Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Why oh Why and Getting Creative

Why does life around the holidays always sneak up on you?  I was bound and determined not to let that happen this year, but it did.  This week has been rough trying to get settled in the house, getting drivers license, waiting for movers, waiting for more movers, trips to the Targets of Schweinfurt.  Then Chip decided to almost pass out several times on Tuesday morning--he was dizzy, feelings of vertigo, body not cooperating.  He had been complaining of a headache the night before, but didn't really think anything of it.

Off to the E.R. we go.  Not the one on the Army base....oh no.  We don't have one of those here.  Bis die Krankenhaus.  The German hospital.  He had fallen several times skiing and links this injury to a fall last Thursday while skiing on the glacier and what he thought was a bruise on his neck from his helmet. After an MRI, ultrasounds of his neck, etc he was admitted and will be there a total of two days. Poor guy.  He's probably the healthiest guy in the place, but socialized medicine is a different ball game and I won't even go into that discussion. Regardless, he is getting excellent care, and they are making sure all the blood that is supposed to go to his brain is getting there properly.

Needless to say, getting to the gym has not been a priority.  But, since I still read all the CFOT blogs, I felt lazy and fat after reading about all the hard work being done.  Christine's blog talked about a Christmas day WOD.  I did it in the hotel room. 

30 Abmats (yes, the abmat is with us)
20 squats
10 pushups
Time: 7:30

Had a few wardrobe malfunctions that slowed me down. I don't suggest doing WOD's in flannel pj pants and a long sleeve tshirt....  The abs were tough since I seem to have a new appendage around my waist--3 weeks of beer, schnitzel, wurst, bread, cheese, bread, more bread.  Sigh.  

Then, I wanted to do something else....I looked around the room and spied the bathroom.   The toilet and the shower were spaced perfectly to so some L-sit holds.   I did 5 rounds of 15 sec, with a 15 sec rest in between.

Next week it will HOPEFULLY stop raining so I can hit the new trails by the house, and will definitely hit some killer  CF workouts.  I will have a kitchen too so I will get back on track with the eating.

I am not going to get down on myself, I'm going to accept the fact I've done the best I can under the circumstances and all is not lost.  It is just time to move forward and challenge myself to see how mentally Crossfit I am, which takes way more effort than the physical part.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Schi Fahren in Garmisch

The Christmas holiday was a time for Chip and I to relax and finally "get away".  But, as most of you know, our vacations are never without an adventure.  This adventure took us to Germany's most popular skiing destination Garmisch-Partenkirchen, home of the 1936 Winter Olympics and the 2011 World Cup Skiing Championships.

We got up bright and early on the 24th and drove 3.5 hours to the slopes.  We decided to ski the Zugspitze glacier that day, Germany's highest mountain.  It took an hour to get up the mountain--hauled our gear on this train and up we went.  I always forget how heavy ski gear is, only this year it WAS NOT HEAVY! Yea for crossfit. Don't get me wrong 10lb of boots another 15 or so of skis and poles, plus all the extra layers, ski pants etc...its at least the equivalent of a 20lb weight vest.  Plus, you inevitably have to farmers walk this stuff somewhere. I'm always sweating before I even clip my boots to the bindings.

Chip is a beginner skier so we started on the bunny hills.  I like to say I'm advanced, but after all my knee surgeries I have to settle for intermediate. No more crazy out of bounds madness for me!  We had a great day skiing for about 5 hours and took naps on the ride back down the mountain.

Christmas day brought rain, so we opted for breakfast, a beautiful pastoral mass at St. Martin's (for Christine and Tamara and other you know what a pastoral mass is? I didn't, but do now...amazing!) naps, and a big german dinner with my godmother and her husband who joined us for the 24th/25th.

We had a full day - 6 hours - of skiing the Garmisch "classic" on the 26th.  I love skiing and all, but this is the craziest resort.  All these "wegs" that you basically had to crosscountry ski for what seemed like miles to get to other parts of the resorts.  Also, lots of t-bars, instead of chair lifts since the place is so old.  My arms were fried at the end of the day, not to mention my legs. But, the next day I wasn't even sore.  We did a half day more on the 27th because we just couldn't get enough.

The snow wasn't fabulous, but it was still a fantastic trip.   On those icy patches and sleep slopes I had to dig in hard, find my core, my balance, etc and every time I was thanking all of CFOT for making me totally CROSSFIT.  Any doctor would say I'm absolutely nuts for continuing to ski after 3 knee surgeries and minimal cartilage left, but you know what? It doesn't hurt. My knees did not hurt once, during or after.  Granted, I go to extreme efforts not to fall, but that too requires extreme fitness (and some skill probably).

