Back In The Globo Gym–Wait, What?!

So remember (probably not, but stick with me) when I said I was taking a break from CrossFit? Well I made the break more official and joined a “globo gym”. Yes, you heard me – the dreaded globo gym.  I’ve been a member at GoodLife Fitness gyms off and on for years, and the professional organization I belong to gives us a great discount, so it was a no brainer. Yesterday I met my dad at the GoodLife he and my mom go to so I could show him some fun with free weights. He wants to start doing more strength training, and that so happens to be an interest of mine, so I was more than willing to help him out.

I’m used to my own bars and squat racks and plates with clips so it was kind of a culture shock trying to find my way around the gym yesterday, but I made it work.  We found an empty squat rack, some 45lb bars and some plates (still NO clips?? I’m still gonna do Oly lifts GoodLife, clips or no clips) and got to work.

We went over the basics – deadlift, squat (front and back), bench press, air squats and some dumbbell snatches which my dad seems to love. 

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Not too shabby for a guy who turned 60 a week ago!

There are going to be some challenges for me to try to get my workout on in a non CrossFit gym, but I am less stressed and less injured now doing things my own way.  I know I made the right decision for ME at this time, and who knows, I may find my way back to a box one day.  For now I’m enjoying spin classes, Body Pump and doing my own strength training.  Next week I will officially start a new strength program and I’ll be logging my workouts as I go, so keep an eye out for those posts.

So: Do y’all think I’m crazy for ditching my CrossFit gym for a globo gym?

I Broke Up With CrossFit

Okay I haven’t really.

But I am taking a break from CrossFit.

A month, at least. Maybe longer.  Over the last few months I have been less and less enthused about heading to the gym for a metcon.  I’m always happy to go throw some weights around but the workouts themselves just haven’t appealed to me.  And while before I would whine and complain about a workout but would do it anyway (suck it up, right?), this time I would just not go. Which isn’t like me.

Combine that with some uncomfortable interpersonal relationships that I still don’t understand and you’ve got a recipe for disaster. Or at least a good reason to take a break. I realize I should just get over myself when it comes to this failed friendship but the awkwardness gets me every time.

I know I’ve said it somewhere before but my love has been and always will be LIFTING.  Whether power lifting (deadlifts, squats, bench press) or my one true lifting love, Olympic lifting (clean & jerks, snatches), I’m happiest with a heavy barbell in my hands.  If I don’t return to CrossFit my focus will be a cycle of Starting Strength, followed by the Boring But Big version of Wendler’s 5/3/1 program.  After I’m thoroughly sick of powerlifting (but hopefully stronger!) I would like to follow Catalyst Athletic’s programming and workouts and focus on my Olympic lifts.

CrossFit has given me the knowledge and confidence to march into the weight room at any gym and not only be able to handle myself, but to do it correctly.  It has introduced me to a world where strong women are encouraged and celebrated.

I’m hoping this break from CF won’t be permanent. I think I’d miss it too much. 

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Playing Catch Up

 

After my last post and this long stretch of silence one might think that I had, indeed, decided to give up blogging completely (ahem, Martha).  In fact, I was overwhelmed by the flu-cold that has been going around (everywhere, it seems) and since I was doing nothing except sleeping and trying not to cough too hard I figured I’d spare you the boring details.  Also I just didn’t feel like writing.

That’s changed now that I’m feeling better and I’ve started to, you know, do stuff again. 

I started back to working out this past weekend, which is good considering I have a half marathon in just over 2 months.  On Saturday I went to open gym at my CrossFit box and did a short 30 minute workout from Catalyst Athletics.  I really want to improve my Olympic lifts and I figure incorporating some of these workouts into my week can only help.  The workout was from their “Classic Cycle” and looked like this:

  • Snatch – 75% x 1 x 3 (60lbs)
  • Clean & jerk – 70% x 1 x 3 (75lbs)
  • Snatch pull – 90% (of snatch) x 3 x 3 (70lbs)
  • Snatch deadlift – 100% (of snatch) x 3 x 3 (80lbs)
  • Front squat – 75% x 3 x 5; follow each set immediately with 3 box jumps (90lb front squats with 20” box)

I followed this up with 3 rounds of plank and 10 sit ups.  My quads are still shot from the front squats and box jumps (that is a killer combo, by the way).  I am most definitely out of shape.

