Training Thursday

Oops…Thursday, not Tuesday again.

Quick recap of the last week:

Friday – Fran PR!

The first time I did Fran I didn't used the prescribed weights. The second time I did, and added 3 minutes to my time. This time I did it with the prescribed weights again and shaved that 3 minutes back off my time, very happy with that time! I'm still using bands for my pull ups, but hopefully I won't have to use them much longer.

Saturday – 10km long run. Could call this a shuffle, even. It was horrible but I got it done. 12km on the plan for tomorrow. Getting up earlier and trying new fueling options to hopefully prevent the shuffle from happening again.

Sunday – 2 hour skills clinic at the gym. We worked for the first half on gymnastics – handstands, kipping, ring dips, muscle ups (um I am no where near muscle ups so did not remotely attempt). The second half was more my style – new back squat PR, snatch drills, 7 minute snatch workout and a 7 minute clean&jerk workout. If only I could just power and Oly lift for the rest of my life, I'd be a happy girl.

Monday and Tuesday – rest days cuz I had other fun things to do (recaps tomorrow).

Wednesday – 4.5km run followed by a short 5min home WOD (3 rounds 10 weighted air squats, 10 weighted sit ups and 10 push ups then 1 min plank).

Thursday – CrossFit. Found out I can push press 85#. I intended to do clean and jerks for the ground to overhead portion of the WOD but apparently the push press was happening. Not too shabby since I don't think I've done 85#, ever, and I did it 18 times (the last 2 were split jerks).

The next week is going to be sporadic, as I work this weekend and then am traveling for a conference next weekend. I've moved my run schedule around to accommodate the travel (yay for hotel treadmills) and will be dropping into a local CrossFit for a couple of workouts as well. I will also be pool lounging when I am not learning. Combining learning and relaxing is my kinda business trip.

If you could do only one form of exercise for the rest of your life, what would it be?


Dear Scale – You’re History

I did a dumb thing on Monday. Yeah, even dumber than normal.

I let the scale dictate how I felt about myself.

I haven't been weighing myself very often anymore, instead going by measurements and how I look and feel. This is a huge improvement, as when I was actively trying to lose weight I weighed myself at minimum once a week, and most likely every day. It was an unhealthy relationship that I thought I'd ended.

So Monday morning I decided to torture myself and see where I was at, and boom. Instant self esteem plunge. Over a couple of pounds.

I completely overreacted, and determined that I would have to start counting calories again in order to get things back under control, instead of rationalizing the reasoning behind the perceived gain. I'm proud to say that that lasted a total of 2 days. Calorie counting is so not for me.

And guess what? Less than a day after weighing myself and having this freak out on Monday, I was already down 2 lbs. Just goes to show that the scale is a no good, dirty rotten liar.

As of right now I'm officially breaking up with the scale. Now this doesn't mean I won't weigh myself once a month, but it does mean that I won't put up with its bullying, and I won't let the stupid number on the scale define me, or who I am or what I can do.

Besides….I'll never get my 300lb deadlift if all I'm worried about is losing 'weight'. Bring on the muscles and the PRs baby.



Random Friday Facts

1. I've only had 2 boyfriends, ever.

2. In the last three weeks the only television I've watched is Buffy The Vampire Slayer and the Discovery Channel. Living on the edge over here.

3. I don't remember the last time I ate beef. But now I want a hamburger.

4. I've done photographs for 4 weddings and an engagement shoot. I need to pick up my camera more often.

5. I still haven't written any fiction since I was in first year of university. I hope that changes soon, I have some characters that would like their stories told.

6. Winter makes me sad. Except for snow, I love snow.

7. I've never been skiing.

8. I didn't want labradors when Shawn and I were talking about dogs – I wanted a border collie.

9. As annoying as they can be I would never trade our dogs for anything. Despite what I tell Scout.

10. Rocky was supposed to be named Atticus…but he came with Rocky, and he certainly doesn't look like an Atticus.

11. For the first 2 weeks we had our cats as kittens, we thought Oliver was a girl. It explains so much about his personality.

12. I clearly talk about my pets a lot

13. Blogging on the iPad is hard but I'm getting better at it.

14. I need a vacation.

15. My car's name is Dean, after the shapeshifter in the True Blood books (Sam changes into a dog named Dean)

That's all I can think of for today, and I need to stop procrastinating and get on with my day. Happy Friday everyone – tell me one random fact about you!


Training Thursday

I have been a bad half marathon wannabe.

I did not run last week. At all. I had every intention of running, really I did, but as usual life got in the way.

But I'm back on track (mostly) this week.

