Saturday, August 30, 2014

Our Epic August Crossfit Trip - Day 4

This was probably the most hectic day of our "vacation" because our original CrossFit Trainers got wind that we were going to be in New York and demanded that we stop to pay them a visit. And if Mike and/or Molly tell you to do something, you do it!!  (And I do think that Mike owe's me a signed Jersey)

This was not on our original itinerary, but it had been a very long time since we saw Mike & Molly so we said, what the heck!  

Now, CrossFit King of Island Park wasn't exactly on our way to New York City, but we felt that going to Long Island to see them would be worth the trip.  And as expected, it was.  

We left Norwalk, CT very early on Saturday morning to take the train to Grand Central.  We then took the Long Island Rail Road to Island Park and walked to Mike and Molly's facility.  

The place was like a living thing.  There were people everywhere doing pull ups, squats, thrusters, you name it, they were doing it.  And within this moving machine I spotted Molly.  I was so happy to see her and she greeted me which a great big hug.  

Dennis was like the terminator when he saw Mike.  He locked in on him and ran right up to him like a lost puppy running to his owner.  It was cute Dennis, really, really, cute.  

I think the reason we both felt this way is they were the ones that LITERALLY changed us for the better, for ever.  Even though we were just regular average slightly overweight people, they treated us as if we had limitless possibilities and could achieve anything.  The never doubted our abilities even when we thought we couldn't possibly do another rep, they pushed and pushed, and because of them, we succeeded.  

Dennis and I did some accessory work while at the box, as it was open gym, and we basically watched Mike and Molly do work out after work out. 

I was trying to figure out my 1 rep Clean and I got to about 115lbs which I was pretty happy with, considering the condition I was in.  Dennis working on Bar Muscles Ups and with the expert training of Trainer Mike, He was able to bang out a few.  

Mike and Molly are incredible.  They have a work out ethic that I will never begin to understand. They must have done 3 or so "WODs" while we waited for Open Gym to be over and hit the  beach.  

Mike is on the NPGL Boston Iron Team so he has a pretty intense workout regime, and Molly says she "likes to keep up with him."  

We congratulated them both on making it the the CrossFit Games again this year as a team, and they did much better than last year which was cool, and having Mike drafted onto the Boston Iron Team for the NPGL.  We chit chatted and just basically caught up.  We really, really, really wanted to stay the rest of the day with them on the beach, but our schedule just wouldn't allow it.  

It was so so so so (x's 100 more so) to visit with them, even if it was short.  It's nice to know that even with the distance and how busy/hectic they are with their work out schedules and running their box, they still took time out to hang with us, and it was like we never left them!  

Friday, August 29, 2014

Our Epic August Crossfit Trip - Day 3

Now that we were in Norwalk, CT and "settled" Dennis and I planned on visiting Kong Crossfit for a 10am class.  We both had already done a drop in at Crossfit Norwalk, so we were excited to see what Kong was like.  Anytime I WOD in Norwalk, I'm slightly nervous I'll run into somebody I went to school with.  

We walked into the facility and it was HUGE.  Like there was an echo, huge.  

I don't think I've seen a box quite as large as this one before so I was expecting to be in a large class..  But as it turned out, it was only be Dennis, myself, and one other person.  There were two other people in the box doing their own thing, but I found it curious that with such a large facility the class attendance was so small.  But I was relieved because I didn't recognize any of the people there.  

In any case, the first thing we did was a ton of stretching followed by a row, inch worm, and jump rope warm up.  

The strength portion was front squats.  I can't remember the rep scheme, but I know the sets were lengthy, I think 3 x 8 or something like that.  

Then finally the WOD:

10 Minute AMRAP:

3 Push Presses
3 Box Jumps
30 (?) Double Unders

I know Dennis and I both got more than 10 rounds each, but I cant remember the exact score.  There was no white board to take a picture of either :(

The trainer made us take a quick walk outside after the WOD to control our breathing and then he lead a quick 5/10 minute stretching session.  

The trainer was happy we dropped in at their facility and welcomed us back anytime.  

The one thing I wasn't a huge fan of was that the instructor told Dennis and I what weights to use during the WOD (I was a bit confused how he could judge our strength ability without really knowing us) but we did as the Trainer said.  Also, if you were doing step ups, you had to double your reps, which I'm not sure I agreed with either, but again, when in Rome.  

The WOD was an enjoyable one, we were always moving and to be honest was a bit light, but I wasn't complaining! 

We were hoping to add a new Tshirt to our collection but they didn't have any available to sell (this was now a common theme with the boxes this trip) and we were a bit disappointed, but hey that's life.  We were happy to get in another WOD this trip and to add Kong Crossfit to our resume.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Our Epic August Crossfit Trip - Day 2

Thursday morning we woke up, gathered our things and headed up to good ole' Allentown PA to make a few stops before our find destination of CT.  

Stop #1:  South Mountain Crossfit

This was supposed to be a rest day for us, but we arrived just as the class started and Dennis just couldn't help himself.

I resisted the urge to do any physical activity and played with Shane while Dennis did his thing.

With it being an odd time (10am on a Thursday morning we weren't expecting to see too many people that we knew, but Trainer Kurt was there and Jess was in the class, so it was very nice to see them.  We also finally got to me Dre, SMCF's mascot.  

