Sep 29, 2011

Name & location change

This will be my last post from this blog -- I'm moving everything to a new URL.

For a while now I've been wondering if I should've put the word "crossfit" in my blog URL. There have been some Facebook profiles deleted recently due to their use of the word "crossfit" and I've also heard of a company having to give away shirts that had the word "crossfit" on them.

Since I just created a website to basically be my online resume as a coach/trainer, it seems like a good time to switch to a new, non-crossfit-containing URL, just to be on the safe side. :)

Hope you will come and visit me in my new space:

And here's my "resume" site, still VERY much a work in progress:

Sep 19, 2011

Squat cleans

Got to practice squat cleans in a WOD this morning.

5 rounds:
5 squat cleans (185/135)
100m sprint
10 AbMat butterfly situps

Results: 11:03 @ 95

I had a hope of using 115 in this WOD, thinking that maybe my squat clean capacity would be higher since my power clean PR went up by 10#. However, I quickly realized that until I do a ton of heavy front squat training, I won't squat cleaning more than 95 or 100 in a WOD. Stripped weight from 115 to 95 after my first 2 reps, boo.

Also had my first experience with blocking my airway with the bar on a squat clean. Woo, that was crazy! I think it's because I was using a men's bar -- that little bit of extra thickness probably threw off that delicate balance of keeping the bar on my shoulders without chocking myself.

Many of the clean felt like the flew up off the ground, and then the trouble was standing up with the bar. Again, the answer to this is heavy front squats. They are in my post-marathon strength training plan for sure.

Sep 18, 2011

Sunday @ Audie Murphy

Went to the CF gym on base with husband today to get a Sunday afternoon workout in.

I made up a WOD that I missed last week.

Rest 60 seconds between sets.


Not exactly earth-shattering numbers, but I think those loads were appropriate as I'm working on dialing in new form on this lift. The true test of how well I did will be what hurts tomorrow when I wake up. If my hamstrings and glutes are as sore as my back, victory, and I can continue to get heavier. If not, then I go back to lots of reps at a lower weight and take the load up slowly.

I had a couple minutes after finishing before the gym closed, so I did 5 cycles through the bear complex with 55#: power clean, front squat, push press, back squat, push press. Love that one. :)

Sep 17, 2011

Kitchen WOD

Modified the good old standard at home WOD today.

50-40-30-20-10 lunges (total)
25-20-15-10-5 pushups
50-40-30-20-10 butterfly AbMat situps
25-20-15-10-5 PVC OHS

Took me roughly 30 minutes. Experimented with some "hollow" position stuff on all my movements. Had a bit of an interesting feeling in my triceps during round of 15 of pushups that I think was promising. Also trying something different with my squats, to hopefully feed into a stronger bottom position in my snatch and C&J. Due to my "special" alignment issues, I think I need to take the "butt thrust" completely out of my squat, and keep my pelvis pointed straight up during the entire movement. Obviously this won't be good with a low bar back squat, but I don't intent on doing any of those for quite some time. All high bar for me for the forseeable future, Greg Everett says so, and I believe him.

Sep 15, 2011

5th Element and Primal Challenge

First off, yesterday I published my first solo blog post for my new blog, 5th Element Fitness. OMG it made me soooo nervous!

You'd think that after ~4 years of blogging, in one place or another, that one more post wouldn't be a big deal. But this is the first time I've blogged without a psuedonym and also declared the type of stuff I'll write about. I switched over to using my real name on this blog several months ago to help me get over the anonymity hurdle. But the stress of feeling like I need to have something truly interesting and well-written before hitting "publish" is still getting to me. I almost jumped out of my chair as I clicked "Publish Post".

Check it out if you are so inclined. :)


Also, Kelsalynn and I are attempting the 30 Day Primal Challenge via Mark's Daily Apple over the next few weeks.

In the interest of full disclosure, my current nutrition status is best described as "free for all". There was a short-lived revival of my Paleo/primal habits from Dec 2010 to Jan 2011 in order to fit into my shorts for my vacation to St. Thomas. That petered out once I returned home from my trip.

And it goes a bit deeper than just eating poorly... This past spring I began seeing a counselor because my on-off issue with binge eating (since adolescence, really) had gone completely out of control. You know the saying -- once something starts affecting your ability to live your life, it's time to get help.

My counselor suggested that I read a book -- Intuitive Eating. The book outlines a step-by-step process to follow to help retrain your behavior from unhealthy restricting or bingeing, to an intuitive way of eating. One of the concepts in the book is that placing any concept of good/bad or restriction on food is detrimental to developing a healthier relationship with food.

This concept made a lot of sense to me, and it gave me a lot to think about as I tried to implement it for myself. But since I never really went on to the next steps of the program (counseling took a bit of a different angle at my request, not my counselor being lax!), I find that I'm stuck in this mindset of "eating junk is OK, if I restrict myself it will be bad".

But I'm left weighing a lot of things in my head...

I don't want to try to start some kind of strict challenge, because I KNOW that is very likely to trigger bingeing behavior, and I do not want to cause that to happen. Things are 100% better than when I started counseling, and I do not want to have a huge setback...

However, I also am not happy with the weight that I've put on while eating "freely", which makes it really hard for me to resist the temptation to start "forcing" myself to eat Paleo again. I know that it works, and that I'd definitely lose this extra bit of weight if I started eating that way again. But even if I get the 8-10 pounds off that I am carrying, will it really be worth it in the long run if things start getting out of control again? Again and again I keep telling myself "no, not worth it".

So, back to the challenge. For me this challenge is not necessarily going to be about eliminating anything from my diet, or stopping anything, or having a list of "bad" foods that I won't eat.

It's going to be about a commitment to learn more about the practicalities of eating the way that makes me feel, perform and look great.

Of course I feel overwhelmed when I start removing foods, because as an inexperienced cook I start to feel like there's nothing I can eat. And the only way to remove those feelings of "there's no food!!" panic (which lead to bingees) is to learn to procure and prepare food that I love eating and this is healthy.

I guess the good thing is that because I never learned to cook many dishes, it's not like I'm starting over. I'm just starting fresh. Except for lasagna, I make a freaking killer lasagna. :)

This week I've done a few things to support my goal of learning and practicing how to feed myself great tasting and healthy foods.
 - I stocked up on a bunch of healthy fruits and veggies that I enjoy snacking on --  strawberries, carrots, cucumbers, cauliflower.
 - I bought jicama from the grocery store; Mel always mentions these, so I felt I should try it, just for shits and giggles. I haven't attempted to do anything with it yet...
 - I made a batch of meat sauce with grass-fed beef; sauce is a staple for me, especially since I use it to cook up my famous stuffed peppers (need to make those soon). I also got a big spaghetti squash which will be good for 2 or 3 meals.
 - I took fish oil today for the first time. 2 capsules and no weird burps yet, so I think I'll up to 3 tomorrow and see what happens. :)

Still more to do, but this is a start. My next priority is to get some more MEAT into my house. Learning to cook tasty protein sources is probably the number 1 way I could help myself eat healthier.

Sep 13, 2011


AMRAP in 20 minutes:
10 push press (115/85)
10 kb swings (1.5/1 pood)
10 box jumps (24''/20'')

Results: 6 rounds + 6 PP, Rx

The verdict -- SLOW.  A better total for me would have been 8 or 9 at the Rx weight. I'm wondering if I should've scaled that down, seeing how low my score is compared to others...

I got sick over the weekend - some kind of gross sinus thing - and even though this morning it was better than it had been yesterday, I could still tell I wasn't 100%. I had no "oomph" on my dip-drive on the push presses, and failed on a couple attempts. Just didn't feel "on". Plus the PP's hit me right where I'm still fatigued from the gymnastics seminar this weekend. I definitely used every muscle in my arm and shoulder this past weekend! I'll be posting a recap of that this week sometime, or maybe this weekend.

Sep 9, 2011


Have been wanting to do this one again (first time) for a while, I was bummed that it came up on a day where I had to play it safe and not get too sore. But I mentioned to another girl after class that we should get together and grind it out at Rx weight (115) so it may still be in my future. :)

5 rounds
12 deadlift (155/115)
9 hang power clean (155/115)
6 jerk (155/115)

Results: 8:22, 65#

I put 75# on my bar, then changed my mind and took off 5's and added 10's to go to 85. Which I tried, and realized would mess me up. At which point I was pretty much out of time for messing with my weight, so I pulled off the 10's and went. Definitely too light, but it was still a good workout -- more like a barbell complex.

