Friday, May 31, 2013

Strength training week 3

I did my back squats and presses today from Wendler's 5 3 1 program:
Back squats
70 lbs 5 reps
75 lbs 3 reps
85 lbs 1+ reps -> 10 reps total
Then I did my presses
55 lbs 5 reps
60 lbs 5 reps
70 lbs 3 reps
I did 3 reps at 70 lbs just like Wednesday despite being rested this time! I waited another 5 minutes and tried again and only got 3 reps again, it was tough. I was hoping to get more reps but that's where I am at.

Afterward I did my mountain bike strength training:
Uni kettlebell cleans 25 lbs
3- way plank holds 30 sec
Deadlift 135 lbs
Floor press 75 lbs
Then I went home and had a protein smoothie to aid in recovery. I love strength days!

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Run, WOD, and bike

Wednesday night, I got back into hill repeats with Lisa and Edward, and realized that it's been 1 month since we last did this!  I haven't gotten any slower but we decided to take it easy and only did 4 hill repeats at Umstead on the Reedy Creek Lake trail hill:
0.20 mile repeats
Lap 1: 2:02.8  10:16 min/mile pace
Lap 2: 1:55.4  9:38 min/mile pace
Lap 3: 1:49.1  9:07 min/mile pace
Lap 4: 1:45.7  8:50 min/mile pace
Each lap was better than the previous but I am not sure how I would have done if we had to do 2 more laps.  Still it was a good workout and good way to get back into running since I've been slacking off for most of May. 

Thursday morning: I did a WOD at Forged Fitness:
Run 400M
21 kettlebell swings 35 lbs
12 pullups (band-assisted)
3 rounds for time and then 1 extra round for fun
Time for 3 rounds: 10:23
Afterward we worked on our static dip holds on the rings.  I managed to hold myself up for 15 seconds two times and only got about 10 seconds on the third try.  Jason's goal is for us to be able to do ring dips without any assistance, eventually. Maybe even this year!  I suppose if we practice every week, it should happen.

Lastly, I had a great Thursday evening bike ride on Rocky Road.  Despite my legs feeling a bit sore from Wednesday's WOD, I felt pretty good out there and was able to climb better and my heartrate didn't go crazy fast in the first two miles.  We finished the ride in 1:08 (6.5 miles) and now when I got to the last section of the trail knowing it's almost over, I felt a little sad that the ride was already over!  It definitely seems to go by much quicker than ever before and I'm no longer completely spent by the end of the ride. 

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Wednesday WOD

Today's WOD was pretty tough and a good metric for where I am in terms of both strength/endurance in a crossfit workout, when I first looked at the board, I thought, that's easy, I can do 5 reps@75 lbs for each exercise and then it registered that it was 2 rounds of that repeated 3 times!  Yeah, I was not ready for that @75 lbs so I dropped it down to 63 lbs and found this challenging once I did the push press:
Bear complex:
5 power cleans
5 front squats
5 push press (or jerks)
5 back squats
2 rounds of the Bear complex then run 400M
Repeat for 3 rounds total
My time was 17:18
Karen finished at 14:22 and I was just getting started on my run, so it took me 3 minutes to finish my 400M which is a walking pace- my legs felt like molasses after the bear complex, it was tough to even pretend to run. 

I rested for five minutes and then worked on my military press:
5 reps@ 55 lbs
3 reps@ 60 lbs
3 reps@ 70 lbs
The presses were a challenge. According to my Wendler worksheet, I should have been able to do more reps at 70 lbs so I'm going to try this again when I'm fully rested later this week.

I've been wasting time lately surfing the internet when I could be reading a book or watching a movie or spending time being just more interactive.  I chalk it to "Rest and Recovery" for the last 2 days.  And I read up on Jim Wendler's blog and he had an interesting post on one guy who wrote him in desperation regarding his physique and how much it tormented him.  Read the post here.  The best part of the post was Wendler's response to the constant angst and you can replace the angst about dieting with my angst about not being fast enough on the bike or not having the skills on the bike or not even being able to lift heavy in the gym.  I put myself down and I would like to stop, it's hard though.  Most of the time, I just think I'm being honest about my own level and skills but I realize it's not necessary to say it all the time.  I definitely have improved over the last couple of years in mountain biking and since I started Crossfit 3 years ago, I definitely see an improvement there too.  It's just that I have seen other people improve faster! And my competitive spirit raises its head or maybe it's just the green monster of envy?  The point is that I will shut up about being too slow (or as I like to put it, not as fast as the guys) and about being weak.  Instead, I will work on inching my way to faster speeds by getting more confident and letting go of the damn brakes and I will keep up with Wendler's 5-3-1 strength program for back squats, presses, deadlifts and cleans.  All these things keep getting better and better so I don't have much room to complain- I just need to reign in my impatience and be a little more thankful for what I have already achieved!

