10k Walk/Sprint and a Long Paddle to Little Mac’s

10k Sprint Workout

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Wednesday morning early I went out for a 10k distance walk/sprint session with my brother-in-law John Chun. It was good. John’s a natural athlete and had very little trouble keeping up with me. I had my VFFs on and that felt pretty good except, toward the end I developed a little blister on the ball of my right foot beneath the big toe, and I have pain in the joints, again, below the index and third toes of my left foot. I’ll have to ask Corey about those.

It was an out and back course, kinda funny shaped, about 90% of a circle run one way and then the other, 3.1 miles each way. We started clockwise and then finished clockwise. About 2 miles total are on Hwy 30. See the map at right:

Results: 10k (6.2 mile) total distance. 5 min walking recovery / 1 min sprints. Nearly 13 complete rounds (12:36 seconds of sprinting total). Total time: 1:17:36. (12:31 min/mile pace).

A Long Paddle

Late in the afternoon, in spite of a pretty strong E wind, I took out my SUP board and paddled around for a while.

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I started by going from Napili Bay northeast towards little Kapalua Bay. On the point between Napili Bay and Kapalua bay there are submerged rocks that create a perpetual mini-big-wave break. Surfers are out there regularly when the N/NE swell gets above about 2 feet. I don’t know what they call the place, but I would call it Shark’s Tooth. It looks deadly to me. I paddled safely around the outside of it on open water, and into Kapalua bay, and rested and watched the crazy waves for a while. Not for me.

I paddled back into open water, outside the point, and straight across the open water headed for the southwest end of Napili Bay.

Then, from there, I paddled past Honokeana Bay to the southwest point dividing it from the next bay down. There I found a cluster of local surfers, young men and old, floating in the surprisingly consistent and rolling swell, but with a short, 8 second or so period.

I waited and watched from a distance for a while. Then after a while I grew bolder and decided I might be able to catch a swell. I paddled for it, paddled harder, missed several, and then fell into the water in plain view of everybody. A young guy paddling out smiled with good humor; I said, “I have no idea what I am doing here.” He laughed and advised me on my foot placement. I asked him if the place had a name. Little Mac’s he said. What a cool spot.

After a short while, and after falling into the water like an idiot a bunch of times (I was tired by this point), I paddled back, against the wind. It was a hard hard slog!

I charted my path roughly on Google Earth and it looks like it was about 2 miles worth of paddling, total. Not a bad end to my day.

Brother in law John Chun caught a bit of me struggling against the wind and chop there at the end, as I came back to Naplili bay. In all my kookish glory. Don’t judge me. It’s just for fun!

You can’t tell this AT ALL from the videos, but I was fighting a strong headwind, and significant chop, which is why I am digging so hard and leaning so far forward with each stroke. Finally, I was facing some difficult waters and hard going, so I got down on my knees to finish out the ride. Not exactly elegant, but a great time and good exercise.

More SUP Surfing

Tuesday morning came, and with it a long morning drive to Kahului and a visit to Hawaiian Island Surf and Sport; that got me back in the game for Stand Up Paddle surfing. The guys at the shop had a good humor about my wreck, considering it was a truly nasty ding. Karl, who was helping me, did not make me feel like a kook. He didn’t have to. My first day out on the board and I smacked into some coral? Noob.

Cost me $175 to repair. I added the damage waiver to the remainder of my rental, which is now running to nearly the full cost of a new polyester or epoxy pop-out fun board. Next trip? Anyway… “Whatever you do, don’t hit the Island,” they advised. Indeed.

I got out for about 30 minutes in the late afternoon. Grey skies. 10 knot winds, rough surface, light swell. I paddled as much as I could. And fell a lot. The new board is 32″ wide and 10’1″ long. Very stable, but a different feel than the 11’1″ board I started on (and dinged up so badly). I didn’t ride any waves (none were there to be had).

It’s all good practice.

Stand Up Paddle!

