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!