benchmarks

Murph: Honoring a Hero

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Murph WODI hope everyone spent yesterday’s holiday the way they wanted! And took time to remember those that gave the ultimate sacrifice for the freedoms we have. After all, that’s what the holiday is all about. Many folks in the CrossFit community do a workout entitled “Murph“, to honor Murph” – Navy Lieutenant Michael Murphy, who was killed in Afghanistan June 28th, 2005. He was 29, from Patchogue, N.Y. Lt Murphy was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor after his death. It’s a brutal workout if done completely – but the point is to do it in his honor, so 1/2 Murph or any sort of combo is fine too!

Learn more about Murph’s bravery and who he was…

I spent some time yesterday just sitting on my deck, feeling the somewhat cool breeze and soaking in the rays for a bit. I find sometimes that that’s one of the most effective ways for me to unwind and be still.  I have been feeling out of sorts and am working my way back to whatever my normal is this week —

Read This

Be Inspired

It's a Fresh Day

Workout

Sunday: Power Boxing with HB
Monday: Power Boxing
Tuesday: Yoga

 

 

 

 

Take Care of your Health Now!

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Halloween1418202_10151743422228741_650728766_nLast night, we did our annual pumpkin carving as a family around the kitchen table for Halloween. It’s so funny to see the different personalities that come through as we create our masterpieces. This year I decided to do a CrossFit theme – and created a Strict Shoulder Press image! I think it came out pretty awesome!

HB has also been asking for me to find some new recipes for dinner since I seem to always make the same stuff – night after night. So last night I found this one from Paleo Porn: CHIPOTLE PALEO CHICKEN THIGHS. I didn’t have the green beans she mentions but did roast the garlic alongside the chicken and let me tell you – it was so good! I used boneless chicken thighs and from the looks of the picture included, she used thighs with skin which would have been yummy too.

I paired it with some carrots and a sweet potato – I was really happy with the outcome and the kids ate it with no complaints! I loved how easy preparing the chicken was and since I used foil on top of the pan, clean up was pretty easy too. Win/Win in my book.

Paleo Porn: Chicken Thighs

I mentioned before that I am trying to really surround myself with positive people more. Trying to find out what makes them tick, seeing what I can learn from them. Doing this is very much stepping outside of my comfort zone in some cases because I am setting up appointments with people that I have only know casually. Yesterday I met with a CEO of an up and coming company to find out more about what he’s doing and ask for some advice. As awkward as it was – something my sister mentioned to me the other day really helped me – She said something to the effect of “You have nothing to lose. You are no worse for wear after you ask or reach out to someone.”  She is looking for job opportunities and decided to just start following up with people even if she doesn’t know them because in the end, the worst that can happen is that no opportunity arises –and she is really no worse off than before. So why not. It’s back to the meaning behind Why Not You?

We are caught up in the What Ifs and the Fear behind doing something that makes us uncomfortable –but in the end, for the most part, the choices we have to make are not life and death situations. You may end up looking like a fool or it not working out — either side of the coin isn’t that bad. So Why Not?

Last night, I came across this story shared by CrossFit Eternal:Training through illness and injury that I think is so important to share. Short story: A CrossFitter is battling a MRSA infection that developed after an appendectomy and what he discovers as he recovers from a pretty grueling, serious situation is that being physically fit and nutritionally balanced before this battle is what has helped him recover faster and smoother than so many others around him.

In my mind, the most important point he shares is:

If you wait until you NEED to be fit, you’ve waited too long.

Kurt learned very quickly during his hospital stay that he wasn’t the “average” patient. There were others who had similar surgeries who were not faring as well. His overall level of fitness was helping him to get better faster and stronger sooner. Clean Paleo(ish) eating and working out on a regular basis help to make him strong both physically and emotionally. And when you’re really sick and/or really injured, all those things (physical/emotional/spiritual) come together and are deeply affected. Therefore, if you’ve built a strong foundation during your “good” years, then you will draw on what you know when you are hit with illness or injury. As CrossFitters, you know how to suffer. You know how to endure. And you know how to maintain a positive attitude when you are suffering.

