Friday, July 31, 2009

Overhead Squat


Overhead Squat (OHS)

Results: 55 (5 reps), 65 (3 reps)

This was the first time I've truly worked this move. So, the weight wasn't heavy, but I just worked the form, which held up quite well! It was weird that the more weight I piled on the stronger I felt...part of it was just getting warmed up. I missed the little metcon warmup because I had to DRAG my arse out of bed...and convince myself it was worth it. It was! :)

Katie has blogged about being afraid of deadlifts---I'm afraid of the OHS. My lower back was really tight after deads the other day and the thought dropping the bar on my head freaks me out. I would love to shoot for 80 or 90 next time. I know I can squat that much, it is just a question of whether I can hold that much! I love working the oly lifts over pullups any day...keep it coming!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Diggin' the Dead

Deadlift - 3/3/3/3/3

Max: 185 (1 rep max = 190)

Felt strong, did this on almost no sleep. 200lb + 1 rep max here I come!

oH, and loved all the PR's this morning. Everyone made huge gains--so fun to watch! :)

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Just makin' It

5 rounds for time
300m run
20 jumping lunges
10 pullups (i subbed six--my shoulder is bugging me)
Tim: 14:01

3 rounds
20 sledges
10 burpees

Coming back after four days off that included binge eating and drinking my body was definitely fighting the toxins. The good news on this is that this was the first time I've been back to WI in 3 years, and it will be at least another 3 before I go back. Luckily this doesn't happen often. I also have had a way over the years of having a really bad night with one kind of alcohol and then I stop drinking it. I think that happened with Whiskey this weekend--it will join Tequila, Gin, Rum and Vodka on the list of "The Forbidden". For any of you not familiar with Wisconsin and what happens when you go to school there, here is a summary: You drink A LOT. I mean A LOT.

So it has been a severely emotional 2 weeks for the Gabriel family and thank GOD for crossfit to help me fight out my anger, frustration, and sadness. Having such a routine to count on makes you feel like you can tackle the rest of your day.

I brought my friend Josh to CF today--he has been crossfitting for a little over a year in Boston. He started with his good friend Brian and CF Potomac and kept with it when he moved to Boston. He did awesome at the workout this morning, got some burpee tips from Keturah this morning, got to work his L-sit for warmup, and did his first sledge strikes! Most importantly is that Josh embraces the "process" of crossfit and he left that philosophy with me. We spent much of the few hours of his visit talking about it. Like not being to hard on oneself and realzing we ARE great athelete and only it takes TIME to see the results we all want to see so quickly. So, I may want to see that scale hit 150 REALLY BADLY, but its only been barely 5 months. My body is still somewhat in shock to all these new moves, new schedule, and new nutrition. With time, and the all that I'm already putting in I'll get there....eventually. And I should be proud of where I'm at--it took 10 weeks to get a pullup, 4 months for a double under, and every time we do oly lifts I PR--190 deadlift, 145 back squat, 60 snatch, on the leader board for the 5k, etc. And I've got from a size 10/12 to buying mostly size 8 pants and dresses. That is nothing to feel badly about!

So tomorrow I will continue to purge the toxins and input only good, yummy, clean food.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Rest weekend

I'm off until next Tuesday.

Thank god I took those few extra hours to sleep in this morning. I really did not need to do pushups. I did 20 good ones in the kitchen while I nuked some food last night.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Smooth moves

Snatch skill day
muscle snatch x 2
snatch balance x 2
snatch squat x 2

Top Load: 60lbs (PR)

Quick post--I love skill days. Today I kept adding weight, adding weight, etc...and the form held, I got under the bar, squats were deep, elbows were fast (for me), movement was smooth. For once I feel like things are coming together on a complex lift. I remember my first snatch day and I could barely get the pvc pipe to move right--Keturah just made me work a 15# bar that day and just kept saying "it will come". It has. What a difference 5 months makes!

