Like, so Crossfit

I recently (and right now, temporarily) have moved to Valley Village, CA  (I’m, like, totally living in the Valley.  Like, so awesome, you know?) to consult with ESL North America for an extended period of time.   They do the eSports and it was an opportunity that I couldn’t pass up.   I get to work in eSports and work with a lot of people that I respect and love working with.  If you don’t know what eSports are or don’t understand why I chose to work with this company, check this out:

Back here, I needed to get into a workout routine and running was not cutting it.  I spent all summer running and getting my stamina up, only to waste it all when I started working again (I recently spent the summer FUNemployed). – it because hard to get up in the morning and workout.

I looked up some recent Crossfit gyms in the area and stumbled across Angelino Crossfit.  It’s about .7 miles from where I live and I thought I’d give it a try.  The manager of the gym, Karlos, emailed me back right away and I immediately felt at ease when I was in communication with him.

Definitely nervous starting up Crossfit again, but emailed my awesome PT back in MA and he told me what I could and couldn’t do.  Range of motion and maintaining ROM was key. No overhead squats, no shoulder to overhead, no snatches.  Otherwise, things were okay – other than cleans which I can do if there is no pain whilst doing them.

I’m going to use this blog to log my workouts and also share how I’m modifying them in order to potentially help other Crossfitters that are coming back from a long hiatus and/or shoulder injury and want to ease their way back in.  This isn’t a guide or anything, just sharing my recovery and road back into Crossfit with you guys.  I’ll also be posting some goings on while I’m in Los Angeles and of course, any cat updates that I might have. For all workouts, I’ll post my scores and weights in this color and post my modifications in this color.

(* I am trying to figure out this stupid formatting/font issue below and the way it looks bothers me a ton, but I’m tired of trying to fix it *)

Front Squat – 3×7 @ 75#

200m Farmer’s Carry with 15# dumbbells between rounds

** And then…**

Lucky #7 (AMRAP – Rounds and Reps)

7 Minute AMRAP

3 7 Deadlift (Rx 135/95) – 75#

4 Hang Power Clean

5 Jerks Ring Rows

6 Wall Balls (Rx 20/14) – 10#

21 Double-Unders (Scale 63 Singles)

Score:

2 Minute Rest

Then repeat AMRAP:

Complete a total of 3 rounds of above AMRAP and then

Cash-Out: 700m Run

It took me a full hour to recover from the workout.  What a way back into Crossfit.  Is it weird that I loved how I felt afterwards?  It was a mixture of terrible and awesome all at the same time.   It was all the things I remember loving about Crossfit from the get-go.  As a side note, I am probably always going to go low weight when cycling deadlifts in a workout.  If I’m being completely honest, I think cycling fast deadlifts is not the smartest thing to program in a workout.  Way too many people end up getting injured doing them.

Ice, Ice, Baby

In Philly, my mother-in-law had surgery yesterday (all went well, and all signs look positive for her recovery).  Was hoping to get a few workouts in at Crossfit Delaware Valley, but as the local newswoman just said, “Conditions have just gone from bad to worse.”  There is a pretty considerable ice storm going on right now, so no workout at CFDV for me or the husband.

Catching up on the various blogs of my pals, and came across this great post about rest and recovery from Susie, and it bopped me in the face.  Yep, the post reached out and palm slapped me on the forehead.  It references this post from the Whole 9.  The post has a check list to see if you are under-recovered:

Are you Under-Recovered? Here are a few things to look for:

  • You used to be excited about going to the gym – not so much anymore.
  • Your performance (or lack thereof) is seriously stressing you out, and a poor workout ruins your day.
  • You’ve got chronic muscle soreness after every workout, and/or that lingering “shoulder thing” that just won’t seem to heal.
  • Your sleep pattern has become irregular.
  • Even though you’re in bed for enough hours, you never feel well-rested in the morning.
  • You need a Monster drink or three espressos to get fired up for your training sessions.
  • You crave carbohydrates (sugar!) more than you used to.
  • You’re getting sick a lot, or just can’t seem to kick that cold you picked up.
  • You’re training hard and “eating right” but that little belly just isn’t going away.
  • You’re actually gaining fat, instead of losing it.

