And then I ran…
I have been staying away from certain movements due to my left knee ever since my little chat with the doctor. Box jumps, running, and anything that would be high impact have been subbed. Getting old sucks but I have to be smart about certain things.
This morning I felt good and wanted to test it out a bit. The longest run would be a 400m shuttle run so I thought I would give it a go. About 200m in my knee felt really tight but after that it was all good. The run was coupled with power cleans and since the weight wasn’t heavy I figured I could pace my run and then push the barbell.
It felt good to run. I have to say, however, that I really have lost a desire to run. I miss the days when I would hit the road early for a long run because it was therapy to me. In some odd way I feel guilty because I no longer like to run, but that is just my reality. I am still going to play it safe and stay clear of running for the most part. Just thankful I am not sitting here in throbbing pain.
Weekly Training Log: 130413 - 130421
MONDAY - 130413
Rest day. Stretching of all the things and strategic placement of calories into my body. Starting some nutrition changes this week.
TUESDAY - 130413
Strength: 3x3 power clean @ 75% of 1RM C&J. Warmed up with 135 and then used 185 as working sets.
Skill: Muscle up progressions
Conditioning AM: 3RFT of 10 power snatches (95lbs), 15 T2B, 20 box jumps (24”); 12 min. cap. Time was 10:41 @ RX. I spent so much time on the T2B that I figured they would take out a restraining order on me. I got to the T2B before anyone else in the class and was one of the last to get off of them. Clearly a weakness I need to work.
Pool: 1 mile swim. Ever have one of those workouts that just sucks? This was one of those. Really wanted a much better result than I got. Half way through I felt really sluggish and it started messing with my head. Regardless, I have never done this distance in the water. Considering only a few months ago a single lap was all I could handle this is a marked improvement. 33:12. I will keep working in some distance swims so I can break a sub-30 mile in the water.
WEDNESDAY - 130413
Woke up feeling worn out. Lack of sleep from the past 2 days caught up with me. Getting too old to be staying up late! Rest day.
THURSDAY - 130413
Strength: 5x5 strict C2B pull-ups. Scaled to kipping C2B.
Conditioning: 3RFT of 15 KB swings (53#), 12 goblet lunges, 9 SDHPs, 6 goblet squats. 5:23. In hindsight, I should have used the 70# for this.
Cash-Out: 200m 1 arm farmers carry. Scaled it up to a 2 arm farmers carry with a 70# KB in each hand.
Pool: 20x50m w/15 sec ri. Really tried to keep it to 15 seconds of rest but that slid to 20-25 seconds. Held about a 45 sec average on the 50s, some faster, some slower but I think it was consistent. Forgot to write down my time on this but I think it was about 22 minutes.
FRIDAY - 130413
WOD: 21 minute AMRAP of 21 air squats, 21 ab mat situps, 21 walking lunges, 21 burpees, 21 mountain climbers, 21 DB snatches right arm (35#), 21 DB snatches left arm (35#), 21 deadlifts (115#), 21 hang cleans (115#), 21 squat cleans (115#), 21 DB push press (35#), 21 back squats (115#). Looked a lot worse than it was. I made it through the first round and felt good, weight never felt heavy. I wanted to get back to the barbell movements for at least one rep and ended up with 1 full round + 8 deadlifts.
SATURDAY - 130413
Skill: Snatch from the high blocks, hang snatch w/pause at the knees, and power snatch. Never really worked heavy and kept most reps light (95, 115, & 135lbs). Focused on technique and speed. I have zero clue how many reps I did. Tried to work doubles and triples. Slight tears in my hands from the barbell work, but manageable. Thighs are bruised and sore from catching the barbell there so many times.
Strength: 3x10 - 1 arm KB swings (53lbs); Back squats: 3x5 (Sets were 225, 255, 275) then sets of 20,15, 10, and 5 with 135lbs.
Cash-Out: 20 pull-ups
SUNDAY - 130413
Warm-up: Paced 1000m row
Strength: 6 rounds of 1 power clean + 3 front squats + jerk @ 185lbs
Conditioning: Grace+ (30 clean & jerks) @ 185lbs. 7:40. I have been wanting to do this for a while. Totally kicked my tail.
Cash-Out: 5x5 deadlift @ 315lbs; 3x10 strict press @ 95lbs
The first really normal week in a long time. I mean, a long time. The end of the week was capped off with 4 really good days in the gym. I felt like I was able to go heavier than I normally would, move better than I normally would, and not tire out as quick. While I have been sore, it is that good sore that makes you feel like you have been productive, not broken. This next week will be another good test to see how my body adapts to the nutrition changes. Excited to see what happens and happy to be back at it.
