hsifeng: (Running)
...trying to get back into the posting swing. I have *dozens* of photos of my workouts from the past few weeks. But rather than bore you with those I will upload the following images instead - proof that sometimes the 'exercise' I do is purely in the name of fun.

And getting really, really filthy.

;)

This is my sister, myself, my niece (her daughter) and my 'grand-nephew' (?)
Color Me Rad 2013

Color Me Rad came to town, and being ladies who had previously conquered a Tough Mudder event, we figured we had to check it out. To give you an idea of how much color gets thrown around at these events:

Before
Kaden Before

After
Kaden After

Yeah, he is not a blond. That is all orange powder (that he happily bathed in post-race when we discovered we had left over color-bombs in our pack.

*chuckle*

Now, if anyone has ever figured out how to MAKE THAT COLOR STAY on their white shirts, I'd love to know your secret. The dye and cornstarch washed right out despite pre-laundry treatment with vinegar.

*sigh* Guess we'll just have to run again next year! :D
hsifeng: (Exercise - The Poor Man's Plasic Surgery)
Having spent every spare minute not at work, the gym, or the Craft Room Of Doom (thank YOU for kicking my creative ass, School of the Renaissance Solder!), I have been somewhat....*cough* remiss (?) in posting my workouts here. My solution? I am going to simply post my dates and the bare bones record from the past couple of weeks.

If anyone really wants me to translate the Crossfitees (there really is a separate language for this stuff, I swear) then I will happily do so.

Also, double unders still suck.

Dear Corded Jump Rope - Please stop cracking me on the knuckles, causing my blood vessels to burst and my fingers to sausage up and be sore for two days. That sucks. Signed, No Love - Me.

Thursday, April 11th - Gym Run:
45 minutes at 6 mph.

Friday, April 12th - Crossfit:
NOTES:
The WOD was straight pull ups (I don't know how to Kipling these properly yet) - so harder for each rep. My Met-Con 4RFT (four reps for time) rocked with me doing *more weight* than necessary on the Medicine Ball (MB) Cleans because they were all out of the 14 kg balls - so I used a 16 kg ball instead. Go Me!
April 12 - Crossfit Board

Results:
WOD - 15 straight pull ups (no assist)
Front Squats/Rope - didn't record my kg's but I recall I was helping out a new lifter so I am sure the weight was light
Met-Con (4RFT): 12:03 minutes with EXTRA WEIGHT! W00T! 16kg KBS / 16kg MB Cleans

Saturday, April 13th - Gym Run & Yoga:
30 minutes at 6 mph + 1.5 hours of Hatha with Mary! :D

Monday, April 15th - Gym Run & Yoga:
30 minutes at 6 mph + 1.5 hours of Hatha...

Tuesday, April 16th - Crossfit:
NOTES:
Again, I need to learn how to do Kipling pull ups. *sigh* Honestly, straight pulls are harder (so I should stop judging myself for not hitting numbers as high as other folks).
April 16 - Crossfit Board

Results:
WOD - 28 pistols squats (mod to a 13" box)
Squat Cleans/Levers - 40 kgs on the squats, the levers are a body weight core exercise that my yoga-fu helped me conquer. :)
Met-Con ("Nichole" - 20 min AMRAP): I managed 7 rounds (1.75 miles) with 62 straight pull ups using the 1" orange band for assist

Wednesday, April 17th - Crossfit:
NOTES:
Add 'Grasshoppers' to the list of 'Mountain Climber-esque' moves that are a PITA. *chuckle*
April 17 - Crossfit Board

Results:
WOD - 73 grasshoppers
Front Squat - 70 kgs max on the squats; working with E made me kick all my lifts up a notch (because she kicks ass!)
Strict Press/Reverse Hypers - 35 kg max on presses, used a 8 kg med ball for extra weight on the reverse hypers
Met-Con (7 min AMRAP) - 3 rounds + 14 double unders (those bastards). I finished right on pace with E - *high fives self*

Thursday, April 18th - SRS Run:
5 miles in 39 minutes: 7.7 mph pace. Definitely up from my last run! Honestly, I don't expect to keep picking up pace, especially as the heat builds, but this is nice so far. :)

Friday, April 19th - Sunday, April 22nd:
Weekend was spent wearing wool in mid-level temperatures while running after men with water to ensure that they didn't go down from alcohol poisoning or heat exhaustion (when not drinking beer, napping or goofing off with friends). Hey, even I need a break sometimes! *chuckle*

Tuesday, April 23rd - Crossfit:
NOTES:
Apparently someone told the coaches that I took four days off and had to be punished accordingly. And I was. *ouch*
April 23 - Crossfit Board

Results:
WOD - 37 overhead squats (OHS)
40 Minutes In Hell (as opposed to 10 Minutes In Heaven - which I believe is a game I would have preferred) - OK, it didn't take me 40 minutes to finish this beast, it took 24:22 minutes. Second lady/person in, with the following mods: Hand stand push ups (HSPU) from weight bar - this is my standard method until I can actually do a *real* HSPU; Pull ups using a 2" gray band for assist; Double unders consisted of 100 attempts and then 200 single unders - because honestly my hands and shins couldn't take getting whacked any more.

