Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Goal Update

It's been three weeks since I posted my goals and wanted to give you all an update since I know you've been anxiously waiting.  

Let's review my goals:
  • Unassisted pullups. 
  • Kipping pullups.  Link 5 together.
  • Pushups. Do 15 legit pushups unbroken.
  • Burpees.  Do 30 burpees unbroken without whining.
  • Work on my rope climbs.
  • Double unders. 15 unbroken.  
 Now... here's the update: 
  • Unassisted pullups.  NAILED IT!
  • Kipping pullups.  NAILED IT!!!
  • Pushups. Did 10, had to pause.  Arms were toast.  Getting there. 
  • Burpees. Can do the burpees - just can't do them without whining.  Working on it. 
  • Work on my rope climbs.  Haven't gotten to this yet - soon!!!
  • Double unders. 15 unbroken.  Still the bane of my existence.  Got 10 today with a single skip between.  Apparently I'm regressing instead of moving forward.  Damnit. 
 So... that's the update on the goals.  (It's been a solid six months of work to get one unassisted pullup - I totally deserve a hug.)  I've got 5 1/2 weeks left before the Bacon Beatdown.  The rest of my goals are manageable but it's seriously time to buckle down and get my ass in shape.  Today's workout killed me: 

20 min AMRAP
200m run (ish... not actually sure how far - we use landmarks!)
3 hang power cleans
5 front squats
7 push jerks

I did 10 rounds plus the run at 60lbs and was thrashed.  I need to get back on my regular healthy eating plan - I can definitely feel a difference in my performance with not eating as well as I should.  

Yup.  This is EXACTLY how I felt this morning.
On a completely different and unrelated note:  I have a blind date tonight.  And I am totally psyched about it.  Stay tuned for the results (and cross your fingers that it goes well!). 

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

The Crossfit Girl's Guide to Hand Care

At my gym, we've recently started a pull-up strength segment - so basically every day, we are working pull-ups, negatives and assistance lifts.  The result?  Stronger strict pull-ups, working our way up to strong and healthy kipping pull ups, AND sore hands.  I have strong hands and mine feel totally thrashed. My forearms are killing.  My calluses are feeling extra special.  So... let's take a second to talk hand care shall we?  

Do not roll your eyes.  We watch what we put into our bodies, we spend ridiculous money on shoes and clothes (or maybe that's just me...hmmm), we get up at the crack of dawn to beat ourselves up - but we can't take a few minutes to make sure that we don't look like this? 

This isn't a good look for anyone.  Exactly how much fun do you think this makes doing anything at the gym?  Or for life in general?  Ouch.  No thank you. 
Yeah... that's what I thought.  Read on people.  

There are a ton of great articles and blogs out there that will go into great detail of what you should/shouldn't do to keep your hands in shape.  I've read a bunch of them - some I agree with, some I think are over the top.  Listen... most of us are doing CrossFit recreationally.  It's our fitness regiment - not our life.  We aren't the Rich Fronings and Annie Thorisdottirs of the world.  We come into the gym for an hour or two at a time, get our butts kicked and leave feeling fantastic.  Don't get me wrong - I am in no way trying to diminish what we do - it's freaking awesome! But a lot of the hand care stuff that you read is WAY over the top for the average athlete.  

I do a lot of CrossFit.  I spend a lot of time hanging from the bar just trying to build up my strength.  Every day when I come into the gym - I try to spend a minute or two either hanging, working on my kipping pullups, or just staring at the bar willing it to come down to my level as my arms can't quite pull me up like they are supposed to.  Since I've been doing CrossFit - I've never had a big callus tear.  I may just be lucky, but I like to think that I actually take pretty good care of my hands.  Here's what works for me: 
  1. A pumice stone. Seriously.  Best $1.99 I've ever spent. I keep it in my shower and hit my hands every day.  It takes less than 30 seconds to go over my hands and work down the calluses.  Don't do it too hard - you don't want to take off all your skin (that defeats the purpose). 
  2. Lotion.  Between the chalk and the hand washing to get the chalk off and probably all the sweat - my hands get really dry.  Invest in good lotion.  Like the really rich and intensive moisturizing kind.  I have two different kinds that I use: Vitamin E Lotion and Hemp Hand Protector.  Both are from The Body Shop.  Vitamin E lotion is super light but moisturizing (wow, I sound like a commercial).  The Hemp Hand Protector is more oily - so I usually only use it at night or when I'm going to be sitting for a while.  Good lotion will save your hands.  When your hands are super dry, it's much easier to crack the calluses.  Ouch. 
  3. A reasonable amount of chalk.  If you need chalk, use it.  But there is no reason to have chalk from your wrist to the tips of your fingers.  Rub it in across the parts of your hand that actually grip the bar.  If you use too much chalk, it's possible that your hands will move too much on the bar - therefore causing more friction and therefore more blisters/rips.  Plus, do you really need to be THAT guy who rechalks every set and literally has white hands?  No.  That's excessive.  No one needs that.  Not even Rich Froning.  
    You're welcome. (See... he's totally using an appropriate amount of chalk and he's the fittest man alive. No excuses.)
Before you start investing your money into lifting gloves, Body Glide, and other fancy fixes - give these things a shot.  It could be an easy fix that saves your hands (and your wallet).  By all means, if you are still having problems - there are tons of resources out there for more advanced hand care - and as a coach, I'm always down to help you with whatever you think needs to be taped, chalked, Body Glided, gloved, etc.  

