Pride

SAT SEPTEMBER 24, 2016 | NC PRIDE RUN 5K

Ruby’s mom, Jaclyn, was kind enough to join me for the Pride Run. And what a fun run it was! We picked up our bibs and I was delighted to discover that my number was 690. Ha!

I wore running shorts, CrossFit Pride tee, and Altra shoes.

I stretched and warmed up before the race started just after 8:30. The race began at the corner of West Main and Campus Drive and proceeded East around the running track of Duke East Campus to Campus Drive. Runners then turned around and returned to the start/finish. The course wasn’t closed, but there weren’t many runners or walkers along the way.

I started with the lead pack of about 5. I was dropped at about 3/4 miles but the lead pack was still within sight. As it was an out and back course, it was easy to gauge the competition. At the turnaround, i.e., 1.6 miles, I knew that I’d be able to easily pass the runner in 4th place, and that’s what I did. I caught up to and passed the runner in 3rd place before the the 2-mile mark. It was a boost of confidence to pass runners who had initially passed me. I was able to keep the 2nd place runner in my sight but was unable to catch him by the finish.

I’ve certainly lost some of my speed on shorter distance races, and I have no desire to train to run much faster. Ha! With age comes wisdom.

Time | 20:23
Pace | 6:34 mpm
Splits | 6:11, 6:49, 6:45, :37 (.1 mile)
Avg. foot strikes/minute | 1:86

XANDER TRIBUTE WOD

In teams of 2 alternating activities EXCEPT running complete 8 rounds of 13 reps of the following as fast as possible:
— boX jumps (24/20)
— wAll balls (20/14 & 10/9)
— kettle bell swiNgs (53/35)
Deadlifts (175/133)
— burpEes
Run 200m (both teammates run and must start and finish ALL rounds of 200m together)

Not a day goes by that I don’t miss Xander. Jeff and I attended the 9:45 session that Coach Deborah was kind enough to lead. Uhm, Jeff struggled today. I didn’t say a word (although my eyes spoke volumes). I completed all rounds of box jumps, wall ball shots, KB swings, and burpees as well as 2 rounds deadlifts in unbroken reps. We completed the workout in a very slow time of 36:22.

I’m watching Season 3 of Dowton Abbey. The show has reached a lull but I still look forward to every single line spoken by Maggie Smith.

SUN SEPTEMBER 25, 2016 | OUT & BACK

I coached the 9:30 session and whilst doing so couldn’t stop thinking about running the trails. Yes, I may be once again turning into “that” guy, you know, the one obsessed with running.

I arrived at Harris Park at around 1:30, mildly stretched, and began my run.

And my legs felt like lead.

But only for two minutes!

As I know that GPS is completely unreliable, I decided to run for 90 minutes, running “up”  and “back” 45 minutes. I also made sure to carry hydration, and I’m glad that I did.

Running felt incredible, and I ran into nary a soul during the run. I ran along the Peninsula trail until, well, there wasn’t any trail left. I then ran alongside the main road, traversing to almost the main entrance before 45 minutes had passed. I then set a goal to have a negative split, knowing that I’d have to pick up the pace if I were to achieve this goal. I reached the start/finish in 1:27:36, so I ran 2:24 faster on the return. Yay!

Uhm, according to the Garmin it took me almost 90 minutes to run 8.61 miles. Ha! Uhm, according to the Garmin my splits were 10:23, 10:37, 10:38, 10:32, 9:02, 10:44, 10:33, and 9:18. I was not under tree cover when I ran the 9:02 mile. Ha! I ran the last .61 in 5:14. If I ran a 8:30 mpm pace than I ran at least 10 miles. Even if I ran an unimaginable 9 mpm pace I ran more than 9.75 miles. Let’s take this even further… Suppose that I ran a 9:30 mpm pace than I ran 9 and a quarter miles. But the Garmin recorded 8.61.

When I zoom in to Google maps I see many straight lines. The course has many turns and twists. In addition, it appears that I ran different trails up and back, i.e., the lines don’t overlap. That may explain things.

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Out and Back
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Zoomed In View

So maybe I’ll register for some trail races. Maybe.

MON SEPTEMBER 26, 2016 | ROCKIN’ THE SUBURBS

Hang Power Clean (3 X 3 @ 80%, 3 X 2 @ 90%, 1 X 2 @ 95%)

Lifts felt heavy today, as was to be expected. I completed the last set at 140#, which coincidently is how much I now weigh.

Metcon (14 Rounds for reps)

14-min EMOM; work 30 seconds and rest 30 seconds
Odd-# minutes:
– 1 clean @ 80% of HPC 1RM
– max rep double unders
Even-# minutes:
– 1 box jump (30/24)
– max rep wall ball shots (20/14 & 10/9)

‘Twas a full house, so I set up my station near the front of the box. And this was to my detriment. I completed the first power clean and began double unders and was very distracted by others. I can’t look at anyone jumping rope when I’m jumping rope, as it throws off my rhythm. I completed 48 reps, including the clean.

I worked consistently on rounds with box jump and wall ball shots, although the placement of box wasn’t conducive to a fast transition. Dammit. I completed 15 reps 2 rounds, 14 reps 3 rounds (including the last), and 13 the remaining 2 rounds.