Trying something new: this morning I got up on a stand up paddle surfboard, and went out into the rolling swell in Napili Bay (here on Maui). This was my first time on a SUP surfboard. Man it is not easy.

I didn’t catch any swells, but I did come close once or twice. It’s a real challenge to maintain your balance, and a challenge to get the balanced, stable forward momentum you need, in the right direction, to catch a swell. I’ll get it soon enough.

I am not at all thinking about training at the moment. Just paddling, and some sprinting and screwing around. I’ll try to get some pictures.

In the afternoon I went out for a second session, about 45 minutes. It was great. I caught several swells and rode them like a regular surfer guy. Stand Up Paddle surfing is more challenging than I imagined. Wind, chop, and swells combined produce a seriously difficult challenge to maintaining balance. Core, legs, and arms are constantly working whether you are in motion or staying still.

Unfortunately, on my last ride of the day (it’s always the last ride) I managed to pearl just a bit, and fell, and got myself a most expensive surfing lesson. I was chasing small swells on the southwest end of Napili Bay, where the rocks are shallow. I had several safe rides through a channel in the rocks, but this time I lost balance and fell. Underwater for a moment, with eyes open, I found myself drifting past a wide, jaggedly sharp, hook-like formation of coral that reached up towards the surface. I recall thinking, I might just get killed by something like that. That could gore me, or rip open my back or break my skull. A short time later I paddled in. It was peaceful, beautiful, deadly.

When I got up to the grass, and laid down my board, I noticed a huge and awful looking gash on the bottom, up near the nose. What a ding! I knew right away that the pearl had done it. What an unfortunate mess. Later I called the rental shop in Kahului. This mistake was going to cost a couple of hundred dollars. Holy crap. But to me, surfing is like crack cocaine. I resolved to learn my lesson and move on. And I’ll figure out how to pay for this obsession later.

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Industrial Pearl 10k (walk in NW Portland)

This morning, bright and early at 5:19 am, I set out to walk a 10k route in Northwest Portland. This was the first step in my new plan to train for races at the 10k distance. My goal is to complete a 10k distance race at sub 7:30 pace before May 1st.

Result: 6.3 miles. Start and end point 9th and Northrup. Lower 40s outside, light wind. VFFs w/ Injinji liner socks. 5:19 to 7:02 AM (1:43; 16:20.4 min/mile). Central toes of left foot felt painful stiffness, near base (ball of foot). This mitigated some in final 1/3 of walk but remains a concern.

Next 10k training session (on Wednesday?): 5 min recovery / 1 min sprints (6 min intervals). IN Hawai’i!!

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more fun at the MAC

I spent another morning with my dad at the Multnomah Athletic Club today.

While I was warming up, I discovered, to my joy/embarrassment, that they do indeed have squat racks. They are tucked away in another corner of the huge fitness center room. I was super pleased and immediately changed my plans from working on clean and jerk to working on the straight up clean, and doing dynamic work sets in the squat.


Lunges, Inchworms, Karaoke high and low, butt kicks, bear crawl. Double under practice (about 3 minutes). Shoulder dislocates; hip mobility. Overhead Squats w/ 15 lb bar (10); pull-ups dead hang w/ red band (10); push-ups (10); GHD extensions (10).


New “paper” 5 RM today. Previous 5 RM was ridiculously low (105 lbs) due to a simple error in training, and due to the fact that I rarely work the full clean especially in the 5 rep range (this low PR has stood since September).

I did not worry about whether the new PR would really establish a “max” in terms of my current neuro-muscular capabilities (with a 3 rep front squat of 185, a 5 rep front squat of 165, a 1 rep max clean and jerk of 165, I ought to have a higher 5 rep clean number than I do even after today). Instead, working with the long view, I just wanted to push myself to somewhere I’ve never really been before.

Result: 5 x 45 / 5 x 65 / 3 x 88 / 1 x 110 / 5 x 125 (PR). Volume: 1,369.


