Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Christmas week

Christmas week was full of eating, lots and lots of eating! I think it started on Sunday (12/22) and didn't stop until now (12/31).  On Monday (12/23), I did my strength work:
60 lbs 5 reps
65 lbs 5 reps
75 lbs 3 reps and then 2 more reps after taking a break!
I'm going backwards on my presses, they seem to be getting harder rather than easier.
Back squats:
75 lbs 5 reps
85 lbs 5 reps
100 lbs 5 reps
110 lbs 8 reps, felt hard today, I really don't think all the chocolate and cookies is helping my strength program.

On Tuesday, I did the "12 Days of Christmas" WOD, it was a gut buster:
1 Burpee pullup (do a burpee, jump up and do a pullup)
2 Thrusters 55 lbs
3 knees to elbows
4 medicine ball cleans 14 lbs
5 kettlebell swings 35 lbs
6 box jumps
7 push presses 55 lbs
8 Wall balls 12 lbs
9 double unders (I did 30 singles)
10 jumping lunges
11 pushups
12 hang power cleans 55 lbs
Time 30:15
so you start of with 1 burpee pullup, then next round add the 2 thrusters and then the third round add 3 knees to elbows, and so forth until the 12th round where you do all 12 exercises.  Things were going well until I got to the push presses, at that point, I think I started to slow down!
What was nice was that the # of reps were doable and I didn't have to take any mini-breaks, I was able to have unbroken sets.

And then Christmas day, I did nothing related to exercise.  Same thing with Thursday, the day after Christmas!  On Friday, I was back for a 6 AM class and my mom came too!!!! And she did great for her first "Crossfit" workout.  It helped that I gave her a kettlebell (18 lbs) for Mother's day so she knew how to do a kettlebell swing.  And the WOD we did:
10 back squats 75 lbs (my mom did air squats)
10 pushups (my mom modified and did them against a wall)
10 kettlebell swings (I did 35 lbs, my mom did 20 lbs)
10 deadlifts (I did 75 lbs, my mom did 63 lbs)
10 parallete hops (my mom just stepped laterally over the parallete bar)
6 rounds
Time: 20:09
My mom's time: 19:05
My mom finished before me :) and she said she felt fine during and after the WOD.  Little did she know that her hamstrings would be sore the next day!  It was all good though, she was back to normal after 2 days post-WOD! She did think the deadlifts were hard but that's what happens when you don't deadlift on a regular basis!

6AM crew @Forged Fitness, I made Friday "red shirt day".

In food news: cheesy egg muffins!
Trail gnomes hard at work
On Saturday, the parents left and I got ready for a bike ride. I decided to ride 286 and got to ride some new trail (they keep adding more miles!!!).  It was a good ride and a perfect day. I thought I'd be cold (it was ~55 deg F) but it turned out to be short sleeve weather. 

Friday, December 27, 2013

A little exercise, a lot of resting

I've been feeling like I haven't been exercising as much due to the holidays but I also think it's because I started eating worse since Thanksgiving and the extra 5 pounds I'm carrying out is making it harder to push myself in WODs and even biking.  I keep meaning to start eating better but then someone shows up with another delicious baked good or chocolate!   It is slowly getting better though, I'm eating more mixed greens with grilled chicken or kabobs and now I just need to work on removing the sweets from my immediate space.

So last week, after that hard Thursday WOD, I did work on my dips, bench press and pullups at home.  I did 3 sets of 5 at 80 lbs for the bench press, 20 assisted pullups, and 8 dips.  My progression on the dips is all due to the presses I've been doing.  On Friday (12/20), I was back in the gym for another 6AM workout:
Run 400M
15 Box jumps (tire jump)
10 Clean+Jerks 65 lbs
5 rounds
Time: 33:42
Like I said, exercise has gotten harder! This was a really painful WOD for me. It felt like molasses running and doing full clean and jerks (squatting all the way down and getting back up to jerk the bar overhead) was hard.  The only saving grace was that I was doing them with great form!

Saturday, I volunteered for some trail work at Briar Chapel.  The Elevated Trail Design crew was out there and showed us what we needed to do to get the trail ready for use.  It was a lot of moving dirt and rocks, tamping the dirt down and raking.  I was prepared to be out there for 4 hours but since we had so many people show up, it only took us 2.5 hours to finish the job! Trail building is still new to me but I feel like I learn something every time I'm out there.  This time I learned how to look at the path and determine if the slope was going to cause water pooling/retention and how to re-grade the slope to allow water to drain.  Fun times.

New trail at Briar Chapel! That was a lot of dirt moved and positioned just right.

On Sunday I took the Blur out to test my lap time out at Crabtree.  I ended up doing the outer loop in 35 minutes, 3 minutes faster than the Specialized Epic and Specialized Fate demos!  To me this means that I'm still fast (enough) on my 26" wheels compared to a 29er and if I want to get faster,  I'm going to have to improve on my bike handling skills before I can justify a fancy new bike.  And I still love the Blue so I'm not ready to give it up yet!

I ended up riding Crabtree for about ~12 miles or so and then went home.  Crabtree is an easy trail but it was still a nice feeling to know that I'm not as slow as I think I am even in this current state of fitness.  Now if I would only get back on my training plan to get faster!

I went down a dark path and ate many meals of linguine with meatballs- too many leftovers!

