Saturday, June 28, 2014

Mental Games

After my glorious rest day I was back at the 6:00am class on Friday and for a few minutes I thought I was going to be the ONLY person in the class.  I started to panic, how horrible would that be for me to basically have a trainer focused on my performance for the whole WOD?!? And then thankfully a fellow 6amer walked through the doors. 

After Wednesday's fiasco with the 95lbs cleans, I mentally decided that I was going to go well below RX for the front squats and just deal with it.  I quickly looked up my 1 rep max just to see where I was and it was 135lbs.  RX'd was 95lbs for this particular WOD, but I knew that wasn't going to happen.  I loaded the bar to 65lbs and decided that was what I was going to use.  

3 Rounds for Time
200 Meter Run
7 Hand Stand Push Ups
14 Front Squats 

In my mind, I mentally prepared for this WOD to take me at least 20 minutes finish.  I wasn't worried about the running, but the HSPUs and front squats for sure.  I knew I was going to have to break up the Front Squats into a couple sets per round, and I knew that I'd have to chip away at the HSPU for at least the last round.  

Let's just say I under estimated myself on this one considering I finished sub 10.

I really surprised myself on the HSPU  because I did all 7 unbroken each round.  I was using 2 ab mats, so next time we have HSPUs I will only use 1.  YAY.  I know that I complain about all the shoulder work we do here in CFC but CLEARLY it's working. 

I wasn't able to do all 14 reps of the front squats unbroken, but I told myself not to do less than 7 at a time.  I didn't want to spend all my energy cleaning the bar up to get into the Front Squat position so 2 sets of 7 each round is what I did.  It wasn't easy, at all, but I felt ok doing 2 sets of 7 and of course getting a time like that, I was wondering if I could have gone heavier. 

I'm like the freaking goldie locks of weights here. 

I was very surprised how sweaty I was for under 10 minutes of work.  It was short, but super exhausting, and I loved it.  

Thursday, June 26, 2014

I Should Have Scaled

Yesterday's WOD was one that I  barely blinked an eye at when I read the post on the website.

8 Minute AMRAP
10 Hang Cleans @ 95lbs
50 Double Unders

Cleans are my very favorite lift so I was assuming that 95lbs was not going to be an issue for me. 

After the warm up, I loaded the bar to 65lbs.  Got in a few cleans without any issues at all.  I was confident that 95lbs (or RX'd in this case) would be a good weight for me to go.  I added 30 more pounds, cleaned and thought about it for a minute.  It was heavy, but I did it, so I should be ok.  Feeling slightly challenged by the weight, I cleaned again and I failed.  Crap, it may be too heavy.  


After 5 reps I knew I had bitten off more than I could chew.  I dropped the bar to shake out my arms while everybody else proceeded to the jump ropes.  Crap.  My form was disintegrating and I was fighting for every rep. 

The good news was that I did the WOD Rx'd.  The bad news was that Rx'd meant nothing to me because I finished the WOD with a pathetic 1+9 rounds. 

Being really upset with myself and the whole situation really, I logged into my blog to see what my 1 rep max was for Hang Cleans.  Just to see if I was in the right ballpark with weight.  And what do you know?  My 1 rep max was, yup you guessed it, 95lbs.  

What does this mean?  It means that I went too heavy on the work out and that I now need to figure out my new 1 rep max for hang  cleans,  because I basically just did 19 in 8 minutes.  

This just goes to show it is important to record your work outs as detailed as possible.  IF i knew that 95 was my 1 rep max, I would have looked at the WOD and said ok, if I can do 1 at 95, I should probably do this WOD at about 75lbs.  

Stupid Stupid Stupid.  

As for today, it was my "glorious rest day" as I like to call them and I plan on getting back at it tomorrow morning at 6am.  

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Too Sore for More

Even though yesterday's WOD was pretty intense, I was feeling pretty good through out the day.

My coworker and I typically take a 2 mile walk at lunch to get out of the office and be outside.  This helps my body a TON staying loose during the day. Otherwise I find myself sitting for almost 9 hours and simply stiffing up.  

It was at 9pm last night when the 6am WOD hit me like a ton of bricks.  I went to yawn and immediately thrashed forward because of the pain in my abbs that it caused.  My legs (mostly my thighs) were sore from the squats, and then finally my shoulders started to scream as well.  I was also dealing with ripped callouses and band burn on my stomach.  Meh.  

Not to mention a fellow 6am'er was feeling chills and had a high fever all day.  She never gets sick, so obviously I blame Angie!

This already gave me a pre-excuse not to go to today's WOD, but I reluctantly packed my gym bag anyways just in case I felt inspired in the morning.  And I made it!

7 Rounds
10 Wall Balls (14 lbs)
10 Box Jumps (20″ Step Ups)
10 Ring Dips (Purple Band)
15 minute time cap

Karen: 13:39

Monday, June 23, 2014

The O'Donnell's take Chantilly

Back in 2011 when I started my Crossfit journey, I didn't start alone.  This was a commitment to health that Dennis and I took together as a couple.  