I was too close to barbell during a round of double unders, as I was attempting to avoid the climbing ropes, and the jumping rope got caught on the barbell. Dammit. I was then too close to the climbing ropes, as I was then attempting to avoid the barbell, and the rope hit the climbing rope and caused me to fail. Dammit. I completed 48, 40, 30 (barbell), 46, 42, 44, & 37 (climbing rope) reps. Dammit, dammit, dammit.

Score = 385 reps

What a fun and very challenging metcon!

TUE SEPTEMBER 27, 2016 | BRICK

Metcon (AMRAP – Reps)

12-minute Tabata
Rotate through following 3 activities
– Floor presses (@ 80% of push press 3RM)
– Pull-ups
– Toes to bar

I worked out at 9:30, and what a fun tabata it was. Gah!

I can’t recall exact reps of the 3 activities. I started off strong and, well, didn’t finish strong. I lost the sheet of paper that I used to record rounds. If I recall correctly, I completed 28 total reps the first round and had dropped to 18 the last round. I completed more than 1o floor presses the 1st round and just 6 the last round. Toes to bar fell apart, and I was doing singles by the 3rd round. I’m also still protecting the shoulder.

Luke was by my side.

Total = 182 reps

150S

Metcon (AMRAP – Rounds)
25 minute AMRAP
150m sprints @ 85-90% effort

Rest 2x 150m sprint time

Running immediately after consuming lunch (salad, bunless burger, sweet potato fries) may not have been the best idea.

I ran a 150m measured course on the ATT that was slightly uphill odd- and slightly uphill even-numbered rounds. The first 2 warm up intervals were 36 and 35 seconds, and then I found my pace. All uphill intervals were 28 or 29 (there may have been a 27) seconds and downhill were 26 or 27 (there may have been a 25) seconds. I always began on the top or at the bottom of the minute, in other words I rested a few seconds longer than prescribed.

I ran a total of 1.66 miles (2671 m) and a total of 17 intervals. Pace was between 4:38 and 5:11 mpm. That’s pretty fast for a middled-aged man, don’t you think?

 

Complex

SUN SEPTEMBER 18, 2016 | 10K

Whilst not overly hot, it was quite humid. And I once again didn’t carry hydration. Duh. I ran South 3.25, turned around, and North 3.95 miles. The first 5 miles went reasonably well. And then I fell apart. I was dying of thirst! Not literally, folks. During the last mile, I stopped on 3 occasions. You read the correctly. I stopped running on 3 occasions.

Average pace was a very slow 7:44. Yup, it took my an average of almost 8 minutes to run a mile. Mile 6 pace was 8:41. Gah! Total time = 47:56. Glad it wasn’t a 10K race!

MON SEPTEMBER 19, 2016 | GOOD GUY

Hang Power Clean (4 X 3 @ 75%, 3 X 3 @ 80%, 1 X 2 @ 90%)

I was still feeling tired and had almost decided not to complete today’s WOD. I muddled through it, ending with 1 set of 2 reps @ 140#. Hang power cleans are tough!

Metcon (Time)

AFAP
200m sandbag carry (45/25)
10 sandbag burpees
200m medicine ball carry (20/14)
20 medicine ball cleans
200m 1-armed KB carry (53/35)
30 double parallette forward facing hops
200m run

Full house at the session, including 7 men. I completed the metcon in reverse, i.e., I began with KB carry and double parallette hops and ended with sandbag carry, burpees and 200m run.

I felt lethargic. Truly lethargic.

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Time = 8:57

I had epidural procedure Monday night. ‘Twas painful but necessary. I am finally able to sleep through the night (and without the use of narcotics).

The doctor insisted that I rest a day, so that’s what I did.

WED SEPTEMBER 21, 2016 | CHAMPIONSHIP COMPLEX

Metcon (AMRAP – Reps)

8-min AMRAP
– 5 deadlifts
– 4 hang cleans
– 3 front squats
– 2 shoulder to overhead
– 1 ground to overhead

I had contemplated completing @ 115#, which would’ve been Rx+ for male masters+. I did a few reps of all of the activities and, whilst doable, wasn’t advisable. Did I mention that I had an epidural Monday night?

I am delighted, I tell you, delighted that I chose to complete @ 95#. This was quite a challenging workout, and I’m pleased with my performance. Would I do it differently if I could? I’d perhaps change a few of my tactics.

I began by completing the first 3 rounds unbroken through 2nd push press, i.e., 5 unbroken DLs, 4 HPCs, 3 FS, and 2 PP (0r PJ). I’d drop the bar from the top after 2nd S2O and then complete thruster (for 1st round only) or PC&J.

I then began completing 4 DLs and dropping the bar from the top for the 4th rep. I’d rest briefly, complete the 5th and final deadlift and transition into HPCs. I’d occasionally rest the bar on my shoulders between reps but did work at a very steady pace. I’d transition into 3 FS, again occasionally resting between reps. I’d also immediately complete a push press after last FS, i.e., a thruster, for 1st rep of S2O. This worked well.

I probably should’ve completed thrusters for G2O as I had originally planned.

Score = 10 rounds + 9 reps

THU SEPTEMBER 22, 2016 | FACEBOOK STORY

Metcon (40 Rounds for time)
40-min AMRAP
Odd-numbered minutes
– 3 burpees
– 3 box jumps
– 3 burpee box jump overs
Even-numbered minutes
– 3 Russian KB swings
– 3 goblet squats
– 3 KB pushups

Choose the height of the box and the weight of the KB!
Put forth your best effort!