Thank you again Crossfit for allowing me to do all the things I love to do.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

SNATCH Intervals

a.) Snatch Intervals
Heavy Snatch 1-3 reps, every minute on the minute for 10 minutes

b.) 250 Row, 18 pushup, 10 dips
3 rounds, rest 90sec after each round

Worked out with Chip, Dominic, and Logan last night.  We weren't sure what we wanted to work---I had Jerry's WOD in my back pocket and it is what we ended up doing.  Chip and I took them through the Burgner warmup, then I gave some coaching tips on a proper snatch.  I am so not qualified to do so, but I was the only one of the group who had ever had real coaching on it.  We worked on snatch grips, jump to land form, snatch vs. squat snatch, and the concept of moving the bar in a straight line.  By the end of the WOD the four of us had some pretty snatchy snatches going on.  We all needed to be quicker under the bar, but I know that is what I need to work on. And for the rookies, well, I told them it will come and we will just have to watch some more video.  Both Logan and Dom rocked this for a first real snatch workout.

We ended up doing hang snatches because the weights here are so small (height wise) its almost like pulling an empty bar from the floor which just totally screws with the form.

I used only 55lbs.  I was disappointed in this weight since my max snatch in 75, but using a 45lb bar as the base and not being able to drop ANYTHING just makes everything seem so much heavier.  I just don't get it. Well, it is what it is and I'm getting the WOD's in and the body will adjust to the new stuff.  I did feel pretty strong and my form was solid all the way through if I do say so myself.  There are, of course, mirrors there--I now get walk around, flex and admire my CF muscles! :)   Haha, yea right.   I had some weird tracking on my right knee today that boldly reminded me that I don't have any cartilage left.  Getting old is rough.

Interval work-
The boys did Jerry's WOD as RX'd.  Logan and I didn't have anywhere to really work kips (the boys did strict pullups) so we subbed bodyweight dips and chose the short option to work speed on the row and form on the pushups.  I don't have an unassisted dip on the rings but on a dip bar I do! yea! Unfortunately I quickly figured out those are super hard after a row and pushups so Chip held my feet for a little assistance.  It wasn't pretty but I got it done.

Two days of rest now for skiing--I CANNOT be tired on the slopes or I will risk more knee injuries.
Next post will be after Christmas with a report on skiing and snow fun in Garmsich-Partenkirchen and the Zugspitze!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Filthy 50

"Filthy 50" Classic Version
50 Box Jumps
50 jumping pullups
50 kettelbell swings (used 35lb dumbbell)
50 walking lunges
50 knees to elbows
50 back extensions
50 push press (35lbs)
50 wall balls (used 15lb dumbbell, simulated WB motion)
50 burpees
50 double unders (subbed 150 singleunders)
Time: 34:36

Chip originally had some handstand pushup/pullup workout planned that I was not too excited about.  Luckily, within minutes of arriving Dave and Tim (two of Chip's colleagues) showed up to do their own WOD. Tim had chosen this one...I said screw handstands, lets do this!

While no Filthy 50 is fun, this one wasn't horrible. Some solid "funishment" and we got creative with the substitutions for wallballs, kb swings, etc.  The worst move was the knees to elbows---my abs will feel that tomorrow!  The bar we used was one with wide grip handles--really, really worked the lats. 

Also heard some rumors that Operation Phoenix might be coming here for a project with some equipment/Cert training....  I sure hope so!! There is clearly a presence here and would love to be a part of making something great happen here in Schweinfurt.

I have another CF date with Logan tomorrow! Yea!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Deadlifts, Lunges, Run

Yesterday we did the CFOT workout from earlier this week:

15 Deadlifts
45 Jumping lunges
400m run

12 DL
36 JL
400m run

9 DL
27 JL
400m run
Time: 17ish minutes

I so wanted to hit the elite weight of 175# for women, but had to settle for 155#.  In Jerry's prescribed WOD he wanted touch and go, no dropping.  Well, here there is no dropping whatso ever and I haven't really practiced the lowering part of the DL.  I need to find a video on proper form again. I know it should follow the same track down as it did on the pull, but it still felt weird. Without my beloved CFOT coaches, and moto from team 0515 I opted for lower weight to remain injury free.  For the run, I had to run to the other part of the gym (30-40m) and jump on a treadmill and try to get it to sprinting speed as fast as I could, hence the slow overall time.  Oh well, the workout was still killer and I love the strange looks we get! :)

