The Dog Days

Ahhh, good old summer time. The magic of summer was definitely a bit more apparent when I was a kid. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still the best time of year, but now I am an adult. So just because it’s 90 degrees with 1,000,000 percent humidity doesn’t mean I can waste the day away swimming and sunning, work duties are lurking. Good thing I have a great job that doesn’t require me to wear business suits and restricting clothing. Spandex, anyone?

Relaxing by the lake on 4th of July

Relaxing by the lake on 4th of July

These days I cherish my weekends. Mostly because it gives me a chance to regroup and prepare for my week. I have an easier time recharging my batteries while I am alone, I guess that’s the introvert side of me. It’s also probably why I feel so connected to nature and the quiet that comes along with it.

The plan for this coming weekend is to get a nice day-hike in on one of the days (weather-dependent) and enjoy some quiet time around the ‘hood. I’m starting to get anxiety over the fact that we’re already into week two of July. As a kid the summer seemed to drag on forever. Now it’s like a flash in the pan. You must make the weekends count. What about the week days though? Is summer the time to live a little? Should we disregard the 9:00pm bedtime to enjoy a cocktail by the water with friends, or go for a go for a jog at 8:00pm because it’s still light out and we can? For a creature of habit like myself this is a difficult thing to do. Getting up at 4:30am is also a deterrent. The jury is still out on this one. Gotta find a balance I suppose. See what I did there? ūüėČ

My wrist is starting to feel better and I am making progress which is a good thing. Some movements still really bother me but it’s significantly less painful. My chiropractor has been working his magic doing some soft tissue and trigger point work on my forearm from my elbow down to my hand. There’s a lot of gnarly stuff going on in there. I was recently thinking about how I tend to hold my iPhone with my left hand and scroll using my thumb. I am thinking that this has played a role in my wrist issues as well. Making a conscious effort to limit the mindless scrolling on the phone. It’s unnecessary for many reasons.

I began the German Body Comp program a few weeks ago. It’s been really nice to slow things down, but still be getting an amazing workout. In CrossFit I think we get caught up in speed and intensity. I mean, it’s very important to find that intensity to get an appropriate training response, but that doesn’t mean pedal to the metal all the time. The GBC requires every movement be done with tempo, so it’s actually very challenging to do that – for all kinds of reasons, haha. I am considering this summer my “off season” from the sport of fitness. I am getting the itch to get back in the game and my goal is to able to work with a barbell again by mid-August/September-ish. So, look out, I am coming back.

I hope you are having a fantastic summer and you’re living A LOT! Go out on a weeknight, stay up late now and then, drink a margarita on the weekends, and put down the phone. You’ll wish for this come January! Enjoy the photos…

My loon buddy on the 4th of July. He looks relaxed.

My loon buddy on the 4th of July. He looks relaxed.

We could be a Sperry Topsider advertisement.

We could be a Sperry Topsider advertisement.

Since working is not optional I use a combo of peppermint and orange essential oils in my diffuser to pick me up when I want to take a nap in the afternoon. You should get in on this!

Since working is not optional I use a combo of peppermint and orange essential oils in my diffuser to pick me up when I want to take a nap in the afternoon. You should get in on this!

Goal Updates and Injuries

My last post was about my goal to get outside in nature this summer. So far I’ve been doing well with that goal. We have already gone camping once this season and it was awesome. It was extremely relaxing and after only a couple days in the woods I felt like I had been on vacation. I was completely unplugged from the phone and computer which was the best part.

Our site at Covered Bridge Campground. So peaceful.

Our site at Covered Bridge Campground. So peaceful.

My in-the-gym training has not been going so well, however. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how desire for training goes through peaks and valleys. For me it’s very motivating to have some kind of event to train for. Last fall it was training to prepare for the Winter Throwdown at Champlain Valley in December. Although I didn’t do well at that competition, I became a much better CrossFitter while completing my training leading up to it. My focus was on fixing some issue and building more strength, particularly in my upper body pushing and pulling.

Then we transitioned to training for the CrossFit Open and I continued to progress. I drastically improved my ranking compared to last year. I finished in the top 700 of the North East Region this year; I finally got my muscle ups; I worked on my Olympic lifts consistently; and I got stronger mentally.

When the Open was over, I took a week off from training and going hard. Getting back into it after that week was tough, like the week after you get back to reality from vacation. I’d been strict with my eating leading up to the Open so I could stay lean and feel my best. I loosened up the reigns with that a little bit with that too. I try not to let myself stress about food anymore – maybe you noticed the Coronas in the photo above! After all, it’s just food. It doesn’t control me and it’s one of life’s necessities.

So after lots of hard training through the winter and push through many aches and pains, my wrist tendonitis has finally come to a tipping point. A few weeks ago I pushed it beyond its limits. If wrists could talk it would have told me, “Please, no more.” I listened. I got three different opinions: an MD, a Chiropractor, and a Massage Therapist. Combining all three opinions I have developed a plan for resting, healing, and rehabilitating my wrist. Oye!

arm cast 2015

The wrist splint I wear when I sleep.

