Thursday, July 31, 2008 by Rebecca

Measurement Check-in

Weight: 123 (+2)

Shoulders: 38.25 (+0.25)
Waist: 29 (-1)
Hips: 36 (+1)
Thighs: R: 20.25(-0.25) L 20.75 (-3/8)
Biceps: 10 L & R (0)

Body fat content according to this Zone Body Fat % Calculator
Percent Body Fat: 22% - Down 2% Woohoo!
Total Body Fat: 27
Lean body Mass: 96

Huh - lost a whole inch in my waist, but gained it in my hips. Weird? Psyched about the reduced BF%, and a gain of .25 in my shoulders is nice. I wonder if we just measured my thighs in a different spot since it doesn't make sense to me that they would be smaller, but after following daniel's progress it's clear that what the body does doesn't always make intuitive sense.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008 by Daniel


Earlier today: Burpee challenge - 17 burpees

Three rounds for time:
Run 400 meters
1.5 pood Kettlebell x 21 swings
12 Pull-ups

16:02 RX (PR by 4:17!)
Splits: 3:48 | 5:18 | 6:56
(last time: 4:23 | 6:32 | 9:37)

The last time I did this was just a month ago, and came in at 20:19. Today was ~20% faster, which makes me very happy...and frankly pretty amazed that I could come that far in just a month.

My recollection of last time was that I blew myself out in the first round trying to sprint it, and had nothing for the next two rounds. So today I tried to pace myself, not sprinting the 400m and setting a steady pace for the swings. Turns out my first round was still 30 seconds faster today.

The pullups were MUCH better today, and I think that was the primary reason for the faster time. Having been GTGing heavily the past week, I was able to keep it to 2x6 sets with a short break between (I've been really working on limiting my rests to five slow, measured breaths).

I'm still 4:30 shy of level II, but it doesn't seem so far away now. I'm pretty sure it won't come until I can knock out the pullups in one set, but that should come as I continue to GTG my deadhangs every day. Here's hoping for next time!


Warmup: 10 Rock n'Roll, 40 squats, 30 situps, 20 pushups

WOD: Helen
Three rounds for time:
Run 400 meters
1.5 pood Kettlebell x 21 swings - used 12 kg
12 Pull-ups - used BIW gravitron set to 70
Modified: 23:07

Round 1:
Run: 2:10 (-:26)
KB Swings: 1:46 (+:06)
Pullups:2:07 (+:01)

Round 2:
Run: 2:34 (- 1:06!!!)
KB Swings: 2:17 (-:34)
Pullups: 2:57 (-:12)

Round 3:
Run: 3:16 (+:23)
KB Swings: 3:13 ( +:21)
Pullups: 2:44 (-:02)

I am very excited that my time has improved by 1:30, and with less assistance on the pullups ... it's a little tough to compare splits because the transition time between the KB swings to the pullups is long and the transition from pullups to running is also long, and i wasn't consistent about where I hit my lap timer the last time through.

Today I was really trying to not spend any time in 'recovery' between activities and just moving from one to the next as smoothly as i could - though i know there was about 45 seconds of 'recovery' before both my 2nd and 3rd (and probably 1st) KB sequence.

My KB swings were probably my weakest link today - no - definitely. I just couldn't find the power to get them over head. I think the longest unbroken string i had was 12, and only in round two did i make it through in two sets.

Before the WOD started I tried a KB swing with the 35# weight, and I am really close to being able to do it. I think that if i was not tired from burpees, and pull up practice, and squat practice, i might have been able to use it today. definitely next time.

My pull-ups were pretty good - round 1 & 2 were 6 + 3 + 3. Round 3 was 4 + 4 +2+2 I had to repeat a couple reps due to not quite getting high enough. But it was 20 ... points? (that thing does not work on pounds ) ... less assistance than last time, which is awesome.

Annnd ... the burpees - I had done 12 earlier - 7 before i left for work, and 5 more while i heated my lunch - and finished off the last 5 after the workout (but a good 15-20 minutes after - not immediately after

Wednesday Whoa-in

I haven't posted a Wednesday Weigh-in for a few weeks. I decided that being too OCD about it was hindering my weight-gain goals (I tend to over-think things). In tracking my calories, I'd freak out about how much I was eating, despite knowing that I wanted to gain, and so progress was stalled. Better, I figured, to just let go the reins and go nuts.

It's been working, but this week something noteworthy happened.

What went in:
I dunno.

Workout Summary:
3x climbing
2x strength (5x5)
1x CF metcon
1x I-don't-know-what-the-hell-Jeremy-was

What came out:
Weight: 183 (+3)
BF: 14.5% (+0.5%)
Chest: 38.75 (+1)!!
Arms: 12 (+0.25)
Hips: 38.75 +0.5)
Waist: 33.75 (+0.5)
Thighs: 22.25 (+0.25)
Calves: 14.75 (0)
Forearms: 10 (0)
Shoulders: 47 (+0.75)

Wow. That's a helluva week! (the change numbers are just for this week, not for the entire period since my last Wednesday Weigh-in). So what changed? I can think of three things.
  • Not much metcon. OK, yeah, the Filthy Fifty was as metcon as they come, but apart from that I didn't really do much this week that was challenging cardiovascularly, except maybe my daily burpees which are still pretty minor.
  • Protein right before bed. I've determined that a protein powder shake right before bed makes it hard for me to fall asleep - I think it's the sugar, or chemicals, or something. However, this week I tried making shakes with a combination of milk, cottage cheese, and a handful of berries. Not sweet, and a mix of whey and casein to get me through the night.
  • GTG pullups. I went back to knocking out as many sets of 5 pullups through the day as I could, plus a max set right before bed.
Who knows if it was any of these things or some magical combination of these and something else - I'm sure I'll try this again and lose 5 pounds or something - but my HUNCH is it's the combination of the shakes and pullups, particularly the max set right before bed jumpstarting my nighttime GH spike.

Looking Forward
Well, now I'm in a bit of a quandary. My plan had been to turn around when my waist hit 34", suspend the 5x5's and cut back the calories a little to trim back down to 32" before starting up again. But if I'm FINALLY seeing real progress, do I really want to stop? I hate feeling "fluffy" (as the CF forum girls call it), but I'm not that worried about dropping the fat when the time comes. But what to do now? At this rate I'll hit 34" next week or the week after, so a decision is imminent.

Third world squat

jay Cohen over on the CF boards posted a link to this article on squatting
cf board discussion:

I find the idea in it to be intriguing. After all, squatting is something we are born knowing how to do, and in our western culture, our bodies are trained out of it by the prevalence of chairs. This is a skill I would like to regain. Not just to improve my weightlifting, but because increasing hip flexibility and strengthenig my posterior chain, just seems like a good idea over-all for all sorts of life applications.

I'm going to try to follow the minute-a-day advice of the author.

Monday, July 28, 2008 by Rebecca

Pullups are CLOSER

Exciting development this evening. It's been a while since I tried pullups on our pullup bar at home. Tonight I tried a jumping one, and was able to actually hold myself up at the top of the bar for a good 3-7 seconds or so! The last time i tried this, the best I could manage was to somewhat control my plummet back to earth.

I was able to repeat this exeperience a couple times (with long rests in between), and i even managed on two separate occasions to lower down about half an inch - or maybe even a full inch and get back up - though i had to kick my legs a bit to do it.

Still, I am totally psyched. Progress!!

Bumbling up walls

Climbing at IW: 10a, 10c(f+), 10b(f+)

Note: climbing three times in four days results in diminished ability. Once again, my Monday morning climbing was ridiculously bad, and not really worth detailing. Should be better later.

Deadlift: 220
Press: 90!

The DL's weren't bad, but my grip for my left hand was failing, even with the supinated grip. I attribute this to being tired from climbing. I'm pleased as punch about pressing 90x5 five across, though - that's a PR! It was tough work, though. I hope I can make 92 next week.

Sunday, July 27, 2008 by Rebecca

Climbing at Mission Cliffs - not my best day

Warmup: mobility exercises & 14 burpees

5.9(f) 5.9/10.a(f) 5.9(f) 5.10a(f)

Yep - that's right; I didn't make it up a single climb clean. :ranting2:

I'd like to blame some of it on yesterday's Jeremy- and my shoulders WERE rather sore and tired, but my technique was for $#!t too, and I just think I haven't been climbing enough. Also, It was an overcast day, but surprisingly warm and muggy, and in a warehouse type location, the higher you go, the hotter it gets. Ick. It makes it harder to 'stick' to the wall.

The first 5.9 was kind of a joke, I basically fell my way up it. Probably should have started with a 5.7 or 5.8.

The 5.9/10a was pretty good, I mostly just had a hard time getting around a corner, and then i got tired near the top. I think i had 2 takes on that climb.

The third 5.9 was totally within my reach, i was just unfamiliar with it, and fatigued. At one point I accidentally used a hold from a different route and got confused, and that was one fall ... and then i think there was a take a little higher up - but that was mostly due to fatigue i think.

