Pain in the...

We did 200m lunges on Friday. It's now Monday night and I still hurt. Much, much respect to whoever can do a whole 400m of lunges. That HURT! The next day we had a team workout that included box jumps. Box jumps shouldn't be that difficult. Uy. I did move up to the 18" box, as previously stated. I'm very excited about that. The 20" box isn't far off. I was also happy with my running this week. We did 4x400m with a 2 minute rest in between. I was with a fast class, so I felt slow, but when I looked back I realized how much I've improved. My total time was 7:23. Awesome! I do need to work on my running so I can hit my goal of a sub-25 minute 5k. I still need to get one in under 30 minutes, but I know I'll be able to do that soon. I even have my eyes set on running the Eugene half-marathon in May. I know I can do this. My eating was way off track this week. Massive amounts of cookies and sugar made my stomach feel pretty awful all week. I do know better. I do. I'm not promising anything for this upcoming week (Christmas!), but I'll try to be mindful. I know I can do better. I'm heading to the beautiful midwest for Christmas. I will do my best with working out. I even get to compare muscles with my nephews! I know my sister has snowshoes and cross-country skis. I will do my best. And tomorrow is a Tabata workout. I know I heard the origin of that word once. In my mind, it means pain.



The WOD today included box jumps, kettlebell swings, and push-ups. I was ready to use the 12" box, like usual, but Jeremy asked me to try the 18" box. I did and I did for the workout. 30-20-10. It took a lot out of me, but I did it. The kettlebell swings were actually worse. 36 pounds is heavy. Jeez. But that box - I did it. Watch out 20" box - you're next!



Earlier today I posted on Facebook that I hadn't eaten anything out of a can or box in a long time. A lot of people like this (or they have clicked the 'like' option). It's been much easier than I thought it would be. I don't eat cereal anymore. I don't eat Kashi bars - I even tried one in September and really didn't like it. I don't eat canned soups. I certainly don't eat frozen lunches anymore. It takes more time, yes, but I also feel a hell of a lot better than I did before. Is it more expensive? Probably, but I'm also saving money by not buying cereal or Kashi bars. This is going in a different direction, but it's been on my mind for a long time. So many products are advertised as time saving - food, workouts, news, you name it. You don't have enough time for anything, so let's do what you need to do in as little time as possible. Seriously? How did we get here - and does anyone really want to be here? When you get to the point where you don't have time to take care of yourself, isn't it time to take inventory of your life? Shouldn't you actually take the time to do certain things - like prepare and eat your food or exercise? I know I get busy sometimes. I work two jobs - by choice - and things get piled up. Maybe it's about enjoying the things you need to do. Is eating something that you do mindlessly, or do you enjoy your food? (In Europe, they actually take time to sit and eat - it's nice!) I like going to Crossfit. There are bad days, but for the most part I like going. Maybe that's what people need - to like the things that matter.


Food from Home

I've managed to find one of my favorite Michigan foods that I did not expect to find out here - the Pasty. That's with a soft 'a' - not the other kind of pasty. Basically a pasty is meat and potatoes in a crust. Many miners in Michigan's Upper Peninsula ate pasties because they're easy to carry and they're substantial food. Unfortunately in my world, pasties are not paleo. But I have found a new pasty shop in Eugene - Cousin Jack's Pasty Company. I bought a couple today - I couldn't resist. The good thing about their pasties is that they're about half the size of the ones I used to eat in Michigan and they're made with local ingredients. I'm not going to feel that bad about eating them - they're delicious. I won't eat them every night, but they'll be a good treat once in a while. I haven't been this excited since I found Diet Vernor's in Market of Choice.


I just went to Market of Choice to buy some food for the week. Tonight, everything I bought was organic and the meat was raised with food it should naturally eat. I really didn't buy much: carrots, cucumbers, 2 cartons of eggs, chicken, trail mix, salad, gluten free waffles, frozen fruit & veggies, and avocados. The total came to $45.24. All of this should keep me fed for hte next few days. It doesn't seem like it should cost me this much. And this is really just buying for myself; I don't have a family to buy for. It shouldn't cost this much to eat right. I didn't eat right last week. I said I would and I failed. The only thing that gets me, and this sounds soooooo stupid, is the candy jar in my boss's office. I know better. It doesn't make me feel good. But this is beyond paleo and beyond crossfit. With me, as with many people, there's been a lifelong connection between depression and food. It takes a lot of work for me to be happy and a lot of work for me to eat right. I do recognize the importance of both of these things for my well-being and I'll do my best this week. A lot of it comes down to having healthy snacks available at work; I just didn't plan last week. As far as the workouts, ugh. I should have done better with Monday's workout - pull-ups and double unders. Something was in my head again and the pull-ups got to me. I should have had a couple more sets of double unders to increase my reps. I don't know. Tuesday's workout was just brutal. Kettlebell swings, wall balls, and sit ups. I used a 1 pood kettlebell, which is 36 pounds. I felt all of those 36 pounds. I was just angry after that one. It wasn't fun. I wasn't proud. It just hurt. Anyway... Wednesday's workout was difficult for other reasons. It was a combination of cleans, knees to elbows, and box jumps. I became incredibly frustrated during the knees to elbows because I don't have a strong grip and my hands hurt - bad! I've seen pictures of guys ripping up their hands from pull-ups or other bar exercises and I can't do that. I have problems with my platelet count and if I start bleeding, it's bad news. My blood takes a while to clot. I know there are ways to work on grip and I need to do these things if I'm going to improve. It was just really frustrating for me during the workout. I couldn't get past it. Friday night's workout involved a series of 200m runs. I did OK considering I'm not fast and considering we couldn't see a substantial portion of the course. There was some uncertainty involving ice. But I did all right. My back has been hurting a lot for the past couple weeks. It's mainly my upper back and if this keeps up, I'll need to see my chiropractor. I bought one of those foam rollers to help my muscles, and I'll try to consistently use that. I feel like I should be getting better, but I don't feel like I am. We have a test this week with Helen, which we did 8 weeks ago. I know I'll do a lot better this time around. But still, there are areas where I'm not improving. My discipline needs to be practiced and not just talked about. That's a start.
Go Ducks!