Back on the right path with greens and grilled chicken! Should have had some avocado in there too.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Night ride and WOD

I have been feeling pretty lazy lately, not sure if it's because it's been cold (which makes me want to eat more and rest more) or because I'm just in a low point of motivation.  So I skipped Wednesday at Forged Fitness but I still made a commitment to be a ride leader for the night ride at Crabtree and I hate bailing on people.  I did bail on the singlespeed though and took my Blur instead.  So this is how I explained it to a friend since I had previously stated that I was going to only ride the singlespeed at Crabtree: I was feeling lazy so I took my geared bike, his reply: you were lazy and rode, I was lazy and watched basketball!  It's the new Lazy.

Anyway, it was good night ride, I did 2 laps for about 13 miles total.  I still need to time the outside loop on the Blur and the singlespeed to compare it to my Specialized demo rides.

And then this morning, I woke a bit late and got to the gym at 6:05 AM instead of 6 AM, those 5 minutes are crucial since we stretch right on the dot.  And the WOD was long and hard:
Row 250M (BC and I rowed, Karen ran)
15 power snatches 44 lbs
15 wall balls 12 lbs
15 sit-ups
15 push presses 45 lbs
5 rounds
My legs felt weak! I am definitely losing  fitness if a ride at Crabtree wears me out. Luckily, it will be a nice and warm weekend- prime time for Mtn biking!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Front squats!

We did strength work today so I got to do front squats again!

50 lbs@ 5 reps
75 lbs@ 3 reps
85 lbs@ 1 rep
95 lbs@ 1 rep
105 lbs@ 1 rep
115 lbs@ 1 rep
Up to 105 lbs, it felt easy.  115 lbs I started to tilt forward but I saved myself and brought my elbows up and my chest straight.  I think I could have done 120 or 125 lbs but didn't feel like taking a gamble! This does mean I should be able to clean 115 lbs!  Hopefully I'll try soon.
Then a mini-WOD 
Row 500M
15 toes to bars
3 rounds
Toes to bar is hard, I did about 7 good ones and the rest were terrible!

I forgot to post this earlier- but we ate at Buns on Sunday and I got a double stack burger because I was hungry and wanted the extra protein.  It filled me up and I didn't need dinner that night.  Extra bonus was also that I was so full, I didn't have any room for Ben & Jerry's ice cream!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Weekend biking and deadlifts/front squats

I didn't do much this weekend -a short 6 mile lap in 286 due to it raining, then a Umstead 19 mile bike ride on Sunday.  On Monday, I worked on my front squats:

63 lbs squat and then come up halfway, then squat, come up halfway, squat and then two full squats, I did this 4 times, it was hard.  And I apparently come up with my butt, lean too far forward and make it harder to get up with the barbell in front.  So I need to practice, a lot.  This means I'm taking a break from the Wendler program for my cleans and going to work on my front squats for a month or two.

I am making progress on my deadlifts though:
75 lbs 5 reps
135 lbs 5 reps
150 lbs 5 reps
165 lbs 3 reps
185 lbs 6 reps
I will keep working on my deadlifts and adding 5 lbs/month as I progress.

Since I did heavy lifting today, I justified some carbs for breakfast- a crepe with Nutella and a banana- yummy! Plus my regular eggs/spinach with chai.  An excellent way to start Monday!

Friday, December 13, 2013

Hard WODs and extra credit work

On Thursday, it was presses and then a mini-WOD:

35 lbs 5 reps
55 lbs 3 reps
63 lbs 1 rep
68 lbs 1 rep
73 lbs 1 rep
I tried 78 lbs and my left arm gave up. Sheesh! More time, practice and accessory exercises are gonna have to be done in order to get stronger on my overhead press.
Then row 400M and rest 1 minute between rounds for 4 rounds.  The goal is to sprint on the rowing.  I got between 1:39-1:38 on each round so I was consistent! 
After work, I did a basement workout with Alix:
Bench press 5 reps each set:
45, 65, 75, 80, 80
I tried 85 lbs but only eked out 3 good reps.  
Dead hang pull-ups 6, 6, 4, 4 with a 1" band to assist (10-15 lb assist).  My goal is to do 40 pull-ups per week so I have to complete 20 by Sunday.
On Friday morning, it was all about running and deadlifts:
Run 400M
21 deadlifts 115 lbs
5 rounds
I did 105 reps at 115 lbs! That's about 50% of my 1 rep max on the deadlift.  My lower back was sore midway through the workout but I kept going and foam rolled afterwards.  So far, my back still feels good!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

WODs and deadlifts

On Tuesday we did Annie interrupted WOD:

Double unders (singlesx3 for me!)
After each round do 5 handstand push-ups 
Time 16:38
I used two stacked Abmats for my handstand push-ups, so my progression is working!
Now I just need to learn how to do double unders!
Since the WOD didn't beat me up, I decided to do my deadlifts:
115 lbs 5 reps (warmup)
140 lbs 3 reps
165 lbs 3 reps
175 lbs 8 reps
I definitely need to do more warmup sets now that the initial set is quite heavy.  I now understand why lifting can take more time in the gym!

