Friday, August 31, 2012

Killin' it at CrossFit

I've got several CrossFit WODS for you today! I'm most excited about last night's workout, so I'll start there. We started with a short and fun circuit of rows, kb swings, box jumps and somersaults. The somersaults were really fun to do, I was having such a great time pretending I was a rock-star gymnast (which, obviously, I am). We did three rounds, one partner after the other.

Our WOD last night was pretty much all about endurance. This is definitely my forte, so I killed this one! We ran 200 meters, did 15 kettlebell swings and bear crawled forward across the gym and then backwards. If you think crawling forward is hard, try backwards! A lot of it is coordination. I blazed through the workout in under 9 minutes and finished a good minute and a half before anyone else! Afterwards, I had to remind some of the disgruntled boys that I struggle with strength workouts and that made them feel a bit better!

The day before, we did what my coach called a "time management" workout.

First we practiced our overhead squat, which I don't think I had ever practiced before. The first set was rough, but I was finally able to add some extra weight after I got the hang of it.

For our WOD, we did a 2 minute row as fast as possible for calories. Then, 2 minutes of overhead squats for reps and 2 minutes of pullups for reps. I was a wimp and used an orange band for the pullups, so I got through quite a few. I need to go down to a black band (the smallest band) and suck it up. Even if I can only do 3 at a time, I know it will make me stronger. And, finally, we did a 400 meter run for time. I was pissed to come in second place in the run, but you can't win 'em all!

The past two days have been great running-wise as well. Both days I did a speedy 4 miles. Today I didn't even look at my watch! I just ran by feel and ended up with an average pace of 7:55. Who knew that would ever be a comfortable pace for me?! I was sad that I had left my camera at home because the moon was SO beautiful this morning. I hear tonight there is supposed to be a "blue moon" so I don't want to miss that!

August has been a great month for me. It's actually my highest mileage month ever, clocking in at 164 miles! And that doesn't even count the running I do at Crossfit. My highest mileage month before training for NYC Marathon last year was 141, and I'm not even up to my highest mileage weeks for this training cycle yet. Pretty excited to see what September brings!

Tomorrow I have a 16 miler planned, and I am still debating where to tackle it. I'm thinking I might do Greenlake/Lake Union, but since I have a guest this weekend, I may just take it straight from my apartment down the Burke Gilman.

Hope everyone has a great Labor Day Weekend!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012


Last night I had to work, so I didn't make it to CrossFit. I DID, however, head into the gym early and did the "Dirty 30" workout below. I didn't go crazy, but still finished in 23 minutes. I missed the camaraderie at my CrossFit box, but was glad I could still squeeze in a good workout.

This morning I took off for 4 miles. I was trying to keep my pace pretty speedy, but my legs just didn't want to move! I kept my cool and just kept trying to get them moving faster. During mile 3 the song Mambo #5 came on my ipod randomly (haven't heard that song in years!) and it was the perfect song to keep up my pace with. I concentrated on just turning my legs over with the beat and started hitting the times I was looking for!

A client at the gym recently brought me the latest issue of Competitor Magazine because he found an article about HIIT for runners that he thought I would enjoy.
HIIT stands for High-Intensity Interval Training, which is mostly what I do in CrossFit. The article talked about how runners can decrease their mileage and start doing HIIT several times a week to become a stronger and more efficient runner.
Since I've added CrossFit into my training, I had become a much faster runner. I have also started enjoying my runs even more! I think this is because CrossFit has helped me become more comfortable with being uncomfortable. It sounds strange, but being pushed past my comfort zone at the box gives me the tools to do the same in my runs. The article talks more about the science behind it, and you can find a copy if you're interested in learning more.

Some of the best HIIT Workouts according to the article are tabatas, fartleks and hill repeats, but I think any workout in which you are going all out for a period or periods of time is going to benefit runners. For me, it's definitely scary to decrease mileage in favor of these other workouts, but I now really do believe there is something behind this HIIT movement!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012


Last night I was a little disappointed in my CrossFit performance. Our workout was not too difficult, and it was an AMRAP, which allows me to not worry about beating everyone else.

This was the perfect opportunity for me to use heavier dumbbells, kettlebell and to practice double unders. After attempting several double unders before the workout began, I pretty much just gave up and decided to do singles. I started out using 20lb dumbbells and a purple kettlebell. After 2 rounds through, my shoulders were on fire and I traded out my 20lb dumbbells for 15lbs. The workout seemed rather lazy on my part and I wasn't going particularly fast. I finished exhausted, but discouraged because I know I could've pushed harder.

