Sunday, July 29, 2012

More moving less working out

The deadlifts on Thursday did not set me back, after I saw the chiropractor, I felt better after a couple of hours and was feeling normal.  I did, however, took it easy on Friday and did not workout except for packing boxes for my impending move into a house. No more apartment living for me, I now have a place for a weight bench at home (it's in the garage currently, will move down to the basement when I get the muscle to help) and a future dip machine and ping-pong table. 

I had overly ambitious plans to do a short mountain bike ride on Saturday prior to moving my stuff from the apartment to the house but that of course did not happen. I, along with Jim, John, Tushar, Lisa and Edward worked from 9 am to 6 pm to move all my crap.  I cannot believe how much stuff I have and I'm not even a hoarder! The only advantage to all this working out was that I had the stamina to finish moving and was able to do a run on Sunday morning- about 8.5 miles.  I had planned to do 12 miles but I just didn't have the motivation (work, cleaning up after the move, organizing the house all weighed on my mind).  Still 8.5 miles of singltetrack running was not bad and I think I have another long run in me before the next weekend.  My bike was pretty lonely this weekend, hopefully I can go on a ride tomorrow night.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Deadlifts are still hard: Thursday WOD

Forged Fitness is focused on strength training regularly and today was deadlifts:
I did a warmup set at 75 and 95 lbs (8 reps for each) then I started adding more weight:
115 lbs x 3 reps
135 lbs x 3 reps
155 lbs x 3 reps
The 155 lbs did me in though, my back protested and I was pretty stiff and sore so I quit here.  I stretched and got on the Airdyne bike and biked for 15 minutes. By the time I got off the bike, I was feeling better but still a little sore. I went directly over to the chiropractor for an adjustment and then iced it when I got home.  I feel much better now but think I will rest up today and do a run in the morning.  More core work and probably more deadlifting regularly will help!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

An extra workout: Wednesday Run

I wasn't planning on doing anything heavy-duty after work today but Jim convinced me to go for a run so we did a short 2-mile run on the Black Creek Greenway.  I was huffing and puffing and did the first mile in about 12:00 minutes and the second mile (it was an out and back) in 11 minutes.  I sweated profusely even though it was actually quite cool for July and felt pretty good during and after the run.  We'll see if this affects my longer singletrack run tomorrow at Company Mill.  I still plan to go to Forged Fitness in the morning so tomorrow will be a great day for exercising! 

It rained in the afternoon yesterday but the trails were still open so we hosted the all-girls ride at Lake Crabtree. Unfortunately, of the 12 people who RSVP'd, only 5 of us showed up! We saw 2 other girls who RSVP'd on the trail but they had decided to do their own thing (I wish they had at least updated their RSVP).   It was an extremely casual ride seeing how 3 out of 5 of the women there were slow/beginners.  I think I missed my opportunity to do a harder ride at Rocky Road but I have a feeling that all the local trails will be covered in debris/logs/tree branches from the recent thunderstorms.  We ended up even clearing some of the trails ourselves while biking and Crabtree now has several log crossings!  They will probably be gone by next week though.

This morning's WOD was a met-con:
45 seconds at each station then 15 second rest:
Airdyne bike or rower
ring rows
Slamballs (20 lb ball)
Prowler push or tire flips
Bulgarian bag around the world (see this youtube video)
3 rounds

The most challenging thing was the Bulgarian bag exercise, I kept twisting it behind my head and messing up my hair (yeah, I'm putting that in there, it bugged me).  It did feel like a good core exercise though.

So I've done my workout for today, I haven't been weightlifting as much as I want but will get back into it after I move this weekend.  I bought a bench and bar/weights so I could work out at home also.  I really want to improve my squat depth and work on the drills for the snatch and clean.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Monday Run, Tuesday WOD

I did my lunchtime run again on Monday and got $20 in Amazon giftcards for my efforts since I was testing out the heart rate/gps earbuds.  I did 1/2 mile intervals for a total of 2 miles and managed to keep a 10 min/mile pace.  I'm going to try and do this every Monday to see if I can decrease my pace time to what it was before my back injury (goal 8:30-9:00 min/mile).

