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Cardinal_22

From the Ashes

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Week 1, Day 2:  Definitely feeling better today.  A little extra sleep goes a long way (to wit:  that's goal #3 in this challenge). 

 

I ran with a friend today over the lunch hour, despite the rain, wind, and near freezing temps.  Besides having company, the nice thing about that was that my friend has a phone app that we used to track our pace.  We went the usual 3 miles.  I felt like I slowed down a bit so I wouldn't lose him, but according to his phone we were keeping roughly 8:50 minute miles.  This is significantly faster than I thought I had been pacing.  And I'm taking it as a very good sign.  I was pretty upbeat after that, until handstand class later in the evening kicked my butt.  We worked on freestanding for time as well as negative handstand pushups done with chest against the wall.  I'm absolutely garbage at both.  But my shoulders were pretty smoked after finishing, so I'll call it a win.

 

Dinner tonight was utterly amazing:  my gf made an instant pot version of a Cajun shrimp boil:  shrimp, Andouille sausage, corn on the cob, and red potatoes in a base made mostly from lager and Old Bay seasoning.  I usually don't drink during the week, but I made an exception and had a few beers with dinner.  Because with food like that, how can you not?  Snacked on the usual dried fruit and crackers after that.  Life is definitely good.  Just wish the weather would be good also...  =)

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I'm super impressed that you managed to break a weight plate! I've never seen that done before. I'm also impressed by your workouts, you're kicking butt, but I'm really a little hung up on that plate. 

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Great pace on the run, good job getting it in.  I love going out in bad weather, but Im a bit mental.  :-) The shrimp boil sounds great!

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Week 1, Day 3:  This will be a really quick entry.  Only had time for CrossFit today.  No weight lifting.  I was on my own for dinner tonight, so I made pasta and used up the leftover sauce we made last week.  Ate a couple of homemade brownies, then the usual dried fruit and crackers for a snack.
 

A.  Back Squat
3 x bar, 135, 155, 175, 195 lbs.
Then 3 x 205 lbs, 4 sets.

 

B.  Metcon.  10 rounds (20 min timecap):
6 unbroken power snatch (95/65)
8 unbroken HSPU
12 burpees to a target -> have to touch a pull up bar when jumping

 

I got 9 + 5, scaled to 75 lbs and 3 HSPU.
 

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Week 1, Day 4:  Work was absolutely crazy.  We had safety inspections today, and laser inspections will be tomorrow.  I couldn't find the time for my regularly scheduled run, but I did make it to my 30 minute stretch session and rings class.  My shoulders were completely smoked afterwards (in a good way).

 

One of the things we worked on was Russian dips.  I've linked a video below.  Coupled with skin-the-cats on the rings (not shown), it's a great drill to help with ring muscle up transitions.  I'm not actually very good at Russian dips.  In theory, you should lower yourself from the bottom of the dip to the arms on the bars position slowly.  I usually end up crashing down instead.  But I can get the transition back up.  It's harder than it looks.
 

Tonight was Valentine's day... but my gf and I both have work in the morning... so we decided to officially celebrate with a night out on Friday instead.  As a consolation prize, I grilled up New York Strip steaks and bell peppers.  Served it with crabcakes (a variant of surf and turf), brussels sprouts, and a salad.  Not too shabby, if I do say so myself.  Snacked on the usual dried fruit and crackers.

For reference, the Russian dips video is linked here.

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Week 1, Day 5:  I think I'm getting sick.  When I woke up this morning my head was completely stuffed up and felt like twice its normal size.  Besides the fact that being sick sucks, this is really bad for two reasons.  One, because the CrossFit open starts NEXT WEEK.  Two, because my gf and I have delayed Valentine's day dinner reservations TONIGHT at a nice restaurant.  Talk about bad timing. 

