We don’t know what the workout is going to be until we show up at the gym. We know what movements are going to be in the WOD, but we don’t know exactly how that’s going to work. On Mondays, we know nothing. But for the rest of the week, the moves are posted on Monday morning.

We also don’t know what day of the week is going to turn into a partner workout. It used to be every Thursday, but then some people were cranky or something and so now we take our chances. Partners are usually arrived at by drawing names from the Red Bag. When there won’t be enough bars for everyone if we don’t all share, that can change.

Thursday’s movement was “run”. That was it. Thursday was also stormy. It wasn’t pouring for 8 AM and I had no idea how this was going to work, but I go to the gym on Thursday and so there I was. I was there alone at first and then just me and Laura. I had a chance to talk. First, I had read the board and noticed that we didn’t have to run in the rain. She had switched Thursday and Friday and we just had a regular workout on the board.

But Friday was going to be running. I don’t. I walk. I walk faster than I can run over the long haul, but I really can run a teeny tiny bit. I just can’t do anything after I run. But I knew the workout was going to be four 400 meter runs with a two minute rest between each. I asked how much disturbance in the force would happen if I actually ran but did only 200 meters. I haven’t been able to run 400 meters even once since I started CrossFit and it doesn’t look like I will ever have the endurance to do so. But I have run 200 meters.

Everyone knows I walk half the distance and that takes me about the same time it takes everyone else to run. But this new proposal would thwart that.

We watch each other. We know who doesn’t do the full range of motion and who miscounts their reps. We know who the cheaters are. I’m not a cheater. This is simply a scale. At least that’s how I look at it. I’m doing my best. I’m just not the same age as all those younger, faster, fitter people I spend time with there at the gym.

Laura was pleased to hear that I was willing to give running a try. And she gave me her blessing as well as her protection for my version of the running WOD.

She also suggested that I wait until my heart rate was low enough and not be concerned with how much rest I took between runs. We were only keeping track of our times on the runs and didn’t have to worry about total time taken. It was nice to know that someone there was experienced with CPR, too. Not that I was going to need it, but it was nice to have available, just in case.

So today, for the first time ever, there was a running WOD and I ran. I ran my first 200 meters in 1.01. I rested two minutes and was able to run again. Second time was 1.03 but my heart rate was higher at the finish. I rested 2:15 that time and got back on the third round in 1.05. I had a higher heart rate again and the longer I work, the longer it takes to get it back down. So I waited 2.5 minutes before heading out on my last run. I managed it in one minute even.

Today I ran a half mile. I know there are marathoners and super-marathoners out there who would scoff at such a “feat” but for me, it is a win. I haven’t run that much in years and probably decades. I know it was just in spurts and I know that other people, even people my very own age and older, can run farther and faster. But I couldn’t and yet today, I did.

Just as an aside, yesterday’s usurped WOD was heavy kettlebell swings at 70/53. I usually use the 26 pound kettlebell so I tried using the 35 pound one. I had used a 30 pound before at CrossFit Summerville but that’s not available here. I gave the heavier one a try. And it worked. So I used it for the WOD and managed to get five rounds of the crap in seven minutes which was only a total of 15 kettlebell swings, but it was a PR for me there, too.

Merry Christmas to me. I’m racking up the PRs before I turn 66 like they are free candy. Who knows what I’m going to be able to do now!

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In an effort to not have everyone at CrossFit Summerville hate me, I have opted to not attend partner WOD day. Because my son knows me too well, he structured my week so that even if I want to participate, I can’t because it would be my third day in a row and I’m simply too old for that nonsense. Please do not point out that I’m too old for all this nonsense, I know it and am reminded four times a week. I just keep doing it anyway.

Besides, I had other things to do yesterday and got them done successfully. So instead of doing this on Friday, I sent it off to Craig who modified it for me. That meant that I could show up during open gym and work on whatever he sent back.

