Are you a roadrunner?

Did you know we have roadrunners in Central Texas?  Yep, we do.  I learned all about it at the Texas Memorial Museum.

We took Luke and Mads this weekend, and yet again we visited that oh-so-creepy 2nd floor with all of the stuffed creatures put into poses to make them seem sorta real.  Except they’re not.  And it makes you want to hike the greenbelt just to get a glimpse of some real creature.  But I digress.

When I think if roadrunners, I think of this:

Looney Tunes Roadrunner runs on white background

But really, they look like this:

A real roadrunner in the brush
Click on the image if you want to know more about this fascinating creature.

I’ve never seen a live one.  Andy has.  He told me this story about how he was at work one day, talking with some folks, and looked outside to see a roadrunner outside the window.  His building has giant windows — like a big downtown office building — and they reflect the light and seem mirrored from the outside.  The roadrunner had just killed a lizard, and I guess he (or she) could only see himself in the glass, and it stared running up and down along the window, shaking its head and showing off.

It must have been very proud of its catch.

I’m a little embarrassed to admit this… but sometimes I do that, too.  Don’t we all sometimes?  We look in the mirror and see ourselves, and when no one’s around, we flex our muscles or smile.   Admit it — you’ve talked to your reflection.

Here’s my embarrassing confession:  Sometimes I steal glances of myself as I’m walking into work in front of the reflective glass just to see how my leg muscles look as I walk in a skirt or my arms look in a blouse.  Lately, I’ve also been kind of obsessed with how my tummy looks. A couple of weeks ago a woman congratulated me on my pregnancy.

Not the birth of my child.  The impending birth of a child.  She thought I was pregnant.  And I was very embarrassed.  So now I’m always sneaking a peak to see if my stupid belly is poking out too far, and I’m trying to hold it in.

SIGH.

Despite assurances from Andy and Jenny that I do not look pregnant,  I’ve been hitting workouts extra hard lately.  Here’s what I’ve done over the holiday weekend.

Friday

Strength:
Shoulder Press 3×3

Results: 55-65-75-1 rep at 70#

Metcon:
5 rounds
20 OH Walking lunge w/ plate (M 45# / W 25#)
20 pushups

This was the WOD at my gym on Friday, and it was really similar to what I had programmed for myself (coincidence!), so I just did they’re WOD (I didn’t feel like doing burpees).

Time: 11:25 RX

Sunday

5K run (easy pace — about 32 minutes)

4 rounds
400m run
15 KB swings (16Kg)
15 KB cleans
15 pushups

Time: 17:34

Ouch!  The downside to KB cleans is that I suck at them and my wrists are really bruised.

Monday

“Annie”
50-40-30-20-10
Double Unders
Situps

There are SOME people I know that can do double unders all day without blinking.  (Yep — I’m lookin’ at you, Richard.)  Unfortunately, double unders are not a skill I have mastered.  So I tripled the number of singles for each round.

Time: 10:27

More situps, please.  I no longer want a pouchy tummy.  I want to feel good when I have my roadrunner moments.

My love-hate relationship with sleep

I can tell I haven’t had enough sleep.  I’m hungry!

Plus, I totally flaked on a workout last night and I didn’t feel all that strong at the gym this morning.

Strength:
Push Press
2-2-2-2-2-2

Results: 45-55-60-65-75-80

To be fair, I did get one rep at 80# — it was the second rep I scratched on.  Would I have been successful with more sleep?  Good question.

Met-con:
3 rounds
50 situps
50 lunges

Time: 10:45

I can do situps and lunges all day long, so to speak.  Andy thought I should have been able to knock this WOD out in under 8 minutes.  I know I should have done it in under 10.  On round 3, I could tell I had paced myself too much.  I should have thrown myself into it, leaving nothing to spare.

Damn, sleep.

I wish it weren’t so important to health, because it’s one of the last hurdles I’ve been facing.  It’s endlessly frustrating to be tired, but also to have so much that I want to fit in during a day that I simply can’t.  Yes, I can choose not to fill my schedule so much.  But I don’t WANT to.  I want to do everything I set my mind to!  Can’t I have it all?  The stubborn part of me says “YES.”