Workout of the Day: Hike Mt. Pisgah

So after my last entry, the sun cleared and we got out of the house. Mt. Pisgah is too close to not climb. It's not really a climb - it's just a steep hike. 1.5 miles uphill. I will feel it in the morning. It was nice to be above the clouds for a minute or two. We all needed exercise. It was a good day.

Rest Days

The biggest accomplishment of the week came on Thanksgiving morning. Although I was unsure about running a 5K because of my shins, it was the workout so I did it. And for the first time ever, I ran the whole thing. I did not make my goal of running it in under 30 minutes, but I will soon. I know this. My shins hurt for the first mile but after that, I focused on running. I wouldn't let myself walk. I didn't have to. After eating things I'm not used to eating on Thanksgiving, I decided to go Paleo again - or as Paleo as possible. I don't eat a lot of dairy, but I think I should eat some. If I can stick to a good eating plan for 3 weeks, I'll be happy. I've been eating too much sugar lately. I know this and I'm not doing anything about it. I may have a glass of wine or two - it is the holiday season and I can do this without feeling guilty. But I will cut out wheat and processed foods. I've done it before and I can certainly do it again. The workouts on Monday and Tuesday were pretty difficult. Monday's involved a lot of different exercises - each for one minute. I tried to be strategic and failed. I did all right in retrospect, but I felt like I could have done better. I also had some health matters on my mind, so that held me back a little. (I should have a better idea of these issues this week). Tuesday's workout included snatches and push-ups. The first time I had a workout with snatches, it was a disaster. This time, I could handle it. Earleir that day, we had chair massages at work. It felt good at the time, but after that workout I was so sore. I decided to not do the Filthy Fifty on Wednesday - mostly because I was sore, partly because I wanted to work out Thursday morning. Saturday was the Civil War workout. I'm feeling that in my lower back - too many deadlifts too quickly. My upper back is also bothering me, but that could be for multiple reasons (damn, expensive sports bras). I need to start being more active in my regular life. I'm not an athlete and I never will be, but I still need to be active. I wanted to hike up either Mt. Pisgah or Spencer's Butte today, but I let myself have the excuse that it's cloudy. That's ridiculous. It's always cloudy here. It's Oregon. At least it's not raining! It's my 4th day off in a row and I've gotten accustomed to being lazy. Lazy's not always the best option. While I have my goals for fitness, I need to work on goals in other areas of my life. My background is in writing - that's where I feel most comfortable and most frustrated. I haven't done anything creative in a few years. Sitting down and writing a story that you know you should write is sometimes much, much more difficult than making it through a tough crossfit workout. I need to change this. If I can make it through 4 hours of crossfit a week, I can sit down and write for a few hours a week. That's my biggest goal.



The good news is that I've lost10 pounds since July. It doesn't seem like much when I say it, but it's made a noticeable difference. My thighs are a lot thinner and my waist is much, much smaller. I'd still like to lose another 5 to get to the weight I think I should be. I'd even venture that another 7 pounds would be fine. I know how to lose it and I might make a concerted effort in January. I don't want to gorge myself on holiday treats the next 6 weeks, but I don't want to deny myself anything either. It's all good in moderation. The bad news is that I have a potentially scary health problem that's become more complicated this week. I'm not sure what the problem is right now, I just know what it's causing, so I don't want to say anything before I know for sure. I should know within the next couple weeks and hopefully I will have nothing to report. Because of this and a number of other things, I have been distracted this week. I only made it into the box 3 times this week. It's funny because I usually want something to take my mind off of everything else, and crossfit is perfect for that, but because much of the distraction had to do with my health, I chose to stay away. Monday was a workout that included something I'm good at - double unders! The workout was 50-40-30-20-10 double unders and sit ups. I had a respectable time, but not good enough for the top 5 women in the gym. Hmm. The sit ups slowed me down a bit and my time would have been better had I not slowed them down. It was still a good time, but it could have been better. On Tuesday we did a whole hell of a lot of squats, push-ups, pull-ups, and sit-ups. Yuck. The push-ups slowed me down again. I thought I would hurt more afterwards, but I felt OK. The original workout had us doing 25-50-75 of each and there was no way I was doing 75 push-ups. I did the 25-35-50 workout. It was respectable. I did what I needed to do. I made it in for the Saturday workout, which included a Baby Murph. Again, the push-ups slowed me down. But it was a hell of a lot of work for 10 minutes. I probably shouldn't be running right now, and I really shouldn't be doing double unders. I need to give my shins time to heal and they just aren't. I'm going to skip the Turkey Stuffer 5K this year, although I want to run a sub-30 minute 5K so bad and I know I can do it, I just shouldn't do it right now. So frustrating. Thanksgiving is this week and I intend on making it into the gym at least 4 times. I don't have anymore excuses. I don't teach this week. I'm not in charge of making a big dinner. I just have to show up and take care of myself, that's all.