Partner WOD as written:
Deadlift – Spend 20 minutes working on a 1RM deadlift.
then
For time:
(working in teams of 2)
– 500m row & 125 double unders – One person on the rower while the other does double unders, switch when finished.
– 50 dead lifts (225/185) – Each person must complete 5 reps at a time while the other holds the bar at top of dead lift. If the person holding needs to rest the one performing dead lifts must stop.
– 50 toes to bar – Each person must complete 5 reps at a time before moving to other person. While person 1 is performing t2b, other is hanging from the bar. If person hanging needs to break the one performing t2b must not do anymore until the other gets back on the bar.
If you are unable to Rx EVERY movement, ask you coach for scaling options that will allow you to work with a teammate and remain competitive in the overall time.

SO

Craig’s modification:
Deadlift. 15 minutes to a heavy single.
NOT for time: (just have fun and move…)
500m row
3 rounds of :30 of double unders (attempts count)/:30 rest
35 deadlifts at 50% of 1RM (pay attention to your form here)
35 hanging knee raises (OR 50 situps)

Pre workout I had a protein shake made with chocolate protein mix, Greek yogurt, almond milk, extra cocoa, and a packet of Stevia. It still tasted too yogurt like and sour. I don’t know if the extra protein is worth the gag factor. It was all right since I had been awake for over an hour before I tried it, but first thing in the morning … maybe not. I will try it on Monday without the yogurt and see if that works out okay.

I warmed up with all sorts of normal warm-up crap, including running which I hate but seems to be a way to up one’s heart rate quickly. At least it sure does that for me. After I deemed myself warm, I started to work with the deadlifts. I began with 53# and worked up.

I got 138# once last fall. Then I lost weight and I have no idea what else, because I haven’t been able to get more than 128# off the floor since. By 128# today it was getting really heavy, but I could see I had room to add more. I did 5 pound increments and made it to 143#. I tried the 148# and got it free from the floor, but couldn’t stand with it. Too much and I was done. But I got a new PR of 143# which is more than I weigh! By over 10%!

Then on to the WOD Craig set out. Rowing is rowing is rowing. It is like running. Slogging through it to get done. It is just not all that exciting. I usually close my eyes and peek every once in a while because the number moves so slowly that it is excruciating to watch it creep along like a baby just learning to crawl.

On to the double unders. I couldn’t string two together today, but I got one on each try – something that never happens. However, jumping that much for even half a minute made my heart rate go to 160 or slightly over and then I had to wait more than 30 seconds for it to come back down and try again. But this wasn’t for time and I figured it was more important to get my heart rate down than to try to hurry through. That, and if it was too high, I wasn’t going to be able to get any more double unders and I want to get these mastered.

I used 73# on the deadlifts and did them in five sets of seven reps each. My heart rate would go to about 153-155 and so I would get back down and do the next set.

On the knee raises, I would get as high as possible and again stayed with the five sets of seven reps each, although by the end I would have to come off the bar and reset my hands so I didn’t fall on my ass again.

I would have cheated and looked at the time for start and stop except that Kim asked if anyone was using the clock before restarting it. I kept my damn mouth shut and let her restart the clock in the middle of my work and so I have absolutely no idea how long it took me. Not only did she restart the clock, but it was for a Tabata and so it didn’t keep track of time. I really have no idea how long it took me today. I only know that I got all the reps in, watched my form, did my best, and got my third PR for the week. Fun day.

As I was sitting on the bench and recovering, another old lady sat down next to me. She had been watching me all morning. I knew that because I would keep catching her at it. I said I was too old for this shit. She said she was, too, and wished she had started years ago when she was young enough. I mentioned that when I was young enough, CrossFit didn’t exist. We laughed.

I told her that it was possible to get better because when I started, I could do nothing and described what I meant. She nodded. We talked about shortcomings and she said she had been trying to pass out. She had not eaten anything before coming. I told her that was very bad. She needed fuel to work.

Kim came to check on her and told her the same thing. Eating before a WOD is important. If you don’t eat, you have no gas in your tank. I also mentioned she might want to watch her heart rate while she does this. Old and overweight is tough all the time and pushing yourself means you have to be smart. Luckily, age often brings experience. I hope I see her there again. Old ladies who work out rock!

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After the evening haircut went so well, I did nothing else. I played games on the Kindle and knitted some and generally sat around basking in the glow of a day ending well.