I hadn’t really thought about where my 135 x 5 x 5 from Monday was taking me with my training. The volume of that workout (and the time-frame too) was similar to a 70% x 12 x 2 @ 60s. So doing a 60% x 12 x 2 or a 70% x 12 x 2 didn’t make much sense to me. Instead, I broke with Corey’s protocol and attempted to do a dynamic effort 80% x 12 x 2. The trick would be still to move that higher weight using the prescribed slow descent and fast press (x131) movements that distinguishes a dynamic effort session from a normal session. Anyway, I think it worked, so I think this bodes well for my next PR attempt in back squat.

Result: 155 lbs x 12 x 2 @ 60s. Volume: 3,720

Bench Press

I had a few minutes left in my hour, so I thought I would add some bench press in there. I decided to use a slightly higher rep range today than on Monday, which seemed reasonable since I had just discovered a tentative 1 RM.

Result: 3 x 135 / 3 x 145 / 3 x 150 (PR) / 5 x 140 (PR) / 5 x 135. Volume: 2,665.

These are more “paper” PRs, the result of never training the bench press. I think I’m going to bench more or less once a week this spring and see what I can do with it. Just for kicks and the sake of variety. (And yes, for further Yokeage, P.B.)

shoulders snatch etc.

Boy I am on vacation. Am I ever. I feel like whining and complaining about my inability to keep a clean diet or to keep with my normal eating and drinking and sleeping and workout habits and patterns. But I wont. See the post before last for some indication as to why. Anyway, I have been being bad, and I felt like poop this morning as a result. But I pushed through it and got in a decent workout, I guess.

Warm-Up: Double Unders and Push Ups

Warm up at the condo sprint drills bear crawls broad jumps etc in hall. More warm up at MAC: 5 x 1 min double unders and 10 push ups, rest @ 120s. Lunges, OHS, pull-ups w/ red band (all 10 reps). The double unders left me with a splitting headache. But on the bright side I got some number of reps with only two singles between doubles, and I got TWO consecutive double unders! My first consecutive double unders! I had a glimmer of hope that I might get these damn things soon.

Shoulder Press PR Attempt and Work Sets

I probably wasn’t ready for this, but … well I thought I was. I wanted to try for some PR attempt, and the only one safe to try, I thought, in this environment, was a shoulder press. Previous 5 rep PR was 115. So this attempt was for 120.

45 x 10 / 65 x 5 / 88 x 3 / 110 x 1 / 120 x 3, fail on 4 — no PR!

I was mighty disappointed to fail a 120 lb attempt — I’ve been stagnant since August. Admittedly… my shoulder was injured all fall and I definitely didn’t ever push it. I just let it heal, and it has healed. Which was great. And so I have no reason to think that I would be ready to push the PR numbers up.

Anyway… I didn’t feel like that was enough volume or stimulus in shoulder press today. So I added in some work sets at ~95% of my 5 RM.

Additional sets: 5 x 2 x 110 @ 120s.

Volume: 2,609


That’s right, “snatch.” Full squat but I don’t need to tell you that.

First: Boz warm up. Then

3 x 45

1 x 88

8 x 3 x 88 lbs (40 kg) @ 120s

Volume: 2,335

On “paper,” my current 5 RM (full squat) snatch is 70 lbs, so this is 125% of that, and my current 1 RM is 115, so this is 76% of that. All in all, I think this particular session was a very good stimulus for me. The movement started to feel really nice toward the end. Plenty challenging, but also solid. I need to snatch more often!

Split Squat

5 x each leg w/ 25 lb dumbbells.

For some reason (like using too much weight?) these hurt and I didn’t feel like doing additional sets. So I didn’t!


5 x 5 w/ red band dead hang c2b @ 60s

I’ve been slacking on my pull-up work since the week before the Carolina Fitness Challenge. But I need to get back on them. I reasoned that focusing on strict chest to bar form and knocking out some quick sets of 5 with the red band would be a good stimulus. We’ll see. But, I think so. In the near future, I plan to revisit this fast little routine a few times.

back at the mac

My old-time “home gym” is the Multnomah Athletic Club in Portland Oregon, which is a really great facility, when compared to your typical “health club” type space.

