December 2012

Happy last day of 2012. I’m unsure of the thought process involved, but I opted to get up at 5.15 to go to the box and I am supposed to stay up past midnight in order to see in the new year AND I’m now 60 years old. This was not the best idea, the smartest idea, the greatest idea I’ve ever had. But it is what I chose.

Craig got me a new CrossFit shirt I was going to wear to the box today. This box is an old Habitat for Humanity warehouse space. There is no temperature control involved. They do have a couple large fans available.

It was 28 degrees out there this morning. I’m unsure how this happened and my camellias probably didn’t like it. But my new shirt is short sleeved and I thought better of it. I put on a long sleeve shirt and figured I could, if needed, push the sleeves up.

I got to the box and was the only person there. Again. It is rather intimidating to be the only person there. I know people actually pay for a personal trainer, but they are (I am assuming) better protoplasm to start with.

Warm-up was a 400 meter row, Ryan complex, 10 pushups, 10 sit-ups, dislocates and passthroughs. I was warm, but I still had my jacket on.

The WOD as written:
Skill: 20 Minutes To Determine Max Toes-touching-wall Squats In 1 Minute
10 Minute AMRAP
3 Burpee Box Jumps
6 Pull Ups
9 T2B

I get dizzy with up and down movement. I can’t spin in circles either, but no one at CrossFit ever asks me to do that. But they do want me to move up and down. This exercise with the squats really forces one to not lean forward. I need to not lean forward. I wasn’t getting down far enough because my knee hurt so I did the stretch that Craig sent me with an immovable object, which is MUCH better. It helped. It didn’t hurt and I could break parallel.

Watching the wall a couple inches in front of my face was nauseating. Closing my eyes meant I was going to slam my face into the concrete wall. I kept getting dizzier and dizzier. I moved away from the wall. I turned toward the long axis of the gym. I was dizzy and nauseous. I was finally warm enough to take off my jacket. I did not roll up the sleeves of my shirt. I can actually do more squats but I couldn’t manage anything today because I was going to barf.

We moved on to the WOD

My cold is much better, I’m breathing better, I’m not entirely recovered, and I hate burpees. I decided to scale this WOD by doing burpees without a box jump, ring rows, and then I do knees to waist. I kept the numbers the same.

I got through the first round without stopping. I got the second set of burpees and a couple ring rows in and then beeped a bit. I finished that round and then I couldn’t stand the thought of the up and down and hopping around of more burpees. I tried to find some inner strength and gathered some shred of integrity around my swirling brain. I did the burpees, paused, rested, and forced myself to the next step. I looked at the floor and shuddered but finished the third set. I had less than two minutes left. I pulled out the reserves, found some awesome, and managed the burpees. I had about a minute left. I shuffled over to the rings and managed six. I grabbed the bar and ignoring everything but my counting skills, did nine. I had about ten seconds left. I was beeping again, only the second time for the WOD.

I laid down on the nice cool floor and panted. And then I realized I was gonna puke. I was at the back of the gym and there was nowhere better to be. At least I wasn’t on a mat, but on concrete. What a mess to clean up. But I felt much better.

So, I got my four rounds in and I’m home for the day. I might need a nap before our party tonight. I did get my last WOD of the year in.

Happy new year.



This cold has been kicking my behind. I’ve done my best to ignore it, but it keeps intruding into my days which is annoying but more importantly into my nights which keeps me from sleeping. Night before last I may have gotten 3.5 to 4 hours of interrupted sleep, but it might not have been really that much. I’m counting dozing in my chair in there and I wasn’t really watching the time.

Last night I took cold medicine which I don’t usually do. It worked. I was in bed before 9 and fell asleep quickly what with being exhausted and all. I woke briefly a few times during the night, but could fall right back to sleep. The pills worked and I woke by myself at 5.05 and thought I might try the gym.

So I got up and ate some peanut butter and got dressed and made it to the gym. I was the only person there again and I made up my own warm-up since nothing was on the board. I did a 400 meter row and Ryan complex down the mat. I did 10 sit-ups and 10 pushups and that is when I knew I was going to be in trouble.

