Business Trip and the Oscars

Stayed up late last night watching the Oscars­® and couldn’t get my shit together in the morning to do at Craic.  Completely regretting this because I have to leave early tomorrow morning for a business trip and I’m at the office working late tonight.  I’m not going to be able to get a workout in NYC (where I’m going) – hopefully I’ll be able to go to a PM class on Wednesday when I get back.

Some notes from the Oscars:

  1. I’m still quite perplexed as to why Ben Affleck got snubbed for a director’s nod for Argo.  I’m glad that they won best picture, so he got some recognition there.
  2. I have seen most of the films that were nominated, with the exception of Life of Pi – and given all the recognition, I definitely need to.
  3. I thought Seth McFarlane was just OK.  Not too spectacular.
  4. I think that it’s sad that there are people who win the Academy Awards for the “less flashy” categories and they cut them off during their speech – which is likely at the pinnacle of their careers. They’ve likely worked their entire careers for this one moment, and they cut them off so that they have enough time for the overly extravagant production numbers, which the majority, in my opinion, were just “meh.”
  5. Dylan Tichenor should have won for editing Zero Dark Thirty. *Note that I’m friends with his brother, but still … he deserved it.
  6. Jennifer Hudson killed it during her performance.
  7. Adele looked amazing.  She should wear her hair down more often and I loved her dress!
  8. I love Jennifer Lawrence.  She’s so not-jaded yet and I hope she keeps that.
  9. I was surprised by Daniel Day Lewis’ humor during his speech.  He is a living legend.
  10. I don’t know why I’ve dedicated so much of this blog post to the Oscars, nor the 4 hours of my life I spent watching them.
  11. I’m in love with Joseph Gordon-Levitt.

Okay, enough of this non-crossfit or cat-related post.

 

 

Strength Workout with Dizzle

Went to the gym early this morning to get a 1-1 with Jarrod, focusing on upper body strength.  We had the whole gym to ourselves, which was quite nice.  It’s hard for me to concentrate during the 1-1 with a bunch of people in the gym.

Empty Craic

Empty Craic

Workout was:

  • 3 x Couplet – 8 x Wide grip bench press (increasing weight), 8 x one step ring rows 
  • 3 x Triplet – 12 x glute bridges with barbell at hip crease, 10 (each arm) x bicep curls (increasing weight), 10 x tricep skull crushers (increasing weight)
  • Clean skill work

The wide bench press was an interesting movement.  It was almost snatch grip.  Weights were: 65#, 75#, 85# – definitely tough to get that 8th rep for 85#.  The one step ring rows were hard on the last couple as well.

For the glute bridges, you had to make sure you had the barbell in the right place or they were quite painful.  Here’s a video of Coach Glen doing them to help you understand.  I did them with 35#.

The bicep and tricep set got exponentially harder as I increased weight.  15# was doable, but difficult.  20# was tough and I could barely squeak out all my reps.  25# was a shit show.  I could only do about 6 bicep curls on each arm and 6 skull crushers.  I went for 7 skull crushers and didn’t even know what I ended up doing.  By the time I was done, my arms were hulking and shredded.  Definitely got my strength workout in today!  My wrist / forearm were killing me with the bicep curls and a little on the tricep work.  Need to use my new handy Arm Aid / torture device and work some of that shit out!

Arm Aid (not a crazy sex toy)

Arm Aid (not a crazy sex toy)

After, as a treat, we got to work on some skill work for my cleans.  There is a method where you pull the bar up and as you extend your hips forward , the bar hits your upper leg and it sort of bounces up.  Definitely something I’d like to work on to get my cleans more efficient.  Definitely something I need to work a lot on.  A little uncoordinated right now doing so, but got one or two of them correctly and I could see why learning this little bit could help my clean a lot.

And finally, my friend Johnny D competed in the Shoreline Crossfit Masters Throwdown yesterday.  He won!  Such a beast!  Here’s a great shot they got of him at the competition:

Johnny D wins Shoreline Crossfit Masters Throwdown

Johnny D wins Shoreline Crossfit Masters Throwdown

Craicaversary and some perspective

So February 20th marks my one since I walked into Craic for my On-Ramp Class.  Jarrod was our coach.  I walked in, not knowing what to expect.  As I waited in the corner by the door with all the other people in the On-Ramp class, I noticed this woman who was winding down from her workout and you could see her six pack through her t-shirt (who ended up becoming a close friend, Susie Diesel!).  Everyone who was finishing the workout looked like they were in great shape but were completely exhausted from whatever they had just done.  I immediately started questioning whether or not I belonged there.  I was woefully out of shape and hadn’t really found a fitness regime that worked for me.

The first workout that we did was an AMRAP 7:

  • 7 deadlifts
  • 7 situps
  • 7 pullups

My notes in my workout app were:

  • Blue, green band assisted pull-ups
  • Pull-ups totally struggled
  • Not full sit-ups (had to pull legs)

I managed to squeak out three rounds.

