Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Excited About Riding Again!








(Ruby & I at a 2-Phase competition a couple of years ago)

I haven’t written about my riding in a while, but I did want to post an update before much more time passes. I have to say that I am having an excellent time riding this season. I decided at the beginning of the Summer that I wanted to add an additional lesson (a private) to my week, at least for a few months. I think this has worked out well for me as it has allowed me to have some great focus, has helped motivate me and I find that having that private lesson on Thursday, after my group lesson on Wednesday, gives me the opportunity to have some good scrutiny to work on things that maybe came up the day before, to zero in on stuff that needs more attention, or just to build on things that we worked on in the first lesson.

The other thing that I have made a commitment to with my riding is jumping on my own more. I posted this a couple of months ago about how I am regarded as a kind of a “jumping scrooge” at my barn. Well, in the interest of trying to make jumping more “been-there-done-that” / ho-hum / no-big-deal for myself, I have made some good steps towards banishing this image of myself as well. 

I have gotten pretty good about jumping at least one session per week on my own and have slowly been increasing the amount of jumping that I will make myself do. I started with jumping a couple of little fences at a time and then calling it “done”. I now will jump pretty much anything set up in the ring, as well as some stuff in the field (including the up & down banks). I have also been increasing the height of the fences that I do on my own. My attitude about jumping has improved to the point where it doesn’t faze me to jump around combinations of 3’ (or so) fences by myself. Of course, my trainer is also happy since, when it comes time for my jumping lessons, I’m no longer whining or giving her a hard time about jump height. It’s a work in progress, but the more I jump, the more I find that I want to jump! Funny how that works.

My Dressage work with Ruby continues to have its frustrations. About a month ago, I went through a very balky spell with her. Every flat session she would come up with a serious evasion where she would basically refuse to go forward, sometimes even at the walk. It has been especially frustrating because I felt (and still feel, believe it or not) that we had been making a ton of progress in our dressage work. Ruby’s trot in particular  has seemed to turn a major corner. Suddenly she gets the concept of what I’m asking for in the trot, becoming forward, actually on the aids and truly round (and with a correct bend!) When we went through this bad patch last month, it would take me almost an entire training session to boot her forward, to take her head out of llama status and get her out of her funk. The name of the game was transitions. Lots of transitions (basically my go-to tool, when all else fails). Walk, halt. Walk, trot. Trot, halt. Trot, canter. Canter, walk. Walk, canter. If you balk, you get booted forward and we get to do more of the same, endlessly. After going through this for forty-five minutes or so, I would usually, finally, end up with a soft and responsive horse, approaching the trot that I had been looking for. But, man! Was it frustrating. And exhausting. There were a few of those sessions where I questioned whether I should be selling Ruby and looking for another horse. There were a lot of times when I questioned whether I knew what I was doing (well, I still question that all the time). But, I have to say that it has gotten better. The canter still needs a lot of work and she is still pulling some of her balky maneuvers in our canter work, but her trot work has been lovely. She has also been offering this good trot work earlier and earlier in our rides too. Where it used to take me a lot of warm-up, suppling, transitions and other work to get her to a state where she started lifting her back, softening her jaw and reaching for the contact, I am finding that lately it has become more of a natural state with Ruby. It’s not immediate, but I am usually not jumping through a lot of hoops to get there either.

The thing with Dressage is: This is actually very hard for horses. There is a reason why there is a Dressage Training Scale. It’s not expected that you will achieve these things overnight. In addition to the training of the horse to gradually improve, there is also the gradual strength and muscling that is built in the horse as you progress in your work. It is not meant to happen all at once. A lot of the flat work asked of horses in Dressage training can be equated in humans to gymnastics, yoga and strength training, with a fair amount of endurance in there as well. It takes time to build on the work and your progress is usually measured in tiny steps. This year I feel like we’ve been “getting it”. And because we’ve been getting it, I’ve been asking more of Ruby. The balking thing is, I think, her reaction to my asking more of her – it’s hard! I just have to work through the rough patches and make her realize that defiance makes her life much harder.

With all that said about my dressage frustrations this Summer, even during the worst of it when I would be on the brink of giving up with Ruby, we would then have a jumping day in there where she would be awesome! Gallopy and loving life, even doing flying changes when I ask properly. And then there are the days when I get great flat work. It has been so hard-earned over the years that Ruby and I have been together that it is especially sweet when there is fluidity and harmony. It’s like the Dressage Gods have suddenly smiled on us. Because it hasn’t come easily, those great moments are now especially sweet.

To sum it up, these days I am truly excited about riding again. I was never actually “blah” about it, but I had reached a bit of a slump where flat work was always a fight, and it was also hard to watch others who have horses that make it easier. I dreaded jumping and just wanted to get through it and be done. I wanted to make improvements in all aspects of my riding and training of Ruby, but wasn’t really doing too much to get there and, as a result, wasn’t seeing much in the way of progress either. Now I feel like my riding world has opened up some. I look forward to even just a garden variety schooling session because I feel that I now have more of a partnership with my horse. Thanks to CrossFit, as well as more riding in general and some tweaking of my eating habits, I am also much more fit now than I was a few months ago, so this is definitely a contributing factor in my overall attitude and in my ability to ride better.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Well, at least I can row: CrossFit 08/13/2014




We had a crazy weather day here in New Hampshire, heavy rains that turned into a monsoon by the evening. It was raining so hard that I actually got one of those reverse 911 alerts to my cell phone warning of flash flooding. Riding was canceled, so I figured that I would go to CrossFit instead, since I didn't go last night and Wednesdays are usually strength work, something I definitely need to work on. It was raining so hard when I left my house that the thought actually crossed my mind, 'hmmmm, I wonder if anyone will even be at CrossFit tonight?' And then I immediately followed with this thought, 'stupid! Of course there will be people at CrossFit!'

I'm still nursing a very sore achilles, so I have to be careful what I do. I didn't go last night because I thought the posted WOD was going to be too tough on it. The workouts that I do take on, I just have to monitor it as I go. The good news this week is that I'm not limping around so much and it did not feel any worse the day after Monday's CF, so I'm encouraged by that. I'm not ready to run though. I ran from car in the rain to the gym tonight and it hurt quite a bit and caused me to run with a limp, so that is going to take some more time.

Posted workout for Wednesday, August 13th:

Warm-Up:

Line Drills x2 rounds each:

Butt Kicks
High Skips
Karaoke High Step
Shuffle
Forward Sprint/Back Sprint (run backwards)

What I did: Same, except the High Skips hurt too much, so I substituted extra rounds of Butt Kicks on that interval. 

Performance / WOD:

A. HBBS - E2M x6 x2 Reps (Translation: High Bar Back Squats, every 2 minutes for 6 rounds, do 2 reps each round)

What I did: My 1 rep max for this lift is 115lbs right now. During the warm-up I built up my weight to 85lbs and found that pretty challenging, so I kept it there for this exercise. It was tough, not sure if all the rounds crept up on me, or that's just what I had in me tonight, but whatever it was, I felt like I made the right decision for this one. Got through it in decent form and feeling fatigued, but not spent. 

