Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Year of Cardio - Karen's 10k

I have to admit that the actual RACES aren't the hardest part of the YOC, it's the training leading up to them.  Unlike Dennis, I need to train my running or else I simply cannot run.  

Studying my calendar and squeezing in runs and WODs and life in between has been the juggling act I've almost perfected, until that is, I start to lose motivation, or something like that. 

I wouldn't exactly call it motivation but more of a fear.  Fear of failure or even worse, fear of success.  I know myself and it's starting and I'm scared to both fail and succeed at the same time.  And as life would have it, I started to feel something paining in my knee, the day before my 10k race. 

Even with my bad attitude I got 99% of my training done for the 10k and I was hopeful to get a better time than last time I ran one (obviously) and possibly even beat Dennis' time.  So on a beautiful day in April I found myself at an abandoned jail waiting for the gun to go off.  

I started out FANTASTIC because you know, we were on a road and then after about a mile we started running into the woods.  On a single file path, with like 100 mini hills going up a mountain.  Mentally I was not in good shape.  I had zero idea this was a trail run and all my practicing had been on a road and relatively flat.  It was devastating.  

I ran until I couldn't run anymore.  So I walked when I had to and I ran when I felt like I could.  But I knew I was getting further and further away from setting any type of records for this run.  

The moment I was out of the woods (literally and figuratively) I ran and when I saw the finish line I pushed myself even harder.  

The final result? Let's just say if this was a true escape from prison, I would have gotten caught.  I finished 11 seconds faster than my last 10k and I was pretty upset with that. 

Official Time: 57:37
15/48 in Age Group
32/109 in Womens 
81/200 Overall

Despite the results, it overall was an amazing day to be outside and running, the views from the top of the mountain I eventually got to the top of was stunning and the event overall was fun, with photo ops, good food, and a really cool atmosphere.  I may redo this distance to improve, but I'm not 100% sure about that just yet.  On to the Baltimore 10 Miler in 7 weeks.  

Sunday, April 10, 2016

CrossFit Totals 2016

One of my FAVORITE days of the year is the day we do the CrossFit totals.  I've done it 2 times before this time and was super curious to see what I would get in comparisons to other years.  

In 2011 I got a score of: 405

The Break Down:

Back Squat: 155lbs
Shoulder Press: 75lbs
Dead Lift: 175

In 2014 I got a score of: 455

The Break Down:
Back Squat: 175
Shoulder Press: 65
Dead Lift: 215

My Newest Score is: 485

The Break Down:
Back Squat: 175
Shoulder Press: 85
Dead Lift: 225

I wasn't overly impressed with my scores but according to the weight vs total numbers I am between intermediate and advanced.  As most of you know, most of my focus this year has been cardio and not strength. 

Plus, before I switched to Hydraulic, Strength was not something I worked on daily.  So my guess is that my next test will be considerably higher.  

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Nashville - On the End CrossFit

Since moving to VA I seldom get to see my good friends from PA so when our schedules collide, I will travel pretty much any distance to see them.  This opportunity brought me to Nashville, TN which I was excited about because I had never been.  

The week leading up to my Long Weekend Trip was nothing short of a challenge, but I was able to get everything I needed to get done before leaving.  Was it bad that I was looking forward to the 3 hour flight so I could sleep?

I arrived in Nashville early Thursday morning and hung around the airport until my friend Jackie arrived.  I was SO excited to see her and the first thing out of her mouth was, "Karen you look so SKINNY!"  #swoon

We gathered our luggage and headed to the hotel.  Our other friend Sarah was at a teacher conference for the rest of the day (that was the reason we choice Nashville) so Jackie and I got settled in and then decided to explore on foot.  This was amusing.  Especially for those that saw us trying to read the map.  We were clueless.  Our first stop was Vanderbilt, it was cool to see the college campus that my dad went to.  

Then from there it was kind of a blur.  We walked and walked and walk.  We walked through the area with all the recording studios which was cool and then we were in the Gulch Area which was pretty nice and we found an amazing place to have lunch thankfully.  After lunch we headed back to the hotel and after resting for a few, I decided to bang out my 3 mile run.  

So I went to the hotel fitness center and I ran.  The gym was super crappy, but I made do and even though the treadmill didn't tell me how fast I was going or at what speed I was running, I made sure to run for 35 minutes to ensure the best estimate of 3 miles. 

I got back and showered and by then our friend Sarah was back and we got ready for the night!

We decided to walk to Hatti B's (a known "hot chicken" joint) and to our dismay, the line was out of control.  But we decided to be tourist and wait it out.  So we waited and waited and waited.  And after about 2 hours (yes two hours) we were close to the front of the line!

After we finally ate, we walked back toward the hotel through mid town and it started to rain.  So we decided to skip the bars and just head back for the night.  
The next morning I was going to WOD at a new box.  I had already scoped out where and when and the closest box was only .2 miles from my hotel.  I showed up for the 7am class and was ready to roll.  

