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I appear to have lost my running mojo.  And I don’t know where it went.

Lately I have had a very hard time getting myself to run.  I end up doing two or three short runs a week, and missing everything else.  And then I feel guilty and crappy and down on myself.  And the cycle continues.  I’m guessing it’s because of the dreadful performance at this year’s Adirondack Marathon – stupid cold.  Since then I’ve been feeling very down on my running.

So what’s a girl to do?  I have absolutely no idea.

I could try taking a few weeks off from running.  Although, I’m already kind of doing that – I guess it would just be official.  I don’t have any major races coming up until March – I just registered for the DC Rock and Roll Marathon last week.

I also managed to get the unforeseen financial issues worked out (I was being charged a ridiculous amount of money for something that made absolutely no sense) and am once again able to do CrossFit at my local box – which is completely fantastic.  So perhaps I’ll focus on that for a few weeks and just run for fun whenever the mood strikes me.  I don’t need to start training for DC until early December-ish, so that could give me some time to relax and get back to enjoying running again.

Oops, I actually just pulled out my calendar and counted back 20 weeks from the DC marathon and it turns out I’ll be starting this round of training in about a week.  Surprise!

Apparently I’ll just keep going and power through.  🙂  Eventually the runs will get better.  Sometimes you just have a spell of crappy ones.

Also, I really need to cook meals more often.  I haven’t been doing that much lately and I feel like crap from all the snacky food that I’ve been eating.  It’s not so much junk food, but there’s been a severe deficiency of veggies in my diet lately and that needs to be remedied ASAP.

Okay, goals for this upcoming week:

1) Keep enjoying CrossFit!  I love the people at my box and as hard as it is to drag my butt out of bed when it’s cold and still pitch black out, it’s so worth it.  More to come on this in the future.

2) Cook at least three dinners with fresh veggies.  I will feel soooooo much better.  I feel so sluggish lately because my eating habits have been so out of whack.  And I know that is playing a huge role in my recent spurt of inactivity.  When I feel like crap, I act like crap, and make one unhealthy decision after another.

3) Split my short runs in half and do each half with one of the dogs.  I can’t run them together because it gets to be a TAD much dog barreling down the road for me to really run properly.  But individually, they’re great running partners.  I think this will make my short runs much more fun and enjoyable, which is what I really need right now.

Those seem like decent goals.  I’ll stick with that for this upcoming week and see how it goes.

Today was good.  I took one of my dogs to work with me (the other will go tomorrow – they can’t really go together without driving me nuts all day, but separately they’re angels) and all my students were having a great time cuddling with her.  She was having a blast.

I headed home in the afternoon and relaxed for a bit.  Once my husband got home we harnessed up the pack, grabbed his bike, and took off for a nice bike/run with the dogs.

It was so nice to just grab the dogs and head out the door.  I didn’t take any of my “gadgets” with me.  No garmin, no ipod (although I don’t really run with that anymore), nothing.  I felt very free.  I have a couple loops through our neighborhood that I know the general distance, and that’s all I really needed.  It was great to just start out with no goals or expectations for the run.  Often I get hung up on my pace, or the distance.  And this time I was just out for a nice comfortable run with my pups and my husband.  We talked as we went, telling each other about our days, and it was just a great time.

Since my pups haven’t been running in quite a while, I stopped and gave them three quick walk breaks (about 30 seconds each), but they had plenty of energy, so when they seemed alright, we would start running again.  Jade (my roughly 7 year old lab mix) did way better than I expected her to.  She hung in there the whole time, and even had a little burst of speed every time she saw a squirrel in front of her, or another dog, or my husband on his bike.  And of course, Rocket (our 2 1/2 year old border collie) wasn’t even phased.  It takes a LOT to get him tired.  But he was having a great time just trotting along with all of us, checking out the neighborhood.

We ended up running about 4 miles, and it was great.  I can’t wait to do it again tomorrow.

When we got home, I got the dogs a big tray of ice cubes (their favorite), and did my Crossfit for the night – a squat ladder.  My legs were a little tired from the hills in our neighborhood, so I didn’t get as far as I have in the past, but it was a good start.  It’s hard to push myself at home like I would at the box.  All those people there supporting you really makes a difference.  But I suppose doing something is better than doing nothing at all!

I had planned to go swim tonight.  The pool opens for laps at 8:30.  But it’s getting to be almost that time and I still need to practice my viola for my orchestra rehearsal tomorrow.  But that’s okay.  I’m glad I got my run in today.  Just getting back into a routine is going to help a lot.  It’s taking those first steps that’s always the hardest part.

All in all, I’d call today a success.

After a big race passes, I always like to look back and learn from that round of training.  This time is no different.  Even though illness struck at a very inopportune time, I can still reflect on the training that lead up to that day, and of course, my mindset the day of.

Once again, I didn’t train well.  My conditioning was alright enough that it wasn’t a factor in my big old DNF this year, but it was nowhere near where I wanted it to be, and really, honestly, where it should have been.  I realize now that I get sucked into complacency and end up skipping way too many runs to be competitive when race day finally rolls around.

