Sunday, December 28, 2008

Clean and Jerks - ooof!

Being Christmas time and all, there were a few days that CFOT was closed. The last work out was on Wed at 9am, which I could not make due to work. Not wanting to wait until Sunday for my next work out, I decided to head over to the Crossfit/Jiu Jistsu facility in Loudon with a friend who CFs there.

After messing around a bit with the stationary bar (can get a chin in, but can't put them together), I decided to hit a work out I had missed in the blue room: 15-12-9, clean and jerks, touch and go - cannot let go of the bar. I saw that Katie had done 75lbs, and knowing how strong she is, I went for 65lbs. Boy was that exhausting! I think I rested a bit too much in the rack position, but I made it through each round without letting go of the bar!

Shoulders were really sore the next day, and today (Sunday), when I happily headed back to the blue room. Well, happy until I saw the work out:

Father Time
5 rounds
10 clean and jerks
30 ab mat sit-ups
400 meter run


Do your Grace weight - which for me is 85lbs. I was the only girl in to go this heavy (all the fire breathers must still be on vacation), and I think I also had one of the slowest times! I really wanted to go for 75lbs, but I'm really glad that Jerry didn't let me drop down. I almost tweaked my lower back a couple of times - just losing core tension - but I feel fine now. I may have been doing one clean and jerk at a time, but damnit, I finished! :-) Blain KILLED this work out, which was awesome.

Now my shoulders are even more sore! Time to lay off the overhead work for a couple of days..

Wednesday, December 24, 2008


So - I was just looking through some of my old posts on my blog. (Yes, I'm procrastinating at work - it's the holidays!)

I came across this post on 10/24/08. My time on Grace at 85lbs was 9:24 (pictured above).

The next time I hit Grace was here on 12/11/08, as part of CFOT's first challenge. Less than two months later, my time was 7:05!

Less than two months between the work outs and over 2 minutes faster!!

I feel like I've already won the challenge. I'm so excited to see this massive difference!!!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Not quite Murph, Deads, and Front Squats

Today Jerry presented us with Murph. I'm still gun-shy about running outside, so I asked if I could sub a row. Jerry suggested that I just hit the 5-10-15 instead.

I got in 15 rounds of the 5-10-15 before I had to leave for work (36:22). The pull-ups and squats were fine, but the push-ups were killing me, I was only getting 2-3 at a time. I'm wishing I had done the express version (3-6-9), because I'm pretty sure I could have gotten in 20 rounds before I had to leave, and in the end it would have been more reps. I guess I got in a good work out, but I'm a bit dissapointed with my output today. One of these days I'll hit Murph Rx

Loved yesterday, though! I was working from home, so I came in to the 5:00 class coached by Andrea. The main circuit was Deadlifts (145lbs w) and Turkish Get-ups (25lbs w). 15-12-9-6-3. I finished in just under 18 minutes. TGUs are always slow for me, but I kept a good pace on the DLs. I haven't masted touch and go yet - my core still needs to get stronger and my breathing better for that, but what I was doing felt good just the same. 25lbs TGUs are fairly heavy for me - a couple of times I almost lost the bell - but I got through them! Afterwards I hit 3 rounds of 20 box jumps and 40 ab-mat situps. Was intending to do 5 rounds, but I kind of just stopped after 3. It was odd - still shaking my head about that one.

Sunday was a lot of fun as well - front squats 3-3-3-3-3. I worked in with Leslie and her husband (who's name escapes me at the moment!). I don't think I'd hit max 3's before on the front squat, so I wasn't sure what to shoot for. I ended up maxing out with 110. I went for 115, but was only able to get one rep in. Once again - it's my core that's holding me back! (Well, that and my form) I think I can actually clean more than I can squat (or it's very close), which is NOT the way it should be! Nothing to do but keep working it, right?

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Grace and much more!

Let's see if I can give a recap of the past week so far at CFOT!

Sunday was the start of our challenge, and we hit Grace. 30 clean and jerks for time. As prescribed, was 85lbs for women - which is what I decided to go for. There was the option of going lighter or heavier (100lbs!).

I believe I finished in just over 7 minutes. I was pretty happy with my performance - I didn't miss any of the jerks, and while some of my cleans from the floor felt a bit ugly (got some nice bruises on the collarbone when the bar crashed down on me), I hit them all and Jerry praised my form (Yay!). When I was on rep 20 I saw Katie curled up on the floor (she did 100lbs) - she finished in under 5 minutes! Crazy strong!

I'm not going to be running outside in the cold again until I'm fully healthy. I feel fine, but I still have a bit of a cough and a runny nose. I got REALLY sick the evening after a run outside, and the next time I ran outside it made my cough a lot worse. So - I'll be rowing until I'm 100%.

Apparently, though, I need to watch my form on the row. The other day we hit a workout that was originally 800m run, 30 front squats (65lbs w), 30 box jumps: 3 rounds for time. I rowed 1000m instead of the run. I was rounding my back way too much on the row, not keep my spine straight, which I didn't notice until I got to the front squats. I was struggling because my back felt off - not fun! I got through 2 rounds and recorded my time, as I didn't have time to finish a 3rd round and get the work on time. I did my third row though - mainly to practice keeping my spine straight!

Today was a good day - the workout as Rx was 20 pull-ups, 30 push-ups, 40 ab-mat situps, 50 squats; 3min rest between intervals, 5 intervals total.

When I looked at that, I knew I wouldn't be able to get in 5 intervals and leave on time to get to work. Mainly because of the push-ups. So I opted for the express: 12 pull-ups, 18 push-ups, 24 ab mat situps, 30 squats; 2 min rest between intervals. I finished all the intervals in 4-6minutes, getting slower as the rounds went on!

The push-ups were my nemesis today! I could only get 2-3 in at a time, and even then, I had trouble holding the plank. Jerry had me pull my elbows in closer to engage more of my triceps, but I'm weak here, so it just got harder! I'm going to keep working it, but it's disheartening to hardly do any push-ups with the proper form by the second round! Ah well - nothing to do but keep working it, right?

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Not CF related

Okay, so this is not Crossfit related - but it is me-related.

I work for this animal shelter, and it's WONDERFUL! If you have some free time, please consider voting!

Tackling the Strict Press

Today we worked one of my weaknesses - shoulder strength.

After a warmup consisting of hollow rocks, shoulder dislocates, good mornings, knees to elbows, and burpees we moved on to 7 sets of 1's of the strict press. I worked in with Leslie and Grace.

This is how it went for me:

70 - miss
70 - miss
71 - yay!!!!

I think I actually could've hit 72 or 73 if I'd had more time. I was SO excited when I finally got 70lbs - not to mention 71lbs! It was all about my form - on my misses I was arching my back too much, letting the bar get away from me. I did a better job of pushing my head forward (I think) when I finally hit it.

Seriously excited! Also just plain thrilled to be back in the blue room - I was pretty sick for way too long. Yay for FINALLY being healthy again!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Cara beats herself up at CFOT and other fun times in the blue room!

Let me start with Sunday!

As part of our warmup, we did sumo deadlift highpulls. Did I hit myself in the chin with the bar hard enough for it to still be tender today (two days later)? You bet I did! Then, this was our work out:

25 pull ups
50 hang clean jerk (65lb w, 100lb m)
50 burbees (I subed out push-ups 'cause burpees were making me light headed)
50 wall ball sit ups
50 box jumps
50 push ups
25 pull ups

On my first rep of my second set of pull-ups, what did I do? Can you guess?

Yeah - that's right, I jammed by neck into the bar, right below my adams apple.


Good times.

I finished this work out at around 42:30 (I think), which I was okay with. Katie estimated that it would take her 40 min (it took her more like 30!), so I was happy to get in around what she estimated for herself! (Love ya Katie!) I was also fairly happy with my work on the jerks - I'm starting to feel more comfortable with them, and 65lbs was a good weight for me!

Today was a mixed bag, but overall good.

