Wednesday 8/29 WOD at PCF and Strength at GMU

I have about an hour and a half between two classes on Mondays and Wednesdays, and the gym just happens to be nestled ever-so-perfectly near the two buildings that they are in. I can’t not go, when it’s just so close and convenient! Not to mention not having anything better to do yet. I jumped in there around 12:30pm to get a little mini-strength workout in, not pushing it too hard, knowing that I had Crossfit at 4:30pm today.

Strength at Gym:

  • Front Squats until almost failure: 45lbs x 20 reps. Could have probably done 10-15 more reps, but my legs are still sore from Monday’s squats!
  • 10 Toes-to-Bar: killing time while waiting for the GHD to open up.
  • 30 GHD Sit-Ups: Ouch. Abs still sore from Monday’s GHDs.
  • 4 Rounds of: 5 assisted pull-ups with 36lbs assistance, 5 assisted dips with 42lbs assistance. You stupid, the WOD later had strict pull-ups. Bad move.
  • 50 Weighted Standing Calf Raises: 65lbs. Ouch.
  • 55 Weighted Seated Calf Raises: 65lbs. Ouch.

So, as I said, I shouldn’t have done the pull-ups. That was stupid. It also wasn’t the smartest thing in the world for me to do the calf raises, because we had over-the-box jumps. But, much to my surprise, I actually felt extremely springy in my calves during the WOD, and really felt like they were launching me over the box more than I thought I’d be able to. I think the calf raises might be working!

Strength:

  • Strict Press 3-3-3-3-3: 55-55-55(f on third rep)-50-50-50. My whole upper body is so toasted from the push-ups and rope climbs yesterday, there was no way I was getting 55 up the last three sets. I’m glad I backed down. It gave me some time to focus on my form and keeping my core tight, instead of gettheweightupnomatterwhatittakes. I might back down to 50 for all sets next week to work on that. I say that now, but we all know that’s probably not going to happen.

WOD for Time: 7:52

5 Rounds of:

  • 3 Strict Pullups: assisted with ~32lbs. There was less assistance than the ones I did at the gym earlier. Level II reps, Level I for assistance. So Level I.V. I did 5 in the first round, but quickly realized in the second that that wasn’t going to keep happening.
  • 7 Burpees: Level II reps. I actually like burpees.
  • 12 Over-the-Box Jumps: 16″. Level II height. These were actually pretty fun. I cleared the box every time, and was able to power through with no rest at all.

This workout was pretty awesome. I understand why I wasn’t able to completely preform to what I know I could have (ie. press at 55 across the board, more strict pull-ups or maybe a tad less assistance?) and I’m okay with how I did because of that. Understanding your own body and when/why it’s telling you certain things is an art, and I’m starting to get the hang of it, I think!

Pull-ups are pull-ups, burpees are burpees, and over-the-box jumps are where you jump clear over the box without landing on the top. I can’t be bothered to link to everything right now. Too. Tired. Don’t hate me! Also no pictures after yesterday’s post. Anything posted today would be sub-par!

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Pride and Tuesday 8/28 WOD at PCF

I need to take a minute to reflect on how proud I am of myself. I have accomplished so much over this summer, and I don’t think I’ve ever felt this positive about the direction I’m going in my life, mentally, physically, literally, and figuratively. Every single week I’m able to lift a little heavier, run a little faster, or go harder at the end of the workout than I was able to the previous week. It’s fucking amazing. Literally. I never in my life thought I’d be doing what I’m doing now. Crossfit is all about being uncomfortable, and hitting the DIS/GFB (drenched in sweat/gasping for breath) point. Many people don’t like being uncomfortable, and don’t like the idea of working out to that point. This is most likely due to the fact that they’ve never hit that point before, because it’s the most addictive, satisfying, gratifying, and glorious feeling in the world…once you can breathe and think straight again.

