CrossFit Day 58 & 59

Good week at CrossFit.  It’s one of those activities which can seem SO HARD one day, then not so bad the next.  It’s all about the movements in the WOD and whether it hits your list of strengths verses weaknesses.  This is the reason as to why it’s so important to KEEP GOING, even when you are feeling bad or as if you aren’t making any progress.  The very next workout may be the one that YOU knock out of the park. 

Day 58 – Push Press 5×3 – 73#

Tabatas for Total Reps – Keep track of your reps throughout each of the 8 sets of a movement. 

  • Kettlebell Swings – 35#s – Dang that KB is soooo heavy.  As indicated by my crazy face below.

Kettlebell Swings

  • Ball Slams – 20# – Another super heavy item! 
  • Hand Release Push-Ups – Not a good move for my spaghetti arms.
  • Rowing for Calories (something to count for the total reps)

Day 59 – Back Squats – 5×3 – 83#s – Moved up in weight!!

5 Rounds

  • 15 Front Squats with a 35# KettleBell – Yep, still heavy.
  • 10 Sit-ups
  • 5 Burpees – Dare I say these are almost manageable in increments of 5? 

Then we stretched, rolled & worked on our Double-Unders!  Good week!

** Keep Pushing, Even When Progress is Indiscernible ** Amanda – TooTallFritz **

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Sunburst Marathon (or Half) Giveaway!!!

It’s no secret that one of my all time favorite race series is the Sunburst Races in South Bend, IN.  This is a great location for me because it’s close to Chicagoland but also close to my parents home so that they can help with the kiddos.  The timing is also good and avoids holiday conflict by running the weekend AFTER Memorial Day.  There are multiple race distances to suit the entire family (Fitness Walk, 5K, 10K, Half Marathon & Full Marathon)!  The course is scenic and relatively flat.  And last but not least, the finish is inside the stadium on the 50 yard line of the Notre Dame Football Field.

  Sunburst

Runners and football fans alike, love, Love, LOVE this event.  One of my favorite aspects of the event is that it’s convenient for those of us who tend to “fly in and out” of races as well as those who like to stay for a while and enjoy the local atmosphere.  Downtown South Bend offers an array of activities from the College Football Hall of Fame, to several restaurants/bars, to the Chocolate Café by the South Bend Chocolate Company, which is a favorite for my family.

choc co

I have ONE entry to the Sunburst Races to give away to one lucky person.  The entry is to the race of your choosing! Join me in South Bend on May 31st and see why so many people love this race!  Giveaway starts right now and will run until Tuesday, March 4th at 9am when I will draw the winner via a Random Number Generator.

To be eligible for the giveaway, you MUST comment below.  You can earn a second entry to the giveaway by liking the Sunburst Races Facebook page HERE, just let me know that you did so in the comments section.   Good luck!!

You can read last year’s race recap HERE if you want more Sunburst details.

Not required for this giveaway but please feel free to follow along via Facebook, Twitter and/or Instagram for everything TooTallFritz!

**What’s Better Than a GREAT Race?  Running that GREAT Race for FREE! ** Amanda – TooTallFritz **

The Sun On My Face …..

Despite the warm up we had last week, the cold returned to the Midwest before any of us could even get used to any possible spring like conditions.  It was nice while I lasted?  Maybe.  I’m not even sure at this point.  However, I did decide to haul it up and out on Saturday morning to put in some real miles.  On the road.  Away from the safety of my treadmill.  It was  a balmy 20 something and while I wasn’t frozen, I was none to warm either BUT the sun was shining and that was a big win!  It was a glorious day and I was happy to be outdoors and running with the wind some good friends!  It was so much fun that I decided to go take a peak at the trail, hoping that the two spring like days we had last week started a massive thaw cuz I want our trails back!  Some thawing occurred, yes.  But we have a long way to go as you can see below.  That’s hard packed ice.

Old Plank_Frozen_2-22-14

I dug in the archives to get a historical perspective of trail conditions around this time over the last couple years.  Same trail, about 3 miles east on March 6, 2013 is pictured below.  That’s a fresh dusting of snow.  Runnable.  Pretty safe.  Beautiful.  I remember last year being on the trails most of the year.  I also remember calling the Village of Frankfort and the OPT committee to ask if we could get a section plowed.  I’ll spare you the details and just let you know that the trail will not be plowed.  Ever.  They are committed to leaving the trail “natural” in whatever state the conditions provide so that it can be used for seasonal activities. Respectable.

