Monday, November 9, 2009

Cindy - Pull-ups/Push-ups/Squats

Complete as many rounds in 20 minutes as you can of:
5 Pull-ups
10 Push-ups
15 Squats

20 rounds + 1 pullup

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Clean & Jerk / Swings Fran-style


95# Clean & Jerks (from floor to overhead, natch)
55# DB Swing (Russian style, to shoulder height)

20:39 Was breaking the C&J into 2 and 3 rep sets by number 10 of the first round. Had to bread the swings even, cause my grip was abandoning me. :( Still, good clean (& jerk) fun.

Then: .5 mile run x2 with 90 seconds rest between runs.

Uphillish leg: 4:42
Downhillish leg: 4:06

This is super super sad. I'm not a runner but I should be able to run a half-mile in sub-4. My total lack of any running at all in the past five months is really showing. Course I was pretty fatigued from the C&J/Swing thing and my left knee is all twingey again. But still--4:42? Grr.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Kevin's Idea of Fun

Kevin couldn't hold crossfit class tonight, so he gave me this to do instead:

Squat Cleans x 5 @ 95#
Back Squats x 5 @ 95#
Chin-ups x 5 (with a kip, despite "dead-hang" rx)
Knees-to-Elbows x 5
Bench x 5 @ 95
Bench Dip x 5

That's one round. Time round (it was taking me around 2:20 per round). Rest the exact time it took to complete the round, then repeat for a total of 5 rounds.

A few notes from the wuss-mobile: Rx was toes-to-bar, bar or ring dips, and probably a deeper squat. I got hip-to-knee parallel or slightly below but I wasn't ass-to-ankles like Kevin. But I was doing ok with the power cleans, which felt pretty good considering I haven't really done anything even that dynamic for quite awhile.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Squats, Push-ups, Jumping Lunges


I needed to snap myself out of a foul mood this morning, so I followed the 5 on: 3 off formula I've been doing and put together this at-home workout:

Squats, 1 minute
Push-Ups, 1 min
Jump Tucks, 1 minute
Push-Ups, 1 minute
Jumping Lunges, 1 minute

Rest 3 minutes. Repeat. Rest 3 minutes. Repeat for a total of three rounds

Unfortunately, but the time evening rolled around I was back in a pissy mood, so I hit the gym for some hang clean practice and an hour of spin. Sometimes it takes cardio to bust a mood.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Strength Day

Deadlift--topped out at 185
Shoulder Press--85
Bench--up to 100, maybe 105?

don't have my notes, but in general this wasn't the strongest "strong day." I think plopping strength day at the end of a 4-day cycle is kinda stupid, actually.

Sunday, November 1, 2009


Wake-up workout with Nick. Knew I'd be pressed for time, so I went for the workout at home option.

Renegade Rows, 1 minute
Squats, 1 minutes
1-armed swing (15 #--hey, it's the heaviest I have at home), 1 minute
Squats, 1 minute
Renegade Rows, 1 minute

Rest 3 minutes

Repeat for a total of 3 rounds

I kept score but can't find that slip of paper...gurrr!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Double Under and Sit-ups


Double Unders

13:38. This was pure crap.

Friday, October 30, 2009

21-15-9 Rower/Swings

52 # KB Swings
Calories on Rower


Love this one!

Create Away.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

PM: Strength (Babysteps)

Deadlift, 6 x 6: 115, 115, 135, 135, 155, 155
Bench Press, 6 x 6: 85, 85, 95, 95, 100, 100
Split Squat, 6 x 6 (per leg): 0, 20, 40, 50, 50, 50
Pull-Ups: Played around with band assisted strict pull-ups. Nothing worth really recording.

AM: Jump Squats!

Did this with Bella, who did an awesome job pushing through even when she was tired and wanted to stop!

Modified from Josh Hillis' Fighter-style Workouts

Round 1
Jump Squats, 1 minute: 33
Ab Leg Raise with Twist, 1 min: 36
Jump Squats, 1 minute: 33
Sit-Ups, 1 minute: 25
Jump Squats, 1 minute: 33
Total: 160
Rest 3 minutes

Round 2
Jump Squats, 1 minute: 32
Ab Leg Raise with Twist, 1 min: 40
Jump Squats, 1 minute: 28
Sit-Ups, 1 minute: 27
Jump Squats, 1 minute: 31
Total: 158
Rest 3 minutes

Round 3
Jump Squats, 1 minute: 35
Ab Leg Raise with Twist, 1 min: 38
Jump Squats, 1 minute: 30
Sit-Ups, 1 minute: 26
Jump Squats, 1 minute: 35
Total: 164

Total: 482

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Wake Up Workout: Bear Crawl, Bent Over Row, Jump Squats

Modified from Josh Hillis' Fighter-style Workouts

one "length" = ~36 feet

Round 1
Bear Crawl, 1 minute: 6 lengths
Bent Over Rows, 15#/arm, 1 min: 28
Bear Crawl, 1 minute: 6 lengths
Jump Squat, 1 minute: 22
Bear Crawl, 1 minute: 4 lengths
Total: 66
Rest 3 minutes

Round 2
Bear Crawl, 1 minute: 6
Bent Over Rows, 15#/arm, 1 min: 30
Bear Crawl, 1 minute: 5
Jump Squat, 1 minute: 24
Bear Crawl, 1 minute: 5
Total: 70
Rest 3 minutes

Round 3
Bear Crawl, 1 minute: 6
Bent Over Rows, 15#/arm, 1 min: 30
Bear Crawl, 1 minute: 6
Jump Squat, 1 minute: 23
Bear Crawl, 1 minute: 4
Total: 69

Total: 205

Monday, October 26, 2009

Wake Up Workout: Rows, Swings and Squats

At Home Wake-up Workout

Round 1, 1 minute per motion:

Renegade Rows (15#/side): 12
Squats: 42
Swings (15#, one armed, switch arms at 30 sec) : 38
Renegade Rows: 11
Squats: 39
Total: 142
3 min. rest

Round 2, 1 minute per motion:
Renegade Rows: 11
Squats: 43
Swings: 4o
Renegade Rows: 9
Squats: 41
Total: 144
3 min. rest

Round 3, 1 minute per motion:
Renegade Rows: 12
Squats: 46
Swings: 38
Renegade Rows: 11
Squats: 44
Total: 151

Total Score: 438

I wish I had weights that were heavier than 15# at home. The swings were basically a rest period at that weight. Still, I'm feeling bright eyed and bushy tailed for starting my morning like that!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Thrusters, Pull-ups, DU's

For Time:


Thrusters, 65#
Double Unders


Friday, October 23, 2009

Death by 50

50 swings, 53#
50 Deadlifts, 135 #
50 Wall ball, 8 # to 12' mark
50 burpees

How long? Who knows...too damn long. Deadlifts were nuts. Did the last 10 on pride and nothing else.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

First Swim!

I haven't been in the water since tri season ended last summer, so when my mom called me up qnd said, "hey, let's go swimming" I squeezed an hour out of my prep schedule and gt to the pool! The local pool is an outdoor seasonal pool and right now, early in the season, the water is super clean and feels great.

Swam a generous 1/2 mile...I wasn't counting laps but my mom went a 1/2 mile and I did several more lengths than maybe around 900 meters?

I timed two 50-meter laps and was at 44 seconds including my touch-and-turn (not flip turn) at the mid-way point. I don't know how that is...I thought I was going pretty fast but a gal in the next lane was going a lot faster than me with what appeared to be little or no effort, so maybe it's not that fast. I'll have to look up how fast real swimmers are one of these days. ;)

Wednesday, June 3, 2009


Wednesday, standard spin class...I showed up late so it was a 45 minute class for me. :( I have a catering event this weekend, so I'm not going to be doing twice-a-day workouts for the next few days. Bummer! But it's probably good to take this week as a bit of an active recovery week.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

PM: "Kelly"

As Rx:

Five rounds for time of:
Run 400 meters
30 Box jump, 24 inch box
30 Wall ball shots, 20 pound ball

Messed up the order, so this is As Completed:

Five rounds for time of:
30 Box jump, 18 inch box
Run 400 meters
30 Wall ball shots, 10 pound ball

25:54, I think??

I timed this on my watch, but I see now that somehow my watch got bumped and the timer function restarted, so I do not have my exact time. Curses! I know I was just under the 26 minute mark cause I threw myself into the final 15 wall balls like a crazy person to be sub-26.

I will say, this felt really hard. Like, after round three I looked around and said, "I could just stop now" and seriously thought about it for a good 10 seconds. Then I ponied up and started jumping. But I don't usually pause to think about quitting, so I know this was a hard one.

The wall balls weren't too bad, (but then I was using half the Rx weight, at 20# I'd probably be dead by now) but the box jumps just smoked me, even at 18". I think the box jumps immediately after the wall ball was pretty evil...not sure if the Rx order would be any easier, though.

It's also totally possible I am feeling the night 'o' indulgence and the afternoon of sampling baked goods. I can certainly tell I'm not fueled up the way I have been, which is an interesting observation and good modivation to get back to a comfortably dialed-in diet asap. A few days of indulgence are fine, but not at the cost of crappy WOD times, yo! :)

Ok, I just went and checked mainsite and actually around 26 minutes isn't that horrible for this WOD, so I feel better. Seems like I'm not the only person who thinks this workout was super hard.

Bella is a Badass

I am super proud of my daughter. Yet again, she has amazed me:

Age: 5
Weight: 49 pounds
First ever deadlift: 53 pounds

Check out this determination! She had already lifted the 24 kilo kettlebell 8 or 10 times when we thought to take a movie of it:

AM: Overhead Squat 5 x 5

Yup, pretty simple.

