Post Borked Back

In the middle of the day on Tuesday, my back started bothering me.  It got worse as the day progressed and seem to extend all the way up and down my left side.  I can’t exactly pinpoint the cause, but I have some suspects.  When I was in Germany, I tend to favor my left side, so I put all the weight and pressure (if possible) on the right side.  I had a really heavy laptop bag (probably 20-30 pounds) that I was carrying on my right shoulder and carrying with my right arm.  Then, when we were in the Berkshires, the room had a slightly slanted floor and therefore the bed was at a slant.  I spent the first two nights constantly trying to adjust.

Fast forward to Tuesday, sitting at my desk, typing up some emails.  And the pain begins.  I don’t really have the energy to go into my shoulder history.  But anyway, there was no way I was working out on Wednesday or Thursday. *I was really bummed because Craic started up its Run Club last Wednesday and and I really want to improve on my running.  I ended up going to see a massage therapist named Leo who works out of the Boston Sports Club in Waltham.  While he didn’t completely “cure” me, he came pretty damn close.  My low back is still sore.

Today’s WOD:

3 rounds for time

  • 400m run
  • 10 front squats
  • 10 burpees

I couldn’t fathom doing burpees with the low back pain (I swear, I’m not finding excuses not to do them) so instead of burpees, hung from the PU bar and did knee lifts. In addition, I did a really light front squat.  35#. It’s so frustrating to be injured and doing lower weight.  We were supposed to do this in a sprint fashion.  I have a mental block that I need to work through on going faster on the runs, I think (although I can’t seem to push past this) that I’m scared of running out of gas and not being able to finish the WOD.  During the WoD, I couldn’t even contemplate running faster – but after – I think that I could have run a bit faster.

Total time: 10:17

Let’s wait and see how tomorrow goes.  Hopefully I won’t have to scale too much.

Push Presses (Again)

I didn’t end up working out yesterday.  Twice on Sunday wrecked me after being away for so long.

Jarrod and I worked on gymnastics in our private session on Sunday.  Mostly worked kipping and pull-ups.  Then we did some overhead squats with 3 second pauses at the bottom. I did a max weight of 75#.

I was so sore when I woke up on Monday and didn’t workout.  I’m not sorry that I didn’t.  It was a 10 minute AMRAP – 10 burpees, 10 wall balls. Blech.  I heard that only three people showed up to the 6:30AM class that day.

Today was a strength workout.  It was similar to last week’s workout. 3×3 push presses.  I worked out with KarMa again.  Looking at my weights last week, I thought that I would go with 95#.  I built up to about 90#, but I couldn’t go any heavier than that.  Overall, I felt meh about today.  My wrist is bothering me for some reason, so I need to work on stretches and mobility.

Back at it. Dragging ass.

Wowza.  Did I pick the day to come back to Craic or what?  Perhaps it was something cosmically joking with me – as I managed to dodge the running Fran. 

Today’s WOD:

5 rounds for time
10 burpee pull-ups
10 Power snatches (75,55)
10 Air squats
200m run

I scaled the burpee pull ups to 5, and did them jumping to the higher bar on plates.  So it was essentially 5 burpees into 5 step up to plates and then 5 jumping pullups.  I did the Rx weight (45#) and number of air squats. My final time was 20:17.  It was kicking my ass.  You know that the workout is a tough one for me when the RUN is the rest. I thought I was going to puke about halfway through the fourth round.  Overall, good class and great way to jumpstart back into Craic after a sporadic couple of weeks due to travel and vacation.  

We were supposed to go to Jamaica, but that got canceled due to the hurricane.  Instead, we took a last minute trip out to the Berkshires.  We drove up to the Mt. Greylock summit, which is the highest point in Massachusetts and I decided to do a handstand.  That made my feet the highest feet at the time in the state!  My form is a little wonky, but I did it!  Here’s proof!

Later today I have a session with Jarrod in which we are going to work on gymnastics.  I’m not even sure what this means, but I will post about it later.


I didn’t get a chance to post this before I left for vacation, so I’m sorry for the extended absence (to all three of you that read this).

Tuesday (August 21st) workout was:

A) Power Clean – Build to a heavy single in 10mins after warmup

B) 5 rounds for time
10 Power Cleans
Run 200m

My knee had been bothering me when I went down into a squat to pick up the bar (it started on Sunday in open gym).  So I did this modified.  We put the weights on a low rack position so I wouldn’t have to go into that squat position and I did hang cleans from there.  I ended up building up to (A) 105# hang clean and doing (B) 75# hang clean for a total time of 10:45.  