It’s with that stubbornness that I battle daily.

Damn sleep.

How do I still have energy?

It boggles my mind how I can still have energy to write this post after a full day of working out and household chores — not to mention running after the kids!

I had a hair appointment this morning, so I didn’t go running as usual.  But I had enough time to make it to the free “Under The Bridge” boot-camp workout my gym hosted down at Lady Bird Lake.  Some of my teammates were there — plus Zach — so it was a good chance to chat before and after the workout.

It was tough — but not as tough as the last one I went to.  There were lots of elements to it, but the main part was a partner WOD.

2 rounds w/ a partner
100 OVH squats (w/ PVC pipe)
100 push ups
100 sit ups
Med ball sprint

They initially told us 3 rounds, but Zach changed it in the middle.  Steph and I were in the middle of our 2 round of situps when he called time and told us to do our last med ball run.

It was pretty fun, and Steph and Beth and I lingered to chat before I ran off to the farmer’s market for veggies, meat and eggs.  Unfortunately — NO EGGS!  Ahhhh!  I was forced to go to Whole Foods.  We picked up 36 eggs .  “Enough to tide us over until Wednesday,” I remember telling Andy.

(Chuckle.)  We eat a lot of eggs.

A couple of hours after dinner, I decided to tackle my first workout of Week 4 of the challenge.  I know it’s a lot, but I’m counting on that rest day on Monday.  I value my rest days, and I’m not gonna miss them!

50 lunges
400m run
50 push ups
400m run
50 dips
400m run
50 squats
400m run

Time: 14:52 (Elite)

The push ups really got me.  I did a LOT of push ups this morning.  I just couldn’t do anymore on my toes today.  I had to go to my knees.

Now it’s late.  I should be working.  Instead I’m blogging.  And I have this hope that I’ll actually wake up early to work in the morning.

SLEEP.  It’s so valuable, and yet I still treat it like an inconvenience.  SIGH.  I wonder if my stubbornness will give one day.

Be gone muffin top!

My pajama bottoms are looser.

I noticed this evening.  I remember trying to wear these right after Mads was born.  They were uncomfortable, and I remember feeling annoyed that giving birth didn’t mean that I would instantly go back to the size I was before.

Stronger, faster, leaner.

It’s my mantra for 2011.  And I think it’s starting to happen.

On Thursday:

Power Snatch
3-3-3-3-3

Results: 45-50-50-55-55

The snatch is a scary move for me, and 55# was HEAVY.  I was starting to lose form, too, so I didn’t move it up much.

Then:

Every minute on the minute for 10 minutes:
7 KB swings (M 32k / W 24k)
7 ring pushups
14 jumping lunges

I was surprised that I finished 6 complete cycles out of the 10.  Yay!  I was using a 16K KB and had to do the ring push ups on my knees.

Today my quads are screaming at me, which made for an interesting run.  But that’s a story for tomorrow.

One week down

It’s the end of my first week of the I AM CROSSFIT challenge and so far so good.

OK — other than my obsession with food logging and checking in at my team’s Facebook group — I’m good.

We sent in our food and workout logs today, and I’m waiting for feedback.  I’ve already talked with my coach about NOT Zoning my diet.  We’re concerned it would restrict calories too much while I’m breastfeeding.  (Mark Sisson has a really good post about primal breastfeeding here.)  Instead, I’m focusing on a really clean Paleo diet and macro-nutrient ratios (upping protein and fat).

It’s been interesting comparing my workouts from last year to this year.  The first home WOD I did this year was slower.  But the second WOD and the endurance WOD were both faster.

On Wednesday:

100ft lunge
50 situps
100ft lunge
40 situps
100ft lunge
30 situps
100ft lunge
20 situps
100ft lunge
10 situps

Time: 10:12

That’s slightly faster than last year.  I’m pretty happy with that.  I felt great, despite fasting all day for an annual physical.  I wonder if the fasting helped.  Hmmmm….