Overhead Squat 5 x 5. I love 5 x 5 strength workouts...feels like the perfect middle ground between max effort and "hey this is getting kinda boring."

Warmed up with the bar, then ran right up the weight stack, incrementing by 5 pounds:
75 - 80 - 85 - 90 - 95 - 100 - 105 (failed, twice)

So actually I did 6 rounds, and attempted a 7th, but couldn't hold on to 105 pounds overhead.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Wherein I spend 6 hours acting like a fitness model

So my 30th birthday present from my amazing and supportive husband was a photo session with the lovely and talented Amanda Waltman of Art of Subtlety Photography. Nick's idea was that I've worked so hard on my fitness that documenting it for the big 3-0 seemed appropriate. I have to admit that, though I am not a girly girl and have never in adult life had photos professionally taken, I approached this opportunity with my trademark obsessiveness and just went for it.

I have known Amanda for a while, so I was already excited about the shoot, but she far surpassed my wildest expectations in terms of creating a fun, supportive, creative and dynamic environment. This whole "posing for the camera" thing is pretty new to me, but Amanda gave awesome direction to help me look my best, and had great ideas for setting up a huge range of shots. We took catalog shots, we took high-art shots, we took muscle definition shots, we took "this one's for Nick" come hither was great.

So the whole experience started off at my house. My friend Shemai came over, did my hair and helped me with styling. She was invaluable...I am pretty hopeless with hair but Shemai managed to give me a soft, fun, tousled look that was really well-styled without looking overdone or making me feel like I was wearing someone else's hair.

Amanda arrived with a mobile studio. She had all kinds of lighting, backdrops and meters to get the full studio experience in my living room. It took her about 15 minutes to get everything set up and adjusted and then we started shooting.

After several hours and wardrobe changes, we took a break and packed everything up for a venue change. We headed down to a section of the Edmonds beach where there was sand, water, rocks and seawall to work with, and did another session that lasted 90 minutes or so. I was in the water, out of the water, doing yoga, swinging kettlebells, overhead squating driftwood, climbing up on rocks, hunching back against concrete...all while having a blast.

I think the single downside was that I got a bit of a burn over my fake-o tan. Not sure why I'm surprised...I was at the beach in the middle of the day in 80 degree weather wearing no sunscreen and covered in sweet almond oil to give my muscles a nice sheer...the only worse thing I might have done was lay down for a three or four hour nap on a reflective blanket.

I am super excited to see the proofs. Amanda took tons of shots, and she said it would take her a few days to get through all of them and get them posted to the client section of her website. I'm hoping in the next few days I'll get a preview of how everything turned out and can start finalizing my order.

I figure if a few of these pictures are as good as I hope, I'm going to send them in to Oxygen Magazines "fitness/body transformation" section. I think I would make a pretty darn good "fitness transformation" subject, if I do say so myself. I also figure it can't hurt to send the kettlebell stuff over to, since they post pics up on the mainsite and I would consider it a tremendous honor to be Crossfit eyecandy for a day. If nothing comes of either I won't be too bummed, though...this photo thing was really for me.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

The Rippetoe Four

As everyone who reads this blog (hi to both of you) knows, I've lost some weight since my strength building phase earlier this year. I'm down probably 6-8 pounds at this point, and am sitting around 150.

I can tell a lot of that was adipose, but it's hard to not lose any muscle when you're losing weight, and since I skipped out on the Crossfit Total the other day I've been feeling a bit guilty.

So, for no reason other than that it sounded fun, I did a little Tour de Strength ala Mark Rippetoe. In other words, some of everything we learned at the Barbell Cert in February (actually we also did Hang Cleans at the cert, which I skipped today).

First, 5 Rounds, alternating exercises, of:

Squat, 10 reps @ 135#
Deadlift, 10 reps @ 135#

Then, 5 Rounds, alternating exercises, of:

Bench Press, 10 reps @ 95#
Press, 10 reps @ 50#

Deadlift and Squat were challenging on the last few reps but no problem at all. Bench Press and Shoulder Press both got partitioned almost round 2 on, which really changes the nature of the workout. They broke down like this:

Bench Press: 10, 8+2, 8+2, 6+4, 5+5
Shoulder Press: 10, 7+3, 7+3, 7+3 (a little push-press happened here), 5+5

And that was that. Tomorrow shouldn't be a rest day, but I am taking it as a pure recovery day to be really rested for the photo session on Monday. I'm getting pretty excited, hoping to get some great arty fitness shots.

Friday, May 29, 2009

PM: Wall-ball + 400 meter + Burpees

Fridays are the best because I get to Crossfit in a group setting with Kevin acting as coach, which is a rare treat.

So this evening Kevin came up with a "Kelly"-esque WOD:

5 Rounds for time

21 Wall Ball Shots, (I used the soft 10# dynamax ball because I really didn't want to have one of the hard balls smack me in the face a few days before Amanda takes my pics.)
400 meter run
10 burpees

So I REALLY need to stop drinking tea right before a WOD. I had to stop after round 3 to go pee. Seriously, I stopped my workout to duck into the bathroom. Took 18 seconds and I will admit that I skipped handwashing just this once. I know, eeeeww, but I was on the freaking clock, and I washed immediately after I finished.

My time was a hair over 18, including the potty break. 18:08 I want to say. The runs were hard, but I tried not to run like a prancing deer (Kevin schooled me last week, I think? Toe pointing down, basically) while still keeping a strong POSE leg pull. But probably I was just slogging through however I could by the end. The same folks showed up this week as last week, and it was nice to put up a good time (I came in first) in front of the group after getting my ass handed to me last week.

AM: 30 Muscle Ups for Time

WOD as Rx:

30 Muscle-ups for time

Post time to comments.

If you cannot do the muscle-ups do 120 pull-ups and 120 dips.

So as I cannot do a muscle-up, I did 120 pull-ups and 120 bar-dips (previously I have done this as bench dips, so bar dips was quite a jump). I partitioned into 20 sets of 6 each, starting with pull-ups. For the first 11 sets I was cruising. From 12 on my dips got ragged, and I resorted to jumping bar-dips as neccesary, which was quite a bit on the last 3 rounds or so.

Total time: 18:06

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Rest Day: Walk Green lake with K-Lo

Today was a rest day, and I enjoyed some "active recovery" by walking (no running!) Greenlake with K-Lo.

It was good to see her, it's certainly been awhile, and since she was sick she was cool keeping it mellow too. K-Lo cracks me up. On one 40 minute walk we ran into 2 groups of people she knew...her old boss and his wife and one of her best friends, a singer and fellow graduate of the culinary program we all attended.

Other than the walk, my day was relatively devoid of fitness-stuff.

Coriander & Black Pepper Halibut Cheeks

Dinner tonight was Halibut Cheeks. I love good, like the flank steak of the sea, and surprisingly hard to overcook for seafood. I think most people who like scallops would love halibut cheeks. I coated these in a simple mix of cracked black pepper and cracked coriander seed, then pan seared them in a tiny bit of olive oil.

While the cheeks were cooking, I sauteed up a huge batch of warm Asain slaw. Basically this is a saute of shredded green cabbage and fine julienne carrots, tossed in a hot wok with a bit of olive oil. I cooked the cabbage and carrots until just crisp-tender and finished with a handful of cilantro and sliced green onions. I splashed in some fish sauce for salt and honestly that was all it needed. The cabbage was sweet and crunchy. I went back for thirds and so did Nick. So good.

I plated my just mounding the cabbage on a plate and arranging 4 or 5 cheeks on top of the cabbage. I drizzled mine all over with Siracha, but that's because I put Siracha on almost everything. Nice went sans-spicy and that was great too...the cheeks had plenty of flavor from the spice rub.

Simple, delicious and ready in less than 12 minutes.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Spin + Glute Workout

Today was a Crossfit rest day but I missed Monday Spin because it was a holiday and Sue called in a sub for class who just doesn't work for me. Besides, with the day off for Nick and Bella, no one in the family was up and moving at 9:00 anyway. So I wasn't about to miss the Wednesday class, rest day or no.

AM: Spin Class with Sue. 60 minutes, great as usual. Hills, intervals, the usual. Felt a bit easier than it sometimes does, though I did drip buckets of sweat by the time I was done, so maybe that's just selective memory talking.

PM: After work I did an Oxygen magazine glute workout at home. It was good. I'm a bit dismayed over how little and flat my ass has gotten. I kind miss the junk, you know? So I thought maybe a little extra targeting would help re-round my tush, but I'm not sure "targeting" is really my thing anymore.

To be clear, it wasn't a bad workout. There were walking lunges and mule kicks and other very effective moves. It's just that it felt...kinda...boring. I know I don't flinch at doing 50 squats, but 15 reps of unweighted mule kicks somehow felt tedious. I think Crossfit has spoiled me to body-part specific routines. Again, it's not that I didn't get a little sweat going or that my muscles didn't have to work...they did. But it's just not as fun to me to methodically work the same muscle from 14 different angles. Different strokes, I guess.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009



Five rounds, each for time of:
20 Pull-ups
30 Push-ups
40 Sit-ups
50 Squats

Rest precisely three minutes between each round.

Round 1 - 4:34

Round 2 - 4:32

Round 3 - 4:27

Round 4 - 3:38

Round 5 - 4:27

Monday, May 25, 2009

Run 5K

The Crossfit WOD today was run 5 K for time.

