Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Like getting punched in the sternum

It feels great to be healthy and active again. The past few days have been awesome. I took Sunday as a rest day after 3 straight days of Crossfit. If eating delicious (not so good for you) foods and drinking copious amount of wine were a race though, I definitely finished a marathon...

 My dad's 60th surprise party was a huge success. We planned it so that during the morning he would go to the Manchester St Pattys Day Parade with his buddy Steve and my brother. Meanwhile, my mom and I were busy bees setting up the house/prepping food/buying last minute decorations/etc. About a half hour before he came home, the guests started arriving. We ended up having ~25 friends and family over including his old college roommate who he hadn't seen in a while. He was TOTALLY surprised and had to keep his sunglasses on inside to hide the happiness tears.

Then I ate lots of goodies (no pics sadly): ham, salad, amazing taco salad dip made by my aunt, a billion corn chips, scallops wrapped in bacon, almond brownies, & 4+ glasses of red wine over the course of the day. Then Bill drove me back to Boston :)

Monday morning started off on the right foot with 6am Crossfit. The WOD consisted of:

Back Squat 5- 3- 1+ (@70%, 80%, 90% of your new Working 1RM)
WOD: For Time
  • 20 Ring Dips
  • 30 Power Cleans (155, 105)
  • 40 Push Ups
  • 50 Abmat Situps
I didn't really know my current Back Squat 1RM, so I used my 1RM from January (115) as my 90%. Therefore I did 5 reps at 85lb, 3 reps at 95 lb, then ~3 reps at 115. I always feel like i had a hard time working on heavy weights during the 6am WODs. Since I'm still waking up, I'm usually nervous to push it to higher numbers that I probably could do if I was really focused. Oh well.. I'll get there..

The WOD itself was fun. I like "chipper" workouts like this. For the ring dips I used a blue band, used a 65 lb barbell for the Power Cleans, and did most of the pushups on my knees...finishing in 10:29. I was one of the fastest in the class so I probably could have pushed the weight a bit higher. 

Speaking of Power Cleans...I need to work on my form. We've done a lot of them lately (last Thurs, Sat, and Monday. The trick to a good power clean is to bring your elbows straight out in front of you when catching the bar so that the bar is being held up around your shoulders:

I, however, have not been doing a good job "getting under" the bar and end up catching it in a way that it lands right in the middle of my chest. My elbows haven't been going out as straight as they should so the bar doesn't get high enough. Brian (our gym's owner) pointed this out to me yesterday, and it's a great tip. Without this advice, you get crazy bruises like so:

Not so attractive. I've also had to wear high collared shirts to work all week so coworkers don't think I'm getting punched in the sternum at home. ohhh crossfit...

Last night I had an awesome sleep and even had the chance to sleep in a little bit this morning (6:30 instead of 5? yes please). I brought my running stuff with me to work and went out for a beautiful 5 mile run around Jamaica Plain at the end of the day. I've never run around JP before even though I've been working there for ~3 years now. I never had a car to drive home in until last month so before I would have had to take the 45 min+ T ride home sweaty and smelly if I ran after work. But now it's all different! I headed out right around 5:15 to explore the neighborhood. It was a glorious 50 degrees out so I didn't need to wear the warm running layers I had brought just in case. I ended up going from the brewery to Jamaica pond, doing 2 laps instead of the originally planned 1, and back to the brewery again. This got me to 5 miles on the dot. Success!

I finished the 5 miles in 46:46. I was happy with this time considering I stopped to take some photos and this was my longest run since my 10k on New Years Day. Feels good to be back!

Now I'm just relaxing with a hearty hit-the-spot dinner. Spaghetti Squash with homemade meat sauce (grass-fed ground bison, mushrooms, onions, red peppers, Raos pasta sauce)


Saturday, March 23, 2013

Swallowing Razors and a Billion Wall Balls

This has been quite the long week. As mentioned in my last post, I came down with strep throat last Saturday. Who knows how I got the virus, but it made Saturday-Tuesday pretty lame. It hurt to cough, swallow, talk, sneeze, and even breathe. My coworker mentioned how she had it recently and it felt like swallowing razors, and that was right on. Luckily though, the antibiotics did their magic and I was back to (almost) good as new by Wednesday. Needless to say, there was no running going on for the first half of the week. Even walking around the apartment was exhausting.

I was back to work on Wednesday but gave it one more day before returning to physically activity. 

Thursday I headed to Crossfit after work. For strength we did 8x1 Squat Snatches. I did 45 lb, which was light and comfortable, but I was scared to go heavier after being sick all week. The workout was a 7 min AMRAP of 5 toes-to-bar, 5 power cleans (45 lb), and 5 front squat (45 lb). The coach was actually pretty blunt and angry with me for using such a low weight on a short workout that was meant to be heavy. I felt so whiney saying  I was trying to get over being sick earlier in the week, but oh welllz, it was the truth. 