I coached at 6 and extended an offer to Darren, Alex, and Mike to join me at 7 for the workout sans coaching. 

This was surprisingly exhausting. The total time I worked was just over 9 minutes across the 40 minutes yet I was covered in sweat and gasping for air about a quarter of the way into the workout.

For an added challenge I completed burpee box jump overs. Yup, I jumped over a 24″ box. I used a 53# KB for swings and goblet squats.

Odd-numbered minutes, i.e., burpees, took me between 17 and 19 seconds to complete, mostly due to slight hesitancy jumping over the box. The fastest I was able to complete even-numbered minutes, i.e., KB, was 9 and the slowest was 10 seconds. That’s an even pace, ladies and gentlemen.

Time = 9:13

September Funk

Jeff surprised me by getting tickets to Ben Folds playing at Progress Energy! It was an amazing concert, and I’ve been listening to the Ben Folds catalogue whenever possible. Yup, I’m listening to “The Luckiest” right now.

The bulging discs dilemma has returned, and my left arm is once again tingly to numb. I also have a difficult time sleeping, as I can’t seem to get comfortable. I’m taking pain medication, but only at bedtime. I could never become addicted to narcotics, as I feel like I lose all control of speech. Me no likey.

Epidural scheduled for Monday evening. If this continues I’m going to have surgery.

WED SEPTEMBER 14, 2016 | BASELINE PLUS

L-3 Baseline Plus (Time)

2 RFT
Row 500m
40 goblet squats (26#)
30 wall sit-ups
20 pushups
10 pull-ups

This is the first WOD in the Lurong Living Championship Challenge, and it was surprisingly quite challenging. I worked out at noon (my least favorite time of day to do so) and was judged by Debbie.

My goal was to complete all activities, with the possible exception of pushups, in unbroken reps. I came nowhere close to achieving this goal!

I rowed the first 500m in under 1:50, completed 40 unbroken goblet squats, 30 unbroken sit-ups, and 20 pushups in reps of 15 & 5. Goal already not achieved. Ha! I did complete 10 unbroken pull-ups.

The second row was miserable, just miserable. I did row in under 2:00, but it was a struggle. I picked up KB, completed 5 goblet squats, and set down the KB. WTF? I completed the remaining reps in sets of 10, 10, & 15. At least I had a strong(er) finish. Thirty unbroken sit-ups presented little challenge, but pushups were a struggle. I ended the rounds by completing 2 or 3 sets of 2 reps. I finished with 10 unbroken pull-ups.

Time = 10:40

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THU SEPTEMBER 15, 2016 | 75s

Metcon (Time)

AFAP (40-min time cap)
75 calorie row
75 C&J (95)
75 deadlifts (185)
75 burpees

I coached at 6 and then stayed at the box and completed the WOD. Wow. Just, wow.

My goal was to complete in 30 minutes. I may or may not have achieved this goal.

I wisely focused on rowing a calorie per stroke. Whilst I wasn’t able to do this for all 75 calories, I did row a calorie per stroke for the first 37 reps. Yay! I completed the entire row in 79 strokes. Again, yay! I rowed 75 calories in about 4:45.

Seventy-five clean & jerks @ 66% of bodyweight should be difficult. And it was. I’m still nursing a sore shoulder and tingling arm, so I intentionally dropped each and every rep once a I stood to full extension. I completed 5 reps at a time, and this worked well. There were many times, however, when I just wanted to quit.

And then it happened. “Was that 45 or 55? How long has it been taking me to complete 5 reps? I can do the math. Shit, I can’t remember, nor can I do the math. Forty-five it is!” I’m 99% certain I had completed 55 reps; thus, I’m also certain that I completed 85 instead of the required 75 reps. Dammit.

Deadlifts felt heavy! I began with a mere 4 reps, did 6 reps the next set, and then completed in sets of 5.

I knew that if I were to come close to achieving my time goal that I’d have to complete 75 unbroken burpees. So that’s what I did.

Time = 30:40

I had every intention of doing some speed work Thursday. Sadly, I did not. I can’t wait until my epidural.

FRI SEPTEMBER 16, 2016 | NIKES

Sumo Deadlift (3 X 8 @ 70%, 2 X 7 @ 80%, 1 X 6 @ 90%)

Coach Evelyn led the 6 am session, so I got to work out during my favorite time of the day!

I completed 3 x 8 @ 225, 2 x 7 @ 260, and 1 set @ 290#. Lifts felt good!

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Metcon (AMRAP – Rounds and Reps)

12-min AMRAP
15/leg mountain climbers
10 burpee pull-ups
10 burpee toes to bar
5/leg pistols

What a fun metcon! I completed 3 rounds + 15 mountain climbers and 3 burpee pull-ups. Uhm, I squatted below parallel for pistols. (It pisses me off when folks get more concerned with score and let form go to shit. If you didn’t squat below parallel, you didn’t complete the workout as prescribed. It’s that simple.)

Harris Park Trail Run

I honestly can’t recall the last time that I went for a trail run, and I was excited to do so. I had forgotten how much I enjoy the solitude or single trail running. I had also forgotten how unreliable the Garmin GPS.

I wore Altra trail shoes (success) and trail socks (fail).

