Thursday, April 28, 2016

CrossFit is ENOUGH!


In case you were wondering....Does CrossFit prepare you for a half marathon? I discovered this weekend that yes, in fact it does. At least it does prepare ME for a half marathon. Now I certainly do not suggest or recommend just going out to run a random 13.1 with no training, that is usually a sure fire way to hurt yourself, but I now know that doing CrossFit consistently 3-4 times a week for just under a year has prepared me and my body to be able to run the distance.  For this race I walked a little bit. I did a 7 mile hike in February, that is the farthest I went. Otherwise maybe once or twice a week, in addition to CrossFit, I would walk/jog for one hour, and lets be honest, it was usually way more walking, because....well, walking. I was tired or just didn't feel like running. So I walked. For one hour. And I swam a little tiny bit.

This past weekend was my favorite race, The Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon. I'll do a race recap soon but for today I wanted to talk about how CrossFit  prepared me to go the distance. Actually I'm not exactly sure how it prepaired me.....but I do know that CrossFit s intense. There are long intense workouts and there are short ones. It works on the fast muscle twitches and it works on slow muscle twitch, the ones that determine endurance. Muscular endurance is important when running long distances and creating efficient slow muscle tithe will ensure that you are able to get the right amount of blood flowing to your muscles, bringing oxygen as fuel. And to go a bit further with it there are actually two kinds of fast muscle twitch (Type IIa and IIb), one for a quick burst and doesn't sustain very long (unless your LoLo Jones or Usain Bolt or Michale Phelps....) and then fast muscle twitch type IIb....this one is mostly strength less endurance. Type IIa yields more endurance but produces slightly less strength.

So why am I even talking about all this? Well first it's way cool and second the more you know and understand your body, how muscles work, and why you get tired, then the better you can become at training your body to do what you want it to do. Obviously Olympic athlete have like the best genes in the world. But they also have amazing coaches who know and understand how to develop their weaknesses and improve their strengths.

Anyway, so how does all this translate to CrossFit preparing me to run 13.1? Well mainly I think I have improved my fast and slow muscle twitch.  My body is more efficient at using oxygen, my cardio was fine, I sustained my heart rate consistently at my peak (170) for one hour 58 minutes (that was not my final time though). I am much stronger than I have ever been; subsequently heavier too...ugh...and I was very VERY concerned about this being a factor in the race, and maybe it was, but I did not feel heavy, I felt strong, strong in ways and places I have never felt strong before.

So my take away is this, CrossFit is enough! But I think if I actually trained for another 13.1, put in some miles on the road, combined with CrossFit, I will get a new 13.1 PR. I am 100% certain of that. So is another 13.1 in the cards for me? Absolutely. When? I'm not sure. But I'm thinking Tulsa's Route 66 in November would be a good time, hilly, but when have I shied away from a hill or two?

I am very happy with my 2:22.52 finish time given the fact that I literally did not train for this in the sense of a runner training for a race by...er....running. I trained through CrossFit. It certainly was not a PR but it also was not a PW (personal worst). I did worse in Seattle half (by 21 seconds with a finish of 2:23.13) and  Virginia Beach (still holds my PW at 2:24.54) and I trained for those. So this race was a success and I am excited! 




Monday, March 28, 2016

Then and Now....

....there is a big difference, I mean a BIG difference. When is then you ask? And what is different?

Well I looked at the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon web site just to check in and see if there was any news and right there in front of my face it was practically yelling at me, "26 days 15 hours 47 minutes Until Race Day"

Umm.....yikes? Wow, so I have dropped the ball on my training. I've only done a long run of 5 miles and had lots of walking in there with that. So there is a HUGE difference in my training and conditioning between then, my glory days of running (2008-2011) and now. I used to be in 13.1 condition at all times. Those days are long gone....and here I am, fretting over a 13.1.

