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March Madness

31 Mar

I ran the Mercer Island half today in 2:17:59.  That’s 34 seconds off my previous record and the fastest I’ve gone so far. I ran with a friend of mine and I think I could have shaved another 5 or so minutes off of my time but I waited for her after a few hills. The last mile was nothing but hills and she finally said I could go on ahead. I haven’t really been running much at all, I’ve been doing the long runs on Sundays but the longest was 10 miles two weeks ago and since I ran once, 3.8 miles. I’m pretty happy with how it turned out. The crossfit is making me stronger all over which translates to better running and MAN! I was KILLING those hills! Usually my legs will start burning halfway up but it felt great today.

That being said, I think I’m done running for a while. I’m fine with running 4 or 5 on the weekends here and there but I think I’ll just stick with crossfit 4X weekly for the next six or so months and take a break from long races. I’ve done enough at this point that they’re not that exciting anymore and I don’t really feel like I’m accomplishing anything with them. Also, when I have a long run coming up, I have to skip crossfit to save my legs so I’m missing out on gains I could be making there.

Everything is going well here. After the half, we came home so the boys could have naps then once they woke up we went to the park since it was a gorgeous, sunny day. Ben’s big enough now that he can and does climb all over the equipment–he is much more daring climbing-wise than Eli was at this age–anything he sees the big kids (particularly Eli) do, he will try as well. He will go down any slide, no matter how high, with no hesitancy whatsoever.

We are about six days away from finishing the Whole 30 and it’s gone great–we had a few cheat days in there so it’s lasting a little longer than originally planned because we’re making up for that. I’ve been really, really pleased with how it’s worked–my energy is through the roof, I’m sleeping like a ton of bricks, and yes, we’ve both lost weight. I’ve lost about 7 or 8 lbs so far, enough to fit into clothes I haven’t worn since pre-Ben and Andy has lost almost 15 lbs. Although they make it quite clear that this diet isn’t something you’re supposed to do indefinitely as it’s hard to be this strict but I do think we will probably stick to it about 85% or so once it’s over.

…And now it’s a week and a half later.

It’s nice to have the Whole30 done but I’m still mostly trying to stick to it during the week. I figure if I can eat clean five days of the week, that will be striking a pretty good balance. I’ve managed to catch Eli’s sinusy stuff so I’m skipping the workout today because I’d probably just have to blow my nose 50 times during it anyway and that’s just gross. I’ll go to it tomorrow once this clears up a little, I’m sure it’s probably allergy related.

I’m having some password issues with the youtube account, I have a ton of videos to post but it’s just been hard to login. I will fix that ASAP 🙂

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Aside 19 Feb

Ben continues to talk up a storm. He’s got two main versions of words–one with some mashup of B sounds — (admittedly, it usually sounds like he’s saying “boobie”) which he uses for a lot of things. Belly is bubby, bagel is buhbah (although if you practice, he’ll get it to baybel). Rather inexplicably, things that start with B get M sounds–his binky (I know, I know) is meemee, bananas are also meemees. Other words, he’s got down pretty clearly. Cracker is cackuh–better than Eli’s version which was “daduh” and you never knew if he was talking about food or Andy. Slide is “shide”, bath is VERY CLEARLY “bath”.  Don’t dare say bath around him unless you are putting him in. The meltdown isn’t worth it.  Sometimes I’ll just give him a bath anyway because I slipped and said it around him.

I tried to show Ananda how he sat for a reading of Goodnight Moon — he made it about 2/3rds of the way through it, then shut the book. She started laughing and tried to keep reading so he walked back to her, took it out of her hands, then put it back on the bookshelf. Okay, Ben, we get the hint.  Since then he hasn’t sat still for a whole reading. I “read” him a few books tonight while he climbed on me, smacked the book, and played with some toys next to me. Ah well, to each his own.

