Saturday, March 18, 2017

CF Open 17.2

Out of the four Open workouts we have completed, 17.2 was my least favorite.

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I groaned when I saw we once again had 35 lb dumbbells in our workout. -_- 
I can't do a single muscle up, but decided to go for RX and see if I could get even one in.

Let me tell you, when I heaved those dumbbells onto my shoulders for the lunges I wobbled, and it was all I could do not to fall over! They were too heavy for me to hold off my shoulders, and I spent more time trying to get them somewhere less uncomfortable than I did lunging. By the end of the TTB on the first round my grip was SMOKED! By the second round I was doing sets of 2 and shaking my hands out. I could barely hold onto the bar, and it took everything in me to hold on for that last rep.

I got to be THAT person on the lunges, growling (for lack of a better word) during every rep, and not so gracefully dumping the weights off my shoulders at the 25' mark. On my very last lunge I came down and pushed and pushed before my legs decided to work and I came back up again. Haha. I was so slow that as I wobbled my way back to the bar I had only about a minute left on the clock to try to get a muscle up. I tried and tried and tried, but my kip wasn't powerful enough, and I could feel myself sliiiiiiiiding off the bar.

When we finished I felt like Popeye. At some point I had torn a callous on my hand and my hands were shaking so bad I couldn't open my band aid.Actually, trying to hold anything felt almost impossible.

It seemed pretty short, although still painful, but honestly I thought it was kind of boring! lunges and TTB..... If I had been able to do muscle ups it probably would have been more fun, but I couldn't, so this workout was kind of "Meh", in my humble opinion.

I still had a good time cheering others on, taking pictures and hanging out, but I'm glad that one is done.

Ughhhh....those dumbbells.....

Monday, March 6, 2017

CrossFit Open 17.1 {aka: DEATH}

Week 2 of the Open has just finished, and athletes around the world are preparing for week 3.

If you aren't familiar with The Open, athletes from everywhere, of any age, or fitness level can enter and "compete" to see where they stand in their box, age group, region, around the world, etc. Literally anyone. Your Grandmother could do it.
For those wanting to go to the CrossFit games, this is the first step in getting there. The top 20 of each category, from each region then they go to Regionals and then to the Games.

One workout gets released every week for five weeks. You are judged on each workout and submit your score online. It's a fun way to push yourselves, get a taste of what it's like to compete and you are doing the exact same workouts that the elite athletes are doing. You may be slower, but you're going into the same pain cave that they are. It's pretty cool, and also very.....painful.

I was super excited to sign up for the Open, especially since I would actually have a box to do it with! Everything is better with friends, right?

Friday night we were going to have a get together at IMUA CrossFit, do the workout, have snacks, and just have a good time. I was super excited.

Thursday night found me eagerly watching the  17.1 announcement wondering what the "funishment" was going to be. DB snatches and burpee box jumps. That doesn't look too bad. I watched the live FB feed as two of the top male athletes battled it out and finished between 9-10 minutes. 
Being the overachiever that I am, I thought, "I bet I can do that in 15 minutes."

Friday was crazy, and I went into town early for work, a childcare shift at the box, errands, then came home and did a trial run of a recipe for an event. I realized I'd had hardly any water during the day, and crashed on my bed feeling tired and just "blah".

I ate something then got ready to head back out the door, not ready at all for what I was about to put my little body through.

I arrived late, and a group was just about to finish up the workout. All the pictures I had seen from athletes doing this showed them collapsing on the floor afterwards, breathing heavy, and looking fried. The scene that met me when I walked through the door wasn't much different.
I watched as on gal worked on her last few Snatches, and BJUs, and wondered why everyone looked so BEAT. Was it really that tough? I got more nervous the longer I waited. If they looked like toast what did that mean for me? No backing out now though......

I started on my warmup, but mostly just went through the motions, my head was not in the game at all. Big mistake

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I had decided to do the RX'd version, not scaled, and got my little station set up, along with three others. I have never snatched a 35lb DB, (I  had only used a 25) so I was a bit nervous about how that would go.


My first huge mistake was flying through the first set of snatches and burpee box jumps. After that first set I hit a wall. Mentally and physically. I already felt like I was going to throw up, and I kept wanting to quit. I didn't care what anyone else thought. I was done. My coach at the moment would never have allowed that though. and I painfully made my way through the next set of snatches at a much slower pace. I was going so, so, so slow.
I can still hear the voice of my judge....
"Drop and go Emily.....just drop and go. Don't stop."

Easier said than done.

I sent her running for my water bottle, and I sat on my heels feeling worse than I ever have in my life. I was dizzy, tired, so thirsty, and DONE. This is  no fun! Who's idea was this??? 

I no longer cared about finishing in 14 minutes. My whole goal was to not throw up. Haha.
With each repetition that my judge counted I could feel a little part of me dying inside. If I were a swearing person, I would have been swearing.