I'm actually glad I went light on Thursday night because I went to the 6am Friday WOD and it was BRUTAL. We did the 13.3 Crossfit Games workout. It consisted of 150 wall balls (14 lb), 90 Double Unders, and 30 Muscle Ups as a 12 min AMRAP. The "as many reps as possible" part was kind of a joke since most mortals cannot get through this workout in 12 minutes. Even the top people in my gym struggled to get through a few muscle ups. I had never done a workout with the 14 lb wallball, but since I knew I wouldn't get far in the workout anyway, I decided to give it a go. My coach gave us a few different strategies and I decided to go with 10 reps + 10 seconds of rest. I was good for the first hundred but after that things went downhill. I started missing reps like crazy, whether I was missing the wall completely, missing the target, or just missing the ball (yes, I got hit in the face a good 3-4 times). At the end of the 12 minutes, I finished 137 wall balls RX, which I was both proud and disappointed in. Proud because I have actually never done a WOD with lots of wall balls, ESPECIALLY one with a 14lb ball. I was mad because I definitely had ~20+ no reps, which still take just as much energy but don't count. If I had done each one correctly, I would have definitely gotten well into the double unders. OH WELLLLL. Maybe I'll do it again sometime soon..but not too soon.

This morning I woke up SO FREAKING SORE. I walked like an old lady. so what does one do when they are too sore to walk? they run! I went out for a slow 2.5 miles to loosen up the leggies. Then I went to crossfit. Yep, 3 days straight on very sore legs. To be honest though, that gym is way too pricey to NOT go 3-4 times a week. And our vacation to St Thomas is in 29 days so I have a bathing suit to get ready for :)

This morning's workout was also brutal but didn't involve any squats (thank god). In the warmup, the coach had us do 10 air squats and the whole gym was groaning in pain. It did feel good to move the muscles around though. The workout was a 4 min AMRAP of 7 power cleans (65#) and 10 pushups, then 4 mintues of rest, then 4 min AMRAP of 7 shoulders-to-overhead (65#) and 14 toes-bar (knees to elbow in my case), twice through (total of 16 min of work). 65# was the highest weight I've done in a fast workout for both power clean and presses so I felt really good at the end :) Woo for getting stronger!

I got home to a lovely Saturday. Bill had made me a glorious paleo-friendly breakfast of 3 eggs, bacon, spinach, and avocado. yummm. Then we drove up to NH since tomorrow's my pop's 60th birthday (whoa!). On the way we stopped by a local favorite coffee shop, the Sherman Market where I got some snacks for the road: 

holy YUM. It looks weird in the picture, but this Walnut Merigue thing was delicious. No, not super paleo, but sometimes you just have to go with something awesome looking when you see it. The green tea was also great, light and very basil-forward. 

Once I got home, I spent the afternoon shopping at the outlets with Olga. I got a few impulse buys: a tshirt from Under Armor (below), a summery dress from BR for the vacation, and a white sports bra (for black light yoga). 
Then mom and I went out and about gathering stuff for my dad's birthday tomorrow. We're having about 30 people over for a surprise brunch. I'm really excited to help my mom pull it all together. 

And now I'm just relaxing with the following:

Cab Sav, dark chocolate (bought on my recent trip to Germany), and blogs. We have a delicious dinner of Meathouse Chicken breasts and broccoli on the way. Fun day tomorrow!

Sunday, March 17, 2013


2.5 months later...I'm still here! Here's the long story-short:

  • I hurt my ankle early January
  • It took a few weeks to be able to comfortably walk (let alone run) again
  • I kept up with Crossfit
  • I started a 6 week paleo-diet challenge
  • I pulled out of the Boston Marathon pool
  • I started running (a little) in early Feb
  • I kept up with Crossfit
  • I ran a 5k in early March and almost PR'd (20 seconds off)
  • I signed up for the Wineglass Marathon on October 6th
  • I got strep throat

And here I am! So lots has happened. The past few months have just not been good for me in terms of training for a Spring marathon- physically and mentally. I am beyond excited for the Wineglass in October and I know I can do it. Although my mileage hasn't been up, crossfit has kept me strong and switching to a paleo-focused diet (though not 100%, I work for a brewery people...) has made me feel so much lighter and healthier.

The strep throat is a hiccup, but I'll get through it soon (woo antibiotics). Back to regular running later in the week!

For now, Happy St Paddy's Day all. Strep throat has kept me away from green beer, so Slainte with a green smoothie!