The final 10.a was going REALLY well until about 2/3 up the climb when i hit a crux that absolutely stumped me, and i just struggled my way up the rest of the climb ... this was certainly the tallest climb of the day - close to 60 or 70 ft - and the crux impasse i reached would practically have been the top of a shorter climb ... but still - the climb most certainly was NOT clean. It probably took me 20 minutes to get through it - but i did eventually reach the top - thanks to some help from my belay partner. Thanks Katherine .... :o

Mission Cliffs

Climbing w/Blake @ MC:
10b(f), 10d(f++), 10c(f+)

The B was a really cool start in a cave with a long upside-down traverse, the fall was just a bad move on a bit of exposed face that knocked me off balance.

The D was a LONG arete/face climb on the back wall that required huge endurance and a ton of tricky balances. Climbs like this feel like playing "Operation" on a cliff face. I made it halfway up clean and was feeling good about my progress, and then it all went to shit. Once I fell, I just kept falling, and I could not regain the necessary zen state of mind to keep the weight on my feet and only use my hands to keep me on the wall. I kept trying to do big pullup moves on holds that really wouldn't support that kind of nonsense, and exhausting myself in the meantime. When I get tired, I get stupid and obstinate and just want to get the climb done, and someday maybe I'll learn the lesson to take a breath, recollect and refocus rather than just trying to brute strength the fucker. Beautiful climb, though - difficult and extremely technical. I'd love to try again.

The C was on the double overhang/slab. The slab was beautiful stuff, the overhang moves were quite tricky. The first one involved a one-handed heave up and over the overhang, leaving you balancing on one foot essentially folded into your crotch. Since that angle was too extreme for me to stand up, it took me a few tries to figure out how to heave myself high enough to get my hip under me and straighten my leg. Nice one.

Oh, and 14 burpees.

Saturday, July 26, 2008 by Daniel


Three rounds, 21-15- and 9 reps, for time of:
95 pound Overhead squats

11:58, 30# OHS

Splits (for what it's worth): 5:19 | 4:10 | 2:29

I felt pretty embarrassed with this weight, to be honest, but I have practically NO experience with OHS, and Max told me I should just take my time and really concentrate on form and depth, which is what I did. Really, the problem was not the weight - it was shoulder flexibility and technique. Around halfway through the second round, I started actually getting proper depth and form, and the weight didn't really feel heavy at all - most of what I was feeling was just my shoulders and wrists bitching about the angles they were working at. I think I could do proper OHS with an empty Oly bar, and should be doing them from time to time to work on the form and flexibility that's required.

Jeremy - aka OHS hell

Warmup: Mobility Exercises, run 800m (5:19) , Burgener warmup w/pvc dowel, 20 OHS w/ pvc dowel

Three rounds, 21-15- and 9 reps, for time of:
95 pound Overhead squats

19:31 - 15# OHS

21: 5:10 ... 3:41
15: 4:05 ... 2:35
9: 2:35 ... 1:15

OW OW OW OW. OHS are NOT my friends. Before the start I contemplated doing them with a 24# bar, tried a couple times before the workout started and it seemed heavy but doable. Once the workout started, I couldn't complete a single rep, so I moved to a 15# bar and they still nearly killed me. I haven't been wrecked this hard by a workout in a long while. The last time I was reduced to tears of frustration was when I wasn't eating properly, and while yesterday was not the BEST food day, i really can't say that it qualifies as BAD, and I had a very hearty breakfast. So the OHS really just were that hard. In fact, they were so hard, that i was relieved (!!!) when it was time to do the burpees.

I had a really hard time locking out my arms, i think this was a combination of lack of strength, lack of proper form, and i was using a body bar (weighted dowel) that was a little on the short side, so i couldn't quite get my grip wide enough. I probably should just have done the workout with a PVC dowel and concentrated on form, but I really wanted to try it weighted.

I hit muscular failure several times, and I am embarrassed to say that I cheated on a couple reps by resting the bar on my head on the way back up from the squat I redid most of these reps (and obviously this was both bad form and bad technique and just wouldn't be an option with heavier weight), but ... it was all i could do just to keep moving. Frequently I wasn't sure whether to laugh or cry (and did a little of both) about how hard it was to keep a measly 15# above my head. I was very happy to be done with this particular workout. It was not pretty.

Friday, July 25, 2008 by Daniel

Climbing at IW

Climbing w/Tor & Kat:
5.9(o), 10c/d(f+), 10d(f+), 10d(f+), 10c(f+)

OK, yeah, I fell a lot, but that was mainly because I was pushing my letter grade envelope - and the falls were typically from either trying a move and failing or just exhaustion, and were always followed by progress up the route (ie, I didn't have multiple falls in the same spot from a move I just couldn't complete). I felt pretty good about my work this day, actually - I'm pleased to be spending so much time in the 10d's, and have only had to come down from one unfinished.

Followed climbing with 12 burpees. Should have done them before.

Thursday, July 24, 2008 by Daniel


11 Burpees, GI-Jane style (actually quite liked these - perhaps it was the slower pace)

Squat: 130
Bench: 130 x (5-4-3-5-5)

Squats were fine. The bench was HEAVY, and I finally failed. Once I took a bit longer rest and then worked to really up the speed, I was able to do full sets again (going faster = less time holding weight), so I'm pretty confident I should be able to make 130 next week. Thank God Rebecca was there to spot me, though, or that could have been really loud and embarrassing dumping the weight.


Warmup - Mobility Exercises, 11 burpees, run 400m

5 reps Back Squat: 45-50-55-55-55
5 reps Bench Press: 45-45-55f-55f-55f

1 rep Deadlift: 105(PR)-105-105-105-105

There were a couple reps interspersed throughout the back squats where i thought I might have to bail, but I always managed to pull it out. I think my last set may have been the best set in terms of depth and form.

With the bench press, once i moved up to 55# i always made it through the first 4 reps, and then failed on the 5th. On the 4th set, I racked the bar between the 4th and 5th rep and was able to complete the 5th rep, but it would have been a fail if i hadn't racked it. Hopefully I'll be able to complete a full set next week. If I don't have to do a bunch of push-presses and thrusters and burpees the day before, it's a good bet i'll do just fine ;-)

The deadlifts were sort of an afterthought - I just haven't done them in a long while, and I wanted to see if i could go any heavier. I could - 5 whole pounds .... and only barely that. I think i'll need to do these more often if i want to get better at them, instead of hoping they'll get better as my strength in general improves.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008 by Daniel

Filthy Fifty

For time:
50 Box jump, 24 inch box
50 Jumping pull-ups
50 Kettlebell swings, 1 pood
Walking Lunge, 50 steps
50 Knees to elbows
50 Push press, 45 pounds
50 Back extensions
50 Wall ball shots, 20 pound ball
50 Burpees
50 Double unders

56:19, nearly RX (subbed tuck jumps for double unders)

Wow... this was a burner. I can't recall another workout where I've consistently felt so close to puking for so long - I was just redlined for just about everything from the KTE's on.

I'm really bummed because I set my splits on my watch, but must have hit the reset button in my backpack so I lost them. I can kind of recall my sets, though, so I'll try and outline them...

Box Jump: used the green girder. 50 unbroken. fast.
Jumping pullups: two sets of 10, then fives, then fours... fairly fast.
KB swings: two sets of 25. fairly fast.
Lunges: unbroken. fast.
KTE's: something like 10, 10, 8, 7, 5... fives from then on. These were hard. not fast.
Push press: 20, 15, 15. fairly fast.
Back Extensions: 25, 15, 10. fairly fast.
Wall-ball: five of 10 with long rests. not fast.
Burpees: 10 of 5 with LONG, LONG rests - this took over 20 minutes alone
Tuck Jumps: 10, 10, 10, 20. fairly fast.

I'm glad we're doing the Burpee's my hope that next time this rolls around, my work there will pay dividends in a faster time. These burpees were SO much harder than regular ones, though, just from being so gassed.

Dirty 30


For time:
30 Box jump, 24 inch box *90 step-ups to a 10" Box
30 Jumping pull-ups
30 Kettlebell swings, 1 pood * 12kg
Walking Lunge, 30 steps
30 Knees to elbows *knees to chest
30 Push press, 45 pounds *30#
30 Back extensions
30 Wall ball shots, 20 pound ball *24# thrusters
30 Burpees
50 Double unders *tuck jumps


5:18 - stepups
3:05 - jumping pull-ups
2:07 - KB swings
2:33 - lunges
5:48 - kte
3:44 - back extensions
4:41 - push-press
9:07 - thrusters - started w/ wall ball, switched to thrusters - had to find a bar, had to move outside - most of this is transition time.
7:58 - burpees
2:12 - tuck jumps

Max had the exercises listed on a white board - in the wrong order - which is why the push-press and back extensions are reversed. Push press into thrusters was no fun :(

I actually feel pretty good about this workout over-all. There are clearly a few areas that need some work, though: Box jumps, KTE, push press, thrusters/wallball and burpees all have plenty of room for improvement. I wish i had taken a second to look at how much time had elapsed before i actually started doing the thrusters for real. I'd say that a good 3-4 minutes of that (at least) is transition time.

