September 2014


As badly as my day started yesterday, it turned out to be pretty satisfactory overall. I managed to eventually eat some breakfast, I remembered to buy stamps on the way into work, I got the next batch of invitations in the mail and the following batch ordered. I managed to complete several other tasks and get stuff done all day. I then got my bangs cut on the way home from work (too short but they will grow out) and got my Harris Teeter “meal deal” purchased so I don’t run out of eggs.

I have been working on teaching myself more complicated but still easy knitting patterns and so far, I’m still not perfect but I have learned to unknit much better. I have way too many dish cloths but some of the later ones are actually looking pretty good.

I decided a couple weeks ago to go back to my Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday schedule. I am not all that fond of waking up early two working days in a row, but what the heck. This week, I won’t go on Friday because of my workouts on Saturday, but I did get up and get my fat ass to the gym today. Good thing. I was the only one there. Well, me and Coach Jason.

He is competing in some other event on Saturday. Every WOD starts and ends with a run and he has been dealing with plantar fasciitis for over a month. He has tried everything there is out there on the interwebs and still has issues, not during the WODs, but the next day he is crippled. I showed him some of the things I’ve learned about it.

Warm-up was less than what he had the 5 AM class do partly because it was weenie me and partly because the 5 AM class whined about it and said it was too much. I got mine done without whining.

Today’s WOD as written:
20 minutes working on handstands
then
3 rounds

500 meter row
rest two min
ME unbroken ring dips
rest two min

I can do a headstand. I can’t do a hand stand. I can wall walk closer to the wall after today, but I still can’t get myself back down with grace and élan. I did a few things and then we did shoulder mobility. I was doing okay until I did something with a roll under my back and hyperextended my neck and was struck by a wave of nausea. I don’t know if I’m getting sick or just had two bad days at the gym.

I didn’t do anything more than feel nauseous and belch a bit. But it did put a damper on my morning. I’m never fast at anything and I’m an exceptionally slow rower. I’m not was slow at that as at running, but it is close. So I knew this was going to take me a while to get through. I didn’t want Jason to be late to his real job. I’m not sure we spent an entire 20 minutes on the handstand and shoulder stuff, but I was ready to move on regardless.

The rowers were set to count down and give the time for each set, so I know these times are correct. I used a green band for help with the ring dips. While I was resting, I asked Jason some competition strategy things. I’m not real sure how to warm-ups for the WODs and he helped with that. We also talked about nutrition during the day and how to stay both fed and hydrated. That was quite helpful. I’m not really sure what I’m doing.

Kim was at the 5 AM class and she said that she and Ryan will be in Hilton Head on Saturday. There are three of going to the Masters Garage Games and they will be there to cheer us on. So I will have some support while there. I know I can’t ask Craig for any help while he is running the show because that would be preferential treatment and he won’t do that. He has never coached his own athletes while running an event. It would be against his moral code. I have no idea where he learned this stuff. I blame his father.

Anyway, with all the chatter and something to think about other than an upset stomach, I got through the three rounds. My scores were 2.31 / 10 for the first round, 2.36 / 11 for the second, and 2.39 / 12 for the last.

It has been raining so much here that all this rowing may come in handy. I may soon need to row into work instead of drive. And now, I’m on to the easy part of my day.

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I slept in until 7.30 for two days in a row. Getting up at 5.15 this morning was a struggle. But I need to stay in shape without overdoing in order to be ready for my participation in the Masters Garage Games this Saturday. My plan is to go on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday this week. Then show up on Saturday and do my best.

I’ve done the 12 Days of Christmas and Murph and both of those took more time to do than the three workouts combined. I will be okay. I will be slow and have low rep counts, but I will have participated which is more than I ever believed possible. So my main goal this week is to not hurt myself.

Coach Ryan has taken my dislike of running to heart or else he is just trying to switch things up a bit. We don’t run. He has other things that warm us up and today we did them. He found a couple more things and we did those, too. One of them was a crawl in a sort of Spiderman-ish way down the mat. It made me sick. I’m not sure what part made me sick, but I was sick.