Today we did a chipper WOD, and I learned that it's a chipper because it is only one set and you have to "chip" away at it.
Almost Filthy Fifty:
50 box jumps
50 jumping pull-ups
50 lunges
50 back extensions (supermans)
50 push presses 35 lbs
50 wall balls
50 burpees
50 double unders (150 singles)
The toughest part for me was the wall balls and the burpees.  By the time I got to these two, I was worn out and much less coordinated.  Still, I feel better now!

Monday, December 9, 2013

Friday WOD and lifting

On Friday, I did my 4th WOD of the week because I knew the weather and work were not going to allow me to bike this weekend. Unfortunately the WOD also prevented me from doing my cleans and deadlift also.

The WOD :
20 box jumps
15 burpee pull-ups (do a burpee, jump up and catch the bar to pull-up)
10 ring dips (with a band)
4 rounds
The pull-ups got me on the last round, the 13th pull-up-I broke up a blister on my right hand and it started to bleed, ouch.  Just a little over 3 years doing crossfit and I finally got my first rip and I am not happy about it. I've tried really hard to keep my calluses pumiced, but it looks like I haven't been taking care of them.  It's a bit better today (Monday) but I haven't tried deadlifts yet!
I did do my presses and squats though:
60 lbs 5 reps
65 lbs 3 reps
70 lbs 5 reps (last one was hard!)
Back squats
45 lbs 5 reps warmup
75 lbs 5 reps warmup
95 lbs 5 reps 
105 lbs 3 reps
120 lbs 9 reps 
The squats also felt hard but maybe that's because I did nothing all weekend! I think I may be one of those people who needs "active recovery" versus complete rest.  Still, at 120 lbs, I feel like I'm definitely getting stronger. I just realized that I was a vegetarian most of this weekend, eating masoor dal and spinach. Maybe some animal protein would have improved things today.

Masoor dal with tomato and radishes

Thursday, December 5, 2013

WODs when you are sore

I had a serious case of sore quads and hamstrings and IT band after back squats and the Grappler circuit on Tuesday.  This did not prevent me from a night light bike ride in Crabtree on Tuesday though!  I did the ride on my singlespeed and it was albeit tough with sore muscles, I got in about 8 miles in one hour.  On Wednesday morning, we did a relatively easy, no thinking, straight forward WOD:

Run 400M
25 air squats
20 sit-ups
15 kettlebell swings 35 lbs
Time 23:21
And the soreness was less on Thursday:
Snatches 2-2-2-2-2-2
At 35, 44, 55 and 60 lbs
Snatches are still hard for me. I don't have a very stable overhead squat and it is not something I've been working on.after, we did a blazingly fast mini WOD:
50 slam balls 20 lbs
I would have been quicker but Alan corrected my form at rep 36 and I had to pause to readjust my squat in catching the ball at the bottom. I'm hoping my muscles are not sore at all tomorrow so I can do some cleans and deadlifts.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Lifting and a repeat WOD

From Thanksgiving through Sunday, I did no exercise at all! And I don't feel fat or lazy for taking the time off.  My left shoulder and upper back have had a nagging pain that I've been trying to massage with a lacrosse ball and allow rest time.  It seems to be helping but I still get a feeling like a major muscle is being pulled.  Anyway, it didn't prevent me from my lifting program on Monday:

63 lbs 3 reps
68 lbs 3 reps
73 lbs 4 reps
It's still a major struggle to do reps as the weight inches up past 70 lbs.  Jason was there and he said I needed to do some accessory exercises to get my triceps stronger. He also helped me on the back squats:
90 lbs 3 reps
100 lbs 3 reps
115 lbs 11 reps!!!! I was ready to quit at 8 reps but Jason was there pushing me to do more and he helped me eke out 3 more reps.  Of course, the DOMS set in around 9 pm last night!  I normally don't have any muscle soreness from my lifting sessions because I'm not pushing my limits.  It really does help to have someone there to give you that much needed push.

On Tuesday we did the Grappler circuit, which Brian had noted we had done on 5/21 also so I got to see if I improved if any. 
Grappler circuit:
Bent over row
Upright row
Military press
Good mornings
Split squat (left and right each 10 reps)
Stiff leg deadlifts
10 reps each without putting the bar down
6 rounds with 1 min break in between where you can put the bar done between rounds
I used the 45 lb bar for this WOD.
I finished in 28:46, in May it took me 32:48, so I shaved 4 minutes off my time at the same weight.  Not bad and this time I only put the bar down once during the WOD when my left shoulder was burning and it was unbearable. 

The other thing to note is that my eating has veered into being more unhealthy due to the preponderance of Halloween candy and baked goods at work so I've made efforts to be more healthy and to just say no to sugar (not completely though).  I think a no bread/no sugar month is pending though.  I  am definitely one of those people who just has to say no completely, the concept of small portions of sweets just doesn't jive with my brain mentality and my zombie like state when eating sweets and chocolate. So for lunch the past two days, I have had beef kabobs with salad greens and yummy red bell peppers. And it's filling! My mom also made a fantastic salad this weekend, making me wish I had someone who would make yummy salads every day (I realize I could do it myself but I am impatient and don't like the labor intensive activity of chopping ingredients).

