Category Archives: Side effects

Cindy Wants Revenge and Creatine Issues

My question: What did I ever do to Cindy? Why is she so angry?

I missed the Lurong workout last week. Honestly it just wasn’t a good week for me, but we’ll get to the reason behind that after I talk about today.

Mickey and I hit the 8:30 workout with Coach Drea this morning. We had a good crew along with us — Sarah, Brent, Shannon, Todd, and Lisa.

silly-walkBut Coach Drea was in “evil trainer” mode this morning with our warm-up… She led us outside and up the hill to the west, then told us what we’d be doing:

  • 2 minutes of jogging the 100-150m back and forth
  • then 15 seconds of sprints and 45 seconds of recovery for 5 rounds

Yes, I said “sprints.” And though I jogged the 2 minutes back and forth, my “recovery” was a walk. 🙂

But it didn’t stop there.

Once back inside, we did a long stretch of hip and shoulder mobility with a band on the rig. I swear I was sweating buckets during mobility, which is always entertaining. And then we did a few rounds (maybe 3) of:

  • 5 kips on the rig
  • 4 alternating one-arm planks (like the yoga move where you pivot to one side and then the other)
  • 5 wall-facing air squats, slow and steady as close as you can get to the wall without touching

cindyThat all took a long time. I think the mobility part of the workout was probably 35 minutes of our hour at least. And then we tackled the Lurong Challenge workout #3: Cindy Wants Revenge. Cindy plus rowing!

  • 12-Minute AMRAP
  • Opens with a 30 Calorie Row
  • Then 2 Rounds of:
    • 5 Pull Ups
    • 10 Hand Release Push Ups
    • 15 Air Squats
  • The next round starts back at the 30 Calorie Row

Apparently some early classes made it as far as 3 rounds, plus. So though I was shooting for 3, I knew the row was going to slow me down, as would the push-ups. Anything over 2 rounds would be good. 🙂

I made it through 2 rounds plus 3 reps. That boils down to about 183 “reps” in the 12 minute time cap. I did regular pull-ups and push-ups, and the regular air squats. My first 30 calorie row was about 2 minutes. Second was about 3 minutes. The killer for me was push-ups though. My first set of 10 was unbroken, but after that I was breaking it into 5 and 5 or 5-3-2 or whatever I could do.

Mickey made it through 1 full round plus 58 reps (she almost completed the third round of 5-10-15). She had to do a mix of pull-ups and ring rows, but she kept on chugging. Not bad for her second crossfit workout in a while (considering her first workout back was Murph!).

So we didn’t do too bad. Todd made it through 3 rounds plus a bit. Not sure how other folks did. But everybody was chugging right along!

Thanks Drea for a great workout!

Creatine and Me

So I mentioned that last week was bad for me. We started the Lurong challenge on my birthday, so this is the 4th week. And about the time we started, I also went back on adding some creatine into my diet.

now-creatineBack in October 2016, Jimmy suggested adding it to help with energy. So I bought Now Sports’ Creatine Monohydrate and added 1 heaping teaspoon to my Spark drink in the morning to help kick things off.

And that lasted until sometime in April when it ran out. I never had any issues and I do think it may have helped somewhat, but couldn’t put my finger on any particular energy boost from the stuff.

ON-micronized-creatineAt that point, I ordered a new type of creatine from Optimum Nutrition – Micronized Creatine Powder. I honestly didn’t think anything would happen negatively – I hadn’t had any issues on the other one and this one was well reviewed. So when the Lurong Challenge started and we shifted over to a Macro-based plan for meals, I just added this into the mix.

And holy cow, I started having some serious issues.

Mood swings from hell. Deep, dark depression in the afternoons. Anger. And I did my best to work through them, thinking they were a side effect of the diet change and lowering my carbohydrates (sugar crash, etc). But after a particularly bad bout last week, Ev and I decided we should just stop taking the stuff and see if it helped.

And honestly after not taking it for several days, I feel a lot happier. No mood swings. No anger or depression beyond my usual self-doubt, regret, and guilt (I’m human, it happens). So I think we’ll be not taking any creatine for a while.

I’m not saying that EVERYBODY has this kind of reaction – but damn. Not high on my list of things to try again for a while. I prefer normal me to depressed and angry me, 100%.

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More functional fitness

Still on vacation and not actively working out at the moment, but I am happy to say that we are staying pretty active – at least the last couple of days. Yes, there’s some rest and relaxation too – but I’m happy to say that the “functional fitness” part of crossfit is continuing to reveal itself.

The same day we went on a 5+ mile hike in the woods, we had an opportunity to do a sunset tour of Lake Dillon with Kyle from Adventure Paddle Tours. Though none of us have ever been in a kayak before, we were up for the challenge. We were supposed to go the night before but were stopped by uncertain weather conditions, so we rescheduled.

Kyle got us all outfitted with PFDs and splash skirts, then gave us the rundown on paddling a kayak. Within about 20 minutes, we were on the water trying to figure out steering and propulsion. I was with my youngest daughter AJ and Ev was with our eldest, Mickey. Pretty quickly we managed to get underway on our paddle across the lake.

I haven’t had great shoulders for a very long time. I screwed up one of them helping my wife and her mom move many many moons ago (before we were married). And I never did much to get it back on track until crossfit came around, so I was curious to see how I’d do.