"Robin's on this new workout thing...I don't get it."
I recently heard this from someone I love and trust. I started thinking about how I'm approaching all of this. There are certain times in life where we commit. We question it, but we do it.
  • When you start a new job or decide to go back to school, you commit. It becomes part of your life. You show up and you do the work.
  • When you start a new relationship, and it actually works, you commit.This person becomes an important part of your life and you make time for them.
  • When you decide to watch LOST, you don't start by watching a show in the middle of Season 4. You start from the beginning and you watch it all the way through. You read the blogs. You try to figure everything out. You commit.
  • When you start something where you see a positive mental and physical change, like CrossFit, you commit. You schedule your workouts and you show up. You try as hard as you can. Maybe you even dial in the nutrition. You try to get better. You make it part of your life.
As with anything you commit to, CrossFit isn't easy. There will be days when you don't want to go, just like work. There will be days when you wonder if you're doing the right thing, like in a relationship. There will be days when CrossFit makes you angry, like when you realize that the producers of LOST are not going to tell the backstory of the character you think is the most important character on the show, Libby! But you stick with it and it pays off. You trust it, but continue to question it. It's OK to question the important things in our lives. And to people who say they don't have time to commit to fitness, do you honestly think I have time? I work 50+ hours a week. I make time because it keeps me sane. It's OK to make time for yourself. I found this blog about Primal Living, and I'm not going to link to it yet because I'm not quite sure about it. But Josh and I started talking about how we feel today, our rest day, and after having a 5-day workout week, I feel pretty good. I'm not sore today. I worked hard this past week. I'm all right. I think if my plane crashed on some mysterious island, I might be all right. I think most people would want to be able to climb a tree or attack a wild boar, or really do anything that John Locke would do (at least in the first season) and I think I would be OK. I wouldn't be like Claire. I wouldn't be the weak link in the group.You see all the characters on that poster? Yeah, we'll see what they do for the final season. It's coming. (Must make sure it's on Wednesdays and not Thursdays) Anyway, I did have a 5 day workout week. Lots of sit-ups, too many lunges, some frustration, but I did it. I need to work on my running, as it's becoming more and more of a problem. I'm too slow. I really need to work on it. So here's a picture of me looking like I'm fast, but I'm not. And this is probably preaching to the choir, but everyone needs to watch Food Inc. I know people don't want to think about where their food comes from, but if we don't start thinking about it, nothing will change. Align Center


You Can Call Me Double Under

It's like Double Down, except with a jump rope. I did 17 Double Unders in a row today - before the workout. Then I did another 11 in a row a few minutes later. So yes, I did figure out something in this whole Crossfit world.


I'm a Little Slow

I'm either thinking about jumping or I've jumped. I spend a lot of time thinking about what I'm doing in Crossfit and I need to stop thinking and start doing. Two of the workouts this week were specifically focused on speed and I did not deliver. I was thinking too much. The week actually started out great with Crossfit Total. The last time we had done this was in September and I did not have a stellar showing. I think my September total was 265 lbs. At that point I wasn't going to a lot of the lifting workouts and I really didn't know where my strengths were. So on Monday I thought about where I was and what I was capable of lifting. I did some quick math and set a goal for myself of 330. By the time I had finished on Monday, I had reached 335! Woo-hoo! Maybe I am stronger than I think. Maybe I tried a little harder this time. Either way, I left pretty happy. Tuesday was all about speed. Seven rounds of 7 pull-ups, suicide runs, and 7 burpees. What's to blame for my slow time? My burpees. I caught myself thinking about them instead of doing them. If I had just done them, I would have knocked at least 30 seconds off my time. This workout was so quick that I shouldn't have been thinking at all. Just do it and get it over with. Gah! I had meant to go on Wednesday, but I still had a lot to do for my class on Thursday, so I did what I didn't think I would ever do and I went to a 6am class on Thursday. That's a 15+ hour day. Uy. This was the 400m run with back extensions in between. I don't know what to blame for this one, but I had the slowest time of the day. I could blame my shins, which were not prepared for the running and I had to row a couple rounds. I could blame the early morning workout, when my body is just not working at capacity. I could blame myself for just not running fast enough. Or it could be a combination of the three. Either way, we saw a woman running on our way home. We joked in the car that there would be a bar at the next bus stop and she would need to do 20 thrusters, then continue running. Always a challenge, but it's the challenges that make us stronger. And I was stronger by Friday's 'Unhappy Hour.' The workout was Tyler - 5 rounds of 7 muscle-ups and 21 Sumo Deadlift High Pulls. I did modified muscle ups and a 55# weight, more than I had thought I would do. It was hard, and I was sweating, but I finished. It hurt afterwards, but I finished. I am getting stronger and I do need to start increasing my weight because I can. I won't get stronger unless I start challenging myself. I had set a goal on Sunday to go to Crossfit 5 times this week, but I was absolutely exhausted by Saturday morning. I'm not going to beat myself up because I didn't make it in - it's OK. But I do have Wednesday off this week, which means that I could try for it again. I think I will. It's a challenge. And the best part of the week was Saturday afternoon, when I went to White House, Black Market. I found a couple shirts that were great, then on a whim I tried on a pair of slim-fitting pants that would not have fit me three months ago. And yeah, they fit. I was shocked and couldn't quite believe it. The sales women both said they looked fine, so I took them home and got the go ahead from the guy with the honest opinions. So I guess I'm getting somewhere. As my sister said, looking good shouldn't be the goal for your workouts, but it's definitely a benefit. Goats I Need to Work On:
  • Rowing. I hate rowing.
  • Running faster. Definitely need to run faster.
  • Cleans. They're just evil.
  • Squats should definitely be deeper.
  • Speed. I can do what I need to do; I just need to do it faster.


