Wednesday, March 31, 2010

At last...kipping pull ups!

Someone ring a freakin' bell or something. With one day left in the month, I finally met my goal of getting an unassisted kipping pullup (meaning no band!) Here's the story:

The WOD was "Angie" (100 pullups, 100 pushup, 100 situps, and 100 squats for time) and as I was stringing up my purple band, Coach JDP called me out. I responded that although I should be able to do kipping pullups sans band by now, I still hadn't officially gotten one yet. He gave me the look of shame and told me to just try it.

I turned around, jumped up to the bar and just like that - I DID IT. Just to make sure it wasn't a fluke, I did it again. My class cheered me on as the clock started on "Angie". Instead of trying to get 100 pullups however I could, (meaning I would revert back to the band at somepoint when I got tired), I decided that I'd rather attempt as many Rx pullups as possible in the time allotted. At the 7-minute cut off, I had successfully completed 35 kipping pullups without a band. They weren't perfect, or pretty, and had to be done one at a time...but they were real! Good news is, they will only get better now that I can practice them w/o the band screwing up my kip and snapping me between the legs (Yes that happens, and it hurts!).

The purple band is dead to me now...DEAD TO ME!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Changes: Spartan 300, Oly Lifting, and Zone

This month I will be changing my training and nutrition regimen in hopes of seeing some major results. I've decided to take on the Spartan 300 Challenge, which starts in May. This is the workout inspired by the training the actors did for the movie, "300" (um, holy HOTNESS).

In preparation for this challenge, I will begin leaning out and working on two major skills needed for the Spartan workout: Push-ups and pull-ups. That means, practice, practice, practice on these skills as often as possible.

"Leaning out" will entail incorporating Zone blocks into my Paleo nutrition plan (14 blocks/day according to Dr. Sears' calculator), taking my supplements (including 5 fish oil pills/day), getting plenty of sleep, laying off the booze for a few months, and adding in some extra endurance workouts.

The goal is three 5K runs or rows per week in addition to 5 CrossFit WODs. Sounds like a lot, but a 5K takes about 20-25 minutes and I can do this in the morning before work, or on my evenings away from the gym before or after my WOD. Although it's not as fun as CrossFit WODs, the endurance work is necessary to build stamina and lean out.

In addition to this, Jess K., Lisa O., and I will be taking on some Olympic Weightlifting instruction from Coach JDP on Saturdays, starting 4/10. The purpose of this will be to work on form and gaining strength. I'm super-excited about this one!

How am I going to find the time to do it all, and still have a life outside of the gym and work?! Afterall, a balanced life is a happy life. Well, unfortunately, something's got to give. So, for the next few months, I've decided to drop my M/W Women's CrossFit class to make room for the challenge/new class. I think the this change is what I need to finally get me over this "hump". I'll miss working out with the ladies, but I know they support me in this decision. This is going to be an intense spring for me, but I am looking forward to the challenge. I am READY.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Baby Steps

I finally made some progress this week in the gym. I'm not talking monumental achievements here: rather, baby steps in the right direction. I'd like to take a moment to celebrate them.

  1. Push-ups from toes: I'm finally able to complete these in the warmup and in WODs. I can probably do 10 at a time. Woot!

  1. Doubleunders: Got my first  ones last night. Now I just need to practice stringing them together. Buying a speed rope this weekend and will soon have mad skillz like this dude:

     3. Also got a PR on Front Squat last night: 135 lbs (20 lbs heavier than last time)

I'm thinking it has something to do with me newly recharged, "no excuses" attitude and clean eating. I'm looking forward to participating in the Spartan Challenge and starting my Olympic Lifting classes next month.

Watch Out!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

No Excuses

If motivation were a water well, you could say mine has run a bit dry lately. Rather than stepping up to the plate and "just doing it", I've been searching for external support. My mind is constantly wondering, "maybe I need to change my training routine, maybe I need a new coach, maybe I'm tired, maybe I'm not cut out for this...I'll do it when I start the challenge, once I get a promotion, once the weather is nice...on and on and on." Enough!

I'm tired of excuses and self-doubt.

I have to take a risk, push myself and just effing do it already. Done and done!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

CrossFit Sectionals - An inspirational love story

I fell in love this weekend. No, not with a boy (sorry, mom), rather with the athletic competition called CrossFit Games.

This past weekend, I was fortunate enough to witness some super sweet freak of nature feats of strength and endurance at the Central Southern Texas Sectional event held at Camp Mabry in Austin this weekend. Thanks to my sweet gig as a media volunteer for SICFIT (thanks, Georgia!), got to get up close and personal to the exhibition of awesomeness. During the first day of workouts, I got to video and photograph some amazing athletes, including many of the coaches and clients of CrossFit Central. Sharing this experience with them was incredible and super motivating for me. (Top right: Lisa and I resting in the background after getting lots of video & photos for Bottom right: me watching on the front lines as Coach Big Mike knocks out the handstand pushups during WOD #2. Pics courtesy of

See all SICFIT coverage of the event here.

