Thoughts about CrossFit Open 2017. Summertime – first crappy week.

The CrossFit Open 2017 is finished and I loved this new experience. I have done CrossFit almost 2 years now and it’s interesting to measure yourself against others and see how you perform. Mostly I’m looking forwards next Open so I can compare, what I can achieve within a year.

I came on 313th place in UK 40-44 Masters Class from 633 athletes. So bang on the middle.

17.1 was tough one, but the one I could RX. I probably could’ve gone faster but was so worried about collapsing mid workout, so really paced myself – too much.

17.2 consisted lunges and  toes to bar, what I don’t have yet, so I scaled for knee raises from 3rd round you needed muscle ups and I’m nowhere near them, so had to stop there.

17.3 had snatches and pull ups. I haven’t practiced snatches recently and I still to achieve my first pull up. I scaled this one for lighter weight and did jumping pull ups, which were surprisingly hard in the end.

17.4 was my favorite workout, minus HSPU. I decided to go RX as I knew I’m not able to get to handstand push ups in 13 minutes anyway. This one I placed highest, 134th place, well chuffed with this, as deadlifts are my favorites!

17.5 was thrusters (not my favorites) and double unders. As DU are still mystery to me, I went for scaled version and the 20kg thrusters weren’t too bad.

Looking back and planning for the next Open I need to work hard on my upper body strength for the pull ups, T2B – lot’s of hanging and core work and double unders. So better get using our pull up bar, which have been lonely all winter and get skipping.

I have been delaying this post quite long time as I haven’t wanted to admit that on the “Project 30” side- it has been one of the crappiest week since beginning of the year. I thought not to mention my failure here and wait until next week when I’m hopefully back on the track, but I think I need to keep in mind that the journey is not going to be smooth one and there will be few set backs long the way. Important is, how will I deal with it and what I learn. So here it is – “I have put on 1.5kg this week!”

Can you believe it!  How this happened? I do know – it’s this bloody clock! Why can’t we stop playing around with time, It really screw me up. I have been feeling like jet lagged for days and just stuffed my face and lost track how much I have been eating. (UPDATE: next few days I was 700 grams down, but still!)

I was still hoping for miracle before stepping on the scale Friday morning but unfortunately I was as heavy as I felt .

At the moment I’m still struggling with motivation and getting in the right mood with good nutrition. I’m lacking willpower and it doesn’t help that my knee/leg, the one which hasn’t been injured before, feels crap at the moment and I have know idea why? I took few days rest from CrossFit, but it hasn’t improved much. Despite bad knee, somehow I have managed to get PB on 3 rep back squat.  So I’m not really sure should I hold myself back or keep training. The knee feels much better once I warmed up. Old people problems! 🙂

So at the moment my main aim is get back to good habits with good food – like this!

And less like that 🙂

 

“I have decided to like running”

I have never been a runner. I had periods in my life, when I took up running to loose weight or get fitter because it was most convenient activity to do without spending money or going too far from home. Usually my running period lasted for a month and then I couldn’t be asked. I just didn’t enjoy it. I can play ball games for hours, which contain running and very vigorous movement throughout, but go running and I got bored very quickly.

In CrossFit lots of workouts include running, mostly 200m or 400m for 5 or 6 rounds but sometimes it can be more. When I check workout night before and see running included, my mental torment starts. I already prepare myself to awful running and think how bad I’m at it. I do really well with weights and come running part of the WOD, I fall behind everyone. My legs feel heavy like stones and I’m so worried that if I increase the speed I’m not able to finish the workout. My thoughts are 100% negative.

I had enough of being miserable about it, so few weeks ago I decided “I will like running”. I’m not sure, was my decision made because I have been involved CrossFit Open and watched lot’s of workouts and tactics, maybe it’s because I have lost now nearly 6 kg and I feel lighter and more energized, but it worked. Before training I visualized, how I will run and how will it feel. Come to the workout – I actually enjoyed running bits of WOD. I made my long legs stretch out and pushed myself and funnily enough going faster actually didn’t make me puffed out. I felt great. I only have had try it on short distances, my next steps would be longer stretch and see can I transfer “I like running” attitude.

So sometimes it might be only in your head. Start training with “I can” attitude and it might just make wonders.