I know that my new kind of pushups are harder, that’s the point. But I can still do ten of them without falling apart. Except today, I couldn’t. I had to rest in there and try to breathe. I did some dislocates and passthroughs and then we were going to discuss how to scale this WOD for me.

The WOD as written:

1) Every 30 seconds for 5 minutes (11 total reps):
1 Power Snatch @ 80% (of max Snatch any style)
2) Every 30 seconds for 5 minutes (11 total reps):
1 Power Clean @ 80% (of max Clean any style)

10 minute AMRAP:
10 Power Cleans (95/65)
10 Pull Ups
3 Ring Dips
10 Wall Balls (20/14)
3 Burpees

It has been a while since I did a power snatch and I tried it with a PVC pipe only and even with that almost fell over. I tried it again.

The whole thing may have been possible, but it wasn’t a smart thing to do. My head hurt. I couldn’t breathe. My knee hurt, but that was the least of my problems.

Sometimes discretion is the better part of valor. I told Christine that I just couldn’t manage it today. I was too sick to actually do a WOD. I came home, defeated by a microscopic virus. Something that isn’t even a complete cell unto itself.

Maybe tomorrow will be better. I hate to miss a day.

I didn’t get to the box on Friday because I have a cold. I could not sleep on Thursday night and was up until 1 am and then up in the night and when the alarm clock went off, I didn’t have the power to get out of bed, let alone make a trip to the box. My leg boo-boo is mostly better but I can still tell I have an ouchie. I hope the medical jargon isn’t too intense there.

My cold has gotten different. I’m coughing a lot, but don’t feel too bad. I coughed all weekend and my voice sounds like it. Last night I was talking to my sister and mentioned I was going to the gym today and she said I really shouldn’t because I sounded horrible. I pointed out that I didn’t feel as bad as I sounded. I was planning on going and the worst that could happen was that I would have to come back home.

So at 5:15 and with the help of the alarm, I was up and getting ready to hit the box. I knew we were doing the 12 Days of Christmas today, but when I looked it up online, there were a variety of ways to make that happen. None of them looked particularly easy. I knew it would be a rough day.

There was a 5 o’clock class today and the WOD was long and everlasting and all that good stuff so they were still working when I showed up. I did a warm-up of a 500 meter row, couch sits, 10 pushups, 10 sit-ups and dislocates and passthroughs.

I waited for the big kids to get done and let me have the clock. Both Kim and Ryan were there and as I looked at the board and tried to figure out what I could do, Kim actually scaled the WOD for me and made me own little set of activities.

The big kids did it just like the 12 Days with day two doing two and then one, day three doing three, two, and one, etc. Kim thought I could just do the list once.

I don’t like to be that weenie, but I could see it was going to be really tough for this Little Old Lady. I thought I might make it as 12 Days up to day five and then run through the rest.

The WOD as written for me:

1 tire flip
2 hanging power cleans
3 squats
4 shoulder presses
5 pushups
6 push presses
7 dumbbell thrusters
8 wall balls
9 sit-ups
10 lunges
11 dead lifts
12 KB sumo deadlift high pull

There were three different sizes of tires and I used the smallest. I had never done a tire flip before. I used a 22# bar for my bar work, I did my progressive pushups (with an abmat under my chest but not on my knees anymore). I used two 10# weights for the dumbbells thrusters, I had a 10# wall ball but didn’t hit the line on the wall. And my KB was the 10# one.

I managed to do the real 12 Days routine up through day 9. After day 9, I went to day 12 and finished off the WOD. So I did 10 tire flips, 18 hanging power cleans, 24 squats, 28 shoulder presses, 30 pushups, 30 push presses, 28 too heavy dumbbell thrusters, 24 wall balls, 18 sit-ups, 10 lunges, 11 deadlifts, and 12 KB sumo deadlift high pulls all in 38 minutes and 13 seconds.

