Base Building: Week 11

It’s about time I’ve had a week that felt like things were progressing forward.  And not forward in a sense where I made strides but set myself back on the next workout — just forward.

Monday – CrossFit (1:00)

Sometimes you have days where you’re really motivated; it’s been a long time since I’ve had one of those days and it was a really welcome start to the week.  Even though I did run on Sunday morning, I felt fine and had no residual soreness to prevent me from working out (funny I wrote this on Monday because it’s total foreshadowing for Sunday).

Skill to practice: Squats

  • Considering I still suck at ’em, I love seeing them on the board.  This week I practiced front squats with 64 lbs and it was still a good weight.  One day I’ll get a true measure of what I’m capable of front squatting.
  • Since my back squats are still somewhat panic-inducing with weight for my coaches, Chris had me work on single leg squats alone for something run specific.  I really appreciate how he recognizes when there’s a more applicable skill for me to practice to achieve my goals.  I didn’t work with any weight, just myself and a stool behind me to work towards sitting on (I didn’t come close).  You couldn’t even compare my right leg squats to my left, that’s how bad my left leg was.  The first thing I noticed was how unstable my ankles are, which caused some initial soreness trying to maintain my balance.  Knowing my ankles occasionally bark at me during my runs, I need to add single leg squats to the regular mix.

Workout: 5 rounds for time (12:02):

  • 20 kettlebell swings (12kg for me)
  • 15 sit-ups
  • 10 ring rows (5 seconds/row)

I left feeling exhausted in my core, sore in my ankles, tight in my shoulders, but better than I have in a while.

Tuesday: Yoga (30:00)

Rather than my recovery consisting of laying on the couch binging on TV shows, I’m making a conscious effort to be active in a non-impact way.  With such a positive feeling from yoga last week, it seems to be a good choice.

I attempted a new video that was for runners, but didn’t care for it.  The woman’s voice and explanation drove me nuts and it progressed a little too quickly through the movements to enjoy it.  Plus a few of the moves were too tough for my flexibility (or lack thereof), but an alternative wasn’t given.  It just didn’t touch on the muscles I was really hoping to stretch.

Wednesday: Run (36:00)

The sidewalks weren't covered at the start of my run.
The sidewalks weren’t covered at the start of my run.

I love winter running… not just any winter running, but Upstate, Buffalo winter running.  Decked out in reflective gear, I started with a brief quarter mile walking warm-up after my active stretching in my apartment.  Immediately I felt a twinge in my right calf, a weird, random weakness and I wasn’t even running.  Not a chance, I thought.  There is no way things are acting up when I’m walking; it’s just not happening.  I started to run and told myself it’s all in my head.  And it was.  

The run felt effortless.  I forgot to use my inhaler before the run and it took a good ten minutes to get my breathing under control, but after that, it was my definition of a perfect run.  I stopped for some photo opportunities, enjoying that nobody else was crazy enough to be running outside.  My right ankle started to get a little aggravated after two miles, which I expected on some level.  When I started with my 1:00/4:00 run/walks over the summer, each increase came with some level of discomfort the first time, so this shouldn’t be any different.  It also didn’t help that the snow was coming down rapidly enough to build up on the sidewalk, causing my sneakers to do a little slip and sliding for the last half mile.

I concluded the run with another quarter mile walk and stretched in my apartment.  I incorporated some of my favorite stretches for my hips that I’ve taken from yoga and have already noticed an increase in flexibility.  PT Chris would be so proud of me!

Thursday: CrossFit (1:00)

And another day comes where I’m motivated to workout.  Who am I?  I’m starting to think it might actually be the supplements I started taking because at 5pm lately I’ve been energized, not ready to crash on my couch.

We worked on power clean and they might be my favorite thing to do.  I grabbed the baby bar (10 kg) because I’m still not used to names of things we’re doing so when I see power cleans, I figure I’d rather go on the safe side.  Even though I really enjoy working on them, I’m constantly breaking it down in my head and not really feeling the movement yet.  I added 10 lb plates and that felt good enough for practice.

Somewhere during my warming up there was a “Stop running! Why do you want to run? You end up back where you started!” joke from one of the coaches.  And then I said it.  Because I want to BQ.  And I need to run so I can get a couple marathons under my belt so that I can actually make a valid attempt to BQ.  I want to BQ.

That was the first time I really ever told somebody who actually knows about BQ’ing that it’s in my five year plan.  I can tell my friends and family about it, but they’re still stuck on the fact that I like to run 13 miles and want to run more.  They don’t really grasp what a BQ means.

The actual workout was 13 minutes, as many rounds as possible:

  • 10 box steps
  • 10 dead lifts (10 kg bar + 15 lbs each side)
  • 10 hangs with knee tucks

I finished 6 rounds and 9 box steps.  I probably could have gotten closer to 7 full rounds, but I just learned the proper dead lift technique so there was a lot of thought going on and correction during my sets.  Though, that’s what I love about where I go — it’s not as many, as fast as you can.  It’s work with urgency and push yourself, but do it properly first and every time after that.

Friday: Rest

Buffalo manhattan, please.
Buffalo manhattan, please.

Happy hour!  The only foods I ingested were variations of “Buffalo Chicken” and I enjoyed every moment of it.  I made a decent dent in the vodka-less cocktail list too – manhattan, gin spritzers, mojitos…

Saturday: Easy Run (32:49)

Despite not having a hangover from the alcohol from the night before, I drank a lot of frilly drinks with sugars when I’m used to water as a mixer.  The dehydration from that alone made me feel sluggish and lazy.  I finally decided to head out around 5:30pm.  It was somewhat warm, yet windy, and the snow was melting.  Unfortunately, a lot of the sidewalks aren’t shoveled and I wasn’t crazy about running in the street in the dark.

I love Upstate New York winter running. #snow
I love Upstate New York winter running. #snow

I walked for almost four minutes, ran 2.39 miles (24:42), and then walked another four minutes for the cool-down.  The times I felt crappiest was when I wasn’t running, to be honest.  My second mile was rather slow since it was all on melting ice and I wasn’t keen on wiping out, but it felt good to get the legs moving.

Sunday: CrossFit (1:00) and Seminar Sunday

Kidding, sort of.

If it hadn’t been for the two seminars at CrossFit, I would have stayed home and rested.  After a lengthy warm-up, we did a ten rounds (14:04):

  • hang clean x 3 (42 lbs)
  • snatch grip dead lifts x 6 (42 lbs)
  • push-ups x 9 (knees)
  • lateral jumps over barbell (I stepped) x 12

I could probably do an entire post on the seminars alone, and I might, but in short there were some really good points to take away.  The first was about creating a bulletproof spine.

The second hour was on resting and recovery.  The biggest point that hit home was thinking of your body like a bank account – you can’t take more money out than what you put in.  Your body is the same way – you can’t put more stress on your body than there is to back it up.  You need to recover.  And just because you aren’t experiencing soreness (DOMS), doesn’t mean you’re actually recovered to the point where you should re-stress your body (see Monday’s workout).

Besides the 24 hours of being extremely bummed (everyone is allowed to have those days), this week was one of the best I’ve had mentally and physically.  I’m really looking forward to the upcoming week with two half days at work to finish up Christmas things and get some run-specific CrossFit training in.

This week: Just under 70 minutes of running (6 miles), 3 hours of CrossFit (!!), 30 minutes of yoga.

Next week’s goals: 2 hours of CrossFit, about 77-80 minutes of running (including the warm-up and cool-down walking), and an hour of yoga.

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Brittany

Just a 20-something homegrown Buffalo sports loving, distance running, gin drinking kind of girl.

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