He is sleeping well lately, only waking up once a night because he’s lost his binky and needs recorking. Recently, he was doing that a lot and he must have sensed that we were planning to de-binky him because he got really quiet all of the sudden. Now we have put it back on the back burner. Ben-1, Parents-0. At least it’s only for sleep. I don’t even think he gets it for nap at BP. He’s got quite the little bedtime routine–you say to him, “Ready for night night?” and he will rather agreeably nod. We will brush his teeth and then he’ll start making his rounds of telling everyone good night “NIGHT NIGHT!” with a big hug and kiss. He exits the room with a very drawn out game of “I’m going to blow you a kiss and you pretend it knocks you down” that he plays with both Andy and Eli, but mostly Eli.

He’s all over such an agreeable child. He’s a little slap happy lately and he’s definitely got some patience to learn but he’s so much fun to have around. It’s hilarious to watch him harrass Eli–most of the time he’s just trying to get him to play or just be near him. Sometimes Eli is fine with it and will play along. Lately, Eli is a little more agreeable to letting Ben “attack” him–meaning Ben basically tries to tackle and belly flop on him.

Crossfit is going well. Most of the time I’ve managed to go four times a week and although that can be challenging, I’m really enjoying it. I did manage to strain my neck two weeks in. I had to skip a Thursday/Saturday workout but was back in the game on Monday. So it’s been a little over a month now I’ve been doing it? I really feel like it’s such a good fit for me-if I’m going to work out, I prefer to sort of feel like I’m dying during it and I really prefer to be sore afterwards–after all, what’s the point if you can’t feel it at all? Also, if I’m going to work out hard enough to have that “Ugh, I’m going to die” thing going on, it’s even better if the workouts are SHORT. They are! My longest work out so far has only been 25 minutes. Most of them are in the 8-15 minute range but oh, they are brutal.

I was supposed to go yesterday but couldn’t because of Andy’s work schedule so I decided to run intervals on the treadmills during naps. I did 4 miles in 35 minutes. That’s an 8:45 min/mile pace! I did intervals of 6.3 mph with 7.6 mph sprints every three minutes. Once I hit the 30 minute mark, I just ran it out and sprinted until I hit four miles. Although I definitely felt achy last night, overall I felt pretty good. It’s not a pace I can maintain at ALL at this point and I’m certain I wouldn’t have been able to do it without the treadmill but still, yay! I’ve got that half at the end of March and I’m hoping to beat my 2:18 time.  I think I’d be shooting for 2:10 but that might be too lofty, particularly since I’m mostly crossfitting and only doing long runs on Sundays with no other running in there.

On Monday, Andy and I are starting this eating program (diet? It’s not really to lose weight) called Whole30. It’s basically 30 days of no grains, legumes, processed food, dairy, sugar, soy, (happiness?), alcohol….uh, I think that’s it. Supposedly it is good as a “nutritional reset” and breaks a lot of bad cycles your body gets into from eating crap for a long time. I think we tend to eat fairly healthy most of the time but I’m sure there’s a lot of tweaking we could do.

I’ve been having energy problems for a while now. I exercise regularly, fairly healthy diet, but I just feel TIRED a lot of the time. Not sleepy, just fatigued, like I just ran a race. I started sleeping more and that helped some but not a lot. Then back in December we cut out alcohol altogether and although that improved my sleep some, no big change in anything with that. The only thing left is to look at my diet and wonder if there’s not something in there that might help if I take it out. So that’s why I’m doing the whole30. I’d like to have even energy throughout the day and not feel sluggish all the time. If we drop a few pounds along the way, hey, that’s just a nice bonus. So the last two weeks has been mostly prepping for it. No, we’re not ridding the house of everything that we can’t eat because I realize we are likely to eat it again in the future. This way of eating will just allow me the ability to see if my energy does improve and if it does, I can add things back in one at a time and find out what the offender is.

We also aren’t making the kids do it although just from being in the house, they’re going to get subjected to a lot of it. They already have pretty good diets in general so I don’t really feel the need to mess with them.

Anyway, I’m looking forward to it in that “Oh man, this is probably going to be really hard and I’m really going to hate it at times but hopefully it will be worth it” sort of way. In any case, it can’t HURT, so why not?