B. 1 Mile Time Trial Run or 2000 Meter Row

What I did: Fred and I rowed and everyone else ran. I finished the row in 10:05 and wasn't too impressed with myself. But then I was thinking back to when I started CrossFit a couple of months ago and remember having to rest for a few seconds here and there during 400 meter row sessions. Tonight I did 2000 meters without any break. Coach Jen also seemed to think that the time was good for me, so okay, maybe I'm happy with it. 

C. 4 sets of 20 Slamballs as fast as possible.

What I did: I did a bunch of them to get the hang of it (hadn't done this before) but didn't count how many. And then I did one focused set of 20.

Some notes:


  • I really need to sort out my schedule so that I can come on Wednesdays more often. It's normally a riding night for me, tonight was an exception because of the bad weather. But I could probably work out an occasional CF session before work, or maybe at a lunch time or something. I have to think about this. 
  • I'm disappointed that I'm out of commission for running at the moment. I really want to work on the running some, at CF and outside of CF. I'm glad that I can row at least though. 
  • Slamballs are surprisingly hard!





Monday, August 11, 2014

And ... another benchmark: CrossFit 08/11/2014

I took a little break from CrossFit because my sore achilles was tweaked badly after a particularly tough workout a couple of weeks ago. I've been hobbling and limping around, afraid to come back too soon before it had a chance to get a little better. I've been resting it, icing and I've been wearing this crazy thing to sleep in. (Laugh all you want, but that Strassburg sock makes it so my achilles isn't so tight when I get up in the morning). Today I wasn't limping around as much, so I decided to give CrossFit a shot. The achilles hurts the most when I go down stairs, but I seem to be walking without too much limp now. Oddly, I've been able to ride okay. It hurts, but I can work through it and the stretching down in the heel is actually good for the tendon. 

We lost a friend from our CrossFit community last week. Patrick was only 22 and was killed in a tragic accident. Our CrossFit members have been reeling from the loss. Shocked and devastated. I am still so new that I didn't actually know him, but once I saw his picture, I realized who he is. He was very often at the box when I was there and often joined my class. Really cute, really enthusiastic, fun, great attitude, he was close to many of the CFE members. I never formally met him, but can feel the deep loss that many at CFE are feeling. Tonight I could just feel the hurt emanating off of everyone. I don't think I really appreciated until now how strong this community is. The caring for each other, the commitment to remembering Patrick and for helping each other through this tragedy is incredible. I don't know if I've ever seen anything quite like it. Tonight's session was bittersweet. 

Posted workout for Monday, August 11th:

Warm-Up:

Run or Row for 400 meters

What I did: Rowed for 400 meters. 

Dynamic Mobility:

Inchworms
Knee Hugs
Ankle Grabs
Lunge w/ Twist

And some additional dynamic balance lunges with Coach Jen

What I did: Same, except that I only did a few of the inchworms because we were outside and the gravel was digging into my hands. I think we forgot to do the ankle grabs though. 

Barbell Warm-Up:

Cleans

What I did: Same, only with a dowel as there wasn't a free 15lb barbell. 

Performance / WOD:

A. Squat Clean -- 12 minutes to build to a heavy single. 

What I did: Coach Jen had me take the 12 minutes to just work on my cleans in general, without worrying about building up to a heavy weight. I started with just the 15lb bar and worked up to 45lbs. I can probably do more weight for this lift, but my form was a bit shaky with the achilles issue and being a little rusty after my CF break so I left it at 45.

B. "Jackie" (Another one of the "Girls" -- Benchmark Workout):

For Time:

Row 1000 meters
50 Thrusters (men & women: 45lbs)
30 Pull-Ups

What I did: 1000 meter row in 5:10. 50 Thrusters with just the 15lb bar (I did it in sets of 20, 15, 10, 5 -- obviously they get harder as you go along!). 30 Ring Rows -- I tried to do the Ring Rows with my back as parallel to the ground as possible, to make it harder. 

My time was my score: 10:39 (which is pretty meaningless since I didn't have any weight on my Thrusters and did Ring Rows instead of Pull-Ups). 

C. There was a Cash Out, but I ducked out!

Some Notes:

  • I don't seem to have any trouble with rowing. I think I was among some of the first finished rowing in my heat, and I think I could probably have pushed harder.
  • Doing lots of Thrusters will give you jello legs. Yes, even with just a 15lb bar (or maybe it's just me). 
  • I wasn't the only one who did Ring Rows instead of Pull-Ups tonight.
  • I am not going to feel like a real CrossFitter until I can do some kind of Pull-Ups. Banded or whatever, just something. 
  • I am so glad that I went! Thank your CrossFit Earned for welcoming me back. 



Tuesday, July 29, 2014

For a Friend: CrossFit 07/29/2014


(My friend Chris back in 1990-something)

I lost a very good friend the other day. Chris O'Hare was one of a group of great girlfriends that I had back in NYC in the days when we used to all go out a lot. God, I have so, so many stories that I could tell from those days. I'll just leave that part of it by saying, I'm glad there was no such thing as Facebook or camera phones in those days! On the other hand, it would be fun to be able to look back through those times. Anyway, there was a pack of us and, kind of odd for a group of women, I honestly don't remember any bitchiness or competitiveness, none of that nonsense. We all always had each others' backs. We all had a blast rolling around NYC together. I even remember when a new gym opened up close to work. We all decided to join and would go to the bar before going to the gym! Chris was never the athletic type. I remember her looking at me in horror once at the gym as I worked out on a Stairmaster or something and exclaiming, "you're ... sweating!!!" I had to say, "well, yes Chris, that's kind of par for the course at the gym."

Chris' health began to fail a few years ago. All at the same time she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer and heart disease (and had a heart attack soon afterwards). She fought it for the past few years, but finally lost the fight a couple of days ago. Throughout her illness though, we would talk on the phone from time-to-time (not often enough!) and reminisce about the old days and the good times we all had back then. She had recently gotten a little active on Facebook and enjoyed following what everyone was doing. Because we all knew each other in NYC, the fact that I now live in New Hampshire and own a horse had Chris convinced that I live on a farm! She always managed to crack me up somehow.

Over the past couple of years, as I work through my own struggle to get fit, I have been thinking of Chris a lot. I think of what she could not do, but what I can choose to do. Every day comes down to choices. Sometimes I win, sometimes I don't reach my goal for the day, but every day is a new opportunity to get it right. Sometimes thinking of Chris helps motivate me, when I can't quite find the strength or enthusiasm on my own.

Today was one of those days. Chris, this workout was for you. I wish I did a better job.