I warmed up with about 500 meters on the rower (maybe more, not exactly sure) then moved over to the treadmill for an interesting hill workout.

I'll try to explain what I did....

Started the treadmill at 15% grade (REALLY steep) and 5.5 mph. I ran 1/10 of a mile like that, then decreased the speed to somewhere around 4 mph and recovered for 1/10th of a mile. For the next 1/10th, I decreased the grade to 14% and increased the speed to 5.7. Ran for 1/10, recovered for 1/10. After every run/recover cycle the grade went down by 1% and the speed went up by .2 mph. This went on for 3 miles, until by the end I was sprinting at 0% grade.

Total time was around 30 minutes, but I didn't write down the exact time.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

5 x 8 Squat + Sit-ups + Sumo Box Jumps + Swings

Crossfit Total came up today. I knew that I wasn't in a good position to go heavy....the last cycle of workouts that culminated in Kevin's Clean & Jerk-Run WOD practically killed me. One day of rest wasn't really enough, and I certainly wasn't going to drag my ego through the mud of a 50# drop off my PR in my CFT. Which is what would have happened.

So instead, I did this:

5 rounds for time:

8 reps Squat - 135#
8 Sit-ups
8 Sumo Squat Box Jumps
8 DB Swings - 50#


For the first 2 rounds I did 8 push-ups after the box jumps, but after that I forgot about them, so I'm not listing them. Total time includes the extra 16 push-ups, though.

After that WOD, I felt pretty warmed up so I worked on some strength stuff.

Bench x 8
65, 85, 90, 95, 100, 100

Deadlift x 8
135, 145 (6+2), 145, 145

Deadlift x 1
225, 230 (Fail), 225

Then some skill work:
100 double unders for time: 6:23

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Moroccan Veggie Stew

So I've been reading Clean Eating Magazine, the sister publication to Oxygen magazine. Clean Eating has some yummy stuff. Usually I modify to reduce the land-based-animal protein component, but the recipes are a great source of inspiration.

Tonight I made this Moroccan Veggie stew from the most recent issue....the picture in the magazine showed all these gorgeous vegetables, snuggled up in an almost clear broth that was highlighted with brilliant green cilantro. Yeah, mine didn't turn out like that.

The sweet potato dissolved by the time the carrot and onion were nice and tender, so I had a thick stew with barely discernible chunks of veggies. There was no broth to speak of. There was also no cilantro, and hence no gorgeous green highlights. But you know what? It didn't matter. This was good! Like, one-week-out-from-pictures-be-damned-I'm-having-more good.

To be fair to the Clean Eating people, I didn't exactly follow the recipe in a strict scene, so perhaps if you do your stew will be more visually appealing. I added the veggies I had in amounts that seemed reasonable: fennel, sweet potato, onion, kohlrabi, garlic carrot and zucchini, and added both prunes and raisins into the mix. I skipped the puree step because I didn't have any liquid to speak of; I just had the sweet potato mash. I also skipped the fish, because today wasn't a training day and I just didn't feel the need to thaw fish.

Instead of the recommended couscous, I served mine on brown rice (which I had already made), and topped it with a dollop of sambal for heat and a wedge of lime. The acid from the lime elevated the whole thing, although it may have taken the flavor profile in a vaguely Thai-ish direction. If I were to leave out the dried fruit and chickpeas, and add in some coconut milk and fish sauce, this stew would be very similar to a Thai Root Veg Stew I have made many times.

Clean Eating May/June 2009:
Couscous with Seven Vegetables

1 tablespoon olive oil
3 cloves garlic
1 tbsp Moroccan spice blend (or combine cinnamon, ginger, tumeric, black pepper, allspice, cuman and coriander)
1 large sweet potato, peeled and large-diced
2 small turnips, peeled and large-diced
1 medium zucchini, large diced
2 carrots, large diced
1/4 head cabbage, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 cup green beans, cut in thirds
1/2 to 1 tsp. Harissa or chili sauce
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/4 cup raisins
3/4 cup chickpeas, pre-cooked or canned, rinsed and drained
16 oz. white fish (tilapia, haddock or sole), cut into chunks*
1 1/2 cup whole wheat couscous
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped

Heat oil in large stockpot over medium heat. Cook garlic and spice mix until brown, then add next five ingredients. Add enough water to just cover vegetables. Cover and cook 25-30 minutes, until vegetables are soft but not fully cooked. Add pepper, beans, Harissa and salt. Cook another 10 to 15 minutes, until tender.

Ladle out 3 cups of broth and vegetables (1 1/2 cups of each). Puree in blender until thick. Add back to stew.

Mix in raisins (prunes were awesome) and chickpeas. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and place fish on top of mixture (don't mix in, because fish will beak up.) Cook, covered, for 10 to 15 minutes or until fish flakes easilly with a fork. Fish will steam on top.

While fish is cooking, boil 1 1/2 cup water. Remove from heat, add couscous and cover. Set aside for 5 minutes. Fluff with fork. To serve, place 1/2 cup couscous in bowl. Pour 1 cup vegetable-fish mixture over top and sprinkle with 1 tbsp. cilantro.

Per 1/2 cup couscous and 1 cup stew, including 2 oz fish:
Calories: 260
Fat: 3.5 g
Carbs: 40 g
Fiber: 8 g
Sugars: 10 g
Protein: 19 g
Sodium: 310 mg
Cholesterol: 35 mg

* I love almost all seafood, even crazy stuff like pickled herring and eel (unagi...yummmm) but to me tilapia is the least pleasant fish around. Every instance I've eaten tilapia it's tasted like dirt, literally. I know it's the "loaves and fishes" fish, I know it's a relatively responsible seafood choice (apparently growing tilapia is much less harmful than farmed salmon aquaculture) but to me it's the boneless, skinless chicken breast of the sea (and sadly that's not a complement).

When a super healthy food is so devoid of flavor (or worse, has a slight bottom-feeder flavor) that only wrapping it in bacon and sauteing the whole package in butter could possibly make it palatable, what is the point? But perhaps I am being too harsh on tilapia. Maybe the several times I've eaten the fish were not representative. Is anyone out there a tilapia fan? Or have other people noticed the muddy flavor thing too?

Friday, May 22, 2009

PM: DB Clean & Jerk+ Running WOD

Crossfit class with Kevin...after "Twins" this morning, I just wanted something hard and 5 minute fast, preferably involving no shoulder work.

No such luck.

5 Rounds for Time
35# DB Clean & Jerk
400 meter run


I was 7 seconds away from being dead last of four on this WOD...and I only moved into next-to-last on the last round of running, about 50 meters away from the end. Sheer pride and force of will forced me to sprint it out at the end. My already dubious finish was further blunted by the fact that the guy I passed was 71 years old and immediately after class went on an 15 (ish) mile bike ride to Woodenville to get go get dinner with his wife.

I would have felt supremely sucky were it not for the fact that I was very much at the end end end of my three day training cycle.

Doing the cleans was okay but hurt my wrist. About 1 time of 3 I failed on the jerks....sheer muscle fatique just overrode almost everything.

And my runs were pretty weak. Kevin said he needs to teach me to run. Apparently I run like a deer...all leapy. I may have over-corrected my heel stride. Shit! One of these days I will figure out how to run, I swear! Agh.

So the cleans did leave me with nasty little bruise pattern:

Yeah, that's not pretty.

AM: "Twins"

Well the Glassmans, the founders of Crossfit, gave birth two two healthy baby boys. So, to honor the new arrival, this WOD came at us:


as Rx
Two rounds, of each couplet, for time of:
750 meter Row
20 Handstand Push-ups

115 pound Thruster, 20 reps
20 L-Pull-ups

as Performed:
Two rounds, of each couplet, for time of:
750 meter Row
20 Handstand Push-ups (2-3" depth...far, far from full range of motion)

75 pound Thruster, 20 reps
20 Pull-ups
20 Knees-to-Elbows (or knees-to-armpits, as it were)


Thrusters were tough...rx weight for women was 85#. I am okay with doing the 75# weight.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

AM: Cardio | Upper Body

So today turned into a cardio day. I met Alison at the gym for a spin class...this instructor is new to me, but she did a good job, and I sweated buckets. The class was focused on progressive hills so it was all about power output.

After class, Alison had to go get her dress shopping on (I want pictures, Alison) and I was sort of debating between going home and attempting the Crossfit WOD.

As I was walking through the gym, contemplating my options, I ran into Deanne, another super cool friend. She wanted to do some cardio, so after snack time and recovery, I jumped on the treadmill for half an hour of walking with her. Kept the speed low, 3.5-4 mph, but the incline was between 8-12%, so it was more glute work.

We went upstairs and did some upper body work...not a lot, just enough to say we did something:

I did:
Shoulder Press - 3 sets, 12 reps @ 50#
Bench Press - 3 sets, 8 reps @ 85, 95, 100

Then Deanne showed me some of the ab work she does and it totally kicked my ass. She does this thing where she holds a weighted ball on the tops of her feet and holds her torso and legs in a just-off-the-ground-hover position, then brings everything up into a v-up. Well, lets just say I do not have her core stability, because my ball kept falling off and rolling away. It was kinda sad, actually. Deanne gave me her ball, saying, "here, use this, it's exactly the right size," so I tried it, and the ball still fell of my feet and rolled away.