I started out as an athlete and a gymnast as a kid, and I thrived on DIS/GFB. And then one day I decided I was sick of it, it was too hard, and I didn’t like being told what to do (queue rebellious teenage years). From then on, I shunned most “exercise,” and I was definitely one of those people who disliked being uncomfortable, for a long time. After a handful of years of stagnation (and my freshman 40), I finally realized that I couldn’t reach my goals sticking to “sprinting” circuits on a treadmill, lighter dumbbell work at higher reps, and weight machines. And all of a sudden Crossfit happened and I had friends and my boyfriend to WOD duel with and I started seeing results and I got hooked on DIS/GFB again. I now thrive on being uncomfortable, pushing myself to the absolute limit, and watching my results skyrocket. With only an hour a day, 3-5 times per week, I have become stronger than I’ve ever been, and only going up from here. I’m sorry if this sounds all “tooting my own horn” but I’m so fucking proud of myself I’m in tears right now writing this. I am so happy with myself and I love who I’ve become, as my physical strength translates into emotional and mental strength as well.

 

Strength:

EMOTM for 10 Minutes of:

This is exactly what I’m talking about in the first paragraph. Last week I threw up 50lbs in the beginning, but backed down to 45lbs because there was no way I was going to be able to go 20 reps at 50lbs. This week? 50lbs. Solid. Each rep felt good and strong and explosive and great. As I got tired towards the end I consciously started dropping lower to catch the bar, knowing that I wasn’t getting the bar as high as in the beginning. Noticing little things like that are what really make me realize I’m getting it. Strict pull-ups are awful, and I am so far away from even having one, but I’m hoping to be able to do two strict by December 31st of this year.

WOD for Time: 17:43

3 Rounds of:

  • Run 600m: Rx. Ran the entire 600m without stopping each time.
  • 30 Push-UpsKnees. Rx was 30 strict, Level II was 20 strict, and Level I was 20 knees. So Somewhere between LI and LII.
  • 1 15′ Rope Climb: Level II. I love rope climbs. Rx was 3, but my shoulders were so effed from the push-ups I was worried I wouldn’t be able to let myself down. Probably should have at least tried for two.

This WOD was AWESOME. The whole workout was awesome. Pretty much a huge mash-up of everything I hate/need to work on (except for the rope climbs). I focused really hard on my form for the running, reminding myself to use my ankles and explode off my toes and kick my legs up “like a gazelle.” Repeating that to myself because my mantra while running today, and I have no idea where it came from. I kept saying “like a gazelle, Katie, come on, like a gazelle” in my head. Ha!! Somehow though, that made everything click and the running actually wasn’t bad. I’m definitely going to be keeping that in mind during the Tough Mudder!! I’m not convinced that I could keep push-up form for anywhere near 90 reps, so knees I went. Mayyybe should have done 10 strict per round, but I really wanted the high volume, and doing that many put me around the finishing time with most of the big guns in the box. And rope climbs ahhh I love you. I couldn’t get the J technique today, so I went back to my good ol’ wrap and stomp. Kicking myself for not doing two per round, but they still felt awesome and challenging and fun. I’ll be nursing a teeny patch of rope burn on the back of my thigh, but it comes with the territory. I’m so into Patriot Crossfit’s programming lately. I’m so glad we found them and that I can call that box my home.

 

Monday 8/27 Lifting at GMU

I signed up for another session of dance (8 weeks I think?) so I will be unable to do WODs on Mondays for another two months. A little frustrating, but that’s the only option if I want to stay with my current teacher and group of girls I’ve been dancing with for the past year and a half+. Today was the first day of school, which means I have access to my university’s gym again, so I decided to get in there and do a quick sum-1hr workout between classes.