Posted workout for Tuesday, July 29th:

Warm-Up:

3 Rounds, :30 per station:

1. Jump Rope
2. Lunge w/ Twist
3. Dive Bombers

What I did: I'm so mad, I forgot my jump rope!!! I took one of the gym jump ropes and right away couldn't even do it. I figured it was too long and so I went back to try and find a shorter one and couldn't, so then I tied two knots in the cable and it was too short ... argh! With all my dithering, I didn't end up doing a lot of the warm-up. Stumbled through some crappy attempts at the jump rope, some really terrible twist lunges and some push-ups from the knees. Geez, I was a mess. 

Looking at the WOD, I was in a bit of a panic that I wasn't going to be able to do the jump rope at ALL, after my disaster of a warm-up. 

We then did a bunch of stretching (especially hip mobility) and then WOD prep.

Performance / WOD:

A. "Blender Bottle"

AMRAP 8:00 (as many reps as possible in 8 minutes):

40 Double Unders
20 Wall Balls (20lbs men/14lbs women)

-Rest 2 minutes-

AMRAP 3:00:

5 Deadlifts (225lbs men/155lbs women)
5 Box Jumps (24" men/20" women)

-Rest 2 minutes-

2 RFT, 5:00 Cap (2 rounds for time, max time 5 minutes):

5 Deadlifts (225lbs men/155lbs women)
10 Box Jumps (24" men/20" women)
15 Wall Balls (20lbs men/14lbs women)
20 Double Unders

(Editorial Note: Apparently Tuesday is now Cardio Interval Day. I can't figure out if tonight or last Tuesday was harder. They both pretty much killed me.)

What I did: I finally figured out that I needed one knot in the jump rope cable to be able to use it. In the last couple of minutes before the clock went off I was able to string out a few at once, so that relieved my panic a bit (imagine panicking about using a jump rope? What is CrossFit doing to me?) I thought I was back at Square One with the stupid thing. 

Anyway ... 
Round 1 (8 minutes): I actually surprised myself when, after stumbling through a couple of false starts, I was actually able to string 40 (singles) together without screwing up. I did not double or triple my jumps for this WOD because I just knew I was stretched to the limits of what I could do already. I got through ... okay, I've already forgotten! I am pretty sure that I got through three rounds and then. Damn, I can't remember. Sheesh! Anyway, the Wall Balls were tough on me tonight. I struggled. Usually I can do at least 10 at a time before I have to rest a bit, tonight I was only stringing 5 together at a time. And my squats were crappy. Going through round-after-round of this, well, I just kind of completely lost my ability to hold myself together.  8 minutes never seemed so long. 

Round 2 (3 minutes): Again, I've totally forgotten how many rounds I got through. That's how delirious I was. I know that I Deadlifted 85lbs for the workout though and a did step-ups on a box (20"), but I honestly don't know how many rounds I did. I went through at least a couple. 

Round 3 (5 minutes): I got through 2 rounds of 5 Deadlifts (85lbs), 2 Rounds of 10 box step-ups (20"), 1 round of 15 Wall Balls and 1 round of 10, 1 round of 20 (single) jump rope. 

I don't even know what my score was. 

B. Plank Holds: 5 holds of 30 seconds, 15 seconds rest in between.

What I did: 5 plank holds, but only the first one was 30 seconds. 

Notes:


  • As bad as my performance was, I was red-lining it for most of the WOD. I felt a bit light-headed and very loose-limbed and noodle-y throughout. So, that is what I had in me tonight. 
  • The steps-ups aggravate my left achilles if I lead with my right foot, so I am only leading with my left right now. It's a little cockeyed, but it is what I need to do not cause more irritation. I think the step-ups are easier on it than "box" jumps though. 
  • The Deadlift repeats at 85lbs were challenging, but doable, so that is good to remember for the next time there are DL with a bunch of repeats (my 1 RM for DL is 125lbs at the moment). 
  • It's been a while since I practiced with the jump rope. I should spend some extra time doing that (and running) every week. 
  • I keep talking about a lot of "should dos". I need to stop talking about it and just do it.
  • I literally couldn't move for a few minutes once the WOD was done. Actually, everyone else in the class seemed to be in the same boat. 
  • Planks suck.
  • I thought about Chris a few times during my misery when I wanted to quit. 

Saturday, July 26, 2014

CrossFit Gear: Capris



When I started CrossFit, I would just wear cheap yoga pants that I bought at Target. While these were fine for walking or running on a treadmill or taking a yoga class, I quickly realized that they weren't going to work so well for CrossFit. I think I was in my first regular class (after having completed the ramp-ups) and my pants kept trying to fall down through the WOD. In fact I remember Coach Troy coaching me through the intervals and at one point I gasped, "my pants are falling down!" Coach Troy answered, "it doesn't matter, keep going!" Every class found me yanking up on my pants throughout the session.

I finally bought these Under Armour capris. I loved them so much that I ordered two more pairs. They  stay put, no matter what the workout calls for, they are comfortable and light (even on the hottest of days) and are surprisingly flattering. I always thought that the Under Armour brand was only for small, fit people, but apparently not so. These were also surprisingly affordable at $30.39 (the RRS VIP price). I just can't bring myself to spring for the $80+ Lululemon and similar stores charge for their gear.   Anyway, I am a fan and am happy to have found them. No more yanking and pulling at my pants during CrossFit class.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Partner Up: CrossFit 07/25/2014


(This was taken during our dynamic stretching session in Tuesday's class)

My one goal for this week was to go to CrossFit three times. I am happy to say that I met that goal. Sounds simple, but I was really dragging by this afternoon. I had to tell myself, 'just one more thing to do this week and then I can relax', so that helped motivate me to get there tonight. I also rode on Wednesday and Thursday (both jumping lessons) and today at lunchtime (conditioning ride/gallop). So, with three CF sessions, three productive rides and a full work week under my belt, I'm pretty satisfied with my week overall.

I've spoken before about how I am not a big fan of "Team Night", I doubt that I ever really will be. But I have to say that it has gotten easier for me. I think it also helps that 6:30 PM on Friday tends to be a pretty small class, so it feels a little more relaxed and not so overwhelming.

Posted workout for Friday, July 25th:

Warm-Up:

Run 800 meters

What I did: Same. I got an early start, as I like to do when there is a running warm-up. I ran the 600 meters "around the block", but then ran past the entrance, around the side of the building and back again to make it 800 meters. I didn't walk, but it sure was hard to keep running past where the block usually ends. 

30-20-10 repeats of:

Lunge Steps
Sit-Ups

What I did: Same.

Performance / WOD:

"Shoot, Move, Communicate"

Partner Up, AMRAP 20:00 (as many reps as possible in 20 minutes):

400 meter Run (partners alternating intervals of 100 meters -- so each partner ends up doing this twice per round)
30 Front Rack Lunges (135lbs men/95lbs women)
20 HSPU (Hand Stand Push Ups)
(repeat the rounds until the clock runs out)

What I did: I partnered with Caroline tonight. Coach Jen had me scale the Front Rack Lunges to lunges with a 10lb Kettlebell in each hand because my right knee is a little unstable during lunges (it's sort of odd because I really don't have trouble with squats, but lunges seem to put too much stress on the one knee. It doesn't hurt, just doesn't feel stable). Instead of the HSPUs, Coach Jen had me do push-ups (from the knees), only I had to double them. I did the running as prescribed.

