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.