I was exhausted and it was 7 o’clock. I did more than I thought I could. I am so glad I went. I hope I didn’t spread any germs around to others. I tried not to breathe on anybody. And my big sister was wrong, I didn’t cough at all while working, I was too busy working it at max and being awesome.


I’ve spent the last two evenings with a heating pad on my leg and doing intermittent massage to the sore muscle. It has been getting better. I still can’t break parallel with a squat, but almost. I tried a lunge this morning here at home and felt a pull, but not a sharp pain.

I decided I would go to the box and see how it went. I had looked at the WOD and realized this may be a foolish gesture, but if I don’t try, I surely fail. I prefer success. Even marginal or qualified success is better than doing nothing. So, off to the box.

It was 44 degrees this morning so I didn’t have to worry about overheating. That’s always a plus. The first part of the warm-up was a run, but I did a 800 meter row with my jacket still on. I did have to worry about freezing, at least for a few minutes there.

Next was Ryan complex down the mat and I could do a full lunge with my right knee to the floor, but it was a bit iffy with my left knee. I made the length of the mat and didn’t feel like I was injured again. Next was 10 cherry pickers, 10 pushups (and I did the boy kind with an abmat under my chest and still did the hand release like a good CrossFitter), 10 squats (not breaking parallel but much better than Tuesday), and 10 sit-ups. Then finish with dislocates and passthroughs.

I’ve done lunges with 5# over my head, but not today. It just seemed like that was the part that was hurting my leg the most and perhaps adding stress to it was a bad idea.

The WOD as written:
4 rounds of the following for highest round and total reps:
In 3 minutes perform the following:
Buy in:
30 second handstand hold
20 overhead plate hold walking lunges (45/25)
arms must remained strictly locked out overhead
penalty for losing form is a plate holding burpee
AMRAP knees to elbows with the remaining time
knees must contact elbows for Rx reps to count
Rest 3 minutes
Post highest round and total reps.

I’m not supposed to use the word “can’t” but there is so much I can’t do. A handstand would be one of those things. I was on my toes on a 20″ box and holding myself on my hands looking rather like a ^ but more lopsided, since my feet were much higher than my hands. On the second round, I encouraged Christine to count faster, but that wasn’t possible. On the third round, I wished I weighed less. By the fourth round, I just hoped I didn’t fall off the box.

As I said, no weights with the lunges. I was also going to scale this to half the reps, but once I started, I ridiculously thought I could do 15 rather than just 10 and once you choose, you’re stuck with it according to the voice inside my head that sounds exactly like Craig. So I did 15 each time.

My knees do not go to my elbows, but they do come waist high. My hands are on fire right now, but my reps were 16-21-20-15 for a total of 72, which I added wrong on my totals and put incorrectly on the board, cheating myself out of that last rep. By the end of the WOD, I was dripping and panting, but quite pleased with myself.

For someone who thought she wasn’t going to be able to do anything but show up at the box, I accomplished quite a bit. So, it was a good day and I’m really happy I went. I’m not sure about tomorrow. If my leg starts acting up after the adrenaline wears off, I will give myself the day off. If I don’t feel too bad, I may be back tomorrow.

Listening to what my body is trying to tell me might be a wise thing. I usually don’t, but there could always be a first time.


Some days you eat the bear and some days the bear eats you. I was lunch today. Well, considering the time, I was breakfast. Perhaps, I was toast.

My left leg has been bothering me since last week some time but I keep trying to ignore it. It gives out under me and is basically uncooperative several times a day. I think it has gone on strike although I don’t see any picket signs.

Today’s warm up was designed to make us bond with our medicine balls. I’m unsure why we wanted to do this, but now we are one. Overhead lunges with a medicine ball, then 50 bench steps. This was just tapping the bench with your foot 50 times. Candace tried it like running and when she fell over, I asked if there was some way for the less graceful. If Candace couldn’t manage this without falling, I sure as hell couldn’t. I just alternated feet and tapped the bench. Rather like a step-up without actually stepping up. Then overhead lunge back up the mat. Then 10 medicine ball cleans, 10 air squats, then run (I walked) around the box twice holding my now infatuated medicine ball, and 10 gobble squats which we really had no idea what it was.

