Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Happy New Year (Almost)

So as per tradition, I am spending some time looking at what I did this past year and what I need to improve upon.

I think I've documented most of my major victories quite well on this blog, and I anticipate many new ones in the year to come.

There are some new road blocks in my path, however, that I need to address.

First off, I have been suffering from some sort of intestinal ailment since July of this year. After much research and consideration, I am pretty sure I either have Crohn's Disease or Ulcerative Colitis. I am not a hypochondriac. Indeed, I have not been sick for almost 2 years--not even a cold.

However, the continuous and regular onset of colonic pain and diarrhea are symptoms of both, and I'm finding that naming it is helping me to figure out what to do next.

I hate doctors, and I really don't trust them.

So my first action will be to dial in my nutrition 100%--no sugar, no coffee, no dairy and I have to watch the fatty meats and too many nuts, as I've noticed those foods tend to bring it on worse.

The second action, is an experiment. I am going to go 100% Paleo/Zone rather than the Paleo "sort of" Zone diet I have been on for the last 4 months. Dr. Sears has done some experiments using the Zone to keep down inflammation, and Crohn's disease is essentially inflammation of the intestinal track--namely the colon.

I am going to log my food and reactions here mainly for myself, as it's pretty boring stuff for others to read, and we'll see what happens.

If it gets worse, I'll give the old medical establishment a try. If it doesn't, then obviously that won't be necessary.

The idea of living with a colostomy bag (worse case scenario if it were to get drastically worse) is obviously something I'd like to avoid. Gross.

Now the Good News!

The good news is that there are only a few short months left before regionals, so what an opportune time to go perfect on my nutrition anyway.

It's time to get serious. I at least want to know that I went in giving my best effort.

I'll start recording my daily WODs and efforts here as well. I am inspired by some of my CrossFit Heroines--Kate Rawlings being my favorite of late!

My current PR's, along with the dates (for most) are already on my blog. I will update them as they improve.

Having only been CrossFitting for 17 months, and starting out weaker than the average bear, I am an underdog. But if I can improve my stats in a big way over the next few months, at least I'll know in my heart of hearts that I gave it my all.

Onward ho!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Happy Birthday to Me

I did Filthy 50's for the first time on Friday. My time sucked at 40:38, but at least I could hit the standard. (I really think I should've done much better than that!)

Today, as a birthday present to myself, I ran a 5K this am. My time was 22:26--not a PR, but I loved the fact that the dude who blew past me in the last 100 feet was 68!!!

I also did "Nancy" today to standard. 5X for time of 400m sprint followed by 15 OHS at 65#. I did it in 18:55.

If there's one thing I'm certain of, it's that I keep getting stronger and better as I get older. No longer do we as humans have to dread aging!

My Mom once told me that life begins at forty. She is right.

Thank you to all of my friends, my coaches, my clients and all of those who have helped me or I have been able to help along the way. This is a beautiful journey we are traveling, and I am blessed to get to travel this with each of you.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Cindy PR!


Coolness.

I PR'ed on Cindy last week (AMRAP in 20 of 5 pull ups, 10 push ups, 15 squats--finally making it to 15 rounds.

8 rounds was all I could eek out 5 months ago, 12 rounds 3 months ago, now 15.

And what I really dig is knowing that I can do even better.

My heroes, Donna, CJ and Anel hold scores of 16, 19 and 19 respectively.

My friend, CJ, blows me away with how strong she is. She weighs 112 and can front squat 145.

The best thing about seeing that is KNOWING that I have so much room to grow.

I weigh 122 and my front squat just hit 120 recently.

Thank the gods my boyfriend loves a woman with muscles, cause I'm not going to stop lifting any time soon. This is more fun that Christmas!

Another thing I find interesting is that tearing (my hands) barely fazes me any more. It's more of a nuisance (and a pain in the ass while they are healing)than anything else. Even the thought of washing my hands used to send the fear of death down me. Now I'll just pick off the skin, pour on the "stingy" soap and get it over with already.

That's it. CrossFit just makes you tougher.

(By the way, this is an old "tear" pic. I only tore 2 very small ones this time.)

Monday, October 12, 2009

If You Don't Stand for Something....


Recently, I've had the opportunity to really be challenged regarding what I believe. Interestingly enough, this has occurred in many areas of my life. However, the one that stands out the most has been a challenge to "why I teach CrossFit".

I have a fitness Boot Camp. Although CrossFit based, it only incorporates 85-90% bodyweight only workouts, due to the fact that it is outside. I occasionally incorporate kettle bells, medicine balls (thanks, Eric and Vanessa!) and dumbbells, and we still have WOD's that vary in intensity and length--just like a "regular" CrossFit. We use zero barbells, and we don't do any of the power or olympic lifts, so it is not "truly" CrossFit, but otherwise, it is the same.

That being said, I teach what I have been taught.

With the exception of this ONE client, ALL of my clients have seen improvements across all 10 general physical skills to one degree or another.

This one client who didn't improve, ultimately turned against CrossFit and it's methodologies saying they were "unsafe" and "a fad."

This client (now ex-client) told me that dumbbells and kettlebells should only be used for curling and that machines in "Globo Gyms" enable him to do "standard" lifts.

He runs 2 5K's about 3-4x per week. And indeed, his most recent 5K was an improvement over his last one.

But so was mine...only I didn't run hardly at all. The ONLY running I did was a 5K 3 months prior (in which I also PR'ed), some running with my clients when our WOD's called for them, a few sprint workshops with Kristy or with my clients, and whatever 200, 400 or 800 meter runs any of the CrossFit WOD's I did in the last few months called for.

Additionally, I also improved my deadlift, backsquat, frontsquat, snatch, clean and jerk, press, bench press, max deadhang pull ups, max CTD push ups and max kipping pull ups during the same interim.

Yet this client is CONVINCED that CrossFit is junk. I even suggested he try a CrossFit that offers 100% of what is recommended (so he could experience the true strength training element), before he could pass judgement on such, but instead, he referred me to an article he read stating that CrossFit is a fad.

Funny.

The best thing this experience taught me was that I DO WHOLEHEARTEDLY BELIEVE IN CROSSFIT. It is a legitimate, proven program, and this gave me a great opportunity to defend it.

After going to Bally Total Fitness for TEN YEARS and running 2 miles almost daily, I could do ZERO push ups, ZERO pull ups and lift ALMOST ZERO weight when I found Team CrossFit Academy.

For me, the proof is so strong, it is irrefutable.

But much like the article Eric posted last week, it isn't for everyone.

And I'm okay with that.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Finally Managed "Karen" to Standard


Holy Moly.

It's funny how far I've come. It amazes me. I am proud.

Just a little more than a year ago, I so vividly recall a WOD with wallballs. I don't know what weight ball I had; I can only assume it was a 16 pounder. I do recall there was at least one set of 25 repetitions. I recall believing that doing wallballs was the single most difficult thing I had ever done. I watched all of the others in the class finish and go outside to do whatever else the WOD called for. I sat inside and struggled--wanting to cry and give up.

But something deep inside of me kept going.