Monday: CrossFit

Tuesday: CrossFit

Wednesday: 2.5km run: it started out really well, did the first km in 5:43 which is probably the fastest I've ever run a km before. Then it went downhill – my heart rate was really high and I couldn't catch my breath. I think it has a lot to do with under hydrating and not enough sleep. I'm making a conscious effort to drink more water and I'm even tracking it to make sure I get enough.

Today: CrossFit


Friday: 4x400m run, and maybe the gym if I feel up to it

Saturday: 10km long run

Sunday: skills clinic at the gym

I'm going to take my time doing the long run and not stress about time, just get the distance covered. I will definitely do the run/walk method – 10min run to 1min walk.

We did a really fun WOD on Tuesday:

21-15-9 deadlifts (95 for women) with 10 box jumps (20″) after each set. As it was explained to me this workout was about intensity instead of load – the faster the better. I did the first set of 21 deadlifts unbroken but I'm still super slow on the box jumps. The second set I did 10 and 5 deadlifts, and then did the 9 unbroken. I finished in 4:26 and my legs were shaking! It's pretty crazy that you can get a great workout in less than 5 minutes.

I'm looking forward to the weekend and having a few days off. Hope everyone has had a good week so far!

What was your favourite workout this week?


The Comparison Trap

I hate the comparison trap.

We’ve all been there. There’s always that one guy or girl that is that much better than you at what you do, or dresses better, is in better shape, or has more friends. You wonder how they do it, and why you can’t do the same.

I’ve managed to learn to deal with this trap for the most part. I am truly blessed in my life and I don’t take what I have for granted. But the one place I can’t get over comparing myself to others is the gym.

With CrossFit, our scores and times are written on a white board, so everyone can see everyone else’s time. Which is good generally – it creates a healthy sense of competition, even with just yourself, and helps you to push yourself a little bit harder. So on a regular basis, I don’t think twice about my name and scores being written for the rest of the gym to see. Unless I have a bad workout, of course.

I mean I know we can’t be “on” every day, and it’s not like the gym is the be all and end all of existence, but I don’t like “sucking”. I don’t like being last, or slowest, or with the least weight or reps. I’m fine being in the middle of the pack, where I normally am, and when I know I haven’t done my best it bothers me.

I had a shitty workout Monday. I felt like I was going to pass out the entire time so I had to go slower, and stop, and take rests, and ended up with a slow time compared to everyone else.

Ah there it is – compared to everyone else.

I need to remember that my journey is my own, whether in life or in the gym, and comparing myself to others in this way is only to drag me down instead of propel me onwards and upwards.

It’s a hard lesson to learn. But I’m trying.


Exercise Vs. Training–Why do YOU workout?

A conversation I had on Twitter last night kinda got me thinking.

There are plenty of workouts I could do at home – both general and CrossFit WODs, and yet I still choose to pay to attend classes at my gym.  I know I could get an excellent workout at home using bodyweight movements (until I convince Shawn to clean out the garage to make me a gym!). I know I could maintain my weight and save money by working out at home.  So why don’t I?

When I first started this weight loss journey, each workout was to get moving and to burn calories.  Of course I still picked activities I liked – RPM, BodyPump, yoga, running – but the ultimate goal was weight loss.

In the last year this approach to working out has changed.  When I step foot into the gym, or get on my bike or in the pool, I’m not immediately thinking “How many calories will I burn?” Instead, it’s more “How will this workout get me stronger, faster, closer to my goals?”.  I’m more interested in training  rather than exercising

So this is why I choose to still pay monthly to go to a CrossFit gym – I know I could exercise on my own, but I don’t think I could train on my own – I wouldn’t push myself to add weight, fix my form, or do scary things like handstands if I was doing it by myself.  It’s also why, for next season, I will hopefully get a triathlon coach – to help me figure out my weaknesses and to work on those.

Yesterday’s awesome WOD:

5×5 front squats

12 minute AMRAP
10 back squats (95#)
200m run

Front squats were 45 – 55 – 65 – 75 – 95 and then I did 2 at 105 (probably should have done all 5 but I wimped out).  I did the WOD rx’d and got 4 rounds plus 10 more squats. My quads hate me today.

Oh yeah – I also signed up for a CrossFit team competition (or was signed up for one?) yesterday for September 22!! Another reason to train and get after it in the gym the  next month.


So tell me – do you workout for exercise or are you training? Is there a difference to you?

Subaru Triathlon Series–Niagara Try A Tri

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So yesterday happened. And it was AWESOME!!

17 minute PR, 6 minute PR on the bike leg, and I crossed the finish line grinning like a fool.

But let’s start at the beginning, where all good stories should start.

The Try A Tri started at 1:15pm, which is the latest I have ever had to be at a race start, but meant we didn’t have to be on the road until about 9:30.  I’m a bit obsessive about being early to things, and wanted time to park and figure out registration before having to rack my bike and set up transition.

