Archive for April, 2011

Event 6: Going for a record

Go Looking at the CrossFit Games site this morning, I realized I will be fighting for a record tomorrow. If I work hard enough I have a chance of being the person with the worst score in a single event to still qualify for Regionals. I already made a pretty good run at it on Wednesday. But I have a lot of ground to make up and I am not convinced the job is done. Event 4 killed me. But someone reminded me this week I am not defined by my weaknesses. Tomorrow is an opportunity for me to prove it..

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Not Too Seriously

Only 1 event left and so close to the top 60. So close. Sometimes when you are in the middle of competing for something it is easy to take it so seriously that your own stress becomes an impediment to success. It is always good, for so many reasons, to step back once in awhile and remember why you are there. In many cases (not all but many) the reason is because you want to be. On some level for whatever reason – you like it. What a shame it would be to get to the end and realize you worried so much that you didn’t do what you really set out to do – to enjoy yourself. For example, if you have a hard time with push ups like I do, its nice when someone comes up with a way to make them more interesting…

04_27_2011 MBS Push Ups

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Event 5 Results – The good and the bad

dieontreadmill Event 5 Results: 
20:00 for as many rounds/reps of:
5 Power cleans 100 (145)
10 Toes to bar
15 Wall balls 14 lbs to 9′ target

I was looking forward to getting through this workout. For one thing, having it out there was pretty daunting so I was excited to get it over with. But I also knew this could be a decent event for me. No push ups or overhead squats to trip me up. Of the Olympic lifts, power cleans are my favorite. I like wall balls and the target is lower than normal. And after toes 2 bars tripped me up in the first Throw Down Series workout I have been working on them regularly.

Another advantage was that it was 20 minutes. I am sure there are plenty of girls that can go faster but not quite as many that can go faster for that long. 20 minutes is a long time. A really long time. But I was able to keep a pretty steady pace. I can thank Todd for that for dragging me uphill steep hills hours at a time on our mountain bikes.

In the end I did 11 rounds plus 10 reps. A 4th place finish in that event of 470 in our region. My lungs are still burning. I was really excited until I realized it only bumped me up a couple places. It wasn’t nearly enough to recover from the overhead squats. That “chink in my armor” cost me 217 points (lower is better) while the other 4 events combined only cost me a TOTAL of 195. It is possible I won’t recover.

Possible but not inevitable. One event left. There are a lot of girls better than me at chest 2 bar pull ups but I have been working on them so there is a chance. And maybe the endurance will give me an advantage again. Todd showed me a video that was posted on CrossFit Verve’s website that will be going through my mind this week. Will Smith was talking about how successes in life come from unrelenting hard work. He said basically, “you might be faster or better than me but are you willing to die on a treadmill? Cause I am.”

MBS is still holding firm in 3rd place in the region. 16th overall.

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Events 5 and 6: The last two events

pull up Event 5: 
20:00 for as many rounds/reps of:
5 Power cleans 100 (145)
10 Toes to bar
15 Wall balls 14 lbs to 9′ target

Event 6:
7:00 to increase reps by 3 ea round for total reps as follows:
3 thrusters @ 65 (100)
3 chest to bar pull ups
6 thrusters
6 chest to bar pull ups
9 thrusters
9 chest to bar pull ups…. (and so on for 7 min)

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Next round of before and after photos – My crooked neck

Last year I participated in a before and after photo challenge and lost more than 20 pounds. This year I have another before and after photo challenge to attack. I have been having some mild pains in my neck and my range of motion is getting limited. I can’t tilt my head sideways (like holding a phone to your ear). Everything back there is really tense. So I decided to suck it up and go see a chiropractor last week. Check out these xrays! On the left is a normal healthy neck. That is the after photo I am aiming for. Notice how vertebrae are lined up to form a nice curved C-shaped platform for the head, similar to how you would bend your wrist back to support bowling ball that rests on your hand.

xray001  xray002

On the right hand side is my neck. Notice how if you traced the vertebrae on the left side you would end up with a squiggly line instead of a ‘C’. Not only is it straight (which I guess is a pretty typical problem) but it is actually starting to curve forward. I am no kind of expert but that doesn’t seem good. She said it looks like I have been in a car accident. Check out the view from the front:


First of all it is S-shaped. At the very top around my jaw line it veers off to the left (to the right in the pic). My head tilts to the right (left in the pic) to compensate. So my head sits on it like a crooked lamp shade. When the chiropractor cracked my neck it sounded like a firing squad. Startled the crap out of me. She said it felt like it’s been a long time since that stuff moved the way it is supposed to. I am really hoping these appointments help with stuff. At least maybe they can get my head screwed on straight. :)

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Event 4 Results – Pressure is on

results As many rounds and/or reps as possible in 10:00 of:
60 Bar-facing burpees (jumping over the bar)
30 Overhead squats @ 90 (120 for guys)
10 Muscle-ups

Four down. Two to go. The top athlete in the world in this event made it through 1 full round plus 60 more burpees and 18 more overhead squats. Just getting through the first round of burpees and the overhead squats was a top-60-in-the-region-worthy performance for the ladies. Unfortunately, I wasn’t even close. This one sent me plummeting down to somewhere around 70th with only two more chances to secure a spot in the top 60. The MBS team is still holding strong in 3rd place in the region and 19th overall.

