Thursday, April 29, 2010

This Little Piggy Went to CrossFit

Wednesday, 04/28/2010 W.O.D.

Front Squat 3-3-3-3-3

My Loads: 115 - 125 - 135 - 145 - 155 (2) BASELINE
(What does "baseline" mean again?)

David suggested I start at 115 because I had absolutely no clue where I should begin.  The idea is that you do a front squat lifting an amount of weight three times in a row.  Then, you re-rack the bar and increase the weight bit by bit continuing through 5 rounds of 3 lifts.  David said, "You might want to try this without your shoes."  So, sock footed, 115 felt fine.  125 was cool.  135 immediately felt like, "Oh shit, how am I ever going to lift this?!"  145 drew some deep grunting noises out of me.  155 was a challenge and on the third/last attempt I failed.  David said I would have had it if I weren't gripping the bar so tight but had let it rest on my fingers/fingertips.  Dang it.  Really cool was the two or three times David told me how well I did with this WOD.  Still cooler was my ignorance over exactly how well.  Coolest of all cools - *beating Rob.

*Disclaimer:  This gloat will be short lived.  Personal comparison to Rob's performance in any category, be it English literature analysis, CrossFit training or ale consuming, will be in vain.  One must gloat where one can for one may never see it in this lifetime [or the next] again.

My family now rolls their eyes when I start a sentence with "David said..."  They say it reminds them of "Rob said..."  I roll my eyes back and say, "Whatever."  This morning, I said, "Look at my cool lifting bruises on my shoulders!"

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

I'm Hike-a-licious.

If I haven't mentioned it before, my husband and I are preparing to hike for a mere six days straight in the Austrian Alps.  This hike is to occur in July of this year.  On July 10th-ish we will join our friends Rob and Petra on the 21st day of their hike in the Alps which will have covered points in Germany, Austria and Italy.  As a group, we will finish up the hike in six days as we head northwesterly back toward Germany.

To say the least, Garret and I are greatly concerned that we will hold the group back.  In order to minimize the amount of backholding that may occur, he and I have been training.  We have been CrossFitting and we have been hiking.  I am fully immersed (though I always feel as though I could be participating more) in CrossFit while he has dabbled in the on-ramp program at our box.  We have developed a habit of hiking together on Saturday mornings while I have also developed a habit of hiking at least one other time through the week (thank you, Lizzie and Heather!).  For me personally, this makes four to five days per week where I am kicking my ass in some sort of physical challenge.

Combine all this physicality together with our participation in our box's 30-day paleo diet challenge and these three things seem to make for a fulltime job in themselves.  Every day is consumed with thoughts of "How am I going to challenge myself physically today?  What am I going to eat today?  What am I not going to eat today?  How often am I going to eat today?"  We are ever referencing the Paradiso CrossFit website and Nutrition Blog and those blogs and Facebook pages of our PCF cohort.  In fact, I feel like a food-ophile carefully scanning images of everyones breakfast, dinner and snacks - having food envy and moaning in delight over things like sauteed cauliflower in place of rice. 

Garrett and I have faced obstacles because neither one of us considers ourselves very good cooks really.  He can throw down on some fish or stirfry and I get requests for fried chicken or banana bread, but to say we feel competitive as chefs in this Paleo challenge is not going to happen.  So, as I've said before, we do the best we can.

Things that I have discovered about myself this week:
1) I can't sautee asparagus to save my life.  There is a fine line between delightfully tasty and just damn soggy.
2) I have attempted twice to hard boil a dozen eggs and both times, though hugely varied in approach, I managed to pop, clank, explode and otherwise abuse the shells of my unsuspecting protien delights.
3) Salt is just damn necessary in some recipes.
4) Espresso requires either a smidge of milk (soy or the moo kind) or a smattering of raw sugar.  We have both declared that we will give up one or the other but not both.
5) No matter how hard I work or how disciplined I consume, Garrett (who is doing far less than me physically) has already reached his high school weight and is concerned that he may lose too much.

And, on a more positive note:
6) Meat rocks!
7) Avocados are a welcome flavor (this one is for you, Rob) in most dishes.
8) Tuesday morning Farm Fresh To You produce deliveries are one of the highlights of my week.
9) I surprisingly don't really miss my breads, rices or potatoes.  I certainly don't miss the way they make me feel.  And, when I think I want them, I simply remind myself how they bog me down and interfere with my CrossFit performance well into the next day (Funny, I used this same psychological trick on myself to stop smoking nine years ago). 
10) Breathing is awesome!  Achieving proper breathe is what plagues me the most in my workouts.  I have increased my lung capacity greatly in the last year and am still way behind the curve.  I am excited to ultimately work my asthma away.  When that day comes, trust me, you will know of it!