And now, it’s 9:30 PM. Time to hit the sack and get some shuteye. Good night!

On Ramp week 2, Graduation and a little extra

23 Jan

I updated on Saturday about the 2nd week of crossfit but when I uploaded the entry, it disappeared into the ether. I spent a good 10 minutes trying to get it back or find it with no success.  That left me so irritated I couldn’t try to recreate it for a few days. Now it’s Wednesday and I need to get it up here or I’m never going to get caught up.  BOO!

Monday, 1/13/2014 AMRAP – 8 minutes (I did 8 rounds)

10 wall balls

10 sit ups

Wall balls look so easy. Here’s a wall ball:

(I like that guy’s videos because they are short and to the point but he sure doesn’t come across as particularly lively, does he?)

Anyway, I like wall balls. They’re fun. They get really hard after a while and I start pitching forward into the wall in front of me because my legs refuse to keep lifting me all the way up and I can’t throw as straight up as I did in the beginning. For the workout tonight, it was 10 wall balls then 10 sit ups, repeat that for as many rounds as you can. To be TOTALLY HONEST, I was two sit ups short of a full 8 rounds and I’m sure they record that somehow but hey, it’s on ramp, I’m going to round up to 8.

The first round of wall balls was uncomfortable, then my legs warmed up and I got through to about round 5 or 6 without significant problems, then 7 and 8 was sloooow because I had to slow down to have anything resembling good form to do the exercise properly.

I managed to make up for slow wall balls with fast sit ups, I thank that couple of months of p90x that I did prior to starting crossfit. The sit ups were super easy and I was able to whip through them and even get my breath back in preparation for another round of wall balls.

Wednesday, 1/15/2014 (my time 12:45)

5 rounds

250 m row

7 push press

15 box jumps

That rowing sure gets hard quickly, doesn’t it?  This class started (as they all have) with a lot of review of form and practicing the moves in the workouts. We reviewed squats again. Squats seem to be involved in a lot of the exercises and very important because we practice them a lot in every class and they work on our form.  My squats are pretty good, definitely better than the beginning but I’m still going forward a little too much. I’m starting to think it’s a problem with my shoes since they’re not flat. That’s it, blame the shoes! We reviewed push presses for a good while as well as form for rowing and box jumps.

I totally wimped out on the box jumps and jumped on an aerobic step for this workout. Afterwards, I was upset with myself because that step was definitely too short. I could have at least done the beginner’s box.  Box jumps scare me. I don’t want to bash my shins. Nothing about that sounds enjoyable at all. I need to suck it up and get it over it because crossfit, it likes the box jumps.  Ah well.

I did fine in this workout. The push presses were done with a bar with no weights on it. So, I think it’s 33 lbs (15 kg). Here’s a push press:

They were pretty fun, definitely my favorite part of the workout.

Saturday, 1/19/2014 Graduation! (my time was 6:45)

We did the same workout as the first day. So:

200 m run, push up, squat, ring row

15-12-9

So that’s a 200 m sprint, 15 push ups, 15 squats, 15 ring rows, 12 push ups, 12 squats, etc then another 200 m sprint.

My push ups are still pretty sad. I can get through half the first set and then I’m going about half way down. My squats are great and the ring rows are pretty solid. It’s worth noting in 5 workouts I’ve shaved almost 1:30 off my time but subjectively the workout felt MUCH harder this time around. My coach said something about increased efficiency blah blah blah you get faster but it gets harder blah blah blah. I would have liked to hear it but she said it right after we finished and I was trying to get my wind back and sit down.  I’ll have to ask next time.

This week, I’ve managed to go to two classes so far. I went Monday night and then again yesterday morning since they had childcare hours for the 9:30 class. I dropped Eli and Ben off in the childcare area–basically a big room full of toys and Jeff, one of the guys who works there, to watch them. They LOVED Jeff.