Snow OPT_black white_3-6-13

Another section of the same trail, 1.25 miles east of the snowy black & white is pictured below on March 7, 2012.  Now that looks like it was a good winter to run.  Smile

Old Plank_3-7-12

I know that eventually the snow and ice will melt away on the trails but as for now, I’m dreaming of springtime.  Not running in circles in a subdivision.  Not running every single mile on the treadmill.  Just long stretches of open trail that is clear and dry.  Until then, I’ll just be thankful for the sun on my face and all of those amazing runners who run outside every week,  no matter what.  I even took Aby out to join them on Sunday so that she too could get an outdoor run under her belt in prep for the upcoming track season.  It was only 11 degrees and the sun was hiding so wore our brightest outfit to make sure that traffic could see us at all times.  Hehehehe!

Me & Aby_2-23-14

** Dreaming of Spring ** Amanda – TooTallFritz **

Winner – Corn Fed Spartans Crucible Obstacle Course Race

Obstacles races and mud runs are currently all the rage and I have one entry to give away for the Corn Fed Crucible race on September 13th in Monterey, Indiana!  This new OCR event promises to be fun & challenging.  It offers prize $$ for those who are fast and strong and running to win.  It offers two levels for each obstacle so that beginner and experienced participants alike will both be challenged without being overwhelmed.  This sounds like an AMAZING event with an AMAZING after party which will go ALL DAY LONG.  Plus it’s a Corn Fed Spartans race so you know it will be worth the trip.

Spartan Racer Evolution

Without further ado, the random number generator selected lucky #1!  This is certainly the case where the early bird got the worm.  So who was the very FIRST person to comment??? 

image

Looks to be Lynn S.!  Congrats, Lynn!  Please send me an email (amanda@tootallfritz.com) so that I can get you hooked up with the free entry!  Congrats and take lots of pics for us!!

As for the rest of us, we can all go HERE to register for the Corn Fed Crucible Obstacle Course and Mud Run.   See you there!

CF Cruicible

** Get Down, Get Dirty & Scale That Obstacle ** Amanda – TooTallFritz **

CrossFit Day 56 & 57

This week at CrossFit was about the same as last week.  Hard.  But as someone mentioned yesterday, if it were easy then I wouldn’t actually be working at it so I’m just going to keep trying!

Day 56 – Push Press 5×5 (73#) – super tough this go round.  Usually I can knock these out but this time my arms were struggling a bit.

21-15-9   Typical CF step-down type WOD.  21 of each move the first round, 15 the next, finishing with 9 of each.  Between each round (or set), add in 100 single jump ropes (or 50 double unders).  This was a tough one.  The Burpees and the Pull-Ups are nemeses of mine.  I actually laid on the floor after this one for a few seconds.  Tough.

How Many Burpees

  • Burpees
  • Kettlebell Swings (26#)
  • Pull-Ups – Assisted with a two bands and it was still hard
  • 100 single jump ropes between each of the 3 sets.

Day 57 – Tabatas (20 seconds on, 10 seconds off, 8 rounds before moving to the next thing)

  • Ball Slams – 20#
  • Push-Ups – Yes, I still have spaghetti arms and could barely get 5 push-ups in the 20 seconds.
  • Lunges
  • Abmat Sit-Ups
  • Ring Rows

THEN we got to practice double unders (rope jumping but rotating the rope 2x before your feet hit the ground).  I think it went well.  I couldn’t string multiples together but I could jump a few singles, then do a double under, then a few more singles, then add in another double under.  I managed to put 3-4 into one segment (a couple times) before getting caught up in the rope.  I will note that it takes A LOT more energy to do a double under verses just single jumps. 

double unders

Good week.  I’m happy that I keep going even when I don’t want to get up I feel fatigued.

** Amanda – TooTallFritz **

CrossFit Day 54 & 55

I’ll be honest, this far into CrossFit, it shouldn’t seem so hard EVERY DAMN TIME.  But it is hard.   I’m not sure if that is good or bad.  I want to be stronger but just don’t feel as if I am getting where I want to go.  Maybe because I only go twice a week?  Maybe because I’m in the middle of a pretty fast training cycle as I am trying to get these legs to start turning over QUICKLY again?  Maybe because I’m overeating and have gained weight?  Maybe because I’ll be 40 in a little over a month?  Obviously, I’m not sure what the missing part of the equation is, for me, but I’m pretty sure I can put the blame on the crap that I’m stuffing in my mouth my food intake.  I eat well 90% of the time.  But apparently that 10% WEIGHS me down.  I need to get it together!!  I need to be more disciplined.