After the workout, my coach and I were talking and he told me I definitely should've kept the 20lb dumbbells and set them down to rest when I needed. In the back of my mind, I knew I should've done this, but, honestly, it really didn't even cross my mind to set down the weights and rest during the workout.

In CrossFit, at least at my box, a lot of our workouts are timed or we count reps. With my new-found competitive nature, I am always pushing to get through as many reps and to go as fast as I can. I think I've realized its also important in training to step back and go up in weight or use a lighter band for pull-ups. Its okay to be a little slower than yesterday because without trying something new and challenging my muscles, I'm not going to go anywhere and I am defeating the purpose of CrossFit!

This morning I set out for a 7 mile tempo run. I was hoping to hit 3 miles in the middle holding 7:45s. My first mile felt fine, it was lovely running weather and the sun was peeking through a light cloud layer. After that mile, though, I started feeling tired and my legs felt lead-like. Boo. At that point I hate to admit, but I sort of gave up. I wasn't even through the warmup and I'd already decided not to push the pace for the middle miles!

As usual, I let my mind wander away while running and despite feeling tired, the miles went by fairly quickly despite my less than stellar mood.

Around mile 5 I was running by the marina, along the beach. The tide was out so I looked down to the shore and saw a beautiful, bright red starfish. I looked out over the water to the mountains and realized how insignificant my bad mood is.

Why waste this day not working as hard as possible? And why was I getting down on myself simply because I wasn't hitting a pace I'd set for myself. Who cares? I'm running because I love to run. There are so many who are not as lucky. I immediately got a spring back in my step and started hitting my goal pace with little effort.

In addition, I also started smiling at other runners and walkers I was passing and said "good morning!" to each one. By the time I got back to my apartment, I was my usual happy self, and was surprised to find my final miles surpassed my expectations! 

Moral of my story: Stop getting discouraged and down on yourself because things are so much better when you just enjoy life!

After all, this chick is visiting me this weekend and I can't wait to get into Seattle shenanigans with her!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Weekend Workouts

Happy Monday! First things first. Check out this adorable pup I have been dog sitting for all weekend:

Her name is Daisy and she is a lab/visla mix, or so the owners think. She is just hilarious. Not only does she sleep on the bed with you, but she puts her head on the pillow and burrows under the covers like a real human! The first night I spent with her I was just cracking up. I've never owned a dog that was allowed on the bed, let alone under the covers!

I went to CrossFit Saturday morning for a workout. I've felt like a lot of our workouts at the box lately have been cardio-heavy. And as much as I love those (since I'm pretty good at them), I always enjoy a little break to work on something different. I had never done hang snatches before. And, of course, I wasn't using the weight in that video. We started off the workout practicing those and finding a difficult weight for 3 reps, then set up for the WOD.
The most difficult part of this WOD for me was actually the push press. I found the hang snatch to be mostly about balance and core, both of which I can turn on easily! Shoulder strength, not as easy!

The hi-light of my Saturday was certainly teaching two fitness classes in the afternoon! I was so nervous for some reason. Probably since it was my first class. I taught a tabata class (20 seconds work, 10 seconds rest) and a core class. 
Fitness class studio. Hope to teach many more classes in you!
I am very lucky to have several awesome group exercise mentors who are helping me through the process of teaching. I was able to get lots of feedback on my classes and have some things to work on for my next ones! However, as much as I have to improve upon, the group fitness director loved the classes and is setting up several permanent classes for me to teach in the fall! Woo!

To round out my excellent weekend, I had an awesome 15 miler on Sunday morning. It was the perfect day for a long run and I decided to head out to Seward Park and run along Lake Washington Blvd. Of course, 15 miles is not easy by any stretch of the imagination. By "awesome" I mean that my neuroma hardly hurt and I never felt like I was going to die if I didn't stop. I think the key here is not to attempt a long run right after a Crossfit workout (duh). 

My run wasn't insanely fast or spectacular in any way other than the fact that I enjoyed myself pretty much the entire time. It has been awhile since a long run felt so good for me.