So many people all the time – say oh I will start focusing on my health when I lose xx pounds or they just wait for a ‘sign’. The problem is that when that sign comes, that is usually when you need the strength, physically and mentally, the most and it’s almost too late.

One of my driving forces in my ongoing fitness focus is that I don’t want to be one of those women that ages and becomes immobile — unable to take care of myself. I want to be moving and jumping around until I am six feet under. We all sit on our asses way too much — and then complain about how bad our health insurance is and how it won’t cover this or that. While that is all true –we need to start taking care of ourselves NOW so that we don’t need to put all that crap in our bodies to help us function.  I am not against better living through chemistry – trust me. Sometimes – you can do all the right things, but genetics or lifestyle can’t be helped. But – you see people with bad hips, bad back, obesity related issues and all of those can in most cases be addressed with some physical fitness and proper nutrition.

None of us have any real excuse not too! It’s 4% of your day – one hour to go for a walk, join a gym, take a CrossFit class, Zumba, Yoga – WHATEVER it is.

Kurt, the athlete in the story above, didn’t ever expect to have to battle MRSA. He was doing all the right things and because of that — he is recovering better than most. Don’t wait until it’s too late. 

Here’s the video of Kurt’s Story:

Workout: FRAN 

Icing on Top of my Training

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quote-every-accomplishment-starts-with-the-decision-to-tryThis has been a really good training week for sure. PR’s with each lift, today being no exception. I am really learning the art of resting between sets too. Coach Randy is adamant about it and it really does make a difference. It’s such a different approach to lifting for me than in the past – and to see the progress because of it is so motivating.

Front Squats
3 rep: 175# PR

WOD
10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1

Chin Ups
Slam Balls 15#

1 man-maker each round 20# db
15:53

I am so happy about this WOD too. I did all the chin ups solid. That’s 50 solid chin ups and my time wasn’t too shabby.

I’ve been reading a lot about nutrition and different approaches to eating based on one’s athletic ability. What has become really clear to me is that there are so many theories out there and they run from one extreme to the other.. Eat this, don’t eat this etc. The thing that has become really clear is we are all different and based on that fact, one size doesn’t fit all. We all have different goals, different body types, different histories and genetics – so how can one approach work, really? It seems so common sense, but if it were widely acknowledged -then we wouldn’t all be reading about all the different approaches being “the one” that works. You have to try different ones –and customize what works for you. Period. So, the more you read and learn – the more you are able to figure out what works.

There is no denying though that the closer your food comes to the original source, the better. Processed foods aren’t good for you. Sugar is not good for you. But whether you eat potatos or rice – well, that’s up to you. And don’t be the Nutrition police – no one is perfect. My sermon for today is now over.

Why I Don’t Promote “Clean Eating”

And the final thing I want to share is this article written about 3 years ago in the CrossFit journal: Beyond the Body. It’s about the traits beyond the physical ones that make CrossFit chicks so attractive. I like the perspective because for me, it goes way beyond that. I love the challenge, the amazement, the intensity and the people I get to experience from CrossFit – inside and outside the gym.

 

Improving Posture: Work your Serratus Anterior

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I hit another PR this morning on my bench press. I did 115# for 3 reps before deciding to increase my load. I completed 5 reps at 120# and even then I didn’t fail but Coach Randy said yeah, you are done for today. One of the things that’s hard for me to gauge is whether for someone like me, my age, my weight and level who has been at it for 5+ years now –is that considered a good lift? I asked Randy that question this morning –and he said um, yeah that’s a really respectable lift. And yesterday’s back squat was pretty respectable as well he said. So, I felt good about that. I know that I should just be thinking about progress in relation to me — is that better than before? And yes, but I also like to know that I am on par with others who are working just as hard and that I am right in the mix.