The second day of the on-ramp training the workout was:

5×5 backsquats for quality with the 15# “lady bar” and then a 500m row.  My time was 2:17.

Wow.  Talk about perspective.   For the past couple of months I’ve been in a funk, too focused on the injuries and things that are preventing me from improving and meeting my goals.  But that’s not really true.  Look at where I am, compared to a year ago. In December, I did 7×7 backsquats at 145#. I PR’d my 1RM at 210#.  I can get through a workout without having to grab my legs to pull me up during sit-ups.  I can deadlift 245#.  My 500m row is 1:46.6.  I have become more confident.  I have better balance in my life.  Overall, I’m a much healthier person. I’ve lost fat, gained muscle.   I am also now a Crossfit Level 1 Trainer!! (Yes, I passed my test!)

cathappy

I’m not spewing those statistics out to brag.  I’m pointing out how easy it is to forget how far you’ve come and don’t forget to celebrate that.  Can’t wait to see what’s next!

Happy Birthday Burpees!

Alarm went off.  I turned it off and rolled over. I spent the next five minutes having a conversation in my head about all the reasons why I could justify sleeping in vs. why I needed to get my ass out of bed and into Craic.  I ended up getting out of bed and going in.

When we got in, Jarrod told us that we were going to do 54 burpees for someone’s birthday as the warm-up.  FIFTY-FOUR.  We all looked at each other, thinking that he was joking, but then the clock counted down and burpees it was.  We continued to do our burpees, looking at each other in disbelief the entire way through – thinking that he was going to stop us after two minutes.  Or three minutes.  I was regretting getting out of bed.  40 burpees in, I realized that he wasn’t joking and we weren’t stopping until we were done with all 54 burpees.  I have no idea how long it took.  And that wasn’t even the workout.  After we were done, we asked who’s birthday it was…turns out no one was turning 54 today.  It was fake birthday day.  Fuck.

Workout, as Rx was:

AMRAP 5
20 kb swings
20 double unders
2min REST
AMRAP 5
row 100m
10 wallballs
rest 2 min
repeat

I modified it as follows:

AMRAP 5
20 kb swings (RUSSIAN) 35#
20 double single unders
2min REST
AMRAP 5
row 100m AB Mat Sit-Ups (Air Dyne is broken!)
10 wallballs (20# med ball cleans)
rest 2 min
repeat

Tough workout for me. First real MetCon that I’ve done since coming back.  I tried to row, but my wrist bothered me (hence the sit-ups) and when I did the throwing/catching motion in the air my left shoulder was tweaking a bit, so I thought better of doing those.  I had done all kinds of work on the med ball clean during the CFL1 Trainer seminar, so I thought I’d do that.  I will say that the CFL1 trainer seminar was really helpful in me learning the process and the “why” of modifying workouts.  I was able to plan out relatively easily how I would modify today’s workout – but still get the same intensity that the other people were getting.  The whole workout was painful.  Every aspect of it.  Glad that I got through it.  Focused on maintaining a steady pace throughout.  Tried to have as high intensity as possible.  Scores were (if I remember correctly):

A) 4+20 / 4+7

B) 3+7 / 3+2

I think that this is how my cats feel sometimes.
that's enough

Grace During a Work in Progress

Last night they posted the workout.  GRACE.  That’s 30 clean and jerks for time.  Rx for women is 95#.  I REALLY wanted to do 95#.  I texted Jarrod to ask permission, but deep down, I knew that this was a bad idea given all my shoulder issues that I’ve touched on.

Me: Can I do RX or is that crazy town.

Jarrod: Depends on that shoulder

Me: Okay.  We can discuss tomorrow.  Also easing back in from being sick.

So, yea.  I think that the lesson we should all take from this is, if you have to ask “permission” you know that you probably shouldn’t be doing it.  I wasn’t asking for that extra push to go heavy because I was scared.  I was asking because I knew it was likely not the best decision and needed someone to talk me down.  Jarrod, knowing that this is my m.o. answered with that reply knowing I would likely come to the conclusion that I needed to – which was 95# was out of the question, given where I was with my shoulder issues.

When I walked in, I told Jarrod of the conclusion that I came to.  We talked about how I was going to scale the weight, and decided that I would go 75#, which is 10# heavier than November when we did Barbells for Boobs.   and we started warming up, I felt really good.  We did a barbell warm-up and 45# seemed like a feather.  I did a few reps at 65#, then 75# … The thought of going Rx started creeping in my head again.  I went up to Jarrod and he just looked at me and said “75# or lighter”.  Thank goodness Craic has coaches that aren’t all about going heavy.  They take time to get to know their athletes and know when to push them hard or pull them back when they get too ahead of themselves.  Jarrod’s two stipulations for me were “Can you do this weight in under 5 minutes?” and “Can you do this weight and guarantee me you won’t hurt your shoulder more.”  Anything than 75# was going to likely cause strain on my shoulders, and deep down I knew this.

