I have been doing CrossFit for over six years. I started this when I was 59 and I am now 66. I often think I’m just pitiful because most of the people I work out with are young enough to be my children. But I’m not pitiful, I am old. And yet, I do amazing shit. Sometimes.

I hate thrusters. We have been doing more and more thrusters because the Open always has thrusters and we needed to be ready. So last Monday thrusters were on the menu and I did 35 of them because that was my scaling option I made up for myself.

On Friday, I was over it. I was defeated by the sheer number of reps. The 105 thrusters and 105 jumping pull-ups were beyond me. The twenty minute time cap wasn’t, but I was tired of the whole thing. And defeated. I was mostly defeated. I’m not sure what the Open is supposed to teach us, but I often learn lessons that weren’t intended. For me, the Open teaches me that I am old and feeble and should take up knitting.

I went to the gym on Saturday because that is another of my usual workout days and I already skipped Friday. I was feeling totally inept and yet, I showed up because I’m really quite awesome even when I think I’m just old and feeble. Going when you don’t want to go is a sign of superior strength even if it is just of will. And I went.

Saturdays are usually partner WODs but this was each of us on our own. It started out with a mile run. I don’t run. All running does is spike my heart rate which doesn’t really need all that much help. But … what the hell. I usually walk half the distance but I started out running. First I told myself just 100 meters but at that mark, I was still able to keep running. I made it 200 meters before I walked. My heart rate was 159 at that point. I walked to the turn around point and on the way back, I ran another 50 to 75 meters and walked the final 200 meters back to the gym.

So, I knew I could run 200 meters if I had a low enough heart rate to start and had a space to lower my heart rate when I quit running.

Today’s WOD as written:
4 RFT
400 m run
25 ABMAT sit-ups
rest 2-3 minutes

This would work for me. Sit-ups don’t spike my heart rate although I can attain impressive monkey butt if enough of them are on the menu. I could run half the distance instead of walk it, if that was okay. Laura said it was okay. I ran the 200 meters I can manage and could then immediately do the sit-ups and then rest and start again.

If you aren’t meter/mile adept, that means I ran a total of 800 meters which is a half mile. I ran a half mile. I think I was a kid the last time I ran a half mile. I don’t run. I walk faster than I can run when the distance is too great.

If we just do math, my top heart rate should be 220-66=154 and then my target heart rate would be 80% of that or 123. I get higher than that before the warm up starts for real. My resting heart rate is 55 when I’m just sitting around knitting, but as soon as I start to move, bam! It skyrockets.

My heart rate was 159 to 162 as I returned after each of my runs. This is okay with my cardiologist. The sit-ups weren’t making it go higher. I rested two minutes between rounds 1 and 2 and found that wasn’t really enough and did 2.5 minutes between the other two rounds. We then had to subtract our resting time from our working time. I ran a half mile and did 100 sit-ups in 9.01.

And now I can’t stop saying to myself, “I ran a half mile.” Because, you see, I ran a half mile.

I had to move gyms a little over a year ago because my old place closed. It closed because there simply weren’t enough members to sustain it. I worked out with one or two other people unless I was there all alone. And while my friends there were wonderful, there is something to be said for working out with a larger class. There is a bit more camaraderie and encouragement or even competition.

Whatever the reasons, and they could simply be that I’m truly getting better at this shit, I now do double unders (last week I got to my 50% mark and did 100 of them (broken into sets) along with those damn thrusters) and now I’ve run a half mile.

As my British and Australian friends might say, I’m chuffed.

Runner Fitness Female Running Long Distance

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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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After my “run” yesterday, I had a pleasant time walking around the farmers’ market in downtown Summerville. We got some tomatoes and onions and bought bread to have with homemade soup I was planning for dinner.

We got a whiff of someone making and selling donut holes. It was heavenly. I used to make these all the time when the kids were little. I told Dick I would make us some when I got home. We were both excited about that.

My biggest problem was that I needed to print out the recipe and the printer kept not working. First it didn’t print twice, then it ate the paper twice (once with me having to practically disassemble the printer to get the paper out), and then it finally printed. It is a wireless printer on the other side of the house. I may have walked another mile just trying to print out a recipe.

The recipe calls for milk. I haven’t had milk in the house for about nine months. I have almond milk and I have successfully used this as a substitute in recipes before. It did not work for donut holes. As I dropped the dough into the hot oil, it turned into funnel cake stuff instead of staying as a blob of donut hole stuff. Luckily, even though it was not very pretty, it was still tasty.

