Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Lifting and running on humpday

I devoted 6-7AM to lifting heavy things:
Military press
55 lbs 5 reps
65 lbs 3 reps
75 lbs 1 rep, this was weak. I don't know understand why I'm stuck at 70-75 lbs.  Well, I do understand that I'm not strong enough but it doesn't make sense with the efforts I'm putting in.  I hope to try this again just at 75 lbs without the other rounds and see how I do. 
Back Squat
75 lbs 5 reps
85 lbs 3 reps
95 lbs 7 reps
This felt good today, but I still need to improve on my depth, I go below parallel but I'm not always getting ass to grass and that's where I want to be!  So next time I do back squats, I'm going to make sure that I bounce a little in the bottom position to assure myself that I really did go as low as I can.

I finally got back to the Ultimate Mountain Bike Strength Program, now on Cycle 5 of 7, first week:
Kettlebell push press 2x26 lbs
Windmills 20 lb kettlebell, this was harder than I expected
Bench press 75 lbs

After work, I went for a short run at Umstead on the bridle trails, only did about 3 miles.  No hill repeats today but those 3 miles were hard for me. I have lost so much of my running conditioning.  I need to add more runs to my weekly program to bring myself back up to marathon-readiness!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Tuesday WOD

This morning's WOD felt pretty hard for me, and I thought I was far behind the others but it turns out I just can't keep track of my rounds in my head.  Not a problem because Alan kept track for us.

As many rounds as possible in 20 min:
5 dead lifts 135 lbs
10 hand release push-ups
15 wall balls 12 lb ball
I got 9 rounds + 5 deads and 10 push-ups and really hated the wall balls! I don't think there is another exercise that gets my heart rate skyrocketing like wall balls.

Monday, July 29, 2013

It's been a long weekend

I was actually not very active (at least relatively speaking for myself) this past weekend. On Saturday morning I did get up in time to do a 7:30 AM run at Umstead with Lisa and Edward.  Lucky for me Lisa was feeling sluggish and she stuck with me and pulled me through the 5.5 mile loop around Company Mill. We finished in 1:08, so a few minutes ahead of my previous times!  It helps to run with her because I'm less likely to give up and start walking! 

I rested up for a bit and then went biking with John in Chapel Hill. We finally explored the Carolina North Forest, starting off on the school side and doing a very tiny bit of the airport side.  The school side was lot of climbing up and then going down and every trail followed the lines of the hills which is not the best design for trails since they tend to drain badly.  This is why CNF is closed all the time post-rain!  Overall, I thought it was okay but don't see a compelling reason to go bike there when I have so much wonderful singletrack right near my home.  At least I can say I've tried it and I will go back to ride the rest of the airport side at some point.  We quit after the school side because it started raining, ironically by the time we got back to the car it became sunny and bright but we decided lunch was more important than riding more!  And it was a very good lunch at this place called Buns.  I had the best hamburger there and the best sweet potato fries.  So Saturday I managed to do my run and get a bike ride in.

Sunday was all about yard work, first going over to New Light and doing trail maintenance on the singletrack there. Basically getting rid of the overgrowth on the trail and any extraneous little bushes that were growing and encroaching on the trail.  I think we only worked on about 1 mile of trail but we walked 1 mile to get to the trail and 1 mile back.  After that was over (3 hours), I went back home, had lunch and then got to mowing my lawn with my push mower. What's nice about using the push mower is: using my own power, no gas and getting to listen to my ipod music while I worked.  Although I still had energy after I was done, I just didn't feel like biking or running. I kept trying to talk myself into doing some weight lifting but that didn't happen. So I chalk this up to a relatively light weekend. 

Monday- is usually my rest day but since Sunday felt like a rest day, I went to the gym and worked on my lifting.  The only thing that sucked was that I had a massive headache even before I started lifting and pushing through some of the lifts actually made the headache worse.  I didn't want to bail on the lifts though:
Military press:
55 lbs 3 reps
60 lbs 3 reps
70 lbs 3 reps this was a struggle! I was a little disappointed because I felt rested but I guess I need to spend some time working on my presses. I'm going to incorporate some push presses and kettlebell presses to improve my press.
Full cleans:
67 lbs 3 reps
75 lbs 3 reps
80 lbs 3 reps, I think I could have done more but these were good and I think for the olympic lifts it's better if I work on the form and keep the reps low.
120 lbs 3 reps
140 lbs 3 reps
155 lbs 10 reps
The deadlifts felt pretty good even though my back was sore from the yard work. I feel pretty good about the way I started my week!  Happy lifting!

