Bittersweet WOD

Today was Jeff’s last day as our assistant coach.  And I’m kind of sad about that.

I think Jeff has been our assistant coach the longest of any of them since I joined Zach’s class.  Zach had him say goodbye by doing a muscle up for every month he was our coach — 9.

On Tuesday we’ll have a new assistant. Someone new to learn my name. SIGH.

It was a bittersweet workout. I hated saying goodbye to Jeff, but I felt like I did really well on the met-con part of the WOD.

Deadlift 8×2

Results: 115-135-145-155-160 (only 1 rep) -155-160 (only 1 rep) (Only time to do 7 sets)

Heavy Goblet Squats (M 2 pood / W 1.5 Pood)

Time: 6:52 @ 1.5 pood KB and 2 purple bands

I felt strong, despite not getting enough sleep thanks to a low battery in our household alarm. (Grrr!) I very nearly chose the 20kg kettlebell, but it felt a little too light, so I picked up the 24kg.

“Oh yeah…”

It was not easy — exactly what I needed.

Let’s pretend those were pullups


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.

Weighted Pullups

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!

I did it! A double under PR!

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.

I digress.

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.

2 rounds
400m run
35 Russian swings @ 50#
75 squats

Time: 12:03

I’m going to pay for that one tomorrow.  We’re doing a squat clean AMRAP. Ouch.

“You should be motivated to train…”


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.

Word of advice: Manage your calluses

I got beat up a little this morning.

The workout beat the hell out of me. I went home torn, bleeding, and covered in welts.  Of course, it’s really all my own fault.

  • I never wear socks, so when we do deadlifts I always drag the bar up and down my bare shins.
  • I haven’t mastered the kettlebell clean, so when the weight comes up it slaps the back of my wrist.
  • I didn’t manage my calluses, so when it came time for kettlebell cleans and pullups, my hands were just asking to be ripped.

Cindy displays her hands for the cameraThat lovely look on my face is me being mad at myself for not taking care of my hands.  I didn’t finish the workout in part because it was so painful to complete the pullups.

Sumo Deadlift

Results: 95-135-145-155-165

On a positive note — I was much stronger with these today than I was the last time, when I scratched at 160.

3 rounds
15 KB Clean – Right arm (M 2 pood / W 1.5 pood)
15 KB Clean – Left arm
35 pullups

Completed 2 rounds in 12 minutes @ 1 pood (2 purple bands)

I neglected my hands for too long.  I’ll be laying on the Aquafor for a while.  But you don’t have to.  Here are some good resources to make sure you don’t rip ’em.

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”
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

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

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.

The Return of ‘Nicole’

I wonder when it happened.  When did I stop fretting over upcoming Crossfit WODs and actually start looking forward to them?

It must have happened gradually.  I remember worrying about the WODs.  I remember dreading running during the warmup.  I remember being one of the last in from that warmup run.

Now I’m one of the first.  And WODs don’t worry me anymore.  They’re not pleasant.  But they don’t worry me.  Even those running ones, like “Nicole.”  We revisited Nicole to see how far we’ve come in the past 6 weeks.

AMRAP 20 minutes
400m run
Max pullups

Results: 5 rounds + nearly all of a run (65 pullups with 3 stretched out purple bands)

I didn’t sleep well the night before, so I was running on fumes.  I had hoped to be in better condition.  Considering how poorly I felt, I did OK.  It wasn’t an improvement, but I did feel stronger on the pull ups.  I must have worked hard, because I got blisters on my hands from the bar.

Now if I could just get rid of those bands and pull up without help… well… that’ll be something.

Shaky arms and a cool shower

About 7am this morning, as I rushed into work (looking like a pack mule with my three bags, keys and travel mug in my hands), I felt my arms shake.

Seriously, they were shaking, and I could not control them.  My muscles were involuntarily twitching, and it felt very weird.  I rushed to my desk and pulled out my breakfast hoping a little sustenance would help.

It did.

