Wednesday 7/18 WOD at PCF

I am already so sore from this WOD! I pushed myself pretty hard, and definitely am feeling it in my legs, butt, and shoulders. So great! Tomorrow is all sprint rowing, so I’m looking forward to that as well. Looking forward to rowing?! Who am I? I used to hate it, but my form has improved so much and I’m actually pretty into it lately. I might try it on a higher resistance setting tomorrow.

Strength:

  • Strict Press 3-3-3-3-3 (about 90% of 1rep-max weight for all 5 working sets): 55(fail)-50-50-50-50-50. My press is getting better, despite the numbers not going up too much. Really wanted to have 55lbs be my working set weight, but just couldn’t make it happen. 50lbs felt great until the second to last round, and I have no idea how I got the weight over head on the last rep, but somehow I did. Then the last round was strong and steady again.

WOD: 8:40

4 Rounds for Time of:

This workout was a real bitch. I did all of the wallballs unbroken except for that one time the ball almost hit me in the face, and in the last round it slipped out of my hands at the bottom of the squat. The ring dips were all unbroken except for the last round when I felt like my shoulders were going to fall off. And I found some super power with the hang power snatch, and they felt really great. I tore my hand yesterday on the toes-to-bar, and it was KILLING ME doing them unbroken. The first two rounds were unbroken, the third was 2&3, and the last was 3&2. I didn’t want it to tear worse and my tape had slipped off, so I was probably more concerned about my hand throughout this than I should have been. I also had a clicking moment in the first round where the hang power snatches felt reallllly heavy. I decided to just jump with my hips as hard as I could, and all of a sudden it was as if I was lifting no weight! That’s one of the fundamental things to olympic lifting, jumping with your hips for power, but for some reason it really clicked when I got angry and aggressive over the weight feeling almost too heavy. It was awesome!

Typical Crossfit Questions

I talk about Crossfit a lot. Whenever it comes up in conversation with someone who has never tried it, I can almost guarantee that a certain slew of questions will come rapid-fire, and I’ve done my best to prepare educated responses, in order to quickly and efficiently get the message across of what Crossfit is all about, before the person loses interest or just flat-out decides that I’m full of beans. These are the questions, with my explanation that I try to give. I hope this will help at least someone feel more comfortable about taking the step to give Crossfit a try!

