Sunday, November 17, 2013

I'm Half Impressed with Myself

One of my fitness goals was to become good/accomplish something impressive doing something I hated doing.  

I think the reason I thought this up was because I was in the prime of my Crossfit career and was getting good at the Endurance, Strength, and all the other challenges Crossfit presents. I was getting good at it because I was OBSESSED and I loved it.  And when you love doing something, chances are you will get good/better at it. 

So I thought it would be interesting to pick something I hated, and get good at it.  For me, that was running.  So I said, I want to run a series of races.  5k, 10k, 10 Miler, and a Half Marathon within a year. 

So I started training.  I planned out my runs, CF days, rest days, etc and I was doing really well.  It was hard, and I usually bitched before my run, but I did them.  I got all the way up to my 10 Miler and the very next day I found out I was pregnant.  I tried to continue my running, but sadly I was one race short of reaching my goal.  

Fast Forward to 1 year later.  

One COULD ARGUE that all I needed to do was complete a Half Marathon, but I decided to completely start over with my running goal.  So in 2013, I started planning out my training to ultimately get me to a Half.  

So after training started, I completed a 5k, 10k, and 10 Miler, with only one more race to run.  The Elusive Half Marathon.  Not just ANY Half, but the half I had signed up for 2 previous times and didn't bother to show up to.  

Now that I'm typing this, it makes a hell of a lot more sense to me why I was practically weeping when I crossed the Start Line this morning.  I trained, I showed up, and I was really going to complete this unfinished goal I had for myself today.  

No, I'm not Usually This Smiley at 5am

If you asked me how the first hour of running went, I would say, I blinked and it was over.  I kid you not.  And then things started to get a bit ugly. 

This Picture was Taken and then I Started Sucking at Running

So I loved the Philly Half Marathon Course, except after mile 8.  Just as you are starting to feel the burn of running for a while, Philly is like oh hey, here are like 4 hills in a row.  It just took so much out of me and by mile 10, I wanted to quit.

Not to mention, I'm pretty sure the Philly Half, is really the Philly Half Plus .40 miles.  (As per my RunKeeper app). 

I walked when I needed, and ran when I could and dammit I finished.  It took me a humble 2 hours, 19 minutes, and 16 seconds to finish and more than a year to complete my running goal.  

I couldn't have done any of it without my supporting friends (some that even sponsored me!) and of course my wonderful family.  

Sunday, September 22, 2013

The Swamp of Sadness

I've been having an extremely challenging time with life lately and the best comparison I could come up with was the Swamp of Sadness from The Never Ending Story.  

For those of you unfamiliar with The Swamp of Sadness, its a horrible place that if you start to get consumed with sadness, you sink and die.  If you, despite the gloomy surroundings stay positive, you can cross with no problems.  

I am the White Horse:  
Oh hey Karen & Dennis, your car engine broke and Mazda won't cover it, please pay us $9,000

Ok. So shitty things happen in life and you deal with them best you can.  Dennis' car engine broke and Mazda refused to honor their warranty.  $9,000 isn't chump change, but totally manageable.  Welcome to the Swamp of Sadness.
and then...
Oh hey Karen & Dennis, the plumbing in your PA House is F'ed up, it needs to be fixed
  So this was a $1,000 fix, again totally manageable, but things are starting to get tight, and its really starting to get to me. I'm about halfway sunk into the swamp. 

and then... 
Actually, there is something REALLY wrong with the plumbing and we have to Dig up the Yard and Replace the Pipe

And after hearing the cost of THAT repair, I literally found myself neck deep in the Swamp, and it wasn't looking good.  I felt like giving up.  I felt like every coupon I clipped to save money was for nothing, because in less than 2 months, I was pushed so far back financially, it was beyond believable.  I couldn't be more upset about what was happening, and everything else that I had ever been sad about consumed my brain.  It was not good.  

The only thing left to do was to sit down and see what cuts we could make to afford our unexpected expenses.   

1.  Crossfit.  It PAINS me to even admit to this.  Normally this expense we would defend to anybody that would say it's too expensive.  I still stand my ground that it is worth the cost, but only if you can afford it.  Currently we cannot.  We've talked about supplementing a true membership to Crossfit with looking at the Main Site's WODs and make do with the equipment we have and/or see if we can get some things via Craigslist until our situation changes.  

2.  Daycare.  Chain Daycare Centers are beyond expensive.  It's sickening how much they cost and there are only two other alternatives.  A.  Stay Home (which is not an option for us) or B. Bring your child to a "Basement" Daycare.  And that is the option we are choosing.  Obviously we are doing all the proper research and making sure Shane will be safe.  