The burpees were slow, but I was trying to put a lot of focus on form. I'm not sure how, but my first 10 took 3 minutes. I guess my transition time was longer than I thought. I'm still having trouble jumping into the pushup position ... my feet don't really know how to catch me, yet, but I am pretty reliably able to jump my feet from the pushup position to between my hands now, which has been a goal of mine.

I'm a little ambivalent about only having done 30 instead of 50 of each exercise. A lot like the ride from this past weekend. The main reason i chose to do 30 instead of 50 was to try to keep my complete workout time under an hour. I feel like i could have made it through 50 of each exercise, but it would have been much less of a metcon and much more of a slog, and it would have taken a lot longer than 46:35. I certainly still got plenty of work done, and I am sure i will be feeling it all tomorrow.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008 by Daniel

Pullup Program - For Future Reference

Found this on the forums and am very intrigued - pullups are so often the limiting factor for me, and 20 deadhangs would come in VERY handy on so many WODs. But with the Burpee challenge, I'm afraid of taking on too much all at once, so I'm just posting this to come back to later, perhaps after the Burpee challenge.

Over the Top on ‘Dead Hang’ Pull-ups
By LtCol. Stanley J. Pasieka, Jr., USMC (Ret)

After fifteen years in the Marine Corps I am finally able to “max” the pull/chin-up event on the physical fitness test. You can too if you follow this schedule. Before you know it you will be able to accomplish what the Marine Corps has set for a perfect test score.
Although everybody knows that the only way to increase your ability to do pull-ups is to do them over and over, I was never able to make this sound advice work for me. A few years ago, I received a “guaranteed to work” schedule from one of my former platoon commanders. He assured me that in merely six months I would easily be able to complete twenty pull-ups. In just 23 weeks on the “Recon Ron Pull-up Program,” I completed 21 chin-ups. If this program worked for me, there’s a good chance it can work for many other Marines, if they are willing to give it a try.
The program is based on performing a manageable number of pull-ups each day, and gradually increasing the number. The total number of pull-ups done each day is completed in five sets. Each step is repeated daily for two weeks before progressing to the next step. Time is not a factor, but each workout can complete in less than ten minutes.
As an example, when I started this program, I struggled to reach nine pull-ups. Thus, I selected what I reasoned to be manageable number-26 pull-ups in ten minutes (step 13). Surprisingly, I was able to accomplish the workout with little difficult in five and a half minutes. It seemed to me that this initial success was far better than straining and possibly quitting the program before giving it a proper chance. After doing a set, I would walk around and generally finish all five sets in less than eight minutes. But, as I progressed to the steps with fifty and more total repetitions in each workout the time required became secondary, and it was good to just finish.
I can verify, as an experiment of one, that this plan will enable you to max the pull-up event on the physical fitness test. Set your goal and begin by adjusting the schedule to suit your particular fitness level.
Step 1:1,1,1,1,1 Step 16:9,7,6,5,5
Step 2:2,2,1,1,1 Step 17:10,7,6,6,5
Step 3:3,2,2,1,1 Step 18:10,8,6,6,6
Step 4:3,2,2,2,1 Step 19:10,8,7,6,6
Step 5:4,2,2,2,2 Step 20:11,8,7,7,6
Step 6:4,3,2,2,2 Step 21:12,9,7,7,7
Step 7:4,4,2,2,2 Step 22:13,9,8,7,7
Step 8:5,4,3,2,2 Step 23:14,9,8,8,7
Step 9:5,4,3,3,3 Step 24:14,10,8,8,8
Step 10:6,4,4,3,3 Step 25:15,10,9,8,8
Step 11:6,5,4,4,3 Step 26:16,10,9,9,8
Step 12:7,5,4,4,4 Step 27:16,11,9,9,9
Step 13:7,6,5,4,4 Step 28:17,11,10,9,9
Step 14:8,6,5,5,4 Step 29:18,11,10,10,9
Step 15:8,7,5,5,5 Step 30:18,12,10,10,10

Each step is done two weeks before advancing.

A workout consists of approaching the bar five times to do the specified number of repetitions in each set of pull-ups.

Set a comfortable and reasonable time to complete the workout.

Select one day each week to omit the workout and do one-third the total repetitions for the day.

Monday, July 21, 2008 by Daniel

Weak Sauce

Tor was late to the gym this morning, so I noodled around on the rings a bit.

15 KTE's for my Level 2
Max pullup test: 11 (ugh! I thought I had more than that.)

10a/b, 10d(dnc), 10c(dnc), 10b(f+)

So...yeah. Not a good climbing day. Dunno if it was the ring stuff or coming off a weekend with far too little protein and a huge LSD ride or what, but I just felt really weak on the wall today. That 10d is the newest on back by the lead cave and it has a crazy long roof that I got past, only to wimp out on the next move which required a really high step on a pair of very sketchy holds. Tor did it and found the whole climb to be extremely sketchy. Since the line for the first half is VERY far off plumb, I'm not sure I'll ever get the guts to really tackle this one, as I hate big pendulum swings.

Deadlift: 215
Shoulder Press: 87!

The DL's felt REALLY heavy for the first couple sets, in an "uh-oh" kind of way, but they got more solid as they went on. After Thursday's failures with the shoulder press, I was pleased to complete it at 87. So I'll try 90 again next week and see how that goes.

Sunday, July 20, 2008 by Daniel

Dry Creek Valley Wine-Tasting

Well, it can't ALL be fitness, can it?

At Kacey & Brian's very clever suggestion, we opted to make a full weekend out the century and stick around another day to do some wine tasting. Since I've been interested in Dry Creek Zinfandels for the last year or two, it seemed an excellent opportunity.

We were very lucky in that Sunday was nowhere near as nice as Saturday for riding. Cold and foggy until noon, and very windy in the afternoon - would not have been nearly as fun.

We blitzed a record number of wineries in the afternoon (they're so close to each other!) and made a few purchases we probably shouldn't have, but oh well. There weren't any real standouts, but that was mainly because the quality of the whole field was so high.

Here are some notes, just for future reference in case we go back or see any of these on the wine list when we go out...

  • Mauritson
    • Good Sauvignon, and it's distributed
    • Growers Reserve Zin
    • Rockpile 'Independence' Port - if we were going to drink a Port for some reason, this would be a good one.
  • Amista
    • Tiny new winery, no distribution
    • Really interesting Syrah - we bought one
  • Teldeschi
    • No distribution
    • This guy talked our ear off for 45 minutes - nice enough guy, just had a lot to say
    • '04 Zin was really powerful, but a little too harsh
  • Passalacqua
    • Small, no distribution yet, but they're looking to do so
    • Russian River Zin - light body, but a lot of flavor
    • Avoid the Dry Creek Zin - tasted like rubbing alcohol
  • Dry Creek Vineyard
    • One of the biggest guys in town. We already know we like their Heritage Zin, and discovered we like their Fume Blanc as well.
  • Rued Vineyard
    • Small family operation - no distribution
    • Good Pinot, and we picked up a bottle of their '04 Zin
  • Bella Vineyard
    • BEAUTIFUL place, with a cave cellar!
    • High-quality all around. No distribution, sadly, and we were feeling a bit burnt out and overspent by the time we got here, so we didn't get anything.

Saturday, July 19, 2008 by Daniel

Healdsburg Harvest Century 2008

We arrived in Healdsburg fairly late Friday evening, and were pleasantly surprised at the quality of the "cottage" where we were staying. Rebecca found it online, and it's just an addition on a family's retirement home, but it's really nice and quite spacious and reasonable. Kacey and Brian showed up even later, and very tired (it was Kacey's last day at her old job), so there wasn't much in the way of hanging out. We went to bed at 10 in order to get up early enough for the ride.

The day started cool and foggy. We got up at 6, the official start of the ride, but didn't actually get dressed, over to the check-in, checked-in and on the road until 8 - quite a bit later than last year. The course was the same as last year:

100 kilometers (60 miles), relatively flat (~3,000 net elevation gain/loss), through miles and miles of gorgeous vineyards on mostly high-quality roads with good shoulders. The weather was fantastic - it cleared up after an hour or two and became sunny and cloudless but not hot.

Rebecca and Kacey were nervous about the length of the ride - it crippled Rebecca last year and Kacey had never done anything remotely that long before, so they took it easy. All seemed to be going well for them until we started hitting some hills - still quite flat by Bay Area standards, but by Sacramento standards they were big. Kacey did not like the hills, and I felt bad for selling the ride as "totally flat."

Our average moving speed dropped from 14 down to the 11's after the hills entered the equation, and Kacey and Rebecca decided to take the out provided at 37 miles, leaving me and Brian to finish the ride. I could tell that Rebecca was stronger this year than last, and she felt the same way, but she was worried about spending so much time in the saddle and also getting back in time, and I think she also wanted to keep Kacey company. But we're confident she could have done the full century with far greater results than last year's debacle.

