Friday, July 23, 2010

New Adventures

Just in case you weren't aware, this past weekend was the 2010 CrossFit Games in LA at the Home Depot Center. Unfortunately, due to my class schedule, I wasn't able to go and watch this year. But I did get to watch all of the action on their live-stream (thank you internet!) and it was truly inspiring. Watching those amazing athletes in action confirmed how badly I would like to make it to that level someday. For the past 6 weeks, I have been on a bit of a hiatus from CrossFit. I was training so much for Sectionals and Regionals that I decided I needed an "off-season". This summer, with my class schedule, my bootcamps, helping at the CrossFit Gym, and helping out with the fam, things are a little crazy and in order to preserve my sanity I have backed off on my training to spend more time on other things. Well, looks like all those good intentions are going out the window! I've got a fire inside and I'm ready to get to it! Now one of my biggest weaknesses as far as CrossFit is concerned is my running, so this past week I signed up for the Disney Princess Half-Marathon and just to make things a little more fun, I also signed up for my very first triathlon! I figure the only way to get better at the endurance part of my sport is to train for it and there's nothing like a race or competition to keep you motivated! This will be a whole new set of adventures for me. I have run one half-marathon before, but I did not train for it very well. This time things will be different (and I'll get to run through Cinderella's Castle!) So for now, I am trying to figure out how to train for a tri, a half-marathon, and the 2011 CrossFit Games! All I know is that it should be fun! I'll let you know how it goes, till's to new adventures!!

Monday, July 12, 2010

CrossFit Houston's Girl's Only Summer Challenge!

So this past Saturday was the first Girl's Only CrossFit Competition I've ever done (hosted by CrossFit Houston). In fact, I don't think there's been another girl's-only challenge in Houston. Anyway, what a great Saturday! I am constantly amazed at the strength and beauty that is epitomized by our Houston-area CrossFit Women! You are all amazing and I am so lucky to be able to compete with each and every one of you. For many of the participating athletes, Saturday was their first experience with a CrossFit competition. I know from our gym alone, we had 6 new competitors and they all did amazing!

The first WOD was a little "outside the box". We had to row 350 meters, then pick up a 100lb sandbag and run with it (or waddle) 100ft then drop it off, run 100ft back and pick up a 55lb KB and a 50lb Dumbbell. We had to Farmer's walk with those 100 ft., drop them off, run 100ft back to our sandbags, pick them up and run (waddle) back to the rower where we finished it off with another 350 meter row! Whew!! Let me just say, that sandbag was not fun! Not only was it heavy, it was also extremely awkward! I definitely lost some serious time because I couldn't keep a hold of it on my 2nd 100ft walk! I managed to get by under the 11 minute cut-off though. Unfortunately for many many amazing athletes, the sandbag proved to be a much bigger hurdle and, unfortunately, many people could not finish before the cut-off time. :-(

The second WOD was a basic, 200 meter shuttle run that took less than minute to complete. Not my favorite WOD because the time's were so close (and I definitely slipped and fell in the mud twice which killed my time)

After the conclusion of the first two WOD's, the field of competitors was narrowed to exclude the bottom 50% or anybody that didn't finish the 1st WOD. For the standard division, that meant there was only 7 of us left!

To throw another hitch into the mix, the last two WOD's would be the only two that counted towards our final placements! That meant that as long as I kicked butt in the next two, it didn't matter how far behind I was in my shuttle run! Sweet!

As anyone who's been reading this blog knows, I've been spending a lot of my summer concentrating on my mental game for the bulk of my training (as opposed to tons of intense physical training days) and I was determined to test my mental mettle so to speak in this Challenge. Turns out the third WOD looks like it's going to play to my strengths...21-15-9 slamballs with a 20lb ball, 20" box jump-overs, and Russian KB Swings with a 55lb KB. (Just in case you were wondering, yes these are usually MEN's RX Weights!!!) Looking at the heavy equipment, I couldn't help but think that, although, this was probably going to suck, If anybody can swing a Men's KB, I can! So when the clock started, I just booked it! I ended up finishing first in my heat and it really wasn't as bad as I had originally thought it was going to be..(I thought maybe this whole mental game thing is really going to work!)

As I waited for the rest of the heats to finish, all I could think about was that there were tire sleds (big tires that are attached to straps with wooden bases in the middle so you can stack weights in them and drag them) stacked nearby that we hadn't used yet so I knew they were coming up and, MAN my back was hurting from that big Kettlebell already!