3.  Cable.  Unfortunately, we are locked into a 2 year commitment with VIOS so until that is over, we have downgraded ANYTHING that was possible to save $ per month. 

4.  Cell Phone.  Again, waiting for our 2 year contract to be up and then switching companies to a cheaper alternative.  

5.  Misc. Cuts that hopefully will make up the difference. 

So here I am, trimmed to the bone, and feeling completely sick about what cuts I've needed to make in order to get to zero, and then something really weird happened.  

Today, Sept 22nd, I was scheduled to run a 10 Mile Race.  With everything going on, I had been slacking in my training and just basically feeling sorry for myself.  In fact, I was SO close to just skipping the race all together.  

Then I thought about it more.  I said to myself, Karen, just run the first 5 miles and we'll consider it a win.  That will be my goal.  So, reluctantly, the family and I drove to start line and again, I was filled with disappointment   Less than 40 runners :(  It was so unmotivating.  UGH.

Fast Forward to mile 8.  Yes I said that right mile 8 was the mile I absolutely HAD to walk.  (I was so tired and the hill was mountainous ).  I was so excited/happy for myself.  The longest run I had trained with was 5 miles and I could barely do that.  I was on cloud 9, and when I crossed the finish line, I couldn't believe my eyes. 


I was really happy.  For the first time in a long time, I felt happiness.  And now I'm starting to feel better about everything that has been happening to us.  Myself and family are healthy, we have a roof over our head, and we have the capability to make things work.  I hope this "happy" feeling lasts and with my new renewed attitude I hope that when upsetting things happen in the future, I don't take them so hard and personally.  

I've finally been lifted out of the Swamp and I hope I never ever get stuck in it again.  

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

There's No Place Like Home

I've been having an awesome series of weekends this summer and I wanted to talk about the last two specifically.  

Two weekends ago a few girlfriends and I decided to spend the weekend in Chicago, which is one of my favorite cities.  If you remember, Dennis and I went to Chicago for our "babymoon" aka the last time I could medically be on a plane and/or the last trip Dennis and I would take together as a 2 some, and we loved Chicago.  

During our babymoon, we were able to meet up with a few friends that we had made on various vacations, and specifically one that WE (yes I said we) inspired to join Crossfit.  Even though I was pregnant, and it was a billion degree's, our friend took us to her homebox (Windy City Crossfit) and we did a drop in.  

So when I booked my 2nd trip to Chicago, I immediately searched the affiliates page to see if there were any boxes near the hotel that would fit into my schedule.  

As luck would have it, I found myself about a mile from a new box, River North Crossfit.  I was stoked!  

So after a long day working, then traveling, and then drinking until the wee hours of the night, I walked my ass to the box to find this horrible, horrible WOD.  

And to top it off, it was a partner WOD, which I would need to be assigned since I was dropping in didn't know anybody.  I was swiftly paired up with another fellow dropper inner, a guy, and as luck would have it, was also a Crossfit Trainer.  NO PRESSURE!  

I already started to feel nervous about not performing as well as a guy, but a TRAINER guy none the less.  I immediately warned him of my sucky-ness and off we went.  As predicted, I was slower than Howard and he didn't give me near as much time to rest as I gave to him, thanks a lot!  We finished the WOD in 21 minutes and change, and I couldn't be happier with that!

But in all seriousness, he was super nice, gave me great pointers during the WOD and kept pushing me to do my best.  Thanks Howard!  
With the WOD done by 10am Saturday morning, I had the rest of the day and weekend to enjoy the lovely city of Chicago!

The OTHER weekend I wanted to specifically talk about is this past weekend. The Lehigh Valley for whatever reason, has more festivals than I could shake a stick at (that saying always cracks me up) and one of the bigger fest's is MUSIKFEST.  Basically its a festival with tents and food vendors and there are several different types of music that you can enjoy and there are some bigger acts too that require tickets.  

Well in any case, back in 2007 when Dennis and I just made it facebook official that we were dating, we went to Musikfest as one of our first dates, and it basically became a tradition for him and I to go.  This year was no different.  

So for the 18th weekend in a row, we packed our weekend bags and headed up to Allentown Friday after work.  

I, trying oh so hard to keep true to my running / training schedule thought it would be fun/nice to drop into my 2nd Home Box (610 you are/will always be #1) South Mountain Crossfit on Saturday morning to get in a WOD and to see some of my MUCH MISSED worker outers.  