By “really great” I just mean they have rowing ergometers, a pull-up bar, an Olympic lifting platform, kilogram bumper plates, etc. They also have all of the typical BS rules and restrictions that distinguish health clubs from actual weightlifting facilities. E.G. — They have platform and bumper plates, but a rule against dropping weights from above the knee. They have four flat benches with racks for “bench press,” and they even have a set of olympic-bar chain weights, but no racks for squats (their two counterweighted Smith machines DO NOT count as squat stations).

Anyway, it was good to get a lifting session in this morning irrespective of the schizophrenic rules at my old gym.


700 meter row (19-22 strokes per minute; avg. split about 1:49).

Double Under Practice (5 x one minute sessions w/ 40 second rests).

Pull-Ups (10, dead hang, red band); Push-Ups (10); Squats (10); Overhead Squats w/ 15 lb bar (10); Sotts Press w/ 15 lb bar (10); GHD extensions (10).


I wasn’t sure how to follow up the stimulus of the Carolina Fitness Challenge, where we did max reps of 225 lb deadlift in 2 minutes. I got well over 20 reps at 225 in under 2 minutes, suggesting to me that a typical 65% or 75% 12 x 2 would not be particularly helpful to me today, since 65% (190 lbs) and 75% (220 lbs) are both less.

I decided on a basic 5 x 5 set of work sets at about 80% (235 lbs).

Result: 100 kg (220 lbs) + 15 lbs x 5 x 5. Volume: 5,875.

These were done @ 120s intervals, alternating grip, opening fingers between reps.

Back Squat

With no racks I couldn’t do a proper 75% (145 lbs) x 12 x 2 @ 60s, which was my original plan. I had to settle for a weight I could comfortably clean, jerk, and receive behind my head and then jerk back out between sets. I used 132 lbs (70%), and did 5 x 5.

Result: 60 kg (132 lbs) x 5 x 5 + 5 power cleans, 10 push-jerks (5 front and 5 rear). Volume: 3,300.

Bench Press

Might as well use the bench! It’d been a while, so I decided to find out where my 1 rep max is at. Kinda pathetic, actually.

Result: 1 x 65 / 1 x 95 / 1 x 115 / 1 x 135 / 1 x 155 / 1 x 165 / f x 170. Volume: 730 lbs

the interstices

I was so sore from Friday’s sandbagging workout! What an awesome WOD. I really liked it. I feel good now. Over the next three weeks I’m going to miss WODs like that, and the variable semi-randomness of Shanna’s programming.

It’s time for a rest from training. We hear and talk all the time about periodizing our training plans, but there’s no agreement among athletes and training junkies about how long a training period should be, or on how much seasonal or post- and pre-event rest should be included in a plan. And I only know that it’s time to rest because, well, here I am.

I am lying on the floor of my parent’s condo in Portland. My dad is nearby cursing at his computer. There is going to be close quarters with family for several weeks. My son is turning one tomorrow; he’s sleeping in the bathroom tonight. My daughter is sharing our bedroom on an inflatable cot.

It’s the end of a long long day of travel. We left at 2:00 am on Sunday morning, driving from Asheville to Charlotte. Kids, stroller, backpacks, suitcases, car seats, handbags, carry ons, all made it to Portland by 11:00 am Pacific.

(I did this particular travel day in a fasted state — it was a full 19 hours between my last feeding at 8:00 pm EST on Saturday and 12:00 pm PST on Sunday. I highly recommend fasting travel, by the way. It works for me.)

I feel especially lucky — I am lucky, I know — to work in an industry in which my life is automatically periodized. At my college, the calendar year is divided into three major parts: Spring Semester (about 17 weeks), Summer (about 14 weeks), and Fall Semester (17 weeks), and it also includes four annual vacation periods: Fall Break (4 day weekend), Thanksgiving Break (5 day weekend), Christmas Break (3 full weeks), and Spring Break (1 full week).

