Tuesday, January 8, 2013

The will to win means nothing if you haven't the will to prepare. -Juma Ikangaa

Spartan Shape-Up, Day 539:

Well, life has simply been crazy. But then again, I suppose, when is it not, for one reason or another. I decided that the best course of action was to stop the (potentially very valid) excuses and instead sweat out the stress. I feel better when I'm working out regularly (well.... after I soak myself in Tiger Balm), I feel better knowing that I'm "on plan" and I sleep better at night when I'm all worn out. (First rule of insomnia: it's really hard to have insomnia, when your body is DONE at the end of the day.)

So. In light of that, I carved out some time, and got myself over to a CrossFit WOD. I admit, I peeked at the WOD ahead of time, groaned heartily, but still got myself in the car and drove over there. It helped to know that Stacey had stuck it out this morning and survived.... so, really, I had no excuse. 

Today's WOD went like this: 


5 Min Foam Roll
"Fire Starter"
30 Sit Ups
30 Double Unders (or 90 singles)
30 Burpees

(Yes. As the saying goes in CrossFit - "Your Workout is my Warm-Up!")

The burpees were kicking my butt, enthusiastically, as burpees always do. Further incentive to get rid of the weight (some of it...again. sigh.), is that things like burpees and running and such become exponentially harder with ever ounce of "extra" that you have to move. It is interesting to know what Burpees feel like 15 pounds lighter (pre-injury/holiday weight) and what they feel like now. It is a learning experience, people. 

Now, on to the main event, after some review of technique... 

(prescribed amounts in parenthesis)

20 Wall Balls (20/14)  - I did 14# here. WOOT. Starting Strong, feeling good.
20 Sit Ups - Still feeling good, busting through 20 situps (after 30 in the warm up). 
20 Box Jumps (24/20) - okay, 16" box for me, with step downs instead of jump downs. Still need to be a wee bit careful of the shin splints. Starting to breathe hard.
20 Push Ups - Annnd, my nemesis (one of them). I'm on my knees, doing them in sets of 5. But I'm not quitting. I'm PROUD to say that every set of 5 was five GOOD form pushups, elbows in, hands under shoulders. I think that is progress.
20 Power Cleans (135/95) - I anticipated the ugliness of this WOD so only loaded up 55# and did 2 sets of 10 with 20 sec in between, where I tried to convince my lungs to STFU and get with the program.
20 Double Unders - Ahh... the elusive double under. This is still 60 singles in Aja-Land. It was a nice "break". Oh Dear, I thought to myself. 
20 Thrusters (24/16) - okay, Dumbbell thrusters, with 10# dumbbells. Again, much lighter than I usually handle, but I recognized this as a cardio WOD, not a strength piece. And, honestly, 20 reps of 10# weights was not as challenging as it probably should've been, but my legs were starting to get tired (box jumps, what?!), and I knew my arms woudl get thoroughly trashed later. 
20 Pull Ups - *cry* Ah yes. My ARCH ENEMY. Still using a giant black band. Arms were tired. Did these in sets of 2-3, but did, in fact, suffer through ALL 20. It was at this point that I was really starting to feel my imminent death. I tried to stay positive and disregard everyone else and just DO WORK.
20 Overhead Squat (95/65) - This is typically  not a strong lift for me, so I pulled the weight on the bar to only 55#. But, when I went to put it overhead after the previous part of the WOD, I knew that that wasn't going to work 20 times. Pulled the weight plates off to leave me with a 35# bar, which I flipped over my head and got down to business. I DID notice that (because of climbing?) I was able to rotate my shoulders into a better position, for stronger OH lifts. YES. That was a huge struggle of mine last winter, I just didn't have the flexibility in my shoulders to do it. SO.... even though it was light, I concentrated on form, and had a win in my shoulders. Little victories. By this time, I admit, I did, almost completely, want to die. 
20 KB Swings (24/16) - Again, you know your WOD is bad when you get to KB swings and feel relief. Concentrated on my form, noted a slight quiver in my legs and pushed on ward. 2 sets of 10 got me through these.
20 SDHigh Pull (32/24) - Sumo Deadlift High Pull with a KB (I don't know what weight on that). Again, I felt myself slowing and "taking a break", but realized I was behind most of the class and my competitve spirit kicked in. I picked up the pace and before I knew it was huffing and puffing hard again.
20 Burpees - OH DEAR. Burpees I'm well-familiar with. But, at this point in the WOD, this felt like the The End of the World. For real. Burpees suck on a good day... but after this far in this WOD, I was not feeling so hot. Like literally, you know where you have that moment that you're like, 'hmm... I may actually throw up.' Nonetheless, I was not DONE, so there was no time for throwing up... a few (alright quite a few) deep breaths and I kept working on these. Slowly. They were not my prettiest burpees ever.... but they were burpees. 
20 Back Squats (135/95) - with relief I came to these back squats. Yes. I was relieved about back squats. I did this also with only #35 - which was entirely too light... but given the fact that I was really pushing through the end of this wod, I chose good form and completion of reps, rather than weight (again, the aim was to make this a cardio intensive wod, not a strength one.) Tiny Hercules (Trainer Lisa) came by to remind me to control my squat and not to just drop into it because I was tired. With a mindful eye on it, 2 sets of ten, and I was done back squats.I was feeling run over by a truck now. 
20 GHD Sit Up - So, since the GHD machine was occupied, this was just 20 more situps. What a relief (although, I have a suspicion I might feel these tomorrow...)
20 Walking Lunges - Good GOD, is there no mercy around here?! LUNGES??? I had a tiny millisecond tantrum in my head, because my legs were tired, my body was tired, I was feeling all my weight and panting. More deep breaths. I noted that much of the class was ahead of me. The temptation was there to cut the reps in half because I "needed" to. However, a self slap in the mental face reminded me that I DO NOT need to, I just wanted to. STFU and get to business. Slow and Steady, so what if I'm last? 20 good lunges is better than the lady who was cutting corners... You're only cheating yourself... 
20 Deadlift (135/95) -  AHhhhhhh Deadlift. I like you. I really do. You were to be my "rest" for the final push at the end of the WOD. Deadlifts come easy to me, even tired. I put all the convenient weights back on, totalling 75# (again, should've gone heavier) and pushed out 20 DL's in short order. That is not to say I didn't grunt and make noise through the last few... but, they were done.
20 Knees to Elbow - a hot, sweaty, panting mess, I climbed up on my box to reach the bar to do my K2Elbows.  I struggle with these on a good day. I was spent, today. I ended up doing these is tiny sets of 2-3 ( much like my pull ups), but kept going, with my eye on the ever persistent Dude that was also slow and steady like me. He was busting them out slowly... again, there was NO REASON for me to cut corners and cut the reps. 2 at a time,  with breaks for breathing... and on I went. 
20 Front Squats (135/95) - OH SWEET SWEET front squats! On a good day, I love you.... but today, at the END of this behemoth of a WOD? I just don't know. I got my 35# bar set again (toooooo light), and popped it up to rack position on my shoulders. Deep breath in as I squatted, breathe out with the up effort. My legs were done. My lungs were done. *I* was done. But I had 19 more to go. I was also last to finish. But, in order to get better, one must put in the work. Sets of 5, I decided, and front squat I did. 

