Posts Tagged ‘Crossfit’

Monday: Rest Day

Tuesday: CG Workout

Warm-Up: Annie 50-40-30-20-10 double unders and ab mat Sit-ups. 

I busted out my new speed rope for the first time and found that I’m extremely rusty with double unders.  I’ve been forced to stick with singles recently due to my wrist, after finishing 50 double unders painfully slow (I couldn’t string them together due to the brace on my wrist) I ditched the brace and was able to rattle off a few consecutive DUs.  My original goal was to complete the workout without doing any singles, but I abandoned that during the round of 30 as it was taking far too long.

Total Annie time: just under 16 minutes.

Workout: 3 Rounds

15 Deadlifts

15 Handstand Push-ups

15 Toes to Bar

I did the deadlifts at 125 (which I’m pretty sure is the heaviest I’ve ever done!! I typically put on 115).  It’s also the first time I’ve ever used 45 pound plates!  Completing 45 at this weight was a challenge but I was determined to get through the reps.

A handstand hurt too much so I tried pike push-ups but I didn’t trust my balance on my fist, so I dropped down and did some push-ups on my toes before retreating to my knees. 

Wednesday: 4 mile run.  Originally my plan was for 5 miles, but it was so windy (gusts up to 30 mph) I decided to cut the run a little short.  At times I felt as though I was running in place and others I felt as though someone was pushing me from behind.  My legs were cooked after the run so I spent the evening form rolling and tiger tailing. 

Thursday: Crossfit

Warm Up: 3 Rounds

8 Handstand Push Ups (I did pike push-ups)

20 Hollow Rocks

8 Ring Dips

Strength: 1 rep Push Press Max

Metcon: 14min AMARP

30 Double Unders

200 foot Famers Carry (20 10ft laps, so we had to keep turning around)

10 Shoot throughs with push-up and dip

This workout was much more difficult than it looked.  I made it through everything once and the double unders and push-up/dips two full times.  On the second set of farmers carries I decided to up the ante and carry 2 24kg kettlebells vs the 2 16kg kettlebells I carried the first round.  With the 24kgs I had to stop and adjust my grip about every 20 feet so it was slow going.  I made it about 160 feet before time ran out. 

1 Mile Recovery Run

Friday: Crossfit

Hero WOD: Lumberjack 20

20 Deadlifts (165 was the suggested RX, I did 135)

400m Run

20 Kettlebell Swings (24kg was RX, I tried this weight and couldn’t do it, I worked my way down until I got comfortable with the 18kg)

400m Run

20 Overhead Squats (holding the bar overhead bothered my wrist so I did 30 squats with a weighted plate)

400m Run

20 Burpees

400m Run

20 Chest to Bar Pull-ups (I did 20 pushups and 20 dips)

400m Run

20 Box Jumps

400m Run

20 Dumbbell Squat Cleans (I did one handed squat cleans with a kettlebell, I was running short on time so I just grabbed the closest kettlebell, not sure of the weight).

There was a 30 minute cut off for this workout, I finished in 29:57.  The only reason I managed to finish is because on the last 400m run there was a guy right behind me who I was determined not to let pass me.  He didn’t!  But then again he had no idea we were “racing”.  Regardless, I finished the last 400m as a sprint leaving me a little less than 2 minutes to catch my breath and complete 20 cleans. 

Saturday: My plan was to get up early and run, but when I got up early it was 25 degrees and windy.  Instead of running I headed to open gym and completed the following workout I found on crossfit.com:

Row 1000m

20 GHB Sit-ups

Row 750m

40 Toes to Bar

Row 500m

60 Sit-ups

I was tired and sore from the previous two days workouts, the row felt terrible and very forced.  Which it was because I had no desire to row, I kept trying to talk myself to downgrade the distances (750, 500, 250).  I managed to stick it out, and really pushed myself so I could get the rowing done faster and off the erg.

Instead of the toes to bar I ended up doing 20 lemon squeezers and 20 hollow rocks.  I have yet to get toes to bar so I figured I’d get a better workout substituting the movement.