I went to bed at a reasonable time and slept through the night which is amazing all by itself. I woke up and had a new box of protein bars to start. Bam! Just like that the day turned south. These things were like eating a spoonful of sugar in each bite. I needed to eat something pre-workout and so choked a little more than half of it down. They probably wouldn’t be bad as a dessert, but first thing in the morning they were horrible. They were Wellness Bars or something like that and there was nothing “well” about them.

I finished getting dressed and remembered that I had to update my credit card today and then got a brilliant idea. I could buy some protein powder while I was there and make shakes in the morning and not have spoonfuls of sugar first thing. All this and it wasn’t even 5.30 AM. What a good brain to kick start so early in the day.

The full moon was simply gorgeous this morning. Stunningly beautiful. Breathtaking. Peeking through the Carolina pines or resting right above the live oaks. It was a soft yellow and lower in the sky so it appeared larger. Just a gorgeous trip to the box – driving with the top down and pleased with the entire world.

I got to the box and knew there was running involved in today’s WOD so made sure I didn’t kill anyone in the parking lot. That would have ruined my whole day. And put dents in my cute little car. Best to avoid it altogether.

We did warm-up stuff which included a 200 meter run with a med ball. I did not need any extra help to slow me down on a run. I managed the bear crawl without beeping, but the broad jumps did me in and I was beeping before the warm-up was over.

Today’s WOD as written:
Back Squat – spend 20 minutes working up to a 1RM. Take your time and mobilize as you work through your warm up set. Post you total weight and put any PR’s on the board.
then
5 rounds for time
10 kettlebell swings (53/35)
10 pushups
10 wall balls
200m run

I did warm-up reps with the 33# bar and then added ten pounds and then another ten and another five or ten and so on until I got to 93#, which was my one rep max. I got that without nearly as much trouble as I thought I would have. So I added another five and managed that with less difficulty than I had thought would occur. I asked if there was a way to get just two pounds and there wasn’t. So the only thing to do was add another five pounds and see if I could manage. I’m not positive I truly broke parallel, but if I didn’t it was really close and I took it anyway. A new PR with 103# – three digits.

I was so disappointed with the push press on Monday and mad with myself. I’ve been scaling and trying to baby my heart because – you know – heart. But I feel like I’m not progressing as quickly as I could because I weenie out and scale back in an effort to not die, which would really slow down any progress. Getting a PR today felt really, really good.

Then I had to scale.

I had to cut back on the KB weight because I can only manage the 25# one. And I walk the parking lot or else I have to die or something. I asked about a plan to see if I could do more heart rate stuff to help lower the amount of time I’m resting.

This WOD was done recently and I knew my heart rate went up to 167 and I’m trying not to do that. I discussed this with Coach Kim and we thought perhaps a round of ten reps, then five reps, then ten reps, then five, then ten. My heart rate before even starting the WOD was already 114 or only 114 depending on one’s outlook.

I got through the ten kettlebell swings and was beeping. I rested. I got through the ten wormy push-ups and was beeping, I rested. I got through the ten wall balls and was beeping and went for a stroll. I was half way through the walk before my heart rate was back under 150 and it was only in the mid 140s when I began round two. But that was a lower rep scheme and I managed with rests after each movement and beeping during the walk.

But when I got back inside, I was only down to 146 which is an okay place to start, but I reduced the reps to 7 each and still beeped, but didn’t get too high before the move was over. The five reps still made me beep, but not as much and recovery was faster. Since I don’t really understand all this stuff, I went ahead and did the 7 reps again on the last round even though that made my heart rate higher. I walked out and it was down to 153 as I made the turn to come back. I could rest when it was done so I “ran” or probably jogged in. I finished in 15.39 and with a heart rate of 160 – the highest it had been all day.

My time is pretty similar to the compared thing from April 1. On that day I was using 20# to push press because that was soon after I fell off the bar doing my version of toes to bar and my ass was still broke do I couldn’t do the kettlebell swings. I also had a heart rate of 167 in there and it never went that high today.

I got my credit card info updated and bought some protein crap for shakes. The sun was shining by the time I was ready to head home. It’s been a great day – so far.

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We had an inspection from the Home Office today. This is routine as in they do this periodically but abnormal in that it hasn’t happened since I began working here 4.5 years ago. It is my normal day off and the beginning of my four day weekend. However, the other office person was on a plane heading to Tucson in order to support her husband who is presenting a paper there tomorrow. So I was the office ninny available.

