Not Enough Coffee

Oh hi! Welcome back! I’d love to say I’ve been crazy busy but really, I’ve just be working so much that I don’t have time to think about writing for myself; especially when I write all day every day at work.

So I’m back. I promise. I’m also finally back into the groove of working out regularly after all the medical drama is over and all my stress and family obligations are also over.

I am working every day this month except for one day. Literally. I have one day off in January and it’s this Saturday. It’s coming at the perfect time because I’m exhausted and stressed and generally punchy and unable to find enough coffee to drink during the day.

Here’s a little bit of randomness to bring you up to speed on my last few months of quiet-time.

I’ve been making time to get to CrossFit but it’s about that time that everyone signs up for class so I get on the waitlist, resign myself to not working out and then, an hour before class I get the email saying I got in, only for me to realize that I haven’t had any water that day and I’m exhausted and oh I just got this shitload of work to do.

I made some CrossFit goals this year:

Bodyweight Deadlift (only 20 pounds short)
125# Clean and Jerk (I’m at 100 so far)
125# Back and front squat (115 and 95 each currently)
100# Push press (I think I’m currently at 80)

20 pounds lost from my body. I’ve gained 10 this year after losing the 50, which I know is normal, but I want it gone again. 170 is my final goal.

Last week was Benchmark week and, while I was feeling a bit under the weather and work was crazy, so I didn’t make it in until Wednesday for DT and Back Squat 1RM.

My all-time PR, from when I was still 234 pounds, was 115 pounds. When I lost 40 of the 50 pounds, six months later, I went down to 105 pounds. This past Wednesday, I finally went back up to 130. One goal down!

I also PRed DT by 3 minutes. Three months ago I put 65 pounds on the bar and finished in 15 minutes flat. I kept the 65 pounds and finished in 11:40. I was exceptionally happy even if my hands were in so much pain. The grip dies after about round two. I was still really happy.

I stayed out of the box on Thursday for church and sleep and went back on Friday for Deadlift 1RM and FRAN.

 

The Deadlift was great! My ultimate goal is to get bodyweight but 170 seemed really hard. When I finally made it up to 180, my form fell apart but I got the weight up without rounding my back. In 3 months, when we do it again, I really want to make it up to 190, meaning I’ll have more than a bodyweight deadlift if we go with my most recent low-weight, though I’ve gained some of the 50 pounds back.

I really strongly dislike Fran and not because she’s tough, but because I suck at both of the movements. I am not getting better with my pull ups and my thrusters are really low because we almost never do them. I was also dehydrated and tired and sore from doing the Deadlifts so, while my time three months ago with 45 pounds was 7:02, I finished in a piddly 9:48 and was not happy with myself. What a disaster.

Now, On the Paleo Front:

I fell apart during the holiday and didn’t really limit myself to eating what I wanted because it would simply be too hard and I was cooking most of the foods anyway so it was a bit of 100% paleo 80% of the time. But, by the first, I was ready to get back on the wagon and I did hardcore.

But. I soon realized how sensitive my body has become since I went Paleo. I was having dinner with my best friend on Friday at Chilis and had a Santa Fe Chicken Salad with a picante ranch dressing that usually is fine with me, but for some reason, an hour after finishing eating, I was in the bathroom with some awesome lactose reaction-ing. At least I felt skinny when going back to the table? So I’ve officially decided not to eat at Chilis anymore. Which makes me sad because I love their foods, but I just can’t make it happen anymore, I guess.

I’ve still been doing really well, though I may be dealing with some carb flu, which has always had a bit of a latent reaction for me. I’ve been ornery and have a headache every morning and wahh. I’m drinking coffee and taking tylenol and generally hiding away in a dark office and dark apartment and dark. Just lots of dark.

I have officially come to realize how much my body has changed. You ready?

Here’s me in August of 2012 doing 35 pound squat cleans. Ahem. Power cleans and front squats.

Annnnnnnnnd…….

Here’s me, at 175 Deadlift, on Friday January 10, 2014.

It’s amazing how much the body can change in a year and a half. I am so proud of myself.

