You should have seen the meal I put together for my family Sunday night. I WISH I had taken a picture, because I was so proud.
I made an arm roast in the pressure cooker (with one of the grassfed calf cuts in our freezer), ratatouille with eggplant, zucchini and tomatoes from our CSA from a Cooks Illustrated recipe, and braised cabbage from Mark Sisson’s Primal Blueprint cookbook.
Even baby girl got in on the beef. But instead of the eggplant and cabbage, we steamed an acorn squash for her. She loves beef. Both of my kids do!
The boys and I also enjoyed an ice cold Topo Chico and conversation with our meal.
Ahhhh… it was worth working in the kitchen half of the day. You know, I think I actually LIKE cooking.
Shocking, I know.
Despite the cooking and all of the other work I did Sunday, I was feeling really good after the kids went to bed. I decided to throw in a quick workout, since Monday I’ll be resting ahead of Crossfit Total.
5 rounds (1 min rest in between)
5 DB deadlifts
5 DB hang cleans
5 DB push press
5 DB squats
Time: 7:56 @ 25#
Those negatives are getting easier. I’m even able to hold at the top a lot better than I could before. And I’m determine on those double unders. One day I will be able to knock them out as easily as I do single swings.
No workout tonight. However, I will be rolling out some tight muscles and doing some mobility work. I’ve been attempting the couch stretch lately… finding the “suckage.” And I have FOUND it. Ouch.
I remember feeling envious of all the women who competed in the 2010 Crossfit Central Women’s Challenge. I was very pregnant, and participating in an event like the women’s challenge was not something I could do.
So when the women’s challenge rolled around this year, I leaped at the opportunity to participate. I was not disappointed.
This year, they called it the Iron Belle Challenge (The T-shirt is awesome).
My teammates were Beth and Stephanie. We know each other so well, that when we worked up our tactics for the challenge Friday evening, it was quick and efficient. The key to team competitions is effective communication, they told us Friday night. I think we did a really good job of doing that.
The challenge started Saturday morning at the Shoal Creek Hike & Bike trail near 34th Street in Central Austin. We showed up in our matching team outfits: yellow tanks, gray shorts, black bandanas. We participated in the “fun” division, which was the same workout at lower weights, because none of us can do a strict pull up. (Honestly, I’m kind of relieved. Some of the weights in the competitive category were right at my max, so I would have been extremely difficult for me.)
2 mile run
with 2 stops:
100 KB swings (Competitive 16kg / Fun 12kg) /
100 MB passes (6#) & 50 burpees
The swings, passes and burpees were all cake for me. The run was more difficult. But as much as I wanted to stop, I kept at it. I mean, really, it was only 2 miles. Should have been easy. It wasn’t.
We finished under the 30 min cutoff at 27:16, and I am thrilled with that.
The second WOD was a deadlift ladder. Only one member of our team could do it, so we chose our strongest lifter: Stephanie. The weight started at 105 and advanced by 10# all the way to 200#, and on the last set you lifted as many times as possible.
Steph set a PR, by the way. It was awesome.
20 DB Push Press (C 25# / F 15#)
20 Box Jumps
20 squat cleans (C 85# / F 55#)
20 pullups (C unassisted / F jumping from box)
3 butcher pushes sidewalk to sidewalk (C 90# added / F 50# added)
This was the WOD where we really communicated the best. We had a plan, but we were so good at watching to see who was getting tired and who was almost done, that we were able to change out on the fly — exercises AND people.
Did we win? No. How did we compare? We were top half or third on everything. Stephanie reminded me that no matter how you do, you should be grateful for the opportunity to be there. And you know what? I’m so glad I was there.
A huge congrats to the winners, many of who I know and consider friends. It was an honor to be around such strong women today, and an honor to have Beth and Stephanie as my teammates.
I got a chance to work on my pullups and double unders in class this morning before wearing myself out on the WOD.
Seriously… I hobbled the rest of the day. And I was so tired by the time I got home I could barely be understood.
I got to class early so I could work on my double unders again. I only got 3 in a row, but I must have successfully done 10-15 others. Then it was time for class.
