To Failure!

Drove back from Philly yesterday and then Niko and I went to the 7:30 class.  Pistol Pete was coaching.  Workout was very similar to last Monday’s.  Something tells me that we’re on a strength program for legs and pull-ups. 🙂

A) Back Squats Front Squats
Int:5x (4-6)

B) Pullups 5×10
*RingRows w/ Bicep Curls

Shoulder still isn’t allowing me to go into the back squat position, so I did front squats instead.  Since it was less reps than Monday, I scaled up a bit more weight.  I went 95, 115, 125, 145, 165 x 3.  145 seemed pretty easy, so I decided to do a 20# jump and go to 165.  Failed on my 4th rep.  Actually went to failure and I think that’s a good thing.  Ring rows were pretty straight forward and I did a light weight for the bicep curls.  Pete told me that since I was doing a light weight (due to shoulder stuff) that I should do tempo bicep curls ~3 secs up and ~3 secs down. Made them so much harder, but really felt like i was actually getting a workout in on my biceps.

Worked out next to Joe and Johnny D. and I borrowed space on JD’s board to record my weights.

Can you guess which ones are mine?  JD is an animal.

Can you guess which ones are mine? JD is an animal.

Post workout, I managed to get JD to do some practice rope swings (scaled, of course).  He was tired from the back squats.

Oh, and another sign Niko is getting stronger?  I get this IM from him while I’m at work today:

niko: I think I need to jeans shop before my SD trip.. my legs are getting too big for this one pair 🙂


Florian Visit

Saturday was a rest day.  The gym was closed because Craic had their holiday party the night before.  Stopped in to the party on Friday night after a great dinner with Susie Diesel and Johnny D for a bit.  Everyone was well on their way to a hangover when we arrived.  Then I became violently ill and Susie and I headed back to their house.  Not sure what caused it, but it wasn’t fun. #FridayNight

I’ve been promising my pal, Rico, that I’d drop-in to one of his classes at Crossfit Florian in Norwood.  Susie agreed to join me so we went to their Sunday class – which was a partner WOD.  It was teams of four – 200 thrusters and 200 pull-ups.  If you dropped the bar on the floor 5 burpee penalty for each team member – even during the pull-ups.  I knew I was going to do at least 50 reps of thrusters and thought it would be prudent to go light given my shoulder issues.  We paired with Michelle and Noelle – two Florian members.  Michelle also had shoulder issues and Noelle was brand-spanking new so we went with 45# (Rx was 65#).  Broke it up into 10 reps each and switched off.  Towards the end, Susie and I both did a set of 15 reps.  45# was definitely a little too light for us – but it was a good workout in that we just kept moving and our heart rate up.  Did ring rows instead of pull-ups.  We cruised through, finishing in 17:13.  Went and had fun, which was the goal in the workout.

L-R Me, Michelle, Noelle, Susie

L-R Me, Michelle, Noelle, Susie

photo 2 (10)

Look at those guns! Me and Rico




John didn't realize he couldn't get away with the band wrapped around his foot

John didn’t realize he couldn’t get away with the band wrapped around his foot

Does this look like Stink?

Does this look like Stink?


Pull-up drills.  Was able to do three pull-ups with the blue band on all three sets.  Ring rows, and DB bicep curls.

Testing: 6RM strict dumb bell press (seated) – got to 25# and 8RM lateral raises (standing) – could only do 7.5# (shoulder issues)

Headed to NYC tomorrow, so will miss getting a workout in.  Blargh.

Judging and an EMOM

Went into Craic on Sunday, had texted with Jarrod the previous night to figure out a plan.  Plan sort of fell apart.  Was going to go in, do 10 minutes on the airdyne, then do some dumbell work (bicep curls, skull crushers, external rotator), and then end with 10 more minutes on the airdyne.  I socialized for a decent amount and then some people needed judging for 13.1, so I opted to do that in hopes to rack up some judging credit for Regionals.  Spent most of the morning watching my pal Gienah PR her ass off (she PR’d her clean and jerk, clean, and got her first bar muscle up) and judging.  I managed to get 7 minutes on the airdyne, bicep curls (3 sets at increasing weight), skull crushers (3 sets at increasing weight)…and that’s about it.

John McEvoy got some awesome pics that have me in them from Saturday’s judging session.