And, lo and behold, my shoulders were fine. I had more issues with my upset left knee than I did with anything else and I think it was more my lack of coordination than the knee itself. My feet kept slipping off the pedals for steering and the splash skirt came undone a few times. But AJ and I trundled right along. She complained about my steering for the 90+ minutes we were on the water, but other than steering like a drunken sailor we did just fine. 🙂

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Neither shoulder was sore and the only thing that hurt was my knee when we were done (it hurt when we started), so I was impressed.

If you’re ever in the area and you want to give kayaking a try, I say call Kyle. We had an amazing trip – paddled across the lake to see the eagle’s nest, saw an eagle IN the nest, plus osprey, Canada geese, a few jumping fish, bats & even a beaver. The lake was like glass for part of the trip but never too rough not to enjoy our time on the water.

And the very next day we had a half-day rafting trip planned with the crew from Monumental Expeditions down in the Buena Vista, CO area. The Arkansas River was bombing along nicely through Browns Canyon and I knew it was going to be a wee bit more exciting/stressful than our gentle kayak trip on the lake. 🙂

We had done another rafting trip in the same area a few years before, but it was late in the season (August maybe) and much calmer water. This was a completely different environment as we watched the river bomb along.

But again, I was able to paddle just fine. We were on the water for a couple of hours and paddled through 6 or 7 rapids with our guide Dane. Everybody got wet, paddled, listened to our great guide, and had a wonderful time. The rapids we did were usually class 3 but the sheer volume of water bumped them closer to class 4s.

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The water was cold but we rented wet suits and splash jackets from the crew and got wet but never too bad. Everybody stayed in the boat, thankfully. The water was a bit above 40 degrees at the surface and dropped to the 30s underneath with all the snow runoff from the mountains north and west of us. It would have been a very chilly swim!

But my body held up, we had a blast, and I really can’t say I’m any worse for the wear. I can’t say I remember the same being true the last time we rafted. I seem to recall being quite sore.

So a 5 mile hike, a 90 minute kayak trip, and a 2+ hour rafting expedition over the course of 36 hours and I was tired, but hardly sore at all (beyond the knee that’s giving me grief).

That wouldn’t have been possible without crossfit. Functional fitness is not a rumor, folks. It’s a real thing!

Don’t tell anybody, but I think I’ve enjoyed myself this vacation. 🙂

Side Effects of Crossfit

Though I think we all settle into our routines of life, work, and fitness, every now and then I am surprised by just how much my life has changed for the better with a regular habit of Crossfit. You’ve heard me talk in the past about how I’ve never really been an athlete, but something that goes along with that is how little I really participated in certain aspects of my childhood.

My father has always enjoyed the out of doors. He’s a fisherman. A hunter who hunts with both rifle and bow. An athlete who played basketball and softball actively for years and years. He even discovered bicycling and participated in the Ride the Rockies races several times.

20160607_125541He tried passing a lot of that on to me but it didn’t stick.

Though I like fishing, I am not likely to do anything in inclement weather or go out of my way to get to the perfect spot. And I haven’t pursued fishing actively since I was a kid and we went out on trips regularly to some of the local reservoirs with a boat or drove to this lake or that lake for a few hours here or there.

Though I can shoot a gun, I didn’t do that for the first time until I was in my 20s and have only done it a few times since. It’s fun, but I never saw myself getting any enjoyment from tracking and killing an animal doing its best to survive in the world. I do have respect for hunters who do it respectfully and use as much of the animal as possible. But the idea of hunting for sport… let’s not get me started.

And the biking and athletics… We’ve already talked about that a few times. I’m not a natural athlete. I fought childhood asthma. I fight allergies regularly. And though Crossfit is helping develop my strength, endurance, and a little bit of dexterity – I don’t see myself rushing out to play any sports any time soon.

20160607_100231I know, I know… I’m taking a long time to get to what I mentioned early on and in the subject of this post… unexpected benefits of Crossfit.

Under everything my Dad taught me (and still does about enjoying life), I think an appreciation of nature and the want or even need to experience it has been an underlying factor in all of it. He appreciates the natural world and that has always been apparent.

This week I got to to on a couple of hikes with my family in beautiful Breckenridge, Colorado. It sits about 9600 feet above sea level. And though I’ve been enjoying coming up to eat, drink, and even do some snowmobiling or dog sledding every now and then, I’ve not been one to “go hiking.” It didn’t appeal. Gasping for breath and physical activity wasn’t one of those things I sought out actively.

Yesterday I went for a short hike with my wife. We were probably above 10,000 feet for nearly an hour. I didn’t ever really get out of breath. I didn’t fall and hurt myself. It was fun. We might have gone a couple of miles total, but it wasn’t too far.

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Today I went with my wife and daughters and we did a 5.5 mile hike (about 2.75 miles one direction and then turning around and coming back). Though I did get a little sweaty and my knees eventually gave me a little grief, we had a great time. Up and down, across streams of snow run-off, over boulders, through small sections of snow, over logs… And not a single breathing issue anywhere.

And I probably could have gone further. I’m glad I didn’t because I was getting hungry! But I can truthfully say I don’t remember ever going on a 5 mile hike, let alone enjoying it.

It means a lot that I was able to feel a bit more connected to my father and his legacy while also sharing that activity with my kids. I hope they enjoyed it. I know I did.

It wouldn’t have happened without waking up in 2012 to the fact that I found my way to Crossfit. Crazy how that decision has helped me in so many other parts of my life. 🙂

I’d say it’s a nice side effect, would’t you?