Tag Archives: running

Me? Running? 2.5 miles???

Last night I headed into Continuum for a 4:45pm class with Coach Nicole. Morning meetings on Wednesday break up my normal 8:30/9:30 schedule, which is actually cool by me. I like breaking up my routine to pop into a mix of classes with our coaches and athletes to keep things fresh and interesting. 🙂

Unfortunately, I knew last night’s workout was going to be running. Lots of it. So I really didn’t want to go. However, I know running is still a goat of mine — so I try not to cherry pick when running workouts come up. And I showed up anyway. 🙂

It was me, Drea, Ryan (and his dog Teddy), and another new gal who seems very nice. The new gal rowed. The rest of us ran as night fell.

So here’s the thing. I recently did a mile run because I wanted to know how fast I could run it these days. That was very out of character for me. I grumble about running a lot and for me to do it willingly — on an open gym day no less — was just weird. But I’d been doing 800m stretches more easily and needed to find out. (Spoiler: slightly under a 10 minute mile — surprised me!)

The workout?

  • For time (we actually just noted our fastest round)
  • 5 rounds, each for time, of:
    • Run 800 meters
    • Rest 3 minutes

When I went in last night, I had it in my head that I’d scale a bit right off the bat. That didn’t happen. About round 3, I was going to scale dramatically. That didn’t happen.

I willingly ran 2.5 miles in less than 40 minutes. What the hell is wrong with me? 😀 This is how my lap times went…

  • 4:27
  • 4:39
  • 5:13
  • 5:29
  • 5:56

Total time: 37:44. Total rest: 12 minutes (4×3). Total running time: 25:44.

Let me point out a few ways I’m surprised by this.

  1. I’ve never run 2.5 miles before.
    1. Sure, we did a few 5k “runs” long ago, but I walked a lot of that and my times were quite long – 40-45 minutes I suspect.
    2. Even with Murph, I have tended to sandbag my runs (or hurt myself during them).
  2. Though I bitched, whined, and complained bitterly about the workout even 24 hours before it happened, I did it.
  3. Though I went in with a scaled option (800, 600, 600, 600, 600) in mind, I stuck with 800m every single round.
  4. Though after round 3, I said I was going to drop to 400s — I kept going with 800m for another two rounds.
  5. I ran the entire first lap without stopping.
  6. I ran nearly the entire second lap without stopping — all but a little uphill chunk (halfway up the hill from Academy to the top of the parking lot by the animal hospital).
  7. And the last three laps got longer and longer as I walked a little more each one, but I continued to *run* each round and never resorted to just walking.
  8. f you look at those first two rounds and eliminate the 3 minute rest, that’s dangerously close to a 9 minute mile (9:06), which is significantly faster than my 9:55 time right after Christmas.

Me. Running. What the heck is this world coming to?

I’m not going to lie and say I felt great when I was done. My body was not very happy with me after all of that pounding. But I did it anyway.

Thanks Nicole and great work everybody!

One Mile Run in Under 10 Minutes?

Of all the things we do in our CrossFit workouts, running is still one of my least favorite activities. Short or long, slow or fast, it’s always a challenge. I’m not built for it and have had a mental block on enjoying it since PE in junior high school.

Some of that may have been due to my childhood asthma. Some of it may have been rankling at the idea of being mandated to run in PE. Some of it may have been I’d rather spend time with my head in a book than be outside and active.

Whatever it was, it left its mark. And I decided long ago that I hated running.

When I started CrossFit in 2013, that was definitely still the case. And I did my best to avoid any workout that involved running anything more than a bare minimum. I’ll freely admit that I cherry picked many days to avoid such an onerous task.

Over time, it got a little easier. And last year I even worked with Coaches Drea and Isaac on running form to try and get better. I knew I wasn’t going to break any land speed records, but I didn’t want to hurt as badly after running like I did regularly at that point.

I did my best to not avoid running and instead try and work on getting better. Little by little it helped, though I still dread any workout that involves running.

This year I surprised myself. Back in August 2018 we did the workout “Gunny” and it involved not one but THREE miles — and not just running, but running with a weight vest. It was not my cup of tea. But I ran/walked a mile with a 20# vest and completed it in 11:05. I think my previous “best” mile at that point was around 14 minutes.

I will never do a Happy Dance for running. 🙂

In the last few months, I had a few 800m runs where I completed them in around 4:30 and I began to get curious. What would my mile time be?

We had the mile run come up, but it was on a day I couldn’t get in. I was disappointed by that fact, and that was very entertaining. Me? Disappointed because I COULDN’T run? What was the world coming to?

A week or two ago I publicly declared that I would try and run a mile over the holiday break to see where I stood. That was blasphemous to me. Declaring that I WANTED to run? I debated seeking a mental health professional, at least for a moment or two.

And today, the day after Christmas, we had open gym. It was a good opportunity to not only just get in and get moving after being a bit of a slug for three days, but also test the theory that my mile time was faster. Would I be able to break the mythical “10 minute” mile barrier?

Well, lo and behold, I did. 9:55.

I ran the first 800m non stop and the second one in fits and starts, never walking more than maybe 50m at a time, and not stopping. Eventually my goal is to be able to run a mile without stopping, but I will take what I did today.

Me. Running under a 10 minute mile. I’m still a bit in shock, but also — proud of myself. 🙂 Thank you to all my coaches and friends who encouraged me to work on my running skills over the last few years. I appreciate all the nudges.

And maybe my PE teacher from my old junior high school (that doesn’t exist any more — closed in 2008) will stop judging me from my past every time I try and run a mile. 🙂

12 Days of Xmas 2018

For the last few years, we’ve done the 12 Days of Christmas workout at CrossFit Continuum in the days before Xmas. Sometimes it’s on Christmas Eve. Sometimes it’s a day or two before that. But since at least 2015 it’s been part of the tradition.