Friday, July 26, 2013

WODS and biking

Thursday WOD was all about tabata:
Air squats
Kettlebell swings 35 lbs
Double unders (I did singles)
Sumo high pulls 35 lbs
Row for calories
For each exercise, we did 20 seconds of as many reps as possible, rest for 10 seconds and repeated for 8 rounds, then 1 minute of rest before moving on to the next exercise.
And the only thing that counts is the round with the least amount of reps!  So you try to maintain the number of reps without sandbagging. 
Air squats : 11 reps (started off at 12 reps)
KB swings: 11 reps (maintained all 8 rounds)
Singles: 45 skips (I was doing between 60-45)
Sumo high pulls: 9 reps (even at 35 lbs, it was tough) for all 8 rounds
Row for calories: 4 for all 8 rounds, it is really hard for me to get started on the rower, it literally took more than 10 seconds just to get to 2 calories and then pushing it really hard to eke out 2 more calories!

 After work on Thursday, I went mountain biking at Rocky Road and did 6.5 miles. It felt like I hadn't been there in a while but I had a good time and this time it was four us on the trail so the extra company was nice.  Nothing eventful happened but we did stand around and discuss how to get over a giant log that had rocks piled on one side so you can ride up to the top of the log but then there was at least a 2 feet drop off the other side.  I think I want to try it but I didn't have the guts on Thursday night but I'm keeping it in mind for the future.

Friday's WOD was a little easier:
Run 400M
DB Chest Press 2x25 dumbbells
Back extensions
Ring dips
Time 19:05
Afterward, I worked on my back squats and felt pretty good about how I did since my legs were sore from all the air squats yesterday.
Back Squats
70 lbs 3 reps
80 lbs 3 reps
90 lbs 8 reps
I felt really good at 90 lbs! It was nice to feel like the weight was easy and I had some energy left over even when I finished.  Compared that to a month ago when I barely got 6 reps and hurt my back a little trying to get that 6th rep!  It's slow progress but at least it's measurable! I can't believe I'm this excited over a 90 lb back squat.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Wednesday WOD

I bailed on the gym yesterday and did my biking at Lake Crabtree park with the ladies last night.  It was a fun ride, I got to lead and go as fast as I wanted.  I think everyone had a good time!

This morning, I did get up and make it to the gym.  Jason was there so we did an extra long warmup:
Row 400M
15 push-ups
Run 400M
20 air squats
Then the WOD:
Split jerks 75 lbs then 63 lbs at the 15 rep mark
Knees to elbows
Lateral hops 15-30-45-30-15
My time 15:43
I wish I had stuck with 75 lbs but my legs are still tired, it's annoying not recovering fast enough.  I'm not sure what I'm doing wrong or what I'm missing in recovery.  I sleep enough and eat enough protein and have been eating more carbs but its not helping.  Some days are just better than others I guess.

Monday, July 22, 2013

San Lee Trail

I went for my third straight day of mountain biking hoping I had more energy than I did on Friday and Saturday.  We went to San Lee County Park and I decided I was going to try some things that I had been avoiding- in particular Bouldergeist and the 1 mile super-technical rock garden known as Free Fall.  I have never been able to make the turn going down Bouldergeist.  I tried it twice, first taking the wide outer turn and getting knocked off the bike and hitting my left ankle really hard on some part of bike (enough to get a new cut) and then trying the sharper inside turn and jumping off my bike so I didn't fall.  Still too shaky and nervous and braking too hard to make this turn but I am determined to attempt it every time I go there now.  It's been over a month since I was there and I wish I had more time to get there more often to practice because it's more fun every time (even when I fail to clean a section!).  There is video of my two attempts but it's not meant for the public.  After that, the ride was going pretty well and I was feeling much stronger than the previous two days.  The San Lee trail has a lot of little names for the "Difficult" sections and the next section to best me is called "The Ledges". I can never seem to make it past the biggest ledge and get stuck there.  But it's close, I can see myself cleaning this section and I just have to keep trying.  After that it was The Gauntlet which is a difficult section full of baby rock heads.  For the most part, I feel like I'm floating over this section, I finally figured out how to ride through the baby rock heads- I no longer see them as "STOP" or obstacles, I just think I can roll over them and 99% of the time I do now!  The only tough part is I'm using 100% of my energy and the last section of The Gauntlet is an uphill baby rock head section that I just don't have the energy to get through.  Some day, all of it will come together- the technical skills, the speed, the endurance and the strength! I think that day is pretty far away though.  After this section, we made the decision to finally do Free Fall.  The Very Difficult and Most Difficult sections of the San Lee trail.  And for the first time ever, I think I actually biked 70% of Free Fall and it was really fun.  The biggest challenge was Area 51 which has these huge rock steps that I haven't figured out how to ride. I also had problems going over the bigger rocks (20-25"), I think I just can't visualize how I would get my bike over the rock and keep moving at the same time and then roll down the rock into an even rockier looking section.  Donn Otte put a7great video together of him cleaning all of Free Fall and I'm still amazed when I watch it because he makes it look like a piece of cake.  Some day!  It was an awesome Sunday, an awesome bike ride and a good way to end my weekend. Happy riding.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Singletrack riding and popcorn

