Monday, April 29, 2013

Standard Fare, Always Tough, Not Always Pretty

All I can say is thank God today wasn't a benchmark WOD. After a very busy week that just kept going into the weekend, I already feel as if I need to catch my breath. I woke up "not going to CF today." I went to the closet and got dressed in my workout clothes "not going to CF today." I had my coffee and I still "wasn't going to CF today." I filled my water bottle and got my keys, kissed the kids and I still "wasn't going to CF today." I got there and the class was very full. All of the people that I love working out (except Rachel!) with were there. Many of us were still feeling pretty sleepy. We greeted each other and I started to feel a little better. Even so, I was just going to do what I could to get through this WOD. I put plates on my barbell and my friend beside me, who happens to be a level 1 CF trainer looked at my setup. She asked, "How much weight do you have on your bar?" I sheepishly told her how much--55 lbs. She all but ordered me to put another 15 on the bar, reminded that every lift should be a fight, that I would be whining that I hadn't gone heavy enough, blah, blah, blah. I rolled my eyes at her and obeyed. When I turned around, her usual long, black, wavy hair had turned to snakes and her eyes were red. I looked again and it was just Wendy. She was right.

Every lift was a struggle. I couldn't hit the 10-foot target with the stupid medicine ball and had to keep "no repping" myself. I probably looked today like I had never used a jump rope before. It was not pretty. Today I am tired and feeling weak, but I did 30 stinking clean and jerks at the weight Medusa Wendy told me to use. I'm really glad I did.

It's this way now: When I think I can't. I can. When I don't want to, I do it anyway. When I hate it, I know it will be over soon. I want to get stronger, be better, do more much, much more than I want to stay in bed. I never understood this before. I think I'm starting to get it.

Today's WOD
AMRAP in 15 minutes
5 clean and jerks (70#)
10 wall balls (8#)
15 double unders / 45 singles

score: 5 rounds + 5 C&J

Monday, April 22, 2013


I have never done this benchmark WOD before today. I was not looking forward to it, but I survived. It was an excellent opportunity to learn about my fitness levels, honestly. In three days I will have been doing CF for 6 months. What surprises me is that I am able to set a strategy now and stick with it. I am also glad to have seen my pace quicken rather than slow down as the WOD went on. This may not mean all that much to most people who did the workout with me as I was the last to finish, but this is one day when I opted not to compare my score with anyone else's--my goal was to finish. I set a pace for myself and kept it throughout the WOD--sets of ten with a short recovery. I finished in (wait for are sure to be underwhelmed...) 44:04. Yes, it took me nearly 45 minutes to complete the workout. I did not even take the full 3 minute rests that were designated between sets in the last two rounds. It looks like this:

Barbara - 5 rounds for time
20 pull-ups
30 push-ups
40 sit-ups
50 squats
rest 3 minutes
time: 44:04

What was fascinating to me was that the WOD got easier as I went. Is that normal? The first round was by far my slowest and most difficult. By the third rounds my squats were finally loosening up and the fourth round I was popping out of the squats much more easily. I am excited to be able to say that I can keep moving for 44 minutes. It also didn't hurt that a couple of my friends finished the last 25 squats with me. It was hard, but I am so much stronger.

I cannot express how grateful I am for CrossFit Woodbridge, my friends who get me through these tough WODs with their support and encouragement, and the overall feeling of well-being I have now after these six months. It has been an amazing start to what is the rest of my life in this body...

Friday, April 19, 2013

Wake Up, Be Awesome

I make no claim to have coined this expression--I first heard this from a good friend over glasses of wine one evening. He said he had heard it on the radio and that guy probably heard it from someone else. "Wake up and be awesome" is going around, and unlike most things that "go around" I like it.

Even so, I have not been feeling awesome lately, and this is reflected by my dearth of blogging and my over-indulgence in things like Facebook and Angry Birds and other less than optimal expenditures of my time. It's the springtime funk, and it happens every year. It might have something to do with pollen, or spring cleaning, or daylight saving time. I can never figure it out, so I won't try. I am attempting, however, to stop fighting this funk and just kind of roll with it.

So while I was in my little springtime funk, Whole Life Challenge ended. I am glad that I participated. I did not win, nor was I really attempting to. (I finished 13th out of 28.) What I wanted from WLC is to see how our lifestyle measured up against the dietary and lifestyle standards that WLC set, as well as push us a little and do even better. We have come so far in our eating, opting for a whole and real food diet that would best be described as primal or nearly paleo. I still include beans and occasionally rice in our diet, so technically we are not always "paleo." Even so, we have made huge strides. During WLC I banished all sugar, most wine (I "cheated" some), and all grains. I did not miss them. I exercised hard three days per week and sometimes more. I paid more attention to my sleep and water consumption. I learned how to kip. I lost pounds and about 6 inches combined waist and hips, and improved my baseline WOD by a full 20 reps! I feel good. I feel no need to go back to pre-WLC eating habits and patterns, though I cannot lie--I am glad to have the challenge behind me.

One significant thing that happened during the challenge was a change in my overall strength and endurance. I found that I was starting to walk away from WODs not feeling sore or terribly winded. I was also increasing my weight significantly in my lifting. I realized that it must be time to go to the next level and push myself even harder, so I have been. Fewer rests, heavier weights, more reps are the name of the game, and I am hating loving CrossFit again. It is time to beat the funk and wake up and be awesome.

With this in mind I was really stoked when I saw that today was a strength day. The WOD was:

1 RM push press (100#, PR)
3 RM back squat (145#, PR)

I wanted very much to break the 100 lb. mark on my overhead lifts, and I did. I wanted very much to lift heavy on the back squats, and I did. Can't wait for the next lifting day. I love seeing the "PR" beside the weight.

Today I woke up and beed awesome at lifting. Now to wake up and be awesome with blogging. I'll get back in the groove, here...

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Out of the House

Wow. Both my kiddos have been really sick with the stomach flu and fevers. Yuck! I have been busy playing nurse. By this afternoon, my husband (who telecommuted today to give some extra support) assured me that he was fine with the kiddos and I went to WOD.  It was:

3 RM push press: 95# (my goal was 80...had no idea I would be able to do that!)

12 minute AMRAP
4 press
12 squats
score: 5 rounds + 17 reps

I have no analysis of today's WOD. I just needed to get out of the house and away from the invalids for a while. It was so helpful--I was able to come back to them later and truly feel glad to see them and take care of them some more. I absolutely love being a mom. The kids actually like getting sick at times because they say they get all kinds of attention. The truth is, I love taking care of them when they are sick, though everyone has their limits. They had better get well by tomorrow...