  1. Isn’t Crossfit hard? Yes! Crossfit is hard! Do you know what else is hard? Remembering to drink enough water every day. Having to work and having a job. Remembering to do your laundry before you run out of underwear. Putting yourself into new social situations to meet people. We do these things because they will advance us to a position more favorable in our own eyes. Be the motivation hydration, money, clean undies, a boyfriend/girlfriend or other, there is a drive that makes us follow through with everything in our lives. For me, the drive is there for working out. I feel better, sleep better, eat better, look better, study better, take care of myself better, and move better when I’m going to Crossfit regularly. Why would I not want to do it?! Because it’s hard? Hard is relative. And let’s be serious, it is one hour of intense working out, that’s it, and all of a sudden I feel like a goddess.
  2. Can I do the workouts at home/my gym/without going to Crossfit? Eeeehhhhh. It’s not as easy as a black and white answer. You cando them on your own, but that doesn’t mean that you should. There are lots of reasons for this: A. You don’t have someone monitoring your form and making sure that you’re not on the road to injuring yourself. B. You might miss the point of the workout without getting the proper instruction (ie. go fast and light, slow and heavy, some mix of the two, etc.). C. You push yourself WAY harder when you are in the group workout. You may think that you can push yourself hard enough, but I swear to you, you have way more in you than you think. It’s amazing. D. Access to proper CF equipment/space is not always available at all gyms. E. Crossfit is really about community. You miss that entire aspect if you’re doing it at home. You meet people on the same journey as you and they hold you accountable for your workouts, and you start to feel guilty if you skip out on one because it’s “too hard,” and they will probably give you shit about it (nicely, of course!). F. See number 5 where I talk about how amazing the coaches are. I could go on and on and ON about why it’s better to train at a box. But those are my main reasons.
  3. Do I have to join a Crossfit box with a membership? No, but most Crossfit programs say that in order to really get the benefits you should be attending no less than 3 times a week. Almost all boxes will let you drop-in (provided you have completed a foundations class…and some extra cash), and offer different monthly packages depending on how many times your schedule will allow you to attend, and those are always cheaper than paying for 3 drop-ins a week for 4 weeks.
  4. Don’t you feel weird working out around so many people who could be watching you? At first it was very intimidating. And then I realized that everyone is so focused on their own workouts that no one pays attention to anyone else, except maybe to chat with their friends. I don’t feel like a piece of meat when I walk into a box (which is 120% how I feel going into normal gyms, especially when working on olympic lifts), I feel like a female about to rock the shit out of whatever WOD is programmed for the day.
  5. Isn’t it expensive? Personal training is expensive, right? That’s essentially what you’re getting at Crossfit. The trainers/coaches get to know you, everyone introduces themselves if they don’t recognize you, they remember your past injuries, work around current soreness/tightness/issues, and are a bottomless information source. They see when you’re struggling and come and coach you through when you need it. They’re the most attentive trainers on Earth. I’ve worked individually with trainers who I would classify as extremely inattentive, especially compared to those I’ve had at every Crossfit location I’ve been to. You truly get what you pay for.
  6. More-so a comment than a question: I could never do that!/I’m not strong enough for that! Really?! Because I think that is a big load of excusescrap! I couldn’t do a push-up, a pull-up, or run half a mile without walking when I started. Most people are in the same boat. Everyone can do it. It’s scaleable. That’s how they are able to have a Masters category at the Crossfit Games for people 60+ years old! You start slow, you start light, you start where you’re comfortable. Fitness isn’t a sprint; it’s a marathon, and so is Crossfit, and that’s what is so wonderful about it.
  7. How do I sign up!?! Go to CrossfitHQ’s website and search for affiliates in your area. Contact them and see what their options for newcomers are. Most of them will offer a free class or allow you to drop into a WOD, and they will coach you along and give you all the necessary information for completing it within your fitness level. Check out a few, if there is more than one option in your area. Then, sign up for their foundations or beginners course, start going, and show up to some WODs! Now get off your butt and take the first step!!!

Tuesday 7/17 WOD at PCF, and the Importance of Sleep!

Man, it’s been a long day. I haven’t been able to get into bed before 11 since last Wednesday night and it’s really taking its toll on me. I attribute so much of my fitness success to my 8+ hours of sleep a night, so much so that I’m ashamed I haven’t written about it yet. Maybe now is a good time. I never ever EVER feel well-rested, no matter how much sleep I get. I could sleep for 14 hours, wake up, have a bite to eat, and immediately go right back to sleep. I literally cannot remember a single time where I woke up and didn’t feel tired, or a day where I didn’t think about/have to keep myself from napping. Most of this is due to my thyroid issues and Lyme Disease, both of which cause immense fatigue, exhaustion, and insomnia, all things I experience regularly. I mainly have it under control lately, and for the first time in my life am not napping 4-5 times a week, and I 100% have Tyler to thank for this…Except for the occasional Saturday, where I will wake up, have a little breakfast, migrate to the couch, and go back to sleep for 3 hours. Shhhh. Saturdays don’t count.