I'm not gunna lie, it felt amazing to be back at SMCF.  The friendships and the sense of community there is to die for.  I got there and people were passing out T-shirts they got made for upcoming competitions they all signed up for, they were talking about BBQ's they were going to after today's WOD, and just being a bunch of awesome people.  They all welcomed Dennis, Shane and myself back with open arms and certainly stroked my ego by saying how amazing I look and how great I did on the WOD.  

I found myself being very sad of what I had left behind.  

I didn't want to waste my time being sad, so after KILLING that morning's WOD I spent my time chatting with all those that I have missed so dearly and it was just amazing.  I kept it together during my visit, but as Dennis, Shane and I pulled out of the parking lot, I lost it.  IT WAS SAD!  I didn't know how much I had been missing that part of my life until I set foot back into it for a short moment.  

I was able to pull myself together and enjoyed MUSIKFEST and especially enjoyed seeing KE$HA perform there!  I hope everybody else is having an equally amazing summer as I am and keep up the great work!     


1 Mile Run

4 Rounds:
12 T2B

4 Rounds:
12 Stone to Shoulder
16 Lunges w/25lbs Weight

Sunday, July 7, 2013

SuperFit 2013

In my blog hiatus, I played the role of supportive wife to Reformed Fatty at SuperFit Qualifiers and then at SuperFit Championships, and let me tell you, spectating and being the supporter is exhausting!  

The SMCF team did exceptionally well in the Qualifiers, sending 2 girls and 8 guys to the finals (including Dennis) and even though nobody placed in the Championship, everybody gave it all they had.  

Every time I've played the supportive role to Dennis or to any Crossfitter friend, I've always felt so envious of those competing in these types of competitions.  I have no problem doing the Open every year, knowing very well that I will not (nor ever) qualify to regional's and even though I do feel slight anxiety with my running races, I've never had the "guts" (no pun intended) to do a Crossfit competition.

I hope, someday, I muster up the confidence to put myself out there as these athletes do and see how I rank.  Until then, I will reap the benefits of being a spectator:

1.  Nicks Sticks:  These sticks of Beef or Turkey are really good.  They were a sponsor at Superfit and lucky for me, wanted to unload all their samples at the end of the competition.  They are a perfect protein snack, at about 2 ounces per package, are easy for Zone Blocks / Paleo eating.  Once I run out of free samples, I may have to place and order and they have subscription delivery so you can have then delivered to your door on a monthly basis!

2.  Phase III Recovery:  I've always had an issue finding a protein shake that tastes good.  I had good luck with Arbonne's Chocolate Protein (YUM) and even though it seems expensive, I was able to get it at a discount.  At SuperFit, Phase III Recovery was handing out their newest product and it. is. amazing.  The only issue?  Way too expensive to buy.  Once my stash that I was able to get runs out, I will not be buying this unless the price comes down, which is a shame because it is like drinking a delicious chocolate drink.   

and for the final/best benefit of being at the SuperFit 2013:

Meeting / Photo Opp with Kenny from The Real World

In all seriousness, congrats to all that participated from SMCF!

Vacation Place

I almost feel bashful for writing a blog since it's been so long and you may think that I've been on vacation, but for those of you who like "Digital Mustard" on facebook, you would know that I have been keeping active. 

After I turned 30 I felt really sad that I still hadn't run a half marathon and with me still trying to lose my baby weight, I thought it would be a good time for me to start my training back up. (Not to mention my 200 Mile Relay Race in Florida in February!)

I turned to the Hal Higdon training programs that I've had success with before. 

Since my last blog entry, I've completed a 5k (where I set a new PR!) and in a few weeks I will be running a 10k.  Soon I will be signing up for 10 Miler and hopefully soon after that, a half, and dare I say...a full marathon?  

Training has been less than easy (but honestly, when is it ever easy?) and I am still challenged by eating right.  However, with the efforts that I have been consistently putting in, I am happy to report I have lost all but a few pounds of the weight I gained with the pregnancy.  

I am so happy about that accomplishment   Shane is 8 months today, and I am super proud that I lost the weight in less than a year.

I know that once I really commit to eating clean, in addition to the running/Crossfit training, I will lose even more and eventually get to where I want to be physically.

Hopefully I can also find the time to blog again, I miss it, and hopefully my readers missed it too!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Cherish Court

With my life still in a constant change, I've realized that I need to start cherishing things as they are rather than "getting through" them.  And the sooner you learn that, the better. 

I just got word that I have been offered a full time office position and I will be started said job on June 3rd, or this Monday.  Hooray!  And then my mind went into super crazy worry mode.  

When will I be able to Crossfit / Run / Walk with Shane?
I don't have any work clothes that fit.
We have to get Shane into a daycare ASAP
Will I have time to properly plan my meals?