So why do I do this?

I think when my fitness level is high enough that I can go run 16+ miles at the drop of a hat, I get lazy.  I find myself thinking, “oh, if I miss this 14 miler it’s not that big of a deal…”  And then another week passes, and another, and suddenly it’s been two weeks and I haven’t ran a step.  And then race day is looming and I’ve barely done any long runs.  And that’s never good.

The thing that frustrates me is, if I can run a marathon with not that much training, how competitive could I be if I really committed to training and improving?

I don’t want to be a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants-marathoner.  I want to be proud of my runs, and my times.  And it’s time to take a step back and build up my basics.  For me, that means letting my distance conditioning take a step back and focusing on shorter and more consistent runs, working on building my strength, and including some cross training and stretching.  I also need accountability, so I’ll post the weekly plan and daily training recaps here.

So what’s the plan for this week?

  • Monday
    • Run 4 miles (.25 miles in vibrams and will increase by .25 miles every time)
    • Crossfit (on my own – I absolutely LOVE it, but needed to switch around some stuff in our budget and can’t do it through the box at the moment – hopefully sometime in the future, because they are AWESOME) and stretching
    • Swim 1150 yards
  • Tuesday
    • Run 4 miles (.5 in vibrams)
    • Bike 10 miles
  • Wednesday
    • Run 4 miles (.75 in vibrams)
    • Crossfit
  • Thursday
    • Run 4 miles (1 in vibrams)
    • Bike 10 miles
  • Friday
    • Run 4 miles (1.25 in vibrams)
    • Crossfit
    • Swim 1150 yards
  • Saturday
    • Run 4 miles (1.5 in vibrams)
    • Bike 20 miles
  • Sunday
    • Run 4 miles (1.75 in vibrams)
    • Swim 1600 yards

I also need to make sure to log my food for a while while I readjust to my new schedule.  I always end up with an out of control appetite whenever I ramp up my activity, so that will help me make sure I’m on target (not too low, not too high).

I really want to be one of those people that just LOVES to go out and run, or work out.  But if I’m being perfectly honest, most of the time, I really hate it – when I start out.  But once I get going, it’s great and I feel awesome, and I’m so glad I did whatever it is that I did that day.  But most of the time I definitely don’t have that internal drive.  I just have to force myself to do it.  But that’s the hardest part.

At the end of the day, whenever I don’t work out, I always feel a little listless, frustrated with myself, and sluggish.  When I do work out, I feel great, and energetic, satisfied, and proud of myself.  So why is it so damn hard?

No idea, but I’ll just keep pushing myself one day at a time.  Eventually it will become a habit, and get easier to get going.  Until then, I just need to keep reminding myself of one of my favorite quotes:

You rarely regret the run you did.  You almost always regret the run you didn’t do.

Looking for other good quotes?  There’s a whole bunch here.

See you tomorrow!

My first day of Crossfit was yesterday.  Now that I’ve had time to relax, rest, and reflect on it, I’m ready to sit down and organize my thoughts.

1.  This stuff is AWESOME!

I had such a great time yesterday.  The people were all incredibly nice and encouraging.  The workout was tough, but do-able.  And just the fact that I was working out with other people pushed me to work harder than I would on my own.

2.  DOMS is a bitch.

When I went home, I immediately jumped in the shower and when I went to wash my hair, I realized my arms were already incredibly tired (our workout included lots of pull ups and kettlebell swings).  But later last night… Oh my.  I was still able to brush my teeth and take out my contacts to go to bed, but it was definitely an effort.  Today I’m feeling pretty good.

3.  Getting up early is really quite nice!

Don’t tell my dad I said that.  But I loved getting home from my class and realizing that even though I had already been awake for three and a half hours, it was still before the time that I would have gotten up on my own (I get lazy in the summer).

It’s only been one day so far, but I’m already in love with Crossfit.  I can’t wait for my next workout!  Just the act of getting up early and getting a good workout in has caused me to be more focused with my other workouts, and my nutrition.  My runs yesterday and this morning were really good.  I also ate well yesterday, and felt great because of it.  I have a tendency to snack mindlessly when I get bored, and when I’m making such an effort to train, I’m much more aware of that habit.

So now that the day is young and my workouts are already done (ahhh… the joy of morning workouts…), I’m going to go enjoy a lovely summer day.

Also, I think all of this is making me perkier, no?

Tomorrow morning I start Crossfit, and I can’t wait!

I checked out my local Crossfit box last week.  I did their one-on-one intro session and loved it.  It’s challenging and the people there are sweet, helpful, and so encouraging.  Even just doing my baseline test, I felt like I wanted to push myself harder than I would on my own simply because they were cheering me on.  It’s amazing how motivating others can be.

I plan on taking some “before” pictures tonight.  I’ve heard from many people that their bodies changed dramatically due to Crossfit, and I’d like to be able to see the progress.  I always forget to take before pictures, but I finally remembered for once!

I’ll keep you updated with my Crossfit experience!  I’m looking forward to it!

Need to contact me?

geonerdette at gmail dot com

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