Susie Diesel and her burpees

Susie Diesel and her burpees

Judging Ed

Judging Ed


I went home and judged a couple of videos.  My cat Hobo decided to help me.  He got really into it 🙂

Judge Hobo

Judge Hobo

My last judging session of the day on Sunday was Johnny D.  He was re-doing 13.1 because he had a really crappy showing of it earlier in the week.  He literally got off an airplane from Chicago and rushed into the gym to do 13.1.  Gee, I wonder why it sucked so hard?  Anyway, I got to judge him for his 2nd attempt on Sunday and was really nervous for my friend.  He has been working so hard training this year and to get the results that he got on Friday…ugh.  My stomach was in knots.  But then the clock counted down and it was all business (while Susie and John and some others cheered / coached him on). He got to 165# and everyone was holding their breath.  He was way in front of pace from his Friday time…and then he snatches it up.  NO PROBLEM.  Yes!  And then another, and another…he managed to get 9 snatches at 165# for a final score of 159.  After the first workout, Johnny D is standing at 16th IN THE WORLD in his age division.  So awesome to see him accomplish that (and I even no-repped him three times!)  Here’s his overview of how that WOD went.

The masters competitors at Craic (and everyone else) did so effing fantastically this weekend. Can’t wait to see what the next four weeks bring for Team Craic.

Okay, and onto today’s workout.  I got up this morning (it SUCKED, daylight savings is a cruel mistress) and went back into Craic for a proper workout.  The first time back for almost a week after being sick is so hard.  It was a 21 minute EMOM:

  • Every 1st minute 3 squat cleans
  • Every 2nd minute 10 ring rows
  • Every 3rd minute 30 seconds air dyne

The Rx workout was 2nd minute muscle-ups or dead hang pull-ups and the 3rd minute was 30 seconds max double unders.  Jarrod wanted me to do the airdyne instead.  Also, I want to recap a conversation that Jarrod and I had this morning about weight.

Christina: What are you thinking I should do for weight?

Jarrod: How about 95?  Lift heavy, yo!

Christina: I was thinking 95 as well, but do you think that will be too much for me considering I’ve been sick?

Jarrod: Yea, that’s a good point.  Hmmmm.  Why don’t you lift…95?

So I’m unclear if that was because he was tired and forgot he originally said 95 (it was early in the morning) or he knew I could do 95# for this workout.  Either way, it was the right decision.  It was definitely heavy, but I could manage it.  I did 1.5 step back ring rows and medium pace on the airdyne.  Not a ton to say about the workout, other than it was a great pace for my first workout back.  Definitely took it easier (I probably would have gone heavier than 95, had I not been sick), one steps on the ring rows, and faster on the airdyne … but I think it was the right way to do it.  I don’t want to relapse!


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

John Jarrod Jackie

I read last night’s workout on the blog and and knew immediately I was going to have to modify it.  The workout was the benchmark workout, Jackie.  With wrist issues, rowing was out and shoulder, thrusters were likely out.  After conferring with Jarrod, I showed up thinking that I doing the plan he suggested: 70 sumo deadlifts, 50 front squats, 30 ring rows.  I was originally thinking that I might do the thrusters at low weight, but with that many reps, that was definitely a bad decision.

John was coaching this morning and I told him my plan. He hates sumo deadlifts and told me that instead of doing those or rowing, I was going to have some quality time with my BFF … the mother-effing AIRDYNE.   So with John and Jarrod’s input, I dubbed this workout John Jarrod Jackie.

Funnily enough, I was Googling “airdyne torture” to post a funny picture, and the first two links that came up were my friend Johnny D’s blog posts.  Guess I’m not the only Craic head who thinks that the AirDyne is torture.  Guess it’s working, as John just placed 4th at the last competition he did.

Here is the only “funny” picture that I could find.   Fitting since I watched some of the Matrix as I was falling asleep last night.  I kid you not.


Anyway, after I knew what I was doing, workout was pretty straightforward.  I got through the 40 cals in 2:29 and then broke up the front squats into sets of 10 and the ring rows into sets of 5 (which turned into 3 as I got towards the end of the workout).  My legs were toast as I got off the AD and doing that many front squats proved difficult.  It’s hard to breathe when the barbell is pressing into your throat.  Final time: 9:22 (45# FS)

I have a terrible feeling that the AD and front squats are going to be my BFFs for the next months as I rehab my shoulder.