When I posted that we were at SMCF on Facebook, it took no less than 30 seconds for my friend Lynne to harass me about being in Allentown and not seeing her.  ;).  The visit was short, but nice to show face and on we went to stop in Bethlehem to visit the place where Dennis and I met (and where I still do part time work):

Stop #2: Weather Trends International

It was really great seeing my old coworkers and having lunch with most of them.  I hadn't been at the office since I had left back in April 2013, and let me tell my desk was a paperwork nightmare!  

After lunch we had about 2.5 more travel time until we reached MY parent's house in Norwalk, CT.  The rest of that day/night was very low key (as we were exhausted) and it was nice to finally be settled and relax.  

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Our Epic August Crossfit Trip - Day 1

Dennis and I have always flirted with the idea of taking a cross country road trip and hit up as many Crossfit boxes as we could.  

I think after about a 6-8 months of Crossfiting I became slightly obsessed with going to different boxes in different states to A. Get in a WOD while on vacation and B. Grow my Crossfit Tshirt Collection. 

So in any case, one of my best friends was celebrating her 30th birthday in NYC and I immediately was excited to search for local boxes that would fit into the schedule. 

Since a weekend in NYC calls for much more effort now that we have Shane, we decided to make an EPIC trip out of the whole thing, leaving VA to PA, PA to CT, CT to NY and then back home to VA, with the hopes of going to no less than 3 boxes.  

So Tuesday night after work, Dennis, Shane and I packed the car as best that we could for the traveling week ahead and drove up to Pennsylvania where we would be staying at Dennis' parents house for the night.  

Now last time we stayed at Dennis' parent house we dropped in at Crossfit Royalty.  We really liked that box, but in all attempts to try NEW PLACES we decided to go to Crossfit Valley Forge instead for an 11 o'clock class.  

The facility itself was very unique and nothing like I had ever seen at a Crossfit ever.  The building itself was a sports complex with an astro turf field, a basketball court, a full gym room, and a closed off area with a Crossfit section.  Apparently there was an upstairs too, which is hard to even believe.  

We were a bit early and got to watch the 10am "class" aka one of the trainers do today's WOD.  And gave us time to sign the required wavier.

I was half happy with the WOD we were being asked to do, a 12 Minute AMRAP of Snatches and Wall Balls.  Any guesses on what part I was happy about?  In any case, the class ran like this:

Group Warm Up
12 Minute AMRAP
12 Power Snatches
12 Wall Balls
Cool Down/Stretch

There were more people in the class than I expected for an 11am class on a Wendesday but everybody was very welcoming and friendly.  

It was funny bc when the trainer asked us about our Crossfit background and we said "seasoning" he said very quickly OH THANK GOD!  Which we totally understood because having new people come in on Snatch Day is probably the worst possible situation.  The Snatch is one of the most technical Oly lift and would be extremely frustrating for trainers and new Crossfitters alike.  

I think Dennis and I represented CFC fairly well with our scores:

Sunday, August 10, 2014

The BWI Trail

In all attempts to train for our upcoming 100 Mike Bike Ride and to try out new bike trails in the surrounding area, we decided to venture up to Baltimore to bike the BWI Trail.  And like most of our events, this was no short of an adventure.  

Shane made sure to power up with some blueberries before we got started. 

In the beginning, I was very much enjoying the trail.  It was a gorgeous day, the trail was well marked, and the scenery was very pretty.  

Then we got to a fork in the trail and we together, made a choice to go right.  That brought us into the airport parking which was obviously not the right way.  So we did a little back tracking and headed on our way.  

Then at about mile 10, we continued on the trail, following the signs.  Then at about mile 13 something didn't seem right.

Dennis then confirmed that somehow we got onto the B&A Trail and had to turn around.  So we did what we had to do.  Bike back to the original trail, causing us a 5 mile detour.  

I was a little annoyed at this point because I typically prepare myself for the bike distances that we agree on before we actually go biking.  So adding 5 miles (and the stress of being lost and not knowing where to turn) really throws off my game.  

When we got home and looked up the B&A Trail, we decided next time we are up that way we would combined the two trails to get a longer bike ride in.  As you can see in the map below, the B&A Trail is a perfect way to enter the BWI, do a loop and return by B&A.  

Dennis, Shane and I have really been enjoying our bike rides together, exploring new places, being outside, and getting a good workout in.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Biking and the D.C. Zoo

With all attempts to get more biking in, Dennis and I decided that Sunday would be a day to try out a new bike route.  Our last bike trip found us in Philly on a closed road to motor vehicles.  

Dennis knew that D.C. did this as well for bikes and so we decided to check it out.  

The Rock Creek Trail (northern section) is entirely on road,  but like I said before, on weekends is closed off to cars.  So we drove down to Beach Dr. and started our ride. 

Even though the trail was on road, the road was in pretty bad shape.  Large pot holes, uneven pavement, and oddly enough there were a few cars on one section despite the signs.  

We rode until we got into Maryland and decided to turn around to go back. 

Once we got back to our car, we decided to head the other direction to get to the zoo.  This was an adventure on it's own.  Narrow paths, dirt paths, narrow dirt paths in what seemed to be a jungle, were some of the obstacles we had to face in order to get to the zoo opening.  Once it was in site, Dennis and I breathed a sign of relieve as a hybrid or even mountain bike would have been better for this ride, from start to stop. 

We parked our bikes and prompted put Shane on the Merry-Go-Round!  He wasn't a huge fan, but I think deep down he enjoyed it.  

After getting a light lunch (and cute little lunch bag to boot) we mounted our bikes and headed back to our car.  

I don't think I'd repeat this trail on a road bike, but it was a nice day to be outside and with the family.