I did a bunch of site maintenance for Little Bits of History and got that caught up and I played some mindless computer games, watched a college lecture, and crocheted. Just a pleasant day.

After my dismal run yesterday, I planned to see just exactly how damn slow I am. The 16 minute mile seemed simply ludicrous. I checked my math several times. It took me 36 minutes to go the 2.2 miles. No matter what I did with the numbers, the math stayed the same. I sucked.

The plan for my morning was to get up and walk the same distance. I know I could stroll the distance without any issues whatsoever. I was planning on walking fast and seeing what happened.

First, I left the house about an hour earlier and without having had a cup of coffee before my excursion. It was 78⁰ this morning, one degree higher than yesterday. But since I was out earlier, there was no sun yet as it hadn’t cleared the houses. It was daylight. As far as I know, everything was equal except for the coffee. And the running.

I left the house, checked the time, began walking fast, looked at my heart rate and didn’t have my watch. Well, if I was going to do this experiment correctly, I had to monitor my heart rate along the way. I turned around, sauntered back to the house, got ALL my equipment, and began again.

Yesterday, I ran from the house to the community pool before I was wiped out. I have no idea how far it is, but not that far. I already had a heart rate of 160 and had to cope with the cool down, speed up thing the rest of the way. Today, when I got to the pool, my heart rate was in the 120s. I kept walking quickly. Over half way to the turnaround point, my heart rate was all the way in the high 130s. When I got to the turnaround place, I was up to 140s. It was nearly half way back before I broke the 150 mark. The highest I ever saw my heart rate was 154.

I would do some box breathing when I looked and it was over 145 and I was feeling winded. It would drop a few bpm while I consciously kept my pace the same. By the time I got back to the house, I was hot and tired – just like yesterday. My heart rate never went too high. And my time?

I finished in 35 minutes. I walked faster than I ran. My time was 15.9 per mile rather than 16.36.

I know that for a short distance, I can actually run faster than I can walk. But because it takes such a toll on my heart rate, I have to walk slower to recover and the overall effect was not worth the effort. It was counterproductive.

I now have information. I have data. I have no idea what it means or what I should do with it. Other than not run.

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Know thyself – either from Socrates or the Oracle at Delphi but probably even older than that. It is the root of all philosophy. Unless you know yourself, there is little to be gained from the outside world, or something like that. I know this about myself – I hate to exercise.

Oh, I love having done a CrossFit WOD. I’m not always quite that thrilled with doing one. And going? That’s just crazy talk there. I hate to interrupt my totally unimportant stuff to hightail it to the box. The reason I go first thing in the morning is because I don’t have time to talk myself out of it if I go when I’m still half asleep.

And now the problem. CrossFit Summerville doesn’t open until 9 AM on Saturday. If I weren’t plagued with insomnia and could sleep until something a bit later than predawn, this might be all right. I was out of bed at 5.07 this morning. I tried going back to bed and gave up before 5.30. I made coffee and checked Facebook and read my usual morning stuff and there was still hours to go before the gym opened.

I was losing steam and initiative and the will to work. I could actually feel the determination slip away as my brain began to give me excuses as to why it wasn’t necessary for me to go to the gym. The day was going to be half over before they even opened. Surely missing a workout doesn’t matter when you are this incompetent to start with. I mean, who really expects an old lady to be at the gym four days a week.

I do.

But I could tell it wasn’t going to happen. What should I do? If you have read this page before, you might have guessed that I hate to run. If you haven’t, allow me to let you in on a little secret. I hate to run. I would rather eat worms than run. The only thing that would make running feasible for me is if I were being chased by an irate wild animal. Then I might try to barter first. I really hate to run.

I got my running shoes on and headed out the door. This is an indication of how much I hate working out in the middle of the day. It made running look good.

I “ran” which for me is mostly walk from the house up to the main neighborhood road. I have measured this by my car odometer and by my bike odometer. They both agree it is 1.1 miles. But I had to get back home, too, so the distance covered was 2.2 miles.

I started out okay and could actually exchange some banter with Bob as I ran past his house. It was 77⁰ when I began and my phone said it was mostly cloudy. The sky said it was partly cloudy and that part wasn’t very big.