We started again with a PVC pipe work out. I must've been getting lazy, because my form on a couple of the movements (Deadlift and Jerk) was really off. This wasn't the case on Sunday - but I had weight on the bar instead of a PVC pipe, so that must make a big difference for me with my form!

Another part of our warm-up was burpees. I was REALLY happy with them today. No lightheadedness, and I was just feeling solid on them - landing in the squat properly and all. I still hate burpees, but I'm hoping I won't have to sub in push-ups for them on a regular basis!

Our WOD today was Helen:
400m run
21 KettleBell Swings (36lb w, 50ishlb m)
12 chins
3 Rounds for time

Jerry estimated it would take people 10-16minutes. He also said that to save time, to just slip on and off shoes, as tying and un-tying adds another minute or so. Well - I've never been comfortable with just slipping on and off my sneakers (I like them tight for running), and I finished at 17:31.... so if you subtract a minute or so for my shoes, I'm almost in at his estimate!

Seriously, I probably could have run a bit faster, but I almost always avoid sprinting and smoking myself unless I'm at the very end of a circuit. The KB swings were easy for me (especially 36lbs), and I was doing about 4 at a time for the chins. Maybe if I can get that up to 6 at a time I could lower my time. I usually take about 10-20 seconds between sets - which I need to decrease. Rest later, not now, right?

Oh - right - back to beating myself up. My self-abuse was more subtle today. I have a tear on the lower joint of my ring finger. So, I taped it up. The tape extended above the first joint onto the second. The ended up restricting my finger painfully when I bent it for the chins, and 2 hours later it's still reddish-purple, hurts to bend, and slightly swollen. It's already getting better than it was - but seriously, WTF? I guess I'm going to need to use thinner tape!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Feeling Good

My neck isn't completely back to normal, but the pain is almost completely gone. I decided to come in this morning, figured if a particular movement hurt I could do a sub.

The workout:

15 hang snatches (65w, 95m)
400m run
5 rounds

It's been a VERY long time since I've done the snatch - sadly, I missed the last couple of times they were done. I don't know if I've ever comfortably gone above 50lbs on it.

I went for 55lbs - which, when I first tried it, felt quite heavy. Jerry said I could scale to 9 reps if the going was too slow. Once I got started though, I felt that I could do 15 - so I went for it.

I was the last to finish with 32:06, but I'm pretty pleased that I didn't scale the number of reps. I also didn't hurt myself further, which is always good! Jerry seemed pretty happy with my form, which was awesome.

Although I'm happy with my performance this morning, I'm still annoyed that I finished in over 30 minutes. I think my problem is that I put the bar down too much. As soon as I get a bit uncomfortable, I put it down and take a couple steps away. I'm not sure if I'm pacing myself correctly, or if I need to push myself past my comfort level. In the moment, I feel the need to put the bar down. Afterwards, I wonder if I could have pushed myself harder. I will experiment with this in the future!

Oh - I found this to be amusing. During my fourth run I almost stopped and walked. I stopped for a second, told myself "Fuck No", and then kept on running. Okay - maybe I'm the only one to find this funny...

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

No More Deck Squats For Me

I pulled something while doing the deck squats - I'm so glad I stopped when I did, because I can't imagine this being any worse. My lower neck/upper back hurt so much I'm considering calling in sick.

As I was getting ready to come to CF this morning I tried to see what movements I could and could not do, and that just made it a LOT worse. Shit. I can't even squat without it hurting, which makes no sense to me.

I guess no CF for me today.


Tuesday, November 11, 2008


My last two times at CFOT have been extremely frustrating for me.

On Friday we hit Badger. Granted - I was quite sore from the squats on Wed, which slowed me down, but my time on Badger was about 15min slower than my previous time. Going backwards, much?

Today, our circuit looked like this:

12 deck-squat slam balls
12 chins
12 burpees

10 rounds for time

On round 4 I started feeling lightheaded after 2-3 burpees. On round 5 I wanted to stop, Jerry talked me into doing 6 rounds (42ish minutes).

I could not tell if I should stop or not, but the daunting task of doing 4 more rounds of 12 burpees pushed me over the edge to stopping. I don't know why I was lightheaded - perhaps because I have not been eating right or enough. It was not a good feeling - but I honestly don't know if it was bad enough to stop.

I know I got in a good work out today, despite scaling. What feels like shit is the mental beat-down I took, and the fact that I gave in.

I can only try to eat better, and make it to the blue room as much as possible. I'll get back on track, damnit.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Happy to be Back!

I'm so glad to be back at CFOT - missing out was the worst part of being sick!

Today's workout was right up my ally, being that I love heavy barbell work. Boy was it heavy! (For me, anyway!) 5 rounds, untimed - max front squats, and max strict pull-ups (weighted if you can). 100lb women, 155lb men.

100lbs was VERY heavy for me. I haven't done more than 85lbs in a very long time. I got a total of 29 reps for 5 rounds - very low score, I think, but I'm just glad I was able to go Rx. On the fourth round I fell backwards at the bottom of the 4th rep, so I only scored 3 - but at least I brought it back up to 5 on the last round!

I hope I have a chance to hit this weight again - it's REALLY hard for me to keep my form, and definitely something I want to work with!

I managed to get 1 strict pull-up in, after that I just worked the negative.

I have so much more strength that I want to build. However, it's great to be back!

Monday, November 3, 2008


For over a week I've been MIA at CFOT, as I've been sick. I'm FINALLY starting to feel better, and plan on hitting the blue room on Wed. I would come in tomorrow, but instead I'm going to be standing in line to VOTE!

I can't wait to get back in to things. Taking a break like this has been brutal.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Grace and Tailpipe

Well - today combined the type of work out I love with the kind I hate!!

First up was Grace (playing with weights is my true love). 30 Clean and Jerks for time - 85lb women, 135lb men. I was a bit hesitant about the weight, as 85lb is the max I've gotten overhead, and I've missed it many times in the past. However, when I came in and saw that Katie did a freakin 115lbs I KNEW I had to go Rx, even if it took me a while. (Katie is my hero!)

The cleans were from the floor - which is something Jerry's introduced recently, as opposed to from the hang. It's a bit harder, but at least it spares my thighs from bruises when I'm resetting!

I finished Grace in 9:24, I believe. I was the last to finish - but I'm pretty pleased with my performance. I kept push-pressing instead of jerking, since I've done a lot more work on the push-press than the jerk, something to work on for next time. However, I'm pretty sure I locked it out each time (even if I had to do a little press at the end), which was my goal.

Gar finished in 3:20 - I think I was on about 10 or 11 at that point. I wasn't the only one who "yelled" at him!

Next up was Tailpipe. This workout is freaking evil. It's partner work, one partner rows 250m while the other holds two Kettle Bells (36lb for women) in the clean position (3 rounds per person). The person holding the KBs can't put them down until the other is done rowing. Holding the KBs was really hard - especially because it constricted my breathing. But the row man... I was paired up with Melissa, and I felt SO bad to see her suffering while I'm trying to finish the row - but I couldn't go any faster than I already was! I hate that feeling! Anyway, we finished in 7:17, so at least it was a short work out!

All in all, a good day!

Friday, October 17, 2008

I think I must be insane...

Because I'm actually considering coming in at 5:30am for CF occassionally, on days we have longer WODs. This workout got me thinking about this:

50 pull-ups
40 KB swings
30 box jumps
1000m run
40 pull-ups
30 KB swings
50 box jumps
1000m run
30 pull-ups
50 KB swings
40 box jumps

(The pull-ups, KB Swings, and Box jumps were partitioned out to 5 rounds each with 10, 8, 6 reps)

I came to the 6am class, and I had just finished my second run at 6:45. I had to get to work - if I had finished the work out, I would have missed the shuttle, and been up to 30min late! I was pretty bummed out not to finish though, I think I could've gotten it done in under 50min.

So - yeah - apparently I've drank WAY too much of the kool-aid to be considering 5:30am JUST so I can finish these psycho work outs. Jerry - what have you done to me??