Literally 100's of worries and questions have been circulating my brains which is amusing to me because right now, as a semi stay at home mom and part time work from homer employee, all I've been worrying about is not making/contributing enough money to the household.  

So the lesson?

1.  I've had a full time job before and I was able to balance work, Crossfit, running, and I'm sure I will be able to add Shane in there :)
2.  Ok, I do have clothes that fit, I just need new ones that look cuter.
3. Not and issue and its basically already taken care of.
4. YES.  If it's important, it will happen.  


I'm starting to realize that nothing in life is going to be perfect and my List of Things to do will be endless.  So I might as well just take a deep breath, and enjoy the situation I am in now.  And now.  And now.  

Right now, as I type, Shane is sleeping.  I'm typing this blog in comfy clothes, and I'm waiting until 11:00am to turn on The Price is Right.  

I am NOT thinking about how I am not making any money at this moment and that the laundry needs to be switched over and the dishes need to be done.  

I'm simply enjoying this moment for what it is.  If I just "get through" the day, I'm going to look back and realized that, congrats, you "got through" life without ever taking the time out to enjoy things. 

Wednesday May 22nd

Ran 2.50 Miles

Wednesday, May 22, 2013


I took Sunday and Monday off from running and Crossfit (which I will be paying for later on in the week) so Tuesday I needed to get back on track.  Going forward this is going to be my weekly schedule:

Run + Crossfit
Long Run

The rest day will float depending on my schedule, but the game plan is to Crossfit 4 days a week and run 3 days a week, until I get to week 8 (currently on week 5) and then I will reevaluate the situation.  

I have to laugh at the trainer at Crossfit Capital, she is VERY pregnant and is going to pop any day now.  But don't let that fool you, she is a hard ass!  

Dennis and I have visited multiple boxes in multiple cities (see the list on the side of the  blog) and the neat thing is that each box does things the same, but with their own spin on things.  

The O'Donnell trio showed up for the 5pm class and when the clock struck 5, Preggo Trainer yelled "WARM UP!"  

Crossfit Capital has a designated warm up which usually takes about 15 minutes.  I like that it is structured but you don't have to wait for everybody to start.  The warm up usually starts off with a run or a row, followed by 3 Rounds of 3 movements.  And by the end of the "warm up" I am so warm that I'm dripping.  

The only complaint thus far with the new box, they don't always do a strength before the WOD.  At 610 and SMCF, there would be a strength portion and then a metcon.  Here, there is a warm up, some instruction, then the WOD. 

There are some days that they do a strength portion, and my solution to Dennis was to see if there was a pattern to when they do both strength and WOD and we can go on those days.  Problem solved.  

Warm Up

500 Meter Row

3 Rounds
20 Good Mornings
10 Leg Kicks
10 DB Push Press (20lbs)


12 Deal Lifts
9 Hang Cleans
6 Push Press

10:05 @ 65lbs

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Capital Crossfit

It's been a little less than a month since we've made the move from PA to VA, and we are starting to settle in.  

With me working from home (in addition to watching the little Stinker) I've been able to plow through unpacking and organizing.  Each day I would pick a room and go to town.  Little by little the place is shaping up to an amazing living space.  

Dennis and I agreed that we'd wait a while before we joined another Crossfit Box for multiple reasons.  

1. plain and simple, Money.  With now 3 (yes I said 3) Mortgages, the expenses of moving, and me taking a tremendous pay cut, we weren't sure if we'd be able to afford a membership right away, if at all.  

2.  We wanted to make unpacking and organizing a priority.  When we moved to our house in PA, we waited and waiting to get things done and when the house was just about in the shape we wanted, we were leaving it.  It's a terrible feeling.  So again with my time at home and Dennis getting home at 3:30pm every day (which, by the way, is amazing), we were able to get things organized and we are even at the point of hanging things on the wall!  

3.  Even though we weren't Crossfitting per say, I was really focusing on my running and my walking.  Shane and I have been talking 1 hour walks each day (and I've been averaging about 4 miles per hour) in addition to my training for running.  As my muscles have been withering away, my endurance is up, up, up.  Did I mention in order to enter the condo there is a minimum of 21 stairs?  Carrying Shane, groceries  or whatever up those things has been enough of a WOD for me that this point.  

Then SUPERFIT happened.  

As I posted in my last Blog, Dennis did extremely well despite his training and with him possibly doing well in the finals, well that lit a fire under his ass. 

When we returned home from our epic journey to Morristown, NJ, Dennis contacted our local box to set up a time for us to do a class and possibly join.  That happened yesterday.  