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There really are no words to describe how I felt.....to bad it's not like something out of 'Star Trek' and you can sense the pain and agony. Lol. This was my last set of 50 snatches, and it was horrible.

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You're given a 20 minute time cap to complete the workout, and if you don't finish, each rep is a point so you total up your points at the end.
I took so many breaks during this that when we ran out of time I had 16 snatches, and my last set of BXOs, giving me a total of 194
I was SO glad to be done with that.

I collapsed on the ground and rolled around in agony, not sure what part of me felt the worst. I could literally taste blood in my mouth, my lungs were on fire, and my vision was not the best. The others who went at the same time as me got off the floor, and chatted, ate pizza and cake, and looked completely normal. Me? I was shaking so bad that if I stood up and leaned for the tiniest bit my whole body was basically convulsing. I couldn't' even eat cantaloupe without feeling nauseous. Lol

I had never pushed myself that hard before, and I didn't plan to again. 

It took a log time, but I was eventually feeling well enough to drive myself home, where the hunger kicked in and I wanted to eat everything in sight.

Now, as I have mentioned before, I am competitive, and the fact that I didn't finish in the time cap didn't sit well with me. As I lay in bed that night I made up my mind to do it again. I hydrated really well the next couple days, and Sunday night I lay in my bed coming up with a game plan.
Right off the bat I needed to go slow, so I wouldn't burn out. If I could maintain a steady pace I knew I could finish based off of how many breaks I took the first time. I seriously think I spent as much time resting as working. Lol. Step up with both feet before jumping on the box, versus jumping my feet forward then up. It might take more time, but would save energy. Stay low on the box, and turn around as I jumped off. 
All little things, but little things add up to be a lot in the end.

When I woke up early Monday morning I wondered once again why I was doing this, and was it worth it? Yes, it was.
There were three of us waiting to do it at the box. two re-do's, and one gal was doing it for the first time. I watched and cheered on the first gal, then it was mine, and Bri's turn.

I waited nervously for the countdown once again, but this time my head was in the game, and I was ready. Maybe my time wouldn't be the best, but I was GOING to finish this thing!

My strategy worked really well, and I kept a steady pace throughout the whole thing. It was still tough and I was breathing hard, but I never felt like passing out, or throwing up. A couple quick sips of water were necessary, but I kept it brief and continued on. 
It was a bit of a blur but I remember kind of wanting to quit at one point, but told myself the sooner I finished, the sooner it was over. Duh.
I remember my judge telling me to break it into sets of 10 if I needed on my last set of 50 snatches, but I could taste the finish and just kept going.
I remember trying to smile through the pain, and finding that it actually helped.
I remember focusing on my breathing. steady, steady, steady......

But I will never forget my finish. It was in the last minute, and I moved onto my final set of burpees. My feet hurt, my legs felt like lead, and kind of numb, but a cheering section had gathered and everyone was screaming at us to go faster, not stop, and finish this thing! Because of them I somehow managed to get up after every burpee, and jump onto that box. If you have never done CrossFit and experienced this awesome community, I feel sorry for you! 
I finished at the absolute last second, and accomplished my goal. My previous failure made this victory that much sweeter.

copied from my FB page

Want to know my favorite part of this video? Not my * wonderful * athletic capabilities,(or lack thereof), not the fact that I finished at the last second, beating my score from last time, but the screaming in the background encouraging me to keep going. The enthusiastic high fives. The happy dances being performed. The fact that everyone was just as thrilled as I was that I finished.
I haven't been part of IMUA long, but these guys already feel like family.
I accidentally trimmed the video wrong, but I left it, because I love that even though I'm laying half dead on the floor, everyone else is celebrating.

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I chopped off E's head because I could barely hold my arm up afterwards. Lol
Sweaty, but happy, and made awesome new friends. :)

I'm so glad I decided to re-do.Not only to prove to myself that I could do it, but also because it showed me the camaraderie among this group of people that you will never find at any other gym. I literally is like my second home. 

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Chasing Failure

So when I joined Planet Fitness it was because I needed something different than what I'd been doing, but was poor and that's all I could afford.
I went all of three times, and while I still stand by what I said in my previous post, it just wasn't for me. I didn't like the uncertainty of whether or not my workout would be able to go as planned, wondering if it would be packed, etc.
I contacted my local CrossFit box about a trade of sorts and waited on pins and needles to hear back from them. 
They didn't need what I was offering at the time, but they did need help in other areas, and would I be interested? 
Ummmm..... YES!!!!!

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My first time in, everyone made me feel very welcome. 
We did back squats for the strength portion WITH A REAL BARBELL AND A SQUAT RACK! Talk about bliss....
I shared a bar with three other ladies, who helped me figure out my 1RM. I did 125 for two reps, with my second being a bit iffy, then went up to 130. I went down, down, down, and had to gracefully bail at the bottom. I can say I can squat my body weight, and now because I failed, I can chase that 130.

