Spartan Giveaway WINNER!

spartan logo

Today is the day!  Let’s get someone a FREE race entry to start out their 2017 season!!  I have one Spartan Race entry to give away to a lucky someone.  The random number generator selected number 8, which is Liz Lew!  Congrats, Liz!image 

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Liz, please email me at amanda@tootallfritz.com to collect your code for the free entry to any open US Spartan Race of your choice.

The rest of us can go here to select our 2017 the Spartan Races!

Thanks for entering!!  Now, let’s start planning for 2017!

** Arooo ** Amanda – TooTallFritz

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Spartan Race FREE ENTRY Giveaway …..

In honor of the NBC airing of the 2016 Reebok Spartan Race World Championships on Christmas Day at 5pm EST, we are giving away ONE open heat entry to a US Spartan Race of your choice! 

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The 2017 Spartan Races will feature NEW season passes.  New medals.  New locations.

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Even with all the NEW stuff that Spartan is offering, they will still deliver the same great experience that will leave you walking away feeling like you REALLY accomplished something.  Who knows, you may even feel like a badass.  Smile

In case you’re new to the scene, a Spartan Race is an obstacle course race (OCR) that combines running & strength work to tackle obstacles in route.  Depending on what distance you choose, the event can be as short as 3+ miles or as long as 12+.  Lots of options, info on the various race distances from the Spartan website below:

There are three main types of Spartan Races.

For beginners we recommend the Sprint. Spartan’s shortest courses are 3+ miles and 20+ obstacles. Complete the race at your own pace. If you fail an obstacle along the way, you owe us 30 burpees before continuing on.

Ready for more? The Super is 8+ miles, 24+ obstacles, and often hosted on a tougher terrain.

The hardest of the three races is the Beast: 12+ miles and 30+ obstacles. We’ll leave the challenges of the course to your imagination.

For those who dare: check out our Ultra Beast, Hurricane Heat, Hurricane Heat 12 Hour and Agoge endurance races.

They also offer kids races and various events across the country.  No matter where you live, there is most likely a Spartan Race near you!  Put in your zip code on the race finder HERE & a map with pop up with your recommended location. There are so many great venues this year and several early season races that will deliver you out of this cold, snow & ice & into a nice warm climate.  You can check out the race calendar or plan your racecation to a warm local by clicking on one of the early season races below:

No matter where you decide to race or at what distance, as always HAVE FUN!

Spartan_commit to new horizons

Spartan Races has given me one FREE race entry to give away. US Races only.  Open Heat Races only.   What do you need to do to win?  Just comment below and tell me what’s the hardest endurance type event that you’ve ever completed.   If it’s a Spartan Race, great.  If not, we still want to know!  Giveaway begins NOW & goes until noon EST on Thursday, 12/29/16.  Let’s get some one a free entry to start off the new year!  Remember, you can only win if you leave a comment below! 

** AROOOOOOO *** Amanda – TooTallFritz

CrossFit Endurance–Week 1

Tuesday, December 1st was my first day back to CrossFit in a VERY long time. 

CF_What Is

According to CrossFit.com:

CrossFit is defined as that which optimizes fitness (constantly varied functional movements performed at relatively high intensity). CrossFit is also the community that spontaneously arises when people do these workouts together. In fact, the communal aspect of CrossFit is a key component of why it’s so effective.

I’m currently in a CF Endurance class at CrossFit Tactical Strength in Ft Wayne, IN.  According to CrossFitEndurance.com:

CrossFit Endurance is an endurance sports training program dedicated to improving performance, fitness and endurance sports potential. We inspire, coach, and provide our community with the most aggressive and proven fundamentals of sports science, exercise physiology, nutrition, and athletic training protocols.

The difference between a traditional CF course and an Endurance course is all about fundamentals.  The Endurance class spends a lot of time on stretching, trying to activate muscles, think glutes & hamstrings, that are dormant in the bodies of most endurance athletes.  We focus on movement and doing things correctly.  We spend more time talking and practicing moves verses just banging out WODs.  Ultimately, the endurance based CF class will not only increase strength but focus on reducing volume of endurance based training while increasing the quality of workouts.  It’s a process.  Strength, nutrition & flexibility seem to be key to our impending success.  I hope you’ll follow along and see how CF Endurance impacts my running and triathlon adventures in 2016.

