Sunday, November 29, 2015

Sabeth's First WOD and Our Winery Tour

When I first started CrossFit, I'll admit, I would try my hardest to get any and all my friends to join.  I'd beg and plead to have them "just try it" to see what they think, but with little success.  As time went on, I realized how annoying I must have been and simply kept the option open that if any of my friends wanted to try CrossFit, I'd be happy to go with them and answer any questions they might have.  

When I travel I will typically scope out the area to see if there is a local CrossFit box that I could drop in at to get in a workout.  When my friends visit me, I tell them if I'm going to a class or not and if I am, they are welcomed to come with, usually with the same response.  No.

However, Sabeth's visit was different!  After years of listening to me speak the CrossFit language, Sabeth was ready to come to a class with me!  I was so excited.  And to make things even better, the scheduled WOD was a partner WOD.  This was perfect because Sabeth and I could work together as a team and help each other through it.  

She arrived here on Friday night and I told her what the WOD was:

200 OH Lunges 45/25
**Partner Deadlift Holds Kettlebell
200 Abmat Sit-ups
**Partner Holds Wall Ball In Squat Position
2,000m Row
**Partner Holds Plank
Every Two Minutes do 3 Burpees

Naturally she was a little nervous about the workout, but I assured her that she would be fine.  The nice thing about Saturday WODs is that they typically are body weight movements and rarely require bars.  

Before we started we devised a game plan for each movement (which typically goes out of the window within the first few minutes) but it helped us mentally prepare.  The worst part of this was going to be the 3 Burpee interruption.

 Then it was go time.  We were as ready as we were going to be! 3...2...1...Go!

This was a true chipper.  We chipped away what we could during the 2 minutes and then we gave ourselves enough time (debatably too much time) to do the 3 Burpees and then tag team in or out of the movement.  We finally got to the row about 30 minutes into it when we were told there was a 35 minute time cap.  With 2,000 meters owed, it was pretty clear we weren't going to finish.  But we came pretty damn close!

I couldn't have been more proud of Sabeth!!  She really gave it her all and didn't give up.  She said she enjoyed the work out and hopefully this taught her that she is capable of much more than she gives herself credit for!

Immediately following the work out we watched my old son run around and play football.

Once we got back home from this mornings activities we took a little  bit of breather and then started our Wine Tour de Virginia. 

Our first stop was at Quatro Gumba where we did a tasting and then stayed for an additional glass and some cheese.  I ordered my favorite, the wine slushie!

The next winery we went to was closed, so we hopped over to Cana where the wine and tasting room was less than desirable.  After our tasting with the most awkward woman, we got a quick picture and headed out to the next stop, 50 West. 

This winery had a much better atmosphere, but we didn't love any of the wines enough to get a glass, the tasting was enough and we headed out to our final stop of the evening.  Greenhill Winery.

We snuck in just in time to get a tasting and it was well worth it.  I think this was my favorite of the the wineries we visited, and hope to return at some point.  Since we were a bit late arriving they were practicially pushing us out the door, until another party was causing delays and they offered us another drink. LOL.  

I have an awesome weekend with Sabeth full of fitness, wineries, and food!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Guest Blogger about My 1st Crossfit Competition: Festivus

Dedicated.  Hard Working. Passionate. These are words that are used to describe some of the best athletes in the world, but they are also words that describe a good mother.  Karen is both an athletic person (she’ll have to tell the story as to why it is funny to hear me say that) and an amazing mom and this was put on display during the 2015 fall festivus games at CrossFit Verity.

It was quite a different perspective being on the other side of the ropes cheering instead of competing but I was happy to be there to support what Karen put so much hard work into.  The day started with us dressing Karen’s two biggest supporters in their mommy shirts and then heading off to Verity.  

When we arrived we met up with some friends we had not seen in a while before Karen started warming up for the first WOD.  We knew going in what Karen’s strengths were but it was her “weaknesses” where she excelled.  
WOD #1/2 was:

6 min AMRAP
Buy in: 20 Cal Row
5 Shoulder to overhead
10 Ring Rows

Followed by a 2 minute rest and then Max Calories rowed in 1 minute.
Karen is VERY good at rowing so I knew she would be one of the first off the rower but I was a little concerned about her ring rows.  Luckily they were pretty lenient in calling out the “kipping” during the ring rows and Karen finished in the middle on this part.  After the rest, Karen pulled 19 calories in the 1 minute which is great after such a demanding 6 minutes.  She finished 15th in the WOD out of 27 in the division and 7th on the Row. 

Floater WOD

Back squats were something that used to be a regular part of our workout regimen but since being at CFC they have gone the way of the dodo so to say we were a bit concerned was an understatement. Karen attempted this workout a week before the competition and had gotten 26 reps which she was planning on trying to replicate.  As they say, the best laid plans… well this time it was a flawed plan and she GREATLY improved on what she was expecting.  Karen was like a well tuned watch keeping an incredible pace almost all the way through.  She ended up getting 50!!! This put her in 9th place for the event. I was flabbergasted and so super proud of her for not stopping and pushing through any discomfort she had felt. It is also worth noting that I think that she chose the perfect time to attempt the floater WOD.  

