I took 2014 off from goal setting. It was nice to not have something constantly looming over me. Goals are a double-edged sword for me… they motivate me to push harder but also make me feel that I might not be good enough. In January this year I decided I wanted some specific things to strive for again and proclaimed them and wrote them on the board. I worked hard and after three months I didn’t achieve one of them. I worked out hard and worked out consistently but I didn’t really focus specifically like I planned. I also succumbed to some bad habits that I thought I gave up – comparison. I got in the bad habit of trying to do more than I should just because others were.
I honestly think I like the goal-free life better. At this point I am happy getting a good, honest workout in 5 days a week I work up a sweat and get my heart rate up. I am going to focus on good form and technique and not weight. I need to be stong and healthy for life, not just to work for some random weight goal.
Another Crossfit Open workout in the books. They came through for us scaled people again and gave us a workout that was again challenging but doable.
10 push press at 65lbs
10 cleans at 75 lbs
AMRAP for 8 min
After being sick with allergies for two weeks and back pain for one week I had no expectations. I have done no other workout since 15.3 and was going to pay for it. While the allergy medicine is starting to kick in I still have some coughing and irritation. Last week when I was coughing so hard I pulled muscles in my back that have had me in much pain for most of the past week. I had an intense massage therapy session last Tuesday and have been doing some prescribed exercises daily, but I could still feel the twinge. I felt I was well enough to give this workout a shot.. if anything else I could bail during the workout if anything hurt.
I set a goal of 80 reps and made it to 83. At the 5 minute mark they yelled out “3 more minutes” and I thought I wasn’t going to make it. I thought for sure 8 minutes had passed! My breathing what out of control – this workout was more cardio than I expected and I think I went out too strong – I didn’t pace myself like I normally would have. Since I had no expectations I didn’t do my normal planning and prep workout to prepare for the workout.
The best part of the night was seeing all the other athletes push hard to reach their goals. The guys and girls doing the RX version were so impressive – handstand push-ups. They looked so hard! And, the RX weight was very heavy and it was a PR for some… very inspiring to watch people struggle and succeed.
Saturday was also supposed to be my 5K goal race. It didn’t turn out as I had planned earlier this year. Between lack of running and sickness I didn’t hit my goal. I didn’t train like I should have for various reasons… I wasn’t as committed to my goal as I thought I was. I did, however, have a wonderful day with my daughter and friend. I enjoyed the race course and walked mostly and ran some. I enjoyed being “a walker”. There will be more 5Ks and what these last two showed me is that they are fun and a worthy event. I used to not do anything less than a 10K… and, even that was short. I preferred Half marathons. I figured if I was going to train and pay money then I would make it worth it. So, now that I am feeling better and the weather is turning nice, I am going to pick another race and give it a better shot.
Looking forward to getting back to normal and exited for 15.5!
This week those of us who plan on doing the scaled versions of most of these Open workouts got what we asked for! A scaled version that was tough but doable. A workout where we still had to work hard and execute good form but could compete!
50 wall balls
200 single unders
14 min AMRAP (as many reps as possible)
Wall balls are TOUGH… luckily, because we have good coaches, we have been working the past three months on learning how to do them correctly. And, the good part for me today is that often in our every-day WODs when a wall ball workout comes up I seem to end up with the 14 lb ball. AND, we have had to shoot at a 10′ target. Imagine my delight when I learn in the Open 15.3 workout we get to use a 10lb ball and shoot at a 9′ target!! Now, by no means did I think this would be EASY, but it gave me hope that I could actually complete more than one round. It gave me hope that I could actually hit the target with the least amount of “no reps” as possible.
I knew from past wall ball experience, that I takes me about 5 minutes to get 50 wall balls using the 14lb ball. I knew that 10lb ball was still going to get heavy, and, I still had to jump rope. My plan was to break it down into sets of 10 and jump as fast as possible without stopping. The jump rope was going to be the key to getting as much time on the wall as possible. My goal was at least two rounds (500 reps)…. I got 520 reps. VERY happy.