Brian and I were feeling like we had some real catching up to do in order to make it back in time for lunch, so we put the pedal to the metal for the last 23 miles...well, I might have pushed the pace a little more than Brian was expecting, but he was a really good sport and did an excellent job of keeping up, despite a broken spoke making his rear wheel rattle and ping like a crushed clown car. I tried to keep it over 20mph on the flats and around 16-17 on the uphills...though by the end we were both feeling pretty beat up and that number spent more time in the 15mph range. We polished off the last 21 miles after the rest stop in 1:20, and it felt like quite a workout. We agreed we could not have held that pace for the entire 60 miles.

After a tasty, olive-saturated lunch at the end of the road, we went back to the cottage to shower and change, and decided to hit up a winery before dinner - Seghesio has a tasting room near downtown. Some nice wines, but they didn't have the one I wanted (their Sonoma Zinfandel) in stock, so I'll just have to look for it at BevMo.

Dinner was tricky - we were idiots and didn't make reservations anywhere, and everywhere that was recommended by Yelp was booked or had long waits for bar seating, so we eventually settled on a trendy-looking restaurant called Zin. Not too bad. They had the obligatory single vegetarian entree of pasta and vegetables, which was REALLY heavy on the olive oil but, since I basically was eating a bowl of carbs, I decided at least the fat would help prevent an insulin spike. Any restaurant that has a vegetarian entree with actual, genuine protein in it will earn my eternal gratitude. Anyway, lesson learned: if we go back, we need to think ahead and make reservations!

Here's some pics of the happy couples in the saddle:

Failure to train

Daniel's already posted a thorough and excellent account of most of our weekend, but I wanted to insert a few comments about the ride.

Even though I was still so sore i could hardly walk on Friday (thanks Max :-p), I had loosened up somewhat on Saturday morning. It turned out not to be much of an issue.

I definitely felt stronger this year, and a lot more comfortable with myself and my bike. Strength-wise I believe that I was entirely up to the challenge - unfortunately I just had not put in enough hours actually on my bike and I was pretty saddle sore by the time the 37 mile turn off came up. Since one of our friends had decided to turn off, and we basically had the whole weekend ahead of us, I decided to take the shortcut out too. I figured, while I could push myself and struggle through the last 20+ miles just to prove a point, it'd probably cripple me for the rest of the weekend; 37 miles is still a perfectly respectable distance, I had a really pleasant ride, and I was able to thoroughly enjoy the rest of the weekend, without being brutally sore.

We averaged about 13 miles an hour. I sort of think that if I had pushed harder to go faster, and had to spend less time in the saddle on my bike, i possibly could have made the full distance without crippling myself, but it was a lot more fun to keep pace with our friends and admire the gorgeous scenery. I'd love to go back up there and ride that route again sometime in the not too distant future. It was a fantastic weekend away, very friendly biking territory with low traffic back roads and wide shoulders on the busier roads and I could very much see doing it again - even without the organized ride.

Friday, July 18, 2008 by Daniel

Friday climbing

AM at IW: 9, 10c(f), 10d(f), 10d(f+), 10d(f+)

Pretty good day. The c was the comp c, and I made it past where I made it at the comp only to fall at the roof (it's a mean little overhang). The d was the pink comp d, and I only fell once on the move to the second box, and figured out solid beta on the next try, so I'm confident I'll get that clean next time. The falls on the other d's were just from being tired, but it felt good to get up three d's in one session.

Bumpy water ahead

I'm beginning to get super freaked out about tomorrows ride - Right now, i am so sore from Wednesday's work-out i can't walk without wincing, and stairs are a real trial.

I just cannot believe that I am this sore from 200 squats. Daniel thinks it's entirely due to just the WOD.
However, I think it's at least partially do to the 'warm up' Max had us do. It involved a lot of squat related exercises: with a pvc dowel - 30 cleans, 30 OHS, 30 power snatch, and then with a kettlebell/dumbell - 30 one arm snatches each side - for a total of 120 reps of exercises that require anywhere from a 1/4 to a full squat.

I'm going to be really bummed if i don't finish the ride tomorrow due to being sore from a workout i did three days prior.

Thursday, July 17, 2008 by Daniel

5x5's: off the wagon

I've been bad. Schedule and exhaustion have prevented me from fulfilling my twice-weekly 5x5 commitment, and I haven't done deadlifts and presses since June 30th. Today it showed.

DL: 210x5
Press: 5@90, 4@90, 5@85, 3@85, 4@85

The deadlifts were actually fine. They felt more or less like they always feel.

The presses, on the other hand, were pretty bad. I did the workout at the Y, where they don't have 1# collars, so I went up to 90# and knew in the first set that I was in trouble. After stalling out in the second set (and nearly falling over backwards), I dropped down to 85 and limped out the rest of the workout. I think it's just been too long since I've done these, and I backslid a little.

Which is frustrating, but it happens. I'll try again on Monday at 85, and try to get back on the horse. Or wagon. Or whatever the appropriate metaphor is.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008 by Daniel

Run n' Squat

Four rounds for time of:
Run 400 meters
50 Squats

Splits were 2:45 | 3:14 | 3:54 | 3:32

Was in first place for the first two rounds, but fell to third in the third round due to a nasty side stitch that slowed me down, and was edged into fifth in the final round, which made me sad. I just couldn't set (and keep) a fast pace with the squats - I think I definitely need to work on speeding up my default rhythm with those.

Running after squats was fun...sort of like running on jell-o for the first 100m until my legs adapted.

It's never as easy as it looks :-P

Today's WOD

Four rounds for time of:
Run 400 meters
50 Squats


Splits: Run | Squats
2:02 (PR!)| 2:53
2:45 | 2:52
2:41 | 3:02
2:50 | 2:51

Not super excited about my total time for this - it was at least 3 minutes slower than the next person ahead of me and nearly 10 minutes slower than the best- but I AM super excited about hitting the time for the Level I 400m run on my first run today.

I thought for sure that this workout would be easier given the fact that i have had two full rest days, and i was feeling pretty good going into it. And it's only running and squats for peet's sake! Of course I should absolutely know by now that there is no such thing as an 'easy' CF workout.

Besides wondering whether my legs would continue to support me every time i started running after squats (like running on jell-o!), this was fun

We <3 Burpees!

Rebecca and I have signed up for the Crossfit Santa Cruz 100-day burpee challenge. Considering how much we just LOVE burpees, this should be vast amounts of fun...particularly, I'm thinking, after day 50.

I've started a separate log thread on the CF main forums. We'll be keeping ourselves honest there. Join us!

Monday, July 14, 2008 by Daniel

Ironworked over

Climbing at IW:
10a(o), 10d(f++), 10a(f)

This was just absurd. My arms were so pumped from climbing yesterday and, I suppose, the comp on Friday, that my biceps and forearms were in agony whenever I tried to climb. I managed to fall my way up the 10d from the comp, but it was REALLY ugly, and when I started falling off 10a's due to exhaustion, I figured it was time to call it. Even now, 12 hours later, my arms still ache.

Time to rest.

Sunday, July 13, 2008 by Rebecca

Mission Cliffs

So I had been really looking forward to going out to mission cliffs. And I did climb better than i probably would have if we had been at Iron works, but i just started the day kind of fried, and i got the results i pretty much expected from being fried. Not only was yesterday a hard hard workout day, but I also had to pick my mom up at the airport @ 1pm so i didn't get to bed until relatively late. Anyway

I started with a 5.8 and climbed it clean; it was a pretty straight forward climb, but I could definitely tell that my limbs were tired.

Next was a 5.9 that I climbed mostly, but not all, clean. There was one take right near the top where the geometry of the way the climb worked was not immediately apparent to me (nor had it been for Katherine who had done the climb before me.) but i muddled my way through it and got to the top.

The next climb i attempted was a 5.10a. I lost count of how many takes it took to get to the top but while it was a bit sloppy and anything but graceful, I did eventually get to the top and without cheating - just a lot of resting. This was actually a really interesting climb and I'd like to try it again sometime when I'm fresher. It started with a fairly significant negative incline, but it didn't get easier once the wall straightened up. Sometimes handholds very clearly want you to use your weight against them in a specific direction, and this climb wanted you to change directions with basically every hand hold. It really made you practice your transitions which is something i can really stand to work on. I frequently try to use my left when i should use my right side just due to the difference in strength and ability.

The last climb i did actually went pretty well. I might have weighted the rope briefly, but I didn't have any takes. it was a 5.9/5.10a. Sometimes they'll put a route together that has two way-points and the route up to the first point is a certain rating, and then if you continue on to the second way-point the route will have - usually one rating higher. So another nearly clean 10a! woo-hoo!

This climb is on a wall that I have always liked and is a corner climb - which are generally my favorite sort of climbs. You get to use a lot of force-in-opposition techniques and you frequently get some really nice places with solid balance to rest (without relying on the rope).

All in all it was a good day. not as good as it might have been if i had been better rested, but fun nevertheless.

