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.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

If It's Humid, It Must Be Tuesday: CrossFit 06/24/2014

It always seems to be pretty muggy for CrossFit on Tuesday and today was no exception. I sure was tired walking into the box today. I had very poor sleep last night so I was dragging. I am proud of myself for even getting myself there tonight.

Posted workout for Tuesday, June 24th:

Warm-Up:

Jump Rope 3 x :45 on/:15 rest (Translation: jump rope for 3 minutes, sets of 45 seconds, with 15 seconds of rest between each set).

What I did: Same. My fatigue really showed as I was only stumbling through about 5 jumps at a time before screwing up. On Friday I was stringing together 20 at a time, but tonight it was a real struggle. 

Stretching:

Hip Mobility Complex
Kicks (front, back, side)
Super Front Rack (band or dowel)
Banded Overhead

What I did: Same. 

Barbell Warm-Up, led by coach:

10 Deadlifts
10 Hang Power Cleans
10 Lunge Steps (5 per side)
10 Front Squats
10 Squat Cleans

What I did: Same, except I only did a couple of the Squat Cleans. I can't really do them (at least with the 35lb barbell) very well yet and Coach Jen wanted me to work on my Power Cleans. 

Performance / WOD:

A. Clean Complex 12:00 to build to a heavy set of 1 Squat Clean + 1 Hang Squat Clean + 1 TnG (touch-n-go) Squat Clean

What I did: Hang Power Cleans at 55lbs. I was really feeling it tonight, so I found it a struggle just to do it right. 

B. 4 Rounds for Time:

28 Double-Unders (84 Singles)
14 Push-Ups
7 Power Cleans (women 95lbs)

What I did: 4 Rounds of 28 jump rope singles (again, I was really feeling my fatigue, I had a bit of trouble busting them out without screwing it up), 14 Push-Ups from a box, 7 Power Cleans at 55lbs. 

My time for the above was 9:47.

C. Cash Out: Airdyne (bike) 5 x :20 max effort, rest 2:00 between (Translation: Sprint all out on the Airdyne Bike for 20 seconds, rest for 2 minutes. Do this 5 times).

What I did: Same. 

I'm really glad that I went tonight and I was very glad when it was over! Some of these "rounds for time" WODs, I get to the second set of intervals and think to myself, 'how am I going to get through ALL of them???' But I manage it somehow. I guess there is a lesson there somehow.


A CrossFit Story: Anybody Can Do Anything: Maddy


CrossFit How To: Hip Mobility Stretching

The stretching at CrossFit has helped me so much, I wanted to post a video of some of the stretches we do there.  I would put an abmat or a pillow or cushion under the knee though.

I can't believe this guy is doing them in jeans!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Running & Wall Balls - ACK! CrossFit 06/23/2014

After last Friday's Running and Wall Ball Fest I came into CrossFit Earned tonight and what did I see on the board for the WOD? Running and Wall Balls! Yikes. Although, I have to say, I don't freak out quite as much when I see running on the board as I did as recently as a week ago. But the Wall Balls? Okay, I can do them okay, but my quads were still sore from Friday's WOD. Sheesh.

Posted workout for Monday, June 23rd:

Warm-Up:

Run or Row 400m

What I did: Rowed for 400 meters. 

3 Rounds of:

10 Air Squats
10 Push-Ups
10 Sit-Ups

What I did: Same, except that I did push-ups from a bench. 

Stretching:

Banded Hip Distraction
Banded Hamstring
Dislocates
Pec Release
Bit Mashing

What I did: Hip Mobility Complex, Banded Hamstring, Dislocates. 

Performance / WOD:

A. HBBS 5x3 @ 85% 1RM (Translation: High Bar Back Squat, 3 sets of 5 at 85% of your 1 rep maximum)

What I did: I worked up to 55lbs for this exercise. I did more than 3 sets of 5 though. Did a bunch at 35 and then 45lbs. Then I did the 3 sets of 5 at 55lbs.

I was then starting to put my weights away when Fred came over and said he wanted to show me a couple of things. Fred is one of the class members who can lift some serious weight and he likes to help everyone out when we are working on something that he does well. So, we put the weight back on and he gave me some pointers about my form as I did a bunch more reps. I did a few as he coached me and then I did a set of 8 at the end. Not sure how many reps I did overall, but I ended up doing quite a few at 55lbs, once it was all said and done. So, I'm thinking that I can probably handle more weight for the HBBS. 

B. 4 Rounds for Time:

300 meter Run
20 Wall Balls (20lb men / 14lb women)
10 Pull-Ups

What I did: I did all of my running. Okay, to be completely honest, I did walk for about 15-20 seconds on the 3rd run repeat, but that was all. All the other running was a pretty slow shuffle, but I didn't walk. I just have to keep on working on it. I did all 80 Wall Balls, only with the 10lb medicine ball (I don't even want to think about what my quads are going to feel like tomorrow) and I substituted Ring Rows for the pull-ups. 

My time for 4 rounds of the above was 16:14. I'll take it. 

C. Cash-Out: 100 Sit-Ups for time.

What I did: 100 Sit-Ups in 7:21? 7 minutes:something anyway. I was the last one to finish this part, but at least I did it. 

After the workout was done, I worked a little bit with Coach Ben to see if I could do banded Pull-Ups, or at least to see if I was any closer to being able to do them. Nope, not even close. But Coach Ben did show me another modification that I can do that may build my upper-body strength a little quicker than the Ring Rows. Basically, you stand on a box, hold onto the pull-up bar, hang from the bar while still standing on the box. You can then use as much of your legs to help pull yourself up to the bar as you need to, hopefully, needing less leg support and more upper-body as you get stronger. Anyway, I'll see if I can give it a try the next time we have Pull-Ups on the board.