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

THANKFUL it's Wednesday

Another tough WOD today but at least I feel like I'm not going to overwhelmed by the holiday eating!  Every year, Forged Fitness puts on a WOD that uses the words "THANKFUL" as the inspiration:
Thrusters 55 lbs
Hip extensions (really back extensions)
Air Squats
Now row for calories
Kb swings 35 lbs
Floor wipers (Left+right = 1 rep)
Upright row 45 lbs
Lunges (Left+right = 1 rep)
11 reps then
28 reps on the second round!
Time: 23:20
It looks deceptively easy but it's a gasser and I had to take multiple breaks in order to finish.  That's the last workout at Forged I'll do this week, the rest of the week will be at home workouts or perhaps no workouts at all! We'll see how my motivation is.

This is a 3-day week for me so I decided to do WODs Monday through Wednesday to get me through the holiday safely.  And Tuesday was just as hard as Monday:

Row 400M
15 pull-ups with a band
15 push presses 45 lbs
20 front rack step ups 45 lbs
4 rounds
This was hard, the pull-ups were really hard, I'm not sure if it was all the shoulder work from yesterday or I'm just getting worse on pull-ups. For the step ups, you hold the bar as you would for a front squat and just step up and down! I had to go down to an 18" box height, since the 20" box was making me feel unsteady.

After work, I did some lifting:
75 lbs 5 reps
85 lbs 5 reps
100 lbs 1 rep, I tried 2 more reps but was not feeling like I could catch the bar. I might try again tonight!
Then deadlifts:
135 lbs 5 reps
150 lbs 5 reps
165 lbs 9 reps
Felt pretty good but I was tired by the end! It made me feel like I might have to start doing only one major lift per day instead of two so I have lots of energy to go heavy.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Monday WOD and back squats!

It was a lonely and shoulder killer workout on Monday:

15 min AMRAP
10 burpees
10 hang snatches 45 lbs
10 dumbbell presses 2x20 lbs 
I did 4 rounds and 8 burpees. I don't think I could have done the wall walks (push-up and walk up to the wall with your hands until you're in a handstand position). THEN rest 3 minutes and row 1000M. After that was over I worked on my back squats:
80 lbs 5 reps
90 lbs 5 reps
105 lbs 8 reps
I love back squats now!

Last Friday, we did "Fran", one of the benchmark Crossfit WODs:
Thrusters 95/65 lbs, I did 57 lbs
Pullups (I used a band)
It took me  6:47 to complete this, I think I would have struggled at 65 lbs! At 57 lbs, the thrusters were actually the easy part of this workout for me, the pullups got me. I really struggled even with the band to get more than 3-4 pullups at a time.  And although this workout was less than 7 minutes long, it's a gasser and there is no energy left to go do something else (at least that is how you are supposed to do the WOD).  It's pretty cool that with the variety of workouts we do, a sub-7 minute workout can be effective in keeping you fit. 

Pullups: although I've been saying that I want to be able to do at least one unassisted pullup, it still hasn't happened. I think I'm going to have to incorporate it into the weekly work/drills to get this done in 2014!

The rest of the day was spent doing trail maintenance on the mountain biking trails at Beaverdam/Falls Lake!  I met the park ranger and a couple of other people who worked there plus besides me, two other people had volunteered.  We ended up just working on one loop and fixing drainage issues, lopping off branches that were encroaching on the trail and getting rid of some old, deteriorated wood bridges.  Trail work is pretty labor intensive and after 5 hours, I was beat.

Since I worked so hard on the trail maintenance on Friday, I wanted to go back and ride the trails on Saturday- which we did and it was great despite feeling a bit slow and sluggish.  We did the Inner loop, West loop and South Loop for a total of ~11 miles.  I was a little disappointed in myself for not having the guts to try the big logstack and the tree skinny bridge. I just wasn't feeling physically confident even though I know I can do these trail features (I'm calling them features now instead of "obstacles"!).  Oh well, there will always be another ride out there.

On Sunday, All Star Bicycles and the The Bicycle Chain had a Specialized Demo at Lake Crabtree so I got to try out two bikes: Specialized Expert Fate (women's Medium carbon hardtail) and a Specialized Expert Epic (Small carbon full squish with "Brain" technology on the suspension).  I ride a bike that has 26" wheels and these were both 29" wheel bikes, very fancy 29er bikes ($5-6K).  My only test was to see how fast I could go around the outside loop of Crabtree (~5.5 miles). On the Fate it took me about 39 minutes and the Epic 38 minutes. My conclusion is that I am still really slow and a really expensive bike didn't make me any faster! I say this because I think I could the same on my Blur. But I have to go out and try my Blur to compare.  I know it's very subjective but it didn't feel much faster and in some ways, that's good because it means I'm at a skill level where a more expensive bike isn't going to help me!  I might as well stick with my Blur and just train on this bike and get faster by braking less and using more vision.  I do regret not taking any pictures though because I thought both bikes were kind of sexy.  So I apologize there is no bike porn here. 

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Wednesday WOD, bike and strength

Although I like to report my workouts in sequential order, I'm too excited about what I accomplished this morning: I did my first 100 lb clean!!!! I didn't have the guts to finish it last week and I kept dropping the bar at the top of the pull. I tried 3 times today and finally committed to getting under and bringing the bar back up. I'm so happy! I have had such a huge mental block about "100". It's really not that heavy of a weight but it means 135 lbs is a possibility now- my first goal is to get to bodyweight cleans and then see how far I can go.