What did I do to create such upper body havoc?

Power Clean

We were on a tight schedule, and despite moving fairly quickly, we only had time to complete 4 sets.  My results were: 65-75-80-85.  I felt my form begin to break down at 85, so I’m not sure how I would have done at 90 or 95.

We followed up our strength session with a met-con that I knew would be a long one.

DB Power Snatch R (M 50# / W 35#)
DB Power Snatch L
Pull ups

I did OK on round 1.  I was moving quickly, and I started to wonder whether I chose a weight that was too light.  But on round 2 I realized that was bull$**t, because I was really starting to wear down.  I was soaked, and my hands were so slippery, I kept having to chalk up.  The pull ups became much harder than they should have been, considering I was using three purple bands.

There was a 15 minute cutoff, so I did not finish.  I made it into the 3rd round with both sides of snatches and 2 pullups.

Class ran late so my friends helped me out by putting my stuff away while I ran out the door.  I miss hanging around for the cool-down stretch.  I was still flushed when I got home, and for the first time I took a cool shower.  It felt amazing!

You should try it!

“Fran” revisited

Carey and Crystal WOD December 5, 2008 from SICFIT on Vimeo.

I love that video.  Two of the most inspiring women I know are in it, and when I saw this video for the first time, way back when I started Crossfitting, I simultaneously thought — “I want to be like them” and “I’ll never be like them.”

Fortunately, I now know that I can be whatever the hell I want to be, and I CAN be strong and fast if I want to.

It just takes some work.

The WOD for Tuesday was “Fran.”  Again.  We did this WOD back on March 8.  Tuesday was our test.  Had we improved?  Had I improved?  In March, I set a goal for myself — use the RX weight of 65# and a purple band or no band.

I didn’t chicken out.

Thrusters (M 95# / W 65#)
Pull ups

I DID NOT FINISH. (I hate not finishing.)  But I CHALLENGED MYSELF.  And not because Zach fussed at the class about how we should be challenging ourselves (which he did).

There were times when I would drop the bar and scream “FUCK!” And pant.  And drip.  And then I would gasp and grab the bar again.

“5 more.”

“2 more.”

The pull ups were just as challenging.  I used two purple.  It was muggy.  I was sweaty.  My hands would slip.  I hoped I could keep pulling.

Results: 2 rounds @ 65#

My shoulders and arms felt swollen afterward.  Huge.  Could I be developing some upper body strength?  Finally?  The girl who used to think that putting heavy dishes in the upper cabinets was hard?

Next time… gonna finish “Fran.”

Free time

I have spent most of the past 24 hours wondering what to do with my time.  Free time.  Something I rarely have, and because of that, I have forgotten what to do with it.

Luke and Andy are camping.  That means Mads and I had two nights and an entire day to ourselves.

I racked my brain over what to do with my young’un.  Ultimately we decided to stay home so she could explore and practice moving around (she’s trying to learn how to crawl).

It was a very slow day.

I did have an hour while she was napping to squeeze a workout in.

5 rounds
5 KB Deadlift (1 pood)
5 Russian KB swings
5 KB Press

Clean 3×3

Results: 65-85-85

I decided to do the strength workout we never got to on Thursday.  I ended up dropping the bar on the second set, so I didn’t count it, and I decided to repeat the weight on set 3.  That time my form and control was much better.

4 rounds
30 Situps
20 Pull ups
10 DB Hang power cleans

Time: 14:31 @ 25#

I wasted at least 30 seconds trying to fix my band on the pull up bar during the first round.  It stretched out and then I was too far from the bar.  Oh well.

My arms were toast following this.  Thank goodness it’s a running day tomorrow.  (Wow — did I just write that?)

In the meantime, baby girl is asleep.  I’m wide awake.  So I guess I’ll have to think of something to do on my own.  I’m soooo not good at this.  What the hell did I do when I was single?  Oh yeah — TV.  ALL THE TTIME.

Things really have changed.