Working out makes you feel better!

The WOD yesterday was:

Skill
Handstands
Handstand Push Ups
Kipping Handstand Push Ups

“Repeater”
3 Rounds for time

5 Hang Power Cleans
200 M Run
5 Hang Squat Cleans

Rest 90 seconds between rounds.

Rx: 155/105
L3: 135/95
L2: 95/65
L1: 65/45

I used 65lb weights for the cleans which was a step up from the 50lbs that I did last time. I think I’m getting stronger, clearly. Also, the coach commented on my good form for the handstand push ups which is exciting! Those build up my confidence cause they look like they are really hard and they sound cool…

 

 

Last Thursday’s workout was:

Back Squat

3 Rep Max

Close Grip Bench Press
3 Rep Max

Prowler Push
3 Rounds
100 Foot Prowler Push
7 Burpee Bar Hops

90 second rest between sets

For the back squat I did 110lbs, I think I should have gone for 115. For the bench press I think I did 70lbs. I am not sure what the prowler push was since we were all doing basically the same weight. There were 2 thick weights, I think they were 50lbs each. A tiring workout.

Saturday’s workout was:

“RockyRoad”
3 Rounds for time

200 M Run
6 Handtand Push Ups
18 Overhead Lunges
32 Kettlebell Swings

Rx: Deficit Handstand Push Ups with hands on 45# Plates, Overhead Lunge 45/35, KBS 53/35
Level 2: Regular Handstand Push Ups, 45/35, 35/25
Level 1; AbMat HSPU, 35/25, 25/18

For the HSPU’s I used 2 abmats, for overhead lunches I used a 25lb weight, for kettlebell swings I used 18lbs. I could have used 25lbs for the kettlebells but I wasn’t feeling great and was scared about doing 32 of them, so I opted for the lower weight. The overhead lunges SUCK. Not a fan of those, I can’t keep my arms locked out after a while.

That is all for now!

Lightning in the sky…

Yesterday’s original workout was impossible due to the crazy lightning that we had in Massachusetts yesterday. Lightning actually struck inside the building in the middle of where everyone was standing, I have NEVER seen anything like it. It was crazy. And scary. The workout was the “Gambit” which included pull ups, toes to bar, and running. Needless to say nobody wanted to touch the bars after that, and running outside was a little nuts so we did the following workout:

DU’s, Abmat situps, Rowing, for time.

50-40-30-20-10

50-40-30-20-10

500-400-300-200-100

Instead of the 50 DU’s I started out with 25 DU attempts and decreased by 5 each time.  I finished in a time of 18:02. I notice I have a lot of trouble with Rowing, I didn’t realize this until we did a workout last week where everyone started on the rowers and I was one of the last ones to finish rowing. I also have some coordination trouble with my DU’s. Some days I am really on point and other days I am so clumsy and end up stepping on the rope.

Anyways, that’s pretty much it for now. The coach at CrossFit stressed how important it is to record our stats for the WOD’s, and I realized I have been really bad about that lately. Summer is a busy, busy time!

Improvements…

Last Friday was the last day for the 30 day nutrition challenge that many people took part in at the CrossFit I go to. I did not officially take part but I was interested to see how I improved in the workout. At the beginning of the challenge there was a benchmark workout that we completed, which I did in 152 rounds with a 95lb deadlift. 

Last Friday, I used the same weights and finished with 167 rounds on a 90 + degree afternoon! So that was really exciting to me, especially since I felt out of it only working out 2 times the week before. I was happy to see such a great improvement and it made me feel like I’ve accomplished something. It was a little victory that I was able to appreciate on my own.

Getting back into it…

Well Summer seems to be flying by! It’s already the end of June and I see a very busy summer ahead. Caleb and I just got back from visiting my brother and his family in Delaware and found it hard to keep up my eating habits/workouts while I was there. It’s tough to stay on course when you are under someone else’s roof for a week, but I anticipated this and made sure to let him know I would be happy to make salads and go grocery shopping/make some dinner while we were there.  I also kept in my mind that although I wouldn’t be eating paleo, I could still practice the Weight Watchers mentality and try not to overindulge. Caleb and I went for a nice run the 2nd or 3rd day there, but that was it- still better than nothing! I worked out the day after I got back and then did yoga this passed Saturday.