Weight at the beginning of the year: 196 lbs. Goal by the end of the year? 170 pounds. 26 pounds to go!

An Open Letter to Chip Wilson of Lululemon

As a muscular woman with thighs that touch and will forever touch, I say AMEN to this girl’s response.
I’ve never worn Lululemon’s stuff, but I know plenty of people who do and I gotta say, they’re not clothes to be worn to the box. As soon as you squat, your panties are on full display. It’s unfortunate that this guy is blaming his key demographic. Rather than wanting to fit the tiny little Yogis, they should be aiming to fit everyone– even us strong, muscular CrossFitters.

DNF is better than DNS

I’m really frustrated with the jump rope.

Not just in a way of ‘ugh I’m so frustrated I don’t have Double Unders’ but more like “F@#$ WHY DO I SUCK SO F&#@(*% HARD AT DOUBLE UNDERS! I USED TO BE SO GOOD AT THIS!”

Basically I totally DNFed at the WOD on Wednesday because I got so pissed off with my lack of prowess with double unders that I literally threw the damn rope on the ground halfway through the round.

Here’s how it went:

3 rounds
50 Double Unders
21 lateral burpees (Over the bar)
7 Power Snatches

I seriously thought the Burpees would be the worst of it all.

First round: 25 double unders strung together. It was a PR. I was stoked. I got another round of 10 and another of 5 and made it through the first round of DUs no problem. The burpees took forever so other people have gotten to the second set of burpees by the time I was onto the snatches, which I did at a super low weight.

Round two: 2s and 3s on the double unders. Halfway through I made it up to 5, had to seriously do tuck jumps in order to get the rope around my body twice. I huffed a few times and finally finished while people were onto their third round. During the burpess people were finishing.

Round three: I made it through a set of 5, a set of 3 and could barely make it through ones and twos. By the time I made it to 20ish reps, I said “F$@* IT,” threw the rope on the ground and made it through the burpees faster than I’ve ever done burpees before in my life. I made it through 15, realized I had lost count but coach said “6 more!” and I made it through, repped the snatches like they were nothing (because they were nothing) and I was so pissed off with myself when I hit the floor.

It’s been two days and I’m still really upset about that. It’s been over a year since I started CrossFit and I’ve only ever DNFed when my back had two herniated disks blown so it hurt too much to move. DNFing sucks. It hurts. It bruises the ego and, even though people tell you you’ve done a great job, when deep in your soul, you know you could have done better.

Basically, DNF sucks hard.

But then I posted it on Facebook and Coach responded “Better to DNF than DNS; Did Not Start. Keep on keepin’ on.

And, even though I still felt crappy about that DNF, he has a point. I got into the box. I PRed my 3-position clean. I kept going even though I stopped with the DUs. I got a good sweat on. I showed up and I technically finished. It’s better than nothing.

Well, Well, Well

Looks like it’s about time to start talking Crossfit and Paleo again.

This weekend we will be cheating like mofos.

It’s been about a month since I did that.

There’s a hamburger stand down the street from Boyfriend and their last days of the season are this weekend, so we will happily go to the stand and wait in the cold for a greasy bacon burger, onion rings, french fries and maybe a scoop or two of homemade ice cream without all the preservatives that will potentially make me sick.

This is perfect timing, since we’re going to be doing a terrible chipper WOD Tonight.

“Why Not Be Chipper”
15 Power Cleans (145/100#)
20 T2B
25 Wall Balls
15 Power Cleans (145/100#)
20 Ring Dip
25 Pullups
15 Power Cleans (145/100)
20 HR Pushups
25 2-fer lateral hops
15 Power Cleans (145/100)
20 Med-ball Situps
25 KB Swings

Ouch. Right? I’m already hurting quite a bit still from Wednesday when I tried and fruitlessly managed to get three inches off the ground on the rope. Somehow my ability to get half way up the rope died over the last couple weeks. Let’s blame the ugly socks I was wearing. Truly. They were ugly. Ready?

The medicine ball is about 10 feet up…

See, now here’s the thing. I really actually love this picture. Because LOOK AT ME!!! Wanna know what I mean by that?