I really should do more ab abs look good, but that's primarily because my genetics predispose me to store fat anywhere but my abs and chest, so when I'm pretty leaned out they pop nicely. That does not, however, mean that they are super strong functionally. I think if I keep doing Kevin's core class I'll improve on that, though.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

PM: 400 meter + Squat WOD

Four rounds for time of:
Run 400 meters
50 Squats


Ran first two rounds barefoot, stopped to put on socks for rounds 3 & 4. My goal was 12, so this isn't too bad, but even accounting for the socks I was running about 5-8 seconds slow per round. Every second counts, right? But, I love running in socks! It felt good.

Alison did this with me. She came in just a breath over 14:00. Mary timed us as we ran around behind childcare. She says we are inspiring, but I think she thinks we are kookie. Fun times.

Oh, and before I clocked out and did this WOD, I did some skill practice in one legged squats. I got two consecutive full depth squats on my left leg and one on my right. I was pretty stoked about this, because (a) one legged squats are badass and I have not yet been able to do them to depth and (b) I think it will look really cool in a photo in a few weeks.

Shrimp with Tomato, Olive and Lentil

Mise en Place meal. Tossed together some frozen shrimp, the beluga lentils I cooked up yesterday (I have been craving lentils!), and some of the Tomato-Olive Salsa I've been enjoying for a while now. Splashed on some sherry vinegar to give it that French marinated lentil salad flavor I was looking for, and dug in. Easy post-workout lunch in about 6 minutes.

AM: Spin Class | NW Qual WOD

AM Spin class with Sue. Great interval work! I got so freakin' sweaty that after about 15 minutes I stripped down to my bra.

Brief aside: can I just say that I am so glad I spent the money on the Lululemon bras? At $42 they are certainly not cheap, but they actually make me look like I have two distinct boobs. All other sports bras I tried gave me one very flat uni-boob. Now I don't expect a bra to work miracles, no matter what it might be called, but the lulu bra gives a little help to the girls and make me feel great and non-boyish when I'm at the gym. I also figure I would pay $42 for a normal bra-type bra, and since 5 or 6 days a week, my sport bra IS my normal bra, I might as well get the right one. Cheaper than breast implants, right?

Ok, back to spin class. It was awesome, as usual. Afterwards, awesome instructor Sue asked if I had kids and I said yes and she bascially said my abs looked too good to have had kids. Then she asked if I had ever thought of doing body modeling. Oh my god, what a complement! So we got to talking and it turns out Sue has done some photo shoots herself (she has a HOT body and is also super pretty, so I'm not really surprised) so she said when the pictures are in, she would pass them on to her agent. I was thinking if they turned out really great I'd maybe have a shot at the crossfit site, but who knows? I don't realistically think that fitness or body modeling is in my future, but I'm super flattered that Sue would even think of that.

Anyway, so after I recovered from spin, I went upstairs to attempt the WOD from last Saturday's NW Crossfit Qualifiers.

As Rx:

5 rounds for time:
3 muscles-ups MEN / 2 muscles-ups WOMEN
30 wall ball: 20 lb medicine ball MEN / 12 lb medicine ball WOMEN
6 sumo deadlift high-pull: 60k MEN / 40k WOMEN

So after fooling around, attaching various handles to the squat rack, it became clear that my attempts to practice muscle ups at my gym were not going to work. I doubt I could have gotten one, but it would have been nice to do the skill work anyway.

So I subbed out bar dips at 3:1 for the muscle ups and lowered the weight across the board on the WOD and got this:

5 rounds for time
6 bar dips
30 wall ball: 10 lb medicine ball (Rx weight was 12 lb. but we had 8 and 10 lb. balls, so I got off easy)
6 sumo deadlift high-pull: 75# (the 40 k Rx weight would have been 88 pounds, so this was quite a bit lighter)


Hard workout. I really should have cowgirled up and done the SDHP with Rx weight. I could have handled it at 85 or 90 lb. Next time I know.

Here's the results from the broads who did the workout as Rx at the Quals:


Strength (KG) WOD time
Rank Name Affiliate Total Strength WOD
Deadlift Press (
1 Vale, Charity CrossFit Snohomish 200 100 100
140 52 11:37.0
2 Olson, Jennifer 197 99 98
145 44 16:02.0
3 Verbrugghe, Nicole' Gravity Janes CrossFit 186 87 99
110 37 15:39.0
4 Kellams, Jennifer CrossFit HEL 186 91 95
115 40 19:39.0
5 Moe, Ashleigh Mt. Baker CrossFit 180 84 96
105 38 18:06.0
6 Pappas, Kallista 176 79 97
105 36 17:18.0
7 Klumpar, Carrie CrossFit Eastside 168 74 94
90 41 19:57.0

All these women are far stronger athletes than I am, so that tells me my mod's really must have been significant. Obviously a bar dip is NOT the same as a muscle up. Still, I'm happy with my time!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Core Class

Kevin's PM Core class...insanely popular as usual (I am not the only masochist at my gym, clearly). It was 30 minutes of a bunch of endurance core crap that I just hate, all on a swiss ball. I really suck at core stuff. Seriously, half way through the class my internal dialog went like this: "Are your abs just for f'in show? c'mon! go! That 65 year old lady is kicking your ass! Go!" But at the end I was all, "Hey, wait? Are we done? Was that the full 30 minutes?" which goes to show that I didn't work nearly hard enough.

That's it. That's all I did. So far the past several days have been a 2 on-1 off cycle, and counting today as a "1 off" cycle I should be in prime shape to hit Wednesday, Thursday and Friday hard. Next day off is Saturday....and no slackin' for me, cause my photo shoot with Amanda is happening in 13 days. Exciting!

Chocolate Cherry Almond Energy Bites

In a food processor, blend the hell out of the following:

300 gm raw oats
200 gm dried cherries
100 gm raisins
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
200 gm almond butter (or raw almonds; if using raw almonds process first to a smooth consistency)

Add enough water to just moisten and bring the dough together in a ball...I used about 1/4 cup.

Portion into 50 gm disks, squares or bar shapes as desired. I got 17 disks.

Bake disks at 300 degrees on a parchment lined sheetpan for 20 minutes, until dry and firm but not biscotti hard. Store in airtight container.

Nutrition info per 50 gm Energy Bite
192 calories
7.6 gm fat
4.6 gm protein
30 gm carb
3.7 gm fiber

So yeah, these are Energy Bites, not Diet Bites. They are dense but therefore easily portable. As healthy, relatively yummy cookie analogs go, they will be great for situations like yesterday: post-bike ride/post-spin followed immediately by a weight workout/WOD. And I like that I know exactly what's in them.

Monday, May 18, 2009

AM: Spin Class | Row + Bench Press WOD

Sue's 60 minute spin class this morning was great...hills focused so my butt was sore!

Rested a good 30 minutes, maybe more, while chatting with a fellow spin-class-taker Suzie. She's super cool and I did my best to talk her into coming to Kevin's Friday Crossfit class.

While I rested I enjoyed a lovely (if very sweet) Bobo's Chocolate Oat Bar. These babies are basically oats and sugar and chocolate. I wouldn't say they are exactly clean, but they aren't that bad either, and they are inspiring me to make my own bars again for a little post-spin recovery snack. Normally I prefer my calories from real food, but I'm glad I ate something after spin so I had some fuel for the WOD.

WOD, as Rx:
For time:
Row 500 meters
Body weight Bench press, 30 reps
Row 1000 meters
Body weight Bench press, 20 reps
Row 2000 meters
Body weight Bench press, 10 reps

WOD, as Performed:
For time:
Row 500 meters
85# Bench Press, 30 reps
Row 1000 meters
85# Bench Press, 20 reps
Row 2000 meters
85# Bench Press, 10 reps


Bench press was about 56% body weight, which is "pack" scaled. Broke the bench press down into sets of 5 all the way through. Much heavier and it would have been sets of 2 at the end, so I'm happy with my choice of weight.

I was averaging about 2:05/500 meters on the first row, 2:12ish on the second, and between 2:10-2:18 on the third, until the final 500 meters where I dropped it back down to right around 2:00-2:05 by focusing on a nice strong pull.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

PM: Crossfit Endurance 40:20 x 5

40 seconds on: 20 seconds off. 5 rounds, all out sprints.

Did this on the path behind our house with Nick calling "start" and "stop" to me. I have no idea how much distance I covered. On the first round I ran clear off the path and got most of the way up the hill of our street before I got to rest. Then I had to come down the hill, which was very fast. For rounds 3-5 I just ran back and forth over the flat part of the path and the road, which I think was a better way to go. Sticking to the path allowed my to try and beat the number of out and backs I did, too. I was averaging 4 out and backs, but got almost 5 on the last round! (No idea of actual distance, though!).

AM: "Diane" | Walking Lunge + Box Jump + Pull-ups



Deadlift 135#
Handstand Push-ups


I can't really do a handstand push-up yet, but I'm getting close. I adjust the smith bar to the highest setting and kick my legs up so my lower shins are resting on the bar. Then I get as low as I can, which by the end was about 1" lower than lockout. Still, I think my first several were pretty good: within 5 or 6" of the floor, I'd say. There was a lot of frustration with this WOD, though: I kicked up several times on the second round and just fell back cause I was so fatigued. I can see how this workout would be smoking brutal once you have the skill set to get hard all the way through. One day....!

Recovered for while (maybe 20 minutes) while I rearranged the gym, then took on another WOD:

As Rx:
Four rounds for time of:
100 ft Walking lunge, carrying 30 pound dumbbells
24 inch Box Jump, 30 reps
30 pound Weighted pull-ups, 20 reps

As Performed:
Three rounds for time of:
30 Walking lunges, carrying 30 pound dumbbells (switched to 25# plates for round 2 & 3)
18 inch Box Jump, 30 reps
30 pull-ups


It was relatively clear to me by the end of round 1 that I wasn't going to do 4 rounds of this workout. Not after my Diane attempt. I did what I could but I felt pretty leaden. Arms were toast. I was doing single kip-ups but the last round.

