Archive for November, 2010

What a gift!

giftofhealth_logo Part of what motivates me to continue pushing myself and working on healthier living is that I am able to. What a luxury it is to worry about whether I will eat too much today when so many people in the world are wondering if they will get to eat at all. How fortunate to be deciding whether to go for a run this morning when so many people are too injured, sick, or malnourished to even get out of bed. I was only sick for 24 hours and I was already irritated that I could only lay around. So when I am healthy I feel like it is my responsibility to take advantage of it.

I used to go to a yoga class where the instructors would always say “if you can, you must”. During class thoughts would always pop into my head like ‘i can also sleep in and eat cake for breakfast’ but I got the message. If you have your health you have an amazing gift that others in this world would do anything for. If you have the ability and the means to take care of it and especially to enjoy it, don’t let the opportunity to do so pass you by. Happy Thanksgiving!

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Sooooo sick

pizza It is easy to be motivated to take care of your health right before a competition. But I just suffered a serious reminder of the importance of taking care of yourself AFTER a competition too. The day after spending 12 hours competing, freezing cold, probably not drinking enough water, and then being too hyper to sleep I ate way too much pizza and chocolate for dinner. Monday I didn’t feel right when I woke up and it got progressively worse during the day. I thought it was just from being tired and eating crappy but by bedtime I felt like I had food poisoning. Extreme fatigue and a temperature of up to 101, I barely had enough strength to get myself from my bed to the bathroom and back… every hour on the hour all night long. Don’t get me wrong, I am not blaming the pizza. I love pizza. That’s why I ate it. But when your body is trying to repair itself or trying to fight off sickness and all it has to work with is junk food it can’t possibly help.

Anyway, I am fine now, just in time to do “Angie” today. (That’s 100 pull ups, 100 pushups, 100 situps, 100 squats for time.) I still have some CrossFit goals to reach with only one month left. Then in January I am attending the Front Range Winter Training Camp which sounds like four days of complete torture. Really looking forward to that.

Muscle Up –> Still can’t do one
Pistols –> Don’t yet have the full range of motion but getting there. 
Handstand Push Ups –> Can now do 3 with a kip. 
Chest-To-Bar Pull Ups –> Did a workout with all chest to bar pull ups about 3 at a time.
Toes-To-Bar –> I can now do a set of 10 but have not yet tried 3 sets.

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Earn Your Turkey Challenge: Results

It was freezing cold yesterday and I ran most of the 5k race with both shoelaces untied. I still somehow managed to beat my fastest time ever AND get under my goal of 7:30 per mile with a time of 22:59. 6th place in the open division for the first event.finalevent

Worried the run would affect my depth, I did not go for a personal record on squat. I made all three lifts but ended up with a max of 225 instead of going for 235. When I realized the adrenaline was giving me extra power I went for more on the other lifts and scored a personal record of 95 pounds on overhead press and a personal record of 275 on deadlift. A CrossFit Total of 595 landed me in 2nd place in that event. I have to say, the girl who took 1st in this event beat my by 70 pounds!

wallAfter the CrossFit Total we waited patiently for the timed workout to be announced. They raised the hangar door to reveal that they had built a 5 foot wall the length of the entire gym similar to the ones at the Games in California.  The workout was:

15 reps ground to overhead @ 65#
10 times over the wall plus a burpee
3 times climbing up a 15 foot rope
10 times over the wall plus a burpee
15 reps ground to overhead @ 65#

My main goal was not let my nerves give me a heart attack in front of everybody. In my heat I was nearly the last person to finish those first 15 reps. I gained almost no ground on the wall/burpees. But having paced myself a little I was able to fly through the 3 rope climbs and pass the lot for a 1st place finish in the final event.

Third and final rope climb:

Finally, it was an honor and a privilege to be awarded 1st overall for the three events combined. I competed with a great group of hardworking girls and had a total blast. And by the way, many apologies to whoever i kicked when i was flinging my legs over that wall! Here is me and my MBS buddy Samantha up on the podium at 1st and 2nd place:


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Days To Turkey Challenge: 1

hammockOne more day. Yesterday and today are rest days. Really hate resting Hate it. Yeah, I know it is necessary. My hamstrings were pretty sore from all the squats on Tuesday. Sadly, I found out that when I ran the 5k before I may have cut off part of the course. So it may be more of a struggle than I thought to get under 24:00 tomorrow morning. Don’t care! It is going to be so fun! Wish me luck!

