6 rounds of annoying

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.

Push Press
5×5

Results: 55-60-65-65-55

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.

6 rounds
100m run
3 Deadlift (M 305#(?) / W 205#)
15 situps

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.

SIGH.  The sacrifices we make….

“DT”

image

I thought my workout went well this morning… until I looked at my time the last time I did the WOD.

At least I didn’t use less weight.

“DT”
5 rounds
12 Deadlift (M 155# / W 105#)
9 Hang power cleans
6 Push jerk

Time: 14:34 @ 65#

This is more than 4 minutes slower than when I did the same WOD at home in March with the same amount of weight.  In March, I was fresh off the I AM Challenge and I had been able to increase the weight on this WOD AND cut my time from December.

Sigh.

I have to admit. I felt fatigued this morning.  Andy and I did straight strength Monday night, plus I’ve had three days in a row of less than 6 hours sleep.  So I’m not freaking out about my time or anything.

It was an off day. Also, I’ve noticed I’m a lot stronger in the afternoon and evening than I am in the morning.  It’s not really fair to compare a morning workout versus an evening one. The evening one is almost always better.

This morning, I really focused on form.  Zach pointed out how I was leaning forward with the bar, particularly while moving the bar overhead, so I made an effort to stay in my heels during the dip-drive.

I focused on form Monday night, too.  Here’s what we did:

Overhead squat
3-3-3-3-3

Results: 45-55-65-65-65

Shoulder Press / Ring Rows
4×8

Results: 45-50-50-50

Both Andy and Luke start Crossfit this week!  I’m planning to take pictures at Luke’s next class.  He loves it!

Time for a change: My meeting with the coach

I met with my coach last week to talk about how I’ve been frustrated with my training lately.

I told him all about how I feel like I’ve been losing ground since the I AM Challenge — how my running feels slower, my strength feels like it’s fading, and how in general, I just don’t think things are going well.

Zach listened and he asked lots of questions.  How much have I been training?  What have I been eating? What do I think the problem could be? Then he offered his advice: change the routine; get out the junk and clean up my nutrition.

It’s advice I readily accepted, and we started to formulate a plan.  My Crossfit workouts won’t change right away.  Soon I hope to move into his Olympic lifting class. In the meantime, Andy and I are changing our home workout routine to be less focused on met-cons and do more traditional strength.

I also asked Zach to help hold me accountable for my diet.  I’m sending him my food logs once a week.  I’m already making changes.  And I’m giving intermittent fasting a try.  I know there’s no single way to do it, so I’m experimenting.  IF has numerous health benefits, according to this article from Mark’s Daily Apple.  Andy’s been doing it frequently for some time.  And now that breastfeeding is slowing down, my appetite has decreased dramatically.  I’m hoping — at a minimum — IF will help me key into to my body’s hunger signals again, because I’m gotten so used to eating a lot of food on a schedule, that I’m eating even when I’m not hungry.

So there you have it.  Change in the works.  We’ll see what happens, right?

It’s already a little weird.  All Andy and I did was strength Wednesday night.  It felt weird, like I needed to do more, even though my arms and legs are tired.

Shoulder Press 3×10
Ring Rows 3×7
Deadlift 3×10

Results:
Shoulder Press: 45-50-55
Deadlift: 95-95-115
(Ring rows completed directly under rings with knees bent)

The definition of ‘allstar’

Someone called me an “allstar” last week.

It’s the kind of comment I brush off because of modesty.   I believe I countered the comment with, “All the allstars left my class, so it only looks like I’m an allstar.”  I certainly don’t think of myself as an allstar.

But then, in the middle of my third WOD this past week, I was thinking about it, and I realized something.  Maybe being an allstar isn’t about being the one who always finishes first, or the only who loads the bar with the most weight or the one who does everything RX.  Maybe it’s about something else.

Maybe it’s about how hard you work.

I don’t think about it very much, because it’s just what I do and there’s nothing to think about as far as I’m concerned, but I do put a lot of effort into my time at the gym.  I push myself.  Sometimes I feel like I could have pushed myself harder, but what I do is no joke.

Take Tuesday:

“Mary D”
9-12-15
Thrusters (M 135# / W95#)
Weighted pullups (M 45# / W 24#)

Time: 14:02 @ 65# (2 purple bands for strict pullups)

Hard!  My arms were toasted after this one.  I was so tempted to bump down the weight or grab another band to make it easier, but I didn’t do it.  I stuck it out.

We celebrated my birthday on Thursday with 35 birthday burpees and a BRUTAL WOD.

