Weekly Workout Recap

I’ve been complaining for the past few weeks about my low amount of miles since starting CrossFit but this week I feel pretty good about my runs.  Even though I still logged a very low amount of miles (15) it was nice getting 4 runs in this week.  Now that CrossFit is over I’ll be able to start upping my miles again and mixing up my runs.  Believe it or not, I’m actually looking forward to speed work, hill training, and strides.

feet

One of the workouts from last week deserves some special attention.  Wednesday’s Run for Boston 5k.  I loved this one for so many different reasons.

Boston

Boston 2

This was a community run / walk in honor of Boston.  It look place at the Irish Coast Pub where I run on Wednesday nights (when I can make it, that is).  Typically we have 15-20 runners at the pub but this week there were almost 500 and over $10,000 was raised for Boston.  Simply amazing.  I know I say this a lot, but the running community never ceases to amaze me.

And now onto my workouts.  This the breakdown of my daily workouts for last week.  Any time you see AM circuit, it refers to this graphic:

workouts (edited)

Monday: AM circuit.

Tuesday: AM circuit, 3 mile run,  CrossFit (sprints, kettlebell swings, hang snatches).

Wednesday: AM Circuit, Run for Boston 5k

Thursday: Yoga, 2 mile run, Crossfit (double unders, rowing, squats, pushups and pullups).

Friday: Nada, nothing.

Saturday: 7 mile run, 25 minutes HIIT

Sunday: Rainy rest day.

I’ve been doing the above AM circuit for the past two weeks and have really enjoyed it.  However, my poor husband hasn’t.  I guess there’s just something annoying about your wife jump roping at 5:45am.  I tried different room and even going outside but he swears I keep waking him up. *whomp whomp*  So this week I’m changing it up a bit.  i.e. No jump roping.

workouts (without jump rope)

Feel free to join to me.  I created this circuit to address my weak hip flexors, and to increase upper body and core strength.  The last circuit took about 10 minutes to do so I’m assuming this one will take in between 10-15.

Question:  Does your early morning routine ever bother others in your house?

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My {brief} Love Affair with CrossFit

As quickly as the affair started, last night it ended.  Since lacing up my first legit pair of running shoes in late 2011, running has been number one in my heart when it comes to exercising.  Sure, I like to do other things like yoga, cycle or kayak but running has been numero uno.  Well, until this month when I let another form of exercise into my heart.  CrossFit.   But alas, yesterday evening was my final class.

running

If running is my love, CrossFit has become my paramour.  I realize that may be a bit of an extreme example, but it’s the best way I know how to describe it.  When I signed up for my month of on-ramp (beginners level) classes at Bandit CrossFit I had some expectations of what I hoped to achieve. My ultimate goal was to learn some weight lifting techniques that would improve my running.  What I gained from the experience was so much more than that.

From the very first class, I knew I had found something special at Bandit.  CrossFit has always intimidated me quite a bit and to say I was nervous is a complete understatement.  I was petrified of the unknown.  Can I handle this? Am I going to make a fool of myself? Lord, please don’t let the instructor eat me for breakfast.

Wall balls practically chewed me up and spit me out.

Bandit CrossFit. Best. Box. EVER.

However, all that worry was completely wasted energy.  When I met my instructor Janice (she also owns Bandit CrossFit) I practically laughed at how worked up I had been.  Janice carries herself with the ease of someone you’ve been around your entire life.  She and her amazing assistant (co-instructor) Kim have the patience of Job when teaching us something new. And trust me, my lack of coordination meant LOTS of patience.  But don’t mistake that patience for slack, I got my butt handed to me on more than one occasion. “McKnight! Chest to the floor. McKnight! All the way down on those squats.”

Kim (R) & Janice (L). Excuse my tired look, this was post WOD.

Kim (R) & Janice (L). Excuse my tired look, this was post WOD.

I learned to push through the bruises and muscle aches to discover a strength in me I didn’t know I had.  Over the course of this past month I did things I had previously told myself “I can’t” do.  Man, am I glad I threw “I can’t” out of my vocabulary! Because I learned that I can….and I did! I did climb a rope all the way to the ceiling. I did do pull-ups. I did do deadlifts, hang snatches, wall balls and rowing. And I did do lots of other fun stuff. Each class was a new challenge and I couldn’t wait to tackle it.  It’s amazing how much we can accomplish we the right mindset.

My first attempt at rope climbing (pictured) didn't go so well. BUT I owned that rope the week after!

My first attempt at rope climbing (pictured) didn’t go so well.
BUT I owned that rope the week after!

What??? You don't dead lift in obnoxiously bright socks and no shoes? Clearly you're doing it wrong.