As for what I have been doing the last couple days- there has been a good amount of eating going on and I cooked up some new dishes with my mom. I'm fueling up and enjoying it.  And I did my Tuesday night girls' ride at Lake Crabtree and had a blast.  It really is fun to ride with women who want to try the logstacks and other skills stuff that is hidden in Crabtree. We covered about 8 miles of singletrack plus I got 4 miles of greenway and my little greenway hill is not as painful as it was four months ago when I was just getting started!

Cabbage medley! Nom, nom, nom!

My mom makes a mean chicken curry
Post-log stack!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Friday biking and getting stronger

I cut out of work early on Friday to go biking and have lunch out. My big mistake was having lunch at Chubby Tacos and ordering the very spicy carne Asada taco and a spicy barbacoa taco. Although it was delicious, it came to haunt me two hours later on the trail trying to bike Rocky Road. My stomach felt like it was burning and then it felt like heartburn but I kept riding and by the time we finished Rocky Road, I was feeling better. I ate half a tortilla with almond butter before hitting the 286 trails and felt pretty good during this part of the ride. We ended up getting ~17 miles of trail plus I got 2 miles of greenway riding. We didn't finish all of 286 (left about 3 miles out) but I can feel that my endurance is improving and I was not spent after the ride.

Saturday morning I worked on my strength program:
55 lbs 3 reps
65 lbs 3 reps
75 lbs 4 reps
I think I had a little more in me but felt a bit unsteady on the last set so I quit while I felt good, then I did:
115 lbs 3 reps
130 lbs 3 reps
145 lbs 8 reps
I did much better on the deadlifts!

Friday, May 24, 2013

An easy WOD- no heavy lifting

Friday was an easy WOD and we had more people show up this morning!
Run 400M
30 kettlebell swings 35 lbs
40 situps (Abmat)
4 rounds
My time: 19:41
I think this is the first time I've used the 35 lb kettlebell in a workout since I hurt my back last year and today there was zero pain and no funny twitches in my back so I felt really good about doing the WOD with this weight.  I did 4 WODs this week but did not run at all so I don't feel overworked or tired. I think my eating was better this week also.  I've upped my calories and am feeling more energetic and still the same weight! 

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Forged Again

It's a bad sign when you are in bed and debating whether to go to the gym because you think it might affect your biking later in the day but then realizing it probably is going to rain and you won't be able to bike at all so you might as well get up and do a WOD. So I went to the gym and did this:
Military press 10-8-6-4-2
@ 33-38-55-65-70 lbs, I attempted 75 lbs but I couldn't get it above my shoulders! My arms are still sore from Tuesday so I suspect that is one reason I couldn't do 75 lbs. Then we did a mini WOD:
10 goblet squats 35 lbs
30 double unders (I did 60 singles)
10 pull-ups band assisted
30 reverse lunges
3 rounds for 8:45
Afterward I did some more strength work:
Back squats
65 lbs 3 reps
75 lbs 3 reps
80 lbs 7 reps
And I went for a max rep on my military press
65 lbs 6 reps
Good stuff!