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Happy Birthday Elise! Also, Some Thoughts About Seeing Progress in Crossfit.

First of all, I want to say how glad I was to be able to make it in for Elise's Birthday Workout! I was so sad to miss Adrienne's, but at least I didn't miss Elise's too!

We did Nasty Girls, which is: 50 air squats, 7 Muscle-ups, 10 Hang Cleans (85lb W): 3 rounds for time. I did 7 ring-rows (with the false grip) to dips. I should have done 21, as it was a substitution, but I was pressed for time. I finished in 18:30-something, I think.

This morning I had the pleasure of working out with Leslie, who I rarely see - and she mentioned to me how there have been a few people who read my blog and get motivated, have even started CF because of it! Also, how one particular person has been CFing for about 6 weeks, and is frustrated by her perceived lack of progress. I'm sure this is a common issue, as I often see people frustrated by their performance (including myself!).

I want to address how I experienced progress over my first year in Crossfit. You may have seen my post "A Lot Can Happen in a Year" - pretty drastic changes, eh? Let me tell you - most of those pictures were literally taken a year apart. Yes, I went from a size 14 to a size 8. However, I didn't start to lose weight until I changed my diet (to the Zone) - and that was about 5 months into starting CF. I actually GAINED weight, and stayed the SAME size for the first ~5 months. I made some wonderful strength gains - going from Deadlifting 105lbs to 200lbs. I also made very slow progress in other areas of strength - I was very slow to do full push-ups, and after starting in July, I didn't get my first real pull-up until January. Only recently did I get a hand stand!

I would have driven myself nuts if I compared myself to others in the class, instead of looking at my progress alone. Some people got a hand stand on the first try, and were shocked when they got their first pull-up, thinking they would never get one after being at CF for merely a month (still awesome for them though!!)! Others easily lap me in running circuits, but can't clean as much as I can. Everyone has their strengths and weaknesses, and everyone has a different fitness and nutrition background. Some people have been active/athletic all their lives, while others (like me) started with CF!

I love throwing heavy weights around, but I am limited by my core and overhead strength. I can clean 85lbs no problem - but getting it locked out over my head? I miss half the time. I know I'm strong enough in my posterior chain to DL more than 200lbs, but my core is not quite there yet. I have the strength to do push-ups, but once again with my core, I have trouble maintaining the plank position.

I have great row form, but I get smoked VERY quickly. I'm MUCH better at running than I used to be - but it's still a mental monster for me, a constant battle to keep going. I can swing a 70lb Kettle Bell, but I can't hold a handstand for more than a few seconds. I have lost a great deal of weight, but due to my slacking off on the Zone, I am not yet where I COULD be (5-10lb more to lose). I have many workouts I can do Rxed, but there are quite a few where I still have to modify. I can keep going, but I think I've made my point.

Everyone has their strengths and weaknesses, and everyone progresses at a different pace. Don't be discouraged if you're not where you want to be - even the fire-breathers like Stacey and Chriss have weaknesses and off-days! If you're going to be inspired by my journal, focus on my motivation to continue even when I take a beating or am disappointed in my performance. How good it feels to continue, how strong I feel when I manage to push through. Focus on how much I love CF, not only for the physical improvements, but because of the supportive community and the knowledge that you're doing something good for yourself - both physically and emotionally.

Okay - I'll step down from my soapbox now! I just hope at least one person reads this and learns to have more patience with themselves, and learns to enjoy the journey of CF instead of focusing on the end results!

Friday, October 10, 2008

You Can Cry, but You Can't Quit

The title is from Crossfit Pentagon - I'm need to hit them up for one of their shirts!

Today's workout looked like this:


High Pulls (50lb w, 70lb m)
Turkish Get-ups (25lb w, 35lb m)
Jumping Lunges (25lb w, 35lb m)

Took me 41:00. Took some of the fire breathers around 20 min, I was the last to finish in the 9am class.

This work out was difficult for me on two levels. One was just how damn slow I was getting through all the movements - especially the push ups, burpees, and TGUs. I've never been fast at these, but I can definitely feel the effects of taking off for 2.5 weeks and not eating well (poker and pizza last night didn't help!). I have lost strength and conditioning. Hell - before the trip I did 18 pull-ups in a row, and now I was doing 3 at a time. I know I'll gain it back, but it's very frustrating.

The other level of difficulty is emotional - I've been having quite the hard week, and have been on the verge of tears for the past day or so. This work out definitely brought that out. There were several times that I had to take a break from the reps just to get myself under control. I didn't want to start crying. I did manage to get myself under control and finish up, it was so hard to be mentally in it, though.

I am glad I finished. I feel better now. It's cathartic. Not only is Crossfit an excellent fitness program, I think it can also be considered a form of therapy. I proved to myself that no matter how slow and down I'm feeling, I am capable of pushing through and finishing - I'm stronger than I give myself credit for.

Afterward, Chriss said he could see changes in me from when I first started - not just in my form, but how CF has positively influenced my personality and outlook on life. I'm surprised he couuld see that, but also really pleased. Crossfit has been a blessing in my life :-)

Thursday, October 2, 2008

A bit nervous...

So, I haven't been into CF for about 2.5 weeks. I was on an amazing trip to Eastern Europe - where I fully enjoyed the food! Although there was a lot of walking and some hiking, I only did one proper Crossfit Workout. I did a modified version of Fran - used about 25-30KG for the thrusters (55-65lb, wasn't sure of the weight of the bar) and did push-ups instead of pull ups. Didn't time myself, but I was only doing about 3 thrusters at a time.

I've started eating a bit better since getting back, and am recovering from the jet lag. I plan on being in to CF at 6am tomorrow morning. My normal time is 6:45, but I'm on a different job rotation for the next 4 months that has a longer commute. So, the earlier time + crappy eating + barely working out + jet lag should make for an interesting experience tomorrow! Yeah - I'm quite nervous to see how I do! I'm also hesitant to weigh myself!!

I know I'll get back on track rather quickly with my eating and exercise, but I expect to be a bit dissapointed in my performance in the beginning. Wish me luck!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Off to Europe!

Well - I'm off to Eastern Europe for 2.5 weeks! I leave today, get back Sept 29th. I doubt I'll be posting any journal entries until I'm back!

I doubt I'll get in any full CF workouts, but I'll try to do tabata squats, pushups, and situps every few days. Maybe a jog too. We'll see!!

If anyone's curious, here's the trip I'm going on:

Friday, September 5, 2008

What a great way to start the day!

I must say, after yesterday and having to leave after only 1 row, I was quite reluctant to come into CrossFit today.

As I walked up the stairs, I started to pass a woman who I assumed was leaving from the 6am class, and smiled in greeting. She stopped me and asked me my name, and then told me that my before and after pictures were one of the reasons she had made it in to CF that morning.

Now - I was half awake, and I'm not even sure if I got her name - but WOW that was/is cool! Sometimes all it takes is a little extra push to help someone along, and I am honored that I was able to be that push! Keep in mind - although Crossfit played a HUGE role in the change, it was also a change in my diet that did it. You need both!

If you read this - say Hi - and tell me your name, I promise I won't forget it!

PS - A shout out to Matt for helping me finish off the burpees!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Allergic to Rowing?

Today's workout consisted of 4 500m rows, interspersed with rest/ring dips. I worked some ring dips while waiting for a rower, and then attempted to row a PR. I was about 1 second slower than my PR, which was disappointing - but what was disheartening was how I felt after the row.

Now, normally a row smokes me. However, after a minute or so to catch my breath - I feel pretty good, if not a bit tired/sore. Today, though - my throat started hurting, I started coughing, my nose started running, and I kept having to spit (yes, I know, eww). I was literally doubled over coughing in the bathroom. I heard people keep complaining of the air being dry - but even that shouldn't effect me in this way! I was feeling fine before class - sleepy, but that's normal. Jerry asked if I was having an allergic reaction - I've never had one before, so I don't know! I didn't feel capable of rowing again - and was having trouble taking the deep breathes I needed for the ring dips, so I left.