I ran hard, breathing consistently every third step. I know my pace, and I’d estimate I was running no slower than 8:30 mpm. The Garmin clocked mile 4 at 11:53. Uhm, I’ve never run a mile that slowly, and I can assure you that I didn’t run that slowly this run.

I ran out and back 3.5 miles according to Garmin, yet I ran 1:12:45; thus, my pace was 10:16. Uhm, those of you who know me can rest assured that it would be challenging for me to run that slowly. I ran at least 8 miles, and that would put at 9 mpm pace. Uhm, I know I was running faster than that, because I was hauling ass! It’s likely that, again, I ran no slower than 8:30 mpm pace, and that’d put me right about 8.5 miles. I honestly think it was closer to 9 miles.

It certainly felt like I ran at least 8.5 to 9 miles! As I had originally planned on running 5 or 6 miles, I didn’t carry a water bottle. Dammit. When I had run what my Garmin said was 2.5 miles I thought, “A half mile more.” When I had run what my Garmin said was 3 miles I thought, “A half mile more.” I was wise enough to turn around when Garmin said 3.5 miles.

I was exceedingly thirsty for the last 30 or so minutes of the run, and even began to imagine what it would be like to take a sip from the toxic lake. I resisted the temptation.

I didn’t run across a single soul until the last 5 minutes of my run! The solitude was welcome.

When I finally arrived at the parking lot, I was surprised to discover that I hadn’t locked the Renegade. Oops. I rapidly consumed a bottle of water and then stumbled and almost passed out. Yup, I had become quite dehydrated. I should know better.

I posted a selfie on Facebook and Instagram. I was surprised by how many people liked the post. This included many people who typically don’t reply to many if any of my posts. Why is it that so many people like that I’m running again? Is it because I’m once again enjoying running? Perhaps.

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It’s September, and that means that I fall into a bit of a funk. Xander and I would often run at Harris Park, and I thought about him often during the run. I remembered him running ahead of me, coming when I called, and running by my side. I miss him terribly, and there hasn’t been a day since he died that I haven’t thought of him. No one was there to see my tears.

The Fastest (and Shortest) 5K I’ve Ever Run!

SAT SEPTEMBER 10, 2016 | STAMPEDE 5K

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The Finish!

I had a very restless night of sleep, as my pinched nerve is, well, pinched. I spent the night  turning on the heating pad and adjusting my left arm, attempting to find a comfortable resting position. But to no avail. Dammit.

I had resigned myself to not racing this morning. Here are but a few of my thoughts:

  • I’m running a half marathon tomorrow. Just treat this as an easy run.
  • If you do run, go out easy and stay easy. No more than a breath every fourth step.
  • Find someone to run with and, well, run with them. No slower, no faster then she or he runs.
  • Don’t run. Don’t even walk. Just do the warmup and then watch.

None of that happened, and this probably comes as a surprise to no one.

In addition to Jeff, Jenn G., Bonnie, Kevin P., Kelli, Mac, Mike, Dan, Lorraine, Doza, and Steve D. represented CrossFit Surmount and ran the race. How awesome is that!

I felt stiff and sore, and was definitely feeling the after effects of the sled pulls. And lateral bar hops. And broad jumps. I wore brand spanking new Altra shoes, lululemon shorts, and CrossFit Surmount tee. And my new Forerunner 25!

I led the brief warmup and the race began at 8. As is common when there are youngsters present, a large group of boys and girls took off quickly once the gun sounded. I thought, “Let the young boys take the lead, but stay with them.” And that’s what I did.

There were a few spectators cheering on the runners as we crested the first hill. I yelled, “Add up the ages of the four runners in front of me and that might be how old I am.” Uhm, and I’d estimate that the boys were no older than 15, and if their average was 13, well, that’d add up to 52. Wow, I’m old. But evidently also fast.

I passed the fourth runner and then the third, and as I passed him I said, “Stay with it, ride my shoulder.” And he did for a little while. I ran behind the second runner, staying about 10m behind him. As we approached a turnaround I began to pass him to the left. As he was wearing headphones (NEVER wear headphones when you race!), he didn’t hear me approach. I easily passed him.

Just one more runner to pass. I settled into my pace. As I got closer to him he would pick up the pace but never truly surge. I keep running at my pace, occasionally glancing at my watch to determine how much of the race remained. I decided that I’d make my move near the finish. However, the frontrunner slowed down considerably, so I surged and easily passed him.

We crested a hill and I saw the school, i.e., the start and finish. I asked the volunteer, “Is that the finish?” “Yes,” she replied. I glanced over my right shoulder (the only time I did so) and sprinted to the finish.

That was a 2.5-mile 5K. Ha!

Time | 16:46
Pace | 6:42
Place | 1st
Cadence | 190 spm
Stride length | 1.25m (4.1′)

I ran the course in reverse and encouraged many of the CrossFit Surmount runners, including Steve D. (ran with him last 100m), Jenn G. (strongest finish), Kelli (almost passed Kevin), Kevin, Mike, Doza, and Lorraine (best smile). Jeff’s back had given out, so I walked him to the finish.

Whilst traveling to Elmo’s Diner for a group breakfast Jeff said, “It amazes me how fast you run.” “I didn’t run very fast today,” I replied. “Your slow run is faster than most people’s fast run.” Ha!

I won a Yeti cup and some pumpkin-scented soap. Pumpkins should only be used for carving and to make pie. That’s it.

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Leading the warmup
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CrossFit Surmount represents!

