Looking back over my Fitness Bucket List I can’t help but notice that I left out a ton of things that I really hope to accomplish. I knew it would happen once I sat down to write it. I have been described by more than one person as a dreamer. I always have some plan or idea I want to try (one of my childhood best friends referred to me as Lucy because I’m always up to something). Still, I can’t believe I left off CrossFit!
I have been itching to try CrossFit for a long time, basically ever since I learned some of the core exercises at Ultimate Bootcamp. Quick, how many times do you think I can bring up Ultimate Bootcamp on this website? I swear I’m not being paid to talk about it, I just really loved it that much. Anyway, I did a search for local CrossFit and was bummed to see how expensive it is, especially because there is a gym within walking distance of my apartment. While not completely unmanageable compared to other fitness endeavors, life as a grad student has left me with less than ideal funds and I decided to put CrossFit on the back burner.
Then, not even a week after I had searched out CrossFit locations, my local CrossFit gym offered a deal through Bloomspot and I couldn’t resist. Just $59 got me a 30-minute semi-private introductory session and five classes at Avalon CrossFit. Sweet! I scheduled my intro session for 9am last Friday and was a bundle of nerves beforehand. What if I was terrible? What if I hated it? What if I loved it and couldn’t ever afford it again? I’m a worrier and the queen of irrational fears, so my self-doubt was having a field day.
When it was time to leave the apartment, I grabbed a bottle of water and jogged down to the gym. It was a little hard to find the entrance, but I eventually found my way in and upstairs to the fitness room. The only person there was my trainer for the day, Kevin. That helped a bit with my nerves because I wasn’t quite sure what “semi-private” would mean. Kevin was great. He started out by showing me all of the equipment and explaining how it would be used. Then he got me started on the rower to warm up for 250 meters. Afterward we did some active stretching (most of which I had never done before) and then we moved on to the exercises in preparation for the workout Kevin told me would come at the end of the session.
We started with squats, which I have obviously done before. Still, I was a bit nervous that he would tell me my form was awful. Luckily, he didn’t! Turns out I really do know how to do squats, what do you know? After he checked my form on squats, I got to use a kettlebell for the first time. I know, I know. How have I never used a kettlebell before? It was great, can’t wait to do more of that! Then we went through a couple of reps of ab mat sit ups, push ups, box jumps, and pull ups (full disclaimer: I did not do an unassisted pull up, I did some jumping pull ups and some using a pull up band). The ab mat sit ups were new to me. Using the ab mat made the sit ups seem easier at first, but once I got into the actual baseline workout, I could definitely feel the burn of having all of my ab muscles engaged at the same time. Plus, each time I went down I touched my hands to the ground behind me and each time I came up I touched past my feet, which were in a butterfly-style position. Yowzers!
After Kevin was satisfied that I knew what I was doing (ha, right) he told me what the baseline WOD (workout of the day) is: 500 meter row, 40 air squats, 30 ab mat sit ups, 20 push ups, and 10 pull ups, all as fast as I could go. I started out a little bit slower than I needed to on the row, but I wasn’t sure how 500 meters would feel. The squats were fine, as I anticipated they likely would be, but by the last couple of sit ups, I was feeling it! I did a couple of push ups from a full plank position, but most of them I did from my knees. When I moved on to the pull ups, I had every intention of using the pull up band for all 10 (it was the second highest resistance). I did one pull up with the band and my arms were complete jello. Once my chin cleared the bar I inadvertently exclaimed, “Oh dear!” That’s so unlike me, but I guess that’s what happens when I’m doing my best not to swear in front of a stranger. Kevin helped me out of the band and I did the remaining 9 pull ups as jumping pull ups (which let me tell you still take some arm strength). I finished the baseline WOD in 6:59!
I have no idea if that’s particularly good or bad, but I was proud of myself. I probably could have done a few more pull ups with the pull up band and I definitely could have hit the row a bit faster, but it was a great feeling to finish. My goal for the end of the summer is to be able to do an unassisted pull up and complete all 20 push ups from plank position. Basically I need to build up my arm strength and I’m excited!
I will tell you that one of my fears came true: I am absolutely hooked on CrossFit already and know that there is no way I’ll be able to stop after my five Bloomspot sessions. Looks like I need to start saving up my money.
After CrossFit I showered and went to lunch with a former faculty advisor from college and had delicious tofu and vegetable curry. After lunch I walked downtown to meet some former coworkers for coffee/tea on Newbury Street before they both move away for grad school. The walk was just over three miles, but I didn’t think much of it at the time (I do a lot of walking). Luckily we were very close to the packet pick-up location for The Color Run so I was able to grab it right afterward. Then I walked back toward Downtown Crossing (another couple of miles, I think) to catch the bus home.
By the time I got home I immediately had to leave again for a golf tournament after-party dinner with Joe’s family. Joe had to work until 8pm and didn’t get to the party until 9, so we didn’t stay much longer than 9:30. As I was crawling in the bed, I could feel some soreness in my abs and knew I was in for some pain the next day.
Sure enough, my legs and abs were crazy sore on Saturday! We got up early to head to the race and I realized that I really should have taken my rest day (schedule for Friday) a bit more seriously. As you probably know if you read my last post, The Color Run was not the full 5K it promised, so I was very disappointed to have not completed the full 3 miles on my training schedule. I tried to stay positive and remind myself that it wasn’t my fault, but it was still a bummer.
Yesterday my legs were still a bit sore when I woke up, so I went straight to the foam roller. I knew there was no way I was going to complete my scheduled 6 miles if I didn’t work out some of that pain. After a big breakfast, some cleaning, and a big lunch I was feeling kind of weighed down. I almost talked myself out of going for the run altogether, but knew how miserable I’d feel if I did. So I mapped out a route that would take me over the 6 miles and end at the theater where I was meeting a friend to see a movie in which we had volunteered as extras for a crowd scene.
Partway through the run I accidentally deviated from the planned route, but didn’t worry much because I had on my GPS tracking and figured I would just run until it said 6 miles. After over an hour of running, I couldn’t figure out why I still hadn’t hit 6 miles (I knew I was running at least a 10 minute mile), but then I checked the GPS log. Apparently my phone kept dropping GPS signal and my phone couldn’t track where I was.
This is what the run looked like based on the tracking:
This is what I actually ran, now that I have been able to go back and track my distance based on the route I took:
I’m glad I stopped running when I did because who knows how much longer I would have had to keep running before the GPS actually registered 6 miles. While it wouldn’t have been the end of the world, I don’t want to over exert myself. I think from now on I’ll try to stick to my pre-tracked routes and rely less on GPS tracking in real time. Clearly either my phone or this particular app hates me.
Today is a stretch and strength day, so I’ll be doing some yoga and weights after class tonight. Yay, half marathon training!
Question: What’s your favorite way to track your runs? Do you have a tried and true method or do you just guess based on your average pace?