I'm starting up this blog again to keep track of what I do for the second half of 2018, including keeping up with Crossfit, training for a half marathon, two lifting cycles, and a mini-cut that starts today!
So you can see why that's a lot to keep up with. ;)
Over the past 6 months, my proficiency in Crossfit has improved dramatically! I got my first toes to bar, kipping pull-ups, and double-unders all within a short period of time. I also improved my squat form and hit a 133-lb front squat, a big win for me!
But I've had a (road) half marathon on my to-do list for years now. I've only run two trail half's, and they were certainly two of my favorite races! I planned a few months ago to run the Good Life Halfsy in Lincoln, NE, with my sister. The Lincoln Marathon was my favorite marathon because of the awesome vibe, the most helpful volunteers, and the post-race FOOD! I hear the Halfsy is great in all the same ways, so I'm very excited to make this my first road half on October 28.
I've decided I want to dedicate only 8 weeks to half marathon training. Considering my current level of aerobic fitness, this should be adequate. I still have lingering foot pain from when I injured it in 2015, so I specifically do not want to risk over-training. My goal for this training is to get to the start line feeling 100% - and I feel that's something I can actually control. My time goal is sub 2:00, so a 9:00 pace. On Christmas day, 2016, I ran a 19.4-mile training run for the Sedona Marathon (my most recent marathon), and over the course of that run I hit a 1:53:30 half marathon. This was well after my injury and before I started Crossfit, but I was in good running shape. All this to say, sub 2:00 isn't lofty, and will be a good challenge without ruining myself.
During my 8-week half marathon training cycle I plan to continue Crossfit 3 days per week (sidenote: most likely I will go my gym's Fitness Programming which is more like endurance Crossfit and without barbells - it's more anaerobically intense and there's no throwing heavy barbells around), as well as supplemental weightlifting as I feel like it. I'm only going to run 3 days per week, because historically this is all my body can tolerate. Funny, because I can Crossfit 10 days in a row before taking a rest day and I feel great. If I run 5 days in a week, everything hurts and I'm sidelined with some overuse injury or another.
Right now I am thinking of the following schedule:
M - Burgfit (Crossfit without the weightlifting)
T - Easy run + Weightlifting
W - Burgfit
R - Tempo/Fartlek/Interval Run + Weightlifting
F - Burgfit or REST
S - Long run
S - REST & Active Recovery (Weightlifting, Napping, Paddleboarding, etc.)
I merely thought of this last week when I tried Burgfit for the first time. Considering I'm never going to be a competitive Crossfitter (I'm 32 and I can still hardly clean my bodyweight -it's just not going to happen), I can spend more time in the gym if I do bodyweight movements combined with muscular endurance and gymnastics skills into a long WOD on a different day than I lift. So I'm going to be experimenting with that approach.
I really don't have much to say about the Open, especially not yet, but I feel like it's worth posting that I participated and was happy with how the first workout went down.
This workout was prescribed as a 20-minute AMRAP of 8 toes-to-bar + 10 35-lb DB C&J's + 12 calorie row. Until yesterday, I had never strung together toes-to-bar. To go back a couple of days, when I first saw the workout on Thursday night, I was pissed. I knew I had the strength and mobility to do unbroken sets of toes-to-bar, but I lost it on the second rep because I didn't have my kipping quite down. I was pissed, though, because I don't practice it, and that's why I didn't have it going into the Open. There was a time I did practice, but I injured my shoulder in a gymnastics clinic and took too much time off the bar after that.
So on Thursday night I was pissed that a skill I knew I should have I wouldn't be able to Rx. That same morning we also had to put down our 16-yr-old Mali Uromastyx, Carlos, due to kidney enlargement which had immobilized his hind legs. This was both unexpected and unexpectedly devastating.
At some point on Friday evening I decided I didn't want to quit after all, and that I would just show up for open gym on Saturday morning at 8. I don't pay attention in class apparently, so I didn't know if I would even be able to do the Open workout at that time, but at least I would be able to ask someone. I guess I haven't mentioned that I just moved to a new STATE and I know no one at my gym. >_<
Hokay, so, I showed up. And that was honestly the hardest part. Everything else just kinda happened, as it usually does.
I started stretching and warming up, and when I went to warm up those kipping knee-raises I have become oh-so proficient in, I decided to just try some damn T2B. The night before I had come across an article (that I can't find now) which provided an alternative path to toes-to-bar which involved a "tuck." For some reason this totally made sense to me, and instead of trying to maintain a conventional kip, I just did a kipping knee-raise and flicked my toes up to the bar. And whatdoyouknow, I strung together several toes-to-bar.
