Craic crushes the row!

It was an epic day of rowing yesterday.  Susie Diesel crushed her #1 spot-worthy 500m row with an amazing 1:42.6 (her previous PR was 1:44).  Keep in mind, she did this with a “boot cast” on – as she injured her foot a bit and practically rowed one-legged-style.  Judy L., who is a freaking amazing athlete, knocked me down to #4 with a time of 1:44.7.  Reggie, who I mentioned yesterday, kept his spot at #5 all day!

However, one of the most impressive shows is our very own Jarrod Dizzle Davis who did the row, thinking that there was no way he was going to PR.  He sat #1 at 1:22.7 and didn’t think that there was any way he was going to be able to even match it.  Well, like me during my 500m row…he surprised himself.  Check out his 1:21.3 PR time yesterday.  Glen coaching him the entire way!

I was supposed to do Friday’s test today, but last night my knee really started bothering me and I didn’t want to poke at it with a workout of thrusters, burpees, and running right before I am about to leave on a business trip.  The last thing I needed was to make it worse!  Tomorrow I’m headed to Las Vegas and then Seattle for a business trip.  Hope to get visits in at Crossfit Las Vegas and Foundation Crossfit.

Testing, Day 2 – 500m Row

I’m still trying to wrap my head around what happened this morning.  I’ve been working on rowing a lot, we even bought a rower!  Jarrod has been coaching the shit out of rowing classes and I’ve been trying really hard to get my form more efficient.  The last time I tested with Jarrod, my time was 1:58.  I did a semi-speed row a couple of weeks ago as a warm-up at got 1:56.  Today, for the testing day – I wanted to get sub 1:55 – that’s been my goal for quite some time now.

Jarrod, again, gave some really good pointers and a great talk before we did the trial.  He said that he hoped that at least one of the following three things happen to us as we finish the 500m trial – it would be a mark of some hard work:

  1. Our face goes numb.  We can’t feel our mouth, nose, or cheeks.
  2. Our quads and legs are screaming – like our hamstrings are trying to remove themselves from your ass.
  3. T-Rex arms from all the effort (likely caused from in-efficient form, but will prove max effort!)

Jarrod coaching, looking fashionable with his cap

I knew it was less than 2:00 minutes of my life…Kendyl (with whom I was sharing a rower) went in the first round.  Everyone finished and they looked completely wasted.  COMPLETELY.  I think they took Jarrod’s criteria to heart.  I looked at my friend Leila and said we both said to each other with our eyes “Holy shit, this is gonna suck.  Look at the round 1 group.”

Now it was my turn.  I decided that I wasn’t going to look at the time, but instead I knew that I could finish the 500m in less than 60 strokes, so I just counted down strokes.  For some reason, I found this easier to do – and sometimes looking at the clock slows me down.  I occasionally glanced at the pace part of the clock to make sure I was maintaining a quick pace.  The last 100m were brutal.  I just wanted the meters tick down, counted down my strokes and gave it all I had.  I knew that I had definitely broken 1:55, but had no idea how I’d done.  I didn’t look at my time immediately, and that was only after Jarrod said “I’d say that time just put you at #3 on the board…” Wait, what?  I looked at my time:

That’s right!  1:46.6!  Holy shit.  Like I said in the beginning of the post, I’m still trying to wrap my head around it.  It put me on the board for the 500m row at #3. I know that this is bragging, but I pretty much killed my goal and the time trial on the rower. I’m not sure if that will stay as the day progresses, but I’ll take it for the morning.  My friend, Reggie, also made the men’s board today with a time of 1:25.  He’s an animal.  I love him!  I not only surprised myself, but I think I surprised Jarrod too with my time.  He called me a ninja, and was quick to clarify that it’s not because I’m Asian…so I think it’s because I ninja’d my way onto the board? 🙂

Here we are feeling pretty good about our times today and showing the rower who the boss is:

It took me FOREVER to recover.  My face felt numb, my quads were on fire so much that it was hard even walking around without feeling all wobbly.  The second part of the workout was supposed to be four rounds at 80% effort of your row trial.  I think I did about 60% of my row effort for the four rounds, but it was the best way to recover from that all out effort.