The days and days of Paleo menus have begun to blur for me.  There have been moments where Paleo was near impossible but, more so, Paleo is more accessible than you might believe.

Friday night Truxton's Gilly Burger of sin.  Notice the dark looming atmosphere.  Dione was a bad bad girl.

I'm not sure when this happened but it came compliments of Garrett (as do most of our Paleo creations) and it was dreamy!  That's apples, avocado, walnuts, butter lettuce, baby romaine, grilled chicken, etc. in that there bowl.  Mmmm...

Garrett's plate of wild atlantic salmon on a bed of fresh spinach with grilled zucchini. 

Breakfast for two days in a row of leftover browned turkey with onions and bellpeppers cooked in an omelet. 

My plate of salmon and zucchini minus the bed of fresh spinach because I simply could not fathom another mouthful of spinach goodness yesterday.

So, we eat, we drink, we crossfit and we hike.  Most importantly, we live.  We are not idle and we are not complacent.  Certainly, we are no longer ignorant of the possibilities out there for us.  And, sometimes, we rest.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Day 2 and Day 3. Not as pale as Monday.

I was speaking to a friend of mine a couple days ago when he informed me that I need to step it up now.  I'm out of the on-ramp program at PCF and I'm familiar with hiking local Los Angeles area hikes.  Now, in preparation for our hike in the Austrian Alps in July, I need to lengthen my hikes and increase the frequency.  I need to CrossFit more.  Considering my box is committed to a 30 day Paleo challenge, I need to also step-up my nutrition.

People, this is hard work. 

Day 2 of the Paleo Challenge

Ok kids, I'm doing the best I can here.  Tuesday morning I worked with what I had.  It wasn't until late Monday night that Garrett and I actually decided to pursue the challenge.  This meant that we didn't yet get the opportunity to buy the necessary groceries.  My answer to that?  Leftovers!  Breakfast consisted of some leftover TJ bacon (I know, sodium) with two eggs prepared in a tiny bit of olive oil.  On the side were strawberries.  My beverage was a double espresso - NO sugar, NO milk (I religiously drink a cappucino).  This breakfast made me very happy.  And, yes, I missed my buttered toast.

I don't remember what I had for lunch but I think it included one of these and some hard boiled eggs and maybe some walnuts. 

Dinner was the ultimate challenge for me (us).  We went out for a family dinner with Garrett's family.  We went to Salt Creek.  When the bread was set on the table, I moved it away.  I ordered a salad but didn't even realize it had a little bit of feta cheese on it.  Oops.

For the main course, I substituted farm fresh veggies in place of the fries that would go with my baby back ribs.  Ok, I think I screwed up here too because the ribs have sauce which I'm sure included sugar and some other stuff non-Paleo.  Oops again.  Oh, and I didn't follow it with creme brulee.  I actually believe that skipping the creme brulee is illegal in some states.

Day 3

W.O.D. (Work-out of the Day, if I haven't explained this already.)
"Ontario Sectional Day 1, Event 2"
As many rounds and reps as possible in 12 minutes of:
5 Deadlifts (235/150 lbs)
10 Pull ups
5 Ring dips

On Monday, Diso helped me through my last on-ramp/first main W.O.D. (this was my fault...I didn't realize I was officially non-on-ramp now).  Because I was the only on-ramper that morning, we made the best of things and I ended up getting to have a personal session to full W.O.D. strength.  See previous blog post for details on this.  This means Wednesday was truly my first mainstream W.O.D. where I got to work-out with the big kids under the direction of Zeb

I came to Wednesday's W.O.D. fully recharged and ready to go.  I think I did alright.  I made it through four rounds with the assistance of some of the largest rubber bands I have ever seen in my life.  The workout was great!  Oh and I officially put my name and my weight on the Paleo Challenge sign-up sheet at my box.  It is a really big effing deal for me to put my weight out there for people to see.  Look at me!  I don't even know who I am anymore.

For breakfast - two hardboiled eggs, two raw carrots, one orange and a double espresso.