I would run at my pitiful pace until my heart rate was someplace between 157 and 165 and then stop. It wasn’t really a planned thing, that is just where I started having issues and I would look at my rate as I moved into my walking phase. What I thought was quite cruel as I walked along was how many cars drove past me as I walked and how few passed me as I ran. Then I realized I was walking far more than running and it accounted for the statistically accurate car to running ratio.

Since I wasn’t really working out, I left my glasses on. Since I was “running” I was dripping sweat into my eyes and then the glasses would steam up a little and it was miserable. I was hot and tired and then luckily for me, another car came up as I walked along, barely living. Bob mentioned I was going a bit slower now as he drove past. Yep.

I got back home in 36 minutes. Since I’m rotten at math, I got a calculator going on my phone to figure how fast/slow I was going. I was doing 16.36 minute miles. I think I can walk faster than that. In fact, I’m going to test that theory tomorrow. I am going to walk to the big corner and back and see how long it takes.

I don’t know if anyone has ever figured this out, but I hate to run. There is a meme that says a 12 minute mile is just as far as a 6 minute mile. I wonder how far a 16 minute mile is.

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Yesterday was my rest day and so I was supposed to sleep in but I woke up earlier than I would have liked anyway. I figured that would make me doubly tired today, but I woke up just a few minutes before the alarm went off. That is so much nicer than being jarred awake by that horrid noise.

There was someone from Hilton Head at the box this morning but he didn’t work out at Craig’s place. He did know Craig and had heard good things about him and said he thought he was a good guy. I agreed. Whole heartedly. Without bias or prejudice.

Coach Jason had the 5 AM class today but he was an athlete at 6 AM. Kim was an athlete for 5 AM and a coach for us. We did a short run to the corner and back (200 meters) and I was the last one back. Big surprise there. We did some other stuff and by the time we got to the 10 push-ups, I was beeping. Then I beeped with the broad jumps down the mat. I counted and Jeremiah made it in three jumps while it took me six. We were eventually declared warm and on to the workout.

Today’s WOD as written:
Yates Row 7 x 5 –
Add weight from your Monday reps as long as you’re maintaining form.
then
buy in: max effort unbroken abdominal movement (i.e. t2b, k2e, ghd, abmats, etc.)
2 rft:
800m run
10 box jumps
5 deadlifts
250m row
cash out: 100 burpees minus total # of ME reps from cash in.

Heavy Rx – 30/24 box – 275/185 deadlift
Masters Rx – 24/20 box – 225/155 deadlift
Windy Rx – 24/20 box – 185/135 deadlift *step ups allowed*
Post total time and abdominal movement chosen.

I was doing okay with the 63# on Monday and really liked the difference in the reverse grip. I went to 73# today and stuck with the reverse grip and got the reps in.

The guy from Hilton Head whose name I can’t remember, chose to go heavy for the WOD and then so did Ricky. I don’t remember seeing plates on Jason’s box, so he didn’t. I discussed this with Kim before starting. We know me and running don’t mix well. And me and burpees and low heart rate aren’t compatible in the least. When I saw this last night, I figured I would go with half the distance on the runs and half the reps on the combined abs/burpee buy in and cash out.

She agreed with that. I chose to do the abmat sit-ups because really, why not. The Hilton Head guy went with toes to bar. Everyone else had an abmat. There is only so much testosterone available and toes to bar looked way too nasty to everyone else, too.

Kim’s daughter is just starting out with this stuff and neither one of us could do the weights as written. I have no idea what she had on her bar, but I had 105# which is ten pounds heavier than I have been doing for deadlifts. I used a 20” box and did step-ups.

I got the entire 50 sit-ups done before I left the building. I don’t think I could have managed another 50 because I was near to beeping as it was so my choice to cut that in half was wise.

My biggest problem with running during a WOD is not running during a WOD. When I run, it is still slow and more like a jog so I don’t gain much in the way of shortened time, but my heart rate goes too high and I have to recover. I strolled the parking lot, ran to the end of the block, strolled some more, ran back part of the way, strolled some more, but still had too high of a heart rate when I got back and had to sit for a few seconds on the box before stepping on it.

I started beeping on rep 8 and was going to finish them, but that is defeating the purpose. So I waited. It didn’t take long. I got three deadlifts in and had to wait again. I finished them, did the row with some beeping toward the end, and then went for another stroll.

