Strong people are harder to kill than weak people and more useful in general. -- Mark Rippetoe

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

30 Day Primal Challenge!

Yesterday, I started Mark's Daily Apple's 30 Day Primal Blueprint Challenge.  Joining me on the wagon are my mom, both of my aunts, my sister, and my husband.  There's something about this challenge that makes me think I'll be able to stick with it much better than previous paleo challenges at the box or crazy strict eating plans I've toyed with (e.g. Velocity, AKA the miserable depressing shake diet).  Not sure what the source of my enthusiasm or confidence is for this, but I imagine it has to do with me being so busy at work that I haven't been able to CrossFit at all in several weeks.  Now that my foot/ankle is healed, I'm back to playing weekend soccer, at least.  I think this challenge presents one of the few things in my life over which I can exert some serious control.  Plus, having my family involved will provide such a great source of moral support!  My sister started a blog on it, so I probably will track progress there.  Either way, here goes nothing!

Saturday, February 5, 2011


That's me on the left...on the floor.

I'm not good at keeping this thing updated, but here's a new post.  Yay new post.  I am facing yet another setback in my efforts to get my fitness levels back to where they were in 2009.  Here's what happened:

I competed in the Great Lakes CrossFit Invitational on Jan. 15 at CrossFit Indy North. There were 4 workouts, followed by a final WOD for the top 20 men and women, respectively:

6 min AMRAP
8 115/185# deadlifts
8 over-the-box (20/24") jumps

-rest 1 min, then-

2 min max thrusters (95/135#)

I was in 8th place after these 2 WODs, thanks in large part to the first workout going so well.  I was able to knock out the deadlifts quickly and unbroken for the AMRAP, which helped make up for the relative panic that those over-the-box-jumps caused.

65/95# OHS
over-the-barbell burpees

WOD 4 (this was a massive accomplishment for me to finish within the time cap since it involved 2 suck list items)
3 rounds
20 95/135# squats
20 toes-to-bar
20 double unders

After these 4 events, I was in the top 20 women and qualified for the final WOD, so I was thrilled. Here it was:

Finals WOD
50 cal row
30 105/155# clean & jerks
40 cal row
40 pull ups
30 cal row
50 1/1.5 pood KBS ('09 Games standard)

So, it was going great through clean and jerks. I was in 2nd place in my heat (which was 11-20th of the women...yeah, double unders/toes-to-bar dropped me badly in the standings) heading to the pull up bar. I had chalked during c&js and wanted to bust out 5 or 10 pull ups before re-chalking. After my 3rd pull up, I swung back up, but slipped off the bar. I fell backwards to the ground, landing hard on my butt/hip with my left hand underneath. I was asking the head coach to tape my fingers together so I could finish, but when I looked down, my left index finger was "stuck" over my middle finger.  I managed to still finish in the top 20--18th to be exact--since I made finals, but it obviously was *not* how I wanted the day to end.

After an emotional trip to the ER, several rounds of x-rays, and an obscene amount of morphine and dilaudid (8 times stronger than morphine.  'Nuff said.), I find out I have a displaced and impacted fracture of my second metacarpal (think knuckle--the types of breaks you get in your hand when you get in a bar brawl).   Here's an awesome photo of my hand 2 days following the fall:

I had had encouraging appointments with the hand surgeon regarding the healing of my hand.  In fact, the splint should come off next Friday.  The bad news is that now they're concerned I may have a fracture in my wrist from the fall.  Apparently there's a nasty little bone in our wrists sometimes fractures in bad falls, but the breaks tend not to show up in x-rays.  Anyway, if the wrist pain is still there at my appointment next week, I have to have an MRI.  If it's broken, surgery may be the only solution.  And the really shitty upshot of that is that I wouldn't be healed in time for any of the qualifiers this spring.  So, here's to hoping surgery isn't necessary.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Back From London and Back to Paleo!

So I got back from London last Friday after a grueling 3 week trip for work.  I was only able to get to a CrossFit (CrossFit Central London) twice -- the last Saturday and Sunday I was there.  Other than that, I stuck with the hotel gym, which was an LA Fitness.

The good part was that I was able to try a lot of new movements/skills on the two days I was able to train at CFCL.  We did sandbag carries with a sandbag weighing about 60 kg and then a metcon involving kettlebell snatches and supine ring rows, neither of which I've ever done in a WOD.  It's a little surprising that 2 years into CrossFit I'm still brand new to some of these skills!  The other accomplishment was increasing my press max to 42 kg (92.4 lbs).  Still not to the 95 lb -- let alone triple digit -- benchmark, but I'm getting closer.  My workouts since getting back are below:

Team WOD at WCCF

In teams of 4, 1 set of partners works on the first 6-set metcon and the other works on the second 6-set metcon.  Switch during the 5 minute rest.