More importantly, someone pushed me and believed I was capable of doing it. He kept insisting I could do things I never ever thought possible. And somewhere along the way, I started believing him.

Since then,I've achieved goals I set and then some. I continue to raise the bar for myself, and miraculously, I continue to reach even those seemingly star-high goals.

But I don't do it alone. I cannot.

It takes a village to raise a child, and it takes excellent coaches to raise an athlete. I think it also takes excellent competition, camaraderie and spirit which I are lucky to have found at TCFA.

What great joy it is to be alive!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Dreamin' Big



I want to go to the Games in 2010.

I am not the strongest. I have a long way to go.

But if I don't believe I can do it, I'm already done.

I am going to do this.

I am FIERCE, baby!

Bring on the OHS, GHD's, Double Unders, Muscle Ups and Handstand Push Ups! Bring on Fran, the bitch. Bring on WEIGHT.

I am ready to take this CrossFit thing to the next level!!!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

"Feelin' Groovy"

God it's amazing what happens in life when you DECIDE to make a change, admit you have a problem, then DO something about it.

Funny how free I feel now that I finally allowed myself to "bare it all, baby!"

Recently, I started a Paleo Challenge that The Jer, Voltron and a few others challenged folks to. I quit dairy. I had already quit sugar and gluten, so that part was easy. I quit drinking (my own decision--not part of the challenge.)

It is truly amazing where life will take you if you let it.

Dairy, especially grain fed dairy, elicits an insulin response much like grains do, which is why it's not part of the Paleo diet. What's really interesting here, is that I had already given up dairy...EXCEPT for the cream I put in my coffee. Admittedly, I drink about 1/8 c. half n half per cup, and I drink 2-3 cups per day but when I gave this up, I have to admit, I noticed a pronounced difference.

I used to get sleepy right after I drank my coffee. I mean dopey sleepy. I got a noticeable insulin response, but I wasn't ready to do anything about it.

Coffee also, to some degree, elicits an insulin response. I am very very sensitive to insulin. I know I was heading towards diabetes when I gave up sugar and alcohol the first time, which is one of the reasons I quit. Robb Wolf mentioned that the AMA keeps raising the "rules" for what constitutes diabetes specifically so they don't have to admit that we are in the midst of an epidemic.

I'm thin; I'm supposed to be immune from all that!

Bullshit.

Anyway, giving up cream is putting me one step closer to "all day long nirvana." I eat, I feel good. I am feeling less and less exhausted after meals, unlike how I used to feel.

This is excellent.

August 31 is my new sobriety date.

Thanks to everyone for your support.

Friday, September 4, 2009

My Deal




It's been a long time since I've written on the blog. Truth be told, now that I'm in a position of "authority" (coaching a bootcamp and interning at TCFA), I've been a bit reticent to "let it all hang out" like I used to.

I've been censoring myself. "Should I say that?" "Does that sound unprofessional?" "Is that a bad thing to let others see?", etc.

FUCK IT!


I have discovered something about myself. Actually, I've always known this, but I'll say it loud and clear here: I NEED TO BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE TO OTHERS.

I LIKE for people to see my wins, my losses, my pain, my frustration, my anger, my angst. I NEED to at least feel that someone is paying attention, so that I can't get away with murder. I need to spill my guts. I need to tell on myself. I need to be allowed to be imperfect, and I don't care if anyone has a problem with that.

So there. I feel better getting that out.

Now onto the real reasons I need to write:

I AM RECOMMITTING TO SOBRIETY.


Once again, I don't care if you think drinking is awesome or you want to drink or you like to drink or you don't think I (or anyone else) needs to not drink. I don't.

"What's true for you, is what's true for you. It is what you have observed yourself."

YOU may be able to handle, beer, gluten, flour and dog poo for all I care. I CANNOT.

There are certain things that I allow myself from time to time--alcohol and sugar being two of them.

BUT...especially with alcohol it then becomes too much of a battle, and I have better things I'd rather think about.

Here's the deal. It's not that I have to drink, that I crave a drink (okay maybe a little) or anything like that.

It's that because I've spent so much of my life SOBER, I know how much better I can be without it, and the comparison of "before" and "after" pisses me off.

When I start allowing myself to drink on the weekends, my performance suffers during the week. My mood suffers. My drive to succeed suffers.

Sometimes it's only a little bit, but it's there. I KNOW THIS.

And I can't stand it any longer.

I can't stand watching myself become more interested in "relaxing with a beer" than running. I can't stand when I'd rather have a glass of wine than train.

I AM FIERCELY COMPETITIVE, AND I MAKE NO APOLOGIES FOR THIS.

And I can't stand to think I am losing my edge--even just a little bit.

SO I AM BACK ON THE WAGON AGAIN...BY CHOICE!!!!!

Because, dammit, I want to go to the games next year. I want to be competitive. I want to be better than I am. And for me, each time I say no to alcohol and sugar I get a little bit mentally tougher. Each time I don't give into those urges, I gain confidence and I PHYSICALLY feel better.

Truth be told, NOT DRINKING MAKES ME EDGY...and I LOVE taking that edginess and putting it into training. It's the same reason I enjoy a bit of self-denial in my food choices. I am in control. The food and alcohol are not.

Lots of athletes don't drink. Many coaches prohibit it during the training season.

This is something I WANT for myself.

There I said it.

I feel much better now.

I AM COMMITTING TO STAYING SOBER THROUGH MY BIRTHDAY, NOVEMBER 14TH, FOR STARTERS.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Wham Bam, Thank you Ma'am!

Cool!!!!!

Vanessa and Michael Keating really helped me further hone in my Clean and Jerk and Snatch. I FINALLY got to fully experience "getting under the bar" rather than muscling my way through it.

It was much easier, and I PR'ed as a result.

Crazy how good this Relative Intensity training is. My PR Power Clean less than one month ago was 80#. Today my max was 103#.

Nuts. My old record recorded originally a few months ago of max kipping pullups was 14. Today I hit 22.

I also did JT today. 21-15-9 of handstand pushups, ring dips and chest to deck pushups.

I still had to scale. My handstand pushups started out with 2-25# weights and one abmat. I managed 8 before I failed. I only did 4 ring dips (my max) each set. I did all of my pushups to standard. This took me about 12 minutes.

What is really cool is once again, not 3 weeks ago, I had to use 3 abmats for my handstand push ups. Now I am almost down to two.

The human body is an amazing machine. I love making mine stronger and better!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Backsquat PR--FINALLY!!

I've been working on my backsquat for the last 2 months, and I just haven't been able to break above 130#...until yesterday.

Finally! I'm at 135#. I swear, it felt like my guts were going to come out (but it was a good "guts gonna fall out" kind of feeling).

My core strength is greatly increasing.

On Monday I did a Relative Intensity WOD of: AMRAP in 30 mins of: 5 pull ups; 10 ring dips ( I scaled to 50% of my max reps and did sets of 2 ring dips); 15 sit ups.

I managed 25 rounds. That means I did 125 pullups (and only one tear!); 50 ring dips and a whopping 375 sit ups. (I have two beautiful strawberries on my butt to prove it!)