Jerks were messy. I power jerked (push jerk for you CrossFitters) and was pressing out on a bunch of them. I just get wonky when I don't split jerk. But that takes too long during a CF wod.

Sep 7, 2011

Audie Murphy gym

They opened a new gym on base where we're at, and I wanted to share some pics with friends, and this seemed like as good a place to do that as any. :) Spare my Facebook friends more CrossFit overload. :-p

I really should've taken a picture right as I walked in the door, but I was immediately drawn to the right side of the gym to take a picture of the rowing machines. Sorinex pullup / rack rig and a couple lifting platforms in the background.

View of the same stuff from the opposite end of the room. You can see a tiny piece of a GHD on the right side. I think there are 3 or 4?

Sleds! Along the back wall. Crash mat for ropes in the background.

Badass ropes. I might actually jump from the top on purpose just to land on that awesome mat! Let's make rope climbs like deadlifts -- back to the ground under control strictly optional. :-p

Boxes along the left wall. Tons of other agility stuff too, and also a bunch of weighted vests. I need to check those out and see if you can unload them to something less than 20#.

Weightlifting area and power cages in adjacent room. Don't know if there's any free-standing squat racks, if not, I may not be able to do much front squat or overhead focus in this gym. There doesn't seem to be enough room to back out of the power cage without tripping over the platform.

However, there is something totally amazingly awesome about this weight room -- THERE ARE TONS OF 15kg BARS!!!!! I have died and gone to weightlifting heaven. Seriously, half the bar seems to be ladies bars. Hallelujah! My current CrossFit gym only has 45# and 15# bars, so I will definitely be doing some of my weightlifting practice at this gym. I can't hook on the 45's, and I can't stand NOT to hook now that I've been doing it for so long.

More rowers in another adjacent room. Holy shit! Too bad I won't be living here during the 100,000m Christmas challenge this year. (Just looked back through my archives, and I didn't post at all about doing the challenge last year. That's probably good because I wouldn't do it again with a written reminder of how much it sucked!! :-p)


Hit the noon WOD today for the first time. Nice crowd, but they headed out pretty fast after the WOD. I still like the 9:30am group the best cause they love to chat afterwards. :)

This workout was pullup and pushup heavy, but being mindful that I'm attending the gymnastics cert this weekend, I modified. No need to show up to that class with hands too tender to even hang from the bar or rings.

AMRAP in 20 min:
25 pullups ring rows
50 pushups AbMat situps
75 squats

Results: 3 rounds + 12 ring rows

Damn, ring rows are killer! I forgot how annoying and hard they are! If I could artificially attach my hands to the bar and remove the grip elements from pullups, ring rows would be WAAAY harder, since there's no way to use momentum to help yourself up.

I focused on pulling my shoulder blades back and opening my chest, but I still felt this more in my arms than my pecs. Booo. Still figuring out the best ways to try to get those muscles activating more.

Hotel gym quickie

We went house hunting for our next move in November, and flying home we were delayed overnight due to the crazy storms and tornadoes in the south. Having planned on working out at home that night, we did a quick workout in the hotel gym.

They had dumbbells, so I decided to do a modified version of Angie's birthday WOD, since I still haven't done that one. After that, I don't know if I wanna do the real one! :)

3 rounds:
16 DB hang cleans
16 DB thrusters
16 pushups

Results: 16:46 -- I used 20# DBs

Even with just the 20#s, my arms were really getting tired! It is sooooo much easier on your shoulders to rack the barbell than dumbbells.

After I finished that, husband still wasn't done so I didn't want to just sit there, but I did not want to do another rounds of thrusters. :) So I did a couple easy rounds of:

15# DB bench press
20 bicycle cruches

Since starting yoga, I've become a believer in the bicycle crunch, those things are awesome!

Aug 29, 2011

Launch! 5th Element Fitness

Those of you who have been reading this blog for a while have probably noticed that sometimes I like to "wax poetic" and reflect on the inner journey that CrossFit / yoga / running have taken me on.

Well, today is the launch date of a new blog I'm co-authoring with a few friends -- 5th Element Fitness.

I'm excited (yet terrified!) of this new venture, because it's going to allow me to take those random asides from my workout log, and polish them into something with a true purpose.

If you check out the site, and like the concept, I would LOVE for you to link to us on your blog, or mention us in a blog post. You can also "like" our Facebook page.

We are also open to guest posts, so if you have something to say about the part of fitness that's "beyond the physical", please contact me!

I will update here when my first "solo" post goes up, which should be in the next 2 or 3 weeks. :)

Monday morning intensity

The WOD we did this AM is exactly the kind of stuff that I need. Manageable work periods with some short rests built in to keep intensity high while you're moving.

7 rounds, each for reps, of:
0:30 Deadlifts, 135/95 pounds
0:15 rest
0:30 Push ups
0:15 rest
0:30 KB Swings, 1.5/1 pood
Rest 1:00 between rounds. Post total reps per round to comments.

Results: 236 Rx
Having to use the fat men's bar really made it tough for me to rep out the deadlifts. Mentally I was comparing it to that CF Games Open Sectionals WOD that had ~100# deadlifts in it. There was no chance of using hook grip, and the bar was pretty much in my fingertips the last 5 reps of every round. Didn't even think about using a mixed grip until round 5 or 6 -- duh! Tried to stick with at least 12 reps on this movement.

Pushups... ugh! Managed to bang out 4 or 5 in a row to start, then some 2's in the early rounds, and only singles in the later rounds. Average number per round was around 8. 

Love me some kb swings -- but they were tough being so out of breath. Tried to hold myself to a minimum of 10 each round, and managed to get closer to 15 a couple rounds.

Aug 28, 2011

C&J ladder, C&J PR, metcon

While I was determined not to feel bad or embarrassed about scaling my first WOD at the new gym yesterday, I can't say that I was sad when the first part of Saturday's WOD gave me the perfect chance to demonstrate my strengths. :)

Men and women went through a clean & jerk ladder. Bars were setup at 10 pound increments, starting at 65# for women, and 95# for men. Though if I remember correctly, there wasn't an 85# bar?

  • \65#-115# -- went up easily with good technique
  • 125# -- somewhat crappy wide-stance catch power clean; should've squat cleaned, I was being lazy, plus I'm out of practice
  • 135# -- another iffy landing on the clean; on this jerk my right elbow broke and I had to press it back to lockout; for this WOD it counted, wouldn't have in a competition
  • 145# -- made two attempts at the clean, but just didn't have it; I think I may have been able to do 140#
New clean & jerk PR baby! The most I've C&J in tandem was definitely way less than 135#. And my power clean 1RM was previously 125#. Having spent the last 6 months working on fixing my back alignment, posture and control of my pelvic alignment, I'd say I was right in thinking those areas of weakness were holding me back in the past. Since I've done so little strength training or lifting in the last few months, I wonder if yoga has helped me a lot too. I'm thinking yes since my workouts have mainly been running and yoga as of late.

4 rounds:
100m shuttle sprint (25m segments)
10 renegade rows (1 pushup, 1 row L, 1 row R)
20 situps

Results: 13:20 w/ 25# DB round 1, 15# DB rounds 2-4

Aug 26, 2011

Fresh start

Today was my first day at the CrossFit gym in my new city -- see linky love in the sidebar.

I scaled the WOD and I am totally OK with that.

I'm sure it's been apparent due to my lack of posting that my CrossFit workouts have been minimal to nonexistent the last few months. I really lost my fire and my purpose for doing CrossFit -- I didn't really know why I did it anymore. After I reached the point where I was Rx-ing 90% of movements in WODs, I didn't really progress much farther, and I also lost that excitement of doing new things that I didn't think I could do.

I recaptured that feeling with my marathon training, and with a totally new activity I had never done before -- yoga.

Today I decided that the next 3 months I'm living here, I'm just doing CrossFit because it's fun and I like it. I'm rebooting, restarting, resetting myself. There are a lot of stories that I have in my head about myself as a CrossFitter. I'm throwing those away. I will be whatever I want to be, and achieve whatever I want to. And if I don't *want* to do something, I don't have to beat myself up over not trying.

These next 3 months are my time to start fresh, and rebuild from the ground up. Time to get this foundation solid.


10 rounds for time of:
Sprint 100 meters
10 Pull-ups
Sprint 100 meters
10 Burpees
Rest 30 seconds

Results: Scaled to 5 rounds, 20:40-ish (bad memory)

My blood blister / giant callous from Nicole on Monday ripped open in round 2, so the right grip went on. The left hand ripped open in round 5. I think this was caused by a combination of two things: I haven't shaved down my callouses in a week or so, and I should have after pullups on Monday.  And the pullups bars are pretty rough -- good for hanging onto, bad for poor hand care.