This time I was smarter and walked out farther, ran sooner, recovered longer on the final stroll and could start the step-ups to the box right away. I had to pause once in the middle and again at the end before starting the deadlifts. Then I rested on the rower while it was starting up and finished. At the very end of a WOD, I don’t stop unless I’m trying to pass out because I rest when it is over. I figured this was the same concept. I finished in 19.39. My heart rate was still less than 160.

Hilton Head Guy only managed 16 toes to bar and so he had 84 burpees to do. By the time I finished, he had 30 left. I know that CrossFit etiquette says no one puts their equipment away until everyone is finished. When you are done, you cheer on those who are still working. This doesn’t ever happen at my box. I’m the last one done and everyone has everything put away and they are sitting on the bench and gabbing while I try to finish killing myself.

I know this isn’t how it is supposed to be, but it is the culture here. I didn’t want Hilton Head Guy to think we were horrible and so when I finished, I perched my fat ass on his 30” box and cheered him on. Once I started, others joined in and before he finished, we had the entire cast and crew urging him on and applauding when he got done. The only equipment still left out was his and mine, but at least they didn’t let him melt in a puddle of sweat all alone.

They put away his equipment and I got mine put up and we could all go home, happy with what we accomplished. Hilton Head Guy did mention by the time he was done that he may have chosen poorly and should have gone with the abmat sit-ups. Live and learn.

I was happy with the way I had scaled this. I got done about the same time as most others and felt like I worked hard without cheating myself.

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Yesterday was a pleasant day of doing not much. I made a washcloth in less than 24 hours and it had no mistakes in it. The trick is to pick an easy enough pattern. I tried a different pattern and made a mistake by row four and I wasn’t liking the way it looked with variegated yarn, so I chose to make a pattern I’ve already done but see if I can do it without mistakes. So far, so good.

Two nights in a row of sleeping through the night was all I could hope for so I was awake in middle of the night again, which made it really hard to get up for the box this morning. But it is Monday and so I got up. Not very cheerfully, but that is not required.

I was too lazy to put the top up on the car so I wore a light jacket even though it wasn’t really that cold out there. I left it on for the 200 meter run and immediately was down to shirt sleeves. Other stuff happened and we were declared warm.

Today’s WOD as written:
Break into two smaller groups and perform both movements. Stay together and move quickly so you can get all the work done. Switch as a group and complete the other movement together.
1. Pendlay Row – 7 x 3 – Starting week 2 of the muscle up/pull up/ring dip strength project. Add weight to your previous 5 x 5 sets and keep your form tight. Remember to keep your back horizontal and start every rep by resetting your position with a tight posterior chain.
2. Ring Dips – find a weight or a proper scale that will allow you to perform a 6 second negative for at least 5 reps. As a team, everyone perform their negatives every 10 seconds until you cannot hold for the entire 6 second negative (no cheating). Once the entire team fails, rest 3 minutes and repeat until everyone completes 3 max effort attempts.
then
AMRAP in 8 minutes of:
1 Parking Lot Sprint
8 Balls

Heavy – carry your slam ball (40/25), sprint to the edge of the sidewalk and perform slam balls.
Light – no ball, sprint to the edge of the sidewalk and perform slam balls (40/25).
Fast – no ball, sprint to the front edge of the sign and perform wall balls (20/14).
Go hard, no pacing. It’s only 8 minutes and the purpose is the see how long you can hang in at your MAXIMUM capacity.

There were not enough of us there to warrant two different groups for the skills. Cindy wanted to begin with the ring dips. I began with the #3 band (I think it is 1.5 inches) and did the first set with that and I was the last one to give up so I figured it was too much band. As we rested, I got the #2 band (1 inch) and used that. Second round I was still the last one going. On the third round I failed at number 7. I didn’t really count, but I think it was 8 or 9 the first round, 7 or 8 on the second and 6 on the last so I had way too many and my sore arms that finally worked again by Sunday evening are shot. Lacrosse ball time – again.

The Pendlay rows were supposed to be heavier but when I added the weight, I had to use my legs to get it off the ground. I tried both 73 and 68 pounds but couldn’t manage to keep it just my lats doing the work so I had to stick at 63#.

The measurements for the runs are all local landmarks and Coach Jason didn’t realize that there were two different markers. But I knew. I look at this stuff. I need the weenie work. I wanted the lesser distance especially since I have to walk it. I did the “Fast” which isn’t all that fast for me but is manageable. However, I chose the Masters level even though there isn’t one and did a 10# med ball, just like in the Open.