CrossFit Earned:


Friday, June 20, 2014

The Work Week Is Not Complete Until I've Done Friday CrossFit: CrossFit 06/20/2014

Fridays are tough for me for a number of reasons. First of all, I am so damn tired by Friday afternoon that the thought of doing anything other than sitting on my couch, drinking beer and watching some terrible Bravo show seems like a really bad idea. I've never really had a very good track record working out on Fridays, even talking myself into riding is a challenge. The other thing for me with CrossFit Fridays (at least at CrossFit Earned) is that it is "Team Day", which means that we'll be required to do the WOD with partners. Anyone who knows me knows that I am not a joiner. Every sport that has ever appealed to me have been ones where you compete individually, I am not a team sport person! The only group exercise class that I have previously stuck with has been Spinning which, while, yes, it's a group class, but you very much can go into your own head (one of the things I've always liked about Spinning!) The other thing about Team Day is, as someone who is pretty far behind the fitness and the ability of most of the class, I am embarrassed that someone has to be stuck with me. To be fair, everyone so far has been so, so nice and it is my own issue that makes me embarrassed, no one has said or done anything to make me feel anything but completely welcomed.

With that all said, when I walked into the "box" (translation: gym) tonight and looked at the WOD on the board, I almost cried. I am not exaggerating, I almost turned around and walked out. Amy, one of the women who has been in most of the group classes I've taken so far, started to chat with me and I just couldn't help but express my dismay at the WOD and also my discomfort with Team Day. After chatting a bit more, she said, "You know what? I want to be your partner tonight." Okay, now I really was going to cry. I didn't, but it was close. As it turned out, we ended up being the only two in the class tonight, so she was stuck with me either way!

Posted Workout for Friday, June 20th:

Warm-Up:

Row for 3 Minutes

What I did: Rowed 600m, was a little over 3 minutes. 

2 Rounds, led by coach:

Deadlifts (bar)
SDHP (bar)  Translation: Sumo Deadlift High Pull.
Med. Ball Cleans

What I did: Same. 

Stretching:

Hip Mobility Complex
Side Lunges
T-Spine Smash
WOD PREP

What I did: Hip Mobility Complex. Couch Stretch. Hamstring Stretch on box. 

Performance / WOD: 

A. Warm-Up Deadlift for WOD

What I did: Worked with Coach Jen on Deadlifts and established the weight (75lbs) for the WOD. 

B. Teams of two, AMRAP 25:00 (Translation: As Many Reps As Possible in 25 minutes)

4x400 meter Runs (2 repeats each partner, alternating)
120 Wall Balls (20lb men / 14lb women)
40 Deadlifts (225lb men / 155lb women)
200 Double-Unders or 600 Singles
40 Deadlifts (225/155)
120 Wall Balls (20/14)
4x400m Runs (2 each, alternating)

Note: Partners are meant to share the workload, so for instance, when the team is on the Wall Ball interval, you have to do 120 total, so you split it up however you need to. Ideally, you want to decide on your strategy for splitting the workout before you start.


(Editorial Comment: Good God)

What I did: I can't believe it now, but I think I actually did okay. Not fantastic, but better than I expected to. Here is the summary:
  • 2x400m Run (my share): I ran BOTH of my run repeats WITHOUT walking! I can't even believe it. I was slow, slow, slow, but I did it. AND it included that stupid ass hill. Coach Jen gave me the option of running around the building instead to avoid the hill, but I chose to do the hill. Hills Are Our Friends. heh. 
  • 60 Wall Balls (team total was 120): We alternated 10 reps at a time and I am happy to say that I did my part and did all of my Wall Balls. I used the 10lb Med Ball though, not 14lbs. But 60 Wall Balls! Seriously!
  • 20 Deadlifts (team total was 40): We alternated sets of 5. I lifted 75lbs, Amy lifted 135lbs. 
  • 80 Singles (team total was 200 DUs & Singles combined): We alternated sets of 20, Amy did DUs and I did Singles. Coach Jen is giving me a pass on tripling the jump rope thing for now. She says it's more important that I get the hang of it and have continuous movement. Even with doing just the singles, I crapped out on one of the rep sets and poor Amy had to cover those 20 for me. But STILL I was doing reps of 20 jumps at a time without screwing up! I was so happy about that. Even Coach Jen was surprised at how quickly I've improved on this. 
  • 20 Deadlifts (team total was 40): We again alternated sets of 5, but Coach Jen upped my weight to 85lbs. I seemed to manage it okay. 
  • Wall Balls. For this set we alternated sets of 5, since we were both pretty spent at this point. I can't remember how many we got through now before the clock ran out, but a few sets each. 
25 minutes on the clock and a shit load of intervals of a lot of really hard stuff. I can't believe I did it. Although, to be perfectly honest, I have to admit I was relieved that we never made it to the 400m run repeats at the end. I didn't know how I was going to get through that. As it was, my arms and legs were shaking when we were done. 

Thanks so much to Amy for being so nice and so supportive! This team thing is such a new experience for me, I really appreciate how wonderful the people at CrossFit have been. Coach Jen continues to be awesome as always. She is very careful to constantly coach my form on everything and is extremely encouraging when I get stuff right and make progress. 

At the end of the workout, Amy actually thanked me because apparently sharing the workout caused her to up her game with her Wall Balls and she achieved her own personal best. She also PRed her Deadlift. 

By the way, did I mention that I worked today? Also, that I rode Ruby? Yeah, it was a pretty full day. 