On Tuesday morning, the WOD was all strength work:
Hang Cleans
5-5-5-5  80 lbs
Power cleans
3-3-3 75-80 lbs
Clean & Jerk
3-3-2-2 75 lbs
My legs are feeling tired and it was hard doing the clean & jerk at 80 lbs (I even attempted 85 lbs and that was a spectacle).  I know I need to practice my drills and get the movements ingrained in my body so I stop thinking so much when I try to do heavier weights.

Tonight: all-girls mountain bike ride at Lake Crabtree as long as the thunder-showers stay away!

On Saturday, I spent two hours in the morning at an Olympic Weightlifting seminar held at Forged Fitness Raleigh.  I learned how to do drills of a dissected snatch.  We learned how to hold the bar with a hook grip.  We practiced doing a muscle up snatch from the waist to above our head.  We practiced the hang snatch movement (from above the knees, to the waist and then overhead).  We also practiced just lifting the bar off the ground and bringing it right above our knees.  The snatch is probably the hardest exercise for me to do since I tend to just use momentum to get the bar off the ground and I forget about all the parts it takes to get it from the waist to overhead.  It was pretty useful to get coached on this and I have plenty of drills to take away and practice.  The guy leading the seminar is a strength and condition coach at NCSU, Timothy Rabas.  It was definitely worthwhile and I'd love to do something like this once a month to practice technique and learn how to weight lift safely and effectively.

Saturday afternoon consisted of a good 20-mile mountain bike ride. Jim documented my efforts on camera:

It was a mix of bridle trails at Umstead, singletrack on Delta Ridge, Hubcap and Sludge and then eking about 2 miles out of the greenway to get 20 miles total. I was exhausted during and after the bike ride!  My endurance is no where near where it should be.  It also didn't help that the only other time I rode this past week was Tuesday night.

And Sunday: a 10 mile run through Umstead.  Starting off at Company mill, making a left at the bridge, right on Old Reedy Creek, left on S. Turkey Creek. Here I took a break to eat my Sport Jelly Beans and refill my water with a Nuun tablet to replenish my electrolytes.  I had done about 6.3 miles at this point and I realized that if I continued on the agreed upon route, I'd end up doing way more than 10 miles (more like 13!) and my legs just were not capable of running that much more.  I therefore took a shorter route by making a left onto Cedar Ridge which crosses a creek. It rained cats and dogs last night so the little creek crossing had turned into a river and I had to wade across it to get to the other side.  I ran up Cedar Ridge and made a right back onto Old Reedy Creek and then a left onto Company mill to finish my run. Time: 2 hours and 30 minutes! I am pretty damn slow right now, but my hips feel good, my back felt good and I have to keep running if I want to get back to my old pace.  I think that was a sufficient amount of exercise for the weekend! Now it's icing and using the Stick to help my poor muscles recover.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Thursday WOD and run

Yesterday was a great WOD:
Run 400M
15 power snatches (55 lbs)
15 overhead lunges (25 lb plate)
15 box jumps
4 rounds
Time: 23:46
I was very proud of myself for doing 55 lbs on the power snatch since this movement is the scariest and hardest for me.  I'm not that confident in my overhead squat grip but I realized that my shoulders are a lot stronger than I know and that if I commit to the weight, it can get above my head!  I had to take some breaks in the workout in order to finish but it was great time.

After work, I went for a run: Company Mill trail! I did the shorter loop (5 miles) and finished in about 1 hr and 15 minutes so still pretty slow but it was good to get out there on a weekday and do Company Mill as my "shorter run".  This was a very productive Thursday.