I qualify for at least 7 of these or some type of derivation of the above.  I haven’t been training hard, because I am not excited about going to the gym any more.  I haven’t been gaining fat, I’ve pretty much just stayed stagnant in my weight – but I still feel gross.  So when I get back to MA next week, I’m going to start focusing on my recovery.  Here is a list that the article outlined, with my notes in italics about how I’m going to approach it:

  • Being committed to recovery means that sometimes you don’t train hard, even if you really want to, and even if everyone else is doing it (Um, yea.  I need to get out of this mentality and back into the my workout is my workout mentality.  I’m meeting with coach John when I get back to set realistic goals based on my needs and a moving forward plan. I think that this should definitely help)
  • A commitment to recovery may mean that you take ice baths sometimes (So, I am very unlikely (nor am I in a position to) take ice-baths, however, I will be icing my shoulder regularly)
  • It means that when all you want is pizza and a beer, you choose a nutritious meal instead. (I am gluten-free anyway, so pizza and beer aren’t the problem.  I will definitely make a commitment to eat a lot cleaner and cut out some of the crap that I’ve been sneaking in occasionally.  If I have a cheat meal, it will be a planned one)
  • It means that you put away the computer/TV/smartphone/video game and go the heck to sleep(I already charge my iPhone downstairs now at night, so I’m not tempted to use it when I’m in bed.  Need to avoid watching television as I’m trying to fall asleep and read a book instead)
  • It means that you spend some intimate time with your foam roller, lacrosse ball, stick, ice pack, or other self-care tool/torture device. (Need to stick to a mobility plan, much like I would a workout plan.  I’m already pretty good about doing my exercises for my shoulder, but really need to be better than “pretty good”)
  • It may mean that you seek out a reputable practitioner of your preferred therapeutic approach: massage, Rolfing, acupuncture, chiropractic care, naturopathic or functional medicine. (Will continue to see my PT and Nichole regularly.  Will probably make an appointment to get some ART done as well)
  • It might mean that you use your noggin’ and take a pass on a race or competition that really doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of Your Life and Health. (This isn’t an issue for me, as I have no plans to compete anytime soon.  However, I need to get in the mentality that I’m working out to be healthier.  Not working out to PR or max out on weights.  I don’t have to lift heavy to get a good workout in)
  • It might even mean that you revisit your trip down Whole30 lane (While I won’t be doing a Whole30, I will definitely be making a commitment to eating clean-ish (I will still be eating rice) and having planned cheat days (vs. instant gratification))

So there we are.  While I’m at making grand proclamations, here’s where I currently am with my Focus 2014 stuff:

1. HEALTH

Fell back into the instant gratification / cheat mode once the shoulder starting flaring up.  Definitely something I’ve been very cognizant of but haven’t been super motivated to workout, which, I have found in turn, also affects my mentality about food. Good news is that I’m aware of the correlation and am working with my resources on a plan to get back on track in this area.

2. ORGANIZATION / PRODUCTIVITY

Definitely staying on track with this one.  Inbox Zero is still going well, just need to really stop mindlessly checking my email and really work on checking it during fixed times during the day.  Also, keeping up with my weekly to-do list – which is a record for me.  Over a month and still keeping with it.