A Gallop On A Thursday Night

Lately it seems that any serious flat / Dressage work with Ruby ends up being a real CTJ (Come To Jesus) session. She resists and evades, I insist, she resists and evades, I insist harder and eventually she gives in, softens and gives me what I want. But we seem to have to go through this struggle first, it's just part of the ride. I am asking a lot more of her these days and she is hoping that she can blow me off and just do what she wants. But I have her number now, so I'm not falling for it. Plus, CrossFit is making me stronger so I'm increasingly more physically capable of pushing for what I want as well.

Last night in a private lesson, after pushing for and getting the trot I wanted, we worked some on counter-canter. First some regular canter circles, then canter broken lines and finally some canter serpentines without lead changes, in other words, maintaining the counter-canter on each alternate loop. This is hard for Ruby right now, so we didn't do a lot of it, just a bit to start to introduce the exercise for this Summer. We can build on it and increase the duration as she gets stronger. And a strength-building exercise it is. It really does help promote strength in the canter as the way it requires the horse to carry themselves. So, I am increasingly looking for more strength, more balance, proper tempo, straightness. Hopefully this will allow the start of some baby collection at the canter too. All in time.

After our lesson, because the days are so long right now, I took Ruby on a gallop through the Hollis Town Forest trails and out to Silver Lake and back. It was probably a good seven minutes of uninterrupted gallop, plus some canter on the entry trail, walk and trot through the road and neighborhood to get to the trail and trot down the step hill on the way in. We should be doing more of these types of rides, if I want to take her hunting again at the end of the Summer. It was a good time and she was perfect. Haven't done a ride like that in a while.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Swampy Humidity: CrossFit 06/17/2014

Our gorgeous New Hampshire June weather started to turn humid last night. By this afternoon it was about 90° and oppressive. It was so uncomfortable by this evening that this was one of the CrossFit sessions that I went to with dragging feet. Surprisingly, it actually ended up being a workout that I really enjoyed. Shocking!

Posted workout for Tuesday, June 17th:

Warm-Up

4 Rounds:

:15 Jump Rope
:15 Burpees
:15 Air Squats
:15 Divebombers (no idea what this is)

What I did: Coach Jen suggested the class run 600 meters instead to get out of the hot gym. I decided to row instead to save my ankles since I really haven't done my usual slow build-up to running back-to-back days and we ran last night. Rowed 800 meters. 

2 Rounds of Barbell Warm-Up, led by coach:

5 Deadlifts
Hang Power Cleans
5 Front Squats
Squat Cleans

What I did: Same. 

Stretching:

Hip Mobility Complex
High Hamstring (on box)
Super Front Rack
Tricep/Lat Smash (barbell on rack)
Additional Mashing as needed

What I did: Same. 

Performance / WOD:

A. Squat/Power Clean - 10:00 to build to a heavy single for the day. Translation: Your choice of Squat Cleans or Power Cleans. 10 minutes to build up to your heavy single for the day. Note: Not expected to be your 1 rep maximum.

What I did: Power Cleans, started at 35lbs, ended at 55lbs for the single heavy. (I didn't keep track of how many overall reps I did, but I did reps at 35, 45 and then the 1 at 55lbs.)

B. EMOM x5 x2 TnG Power/Squat Cleans at 80% of A. Translation: Every Minute on the Minute for 5 rounds, do two reps of Touch-and-Go (touch the bar to the ground between each of the 2 reps) Power or Squat Clean (whatever you worked on during "A") at 80% of the weight you did for your single heavy.

What I did: Okay, first of all, having to do math while trying to workout kind of makes me panic! I did the EMOM x5 x2 TnG Power Cleans at 45lbs. 

C. AMRAP 12:00: Translation: As Many Reps As Possible in 12 minutes.
10/10/10, 20/20/20, 30/30/30, etc. (climbing by 10s each interval round):
Kettlebell Swings
Push-Ups
Double Unders
(If you don't have Double Unders, do triple the amount of singles)

What I did: In the 12 minutes, I got through the 10, 20, 30 and 33 reps of Kettlebells (18lbs); 10, 20, 30 Push-Ups (off of a 20" box); 10, 20, 30 of the jump rope (singles not Double Unders). Note: I did not triple my singles (and Coach Jen agreed) as I would never have been able to move on from the first set of reps. 

Let me tell you about that jump rope. When I had to do it for my first group CrossFit class, I could barely do one or two at a time. Tonight I was stringing together 15-20 at once before screwing up! I really am amazed at how much better I've gotten at it. I am still a long way away from being able to do Double Unders, but I am encouraged that I've improved at this one thing as much as I have. In this case, it's more a case of getting the technique down a bit and not panicking, rather than any kind of endurance improvement, but I at least feel a little better about the jump rope now. I also have to wonder, what has happened to me that I am thinking of getting a jump rope to practice with at home. WHAAAAT???

D. Cash Out: 2 Minutes of Max Sit-Ups

What I did: 35 Sit-Ups in 2 minutes. Starting off I thought, 'this is going to be easy.' By the 18th Sit-Up I was singing a different tune. 

Additional Notes:


  • Somewhere during the WOD, I forgot to be miserable in the heat & humidity. Hmmmm. 
  • The Kettlebells seemed okay while I was doing them but, I think this is going to be one of those things that sneaks up on me and makes me very sore later. 
  • Coach Jen said that my Power Cleans are starting to look good, so I guess I'm getting the hang of some of the technique. I don't feel comfortable doing a Squat Clean with weight yet, I can't really even do it fully with just the 15lb bar. 
  • I'm really proud of that stupid jump rope. 