I also did presses at 55, 65, and 75 lbs, 3 reps at each weight.
Yesterday's WOD:
Fight gone bad style 1 min at each station with as many reps as possible, rest 1 minute and repeat for 2 more rounds
Box jumps 22-24 reps
Kettlebell swings 26 lbs 30 reps
Row for calories 9-11 cal
Slam balls 20 lbs 20-24 reps
Singles jump rope 115-130
Final total 374
And yesterday evening we did a night ride in Crabtree and my legs felt every minute of FGB.  It was a tiring ride but still fun to get out on singletrack.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Tuesday WOD: overhead squats and rowing

I had a nice bike ride on Sunday- but it was relatively short since I was tired. I think we covered about 8 miles of 286! And then Monday was a rest day. I felt back to normal on Tuesday:
Overhead squats 5 sets of 5:
35, 45, 55, 60, 65 lbs
I tried doing 70 lbs but I dropped the bar after one rep and decided to quit while I still felt good.
Then a 2000M row:
Rowing is still hard. I think my pace was 2:25/500M and I watched BC do his row and his average pace was 1:45/500M! It helps to be tall and strong.

I'm hoping to get back into running and need to start planning runs at lunch time or right after work so I don't back out of them!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

WODs and strength work

After my bike race last weekend, I took both Monday and Tuesday as "rest days". I did end up giving blood on Monday though! That allowed me to justify a second rest day on Tuesday :)

On Wednesday I did a WOD:
7 min AMRAP (as many rounds as possible)
10 burpees
10 wallballs 12 lbs
1 min rest
7 min AMRAP
10 kettlebell swings
10 box jumps (I did stepups)

For the first set I did 4 rounds plus 9 wallballs and the second set I did 7 rounds and 8 kettlebell swings.  The first set was much harder than the second set, probably because I didn't do box jumps. I went back to the gym after work to do my strength work:
65 lbs 5 reps
70 lbs 3 reps
75 lbs 3 reps (this was as struggle)
Back Squats
90 lbs 5 reps
105 lbs 3 reps
115 lbs 6 reps

Thursday: Metcon WOD
20 lateral hops (really 40 hops!)
18 power cleans 65 lbs
16 ring dips (with a band)
4 rounds
Time 19:35
Hopping is apparently very hard for me and slowed me down quite a bit, it also caused an excessive amount of soreness in my calves the next day and that soreness still exists here Sunday evening.

Friday WOD
100M Sprint
10 thrusters 55 lbs (front squat to push press)
walk back to start point (100 M walk)
8 rounds!
Time: 18:23
Tough, tough, tough workout for me but I felt good that I did 80 thrusters!  Progress was measured today.  I came back after work to do my strength work:
75 lbs 5 reps
85 lbs 3 reps
95 lbs 3 reps
145 lbs 5 reps
165 lbs 3 reps
180 lbs 6 reps
A very good way to end the week!

Friday, November 15, 2013

Last week!

I lost track of blogging this past week but wanted to recap what I have been doing:

A week ago, on Thursday 11/7:
5x5 back squats at 75% max
I did 75, 85, 95, 105, 105 lbs! It was pretty good then we did
20 heavy manmakers and I used 2x20 lb dumbbells 
A manmaker: push-up, row, row, clean, press and lunge and lunge!
I think it took me around 6 minutes to finish 20 of these.

On Friday I did my strength work:
75 lbs 3 reps
85 lbs 3 reps
95 lbs 3 reps! And they were good.
Saturday I did a Mtn bike ride at Rocky road and it was tough due to all the leaves on the ground, I also managed to fall <again> and got  a nice scrape on my arm but was ok otherwise.
Sunday I did the 6 hr BC race- I still need to get a separate post written up for this but in short, I had a great time! No pics yet but stay tuned.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Night riding and Wednesday WOD

On Tuesday, I went for the night ride at Crabtree park.  The ride started at 6 pm and it was pitch dark by then. I had both my handlebar light and helmet light powered up.  Night rides are more fun with lots of light!  I even lead one group through the first lap at a pretty good clip and then took up the rear on the second lap and got dropped promptly!  It's hard to keep up on the singlespeed bike, I definitely have a lot to work on as far as riding hard on this bike.  Still, it was a great ride and not cold at all!  I overdressed wearing a jacket and long pants.  Next time, I'll double check on the temperatures and try to remember that I generate a lot of heat riding hard.

Wednesday morning kind of sucked because my smoke detector kept chirping away at 4 am and I thought I had fixed it but it still kept chirping away!  So I was up about 1.5 hours earlier than I wanted to and I had gone to bed at 11 pm, not a good combination.  Although I did a decent job in the workout, I had no energy to jump over the barbell to do burpees, I just walked over the barbell instead.
Run 400M (cold on the first lap)
42 abmat situps
15 snatches 55 lbs (full squat)
9 barbell burpees (do a burpee, hop over the bar, do a burpee!)
3 rounds
Time: 23:20

I felt better after the workout but I think today is going to be a slow day given my lack of sleep! 

