Thursday, January 31, 2008


I think the title pretty much sums up my feeling about my workout this morning. Amazingly after 3 straight 14 hour days at work, I managed to roll out of bed this morning and make it to X-fit. I felt a little tight because it's been awhile since I hit a workout since Wednesday was a skill day with some muscle up work.

We started off with some cals where again for some reason my hip flexers felt very tight despite a lot of earlier stretching. After some cals and working on the dip and shrug Jerry pulled out the sets. I missed Cindy the other day in my workathon that I've been having, so I thought I'd go with option 1. 20 20 lb thrusters, 15 jump squat slamball, 10 chins, 5 burpees. This shouldn't have been too bad for me to handle, but it was.

First off, just let me say, what the crap is up with me and thrusters? For the third time in about 3 weeks, I have started off gang busters in a circuit with push presses INSTEAD of thrusters. I got to about 15 before I smacked myself in the head and corrected myself. I don't know why my brain seems to have a mental block when it comes to thrusters but man oh man. Someone needs to put a permanent sticky note of my forehead. Anyway, once I righted myself, I could barely get out 5 thrusters without a break. What the crap is that? On my first circuit of jumping slamballs, I accidentally let the ball slip from my hands and had to play duck and cover so I didn't get hit. Things weren't looking good on the first round. They didn't get better on the second and third. Andrea was yelling, nicely, from across the room that my chin was not over the bar on my chins. What the crap? I haven't had that problem since October! And to top things off, in my frustration, I threw my dumbbells to the mat, where the promptly bounced, and then landed on my foot.

I finally finished in an APPALLING 15 and change and wanted to crawl into the nearest corner. I seriously felt terrible. I felt so lethargic, and so heavy. I decided I would try to get in a second circuit, but was stopped by Andrea again because of poor form. I was going to try to hit some 135 deadlifts to round out the circuit, but despite my awesome pulling just a short while ago, I could barely lift the bar. This is the first circuit I have failed to complete, unless Jerry was calling time. This was the first time I actually stopped myself before I finished. I felt utterly deflated.

Cara told me earlier not to let times etc bother me and that Crossfit is fun. And she's right, Crossfit is fun, but as competitive as I am, it is very difficult not to be frustrated when I see the fabulous accomplishments of other people, and see myself slipping backwards and becoming stagnant. Today was truly a frustrating Crossfit day. To top off the whole thing, work and I are at each other's throats, and while sitting at Regional swimming this evening, all of the lymph nodes in my neck swelled up like, well something that swells a whole lot. After my experiences last year at almost this exact time (February 2nd to be precise) with my surgery and cancer scare due to my lymphatic system, I'm not really thrilled about the ending of my day, well or the rest of it for that matter.

To the shittiest workout I think I have had since joining Crossfit, all I can say is seriously, WHAT THE CRAP?

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Some thoughts on "The Zone", Alexandria Pastry Shop, and SODA

One might say that this blog could actually be titled "Katie's new addiction to blogging" or even "Katie's procrastination from report cards". Regardless of the title though... I've been having thoughts. (As you can see from my blog, I apparently have quite a few of those... imagine that!) Anyway, I know and understand what The Zone is, why it works, and the science behind it all. I really do, but I am having a huge problem getting into it. I zoned quite effectively for about the first month to month and a half of school. But the kinks come in for people who lead busy lives (ok ok ok ALRIGHT! FINE!) INSANE lives like myself. Now granted this insanity is only temporary and is (Thank God) nearing an end. But the problem is, I have NO time. No really. Today is the first full day off I have had in nearly 4 weeks. My laundry routinely piles up, and I haven't dusted my house or cleaned my bathroom in a time frame I'm not comfortable admitting to other people. Therefore, it seems like these things should certainly be taking precedence over blogging, but I digress again.

The point being, if there is no time available for the little details of the day to day, where am I supposed to find time for measuring and preportioning and blocking and counting? It's frustrating. I would like to zone, because I do understand that my diet needs to be balanced. I do understand that things like the Strawberry Belgian Waffle that I ate at the Alexandria Pastry Shop this morning would qualify as things that do not balance my diet, and would need to go. (They're just so darned GOOD! And if you want to cheat at the zone, not that I'm ENCOURAGING that, but if you just HAVE to... go there!) Digression again... back on point here. I guess really what I would like, are some pointers or tricks for busy people who simply can't do it. The people who work between 12-15 hours most days and have jobs on the weekends. What can we do if we don't have time to measure or stock up on the weekends? The South Beach has several meal options etc. out there. Would following those be a similar format? I know they are "low carb" or at least low "processed" carbs. Would that at least be a step in the right direction? If so, then frozen South Beach Diet meals would certainly fit into the schedule.

