What is happening to me?

I started off the new year on vacation, so I missed out on the new year’s WOD and the first few. I came back to my birthday WOD, which, while it wasn’t fast, I did Rx+ BOTH workouts, I believe I was the only woman to do so.

This week, we tested 50 calories for time on the Assault Bike. I took 41 seconds off my previous time. Not only was under 5 minutes, I did it in 4:09.

Today was Karen. Again, I took time off my score. My first time I did it in 10:50. The second time in 16:41. Today was 9:56. A near minute PR off my best time.

So I’m not at the bottom of the leaderboard for two workouts that I expected to be at the bottom. Okay, okay… I know we aren’t supposed to compare ourselves to everyone else, but why have a leaderboard if not for the friendly competition, and perhaps, push that comes from seeing what your fellow athletes are doing?

My point in all of this is.. I’M NOT AT THE BOTTOM OF THE LEADERBOARD! What is my life? Ok … it’s not like I’m at the top, but I never expected to match or beat some of the folks in my class, much less the other classes. These are women that I look up to. These are women who are really quite good!

So I ask again… what is happening to me? Who am I? Perhaps someone who is actually getting better at this? Or at least had a couple of good days. Whatever it is, I will take it!


Building a Gym (and a routine)

Oh man, what a crazy few months it has been.  I dropped out of my CrossFit gym, put our house on the real estate market, and bought a new house; all of this on top of the usual craziness which I think exists in everyone’s lives.

The biggest thing for me recently has been building a new routine.  With my new job, I don’t have to be out of the house until 0730 (before I had to be on the road by 0630).  Now, I thought I would just have a more relaxed morning but I forgot that I have two sides to my sleep switch…8 hours or less consistently and fine or more than 8 hours has to be 10 or more.  There is no happy medium.  So, I’m still working on this because I like to sleep but I also like to work out (best accomplished in the morning), help hubs with our dogs and tiny human, and have some breakfast.  But, honestly, since we have moved I’ve just been sleeping in and having useless mornings… I hope to change this soon and settle into a better, more helpful, routine.

The gym has been a challenge but I was thrilled that hubby and I have been keeping up our fitness enough that we killed a 4 mile run on thanksgiving!  We both recently joined the online CrossFit community of Street Parking.  SP offers multiple versions of the daily WOD that vary on the equipment you may have access to.   So, we we are slowly building our home arsenal.  I have noticed that many SP members are basically my age with tiny humans who make getting a workout in more difficult so the support in the community is great!

So we are working on building up just enough equipment to approach most of the SP workouts.  So far we have a set of adjustable db’s (already had),  a set of 25# db’s, two speed ropes, and a set of wall balls which, honestly, gets us through most of the WODs.   On Wednesday our joint Christmas present arrives on the form of an Assault bike so we have a means to do cardio once the snow starts to fly.  We also have access to a 24 hour gym where we can go row or run to mix it up.  The next item I’m working on is a plyo box.  Once we get all that in place I really think we will have a nice, diverse set up where we will be able to do most of the SP WODs at home but it is nice to have the option of the 24 hr gym.

So, that’s my update.  If you’re in my boat and need extra flexibility, I highly recommend the programming and community of Street Parking!



Am I becoming friends with the Assault bike?

What is happening to me? I feel like a stranger in my own brain today.

Thursdays at my box we get a choice of cardio workouts that are all slightly different and all designed to make you regret your choice, no matter which one you choose.

Today we had three options:

1. Suicide sprints and bear crawls

2. Max effort rowing for 40 seconds

3. Max effort Assault Bike for 20 seconds

Each workout had its own rep scheme and its own rest built in. Lately, I have been picking the Assault Bike because I’m not good at it, it scares me, and we generally hate each other. I pick it for those very reasons. Keep your friends close and your enemies closer, or something like that…right?