I did the math and walking a brisk 4 miles per hour I would finish in 3:25. If I sprinkle in some running then I could come in just under 3 hours. If I jog and sprinkle in some walking I think a 2:20 is reasonable. I could do a run/walk and break it up 5 min run, 1 min walk. I could run one mile walk .25 mile, I could run until I'm tired then walk until I'm not....so many options for a plan.

So I will be considering my Race Day Plan as I amp up my training. Now that the CrossFit open is over (which I have to tell you all about 16.5 and the end of the open) I can focus the next 26 days on my half marathon training. We will see just how much training I can get, how prepared I can become, in 26 days. It will be a challenge and I do not recommend training for a half in such a way. But for the record I have been active; I am by no means a couch to 13.1 situation. i know I can cover the distance but I am not sure I can do it in less than 2:20.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

CrossFit Open 16.4....

In 2008 when I started running for fun my life changed. When I started running half marathons my life changed. Then when I hit the register button and was officially registered for the OKC Memorial Marathon in 2010 my life changed again....how frequently can one's life change? And I mean really really change? I'm not talking about a change in jobs, or adding a kid, or husband or losing a husband, or getting a puppy, or a new car. I'm talking about intrinsically changing one's inner being, changing who you are and your relationship with yourself. How is it possible to have so much to learn and change about yourself? 

The amount of personal growth that happened to/for me in the months from January 2010 to May 2010 is mind boggling. That was one of the hardest, darkest points in my life. I had a lot to learn, about myself, about life, about the world, about love, and hope, and hurt....I felt every hurt possible from physical to mental to emotional. And so I ran. I ran as fast as I could for as far as I could. That hurt. It hurt so bad that it made the other pains pale in comparison. And then I learned I was strong; mentally, emotionally, psychically. It was after my first sub 2 hour half marathon that something clicked inside me, "I can do this. I can do anything. I can do hard things. And I can do all these by myself and with the support of those who care fro me." I know i have written on this so many times before but those first months of running in 2010 saved my life. I have no idea where I'd be today had I not found my people, my road, my running shoes, my motivation, and the courage to say "I'll try." 

So along that road to self-discovery and self-love I learned so much about myself. I did things I never thought possible, like running 1,000,000 inches! 15.78283 miles (but actually the course was a little longer than 1,000,000 inches....).  And running my first 26.2 miles with a smile on my face the ENTIRE distance.... And still to this day I think back over those months and I remind myself that I have done so much, overcome so much, accomplished so much, hung on and stood up when I wanted to crawl. 

And then I started CrossFit....

CrossFit does have a bad wrap with some people....and I get it. To each his own....marathons aren't for everyone, or so they say, and CrossFit isn't for everyone either (although I thoroughly disagree with both....if you want it, go get it, do it.....just do it, just try....but that is your journey and you will take it when you are ready....). I have been doing things in CrossFit that I never thought possible. There are some things I feel I may not ever be able to do, then I remind myself that I have done hard things and all I can do is keep working at it. One day I will get it. 

When I decided to participate in the CrossFit Open through my gym I had no idea what to expect. then the first workout (16.1) was released. I quickly realized just what I was in for. Then 16.2 then 16.3....and then 16.4. As I watched the live announcement of the 16.4 workout I was in awe. I was scared and excited at the same time. Would I be able to do it? I had no idea. I had no clue what to expect. Kind of like my first half marathon. Could I do it? I didn't know....all I knew is I had been training and I would never know unless I tried. So I tried.....and I did it. 

This is the 16.4 workout: 

I didn't have a clue if I could lift 155 lb 55 times! And that was only the beginning. I made goals for this workout like I do for my marathons: 
A. Get through the deadlifts, wall balls and onto the tower. 
B. Make it through the deadlifts and wall balls 
C. Make it through the deadlifts

And you know what??! I made it through the deadlifts! I was quite surprised that I was physically able to do that amount of work. I was so excited and proud! I honestly couldn't believe it. Why do I continue to doubt myself?

Not only did I make it through the deadlifts but I made it through the wall balls and on to the rower! I know that if I were to redo this workout I'd make it just a little further. And that is what CrossFit is about. Doing your best, improving yourself, challenging yourself, and being the best version of yourself you can be! 