Overall a great way to kick off the day.  Couldn’t have done it without my pals cheering me on and the excellent rowing coaching of Jarrod Dizzle Davis.  Love me some Craic.

Some New Craic – Testing Day 1

Took a rest day yesterday.  After the tabata and then sitting in a car for 7+ hours…my body was a mess.  Mostly lounged around the house after going to breakfast and catching a screening of Lincoln in the early afternoon.  I also knew that I’d be working out Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday of this week because it’s another testing week at Craic and I needed to get my tests / workouts in before I left for a business trip to Las Vegas.  So why more tests?  Craic is changing the way that they approach training.  This came after a trip John and Glen took to AZ for OPT Training.  Here’s Glen’s recent post on the new philosophy of training.  We’re going to spend three days testing this week and for each movement, it will put us into a group of which we will stay in while we train.  For some of the movements, we might be in BEG, for others, INT and for some Rx and that will be our swim lane (per movement) for the next two months.

I worked out with Kendyl and Lauren today.  Lauren and I were joking that if we morphed into one person, we would be the ultimate Crossfitter 🙂  She’s amazing at gymnastics and running and I’m pretty decent at strength and rowing.  Ha!  Today’s test was 1RM backsquat and max pull-ups (or scaled version).  The thresholds for what group you’re in were as follows:


RX= 1.5x Bodyweight or more
INT= 1-1.5x Bodyweight
BEG= Bodyweight or less


Men / Women 
RX=  7+
INT= 3-6
BEG = 0-2

Going in, I knew I’m be at BEG for the pull-ups, but surprisingly, until today, I’ve never tested my backsquat 1RM.  For the pull-ups we had the option of doing 3-second negatives or ring pulls.  Pull-ups make me nervous with my shoulder issue, so I talked to Jarrod about doing ring-pulls correctly.  I’ve been doing them a lot lately, but I knew I wasn’t doing them correctly, as they weren’t as challenging as I knew that they could be.  This time, Jarrod had me stand with my feet directly beneath the rings and it was definitely more challenging.  I squeaked out 11 ring pulls.  Officially in the BEG group.  By the way, Lauren got 11 strict pull-ups!

Working with Lauren and Kendyl was great on the backsquat.  Kendyl totally underestimated her own strength and was like “I think I’ll try for 105 today.”  She and Lauren both ended up getting 130#!  I checked what I did historically and did a 5×5 at 125# in September and prior to that, 5×3 at 145# in August.  Other than that, I never tested it.  I knew that likely I could do 165#, as that’s my front squat.  I did the following rep scheme: 75# x 2, 95# x 3 (warm up) and then 125#, 145#, 165#, 175#, 185#, and then I decided to try for 195#.  I rebounded off the bottom no problem, but when I got the middle of the lift my body just stopped.  It (as Jarrod also pointed out) was a very weird place for me to pause in the middle of my lift.  He thought I was going to fail, but somehow after the pause, I stood right up!  I’m really happy with 195#.  It put me in the INT group for that movement.  Can’t wait to get 200# at the end of this training regime!

Today also marked my half-year point of check-ins at Craic.  I’m still the mayor 🙂 I’ve been going to Craic for 8 months, but didn’t start doing the Foursquare thing until today.

Tabata at Crossfit Delaware Valley

Today I got a workout in at CFDV before we left to head back to Boston. There were less visitors there today, but there were a few from yesterday and also some new friendly people. It definitely reminded me of the atmosphere at Craic, people there are so awesome. I’m glad that they are there to be my go to crossfit box when I’m visiting my in-laws in PA!