Aug 24, 2011

Weigh-Ins, for posterity

I got tired of these weigh-ins being listed on my side bar, but wanted to save them for posterity. So, a post. :)
This was my weight loss while following a relatively "clean" or Paleo diet, and CrossFitting on pretty regular schedule of 3 on, 1 off, 2 on, 1 off. And if you care about that kind of stuff, I'm 5'6''.

Unlike others, I didn't have 20 pounds fall off the moment I started eating Paleo. I lost a couple pounds a month, gradually. After reaching 143 in January, I actually started to gain weight back from putting on muscle. Which is just fine with me, I wasn't trying to achieve a certain number on the scale -- I just wanted to look and feel better than I did when I started. Goal achieved. :)
161.8 -- 08/05/2009
159.2 -- 08/12/2009
157.0 -- 08/19/2009
158.0 -- 08/26/2009
157.8 -- 09/09/2009
158.6 -- 09/16/2009
156.4 -- 10/07/2009
153.4 -- 10/27/2009 -8.4
154.0 -- 11/11/2009 -7.8
152.8 -- 12/11/2009 -9
148.0 -- 01/10/2010 -13.8
146.8 -- 01/20/2010 -15
145.0 -- 01/27/2010 -16.8
143.2 -- 01/31/2010 -18.6

This isn't necessarily a case of a dramatic visual change. I went from looking pretty average to looking fit. And more importantly, I felt awesome, had tons of energy, and gained tons of confidence by physically achieving things I didn't think I could do. Go CrossFit. :)

July 2009
Spring 2010

Later w/ more muscle - October 2010

Aug 23, 2011


Early Monday morning I made my second attempt at this benchmark. First attempt was a little over a year ago.
AMRAP in 20 minutes:
Run 400m
Max pullups

Score is total number of pullups.

Results: 40 pullups (6 runs, 10-7-5-7-5-6)
I was pretty focused on making my runs fast and efficient, but I think with the pullups I wasn't exactly exerting my most "max" effort. Husband and I got up early to fit a workout in, and had a full day afterwards -- finishing cleaning our apartment, move out inspection, pick up car trailer, drive to our new place about 6 hours away, and start unpacking. That made it kinda hard to pour all my energy into my workout, because I knew I would need lots of energy all day.

I am sad to say that today I feel like I got hit by a truck from the waist up. OMG. My abs are sore, my elbows have a bit of tendonitis going on and let's not even talk about my shoulders. It's so funny that no matter what else you do in your time off, when you stop doing CrossFit you get soooo sore from the most benign workouts!

Husband got 87 (7 runs), and his pullups were strict, no kipping. I've said it before, and I'll say it again. He is a freakin beast. Makes me so proud to be his wife. :)

Aug 16, 2011

Marine Corps Marathon

So, if you've been reading my blog for a while, you've probably noticed my CrossFit workouts have been pretty light lately. No, I haven't given up working out. I'm just training for a marathon. :)

On October 30th I will be running the Marine Corps Marathon to raise money for the Semper Fi Fund.
The Semper Fi Fund is a nonprofit set up to provide immediate financial support for injured members of U.S. Armed Forces and their families. We direct urgently needed resources to Marines and Sailors, as well as members of the Army, Air Force or Coast Guard who serve in support of Marine forces. The basic ideal that drives our efforts is simple: as much as these American heroes have sacrificed, they deserve the best care and support available in their hour of need. Injuries are often severe, and the road to recovery or rehabilitation can be long and costly.
My fundraising goal is $2,500, and to get there I'm looking for 125 people to donate $20 each. Please consider making a donation, any amount no matter how small will help make a difference in the life of an injured service member.

To donate, visit my Active Giving page: Team Wissmann
To read more about my training, visit my blog: Team Wissmann

Aug 14, 2011


Did this one in my garage on Saturday at 5pm, and it felt like it was 200 degrees in there! After round 3, I went inside and shut the door to do my squats so I could breathe.

My ring dips are back to being a bit crappy. Shouldn't have stopped practicing them!

6 rounds:
50 air squats
25 ring dips

Results: 33:33, two skinny bands to scale ring dips

Jul 7, 2011


Short beach loop
Distance: 4.61 miles
Time: 53:17
Pace: 11:33/mile

I took 3 fairly long walk breaks. The sun was too hot -- I should've done this run about an hour earlier. Also, this was my first long-ish run in quite a while. Due to wildfires conditions have been really smokey here off and on for the last month. I've really lost a lot of what I built up, but hopefully I can get it back quickly with runs a few times a week.

Wednesday 7/6
Did a WOD I got from Angie.

kb swings (16kg)
AbMat situps (butterfly)

Results: 13:10

Would like to try this one with Russian swings and the 24kg kettlebell sometime.

Tuesday 7/5
thrusters (65#)

Results: 10:28

Not my fastest (9:10 @ Level I Cert), and not my slowest either, but only barely. The issue this time was just conditioning. My heartrate was off the charts, and that's what slowed me down the most -- catching my breath. I probably could've benefitted from someone getting in my face too. :)

Sunday 7/3
I ran for ~37 minutes and I don't the distance of my route. It felt good to be up early and outside.

Friday 7/1
Yoga, good times as always. I realized that doing the 11am class really makes a difference in how hot it feels in the room. I think it must be the sun coming in or hitting the building. I never start to feel like it's too hot to breathe in the 5pm or 6pm classes that I've taken.

Thursday 6/30
~30 minute run in the morning.

WOD @ 5:30 (only had 1 student in class, so we did the WOD together :))
4 rounds
800m run
50 air squats
50 hands-off pushups

Results: 30:09

Monday 6/27
Squat 12-12-12-12 @ 105

That really hurt.

AbMat situps


Went mental on the pullups, eeek.

Hit yoga that night as well.

Jun 7, 2011

Clogged sinuses, BS & press, yoga, K2E

When I brought up my blog, I thought, "I must've done something between Murph and today??"

I looked back at the blog for our gym, and yes, I did. :)

Wednesday, June 1
First day of our strength cycle, which I'm co-programming with my boss. Has been interesting so far, we'll see what everybody thinks when we get to the end of 5 weeks. :)

Back squat
3-3-3-3-3, working up to 90% 1RM

No reps on that last set, I just went down, stopped, and bailed the bar behind me. Ugh, my ability to back squat heavy weights SUCKS. I wish I was as good at that as I am at weightlifting movements. The slow lifts just don't seem to make as much sense to me, maybe I have too much time to overthink it?

3-3-3-3-3, working up to 90% 1RM

Had to go for 82 just to have the highest female numbers on the board for that one. Come one, I need one thing I can brag about. :)

After that workout, I pretty much succumbed to a horrible sinus infection / cold. It's actually still hanging on, though I'm at the point where working out is something I need to do to drive the bad stuff out of my body.

Monday, June 6
Yesterday night I went to heated power yoga, and it was great, as usual. I'm going to miss this studio and the husband-wife team that owns it and teaches the classes I take. They are great. I almost talked myself out of going, and I'm glad I just did it. It was annoying to have my nose clogged up a lot of the time, but oh well. :)

I'd like to attend this Monday night class regularly, and also Friday afternoon. I think yoga twice a week would be a great addition to the work I'm doing with my chiropractor. Gotta get myself all fixed up before I have to move away from him, too.

Today's workout was pretty interesting. It was an AMRAP, and the time actually went by pretty quickly, which is always a good thing. I hate WODs where the time just seems to drag on and on.

How high up the ladder can you climb in 20 mins:

200 m Run
 1 Knees-to-elbows
200 m Run
 2 Knees-to-elbows
200 m Run
 3 Knees-to-elbows

Record highest set of knees to elbows completed.
 Results: 7 + 6 K2Es of my 8th round

Wow, I was really running slow for this one. And I need to get faster at knees to elbows.

I kept having these little glimmers of insight into how to string them together, without an extra kipping swing in the middle, but then I would suddenly find myself wildly swinging on the pullup bar with no clue what I was doing. I'll have to search out some videos on that, though maybe I'm on the right track and just not executing properly. I'm trying to bring my knees down as I push forward to start a new swing, and then pop out of that swing into another K2E.

