Insert Generic Title Here

I’d post some stoopid subject like “Back at It” or “Goals” – but I think I’ve done this before and sang a similar tune.

Having said that, I met with John McEvoy last week to set some goals and try to map out a plan.  With the injuries and some other things going on (inside of the gym and out) – I haven’t felt very inspired to go to the gym and get a workout in.  I started cherry picking workouts and only going 2-3 times per week.  I did my mobility and such at home, but haven’t worked out on a consistent basis.  I was lackadaisical with my nutrition as well – haven’t really gained weight – kind of maintaining.

John had a goal setting workshop last week, which is based off John Demartini’s value determination exercise.  I’ve done that a couple of times, but never gone through the next step of re-prioritizing them.  Usually when I do value determination exercise, my areas with the highest values are:

  1. Health
  2. Family / Social
  3. Vocational

But when I went through the second bit of the determination exercises and prioritized based off what I would choose over the other, it actually ended up being:

  1. Family / Social
  2. Vocational
  3. Health

In short, in every choice I make – if there’s a choice between working out and doing something with / for my family or work – I will always choose family or work.  If there is a choice between work and family/friends – I will always choose family and friends.  And the point of this whole process is that prioritization is OK and I need to come to terms with that.

I’m not actually sure where I’m going with this post, but I guess, in short, doing that exercise really helped me when John and I were discussing the appropriate path for me moving forward. We worked together to set some longer term goals (which I’m choosing to keep between John and myself for the time being) and a going forward plan that he and I will work together with to tweak and adjust as we need to.

At a very basic level, part of the day to day plan is:

  • Back to focusing on clean eating and getting a hold back on my nutrition.  I’m really thinking about what I’m eating and why I’m eating it.  Does eating something bad for me in a moment help me achieve my long term goals?  Is it worth slowing down that progress?  Sometimes it will be, sometimes I will find moments of weakness – but I really need to be thinking about WHY I’m eating what I’m eating when I’m eating it.  Have you used eating so many times in a sentence?  #eating
  • I really like classes vs. working out on my own – so John is working with me with the weekly programming (and adjusting that day’s programming so I can participate in class at least three times per week, but still do what I need to do that’s right for me) and also giving me one bit of personal programming to do on my own.
  • I will dedicate one hour in the gym per week solely focused on mobility and recovery.
  • John will be checking in on me (via my blog and drive-bys at the gym) to see if I am staying on track.  I will (as I have always been) be honest in my blog and if he starts seeing a pattern of me missing workouts for no good reason, he’s going to call me out on it.  I need that accountability.

Onto the Workouts

MONDAY

Given the above I started this on Monday and the accountability factor already kicked in.  In a throwback to one of my Focus 2014 items (reading) – I started reading City of Thieves by David Benioff.  One of those reads that I couldn’t put down and I stayed up way too late on Sunday night reading it (subsequently, I finished the book last night). You can read my quick reviews on the books I read here.  Anyway – I fell asleep super late and then had trouble getting up the next Morning.  FUCK.  I had programming to do that day (in class) – and I had no good reason (like a priority value) that I didn’t get up.  So I went to the 7:30PM with Niko and got my workout in, knowing that I had plans on Tuesday night – which meant that I had to go to class less than 12 hours later in the 6:30AM.

  • 5 x 10 Front Squats (95#)
  • 5 x 15 Ring Rows
  • 3 x 15 External Rotations (5#)
  • 3 x 15 bicep curls (10#)

Weight was perfect (legs are sore today).  The last set got heavy.  Turned the FS and the RR into a couplet.  Worked out well.  Did two warm-up rounds at 43# and 75#.  Been doing external rotations consistently and my right shoulder is feeling stronger. Dare I go up to 7.5# next time? Ben also gave me some pointers on head position doing ring rows so my neck didn’t hurt.Since I was semi-participating in class, I also watched some amazing dudes (Matt, Tucker, Niko, and Andy) all get PRs on their back squats.  Was awesome to watch them.  Loved watching Niko get a PR on his back squat of 225# which is essentially 1.5x his body weight. I mean, seriously.  Who is this guy?  I am also totes jelly that he can officially back squat more than me.  (I also know I am totes to old to be using totes jelly).  Tucker, Andy, and Matt all did a great job as well – just really awesome to see them all PR.