Friday morning, I squeezed in this week’s endurance WOD.  I mapped out a route in the neighborhood and took off.

Run 2 miles for time

Time: 18:32

That’s about 1 1/2 minutes faster that last year.   I think it helped that a) I’m not pregnant and b) it wasn’t 20 degrees outside.

My pace averaged 9:15 min/mile.  It’s not as fast as I want to be — but I’m working on it.

That reminds me — I’m using an awesome iPod / iPhone app that — if you run — you should go download RIGHT NOW.  Runkeeper Pro is free through the end of January, and I really like it.  Besides — it’s free.  What have you got to lose?

Back to the daily grind….

We’re back to the usual morning hustle and bustle here at my house, but — oh my! — the Thanksgiving holiday was so nice!

Taking our time to cook breakfast, sitting down to leisurely meals, feasting on turkey, toasting with friends — so nice.

But all was not ideal in Brummerland — Andy came down with some kind of stomach bug, and I think Mads is teething, so Sunday was not the picture of productivity that I had envisioned.

I also had to come up with a quick indoor workout that Luke could participate in.  Here’s what I did:

With a continuously running clock, do 1 min at each station (no rests)
3 rounds
DB Push Press (#20)
Sit ups
DB Lunges
Chinnies
DB Squat cleans

Maybe it was the fact that I hadn’t warmed up, maybe I needed Andy to help push me along, or maybe I haven’t worked with dumbbells in months, but I felt pretty weak.  I moved very slowly during the first round, and my did not improve much.

On the other hand, sit ups were easier, so it looks like my core strength is increasing.  Yay!

Three days and counting

I picked up my Turkey Trot packet Monday down at RunTex on Riverside.  Wow, there were a lot of people!  But I have no complaints because the line was moving fast.

At this point, I’m a little worried about this run.  I have done exactly one long run, but lots of little runs (400m in WODs) leading up to the race.  I haven’t run 5 miles in… a year.

And I’m running with a stroller, with which I’ve had no practice.

And the person in the stroller is 34 pounds.

Hmmmm… this should be interesting.

Well, at least my running buddy is one of my favorite people in the world.  Luke is super excited about joining me — even if it is frigid and rainy Thanksgiving morning.  I even made sure one of the registrations got him a T-shirt, which he hasn’t taken off yet.

Andy wanted to do deadlifts Monday night, so I did that, and followed it up with a WOD one of my friends did recently.

Deadlifts
5×5

Results: 95-95-115-115-135

-then-

5 rounds
200m run
10 Push press (55#)
10 Weighted lunges (35# plate)
15 sit ups

Time: 20:05

Those deadlifts really wore me out, otherwise I think I could have bumped up that push press weight to #65.

Andy said he was impressed because my run time didn’t decrease as I moved through the rounds (he timed me — didn’t participate).  I hit the run at 90 seconds or less, which is still pretty slow.  My goal is to run a 400 in less than 2min.  But right now, I just want to survive Thursday, and this was my last run leading up to race day.

A taste of the butchers

Imagine, if you will, a group of mostly groggy people, standing just outside a couple of garage doors, staring into the dark at three contraptions, loaded with 2 45# bumper plates each.

“Did I miss the warmup?” one of them asks as a man shouts instructions for groups of two to pick a “contraption.”

“Nope.  I think this is it.”

Crossfit Central kids push the butcher
Courtsey: Crossfit Central

And so was my introduction to the butcher, which is kind of like a sled.  it’s fun to push around, and is quite the workout in an of itself.

We only worked for 2 minutes during the warmup, pushing these things through the parking lot, and my heart was going fast.  It was fun and intense.  I wish it hadn’t just been the warmup.

But we had other work to do — a lot as it turned out.

Weighted Pull ups
5-5-3-3-1-1

SO, since I can’t do an unassisted dead hang pull up, it would have been kind of stupid to do a weighted pull up.  That’s OK.  I chose a blue and purple band and worked on just getting a dead hang pull up.  I wasn’t able to pull my chin above the bar, but just working those muscles helped make them stronger.