During G.I. Jane last year. Only made it to 75 and did ring rows. I wish we would do this one again so I could do the pull ups!

That picture was from a little more than a year ago (August 10, to be exact) when I was a size 8.5 shoe, an XXL capri pant and a large men’s shirt. Today I’m a size 8 shoe, size L shorts (the orange ones above are XL, but I had them when I was fat and now they fit amazingly) and a size medium mens shirt. When the second picture was taken, I couldn’t even fit into the ‘women’s’ clothes. Now. Now I’m a size Medium. 

I can do proper push ups (though, for timing sake, I still modify), can string together more than 15 wallballs at 10 pounds (getting smacked in the face with a 14 pound ball really isn’t my favorite thing, so I wuss out), I can actually do a 20″ box jump (though, after the plyo box won a couple weeks ago and for timing sake, I still do step ups) and I can do pull ups, even though they’re assisted; when I first started, I could only do ring rows.

Once I get home and have some dinner, I’ll be knitting the final rows of a sweater button band and baking some pumpkin bread.

Now, if only Reebok and CrossFit would make knee-socks that fit women with awesome calves.

A Cautionary Tale

This is what happens when double unders die in the middle of a WOD

and the Thrusters, even at 35 pounds, are done really quickly.

Tonight is Fight Gone Bad. I haven’t done it in months. The last time I did, I broke an ankle.

In Which We Rip

 

So I ripped. I let the yarn sit for a couple weeks before deciding to pick it up and knit mittens. I wanted to redo the Games Knit A Long because I figured why let the experience go to waste.

6 hours later, I had a mitten finished. the next morning, the second mitten was done.

I sat there looking at the pair of mittens I had finished and swore to myself, wondering what else I was supposed to do for the next four and a half days. I figured I had more time so why not knit more mittens?  Thus begins the challenge.

AMMAP: As Many Mittens As Possible. 

Time Cap: 6 days. Sunday PM to Saturday PM. 

Size 5 needles. Worsted weight yarn. 

Post WOD Cooldown will be weaving in all ends and sewing on the suede patches I plan on attaching and finally, to upload to Etsy. 

My plan with this, because I have no need for 85 pairs (OK so maybe that’s a bit much) of mittens in my life, is to sell these mittens on Etsy, at work and on Facebook, for profit for myself as well as to donate 50% of the proceeds to DryHootch, a non-profit org for post-war veterans and family members. We donate change and such to them at Badger CrossFit whenever we use the water, so I figured, since I don’t think I’ll be sending the hats to Afghanistan like I did a couple years ago, that I’d sell them and donate the proceeds to a military-organization so I can help soldiers in some way or another.

I hurt my hand last week during the 1RM Clean and Jerk so there’s still a bruise and soreness on my hand below my pinky finger and I’m stuck at work for a good portion of my night before going home to finish the second pair, so I’m unable to attend the WOD tonight (aw shucks. No front squats for Amanda) but there will be WODding tomorrow.

Hope your labor day was great. Mine was spent lobbing arrows at baddies, and then almost dying after getting blasted by some Dark Speech from some beyotch Kobald. Rangers are meant to be in trees with their arrows, not in the middle of a circular room with nowhere to hide. Yes. I played Dungeons & Dragons

 

A Herd of Turtles

I can’t believe it’s been a month since I left for the Games. It feels like it was only a couple weeks ago that we were on the plane coming home with a bunch of the Rogue equipment guys and 2010 champ, GRAHAM HOLMBERG. Boyfriend saw him, I didn’t. Though we did our best to stalk him.

I wish I could say that I’ve been wodding a lot, but ever since I got back from California and even before then, I’ve had way too many things go wrong that have prevented me from entering the box.

July 19: I hurt my back moving apartments. It took three weeks for my back to stop being so angry. RockSauce, RockTape, regular ice and chiropractor visits and rest made me go stir crazy but my back got better, so I was OK with it.