Any tips from anyone reading would be appreciated! :)

May 29, 2011


Husband and I joined a few of my CrossFit athletes to do Murph on Saturday morning. It was quite the hellacious experience, just like last year.
"Murph" aka "Body Armor"
For time:
1 mile run
100 pullups
200 pushups
300 air squats
1 mile run

Partition the pullup, pushups and squats as needed. Start and finish with a mile run. If you've got a twenty pound vest or body armor, wear it.
 Results: ~80 minutes -- I was laying on the ground and didn't personally look at the stopwatch, and the only time I heard said out loud was "an hour and 20 minutes". I guess that's as exact as it needs to be in that time domain. :)

This was a 10 minute PR for me. Definitely came from improvement on pullups.

Like the last time I did this, I ran a separate stop watch which I started after returning from the first mile run. I partitioned the work into 20 rounds of 5 pullups, 10 pushups and 15 squats. Having that second watch helps me gauge how well I'm doing with moving through my sets without taking too much rest.

5 rounds competed -- 9:25
10 rounds completed -- 22:59 (9 rounds completed at 20 mins)
16 rounds completed -- 42:20
20 rounds completed -- 55:38
Avg/round: ~2:45

Pullups were absolutely spot-on -- all 20 sets I did 5 reps. And they were all GOOD, chin way over. Didn't use grips or any tape, except in the last 2 sets I wore my left hand grip because my left hand ring finger callous ripped a bit. This is a huge departure from last time, when I had tape grips on both hands, and ended up ripping open a bunch of spots on my hands and fingers.

Pushups were... UGH. Every time I came to these, it was a mental battle to get them done. I think that pushups defeat me mentally more than physically. With pullups in hand these need to become a main focus. It's not as "sexy and cool" to do tons of good pushups, but so necessary...

Squats were consistent, but not fast. I only broke 1 or 2 sets for rest, and that was in the last 5 rounds.

I guess LT. Michael Murphy should have been my mental inspiration, but what mentally drove me to persevere and complete this workout was thinking about the American Widow Project. I had seen a post on their Facebook page in the morning before we went to meet the group to do the WOD. And I made it my goal that when I felt horrible, I would think about how lucky I am to be doing this workout side-by-side with my husband, who has come back from war safely 3 times now. I'm sure those widows would go through any amount of painful experiences to be able to spend time with their husbands again. So I dedicated my workout to them. They are the unspoken heroes that I will remember this Memorial Day.

May 26, 2011

Nancy rematch

Last July I did "Nancy" as prescribed for the first time, and finished it in 26:27.

Today I took 6 minutes off my time!

5 rounds:
400m run
15 overhead squats (95/65)

Results: 20:32 Rx

I think I did really well with minimizing my transition time between the runs and OHS. I could still tighten it up a bit. I also tried to run fast, but could definitely improve there. But those two elements are still where I made the improvement from last year.

All sets of OHS were unbroken except round 4. I dropped the bar at the bottom of rep #10, dropped it again on my next attempted rep, took a few seconds, then snatched the bar and got the last 6 reps. I kept telling myself the weight was only 50% of my 1RM and I should be able to hold it up all day. Seemed to work to keep me from dropping the bar. :)

Can we switch "Fran" to OHS instead of thrusters? That would be much more fun. :)

May 25, 2011

Doubling up

I like to rest on Tuesdays so that I have a good 48 hours between my chiropractic adjustment and my next WOD. Seems to let things "settle" and help me keep that great "just adjusted" feeling longer.

So Wednesday I decided to double-up, and do Tuesday's WOD and Wednesday's WOD.

First I rowed a 2k for time before coaching a class at 9am.

Result: 8:38

That's only 2 seconds slower than my current PR, which I'll gladly take since I was rowing alone. I almost always go faster when there's someone next to me to "race".

After class I completed Tuesday's metcon, and then Wednesday's strength and 2 short metcons.
For time, partition reps as desired:
50 GHD situps
100 Supermans
25 handstand pushups
Results: 13:43 -- used green+blue band harness for HSPU
Has definitely been too long since I practiced HSPU. Was nice to get in the groove with just 25 total reps. My back felt tired, but not painful, with the Supermans and GHDs. Woohoo!
Bench Press: 3-3-3-3-3-3 @ 85% of 1RM, 2 min rest between sets

Results: 70#, no spotter so just worked on maintaining perfect form on each rep
Now that my low back and hips are pretty much good to go, the next problem area I'm working on with my chiro is mid-back (thoracic spine) and shoulder position. My shoulders are *very* rolled forward, which makes my head and neck too far forward instead of sitting on top of the rest of my spine. At this point my posture has been bad for so long that my pecs have shortened and tightened. I can hardly engage them in movements, or stretch them. This is probably a contributing factor in why I simply suck at pushups, and possibly a clue to my struggles transitioning through a muscle up. Working on it, and I think yoga and some extra chest work and stretches I'm doing will help.

And then two short metcons to finish off Wednesday's WOD.
For time: 100 sledge hammer strikes on tire
Results: 4:04 w/ 16# sledge

For time: 100 AbMat situps
Results: 3:37
I was in the gym all damn morning! Enjoyed having my techno girly music turned up super loud. :-D

May 23, 2011

Busy weekend

Fit today's WOD in this morning between coaching and chiropractor. My adjustment is always awesome when I work out just prior.

4 rounds:
3 DB power clean (45#/30#)
16 DB split clean (alternate lead foot)
3 DB power jerk
3 DB split jerk
30 double unders

Results: 18:20, Rx

I had to drop the DBs a lot more than I anticipated, but tried to keep things in consistent chunks to regulate my rest. I tend to rest too much when I have to break up sets.

Double unders were not going well until the last round when I finally got 15 in a row. That's probably the biggest factor in how long this took me to finish.

It was a gasser, I was breathing really hard and sweating a ton! Good way to kick off the week.

On Saturday I ran a 5K on the beach. Didn't go for time, just ran with a friend with the only goal being to not walk. We achieved that goal, and she did great. It was great to run on the beach, I haven't actually run on the sand in quite a while.

Results: 37:30 (pace ~12min/mile)

Sunday evening I went to heated power yoga. God is that a tough workout. I was really struggling to keep up and do all the poses as they were being called out, and at one point the instructor suggested I take child pose. I think we were doing a warrior and my legs were just shaking so bad I couldn't stay down in it.

At the beginning of class the instructors always talk about taking child's pose if you need it, so I knew I had that option. But it honestly didn't occur to me to do it in that moment of struggle. When I did, I just felt so much relief, it was palpable. In fact I felt some tears come to my eyes!

Taking child's pose in the middle of that tough "flow" was almost like the anti-CrossFit. Maybe...

Maybe it was "anti" to my idea of CrossFit?

If I think of my "CrossFit practice", there is a lot of struggle there, toughing it out, pushing yourself to do more reps than you think you can, pushing yourself to move a load that is heavy. Yes, we do scale workouts, but I don't know if that's really a good analog for taking child's pose during yoga practice...

It may not be a concept that necessarily works in CrossFit, but it's something for me to remember in yoga. I realize as I practice yoga that I'm not as good at listening to my body as I think I am. There are things going on in my body, my posture, my alignment, that I'm not consciously aware of. But once I focus my attention there, then I can see it. Shoulders super tight and drawn up ALOT. Hips also tight in ways that I don't notice in CrossFit, because they don't impede me there. That I know of!

It's been a while since I felt totally "in my body" during a CrossFit workout, but I easily experience that when I do yoga. There's no game plan, no reps to count, no clock to beat. It's a whole different universe, and something that I've decided I really need in my life. And I didn't even know it was missing!

May 19, 2011

CrossFit Total

This was only the second time I've done this workout. The first time was way back in January 2010, so about a year and a half ago.

Jan 2010 results:
Squat - 155
Press - 80
Deadlift - 185
Total: 420

Those numbers were after 6 months of training the barbell lifts. Not too bad, when you look at it from that perspective. At that point I was Rx-ing or close to Rx-ing the majority of barbell movements in CrossFit WODs, except those with deadlifts. I was just able to do a few unassisted pullups, but still struggled with other gymnastics / body weight movements.

Fast forward to today. 18 more months of training, so a total of (approximately) 2 years of total barbell training.

May 2011 results:
Squat - 160
Press - 90
Deadlift - 190
Total: 440

At first glance when I made the comparison between 2010 and today, I was pretty disappointed. Only 20 pounds more after 18 months?

So I wanted to think about the path my training has taken, and reflect a little bit. Feel free to stop reading now, this is mostly for me. :)

Despite only gaining 10 pounds in the press, my upper body strength has absolutely exploded as a whole. On multiple occasions I've completed 100 pullups or more in a single workout. It may have taken me twice as long as others, but I still completed each one. Pushups have been up and down, but on the whole I'm much stronger. Same story with ring dips.