Yesterday’s WOD was:

‘The Chief’
AMRAP 3

3 Power Cleans
6 Push Ups
9 Squats

Rest 1 Minute
Repeat for a total of  5 Rounds

Rx: Power Clean 135/95
Level 2: 95/65
Level 1: 65/45, Assisted Push Up

I did 50lb power cleans and halfway through the workout (maybe on the 3rd round) I switched to assisted push ups (they can get really tough once you’ve done a bunch of them). I was able to finish with 4 reps in each round for a total of 20 reps.

Looks like its going to rain today when I want to go to CrossFit and I only have a bike, so we will see if I actually make it there- it sucks sharing a car!

New smoothie recipe, whey protein powder, paleo cake..Doesn’t hurt to try!

New smoothie time:

For the past few months now I have been making a green monster smoothie every day for breakfast which I LOVE because it makes me feel good and wakes me up, but I have decided to find another one for the sake of having variety and I found this delicious looking blueberry coconut recipe I would love to try. It doesn’t have spinach but I’m thinking it wouldn’t really change the flavor all that much to add some. I love the idea of getting my greens in when I don’t even have to think twice about it.

Whey protein powder:

The blueberry smoothie recipe along with seeing everyone at the gym with shakes after their workout got me thinking about trying out some protein powders. I have no idea why I should be adding some to my smoothies, or if it would make me gain weight/if its a meal replacement… Bottom line, I know nothing about protein powder. I googled “paleo protein powder” and found that whey protein powder is somehow okay, even though its made from milk products. I also realize its important to look for fewer ingredients and to have it be made of pure whey, and I found this one mentioned in a blog somewhere along the line from NOW foods. I’ve kept it in my cart for several days now on Amazon thinking about buying it. I’m not sure why I don’t just do it, but I think I just want to know more about it and why I need it. Aren’t I getting enough protein from the foods that I eat? I’m not trying to be a crazy muscleman, just a little toned- so I don’t know if I would benefit or not. I might order it just because its in this recipe, but we’ll see. Just something to think about. I’ll ask my trainer at CrossFit perhaps.

Paleo cake:

I’m trying to start making paleo recipes just to get the hang of it, so it doesn’t seem like such a big feat. I have a friend who’s birthday is coming up and she is also trying to eat paleo, so I thought I would make her a cake or some brownies, they look delectable and I am a big fan of dessert. I am going to give it a shot.

Yesterdays WOD was:

“Fran”

For Time

21-15-9

Thrusters
Pull Ups

Rx: 95/65
Level 2: 65/45, Band Pull Ups
Level 1: 45/35, Jumping Pull Ups

I used 35lbs for the thrusters and did jumping pull ups. I finished at a time of 4:31. I feel like I should have pushed myself a little bit harder, since everyone was exhausted at the end and I didn’t even break a sweat. I could have gone a little higher weight on thrusters and done the banded pull-ups. Next time! Maybe this just tells me that I might finally be moving up a level 🙂

A remeberence, a graduation…and on to the next step!

My blogging has been slacking, but it’s been a busy week or so and I’m just going to use that as my excuse. Last Monday Caleb’s grandfather passed away from pneumonia after being in a nursing home for a couple years. In my opinion life in that nursing home was so depressing that I know he is at peace now. He was such a sweet, sweet man. Caleb warned me when I first met his Dad’s side of the family that they might not be huggers and keep to themselves quite a bit. So I went into his grandfather’s house for the first time with this mentality and came out pleasantly surprised. His grandfather showed me love and appreciation from day one and gave me a HUGE hug and a kiss on the cheek when we were leaving from that visit. I think it was that night that Caleb was sure of us, I could see by the look on his face when we were getting into the car after visiting with his grandfather that he was enamored by me and how I made his grandpa smile. That memory sticks out in my head. Ever since then, I have been so warmed by the smile on his grandpa’s face whenever we would visit with him and talk about his amazing life working on the Old Man of the Mountain,  being in the war, or working on ski trails for Cannon and Loon Mountains in New Hampshire. I feel so blessed to have known him for the past 3 and a half years, so I just wanted to take a moment to remember his amazing-ness. In case you have no idea what the “Old Man of the Mountain” is, it is a rock formation on Cannon Mountain that was found by Native American’s (I think) and resembles the profile of an old man’s face, it is the symbol of New Hampshire and it was held up for a long time by steel bars, but eventually it fell down in May 2003. Here is a photo taken by Caleb’s grandfather from the 1970’s (he was also an excellent photographer):