We ended with dislocates and passthroughs and then did ten overhead squats with just the PVC pipes. Then we squatted one shoe length from the wall in an overhead squat position. Then I was so sick I could barely stand it.

Today’s WOD as written:
20 min work on OH squat
then
4 RFT 3 RFT

8 power cleans 135/95
16 wall balls 20/14
32 double unders

During our warm-up I had said I didn’t want to work on overhead squats with even just a bar. They hurt my shoulder and I can’t be hurt this week. After squatting so close to the wall, I couldn’t do anything. I tried to just sit for a while. Then I tried some easy stretches. Then I went outside to the bush and puked. Twice.

Greek yogurt doesn’t taste that good coming back up. Just in case you needed to know that. I sat around and tried to decide if I was going home or going to work out. I vacillated. After I threw up, I felt much better. I could do the WOD and it was quite similar to what I will be doing Saturday. It would be good practice. What to do?

The 5 AM class had run over into our time and Ryan lost track of the time which is his usual behavior. We only had ten minutes left of class when he remembered we needed to do a workout. So he said we would only do three rounds and get set up quickly. Did I want to participate?

Well, being a CrossFitter and all, I did the WOD. Being a crappy one, I scaled it. The weight for the clean was more than my one rep max, so that had to go. I used a 42# bar because it was the right size and close to competition weight. I used a 10# ball to an 8 foot mark because that is all I have to do. I did single unders.

I did the 8 cleans and then 5-6-5 on the wall balls and then the jumps. My heart rate was too high after wall ball sets and it took too much time to get it back down, but pushing through is worse. So I waited. Then the jumps. Then I did 4-4 on the cleans, 6-5-5 on the wall balls, and the jumps all together for the next two rounds. It took me 11.07 to do the three rounds.

It was barely misting when I was outside puking. By the end of class, it was pouring. So I ran to the car. By the time I was a half mile from the box, it was sprinkling. Another two miles down the road and it was pouring again. Nice weather out there. I got home and didn’t feel bad, but I didn’t feel good enough to try breakfast. I’m hoping that after a nice shower, I will feel like eating. I would hate to miss a meal.

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I had a wonderful trip to the grocery store yesterday. They had six carts full of discontinued items and I did at least half my shopping there. I found some great things in those baskets and I managed to NOT buy some not really great things even though I considered it simply because they were half price.

We went to a wine tasting last night and had lots of fun talking to many different people and enjoyed some great wine. I have no idea what it was, but I asked for what was sweet and it was so good it didn’t even taste like wine. That’s my favorite kind of wine. The snack foods were really good except for that one little bite thing with the superhot sauce on the top. It nearly made me weep. And I didn’t even take a real bite of it, just a small taste.

It was a slow day at the box this morning. There were only two people at the 5 AM class which is very odd and there were only two people at the 6 AM class, which is not odd. I have no idea where Todd and Cindy have disappeared to. Today was just me and Charlie.

Coach Sherry was in charge in of us. We had a nice long warm-up with lots of stretching and yoga moves involved. While we were on the rowers, I reminded Charlie that I wasn’t a good partner in a partner WOD because I have to rest often and it eats up the time. He assured me he would be okay with whatever I needed to do. I always feel like I’m holding the other person back. I’m getting stronger and able to do more stuff, but always with the caveat that I have to rest.

We were declared warm and got to work.

Today’s WOD as written:
20 min AMRAP Partner WOD

P 1: 12 sit-ups
P 2: 12 KB SDHP (73/53)

P 1: 12 jumping squats (45/33)
P 2: 6 burpees

P 1: 200 m run
P 2: rest
Each set must be completed by both partners before moving on to the next set
Switch and repeat

My first problem with this WOD was that I had no freaking idea what SDHP was. It is a sumo deadlift high pull. Of course. I know what that is. I just wasn’t coming up with anything for those letters. My next issue with this WOD was that I needed to work continuously except for the rest while my partner was running.

Then there was the whole thing about jumping squats with weight. My knees aren’t what they used to be. So I dropped the weight and just used 22# for that and Sherry said it didn’t have to be a full squat, more like a dip would be acceptable. I don’t know if that was for everyone or just for me. I could do that. I also used only a 25# KB. And I did a parking lot walk instead of the run. So I scaled this as much as I could and still call it a workout.

