Sunday Runday

Back in Los Angeles and after a hectic week, found out that Angelino had Sunday classes.  I had a brunch scheduled for later in the day, but wanted to make the class.  I had no excuse as to why I shouldn’t workout other than pure laziness and fear of what looked like a very hard workout – so I went.  I definitely need to get into a routine.

View of the gym and my first time working out in my Nike Metcons

View of the gym and my first time working out in my Nike Metcons

We started with a 700m run and for the last 200m we sprinted.  Then, as we all wandered back into the box, Karlos presented us with a small box filled with folded pieces of paper.  Once everyone was back from the warm up, we were informed that we were doing 2 tabatas prior to the workout using the 8 movements that we picked (4 per tabata).  I can’t quite remember all of the ones we did, but man, tabatas are terrible 🙂

Then we went into the workout, which was called Cerebrus.  I modified the crap out of this one:

3 Rounds for Time:

300m Run12x Single Arm KB Press (Rx 40+/30+) 10# bicep curls (6 per arm)
15x Box Jumps (Rx 24+/20+) step-ups
12x KB Swings 24#
10x Goblet Squats 10#
300m Run
6x Strict Pull-Ups ring rows
12x Knees-to-Elbow did these on the ground
15x Hand Release Push-Ups wall push-ups
5x Wall Balls (Rx 20/14) 10#

Final time: 26:10

This one was tough, but I got to break in my brand new Nike Metcons.  Short review: Awesome.  Better for varied workouts than the Nanos.    The runs felt really slow (and were actually slow) for me.  I am also having a hard time figuring out what weights to do.  I can’t tell if I’m choosing lower weights because I’m scared of not being able to do the workout (failing) or if I’m choosing them because (and this is what I tell myself) I want to ease back into Crossfit and not go to heavy too fast and injure myself all over again.  Most likely, it’s a combination of them both – but it’s something that I know that I’ll be constantly evaluating as I venture forth back into Crossfit.  Stay tuned, friends.

Feel the Fear

One of my goals was do to get my shoulder better and do Grace Rx.  Craic has been doing a lot of prep for Barbells for Boobs – which they will be holding on Friday, November 1st.  I have kept it cautious and thought that if I did B4B next year, I’d do 65# like last year and see if I could improve my time.  But if you read last year’s post – my main takeaway from the 2012 Barbell for Boobs was that I couldn’t wait to do Rx in 2013.  Truth is, my shoulder is feeling better – but I am really scared.  I’m scared about hurting myself again.  I’m scared about actually doing the Rx weight and crashing and burning.  I’m scared of a DNF.  I’m scared about putting myself back on a path to being better only to have something derail my progress again.   Blargh!

Today, our workout was 3 rounds of 10 clean and jerks with 2:00 rest in between.  I was going to go the safe route and do 65#.  Jarrod, pushing me a bit – suggested I do one round at 65#, another at 75#, and the third at 85#.  But then I saw Judy L.’s bar sitting on the floor at 95# and decided to do a couple of reps to see how it felt.  It was heavy, but there was no pain when I clean and jerked it up.  I looked at Judy and she just said “Do it.  Do it!” and I thought what the hell – I would try and worse case was that I could drop the weight if the rounds became untenable.  So I started.  First round was okay.  My first rep I completely hyper extended my back. I think just getting the jitters out.  I decided to do singles and re-group at the bottom.  Not sure if that’s the best strategy – but it’s what I planned to do.  The last couple of reps in the first round got tough (Jarrod also gave me a queue to use my hips more) and then I started over thinking the clean.  Second round felt about the same as the first round except my legs got more tired.  Third round, last three reps.  Ugh.  I had to press the jerk up as I didn’t get underneath the bar in rep 8.  Rep 9, I really focused on getting under the bar and it went up fast.  Rep 10, same as rep 8.  I was GASSED.  But I finished.  I was able to do 30 clean and jerks at 95# with no pain (well, no bad pain…)  Granted it was broken up – but now I really have no excuse to not do 95# next week.  Looking back, I was grateful for the push from Jarrod and Judy.


I read a book awhile ago, per my pal Katie’s suggestion called “Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway.”  Katie was scared of putting herself out there in a competition format.  Terrified.  Since reading the book, she has done multiple competitions and becomes more confident every time.  I have no idea how next Friday will go.  No idea at all.  I’m going to work with Jarrod to figure out a plan so I can have some control over what my rep scheme is – but really, all I can do is feel the fear and do it anyway.

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Overcoming Fear

No Bread Challenge – Day 7

Today was a private session with Jarrod.  The goal was work on my snatch, especially the snatch drop – which is something that I’ve been frustrated with recently.  During the testing week and in the snatch drop work we did in class it was equally frustrating.  I need to get over my fear of getting under the bar.  

Today started out with a bang.  I got to the gym, wearing only my Tom’s and couldn’t find my OLY shoes in my bag.  Long story short, after jetting back home only to find my Crossfit sneakers and jetting back to Craic – I found them in a big pocket tucked in the back of my bag.  I know that this is confusing.  It’s confusing to me too.  They are large objects…and then we start the workout.

Jarrod told me that the workout was called “Fear”.  We started out doing the junkyard dogs exercise.  I accidentally kicked Jarrod in the ribs during one of the jump overs.  Then we did some sort of lilypad jump where I had to jump and land on the plates in a squat.  He told me that the junkyard dogs exercise was to help me cut through the fear of jumping and landing.  Then onto him ramping me up for the dreaded snatch drop.