Strength:

  • 60 GHD sit-ups
  • Back Squat 3-3-3-3-3: 95-105(PR!)-105(f on 3rd rep)-100-100-95. Woo! Almost failed on the 3rd rep of the last 100lbs, so I decided to drop down. Glad I did, my legs were toast!
  • 50 Seated Weighted Calf Raises: 65lbs.
  • 15 Assisted Strict Dips: I had planned on doing 3 rounds of 50 calf raises + 15 dips, but after the dips I looked at the clock and realized I had 15 minutes to run to my next class.

There were a ton of bros pumping iron with little-to-no form and babysitting their loaded bars. At first there weren’t any barbells open (but NO ONE was lifting anything), so I decided to keep doing GHDs until one opened up. As soon as I saw a guy unloading his bar, I jumped up and snagged his spot at a squat rack, which was perfect since that’s what I planned on doing! You can see one of the guys behind me sitting down. He hogged the rack and the weights, and in the 50 minutes I was there, I only saw him do one set of cleans. Gym bros are the worst!!

The Crossfit Journal has a great article about improving your jumping abilities. It talks about strengthening the calves and doing lots of squats, and I personally always feel extremely sore in my calves after anything with heavy box jumps, double-unders, or sprinting. I’m going to try to amp up my legs by working out at the school gym extra, since I always miss WODs on Mondays, and at my box Mondays are squat days. So here’s to trying something new! With less than two weeks until Tough Mudder, I’m hoping this will make at least a slight difference. My legs are fatigued, so dance tonight will surely be interesting!

Thursday 8/23 WOD at PCF

I felt very sluggish at Crossfit yesterday. It was as if I could feel every movement lowering my energy level by a little bar, like in a video game or something. In all honesty, I probably should have recognized that it needed to be a rest day. Once I felt that in the middle of my clean and jerks, I decided to go easy on the WOD and still give it my all, but at lower weights than I know I am capable of. Tyler and I spent all morning running (walking, if we’re going to be technical) errands around town, and then cleaned out and reorganized our camping/climbing/tools/stuff closet, which is almost big enough to rent out as a living space. Seriously, those two combined were their own workout.

Strength:

  • Clean and Jerk 2-2-1-1-1-1: 85-85-90-90-95(f on jerk)-90-90. Was able to do my whole working set of singles at 90lbs! And both sets of 2 at 85lbs! That’s a huge improvement from the single and only 90lbs and singles at 85lbs I was able to accomplish a couple weeks ago. They were a little wonky at times when I didn’t drop down low enough under the clean or the jerk, but overall, technique improvement on catching the bar higher on my shoulders for the clean, and dropping lower into my split jerk.

WOD for Time: 8:31

3 Rounds of:

  • 10 Deadlifts115lbs. Level I-, desperately needed to stretch out my hammies more before this.
  • 10 Shoulder to Overhead25lbs. Level I, most were split jerked, like in the link. Felt so heavy.
  • 10 BastardsRx

After the C&Js and all of the running from Wednesday, my legs just didn’t have it in them to do 30 deadlifts at 125, which was the Level I weight. On the shoulder to overhead, I briefly considered going with the Level II weight of 30lbs, but when I picked up the 25s they felt like cinderblocks, so I decided to keep it relatively light. So glad I did. They were death. The bastards were bastards, probably the easiest part of the WOD, and I powered through them like any other WOD with burpee-variations. Skinned the hell out of my right knee in the last round, busting my ass trying to make sure I made a sub-9min time. I also think I did two extra, but would have rather done two extra than two short, so I just kept going.

After Crossfit, Tyler and I went out for dinner and a movie, since it was one of the last nights we had together before the semester starts and our lives get stressful and miserable and filled with studying and homework and research. We went to a restaurant called Firefly, a lovely little place in Dupont Circle with a fantastic gluten-free dinner and dessert menu. We overindulged, “this is so not paleo…this is the antipaleo,” and fully enjoyed ourselves. The school grind begins again on Monday, which will bring routine, regular meals, and no time for eating out. In a way, I’m welcoming it with open arms. But at the same exact time, I’m standing on the front porch in my overalls holding my shotgun, ready to tell this semester to go on an’ git back where it came from.