Sunday: Rest Day!


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So a lot has changed since my last post. I’m no longer taking part in the Crossfit Open as I slipped on ice and busted my wrist shortly after completing the first workout.

I’ll give you a moment or two to get over the shock that I did something clumsy.

Luckily I didn’t break my wrist but it seems to be healing rather quickly at a snail’s pace and slowly regaining strength. So lifting has pretty much been out, just as I was becoming more comfortable with it. One would think I’d used this to my advantage and focus on running, considering I have big half marathon aspirations for this year.

But that’s not really the case.

I’ll be completely honest, as much as I say I love running, I’m a fair weather runner. If it’s cold, windy or rainy the odds that you’ll find me hitting the pavement are slim to none. I have enough trouble staying upright (see above) that the added challenge of ice and slick sidewalks is one I cower too.

Getting back into running hasn’t been as smooth as I had hoped. While I feel a lot faster than I was in the fall, building up the distance has been a hard fought battle. I find myself getting bored with running or sprinting for a period and then having to stop and catch my breathe. I’m registered for a half marathon at the end of May, so I’m hoping with the nicer weather I’ll be more motivated to lace up and hit the streets.

I’m grateful that I’m still able to work out with this injury, workouts for the past couple of weeks have consisted mainly of lower body and ab exercises. Both of which will hopefully make me a stronger runner.

And maybe improve my balance!

Monday: Rest Day.

Tuesday: Crossfit Bootcamp. I had to alter some of the exercises for my wrist. The pushups and ledge dips were done on fist (as it hurts to put pressure on my palm) and wall balls were done with a 10 pound ball, I didn’t dare to try catching the ball so I let it drop each time and reset.

For time:
30 Burpees
40 Kettlebell swings
50 Ab mat situps
800M Run
30 Wall Balls
40 Box Jumps
50 Ledge Dips
800M Run
30 Walking Lunges
40 Kettlebell Twists
50 Pushups
400M Sprint

Wednesday: Crossfit
400M Sprint
6 minute AMRAP: 5 Pullups, 10 pushups, 16 squats

4 Rounds:
3 Sots Press
10 Bent over rows
12 Overhead Step-ups with 25 pound weight (these were killer)

4 Rounds for time:
9 Power Cleans (I did deadlifts)
18 Lateral Bar Hops
9 Floor Wipers

Thursday: CG Workout
Double under warm up
4 Clean and Press
8 Deadlifts
12 Front Squats (I did weighted squats)

Since this was my first time back lifting I just used a 35 pound bar with no weight. I felt pain when trying to do the front squats so I switched and did weighted squats.

Friday: Crossfit Open Gym
5 Rounds
8 Kettlebell Swings (16kg)
8 GHB Sit-ups

18 Minute AMRAP
10 Deadlifts (85 pounds)
400M Sprint

A couple hours later I decided to take advantage of the nice weather and headed out for a 4 mile run.

Saturday: 5 mile run. My legs were pretty spent, all of my workouts for the last couple of weeks have been leg focused, but I was able to make it 5 miles with a couple walk/stretch breaks.

Sunday: Rest Day

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If you couldn’t guess by the title of this post: I signed up for the Crossfit Open.  I figured it would be a great way to meet new people at my gym, it was a great way to push myself out of my comfort zone and it made sense financially (I get 5 extra classes for $20!). 

I’ve only been going to Crossfit regularly for 3 months, I’m only just attempting to get over my fear of lifting weight over my head.  I think I’ve done a decent job at taking my time to learn the fundamentals of each lift and practicing my form before adding on weight.  At this point, 55 pounds is my sweet spot, I’m slowly getting more confident to add more weight, I need to continuously remind myself not to get overly competitive and do more than I can handle. 

So much easier to write than adhere too… 

First task, creating an Athlete Profile.  Easy peasy…until you realize you’re MUCH more comfortable displaying your weight compared to your max lifts and benchmark times (if you even have any…)

I'm totally hustling this competition and letting everyone think I'm weaker than I am...