What??? You don’t dead lift in obnoxiously bright socks and no shoes?
Clearly you’re doing it wrong.

<3<3<3 Rowing!! <3<3<3

<3<3<3 Rowing!! <3<3<3

And what fun would CrossFit be without some inappropriate humor sprinkled in? I present to you my poo stance.

And what fun would CrossFit be without some inappropriate humor sprinkled in?
I present to you my poo stance.

The other thing I was surprised to find was how much of a ‘family’ my on-ramp class became.  The cheers and encouragement of my fellow crossfitters helped me push through the WODs when I felt completely spent.  Each time one of my classmates pushed themselves past their limits I felt complete pride in them.

Happy on-ramp graduates. LOVE this group of people!

Happy on-ramp graduates.
LOVE this group of people!

I honestly didn’t expect to grow so attached to CrossFit which makes stopping so much harder.  However, with training for marathon #3 (in a year!) looming in my very near future, I won’t have the time to dedicate to it; after all, my husband needs to see me sometime, too.  After a month of CrossFit, I feel like I accomplished my goal of learning techniques to improve my running.  I’m excited to take that knowledge and apply it on my own. But I can’t lie that I’m going to miss the heck out of it.  I’m still trying to figure out a way to mesh the two (running and CrossFit) together but haven’t come up with anything yet.

If you have ever wondered about CrossFit or considered taking a class, I highly recommend it.  Put your fears aside and just take the plunge.  YOU CAN DO IT! I encourage you to do an on-ramp class first that way you don’t get overwhelmed.  If you live in an area that offers more than one Box, don’t be afraid to shop around until you find the right one.  You want your box to have instructors who will take time with you, teach you proper form and correct you when you’re wrong.  I was lucky to find my box, Bandit CrossFit, in the first try.  If you’re on of my local readers, I wouldn’t consider going anywhere else.

And before I completely forget, the winner of my ViewSPORT sweat activated t-shirt giveaway, selected by Random.org, was lucky comment #40.

viewsport winner 2viewsport winner

Congratulations Hollie for sweating like a man and being proud of it! Be on the lookout for a message from me on how to claim your prize.

Question:  Have you ever done something outside of your comfort zone and loved it?

Weekly Workout Recap

Another amazing weekends in the books! I’m sad to see it go but that just means that I have all week to plan another one.  I had the Warrior Dash this weekend so the hubby and I took off work Friday and went on a road trip 3 1/2 hours north.  We made a small detour to one of our favorite national parks, Vicksburg National Military Park.  If you are into Civil War history at all, put this park on your must visit list.

vicksburg

One of the many state monuments in the park.

wild flowers

Springtime in Mississippi. Love all of the beautiful wild flowers!

Saturday was spent getting all muddy (and bruised, too).  I have been wanting to do a mud run / obstacle race for about a year and half but the timing hasn’t worked out until now.  Let me just say, I can’t believe I’ve waited so long. I’ll have a full recap on the Warrior Dash later this week but it was an absolute blast!

warrior dash

Last week I mentioned that I was feeling a bit lost with my workouts and lack of training schedule.  I had planned on creating a new training plan but ran out of time.  So that’s going back on my to-do list this week.  Before too long, I’ll be starting to train for my next marathon – exciting!

Weekly Workout Recap April 15 – April 21:

workouts (edited)

When you see AM circuit, this is what I’m referencing.

Monday: AM circuit.

Tuesday: AM circuit, Boston Prayer Run 5k, CrossFit (run, walking lunges, push presses, pull-ups, and rows).

Wednesday: Recovery day; super sore from the night before.

Thursday: AM circuit, 2 mile run, Crossfit (pistols, run with sandbag, rope climb, sandbag throws, and monkey bars).

Friday: Nada, nothing.

Saturday: Warrior Dash.  3.6 miles of mud, barbed wire and jumping fire.

Sunday: Sat in car all day – blah.

Don’t forget to enter my ViewSPORT giveaway! Only a few days left to win an awesome sweat activated t-shirt.

Question:  What fun activities did you get into this weekend?

Weekly Workout Recap

First things first, good luck to all the wicked fast runnahs conquering Boston today! You all amaze and inspire me!

I’m still trying to get into some sort of groove with my exercise.  Since starting CrossFit I honestly feel a bit lost with my workouts these past two weeks and I’m logging some of my lowest miles in over a year and a half.  Now when I started CrossFit I knew that my running would be put on the back burner but I didn’t count on how much I would miss my runs.