Better Choices, Better Losers

I'll start by saying that I'm no expert in finances or nutrition. But I've learned what not to do over time. I've been thinking a lot over the past few days about poverty and how the system is set up against low income individuals and families and how we don't teach or even promote proper nutrition. I picked up some groceries on Sunday and noticed the purchases of the couple in front of me. A few giant packages of ramen, some soda. I've been there. I've done my time with the ramen. I've gone into a grocery store with $12 knowing I had to feed myself for a few days. It's not easy. I really wanted to take the big package of chicken I was buying and give it to them ... it was about $7 - the same amount they were paying for food with no nutritional value. Nothing. But it's not up to me to tell people what to eat or how to live their lives (I've tried, it doesn't end well). Grocery stores don't even try to promote healthy food. Check out the sale items at the end of the aisle - cereal, chips, soda. Then I went to Hawaiin Time for lunch today, thinking I'd get the usual chicken and rice. I know. I'm a hypocrite. But I looked at the menu and saw that they had a new low carb option and you could substitue grilled veggies for rice. Excellent! Of course, it costs $2 more. I took that option, but a lot of people wouldn't. It doesn't have to be expensive to eat the right food, but if you don't do your homework, it certainly seems like it is. But people are trying to promote healthy living, right? What about The Biggest Loser, which I'm watching right now? Well, no. It's promoting whatever it's trying to sell. Gum, low-fat yogurt (with high fructose corn syrup), food storage. It's a big advertisement disguised as a health/fitness show. It's changing lives, right? Sure. Keep chewing your gum. So my goal right now is to cut out processed sugar. I've been bad this week. It's all on me. I should actually grill that chicken I got and eat it instead of going to Hawaiin Time for lunch. So much I should do.


Dirty Thirty

It was a rough week. Monday afternoon, I started to feel something in my sinuses. I went to Crossfit after work like always and I did the workout. I should have gotten 4 rounds of this horrible workout in, but I was 6 pull-ups shy. I could blame my sinuses, or I could blame the pull-ups for getting in my head again. I don't know. It wasn't my finest hour. Tuesday when I woke up I felt just awful. And what made me feel more awful was knowing that the 5K was the workout of the day and I couldn't do it. My throat felt like it was choking me. I took my dog out in the morning and the cold rain was just too much. I even saw a story on the news that day that said that moderate exercise will help you if you have a cold. But a 5K isn't moderate exercise. I stayed home. Wednesday was an 'easy' day - the deadlift. I did it because even though it takes a lot of strength, there's no cardio. I could get through this one without feeling worse. And I did. And I set a new PR. So there. Friday 'Unhappy' Hour - I was feeling better. Not 100% yet, but about 75%. Elizabeth again. Cleans and pull-ups. I set another PR. So there. **on a side note - Elizabeth is my middle name and I always wanted to change it to my real name when I was younger, but thought there would be too much paperwork and people would call me Robin anyway, so why bother. So here I am. Saturday - Halloween. Josh and I haven't dressed up since we moved here a couple years ago. Halloween's always been one of my favorite holidays. When I dress up, I go all out. Even when I think I'm missing something in my costume, people think I've nailed it. Anyway, I got an offer to go out Friday night, but I said no, since the Halloween workout was in the morning and I had to be somewhere at noon. I had to pull myself together. And I still wasn't feeling 100%. Honestly, I wasn't sure I'd make it to the workout when I woke up Saturday morning - but I did. So the reason I didn't participate in the doughnut eating contest is because I didn't want the only competition I'd actually win in crossfit to be a doughnut eating contest. A woman has to have her dignity. The Filthy Fifty. I would have made it the Filthy Fifty if I didn't have to leave at 11 (or shortly thereafter), so I made it the Dirty Thirty. Thirty Box Jumps, Jumping Pull-Ups, Kettlebell Swings, Knees to Elbows, Walking Lunges, Back Extensions, Push Presses, Wall Balls, Burpees, and Double Unders (did I miss anything?). I was actually doing all right until the push presses. They totally stopped me. Then the burpees. Oh, the burpees. It wasn't just mental; it was physical. My arms felt like they were burning. But I finished, eventually. And I'll do better next time. Of course I will. We did make it out for Halloween and I nailed my costume again. The next time I dress up as Laura Palmer, I'll know what I can do better, but for this Halloween, I got a lot of compliments. People appreciate it when you show up in a costume you can hardly move in.


(Un)Happy Hour

A few weeks ago Josh and I were driving to Crossfit after work on a Friday. A drink sounded good, as it usually does after work on a Friday, but we were going to Crossfit. No drinks. Our Happy Hour has turned into Unhappy Hour. But it's not bad. I set a PR today with Elizabeth, my nemesis. I can be happy about that.


Things I Will Not Give Up for Crossfit

1. Ron's Island Grill - We didn't have these chicken and rice Hawaiin places in the midwest. They're delicious! It's not paleo. Obviously there's the rice. And then there's the delicious sauce on the chicken. I think they have green salad as a side but I've never gotten it. And a medium is big enough for two people, so hopefully there's another person in the room. Otherwise, a medium is big enough for me. Looks good, doesn't it? 2. Sweet Basil Thai - Definitely not paleo. Yes, there is meat and veggies, but there's also rice and peanut sauce. I have found a salad that's fairly paleo, if you get it without the peanuts. And it's within walking distance for lunch. Perfect! And this is what you should get. Their House Special Curry is awesome. 3. Sofia - Sofia is my favorite girly drink. It's light and bubbly and comes in a little pink can with a little pink straw. And it's named after one of my favorite directors, who I named my dog after. Sofia! Sofia likes to dress as a shark for Halloween. I've had to give up a little of my time for Crossfit, which isn't OK with Sofia, but we're working on it.


A Few Thoughts After Three Months

  • I got really, really tired of eggs after the first month. I would hard-boil them and then put them in salads or snack on them. They're easy. But they're boring. I was surprised that my cholesterol wasn't a problem in my last blood tests because it was so high a couple years ago.
  • I can't seem to recruit anybody. I'd be a terrible community organizer! It's hard to describe it without it sounding like a cult.
  • But it is cult-like in many ways. So many ways...
  • I have two six-month goals: Body-weight pull-ups and running a 10K. Totally doable.
  • If anybody wants to run the Turkey Stuffer 5K with me on Thanksgiving morning, let me know. Josh will be out of town and I don't want to run it alone.
  • I kind of feel bad when other people talk about their gyms because it all seems so silly to me now. Different things work for different people - I know. But I'm as typical 30-something American woman as you can get (sans kids). And I'm from the Midwest - I'm lazy! I've tried gyms and mindlessly worked out on the elliptical machines - but I don't want to be mindless anymore.
  • It's OK for you to be a priority.
  • I need to start writing more. Not this, not work, but my real writing. I'm a cross fitter - I can do anything - right?
  • Fresh oatmeal cookies sound really good right now. Mmmm....