Mission Cliffs Morning

Climbing at MC:
10a(o), 10c(f), 10d(f+), 10c(o), 10c(f+)

A good morning. All routes were new, since I hadn't been there in a while, and they were all really good climbs - MC has the best walls in Touchstone, no doubt. The falls were all just one or two takes while I figured out the beta for a particular crux, and I never had to ratchet up or cheat (ok, I cheated a TINY bit on the terrifying slab of that final 10c by steadying briefly on an off-route hold). I'm feeling like c's are really my element now, and d's are where the improvement is at...I just with the d's at Ironworks weren't so focused on tiny crimpers on negative inclines. Those burn me out so fast.

Saturday, July 12, 2008 by Rebecca

Wod & ride

Today's WOD:

Complete as many rounds in 30 minutes as you can of:
Walking Lunge, 12 steps
8 Clean & Push-Press Right 55#/35# *sub 15# dumbell
8 Clean & Push-Press Left 55#/35# *sub 12kg KB
10 Push-Ups *knees to get up
21 Kettlebell Swing 55#/35# *sub 12kg KB

4 complete rounds + up through C&PP # 4 on 2nd side.
Splits: 6:05 | 6:32 | 6:58 | 7:28 | 2:57

ow. This workout was kind of surprisingly hard. The most exciting part about it was that I actually managed to get through my first round on KB swings unbroken, which is a first for me with 21 reps. There were several swings with less than perfect form, but I never had to put the KB down or even stop and restart. The rest was just getting through it to the best of my ability

My first 3-4 C & PP on my right side were done with a 20# dumbell, since i remember thinking that the yellow 8kb kettlebell felt a little too easy the last time I did this exercise, but it was just a little bit too heavy so I had to switch back down to a 15# dumbell (the 8kg KB's were taken). 17.5 probably would have been a better alternative, but the heavier dumbells are kept in a separate part of the gym, and i didn't want to waste the time it would take to go find one.

The strength in my right side and my left side are so different that I have a very hard time using the same weight for both arms - it's either too light for one, or too heavy for the other. I was able to do the C&PP with the 12 kg KB on left side, and Max said that this was a sub for a hard workout so we should be working as hard as we could manage - so I tried to work with the heaviest weights I could manage on either side. I spoke to Max a little bit about this after class, and I think in the future I will try to do these exercises with a single, heavier bar and make both arms work together so that I don't end up training lopsidedly.

I was definitely worn out after this workout, but we're going to be riding a metric century next weekend, and this afternoon was going to be the only time I could find to get some time in on my bike. It was especially important because I just had it tuned up, and i wanted to make sure that everything was working properly before expecting to ride it for 60 miles.

I should preface this by stating that I have a very uneasy relationship with my bike. We were just starting to get into doing more organized endurance rides last year, and had signed up to do the same metric century that we're going to do this year. We had a couple of hybrid bikes we'd been riding for several years, and that's what we had been training on. Two weeks before the century, our bikes were stolen. Our home owners insurance paid us basically the full replacement cost for our admittedly less-than-high-end bikes, and we had been talking about trading in for road bikes, so it seemed to be a good time to just dive in and do it.

What with one thing and another, trying to make the best possible decision in a very short amount of time, we basically picked up our bikes the day before the century, so the first time I rode my bike i was on it for a very long time. It was not a pretty experience. The longest I had ever ridden up to that point was 40 miles, and I was dealing with an entirely new body geometry for the first time, and due to my physical limitations I do not adapt quickly to new physical activities. I finished the ride, but I was in quite a lot of pain for the last 20 miles or so, and my left leg wouldn't support my weight when I was done.

Needless to say, I wasn't real excited about getting back on my bike again any time soon. The biggest problem is that all the rides around our house involve a great deal of up, and a great deal of down, and are very intimidating for someone just (re) learning to ride a bike, so in order to get to a 'beginner' ride we had to put our bikes in the car and go somewhere else, and that just didn't happen very often.

People suggested that I should think about exchanging my bike for a flat handle road so that I'd be in a more upright position, or maybe even go back to a hybrid, but I just find the idea of that a little galling - i refuse to be beaten by a bike - and besides, (It's sort of a stupid reason to not give it up, but ... ) my bike is really pretty. It's black with little pink accents, and I love how sleek and elegant she looks.

So over the course of the last year we've gone on a handful of rides, and I am definitely more comfortable on her than I was but I am still terrified of descending. All the things i love about the bike make it go a LOT faster down hills, and that's not at all something I am comfortable with. Descents that merely made me anxious on my hybrid bike now scare me silly.

Anyway, so. I rested until about 5 pm and then set off. My original intention was just a shortish ride (a little less than 7 miles - 3.3 miles there and then back) up to the top of a local hill (Euclid & Grizzly Peak) and back - about 600' of climbing to an elevation of about 900' with most of it in two steep sections, just to make sure everything - gears, brakes, etc. was in working order.

However, the weather was relatively nice, and once I got up there, I decided that I better try something just a little bit longer since I hadn't been on my bike in over a month.

Once you get to the top of Euclid, you can ride along grizzly peak to 4 or 5 different routes back down to the Berkeley foothills. I opted to go for Tunnel Rd. which was the one the furthest from me. This added an additional climb up to about '1600 ft, a decent back down to about 1300' and then another climb to 1400' and then a long descent back down bringing the total to about 15 miles.

The climbing was good and the bike didn't have any troubles shifting or anything. I felt strong and pretty comfortable as long as I was not going down any major hills.

I had a couple fun interactions with other people while i was out:

Another cyclist who said his name was Todd caught up to me on the road, and decided to keep me company for a little ways until we got to Centennial which is an INCREDIBLY steep road - i don't even like driving up or down it - but that's where he was heading down. He was a self professed speed demon. I think you have to be a little crazy to want to ride down Centennial. Even Daniel thinks that's insane.

Later, on a particularly steep part of the climb, a lost motorist pulled up and drove next to me asking for directions. - LOL. The car behind him didn't like being stuck at my slow pace, so he pulled ahead to a turnout where I obligingly stopped and gave him directions to the wedding he was trying to get to.

Usually you get some pretty astonishing views of the bay from up there - but because of all the smoke in the air, it wasn't as pretty as it usually is.

The several hundred feet of climbing were ultimately no problem - the two significant descents scared the living daylights out of me. One of the reasons I chose the route i did is that tunnel road has a pretty friendly grade, but it is curvy as all get-out and very very long. And when i say i was scared, I don't think terror would be too strong a word for it. My balance is not that great, and I am just terrified of falling.

I made it down most of the last hill. I stopped several times to let my heart rate settle into something manageable and to give my forearms a rest - breaking is hard work! I got to within about two miles of home. The very last part of the ride is along a very busy stretch of road and is also a steepish descent. The fog was coming in and I was quite chilled, my nerves and my forearms were fried and I just couldn't bring myself to brave it. I called Daniel and asked him to come pick me up.

He is such a sweetheart. Not only did he come to my rescue and bring the car to come get me, but he also brought my fleece robe so that i could wrap up in it and get warm. He's the best!

I was such a zombie when i got home. Between the tough CF workout earlier in the day and the emotionally taxing bike ride in the afternoon I was toast, particularly my shoulders (which didn't bode so well for Sunday's climbing ). But I'm glad I did it. Fortunately there's very little climbing or descending on our ride this weekend, so it will really just be a matter of staying on the bike for a long long time. Hopefully the strength gains I've made with CF will just help me get through the miles more quickly so that I don't have to spend quite so long on the bike.


Still sore as hell from various beatings taken in the past few days...

Complete as many rounds in 30 minutes as you can of:
Walking Lunge, 12 steps
8 KB Clean & Push-press left arm 55#/35#
8 KB Clean & Push-press right arm 55#/35#
10 Push-Ups
21 Kettlebell Swing 55#/35#

5 rounds @ 44# (20kg)
Splits: 3:49 | 5:56 | 7:18 | 6:53 | 5:24

I can swing 55#, but I can't push-press it with any great control or decent volume, so I had to scale this one back a bit. The C&PP got really heavy really fast, so that I had to break it into two sets of four, but otherwise it wasn't THAT bad...the swings were pretty hard, but the pushups were tolerable and the lunges were downright restful.

Friday, July 11, 2008 by Daniel

TRS Ironworks

Tonight was my second climbing competition in the Touchstone Roped Series, this time at Berkeley Ironworks (home turf!).

Final score: 2,428

90 points more than last month at Diablo Rock. Not much, but in general I feel much better about my climbing tonight than I did there - I felt my 10c/d flash there to be a fluke of my height, and I did lousy in my regular zone of 10b/10c. Tonight I flew up the b like it was no trouble, and ran out of time to try again on the c and d, but I think both the trouble spots are well within my grasp once I figure out the beta.

Mom and Dad came out to watch tonight, and it was really nice to show them what I spend so much time doing. Tor was there briefly, but his kids dragged him away, and Kat was there but spent her time climbing mostly with Jamie. Max and Ev were there too, and it was fun to compare notes with them on the different climbs. I really like these comps, I wish I could do more of them. I'll have to miss next month's at Pipeworks, but September 26th is the finale at Mission Cliffs, I believe, and I would LOVE to flash a 10d there. That's my goal.