Now, 45min later - although I feel mostly recovered, I'm still coughing a bit, my throat is still off, and my nose still a bit runny. I think it took me about 30 min to feel "okay". I don't know what the hell happened! I'm wondering if I should've tried to row again - maybe taking it easy, and just seeing how I felt. I wonder if warming up would've helped - if going from breathing easy to gasping for breath in under a minute messed with me. I HATE not finishing a WOD - the last time I didn't finish, it was because I had hurt my foot and we were running.

Anyone ever experienced something like this before? I'm determined to come into class tomorrow - and do my best. I'm out of town Sat-Monday, and then the following Friday I leave for an 18 day trip to Europe. I want to get in as much CF as I can before then!!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Pure Awesomeness

I just had to share this.... it is awesome on so many levels...

For some reason I can't imbed it.

World Dwarf Games - YES

Thursday, August 21, 2008


Wow - two updates in two days!

Before I tell you what has made me so damn happy this morning, let me give you a bit more background on myself.

At the beginning of my blog, in the intro, I basically stated that I have never stuck with one form of exercise regularly in my life - I have never been athletic. Let me elaborate a bit on that. Most little girls (in families with sufficient funds) do gymnastics, or ballet, or martial arts, or some other sort of physical activity starting from a VERY young age. Me? I never got into it. I think I was a bit intimidated/timid. (I used to be very shy - who would've thunk?) Doing a simple somersault was scary for me - so forget about doing cart-wheels or hand-stands! Don't get me wrong, I wasn't completely sedentary as a child - I did take swimming class for quite a bit, and did horseback riding long enough to do some small, local competitions. However, when I said I was never athletic of very physically active, I was not exaggerating!

So - when Jerry and Andrea introduced handstands to us as part of the Crossfit program, I was more intimidated than I had ever been of running or pull-ups or overhead squats. I believe they were introduced around 6 months ago - but I'm not sure - anyone remember? I would always dread the days we worked on handstands because even though I knew I had the strength to do it, something about it just wasn't clicking for me!

Can you see where this is going? Today something clicked for me and I GOT MY FIRST HANDSTAND EVER!!!!! At the VERY end of class, and I only held it for a few seconds - but damnit - I GOT IT! I couldn't stop smiling. I'm still grinning! And then, I did it again - with only one failed attempt inbetween.

I don't know WHAT it was that clicked for me - but I think being upside down trying out "skin the cat" helped me lose a bit of fear of being in that position. Speaking of which - I love skin the cat, I hope we do it more often - I'd like to get really good at it. I only fell on my ass once... I swear....

Here's to getting over a fear and accomplishing something you never thought you'd actually do!!!! (Especially after having a very emotionally taxing week!)

Crossfit for life, yo.

(I know, I know - I'm way to white for that last statement)

Cara's Handstand - 26 years in the making!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Ask and Ye Shall Receive....

As per Jerry's request, it's time to update my blog! However, this will probably jump around a bit... you are forewarned.

This past Friday, August 15th, was my 26th birthday. I requested from Jerry that we hit Elizabeth (21-15-9 Hang Squat Cleans/Ring Dips), as I had enjoyed it so much the first time I hit it. Last time, I did 75lbs and was on the pink band for ring dips. This time I did the Rx 85lbs, and was on the floss for the ring dips. My time was 13:57, which was a few minutes slower than the previous time - but lifting 10 extra pounds will do that to a person! Hopefully, next time I hit Elizabeth, I'll be able to go Rx - I'm getting closer to having the strength to do full ring dips!

As a side note, apparently I'm still losing weight. My goal was 150 - and to maintain after I hit that (which I have been doing for a few weeks). Yesterday, I weighed in at 147.5lb. So - I'm wondering what my ideal weight/size really is! I'm going to keep trying to zone and hitting up the Blue Room 4ish times a week, we'll just see where I go!

Two weeks ago I had both a major disappointment and a great surprise as I tried to hit my Week 4 goal: 205lb Deadlift. Although I locked out 195lbs, and had done 200lbs not too long before, I just could not get 205 off the ground. I don't think I can adequately describe how disappointed in myself I was. As Jerry says, I lost core stability/strength. I think I have to find a better balance between warming up and not burning out.

The circuit that followed involved chins, and Jerry encouraged me to try to set a new PR. My previous PR was 13chins. The chins felt great - and I hit 17 before I let go of the bar! This ALMOST made up for missing 205. I think I could've gotten to 18 - not sure why I let go... my grip was starting to give, but I could've gutted it out. Next time. 20 chins, here I come!

Thursday, August 7, 2008


Today I could just NOT get out of bed in time for CFOT. I tried, I really did - but I ended up collapsing for another hour.

I was quite excited when I checked the mainsite and saw that the WOD was Karen, one of the benchmarks that I've been meaning to hit but keep missing opportunities to! Adrienne kindly provided me with Jerry's WOD - Painstorm (I'm sad I missed it!), but I couldn't resist hitting Karen (and didn't have the time to do both!).

I wanted to use a 12lb medicine ball, but had to settle for a 10lb ball - and finished in 10:09. Was feeling pretty sluggish, and was only doing sets of 10 at a time. I managed to avoid hitting myself in the face (these med balls barely have any give!), so all in all I consider it to be a success!

I remember back in the Fall or Winter, Jerry had a "choose your own adventure" sort of work out going for us. We were given a list of 5-6 different workouts, and we had 10-15min to hit each one. I did the Wall Ball with Adrienne - and I remember getting in around 120ish reps. I wish I could remember if it was 10 or 15min though - because that makes a big difference in how much I've improved!

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Running: Still the Bane of my Existence, EXCEPT...

Well - today I woke up a bit too late to make it in to the 6:45 class, and seeing how being late to work was not an option, I opted to work out at my office.

Like the last time this happened, I stepped onto the treadmill determined to do a 5K (3.1 miles). Unlike last time, I actually succeeded! It helped that there was a TV in front of me so I could take my mind off of the running. I didn't get winded until the last half a mile or so, which was encouraging.

I finished in 26:16. I have no frame of reference as to how good or not this is, but I'm just glad I finished!

I then went and did a few strict chins. Tomorrow I'm going to be trying to hit 12 (kipping) chins in a row - wish me luck! Don't want to force my team into a funishment!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

This is News?

I found this article to be, well, amusing. It's too bad the study didn't get to truly measure the effects of short, high-intensity workouts.

The Myth of Moderate Exercise,8599,1827342,00.html?cnn=yes

Obesity experts agree that daily exercise is essential for good health, but whether it can successfully lead to long-term weight loss is a question of much debate. What has become increasingly clear, however, is that the conventionally accepted advice — 30 minutes of moderate-intensity activity most days of the week — is probably insufficient to spur any real change in a person's body weight. A study published July 28 in the Archives of Internal Medicine adds to the burgeoning scientific consensus: when it comes to exercise for weight loss, more is better. It suggests that obese people would have to exercise at least an hour at a time to see any significant difference in their weight. (or 30min of Crossfit!)

The study, led by John Jakicic at the Physical Activity and Weight Management Research Center at the University of Pittsburgh, followed nearly 200 overweight or obese women ages 21 to 45 through a two-year weight-loss program. The women were given free treadmills to use at home, regular group meetings and telephone pep talks to help keep them on track. Participants were also asked to restrict their food intake to between 1,200 and 1,500 calories per day, and were randomized to one of four physical activity intervention groups based on energy expenditure (either 1,000 calories or 2,000 calories burned per week) and exercise intensity (high vs. moderate). By the end of the 24-month intervention, the women who managed to lose at least 10% of their starting body weight (which was, on average, about 193 lbs.) — and keep it off — were exercising twice as long as health authorities typically recommend and expending more than twice as many calories through exercise as women who had no change in body weight. The biggest weight losers were active a full 68 minutes a day, five days a week (about 55 minutes a day more than they had been before the trial began), burning an extra 1,848 calories a week.