6 sets each (1 minute on/1 minute off):
3 hang squat cleans (65#)
5 box jumps
- 5 minute rest -
6 sets each (1 minute on/1 minute off):
3 pull ups
6 jumping lunges

Total team reps: 962

Soccer Game

No subs, so this was a good way to try to get my legs back from the long flight.  It seriously takes my muscles a week to get back to normal after those trans-Atlantic flights.

Back to CFC!

Deadlift: 135 x 10, 185 x 5, 225 x 3, 255 x 3, 275 x 1, 295 x 1, 315 x 1, 325 x 1 (stopped there)

3 rounds:
15 hang power clean (95#)
15 burpees

I was tempted to go for more on the deadlift, but I already had a ripped hand from Saturday's workout and didn't want it to re-rip before the metcon.  As it was, I had to tape it up before I started the cleans.  My back and legs still weren't feeling back to 100% either. 

As of the 19th, I'm also in for the Paleo Challenge and am on a team with Scott and Emi.  Yay!  I'll post my food log in the next post.  This one is already too long.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Hanging in There

Today marks Day 22 of the Velocity Diet, and I'm still alive.  Woo!  I've maintained about 80-90% compliance on the diet, although Dave and I have implemented solid meals with the same protein-fat-carb breakdown as our dinners a few times a week.  I know that takes away from some of what the people who market that diet so fanatically advocate, but from reading other V-Dieter's blogs, this alteration is VERY common and still produces pretty much the same results.  The whole point of the V-Diet is mental discipline and strictly portioned meals, and if the solid food comes in those exact proportions, you're accomplishing the same thing.  Sorry, T-Nation.  ;)

I have been really busy at work, so the blog posting has been less frequent than I'd like, as have the weigh-ins and measurements.  I will do another weigh in and measurement next week to check my progress.  A lot of changes apparently happen during the 2 week period following the initial 28 day super strict timeframe, but everyone responds differently.

As far as MY progress: Physically, my weight has fluctuated day to day (like usual), but overall I'm down about 6-7 lbs.  I've lost more in the way of inches than anything else.  My clothes fit more loosely, and I noticed that my bodyweight exercises like pull ups and rings feel easier.  It's amazing what a small weight fluctuation can do to those movements!  In terms of energy and attitude, it's been rough.  I get tired in the afternoons due to the very low carb levels, and I really don't like "meal" times because I dread the shakes.  They really don't taste bad; I'm just freakin' SICK of them. 

I'll just do a catch-up summary of a couple of my workouts below and add more as I find time:

9/2/10 Workout
Quads Gym
Warm Up: high incline walking - 15 min. (I was feeling particularly sluggish this day and needed to loosen up a lot)
Good Mornings (in kg): 20 x 10, 30 x 5, 35 x 8, 40 x 8
Press (in kg): 30 x 5, 35 x 3, 40 x 2

Note: I have been doing presses a lot lately, and there is some interesting anecdotal evidence from Dan John that women should be pressing every day.  Check it:
"'Press more' in terms of volume, of course…women should press probably every day, doing something in a pressing movement. I didn’t say heavy, I didn’t say 100 reps. In the same vein, wom[e]n should stop stretching all the time. They are predisposed to flexibility, yet lack in pressing strength. No, for total candor, I like the female design and I am not being critical. My point is that everyone likes to play to their strengths and ignore their weaknesses. Women need to press. Women tend to have a narrow shoulder base vis-à-vis the waist and it is difficult to press with that issue. I would argue that a guy can get away with just one press in his program, but a woman should master every variation they can find. I have had some great insights, by the way, from training women, as working with this 'problem' has given me some insights to improve my own lifting. So, I decided to add more variation into my training and it has made it more fun and more productive."

3 Round Circuit:
Incline Single Arm DB Press: 25 # x 10 each earm
25 Sit Ups

9/3/10 Workout
Squats (5-5-5): Bar x 10, 145 x 5, 165 x 5, 190 x 5 --> felt WEAK.  Ugh.
MetCon (rx'ed): my breakdowns of reps are listed after rep scheme
30 Pull ups -- 23-4-3
30 Front squats (65#) -- 19-6-5
30 Kettlebell swings (35#) -- unbroken
1k Row

Friday, September 3, 2010

Shorter Time Domains

The recommendations for the first 28 days of the Velocity Diet are to focus on lifting 3 times a week, general active behavior (long walks are encouraged), and limited cardio.  I was trying to ignore that last bit for awhile, but after how Sunday's soccer game made me feel, I acknowledged that it probably makes sense to focus on shorter duration metcon -- at least for now.  A calorie restrictive diet based mostly on protein doesn't do much for one's cardio energy, and I'm learning that lesson.

9/1/10 Workout
Press 5-5-5+ (60-70-80%):
55 - 63 - 72 x 15
SDHP (55 lb)
Push Press (55 lb)

The rest of the 7 PM class was doing a FGB variation that was taking people anywhere from 13 - 20+  minutes, so I went with a shorter metcon that still focused on 2 of the key FGB movements.  Workout went pretty well; the round of 21 was unbroken.  I got a bit lightheaded toward the end, but overall I felt alright.  
Post WOD:
One-handed handstands
Butterfly pull ups: got 10 in a row, then 8 (rhythm was solid on the first set but fell off on the 2nd)
Confession #1: I missed 2 of my shakes during the day because I got buried with other work and tightly scheduled conference calls, so I was at a severe calorie deficit for the workout.  I really have to make sure I get the shakes in, even if they are starting to make me gag just thinking about them...