I used to drive by this as a little kid and my entire family could always see him and I could never ever make out the profile, but I would say I saw him. One day I told them I really could never see so we stopped at the viewing station off the highway and they wouldn’t leave until I could make out the profile of his face. It made me feel so much better to drive by there and actually be able to see him finally! And driving through Franconia Notch takes my breath away every time. There is just something so serene and beautiful about it.

Anyways, I digress, we had a great service for him on Saturday of last week and his ashes were spread on Cannon Mountain on Sunday. It was really beautiful.

On Thursday I graduated from Harvard Extension School with my Masters of Liberal Arts in Biotechnology, with a concentration in the LIfe Sciences… Whew! A mouthful. My parents came down to see me graduate and celebrate. It was emotional for me, my mom gave me a pandora bracelet and my DAD gave me a card with some cash. I added some caps to my DAD because he is not someone who celebrates birthdays or holidays (except for Thanksgiving) because he doesn’t believe in giving gifts and only celebrating someone once a year, and he also doesn’t like lying to kids about Santa Claus, and the Easter Bunny. In short, I’m not sure if I have ever gotten a card from him in my life. And he wrote a nice note in it that made me cry. It was so special I want to write him a note to let him know how much I appreciated it. I was just talking with a friend of mine about how the gifts you get from someone that doesn’t give them a lot are so memorable. She could remember everything her dad ever got her but not what her mom got her, because she always got things from her mom. I know quite a few people who consider this to be the sign of a dad who doesn’t care enough, but honestly, I think I have learned to appreciate him even more because he has shown me the things that really matter in life and I admire him for that. Not that my mom did anything wrong getting me gifts my whole life, I appreciate her in a whole different light… but I value the lessons taught by my dad and treasure the times when he has done things for me. It was a great day all in all, and I felt a lot of love and was so incredibly appreciative that they drove 2 hours down to see me graduate (which was hectic in itself), took Caleb and I to dinner, and then drove 2 hours back home. Once again: its the little things in life…

And on to the next step… whatever that may be! Caleb and I want to move to California by next January provided one of us has a job lined up. This has been a long time goal of ours and now that its six months away, its scaring the be-jesus out of me. I don’t know how I am going to leave my family. And I’m pretty sure his mom is never going to forgive us! I’m going to save this rant for a whole other post, cause I can go on for a while about the reasons I want to move there and the reasons I’m so scared to. So I’ll wait!

I have for the most part been keeping up with my workouts, although last week I was only able to do CrossFit twice, so it was kind of a slacker week. I didn’t do anything for exercise from Thursday through Monday, and I certainly wasn’t eating all paleo! I can’t remember my time for Tuesdays WOD, so I won’t even post it. Here was Wednesdays:

Skill
Single Leg Stength/Skill
-Pistols
-The Dot Drill
-One Leg Deadlifts
-Clam Diggers

“Cliff Hanger”
3 Rounds
21 Wall Balls
21 Toes to Bar
Then
200 M Double KB Farmers Carry
Then
30 Burpee Over The Box Jumps (BOB)

Rx: Wall Balls 20/14, Farmers Carry 70/53, BOB 24″/20″
Level 2: 16/12, Knee to Elbows, 53/35, 20/12″
Level 1: 14/10, Knee Raises, 53/35, 20″12″

I finished in 14:31 using 30lb kettlebells (or maybe 25). The wall balls were using a 10lb ball and the toes to bar were actually just an attempt to get knees to elbows for me, so I’d guess you would call them knee raises. They were tricky but its better to try and build up the muscle and someday I’ll get there. My shoulders were, and still are, incredibly sore from doing the farmers carry. This was a tough workout.