When we moved in together, he was waking up way earlier than I was in order to commute in to school or work, so he started trying to be in bed and almost asleep by 10pm. I didn’t want to just sit awake and alone on the couch surfing the internet, so I decided to start going to bed with him. And holy crap, all of a sudden I started being able to workout, cook meals, go on long walks, do homework, read, and more, all without wanting to go into a 24hr coma immediately. We’ve been more lax over the summer since we both wake up a little later and have less demanding schedules, so the bedtime has been unofficially pushed to 10:30-11pm. We sound like old farts, but he gets up and runs or goes to the gym in the morning before work, and I go straight to school for 4 hours and then to Crossfit or dance class. We are active people, and I would never be able to be this active if we hadn’t started going to sleep earlier. I still have to take naps here and there, but not nearly as often. I hope one day I will experience what it feels like to wake up in the morning and feel ready for the day, because even with so much sleep it still takes 3+ alarms and Tyler’s help to get me out of bed most days. Crossfit and dance definitely help. I feel so much better on the days when I get more exercise, and sleep like a rock!

Moral of the story is get more sleep so you can get more exercise. Get more exercise so you will get more sleep. It’s a cycle, so break into it and make it happen!!

Strength: EMOTM (Every Minute On The Minute) for 15 mins of:

Super interested in this volume&strength training! I like EMOTMs because they allow for a little bit of rest with explosive periods of work. I probably could have gone heavier on the Power Cleans, and it seems like just about everyone at the box overestimated and went a little lighter than they could have. But I was also trying to keep in mind the beast of a WOD coming after this, where I was going to take on 60 Toes-to-Bar. Speaking of:

WOD: 14:23

4 Rounds For Time:

  • 15 Toes-to-BarDid. Every. One. Rx.
  • 15 Back-Rack LungesLevel 1 weight of 32lbs, bleh (barbell lunges in video).
  • Run 200m: Rx. Ha.

Eff me. The TTB were hard. The lunges were hard. The runs were hard. Everything. It was a good workout, but I can tell I’m going to be hurting tomorrow. I probably could have gone for 45ish pounds on the lunges, but it would have added a lot to my time. I had enough of a struggle with the TTB and the running in 102degrees, so I’m not too worried about it. I was one of the last 5 or so to finish, and there were lots of people cheering me on. It was awesome and I did the last set of lunges with only one quick break to adjust the bar on my back. That was a fun workout, and I hope that in the future I’ll be able to revisit it and compare times.

Oh, I took video at dance class last night and pulled some stills in case I’m too busy to edit together a video. I’ll be writing a proper entry about why I think every single female should try pole dancing at some point in her lives later on in the week if I have time!!!

You Guessed It, Friday the 13th WOD at WSC

This morning I checked Patriot Crossfit’s WOD, and it was one I REALLY wanted to do. The whole day I was thinking about it, and on the way home I decided that I would haul ass to Patriot to do it at 7:30. When I got home (at 7pm), changed, and went to sign up online, I realized that Patriot’s 7:30pm WODs are only Monday-Thursday!! Tyler was planning on heading to his gym tonight anyway, so I signed up for a trial at his gym just so I could do this WOD. That’s dedication!!

Strength:

  • Row 500m for time: 2:05. Used this as a warm-up, kept getting distracted. I’m hoping to get down to an even 2 minutes at some point.
  • Clean and Jerk 2-2-1-1-1-1: I misread this on the website and thought it was 3-2-1-1-1. Oops! 55-65-70-75-80, which is a whole 20lbs heavier that I c&j’d while in North Carolina. Felt strong and steady the entire time, and felt like I could have done another single at 85lbs if I had been at a proper box and able to drop the weight from the top.

WOD:

12-Minute AMRAP (As Many Rounds/Reps As Possible): 10+10 (10rounds+10reps, so 10 full rounds+5 deadlifts+5push-ups

