Sunday Stroll (Cto5k II:1)

Quick training note: Yael, Lena, Puff-baby and I did the Couch to 5k week II workout 1 on Sunday afternoon. Beautiful, gorgeous weather. 5 minute warm up walk, then 6 rounds of: 90 seconds running, 2 minutes walking — in other words, we had 19 minutes total from the first to the sixth running intervals, with 9 minutes total volume of running. We also spent at least 15 minutes walking after our run was done. So we spent most of the 40 or so minutes we were out walking.

Training Cycle: New Program Week 3/6
No Alcohol Month 4/5
Diet: Flexible-Paleo-Zone
First workout of the Week

We walked and ran from the house to the cemetery in Montford, hitting portions of the first and last 1/2 miles of the Montford Hot August Night 5k route. I’m looking forward to that race!

All in Good Time

The CrossFit Asheville workout today was Turkish Get-Ups and “A Moment In Time,” a WOD we last completed on Sep. 14th, 2009. I did a different sprint distance, and used a lighter weight. But I still feel I crushed my previous effort. The way I did this workout left me feeling spent all day. It was definitely a good thing. Later in the morning, I hung out in the park with the family, took my shirt off, got some rays and natural vitamin D, rode my skateboard a bit, and shot some hoops. A great, active day.

Training Cycle: New Program Week 2/6
No Alcohol Month 4/5
Diet: Flexible-Paleo-Zone
Fifth workout of the Week

Turkish Get Ups

Result: I did a few singles with 45 lbs on a long bar. Fun, but not a big deal.

WOD: A Moment in Time

Three Rounds of:
3 minutes on the clock,
run 200 meters (400 rx’d)
max reps clean and jerk w/ 75 lbs (115 rx’d)
Rest one minute between rounds

Result: 1: 46 seconds, 21 reps; 2: 52 seconds, 21 reps; 3: 49 seconds, 17 reps

Analysis: that’s right biyatches, I sprinted 600 meters and did 59 clean and jerks at 75 lbs in 11 minutes. In terms of clean and jerk volume, that’s 4,425 lbs, which is a respectable workout. My arms were dead tired… I kept dropping shit. My lungs were burning and heaving. I’m proud of my efforts. I really had that bar moving!

Other Stuff Going On

If I had the energy I’d comment on all the other stuff going on in my head today… the little checklist of things to do I made, and the stuff I checked off. My thoughts on the daily pursuit of happiness. And so on. But, another time.

One other thing I will say: I can’t frigging believe how much I’ve been eating lately. It’s INSANE. I’ve been eating so much food. Definitely not low fat, low cal, or even, half the time, low carb. I don’t think I can predict what it means for my health, body composition, etc. All in good time. For now: I’m frigging exhausted and I just pray that the food helps me build my strength, recover, and that I maintain weight and composition in the midst of this epic period of heavy eating.

The Whip / Cto5k I:3

Friday was a gorgeous day, and a pretty great workout day too. The day started early, with my usual 4:30 in the morning wake up, and 5:00 am CFA class, where we did deadlifts and a WOD called “the whip;” training continued in the afternoon, Yael and I continued our slow but steady couch to 5k training routine.

Training Cycle: New Program Week 2/6
No Alcohol Month 4/5
Diet: Flexible-Paleo-Zone
Third and Fourth workouts of the Week

AM Session: Deadlifts & “The Whip”

Strength: Deadlifts

Result: 10 x 45 / 5 x 135 / 3 x 5 x 225

Volume: 4,500.

Analysis: It’s been a while. I last performed the deadlift, just practicing the motion, on Feb. 17th. But at the time I was barely two weeks out from surgery, and hadn’t even popped open my knee incision yet. :-( Before that, I was doing WOD sets of deadlifts at 175 lbs on Jan. 29th. My last true strength session on deadlifts was Jan. 19th, where I did 5×5 at 250 lbs. So this session was not remarkable in terms of volume or weight. On the other hand, it was not too bad for my first truly heavy workout since the surgery on Feb. 1st.

WOD: “The Whip”

The Whip is a pretty interesting WOD. I had to modify because the doc still hasn’t cleared me for jumping. I have to wait another two weeks or so. CFA athletes did a bunch of double unders, box jumps, and push ups. I substituted sit-ups for the double-unders, and 24″ box-step-ups for the box jumps.