After my run I took the usual ice bath and enjoyed some sushi and popchips. Hey, don't knock it til you've tried it! I spent pretty much the rest of the day in recovery mode. Although I did enjoy several miles walking with Daisy to the farmer's market. 

This morning, I got up for 5 recovery miles, which felt slow, but surprisingly good! As usual, I had to run 3 miles and then open the gym before finishing the last 2. Hooray for starting Monday off on a good foot!

Friday, August 24, 2012

A Friday List

  • I'm teaching my first ever class tomorrow afternoon! It's actually two classes: a tabata class and a core class. I'm very excited to get started teaching and hoping that the nerves pass once I get started. I'm more nervous about the core class, since it is more choreographed than the tabata class will be. I'm sure everything will go just swimmingly!

  • Somewhat ironic is the fact that I just received my ACE Group Fitness Manual books in the mail yesterday. The fact that I am already going to begin teaching is not lost on me, but I am glad I am going to get the opportunity to get started, so maybe the studying will be that much easier!

  • Last night's Crossfit workout was nothing to write home about. I wouldn't even know how to write it out. Basically we pulled sleds from one end of the gym to the other and at each end we did 7 knees to chest, 7 fingers to toes, 7 candlesticks and 10 kb swings. For the first time, I used a purple kettlebell for the entire workout (instead of yellow)! Moving on up!
  • This morning I went for a nice, easy 4 miles. It was a beautiful but brisk morning in Seattle and I can feel fall coming on already. My legs felt kind of heavy today, so I made sure to just take it easy and enjoy the run.
  • This weekend I've got a 15 miler on the schedule. With my neuroma debacle on my 12 miler last week, I am hoping for a good run this weekend. I'm planning on getting in a CrossFit workout as well. I am dog-sitting for a friend the next few days, so expect lots of puppy pictures on Monday! Have a good weekend!

Thursday, August 23, 2012


I am full of nervous/excited energy today! More on that in a second, but first: workouts! Last night's CrossFit  WOD was a cardio killer. My friend, Beth, and I found out the workout earlier in the day and were texting all afternoon whether or not we wanted to subject ourselves to the torture!

The workout didn't end up being as hard as I thought it would be. The worst part were the burpees at the end of the first 15 minutes. I think I ended up with around 60 (can't remember exactly) and I had the highest in the class, despite the fact that I suck at rowing and was the third person off their rower.

I was pretty proud of myself at the end of the last set because I did all my pullups with a black band (the smallest). One step closer to un-assisted pullups! I could only manage sets of 3 at a time, but at least I was doing it! I think I ended up with 25 total by the end.

I woke up this morning at the butt-crack of dawn to get in a quick 3 miles. It was dark the whole time, and about 3 minutes in the ground came up to bite me and I totally tripped over the sidewalk. Sad face. Luckily, it was a mild fall, as falls go and I only scraped up the side of my calf a little bit. I've had several bad falls in my running "career" which have left my knees scarred. Usually I'm ok with the scars, as I feel they are badges of honor! Although I'm thinking I should get a light of some sort to run with since I'm going to be running so early sometimes now.

Since I am working towards my Group Exercise Certification with ACE, my gym has been talking about giving me some small classes. I am very excited at the prospect and yesterday the group fitness manager asked me if I could teach a demo class in several weeks. I pretty much squealed with excitement and got to work planning it right away!

Our group fitness room!
Last night after CrossFit, I had a message asking if I could do the demo class this Saturday instead! Eeeek! I have had the biggest rush of nervous excitement since then. On one hand, I've never taught before so I'm pretty nervous, but on the other hand, I think I will really enjoy it after I get over the nerves.

So many fun toys to use
So now I am trying to plan my classes and practice them at least once before Saturday!

In other news, I have a full day ahead. Some of the other trainers from my gym who also do CrossFit are heading over to another CrossFit box to get ideas for some functional movement classes we want to start. I'm excited to try another box, since I've only ever been to mine!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Competition and Lime Green Shoes

Last night's CrossFit workout included "suicides". I remember this exercise as being called "running lines", and we usually did them in basketball and soccer practices when I was growing up. There are several "lines" set up, and to begin, you run to the first line, touch it with your hands and run back to the start. You repeat until you have run to every line and back. As an endurance athlete, these were not only hard for me, but frustrating as well. It was difficult to feel like I was just starting to pick up speed when I would have to bend down and turn around again! I joked during the workout that every time I bent down to touch a line, I felt like a tiger ready to pounce!

