“Annie” RX

I’ve had an unofficial goal since last May’s Garage Gym Throwdown: master the double under!

It bothered me to scale the double unders in the competition. I decided then and there that I would stop talking about double unders and actually do it!

I’ve been practicing over the past few months. My speed rope is showing its wear. the wire is showing through where it hits the pavement. I create sparks in the driveway (fire hazard!).

On Sunday, the speed rope and I disagreed over where I should land my legs, and I got a little ripped up.

View of Cindy's bloody leg with jump rope on floor
Battle scars! Merely a flesh wound!

All of the practice paid off Tuesday morning when I tackled the WOD RX for the first time ever.

Double unders
Sit ups

This was not my first run-in with “Annie.” I’ve taken her on here, here, and here, but never RX’d. I wasn’t sure I’d finish. But as the WOD wore on, I realized my double unders were getting easier, as long as I focused. On the last set of 10, Zach was watching, and I messed up several times. So I stopped, took a deep breath, and refocused. That got it done!

Time: 12:43 RX

I had an extra spring in my step all day. Yay!

Being outside

Photo shows view looking outside at roads and flag poles

I missed the “cold” front. It moved through Austin sometime Thursday, well after I had already been to the gym, driven to work, and holed up in my office for the next 9 hours.

Working in a hospital is kind of like shutting yourself off from the world. Unless you move yourself outside, you’re unlikely to notice any change in the weather — even with a window. I guess most office buildings are like that.

Where am I going with this? Lately, I’ve been feeling an itch to be outside. Not just walk to my car to go some place. I mean BE outside. Lay in the grass. Watch the sky. Smell the air.

I don’t think I’m much different from many other Austinites who spent a lot more time inside over the summer. This drought and the heat have been awful. I haven’t found much grass to lie in that isn’t brown and dead. Being outside can seem downright depressing.

But there are actually health benefits to being outside. Studies have found it can actually boost immunity. That might explain my urge to sit in the park. It’s been a long, hot summer, and a hot fall so far. I am very ready to spend time outside again.

At least my workouts aren’t far from the outdoors. A garage gym is open to the elements, so at least I can feel the sun on my back or feel a breeze while I’m getting my butt kicked. Crossfit Central and RedBlack Gym can be pretty industrial and intense with the music, people yelling, and barbells dropping. But there are times when it feels closer to nature — early in the morning, when it’s quiet. There’s something about it that heightens my sense of possibility for the coming workout. It’s like approaching a trail before a hike. What will it bring? How will I perform? I walk away sweaty and invigorated.

This morning’s workout:

Back squat 3×5 –> 95-105-115-125-no time

5 rounds
9 plyo-push ups
6 broad jumps
9 weighted sit ups (M 35# / W 25#)

Time: 6:48 @ 25#

I LOVED this workout. It’s very much Ross Emanit-style. It reminds me of the days when Andy and I would do workouts from Never Gymless — back before Crossfit. Maybe even before Luke. I love his philosophy about getting outside and using your own backyard as your gym. Nature offers some of the best training tools. But that’s a post for another day.

150 Sit ups

Thursday morning’s workout felt subdued. I’m not sure why, but I did not feel the same energy from the class that I normally feel.

Maybe we were all tired. Maybe we were all getting used to our new assistant coach, Aaron, who started this week. Or maybe there’s such a large group of beginners that the coaches were busy focusing on their needs, and we veterans were allowed to do our own thing.

Thursday is always strength and a shorter met-con.

Overhead Squats

Results: 55-65-(no time)

There wasn’t time for my last set because I used that time to warm up with the bar. Steph said I could squeeze in another set really fast, but I didn’t want to rush. The overhead squat is an exercise I really need to work on.

3 rounds
50 sit ups
10 overhead squats (M 95# / W 65#)

Initially I set up my bar with 65#, but then Zach said it was supposed to be light because it was a sprint, so I knocked it down to 55#.

My core is still not as strong as it needs to be, so I was glad for the sit ups. I worked really hard to move fast and not take breaks.

Time: 8:57 @ 55#

I’m paying for those sit ups, though. I have little back side padding anymore.


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

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….

WOD at sunset

The setting sun as seen from the Pfluger Pedestrian Bridge.This view stopped me in my tracks Friday evening.  The setting sun over Lady Bird Lake.  I was in the middle of my run with Steph, and I just had to stop and take a picture.

I don’t often run in the evening, and it was absolutely beautiful Friday night.  There was a cool breeze and the heat of the day was fading.

I had planned to work out Friday morning.  Early.  But SOMEONE had turned the volume on my radio alarm all the way down and I didn’t hear it, so I woke up late.

At 6:30.

Yeah, I know.  Some people consider that early.

I was grateful it wasn’t a Crossfit morning.

But the sunset and weather on  Friday evening more than made up for the wrinkle in my plans.  Steph and I were running the 3 mile loop as a warmup to a WOD I had dreamed up earlier in the day.  The run was fairly fast, considering our stop in the middle for a photo, so we could get to the WOD before it got too dark.

3 rounds
20 Situps
10 DB push press
20 Tuck jumps
10 DB snatch (5 each side)

My plan was to use 2 dumbbells on the push press, but to simplify things (and to make the walk with the dumbbells to the park near Deep Eddy a little faster) we did 5 on each arm.

