Tag Archives: running

Flame out!

So there’s a classic Marvel comics character — the Human Torch. And when he wants to engage his powers he always yells “Flame on!”

Fantastic Four #144 (Pt 26) Human Torch

Well, today out of the gate I went faster than I should have. As a result, it was a “Flame out!” situation and I was ready to quit. More about that later. 

At any rate, it was a normal Tuesday morning. Headed in for an 8:30 workout with Coach Lara and was joined by Dave & Andrew.

We started with 2 rounds of this lovely warm-up:

  • 30 seconds of high knees
  • 30 seconds of butt kickers
  • 30 seconds of jumping jacks
  • 30 seconds of squat jumps
  • 10 knee hugs to single-leg deadlift (touch the floor)
  • 25 foot LATERAL bear crawl (yeah, sideways) – more of a crab scuttle
  • 10 glute bridges with a hold at the top
  • 10 banded high pulls (SDHP but with a stretchy band)
  • 10 windmills 

From there we warmed up our sumo deadlift high pulls, added some weight, talked about the workout, and were out the door.

  • 3 rounds for time
  • 400m run
  • 21 sumo deadlift high pulls (75/55# for competitor/performance, or 45/35# for fitness — reps drop to 12 for fitness as well)
  • 12 bar-over-burpees (competitor/performance) or 6 bar-over-burpees (fitness)

Um, yeah. We were shooting for 10-15 minutes as far as time goes. And I went out like my ass was on fire for the first round. Two sets of SDHPs — 11 and 10 — and then 12 burpees in a row. Finished in 4:09, then walked outside to realize I couldn’t slow my breathing. 

I walked that entire 2nd round and worked very hard to convince myself to continue. It was one long hostage negotiation. And by the time I walked back in the door to the box, I was resigned to the fact that I needed to finish. 

Today’s level: 2

In the past, I would have just quit. Walked in, grabbed my stuff, and headed to the car. But today I was able to get myself out of the hole as I slowly got back to breathing again. 

By the last round, I walked the first 200m and ran the last 200m, then did smaller sets of everything and stepped over the bar rather than jumping. But I finished, and that’s what mattered.

My time? 17:56. Most folks finished in that 10-16 minute time frame. I died after that first 4 minutes. 

This was not my favorite workout of all time, obviously. It involved running and burpees. But I finished, so that’s what matters. 

Great work to Andrew and Dave, who were both done well before I was. And thanks Lara for the positivity!


running and climbing

It’s nearly 1am on Sunday and I’m not sleeping, so I might as well get something done. Yesterday I went in with AJ for the 10am Team WOD and we did ok I think. πŸ˜‰

We were not alone — Coach Drea had a bunch of us milling about. Marino, Caleb, Lisa & Nick, Larry, Jimmy, Lara, Stacy, Scott, Ryan, Heather, and maybe a few others? I’m a bit fuzzy now.Β 

We did a jump rope warm-up…Β 

  • 3 rounds
    • 20 seconds of single-unders, 10 seconds of rest
    • 20 seconds of double-under practice, 10 seconds of rest

I think I may have managed one double-under, but that was it. πŸ™‚ After that we did a series of skill warm-ups for power cleans and thrusters before we got all of our equipment together and tackled the workout.

  • 31 Heroes WOD (read more here)
  • 31 minute AMRAP for teams of 2
    • 8 thrusters (155/105#, 115/80#, 75/55#)
    • 6 rope climbs (or progressions)
    • 11 box jumps (30/24″ or 24/20″)
    • While partner 1 runs a 400m weighted run (sandbag, med ball, weight vest, etc.), partner 2 works on the triplet — when partner 1 is done, switch…

AJ and I scaled this a bit so we could keep moving:

  • 31 minute AMRAP
    • 8 thrusters (95# for me, 55# for her)
    • 6 rope climbs (she has two broken toes, so she did a few rope climbs and some progressions; I tried to do as many rope climbs as I could but transitioned to knees to elbows on some)
    • 11 step-ups to a 20″ box
    • AJ did 2 minutes on the assault bike and I did 400m runs with a 20# weight vest on

So how’d we do? Well, I don’t think I’ve done that many rope climbs in a while and my feet got lost after a while. I probably managed at least 15-20 rope climbs as well as a mess of rope knees-to-elbows. AJ got stuck with most of the thrusters, though I did one full set of 8 and a partial set of 2 (same with step-ups).