My other issue with the zone is my soda intake. Some people drink water the way I drink soda. My intake is ENTIRELY too high. Some people say that switching to diet is good enough. I say diet tastes like crap and I do it for three days before I cave and go straight back. I need a good solid technique for kicking the habit and not jonesing and then heading back three days later. I have actually given up soda before (for Lent) and found that I felt much better after doing it, but giving it up for Lent was easy. I had a reason, and more importantly, a time frame when I could get it back. 40 days was feasible... forever and ever (Amen) seems like a loooooong time to give something up.

I have a friend, well I guess he's actually not really my friend any longer since he hates me, but I'm digressing again. He told me that when he used to work nights on the police force he drank a lot of soda to help keep him awake. He also told me that he gained a lot of weight from doing it. He said that as soon as he switched to diet, and of course kept working out, he lost a lot of that same weight. I would like to do the same, but somehow need to find a way to kick the habit. Because in the true sense of the word, I really do have a caffeine addiction. I get headaches if I don't drink it. So, if you have any thoughts, or perhaps a plan to help me... please let me know. Maybe we could work out an incentive program and I could get gold stars. I like shiny things! :)

Well, it's about that time... time for me to go continue to be productive today. Hey, after 3 hours of staring at little bubbles on a scantron sheet, I needed a diversion. You would too if your eyes were starting to permanently go cross eyed! :P Next thing you know I'd be permanently cross eyed and try to grab a chin up bar and fall flat on my face, or even worse, bear crawl right into the wall! :P But since it's time for us to wrap up our time together... (awwww... :( ) I'll leave you with a funny quote.

"If you want to impress a woman at the gym, do pull ups. Pull up in a Rolls Royce, pull up in a Corvette...." Conan O'Brian

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Day two of swimming and a morning workout

So despite the late night last night I was able to get up and make it to Crossfit this am. I was nervous about working out because my knee was still being somewhat retarded, but I went and I'm glad I did. Even though Monday to Saturday doesn't seem like a long time, my calluses were disappearing, and I was starting to feel very lethargic from not working out. I made it through our four station, five round warm-up without really any problems, except for incredibly tight hip flexers. We shot straight into working on chin up volume and I started out great! I was psyched! But by about my forth round, my number dropped drastically! I had gone from a nice uneven 9 chins a turn, down to four, and then eventually to three. My form felt pretty strong which was certainly a positive, but I felt pretty beat. Our team hit 174 chins in 10 minutes, so I think we did pretty well. From there we hopped into jump squats, which I modified to air squats. I should have been banging those puppies out like nobody's business, but for some reason the most I could amass in a round was 39. Being out this week really hurt me, and I was bummed about that number.

To finish up today Jerry had us do 1 v 1 tug of war plus some team tug of war. After 2 rounds of tug of war with Laura, I decided that the team tug was probably not a good idea for me, so I backed down on that one. Overall, I felt rusty, but glad to be back. After going home and attempting to get some things done before round two of swimming it was time to get back to the bus and head to Arlington.

I have to say that I was a little concerned when I finally managed to make it to the bus. I mean, really, traffic on 95 on a Saturday at 300? C'mon! Anyway, moving right along.... :P I was concerned because the team looked very flat. They were quiet (which for them is nothing short of an act of the big man upstairs) and they just looked tired. I was really worried about how they were going to perform. So many of them had finished with best times last night, I was worried that they would not swim well in the consolations/finals tonight.

However, to my surprise (but delight) they started off well. Relay teams swam well, and our first individual swimmer in the water dropped 5 more seconds off his 200 free time, which had been his personal best yesterday. From there, it just kept going. Over half the team posted personal bests, including my same swimmer who just yesterday dropped 46 seconds off her 500 free! Today she turned around and swam a great race and dropped another 10 seconds and placed 2 places above her seed! I was so proud of the way my kids swam tonight, but I was again, coerced if you will, into thinking about personal bests and goals. Think of it this way. District swimming is a two day event with prelims on Friday, and consolations/finals on Saturday based on your performance on Friday. So basically, it's almost like doing Fran two days in a row. Today you hit a sub 10 minute Fran... tomorrow, we're going to ask you to do the same thing all over again, but now do it faster. It seems insane! It seems impossible that one would be able to give personal best performances two days in a row! But, it happened. Several times. And that got me to thinking that, well, maybe my goals aren't quite challenging enough. What if I've done myself a disservice and am selling myself short.

After lots of consideration, I decided that some goals were sufficiently challenging for me, while others would need to be tweaked. So, here are my "revised" short term goals.

1. Post a sub 10 minute pro level Fran
2. Hit 20 chins on the max test
3. Hit 5 hand stand push-ups *with the standard of head to floor*
4. Hit 10 push ups *after form modification, but with the standard of nose, chest hips to the floor*

Well it's been another long day... as I sit and type, my eyelids are getting very heavy, and the heat from my extra blankets is taking over... I like ending with quotes, so here's another of my favorites to round out my post tonight....

"If you eat fish sticks, you'll swim faster, because they're made of fish!"

Friday, January 25, 2008

Ramblings on the ideas of goals and personal bests....

