the spaz of fitness has arrived

Just DO

In Uncategorized on January 11, 2013 at 5:47 pm

At long last, Alex Viada published part II of his hybrid strength and endurance program: here. The article is very thorough and provides sample training schedules for varied goals– a CrossFitter looking to reduce her mile time (like yours truly), a competitive powerlifter looking to complete a 5k, a CrossFitter who’d like to run a marathon, and a powerlifter who endeavors to do a triathalon (why, God, why?). Anyway… it doesn’t change much of what I’m doing. Unfortunately, since I’m a pansy when it comes to this drippy, gross, sleet-ish, wet Pennsylvanian weather (god, weather… what a hassle. Arizona requires no forecast. Dry. Hot. Done.), I’ll be prioritizing rowing for the winter… which means my long “run” and intervals will be on the rower. I figure, at the very least, it’ll increase my aerobic capacity in the winter, which will hopefully transfer a bit to my running. Rowing is equally important in CrossFit, and I suck at it just as much (possibly more) as I do at running…

Yesterday was my Max Effort squat day. It’s been about two months since I last tested my squat 1rm, so I tried that… I’ve regained my old max, which really means it only went up 2.5 lbs in the last month. I mean, I’m glad it hasn’t gone down as my upper body lifts have… But I still wasn’t too thrilled. This morning, I did the box’s prescribed WOD:

15-12-9, Overhead Squats and Pull-ups.

There was no set prescription for the WOD, but rather weights were chosen at the coach’s discretion (possibly the best approach). Since I couldn’t attend a class time, however, I decided the weight for myself. I went with 65– which is the prescribed weight for Nancy. Actually since I never practice my OHS, I’ve never even overhead squatted 65 before. But I managed to finished the WOD within the 12 minute time cap (barely– 11:11). Again… you’d think I’d be thrilled, since I technically PR’d a lift and did it for reps and time. However… I guess I’m still feeling a bit down.

I’ve been doing this for a year and a half, and my squat-based lifts are hitting markers that many women reach within their first few months. The only lift I’m proud of is my deadlift (which, btw, now matches that of CrossFit Games women who have over twenty lbs on me). But… my clean is still 2.5 lbs short of that 100 mark, which means it’s now over 10 lbs less than body weight (the scale reads between 108 and 110 right now). My snatch is abominable… My press has been teasing 75% body weight for like six months, just as my bench keeps approaching the body weight marker, but never quite gets there. Unfortunately, my pull-ups have dropped down quite a bit in the past month, though I can’t explain why. I feel like a mess. On the more positive side, I managed to string together 45 double-unders over break (again, a milestone that many better-coordinated athletes reach within months)… I uploaded a video of my attempt at a strict muscle-up to the CrossFit forums, and I received encouraging feedback. Most people seem to agree that I’m damn close… This sums up the general response:

I have seen transition work fron the knees so you can use your feet to push you through the transition. I think that would be good too as you get the feel of what it is like and know the movements.

To me you have the MU you juts need to do it. YOu looke that close

(I’m going to forgive Nik’s typos because I appreciate the response). Anyway… I should be practicing transition drills, so I’ve been doing those when I can and letting up when I’m sore. But… the problem with “You have the muscle up you just need to do it,” is I can’t just do it. People make these statements in CrossFit as if it comes naturally, but none of this comes naturally to me. My body doesn’t just do. It doesn’t respond as it should. It fights me every step of the way… I couldn’t land a freaking box jump for months because my knees just would not lift into the air. It didn’t matter how hard I willed my legs to bend– they just wouldn’t. And I don’t know how to force that other than to keep trying and failing and getting beat down by my own incompetence.

In a way, I understand… I’m working on being a more understanding, more empathetic writing teacher, but when I first started I struggled with explaining a lot of things that I naturally just did. Some sentences sound “better.” Some words resonate more. Some images leave you trembling. I believe a lot of writing is practice and discipline, but that practice and discipline also hones a sort of natural intuition– one I believe most people have, but haven’t honed their ability to listen to it.

But for me, the physical is the polar opposite. Nothing feels intuitive. I’m trying to get a strict muscle up because I worry I’d never find the natural kip and at least working on it through brute force gives me a strategy…

But it’s the fact that nothing comes intuitively that also makes me worry about this new training schedule. My agenda is such that I can’t really make class times if I want to maintain a strength focus. My lifts take longer than the class’s usual strength component, which means I have to complete my lifts sometime outside of classes.. which means the only class I can is attend 4:00pm if I want to lift before the WOD. I teach until 3:30, which doesn’t give me enough time to complete my lifts before class (it takes me 20-30minutes to walk home, then I have to drive to the box, and my lifts + accessory work take about 45 minutes). Technically, I could also make the 8am class and try to get to the gym by 7 to lift… but unfortunately I’m much weaker that early in the morning and I’m afraid that I won’t make as many gains if I do that… also, I’d have to wake by 6 to get food in me before lifting… and then I’d have to get to bed early enough to recover well enough for all of this work to even have any impact. I know a lot of these restrictions are my own damn fault. If I weren’t so concerned about paring down my weaknesses, I could just attend the classes, and not give a shit about my own programming. If I wanted to miss a bit of sleep and train a little tired, I could start waking really early in the morning (which I may do if this continues to frustrate me). But… this is my blog so I’m whining while I have a captive audience ;). Anyway…. the reason I worry about it so much is because 1) training alone kind of sucks. It’s so much less fun than hanging out with the lovely members of our box, and I actually really hate that I never get to see anyone right now since I’m always working out alone. 2) training alone means I don’t have a coach watching my movements. With this in mind, I’m trying to remain hyper-vigilant … Today’s overhead squats had to be rock-bottom or else I didn’t count them, but we know that I lack body-awareness. I may start videotaping just to be sure. course, this whole time, I’m still not sure of any of this programming is right for me… if this is the ideal, most efficient way to help me become a better, more capable CrossFit athlete. I hope I don’t sound like I’m complaining because I know I’m damn lucky to have the box’s open gym hours to use the equipment when I can. I just… miss people, and something small and needy and all-too-easily wounded inside me tends to wilt when I spend too much time training in an empty gym with just my headphones on. I do love CrossFit for its interactive potential, after all.

I don’t want to use “I’m not an athlete” and “I suck at this as an excuse.” It’s not an excuse. It’s not acceptable. I should be doing better than I am; I just don’t know how. I have this constant terror that I’m screwing up and just unaware of the ways that I’m doing it. For now, I feel I have no option but to keep trying what I’m trying and see adjust if I’m still dissatisfied. But right now, I’m very disappointed in myself.

Bleh… Okay I think the lack-of-interacting-with-people-outside-a-classroom setting is probably also contributing to the grey cloud over my head– that and possibly the actual grey clouds overhead right now (damn you Pennsylvania weather). But I’m glad to get that off my chest. Thanks for reading… I hope you’ve all had a lovely week.

… in a small attempt to counterbalance the negativity of my post, here are three things for which I’m grateful:

1. Brief moments with good friends– the passing conversations I’ve managed to have this week…

2. Letters in the mail– who doesn’t love snail mail? 😀

3. A possible paper idea for my Milton class (though this is a large stretch and will require a lot of generosity and leeway on the part of the professor… I foresee much groveling in my future)

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