What You Want Now vs What You Want Most

So I’m taking a break to go fill my water bottle and peel my banana ………

Now onto the WODs from last week.  I’m still going.  I’m still trying.  And when I get tried, I tell myself that I need to keep pushing because that’s what will make me stronger.

CrossFit Day 54 – Push Press 5×3 (73#s) & Tabatas

Tabatas – As you probably know by now, this is the 8 sets of each movement with 20 seconds on and then 10 seconds off (rest) between sets.

  • Ring Dips – Super hard.  My spaghetti arms aren’t showing much improvement, plus I’m not coordinated enough for the ring dips.  I’m very shaky and even with the assistance of the band, this is a difficult move for me.
  • Ball Slams – 20# ball.  We’ve recently moved up in weight in all our “balls”, and even the kettle bells.  I know this is a positive thing but it makes everything SO tough.
  • Sit-ups – Actually something I can do.  Yay me!
  • Wall Balls – 14# ball
  • Rowing

CrossFit Day 55  – Front Squats 5×3 – (73#s)

Partners – Each person does half of the prescribed WOD (workout of the day).  Items can be divided in any way you choose (sometimes we just do half each, sometimes we have to break it down more.  EX – burpees we did 10 each x2, then 5 each).  Timed workout, so please bust it so your partner isn’t waiting on you for too long!

  • 50 Burpees
  • 100 Sit-ups
  • 50 Box Jumps – Super tall box this time!!  I  normally use the 18” and this was maybe 24”, I could definitely tell and had to be careful to make it up and not misstep.
  • 100 Kettlebell Swings – 35#
  • 50 Wall Balls – 14#
  • 100 Ball Slams – 20#

Last week was a tough week.  I was tired.  But I still went.  If I go into every workout “fresh” and ready to rumble then I’m not pushing myself or improving.  While it’s important to know my body and know when I NEED to rest, it’s just as important to realize when I get to the mid to 3/4s point of a tough training cycle, everything will be tired.  And this is the most integral point of the cycle when I need to keep pushing so that I can make the most progress.  I “get it” but that doesn’t mean that I don’t feel like crying sometimes tired.

The Moment You Want To Quit

** Keep Pushing, the Results Will Be Worth the Effort ** Amanda – TooTallFritz **

P.S. – The giveaway for the FREE Entry to the Corn Fed Spartan Crucible obstacle course, mud run is still going on!  Enter HERE.

Corn Fed Crucible Race Experience Giveaway!

As someone who has been in the sport for years, I love to see the new direction that running and racing has taken.  We are now seeing variety in the sport with the addition of obstacle racing, mud runs, color runs, long distance relays and the addition of all things neon and sparkly.  While purists may feel that certain new additions devalue the sport of running itself, I believe the opposite to be true.   Variety brings a VARIETY of athletes to our sport who may not think running alone is that exciting.  The addition of mud, obstacles, color and AMAZING after parties really sweetens the pot for some.  It flushes out hard core athletes and Couch to 5Kers alike.  Now THAT makes me happy.  The more people moving, the better! 

Today, I want to introduce a new race experience to you called the Corn Fed Crucible running and obstacle event in Monterey, IN on September 13, 2014.  This is one to add to your calendar NOW!

CF Cruicible

The Cruicible is a 4-5 mile obstacle course race that’s not for the faint of heart.  Looking for something new?  Something fun?  Something that will challenge you?  Then this might be the next best thing.  According to the website and my inside source

The Crucible is the ultimate race experience that combines 5+ miles of rugged terrain with unique and challenging obstacles. It is the greatest test of stamina, mental determination,  fitness, and camaraderie.

The 5 miles of rugged terrain will also encompass 20 obstacles for you and your friends.  Each obstacle will offer a beginner and experienced option.  So, please don’t worry if your BFF is the obstacle course queen and you just came for the after party cuz BOTH OF YOU will be challenged at your individualized ability level and still make to the finish for the free beer! 

