February 2014


I had every intention of working with my new weights yesterday except life got in the way and I didn’t make myself go out there and do stuff. Maybe if I write it down, I will make myself go. This is why it is imperative that I keep a CrossFit membership.

The eye doctor was very nice and he should be able to appreciably increase my visual acuity which is great. I can still wear contacts to the gym as long as I can keep up the process and not have my corneas get scratched. This was a concern for me. But it is going to work the way I planned. That’s great.

As I figured, we are doing the Open Games workouts because we don’t have any sense of discretion and it is all just power through stuff. However, CrossFit Hilton Head is actually having an intramural challenge at their box. They have 85 people signed up and they are in four teams. There are RX, intermediate, and beginner levels for the participants. After the WOD is posted, Craig scales it and posts the leveled WOD. Then on Saturday, those who wish to participate will do their own level of the workout. I wish I lived there.

But 14.1 is all we had on the board today. So it was 10 minutes of stuff and we had an hour to fill. We began with a 200 meter easy jog which is the only kind I can manage. Then we did some stretches and then we played Hoover ball. This is like volleyball but played with a 10# med ball. And you catch the ball. One pass allowed, but not mandatory. President Hoover played this at the White House.

We didn’t keep score, but our team didn’t have to do nearly as many burpees (if missed close to the “net”) or squats (if missed farther back from the “net”). After having fun playing this, we did some other stretches and warm-up moves and then got ready for the WOD.

Today’s WOD as written:
14.1!!!!!!
Which is
AMRAP in 10 minutes of:
30 double unders
15 snatches 75/55

There is a Master level and for the women the weight was 45# and posted in exactly one place, the CrossFit Games page. But I knew to look there.

The games page says that there is no opportunity to do single unders and since I am not an elite athlete, I can do exactly one double under at a time (unless) and if I had to get 30 of them, that would probably take the entire ten minutes. And when I did try (and I think I may have strung two together, but I was so shocked by it, that maybe I didn’t) it hurt my knee. The running hurt my knee with each footfall but the single unders didn’t. I stuck with those.

Our box likes to make everything worse and so our ratio is 4:1. I used to argue with them. Quite frankly, everything I do is scaled so as long as I work to my vision, I don’t worry about it anymore. I always write scaled after my time anyway, so I no longer argue and just do what I want. Either this is brilliant or cheating and I’m not sure which.

But I am old and tired. So I used a 22# bar and did 60 single unders instead of the 30 double unders. I got through the first set of jumps and snatches before I stopped. My heart rate was 171. I had to stop after the next jump set and break the snatches into 8 and 7. Then rest and do it all again. I had 7 snatches left when Jason started counting down time from 90 seconds left. I got them done. My heart rate was high but the room wasn’t black. I didn’t feel like I might pass out so I picked up the rope. I began jumping. I missed. I started again. Slow and easy. I was at 50 when there was only 7 seconds on the clock. I sped up the rate and finished with 2 seconds left. Three rounds plus the jumps for a score of 165. My heart rate was 180 but there were no symptoms to go along with that. So, I win!

Tomorrow, I will do CrossFit Hilton Head’s beginner 14.1 WOD.

AMRAP in 10 minutes of:
30 single unders
15 Russian KB swings 35/18

I don’t know what crazy kind of kettlebells they have there, but I don’t have an 18# one and neither does CrossFit Summerville. We have 15# weights and I have a 15# KB of my own. I could go to the box and use 20#  KB but there is nothing I have available to me here at the 18# weight. So I will use my own KB which is 15# and see where I get. I guess I can say that is my Master equivalency.

Since I have written it here, I might now be forced to actually show up. I hope so.

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I have no idea why I have been so tired these last few days, but I have. I know that my diet has not been as clean as usual and that may be part of it. I’ve had too much pasta and too much cheese and too much not really good for me food like cookies and a cream puff and God alone knows what else. But I’ve been really tired. The place to start is probably with cleaning up that food stuff.