The rest of the workout was fairly straight forward with cleans (which almost killed me) and kettlebell swings. I always find it to be a hard balance when deciding whether to up the weight and not get down into a full squat, or have better form and go down in weight. It doesn't help that I get competitive, either and want to finish first!

On that competitive note, I never really considered myself to be a competitive person. At least not with others. I always strive to be better for myself, but never thought I was competing with others.

CrossFit has certainly changed that! Lately I have become so competitive it isn't even funny. I figured it was just in the CrossFit gym, and my trying to kill myself to finish first or second was just the nature of CrossFit in general.

On my four mile run this morning, however, I kept coming up on more and more runners and would immediately speed up so I could pass them. At some points, I was even hitting a 6 minute per mile pace! Who am I? At some point I realized what was going on and was wondering why I felt the need to beat all these random people at 5am. I was a little upset with myself for a quick second until I realized it doesn't matter! If this is is going to help me to become a better runner and I'm still having fun, why not be competitive? It's nothing to be scared of!

In other news, I finally took the plunge and spent too much money on another pair of shoes. As I said before, I was debating between the Nike Free Run and the Brooks Pure line. I went over to Road Runner Sports yesterday, and although I pretty much knew what I wanted, had them take me through their "Shoe Dog" experience. The employee who was helping me was so knowledgeable! When I told him my history, what I was using the shoes for and my injuries, he knew exactly how all of it would play out and even had some great ideas to keep my neuroma happier. I had fun going through all the foot tests with him and eventually got handed over to a shoe salesman, where I basically just tried on the Pure Connect and the Nike Free Run.

I had SUCH a hard time deciding between the two. I went in thinking that I would end up with the Nike's. Although I liked that the Nike's had more room in the box of the shoe, I ended up being happier with the Pure Connect's cushioning, especially in my insanely high dancer arch. It also didn't hurt that they were in one of my favorite colors: lime green!

So far so good! I've worn them to one CrossFit workout and am sporting them at the gym today. I have 30 days to return them, so I still have some time to decide!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Tuesday Tempo That Wasn't

Tuesday! That means it's my day off! Woo! After working 6 days in a row, I know I need it!

Last night, we had a fun CrossFit workout. "Helen"! Many of the benchmark workouts are named after girls. The CrossFit founder said this is because he thought that anything that left you on your back, staring up at the ceiling wondering what happened to you deserved a woman's name. That explanation always makes me laugh!

We did 3 rounds for time. If you did it "prescribed" you could get a t-shirt. I did the kb swings at the prescribed weight for women, which was 16kg, but used an orange band for the pullups (progress!). I finished around 9:30, second in my class! I was pretty much spent after that. I won't tell you the ridiculously early hour I crawled my tired body into bed!

This morning I woke up for a 7 mile tempo run. That certainly didn't happen! By mile 3, I just decided it was one of those days where just getting in the miles was going to be an accomplishment. I finished the 7 miles, but just barely!

By the end of the run, all I could think of was the flat blueberries I had waiting for in my fridge from the farmer's market. I am very lucky to be so close to the Ballard Farmer's Market, that happens every Sunday. I ran over there after work Sunday and made a beeline for the blueberries.

"We're blueberries and we're delicious!"
It's a bit of a cloudy, overcast morning around Seattle, but after our "heat wave" last week, I'll take it! Nonetheless, no matter the weather, I always appreciate the beauty of Seattle! And running along the beach every morning doesn't hurt, either!

I wore my new shoes again, the ones that gave me such awful neuroma pain this weekend, and my foot felt fine! Thank goodness! I was a bit worried.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Weekend Workouts

My weekend felt like it was full of workouts! Friday night I made it to CrossFit for a killer WOD! This was actually a WOD I loved, though. I usually like the workouts that feature endurance over strength (probably because I'm better at them!).

My coach specified that once we started a set of 30, we couldn't stop or we had to add on an extra 400 meter run with our wall ball. thank you! I will NOT be stopping during a set! The set that killed me was the thrusters. I think I have done thrusters everyday this week so I found my shoulders pretty "thrustered" out.

I'd made a plan to meet some of my CrossFit buddies at the gym Saturday morning, and then follow that up with my long run.
Grr! Ready to rock some Saturday workouts!
And, of course, guess what part of the workout was? Thrusters! Gah!