Are you fast?  Are you strong?  And I mean really fast and really strong?!?!  If so, then enter the elite division and fight for the prize money!  Showcase your inner and outer badass and bring home the cash!  There will be cash and prizes offered to the top 3 individual men and the top 3 individual women, PLUS the top team of 4 that crosses the finish line TOGETHER with all 4 teammates in tow. 

Now let’s be honest, some of us just go thru all that “fun” to get our butts to the after party as quickly as possible.  The Cruicible is boasting an ALL DAY after party that will knock your socks off if you didn’t already lose them in the mud.  There will be food, beer, games, music and contests.  Oh, and if I forgot to mention it, the party will go on ALL DAY LONG.  WhooooHooooo!

I have one FREE entry to GIVE AWAY to this amazing event.  How to enter?  Please comment below and tell me if you have done any of these new events which offer obstacles, mud, color or team participation and most importantly, did you like it?  You can earn a second entry to the drawing by liking the Corn Fed Spartans FB page HERE, where you can get updated info about the Crucible event at all times.  And you can earn a third and final entry by sharing this giveaway with all your friends via any social media outlet of your choosing.  Let me know, in the comments below, what you did and how many entries to assign you!   Good luck!  Giveaway will run from now until Friday,  February 21st at 9am.  On Friday, I will select one winner for the FREE Crucible entry, a $65 value.

My first mud run back in 2006 with Aby!  Super fun!!

muddybuddy

** Be Active, Be Strong & Keep Moving ** Amanda – TooTallFritz **

 

 

More Wintery Workouts + CrossFit Day 52 & 53

This was a good week, workout wise.  I’ve been in a bit of a wintery rut and decided to kick that to the curb by starting to focus on one of my favorite races, the Shamrock Shuffle 8K!  This brought the realization that I was NOT ready to run fast and I needed to start reintroducing some speedier run sessions so that I don’t hurt myself in the Shuffle!   

why should i practice running slow

Source – Emily Zatopek

As a result I started a fresh training cycle via the Run Less Run Faster app on my iPhone.  This forced both a speed workout AND a tempo session this week that I was dreading but then actually enjoyed.  While the initial speed session didn’t go perfectly, I feel as if the tempo session was decent.  No perfect, but good.  Which means that my pace isn’t that far off, I just need to get used to spinning these long legs a “little” faster! 

I also managed two StairMaster sessions, which I am dubbing as “hill work”.  Since I’m running on the treadmill, and since its super hard for me, I just zone out with a 1% incline.  All the time.  No hills.  No fun iFit live workouts thru some mysterious mountainous areas.  Nope, just flat running with a teeny-tiny incline of 1%.  I’m hoping the StairMaster workouts will give me a tiny bit of strength for whatever hills I might encounter in Little Rock.

I also was able to brave the snow and our drifted roads to hit both 5am CrossFit sessions this week. #WINNING

CrossFit Day 52

Push Press – 5×3 – 73#s

Tabatas – Perform 8 sets of the particular exercise before moving to the next station.  Each set is timed and you do as many reps as possible in the allotted time.  The time frame for Tabatas is 20 seconds “on” for the movement, 10 seconds rest = 1 set.  Repeat x8, then rotate to the next station.

  • Kettlebell Swings – 26#
  • Hand Release Push-Ups – Super hard.  My arms are weak even though I want them to be strong!
  • Sit-Ups
  • Rowing
  • Ball Slams – 20# – Whoa, my pencil arms were tried by this time.  Tough but I got it done!!

CrossFit Day 53

Front Squats – 5×3 – 73#

WOD – 5 Rounds

  • 10 Kettlebell Squats – 35# – HEAVY!!
  • 10 Ab-Mat Sit-Ups
  • 10 Burpees – Whew, I think we all know how I feel about Burpees.  I hope they eventually get easier, just a tad easier!  This all goes back to my pencil arms being weak too.  Sad smile

Then we finished off the day with 2 minutes worth of planks.  I had to do 5 different sets to get the full 2 minutes:  40 seconds, then 20 seconds x 4.

DONE!

I’ll be pounding miles on the treadmill this weekend!  I hope you have a plan to get in your workouts too!  It’s so much easier when I have a plan and stick to it. 

**  Making It Happen, Even During the Snowiest Winter EVER ** Amanda – TooTallFritz **

Trying to Find My Speed ….