My heart rate was too high after the KB pulls and it was too high after the burpees so when I was P 2, I was in trouble. But that was also when I got to rest and get my heart rate back down in order to start the next round.

Charlie dropped the weight on the high pulls but did everything else as written. On the first round, I had to rest longer than he needed to rest between the high pulls and the burpees. But after that, he was just as grateful for my need to rest as he needed to catch his breath as well.

We got through 6 complete rounds and then we got through the moves and I was 50 meters into the run when time was called. So we were 6+92 which is not what we put on the board because we couldn’t add 12+12+12+6 and make it be the right number. They kept telling me it was 40 and I tried to add myself again and was told it was 40, but it is 42. But then maybe I only got 48 meters into the run. Anyway, I ran the last time as we were counting down the seconds.

On my second stroll through the parking lot I decided I needed to reframe this. I am not cheating. I am not a nitwit. I’m pacing. That sounds so much more athletic. And it is true. If I run, when I come back in I have to pant and rest and not get right to work. But when I walk quickly, I can get my heart rate back down and get right to work as soon as I get inside. This is called pacing or strategy and isn’t stupid or weenie or nonfunctional. It is using my brain to save my body. I liked the thought and was pleased with myself for thinking it. Then I was amazed that it took me two years to come up with this idea. Perhaps I am a dumb jock.

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I had a hectic day at work yesterday but started my weekend so it all works out perfectly. Then I forgot to sleep last night. I was awake from 1 AM until after 2.30 – the last time I looked at the clock. I hate nights like this. I’m not awake enough to actually do anything useful, but I’m not resting or sleeping so the next day is shot, too.

I finally fell asleep and then the alarm went off at 5.15 and it was time to get up. There is nothing that says I have to go to the gym. Ever. There is only the tiny voice inside my head that says I’m supposed to go on the days I’ve scheduled and that commitment means showing up even when it isn’t convenient.

It was only me and Leslie today. Yesterday there was only Charlie and Todd. So far, there has been exactly two people at the 6 AM class each day this week. We warmed up with a run and row and then did some other stuff and then since it was Coach Cory, we had a little mini-WOD to do. I had two rounds, Leslie had three. Ten mountain climbers, 5 kettlebell swings (it was supposed to be light so I used 20#) and 5 sit-ups. That’s the part that was difficult. I have a zipper in the BACK of these pants so I can put a locker key somewhere. I don’t have a locker key, but I did have a zipper digging into the small of my back. It was not comfortable. Both Leslie and I did only Russian kettlebell swings and were happy with that.

Then we were declared warm and went on to the work of the day.

Today’s WOD as written:
one rep max push press
then
3 RFT

7 power snatch (95/75)
9 toes to bar
50 m sprint

I asked where the Red options went. I was not here the week they did the pretest for this cycle. I was up in Ohio having fun with my family. But these were the workouts scheduled for that week and it was possible, if anyone wrote their stats down, to compare before and after times. I did not have a before time.

My previous one rep max on a push press was 58# and I used a 33# bar again today. I made it to 63# and felt like I might have a teeny bit more. I grabbed the one pound plates from the guy’s private stash and tried 65 and failed – twice. But the 63# is another PR.

Cory scaled the WOD for me to weight of choice and I chose 22# and then 5 power snatch and 5 knees to elbows and then a 50 m stroll. I got the first round done and my heart rate after the stroll was back down to 133 and I hadn’t beeped at all. On the second round, I had to break the knees to elbows into 2 and 3 and I was beeping but just barely when finished. I was back down to 145 by the end of my stroll. On the third round, I had to break the knees to elbows in 3 and 2 but more because my hands were giving out than anything else. I was at 164 but began my stroll and when my heart rate got down to 158, I ran it back in and finished in 5.32.

It was still early and so we did some mobilization and then the three of us talked about CrossFit and our aspirations. I’m still always the worst score on the board or at least in the bottom three. I’m still the oldest woman there and the second oldest person there. If the older guy is still coming in, that is.