For lunch - another challenge because I was working at a friends home, we went to In-n-Out.  I had a double burger (NO cheese) with grilled onions (NO sauce or ketchup or anything sugary like that) in a lettuce wrap.  NO fries and NO shake.  My friend took amazement in this spectacular display of discipline.

For dinner - the PCF potluck would have been awesome if I weren't entirely exhausted and covered in cat hair.  Garrett actually prepared something for us to take to the event but I was just too tired to attend.  We stayed home and ate ground turkey with fire roasted onions and peppers topped with avocado.  A nice end to a long day after which I promptly went to bed to rest before an early morning hike.

Nobody ever said healthy was easy.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Day 1 - Paleo Dinner

For dinner we had Trader Joe's marinated Maui style beef shortribs and avocado wrapped in butter lettuce together with a side of sauteed asparagus.   Mmmmm good!

The Paleo Challenge calls for absolutely no alcohol.  Garrett didn't seem too concerned about this tonight when he grabbed his Gargoyle IPA.  So, there you have it.  Anyone else challenged by the no beer aspect of this?

Going forward I will combine the food journal into a one-day summary.  Goodnight. 

Day 1 - Paleo Snack?

Peppered Genoa Salami, Strawberries and Walnuts. 
I gotta go shopping.

Take it to the Limit

Today my box (Paradiso CrossFit) is taking on a Thirty Day Paleo Challenge. This challenge requires a 100% commitment to the Paleo Nutrition plan. The plan is that if you are taking on the challenge, to go into the box and work through "Fran." Better still, take a cold hard image of yourself before embarking on this grand endeavor, weigh yourself and then throw away the scale. At the end of the 30 days, it would be ideal to do "Fran" again and compare outcomes for improved athletic ability. I'm guessing you would have to dig your scale out of the trash can as well for a bit more comparison. What's cool about doing this with an entire box of people (I just got a crayon box visual, sorry) is that you are not the only one researching how to go about this. Everybody is searching and asking questions and shopping and cooking and submitting their own ideas on how to best go about the challenge.

My husband and I are a day short. We had a crazy and strange week/weekend that didn't allow us enough prep time for this challenge. So, we have not officially committed to the group challenge. Yet, we are following from afar. Over the last week, we have followed closely all the PCF blogs including the vast amounts of comments. I call this "the conversation." And, a quick overview late Sunday night brought new inspiration for us to ingest.

This challenge is coming at a pivotal time for me, personally, as I have officially completed the On Ramp Program portion of my CrossFit training. I will no longer be coddled though certainly the support is always there but it is time for me to truly step-up my CrossFit game. Yeah, I'm a little scared. Now I get to play with the big kids. And let me tell you, those kids are incredible! They are incredibly talented and they work incredibly hard. I have tremendous respect for each and every one of them.

I'm not going to do Fran. And, I'm not signing up for the challenge at the box. But I am going to face the challenge as best I can. You'll see evidence of that here. You'll also see my WOD's and my response to "Regularly learn and play new sports." Oh yeah, and some insight on my (and Garrett's) training for six days in the Austrian Alps. That trip happens in July 2010.

Ok, todays W.O.D. -->

3 rounds for time of:

Walking lunge, 100 ft
50 Squats
25 Back extensions

I was on my 3rd round at squat 20 when an asthma incident began to rear its ugly head. Well, it had already started to gnaw at my throat and lungs, but now it was threatening a full assault. That was when I told Diso that I had to stop (or this would get real ugly real fast). So, I didn't get my time to that point but I'm pretty sure it was around 1/2 hour and that's a pretty long time. My body ached and my lungs hurt and my throat was dry and I felt the pangs of vomit a-brewin' together with the onset of the asthma monster. However, I wouldn't trade this experience for anything. These workouts are tough but I am anxious to see an improvement in my breathing. I am challenged to the max of my physical and mental abilities. And, I love it.

I came home and did something terrible. Well, the espresso wasn't bad but the two slices of buttered toast were far from Paleo. After a rest to gain a sense of normality, I countered the days events with a beautiful Paleo lunch - 2 eggs scrambled, 5 pieces of bacon seasoned with Mrs. Dash Original on a bed of romaine and butter lettuce. A quick consultation with Assassin revealed that I neglected to include a proper carb and my answer to that was a fresh apple. I am feeling better now but my head still hurts from the lack of oxygen during my workout.

I am preparing my grocery list this afternoon for my Paleo shopping spree. We shall see how this one goes. Feelings? I am both terrified and excited. What a great opportunity!