I followed this up by a quick 25 min easy flop swim in the pool.  I floated around, used the kick board, used the pull buoy, and generally reacquainted myself with the pool.  It was lovely.  My shoulder, however, is angry at me today from the swimming this weekend and the weights as well, so I’m icing and taking it easy today.  I have a run on tap (well more walk than run, to ease myself back into training) after a meeting at work this afternoon.

Shawn was snowed in in Newfoundland this weekend due to a blizzard, which in theory sounds fun but not when you’re staying in a hotel without power.  While he dug himself out, I decided to get a little crafty and attempt a few Valentine’s day decorations.  Not that we celebrate it, at all, but the house was lacking something after I took all of Christmas down.

I bought this cute little bird while I was at Michaels:

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I don’t even like real birds – well I do, I’m just afraid of them. But I have a tendency to collect little fake ones.  Soon I’ll have a whole flock.

Anyway here are my attempts at Valentine’s Day bunting:

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Cardstock, decorative paper, and some ribbon.  It was super easy to put together.  Not bad for a Sunday afternoon.

What did you do this weekend? Any great workouts?

Three Things Thursday–Let’s Workout

Borrowed from Leigh! This is definitely a way more fun way to do Three Things Thursday.

Three CrossFit movements that I love:

  1. Box jumps
  2. clean&jerks
  3. I love a love/hate relationship with the snatch

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Three workouts that I love:

  1. CrossFit
  2. Running
  3. Swimming

Three of the worst things to happen while working out:

  1. Having to pee
  2. Clothing moving to places it shouldn’t
  3. Falling – while running, or with a barbell, or during box jumps…

Three of the best things to happen while working out:

  1. PRing, while in a race or lifting is always awesome
  2. Hitting goals, like pace or weight or movement
  3. Having fun!

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Three workouts that I will never choose to do:

  1. Zumba
  2. Insanity – although i have done it I hated it
  3. Aqua-fit

Three pet peeves when it comes to working out:

  1. People who don’t wear enough deodorant (or at all) and workout near you (this)
  2. People not doing the movements correctly in order to be done faster
  3. People not watching where they’re going or what they’re doing

Three workout related goals:

  1. Half Ironman
  2. Clean&Jerk my body weight
  3. Deadlift 2x my body weight

No Snow? FRAN-tastic!

Shawn’s birthday was earlier this month and as a surprise I booked a weekend of skiing up at Blue Mountain for this coming weekend.  Unfortunately, Mamma Nature has decided to withhold the white stuff from us for now and I had to cancel our reservation.  What’s worse is when I tried to rebook it I couldn’t, since in January I’d have to book for 2 nights and with Shawn’s work schedule (and mine) it was impossible to coordinate it. 

So instead I booked a weekend at Horseshoe Resort for January. Easy booking, I could book for one night, the room looks FANTASTIC, and hopefully by then we will have a lot of snow. 

I have never, ever been skiing before, so this will REALLY be an adventure for me. 

Now that the weekend is wide open, I’m free to participate in my gym’s “FRAN-tastic Holiday WOD”.  This is the second year they’ve done it, and it’s to collect non-perishable food items for local food banks.  I know I’ve mentioned Fran before, but just as a reminder, this is what she is:

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Doesn’t seem like much but she is a bad, bad girl. The first time I did Fran (last year’s holiday WOD) I used 55# bar for thrusters and a lot of bands for pull ups.  The next time I did it, I used 65#, less bands, but got a longer time (over 14minutes).  Last time – yes, I’ve been lucky enough to meet with her 3 times so far – I used 65#, less bands, and dropped my time by nearly 3 minutes.  The goal this weekend is to just survive, and maybe PR if I’m lucky. 

 

What’s your LEAST favourite workout, or the hardest one you’ve ever done?