The box is about 15 minutes from our home, which, is nothing new.  The only difference, this box is located in what looks to be a strip mall.  Not what we are used to.  We are used to the typical scary garage/ make shift type of facility.  This box is anything but.  

Dennis and I had a very positive experience at the box and needless to say we were signing on the dotted line to join.  We are super excited to start a new chapter in our Crossfit life with a new home box and community.  

Warm Up:

400 Meter Run

3 Rounds
5 Strict Press (33lbs)
5 Ring Rows
5 Inch Worms


20 Minute Amrap
10 Hang Cleans @ 65lbs
200 Meter Runs

Score: 7+15 @ 53lbs & Box PU

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Restful Terrace

For those of you that don't have the pleasure of knowing my husband Dennis, he's well, let's just call him a loose cannon.  He, when he wants to, can commit to things, train, and do well.  But MOST of the time he commits to things and then for one reason or another doesn't train.  And the bizarre thing?  He will still do well.  It's been a big mystery with him that has been proved at Test Your Metal 2012 and most recently at Superfit 2013.  How would one describe Dennis' training plan for Superfit?  I'd call it "restful."

Now obviously Dennis has a somewhat decent athletic background.  He was active in softball and track, golf, and other athletics and of course more recently his Crossfit training.  

When Dennis gets consumed with Crossfit, he builds the courage and confidence to compete in competitions (something myself has yet to take the plunge into yet) and I simply admire him for that.  The problem?  The months leading up to said competitions, he's commitment fades, or life happens, and the morning of the competition Dennis feels completely unprepared.  

So the story goes, Dennis takes 2.5 weeks off from Crossfit, goes into the competition with doubt and comes out at the bottom, right?  WRONG.  

Dennis did really well.  Probably better than I've ever seen him do in a CF competition.  But how could this be?  And I kept asking myself this, how does he do it?  The answer. 

Rest and Recovery.  

Whether it was accidental or intentional, Dennis was giving his body (ample) time to rest and recover from all the abuse he was doing to it during his normal training.  Now I'd agree that 2.5 weeks was about 1.5 weeks too many, but there is something to be said about it.  

How do you prepare yourself mentally and physically for competitions?  Anybody else have the "Dennis System" theory?  Post to Comments.  

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Inspiration Terrace

So I ran a half marathon yesterday and as usual I didnt train very well. (only got up to 8 miles) I was debating on doing it or not and thought to myself.. what would Karen do?? and I figured you would suck it up and run the race! (of course you would have trained and not been in this situation but anyway) thanks for still inspiring me even though you are miles away!!

After completing WEEK 1 of my running program I felt super accomplished.  As of right now, I'm a stay at home mom, which, with all the unpacking, is harder than it sounds!  So fitting in a run isn't as easy as I'd hoped, but so far, so good.  

I came across the corner of Curiosity and Inspiration and started to think about what inspires me.  And as if on cue, I received the above message on facebook.  

I couldn't have been more flattered that this particular person was inspired by me and did something positive by keeping me in mind.  Especially since I very much look up to her as a trainer, an athlete, and a friend.  

Inspiration can be found in unexpected places, but I think for athletes, the biggest inspiration comes from others.  

When I was a brand new Crossfit, I was inspired (and of course insanely frightened) by the talent I was surround by.  Trainer Mike and Molly, Gerbino and Lindsay, Courtney and Frank were all people I would train with, yet they were leaps and bounds better than me, and all of them assured me that if I stuck to it, I would eventually be at that their level.  

I personally do not think that I am inspiring in any way, but if simply posting how many miles I run in a day can make somebody else want to run, then so be it:

sxxxxh.sxxxn: Right now? just working. not sure what im doing tonight. maybe groceries and working out. Tomorrow im getting a pedicure, laundry, and packing for tomorrow night!
  I ran 1 mile yesterday I was so proud lol
 me: oh wow awesome
 sxxxxh.sxxxn: You have inspired me

My advice, be yourself, be awesome and be inspired, you never know who YOU will inspire!

Post what/who inspires you to comments!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Proud Terrace

Today I turned the big 3-0.  The most common question today was "how do you feel?"  The answer?  Proud.  I feel Proud.  

During my long walk and short run today, I found myself at the crossroads of proud and curiosity. I thought about everything in my life that I was proud about and here is a sample of my list:

1.  Buying and paying off my own car.  
2.  Choosing twice now to move away from all that is familiar and comfortable    to me.  (CT to PA) and now (PA to VA)
3.  Carrying and delivering a Baby
4.  Getting approved to purchase a house by myself
5.  Keeping the same job for over 5 years
6.  Embracing Crossfit instead of letting it intimidate me. 