This year it was just me from our clan heading to the box to do the deed a few days before Xmas, but I went in — just like we did in 2015, 2016, and 2017… My girls were sleeping in to recover from crazy weeks at the end of their respective semesters. My wife was working. And I was definitely not alone in the madness. Much of our CrossFit family was there with me. 🙂

Drea & Jimmy, Nick & Lisa, Lara & Jordan, Larry, Caleb & Megan, Megan F, Clara, Heather, John, Marino, Aileen, Emily, Shaun & Stacy, and more… we had people all over the place. 🙂 As Jimmy put it, it was a bit of “controlled chaos” — emphasis on the chaos! Plus — we started with sunshine and ended with a snowstorm. It was definitely one of the first days of winter!

We did a little warm-up and divvied up into halves… one half of the gym was mostly the “Naughty” workout and the other was “Nice.” We both got our butts kicked. 🙂

Caleb and I sort of shared an area. This wasn’t a team workout, but we shared equipment and space due to the crazy number of bodies. We had some space on the wall for wall balls, two bars (one 135# and one 95#), and just kind of went for it.

My version of the Naughty workout (scaled) went like this:

  • 12 Days of Christmas
    • 1 Deadlift 135#
    • 2 Pike Push-ups
    • 3 Front Squats 95#
    • 4 Pull-ups (kipping)
    • 5 Shoulder-to-overhead 95#
    • 6 Wall Balls 20#
    • 7 Back Squats 95#
    • 8 Sit-ups
    • 9 Sumo Deadlift High Pulls 95#
    • 10 Push-ups
    • 11 Thrusters 95# (I dropped to 11 Front Squats during “Day 12” because I couldn’t get my arms over my head at this point)
    • 12 1200m “run” (really I walked all but about 200m of the whole thing)

It took me 49 minutes to complete this year. And I really debated just giving up after the run (in the snow that was just starting to fall at that point) — I was struggling with both shoulders by then. But after I did the front squats, things started to loosen up again and I was able to get my shoulders moving again.

We had a fun time as always and my time was about the same as always for this workout (though it changes every year):

  • 2018 – 49:00 (scaled to 95#)
  • 2017 – 44:00 (scaled to 95#)
  • 2016 – 58:34 (went heavier with 115#)
  • 2015 – DNF (over an hour)

I think figuring out I should scale in 2017 made this workout much more fun in the long run. And I kept moving much better this year than I have some years — so maybe this old Grinch is learning something. 🙂

Great work everybody! Y’all “sleighed” it. 😀

Hello Wade

CrossFit is the great equalizer. Some days I look at the workout and say “I got this.” Other days I look at the workout and say “wow, I’m going to have to scale the heck out of that” and still feel like you barely survived at the end.

Hero WODs are meant to push you as a way of showing respect for the heroes who often lost their lives in the service of their country. As I sit here in a cloud of vapor from the Deep Blue I’ve applied to my right hamstring after doing Wade today, I have the feeling I definitely pushed something.

Ev and I arrived for the 8:30 workout, led by Coach Lara. We were joined by Dave, Melissa & Todd, Greg, and KB. And we only did a brief warm-up before we got rolling on what was potentially a 30-40 minute workout today…

  • 30 seconds of high knees
  • 30 seconds of butt-kickers
  • 30 seconds of jumping jacks
  • and some shoulder stretches on the wall

From there we talked about scaling options for the workout, especially with the strict pull-ups, ring dips, and HSPUs. I was prepared to do some HSPUs on the wall with two abmats, but was told to do pike push-ups instead. 🙂 I did mine off a box and definitely was feeling each and every one during the workout. I did set up a band for my strict pull-ups that I never used. And I used the band for half my ring dips just to keep moving…

The workout is Wade, named for U.S. Army Spc. Andrew Wade who lost his life fighting for our country in Afghanistan in 2011:

For time, wearing a 20-lb. vest or body armor:

  • Run 1,200 meters
  • Then, 4 rounds of:
    • 12 strict pull-ups
    • 9 strict dips
    • 6 strict handstand push-ups
  • Then, run 1,200 meters

I definitely chose to modify this one a bit, as I knew it was going to take a while. My workout became:

  • Run 800m (finished in about 4:30)
  • 4 rounds of
    • 12 strict pull-ups (some looked better than others)
    • 9 strict dips (did 2 sets without a band, then 2 sets with a band)
    • 6 pike push-ups with my feet on a 24″ box
  • Run 800m (walked 400m, ran 400m)
  • Final Time: 32:54

This was definitely a challenge. Longer workouts usually are. And I felt the familiar stirrings of “I don’t wanna” sometime in the middle of the 3rd round — but I kept moving as best I could.

Once again, I felt pretty good running that first 800m, so I’m really curious about my mile time. I may have to go in during open gym over the next couple of weeks just to satisfy my curiosity.

However, I’ll wait until my right hamstring gets back to feeling better. 🙂

I pushed a bit today. I suspect it’s my strict pull-ups where I tend to tighten every part of my body and end up in almost an L position as I go up, not the run itself — so this is just my body telling me I need to relax a bit more during these long workouts. 🙂

Thanks Lara for the encouragement. Great work everybody! And thanks Weapon Specialist Wade for your service to our country and your sacrifice. This was a solid workout that kicked my butt. 🙂

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. 😉

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. 

We did a jump rope warm-up… 

  • 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. 🙂 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+! 
  • run 400m (only round I did the whole thing) 
  • 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. 

It was a good challenge today and AJ did awesome despite her broken toes. 🙂

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. 

Ugh. 

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. 

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. 

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. 

I am exhausted however. 🙂 I see a nap today! Great work everybody!