I’m totally hustling this competition and letting everyone think I’m weaker than I really am…

Luckily the Athlete Info section was pre-populated so you just had to choose the answers that best fit. 

Of course these options do leave some wiggle room for interpretation; for example “I eat whatever is convenient”  one may consider Cadbury Mini Eggs as convenient if  there is a CVS 4 block from their condo…and obviously if it’s convenient it doesn’t count as a cheat meal.  Another person might consider their poorly, seldom written blog as tracking their workouts.

Of course these options do leave some wiggle room for interpretation; for example “I eat whatever is convenient” one may consider Cadbury Mini Eggs as convenient if there is a CVS 4 block from their condo…and obviously if it’s convenient it doesn’t count as a cheat meal. Another person might consider their poorly, seldom written blog as tracking their workouts.

Next Task, complete the workouts!

I completed the first WOD 13.1 on Saturday. 

Workout 13.1

17 minute AMRAP of:
40 Burpees 
30 Snatch, 75 / 45 lbs 
30 Burpees
30 Snatch, 135 / 75 lbs 
20 Burpees
30 Snatch, 165 / 100 lbs 
10 burpees
Max rep Snatch, 210 / 120 lbs

I was really nervous for the workout and kept questioning why I signed up for something completely out of my league (and something that would undoubtedly contain burpees). 

I’ve been working on snatches a lot the last couple of weeks, I had worked up from not being able to do the movement to snatching 70 pounds over that time.  I didn’t know if would be able to snatch 75 pounds, 30 times, after completing the previous part of the workout, but I knew it wouldn’t kill me to push myself and try. 

I got put in the last heat, which I dreaded, I would have preferred to get the workout over with rather than watching my teammates look exhausted after they finished. 

Surprisingly the opposite happened, I got extremely motivated.  Everyone was working so hard, yes they were exhausted but they were also extremely proud.  So many people hit PR’s, the girl I was judging in the first heat was able to snatch 75 pounds for the first time ever, which she then repeated 4 more times!

I was incredible inspired and all of a sudden excited for my turn.  My goal was to get through the first set of burpees and 45 pound snatches and the second set of burpees as quickly and efficiently as possible so I’d have ample time to attempt the 75 pound snatch. 

My arms were toast by the time I finished the first set of burpees (I’ve been doing a lot more upper body lately and my arms are slowly adjusting  and recovering from all their newfound attention).  I honestly don’t remember much about the 45 pound snatches, I remember being tired but telling myself to suck it up so I could get to the 75 pound attempts.  30 burpees later it was time…

I wasn’t able to snatch 75 pounds, I can honestly say I tried my hardest to get the weight but I just couldn’t do it.  The coach/judge I was working with was amazing, she kept on offering tips, correcting my form (I was ready to pretty much do just about anything to get that weight over my head), reminding me to take a step back and cheering me on.

There were so many times I wanted to quit or stop and take a break, starting from the moment I walked in the door.  I didn’t do anything unbroken, I broke the exercises up into increments of 5 or 10, on my last set of 30 burpees I really pushed myself, I wanted to get to that 75 pound snatch.  Everytime I wanted to stop I made myself do two more burpees before I took a break to shake out my arms or legs. 

Despite not being able to snatch 75 pounds, I felt really strong and proud after finishing this workout.  I challenged myself and at this point I don’t believe there is anything I could have done differently to change the outcome. 

I signed up for the Open because I wanted to challenge myself, and I’m right on track after workout 13.1.

Are you competing in the Crossfit Open?  What’s the most challenging workout you’ve done recently?

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Hey There!

How’s everyone doing today?

First and most exciting my rib/intercostal is back to normal! Last week, for the first time in 3 weeks, I was able to return working out. Over the last couple of weeks I had attended open gym a few times and did a few workout videos at home to test the area and make sure there was no pain.

The final test came shoveling my car out after Nemo last weekend. I was nervous the weight of the snow and the hours spent shoveling would set me back. This is what I was dealing with:

View of my car on Saturday morning.  Taken from the warmth of the lobby, there was no way I was dealing with that while it was still snowing.

