Tag Archives: rowing

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. πŸ™‚

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 aΒ 30 Calorie Row
  • ThenΒ 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. πŸ™‚

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.Β I prefer normal me to depressed and angry me, 100%.

Sneaky Team WODs…

Though soccer season is in full swing for both girls and our eldest was performing in the high school production of Emma this weekend, somehow the stars aligned and we made it into Crossfit Continuum to do a team workout this morning. Crazy!

There were probably 20 of us or so today attempting to get through Coach Clare’s innocent looking workout. Innocent and it kicked our butts!


Ev and I teamed up with Robert, who was back after a few months of rehab on his shoulder which was repaired. And AJ teamed up with the boys for a team of 4. And we all completed the madness.

Started with a fun warm-up where everybody was giving everybody else a bit of good-natured grief. Knee hugs. High kicks. Spider-man lunges. Arm rotations. Broad jumps. It was a good mix of movements to start us off in the right direction.

And then we faced Clare’s workout.

  • baby-raised-eyebrows-hmmm-why-do-i-feel-like-this-is-going-to-kick-my-butt-laterTeams of 3, for time
  • For each round, athlete 1 completes 75 DU, while athletes 2 & 3 each complete one of the other movements. When athlete 1 is finished with the DU’s, rotate through the movements until each athlete has completed each movement.
  • Buy in: 50 synchronized lunges
  • Round 1 – 75 DU, OHS 95/65#, KBS 53/35#
  • Round 2 – 75 DU, SDHP 95/65#, med ball sit ups 20/14#
  • Round 3 – 75 DU, front squat 95/65#, C2B
  • Round 4 – 75 DU, push press 95/65#, wall balls 20/14#
  • Cash out – 1500m row or 7 min assault bike

This shouldn’t have been bad, right? I mean… light weights. Only doing a movement as long as someone was jumping rope. Simple!


We adjusted things slightly. Though Robert did DU’s, Ev and I did single-unders and we all stuck with the 65# bar (ostensibly to protect Robert’s shoulder, but honestly it was because 95# didn’t sound all that fun).


We were done in about 29 or so minutes. Others were done much faster. And a few were slower than us. So honestly I think we did ok.

A few things:

  • lunges suck for me, regardless of weight or not.
  • OHS were awkward, but other than them and C2B, I got at least 10-20 of each movement done in the time given.
  • I may have accomplished 10 OHS, but they weren’t good ones.
  • I hit 3 jumping C2B pull-ups from the floor and was happy about it.

And then we turned around and drove north to a soccer game for AJ. I’m ready for a nap now, so I can only imagine that she is as well. πŸ™‚

Thanks Clare for a fun one. And thanks Robert for joining Ev & I for the workout!

Body Parts Failing

So I’m 46, soon to be 47, and never been all that physical until starting crossfit in February 2013. I’m very thankful for that, but every now and then it shows me just how out of whack my body still is even after 4+ years of getting back into shape.

cfa08db50f4a04cdfa79d30579036a4cTuesday we did a strict pull-up and running workout that, um, killed me a little bit (see CrossFit: The Great Equalizer from earlier this week). I woke up on Wednesday in pain. The middle of my back was on fire. My hamstrings were fried. Generally I was moving like an 80 year old man around my own house.

I spent a good amount of time mobilizing. I sit a lot for my job, so I’d get up every so often and touch my toes or lie flat on the floor or use a foam roller or get into child’s pose… anything to release the aching, tight muscles causing me grief. And last night we used some Deep Blue rub (thank you Doterra), which helped tremendously.

Even so, I approached today with a bit of trepidation. Deadlifts on Monday stressed hamstrings. Tuesday stressed my shoulders and back. Wednesday was recovery. What would today hold?

Answer: More pain in different body parts.

Amazingly, I got to attend the 8:30 class this morning with my wife and youngest daughter. We were definitely not alone with Coach Drea… she had a bunch of folks – Sarah, Brent, Nic & Nichole, Jenny, Jake, and Caleb. We had a hopping group of folks… literally.


Started simply enough with some mobility, which I’ll be doing more of today.

  • Kettle-bell handle to the calf from the achilles tendon up to below the knee
  • Lacrosse ball or softball to the bottom of the foot
  • Knee bent on plyometric box with a weight to stretch ankle and knee

dr-evil-air-quotes-yes-this-is-what-we-call-a-warm-upThen we did another one of Drea’s fun multi-phase warm-ups:

  • Step-ups
  • Single jumps with a jump rope
  • 100m run
  • Box jumps
  • Air squats
  • 100m run
  • Box jumps
  • Jump ropes
  • 400m run

Or something like that. I have to say that by the second round of box jumps I knew I was in trouble. Something in my right calf began to knot up to the point where walking, let alone running or jumping, was not happy. I walked most of my 400m and came back in telling Drea that my hopper was broken.