SUN SEPTEMBER 11, 2016 | JUNK MILES

Maybe two beers is two beers too many. I didn’t sleep well last night and it was difficult for me to will myself out of bed to start my run at 6:45.

As planned, I ran 13.1 miles, i.e., a half marathon, today. My legs felt tired from the start and I averaged a very slow 8:13 mpm pace. That’s a time of 1:47:37. Did I mention that that’s slow? Granted, it was truly a half marathon, as there were no other runners, no water stations, no miles markers, etc., but I just couldn’t seem to get in my zone.

I began at the White Oak Church entrance of ATT and traveled north for just over 2 miles. I did this thinking that I might run into some CFSers on my return. Didn’t happen. I stopped, quickly consumed a Gu and relieved myself, and I was only my was from the remaining 9 or so miles. I headed South, once again thinking that I might run into some CFSers returning from their morning run. Didn’t happen.

My run cadence was all over the map, and I can’t recall a time in the recent past when I’ve been so inconsistent. Average cadence was 190 and max was 200 spm. Splits were all over the place as well, with my fastest mile (mile 13) clocking 7:03 and slowest mile (mile 9) clocking 8:49. That’s almost a very slow 9-minute mile! Gah!

I wore new bright yellow shorts, Surmount tee, trail socks, and Altra shoes. The trail socks may have been too thick. I didn’t wear a hat but wore sports glasses. Everything was soaking wet, including shoes and socks, by the end of the run.

I truly wish that people would exhibit proper etiquette when using the public trails. I observed the following:

  • Two large groups of walkers taking up the entire width of the trail. It was nearly impossible — and also quite dangerous — for runners and/or bikers to pass.
  • Bikers not bothering to call out, i.e., “Bike to your left!”
  • Bikers (albeit very few) calling out as they passed. It’s too late by then, folks.
  • Runners traveling against traffic, i.e., to their left. Uhm, this isn’t London.

MON SEPTEMBER 12, 2016 | TENS

Hang Power Clean (5 X 3 @ 70%, 3 X 3 @ 80%, 1 X 3 @ 90%)

I had every intention of resting today. I attended the 6 am session and used that time to get things done around the box, but I didn’t work out. I could’ve worked out again at 9:30 but I took Luke for a walk instead. I coached the 11:45 session. Jenn G. and Bill had reserved spots, but Jenn G. was a no show. A no show! No one likes to work out alone, so I joined Bill. I did, however, take it easy, as I’m still nursing that damned sore left shoulder.

I completed sets @ 100, 125, & 140#. Bill noticed the wonkiness of my left shoulder. Dammit.

Metcon (AMRAP – Reps)

Double under tabata
Score = total number of reps, i.e., not true tabata

My shoelaces came untied not once but twice! Gah! I took a little longer than 10 seconds to tie them. Stupid shoelaces. I certainly can’t recall how many reps I got each round.

Score = 287

Metcon (AMRAP – Rounds and Reps)

10-min AMRAP
10 power snatches (95)
10 burpees

I should’ve rested, lowered weight of PS, or even substituted PC for PS.

PS felt light at the start, but by the 7th reps I was struggling. More than anything I was protecting my shoulder. I began to miss reps the 2nd round, and wasn’t able to complete at least 5 or 6. Before starting the 3rd round I asked myself, “If you were a coach and observing this performance, what would you notice?” Uhm, I wan’t completing the high pull; thus, I was unable to effectively pull myself under the bar. So that’s what I did, and I completed all of the 10 reps without a single failed attempt. I did the same for the 4th round as well, although I did miss the 10th rep because I feared that I’d run out of time. I completed last rep and managed to get in 1 last burpee. Yay?

Score = 3 + 11

TUE SEPTEMBER 13, 2016 | FORWARDS AND BACKWARDS

Metcon (AMRAP – Rounds and Reps)
32-min AMRAP
Run 1/4 mile forwards
Run 1/4 mile backwards
~ Rest 1 minute between rounds ~

Each 1/2 = 1 rep

I ran on the ATT at 1:30 in the afternoon. It was a warm 86 degrees, and that feels cool compared to recent temperatures.

Slightly uphill odd- and slightly downhill even-numbered intervals.

Times:
4:52, 4:19, 4:45, 4:39, 4:40, 4:18

I focused on breathing every third step both traveling forward and backward, keeping hips and shoulders squared, and keeping pace with foot strikes, again, running both forward and backward. Yes, the intervals weren’t consistent, and that’s to be expected given the differences between running backwards uphill and downhill. I really had to work hard to ensure that my last interval was the fastest.

Uhm, during the 3rd interval I was running backwards ahead of and at the same pace as a male runner traveling forwards. I avoided eye contact.

It’s How You Finish | Forerunner 25 | Labor Day Pains

SAT SEPTEMBER 03, 2016 | 10RM

Back Squat (Establish baseline 10RM)

Whilst you may pause briefly between reps, you may not rack the bar.

I had planned on working out at 8:30 but as there were 14 in attendance, well, we ran out of racks. I planned on then working out at 9:45 but as there were 18 in attendance that didn’t happen either. Jeff did work out the so that he would be available to coach at 11.

Yup, I worked out at 11 and there were just 8 in attendance.

I love back squats but was concerned about the strain high bar back squats would strain my neck. I warmed up with low bar but then completed 2 sets of 10 reps of high bar back squats. Squats felt great today!

