Don’t Give Up the Fight
I had a great workout today. It was my first real workout in a whole week, since I did “Neoprene” last Tuesday. I gave this WOD a name of my own, even though it is a classic and official “mothership” WOD, because it seems to me that the WOD is perfect for the surfer in training. And, the words and sentiments of Bob Marley speak, of course, to far more than working hard to get up and stand up on the surfboard. We are in the fight for fitness and health… but let it be for the good of mankind.
Since arriving at the beach nine days ago, I’ve done two workouts and had, I believe, seven surfing sessions. It’s not a problem that I’ve only done two “workouts.” More to come! In the same way, it’s not a problem that I won’t be surfing much this week (as it now appears… things change fast). On that, see below. What matters is that, out here, every day counts for something. And today counts.
WOD: Get Up, Stand Up
WARM UP: Jump Rope (10x), Push-Ups (10), Jump Rope (20x), Sit-Ups (10), Jump Rope (30x), Squats (10), Jump Rope (40x), Pull-Ups (10 with small resistance band), Mountain Climbers (20), Burpees (5), Kipping Swings (5), Knees to Elbows (5), Surfer Get-Ups (5 per side), Ring-Dips (5).
MET-CON: 4 rounds of: 400 meter run, 50 squats, for time. (Compare CrossFit mothership workout of last Thursday [July 9th])
This WOD felt awesome. It was hard. I had to count out some walking steps to get my 400 meter distance, and I’m not sure I got the distance right (my 400 m times were a bit slow, I think).
My time was 16:42. In comparative terms, this is, I have to say, pretty slow. My squats were really slow, and my 400 meter runs were all barely sub 2 minutes. But I wonder how many of all of the 14 minute times, 11 minute times, and 10 minute times posted on the CrossFit mothership website are young guys or people who have been in more active Metcon “for time” training events recently. Of course, I’ve been slow lately.
There is time for me to get stronger and faster… let this workout contribute!
On Not Surfing: The Week’s Surfing Outlook
If yesterday was flat as a pancake, today is whipped up like the cream on top. There was no chance of going out today.
The surf outlook for the next couple of days is NOT favorable. Conditions today were terrible, with a high West Wind, a tiny real swell, and huge wind waves tossing the surface of the sea. As a consequence, I didn’t even think about trying to work with the wave. And I don’t anticipate trying tomorrow or Thursday either. This is disappointing, since my original plan was to “surf every day.” But you have to be flexible.
Look at what the NOAA’s Coastal Waters Forecast has to say about days to come:
SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY FOR WINDS IN EFFECT UNTIL 2 AM PDT
N WIND 20 TO 25 KT…EASING TO 15 TO 20 KT AFTER
MIDNIGHT. WIND WAVES 5 FT SUBSIDING TO 3 FT AFTER MIDNIGHT. NW
SWELL 2 FT AT 7 SECONDS.
N WIND 10 TO 15 KT…RISING TO 15 TO 20 KT IN THE
AFTERNOON. WIND WAVES 2 FT…BUILDING TO 5 FT IN THE AFTERNOON.
NW SWELL 2 FT AT 7 SECONDS.
NW WIND 20 TO 25 KT…BECOMING N 15 KT AFTER
MIDNIGHT. WIND WAVES 5 FT…SUBSIDING TO 2 FT AFTER MIDNIGHT. W
SWELL 2 FT AT 7 SECONDS.
N WIND 10 TO 15 KT WITH GUSTS TO 20 KT. WIND WAVES
2 FT…BUILDING TO 5 FT IN THE AFTERNOON. W SWELL 2 FT.
N WIND 15 TO 20 KT WITH EVENING GUSTS TO 25 KT. WIND
WAVES 5 FT. W SWELL 2 FT.
N WIND 15 KT WITH GUSTS TO 20 KT. WIND WAVES 3 FT. W
SWELL 2 FT.
NW WIND 15 KT WITH GUSTS TO 20 KT…EASING TO
10 KT AFTER MIDNIGHT. WIND WAVES 3 FT. W SWELL 3 FT.
W WIND 5 TO 10 KT WITH GUSTS TO 15 KT. WIND WAVES
1 FOOT. W SWELL 4 FT.
See? It’s not until Friday after midnight that conditions begin to look better. All week long it’s high winds and chop, with smallish swell. But, if you credit the weather report, it looks like Saturday will be epic… partly sunny, 73 degrees, low winds, decent swell. Great, if you can fight your way to the beach. I’ll be shooting for up to three sessions, two with Sean. Morning session at Indian Beach. Afternoon session at Oswald. Evening session in Arch Cape
I the meantime, I’ll just get in a few workouts and a rest day instead.