In the beginning we always went to the same classes.  We were new, we were weak, and we didn't know anybody.  We were each other's support.  As we became more seasoned and were "accepted" into the Crossfit Tribe, we were comfortable WODing separately, at different times, to fit each other's schedules.  

I started going to the 6am classes and Dennis was more of an after work type of WODer.  Even if I went after work, I'd be able to make the 5pm class where as Dennis would only be able to make the 6pm or 7pm class.  

Point being, we were WODing together when we could and were enjoying the sport of Crossfit as a "team."  

Ever since Shane has been in our lives, it happens almost never.  

It's kinda sad if you think about it.  Dennis and I started this together, worked hard side by side and watched each other reach goals, hit PR's and we even saw each other fail once and a while.  We shared the same enthusiasm for getting our 4-5 WODs in per week no matter what and personally I think Dennis finally saw my Athletic side.  We'd collapse after a hard WOD together and I can relive in my brain Dennis coming over to me to tell me I did a good job and try to high five me and I would simply say, "Don't Touch Me."  

However, last week, we were given an opportunity to finally WOD together at our new home box.  I couldn't have been happier.  And to make matters better, Trainer Kyle decided to document such event with some awesome photos.  

How did this happen? Well.  Shane's Daycare provider finally  had her baby (YAY) and my mom said she would come down to VA and watch Shane for us making it possible for Dennis and I to go to CrossFit classes together!  Go Karen's Mom!

Now I may or may not have talked about Dennis and/or warned CrossFit Chantilly about the Crossfit dynamic Dennis and I have during WODs, but lets just say that all the trainers were able to clearly identify Dennis before really getting to know him.  

Dennis graced myself and the 6am class 3 times that week (which was awesome) and he got to meet all of the different Trainers I see on a regular basis.  He loved them all, and loved how they are different in some ways, but are all around great trainers.  

This particular WOD that the pictures are showing was a hard one.  It's considered a chipper and we fought from start to finish.  Today was my first day back without Dennis by my side and I must admit, I was a bit sad.  Hopefully we will be able to figure something out in the future to keep our "Karen & Dennis" show alive.  

30 Squat Snatch
30 Ring Dips
30 Burpee Box Jumps
30 Shoulders to Overhead

Score posted above.  (And of course Stupid Dennis beat me as per usual).  

06-23-14 Angie

Having it be a Monday morning, and knowing that the WOD was Angie, getting up to go to Crossfit this morning was more of a struggle than most. 

Typically I like doing the Benchmark WODs but some of them just really make me sad, Karen being the WORST, Jackie being a close 2nd, and of course Angie making it to my top 3 hated WODs.  

I didn't know this until after the fact, but the last time I did Angie was back on July 12th of 2011 (You can read about it here).

Today we had the fearsome foursome at 6am (Erin, Martha, Britney, and myself) plus Jae representing the Males which was a nice way to start off the pain we were about to endure.  We all had the same look on our face about the WOD but when Adam started the clock, we did nothing but work. 

I started doing the Pull Ups at about 5 or so at a time, but then quickly had to go down to 3, and then lousy 1.  By 50 pull ups, my grip was gone and my hand was torn.  Great, 50 more to go.  At 80, Trainer Adam told me to switch to Ring Rows and I felt as if I had won the workout lottery.  


Those 20 last ring rows felt HORRENDOUS!  I couldn't believe how my arms felt and I had to break those last 20 reps out and I was so happy once I was able to move on to Push Ups. 

I must admit, I felt kinda empowered during the push ups.  Granted they were on my knees, but all the shoulder work that we've been doing here in CF Chantilly was finally paying off.  I was able to do sets of 25, then 10s, and breaking for only seconds at a time.  I will admit that the frequent Ke$ha songs playing also helped a bit, although I did notice it's very hard to count reps while singing.  

Once done with the 100 Push Ups, it was on to 100 sit ups.  Sit ups I don't really MIND, I just knew that it was going to be a slow and steady pace.  I was able to just get a rhythm and stick with it with minimal breaking.  The 25 minute time cap came and went,  but Trainer Adam gave us the option of continuing on and I wasn't going to just stop with 1 last set to go.  

Erin: "What the heck guys, why are you still going!?!"

Last item on the WOD was 100 air squats, the part I was dreading post Pull Ups.  And then something magical happened.  I cranked out 25 like it was nothing.  I though, ok cool, 3 more sets of 25 and I'm done.  I took a quick break and BOOM 2nd set of 25 done.  Holy Crap!!  

Erin asked how many I had left and I said 50 between breaths and she volunteered to do them with me.  Whoo Hoo!  We got to 10 where I stated I was going to 25 without breaking and boom, got it done.  

I was so pumped.  Last set, I did 10 and just needed a quick break, shook out my legs and pumped out the last 15 with Erin.  We were so hyped up!

I was curious how I did last time I did this WOD and I basically did all the same scales, at a 5pm class, and got 33:12.  

Today's time:  32:15.  Shaved off almost an entire minute, and that my friend is considered a win!