I warmed up and completed a set at 190. As the weight felt manageable I rested 3 minutes and successfully completed a set of 10 @ 205#. That’s 80% of 1RM, and matches previous 10RM PR. As this is baseline, I’m confident I’ll be able to achieve PR at the end of strength cycle.

Metcon (Time)

AFAP
12-9-6-3 power cleans (135)
200m farmer’s carry (combined 35% of bodyweight) after each round*

Use 2 dumbbells or KBs for farmer’s carry.
* 10 burpee penalty for each time DBs or KBs are placed on the ground.

I used 26# KBs, a little more than 35% of bodyweight. This was challenging and kinda sorta possibly fun. I knew that I’d be unable to complete PCs as quickly as others, and this was indeed the case. D & E were the two other males working out at the session, and both got a head start on the farmer’s carry. I planned on completing first round of farmer’s carry as walk/run, i.e., walk 10 or so meters and then run the same distance. However, as soon as D saw me run, he took off. Ha! I had a plan in mind and I stuck with it.

I  need little recovery so I was able to complete 9 power cleans relatively quickly. I was now neck and neck with D. I still stuck with my plan. For the second round of farmer’s carry I walked 25% and ran 75% of the time. I was now in the lead. I had completed 6 power cleans before D had even begun. Still sticking with plan, I ran the entire 200m for the third round of farmer’s carry. Another 3 quick PCs and I was on my way. I completed another 200m farmer’s carry, running most of the distance, entered the box and called “Time!”

I never set down the KBs, so no burpee penalties for me!

Time = 10:23

It’s not how you start, it’s how you finish.

SUN SEPTEMBER 04, 2016 | 12-MILE RUN

For the third consecutive Sunday I completed a longish run on the American Tobacco Trail. Unlike the previous two Sundays, I ran at 7 am instead of 6:30 pm. I much prefer running in the morning hours.

The weather was a cool 64 degrees. Mike, Liara, and Heather C. joined me but didn’t run with me. It was just me and my brand new Garmin Forerunner 25! I wore NB shorts, sleeveless Nike shirt (a little too tight around the neck), Altra shoes and low rise socks, glasses, and a hat. I carried a water bottle and bag of Bee Stinger blocks (that I consumed by the 7-mile mark).

There were numerous people on the trail, many of them slogging through LDS (long slow distances).

I’ll first state that I think the distance measured was a little off. Here’s my proof. I ran a little past 6 miles from the start (and what would also eventually become the finish) to the turnaround but had to run about .2 mile past the finish to clock 12 miles.

Uhm, I had forgotten how obsessed I can become with running data. The update Garmin Connect software is quite exhaustive. For example:

  • 12.01 mi = Distance
  • 7:49 min/mi = Avg Pace
  • 7:45 min/mi = Avg Moving Pace
  • Time = 1:33:06
  • Moving Time = 1:33:53
  • 1,373 Calories
  • 4:09 min/mi = Best Pace
  • 190 spm= Avg Cadence (total steps, i.e., left and right combined)
  • 224 spm = Max Cadence
  • 1.08 m = Avg Stride Length (3.54″)

I didn’t stop during the run, although I slowed down two times, once to turn around and another time to discard empty gel pack. Uhm, so I either ran a 7:49 or a 7:45 mpm pace. I’ll split the difference and say I ran a very consistent (over the past three weeks) 7:47 mpm pace. I ran 93 minutes and about 17,670 foot strikes (again, left and right combined).

And now for the somewhat inconsistent splits:
1 = 7:55.6
2 = 7:44.2
3 = 7:44.4
4 = 7:59.6
5 = 7:38.5 (I was pissed that I had run a slow previous mile.)
6 = 8:01.3 (I suffered the consequences for running a too-fast mile.)
7 = 7:41.7 (I was once again pissed that I had run a slow pervious mile.)
8 = 7:48.7
9 = 7:26.7 (Some dude thought he’d catch and pass me. I surged and didn’t allow him to do so. And then I dropped him like a bag of dirt.)
10 = 8:14.7 (The entire uphill mile!)
11 = 8:06.2 (Still traversing uphill. Dammit.)
12 = 7:31.7 (My fastest mile! I always like to finish fast.)

And now for a pretty chart:
Screen Shot 2016-09-04 at 4.37.50 PM

I captured a post-run selfie.

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Next Sunday I’m running a half marathon, i.e., 13.1 miles. Should be fun!

I coached the 9:30 WOD and then Jeff and I took Luke for a 2+ mile walk around Lake Pine. I’m enjoying the cooler weather but despising everything pumpkin-flavored.

MON SEPTEMBER 05, 2016 | LABOR DAY PAINS

Metcon (Time)
Team of 3 or 4
Complete the following activities:
100 deadlifts (185/138)
100 pushups
100 box jump overs (24/20)
100 pull-ups
100 back squats (135/98)
500 double unders
50 deadlifts (185/138)
50 pushups
50 box jump overs (24/20)
50 pull-ups
50 back squats (135/98)
250 double unders

Team members may complete in any manner, i.e., no minimum or maximum reps.

Italicized activities weren’t announced until the first team began double unders.

Marni was kind enough to volunteer to lead the 9:45 session so that Jeff and I could work out together. Thanks, Marni! In addition to Jeff, I asked Dianne and Einer to be on my team. ‘Twas a tremendous amount of fun!

