Saturday, December 6, 2008 by Rebecca

A headache, some pullups, a WOD and a free* watch!

I woke up with a headache this morning. I don't know if it's the beer I had last night, or dehydration, or perhaps the onset of my period(?), but it feels like the same familiar icky headache I get just before my period starts, that throbs based on the position/movement of my head, and makes me feel downright queasy - which sucks, because the whole reason I stopped taking birth control it seemed to make these stupid headaches go away. I guess I'll just have to see if my period starts in the next few days to see if that's the cause. If so, I might as well start taking birth control again. Maybe then my skin will clear up, again. Stupid hormones :-|

Fortunately, this headache feels better when I am upright, and today's headache is only moderately bad, so I'm mostly ok except for occasional waves of nausea/head throbbing. (fun right?)

Headache and nausea aside ... Sometime last week I found this article posted on the main boards for National CrossFit: 6 easy, fast drills to do mostly barefoot to strengthen the muscles in your feet, calves, and knees. I've started doing them every morning before I put my shoes on.

Our condo is configured in such a way that I can do "laps" from the bedroom through the kitchen to the living room and back to the bedroom. Our place is pretty small, so a full lap might be anywhere from 50 to 75 feet - not super far. Our pullup bar is in the doorway between the bedroom and the kitchen, so yesterday I decided to add the step of doing a pullup after every lap.

I should state here that currently, a pull-up, for me, means starting from standing with a very slightly bent arm, and going up as high as I can make it. So even though i usually make it pretty far up, it's not quite a full deadhang, because I don't start from full "dead" hang. For some reason, that first like 1-2 inches totally eludes me. Though I think I might be close to getting it, too.

Usually, when I work on pullups, I can get maybe 1 all the way up: clavicles to hand level, and any subsequent attempts might get as high as nose to bar. I won't get another good full ROM one for at least 15-20 minutes. A couple weeks ago I might get 1 really good one once a week. and only if I hadn't been working on pull exercises.

Today, i got ALL SIX pullups at the end of each lap face-to-door frame/hands-to-clavicles!!! All six! And there couldn't have been more than 1 or maybe 2 minutes in between. Woo-hoo! And I had even been working on my pullups the night before. Now if I can only get that first 2 inches, I'll actually have an honest to goodness deadhang pull up! Somehow, a kipping pullup still eludes me, too. ... Soon, though, I think I may have BOTH!

So, off we went to class. The last day of a strength focused week. Max was late, so Daniel led folks through the warmup, and sent everyone off to run a mile - since that's what Max had us doing every day this week. I've only been doing half a mile all week - either due to poor running shoes or a desire to conserve my strength for the strength workouts, but I had thought that I was going to try the whole mile today. Ha! It took about 25m for me to decide that a mile was not going to happen today. Every step made my head throb. As it was, it took me 3 minutes just to run 400m, and I decided that was plenty.

The rest of the warm up max had us do was KB swings - both russian and american, two handed and 1 handed. I worked with the 8kg KB to try to keep things light and focused on form.

The WOD:
Kettlebell Hang Clean and Push-Press 7-7-7-7-7-7 each arm

Results: (in kg)
Clean - 16

Max kept changing his mind about whether we should do 5 or 7 sets of 7. I kept getting struck with headrush-y waves of queasiness, so I did 5.

I warmed up with and did my first set of Clean & PP with the 8kg KB. There wasn't much challenge on my left, and it even felt pretty easy on my right, so I decided to try the 12kg. I could clean 12kg just fine, but the first time I tried to PP the 12kg with my right I got it up about 6 inches before deciding it just wasn't going to happen. So I went ahead and did 7 with it on my left, and decided to try again with my right. To my astonishment, it actually went up! All the way! I couldn't do 7 unbroken, and it wasn't always pretty, but with some rest in between reps I managed to get through the rest of the workout only using the 12kg KB! This is certainly a milestone for me.

I found that I could only get the KB up with my right if I was properly and powerfully using my hips as a propellant. And if I was, then it was practically easy. If I got lazy or tired and didn't fully drive with my hips, that KB was not going to get all the way up. It was pretty exciting on those reps when it did, though :-)

When the workout was over, I tried the 16kg KB, and I was actually able to clean it with both arms, but I couldn't PP it with my left, so I didn't even try with my right. Still - that was pretty exciting too. It'd be nice if there were little mid weights you could add to the KB handles, or something to get intermediate weights since the intervals between KB's are so huge. - Especially at the lower weights - you get jumps anywhere from 100%-33%

After the workout, we went to REI - Daniel was in dire need of a belt - and I got distracted by the watch counter. I've been watching pretty closely, hoping a good watch would show up because mine seems to utterly freak out after 16 laps - even though it has 26. And I thought it would be really fun to have a watch that could do Tabata intervals, too. That's where I found this little beauty. It's lovely, and slender, has a 50 lap memory, the ability store multiple workouts (up to a total of 50 laps1), 2 interval timers, 3 alarms ... no idea why I might ever need three separate alarms - but still - it has them. ... I do have 1 complaint, and that's that the chime between the first and second intervals, is just a single, short, relatively quiet beep. However the chime after the second interval is much louder and more robust, so I figure for tabata, I can just set the 10 second rest to be the first interval, and the second interval to be the 20 seconds of work since I am much more likely to hear the quiet beep while resting, and will need the louder chime for the end of work sets.

I was going to put it on my Christmas list, but the lady @ the store told me that that this is an older version of this model watch, and she wasn't sure how long it would be available. The new model is NOT this attractive, and I totally fell in love with THIS one, so I decided to just get it for myself. The decision was made much easier knowing that we had a $120 REI dividend that needed to be spent. Also - REI was having a deal where you could get $20 off any purchase of $100 or more. Between the two of us Daniel and I managed to purchase $170 worth of merchandise today @ REI, and yet we only spent $32. SWEET!

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