This week has been messed up because I had to go out of town on Wednesday and ended up having a really, really delayed flight that left me getting home at 3 AM.  Which meant I had 3 hours of poor sleep and unable to function very well on Thursday.  So much so that I bailed on my bike ride on Thursday and couldn't do a WOD on Friday morning.  I did manage to get to Rocky Road on Friday night and it felt like a really slow ride but it took me 3 minutes longer than normal so really not that bad!  I still haven't caught up on my sleep but am feeling better.  On Saturday I rode 286 and tried the lunge technique going over some small dropoffs and it felt a lot better than rolling over them.  I still felt tired and it was hard but that could be because of the heat, the humidity, the lack of sleep and a not so great diet this week.

My friend got me hooked on Angie's Sweet and Salty popcorn and I found that Costco carries this in an extra-large bag size so it hasn't been doing much good for my nutrition!  My dear friend,  75% of that bag is waiting for you now, I can't control myself so I'm just saving it for you now.  On the flip side, I'm no longer eating Sport Jelly Beans or Cliff shot Bloks during my runs or bike rides.  I switched over to half of a whole wheat tortilla with almond butter, so far this has been pretty good for 2+ hour bike rides and I hope to make Allen Lim's rice cakes again for even longer rides.  I'm trying to eat snacks that have less sugar in them since I think my blood sugar is getting a little out of whack.  Things to focus on this upcoming week- back to strength training and running.   Wish me luck!
Tomorrow will be another bike ride because really, when it's this beautiful (yes even in hot July), I have to get out there on my bike. 

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Tuesday WOD and bike ride

Tuesday was productive, we did a 20-minute WOD where you try to get as many rounds as you can in the 20 minutes:
10 pushups
15 bent over rows 55 lbs
20 weighted situps 20 lb dumbbell
I did 8 rounds plus 5 pushups.  The hardest part was the bent over rows, I could do 10 perfectly and then struggled on the last 5 but I didn't want to drop the weight!  It's kinda cool when I can actually do the weight prescribed (for women) and feel like it didn't tear me up.  Today was that day.  So I feel like I'm getting stronger but I also am having little setbacks- by not getting in my mtb strength training and having one week of "bad eating" that has spiraled into "bad eating" in the week after and the repercussions were FAST.  I think I gained 2 lbs of fat just by eating homemade naan and going to Goodberrys with my mother 3 times while she was here!  And now it's hard to get back into the swing of eating healthy with just being overly busy and pre-occupied and traveling.  Although I loved the Snowshoe downhill weekend, I didn't adequately prepare for eating there and ended up buying sandwiches (bread) and pizza (more bread), it's really hard to be somewhat Paleo (more meat and vegetables, less processed carbs) outside of home and I know I have to be proactive and for the most part make my own meals.  I went out and bought the right things to eat and will get back on track.

After work, I did my regular Tuesday night bike ride with the ladies at Lake Crabtree and we had the best attendance ever this year! There were 13 of us riding the trails and it was awesome.  It was also even more awesome because I finally fixed my speedometer and got to see how much mileage we did and the speed at which we did it.  Now I have to see if I can find some dropoffs to practice on!

Wednesday, 7/17, I did absolutely nothing for working out so this will be my second rest day.  It doesn't feel like much of a rest day because I have been running around and am currently stuck in an airport waiting for my 3 hour delayed flight.  I regret not working out on Monday though because I'm going to miss my opportunity to do squats and presses tomorrow and will have to bump it to Friday or the weekend.  And the weekend is all about biking so I better get it done on Friday.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Kona Women's Downhill Camp

I went to Snowshoe this past weekend for my first downhill Mtn biking camp hosted by Kona's Angie Weston and Allride's Lindsey Voreis.  I was excited and a little nervous going into it because it meant I would get my bike off the ground and catch some air (both what I wanted and what I was scared of). 19 women had registered for the camp and we got a last minute entry that Saturday morning.  I didn't realize it until after the camp was over but the last entry was Sue Haywood!  She is a XC badass.  And i got to chat with her a little bit about trails in West Virginia where she lives but had no idea I was speaking to a legend.  I wish I could go back and talk to her again, she was down to earth snd super friendly.  

