Wednesday, July 9, 2014

what i'm eating: whole30 round 2

I'm 10 days into my second Whole30, and the number one question I get is what do you eat?! So here's a quick peek into two days of my Whole30. My answer: all sorts of things! But since that's not at all helpful, here's what I've been eating.

Day 1:

Breakfast: 3 hardboiled eggs (sprinkled with salt!), strawberries, homemade cold press with coconut milk and my daily dose of SFH fish oil.

Lunch: The same thing I've been eating every day for 3 months: ground turkey, baked sweet potatoes and sautéed kale. Plus the most perfect peach you can even imagine. Thanks, Costco.

Pre-WOD: baked sweet potato.

Dinner: Grilled chicken, roasted cauliflower and green beans. Times two of pretty much everything on the plate.

Not pictured: lots of watermelon. I love a good watermelon!


Day 2:

Breakfast: Scrambled eggs with yellow pepper and onions, black coffee.

Lunch: The usual! Except green beans instead of kale.

Dinner: Chipotle. From the research I've done, it appears that a carnitas salad with just mild salsa and guac is Whole30 compliant. I've been getting double carnitas, because otherwise it just isn't enough food to fill me up. On this particular day I added about a cup of cauliflower "rice" to the mix, which was a great idea and really hit the spot.

-----

You might notice that there are a lot of repeats in my meals. This doesn't really have anything to do with the Whole30, it's just the way we eat. By the time we get home from a long day of work and a hard workout, we don't want to spend an hour in the kitchen. I want to eat a nutritionally dense, tasty meal, as quickly as possible. That means most of our meals don't require recipes and revolve around a protein, a veggie or two and often a carb like sweet potatoes. It keeps us sane and keeps us fed.

But, tonight I mentioned to Nick that the Whole30 makes me think outside our usual comfort zone a bit. We had shrimp on the grill tonight (YUM) just because we wanted to do something different. I made a delicious lettuce wrap with roast beef and spicy mustard as a snack. Whole30 makes me think a little harder and the results are often delicious.

It also keeps us from grabbing dinner on the go. It's hard to eat out on Whole30, if you're really being a stickler with cooking oils and added sugars/preservatives and all that (which, is really the point of Whole30). Chipotle is one of the only places I'll go, because it's easy to figure out and then I have a go-to. Otherwise, I tend to stay home because it's easier. In the end, that's definitely better for our budget and a good way to reset our thinking. Just because we've had a long day doesn't mean we need to grab dinner on the go. We could have shrimp cooked up in less than 10 minutes and throw together a salad and a veggie. Boom. Dinner is served!

Have you done a nutritional challenge? Did you see any long-term changes in your diet?

Are you ok eating the same thing over and over or do you like to mix it up?

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

because burpees are fun

Lies, obviously, but that's what my coach was trying to convince us yesterday. Ha.

I don't know if this is just normal programming or what, but it feels high volume. Especially with our fairly extensive warm ups. It's awesome. All kinds of awesome. I'm still giddy every time I drive home from my new gym.


Yesterday, we started with clean and jerks. Coach gave us the option of heavy singles or a 5x5. I opted for the 5x5, because his one request when I started (since I skipped an on-ramp or level 1 class) was to avoid really heavy lifts for the first couple weeks, until the coaches can get comfortable with my ability to move. I wanted to respect that, and it's the first time he's seen me clean or jerk. 

Note: I just realized Wodify says 5x3. I definitely did 5x5. Not sure what I was actually supposed to be doing, but I did a lot of C&Js.

Mid-way through the lifting he commented that I'd picked the option that involved a lot more work. Ha! 5x5s are no joke. I worked my way up to 105, which was heavy but felt good. He gave me some pointers on the jerk and I felt like I got some really good work in. 

Then....Grace. The last time I did Grace I used 85lbs and finished in 5:59. Coach really stressed that he wanted this to be a sprint, so we should scale appropriately. I debated (forever) and eventually picked 65lbs. I still feel like I'm not back at my best yet and I was afraid I'd go too heavy and not finish in the time cap. I probably should have done 75lbs. Anyway, I finished in 3:21 and I think it was good to experience what this workout is supposed to feel like - fast. Even if it wasn't as heavy as it should have been. 