I got home from work yesterday and there at the corner in front of our house was a wreck. No one was injured and the only person I saw standing near the white car was the blind woman who walks with her guide dog. I did not see the dog. I finally saw the driver of the car and she had been a passenger. I felt a bit better.

Ricardo tried to bring me over more weights and I kept telling him I was fine with what I had. If he wanted to get rid of weights, he should have told me before I bought my own, not after. I think I might have convinced him. Maybe. Probably not.

Today’s warm-up started with a stretch on the wall and then we were going to play a game. It was sorta a Zumba thing. This did not please the USMC alumni in our class. Coach Jason put on the Minion’s Happy Song or whatever that is and we had to jog in place and clap our hands and every time they sang “happy” we did a burpee and then during some chorusy type interlude, we did push press with a PVC pipe for every “happy” which were strung together like machine gun blasts. It was sorta fun and better than running.

We did other stuff and were declared warm. The lunges are still hard on my right knee but nothing else was an issue.

Today’s WOD as written:
3×5 back squat
21-15-9
overhead squat(65/45)rx
burpees

There were six of us and so we didn’t have to share racks for the back squats. I started with a bar and then added 20 and then 20 more for a total of 73#. I focused on keeping my knee stable during the squats and still felt my legs wobble, especially on number four or five. But I did manage my reps with that weight and my knee doesn’t feel bad.

Even during the Despicable Me song, I was doing squat thrusts instead of real burpees, but I could manage them without walking them in or out and it wasn’t hurting my knee. So my plan would be to keep with that for the WOD.

This was supposed to be a sprint and so the weight was purposely low. I asked for an opinion on what I should use and Coach said we should all go with a weight that let us do at least 15 unbroken overhead squats. I chose the 22# bar and did manage 14 unbroken but on the fifteenth one, I couldn’t hold the bar overhead and get back up. So I guess I was just at the edge of where I needed to be. There is no lower weight so this was my choice. I made it work.

The goal was to finish in under six minutes. But that wasn’t the Masters’ goal. As long as we were done under ten minutes, we sprinted. I had to keep waiting for my heart rate to get back down but I managed to get finished in 9.31. The hardest part was the 15 overhead squats.

Coach explained the concept of the three levels of effort with the 1 RM, sprint, and marathon flows of energy. I asked about being old and having my heart rate too high and he said since that keeps happening I’m more like a series of 1 RM times because I get to my 100% effort when I start beeping. The goal for me is to get my heart rate back down quicker and that has happened over time. So maybe it isn’t my imagination and I really am getting better at this crap.

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We had a lovely weekend. I now have a little bit of a home gym so I can play around a little here. I got myself some mobility stuff, a 15# kettlebell and a small free weight set (30# bar with two 25#, 10#, and 5# plates). I know what to do on my days away from the box but I don’t have to wait for 9 AM and open gym time to do it.

Dick is golfing this week with a bunch of his old high school friends who came down here for the event. We went to dinner last night with a bunch of people I know. Mary Jo and I lived on the same street as kids and went to school together from kindergarten through high school. It was fun catching up on what a bunch of people I used to know were doing now. Well, except for the story about the guy who went to prison. That was just shocking.

We were out late last night and didn’t get home until after 10.30 and for some reason my phone wouldn’t connect with CrossFit Summerville’s webpage in the car. So I couldn’t check out the WOD on the way home which is probably just as well as I might have screamed.

This is Henry’s – Bringer of Pain – last parting gift to us. This is his favorite WOD, according to the terribly misspelled thing he put at the top of the WOD page. He is moving away and will be serving next on a submarine. I truly do wish him well in his endeavor, but I can’t say I’m going to miss is programming copying and pasting.

Ryan is out of town for two weeks so Jason was coaching. Kim was there as a participant today. We began with a 200 meter run and each footfall on the right caused a ping under my patella at about either 1 or 7 o’clock depending on which way the clock would be facing. It isn’t my ACL since the tear is on the other side. I am tired of this knee acting up. The other knee doesn’t and when I mention that to my bad knee, it doesn’t even try to understand.

We did other stuff and I couldn’t broad jump down the mat which was a hint for Jason. Then we had to hurry to get set up for this WOD.