....... YEAH. 

EPIC WOD. We touched on a ton of the major maneuvers, including the ones I really suck at, with the aim to do them quickly and efficiently for a cardio WOD. I think that was Mission Accomplished, because when I threw down my bar after the last of the Front Squats, I put my hands on my hips and pondered Star Fishing (Starfishing, v, when one sprawls, face up or down, in complete exhaustion, in their own sweat puddle, limbs out like a star fish). Instead, I stood up and tried to slow my pounding heart rate with deep breath in, deep breath out. 

I'm happy to say I lived. That was a total of 31 minutes of pure evil. But, I feel good knowing that I did it. And boy, does that kind of effort clear your mind. You can not be stressed, planning, worrying or ANYTHING when you're putting in an effort like that. Impossible. It was exactly what I needed. 

Now, approximately 3 hours post-wod, I'm a bit creaky. My back is noting that we haven't used it like that in a while, my legs are tired (but still moving), and I pretty much think by tomorrow morning, I'm going to want to soak in tiger balm. 

Instead, I think it's home to a hot Epsom Salt bath.... and some gentle 30 minute yoga in the morning. Tomorrow's training entails a 4 mile run, so I've got to stretch the legs back into working by then. Oh my. At least the temperatures have picked up a bit, so it's not so bitter cold. It was almost 40 here today! Yay!

As an aside, staying on The Eating Plan is going well. So far, so good. I've been On Program 100% for about a week an a half now and I feel much better. Just keep at it, one meal at a time. I'm actually looking forward to my newly-instituted formal, weekly check-in with the GT on Sunday. I'll get on the scale, see how I've done, and we'll discuss the week and the week ahead. I feel good this week. I'm following plan, I'm eating right and my head is in the right place. I GOT THIS. 

Now.... where's the ibuprofen....?

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