I think part of the problem is that I haven’t set myself up on a new training plan since running my last marathon in February.  I thought I would like the flexibility of no plan, but I really thrive on structure.  This week, I’m going to make an effort to come up with something a bit more concrete with my workouts; find a better balance between running and CrossFit.

I’ve also realized through crossfit how stiff my body is.  I don’t know if it’s a lack of running or just lack of consistent yoga but I am horribly tight.  In an effort to loosen myself up in the morning and also work on improving my technique, I’ve created a mini am circuit to do each day this week.  I’m curious to see if I’ll notice any benefits with my flexibility and technique after this week.

workouts (edited)

Without further adieu, my workouts from last week.

Monday: Yoga

Tuesday: 2.5 mile warmup, Crossfit (rowing & pushpresses)

Wednesday: Weights – upper body (biceps, triceps, deltiods)

Thursday: Yoga, Crossfit  (wall balls, pushups, and a feeble attempt at rope climbing)

Friday: 13 mile kayak trip with my hubby ❤

Saturday: 8.75 mile run

Sunday:Rainy, lazy day.  (Love thunderstorms!)

Saturday was actually supposed to be a 10 mile run but I wasn’t properly fueled; my energy tanked and I started feeling a bit woozy.  I even took a gel at mile 5 to keep me going but it didn’t help a ton.  Usually I don’t have to fuel at all on 10 mile runs.  Long runs and lack of fuel was one of my concerns with switching to a Paleo(ish) diet so I’m really going to have to make an effort to research various whole foods to get my glycogen levels up.

So even though my workouts were less than stellar, I actually had an amazing weekend.  Lots of fun in the sun and quality time with my hubby.  It doesn’t get much better than that!

download

kayak

My view all day Friday.

kayak 2

Question:  What activities do you like to do with your significant other, family or friends?

Going Paleo(ish)

When in Rome, do as the Romans do….Right?  We’ve all heard that statement before but it’s one of those universally (ok, at least in America) recognized phrases that applies to just about anything.  Right now for me, my “Rome” is CrossFit and the Romans are….wait for it….CrossFitters. You totally didn’t see that coming, did you?

Janice

One handed rope climbs? I will not be doing like this Roman crossfitter anytime soon.
This is my instructor Janice. She’s a total beast – even with a broken hand/arm.

During this month, I really want to embrace the whole CrossFit experience, not just bits and pieces of it.  Afterall, how can I know if I really like or dislike something without having given it a fair shot.  A big part of the CrossFit lifestyle is the way that they eat. Paleolithic style or Paleo for short.  Now, I realize that not every CFer follows a Paleo diet, but it seems like most do. So when my CF instructor challenged us to reduce (not eliminate) our dairy and grain intake, I accepted. I dig challenges.

For those of you who might not be familiar with Paleo, the short and sweet definition is that  it’s basically caveman type eating.

the-paleo-diet11source

Think primal, hunter-gatherer type stuff.  Meat, vegetables, fruits, nuts and BACON.  Oh wait, bacon’s not a food group… Whatever, it should be.  The graphic below gives you a pretty good idea about Paleo.

paleo

We all know that I eat clean, so getting rid of the processed stuff isn’t a huge deal for me.  But what you don’t know is that a HUGE part of my clean diet consists of the first three bullets on the “don’t eat list.” I typically eat anywhere from 3-5 servings of dairy a day, 4-6 servings of grains (cereal, pasta, brown rice), and at least 1 serving of legumes a day. I don’t really eat a lot of meat….until now. *gulp*

So where the Paleo(ish) comes into play? A bit of background first for context.  In the past, I have had the tendency to go off the deep end with my eating habits, unfortunately, in an unhealthy way.  I’ve learned if I put food on the restricted list, it almost instantly becomes an enemy.  Something I can’t have or shouldn’t have because it will “hurt” me.  It can make me feel like I’m back into a corner. I get anxiety if I eat restricted food, or, even worse, to avoid anxiety in the past, I just wouldn’t eat. {side note: My not eating didn’t have anything to do with weight loss.  It was completely because I didn’t want to put “bad” food into me.}

That mindset is completely, totally, 100% unhealthy.  But I know this about me and that I have a tendency to think that way so in an effort to avoid potentially leading myself down that path, I am going Paleo(ish).  I am not outlawing dairy, grains and legumes.  Instead, what I’m committing to is allowing myself one serving of each per day.  I am going to try to not eat them at all, but if I do, I know that they aren’t “bad” and I haven’t done anything wrong by eating them. No guilt, no shame.  Just a happy and healthy Gina.

Life is all about finding the right balance that works for you.  I’m not convinced Paleo is the most healthy lifestyle but I’m going to give it a chance.  I really need to research it and I know there are a ton of great reads on the market right now like It Starts With Food.