I decided that I'm not quite ready to slow my training down just yet, so I ran 3 miles over lunch (this really helped clear up my head) and then did the CrossFit metcon.  Things were great after that... until the middle of dinner.  We had reservations at this small French place out in the suburbs.  It was really fancy - case in point, I was embarrased to park my car in the lot because it was by far the cheapest one there.  People were giving me looks.  Lol.   We had a really nice romantic four-course dinner.  But here's the kicker:  my gf has been sick for about 2 weeks now, and right in the middle of dinner we both realized at the same time that this cold also seems to come with a stomach bug.  NOT GOOD.  But life is an adventure, so we finished up as fast as we could and then high-tailed it home at warp speed.  And that was the end of the evening.  What is it that they say about the best laid plans?  I guess there's always next year.  Le sigh.  =(

For the record, the workout is below.

A.  3 power cleans at 70%, 5 sets
I did a bunch of warm up sets, then 5 x 3 x 145 lbs.

B.  7 min AMRAP:

3 Full Cleans (205 lbs / 140 lbs)

6 Strict Pull-Ups

I scaled to 155 lbs.  Even then, my legs were shot and it didn't go well.

I got 4 + 1 rounds.  

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Week 2, Day 1:  Not much to report today.  I was sick with a cold all weekend, so I spent most of it just resting and watching Netflix & HBO.  On a side note, if you haven't seen True Detective season 3, I highly recommend it.  By today, I was feeling a lot better.  It's a holiday (President's day) and I have the day off work, so I decided to skip the regularly scheduled workout and see if I could really kick this cold. 

Dinner was grilled Char Siu chicken, with steamed bok choy and rice on the side.  I snacked on the usual dried fruits and crackers after that.  Hope to be back on my workout schedule tomorrow.

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Week 2, Day 2:  Feeling much better today.  Was stuck in meetings all day at work, but I found time over lunch to put in a quick 3 mile run.  Then had handstand class later that night.  In between all of our different exercises, I did some random handstand walks and surprised myself with a 43 step walk (that's a 13 step PR) which basically put me all the way across the mat.  Sadly, I have no photographic evidence of this... I know, I know... pics or it didn't happen... but I DO have pics of the instant pot beef roast that we made that night.  And yes, it was amazing.  =)  I finished off the night by snacking on the usual dried fruit and crackers.
 

 

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Week 2, Day 3:  We had a snow day today, so it was difficult to get outside to do much of anything.  But I had a nice breakfast of crabcakes and eggs (pictured below), and took the dog out for a nice long walk/jog.  Later in the day, the roads cleared out enough for me to make it to the gym for a quick CrossFit workout.  Details are below.

 

Dinner tonight was flounder cooked in the air fryer, with a Vietnamese sauce.  We also had homemade rice paper shrimp rolls, with mint, basil, and lettuce.  It was really nice.  Snacked on the usual crackers and dried fruit.

For the record, the CrossFit workout was:

A.  Sumo Deadlift

Work to a 3 RM in 4 sets.

Then 3 x 5 at 80% of 3 RM.
 

I took it easy because the open starts tomorrow.  I hit 3 x 135, 225, 275, 315 lbs.

Then 3 x 5 x 255 lbs.

 

B.  12 min AMRAP:

1 hang squat clean (155 lbs / 105 lbs)

3 cal row

2 hang squat clean

6 cal row

3 hang squat clean

9 cal row

etc...

I got 6 + 16 (= 100 reps), scaled to 135 lbs.

 

Update:  I'm having difficulty uploading the photo.  Will try again later.

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I love that you've said, "A quick 3 mile run." I couldn't run 3 miles, quick or not. Good job. Your food descriptions always make me hungry and your workouts seem to be going very well.

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6 hours ago, JessFit said:

I love that you've said, "A quick 3 mile run." I couldn't run 3 miles, quick or not. Good job. Your food descriptions always make me hungry and your workouts seem to be going very well.