For the running we alternated 100m at a time as prescribed, then we broke up the lunges in groups of 5 (alternating until we reached a total of 30), and then for the HSPU/push-ups, Caroline did 5 HSPUs at a time, I did 10 push-ups at a time. We got through a total of 4 rounds, plus one 100 meter run (Caroline). 

Cash Out: 5 minutes in a weighted plank.

What I did: Well, I didn't do it weighted and I didn't do 5 minutes of it, but I did do a few planks. 

Some Notes:


  • I have actually improved my running quite a bit in the past month and a half. I did this workout on June 6th where we had to do partner alternates of 100 meter runs and I could hardly do it. I barely could keep running and felt like I was going to pass out! But tonight I really didn't have any problem. I was slower than everyone else, but I also did an actual "run" on my repeats and not a "jog." So it's getting there. 
  • My arms were really shaking on that last round of push-ups at the end. I'm not sure if I could have done another round, so I'm thinking it's good that the clock ran out when it did. 
  • I'm trying not to care that I can't do everything that everyone else can. Usually it doesn't bother me too much, but it's a little harder on Team Night. As I said to Caroline tonight, "I just have to keep on showing up."
  • Planks are hard. 



Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Is it my imagination, or are the WODs getting HARDER??? CrossFit 07/22/2014

After the Hell that was "Helen" last night, I am happy that I was able to push myself back to CrossFit tonight. They had an extra special workout planned for us tonight! (I am convinced that Coach Troy rubbed his hands together in glee when he posted his teaser to Facebook today).

Posted workout for Tuesday, July 22nd:

Warm-Up:

3 Rounds:

:45 Row/:15 Rest
:15 Jump Rope/:15 Rest

What I did: Coach Jen had us just row 750 meters as the class before us was still finishing up and there wasn't much room for jump roping. We then did some dynamic stretching that involved balance and some dislocates. 

Barbell Warm-Up:

2 Rounds:

5 Deadlifts
Hang Power Cleans
Front Squats

What I did: Same. And then I warmed up with a little weight for the three lifts. 

Performance / WOD:

(Coach) start a running clock:

Minute 00:00 to Minute 10:00:

21-15-9  (21 reps, 15 reps, 9 reps):

Hang Power Cleans (135lbs men/95lbs women)
Toes-to-Bar

(Note: If you finish the rep set early you get more rest time)

Minute 10:00 to Minute 12:00: Rest

Minute 12:00 to Minute 20:00:

15-12-9:

Front Squats (165lbs men/115lbs women)
Box Jumps (30" men/24" women)

Minute 20:00 to Minute 22:00: Rest

Minute 22:00 to Minute 25:00:

12-9-6:

Deadlifts (185lbs men/125lbs women)
Lateral Burpees

Coach's Note: "This workout is traditional work/rest. If you finish the prescribed work load in the allotted time, rest the remainder of that round PLUS the designated rest intervals. If you do NOT finish the work load, rest during the designated time frame and begin the next round when instructed."

What I did:

Round 1 (21-15-9): I did all the 21-15-9 reps of the Hang Power Cleans, only with 55lbs on the bar. This was extremely challenging for me and I struggled, but I did it. Instead of Toes-to-Bar, I did knees-to-chest from the ground. I actually finished Round 1 with a minute and a half or so left on the clock, so I got some extra rest time. 

Round 2 (15-12-9): Front Squats, 15 reps with 55lbs, but then I had to take some weight off for the 12 & 9 reps. Ended up with 45lbs for this. Instead of the Box Jumps, I did step-ups to the 24" box. I managed to get through all the reps, but barely. The time ran out as I did my last box step-up. 

Round 3 (12-9-6): I only got through the 12 Deadlifts (65lbs) and 12 Burpees (regular, not lateral) before the clock ran out. (Before this workout started, I had convinced myself that I was going to be able to do the Deadlifts at the prescribed weight of 125lbs! Ha!)

I was wrecked after all that. Wrecked. I think we all were. Everyone just sat there, on the floor or on a box, not moving for a good, long while after it was over. I think it was a killer workout for all. 

(Editorial Note: I have to admit that a part of me was relieved that I was able to quit after 12 Burpees).


Monday, July 21, 2014

Benchmark City: CrossFit 07/21/2014




Well, I met another one of the b!tch ... I mean "The Girls" tonight. "Helen" is another of the killer benchmark workouts that CrossFit likes to throw at you every now and again. This is so you can get an idea of how you've improved and also how you stack up against other crossfitters, not only at your own box, but across the world. Since I started CrossFit back in May, I've been dreading these workouts, I knew one was likely to come my way eventually and here I've now done two in a row. Well, at least now that I've done a couple, I can no longer be afraid of them ... maybe?

Posted workout for Monday, July 21st:

Warm-Up:

Run 600 meters

What I did: I took an early start and ran the 600 meters (around the block), which included the (-stupid ass-) hill. No walking. 

15-10-5 repeats of:

Wall Balls
Kips
Sit-Ups

What I did: I substituted bar hangs and ring rows for the kips, and did the wall balls and sit-ups as prescribed. 

We then did a whole bunch of hip stretching.

Performance / WOD:

A. "Helen"

3 RFT (Rounds for Time):

400 meter Run
21 Kettlebell Swings (53lbs men/35lbs women)
12 Pull-Ups

What I did: I ran the first 400 meters (and, yes, it was of course including the hill) without walking, 21 Kettlebell Swings with a 26lb Kettlebell. The last time I did Kettlebells in a workout, I did it with 18lbs, so this was a big increase for me. 12 Ring Rows. The second round of running, I had to walk for just a moment once I reached the top of the hill, but it really was only for a few seconds. The third time, I had to walk a fair amount on the hill. The Kettlebell Swings, I couldn't do them straight through, but needed to pause a few times to get through each of the rounds. 

I got it all done though and I wasn't even last. I also wasn't the only one doing Ring Rows tonight. Some people rowed instead of ran, so I could have opted out of running, but I'm glad that I ran. 

My time was my score: 15:19.

B. Tabata Head Stand Holds x8 Rounds

What I did: Plank holds (Tabata x8). 

(Editorial Comment: Can you believe we had a Cash Out???)

Another workout in the bank.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

CrossFit Gear: Roam Roller


They have these foam rollers at my CrossFit. The first time I used one, I was like, 'OMG, it hurts! Not going to do THAT again!' Well, let me tell you, I've continued to use them and ... I have to admit that they actually work. At my Monday class, I tried it a little bit on my sore achilles and I could feel that it was actually doing something, I didn't take my shoe and sock off to really get at it then, but I felt that it relieved a little bit of the pain (well, it was more painful while using it, but then a little better afterwards). I got the roller yesterday and really went at it at home before my CrossFit session and, oh it hurt, hurt, HURT! And then it didn't (so much). The nubs really seem to get in there, like a deep tissue massage. I am going to be using this every day on my achilles and anything else that gets a little tweaky.