50 sit-ups, 25 box-step ups at 24″, 25 push-ups
40 sit-ups, 20 step-ups, 20 push-ups
30 sits, 15 steps, 15 p.u.s
20 sits, 10 steps, 10 pus
10 sits, 5 steps, 5 pus

Result: 14:42

Volume: well, who can say no to 150 sit ups and 75 step ups and 75 push ups?

Couch to 5k, Week I, workout 3

It’s actually near the end of our second week, but we were both sick through most of week I and week II, so, we forgive ourselves.

Result: 5 min walk, plus 8 rounds of 60 seconds of running, 90 seconds of walking, about 1.5 miles in total.

Lil’ Dutch Boy / What I Know

You can bless him or curse him, but celebrity CrossFit programming guru Dutch Lowy can certainly craft a powerfully painful WOD. Today at CrossFit Asheville: 10 minute AMRAP 12 burpees and 8 back squats, Rx’d at body-weight (I did about 5 lbs less than 50% of my body weight). For those of us going below Rx, and not competing for a spot on our affiliate team, this workout followed a strength session of Push-Jerks.

Recently, Our programming coach Shanna contacted Dutch and asked him to create three qualifying WODs for CrossFit Asheville to use in selecting an affiliate team for the upcoming CrossFit regional event, a step on the way towards the 2010 CrossFit games. Dutch complied, putting together a couple of great WODs we all will hope/hate to see come up again in our rotation. This was the first one. It was a doozy.

“New Program” Training Cycle: Week 2/6
No Alcohol Month 4/5
Diet: Flexible-Paleo-Zone
Second Workout of the Week


Results: 10 x 45 / 5 x 65 / 5 x 75 / 5 x 85 / 5 x 95 / 5 x 105 / 5 x 115

Volume: 3,150.

Analysis: apparently, the last time I did a heavy push-jerk was a part of a WOD on Nov. 6th, when I used 105 for three rounds of 5. My last strength session on the Push-Jerk was Oct. 28th, 2009, a pretty anemic session, where I accomplished only 3 reps at 135, and closed with a 5 x 115; I tied that latter number today, but also smashed the overall volume. I supposedly have a 5RM of 135 in the Push-Jerk (from June 6th, 2009). I did not strive for a new PR today, but I feel confident I can exceed what I have on paper during my next max effort attempt on the Push-Jerk.

The WOD: Lil’ Dutch Boy

I used: 85 lbs.

Results: 4 rounds + 1 burpee, 85 lbs.

Analysis: my result may not seem like much… and compared to the big dogs at our gym, it ain’t. But for me it was a good place to be today. After all, who can say no to 49 burpees and 32 back squats with 85 lbs in 10 minutes? It’s not like this didn’t leave me wheezing and feeling like shit!

What Do I Know?

Although I demonstrated not the slightest inclination to load up the bar and test my mettle against the fittest dudes at CFA, I have to admit I was tempted, and jealous of those who did the workout full bore. Now, I weigh about 175, and while I know I could put that much weight up, I haven’t done so in months, and I have never done it for more than 3 reps in a row. My old workout buddies Tom and Rustan both did the WOD as Rx’d and ended up with the best results in the affiliate (although, not with the highest weights).

I have to have patience with my body… still coming back from surgery (in only my second week, in fact, of unrestricted movements) and sick with some kind of respiratory virus for the past week. I am super fatigued and definitely not ready for the big time. I know that I have to have reasonable goals for myself right now.

What goals? The truth is, I’m still formulating what exactly my goals are at the moment. I’m actually working, for the first time in many months, without a definite set of rules. I do know some things, however.

I know that I am 41 years old, in comparatively great shape, and that I want to maintain that advantage without breaking down my body. I know that I continue to use a framework of a 6 week training cycle. I do want a minimum of 3 and a maximum of 5 CrossFit workouts per week during my “on” weeks (5 out of 6). I know that I am training for the Warrior Dash. I know that over the next year I want to move faster, lift heavier, get my muscle up, get 10 consecutive dead hang pull-ups, run a sub 22 minute 5k, etc. And after today, I now know that I want to be able to knock out 10 body weight back squats, too. I know that I am committed to a diet that combines a commitment to 90% paleo-quality foods, while paying attention to quantities and ratios of macronutrients (I eat a high-fat diet that falls somewhere between carb restriction and the Zone). I know that I want to at least maintain my present weight and body composition, or improve my body composition, or improve my body composition and increase my weight. I do not want to weigh less. I know that I am allowed at least one full blown cheat day per month. I also know that I seem to do well with a random cycle of high-calorie and low calorie days, high-carb and low carb days. I’ll keep doing that. I know that I do at least one 28 hour day of fasting per six week cycle. I know that, at present I have another month and a half without alcohol, and that when this period of abstinence is over, that I will continue to abstain on “school nights,” i.e. everyday except on Fridays and Saturdays. I know that I need more sleep than I typically get, but that I face a deadly combination of threats to proper sleep: I have years of bad sleep habits, and I have very small children, one of whom sleeps in my bedroom still.