Most of my time was spent running. It went something like this:

Even 20 pounds made those runs even more of a challenge… and some folks ran with 30 or even 40+!Β 
  • run 400m (only round I did the whole thing)Β 
  • run 100m, walk 200m, run 100m (200m)
  • run 150m, walk 150m, run 100m (250m)
  • run 150m, walk 150m, run 100m (250m)
  • run 100m, walk 150m, run 150m (250m)
  • so I ran nearly a mile with the weight vest and walked the rest

We made it through a bit more than 6 rounds, but counted that many at least.Β 

It was a good challenge today and AJ did awesome despite her broken toes. πŸ™‚

DFL, but still finished

Ugh. That was the thought that went through my head when I heard yesterday what today’s workout would be. And then it was confirmed when I looked at the WOD when it was posted last night. Running and squat cleans.Β 


But here’s the thing. I still went in and did it. I didn’t cherry pick and call it a rest day. Yes, I won’t lie — it wasn’t my favorite workout and was definitely rough. Sure, I scaled a bit and I finished dead last. But I finished. Huzzah.

I headed in for the 8:30 workout with Coach Lara — Carrie, Todd & Melissa joined me. We started with a similar warm-up to yesterday:

  • 3 rounds
  • 30 seconds of jumping jacks
  • 10 seconds of rest
  • 20 seconds of butt-kickers
  • 10 seconds of rest

And then we did some squat work – first holding a squat at the bottom and doing thoracic high fives (5 each side) and then doing 10 air squats with your feet together, which is tougher than it sounds.

From there it was squat clean skill work. Empty bar at first and then two or three rounds where we worked up to our working weight…

  • Squat cleans x3, 75#
  • 100m jog
  • Squat cleans x3, 95#
  • 100m jog

I stayed right there. I knew the workout was going to be rough at 95#, let alone the competitor weight of 115#…

  • 4 rounds for time of:
    • 20 squat cleans
    • 800-m run
    • Competitor: 115/75#, Performance: 95/65#

Let’s take two of my least favorite movements and put them in a workout together. Yay! [Ahem]

The goal was to get the squat cleans done in 2 or 2.5 minutes and the runs done in 5, assuming a 10 minute mile. Squat cleans I’d probably get done in 2-3 minutes, but the run? Not likely.Β 

Lara suggested scaling every run to 600m and trying to run the whole time, so my WOD became:

  • 4 rounds for time
  • 20 squat cleans, 95#
  • 600m run

The squat cleans kicked my butt, I won’t lie. But I got outside for that first run, got about 100m and started walking. From that point on, the 400m part of my 600m was a walk/rest cycle and then I ran the 200m each time.Β 

I finished the whole thing in 37:13. Lara said to shoot for 25-35 minutes, so I wasn’t too far off. And I finished – so I’m not too concerned.Β 

I am exhausted however. πŸ™‚ I see a nap today! Great work everybody!

Jimmy’s Team WOD

In the “strange but true” category of Saturdays during soccer season, Ev and I made it in this morning for a team WOD. She actually went earlier as well, but didn’t stay for the gymnastics WOD today so we could go together at 10.

We got there and saw quite a few people heading out after the gymnastics WOD with Drea on our way into the parking lot. Apparently nobody wanted to stick around for Jimmy’s team WOD. πŸ™‚ Silly us, we went in anyway — but we weren’t alone – we had Zac (great to see him!), Shaun & Stacy, Brent, Nick, and Robert joining us. πŸ™‚

jumping-jacks-5JBrue-clipartAfter we all chatted a bit (team WODs do get to be a bit of a social hour every now and then, and that’s fine by us), we did a mess of warm-up movements:

  • Ran 200m
  • Jumping jacks
  • Air squats
  • Jumping squats
  • Burpees

From that point on it was just finding our teams of two for the WOD. Robert and I paired up. Zac and Shaun, Brent and Nick, and Ev & Stacy were the rest of the teams.

