Sunday, January 29, 2012

“Real difficulties can be overcome; it is only the imaginary ones that are unconquerable.” -Theodore N. Vail

Spartan Shape-Up, Day 192:

Hey BlogLand.... so, I'm not dead, I swear. I just sort of fell off the wagon (...and got run over by it), for a day or two. BUT, I have regrouped, gotten my head back in the right place, and I was back at it today, full force.

I must admit, the winter and my sleeping issues are really ruining my life right now. For reasons I won't go into here, for sake of your sanity, it's really been derailing my training. I just looked at my tracking spreadsheet (for the last four weeks), and was tragically disappointed at the number of empty boxes (rest days). I got irrationally angry with myself, as it is my own fault. However, there is no good in that particular thought process, so I'm attempting to be proactive. I'm investigating new solutions to help with the sleeping, and ways to prevent the Winter issues (not the least of which is Seasonal Affective Disorder, from the lack of light here in the Northeast) from effecting my workouts. Ultimately, the workouts HELP with all of these issues... it's just getting to them that can be dicey, because of these issues. Do you see the nasty loop there? Nonetheless.... after a bit of a freak-out on the (thankfully, rational and familiar with my outbursts) GT, this week, I was able to get it back together for today.

Spartaned the EFF Up, in honor of all my peeps that were getting their Mud on at the SoCal race today. I reminded myself that if that is what I truly want to do too (starting in a short 99 days), I needed to get out of my own way and get my WOD on.

To CrossFit I went... where I paid penance to the CF gods, and WOD Overlords for skipping classes recently.  Here's how today went:

- Partner Med Ball Toss (14# ball): This is always a good warm up. It's like playing catch with a buddy.... with a really heavy ball. LOL.
- 10 Inchworms with a Push Up: I hated this. Immensely. Ironically, I was wearing my "T-rex hates push-ups" shirt, as I was hating on this movement... which made me laugh and suck it up a bit. However, let me just take this moment to note HOW MUCH my arms suck. Inchworms cause you to use your arms. THEN to drop into a push up (even though I was on my knees) was near impossible. 10 was really rugged for me, and that was really frustratingly hard.
I shut up, eyes on the prize, and moved onto the WOD:
WOD, Part 1:
"FRAN" (one of the CrossFit Benchmark WODs)
- Thrusters (50#)
- Pull Ups (Jumping)
Time: 5:05 min.
As you can see, for part one of today's WOD, we hit my strengths and weaknesses. 50# Thrusters were okay - this is a strong movement for me, as it is mostly leg/hip. I wondered if I should use a lighter weight, but ultimately was glad I didn't, as I found 50# to be the appropriate amount of heavy for the goal of this WOD: It was supposed to be executed at Sprint Pace. You were not supposed to be lifting heavy for strength, or anything like that... but something you could sustain for 21-15-9 reps, and beast through it. This is a timed WOD, so you're supposed to go completely balls to the wall. The pull ups slowed me down a little bit, because that is one of my major weak areas... but I pushed through it and got a respectable time: 5:05. It is deceptively "fast", because of the jumping pull ups, I think. If I had been using bands, or been self-powering actual pull ups, I'm pretty sure it would've slowed me down to get through them. Nonetheless, I did the best I could do, TODAY, with what I've got to work with (t-rex arms).

I must confess, however... I was beasting through Fran, determined to really push myself to this Sprint Pace we were supposed to be aiming for (no breaks! no lolligagging! Shut up and lift!). At the end of that 5:05, I was done, walked around a few steps, then assumed the common Crossfit position. Hands on Knees, panting, trying to convince yourself that your body is *wrong*, you definitely do not have to throw up. My body was not so sure. I felt a little better knowing that the guy (approx. my age) who was going at about the same pace, and appeared to be equally pushing myself, was right next to me, in much the same stance. Iwillnotthrowup, Iwillnotthrowup.... haha... AH yes, and we call this "Fun!".

Anyway, after getting our times on the board and recovering a bit, it was on to WOD, Part 2:
5 Rounds, For Time:
10 Wall Balls (14#)
10 Ball Slams (14#)
Time: 5:07 min.