3 rounds
12 deadlifts (M 225# / W 135#)
25 push ups

Time: 6:43 @ 95#

Again, I played it safe on the deadlifts.  Looking back, I think I could have done 115#.  95# was challenging, but I moved a tad fast through them, and I think I could have gone a little heavier.

To cap off the morning, Zach had us attempt:

4 rounds
50 situps
20 sprawls
50 lunges (in place)

I think he cut us off in 5 minutes, so I only finished 1 round.

I’m resting tomorrow.  My upper body muscles feel a little tender after this morning.  But I’m back at it Saturday morning with my first “long” run in nearly a year.  We’ll see how this goes.  🙂

Recommended reading

There’s kind of a weird thing that happens when you have a newborn in the house — you gain time and lose it all at the same time.

Weird, huh?

I’ve struggled to find time to work out when I’m not deathly exhausted.  Usually the time I have is either REALLY early in the morning or after the 4-year-old goes to bed.  But I also have to balance that time with household chores and work.

But I’ve also found time.  There’s not much I can do while I’m nursing other than use the computer or read.  And I’ve been reading — a lot.

Most recently, I finished Michael Pollen’s The Omnivore’s Dilemma.  Good book.  It’s similar in many ways to the documentary Food, Inc., in the issues it raises, but it’s far more in depth and very interesting.  I really like the way he weaves his story together, especially the section where he visits a farm in Virginia — the same farm featured in Food, Inc., but I feel like I understand the way the farm operates much better now.

I’m just beginning Robb Wolf’s Paleo Solution.  Honestly, he’s preaching to the choir with me, but it’s still interesting.  I just wish he didn’t constantly try to dumb down the concepts so much.  I mean, I know he’s trying to make the information accessible to all and drive his point across, but, honestly, if someone bought the book, he doesn’t need to spend so much time trying to convince the reader to read it.  Anyway….

I finally found time to do some strength work last night.  I was hoping to do a mini met-con afterward, but baby girl needed me and I had to end it.

5×5
Shoulder Press
Lunge

Results:
Press: 45-45-50-55-60
Lunge: 45-45-45-45-45

My press is much stronger than it used to be.  Doing 5 rounds of 5 reps at that weight is a major accomplishment.  Yay!  As for the weighted lunges, I took it easy.  Lunges are one of those activities that I scaled during pregnancy — I was unable to touch my knee to the ground.  So last night I focused on form and kept the weight manageable.

Now to decide whether to run the Turkey Trot’s 5 mile route or just walk the 1 mile route.  Hmmmm….

Unstoppable me

I have to make an effort to not pile the activities on during my days.  It’s something I’ve gotten much better at doing as my son has grown older, but it’s still a work in progress.  I just have a lot of interests, a lot of people I want to see and a lot of things I want to do.

It’s hard to choose, and it’s even harder to slow down unless I’m forced to.

Now that I’m able to be out and about, I WANT to be, baby or no.  I hate being reclusive, and I want to be there for my son, too!

Today, when I took him to his school’s fall festival (after a morning hair appointment, trip to the Farmer’s Market and violin lesson), a friend from the school commented that I’m unstoppable, since I’m out and about with kids in tow just 4 weeks after birth.

Unstoppable?  I never thought of myself like that.  I guess that’s true.  I’ve had people also call me driven and ambitious.  Personally, I’m just restless.  That’s all.  I can’t stand sitting still.

Well, I sat still long enough yesterday to eat some ice cream during a rare quiet moment at home.  Of course, afterward, I insisted on working out.  But Mads has been restless too lately, and has needed my attention, so it had to be short and inside.  So here’s what we cooked up.

4 rounds
15 DB thrusters (15#)
15 sit ups
15 lunges

Time: 12:12

Afterward, Andy and I traded off trying to lull the baby to sleep.

Andy soothes Madeline

MadelineSleep.  It’s so important.  Thankfully I’m getting 5-6 hours of interrupted sleep each night.  It won’t be forever, but I’m definitely not operating at peak performance.  Haha!

If you’re able to sleep, get some!  And be thankful that you can!