christmas eve romp

Christmas Eve Saturday outdoor ramble with John Chun.

Down the riverfront from Overton to the Steel Bridge, with some mobility work after 5 minutes, plus jumping, scaling fences — at one point, some homeless people called out to me, while I was sitting perched on top of a chain link gate, waiting for John, who had gone the long way around, “hey Spider Man!” That was fun — scrambling on rocks, etc, then running stairs on the waterfront, west and east side, east side of river through some back lots up to the civic center, more stair sprints, box jumps, and a little la planche into some parking lot; seems like parkour heaven here; back across the broadway bridge and home to the folk’s place. As usual, this was about 45 minutes. Good sweat, good elevation of heart rate, good, intuitive HIIT.

memento mori

Saturday I got out for a 45 minute ramble through Montford, to play in the steeply sloped Montford Community Center playground, and to scramble and sprint up the hills from the bottom of the Asheville Cemetery. Heart pounding, sweat drenched, I sprinted hills, clambered over fences and walls, leaped benches, scrambled on trees, ran stairs; now walking, now running, now jogging, now sprinting, now jumping. Then stopping and standing, out of breath. There in the cemetery surrounded by the weathered stones, when I needed to remember to put in living effort, I contemplated the repose of the dead. Memento mori. That’s reason enough to work out hard right now.

Trying to play like this also confronts me with a stubborn fact: yes, compared to where I have been in the past I am now quite out of shape. True that I am stronger, but I was far more conditioned for endurance a year ago. I also weighed 20 lbs less than I do today. Hopefully, doing these more “endurance” oriented workouts once a week will begin to address my relative lack of conditioning.

away from the numbers

On Saturday I went out for about 45 minutes for a great ramble, down the street, under the bridge, across the creek, along the avenue, on the byways, through the woods behind the USDA research center, scrambling along and jumping over fallen logs, box jumping up rock walls, going over fences, balancing, leaping from object to object… now sprinting, now walking, on a trail, off a trail, on a road, on a grassy margin… sometimes crawling, then dodging, pushing aside branches, doing footwork and otherwise rambling. It was like a country town back in the ravine parkour trip. I got tore up a bit by summer’s growth of brambles and thorns, but it was worth it.

I confirmed what was and could have been no surprise, namely that my endurance capacity is at a multi year low. Oh well. It still felt awesome to be outside, intuitively working out, away from the numbers, away from quantified measures of fitness or strength, moving naturally and according to whim, breathing and being in nature and city in the cold and crisp light of day.

sunday run

Week IV, Workout A

Normally, a Sunday is a rest day for me but my endurance needs work, and my love handles are soft, so, a short run won’t hurt me, I figure. I took week III off of running, but week IV began with a slightly longer run than the runs I was doing in week I and II.

My route on this day was 1.3 miles. Time was 10:55. That’s 8:23.8 minutes / mile.

thursday run and one month later…

Another Run…

Week II, Workout D.

Thursday, August 25th, pre-lunch one mile run: 8:02. Best time of the first two weeks. It was hot, and I felt heavy. At the end it felt like about 90% RPE. A little less tweakage in my feet and knees from the new shoes today, but I felt some unusual and unwanted tensions on the medial ligaments of my right knee. I may return to a flat sole shoe like the inov-8 next week to see the difference.

One Month Later

Surgery to repair my broken left Radius was exactly 4 weeks ago today, on Thursday July 28th. I am happy to report that direct pain from the break site has absolutely subsided, and the wound is healing nicely. I work over the scar tissue with self-massage and do various mobility things daily, as my doctor directed. I’ve stopped wearing my splint entirely, and for the most part, my arm feels fine, though weak and weird. The workouts I’ve been doing are either one handed (right handed) lifts or involve only the lower body (or both of these, as in the case of “one armed squats” which I started yesterday). I can use the arm pretty much normally, and even use it to provide limited, light assistance to my right hand in lifting things.

Unfortunately, not everything is doing as well as my bone seems to be. The joint between my left Ulna and the Carpal Lunate bone (the wrist joint on the pinky side of my left hand) remains extremely sensitive and often quite painful. Most of the time I don’t notice it, but if I place ANY weight on my left hand or finger, this is the spot that hurts, especially on the back side of my hand.

No injury of this joint was diagnosed one month ago, but that doesn’t mean shit. I could have a small fracture of some kind that isn’t being helped at all by the mobility.

I do have a follow up x-ray scheduled with a local orthopod in two more weeks, but I’m not sure that this visit will address my concern: i.e. what if it is something that can only be seen on MRI?

So, for now, I’m icing it (not taking NSAIDs yet, as I have a healing bone) and hoping that it’s just a question of a bone bruise, or a damaged ligament or tendon, or something.

new running shoes

Yesterday I tried on the New Balance Minimus… not impressed with the feel. I ended up buying a very light but stiff and well padded traditional running shoe by NB — the model I chose was the M780SL1.

I think the “barefoot” running thing is not for me, after all.

*Background: I trained for “barefoot” running in Vibram 5-fingers during fall 2010, and set a bunch of PR 5k times (see this blog); then I injured my foot in Dec. 2010 when I attempted to walk a 10k distance in my 5-fingers on Christmas morning.

