and had no time to do any goblet squats. I had to rest on the 3rd minute and then Adam decided that it was too hard to do this on the minute so we ended up doing it every other minute and resting for a minute in between.  I felt like I was struggling so I ended up setting another bar with 67 lbs to do the cleans and push presses.  This worked out much better but to be honest, I think I should have stuck to the 75 lbs once we decided to do the minute rest breaks.  The cleans and the push press at 67 lbs felt easier the more rounds I did.  I ended up doing 11 rounds (you can see in the picture that  in my 2nd round, I got zero squats).

I got back to bench pressing today along with attempting some dips on the pullup-dip station.  I did the bench presses on the Smith machine (not as good as a free weight bar) so I did 3 sets of 10 using 70 lbs total. And just for fun, I managed to do 4 reps at 80 lbs and failed on the fifth rep!

The 30-day eating challenge has been going strong for the last 7 days.  I did not manage to reduce the diet coke consumption (still 1 20oz diet Coke everyday!).  I definitely wasn't always super healthy, popcorn at the movies, fries, but overall I think I did pretty well.  Here's what I have been eating:

1/2/2012oatmeal,  blueberries, chai2 mozarella cheese sticks, cashews, diet cokechicken thai salad and 1 cup black bean soup@Panerashrimp with zucchini and rice, diet coke
1/3/20122 eggs with 1/2 cup brocolli, chai2 mozarella sticks, roasted almonds, apple, diet coke2 salmon burgers (small), baked sweet potato fries, snow pea podschicken with leeks with soba noodles
1/4/2012oatmeal,  blueberries, chai1/2 cup OJ, 2 mozarella sticks, roasted almonds, apple, diet coke3/4 beef kabob with spinach/chickpeas Sashimi sushi and spicy tuna roll @Sono
1/5/20122 eggs with 1/2 cup brocolli, chai1/2 cup OJ, 2 mozarella sticks, roasted almonds, orange, diet coke3/4  beef kabob with spinach/chickpeas, 1 orange Lettuce wrapped burgers, steak fries @Red Robin
1/6/2012oatmeal,  blueberries, chai1/2 cup OJ, 2 mozarella sticks, roasted almonds, 2 oranges, diet coke1 and 1/2 beef kabob with 2 1/2 cups brocolli, 2 oranges1/2 cup rice, chicken tikka, tortilla chips with hummus
1/7/20121 egg with cheese,OJ2 mozarella sticks, diet coke, sugar-free gum, cashewsmahi mahi with brocolli and baked sweet potato fries shrimp fra diavolo, water, fagioli soup @Vic's Ristorante
1/8/20122 eggs with 1/2 cup brocolli and cheese, chai1 mozarella stick, diet coke, sugar-free gum, cashews1 banana, large popcorn, 8 oz whey protein shake with frozen strawberries/milkfra diavolo leftovers with mushrooms, water

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Sycamore Trail run at Umstead State Park

Saturday's workout was a trail run on the Sycamore trail at Umstead State Park.  This run was much better than the last run I did on Sycamore, my achilles tendon didn't hurt as much (I still felt it but it was not painful to run) and I think I did a better job of using the POSE running technique.  It is kind of tricky to run using POSE on the uneven terrain but at the same time, I think it helps because my knees don't feel impacted as much.  We finished the run in 90 minutes, 7.2 miles so about a 12:30 min/mile pace.  The hills are still tough and I know I slow down significantly going uphill but I guess that means I should be doing more hill repeats so my legs can still keep a good turnover on steep/long hills.

The wildlife in Umstead is tame but this little guy looked like he was enjoying himself.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Two Rx WODs in a row, this is progress

The 6AM class was quite big today, 7 people!  Adam put us through an interesting warmup whereby we jump rope for 30 seconds and then do two box jumps in a row (1st a 15" box, then a 20" box), then high knee ups through the agility ladder and then high knees through some low parallette bars.  Repeat for two rounds.  The WOD today was:
Run 100M
Run 100M backwards
10 Cleans (Men 115 lbs, Women 75 lbs)
15 Burpees
5 rounds for time
I finished in 22:20 using 75 lbs for the cleans! And I did do full cleans, although I'm pretty sure I could have gone deeper in my front squat, I just hate that feeling of the weight in front of me and having to get down and then back up.  I definitely need to practice my front squats so it's not so uncomfortable.  I struggled in the first round with the cleans, it's definitely not ingrained in yet, so every time I go to do them, I have to relearn the move.  I ended up falling behind everyone in the class (last to finish the first round) but by the third round, I started to catch up because I can do burpees like nobody's business! Well at least my burpees are faster than most of the morning class, I can't hold a candle to some of the guys in the afternoon classes.  So having the endurance/stamina to do 15 burpees in a row without pausing helps and in the end it felt pretty good to do another Rx'd WOD, although I'm pretty sure when Jason does the programming, the Rx for women will be like 95 lbs for cleans, maybe they were just being kind today.

On other news, the 30-day eating challenge is going strong, I haven't had any bread or sugar for the last 5 days.  I had a lettuce wrapped burger at Red Robin last night and it was pretty good! I think I could stick to this and not having buns anymore on my burgers.  I did eat some french fries there so we'll see how successful this plan is since I still allow myself to eat rice, potatoes and pasta. I'll post what I have eaten this past week on Sunday to get an idea of what my overall eating habits have been like during the challenge.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Finally an Rx WOD

The 6AM crew was small today - only 4 of us and the WOD was something I could actually Rx (use the prescribed weight):
Run 400M
Bent over rows (Men 75 lbs, Women 55 lbs, use a barbell)
Kettle bell swings (Men 55 lbs, Women 35 lbs)
Supermans (lie on your stomach, left your legs and arms up like you're ready to fly)
I did the WOD as prescribed for Women and finished in 19:51.  It was definitely a lower back workout today! 