At some point during our session there was a woman standing in the corner near the rowing machines watching our workout. When I was getting ready to leave and I saw Coach Jen talking to her, I realized that she was there for her 1:1 ramp-up session (and from what Jen was saying, I think it was her first session). Wow, that was me about 5 weeks ago or so. I remember how scared and overwhelmed I felt. 

Coach Jen:


Monday, June 16, 2014

Running and Thrusters, Oh My! : CrossFit 06/16/2014

It's never a good sign when I pull up to CrossFit Earned and see people running up and down the road. Uh, oh, must mean that running is going to be part of the WOD -- greeeeeat.

Posted workout for Monday, June 16th:

Warm-Up:

Run or row 400 meters

What I did: Row (I'm not stupid, I knew there would be running later). 

2 rounds of:
20 Sit-Ups
15 Pushups
10 Jump Squats

What I did: Same, except pushups off of a box. 

Stretching:

Banded Hip
Couch Stretch
Overhead Band
T-Spine/Quad/Hamstring Smash

What I did: Same, except for the smash thing. 

Performance / WOD:

A. HBBS 5x5 @80% (Translation: High Bar Back Squat 5 reps, 5 times at 80% of your max 1 rep weight).

What I did: I don't really have a 1 rep max yet, so I'm winging it a bit. I'm also still trying to get the form of most of these reps right still. The last time I did this lift I did reps of 35lbs. Tonight I did 55lbs. Most of the women were lifting 100lbs MORE than this. Wow. 

B. 3 RFT (3 Rounds for Time)
400 meter Run
15 Thrusters (95lb men / 65lb women)
15 Pull-Ups

What I did: Well, I was able to run the first 400m repeat without walking. Did I mention that the first 200m of it was ALL uphill? Yeah, that was special. I did the Thrusters, but with just the 15lb bar, no additional weight (still it's an improvement. When I did Thrusters in my ramp-up, I had to do the squatting bit into a sit on a bench. Humiliating.) Instead of Pull-Ups I did Ring Rows. Again. One of these days I'll get around to trying a banded pull-up again. Hopefully I'll be able to do those someday. I'm not even going to think about regular pull-ups right now. On the 2nd and 3rd rounds of the 400m run, I had to walk up the hill, but I still did a fair amount of running. Slow, but running. 

My time for the WOD was 16:09. For once I wasn't DFL. However, it's not really a fair comparison as I was able to do the ring rows faster than most of the people doing pull-ups. And the 15lb Thrusters was of course easier too. 

C. Cash Out: TGU x 20 Reps (10 per side) - Translation TGU = Turkish Get-Up.

What I did: Well, I couldn't do it. I did 3 not quite right TGUs on one side. 

I have to ask myself: "How's that running program working out for you so far?" Eh, not very well, obviously. Especially as I haven't started it yet. Definitely got to get moving on that.

Another workout in the bank.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Burpees Galore: CrossFit 06/13/2014

I came down with a miserable Summer cold on Sunday that really put me down for the count until about Thursday. I managed to ride on Wednesday, but through a stabbing sinus headache and a cough. Monday and Tuesday I was pretty much in a coma. So, I missed my Monday and Tuesday CrossFit sessions.

The cold is on its way out, but I'm not quite 100% yet. There was no way that I was going to miss a third CrossFit class though! This is all still so new to me that I don't feel quite established yet. I knew that if I missed a whole week of CF, that it would be that much easier to quit altogether. Certainly it would be that much harder to start again. So, I pushed myself out the door and to the 6:30 PM class.

It's still hard to walk in there. I still feel a little stupid and awkward, but each time it gets just a little bit easier. And I'm starting to know the people a little better, so that helps a lot. Most of the people there continue to be so friendly and genuine, you just can't help but like everyone, they are all always laughing and are just so laid back. Well, they're laid back and then they're not. If you are watching during the WOD, things can get pretty intense!

Anyway, here is the workout for Friday, June 13th:

Warm-Up:

4 minutes of Line Drills (run back & forth across the room repeating):
Butt Kicks
High Skips
Karaoke High-Step
Shuffle

What I did: Same, except the high skips aggravated a tweaky ankle, so I just did another line of Butt Kicks instead for that interval. 

Stretching:

Hip Mobility Complex
Figure 4
Dislocates
Mash your Bits (not sure what this is)

What I did: Same except for Mash your Bits. Not sure if anyone did that. 

Strength Warm-Up:

Snatch Warm-Up, led by coach:

3 Position Review, 2 rounds:
5 Power Snatch (dowel)
5 Overhead Squats (dowel)
5 Squat Snatches (dowel)

What I did: Same. 

Performance / WOD:

A. Snatch 4x2 @ 80% 1RM or Work Technique (Translation: 4 repeats of 2 reps at 80% of your 1 rep maximum or you can work on your Snatch technique).

What I did: Worked on my Snatch technique with Coach Jen, 15lb bar only. 

B. Teams of two, AMRAP 15:00 (as many reps as possible for 15 minutes, each team member alternates their round, partner 1 does their 5 Snatches and 10 Burpees, when done, partner 2 starts their round. Continue until the clock runs out):

Power Snatches (95lb men / 65lb women)
10 Lateral Burpees (Burpee, jump over your bar, Burpee, jump, Burpee, etc.)

What I did: 5 Power Snatches (15lb bar only) / 10 Lateral Burpees until I couldn't even stumble over my little bar anymore and then I switched to regular Burpees (well, the bad Burpees that I am currently doing). After my third round, Coach Jen told me to switch to 8 Burpees per round as I was losing it and probably holding up my team member too much. I got through 5 rounds though, so that's pretty good for me. 