I have officially reached my original goal. I am "stronger than I've ever been in my life".

I am also a super proud member of the Team CrossFit Academy USAW Weightlifting Team! Never in my wildest dreams did I EVER imagine I would be interested in that. But I LOVE weightlifting! I feel so strong and powerful every time I hoist a big load over my head. I can't wait until my Clean & Jerk and Snatch are beautiful--MOST of the time!

I had another nice PR last night during the mini WOD too. We were asked to do 3 Rounds for time of: 15 kipping pullups and 10 kb swing snatches. I did my first set of kipping pullups without stopping. That is a new PR!

Great! Let's keep pushing it to see how much stronger I can become.

Monday, August 3, 2009

"Top of the Board"

Yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeehaw!

My life is so cool. I never knew it could be this good.

As mentioned before, I started doing Relative Intensity about 6 weeks ago. On June 25, I did the WOD, "Barbara" for the first time. (Actually, it was my second time. My first time was a year ago when I first started CrossFit. I couldn't get past 2 rounds.) Barbara is 5 rounds for time of: 20 pull ups, 30 push ups, 40 sit ups, 50 squats. I had a respectable time of 36:27 putting me behind Flower's 33:12 and Katie's 35:45.

Yesterday, I set out to beat my old time, and I hoped I could come close to beating Flower. You see, Flower is a major bad ass, a woman I highly respect and a tremendous athlete. When I first came to CrossFit just over a year ago, certain women intimidated me just b/c they were so strong--she was one of them.

Well, I smoked Barbara yesterday!! Now I have a new PR time of 30:17, which means I actually beat one of my heroes! How cool is that?

It's amazing when you can dream a dream, set a goal, do the work and watch it come to fruition.

I set a goal a while back that I wanted to "be on top of the board". Well, now (at least on one WOD), I am. Amazing.

It seems I am becoming the athlete I have so long admired in others. Wow. I am honored and humbled.

There are still many women in CrossFit both at TCFA and as a whole who kick my ass in MANY MANY things! I love watching them work. For example, I love watching Vanessa lift. That women is a power house--so strong, so tough when needed as a coach, yet a wonderfully kind and warm individual.

I love watching Perla too, who exemplifies those same qualities.

Of course my heroes include the CrossFit superstars, Tanya Wagner, Carey Kepler, Kris Clever and Jolie Gentry--as we should always shoot for the stars.

Wow. Amazing.

I have a lot of work to do. Handstand pushups, muscle ups, double unders--these are the next things on my agenda.

Let's do it.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Relative Intensity Team

I've been doing a Relative Intensity Study since the 8th of June with a small group of folks out of TCFA. It's been an interesting experience so far, and I have to say that it IS working!

Within a month, so far, here are some of the benefits:

My Fran time dropped by about 3 minutes
My shoulder press went from 70 to 75 lbs
My bench press went from 65 to 80 lbs
My Clean & Jerk went from 95 to 100
My Snatch went from 55 to 65 lbs

Basically we do the main site WODS in order from January, and we scale them accordingly based on formulas derived by Pierre Auge of CrossFit Ottawa.

Although I miss running something fierce, I have to admit I am getting pretty good results so far.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Sugar is the Devil

Okay, that's it!

Today I commit to 90 Days of Excellence regarding my diet. I will be eating a combo Paleo/Zone diet with intermittent fasting, as I enjoy the challenge of "extreme" self-discipline.

In short, I do better when I measure my food.

The intermittent fasting will be a new thing for me, but as Robb Wolf said, if I "look better, feel better and perform better" then I'll know it's working. If not, I'll restructure.

More on that later.

All I know is that I need to recommit to my diet and to the Relative Intensity WOD's with a vengeance. There is no excuse for not pursuing both of these with incredible fervor! Bring it on!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

The Sweetness of Defying Age



I'm a big believer in postulates. (A postulate is essentially a future prediction, a decision put into space and acted upon as if it were a known future reality.) As a matter of fact, the older I get, the more I am absolutely incontrovertibly convinced that what you think IS what you get.

In other words, one really needs to learn to control one's thoughts, else they will insidiously ruin your life.

How many people think, "I did well for my age." Phooey! I never am satisfied that I can only achieve something great for a 44 year old woman. As a matter of fact, I am set on the idea of proving the opposite--that I can compete with anyone.

Case in point. If I look at the stats from just about any race I've entered, the fastest runners come in across the age categories. Many runners older than me continue to beat me, and I beat many who are younger.

So what is this post all about?

Yesterday, part of the WOD was to run a 5k. My previous best time on this route was 25:10. Even though I ran two 10Ks this past weekend, I was determined to and knew I would PR. And indeed, that was the case.

Not only did I break my previous one mile sprint time of 7:23--taking it down to 6:58:62, I also wiped 1 minute and 6 seconds off my old PR (on this course)time of 25:10--taking it down to 24:04.

Coolness.

And the greatest thing is, I have no intentions of stopping there.

I have many postulates in my life. For one, I plan to continue to get very strong and fast.

Another one I have is that I will sustain no major injuries as a result of CrossFit or being an athlete. So far, unlike some of my peers, that has also come to fruition.

The mind is our most powerful weapon.

What thoughts are filling your mind today?

Monday, June 8, 2009

How Sweet it is to be a part of a TEAM


Sunday's Mud Run was fantastic.

Here I was lucky enough to have been invited to be amongst some of the most bad-ass women currently at TCFA--Donna, Kellie, Corlyn and Rose.

These ladies are always at or near the top of the heap at 6am. Sunday put us to an excellent test.

We opted for a slow and steady pace out of the gate, and we kept that up the entire race. We pushed when we needed to (especially up the hills), and we rested when the going got rough.

Some women were faster than others. Some were slower. It didn't matter.

What mattered is that we stayed together as a team and finished as one too.

Running in boots and utility pants is a great challenge, as when wet, they add about 8 additional pounds of weight.

We took on the challenge and flew, landing ourselves a first place medal for our efforts.

Very well done, Team Red 6 Militia! It was great racing with you!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Hell Yeah, I'm Proud of Myself!!!

I raced twice this weekend at Camp Pendleton's World Famous Mud Run.

Sunday was a team run, which was a blast. It felt excellent to earn a medal for our efforts.

But I have to say, my biggest source of pride was from my performance on Saturday's run.

I placed 8th in my age group of 40-44 at 1:01:23, but here's the coolest part of all.

Only 25 women TOTAL in the whole race that day (singles) beat me. That's it.

I beat all women in the 25-29 category except 8.
I beat all women in the 30-34 category except 3.
I beat all women in the 35-39 category except 2 and I tied a third.
I beat all but 7 women in my 40-44 category.
I beat all but 2 women in the 45-49 category.
I beat all but 2 women in the 50-54 category.

Honestly, this race is my proudest moment in competition to date. I worked my ass off! I pushed myself as hard as I could go, but kept a pace I knew I could sustain.

If I had it all to do over again, I'd pack myself into the front of the starting line, as looking back, I am convinced that's what kept me from getting a medal. That is a hard lesson to learn. It was my own damned fault that I waited around wondering where everyone went rather than getting my ass to the starting line.