Serratus_anterior_muscle_animationOne of the things that the coaches at Highbar have been working with me on is my posture and helping me figure out how to improve my strength in those areas so that I can stand more upright and improve my lifting form on lifts like the front squat.  This morning, Randy showed me a special push-up designed to work on my Serratus Anterior (the area shown in red). Both Dan and Randy have given me things to really focus on daily to help me improve.

Slouching and that hunched over posture has been something that I have been doing since forever — so it’s definitely not an easy fix. I distinctly remember, before I started working out, how painful it was to stand up straight when someone mentioned it. I didn’t have the overall core strength to do it without feeling some discomfort. Now the pain is gone, however, I have to train certain muscles so that they strengthen because they simply aren’t used to get called upon often like the Serratus Anterior!

Here’s a video of Coach Randy showing me what he wants me to do:

Work your Serratus Anterior

Strength
Bench Press
5×5 120# PR

WOD
10mins EMOM
15 Double Unders
6 Burpees

And a bonus video of me learning this new movement. I debated about sharing it because of the internal dialogue in my head but because I am working on stopping those negative voices, I said Ah, the hell with it.

31 Heroes Over the Weekend

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31 Heroes workout is in the books – it was a tough workout even with a partner. Noble CrossFit paired me up with a nice young girl named Rebecca and we did our best with 75# thrusters, rope climbs, 25+/- sand bag runs and 24′ box jumps. This was the first time I ever climbed a rope in a workout — I was so proud of myself but man, it wasn’t easy. I am sure I am not being super efficient in my climbs yet but I will count it because I did it — and more than a few times!

rope climbsAnd I gotta say –looking at the pictures, I don’t look bad! I definitely am seeing the results of better programming and coaching. I have more definition for sure and am stronger. Randy and I were talking a bunch before our heat was ready on Saturday about some of the science behind getting fit. Like how drinking caffeine before working out affects your body and the theory behind recovery meal and the window of opportunity you have to burn fat efficiently for the rest of the day. I am going to look into drinking a recovery shake post workout for a while to see if it makes a difference.

I know taking Natural Calm magnesium has done a lot for muscle soreness (when I remember to drink it!).

After my workout, I headed over to a reunion of some AOL people that I worked with. It was a super tight group that worked on the Kids Only (KOL) area. And what a special group they were. I came onto the team late so didn’t get to bond as much but they are a great bunch of people. And we had a great time, catching up, sharing memories and laughs. It really is great to reconnect with people who meant so much to you. It felt like home.

KOL

 

Yesterday, I dropped HB off for another week long sleep away camp. This time she’s taking it with one of her buddies and its with the Girl Scouts. I love that she has no qualms about just going and seeing what happens. As she was in line to get on the bus, she ran over to me and said “one more hug and kiss Mom. I love you so much.’ That is one of the sweetest girls I know. I love her so much !

Here are some good reads:

Naps are one of my favorite things in the world! I try to take as many as I can on the weekends and if I could sleep at work, I would.

This is a no-brainer. You have to continually focus and work at it. It doesn’t come easy.

Six Packs

 

Gearing up for the Big Race

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i canThis is the week of my American Odyssey Race— I just reviewed my legs of the race and seems do-able. I ran 6 miles total on Saturday with some rests in between but I know I can do it with less rest –I may not be the fastest runner but I can push on!

  • 11 which is entitled; Across the Mason/Dixon line 5.6 miles
  • 23 which is through a residential hood  3.4 miles
  • 35 which is entitled Phyllis’s Favorite and is the 2nd to last leg 4.7 miles

I’m nervous and excited and totally up for it. This is so far beyond my comfort zone but the guys I am hanging with are like my family and I know they won’t let me fail.

Forbes just did a story about Relay Races.