Our coach today was Brandon Vescio. The workout was:

Deadlift – Find 5RM

and then a

“Tabata Trio”

Row (cals)
Slamballs (30/20)
Double Unders Russian KB swings 26#

I worked out with a girl named Jaime who is a freaking beast. Her 1RM deadlift is at least 315# (I can’t remember the exact number, but … definitely over 315#) She is amazing! Her goal for the 5RM was 245# for this workout. My goal was 205#. I did the following rep scheme: 135#, 165#, 175# and I ended up finishing 5RM @ 185#. I tried 205#, but it just didn’t feel right. After doing getting to 185#, I thought better of doing 205#, as I was going to be sitting in a car for 7-8 hours for the drive home later today and since my initial lift didn’t feel great, I just stopped. Jaime got to her 245#. She has such a smooth deadlift. I love watching other people lift with good form because you just learn so much. Brandon gave me a good pointer about opening my hips faster as I get to the top of the lift as well that I will definitely take with me in the long term. Great workout partner AGAIN at CFDV!

Then we went onto the TABATA trio. This was rough. We did all three exercises without a rest in between. That’s 24 rounds. Have you ever wanted to cry in the middle of a workout? I did today. I think I wanted to cry the last time we did a TABATA workout at Craic (which was in June). I started on the rower. They scored the TABATA differently, total score for each exercise was your score (vs. lower score, which is what we do at Craic). I started with the row, which wasn’t terrible. I’m beginning to really like rowing (at least the row sprints). Then we went to slam balls and mid-way through the 8 rounds of those, that’s when I started to feel exhausted. But you just power through. That’s what you do…there is a finite amount of time that the workout could last and I just put on my big girl pants and powered through. Then we went to the Russian KB swings. Before it started, I felt confident about 24# because I usually workout with the 35# KBs…that confidence fell away very quickly after the first round. Between the deadlifts and the slam balls…my arms and my core were shot.

Final scores:

Row: 48 cals total

Slam Balls: 52 (Rounds: 4,6,7,7,7,7,7)

KB Swings: 70 (Rounds: 8,8,9,8,8,9,10,10)

Here’s a shot of me and Jaime post TABATA. Jaime looks all rested and I’m a hot mess. I know I’m Asian and my eyes are normally squinty, but I apparently couldn’t even keep them open I was so zonked!

Went back to my inlaws, packed up and we were off for home. If any of you watch How I Met Your Mother, I felt like Barney Stinson did after he ran a marathon and sat in the subway. Ouch!



ElizaFranStina at Crossfit Delaware Valley

After all the food from the holidays and getting over the stomach bug, I got back at it and went and worked out at Crossfit Delaware Valley.  There were about 20 people working out today and almost half of them were from out of town.  Great facility in Broomall, PA that’s been around since 2007 and owned by Rob Miller.  He turned out to be our coach today and was simply fantastic. Such a great guy, and it really set the tone for the workout.  They were really welcoming and friendly, something I really appreciate when visiting other Crossfit boxes.  I met one woman named Aimee from Atlanta, another named MJ from S. Carolina, and my workout partner was a gal named Kris who was in town from Orlando.  There were a bunch others and all of our bellies were bigger than normal from pigging out yesterday.

The workout was ElizaFran, which is a combination of the of the “girls” workouts – Elizabeth and Fran.  It was written as follows:


Squat Clean Thrusters (95/65)
Ring Dips

Because I’m still a bit tentative about my shoulders, I decided to play it safe and modify.  I emailed Coach John last night and confirmed how I should modify.  I did the workout as follows:

ElizaFranStina (my mod wod)


Squat Cleans Thrusters @ 75#
Ring Dips Chest to Abmat Push-ups
Pullups  Ring pulls

Holy shit, this workout sucked.  A combination of it just…well, being a HAM workout, getting over the stomach bug, and eating like crap yesterday.  Wow.  I had to break up the squat cleans like crazy.  Sometimes only doing 1-2 reps at a time.  Kris did a great job of cheering me on and coaching me through.  I didn’t feel like I jumped back on the cleans, however I did have not-so-consistent elbows.  The push-ups were also broken out and the ring pulls were almost my recovery time between sets, although I had to break them up as well.  This was a tough workout and more than once my mind thought about quitting.  Especially during the squat cleans.  What I would have given to have just power cleaned them.  The squat part was excruciating.  I got through the workout in 13:03. 