3 rounds for time:
400 meter run
21 thrusters
12 pullups

Oh well, I still had fun! And since it was a running-based workout, I finished second in my class =) AND after the workout, someone came up and praised how good my pullups look! I was so excited I just about hugged her!

After Crossfit, my friend Beth and I headed out for a run. I was debating how much I wanted my "long run" to be this weekend and decided on 12 miles. I figured my body could use a bit of a rest after the half marathon last weekend, but I wanted to keep my mileage up. Beth stuck with me for the first 3 miles or so and I was thankful to have a friend there to get me through those early miles. Once I hit 4 miles or so, I finally felt loosened up!

I ran along the Burke-Gilman trail. This is such a great multi-use trail for runners, walkers, bikers, roller-bladers, etc. that stretches all round Seattle for miles. Last time I tried to follow it, I got lost somewhere near the U-District, but luckily, this time I was able to stay on the trail!

More on this in another post, but one of the injuries that put an end to my dance career was a Morton's Neuroma. I don't feel it much anymore since I had surgery to remove the nerve between my toes, but when I am breaking in new running shoes, it is downright painful. Saturday was my first long run in my new shoes and by mile 6 I had to stop, take off my shoe, and move my toes around. The pain I experience is very odd. Sometimes it just hurts and feels like a sharp pain in my foot and other times my foot "clicks" as well. Every mile or so after that I had to stop again to shake it out. I literally thought about running home without my shoe on, but definitely made the wise choice to nix that decision since I was still about 6 miles away from my car.

Luckily I made it through and ran home to eat, take an ice bath, shower and get to work. I am a recent ice bath convert.
Cold toes
I never took them when I lived in New York and wouldn't even fathom it in the bathtub I shared with two other girls. I took my first ice bath several weeks ago after a 13 miler and the next day I felt terrific! I figured it won't hurt, and even if it helps me recover the slightest bit faster, its worth it!

I'm cold but excited! Recover faster legs!!
After 6 hours of work, I bet you can guess how early this granny went to bed Saturday night =)

The next morning, I got in 3.5 recovery miles before heading into work again. When I got to the gym, I was excited to find a wall of my cookie cutter workouts! I've been working on these for awhile, and am excited for people to sign up so I can take them through the routines!

I also got in 5 miles this morning. 3 before opening and the gym and 2 after. I was still feeling slow and like I was still in recovery mode and once I stopped, it was hard to get my pace moving again! The sun was also being a bit slow this morning as the sunrise didn't even start until I was finished. I guess it's preparing me for winter when all my runs are going to be in the dark again.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Hot Friday

Happy Friday! I still get excited when it's Friday even though I usually have to work weekends. There is just something about Friday that seems like such a release and everyone just seems to be in a better mood!

I started my day off with a lovely 5 miles. It was one of those runs where you are just enjoying the morning, your surroundings and being thankful. Love those! 

Pretty mountains, I love you.
It didn't hurt that it was already really warm outside. I even wore a tank top at 5am! It's pretty bizarre for Seattle to be that warm so early. I was able to wear a new polka dotted tank top I got this weekend at the Lululemon outlet up in Burlington. I'm loving this tank. It is the Lulu Cool Racerback. Racerback's are by far my favorite kind of tanks, and I love the way this one is snug on top (but not too snug) and then flares out at the bottom so it isn't suffocating your core. Glad to have found this one on sale!

Polka dots!
Seattle has been experiencing a "heat wave" of sorts the past few days. Heat wave for Seattle means it's in the 90's for several days. For the rest of the nation, this is not a big deal, but for Seattle, it's pretty rare. I feel like a big wimp coming from the scorching summers in New York, but I am devoid of AC and its hot! WAAAH! This new fro yo find from Trader Joe's helps with the sweat running down my back (whoops, overshare?).

I had a great workout at CrossFit last night despite the heat. My entire class was dripping sweat before we even finished the warm ups! I have to admit, although other people complain, I love being a sweat monster! We worked on clean and jerks, which I haven't had much practice with, for the first part of the class and then used them in the WOD. It was definitely a struggle getting through each round, but it was nice to get a break while my partner went. 

I'm looking forward to a great, sweat-filled weekend!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

My Great Shoe Conundrum

Despite mentioning the other day that I was finally switching over to a new pair of running shoes, I still need a new pair.