ISWF-Cover-Header-Food4

I started my Paleo(ish) journey 1 1/2 weeks ago and so far I have had no problems.  At first I was a bit sad every time I opened my fridge and was greeted by my organic milk and plethora of Chobani flavors but after a week, I’ve really gotten the hang of it.  I think the transition was a bit easier for me since I eat clean.  I didn’t have to worry about sugar withdrawals or anything like that.

I’m excited to see how the rest of the month plays out.  The thing I’m looking forward to most is seeing how the increase in protein effects my muscles.  However, in my heart I know that once May hits, I’ll return to clean eating.  A different form of clean eating though, I don’t see myself reintroducing a ton of dairy and grains back into my diet.  Now beans, I’ll be bringing those back with a vengeance.  I love ’em! Beans, beans the magical fruit, the more you eat…. (HA, I know you just finished that sentence in your head.  You’re welcome.)

Question:  Have you ever gone Paleo? Did you stick with it or reintroduce some of the restricted foods back into your life?

March #GoalGetter2013 Checkin

goalgetter2013

Alright, I know that I’m a week late with my March goals check-in, but better late than never, right?  As a recap, here were my March goals:

Get better!! This one may seem like a silly goal but it’s super important right now.  I haven’t been this sick in years and it’s really messing with me mentally.  I feel like I’ve regressed, fitness wise, tremendously.

Spend more time in the kitchen. Yep, I putting this one back on my list; however, I’m going to be more specific this time.  I will make at least one meal the both of us can enjoy.  One of the reasons I find this such of a struggle is due to the fact that Jody aka the hubster refuses to eat clean.  After 1 1/2 years of clean eating, I still haven’t been able to get him on the bandwagon.

  • I would give this one a B-.  I did end up finding some things that we can both enjoy but still didn’t spend as much time as I could have in the kitchen.
481813_595241967170895_112862517_n

100% clean {and husband approved} Sausage Stuffed Baby Portobellos.

Enjoy my next half marathon.  At the end of the month I will be running the Viking Half Marathon and I just want to have fun.  I’m not worried about time goals or PRs.  Just whatever happens, happens.

Medal

Cross train, cross train, cross train! Now that I’m not training for a marathon (first time since last July) I can focus my attention on cross training without fear of injury.  I will be hitting the weight machines pretty hard, cycling my little legs and {of course} still getting in my running – just not 40 miles a week worth of running.

  • C.  Because it took so long to get over being sick, I really only had two full weeks in March to cross train.  I did make it to the gym several times during those two weeks.

Focus more on my spirituality.  I have dropped the ball big time with my devotions and Bible reading in the past few months.  Instead of getting up and getting into His word, I find myself jumping onto the computer to check the blog/social media/my favorite bloggers.  My priorities definitely need re-arranging.

  • D.  Once again, I let this goal slide by me.

Now for my April goals:

Prioritize my spirituality.  I’m making this my number #1 goal this month.

Don’t die in CrossFit.  Ha! I’m loving crossfit so far but I really need to make the most of it with learning proper technique.  Right now, running is on the back burner as I attempt to increase my overall strength.  I’m still doing two short weekly runs and one long{ish} weekend run but I’m not logging my usual miles this month.

Maintain a mostly Paleo diet.  When in crossfit, do as they do, right? My instructor encouraged/challenged us to try going Paleo so I’m going to give it my best shot.  I’ll share some more thoughts on it in a later post.

Complete my first mud run / obstacle race.  I’m signed up for the Warrior Dash on April 20th and am completely stoked to run it.

Haven’t joined the #GoalGetter2013 challenge yet? It’s never too late to get started working towards a better you.  Check out this introduction post and then join some of my favorite blends (bloggers + friends = blends) as we work toward achieving our 2013 goals!  This is your #GoalGetter2013 team:

Question:  How are you coming with your goals? What are you wanting to accomplish in April?

Viking 1/2 Marathon Recap

Crossfit, crossfit, crossfit. I haven’t been in this much continuous pain in a long time and I am loving it! Last night we worked on deadlifts and push presses.  I have really bad form with a lot of different things we’ve done but I’m totally cool with that.  It just means I have room to improve and makes me want to try harder.