I should've been more aggressive once I got there to make sure I was at the front.
That's okay. It sure as hell won't happen again.

But I'll tell you what, out of 3075 runners, I came in 224. And only 25 women beat me.

That is FREAKING stellar!!!!!!

There is no greater sense of accomplishment in my book that what I get from Team CrossFit Academy and my training.

Damn, I love winning!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Cool Factor of 8

Hey! I just PR'ed on Clean and Jerk. I can now do 95lbs!!!

I really almost cannot believe it.

The first time I walked into an O-lift class, I felt so overwhelmed, awe struck, intimidated....

Seeing Katie lift weights amazed me. (It still does!)

It seemed like I'd NEVER learn the difference between a Clean or a Jerk or a Snatch, much less actually be able to DO one.

Well, I now can.

They're not perfect. No, they're far from it.

But I'm getting there. Slowly but surely, I getting there.

Building Muscle and Character

The other day I was putting on my shirt, and I noticed an "egg" where my biceps used to be.

Holy freaking cow! I've got an actual bulging bicep! Pretty freaking exciting when you consider I had virtually no upper body strength a year ago.

It was cool today to be able to do 5 deadhang pullups while newbie men could barely do one. It reminded me of being new and wondering if you'll ever "get there".

Amazing.

On another note, I'm really digging coaching. It is incredibly challenging to help people (especially women) overcome their lack of belief in themselves and what they are capable of and turn them into fierce warriors. It is quite a process that requires a great deal of patience, genuine caring, follow through and some serious toughness.

It is really pushing me forward as an individual.

People have so many reasons why they (or someone else, usually their doctor) have convinced them that they "can't". It is my job to disagree with these assessments and help them realize what they've been told is WRONG!

But I'll tell you what, watching the light come on when someone regains mobility in legs that hadn't run in years or watching someone do their first pushup from the toes or kipping pullup is quite an amazing reward.

Sometimes it's hard not to get frustrated when you're faced over and over again with the same considerations from folks--mainly that they're too old, overweight, fragile, weak, have this or that "bad" bone or muscle, et. al.

It sure is a character builder.

I only hope I can honor my clients with coaching that inspires them as I have been inspired. If my end of the first 6-week assessments are an indicator, I may be doing a thing or two right.

I think as long as I remember that that is what I am there for, I think I'll be fine.

It's hard to be a hard ass sometimes. However, it's a hell of a lot better to have a client be momentarily mad at me than it is to continue to allow them to be weak by not pushing them further than they think they can go.

And this is the tightrope I am learning to walk....

Thursday, May 28, 2009

05.28.09 ANGIE, ET. AL.

Today we did Angie.
100 Pull Ups
100 Push Ups
100 Sit Ups
100 Squats

My goal, I admit, was to beat Donna! Donna is an amazing competitor. At 54, she constantly wows me with how tough, strong, fast and able to bear pain she is. She inspires me. She beats me at pretty much everything. One of my goals for quite some time has been to beat her at something, fair and square.

Today, I did it! I beat her at Angie with a time of 26:00.

It's good to have someone just better than you, as it gives you something to reach for!

All I can say, is I'm glad she's on my team for the Mud Run, b/c this woman kicks ass.

Thanks, Donna, for the inspiration. I'll bask in the glory for a little while, b/c knowing you, you are plotting your revenge to beat me back! ;)

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Mt. Wilson Trail Musings


Well all right, I did it! I ran the Mt. Wilson Trail in 1:38:41. I was 11th in my age group, the 27th woman, and 118th overall. I'll take it.

But today as I got home, wrote the above data on my bib and pinned it to my ever growing "wall of bibs" I had to stop and think for a minute. "Wow."

All I can think is "wow". Not even one short year ago, I was smoking a pack a day, and although I considered myself a runner, I had never entered a race. Now I've run 9 races...usually finishing at least in the top third.

I am so grateful. The universe brings people to you when you are ready. Fate smiled on me that lucky day that my roommate, Lisa brought me to my first CrossFit class.

So much has happened since then. A 35lb kettlebell, once terrifying, is now doable. And although wall balls still push me to my limits, I know I can do them. I am no longer the last one in the class to finish when the WOD calls for them.

All of my max loads in weightlifting have increased tremendously. I know what the Burgener Warmup is.

I am interning at TCA, and am coaching a small group of bootcampers in Sunland with the full knowledge, help and blessings of Coaches LeClair and Ortiz.

I am thrilled to have the opportunity to give back freely what was so freely given to me--and I thank the universe for my good fortune to have such amazing people leading my way.

I am changing the lives of others. I've already lifted someone up from the depths of depression hell.

My confidence is tenfold.

I am no longer afraid of CrossFit. Even the hardest workout, I know I can get through, or at least make my best attempt at doing it to standard. In other words, I am tough now. I am strong. I am willing. I fight.

I know I will suffer. I know it will be hard as hell. I am okay with that now.

For me, Team CrossFit Academy is a miracle.

I am grateful for that.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Wins out the Yin Yang

I did Franken Helen today.

Franken Helen is a combo of Fran (65 lb squat thrusters and pullups in sets of 21, 15 and 9) and Helen (150 20 lb wallballs to the 10'mark. For this workout we did 150 16 lb wallballs to the 8' mark in 3 sets of 50).

About 4 months ago, Fran alone with a 45 lb bar and jumping pullups took me 22 minutes. I had nightmares for weeks afterwards from that experience. It scared me to death!

Today I did both in 28:40, and I did the pull ups and squat thrusters to STANDARD.

Heck yeah!!!!

This is so cool.

I also did 5/3 dips yesterday with a 5 lb weight strapped to me. Unbelievable. I couldn't even do 1 standard dip not 4 months ago.

I did 3 dead hang pullups in a row. I did one max deadhang pullup with 10 lbs strapped to me. Just a few months back, even a 2.5 lb weight was IMPOSSIBLE.

CrossFit is the ultimate sense of accomplishment! I am telling you right now, I will be doing this when I'm 80 and blowing away 20 year olds.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

My Weaknesses to Work On

I read Josh's post wherein he looked at the 10 Components of Fitness and set some goals for himself.

I like this idea, so I'm going to do the same.

Accuracy--I do okay on this, but I can always improve.
Agility--I need a lot of work here...mostly O-lifting more will help this.
Balance--I'm getting better, but I still need more work on handstands and core body strength.
Coordination--I do okay here, but with more O-lifting, I know I can improve even more.
Endurance--I have improved a great deal here, but I have a long way to go! Sprints and more speed work will help along with pushing each WOD to my cardio-endurance max.
Flexibility--once again, I need work here. I'd like to be able to do back bends and the splits again.
Power--this is my weakest point and needs the most work through hard core weight lifting.
Speed--If I keep up what I'm doing, I'll keep improving here.
Stamina--I think if I push hard through my WODs, continue speed and sprint work, this will take care of itself.
Strength--my other weak link--I need more O-lifting and heavier weight lifting in general.

Goals for next 3 months... (I got this idea from Nathan. Current PR's are in parentheses.)