The “Project 30” weight loss has been bit slow in March, but I’m still on the target as you can see on the chart. Just! I have to get my act together and concentrate more on this.

  • I will try to track my calories/macros on the weekend as well and see will it make difference. At the moment I don’t track on Saturdays and Sundays and I have too many treats. I will try to limit it or at least keep track of it so I know how much I actually go off the plan.
  • I have been weaning myself off double cream in my coffee. Yes, double cream!!!! Best thing ever, but it’s about 200 extra calories a day  I could use having something more nutritious instead every day. I only have few cups of coffee in the morning but it adds up over 1000 calories a week I could do without.

Looking forwards tomorrow’s 17.5 workout!

My first CrossFit Open and “I love Rice Pudding”

This month I signed up for CrossFit Open and I have been really excited about it. I had first workout last Saturday and I was really pleased that I actually managed to RX it. Even I didn’t finished it on the time cap. I thought I need to scale everything as I still need to master quite a few main CF WOD movements like pull ups, double unders, tows to bar name a few. The atmosphere in our box was fantastic and really supportive and my result 161 reps was in UK top 44% in my age class, what is not bad for “old broken bird”. I expect I drop somewhere bottom of the leader board soon as already in the next WOD there are muscleups/chin ups – neither of them I can do. So there is something to aim for the next year. Hopefully keeping up with “Project 30” will help me achieve those movements one day .

Today was my weighing/measuring day and pat on the back – it has been another good month – 1.9kg gone, (5.2kg altogether) and 5cm gone from hips. It has been much tougher months, lots of stress because of work and just generally speedy life. I had few days, when I couldn’t just stick to the food I planned to eat and ended up stuff my face with sweets, which didn’t really fit to my daily allowance. Luckily I didn’t drop it all, but picked my regime up next day and it seemed that not too big damage have been done.

I need to refresh some of my tactics, so from next week:

  • I will try increase my protein intake. Quite often my calorie count is almost spot on, but my macros are all over the place and I end up eating half the amount of protein, what I actually should eat. Last couple of days I’ve done protein smoothie after my 6am CrossFit class and it has filled me up so I’m not ending up ravenous by 12am at work and can quite comfortably carry on until 1pm before having my lunch. My favorite SMOOTHIE was following:

1 carrot – cut in chunks

1 orange – peel and break to sectors

2 stalks of celery – cut to chunky pieces

1/4 of the mango flesh

200ml unsweetened almond milk

1 frozen banana – cut in chunks

unflavored protein powder – 1 or 2 scoops, depends how much you want or omit altogether if you not bothered about your protein intake

Put all in blender, mix and VOILA – you have most glorious colored smoothie, full of all goodness from veg and fruit

  • I will keep prepping my lunch and always have some food with me at work so I won’t be tempted to have unplanned snacks.
  • Get better in listening my body and stop when full!
  • Trying harder to get my 7 hours sleep!
  • Additionally to my daily exercise, try to do 10000 steps a day.
  • I haven’t done much mobility exercises recently, I really need include daily stretching into my day

Saying all that, I still plan to have my occasional treat, like this Rice Pudding. Honestly I never thought I will like rice pudding and I had such bad memories of it from my nursery days. I really hated it and never chose to eat it voluntarily. But my passion for the new recipies won and I gave a try to this Scandinavian style rice pudding and it tasted divine, I couldn’t stop, when I felt full!!

300 g pudding rice (can be replaced with Arborio rice)

2 tbsp. butter

salt

1 litre whole milk

1tsp vanilla extract

1tbsp sugar

  1. Rinse the rice under the cold water in a sieve and drain. Bring 600ml of water to the boil and then add the rice, butter and salt. Cook on a medium heat until all the water is gone, stir occasionally.
  2. Add the milk, vanilla and sugar and bring to the boil, keep stirring all the time. Boil few minutes and then turn the heat down and leave to simmer gently for about 30  minutes until it’s thickened. Stir occacionaly.
  3. It’s ready to serve, when it’s nice and thick to the point where it takes few seconds to drop from the spoon
  4. Serve from the cereal bowl with your choice of topping. I had it with plums stewed with brown sugar, cinnamon and extra sprinkle of brown sugar and some full fat crème fraiche.
  5. Other toppings to try is golden syrup, treacle, honey or fresh berries.
  6. I love it best when it’s really hot, but it’s can be eaten cold if you prefer.

