CrossFit and Spartan

It’s finally CrossFit Games time!!

bridges

Anyways.  Any of you people who actually follow CrossFit in the slightest know that I am dreaming big in rooting for Josh Bridges pretty much every year.  I’m pretty sure Rich Froning was manufactured in a CrossFit lab somewhere to win the Games every year without even appearing to try.  But I have to root for my Shipmate.

Anyways.

So tomorrow I’m free on running, so I think I’m going to take the day for Spartan training instead of resting.  Since I run enough and CrossFit plenty, I figure the biggest thing I’m lacking in my training for the upcoming HH12HR  is carrying awkward heavy stuff around.  In the first 12HR in Vegas, athletes were told to take a tire and run the course, keeping in mind that there was a cutoff to be back to the finish line.  This is probably going to be my biggest weakness at the race.  (Technically, the Spartan Hurricane Heat isn’t a “race” per se, but for the purposes of this blog I’m going to continue to call it that.)

 

 

I have a particularly gnarly memory from last year where I competed in a CrossFit-style competition the YMCA put on in conjunction with Team RWB (the super awesome non-profit I am a part of, if you haven’t been paying attention).  One of the events was a sandbag run of about 400m and I can still remember that I was basically ready to give up on life about halfway through.  I finished last in my group (only a group of four, but still) and was completely discouraged.  Something about carrying that awkward weight while running just kills me every time.  AMRAP with a 200m run carrying a wall-ball?  Terrible memories of that one too.

 

So the plan for tomorrow is to take the sandbag to the trails and just get comfortable with it.  I’ll probably take it to the hills at a local park and do some hiking.  Then I’ll head to CrossFit, where tomorrow’s WOD is as follows:

 
Strength/Skill:
Single Arm Kettlebell press
3 x 6 each arm
 
WOD:
10′ AMRAP
10 x Deadlifts
10 x Push Ups
30 x Double Unders
 
Should be a fun one.  Back to the subject of balance from yesterday, I’m gonna play it by ear with this extra Spartan training in conjunction with marathon training + CrossFit.  I don’t want to get too cocky and think that I don’t need to do much else, but I don’t want to end up dealing with overtraining issues.  So I’m just going to work it in when I can, and more importantly when I feel good.  We’ll see what happens.
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Goals, Training, and Pictures that Move

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60 days? That’s forever away. I’ll just eat ice cream.

I now have this fun little “countdown” app.  So just prepare yourselves  to see this crap more times than is even remotely necessary, because for some reason this app pleases me in the same way that looking at graphs and spreadsheets pleases me.

 

I suppose I have a lot on my plate in the coming months.  With the marathon begins a landslide of runcations and inevitable sufferfests – the Fuego y Agua 50k, Hill Country Ragnar (ultra team), my first 50 miler, the 12 Hour Spartan Hurricane Heat, the McDowell Mountain Ragnar Relay (regular team this time – the week of I also plan to visit the Grand Canyon and run R2R).  All that starting from 01 October to 07 September.  I was trying to explain to a co-worker why I was hoarding all my leave instead of just taking a nice long vacation on my marathon trip to Washington when I started to explain all this stuff to her that I had to possibly reserve leave for in Oct-Nov.  I’m pretty sure she didn’t understand most of what I was talking about.  She just stared at me blankly for a moment while trying to find the words, then decided on an appropriate “You are going to die.”

 

I’m trying not to become totally neurotic about my training.  Which is hard when you load up TrainingPeaks and your mid-week medium-long run has a coach’s note that reads “aim for 8:50 pace” (freaking out).  I’m pretty sure Liza thinks I’m a sandbagger at this point, since I complained to her that I just wasn’t confident I could hit all these paces in the Texas heat and she kindly pointed out to me we had been running 8:30-8:45 minute miles the whole time we’d been chatting.  So there’s that.

 

I had a friend who was a bit of a nightmare when it came to her training – she really, REALLY wanted to qualify for Boston and it made her more than a little bit neurotic.  For some reason this left a serious impression on me.  I have to wonder if you’re really even enjoying running anymore when you get to the point where you’re on the cusp of an unholy nervous breakdown at the very thought of trying and failing to do well at your chosen race.  I want to train and do well, but I don’t want it to be a chore, or something that I don’t enjoy doing.  I understand that there’s always going to be a time where I won’t particularly be thrilled about getting up and going running, but that’s just to be expected every now and again (not on the regular).

 

Anyone who was taking themselves entirely too seriously would probably be wise enough to tone it down on the race front (unlike me).  Maybe I’m not wise enough to see something cool I want to do and tell myself that it’s probably smart to wait until next year.  I guess I’m a bit of a hyperactive 12 year old on the inside when it comes to stuff like that.  Waiting isn’t typically my strong suit.