3. SPENDING

Going great, only non-essential purchase that I made was the below t-shirt – but it was one of those instances where the t-shirt was purr-fect for me (DC comics and Cats?).  It was also only $12 and Niko and the kitties approved it.  I can wear it to workout and also to the various events for Infinite Crisis.

supurr

 

 

4. BOOKS, TELEVISION, AND OFFLINE INTERESTS

I’m good on my book a month goal.  I actually finished the February book on February 2nd 🙂  Granted, I started it when it was January – but that was my third book for January #CountIt so I am keeping a good pace.  I read The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt – it’s all the rage in the literary world right now.  There are huge waiting lists at the library for it and all that jazz.  I think it was a situation where it was so hyped up (like what happens with a movie) that I actually finished reading it and was completely underwhelmed.  I think that with most books, you do have to suspend your belief – but this one made it too hard.  It skirted the line between trying to be realistic and trying to have you suspend your belief and I just ended up in that space in between where I didn’t want to suspend it and I knew that there was no way the series of events that happened would take place.  It felt like the author was trying too hard to tie up the loose ends and connect all the plot points.  Not sure if that makes any sense, but the book wasn’t one that I couldn’t put down or felt the overwhelming need to pick-up and read.  Not one that I would recommend to my friends.

The things that I have gotten better at, but am choosing not to actually follow-through with completely are the following:

  • Only watching television shows that I’ve DVR’d.  This means I’m only watching stuff I want to watch vs. mindlessly watching stuff that’s just on or channel surfing.  If there is nothing on the DVR, I am going to go and read a book, play a video game, or blog.
  • No checking social media while watching television, reading a book, doing work, etc. I will focus on the task at hand. This will also help with (2).

Sometimes I want to come home and watch whatever on the television.  If it’s been a long day at work, I don’t want to use my brain.  Mindlessly doing things is a little bit of recovery for me after a long day or week.  In addition to that, sometimes I will check social media while watching television.  But will not while reading a book or doing work.

BONUS – HAIR

Still haven’t cut my hair yet, still growing it out.  Will perhaps get a trim in March and a new color streak put in there, but other than that – no plans to cut it all off! I also like the length because I found a way to curl it that makes for a good hair day.  Here’s a recent-ish selfie I took of myself with my hair done.  I also used this AWESOME new photo app to make the selfie all artsy-fartsy and stuff.

photo (1)

 

 

Healing and Resting

So as mentioned in my previous post, my body is kind of a mess right now.  On the advice of my PT and others, I’m going to just take a full week off from working out and letting my body rest. Because I have various parts of my body that are injured, I’m definitely compensating in other areas, which is throwing off my balance and causing other injuries to happen.

thrown off balance

thrown off balance

Will pick it back up in moderation starting next Monday.  Having not worked out since last Friday I’m already a little antsy about it – but I believe that it’s the smart thing to do.  I also need to go to the doctor about my ankle, as I have pain on the bone which can be indicative of a fracture (yay!)  Hoping to get that done this week.

Like Jarrod said to me in the long, long ago – I’m not planning on quitting Crossfit anytime soon…so a week off isn’t going to kill me.

healingcat

Starting from Scratch

Where did the month of June go?  I was traveling so much and running around, I barely had time to go an exercise.  I just didn’t have time and I got way off schedule.  My feet are on the ground for the next month and a half, so it’s back to my regular workout schedule.  Dare I say, I’m excited?  I haven’t really worked out since June 25th.

Had to go to Anaheim on business, got back on Monday, July 1st  (late evening, after a 3.5 hour delay) and then the next morning, we got in the car and headed up to Maine to hang out in Northeast Harbor with our pals, Johnny D. and Susie Diesel.  Here’s John’s post of our first full day there.  It was a great time and I managed to get a small workout in.  I modified one of Craic’s workout.  I must admit I cherry picked this one from all the ones I missed.  We ended up having to leave for dinner sooner than we thought, so I also had to shorten the AMRAP part.

I did 3-3-3-3-3 hang power clean.  I initially wanted to get up to 125, but my shoulder started bugging me and I stopped and did the last two sets at 115.  I did 75, 95, 105, 115, 115.  Then it was a small AMRAP 10 of 200m run, 7 hang power cleans, 7 push presses, 7 sit-ups. I squeaked out 4 rounds plus the run.  I only did 45# for the cleans and push presses because I knew my PT would only want me to do 1/2 the weight I wanted to (which was 95#).