WOD 2: 3 30 second sets of DL for max weight moved

Math is supposed to be foreign to meatheads but this workout required some strategy.  The premise was that the athlete chooses their own weight and then performs a 30 second AMRAP at that weight 3 times.  Score is the total weight moved. Karen also attempted one round of this the week prior but was not super confident in the weight she had chosen. Karen went with 115 lbs in order to maximize her reps and to keep moving. In my mind I thought that 125 would be a more appropriate weight for her but in the end, as usual, she made the right choice and came in 9th place on the event!   I would love to say how great it was to watch her on this event but the life of an observer involves taking care of a 3 year old and a 6 month old who required some TLC during this WOD. 

WOD 3: 12-10-8-6-4-2 Plate burpees; reverse lunges; sit-ups

        After much score board watching, and convincing the people running the event that the apostrophe in my last name was mucking up their system and Karen was not showing up on the score board, we knew that Karen was on the verge of cracking the top 10.  This last workout was a burner.  The athlete’s mindset has to be “Just Keep Swimming” and pull through it.  No weight to blame, just simple mental and cardiovascular fatigue.  To be honest, I think Karen could have done better on this wod.  I feel like she mentally checked out prior but she STILL did really well on the workout finishing in the top half of competitors.  It was awesome to watch this event with our almost 3 year old son. 
        It is my hope that he sees how much his mom works and he takes some of that work ethic with him as he begins his own athletic and scholarly endeavors.  The icing on the cake was Shane running up and hugging his momma as she laid on the ground exhausted after a tough day of work. 

Final Thoughts: 

Karen finished the day in 10th place out of 27 competitors.  She was very well balanced scoring well in all the workouts.  I could not have been more proud and more impressed.  She just kept on fighting and kept on moving. I almost feel like I’m a bad person saying that I know that she has more in her!  With more strength and form work she will continue to improve!  Sometimes it takes her being pushed and in front of people to really put her into her killer mode.  I can’t wait to see what lies ahead for Karen and her athletic goals! 

Monday, November 2, 2015

Karen - Reborn

For some odd reason, I've been really struggling trying to write the recap blog about my first ever Crossfit Competition, Festivus.  As of yesterday I had two drafts started but still no real desire to share with the world my experience. 

Then last night before I fell asleep, it hit me.  I needed to think bigger.  Festivus wasn't just my 1st Crossfit Competition, I was setting the bar for what now feels like my Crossfit rebirth.  

I've made some changes in my life since Seth was born, and I feel like I'm on the verge of something major.  The first change was my job.  I had been with the same company for 2 years and I found myself stuck.  I wasn't challenged, I wasn't valued, I wasn't growing professionally, and most of all, I wasn't happy. 

So I finally did something that I now wish I had done a year ago.  I accepted a new position at a different company, and I couldn't be happier with my decision.

Yes, I had to give up my sweet commute, and I had to give up seeing my co-workers on a daily basis that I liked, but now, I like the my work better, I'm good at what I'm doing, and I've already been recognized and rewarded for my talent.  All with only being working here for less than 3 months.  I can only describe it as breaking up with an "ok" boyfriend and then meeting the man of my dreams. 

Now that I improved my professional life, my eyes were opened to the fact that if wasn't happy about something, change IS an option.  

The funny thing about the next change that I made, is mostly this blog's fault.  I started feeling stuck in my Crossfit career.  I, since post pregnancy,  had been consistently going to Crossfit but I wasn't seeing the results I wanted.  I wasn't getting stronger, I wasn't getting thinner, and I didn't feel like I was being challenged in the way I had been challenged years past.  

I started to pull up old blog posts from when I was at 610 (also referred to when I was in the best shape of my life) to compare then to now and my jaw practically dropped.  The entries that I recorded my WODs and my times made me feel like a complete wimp.  Day after day I was putting in 45 - 50 minutes of work.  Strength and Metcons both in 1 day, Long Hero WODs weekly, and of course the Sunday Partner WOD tradition.  Long story short, I wan't getting what I needed.  To this day I both Gush Love and Curse at that same time that I had Trainer Mike and Molly years ago.  Gush Love because they taught me form, worth ethic, and had THE best programming I've ever experienced.  But I curse them because it will never be replicated and as I joked to Dennis the other day, I'll just continue to sing, "And I stillllllllllllllllllll haven't foundddddddd, what I'm looking for."  as far as Crossfit coaching and programming goes.  

So with a heavy heart, I started to research other local boxes.  My qualifiers were:

1. Location
2. Showers
3. Price
4. Programming

Crossfit Chantilly was nailing 3/4 of my qualifiers with the added bonus of great members and Dan being an amazing coach were certainly the reasons I've been a member there the longest since my move to VA. CFC's programming is fine for others, but for me, I needed and was interested in including strength during the allotted 1 hour class time, and needed to move on.  Simple as that.  

As I saw it, my option was Hammer Down, due to the "Must have Showers" qualification and then something magical happened.  Just before I signed an agreement with them, a new box was opening and Dennis and I were all over it. 

We immediately searched their website to see how exactly they ran their classes and were eager to visit the facility.  We were pleased to see that strength was a consistent part of the day, and if there was no strength, a Hero WOD would be in it's place.  Saturday classes were typically longer Metcon's done with a partner, which was simply music to my ears, showers were available and the location and price were simply perfect.  And just like that, my unicorn appeared.

So a week before Festivus, I walked into Hydraulic and was reborn.