The workout was:

  • 5 rounds for time
  • 5 Rds
    • 50 KBS 70#/#53/#35
    • *40 KB/DB Thrusters #70/#53/#35
    • *30 Lunges w/DB or KB overhead
    • 20 GHD situps
    • 400 M run
    • *Use either KB or DBs to complete. Β One in each hand

dumbbell-thrustersRobert and I did the following:

  • 45# kettlebell swings – alternating sets of 15 and 10 to get through these
  • 35# kettlebell thrusters (though my last 15 were just front squats with the KBs on my shoulders) – we did these in sets of 5 or 10
  • Mostly unweighted overhead walking lunges in sets of 15. Robert started with 8# dumbbell overhead walking lunges but soon saw the wisdom of going without. πŸ™‚
  • GHD sit-ups on the floor with an abmat (mostly split 10/10 but I did one set where I did all 20)
  • 400m “run” – some running, some walking. πŸ™‚

This one was spicy, I have to say. The KBS were fine, but the thrusters were awful and there’s just something about even unweighted walking lunges that torques everything in my body. But we worked our way through slow and steady. πŸ™‚

Thanks Robert for being my partner and great work everybody! I think Zac & Shaun and Ev & Stacy made it through all 5 rounds and Stacy talked Nick into doing another round after Brent had to dodge out about 11. Everybody was moving right along. πŸ™‚

We’ll miss next weekend’s team WOD, but should be back more consistently the weekend after that. Thanks for a spicy one, Jimmy!

Team WOD and Nutritional Self-destruction

Though I didn’t make it in for a workout yesterday, I knew I had an opportunity to get in for a team workout on Saturday — so I made it in today with Ev for the 10am team WOD. We had a few folks — Caleb, Stacy & Shaun, Lisa & Nick, Vanessa, Heather, Brent, and some of the kids joined us — plus we had Coach Bill presiding over the madness, so we were bound to have fun despite ourselves. πŸ™‚

pizza-hauntWe started with a couple of games as our warm-up. The “pizza box” game where you hold an abmat like a pizza box with one hand and run around trying to knock other’s “pizza boxes” off while keeping your own safe and sound. If your “box” gets knocked off, you do three burpees. I only managed to knock off a couple of folks boxes, but had my own knocked off at least three times as we ran around like crazy people. πŸ™‚

Then we did the PVC pipe game… where you have the team circle up, each person with their own PVC pipe held upright on the floor in front of them. The coach calls left or right and you let your pipe go, then catch the pipe that was let go to your right or left. If a pipe falls, the whole team does a couple of burpees.

Well, Bill added a new wrinkle. “Down.” When he calls “down,” you let go and do a quick air squat, grabbing your pipe at the top again. If it falls, same rules apply. We had some crazy saves but still managed to drop the pipe at least a couple of times collectively, which meant more burpees.

Then we did some movement work with a PVC pipe to warm up for snatches and clean & jerks, which led to an empty barbell and then barbells with weights. We also did a few wall balls for good measure.

Three girls - karen isabel graceThe workout?

  • Teams of 2 – for time
    • Run 800m (together)
    • 150 wall balls 20/14#
    • Run 400m (together)
    • 30 Snatches (135/95#)
    • Run 400m (together)
    • 30 Clean & Jerks (135/95#)
    • Run 800m (together)
    • (Can scale run with a double distance row, i.e. each member rowed 800m or 400m)

I worked in a team of 3 with Nick & Brent again. We finished in 29:38 with the main part of the workout. There was an optional cash out at the end –Β  6 rounds for time (each person does 3 rounds) – 25 hand-release push-ups and 50 double-unders. I decided to pass on the optional part, though Brent & Nick rocked it out when they were done.