August 19: I got a cyst on my left ovary while rowing a 5K. This definitely was a monkey wrench thrown into the mix. I felt pain during the Monday WOD that week but thought it was general female issues until Friday night when my toes were curling in pain and we were headed to the ER. A prescription for Percocet later and we were on our way. I was tender for a good week. The cyst is also messing with my weight. I’m way heavier than I have been in months and I have to assume it’s because of the cyst. I just want it to go away and stop messing with my body.

Now that I’m feeling better, it’s time to get back to my regularly schedule WOD life. Monday was a doozy for one who hasn’t wodded regularly in weeks. It was also about 95 degrees outside, 110 in the box (I swear that thermostat is broken. It always says its 90 degrees in the box. NOT TRUE).

Anyway: Monday.

4 rounds:
15 wall balls

10 Burpees
15 tuck jumps

3 rounds:
150 m run
10 hang power snatch

2 rounds:
10 Power Cleans
10 hand-release push ups

1 round:
60 wall jumps (vertical jump)
60 mountain climbers (2 for 1)

Dying. Just dying.

The burpees were so hard and the snatches killed my already aching shoulders and forearms. I pussed out on the wall balls (6 pounds) and only did 45 pounds for the snatches and cleans (my clean is 95 pounds. I muscled those suckers up). The mountain climbers are so awkward for me. I jiggled a lot. I knew there would be a lot of hardship during this WOD so I did everything I could to make it a little more bearable. I was still dripping in sweat when I finished.

I ran during that WOD. I figured 150m was the best time to do it because it would be short and couldn’t possibly aggravate my achilles enough. I took it extremely slow, to the point where I could actually breathe and carry on a joking conversation with the coach while I ran back in. He was proud, to say the least.

The rest of the classes had a 25 minute time cap. I was in the 6:30 class so we didn’t have a cap and I couldn’t (read: Wouldn’t) not finish and/or stop at 25 minutes. Robb told me to do so but I told him ‘that’s not how I operate’ and he continued to cheer me on through the whole thing. 25 minutes came and went and I was working on the snatches. I finished in 36:46 and collapsed on the mat for an unknown amount of time. I couldn’t properly grip things.

I know you’re supposed to leave your ego at the door but I don’t feel like I’ve done enough unless I actually finish the workout. I can’t DNF. It’s simply not in my nature to not finish.

I stood up when Robb was kicking us out at the end of the night and he gave me a congratulatory hug because he knew I hadn’t wodded in two weeks and I haven’t run in 7 months.

My favorite part of the night was exclaiming to boyfriend that I had run. He had proud.

I then drove to pick n save and picked up a rack of already-cooked ribs, some potato salad and some fresh fruit. I ate dinner at 9 and it was amazing, if not paleo.

I woke up the next morning feeling pretty good but DOMS hit pretty quickly by the afternoon. It hurt to sit, to fully extend my arms and to bend at the waist. It even hurt to walk and laugh.

Sweet potatoes were my savior this week. I had some fries last night as a snack because I’d had dinner at 5 and it was this teeny tiny little salad with nothing on it so I was famished. I’m feeling better, though I didn’t think I’d be able to make it through Wednesday. Better start slowly, in my opinion. I’ll be at Friday night, though!

Next post is going to be recipe-rich, I think. I make chili every week and I’m going to be making some awesome cookies on Labor day. I hope you all have a great and long weekend. I’ll be knitting, baking and enjoying every second of my day off! There will likely be a WOD in there, too.

2013CFGAMESKAL

The title is the tag. I can’t wait for a full weekend of CROSSFIT!
Boyfriend and I board a plane on Wednesday afternoon to LAX and the home of the CrossFit Games, The StubHub Center on the campus of USC: Dominguez Hill.

25,000 people will be there
90 men, women and teams will compete to become the fittest in the world
I will be there
I will be knitting

So. On the CrossFit front: I’ve been doing plenty, but haven’t for a week as I’ve been doing a sort of CrossFit: Functional fitness. I’ve been moving apartments and I’ve been doing quite a bit of lifting, boxing, sorting, etc. with help from Boyfriend, best friend and Mom. I’m currently wrapped in Kinetic tape on three spots. It’s working, too, which makes me very happy.