Sumo Deadlift
2-2-2-2-2

Results: 135-145-155-160160

That damn butt muscle ACTED UP AGAIN!  The same one from when I was pregnant.  Grrrr!  I’m not sure I can blame it for scratching on those last two sets, but it certainly didn’t help.

12min AMRAP
2 wall walks
10 DB Muscle Snatch (M 55#/W 35#)
20 box jump

Results: 3 rounds + 2 walks + 10 DB snatch @ 30#

The bad: Wall walks.  I just couldn’t pull myself vertical.  I need to do this more.  A lot more.
The good: The 25# DB was too light!  I am so happy I was able to bump up to 30#!

Friday was the day I started thinking about what it means to be an allstar.  I had dropped into Big Mike’s class and the comment was made.  I felt a little uncomfortable, because it seems like everyone is so much stronger and faster than I am.

Bench Press
2-2-2-2-2

Results: 65-65-70-70-(ran out of time)

4 rounds
400m run
10 back squat (M 155# / W 110#)

Time: 15:19 @ 105#

This WOD seemed pretty straightforward when I read it, but 105# was a lot harder than I thought it would be.  I really pushed myself on this WOD.  The cutoff was 15min, but Big Mike let me finish, and he coached me through to the end.

I think I screamed on the last 3.

Yeah, it was that painful.

I’m still feeling those squats today.  I’m glad for a rest week.  I’m walking around, but no WODs.  Alright, maybe a light run tomorrow with Andy if there’s time.  MAYBE an endurance WOD toward the end of the week.  But all in all, I’m taking a break.  My friends are doing a benchmark tomorrow, and I’ll be cheering them on from the sidelines.

Even allstars need to heal.

And today’s word is: Sweaty

Sometimes I wonder if Austin is going to turn into this:

Ripples on Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes

This is from Death Valley, courtesy the National Park Service.

We haven’t had rain in nearly a month here in Austin.  The ground is cracked.  Trees are obviously suffering.  Grass is browning.  My air conditioner seems to be running nearly constantly.  And when you walk outside between 9am and 9pm, it feels like someone is blowing a hot hair dryer on you.

Fun stuff.

Early morning is the only time when I feel comfortable outside.  At the gym, a (sort of) cool breeze blows in through the garage doors.  The feeling of relief is only temporary.  The warmups are enough to make me drip with sweat.

I long for a nice relaxing dip in the pool.

We’re headed to “Hotlanta” in a week or so, and I’ll be missing my classes that week.  I decided to make them up before my trip, just in case Andy gets that call to join Big Mike’s class on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays when we get back.  If that happens, I’d have to go in the afternoon.  When it’s 100+ degrees out.

Um…

So I showed up to Big Mike’s class Friday.  Big Mike was at the Crossfit Regionals down in Tomball, so Coach Randall was subbing.  I wasn’t the only one from Tuesdays/Thursdays there.  A bunch of us were making up classes, so it kinda felt like I was with my “family.”

Randall changed up the workout a bit from what had been tweeted out the night before.

5 rounds
KB Snatch 10/10 (M24kg / W 16kg)
Deadlift 15 (M 135# / W 95#)
Lateral jumps over barbell 20

Randall is a really good coach.  He spent time going over the snatch with us, and I learned a lot more about proper technique.  Still, I need to work on building overhead strength, so I was unable to go RX with the kettlebell.  I found a 12kg KB for the WOD, although I was envious of the girls who were using heavier weights.  One day!

I did go RX for the deadlifts.  And although I worried about being able to do the jumps without tripping over the bar, it turns out my fears were unfounded.  I started out a little slow on the jumps, but I made a conscious effort to push myself.  By the end of the WOD I felt much more comfortable with them.

Randall challenged us to do the reps unbroken, which seemed possible during round 1, but grew more and more difficult.  Our cutoff was 12 minutes.  I think I would have finished had the cutoff been 15 minutes.

Still, it’s not like I didn’t do work.  I was still dripping with sweat when I got home.  Those are the mornings I opt for a cool shower, rather than a hot one.  It’s already hot enough outside.

Results: 4 rounds + 5 clean @ 12kg/95#

Losing time

The weeks are flying by.

Everything feels like time is rushing along at a furious pace, and I’m just hanging on, trying to keep up.  I always thought summer was for slowing down, but this year, it feels like life has gone into 5th gear.  Job.  Kids.  Chores. To dos.  It’s harder to keep up with friends, even with my many social media apps.  I just am not as available as I was.  And neither are they.