It may be a little early for some people to think about St Paddy’s Day but as a dedicated Shamrock Shuffler, that’s about all I’ve been thinking about for the last month.  Smile  Which means that I also need to start preparing to run a little bit faster.

Shamrock Shuffle banner

This is my favorite race of the year.  It’s a wicked fast race.  It’s a short race.  Participants bust 5 miles thru the city of Chicago on many of the same streets which we run during the Chicago Marathon.  It is the largest 8K road race in the world, hosting a massive 40,000 runners and bringing a million plus spectators into the city to watch US run.  Yep, it is for sure THE.BEST RACE.EVER.

In addition to the Shamrock Shuffle being THE.BEST.RACE.EVER. it is also the one race each year where I want to run fast.  Like as fast as I possibly can run at the given time.  Last year I was coming back off a very severe injury and was still not a 100% so I for sure would like to better my effort of 39:22.  I would also like to throw down my fastest Shuffle to date, meaning I need to run sub 38:56 (7:49 pace), which doesn’t seem that fast sitting here in my computer chair but I’m pretty sure it will be hard when I am out on the course huffing and puffing and trying to according to Aby STAY CALM and RUN FASTER

So, for the first time ever, I am pulling a training plan for the Shamrock Shuffle.  I’ve kinda been in long/slow run mode for a long time so need to remind these legs what it feels like to get up and GO!  Enter the Run Less Run Faster app on my iPhone and I’m instantly hooked up with a training plan that gives me speed and tempo runs to make this shit happen.  This week’s training:

Shamrock Shuffle Training_week 8

 

Key Run #1 – SPEED – 4x1000m @ 8.9mph (6:44   min/mi), with a 400 meter rest interval.  I normally walk a half a lap to guzzle water then run a lap at 6.0 mph (10:00 min/mi pace).  So my RI is actually as much as 600 meters.  Sorry but it’s all about survival here.  Smile 

Notes:  This week didn’t go well.  The speed caused me to pee my pants almost instantaneously on the first 1000m interval.  Then I just had trouble hanging on at that pace for 1000 meters.  It was hard.  Like super hard.  I’ll give it a couple weeks for my body to get on board and if I’m not coming around then I’ll slow things down.  Although I want to get used to running faster, I DO NOT want to get hurt and well, my right hamstring is always troublesome anyhow so I’ll give it an honest effort but will err on the side of caution and slow things down if necessary.

Key Run #2 – Tempo Run – 4 miles @ 8.1 mph (7:24 min/mi), 1 mile warm up, 1 mile cool down.  Yeah, I have this up on deck tonight.  I should have done it yesterday but I chickened out decided to clean my house from top to bottom instead.  It’s not like I wasn’t snowed in all day and didn’t have time to do both but I still skipped it.  No more time to put it off so if you hear whimpering and crying tonight, no worries, it’s just me.  To be  honest, I’m not sure I can do this but I need to give it a shot.  I can always back the pace down but I need to make an honest effort.  I also frequently find that although a pace is daunting to begin with, if I hang on then I my body gets into the grove and can manage more than brain wants to admit.  I’m very aware of the fact that if I always run within my comfort zone, I will never know what I can really do and well, this is the year that I want to see what I can do with the Shuffle.  I am not going to run comfortably hard this year.  I’m going to run hard.  And the tempo run is the key.  I think the tempo run is the most important element of any training plan IF I want to hit my pace.  And I am going to hit my pace this year and do it with a smile on my face.  Well, at least I’ll be smiling at the finish line.  Smile

Key Run #3 – 10 miles at 7.6 mph.  This is the long run for this training plan.  Since I’m still in marathon mode with Little Rock coming up on March 2nd, I’ll be doing a few more miles and I’ll be slowing the pace down.  If I weren’t also marathoning then I would for sure give the 10 miles as shot at 7:53 pace but I know it would be a big push.

Have you ever used a training plan for a short race?  If so, which one did you use?   I personally default to the Run Less Run Faster plan because the app is so easy to use and it just spits  out detailed workouts for me.  I like that.  The easier the better in my life.   Plus the plan only calls for 3 runs a week which makes it easy to squeeze in CrossFit  without fear of overdoing it.  I’m always open to new ideas so tell me your training secrets!!

** Everybody SHOULD BE Shuffling ** Amanda – TooTallFritz **