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Days To Turkey Challenge: 2

tired Goal 3: The WOD

We don’t get to find out what the workout will be until after the run so I am not sure what the goal will be for this. I guess to push and push until I either die or finish. A failure would be to get to the end and know I could have done more.

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Days To Turkey Challenge: 4

Goal 2: The Total

weightsThe second event is trickier to set a goal for. It is a one rep max on squat, overhead press, and dead lift… AFTER having just run a 5k race. I have no idea how much that will affect things. I am thinking it would be good if I can match my current (recent) personal records. Anything more would be a good day.

Squat: 230
Overhead Press: 85
Dead lift: 265
Total: 580

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Days To Turkey Challenge: 5

Goal 1: The Run

run My fastest 5k ever was 23:37. Mostly I just want to see if I can beat that time this weekend. But that was at sea level, it was completely flat, and I had been training for that race for 2 months. In this case I have run less than 10 times in the past 3 months. The air will be thinner and colder and more dry. And this loop goes steeply downhill for about a mile and the rest of it is back uphill. The other day I ran as fast as I could and my time was 23:45. Ooo. So close. But sadly, I started and ended in the street. If we start and end in the gym that adds at least 15 seconds. I am hoping the excitement of race day will make me go a little faster up that long long hill.

Anything under 24:00 would be okay
23:36 would beat my fastest 5k ever
23:30 is the goal I have in mind
23:18 is 7:30 per mile and was the New Year’s Resolution I set before I got distracted by CrossFit. Highly unlikely but not ruled out.

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No to feeding a family?

familyoffour A couple days ago I went to Whole Foods and the lady at the checkout counter asked if I wanted to spend five dollars to feed a family of four during the holidays. For some reason I automatically said: No, thank you. So to be clear… I said yes to a seven dollar salad and a three dollar bar of dark chocolate for myself and no to feeding an entire family of four for a measly five bucks.

What was I thinking? It kept bugging me. The same night they ran the story on the news about how the Denver Rescue Mission usually has thousands of turkeys by now and at that point had zero. I think there will be a lot of people hurting over these next couple months. It made me realize I have never spent one moment of my life wondering if I would have money for food.

So starting today I have decided that every time I hit Whole Foods over the next month or so I am going to say yes to that question. Yeah it could add up but so does shopping at Whole Foods in general. Maybe it will keep me away from the chocolate.

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Retired. Navy Capt. Dave Robey tackles the Potomac River's winter rapids. Photo courtesy of Dave RobeyWhen I learned to kayak a few years ago the instructor stopped us on the side of the river before a difficult section. The water rushed through a narrow passage that shot straight towards a gigantic rock face and the river made a sharp turn. He told us “Don’t look at the rock. If you look at the rock and think ‘Don’t hit the rock’ you will hit the rock and flip over every time. If you concentrate on the direction you want to go, think to yourself ‘Go that way’, and go as hard as you can, you will hardly notice there was an obstacle.”

For months I have believed that I am no good at overhead squats. So I have put extra time into it. That is a good thing, right?  Well, sort of. I recently realized that I may have subconsciously undermined some of my extra efforts. Maybe I did less reps or less weight because I didn’t believe I could do more. Or maybe subconsciously I excused myself for poor form because I thought I could not do better. There is a fine line between being aware of what you have difficulty with so you can work on it and inadvertently sabotaging yourself with doubt or dread. If CrossFit has taught me anything it is that the biggest obstacle to overcome is usually in my head.

Yesterday the workout was 100 overhead squats for time at 65#. I wondered if I should lower the weight “since this is one of my weaknesses”. But the trainer said “You’re fine at 65”. So I thought “Okay, I can do these. They need work like everything else and here is my chance to do that work.”  What a difference. It was no harder or easier than 100 wall balls or 100 pull ups or anything else. And in a workout that is probably intended to be 8-10 minutes I set a benchmark of 12 minutes and 30 seconds and I intend to smash that next time around.

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Two Minutes of Remembrance

worldflag Several years ago I happened to be walking through the airport in London when the clock struck 11am on what they call Remembrance Sunday, the Sunday nearest Veterans Day.

Before that moment the airport was in total chaos, a mob of travelers rushing to catch their flights, announcements on the loudspeakers overlapping each other, crowds around the food counters demanding their orders, mothers scolding their children for bad behavior. A mess.

At exactly 11am the entire airport came to a complete stop. Every single person froze in their tracks and fell completely silent as if they were stuck in time. The whole airport went motionless for a full two minutes in remembrance of the members of the armed forces and civilians who have lost their lives at war. I have never seen anything like it before or since. A fascinating two minutes.

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