We decided to go in alphabetical order, and this worked. For a while, at least. I encouraged teammates to complete as many reps a round as they could and not merely 5 or 10, and this worked. For a while, at least.

There was very little time to rest and I certainly can’t recall the exact number of reps any of us completed. I do know that I completed 20 and then 15 deadlifts for the round of 100; yes, more than 25%. We were pretty evenly matched on pushups, although Einar probably did more reps both rounds, and we all took turns completing box jump overs one rep at a time. I did more pull-ups both rounds. Again, we all completed our fair share. I began first round of pulls-up by completing 15 and second found by completing 10 unbroken reps. I completed fewer back squats both rounds, completing 2 sets of 10 and one set of 10 the first and second rounds, respectively.

I completed at least 200 double unders (if not more) the first round and at least 125 (if not more) the second round. I was able to string together as many as 60 or so a turn.

During the very last round I began with 60 reps. Einar, Jeff, and Dianne each took a turn, completing between 10 and 20 reps. I took a lengthy turn, let them know I was finished, and waited for someone to begin.

And no one did.

So I did.

I completed up to the 230th rep and let Jeff know he had just 20 left. I could’ve completed the last 20 but, you know, I wanted others to have a turn.

Time: 28:10

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Candid picture. No, really. 

C

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Fisticuffs with Tijuana!

Three-minute rounds, three minutes of rest.

THU SEPTEMBER 01, 2016 | THREE-MINUTE ROUNDS 

Metcon (AMRAP – Rounds)
From 0:00-3:00, perform 3 rounds of:
3 pull-ups
6 pushups
9 squats
From 3:00-6:00, perform 3 rounds of:
4 pull-ups
8 pushups
12 squats
From 6:00-9:00, perform 3 rounds of:
5 pull-ups
10 pushups
15 squats
From 9:00-12:00, perform 3 rounds of:
6 pull-ups
12 pushups
18 squats

Continue for as long as possible until you cannot complete 3 rounds within the 3-minute window. Every 3 minutes add 1 additional pull-up, 2 additional push-ups and 3 additional squats.

For this first time since a WOD has been offered at 6 Thursday mornings, I didn’t coach! Yay! Coach Evelyn led the session and did an awesome job doing so.

My goal was to make it through round 15 and I did so, with all of 2 seconds to spare!

I completed unbroken pull-ups and air squats all rounds and unbroken pushups through round of 12 reps. I broke pushups into sets of 3 for remaining rounds, and pushups were definitely the most challenging of the three activities. On a positive note, my shoulder feels much, much better.

During the round of 7 pull-ups, 14 pushups, and 21 air squats I made sure to occasionally glance at the clock to ensure that I had enough time to complete all three sets of all three activities.  I finished first round in about 50 seconds, second round in 55, and completed very last air squat with just 2 seconds remaining on the clock. I yelled, “Yes!” and didn’t attempt rounds of 7, 14, & 24.

There was much counting involved, so I had a cheat sheet beside me to remind me how many pull-ups, pushups, and air squats I needed to complete each round. I also completed 1st and 3rd rounds facing 7303 and the 2nd round facing the blue wall. I recorded the times it took me to complete each of the 3-minute rounds: 1:09, 1:26, 1:51, 2:18, and 2:58.

That’s 75 pull-ups, 150 pushups, & 225 air squats.

As always, Luke and Stevie were by my side at all times.

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Luke and Stevie!

I took Luke and Stevie for a long walk, ate a bowl of oatmeal, rested (even taking a catnap) and met Mac, Jen G., and Susie at the American Tobacco Trail the day’s endurance WOD.

800m Run (Time)

Max Effort 800m Run

Repeat 5 intervals, resting 3 minutes between runs.
Record your fastest time.

Odd-numbered rounds were slightly uphill. Yup, even-numbered rounds were slightly downhill. The key was establishing and maintaining proper and effective breathing, and I experimented with this today.

My 400m split for interval 1 was 1:24 but I slowed down a full 6 seconds. Dammit. Round 1 time = 6:01. I took a breath every 4th step and then eventually transitioned to taking a breath every 3rd step.

Interval 2 went slightly better and I finished in 2:57, slightly faster than a 6 mpm pace. I slowed down again for uphill interval 3, finishing in 3:03.

Interval 4 was my fastest, as I expected it would be, and I finished in 2:53. I focused on breathing every other step the last 200m. And it nearly killed me.

Interval 5 was my slowest. Yup, my slowest. How slow? I finished in 3:06. That’s a 6:12 pace, and that’s slow. And this is even with a strong finishing kick!

The 3-minute rest was just enough to recover and reset the watch.

Jesus, my programming is difficult.🙂

FRI SEPTEMBER 02, 2016 | RASSLIN’

50c Row (Time)

I hate rowing. I didn’t go all out because, well, I didn’t go all out. Time = 2:33. I hate rowing.

Sumo Deadlift (Establish baseline 5RM)

I enjoy deadlifting, although I prefer conventional over sumo. After warming up, I completed sets of 5 reps @ 305, 315, & 325#. Shit got heavy!

I enjoy creating memes, and this may very well be my favorite! Darren is an all-around good guy, and I truly enjoy his sense of humor.

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I once again visited Bull City Running, the best running store in the Triangle, this time to purchase a GPS-enabled watch. Jason (owner) and I had exchanged messages regarded the best watch for my needs, and my needs were basic: track distance and pace.