And then burpees! Because they're fun! Ha. Apparently some gym members have been doing a 31 day burpee challenge, so this was for them. But 31 burpees wasn't enough, so we did 63. Some of those guys can do really fast burpees. I have work to do. I finished in 6:26 (including the 3 minutes of rest).



 So hot, so humid, definitely forgot to wear a headband.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

new gym and whole30, round 2

After 6 weeks of half-hearted workouts and mostly lifting in my garage with very few met cons, I'm officially part of a gym again and I'm so happy! I'm at a real live affiliate, with awesome coaches. I just about cried on my way home from signing up yesterday. I think I missed the gym life even more than I realized.

I also kicked off another Whole30 on Monday! I've been thinking about it for a couple weeks, so when my friend Gabbi nudged me I went for it. I'm tackling another Whole30 because I need to hit the reset button on my eating habits and be more intentional about how I'm fueling myself. It feels good to jump back into the gym and a Whole30 at the same time but I'm also SO HUNGRY all the time. I forgot just how much I have to eat to fuel my CrossFit lifestyle. 


Lunch prep!

Now that I'm back to regular workouts I'll be here a lot more. In the meantime, here's how my first two days at my new gym(!!!!) went down.

Monday

Fight Gone Bad
3 rounds, 1 min per station
Wallball Shots (20/14)
Sumo Deadlift High Pulls (75/55)
Box Jumps (20")
Push Press (75/55)
Row (calories)
Rest

Well, that was a brutal awakening to just how bad my conditioning got in 6 weeks. None of these movements are really in my wheelhouse, so I just pushed through and did what I could. My score was 228. Nowhere to go but up, right?

Then, run 1 mile. 

Ha. Hahaha. Coach said to treat this like a cool down and go at 60-70%. He didn't even turn the clock on, which was probably a good thing. I don't want to know how slow it was. But I did it! Ran a mile right after Fight Gone Bad. 

Tuesday

Max hang squat clean (155/105)

No time cap, but if the bar touches the ground, you're done. I did this at 95lbs. My first set I got 3 and then caved forward on the 4th. My coach had me try it again and I got 11! I'll take it. Full squat cleans, under the bar. Happy day. 

6 Rounds for Time:
5 Front Squats (from the floor)
10 Pull ups

The RX weight for woman was 125, but I knew that would be stretching my abilities. I started at 105 and ended up dropping to 95 partway through the 3rd round. I have a lot of work to do on my front squats. No shocker there. My time was 11:17. Definitely slow. I'm trying not to let my snail pace get in my head too much. For now, I'm just back in the gym, pushing for a whole new level of fitness. And I'm really, really excited. 


I made myself take before pics for this Whole30. They came out very awkward. And very poor quality, because it was 10pm with an iPhone in a semi-dark room. Good work, Cindy. 

Have you ever done a Whole30? Any simple recipes to send my way??

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

granite games qualifier 14.1

I'm competing in the Granite Games online qualifier right now, hoping to land a spot at the major event this Fall. The first event had to be submitted by 7pm on Sunday...which definitely conflicted with this little bike ride we did over the weekend.

The workout was released on Wednesday, I did it on Thursday, then headed out of town Friday morning. They had all sorts of technical issues with the site, so they decided to re-open scoring submissions to all athletes until 7pm last night. So I did it again. On legs that just rode 150 miles.

The first event was squat clean and jerks. Lots of them, and they got heavy (for me) fast.




AMRAP 12.
15 Squat Clean to Overhead 95/65
15 Squat Clean to Overhead 135/95
15 Squat Clean to Overhead 185/135
15 Squat Clean to Overhead 225/155
15 Squat Clean to Overhead 275/185

I can clean 135. I've done it in competition and in training. I think I've jerked it once or twice, but that's about it. I was so disappointed when I couldn't even clean it during this workout. I scored 30 reps, finishing my set of 95lb lifts at 8:37. 