Confession #2: Dave and I used the same macro nutrient breakdowns as the "dinner shake" after the workout (40g protein, 20g fat, 10g carb), but we made salmon and green beans instead because my momma was in town, and I'd feel like a horrific hostess making her drink a shake for dinner after she drove all the way here (with a bunch of our wedding gifts in tow)!  Dave and I have talked some about subbing in a solid meal every few days -- just for dinner -- if the headaches and stomachaches don't subside.  A lot of V-Dieters have used that modification with pretty much the same results.  We'll see what happens. 

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

7 Days Complete

I've survived 7 days on the Velocity Diet so far, and I'm still going.  I wouldn't exactly call it going "strong", but I'm slogging through.  I'm battling a lot of boredom already, and I have gotten a few headaches.  The shakes are no longer treats, and my stomach turns a bit when it comes time for another meal, but I have always had a reactive stomach and am not that surprised.  Haven't been able to get away from the office in time for CrossFit yet this week, but the plan is to go tonight. 

On Sunday, I had my team's championship soccer game.  I play for a pretty high level league in the city over at the Rauner YMCA on Western.  Our halves for the championship were 35 minutes, and WOW did I feel it.  We only had 1 female sub, so I had maybe a 5 minute break each half.  Normally this isn't much of an issue, but I now understand why the V-Diet advises that you don't engage in long, high intensity cardio.  I was utterly drained.  Luckily, the team we were playing in the finals didn't pack too much of a punch, and we won either 8 or 9 to 1. 

Sunday also marked Dave's and my very first HSM (healthy solid meal) of the 28 day diet, so as soon as I got back from the game, we headed to Whole Foods to do some damage.  The great part of the HSM is that you don't have to worry about quantity at all -- just HIGH QUALITY food.  So here's what we did:

Appetizer (Dave did this on a whim since the oven was taking too damn long to get to 350 degrees)
Seared steak with some salsa tossed in -- We ate this right out of the pan.  Yeah, we were excited for solid food.

Chilean sea bass filet -- oven roasted with butter, salt, pepper
1/2 baked sweet potato -- mashed with cinnamon and a little butter
Sauteed green beans and red peppers

Sliced pineapple

We were so stuffed after this meal that both of us were completely dazed for the rest of the evening.  The bad thing was that we were so full that we missed our bedtime shakes.  Oh well.

I weighed myself this morning (morning of Day 8), and I've lost 4 lbs so far.  I am going to try to drink more water today to see how that impacts the headaches, nausea, and general lack of energy.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Thursday's Workout: Sectionals WOD #3

One of my first ever muscle ups!

After posting twice yesterday, I figured I'd wait a bit to post my recap of Thursday's workout and diet to avoid blog overkill.

Muscle Ups:
5 pre WOD
5 post WOD

Didn't manage to string any together this time around, although I got about 3/4 of the way there on 2 of them.

Sectionals WOD #3:
5 min row - 72
4 min box jump - 90
3 min hang snatch (45 lb) - 14
2 min wall ball (14 lb) - 33
1 min HSPUs - 0

Feb. 2010 total: 176
8/26/10 total: 209

This would have placed me 23rd in the event at Sectionals.  I don't remember what my breakdowns were in each of those exercises, but I know my score was substantially higher on box jumps.  Bryce told me I should have stopped earlier on the hang snatch to grab some more wall ball reps, and I'm sure he's right.  Either way, it was another big improvement.  Just have to get those HSPUs!!!

So, here's my breakdown from the 3 workouts, using the scoring method from Sectionals:
Air Force WOD: 7:00 min --> 420 pts
Ground to Overhead: 36 reps --> -180 pts
5-4-3-2-1: 209 pts --> -209 pts
Total: 31 pts

Therefore, with those scores, I would have placed 3rd overall in Sectionals.  I know you can never compare scores from one point in time to those from another (everyone has improved, different conditions, etc.), but that is nonetheless eye-opening for me and REALLY lights a fire under my ass for next year.  Bring it on.

Diet Update:
Day 2 of the V-Diet was mostly uneventful.  My energy has still been high throughout the day.  By eating roughly every three hours, I am not only never hungry but also avoid any crashes.  I think the casein in each shake really helps since it's such a slow-digesting protein.

Dave and I did indulge a smidgen with 2 of our friends by having a bit of tequila with soda water and unsweetened lemon juice.  I had 2 weak glasses and promptly fell asleep.  I had to wake up for my bedtime shake, which I'm glad I did since that's my favorite of the meals (the bedtime shake contains 2 tbsp of natural nut butter...yummmmmmmmmm)!