And so an entire week has passed since I sat down to write about the Garage Gym Throwdown.  A whole week of workouts.  Workouts I loved.  Workouts I hated.  Squeezed in for 45 minutes in the morning or late at night after the kids have fallen asleep.  I just finished one.  I’m sweaty and salty and gross, and it’s 11pm.  I have to be up before 5 tomorrow morning.  I still have to take a shower.

But I want to write about what I’ve done.  What I’ve accomplished.  Where I’ve failed.  I’m proud of my performance this week.  I’m disappointed that I’ve eaten without regard to how it makes me feel.  Lunches out.  Dinners out.  More than just a few indulgences.  It makes me wonder, if I had paid attention, would I have done better?  Would I be stronger now?

Monday

Front Squat
5×5

Results: 50-55-60-65-75

 

Endurance
6-4 Intervals
5x 400m holding best pace possible, not deviating more than 3 seconds from fastest interval
2 min recovery

2:04-1:53-1:55-1:57-2:02-1:57

Comments:  SLOW!!!!!!

Tuesday

“Alexis”
15-12-9-6-3
Power Snatch (M 115# / W 80#)
Ring Rows

Time: 12:04 @ 55# (ring rows scaled)

Comments:  Ow.  This one really hurt.  I tried 65#, but my form was weak and wobbly, so I dropped back to 55#, which was extremely challenging, but my form was much improved.

Thursday

Front Squat
2-2-2-2-2-2

Results: 65-75-85-95-105-110

“Jess E”
20 Wall Ball (M20# / W 14#)
1 Inverted Burpee
18/2, 16/3, 14/4, 12/5, 10/6, 8/7, 6/8, 4/9, 2/10

Results: Completed 9 rounds RX in 15 minutes

Saturday

5K run

Time: 32:27 (easy pace)

5 rounds
12 Deadlift (M 155# / W 95#)
9 Hang Power Clean
6 Push Jerk

Time: 7:54 @ 65#

Comments: Time to bump up the weight!  This is one of my own benchmarks, and this time I cut a significant amount of time off this WOD.  Last time, I was over 10 minutes.  Whoo-hoo!

Sunday

For Time:
21 Deadlift (225#)
400m run
18 deadlift
400m run
15 deadlift
400m run
12 deadlift
400m run

Time: 13:25 @ 95#

Shoulder Press
5×5

Results: 45-50-55-60-60

Comments: I considered trying 115# for a little while, and maybe I should have since I pretty much flew through the workout.  I felt like I had a lot of energy for the runs, but my legs just didn’t want to move.  Andy tried 185#, and me got all the way into round 3 before nearly throwing up.  He finished with the run and called it a day.

We’re going to be hitting it hard over the next couple of weeks.  We’re taking a full week of rest, a very necessary part of training.  And yes, I am in training.  We signed up for the Tough Mudder.  Paid the money and everything.  No turning back now.  At least, not for me.  It’s so important to eat clean and train right from now until October.

What a way to celebrate a wedding anniversary.

Swimsuit season is upon us

Where, oh where did the past year go?

It’s only the end of May, but every parent of a school age child (and school kids) knows that the end of school is here!  Summer camps will start up soon.  Vacations.  Lazy days by the pool.

OMG!  The pool?  Holy cow, Batman!  I need a swimsuit!

Duh, duh, duh…. DAHHHHHHHH.

SIGH.  It’s such a pain buying a swimsuit.  But I better head out this weekend to get one if I’m going to spend time with the kids at the pool.  They both have at least one swimsuit to get them through the summer.  Now it’s my turn.

I better lay off the sweets, I guess.

Fortunately I have a little muscle definition, even though my tummy still sticks out.  So at least I have THAT going for me.

See… THIS is why I get my butt out of bed at 4:30am twice a week — so I can wear a swimsuit.

Strength:
Deadlift
2-2-2-2-2-2

Results: 134-145-155-165-175

Felt good!

Met-con:
AMRAP 12 min
6 Sumo Deadlift High Pulls (M 95# / W 65#)
9 Pushups (Crossfit games standard)
12 Box jumps

Results: 6 rounds + 6 SDLHP + 9 PU + 9 BJ RX

Almost finished 7 rounds — sooooooo close!

Can I have more weekend hours? Please?

There’s too much to do on the weekends.  And during the week.  Seriously.  I thought that by cutting TV out of my life I would gain time.  What a crock!

The weekend was jammed pack, and by the time Andy and I got the kids to bed Friday and Saturday, we were beat.  Exhausted.  Spent.  No way was a workout happening.