This week has been too busy and has left little time to write but I have had some good workouts:
2 mile run -on the road at the Human Performance Lab testing out earbuds that monitor your heart rate and speed/distance.  It was good because I got $20 in Amazon gift cards to run but hard but it was 93 outside and the middle of the day plus my speed is slow!  I was averaging 12.3 min/mile.

Forged Fitness WOD "Elizabeth"
Squat Clean (67 lbs)
Dips (band-assisted)
I finished in 11:36

After work, I hosted the all-women's bike ride at Lake Crabtree. My legs were pretty shot from cleans in the morning but there were only 5 of us in total so it was a casual ride.  We practiced some skills- going down a rooty hill and the big logstack.  Tonya did both! and Chris did the rooty hill successfully.  She still stood up and had bad body position but lucky for her the hill is a gradual slope and not steep like the one she endo'd on at Harris Lake. 

And today! Another great WOD at Forged Fitness:
AMRAP 20 minutes
10 Deadlifts (115 lbs)
10 pullups (band-assisted)
10 double-unders (10 very poor attempts at doing a double under)
7 rounds!
I had not done anything over 95 lbs on the deadlift in a WOD until today and I'm happy to say that it was doable but tough.  My back is a little sore but not in pain.  I wish I could have done the Rx (135 lbs) but that will come with more time and more training and more core work.  There are so many things to work on, it can be overwhelming but I'm glad I can do these Crossfit workouts on a regular basis again.

After 75 push presses on Wednesday, I woke up on Thursday with my upper right arm hurting.   It was hard to raise it up or put on a sweater or shirt.  I strained it due to the push presses so I took off from Forged Fitness on Thursday and Friday.  I did not do any workout at all on Thursday to rest up.  By Friday morning, my arm still hurt a bit but I went to my physical therapy session in the morning and told my PT that I thought I was done with therapy since my left leg and lower back were pretty much at 95%.  We agreed that I would have one more session next week and then come back after a month to evaluate my progress.  Friday evening, I went for a short 2 mile trail run with Jim at Umstead park on the Loblolly trail.

Saturday, we biked Rocky Road quite late in the day (it was turning out to be a low activity weekend!) but we got in 8.5 miles and I'm glad I did it.  I think I'm getting better at the technical stuff every time I do this trail and if I keep it up, I might be able to bike Rocky Road without feeling like I'm going to die after the first two anaerobic miles.  I still have a bit of anxiety when I'm on the trail because I feel like I'm going to hurt myself in a crash but so far, so good.  My endurance and stamina are nowhere near where it should be since the weekend is the only opportunity to do 20+ miles of riding.  Right now I feel like after 8.5 miles, I'm spent!
 I did practice some skills: the first video is me clearing a rock section that comes after you get up the hill:

Second video is clearing a log, I'm still not doing the front wheelie correct but it looks so easy to clear the log when you use momentum to your advantage:

On Sunday, I ran with Jim, Lisa and Barbara.  Our first "official" Medoc Marathon training run.  We ran the 8 miles of the Sycamore trail at Umstead park.  I'm so glad Umstead exists and it is only 5 minutes from where I live.  It definitely is a jewel of Raleigh.  I say I ran with them but really, they ran far ahead of me and I walked/ran.  Four months from a back injury really has set me back and I haven't been as rigorous with training.  I have lots of excuses like it's raining, work has been overwhelming, my left leg has only felt pretty good in the last 3 weeks but no more excuses now.  I signed up for this trail marathon in October and I am determined to finish it with a good time.

Team Red after running 8 miles of singletrack

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Wednesday WOD: Max Front Squat

Today's workout was in two parts:
15 mins to
find 1 rep max front squat : 100 lbs
3 rounds
25 jump lunges
25 push press 65/45
Run 400m
Time: 11:58

I have a problem when I go heavier on my squats, I'm not exactly sure how low I should squat and even though I know I should squat as deep as a I can, I hesitate too much when I go heavy.  I'm trying to practice doing a full squat with 75 lbs and my goal this year is to get confident enough to go deep and then come back up with heavier weights! Good thing was that my front squat "max" is not less than it was before herniating my disc! And no pain today!