This is pretty exciting, because I can now Rx toes-to-bar. It's not like double unders are for me, where I technically can do them, but only a few at a time, making it extremely frustrating to Rx in a WOD. Now toes-to-bar are just something I can do, it was just a matter of figuring out that last bit.
But when I went to set up my equipment, I realized that there was basically no way in hell I was going to C&J a 35-lb dumbbell for 10 reps at a time, so I was going to have to scale the weight anyway. Womp womp. And if I have to scale the weight, I may as well not waste my energy on toes-to-bar. Damn.
Finally around 8:55am after 45 minutes of warming up (which went by really fast and I never felt like I was waiting around, and I definitely think helped me perform well) there was a full gym of people ready to AMRAP together. A very nice gal offered to count/judge for me, thank GOD, and we were off!
My first round flew by and my counter (whose name I cannot freaking remember) was helping me tremendously, as she had done the WOD the night before, giving me and the gal to my left tips on strategy, reminding us to row with big pulls and not waste energy on the reset, and overall was just pushing me to not rest too long. After the first 5 minutes, I realized I would not be able to (THOUGHT I would not be able to) sustain my current pace, so I slowed down a little. I did all my reps unbroken, taking a few seconds during transitions to breathe and recover. I wish I would have pushed just a little harder, and jumped onto the bar right from the rower, because the kipping knee-raises and really easy.
I finished with a total of 290 reps - that's 9 rounds plus 8KKR+10C&J+2cals. I didn't have a measurable goal, and I was just happy to be done and have breathed through the whole thing. I did push myself, but I did take maybe a little too much rest. Taking time to rest during transitions is a trap I almost always fall into. I feel like if I can just take a second to breathe then the next set will be easier - but I don't know if it really is. However, I can still say I pushed much harder than on a normal gym day and realistically I might have left only 5-6 reps on the table.
I'm glad I did this Open workout for a few reasons, but my biggest takeaway is that as I rarely work that hard in a WOD (for a full 20 minutes at least), there are athletes who work that hard in EVERY WOD THEY DO. And that's inspiring!
I always say I am going to come back to running, just as soon as my ankle doesn't hurt and my hip doesn't hurt and it's not 110 degrees outside...
I've been absent from the running world for a while now, basically since I started Crossfit in March (2017). Since then, 9 months ago, I've gained nearly 20 pounds (mostly muscle ;) and hit countless other benchmarks along the way. To name a few, I'm up to a 225# Deadlift, 115# Clean and Jerk, and 150# Back Squat. I also couldn't do a single "crossfit pushup" and now I can do lots. I also just now, finally, got a couple of strict pull-ups. Winning.
Taking this time off from running has been incredible to my body. While I am still plagued with ankle tendinitis, I'm healing really well, and doing things on it (box jumps, 6:43 miles, and double unders) I didn't think I would be able to do. I'm also far stronger, as I mentioned, and I can feel that strength in my muscles when I run.
It also has been incredible for me, mentally. I realized that I really was burned out on running. Not that I didn't love it, but I didn't look forward to hopping on the same trails, and I stopped taking opportunities to go do it.
Now that the sweltering Phoenix summer is finally over (and it's December, folks), my boyfriend and I decided to take the pups for a hike on the loop we were running in the spring. When we got to the first downhill we started running, and it felt so good, I just couldn't even believe it. With the sun going down over the Sonoran Desert Preserve, we completed the 5.5 mile trek with more running than I'd done in the last 4 months, feeling strong and triumphant.
We went out again yesterday to Tom's Thumb, and hiked and ran with the pups again. I started thinking, well, I've been doing a marathon about once a year for the past 4 years, Why would I stop now?
So here I am, marathon planning for 2018. I want to break 4:00. That's my reach goal. I just want to be that weightlifter/crossfitter who also runs a sub-4:00 marathon.
I came across an article today about running as a weightlifter/body builder. And the guy or gal was like, I'm never going to be an elite marathoner, and I'm never going to be an on-stage body builder, so why not just do what I enjoy and I enjoy both!
So that's me. Rather than focus on being really great at one goal, why not just see how many things I can actually do? And then see if I can do them all at the same time. Can I run marathons, which I love doing AND lift heavy?
My next marathon will be the Lincoln Marathon (again!) in May. I loved this race when I ran it with my sister in 2016. And since she's lucky enough to still live in Nebraska, I've got a free place to stay!
Next up: When will I start training and what will my plan look like?
Also: Big news and exciting changes ahead, too!
I have tremendously enjoyed my running days here in Phoenix so far. the most beautiful sunsets you can imagine. I know this weather won't last, but I am enjoying the perfect temperatures at the same time the sun is setting. Couldn't not share!
So I didn't make time for Part II of my race day plan, but I DID make time for the recap. Check it out!
Running in Australia
How to Volunteer at a Race
Running in NYC Part I
All my recaps
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