Yes I've had my less than proud moments, and I've not always achieved my goals but over all, my head is held up high!  


1.50 Mile Run

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Expectation Square

Even though today was a scheduled rest day (from running) I did go for a shorter walk with Shane and explored more of the neighborhood.  I kept taking notice of all the ridiculously named streets, and decided that Expectation Square was going to be my next blog topic.  

 An expectation, which is a belief that is centered on the future, may or may not be realistic.

Expectations are sort of a moving target and should adjust as things change.  When I first joined Crossfit, I had zero expectations for myself.  I was overweight, out of shape, and never lifted a weight in my life.  After a year or so of training, my expectations for myself had changed, and I held myself to a higher level.  

After my pregnancy, they changed again.  

I think the key to expectations is to keep them as realistic as possible.  I don't expect to ever win the Crossfit Games title of Fittest Woman on Earth, but with hard work, I can expect to look and feel the way I want, and isn't that the name of the game?

Yesterday's running requirement was to run 1.50 miles.  Since it had been months since I did any type of running, and I suck at running, I expected that I would have to stop to walk during it.  I was pleasantly surprised that I didn't have to walk, at all.  My run time wasn't fast by any means, but I exceeded my expectations by not walking.  

My advise to you?  Keep your expectations as realistic as possible and don't feel bad for defeated if you  have to adjust them in either direction. 

Happy Rest Day!

Curiosity Square

I'm not really sure who names streets but whoever was in charge of naming the streets in my  new neighborhood was simply an over achiever.  Every time I tell somebody my new address, they always respond the same way.  "Curiosity Square, I LOVE THAT!"  

It certainly doesn't stop there.  Curiosity Square is just the tip of the ice burg and when I went for my first run yesterday, I thought it would be REALLY fun to use the names of the streets as topics for my blog.  So I wanted to start with what I thought was most fitting.  Curiosity. 

For those of you who don't know me personally, about a year ago after my husband and I found out we were expecting our first child, my husband got laid off.  The excitement of being first time parents was clouded with the sadness of becoming a one income household.  

With my husband's career, I knew that leaving the Lehigh Valley was a possibility, but mostly I was in denial that it would happen.  But about 4 months ago, my husband accepted a position outside of DC.  

This started a whole series of events that made my life more chaotic that I thought I was able to handle.  But as of this past weekend, it's over.  And here I am starting at my street sign, Curiosity Square.  

Was this the right choice for my family and for me?

Since it's only been a few days since the big move, we haven't figured out which crossfit box here in VA is right for us.  In the mean time, I am going to be focusing on running and doing at home WODs.  


1.5 Mile Run / 11:36 Pace

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Crossfit Games 2013 WOD 13.5

Once again this past Wednesday I found myself huddled over my laptop eagerly awaiting the announce for the final WOD of the Crossfit 2013 Open.  With 4 WODs behind us an not seeing a Thruster or any type of Pull-Up, I was semi expecting to have a repeat of last year.  Fran on Crack.  This year was a little different:


4 minute AMRAP of:
15 Thrusters (100 / 65 lbs)
15 Chest to bar Pull-ups
*4 minute bonus for every 90 reps (3 rounds) completed.

FINALLY A WOD I COULDN'T DO!  (I say this like it's a good thing). 

I knew my score instantly.  15. 

It's a pretty anti-climatic end to the season for us non-elite Crossfitters, but over all I'm very happy with the 2013 Open and as always, I'm glad I participated. 

With the number of people doing the Crossfit Open more than doubling, my placing was quite curious compared to last year. It was the same.
Not sure how that worked out (PUN!) but thats how the numbers for me played out.  In 2012, I was in the best shape of my life, but when I did the 2nd half of the games, I was pregnant. 
From then until the end of the games in 2013, I had only trained for about 3 months, had a baby, and trained for 2 months post baby. 
Not sure it REALLY means anything besides the fact that I lost a year of training to have a baby but my strength is still comparable to last year where as my endurance took a beating. 
I know that between now and the 2014 Crossfit Games I'm not going to be pregnant so this will be my year of training.  I'd obviously like to get pulls and dare I say a muscle up? so that when those show up in the 2014 I can get a few in. 
Congratulations to all that participated in the 2013 OPEN and a SUPER Congrats to those teams and individuals that will be moving on to Regionals.  :)

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Crossfit Games 2013 WOD 13.4

A Facebook Status that started out as a joke:
Tomorrow is my Wedding Anniversary and we have no plans. Maybe we should do the 13.4 head to head after it is announced?!?
Turned into one of the most memorable Crossfit Open WODs & Anniversary Celebration thus far.