Since I can’t do a pullup at all, we worked on negatives. I managed to have pretty good control for most of them — letting myself down very slowly. If I keep that kind of stuff up, maybe I’ll build up enough strength to get my first pullup soon!
The WOD looked deceptively easy. Of course… it wasn’t.
AMRAP 5 mins
Squat cleans (M 155# / W 105#)
Zach told us this was a sprint and that if we were resting more than 10 seconds at the bar, we would need to drop the weight. That’s when I walked back to my bar and dropped the weight. I knew 75# would be a challenge. And I knew I wouldn’t be able to go as fast as the WOD asked me to. So I dropped it to 65#.
It’s annoying to still be using such a low weight on stuff like that. Maybe I should have stuck with 75#. I got a fair number of cleans, which makes me think I might have been OK.
Results: 25 cleans @ 65#
Well, time to sleep. Big day tomorrow, including preparations for the Iron Belle Challenge with my pals Beth and Steph. The event is Saturday, but we have goal setting and outfit planning tomorrow. Can’t wait!
It’s not that I am against causes and stuff like that. I’m happy to give. But asking people for money really makes me uncomfortable. Every year I sign up for at least one (usually more) event that requires me to beg my friends and family in person or via social networks and blogs to give me money so I can hopefully make a difference.
I guess you can see where this is going.
I’m doing Fight Gone Bad 6. I’ve joined my gym’s team. I know several people who are also doing this even on September 17, and they’ve already been on Facebook, begging for money.
I have to raise $150 in just a few weeks. (September 17, 2011.) If you read my blog, you know I’m serious about participating. I would love for you to donate to me, even just a few dollars. Every little bit helps.
I also commit to NOT begging. But I hope you will help lift some of the monetary burden off my shoulders.
I’m so excited. I’ve made it my mission to work on pullups and double unders. Whenever I can, I pull out my speed rope or whatever rope I can find and I practice.
Tonight I practiced in the driveway while Andy had the sprinkler out, watering the lawn (It’s our watering day). The sprinkler would occasionally get me as it waved back and forth, but it felt really good so I didn’t move.
The last time I practiced, I resolved to do 20 double unders, and it took me a really long time. Tonight, it went much faster. So I decided to do 10 more. And that went fast! So I decided to try to string two together (I had been doing a few singles, then a double, singles, then a double).
I managed to string 5 together.
I was so proud, I ran inside to tell Andy.
“Andy! Andy! Guess what! I got 35 double unders!”
I’m a dork. I know. But one day I want to do “Annie” RX. And I don’t want to have to scale in a competition like I did in the Garage Gym Throwdown.
I also did my 10 negative deadhang pullups, which suck. Then I followed up with the WOD Andy did Monday. Well, sort of. It was the closest I could get without a rowing machine or a 24kg kettlebell.
I wonder what it is about “Griff” that makes my Crossfit class so… well… empty.
We revisited the hero WOD this morning. We did this workout in early July, and there were only 5 people in class then. This morning? 6. And only three of us were repeating the benchmark, including me and Steph.
There were quite a few differences between today and early July, including my time, which was slower.
400m backwards run
400m backwards run
I was more than 1 1/2 minutes slower this morning than I was right after vacation. But I wasn’t the only one. I’m not going to say I’m not slower in general; however, it really wasn’t the SAME workout. The lead-up was different.
In July, we warmed up and then did two different mobility exercises to open up our hips and grease our legs.
This morning, we did a 5 min AMRAP:
’10 staggered pushups
10 staggered pushups
(I finished 2 rounds + the pushups)
Plus, the run was different this morning. Instead of running into the neighborhood backwards, we ran around the sidewalk to AutoZone and back, which was a bit more technical. Plus, we had to run up and around the big storage container. We didn’t have to do that last time.
So even though I felt a little stronger and springier — especially on the backwards runs — I was slower.
Oh well. Andy is right — it’s hard to compare when the conditions are so different and you’re not running on a track.
We followed up the WOD with 2 rounds of max pullups. I got 10 the first round and 11 the second with 2 purple bands. TOUGH!
Maybe I should not worry about comparing past and present workouts for a while. This morning, Jeff reminded us that “Griff” was a benchmark, and we should try to beat our previous time.