Yesterdays WOD was:

S.O.I.S. Benchmark
3 Rounds For Total Reps

1 Minute Deadlifts at Body weight
1 Minute Burpee Bar Jumps
1 Minute Row for Calories
1 Minute Handstand Push Ups
Rest 1 Minute

I did 95lb deadlifts (not my bodyweight), and used 2 abmats to go under my head during the handstand push ups (makes it so you don’t have to go down as far). My total reps were 152. I had the hardest time with the hand stand push ups. If you don’t kick up to the wall perfectly sometimes you don’t have good positioning to do the pushup, and it can get tough. Did I mention I hate burpees?

I am sore today.


Reward yourself!

I got an idea from someone’s pin on Pinterest that made me realize that it’s really important to reward yourself for accomplishing your goals. The idea is to put a dollar in a jar for every day that you work out with the idea that you will  use that money to reward yourself with something. Well, I don’t have a lot of dollars hanging around- and I figured Caleb gets at least some benefit out of me working out so maybe he should give me $2 for every time that I workout, with my weekly goal being 4x a week (had to increase to $2 in these economic times). On the flip side, if I don’t workout one of those 4 days, I give him $2… and as an incentive to get his butt moving I will pay him $2 for every day that he works out. Believe me, I am not losing out on this. Sounds confusing, but its just a simple way to get some dollars in the jar. Even if we both workout, we are both rewarding ourselves at least by throwing some money in each other’s jars. I like it because I know that if I keep working out and get enough money I’m going to buy myself some of those awesome Reebok sneakers everyone is wearing. I tried some on at DSW a while back and I couldn’t stop thinking about them, they are soooo comfortable and now if I keep working out I can get them for future workouts. The jar idea made me realize though how important it is to reward yourself when you are working towards a goal, the same way you would get mad at yourself for falling off the wagon for a day. Let’s get some equal treatment! I am graduating with a Master’s this Thursday and honestly, I could care less right now. So silly. I struggled to get to this point and worked hard in school, and made sure to always beat myself down for not doing something right or for not being able to focus, but now that I made it and am finally graduating my attitude is kind of “meh”. I need to turn that around and reward myself for accomplishing this after 4 years of work and school- and I barely paid a dime for it!

 

Yesterday’s WOD was:

Press
3 – 3 – 3 – 3 – 3

“Ring Ding”
7 Rounds for time

7 Hang Power Snatches
7 Burpees

Rx: 95/65
Level 2: 65/45
Level 1: 45/35

————

For the press I did 45lbs. For the power snatches I did 35lbs and finished in 8:36.

————

Rest 5 Minutes

800 M Run Time Trial

————

My run time was 3:49.

 

Sometimes I get done a workout that I feel was so hard to do, but after a few minutes of rest go by, I feel like maybe I didn’t work as hard as I could have. Maybe I’m delusional. But I’m going to try and remember this when I’m in the middle of my next workout, that I should workout as hard as I can because it will be over in a few minutes and I will get to rest. I want to work as hard as I can!

 

Appreciating the little things

It’s been a while since I posted, I lost track of the importance of it, which for me is to keep track of my times/weights of my workouts so that I can actually see myself improving- all in an effort to keep motivated. So, I lost some of the workouts! I do want to note a workout last week where we worked on our goal moves, or the moves that we might be scared of doing. For me I instantly knew that would be the hand stand push ups, and pull ups. After talking with the coach, we came up with a workout that was:

AMRAP12:

2 HSPU’s

8 Double Unders

5 PU’s (using the stretchier band than usual)

I was scared to go to the gym this day because I didn’t really know what I was going to do. This turned out to be my favorite day yet. I think I was able to do 6 rounds and then some, but can’t quite remember. All I know is that this workout made me feel SO much better about myself and I definitely improved on my double unders/pull ups. I also figured out that I can do a HSPU, and its not as insane as it looks. I felt like I conquered some important things that day. Reminds me  of the quote: “do one thing every day that scares you“, one of my favorites. Its just nice to conquer things that you weren’t quite sure you could do. I used this philosophy a lot in college when it came to meeting people, I would go out of my way to socialize and meet new people even though it was pretty scary- but sometimes that’s how you make the best of friends. To me, going to CrossFit kind of scares me each time because I feel like I won’t be able to do the workout right. This keeps me eager to go because I want to at least try it… my mind works in mysterious ways.