Today’s WOD as written:
In teams of 2 both work at the same time can not work on same movement at the same time(rx)
work thru by your self(RX+)
50 Min time cap
Glen
For time:
135 pound Clean and jerk, 30 reps
Run 1 mile
15 foot Rope climb, 10 ascents
Run 1 mile
100 Burpees

Former U.S. Navy SEAL Glen Doherty, 42, of Winchester, Massachusetts, assigned to a State Department security detail in Benghazi, Libya, died in an attack on a U.S. consulate on September 11, 2012. He is survived by his parents, Ben and Barbara, sister Katie, and brother Greg.

I did mention that I could deadlift 135# and Jason said that although there is no scaling for women on a hero WOD, they could do 95# as in some other girl WOD. He gave the substitute for rope climbs (3 pull-ups and 3 knees to elbows for each) and we were busy getting into partners.

There were lots of us at 6 AM class today. Nadine and Daniel were back and they were going to be a team. Todd and Cindy were a team. Hannah was there and teamed up with I don’t even remember who. Jeremy and some person I never met were a team. Kim and Lindsey were a team. And then Ricky said he was working alone and Daniel couldn’t let someone outdo him so he proclaimed that he and Nadine would go it alone. She shot a look at him that should have laid him low, but didn’t. With all this matching up crap, I was left alone.

I guess Nadine and I could have worked together, but she didn’t say anything and I really don’t need to be with SuperJock or anything so I didn’t offer her my services. I did ask Jason what I should do.

He chalked out a WOD for me.
15 clean and jerks and I used a 32# bar
20 pull-ups
50 sit-ups
2000 meter row

All done in whatever order I wanted. I broke the rows into 1000 meters each and did them between the moves. I counted on the second 1000 meters and it just so happens to take me 142 pulls to get 1000 meters when my heart rate starts out at about 170 and I need some time to just plod through.

I finished in 22.04 and then after I caught my breath I did my negative pull-ups. Ricky was working diligently as was Daniel. Nadine was not in the box at the time. (She was out on her mile run.) We were cheering Ricky on and he finished with all of us coaxing in under 36 minutes. He was getting slow until we started all the hoopla and he got done in 35.45. Lindsey was over cheering on Daniel who finished at the same time.

Everyone was done and finally Nadine ran in the door. It was 6.58 and she still had 100 burpees to go. I have to get to work and so, I had to leave. Well, since I’m doing this, I suppose I could have stayed. But I might have mentioned that she would have been better off partnering with the old fart who is slow as molasses and really can’t do much except keep on doing as much as possible. Nadine could have done her half while I did my half and as a team, we would have done much better for her and no different for me. Pity.

I’m not really hero WOD material, but I am a CrossFitter. I don’t quit.

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I had a wonderful day off yesterday and got some things accomplished. How great is that? But for some odd reason, even though it was my day to sleep in, I was awake before 5 AM. I was so tired by the end of the day that I went to bed before ten and figured I would be rudely awakened this morning. Instead, I was awake a few minutes before the alarm went off. I like that better.

I got dressed and stumbled to the kitchen to get my pre-workout banana and looked at the temperature. It was 67⁰ out there already. Well, I had on too many clothes for that. So I went back and changed my clothes into shorts and low socks plus a sleeveless shirt.

Even with this costume change, I made it to the box on time. We had a couple guests today who are here from Sumter and I hope they had fun with us. We began with stretches and I found something I can do that Ricky can’t. So there. I’m more flexible than the runner! It is the time of year when the temps are changing and it is cloudy and threatening rain today. That meant the mats were really slick and the med balls were covered in a cute little sheen of moisture which makes the whole wallball experience just that much more fun.

For our warmup we ran 400 meters, did lots of other stuff, and were supposed to run another 200 meters and by then I was all run out. I just did a parking lot sprint. Then back inside and we did more warming up (which included slick wallballs) until we were all toasty warm.