When they re-opened score submissions I knew I had to try it again. I should definitely be able to get my tiebreak time down, and I should really be able to clean and jerk 135lbs.

No dice.

After a couple reps at 95lbs I was definitely feeling 150 miles on a bike. My legs were still so tired and I kept forgetting to squat clean it, so I was power cleaning, front squatting and then jerking. It took so much more time than it needed to, and makes the lift harder on my body (time under tension!).

I thought I finished the 95lb set at 8:30, but my judge recorded 8:33. I'm quite confident she was more  reliable than I was at that moment, so my time was only 4 seconds faster. I attempted a couple lifts at 135, but it just wasn't happening. Except it should have been, because I was lifting the bar all the way up to my chest and just couldn't get under it.

On the one hand, I'm incredibly frustrated, but on the other hand, I know my olympic lifting needs a lot of work. This isn't surprising to me. And even if one more rep would have moved me up 200 spots on the leaderboard, I know this is an accurate representation of my skills right now.

Which is unfortunate, because I'd sure like to be lifting more! But it'll come. I'm knee-deep in figuring out my next gym home and I'm excited about it. I'm also looking at an olympic lifting class and really excited to take those skills to the next level.

Plus, the next workout for the Granite Games is going to be awesome. I'm pumped!!


At least I managed to shave 4 seconds off my time and move up about 10 spots. I also managed to drop my barbell down my shin, nicely complementing the giant scab from falling over while clipped into my bike. 


Graceful, I will never be. But hopefully I'll be stronger. 

Which workout would you pick - event 1 or 2? I'm psyched for event 2! Pull ups and squats? That's my kind of party. 

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

onward and upward

After nearly 4 years at our little garage gym, they unexpectedly closed their doors a couple weeks ago. We had absolutely no warning, which has made this transition anything but smooth.

Nick has elected to work out at home for the foreseeable future. He started a new job in May and his hours have been erratic. Trying to rush out the door and figure out a very different commute and make it to the gym on time was difficult and he chose to focus on his job.



I have a lot of (great) options, I just haven't had the mental energy to figure it all out yet. And it's complicated, for a number of reasons. For now, I'm working out in our garage and taking advantage of the time to work on skills that I've been wanting to work on (hello, muscle up progressions! wall balls! hand stands!). We've also been doing some long (and fast) bike rides, getting ready for our upcoming 150 mile ride! Since I'm trying to save my legs for those rides, a reduced CrossFit schedule has been ok.



I also had the opportunity to take an amazing hot yoga class at Minnesota Power Yoga! I want to do more yoga, but I've struggled to fit it in around CrossFit and everything else. This is the perfect time for me to squeeze in some extra yoga classes.



Overall, the last three weeks have been crazy for reasons that have nothing to do with our gym closing. It's been so strange to come home after work a couple days a week, after 4 years of going straight to the gym nearly every day. And to be honest, it's been awesome. I need to get into another gym before I get too used to being home in the evening! Ha.

So, help me out, friends! I have an amazing opportunity to choose a box that fits my goals, needs and preferences. How would you go about picking a new box and what questions would you ask? 

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

north central regionals

I went to Regionals. It was incredible. As I've mentioned a time or two, my ultimate goal is to make it to regionals as an athlete. But that's years away and for now, I love getting in on the action as a volunteer!


I've volunteered the last two years on the media team, and I love it. The days are long. Really long. Especially when you're carpooling with a judge who has to be at an onsite meeting at 6:30am. Every day. And you don't have to be there until 8am. We worked until the competition ended every day, usually around 6pm. But it's completely worth it!

I work with the video production crew doing "ingest." Basically, that means I upload video cards into servers and create the file management system to do it. That sounds really tame, but it can get intense when you have to do a quick switch of cards between heats and get everything downloaded in time. Ok, maybe that's only exciting if you're an IT nerd. There's also a lot of watching blue bars crawl across the screen.

This particular position means I spend my entire day in the media room, where you can see absolutely none of the action. Fortunately, our media room is on a balcony and I could run out onto the balcony to catch the heats I really cared about. I typically caught the final heat of the women's events, a team heat (sometimes two!) and very little of the mens. It's still completely worth.