I failed several reps on my first attempt at this and ended up only getting through 17 of the 30 overhead squats. It would have been so much easier to just let it go at that. But I really want to fix those things. What better way than to face them again while still under pressure? I decided to go for it again on Sunday. I changed everything. Wider grip. Narrower stance with wider knees. I clean and jerked instead of snatching. I rested instead of rushing. And guess what? I got the exact same score. But I am so glad I put myself through it again. On Wednesday my squats were a little better. On Sunday my arms were a little better. Now I just need to put them together.

Saturday we had a ridiculous “mountain biking” adventure. Todd will tell you why “mountain biking” is in quotes: Mountain biking this weekend.:

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Event 4 – Torture and Kryptonite

StretchTorture-796243 10:00 as many as you can of:
60 burpees jumping over a barbell
30 overhead squats at 90# / 120# (for guys)
10 muscle ups

CrossFit workouts are intended to be constantly varied. After doing heavy squats and weight overhead last week I didn’t think it would show up again so soon. But “constantly varied” is not evenly distributed – by definition. The goal is not to make things even and fair but to find your weaknesses. And your goal is not to have any. Everyone has certain things they would rather see in a workout. Some they struggle with. Strengths and weaknesses. But then there is the kryptonite. The thing specifically designed to take you down. You can be the fastest, best, most powerful athlete in the world and still be taken down because you can’t do double-unders.

My kryptonite is overhead squats. For well over a year I avoided them to protect my volleyball shoulder. What I didn’t realize is that I was just avoiding a problem instead of solving it. Ever since I started to do overhead squats last year my shoulder pain is gone. If only I had known sooner! Regardless, I had very positive thoughts last night before the workout about having a major breakthrough. But no luck. Positive thinking is great but it has to be accompanied by practice, a lot of hard work and dedication.

There is a lot I can do. Yoga for the flexibility and for straightening my ever-crooked elbows. Dips, jerks, and handstand pushups. Front squats. The trainers were even trying to think of torture devices like hanging me upside-down while i hold weights or strapping me to a medieval rack and cranking away. All those things would help but what will help most is repetitions, repetitions, repetitions. To face my kryptonite as much as I can until I am immune to it. I may not fix this by Saturday but I will fix it.

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Golf on Sunday was freezing but fun

On Sunday we were invited to play some golf with a few of the MBS crew.

ToddandIGolfIt was more like a dare than an invitation. It was freezing cold and windy which explains why we were the only ones on the course. Our spectators found a way to keep warm. 1 round for time of whatever came to mind:

I am not really much of a golfer but I still managed to outdo my worst game. On this one I putted all the way across the green to a foot from the hole and then missed it.

KarenPutts_fixedThe other day I promised to introduce the girls – my extremely studly workout buddies. From left to right: Mary Finck, Leah Hosburgh, Samantha Griffith, Johanne Snavely, and Jamie, the birthday girl.

MarynLeah   YoNSam_cropped   jamie

When it was hard to concentrate on golf we found other ways to entertain ourselves.


Thanks, Johanne, for getting us all together!

yo_croppedAnd thanks to Dan and Todd for dealing with our constant giggling on the longest 9 holes of golf ever played..


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Event 3 Results

results 5:00 as many rounds as possible of
Squat clean 110#
Jerk 110#
My score: 21 rounds 1 rep = 43 reps

Ouch. That workout hurt. Both times. Squat cleans and jerks are not my strongest suits so I was okay with my score. I tried again anyway and got the same exact score. The first time I paced myself and finished right before time ran out. The second time I was faster and felt better but with 15 seconds left I reached total failure and couldn’t even clean it anymore. So far its only dropped me two spots from 40 to 42. We have seen people rise and fall by dozens of places every week so I can’t complain. MBS is still holding on to 3rd place of 67 in our region and 18th of 761 overall.

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The Experiment

diet-obsession It was weird not stepping on the scale this morning. It used to be right by the shower door. I checked my weight as automatically as I brush my teeth. Now it’s on a shelf in the closet not to be touched until Saturday, April 23rd. I showed the Food Log to Todd. The first thing he said was “You eat too many carbs and not enough protein”. I know he is right. But right now the rice and potatoes are not what gets me in trouble. It is Doritos and Peanut M&Ms. One day I stay clear of carbs entirely and the next day I dive in to a double pepperoni with cheese and breadsticks. The frequent wild swings can’t possibly be good for my health and not fixing it can’t be good for my mental well-being. I just want a few weeks to feel good about all my food choices without worrying too much about the details to see if I can balance it out a bit. I want to be able to stay focused on my performance but still have the mental energy for other things like excelling at work and projects around our home, If I can make a more balanced diet a habit then I can tweak the details from there.

The updated and cleaned up the food log I will use for these two weeks is here: The Food Log.

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