Today’s WOD as written:
400m sprint time trial
12 min amrap
teams of 2 (1 person works at a time)
3,6,9,12…
wall balls(20/14)
dips
300m row between each round

I said I can’t sprint 400 meters and Coach Jason wanted a burpee for the can’t thing. I said no, he said squat, I did a squat. But in all seriousness, I can’t sprint 400 meters. He wanted a time of under 2 minutes because all the 5 AM class did that. I looked him in the eye and asked how many of them were over 60 and he said, “You do 200 meters.”

So, I ran 200 meters. I began beeping at the 100 meter mark and had a heart rate of 175 when I got back in 1.29. I couldn’t have done twice as much.

There were three girls and four boys there today. As we can see, if we do the math, that is an odd number. No one wants to play with me unless they have to. Carma was not present today. She has some ‘splainin’ to do.

Jason said I could keep the reps at three for each move for each round and just row 150 meters in between. The goal was to keep moving as much as I could. So, that’s what I did. I used 10# for the wallballs and a green band on the dips. One of the places I lost time was in the moving from place to place to do the reps. When they were teams, one person would be working and the other setting up at the next station. I had to keep going from wall to rings to rower. And losing even more time o set up in the rower each time. But it was okay because I wasn’t in any big race or anything.

I managed to get my heart rate back down while rowing each time which meant I wasn’t really rowing fast, but I never had to actually stop moving for the entire 12 minutes. I got in seven of my rounds and an extra 3 wallballs.

I’m supposed to do my negative pull-ups on Friday and I didn’t remember it until I got home. So I will be going back at 9 AM and getting those done. I don’t really have to dress funny for it so I will go in street clothes and then stop and get a few more errands done. It is a plan. Always have a plan – and a backup plan – and some plan in reserve. Life is perverse.

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I am not Samantha Briggs (Women winner of the 2013 CrossFit Games). Hell, I’m not even Sharon Lapkoff (Masters Women [60+] winner of the 2013 CrossFit Games). In fact, I have RX’d exactly ONE CrossFit WOD since I started and that was because it was row for a bazillion meters and I didn’t quit rowing.

I am not now, nor have I ever been, an elite athlete.

I am so conflicted about my status as an athlete. I do shit most people don’t. Not just in my age bracket, but across the board – most people. When we take into consideration my age and gender, I’m way out in front on the athlete status thing.

Therein likes my problem. I recently got a PR. I have a boo-boo and squatting isn’t all that easy for me, but I got a full clean PR. I rang the bell. I was thrilled with this achievement. The rest of the 6 AM class was thrilled along with me. It was way cool.

I wouldn’t write it on the PR board.

My number was pitifully low. It was laughable. Hell, newborn infants can probably manage the weight. How embarrassing that after more than a year and damn half I’m still only able to move a weight that is less than my age. How could I advertise that on the PR board? It is humiliating.

Except that it isn’t. And no one is telling me that. The entire conversation took place inside my head. Coach Kim even said to make sure I put it on the board.

But I couldn’t. It was such a small number.

It was bigger than the first deadlift I managed. It was bigger than the first picture of me lifting that teeny tiny deadlift.

I went from not being able to do squat – literally – to managing to have weights on my weight as I did a full clean, squat included. Why am I ashamed of this?

On Wednesday, Chris managed a deadlift of 505#. I managed one a little lower. But it was more than my bodyweight. I lifted up more than I weigh! And I’m old enough to be Chris’s mother although I might not quite make old enough to be his grandmother. Why am I comparing myself to a young man who has spent his entire youth and young adulthood lifting weights?

I don’t even have an answer for all this nonsense. I talk myself out of my wins.

New people come in. They are younger than me and in no time at all zip past me as they continue to accomplish many things. Or they quit.

I have not quit. I have accomplished many things. I’m embarrassed by my slow progress. Very slow progress. Snails whiz past me, toss a few plates on a larger bar and knock out a 21-15-9 rep scheme. Me? I pant a lot. My heart rate goes too high. I’m unable to ever do anything as written.

I do so much more than I could a couple years ago. I am my competition and I’m kicking my ass. I have come so far, so slow. And … I vacillate between proud and chagrined.