Deadlift 250lbs (205lbs)*This would be double my body weight!
Snatch 75lbs (55lbs)
Clean and Jerk 95lbs (75lbs)
Back Squat 175lbs (130lbs)
Bench Press 85lbs (65lbs)
Press 85lbs (70lbs)
Dead Hang Pullups 6 in a row (now 2)
Kipping Pullups 20 in a row (now 10)
Cindy 15 (12)
Fran sub 10 (22)

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Preparing for Pain

So it has become extremely clear to me that in order to progress to the "bad ass" status I so covet and admire, I will have to welcome pain. I mean a lot of pain.

Nathan kicked my ass last night at O-lift during the mini-WOD. He kept pushing me "not to stop". It was a short WOD, for god's sake! I kept stopping, b/c it hurt. Wah!

Afterwards, he and Brian were talking about how getting stronger is not about avoiding pain. They said that it hurts even worse the stronger you get, b/c you push that much harder and faster. But you just learn to deal with the pain.

That is the key. There still is pain-- a LOT of it. You just focus and push past it.

Your body learns to adapt. Like Nathan said, "After a while, you can't go any faster. Your body has no choice but to adapt." So in other words, where 10 pushups would've caused pain before, now you can do 20 in the same amount of time. It still hurts, you just do more. Then you push it to 30, then 40. Each time, you push it to the most pain you can handle. That's where the "goods" come. That's where fire-breathers live.

It's time for pain.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Freaking Funny!

From Mark Rippetoe's, Quote of the Day. "I strongly advise against intentionally farting whilst moving heavy weights.

Sometimes -- especially under those circumstances -- farts have a solid center."

OMG, that is freaking disgustingly funny!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Yeah, Baby! Damned Fine 5K PR!!

So I am closing in on the elusive 24 minute 5K! Today, my gun time was 24:19, although I lost about 3 seconds getting over the starting line. Either way, I am thrilled! I averaged a 8.063 minute mile! Here's my race recount, done derby style.

And she started around the track at Santa Anita quickly out of the gate. This middle aged mare seemed in fine shape. Oh! She pushed her way through the crowd to find herself a nice nitch to run with. Oh! Man! And a PR at mile one at 7:23. Trying to maintain this speed, our horse, Shannon kept the pace. She rounded the corner of the arboretum, withstanding a peacock's ass who had its tail feathers all in a huff for everyone to see. Wow! Our mare, Shannon managed mile two at 15:30, an 8:07 second mile...not bad for the old girl.

And she came into the home stretch, pushing her way past a few other mares. Oh, no! Oh! It looks like she lost a little steam. Hope, the seasoned favorite has made her move, passing our girl, Shannon. Oh, no! Now it's CJ rounding the corner leaving Shannon behind. Oh, and who's this? It's Raquel? Wait? Isn't she a filly, too young to be in this "Masters Class?" I guess not. Yes, that little filly's defeated Shannon the last few races by a few lengths.

As she entered onto the racetrack, the sand slowed our horse Shannon down a bit, but the old girl still pushed hard. Raquel was just ahead. Did she do it? No! Raquel defeated Shannon yet again...only this time by 5 seconds!

What a race!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Overtraining?

I have read that when your resting heart rate upon waking is 5-10 bpm above normal, that is a sign of overtraining. Mine went to 56 this am. It's usually in the 44 to 51 range.

I have read that if you do a workout, and despite your best effort, you results are terrible, that is a sign of overtraining.

I've done sprints at Arcadia. My best mile was 7:35. My worst at a sprinters pace was 8:05 (or thereabouts).

Yesterday, I did the CrossFit Endurance WOD from Tuesday which was: run for 20 mins at 95% RPE (Rate of perceived exertion--defined in this case as very hard exertion).

I ran as hard as I possibly could. I could not go any faster.

The best I could muster was 2.35 miles in 20 minutes---essentially a 9 minute mile. This sucks!!!! I haven't run this poorly in a very long time.

So I refuse to feel bad about taking today off. And as we have a race on Saturday, I am also going to take Friday off. (I also have to acknowledge that just maybe running the marathon had something to do with this?)

The good news is I have no more races until Mt. Wilson!

This means next week, I'll be back at CrossFit and O-lift full force. Only this time, I'm going to make sure I rest as RX'ed!!

Monday, March 30, 2009

My CrossFit Family


Here's a photo of some of friends from CrossFit! Corlyn is an amazing badass with the best legs ever! Vanessa is an ultra fantastic amazing Coach, Carl is the CrossFit Endurance Guru, Summer is an ultramarathon goddess, Michael is WAY strong and fast and pushes me to excel, Kellie is my best cheerleader and a coach in the making extraordinaire, and Donna is one of the most badass women I have ever known! These people inspire me to reach for great heights. Thanks to all of you.

Suck Fest

Okay. WTF is going on?

If there's one thing I've been acutely aware of lately it is the importance of the MIND in anything I do.

When I want something "so bad I can taste it" or "desire to be the best, period", I reap great rewards in this physical CrossFit arena, b/c I am willing to push past the pain to get there.

But what the heck happened to me today? I came in almost dead last in today's WOD. I failed at 30 Standard Burpees and had to resort to the knees, when I was able to do 80 standard push-ups just last week. Lazy. Lazy. Lazy is about all I can say.

I KNOW I need to push harder than I've ever pushed to get to the next level. I KNOW I have it in me, but it's as if I am holding myself back out of some stupid fear.

Am I afraid of the pain?
Am I afraid I might actually excel?
Am I afraid if I do it well, it will be expected of me and I might let myself down if I can't live up to that standard?

When I saw Pablo fight on Saturday, I saw a WARRIOR. I saw someone who wanted it BAD!!!

I need to adopt that mindset, b/c this sucky baby wimpy approach has no place in my universe. I need to re-find the fire breather within that I was getting a glimpse of not too long ago.

Let's do it!

Friday, March 27, 2009

80 Pushups--Well I'll be damned!

Yesterday I did the Maltz Challenge (scaled)

400m run
50 pull ups (standard)
200 meter farmer’s walk with 45lb DBs (40lbs)
50 dips (on a BAT)
100 push ups (80 standard, 20 from the knees at failure)
50 knees to elbows (attempts, but all almost touched the knees!)
100 situps
400m run

My time 42:24 ish

I wasn't thrilled with my results, and today it hit me. WTF! Shannon, you just did 80 pushups to standard, and only resorted to "from the knees" at failure. I did 80 pushups to standard! Whoooo! Wow! Holy cow!

Funny what we take for granted, but I still recall my first Murph, in which NOT ONE pushup was to standard, and I even failed from the knees having to do my last 15 as half-dip knee pushups.

Amazing.

This stuff really works! (Duh.) And even though I "know" that, I am still continually amazed by my progress!

Life is good.

Monday, March 23, 2009

My First Marathon

Wow. What can I say? This was one of the most amazing experiences ever. Although I did not train specifically for this race, I instinctively knew "I was ready."

I took the entire week off beforehand and rested. I did NOTHING to exercise, at all. I ate very healthy and I visualized myself doing well.