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

What's your Fran time?

Today's WOD was "Fran":
Thrusters Men 95 lbs, Women 75 lbs
21-15-9 for time
This is a classic crossfit WOD and people who are really good have Fran times under 5 minutes, elite under 2 minutes!  I am neither.  I also know I would struggle too much at 75 lbs so I tried 67 lbs but that felt hard too so I wussed out and went with 56 lbs. Still a workout  and I ended up finishing in 8:01.
Mike G offered us an extra workout after Fran and we took him up on it. We did:
30 double unders (I modified to 90 singles)
10 power snatches (56 lbs for me)
7 minutes AMRAP (as many rounds as possible)
I did 2 rounds and 7 power snatches.

As you can see from the video, I need to work on my snatch lift, I have a really hard time going under the bar, I keep thinking it's going to hit me so I swing my head out to avoid it until I know for sure it is above me!
Still it was a good workout and a good way to start my day.

I challenged my mom and sister to a 30 day eating challenge (started today), we all have a couple of pounds to lose (my mom probably has about 20 lbs she needs to lose, I have about 5 lbs and my sister 5-10 lbs (confirm?!).  For all three of us, and I think for most people, diet will play a significant role in whether we can lose the pounds and maintain the desired weight.  I know for myself, I will eat really healthy, portion-controlled meals but when I'm stressed out or just feel like I "deserve" it, I'll reach for a Snickers almond bar or Ben & Jerry's New York Super Fudge chunk ice cream.  Which would be okay if it was once in a while (maybe once a month?) but usually it's more like 2 pints of ice cream and 3 Snickers bars in a week.  And that kind of overdosing sets me back unless I'm running 10+ miles a week and biking 20+ miles.  In this last month, I have not been putting in that kind of mileage so my weight creeped up from 130 lbs to 135 lbs.  I know I can fairly easily get it down to 130 lbs if I ramp up the exercise but I would like to see if I can exhibit a little more self-control in the eating department so that I am overall healthier.  So hence, the big 2 nemeses for my family: bread and sugar.  We could eliminate other things also but I figure self-control has to start off slow and small and this allows us to eat potatoes (if we want) or rice and not go complete paleo (which I don't think I could do anyway). 

Major comfort food

How can you resist?
Yes, all sugars are excluded for the next 30 days!

The rules are simple: don't eat anything that has added sugar and no bread (this includes anything that requires a batter or dough!).  Artificial sweeteners are okay but this is the month to reduce usage.  I'll also be cutting down significantly on my diet coke consumption (I drink a 20 oz bottle every day!, my goal is to skip some days and eventually only drink it if I go to a restaurant with no good tasting water).

Maybe it was the long weekend in Maryland, but today's WOD made me feel like I don't exercise enough/ am not fit enough yet. It was an ass-kicker! 
Row 300M
5 Power cleans (75 lbs)
10 box jumps (20" box)
15 wall balls (14 lb, yes I went down again since 15 is a lot for me)
20 minutes AMRAP (as many rounds as possible)
I did a total of 4 rounds and was ready to get on the rower again when time ran out.  The power cleans were difficult today and that was frustrating because it was so easy last week! I'm thinking it's probably the combination of rowing and then immediately doing a power clean afterward was just a little tiring to my body.  I still managed it though and I plan to keep at this weight until it feels easy.  

Sunday, January 1, 2012

2012 New Year Goals!

Happy New Year! I don't come up with goals for the new year because I tend not to keep them but I think this year, I have some real goals that I want to achieve since I've gone obsessed over crossfit and mountain biking (some of my friends would say I'm more obsessed with the crossfit workouts but the truth is, when the weather is great, I'd rather go mountain biking every single night after work and spend all of Saturday on a long ride.  So my goals this year are:
Crossfit goals:
1. Master the double under rope jump (I bought my own speed rope to practice outside of the gym)
2. Do a single deadhang pullup (no assists!)

I've got a lot of work to do!

3. Do a handstand and hopefully a handstand pushup
4. By May 2012, only do manly (no knees!) pushups in all the WODs
Mountain biking goals:
1. Keep up with the boys on the rides (I will need some serious metabolic conditioning to get this done)
2. Try a jump while my bike warranty is still good
3. Get over 8" logs
4. Bunny hop
5. Improve my front and rear wheel lifts
6. To not suck wind on long rides (30+ miles of double/singletrack)
7. Finish ORAMM
8. Mtn biking friends will let me know whatever I else I suck at and need to improve on so this list is probably longer than what I can think of on my own
Running goals:
1. Get my 1 mile time down to 8:00
2. Run a 5K in 27:00 or less
3. Run a marathon in under 4 hours (stretch goal)
So those are my goals, I aim to reach them or suffer trying.  I have some other more frivolous goals too:
The Me-Me-Me Goals
1. Get some definition in my abs (going to require a tighter control of diet)
2. Learn to play the bass guitar and hopefully get semi-decent to jam with others

Good luck on your goals for 2012!