I was ready to just pack up and cheer folks on for the workout, but she had me scale today — which was a much better option.

The workout itself was:

  • 4 rounds
  • 15 box jumps (36/30″ box Rx, 30/24″ box Level II, 24/20″ box level I)
  • Run 400m

look-at-scaling-featI didn’t even really do level I. My workout became:

  • 4 rounds
  • 20 step-ups to 20″ box (10 each side)
  • Row 500m
  • Time: 16:01

Ev did:

  • 4 rounds
  • 15 jumps to a 15″ plate stack
  • 400m run
  • Time: 17:13

AJ did:

  • 4 rounds
  • 15 jumps – mix of 24″ and 20″ box
  • mix of 400m run and assault bike
  • Time: 14:50

I wasn’t the only one who had to scale, but man I hate it when my body just fails. Thankfully Drea was there to stop me from just quitting outright and had me scale the workout.

All things being considered, this was a great workout. I just would rather have done it with a run if I could (even though it would have sucked). Even with scaling however, I was sweating like a pig through the whole thing.

More mobility. Those are the words for the day.

Great work 8:30 class! Thanks Drea!

What a week…

Wow, what a week. Let’s just say that my head has not been in the right place for a few days. Not sure how or why, but… ugh.

  • 10z7zwMonday I woke up angry and worked out anyway.
  • Tuesday we had a snow day and I ground some mental gears as we shifted plans 3x that morning. Never did make it to the box,
  • Wednesday I thought about going but got tied up at work.
  • Thursday I had to go. And even that was a struggle.

Apparently I’m riding the struggle bus this week and have a window seat.

Today’s workout was the one originally slated for yesterday but moved due to snow. (Tough to run when the parking lot is an ice rink.) And running… running isn’t my thing. So there was a mental battle this morning that raged on.

silly-walkThe only thing that saved me was the familiarity of routine. I try to go to crossfit Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays. Sometimes I add Saturdays. Sometimes I add other days. But M-T-Th… that’s my jam.

Today was Thursday, so regardless of what the workout happened to be, I needed to be there. So I was. Routine beat mental games. Thank goodness for the routine.

I went in with Ev to the 8:30 class with Coach Bill. We were joined by Elyse, Lisa, Carrie, and Larry. And we were goofy during the warm-up as we listened to 80s music. πŸ™‚

Started with some foam rolling, then did the back and forth running drills we’ve done in the past. High knees karaoke. Ministry of Silly Walks. The whole nine yards.

Grabbed empty barbells and then did 3 reps and a quick lap inside, added weight, did it again, and repeated that until we got to our working weight.

  • 5 rounds for time of:
  • Run 400 meters
  • 185/125# deadlifts, 21 reps

DLgripwidthDuring the warm-ups I noticed that my right calf was giving me grief. Even Bill commented on it. And during the workout itself it felt like it might as well have been a club foot. Bill had me transition to a row in the 3rd round. So my workout looked like:

  • 400m jog
  • 21 deadlifts, 185#
  • 400m walk
  • 21 deadlifts, 185#
  • 500m row
  • 21 deadlifts, 185#
  • 500m row
  • 21 deadlifts, 185#
  • 500m row
  • 21 deadlifts, 185#
  • time: 26:40

We had a 30 minute time cap and I got done under that, so I was happy. Elyse and Lisa were done in about 18 minutes or so and lapped me pretty quickly. Ev finished in 23:30 or so but didn’t quite lap me. Even so, I was DFL and didn’t really care. I finished.


I really need to figure out what the heck is going on with my calves. The right one knotted up fast today and then my hips and knees got into the action complaining as well. I need to do more stretching and mobility work at home. I suspect that’s all that needs to happen. But time is a factor and my excuse, so until I get over that speed bump I suspect it will remain a problem.

Told you I was on the struggle bus this week. Great work everybody!

Have a great day!

My Monday is Swole

After Friday’s less than spectacular efforts with 17.4, I didn’t really do much this weekend. I caught up on a few movies and watched the entirety of the Iron Fist series on Netflix (it was underwhelming if you were curious). Pretty much I just hung out with our dog and enjoyed the quiet while my family was out of state at a soccer tourney.