I ordered mine from Amazon.

Friday, July 18, 2014

"Elizabeth" is a Bitch: CrossFit 07/18/2014

Another week where I blew off one of my CrossFit days. I really need to get my act together. Of course, the day I skipped (Tuesday) we had severe thunderstorms blowing through with tornado warnings, so I was a bit distracted (and, not to mention, freaked out), but still. I need to suck it UP!

Friday is usually Team Night, but there weren't a lot of people around tonight as everyone is on a gym camping trip, so we got a Benchmark workout instead. This was one of those, be-careful-what-you-wish-for situations (yes, I had wished earlier that it wasn't Team Night).

Posted workout for Friday, July 18th:

Warm-Up:

EMOM x5 (Translation: Every minute, on the minute, 5 repeats):

5 Burpees
10 Air Squats

What I did: Same. Coach Jen said that my Burpees have gotten more efficient! Imagine being excited about improving your Burpees? (Yes, I am that geek)

Squat Clean Drills:

1. Clean Pull x5-7 Reps
2. Hang Squat Clean x5-7 Reps
3. Squat Clean x3-5 Reps

What I did: Same. Actually, I was proud that I was able to do the Hang Squat Cleans and Squat Cleans because I've never been able to do more than one or two reps, even with just a dowel, so something has improved or clicked with me somehow. 

Performance / WOD: 

(Editorial Note: Talk about shit getting real.)

"Elizabeth"

21-15-9 for time (Translation: 21 reps, then 15 reps, then 9 reps. Your time is your score.):

Squat Cleans (135lbs men/95lbs women)
Ring Dips

What I did: First of all ... it sounds "easy", right? That's what I thought, 'oh sure, no running, no jump rope, no wall balls or pull-ups or (insert whatever crazy interval we've done before)'. Well, let me tell you, those Squat Cleans are INSANE. I used 35lbs for my lifts. I struggled through the first 5 reps of the first set and thought to myself, 'I'm not going to be able to get through this!' I took lots of breaks, but kept going back to the bar. I worked through and did the 21. Not sure how long that first bit took me, but it felt like for forever! Instead of Ring Dips, Coach Jen had me do tricep dips which were freaking HARD! (Can't imagine how hard those Ring Dips must be). Anyway, I did it all, I managed to get through it, not sure how, but I did it. I took breaks as I needed to, but kept at it and finished complete rounds of 21-15-9. Those Squat Cleans are killer. 

My score was my time: 12:42. (Can't believe all of that was under 15 minutes. If there had been no clock, I would have sworn that workout was 30 minutes or something.)

My Own Personal Cash-Out: I came home and did repeats of walk/jog (alternates of 1 minute) for 1 mile. 

Some Additional Notes:


  • A Note about Benchmark WODs: The benchmarks are scheduled from time-to-time (but fairly infrequently) and are meant to be a bit of a test to see where you are. So, for example, tonight's benchmark "Elizabeth", I know that it took me 12:42 to do it, but I also didn't Rx (do the workout as prescribed). Next time I do "Elizabeth", whether it comes up a few months or a year from now, I'll be able to see how I've improved. 
  • The Benchmarks are also called "The Girls". They all have girl names. Like hurricanes. Once you do one you'll know why. Enough said. 
  • The last time I did Squat Cleans, I couldn't even really do them and that was only a warm-up! The fact that I was able to complete this workout and with some weight on the bar is a big deal for me. It's a big movement, doing the full range from floor to lift, to catch, to squat, so I'm excited to be getting there with this one. 
  • I've noticed that I suddenly have some trap development in my shoulders. 
  • Achilles Note: Yesterday I was still hobbling around with an extremely sore achilles. Every time I got up from my desk at work, I was literally limping around, and going down the stairs, I was babying my ankle by stepping down with my right foot only. Suddenly this morning it was a lot less sore (still sore, but not to the point where I was limping). I have no idea why, it's been sore for weeks! I rode last night, but I can't think how anything I did while riding might have helped it, but anyway, hopefully it's getting better now. 



The new black wall at CrossFit Earned

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

CrossFit Gear: CrossFit Tee-Shirt (Reebok)


I was excited to see that there is a Reebok store, complete with an "official" CrossFit section, at my local outlet. I was shopping for some workout stuff, so I thought I would pick up some CrossFit goodies! Unfortunately, most of the CF gear was very expensive (I mean, $50 for sports bra, just because it says "CrossFit" on it? Really? At an outlet store no less!) But I did pick up a tee-shirt. Unfortunately, I got it home and it's too tight.

Well, that's okay, I am going to make this a goal. I want to be able to wear this shirt in public by the end of the Summer. So there.

Monday, July 14, 2014

To Celebrate Good News, Apparently I want to CrossFit: CrossFit 07/14/2014

I haven't blogged about my job much recently, but I had a role change last year, along with a new team and a new manager. I am now officially a Project Manager (a job that I have been actually doing for many years, it's now just formal). Today I had my first real review related to my new role, team and with the new manager, so I had no idea what to expect. Well, I am happy to say that all the feedback was extremely positive. It was actually almost a little bit embarrassing because it was so glowing (but, hey! I'll take the compliments, pour them on, please!) It was such a relief! I have so many self-doubts and because everything is so new, I just had myself convinced that I wasn't living up to expectations. Now I can rest a little easy (just a little). So happy to have some good feedback!

Well, I had my review late in the day and felt a bit emotionally wiped out afterwards. In the past this kind of good news would have had me wanting to crack open a bottle of wine or something, but tonight, all I wanted to do was go to CrossFit. Who am I???

Posted workout for Monday, July 14th:

Warm-Up:

1. Coach Choice (Coach Troy chose: Run)

What I did: Most of the class ran 600 meters. Because of my sore achilles and also because I wasn't able to get a head start, I ran 400 meters (but no walking). 

2. Reps of 10-8-6

Thrusters (pvc pipe or dowel)
Kips
Push-Ups

What I did: Thrusters, Push-Ups from the knees. Instead of Kips, which I can't do, I did reps of hanging from the pull-up bar. Sounds easy? It's not! I could barely do them!

Performance / WOD:

A. Instead of the usual strength session, we warmed up for the Thrusters and Pull-Ups we were going to need for the WOD.

B. "Devolution"
3 x AMRAP 5:00, rest 2:00 between rounds (Translation: 3 rounds, as many reps as possible, 5 minutes each round. 2 minute rest between each round).

Round 1: AMRAP 5:00 @ 80% (sustainable pace)
9 Thrusters (75lbs men/55lbs women)
9 Pull-Ups

R2: AMRAP 5:00 @ 90% (heart beating fast, breathing heavy, but not max effort)
7 Thrusters (95lbs men/65lbs women)
7 Chest-to-Bar Pull-ups

R3: AMRAP 5:00 @100% (max effort)
5 Thrusters (115lbs men/75lbs women)
5 Strict Pull-Ups

What I did: Okay, this is yet another WOD that I totally misread! For some reason I thought we were only supposed to do 3 reps in 5 minutes, not as many reps as possible. I am such a dolt! In all the rounds I had about a minute, minute and a half left on the clock, so I could definitely have done more reps. What is wrong with me???