My niece's new puppy, Petey Barker.  SO freakin' adorable.

My niece’s new puppy, Petey Barker. SO freakin’ adorable.

The Durocher Clan

The Durocher Clan

Northeast Harbor

Northeast Harbor

Got back from Maine and headed into the gym.  I feel like I’m essentially starting my workouts from scratch.  I’ve lost some stamina and strength since May because I just wasn’t consistent about working out.  Monday’s workout was a tough one.

OTM 10min
odd- Front Rack Lunges – bar starts on the floor
8 L+R @65#
even- Ring rows, three steps in
+
7min AMRAP x2 – rest 3min in between
Run 200m (I did air dyne instead)
10 Goblet Squats – (I chose a light weight with it held with my arms extended, focusing on form)
10 Ring Rows

It was more than though.  It was an overall disaster.  I started with 75# for the lunges and my legs just couldn’t withstand it.  I fell backwards and dropped to 65#.  Then I couldn’t finish all the reps in the minute.  My legs were killing me and I knew I was going to be super sore the next day.  I think I did 3 rounds even each time.  It was so hot and so hard to get through.  I was a hot mess, literally.  And today, Tuesday, as I write this…I can barely walk.  It kills my legs just to stand up and sit down.  I’ve not been in this much pain in awhile.  Then, to top it off, last night when I was walking…my ankle gave out on me and I lightly sprained it.  Today’s workout was out.  Argh!  Definitely starting from scratch…

Went to PT this morning and my shoulders were a mess, likely from the swimming I did.  While I had the sneaking suspicion that I would have to drop out of the SAA swim this weekend, he confirmed it when I got there.  My shoulder is in serious pain and even if it didn’t hurt while I was swimming, there is a good chance that if I did the swim, I might do damage that would drop me way back in my recovery process.  So I’m going to volunteer instead and all the monies that people donated will still go to a good cause and an event that I’m still involved in. I’m pretty bummed about it, but I’m trying to be smart in my recovery and this has the almost absolute chance of a massive set back in doing so.

Izzy the PT dog was there this morning, looking as adorable as ever.

So beautiful!

So beautiful!

She has a perfect rectangle marking!

She has a perfect rectangle marking!

And on a side note, if you’re reading this blog from the New England area, I got the chance to spend time with this adorable little kitten.  She is a black kitten and is up for adoption at the Neoponset Valley Humane Society.  Black cats are notoriously hard to adopt out – so if you know anyone spread the word.  I mean, how can you say no to this adorable little creature?  I really wanted to take her home, but three cats are definitely enough…but I sure hope she finds a home soon! ❤

photo 1 (9) photo 2 (9)

 

 

Shoulder Work

Today was all about the shoulders. I read the workout and knew I’d have to go light weight (per my PT) and modify a bit.

A1) Push press 10, 8, 6, 4, 2; rest 90 sec
A2) Weighted chin up 5 Ring Rows (2 steps in) and 10 bi-cep curls (7.5 pounds) 5, 4, 3, 2, 1; rest 90 sec
+
Amrap in 10 min:
3 HSPU Ring rows, 2 steps in
3 CTB chin ups Dumb bell press

Jarrod told us to pick our top weight for the end of the push press and make a plan before we started.  My PT told me that I could start doing shoulder to overhead, but to go really light.  I think I mentioned this before, but when I asked him to elaborate on what “really light” was, he said take what you would normally do (or want to do) and cut that in half.  I knew that if I could, I’d try to 120 or so at the set of two, so I was ambitious and initially thought that I might do 75 at the top of the workout.  But (1) I haven’t used my shoulders for quite some time and (2) I needed to stay light, so I started at 45 and did 45, 50, 55, 60, 65.