Just make sure you are taking care of yourself.  We need our hands for almost everything - we can't really do anything at the gym if our hands are destroyed.  And on a personal level, who wants to hold hands with someone who has open wounds all over?  No one.  That's who. 

Monday, August 19, 2013

"I'll Liken This To An Overhead Squat"

You know you spend way too much time with Crossfit folks when you go to someone for advice and they start out with 'I'll liken this to an overhead squat."  At that point, you are almost guaranteed to be in for a treat.  In all fairness, I think it was good advice - if I'm actually interpreting it correctly (which is questionable).  Here is the rest of the analogy: "In an overhead squat, you are so uncomfortable that you just want to get out of that position.  However, you haven't broken parallel and need to hold on for just one more inch."  (Well... apparently I'm not the only one who equates things to Crossfit movements.) 

I get what he meant.  I think that people could probably take this about 72 different ways - but it was exactly what I needed to hear today (even though I told him it was the worst advice ever).  Everyone goes through stages that are 'uncomfortable' - I'm totally in one now.  A lot of things that I was used to have changed - my house, my lifestyle, even my couch.  But instead of getting out, I just need to hold it for a bit longer until I nail it.  It's so hard sometimes.  I'm a runner (and wow... I do SO not mean that in the literal way!).  When things get tough, it's easier for me to run away... or ignore it completely.  I rarely tell people how I feel - especially when my feelings are hurt, I'd rather ignore it and let it eat me alive instead of saying it.  I'm working on changing that and meeting things head on - squashing things before they become bigger than I can handle. 

I'm still a work in progress.  I screw up, I say things on impulse, I get my feelings hurt, I cry over stupid things... and I bail out of overhead squats sometimes when it's too much to handle.  What can I say? It happens to the best of us.

On a positive note:  guess who met two of her goals today????  This girl!  Not just one... but TWO unassisted pullups AND, I linked five kipping pull ups together.  Woohoo.  Go me!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Why Everyone Should Love Snatches

Get your mind out of the gutter, people.  That is not what I meant. 

Last night, for the first time in five days, I was able to totally clear my mind and only think about one thing - not dropping a 50lb barbell on top of my head at olympic lifting class.  Snatches are such a mental lift - yes, you have to be strong (or at least being strong helps), but you also have to be able to put the pieces together, not be afraid of the movement (and it's a scary one!), clear your head and just do it.  When you overthink, you miss.  When you don't lift with confidence, you miss.  When you don't listen to your coach, you miss.  You have to clear your head of all the clutter and focus on what you are doing.  I saw a t-shirt last weekend that said 'Shut Up. Just Do You.'  Totally true. Take that, little voices in my head. 

I walked into the gym last night totally wound up. I moved this last weekend into my new house and it was the most stressful move that I've ever had.  Even though I had movers (best decision made and money spent!) and my parents here to help - moving into the house that I own and will be living in for the foreseeable future was 10 times more stressful than moving into any rental I've had. The move itself was easy - it's all the other stuff that comes along with it that was hard.  My dad was on hand to do an entire list of 'daddy-do' items (that's like a honey-do list for those of us who are relationship-challenged) and my mom and I spent most of the weekend visiting every home store in the general Seattle area. (Having jumbo sized furniture worked out to not be as awesome as it could have been when nothing fit up my staircase.  My new living room is officially brought to you by West Elm.)

I just had to be 'on' at all times for the last five days. I spent all afternoon/evening on Thursday getting ready for the move. Movers came first thing on Friday morning. Saturday/Sunday were dedicated to organizing my life.  Monday I had to coach in the am and then work all day.  It was a constant stream of questions and thinking and dealing with things for five days.  Plus, I got no more than five hours of sleep a night for days, dealt with a dog who discovered how to jump the fence, spent more money than I thought possible, and I still can't find half my stuff.  I seriously considered cancelling my workout last night and just sitting at home on the couch and staring blankly at the TV.  I'm so glad that I didn't.  Going into the gym last night gave me a chance to let everything go and seriously clear my head. 

Yes, I missed a lot of lifts last night.  On weights that weren't heavy.  But it happened every time that I let my mind start to wander.  I stopped focusing on my speed and I jumped too high and landed off balance.  I didn't focus on breaking the bar and let my shoulders disengage.  I love snatches because not only do they feel awesome when you do it right, but they force you to engage completely.  To be one with the bar (Yes. I'm totally aware of how dorky that sounds.)  