Anyway, I ended up doing Round 1: 9 Thrusters with 25lbs and 9 Ring Rows, x3. Round 2: 7 Thrusters with 35lbs and 7 Ring Rows x3. Round 3: 5 Thrusters with 45lbs (REALLY struggled with those) and 5 Ring Rows x3. I am kicking myself that I screwed up! Not only am I the only one not doing some kind of pull-up, but I didn't even get what I did do right. Gah. 

Some Additional Notes:


  • When we were setting up for the WOD, I asked Coach Troy for a scaling option for the Pull-Ups. He said, "oh, no problem, we'll set you up with a band." When I told him that I couldn't even do them with a band he looked a surprised and said, "not even the black one???" Nope, I'm a loser! Okay, so my sad goal is to be able to do a couple of banded pull-ups. 
  • There were a lot of people in the class tonight, so we did the WOD in two waves. I volunteered for the second wave as some people needed to be able to leave on-time. It was so hot & humid tonight, and I was sweating heavily just by being there, and especially after the warm-up. So wave one finished up and one woman from the wave came over and high-fived me and said "good job!" She thought I must surely have just been through the WOD by how much I was sweating. Nope. This is me just watching. I am a sweat beast. 


Sunday, July 13, 2014

An Eventing Story: Huntington Farm Horse Trials 07/12/2014

A clip of my riding trainer, Alison Eastman-Lawler , rocking XC at Prelim (Huntington Farm Horse Trials, VT, on 07/12/2014).

When To Back Off



I've been struggling with some achilles pain for a few weeks. I've been really encouraged by my improvement in running and with the jump rope, as well as my ability to get through a WOD at CrossFit without taking as many breaks. But this achilles soreness has been plaguing me for a while and is taking some of the satisfaction out of my improvement. It's all related to running, I'm sure. I've been through this before, it's just one of those nagging overuse things that seem to crop up when I start running again. I've certainly started and stopped running enough times over the years to know.

So, now I am in a quandary. Do I back off and try to heal up? Or do I continue through it? It can be a fine line sometimes, am I doing the right thing for myself and giving my body the rest it needs, or am I wimping out? I chose not to go to CrossFit on Friday because the WOD was calling for a lot of running, jump rope and rowing, all of which aggravates my achilles. But I have been kicking myself all weekend for not going and am second-guessing myself. I still can't decide what the best thing is to do. I have tried some of the treatment documented in this article, and have been icing and wrapping my ankle. I don't think it's getting any worse. But I also don't think it's getting any better.

So, here I sit, couch surfing, trying to decide, 'Will I run a couple of miles on the treadmill today? Will I go to CrossFit tomorrow?' I just don't know.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

The First Rule of CrossFit



So true! Everyone who crossfits wants to talk about it. That's why people like to call it a cult. The day I had my first CrossFit session scheduled back in May, I was talking to a guy at work about it. This other guy overheard our conversation and came running over to gush, "You're going to CrossFit??? I CrossFit! Which box are you going to? You're going to LOOOOOVE it!"

I think people are just so happy with the results and the experience that they just want to share it with everyone. I can see how you might get tired of hearing about it if you are not crossfitting though.

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

A Little Bit of Running Progress: CrossFit 07/09/2014

I don't normally go to CrossFit on Wednesdays as this is usually a riding lesson night for me. Riding was canceled today, however, as my barn was hosting a horse trial/show. I had also told someone at the barn that they could take Ruby to the show. I figured that it is probably good to go to CrossFit on different nights sometimes as each day of the week seems to have a different focus (Monday is High Bar Back Squats, Tuesday is Dead Lifts, Friday is Team Day, etc.) So, it's a good thing to get in some different strength practice. The WOD, is constantly varied, so that is always going to be a shake-up, regardless of what day of the week you choose to go! But the strength focus does have some structure throughout the week.

Posted workout for Wednesday, July 9th:

Warm-Up:

Run 600 meters

What I did: Same. And I ran ... Every. Step. The last time I did this loop (oh, probably about a month or so ago), I had to walk a bunch. Not tonight, I ran the whole way. And it also included that (-stupid ass-) hill. I actually set out for my running loop early, before the rest of the class started their warm-up because I'm so slow and I really just wanted to focus. I felt this was the right strategy and so will probably do that again when there is a run scheduled for the warm-up. Anyway, I'm happy that I've made this bit of progress. On a downer note, my left achilles has been a bit sore for a few weeks from the running, so I would be happy if I wasn't dealing with that. But I'm encouraged that the running has gotten a bit better overall. Especially as I am not really working through any real running program. 

Reps of 15-10-5:

Wall Balls: No Squat
Inchworms
Double Unders/Triple the # of reps, if you do singles

What I did: Same -- including the tripling of singles! Progress! (of course there was no real time cap, so that helped)

Performance / WOD:

A (Strength). Push Press 1RM (Translation: Work up to your 1 rep maximum for the Push Press).

What I did: I hadn't done the Push Press since my Ramp Up, so I had Coach Ben review the movement with me first. I decided to go back to the 15lb training bar for this, since I hadn't done it in a long time (I have been using the 33lb bar for the lifts I do every week). I started with just the bar and then worked my way up to 65lbs. My one rep with 65lbs was a bit shaky, so I rested a bit and tried again. The next one was marginally better, but not perfect. Anyway, I am calling my one rep max for the Push Press 65lbs. I'll work from that baseline for this lift. 

B (WOD). "Dancing Deb"

(Editorial Note: Cute title, but I am sure that they didn't have me in mind when they named the workout. Actually, I think I saw something on Facebook about a "Deb" who works out in one of the morning classes, so I am sure it was named for her. Anyway, I digress ... )

5 RFT: (Translation: 5 Rounds for Time)

10 Kettlebell Swings (53lbs men/35lbs women)
10 Box Jumps (24" men/20" women)
10 Push Ups

What I did: 5 rounds of: 10 Kettlebell Swings, 18lb kettlebell (Note: I should have used a heavier one), 10 "Box" jumps -- for me this was two 45lb stacked plates (Note: those freaking box jumps scare me!), 10 Push Ups from the knees (Note: this was the first round of Push Ups I've done at CrossFit where I haven't pushed up from a box or a bench. A comment about the CF Push Ups: The reason I've been doing them from a box is because CF wants you to do a Push Up that works the triceps more than your traditional variety. So, you are required to have your hands closer together under your chest. These are HARD! I can do the regular Push Ups, sort of, but the CF Push Ups are harder and so I've been scaling them with the box until now). 

My time was my score: 7:22.

C (Cash Out). 5x300 meter row

What I did: Same. 