I'll tell you though, 15 minutes never seemed so freaking long! I couldn't believe it when Coach Jen called out that we were halfway through -- WHAT?! 

C. (Cash Out Workout) 1000 meter Row for time.

What I did: Same. I forgot how long it took me though. I want to say 3:something, but I'm not sure now. 

I'm glad that I didn't let this week defeat me. I could easily have blown tonight off, but I knew that it would be that much harder to go back on Monday. Plus, watching the clock tick past 6:30 PM, I think I would have been really disappointed with myself. Fridays are harder for me because of the team/partner element, but I'm glad I sucked it up!

Another workout in the bank.

The Jumping Scrooge

I've managed to get a reputation for myself at the barn as being someone who is extremely adverse to jumping. It's actually become a bit of a running joke. My nerve seems to wax and wane based on how much I'm riding and (of course) how much I'm jumping. The less I do, the less confident I am. Makes sense. In the past few years my riding has been somewhat inconsistent, so my enthusiasm to jump has mirrored that. The less fit I am, the less I want to jump too as I am less stable. Jumping can be dangerous, if you don't feel stable, you don't feel safe. And, let's be honest, it's very much a mental game. You don't do it much, you start to freak out. That is very much the case with me.

I think my trainer actually finds it a little bit funny at this point. It's a running joke whether she is going to make me jump in any given lesson. So, imagine her surprise last night when I started warming up over the fences before she even told me to get started! Over the past week I've: jumped while out hunting; jumped in a group lesson on Wednesday; and jumped in a private lesson last night. And not once did I complain or express distress. After warming up last night, before my trainer was ready to start my lesson, I started my own exercise of riding balanced cantered circles, working in a jump, down to another part of the ring, more balanced canter circles, work in another jump, to another part of the ring, and circle, jump, etc. My trainer liked what I was doing and so created a course for me where I was to work in my canter circles at different points. This is a great exercise for Ruby as she tends to get flat and fast and wants to both counter-bend and motorcycle around the turns and also for me as it slows my mind down and makes me think and even relax a bit. It also makes me insist on balance and a quality canter.

After all that we were rewarded by doing some jumping in the field, including my favorite "house" coop and the big panel. For some reason I don't get as nervous about jumping in the field as I do in the ring. One of the reasons is, well, it's fun! The other, I think it flows a little better. Ruby always seems to have a more natural forward, but rate-able, pace in the field and it just seems a little more natural. I guess if I were to be honest, I should say that you don't really have much in the way of related distances in our field either so the jumping is less complicated, so I'm sure that is part of it. You can kind of just go with the flow and you have more time to set yourself up for each jump as it comes. Well, for whatever reason, I prefer jumping in the field!

With all of this said, I believe I am experiencing a shift in my jumping attitude. No, my heart has not grown bigger, but I think my confidence has grown a bit. I have been riding a lot more this Spring and have been working harder on a lot of those rides too. Yes, I believe that working harder in Dressage does translate over to jumping. I am pushing for what I want from Ruby and am starting to get it. I am more & more a rider and less of a passenger these days. I also think that taking on CrossFit has given me more confidence overall. Suddenly I'm more willing to put myself out there more. I might still be nervous about jumping or going hunting, but I'm more willing to give it a try. I have to also say that the jumps are starting to look a little small. Perhaps I'll be asking my trainer to put them back up to my old height of 3-feet someday soon.

Monday, June 09, 2014

A CrossFit Story: Jeremy

Since I am sick and will not be attending CrossFit today, I am posting a CrossFit story that I enjoyed.

Fox Hunting!


Ruby and I hunting in November, 2010 (Ruby is the chestnut & white pinto in the middle).

A couple of friends at my barn belong to a local hunt and have been after me for a long time to join them for a hunt. I went once, and had a great time, but I hadn't gone again, mostly because I haven't felt that I have been in shape for it. And it's a bit daunting, so I'll admit to being nervous. This year they decided to add a Spring cubbing season and my friends were again asking me if I would like to go. I finally said yes!

I had a very tough and challenging CrossFit session on Friday night and then got up early on Saturday morning very nervous about what I had signed myself up for. We got to the hunt fixture with plenty of time, so it helped that I didn't feel rushed getting Ruby tacked up. We rode up a little trail to the field where we were gathering. Once we turned the corner and Ruby saw the hounds, her head went up and her ears pricked forward as if to say, 'oh, I know what THIS is!' She was pretty excited from the start. We got started walking down to the trail and she was jigging this way and that and suddenly the hounds let out a full cry and we were off, galloping full out!

The first galloping set was challenging to say the least. Ruby was very strong and full of herself and I spent most of it trying to have a conversation with her. She got so close up my friend's horse's butt that he actually kicked out at her in warning (Ruby didn't seem to care). We entered a field and almost committed the cardinal sin of passing hunt staff. Luckily I was able to pull her up before that happened. After that first mad gallop, however, she was great! The hunt field this time would gallop for a bit, then we would stop and re-group and collect the hounds up and then gallop on again. We spent most of the ride standing or galloping with very little between. I was happy with how adjustable Ruby really was after that first crazy sprint. She was right up there in the front, but listening and I found that I could easily check her down to a slower pace when needed. There weren't a ton a jumps at this fixture, but there were a few and we flew over them too fast for me to even register anything about them. Were they big? I don't even know.

After lots & lots of galloping we were walking through the field at the end and someone said, "oh look, a fawn!" I looked around and then down and literally at Ruby's feet all curled up and sleeping was a little fawn. He finally woke up and looked around and saw all these horses standing around him and skittered out of there. It was so cute and funny and random.