I've fixed my squat. The butt wink that I got called out on during my Level I cert in March 2010 is now gone. I still struggle a little with keeping hamstrings tight in the bottom, especially switching back and forth between low-bar and Olympic high-bar and front squats. But it's all good. Reading Rip's book "Starting Strength" is helping me even more in this area. Knowledge is power.

The back pain I began suffering from in September 2010 led me to perfect chiropractor for me, and has completely changed the alignment of my legs and hips for the better. My posture from the waist down is completely revamped, and now we're working hard on the mid-back and neck. I know these changes are going to allow me to get even stronger in the end, even though my injury prevented me from lifting anything heavier than ~125# between September 2010 and February 2011.

The time taken off due to my back set me back more mentally than anything - obviously since my squat and deadlift both went up by 5, but didn't go down. The experience of lifting a heavy weight isn't just physical, it's mental. My brain is currently used to moving very manageable loads, and I've lost some ground in dealing with the "holy shit this is crazy heavy" feeling when moving a barbell. But I know it's just a matter of time and commitment to getting back my mental focus so that I can finally start getting stronger. Now that my body is ready, I will make my mind ready, and then shit is gonna take off!

So, I guess what I really proving to myself with all of this is that I didn't "waste" 18 months because my CF Total only went up 20 pounds. I accomplished a lot in that time, and learned a lot of really valuable lessons. And I've been learning to become a better coach, which is a super-high priority goal for me.

I don't want to get sucked into that numbers trap, where my numbers absolutely define me. Or where I am only worthwhile as a person if I have amazing numbers. There's more too me than just simple metrics.

May 18, 2011

Long loop

Ran my long loop out along the beach for the first time since March, and it felt great! I'm so happy to be living on an island where I can see the ocean from my running route. :)

Distance: ~5.5 miles
Time: 52:54
Pace: 9:37

May 16, 2011

Bodyweight WOD

I thought the WOD today would be something I could quickly fit in between coaching and my chiropractor appointment. I took me nearly 5 minutes more than I would've liked. Too slow on pullups, and I just basically suck at pushups. Alot. This does not bode well for doing Murph in two weeks...

1000m row
air squat x 80
sit up x 60
push up x 40
pull up x 20

Results: ~17:00

May 14, 2011

Randy on Friday

Couldn't resist that joke.

Did this WOD by myself after coaching my kids classes. Nearly 3 hours of kids of all ages, and I'm beat, but I needed to work out some frustrations.

75 power snatch @ 55#


Sooooo slooooow.

Broke this up in 5 sets of 15, mentally. First set of 15 took 1 minute. Obviously the pace slowed dramatically from there...

My snatches felt absolutely crappy. With no one watching, I'm not sure how bad they actually were. Time to get back to weightlifting practice now that I've banished my crazy back pain. I need to regain all the technique I had built up before the back went crazy.

The great thing is, whatever my chiro did, it not only got rid of my "tweak", I also have a lot less low back pain after workouts now. Woot! :)

May 11, 2011

Wednesday is endurance day

That's the new trend in our programming -- Wednesday's WOD is always a long endurance WOD.

Did this one solo after coaching the 9am class.

3 rounds:
800m run
200m backwards run
30 1-arm kettlebell swings
10 chest to bar pullups

Results: 31:32, 16kg kb, "regular" pullups

I just didn't have C2B's in me today. In fact, my kipping skills were pretty much zero on the first round. Thankfully my brain kicked back in during round 2 and those 10 went a lot faster. Longest set was only 3 in a row, so not my best pullup day. Thank god there were only 30 total...

I like 1-arm swings -- I wouldn't mind if we did them more.

My hamstrings were singing on the run, from the squat workout yesterday. I'm glad this week's squat workout didn't cripple me like last week's. That sucked.

May 10, 2011

Back squat, push press

Strength day today. Good way to get back in the groove after vacation.

And yes, Angie, I am going to do your birthday WOD soon! :)

Squat: 5-5-3-3-2-2
Push Press: 5-5-3-3-2-2
Squat: 125-135-145-145-150
Push Press: 95-110-115-115-120(x1)
I didn't perform the second double on either movement, because somebody wrote the WOD on the whiteboard with only 1 "2" in the rep scheme. Oh well! I was pretty much beat on each of the doubles I did, so I didn't need more to make the WOD harder!

Here's a picture of my little section of whiteboard. In orange are the numbers that I looked up from a weightlifting chart, based on my 1RM max. I screwed up, and looked up numbers for 135 on push press, even though my 1RM is 130 -- hence the smaller numbers I wrote in.

May 8, 2011

100 back squats - aftermath

My lack of WODs for the past week is directly due to that MF'er I did on Monday -- 100 back squats at 50% 1RM.  Thank god I had subs for most of my classes last week, due to my husband being on leave, because I couldn't walk right, let alone demo any movements until nearly Friday. I was seriously crippled.

And I was pissed because I had planned to take my husband to a power yoga class Wednesday night, but I was too sore to go to it. :( BOOOOO!

Though I think this means 2 things.
1. I need to squat heavy more often
2. I need to seriously consider ice baths after WODs that I know are going to crush my legs

In an effort to relieve my pain, I did the WOD on Wednesday AM. Also, I only had 1 student come to class, and I thought some "side-by-side" coaching would work well for the WOD. Especially since I really wanted to make some detailed observations of her rowing and running, as those are areas where she struggles. And I'm glad to say we had a great session, and got some ideas for things for her to work on. :)

3000m Row
1.5 mi run

Results: ~35:00, row was ~13:00, definitely didn't push very hard on the row or run

Valley Forge Park loop

I'm visiting family up north, and went running with the husband on my favorite trail at Valley Forge National Park. I used to do it weekly when I lived in the area -- great scenery, and killer hills!

The loop is about 5.5 miles, and I ran it in 51:49.

That's a pace of 9:25 minutes / mile.

Woot! One long run per week is really making a difference. I'm hoping it will get my pace down below 9 minutes per mile.

I don't think I've mentioned it here before, but I'm running the Marine Corps Marathon in October. To help me train, I'm doing a Jeff Galloway training program this summer and fall -- one of my new CrossFit athletes is a Galloway coach, and swears by it. I think it's a great plan to go into the marathon feeling confident about finishing, and from what I've read, it's also good at preventing / reducing running injuries.

May 2, 2011

100 back squats

Seriously, that was the first part of the WOD today.
WOD 1:
100 Back Squats @ 50% of 1RM
 - Take breaks as needed
 - Score is load and # of sets needed to complete 100 total squats
Results: 80#, 3 sets (50, 35, 15)

O. M. G. That set of 50 was horrific. Followed closely by the set of 35. But I really really really wanted to finish in 3 sets, so I pushed myself pretty hard.

My most recent back squat 1RM was 155 (which lines up with my 5x3 @ 140 recently). So while I "technically" used the right load, I think I could've gone heavier...
WOD 2:
Run 400m, then rest 2 minutes.
3 rounds.
Score is slowest 400.
1st: 1:45
2nd: 1:50
3rd: 1:43

Wow, was I really wobbly during the first run! I actually felt decent on the 2nd two runs, just had to push myself more on the breathing side of things, than the "my legs hurt" side of things. But that's pretty typical for me.

Good WOD to start the week. :)

Apr 30, 2011

CrossFit Games Open Sectionals 11.6

Thank god this is over! I think 6 weeks was too long (and especially 7 weeks was WAAAY too long). I think 4 weeks would be perfect.

AMRAP in 7 minutes thruster / C2B pullups ladder
3 / 3 then add 3 each round.

My score was 51 -- I got finished with 12 thrusters and did 3 CTB pullups before time was up. Ripped a bit of skin off my palm on one of those last 3 pullups. Very happy my hands only succumbed on the last WOD. :)

My only "do over" moment was resting during the set of 12 thrusters. Should've done all 12 -- I rested after 9 and then did 3 more. I also didn't squat clean any of my first thrusters in that round.

Apr 27, 2011

Sunny morning run

I seem to be making it a habit of running on Wednesday mornings. I like it. :)

Thought about doing CrossFit today, but with heavy deadlifts and burpees on the menu, I didn't think those were a recipe for success on this week's CF Games Open workout. My shoulders are still sore from Lynne on Monday, and the last thing I need is a sore low back before tackling the ladder Fran from hell...