Last Friday's WOD was a partner workout and we ended up doing it as a trio:
120 deadlifts 115 lbs
45 burpees over the bar
120 power snatches 55 lbs
45 burpees over the bar
120 power clean and jerks 55 lbs
This meant that while 1-2 people did reps, the the third person rested and then switched off to complete the total number of reps.  We shared the reps fairly! So I did 40 deadlifts, ~15 burpees, 40 power snatches and 40 power clean and jerks.  I think we finished in 23:52.  My shoulders and upper back were super sore the next day from all the snatches.  I felt it while riding the singlespeed at Harris Lake. My legs also felt it and I was not feeling like I could do more than 1 lap at Harris!  I figured since I was going to go ride San Lee the next day, I could take it easy at Harris. Little did I know that my San Lee ride would be cut short due to a mechanical! John managed to get a stick stuck in his derailleur and sheared of the hangar, leaving him without a working chain. We ended up cutting the ride around 5 miles. I got to do the Gauntlet and passed on doing the FreeFall since my left palm is still sore from the last beating I got there! Still the San Lee ride was good, I had a great pace and was working hard but it didn't feel painful.

On Monday, I decided to work on strength:
58 lbs 3 reps
68 lbs 3 reps
78 lbs 1 rep! I tried two more times but my arms were not having it.

Back Squats
85 lbs 3 reps
95 lbs 3 reps
110 lbs 7 reps

And some mtb strength exercises:
1 minute planks
Kettlebell swings 35 lbs
Wall headstands
Inverted row 25 lbs
Bodyweight squats
Split squats holding a 35 lb kettlebell- tough!
Dumbbell presses 2x20lbs

I'm excited to start up the mtb strength training again, I am hoping it will help continue to improve in the mountain biking arena!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Weekend riding and a tough Monday WOD

I went for a very easy mountain bike ride at Harris Lake on Saturday with Monica and Alix, taking them on the beginner trail and the intermediate trail.  The beginner trail has been "groomed" and there were some nice rollers now and less rootiness.  I thought for sure it would be an easy and mellow ride to get back into it after crashing but I ended up taking a turn to hard and the bike slide out from me and I went right, using my hands to soften my fall. I felt like an idiot since putting your hands out like that way is good way to break something. Fortunately I didn't have enough speed to cause any damage and I think instinct took over to prevent any more bruising on my sides!  We probably did about 6 miles total. 

On Sunday, I decided to get serious about regaining my confidence and went to Briar Chapel with John.  I had my shin pads and elbow pads for extra insurance.  I took it a bit slow on the first lap but felt better on the second lap and successfully finished the ride with no crashes! So that was 4 rides in a row crashing and Briar Chapel became my first "crash-free" ride.  Let's hope it stays that way.  One thing I was proud of was staying the big ring to get up Bennet Mountain at Briar Chapel!  This is about a 5% grade, maybe more for close to 0.5 mile climb up. Not technical but it's a lung-buster and then you go down a really cool but challenging rock garden.  I was extra cautious and didn't clean much of the rock garden but it was still fun.  I think we ended up doing about 16 miles total.  The weather was awesome, the body armor wasn't uncomfortable and we got to eat at Buns afterward (best hamburger and sweet potato fries around here!).

One thing I did notice the entire weekend was my calves were really, really, really sore and I couldn't figure out why until Sunday evening when it finally occurred to me that 400 lateral hops (Friday) does a number on your calves!  Sheesh.

Monday I was back in the gym and did this very grueling WOD:
22 burpee pullups (do a burpee, jump up and do a pullup)
22 back squats 75 lbs (I tried 95 lbs but felt like I was struggling after 6 reps)
Run 200M with a 25 lb plate over your head (3rd round I dropped down to a 15 lbs plate!)
4 rounds
Time: 28:24
This workout just felt awful and I looked unhappy enough that Jason asked me if something was wrong!  Nothing particularly wrong but maybe still feeling shitty residually from the crash I guess. He also pointed out how I was losing my form in the back squats so that gave me something to focus on during the WOD and by the 3rd round I was doing 22 perfect back squats and using my hips instead of rising up with the butt!  Again, apparently I lead with my butt first when getting up (which puts more stress on the lower back) and you are supposed to lead with your hips and your chest upright!  And as I sit writing this at 10 pm Monday night, the DOMs have set in and my legs feel nice and sore from all 88 back squats!  I think doing 75 lbs was the right choice, considering the high reps and that this close to 50% of my 1 rep max for back squats.  Fun times!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Thursday night ride and Friday WOD

I am not sure if the extra carbs I've been eating (bad carbs as in brownies, red velvet cupcakes and scones!) or just the lack of mtb strength training is causing me to screw up on the trails but I had another crash last night.  And it was another stupid crash over something that I've gone over a million times with no problem but last night I guess I handled the bike differently or was going too slowly, not sure what. I went over a small set of logs and somehow my bike just went vertical over another root and flipped me over and this time I landed on my face (!) and slammed the right side of my body into the trail. It took me a second to get up and dust the leaves and dirt off. Then another couple of minutes just sitting on the trail feeling like crap.  And that was about 2 miles into the ride!  My face was fine (good) but I banged up my right hand, right arm, right thigh and knee and this morning I see the bruises on my left leg! Oh well, I got up and continued to ride even though I noticed that my rear brake lever was bent out (making it so I had to stretch my hand out to break), but the brakes themselves worked. No pictures this time!  I took it easy the rest of the ride and ended up having my longest Rocky road ride this year I think (1:30).  It was significantly darker and more of the ride was done with lights on which accounts for the slower pace but I was definitely being more cautious the rest of the ride. My right side just sort of throbbed for the remainder of the ride and I didn't feel like I could lift my front wheel up to get over anything.  Copious amount of icing and Arnica now to take care of the swelling and bruising.  It doesn't look too bad but I do feel tender in those spots.  Crashing sucks.