On Monday we spent a lot of time doing back squats. They are in week 2 of the Wendler 5/3/1 which is something for weightlifters to increase strength. You find out what your 1 rep max is for a particular lift and then it’s a set program of lifting…

http://www.jimwendler.com/2011/09/531-for-a-beginner/

Anyway, obviously they are not going to try to find out what my one rep max is on my first day so I just practiced back squats with another girl. They felt pretty comfortable although I kept pitching forward on my squat. My coach told me to take my shoes off and it was MUCH easier and felt more stable. I’ve been wearing the nike frees so far, they’re the least cushioned shoes I have. So I did back squats for a while and managed to get up to 77 lbs total on the back squat. It was pretty fun. I can’t really explain how it was fun but I really enjoyed it. After that, we reviewed and practiced snatches for a while (AND MORE SQUATS), and then the workout:

Monday, 1/20/2014 3 rounds (my time: 5:54)

10 snatch

10 broad jumps

The snatch:

The ones we did started with the bar at our hips, not on the ground. Pretty sure I didn’t look that impressive either 🙂 I did it using just the bar, no weights. I really enjoyed it. The broad jumps were just that, biiiig two footed jumps the length of the floor mats. Easy on the first 5 or 10 but then they start to hurt a bit.

Wednesday, 1/22/2014 JACK – AMRAP 10 minutes (I did 5 rounds and 7 push presses)

A lot of the workouts have names. The ones with male names are after fallen soldiers, I’m assuming the guy who started Crossfit was in the military at some point. A lot of the workouts have female names as well. Today’s workout was Jack and we only did it for 10 minutes, not the full 20.

At the beginning of class, we reviewed and practiced deadlifts. I did okay but my feet started cramping during them and I was having a lot of problems with keeping my form okay UNTIL I TOOK MY SHOES OFF (a theme). Then my feet felt a lot better (still some cramping but I think maybe I was still rocking forward on my toes some) and my form got a lot better because I wasn’t trying to compensate for the shoes. We gradually increased my weight until I got to 70 lbs (not counting the bar). Then it was definitely challenging but I was able to hold my form pretty well.

Then the workout:

10 push presses

10 kettlebell swings

10 box jumps

I initially started out with 5 lb weights on the bar for the push presses but had to take those off after 1 round.  I also started out with the 28 lb kettle bell but had to switch that out to the 16 lb after two rounds.  Oh well, good information. I also used the smallest box they have BUT I DIDN’T USE THE AEROBIC STEP.  I also did not bash my shins.  Woo hoo!  Definitely the most challenging workout so far, I was not sure how much more I could push that barbell up or swing that kettle bell.  So much fun though!

I’m going to the 5 PM class tomorrow after work and then again Saturday morning at 10. The other people in the class are really nice–everybody cheers you on and I haven’t run into any egos or anything so far, everyone just seems really supportive.  I think I definitely need different shoes.  I’m a little sore but nothing major so I think that’s a good sign that I’m in decent shape?  I hear so many stories of people feeling deathly sore after these workouts and that hasn’t happened yet so I don’t know if I’m just in okay shape or I’m not pushing myself hard enough. I certainly don’t want to feel like death so I think I’ll just stick with my comfortably sore ways for now. I’ll take my time at the beginning while I’m getting used to things and once I feel more comfortable with the workouts I can reevaluate how hard I’m working.  Right?

Crossfit On Ramp Week 1

12 Jan

Feel free to ignore these posts, family.  They’ve nothing to do with the kiddos or anyone else, I just wanted to track my own progress and keep a record of how things were going.  About a week ago, I started the On Ramp classes. They are for two weeks, M & W @ 8 PM and Saturday @ 8 AM. I decided upon this gym for a number of reasons: (1) a friend goes there and recommended it, (2) they offer more crossfit classes at a wider range of times, (3) they’re primarily a gym for martial arts, not crossfit, so they’re considerably cheaper than most boxes (crossfit gyms are called boxes, not sure why), and (4) they have some childcare–not a lot of it but enough that will allow me to still go on Saturdays when Andy works.  They also have a kids’ martial arts program and Eli has been expressing some interest.  It’d be nice to keep everything in the same place.