My leg balked at everything. I couldn’t get all the way to the floor on lunges, my squats were horrible, it was just not a pretty day.

The WOD as written:

Back Squat: 3X10 – absolutely heaviest possible each set, rest as needed.
Complete 2 cycles of…
4 round Tabata of:
KBS 24/16kg
*Rest 1 minute.
4 round Tabata of:
*Rest 1 minute.
Notes: A Tabata interval is 20 seconds of work followed by 10 seconds of rest. Complete 4 Tabata rounds of KBS, then 4 Tabata rounds of Burpees. Repeat this cycle twice.

I tried a back squat with 42# and did the first set of 10 going down to a 20″ box. My leg was on fire. I got a lacrosse ball and tried to work it out. Christine gave some rolling pin type thing to work on it. It felt better to try to help the poor thing. I tried one more squat and a fire shot up my thigh. I opted to not do any more of those and instead took an Aleve.

I used a 10# KB for that part and gingerly did some Frankenstein type burpee movement without ever popping any leg stuff and supporting most of my weight on my right leg.

Christine counted the rounds wrong so we only did 3 KB rounds the first time. I did 9-9-9 then we did 4 burpee rounds and I did 3-3-3-0. My heart rate was beeping throughout the entire 20 seconds I was supposed to be doing that last set and part of the minute rest as well. Second round we did 5 KB rounds and I did 10-10-10-10-10 and then for the burpees 3-3-0-3.

I’m not really sure why I did any more burpees after the first 0 since none of them counted. I despise tabatas. They seem to me to be stupidly constructed. As soon as you get a low number, stop trying. The theory is that you will learn to pace yourself and work to some attainable number. The practice is that you don’t need to try any harder once you get a low number.

My score, therefore is 9-0 which sucks. I’m glad my body doesn’t know what my brain does and thinks it worked much harder than is reflected in that score.


It was really, really hard to get out of the house this morning. Not because I was out of the habit, but because I forgot to sleep for a while last night. I finally fell back to sleep and then the dang alarm clock was making all that racket. Very difficult to roll out of bed.

My left leg has been hurting. We did a lot of squats last week and there were knots in my leg and it hurt. It takes a few steps for me to get full ROM in the dang thing. But … that is not a reason to not go to the box. That might be an excuse, but I don’t need an excuse. If I’m not going, I need a valid reason and this was not it.

Today there was a 5 am class so I was looking for some horrid burpees in the warm-up. But no. There was not a stinking burpee to be found. 400 meter run and lunge down the mat. That was it. I rowed, as always, and got about halfway down the mat when my leg was hurting too much. I got a lacrosse ball and rubbed out the sore knot places.

I finished the lunges down the mat with less pain.

The WOD as written:

15 minutes to establish a 1rm Snatch.
“Elisabeth” (Games version)
21-15-9 of:
Power Cleans 135/95#
Ring Dips
For time.

I started my RM with just a PVC pipe to get the movement down. I then got a 22# bar and worked by progressions up to 32# but my leg was more of a problem then my arms. I got it stretched out a little better but it wasn’t all that good.

For the WOD itself, I stuck with the 32# for the power cleans and did the scaled ring dip thing between two 20″ boxes again. This time, I put my jacket folded under my knees since I now have some bruising there, I assume from the last time I did the move.

My goal was to scale the reps as well and do 15-9-6 for the rounds. I did that and finished just a few seconds after Candace, the only other person doing the WOD with me. I hate when I lower my reps too much and finish without putting in the same time/effort as those around me. I’ve only done that once and felt like I cheated. Today, my heart rate was high often but I really stopped with each beep and didn’t go sky high. My time was 7:39 and I was dripping wet and panting like a lizard on a hot rock while beeping steadily.

I got home and finally actually looked at my leg instead of just flinching and thinking I did something to the inside. I have a nice bruise right where the large lump is. Duh.