NorCal Masters 2013

I had the opportunity to fly out to San Francisco with Susie Diesel, Johnny D, and their two sons to watch John compete in the NorCal Masters put on by TJ’s Gym.  We flew out on Friday afternoon and headed out there bright and early on Saturday.  John had a tough two days ahead of him.  The workouts for the first day would have laid me out for days:

His first workout was a mini-WoD which was in three minutes, complete your heaviest weighted pull-up.  Then, you get a 10 second break and then it was 1 minute of a 10 meter farmer’s carry with a pair of 70# kettle bells.  Craziness!  There was a 70+ year old man who did a 98# weighted pull-up!  I can’t even do one pull-up yet!  They looked insane with chains around their waists and weights and kettlebells hanging from them.

The next workout was called OLY Smokes – or as I liked to call it – the thinking man’s wod!  It was two five minute EMOM with a one minute break in between.  The first one was at the top of each minute, start doing as many burpees over barbells as you could.  Then in that minute, you get one attempt at a snatch.  You pick the weight.  The second EMOM was same concept – except it was toes to bar and  power cleans.  There is a lot of strategy that goes into this one.  How many burpees or toes to bar to you do?  Not too many, as you don’t want to exhaust yourself for the lift…and how much weight do you do?  You only have one attempt per minute!  The score for this WoD was 50% based off total number of burpees plus T2B and 50% based off total weight lifted.  John did 155# for the snatch and 205# for the clean.  He made it look effortless.

The next workout they did was called Hellenita.  This looked brutal.  It was broken into two parts, in a total of 10 minutes.  They had to complete part A (which, suprise, was the Helen benchmark workout) and then part B was an AMRAP of Helen for the remaining time.

They ended the day with a mini-WoD called Whippersnapper.  They had 6 minutes to complete a 1200 row and then do as many50#  ball slams as possible.

And that was just day one!  It was amazing to watch all the Masters athletes compete in WoDs which would wreck any young ones.  John was up there the entire time, staying in the top 5 as we ended the first day.   Here’s John’s recap of the day.

The second day only had two workouts.  I say “only” loosely.  The first workout was like 10 workouts in one.  It’s called a chipper workout.  It is generally a bear of a workout.  Where multiple movements are linked together one after another.  Basically it’s chips away from you physically and mentally.  I did not envy John or any of the athletes doing this workout.

20 Cal Row
50m Bear Crawl
13 Thrusters (95)
13 Up and Over Box Jumps
13 Deadlifts with a fat grip (165)
13 Wall Balls (10 feet  20#)
13 Ring Dips
And then back down the ladder

This looked brutal.  Many did not finish in the time allotted (15 minutes).  I wondered if John was going to finish as some of his main competitors who did the chipper before him did not finish.   But he did in 12:08.  It was amazing to watch him push through this.  I really thought he was going to lose it on the last bear crawl, but he pushed through.  He ended up getting 3rd in his heat (I originally thought he got 2nd, but some other dude beat him by 2 seconds!)

John was in 4th going into the last WoD and I was like a nervous parent.    I thought I was going to throw up.  John originally went into the competition not expecting to get in the finals.  And now, with one mini-wod left, he was on the cusp of making it.  The final workout for him was called Junior.  It started with 35 airsquats and then you ran to the end of your lane.  You then picked up two 45# weights and ran them back to your wheelbarrow prowler.  Then you put them on there, push the prowler to the middle of your lane.  Do 35 more airsquats and push the prowler to the end.  Then you do 100 double unders.   And then he was done.

I knew he did better than most on that workout, but it wasn’t a sure thing that he made it to the finals.  They confirmed that they were taking the top 5 in his age group to the finals – and then it was confirmed that John was in 4th!  He was going to the finals!  So exciting!

The only bummer was that they didn’t weigh the finals very heavily, so even if John had completely crushed the workout, the standings going into the finals were pretty much the standings for the finals.  The finals was a 5 minute ladder 1 135# snatch, 2 muscle-ups; 2 snatches, 2 muscle-ups; 3 snatches, 2 muscle-ups; 4 snatches, 2 muscle-ups…and so forth.

John ended the competition getting 4th overall.  Super proud to call him my friend and see him go toe to toe with the other elite athletes.  He is one of the most dedicated athletes I’ve met and I am so glad that it paid off.  Here’s his recap of the competition and day 2.

Johnny D killing it at the NorCal Masters

Johnny D killing it at the NorCal Masters

While John competing was the focus of the competition, TJ’s Gym organized some great speakers and exhibitions.   I got the opportunity to have my deadlift form critiqued by Jesse Burdick and meet and listen to Jimmy Baker (one of the original Crossfitters), Annie Sakamoto (one of my fave Crossfit athletes!), and Kelly Starrett speak.  It was awesome.  I was such a fan girl.  Jim gave me some great advice about easing back into working out after injury and staying motivated.  Jesse totally helped me with my deadlift by giving me some great tips on my set-up.  Annie spoke about balancing life and Crossfit.  Kelly gave us a talk about squats and the benefit of proper form.