Smoked Salmon Pasta with Red Peppers & Broccoli

Another Mise en Place meal: just threw the cooked whole wheat pasta and roasted broccoli in a skillet. Added in some of the store bought fire-roasted peppers I've been loving lately, and finished with a hunk of smoked salmon for some protein and salt and deliciousness. The whole thing reheated in maybe 5 minutes, and the addition of a little pepper brine and spicy red pepper flakes gave it an arrabiata feeling that totally worked for me.

Friday, May 15, 2009

PM: "A Greater Increase In Suffering"

Kevin devised a genius workout for our Friday night class. I might be wrong, but I do believe his programming is getting even better.

5 Rounds For Time:
20 Wall Ball
20 Sit-ups
20 KB/DB Swings
400 meter run


So I was kinda proud of myself. Of the 4 of us working out tonight, I was the first to finish this workout despite extending my first lap on the track by a good 100 meters. We ran behind the childcare center. Bella was out there and saw me running and started shouting "go, mommy, go!" and I was so tickled by the whole thing that I kept going, right past the cut-thru I was supposed to take to get back to the gym. Oh well!

I had enough of a lead on that first round that I still ran back first on round 1, and managed to keep my lead despite some really stiff competition from Matt, who was working pretty hard to catch me. By the last run my chest was burning, my heart felt like it was going to explode, and I had to pee so freakin' bad.

Still, I was proud that I held off Matt. Actually, I just realized I came in second to Harv, but he was subbing 400 meters of rowing for the running, so it wasn't a totally equivalent workout.

After we all collapsed and left our sweat angels on the floor Kevin started talking about the workout and running. He was saying that when you are just out for a moderate run, you don't really suffer. You jog along, moderating your pace to your ability, checking things out, la di da. But when you force yourself to run after a massive load of wall balls, sit ups and swings, you go into the run already suffering, and the run just adds a greater increase in suffering. And that's how this workout got it's name.

Right up there with Fight Gone Bad.

AM: GHD + Back Extensions

Five rounds for time of:
30 Glute-ham sit-ups
25 Back extensions


What can I say, this sucked. Everything hurt. I felt kinda weak, especially on the GHDs: I was doing them 5 or 4 or 2 at a time my the end. I didn't feel fast but I remember the last time I did this workout - it wasn't that long ago - and I'm pretty sure my time was closer to 15 minutes. I'm kinda pissed I can't find my previous time. It would be nice to know if I've improved.

Grill-Smoked Steelhead with Pineapple Salsa

This is one of those Mise en Place meals: the brown rice was cooked, the green beans were cooked, the pineapple salsa was all I had to do when a nice day presented itself was throw the steelhead on the outdoor bbq. Spiced the fish up a bit by throwing several handfuls of alder chips right on the briquettes and covering for a hybrid-grill smoke effect that I love. Didn't bother to soak the chips or anything (that would require planning), and since this was a high-heat cook where the smoke was just a flavoring agent, not the primary method of heat transfer to the food, that worked just fine.


Thursday, May 14, 2009

What is Health? What Is Sickness?

Today was a day of recharging. I had an awesome meal with a great friend. Lunch stretched to 3.5 hours because we were having such a nice time, talking about everything. It was super pleasant.

My friend is a genius with data organization & categorization and gave me some interesting things to ponder regarding defining and qualifying health/fitness etc. One of the many things we discussed was how you take something as complex as the human body and quantify what it means to be healthy, fit, etc.

My friend's expertise is in taking complex variables - data - and turning them into something useful - information. Isn't that really what's needed when we discuss health in general? Taking the mass of data generated from nutrition and fitness lab studies, cohort studies, corelational studies, etc., and figuring out how any of that may or may not apply to a system as complex as the human body?

To get any value from the data, we need to know how it affects health. But first, we need to figure out what health is. So that's what it comes down to -- what is health? How do we define it? How do we measure it?

On the surface, there seem to be a whole lot of ways to measure health. There's quick-and-dirty methods like height-weight charts or BMI calculations, and slightly more involved measures like blood pressure and cholesterol readings or body composition analyzes. There's really expensive stuff like whole body CT scanning, which may be valid preventative medicine but is more likely just be a nifty, expensive toy.

All these things are valuable (except perhaps the height-weight charts) and are doubtless useful in demonstrating something but by themselves these measures cannot tells us whether or not a person is healthy.

Case in point: would you say this girl is healthy? Or would you say she's in need of a diet and should probably get to the gym a bit more? Let's say you saw her at the mall. What would you think? C'mon, be honest.

Ok, now would you think differently if you saw her up on an Olympic's platform, recieveing a bronze medal? This girl is Cheryl Haworth, bronze medalist and world class athlete in the 75+ kilo division of Olympic Weightlifting. At 5'9" and 315 pounds, Cheryl's height-weight and BMI measures would read: obese. In fact, with a BMI of 46, Cheryl is so far into the "morbidly obese" category that her doctor, if he didn't know better, would probably be freaking out about her compromised health.

But with her 75 bpm resting heart rate, 28-30% body fat composition (this is a healthy body fat percentage for woman, by the way), 30" vertical leap, 495 pound squat and ability to do the splits (both directions) I can tell you that Cheryl is way fitter than you or I: she is stronger, more coordinated and more flexible.

So with her BMI of 46, is Cheryl healthy? Well, she's sure as shit healthier than most of us. There are tremendous risks associated with generalizing from BMI statistics (or any other single-point measurement) because athletes like Cheryl will come along and make you look like an idiot.

Coach Greg Glassman, founder of Crossfit (my training program of choice), looked at a closely related question, "What is fitness?" Glassman was unable to find any satisfactory and applicable answer to this question. Most of the glorified "fittest" athletes were long endurance specialists, ironman triathletes and marathoners and long distance cyclists.

These athletes are indeed fit--hey, if you can run Boston you're an athlete in my book--but societally, why do we define fitness based on one's ability to run or bike ungoddly distances in one go? Why is that a better benchmark than your ability to lift ungoddly amounts of weight in one go? If one measure isn't inherently better, then (culturally glorified phenotypes notwithstanding) there's really no reason to think Lance Armstrong is an inherently better athlete than Cheryl Haworth, is there?

Glassman, looking at this and many other related issues, came to this conclusion:

"There are ten recognized general physical skills. They are cardiovascular/respiratory endurance, stamina, strength, flexibility, power, speed, coordination, agility, balance, and accuracy. You are as fit as you are competent in each of these ten skills. A regimen develops fitness to the extent that it improves each of these ten skills."

So these are the terms of a new fitness standard that does not glorify Cardio Uber Alles. These terms led Glassman to define fitness in a new way. Concise, scalable and all-inclusive...the Crossfit 30 Second Elevator Speech, if you will:

"Increased work capacity across broad time and modal domains."

So there is it. Crossfit has defined fitness - "work capacity across broad time and modal domains." To the degree that you can get more work done in less time across the ten recognized skills in any combination they might occur, you are getting fitter.

What can this definition of fitness tell us about a definition of health? The current de facto definition of health is, "not sick" but I think it is clear that an absence of sickness is not the same thing as a preponderance of health. Does the absence of Type II diabetes, cancer or high blood pressure mean someone is healthy, even if they are a stressed, sedentary, chronically sleep-deprived smoker who lives on twice-a-day McDonalds, rarely eats a vegetable and has painful battles with constipation?

Luckilly for me, Glassman has recently turned his attention to this topic. If you accept that increased work capacity across broad time and modal domains is a good way to measure general fitness, then you can define health as "work capacity across broad time and modal domains, sustained over a lifetime." In otherwords, you are healthy to the degree that you are broadly fit over a lifetime.

This definition is clearly a starting point, but it is a good starting point. It allows for sickness in as much as sickness will impact one's work capacity, but is not defined by sickness.

It says, if at 40 you can perform the same work, in the same time frame, at the same intensity that you performed when you were 30, then maybe a few point bump in your cholesterol isn't that critical when assessing your overall health.

It says, if you gave up marathoning but gained the ability to sprint, lift heavy, jump, swing, pull-up and walk on your hands then maybe gaining 15 pound in the process was good for your health.

It says, define your health based on what you can do now, what you could do then and what you will do later. Look at the delta and see where you are. Look at your work capacity across broad time and modal domains to assess your fitness; look at your fitness over time to assess your health.

It is my belief that actions based on improving work capacity across broad time and modal domains, over a lifetime, will lead to increased health measured via almost any other metric. When I went in for my physical, my doctor said my resting heart rate (46) was, "like a marathoners," I joked back, "yeah but without the joint problems and soft tissue damage." I'm not trying to slag on marathoners here, but my doctor's comment goes to the heart of the Cardio-centric view of fitness, and therefore health.

I propose we start talking about health within the context of this new, broad, inclusive definition, and see where it takes us.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

PM: "Cindy"

Complete as many rounds in 20 minutes as you can of:
5 Pull-ups
10 Push-ups
15 Squats

5 squats shy of 22 rounds. Because I got a bit too bouncy on my squats on Monday's Met-Con, I didn't use the Dynamax ball for a height check. Instead I used a 12" hard box. You just can't bounce on a hard box in quite the same way. Not if you want your "sit bones" to be useful for future sitting.