Jakicic and his colleagues originally designed their study to measure whether weight loss could really be achieved and maintained through moderate-intensity exercise, akin to "walking when you're late for a meeting," he says, or whether it was preferable to engage in shorter bursts of more vigorous-intensity activity, "like, when you're late for the bus, chasing it down." The problem was that not enough of the women stuck with their assigned exercise categories for the researchers to gather enough meaningful data. Within a few months, most of the participants had resorted to exercising as much as they chose to. That left researchers with a slightly different data set than they had planned for, but they were still able to associate women's reported physical activity with their weight loss. Indeed, exercise was more strongly associated with weight loss than any other factor, including diet. Overall, the more the women exercised, the more weight they lost.

More than half of the study participants managed to lose at least 10% of their body weight within the first six months. At the half-year mark, however, most of those women relapsed and started gaining the weight back — a discouragingly common phenomenon. "The major outcome of this paper is the maintenance issue," Jakicic says. Once a patient hits her target weight, he says, it's imperative that she stick with her exercise and diet regimen to maintain her new weight.

Still, the underlying question remains: are diet and exercise a reliable cure for obesity? Modern-day obesity researchers are skeptical — achieving thinness, they say, is not simply a matter of willpower. Research suggests that weight may largely be regulated by biology, which helps determine the body's "set point," a weight range of about 10 lbs. to 20 lbs. that the body tries hard to defend. The further you push you weight beyond your set point — either up or down the scale — some researchers say, the more your body struggles to return to it. That might help to explain why none of the women in Jakicic's study managed to lose much more than 10% of their body weight. After two years on a calorie-restricted diet, keeping up more than an hour of physical activity five days a week on average, most were still clinically overweight (though much less so than before). But what Jakicic and other obesity researchers stress is that a 10% reduction in body weight represents a tremendous boon for overall well-being, lowering blood pressure, improving heart health and reducing the risk of Type 2 diabetes. For the obese, the end goal should not be thinness, but health and self-acceptance, which are more realistic and beneficial objectives. "The women's health was absolutely improved," Jakicic says.

Jakicic, in fact, seems heartened by his findings. "I think the beauty of this study is that we now have a target" — a better idea of how much exercise is needed for weight maintenance. There is, of course, some variation in how people respond. Some of the study participants fared well with less exercise than the additional 275 minutes per week (about 55 minutes per day, five days a week) that the study's author now recommends for weight maintenance. Others needed more. But the keys to success, according to Jakicic, were embracing the weight-loss program fully, and finding a way around the daily obstacles to exercising — that's something he says many of his participants were able to achieve, regardless of their socioeconomic group. So, if you're aiming to lose weight and keep it off, his message is clear: don't slack off. (No shit!)

What do you all think?

Monday, July 21, 2008

Another Milestone!

Today I did something that I thought I was still quite far away from:

I got my first strict pull-up!! I managed to get two today, actually! I am SO excited! I can actually lift my body-weight! It didn't hurt that I was down to about 148lbs this morning, but yeah.

Next up - a ring dip without assistance! And then, MUSCLE UP!

It's good to have goals - right?

Oh - also - Jerry thought I should make it a goal to do 100KB swings without stopping (I got 65 today on the 36lb KB). So - sure - why not? I'll go for this too. My shoulders and forearms were fried from yesterday, so when I'm feeling less sore I'll go for it.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

A LOT can happen in a year!

This coming Wed, July 23rd will mark my one-year anniversary of joining Jerry's Crossfit Challenge.

I'm not sure if I can adequately put into words how my life has changed since starting Crossfit. I've become a part of an amazingly unique and warm family. I've grown stronger both mentally and physically. My self-image has changed and my confidence has gone up. My life is simply better: both more healthy and more happy. I don't know if I have any more words left, so I will leave you with some before and after pictures. (They go back and forth between before and after).

**Before and after losing approx 40lbs of fat + gaining mucho muscle, 26lb KB "before", 70lb KB "after"; 35lb clean "before", 55lb clean "after"

Ow, my shoulders

Jerry never fails to disappoint for his Sunday workouts! Today was all about the push. I did the express workout, and scaled to 55lbs (65lbs was Rx for women):

9 push-ups
6 ring dips (floss)
3 strict press

AMRAP in 30 minutes
8.3 rounds

The Rx workout was 15-10-5, and boy am I glad I did the express! My shoulders were already getting smoked by round 2!

We ended the class with an extra challenge thrown in - a 500 meter row, and 100 KB swings for time. I opted to do the row.

My last 500m row time was 1:58

This time?


Yes - it was as painful as it looked!

Friday, July 18, 2008


On Sunday, May 4th, I hit Fran as Rxed for the first time - and managed to finish in 14:59. My Dad was in town, and he could barely watch me work out - he kept looking, then walking away, and then peeking in again. For the uninitiated, Fran is:

21 Thrusters
21 Chins
15 Thrusters
15 Chins
9 Thrusters
9 Chins

Men: 95lbs
Women: 65lbs

Today - 2.5 months later, I finished Fran in 12:10!!! I managed to shave 2:49 off of my time! If I keep this up, maybe by October I can get a sub-10!

I am SO psyched.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Crossfit and Tattoos

So - after years of thinking about it, today I got my first (and most likely only) tattoo.

What does this have to do with Crossfit? Well - as I was sitting there, keeping myself still through the burning (it hurt!), I came to the conclusion that if I had not been doing Crossfit, I would not have been able to handle it nearly as well. Crossfit has taught me how to push through the discomfort, to keep going even when I want to stop. That I have the strength to do more than I thought possible. Not only has it built up my physical stamina, but my mental stamina as well. Increased mental strength is the most powerful gift I have received from Crossfit.

Sadly, my tattoo artist has instructed that I stay away from working out for a couple of days (as excess sweat is not the best thing for a brand new tattoo), but I will be back in the blue room on Tuesday!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Running: The Bane of my Existence

I didn't get to bed until late last night, so I decided to give myself an extra hour of sleep this morning and work out on my own.

I'm not so good at pushing myself without a coach and workout buddies, so I ran 2 miles (17:45), and then I went outside and worked the L-sit hold and negative (since I can't do an L-sit pull-up yet). I figure the L-sit is the best exercise for preparing for both of my goals - since it combines core strength (Deadlift) with arm/shoulder/grip strength (pull-up). I plan to do them on my own 2-3xs a week as I move towards my 12-week goals.

Now, back to the title of my post. When I stepped onto the treadmill, it was with the full intention of running 5K (3.1miles). When I pressed "cool-down" at 2 miles, I was not out of breath, or in pain, or in any other way incapable of continuing for another mile or so. I simply wanted to stop and move on. I was bored, impatient, and antsy to just get on with it. I fight against these feelings anytime I run more than about 400meters. Sometimes they lead to feelings of anxiety, when I'm outside instead of on a treadmill (and cannot just stop). Even though running, physically, has gotten much easier for me, these feelings have not lessened. Does anyone else experience this? How do you find your groove?

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Deadlift, Locker Room Etiquette, and 12 week goals

Today, for the first time in months, I got to go for a heavy single on the deadlift - I was psyched! If you recall, I hit 200lbs on December 31st, 2007. I had not attempted a max single since then. I have also lost 30lbs since then, but I'm not sure if that makes any difference.

Anyway, I maxed out at 195lbs. Pretty respectable number, considering that I don't work the deadlift nearly as often as I used to when I built up to 200lb. However, I would very much like to break 200! Jerry said my main issue is keeping core tension - which has been a running theme in CF since I began. Look like I'll be working the hollow rocks and ab mat situps on a more regular basis!

