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:


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. 


  • 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:


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

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:


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)

(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:


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:


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:


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

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:


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.)


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:


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)

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:


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
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:


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!


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).