I like the workouts that have the 200m run.  400m for these types of workouts just seem like too much and overwhelming.  Craic started a running club that starts this Wednesday. I’m going to join and see if I can start to like running … or at least tolerate it better.

When I was on vacation, I still had the compulsion to look at the WODs and holy mother of God, I saw this one and nearly crapped my pants for those that had to do it. Running mother-effing Fran.  HOLY SHIT.  I’m not going to lie, I was happy to be on vacation and not working out the next day when I read that.  

Push Press, Snatch, and Clean

Didn’t post yesterday, I went to open gym and then spent the rest of the day hanging out with Niko, eating, shopping, and napping.  But I’m back at it today…and will be until…um…tomorrow…as I leave for vacation on Wednesday early morning.

At open gym, I worked on kipping, pull-ups, cleans, and snatches.  I watched my friend Katie do cleans.  She has the most beautiful cleans.  I need to get faster elbows…much faster.  I just need to do it over and over again until it’s ingrained in my head.  After my PR on Saturday, I couldn’t get back up to 120#. I really think a lot of it is psychological.  I went for a PR for my snatch and succeeded!  90#!  Very exciting!  The only disconcerting thing is when I went down for my clean and bent my right knee, I got a sharp pain in it 😦  I still feel it a bit today when I bend my knee and put weight on it at the same time.  It doesn’t bother me when I run or do regular squats.

Today’s workout at Craic (Monday) was 5×5 push press – same weight each time.  I worked with Leila and Karen.  I went with 75# for the set and wanted to see how much I could push myself post-set.  So after the WoD, I did:

  • 80# x 5
  • 85# x 5
  • 95# x 3
  • 100# x 1 (failed at first attempt)

I really wanted to see what my 1RM was and try to get up to 100#.  I was really happy, although I think I strained a muscle in my neck.  I don’t think it’s entirely associated with the push press.  It’s the same shoulder that I used to carry my heavy ass laptop bag around Cologne and also at the airport.  It weighed a good 20 pounds at least.

So, three days, three PRs.  Blam!

Saturday Strength

Today, John coached the class.  Usually Saturday classes are a metcon WoD – you basically come in, very little thought is involved and just plow through the WoD.  Today, the WoD was a strength WoD.  Last week, I posted about rest days and how Susie reminded me that the body needs rest in order for it to recover and for you to get stronger.  I think it paid off!

The WoD was simple: 1RM clean and jerk

I have never down the clean and jerk for 1RM.  The only time I did jerks was in college…(heh, see what I did there?).  Anyway, the only times I’ve done them in Craic were for quality and also with Jarrod – working on technique.  The highest wait that I’ve done a jerk is 75#, so I don’t really consider that a PR.  I was really nervous for some reason, but John is a really good lifter and Jarrod armed me with some good technique training.  I really, really, really wanted a clean PR today.  I started out at 75# to get the body warmed up.  It was no problem.  Not knowing what I could lift overhead, I thought I would build slowly – so I went 85#, 95#, 100#, 105#, 110# and then to my personal record so far, 115#.  115# was a messy clean, but I managed to get it up and the jerk was no problem at all.  So I decided to go for it.  I at least wanted to see if I could clean 120#.  I DID IT!  Yay!  The jerk was a bit of a hot mess, but I’ll take it!  I still have trouble having fast elbows and letting go of the bar as I’m pushing my elbows through on the clean.  That’s where I fall apart every time.  I then did three attempts at 125#, but failed to clean it each time.  

But it was a PR today for the books at 120#.  Yippee!

Staying Awake!

Landed in Boston after flying back from Germany the other day.  12 hours of total travel time really takes it out of you.  We landed an hour early and Niko came to pick me up.  Since working out when I landed in Cologne helped me normalize my schedule, I decided to look up the workout at Craic and if I thought it was something that I could scale for my exhausted body – I’d show up.  The WoD was 8×2 backsquats, resting for 3 seconds at the bottom of the squat.  John explained the purpose of the set here.  I think I was running on my 2nd wind when I showed up and my body was sort of rested from not having worked out since Monday.  I worked out with Elizabeth (who coincidentally is usually in the 6:30AM class with me and randomly showed up to the 6:30PM class) and the other Christina.  It was a great time, we were loose and joking around.  I started out at 75# and that was way too easy.  I then went to 95#, 115#, 125# and ended up doing the workout at 135#.  Even though I wasn’t planning on it, I got the bug to really push myself.  The last backsquat of the last set was the hardest, but I pushed through. I even got a compliment from Sara and Dork (two of the coaches) that my squat was “perfect.”  That was a good boost.  I went home, grabbed dinner with Niko and then promptly passed out around 9:30AM.