I'm participating in Jerry's 12-week challenge, where we break into teams of four and set goals for ourselves. We break them down into mini-goals, and test each week. If someone on your team doesn't make the mini-goal, then there's "Funishment" waiting for the whole team in the form of an extra workout. I'm so excited to get started. My goal is to hit 20 chins by the end of the 12 weeks. I'm on a team with Joel, Steven, and Charlie. I'm considering adding a Deadlift goal as well. What say you? 210lb by the end of 12 weeks? 225lb? I'm not sure what's realistic. Hell - I'm not even sure if 20 chins is realistic, as I've only hit 9 (with the possibility of 10, but I'm not sure if the 10th counted). I also would really like to get one bodyweight ring dip in, but I'm not sure how to break that down into mini-goals. Maybe I'll just work on that separate from the challenge.

In other news, after workouts I come straight to work. We have a small gym with a locker room and showers that I use. There's one woman who is in there from time to time, who seems to enjoy being fully naked. She's a bit... okay... very much on the heavier side - and while I think women can be beautiful at all sizes, you should also have a choice about walking into a tiny locker room and coming face to face with a larger woman, totally nude, bending over and showing off her goodies to the entire world.

Ahem - anyway - so this woman has no shame. Today, as I was standing there in my sports bra and underwear, about to cover up with my towel so I could get in the shower, she steps out of the shower (naked, of course), looks at me, and says "You're getting skinny!". Now, while I appreciate the sentiment, I do not appreciate being blatantly looked at in a locker room while I'm trying to get ready for work. Then she goes on to ask me what my secret is, and I tell her: "No secret, just good nutrition and exercise". I wasn't as nice as I could be - you should've heard my tone of voice, but she had irritated me quite a bit. Asking about my "secret" made it worse. I mentioned the Zone, and another woman came in and started saying how she tried to follow the Zone "roughly" and would eat the Zone bars all the time. I just stayed quiet at that one - I wanted to shower in peace!

Why do people think there's a secret to getting fit? Some magical trick? I'm sure I didn't give her the answer she was hoping for - which was anything OTHER than hard work. I've been getting asked pretty often about how I lost weight, and people always seem slightly disappointed with my answer. I should think people would be excited to hear that it really IS that simple. The opposite seems true, though!

Enough of my ramblings, until next time!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

No pain, no gain - right?

Bruises are sexy, eh? The ones on my thighs are from hang power cleans (dropping the bar down back into the hang), and the ones on my shins are from deadlifts. Our workout today went a little something like this:
15 Deadlifts
12 Hang Power Cleans
9 Front Squats
6 Push Jerks
5 rounds for time

I must say - I really enjoyed this work out. It was extremely hard, I could only get 3-4 front squats at a time, and 2-3 jerks (which I didn't lock out a majority of the time), but I still loved it. I predicted my death in the beginning, but shut up when Katie told me that I should either shut it or scale down. It was the jerks that intimidated me - but damnit, I got through the work out! I must say, there's something extremely satisfying about throwing around heavy barbells. I much prefer workouts like this to the met-con circuits! I hope we hit this one again! Jerry, are you listening? ;-)

Nope - not tired at all!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Badger Badger Badger....

As I was running today, I got this song stuck in my head:

Don't watch for TOO long, temporary insanity may insue.

So - for the second time this week (thanks Andrea!) we hit a Hero's workout. It went a little something like this:

30 Hang Squat Cleans (65lb women, 95lb men)
30 Chins
800 meter run
3 rounds for time

Last time I hit Badger was April 6th - and as I was quite intimidated, I scaled it to 20 reps instead of 30 (although I kept the 65lbs), and finished it in 40:53.

Two and a half months later, I went as Rx - and finished in 48:52. My chins are so much stronger than they used to be, and I think I've gotten stronger on my hang squat cleans as well!

In the past - I would look at a workout, and even if I thought I could do it Rx, I would sometimes still scale. I would focus way too much in how long I thought it would take me.

No longer! From now on (unless getting to work on time is a factor), if I am strong enough to go Rx, I'm going for it. Screw my final time. How else am I going to get stronger or faster? I'm nowhere near the strongest or fastest of our crew, but one thing I CAN do is keep chipping away at something. The mentality of worrying about my final time has been holding me back - but not anymore.

This is a shout-out to McCall for inspiring me in this direction with her performance on Angie!

Monday, June 23, 2008


Today, with Andrea as our coach, we hit Daniel - a hero's workout:
50 chins
400 meter run
21 Thrusters
800 meter run
20 Thrusters
400 meter run
50 chins

40:42 - as prescribed - 65lb Thrusters!!

I must say - Andrea is a wonderful coach, and she worked with the mixed skill levels in the 9am class very well. She also didn't give me a choice about going Rx - I was prepared to do 55lbs (as I had done 55lb clean and push press x15 5 rounds yesterday) - but I'm glad she pushed me! The Thrusters were my weak spot - as I was only doing 2-3 at a time. Chins are getting stronger for me - yesterday I hit a PR of 9chins in a row (following Katie's amazing 24!), and instead of doing 1-2 at a time like I used to, I'm now doing 3 at a time. Of course - doing 100 chins takes a toll:

Yup - my first blood blister. I'm both proud and a bit grossed out! It will heal though!

Also - I've been meaning to give Jessica a shout out for a while for how she gutted through Angie with bleeding hands. She just wouldn't stop! Here are some pictures:

Notice the gloves on her hands!

Yup... Angie was a fun day....

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Quick Update

I've been meaning to post about Angie - complete with pictures and shout-outs, but before I do, I wanted to make a brief update.

I'm really excited to say that today I was able to move from the pink band to the floss for ring dips! I can only get about 3 at a time, but it's definitely improvement. One step closer to joining the muscle-up club!!!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Crossfit South Philly!

Phew - what a month this has been! I travelled 3 weekends in a row, and although I've had a great time, I've missed out on WAY too many days in the blue room.

This past week I travelled to Philly and her suburbs for 6 days. As I stayed in Center City for a few nights, I couldn't pass up on the opportunity to work out with Jerry's old crew - South Philly represent!

So, in the middle of my vacation, I got up at 5am to work out in a place that I had never been before, with people I had never met (but had heard good things about). I was a bit apprehensive, as I was not sure what to expect. On top of that, we had eaten at a fantastic restaurant the night before, and I had consumed a good deal of chocolate!

The cab ride over didn't help, as the driver kept repeating the intersection I had given him over and over again, like he didn't know where he was going! When I asked him if he needed me to call for directions, his response was "Neh, I know where I'm going, but you can call if you want" - and then he went back to repeating the intersection again and again.

Luckily - I made it without incident, and was soon greated by a great group of people! Everyone was really nice and welcoming - made me feel right at home.

For our warmup we did some sprints, squats, and burpees (ick!). Then we got into it - team games with a deck of cards. I was so excited to do a workout that I was familar with! We did sit-ups, burpees, push-press, bench dips, slam ball, KB swings, KB sumo high pull, and thrusters. Although no one can replace Jerry, Wil was a great coach!

I had a lot of fun - and I highly recommend checking out CF South Philly if you're ever in town!

Although, I must say, I am REALLY happy to be back!

Friday, May 16, 2008

A quick followup!

So - I did the circuit the class hit on Thursday: 7 Front Squats, 7 Pull-ups, 7 Dips: AMRAP in 20min.

Although in the warmup I had built up to 5 reps of 85lb, I used a 75lb weight. Although I tried, there wasn't enough room to kip on the pull-up machine (thanks for the suggestion Adrienne!), so I set it at 50lbs for both the pull-ups and dips. This was a good weight for me - as I could only get 2-4 in at a time.

However, there was someone else also using the pull-up machine - so I had to work in with her, and start and stop my watch a lot. Annoying - lost a lot of intensity that way. In the end, I got in 5 and 2/3 rounds. I finished up my dips after that - but since I had grandfathered in the last 2 pull-ups, I didn't count them for the circuit.

I'm out of town this weekend, but I will be back at the 7:30 class on Monday!! I can't wait!

Miss you all!

The Quickening...