So despite crashing, I still wanted to see if I could do a WOD in the morning and turns out I can even with getting banged up from a mountain bike ride:
5 Thrusters 70 lbs (thruster = front squat into a push press)
50 lateral parallete hops (hop over a parellete bar (~12" height), left and right side = 1 turn)
5 Thrusters
Rest 1 minute and repeat
4 rounds
Time: 20:57
I could feel my right thigh on the hops but it turned out to not hurt.  The hops took the longest, I just don't have the power to crank them out. I end up doing 2-5 hops and then "starting over".  I've got no bounce!  70 lb Thursters was good, I might have been able to do 75 lbs but there is always next time.
I'm very glad it's Friday!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Yoga and my Wednesday WOD

Yesterday, I tried a yoga class with my friend Karen @YMCA in Durham.  It was actually a yoga class that I didn't actively dislike.  I could do almost all the moves and it made my back feel really great by the end and when I woke up this morning, I had no residual soreness in my lower back.  I probably should do more yoga to help out my back but I find it hard to commit to yoga. It doesn't feel like I'm doing much but one hour of yoga seems like 3 hours.   It would probably be easier if I could just come up with a routine I could at home and this class helped me see which moves I could do at home (sun salutation, downward dog, plank, warrior poses,  child's pose, cobra, and one legged stands).

This morning was all work, but not hard:

Run 800M
90 singles (jump rope)
30 hand release push-ups 
30 goblet squats 30 lbs
30 sit-ups
3 rounds
Time 29:37
It seemed like this should have gone faster but those hand release push-ups were painfully slow.
This seemed like an endurance workout, yesterday the 5-6 minute WOD had me more gassed than today!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Weekend fun and Monday WOD

Over the weekend, I did a girls ride at San Lee, it was a fun, leisurely ride.  I think it took us about 3 hours to finish the entire trail (11 or 12 miles) but we spent a lot of time in Free Fall and even went back through Free Fall to show Beth how to get over some of the rocks.  And then right towards the end of Free Fall, I realized I wasn't picking the right line and tried to turn and get up to the rock line and ended up slipping and falling off my bike, slamming my left hand on a very hard rock and getting the bottom of my palm bruised and swollen. Fun times. Nobody saw the fall and I got up and just started walking my bike to get out of Free Fall. It took maybe another five minutes before I felt like I could grip the handlebars well enough to start riding and finish the last section of Free Fall. I was little annoyed at myself for falling for no reason and my throbbing hand reminded me of the fall for the rest of the ride.  I don't think the picture below does justice but it still hurts a bit when I put pressure on it.

On Sunday, we went for a local ride at 286 and I got to see the new trail being built there but I was again out of sorts. I wiped out twice within the first 2 miles and my stomach hurt from something I ate the day before!  So I quit after about 10-11 miles.  Not the best biking weekend for me but definitely not the worst either.

On Monday, I got back into the gym and really ended up liking this WOD:
60 kettlebell swings 30 lbs
50 burpees
800M run
30 box jumps (I did stepups)
20 handstand pushups (yup, I did it)
10 deadlifts 165 lbs
Round 2: half the reps (i.e. 30 kettlebell swings, etc.)
Time 24:48

The hardest parts were the handstand pushups and the deadlifts but it was all good and my hand didn't hurt.

Warning: don't use your hand to catch yourself in a rock garden

Last Thursday, I did my first night ride in Rocky Road.  I am really glad I have ridden this trail about 30 times this year because it helped to know where the trail was going as it got darker and darker (I had a light but still, with all the leaves on the ground, the trail was hidden!).  The ride was a little bit slower and we made a wrong turn at one point but we still got done in 1:15, not bad. 

Friday morning I did my heavy lifting:
75 lbs 5 reps
85 lbs 3 reps
95 lbs 1 rep! I tried two more attempts but did not get under the bar fast enough.

Then Deadlifts:
140 lbs 5 reps
160 lbs 3 reps
180 lbs 7 reps
I recorded the clean and the 140 and 180 lb deadlifts, I think my form was pretty good overall.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Wednesday WOD and night ride

It might have been a lonely workout on Wednesday if Laura (instructor) didn't do the WOD along with me!  I think it was better having her do the WOD too since it motivates me to see someone else do it at the same time:
Power cleans 85 lbs
10-8-6-4-2-2-4-6-8-10 reps
Double unders (sinlges for me x 3!)
You do 10 power cleans and then 50 double unders (I did 150 singles jump rope) and then back to power cleans with 8 reps and so on. 
Power cleans at 85 lbs was hard and I kind of gave up after the first 8 and took of some weight and used 75 lbs but then it was too easy  so I went back to 85 lbs on the 2 rep rounds and stuck with it even though I was breaking them down into 3 reps at a time to finish.  Still, I think this means I can't go back to 75 lbs in a WOD! 

Time: 21:49

Wednesday night was my first bike ride in almost 2 weeks! Between traveling, the rain, and being sick, I just haven't been out there.  It was a night ride at Lake Crabtree park and it was pretty fun.  We did two laps so I think I got in about 12-13 miles?  I didn't keep track.  I can't wait to bike again! 