Week 1, TUE 5:30a Class

Brand new class.  Fresh group of endurance athletes ready to get strong!  From left:  Me, Amy, Sheryl, Adella, Jaime & Brandy.

CF_group

Warm Up:

1)  Plank Series:  Front Plank, Superman, Side Plank Left, Side Plank Right.    Hold each for 10 seconds, rotate to next move.  3-4 rotations.  Week 1 was rough for me, even the warm-ups.  I have shaky arm syndrome from being weak.

2)  Hip Distraction – Let’s open up those hips and stretch the glutes and hamstrings.  We were instructed to hold the stretch on each hip for 2-3 minutes.  It takes 2 minutes for a change to occur in how our muscles work.  Apparently, if we hold for a minimum of 2 minutes we create a new muscle memory.  I can’t say one way or another because our version of this stretch had our back knee on the ground and both of my knees are injured from falling a couple weeks ago.  So I tried to do this but couldn’t hold it very long because I couldn’t tolerate the pressure on my knee(s).  I like the version in the picture and will try this next time.

CF_Hip Distraction

Accessory Work (Kinda like Physical Therapy for all of us laymen) – Banded Hip Bridges – 3 sets of 10-15.  We did it without additional weight.

CF_Banded Hip Bridges

Skill/Strength:  Air Squat & Box Squat.  A silly thing like a squat and we spent a lot of time on it this week.  Being a long time endurance athlete, it’s hard for my glutes & hamstrings to activate.  Spent a lot of time on proper positioning and getting our form correct.

Metabolic Conditioning – Mostly anaerobic for us since we get enough aerobic condition from the run, bike, swim.  Tabata (4 minutes – 8 rounds, 20 seconds on, 10 seconds rest, repeat x8) – Rowing for Calories, Pushups.  One group was rowing for the 8 rounds, other group did Pushups.  Then we switched.

 

Week 1, THUR 5:30a Class

Warm Up: 1)  Plank Series (Front Plank, Superman, Left Side Plank, Right Side Plank) 3-4 rounds of 10 seconds each.  2)  Banded Walk with Squat.  Once again building on that squat.

CF_Banded Walk w Squat

Skill/Strength:  Deadlift (first image) & Push Press with Kettlebell (second image)

CF_KB Deadlift  CF_KB Push Press

Metabolic Conditioning (WOD for normal CrossFitters):  21-15-9 Reps for Time of Kettlebell Deadlifts, Kettlebell Push Press & Situps.  3 rounds, 21 of each move the first round, 15 of each second round, 9 of each last round. 

Accessory:  GHD (Glutes Hamstring Developer) Hold.  This was super hard for me.  I have zero core strength and all my weight was on low my quads.  It hurt.  I didn’t do very well with it.

CF_GHD Holds

That’s a wrap for Week 1!  I learned some new moves.  I was humbled by how weak my body has become.  And I realized exactly how damaged my poor knees are from the fall.  I’m in rough shape right now.  But onward & upward, right?

**Disclaimer – I write about my workouts for informational purposes.  I personally need to do CrossFit & High Intensity workouts in a gym/box with supervision so that my movements are monitored to avoid injury.  In the past, people have suggested that these moves are easy enough to do at home.  Not for me.  I share my journey with you so that you can see what these programs are like and have the courage to try them for yourself if you have an interest.  Under the supervision of a trained professional.  If you attend a CF class and are not constantly being hounded about your form and movement then 1)  you are perfect or 2) your CF instructor doesn’t care about your safety.  Please keep that in mind.  I’ve had good luck with the facilities that I have attended but I’ve also heard horror stories about CF in general.  Make sure your instructor cares about you and helps you to avoid injury thru proper movement and form.

** Working on Strength & Conditioning ** Amanda – TooTallFritz

I’m In Trouble….

I’m pretty sure my new PT thinks I’m crazy doesn’t like me. Today marked the 4th session (week) with him and let’s just say it didn’t go well. Like he made me cry and I wanted to punch him in the face.

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The good news is that another PT, who happens to be an old friend of mine who I didn’t’ know worked there or I’d be going to her instead handed me a box of tissues. And then I was too upset, in pain actually, to punch anything.

The “run” down. New PT isn’t a runner. I’d even extrapolate that statement to hypothesize that he doesn’t even like runners. Maybe he knows my hubby? Last week he emphasized that I MUST cross train, even though I’ve been pretty focused on building miles. So I cross trained. Only ran 27 miles all week. Biked 25 miles. Took a spin class. Swam 1500 yds in the pool.