Lululemon and Inov8s. Undying love.

I also have new shoes and new lululemon garb as of this week. I scored some Inov8 Bare-X Lite 150’s on major discounted sale, and picked them up in the color option “Bright Effing Obnoxious Toxic Orange,” or something to that effect. I have only worn them for two workouts so far, and both have left my feet feeling like they were in little clouds the entire time. Great investment. Also got a sports bra from lulu for $19. I know. And the bra in the picture, and the shorts. Those are my favorite of their shorts, and I wear my pairs religiously. They are the “Run: Speed Short” and they are simply the best.

I’m completely rambling, because it’s midnight and here’s a secret, I wrote this last night but didn’t want to post it so late and have everyone miss my amazing writing. Let’s all give a collective “thank you” to me for thinking of all of you. Just kidding. Get me to bed! Love you all!

Wednesday 8/22 WOD at PCF

Strength:

  • Strict Press 3-3-3-3-3: 55-55-60(f)-57.5(f)-55-55-55. Damn you, strict press!! Couldn’t budge from 55, no matter how much I tried. But, I did manage to do my full working set of 5×3 at 55lbs, which was better than the last time I did this rep scheme 3 weeks ago. I was able to press 55lbs 3 times for 3 sets, but failed on the fourth and had to back down for the last two. So I can’t complain too much! My lifting partner, who I’ve partnered up consistently with on Wednesdays for about a month now, gave me some really important advice on my form and it clicked and definitely helped in the last two sets. So happy. She also PR’d her press, which was awesome.

WOD for Time: 8:47

3 Rounds of:

Nerdiest of gun shows. Awww yis.

Again, hanging tough with the big boys/girls! All ring dips were unbroken, which means I probably should have used a little less assistance, but my shoulders/triceps/lats/chest are so freaking sore from yesterday’s ring dips and KB swings! My air squats were all unbroken, and almost felt like active rest. The double unders made me do a happy dance at the end of the WOD. I strung together more than I ever have before in all three rounds, with one set going something along the lines of 1-33-26. So awesome. All three rounds I only broke the sets into 3, which is great. Progress!!! So awesome! I have a long way until I can do full ring dips, especially since they’re a pushing motion and I’m awful at that, but I am definitely getting so much stronger.

At the end of this month, I will be signing up for Patriot’s monthly membership again. I have high hopes that I will be able to keep this up during the semester, improving my fitness, and my wallet from not having to pay the drop-in rate every time!

Also, as an end note, I’d like to copy-and-paste some wisdom from the owner of Patriot Crossfit, Brian, who had an amazing blog post today about thinking of Crossfit/nutrition/sleep as chores versus thinking of them as fun and play time. Read on after the jump!

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Tuesday 8/21 WOD at PCF

I’m back!! The second of the two camping trips was amazing, even though the weather was cold and rainy most of the time. We had a blast, and somehow kept up a fairly good diet the whole time. Eggs and bacon for breakfasts, fruit and nut butter or protein bars for lunches, and kabobs or turkey burgers for dinners. There was lots of snacking throughout the day as well, but I’m pretty amazed how well we all did with keeping our food on point while on the top of a mountain for four days. We had wanted to try running at such a high elevation to give our lungs a workout, but with all of the rain and crappy weather we never got around to it. Definitely on our to-do list for next year’s trip up there!

Strength:

EMOTM for 10 Minutes of:

  • Snatch (about 60-70% of 1rep max): 50lbs. I tried 55lbs right before we started and it felt a little off, so I backed down, but I think that was because I wasn’t warmed up enough. I felt strong and steady the whole way through.
  • Ring Dips: Used two thin bands for assistance, but held them looser than usual to give less resistance. Almost ready to drop down to one!

WOD for Time: 12:17 Rx

Ps. Abs. Fist pump.