We scaled the workout slightly:

  • Brent did 115# snatches and 135# clean & jerks
  • Nick did 95# snatches and 135# clean & jerks
  • I did 95# snatches and 115# clean & jerks
  • We all did 20# wall balls.

survived-didnt-dieI did two sets of 25 wall balls (my second set was more like 15/5/3/2), 10 snatches (two sets of 5), and 10 clean & jerks (single set of one at a time). I ran the first 800m with the guys pretty well, but after that every run was a mix of running and walking.

Even so I was definitely feeling it at the end. They did awesome and we had a good time chatting our way through the workout.

It was a good one but I was glad I skipped the cash out. πŸ™‚ Thanks Bill, Nick, and Brent!

Nutritional Self-Destruct

As for my nutritional self-destruction… I’ve been trying to get back on track lately. Met with Drea a couple of weeks ago and vowed to get back on the nutrition train.

Food-SphereYeah, that hasn’t gone so well. I haven’t found the discipline yet to get back to the regular eating schedule and keeping it consistent. I’m good for a meal or two each day, but inevitably something occurs whether it’s a time thing (eating on the run or simply running late) or a planning thing (planning? what’s that!?!) — I’ve simply not been good about it.

So I have a new plan. I’m going to keep a point score for each day and shoot for 2 or 3 points each day. Each point comes from one good meal (i.e. nutritionally acceptable). If I try to deal with this daily vs. weekly maybe I’ll have better luck with getting a streak going.

We’ll see where we’re at next week. πŸ™‚

Finding a better pace

Running has never been my groove. I think I decided I hated it way back when I attempted Little League baseball about a hundred years ago and then really drove that home in junior high school running the mile in PE. From that point on I think my mind was set. And it was one of those “set it and forget it” kind of things for a very very long time…

running-failWhen I started with Continuum in 2013, that setting was firmly in effect. Running was a chore. Something to be dreaded, cursed, and avoided at all costs. I’d rather row than run any day of the week. And that was the way of things for a long time.

Two weeks ago I ran an 800m with Brent & Nick during a team WOD and we hit a nice, easy pace. Ran the whole damn thing and it actually felt ok. It was a bit of a watershed moment. Something about slowing it down, just letting it happen, made a huge difference in my mindset about running itself.

Today we had a running and box jumps WOD. And there was some grumbling last night when we saw it, I’ll admit. Maybe even a few choice words. But we went this morning anyway. πŸ™‚

Coach Lara had a bunch of us — Ev & I, Marino, Caleb, Bill, KB, Dave, his daughter, and her fiancee. I don’t know that any of us were exactly excited to run in the 35 degree temps this morning, but we were prepared to do so.

silly-walkWe started with a similar warm-up to what we did yesterday – a kettlebell complex – and then the Hinshaw warm-up and some box jump practice. During the whole thing we were listening to 90s music and Bill was “belting out the hits” as we warmed up… He was definitely in an expressive mood and we had fun with it.

The workout was pretty simple.

  • Three rounds for time:
    • Competitor
      • 800m run
      • 50 box jumps (24/20″)
    • Performance
      • 800m run
      • 35 box jumps (20/15″)
    • Fitness
      • 400m run
      • 20 box jumps (12/8″)

Lara gave us a 25 minute time cap and suggested that if we couldn’t consistently do a 5 minute 800m we should probably scale to a 600m or 400m run. I was going to do my best to stick to the 800m route and see where I ended up.

2jwf4uThough I warmed up with some 20″ box jumps, after that first 800m run I didn’t even attempt them, opting for 35 step-ups instead. But I was surprised by the pace of that first 800m run at a time of 4:37. That was very surprising actually and a good steady pace. Slowing down

My middle run ended up being mostly a walk, but I ran all but a small portion of the last 800m and came in around 5 minutes or so.

Final time? 23:37. Not too shabby. I’ll take it. πŸ™‚ Great work 8:30 class! And thanks for the encouragement Lara!!