Kris did an amazing job as well.  She did the squat clean thrusters and did a really great job breaking up the sets.  I kind of messed up counting for her in the first round and was counting her down to 15 reps…when it should have been 21…oops!  If I ever go to Orlando, I’m going to visit her CF box!

Here’s a picture of me and Rob at CF Delaware Valley.  Outside of Craic, one of the best coaches I’ve encountered!  We’re on top of the jerk boxes, yo.


And here’s my workout partner, Kris. She was awesome!

Back at it tomorrow.  Deadlifts and the dreaded tabata!


Happy Thanksgiving!

Didn’t workout today, but provided plenty of reason for me to get my ass to Crossfit Delaware Valley tomorrow morning.  Looks like they are doing a workout called ElizaFran.  I emailed John and confirmed some ways that I should modify.

Was a great Thanksgiving.  After this tumultuous year, I’m very thankful for my Niko, family, friends, cats, and crossfit.  Without any of them, this year would have completely sucked.

The weather was beautiful in the Philly area today, so we took advantage and we all went for a walk around Swarthmore College, which is about a 5 minute drive from here.  Fall hasn’t completely left the area and it made for a beautiful walk about.  Niko’s cousin, Joel, drove up from the DC area and joined us for Thanksgiving as well.  He got here early this morning.  Niko’s mom made a delicious spanish tortilla for breakfast and then we headed out.  Here are some of the sights:

We then went home and lounged around the house.  My shoulder has been bothering me a bit, so I used the lacrosse ball to work some of the bad bits out.  Never leave home without it now.  I carry one in my purse.  After that, I put on my kitty slippers and spent some time on my iPad.

We had an epic Thanksgiving dinner, filled with deliciousness.

Overall, great day.  We ended the day playing Cards Against Humanity with Niko’s whole family, including his parents.  I was a bit worried, but they ended up really liking it and some of the combos they picked solidified them as best in laws ever.




Travel Day

I had lots of plans for today.  I was going to get up early, go to class at Craic, go home, last minute packing, and jet out the door on our way to PA to be with Niko’s family for Thanksgiving.  Then, after doing a mini-poll on Facebook about when we should leave in the morning, I decided to scrap Craic plans and we were going to leave bright and early to avoid traffic.  Neither of these plans ended up happening.  Ugh.  I woke up around 2:00AM and starting puking my guts out and had an upset stomach for the remainder of the evening.  I slept in, hoping I would be ok enough to drive to Philly.

We ended up leaving around 8:00AM and after stopping at virtually every rest stop between Dedham and Philly – ended up getting to Philly in about 6.5 hours.  I didn’t eat all day, for fear of having an unfortunate incident on the road – but the minute I got to my in-laws house – I ate a banana and some oatmeal and managed to keep it in my system!  Yay.  This made me feel confident that I could devour my mother in laws homemade taquitos (which I did).

So this isn’t really a post about Crossfit, Cats, or Video Games…but thought I’d share what happens on the days I don’t workout.  Here’s a cute little picture of a market called Swiss Farms in the suburb that we’re staying in.  It’s freaking adorable.  Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!


Push and Row

Today was a really tough, but fun, workout.  Again it was a strength workout combined with interval training.  Loved it.  I don’t envy the coaches, as organizationally, they seem a bit hard to coach in the span of an hour – but Jarrod did a great job today.

Push Press 4-6 reps x5
3 sec hold at the top

Rep Ranges: Moving forward when you see a rep range like above (4-6) it means that every set the min number you can do is 4, max 6. If you achieve 6 you increase the weight for the next set
10 min partner row for max meters – partners switch every minute so it’s basically 1min on 1min off for 10min

Jarrod paired me with my pal Nicole and wanted met to keep in the same weight range and didn’t push too heavy, given my shoulder issues.  I need to just keep on doing the bullet proof shoulders and gradually go up in weight.  She’s pregnant and wasn’t going to go all beast mode on the weight.  We ended up building to 75# and did three sets at that weight.  My shoulder didn’t give me any pain and I did 6 reps for each set. Felt good and comforting that there was no pain.