It was quick and fast, and my abs were screaming during those situps after yesterday’s WOD with 120.  Those tuck jumps were also no joke.

Time: 6:29 @ 20#

If you get a chance to run at sunset — do it.

Crush your leg, crush the WOD

I always wear pants.

Well… I should say that it’s rare for me to wear a skirt or dress.  It’s not that I’m against the girly thing or anything.  In fact, I love dresses and skirts.  But I rarely wear them because of how my legs look.

I used to think they were fat.  I was embarrassed.  Over the past two years the size of my legs is no longer what bugs me.  It’s the bruises.  It’s the scrapes.  It’s the scars.  I bang up my legs on a weekly basis WITHOUT FAIL.  Sometimes I don’t even notice until days later.

Today I noticed.

We worked on an unfamiliar lift this morning — the snatch grip deadlift.  It felt awkward.  And on top of it.  It was hot.  Zach warned us we probably wouldn’t be able to lift as much as we usually deadlift because of the mechanics of the lift.

Snatch Grip Deadlift

Results: 95-115-125-135-145

I got the first rep of that 145# round, but I ran into trouble on the second.  My hands were sweaty, and I needed to chalk them, but we were in a hurry to finish, so I forged ahead.  I lifted up and had the bar almost all the way up when my right hand slipped and the bar fell.

It hit my knee, which I was trying to pull out of the way.  It left a scrape, and I hopped around trying to shake it off.  Zach had seen, and he questioned me about it, but I assured him I was fine.  I was more embarrassed than anything.  My knee stung — but I could still put weight on it.

I’m glad I kept going, because I think it helped.  Although it caused even more nasty bruises on my wrists and forearms.

For time:
400m run
30 KB cleans (M 2 pood / W 1.5 pood)
60 GHD situps
30 KB cleans
400m run

Time: 13:07 @ 1 pood

I probably would not have bruised up my arms so bad if my form were better on those cleans.  And I don’t even want to see what my lower back looks like, because instead of GHD situps we did ab mat situps — 120 of them.

I didn’t start to feel real pain until I got home and everything started to stiffen up.  I iced my knee, but I didn’t notice my arms until Andy spotted them at lunch and winced.

Well, now I’m starting to get annoyed with myself for complaining so much. All in all, I’m really happy with how this workout went, despite the marks it left on me.  What doesn’t kill me makes me stronger, right?

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.

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.

Push Press

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.

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.

Deep thoughts and an AMRAP

I feel kind of bad today.

At the risk of receiving the same reaction I got from Andy when I told him this story, here goes.

In my Crossfit class, you don’t show up late.  Late means burpees.  So when one of the new guys showed up late this morning, I sorta said, “Burpees!”  The assistant coach didn’t pay attention and Beth thought I was asking to do burpees.

After class I told Zach I was disappointed that the dude didn’t have to do burpees.

Andy says I was mean for finking on the guy.  I guess I have no defense.  It is kind of sucky.  Although, it’s not like the dude actually had to DO burpees.  He’ll only have to if he does it again.

I don’t want to be a fink, but…. well….  Oh well, what’s done is done.  I guess Marsha, a woman I used to work with at Williams-Sonoma, was right.  I am just a little bit evil.

Good workout this morning, though.  We started with strength.

Overhead Squats

Results: 45-55-55-65-65

Gees!  Those are tough!  It’s hard to keep form as the weight goes up.  I’m kind of wondering, too, whether I could have squatted 70# or 75#.

Since it was a balmy 20 degrees outside, Zach had mercy on us and modified the met-con part so that the doors did NOT have to be raised.  No burpee pullups!  Yay!

AMRAP 7 min
7 Sumo deadlift high pulls (M 95# / W 65#)
7 burpees
7 ab-mat sit ups

Results: 4 rounds RX

The SDLHPs were so hard.  They really slowed me down, but I knew I could do them RX.   As Zach always says, you have to challenge yourself if you want to get stronger.  I’m trying to remember that.

You know, sometimes what Zach says is kind of the exercise/physical version of what the @DalaiLama tweets.

It is not enough simply to wish that love and compassion should increase in us, we need to make a sustained effort to cultivate them.

Guess I should have remembered that before I finked on the guy.  I need to work on that.

Good enough for the Army?

Today deserves a celebration.  Mads turns 4 months old today!

Four months of a new person in the house.  Four months of baby giggles and hugs.  Four months of being “4” instead of “3.”

Four months of heading down the long road from a pregnant body toward a bad ass body.

Still trying to get there, but the signs are encouraging.

So I did the Week 3 challenge WOD on Saturday, and, while I’m not sure it’s enough to get me into the Army, I’m pretty happy with how I did.

Army PT Test
2 min max sit ups
2 min rest
2 min max push ups
2 min rest
2 mile run

Situps — 54
Pushups — 41
Run — 18:03

I consider this a major PR.  Honestly, I believe that when I did this one last year, I did not run the full 2 miles, because I didn’t measure it out.  I just guessed.  I think.  Anyway, this year the time was a bit slower, but it’s the best one so far since Mads was born, and I’m considering it a PR.  Plus I did one more sit up and one more pushup.

And guess what!  Almost all of those push ups were on my toes — 35 to be exact.  Yay!