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.