The facility was nice and as always, the people were friendly and welcoming.  The name of the box was On the End CrossFit. 

I wasn't able to see the WOD the night before, but too my not surprise, the work out included wall balls.  Here was the wod:

3x3 Straight Leg Dead Lift @ 70%
3x2 Straight Leg Dead Lift @ 75%
Rotating In:

5x6 Front Rack Lunge @ 95lbs

3 Rounds For Time
400 Meter Run
15 Push Ups
30 Wall Balls (14lbs)

Score: 15:44 RX

I would have liked to get 15 minutes or less, but I blame the humidity, the traveling, and all those other bullshit reasons.  One thing to note was that the 1st round I did 15 unbroken wall balls with no really issues, so I think going forward 15 unbroken should be my goal.  I purchased my new shirt and headed back to the hotel. 
When I got back, my friend Jackie wasn't feeling well and unfortunately was pretty much sick the rest of the trip.  Since Sarah would be at the convention and Jackie wasnt feeling well, I took the opportunity to just relaxed in the hotel for a while.  Jackie kept feeling bad about not being able to do anything but I assured her that being in a quiet room, with nothing to get done, was fine by me!  Her and I had a bike tour planned for 1pm and we'd make a game time decision as to whether or not Jackie was feeling up for it.

At about noon, we Ubered it over to the bike shop to check in and before we started our tour, I had an amazing breakfast/lunch at "The Garden."  So Yummy.  Unfortunately, during my meal Jackie started feeling worse and had to bail.  I was feeling fine so I decided to go on the bike tour alone.  I'm pretty independent and was up for an adventure.  I'm so glad I did.  It was a beautiful day to be outside and a really fun way to see the city.  Here are some of the pictures I took, and the map of our route after I remember to turn on my tracking device.  

Once Sarah got back from the conference, we decided to go to the Downtown area which is pretty much a mile stretch of bars on either side with multiple levels and live music everywhere!  We started at the end of one street and worked our way down the strip.  Stopping at places that looked fun and enjoying a beverage or two at each stop.  

The next day was Sarah's last day, so we went to the Country Music Hall of Fame.  I'm not a big Country Fan or a Museum Fan, so it wasn't the most exciting thing for me.  After that we just walked around and did some shopping.  Nothing too crazy. 

Once we got back from wandering around, Sarah got ready to leave to go to the airport.  Jackie was not feeling great after, but I decided since it was my last night out I wanted to check out a few more places, so I went out alone.  I've always wanted to go to a bar alone to see how I would do and it wasn't too bad. 

The next morning I flew back home only to have to run 5 miles which I really really really really didn't want to do, but Dennis pushed me to get it done and once I started, it felt really good. 

I love traveling, being active, and scoping out new boxes while out of town.  On the End Crossfit is my 27th box I've visited and I can't wait to keep adding to that!

Friday, April 1, 2016

My 1st RX'd WOD with Pull Ups

With the dust from the Open barely even settled, I hit an enormous CrossFit milestone today. 

I did a WOD as prescribed that included pull ups.   

I have been waiting for this day for 5 years and I'm pretty fucking happy it finally happened.  

I discovered that I could actually do a pull up during the first CrossFit Open 16.1 WOD, so since then, I was on a mission to build on that.  Most days before or after a workout I would go to a pull up bar and just practice. 

Sometimes I would get 1 pull up, sometimes I would get 3, and sometimes I wouldn't have any, but the point was 1 was better than zero and now I had to build on that.

I few times Pull Ups came up in work outs, but in quantities that just did not make sense to do RX'd so I waited for the perfect WOD and that WOD came today:

9 Minute AMRAP

3,3,6,6,9,9,12,12 etc

Deadlifts 105lbs (Light!)
Pull Ups

I saw this and couldn't be more excited.  It was going to be my first real attempt to get an RX on a pull up workout.  It even motivated to get my ass to the box that morning instead of taking a rest day. 

So there I was ready to go to see how this was going to play out.  I wasn't sure how far into the rounds I would get, but like I said, the reps were manageable and the deadlifts were light so even if I only got through the 9's I would call it a huge win.  

Not only did I get THROUGH the 9's but I got through the 12's and I almost got through the 15's of the Pull Ups!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Unbelievable.  

A few people in the class new what was going on and were keeping a watchful eye on me.  When the 9 minutes up I was congratulated and to be honest I wanted to cry.  This was a long time coming for me and I was just so so so so so happy.  THIS IS WHY I LOVE CROSSFIT!  

It's also amazing to celebrate your wins, especially with people who've help you achieve them.  The response to a seemly small accomplishment was recognized by lots and lots of people who knew how big of a deal it was to me.  My friends and support system are.the.best!