I had several people question my readiness, but like I said, I just sort of knew it would all be okay, so I listened to my inner voice and didn't give in.

I ran with a bladder filled with a 4:1 carb to protein beverage, which I learned about in the Paleo Diet. I kid you not, for the first 19 to 20 miles, it was as if I had wings. It was actually EASY. I actually hit the 13 mile mark right around the 2 hour mark, which was my goal. I forced myself not to run too quickly in the beginning, and I focused on attempting a 9:15pace, pose technique, lifting my knees and keeping steady.

Life was good. I was high on life and at several points during the race was overcome with emotion--resulting in out loud cheers of "Whooooooo! We're alive!" At one point, I even broke out in a mini-cry (lasting all of maybe 2 seconds), as I was just so overcome with joy at doing something I had always wanted to do.

I thought of my Dad (who passed away about 5 years ago) and how proud he'd be of me. I thought of my Mom, whom I love so much, and how proud she is of me and I of her. I thought of my boyfriend Dan, whom I love so very much. I thought of my roommate Lisa, whose courage to go after most anything propelled me to this very place, so I ran for her too.

It was beautiful.

About mile 19-ish though, the pain set in. First, I got stomach cramps, and had to stop for diarrhea. After that, the stomach seemed okay, but then it seemed like every muscle in my body, actually every bone in my body, was just aching.

My knees (of which there isn't much cartilage to play with anyway) were screaming with pain, my hips hurt, my calves were tight, and I just ached.

I tried to keep my spirits up, but it became increasingly harder. My pace slowed to about 10:30, then 11:15, and at times to 12:30. I tried like hell to speed up, but the old body just didn't want to play anymore.

So I kept going anyway. It was slow, but sure. And at no time, ever during the race, did I walk. I refused.

When I crossed the finish line, Dan was there taking pictures and cheering me on as always. I finished in 4:21:24. Not quite what I hoped for, but not bad considering my lack of training.

I went home, took a hot bath, had some breakfast and slept.

Today I'm stiff, but good, and I am damned happy to be alive.

I can't wait to do it again!

Runner Details Race Results Split Times
Bib: 972
Name: Shannon Franklin
Gender: F
Age: 44
Hometown: Tujunga, CA

Overall: 503 out of 1486
Women: 100 out of 501
F 40-44: 18 out of 88
Age/Grade: 56.79% Place: 302
Finish: 4:21:24 Pace: 9:59
Tag Time: 4:21:24
Gun Time: 4:25:17

10 Km: 59:34 Pace: 9:36
10.75: 1:43:56 Pace: 9:41
16.15: 2:33:04 Pace: 9:29
21.6: 3:29:50 Pace: 9:43

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Love Affair with Olympic Lifting?

Never ever in my wildest dreams would I have ever guessed that I would develop a "love affair" with Olympic Weightlifting.

I love learning this! It is so interesting. Each movement is so complex, yet is such a workout in and of itself.

Tonight in O-lifting class, we practiced the Burgener Warm-Up over and over for the Snatch.

Cool. I understand what a Snatch is now. I even did a few at a whopping 40 lbs.

This is fun. I love a new challenge.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Intensity (or Lack Thereof)

Last week we did a WOD of AMRAP in 30 minutes of dumbbell squat thrusters and a 400 m run. The standard was 25lb dumbbells, I did it with 20lb weights.

However, one thing I did right, was I was INTENSE! I went to that workout with a fire, and I worked extremely hard. I was breathing very heavy the entire time, and at the end of the 7th round, with about 30 seconds to go, admittedly, I dropped the weights and dropped to the ground to rest.

I know it took me at least a full minute or two, breathing like I'd just escaped a fire, before I was finally able to calm down.

Now THAT was intensity!

The next day, it was like I was on fire! I had so much energy, I was blown away.

Intensity is Force X Distance (or Work) divided by time. The more work you do in the least amount of time, the more intensity you will create.

I realized this morning that I do the WOD's at an intensity way less than I am capable of. Pushing myself harder is my next goal. Currently I'll work fairly hard, but I rest way too often and for too long. I need to be prepared to work my ass off as fast as possible!

The goodies come from the intensity. I want more goodies.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Bucket List

So I just registered for the Pasadena Marathon, and I realized that I have been steadily knocking things off of my bucket list, since I found CrossFit in July of 2008.

I've always wanted to run a marathon, so I figured what they hey! Let's do it. This will be my first!

I'm also running the Mt. Wilson Trail race, which will be a beast!

Eventually, I'd like to compete in some triathlons, some more adventure races and even an Ironman.

I love pushing the body further than I think I can make it go. It's so rewarding.

Life is good.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

More PR's!

We ran the same 5K that we ran a few weeks back. Then was 25:44, this time I PR'ed at 25:28...not a stellar improvement, but I'll take it!

We reassessed in O-lift this week. Whoa! Wanna hear some amazing wins?
When we started O-lift mid December 2008, here were my MAXIMUM LOADS for 1 rep:

Deadlift 145
Backsquat 90
Press 55
Pull Ups 0 (neither kipping nor deadhang)
Cleans 70

We reassessed everything (except Cleans)again this past week ending February 27. Here's where I stand now for MAXIMUM LOADS for 1 rep:

Deadlift 205-----A 60 lb improvement!
Backsquat 130----A 40 lb improvement!
Press 70----A 15 lb improvement!
Pull Ups 2 Dead Hangs; 6 Kipping Pullups
Cleans (Didn't reassess, but I ended the last class at 80)

Wow. Nothing like watching yourself get stronger. I swear I'm starting to feel like a kid again!

Monday, February 23, 2009

2 New Cool PR's

Tonight we reassessed for my Olympic Weightlifting class. Scary, but true, my max backsquat just 9 weeks ago was a mere 90 lbs. Now it's still "mere", but DAMN, what an improvement. I backsquatted 130lbs tonight!

On top of that, now that I have kipping pullups, I've been trying to get a deadhang pullup. I have one of those home pullup bars that goes over my doorway. About once a week, I'll pull it out and attempt a dead hang. So far, no go, and I've had it since Christmas.

Well tonight, one of the assessments was max # of deadhang pullups. I figured, what the hell, I'll give it another shot. Holy Cow! I did 2!

One thing very cool about Crossfit. If you just show up and try hard, you WILL see an improvement. Everyone in my class PR'ed tonight!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Mind Tricks

Funny how the mind works.

I went to O-lifting class on Monday night. I was shooting for a Deadlift PR of 180lbs with 3 sets of 5 reps each.

I was working my way up to my hopeful PR weight. I mis-tallied and wound up doing 2 reps at 185 (thinking it was somehow 170) and 1 rep at 195! It was so freaking hard!

I actually told Coach Holiday, "Do you ever have a week where you're lifting something you should be able to lift, yet it feels extremely heavy for some reason?"

He said it might be diet or lack of sleep or something.

Then I recalculated my weights and I burst out laughing. OMG! I was just lifting 15 lbs more than I was planning....no wonder it was so heavy.

Go figure.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Mental Strength (aka Discipline)

I've realized one facet of training I love is that as I get more physically fit, my mind also becomes sharper.