At least for me, having a backstage pass and a piece of the action is worth giving up my time and freedom to come and go. Plus, video guys are hilarious and they appreciate someone who is paying attention and doing their job well. It's not tough work, but it does require attention to detail! The entire crew from last year returned this year, so it was fun to work with all the same guys again.

One of the perks of the media team is that we have access everywhere. But the bummer is that I didn't feel like I could bug athletes for pictures or even saying hi. Like when your hero suddenly finds herself in 15th place at the end of day 1 and you pass her in the hall about 20 times and force yourself to leave her alone.


My friend, Jill, who I got to work with all weekend. That made it a hundred times more fun!

If you've considered volunteering for regionals, do it. It's such a great experience and the ultimate representation of the CrossFit community. If you can, volunteer all three days (Fri/Sat/Sun). You'll get a better job, because they give the more vital positions to people who will be there consistently. You'll get a nice Reebok tshirt every day you're working, along with lunch and dinner and all the trail mix you could ever eat. Also, coffee. They don't provide breakfast, though, which is a bummer when you have a 35 minute drive and have to be there at 6:30.


I got to meet Dave Castro and help him solve a problem. Love him or hate him, if you're a CrossFitter it's pretty dang cool to meet him. Last year I talked to Bill Grundler quite a bit, but this year I didn't go down on the floor at all. Mostly because Jill was the best card runner that ever was and I could focus on my job.

At the end of the day (/weekend) it's incredibly rewarding. Athletes are going to the Games because of Regionals, and I got to be a part of making it happen.


However, try to arrange your travel plans to avoid arriving home at 3am on Monday morning, especially if you need to be at the office by 8. Ground breaking stuff, I know.


Are you going to regionals? Are you volunteering? Or maybe saving your pennies to make the trip next year?

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

russian or american?

We kicked today off with front squats. Five rounds of 3 squats. I had 25s and two sets of 10s on my bar (125lbs total) and decided to take off the 10s and put on another set of 25s. (We had plenty of weights because it was just Tim and me, so I didn't have to be efficient with my bumper plate usage. I was being lazy.) I got distracted part way through and ended up taking off one set of 10s and putting on the 25s, adding 30 pounds to my bar. I didn't realize it, though, so I started the squat, surprised by how heavy it felt. Ha! I ended up bailing at the bottom. Whoops.

Key points today were to keep my feet pointed straight forward instead of pointing my toes out. Toes out reduces the amount of torque I can generate, and I need all the torque I can get. Also, slow down on the descent. I'm almost dropping, which means I've released my posterior chain by the time I hit the bottom. It's a lot harder to get all the muscles back in action to stand the bar up.

I ended up doing several rounds at 125, working on those two points. No PRs (or attempts, even), but it was a really solid squatting session and I feel great about it.

Then! The WOD.

30 seconds of work
30 seconds of rest
7 rounds of:
pull ups
burpees
kettlebell swings - American (1.5 pud (53lb)/1 pud (35lb))

For this one, we had 30 seconds to knock out as many pull ups as possible, 30 seconds of rest. 30 seconds to knock out as many burpees as possible, followed by 30 seconds of rest. Then 30 seconds of KB swings, 30 seconds of rest. Repeat that entire cycle for a total of 7 rounds.

Thirty seconds goes fast, especially when you're trying to catch your breath after the 4th round. Ha! I really liked this one. It hurt, but it was such great practice of an all-out effort...over and over and over again.


Those were my rounds, for a total of 259. I went unbroken on all the burpees (...duh) and kettle bell swings, but had to break most of the pull ups into two sets. The combination of swings and pull ups made for some cranky forearms!

I thought I had Tim, but he beat me by 5 reps over the course of seven rounds. Next time!!

Let's talk about kettle bell swings. Do you do Russian (to eye level) or American (overhead) or do you mix them up? We always do American. I don't think I've ever actually done Russian swings, to be honest. Invictus has a great article about the two methods here and Breaking Muscle talks about why American swings are wrong here. I'd love to hear what you think!