Spartan Shape-Up, Day 469:
Happy to be climbing back in the saddle, I headed off to CrossFit to get my sweat on, while the lingering rains from Hurricane Sandy passed over Vermont.
Our small class of four settled into some foam rolling to warm up the muscles then a couple of sets of 200m rows and 5 "inchworm complexes." Yeah, I didn't know what an inchworm complex was until the other day, either, Blogland... but let me just tell you, it is a new kind of hell.
It goes like this, from a standing position.
- Bend at the waist, hands toward the floor.
- Walk your hands from your feet out forward, until your body is in a plank position
- Do a push-up (Oh, you bet I was dropping to my knees!)
- While still in plank position, bring right leg forward into a lunge/mountain climber position.
- Switch and bring left leg forward to lunge/mountain climber
- Back to plank position
- Side plank right
- Side plank left
- Do a push up
- Walk your feet up to meet your hands
- Stand up.
.... That's ONE. During this warm up, I couldn't help but think of that T-shirt that says, "My Warm-Up is your Workout."
Next, we were on to Handstand Practice. Not one of my strong suits, since I do have the tiny T-rex arms to contend with. Never the less, Stacey and I (the only two ladies in the class!), did our best and worked down from tall boxes to short ones, practicing positioning and getting our feet up. Not easy, at all, it seems. I have a very long way to go on this particular skill set!
Then it was on to the main event, today's WOD. Today's WOD was brought to us by the Tabata concept. For those of you not in the know, Tabata is a style of training that involves 20 seconds of (usually max effort) work, followed by 10 seconds of rest. Repeat 8 times.
- Tabata Pull ups (me, using a huge thick band)
- Tabata Push ups
- Tabata Sit Ups
- Tabata Squats
(Count your total number of reps. Me: 230)
As soon as the clock started and we were off, I had on focus face. This particular WOD would work a lot of my really weak points, and after our inchworm warm up that had worked our core, I was thinking this was going to hurt.
Pull ups were a familiar ugly beast. Yes, I can kind of do them with the band, but about round 5 or so, I was down to 3 at a time, little break, 3 more. I'm determined that I will do ONE pull up before the new year, however. It's going to happen. I'm working my arms at climbing, getting back to crossfit.... I'm going to get there. Since I can't really work my legs right now (eff you hard, Shin Splints!), I have no excuse, right?
Tabata Push ups... right after pull ups... My arms were feeling like jelly, but I got into position (knee push ups) and just went to work, doing what I can. I think the thing to remember here, BlogLand, is that ONE push up is better than no push ups at all. If your arms give out mid-push up, at least you were trying to go forward. My arms burned, my back muscles were weeping and I was watching the clock for every long second, as I eeked out my push ups.
... You know your workout has gone wrong when your tabata butterfly sit ups feel like a relief.
On to something that is typically right up my alley - tabata body weight squats. Today, I approached them not with my usual zeal, but with caution and a tiny bit of dread. Last class, weighted squats made my shin splint flare up to crippling. I had to take it easy on these. I did my squats and put in some solid work... but no where near the speed and feeling of strength that I usually expect from myself here. Instead, I felt tentative and sore. *sigh*
Managed to get the WOD done with a respectable number of reps. Pull ups were definitely my limiting factor, despite how much I was careful at squats. Pull ups are the new focus move, going forward.
It's two days after Crossfit and I have to admit, my arms are useless. DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) is attacking my biceps like crazy. My co-workers have been laughing at me, because when I try and straighten my arms to my sides, it's accompanied by Ouchie-Face and groans. Try reaching for the salt with sore biceps. NO. GOOD. Owwwww.
Perhaps this is where I am supposed to learn a lesson. Maybe I have been focusing on the strength in my legs too much, because it comes more naturally. Maybe now is the time, forced on me by the great Shin Splint Saga, to concentrate on whipping this sad little upper body into shape. Getting that pull up. Getting some really not-on-knees push ups. (and abs, thank you for also making your presence known... I won't neglect my core-workouts either!).
I have been struggling, of late, with this limiting injury. It is hard to pull yourself out of races and put question marks on upcoming ones. It doesn't feel good at all. I'm supposed to be chasing down those finish lines, not backing away from them. However, I have a sense of reason and I know that some time "off" now is better than permanent injury with much bigger physical limitations later. Time off it is, until I'm healed and good to go.
As a former Fat Chick, though, I'm afraid. Being limited like this, has sort of derailed my usual patterns, and I'm afraid I'm going to backslide. I'm afraid I'll lose progress. I'm afraid of all those silly irrational things you think when you're unhappy with what's going on, and your brain has hit Worse Case Scenario mode.
Where there is a will, there is a way, and I'm a Spartan, Damnit. I have an appointment for X-rays on Monday, and Physical Therapy to go to the following Monday. It's cutting it a little close to Fenway... but I'm going to keep CrossFitting, stretching, foam rolling, icing, tiger balming and whatever else I can think of to help this along... and we'll just have to keep our fingers crossed.
Now, I'm off to slather some Ultra Tiger Balm on my biceps, do a little more foam rolling, and drag myself off for a loooooong sleep.