We started with using the 45# bar and putting it on the back squat position.  I held the bar with my snatch grip and pressed the bar up 5x.  It’s hard to get the shoulders to engage!  Then he had me do this while I was in a squat position.  Much harder and required me keeping my core really tight.  After, we did snatch balances. The goal of those is to get the body to heave the bar up a little bit and then drop underneath.  It’s a dip, then drive.  Here’s Coach Burgener talking about them.  I like these a lot more than the snatch drop.  I think the bit of momentum pushing the bar up prior to dropping under it is a bit comforting.  I did 2 sets of 5 with 45# and had very little issues.  

Then it was onto the dreaded snatch drops.  For some reason (credit: junkyard dogs?) I was relatively calm going into doing them with 45#.  I think that the drills we did prior and in conjunction with doing the OHS/Burpee WOD earlier this week  gave me more confidence that I could hold the weight over my head and not drop it.  I did 2×5 of 45# snatch drops and I scored an A- on them.  Now we added some weight and I did 2×5 of 55#.  I handled those pretty well too.  Then we got to 65# and my directive was to do 2×3.  This is where I started to struggle.  A couple of them I dropped and then pressed the bar up.  But the good news is that I did them and didn’t stand there frozen in fear.

We used the last 15 minutes to do some hang snatches:

  • 3×55#
  • 3×65#
  • 1×70#
  • 1×75#
  • 1×80#
  • 1×85#

Here’s video of me doing one at 70# and then one at 85#.  The 85# is REALLY messy and you can hear me cackle at the end because I know how messy it was.  

Overall it was a great session.  Jarrod is an amazing coach and is really working hard to help me overcome this fear.   I’m looking forward to improving more and more.  I think that it’s great that I was able to do a hang snatch at 85#.  It gives me hope that I will be able to put up more weight in the near future.  As Jarrod proclaimed in one of our first sessions “My snatch will be magnificent!”

Yesterday’s Food:

  • Leftover scramble (see yesterday’s post)
  • Smoothie with mixed berries, vanilla SFH, unsweetened almond vanilla milk
  • Amazing egg salad with carrots, cilantro, truffle salt stuffed into bell peppers (see below)

And then we went to Craigie on Main for my birthday dinner.  It was AMAZING.  We did the tasting menu and had six courses of whatever they felt like bringing us.  Here are brief descriptors of what we ate, I’m not sure of all the ingredients.

  • 2 bread rolls (homemade deliciousness) with butter
  • Amuse-bouche of bluefin tuna salad thing
  • Sashimi with plums and vinaigrette
  • Poached sea trout that tasted like butter
  • Duck ragout pasta with mushrooms
  • Veal cooked two ways (grilled and sweatbreads)
  • Brussel sprouts fried in duck fat
  • Apple and celery sorbet
  • Little cheesecake and a peanut parfait (small portions)

Here’s Niko and I all dressed up for dinner on our date night.  Notice my awesome dress!

Fear and Ankles

Today’s WoD:

  • 50-40-30-20-10 Double Unders
  • 20-15-10-5 burpees

We started the hour with some barbell snatch work.  Moved our way through it and then went into snatch drops.  I’ve really got to overcome my fear of snatch drops.  Even with the 45# bar, they are a psychological block for me.  As we were doing them as a class, my pal Leila didn’t complete her snatch drop and the bar fell on her head.  This freaked me out and I was paralyzed.  Jarrod would yell “Drop!” and the whole class would drop under the bar and I just stood there with the bar on my shoulders unable to move.  Logically, I know that this is something that should be no problem to me.  I just need to move through the fear.  Not sure how to do that yet.  Leila, to her credit, jumped right back on it and did her remaining snatch drops.  I need to find a way to get over this.  I know that I could snatch 100+ if I could just get under the damn bar.

After the barbell work we started the WoD.  I went into it knowing that I would scale the double unders to 1/2 of the amount. The DUs started out strong, I actually PR’d with 22 unbroken.  I finished my last three and my ankle got a lovely sharp pain on the side.  I moved on and did my 20 burpees, which actually weren’t too terrible.  Then I started the DUs again and my ankle was in a pain.  I didn’t want to DNF the WoD, so I went over, grabbed an abmat and did sit-ups in place of DUs.  So, my workout looked like this:

  • 25 double unders, 20 burpees
  • 20 sit-ups, 15 burpees
  • 15 sit-ups, 10 burpees
  • 10 sit-ups, 5 burpees
  • 5 sit-ups

Overall time: 9:11

So a note about my ankle.  I’ve struggled for over a decade with my right ankle.  After multiple severe sprains in college (soccer), the ligaments are all stretched out and essentially useless.  In the past five years, I have fractured my ankle twice and sprained my ankle severely 3 times.  The last doctor I spoke to indicated that I would likely have to have surgery in the next 10 years to fix it. It was so problematic that when I would walk and sometimes my ankle would just flop out and I would sprain it.  For example, in 2010, I was in Marrakech, Morocco (celebrating the wedding of my friend, Adam and his wife Wendy).  I had just spent a lovely time at the spa with some friends.  I was walking in flip flops and my ankle just collapsed and went out on me.  I did a full on Superman fall flat onto the street.  I spent the rest of the time in Marrakech and our time in Paris with a bum, swollen ankle.  As you can see from my lovely ankle accessory in the picture below.  

Crossfit has changed all this.  Since the rest of my body is now stronger, the muscles around my ankle are basically compensating now more effectively for my shitty ankle ligaments.  I’ve turned my ankle coming down on a box (from jumping pull-ups) and in the past, an event like this would cause a severe roll out and turn into a sprain.  Now it just rolls out and bounces back.  The only effect that I’m seeing is that high impact (jumping, running) tends to bother it.  The DU’s today were no exception, but the pain was more severe than normal.  I think that this stems from a small roll I had a couple of weeks ago.  I’m going to take these next couple of weeks working on mobility, stretching, etc. to see if I can get it to cooperate and not hate impact events so much.