My weak link in Cindy is definitely the push-ups. The pull-ups were good, the squats were fine, but those push-ups hurt, and I doubt half of them would have counted as a legit depth pull-up.

Alison did this with me...I think she was 2 squats shy of 20 rounds with modified pull-ups.

According to Lysa, fellow Crossfitter, Professional Skydiver and all around Badass, it's time for me to move to Mary.

Complete as many rounds in 20 minutes as you can of:
5 Handstand Push-ups
10 One legged squats, alternating
15 Pull-ups

Hmm...if I want to tackle that I'll need to figure out how to do a handstand push-up.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Squats, 5 x 5

Made up the Squat WOD from Sunday today. 5 x 5 and my thighs and ass are SORE!

3 x 5 @ 135 warm up
155 x 5
165 x 5
175 x 5
180 x 5 (first 2 were short)
180 x 4 (and I failed on the last one)

Had grand plans to get a CFE workout in immediately following squats, but it just wasn't happening today. It sounds strange, but I still don't feel 100% recovered from my birthday on Saturday. And here's the thing...I really didn't drink that much. But between the 2 cocktails, the salt and sugar in the meal and the total lack of sleep, I was pretty wiped out. Didn't attempt anything Sunday, Monday felt really hard, and today felt harder than it should have.

What can I say? I'm just gonna go back to clean, simple food, hydration & lots of sleep. Hopefully I'll hit my next workout cycle feeling a bit better.

Monday, May 11, 2009


Didn't get to the gym until late, and met up with Alison. It was a mainsite rest day, so we did this:


3 Rounds for Time
10 pull-ups
20 push-ups
30 ab mat sit-ups
40 walking lunges with one-arm press hold
50 squats

Me: 17.03 - using 25# plate overhead on the lunges and dropping a bit too hard onto the dynamax ball n the last 20 or so squats

Alison: 18:00 - modified pull-ups, 10# overhead, also getting a little aggressive with the drop on the last squats, but at that point we had done 130 or so...

So that was pretty tough. A good, old fashioned ass burner. We were originally shooting for 5 rounds, then compromised with 4 rounds, and both agreed 3 rounds would be just fine after the first round took over 5 minutes. The lunges were the killer for me. It was just tough to maintain really good core control and arm lockout at that fatigue level.

After our legs stopped quivering we opted for the Crossfit Endurance 2 x 1000 meter interval runs. I was thinking 7.5 mph on the treadmill would be pretty doable for .6 miles, but after those squats I was just smoked, and had to drop my speed to 7.0 for the second half of the first 1K. After 2 minutes of rest, the second 1K was run at 7.0 and it was a struggle to keep up. In fact, attempts to lower the speed a bit ended up with me pausing the run so I had to notch the treadmill speed back up. This of course takes a bit, so I got a little break mid-run. I ran .6 miles on each interval, which I think is a touch shy of 1K, and my times were pretty weak: 5:10 ish and 5:20 ish (I have the exact times downstairs but it's kinda late to go find my notes.).

After leg-quiver got the better of her, Alison opted for the rower, and banged out 2x1200 meter rows on the c2. Nice.

I'm looking forward to getting back into my fitness rhythmn this's been a few days of pretty well earned indugence, but I'm ready to get back to my healthy eating and good-feeling. :)

Saturday, May 9, 2009

800 meter repeats

This morning I wanted to get a bit of a workout in before I started my party day, and luckilly crossfit came through for me with a simple and fast WOD:

Four rounds, each for time of:
800 meter run

Rest as needed between efforts.

I was running at 8 mph, holding a 7:30 pace pretty much the whole time, so the first 3 rounds were right around 3:45, with a 2 minute rest between rounds. Had to take a slightly longer break after round 3 (potty break, what can I say?) so I kicked up the speed to 8.2 and shaved a few seconds off the last round, ending with a 3:39.

Then I went rock climbing, but that's another post.

Wherein I stretch this birthday thing out for a week!

So today was my birthday party day. I broke my party into two parts, an indoor rock-climbing part and a dinner-and-drinks part. There were two reasons for this: first, a few key people were not going to be able to make the PM dinner/drinks plan but I still wanted to spend some time with them and second, I wanted to do something a bit more than...well...just dinner/drinks to celebrate 30.

The whole day was awesome. We went climbing at Stone Gardens in Ballard. It took a few minutes for everyone to filter in, but as I was getting my harness and shoes on, D walks in and says, "Hey Erica, I have something for you." Standing right next to her is Hesper, who flew up from TX to celebrate with me. Total surprise to me, I really had no clue that Nick, D and Hesper has apparently been planning this for 3 weeks.

Brief personal aside: D, I have to apologize for all those times I said you can't keep a secret. You got me. And Hesper, wow. Just wow. What a gift. Thank you.

Anyway, it was really cool having Hesper there, and in a way it really brought back that feeling of our old workout/hang out group. I think everyone had a really great time and enjoyed the rock climbing quite a bit. D's boyf wasn't too keen on heights, but apparently he was a total badass at bouldering. I was pretty decent at climbing...on my hardest route I managed to climb up and over an overhanging ledge but was so tired from climbing at that point that I couldn't seal the deal on the route and ended up falling like three times. Still it was really cool. Nick, Hesper, Jo & Colin all did an amazing job and by the end of the couple hour climbing session everyone was pushing themselves with harder routes.

Our belayers (our 7 person group got 2 of them) did an awesome job of making everyone confident and encouraging us, keeping us safe and walking us through the trickier parts of courses. They were so cool. Thanks guys!

After everyone's forearms were pretty much toast, we all finished up with fruit and cupcakes from cupcake royale. The Salt Caramel cupcake was incredible. :)

After climbing the boys went their respective ways. Colin had another party to go to, Mike had to get ready for work, and Nick graciously volunteered to drive home, drive the babysitter home, get Bella packed and take her up to my mom's house for an overnight. He did this all so I could have time to hang out with my girls, so that's exactly what us four girls did....we ended up on the beach in Golden Gardens, just catching up. It was gorgeous, and really nice time to just talk and hang out.

The Girls!

Then we all moseyed up north, got dressed up and went out to dinner. We had a reservation for 12 people at Loft Lounge and I had requested the upstairs room when I made the reservation. I like the Loft, but there were some serious hiccups with the reservation and food pacing. First, they set us up outside, which ended up being fine but was a customer service fail considering I had made my reservation 3 weeks earlier and had been assured of the upstairs room. Apparently they couldn't give me that space because another party of 10 had it reserved (uh, hello?).

After we got set up outside with heaters it turned out fine, though I think a few members of the party (sorry, Jo) ended up fairly chilly. Eventually, after drinks and appetizers (the calamari and wings were ok but both were pretty greasy) everyone ordered entrees. Here's where the real fail came into it: it took like 40 minutes for my entree and Nate's entree to arrive....after everyone else was served.

The owner bought a round shots to apologize, which was a nice gesture, but when the server brought them out no one was particularly impressed. They were kamikaze shots (what the hell is a kamikaze?) apparently, and they tasted for all the world like minute maid lemonaid. Super sweet, really gross. I had one because, well, I sorta felt like it was expected, but it was not my style at all. I am also about 80% confident that there was no booze in them at all, and 100% confident that if there was booze, it could be measured in fractions of a teaspoon. In other words, the attempt to make good just didn't work. So D (I learned later) basically went in and regulated on the owner. She was really bothered that I was eating everyone else's meal and had no birthday dinner of my own, so she went and yelled at the owner (I love it, D). He said, "well, I bought you a round of shots, to which D replys, "That's great, but we're not really a shot crowd, and she's turning 30 and has no damn dinner." So the owner also picked up the two unacceptably tardy entrees.

So here's my quick review of The Loft in Edmonds: I would 100% recommend going there with a group of 2-6 people. Well, definitely 4...and I think they could handle 6. The food (when it came) was really great. The drinks were ok if you stayed clear of gratis shots of sugar water. But I will not take a large party there again. They simply do not have the kitchen or the organizational ability to handle it, and it's a good thing I was in such an awesome mood or I would have been in there regulating on the owner just as hard as D.

As a group of 12 people, we spent around $700. Interestingly, for as much as we were comped, everyone came away feeling like they put in about $10 too much, which to me is a sign of iffy percieved value. The waitress was nice but was clearly pissed about the kitchen/expediter failing, and had her own hospitality failings (my second cocktail wasn't brought out until I re-ordered it; it was pretty hard to get water refills). She also made a few comments like: "If you ask my to itemize the bill I'll have to kill you," that, in combination with our huge tab, led to a good 30 minutes of rather awkward bill divying at the end (I hate that).

That said, please don't get the wrong idea, because I had a really wonderful time, and was just totally pleased with how everyone mingled, got along and enjoyed each other's company. That was a true gift to me, and despite the hiccups of The Loft I had a truly great birthday dinner.

From the restaurant, most of the group headed over to our house, and we all just chilled out until about 2, when I was about to pass out and I had to kick the last of the party out. But it was fantastic...I really couldn't have asked for a better birthday or a better group of friends.

Friday, May 8, 2009

3-in-1 day: Grace, Intervals & a Swing-Row Fran

Really antsy today....too much time off. So I managed to get in 3 micro workouts:

AM: Crossfit WOD - Grace

135 pound Clean and Jerk, 30 reps
Use 95 pounds, 65 pounds or broomstick as needed and post time and load to comments.