This week has been a bad one for me with Crossfit - I only made it into the Blue Room once, on Monday. I've been missing out for various reasons (late night helping a friend move, early meeting, feeling feverish), but I've been trying to keep up with the workouts. This was the second time I missed The Quickening, so I decided to hit it in my gym at work. Used 20lb dumbbells for the push press, and a 45lb dumbbell for the high pull. My workout was fraught with a couple of problems:

First of all, treadmills suck for sprints. It took a full 38 seconds for the treadmill to go from 0mph to 7.5mph. Yay for wasted time and intensity? I tried to adjust my final times to compenstate (subtracted 1:15 from each). So - instead of 14:48 and 11:34, I estimated that it would have taken me 13:33 and 10:19. Hopefully, I'll get a chance to find out what my REAL score would be one of these days!

Secondly - this was the type of dumbbell I used:

Which led to this (picture taken today, workout done yesterday):

OUCH. I guess these are bruises, although I've never seen red bruises before. These are quite swollen, which you can't see in the picture. Attractive, no?

I saw that the workout I missed this morning (courtesy of Katie's blog) was working on the front squat, and then a circuit of front squats, pull-ups, and dips. Even though I'm not feeling my best, I think I can handle a strength circuit. Of course - this is what I have to work with for pull-ups and dips:

Which is SO not the same as doing kipping pull-ups and ring dips, but I suppose it's what I'm stuck with when I don't make it into the blue room!! Not sure how much weight I should use on these - maybe 50lbs? Any suggestions? I know I can't dip my full weight (using the pink band, where I can get maybe 2 in a row), and I definitely can't do a dead-hang pull-up yet. Advice welcome!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

On my own....

Oversleeping seems to be a theme on here! Normally, I set my alarm for 5:15, so I can hit the snooze button until 5:45/6:00. Alas, this morning, I woke up and my clock said 6:45. Shit!!!

I decided to use my itty bitty gym at work for more than a shower, and was pleased with the results.

2mile run: 18:06 - just over a 9minute/mile pace. Before I started Crossfit, 12min + was the norm

Squat Cleans: 105lb - the maximum I could get the barbell to! Not sure if this is a PR, but I think it is. It wasn't pretty, but I got it!

Push ups: 5
Sit ups: 11
Squats: 13

A definite improvement from the last time I overslept!

Friday, April 25, 2008

Overslept Again!!

Well, I had fully intended to go to the 7:30 class this morning - but I set my alarm wrong and completely overslept.

So - I decided to try out my brand new watch and hit 3 tabata circuits:

Push-ups: 5
Sit-ups: 10
Squats: 12 (had about 2sec left at the end of each round - next time I'm going for 13)

Hey - it's better than nothing, right? I wonder if I could do better surrounded by our team in the Blue Room. I'm sure I'll find out soon enough! I'm looking forward to Sunday!

In other news, yesterday I went shopping at MOM's (My Organic Market) for the first time. If you haven't been - GO! It's on Mt Vernon, near the intersection with Glebe Road. I had Ostrich burgers for the first time last night (1 patty = 3blocks protein, 1 block fat), and lowfat Goat's milk is also 1 cup = 1 full block. I also bought Bison burgers - which are 3 blocks protein and 3 blocks fat. They have this instant mac and cheese where 1 package = 3 blocks of carbs, 1 block of protein. Plus a lot of other neat stuff that can be make to be Zone friendly, and is just healthy in general. I can't believe I haven't gone before!!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

It's about time!!

When I was buying lunch today, I spotted the magazine "Women's Health", and out of curiosity, decided to buy it. It's been a LONG time since I've looked at a fitness magazine, before I learned so, so much from Jerry and from my fellow-Crossfitters. Most of these magazine advocate various fitness routines that are more about the current fad, than what really works - so I was pleasantly surprised to find this article inside. Granted, it's tiny - but it's a start!!

If you can't read it - it's basically saying how weighted squats and deadlifts are the best exercises out there for your core!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

More comparisons!

I love the picture from the previous post when compared to the one I'm putting up here. For one, I'm swinging 70lbs there - instead of 26lbs or 35lbs (anyone able to tell which it is?) in the old picture. Second, you can also see how much my body has changed - at least, I can.

What can I say? Crossfit enhances my life, the Zone doesn't hurt, and I love showing people what it's done!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Swinging Heavy!

Ah - it's good to be back. It was FOUR whole days since I had hit the blue room (due to sickness and travel), and I missed it dearly. Although - it was nice to see that I'm still losing weight, I'm down to 158lbs (weighed in at 183ish on January 1st - 25lbs down!!).

We started out with TGUs and L-Sit work, I'm pretty far away from doing a proper L-Sit, but it's fun to try!

Then we hit a fun circiut: 8 reps of each: Ring Dips, Weighted Box Jumps, KB Swings, Wall-Ball Sit Up. All movements I enjoy - so I was excited, and got in 7.75 rounds.

What made me really happy, though - was picking up the 70lb KB on the 4th or 5th round, and managing to swing it all 8xs! Jerry had mentioned that Keturah had swung it 3xs, so I had to give it a go. Although I aim to get the bell higher in the future (I think the picture caught it at it's highest point) - from now on I'm sticking to the 70lb for circuits with 10-15 or less reps, the 55lb bell for more than 15 reps.

Alright Ladies - who's with me? Who else is going to pick up the 70lb bell? I'm not the strongest woman in class by far - so I'd better see some of you stepping up to the plate!! :-)

Thursday, April 10, 2008

I gots myself a watch!

Well - I have a lot of trips coming up in the next few months - 3 trips that are 3-5 days long, and one 2-week trip (GREECE!!!!!!!!!!!). I've only taken one trip since joining Crossift (to the Galapagos!), and I failed miserably at doing any sort of Crossfit workout.

I've decided that what I need is a watch. I haven't worn one in a LONG time, and I'm getting tired of using my cell phone. Plus, I figured that although I may not have the motivation to go through a full X-Fit workout, I can at least hit a tabata or two and get some running in!

So - I present to you, my new watch - which is WAY overpriced ($65), but happens to have interval timing that is PERFECT for Tabata!

Now Jerry - how much are the watches you use for Tabata? $10 you say? I hate you....

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Trying to get a friend to Crossfit!!

Hello to my small, but loyal readership. Yes - I know it's been a while since I've updated ::ducks and hides::

So - right now, I'm trying to get a friend into working out more. He's in Philly, so I can't help him in person. I've decided to put together 3 simple X-Fit workouts to get him started with. I know he has treadmills available, I'm going to find out if he has any dumbbells. I put these together assuming he doesn't. It's been a while since he's worked out.

Let me know what you think of what I wrote - and if you would've suggested anything different! I'd love feedback! I tried to take these straight from Jerry's playbook:

I want you to do these three workouts - complete them before you go to bed next Monday. Best to do them every other day. Having a stop-watch will be very useful. Bring water. Try not to rest too much during the exersices. If you need a break - try not to take more than 3-4 breathes. Try to keep the intensity high. These are short, but effective.

Before you start off any work out, you want to warm up.

20 seconds Jumping Jacks
20 seconds shuffle splits (jump with one foot in front and one behind, then switch)
20 second hops
20 second side to side (feet together, jumping side to side)
Do this 1-2 times, then stretch in a lunge or squat, and maybe do some arm circles

Workout #1:
5 push-ups
10 sit-ups
15 squats (watch your form, below 90 degrees, torso UP)*
As many rounds as you can do in 20 minutes

Workout #2:
Run 0.5 miles
21-15-9 of Lunges (each leg), push-ups, sit-ups
Run 0.5 miles
For time
(so - you do 21 lunges for each leg, 21 push-ups, 21 sit-ups, then 15 of each, then 9 of each)

Workout #3:
10 Burpees
15 lunges (each leg)
20 sit-ups
25 squats
20 sit-ups
15 jumping lunges (total - not each leg)**
10 push-ups
Once through for time.

Once you've done each work-out, email me and let me know how many rounds you got in for the first work-out (partial rounds count), and how long it took you to do the other two work outs. Make sure to push yourself. Based on that, I'll modify work-outs better suited to you.