I was feeling a little sore this morning and almost bailed on Forged Fitness but the weather forecast says rain today so I wanted to make sure I get some workout in if I can't bike/run in the afternoon. And I'm glad I went, it was a great WOD!

20 min AMRAP
6 deadlifts (95 lbs)
7 burpee pullups (I did a pushup, stepped on a box and jumped up to do a pullup)
10 kettlebell swings (25 lbs)
Run 200M

I finished 5 rounds and was halfway done with the 200M run when the 20 minutes ran out. I still finished the 200M run so I'm giving myself 6 rounds! 

After the WOD was over and I rested for 5 minutes, I did:
3x10 military press 45 lbs
The last two sets and the last few reps were a struggle. 

Monday, July 9, 2012

Mountain biking Monday night

Despite the 64 thrusters I did this morning, my legs still feel okay (no DOMS yet) so I went mountain biking after work with John, instead of the usual Umstead loop, we did Rocky Road!  It took me a little over 90 minutes to bike the 6 miles of singletrack but it felt great to be out there. The temperatures had cooled down to the 80s due to an impending storm so I didn't die from heat exhaustion but the hills were killing me (I don't think I start breathing normally until after the first 2 miles).  It was still a great ride!  I'm getting better at all the downhills and now I need to work on my power up the hills.  It's one thing to just climb but when there are giant roots in front of you, it becomes an even bigger challenge (must take pictures of this).  I'm hoping enough times on this trail will get me to the point where I don't have to walk any sections.  Let's hope for the best!

I was supposed to go biking on Friday night but there was ominous lightning and thunder so I decided to play it safe and not go out- bad idea because the storms never came through our area!  So I was lazy on Friday.
On Saturday:
mountain biking on the Rocky Road trail- 6 miles of hard, challenging singletrack in 100+ weather!  After this was over, I didn't feel like I could do anymore so I bailed on the second half of the ride.  The rest of the day was spent looking for bike parts/accessories and perusing stoves and dishwashers (I bought a house, it needs new appliances).
On Sunday:
Another hot day but we started early and I did a 5 mile run on Company Mill at Umstead Park with Barbara. Lisa was out of town and Jim started almost two hours earlier than so he got in an 18 mile run in!  And in that 18 mile run, he did the Company mill and the Sycamore trail plus 6 miles of bridle trails.  He definitely has a head start on the trail marathon we are all doing in October.  I hope to run more this week and start building up some mileage.
And Monday morning:
I had to drag myself out of bed to go to Forged Fitness. I haven't been going to sleep as early as I should and it has made getting up at 5:30 AM kind of painful.  But I am glad I did:
8 thrusters (a front squat into a push press, 55 lbs)
8 ring dips (I did jumping dips since I can't do a dip without a band assist)
8 rounds!
Time: 11:58
My arms feel like they are going to fall off.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Friday WOD

Friday's WOD:
Run 400M
20 Wall balls (14 lb ball)
20 1-arm press (10 lb dumbbell) (10 each side, with opposite leg off the ground)
4 rounds
Time: 16:08
This was pretty hard, I thought I could do a 15 lb dumbbell but I found balancing on one foot and trying to do a single-arm press to difficult so I went down to 10 lbs.  Good thing I got a workout in during the morning since we have thunderstorms right now and can't bike!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Marathon training begins now