Rx!!! Yes!!! I hung with the big boys&girls today. I was about a minute behind some of the top athletes at our gym, and I can’t be more proud of that!!! Being able to do workouts as prescribed is the best feeling. I just need to get more confident and strong with my oly lifts and I’ll be up there. I hope to be doing everything at least Level II by December, with more Rx’s speckled through. I love progress. For the strength portion, the snatches felt great, and ring dips were strong and steady. Maybe could have stuck at 55lbs for the snatches, as said previously, but after taking my little break for the camping trips I was worried about my endurance and strength. Thankfully, it didn’t feel like I’d backtracked in either! As for the WOD, I did both sets of KB swings and sit-ups completely unbroken, and ran straight through both runs. I have such a hard time getting out of my head while running, and constantly feel sorry for how awful I feel. I really focused on my breathing this time though, and was able to sprint the final 200m of the 400m run. Felt freaking great. I have Tyler to thank for getting my ass out of the house and to the box today. I definitely would have skipped out if it wasn’t for him. Sometimes it’s hard to #justshowup, especially after a little break. So thank you, Tyler, for helping me Rx this WOD by making me actually go!!

Tough Mudder is only 18 days away! Time to kick it up a notch and supplement my WODs by adding extra running! Eek!

I’m Still Alive!

I’m really sorry about my lack of posting lately! We left the beach on the 10th to make the 7-hour drive home, then turned around on the 12th for a 4.5-hour drive to Lake Moomaw, Virginia, for three days of camping! It’s a beautiful lake that was blasted out from the center of mountains back in the 80s. It’s very unnatural-looking, but absolutely beyond beautiful. We kayaked two of the three days we were there, and hiked the third. We totaled over 15 miles kayaking, which isn’t bad for a couple of amateurs. My shoulders and back ached as if I had been doing deadlifts and shoulder presses nonstop for hours! It was such a great workout. I had a little cheat dessert of 3 jumbo gluten-free marshmallows roasted by the campfire on the last night. We justified it by saying that we’re cooking food on a fire we built ourselves, in the woods, on sticks we found on the ground. That’s paleo-enough, right?!? Ha! They were delicious and absolutely worth it. And we saw a flying squirrel fly in the woods. Still amazed.

Anyway, tomorrow we leave for ANOTHER camping trip! We’re basically just home long enough to restock our food, let our gear dry out, and get a couple solid nights of sleep in our own bed. We’ll be in Spruce Knob, WV, for the Almost Heaven Star Party, spending our nights looking at the sky in one of the best dark sky spots on the east coast, and our days hiking, zip-lining, sleeping, and being complete adventure-fiends. I am so excited to attend AHSP for the second year in a row! We will return on Monday the 20th, I will be back to my regularly scheduled (and oh-so missed) Crossfit classes for three weeks (with fall semester classes staring somewhere in there), and then Tough Mudder on the 8th!!!! What a wild way to end this amazingly incredible summer.

Wednesday 8/8 WOD at CFC

Strength/Skill:

  • Goal Setting: Todd gave a really great and inspirational lecture about goals, how to set productive goals, and ways to make them a reality. It was extremely inspiring, and has definitely helped me get my head back in the game for planning past Tough Mudder. Right now, my main fitness goal is to successfully finish Tough Mudder with my team (with little goals throughout, like get across the monkey bars and the rings, etc.), but I don’t have many other concrete goals past that. Over the next few days, I am planning on really putting some thought into setting some goals for my near and far future. I’m also going to try to ask Todd for his notes from his lecture so I can really hone in on his tips. I need more goals in general, more specific goals, and more attainable goals!
  • 5 Minutes of alternating 45 seconds of Double Unders practice, 15 seconds of rest.