They (I'm not sure who "they" are, maybe shoe experts?) say to make your running shoes last longer, they should only be worn for running. No walking around doing errands, no weight lifting, etc. Since it seems to take me so long to break in new shoes, I tend to strictly adhere to this rule.

Nowadays, I pretty much live in my tennis shoes. Of course, there's the running, then there is my time working at the gym, where I am usually darting from one place to another (yes, darting). And, of course, there's CrossFit. I have an old (about 8 months) pair of running shoes that I have retired from strictly running, and have been using those at the gym and at Crossfit. Unfortunately, I am starting to get some minor shin pain, and I know these shoes are probably the culprit.

I love you so much lime green shoes, but I think it's time we broke up and went our separate ways.

Now the question becomes what kind of shoes should I get?

The CrossFit-ers I know generally all use minimalist shoes. Of course, for doing Olympic lifts and weight training, I believe in the power of minimalist shoes and the benefits they can bring to performance.

At our Crossfit box, we do a fair amount of running and when I'm running, I definitely like support and would never completely transition to a minimalist shoe (if it ain't broke, don't fix it!), but I think I'm ready to take the plunge. I'm hoping this new pair of shoes can be my go-to shoes for my work at the gym and Crossfit.

So, the front runners (pun intended! hah!) are the Brooks PureCadence, or the Nike Free Run. I think both of these shoes will do the trick, and I've tried them both on separately. I guess the next step is to try them on at the same time to see which feels best. Any opinions out there as to a favorite?

Yesterday I had an appointment over in Magnolia. I got there a little early and ate my lunch at Magnolia park. I never realized what a great view Magnolia has!

I even found a swing set there! How fun is it just to swing away? I haven't done that in forever and it made me feel like I was 5 years old all over again. Unfortunately, my appointment ran late and I missed CrossFit. This morning, however, I got in a lovely 4 miler with the sunrise. I was able to keep all the miles under 8 minutes fairly easily, so I was happy about that!

I'm trying to decide what I want to do workout wise this weekend. As I said, I am taking it easy this week running-wise and just doing what I feel like. I have to work both days this weekend, but not until 2pm on Saturday, which leaves me time for Crossfit AND a run! Now, the question is how many miles I want to do. Decisions, decisions!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Ballard Locks and Workouts

I had a lovely day off yesterday! I decided to take a walk in the afternoon to the Ballard Locks.

I hadn't been and really explored there since I was really little, and I enjoyed watching some of the boats go through. There is something kind of calming about sitting on the perfectly green grass in the park, listening to the sounds of the water, and watching the boats line up.

I also went to CrossFit, per usual. As I expected, we had a pretty killer workout today. I usually excel at the workouts that feature running, and they are usually my favorite. I find myself hoping for running workouts, but since I have usually already run in the morning, I know I should be working on things like rowing!

We started the workout working on our snatches, which I haven't had too much practice with. I wasn't able to get up in weight very high, and for the workout, I just ended up with the bar. For the WOD, we ran 1000 meters and then did 21 snatches, 21 pullups, 15 snatches, 15 pullups, etc. As usual, I was first to finish the run, but some caught up to me during the lifts. Luckily, I was able to kill the final 1000 meter run and finished first.

This morning I woke up to open the gym at an hour I don't really want to share. As hard as it is to get up that early, it's worth it. I love stepping outside my apartment building to a quiet and tranquil street. The sky was super clear this morning and I caught a nice sliver of the moon.

Oh heeeey moon! Good morning to ya!
After I opened the gym, I had a few hours before my shift started so I got my run in. A slow 4 miles today. My legs felt tired, probably because of the CrossFit madness last night.

I also find the marina by me to be peaceful in the morning. Especially when I get there for the sunrise. Most people are still sleeping and I get it mostly to myself. Lets hope the rest of this Wednesday stays as peaceful as my morning was!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Tougher Mudder Possibilities

My CrossFit workout last night was somewhat easy by CrossFit standards. This probably means the workout this afternoon is going to be a tough one! We started out with 5 sets of 8 deadlifts. My legs were still a little tired I think from the race this weekend because I only got to 50kg.

After our workout, one of my friends and I started working on our pullups. I am on a mission to do kipping pullups without a band, so I have been working on them everyday after my WOD. I'm still a ways off and trying to figure out the best way to get there. I am torn between working with a band to do my kipping pull ups and working on the movement, or working my pullups from a deadhang to gain strength. So many differing opinions on this one as every trainer at my box seems to have a different opinion!