 

 

Back to the training

Last week was first week back to my normal training routine. Most of the time I train 5-6 days a week.

Mondays it’s early morning CrossFit from 6-7.30am. It’s hard to be ready for heavy weights and fast WODs so early, but I love the feeling, that I have done my workout in the morning and I can get on with the rest of the day.

Tuesday is a Cardio tennis in the evening. Tennis is the reason I ended up at CrossFit. My knee has been weak point after the ACL reconstruction back in March 2009. It held me back in tennis training and I had to use the heat patches to ease the pain. My competitive side hated to be unable to give 100% in the training and I decided I need to strengthen my muscles to give the support for my poor knee. And it had worked. I’m so much faster in the training and I haven’t used any painkillers since started the CrossFit. I was asked, which one I like more – tennis or CrossFit, I really can’t choose. My heart always belonged to the ball games but the CrossFit had taught me to push myself and test my limits and there are supportive community and such great people. The cardio tennis is fun, it’s for all levels and your technique and skills aren’t most important, you just had to run and try to hit the ball in different exercise routines. We have quite advanced group so the training ends up pretty challenging and competitive. Love it!

Wednesday is my tennis coaching session. I started tennis 2 years ago and I train twice a week but only on term time as our sessions are in school hall. I have come long way since I started. After my knee accident in volleyball match I dint’s think I can get back to the volleyball. When I tried once, I hurt my knee again and I decided it’s not worth it 🙁  I have always wanted to play tennis and as it doesn’t include so much jumping but it’s still ball and net, I thought it will be good substitute. I still miss the team around me thou 🙁

Thursday morning 6.30-7.30am CrossFit again, I usually try to catch up Wednesdays program, because I don’t want to miss out any weight lifting practice.

Friday morning 6-7.30am I’m at CrossFit.

Saturday 9-10.30am CrossFit again. It’s one my favourite sessions, as its team work. We are usually paired up and you have to go through the workout as a team. The WOD is usually more challenging and longer than the weekday workouts and you really end up pushing yourself, because you don’t want to let your partner down.

I also walk our lovely Labrador once or twice every day, depends how we share it with my other half and I try to fit in half an hour stretching sessions 3 times a week. Haven’t been consistent with those past months, so I decided to try make effort from January again as its essential, when you are over 40 and want to improve your results.

School holidays, when the tennis training is on the break, I end up doing extra CrossFit sessions.

For some people it sounds like awfully lot and I get asked quite often, how I find time for this. But exercise is part of my daily routine and it’s like going to work or walking my dog or cooking dinner. I don’t question myself can I be bothered, it’s what I love and it keeps me sane. I LOVE IT!!

And what not to love if you have this kind of support!!! 🙂 

 This is also the photo, which made me realize I need to loose weight and started the “Project 30”

Last week was successful 1.2kg down, 1.8kg total.

Very pleased!

 

 

 

New year plans – Project 30

Plans for new year – nothing crazy, because it doesn’t work. I done mad diets in my life, promising things I can’t keep up. So, I will keep things simple. My biggest aim is to loose this extra weight I have been carrying around over 15 years now. I know it sounds like any other new year resolution, but I’m hoping that my reasons to loose the weight are different than they used to be.

I have no problems with the number on the scale, because I don’t weigh myself 🙂 I’m fittest I have been very long time. I train 6 times a week and not because I want to loose weight or look certain way, I do it because it’s fun and it keeps me sane. ..but… there is certain things I can’t do because I’m bit too heavy. I want to do at least one strict pull up by end of this year, but there is difference do you have to pull up 95 or 65 kilos. Same with dips and other more gymnastic exercises, which I didn’t think I need to do few years ago, but CrossFit changed it all 🙂

So my plan is stop snacking sweets, especially when I stressed or bored. Prep my food for lunches to work. I’m not going to cut out any food groups as I know if I deny anything to myself I cant resist it. I will go to back to basics and count my macros/ calories at least 4-5 days a week, so I get feeling, how much I should eat and get to value my food accurately again. It’s easy to get in a habit to over eat, especially when you train a lot, you get thinking that you have freedom to indulge whenever you like.