Running & Deadlifts

Hello and happy Friday! I’d say TGIF but I work this weekend, so today is more like my Sunday than a Friday.

Last night at my gym I attended a running clinic put on by Steve from Running Free in Ajax.  He spent some time talking about form, cadence, foot fall, etc.  Then he took us for a bit of a run.  We ended up going 4.5km (no idea how long it took us).  I actually managed to run the entire way which I haven’t done in ages.  Although I was at the back of the pack I’m still pretty proud of myself for keeping a steady pace and not needing to take a walk break at all.  There is hope for me yet!

Steve mentioned that a shorter stride is actually more effective than a crazy long stride.  When you are taking long strides you have more of a tendency to land on your heel instead of your midfoot, where you should be landing.  With a shorter stride, your legs are landing underneath you, so you are more likely to land on your midfoot.  It was interesting to try to shorten my stride and pay more attention to where my foot was landing.  I think I was somewhat successful.

After the run I stayed at the gym to do the workout.  Since I haven’t been making it to the gym a lot in the last 2 months I was going to take it easy on myself, but apparently I am not allowed to do that. 

This is Kyle.  He wanted a picture of him eating a pita on the blog. He is also the one who made me deadlift at 135. Thanks, Kyle.

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The workout was:

10-1 of deadlifts and ring dips
(1o DL, 10 RD, 9DL, 9 RD, etc)

I did the deadlifts at the “advanced” weight of 135lbs, which was the right decision since I did the first 10 unbroken.  I broke the rest up usually by doing half, taking a short break, then doing the rest.  The ring dips I did with a red band.  I’m surprisingly not as sore today as I thought I’d be, especially since I don’t think I’ve deadlifted in over 2 months.

I also hit the gym today – the skill work beforehand was 1 power snatch + 1 hang (full) snatch every 30 seconds for 4 minutes (I used 65lbs).  The workout was slightly crazy:

4 rounds
Bear crawl 2 lengths of gym
10 Thrusters (I used the advanced weight again 65lbs)
10 burpees

That was tough.  It took me 16:59 to finish and my legs and arms were shaking when I was done.  However I managed 8 more burpees to help a fellow CrossFitter finish her last round – burpees seem easier when they’re for someone else!

Tonight I plan on playing around with making custom ribbon for some Blue Jays headbands and dog collars in preparation of the KILLER year my boys are gonna have next year (wishful thinking maybe but with the recent trades my hopes are definitely up) and also some custom ribbon for headbands with my gym’s logo.  Also wine.

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I hope everyone has a great weekend!

Falling Back Sucks

Since the time change a week or so ago I have been crabby. Okay, crabbier than normal.  I do not like it getting darker at 4:30pm. I do not like the lack of sunshine southern Ontario has been getting lately. I do not like the rain.  I don’t like a lot of things, apparently.

Add a bunch of self imposed stress and I haven’t been a very happy person.  The winter is always a tough time for me with the increased amount of darkness, so I have decided to take my mental health into my own hands this winter and do something about it.

I’m going to try to take even just 5 minutes a day and do something I want to do.  Yesterday I headed over to CrossFit for the first time in over a week (oops!) right after my swim workout, and I’m so glad I did.  It boosted me mentally for sure.  A lot of my self imposed stress has come from feeling guilty about not being able to fit in CrossFit as much with all my tri training, which is really just silly.  When I can get there I will get there – no one is putting this stress on me except myself.

Today I was supposed to head to CrossFit after I biked, but I didn’t sleep well last night and I have to work tonight, so sleep became the priority (ooh and making pizza) so CrossFit’ll have to wait until tomorrow.  This acceptance that I don’t have to be Type A with all of my activities is more freeing and I feel a lot less overwhelmed with everything.

Today, while I don’t have an extreme amount of time to do stuff “for me”, I am looking forward to the other things I have planned this week – with the realization that things can change, and that’s okay, too.

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Here is a gratuitous picture of the dogs.

How do you take time for yourself to recharge?