We had 1 rep max a couple weeks ago and I did pretty good! I PRed my Deadlift (170), Bench Press (70), Clean and Jerk (95) and Snatch (75). Everything was at least a 10 pound PR, which made me really happy. I am also so close to bodyweight Deadlift, so I’m hoping that by the time we do 1RM again in three months, I’ll get it.

On the Paleo front, I recently made sweet potato brownies from Again Faster and took them into work. By the end of the day I had eaten 6 (I was hormonal, what can I say!) and everyone was asking me for the recipe. I even made them with agave nectar so my boss could eat them as she’s preggo.

Other than that, I’ve been working like crazy, knitting some and trying not to freak out over the smallest things. I have only two days of work before Boyfriend and I make our way to California.

So: The Knit/Crochet-a-long:
6 days, starting Midnight on the 22nd, until Midnight on the 28th. Knit something; anything. We are all on Ravelry to post pictures, offer encouragement, and be each others’ judges and coaches. We’re going for no DNFs. As I am the only one attending the actual Games, I’m going with something simple so I’ve picked up skein of Malabrigo Rios to mix with Wintry Mix Plucky Knitter. I’ll do random stripes in just stockinette as it’ll be a quick knit as well as a fun set of colors. I expect there will be plenty of funny looks but I don’t care. I’m so excited to be going again! See you all on ESPN 2 and 3!!

I’m off to my apartment to ice my sore back from picking up countless boxes. Then I get to go unload them.

Some Good News

So I have a job! YAY!
It involves writing! DOUBLE YAY!

I also have good news in the medical front and I should be back to CrossFit soon (I’ve been out for a week with lady issues. Let’s not talk about it) and I’m looking forward to hitting the rubber. 

I also have good news on the knitting front. I was bored a couple weeks ago and started cleaning up the apartment. I was getting rid of a lot and sorting things, filing paperwork away and making things pretty in the place I call home. My last bit of cleaning was the yarn. There’s yarn everywhere in the apartment: In buckets, baskets, bowls and even in corners. It’s ridiculous. So I pulled out all six containers for my yarn and started sorting before realizing that it all wouldn’t fit in the six containers. 

As long as I have been a knitter, my stash has never gotten larger than those six boxes. I texted Boyfriend. “Know anyone having a baby or getting married any time soon?”

“Actually… four people” he replied. 

I had piles of yarn in not-so-various colors so I decided to split things up. I already had tons of red over in one corner in a worsted weight so I put them in a bag with a few skeins of brown. I tossed the orange and cream together, the purple and grey and the black and blue. When I put them all together, I had more than blanket quantity of all the colors of purples, blues oranges, reds, cream and greys that I could have asked for. I decided ombre would be a perfect solution. 

So I packed all the yarn into three empty bins and carried the red over to the couch and cast on 600 stitches with a size 13 needle and the yarn held double. Decreasing six times, every 100 stitches, I would have a really nice lap blanket or a crib blanket for some couple in the future. 

The first wedding is within the next couple months. Boyfriend is attending the Bachelor party of his old college friend and I’m knitting the brown-into-red blanket. So far I’m up to the second-to-last color but I’m anticipating it’ll work perfectly and I won’t have any yarn left over. 

CrossFit is…well… I miss it. They did Whitten last week Friday, the day after I had some abnormal cells removed and I wasn’t in a position to attend. I was sad because I wanted to beat that WOD after it beat me last year. I was OK missing it because I remember it beating me. It is, to this day, the only WOD I’ve ever cried through. I’ll be going back to the box tomorrow, hopefully. It’s been more than a week as of tonight so I’m hoping it won’t be too brutal. 

Now that I have my lunch breaks and I’m happy to be writing again, I think I’ll blog more often. My half hour is up, though. I hope you’re all enjoying this weather! I don’t know about you but WODding AND knitting are way better when it’s 65 and sunny!

Life as RX: It’s About Time!

Thank you, everyone, for enduring with me while I go a month without writing. Life has been a little nutty… and awful… and I hate my current situation but I’m still working on it. If things work better in my favor soon, I’ll have a job in a week or two. Cross your fingers!

Anyway!

I started Paleo and CrossFit a little less than a year ago. I’m so glad all of you are here and reading.