I had high ambitions to bike, run and kayak yesterday since I had most of the day off from work (still needed to go in for 1 hour to check on stuff) but the day ran away from me and I ended up doing no exercise, let's call it a "rest day".  Thursday has come and almost gone and I managed to go for a 3 mile run after work.  That felt pretty good and is going to be the start of my training for marathon I signed up for: - no, it is not Medoc in the south of France, this is in Hollister, NC and it is going to be a very challenging trail race of 26.2 miles on October 13!  I was almost at the point where I was going to quit running because my hip or lower back or butt would start hurting but it's been feeling better incrementally every day so I committed to signing up for a race.  Now my goal is to beat Jim, Lisa and Barbara (all signed up with me) on this race.  That is a very lofty and probably unattainable goal but there it is.  My secret weapons will be:
Forged Fitness crossfit workouts
Steady diet of squats, deadlifts, military presses, bench presses, and pullups
once-a-week hill repeats
once-a-week sprint runs
once-a-week long trail run (> 6 miles)
daily Coenzyme Q10 supplement (mitochondria gets tired when you work out a lot)
daily multi-vitamin (toss-up on whether I need this but I will monitor how I feel over the next 30 days and see if it's worthwhile)
biggest secret weapon- endurance reserves and mental reserves to push through for 26.2 miles.  I like to think I have the motivation in me to do this and can keep a good steady pace that will last the 26.2 miles. We shall see, as we have 3 months to get ready!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Buckets of Sweat: Tuesday WOD

Today's WOD was tough and long, even the warmup was harder than normal:
10 double unders (I did singles on the jump rope)
10 situps
10 wall balls (12 lb ball)
3 rounds

The WOD:
20 back squats (63 lbs)
7 handstand pushups (I put my feet on a 24" box and did a modified verison)
400M run
4 rounds
time: 15:25

Then extra credit:
Plank hold, and then side plank holds:
1 minute, rest 15 seconds, do each side and the main hold
then 45 seconds, rest 15 seconds, repeat
then 30 seconds rest 15 seconds, repeat

The mat was pretty sweaty today!  Tomorrow Forged Fitness is closed so I'm going to have to focus on biking and running! After work is my Tuesday night "ride like a girl" bike ride at Lake Crabtree, looking forward to it!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Monday WOD: deadlifts and pullups!

Waking up at 5:30 AM has been really hard but every time I go back to Forged Fitness, the better I feel and my day is much happier so I think I'm going to stick with it.
This morning:
Deadlifts (83 lbs) and pullups (band-assisted):
Time: 11:34

I did some stretching after the workout and did a set of 10 good mornings (33 lb bar on my traps and bend forward like I was bowing but with straight legs).  Since I could do so many deadlifts at this weight, I think it's time to increase the weight in my strength workout and see how much I can belt out with just 10 reps. 

Well, the weekend passed so quickly I didn't have a chance to blog about it but it was great time.  On Friday I went to Forged Fitness in the morning and did:
5 rounds of 3 snatches @70%
rest 1 min between rounds
I ended up at 63 lbs and it felt pretty good, I realized that the key to a good snatch move is to be quick and confident, the times I hesitated when the bar was up near my chest is when I failed to get it overhead.  I downloaded videos from Crossfit Journal on the Olympic lifts and think this will be helpful in getting better at these movements. I used to obsessively watch videos from Crossfit journal and it was totally worth the annual $25 fee to gain some knowledge from people who know how to run, how to lift and how to teach it!
3 rounds
20 Over Head Squat 65/45, I did the 33 lb bar and ended up doing 4 rounds of the squats!
30 lateral hops

total time for the workout: 20:05
80 over head squats at 33 lbs was enough to get my legs tired by the end of the day and I felt it when I was biking on Saturday.

Biking on Saturday: singletrack ride of 14 miles on 286 in 95-100 degree weather!  It was awesome, I put lots of ice in my Camelbak and stayed cool and didn't even run out of water!  I cleared some technical parts on the trail that I had not been able to in the past and felt pretty good despite how tired my legs felt.
Saturday night, we went kayaking for about 2.5 hours on Harris Lake and it was relaxing and fun.  I'm still slow (see a theme here?) but rowing was getting easier and I liked being in the water.

Sunday: 5 mile run of Company Mill at Umstead state park.  It once again took me 1 hr and 16 minutes to complete it and again it was very humid and hot but bearable.  I have to run more this week in order to increase my mileage on the weekend.