And seriously, who thinks doing a run with a weight plate is a good idea? For future reference, I would use a kettle bell given the chance again. 
hsifeng: (Running)
Friday, April 5th - Crossfit:
April 5 - Crossfit Board

1 Minute WOD (Workout of the Day): Squats. The only part of the workout that I did a max effort on. *chuckle* Competative? Who, me? I got through 51 of these.

This past week was an exhausting one for training. Not sure what was going on with my sleep patterns but they were Not Good and left me totally bereft of energy despite getting to bed early and rising late most days. The suck. :P This lead to a less-than-exemplary performance at Crossfit on Friday, but I am giving myself full kudos for even going since the temptation was to skip, skip, skip.

Strength Training 1 (Super-Set): Snatch/GHD Half Sit-Up: The snatch ended up being at 30 kg (wimpy levels) but I was working with a new lifter and as I said: No Energy. *sigh* Ah well, at least I got some form work in. The GHD work was done with 5 kg (again, WTF weight but I know I *did* work since my lower back certainly felt it the next day.

Strength Training 2 (Super-Set): Dead Lift/Ring Push Ups: The dead lift was a little better with 50 kg, but I can do a lot more with that lift. Ring push ups were done well with good form and close-to-horizontal placement of the body. I did all of them without any cheats, and only a couple pauses to stretch my lower back (which was feeling this session).

Saturday, April 6th - Running and Yoga:
3 miles/6 mph (30 minute run) followed by 1.5 hours of Hatha yoga. I then proceeded to run around like a chicken with my head cut off completing errands and projects for...

Sunday, April 7th - 5k Color Run! (...followed by gardening...*ouch*)
I won't even both recording the time on this one, because I was there to play with family! We all got together and organized a potty break (no small feat at an event with 12K+ attendees) and a Finish Line spot for a picnic post-race (in the shade no less!). The race was totally relaxed, and fun, and the weather was beautiful. :) I love doing these event with my family as it gives all of us a chance to chat and goof off as well as enjoy the race.

When photos show up I will pass them on, promise! :D

Right after the race - because I am an idiot - I headed to Home Depot and picked up a rototiller (still covered in paint, which got comments) and then proceeded to till my back garden plot for the next 1.5 hours. Again, thank the gods for beautiful weather. Although I did end up getting a little red (ah, that Northern European skin! *chortle*). Now, you'd think that a rototiller would have made the process a lot easier and more painless. I am sure that turning the whole garden by hand *would* have been a longer and more exhausting process; I am just not sure by how much. My hands, they are covered with blisters and my shoulders/back are wondering if I just carried that heavy-ass piece of equipment all over my garden rather than 'it walking itself forward and doing all the work'. *eye roll*

Regardless: Next weekend, we plant! Hooray!
hsifeng: (Exercise - The Poor Man's Plasic Surgery)
OK, so last night was a great little chance to 'post-up' with one of the younger ladies in my gym who regularly bests my performance. She did again last night, but I was *this close* to matching up with her. Despite a huge amount of muscle soreness, mind you. :D

Wednesday, April 3rd - Crossfit:
April 3 - Crossfit Board

1 Minute WOD (Workout of the Day): Kettlebell Swing (KBS). I did this with the proscribed (Rx) weight of 16 kg and got through at least 33 of them. To be honest, I lost count at the very end and may have done 35 (the goal I set in my head). Sometimes the effort, she wipes the brain cells out and the maths are gone too bye-bye land. *chuckle*

Strength Training (Super-Set): Zerchers/Toes-To-Ring (TTR). Ladies and gentlemen, I give you 'Zerchers'; perhaps the LAMEST strength move ever. OK, I get that this is to encourage the use of your core during squats, but the way the guys at the gym had us holding the bar (with elbows up, rather than down as in the vid link I included above) basically is an invitation to bruise the *crap* out of your biceps. Needless to say, I will be using the video's form if we do this again since the weights used to avoid bruising in the 'higher' position is basically a non-event for my legs in the squat. *sigh*