TUESDAY

Morning – John was coaching the class!  Which was kind of awesome.

4 rounds

  • 15 DB shoulder to overhead (17.5# / each)
  • 2 minutes on the airdyne

Rest 5 minutes.  I actually rested 4 minutes and about 30 seconds between rounds and it was fine.  I wasn’t doing an all out sprint per my programming – but was definitely at a pace where I “didn’t want to talk to anyone” during – which is what John programmed.  Cherry picking SUCKS in the long term and I learned that the hard way.  Definitely good to get the heart rate pumping, haven’t done that in awhile 🙂

Legs are sore.  Rest day tomorrow, maybe I will get some mobility in.

 

 

 

 

Bob Loblaws Law Blog

Twinsies

Twinsies

That’s what I posted for my score today. “BLAH BLAH BLAH

John was coaching as he is growing a mustache that is creepy as shit.  I couldn’t look him in the eye. I stared at his shoes the whole workout and then when he took off his sweatpants in the middle of the gym and stood in his skivvies, I looked at … um … the pattern in his boxer briefs…

Workout was a sprinting-ish workout.

A. 3 rounds
10 Shoulder Press (20#)
AD 90 sec @90%
rest 2 min in between rounds

B. 3 rounds
10 DB walking lunges heavy (25#)
run 200m
rest 2 min in between rounds

C. 7min AMRAP
12 sit-ups
8 kb swings
30 Double Unders

The last part is scratched out because when I was running, I noticed my ankle hurting a wee bit.  Looked down when I was down and it had started to swell up.  So I was going to sub step-ups for double unders, Then I picked up the 44 bell and did some swings, and my bi-cep was pulling, tried 35, and then 26 and same feeling.  So I just did 500m on the rower, 20 sit-ups, and then 500m on the rower.  Maintained a steady pace and didn’t go too fast.  Meh.

 

Use those hips, clean and jerk

Not a super exciting post today.  Just a status update.

Went into the gym this morning for a one on one sesh with John McEvoy to work on my clean and jerks.  Need to use those hips more (as Jarrod reminds me all the time).

Did a bunch of drills, working on hip action and getting under the bar explosively.  Also worked on stringing together singles as I prepare for Grace and trying to put together a strategy.  John mapped out what the worst case scenario might be, which still has me finishing in under 7 minutes.  So I guess my goal is to finish sub-7, not sub-10 (which I think is the time cap).

Super helpful session.  John has a good eye for these things. You would think he’s like, a professional or something.  Have added most of the drills to my homework and will also work on them as I warm up for Grace on Friday.

Also, yesterday was National Cat Day.  I didn’t bring it up in my blog because #everydayiscatday

PS. Go Red Sox!

catsox

 

 

 

 

Small Victories

Of all the things people want in their crossfit journey, mine seems simple.  An unassisted pull-up (strict, dead hang).  I wrote it up on the white board at Craic as one of my goals almost a year ago.  I think it’s been up there so long that it’s seeped into the white board permanently.  With all the shoulder issues and trying to meet my weight loss goals, it’s seemed impossible.  I wish that the introduction of this post ended with…and today was finally the day.  However, it isn’t 🙂  But I had what some people consider a small step – for me it was a small victory.

When I started Crossfit, I had to use the thickest band to do pull-ups.  The black band.  I finally graduated to being able to do a couple of pull-ups on the green band but then my shoulders went to shit.  I’ve been doing the personal programming with John for the last couple of weeks and I’ve been doing green banded pull-ups. I must admit, it’s been nice to be back on the bar.  Well, the green bands have seemed easy-ish.  I was able to do 5 sets of 5 unbroken, even taking time to come to a full pause at the bottom per Jarrod’s instruction.  So, I thought – what the heck, I’ll try it with the blue band and see how far I have to go.  I’ve tried the blue band before and not been able to get up to anywhere close to the bar.  Well, I’m happy to say that I got two full pull ups with the blue band (full pause in between and all).  I’m going to continue to work on my progressions and bi-cep work and hopefully before the opens, I’ll have a couple of unassisted pull-ups under my belt!  It’s a small victory on my pull-up journey – but I’m really excited!