I'm quite proud of my score and I'm not ashamed to say so...


So what are you afraid to try? Don't let fear hold you back. You can do anything in this world that you want to do. You may not be the best but at the end of the day that is not what matters. It's what you learn about yourself, the strength you build physically, mentally, and emotionally, and the sense of accomplishment you feel after looking at something realizing that you are no longer weak or afraid.  You are strong. 














Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Weekend Shenanigans in Nashville!

This past weekend I got to get out of OK and meet up with a few of my PNW friends for a girls weekend!

St. Paddy'sDay Celebration! 

Grand Ole Opry!

 We had a great time just hanging out and catching up.  I had big plans of finding a local "box" to complete my open workout but that didn't happen....well, because....vacation.  So I ended up getting it done Monday morning before going in to work.

16.3 Complete and sun in my eyes....

In other news we have OKC Memorial Marathon coming up end of April. I am planning on doing the 13.1 but I haven't officially registered yet. Imagine that.... Hold on, I'm going to go do that right now....

Done. Registered. 13.1 on the calendar! 

The last 13.1 I did was in Raleigh and it was probably three years ago? And I didn't even do a Race Recap on it so I can't go back and see how I did. FAIL. My expectation for this is not stellar. My predicted finish time is 2:06-2:15. Of course I would like 1:55 but lets be real....I haven't been putting in sub 2 training. So I will not set myself up for failure. I guess I should start running a little bit.

I am curious to see how my performance will be with the CrossFit and swimming added to my training. It will be interesting for sure.

So here it goes! Training officially begins today...with crossfit and swimming tonight...when am I going to run?

Sunday, February 28, 2016

16.1 CrossFit Open....What??

Do you feel like suddenly people are speaking a foreign language? Something is going on but you have no idea what it is? Well I'm still learning too but this is what I do know, it's pretty awesome. 

So what is this 16.1 you've been seeing all over Facebook that your friends are posting? It's the first workout of the 2016 CrossFit Open Games. And it was a doozie. There's a pretty cool video you can watch on the CrossFit Games webpage found HERE

So.... what, you ask, was the 16.1 workout? Well check it out: 


Still not sure what exactly it was? Ok, here is some jargon explained for you. 

AMRAP-  as many rounds as possible 
OH-over head 
C2B- chest to bar
RX-the prescribed workout, weight and skills the hardest way
Scaled-still hard, but a little bitty bit easier, but less weight. 

So Friday night we, all my CF friends, showed up to workout, complete workout 16.1. For 20 minutes we did as many rounds as possible of lunges, holding 65 pounds overhead, for 25 feet. Followed by 8 burpees over the bar, 25 ft of OH lunges, 8 chest to bar pull-ups. This is where I had to scale, instead of regular C2B pull-ups I did jumping pull-ups. Some day I'll be able to do a legit C2B pull-up. Someday.  20 minutes is a very long time... I got 120 reps during 20 minutes of amazing, motivating, character-building minutes. And I'm pretty happy with that! 


All said and done, when it was over we were all smiles!! 


Thursday night we find out what 16.2 is! Then Friday we come together, cheer each other on, and get it done! And that my friend is only the beginning of what CrossFit is about!  Wanna check it out? And give it a try?? You should come to my gym CrossFit LandRush! You won't be sorry! 



Monday, February 22, 2016

Is Spring Springing?

The past week has brought some pretty amazing weather here in OK. It's had me sitting outside in my rocking chair staring at my garden. I love spring and I love having a garden. I love being able to eat from my own yard and making fewer trips to the fresh markets for veggies. 

Last year my garden didn't do so great. It was OK but nothing like my garden in NC.....man I miss this little garden. 

Maybe I should go back to this yard, this house, this garden, this time.....

I'm hoping to make a few adjustments that will make a big difference. But that is part of the fun, figuring out how to deal with the challenges. 