So I did Half-ass Grace. Used 65# and did hang power cleans instead of power cleans or squat cleans. My time bit over 3 minutes as I recall...I'll see if I can find that paper and get a proper record. Next time I'd like to keep the weight the same but do the full squat clean to better develop my front squat strength.

Edit: found that paper. My time was 3:17

Afternoon: Crossfit Endurance 1:1 Intervals

Ran this on the treadmill.

Round 1: 45 sec on, 45 sec off - 7.7 mph
Round 2: 1:30 on, 1:30 off - 7.9
Round 3: 3 on, 3 off - 8.0
Round 4: 6 on, 6 off - 8.2
Round 6: 3 on, 3 off - 8.4
Round 7: 1:30, 1:30 - 8.6
Round 8: :45 on, :45 off - 9.0

PM: Crossfit with Kevin
21, 15 & 9 Rep Rounds (Fran Style) for Time:
1.5 pood Kettlebell Swing (53 pounds? 63?)
Calories on Rower

My time was 5:03 (I'm pretty sure about this, but might be a few seconds off.)

This was basically a Fran with Swings and Rowing. It was awesome. The KB was the heaviest weight I've done...used Kevin's KB and just got smoked. It was fantastic. Having Kevin there yelling at me (encouragingly) was great too...he knew when I was slacking even a bit on the row and forced me to focus and pull hard. I was pretty pleased with my 5:03...obviously if I were doing it again I'd like to see a sub-5.

Seared Halibut with Romesco Sauce

Yum! Yum! Yum! Dinner was so great tonight. Pan Seared Halibut with Romesco Sauce and Green Beans. Romesco is made with roasted peppers and tomatoes and almonds and olive oil and is simply divine. But all that roasting takes awhile, and I needed my sauce fast. Luckilly, I picked up an enormous jar of Greek fire roasted red peppers at Costco the other day, and I was able to whip up this sauce in less than 5 minutes. It turned out so great I could have eaten it up with a spoon. Okay, who am I kidding? I DID eat it up with a spoon.

Romesco Sauce in a Hurry:

This makes A LOT, like over 20 servings. Which is okay with me cause it'll last and I'm putting it on everything for the forseeable future. Feel free to halve or quarter the recipe.
Makes about 1100 grams. 1650 calories for the whole recipe. 75 calories per 50 gram serving.

3 cloves garlic
250 gm raw almonds
1/4 peeled red onion
800 gm roasted red pepper, drained
1-2 tablespoons smoked paprika, or to taste
1-4 tablespoons red wine vinegar, or to taste
salt, to taste

For peppers, I used one huge 36 oz jar I found at Costco...Tassos brand, roasted then lightly pickled. After draining, this jar yielded 800 grams of peppers, which is why this recipe is so huge. I was quite happy with the quality of this brand, which is more than I can say for most of the jarred or canned peppers I've tried. In fact, I liked this product and this recipe so much I went back and bought 2 more jars!

Combine garlic, almonds and onion in a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Pulse until everything is well chopped and the almonds are just starting to look slightly creamy. Add in the peppers and continue to pulse until the whole mixture is well combined and about the texture of hummus. Season to taste with smoked paprika (I used a lot), salt and vinegar, pulsing a few more times to combine. If your peppers were packed in vinegar, as mine were, you may not need any vinegar at all. If they were water packed, or you roasted them yourself (go, you!) then a few tablespoons ought to do ya'.

Here's your finished product:

Thursday, May 7, 2009

First Workout of my 30s!

Today was pretty busy, so my first chance to get to the gym was only 15 minutes before I needed to leave to pick up Bella. So I did a 1 mile time trial and rocked it out in 8 minutes. I'd like to get this to 7:30 by the time we leave for France, and I think it's doable. Nonetheless, an 8 minute mile is a great achievement for me, and I'll take it!

In the PM I came back but was a little unfocused. Luckily, Kevin's core class started just a bit after I arrived in the gym so I caught that and was able to get a decent workout in without a lot of thinking. It was a series of sit-ups and low back extensions, alternating in 30 second increments.

Relayed the results of my body comp to Kevin, and his reaction to my body fat was: "Don't go any lower." I agree. I think 13-14 percent is probably where I want to maintain, which translates to about pound and a half extra fat, or a total weight of 151-152. I'll get some hot pictures of my abs so I have proof they look like this, then go tuck into a plate of hot wings. :)

After core class I felt like I had a bit more to give, so I worked on lighter-weight Deadlifts for a few rounds. Started with sets of 5 at 135, went to sets of 3 at 185. Did maybe 8 sets total.

That was it. My first day back, and a moderate/ho hum workout.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

I'm 30 Today!

4/1: 157.0
4/2: 155.0
4/3: 155.2
4/4: 154.6
4/5: 154.8
4/6: 154.2
4/7: 153.2
4/8: 154.8
4/9: 152.6
4/10: 151.2
4/11: 153.2
4/12: 152.2
4/13: 152.2
4/14: 152.4
4/15: 153.2
4/16: 152.2
4/17: 152.0
4/18: 151.8
4/19: 152.0
4/20: 152.0
4/21: 152.0
4/22: 152.6
4/23: 151.4
4/24: 151.4
4/25: 151.6
4/26: 151.8
4/27: 151.6
4/28: 152.6
4/29: 153.6
4/30: 151.2
5/01: 149.6
5/02: 150.0
5/03: 151.4
5/04: 149.4
5/05: 150.0
5/06: 149.8

What a great day! I feel great to start my 30s in the best shape of my life! Yesterday was so affirming that the hard workouts and tight, clean workouts really got me where I wanted to go and then some.

Though yesterday was a rest day and I've joked about doing a Filthy 30 for my birthday, I took today off and just spent time with my favorite people. My mom took me out shopping during the day, and we had lunch (I had the roasted vegetable salad with seared salmon) and just enjoyed hanging out together. I also picked out a birthday top that I think will be pretty versatile when we travel next month and a few basic cami's.

After I picked Bella up from school, we headed south to pick up Nick and then all of us went out to dinner at Tamarind Tree, where Nick and I systematically ate as much as possible. It was so great...everything was delicious.

We had:
Tamarind Tree Rolls (2 orders)
Mango Salad with Prawn
Turmeric Rice Cakes (adored these!)
Crispy Catfish
Sauteed Chayote

Bella also had:
Chicken Satay
Coconut Ice Cream

Best. Dinner. Ever. We spent 2 hours enjoying languid course after languid course. Bella was a total trooper, and made it very easy for us to enjoy our meal. Everything was delish...totally worth every calorie, fat gram and carb. I could not have asked for a better birthday dinner!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Curried Ahi & Caramelized Pineapple Salad

There's not really a recipe for this meal...more like a concept.

Get a pan hot. Rub really good ahi with some curry spice mix. Sear ahi on all sides for about 2 minutes, until outside is crusty but inside is still raw and cool. Remove ahi and let rest. Add chunked fresh pineapple to hot pan...sear all over. While pineapple is in pan, slice ahi into 1/4" thick slices.

Toss salad greens with dressing of choice or olive oil and salt. Top greens with sliced ahi, caramelized pineapple and avocado.

Countdown to 30: Last Day!

It's been a full and fun day, but I can say with total certainty that I have achieved my goal of getting in the best shape of my life. The 5 pounds 5 weeks challenge was a total success and I am excited to greet my 30s super fit and raring to go.

Today I had a physical and a body comp test to see where I stand, and to see if the results were worth the training. Don't have the results from blood work yet, but every other stat came back great:

Weight at home (AM weight, nekkid): 150
Weight at Dr's Office (fully clothed, no shoes, hydrated): 154
Weight at Bod Pod Clinic (underwear and sports bra, after lunch, hydrated): 152
Blood Pressure: 108/56
Resting Heart Rate: 46 Beats per Minute
Body Fat: 12.1% (Last August, training for triathlons, it was tested at 14.9%)

More details on the Bod Pod Body Composition Testing tomorrow. Right now I have a great book to finish!


Got results of bloodwork back. Everything looks great. Cholesterol is at 110, which is apparently quite low but in a good way, and my LDL-HDL levels are great. Urinalysis, CBC, Kidney functions, thyroid, etc. etc. are all described to me as excellent. I have asked my doc to send me a copy of the results. When I get them I'll have D (best friend/nurse) walk me through my labwork so I understand what everything is.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Countdown to 30: 1 Day to Go

4/1: 157.0
4/2: 155.0
4/3: 155.2
4/4: 154.6
4/5: 154.8
4/6: 154.2
4/7: 153.2
4/8: 154.8
4/9: 152.6
4/10: 151.2
4/11: 153.2
4/12: 152.2
4/13: 152.2
4/14: 152.4
4/15: 153.2
4/16: 152.2
4/17: 152.0
4/18: 151.8
4/19: 152.0
4/20: 152.0
4/21: 152.0
4/22: 152.6
4/23: 151.4
4/24: 151.4
4/25: 151.6
4/26: 151.8
4/27: 151.6
4/28: 152.6
4/29: 153.6
4/30: 151.2
5/01: 149.6
5/02: 150.0
5/03: 151.4
5/04: 149.4

Well, tomorrow will be the last day of the 5 Pounds, 5 Weeks Challenge. I was back under 150 this AM and my moving average continues to creep lower. I'm feeling really confident and strong, and I can honestly say it's worked - I am without a doubt in the best shape of my life. But I am also feeling that I am on the last day of my three day on - 1 day rest workout cycle. All through my workout this morning I could feel that I was ready for a break.