My day wasn’t quite as awesome as yesterday, but I’m still very pleased with my performance. I managed to do most of what I thought I could do when I looked at the WOD. And the part I couldn’t do was because of my own lack of understanding of the move itself.

My plan was to do stuff with a 42# bar again today. I did it yesterday. I tried it today. I wasn’t going to be able to manage the reps with that weight. I scaled back to 32# for my bar. However, when I really studied the weights for the Rx version, they were less today than they were yesterday, too. So it was my own misperception that caused that little blip.

There was a 5 am class today so somebody else wrote the warm-up. I can tell because there were burpees in the warm-up again. Christine does Ryan complex every time and there were none of those. But there were burpees. This was one of my “I can’t” places today. I’m not supposed to “I can’t” so I reworded it to “I am done now” instead of “I can’t do any more of these” and that seemed to be okay.

The warm-up was 150 meter row and then 10 burpees with a lateral jump, supposedly over the rowing machine, but that made us do burpees on concrete instead of a mat. We did a lateral jump over the little PVC built things. Well, I jumped a few times but mostly walked over it. Then another 150 meter row and another 10 burpee lateral over set. I did six burpees the second time and had enough. Next was a Frankenstein walk and I was quite ungraceful with this and nearly fell over every time and then a Spiderman crawl and finish with passthroughs. I was exhausted.

The WOD as written:

4 rounds for total working time of:
5 Shuttle Runs
15 C2B Pull-ups
3 Shuttle Runs
15 Push Press (115/75)
1 Shuttle Run
Rest 1:1
1 shuttle run = mat length
start shuttle runs by the roll up door which means put the bars by the door and finish the round by the pull up bars.
1a) 3XME UB T2B – rest 45 sec.
1b) 3X10 Reverse Hypers – heavy, rest 45 sec.

I can’t, or perhaps don’t do chest to bar. I mean really! I’m not sure what else to say except I can’t do those yet. I just gave up the ring rows and tried doing a pull-up with the green band. This is a skill that is beyond my capacity to perform.

My error was in thinking that the push press was the same weight as the power cleans from yesterday. They aren’t; they are twenty pounds less. I did a little less than half the Rx weight yesterday and little less than half today. So I did GREAT!

My goal was to do the walk/run part trying to keep my heart rate reasonable (I jogged the first five and walked the others) and do 6 band assisted pull-ups and 10 push presses.

At one point I dropped the bar from overhead and Christine said something about dropping the bar from so high. I explained that I was trying to follow her rule of no calling 9-1-1 before 7.30 AM. I didn’t release the bar, I actually dropped the bar and didn’t make any attempt to grab it since I didn’t want to get knocked in the head. She agreed that was a good plan and I made sure I had enough power to manage the last push before attempting it. I came home uninjured.

My times were 3:29, 4:15, 4:30, and 4:09. I never did the 1:1 rest because it takes me too long to actually do the round and we would have been there until Christmas and I have things to do. I rested until my heart rate was back down and I had enough oomph to manage the first five laps as jogging. My working time was 16:23 and I had about 5 minutes of resting in between times because my over all time was 21:09. I had pretty much the same overall time as everyone else, it just takes me longer to do the work. That is a consistent thing.

That next part wasn’t technically part of the WOD and wasn’t for time. I managed to do knees to waist since I can’t (and that means I’m physically incapable) get my toes to the bar. I usually manage between 5 and 7 of those. Today, to start, I stood on a box and had a better grip on the bar. That reverse hyper thing was also beyond me and there are only two machines to use and the other two people were better able to utilize them so I did 10 Supermans. I managed to get 9 and then 10 knees to waist and my hands were burning. On the third round, I got to 7 which was still amazing because I swear my hands are still on fire.

It may not have been as many firsts or extreme increases and I said “I can’t” repeatedly today. That’s because there are truly things I cannot yet do. What I can do is keep coming to the box, working hard, and get stronger. And that I do.

My times

My times

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