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We got to Nelles Beach Park just before 11:30, and parking was easy to find and close to the transition area.  As with both of the Subaru Triathlon Series tris I have been to, registration was easy, simple, and so organized.  It took less than 5 minutes to fill out my waiver, get my numbers and my shirt and be on my way.  I staked out a spot on a rack in my age group, set up transition, and then waited for 1:15.

This time it was a lot easier to figure out the run up from the swim/bike out and bike in/run out areas.  The swim was a point-to-point, and started 375m down the beach from the transition area.  At about 10 to 1 Shawn and I started the trek down the beach towards the swim start.

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Swim 10:27

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This was my first time swimming in Lake Ontario, and that fact in and of itself really creeped me out, but I tried not to think about it (or swallow any water, either).  The water temp was cool, but more refreshing than frigid, and it was nice to see that I was in the majority with my lack of wetsuit.
The swim was along the shoreline, and shallow enough that I could touch the bottom at any point.  This was both good and bad, because as I started swimming I kept running into people that would suddenly put the breaks on and stand up, or people that were walking.  The good part was that this time, instead of hanging onto a kayak for a break, I could just get out of the way and stand for a bit.  I know that this is what saved me a lot of time on the swim.

Bike 26:46

Transition went smoothly, and then it was time to bike!  The bike had been my happy place in my first tri, and I expected it to be the same this time. Yeah, no.
It felt like my back brakes were on the entire ride– the whole bike portion was a struggle.  Also the description “flat as a pancake” was most definitely not accurate.
Near the 5km turnaround I started to play the “who can I pass” game.  Not only did it help me mentally, but I think in the end it helped me push harder (and ultimately go faster) as I picked people off on the way back to transition.

Run 19:18

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Run was uphill for the first 1km, on trails in the woods for 500m, then downhill for the last 1km.  This is where I sucked – slower than last time, but my legs were completely trashed from the swim and bike. I got the same weird cramp at the top of my left calf as I did on the bike previously, and basically I have no real excuse for why my run was crap.

I finished in 1:00:26, a freaking 17 minute improvement over my first Try A Tri. 

What I Learned

So let me preface this section by saying that I really didn’t do that much training for this race.  I did not ride my bike any distances since June 16 (only did some bike handling with the tri club) but I credit my improvement to the horrific magic that is the prowler.  I did some open water swims, and some pool swims, but clearly not enough.  It’s ironic that the part I trained most for, the run, is the one I sucked the most on.  But running is all mental for me, and I can talk myself out of running SO easily.  I need to get over that. So:

- I need to take swim lessons and spend way more time in the pool
- I need to practice running off the bike so that I’m used to running on tired legs (or just run more after doing 100000 deadlifts?)
- I need to get OUT OF MY OWN HEAD on the run and just RUN.
- Bike shorts are a must. Non negotiable. I will be buying these ASAP
- New bike before next year’s season starts

All in all, this race was a success.  I got over my fear of open water swimming, I kicked my own ass on the bike, and I actually PR’d by 10 minutes more than I expected.  I can’t believe it took me this long to find triathlons, and I’m looking forward to training over the winter for next season!

Running Errands (Literally)

(Did you know Rock The Dogs has a Facebook page now? I’d love it if you hopped on over and “liked” it! )

I’m doing my best to pretend I don’t have a race on Sunday. A triathlon. And that I still can’t swim to save my life (that’s a lie – I can save my life, just not swim efficiently or effectively or fast or, or, or…)

Last Friday I was supposed to do a long run of 6km, but I woke up in the middle of the night with excruciating stomach pains. They finally went away midday, so I headed to CrossFit for the 4pm class. The WOD was brutal:

1km run
50 bench press
25 back squat
1km row

I managed the run in 6:03 which I was pretty happy with, given how hot it was and how much I suck at running lately. I did the bench presses at 45# and the squats at 115#. It took around 23 minutes I think.

By the evening my stomach hurt again – I’d even laced up and gone outside to run, but didn’t think I could risk it.

The long weekend happened (I worked), and on Wednesday morning I met up with fellow FitApproach #sweatpink Ambassador Michelle of Push.Pump.Progress for a hilly trail run! It was neat exploring a new area and meeting a new friend, and the hills were ridiculous.

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Wednesday afternoon at CrossFit we did the WOD that I am STILL feeling today:

Every Minute On the Minute
10 deadlifts
100m row penalty for not getting 10 in a minute

I started off with the prescribed weight of 135#, but by the 5th or 6th minute my legs were BURNING and I just couldn’t continue at that weight.  We switched plates and I finished with 115#.  I love deadlifts, but not 100 in 10 minutes. (And I had to row 200m after, too).