According to MapMyRun, my route was 3.62 miles -- I did a slightly longer loop than last week. I finished in 35:33, which is a pace of 9:49/mile. Slightly faster than last week, so I'll take it. :)

Apr 26, 2011

Row, Run and Whip

"Whip" is the word I always use to describe how to move the jump rope on double unders. :)

10 rounds:
Row 250m
Run 200m
20 double unders

Results: 37:16

My DUs were back today -- there were only a couple rounds where I didn't get 20 at a time. Makes me even more pissed about how the week 1 workout went down!! Argh!

Note to self -- don't attempt to do DUs in your lifting shoes again. I think that factor highly contributed to my craptastic DUs in that WOD.

Apr 25, 2011


Never did this benchmark before, so it's good I got a baseline on it.

5 Rounds for max reps of:
Bodyweight bench press
Pull ups

Score is total reps.

Results: 61 reps, 95# and kipping pullups

As you can see, my husband is a freaking beast. Craziness! And those are all deadhang pullups to boot.

Husband wanted me to do 105#, but when I tried it, I crapped out on rep 2. So I counted that attempt as a warm-up, and dropped down to 95#. Not quite ready to go heavy on bench press until I practice it a bit more...

I can't find it recorded anywhere in the blog, but I think I tested my bench press 1RM over the summer, and it was somewhere in the neighborhood of 120-130#. Just for future reference...

Apr 23, 2011

Dumbbells for CFFB

My gym programmed a CFFB WOD for today, so I did that on my own this afternoon while husband did his thing. That's about as close as husband and I get to working out together. :)
Complete 4 rounds:

Each round consists of 6 cycles of the following:
DB Hang Power Clean
DB Front Squat
DB Push Press
DB Lunge RT
DB Lunge LT

*Do not set the weight down during the 6 times through the cycle.
*Rest as needed between rounds.
*Go up in weight each round to perform the heaviest round possible.
Results: 25#, 27.5#, 30#, 32.5#

Our CF gym is inside a "globogym", so that's why I had access to weird dumbbell weights.

I probably could've pushed the weight a bit more, but honestly it's Saturday and I just didn't feel like it. :-D

And we also ran the mile to and from the gym. :)

Apr 22, 2011

CrossFit Games Open Sectionals 11.5

5 power clean (100#)
10 toes to bar
15 wall ball (14# to 9' target)

Results: 5 rounds + 5 + 7

Had more important stuff to think/care about this morning than CrossFit. That kind of attitude never bodes well for a good performance... Not as much of a bomb as Week 1, but it felt worse...

Apr 20, 2011

Morning run

Just felt like running when I woke up this morning. Fit a quick one in before I had to coach at 9am.

Finished the loop at 29:51, and according to, it was 2.89 miles.

Pace was 10:19 / mile.

Apr 18, 2011

Press Doubles

Strength day - strict (shoulder) press.

Barbell warm-up:
8 x 45
8 x 55

WOD: 2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2

Results: 85-85-85-85-85-85-85-85(x1)-80-80

I picked 85 to start, since my strict press 1RM has been oscillating between 90-95 for over a year now. But I think I shot too low -- coach said that a "true" 2RM would be do-able for about 4 sets. Next time we work press, I need to remember to use the small increment kilo plates we have. That will allow me to figure out a more exact measure of my max than 5 pound increments. Some 1lb plates would be nice too...

Apr 15, 2011

CrossFit Games Open Sectionals 11.4

This WOD was one that I considered doing a second time, but when Sunday rolled around I just didn't have the motivation to try to do that many burpees faster, so I would have more time for OHS.

As many reps and rounds as possible in 10 minutes:
60 bar-facing burpees
30 OHS (120/90)
10 muscle-ups

Results: 60 + 13 OHS

Did OHS in sets of 6 + 6 + 1. *Very* ugly snatches to get the bar up, including some press-out. Yuck! The only thing that hurt on the OHS was my wrists.

Apr 13, 2011

Fight Gone Bad

I'm so glad I broke out of my workout slump yesterday. My husband met me at the gym on his way home from work to do "Fight Gone Bad" -- I was already there after coaching at 5:30.

I ordered my exercises as show in the picture, just so I would be doing it like my athletes did. I've only ever done it as: box jump, SDPH, wall ball, row, push press. Yes, somehow I've only done FGB twice, and yesterday was the second time.

Result: 249, PR!

Previous score was 232.

I think for my next goal I'd like to get 260.

Apr 12, 2011

CrossFit Games Open Sectionals 11.3

5 min AMRAP of:
Squat clean (50kg)

Results: 10 rounds + 1 squat clean

The week 3 WOD was the first one where the CrossFit "powers that be" really started excluding athletes. Which made me sad. It was absolutely joyous when one of my newer athletes deadlift 100 once for a new PR, and a score of 1 rep on the week 2 workout. Alas, a clean of 110 is definitely something that requires a decent amount of strength and skill to attempt, not for the average newbie...

What was funny to me was that I had the best score of all the females at our gym. And what I got wasn't even half of what the best ladies out there put up on the board! I got to witness some truly amazing performances at my CrossFit Kids Cert this weekend -- I'm talking 25 to 30+ rounds. I love being around STRONG women! So inspiring. :)

Not to mention my girl Steph got 24 rounds + 1 squat clean. How amazingly awesome is that! I am in awe. :)

CrossFit Games Open Sectionals 11.2

Ooops, never posted about this WOD. Consider this to be me "catching" up. I haven't really done much outside of the Games WODs in the past 2 weeks.

AMRAP in 15 minutes:
9 deadlifts
12 pushups
15 box jumps

7 rounds + 6 deads

The deads were a lot easier than I thought -- but then again, I have an unnatural fear of them after doing high reps at too high of a weight. This weight was easy, once you got past the first one starting off the next round. All unbroken.

Pushups sucked sucked sucked, as expected. Was down to 1, 2 and 3 at a time by round 3. This was where I took my "rest".

Box jumps -- tried not to pause at all. On the 7th round, my right shoe came untied, so I kicked it off, did 1 or 2 jumps with 1 shoe, then kicked the other one off too. My judge was like "WTF!?" hehehe I'm thinking I could've done all 9 deads without the shoe issue. On a redo I might've been up for 8 rounds. I wasn't willing to try. :-)

Mar 29, 2011


I didn't think I would workout today, but with only 2 athletes in the 530 class, I decided to do the WOD with them.

It was basically Murph, or at least the middle section of Murph.

Run 800m
21 OHS (135#/95#)
2 rds "Cindy"
15 OHS
4 rds "Cindy"
6 rds "Cindy"
8 rds "Cindy"
Run 800m

Results: 66 minutes; 65# OHS; 1/2 knee pushups

While I didn't have it in me to do 200 Rx pushups tonight, I'm pretty happy with doing 100 unassisted pullups. No rips in my hands, either. Good stuff.

My back felt a little sore as I started, which freaked me out on the two long sets of OHS, but then the pain completely went away.

Mar 28, 2011

Mud Run

Saturday I did a mud run that raised money for multiple sclerosis. Even though it was for a good cause, and by doing it I was helping out a friend, it still just sucked!

I had a lot of theories about why I had such a bad time at my first mud run, but this one clinched it -- I just hate them, no extra reasoning or logic required. The chick who tries everything has finally found something that's a major turn-off.

And it's not that I'm a super girly-girl, far from it. But purposefully submerging into muddy water several times, and then feeling nauseous when you finish because you probably swallowed some amoebas? Not for me.

Getting your feet wet on purpose and then running 6-7 miles? Not for me.

My attitude was not helped by the fact that I still felt like shit (a la Thursday's pitiful attempt at the sectionals WOD), and was the slowest person and only female on the team I was with.

Oh well, I'm just glad it's over, and honestly I don't even care what our time was!

I felt so beat down on Sunday that I skipped the sectionals WOD do-over, and my score is officially 2 rounds + 24 DUs. Oh well. Maybe I'll get the chance to redeem myself in the next 5 weeks. We'll see what CF HQ comes up with.

Still feeling like crap today, so I'm taking it easy again. I am going to take the dog out for a super-long walk this afternoon just to get my legs stretched out. I had an adjustment at the chiropractor this morning, and that helped some. Back to WODs tomorrow.

Mar 25, 2011

CrossFit Games Open Sectionals 11.1

I finally did this workout on Friday. The day after I swung the 24kg kettlebell 85 times, plus some other kb fun.

Probably not my best idea...

Results: 2 rounds + 26 DUs

In short, I blew it on the double unders. I did the snatches all 15 in a row both rounds, no problem at all. First round of DUs was pretty smooth -- and why not, they're easy when you're fresh. Starting the 2nd round, I spent minutes doing single DUs, and missing tons of DU attempts. It was as if I regressed back to a time when I couldn't do DUs at all. OMG!