I was immensely glad that I was in the half of the class that did Fran first. Not sure I would've been able to so successfully complete Fran's Thrusters, after doing these wall balls... wall balls, in theory, should be the easier movement, but after the Fran time, my legs were shaking on my last round. Got it done though, and put a lot of ... Love... into those ball slams! haha... Enthusiasm, perhaps? There is something very gratifying about purposely slamming something repeatedly to the floor.
Finish time, 5:07. Pretty good. Above the class average for this half of the workout. I, again, credit my long-standing squat-practicing (GT, I hate it when you're so completely right.).
After all of that, I pretty much wanted to collapse into the CrossFit Starfish pose (you know, the flat on your back, sprawled out on the rubber mats, dying a little?)... However, I reminded myself that it's always better for a fighter to finish on his feet... How much more powerful do you look/feel if you're STILL on your feet after whatever you've been through, rather than collapsing to sit, or Starfish? RAWR. Still Standing.

Later this afternoon, I was looking out the window. It was sunny (ish) and relatively warm... like 35! (hey, this is VT in January. That's a heat wave!) and I felt like I had recovered well from CrossFit, gotten some lunch, etc... TIME for a RUN. I haven't run in too many days, and my legs needed to get out there.
I put on ONE (warmish) layer, and headed out the door. It wasn't a "fabulous" run, as my legs (as it turns out. weird!) were tired, and the traction on the sidewalks was slushy and melty in spots... but I got my miles done. Looked like this:
Time: 45:34 min
Distance: 4.04
Ave Pace: 11:16 min/mi

I have to say... I have been having too many days off. This felt ugly. Particularly so. I guess, really, the stats weren't any worse than usual... but my body was feeling this run, I'll tell ya. Lesson Learned: Stick to training plan, for a reason.

It was, however, really pleasant to not run in 50 million layers, and not freezing my ass off, or getting ice chunks frozen to my eyelashes, etc. I think running in the spring is going to be wonderful this year.
I did have an amusing experience that I'll leave you all with, tonight...
Out running... successfully avoiding the wet slushiness. I get to this one stretch of sidewalk that always has holes/puddles, etc. to be wary of. I'm carefully trotting through that area, avoiding sketchy looking spots... I turn my head, because I hear a car engine rev up, and plant one foot solidly, up to my ankle, in ICE COLD slush water. Like, water over my ankle. As I suddenly feel this burst of cold, I realize there is nothing physically I can do to stop Foot #2 from following right behind and ALSO up to my other ankle in ice water. I simply could not stop the trajectory it was on, in time. Then, I was stuck in the middle of the ankle-deep ice water lake, and simply had to just keep running through it, to get out... 4-5 more steps. Nice. Clearly, I needed to ice my feet, as I ran. It must help?
Then, because to make the 4 mile distance, I do part of my route twice, which happens to include the aforementioned piece of sidewalk, I realize I'm going to encounter this again (on mile 2 originally, then again, on mile 3.... out of 4.). As I'm coming around the corner to The Puddle, I am thinking about all my friends that our out at the Spartan Race in SoCal, crawling through the mud, etc.... and I came up on the puddle....... What did I do!?!

Just kept running. In full stride, without slowing down, and with deliberate intention, I ran right through the middle of Tiny Icy Lake, smiled to myself (hey, my feet were already wet, right?) and kept on running. WAHA. ARoO!

Having said all that, I came home and foam-rolled... and my legs are feeling a bit tuckered out at the moment... trying to decide what I'm going to do in the morning... go to CrossFit? Go Run? Double up, like I did today? hmm... just not sure.

SOMEthing, though, as I'm back with a vengeance, BlogLand. Focused and driven - "Ima show you, how great I am!"


  1. Sounds like you need a change in your workout strategy, beyond sleep. Got your blog info from a posting on Simple Fuels FB. Feel free to reach out if you want to discuss a workout strategy, I train athletes for multiple sports including military athletes, so might be able to shake things up!, if not good luck in your continued training, ill definitely keep up on the posts. Like your writing style!

  2. Hey Tom! Thanks for checking out the blog! I love learning new things about this stuff that I'm delving head first into, so I'd love to swap thoughts sometime (email?). And/or anytime you have comments/thoughts/ideas, throw them on the blog!
    Thanks again for the compliment. Glad to have you joining in my little corner of BlogLand!