During that part of the workout, I mentioned to Jarrod that I was frustrated doing such a low weight, to which he replied “Oh, so what’s your plan for when you’re quitting Crossfit?”  Meaning, that I should shut up and stop complaining, it’s not like I’m on a strict timeline for recovery.  In short, patience Stina-san.

Didn’t keep track of the AMRAP, but by the time we got to it, my shoulders were exhausted and I had to take more of a break than I wanted to for the ring rows.

Have a good weekend y’all.
1015960_10151986255029619_870176578_o

 

Kelly, Not So Much.

Yesterday, Annie Michel posted a great blog post about owning your choices.  The main message:

We all need to own our choices.  
Do bad things happen? Yes.  
Can all bad things be avoided? No, not always. 
People can make all the right choices for themselves and still get sick, be in accidents, have setbacks. Ultimately, being responsible for the climb out of the ‘setback’ is choosing to fight for one’s health, even if it’s in a ‘new normal’ state, as opposed to just giving into it and expecting everyone else to be responsible for it.
But to repeat what everyone should have heard a zillion times, all we really have is our health. If we don’t choose to be responsible for our health because we are afraid of changing what we know, what we are comfortable with, what might be hard work, then just know that those are your choices.
Own them.

As I’ve documented here, I have a lot of injuries that I’m working through.  Most of the injuries are a result of my pre-Crossfit life, and it’s all just finally catching up to me in my mid-thirties.  Lucky me.  For the past 8 months, it’s rare that I do a workout where I haven’t had to modify it.  Last night and I checked the workout and it was the benchmark, Kelly.  I guess I’ve become pretty good at modifying workouts, so I had in my head exactly what I was going to do before I went to bed.  I couldn’t do the wall balls because I can’t do overhead.  My ankles are still bothering me, so I knew I wasn’t going to do the entire run.  My shoulder has been bothering me for the last couple of days, and yesterday I had PT in the morning and massage with Nichole later that night.  It was all good work, but my shoulder was really fatigued from all the work done on and with it.  I went to bed, full of excuses and  unsure if I was going to go and workout today.  And then I woke up this morning and turned off the alarm and rolled back over.  Then Annie’s blog post started playing in my head.  I needed to make the right choice for myself as I deal with my “setbacks.”  Needless to say, I got out of bed and got my ass into Craic.  Annie’s post came at the perfect time for me.

I shortened the runs to 200m, did 30 step-ups instead of box jumps (started on the 24″ box, but ultimately had to do the 20″), and did the 30 kettle bell swings with the 44# instead of wallballs.  There was a 35 minute time cap on the workout.  BRUTAL.  My ankle and calfs killed me on the run.  I did the first round and a half with the 24″ box but it was killing my calves and ultimately I had to puss out and move to the 20″ box if I had a chance of finishing underneath the cap.  The kettle bells were really hurting my lower back, I had Jarrod take a look at my technique and he said it looked good.  Need to figure out what adjustments need to be made to take the stress off the low back.  Really pushed the last round and finished just under the cap at 34:36.  While the workout was a grueling one, I’m so glad that I chose to get out of bed this morning and get into Craic.

Another friend posted something else I needed today (thanks, Judy M!).  It’s been a frustrating challenge to say the least.   I’ve been pretty strict about staying No Bread throughout this challenge, and I feel that I’ve been putting in the work…I don’t feel that I’m seeing results.  I had Niko hide the scale a couple of weeks ago, but I don’t feel like I’ve lost a significant amount of weight or fat.  I’m not going to be able to go the whole way without weighing myself, as I have a doctor’s appointment tomorrow and this will let me know what kind of physical progress I’ve made a little over half-way through the challenge.  While I complained about it in the first few weeks, I’ve stayed away from complaining these last couple, because, really…where will it get me? The only reason I’m really thinking about it today is because after the workout, Jarrod asked me how the challenge was going, and I just replied nonchalantly “fine” back to him.  But it wasn’t really the truth, so I decided to blog a bit about it today.  The truth is that I’m doing my part: I’m staying No Bread, I’m putting the work in at the gym, but my body, physically, doesn’t appear to be doing its part. It’s frustrating. That’s my truth right now, and I’m trying to be patient and remind myself that I’m changing for the better even if I can’t physically see the results…right now.