Clockwise from top left: Jimmy Baker, Jesse Burdick, Annie Sakamoto, Kelly Starrett

Clockwise from top left: Jimmy Baker, Jesse Burdick, Annie Sakamoto, Kelly Starrett

Overall great weekend. I’m so glad that I went and got to spend some quality time with the Durochers and see some great athletes compete.

I also got to meet Elaine Polito, who is from the Boston area as well and a Games competitor.  She is one of my new heroes. LOVE HER.  She ended up getting 2nd in her age division. Not to shabby!  I want to be her when I grow up!

On a side note, the last 5 times I’ve gone to San Francisco, I’ve come home with a nasty head cold.  This last trip was no exception.  Ugh.  This week is re-test week and I’m missing all of it.  Wahhhhh.

Test 3 – Make-Up

Sara was going to be coaching this weekend and was in the gym a bit early prior to the first class of the morning.  She let me come in and do the make-up of last Friday’s test (the last of the testing week tests).  I had to modify, per Jarrod’s suggestion, so I ended up doing a 65# front squat instead of 55# thrusters.  Holy quad work, Batman.

batmancatYes, that’s a cat that looks like Batman.

Anyway, back to the workout: 4 rounds for time – 200m row, 7 front squats @65#, 7 burpees

This was a tough slog.  I was surprised on the load my quads took just from the row.  And then to go straight into the front squats and burpees.  My quads were ON FIRE.  It was supposed to be an all out sprint, unbroken.  I focused on doing the entire thing unbroken and maintained a fast, yet steady pace.  It kicked my ass.  I laid face down on the ground for a good three minutes when I finished my final round.  Final time: 9:13.  Between this workout and the back squats on Thursday my legs are toast.

After, I ate my humble pie and did some push-ups on the box to work on getting my form down correctly.  This is going to take some hard work and I’m going to try to work on them every day.  I got some good pointers from Johnny D. and Paul Teehan as well (they were in the gym doing separate workouts).



Rest Day and Wreck it Ralph

No Bread Challenge – Day 37

Today was an unplanned rest day, sort of.  I knew that there was potential that my shoulder would still be tight from the MRA yesterday and it surely was this morning when I woke up.  The lidocaine they injected before injecting the die wore off about 30 minutes into seeing Wreck it Ralph with Susie Diesel and Johnny D’s kids…Love having friends that have kids I can borrow as an excuse to see funny kids movies 🙂

Here’s me with the fellas at the showing last night with our fancy 3D glasses.

Wreck it Ralph was a great movie, and anyone that has ever played video games since they were created or loves candy and sweets (I know, not NO BREAD friendly) needs to go and see it.  Surprisingly, the boys (who are 12 and 9), knew a lot more of the video game references than I thought they would!  

Back to the gym tomorrow. Only three more excruciating days until I get my results for the MRA. Ugh.

Judging at the Master’s Throwdown

Saturday I judged at the Master’s Throwdown at Crossfit New England.  I was a lot more confident going in from a judging perspective because of my time at Firebreather and also at the Garage Games accreditation.  Words can’t describe how inspiring it to be at the Masters.  The oldest competitors were around 64 years old (and coincidentally, they are also Craic members!) Susan (see below) even had her AARP bag with her at the competition.  

I got a lot of great feedback from the athletes that I judged.  They said that I did a great job, no reps were fair, clear and I counted and kept them on track.  I think I might be getting the hang of this judging thing.

Here are some shots from the Masters:

Johnny D (top left) got 2nd in his age group. Here’s his blog post about his time at the Masters. Neil (top right), the 64 year old from Craic cleaning some heavy weights.  Jay (bottom left) has only been Crossfitting for 3 months!  And the last pic is the calm before the storm (athlete / judge meeting).  I could go on for days about all the other amazing people from Craic that were there – but suffice it to say – everyone made me proud.  I’m so incredibly fortunate to be part of such an amazing group of people at Craic.

Here’s me judging the guy who beat Johnny D out for 1st place. (Photo courtesy of VBS Crossfit Photography)

And here’s one more of me judging (Photo courtesy of VBS Crossfit Photography)

Those wall balls were tough.  That’s where the most people got no-repped.  They either didn’t hit the target or didn’t get below depth at the bottom.  

Overall, great day.  Left feeling exhausted and motivated all at the same time.