But seriously. Snatches. Cheaper than therapy. 

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Wednesday Goal Day!

Yes... I tried to make that sound just as fun as Sunday Funday.  However...  no day of the week rhymes with 'goal'... so Wednesday Goal Day was the best I've got. 

Most recent bad decision?  I signed up for The Bacon Beatdown on October 12 -13.  I had a moment of total motivation after watching everyone compete at WODFest this weekend and decided that I too can be a stellar athlete.  Hmmm... well.  This will be six workouts over two days. This is a run down of what the workouts were at the Florida event last month: 

100 air squats to a med ball
50 hang snatches (55lbs)
100 air squats (10 min cap)

12 min AMRAP
10 single leg burpees (what?!?)
20 double unders
30m prowler push (135lbs)

3 min AMRAP
Pull ups (20 deadlift buy-in @ 145lbs)
3 min AMRAP
Knees to Elbows (20 front rack lunges buy in @ 65lbs)
3 min AMRAP
Rope climbs (20 Sumo DL High Pull buy in @ 65lbs)
(Isn't this really just three mini workouts wrapped into one?!)

6 rounds (max 12 minutes)
6 ball over bar @ 70lbs
6 back squats @ 105lbs
12 ring push ups (ouch.  must practice.)

Every minute on the minute
Keg ground to overhead (a keg?!?!)
7 burpees 

30 OH Lunges - Right Leg (15lbs)
30 Cleans (95lbs)
30 OH Lunges - Left Leg (15lbs) 10 minute cap

Ummmm... holy balls.  I know that this isn't what the workouts will be here - but I imagine that it will be comparable.  And hard.  Ridiculously hard.

I've got 66 days from now to get ready for this shindig.  And I need some goals.  I figured that posting them online would be a great way for me to stay motivated and accountable so here they are: 

  • Unassisted pullups.  These have been a goal for a long time now and I am thisclose to being there. 
  • Kipping pullups.  Link 5 together.
  • Pushups. Do 15 legit pushups unbroken. (And by legit, I mean full plank, chest to ground)
  • Burpees.  Do 30 burpees without wanting to cry.  (Or as normal people may put it - 30 unbroken)
  • Work on my rope climbs.  I've got them - I just need to be more proficient.  
  • Double unders.  The bane of my freaking existence.  Get 15 unbroken.  
I'm currently recruiting for Team Danielle (and yes, there may be shirts).  If you are in Seattle and available on Oct 12-13, put me on your calendar.  The more people I have watching me, the less likely I am to cry after single legged burpees (or whatever hell they think up for this crazy event).   

On another note, there is a bacon eating contest after the WOD portion of this competition.  That I actually stand a legitimate chance of winning.  

Sunday, August 4, 2013

I Bought A Ladder??

I bought a ladder.  Seriously.  This is what my life has come to.  I'm not going to lie, I shop A LOT.  But one of the things that I NEVER thought I would buy?  A ladder.  I guess I just assumed that I would have a man in my life who would do that for me - a significant other, my dad, whomever.  I don't mean to sound completely un-'Female Empowerment', but really, Home Depot has never been my happy place.  Target?  Yes.  Nordstrom?  Yes.  Home Depot?  No.  I've always been perfectly fine letting the men in my life take care of my home improvement needs - it's not that I think women can't do it, it's just more that I've acknowledged my lack of skills in this particular area of life.  

Well.  I currently find myself single.  And buying a house.  And my dad lives 500+ miles away.  What does this mean?  I went to Home Depot.  By myself.  With a shopping list.  And I asked four different employees for help.  And I got every damn thing on my list. Feeling like a total competent adult??  Hell yes.  

This is what $214 looks like at Home Depot: 

I bought a ladder.  A wise man told me recently that if I need a tool once, I will need it again so I should buy it.  Good but expensive advice.  I'm now the proud owner of a 6' fiberglass ladder.  My dad was proud of me for buying a good one.  Yay me!
My entire new house was painted a lovely shade of tan.  I decided that at least one room of the house needed to be different.  So I picked a new color for my master bedroom.  I've always wanted to do a really bold color accent wall - so this is my chance.  Here are my HGTV before and after pics: 
Lovely brown.
Pip and atruzite.  Thank you Martha Stewart. The cream makes the room a million times brighter.  I love it.
I love the new shade.  I've been lusting over a white or grey tufted headboard for years now, It will look fantastic against the wall and I have the perfect black and white prints with red highlights that I can't wait to hang.  Just call me Martha Stewart.  

Something that I wish someone would have told me about buying a house?  That I'd want to spend AT LEAST $10K on new furniture that fits exclusively into my new house.  Seriously.  I didn't plan wisely enough.  

I'm not going to lie, I feel pretty damn good about getting this project done and practically by myself.  I know it's just paint... but... it's paint!  And I did it myself!  In a house that I bought myself.  Hells yes.  It's terrifying and exciting and empowering and horrifying all at the same time.  Holy crap.