The regular workouts look pretty brutal. Most of the on ramp is designed to give us time to ease into the workout, get used to the format, and mainly to learn and practice form in a slower paced environment.  I really like the coaches I’ve had so far–a different one each class.  They all seem very invested in making sure we take our time and practice form.  The classes are getting progressively harder–the first two were fairly easy for me although did leave me breathless, the third (yesterday), kicked my butt a little.  None have made me sore and I think that’s a good sign as I’m going to take it to mean I’m in at least decent enough shape to survive the practice workouts!  Crossfit is all about high intensity training.  There’s also a lot of weightlifting in it and although I’ve only really practiced three moves so far (dead lifts, shoulder presses, and push presses), the weightlifting part was by far my favorite.

So here are the practice workouts we’ve had to far:

Monday 1/6/14 (my time: 8:18)

200 M Run

15-12-9

Push up

Squat

Body Row

What that means is that we ran 200 meters and then did a series of 15 push ups, 15 squats, and 15 body rows. Then 12 push ups, 12 squats, 12 body rows, 9 push ups, 9 squats, 9 body rows, then another 200 meters.

At this point, I cannot do a proper push up (I have never in my life been able to do a proper push up). So the exercise is scaled for me, I don’t do a knee push up but rather one on a 30″ box.  As I get stronger, the box will get lower until I can do one from the ground.  Completing the above workout took me 8 minutes, 18 seconds. My push ups were pretty sad, even with the box. I probably only got about halfway down after the first 15. I’m getting a lot better at proper squats by doing them in front of a wall so I don’t lean too far forward. Although doing them properly felt really awkward at first it’s getting better. The body rows started hurting on the last 9 and I had to really push (pull, ha) through them.  It’s the first step on the way to actually being able to do a pull up, though, so I’m excited.

No real soreness from this workout–my lats felt it ever so slightly but that was about it.

Wednesday, 1/8/2014 (my time: 7:42)

10!

Medball Deadlift

Push Press

Jump Rope

So for this one, you do 10 deadliest, 10 push presses, 10 rope jumps, 9 deadlifts, 9 push presses, 9 rope jumps, 8 deadlifts, 8 push presses, etc. all the way to 0. I think I messed up my time on this, I’m not sure if I skipped 6 or not.  In any case, the deadlifts were with a 14 lb medicine ball and for the most part I did not find them particularly challenging. The last few were starting to burn a bit but that was about it. The push presses were with just the barbell (17 lbs) and the last few sets really required some effort–my upper body strength has always been pretty meh. The jump rope was just easy.

No soreness from this one either. Yay for practice workouts!

Saturday, 1/11/2014 (8:00, 4.5 rounds)

Partner A: 200 M row

Partner B: AMRAP while partner A rows

5 KB swings

5 Burpees

*then switch

It’s worth nothing at this point two people have already dropped out of on ramp.  Yeesh.

So on this one we paired up with another person. One person rows 200 meters and during that time the other person does As Many Reps As Possible (AMRAP) of 5 kettlebell swings (they were 15 lbs or something) and 5 burpees.  Good Lord, I hate burpees with a passion.  I especially hate Crossfit burpees because these people require you to do a push up at the bottom.

Here’s what they look like (you might mute your computer, the music comes on kind of loud)

The rowing part was easy (and fun! I like rowing). The kb swings definitely started requiring a lot of effort after the first set or two, probably because I practiced so many prior to the workout.  My burpees are just horrible, though.  Those things wear me out faster than anything else and I have to do them really slowly to maintain anything resembling form.  Ah well, it will improve.

Today is day after and no soreness.  I’m really enjoying this so far and looking forward to what is left. I had sent Wendy a text asking for weightlifting resources re: form and all that since I figured it couldn’t hurt to do some reading on it.  I was a little concerned about the back issues I’ve been having and I definitely do not want to aggravate that again, particularly now that it is so much better.  The piriformis syndrome has been acting up a bit this week after pretty much going away because of all the stretches I had been doing.  I’ve gone back to doing the stretches daily and using the foam roller and I feel like I can control it.