WOD for Time: 21:04

  • Run 1 Mile: 9:41. Ran the whole time; too fast out the door, too slow in the middle, and just right towards the end.
  • 50 Sit-Ups: Rx.
  • 40 Hand-Release Push-UpsKnees, chest to deck.
  • 30 Chest-to-Bar Pull-UpsAssisted, too sweaty to stay on the bar for more than 7 or 8 reps at a time.
  • 20 Handstand Push-Ups: Strict regular push-ups, chest to deck.
  • 10 Pistol SquatsAssisted, hanging on to resistance bands for help out of the bottom.

SO AWFUL, but so great. I love that the hardest WODs make me so freaking happy afterwards. I almost backed out of running the mile when I saw this WOD written on the board because my calves were extremely sore, but then Todd gave his amazing speech about setting goals and I realized that I was just trying to give myself an excuse not to run because I hate running. As I said, my timing/exertion was a little off until probably the last 1/4 mi, so I probably should work on adjusting that. I’m glad I got in there well under 10 minutes, but I have been closer to 8 recently. I blame the sweltering humidity, and my bad pacing. Tyler pulled ahead on the run by almost a minute, but I caught up with him through the body-weight movements and we ended up finishing at the same time.

This was our last WOD with Crossfit Carteret, and my last one with them for the rest of the year. Yesterday one of the regular females (who, by the way, is a complete beast and squatted 200lbs) said “you’ve been around so much this summer that it doesn’t feel like you’re from out of town!!!” and that made me feel so happy. I am so incredibly proud of myself for getting into the box down here so many times while on my vacations, and becoming a summer regular. Todd and Rhonda (and the rest of the athletes at Crossfit Carteret) have been so amazing, accepting me into their box and pushing me as hard as their regulars, and I’ve done my best to pay them back by buying merch from them, but nothing can compare to their amazing hospitality. This is the first summer in my entire life where I have kept my fitness goals in check and really pursued them, and I have them to thank for this. It has been so wonderful having Tyler pushing me along, and even my parents have been keeping me in check with my workouts. I love my support system. I’ve been so successful for the first half of this year, and can’t wait to see where I will be at the end of December.

Stand-Up Paddleboarding and Tuesday 8/7 WOD at PCF

Today has been such an exhausting day!!! The weather was dreary and rainy to start off with, but we went swimming in the ocean and pool anyway, just to say we did it. The clouds finally started to clear around noon, so we rented some stand-up paddle-boards and went and explored some marshes and the sound for a couple hours. It was extremely relaxing, but a great workout at the same time! It was our first times on SUP boards, and I’m going to go ahead and guess that it won’t be the last, because we loved it. I have a few really awesome pictures to post, but I will save that for another day. We came home, and headed almost straight to Crossfit Carteret for an insanely challenging WOD.

Strength:

  • Back Squat (15 Minutes to Establish a new 1 RM): 110lbs. PR. I had some kind of a mental block against 115 though. I desperately wanted to get to 120 today, but I couldn’t even get to 115 after about 5 tries. I can do two sets of 3 squats at 100lbs after lots of prior squatting, but couldn’t get 115 once today. Oh well! Next time!

Then 7 Minute EMOTM of:

  • 3 Back Squats with ~45% of new 1 RM (bar stays on your back the entire time): 50lbs. This was so evil. Todd and Rhonda, if you are reading this, you two are pure evil (the best kind!!). Holding the weighted bar for that long worked every single muscle in my back, shoulders, legs, arms, and neck. Even with easy weight, that was still just…awful. I secretly love this programming though, because it was so different and extremely mentally challenging.

WOD for Time: 8:05

21-15-9 of:

Tire flips!!!! First time! They were so much fun and easy to get super angry at. I feel like I was able to stay extremely pumped up throughout this WOD because of them, and had a great time yelling as I was flipping. I think they tie with rope climbs for my favorite movement. I wish I knew the exact weight of the tire I was flipping, but it was  enough to be pretty damn difficult. Our group went in two heats and Tyler and I were able to yell words of encouragement at each other, which was so great.

It’s supposed to rain again tomorrow, so who knows what kind of fun we’ll get into next!