Such periodicization provides both an opportunity and a challenge for designing and sticking with a year-long training plan.

You can’t practice something if you’re not there doing it.

Transitions and liminal periods are difficult enough to reconcile with continuous discipline and practice in some particular mode of training. Even more so if they include travel.

Training gets interrupted by holidays and foreseeable seasonal surges of activity and travel. Especially in my family. My solution is to not worry about it. It would be stupid and besides would annoy my friends whose work doesn’t include such opportunities for extended rest and recuperation. (To avoid a lynch mob, I say remember: I have basically exchanged job prestige and monetary reward for all this vacation time.)

Worry never helped anyone. Instead of fretting, I embrace these times of being with family as an enforced and ultimately welcome change of routine. Possibly, such a change will assist in positive adaptation to my overall training program. It’s not like I’m going to sit around and do nothing. It’ll just be a bit different. I’ll be in the gym tomorrow with my dad, for example, lifting weights. And we’ll take it from there.

These are times to strengthen my training by taking more rest days, emphasizing different training modalities, and doing more play.

Instead of fretting about missing the gym, I think of the transitions between semesters as periods of deliberate neglect. I neglect those aspects of my training that are best done in the company of my fellow CrossFitters, or which can only be done with a space for Olympic lifting and gymnatics, etc. When I come back to training those kinds of lifts and met-cons, I will be the stronger for having changed my routine for a while.


Quick note about Friday’s WOD. I went to the 9:00 am class at the gym for one last workout with my peeps before the start of Christmas break.

I knew it would be about 26 days before I make it back to CrossFit Asheville (I’ll be back for the 6:00 am class on January 12th, or maybe even the 5:30 am class on January 11th). For my last class I hoped for something tough that would leave me with a good memory. And I got it.

Strength: Split Jerk

First, for strength, heavy 2s of Split Jerk training, alternate legs.

Result: Split Jerk: 45 x 2 / 65 x 2 x 2 / 85 x 2 x 2 / 95 x 2 / 115 x 2 x 2 / 125 x 2 x 2. Volume: 1,840.

WOD: Sandbag Mayhem

Then, for the WOD, some serious sandbagging.

The WOD itself is kinda difficult to describe, but can still be easily summed up as a total of 110 reps of Sandbag Hang Power Cleans and 110 reps of Sandbag Back Squats (with a 75 lb sandbag).

These are completed in two stages: a reps on the minute ascending ladder for the first nine minutes, with a minute rest in the middle, and then on a “for time” descending ladder: 1/1, 2/2, etc., to round 10/10, and then back down 10/10, 9/9 etc.

So, results: 18:40, round 10 completed, 75 lb sandbag which is an incredible volume of 8,250 lbs each of both HPCs and Back Squats. Can you day DOMS?

Not a bad week for a post-competition “cool down.” Three sessions, including a light day of some basic movement, a strength day, and some bone crushing volume too.

Open Gym

Nearing the end of an 18 hour fast, I hit the CFA open gym time on Wednesday. Forget about adequate sleep, etc. This is finals. But training goes on.


500 meter row (17-19 strokes/min; 1:48-1:52 split).

Bear Crawl / Crab Walk / Floor Work

5 rounds: 1 min max Double Unders, 30s rest

Dislocates / Mobility

GHD Situps / Squats / push ups / blue band c2b pull ups (10 per)

Strength Work

Back Squat 125 x 11 x 2 @ 30s / set of 10 on round 12 (Volume: 4,000 lbs).

Pull Ups 5 x 3 @ 120s / +0/+2/+3/+5/+8(f on 3) (Volume: 14 pull ups, body weight + 46 lbs)

Ring Dips same +0/+2.5/+5/+7.5(f on 3)/+5(f on 3) (Volume: 13 ring dips, body weight + 47.5 lbs)

Shoulder Press 80 x 8 x 3 @ 45s (Volume: 1,920).