Chip and I also worked out with some new CF friends--Dominic and Logan.  I met Logan at the Bank getting my German/American bank account...somehow CF got mentioned and viola, emails were exchanged and now we have some new workout buddies.  She is just starting out, but is so excited to have another woman to workout with.  Last night I worked with her on her DL form since she had only done it once or twice before.  I gave Dominic a few pointers too since his back was rounding out quite a bit. We have plans to get together next week too to hit it again.

I hope I can someday do a barbell cert---I really do love this stuff and coach it and watching the body "get it" it really fun.
They are also into mountain biking so there will be plan for that in the spring and Dominic told us about a road bike club that meets on Sundays---and it is German! Can't wait for some warmer weather to get hooked up with that group too.  (It is currently 13 degrees)

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

New Power Clean PR

Strength/Skill WOD:
Hang/Power Cleans
45lb- 3 hang cleans/3 power cleans
65lb- 3 hang cleans/3 power cleans
75lb- 3 hang cleans/3 power cleans
85lb- 3 power cleans
95lb- 3 power cleans
100lb- 1 power clean (NEW PR!)

Ok, so this was my first WOD in the gym here by myself. And first with a barbell.  I felt ridiculous standing in front of a mirror alone, with a few dudes benching and doing curls, and listening to prince and christmas music on a german radio station. Talk about motivation.  I found my inner drive and just went for it.  My form was actually really good (I think) much, much better than in the past.  I had a great pull from the floor, which I think is due to all of snatch work of late, and whipped those elbows.  I only muscled 1 at 95 because I got lazy.  I then just got mad and finished 95 and then hit 100 with no problems.  I wasn't sure I could do 2 more at 100lb w/o dropping the bar, so I just did one so I didn't make a scene. :)

Met-Con Finisher
1000m Row: 4:20
Glut ham (subbed decline sit up bench)
Back extension (used the 45 degree angle one)

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Dumbbell Bear and Observations of Army PT

"Dumbbell Bear"
5 RFT with dumbbells
5 deadlifts
5 squat cleans
5 push jerk
5 front squats
Rest 2 minutes between rounds
Time: 13:02
Weight: 20lb dumbbells

I found this workout on the internet yesterday looking up how to do dumbbell cleans, deads, etc.  Chip was super excited and we hit it this morning.  In the video this woman crossfitter used 45lb dumbbells.  I wanted to shoot for 35lbs, but when I tried 30lbs with the squat cleans my form was awful. Using dumbbells instead of a barbell takes some getting used to.  Your balance is off, you have to have both arms working simultaneously, etc. No cheating for sure!  The dumbbell push jerks are a little awkward--need to watch some more video on this. It is hard to separate these from a push press.
This was a solid workout, a burner, even at 20lbs.  I focused on form and finished each round in about 1:10 or 1:07 so very consistent. I'll hit 30lbs next time.

Now for some mindless ramblings:
Army PT starts here with some random shouting outside my window at 0545.  While jogging to the gym, there were just soliders milling about all over, not doing much of anything.  In the gym, a unit was doing a PT test.  OK, I'll forgive the standing around for that.  After our workout, we did some abs and pushups in the cardio room/ab area.  The unit, by this time, was in the cardio area...the entire unit was on either an elliptical/treadmill just plodding along watching TV.  One guy was even jogging on the treadmill holding on to the front display thingy....Seriously? What a sight to see.  Back in the weight area--it is all nautalus machines and some dumbbells--some dudes were doing curls and bench press.  They were doing like 10 reps, getting up and wandering around. No one was sweating despite the fact it was 80 degrees in there.

They were watching Chip and I as if we were freaks.  I got a million stares of various sorts, but mostly, a quizzical what the "what the F is she doing?" It was great.  Plus, all said and done with a warm up and cool down we were done in 30min!