I half jokingly posted that status on my Digital Mustard's Facebook page and the responses were nothing short of amusing.  People were voicing if they were on Team "Dennis" or Team "Karen" and saying that they would come to the box just to see such an event.  Before I knew it, our Trainers at the Box were more than happy to make the event happen, complete with cupcakes for smashing and champaign for a toast:  O'Donnell vs O'Donnell
The only thing I could now hope for was a WOD that we were both able to do. 
and then this happend:
Both Clean & Jerks at that weight and Toes to Bar were things I was able to do, and not only that, I was quite comfortable with the weight.  With only a little time before the announcement of the WOD and me doing the WOD, my mind wrapped around what I thought I could do.

I knew I was going to struggle on the Toes to Bar and 95lbs was doable, but certainly not "light" for me.  I decided that making it through the 6's was a challenging, yet reachable goal. 

After a fun little photo session, Dennis and I were ready to go.  The first round, the C&J's were not a problem at all.  If I had to do the T2B one at a time, that was how I was going to do them, but I surprised myself and banged out 3 in a row, completing the first round in under 30 seconds.  Amazing pace!

Then the weight of the bar settled in.  It was heavy.  I struggled, but I got them done, stringing them together as best as possible.  Then back to the T2B.  Got 1, got 2, then it was "no rep" city.  I must have gotten no repped 4 or so times before I could get in a good rep.  I finally finished out the T2B, looked at the clock and thought, holy shit we are already 5 minutes into a 7 minute WOD.  My 2nd round was obviously a bit slower than my first. 

I got back to the bar, failed an attempt, but some how got my 9 in and snuck in 2 last T2Bs, giving me a final score of 29.  Which, I'm honestly not that upset about.  Here are my helpful tips for those of you that haven't gone yet:

Tip #1:  Make sure you talk to your judge before the WOD about no repping the C&J's.  I made sure that I heard my judge count my rep before I released the bar.  I didn't care if it took an extra secound or so, I wanted to make sure the rep was good and counted for. 

Tip #2:  If possible, don't drop the bar from overhead.  I didn't drop on the first round, but as I got tired in the 2nd, I did that and I found that once my hands were off the bar, it took me a while to set back up.  3rd round, I'll let it slide if you drop. 

Tip #3:  Save your Arms.  User your hips for the clean, and your legs/hips for the Jerk.  Split Jerk if you have to, but SAVE YOUR ARMS!  You need those suckers for the T2B!

Tip #4:  Shake out your arms before the T2B.  I was such in a rush to get to them, I went, unprepared, and got lots fo no reps.  I was litteraly a papers width away from the bar each time, but just couldn't get them to touch.  Once I relaxed and shook out my arms, I was able to get better reps.

Tip #5:  Embrace the WOD.  Clean and Jerk is one of my FAVORITE Crossfit WODs.  I always feel so empowered after doing them and I think they are fun.  Embrace it!!

Overall I was happy with my performance and after reflecting on the WOD I am happy that I can sometimes very well keep my expectations and predictions close to the reality of my capibilities.  But guess what, I'm 100% doing this sucker again!! 

So I may not have won the head to head challenging with my husband of 3 years on WOD 13.4, BUT I certainly won the cupcake smashing!! 