And now it’s Friday and my hamstrings and glutes are still in some serious pain from that workout.  It made my long run this morning pretty difficult.

I had 8km planned for today, and the forecast was calling for thunderstorms.  I had gotten permission from a friend I’m cat sitting for to use her treadmill, but when by noon the rain still hadn’t shown up I decided to combine errands and running, and run the 4km to my friend’s house, check on the cats, and run home for a combined distance of 8km.

I gotta say that it was a lot more fun to run with a destination in mind.  I don’t really like out and backs as much as I like loops, or even better, point to point.  My run felt like it had a purpose beyond just covering the 8km.

My screaming hamstrings and glutes made my pace a lot slower than I’d intended, and led to some walking up hills, but overall I was pretty happy to be out running the longest run since my injury in March.

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Tomorrow is Fight Gone Bad at the gym – we are doing it as a fundraiser for the Heart and Stroke Foundation. At this point I don’t think I’ll be participating, as I’m sore AND have a race on Sunday, but I’ll bring my gym clothes with me, just in case.  In either case there will be lots of pictures and a recap next week!

Have a great weekend!

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Have you ever “run” errands before?
Anyone else racing this weekend?

Training Tuesday–CrossFit Endurance

Yes, it’s Wednesday, not Tuesday.


Anyway, I wanted to do a post about CrossFit Endurance as I’ve had a lot of questions about it in the last week or so. Keep in mind I’m not an expert, I don’t have a coach (for the CFE anyway), and I’m kind of making this up as I go along.

From the CrossFit Endurance website:

We focus on eliminating unnecessary volume of training while increasing intensity. Our programming is structured, sport-specific and seamlessly integrated with Olympic lifts, powerlifting, gymnastics movements, explosive activity and mobility-based support. Everything we do focuses on midline stabilization and working from the inside out.
Our strength and conditioning approach for endurance athletes is unparalleled. We incorporate the CrossFit fundamentals of being constantly varied. Repetition is the enemy and results in a decreased ability to build fitness.
Make no doubt, our program is not easy, but we believe the journey is part of making the results more rewarding. Our design is to maximize you as an athlete and to elevate your fitness.

The CFE model is 3 days a week of single sport (in this case running), with 3 days of strength and anywhere from 4-6 CrossFit WODs as well.  This means doing double days a few days a week – but always separating the running portion from the CrossFit by at least 3 hours to give your body a chance to partially recover.

The 3 running workouts always have specific purpose – you are never just running to accumulate miles. There are the short interval days, the long interval days, and the tempo/time trial days.  CFE believes that intensity is key to building stamina and endurance, and not just hours upon hours on your feet, so the tempo/time trial days should never be longer than 90 minutes of running. 

There are also specific workouts posted to be performed on certain days (never on the TT/tempo day).  This is where I start to differ – I’m still following my gym’s programming instead of the CFE workouts.  This could prove to be a problem but I won’t know that until October when I run the half.  I’m also doing the TT/tempo days as a regular long run – so by distance, and probably more of an LSD time run instead of a crazy intense workout.  I feel that, for myself, I really do need the long run to feel prepared to run an entire half marathon.  I hope that as time passes I’ll be able to turn up the intensity for at least part of the long run, but at this point this is just wishful thinking.

Here is an example of a few weeks of my training (just the running workouts):

    Short Intervals       Long Interval       Long Run (TT/Tempo)
    Tabata (20 on 10 off)    3 x 800 m (2 min rest)              10 km LSD
3 x (100m, 200m 400m) 4 x 1200m, rest 2 min              15 km LSD
10 x 100m, rest 45 sec              5 x 400 m              17km LSD

(This is a few weeks away yet, and the 10km week is a cut back week)

I’m not making these workouts up – CFE posts workouts daily, so all of my workouts (save the long runs) have been taken directly from there. 

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Post 4km long run!

So far I love this way of training.  I can be done my running workout in 30 min or less during the week; I am running faster during the intervals than I have before, and I truly feel stronger since the last time I tried training for a half marathon.  I also like the low mileage I’ll have with this type of training – I think my knee will enjoy it better than the higher mileage I was doing before.  The key to this type of training is the strength training and CrossFit WODs, however – the running workouts are complemented by the CrossFit workouts. 

This week’s training:

Hill repeats @ Max Effort

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200m up this hill – it’s steep and it HURTS!


CrossFit or Bike (or nothing!)
3 x 1200m, 2 min rest in between


6km LSD

I hope that this summary has been helpful – for any specific questions please feel free to ask away, or check out the CrossFit Endurance website’s FAQs!