I almost thought I was going to skip the WOD on Wednesday but I decided to do it, since I wouldn’t get another WOD in until next Monday. Two this week wasn’t really enough.

I made sure I drank enough water and showed up early to the box with the intent of working on my Double Unders. I had been really happy with them lately after finally breaking the 2-string and got to 4. I was determined to get to 10, which I did 10 minutes and multiple red welts forming on my arms and shins later.

I didn’t look at the whiteboard, as I usually don’t nowadays, until much later; like when everyone at the 4:30 class was all but done. I knew that they were doing Double Unders and Burpees, I just hadn’t bothered to look at the combinations.

I briefly considered doing this WOD RXed, but figured I’d lose my cool and never be able to get the DUs done. I said this to Brie and she said “Which way would give you a better workout?”

The answer was simple: RX, though it’ll take twice as long.

“Then don’t stop when you’re doing the burpees so you can take your time with the DUs.” which made a lot of sense. I usually take FOREVER with my burpees so I knew I’d have to finish the burpees pretty quickly so I can take my time missing some of the Double Unders and still finish with a good time.

A little bit about Wednesday: The temp peaked at 86 and it felt like it in the box. You were sweating before the class even began. My legs were sticking together and I could feel sweat dripping down my back during the Deadlift strength portion.

So, the WOD:
40 Burpees
50 Double Unders
30 Burpees
50 Double Unders
20 Burpees
50 Double Unders
10 Burpees
50 Double Unders

In order to RX it, you had to do chest-to-deck, stand up with a clap for the burpees and, obviously, you had to do the Double Unders, rather than the 150 singles each round.

I was nervous. My hands were sweating. My brain was in overdrive. 3, 2, 1… GO!

I didn’t look at the clock more than once in the entire WOD. I don’t know how long the burpees all took but I know I sucked on the Double Unders. After swearing a few times, noticing that people were onto their 50 double unders AFTER the 30 burpees and I still had 12 to finish on my first set of DUs, started getting to me. I blocked it out, strung a few sets of 3s and 5s together and managed to get to the burpees again.

I don’t think I’ve quite explained to you all how much I hate burpees. My back hurts every time I do burpees. My knees get gross from the mats, my wrists hurt from being forced to carry my upper half and, if dehydrated for the WOD, I get dizzy when getting up. I left wet handprints on the mat as my sweaty palms hit the rubber again and again.

I was onto the 20 burpees while others were done and many were just finishing up. When I had finished the 20 and moved to my rope, I was sure I was the last person on the floor. Brie, Dan and others hung around, cheering me on and counting for me.

What’s weird about this WOD is that I got exponentially better at Double Unders as the WOD went on… In the first two rounds I was stringing two or five together, but by the 3rd and 4th, I was stringing 10 together each time I started. Every now and then I’d trip up and pace a circle before taking a deep breath and starting again, only to stop after 10, sucking air like my lungs didn’t exist.

10 more burpees and 50 double unders stood in my way. I don’t remember doing the burpees. I blocked them out. It was too hard to get off the floor that I decided my brain didn’t need to remember that moment.

50 Double Unders, broken into sets of 10s and nines and my last two after tripping on the rope a few times, and I was done. I collapsed to my knees, gave the high fives offered to me and asked for my water.

IMG_0453

Robb came over after a few minutes and gave me a high five while I was still on the floor. “24:32. RX” I yelled at him, “Make sure you write RX on that board!”

“I’ll put it up in giant block writing.” he joked.

IMG_0454

And then he really did.

I hung around the box for a good half hour after I was done and got my bearings. I almost puked. I held it down. I made it home in one piece and proudly announced on Facebook that I had RXed my first WOD in 10 months. I was so proud of myself.

I later realized that I had just done 200 double unders when my previous PR was 10.

Thursday morning I was getting ready for an interview when I noticed a band of bruises on my right forearm. And a welt between my first two knuckles on my left hand. And some red marks on my shins. I love this sport. Doesn’t even matter if I’m bruised and beaten up; I absolutely adore CrossFit. I felt so strong. And still do. Every day.