 

Despite all my doubts, training is going well.  Not perfect, but well.  I need to work a bit more on my strength in some areas, but I feel a lot stronger in my running now that I’ve gone back to CrossFitting regularly.  The ever-present battle there is balancing CrossFit and running in such a way that I have something other than limp noodles for legs on days I have to run after CrossFit days.  I’ve been trying to counter this by running in the morning and then going right to CrossFit afterwards.  I want to try and keep up with writing about my training here in the blog, and since we’re going to be doing a blog-o-rama for a while…I think it’ll give me something to ramble about.

 

I was going to write more, but it’s getting late and I have to run in the morning (8:50 m/m are you serious?)…   On a completely unrelated note, Buzzfeed published this article of potential funniest gifs of all time, and it is a very important thing that you might need in your life.

 

imadog

 

lionking

Blog-narok, Heat, and Motivation

Blogging is hard.

 

Well, blogging regularly is hard.  My coach and I have challenged each other to a 30-day blogging type of deal.  (Visit her blog, it’s way funnier than mine and also her adorable baby girl is prominently featured.)  It’s been a while since I’ve written here.  I’m pretty good at the stop-and-start of writing, but not so much the styling and finalizing.  I was terrible at writing the “conclusion” paragraph in our neat little MLA-styled essays in school – knowing ahead of time that I was bad at writing that part made it hard to even start.  I’ve also been in a bit of a running funk for a little while, which has made for some pretty uninteresting blogging.  (Read: grumpy blogs are not okay.)

 

Turns out it gets pretty hot in Texas during the summer, so suddenly all that good training I felt like I was doing turned into a series of epic bitchfests in which I felt like I was Usain Bolt but was really running eleven minute miles (really, if I was lucky).  Going for a casual run transformed into this huge endeavor of planning just the right time to go outside without instantaneously melting, loaded down with water and Tailwind like some weird Texas version of an Everest sherpa.  What was once easy (logistically) became harder than I expected, and with what seemed like very little payoff.

 

I didn’t really train a whole lot last summer.  Or at least, I wasn’t training for anything in particular – I was running when I felt like it, and not running particularly long.  I was mostly just running for general fitness, weight loss, and to keep up my score on the Navy PT test (I finally obtained my long-time goal of scoring an “outstanding” on the run portion that cycle).  It was easy.  I didn’t start “training” until around late October or November (can’t remember exactly) when I decided to sign up for Nueces as my first 50k and took on a most wonderful coach.

 

Having a coach really changed running for me.  I felt accountable to someone else at that point, and was definitely running the most organized and serious running plan I had ever done as a runner.  I had Nueces as my goal and I was seeing improvement all the time.  In a way, training back then felt different.  I’ve asked myself several times lately if maybe the motivation just isn’t there and that’s why a lot of running has seemed like suffering lately.  It’s hard to feel motivated when you don’t feel like you’re improving because the weather just turns everything on its head.  I’ve never been competitive with anyone but myself, so when I start to feel like I can’t even compete with myself, I get a bit discouraged.  Nueces went by, then Brazos Bend went by, and there was a bit of a lull there where I wasn’t really training for anything in particular.  The idea of doing Cactus Rose 50 miler was kicked around, but even to this day I still haven’t registered.

 

50 miles?  Me?  That’s insane.  If I went outside right now and started running (it’s 1135) I’d get barely a handful of miles and feel like I wanted to die, easily.  All the poor performance really filled me with self-doubt that really kind of kept me from committing to anything.  Even though the weather has been my major source of ire lately, the piss-poor attitude that it brought along with it was really the biggest cause of my suffering.  (But also the heat and humidity.  They’re not getting off scott-free while I’m around.)  I’m sure you’ve seen all the inspiring quotes about pain being inevitable but suffering being optional.  I was doing a lot of lingering on my decreased performance and suffering because I was stuck there in that attitude for a long time (well, like a month or two).

 

Weirdly, I really feel like what grabbed me and pulled me out of this rut was CrossFit.  I was in a kind of bad place at this point; skipping a lot of runs/workouts, doing a lot more sitting around, eating a lot more ice cream, feeling fat and out-of-shape because I was on the verge of puking/collapsing every time I went outside and ran for more than three seconds.  Not really a great place to be.  Going back to CrossFit regularly helped me get back into a routine and kind of made me realize…hey, I’m not a completely useless limp noodle.  I think it’s impossible for anyone to deadlift 305 pounds (new PR, whoop whoop) and then go “Damn, I’m so out of shape.”  I guess it turns out I’m alright at CrossFit – I mean, I’m also bad at a lot of it (toes-to-bar!), but still – and am not out of shape in the slightest.

 

So I guess this blog post is mostly an explanation of where I’ve been, and what I’ve been doing.  Not really full of any major insight.  Still not running super fast, but I’m getting better (despite everything).

(Dude I’m going to be so fast when it gets cold again.)

I’ve got some goals to keep me going. (60 days until the marathon.)  Mostly I’m just trying to enjoy what I’m doing.  Suffering is optional.