Sometimes (nearly all the time if I’m honest), I don’t understand how to plan to spread my limited energy out to make it through a workout. But max effort? I get that. Each round for 20 seconds, you go until you cannot move. Until your muscles scream and beg. And then you keep pushing because there are 5-7 seconds left on the clock and rest is coming. I know I have about 10-12 really great seconds in me and then it’s a mental game to get the rest of the way.

Eight rounds. Twenty seconds. Three minutes of rest.

Rounds 1 and 2 I got that bike to 97 RPM. I will repeat that: 97 RPM! TWELVE calories. This is a PR by such a long shot that it’s almost funny. And yet I cannot adequately describe how my heart filled with pride at this. I was barely able to stand, I was trying to breath out of my skin to get more oxygen, there were still 6 more rounds to go.  And yet, I felt good.

I felt good about something I did on the Assault bike? Who am I? Where was the person who wrote “the Assault Bike is my nemesis”? What was happening to me?

I got 80 calories in those 8 rounds. Yes, my performance declined in subsequent rounds, but 4 of the 8 rounds I was able to hold it over 90 RPM for 10-12 seconds before my max effort dropped into the 70’s. The other four rounds I kept in the mid -80’s for 10-12 seconds, before having to drop into the 70’s.

I know there are athletes out there who could keep that dang bike in the 90’s (or higher) for all 20 seconds. But you know what? I’m not them; I’m not comparing myself to them either. I’m comparing myself to last week, last year, 2 years ago. And today, I can proudly exclaim that I gave it my all. I am STILL feeling the pain, 5 hours later. And I’m happy with what I did today. Yes, it destroyed my ability to do pushups, but I don’t care. I am happy with an Assault Bike performance.

Are we becoming friends? Is that even possible?

My nemesis (at the moment)

Anyone reading this blog for any length of time knows I actually have many crossfit nemeses and I’ll not rehash all of them here.

My current nemesis is the Assault Bike. 

I can’t even think the term without it being preceded by a long string of words better left to drunken sailors or The Sopranos. If I said them out loud, this blog might get an XXX rating! Suffice it to say, it is an evil piece of equipment, it’s a hate:hate relationship. 

Lately, in our box, Thursday’s have been generally devoted to intervals. We are given options: rowing/ski, running, biking or a strength option for those that go 2-3 days a weeks. For a long time, I would choose the ski-erg. Turns out, the ski-erg and I get along. It seems intuitive where to breathe, it’s possible to engage a wide range of upper body muscles, and yet it doesn’t spare the glutes or hamstrings, especially on the longer workouts. I love having this options and our head programmer is amazing at coming up with all kinds of variations for all activities!

The past 4-5 weeks though, I’ve chosen to do the bike workout.  I figured it’s something I hate doing. It’s something I suck at doing. Therefore, I should do it more. At least, that was my rationale. Work on your weaknesses, right?

Cardio will never be my thing. It wasn’t my thing when I played soccer. I was a keeper. Keepers don’t run!! It wasn’t my thing on the track team. I threw shotput. Shotputters don’t run!! Apparently crossfitters run, row, ski, and/or bike. And I’m a crossfitter. So now I get the “pleasure” of working on this thing I’ve always avoided. 

But the Assault Bike is relentless. And it’s not intuitive. I don’t know where to breathe. There is no obvious strength/rest move like the rower has. You use both your arms and your legs; there is no 1 second pull, 3 second recovery. It’s always moving. You can’t even coast downhill like on a “real” bike. 

I can’t figure out how to coordinate my arms and legs so the output is relative to the size of the muscles. I am always using one more than the other and constantly switching back and forth. Is this normal? It doesn’t feel normal. 

I can’t figure out how much body movement to put into it. I’ve watch the Games. You see some athletes sit very still and some move their upper body prominently back and forth. Neither seems bad, especially at that level of athlete. But in my mind, the more I move my upper body, the less efficient it feels. Maybe it varies depending on the workout? Perhaps short sprints one would use move movement to generate more power and on longer rides, use less movement to increase efficiency? 

See … having all these questions drives me nuts. I just want to know how to use the bike and not feel dead and defeated at the end of a workout. 

Maybe I’m overthinking it …