The skill work of the day? Double unders. Never in my life had I done one, but there's a first for everything. 
The coach helped me pick my rope, showed me what length it should be, and gave me some basic ques. I started with singles, and went in for the kill.....
I donkey kicked my feet and got all tangled up. Tried again and failed. And failed again.....and again....and again.

We re-adjusted my rope, decided I needed to tuck and lock my elbows, jump UP, not kick back, and flick the wrists.

I got set up, took a deep breath, and heard the glorious tick-tick, tick-tick of my very first double unders! I may have been a tiny bit excited....
The most I can string together is 5-7, but failure gives me a clear goal to work towards.

I currently CrossFit 3 times a week, and it's one of my favorite parts of the day. I love listening to everyone interact like one big family, the laughter, setting up my work station, the feel of the barbell in my hand, the way the music gets cranked up, the sound of weights slamming, the camaraderie...
It's like a second home to me. :)

It also exposes weaknesses, and makes you stronger mentally, and if there's one thing I've learned, it's this:
Chase failure. 
We humans aren't perfect. We fail all the time. If we didn't, were we even trying? If you are doing your best, actually giving it 100% of your efforts chances are you will make mistakes.
It doesn't make you a failure, it shows you were you can improve and become better than you are now. 
I can tell you personally that I just did something recently and didn't finish. To be honest, a tiny bit of me felt like I failed, but I learned from that, tried again, did what I set out to do, and felt even more proud of my efforts because of my previous "failure." 

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Saturday, January 21, 2017

I Joined A Planet Fitness {and my thoughts on joining}

I let out a chuckle as I drove through town one day and spied the big purple and yellow sign.

"Planet Fitness coming soon!"

I hadn't heard much good about the place, and had only seen the jokes about them serving pizza.

Now, I like pizza. I think pizza has a place in everyone's life, and often make it fit in my macros. But to serve it a gym where people are often struggling to eat well, and workout? I don't agree with it.

They moved in quickly, and pretty soon I had friends joining, and telling their friends. I didn't want anything to do with it after I heard you couldn't do deadlifts, or press a barbell overhead.
I'll stick to training at home, thanks.
Then my mom joined, and chose the option to bring a guest. She invited me to go with her, and kind of walk her through her workout, and I didn't turn her down.

I sat in my car Wednesday evening, looking at the front of the gym with it's big "Judgment Free Zone" , plastered across the front wondering what I was doing here, hoping I didn't see anyone I knew.
I was hoping for at least a squat rack and was sad when all I saw were Smith machines. :(
We signed in, and I took a better look around. It was pretty busy since people were getting off work, but overall it had a clean and relatively pleasant atmosphere.

I helped my mom through her workout, and was eager to get going with mine. I was starting day 1 of Triple Threat (still not running much at the moment) and was starting off with squats.
I made a huge mistake and completely forgot to warm up before diving in. I put 70lbs on the bar, and dove into my timed squats. When I finished those 5 sets my legs felt like jello. Then came walking lunges. Then leg extensions, and  more jello. The gym only has two leg press machines, and both were taken so I swapped that out for something else.

There's a little section with Kettlebells, battle ropes (which I thought were kind of cheesy), bands, an adjustable box jump,  and whatnot. 
My mom had gone to run errands, so I had some time to kill. I grabbed the 30lb KB and did three rounds of 10 KB swings, and 10 burpees as a finisher. I was sweating like a pig, and could literally barely walk. I hadn't had a workout quite this intense or heavy in quite a while!

I don't normally do cardio on strength days, but I still had some time so I hopped on the treadmill fully intending to just go easy as a cool down. I got on there and promptly started bumping the incline as far as it would go , and sped it up. The gal next to me looked like I was insane as I stood there, my machine beep beep beep beep beep beep beep beep beep beep beep beeping. I lasted all of two minutes before the shaking in my legs got so bad, so I called it quits and went to change.
The next day I was so sore. I was supposed to do conditioning, but I could barley walk or sit. My glutes, hamstrings and quads were hating me at work. Or maybe I was hating them?

I lay in bed last night debating whether or not to get a membership. It was cheap.....but no squat rack????? Back and forth, back and forth....