No bells and/or whistles for me! (As a quick aside, an acquaintance recently posted that her husband was her “knight and shiny armor.” Uhm, that’d be knight in shining armor.) I purchased a Garmin Forerunner 25. And I like it!

I also reconnected to Garmin Connect and spent time reminiscing about previous races run, e.g., Wrightsville Beach Marathon, Uwharrie 40-mile Ultra, etc.

And I’m seriously considering running another marathon, perhaps revisiting the very first marathon I ran: The Richmond Marathon. Or maybe the Flying Pig in Cincinnati.

As any faithful or even casual reader knows, I love running! I’ve been enjoying training for the upcoming Tuna Relay, and the mileage I’ve been putting in would be a good base to start focused training in January. Should I?

An 11-mile run. An 11-mile run!

SUN AUGUST 28, 2016 | ANOTHER LONG RUN

I began the day by taking Luke and Stevie for a nice, long walk. I have never seen two dogs that get along as splendidly as do the two of them. It warms my heart!

I coached the morning session (“Helen”) and assisted Coach Nick with CrossFit Kids. As I was in need of gels and socks, I visited Bull City Running, the best shoe store in the Triangle. Uhm, I bought a pair of shoes. Uhm, make that two pair.

I expected a larger group to participate, but alas it was just Brian & Alex, Kevin, Drew, Melissa & Roger, and me. Brian and Alex joined me for the first half mile and Brian managed to hang on for another mile and a half. I noticed the he was carrying his iPhone but wasn’t aware that he had taken pictures. Ha!

I ran the next 9 miles solo. Uhm, I hadn’t realized that I’d run out of trail, so when I reach the trail head I ran a quarter mile up and back. I focused on breathing (every fourth or third step) and glanced at watch to note quarter mile splits. I usually ran around 1:5o but at times ran as slow as 2:00 – that’s an 8 mpm pace. And that’s slow.

There were quite a few times when I wanted to just stop and walk, but I did not. I confused a get at the halfway point and drank and entire bottle of 20 oz. of water. I reach the 10-mile mark at 1:17:36 compared to 1:17:40 last week (4 whole seconds faster!). I ran the last laborious mile in 7:20. Not bad. Not great, but not bad.

Time = 1:24:56

I run half marathons faster than that. I keep reminding myself that I’m putting in a good base. You please keeping reminding me as well.

MON AUGUST 29, 2016 | BASELINE WEEK!

Hang Power Clean (Establish baseline 1RM)

I set a goal to match previous PR os 155# and I met that goal. I’m looking forward to regaining some of strength gains that I’ve, well, lost.

Metcon (AMRAP – Rounds and Reps)

13-min AMRAP
5 hang power cleans @ 65% of HPC 1RM
10 pistols/leg
60-second side plank hold (alternating left and right sides)

This was fun! I completed PCs at 100# and completed all rounds in unbroken reps. Ten pistols per leg, whilst challenging, was doable. I completed the first round in sets of 5/leg, i.e., 5 right, 5 left, 5 right, & 5 left. I completed the second round by completing all 10 reps/leg, the first time I’ve been able to do that. Yay! I completed the third and fourth rounds by completing 6 and the 4 reps per leg. I can’t even remember the fifth set, I only recall that I finished the last rep with just about 3 seconds remaining on the clock.

Uhm, side planks presented little challenge.

Score = 5 rounds + 15 reps

30 PCs, 60 pistols/leg, and 5 minutes of plank hold.

TUE AUGUST 30, 2016 | PUSH IT & TABATA MIX

Push Press (Establish baseline 3RM)

I attended the 9:30 session led by Coach Deborah. As my shoulders are feeling better, and as 3RM push press is included in this strength cycle, I completed. I began at a mere 75#, then did sets of 3 reps @ 85, 95, 115, 125, & 130#. I failed last rep the first time I attempted 130#. Coach Nick, who was also working out at that time, asked, “Is it your left shoulder?” “No,” I replied, “it’s my right shoulder.”

Or is it both? Regardless, I was pleased that I was finally able to lift anything of some substantive weight off of my shoulders.

As much as I wanted to complete metcon, I knew better than to do so, as I need to ease into handstand pushups. K? K.

I’ve decided that I will complete endurance workouts Tuesdays and Thursdays, following my own programming. That means I’ll be running at least three days a week. Yay! I wore my other new pair of racing flats.

A: Metcon (Distance)
Sprint tabata
Work 40 sec; rest 20
B: Metcon (Distance)
Sprint tabata
Work 30 sec; rest 15
C: Metcon (Distance)

Sprint tabata
Work 20 sec; rest 10
Rest 4 minutes between tabatas

I arrived at the American Tobacco Trail at close to 11 am. The weather was a “cool” 84 degrees.

My goal was to run the same distance each 40-, 30-, and 20-second interval. And I did! As with any tabata, the fifth and sixth intervals are usually the most difficult.

I took a breath every fourth step for A, every third step for B, and every third or second stop for C. Fun!

If I had to choose the most challenging (A, B, or C) tabata I wouldn’t be able to do so. Seriously. Sprinting at 90 – 95% effort for 40 seconds is difficult, but the 20 seconds of rest was wonderful! Sprinting at that effort for 20 seconds is somewhat easier, but 1o seconds felt like little to no recovery.

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