The Last Few Days and Some Observations about Language

So far this week has proven to be the normal amount of crazy, but that will go up a notch for various reasons starting tomorrow. As such, I thought it would be good to catch up a bit on the last few days. And then I have some odd observations about personal language and my fitness journey.

girls-gone-rx-logoSaturday we went up and cheered on many folks at Girls Gone Rx in Denver. All the ladies killed it and it looks like they had a lot of fun at the same time, so that was fantastic.

Sunday afternoon I went and did Yoga with Vanessa and her daughters at Continuum. They are all much more flexible than I, but I did my best and had fun trying to get past the friction of practicing to be flexy again. πŸ™‚ Thank you V!

That gets us to this week…

Monday Burpees

My Monday morning began with a 2 hour meeting, so there was no room for the usual crossfit class at 8:30 or 9:30. As such, I ended up attending a 4:45 class in the afternoon with Coach Nicole. As the class happened to involve burpees and running, two of my least favorite activities on the planet, I think everybody was a little surprised to see me. πŸ™‚

kablam-Run-Birdie-RunThere were quite a few folks there – Deana & Marino, Chris, KB, Steve, Nancy, and the new guy – Ryan or Brian. Might have been one or two others, but it was a good group. πŸ™‚

We started with one of Nicole’s special warm-ups and did many things. I think there was a 200m run in there and some Russian dips, plus some banded pull-downs, kip swings, banded pull-aparts, and some other things. My body really is struggling with Russian dips on the floor, but this video from CrossFit HQ and Camille talks about why you do them and how they should look. Mine looked more like an elephant seal flopping around on the ground — and Nicole tried valiantly to help me get past my neurological block. πŸ™‚

Like many things I’ve encountered in crossfit, this is an area where my brain and my body simply are not communicating. My brain can visualize what needs to be done. I can watch Nicole and others performing a Russian dip. But when it comes time to translate from my head to my body, I struggle mightily.

burpees-suck-white-e1415664950623It’s a good challenge and eventually I’ll figure it out. (Thanks for your patience Nicole!)

From there, we talked about the workout itself.

  • Five 2-minute rounds of:
    • 10 burpees
    • 200-m sprint
    • Max-rep burpees
  • Rest 3 minutes between rounds

Um. Sure. Running and burpees. Ugh. But I did it. πŸ™‚ My rounds looked like this:

  • 10 burpees, 200m run, 7 burpees
  • 10 burpees, 200m run, 6 burpees
  • 10 burpees, 200m run, 3 burpees
  • 10 burpees, 200m run, 0 burpees (barely made it back to the door as the 2 minutes ran out)
  • 10 burpees, 200m run, 3 burpees
  • Total score: 19

Honestly, my goal each round was to complete the 10 burpees and the run. Everything else was gravy. By round 3, my calves were turning to rocks (especially my right one) and I tried rolling it out on a kettlebell but it didn’t help a whole bunch. Round 4, I walked the 100m back to the door because my right calf felt like concrete — which is why I had zero burpees after the run.

Not my best workout. πŸ™‚ But I finished, managed to hit my personal goal of the 10 burpees plus run each round, and got a few extra burpees in. I’ll take it. Other folks were doing 10+ burpees after their runs, but definitely not me. πŸ™‚

Great work 4:45 class and thank you Nicole for the encouragement!

Tuesday Shoulder Killer

This morning I was back to the box at 8:30 with Coach Lara for another workout. Today’s was a hero WOD and we definitely worked hard.

We had another good class full today – Dave and his daughter Star, Dallen, and Katie.

dr-evil-air-quotes-yes-this-is-what-we-call-a-warm-upStarted with the same warm-up as was on the books for yesterday:

  • 500m row
  • 20 banded pull-aparts
  • 5 windmills (I used a 2.5# plate)
  • 10 kip swings
  • 10 straight-arm banded pull-overs (sort of a lat pull-down with a band on the rig)
  • 5 Russian dips (awful again, but may have managed a couple)
  • second 500m row

After that, we warmed up our overhead squat and I knew I was going to be in some trouble. Empty barbell and Lara was drilling us to make sure our pinky finger turned in when we gripped the bar, so our armpits pointed forward. When I do OHS, my shoulders want to go the opposite direction — and like the Russian dips, it’s a bit of a neurological challenge to convince my body to get into correct form.