What I witnessed has forever changed the way I view CrossFit. No longer is it a means to an end for me. It's not just "my gym" or the way I workout to get in shape. Now, I understand that it's a sport and a competition. And, as a CrossFitter, I am an athlete. I realize that I maybe on the "JV" team now, but I'll make varsity by this time next year - that is a promise.

I felt more emotion, power, love, and determination over the course of last weekend, than you see in other professional sporting events these days. It was incredible. I got a real sense of the community that is CrossFit. Pretty powerful stuff and I want to be a part of it. Done and done. 

(Pic: At left, Lisa and I again, pre-lunch excursion off base. Good Times!)

Needless to say, I've been bitten by the CrossFit Games bug. I'm officially setting a goal to compete at Sectionals 2011. I already told my coaches and friends and I expect them to hold me to it! Their support will be key to preparing me for the task ahead. In addition to mastering the kipping pullup, I've got to work on some of the other skills that are known to show up in these workouts: handstand pull ups  push-ups (you know what I meant), double unders, and muscle-ups. Whew. Who knew my desire to be fit and healthy would transform into the desire to compete with the fittest people in the world?! Exciting. Join me!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Revisiting my 3-month goals

In early January, I set some goals that I wanted to accomplish by April 1. They were:

1. Perform kipping pullups (3 consecutive) without band assistance
2. Perform push-ups from toes (10 consecutive)
3. Complete 5 CrossFit WOD's per week (4 in class, 1 on my own)
4. Lose another 5% body fat
5. Have completed 100 sit ups per day since 1/4/10
6. Have competed in, or registered for one organized race event

Here's how its going:

1. I'm almost there w/the kipping pullups. I WILL GET THEM!
2. I can do 5 pushups from toes now...I WILL GET THEM!
3. I have completed at least 5 CF workouts every week since Jan - on target!
4. I've lost 3% body fat to date - on target!
5. Seriously forgot about this one. Ooops!
6. I'm all set to compete in the Warrior Dash on May 1 and am looking to add a 5K to my spring schedule.

Fortunately, I've managed to make progress towards reaching my goals, but I'll be honest, it hasn't been something I've really focused in on everyday  (I can only imagine where I would be if I were more mindful of my goals).
In addition to the aforementioned goals, I've decided to add in 2 more. These goals are focused on building my endurance and speed. 

7. sub-3 minute 800m
8. sub-20 minute 5k row

I have posted these goals on my fridge and in my cubile for the next 30 days and will cross them off as I accomplish them. Also, I'm meeting with a group of like-minded gals tomorrow and once a week for the next month to make sure we're staying on track. No excuses now!

Time to get serious. Let's crush it!

Friday, March 5, 2010

New PRs..because that's what I do

My new CF Total Score: 430

Back Squat: 155lbs (+10) PR
Shoulder Press: 70lbs (+5 over last time)
Deadlift: 205lbs (+20) PR - I broke 200 lbs and didn't compromise form! Woot!!

It was magical in the gym last night - all of us PR'd! To quote Coach JDP, "We're PR-in', because that's what we do." Damn straight!! I'm so proud of everyone in class for crushin' it

My score  is 35 points better than the last Total benchmark on Feb 3rd, 2010. I'd say that's some good progress in 29 days. I attribute my success to lifting heavier, working on form, clean nutrition, and the addition of AdvoCare Muscle Strength to my daily routine.

And, with the continued use of TriggerPoint therapy, I'll be able to get my shoulders back into gear. Next time we do CF Total, I'm shooting for: 165 BS, 85 SP, and 225 DL. I can do it. I'm a monster.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Paleo, primal, local, organic, sustainable, FOOD!

Call it what you want...this is my nutrition philosophy and my savior:

I was introduced to all things Paleo in September 2009, by the wonderful coaches of CrossFit Central at a Level 1 Nutrition meeting. In that meeting, they presented this theory of nutrition for performance and overall health sustainability as acclaimed by Robb Wolf, CrossFitter nutritionist extrodionare. The next day, I went to Barnes & Noble on my lunch break and bought the book, The Paleo Diet for Athletes by Loren Cordain. A few days later, I was ready to subscribe to the theory and test it out. All I had to lose was some body fat and perhaps an addiction to sugar. I had no idea how much I would gain...

Over the last 6 months, I've soaked up more inforation on nutrition, athletic performance, supplementation, overall health & wellness, and food industry missteps than I thought possible. With every new blog I discover, friend I speak with, or new article I read on the subject of this paleo/primal eating trend, I solidify my resolve to be healthier. I'm on to something BIG!

My friends, family, and co-workers have taken an interest in the changes that I am making and have started seeking my advice on their workout/diet routines. Understanding that my nutrition philosophy is now much more "deep", I find it tough to explain it. It's easier to tell someone that you're not eating bread and pasta so you can fit into a swimsuit/wedding dress, or giving up candy for Lent. Telling them that you are eating as you were genetically programmed to do for optimal health, typically evokes some sort of judgement or denial. So, here's my dilema: How can I explain something that completely goes against what they have been taught their whole lives?

Just my luck! I found these gems out there in the websphere. They sum it up nicely:

From now on, I can just send people these links to give them an idea. It's up to them to put the work in by reading the books, blogs, articles and testing it out on themselves. :)