“Don’t put pressure on me!” I told him.
I’ve been so focused on improving lately and so disappointed with what I’ve been doing that I’ve been mentally placing roadblocks in front of myself. I just need to focus on each workout, do my best, and not worry about how I did before.
I’ve changed the routine. I’ve tightened my nutrition. I’ve set goals. I’m actually working on them. Improvement will come with time. It’s up to me to be patient.
One evening this week after tucking the kids into bed, I walked into the kitchen to find one of Andy’s workout books open on the counter. It’s was Ross Emanit’s Full Throttle Conditioning, and the page it was open to had the words “Warning Signs” at the top.
It was Andy’s way of gently suggesting I not work out that night.
We’ve been talking all week about how I’ve been feeling, because in general, the past week has been a bear. There’s been suckage all around, from training to work to home to just general attitude. My mantra has been, “I’m crabby.” And it has stayed with me for the better part of the week.
Ross’ book has some techniques to avoid what I’ve been feeling, which may be partly due to overtraining. But I think it’s also LIFE (I miss my running buddy! Mads is teething and getting up at night! I really want to east that birthday cake, but I would have to write it in my food log and then Zach would see it!). You know the signs of overtraining — stuff like fatigue, lack of enthusiasm, not being able to perform when it counts, and so on.
I’ve definitely been fatigued, and not enthusiastic. So I took Saturday and Sunday off. Sunday was kind of an active recovery day. Normally I go for a long run. But I was not looking forward to running with the stroller, which is what Andy wanted to do. SO we walked. I started off crabby and emotional and just pissy in general. But 2 miles in, and after lots of talking, I was feeling better. In fact, when I saw the pullup bars at Auditorium Shores I decided to do 10 negative pullup holds.
And you know what? I felt even better.
By the end of the walk I was a different woman.
We came home, I tackled a big house project and got it mostly completed, so I felt even better. I thought about doing a workout, but I decided to give it another day at least. I’m actually looking forward to workout out, possibly Monday night.
I’m hoping that when Tuesday morning rolls around, my enthusiasm has returned in full force.
Never under-estimate the power of rest and talking. It goes a long way.
I’m going to make this post brief because I’m not happy with how I did in this morning’s workout.
It’s been stewing in the back of my brain all day. I perceive my performance as a total lack of strength and nearly failure. I know the negativity does nothing to help me, but it really bugs me.
My back arched on the last rep of the 4th set and it tweaked a little, so I backed off on round 5. Annoying. I should be stronger. 65# should not be a struggle.
3 Deadlift (M 305#(?) / W 205#)
Time: DNF Completed 5 rounds + run+ deadlifts in 10min at 135#
I would have finished had I not had to take time to drop weight in the first round from 150# to 135#. After that first run, I can back and simply could NOT lift that bar off the ground. The run changed the game THAT MUCH.
Annoying. I should be stronger.
135# was pretty challenging for me. I made more noise lifting that bar than I did giving birth to Madeline. (Seriously. I was loud and embarrassing.) Still, why was that so hard if my max is 185#?
I’m trying to be patient, but it’s hard. I know that changes that I’m making don’t necessarily yield instant results. It’s better to see how things go over the long run. But it’s still frustrating.
It also doesn’t help that my body doesn’t feel completely awake in the morning. My awesome dermatologist (a fellow Crossfitter at Central FYI!) has me on anti-histamines at night among other remedies for a skin condition I just can’t seem to shake.
It sucks feeling like your body won’t wake up. On the other hand, if the treatment works, it will be well worth it.
And I didn’t give Andy the full credit he deserves.
I didn’t mention it in the post, but a lot of the stuff Zach is telling me now is stuff Andy’s been telling me all along.
But I wasn’t listening.
OK — it’s not entirely true that I wasn’t listening. I do turn to Andy quite a bit for advice. He’s the one who helped develop the added exercise regimen during the I AM CROSSFIT challenge. And he’s the one helping me figure out my workouts on non-Crossfit days.
Really, Andy does know what he’s talking about. He doesn’t try to come off as knowing everything. But he does know a lot, and I should have listened a long time ago.