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I even took a damn sunrise yoga class at 5:15 this morn. That didn’t go well either. Runners doing yoga could be a comedy skit. You can ask Aby, she went too! What a joke but yes, we are going back. I think. Okay, Aby says “we” are going back.

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So, I cross trained. And I’m not any better this week, than last week. In fact, I’m worse with a plethora of new aches & pains to add to the list. My feet hurt. And they are swollen. And I’d probably take a cortisone shot from a homeless man if it was offered up to me! Kidding. Kinda. And now, I’m in trouble from Mr. PT. He thinks I run too much, or more specifically that I built up too quickly. Which I did. But please just fix me. Complain to the other PTs after I leave. Please. Thank you.

** Runner at Heart – Regardless of How My Feet Feel ** Amanda – TooTallFritz

CrossFit Day 60 & 61 …

CrossFit_going back

Needless to say, I’ve been sore this week.  Little Rock, or more specifically the weather and the hills, beat me up badly.  I was sore in places that never hurt.  However, I knew if I didn’t haul it up and out to CrossFit on Tuesday morning that my recovery would be stalled.  I needed to stretch a lot and get the blood flowing to heal those micro tears in my muscles.   But it wasn’t easy getting “up and out” the door because quite frankly, I was exhausted between the race and the driving and my little man who thinks sleeping is boring.  But I went anyhow and I was glad that I did because I started feeling better!

Day 60Substitute instructor {insert total panic} – However, The Sub was told “about” our group a couple times.  We aren’t hard core CrossFitters, we just CrossFit for cross training and strengthening.  We are “special”, and we are loud, and we are a lot to handle at 5am.  Kudos to The Sub for managing the class without totally freaking out about our stupid questions.

Strict Press – Press up over the head w/o any bounce or use of legs.  Super hard.  5×3 @ 63#s

Tabatas for Total Reps – 8 sets of each movement, 20 seconds on, 10 seconds rest, keep track of reps.

  • Air Squats – Just regular squats but the title freaked me out cuz I was thinking I needed to do like a jumping squat in the air.  And I knew I wouldn’t be able to get those tired legs 2” off the ground.  So it was a win in my court when The Sub told us that they were just regular “unweighted” squats.  Very doable.
  • Abmat Sit-ups
  • Burpees
  • Ball Slams – 20#

Day 61 – Welcome back Jared!  Don’t leave us again, you scared us badly. I realize that you too need to vacation but we were were afraid The Sub was going to hurt us! 

Push Press – 5×3 @ 73#

EMOTM – Every Minute On The Minute – 20 minutes.  You have one minute to do the first move.  After completion of the required reps, rest until that minute “dings”.  Then switch to the second station and complete the required reps within one minute.  The buzzer dings every minute to signify the switch.  You will work for 20 minutes total, 10x at each station.

  • 10 Kettlebell Swings – 36#
  • 10 Ring Rows

Good week at CrossFit and I’m now loosened up enough that I should do a short, slow run tonight.  Next up, the Oak Forest Fleadh 5K on Saturday March 8th.  12 degrees with snow and ice expected.  Can’t wait!  Okay, I’m exaggerating by a lot but trying to be positive.

** Amanda –TooTallFritz **

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 **

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 46 & 47 ….

Yesterday finished out my year at CrossFit.  I’m sad to say that between the holidays and my need to “rest” a little bit before the Huff 50K on December 28th, that I’m done for 2013. 

It was a good finish to the year with two solid workouts.

Day 46 – Back Squats 7×3 – 73# total – I’m getting more flexible!!!!

back squats 1

  back squats 32 

 back squats 3

Tabatas – 8 rounds, 20 seconds on, 10 seconds res.t

  • Over the box jumps – think box jump but instead of going down the same way you came up, you go off the other side, turn around and repeat.  Takes a bit of coordination.
  • Ring Rows
  • Kettlebell Swings – 26#s
  • Wall Balls – I think we moved up to 12#s this time.  Whoa.
  • Ball Slams – I think we moved up to the 20# ball.  Really heavy.  Not a lot of “bounce” happening in my area. 

Day 47 – 4 Rounds:  10 Pull-ups & 10 Burpees.  I must have been having a good day cuz J tried to take one of my support bands away.  Didn’t work.  So we added one of lesser resistance back into the equation.  I’m getting stronger but still need a lot of help.