So we started off the camp with a 30 minute yoga session which actually felt good and warmed me up.  Then we went over with our bikes to the skills section that had different wooden structures to practice on.  We worked on the rear wheel lift and front wheel lift.  I can't wait to try the rear wheel lift on my own bike now.  We practiced the lunge which meant pushing your handlebars away from you to launch off on a drop off.  I need to work on my timing for this.  We got on the trail doing a Green section which is beginner level and that was fun and doable.  It also felt faster than I expected.  We did a Blue trail (Lucid and Raging Bull) which had one wooden ramp/drop off.  I went down the ramp easily but wish I could have launched myself off it to catch some air.  It was all very tiring, I was constantly putting pressure on my pedals and my quads burned.  Downhilling takes a lot of energy!

We split up into 2 groups and i was in the group being coached by Lindsey Voreis.  The next morning we did yoga again and then we worked on cornering and using our suspension to get over logs.  I think I rode 1 mile just practicing cornering in the 1/32 mile grassy area we were in. And then we went back on the trail and practiced cornering with Lindsey critiquing us.  It was an eye opener to see how much better cornering is when you move your whole body into the corner. And the the best part- we got onto a Black diamond trail and went over a big rock garden and then several nice downhill rooty sections. I got overly nervous at first and had to give it a second shot but I cleaned the sections and felt pretty good about how I rode it. Lindsey, Katy and the other Lindsay all spotted us and made sure we could do it.  At this point I was exhausted and called it a day even though they were going to continue to ride after lunch (1:30 pm).  I had an incredible time and incredible coaches.  It was a great experience and I definitely want to do it again, I just wish Snowshoe wasn't 6 hours away from where I live!  I aim to practice the rear wheel lift, drop offs and cornering at home so I'll be ready the next time for more downhill goodness. 

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Elizabeth WOD and presses and deads

I had a good workout yesterday:
Full squat cleans 63 lbs
Dips purple band assist
Time 9:04
I went easy on the weight so I wouldn't be sore this weekend for biking!
Afterward I did some strength training:
Military Presses
55 lbs 5 reps
60 lbs 5 reps
65 lbs 5 reps
The presses were hard, I either need to do more or figure out some accessory exercises to improve on them.
Then dead lifts
110 lbs 5 reps 
135 lbs 5 reps
145 lbs 12 reps
Good way to start a Friday!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Biking and a WOD

I had a great Crabtree ride last night with the girls.  The weather was perfect- breezy and not so humid and the rain stayed away.  I led the faster group and found my fast pace on my Blur, it actually didn't feel much different than the 29er bike so maybe I just imagined the fast speed with the big wheels. We tried all the interesting features: log stacks, the rock garden on loop 1, the rooty hill on Loop 3, the rock step up on loop 3 and of course all of loop 6.  After we were done with loop 6, a guy was waiting at the end of it and said we all had pretty nice bikes- an Ibis, Santa Cruz and a Pivot.  I'm not sure if he was surprised to see such bikes with a bunch of girls or just the fact that they were a lot more bike than a place like Crabtree should see. We did about 8 miles total that night.

And my DOMS started setting in after the ride from the morning front squats.  I still went in and did the WOD this morning:
Row 300M
16 wall balls 14 lbs
18 kettlebell swings 35 lbs
20 double unders (I did 100 singles cause Jason was there and didn't think 60 singles was enough!)
5 rounds
Time 24:15
This was a tough workout and really worked my endurance.  Afterward, I worked on my back squats:
65 lbs 5 reps
75 lbs 5 reps
85 lbs 6 reps
I wish I could have done more at 85 lbs but I felt like my form was getting worse on the 6th one and I didn't want to push my luck.  I might try again this week if my soreness goes away.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Tuesday WOD

I think my legs finally felt good today and it was just in time for some squats !

Front squats
3x3 75 lbs
2x3 85 lbs
The weights are nothing to brag about but I got full depth and kept my back straight.  Front squats are getting more comfortable to do!
Then a quick WOD:
5 Deadlifts 135 lbs
25 Abmat sit-ups
4 rounds
I was hoping to finish in under 5 minutes but I am really slow on sit-ups and I only have one speed doing them. 
Pretty good workout and hopefully after work I will be able to squeeze in a bike ride at Crabtree - cross your fingers and hope we don't get rained out!