 

It’s a huge bummer, but it’s also a wake up call that I truly needed. It’s something you read and hear all the time, “Keep your body maintained”, “Do your mobility”, “Have body work done”, “Make modifications if something’s bothering you”… but sometimes we just don’t listen. I didn’t listen. I just kept pushing it and pushing it.

It will take a little while for me to be back in action, but I will get there. For now I am just trying to accept it for what it is and enjoy what I can do. Lots of squats, running, sled dragging, and hiking are in my summer training plans. I am focusing on the positives of slowing down a little bit, but don’t get me wrong, it’s super-tough and I often feel the itch to pick up a barbell. All in due time I suppose!

chocura 2015

Representing OPEX at the summit of Mt. Chocura

The 2015 Open

My goals for the 2015 CrossFit Open were to 1) Finish in the top 1,000 in the North East Region and 2) feel more confident in my abilities as an athlete. Back in October I asked Kyle for a better plan for my training. Until then I was jumping in with class 4-5 times each week. I was fit, but I knew I wasn’t spending as much time on weaknesses as I needed to. So he started writing my programming. In 2014 I finished somewhere in the 1400s in the Region and I wanted to improve that position. I knew that muscle ups would hold me back in a huge way if I couldn’t get any this year. Tackled that goal and got my first one back in December, and was able to get 11 in 15.3, but it’s definitely still a work in progress. I really wanted to have fun, work the hardest I could, and know that my training made me better. I finished around 600ish.¬†Mission accomplished.

15.1 AMRAP 9 – 15TTB/10DL/5SN
This was a fun workout. I actually enjoyed doing it. I have been training toes-to-bar and power snatches for the last 3 months so this was wheel house stuff. The barbell was super light for me which was an advantage. I was able to get through 3 rounds of toes to bar in sets of 5. After that they were pretty sporadic since my abs and grip were fatigued. I tried to keep moving on this. I found myself taking too many breaths during the transitions to the barbell. I tried to hustle it up at the end. I finished my 5th found right on the 9 minute mark. Final score: 150 reps

15.1a 1RM C&J
Bending over to change out plates was super hard because my abs were cramping up. I stood up and took my time. My opening lift was 135 which I hit easily. I squat cleaned it but should have just power cleaned it. My next lift was 145 – power clean, easy jerk. My plan was to go to 155 but I made the decision to try 160. I power cleaned 160 no problem, but then missed the jerk behind me. I wasn’t confident. I went back down to 155 and made the lift. Final score: 155lbs

IMG_1814

 

15.2 C2B/OHS
Angry and bummed. From the moment this workout was announced I was intimidated. I have never been great at chest to bar pull ups. In fact a couple months ago was the first time I had ever been able to string them together using a prone grip. Last year my score was 78 reps. I was confident that I could beat that score, and the thought of getting into the 6:00-9:00 round had me excited. My score this time was 87 reps, one shy of getting to where I wanted to be. I made a mistake counting on my first set of 12 overhead squats and ended up doing an extra rep. I got off track mentally after that which is ultimately what caused me to miss that last rep. It’s a hard thing to swallow. I guess these are the times you consider doing a workout over. Not sure if I will have enough time to recover by Monday, or if it’s even worth it.

I ended up repeating the workout on Monday afternoon. I finished the second round with :30 seconds to spare. I ended up a score of 132 which was what I was expecting. Holy forearms! I am really glad I repeated this workout.

15.3 MU/WB/DU
This is where I thought the Open was over for me. Having only done strict muscle ups successfully and sporadically, I set my sights on 14 minutes of muscle up attempts. When Friday afternoon rolled around I figured I’d give it a try. I surprisingly was able to kip all of my muscle ups and made it 4 reps into the second round. This was one of the most awesome accomplishments of my CrossFit career. I’ve only done muscle ups like that in my dreams – not even kidding. ¬†My score was 161 reps. Pumped.

15.4 HSPU/CLEAN
I had mixed feelings about this workout. Handstand Push Ups are not one of my strongest movements, but I am good at cleans and 125# is fairly light for me. The HSPU standard was fine with me, but I made the mistake of using just a yoga mat under my hands and head. I should have used plates and an abmat because I wasn’t able to move as quickly through my reps and I think my shoulders fatigued a little sooner than they would have otherwise. Not making excuses, just observing what I could have done differently and possibly had a better outcome. I got 33 reps. I considered re-doing the workout, but didn’t feel like I would have gotten a ton more reps, so I didn’t. Currently 573 in the North East region.

15.5 ROW/THRUSTER
I was psyched when this workout was announced. I’m a decent rower and thrusters are a what I would consider a wheel house movement. I finished in 11:35. I wast thinking I would be somewhere between 10 and 11 minutes. I did the workout on Friday. Honestly, I was ready for the Open to be over. Feeling tired and sick of being anxious about the workouts every week. I might have done better if I waited a day or two. I would have been better rested and recovered. My whole left back side ended up cramping up pretty bad which definitely added some time. I tired to keep a decent pace, despite the cramping.