The super-set was 5 sets of 5 reps of the Zerchers, interspersed with 4 sets of 15 reps of TTR. I did 34 kg max on the Zerchers, and discovered the "Secret of the Rings"! Basically, there is one set of rings worth using at the gym: they are the second set from the end, they have texture which assists with grip (rather than just being rough), and with enough chalking My Hands Do Not Slip. I have always hated TTR's because the slippage of my hands makes these a total pain for my arms and shoulders *long* before my core gives up. With this problem solved, I don't think TTR's are going to be anywhere near as difficult in the future. YEAH! /does a little dance


Met-Con: This was a 10 minute As-Many-Reps-As-Possible (AMRAP) of the following series. I completed 6 full rounds, plus another round up to 3 pistol squats. I didn't do the Rx weight but I was close with 35kg. I also modified the pistols to a 18" box.
3 Hang Cleans
6 Split Jerks (alternating legs)
9 Pistol Squats - which I still HATE by the way... *sigh*

Amusingly, I ended up in a face-to-face work out with G, the challenging young lady I mentioned above, we even shared a box for the modified pistols. By the end of the 10 minutes we were both straining and grunting and struggling to not slow down (and give the other person the lead). We ended up finishing almost together, which is a great thing for G since she was doing the Rx weight the whole time.


I know that 4 kg more doesn't *sound* like much more weight - but trust me, it is.

Thursday, April 4th - SRC Group Run:

Last Week: 5 Miles/40 minutes = 7.5 mph pace
My goal is to keep the distance at 5 miles with a reasonable pace between 7 - 7.5 mph. It is supposed to be raining today, so we'll see where the day and the course take us. :D
hsifeng: (Running)
Sunday, March 31st - Rest Day:

Leaving town for the weekend is always a bit of a challenge for me.

First, there is the packing - whatever I take has to have room for a pair of running shoes (which I try not to wear when I am not running, to save on tread/loft life), I have to pack a whole set of clothes that will only be worn to sweat in (and spares for those, if I am gone longer than a couple of days), and the number of clothes for this activity changes depending on how familiar I am with the area I am visiting and it's weather patterns.

Then there is the negotiations for morning time - my husband, much to his credit, wants me to sleep in and relax when we are on vacation. I totally get this, but I am sort of hardwired for activity at this point and a day without some sort of physical challenge often leaves me feeling pent-up and bitchy. Not Good On Vacations. My compromise is usually this; I get up early (or really, late by comparison to my normal wake-up time, but early by comparison to 'vacation time' schedules), go on my run or hit the gym, come back and take my shower, climb in bed and read/watch TV until the hubby rouses himself a couple of hours later.

This can actually be quite frustrating for me, as my activity time in the morning includes my brain ramping up for the day. By the time I am out of the shower I have a whole list of things I want to be off and doing. According to my love, any sort of planning is antithetical to the whole concept of vacations.

I...get this...*twitches*. Especially as his job regularly has him working 12 hours shifts (he has three this week).

As a compromise I tend to exercise the first day we're out of town and then take the next day off in an attempt to cultivate my inner lounge lizard. So far this has met with mixed results (see the part about me sucking at relaxing, noted above). This past weekend included. However, I will say that we had a lovely time over all, and I did manage to skip working out on Sunday without turning into a total freak.

Thank the gods. ;)

Saturday, March 28th- Running:
Ran 5 miles/45 minutes = 6.6 mph. Not a devastating pace, but considering that this is my first week breaking 10 miles total in training in 7 days that I have hit in awhile I am OK with it. I also ran in the 'mist' (super-light rain/massively-dense fog) and didn't let the cooler weather deter me from getting my miles in. OMG, the coast. The beach.

Spring. Is. AWESOME. In. California. *happy sigh*

Friday, March 30th - Crossfit:
March 29 - Board Crossfit
I was the only person at the 6:30 AM class on Friday - so basically I got private torture training from one of my favorite coaches. It's a little weird being the only person in a class where group motivation is such a big factor in performance. However, I managed to do a good job anyway and certainly felt the effort.

1 Minute WOD (Workout of the Day): Toes-To-Bar (TTB)I did 15 of these and felt pretty annoyed with myself until I took a look at the board and realized that I actually did pretty damn good. :D

Strength Training: Overhead (OH) Squats. Perform five OH squats every minute for 10 minutes. Whatever time you have left after you have completed your five squats is your rest period before the next set begins. I did this with 29 kg, which ended up being a pretty good weight for me. This was also the first time I have used my new wrist wraps and I can tell that they are making a difference. W00t!