Go Phillies!

Earlier this week someone at work asked me how much weight I've lost. The truth is I don't know. I haven't weighed myself since August. My pants certainly feel a lot looser. I know I look different. But I don't know the number. Not yet. The workout on Monday didn't seem bad at the time, but then my forearm started feeling weird a couple days later. This arm - I don't know. See, I fractured my arms in a bike accident back in 2000. Everything's fine for years. Then this January my right arm starts looking and feeling weird. It was kind of red and felt ... I don't know. It just didn't feel right. I told my doctor and then went to a sports medicine guy. I don't know how it happened exactly. It may have something to do with some wine and some kettlebells in our house, I don't know. Anyway, the sports medicine guy didn't really know either. But it got better on its own. So this week it started hurting again. Maybe I put too much pressure on it when I was doing my pistols and hanging onto the rings. I don't know. Stupid arm. The power cleans the next day probably didn't help either. Whatever. Saturday morning was the ecrossfit workout test multi-wod bonanza. Friday night I went out to the movies (District 9 - so good) and to eat with friends, and managed not to drink anything or eat anything too horrible. Good work Robin! I did better than I thought in the 4 activities. I had no idea how fast I could run a mile, but now I know it's 8:50, and I definitely think I can do better. I felt good at the end of the challenge. I did 53 double unders in 4 minutes. Again, I hadn't thought about my shins in a while, but the double unders reminded me of how they were doing. Anywho... I know I need to start decreasing my resistance and increasing my weights. I think I'm ready for that next level. I'd also like to lose a few more pounds. We were wandering through Bed, Bath, and Beyond and I stepped on a scale. I know I had on more clothes than I did last time I was weighed in August and I was wearing boots, but I wasn't crazy about what that scale said. I know how to lose weight. I've proven that I can do it. Now I just have to commit. BUT, it's fall and I love sweet potatoes and I won't give them up! I'm not talking about sweet potatoes with all sorts of sugar and crap on them - just sweet potatoes. Maybe a little bit of cinnamon. And the Phillies are going back to the World Series! Woo-hoo!


The Really Brutal Week

Fight Gone Bad - Yes! Now this is Crossfit! I was really looking forward to this one. I had no idea how I would do, but I wanted to do it. I ended up with a lot more reps than I thought, which made me wonder if I should have gone the next level up. At the end of the first round, the wall ball kind of hit me in the face coming down and during the second round, I was wondering if I was bleeding in my mouth. It certainly tasted like blood. I was surprised that I even did the third round because I thought I was going to pass out or throw up blood. But I didn't. I was still worried coming home that something was wrong, and that maybe my asthma that I've had in the past was kicking in again. I was still worried going to bed that night, because something just didn't feel right. But I think it was fine. I was OK the next day. I even made it back in the next day. The next day was another incredibly frustrating day. We did snatches, which I apparently can't do. In my first attempt, I fell backwards. I know it happens. I know. But it was still embarrassing. I practiced my back squats, which I could barely do. I just don't have the strength in my abs yet and I try to pull it all together and sometimes it just doesn't work. It's OK to have days like that because then where's the challenge. Your goat is something that is really difficult for you and that you need to work on. Sometimes I feel like I have a whole farm of goats. Wednesday marked the start of another ecrossfit challenge - Helen! Seriously? Right after Fight Gone Bad. Sure. Running, Kettlebell swings, and pull-ups. I totally would have rocked it out if my mental block would allow me to get through my pull-ups. Sometimes I just hang there, swearing, knowing that I have to finish it and that I can finish it. Those damn pull-ups! Thursday was a great night teaching. Really fun class. They're good people. Saturday morning we went to Hayward Field. I'm not good at trying new things, except food. I like trying new food. But I'm not good at trying new things like shot put. It was hard not to throw it like a baseball, because that's the only way I've thrown anything. Anyway, here it goes: Not so good at throwing things. Should try throwing goats. Maybe that would work. After throwing things, we went to the stands where we jumped up the bleachers and ran up them. Fun! Really! The jumping was like box jumps. Another total mental block. As much as I actually like box jumps, I was totally blocked. I made it about halfway up. A few days later I noticed a giant bruise on my left calf, which means I must have missed one of the bleachers. I was going to take a picture, but I'll spare you the gory details. After running and jumping up and down the stands, we did sprints. My shins were starting to trouble me again. Grr. Frustrating. It's all frustrating, but it's all good. It's all good. But all was rewarded when I went shopping for jeans on Saturday. The first pair that I tried on fit. I actually texted my sister and best friend from the dressing room. That's reason to celebrate.