I don’t want to go the CrossFit Games. That’s a job in itself and those who arrive have worked far harder and longer than me. It isn’t my goal. Most of the time, I don’t even expect to ever RX any WOD we have. They are simply beyond me. But sometimes I pretend I’m strong and capable and fit and an athlete. I hate to have to face the reality of being weak and an old coot.

All this CrossFit stuff is harder than it looks. Not because the lifts are hard or the WODs are ridiculous. It is harder than it looks because I have talked myself into the penalty box far more times than I have committed an infraction.

Maybe someday, I’ll get brave – and strong.

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I made a command decision at the end of last week to just do Monday, Wednesday, and Friday this week. It is giving my knee extra time and space to get back to where it belongs and I have hoped to get back to as close to 100% as an old coot can be.

I received a call on Monday reminding me of a dentist appointment on Wednesday. I had completely forgotten about this appointment made six months earlier but I don’t really think that has any bearing on my age. Now I had to decide if I should change my plan for my schedule and I got stubborn. I could, in fact, make it to the dentist after CrossFit. It would be rushed, but I could manage.

This worked out really nice on Tuesday when I didn’t have to get up at an ungodly hour and could sleep in for what amounted to something like an extra thirty minutes or so. But waking up without an alarm clock is simply refreshing.

I looked at the WOD for today and questioned my sanity. I questioned why I hadn’t gone on Tuesday. It would have made it easier with the whole dentist thing besides. I could really just skip a day and make the dentist easy and that WOD looked treacherous and why do I keep signing up for this crap?

I set the alarm and got up in the middle of the damn night. The 5 AM people were still working when we got there. They were still working when we left on our 400 meter warm-up run. They were still working, at least the last stragglers were, when we got back. I really had to leave right at 7 to get home, fed, get lunch packed, shower, and dress to get to the dentist. I didn’t have that kind of time to be late today.

We did some stuff to get warm and then started to work.

Today’s WOD as written:
20 min establishing 1 RM deadlift
then
For Time
50 Double-Unders
40 Burpees
50 Double-Unders
30 Over The Box Box Jumps 24/20in
50 Double-Unders
20 Wall Ball 20/15#
50 Double-Unders
10 Handstand Push-Ups
50 Double-Unders

We started with warm-ups with an empty bar on the deadlifts. I worked my way up from 33# to 83, 93, 103, 113, 123, 128, 133, and actually made the 138# which is my previous PR, but one I couldn’t get the last time we worked at this. It’s more than my body weight which is nice. I tried 143# and it did not come off the ground. I guess a bit of extraneous black hole peeked in because it sure didn’t want to defy gravity.

I wasn’t doing burpees and I didn’t want to jump over anything and add that landing askance thing to my knee. Last time we had double unders I couldn’t even manage the single unders because of my knee. The last time we had box jumps, I had to do step ups, but my knee is getting better.

I did 100 single unders for all the double unders. I did push-ups instead of burpees, box jumps to something low (14 or 16″ – I don’t know what I had there), 10# wallballs, and progression HSPU. I managed all the jumps without my knee getting cranky. I finished in 16.37 which I thought was amazing. I was sure I would run out of time before I ran out of moves.

I got home and got fed, clean, and ready to leave. I didn’t even have time to drink a cup of coffee! That is sacrilege. But I was only one minute late for the dentist. I got out of there in a timely fashion and got to work a bit early. First thing I did was make some coffee.

I was so busy living my life I didn’t have time to report on it. But I’m home, my weekend has started, and here is my tale of my morning. Somehow I got everything done and I didn’t hurt myself. That’s always a bonus.

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Yesterday we went to Hilton Head and saw the completed Conviction Training Facility and got to play a little there. They began their own health and wellness challenge yesterday and thirty people have made a commitment toward healthier living for the next six weeks.

After everyone was finished with their pre-challenge measurements, Craig and I worked on my pull-ups. I didn’t mean for that to happen, but when I asked him what I could do to get my pull-ups conquered before the end of the year, he wanted to know where I was currently and we did several different things. He gave me homework. I’m pitiful, is pretty much what we decided, but I’m also determined and willing to work toward a goal.