WOD 4 gets posted and it's a killer!! 4 Rounds of 5 Deadlifts at 185, 30 meter tire sled pull forward (95lbs), 7 Dumbbell push press each arm @40lbs, 30 meter sled pull backwards! HOLY CRAP! Sorry for the potty mouth, but this was seriously the hardest workout I've ever done in all my months/years of CrossFit! I mean, I literally wanted to quit in the middle, all I could think about was that it was soooo hot and the tire was sooo heavy and I felt like I was moving at a snail's pace! I am sure that if I had not been devoting so much time to strengthening my mental game, I may not have finished this WOD....ok I take it back, I would have finished (I have never quit a WOD) but it would have taken me FOREVER! I am extremely proud of myself because on the last backwards tire pull, in the middle of feeling like I was dying, I actually picked UP my pace. I mean I grabbed those straps and I really pulled it in the finish. I would not have done that a month ago. :-)

I ended up getting third this weekend. The 2nd place winner beat me by 2 seconds and the 1st place winner beat me by less than 30 seconds. It was hard not to be disappointed by missing out on first place by such a small margin, but I have have have to celebrate the small victories. I am making great strides with my mental game and I know it's going to pay off come Games Season next year! Just for the record, I plan on working my butt off to try and get to the 2011 CrossFit Games, and I know it's mini-breakthroughs like this that will take me WOD at a time!

I had such an amazing time this Saturday and I hope that more and more women will realize their inner strength and potential through CrossFit Competitions just like this one! Great job ladies!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

I Did It!!

Well, the Whole 30 if finally over. It officially ended on Wednesday night. That's right, 30 days of no sugar, no grains, no legumes, no processed foods, and no dairy! No Sweat! Actually I was surprised at how easily this way of eating became over the course of the 30 days. The first few weeks brought about some serious Diet Coke cravings and I definitely missed the cream and sugar in my coffee but about halfway into the 3rd week, I came to a surprising realization that I didn't really miss those staples of my former diet anymore! In fact, I have yet to put cream or sugar back into my morning coffee and I haven't touched a Diet Coke or any other type of soda since it's been over...and I don't plan on doing it! I have come to appreciate the subtle differences in good coffee when you drink it black and I have no desire to put the high fructose corn syrup or processed psuedo-sugars back into my body. For anybody that doesn't know...Splenda was discovered while looking for a new's an organo-chloride. You know what else falls into the category of organo-chloride...DDT and Mustard Gas! The hardest thing I found while on the Whole 30 was that it is almost impossible to get good, clean sources of protein while eating out or picking something up from the store unless you live next to Whole Foods. Almost everybody cooks there meat in butter or some other kind of non-optimal oil and if you look at the packaging of most deli meat, you will find ingredients like sugar, tapioca starch, potato starch, all sorts of unwanted, unnecessary additions! The best quick and easy protein sources I was able to find were Applegate Farms Organic turkey breast or roast beef, simple canned tuna in olive oil, and sometimes I got lucky at Whole Foods and they had a protein source on their lunch buffet that didn't have any non-Whole 30 approved ingredients in it. I definitely wouldn't say that I was perfect on the Whole 30. I only ate what I was allowed to eat but there is much more to the Whole 30 than just food choice. It's supposed to change the way you think about food. When you're having a sweet craving, you are not supposed to give in and eat fruit to fight that craving. It is essentially the same thing as eating candy because, once digested, your body doesn't know the difference. Sugar is sugar is sugar! I must admit that I probably ate much more fruit than I was supposed to. I also did not always limit my coffee intake to 2 cups (before noon) as I was supposed to, but all in all I think it was a great success. I may try my hand at another Whole 30 someday and try to be a bit more strict with regards to fruit consumption, etc. My hope for the future of my diet centers around continuing with the basic principles of the Whole 30. I will limit my intake of non-Whole 30 foods to one meal a week if I really want one. This Fourth of July for instance, I am planning on having one slice of cake, but all the other party foods are Whole 30 approved! I am also going to begin experimenting with thinking about my food as it pertains to my workouts. We were taught at the Whole 30 workshop, the proper way to fuel your body pre and post workout and I have yet to really experiment with it. But perhaps a more detailed look at how I fuel myself for CrossFit will lead to bigger and better gains in the gym. I've got my bar set high for next years CrossFit Games season and it all starts with nutrition. This summer is my "off-season" as far as my intense training goes, but this is the perfect time to zero in my nutrition so I will be prepared to go hard and heavy come Fall! Anyway, I would really encourage anyone that is looking for a way to turn their health and life around to give the Whole 30 try. Your body will thank you for it! Here's a pic of me from my most recent CrossFit competition. I'm not quite where I want to be as far as leanness is concerned but I'm not doing too bad and I'm sure that the Whole 30 has helped shed some fat from my abs.