Thanks for the compliments!!  I'm sure you could do the run.  Even if it was just a fast walk, it still counts.  =)

 

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Week 2, Day 4:  CrossFit open workout 19.1 was announced today.  (For the record, it's a 15 min AMRAP of 19 WallBalls & 19 cal row).  I'm already dreading it.  I'm planning on doing it Saturday morning around 11 AM.  Considering I'm utter garbage at WallBalls, my approach will be to grab the bull by the horns and hope for the best.  To be competitive, I'm guessing that a score of about 7 full rounds or more will be needed, which is roughly 130 wallballs or almost the equivalent of the "Karen" workout punctuated with rowing.  That comes out to 1 min on the rower and 1 min for each set of WallBalls, with an extra 1 min for transitions, resting, and slop.  I may try to do as many of the sets unbroken as I can and then recover somewhat on the row.  But no matter how it goes down, there's absolutely no question:  this... is... going... to... hurt.  A lot.

In regards to today, I ran 3 miles over lunch.  Later in the afternoon, I had my 30 minute stretch session followed by a 1 hour rings class.  When everything was done, I decided to try some strict ring muscle ups.  I hit my first one ever last month, on January 15 (video is here).  Since then, I've only hit two more, giving me a lifetime total of 3 reps.  Today, I hit 5 reps in about 10 minutes.  Something clicked.  Looking back, the secret seems to be avoiding a wide hand stance at the end of the pull phase.  If you try to bump your fists together by the time your hands reach your chest, it helps a lot.  Not sure if that makes any sense or not.  

I was home really late, so dinner was from &Pizza, plus some dried fruit.

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Week 2, Day 5:  Rest day.  I am planning on performing open workout 19.1 sometime Saturday morning, so the only thing on my schedule was a stretch session and some light movements to keep everything limber - these included a few handstand walks and some strict ring muscle up practice.  My gf and I had date night today, so we went out for Filipino food at a local restaurant.  I've never had Filipino food before, and it was actually really good.

Spoiler:  I did the open Saturday morning around noon.  I'm not extremely happy with my score, but I don't think I want to repeat it.  For the record, I almost finished 7 rounds (I was 9 calories away on the rower which comes to 6 + 29); this puts me at 257 reps or 6.76 rounds.  Given how bad I am at wallballs, that's not an unreasonable end result.  I kept the first 3 rounds unbroken, and went 11/19 on rounds 4 & 5.  I fell apart on rounds 6 and 7, taking breaks at 11/15/19.  I think this extra break is what killed my score.  My legs are completely shot and it's hard to imagine I could do better if I repeat on Monday in this condition. 

Analysis:  Yeah, I know, I know... I always overthink this stuff.  But here's the question:  how does this result stack up?  Until roughly Thursday morning, it's impossible to say for sure.  I'm not going to compare myself to the 25 year old former NCAA athletes at my gym who scored in the low 300's; there's no way I ever realistically had a chance to keep up with them.  I did manage to beat a whole slew of semi-competitive & weekend warrior people at my gym, many of whom are significantly younger than me.  That's a good sign.  But the guy that I typically do team competitions with smoked me with a score of 270 (7 rounds + 4 reps).  To be fair, he's got pretty amazing shoulder strength and this workout was really designed for people like him.  Based on athlete comparisons, I'm guessing this puts me in the middle of the pack.

To broaden my outlook and get a little bit more quantitative, I've been checking Beyond the Whiteboard all weekend for preliminary scores.  They posted estimates for men 18-34 on Friday (for Rx only); based on these I'd be sitting just below the 60th percentile.  Late Sunday night, they updated it for the master's groups.  Roughly interpolating the data, I'm guessing I'm sitting right at the 70th.  Add in maybe 5% for those very few athletes who scaled the workout and I'm on par with my final score last year... maybe...  It's a bit lower than I had hoped for, but I'll take it.  I scored in the 86th percentile for endurance workout 18.1 last year and it helped pull me over the hump of a low strength workout score in 18.2.  If my 19.1 score is sitting where I think it is, I won't have any insurance to help out with the upcoming strength workout and will have to hope for the best in the remaining three workouts.  Ugh.

