Filthy Fifty

completed my first CrossFit benchmark WOD on Friday and can honestly say it was one of the hardest workouts of my life. The Filthy Fifty kicked my butt.

The workout consisted of the following exercises completed as quickly as possible:

50 box jumps, 20-inch box

50 jumping pullups

50 kettlebell swings, 26-pound kettlebell

50 walking lunges

50 knees to elbows

50 push press, 35-pound barbell

50 back extensions

50 wall balls, 8-pound ball

50 burpees

50 double unders (or 100 singles)

The weights listed are the weights that I did for the workout, some of which were way below the prescribed weight, but I modified for my skill/strength level so that I could do everything with good form. I also haven’t mastered double unders yet so I did 100 single jump ropes instead.

I felt pretty strong during the first few exercises, but by the time I got to the burpees I was completely exhausted. The thought of doing 50 burpees seemed impossible at that point and I really wanted to quit. I was in burpee hell and hating everyone and everything. Brian and my coach tried to cheer me on, but I just glared at them and made my way to the other side of the gym to suffer in peace. I can be a very cranky CrossFitter.

I finally finished in 35:43 and proceeded to collapse in a heap on the floor of the gym. I always thought that when I saw people doing this they were being dramatic, (do your three-to-five minute cool-down, people!) but now I understand. All I wanted to do was lie down, cry tears of joy and drink a coconut water. In that order.

Two days later, I am still walking like an old lady because my calves are so sore. My chest, shoulders, lats and abs also took a beating, so a rest day was definitely in order for today. I’m starting to accept constant soreness as a part of life now, but I guess five days of CrossFit a week will do that to ya, huh?

WIAW #1: The Inaugural Post

Today is my first WIAW post! I first discovered “What I Ate Wednesday” over at My Food n’ Fitness Diaries and learned that it was started by Jenn, the blogger behind Peas and Crayons. Jenn’s blog even links to all of the bloggers who participate in sharing their eats every Wednesday- so cool! You should definitely head over to Jenn’s blog and check it out.

Unfortunately, since this was my first shot at a WIAW post I kinddd of botched it up and forgot to photograph my breakfast and morning snack. But you can just use your imagination, right?

I had an early doctor appointment so I prepared some overnight oats on Monday evening by combining:

½ cup Quaker oats
6 oz. Chobani apple cinnamon yogurt
A splash of almond milk

In the morning I mixed in a spoonful of Sunbutter. Apples + nut butter = the best.

When I got back from my appointment I made some coffee with Almond Breeze Almond Coconut milk mixed in. I bought this for the first time on Sunday and am still deciding whether or not I like it. I think I like regular almond milk better, but maybe that just because I’m used to the taste of it. I’m going to give it until the end of the carton decide on my final verdict.

I was hungry again around 10:30 so I microwaved a deep chocolate flavored Vitatop and smeared some Sunbutter on top.

For lunch I made a huge salad with romaine lettuce, chickpeas, baby carrots, tomatoes, white mushrooms, almonds and my favorite pear and Gorgonzola dressing.  

I also had a deliciously crunchy Jazz apple for some sweetness.

Since my lunch was a little lacking in the carb department, I snacked on a banana with some PB2 about an hour before Crossfit.

I had planned to make linguine with meat sauce for dinner, but when I realized that we had some frozen stir-fry veggies leftover from Monday night’s dinner I thought they would be the perfect addition to the sauce. I had to talk Brian into since he thought the stir-fry veggies would taste “weird” in a pasta sauce, but he ended up loving it. He should really just accept the fact that I am always right.

And, last, but not least, dessert was a Skinny Cow ice cream sandwich. Chocolate, of course.

And there you have it, my first WIAW post!

Lookin’ Good

After three days of rainy, chilly weather, the sun is finally out again. Hallelujah! Nice weather always makes me feel happier and more productive.

I spent this morning working away at the computer, so a mid-day trip to the beach sounded like a great way to get some exercise and enjoy the beautiful weather. I thought about going to for a run, but I’m really looking forward to the workout that we’re doing tonight at Crossfit and wanted to save my energy for that, so I opted for a walk on the beach instead.

It’s 63 degrees and breezy out (according to weather.com) so I put on leggings and hoodie and headed across the street to the beach. I thought it would feel chilly, but with the sunshine I actually started getting pretty hot and was sweating a good bit only halfway through my walk.

I didn’t want to get too sweaty and have to shower since I knew I would need to shower after Crossfit tonight, so I decided to bite the bullet and do something I normally avoid doing at all costs. I rocked the coolest look known to man: the hoodie tied around the waist.