The last 10 reps were pure adrenaline… the clock was ticketing and people were counting down the seconds. As I rushed to throw the ball up to get the final reps I kept missing! The ball wouldn’t hit the target at all… or it wouldn’t even hit the wall! I had the best judge ever… calmly and quietly chuckling (it was getting comical) and encouraging… I know he was willing that ball to hit the wall as much as I was. The crowd was awesome (as always) and I could hear my name being called. Someone kept saying “ONE MORE TIME”… she said it at least 10 times and every time she said it threw that ball up and hit the target ONE MORE TIME. I am not sure who that was in the crowd but it helped SO MUCH. I threw that darn ball up until the timer went off. No slack, no breaks, no pausing. Those last 30 seconds were crazy fun.
Later that night I got home and thinking about the fun. I posted one of my favorite quotes:
“I am always doing things I can’t do. That’s how I get to do them.” – Pablo Picasso
I stumbled upon this one a year or so ago and it so defines how my last 6 years have been. I have done the some very awesome things that my mind told me I could not do. It was so hard at first to take the first steps to being brave and putting myself out there… the first 5K I signed up for was so nerve-wrecking it was insane. The first time I showed up by myself at at running club event….to running a marathon. Hiking to the bottom of the Grand Canyon. Jumping (well, slowly lowering myself) into a swimming pool at Parris Island with a bunch of triathletes. Walking into the Crossfit Gym…. competing in the Crossfit Open. What fun!
I was so excited for the workout to be posted this week since last week was so fun. Then reality hit… the workout is posted and I cannot even do the scaled version. Quite disappointing to say the least. But tried to get my brain right and do what I could.
Here was the workout… you cannot progress in the workout unless you successfully complete both rounds in each 3 minute period. The scaled version of the below was 45lb overhead squat and instead of CHEST to bar pull-ups…. the scaled version is CHIN to bar pull-ups.
At this moment I am unable to do either version. So, that meant I had 3 minutes to get my over head squats in. I could do the scaled version but the coaches told us that even ONE rep of the prescribed weight (in my case 65 pounds) was worth more than the scaled weight. I had to get at least ONE at 65lbs. I have never done this more with more than 45 pounds. After many failed attempts I ended up with THREE. My score for this workout…. 3.
So, I am going to put this workout behind me and hope that this week I can actually DO the workout and be able to earn more points.
On Saturday I ran a 5K (notice I didn’t say “raced”). My time was slow… I ended up doing a 3:1 run/walk and walked more than I liked. That’s fine… However, I have a lot of time to make up before 3/21.. I have that other 5K that I signed up as my goal race and I am far from my desired finish time of 33 min. I need to get a few more runs in these next couple of weeks.
Sunday I finally got back on my bike and went for a ride! It was great. Cycling is so much better than running!
Despite STILL not being the fastest or strongest, or whateverest… is that I can get out there and do all these things. I am happy that I have the general fitness to participate in whatever I want to do. No longer worried about being the slowest, or walking… BUT, for the record, I do want more points in the Crossfit Games!
On Friday I did my very first Crossfit Open workout, It was very fun and surprisingly different from a regular workout. The gym was packed with fellow athletes, coaches, and judges. It was very official as they discusses rules, standards, etc. I was nervous for some reason… the same way I am before a race. I have not change of winning (not downing myself, its just the truth) but want to do my best.
Every athlete has their own certified judge to count the number of reps and also make sure your reps COUNT… they have to be a certain standard… no cheating on form! Since I typically suffer from “performance anxiety” the fact of someone specifically watching ME was a but unnerving!.
The workouts are posted every Thursday night at 8:00PM. At that point the fun begins… as usual, I wanted to be prepared. I made sure to watch the instructional videos posted by Crossfit several times. Then searched the internet for tips. There are a couple of websites that gather tips and tricks from Crossfit pros on the best ways to tackle these workouts… warm-ups, strategy, etc. I had my plan ready to go!
The official workout – 15.1
15 toes-to-bars (scaled = knee ups)
5 snatches (M 115 lb. / F 75 lb.) (scaled for F = 55lb)
1-rep-max clean and jerk
6-minute time cap
I did the scaled version – thankfully the introduced scaled class this year. I would not have been able to complete if they didn’t. They specify the specifics about what the scaled version is so there are still standards.
For 15.1 I ended up with 156 reps total as my score. I wanted to keep a steady pace that I could maintain and wanted to not get a “no rep” called (meaning I didn’t perform the movement correctly). The knee ups really started to get to me… my hands were so sore from the bar. I started doing 5 at a time and taking a rest, but towards the end I could only do about 3 without stopping and shaking out my hands and forearms. I did get called “no rep” a couple of times as I didn’t get my knees up past my waist.
