I’m not going to post every week about my training, but since this week included lots of “newness,” I figured it was worth a blog post.
Here is what my training looked like this week:
Saturday: 2.5 mile trail run and a very light WOD (workout of day):
Basically, I replaced the 20 minute warm-up run with my trail run.
I’ve done very little trail running, but whenever I do it I feel like one of the luckiest people in the world. Trail running gives you the chance to enjoy so much natural beauty. The trail was covered in ice/snow/mud patches, but I found that wasn’t a problem. I was intimidated by some of the hills – but primarily because I was scared of running down them. I kept thinking I’d fall on my face! I ended up being fine, though.
I found the WOD pretty easy, except for some trouble I was having with my left wrist that forced me to pretty much do my planks one-handed.
Sunday: Rest Day. Actually, I had volunteering and that means being on my feet for several hours in a row. Plus I wanted to be rested for Monday!
Monday AM: CrossFit!
I had my first ever “real” CrossFit workout on Monday. I’m in an introductory class where we first learn various moves, and then do a WOD. We went over air squats, goblet squats, ring pulls and suitcase deadlifts. We also tried out foam rollers, which help your muscles.
One funny story: Our instructor likes to teach us a move, have us do repetitions of it, and then ask us again what the name of the move is. I had told the instructor about my hearing, so I was right in front of him during the class. I guess he wasn’t thinking about it, or didn’t quite get it (understandable), because the first time he asked us to recall the name of a move, he pointed at me. Now, I had been desperately curious why this move was called “goblin squats” and come up with all sorts of ideas. Turns out it’s goblet squats (which makes minimally more sense). I’d blame all the fantasy that I read, except that I don’t use “goblet” much in everyday language!
So after about an hour of all these moves, we did our WOD, which was:
AMRAP-7 (as many repetitions as possible in 7 minutes):
7 goblet squats
7 ring pulls (like pull-ups but using the rings)
suitcase deadlift outside to the pole and back
It was tons of fun. I did nearly four reps in the 7 minutes, which is as good as anyone else in the class. And luckily, my wrist was back to normal – it comes and goes.
Despite the early wake-up – 5:20am – so I could go to the class, I felt amazing the rest of the morning. I started to crash a bit in the late afternoon, but my body just needs time to adjust to the new schedule.
Tuesday: Rest Day.
I was expecting second-day ache, but I had no idea it would be quite so bad! I barely did any stretching after CrossFit, and that was a mistake: on Tuesday, my upper legs (bear with me, I don’t know any anatomy – my hamstrings? My quads?) were completely stiff. I walked very slowly all day, and sitting down was a bit of a challenge each time I had to do it. I wasn’t upset about it; it just made me happy because I’d done such a good workout. But obviously I needed to take care of it. So as soon as I got home from work, I ran a very hot bath, and that made a tremendous difference. I followed that with stretching several times each hour til bed, which helped even more.
A friend told me that drinking water helps with lactic acid, and that I should drink 3x my regular water intake. I already drink more water than most people, so I was a bit hesitant about this. But extra water did seem to help. I’m curious if it’s true, so I’m going to do some research into it.
Wednesday AM: CrossFit! Also – RACE REGISTRATION DAY!
I had some slight misgivings about doing CrossFit while my body was still recovering from Monday’s class, but I thought to myself: They purposely scheduled the Intro class for Mon/Wed, and they know what they are doing. Four of us got there early to use the foam rollers, and they helped tremendously. I’m going to look into buying one for home.
My body started producing endorphins while I was foam rolling – whether from the pain or in anticipation, I’m not sure. So I was pretty hyped – it was hard to stay still and focus! When we started our class with a light run and some stretching, I thought I was in good luck – I’m one of the only ones in the class who is a runner and practices yoga. But once we got past that, it seemed like I did everything wrong! I don’t have a great memory for poses, but mostly it’s that I’m simultaneously learning these new positions and trying to do them with more weight than I’ve ever worked out with – the lightest kettlebells at the gym are 8kg, and the lightest weights are 10lb. So I really need to keep working on my form, but I’ll get there.
We learned to do a few new moves, and unfortunately we didn’t review the names, so I’m having difficulty remembering them (it might just be post-workout haze). But one of them was to do actual pull-ups. It turns out there’s a trick! We used these supporting bands. Hilarious moment: I traded bars with another girl, and she had been using two bands. I tried it and they were so strong I couldn’t push my body down or get my feet back onto the step! I had to untangle myself and jump down to the floor.
The way you use the bands is to put one foot in the loop, and one foot crossed over. The band essentially takes some of your weight, and since it’s stretchy, it’s trying to pull you back up. The goal is to slowly use lighter and lighter bands until you’re strong enough to pull yourself up without the support. Here are two photos where you can see the band:
Our WOD was really simple: we used weighted balls (12lb for the women, 15 for the guys). We had to hold them over our heads standing up, then slam them into the ground while squatting, over and over – as many times as we could in twenty seconds, then ten seconds rest – repeated 8 times. I did pretty well – I think I had the second highest in the class. I kept worrying about my form, but our teacher said I was doing it right so I guess I’ve been internalizing the form even while I struggle with it.
On my lunch break, I walked up to CVS to buy epsom salts. A friend of mine asked if epsom salts really worked, which made me curious so I got into research mode later in the week.
Unexpected: I was tired all day, but my boss really needed some support for an evening program, so I signed on. And apparently being on my feet for several hours was exactly what I needed, because my legs felt really good by the end of the night (as long as I didn’t try to move quickly). I also got so hyper around all the people that it was hard to fall sleep!
Also, race registration opened! (for those who had pre-registered). They changed the date by over a month, and it’s not local at all – it’s over an hour’s drive. But – I’m registered! Hopefully they are better at organizing the race than they are the event marketing…. so now I have four months instead of three to train. I have mixed feelings about that, because it’s harder to be motivated when the race is farther away and when the weather starts getting hotter (now the race is end of July). But I’m going to give it my best, regardless.
Thursday: Rest Day.
I woke up feeling pretty good – my legs were 80% fine, though my shoulder blades ached. I figured I’d play it safe, so I took a short epsom salts bath.
I was tempted to run, but we had 26 mph winds all day.
Friday: Rest Day.
The weather was actually lovely, and I felt really good! I had more energy on Friday than I’d had all week. But I decided to save my energy for my weekend running.
Eventually, when my body is more adapted to CrossFit, I’ll run more frequently. And after I’m done with the intro class, I can choose whatever class I want to go to, and can run there and home when I’m strong enough. I’m also considering signing back up for regular yoga classes – the CrossFit intro class is more expensive than the regular membership, so I’ll be able to re-allocate some of that fitness budget to yoga once I’m on regular membership.
One week of training down, and I already feel stronger!