We forced ourselves to follow through on Sunday, and while I did NOT want to do anything, at the end I felt rejuvenated and energetic again.  And I slept really great that night.

Deadlift
3-3-3-3-3

Results: 115-125-135-145-155

I’m still clawing my way back up the deadlift ladder, so to speak.  That 155# was hard, and it shouldn’t have been.

AMRAP 12 min
200m run
15 Back Squat
10 Knees-to-elbows
5 Push ups

Results: 3 rounds + run @ 55#

I went kinda slow on the back squats, but depth has been an issue for me, and I was consciously working on going low enough.  The knees-to-elbows were my strongest yet — I had my knees closer to my elbows than ever!  Come on, abs!  Get stronger!

Um… running with a stroller is hard

Madeline and Cindy after the 1st run in the jogging strollerI very nearly flaked out — for the second day in a row — on taking Mads out for a spin in the jogging stroller.

Well, maybe “flake” is a bit harsh.  It’s all about timing really.  How long ago did she eat?  Is she is need of a nap?  Is she busy playing and I shouldn’t interrupt her?

I finally found my moment around 11am this morning — she was fed, dry, had reached a natural stopping point while playing and was starting to fuss.  I snatched her up, packed up the car and took off for the trail.

OK — first of all — where did spring go?  80 degrees?  Really?

But I digress.  I was feeling PRETTY sore from Tuesday’s WOD, so I stuck to the 3.1 mile loop at Lady Bird Lake.  Pushing a stroller while running is hard!  I took it slow, and my arms were SOOOOO tired.  It didn’t help that my earbuds kept coming out or I would get tangled in the cord.  That resulted in several stops to “fix” the problem.  Grrrr!

Time: 37:30 — super slow!  And I’ll admit it, I walked down the spiral ramp on the north side of the Pfluger pedestrian bridge.  I was resting in the guise of being safe.

This evening, Andy encouraged me to join him in a WOD, and since it’s Wednesday and one of my goals is to work out on Wednesdays, I agreed.

5 rounds
12 Deadlift
9 Hang Power Clean
6 Push Jerk

Time: 10:06 @ 65#

I smoked this WOD, compared to the last time I did it, which was back in December.  Maybe I’m not as tired this time?  Or maybe I’m also stronger.  I certainly felt stronger, and I blew through those hang cleans like the bar was a toothpick.

Now, time to rest up before tomorrow morning’s Crossfit workout.  It’s gonna be a doozy.

Handling failure

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”
— Winston Churchill

How do you handle failure?

Be honest with yourself.  No one is listening.

How do you handle it?  Do you get mad at yourself?  Do you gloss over it and try to be positive?  Do you give up?  Or do you turn your failure into a success?

One of the things I have learned as part of being a parent is that feelings are OK.  Mine AND my child’s.  I don’t tell Luke or Mads not to cry.  I don’t tell them not to be angry.  Because that’s stupid. They’re upset.  They’re scared.  Feelings happen. What is important is to acknowledge their feelings.  Let them REALLY feel them.  Otherwise, how can they possible learn to handle them as adults?

It’s important not just to do that for children, but also ourselves.  It’s stupid to gloss over feelings of frustration when we fail just because some self-help book told us we have to stay positive.  Yes — positive attitudes count, but embracing our initial feelings is incredibly important so we CAN move on to being positive.

Where am I going with this ramble?  My perceived failure this morning on Part 2 of Crossfit Total.

Shoulder Press
Deadlift
1-1-1

Results:
Shoulder Press — 60-6565
Deadlift — 155-175-195

I’m not happy with how I did.  My shoulder press goal was 80#.  My max is 70#.  And I couldn’t even lift 65#.  (Here’s how I did last time.)

I’m less disturbed by the deadlift.  I had further to go with that after pregnancy.  But my max last year was 185#.  I wanted to return there, and even beat it.  It’s true that I deadlifted more this time than last time, but it still feels like failure.

Here’s what’s going to happen.  I’m going to think about my lifts this morning — probably for the rest of the day.  There may be some pouting involved.  There may even be some excuse-making (“I was tired.”  “It was a bad day.”  “I did a tough workout Wednesday.”).  I’m going to embrace my feelings of failure.

And then, I’m going to let them go.

I will set new goals.  I will add more lifting into my workout schedule with Andy.  I will not shy away from my failure.  I will remember how it made me feel and I will turn it into success.

Feelings are fleeting.  Drive pushes us forward.  Accept what you feel, but don’t let that distract you from your path.