Yesterdays WOD was:

Skill
Kipping Pull Ups

“Hang Time”
For Time

100 Double Unders
Then
3 Rounds

20 Chest to bar Pull Ups
400 M Run

Rx: As Is
Level 2: 50 Double Unders, Regular Pull Ups
Level 1: 25 Double Under Attempts, Jumping or 10 Band Strict Pull Ups

I did the 25 DU’s and 10 band pull ups. My time was 14:19, I thought I would be a little faster but I had a hard time yesterday- I hadn’t been in 4 or 5 days and I had a tough time with the pull ups. And the running for that matter.

Random thought: Yesterday Caleb and I were eating dinner and I asked him what the most fulfilling part of his day was, his answer was playing with our neighbor’s dogs. Mine was feeling the rain on my face as I left the gym all sweaty, it felt sooo good. If this isn’t on the blog 1000 awesome things then it should be. Because it’s pretty awesome. Sometimes you have to take a minute to appreciate the little things in life….

Dreary Thursday

Quote of the day:

“work on your weaknesses until the are strengths, and work on your strengths until they are second nature.”

Today is quite gray and chilly outside here in Boston. And my third time to go to CrossFit for the week, I feel like the third day might be the hardest (I feel like I say that about EVERY workout day), because you feel good about the other days you went and you’re also sore and exhausted. BUT I’M NOT GOING TO LET THAT GET TO ME!

It always does at some point or another, which is why I’m going to anticipate it every time and convince myself to go. I’ll put my workout clothes on right away when I get home. I am always so happy when I get back from the gym, and I think it’s important to recognize the fulfillment that you feel after a good workout. I read a great article today on Nerd Fitness that noted how we relate sitting on the couch with feeling good, when really all it does is make you stationary, but we relate working out with struggle and feeling bad- when really its one of the best ways to feel good! Interesting perspective, because I know that I have done that in the past, and still do it, but I’m definitely trying to break that habit. I have found that the seat right at the corner of my couch with the ottoman attached is the most magnetic place my body has ever found- and I have the hardest time getting up from it once I get there, even if I have to use the bathroom. So sad! But it doesn’t have to be that way! You really can put your mind to anything. This year for Christmas one of the gifts Caleb got for me was a book called Buddha’s Brain, by Rick Hanson. It brushes over the psychology of the brain and relates it to achieving happiness. I’ve only gotten through half of it so far, but it’s such a new concept to me that you can change the way you think by training your brain to associate with things in a different way. For example, smiling even when you don’t feel happy can help ease certain feelings and can actually MAKE you happier. Easier said than done, but there are so many simple things we can practice on a daily basis that can change the way we think, and in many ways this can help with gaining the motivation to lead a healthy lifestyle and workout. With this book in the back of my head, I have been trying to associate working out with all of the good things that it brings up instead of the pain that it takes to get me there. I do the same thing with food. I thought I would have a hard time giving up certain foods (which from time to time, I do struggle), but if I look at something like say a slice of pizza- I try to recollect all of the times when I would eat pizza and feel bloated immediately after for hours on end. I HATE THAT FEELING! So I associate pizza with bloating, and it helps me to stay away from it. This can be a bit more tricky with something like alcohol, which can bring almost instantaneous relaxation for me, but too much of it can give me a headache in the morning (almost every time). The good with the bad.

Anyhow- the workout yesterday was actually pretty easy:

Deadlift
3 – 3 – 3

“Diane”
For Time

21-15-9
Deadlift
Handstand Push Up

Rx: 225/155
Level 2: 135/95, AbMat Handstand Push Ups
Level 1: 95/65, AbMat Handstand Push Ups

I deadlifted 65lbs and did regular pushups until the middle of the 2nd round, where I did the modified pushup and lowered my knees to the floor. I finished in 4:38 and did a 400m run after. I did attempt to do a handstand against the wall and I actually was able to get up, but I didn’t try to push down at all. I kind of wish I did, I am curious but I guess its probably more important to build up my strength first and maybe I’ll try one the next time around.

I’m going to go again today!