Alright, now that I have procrastinated enough on putting up my latest race recap.  Here it is for your viewing pleasure…. Last Saturday Karla, one of my running friends, and I ran the Viking ½ Marathon.  I went through a few different emotions with this race.  I was on the fence about it when I registered, then I became really apathetic about it and could have cared less to run it, and finally got excited about it the week of the race.  Sheesh, all those emotions for one darn race!

viking

Friday, Karla and I made the roughly 5 hour drive to Greenwood, Mississippi, for packet pickup.  Greenwood is in the part of Mississippi that’s known as the Delta.  It has incredibly flat lands which was one of the big selling features of the race.  Another selling feature {for me} at least was the fact that the race was offering a free make your own trail mix bar for the runners.  Unfortunately, when we got to the ‘expo’ (it was actually just a packet pickup location), there wasn’t even a stray piece of granola signifying the bar even existed.  I’m assuming that they ran out of stuff. *sigh* I was disappointed.  Anyways, we grabbed our bibs, shirts and some information about the town and headed to our hotel.

Really disappointing race shirt; the bib was cool though.

Disappointing race shirt; the bib was cool though.

I just have to take a minute to brag on the hotel we stayed at, the Hampton Inn.  Their staff was out of this world friendly and the hotel actually opened up the continental breakfast an hour early just for the runners.  In all the races I’ve traveled to, that’s never happened.  After getting a recommendation from the hotel clerk we headed to eat at a place called Websters.

How cute is this place?

How cute is this place?

It was SUPER cute and once again, the staff was incredibly friendly.  Southern hospitality at it’s finest, I tell ya.  Not to mention it was absolutely delish!  I ordered a grilled chicken gyro with artichoke hearts, mushrooms, onions, tomatoes and feta complete with a plain baked potato and fried dill pickles.  Don’t judge.

Whole lotta noms on that plate.

Whole lotta noms on that plate.

6:30 Saturday morning my alarm went off; it was super nice getting to sleep so late.  I grabbed my clothes that I prepped the night before and went in search of food.  Usually I eat my own food but I knew that I could get my hands on freshly made waffle from the hotel.  It didn’t disappoint.

Waffle

Side note – I ate terrible those two days… But it was good!

Karla & I

Karla and I got to the race, snapped a few pictures and looked for a the portopotties.  I didn’t find any. Fabulous, I love starting a race having to go pee. Whatever, time to line up. Since this was such a small race there were no corrals, just go where ever you wanted.  I had a good laugh at the guy on the loudspeaker because he was giving instructions for the fast people  to be in front (duh), average in the middle, and “if you ain’t ever ran a ½ marathon and don’t know your pace, just go ahead and get in the back.” Well ok.

starting line

The National Athem was sung and before I knew it, we were off.  The downtown roads of Greenwood are really pretty brick pavers which is great if you’re not running on them.  The unevenness of the pavers coupled with the fact that they were wet from the rain kept me guessing how long it would be until I tripped (which thankfully never happened). Did I mention it rained/sprinkled the entire time we were there?

Anyways, I had previously decided not to race this and just enjoy the run which is exactly what I did.  I was bummed that there weren’t a lot of course spectators but the ones that were there were great.  The other thing I was bummed about was that the course had so many turns I couldn’t really enjoy the scenery.  Seriously, we made a turn on average every .25 miles. I joked to someone that I felt like Alice in Wonderland; I kept waiting for the Cheshire Cat to make an appearance.

Mile 3 I stopped for a potty break, mile 6 I rocked out to some AC/DC, mile 7 I did a little dance knowing I was over ½ way done.  I was having fun just letting my body run it’s happy pace (somewhere around 9:30ish).  Mile Everything was going great until mile 11.25 where I got a shooting pain under my left knee cap.  It felt like someone had stabbed me with a knife and I almost crumpled to the ground.  But as quick as it came, it was gone.  Very bizarre.  That same shooting pain would happen two more times before the finish. It didn’t slow me down, just scared me a bit.  At one point towards the end of the race we were actually sharing a lane with traffic; there was less than a foot between myself and very large vehicles.  That was TERRIBLE planning and incredibly dangerous.

Finally, mile 13 came and I knew I was in the home stretch.  I entered the finisher’s chute and heard someone scream my name.  At first I thought there was another Gina (I’m in a strange town, far from home) but I looked any way and saw my friend Karla! 🙂 I was completely confused but found out later she was having foot pain and decided not to push herself through to the finish.  (She’s a smart cookie.)

Medal

I dig the medal.

We headed over to the finisher’s fest,  grabbed some water and pizza and then listened to the band for a little bit before heading back to the hotel.  My final time was 2:05:31; not too bad for just having fun.

WatchOnly the finish was chip timed (not the start) so I’m going with my Garmin on this one.  Overall, I enjoyed the race.  Although, I’m not sure if I’ll make the drive back up here again next year or not.  The hospitality was amazing but the race itself wasn’t.

Question:  Have you ever felt unsafe during a race?