This was between Level I and Level II. It felt freaking GREAT to be able to do the Toes-to-Bar! And almost every round they were unbroken. I still need to get my kipping down better for them, but I did them still!!! Usually I do a variation of knees-to-elbows or knees-to-armpits (which are exactly how they sound in relation to the TTB movement), but since Level II was just taking down the volume of reps, I decided to try it, since I knew I could do a few in a row. The deadlifts were cake (probably should have gone 15-20lbs heavier), the push-ups got old REALLY fast, and the TTBs were invigorating. I also did a “Finisher” (a workout after a workout)
Okay guys, now I’m actually going to take two whole rest days to study, go up to Baltimore, and catch up on streaming the Crossfit Games. But I can say that something woke up inside of me this week. I’ve been committed to my health and fitness for a really long time now, but for some reason this week something just clicked. I am strong enough to do Crossfit freaking FOUR days in a row. I can push myself beyond my previous limits to find new ones. I do have the discipline to work out five days in a row, Mon-Fri. I feel like I kind of always knew I was capable of this, but it just took actually sucking it up and doing it in order to truly convince myself that it is possible to be as active and dedicated as I have always wished I could be. Can I get a hell yes? Hell. Yes.

Thursday 7/12 WOD at PCF

Today was SO AWESOME. This is my third day in a row of Crossfit, and fourth day in a row of exercise with dance class on Monday. I feel AMAZING! Let me preface this WOD post with some background info. The Crossfit box in Arlington that I normally go to, Patriot Crossfit, presents their WODs in a unique way. They have the Rx version, which are the weights/reps that the elite-elite use; presumably the very experienced CFer, who shows up 5 days a week at least, and are complete beasts. Then there are two scaled levels, Level II and Level I. Level II is for those who can’t quite do the Rx weights or reps, but who are making their way up the fitness ladder; I’d say probably after 6-10 months of showing up at least 3 times a week consistently you’d be able to do the Level IIs, depending on the starting level. And then there’s Level I, for the newer CFers or those who aren’t quite as strong. If you click on the link above you can check out what I mean.

I’ve found myself doing Level I more often than not…until this week!!!! On Tuesday I did a pretty even mishmash of Level I/II; Wednesday, I only used the Level I weight for the push presses, Level II reps, Level II weight/KB swing height (35lbs and American swing); lo and behold, today I did my first workout COMPLETELY in Level II, even with this being my 3rd day in a row and being pretty sore/worn out!!! I am so damn proud of this accomplishment. I’m sure next week there will be something that crushes me back down into the land of Level I, but I am so happy that I was able to round out this week with such an accomplishment. And guess what? On top of all of that, I did unassisted pull-ups in the WOD. UNASSISTED. PULL-UPS. Bold, italicized, and yelling. Happiest in the world.

Strength:

  • Snatch 3-2-1-1-1: 35-37-42-47-47. Ughghgh the snatch. I started with squat snatches and quickly moved to power snatches. I’m not confident enough dropping low under the bar and catching it overhead yet. I picked up some good tips from a new friend, and we watched each other and pointed out form issues. It really helped, and gave me the proper time to recover between lift attempts. I started with the 35lb bar but backed down in order to get some more work on form, and then went up from there, thus the weird numbers. I did 10lbs more on my hang power snatch about a month ago, but I’m not sure which you’re supposed to be able to do more weight with. I have a hard time when the pull is from the ground. I really need to work on that, and also stop thinking so much while trying to lift!

WOD:

7-Minute AMRAP (As Many Rounds/Reps As Possible): 5+0 (meaning I completed exactly 5 rounds. Had I done 5 rounds and 2 wall balls of the 6th round, it would be 5+2)

  • 7 10ft WallBalls8lb ball
  • 4 Pull-ups: Unassisted!!! Emphasizing again haha.
  • 7 Burpees: notice, chest makes contact with floor every rep.

Rx was a 14lb ball to 10ft, and 7 reps for pull-ups instead of 4. So happy with my performance. I completley forgot to switch my grip up as I got tired, so I need to try to remember that to save time next time there’s pull-ups! Some of my wallballs barely made the 10ft mark, and a few pull-ups my chin just barely made it to bar level, but damnit, I still did it and was honest in my reps and repeated those that needed it!

And the Games Begin!