Post workout thoughts: I really wish I had tried to go a bit faster. I think I paced myself too much.
15.1a – the second part of the workout was to get a one-rep-max on the clean and jerk. I love this move and was hoping to at least get to my PR weight of 105lb (hoping for higher), but after doing the first part my hands and forearms were SO TIRED!. it was all I could do to get that bar up. I ended out maxing at 100lbs.
I went in the first heat of four. It was fun spending a couple of hours cheering on my friends. We have some amazingly strong people at our gym.
Looking forward to 15.2…
I plan to do the same prep after the workout is posted – it was very helpful to get my mind prepared.
We have a tough week of workouts leading up to Friday so I need to make sure I am doing my stretching and mobility daily and eating really well.
I just realized I never followed up after day 21. This Whole 30 was excellent. I followed it 100% and felt great the entire time. My workouts were great and energy high. I felt stronger.
For the past two weeks I have been adding back in some foods that I eliminated. Sadly, it doesn’t take much to feel the effects. I for the past three weekends I have had cocktails on Friday or/and Saturday night… I can definitely tell a difference in my sleep and energy level the next couple of days after. I do enjoy having cocktails, but they are really not worth the bad feelings after… and, I am just talking about 2-3 drinks… NOT getting drunk. I will need to limit this to special occasions.
Dairy. I love good butter and cheese and always thought I tolerated it fine. I don’t just straight up drink milk or anything, but do like cooking with butter and having nice cheese and crackers. This past week I have cooked with it a few times more than normal. Everything was so good – butternut squash and goat cheese lasagna (gluten free), goat cheese omelet (can’t let that expensive goat cheese go to waste!), also went out for Mexican food (cheese enchilada anyone?), pizza…. yum.
After two weeks of adding this stuff in I was fatigued and hurting. I can’t help but to thing they are related. Last week I decided to take some time off from my workouts. My joints hurt like they were over the holidays. I forgot the pain I was in. My feet, hips and hands hurt… and now my neck.
I have been working out very hard since the beginning of the year… 5 times a week for the past 7 weeks, and 2-3 runs a week. I will say that I was ready for a down week. When I was strictly endurance training there were cut-back weeks built into the program. Maybe there are in Crossfit, but I don’t feel it. Plus, I have not been doing my mobility/stretching work like I keep telling myself I need to do! I have the knowledge and the tools… I just have to do it. This was one of my big goals for this year and I can’t seem to be consistent.
With this mobility stuff I am just going to take it one day at a time… goal… do at least 10 minutes a day. They do not even have to be all at once! DO THE MOVES!
What a great week! For the first time in over a year I feel like I am back to where I need to be to start making real progress.
This week I did 5 Crossfit workouts, 3 runs, and mobility daily. I feel strong and because i am fueling and hydrating smartly I am not really having a ton of soreness.
Today my training planned called for a two mile time trial. After last week’s 10:34 mile I knew the two miles would be a bit slower… I wanted to finish in less than 23 minutes. After a 10 minute warm-up of drills and walking I ran. I set a decent pace I could maintain. Although this is a “time trial” I technically should have gone all out… but since I have not been running, but goal was just to RUN for 2 miles without stopping. Since I had not run 2 miles in awhile I wanted to take a conservative pace. I used my Garmin watch, but hid the screen so I could not see what pace I was running. I wanted to run by feel and be steady.
Yesterday I bought new shoes and also tried out using a metatarsal lift/pad under my right foot. After about 1.25 miles my foot started to bother me a bit. I slowed my pace to try to move my foot around in my shoe a bit. I worked out a bit of a cramp and kept going. My legs and breathing felt good. I really think I could have gone longer, which is good news! I ended up running the two miles in 23:17… a bit off from what I wanted, but still ok. At least now I know what I need to do over the next 9 weeks… I need to train faster!
My goal for the 5K is to finish less than 33:00 minutes… that means about a 10:30 pace. I have to drop my pace by a mile per minute between now and 3/21!
Today is Day 19 of my Whole 30. I have never felt better! Makes me wonder why I should go back to eating and drinking like I was. My Crossfit workouts are better and my running is off to a great start. I have been totally focused and 100% compliant and, after getting through the first week, have not missed a thing… not really. I still have some lingering feelings of “habits” that need to be fulfilled… like getting some wine on Friday nights, or weekends. But that is more because I have done that for so long. I am not saying I will never have wine or cocktails again, but I think I definitely will not make them a habit anymore. I feel good in the mornings and my body is happy without it.