If I can find another coach at my box to judge me, I will attempt a redo on Sunday. I have a mud run to do on Saturday, so hopefully I'm not in the same boat again -- trying to do the WOD while super-sore from the day prior...

Even if I don't get a new score for the "official" CF Games, I will do this again, and DO BETTER!

Mar 23, 2011

Heavy kettlebells are fun

Took Tuesday as a rest day, cause I was pretty sore from my heavy squats and (somewhat) heavy power cleans.

Wednesday it was back to the fun times. I kinda sand-bagged the deadlift portion of the WOD -- still kinda antsy about reintroducing heavy deadlifts, but I went for it on the heavy kb swings, cause I love those. :)

Strength: deadlift 3x5 at 80-85% 1RM

Results: 95-105-125

I've been working on hip position on my return, and am feeling a lot more confident. My natural lordosis (forward hip inclination / "booty pop") has made it a long process for me to learn how to "flatten" my back, instead of hyperextending my lumbar spine. The "stick your butt out" cue is basically over-kill to someone like me -- it's out all the time already!! hehe

All I can say is, thank god for my wonderful coach Doug who is so patient with me, and gives me so much great advice and guidance. With him helping me, I finally have hope that someday I will make it to that 1.5 x bodyweight deadlift. :)




Results: using the 24kg kettlebell, and swinging it American-style, I completed 85 total swings: 20-20-15-15-15

So my penalty should've been 195 burpees. I did 40-ish. We ended up capping the burpee penalty for some, especially those who can gone outside their comfort zone with a truly heavy kb.

The hardest part of this WOD for me was just hanging onto the kettlebell at the bottom. Especially swinging overhead, holy crap did that thing pick up speed on it's way down.

After doing this WOD in the morning, I coached in the afternoon, and was messing around with my athletes. I swung the 32kg twice in a row to eye-level, and did about 5 1-armed swings of the 24kg on each arm, also eye-level. Now that was fun! I know, I know -- it is messed up to get some much enjoyment out of swinging giant cannonballs with handles. :-p

Mar 21, 2011


Slightly modified the posted WOD for today.
Each minute, on the minute, for 10 minutes:
Perform 2 power cleans
Perform 1 seated box jump

Power clean load should be 70-80% of 1RM.
Box jumps should start from a parallel seated position, with a jump to the highest box possible.
Instead of box jumps, I attempted to do 15 double unders. Since I still haven't done my week 1 sectionals WOD, I might as well do as much DU practice as possible before I do.

I got 15 in a row the first round, but things were up and down the rest of the time. A few rounds I only got 3-6 before the minute ended. By minute 5, I readjusted my goal to 10, but I didn't even get that for the whole WOD.

But it was still great practice. In the last 2 minutes I started messing around with the "flat footed forward pop" technique -- you know, where you pop up and don't bend your knees much? And to my surprise, I actually got some that way. I've tried it in the past with no luck. It definitely takes a lot less energy than my current style of "high knees in front", so I think I'll consider doing that style in the sectionals WOD. It's also easier to land lightly when you don't jump as high.

Power cleans were at 95#. Felt good to move heavy weight.

My legs are sore from cleans, and squats yesterday. Yay! My hips and back were a bit tight, but I had an amazing session with my chiro after working out, and those areas are feeling nice and loose now -- he's my hero!

Mar 20, 2011

Back squat 5x3

For my warm-up I did a mini-WOD.

knees to elbows
AbMat situps

After a week off, I felt like my heart rate spiked up super-fast even with these simple movements, and resting between movements. I'm glad I decided to take advantage of the week-long extension and do my first Games WOD after I take a few days to get back in the groove.

WOD was back squat, 5x3, at 90% of 1RM.

With a 1RM of 155, that's 140. While looking up my 1RM I saw that I struggled on a WOD with 5 rounds and 3 back squats per round at 135, so I wasn't sure if I could use 140 or not...


Working sets:

I was very happy to do 140x3 three times. My biggest challenge was the rack position -- I did low-bar squats today, and my arms felt weird and numb? But I didn't know if I could deal with that much weight in the high bar position -- I'll have to experiment to find out.

Yay heavy squats! :)

Mar 18, 2011

Sickies and links

Well, my last workout was on Tuesday morning. I was all pumped up for attempting to PR on "Helen" on Wednesday morning, since I had just gotten 12 kipping pullups in a row. But alas, the sickies set in Tuesday afternoon. :(

I might've tried to push through it, but my husband came home from work SUPER sick, vomiting and chills and lots of nasty stuff. Seeing him I feared for what would develop if I didn't rest!

So I've been resting all week, though surprisingly I feel a bit worse this morning? But still just congested, tired and headache-y. Nothing horrible, so maybe I've dodged the bullet.

I will be as ready to do the first sectionals WOD tomorrow as I can be! Yesterday I did a couple 55# snatches after judging some of my athletes, and tonight I'm going to practice DUs and try out a speed rope before judging a few more.

Here's a backlog of links that I've been building. I haven't shared any in quite a while, so enjoy or ignore, whichever is your habit. :)

Stuck in the SUCK
"We all have stuck in the suck moments. Not the moments where life is difficult externally, but the moments where internally we feel like it’s difficult regardless of what’s really happening. Moments where we lose presence and our highest possible selves cannot be expressed. Those moments are just as much a part of life as the moments where we transcend and achieve."
Earning your body versus punishing your body
"Stop hating your body, it is not your bodies fault that it isn’t what you want it to be. Embrace what it is. Find out what it can DO. You may be the perfect built to be a weightlifter, you maybe you’d be a really good swimmer. You might be a natural dancer or martial artists. You might love to cycle. Go rockclimb, or do parkour. Run if you want to run. Do something that has a built in reward. Stop punishing your body because it doesn’t fit a mold you want it to."
I posted about Kallista before. She still rocks.

Two-Time Games Vet At 17: Kallista Pappas 

"I got strong for my life. I discovered my life. I found my muscles and I found my voice. "
"I used to look at that girl and wish I was her. I used to look at that girl and think I could never do that, that it was ridiculous, that it was impossible. It was impossible for me. ... But not anymore. No more baggy t-shirts for me. No more being held in place. I went and got strong."
Go Easy on Yourself - practicing self-compassion will improve your life
“Self-compassion is really conducive to motivation,” Dr. Neff said. “The reason you don’t let your children eat five big tubs of ice cream is because you care about them. With self-compassion, if you care about yourself, you do what’s healthy for you rather than what’s harmful to you.”
H/T Stephanie
Why Running is Important, by Blair Morrison
"Last, psychologically, running teaches you how thin the walls are between optimal and sub-optimal performance. Lifting weights you often reach a point where you literally cannot do another rep, where your muscles have actually failed and there is nothing you can do about it. At this point, your mind gets a break. It’s off the hook... on vacation. This can’t happen in running. You can always take another step therefore your head never gets a rest (incredible ironman Youtube footage notwithstanding). To get better in this discipline you have to improve your toughness. Period. And that flows over into everything else you do."

Mar 15, 2011

By Land & By Sea

Neat WOD title, huh? Reminds me of "The Viking" from CrossFit Camden. Which is appropriate since Doug programmed this WOD, and he is, in fact, a descendent of the vikings. Seriously! I prefer being Irish. :-p

Did this one on my own after coaching the AM classes. I was so glad I had my iPod armband in my bag from the race this weekend, that helped me keep my intensity up.

"By Land & By Sea"
Row 1000m
Run 800m
Row 750m
Run 600m
Row 500m
Run 400m
Row 250m
Run 200m

Results: 26:47

Not awesome, and not horrible - I'm fine with that.

Rolled out and used the band a ton after the WOD. Also tried this MWOD for calves, since mine get sore so often. Holy crap did it hurt -- more on the left side than the right. That is my "tight" side according to the chiro, so I'm not surprised.

After the WOD I set a new kipping pullup PR -- 12 in a row! Last week I did 10, and thought that was freaking awesome. And this week I've got 2 more! I'm still not as good with stringing them together during WODs, but I'm more hopefully about that getting better now that I'm able to get more in a row just in practice.


I'm thinking an update to my "kipping pullup progress" video is in order. Maybe for that I can bust out 15. :-D

Kipping Pullup Progress - Nov 09 to Jan 10 from c wiss on Vimeo.

Anybody else doing the OPEN sectionals? I am doing my best to help our affiliate get a team spot at regionals, so hopefully nothing comes up in the workouts that will cause me to DNF. Fingers crossed...