Shout out to Maureen, who just joined CFOT--awesome job today! She worked the snatch movements like it was the most natural thing (we all know it isn't)--she'll be hitting major PR's in no time! Woot!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


WOD: "Helen"
3 rounds
400m run
21 Kettlebell swings
12 pullups
Time: 14:40 (PR)

I almost slept through my alarm this morning, but I am glad I didn't! I got there just in time for some sweet Helen fun. I wrote yesterday about how I was so tired, hungry, and generally not up to par. Today I "brought it". I had almost 7 full hours of sleep, a perfect zone dinner (turkey kielbasa, and tons of veggies) and was ready to rumble. Until pullups on round 2--almost met pukie. I held it together and finished. It felt good to push myself until I wanted to puke. I felt really strong for a change. The pullups are only about half (18) chin totally over the bar, but we're getting stronger. I can feel it. Time wise, this was about 2 whole minutes faster than my first attempt. On June 5th, my time was16:36. I can easily shave off another two minutes if I get good and consistent on pullups, but it might take a year vs 6 weeks. :)

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


WOD: 5 rounds for time
15 push press (65#)
300M row
Time: 25:40

Today I hit the box on barely 5 hours of sleep and a completely empty stomach. I was bleary eyed stumbling in, but that didn't last long. I had to dig deep this morning, but I got the work done. LTC Dan put on a clinic at this mornings workout, it was fun to watch. I just wanted to survive. I dug to that deep place inside where you store energy you didn't know you had to get those push presses done. It was my first time doing that much weight/rep--I'm ready for Fran now! :)

This morning I realized that you can come and do the workouts, go through the motions and that is ok, but to have a great performance in the box, all the factors must be there. Head in the game, rested, well fed, hormones balanced...just like any athlete in any sport needs for game day. Only, here at CF, everyday is game day. Now I've just got to "bring it"

2 eggs, 1 egg white scrambled w/ sprinkle of cheese
1 c cantalope
3/4 english muffin w/ just a tiny bit of butter and organic, no sugar added jam.


This weekend was a weekend of thinking. Thinking about life, loosing, missing, hurting, pain, joy, family, happiness, and strength-both inner and outer., mental and physical.

I had to attend my husband's grandmothers funeral. As most of you readers know, Chip has been deployed to Afghanistan for over 8 months and we've been apart more than 11. Chip's family is very tight knit, something I had never experienced until I met his family. While I never got to know Grandma Mary very well since she's been quite ill the past 6 years, I knew I had to be there for Chip and his family this weekend. I couldn't replace Chip, but I was apparently the best stand in possible. I had dozens (he has a big extended family) of people thanking me for coming to support the family and asking about Chip and his well being, my well being etc. So many people asked what I did to survive all this time alone, apart from Chip, worrying, stressed, etc. I told them I didn't really worry, just sometimes, because I know Chip is doing the best he can to keep him and his men safe and my worrying doesn't change a thing. I said I just keep myself busy, working out, running, completing a triathlon, etc. Others couldn't help but notice my ripped and calloused hands, and refusal of of desserts and carbs and asked--what?? I said "i lift a lot, and run, and do this thing called Crossfit" -- staying healthy is what keeps me sane and balanced. They just couldn't comprehend that working out helps me not to worry. This is the truth.

Crossfit has allowed me to find the "me" in me again. That former hard nosed, I can do anything, survive anything, try anything kind of confidence that I had before I became a broken, self-loathing, wannabe tough girl. I have decided that being physically strong and healthy allows for confidence in other areas--knowing that my marriage will survive any test the Army gives us, confidence I can keep my $hit together in the darkest, loneliest days, that I can do the tough emotional things like be there for my in-laws, my "sis", and even the extended family as a way to bring Chip that much closer to them when he is so far away.

My quest to build physical strength through Crossfit has more importantly transformed my mental strength in more ways than I could have imagined.

Can you tell I'm missing Chip? Luckily all this new mental stamina should get me through the next 110 days or so without any breakdowns!

Sunday, July 19, 2009


I feel like I've been slacking lately and am slipping in my motivation to work out on my own outside of crossfit and to eat that zone/paleo diet I attempt to eat. I'm currently bloated up on carbs I shouldn't have eaten...I'm sure it will take a few days of eating clean to get pizza (my first in 6 months), and a burger and fries out of my system. I'm so freaking weak when it comes to food. I LIKE CARBS...

I should've have done SOMETHING this weekend instead of sit on my butt and wander around DC. Tomorrow I have to miss CF due to a family funeral (Chip's grandma passed away). My running gear is packed for a run in the a.m.--it should be nice and cool. But, I know I'm going to want to sleep in and stay in my little cocoon. I miss running, but I really miss running with friends. My running buddies have ditched me for marathon training and all they do is run, run, run. blahhh! I'm so glad I found crossfit, but there really is nothing like putting in an 8-10 miler with friends on a Saturday morning.