I skipped the early morning surfing session in favor of sleep. I needed it because of the cold/flu symptoms I suffered from yesterday. But I feel much better now.
After a 3 block breakfast and a morning beach stroll with Lena and Yael, I headed out to Short Sand beach, arriving about 9:25 am at the parking lot.
Today there were light winds coming from the South (blocked somewhat by the southern wall of Smuggler’s Cove). Wind waves were very light, maybe 1 ft, and we had a decent sized, but theoretically manageable 4-5 foot swell from the SW. Finally, a 15 second swell period made the waters seem pretty open. It was much easier (than yesterday) for paddling to the outside, and all in all, it should have been awesome. There were a lot of people there, all getting rides.
But, while the conditions were much more favorable today… I was… not in the flow. For some reason I felt utterly incompetent out there. I was wearing, for the second time, my neoprene Five Fingers shoes from Vibram. These didn’t work out too well, especially on my left foot. Basically, all my left toes keep slipping out of their “fingers,” leaving me with a useless lump for a foot. I was all thumbs. Five thumbs. Conclusion: for me, regular booties are better, and that’s what I’ll have on tomorrow.
But my problems surely went deeper than footwear. Yesterday, I felt strong, even in the terrible conditions. I was hopping up no problem (and I didn’t notice that my toes were slipping, even though they were). But today I had problems even balancing on the board (my 9’6″ Bruce Grant “Super Ugly”). I was too far forward on the board on most waves, and my nose kept shoveling in. I failed to stand up on every single wave I attempted to catch, even when I had all the momentum I needed. I couldn’t even catch a kiddie wave and coast in to shore to go home. Something was wrong. I took a pummeling, and got tossed a bunch of times. The fingers on my left hand were jammed. And of course, I did a lot of futile paddling. Maybe if I had sat on shore, rested for a while, and then tried it again bare footed, I could have gotten myself together. But I had family to think of, so I left, unfulfilled, and a bit puzzled at myself. But, there’s always tomorrow. I got back to my car by about 11:25 and was back home by 11:35. I’d guess I did about 75 minutes in the water.
It was a lot of work for… the reward of floating around in one of the most beautiful places on earth instead of working. Ok, in that light, not so bad. The stoke was not my friend — in fact I felt like I’d never surfed before, it was that bad — but it’s better than having a real life. Good times.
Today I did a CrossFit inspired workout during Lena’s nap, which I am calling Neoprene, in honor of that magic fabric that makes surfing in Oregon possible. It’s basically a scaled down “Angie” for surfers who lack access to a pull-up bar, subbing in skyrockets and burpees for pull-ups and push-ups.
Warm Up: I took rocks and set up a 50′ linear playing area on the beach. I did windmills, bear crawls, high knee and fast feet karaokes, crab walks, tumbling, freestanding handstand practice… and a couple of other things. Shoulder dislocates, sampsons, hip-mobility, the usual drill. But I held off on the calisthenics.
50 skyrockets (candlesticks to straight jumps)
MY TIME: 16:36
I guess the time was too bad, if you take into account that I’ve been sick, that it was a second session for the day, and that I did it without a coach. (Those skyrockets really slowed me down! I need to practice them more. I think I am going to add them to my warm-up calisthenics, or to my skill work.) And doing 50 burpees after doing 50 burpees… well… if you do this sort of thing you know what I mean.
After the workout, my dad and I worked on the new PULL-UP BAR. WODs will get more interesting in days to come.
I had a devil of a time falling asleep last night. I must have been awake, tossing and turning, from 10:30 to midnight. And then just when I’d finally fallen asleep, Lena woke up at 12:30. And then at 1:00. And then at 2:30. A brutal night of wakings and interrupted sleep.
Coffee. 2 block breakfast (salmon and a date). And off to CrossFit Asheville for the 6:00 am.
Agility drills. Sampson and Hip Mobility. Calves. Hamstrings. Pull-Ups and Push-Ups. Overhead Squats. Side Plank Rolls (all 10-15, I forget exactly).
Thrusters and Burpees.
Thrusters: Find your 5 rep max
50 Burpee Time Trial
With the Thrusters, I didn’t exclusively work towards my 5-rep max, but I worked to maximize weight at “work-out speed.” So the weights reported were executed at “full-speed.”
PVC warmups, 10 x 45 / 5 x 65 / 5 x 70 / 5 x 75 / 5 x 80 / 5 x 85 / 5 x 90 / 5 x 95 /
Then we did the burpees! There’s always time for more burpees.
Swimming Ground: Big Creek
We rode out to Waterville Road and the Big Creek Park, and hiked up the trail to a super water-hole. Totally beautiful. And cold. We did not hike all the way to the falls.
