fitness and nutrition

A Year of Endurance

52 weeks. 52 workouts. Some as short as a half hour. Some as long as 90 minutes.

Learn how to manage your energy. Focus on your pacing. From easy to comfortable to moderate to hard to very hard to sprint. Can you figure out the difference? Then, can you apply it?

As it is with most of my challenges, the number one rule is just show up. Many of these workouts were done early in the morning on the C2 bike at the gym. Often, I opted for them when none of my friends could make it to CrossFit or when I woke up extremely early and could fit it in before class.

And I’ve made it to the end. 52/52. The program is designed with initial tests and retests. How did I progress? In all of the tests I took a solid percentage off of my times from last January. Almost a minute in some cases.

Many days I didn’t feel like it. Many days I struggled. Many days my paces were slower than what they should have been. But I kept at it. I did not quit.

And honestly, the real sense of victory came on a recent fat tire snow bike ride. A lot of the first 90 minutes of the ride were up, up, up. Gentle inclines to moderately steep. All of it on SNOW. Keeping in mind this is a klutzy girl who actually fell off the bike before we even made it out of the parking lot, I was pretty anxious about riding on snow. But once I got the hang of it, I was all good, especially going up. I could just keep going with a few breaks here and there. Even figured out most of the uphill hairpin switchbacks. Being able to do long endurance outside of the gym is a different sort of test, and one I feel I passed with the high five at the top from our guide.

There are many in the SP endurance community that are on their third year with no misses. Will I continue? Probably, but I will also probably branch out into other bikes or rowing or running. A goal to think about. For now, I will smile as I relish the rewards of just showing up, time and time again. A new badge in my app and a medal in my mailbox. All it takes is once a week. Just keep doing it. Give what you have that day. Consistency really is key.

fitness and nutrition

Run Forrest Run

Oh how I wish I was Forrest Gump some days. Like the days my gym programs a running workout or when my friends do a trail run. I’m just not a motivated distance runner. I’m more of a short sprint girl. 

Hill sprints off and on, no problem. 200 meters, no problem. 400 meters may push my limit. 800 meters just seems overwhelming on most days early in the morning when it’s dark out.

A few weeks ago I strolled into the gym at the wee hours of the morning or more specifically 6 am. A friend called out what are you doing here? It’s a running day she shouted. I giggled because I knew it and still showed up. I had my running shoes on instead of my CrossFit shoes. I felt prepared. I knew I wouldn’t do the run as prescribed for many reasons but I committed to walk/jog/run the entire time. Just keep moving, that was my goal. Lo and behold I did it and felt accomplished.

I had a week off for spring break so I missed the next running segment. Of course I didn’t care because most know I am not an avid runner. Then today came. Another running day. Do I even go to the gym because I could run at my house or the park? Unfortunately, I know I won’t so I go to the gym for accountability and my routine. Sure I was tired. Sure I was not excited about running, but I somehow put my mind to it.

This time was different. We had three options today. Mostly the options had to do with pacing. Meaning I run a lot slower than a 22 year old guy thus I could elect to run for the same time he would and not worry about my distance per se. This was brilliant for me. I didn’t feel discouraged for me slower and I still got my rest time allowing me to maintain my pace.

I got to choose my path or route outside. I had a set run time and off time. I chipped away at the task. I even enjoyed it. Partly because of my music selection but nonetheless this was a big win for me. I even opted for hill sprints for my last 45 second sets. The picture above was snapped for me to hold on to. First I am confident I can do this workout again and improve my pace and distance. Second it’s a starting point for me to say I came back to running this way. 

Who knows where my running will take me now but just a few years ago I was able to run a half marathon. That may be ambitious today but everyone starts somewhere. Today I’m celebrating my little run progress and the fact I enjoyed it.

challenges

Frustrated 2.0

I started this post a few weeks ago and then stopped. Just stopped mid-stream. The post was negative. I don’t like to write about negative attitudes. However, here I am a few weeks later and I’m crotchety again. Go figure.

I’ve been dealing with chaos for a couple of months on a few projects. One stalled for this reason. Another sidelined for a different reason. Lack of human capital on another. Just one roadblock after another.

I’ve kept my calm. I’ve committed to endure the test of time. What I have little tolerance for is ignorance, laziness and stupidity. When any of those factors hinder my progress I want to bang my head on the wall. Literally and physically.

Sometimes I just don’t get how something so simple seems so challenging for others. Am I a details snob? Weather has been rain rain and more rain. This hinders outdoor projects. Supply chain issues hinder renovations on the home front, even something as simple as getting a fence put in.  Transportation issues arise. Add in price increases due to supply and demand. Thanks Corona. Thanks for complicating life on a whole different level.

Some examples to note for my review in the future when I revisit my blog time capsule: I went to Best Buy it was closed at 8pm on a Saturday. Wow. I went to a furniture store for a need and guess what they close at 7pm on a Friday. Places are still buttoned up tight from Corona. I hadn’t seen it as much as I’ve been on the home front a bunch. Just a big wake up call I suppose.