Technically, I didn’t have to be there. For the sake of making things run smoothly, I did. I was. I got there about 9 AM and made sure everything was in order for the Big Kahuna’s appearance which was scheduled for 9.30. Only one boss needed to be there and he did beat me in by a few minutes.

I made sure we were as ready as possible, doing last minute stuff like filling the K-cup holder with a variety of coffee and making sure the pot had water. We were ready yesterday except that there is always one more thing you can do to improve things that no one in their right mind looks at.

The big guy showed up about 9.35 and Boss A asked if he could interview me first so I could leave. I was asked all manner of questions to which I could answer truthfully while still giving the proper answer to the guy. I also asked when he was leaving to see if he was going to be able to attend either the Cooper River Bridge Run or the Flowertown Festival. He was flying out tomorrow and then became concerned about making his flight with all the expected extra people in town. I might have helped him get back home on time, something every travelling business person desires above all else.

I was done there by 10 and could come home before hitting the box. I had packed a bag just in case and so I got ready from the bag and had managed to pack everything I would have needed, so that was a success – just in case I ever need to do that again.

But I did have time to come home and get some stuff done around here before heading to CrossFit.

There were many people there and I don’t remember most of their names. Two other 6 AM people were there. Coach Mark is a firefighter who worked last night and he had an interesting story while we waiting for high noon (a sailboat burned to the water line last night but they managed to not let it ignite any other boats). People knew my name even if I didn’t know them. I don’t know if they were warned or what the deal was. Perhaps I’m famous from my blog and my Flying Wallenda addition to 14.4.

Warm-up began with a 400 meter run and I could manage that and then some other stuff and then we did invisible Fran. Thrusters with just a PVC pipe and then shoulder to overhead with the PVC for the pull-ups. 21-15-9. I was beeping and did the 21 rep sets, waiting to stop beeping, 15 rep sets, everyone else was done by now, had a heart rate of 167 and rested, and then the 9 rep sets. It is so embarrassing to be this old and unfit even after all this time. My time for that was over 3 minutes.

Today’s WOD as written:
Hang Power Clean 5-5-3-3-1-1
Spend 20 minutes learning and practicing the hang power clean. Work up to a heavy single. Set a personal record while you’re there. Write it on the board. Ring the bell. Live a little.
then
AMRAP in 20 minutes of:
10 hang power cleans
3 rounds of “Cindy”:
5 pull ups
10 push ups
15 squats
Heavy Rx – HPC (155/103) – Must be Rx’ing the pull ups if you choose this version
Strict Rx – HPC (135/95) – If you’re scaling the pull ups. They must be strict.
Fast Rx – HPC (95/65) – Must NOT be able to Rx pull ups AND the heavier HPC weight.

My tailbone won’t let me pick up from the ground, but these were hang power cleans so I didn’t have to pull with my butt and should be able to do them. I went from the rack at a knee high level so I wasn’t pulling all the way from the ground. It did not hurt my ass.

There were so many people there we ran out of 33# bars and so I used a 22# one because I wasn’t adding that much weight anyway. I did 5 cleans with 32# and no problem. I did 5 at 42# with no problem. I did 3 at 52# without a problem but didn’t think I could go heavier for repeated moves and so did them again. Then I looked at my full clean PR and it was 57# so I did that for 1 rep. I managed. I then did 62# for one rep and managed. The weights were used up but someone said I could use their fives so I took off the 2.5# plates and added 5# for a total of 67# and managed one. I’m bending my arms too soon, tried again, made the lift but bent my arms too soon again. But it was a PR. I guess that is my new and different, too.

I was hoping the WOD was a buy in with those ten hang power cleans, but they were the beginning of each round. Pity.

I used a 42# bar and stayed on the rack and a green 2″ band for the pull-ups. I spent a lot of time on the ground “resting” before starting my push-ups and trying to get a heart rate of low 160s before starting again. This whole thing was just a tremendous strain on my heart rate.

After the first round and the second set of hang power cleans, I was melting. It was around 80⁰ out there and I just had it. So I ripped off my t-shirt and had my trusty, expensive (much more expensive than the dang Reebok shirt) sports bra (which just happened to match my shorts anyway). I was still melting but there wasn’t any more clothing I could take off.