After the hunt we enjoyed the hunt "tea" under a tree in the field where we were parked. Many of the hunt members asked me if I would be back and I said that I would love to. They also asked why I hadn't been back since the first time and I said, "I don't know, I guess I've been nervous." Someone laughed and said, "Usually when someone is nervous, they want to ride in the back." Yeah, not Ruby & me, we were at the front of the field.



Friday, June 06, 2014

A Ton of Running: CrossFit 06/06/2014

So, I mentioned in a recent post that I wanted to eventually add some running into my week, but that I wanted to establish my routine and consistency with CrossFit first. Yeah. Maybe not the best strategy as tonight as we ended up having to do sprints as part of the WOD! To add insult to injury, the class voted to run as a warm-up too. I am so not ready for this.

Anyway, Friday's posted workout:

Warm-Up:

EMOM (Every Minute on the Minute) x5 Rounds
5 Burpees
10 Air Squats

What I did: Ran 600 meters (class choice). Around the block is apparently exactly 600m. I started out and the rest of the class was quickly way ahead. Like I haven't seen THAT before! But I didn't mind, because back-of-the-pack running is something that I am pretty used to, even if it's been a long time since I've run in any kind of a group setting. I set off trying to pace myself and I am proud that I made up up to the top of the slow hill at the beginning of the loop. But after that I did a walk/run thing. It was just meant to be the warm-up anyway, so I didn't need to kill myself so early in the session. The WOD does a good enough job of that without my helping it along, thank you very much. 

Barbell warm-up led by coach:

2 rounds:

5 Deadlifts (bar)
5 SDHP (sumo deadlift high pull)
5 Med Ball Cleans

What I did: Same. 

Stretching:

Samson + Hamstring
IT Band Cross-Body Stretch (with band)
Glute/Hamstring Smash (with softballs/supernova)
T-Spine Smash (with lax balls)

What I did: Same. Except I didn't do anything with "softballs", "supernova" (what the heck is that???) or lax balls.

Performance WOD:

A. Deadlift E2M x 4 Sets x 3 Reps @ 80-85% 1 RM (Translation: 3 Deadlift reps every two minutes x4 sets, weight should be 80-85% of your 1 rep maximum. So, if your Deadlift weight max for 1 rep is 100 lbs, you should do this exercise at 80-85lbs).

What I did: Same, 75lbs for the Deadlifts. The max weight I had done in my 1:1 sessions was 85lbs, but this is a very soft max. The 75 wasn't a struggle, so I'm sure I could go up a fair amount for a short rep exercise. 

B. Teams of two, for time:

8 x 100m Sprints alternating
50 Deadlifts (185lbs men / 125lbs women)
50 Push Press (95/65)
50 T2B (toes-to-bar)
8 x 100m Sprints, alternating

What I did: Coach Jen teamed with me, which was very nice of her especially as I'm sure she had already done her own WOD earlier! Plus, pairing with me is pretty much a guarantee that you will be DFL, so there is that too. 

Anyway ... I did ALL of my allotted sprints. ALL of them. I thought I was going to pass out a couple of times, but I. Did. Not. Walk. Very proud of that. Of course, you just CAN'T walk with everyone standing there watching and cheering for you, so I had to keep going. The set of sprint repeats at the end, I have to say I had slowed down quite a bit, but I kept running and even managed a bit of a kick on the last sprint. Killer. Talk about feel noodle-y at the end!

I did my half of the Deadlifts (but at 75lbs) and Push Presses (at 25lbs), so I am happy with that. For the T2B, I did leg lifts from the floor, but my upper hip area is so tight right now that this was (ironically) probably the hardest thing for me to do, physically. Poor Coach Jen had to pick up the slack for me and do more T2B to make up for it! (I'm sure she was happy about that). 

I'm feeling pretty freaking good right about now. Some thoughts:

  • I did not look up the WOD before class tonight (or Tuesday). I think that is the best approach for right now. I'm afraid that I might talk myself out of going if the workout scares me!
  • I really need to start running for real. Just 30 minutes of running a few times a week will make a big difference, I think. 
  • I feel really good about getting in a ride (Dressage school) on Ruby on my lunch hour. When I manage to both ride and CrossFit on the same day I feel especially satisfied and well-rounded. 
  • I think I should schedule a good deep-tissue sports massage. That might help loosen up the tightness I have in my upper hip/lower back. 
  • I can't say enough about how wonderful all the people are at CF. Not only was the whole class cheering for everyone, but the people who were not in the class but there to work on skills or whatever all stopped what they were doing to come out and cheer for everyone during the sprints. 
I've been thinking of each CF workout as just another deposit in the bank. The more deposits I make, the more it's going to payoff. 

Thursday, June 05, 2014

Tuesday, June 03, 2014

CrossFit: 06/03/2014 -- Killer Workout!

Let me just start by saying that I absolutely did not want to go to CrossFit tonight. I was really dreading it. But I also knew that I would be very disappointed with myself if I didn't. So, I went and it was unbelievably tough. It's probably a good thing that I didn't look up the workout ahead of time. I'm very glad that I went, but there were a few points during the WOD when I questioned whether I was going to make it!

Warm-Up:

Repeats of:

1:00 Jump Rope (the stupid jump rope again!)
:30 Lunge Steps
:30 High Knees (basically, running in place, but bringing up your knees as high as you can)
Note: I can't remember how long we did these repeats, I want to say 15 minutes, but I am feeling a bit addled at this point!

What I did: The SAME! Yes! I know it doesn't sound like much, but this warm-up was HARD. Also, I find that I am already getting better at the jump rope. I'm smoother and more efficient and I don't seem to panic as much. I can pump out about 10-15 jumps now before screwing it up. 