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Oh, and I missed my girl Kelly today for the Kelly workout.  Today was her rest day.  I guess it wasn’t a Kelly day for me.

 

A Little Patience

gnr patience

That’s right, I’m quoting GnR to start this post.  Deal with it.

This weekend, I went in to Craic to get some more judging in for 13.4.  I was also going to do a modified version of 13.4 on Saturday, as that was the workout for the general classes.  In my head, I thought that the weight for the women was 75# and was excited to do this workout, as 75# is a totally manageable weight for me.  I went in, looked at the board, and saw that the weight Rx for women was 95#.  I have never done anything more than 75# overhead since my shoulder issues popped up.  While my training has been semi-inconsistent (is that a double negative?) I’ve been working hard strengthening my shoulders over the last couple of months.  Doing external rotations, bullet proof shoulders, listening to Jarrod about taking it easy on various workouts when I really don’t want to, etc.  So I decided to see how my shoulder would feel warming up and potentially attempt the 95# weight.  75# felt totally fine warming up, so I tried to go for 85#.  Also felt fine.  Went for the 95# and it actually felt pretty great.  Yes, it was going to get tiring, but it was definitely something that I felt comfortable doing and didn’t feel it would worsen my shoulder.  So I went for it.

Clock counted down and I started the workout.  I did sit-ups instead of toes to bar, as hanging / pulling motion for my shoulders still does tweak it a bit.  Did the first three unbroken, and then divided the next set into 2 sets of three.  (The sit-ups were unbroken).  Got to the round of 9 and the weight was beginning to feel heavy. I ended up breaking them up into 1’s – dropping it and then immediately picking it up.  It wasn’t quick, but I managed to keep an even pace.  Got through round of 12 and then got 2 more for a total of 62.  I am STOKED.  This means that I got over 30 reps at 95#, which means that next time Grace comes around, I should be able to go for a stellar time!  Shows that patience pays off.  Okay, so maybe it wasn’t patience, it was more Jarrod telling me not to be stupid for months on end…but still.

I still have trouble hanging from the bar, kipping, catching, and snatching…but pushing the bar over my head is something that I can actually do now!  I need to be patient and know that eventually, the other stuff will come (including my ankle issues and wrist issues).

patienceJudging was great.  Good to see everyone giving all they had, mixed results.  John McEvoy, re-tried 13.4, hoping to get at least 1o0 reps this time.  His last round was a sight to watch.  With 40 seconds left, something in his brain just clicked and he was stringing together the clean and jerks like nobody’s business.  It was an amazing thing to judge and witness.  His final score was 103.  A lot of others killed it this weekend, while some were left with results that they personally were disappointed in. I wasn’t disappointed in watching anyone, as they were all giving 100% and that’s inspiration to me.

 

Isabel

Today’s WoD was simple enough: 30 snatches for time

I ended up doing 55#, but I think I should have gone heavier.  Meh.

Time: 3:18

Not a ton to say about today’s WoD.  My technique fell apart about half-way through, but got it back for the last 10.  I also didn’t keep the rep scheme that I was going to go with.  My left shoulder is feeling tired, so I’m definitely taking tomorrow off.  When I would go overhead, I definitely wasn’t stable on the left side. Recovery is just as an important part of training.  I need to keep reminding myself of that.

 And in full disclosure, it’s a coincidence that I’m taking tomorrow off and they’re doing Fran. I think that the thrusters and pull-ups would just make my left shoulder worse. But I’m not sad about missing it.