Monday, March 25, 2013

Crossfit Games 2013 WOD 13.3

What's in a Name?
In Greek, the name Karen means- pure. 
In Crossfit, the name Karen means - pure hell. 
ok nobody's hais looks that good doing Karen!
As long as I can remember, I would avoid this WOD like no other.  I hate the workout out (150 wall balls for time) and I hated even more that it shares my name. 
So last year, when the 12.4 Open WOD was announced, you could just imagine my lack of joy.  At the time I was secretly pregnant (only me, Dennis, and Trainer Evan knew it at the time) but from what I'm reading in my blog, I was in really good shape:
"I started off really well, I was breaking the wall balls into sets first 15s, another 15, then 10s and then 5s until I FINALLY got to 150. With only seconds left I got 1 double under and I was done."  Full Post Here
When Wednesday rolled around and 13.3 was announced, I was pretty much infuriated.  It was the same WOD:
12 Minute AMRAP
150 Wall Balls (14lbs, 9ft Target) a.k.a Karen
90 Double Unders
30 Muscle Ups
I seriously never ever ever ever ever wanted to do this WOD again ever in my life.  But now I had to, and I knew that I wasn't going to be able to measure up to my past self.  in 2012 I got 150 Wall Balls and 1 double under. 
I typically do the WODs on Thursday morning, giving me time to decided if I am going to redo, but I knew I was only going to do this one once, because I hated it so much.  I had the opportunity to do it on Friday night, but I chickened out. 
Before I knew it, it was Sunday and I had no choice but to buck up an get it over with.  I was not happy.  I was so unhappy, multiple people took notice of my demeanor in the box, and when Dennis set the clock to 12 minutes I started to cry. 
I hate when I cry at Crossfit.
I started off with sets of 10, resting without dropping the ball, getting a few rounds of that.  Then, continued with sets of 5, or less as needed.  As the clock ticked on, I got slower and braked longer, and then it was done.
I got 120 reps total, which was a huge disappointment but what did I expect?
Did I expect to go into the WOD with the complete wrong attitude and do well?  Nope, I accepted failure before I even started. 
It's not like I did 120 reps and walked away laughing.  I was winded, I was tired, and I was upset, and of course there were more tears. 
There is nothing more frustrating remembering Karen past and doing worse than her.  I'm supposed to be getting stronger, faster, and leaner than her.  Not slower, weaker, and fatter!  Knowing what I was capable of doing and not performing that way now is simply the worst. 
Things that I've learned:
I need to work on Wall Balls.  They are prob my least favorite Crossfit move.  Which means I don't practice them, and in turn means I'll never get better at them. 
Reading my blog from a year ago is a lot of fun!  Even if it makes me feel like crap sometimes. 
Crossfit support systems are great.  Everybody told me I did a great job and patted me on the back for doing the work out, even if I was greatly disappointed. 
Threatening your husband about "no repping" you works...hahaha just kidding :).  I got no repped about 5 times which really hurts, but it makes you really try hard to make every rep count.  During the WOD I had multiple people come over to remind me to watch my dept, and a coach even gave me advice mid WOD to widen my stance (a constant problem of mine) to increase depth.  I appreciated all of the kind words!! 
I should have done the WOD Thursday and then again Sunday.  I shouldn't be so afraid of this WOD.  It's Karen, I should own this WOD.
13.3 Final Score 120

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Crossfit Games 2013 WOD 13.2 - Second Attempt

After doing 13.2 the first time and then seeing fellow South Mountain Crossfitter's scores, I knew that I wanted to do it again on Sunday.  And....

oops!.....I did it Again.
.....well yes, I did it again.  With positive results.  Thankfully. 

Learning from Thursday, I knew what to do and what not to do.

1. Don't Drop the Bar during the Shoulders to Over Head.

2. Don't Jump, Step up

3. Rest minimally

4. Get more than 5+11 Rounds!!

And I swear to god, after the 3..2..1..Clock went off, I thought to myself, why the heck am I doing this again? 

After that thought passed, I kept focus on what I knew I had to do.  Luckily Lynn was doing the WOD at the same time as me and I had her in my sight.  She was way faster than me on the Shoulders to Overhead, but I used her to pace me on the other movements.  When we overlapped on the box steps, I kept her rhythm, and that for sure kept me at a higher pace.

I again, had an awesome judge.  I let her know to alert me on the 5's so I knew where I was and when I was on my 5th round, I think she was more excited about it than I was.  She didn't let me rest too long and encouraged me the entire time. 

After the longest & shortest 10 minutes of my life (again) I was on the ground sucking air and high fiving my judge.  I improved my score from 161 reps to 199. 

I really really really really wish I got 200.  But then I'd wish I had gotten 201 and so on and so forth, so regardless of me not getting a nice round number, I have to be happy with my 38 rep improvement, right?

Reformed Fatty and I have had many conversations about redoing the Open WODs and I think the mutual consensus was that we would only redo them if they continue to be these shorter WODs that have potential of improvement. 

But again, it is all very situational.

Later that evening I got a text from a former 610er telling me how she had a disappointing experience with her 13.2 redo.  She, like so many other competitors, put too much pressure on herself and literally had a mental break down around minute 4 of the WOD. 

Her coach was able to get her back in the right state of mind to finish out the WOD, and she finished with only 10 less than her 1st attempt.  Think about that for a second. 

I told her that I was sad to hear that she didn't improve her score, but we all have moments of anxiety before a WOD and it's not what defines you as a crossfitter.  What defines you is how you react and respond to those types of situations.   

She could have just walked away, but she didn't and thats the reason why I'm so proud of her, regardless of her score. 

She's never walked away from a WOD, never has, and she never will! 

Congrats to all that survived 13.2!


10 Minute AMRAP

5 Shoulder to Overheads (75lbs)
10 Dead Lifts (75lbs)
15 Box Jumps (20inch)

Final Score:  199 Reps