I spent an inordinate amount of time recovering. I managed 2 + 15 for my score. That means 30 hang power cleans, 35 pull-ups with at least 90% of them strict and some with a minimal kip by the end, 60 more dang push-ups (well over 300 this week now), and 90 squats which were thankfully air squats and didn’t hurt my behind. No wonder I was tired.

I got home and only then realized I still had makeup on from work. Lovely.

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Back to my regularly scheduled annoying CrossFit posts. With all the bad weather out there, we have been having issues here in the South. Wednesday I had no intention of showing up as it was my day off. I may need to rethink this whole schedule because it is causing me problems, but that’s the way it stood. It was horrible out there at 6 AM and I was glad to not be out in it.

Thursday, the box closed for the 5 and 6 AM classes. I don’t usually wake up in the middle of the night to go anyway, but open gym at 9 AM had been cancelled for a week and I wasn’t sure if it was really open on Thursday and so I blew it off. Besides, the WOD contained 45 burpees and I swear that is what did my knee in and it isn’t completely better even now. So I stayed away.

With two days off in a row, I was itching to get back at it this morning. My knee is mostly better. It was a beautiful clear crisp morning. Okay, it was a cold morning but the full moon was out in a clear sky and it was gorgeous out there right up until I had to run in it. Every step with my right leg was a ping, ping, ping. It wasn’t really bad, but it wasn’t good. Pain is supposed to make you stop doing what is hurting. I walked part way. But ran most of it. I have no idea why I think I’m smart when I do dumb shit like this.

Ryan complex down the mat didn’t work when my right knee was supposed to be touching the mat, but caused no problems when my left knee was down. I’m not really sure what is going on, but it isn’t quite right and pushing things that make it hurt seems dumber than I need to be. So I didn’t take my knee all the way to the mat on the right.

We were eventually proclaimed warm and got on to the WOD.

Today’s WOD as written:
20 min est max clean
in teams of 2.  1 works other rests
7 Rounds

Row 300m
6 KTE
6 Hang Power Snatch(med weight)
*there is built in rest so make sure and pull that rower. They should be max effort

When I looked at this last night, it sent shivers down my spine. I haven’t squatted with any weight in weeks because my knee doesn’t like it. But I’m squatting okay right now. So my concern was do I push it and squat with weight? It was a clean and I know I can back squat with 93# and front squat with 83#. My clean max was 52# but the squatting part can carry a heavier load. It’s the pulling it from the ground and falling under it that is the tough part.

So I started with just a 22# bar and it was no problem at all. I added ten pounds and had no problem so I added ten more and had no problem so I went to my previous PR and could manage it without any knee issues. I added five more pounds and pulled the weight, fell under it, didn’t keep my elbows up as well as I should have, but managed to get back up from a full squat. Coach Kim said it could have been prettier but I managed to pull it off. I need to keep my elbows higher. So I said, “Yeah, but watch this” and went over and rang the PR bell. I didn’t write it on the board because it is embarrassing to have such a low bitty weight be a PR for all the jocks to snicker at, but I not only got a new one, I did it without hurting my bad knee. I practiced several more times but didn’t add weight. I wasn’t in the mood to push my luck. I did get my elbows to stay higher and it is easier when you do it right.

Carma wasn’t there. Jeremy and Ricky were one team and poor Maribel got stuck with me. We split the work with one person rowing, the other doing knee to elbow, the first did the snatch, the second person would then row, the first person did knee to elbow, and then the second person would snatch. It wasn’t much rest between the row and the snatch and damn near killed me. My heart rate would be too high by the end of the row and I was so tired by the snatch that I was lucky I didn’t clunk myself in the head. I used a 32# bar and Maribel used a 55# bar. I’m such a weenie. We finished in 14.47.

I think that about one third of my knees to elbows were really to my elbows and the rest were as high as I could manage but were rather lackluster. I was making noise by the sixth snatch each time and was grateful that Maribel went first and had the extra set of those.

The guys started with person A rowing and then person B did the knees to elbows and the snatches and then rowed and then person A did the knees to elbows and snatches and then rowed. It was still doing everything one person and then the other, but the first and last round were a little different. They finished in 13.23 or thereabouts, so we were not too far behind them.