You better believe I felt like the coolest girl in the world as I power-walked along the beach looking like this. To top it all off, I was listening to the “Twilight” soundtrack.  Yes, I am this awesome person.

Luckily, the beach was completely empty except for me and one crazy surfer (the water in Virginia is FREEZING), so there was no one to witness this stylish ensemble. After a brisk 40 minute-walk, I headed back home (aka the hotel.)

Now it’s time for me to grab some lunch and get back to work. Enjoy the rest of your day!

Listen to your body

When I was working full-time as a personal trainer, I constantly found myself giving this advice to my clients. We live in a results-oriented world, and we often become so caught up in doing what we think we need to do – i.e., “I need to work out six days per week” or “I need to run five miles today” or “I can only eat 1500 calories” – that we become completely focused on our goals and ignore things our body is telling us. Ignoring signals from your body, such as pain, hunger or fatigue, can result in injury be downright counterproductive in reaching your fitness goals.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I am all for setting goals. I believe that setting goals is an important part in achieving success- especially in the gym- but listening to your body has to come first.

A few years ago, I was training for the Boston Athletic Association Half Marathon when I began to feel a slight twinge in my left knee. I ignored it and continued with my training, believing that I just needed to push through the pain. I wound up sidelined with major IT Band issues three weeks before the race.

Now when I am training and I feel pain, I stop and ask myself “Is this a good hurt or a bad hurt?” Burning lungs during an interval run? Quads on fire while doing lunges? Feeling like you are going to collapse in a heap on the floor of the gym if you have to hold a plank for one more second? All good hurts!

Joint pain, sharp muscular pain or severe nausea, however? Those would qualify as bad hurts. It seems so simple, but if we just slow down and listen to our bodies, they will tell us exactly what we need.  A day (or two) on the couch beats months in physical therapy any day.

I listened to my body this week and took THREE consecutive rest days. Let’s just say the GHD sit-ups that we did in Crossfit on Tuesday made one hell of a first impression on me. Seriously, it was BAD. Today was the first day I have been able to stand up straight without severe discomfort or sneeze without feeling like my abdominal muscles are being ripped apart.  Maybe I’m being a little overdramatic, but you get the gist.

As someone who likes to push myself outside of my comfort zone when working out, it wasn’t easy for me to watch my husband leave every evening for an awesome workout as I headed to the fitness center for a gentle spin on the elliptical. But I knew that debilitating soreness lasting more than two days was my body’s way of telling me to take a break.

Three days later, I’m feeling much better and ready to tackle tomorrow’s W.O.D. I just hope there aren’t any sit-ups involved…

A humbling experience

I had my first experience in Crossfit gym on Monday. I walked out humbled, embarrassed and nearly in tears. I swore to myself I would never go back.

And where did I find myself last night? Back in that same gym, signing a membership contract. You’re probably wondering, “How the heck did that happen?” Let’s rewind.

My husband, Brian, loves Crossfit workouts and has wanted to try out a real Crossfit gym for a while now. We recently moved to Virginia Beach and thought that joining a Crossfit gym here would be a fun way to try a new way of working out and get to spend more quality time together.

On Monday evening, we headed to Crossfit Oceana for our first class- or “WOD”- which stands for workout of the day. Everyone was friendly and welcoming and there were even some other newcomers in the class, but despite all that, I was still nervous. Especially when I looked at the workout and saw the nearly the entire class would be Olympic style lifting.

Olympic style, or power lifting, is basically the opposite of everything I typically do in the gym. It’s all about power and speed, whereas I am all about slower, controlled movements.

{I’m that tiny speck of black and green towards the back. I think at this moment I was was contemplating going Tanya Harding on Brian’s ass and whacking him in the knees with my barbell for bringing me there.}

I struggled through the entire class, and as the moves became more complicated I became even more frustrated.  I even knocked myself in the chin with the barbell while attempting a clean. Apparently this happens to lots of people when they first start out, but I still had to fight back tears of embarrassment and the urge to run out of the room and drive away.

I felt like I just couldn’t get the moves and that I never would. The final portion of the workout, 10 minutes of 800-meter sprints alternated with a sprint on the rower, nearly killed me and solidified my feelings that Crossfit was just not for me.

After talking to my amazing husband, he helped me realize that my experience was completely normal. I can’t expect to just walk into a brand new type of workout and be perfect at it right away. It will take time, it will be difficult, but I will improve.

That being said, I am still pretty excited to do some workouts with exercises that I am familiar with, since I have done many of the other typical Crossfit exercises before in my own workouts. If I could survive a class chock-full of brand new exercises, then I can kick some ass in one with exercises I actually know how to do. Bring on the burpees!