pullsup2 victory

 

 

Kittens and Deadlifts

Couple of things.  Tweaked my back a bit after all the dead lifts.  Not sure what I did, but it hurt to even walk for a couple of days.  Did workout two (back squats, step-ups, pull-ups, bi-ceps) and it felt good.  Talked to John before doing workout one again and he suggested I go pretty light on the dead lifts but focus on good form and breathing.  Kind of sucks because I feel like it’s taking away progress, but I got over it and that’s what I’ll do.  To John’s point, you can’t really get stronger until you get better.  My bench press felt a little smoother, a little better.  It’s going to take work, but I’m ready.

On that note, you can check out my workout weights HERE.

My pal, Amber, posted this earlier today and I feel like if my cats could text, this is what it would look like.

Also, if you just want to watch a feel good video that will make your day which may or may not include a kitten being brought back to life by a big burly firefighter…and quite possibly the best use of a GoPro that I’ve seen to date…

Looking forward to the weekend!

 

New Programming (and a long-a** post)

So I wrote a long email to John McEvoy, the head coach / owner of Crossfit Craic.  I’ve been working with him on some nutrition stuffs and when I took the 3.5 weeks off because of business travel, I used it to really focus on what my goals are.  Here is an abbreviated version of the email that I sent him:

*****

After not seeing him for a long time, I remember asking Jay about a month ago if he’s still at Craic.  He said he was taking a month off and would be back soon.  I remember thinking that a month seemed like a long time off – but understood the need for a break.  As I sit on this plane, having not worked out since August 14th, I now understand.  I missed working out, but I’ve been so busy with work and traveling that I haven’t had the chance or desire to.  On the rare days during my travels where I’ve had time, I’ve opted not to because my body is so tired from lack of sleep, lack of nutrients, standing /walking all day, chasing people, talking, meetings…Even with those excuses, I found that over time –  I was making the conscious choice not to go to the gym.  I also (some in my control, some not) did not eat as well as I should have during these last couple of the weeks.  A little too many meals with potatoes, and snacks that included candy and chips… But not enough to actually gain wait (I’ve actually lost weight – including muscle) over the last couple of weeks.

But as weird as this sounds, I believe that I needed this time out to get my bearings, set goals, and simply reset.  I have definitely seen tangential benefits from the work that I’ve done over the last 1.5 years of Crossfit and the last couple months of nutrition work over these last couple of weeks.  I had so much more stamina to stand, run around, survive these last three weeks. This would have never happened without Crossfit.  In addition, while there were times where I indulged in foods that I shouldn’t have (some by choice, some because I had no other choice) I didn’t go full bore into eating shit – which historically would have been the case with me.

To look back, I’ve spend much of the last year being injured, recovering from injury, and bouncing back and forth from feeling unmotivated to motivated.   Sometimes I would feel completely left out of workouts because I would have to modify the crap out of stuff.  But the thing that I didn’t do, and I now know I needed it – I didn’t really take the time to hit the pause button and take stock of where I really am right now and really where I want to be.   That’s what I ultimately have used this last three weeks for.  Let’s call it active mental recovery.  So, where does that bring me now and how do I get there?

Taking stock:

  • The effects of the cortisone shot that I got a couple of months ago has worn off.  My bi-cep and rotator are causing me pain in everyday life again.
  • My muscles have atrophied over the last few weeks because of lack of nutrition and not working out.
  • I am not happy with where I am with my personal body weight / body image.
  • I have not worked out in three weeks.
  • My body doesn’t feel awesome after the lack of good food / food quantity that I’ve done over the last couple of weeks.
  •  I’ve discovered that I have a gluten intolerance.
  •  I took advantage of these three weeks “off” and am renewed and dedicated to improvement.