MyFitnessPal will be my tool to help me keep track and those amazing people are there to inspire me.

Bring it on – Project 30 begins now 🙂

Year with the CrossFit and Paleo Avocado Ice Cream

Just over a year ago I booked my trial session at CrossFit Cantii and I haven’t looked back since. It’s the best thing I ever have done!  Ok, it’s the best thing I have done since I started to write my age with number 4 (like 34 🙂 )

If you want to know what is the CrossFit, just Google it, there are plenty of blogs, web pages, YouTube videos around, which can put it in the words much better than I could.

Or take a look at this video https://www.facebook.com/crossfit/videos/10153045634867676/

I’m training most of the week at 6.30am , which means getting up 5 or 5.30 am and that is the most difficult thing in CrossFit for me. Once I’m in the box (that’s what you call the gym in CrossFit 🙂 ) its all fun and laughter 🙂 Ok, I struggle through warm-up, which intensity is similar to the workout I used to do before starting CrossFit 🙂 followed by some kind of weightlifting workout or practicing gymnastic skills. I love weights, never thought, you can get hooked to doing weights, but I did and it makes me feel total ace! And we are not talking about weights what “will help you get toned” – total rubbish you read from lifestyle magazines,  it’s serious stuff and after squatting with 60kg and more or deadlifting near 100 kg (my PB is 130kg :)), nothing seems impossible rest of the day. And then  there is WOD (Workout of the Day), it can be 10 minutes long or 20 or 30, but one is sure it challenges you in the best possible way.

CrossFit is so much more personal than going to the gym. It’s like meeting up your friends and have a good chat every morning. We are encouraging each other doing better in the workouts and it really helps, when you feeling just giving up in the middle of grueling workout.

My training buddies :)

My training buddies 🙂

It pushes you out from your comfort zone and makes you want to try things you always said you can’t do or don’t like to do. Like this morning, we could choose any workout, skill or mobility to work on and my classmate managed to talk me into running-rowing workout, which is my least favorite thing. It consisted 4 rounds of: 500m row, 400m run and 30 ab-mat sit ups, followed by 4 times 20 cal row. I was struggling through this workout, but felt over the moon, once we completed it. Now just trying to stay awake at my desk for the rest of the day in the office 🙂

My Nike Metcons and personalized skipping rope

My Nike Metcons and personalized SGF skipping rope 🙂

I can say I’m totally addicted to CrossFit, but it’s kind of a good addiction. The CrossFit rules my life and I’m happy with it. What’s not to like if you live the lifestyle, which concentrates to be healthier, become stronger, consuming almost no alcohol (it really shows if I have cheeky glass of vino evening before morning class) and trying make healthier choices during the day,  not because you want to lose weight, but you want to kick some buts in the training 🙂

My next goal now is complete 1!!! pull-up. It doesn’t sound like much, but thinking about the weight I have to pull up, it’s quite a lot. I have all training equipment ready at home – pull up bar, gymnastic rings so don’t have any excuses not to practice daily. Quickest way to achieve it would be loose around 20 kg 🙂 but I’m too much of a foodie to achieve it any time soon, so I just have to become stronger. 🙂

CrossFitters are well known following Paleo diet. I have had periods in my life, when I followed it and it definitely have the benefits to your health. I like cooking ( and eating 😉 ) too much to stick with it 100 % of the time, but quite often I pick up some Paleo recipes just because they worth to make, when trying to fuel your body right way for better results in  the training. Here is a cheeky dessert, when you are desperate for something sweet.

Avocado Ice Cream

2 ripe avocados

zest and juice of the 4 limes

4sp honey

1tsp vanilla extract

200ml coconut milk

100 g Dark Chocolate Chips

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1. Mix avocado, coconut milk, lime juice and zest, honey in the blender until it’s creamy.

2. Pour mixture into freezable dish and mix in chocolate chips.

3. Place it in the freezer to set.

4. Stir few times to keep the mixture creamy and break any ice crystals.

5. Leave to set for 4 hours

6. Serve with melted dark chocolate or toasted coconut or roasted nuts of your choice (or all named above) 🙂