Excuses, excuses

On Sundays I usually sign up for the classes that will fit into my schedule that week and I'm pretty good at sticking to them. This week totally got away from me and I really don't have anyone to blame but myself (and the Tigers). Monday was fine. We did shoulder press, push press, and push jerk. Great. Done! I also signed up for Tuesday evening. So that afternoon/evening was the night of the Tigers/Twins one game playoff to see who could go to the play-offs. The Tigers had been leading the Central Division since May, but they totally fell apart this September and managed to end the season tied with the Twins, who are always good in September. The game started at 2. I left work early to go watch it - I had to. I still had every intention of going to crossfit at 5:15. It soon became evident that this game was not going to end - the Tigers were up, then the Twins were ahead, then they were tied, then there were bad calls. So Josh had his computer and we switched my time to 6:15. Then the game went into extra innings. It was a pretty stressful night. The Tigers lost. They put up a good fight. But by that time, there was no more crossfit and no more baseball. The end. So then I planned on going at Wednesday at 5:45. I met with my volunteers at work at 5 and told them that I had to leave by 5:30 - but they all showed up and they were all so excited and ready to do lots of work that I couldn't go. I felt awful about missing both crossfit and the potluck that night, but I was just overwhelmed. I managed to go Friday evening and do 50 pull-ups, 50 push-ups, 70 sit ups, and 70 squats. I probably could have gone for 100 for the last two, but I was pretty proud of myself for the first two. Then we did another team thing on Saturday. We threw more balls over the beams, but we weren't really throwing them at each other this time. The fear started setting in that my favorite boots may be keeping my shins from getting better. Instead of wearing other shoes, I think I'll ignore it for a while and see what happens. That's always a good plan. Next week, I'll totally pull my life together.


The Work Begins

This week was the busiest week I've had in a long time but I managed to make it through it with 3 crossfit workouts crammed in there. I wanted more workouts, but I couldn't do it. I even called in sick on Tuesday because I felt like I was coming down with something and I just couldn't be sick that week. I had a big event for work on Wednesday evening (which went perfect), I taught for the first time on Thursday night, and I was busy with work all day Saturday. AND the Tigers were completely collapsing during the last week of the season. We were 3 games ahead with 4 games to go - how did we lose it? How? Anyway, the worst part of the week was Wednesday morning with front squats. I can't do them. I tried and my wrists couldn't handle it and I'm not flexible enough to do it. It was really, really frustrating. I hate not being able to do something. I did back squats instead, but I definitely felt defeated that morning. I tried. I can do sit ups and back extensions though!


I Don't Like Volleyball

To be quite honest, I really don't like playing any team sports. I've never been good at them and I end up feeling bad for the other team. This Saturday, we played hooverball, which was taking a medicine ball (6#, 10#? I don't remember) and getting it over the post to the other side, whoever catches it throws it right back. It was all a bit too much for me and I'm sorry, but I didn't have a good time. Then the workout involved throwing them over to our partner 50 times and then rowing 500m. It was a tough day, but I made it. Just don't ask me to be on your team again. My personal life got busy this week, as I made it up to LBCC to get everything set for teaching this fall. I had so much to do for that, but I still made it into crossfit 4 times this week. I like coming in at the 5:15 time because I can go there straight from work and I like the people who also show up at that time. We did a lot of weights this week, including crossfit total, which is good because I always seem to miss those days. I need to have an idea of what I can do. We also did Barbara this week. I did better than I thought I would, even though I did the lowest amount. I finished quickly. I do need to realize that I can do more than I think and I need to start doing more than I think.



Life was a little more normal this week and I felt like I had a breakthrough on my pull-ups. I had seen people do the kipping pull-up but it never worked for me. I was always so frustrated with it. But for some reason, something clicked this week and I was able to use my body to get myself up. It all started coming together. There was another round of Elizabeth this week and I did better than my first shot at it. My dips were also a lot stronger. I'm starting to be able to hold myself up better and I feel like I have control over my movements. With the new varying warm-ups, I was able to try double unders again. And I figured it out. I could actually do a few in a row. The problem is my shins are starting to hurt, and the double unders just kill. So I know I can do them - I just shouldn't. I also passed on a potluck this week. I believe the them was comfort foods and I was going to make a really good mac and cheese. But I realized that I shouldn't and I wouldn't be able to eat much there, so I passed on the whole thing altogether. My eating hasn't been great since I've been back. I'm getting into the candy jar at work again. I know how it makes me feel afterward, but I just can't stop. It's all in my head. I need to get past it. I also stopped doing the burpee challenge because I kept forgetting, then I'd have to make it up another day. It was also really messing with my back. I don't feel bad about giving up on this. I just wasn't feeling right.


Eating on my Own

Josh likes to cook, so I let him. Josh travels a lot, but he hasn't traveled since we started crossfit. This week he went back to Iowa to get some work done. I have a tendency to order out when he's away, which is a really bad idea most of the time. I couldn't really do it this time since I was broke. And I was almost too lazy to go to the store. I'll blame it on my lethargy, but Sunday I looked around the house to see what we had, and I don't know why I did it, but I opened a box of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese, one of my favorite foods of all time. I could barely eat it. Not because it was pasta. Not because it was cheese (kind of cheese, I guess). It was because it was processed. I have gotten so far away from processed foods that I can hardly stand to eat them anymore. It's a good thing! Now that I look back, my eating habits were so, so bad before. I used to eat a bowl of Life cereal for breakfast (I do love Life cereal). Many times I'd bring a frozen lunch to work, which is really the worst. We usually have healthy dinners, but I'd already failed on the first two meals. Not anymore. I've gotten used to making turkey bacon or a smoothie for breakfast and preparing salads for lunch. I try to take time on Sunday to cut up veggies, hard-boil eggs, and do anything I need to do to make it easier for the week. These are my intentions anyway. Not a lot to talk about this week as far as crossfit. I'm over my shock-to-the-system soreness. I did three workouts. My friend visited from out of town and we went to the Ducks game vs. Purdue. Life is getting back to normal, but it's work. Go Ducks!