I’ve done the last couple of runs in Inov-8’s and they work fine for short distance runs but for the volume of running on the sidewalk and street that I plan on doing, I need to wear more stable and padded shoes.

monday hpc’s, neck press, plus running with c & j’s

Monday morning, after a night of not too bad sleep, such as it was, I made it to the 6:00 am class at CFA, rested, fasted, caffeinated… and I thought the plan for the WOD looked good. It turned out to be good, leaving me sore, tired, hungry, and satisfied all day.

Hang Power Cleans and Neck Presses

Behind the neck press was a great follow up to my Saturday lifting session, as were the Hang Power Cleans, although I’m not sure why my HPC is substantially weaker than my clean.

Result: HPCs: 3 x 95 / 3 x 115 / 3 x 135 / f x 155 / 3 x 145 / 3 x 145 (PR tie); Neck Press: 6 x 65 / 6 x 70 / 6 x 75 / 6 x 80. Volume: HPC: 1,905; NP: 1,740.

If I had examined my PRs before attempting the HPC, I would have seen that I already had 3 x 145 and would chosen a different progression, i.e. 95-115-135-150-150. Oh well, next time.

WOD: Running and Clean and Jerks

3 rounds of: 3 minutes work, 2 minutes rest: 200m run, 200m sprint, Max Rep Clean and Jerk @ Neck Press weight + 10-20%. Score is total reps.

Result: 95 lbs; 10-11-10; Score: 31 reps

Fun workout.

Maybe a different plan

I’ve been hatching new plans. I spoke to David Hughes after the WOD. We’ve both been enjoying the knowledge that our recent USAW cert has brought us. Anyway, both David and I want to do more oly lifting, and maybe less straightforward CrossFit training. He’s now coming in and oly-lifting MWF at 6:00 am, which is my workout time. I think I’m going to start joining him in this, next week. We’ll see how that goes. David’s involved in starting the French Broad Barbell Club with Randy and other coaches from CFA. Meanwhile, I’ve been involved in the start-up of Asheville Barbell Club with T-Bone. (The relations between these two institutions, well, that’s another story, and one that I will likely never address in this blog.) Whatever else might be said about it, clearly there’s a new interest in USA Weightlifting in the Asheville area and those who will benefit are those who will spend time lifting and competing.

monday map

Monday morning I made it to the 6:00 am class to do the WOD at CFA, where I was pleased to find another round of Shanna’s new style programming! These workouts emphasize training for “MAP” (which means training for “maximum aerobic power”), and stem from her recent certification with OPT. The basic idea is that an athlete should be cycling through different styles of workouts in any given training period (e.g. a week), moving from shorter intense “lactate” sessions to longer, less intense “aerobic” sessions. It’s common sense really but isn’t explicitly embraced by “CrossFit” in general. For us it basically means keeping our short and intense workouts on most days but adding in some longer days with less of a drive for maximum output in terms of reps, rounds, or weight within the time frames or cycles specified. I won’t bother to list the details of Shanna’s fairly elaborate workout here (follow the link above for a full explanation of the WOD) but will list the components of the workout and the weights, etc., that I used.

Sumo deadlifts and Sumo deadlift high-pulls: 75 lbs. Agility course (big and small tires, agility ladder). Running: to the best of my ability, practicing pulling those heels up and getting into a forward leaning “figure 4″ pose; I was glad that my foot didn’t act up too much. It’s getting better! Rowing: usually about 800m, at about a 1:58-2:05/500m split (although it was listed as 4 minutes, they cut us short to rotate us through the workout). Dumbbell Shoulder Press: total of 6 x 5 x 40s (80 lbs); volume: 2,400.

Mile Run, Back Squat, Screwing Around

Early AM loaded up and went outside into the cold. I briefly limbered up (pose drills, bear crawl, lunges) and then set out on my 1.1 mile run. The familiar route gets shorter and shorter!

Result: 7:19.45 (6:39.48 min/mile pace).

Pretty awesome. I intended to do 80-85% RPE, and ended up with a time only 4 seconds off of my PR. What does that tell you?

Then I headed out to CFA and the Stay Active Clinic to see Corey.

There I did back squats.

Back Squat, Dynamic Effort 12 x 2.

Result: 12 x 2 x 115 lbs (63.8% of 5 RM) @ 30s intervals. Volume: 2,760. These felt pretty awesome.

Then I messed around. Did push ups (20); dead hang pull-ups (5); incline push-ups (10); practiced handstand push-ups (getting there!) and free standing handstands (elusive!). Then had manual therapy with Corey. That seems to be going well.

5k Walk/Sprint Work 60/30

Dragged myself out of bed for a 6:00 am session on the road. It was tough to motivate but worth it.

Route: the same old “Montford Crawl 5k” I’ve been working on since the Half in September. Protocol: 60 seconds walking/recovery, 30 seconds sprint (this is a 2/3 walking 1/3 running protocol, aka a 33% sprinting protocol).

Result: 20 full rounds and 42 seconds of walking, i.e. 30:42; that’s a 12 second PR.

Not a bad time! 3.1 miles in 10 minutes of sprinting and 20:42 of walking… 9:54 pace.

Additional volume: I took it pretty easy on Tuesday afternoon. 1 set of push ups (20); 1 set of dead hang pull-ups (5). I do intend to get in some practice every day, but maximizing additional volume every day is not in my plan or consistent with my goals… right now.