View of my car on Saturday morning. Taken from the warmth of the lobby, there was no way I was dealing with that while it was still snowing.

Front of car on Sunday morning, when I finally decided to get my act together and shovel instead of going to the bar.

Front of car on Sunday morning, when I finally decided to get my act together and shovel instead of going to the bar.

Luckily, the snow wasn’t too heavy and I got some help from a friend and a plow. The entire job only took 45 minutes!

After giving my body a couple extra days to recover and ensure there was no pain– just in case – I hit up crossfit for the first time last Wednesday. I scaled it back with the weights and modified some of the exercises in an effort not to push it too hard too soon.

Thursday morning I met up with a friend to work out before work, we did a workout he created of burpees and cleans. The burpees went a little slower than I would have liked, many breaks were taken, but overall I was pretty happy with my fitness level. I thought it would have been much worse giving that I had taken the last three weeks off.

Friday afternoon, I hit up crossfit once again. For a workout that included death by burpees: 24 minutes, the first minute you do 1 burpee and have the rest of the minute to rest, the 2nd minute you do two burpees and so on. I made it to 13 minutes before switching over to ab mat sit-ups.

Before the workout started my goal was to make it to round 12, after barely completing round 13 I really wanted round 14, but my arms weren’t having it.

Saturday morning I went to open gym and completed a 3,6,9…21 ladder of deadlifts and pull-ups. Once again I scaled down weight (85 pounds for the deadlifts) and used a bigger band for the pull-ups. I took more breaks than I would have liked to complete the pull-ups. I feel as though I lost a lot of strength over the last couple of weeks, but regardless I’m just happy to be working out again.

Second and almost as exciting, during Thursday’s warm-up, I did my first double under. After whipping myself with the jump rope numerous times I finally got the rope to go around twice for one jump.
Friday I showed up to the gym a little early to practice double unders before class started. It took a solid 10 minutes of attempts before I finally got my second. I was ready to call it quits and designate that one double under as a fluke. By the time class started I was able to complete a double under and keep the rope going, stringing together single, single, single, double, single, single, single double.

Saturday and Monday at open gym I worked on double unders some more and can now complete single, double, single, double, single, double…

I have yet to be able to string together two double unders in a row, but I’m confident with some more practice it’ll happen soon.

I’m fully aware that these workouts might not qualify as taking it easy or that working out 4 days in a row isn’t really easing back into workout schedule. I waited until the pain had completely subsided before I attended a class again and scaled down the weights considerably (as considerably as one can considering I don’t use very heavy weights to begin with). I tested each exercise on my own before attempting to do multiple sets in class and promised myself that I would stop at the first sign of pain.

So there you have it, first week back was a success, no pain and a new trick!!

Good thing, because half marathon training is scheduled to start next week!


Your turn: what workouts have you been rocking lately?!

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Happy Monday! 

How was your weekend?  Did you watch the Super Bowl?

My weekend was great, for the first time in almost two weeks I hit up the gym on Saturday morning, I focused solely on legs and felt no pain in the rib area!  After running some errands I headed to my parents to hang out with them for the afternoon before catching up with Erin Saturday night.

Sunday morning I cut up veggies for the week and did some cleaning before heading to the local craft store with supplies to make this:

Newest decor!  I had been looking for a place to hang save the dates or cards, I thought this was a little classier than a bullentin board.

Newest decor! I had been looking for a place to hang save the dates or cards, I thought this was a little classier than a bullentin board.

I was pleasantly surprised at how easy this was, I had seen something similar on Etsy and decided it SHOULD be easy enough to make myself.  I didn’t have any instructions to follow so I decided just to wing it.  I purchased a frame, wire and mini clothes pins and 45 minutes later I had the finished project. 

I hit up a couple Super Bowl parties to round out the weekend and decided the power outage at the game was a signal I should head home and get to bed.   

And suddenly the weekend was over almost as quickly as that brief synopsis.