Back to Life, Back to Reality

My first workout coming back was a 6am lunges/pull-ups/sit-ups/hell combo. Seriously, I was not ready for it. I've done lunges before; I don't know what was so different about these ones, but I could hardly walk for the next few days. I should have scaled back; I know I skipped one round, but maybe I should have just started at a lower round. I don't know. It wasn't pretty. I looked like an old woman hobbling around. I made it in a couple days later for another round of Cindy. Why so many pull-ups the first week back? Why? The first time I did Cindy, I was mad because I stopped at 15 minutes. This time, instead of doing 5/10/15, I did 3/6/9. That helped, but I still stopped after 15. At that point, I was just so angry that pull-ups were ever invented. I didn't end up going on Saturday, mostly because I didn't know what it was going to be (it ended up being an easy 3-3-3 deadlift workout). I was really frustrated that week. I wanted to get back into it so bad, but my body just wasn't ready. I was still out of it, too. My sleeping was way off. In better news, I had another round of bloodwork done, this time it was non-fasting. My platelets were borderline low. Better, but still low. Apparently there's not too much to worry about. We'll test it again in another 3 months. I'm still bruising like crazy and I cut myself shaving once and the bleeding wouldn't stop. I guess I just have to be careful.


Crossfit Europe

I never intended to be paleo in Europe, and I wasn't. Why would I? So here are my eating and exercising highlights of Europe. Our first few days were spent in Paris. It really was a whirlwind three days. I had never been, so I wanted to see as much as possible. I made a list and checked off nearly everything. Josh and I had signed on for the burpee challenge and managed to keep up, as evidenced in this picture: Yep. We're hardcore. We would have been even more hardcore if we would have walked up the Eiffel Tower, but we got in the wrong line and honestly, we had gotten 2 hours of sleep in the last 30 hours. We were exhausted. But we did make it to the top! The best food I ate in Paris was a Creme Brulee. The best site I saw that I didn't take a picture of was a pug sitting at a bar. I did walk up the stairs at Sacre Cour. I did exercise. On to Italy! So my workout of the day for August 22 was wandering around the maze of streets in Verona with my luggage in 90 degree heat looking for my hotel. My mom was already there, Josh was heading up to Rovereto for his conference, I was wandering. It would have been helpful if the streets had signs. Eventually I found it and managed to entertain my mom and her friend every day by doing burpees in our tiny hotel room. I ate gelato every day I was in Italy. I could call Venice a workout since it was so hot, but it was awfully lovely and I could spend so much time there. The only way you can get around there is by walking or by boat (not even any bikes). Ah Venice, I'll see you again. After Italy, we went to Belgium, where we drank a lot of beer and ate a lot of non-paleo food. I hardly remember Amsterdam because it was our last day and we only had one day there. I did go to the Anne Frank house and we spent plenty of time wandering around the red light district. Again, walking was my workout. The only day I didn't do my burpees was the day we flew home. We had a 10 hour flight straight from Amsterdam to Portland. We were so disoriented by the time we got to Eugene, I think I went to bed at 7pm. I enjoyed my time in Europe, and feel very fortunate that I was able to go. Towards the end, I kept thinking about September and how it was going to be a difficult month, not only at work but in my personal life. I would start teaching again at LBCC at the end of September, so I would have to get my life organized. I knew it would be little more than work and crossfit for a while. Au revoir!


Really Great and Really Scary Week

One more week until European Vacation. Have to make this week count. Doctor's appointment Monday am. Weight - 146. Lost 7 pounds. Woo-hoo! Cindy was a major hurdle this week. 20 minutes of AMRAP 5 pull-ups, 10 push-ups, 15 squats. I made it 15 minutes, then stopped. When I got home, I was mad at myself because I felt like I should have gone for it. I could have gotten another set or two out of it. But I didn't. Must push myself harder. So Wednesday night, I see that the workout for Thursday is the 5K. This will give me something to think about all day. When I moved to Eugene two years ago, I needed something to do (since I couldn't find work) and I decided that I would be a runner. I did the couch to 5K program and was actually impressed with my progress. Josh and I decided that we would do the Turkey Stuffer 5K on Thanksgiving morning. A couple weeks into November, I must have pulled a muscle or something, because my leg did not feel right. I still went ahead and did the 5K, but ended up walking most of it because of my leg. I was disappointed in myself, but i still had a goal. The following year, I tried again. I didn't train as much as I should have, but I ended up running it in 36 minutes, which made me happy. Then I didn't run after that (I had totally convinced myself that my body wasn't made for running). So here we are in August 2009, with a 5K as a workout. I think about it all day. I get my ipod and start the run. Tommy and I are close the whole race. I ran the first mile and a half straight. I walk a bit after that, then run/walk the rest of the way. I finish in 33:38. I was so happy. I hadn't run in so long and I could still beat my score. I know 33:38 doesn't seem like much to a lot of people, but it was a personal victory for me. My next goal is to definitely run one in under 30 minutes. The next day, Friday afternoon, I received a call from my doctor. The blood tests I had taken earlier in the week came in, and the results were off. My platelets were low. This is why I was bruising easily and my cuts weren't healing very fast. I really wasn't sure what it all meant so I called my mom, who is a nurse. She wasn't really sure either. She called me the next day and told me to be careful and to not put myself in any danger. This wasn't a good call to get a few days before leaving for Europe. So we scheduled a follow-up blood test right when I got back. Not knowing what was going on was really scary. I changed a lot at once in July - diet, exercise, medications. Who knows? I skipped my Friday afternoon workout because I was worried, and made it to my Saturday morning workout. This was it for a while. Onto Europe, the land of wine and gelato!