I hate to exercise but I find this enthralling. I suppose I could go and see how long it took me before I could lift a real barbell in a deadlift. I have a picture of me successfully getting 42# off the floor and I’m beaming. I had made it. I had full plates on a bar and I got that sucker free of gravity under my own power. I remember it being a goal to have weights on my weight for a back squat before I turned 60 and I made it with days to spare. I did a 27# back squat, but I think it was only to a box and not really breaking parallel.

I’m the worst score on the board. I’m so much better than I was when I walked in the gym for the first time. My heart rate still goes too high. But it takes more work to make that happen now. It took me months to get 42# off the floor and today I was tossing 1.5 times that much over my head. I can deadlift 100# more than that. I can squat and break parallel. I can lunge down the mat without a cane to support me. I use a real med ball for wall balls and a real kettlebell for swings. When I slam a slam ball, it’s the real girl one. I couldn’t have lifted 25# over my head when I walked through the doors the first time. Today, I can.

I can. All those various things and more – I can. I didn’t quit when it was hard. Instead of resigning myself to a life of can’t – I’ve worked my ass off (literally dropping two pants sizes) and gained a life of can. It isn’t what people half my age can do. It isn’t the best score on the board. But it is a score and it’s on the white board. And it is always much higher than those things I wrote two years ago. It’s still hard. But not at the pace or weights as when I began. I continue to work and push and strive and fail. And because of that, I succeed. That’s just crazy. But it’s also true.

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Having opted completely out of using the Kindle for an alarm, I had the phone near to me. At 4.57 AM, it updated itself. I’m now secure. Tired. But secure.

It was supposed to be in the 50s this morning. That’s what Bing weather said last night. I suppose I should have looked at Weather weather instead of Bing weather, but … my Microsoft computer has this lovely app which doesn’t even work with the lovely screen because apparently I’m more interested in the weather predictions for next Tuesday than I am in what the weather this Tuesday will be like. Who designs these things?

Since I was awake early, I had time to check the weather and it was 68⁰ out there. I had Capri pants and sleeves on my shirt set out for my ensemble today. But that was because it was supposed to be in the 50s not close to 70. But fortunately, since I was up a bit early, I had time to select a different outfit for my morning at the box. Back to shorts and sleeveless shirt.

I got in the car and backed out of the garage and noticed intermittent raindrops on the windshield. The longer I drove, the more raindrops on the windshield. Rain is a great addition to any workout.

There were no roadblocks today and I made it to the gym safely. The parking lot was full. I walked into the gym and the place was empty. Coach Jason was there. Todd was there. I was there. No one else was there. I looked at them and asked where everyone was. Todd said he drove several cars in today.

Eventually, all the 5 AM people were back from their run and done with their day and out the door. Kim had been an athlete at 5 AM and the coach for us. She said it wasn’t too bad out there and sent us on a 200 meter run.

I got most of the way through the parking lot before I plopped my foot in a puddle and splashed myself. It is not easy to see the puddles in the dark and I missed seeing it rather than missed stepping in it. My shoes were soaked, my socks were wet. Great.

We did several other things to warm up and were declared warm. We did some mobilization things and were declared mobile.

Today’s WOD as written:
one rep max clean (power or full – which ever you used at beginning of cycle)
then
Tabata
squats
sit-ups
4 min rest
800 m run

Because my schedule has been with some times at open gym and because these were done in a more scattered fashion, I did not have a beginning cycle one rep max. I had a one rep max from earlier in the year. It was 67# and I hadn’t been doing anything with cleans during this cycle at all. I can’t remember working this as a skill ever in the last six to eight weeks.

I was pretty sure this was going to suck. I figured if I used a 33# bar, I could get to 68#. I remember the last time I did this and it was a struggle and the one rep max was from a high hang rack, not from the floor. I got to 63# and it wasn’t bad, so I kept going. I got the 68# and had room. I added 5# and got the 73# and had room so I went to 78#. I tried five more pounds – twice – and couldn’t get it floated to the top of the pull. But it is another new PR.