Today they are home and I headed out for a Noon workout at CrossFit Continuum with Coach Drea and Sarah. Bill was there redoing 17.4 and got to 29 HSPUs before he ran out of time, but that’s a heck of a lot further than I got — so bravo!

We started with a 400m run and then did three rounds of 20 seconds each of:

  • push-ups
  • sit-ups
  • air squats


When that was done, we did a few practice reps with our bar for push-ups and then talked about rowing. Drea wanted us to focus on slowing down and making our rowing more efficient. I’m definitely not the best at that and slowing down, well… that was a challenge. πŸ™‚

But the workout was pretty straightforward:

  • for time
  • Row 500 meters
  • 30 bench presses, body weight (or 3/4 body-weight or 1/2 body weight)
  • Row 1,000 meters
  • 20 bench presses
  • Row 2,000 meters
  • 10 bench presses


Though I *can* do a body weight bench press at 225/230#, there’s no way in hell I could do 60 of them. πŸ™‚ I dropped it to a much more reasonable 135# (60% of 225#). And before the first 30 reps were done I had to drop it to 95# (42% OF 225).

I got through 24 bench presses at 135# before I couldn’t push any more. Drea helped me drop the weight and we put 95# on it. And I finished the rest of the workout with that.

Took me about 27 minutes to finish the workout — all 3500m and 60 bench presses.Β Sarah finished a few minutes ahead of me. She kicked butt.

So not bad for a Monday. Good cardio and some strength. Now I’m tired and ready for a nap. πŸ™‚

Thanks Drea! And great work Sarah!

Allergies + Run = Row instead

It’s nice to have a kinder, gentler coach when she knows you’re still recovering from a nasty cold the week before and allergies this week. This morning I couldn’t get into the box, but I did manage a Noon workout with Coach Drea and Chandler.

Today we had deadlifts and running on the agenda, but apparently it was really just running (deadlifts have been pushed off to next Monday). And neither Chandler nor I was physically up to running three rounds of 800m outside today, so we adjusted. He said he’d work on the assault bike and Drea said I could row.


We started with some running warm-ups, back and forth doing various movements like high knees, karaoke, butt-kickers, and so on. And then we did the workout:

  • 3 rounds for time
  • 800m run/1000m row/assault bike
  • 2 minute rest

I rowed while Chandler did the assault bike the same amount of time that I rowed for. And we were done in a bit more than 18 minutes. I kept slowing down.Β My first 1000m was 4:07, then 4:30, and finally 4:55.

But we got through it and then did some mobility work before calling it a day. Definitely not a bad workout — I got some sweat in and didn’t die in the process. That’s a win. πŸ™‚

And honestly I’ll row any day over run. πŸ™‚

Now tonight we see what Dave Castro has in store for 17.4 of the CrossFit Open!

Thanks Drea and good work Chandler!

Open Gym

So the first workout of the year happened to be on an Open Gym day at CrossFit Continuum and another first. I’ve not been into the box on an Open Gym day before, so that was kind of fun. There were people all over doing fun things. Jimmy & Drea, Kelli, Dee, Clare, Brent, Andrew & Ashley, Lisa & Nick, Hillary and her son, and a few others. The place was hopping.

We went in with the girls. They did their own thing – an 8-10 minute WOD they put together themselves. And Ev and I did a modified Annie.

annieAnnie is one of the named “girls” workouts for time –

  • 50-40-30-20-10 reps for time of
    • double-unders
    • sit-ups

We did:

  • 100-80-60-40-20 reps for time of
    • single-unders
    • sit-ups
  • with a 1000m row at the end of each round

So it was Annie + a 5k row. My wife came up with it and about 3 rounds in I was wondering why I said “sure” when she asked if I wanted to do it with her. πŸ™‚

rowboatShe did it in about 40 minutes. I did it in a bit more than 45. My row times got consecutively slower – I started in about 4 minutes and by the last round was over 5 and closing on 6 minutes.

My biggest issue was my grip on my right hand. My right forearm blew up and turned into a rock pretty quickly between gripping the jump rope handle and pulling on the rower. By the end even Drea was like “yeah, you need to ice that and roll it out.” Guess I’ll be working on that over the next couple of hours. πŸ™‚

That said, I don’t think 45 minutes was too bad. We weren’t exactly pushing for time – just pushing to finish – and I was ok with that.

Plus it was fun to see everybody! Happy 2017!