Away from Home

I had a lot working in my favor at the conference - well, one major thing. The lunch buffet had full salad options. There was a lot of meat and a lot of veggies at the table. So for the most part, I could be paleo. I was as good as I've ever been for snack time - there was a little snack station set up for us in the courtyard. Instead of going for the free Ben & Jerry's that was in the freezer (in the 110 degree heat), I found apples and hard-boiled eggs. So during the day, I was good. The evening was a different story. The first evening, we had an event in a pizza place. I didn't have much, but I did have a little. BUT, I also had a drink (or two). This will be my downfall. On the second night, the event was in a Mexican place. But even before that, I went down to the hotel bar and had what was supposed to be one drink, but this guy who has a lot of money that he gives to us sat down next to me and we started talking sports, and I had another drink, which he ended up buying. So then we finally went to the Mexican place (and yes, we will get some money out of him). I didn't have that much, but I did have a drink, and if I had stopped at one then I would have been fine with the karaoke. I sang 'Copacabana' and had the whole room dancing. Then I totally took it too far and thought I was awesome and tried to sing 'Don't Stop Believin'.' What a terrible idea. Don't drink and sing, kids, especially to Journey. I also tried to exercise when I was there, but it was still 90 degrees at 6am. How do people live here? When I came back to crossfit, we had a fundamentals class where the workout was pull-ups, push-ups, sit-ups. I managed to get through it ok. I don't know if I'm getting better yet. But I make it to class and I do the work. I make it three days in a row. I keep going. I also miss crossfit while I'm gone. I think about it a lot. I check the website. It's becoming part of me.



The hardest workout this week for me was Elizabeth. I wanted to do well because it's my middle name (stupid reason). I just could not get those dips. They were totally slowing me down. My friend Sara's birthday was Thursday, and she invited all of her friends to Adam's Sustainable Table. I did not drink and I did not eat anything I wasn't supposed to. It wasn't easy. Adam's is great about their food, but it seemed like most of the dishes had something I couldn't eat. I think I ended up with the halibut and veggies, which was good, but I know some people ordered some really great food. Next time. Right now, I'm on a mission. This week was fairly eventful. It was stressful at work because of a big meeting on Friday (which ended up working out). Josh's dad was visiting. It was the hottest week ever. Josh's birthday was Saturday. And I had to fly out on Sunday for a conference in Phoenix. And my boss told me that she was leaving. It was all a bit much, especially since my flight from Eugene was delayed and I missed my connection in SF and didn't make it to Phoenix until Monday morning. Gah! Stress is fine. Stress is OK. Stress happens.


Fitting It Into My Life

I started out the week trying to do a 6am workout. In theory, this should be perfect. In reality, it's not. If I go in at 6am, then I don't get home until about 7:10, then a quick shower, make breakfast (because it does have to be made), hope that I made lunch the night before, if not, I have to throw a salad together, dry my hair, get ready, and try to get to work between 8 and 8:30. I hate being rushed in the morning! I want this to work, but I need to figure out how. We did Grace Monday morning, which was a benchmark workout. It took me a while, but I finished. I've never lifted weights before and I really need to work on my flexibility. We also had a sprint/burpee workout that I didn't think I could do, but managed to get through a few rounds. This week my eating was challenged. I'm part of a group at work that has a potluck every month or so and each time we have a different theme. Even though the theme is Salad, I still debate whether or not I should go this time, because I'm really trying to make paleo work. I decide to go and bring a yummy spinach/strawberry/hazelnut/balsamic salad. Big hit with everyone. I looked around the kitchen at the potluck and realized that I really couldn't eat a lot that was there. But instead of looking rude, I took a little of the salads that looked the least dangerous, and a lot of mine. I stayed away from the freshly made croutons and the ceaser salad altogether. I did my best. And to be completely fair, I'm not completely paleo. I started eating more smoothies with whey protein. I'm also eating Nancy's yogurt with blueberries and almonds. I know I need to cut the dairy out, and I will, I just need to get through this yogurt (I don't want to waste it). I think it's funny that women who are dieting are more likely to eat low-fat Yoplait, with the second ingredient of High Fructose Corn Syrup, instead of full fat natural yogurt. Fat really isn't the problem, especially with something like that. Shouldn't you be eating naturaly foods? I also saw the doctor this week and saw what my weight really was - 153. Ouch. I didn't think it was that bad. I need to go back in a few weeks, so I kept that number in mind. I still manage to impress my friends and coworkers with stories of pull-ups and all the 'crazy' stuff we're doing. I start trying to recruit with no luck. Whatev. Their loss.


Why now?

I'm not an athlete. I never have been. That's OK. The first time I ever joined a gym was a couple years ago in Iowa. It was close to work and the people there were nice. I found a class called Cardio Interval on Monday evenings, where we did three minutes of one thing and three minutes of another for about an hour. What I liked more than anything was that I couldn't let my mind wander in class - I had to focus on what I was doing. Sometimes I need to be forced to be focused. We joined a gym when we moved to Eugene, but it's more mindless exercise. I felt like I was maintaining (barely), but that was it. Josh found out about Crossfit through his friends in Iowa. After trying a session there, he checked out the Crossfit in Eugene. He convinced me to come with him and try it for a month. July is a slow month for me, and I definitely needed something new in my life, so my first crossfit workout was July 13. The first workout made for a great story for my friends and co-workers. We held sandbags over our heads, which was awful, and in the actual workout we flipped tires. This I could get into. I didn't feel very strong that day, but I felt like I could be. I felt like I could commit. So I did. I ended up going 4 times that week - 2 regular workouts and 2 fundamentals classes. I felt comfortable in the fundamentals and scared in the regular. But that's OK, because I'm rarely scared in my real life. I can do this. At the end of the week, I learned about paleo. If I could stick with it for a month and clean out my system, I'd be in a better place to continue this process. A month time frame is perfect, since our trip to Europe was in exactly one month. If I just commit, it can work. I just need to commit. I've never been overweight, but I haven't been at the weight I think I should be in over 10 years. There was a time in 2001 where I was 125 pounds, but I didn't get there the way I should have, and that was a really difficult time in my life. Like we say at work, I can do better. I can get to where I need to be. The picture on the left was taken in May when my friend and I took off down the highway in search of waterfalls. We found snow. I'm not overweight; I'm just not where I should be. My jeans don't feel right. I don't like how I look in pictures. But if I just commit, I can do it.