Our Tuesday night ride was modified because the singletrack was too wet/muddy from all the rain. So we rode Umstead instead which never closes and has dirt road trails that are rideable even after a lot of rain.  This still meant we got a little muddy in some wet spots on Cedar Ridge but it was still a good ride and we got about ~17 miles + I got 4 more miles of greenway to get back home.  It was a leisurely paced ride but I did try to accelerate on the hills instead shifting into the granny gear and just spinning. 
I meant to get up early on Wednesday and go to the gym to do my squats and mountain bike strength training but sleep won out and I didn't do anything this morning.  I did however make it to another bike ride, this time at Briar Chapel,  after work and it was really fun.  The ride was sponsored by Performance Bicycle and was led by Sonya Looney.  I ended going in the "middle" group and what was really nice was that Sonya waited and didn't try to go with the really fast group. And since I was wearing my Fruita jersery we talked a little bit about the trails in Colorado (where she lives) and how the riding was different here.  Briar Chapel trails are sort of beginner/intermediate trails and we finished the ride in about 1 hour and 10 minutes.  After the ride was over, Performance Bike had sandwiches and drinks for us and Sonya gave a talk about what it was like being an endurance racer and working for Topeak/Ergon.  I'd say the most interesting things she said about biking was:
1. she loves riding because it means being out in the mountains
2. she does yoga regularly which has helped her to alleviate knee and back problems
3. she doesn't do any protein drinks but does recommend eating something immediately after a ride
4. she runs 20-25 psi in her tubeless tires (I've been doing 30 psi and I think I need to try something lower!)
5. She's been racing for 9 years and she didn't start mountain biking until she turned 20
6. She recommends getting your own torque wrench to make sure everything is tightened up correctly on your bike (I need to buy one)
7. She gets to travel around the world doing races with a Topeak/Ergon sponsorship and she works for Ergon- she is living her dream. 
Sonya Looney has a lot going for her and was extremely personable which helps to make her the face of Ergon.  I'm really glad I made the hike out to Briar Chapel (a good 45 minute drive from where I live), it was a great ride and great presentation/Q&A session by Sonya.  And afterward they had a raffle and I won a pair of cool pink socks.  Good times biking.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Grappler Circuit

After yesterday's sumo deadlift high pulls, I had a tough time with today's workout, especially on the upright rows and presses:
10 Bent over row
10 upright row
10 shoulder press
10 good mornings
10 split squats (left and right each 10)
10 thrusters
10 stiff leg deadlifts
1 minute rest
6 rounds
Time 32:48
I did  this with the 45 lb bar and by the 2nd round, my shoulders were burning from the upright rows and the presses.  Even trying to hold the bar on my upper back for the good mornings burned my arms because I felt like the blood was draining from them from holding the bar for so long. I had to put the bar down in the 3rd round (and this continued through the rest of the rounds!) and take a break.   My first round took 4 minutes exactly and each round thereafter kept adding 30 seconds!  I was glad I could do it with the 45 lb bar but it was hard, really hard and I even thought of quitting after 4 rounds but I didn't because it's even harder to quit when there are people around you and you know that your name on the board is going to say "4 rounds".   That's okay for people who haven't been coming to the gym regularly but that isn't me.   So I pulled through and finished it.  I don't think I'm going to be able to do presses again until Thursday/Friday though.  I wasn't even up for squats after this workout so that will have to happen tomorrow.

Last week kind of sucked because I felt awful up until Thursday, I didn't feel energetic and I couldn't catch my breath- two signs that I overtrained the week before. So I rested a lot last week, didn't run at all and only went to Forged Fitness once.  I think the rest paid off because I was able to do a long bike ride on Friday and I attempted another bike ride on Saturday but got rained on halfway through so I only did about 6.5 miles of 286.  It was still fun, I just wish I had started out earlier.  I think when rain is the forecast, I'm going to have to adjust and beat the rain by riding much earlier in the day.  Sunday was the same story, I attempted a bike ride and got poured on before I did much actual riding.  I did manage to get some more strength work done this weekend since my legs weren't spent from riding:
65lbs 5 reps
70 lbs 5 reps
75 lbs 7 reps
105 lbs 5 reps
120 lbs 5 reps
140 lbs 9 reps (I think I had one more in me but I'm not working to failure).
That felt pretty good and I am not sore from the workout.  And since it is still pouring today, I went to the gym this morning and had the pleasure of getting coached by Jason but no one else showed up!  It was one of those days again where I was the only person working out at 6 AM.
Monday WOD:
Row 800M (since it was raining)
Toes to bars
Sumo deadlift high pulls 63 lbs (highest weight I've done in a WOD for this)
21-15-12-9 reps
Row 400M
Time: 19:35
Good stuff.   With the all the rain in the forecast, I think biking is going to be minimal this week :(

I managed to get off of work a little bit early and decided this was going to be the day I ride both the Rocky Road and 286 trails.  I started off with John on Rocky Road and we finished it in about 1 hour and 15 minutes.  I wasn't trying to push it too hard since I wanted to have enough gas to get through 286 also but the great thing was after we were done, I didn't feel exhausted or spent.  I felt like I could have gone back and done another lap of Rocky Road!  That was a good feeling.  I think since February I've ridden this trail about 10-12 times now and the efforts are being rewarded now.  I still have to push sometimes but Rocky Road no longer defeats me :)

