Monday, April 30, 2012

‎"We become just by performing just actions, temperate by performing temperate actions, brave by performing brave actions." -Aristotle

Spartan Shape Up, Day 283, 284 & 285:

BlogLand, this weekend OWNED my body. And by that, I mean I sweated, grunted, pushed, pulled, climbed, and sweated some more, my way through this weekend. It was AWESOME.
Why no blogging? Well. You will understand when I get to the end of this... Let's just say, I passed out like a dead person by the time I hit my bed on Sunday night.

Day 283, Saturday:

Saturday I was up early and excited and ready to head off to my CrossFit WOD. The morning was particularly cool (VT has been having a weird cold spell?), but nothing my giant super-tough Spartan hoodie couldn't handle. You really get some excellent looks, though, when you're pumping gas with the huge (oversized) hood up on this black sweatshirt, gold aviator sunglasses, spandex capris and innovates. All in black. I must've been quite a sight to see. haha

It seemed that Saturday's WOD would be a CrossFit Hero WOD - "Pheezy":
(for time) 3 Rounds of:
5 Front Squats (50#)
18 Pull Ups (with a big black band)
5 Dead Lifts (95#)
18 Toes to Bar (... or knees to however high I could get them)
5 Push Jerks (50#)
18 Hand Release Push Ups (on my knees)

Okay, so this WOD was okay. It combined some things I'm really horrid at (pull ups), with some things I'm not so bad at (lifting heavy stuff). Although, it was a bit tricky. Saturday classes are big at the gym, usually, particularly this 10:30am spot. Thus, with WOD's that require multiple weighted bars, equipment gets tricky to share. As a result, we had some shared Deadlifts, and you had to use the same bar for your front squats and push jerks. The way this worked for me was that I was deadlifting 95#. I should've gone heavier. The prescribed women's weight for the day was 155#... which I wasn't quite sure if I could handle for the whole workout... so... I elected lighter. 95# was too easy though, in retrospect. WAY too easy. Next time, I will know. I did a 50# bar for the sake of the push jerks (an overhead move), as this is a weaker area for me. Plus, I knew that my upper body strength would be tapped by the other movements.

However. I am happy to report that 50# was still too easy. For real. At the end of the WOD, I could still push that push jerk over my head without severe difficulty. Clearly, it should've been heavier. haha. I'm proud of myself. A couple months ago, I could not have handled a wod like this with a weight over 50#. Now I'm sure it was too light. Go me!

The non-weighted movements were my nemesis in this wod, though. Pull ups are always a struggle. I got through the first 10 in the first round in a row (with the aid of a big, thick, gray ban), and then pretty much had to do sets of 2-3 for the rest of the WOD. It was ugly. I was annoyed. Toes to Bar (or knees to wherever you can get them), was similarly as bad, though slightly better. I found it was not my grip strength here that limited me, but the sheer ability to get my feet up.
You know your WOD has gone horribly wrong when Hand-Release push ups seem like the "break."

I did thoroughly enjoy this WOD, though, and came out a hot, sweaty, smiling mess. Signs of success, I would say!

After CrossFit, I went home, drank a protein shake and made some food. I had to power up... it was then time to go for a hike!

Armed with quite a motley crew of an entourage, my Up-the-Hill running buddy and I led the charge up Spruce Peak. It's a 4.4 mile (roundtrip) hike, with quite a decent elevation gain. In true Spartan Training style, Stacy and I brought our rocks. Grover was happy to leave his station as my front-porch decor and get out for our first rock-walk of the season. Stacy and her new find, "Hurley", would be taking their first stroll, Rock style.

It was good times, BlogLand. I actually had to consciously slow myself down towards the beginning. Walking at a good clip, not wanting to die or thinking I was going to hyperventilate, and being able to pick up/squat and throw my 15-16# rock was quite a feeling. I remember doing this last year... and while it was not "easy" today... it was definitely easier. I was able to keep up a more steady pace, and soldier up that mountain.

Admittedly, we were not able to throw all the way up the mountain, as I had hoped. It did turn into a bit of a rock carry... As it turns out, the cold snap had brought quite a bit of ice and snowy slushiness to the upper regions of the mountain. It is pretty tricky to try and hold your rock with one hand/arm/shoulder and navigate a muddy, slippery, wet, etc. narrow path. I am proud to say that I did not land on my ass at ALL (there was one close call...), and I only put my rock down one time - at the top.

Speaking of the top, it is time to immortalize our fearless crew:

At the top, we stopped for a bit of refreshment... I chowed down some homemade trail mix (nom nom nom, nuts and raisins!), and washed it down with some water and chocolate/PB/Banana protein shake that Stacy pulled out of her bag. EPIC. Let me tell you people, never does a protein shake taste so good, as when you have just completed a crazy crossfit wod, then sweated your ass off heaving a rock up a mountain. So good, protein shake. OM nom nom.

The next task was... down the mountain. Hmm. Yes, BlogLand, I think that in this case, up was actually easier. Slightly bad footing (again, carrying a rock), is a bit easier to manage when you're going up it. You can sort of pull yourself up it with the surrounding trees. DOWN and you're really just trying not to slide on your ass, to your doom.

I think I really want a weight vest, after this. It will be a great way to increase the challenge of hikes, runs, etc. but have a more hands-free experience. Although, in some cases, I suppose that is part of the challenge, right?

I did successfully make it down the mountain, and back into my car, and home the the greatest hot shower ever (remember how I said it was a cold day in VT?!). Sometimes there's really something immensely satisfying as just being tired and standing in the hot water. Ahhh.

Day 284, Sunday:
Despite having a little bit of a later night out last night, I was in no frame of mind to let the workouts slack, with my race so close on the horizon (I can't think about that right now. Hello, Nerves!). It was up early and off to 9am CrossFit. '

The WOD:
6 Rounds for time:
6 Left Arm Kettlebell Snatch
12 Left Arm KB overhead lunges
18 Double Unders
6 Right Arm Kettlebell Snatch
12 Right Arm KB Overhead lunges
18 Double Unders

I am pretty damn happy with my performance on this one, considering I had some pretty hefty upper body exertions yesterday. I did this with a 22# KB, and almost could've gone heavier, I think. The limiting factor was definitely my left arm. I have less strength there, for sure, this showed me.
I also can not (yet) do double unders, so I had to substitute 3x the amount of singles... so... 18 double unders became 54 singles. Yikes.

However, again, I feel like my arms MUST be improving, as I was able to do this one without putting the kettlebell down for extra rests. WAHA! T-Rex arms... you are not long for this world.....

There was nothing too notable about this WOD... somedays, it's just about getting sweaty. Which I did. Quite a lot of. Win!

Today, Day 285:
... was all about resting. I thought about going to CF this morning, but honestly, my body was feeling the recent exertions. I'd done 4 days in a row of solid Wod's, and it was time for a recovery day. Sometimes, you must listen to your body.
I got the official word from the GT today.... I will WOD as normal, but make my last WOD of the week on Wednesday... my only tasks on Thursday and Friday (a travel day), will be to HYDRATE.
.... and try and maintain my sanity for the race day.

With that, I need to go commence resting. My mind has been going like crazy with all this race prep..... it's time to shut it off for the night.

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