Lackluster TRS outing - 1 silver lining

Tonight's TRS climbing series was a bit of a let down - though not unexpectedly so. I was pretty sore heading into it, so I wasn't exactly expecting to do REALLY well, but i was hoping to do a little better than I did. I probably should have tried doing some warm ups before just hopping on the wall, but things were so hectic I just didn't feel like i had time to. I should have made time though.

Unfortunately, they put the 'easy' climbs on a wall with a whole lot of negative incline, and 2 under-hangs. It's a wall I have NEVER been friends with. I tried the 5.8 twice, and failed on the same move, twice, and never even made it to the first box.

After such an inauspicious beginning I was happy to watch others climb for a bit while I regrouped.

The 5.10a climb was on a wall I have had much better success with, and I kept hearing other people talk about how easy it was, so I decided to try that next instead of trying the 5.9. I made it to the first box, but slipped and fell shortly after that.

I did some more watching of others and a good bit of belaying, and when the pizza finally came out, I had a few slices. Then I tried the 5.10a again. And I made it all the way to the top! Fairly sure that it was the first time I have made it cleanly to the top of a 10a - so that was pretty exciting. Definitely the bright spot of the evening.

Unfortunately it was the only climb I made it to the top of (or even to the first box of ) all evening. I tried the 5.10a/b as my last climb of the evening and there was a lot more negative incline work than I expected, and I just didn't have the grip strength to pull it off.

Ultimately, not my best showing. It's extremely frustrating that Iron Works is so over-hang/negative incline intensive. There are actually very few climbs there that do not have a serious strength requirement.

We're going climbing @ Mission Cliffs on Sunday - that should be fun :) They definitely have the best walls of any of the Touchstone gyms.

Thursday, July 10, 2008 by Daniel

Rowing & 5x5's

Think I'm going to be moving 5x5's to Thursdays, so I can do them with Rebecca, and because they're getting too hard to do right after climbing. Today I wanted to get a sense of my rowing times for the Level 2 skills, though, so we did some rowing as part of the warmup.

Row 500m: 1:45
Row 2k: 7:25

The first is exactly the time for the skill level, but since I was pacing myself for the full 2k, I'm going to break the tie in my favor and say I can do it - if I had been sprinting all out just for the 500, I'd have been well under 1:45. So I met the skill level requirements, but only barely. Still, considering I can count the number of times I've sat down on a rowing machine on one hand, I'll take it.


Back Squat: 125
Bench Press: 125

The BP was quite difficult, and I didn't know if I'd be able to pull it off. I was glad Rebecca was there to spot me in case I couldn't do it. Managed to make it this time, though! Squats felt good.

Am sore all over from Angie yesterday. Looking forward to the climbing comp tomorrow!

Rocked the 5x5's!

I had a pretty kick @ss workout - both literally and figuratively - since I both kicked some @ss, and my @ss is thoroughly kicked.

We started out with a 2000 meter row. I'm not absolutely positive about my 500 meter time because I had the display set on average time instead of actual, but my average 500m time when i hit 500m was 2:09, so I'm guessing I probably hit the 2:20 Level I benchmark for that. I know for sure that my 2000 meter row was 9:09.4 and that was WAY under the 9:50 Level I benchmark - so GO ME!

Next we moved on to back squats. Last time I tried it - which was about three weeks ago - I did not feel at ALL comfortable with the 45# bar; I basically got it on my shoulders out of the rack, and put it back down. i used a 30# dowel instead.

Tonight I did all 5 sets with the 45# bar. I did have one failure on the 5th rep of the 4th set, but I am pretty psyched that I felt so 'comfortable' with 15# more than i did 3 weeks ago. Daniel was keeping a close eye on my form, and he said it looked good. Yesterday's breakthrough on squat technique really helped.

Of course, the guy directly behind me who was snatching 135# made me feel a little ridiculous struggling with my empty bar, but he very kindly said to me that he had started with a 45# bar, too, and gave me a big thumbs up when i completed my first set.

Then we moved on to Bench Presses. Last time I successful did 5 round with the 45# bar, so I added 5# and did 5 rounds with a 50# bar. No failures. I could definitely tell that the bar was heavier with the extra 2.5# weights, but ... boy they're silly looking. They look like glorified drink coasters or something. Still. I'm pretty happy to be putting any weight on there at all

All in all a pretty kick @ss night - but I am definitely feeling the burn. I was already pretty sore from my mini Angie yesterday, and tomorrow (heck already!) I am definitely going to reap the rewards of my success today. Tomorrow there is another climbing competition - this time it's at our gym - and I have no idea how well I will do. I am hoping that climbing uses my muscles just differently enough that this week's workouts won't making climbing tomorrow too difficult.

We're meeting several people there, so hopefully there will be some good picture taking opportunities.

Headache update - everything's OK!

Without going too far into TMI territory, my headaches are generally hormone related - and I generally get them about once a month, so in order to try to avoid the headaches, my doctor moved me onto a more continuous birth control cycle. Well today I got a 'visit from aunt flo' despite the birth control - which explains the headache of the past few days - which is a huge relief. I should be completely back to normal in a day or two.

The real bummer of it all is that I really feel like if I had been feeling better I would have done a really good job with Angie, yesterday. I was feeling strong all-around with all my exercises: Stronger pullup, stronger pushups, and better squats. Stupid hormones Next time.

Think I might head to the gym this afternoon

Wednesday, July 9, 2008 by Rebecca


So, I've been doing battle with a migraine since Monday. Monday was the only really bad day - when I actually left work early and came home and just slept the entire afternoon. Yesterday and today have been essentially fine, except that I can still feel the pressure lying in wait - and occasionally it will flare up - particularly with sudden movements. Like standing up. :-| Headache pressure brings queasiness with it, which is a really fun 1-2 punch.

There was a window of an hour or two this afternoon when i thought the headache had finally left me, and I made plans with Daniel to attend tonight's CF class. I wasn't sure whether the headache was going to stay gone, but I knew that if I did not attend tonight's class A) I would end up staying way later than I should @ work, and B) I wouldn't really have another opportunity for exercise until Friday. So - Today's WOD:

For time:
100 Pull-ups
100 Push-ups
100 Sit-ups
100 Squats

I thought I would maybe try a 50% Angie, figuring I could always stop if things got ugly.

So - even though the headache was back when it was time to head to class, I went. I was slow getting dressed so missed much of the warm up. I got there just as they were about to run 800m. I decided to run 400 and see how i did. It was slow. Daniel actually finished his 800 just before I finished my 400, but I was able to run the whole thing without stopping, and I did not feel any worse than I had when i started, which was encouraging.

Due to limited pull up locations with assistance, I was sharing a gravitron Machine with a classmate, that I'd never used before - it's powered by an air compressor of all things! Getting it set up was kind of tricky, and we ended up with a fairly easy setting, so I decided to do all 100 pullups when i got to 50 and wasn't tired. By the time I finished the pull ups, I was feeling pretty good, and thought I might decide to try to tackle the full workout.

I got started on the pushups, and I think my first 2-3 may actually have been full ROM! no Knees! That didn't last long though. My first set was a set of 10, but I pretty much immediately moved to sets of 5. By the time I reached 50 I was feeling pretty queasy again. I thought I could probably try to push through it, but I decided that it was probably smarter not to tempt my headache into a full relapse for another missed day of work.

I rested for quite a while after the 50 pushups. Mostly considering whether I should just stop altogether. But the hardest part was over, and I figured a few situps wouldn't kill me.

I did 50 slowish, but entirely consecutive situps. By this time class was nearly over, and the folks from the yoga class that was about to start wanted to get into the room. I headed down stairs to wait for Daniel. Again I though about just being done, but Daniel was still working on his pushups, so I had a few minutes to wait, so I decided to try the squats.

I actually had a bit of a breakthrough with the squats. I did 50 consecutive, full ROM . Slowish, but steady. I finally figured out how to 'make room' for my hips by keeping my feet apart and angled out which allowed me to get below parallel without losing my balance. That was pretty cool. :)

Afterwards, while I was waiting for DanielI tried a couple pull-ups on the downstairs gravitron - the one i ususally use, and I could definitely have been using the 80# setting. I could even do 1 or 2 at the 70# setting - but that was really hard. I definitely couldn't do a huge number of reps @ that level, but it's more than I could do before. Which is progress!

So - overall a sort of blah workout - but good progress on pushups and squats. And after showering and resting a bit I actually felt pretty good for a while, so I'm really glad I did it.


First, the good news: I ran 800m in 2:47 during the warmup, which is Level III! I didn't even feel like I was pushing super-hard.

Then, the bad news:

For time:
100 Pull-ups
100 Push-ups
100 Sit-ups
100 Squats

45:22, not quite RX'd

Pullups: 23:40
Pushups: 10:43
Situps: 6:11
Squats: 4:50

I managed 60 kipping pullups before I switched to weight-assisted pullups (70#). This is far more 100% BW pullups than I've ever done (like five times more), since I'm still somewhat new to kipping, but it really took a toll. I had to rest a lot, and gave up when I was down to sets of three or I would have been there all night. The pushups and situps also seemed far harder than I remember them being, but I suspect that's primarily due to the additional exhaustion from the pullups (kipping really works the abs). So it's a disappointing time, but still an overall improvement from the last Angie I did (which was 10 minutes faster, but much more scaled). Next time it comes around, hopefully I can do it RX'd and faster.