Met-Con: As above, this was a timed exercise with sprints, whatever you had left as the remainder of each one minute period was for rest. So, at the beginning of each minute you perform a sprint of the length of the indoor soccer field (from goal box to goal box), and then you rest until the next minute starts. C set me a goal of 13 second reps, I did 12's. *evil grin* I got one 11 second sprint in early, and had a couple of 11.5 second reps in there as well. In the end, I only counted whole seconds so those mid-reps became 12's and my overall combined time for the exercise was 119 seconds. I am curious if I would have been faster with other runners there to amp up my competitive juices.
hsifeng: (COFFEE!)
So, last night at Crossfit kicked my hiney something fierce. Lots of sore muscles this morning, and staying up late to greet the hubby when he got in from his 12 hour shift (at 11:30 PM) probably didn't help since I had a 6 AM wake-up this morning.

This day needs more caffeine. Stat.

So, what did I do for workout fun last night?

Wednesday, March 27th- Crossfit:
March 27 - Board - Crossfit

1 Minute WOD (Workout of the Day): Reverse Hypers - so K did 49 of these in one minute when she came in for a morning session. How many did I do? ZERO. Due to overcrowding in the class (we had about 25 folks last night) there was no way to rotate through the GHD equipment efficiently for our group to do the WOD. I realized this morning that I could have done the work *by myself* at the close of class, and will do so next time. It is worth it to me to see how I stack up against the ladies I feel I am closest to in fitness level in the gym.

Because of the size of the class, we split up and did each half of the overall workout in two groups. My group started with...


Met-Con: This was a 10 minute As-Many-Reps-As-Possible (AMRAP) of the following series. I completed 7 full rounds, plus another round up through all 10 of the KBS's. I did the proscribed (Rx) weight and height on all items. I rocked this session!
10 Kettlebell Swings (KBS): 16 kg KB.
10 Box Jumps: 20" box used.


10 Sumo Deadlift High-Pulls (SDHP): 16 kg KB.

Power Cleans/GHD Sit-Ups* Complex: The first set of back squats was used as warm up. It was confirmed that they will be doing max-weight testing in a month or so, but I am still using my warm up's to establish my final weight at this point. Not the most efficient model, but there you have it. The next 4 sets of 4 reps at 75-8% were done in alternation with the GHD Sit-Ups**. I ended up stacking weight the whole series, trying to establish my correct percentage. At the top I was doing 35 kg; since this exercise uses a minimum of legs (this clean version is not a squat, so very little momentum exists to assist with the weight - mostly you are using your 'shrug' and arms to get under the bar) I am not surprised that my overall weight was lower.

*Dude! We Just Did These On Tuesday. *ouch* My lower back, she needs work. *chuckle*
** At least I didn't whack my arm this time... ;)

Thursday, March 28th - SRC Group Run:

Last Week: 5 Miles/43 minutes = 7 mph pace
My goal is to keep the distance at 5 miles, but shorten the run by upping my pace. We'll see what actually happens... ;)

This weekend we're heading to the coast, I anticipate yoga in the mornings and a lot of this:
hsifeng: (Running)
Thursday, March 21st - SRC Group Run:



5 Miles/43 minutes = 7 mph pace

Great pace and amazing run last night! Many thanks to the the 'fast rabbits' in my running group who continually challenge me to pick up my feet and put them down again (only quicker than usual). I have been doing shorter runs and this was my first foray past 4 miles in about a month (since the last time I posted in here about my SRC run, as a matter of fact).

Looking forward to the pub run this Monday! (Where I owe N a beer for accidentally ditching her at a couple of running events earlier this month...)


hsifeng: (Running)
I don't know how many of you on this list are runners, but here's a pro-tip for you:

RUNNING IS HARD.

Even when I was running five days a week and competing in track-and-field and cross country events in high school, I never reached that 'magical place' where runs became easy and fun. I knew team mates who had that experience, and I silently cursed them as I chugged and sweated my way through every workout. I don't have a runners body, long and lean. My thighs will always rub together - threatening to chafe - and my hips will always ensure that my legs are *just* out of perfect alignment enough to maximize the chances of me pounding the joints of my lower body into throbbing annoyance.

In retrospect, I think it is because running is hard that I throw myself at it so competitively. Every person who passes me with a glow and a giggle makes me want to hit that uphill that much harder, take that extra mile that much faster, refuse to walk ANYWHERE.

So, on the rare nights like last night happen - when the stars align and my legs feel like they are made of air rather than lead - those are *extra* special runs.

And when you combine body that is clicking over like a well oiled machine (for once!) with that competitive energy, you get this:

Thursday, February 28th - SRC Group Run:

5 Miles/40 minutes = 7.5 mph pace.

Fuck. Yeah.

To celebrate, a little Journey. Aw. Yes.

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