I promise to post tomorrow about the run. hopefully it will be a good report! :)

Friday, July 17, 2009


12 Snatch (women was 65#, I did 35#)
12 Pullups (subbed 8)
12 burpees
Time: 23:05

I can only remember doing the snatch once since I joined crossfit back in March. When I saw it on the board I thought, "Great...another move I'm going to suck at...". In my efforts over the last year to change these constant negative thoughts I told myself I was instead going to try my best and work on getting the move down and not be embarrassed my the lack of load on the bar. So what about weight--how many people do I know that can even do a snatch?

Warm up with the PVC and the 33# bar felt so awkward...this was not looking good. Then we switched out the bars to a 15# bar and 10# plates and after a few reps, this wasn't so bad. 3..2..1.."hit it" and 12 reps later the snatch felt good! The pull was strong and I'm finally figuring out where my elbows need to be on the these lifts and that is all the difference. Today I really felt the difference using a hook grip too--for some reason my hands don't usually like that grip.

Pullups were a bust. My left hand is angry at me and is either severely bruised or infected...I did jumping negatives instead. This was all to save my shoulder-its feeling better, but not perfect yet. Burpees weren't as awful as usual and my cycle rate was up--i think all the pushups have been paying off.

Overall, not a terrible workout considering my mental state going in. And just showing up after 5.5 hours of sleep and ice cream for dinner counts for a lot.

I came home, fed the kitties, and crawled back in hour and twenty minutes later I woke up to Mack licking my hair. Rolled over and realized it was 8am. What a way to start a Friday.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Work the Weakness

(This was modified
5 Rounds for time
15 pullups
30 pushups
45 AMATs

I did the modified - 9, 18, 27

Time: 23:40

Extra: 800M Sprint
Time: 3:57 (we swear it was longer than 800m)

This was a nice little met-con turned into met-strength for me. I have been dogging it on the pullups since Murph when I was just hurting like heck--Jerry critiqued my kip that day and said to work the strict/kip at low reps to gain more strength instead of killing my shoulder muscles and nerves. It has been almost 2 weeks since my last solid pullup workout and today I worked the weakness. I dialed back the reps and did all 45 reps without assistance and without hurting myself. I kipped up and tried a negative on the way down to not rip up my shoulders. I felt really good about them and when my kip is good, damn it is good. I just need to work on transition to the next rep. Tore another callous--any advice on how not to get blisters under them??

I HATE PUSHUPS. I'm so weak. I will totally admit I was not putting 100% into my pushups in either of the last two workouts with this exercise. I decided today was the day to work each rep to perfection...well, almost perfection. I just gritted my teeth and got it done.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Third Time is a Charm

Back Squats

Max Load: 105 (2) 115 (2) 125 (2) 135 (1) 145 (fail) 145 (fail) 145# 150(fail)

Today I learned the importance of form when going for your 1RM and how little tweaks can go a long way. Jerry took us through a technical warmup to get our squat form down and I had some trouble with the concept of "leading with the butt" instead of the shoulders like in an air squat/front squat. I finally got it down. The last time I did this lift I had a bit of trouble with the rack position, but not today, I finally found the sweet spot. Maybe because I actually have a trap muscle now???

Anyways, I worked with Kim and Missy. We got down to business with a nice warm up then started racking on the pounds. We did 10 pound increments because none of us was really sure what we were capable of. I knew I did 120# last time, but that was months ago. We got to 125 and it still felt easy. 135 was a little challenging, but I sank it easily. Then we got to 145. It went like this:

1st Attempt: Didn't quite get low enough, dropped my elbows on the press, pitching me forward and causing me to lead with the shoulders and cut it into a 2 part press. I did it, but it was ugly. Try again.
2nd Attempt: Bad rack position, forgot to hold the core tight. Sigh. Finished the lift, but again, it was ugly with a slight lead with the shoulders. One more round...
3rd Attempt: Bad rack--put it back. Racked again, got the sweet spot on the traps, took a big breath, core tight...bam. It was awesome. The form felt just right and the weight felt light. Mechanics are truly everything.

We were kind of running out of time, but Missy had just sank 155 effortlessly so I had to try 150. Got the sweet rack, sank it, but again pressed with the shoulders instead of the butt/back. Thinking back I think I dropped my gaze and my elbows...grr. Maybe if it hadn't taken me THREE attempts at 145, 150 and up would have been possible.

I know there is more power in those legs...I WILL hit 150 next time.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Weekend Rest!

Today is the first weekend I have truly rested in quite awhile! I can feel my body finally recovering. We will be doing a bit of walking around the city then some relaxing by the pool. Maybe a few pushups before bed to work the "homework".