Barbell warm-up led by coach:

3 Rounds of:
5 Hang Power Cleans
5 Front Squats
5 Full Cleans

What I did: Same.

Stretching:

Couch Stretch
Super Front Rack/Banded Shoulder
Pec Opener (on wall)
T-Spine/Lat Smash
Quad/Hamstring Smash

What I did: Couch Stretch, some hip complex and foam roller for my upper-hip/lower-back.

Performance WOD:

A. Clean Complex (12:00 to go heavy)

What I did: Power Cleans starting with the 15lb bar and finishing with 35lbs. 

B. 15-12-9-6-3 for Time:
Power Cleans (115lb men/75lb women)
Burpees
* 200m run after each round.
Note: Let me explain, just so we are clear. 15 reps of Power Clean lifts. 15 Burpees. Run 200 meters outside. 12 reps of Power Clean lifts. 12 Burpees. Run 200 meters. 9 reps of Power Clean lifts. 9 Burpees. Run 200 meters. 6 Power Clean lifts. 6 Burpees. Run 200 meters. 3 Power Clean lifts. 3 Burpees. Run 200 meters. Yeah, that's right.

What I did: THE SAME!!!!! Yes! Okay, not quite. I did the Power Cleans, but at 35 lbs. And I walked 100 meters/ran 100 meters for each of the run repeats. But I got through it and did all the intervals so, yay me. Of course I was DFL (Dead Fucking Last), but I don't even care. Yeah, that's right. 

Okay, so there I was at the end, pouring sweat, gasping for air, sitting on the rowing machine just to sit and try to recover and Coach Jen comes over and says, "so, you know that there is a Cash Out Workout tonight, right?" WHAT???? No, WTF is that??? She told me that she would let me off the hook, but it was either run or row for 4 minutes. Seriously??? Okay, so I rowed for the 4 minutes.

Killer workout. I think this was the hardest one yet.


Dressage Is Hard Work

I've mentioned before how far Ruby has come in her Dressage work. Her trot work, in particular is leaps & bounds beyond where we were a couple of years ago. I actually can remember the very first time (a couple of summers ago) when I got a true forward, round trot on the aids where she lifted her back and reached for the contact. It almost seemed to happen so suddenly and even magically. I remember just going with it, reinforcing my inside leg from time-to-time, but just enjoying the ride. After that day, I struggled to reproduce that trot, but it didn't easily show up. But slowly, over the past year or so, it has shown up more & more consistently. It is usually hard work to get there, some days I can't get it at all. But it is a much more regular thing these days. The quality and power of the trot since that first day has improved as well. When it all comes together, it feels so organic and so right. Ruby will carry herself and power off her haunches and I'll sit on that beach ball feeling like she is truly and completely at my command.

But, as I like to say, Dressage is a tricky bastard. There are the days when I. Just. Can't. Get. It. Last Wednesday was one of those sessions. I had a flat lesson and, there was the rest of the group, cruising around with their horses round and forward and soft. And there I was stuck at a standstill with a horse with her head in the air doing anything she could to avoid moving forward and accepting any contact. I had a full-blown argument on my hands. I spent an hour booting her forward and making her do walk-canter and canter-lengthen-canter transitions. After an hour of the fight, I finally, for the last five minutes of the session, had a trot nearing what I wanted. I was a sodden, limp rag when it was over. Ruby, was just getting started and was raring to go.

So, the next day I came back for a private session with my trainer for some remedial Dressage work. We spent most of it on a figure-8 (10 meters per loop), walk-trot, halt-trot and then, trot-canter and halt-canter transitions, correcting every evasion she came up with. No breaks. Just solid work until she softened, came on the aids and started carrying herself. When it happened, it's like the sun finally shone and all was right with my world (and with hers!) I was once again a sodden, limp rag after this session, but I was a happy one!

After a weekend of hacking out, yesterday I ran to the barn on my lunch hour and ran Ruby through a Dressage school. After some warm-up on a long rein, she softened and came onto the contact much more quickly without any of the real fight we had last week. I was so happy with her. My trainer said last Thursday that she really tries everything to evade coming round and now that she is making progress in her Dressage development, I am asking more of her (and more consistently), rather than just taking what I can get. So, she is protesting some. It's hard for me to know when to push and when to back off because, the last thing I want to do is overface or sour her. But I think what the last few weeks, particularly the last week, has taught me is that she is more than capable and that what I really need to do is stick to my guns and insist.

Bottom-line, it is exhausting work! But so worth the fight.

Starting June Off Right: CrossFit 06/02/2014

I started out my work week on the right track by putting Ruby through a Dressage school yesterday at lunch time and then following up with a CrossFit session in the evening.

I am still feeling awkward and out of sorts walking into the gym (CrossFit calls them "boxes"). But each time the awkwardness is a little less, so that part, at least, is getting a bit easier. I am also starting to get to know people too, so that helps.

Monday's Session:

Warm-up:

Run or Row 400m
What I did: Row.
(One of these days I'll actually run. Maybe.)

3 Rounds of:

5 Pull-Ups
10 Push-Ups
15 Air Squats
What I did: 10 ring rows. 10 push-ups from the box. 15 air squats. x3.

Stretching:

Hip Complex
Lax Ball Upper Trap Smash
Kicks
Calf/Hamstring Smash
T-Spine Smash
What I did: Same, except, I don't think I bothered with the Lax ball thing.