All these small things keep adding up and boom stupidity hit. Lack of preparation on somebody’s part causing an emergency on my end. Should life work that way? Most days I bend and flex but some days I draw a line in the sand and say no way. Solve your own issues. I have enough of my own.

When I look back 20-25 years, I had to lean on myself for problem solving or engage resources to help in shortcomings. Today‚Äôs younger generation is just not built the same way. If google can’t fix something you might as well call in the marines.

Maybe we need to go back to the card catalog and encyclopedia days and do some leg work to get answers vs. having google supply a cheat sheet.

I am cranky so this is my cranky pants post. You may see one or two of these a year. So sad to say the first one is already in the books.

fitness and nutrition

The Burn

21.1 of the CrossFit Open. Year 5 for me. The unknown workout hits as a news flash Thursday evening. Gyms across the world scramble to prepare their boxes.

I was busy and didn’t really watch the announcement this year. Very different than past years. I watched a glimpse of a Youtube video as I headed to the gym in the dark of the morning. I was tired before arriving. Wasn’t prepared as I should have been.

The setup at my box was new this year as well due to new ownership. Some regulars were not in class that day. Many distractions. The 5 am class noted the difficulty of being upside down under fatigue over and over again.

I was in heat two. Face down on the floor to measure my tape-to-wall distance. Time to start. 15 minutes on the clock. Off I go. Somehow I knocked one wall walk rep out quickly.  At this point I exceeded my expectation. Off to do sloppy double unders. Two at a time. They were not pretty. Knocked those out. 2 minutes into the 15 minutes and I’m back on the wall.

My next rep was wobbly. I took my time and paused. The next rep I was stalled at the wall. I wasted so much energy. I dropped, defeated. Determined I went on the wall about three more times and stalled at the same place. A hair shy of line I need to touch with my left hand. It was awful. To be so close yet so far.

Every muscle from my toe to shoulder seemed engaged to hold my thick self upside down in the nearest straight line I could imagine. This was mentally and physically taxing on my already tired self.

I walked away from the stupid wall. I broke and did some extra double unders just to shift my mind. They didn’t count but I did them anyway to give myself a feeling of accomplishment. Back to the wall. I got another rep. Yes!

Take a little break and try again before the time is up. Failure. Fatigue. Frustration. Try again. Stalled on the wall. The story of the morning. Stalled on the wall. I was close but didn’t get the last one wall rep to move along to the next round. I was frustrated to a point but still happy I beat the wall a couple of times.

I felt good the rest of the day. I figured I would try again before Monday. Until Saturday, when woke to sore shoulders. Tightness in places I haven’t felt ache before. I used my theragun and my shoulders said nope this is beyond normal soreness. Rest day it is for this girl. I did other things but I took a day off from the gym. Not normal for me but I do listen to my body when it needs to recover.

Now the big decision is repeat on Monday or hold firm on my low score? I have more in the tank but do I want to repeat such a grueling shoulder wod? Time will tell.

It seems CrossFitters are a bit crazy so anything is possible. The decision for me is can I prove to myself that I can get better? Whether I choose to make another attempt or not is growth for me. I evaluate the pros and cons. I comb over my initial performance and I see where I have opportunities to grow. 

The wall in the wod can be such a reflection of life. The many times you climb knowing you may fall. The rising again to persevere. You don’t win every time but you sure do try. That’s life. To me CrossFit mirrors life in many ways. That’s why many never try CrossFit. It’s hard. Some avoid doing hard things in life. For now I feel that burn. The burn of my shoulders and all the fibers from head to toe that we’re engaged for 21.1.

With the burn comes a feeling of pride. I am physically able to do the same work as younger and fitter athletes. My body endures the same movements despite my body being weathered. Rep count may be different but the body mechanics are the same. I work hard to be able to endure the physically taxing workouts. My burn is filled with pride.

I challenge you to climb that wall in your life knowing you may fall. You will learn from the experience. Just make the climb.

mental health

Power

Who has the power?

Is it me or is it you?

Is it physical strength? Is it mental strength? Do you even know?

If one thinks they have mastered the power of words and the power of persuasion, does that make him or her strong?

The ability of strength can be determined by how long one can endure. Maybe endure the battle. Maybe it’s the power to endure pain. It could even be the power of patience. Waiting. Sitting idle. A sleeper cell of sorts.
Sometimes people mistake physical strength for power. Sometimes people overlook the strength required to endure a long battle. Maybe even a battle of the minds. 

Patience. Persistence. Consistency. Loyalty. These are all words that develop a powerful individual. Add a little street smarts and power is magnified. One may be little but still be fierce.

People should always be aware of the underdog. One should never underestimate the power or strength of a determined underdog. I admire many who battle daily as the underdog. I may even enjoy being named an underdog.

Push my buttons. I dare you. I am built to endure on many levels. I welcome a challenge. I also cheer for underdogs near and far. I advocate for those who lack strength when a bully is in sight.

Just a random rant worth a read. Life is full of shitheads. Are you a person I may refer to as a shithead or are you an underdog I may fight for?