Then today I did a thing. A thing I said I would never do. I got a planet fitness membership.
Because I was in a training funk. I would groan as I bundled up in the cold to train with my weights and barbell, and I've been running the same road for three years. Once I got going I was okay, and enjoyed myself, but I needed a different atmosphere.
Would I rather join a Crossfit gym? Absolutely. Can I afford it? Nope. Do I wish they had a real squat rack? Duh.
I've heard people say "You can't get fit at a Planet Fitness, But I'm going to let you in on a little secret.....
You can get fit at home using just your body. You can get fit with a barbell and a few weights. You can get fit with machines. You can get fit at a Planet Fitness.
If you are eating smart and training hard, (and correctly), you can reach your goals. It's as simple as that.
I don't just love PF, but I'm looking forward to getting out of my rut and crushing my new training plan. I will still have days were I train at home and get in my deadlifts, front squats and (my favorite), push presses, but a change of scenery is very muchly needed right now.

So to all the PF haters, (speaking partially to myself), yes, there lot's of newbies who you'll see performing "Bro Reps", and whatnot, but you'll also find more experienced people who ignore everyone else, go in, get work done, and leave. They're not just there to socialize, and flaunt their muscles. 

Plus, it's only $10 . Even I can afford that.

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Goal setting for 2017

In 30 minutes it will be 2017. A new start to a new year. 
Now, I am not a resolution-making person, (if you are, great, but it's just not me), because I see and know how easy it it to give up on something that you decide you "should" be better at.
Me? I'm setting goals. 
to me the difference is that a goal is something that lights a fire in you that you have to work towards. It's easier to achieve because you want it so badly, that you're willing to work for it. That doesn't mean it will be easy, but it keeps you going even when you don't feel like it.

this year I did some pretty cool and hard things (like the Beast), and have several small and BIG goals I'm going for this coming year.
So, because supposedly if you tell someone what you're goals are you're more likely to achieve them, here are some of mine:

  • Spartan Race Trifecta (all three races in a calendar year = another cool medal and bragging rights)
  • PODIUM FINISH IN AN ELITE HEAT! (This is a big one for me and will take A LOT of work, but if you don't try you'll never achieve....)
  • Save for, and start my Personal Trainer Course (I've been applying at some part time jobs and I've been told they'll start hiring in a few weeks. Fingers crossed that sometime around June I can afford to start)
  • Go on a short term mission trip to Russia (childhood dream right there, and I've been praying a lot about it. We'll see how God works!)
  • Grow my blog and post useful and fun content. I would love to focus on training and nutrition for young, poor people like me, and give them the help I wish I had had when I first started working out 3 years ago.
  • Do one OCR a month. I want to branch out too, and get as many different races under my belt as possible
  • GO RUCKING!!!!      
  • Figure out how to work and grow my Beachbody coaching business  
  • Put more emphasis on recovery during hard training phases, and limit injuries
  • Remember that God is in control and has a plan for my life far better than anything I could imagine, and trust him completely.

There you have it..... a few of the  things I hope to accomplish in 2017. I hope you have a safe and happy new year!                                                                                                                

Friday, December 23, 2016

Remove Before Continuing

Came across this post I did on the West Coast Spartan FB page after my last race and thought I'd share. 

At the Beast this weekend, somewhere around mile 7 I believe, I ended up with a small rock in my all terrain thrill, (awesome shoes by the way!), and stopped to dislodge it. 
After taking forever, I finally got my mud caked shoe off, only to find no rock. I shook it out anyway, and proceeded to take forever to put said mud caked shoe back on, only to find out whatever it was was still down there, and most likely in my sock. 😑 I had already wasted a lot of time and was eager to get going so I ignored it and carried on. It moved sometime in the next mile and no longer bugged me.
Fast forward to the finish when I was hosing off, and discovered a chunk of flesh chewed out of my foot and a not too pretty mark left there. 
I woke up Sunday morning with the usual aches and pains, bumps and bruises, and also a very swollen right foot. After hobbling around slowly all day in searing pain while my foot felt like it was going to explode, trying to get the dirt out and the swelling down, I called  and got a appointment at the doctor to see what they could do for me. The nurse's only advice was to get it cleaned, and keep up on the Bactroban.

Once at the Doctor I watched as she gathered up her tools to prepare for getting the dirt out of my wound, and gasped in pain as she started the process of swabbing the affected area.
Let me tell you, in all 12.4 miles of the Seattle beast NEVER did I experience pain like this. Not in my 125 burpees, not during the bucket carry which I hate, not in my complaining ankles as I slogged through mud....
I gripped the sides of the doctor bed, body rigid in pain and teeth clenched, laughing, moaning, groaning, and trying not to hyperventilate. If I had to describe what it felt like, I would say this:

 imagine someone scraping a steak knife across an open flesh wound, and you are pretty close.
It is now clean, but the throbbing, stabbing pain is still there, and will probably stay for a while yet. 😑 

We all left something out on that course on Saturday. For some it was their fears. Their feelings of inadequacy. Stress. Loss. Their very soul. The list goes on....
For me? It was a chunk of my right foot. May it rest in peace.....

The moral of my story? None. Unless it's to say, if you have something in your shoe, remove it completely before continuing.