I also have discovered something new in the past couple of months: happiness is important, mental health is important. I know that there is something important about happiness; the extent to which I am able to recover physically and maintain my energy is dependent in part on the extent to which I am able to deal with stress. My happiness in marriage, in family, in work, in play, and in training — all these elements of happiness are related together. I know, at a minimum, that my happiness depends on my successfully navigating my responsibilities in work and family life, and that over the past several years I have let things slide that should not have slid. I’m trying to steer the ship of Matt back into the deep part of the channel. It’s proving to be somewhat difficult.

The good news is that I’m thinking about it and I plan to keep working on it.

Three of my four reasons for training; the other one is holding the camera.

C-2-5k I:2 — Hot Snap

My wife Yael and I finally completed the second workout of the first week in the coolrunning Couch to 5k plan, a mere ten days after our first outing!

What happened? We ran on a Saturday (March 27th), and by Tuesday, Yael was stricken with strep throat. By Friday morning, I was beat down with what I thought was strep too; I even went to see my doctor to get a throat culture. I am thankful? it came back negative. That only meant I just had to put up with four horrible days of sore throat, running nose, and upper respiratory congestion (Friday to Monday).

By Tuesday, we were doing better. Yael and I went running. It was a beautiful day. Western North Carolina is experiencing something of a Hot Snap — it’s been in the upper 80’s, all of a sudden, after such a long cold Winter and a non-existent Spring.

For me, the day was indeed bittersweet, since this was the morning of the passing of one of my best friends in the world, Orion the Dog, aka Orion “Grizzley” Baldwin, aka “Grisly Dick.” Before our run, I spent a few, too brief moments with my aging chocolate lab Orion. I accompanied him on his last outing. I held him as he peacefully made a passage into the next world. Orion loved to run, and loved to swim. In years gone by, he would have loved our little jog. I am going to miss you buddy.

Result: 5 min walk; 20 minutes of: 60 seconds running, 90 seconds walking (8 rounds); approx 1.5 miles.

Orion Grizzley Baldwin, Aug 28th 1995 to Apr 6th 2010, Rest in Peace Old Buddy

Full Throttle

Training Cycle: New Program Week 1/6
No Alcohol Month 4/5
Diet: Flexible-Paleo-Zone
WOD #4 of the Week

Five o’clock am, I love you.

Ok maybe not, but I do love my CrossFit Asheville 5 am peeps.

WOD, PART I: 100 burpees for time

Result: 10:40.

WOD, PART II: 3200 relay sprint w/ 25 lb sandbag

Team of 4: Angela, Kim, Frank, and Myself… all over 40, average age 41.75. We split the running evenly into 4x200m each.

Result: 12:54


Today my burpees could have been faster, but I have my excuses… just getting back from surgery… suffering with a head cold… not getting my Rx’d sleep… blah blah blah. Next time it will be faster. I’m still proud of myself.

The first time I had to do 100 burpees in a WOD I could not finish them. Since then I’ve done a lot of burpees, and gotten faster on them. Not too long ago I actually did 100 burpees and 125 squats in 16:15 (on Dec. 12th, 2009). But according to my coaches, one year ago I did 100 burpees for time on April 1st, 2009, in about 11:57 (as I recall). So today’s time beat that by 1:17. Back then I wasn’t keeping this blog yet. That’s hard to believe, since, at this point, it feels like I’ve been keeping this blog forever. Let this number stand as my new personal best for 100 burpees. I want to be able to do it in about 6 minutes. NEXT YEAR!

Half Again

Third WOD of the training week, my first week back; I’m still in recuperation mode from my surgery. This was a fun workout involving, for me, a half-serving of 10 rounds of power cleans (going light), push-ups and squats.