I hate Tabatas and always have. I don’t have any stamina. If I actually do 20 seconds on and 10 seconds off I get too wiped out and around round 6 or 7, I have to do nothing and get a score of 0 for the whole thing. Carma told me it doesn’t matter what is on the board, it is more important to actually do the work. That’s the theory, anyway. My head agrees with her.

I scam the Tabata. I have learned that if I just do 15 on and 15 off, I can get through all eight rounds and keep my score stable. I know I could do more reps, even if just on the last round, just to get them in. I never do. I pick my number and work to it. Today, I did 10 and 6 and never wavered. Todd said afterwards that he could have done a couple more squats on each round, but he didn’t on the first and then certainly didn’t on any of the following rounds because why bother? That’s my problem with Tabatas. There is the whole “Why bother?” thing on subsequent rounds. I would love to speak with Mr. Tabata and find out what he thinks about this.

We waited the four minutes and I was only going to “run” 400 meters. I have been known to do that but it isn’t at the end of a workout, even with a 4 minute rest. I couldn’t even run 200 meters before I stopped. I walked about 125 meters and then ran the last 100 meters back in and had a heart rate of 167. This is ridiculous. I ran a quarter mile in 3.30 – I can walk a 15 minute mile – and my heart rate was this high. I have no idea what to do with this. The cardiologist advised me to keep it mid 160s as a top number. I am old. This is depressing.

On a more positive note, my son got his Level 2 certification this past weekend. Congratulations, Craig.

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Old people resist change. Things were working and so why change them? Change is not the old person’s best thing. I have been using my phone’s alarm clock and it is less strident than old-fashioned alarm clocks. A little light comes on first which sort of pre-wakes me and then this melodious tune softly plays and I’m awake. But my charger won’t fit near the bed, so the phone is not charging all night.

I thought I would try an alarm on the Kindle and downloaded an app which thousands before me had liked. Thousands. Plural. I figured it had to be good. So I got it, set it for 5.15 AM and left the phone on, too, because I’m paranoid. The phone went off first and then the Kindle. The Kindle screen was still black. I had to swipe it and then that lovely ad thing came up and the song is still playing and then it had some new fangled option available at five fucking fifteen in the morning. Without glasses or contacts, I have no idea what the hell it was. All I wanted to do was make the music stop.

I hit something and all was well. I thought. But no. I had hit a snooze feature. I could not figure out how to turn off the snooze feature thing and I had no idea how I even turned it on. By 5.20 AM I was stymied but not defeated. The only way I knew how to make it all go away was to delete the entire app.

I’m really not good with change. Especially when I’m not yet awake and still completely blind. I don’t know if I will attempt to get the app back or not. I don’t want to deal with the Kindle ad thing as the first thing to do upon awakening. So I will probably just stick with the phone.

After all that excitement, I got on the road to the box and even more excitement awaited me. We have lots of deer here at Wescott. And this morning, I got to see one. A doe looked like she might be deciding on whether to cross the road or not and then she saw me and sprinted away back into the woods. Graceful, beautiful, elegant. Made up for the damn alarm clock.

Then I hit yellow lights turning when I was within a car length or two – not once or twice, but three times. I just kept squeaking through on totally legal yellow lights. And then I turned onto Trolley Road and there were barrels everywhere. They had the left lane blocked to do some road work. I was hoping they would have little places to turn at side streets, but they didn’t. Luckily, it was early and not much traffic so I turned left across four lanes from the right hand lane and made it safely to the box. All the barrels were gone by the time I came home.

Then I saw the WOD and thought it wasn’t really worth getting out of bed. This is why it is a good thing I don’t know what’s coming. It is so difficult to get up on Mondays anyway and for this?

Coach Ryan had us (just me and Charlie today) warm up with a run. Charlie was to do 800 and I did 400 but walked part of it. It was supposed to be slow and easy and it is never easy for me. Then we did some skipping up and down the mat with various extras added. This is something girls are better at than boys. Cheri’s kinderkids are split on their ability to skip. Girls can. Boys can’t. I was great at this, except my heart rate went too high.

We were declared warm so we went on to the workout.