I also realize that the constant honing of my mind's sharpness is what's going to give me the edge I need to take my body to the next level.

Like anyone, "I don't want to do what I don't want to do." I really need and want to challenge myself to push through those mental barriers and stops just because they are uncomfortable or don't "feel" good.

This is especially true, since I've just taken on a commission based sales position again. I used to be the top of my field doing sales a number of years ago, and it is a field I only enter if I am willing to fight. Mental acuity, perserverance and attitude are the ONLY reasons one becomes successful in that industry.

It is constantly pushing past the "I don't feel like making another phone call" that ultimately gets the job done.

This directly relates to what is holding me back physically too. "Oh, it's uncomfortable", or "oh it hurts, I want to stop now" frequents my mind, even when I KNOW I am capable of more. I'm a bit of a baby still when it comes to pain. I know that with practice in handling it, my tolerance will increase, and I believe that by at least recognizing this, I am on my way to conquering it further.

Granted, my body has limits. I get that. But inherently I KNOW that I can push a little harder than I do, and that overcoming these mental obstacles is key.

On that note, Kellie and I (who both got on the board for doing Cindy to standard for the first time ever this week), both admittedly SUCK at pushups. And both of us can use some work on our squats too (who can't?). So we've both agreed to do 20 wall squats (Ow! Yuck! Hate 'em) and 20 pushups (feel about the same way) daily.

The discipline will come in when "I'm tired", or "it's late" or whatever bullshit excuse I know my mind will try to feed me when it comes time to get these done daily. And we're talking less than 5 minutes of work here!

So here's my opportunity to work on my body by way of my mind--with the good fortune of having a friend to be accountable to by my side.

Let's do it!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Gratitude

I cannot but help to post about my gratitude to the amazing people I have in my life today.

First and foremost, I must acknowledge Coach Eric LeClair. A true leader in every sense of the word, he has allowed me to push harder, work smarter, do more and believe in myself further than any one person has ever inspired me to go.

Secondly, I must acknowledge Coach Vanessa Ortiz for the same. Her coaching has also propelled me to new heights that frankly, I would not have reached so rapidly without her help. She is a bright, shiny and beautiful light. Watching her grow as a gifted coach has also been a blessing.

There are other people in my life who inspire me, but truly, these two beings deserve the highest honor I have to give.

Thank you.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

I am Cause

Okay. So the FACT that I have no job is settling in, and I'm finding myself allowing fear to get a foothold. This is not good! I missed two anaerobic workouts in a row, so I'm feeling a bit down about that too.

It's time to get off my buff ass and get to work! I am CAUSE! If I sit here all day and don't look for work, only I am to blame for having no money. If I sit here and play on Facebook and don't make any calls out, only I am to blame for having no money.

I am not a victim, and it's time to get off me arse and prove that! Ayyy!

I have an opportunity to make some phone sales today. I am doing that.
I have an interview to be a personal assistant to someone today. I am going there.

Let's do it, woman!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Zone is Working!

I've been adamantly sticking to the Zone for the last 2 weeks with no cheating whatsoever. It's great! If anyone ever thinks they need drugs, dude, they should just do the Zone. It's like being on speed, regarding the amount of intensity and energy you have....but it doesn't die out, so long as you stay in the Zone.

However, like Katie, I have noticed an increased edginess. The aggression part of it, I think is good, but sometimes I feel so aggressive, I find myself becoming very impatient with people who I love.

So I'm going to try changing some things around a bit.

I'm going to start the Paleo Diet this week, although my reasons for that are more of an effort to find a way to train harder without getting sick so easily. I want to see if I can push the envelope a bit, b/c right now, even with rest days, if I have too many anaerobic days in a row, I can pretty much be assured of getting a cold.

Elsewhere in my life, things are coming along. I still don't have a job, but I've had two job offers (if I want to do commission only sales), I'm looking at starting my own business, and I've applied for the census.

Politically, I'm having a blast! The ONLY reason I got involved in politics is to further Hydrogen-on-demand. Lots of people don't know what this is. In a nutshell, it is a way that you can convert the car you have now to run partially on hydrogen, which is created by a small water tank "electrolyzer" you install under your hood.

The greatest thing about HOD is what it does for the environment--it decreases smog emissions up to 90%. But there are also other added bonuses, in that HOD increases power, torque and gas mileage.

So it's really quite cool, and virtually unknown.

So I'm involved in the Pickens Plan which is really fun, and I also head up a Burbank4Obama group. It's interesting to realize how much say we actually do have as citizens if we just band together and put pressure on our representatives.

Cool.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Jackie

Not to standard, as I don't completely "have" kipping pullups yet
1000m row
50 squat thrusters 45lb bar
30 pull ups (did kip attempts)

13:05 (still 14 seconds behind Donna...dang!) :O)

Friday, January 30, 2009

Helen

Did Helen today
3 rounds for time
400m run
21 35lb kettle bell swings
12 pullups

Although I can now "do" kipping pullups, they're not consistent. So I did kipping pullup "attempts" I probably made it over the bar 2 of every 12.

Time 12:07

Monday, January 26, 2009

More PR's--It's great being a "newbie"

So, I'm enjoying my newbie status as evidenced by my frequent PR's. Word has it that the better you get, the harder you have to work for PR's. That is, once you become an elite athlete, even shaving a second off or adding a few pounds to your max weight is quite a challenge.

Okay. I'll worry about that when I get there. For now, I'm enjoying watching just mere days elapse between weights that were once very hard for me, suddenly become...well doable if not somewhat easy.

Cool.

Today I managed my previous max Deadlift load of 160 in 3 sets of 5.
It took me 3 weeks for the next PR, but I eeked out 3 sets of 5 shoulder presses at 60. My previous PR was 55. I also did 3/5 of weighted negative pullups at 10lbs, and I beat my previous 250m rowing time of 1:02 by 5 seconds at :57.

This is so fun.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

OMG!!! I can now do kipping pull-ups!!

Today was a banner day. Great workout this morning with AMRAP deadlift at 1.5X bodyweight and 7 kipping pullups. Although my bodyweight is 130, my max DL is only 160, so Coach Ortiz had me do my Deadlifts at 135. And as of this morning, I still couldn't do kipping pullups, so I did attempts. I completed 7 rounds. What an awesome workout!

But tonight at O-lift was spectacular!!!

Not only did I PR, completing 5/5/13 of 100lbs in the backsquat, I also PR'ed completing 5/5/5 at 75lbs for push press.

Then I went outside to do my prescribed 3/5 negative pullups, which I did. I told Liz I was close to being able to do a kipping pullup, and she asked me to show her, so I figured I'd give it another try. Lucky me, Coach LeClair was there too. He coached me to really "kip" and use my hips to get myself up there....and I did it! Then I did it again! Then again!

I CAN'T BELIEVE I CAN FINALLY DO THIS AFTER 6 MONTHS OF TRYING!!!

Very cool. Now I'm much closer to being able to do all the workouts to standard.

...Now I've got to work on my pushups!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Fight Gone Bad PR!