After Rocky Road, we got off the trail and John left so I could have my ride time with the girls.  I had to wait about 30 minutes but in that time, I refueld with an oven-roasted chicken sandwich (packed away in my Hydrapak!) and puttered around on my bike up and down Old Reedy Creek until the girls showed up.  The point of the second half of my ride was to introduce 286 to one woman (Heather) I met on the Tuesday night ride.  She rides a Kona singlespeed and kept talking about how she hasn't been mountain biking much but she did awesome! I found out during the ride that she does normally ride a lot on the streets and used to be a bike courier so it makes sense that her bike handling skills would be good and her endurance was all right.  So Heather riding a singlespeed in 286 was a little humbling for me, I figured if she could do it without ever being on 286, I should be able to take a stab at riding singlespeed there also.  I do know that some of the hills will be hard though.  I also got Trina and Karen to tag along and it was a great ride for the four of us.  We didn't have time to do the whole trail (it keeps getting longer and longer as they add more sections) but we did a decent 11 miles.  It was pretty awesome: 6.5 miles (RR), 11 miles (286) and 4 miles (greenway) = 21.5 miles on a Friday.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

More rest and Thursday strength work

I took Wednesday off because I was still feeling wiped out and didn't feel all that much better on Thursday and skipped Forged Fitness.  I did manage to make it to my basement gym at the end of the day and re-started my strength training program:
Back squats:
60 lbs x 5 reps
70 lbs x 5 reps
75 lbs x 9 reps (I may have been able to do one more but it felt pretty hard!)

then I worked on my military press:
45 lbs x 5 reps
55 lbs x 5 reps
60 lbs x 8 reps (the last rep was hard, I didn't have one more left in me).

I think it kind of sucks that I'm so weak on the back squat (for someone of my weight and history, I should be able to start off higher than 60 lbs) but the whole point of this is to see if I can progress and get stronger.  So I will be starting off maybe lighter than necessary but hopefully I can make some good gains and get a decent back squat number.  My long-term goals (1 year?) are to:
back squat 1.5X body weight
press 1X body weight
deadlift 2X body weight
I slacked off on the strength training but I'm back now. 

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Weekend Burnout and a Tuesday WOD

I didn't think I worked out that hard last week but I felt the effects over the weekend. So much so that I was too tired to write about it until today!  I also did some extra stupid (for me) because I read an article about fat burning techniques and decided to try it out for the first time Saturday morning. The gist was do your workout without eating breakfast and then wait a couple hours post workout before eating, this is supposed to turn out the fat burning switch.  So all I did in the morning was drink a cup of chai (~100 calories) and had a glass of water and went off for my run at Umstead Park.  I walked/jogged to the park (1.1 mile) and then got started with the group.  We did Company Mill and I got left behind!  I was not feeling energetic at all and it showed.  I took the Old reedy creek road shortcut and ended up doing 5.5 miles total in 72 minutes.  A far cry from my 60 minute run when I felt really good a couple of weeks ago.  I didn't feel like I was going to pass out or even hungry, I just didn't have the stamina.  I am not going to do that again for a run!  I can do my Forged Fitness WODs without eating because it's so early in the morning and the times are shorter (10-25 minutes).   It didn't end there though.

I got back home, ate a really good breakfast of eggs, sweet potato hash, and brocolli with another cup of chai. I was feeling pretty good and left to go mountain biking.  We get out there and tackle the Rocky Road trail, it was kicking my ass (no surprise) and about 2.5 miles into the ride, it started raining.  So we bail and by the time we get back to the road, the sun came out and it was beautiful. So we decided to take a lap around the Lake Crabtree trails.  It's bad when even the Crabtree trails feel like a challenge. After about 9 miles of biking, we get back to the road and I am ready for lunch.  As in, I could not bike anymore unless I had something to eat!  So we go to BurgerFi and I get a hamburger and fries and feel normal again.  And we tackle Rocky Road one more time.  Now one thing about this-  at this point we started Rocky Road twice and the first 2 miles are anaerobic hell.  And I did it twice.  While I was feeling knocked out tired and had jelly legs.  And about 4 miles into the ride, it started raining, raining hard.  So we bailed once more and that was the end of my Saturday.  I think we got about 16 miles total of singletrack (plus my 2 miles of greenway!).  Not bad for feeling wiped out but I don't want to fee like that again!