I have to say again that I am pretty happy that the running has gotten a little better. I think if I could follow through with my plans and do a few runs during the week that it will only help me. I've been doing some active trail walks with my dogs and did run on my treadmill last night for two miles (alternating 1 minute walking with 1 minute running for the session), but I have to motivate myself to do a little more. Not a lot, but a little. I think three times a week for 30-40 minutes would be perfect for where I am right now.

A final note about my jump rope: I FLOVE it! I know it was pricey, but I think it was worth it. And I really like having my own jump rope for the workouts. Plus, it's snazzy!

Another workout in the bank.



CrossFit Gear: Head Band

My second CrossFit gear purchase:



(please forgive the crappy picture)

Well, I guess it is not really CrossFit-specfic, but I am hoping that this will help keep my hair in place during all the sweat flinging.

Post-Workout Review:

I really like the headband! I didn't fuss with my hair or need to adjust the headband at all during my hour+ CrossFit session. In my workout I: ran, jump roped, rowed, did push-ups & kettlebell swings. I'm a fan.

The headband is from: bicbands
I found the recommendation on this blog: Carrots 'N' Cake

Monday, July 07, 2014

Maxing the 1 Rep: CrossFit 07/07/2014

We had some crazy-hot weather last week. I'm talking in the high 90s and with oppressive humidity (over 70%). I just couldn't talk myself into crossfitting on Tuesday and Friday, the heat was beyond my ability to cope. Yes, I should really suck it up. I am definitely a heat wimp. Anyway, today it was extremely humid too and had been just about 90° during the day, but the temps had come down just enough that I was able to talk myself into going to CrossFit. Regardless of the weather, I probably would have gone anyway as I am worried about skipping too many at this stage. I don't want to lose momentum and I am worried that it would still be too easy to quit right now. I need this new program to be a deeply ingrained and an established part of my routine and it's too early to feel that I'm there yet. So, it was an extremely sweat flinging night, but I went and I got it done, so I'm happy.

Posted workout for Monday, July 7th:

Warm-Up:

Run or Row for 400 meters.

What I did: Ran for 400 meters (up the -stupid ass- hill and back). I'm actually a bit proud of myself for running when I could have rowed (a few people rowed, so I wouldn't have been the only one). I should make myself run more. 

2 Rounds of:

15 Air Squats
10 Push Ups
5 Ring Rows

What I did: The same, only push-ups from a bench. 

Performance / WOD:

A (Strength). HBBS - establish a new 1 RM!! (Translation: High Bar Back Squat. Work up to the highest weight you can do for 1 rep).

What I did: I shared my bar with Patty who is very knowledgeable about lifting and lifts some impressive numbers. She is also close to my age, so she is inspiring to me. Anyway, the last time I did an exercise with HBBS I worked up to 65lbs, but thought that I could handle more weight. Since the directive tonight was to work up to that 1 rep maximum, this was my opportunity to find it. Something that I had not yet done with any of the lifts. I started with the 65lbs, moved up to 85lbs pretty quickly after that. I was able to do 5 reps with 85, so I moved up to 105. I was able to do a few reps at that weight and so bumped it up to 115lbs. The first rep with the 115, I actually lost my balance a bit on the squat (and was very glad that Patty was there to help me!) But, I concentrated a bit, regained my focus and managed to do a good rep with the weight. So my 1 rep max for HBBS is now 115lbs. I will be working from that baseline for this lift now. 

B (WOD). "Crunchy Stuff"

5 RFT (15:00 Cap) -- (Translation: 5 rounds for time, cut-off at 15 minutes)

30 Double Unders
20 Wall Balls (20lb medicine ball men/14lb medicine ball women)
10 Ring Dips

What I did: I got to use my new jump rope! For the WODs that have called for Double Unders, I've been doing the same number prescribed, only in singles. To Rx (Translation: To do the WOD as prescribed), you're really supposed to triple the amount, if you are going to do singles. I am so bad at the jump rope that there is no way that I'll get through the rounds if I triple. Well, tonight, after a conversation with Coach Ben, I decided to compromise and double the DU reps for my singles (does that make sense?) I'm glad that I did as I managed to squeak them out!

Summary:

I did 5 rounds of:
- 60 Singles (jump rope)
- 20 Wall Balls (10lb medicine ball)
- 10 Push Ups (from a box) -- Note: Coach Ben had suggested the Push Ups as a modification for Ring Dips. I'm not ready for those yet.

Best of all, I managed to do all 5 rounds! In 14:59, no less. Managed to just barely get in under the wire. Those last 5 Push Ups were pretty weak though, I have to admit. 

C (Cash Out). 2:00 Max Weighted Sit Ups (25lb men/15lb women)

What I did: 32 Sit Ups (no weight) in 2 minutes. Stupid Sit Ups. 

Another workout deposit in the bank.

Sunday, July 06, 2014

An Eventing Story: GHF Coffin Jump (Horse Trials, June 2014)

The Coffin jump at last weekend's Groton House Farm Horse Trials. My trainer (Alison Eastman-Lawler) comes through starting at about 6:50.




Friday, July 04, 2014

CrossFit Gear: Jump Rope

I've made my first official CrossFit equipment purchase.


I ordered it from Rx Smart Gear after reading a review of it on the Alicia Crossfit = Awesome. $49 seems like a lot of money to spend on a jump rope, but I am hoping that having the right equipment will help me improve. The cable is replaceable and can be swapped out when you're ready for a different size, or want to use different sizes for different training purposes. The more advanced you are, the thinner the cable you can handle, which apparently makes it easier to achieve Double Unders. I'd like to think that I could do them someday, but for now I'll just work on getting better at singles. I like the apple green handles! And it comes with a jump rope bag!

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Pug Shot

Just because Fitzie is so cute (if a little portly).


Monday, June 30, 2014

Beginner Blues: CrossFit 06/30/2014

I am not sure how much I've spoken about the women at CrossFit, but let me tell you how amazing they are. In any given class, most of them are doing pull-ups or Toes-to-Bar without any assistance. They are lifting crazy amounts of weight. They Burpee and Thruster to amazing levels. Sometimes it's overwhelming to be the beginner in the class who has to scale everything and watch these women do what they do. I feel so guilty when the others in the class are gutting out a really tough workout as prescribed (Rx) and I am finished because I had to scale my stuff. That's not to say that it's not a struggle for me to get through even my scaled WOD, it's just that I can get through, say, leg lifts significantly faster than someone who has to suspend themselves from a bar and kip up their feet to meet their hands on that bar. Anyway, tonight was a rough one for everyone. I continue to be amazed at what the others in the class can do, especially the women.

Posted workout for Monday, June 30th:

Warm-Up:

Run 400 meters

What I did: Same. No walking. 

3 Rounds of:

5 Burpees
10 Thrusters (pvc pole or dowel)
15 Abmat Sit-Ups

What I did: Same.