I attended the Crossfit Level 1 Certification up here in Union City this weekend. It was amazing! I learned so much...not only about Crossfit, how it works, etc., but also got a lot of correction in my form (especially squats)!

It's wonderful to constantly improve and be able to measure that.

Anyway, we did Fran and Fight Gone Bad over the weekend. Fran was scaled. Maybe because of the lack of food, or sleep or both, but I was totally arching my back to get the 65lbs up, so we scaled down to 45. Needless to say, with jumping pullups, my time decreased dramatically to 5:41. Cool, but I'll be more impressed with myself later when I can do it to standard.

Today, however, we did Fight Gone Bad. My first score of 197 was respectable, but today I did 220!!! Okay, so I still have a long way to go (which is what makes the journey so great), but I AM FREAKING ECSTATIC!

Actually, let me say that again...I AM FREAKING ECSTATIC!!

Whoooooooooooooooo!

I love Crossfit so much. It is the coolest, most bad-assed philosophy and group of people I've ever had the pleasure of being associated with.

Life is good.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

5K "Since I quit Smoking 4 months ago" PR

We ran a 5K tonight. I was hoping to break an 8 minute mile average. No such luck. I managed to do this in 25:44, which is about an 8:21 minute mile.

Better than before, but not as good as I know I am capable of. When I was in NC, I got down to below a 7 minute mile. Grrr. Keep pushing, Shannon. Keep pushing.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Why I no longer drink alcohol

So New Year's Eve was my last day drinking alcohol. So that means that I now have 14 days of sobriety.

There are many reasons I don't drink alcohol anymore, but the main reason is that I want to be the best I can be. Alcohol slows me down, it ruins my buzz. The sugar inhibits me from performing as well as I can, and it's addicting. Someone once told me that sugar molecules are quite similar to cocaine molecules. I don't know if this is true, but I can believe it.

I've always been told, if you want to do well in life, do the things others aren't willing to do. I've been drunk--plenty. I know what it feels like. It's fun, but excelling is funner. Being present is funner. Dancing while high on life, staying up til 2am and waking up ready to run 6 miles is "funner".

I recently read Alan Carr's "The Easy Way to Quit Drinking". Although not as good, in my opinion, as "The Easy Way to Quit Smoking" (which I credit, along with Crossfit in helping me quit smoking 4 months ago), the book still made some excellent points. Namely, that alcohol is an addictive drug...period. And like any addictive drug, it well, over time, it will cause you to become addicted to it--unless you practice excellent discipline to fight off its addictive urges (my opinion in italics).

Over the last many years, I've gotten pretty good at that. I've often gone months at a time without drinking. Then I'd have a bad day, I'd drink a few glasses of wine, and the next day I'd literally have to fight not to do it again. Or it would be a more subtle craving, but it would still be there. It's very seductive, pernicious and covert. And it's bad for you strictly from a carbohydrate level.

Even the Crossfit Journal makes mention of this (carbs being bad): "Excessive consumption of high-glycemic carbohydrates is the primary culprit in nutritionally caused health problems. High glycemic carbohydrates are those that raise blood sugar too rapidly.

What is the Problem with High-Glycemic Carbohydrates?

The problem with high-glycemic carbohydrates is that they give an inordinate insulin response. Insulin is an essential hormone for life, yet acute, chronic elevation of insulin leads to hyperinsulinism, which has been positively linked to obesity, elevated cholesterol levels, blood pressure, mood dysfunction and a Pandora’s box of disease and disability. Research “hyperinsulinism” on the Internet."

I did research hyperinsulinism, and what came up interestingly enough is that alcohol is a big factor in this.

The Crossfit Journal also discusses the benefits of caloric restriction and longevity.

"Current research strongly supports the link between caloric restriction and an increased life expectancy. The incidence of cancers and heart disease sharply decline with a diet that is carefully limited in controlling caloric intake."

Indeed, when I lived in North Carolina a few years back, I joined the Calorie Restriction Society. (Look it up on the internet. They're a group who use themselves as human guinea pigs to attempt to prove what has been proven on lab animals for years--that calorie restriction increases lifespan by about 40-60%). I monitored my calories very carefully and learned to live with chronic hunger. I got skinnier than I am now (which wasn't my goal). But the most important thing I noticed was my energy level SKYROCKETED!! I had no Crossfit at that time, so I just went to Gold's Gym daily. I ran on the treadmill, and was soon doing a 6:30 mile!

I realize as an athlete you cannot maintain the low caloric intake of that diet for long, as you simply burn more calories than you consume, which over time would probably lead to death. But it did teach me exceptional discipline, as the prize I got for doing that was way better than the food I missed out on.

I find the Zone Diet to be similar, in that I am always a little "hungry". I LOVE that. Like I said, it makes me aggressive, energetic and more able. No cake, sweets, sugar, alcohol, bread or bullshit is worth not competing on as high a level as I can compete on.

Why handicap myself? I once went 2 1/2 years without drinking. It was the most productive time in my life. And although I know there are lots of hard-core bad asses out there who still can manage a beer here and again, I simply prefer not to.

And to each, his own, right?

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Doing Kurtis

Heh, Heh.
Did Kurtis today.
800 m sprint
50 Full Squat Cleans 95lbs Women's Standard (I did 65lbs)
800 m sprint

20:37

Monday, January 12, 2009

Annie; scratch; make that Cindy

Did Cindy today. Coach Ortiz really pushed us to do kipping pullups, or at least attempt them. I got as close as I've ever been to actually doing one. There is hope! I'm still stuck on girlie knee-pushups too. Thank the gods I am in O-lift. These scrawny arms need some strength training!

I did 15 complete rounds.

Friday, January 9, 2009

My Friends










I love my friends.

Here are some photos from New Year's Eve. In the photo on the left is my housemate Stacia, my love of 7 years--Dan, and my friend Vickie.

In the right photo are my friends Adelita, Celina and my other housemate, Lisa!

New Double PR!

So I just ran "Lisa's" Trail again.

At the 4 mile mark, I PR'ed at 38:50 (1:17 faster that earlier this week!)
At the predetermined "turnaround" mark (4.09 mi total), I still PR'ed at 39:31 (36 secs better than the 4 mi mark earlier this week)

Boo yeah!

01/08 Nasty Girls Version Two

3 ROUNDS FOR TIME OF:

50 Squats

7 Ring Dips

10 Hang Power Cleans 135lbs/95lbs

Completed in 9:22 with 65lb Hang Power Cleans

01/06 New PR on "Lisa's" Trail

Lisa turned me onto a great trail that literally starts from our front door! It is 4 miles and quite hilly.

Time 40:06

01/05 Reverse 50 Hell or Heaven?

I LOVE to be challenged to a point far beyond what I think I am capable of. This was good.

Reverse 50/50

50 Double Unders
50 Burpees (CF Games Standard)
50 Wall-Balls (M-20/10, W-16/8)
50 Hip Extensions (GHD or Supermans)
50 Push-Press @ 45lb Bar
50 Hanging Knees To Elbows
50 Walking Lunges
50 KB Swings (M-53lbs, W-35lbs)
50 Jumping Pull-ups
50 Box Jumps

My time was 36:48
01/05/08