I jogged the first run because I felt too weenie not to. I started beeping as I was finishing the wallballs. I got my heart rate back down during my parking lot stroll. On to the next round with the same results. I got to about round 5 before my heart rate did not drop below 160 before starting the wallballs, but I started them anyway. The clock was messed up and I was unable to see how much more hellish work I had to do so I just kept doing and hoping I was going to get a warning.

We did. At 90 seconds, we knew we were winding down so even though my heart rate was over 165, I figured it was almost done and I could get another round in if I worked through. I did. There was something like 20 seconds as I finished round 8 and so I actually ran the parking lot and made it back with two seconds to spare.

My score was 8+1 Fast Masters RX. I just make this stuff up. With my heart monitor beeping consistently, I was working at my MAXIMUM capacity. There was only one round where I paused for less than five seconds before picking up the med ball.

I was glad I had the top down for the ride home. I was almost cooled off as I pulled into the garage. Now, time for work.

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I looked at the WOD for today and then I looked at the weather for today and they did not match. At least, they didn’t match for the morning classes. This is unfortunate because that’s when my class is. I must have misread a little or else the actual day turned out different but it was all not quite what I needed for the start of the day.

I’ve been up since about three-thirty this morning which should mean that I am really tired later today. I may have dozed in there for a bit, but I swear I was awake with my brain refusing to take a nap even if I put it in time out. So I just tossed and turned and pondered things I never really wanted to think about but my brain wouldn’t shut down. Then the alarm went off and I had something to do.

It was already raining. I had been driving around with the convertible converted and so I knew I had to put the top back up before I could get to the box. According to the weather last night, it was supposed to be in the high 50s and raining and since the raining part was right, I went ahead and dressed as I had planned.

We got there and the 5 AM folks were still working. While it was raining, it wasn’t pouring. It was a bit more than a sprinkle, but it wasn’t a pounding rain. They were running in the rain. I’m not over fond of running, rain or shine, but it is worse in the rain.

We warmed up without getting wet and then got on to the WOD. I was already overheated and had taken off as much of my clothes as I could in public.

Today’s WOD as written:
Front Squats – 7 x 5 @ 75% 1RM
Remember this is week two of a four week cycle. If you were able to complete all of last week’s reps, you should be at a slightly higher weight this week.
then
“Helen”
3 rounds for time:
400m run
21 kbs (53/35)
12 pull ups
or
“Heavy Helen”
3 rounds for time:
400m run with med ball (20/14)
21 kbs (70/53)
12 chest to bar pull ups

I need Helen on a diet or something like Helen Lite or anything other than that. But first, front squats. I tried 63# again today and could get four reps but was struggling by the fifth and that was on the first round. Just shit. I knocked it back to 58# and did get all seven rounds of five done.

While we were doing that, the rain increased. It still wasn’t pouring, but it was no longer a light rain. Cindy can’t run because of her foot. She opted to row, even though that was a bitch – all shoulders. Todd and I were willing to shuttle run a bazillion times inside while Ricky and Jeremy opted to get wet. I mentioned that I was only planning on doing 200 meters because … I’m old and slow. It was 27+ 1/3 runs inside to make one 400 meter run so I figured doing 14 would be good.

Ricky was back from his first run before I was done with my first shuttle thing and I even jogged out the first half of it. Jeremy was getting back as I was finishing. I managed half of the KB swings (using a 15# dumbbell and doing full swings) but I was beeping already at 9 or 10 and decided to pause and get my heart rate back down before finishing. Then I used a green band for pull-ups and my goal (mostly achieved) was no kipping. I did them half and half.

For the second and third rounds, I just walked. It left me get my heart rate back down so I could push a bit harder on the other moves. I managed all 21 KB swings but was beeping by rep 15 and my heart rate was 172 when I stopped so I had to rest too long before starting the pull-ups. I managed those in 6-4-2 and then back for my stroll.

I did the swings in 14-7 since I was beeping and then got to the pull-ups and managed the same 6-4-2 scheme there. I finished in 14.07 – exactly four minutes after Ricky. But I wasn’t the last one done, I kept moving as much as possible and I felt like I was really working hard. It’s been a while since I was so hot during a workout that I had sweat dripping down my face. Ah, spring.

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