I partnered with Angela and really pushed her to get around 5 minutes for her time.  She’s stronger than she thinks she is and did a great job!  I think she finished in about 5:17.  I don’t remember her weight.  But she busted her ass.  Then I did my heat.  I wasn’t sure what the rep scheme was that I was going to use.  I did the first 10 unbroken, then I did a set of four, then a set of three, then sets of two…and then singles.  Tried to take minimal breaks between reps when I dropped the bar.  I finished at 3:30 exactly.  I’m pretty happy with my time considering the small amount of time I’ve spent in the gym the last couple of weeks and my shoulder.  My shoulder felt great, and I had no issues.  Really happy that Jarrod kept me where I needed to be this morning.  As he said to me later “Grace isn’t going anywhere.  Won’t it be cool to do it Rx in October?”

I know that this funk is that I’m simply of being held back and every time I look at a WoD the night before or go into the gym, I’m reminded of all the things I can’t do.  And I need to stop focusing on that aspect of it all.  I need to continually remind myself that this situation isn’t permanent unless I choose for it to be and what I’m doing in the short term will dictate my life in the long term.  I just need to be patient and work on easing back into stuff.  It’s easier said than done, but hey – I’m a work in progress 🙂

Grumpy Cat meets Hello Kitty

Grumpy Cat meets Hello Kitty

Easing Back Into It

After working out a bunch this weekend at the CFL1 seminar and recovering from being sick, I decided to take this next week to get back into it – but ease back into it. I took Monday off (my hamstrings were killing me!) and then I went in on Tuesday.

The workout consisted of two phases.  For me, it was:

A) 5 x (5 negative ring rows, followed by  10 15# – 20# bicep curls)

B) 3 x AMRAP 3

  • 20 single unders
  • 10 ring rows

I don’t remember my scores.  I was sure to only take 1.5 steps back on the ring rows per my last session with Jarrod.  They definitely got hard, but I feel like I’m getting a bit stronger.

Last night I went and got some work done on my shoulders by Nichole and decided to let her work ease into me and also didn’t want to just jump right back into working out all the time and getting myself sick again.  This cold / flu / sickness keeps on leaving me and coming back and I’d just like to have a month where I’m not sick.  So I didn’t workout today.  Will plan on doing so tomorrow.

 

 

 

CFL1 Weekend

Hello after a pretty long absence from blogging!  As mentioned in my previous blog post, I was in San Francisco and came home with a cold which knocked me out of working out for the entire week. Breathing was a major issue.  If I got winded, I would fall into coughing fits.  Yikes! Wahhh!

I originally was keeping this bit of information under my cap, but I realized that the goal of this blog was to be honest and open…and me not talking about this would be against that credo.  I went for my Crossfit Level 1 Trainer test this week.  I wasn’t going to blog about this because I was scared of failing the test and I didn’t want to publicly fail.  Ugh.  But that isn’t what this blog is about and life is about learning from your failure.

couragetocontinue

Anyway, I mainly did it because I want to potentially judge the Regionals for the Crossfit Games and also, maybe sometime in the far off future – it would be nice to coach.  There are other reasons, but those are the main ones.  I was still pretty sick, and if possible, was going to cancel.  Unfortunately, it was non-refundable and I wasn’t goingto eat the decent amount of money I paid for the weekend seminar and test phase.  I won’t go into all the details of what the weekend entailed, but it was a great time overall.  We had some amazing teachers over the weekend that consisted of James HobartMel Ocker”Beast” OckerbySpencer HendelAustin MalleoloEC Synkowski, and Mat Frankel.  All beasts of the North East!  There were a lot of lectures, practical work, and of course, Crossfit workouts both days.  I learned a ton and it was a great experience.  I’m not sure how I did on the test, I’m not the greatest of testers and with the cold – I’m not sure I could process everything that was being thrown at us.  If I didn’t pass, I’ll just take the test again.  I’m just glad that I got to attend and meet lots of great people from the local Crossfit community.

In one of the breakouts, we worked on deadlifts together…and boy…it finally clicked with me on how to use my hamstrings during this movement.  They are on fire today!

Both days at lunch, we got to watch the instructors workout – which was a treat!  Here are some pictures that I managed to get.

ImageMat, Mel, Austin doing sled pushes
ImageHand Stand Push Ups on the rings … no big deal.
ImageSpencer Hendel doing overhead pistols

In other news, the whale tail hair trend for Team Dizzle has gone further than just me and Jarrod.  We’ve started a trend!  One of them is Mel Ockerby hersself!