I’m working on various portions of banded pull-ups that will translated into real pull-ups and I’m working on negative pull-ups to get the muscle mass built. Both are challenging but I’m smarter today than I was yesterday and I know where and how to work. I will get this.

I looked at the WOD last night which wasn’t easy since the cable blipped again, but I finally could see it and I just giggled.

Got up in the middle of the cold night and headed to the box. Cindy and Todd were both back but Ricky was MIA. Carma was back, too. Two other women were there so Todd was completely outnumbered.

Warm-up was a 800 meter run and I did 400 meters and my knee mostly held out. I wanted to quit halfway through and pushed myself for the next 100 meters and then figured there was only 100 more and I could run it in – it wasn’t my legs giving out; it was my head. So I ran the whole way. I am not a runner. We did other stuff and I still can’t lunge with my right knee all the way to the mat and holding a squat is painful. We did stretches and then went to the WOD.

Today’s WOD as written:
5,4,3,2,1 Front squats
Quarter gone bad
5 RFT
15 sec of work 45 sec of rest with
135/95# thrusters
50/35# pull ups
burpees

I haven’t done front squats in a while and my weight on squats has been low. My knee seems to be nearly healed and as soon as it squawks, I’ve been quitting. But I opted to at least start, which was more than I did a couple weeks ago. I began with 43# and did five reps, went to 53# for the 4 reps, 63# for the 3 reps, 68# for the 2 reps and that was hurting a smidgeon so I stayed with that for one more rep. No sense reinjuring myself.

Last night I was trying to figure out how a timed on/off work load would be Rounds For Time, but I gave up trying to make any sense of it and figured it was written wrong and they were rounds for total reps, which is what happened.

I used just the 33# for the thrusters, the 2″ band for the pull-ups. But I did them Craig style. I did not cross my feet and that took some thinking. I pushed off from the top of the bar. No kipping allowed and no chin pointing up. It was arms that got me up there and good luck with all that nonsense. Then burpees. I firmly believe the two weeks of constant burpees is what did my knee it. In large numbers I have to walk them in and out and that torques my knee. We had something like 300 burpees in the WODs over a two week period and my right leg died. I was frightened by these today. But I did real burpees instead of walking them at all and it was only 15 seconds at a time. I gave myself permission to quit any of this as soon as my knee hurt.

Thrusters – 33# Pull-ups – 2″ band Burpees

Total per round

5

8

4

17

5

7

4

16

5

8

4

17

5

8

4

17

5

7

5

17

I was pretty dang consistent with this. I was beeping like crazy at the end of each 15 second push and would barely get back to 150-155 range before it was time to start up again.

I got done without dying and got my heart rate back down to about 130 before I started on my homework. I did 3 sets of 2 negative pull-ups and I can hold for just a fraction of a second at the top and drop like not-quite-a-stone-but-pretty-fast which isn’t anywhere at all like the 3 seconds I’m shooting for. I’m to do this twice a week until I can get a controlled slow drop and then go to 3 sets of 3.

After everyone was gone, Ryan and I talked about my diet. I’m not getting enough protein. I really know that. I’m good with salads and with fruits and veggies. But my protein intake isn’t high enough to give my body the building blocks it needs to increase muscle mass and if I want to crank my fat ass up to a pull-up, I’m going to need some muscles. I’m going to have to work on my diet some more. Damn. I also have been not eating quite as clean and I have gained 2.5 pounds since the end of the WLC, which isn’t too bad because I’m not yet back to my top permissible weight. But it is easier to lose 2.5 pounds than it is to lose 5 pounds. However, if I’m trying to gain muscle mass, that is going to screw up my weight numbers. I have no idea how to manage this. I could do some research and figure it out. Great, more work.

This living healthy is really hard. There are so many parts to it. But I want to rage against the dark and not go quietly into that good night. So, I have work to do. And, my knee still doesn’t hurt.

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