Wednesday Weigh-in

What went in:
Avg daily calories: 3380
Fat: 162g - 42%
Carb: 258g - 28% (40 fiber)
Protein: 215g - 26%
Alcohol: 13g - 3%

Note: Due to travel and eating out all weekend, I estimated and guessed a LOT, so these numbers can't be very accurate.

Workout Summary:
3x climbing
2x metcon
1x strength

What came out:
Weight: 176 (-3)
BF: 11% (
Chest: 38 (
Arms: 11.75 (0)
Hips: 38.25 (
Waist: 32.75 (0
Thighs: 21.5 (
Calves: 14.75 (0)
Forearms: 10 (
Shoulders: 46.25 (0

Well, hell. Lost three pounds, and gained in every measurement that changed. Where did that extra mass come from? Am I inflating? Clearly travel messes with my equilibrium - I suspected I'd lose this week, with three low-protein days, a lot of time in the sun and the car, and all the climbing. But seriously, WTF?

Looking Forward
Back in the saddle, I guess. More protein. More milk. There's a LOT of travel on the schedule in the next couple months, so I guess I've got to cram in my dietary needs where I can and make do otherwise. I may not get an opportunity for a proper bulking cycle until the fall, if I keep dropping weight every time I step out the door.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008 by Daniel

Rockin' Recipe: Egg Salad Salad

A good lunch, quick and easy to whip up, provided you have some hard-boiled eggs lying around.

  • 3-4 cups raw baby spinach
  • 2 hard-boiled eggs
  • 1 Tofurky sausage
  • 1 tomato
  • 2-3 tbsp your favorite vinaigrette

Mash up the eggs with a fork and stir in 1 tbsp or so of salad dressing until they're the proper consistency. Saute the sausage in a pan. Combine everything into a bowl, pour on remaining salad dressing, and dig in. Serves one.

Nutritional Breakdown
(per serving)

616 calories
37g fat (54%)
14g carbs + 12g fiber (11%)
43g protein (27%)

Monday, July 7, 2008 by Daniel

Oddly tired

Climbing at IW:
10a, rope (25'), 10b, 10b

Ten feet off the ground on my first climb, I knew I was in trouble today. Just felt really tired, which I find odd and somewhat frustrating considering how little I exerted myself this weekend. Maybe it was all the time in the sun, or just the stress of travelling and three days where I'm sure I didn't meet my protein goal, or what, I dunno, but this morning sucked.

I did manage to climb the rope, though, which knocks off a Level 2 goal. I didn't get all the way to the top (my grip gave out), but I did get about 25' off the ground before I had to take a break. At first it felt quite easy, but after a while my grip just got to weak to hold myself up while pulling up my legs.

Didn't do the 5x5's, as I could tell from my condition that they'd be disappointing, if not injurious. So that's one week skipped - I'll get back on that horse this week, though with the climbing competition on Friday I'll probably need to do Friday's on Thursday or something.

Sunday, July 6, 2008 by Daniel

MAS Anchor-building seminar, day 2

Day 2 started out much the same as day 1 - breakfast at the Headwaters Cafe (great coffee, good quiche, pretty crappy sandwiches - thankfully the second day we got our sandwiches from the deli in the general store instead, and they were great.) and then heading over to the MAS offices. Today we'd be climbing at Spicer Terraces, about a 20-30 minute drive south on Hwy 4. We parked at the dam on the Stanislaus river that is responsible for Spicer Reservoir and headed out across the dam on a warm, sunny day with hazy skies (smoke from the wildfires).

We would be climbing on the middle level. Brandon showed us the upper level (and we even climbed it later on), but we never saw the lower level. We also hiked past a climbing site called Dynamite Wall that required some leading to climb.

The first thing we did was revisit our lessons from Saturday - each of us building a quad, grabbing a rope and then heading up a climber's trail on the side to set up topropes on some different routes, and then Brandon came around and checked our work. He left ropes on three climbs for us to try - two on the middle terrace called Lightning Crack (5.7) and Venus Flytrap (5.9), and then an unnamed 5.8 on the upper level.

We each got to climb one route before moving on to the next lesson. Rebecca and I climbed Lightning Crack, which she found to be much more challenging than the slab on Saturday. She also scraped up the pad of her finger, which sort of put her out of the mood to climb further. I found the start to be a bit challenging, but the rest was straightforward.

Brandon then sat us down and went over the various forms of protection out there, and how to use them. We learned about nuts, hexes, cams and tri-cams. Then we headed out with a rack of gear to find some area and try to build a toprope anchor on it, using what we'd learned. I really liked playing with the gear, particularly the static stuff like nuts and hexes, but felt a bit nervous about cams - I don't really trust the moving parts, and placement seems quite voodoo. I wound up not even using any in my anchor, though Brandon reinforced my hex with a cam.

Once that was done, we got to climb some more. I climbed Venus Flytrap, so named because of it's curved shape and crack in the center that can lure unsuspecting victims in and trap them, when they should instead be stemming off a small curved ledge. The start was quite simple, but once you got to the stemming it grew quite challenging. Although I quite like stemming, this turned out to be harder than usual due to the negative incline on the right face (forcing you to use a LOT of lateral pressure to keep your foot there) and the ledge on the left diminishing to nothing just a bit too soon to grab the good holds hidden in the crack above. I tried a bit of lieback at the top but, looking at the pictures, did it quite poorly - I needed to get my feet up! Good climb.

Next was the 5.8 on the upper terrace - had a good mix of stuff. The crux was a crack halfway up with almost NOTHING on the face on either side. Brandon wanted me to use a handjam in the crack and smear up to the next handhold, but I could not figure out how to do a handjam without killing my hand. Eventually I sidestepped the problem by finding enough of a ledge up to the right that I could use to balance against with my left hand and feet in the crack - once again being very tall saved the day. No pictures of this one, sadly - forgot the camera down below.

And then we were done! After two days in the hot sun we were feeling pretty beat, and had a hideous drive through the smoke-drenched valley ahead of us, so we said our farewells and headed home to the comforts of a firm bed, shower, dinner and kitties.

Saturday, July 5, 2008 by Daniel

MAS Anchor-building seminar, day 1

The drive up to Bear Valley on Friday was uneventful - took about 3.5 or maybe 4 hours, no real traffic except the obligatory slowdown by Tracy. Good weather. We checked into the Bear Valley Lodge and explored a little - not much TO explore, really - pretty much the entirety of "downtown" Bear Valley is in the warren of corridors in the lodge. Shabby general store. Chic cafe. Hotel restaurants. After relocating us because our toilet wouldn't flush (might as well get this out of the way: the Bear Valley Lodge pretty much sucks), we had dinner at the hotel restaurant, where I had the most unique "veggie burger" of my life - essentially a deep-fried patty of mashed potatoes in a bun. Yeah. The diet for this weekend is so shot.

Anyway, on to the real subject. The next morning we went across the street to the MAS offices where we met our instructor for the weekend, Brandon, as well as the other couple in the seminar, Rich and Jenny (also Bay Area residents who climb at Touchstone). We set off for abuot a 30-minute hike to Box Canyon, and then up on top of Box Canyon, where Brandon settled down to teach us some anchorin'. There was much scrambling and rock-hopping to get up on top of the canyon walls, which really pushed Rebecca's safety boundaries, but she was a trooper.

We went over anchoring on natural features (ie, trees, boulders etc), and Brandon showed us how to build a quad with a master point and secure it when bolts are unavailable. Then he had us go around and scope out potential anchor spots and even build anchors on them, which was very helpful. We then went over bolts and how to evaluate and use them, using a climb called "Pulp Friction" (which we unfortunately didn't get to climb) as our example. Then Brandon set up ropes on two long (60') slab climbs (a 5.7 and a 5.8), and we descended back down into the canyon to climb.

The climbs were a lot of fun - fairly straightforward, a bit challenging but not threatening, easy on the arms since they were so slabby, and good for practicing smear and edging technique on raw granite. It's definitely an adjustment to climb on real rock, where the routes aren't taped out and the "rules" are much more vaguely-defined. Brandon kept reminding us to get our hips out to increase the friction on the soles of our feet, while our instincts kept telling us to hug the wall (which just sends your feet flying). Rebecca and I climbed both routes without TOO much difficulty (I had an easier time of it since my height allowed me to cruise past the cruxes), and we were both struck with how little you need to actually climb on granite slab - tiny tiny little finger holds feel immensely satisfying, and your feet hardly need any excuse to stick to the rock. I think Rebecca found her new favorite type of climb.

We had dinner that night at the chi-chi cafe, which was really pricey but REALLY good, and polished off a full bottle of wine between us, which we hardly ever do anymore. It was a good day.