Then we went onto the row.  I love interval training.  Nicole hates rowing (even though she is pretty good at it!) and is super pregnant, so my goal was to get us over 2000 meters together.  I went out pretty hard in the first interval – at about a 1:40 / 500m pace.  I can’t wait to do a 500m time trial.  Hoping to get sub 1:50.  Anyway, the transition part (as Jarrod told us) was the most time consuming part, but we got through it.  The last 1:00 was BRUTAL – but left the rower feeling like I got a really good workout in.  Our final time was 2167m.  Here’s a pic of our final scores (aren’t we adorable!)

Here’s a panoramic shot of the Craic O’Dawn crew doing the same workout.  It’s an action shot, which is why all the people rowing  look all distorted and/or are missing.

I’m feeling pretty sore (in a good way) from the last week’s worth of workouts.  I’m going to go in tomorrow, as Jarrod let us know he programmed tomorrow.  I don’t know if this is a mistake, because one time he programmed a workout in celebration of his son (Leif’s) 2nd birthday called “The Terrible Twos” and it was very, very terrible indeed.  So terrible that the name and the WoD is forever etched into my brain.  I paired with Jamie and during the wall ball portion, I believe that I had a full fledged temper tantrum and threw the medicine ball down and kicked it repeatedly.

Help me! I’m Air-Dyning Here!

Today was a fantastic workout.  We did a strength portion, interval, and AMRAP (metcon).  When I read it on the website last night I was both excited and dreading it at the same time. John was coaching this morning and I worked with him to figure out where I should modify given my sprained ankle.  Running was out of the question, as was double unders.  We (and by “We”, I mean JOHN) decided that I would sub the air dyne for both.  I hate the air dyne.  It’s an incredibly efficient workout, but it’s also an instrument of torture.  Also, you look just plain silly while doing it.  My mod wod was as follows:

A) On the min for 10mins
Even – 3 Heavy Power Cleans – drop the weight on each rep
Odd – 7 Ring Dips/ Pushups
rest 3mins

B)Run 400m for time 1:40 on Air Dyne for calories
rest 5mins

C) 12min AMRAP
10 Box Jumps – step down (I stepped up too)
10 Toes to bar/Situps
10 Double Unders 5 cal on Air Dyne

Here’s what the class in front of me looked like mid-AMRAP:

EMOM: I started out with 95# for the EMOM, but John told my pal that he needed to go heavier, because it should be heavy enough that we drop the weight after every rep.  I bumped it up to 115# for the rest of the EMOM and that was just about perfect.  I did regular push-ups and they didn’t bother my shoulder at all.

INTERVAL: Did 1:30 on the air dyne for total calories.  Torture.  The first 30 seconds were great, I cruised through them.  Then it really started hurting for the last minute.  I swear, after this injury stuff is said and done, I’m going to have quads of steel.  I was hoping for at least 20 cals, I ended up getting 34 cals.  My legs were jelly when I got off.

METCON (AMRAP 12): Goal was to get a steady pace in and a good workout.  Not a full sprint, but just some steady hard work.  I was a bit disappointed with my final score.  6+18, but as I dissect it, I think it’s because I was stepping up and stepping down for the box jumps and doing 5 cal on the airdyne.  If I was doing double unders, I could have done a bit more.

Overall, the workout felt great. Having strength and some metcon provided for a really satisfactory workout.  I hope we do more like that.

So, about the No Bread Challenge.  I didn’t really participate at the end, as you saw from my dwindling posts about food and such. I just wasn’t feeling it this challenge.  I didn’t submit my before and after.  I was relatively good staying on the No Bread lifestyle with the occasional treat here and there.  I Craic as a whole has set me up to be more aware about what I’m putting in my body and to live a healthier lifestyle in general.  I managed to maintain my weight, but I definitely have some weight loss goals that I need to work harder towards.  I can’t wait to see who from Craic won.  I think Jay and Nicole have a good fighting chance of winning, but we’ll see.