The schools were closed again today. I think it was because we still have areas without power and a school full of kids and no electricity wouldn’t be very fun for anybody. But it did make the drive back home nice without all the school traffic.

So here I sit with ice on my knee just in case.

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I’m trying my best to come to terms with my son and his family moving away. Just a few more days and then … far away. I’m trying to appreciate the time I’ve had with the babies and how nice it has been to watch them grow up. I’m trying to not hear Frankie asking why her cousin is leaving. I’m trying not to just start crying. I’m mostly succeeding, but not all the time.

He has a job he starts January 2 and they have a place to stay with a lease only lasting a short time so they can upgrade later if needed. I often catastrophize and this is no exception, so I’m working on looking at the bright side. I’m pretty sure that Christmas Eve was the last time the kids will be at my house. Traveling two hours once a year was so difficult that I’m certain 12 hours will be impossible. So if I want to see the kids, just as always really, it will be up to me to figure out a way to get there. We’ve been doing that already, so it isn’t that different. We will find a way.

Because I’m so jittery and angry and upset and worried and all the other things I am, it was really important that I work some of the stuff out. But I didn’t want to wake up in the middle of the night and face another long day of trying not to cry. So the plan was to sleep in and go to open gym. I didn’t manage to sleep in much, but an extra hour is an extra hour. It was also a bit warmer by 9 AM and that is a plus for this now-Southern girl.

Getting to the box and burning through some energy was just what I needed. I bought myself some Reebok socks and I wore a pair on Monday. But I couldn’t get the other ones on because my legs were too fat. I don’t think that’s right! Today, I used some baby powder first and got them on. Wild socks with my wild shoes. I was ready for the box!

I didn’t feel like running so I did some jump rope stuff. I missed a few and then ran 125 jumps without stopping. I stopped, didn’t miss, but I had run out of steam. I used to be able to jump rope as a kid forever. This getting old crap isn’t that easy. Then I worked on warming up some more and finally felt good enough to start.

Today’s WOD as written:
10 min working on candle stick roll into a pistol
5 RFT
10 ring dips
10 box jumps (24/20)

My behind is already on the verge of road rash from all the sit-ups and the whole candlestick roll thing wasn’t looking at all good to me. Instead, I opted to work on my front squat. That’s the beauty of open gym. I do what I want.

Every damn Monday is back squat and my back squat has gotten much better. But since I don’t go on Wednesday and I go late on Thursday and Friday is partner WOD and we don’t seem to have a skill in there because it is necessary to try to kill us – because of all these things, I don’t get to work on basic skills.

I need to start rotating through the basic moves and get some work done on my own time. I’m smarter than a box of rocks (barely) and should act like it. So today, I worked on front squats. First order of business was to see what my last PR was. 62#

I worked with a 33# bar and so technically, 63# was a new PR. I got three easy squats with that weight. So 68# was also a PR. So was 73# and again at 78# and even 83# was a new PR. But I didn’t drop the bar on that weight so I added five more and got a full squat and back up and racked the damn thing with 88#. That’s a 26# increase or a 41% increase. I front squatted with more than 2/3 of my body weight. And it was much deeper than an air squat was when I started this crap. CrossFit really works – if you do.

There were two other people at the box for open gym. Becky and her boyfriend. Or something. I have no idea who he was or what his name was or anything. They were both younger than me by decades. Just like always.

He did real ring dips, she used a red band, I used a blue band. He jumped on a 24″ box, she jumped on 20″ box, and I tried jumping on an 18″ stack and freaked out after three jumps and nearly skimming the top and just added another 25# plate to my stack and did step-ups on a 20″ height and called it a day.

I had to rest before each round of ring dips because I was beeping too much, but I managed to string them together mostly. Just slight pauses to regroup and reposition my hands or something. I finished in 6.53 which was better than I thought I would do. I had a heart rate of 173, but it came down quickly. I have no idea how to overcome this fear of losing my shins again. It is just so scary and I’m such a weenie with these horrid box jumps.

So now I’m home again and fed and watered. My next big challenge is going to be to see if I can get these sausage socks back off.

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