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).