On the way back to the hotel we passed another unit in formation in a field.  I turn to Chip--"Seriously? The Army calls that exercise?"  There were like 25 dudes lined up doing some wierd squat motion, but really it looked like they were just touching their knees.  Across the field, 25 more dudes were waving their arms around.  Maybe arm circles?  Chip had no idea what the squat crap was, but vouched that several minutes of arm circles/waving sucks.  Ok, maybe so, but really, this is exercise? It looked miserable and not fun at all. I realized the army isn't supposed to be fun, but I would want to shoot myself....   Luckily, Chip said this is not his brand of PT---hardly.  I've already suggested a half "Angie" workout for his first day of command. :)

I feel bad knocking the Army, but seeing a whole slew of out of shape soliders and some seriously questionable exercises, made me feel bad for them all. Up early in the freezing cold, forced to do silly exercises that won't necessarily make you stronger or your job easier.  I know that CF is catching on with the Marines....the Army needs to take some serious notes. I'm not necessarily saying CF is for everyone, but at least make them sweat and do the exercises properly. 

Ok, I'm done with my Army ramblings. This morning I was especially thankful for Jerry, Andrea, Chris, Melissa, Keturah, Danny, Danya for their awesome coaching and the rest of the CFOT family for always inspiring each other and wanting to take it to the next level.


Saturday, December 12, 2009

Strict Press and Row

Quick WOD this morning--
legs were fried after yesterday's track workout.

We did 3X strict press off of some machine is so weird to be back in a globo type gym. There is word that CF is coming...I pray it comes soon!

Top Load; 75x3. worked at 45, 55, 65, 70, 75.

Then we did an ab ladder of full sit ups. 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1. Ugh a burner.

Then we did a 1500m row for a little cardio. This was the farthest I've ever rowed and i did it in 6:30 and some change. The burn felt good!

Chip and I are getting will be hard, but we'll make it happen! :)

Friday, December 11, 2009

Crossfitting Schweinfurt

Today our sponsor Dave invited us along for a workout with another buddy of his. Dave is a week or two into CF workouts and Tim the other has been doing his own CF workouts on his own. We were psyched to workout with them today.

For Time:
1 mile run
rest same time as it took you for the mile
800 run
400 run

There was a rocky track that was about .28m long. So much for accuracy. The weather was damp and COLD, but we did it up anyways.

My times were:
1 mile: 7:00m
800m: 3:30m
400m: 1:32m

Finisher -- inside:
20 Toes to Bar
50 situps
25 Dead Animal Crunch +25lbs

Crossfit Schweinfurt Begins!!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

First Post CFOT Workout and New Fruit!

So we fly out today and exercising always calms my anxiety. I would have loved some sledge hammer work or tossing around of heavy things, but settled for TABATA in the wet 30ish degree drizzle.

400m run warmup
TABATA Squats (20 seconds of work, 10 seconds rest x 8 rounds): Hit 14/15 each round
400m run
TABATA Pushups (same as squats, but lots few reps)

Despite having Chip as my partner in crime this was not very fun. But, a solid workout nonetheless. My asthma is killing me in this weather so the runs were more of a wheezing shuffle. I'm not quite sure how the running will go in Germany--I've been struggling for a few weeks now with this. Grrrr....wheeeeeze. cough.

Post WOD mediation. 5 minutes laying on the floor trying to think of absolutely nothing (try it--its one of the hardest thing in the world to do) 2 minutes downward dog to reverse the bloodflow.

Also, this week I was introduced to a new fruit. A pummelo. Kinda like an orange, but not so sweet. Kinda like a grapefruit but not so tart. They look like big green medicine balls. They are a bit of work to get to the fruit but are yummy and filling! You should try one.
Next post will be von Deutschland, und veilleicht auf Deutsch!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Last First Friday

This Friday was a sad day, but a day of celebration at the same time.
9 months ago I completed my first true CF WOD--on the first friday of March. I completed "Kelly" 400m run, 30 box jumps, 30 20lb wallballs--5 rounds for time. I completed this workout--20lb wallball and all and felt amazing. I was HOOKED.

I came to CFOT when I had eaten my way through months of depression and lonliness due to Chip being deployed for about 6 months at that time. It was not healthy. I got through many of those early workouts thinking of him an all of his commrades serving in harms way, suffering much worse than my measly 30 minute workouts. I felt lucky to be able to do something that he loved and couldn't really do overseas.

9 months later I chose to end my time at CFOT with another classic-"MURPH". And Chip and I did it together.
For Time:
1 mile run
100 pullups
200 pushups
300 squats
1 mile run
Time: 59:09 (no vest)

For me, this was kind of a way to bring Chip's deployment to a close. To honor our fallen heros, to honor my husbands service, and to honor the strength and courage I had gained these past 9 months. I walked in the box not sure what I wanted to do, but when Chip strapped on that weight vest I knew it was what I needed to do.