Back on track
Whatever head funk I had been in seems to have gone away. The past four days I have never felt better in terms of training. I have felt better with heavy weights and even with body weight movements and short metcons. Everything seems to be clicking at the moment.
After the Whole Life Challenge, I made some nutrition changes, and I believe that they are helping. Right now I am still tinkering around with what I want to do on a more permanent basis, but it is a pretty good spot to be in. It is no longer a mater of eating healthy or not. My wife and I have been on track with that for a while now. I am learning about eating for performance, which is an entirely different ballgame.
Short and vague, I know, but it just feels good to be in this place right now.
Camille making easy work of a 255lb jerk 255. That is 5lbs off from being a double bodyweight lift.
Because I just feel better about the world with this being here on my blog.
Demanding. Are you dudes PMSing?
Cinnamon Swirl Coffee Cake
- 1/2 cup unsalted sweet cream butter (room temperature)
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
Ingredients, cinnamon swirl syrup stuff:
- 1/4 cup unsalted sweet cream butter
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 cup unsalted sweet cream butter (cold)
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- In a large mixing bowl, cream room temperature butter and sugar for cake until light and fluffy. Mix in egg, buttermilk, and vanilla. Set aside.
- In a medium mixing bowl, sift together dry ingredients for cake (flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt). Set aside.
- In a small frying pan, brown the butter for the cinnamon swirl. As it’s browning, cut the cold butter into the flour, brown sugar, and cinnamon for the streusel/crumb. Set aside.
- Once butter is browned, combine with cinnamon and sugar for the cinnamon swirl until a very thick syrup is formed.
- Mix the sifted cake ingredients into the liquid cake ingredients until well-combined. Pour into 8”x8” pan lined with parchment paper (not wax paper!) and lightly greased.
- Pour cinnamon swirl on top of cake batter and marble to your heart’s content.
- Bake for ~20 minutes.
- Remove from oven and top with streusel, crumb. Return to oven and continue baking ~20 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center come out [relatively] cleanly (you’ll probably get some cinnamon swirl residue, just ignore that).
- Serve warm.
Notes: I got a little over-excited with mine and added the streusel/crumb in the beginning, so it kind of melted into my cake. It did, however, form a nice crisp ring around the edges, so if you’re an edge freak like me, that might be the way to go. Also, the cinnamon swirl kind of sinks because it’s denser than the cake, but IDGAF and I had zero complaints from taste testers.
OH. And I drizzled it with some icing. Not precise, but ~2/3 cup powdered sugar mixed with ~1 tbsp milk.
And I’m pretty sure this is 100% paleo/Whole30 approved.
I used to tear my hands all the time. All. The. Time. It annoyed me. I figured it was just because I was a big guy putting a ton of pressure on my hands during pull-ups. I tried taping my hands, tape + chalk, and even the Again Faster grips. I cannot stand to use gloves either. While I did not tear wearing the grips, they still felt bulky compared to just my bare hands and I did not like them when doing pull-ups coupled with barbell movements. The tape wasn’t bad but at times I would still tear and it isn’t practical to buy that much tape and going into each WOD looking like a mummy.
I follow Katie Hogan’s blog here on Tumblr, and while she does not post as much as I would like her to, what she does offer is very timely and relevant. A while back she posted something about tearing your hands which is well worth repeating:
Yikes! Sounds painful. I had a similar experience when I first started Crossfit and I see it with athletes all the time. I’ll recommend a couple things to try. First, be mindful of where you put chalk and how much you use. I was over-chalking my hands and that led to some problems. When you chalk, that causes your hand to stick to the bar. When you kip and your hand is moving and sliding a lot, but the skin of your palm is stuck to the bar, you get a tear. Keep that in mind.
Secondly, you may need to make some slight adjustments to your kip and how you hold the bar. Try grabbing the bar with a “pseudo false grip” with your calluses over the top of the bar. It may be tough to hold on at first, but you can develop good grip strength here. As you kip, you can work a simple re-grip or recovery position during the moment of weightlessness and that will allow you to maintain that grip throughout multiple reps. As I swing forward I have a slightly looser grip, as I come back behind the bar I re-grip to the pseudo false grip and pull.
Carl Paoli explains it awesomely.
Check it out!
Ever since I read that, I stopped taping my hands up and tried to not chalk up so heavily. Haven’t torn my hands since.
Whole Life Challenge: Recap
This weekend marked the end of the Whole Life Challenge. The previous 8 weeks (February 18 - April 13) were certainly a learning experience for me, to say the very least. More rambling behind the jump.
Weekly Training Log: 130408 - 130414
MONDAY - 130408
Rest day. Stretching/mobilization. Consumption of food.