Where I want to be:

  • At my goal weight (which, readers, isn’t a number I want to share, because ultimately it’s about body comp, not weight) 
  • Shoulder rehabbed to a manageable state
  • Stronger, better, faster
  • Be able to do all the 2014 Games Open workouts Rx (and contribute to that Craic team score)
  • A dead hang pull-up by the time the Open comes around

Resources

  • Physical therapy
  • You (John) with a solid plan and understanding of the challenges I face
  • Myself

*****

The reason why I listed resources in my email is that in the long ago, Jarrod Dizzle Davis told me that most people don’t use the resources around them to make sure that they’re successful.  I wanted to take stock of the relevant resources around me to help ensure my success.  Jarrod (whether he likes it or not) is also a resource that I will use a lot to provide advice, insight, or just a good ol’ kick in the ass.  I’ll also use the people around me (like my awesome husband and pals) too.

To that end, I’m going to continue on the nutrition path with John and he’s also created a 4-week training program to get me to fitness goals that I want.  His programming is:

Workout One

  • 5 x 10 dead lifts (heavy, increase weight if I can)
  • 5 x 10 bench press (heavy, increasing weight when possible)
  • 5 x 20 dead lifts (light and fast)
  • 5 x 12-15 tricep extensions

Workout Two

  • 5 x 10 back squats (heavy, increase weight if I can)
  • 3 -5 partner assisted pull-ups x 5 (if not partner, use a band)
  • 3 x 20 dumb bell step-ups
  • 4 x 12-15 bicep curls
  • 5 x 15 sit-ups (different variations) with 30 seconds rest in between

I’ll be doing these workouts three days per week.  Week one will be One – Two – One, Week Two will be Two – One – Two and so forth for four weeks.  Recording these workouts on this blog will become repetitive, so I will be tracking my weights / notes on this Google Doc.  I’ll still be posting about how much I hate dead lifts (I mean, seriously…it’s like he knew how much I hate them and programmed the crap out of them) and other thoughts about the workouts – but you can find the weights and progress on the Google Doc.

So here goes.  I’m already two workouts in and looking forward to seeing progress over the next four weeks!

A little break and a Craic Montage

Tuesday I had some work done by Nichole on my shoulder and body.  She does amazing work.  The next day, I had my first day of physical therapy and the PT suggested that I take it easy on my shoulder for a week or (even movements like cleans and burpees) to just let it rest.  It’s pretty irritated with the tendinitis.  And then I had a dentist appointment early this morning and am resting up a bit for three days of judging at the Crossfit Regionals this weekend.  I’m still staying strict No Bread, so other than resting my body a bit – I’m not going off the reservation with my goals.

John put together an awesome Craic video montage, which I’m sharing below.  Read his post about his process putting these together.  I especially like that this one shows how failure is a part of the process and it’s actually shows a lot of failures of the coaches – which it’s nice to be reminded that they are human as well and struggle just like the rest of us.

Headed out tonight for the Judges Briefing and Volunteer Dinner at Reebok One. Getting super excited for the Regionals!

Cleaning on a Saturday

Went in this morning to get a 1-1 session with John to work on lifting, specifically my clean.  He started evaluating my form and then we talked about what I thought I was doing wrong.

We did a couple sets at increasing weight 3x high hang cleans, 3x hang cleans, 3x power cleans.  And then we did some squat cleans, working on footwork.  My biggest problem is getting under the bar.  I don’t really have any issues with the strength part of it, it’s just getting under the bar.  We dissected that part and there were some things that really clicked today.  He gave me some good drills to work on so that the movements essentially become muscle memory.  Towards the end, he had me do 3x power cleans and built up to a heavy weight.  In between, he had me doing increasing weight of front squats.  My legs are toast from Jackie yesterday, but the squats felt pretty good.  I also need to work on my footwork, as I tend to “starfish” out a bit with my right leg.  Okay, a lot.  Especially when it gets heavy.  Getting my elbows through when it becomes heavy is also a problem, it almost seems like an after thought.  Like I lift the weight and then I’m like “fast elbows.”  And by that time it’s too late.

One thing that I know is true of myself is that I tend to over-think things – especially before I lift.  When I went into the set-up, I would tend to be down there and think about the lift too much.  He suggested that I think about the lift before I go into the set-up and just get down there, set-up and go.  It worked.  I ended up PR’ing my power clean today at 135# 🙂 and did two reps at that weight. I got two lifts at 135#, and then got in my head too much.

I’m excited that I had this session with John and hope to do some more sessions with him.  He had me do some dumb bell work and then I was done for this week.