Monday, July 8, 2013

Weekend riding and a short run

The rain finally stopped and some of the trails got to dry out so I devoted my weekend to biking.  It almost didn't happen though because after not riding for 4 days, and doing home improvement stuff instead, I was tired and unmotivated.  I was pretty much a slug all day Friday until I asked John to go for a ride at 5 pm to get myself out of the inertia I had settled into.  So we met at 5 pm and took on Rocky Road and it was great.  I don't think I've had a "bad" Rocky Road ride this entire year and despite still not being able to make some of the climbs and getting over some of the extra large logs (especially that damn one that is in the middle of a very steep slippery hill), it's still an awesome place to bike.  I took some video of me making it up a tree root step that used to give me trouble- in the past, I would bike up all the way to the right next to the tree and just pedal up but I finally figured out how to lift my front wheel up and get over the actual root.  It doesn't seem like much on the video and really in person, it's not that big either but it used to look 3 feet tall to me!

Saturday we rode the trails at Beaverdam.  The trails were in pretty good shape with only a few muddy spots.  This is one of the few trails in the Triangle where you have to pay to play ($6 per car and even if you bike in, you still have to pay $6!) but it's a great trail system and a little more opportunity for climbing.  All the Rocky Road rides have paid off though because not once did I try to look at the markers on the trail that tell you how much trail you have left to go.  On the South Loop, I used to start counting down once we reached the 420 marker (the end is 438) and on Saturday I didn't do that.  I felt strong at the 420 marker, and still felt strong when we finished South Loop.  And another first for me, I made it up the little rock garden hill on the South Loop, in the past, I couldn't even make it up halfway on this thing.  I definitely think I'm getting better on little rock gardens.  Overall, I think we got in about 11-12 miles.

Sunday, I did a short 4 mile run on the greenway behind my house.  My legs were feeling a bit tired and I wasn't up for a trail run.  And later that morning, I took the singlespeed out for a ride at Lake Crabtree.  We did about 8-10 miles and I was spent.  My legs felt really tired by the end of the ride and I didn't have any energy to do another lap.  Part of it was singlespeeding which makes me expend more effort and part of it was just getting tired from all the riding and work I did this past week.  Afterward, I used the foam roller to massage my quads, hamstrings and IT band and did a lot of stretching.  I don't use the foam roller enough and I have to remind myself to get on it to help recovery.  All in all, a good weekend and I can't wait for the next one!

Friday, July 5, 2013

Running and single leg squats

Fourth of July was all about legs.  Lisa, Ed, and I did hill repeats while my mom did a very long walk through Umstead.  My hill repeats were terrible! That is what I get for slacking off on the running and being sore from the dumbbell cleans the day before:


hill repeats4/25/20135/29/20136/5/20136/19/20137/4/2013
Lap 101:54.102:02.801:53.001:55.702:03.4
Lap 201:52.701:55.401:57.201:59.702:05.9
Lap 301:47.401:49.101:51.302:03.902:14.2
Lap 402:03.301:45.701:50.801:56.802:18.1
Lap 502:08.1

I try to remind myself that I got out there and now I have to get serious about the running or this whole marathon thing in November is not going to be pleasant.  Part of that training is getting more strength in my legs and that leads to single leg squats.  We attempted some after the run and it's still pretty tough. I need to work on the progression to get below parallel.  Eventually it would be nice to be able to do pistol squats (ass to grass) but I'd be happy with just getting below parallel and back up for a few reps!

Not making it here!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

A Hero WOD

I am finding that the extra heavy humidity and tough workouts from last week have left me feeling a little run down.  So I took two days off (Monday and Tuesday) hoping that would help me recover.  I wasn't feeling so recovered when I went to Forged Fitness this morning but it turned out to be a good thing to go because I'm feeling bouncy now.  The WOD:

Run 800M
30 dumbbell cleans 2x20 lb
30 burpees
Time 35:13
It was tough and I took it easy on the weight.  I think I could have done 25 lb dumbbells but I wanted to have enough gas in the tank to do my deadlifts after:
125 lbs 5 reps
140 lbs 3 reps
160 lbs 9 reps
Pretty awesome for me- I think I could have done a couple more reps at 160 lbs but I was losing my grip and didn't think it would count if I reset myself.  Next time on my heaviest set I'm going to try the alternate hand grip so I can pull for more reps since my legs and back still felt strong.