 If you know me in real life or have even read just two blog entries it won’t come as much of a surprise to you that I’m a little high strung and love having a plan.  Even if my plan is to be spontaneous, I’ll still come up with fun ideas of things I could spontaneously do.  I hate not being prepared.  For the longest time my kepta sweatshirt, a bathing suit/towel, change of clothes and a sleeping bag in my care, just in case. 

I feel as though the best way to seize the day/life is to be overly prepared. 

Ironically, this past fall was the first time I followed a concrete training plan.  I had a calendar, which showed each distance I should be running.  For the first couple of months I followed this schedule to a T, but towards the end of the training cycle I missed a lot of runs, mainly due to fatigue and hamstring pain. 

I liked having my training mapped out for me, seeing it written down seemed to hold me accountable for getting in the miles.    It left out the guess work, prevented me from overtraining in the beginning and served as a reminder of my goal towards the end. It allowed me to break the big goal, running 26.2 miles, into smaller easier to achieve smaller goals. I love crossing off the runs once they were complete, I felt accomplished regardless of how much the run sucked.    

Since I haven’t been able to do anything for the last two weeks, I’ve spent a lot of time researching half marathon training plans.  My plan is to focus on strength training/crossfit and speed work, two elements that were abandoned during marathon training.  I started rereading blog posts from last spring when I was training for the Tough Mudder and realized that when I spent time focusing on strength training, running seemed much more effortless.

I felt faster and could run for longer, a first run of the season 3 miler easily turned into a 5 miler.  A planned 5 miler turned into 8. 

Instead of following a training plan exactly, I’m making up my own, taking mileage suggestions from a couple different sources.  I know what I want my schedule to look like, strength/crossfit 2-3 times a week, running 3-4 times a week (switching up between tempo runs, speed work and long runs) and yoga once a week.  I’m going to follow a hybrid 8-12 week plan, the first four weeks will be lighter focusing on building a running base and regaining strength from my time off.  Then I’ll kick it up for the next seven weeks before scaling back for a taper the week before the race.

I realized last week that being injured might have been a small blessing; it’s forcing me to take time off and rest my body before I begin a training plan and it’s made me really excited and hungry to begin this training plan. 

I’ve run only a handful of times since the Philadelphia marathon back in November and each time it felt very slow and forced.  I’ve finally reached the point where I’m looking forward to running, a couple warm days last week revved this feeling up and I could barely sit still.

My plan for this week is to focus on leg workouts and slowly test adding bodyweight or light weight exercises.  I managed two run about a quarter mile home last night with no pain before realizing what a poor idea this was give how slippery the sidewalks were and my choice of footwear, laceless Chuck Taylors.

While my rib area feels about 95%, I know returning to Crossfit this week would not be in my best interests.  Even when I do return I’m planning on scaling back on the amount of weight I’m using.

T minus 3 weeks until training plan kickoff!

Do you follow training plans for races?  Do you make your own plan?

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Last weekend I went snowboarding for the first time this season, the runs weren’t as great as I had hoped, the mountain was crowded and the green trails had a lot of flat spots which makes snowboarding extremely difficult or impossible. 

As always, I fell a bunch and decided that after 4 hours I had enough and headed back to the condo to shower and relax before heading out for the Pats game. 

(Despite the description above and the outcome of the Pats game, the weekend was actually a blast.  It was great to get out of the city for a couple of days and to be able to wear spandex to the bar without anyone questioning it!)

Sunday night it hurt a bit to sleep on my right side, something wasn’t right in the rib area.  It didn’t hurt when I got up Monday morning or during the 3 hour drive home.  At open gym Monday afternoon it only bothered me to run (it felt like a giant cramp), jumping rope or rowing felt fine as did hanging from the pull-up bar. 

While out to dinner Monday night I joked around about injuring another rib. 

I debated going to Crossfit Tuesday night and decided to go for it given that I felt fine after Monday’s workout, there wasn’t any running involved in the workout so there shouldn’t be any issues.  I substituted sit ups and back extensions as a precaution. 

I only experienced any pain on the third round of exercises.  I went home, showered, ate, took some aspirin and iced while hoping for the best.