(Editorial Comment: You've got to worry when you struggle to get through the warm-up)

Stretching:

Hip Mobility
Dislocates

Performance / WOD:

A. (Strength) HBBS E2M x 6 2 reps @ 90% 1 RM (Translation: High Bar Back Squats, every two minutes for 6 rounds, do 2 reps at 90% of your 1 rep maximum.)

What I did: I'm still trying to figure out what weights I can do for everything. Since HBBS seems to be something we do every week, I've been moving the weight up a little bit each time. Last week I did 55lbs, tonight I did these reps at 65lbs. I could have added more weight, I think. 

B. "Crankshaft"

21-15-9 for time: (Translation: 21 reps, then 15 reps, then 9 reps of the following intervals)

Bar Facing Burpees
Thrusters (95lbs men/65lbs women)
Toes-to-Bar

What I did: Looking at the posted workout just now, I realize that I totally read the board wrong during the WOD! I thought it said 21-12-9. I read the board multiple times and that is what registered in my brain. But now reading the posted WOD, 21-12-9 makes no sense. Of course it was 21-15-9, doh!!! Okay, I ended up doing, 21 reps: Bar Facing Burpees, Thrusters (15lbs bar), Leg Lifts. 12: Bar Facing Burpees, Thrusters, Leg Lifts. 9: Bar Facing Burpees, Thrusters, Leg Lifts. 

I started out doing the Thrusters with the 33lb bar, since the last time I did them I did it with the 15lb and thought maybe I could handle more but, nope. I got through about 2 barely able to lift the bar out of the squat. So, I switched back to the 15lb. Next time maybe I'll use that bar, but add 10lbs, might be a good compromise. 

The last time I substituted leg lifts for toes-to-bar, I could barely even do the leg lifts because of my very tight lower back/upper hip area and tonight was just as tough for me. It's embarrassing, really. All these people are leaping onto a bar, suspending themselves and repeatedly hoisting their feet up to join their hands to the bar and I can't even do a freaking leg lift! I had to actually scale my scale by doing knees-to-chest lifts. Sheesh. 

The workout, even with my scaling, was killer. Burpees in particular are just incredibly hard, especially when there are multiple sets. 

Anyway, my total time for the workout was 13:03. I probably shouldn't even record it since, well, I CHEATED, and with all the scaling, etc. But whatever. 

Oh yeah, there was also a Cash-Out:

C. Accrue 3:00 in a handstand hold on a wall in as few sets as possible.

What I did: You're kidding, right? I am a long way away from being able to do anything like a handstand!

I know that we all have to start somewhere but, I have a feeling I'm going to be a beginner for a long time. It's almost embarrassing when the others congratulate me after the WOD, high-five and say, "good job". I try to be accept it gracefully, but I want to respond, "Not really. I suck."

I guess I just need to embrace this sentiment for now:


Saturday, June 28, 2014

Eventing Goals



(Note: Picture taken from the Groton House website - this is not me!)

With the new-found confidence and focus that CrossFit and a more consistent riding program this season has given me, I've started thinking about some actual riding goals, beyond just the training goals I always have in mind for Ruby. This weekend is the Groton House Horse Trials, so it got me to thinking, 'wouldn't that be an awesome goal for next year?' The more I thought about it, the more I started to like the idea.

I talked to my trainer, Alison, about my idea on Thursday and she seemed to think that it was a good and, more importantly, reasonable goal. So it is starting to shape up into a plan. It gives me a year to really work towards something significant. The thing about Groton House is, it starts at Novice (2'11" jumps), so there is no falling back to BN if I'm not ready. I can do it, I did it at UNH a couple of years ago, I can do it at Groton House. Here are my goals to get there:

  1. Continue in CrossFit, minimum 3x a week.
  2. (Sub-goal to CF) Get fit, get strong, develop great endurance/stamina.
  3. Continue our forward progress in Dressage. Reach next Spring able to put Ruby on the aids more consistently. More easily forward and quick off the leg, straighter with more harmony and relaxation. Balanced canter!
  4. (Related to Dressage) Come up with a great warm-up plan to accomplish the above in any ride. 
  5. Develop and stick to a conditioning plan. Ride hills, trot sets, canter sets, etc. with regularity. 
  6. JUMP! Jump every week, one way or another. Jump what the trainer says. Don't crap out and say that you want to finish on that last course if your trainer wants you to jump some more. Don't complain. Don't whine about jump height. 
  7. (Related to Jump) On your own, work on balance and "Dressage" in between the fences. Do your circle-jump-circle exercise. Try other exercises that will promote balance and better rhythm on jump courses. 
  8. Start off the Season next year fit, fit, fit!
  9. Have fun and have a great attitude. 
Post Script: Looking at the results from cross-country day at Groton House today, I wonder how smart this goal is after all. There are a LOT of rider falls and eliminations in all divisions. Yikes. 

Friday, June 27, 2014

Thankful for the Scaling Option: CrossFit 06/27/2014

I have to say that it is slowly getting easier to walk into CrossFit, even on Team Day. There are definitely moments when I have that argument with myself, but I know that I would hate myself later if I didn't go, so off I go.

Posted workout for Friday, June 27th:

Warm-Up

Run or Row for 400 meters

What I did: Rowed 400 meters. 

3 Rounds of:

10 Jump Squats
10 Kettlebell Deadlifts
10 Push-Ups
10 Kips

(Editorial Comment: For some reason, the warm-ups seem to be getting harder)

What I did: 3 rounds of 10 Jumping Squats and 10 KB Deadlifts. 3 rounds of Push-Ups from a box. 1 round of 10 active hangs from the pull-up bar (surprisingly HARD!), 1 round of Ring Rows, 1 round of 10 active hangs from the pull-up bar. 

Stretching:

Hip Mobility Complex
Hamstring Stretch
Kicks
T-Spine Smash

What I did: Hip Mobility Complex, Kicks, T-Spine Smash.

Performance / WOD:

A. Deadlift - 12:00 to build to a heavy double for the day. (Translation: Take 12 minutes to build up to a heavy weight for 2 reps).

What I did: Started at 55lbs and ended at 125lbs for my 2 reps. This is the max weight I've done for Deadlifts so far. 

B. Teams of two, AMRAP 18:00, leapfrog format: (Translation: Teams of two, as many reps as possible for 18 minutes, alternate intervals of)

100 meter Run
10 Deadlifts (225lb men/155lb women)
10 Pull-Ups
10 Box Jumps (24" men/20" women)
10 Lateral Burpees

There were only two of us in tonight's session again. This time, however, it was Caroline and me.

What I did: I started off the workout with the run, we alternated through ... well, we actually lost track how many rounds! I think we decided that we each ran 4 times, so I'll go with that. The Deadlifts I did were at 85lbs. Instead of Pull-Ups I did Ring Rows. Instead of Box Jumps, I jumped to two stacked 45lb plates. Instead of Lateral Burpees, Coach Jen had me do lateral jumps over the barbell. So, I basically scaled everything except the running. Sheesh. Even with all the scaling, it was still really hard and there were a few times that I felt a bit light-headed. Someday this will get easier, right? 

Another workout in the bank.