My athlete profile

Mar 14, 2011

Gate River Run 15K

No, that's not a typo in my blog title -- I ran a 15K on Saturday morning.

A 15K with a 2 mile hill. The top of the hill is also the mid-point of a very long, and tall, bridge.

Yes, I did lay down on the ground for a little while after I (finally) crossed the finish line.

Here's my stats:

5K 00:33:15
10K 01:06:43
Chip 01:42:54
Final 01:47:32
Pace 00:11:05

A far cry from my hoped-for pace of 10 minutes/mile -- but hey, what do you expect when you haven't been doing any high mileage training runs? I did do a 5.5 miler last weekend, and I'm glad I did because I think it really cut down on my post-race soreness.

To help combat soreness, I also spent about 30-45 minutes with my lacrosse balls, stretch bands and yoga mat in the parking lot after the race. I still felt pretty tight even after doing all that on race day, but today is 2 days after and I'm feeling pretty much fine. Yay for no DOMS!

Mar 8, 2011

WIdow Maker

Pulled this WOD from CrossFit King of Prussia.

"Widow Maker"
AMRAP in 15 minutes
5 burpees
10 box jumps (20'')
15 double unders

Results: 8 rounds

Was very happy with my result. I was absolutely miserable pretty much the entire time, and had the lung burn too. Hopefully this is helping get my cardio conditioning back where it needs to be!

And this was another day where I was very happy I spent the time learning double unders, so I'd have them when I needed them. I think I only got 2 or maybe 3 rounds with unbroken DUs, though -- I was just so damn winded and my legs were tired!

Mar 7, 2011


Pulled this WOD from CrossFit Camden. It's a great test of stamina and endurance.

400m run
20 pullups
400m run
15 wall ball shots (14#)
400m run
10 burpees
400m run
5 tire flips

Results: 11:50-ish

Felt the lung burn, so I know I pushed myself -- that was my main goal.

My previous time for this was around 14 minutes, but I think the 400m run at C2 is a bit short.

Mar 6, 2011


Today I simply ran.

We moved into a new place, and I'm finally able to run loops of several miles without any annoying turn-arounds. There's nothing I hate more than an "out and back".

Distance: ~5.5 miles
Time: 53 minutes

Mar 3, 2011

Back at the track

Another Thursday morning at the track.

Didn't time this one.

4 rounds:
400m run
15 double unders
15 goblet squats (45# kb)
30 Abmat situps
10 pushups

Feb 28, 2011

Learn and play new sports: Highland Games edition

Well, my dear blog readers, I am excited to report that I've added another new sport to my "repertoire", in addition to weightlifting.


On February 19th I had my first exposure to the throwing events that make up the Highland Games.

The local community of throwers always organizes an athlete clinic the Saturday prior to the yearly games held in the area -- Northeast Florida Scottish Highland Games and Festival. It was a pretty good time, and I really learned a lot!

Then this past Saturday, the 26th, it was time for the real deal. I was excited, but nervous, because several events had not gone very well in practice. In particular, caber toss and sheaf toss.

In the end I was able to complete a successful attempt in each of the 7 events, which is awesome for my first games. Woohoo!

Here are some pictures. :)

Practice session -- Weight for height event

Stone - setup

Stone - release

Hammer - going...

Hammer - going...

Hammer - GONE!

Sheaf toss

Weight for height

Caber Toss

Caber Toss
For my "memory" here's a score sheet I put together for myself.

As for the "approximations" of my scores, that's a lesson learned -- next time I will pay more attention to what the judges call out, now that I know you don't get a personal scoresheet at the end. :)

  • 28# heavy weight for distance: ~21'
  • 14# light weight for distance: ~23' (need lots of work here)
  • Stone throw for distance: ~21'
  • 12# hammer throw: ~44'
  • 28# weight over bar: made 8', 9' and 10' throws; hit bar twice at 11'
  • Sheaf toss: made 8', 10', missed big time on all 3 attempts at 12'
  • Caber toss: got one good pick and got a 15 degree toss/turn/not sure what the right word is. So excited about that because I didn't think I'd even be able to pick it up at all!

Feb 27, 2011

Filthy Fifty

Hit this WOD on a whim Sunday night. Husband has a weird issue going on with his shin, so I took him over to the "satellite" gym to use the rower for his running substitute. He's addicted to running, so complete rest is not an option for him.

Filthy Fifty was on the board for Friday, and some other peeps had come in and done it on Sunday. So we modified it for him, and I did it "regular".

Filthy Fifty
50 box jumps (20'')
50 jumping pullups
50 kettlebell swings (1/2 pood - 16kg)
50 walking lunge steps
50 knees to elbows
50 push press (35#)
50 back extensions (did supermans, no GHD for me yet)
50 wall ball shots (14#)
50 burpees
50 double unders

Results: 45:29 (includes a potty break during DUs :-p)

This WOD and I just do not get along. Especially the part where I'm supposed to do 50 K2Es. I think I spent about 15 minutes doing K2Es, and 30 minutes doing everything else. Seriously.

Low points:
 - K2Es were not only agonizingly slow with small sets of 2s, 3s and 4s, but there weren't even close to Rx with my knees touching triceps most of the time; I have a lot practice to get "Rx" on this WOD...
 - Back extensions -- still afraid of getting on the GHD for fear of triggering renewed back/hip pain...

High points:
 - 50 unbroken kb swings
 - 25-15-10 wall balls; this is an epic improvement for me on those
 - push press felt light, wish I had gone for unbroken
 - double unders -- every minute of practice I did to get these is worth it when I breeze through them in a wod

Feb 24, 2011

First day out at the track

I'm behind on posting, so I'm "back dating" this and a few others this morning. :)

Thursday mornings from here on out will be spent at the track on base getting FASTER. I'm so lucky to have two wonderful friends who are willing to meet up with me and keep me accountable.

Often I let myself get into the mindset that I'm strong and slow, and that I'm OK with that. But that's not true.
I know I have the genetic ability to be fast, because I trained my way to a sub-6 minute mile while running high school track. And my 800m was somewhere in the neighborhood of 2:40. Does that sound slow to you? Or sound like I'm an athlete that just doesn't have the genetic gift of enough fast twitch fiber? Yeah -- that would be a no.

And I know I'm not OK with being slow. It drives me crazy!

So it's time to buckle down, and get fast again.

10 rounds
100m sprint
10 burpees

Results: ~17 minutes

I'm not sure that I managed to sprint on each run, but I did maintain good POSE form to try to foster some speed in my feet, and also continue to build up my calves.

100 burpees sucks. 100 burpees amidst sprints *really* sucks.

But we felt awesome once we got it done. :)

Feb 23, 2011

2k row, push press 1RM

Very interesting combo for one day, huh? :)

I've been interested in testing my rowing skills ever since I completed the Holiday Rowing Challenge in December -- the challenge was to row 100,000 meters between Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day. During that time I was taking a little hiatus from posting workouts here, but I was logging lots of rowing workouts in my Concept2 online logbook. Very neat concept, if you like rowing you should set one up -- it's fun to see how you rank among other rowers. CrossFitters usually stack up pretty well!

So, back to the WOD. I was coaching my 9am class, and there were 3 ladies there. We only have 2 ergs in our "satellite" location, and everyone knows you can't do a long distance sprint without someone next to you keeping you going. (Or is that just me? :-p) So I warmed up and rowed with D, after T and M did their rows.

Result: 8:36.5 (2:09.1 avg/500m)

I was ver happy with that time! Next goal -- 8:30 or below.

BTW, definitely got a "Fran cough" after that row. Holy crap burning lungs!

I didn't do push press until that evening. I arrived early for my 6pm class and banged out my 6 1RM attempts. I'm sure I got more that I would have if I did it right after the row, which is how the WOD was written. But I still felt the effects of doing that row!

Warm-up: 5x45# strict press; 2x65# push press

Working sets: 95-105-115-125-130-135m

After I got 125 up, I had to walk it around a bit before I could get it stabilized.  That matched my old PR!

I wasn't sure 130 would go up, and was really happy when it did! I was more stable with it overhead than 125. Yay 5# PR!

I decided to just go for it, and loaded up 135 on the bar. I got it up high enough to push my head through, but then it just stopped. I had to drop it behind me - craziness!

Thoughts -- I need more reps with heavy weights on the bar. For this WOD, and our 1RM OHS WOD, my biggest obstacle to a great performance was a lack of confidence at the higher loads. The only thing that will build that confidence is more reps. Good thing we just got some new jerk blocks! :)