Wednesday and Thursday I was in considerable pain, though nothing compared to breaking a rib, it didn’t hurt to breathe and I could take a full breath.  I believe it’s a pulled intercostal muscle, which just like a broken rib there’s really nothing you can do about it.

As you can imagine, I beat myself up pretty badly about this on Wednesday and Thursday, I was aggravated and feeling sorry for myself.  “Why did I have to push it, I should have just taken a few days off”.  I then started anticipating how long I’d be out for, would this completely derail my plans to run a PR setting half marathon or two this spring? 

I have a difficult time admitting I’m wrong or injured.  While I try to listen to my body, it’s not always easy to identify which pains could potentially be a real problem and which are just an annoyance.  Take the Quote “Pain is weakness leaving the body” as an example, is what I’m feeling just “weakness” or is it a real issue. 

Going to class on Tuesday night might not have been my smartest decision, but I’ve made far worse (like running a 5 miler three weeks after breaking a rib). 

If I had skipped class I would have second guessed whether that was the right decision.  Was I creating an injury that wasn’t there?  Had I been indifferent about working out that day I would have justified missing class as “listening to my body”, but I really wanted to get that workout in. 

I entered January extremely excited to achieve the goals I’ve set for myself, goals that aren’t going to be easy to achieve.  I’ve questioned myself a lot as to whether or not I can actually run a 1:45 half marathon, that’s extremely aggressive given that it’s 10 minutes faster than my current PR. 

To take 10 minutes off my half marathon time it will require me to run each mile more than 45 seconds faster than I did previously.

Am I pushing myself too hard?  Am I even physically capable of running that fast for that long?  Am I setting myself up for failure?  What am I trying to prove? 

The answer to all of those questions at this point is maybe – or that I’m stronger than I think in the case of the last question – but I’m determined to find a more concrete answer.

Maybe a 1:45 half marathon is more of a life goal rather than a 2013 goal.  Maybe 2013 is the year I run 1:50 and 2015 I’ll break 1:45. 

Or maybe I’ll finally break 1:45 at 60.  That’d be pretty bad ass. 

As of today, my rib area feels significantly better, I don’t even flinch when I cough or sneeze.   My plan is to keep resting and not lift anything too heavy.  I’ve talked to my doctor about when I can start working out again.

I’m hoping that means the end of this week or the beginning of next, but I’m mainly focused on not beating myself up over it. 

On the plus side it gives me an opportunity to give my body some rest before entering a training cycle again.  I’ve started looking into different half marathon training plans, doing some research and figuring out the plan that works best for me. 

While I am bummed that my physical goals for 2013 will have to wait, this gives me a chance to focus on my other goals.  The goals that I tend to neglect because you either do them or you don’t, they’re easy to ignore because they’re not as exciting or challenging, or I view them as not as important (all goals aren’t created equal IMO saving more or achieving a new PR are more significant than cooking two new meals a month). 

I signed up for a volunteer opportunity for today, I found a couple recipes that I really want to try and I realize that by focusing on these other goals  I’m not going to dwelling on things I can’t control or change. 

Editor’s note: This post was edited to add the piece about running a 5 miler with a broken rib, only to find out I never disclosed that I ran that race probably because it was a very poor decision.  

I was originally signed up for the half marathon, blogged that I wasn’t going to run because of my rib issue, only to turn around and decide to run the five miler. 

When I ran the race I did not have confirmation that the rib was broken, the race was on a Sunday, my x-ray results were read on Tuesday.  I finished the race without incident in 45 minutes (9 minute mile pace). 

The ironic part is that my half marathon goal time was 2:04, which is 9 minutes slower than what I finished the course in a year later. 

I’ve shaved 9 minutes off my PR before, there’s no reason I can’t shave off another 10. 

Are you good at listening to your body?  Do you often push it when you shouldn’t?

Do you believe all goals are created equal?  Do you focus on goals that challenge you (a new PR) or goals that you know you can easily achieve you just have to dedicate the time (cooking or volunteering?)