American Odyssey Relay Run Adventure
This picturesque race is one for history buffs. The American Odyssey Relay starts in the shadow of Gettysburg, Penn.’s Civil War battlefields (they’re about an hour north of Baltimore), and makes the trek down to Washington, D.C., passing some of the most famous landmarks in American history. Each of the 36 legs ranges from easy to very hard and is between 3.2 and 8.7 miles. After crossing the Mason-Dixon Line, teams can refuel (and shower) at the “Odyssey Oasis” during legs 16 through 18. The route continues through other historical sites, including Antietam National Battlefield and Harpers Ferry, W.Va. In the home stretch, the final runner crosses the Francis Scott Key Bridge in D.C. and 14th Street Bridge to join your team at the finish line at the Southwest Waterfront. April 26-27.

Today’s workout was RUNNING! It was one of the fine ladies of CrossFit: Nancy.

Warmup
DROM
400m run
Mobility

Skill
OHS

WOD

Helen
5 RFT 

  • 400m run
  • 15 OHS  (55#)

My shoulders were super tight even though I did some mobility work before hand. It took until the second to last round for the to loosen which slowed me down.  I also made sure to focus on my POSE running so I was a bit slower in my run but it felt so much better!! It’s not as torturous to run — I had to be reminded to lean in a few times but overall I was running noticeably smoother. Progress!!

Today is Earth Day. I wrote a blog for the corporate blog I work for: Earth Day 2013 sharing some ideas about lessons you can do with your kids to learn about the planet. Also –simply get outside, clean up some garbage, plant some flowers. We only have one home, let’s take care of it.

The Progress We Make

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Focus To Get Your Diet Back on Track

Happy Monday! Every weekend seems busier than the previous –but all in good ways.  Working out, of course was on the docket but I also watched the team CrossFit Affiliate League competition at CrossFit Impavidus on Saturday. The kiddos came with us but of course had the attention span of a squirrel.

babyshowerSunday, I coached a couple of classes and then headed to a friend’s baby shower. What a fun, great group of ladies to spend a Sunday afternoon with. It all stems from CrossFit too. I had to go right after coaching so I was still in my ‘uniform’ but thankfully, with this crowd, it was totally OK. Its always fun to see the ladies all dressed up and social. During our 6A class, we aren’t so gussied up.

I also made some good Paleo dinners for the family which went over really well – including Italian meat sauce over spaghetti squash and flank steak with grilled onions & peppers. Yum.

My diet is off track and after seeing some pics this weekend, I know I have to refocus and get back on track.  I came across this info about 10 Ways to Get Your Diet Back on Track

 

diet

I know what I have to do –it’s just deciding that there are no excuses and always better choices to make.  I do think reminding yourself how far you have come is an important thing that many of us don’t do often enough. I sometimes think back to when I started getting in shape, or just a few years ago I was at least two sizes larger than I am now. I couldn’t do a pull up, push ups were not easy, rope climbing? Forget about it. Hand stands? Nope. Cartwheels? No. The list can go on and on — those are things to keep close so you are reminded of how much progress you have made and it can help you get excited for how much more you are meant to make!

Warmup

  • 600m jog
  • DROM
  • Tire Flips

Skill

  • Handstand Push Ups

WOD
Diane
21-15-9

  • Deadlifts (155#)
  • HSPU

5:14 time

Klout Perk: Sony Action Cam

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So I have to share something super cool that happened this week. As most everyone knows — I do social media marketing for a living as well as my passion. I love both sides of it –figuring out ways to use it market to certain demographics and then the flip side, to inspire and support people to make themselves a priority in their lives. It’s really the best of both worlds in many ways because I learn through being able to use social media in a real, authentic way. That is not to say that I am not social outside of the Internet world as well.

Nothing and I mean nothing replaces good ole face to face interaction though. Meeting people, talking with them, following up with them — developing meaningful interactions is the key to being memorable in their minds.  I have been told I can make friends with a rock — and that skill alone is key to building relationships.  I don’t fake it – I don’t pretend to show interest in things I could give a shit about — and I don’t do it expecting to get things back for it. It’s REAL.  I do it because I love it!!

sony camSo, I was thrilled and honored to be offered something called a Klout Perk last week. Klout Perks are rewards given from brands in recognition of your influence. They are based on your Klout Score, topics and location. So being in the fitness community and the relationships I have made — I was sent a super awesome perk yesterday.