Friday, July 4, 2008 by Daniel

Running with Ravens

We're heading out of town today for our anchor-building seminar in Bear Valley, so didn't have time to join the crew for today's WOD. Instead we did it on our own up on the track above Clark Kerr, which is really nice and super-convenient, and had a certain otherworldly air, shrouded in fog and invaded by a dozen ravens cawing and squabbling on the field and perching on the fence watching us. I imagine we'll be going up there for running stuff pretty often, since it's so close and easy.

Anyway, today's Independence Day WOD, as concocted by Max:

400 Meter Run X 4
Run 400 meters every 5 minutes on the fifth minute.
Post splits to comments.

1:20.7 | 1:22.1 | 1:26.4 | 1:28.1

Followed immediately by your choice of Pull-Up or Push-Up Ladder:

With a continuously running clock do one rep the first minute, two reps the second minute, three reps the third minute... continuing as long as you are able. Use as many sets each minute as needed.

Push-ups, completed round 15.

Morning workouts are not my strength - I'm just so sluggish in the AM, and these were before I'd even eaten anything, which (I think) explains my relatively poor 400m times. I certainly never FELT fast, particularly after the first 100m.

OK, off on our climbing adventure. Back Sunday!

Happy Independence Day!

WOD 7-4-08

400 Meter Run X 4
- Run 400 meters every 5 minutes on the fifth minute.

Followed immediately by your choice of Pull-Up or Push-Up Ladder:
- With a continuously running clock do one rep the first minute, two reps the second minute, three repss the third minute... continuing as long as you are able.


Run 1 2:16
Run 2 2:16
Run 3 2:06 PR!
Run 4 2:16

Made it almost through round 9 with the pushups, but didn't quite make it.

We finally made it up to the track about .5 miles from our house - it's up a pretty big hill to get there so just the process of getting to the track in something of a warm up. But it's set on a hill side with lots of eucalyptus and redwoods and actually has some pretty fantastic views of the bay, so it's a great place to run. The only down side is that the central field is completely gated off with a high industrial fence, which makes for a slightly less 'friendly' environment, but there is a little pach of grass with some bleachers and a set of bars - some high enough for short people to do pullups - 5' - 6.5' high or so, and some quite low to the ground .75-3.5' or so- the only use i could think of for them was for doing pushups - or maybe some sort of modified bench dip.

I'm shocked that three of my four runs were exactly the same. I was sure my last run was going to be a LOT longer cause i felt like i just had nothing left after run 3. RUN #2 probably should have been shorter - I was the official time keeper, and i got tangled up with the process of starting the 5 min timer, and hitting my lap button, so i was still fiddling with my watch when i started running. In retrospect i probably just should have set the timer for 20 minutes instead of trying to restart it every 5. But all in all i am really psyched about run #3. Definitely a PR - and, sadly, just 2 seconds shy of the level 1 benchmark . So close! Next time, for sure.

I was doing my pushups full ROM, on the low bar that was about 2' off the ground. Before we started I tried the different bars and was planning on using a slightly higher bar about 2.75 feet up because i had a really hard time with the 2' one, but once i started i decided that 2.75 was too easy, so I moved down to the lower bar, and was having a much easier time with it than i did pre-run.

I got 6 & 7 pushups pretty easily, unbroken even! Then kind of struggled through 8, but only had 1 small rest @ #6, and then just completely failed getting through 9. I was surprised how quickly that happened. I probably should have moved back up to the higher bar to try to finish out the set, but I was also the time keeper, and was a little distracted.

All in all, though I thought this was a fun workout, and I'm glad we decided to take the extra time today to do it before we head off for our two day outdoor climbing clinic which we are both REALLY looking forward to. It'll be a really nice mini vacation. We'll bring our camera and post some pictures when we get back.

Be Back on Sunday!

Thursday, July 3, 2008 by Rebecca


So I did Helen for the first time today - weee!

Helen WOD
Three rounds for time:
Run 400 meters
1.5 pood Kettlebell x 21 swings - used 12 kg
12 Pull-ups - used BIW gravitron set to 90


Modified: 24:37

Round 1:
Run: 2:36
KB Swings: 1:40

Round 2:
KB Swings: 2:51
Pullups: 3:09

Round 3:
KB Swings: 2:52
Pullups: 2:46

I feel pretty good about how I did on this today. We did the running and the KB swings outside, and the pullups had to be done inside so there was a pretty significant transition time between the pullups and the running. At the end of the first round i hit my lap timer as soon as I finished the pull ups, at the end of round two I hit it just before i started the run because i really wanted to get an accurate time for the run. I wish i had thought far enough ahead to do it that way the first time.

The runs felt food - i think the first round might be a PR - not sure - I haven't been good about keeping a record of my PR benchmarks, so I've added it to my goal list on my Blog. Just for a place to start I'm calling my round one time a PR. So there :p

The kettlebell swings mostly felt good too. The last time I did these my traps felt sad and bruised for a week. I suspect i was doing more lifting with my shoulders than 'poping' with my hips, so this time i really tried to focus on doing most of the work with my hips. It was really easy to tell which reps i got that right with, and which reps I didn't - the kettle bell felt a lot heavier when i got it wrong - practically weightless if i got it really right.

I didn't manage to make it through any rounds unbroken - the first and thirds round i got to about 13 or 15 - the second round i got to ... 4 :o . The second you loose the arch in you back .... schlooop - there you go - getting sucked under with the KB on it's downward swing ... weeee!

I actually did better on the pull-ups than i thought i would. I had it set @ 90. I didn't make it through any rounds unbroken - I usually got through 6 and then 3 and three - though I did have one round - round 2 i think - where it was 6 & 6. I figured out a way to kip a little and use my hips to help me up - and I think maybe next time I'll set it to 80.

All in all, though i am pleased with how the workout went. Yay! Another benchmark to keep tabs of on my list.


Three rounds for time:
Run 400 meters
1.5 pood Kettlebell x 21 swings
12 Pull-ups

20:19 RX

This was very hard, and very disappointing. Even more frustrating to see that I did this a minute faster three months ago! (albeit then it was scaled to 40# and assisted pullups).

The runs were OK. The KB swings were pretty bad, but passable. The transition time to go inside to the rings for pullups was bad, but the REAL killer was the pullups. They SUCKED. Two sets of 6 in the first round, and 3 of 4 in the second two, with really substantial rests. I had really hoped to do better with these, but I think my pullups have actually backslid since they haven't really been featured in WODs lately, and I haven't been good about GTG'ing them the past couple weeks. I really have to get back on that wagon.

Skill level II is to do this under 11:30. Clearly I'm a long way from there. My splits were 4:23 | 6:32 | 9:37, so I clearly have to focus on stamina here - if I managed to keep the pace for my first round, I wouldn't be far off. That ain't happening until I can knock out the pullups consecutively each round, which probably means I need to be able to do at least 20 consecutive fresh. So that's my immediate goal.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008 by Daniel


Shoulder press 1-1-1-1-1 reps
Push press 3-3-3-3-3 reps
Push Jerk 5-5-5-5-5 reps

SP: 87-92-95-100(PR)-105(f)-105(f)-100
PP: 92-92-95-100(PR)-107(PR)
PJ: 85-92(PR)-97(PR)-97(PR)-102(PR!)

It's been two months since I last did this workout (May 7), and I have clearly made strides in strength and confidence. I'm a bit sad that my 1RM for the shoulder press only went up 5 pounds, but I was close on those 105's, and the 100 felt pretty solid. I felt I could have gone even higher with the push-press and push-jerks muscularly, but my wrists were really killing me, and the negatives to bring the bar back down to my shoulders were really stressing my muscles out.

Wednesday Weigh-in

What went in:
Avg daily calories: 3392
Fat: 154g - 40%
Carb: 269g - 29% (43 fiber)
Protein: 241g - 29%
Alcohol: 6g - 1%

Workout Summary:
4x CF metcon
2x strength (5x5)
2x climbing

What came out:
Weight: 179 (+2)
BF: 10% (+1%)
Chest: 37.75 (-0.25)
Arms: 11.75 (0)
Hips: 38 (-0.25)
Waist: 32.75 (+0.25)
Thighs: 21 (+0.25)
Calves: 14.75 (+0.25)
Forearms: 9.75(-0.25)
Shoulders: 46.25 (0)

So after thinking about it, I realized I needed to eat to support growth, fat-be-damned. It's a hard decision to make, as I still feel really ambivalent about my weight going up - especially when I see another quarter-inch on my waist confirming that it's going to fat. At any rate, the things that I changed this week was adding a protein shake into the diet every day, rocketing my protein to what seems an absurd 240g/day, and ice cream for dessert on some nights. It doesn't seem to be having the effect described on the CF boards for me, but I don't know if that's the protein shake or the ice cream (or both). Two pounds in a week is too much - I only want one, since I suspect more than that is just fat.

Looking Forward
I don't really trust (or like) this protein powder, but it seems to be finally adding some weight. So I'll give this another week and see what happens (this weekend will be a bit of a wrench, but oh well). I don't think I'll buy more ice cream after this container runs out, at least not for a while. If I can fine-tune this to a pound a week, then I'll be happy. Maybe 220g protein/day is the sweet spot?