View Larger Map
Sleep was long (9:30 pm to 6:30 am) but interrupted about 3-4 times by Lena, including a 3:00 am nightmare, which brought her into our bed for 40 minutes. Food was adequate yesterday, and my choices were, on the whole, good. So I feel good this morning. Coffee, milk, 1 block breakfast, etc.
Pull-Up Challenge Day 23
I decided to do the Pull-Up Challenge first. 23 reps today. So I set my watch to a 75 second interval, and determined to do the whole group of 23 in a series of short sets spaced at 1:15 intervals. It would be 1 set every 75 seconds, first 1 set of 3, then 10 more sets of 2, for a total of 11 sets. This process worked well. On sets 9 & 11, front grip sets, I began to feel fatigue which made me worry I wouldn’t complete the second rep, but I got them. Reverse grip remains stronger than front grip.
Reps #1-23: done in 11 sets (1×3, 10×2), alternating grips, performed one set per 1:15, total time: 12:45. From 6:58 to 7:11 am.
After breakfast and more coffee, I headed to the CrossFit Asheville 9:00 Saturday workout.
Agility drills warm-up. Sampson. Hip mobility. Calf/Hamstring stretches. Overhead squats, Shotguns, Supermans, Hindu Pushups
WOD: Teamwork: Weighted Run, Tire Flip, Pull-Ups, Burpees, Kettlebells
3 Rounds for time of:
200m 45lbs overhead bar run
10 tire flips
30 Kettlebell swings
To be completed by teams of two. Work together to hold the bar overhead for the run and teams may work together for the tire flip, but for the remaining exercises only one person works at a time while the other rests.
My partner was Mike Peterson. Results: 23:48, 45# kettlebell.
It was a whole lot of fun, a good sweat. The workout was followed by a bit of playing around with rings and other stuff.
Rafting the Pigeon River
Yael’s cousin Amiya is in town from London, UK, for a few days, and had the brilliant plan to go whitewater rafting. I am a fan of this sort of thing, so I said, “heck yeah, I’m coming with you!”
We went on a half-day trip on the Pigeon River with Nantahala Outdoor Center (NOC) and had quite a blast. Our guides, Charlie and Chris, were complete sweethearts, and the Pigeon half-day, with class II-IV rapids, was a fine couple of hours on the river. Highly recommended.
Decent sleep, but too little of it, and interrupted (at 12:30 am) by a piss and a little tossing and turning. Then a 5:00 am wakeup. 1 block breakfast (quadruple fat). Coffee.
CrossFit Asheville WOD: In Honor of SSG Hansen
Our workout today was a scaled and modified version of the “Hansen” Hero WOD which debuted on the CrossFit website this past Saturday, May 2nd.
3 rounds of 4 minutes each, featuring:
1 minute of max reps of burpees, followed by:
30 Kettlebell Swings
If you took longer than 3 minutes to do the Kettlebells and the Sit-ups, as I did on round 2, a minute was added to your time. If you finished the Kettlebells and Sit-ups in under 3 minutes, you rested. It was a cool, somewhat brutal Wod.
6:00-6:30 am: “Football” Agility Drills (e.g. 10 yards shuttles with dropping to pushup at either end; fast feet with jumping and dropping to pushup and rolling right or left; etc.); Parkour and Tumbling: fun stuff!
My time: 13:08.
Results: I did 15, then 11, then 12 burpees. Kettlebell swings: 30×45#, 7×45# + 23×35#, 30×35#.
Pull-Up Challenge Day 6: 6 reps of dead hang pull-ups.
Rep #1: after the workout, about 7:15 am. Front false u-grip.
Rep #2: at home, after breakfast, about 8:00 am. Front false u-grip.
Reps #3-4: at home, after breakfast, about 8:30 am. Rear false u-grip.
Reps #5-6: at home, about 8:50 am. Front false u-grip.
Coach Corey says I should perhaps rethink my commitment to this challenge, since it doesn’t allow for recovery or enough modulation to spur adaptation. He is worried that injury might result, or over-training. He suggests, at a minimum, to add rest days to the challenge. I am taking his advice to heart. I will decide when the purpose of my challenge has been met. And the purpose is: to master the dead hang pull-up — at my current level of fitness. So I will take my regular rest-days off of the challenge, resuming the normal count on the workout days. And I may not go all the way to 100. I will stop when this “challenge” has convinced me that I can do the pull up.
Named not after a girl, but for the city in N.C. where a couple of our trainers recently got their level I cert. J.C. try this one in your park. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. It’ll make a man of you.
10 rounds for time of:
200 meter sprint
My time today: 23:34. I bet you can beat it, J.C.