Image

I’ll close with this cool class picture of the CFL1 class

cfl1main

San Francisco and a new Dizzle!

I went to San Francisco on a business trip and had every intention of going to Lalanne in downtown to get a WoD in.  However, my body was really going for that streak of 6 times in San Francisco and becoming sick for a 6th time.  I’m so thrilled to say that it was a success.  I’m typing this on my way home on the airplane and am stifling my cough and chest that’s currently filling with fluids.  Yay.

I managed to have a good meeting and business dinner and got some time in with my pal, Katy.  Her boyfriend made us a delicious Thai chicken.  I ate some rice this week and also some ice cream.  A treat.  I ate the ice cream at this place called Smitten.  It was a an opportunity that I couldn’t pass up.  It was made to order ice cream, frozen using a special machine called The Kelvin. Read about it on the website to find out more.  I had salted caramel ice cream with a maple whipped cream and some TCHO dark chocolate.

Anyway, here are some pics from my trip:

Clockwise from top left: View of sunrise from my hotel room, Smitten "The Kelvin", Aaron's Thai BBQ Chicken, Me and Katy with our fake smiles

   Clockwise from top left: View of sunrise from my hotel room, Smitten “The Kelvin”, Aaron’s Thai BBQ Chicken, Me and Katy with our fake smiles

Also, some awesome news!  Jarrod Dizzle Davis and his wife Kayla are having another baby!  Leif is going to be a big brother.  I love that whole family and couldn’t be happier!  Here’s a picture showing how happy they are about another little one joining the family.

dizzle

 

I’ll end this post with this: aI’m not sure if I’ve mentioned this before, but Jarrod is growing out his hair and I’m not a fan.  A fellow Craic head posted a picture of him on Instagram with his hair in a ponytail and it was disturbing 🙂  I posted a comment letting them know my disdain and then Jarrod sent a self-portrait of him with the ponytail.  Blech.  As I was getting ready for bed the other night, I noticed that my hair looked the same exact way.

photo 5 (1)

 

I guess like coach, like trainee?

AirDyne before AirPlane

Greetings.  I type this as I sit on a plane somewhere above the US.  I’m currently on my way to San Francisco for a business trip.  Must admit, it’s nice to get away from the snow and cold (and I hear I’m missing some lovely freezing rain!)

I didn’t want to go too hard this morning before my all day flight, so I opted to use today as a recovery day and do my airdyne homework that Jarrod gave me.  I upped my airdyne session to 15 minutes, per his instruction for calories.  He told me that my goal was to get at least 150 calories.  I wasn’t too sure how possible this would be going into it, but told myself to just keep a pace of at least 11 cals per minute and I would be more than golden. Strategy worked, but man, 15 minutes on the airdyne is so tedious.  I don’t know how people run on treadmills for hours or are on the elliptical for that long.  It’s not only a tough cardio workout, it’s also just mentally straining because you’re just fazing out.  I ended up getting 167 calories (almost spot on for my pacing) and Jarrod wants me to re-test at some point this week when I get back from SF.

I’m going to try to go to Lalanne Crossfit while I’m in SF, but it will be a last minute call – who knows how I’ll feel when I wake up tomorrow.  Also, the last five times I’ve gone to SF, I’ve gotten sick.  Hopefully not going to make this 6-6.

Jarrod posted this on his blog a couple of days ago, and I just had to re-post.  Love it.

babybear

Sunday 1-1

Had a private session with Jarrod today.  Still working on strength and some work on my clean form.  I didn’t have the workout written down for me, so I’m doing this re-cap from memory.

The first part of the workout was 6-8 assisted bench press that consisted of a barbell with two of the skinny red bands pseudo assisting coupled with 10 ring rows.  4 rounds of this.  I went up on weight each round for the bench press – I believe I did 75#, 95#, 115# 135# and with the ring rows, I took 1.5 steps back (vs. 2 steps back from last week) and they were tough!  I only ended up being able to squeak out 7 reps.

After that, I did these jump-thrus, where I had my hands on two mini-parallel bars and had to lift myself up while jumping forward and backwards without hitting the ground.  These were tough and required a decent amount of coordination, none of which I seemed to have today.  I got close to getting the hang of the jumping forward part, but the jumping back was a bit problematic.  We coupled those with 10 straight arm rotations with barbells.

The third part was working on my clean, as I have a tendency to pull early and jump backwards.  We did some hang cleans with some pauses programmed in there so I could teach my brain to pull at the right time and stay on my heels.  We ran out of time and Jarrod had another client come in, so he gave me a cash-out core workout that consisted of three rounds:

  • 10 weighted side bends, 40# kb
  • 10 back extensions on the GHD
  • :30 secs of ring held plank

The plank sucked, but good to work on my core.  It needs it desperately.

Still in a bit of a funk.  Hopefully it will pass soon.