Getting warmer and using the butt coolers in Niko's car after a workout

Getting warmer and using the butt coolers in Niko’s car after a workout

Getting some No Bread breakfast time from Salem Foods.  Yummy!

Getting some No Bread breakfast time from Salem Foods. Yummy!

Losing Momentum and Living in the Present

Went to the gym, first time going back in since Saturday with Ann at Crossfit Heat in Dallas.  When the alarm went off this morning – I did not want to go in and workout.  John programmed a long-ass workout and it looked like a terrible way to start getting back into the swing of things.  And I thought to myself –  that even if I started back up today – I’d probably lose any momentum I had by the time I left the following Monday for SF.  But for some reason, I knew that if I didn’t get out of bed and get myself to the gym – I’d end up finding a way to justify not working out even easier the next time, and the time after that, and then before you know it – I wouldn’t be working out any more. It’s a slippery slope and I recognize that.  Got ready (despite my cat, Hobo’s best efforts at being super cute and cuddly this morning)  got into Craic and John was coaching. They seem to be mixing up the coaches / classes lately, and I’m kind of digging it.  I think it’s a good disruptor and it’s a good way to get different perspectives from the different coaches.  Jarrod, Sarah, Glen, Pete, and John have all given me little tips and tricks over the past year that have definitely helped me.

brotip

The aforementioned “long-ass workout” was:

10 min AMRAP:

  • 10 single arm dumbell snatch (5 L +5R)
  • 10 box jumps
  • 10 situps

rest 3 minutes

10 min amrap:

  • 20 single arm dumbell snatch (10l + 10r)
  • 20 box jumps
  • 20 situps

Talked to John and we decided that I would substitute clean and shoulder to overhead with the snatches.  I used a 25# dumb bell   – and as with 13.2 – goal was to go at a good pace and to keep moving.  Score for the first AMRAP was 6+1 and then score for the second AMRAP was 2+43.  The two movement clean / shoulder to overhead slowed me down a bit, but tried to stay consistent.  Great workout and was definitely breathing heavy.  The 23 minutes it took for the entire workout seemed to fly by.  Totally exhausted at the end, but really glad I got a good sweat on and glad that I went in.

Shortly after I got back from Craic, I got a simple text from Jarrod that said “You make it into the gym today?”  I’m not 100% sure why he sent the text, but I think I have a good idea as to why he did.  I have to admit, it’s been a really frustrating couple of months.  And I think it’s been obvious to people, namely, Jarrod.  It’s been hard to stay motivated and getting my ass to the gym consistently.  I’m feeling the consequences of this.  My jeans are fitting a bit tighter (although I think that this might be a bit in my head and/or my quads are getting bigger because of all the leg work I’ve been doing…), I haven’t been sleeping as well, I’m sluggish…the list continues.  Injuries aside, I’ve been sick a decent amount of these first three months of 2013 and traveling on a frequent, but irregular schedule.   I’m really off my stride here.  Every time I feel like I’ve gotten some momentum, a last minute business trip pops up or I get sick (or both!)  It’s throwing me off and I have started to feel really unmotivated.  I’m sorry I’m a Debbie Downer in this post, but I promised when I started this blog – I would be really honest about where I am.  And I’m not in the best place right now.  I’m getting overwhelmed with the thought that I have to get on a plane and travel AGAIN to San Francisco on business.  While I have plans to get into Lalanne Crossfit (it’s right next door to my hotel), traveling tends to really take the wind out of me and inevitably, I end up eating like shit (despite my best intentions).

If I hadn’t gotten out of bed and gone to the gym, I would have embarrassingly had to reply to Jarrod a simple “No.”  I really had no excuse.  I’m not sick, I’m not traveling, the snow is not precluding me from getting into the gym, I can modify the workout…It’s really time for me to stop worrying about what has happened (“I’m still recovering from being sick last week”) or what may happen (“I’m going to lose momentum anyway when I go to SF, so why go in?”) and work hard today so that I can be ready for anything tomorrow.  Over thinking about things past and future has always been my downfall and oddly, this crazy Crossfit journey is helping me confront that.

“With the past, I have nothing to do; nor with the future. I live now.”  ~Ralph Waldo Emerson