Going The Distance–70.3 Miles, In Fact

I’ve been struggling with this blogging thing lately – what to write, what not to write, who the hell even cares other than me (oh and Kyle, one of my CrossFit coaches – there Kyle, I mentioned you, are you happy now?).  I’ve decided to stop caring and to just write – cuz, ya know, that’s something I like to do on occasion.

For those of you who asked for a tutorial for the headbands I’ll try to whip something up this weekend or early next week – stay tuned! My biggest problem is remembering to photograph the steps.  I’ll do it, I promise.

Onto bigger things…

One thing I haven’t mentioned yet is that at the beginning of October I started working with a triathlon coach.  After 2 somewhat successful (in that I didn’t drown) try-a-tri triathlons, I had big goals for next season.  I wanted to start with a try-a-tri, then spend the rest of the season at the next distance, the sprint triathlon. 

Then I changed my mind, and wanted to start at the sprint distance and maybe throw in an Olympic distance race near the end of the season.  Or 2.

And then I went a little crazy…and announced my intention to race a Half Ironman distance triathlon next year. 70.3 miles. 6-8 hours of racing. So much swimming.  Also I use the word race lightly.

I haven’t officially signed up for one yet, because I’m still debating between 3 different races. Syracuse, Racine, and Muskoka.

Syracuse :
Pros:
I know people racing
Not too far away
Lake swim
Cons:
Early in the season (June…will I be ready?)
Could be hot
Could be hilly

Racine
Pros:
Supposed to be a good first 70.3 distance
Supposedly flatish
Lake swim
Cons:
July – could be super hot
Run is a double out and back – that could suck mentally

Muskoka
Pros:

In Canada! haha
Lake swim
Gorgeous scenery
Might know people racing
Cons:
HILLS
Later in the season, can’t necessarily do another if I’m hooked

Tonight I got an email about signing up for Muskoka.  At this point I’m kinda taking it as a sign but I need to sit down and talk to Shawn about it when he gets home from work this weekend.  I’ve heard the hills are brutal, but I’ll have nearly a year to prepare, and it’s close enough I could go up for a weekend or 2 prior to the race and ride the course.

So if ya’ll thought I was nutty before…I’m sure this seals the deal.  I’m still finding it difficult to figure out how to incorporate CrossFit in with my tri training but no worries – I may not be going as often right now but I’m slowly, slowly learning how to get the two to work together. Besides, I’ll need CrossFit to master those MF-ing hills, right?

Which race do you think I should do? Would you ever consider a half or full Ironman?

Element CrossFit Team Challenge

This past Saturday I participated in my first CrossFit competition, the Element CrossFit Team Challenge. The teams were comprised of 3 guys and 3 girls, and there was a recreational (that's where we were) as well as a competitive division with about 50 teams in each division.

The day started out early, cold and rainy. We arrived at the venue at around 7:30 am for registration, then wandered off to find the team we were sharing a shelter with to try to stay out of the rain. Our division was supposed to start at 8:30, and our first workout was to be at 9:15am.

8:30 came and went and nothing had started yet. Closer to 9 they had us gather around to watch the demonstrations for the first WOD.

Partner couplets

6 minute amrap: toes through rings and 50 double unders; then

6 minute amrap: 7 burped and 20 air squats; and finally

6 minute amrap: 10 pull ups and 20kbs

The 6 person team was broken up into 3 pairs – I volunteered for the burpees and air squats (I know, who am I?) since I can't do toes to rings, or string many double unders together, or pull ups. Yeah, definitely a candidate for the CrossFit games right here. Our heat didn't start until after 10am – at least by then the rain had stopped.

It was a quick 6 min while our teammates did the toes through rings and double unders, then it was our turn. Fastest 6 min of my life. The burpees were brutal – wet AstroTurf combined with having to jump onto a bumper plate to complete the movement lead to some less than graceful moments. Once our time was up I (again, less than gracefully) ran/shuffled to tag the next pair and they were off.

We were fairly confident with our performance – we had exceeded our own expectations, and really, when you're competing for fun that's all that its about.

Since the first workout had started late we knew that the second wouldn't be on time, either, but as the day progressed the intervals between workouts kept getting longer. We didn't start our second workout until closer to lunch time.