So I've spent a better part of my day today with a bunch of horny pubesent teenagers. Why in the world would I do that to myself you ask? Well, it's simple rather... as a high school swim coach, who else would you be spending time with? :P Anyway, tonight was the first of two nights of our district swim meet, and I must say, for as much as the little buggers drive me nuts on occassion, I was very proud of them tonight. I watched first year swimmers who barely knew how to swim a 25 free when they started with this team just a little over two months ago finish the 500 free and make it back to the consolation finals. One of our swimmers dropped a whopping 46 seconds off her 500 free. For those of you who are not familiar with swimming or are just not mathematically inclined, the 500 free is the longest high school event in a meet, and at 20 laps, is quite grueling. Nonetheless, it was done, by more than 1 first year swimmer tonight. Another of my swimmers dropped 20 seconds. Talk about amazing!

With all these personal bests flying about, it got me to thinking about my goals and my personal bests. I spent the bus ride home tonight chatting with coach and icing my knee which was throbbing like a mo fo by that point, but also thinking about some new X-fit goals. I was so psyched to hit my first chin, and then my goal went to five. After that, my goal was to hit 10. Well, per our last max chin up day, goal accomplished at 11. So, the question becomes, now what? I'm trying to think of some goals, that for me are realistic. Jerry has been throwing in a lot of new exercises and I find myself saying, well hey, let's try this weight today or let's do this many reps and see what happens, but I don't have a goal. I don't have something that I'm working towards, except to look a whole lot hotter naked! Ok ok, fine... just to be healthy and in kick ass shape! :P So having said that, I'm thinking that these sound like 4 good goals for me.

1. A sub 10 minute pro Fran
2. 15 chin ups on the max test
3. My first hand stand push-up *done to standard of head to floor*
4. 10 push-ups done to standard *after form adjustment*

Well... the little buggers wore me out, and if I want to have any hope of getting up for X-fit in the morning, even if for nothing else than to come offer my company, I need to get some sleep.

"Only those who risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go."
-T. S. Eliot

I rumbled with the Spartans.... unfortunately they won...

Monday started out as a super day. My first semi-full day off in nearly three weeks was going to allow me some extra play time at Crossfit, and I was excited that I didn't need to hit the grind first thing on a Monday morning. Looking back, I should have stayed in bed... for everyone KNOWS that holidays make Jerry like a kid in a candy store. He knows that many of us don't have to work, and can use that extra time to provide a little extra "fun". Having said that, my excitement upon reaching our famed blue room quickly changed. After seeing our "Meet the Spartans" workout, my excitement went from, oh great, to oh @$#%! I thought for a minute that since the workout was crazy already, I might go EXTRA crazy and pick up a 75 pound thruster. I have quickly learned that after 16+ years of high school and college swimming, plus some extended time with the masters, my shoulders are quite possibly the strongest thing on my body (next to my mouth). If you've never actually worked out near me, that's probably a good thing for you. I have difficulties shutting up sometimes. My talking may only consist of cursing and lamentations about my stupidity in weight choices, but nonetheless, I still talk. Moving on...

I chose (smartly) to stick with the 55 lb thruster and high pull and wow am I glad I did. I started out in the second wave, and nearly hit the floor after those push-ups. I had a giant note to self after that workout that my push-ups certainly need improving. While my shoulders may be certainly capable of hefting and holding a case of beer, er, I mean a sandbag, my triceps are certainly lacking. Through no small feat of man, I was (eventually) able to finish up the "Meet the Spartans". It was no land speed record by any means, but I came in just around the 38 minute mark. 38:11 to be exact. Amazingly, I didn't feel terrible after the workout, and I stayed to play with Danny, Robin, Keturah, Andrea, and Jerry, and took a look at my push-up form. Some modifications were made and I realized just HOW weak my triceps are. It's amazing how your body will adapt it's form to account for weaknesses. After our extended play time, I went home and finished out the rest of the day. I quickly realized on Tuesday though, just how badly I had been whooped by the Spartans. The combination of a kip into a squat barrier on Saturday, and the Spartan beating on Monday had my knee significantly throbbing, and me unable to move much of my body. I thought I would make it back in later in the week, but icing is still a part of the daily regimine. Perhaps I'll try tomorrow because let's face it. Those push-ups aren't going to improve themselves now are they? I've missed a bunch of KILLER workouts this week because of my knee and my crazy retarded schedule and I'm totally bummed out about it, so hopefully my return will be soon.

On a completely unrelated workout note, I would just like to offer a little friendly advice. Unless it's absolutely necessary, don't work three jobs, and avoid biting off more than you can chew. You're blood pressure will thank you for it. After the week I've had, I need some X-fit to help lower that bad boy down, especially since on top of everything, report cards are due. Speaking of report cards, I should probably zip it now since they're waiting on the desk beside me... but I'll leave with a quote that is one of my all time favorites, but pretty indicative of my week outside of the gym...

"Every piece of the puzzle that doesn't fit, gets you closer to finding the one that does."