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Lifting heavy (for me)

I planned on lifting today instead of doing a WOD and ended up doing a little more heavy weights than I planned.

Jason had us find our 3 rep max on the push press and one rep max on the push jerk. 
My 3 rep max on the push press was 85 lbs and my push jerk 1 rep was 95 lbs.  he tried to get me to do 105 lbs but my arms weren't having any of it. 

Then I worked on my back squats:
85 lbs 5 reps
100 lbs 3 reps
110 lbs 7 reps!!!!
Back squats felt great today and I can see myself getting to body weight in a few more months! 
I then went back to straight presses:
60 lbs 5 reps
70 lbs 3 reps
80 lb zero reps! I just could not get the bar up above my nose, my arms were sore from all the push-ups the day before and maybe already worn out from the push presses and push jerks.  I will try again on Thursday or Friday.

I figured out how to make salads more tasty : add filet mignon.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Coming back from a cold

My sore throat last week developed into some aches and pains and a cough by Friday night so I took it extremely easy this weekend and watched two seasons of Don't Trust the B* in Apartment 23 on Netflix, finally ironed all my clothes and organized my bedroom.  I did absolutely no exercise and it felt pretty weird but also nice to not do anything but veg for two days.  And vegging to the B* in Apartment 23 was excellent so I have to write about it and tell you to watch it! It's demented, has a lot of funny lines and good dialog but the best was in Season 2, Episode 8:

Queens accent: "You crazy.  You stabbed a bitch in the conference room! You from Queens?" 
Midwestern accent: "No, I'm not. I'm from--"
Queens accent:  "Oh, you from Queens." 

For some reason, this 30 second piece of dialog had me laughing over and over again.  Sometimes television delivers.  The bummer part is that the show was cancelled! Oh well, it's probably for the best since it ended still being funny.  So the weekend was a wash as far as fitness goes but I was feeling better by Sunday night and decided to go in and do a WOD Monday morning.  Jason was teaching and it was just me and BC.  Before the WOD, Jason promised to show us one self-defense move and the first thing he showed us was how to get away if someone was trying to choke you. I'm going to have to ask friends to practice this with me so I remember how to do it!

The WOD itself was pretty hard:
25 pullups
50 deadlifts 63 lbs
50 pushups
50 floor wipers 63 lbs
50 box jumps (I did step ups)
50 thrusters 63 lbs
25 pullups
I thought the deadlifts would have been easy but my arms were tired from all the pullups so I had to break down the deadlifts in 15 rep intervals. The thrusters were the hardest of all (a front squat into a push press) and I was breaking them down in 3-5 reps at a time.  And I almost did more than 25 pullups at the end because I had the number 50 in my mind! Luckily for me, I stopped at 25 when Jason asked me how many I finished and he said I was done at that point!

Friday, October 11, 2013

Friday cardio WOD and deadlifts!

I went to the gym for my 4th WOD this week!

Row 400M
Run 400M
40 double unders (I did 10 attempts then 150 singles!)
4 rounds
Time 23:37
My shoulders were a little sore from push presses yesterday so I didn't do cleans and only worked on my deadlifts:
130 lbs 5 reps
150 lbs 5 reps
170 lbs 5 reps
The 170 lbs was tough!  Today was a tough day for lifting, didn't feel like I had much energy in me. 

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Thursday WOD

It's raining and it's been raining all week which means no Mtn biking.  It's not that I think I will ruin the trails, it's that I know my back wheel will slide out on every tree root and I will get more beaten up than I'd like! So no Mtn biking means I'm doing more WODs this week and today was pretty hard:

100M walking lunges
Hang power cleans 65 lbs
Push press 65 lbs
100M walking lunges
Time 18:53
I did 55 hang power cleans and push presses! I actually thought I was going able to do 75 lbs but after the first 6 reps, I knew I couldn't do it without falling apart so I dropped the weight down.  65 lbs was a challenge! I felt great after finishing though.

I had a good Wednesday WOD although I feel guilty for not going heavier and maybe not squatting as deeply as I should on the front squats:
3 front squats 85 lbs
8 ring dips (purple band)
8 rounds
Time 6:03!
Shortest WOD ever maybe?  This also made me feel guilty- like I sandbagged the workout even though as I'm sitting here 14 hours later in the early stages of delayed onset muscle soreness!  So I worked on my cleans after the WOD was over and did cleans at 85 lbs and 90 lbs (3 reps).

I've been motivated again to cook and yesterday I made my eggplant/ground beef dish which made for a delicious lunch.  Monica provided me some delicious but deadly dark chocolate cake/torte, it was decadent.  I had a small portion so I felt like I enjoyed it but didn't pig out. 
I also tried my hand at filet mignon broiled in the oven, gotta have my iron and B12!!!! And I tried making chicken thai green curry.  Everything tasted good and I have plenty of food for the next couple of days but boy, is prepping and cooking labor and time intensive! Even when I think I'm not taking too much time, I still end up spending 60-90 minutes in the kitchen cutting, prepping, cooking and cleaning!  I keep reminding myself that this allows me to eat better for less and it does actually taste better than most of the things I would eat in a restaurant.

Thai Green Curry with chicken, carrots, and bok choy

Filet Mignon broiled in the oven!