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Week 3, Day 1:  I'm sore.  Really sore.  Like, "my quads are on fire" type sore.  It's hard to walk.  I guess I really did throw everything I had into open workout 19.1.  There's no way I'm repeating that workout again today.

I did my usual weightlifting and CrossFit metcon this afternoon.  Of course, they just had to throw in walking lunges and bike calories, which made my life miserable.  On a positive note, during the weightlifting part I managed to add 5 lbs to my full snatch, which was a nice PR that I've been chasing for quite some time.  Dinner was Char Siu style pork loin (which was totally amazing, btw), stir fried bok choy with oyster sauce and garlic, and steamed rice.  I followed this up with a bowl of chocolate ice cream and then some dried fruit.

For the record, here's the workout:

Olympic weightlifting

A.  Full snatch.  Singles.  Focus on hitting full extension.
1 x 65 lbs, 3 sets
1 x 85 lbs, 3 sets
1 x 95 lbs, 4 sets
1 x 105 lbs, 5 sets
1 x 115 lbs, 3 sets
1 x 120 lbs, 3 sets
1 x 125 lbs, 3 sets
1 x 130 lbs, 1 set
1 x 135 lbs, 1 set
1 x 140 lbs, 1 set. <-- PR
F X 145 lbs, several tries
Then 1 x 135 lbs.  Took 3 tries to hit it.
Stopped here because my hands are ripping.

 

B.  Back squats.
My quads are screaming, so keeping it light.
3 x 135, 165, 195, 205 lbs.
Then 3 x 175 lbs, 5 sets

 

CrossFit Metcon

4 Rounds of 4 min work, 1 min rest

AMRAP

25 push press (75 lbs / 55 lbs)

25 row calories  [alt: 18 assault bike calories]

25 back rack lunges (75 lbs / 55 lbs)


I got 4 + 7 = 307 reps.  Rx.  Had to do the bike calories because we ran out of rowers.

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Week 3, Day 2:  Still pretty sore.  I ran a quick 3 miles over the lunch hour, mostly just to loosen up my quads, and then had handstand class later in the evening.  I've been working on strict ring MUs before class starts, and I'm getting to the point where I can hit 5-7 of them over a 10-15 minute period before getting too tired to continue.  This is a huge improvement and I'm really happy with it.

I've been following my 19.1 performance on the CrossFit leaderboards as the results start to come in.  Right now I'm sitting at about the 74th percentile, which is close to what I had predicted a few days ago.  I was kind of down about this at first, considering I wanted the endurance workout to be in the high 80's.  But today I realized two things:  (1) Wallballs are one of my weaknesses (to wit: as a tall and thin athlete, pretty much any vertical weighted movement is going to go badly for me).  If I can do a wallball workout and still score above the 70th percentile, I am most definitely improving, and (2) Looking forward, an extra 9 calories on the rower is all that I would need to add to make it into the 80th, which is a small and very realistic improvement.  Put into that light, maybe this wasn't such a bad result after all.  I'll know for sure when the final results are locked in on Thursday.

 

Dinner tonight was an instant pot version of Coq Au Vin, and it was surprisingly good.  We served it with boiled red potatoes.  I finished up with a slice of homemade banana bread and some dried fruit.

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Week 3, Day 3.  Quads are still really sore.  I'm getting a bit worried that I might not fully recover by Saturday.  After lifting, I skipped the CrossFit metcon and put a slow 85 calories on the Assault Bike in hopes of loosening things up.  It helped, but only for about an hour.  Dinner tonight was surf & turf, Costco style.  I grilled a thick cut New York strip steak and some yellow squash, put a few frozen crabcakes in the oven, and made a salad out of whatever we had sitting around in the fridge.  It was amazing.  Followed it up with some dried fruit and a bit of chocolate ice cream.  Amazing.