For Time:  200 lunges with 7 push-ups, on the minute, every minute until completion.  Took me almost 7 minutes.  LOL!

50 Sit-ups & 50 Superman’s to finish things out. 

Good bye, CrossFit.  I’ll see YOU in the New Year!

** 47 CrossFit Sessions in 2013 – Started 3rd week of June ** Amanda – TooTallFritz

CrossFit Day 37 & 38

Day 37 at CrossFit brought us very cold temps.  Only two of us went outside to run cuz well, some of us would rather run than do anything else.   Smile  Once we got back inside, I noticed that we had a full Murph lined up on the board.  Luckily it was a partner workout and I was able to split Murph with one of my best running friends.  Oh, and instead of the running part of a regular Murph we would be rowing instead.  Uh oh.  That added a new challenge.

Team “Rowing” Murph – 2 Person Team

  • 4 x 400 m Row – Each team member rows 400m 2x

Rowing

20 Rounds of the following – One team member goes thru a full set, then switches.  So I did one round, then waited as my partner did a round.  Each of us did 10 rounds.  I think we were all done 3/4 of the way thru but we powered thru the last 3 or 4 sets.

  • 5 Ring Rows
  • 10 Push-Ups
  • 15 Squats

Then back to the rowing machine to finish out with another group of 400m rows.  Dang that was tough!

  • 4 x 400 m Row – Each team Rows 400m 2x

Our team time was  31:33 and we were pushing.  My quads still hurt and we are two days “post Murph”.  Those “hero” workouts tend to really tear me up! 

 

Day 38 – Mile run then short workout

21-15-9 (Three rounds of the following, first round 21 reps, second round 15 reps, 3rd round 9 reps.

  • Kettlebell Swings – 26# – The Kettlebell has fast become my favorite piece of “equipment”.  It’s such a good builder of strength without actually making me feel as if I’m “lifting weights”.  I’m not a big weight lifter but I WANT and NEED to be strong. The kettlebells work perfectly for that and they just make me happy.

kettlebells

  • T2B (Toes to Bar, or Knees to Chest if your live in my world)
  • Push-Ups
  • Lunges

Then we finished out with 50 sit-ups and 50 superman’s.

** Getting Stronger – One Workout At A Time ** Amanda – TooTallFritz **

CrossFit Day 33 & 34

Great week at CrossFit!  It amazes me that even though I keep going, there are still new things to learn.  Exciting workouts to try.  And it always amazes me that I can walk away from a “workout” after 22 minutes of going hard and feel sore for days.  22 minutes.  Some workouts are even shorter!   Super cool in my opinion.

CrossFit Day 33

  • 15 Wall Climbs – Whoever created these bitches backwards, inverted wall climbs was one sick puppy.  I mean really, who just stares a wall and thinks this stuff up?  And yeah, you feel all cool and strong until about the 3rd one then it’s like, please shoot me so that I don’t have to do anymore!!!! 

    CrossFit_wall climbs_CrossFitFire       Wall-Climbs_to the wall

Tabatas – 20 seconds “on” for the movement, 10 seconds rest = 1 set.  Repeat x8, then rotate to the next station.

  • Box Jumps – 18” box
  • Push-Ups
  • Kettlebell Swings – 35#
  • Wall balls – 10#
  • Ab Baskets – 10# ball – By the time I got here, it was hard to even hold the ball up on my legs.  Or maybe it was hard to hold my legs up to balance the ball?  I don’t even know, I was totally dazed & confused from exhaustion.  Smile

 

CrossFit Day 34 – I’m going to name this WOD “Pure Torture”

7 Rounds

  • 10 Burpees WITH a plate jump – Cuz burpees just aren’t hard enough but now we have to try to jump on a plate after each one without breaking an ankle or collapsing.  #WTF  Try not to focus too much on my crappy form but here are a few photos below.  First a nice demo from the chick in red.  Except we didn’t jump “up” but forward onto a 45# plate.  Fun.burpee-1

Burpee w plate jump     Burpee w plate jump 2

  • 10 Overhead plate (10#) lunges

Lunges w 10lb plate

  • 10 Situps
  • 10 Box Jumps (18” box)
  • 1 minute rest, then repeat x7

That took 22 minutes and although it was 40 degrees out, I had to ask for the fan to be turned on so that I didn’t pass out

** I WILL GET STRONGER ** Amanda – TooTallFritz **