Friday, July 10, 2009

Filthy Girl

WOD: Filthy 50

Jumping Slamballs
ABMAT Situps
Wallball Shots
Row (Calories)
Box Jumps
KB Swings

Time: 36:00

I just knew today would be a killer metcon. I slept in an extra 45 minutes which was delightful and went to the 0600 class. I was actually awake and not still rubbing sleep out of my eyes...a new CF first.

In my attempt to RX as many workouts as possible I had to go for the Filthy 50. I'm still struggling with pushups and burpees. I just can't seem to put all my strength together--core, shoulders, tris. I focus too much on doing them fast rather than perfectly. I seem to only hit the super high rep days so I don't get to just work on them (I think I just gave myself some extra work.)

Double unders with the new speed ropes were a challenge, but by 30, I finally got in the groove. Jerry really loves sprinkling these into workouts these days. But, I saw better effort on the box jumps which was nice. I will take even the smallest signs of progress. I was happy with the 36:00 minutes, but even happier that between 2 classes I was one of two women who chose to do the Filthy 50 (me and Keturah!).

Now to hit the floor here to do some stretches and lay on my tennis ball...the old back needs some trigger point work. Then it is off to the White House to give a tour and have a fun day touring DC with friends!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

She's got Legs...

4 rounds
400m run
50 air squats
Time: 17:00

This WOD looked like a piece of cake. Maybe it was, or would have been if my stinkin' legs weren't so sore. I was hoping to breeze right through this, but after round one I was fighing a charlie horse in my quad on the squats. I don't know why I'm having trouble with recovery. I haven't had a spring in my step since the triathlon. I'm trying my best to eat my protein and drink my H20, but the fatigue is always there.

Nonetheless, I sank my squats, gritted my teeth and got them done, and enjoyed the run. I'm thinking a long 6mile a.m. run is in the works in the next week or so if anyone wants to join me!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Heavy things

5x1 deadlifts

Top Load: 195(failed) 190 (PR)

Today was the very first time since I started crossfit to go heavy on deadlifts. For a baseline lift, this was pretty good. I was happy with it. I would have loved to have hit 200, but that is a goal for another day. I got the form down pretty well and am excited to hit this WOD again.
Thanks to Jerry for cluing me in so I didn't sleep through this one!

Sunday, July 5, 2009


1 mile run
100 pullups
200 pushups
300 squats
1mile run
Time: 1:02 (no weight vest-maybe someday)

Not much more needs to be said after one says "Murph" in reference to a CrossFit workout. It invokes fear, anxiety, the sheer pain yet to come.

Why did I choose to do Murph this July 3rd? I had done a triathlon just days prior, my calves were still screaming from DU's on Wednesday, it was 0515 on a "holiday" morning. I could have slept in... I had mentally prepped for "Fran", but when I got there Anthony and Christine put on a bit of pressure to do this workout with them. I missed the memorial day what better way to start off Independence Day weekend with a tribute to all those who serve.

The mile run was beautiful...there was a little chill in the air and the sun was just peeking over the horizon. The silence was thick along the river, except for my pounding footsteps. I thought of Chip and his men in Afghanistan. 8 minutes later I was back in the box. 20 rounds of 5 pullups, 10pushups, 15 squats. I knocked out the first 7-8 fine before my arms started throbbing. My nerves near my triceps have been all freaked out lately when doing pullups and the pushups weren't helping. I gritted my teeth, found a way to compensate and kept at it. Some 50 minutes later I felt good, but awful too as I ran that last mile. There is nothing like the feeling of dripping sweat, pain, torn flesh, shaking legs, noodle arms, and slight nausua all before 0630...

Team 0515 cheered Christine to the end (sweet job, girl!), Keturah and Jason kindly operated on my hands, we cheered on some 0600 teammates, then I called it day. A good day.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Double Trouble

Double unders
Time: 27:55 Rx'd

This morning it was really time to get back in the box, literally and figuratively. Since I recently got my double under I decided to pony up and do the WOD Rx'd. This sounds easy, but was quite the upper body and cardio workout. The DU's were hard and I kept trying to link 5-6 together at a time. The most I got in a row was 10--not shabby. Pushups were on my knees but I don't care. I did 90% chest to deck with my head up. Time was slow, but it is the work that counts (according to my speedy guru Sean).

As I sit here writing this my arms are still shaking. Walking to Starbuckies for coffee a few minutes ago was funny too--I could barely walk in my heels. Thank goodness I get to sit and rest and spin my spreadsheets all day.