I absolutely meant to write about this in my Crossfit post yesterday, but forgot somewhere in the thick of things. I spent the evening listening to the radio broadcast of the first section of the Crossfit Games, phoned in live from Camp Pendleton. In the beginning of the Games last year, they announced that the first workout would include swimming in the Pacific Ocean, something that had never been done before in Crossfit Games history, and isn’t something usually practiced in Crossfit itself. Everyone (and by everyone I really just mean me) was all aflutter about what the secret game-changer for the opening of the Games this year would be. All of the competitors gathered in Los Angeles, CA on Monday to start registration and get ready for the games to start on the 13th…or so they thought.

The folks at Crossfit love curveballs. It’s all about pushing your own limits, and the bar for the title of “the fittest man/woman in the world” is raised higher and higher each year. Well, on Monday night during the welcome dinner, Dave Castro, the Director of Training at Crossfit HQ, dropped THIS BOMB. Yes, it deserves internet yelling. It’s really long and I know most people won’t want to read it, so here’s the breakdown:

  1. Just kidding guys! We’re starting the games this Wednesday! Yes, the day after tomorrow! Get pumped!
  2. You all get a super sweet single speed mountain bike! Buttttt you’re going to ride it over 8 kilometers of undulating terrain and super loose soft sand.
  3. But before all of that, you are going to swim in the ocean for 700 meters.
  4. And then you’re going to run 11.3 kilometers with a 427-meter overall elevation gain.
  5. Oh yeah, and all of this is on Camp Pendleton Marine Corps Base, so you know it’s going to kick you in your derriere.

So obviously, everyone flipped their shit. But wait! There’s more!

  • After only about an hour of rest from that first world of hurt, you’re going to compete in the Camp Pendleton School of Infantry Obstacle Course, in an elimination-style, head-to-head bracket race tournament. You better win your bracket or else your score will be effed up, y’all. Remember, this is a Marine Base Obstacle Course, none of that playground horseshit.
  • Don’t worry though, we scheduled a day of rest today for you guys, for the first time ever in Crossfit Games history. And then, as you know, the Games are back in business tomorrow, Friday the 13th, and will continue until Sunday evening.
Yes, there’s more! Read on to see where and how you can watch/listen to the Games, and how all of this relates to another reason why I absolutely freaking love Crossfit.

Wednesday 7/11 WOD at PCF

By the way, definitely had 7.11oz of free slurpee today in honor of 7/11. It was an awesome cheat and I have no regrets. I’ve eaten very well for the day/week and went to Crossfit today, so I’m not worried about it at all, and am actually happy I indulged. Take that, world! As long as it doesn’t become a habit, I am all about wisely-programmed cheattreats and rewards. In the wise words of Christmas Abbott: “I have to have my reward.  If I eat well all week, I get my cupcake on Friday.  That is how I operate.” Love it!

Strength:

  • Strict Press 5-5-5-5: 35-45-50(4)-50(3)-45. Lucky me, two days in a row of strength movements I strongly dislike! I could not get up to 5 reps at 50lbs. My shoulders are so gassed from yesterday’s push presses and single arm snatches, so I’m hoping next week to get 50 up and maybe even 55. Ambitious, but definitely possible!

WOD: 11:17

21-18-15-12-9 for time of:

Have I explained that kind of WOD yet? It’s usually “21-15-9” but someone accidentally-on-purpose added an extra 18+12 reps in there. You start with the first movement, KB swings in this case, and do 21 reps. Then move to the second, air squats, and do 21 reps. Finish with 21 reps of the push press. Then, you move back to the KB swings and do 18 reps, 18 air squats, 18 push presses, and keep going until you’ve done the last set of 9 reps of each.
Or, if you’re awesome like me and totally can’t keep track of your shit during a workout, you end up doing the 12 round twice. Yes, I did that. I didn’t realize it until the very end of the push presses when I realized “hey, last round I did two sets of 6 also..and 12 KBs..and 12 air squats..SHIT.” But I really wanted to finish out by doing the 9 round, so I just went for it and decided that the extra round wouldn’t kill me. And it didn’t, yay!
The KB swings were awesome and I did every set unbroken, all to full extension. The air squats were air squats and I really focused on not letting my knees buckle in towards the center when I got tired, which is a really bad habit I have that gave me knee pain last time I did them (none from today, yay again!). The push presses felt really easy throughout the workout, mainly because I was really driving the weight up super hard every time, but now my traps and shoulders are smokedddd. I think I could have added another 5lbs, but right as I had that thought the clock started. Great workout and hoping I won’t be too sore to go tomorrow as well. 
Bonus! Post-WOD sweatyface!