Crossfit Cologne

One thing I learned today, Crossfit and fitness are universal.  In addition, I was validated in something that I already knew – the Crossfit community is amazing.  I took a taxi from the hotel to Crossfit Cologne.  As we pulled up, I had a small moment of panic when I realized that the box was in an area that didn’t have readily available access to taxis – so getting home was going to be an adventure.  I shrugged it off, took a deep breath and walked inside. Claudio, the owner, was there and expecting me.  He introduced me to Philip, the coach for today’s WoD.  We did a t-shirt exchange and they had me write my name, the date I visited, Crossfit affliate I was a member of and where I was from in permanent marker on the wall.

The box itself was a little sparse.  They were brand new, having only opened in March, and expecting to grow. They had a small roster of members, probably at max around 25. They had mats on the concrete floor and racks that had pull up bars on them (they didn’t have a full pull-up rig).  But they seemed to be growing and the coach was really great.  We started with a 400 meter run and then did some dynamic exercises outside.  Then we went inside and did a lot of planks, side planks, ab work, core work. We then ended the warm-up with practicing handstands.  Philip was my partner and he really helped me on form (keeping my legs together, holding my core tight). After that, we did a short set of 3×3 overhead squats, something that I’ve never really done.  The first three I did was 20 kilos, 2nd set was 30 kilos, 3rd set was 32.5 kilos.  I tried to do 35 but it just wasn’t happening for me.  The entire workout was in German, so I just watched what the others did and mimicked them.  The last part of class, we worked on skills and I worked on the rings doing flips back and forth.  It was the first time I had done it and I loved it.  I hope to work on them some more and increase my gymnastics. I ended up doing my reps with the only other woman in the group, Regitze.  She was really great to work with.

At the end of the workout, I asked some people what they thought the best way to get home was and instead of having to find a taxi or take the train back, Regitze and her boyfriend Bernd offered to give me a ride back across town to my hotel.  I just love the Crossfit community. They are originally from Copenhagen and he is a pilot and she works for an engineering firm.  If I come to Gamescom next year, I hope to stop by Crossfit Cologne again and see the growth that they have experienced.  So, no frills, no music, definitely a “start-up” / garage version of a Crossfit box, but we all have to start somewhere, right? As my shirt says “You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great.”

When the internet connection is better, I will try to post more pics from my visit.

Getting at it

Greetings from Germany.  I’m about to head out to visit Crossfit Cologne and do a WoD with them.  My body has no idea what time it is and I’m still a little out of it, so I’m just going to go light with the weight and be careful.  I also have to think about what the conversion of kilos to pounds will be for me 🙂

Before I left, I went to the Sunday morning class at Craic.  The WoD was a 10 minute AMRAP – 5 kettlebell cleans (left and right), 7 kettle bell goblet squats, and 20 double unders.  I went light-ish at 26# and scaled to 10 DU.  I am a little bit tired from combatting a cold and didn’t want to over do it before I was about to hop on a flight across the Atlantic. My hands were really slippery because of the sweat which made the KB hard to handle.  I struggled through this mentally and physically.  Total score: 6.

Okay, off to get at it in German style.  Wish me luck.

Not so magnificent sevens

Today’s WoD, by all accounts, was one of the toughest ones in awhile.  I am still feeling a bit under the weather, so this was especially tough for me.  

7min AMRAP x 3 – 3min rest in between each
7 Toes to Bar
7 Burpees
7 Air Squats

I did knees to armpits / elbows and did the burpees and air squats with no modification.  The knees to armpits part was the “easiest” part of the workout.  Jarrod worked with me on my kipping awhile ago and it really helped today.  But I did get my first “rip” on my hands.  It’s a tiny one, but a first none-the-less.  

I tried to keep moving throughout the entire WoD.  I was moving slow, but moving.  The three minute rest in between sets went by way too quickly.  I also learned not to drink a lot of water in these rests before you are doing burpees.  I thought that I was going to hurl with all that water sloshing around inside me.

Final Score: 4+20 / 4+10 / 4