Since day one I have been journaling… something I have never done consistently. I think it helps clear the cobwebs of whatever is lingering in my brain. Sometimes I have so many random thoughts going on that my brain feels a bit noisey. IN the mornings I get dump it all out and I feel clear headed. Most of it is nonsense anyways just getting in the way.
The past week I have added meditation in daily. I got an app that allows me to set a timer for a reminder and a timer for the meditation. I found that I can just sit quietly and focus on my breath for on,y about 3-5 minutes, but it is a start.
I bought another meditation program that I am still trying to work into my routine. It is supposed to help you get into a deeper mediation for about 30 minutes. I have done it about 5 times consistently – you are supposed to do it everyday, but I find a hard time finding an extra 30 minutes. Not that I am so terribly busy but sometimes I just want to surf the web or watch TV. I don’t think there is anything wrong with that:)
It is Friday today so that means the weekend is once again upon me… I do not foresee any social challenges. It should be a good, relaxing weekend. And, I get to do my 2 mile time trial… it has been a long time since I have run 2 miles without walking, but that is my goal.
This week I started getting back into the running routine. In order to achieve my 5K goal I will be running at lunch on Tuesdays and Thursdays and one day on the weekend. The plan is 10 weeks long and officially starts this coming week. In order to benchmark my progress I decided to do a one mile time trail. My goal today was NO WALKING… that’s it. I really didn’t strive for any particular pace.
In keeping with the CFE program I did a fair amount of drills. I walked for a warm-up then did some skipping, leaning, mutt kicks, etc. I also did some cadence work, which is always helpful. When I was training for the triathlons cadence was key… your cycling cadence and running cadence should flow. I also learned that a quicker cadence meant a bit more speed for me.
I am pleased with a 10:34 time. This is the pace that I ran my first half marathon… a pace that I like and I used to be able to maintain. Right now my focus will not be gaining speed, just endurance. I want to finish the 5K without walking in 33 minutes or less. My 5K PR is 27:something… and that was in a sprint triathlon with my coach really pushing me. That took a lot of hard work and I am proud of it. Maybe that will be another goal in the future… but right now it is not.
Tomorrow I am going to focus on mobility. I NEED to do this daily… I always have the best intentions but it seems like I always run out of time. I know my body will be happier if I do it!
After setting the goals the other day I immediately started taken action.. that’s what its all about, right? When I was most successful in the past I was on a pretty strict schedule about what I did and when. To achieve my goals over the next three months I will have to be focused.
Morning – awake about 30 minutes earlier than usual to do the “morning routine”. This is adopted from Mark Divine at Seal Fit. He has some really great stuff about meditation and mental strength that I have been reading about for awhile but never acting on.
– 5 minutes breath awareness
– journal about goals… what am I planning on doing today to get me closer to my goals, what do I have to do today to ensure that I am on track, etc. Gratitude.
– 10 minutes of light movement – yoga, mobility, etc.
– 5 min visualization
Get ready for work, eat
mid morning – 5 minutes meditate
Lunch – 11:30
Tues and Thursday will be running. I will follow the Crossfit Endurance 5K plan from Brian Mackenzie’s new book “Unbreakable Runner”. I am going to do the best I can with this. Towards the end of the 10 week training plan the workouts get a bit long and I only have an hour for lunch. I will adapt as needed.
The other days of the week I can do what I want…
NO more coffee…this is a habit I have to break. Instead I will have herbal tea, which I really like.
4:30 – pre workout snack
5:30 Crossfit workouts Monday – Thursday
In addition to what the posted workouts are I will practice double-unders daily
Hopefully deadlifts will stay in the rotation so I can continue to work on that goal without doing anything extra on another day. I feel like I am just getting the hang of this lift.
8:30 – social media off…blog and read BOOKS. I found a fun reading challenge that I am going to work on this year
9:00 – hot tea
9:30 – quiet and deep meditation. I bought a meditation program and you are supposed to do it 30 minutes per day and they say preferably not at night, but I don’t really know when I would just sit for 30 minutes any other time. I will have to work on fitting this in somewhere, but I am going to follow it.