TUESDAY - 130409
Skill: 20 minutes of Clean & Jerk technique work @ no more than 80% of 1RM. Sets were: 2x135, 2x135, 2x165, 2x185, 2x185, 2x205
Conditioning: Row 2k @ 80-85%. Harder than I thought to pace this down a notch. Tried to keep it around a 2:00/500. 7:46.
Cash-Out: 3x10 pull-ups
Pool: 50m warm-up; 1000m @ 80-85%. ~19:30
WEDNESDAY - 130410
Skill: T2B practice
Strength: 3x8 good mornings (8x95, 8x115, 8x135); 60 sec ring plank hold; 40 GHDs
Metcon: 1 minute at each station for reps. Wall balls, box jumps, burpees, KB swings (53lbs), lunges. Rest 1 minute. 3 total rounds. Scores for the rounds were 93, 89, 86. Subbed step ups instead of the box jumps which my knee will thank me for later. Getting old sucks. Otherwise, this felt really good. It sucked, but I felt good about being able to stay around the same score per round.
THURSDAY - 130411
Conditioning: Pool. 50m warm-up untimed but brisk followed by 1000m. On Tuesday I did it in about 19:30. Granted I was not pushing it but I wanted to see if I could beat that. Would be good to work in a few distance swims as well since I rarely do that. Got the 1000m in 18:37. My coach wants me to work on getting my mile around mid to upper 20s so that will be my goal. My next distance swim I will test the mile and see where I am at.
FRIDAY - 130412
Warm-Up: 30 deadlifts (75lbs), 25 air squats, 20 deadlifts, 15 mountain climbers, 10 deadlifts, 5 bar facing burpees.
Strength: Front squat, EMOTM for 10 minutes. First few rounds done at 185, then jumped to 205. Really wished I had gone with 225 now.
Conditioning: 25 min AMRAP of 10 front squats (75lbs), 10 push presses (75lbs), 10 GHDs. 10 rounds + 8 GHDs. This was a really hard morning at the gym. Good hard, but tough. I left absolutely soaked in sweat.
SATURDAY - 130413
We were at CrossFit Cumming as they held the grand opening for their box. After being gone all day and not getting anything close to a warm-up, I had to wrap up the Whole Life Challenge fitness benchmark that we did which was 7 minutes of burpees. With my wife manning the timer and counting, I managed 92 reps. This was a 6 rep improvement from February and a 20 rep improvement over last year’s Open.
SUNDAY - 130414
- 15 minutes to find 1RM power clean. 5x135 (C&J), 2x185 (C&J), 1x225, 1x235 (Matched PR),
- Snatch grip halting deadlifts: 5x275, 5x295, 5x315, 5x325, 5x345
- Snatch push press: 5x95, 5x115, 5x135, 5x155
Conditioning: 5 sets of 3x135 power snatch; Rest 5 minutes, then 8 minute AMRAP of 8 OHS @ 95lbs & 8 pull-ups. My knee had started to bother me during the cleans and probably should have backed off. I felt slow during the OHS and for the first WOD in my life I felt like I was catching my breath during pull-ups. Moved slow through this a few reps short of 8 rounds.
Cash-Out: 3x20 GHDs
Overall, I felt like it was another good week. My knee is still giving me issues and I hate having to work around it. I worked heavy on some things and matched a PR in areas where I felt like I would normally not have done that. With the WLC over, I am going to start making some nutrition changes as an experiment and see how that goes.
I don’t really care
My wife did the Whole Life Challenge last time and was the reason we both did it this time around. For her, this time was less competition and more of doing it for the sake of doing it and being healthy.
She did her final measurements this morning and lost 4” in the waist and 2” in the hips. The WLC did not require a weight measurement, but we both did starting weigh ins. I asked her if she wanted me to get the scale out (I have had it hidden), and she said “I don’t really care.”
She said that after trying on a burnout tank I got her that looked amazing on her. For her, it’s not about the weight she loses but more on how she feels and how her clothes fit. That is a huge turn around for anyone, who like us, have struggled with weight. People that have never really been overweight will never understand that either.
My wife looks awesome. Really. I’m so proud of her. I love that she wants to be healthy, and not just skinny. She wants to be strong, not just skinny. She wants to be comfortable, not just a certain dress size. Through all of this she has gained a new confidence that is even more attractive than the physical changes I have seen.
Today marks the end if the Whole Life Challenge. It’s been an interesting 8 weeks, that’s for certain.
Despite being gone since 5am sponsoring an opening for a new CrossFit affiliate across town, I still had to come home, do measurements, and cap it off with 7 minutes of burpees. I saw improvements all around in all measurements taken. I also learned a great deal about my body, performance, and nutrition, some I will continue, some I will not.
Will write more later, but for now its time to celebrate with pizza.