Better Late Than…

First, I accidentally scheduled my Monday post to go live on Sunday. Then, I missed my Wednesday post because I was having too much fun.

This last week has seemed long, given the holiday weekend and a break from the usual routine. I tried to be intentional in my wellness throughout, although I doubt the Thanksgiving dinner and leftovers did anything towards health. Wellness, sure. I can’t complain when presented with green bean casserole, dark meat turkey, sweet potatoes, and homemade pumpkin and apple pies.

Here is what I did accomplish over the past several days.

Thursday, Nov. 22nd (Thanksgiving Day)
Individual track day

I woke up somewhat early and drove myself to a nearby park where there happens to be a nice track. I spent the day focusing on my running form because I know traditionally, I have been a heel-striker, even though all I ever learned in dance said this was wrong. I watched some running tutorials (yup) the night before and got some good ideas for mobility and form drills.

One of the videos placed a lot of emphasis on good, proper warm-ups for running. For short distances, the coach said about 30 minutes is needed; those 30 minutes were broken down into different segments. I did what I could to incorporate increasing my pace, mobility, dynamic stretching, and other drills into the warm-up. My warm-up took me through about 1600m, and then my workout was another 1600m. I ran 400m, concentrating on making sure the middle of my foot, not my heel, made contact first, then walked 400m and threw 20 air squats in at the close of the walk. I repeated this, and then stretched. I was out at the track long enough that the informal “Turkey Bowl” games concluded, then it was off to prepare for Thanksgiving in Beaverton.

I found it mentally challenging to push myself to run–since running is not my favorite activity–and also concentrate on improving my form. The walks were mostly to give my shins a rest since over-doing it easily leads to shin splints in my world. My legs were spent for the remainder of the day.

Friday, Nov. 23rd
CrossFit HEL – WOD: Fran

My first Fran!

We started the day with a 3×3 front squat workout (three rounds of three reps). I lifted 70lbs. which was an increase from the last time I’d done front squats (40lbs. during an EMOM5 of five reps each).

Then Fran went like this:
21-15-9 reps for time of:
Thrusters
Pull-ups

I scaled thrusters to 50lbs. and used the box for jumping pull-ups. I wanted to use a green resistance band (60lbs. resistance, I think) but I couldn’t spot one in time; I may or may not have added resistance bands to my holiday wishlist. Next time, I’m looking to increase weight and get off the box for pull-ups.

Overall time was 7 minutes and 20 seconds.

Monday, Nov. 26th
CrossFit HEL – WOD: Annie

Monday’s workout started with lifting. We did back squats, working to a 2 rep working load, then scaling back for a round of 10 reps. My 2 rep load was 85lbs. and my 10 rep round was at 65lbs. My shoulders felt a lot better than they did the first time I attempted back squats, although the flexibility isn’t quite there. I still have to spend a lot of time shaking out my shoulders after my workouts.

After our back squats, we went to an “Every Minute On the Minute for 6 mins.” segment. With the 45lb. bar on my back, it was five lunges per leg on the minute. I felt good despite the occasional popping in my knee. That only happened a few times; I made sure to position myself better so I could avoid the sensation.

Annie was next, with a “50-40-30-20-10” structure of double-unders and sit-ups. I have not learned how to do double-unders yet, so I did single-unders (jump rope) with three times the required reps. I positioned my ab mat wrong, so my first 50 sit-ups were pretty difficult. After Coach pointed out the positioning error, sit-ups went a lot better. Overall time with mods: 12 minutes and 31 seconds.

Tuesday, Nov. 27th
CrossFit HEL – WOD: B2B Tabata Squats

I don’t really mind tabata work-outs. They’re good discipline, and they give me a chance to focus on my form.

We started the night with lifting. This time, it was a 3×3 press. Presses are a difficult lift for me, since you’re not allowed to use your legs (except to stand). However, last night in the 3×3, I pressed 55lbs. That’s a jump from the 35lbs. I was used to.

Next came an EMOM for 10 minutes. 5 push presses (read: you get to use your legs!) every minute for a total of 50. Most of us scaled down a bit, so I went to 50lbs. for push press.

Then there was the Tabata portion of push-ups and “bottom to bottom” squats. No, they are not team-building back-to-back squats. It just meant that our resting position was in a squat or “paleo chair.” 8 intervals of each, so the work-out itself was fairly short, clocking in at eight minutes total. My lowest number of repetitions in a given interval was 9 for push-ups (modified from the knee) and 7 for squats (which, after about the fourth interval, started to burn like fire in my quads).

There was much stretching afterwards. Especially of the quads.

Wednesday, Nov. 28th
Holiday Ale Fest

Nope. Not actually a work-out. Just a fun event with friends that caused my Thursday to be very, very tired.

Thursday, Nov. 29th
CrossFit HEL – Agility Course

There are probably better days to try an agility/obstacle course. Preferably not days when you’re still feeling the effects of some strong, tasty holiday ales. But, I went because I: (a) needed to work-out; (b) needed to challenge myself mentally.

One of my teammates is also in a similar boat where a lot of the skills in the A-courses are intimidating. My coordination is coming, but as in gymnastics, a lot of skills still require me to build trust with myself. My body has disowned me in many ways, and mentally, it’s a hurdle to overcome those limitations.

Now, granted, I only got through the full course twice during the thirty minutes. There were quite a few instances where I had to negotiate with myself to try something new. “Spider wall.” Swinging from Olympic rings in a monkey bar fashion. A balance beam suspended from the rafters. Jumping from the tops of boxes onto other boxes.

In regards to jumping from box to box, I noticed a lot of the same hesitation in commitment that I had in gymnastics classes. My first round comprised of a lot of analyzing of my next moves, weighing possibilities before executing a skill. During my second round, I tried envisioning myself making it to the next step. I know I can leap from point A to point B, at least in a jete-type fashion; so, I thought of bridging the gap between two boxes as a leap, and it worked.

The balance beam was tricky, partially because it was suspended from the ceiling. The first time I tried it out, it took me a long time to even figure out how to get up to the beam and then step around the first supporting strap. But, I got better each time.

Olympic rings were my biggest challenge. I never figured out how to climb monkey bars correctly as a child, and that movement was probably something I needed on those rings tonight. Coach helped me get the swinging motion right, but when it came to letting go and reaching out, I hesitated again, and eventually just had to do a straight drop onto the mats. However, I was up there, I thought about it, and now I know another skill to practice.

As I said tonight, I showed up. I could have easily skipped, but I didn’t. The rounds weren’t perfect, but I tried. I’ll get better with time, and again, those lessons are applicable to all I do.

Then, after my work-out, I hunted down some pho to round out the night. Not bad; not bad at all.

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