Today’s WOD as written:
find a new one rep max for front squat
then
1000 m row

See what I mean? That was it. The longest time for the row in the 5 AM class was barely over 4 minutes. I would not be in that time range. I already knew that.

But front squat first. My prior one rep max was 83# so I figured if I used a 45# bar, I could get the two extra pounds and be good. I got the 85# without much trouble and so added another 5 and got to 90# with a bit of difficulty. I didn’t try the 95# because I didn’t want to hurt myself and I was not very powerful driving back up with the 90# bar. I was happy with a 7# or nearly 10% improvement.

Then we rowed. I had a PR on my phone for that. 5.06. Today’s miserable row was finished in 5.17.4 but I did get it done. Ryan said I started out too fast and used up too much at the beginning. Totally possible and probably accurate assessment. I hate these types of things. They are all stamina, endurance, drive kinds of things and I have none of those attributes. Better luck tomorrow.

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I got a call yesterday, shortly before noon. The cardiologist called to say my heart is essentially fine. The mitral valve leaks as it does for many people. Whatever I’m doing, I should keep doing it because my heart is not so bad. At least all the coaches can rest easy now. No one ever did answer my real question but I think I know the answer to that one as well. I have a top heart rate to monitor. What I want to know is why this is so difficult and why my rate goes so high so fast. I’m going to assume it has something to do with my age. Rats. There is nothing I can do about that except keep getting older.

Since my schedule is all off this week, I thought I would go to the box again today and get it over for the week. I used to go on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays but I hate partner WODs and those are on Fridays. I always feel like I’m holding someone back. Charlie said he would have appreciated having me there and I wouldn’t have held him back. He is new to CrossFit and that may (and that’s just a MAY) be true.

But my option for this week was to go or not go because I hadn’t already been there two days in a row. So I decided to go and have the weekend off. So I set my alarm and got up and to the box in the still dark.

Charlie wasn’t there today. Cindy and Todd were there and so was I. Not a good number for a partner WOD. And the WOD. What in the hell was I thinking? If I had seen this before I got there, I would have stuck with my Saturday schedule. But I didn’t and there I was and so I was going to have to do this.

Warm-up was another row. My abs are still sore from all the sit-ups, but not nearly as bad as yesterday. I could get out of bed without wincing, but sneezing was not a good idea. The row hurt, but not as bad as yesterday. Then we did a bunch of other stuff and were declared warm.

Today’s WOD as written:
push press
4 x 3 @ 50%
then
partner WOD
– one partner working at a time
Death by Burpees
Blue and White
3 rope climbs
50 burpee broad jumps
50 over the parallette burpees
50 over the box burpees (24/20)
Red
9 rope progressions
25 of each type of burpee

Todd’s shoulder wouldn’t work right with burpees. I said he could walk them in and out and it would work without jolting his shoulder but he didn’t like that so he did something totally different. That left Cindy and me to be partners. I’m good with weenie and always do Red. She does White. I was willing to count each of my burpees as two and then do the 50 reps but Coach Jason just picked different numbers.

Our WOD was 12 rope progressions and 35 of each type of burpee. We could split them up any way we wanted. I had to find my gloves in my bag because I’m not doing anything with the rope without gloves on ever. I’m just too weenie for that at all. If boxes eat shins, then ropes devour hands. There is far more DNA on the ropes than on the edges of the boxes.

We split the progressions in half and then started on the burpees. I did three and then Cindy did five and we did that over and over and over and over. Once, I lost my mind and did four because I forgot to stop. It made my heart rate go too high and wasn’t worth the effort.

I also didn’t jump over a parallette but used a dumbbell and jumped over that. We both used the same 20” box. We finished in 13.16 and I’m absolutely positive I’m glad I showed up. But I still hate burpees no matter what is added to them.

Calculating the numbers here at home and using math and stuff, I figured I did 3 of every 8 burpees so 3/8 of 105 means I did 40 burpees and Cindy did the rest. If Charlie had shown up and we had done the red together, I would have been responsible for half of 75 or 38 burpees so I did okay with my WOD today. But really, all those burpees?

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