Performance (WOD):

A. HBBS 3x9 @ 70% 1RM (HBBS = High Bar Back Squat. 3x9 means three sets of 9 at 70% of your max and then 1RM, is one at max weight ... I think!)
What I did: Practiced some high bar back squats with the coach with just the bar first. Then added 10 lbs and did one set of 10 with that. Took off the 10 and added 20 and did two sets of 10 at that weight. Weight with bar = 35lbs. It was enough weight where I had to concentrate on my form, but wasn't too difficult. I can probably add more weight for this exercise). 

B. AMRAP 12:00 (As Many Reps As Possible in 12 minutes)
Increasing intervals: 5 Wall Balls (20lb medicine ball men/14 lb medicine ball women) / 5 Pull Ups; 10 Wall Balls (20/14) / 10 Pull Ups; 15 Wall Balls (20/14) / 15 Pull Ups; 20 Wall Balls (20/14) / 20 Pull Ups
What I did: 5/5 10/10 15/15 20/20 5/5 10/10 Wall Balls (10lb medicine ball) / Ring Rows.
I took a big break after I had finished the 20, before starting back on round two at 5 again. I should have made the break shorter, probably could have gotten through more. Those wall balls get tough though!

I'm so happy that there was no jump rope last night! I have to get to the point where I can start to do some kind of assisted pull-up though. I'm embarrassed to be the only one doing ring rows.

A Note About Stretching: I haven't really said much about the stretching we do at CrossFit, but I did want to mention that they focus quite a bit on hip stretching. I think it has actually helped me a lot already as I am no longer feeling the chronic hip flexor ache that I've had in my right hip for the past few years. 

Sunday, June 01, 2014

CrossFit: Friday, May 30th, 2014

Friday night was my second group CrossFit class. After Tuesday's class, I actually decided to come back for more. It is still hard for me to walk in there, I still feel pretty awkward and out of shape compared to most, but as the people become more familiar and as I start to understand the structure of the session, I feel a little better. I know that the WOD at the end is always going to kick my butt, so I have decided that I just have to suck it up!

Friday's session:

Warm-Up:

Run, Bike or Row for 3 minutes
What I did: Row.

Snatch Warm-Up Led by Coach:

3 Position Refresher:

5 Snatch Deadlifts (bar)
5 Hang Power Snatches (bar)
5 Overhead Squats (bar)
5 Squat Snatches (bar)
What I did: Same. 

Stretching:
Hip Mobility Complex
Kicks
Arm Circles
T-Spine/Lat Smash
Individual Mobility
What I did: Same.

Performance (WOD):

A. Snatch - 15:00 to work up to a heavy single.

What I did: Coach Jen had me work mostly on the hang power snatches so I would get the technique down. I did this with the 15lb bar only, no weight. I definitely was better and smoother after the work. 

B. Teams of two, AMRAP (as many reps as possible) 15:00 leapfrog format:

10 Burpees
10 Power Snatches (men 75lb/women 55lb)
10 Box Jumps (men 24"/women 20")
40 Double Unders (jump rope, rope is meant to pass 2x under feet w/ each jump)

The leapfrog format means that the first person in the team starts the first interval (in this case, burpees) and, once that interval is done, the second team member starts the next interval (power snatches, in this example). They tag team until the clock runs out, trying to get as many revolutions through the interval set as possible. 

What I did: Because I am really not up to the ability of the rest of the group, Coach Jen had me work on my own, so I would not have the stress of having a team member depending on me (I was pretty happy about that!). This is what I did:
10 Burpees
10 Power Snatches (15 lb bar only)
10 Leg Lifts (lie on your back on the ground, lift legs from floor to 90°)
10 "Box" jumps, two 45 lbs plates stacked (I'm not sure what the height is, but it's much lower than 20")
Some amount of single under jump rope before giving up and moving on. 

I made it through 2 revolutions of the interval set. On the second set I did do the 40 (single) jump rope exercise as I did get a little more efficient with the practice. For the third interval set I only made it through the burpees and power snatches. 

It is humbling how hard this is. When I first looked at the WOD, I thought, 'hm, doesn't look so horrible' (well, other than T2B, which I knew I wasn't going to be able to do). But I figured, what's 10 reps at a time, right? Ha! It is very, very hard not to take breaks between intervals. At my level, you're just going to have to, but the trick is to pick it back up before you really want to. So, you rest, you really wish you could rest more, but you get back to it before you really feel quite ready to. As you get better, you hopefully need fewer and shorter breaks until you don't need any at all. Of course, by then you're doing REAL T2B and double-unders and weight in your lifts and whatever, so it doesn't ever really get easy. 

I feel like I just have to keep my head down and keep plugging away at it. Just come to the workouts and my stamina and ability to do this will start to get better. I am thinking that I am not going to take a hard look at where I am with CrossFit until I've completed two full months of the group sessions. So, say, the beginning of August. In the meantime, I am planning on doing CrossFit on Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays. Riding lessons on Wednesdays and Thursdays. Other riding (schooling, conditioning rides) Mondays or Fridays, Saturday and Sundays. I would also like to introduce a 30-minute run three times a week too, but I want to get the CrossFit consistency established first. 

One positive effect of CrossFit that I noticed: I had a private Dressage lesson on Thursday, which means the focus was on me and only me for the entire session. Ruby was especially stubborn and uncooperative this week in her flatwork, so it was a lot of work to get her unblocked and moving forward and not just evading my insistence that she be round. It was hard, hard work (and I mean physically hard, in addition to technically hard!) Anyway, not once during this session did I ask for a break. I was actually able to power through my exhaustion and gasping for breath and work through it. Normally I would have been telling my trainer, "okay, I need to walk for a minute now" here and there. Not sure if it is because of CrossFit, or just being generally more active these days, but I definitely noticed a difference in my ability to keep going.