8 min to find 1 rep max thruster, then immediately after:

10 min amrap sandbag carry and sandbag squat ladder (10, 20, 30, etc).

We had 8 min for each member of the team to find our 1 rep max and the final scores were all added together. One member of our group had never even done a thruster before so we spent the few minutes we had to warm up coaching her on the movement.

We started off (for us ladies at least) at 80lbs which was already over the max I had ever tried with a thruster. All three of us got it no problem. Same with 85. At 90 the one who was band new to thrusters failed. We skipped 95 and went straight to 100 which I failed at. I'm not unhappy as 90 is already a 15lb PR for me, and it was pretty surreal to be hitting so close to 100. The boys did awesome and all beat their previous 1 rep maxes and lifted some heavy weight.

The sandbag carry was, again, teams of 2, this time guy/girl. We had to grab our sandbag, run to the designated area, do the required amount of squats with the sandbag, then run back and tag the next pair. My partner and I had the lovely task of 30 and 60 squats. I finished all 60 of mine while my partner was on 58 when time was called.

Hurry up and wait, again. The original time for our final WOD was 1:50, but I don't think we started until closer to 3:30.

6 min amrap: 7 front squats and 80m sprint (men @ 95lbs)

6 min amrap for women, same as men but @ 65lbs for the front squats

I watched a video one of our friends made and let me tell you, I sure felt like I was sprinting but I looked like an idiot while running haha. It was a great WOD, and even though I could barely walk from the over 100 air squats I'd already done, the front squats felt like nothing (at least at first).

The event had live Internet scoring so throughout the day we would occasionally check our scores. The top 10 from each division would compete to see who would be on the podium, and although we are all competitive at heart we didn't really want to be there any longer than we had to. Plus one of our teammates was sick with a cold that progressively got worse (no thanks to the rain and cold) and I had to work at midnight. By 4:30 we were sitting in 12 place so we figured we were safe to leave. Once more scores came in we were bumped up to 6th, then 11, and after the final WOD we ended up 10th (there were some ties in the top 10, so technically we were the 12th team). Pretty awesome for my first competition!

Next up – half marathon in October then looks like a weightlifting competiton in November!

 

The One Where I Realize How Much I Suck

Sometimes I forget how far I've come.

I mean, not just about losing weight, although that is still a significant event itself. I mean in terms of my outlook on life, and healthy living, and exercise, and eating. I wouldn't say it's been a complete 180 but definitely close.

18 months ago, I wouldn't have guessed I would be working out as much as I do. I would never have even given a thought to doing a triathlon, let alone 2, let alone getting a coach for next season. If you'd told me that I would fall in love with Olympic lifting I would have stared at you blankly, especially if you'd mentioned the word 'snatch'.

I've been thinking about goals and where I want to go with both CrossFit and triathlons. With tris it's easy – get better. I need to improve all aspects of the sport before I can really truly see what I'm capable of. But regardless I love it just the same, and I know I can get better, and I will.

With CrossFit it's different. I am deeply, unabashedly in love with CrossFit. Without it I know I wouldn't be where I am today, and as cheesy as it sounds it really did change my life. I doubt i would have ever tried running, or triathlons, without the courage and faith in myself that I've developed through CrossFit. Cheesy, sappy, kool-aid driven, whatever – I love it.

So it's hard for me to admit that I suck at it. Now no need to boost my ego by telling me I don't (although telling me I'm awesome will earn you some brownie points) because I know I do. I'm not good at a lot of aspects of CrossFit and I just don't anticipate getting better. I don't improve as quickly as a lot of others at my gym. My times are slower, the weights are lighter, and I really, really am no good at gymnastics movements.

So there's that. It's hard to set goals for things that I'm horrible at. It's not like triathlon, where i know i can improve but have no delusions of ever standing on the podium. I want so badly to be good at CrossFit but I'm just – not. It's hard to sit back and watch others, so easily, do the things that I struggle with on a daily basis.

But then I still have to remember how far I've come.

And I have to remember to stop comparing myself with others.

I need to remember the things I am good at.

But it's hard sometimes, to remember.