While we were practicing pull ups, one of our trainers mentioned doing the Tougher Mudder run in September. Have you ever heard of this race? It is a crazy obstacle course amidst a 12 mile run. There are some pretty insane obstacles! My trainer said his team was looking for more people and that we should do it!

Hold up. You want me to run a crazy race with all these obstacles with a bunch of hardcore CrossFit trainers, while I can barely do one pullup?

Nonetheless, I started getting really excited about it and my friend and I are seriously considering signing up! I'll keep ya posted!

This week, I'm doing what I feel like running mileage-wise. I figured a week "off" will keep me motivated during Marathon training in the coming months. Of course, I'm still running. This morning I had a lovely 6 mile run down to the beach and back. I love Tuesdays because they are usually my days off and I can run a bit later in the morning.

One last piece of news: I finally retired the shoes I have been running in since the NYC Marathon last year...whooops! I got a new pair of Brooks Ghost 4's awhile ago, but it takes awhile for me to break them in, so I was just using them on one or two short runs a week. Yesterday I finally made the switch. And I added some pretty sweet hot pink laces!

Have a good Tuesday!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Seawheeze Half Marathon

Hot damn I love racing. All last week I was so excited that I got to race this weekend. And Lululemon and Seawheeze sure did deliver!

Several months ago, when I met Rebecca, she mentioned that she was headed up to Vancouver for the Lululemon Seawheeze Half Marathon in August.

My thought process:
Vancouver? Awesome
Weekend exploring a new city? Awesome
Half Marathon? Super awesome
Sign me up yo!

Like that was a difficult decision at all...

Anyways, the weekend finally arrived and Rebecca picked me up Friday for our weekend adventure.Unfortunately, Canada is crazy, and after passing the border we were hit with some insane traffic. I guess those Canadians think its a good idea to try to squeeze five lanes of traffic down to one in order to go through a tunnel. I was NOT a happy camper and I had to pee.

Thank goodness you're pretty, Vancouver, because that traffic was NOT!
Leaving our obscenities on the road, we finally made it to our hotel and booked it to the "expo" to grab our bags. It wasn't until we got back to our room after dinner that we realized there were no race bibs!

The insanity! How can I run a race without a race bib?!?!

Ok, it ended up being alright, but I was still weirded-out for awhile! I mean, what am I supposed to add to my bib wall?

The next morning, Rebecca and I got ready (read: I peed about 12 times), walked over to the start and said our "good luck!"s before heading to our corrals.

Since I've been doing CrossFit, I have been running a lot faster. Pretty much without even trying, so I had set a lofty goal of a 1:45.00 pr. My previous pr was a 1:52.00 at the More Fitness Half Marathon in Central Park in Spring 2011.

I set out feeling strong like bull. Perhaps too strong. My first two miles were close to 7.00. I always get so excited to start racing and get caught up in the adrenaline flowing through my veins that I can't contain myself. I finally got into a rhythm and started hitting 8 minute miles about mile 4. Of course, around mile 9, I totally started sucking it and my pace fell to 8:20s/30s for the rest of the race.  

I still finished smiling and was definitely happy to get a pr and new, pretty medal!

Rebecca and I eventually found each other and slowly meandered back to the hotel to shower.

 We wandered around Vancouver for the rest of the day and ended up at Nuba for dinner. My stepmom had mentioned Nuba to me when she heard I was headed to Vancouver and said that she and my Dad had LOVED it there. I wasn't planning to make it a necessary dining choice, but when our hotel concierge recommended it as well, Rebecca and I were all over it!

I ordered the Fatoosh salad, which was probably the best I've ever had! I love it when you get more vegetables than just romaine or iceberg lettuce! I also got the Garden Falafel, which had hummus underneath and tahini drizzled on top. It was served with what the waiter said was their "spicy" sauce (hello, delicious) and beet pickled cabbage. I think it took me all of five minutes to finish this and I highly recommend Nuba if you are in Vancouver.

I pretty much went straight back to the hotel and passed out afterwards.

The Seawheeze weekend also had free yoga classes, a free concert and some other really fun things that we just didn't get around the partaking in. Maybe next year?

We drove back to Seattle uneventfully on Sunday and I am excited now to kick New York City Marathon training up a notch!