A new Sony Action Cam! It’s a mountable camcorder that lets you show the action as you see it, all with legendary Sony video quality & Wi-Fi. 

Even though they sent it, there is no expectation that I would have to talk about it, or review it or say things about it that I don’t believe. But it’s such an awesome perk that of course I am going to!!

I have opened the box and started reading about all the cool stuff I can do with it. It’s currently being charged, so look for some cool videos very soon.

And thank you so much Klout and Sony.  I certainly don’t do this expecting anything but I really do appreciate it.

Fitness:

warmup

  • Plank Wars
  • Tabata Jump Rope
  • Drills

Skill

  • deadlift
  • handstand pushup

WOD
Diane
21-15-9
Deadlifts (140)
HSPU (abmat)
6:22

We did Diane which is a benchmark three months ago. Seeing and paying attention to your progress is key when doing benchmarks — this go around I went up #5lbs in weight and finished 18 seconds faster than last time! Progress —

As mentioned above, I was given a free product because I’m a Klout influencer. I am under no obligation to receive the product or talk about this company. I get no additional benefits for talking about the product or company. 

 

Renew, Reflect and Refresh!

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I almost took the morning off but I realized that I may not get to workout tomorrow and will be heading off on a biz trip on Monday so I wanted to make sure to get one in.  I hit the snooze but got up before it went off again. And to ever prove my point — I didn’t regret going!

It is getting chilly in the early mornings which takes some getting used to but I like the change of seasons. It’s the time to renew and refresh things in your life and of course reflect. Renew, Reflect and Refresh! I like those three words together.

The past few days I have been trying a new approach to dealing with people in my life – and I have spoken about it before. It’s going into things believing that we all have the best of intentions and what I have found is that often, communication is the key to cooperation! We all filter and explain things differently and some of the styles that people we have in our lives are not naturally compatible with our own.  And then it turns into a thing because you both are sitting there analyzing the situation with your personal filter and coming to some assumptions about the other person when it wasn’t at all coming from the place we assumed it was.  Wheww!

What I find out usually is that neither of us ‘got’ what the other was saying and both of us were coming from reasonable places and that if we had actually talked FACE to FACE, it would have never been misunderstood. All of this digital connecting is making communication effectively harder. Nothing replaces the efficiency and effectiveness of a face to face, let’s talk meeting. Every single time! Keep that in mind the next time you are having a misunderstanding via email or even a phone call and give the face to face a try.

So a win for me today to share. I got a PR (personal record) for my strict press — 95#, which is up 5# from last time I did it in May! If you keep working hard, you get better! Everyday I’m shufflin’.

warmup
600m run
bear crawl
lunges
crab walk
Sprints
10 Handstands

Skill
shoulder press

Wod

15 min to get a Press 1RM
then 10 min of “Mary”

  • 5 Handstand Push-ups
  • 10 One legged squats
  • 15 Pull ups

95# 1 RM Press
4+11reps

 

Oktoberfest at CrossFit Impavidus

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Filthy Fifty

I went out with some of my friends last night and had a blast. They were full of energy, positivity and fun. We did a lot of laughing, a lot of dancing and for some –drinking.  I knew that today would be a tough day physically for me, so I didn’t drink but to their chagrin I think.  I gotta tell you though — the only thing that was rough was being out so late because getting up this AM was not as smooth as it usually is.  But totally worth it!

Today was CFI’s Oktoberfest — we did the Filthy Fifty WOD and then ended with a Potluck full of mostly Paleo food! Don’t make that face, the food was really really good!

Filthy Fifty

For time:

  • 50 Box jumps 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.

time: 31:11 

I am beat — no other word to describe how I feel. But, tomorrow is a new day! Get out there and hit it again!

 

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