For the record, here's my workout:
 

A.  Full clean and 3 split jerk.   Focus on getting low with wide stance.
Bar (45 lbs), 1 set
65 lbs, 1 set
75 lbs, 1 set
85 lbs, 1 set
95 lbs, 5 sets
105 lbs, 3 sets
115 lbs, 3 sets.

 

B.  Clean and Jerk singles.
1 x 125 lbs, 3 sets
1 x 135 lbs, 3 sets
1 x 145 lbs, 3 sets
 

C.  Bent over barbell row
5 x 115 lbs, 1 set
5 x 125 lbs, 1 set
5 x 135 lbs, 5 sets

 

D.  Assault Bike Calories (slow)

85 calories

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Nice workout!

 

76% is pretty good!

 

I really like that you keep your phone charged.  So many screen caps show a phone with less than 40% battery, and it always makes me a little sad. 

 

Keep up the good work!

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13 hours ago, Cheetah said:

Nice workout!

 

76% is pretty good!

 

I really like that you keep your phone charged.  So many screen caps show a phone with less than 40% battery, and it always makes me a little sad. 

 

Keep up the good work!


Thanks!  I just saw the 19.2 announcement last night.  This should be very interesting.  =)

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Week 3, Day 4:  You're going to laugh, but...  my quads are STILL sore from last Saturday.  This really isn't good.  Especially with the upcoming 19.2 open workout.  I ran a slow 3 miles over lunch to get my legs loosened up, then had a stretch session and rings class later that night.  Dinner was Vietnamese style salmon, cooked in the instant pot (of course), with sweet corn and a rice/quinoa mix on the side.  The sauce with the salmon was amazing.  I had a few slices of homemade banana bread and some dried fruit for snacks after dinner.

 

In regards to the open, it looks like 19.2 will be a repeat of 16.2.   It has a special place for me because 2016 was the first year I did the open.  I could barely do double unders, had never seen toes-to-bar, and my max squat clean was about 145 lbs.  I made a strategic decision in 2016 and did the workout Rx.  Somehow, in 8 minutes I managed to finish 4 cleans at 135 lbs, which put me around the 40th percentile worldwide.  In my age group, I only finished 25th percentile among Rx athletes but when your scores are that low, getting ahead of all the scaled athletes makes an enormous difference (that was the strategic part).  Even a score of 1 rep Rx is ranked better than the best scaled score in the world.  Go figure.  =S

Anyway, three years makes a world of difference in experience.  I have improved many times over since 2016.  I still don't expect to make it out of the first 8 minute segment, but for symmetry purposes I'd like to finish 4 cleans at 185 lbs, which would exactly lap my performance from last time and (according to the 2016 Beyond the Whiteboard results) put me around the 75th percentile for Rx athletes in my age group.  To be fair, that's a really tall order and may be impossible for me to acheive:  my max squat clean is currently sitting around 195 lbs.  But I also haven't tested it in a long time, and in 2017 I hit a 20 lb snatch PR in the open, so nothing is impossible.  On the flip side, I fully expect my legs to be shot from the double unders (performed in lifters, no less).  So this estimate may be a bit unrealistic.

Traditionally, the strength workout has been my worst one.  I'm just too small to compete effectively, and there are no weight classes in CrossFit.  To come up with a more realistic goal, consider that in last year's strength workout (also cleans performed when your legs are smoked) I scored in the 59th percentile in my age group with scaled athletes included.  Setting aside the fact that the entire field has probably gotten better and the old charts are no longer valid, a mild improvement to the low 60's would require me to get to the 185 lb squat cleans but not actually hit any of them.  Each one that I hit at 185 lbs is worth a lot - about 2-4% each, if I'm reading the 2016 results correctly.  They don't break it down for master's men, but they do for men's prime (second chart from the bottom).  I"m expecting similar increments between the groups.  So just getting to the 185 lb cleans should be considered a victory and an improvement over last year's score.

I guess we'll see what happens...   =)

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