If you have dumbbells to work with, let me know - there are tons more variety I can work in with those.

* For squats- movement comes from the hips. You do NOT want to lean far forward, if you haven't done proper squats before, let me know.

** If you don't have a soft surface to touch your knees to with the jumping lunges, do regular lunges instead - but 15 for each leg.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Never thought I'd be doing THIS

So - today, after hitting modified deadlifts (125lb, working in with Stacey), we had a relatively simple circuit to tackle. 20min, AMRP: 5 pull-ups, 10 box-jumps, 15 KB Swings.

My hands were still torn up, but I was thinking that this circuit wouldn't be so bad - I may even get in the 10 rounds that Jerry said would be a good number to hit!

That was, until, Jerry decided that I needed to be wearing an X-Vest. He mentioned it, I shook my head no, but there it was - going over my head. Not only that, but he had to duct-tape me in!

I ended up doing 3 chins instead of 5 - as they were hard to hit (but I did hit them!), and I did the 3 step box jumps instead of the 4-step... but I stuck to the 45lb KB swings - and I got in 8.3 rounds! I think next time I don an X-vest and do box jumps, I'm going to go for the high box jumps, since the 3 step felt pretty easy.

I think the worst thing about the X-vest is that it constricts your ribcage a bit, making it hard to take deep breaths! I kept getting flashes in my head of that scene from Pirates of the Caribbean, where Kiera Knightley's character falls off a cliff because she fainted due to a too-tight corset!

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Running and Push-ups

I really don't enjoy running. I've never enjoyed it, and I don't think I ever will. In my mind, it pales in comparison to the pain and joy brought during Crossfit.

Despite this, I decided to go for a short (15-20min) jog today. This decision was brought about by a combination of the nice weather, and the horribly non-zone dinner and dessert from last night. (Is it my imagination, or are these pants slightly tighter?) Also - I must give props to Keturah for planting the idea in my head - I probably won't be joining in on the "fun" of runs Tues/Thurs, but I may jog on my own on the occasional Sunday.

Anyway - besides the one recent circuit, I haven't ran in months. I must say, I was presently surprised at how my running was today. Either my endurance has greatly improved, or my tolerance for intensity has gone up - because I was able to run for much longer stretches of time than the last time I jogged around my neighborhood. I love being able to FEEL how Crossfit has improved my body.

Also - just hit a PR of 10 push-ups in a row! Last time I did full push-ups, I only made it to 4!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Row, row, row your boat!!

I am proud to announce a sub-2min 500meter row today - I hit 1:58. Of course, this completely smoked me for the rest of the work-out!! (Bodyweight Baseline).

I was doing well for the first minute of rowing, but then I lost steam. I'd like to try it again - because I started out with an all-out sprint, and next time I want to try to pace myself better so I don't lose it at the end.


Note to self: Do not try to set a rowing PR at the beginning of a circuit - because your time on the rest of the circuit will be a joke!!!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Improvement on the Squat!

It took me a while, but my form for the squat has finall improved! I don't have any advice for people struggling to keep their torso straight - except practice practice practice! Also - warming up helps!!!

Before and After:

One Month on the Zone

I don't have too much more to say than I already said in my previous post, but basically:

I've been on the Zone for one month. In that month I've lost a total of 10lbs (down to 172), and one pants size (from a size 14 to a size 12). I also got in my first pull-up!! My energy level has been steady, and I generally feel more capable during the workouts. I'm rarely wanting for food - especially once I figured out how to eat chocolate and stay in the Zone! :)

I wonder what another month will bring!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008


This picture is too much fun not to post it!!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

See the difference!

Adrienne's comment on my last post has inspired me to post before and after pictures - you can definitely see a difference!

The first picture was taken during my first week or two of Crossfit - either late July or early August. I weighed around 177lbs.

The second picture was taken this past Saturday (01/26/08). In the time that passed between the two pictures, I had gone up to 185lb (muscle), and then down to just below 175lb (Zone). On Saturday I weighed in at 174.6lb. My goal is to get down to 165lb.

It's really exciting to see the difference!! I've never made such a significant change in my body before!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

I FINALLY hit a Chin!!!!

The title of my post pretty much says it all - I got my first chin-up in class today! I think the kick finally clicked - or something - but it feels AMAZING!!!

It's not that I NEVER thought I'd do it - but I felt like it was really far away. I thought I'd be going back to the thin band. Now - even if it's one at a time - I'm hitting those chin work outs as prescribed! Okay - well, maybe with a BIT of scaling - but I'm doing full chins from now on!! YAY!

Oh - and I'll still losing weight! The Zone KICKS ASS!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Still in the Zone!

So - it's been 22 days, and I've only cheated once while being in the Zone! (It wasn't my fault - I was in a Bangladesh family's home - the first American in their home, and the mother had cooked... I had to eat!)

I feel good - and I've lost about 7lbs of fat! Yay!

A Workout of Epic Proportions

On Monday Jerry gave us the "Meet the Spartans" Workout. The previous week I had been in Monday-Friday, so I had not worked out on Saturday (or Sunday). So - with 2 days rest I hit the work out hard.

I had to do some scaling - I did jumping pull-ups instead of pull ups (2 for 1), and my push ups were plank position on the way down, and knees on the way up. For the push-press I did 20lb dumbbells - however, I went as prescribed for the high pull - 55lbs. I also did the prescribed number of reps - something I don't think I would have tackled a few months ago!!

I finished in a bit over 40 minutes - I am quite proud to have finished the work out!

However - the point of this post is to say how sore I was yesterday! I still came in to workout yesterday, but I haven't been this sore since my first month or two of Crossfit! Part of it was, of course, the insane work out. But also - I'm thinking that part of it is that I didn't work out on Saturday - and I had 2 days of recovery instead of 1. Seems counter-intuitive, but ever since the barbell class was dropped, and I've been doing the standard Crossfit workouts 5xs a week, I've been typically missing one day during the week - and then coming in on Saturday. This was the first time in a while that I had taken 2 days in a row of rest.

So - I deliberately missed today, and am planning on coming in on Saturday. I'm going to do Saturdays from now on - and skip either Wednesday or Thursday. Hopefully this will keep me from getting as sore as I did after the "Meet the Spartans" workout.

Does this make sense? Is my logic completely off? Was it JUST the work out, and not also the fact that my body hadn't been moving too much for two days in a row? Any thoughts? I'd love any advice! Thanks!

Friday, January 11, 2008

Damn Alarm Clock!

So - for some unknown reason my alarm clock did not go off this morning - I woke up in time for work, but not in time to make it into CFOT!

I was pretty pissed that I missed today's workout - although I plan on making it up tomorrow (Saturday). I usually only go to Saturday classes if I didn't get all 5 workouts in during the week. I think 6 would be a BIT too much for me!

Even though I know I'll still get 5 CF work outs in, working out before work gives me a boost that helps me get through the day. This morning I felt especially sluggish and sleepy - a way I haven't felt at the beginning of work since taking up CF. It's amazing how I both mentally and physically missed my work out!

Friday, January 4, 2008


This is way in the future, but I'm planning on going abroad to get a Masters Degree in the 2009-2010 academic year.

Honestly, one of the things I was worried about (on top of selling my condo in THIS market, finding people to keep my cats for me, getting scholarships, finding loans, etc) was how I was going to keep up with Crossfit! I would comfort myself with saying that, by the time I went abroad, I'd know enough to be able to follow Jerry's workouts on my own. I'd be motivated enough to be able to really push myself on my own. However, I get SO much motivation and help from being in a group setting, with Jerry as our coach - I still felt apprehensive.

That being said - I am SO excited to find that there are Crossfit affiliates ALL over the UK! I'm looking mainly in England and Scotland for schools - so this is simply fantastic for me to find out! It's probably saying a lot about my love for Crossfit that if I end up having a choice between schools, I will be choosing the one closest to an affiliate! :)