Did spin class - regular instructor is back, yeah! - for 60 minutes, then hung out and read until D could join me. Neither of us were totally gung ho to go workout, but we dragged ourselves up to the weight room and committed to an arm/back ish type thing. Normally I don't go for the body-part specific body builder type workout but when you are tired and Crossfit-style intensity just isn't happening, it's a good way to do something. Besides, even if I mostly work out for function, sometimes you want to work on form (your own physique form, I mean) a bit too. And I don't think there's a thing wrong with that.

So D and I did this:

Wood Chop Down with Cable - 4 sets (2 per side), 10 reps, 85#
Wood Chop Up with Cable - 4 sets (2 per side), 10 reps, 65#
Lat Pull Down - 3 sets, 8 reps, 100#
Low Row with Cable - 3 sets, 8 reps, 100# first and second set, 85# on third set
Tricep Dips - on bench, feet elevated, 3 sets, 15 reps, bodyweight
Walking Lunge with Single Arm Press - 2 sets, 20 steps per set, 10# overhead, alternate press side between sets

And then we were done. It wasn't much, but it was what we had.

I have to take a moment and RAVE about a new book I picked up a few days ago. It's called Swimming to Antarctica and it's riveting. A truly amazing autobiography by Lynne Cox, who holds (held? I'm not sure) all the open water distance swimming records worth holding including a two-time world record in the English Channel swim. She also swam in places no one else would even dream: Straight of Magellan, Disko Bay Greenland, Bering Straight, the Straight of Gibraltar, etc. etc. I'm about half way through and every chapter gets more fascinating.

The stories Lynne Cox tells would be unbelievable, if they weren't completely true. I highly recommend this competes with Lance Armstrong's Not About The Bike for best "athlete book" I've read, and in many ways is more compelling for being from an athlete who is, in this country at least, less well known. It's also a wonderful reminder that the best athletes in the entire world come in all shapes and sizes.

Lynne Cox, world record holder (men and women) in multiple endurance open water swimming events. By any reasonable measure, an elite athlete in an unthinkably challenging sport. Basically, she's the Lance Armstrong of swimming. The top picture was taken when she was 16 years old and had just become a 2 Time World Record Holder for the English Channel crossing. The second is more recent, taken I believe, during her Antarctic Swim.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Countdown to 30: 2 Days to Go

4/1: 157.0
4/2: 155.0
4/3: 155.2
4/4: 154.6
4/5: 154.8
4/6: 154.2
4/7: 153.2
4/8: 154.8
4/9: 152.6
4/10: 151.2
4/11: 153.2
4/12: 152.2
4/13: 152.2
4/14: 152.4
4/15: 153.2
4/16: 152.2
4/17: 152.0
4/18: 151.8
4/19: 152.0
4/20: 152.0
4/21: 152.0
4/22: 152.6
4/23: 151.4
4/24: 151.4
4/25: 151.6
4/26: 151.8
4/27: 151.6
4/28: 152.6
4/29: 153.6
4/30: 151.2
5/01: 149.6
5/02: 150.0
5/03: 151.4

Sunday has become family day at the gym. Nick comes with me and works on whatever form stuff he's mastering (past several weeks it's been deadlifts and bench presses) then does cardio (usually walk or jog outside) while I get my Crossfit on. I really like that he joins in, even though he's not into fitness in quite the same way I am. It's cool to share what I'm learning with him, and to hang out.

So I was expecting that we would do the same strength based thing today, but Nick was game to give a WOD a try. I was planning on Tabata Something Else, which was the WOD I missed when I took Friday off.

So, brief explanation: a "Tabata" is thusly named because it is a high intensity training method developed by Dr. Izumi Tabata, who discovered that a 4 minute workout, cycling between 20 second of work and 10 seconds of rest for 8 rounds, could produce amazing strength and endurance gains in already trained athletes. A 4 minute workout sounds pretty weak....until you do your first Tabata. Then you get it.

So "Tabata Something Else" is 4 back-to-back, 4 minute Tabata's. The first cycle is pull-ups, second is push ups, third is sit-ups, forth is squats. There is no rest between cycles, so the whole workout is 16 minutes long. The first minute isn't so bad but the last 15 are a bitch. Your score is the total number of reps you get, total across all cycles.

Nick seriously maned up and joined me for Tabata Something Else. He timed me, then I timed him. Alas I have misplaced our score sheet, but I think I was around 370 and Nick was around 210. I do remember I held a remarkably constant rate on sit-ups (10 on almost all rounds) and squats (17 across all but a few where I slipped to 16 - but upped it to 19 on the last one despite the burning in my quads). Pull-ups and push-ups were, no surprise, the weak links. I was disappointed with how quickly fatigued I got on the upper body stuff, but then again 150, 45# dumbbell swings yesterday was bound to take something out of me. I was also having some grip issues. Here's why:

Yes, this is the sight that greeted me after my workout when I pulled the band-aids off my pinkies. Remember how I blistered, then tore, the skin on both pinkies doing the aforementioned dumbbell swings? Well, they had not responded particularly well to being "protected" under a bandage for 24 hours. Truly nasty. They look much better now that they've had a chance to breathe--less necrotic. I think I was attempting my pull-ups with 80% of my fingers and doing the classy British tea-drinker pinkie-in-the-air thing with my wounded digits. You wouldn't think two little pinkies would make that much of a difference in grip strength, but I believe they do.

Dinner last night was delish, and plated up nice enough for a pic:

Ponzu-Maple Glazed Coho with Brown Rice and Spring (ish) Veggies

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Countdown to 30: 3 Days to Go

4/1: 157.0
4/2: 155.0
4/3: 155.2
4/4: 154.6
4/5: 154.8
4/6: 154.2
4/7: 153.2
4/8: 154.8
4/9: 152.6
4/10: 151.2
4/11: 153.2
4/12: 152.2
4/13: 152.2
4/14: 152.4
4/15: 153.2
4/16: 152.2
4/17: 152.0
4/18: 151.8
4/19: 152.0
4/20: 152.0
4/21: 152.0
4/22: 152.6
4/23: 151.4
4/24: 151.4
4/25: 151.6
4/26: 151.8
4/27: 151.6
4/28: 152.6
4/29: 153.6
4/30: 151.2
5/01: 149.6
5/02: 150.0

Great day today. Lots of great family time celebrating Nick's awesome quarterly review (these are days to be a rock star at work, and Nick is pulling out all the stops) and I even picked up a few new books too!

At the gym, I came back from yesterday (took it as rest - was feeling a bit run down) feeling ready to go, but I gotta say today's Crossfit WOD was intimidating.

The WOD was Hansen, a new Hero WOD named after Marine Staff Sgt. Daniel Hansen, who was killed in Afghanistan while serving as an EOD Technician. These Hero WODs suck, in all possible ways: they are a reminder that one of the (usually young men) of our community has died, and because of that they are super challenging both physically and mentally. Hero WODs are generally made of hard motions with heavy weight for lots of reps and lots of sets, and this on was no exception. When everything in the workout sucks, when your hands break open and bleed (as mine did on this one) and when you think you cannot actually do anything more, you go do it anyway, because in a tiny tiny way you are honoring the memory of a fellow Crossfitter. RIP Sgt. Hansen.

As Rx:
5 Rounds for time
2 pood Kettlebell swing, 30 reps
30 Burpees
30 Glute-ham sit-ups

As performed:
45# Dumbbell swing, 30 reps (1.5 pood, or 54#, is the woman's rx weight)
30 Burpees (did the push-up but the jump towards the end was a bit weak)
30 Glute-ham sit-ups

37:06 (I think - my stopwatch/phone is downstairs...will edit if I am misremembering. My goal was sub 30. Not even freaking close.)

This was tough. At the end of Round 3 I could not believe I still had 2 more rounds to go. At the end of the Round 4's swings I realized I had blistered then torn the skin off the bottom joint of each pinkie finger. I did the rest of the workout without using my pinkie fingers, which was a strange feeling on the burpees, and caused me to change my grip on the final set of swings.

After the workout was over, one of the trainers at the gym, who I know and who is a totally nice, cool girl, told me people were worried about my swings. She basically said they were a liability cause if I ever slipped, and someone got hurt, it was 45#, it could be a huge problem....which I get. I think the real issue is that I was set up next to the GHD station, and that's across from where people do their stretching and stability stuff, and I think I musta freaked somebody out. I got the impression that if I did the swings somewhere wouldn't be a problem.

To be frank, I did look a little freaky doing the swings. My hair was all greasy and flying everywhere, my shoulders were all striated and tendony, my pants were rolled up and my bruised-to-hell shins were on display and I had my music way up so I'm sure I was grunting and breathing really loud in a very uncouth way. Plus, you know occasionally I would yell at myself: "c'mon!" or "5 more! let's go!" or - when I discovered my pinkies were out of commision - "oh, fuck!" I probably would have freaked me out if I had seem me. I can hardly be offended that the poor 65 year old's who were also there were a little nervous. Anyway, I apologized. I don't want to freak anyone out. :(

For all the Globo Gym horror stories out there from Crossfiters, my gym has been super cool. Two of the training staff have their level 1 cert, and one of them - the oft mentioned Kevin - runs his clients thru Crossfit type workouts almost every day. The trainer who talked to me about the swings was totally nice about it and seemed apologetic for having to mention it. In general, it's what you would expect from an independent place. There are a lot of regulars and the staff and regulars form a big, occasionally messy pseudo family. Sometimes there's drama. For the most part I've been able to stay out of it, and I intend to keep it that way. If that means subbing ab-mat sit-ups for GHDs and doing my workout in an empty racquetball court, I'll do it.