Dance from Monday 7/9

I don’t have much to preface these photos with! Everything that I could possibly say about my experience with dancing is already written in my FAQ & Info under the “Fitness Background” section. Dancing means a lot to me, and was a huge part of me “coming into my own skin,” so to speak. I’ve been dancing weekly with the same ladies for a year and a half now (holy crap!) and I never leave class without a smile on my face. I was having a particularly non-sticky night on Monday and I was only able to get these pictures before getting frustrated, but I’m hoping to start setting up my camera for videos again so I’ll have something more to post. Stills really do dancing absolutely no justice!

I’m heading to Crossfit at 4:30, so expect a post about that later! Enjoy!

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Tuesday 7/10 WOD at PCF

Do you guys all love my lack of writing?! Of course, when I first launched this on Friday, I wasn’t expecting to spend most of Saturday-Monday in a complete meltdown from school-induced stress. But I’m back and stronger than ever! It takes more than one class to bring me down!!…I think/hope.

Anyway, to recap over the past two days fitness-wise, I had dance class yesterday and Crossfit today. I took pictures at dance last night, so expect to see some pictures either tonight or tomorrow evening, depending on how my studying schedule pans out. My hands have been stickier than normal, which is awesome, but my body has been less-so, so I’ve been having a really hard time with any moves that require body stick; unfortunately that includes pretty much anything that I want to be working on. I was planning on going for a run with Tyler this morning, but my back felt wonky after dance and I woke up with it slightly sore, so knowing I was heading to Crossfit later I decided to pass. Crossfit today was awesomely awful. Are you ready for this?

Strength:

  • Snatch High Pull 3-3-3-3: 70-75-75-75. These are awful. I feel like my form is so bad that it keeps me from being able to do more weight. I hate the basic snatch lift and any form of it, so I tend to avoid it when I’m working on my own lifting. I need to stop that, because I’m really awful and haven’t progressed with this lift as much as I should. When you hate something, you do less of it on your own time. Usually you hate it because you’re bad at it. Therefore, you never get good at it, and hate it more. I need to break this cycle!!

WOD for Time: 14:44

I’m putting the explanation for it behind a break because the write-out of it is long and awful, even though it wasn’t the most grueling workout.

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Breakfast

My breakfast is the same thing every day: a disgustingly delicious green-brown protein smoothie. It looks absolutely awful but it tastes amazing, keeps me full for hours, and wakes me up enough to function through morning classes, which is definitely an extraordinary feat. It’s super quick to make, and the amazing blender system allows for a blend-and-go, single-serve smoothie with absolutely no clean up. I could rave on and on about this blender! I even convinced my mom to buy one! Pssst! And it’s on sale on Amazon right now! Make sure to keep reading for the link to go check them out!!

Ingredients!

  • Spinach
  • Kale
  • Frozen Mixed Berries (I like the kinds without strawberries, for some reason)
  • Bee Pollen (can be omitted or switched for Nutritional Yeast, if vegan)
  • Flax Seed (home-ground, if possible, and kept in the fridge)
  • Avocado (can use 1/2 a small banana instead, but you’ll be missing out on all the good fats!!)
  • VegaOneprotein powder (or whatever kind you fancy)
  • Water

To see how it’s all put together, keep reading!

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