The first run was awesome. Nice and steady to recover from the 200 squats from the prior day. I took in my last glipse of the DC skyline in the dark--the capitol dome, the washington monument...I love that view. Back in the box, I knocked out five rounds of 5 pullups, 10 pushups, and 15 squats nice and steady. Not fast, just strong! I was able to get all 5 pullups strung together which was awesome. On to round 10...hand were burning, blisters forming, push form waning...a few more rounds found me on my knees on the pushups for all 10 reps. Squats were strong. Round 15 popped the blisters. Ouch. But, Christine came over and counted my reps, and cheered me on through the blood and sweat of those last rounds. I caught my second wind at this point, the adreniline was pumping and next I knew I was done. Damn bloodly, but done. Off for that second mile. I had 11 minutes to finish under an hour. I wanted to walk, my legs were shot, my hands were burning. I would not quit, I would not walk. Men and women in uniform sacrafice their lives so I have the freedom to Crossfit and be healthy and happy and punish myself at 0515. I sprinted the end of that mile and felt AMAZING.

I don't have any great before and after photos after 9 months of effort. I can't claim any great weigh loss. But, I am:
-more toned, (hello triceps and lats! goodbye chicken fat!)
-a better person

I can:
do 8 pullups in a row (started at a hang of less than 10 seconds!)
deadlift 227lbs
run a sub 24 min 5k
OHS 105lb
Back Squat 150 something
strict press 75x3
clean 95lb (and probably more)
jerk 95
snatch 85
and generally just throw down.

In the past 9 months I've:
run 2 10 mile races and ran a PR of 1:30
run a 10k
completed a triathlon
run 2 5ks
run a Turkey Trot 4 miler and inspired the entire family to join me

FOUND THE ME IN ME AGAIN. Thank you Crossfit Old Town, especially Team 0515, for inspiring me, for pushing me, for believing in me, encouraging me, but most of all, thank you for your friendship. Team CFOT is amazing and I feel blessed to have been a part of something so special. CFOT is not just a place where you workout and leave your blood sweat and tears, it is where friendships are born, lasting memories are made, and a COMMUNITY is formed.

This does not end my Crossfit journey. It is only the beginning. I'll be taking a solid week or so off to travel (and avoid creating rancid laudry that I have to transport overseas) and get settled, but I will be back on line in due time and will keep you updated on my adventures from Schweinfurt, Germany.

Thank you CFOT--You are hands down amazing, inspiring, and the best teammates I have ever had! You will be missed.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Turkey Trot, New OHS/Strict Press PRs and Chaos

Behind on blogging....the week in Chicago reeked havoc on my workouts and the diet. I ended up taking a whole 8 days off of crossfit, but got in 3 runs in the meantime. The family Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving was great--a chilly 4 miler. I put up a really good time of 33minutes and some change. Not my fastest ever, but finished 6th in my age group out of 40 some women. Good enough for taking an entire month off of running. :) Being Crossfit rocks.


1x OHS
Top Load: 105#
My last attempt at OHS was 100x3 and I had made serious headway in my overhead moves lately so I was looking for a big PR. Nope...a baby one. 5 measly pounds over my 3 rep max AND I had to have a spot on the jerk. I guess I was a little soft after a week off and my intensity at 0515 just wasn't there after sleeping 9+ hours a night for a week straight!

Strict Press x 3
Top Load: 75#
Just 2 weeks ago I hit 70 for 3 reps and could barely move 75. Today I wasted no time ramping up and 70 easily. Almost too easily. Then hit the three at 75 and they were solid attempts. Tried 77lbs and could't even press it....I'll take the 5lb PR in two weeks. :) The only downside of all of this is that my jackets are getting even tighter and shopping is NO FUN because shirts are so hard to find! And I like shopping....

My diet has been a mess since being in chicago. Carbs everywhere, veggie shortages, I'm not even sure my family eats fruit... and the quantities. Oh my. Why is it that mothers feel that they must stuff their children when they come home? Don't they realize that we eat on our own? When will they learn that less is more?!? I learned that less in more. More make me sick. REALLY SICK. Mostly, just painful. My stomach hasn't felt so awful in years. Not fun. And now we're in the throws of the move and I have at least 2 weeks more weeks of eating out every single meal....this will be the true test of how crossfit I am. Do I have the mental stamina to make this work?