100 Pull Ups - Green Band/20 RR
100 Push Ups - Knees
100 Sit Ups
100 Air Squats


Monday, June 16, 2014

North End Crossfit and VA Beach

This past weekend my sister-in-law and I traveled down to Virginia Beach to celebrate our cousin's Bachelorette Party.  With travel, I like to visit other Crossfit Boxes if the weekend permits, and I'm happy to report I was successful in doing so this time.  

Friday was probably the longest day of my life.  I did a 6am WOD in Chantilly, went to work, drove 5.5 hours to the beach and then out to the bars until last call (which is a small victory in itself!).  

This is how good I look after being up for almost 24 hours
I knew that if I wanted to visit North End Crossfit, I had to make the 9am class on Saturday.  So after being up almost 24 hours, drinking, and getting only a couple hours of sleep, I woke up, put on my shoes, and walked my ass 10 blocks to the  box.  

I always feel a bit nervous going to a new box, by myself, in a new place but the awesome Crossfit community melts those feelings away almost immediately.  Until they post the WOD.  Blah. 

The WOD was semi scary, and to top it off it was a partner WOD.  I was all of a sudden reminded of when I was in Chicago where I was dropping in while traveling and it was a partner WOD.  I was having the "am I going to be picked last" thought and then "am I going to let my partner down" thoughts.  

When the coach said to grab a partner a nice older woman, Trish, was happy to work with me and I was equally happy to work with her.  The workout was brutal and it was hot out, and when it was over, I was left laying on the floor trying to catch my breath in a pool of my own sweat.  

25 Minute AMRAP
10 Pull Ups
15 Slam Balls
20 Box Jumps

Partner 1 runs 250 Meter Run with a Sand Bag while Partner 2 works on getting Reps.  Partner 1 picks up where Partner 2 leaves off.  

The work out was super challenging, but I was just grateful I could do all of the movements.  Trish was super supportive and I think we did just fine!  I was happy to add another box to my running tally on the right side of my blog and to add another T-Shirt to the collection!  This is what I looked like for the rest of the day.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Saturday Bike Ride - 36 Miles

In hopes to be ready for my first Century Bike Ride I'm trying to do longer bike rides each week, and this week we decided to venture off the W&OD trail and do the Mount Vernon Trail.  

This was a fantastic decision!  

It took about a little less than an hour to get to the trail head and once we were done unloading, we were off!  

At first the trail super crowded with runners, bikers, and walkers, but after about 2 miles things started to clear up.  Dennis and I immediately fell in love with the scenery.  The W&OD trail is less crowded, but there is no view.  This trail was basically the opposite. The majority of the time there was water to the side of us, and right off the bat across the river we could see the Washington Monument and I believe the top of the capitol. 

Next on the scenic route was the Regan National Airport.  Now granted biking around the airport wasn't super cool, but what was, was biking right across the end of the runway when planes were taking off.  This picture doesn't quite do it justice, but it was super scary standing where we were while the planes were just taking flight.  

At about mile 8, we rode under the Woodrow Wilson Memorial Bridge which was also a neat experience.  Under the bridge was a fishing pier, basketball hoops, a bathroom facility, and a number of fitness groups being held.  So bizarre, but really cool.  The bridge was massive and it almost felt creepy being under it.  I don't think we were able to get it in the picture, but directly above us on the bridge we could see the "Welcome to Virginia" sign.  

The next 5 miles past the bridge, we biked through two really cool / cute towns (unsure of what they were called) but they were places that Dennis and I would love to visit while not on a bike.  The trail was mostly on a paved path but there were a few times we had to ride on the street and there were several wooden bridges we had to cross.  One of which put us over this nice little view:

The the final 4 or so miles was a total hill nightmare.  I was not towing Shane on the way to Mt Vernon, but all I could think of between breaths was, "I'm going to be sorry" on the way back.  There were more twists and turns than I have ever experienced on my road bike, but we made it and needed a solid rest before we headed back. 

Biking 18 miles to Mt Vernon too 1 hour and 40 minutes, averaging about 11 miles per hour.  Definitely not a great time, but with all the passing, stopping, and picture taking, we knew this bike ride was going to be more about distance than speed.  

The ride back (another 18 miles) felt like it went faster, but according to my tracker it took 1 hour and 45 minutes to get back.  

As you can see from the pictures, the weather was absolutely perfect and a great day to take in the sights.  Clearly this was way too much to ask of our son!

May Recap

With Beast Mode still engaged, I wanted to take a quick look back to the month of May.  

Using my awesome new Heart Rate Monitor (Mio LINK) and this very cool app (digifit), I've been able to keep track of all my activities this month.  Counting only May, I've done 18 walks, 6 runs, 6 bike rides, and 10 Crossfit classes (with only 5 complete rest days). And a few of those days I did all 3 in the same day!!

I am not, by any means, saying that this was an EASY schedule to keep up, but I made it a priority and as you can see in the 2nd week of the month I was a complete slacker.  Reason?  My husband was in Atlantic City that week for work, so it just wasn't something I could swing.  LIFE HAPPENS.  

This is a HUGE improvement from April and I hope to improve even more for June.