We also tested some rope climbs and warmed up bench press a little.

Jeremie-BorderToday’s workout is “JBo” – named forΒ U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Jeremie “JBo” “Bubba” Border who perished in action in Afghanistan back in 2012. One of our members knew him, so this hits closer to home than some hero workouts do. They’re always tough, but a personal connection really drives it home the reality of what these men and women have sacrificed for our country.

From the CrossFit mainsite:

U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Jeremie “JBo” “Bubba” Border, 28, of Mesquite, Texas, assigned to the 1st Battalion, 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne), based in Torii Station, Okinawa, Japan, died Sept. 1, 2012, in Batur Village, Afghanistan, from wounds suffered when enemy forces attacked his unit with small-arms fire.Β He is survived by his parents, Mary Border and Robert Harris; sisters, DeLaynie Peek, Katie Border, Ashley Harris and Amanda Pereira; nephews, Robbie and Kayden Pereira; and brothers-in-law, Jason Peek and Roberto Pereira.

  • JBo –Β 28 minute AMRAP:
    • Competitor:
      • 115/75# bar
      • 9 OHS
      • 1 legless rope climb, 15-foot rope, beginning from seated
      • 12 bench presses
    • Performance
      • 95/65# bar
      • 9 OHS
      • 1 legless rope climb
      • 12 bench rpesses
    • Fitness (20 minute AMRAP)
      • 45/35# bar
      • 9 OHS
      • 1 lay-to-stand on the rope
      • 12 bench presses

j-hook-rope-climbYeah, this was a doozy. And with my OHS issues, it got hairy quickly. So my version of this workout became:

  • 28 minute AMRAP
    • 9 overhead squats
      • 45# empty bar for 2 rounds
      • 10 reps with PVC pipe focusing on form for all other rounds
    • 1 rope climb, using j-hook
    • 12 bench presses with a 95# bar
  • Total: 8 rounds plus 21

Lara focused on the “pinkies in, armpits forward” approach for the OHS and I simply could not keep good form even with the empty barbell. OHS has been an on-again off-again goat over the last 5 years, so I’m not too surprised. Moving back down to a PVC pipe hurt my pride a little, I will admit, but I knew it was the ONLY way I was going to figure out the form we were working on.


My rope climbs were pretty good until my shoulders got really tired about round 5 or 6. I had a hard time pulling, but managed to get the one climb each round.

And bench press. You wouldn’t think that 12 “light” bench presses would have been such a challenge, but wow they definitely were. I did the first round unbroken and that was a silly thing to do. After that I was breaking it into 6 and 6 or 4-4-4 or 5-4-3 or 3-3-3-3 or whatever the hell I could push. They got very challenging towards the end and Lara was kind enough to spot for me. πŸ™‚ I failed my last rep as time ran out in the 28 minutes.

So total reps: 88 OHS, 9 rope climbs, and 107 bench presses. Yeah, the volume was higher than I thought.

When I was done, I did a little Crossover Symmetry, which helped for a bit — but now that I’ve been sitting down I have to admit that my shoulders are on fire. πŸ™‚

Great work 8:30 class! And thank you Lara for the coaching and spotting!

Language and Mental Will

Lately I’ve noticed myself falling back into some old habits. Whether in my head or out loud, I often hear “I can’t” or “I won’t” or various swear words equating to “$@#$!# this” when I’m in the middle of a workout. Usually I start out fine and as my body gets less happy, my language gets less happy.


Some of this is due to my own physical challenges, whether it’s with a lack of flexibility, skill, or strength. Some of it is due to my pre-conceived notions about what I can and cannot accomplish.

For example, I hate running and burpees. I’m bad at overhead squats. I can’t do double-unders. Etc.

“Hate.” “Bad.” “Can’t.” These are all negatively charged words. And though I fight through them most of the time, it’s a constant battle.

Somehow I need to find a way to change the language I use to be more positive. Anybody have any ideas on how to do that? Let me know.