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Yesterday afternoon, after returning from a fun weekend of snowboarding and laughs, I headed open gym at my crossfit box for the sole purpose of determining my 500m row time.

After competing for one year on my college crew team (I was a walk on) I vowed I would never, ever, get on an erg, ever again.

I managed to avoid the erg for 9 years, until I went to my first crossfit on-boarding session two years ago.

Rowing wasn’t my sport – I barely survived the year – I’m an endurance athlete, not a strength athlete.

Rowing takes a lot of strength.

At the end of a race you would be absolutely dead. “Leave nothing in the tank” was a popular expression used by coaches before races, along with “if you’re going through hell, keep going” and “when you reach the end of your rope, tie a knot and hold on”.

When our boat crossed the finish line, there was nothing left in the tank. This was the first time I honestly felt as though I truly had nothing left. But just because the race is over, doesn’t mean you’re done.

You still have to pick the boat up out of the water and carry it back to the boat house.

Seriously, you have to CARRY the boat.

Rowing is a cruel sport; it is after all derived from a form of slavery.

I didn’t go back for round two after my freshman year. One year was enough for me.

While it was very easy for me to list what I gave up – a regular college experience, my body (my shoulders and thighs were huge), blood, sweat and lots of tears – in order to be part of the crew team, it took me a while to realize what I had gained.

I was forced so far out of my physical comfort zone. Pretty much every work out forced me to “tie a knot and hold on”. I had the callouses on my hands to prove it. And while at time this made me feel extremely weak, today I’m able to see the strength.

It taught me that I’m much stronger than I think I am; that there is a little bit left I just need to dig deeper and it forced me to turn “I can’t” into “I’ll try”. This helped me get through the struggles of marathon training. I use it every time I enter the gym to remind myself that I can in fact complete tough workouts.

There are also the amazing friendships that I made through crew, many of my friends frequently listed on this blog Erin, Kayla, Leanne and Kim are all former teammates. I consider them amongst my best friends.

Actually all of my college friends were either on the team or met through someone on the team.
I managed to avoid the erg for 9 years, until I went to my first crossfit on-boarding session.

A couple weeks ago, Kayla, Erin and I met up for dinner. Kayla just joined a crossfit gym so we started talking about workouts and of course the erg came up.

We were trying to remember our 500m pace, a popular crossfit distance, but races were 2000m (or 6000m in the fall) so we mainly practiced at those distances. I estimated that my 2k pace was probably around 2:05-2:10.

I remember wanting to break 2:05 so badly, but never getting there. Most girls on the team rowed at a high 1:5X or low 2:0X pace.

I was one of the slowest.

There is one crew work out sticks out in my mind, 6 500m sprints at 5-10 seconds below your 2k pace. I remember Karen, our coach, telling us that this was the only workout that made her cry. Karen was an amazing rower, she made it look so easy, if this workout made her cry what would happen to me?

To date, this is the only workout that has made me throw up (I came close to throwing up during the Filthy Fifty this past December). After round 4 I got off the erg, went into the hallway, got sick in a trash barrel, rinsed my mouth out and walked back into practice to finish my last two rounds.

“If you’re going through Hell, keep going”

Since that dinner two weeks ago, I’ve been curious to how fast I can row 500 meters. I believe the last time I did the crossfit baseline workout my 500m pace was around 2:08-2:10.

Yesterday, after a quick warm up, I hopped on the erg and rowed 500m in 2:03, much quicker than I anticipated.

After catching my breath and smiling to myself for a few minutes I switched gears and worked on pull-ups. I then got back on the erg and contemplated rowing 2,000 meters but quickly decided there was no need for that and rowed another 500 meters instead.

This time in 2:01!

Over the past couple of weeks I’ve noticed that I get excited when I see rowing as part of a WOD, though I’ll never be the fastest, I feel as though I can dominate the erg. I know my form is decent, I know I have the mechanics down and I know what it feels like to give it my all on the erg.

It’ll never be my favorite piece of workout equipment but I can honestly say I no longer hate the erg with the passion that I once did.

What workout equipment do you love or hate?

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