Saturday I attended a class on hydroponics at a local organic garden shop.

I don't know what face this is...i think it is the "I know I'm on video surveillance and taking a selfie" face...

Hydroponics table!!! I want this!
I picked up a small start up system and decided to start my seeds using the hydroponic method and transplant them outside in a few weeks. I'm excited to see how it works! I've opted against my greenhouse this season. The wind here is just too severe and the temperatures to unpredictable and variable to use my small-scale greenhouse. Someday I'll have an awesome, permanent structure, climate controlled that is meant for year round use and stable enough to withstand the elements that come at it. But not yet....not yet....cue what are you waiting for?????

Since peppers take the longest of my garden selection to germinate I started them first. 


Ace is checking it out! I've got a grow light and a heating pad under the tray. 

Later this week I'll get the tomatoes started. It's all trial and error at this point but it sure is fun when you see them start to grow. 

I've still got a lot to do to prepare the outdoor garden. These days I'm trying to stay busy and do things that bring me joy, fulfillment, and meaning. And right now something as simple as watching a tiny seed sprout offers all of that to me. 

Sunday, February 21, 2016

What are you waiting for??

Um.....good question

The last couple of weeks I've found myself doing a lot of introspection. I seem to always find myself waiting. Waiting for something, someone, timing, money, sunshine, or just waiting for a sign. Sometimes I wonder if God is standing there whacking me with my sign saying "Uh, here's your sign!" And I'm completely missing the whole thing. Oblivious. Or better yet ignoring it because it's not the sign I want. 

Sometimes you can't ignore the obvious ones. The ones that seem to smack you in the face and set you back so far you wonder if it's 1999. The struggle is real. I've been hit with a sign recently and it was pretty clear. But the challenge is to not stand stuck, frozen with the magnitude of the sign that nudges you toward that goal or the dream. The sign that whispers to you "This is real, this right here, what you see, feel, believe, think....this is it. Don't doubt. Don't question. Don't ignore." 

This year I didn't really set any New Year's Resolutuons but I had, have, a very clear picture of what I need to do. When I came here to OK I was on a five year plan. At one point it changed to a two year plan, then three. And now it's back to no-longer-than 5 year plan. But what am I waiting on? I guess I need to get my ducks in a row. Find a forever place, a piece of land where my vision, both professionally and personally, can be created. I need a business plan. I need to save money. I need more education and training. I need a partner. And most importantly I need to be the best me I can be. Need need need....

Once upon a time running made me the best me I can be. These days I've stopped trying to force the run, although I still have plans for a spring half marathon. Anyway, what am I waiting on? I was waiting on other people, another person, this or that, to nudge me along. But I'm not going to sit here and let life just slip by, because that is what is happening. I envy people who make things in their life happen. I've always been kind of a wait and see kind of person. The Ex Hubs always got irritated with me about that because he was a take life by the horns and make it what you want it kind of person. And I can see how that really is the way to do it. I can do anything, go anywhere, accomplish anything that I truly set out to do. I guess it's time I have a heart to heart with myself. 

So again, what am I waiting for?? 



Friday, February 19, 2016

Ups and Downs...

There seems to be an ebb and flow to life. Things are good. Great even. Then one day you wake up and the things that were great aren't great anymore. 

I think training is the same way. I have good runs, great runs! Then I have lousy runs where my shoes are made of cinder blocks. I have great days in "The Box" where I can lift lots of heavy stuff, over and over again. And I feel strong. Unstoppable. Then the next day I'm sore, tired, and weak. And I feel like I don't stand a chance. 

How do we deal with the ups and downs? How do we get through the days  that we feel like the weight of the world is on our shoulders and holding us down, holding us back? How do we pick ourselves up and keep trying even when it feels like it's no use? Like we want to quit? Like we won't get faster, stronger, better? Like there won't be an UP just around the corner....

What is it that keeps us hanging on? Coming back time after time? 

Determination. 

Hope. 

Courage....

And the need to be the best we can be. 



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