Burnt trail at New Light!
I rested up the remainder of Saturday and tackled the New Light singletrack on Sunday.  I thought I would have been recovered but no, New Light really kicked my ass.  And to make things feel worse, the first 2 miles of New Light is also anaerobic hell with many short/long steep climbs.  But we did it anyway, and did the entire trail (~9.5 miles?).  I still loved it out there. It was quiet, we only saw maybe 6 other bikers.  New Light is also undergoing controlled burning so riding through burnt out areas was a little surreal.  That was the gist of my weekend.  I thought about why I was feeling so bad and think it was a couple of things- messing up my eating and doing WODs 4x in the past week. I think that's just too much when I'm also trying to bike hard and run hard.  The problem is that I think the WODs are fun and it's addictive.  I will have to curb it though because biking is still more fun than WODs!

Monday was a rest day (had to be!).
Tuesday was back in the gym and I still felt a little tired doing this WOD:
8 min AMRAP (as many rounds as possible)
10 power snatches (55 lbs)
10 pull ups (band-assisted)
I did 3 rounds + 5 snatches

then rest 3 minutes
8 min AMRAP
10 wall balls (12 lbs, I downgraded)
10 kettlebell swings (30 lbs)
I did 7 rounds total.

This WOD knocked me out and left me in sweaty pool with heart pounding.  I didn't have the motivation or the reserves to do any extra work. 

Friday, May 10, 2013

Friday WOD

It was a Good Friday workout:
Run 800M then 4 rounds of:
10 lateral hops
10 floor presses 63 lbs
10 floor wipers 63 lbs
Then run 800M again
My shoulders were burning by the 3rd round!

I was too sore from the Tuesday WOD and end up taking Wednesday as my rest day.  I was still sore in my legs today but made it to the gym for this WOD:
Clean and Jerk Ladder
1st minute: 1 clean & jerk
2nd minute: 2 and so on until you can't finish the reps in the 1 minute allotment
I got to 9 minutes and couldn't finish all 9 and then worked backwards and reduced reps every minute to go back to 1 rep (17 minutes).  I ended up doing 80 reps @65 lbs!  The neat thing was that until I got to 7 reps, I was doing 1 rep every 5 seconds, much faster than expected.  I considered doing 75 lbs but I think would have struggled and it would have been tough.

After work, I went for an Umstead bike ride since all the singletrack was muddy from the persistent rain we have been having the last few days.  It was a good ride, we did the two "challenging" hills and ended up getting 20 miles total @10 mph.  This also meant I ate well today! I've realized that I haven't been eating enough of the right foods (not enough carbs, not enough protein). I made it a point to eat extra carbs the night before a Crossfit workout or a bike ride and I can definitely feel myself being more energetic and hitting the gym and the rides harder with the extra energy I have.  The only time I fall off the track is when I indulge in too many sweets and not enough healthy carbs but I'm getting there.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Back at Forged Fitness

Last week was crazy and I haven't had time to even put my thoughts down much less post my routine.  But I did workout 3 times while away and will duly record it this week.  But for now, I am back at Forged Fitness (both Monday and Tuesday) and had two tough workouts.

On Monday we (actually only I since I was the only one at the 6 AM class) did this:
3 min AMRAP with 1 min rest in between for 5 rounds:
5 pull ups (band-assisted)
7 burpees (yay!)
9 Kettlebell swings 26 lbs
I ended up doing a total of 12 rounds plus 7 burpees,  I thought the 1 minute rest in between would be enough to recharge but I was out of breath the whole time.  It was like being a boxer in a fight when it's just such a high intensity and you go, go, go.

Today (Tuesday), we had another challenging workout:
10 presses
10 overhead squats
20 push presses
25 front squats
30 push jerks
35 back squats
I used a 57 lb bar and the most difficult was the overhead squats.  It took me 11:44 to finish. I wanted to try 63 lbs but I think I would have flopped on the overhead squats.  This kind of workout always inspires me to get out to my basement gym and just lift more for practice! Fun stuff, everyone should do it!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Running in Barcelona

I am traveling this week. I had an overnight flight to Barcelona and slept maybe 5-6 hours total and got to Barcelona by 8:30 am. We reached the hotel at 10 am, checked in and made plans to go for a 1 hr run around the city. Well, our fearless Spanish leader and general manager of our plant stretched the truth and we ended up running for 1 hour and 50 minutes- 9.4 miles! It was invigorating but hard. I haven't done a longish run in a while. We ran alongside the beach (there was a walking/ biking path) and then through the city and back to the beach and our hotel.
I was well-fed on the flight though, I had a chicken salad for lunch and beef tenderloin for dinner, then an omelette for breakfast. I also had Ben and Jerry's chocolate fudge ice cream for dessert. I also had 1 liter of water before the run which helped !