Thursday, December 9, 2010

Almost made the wrong decision

Yesterday was a tough work day. My job is at a computer terminal, but it was one of those mentally draining days - death by a thousand details. By the time I left the office, I'd decided to head home and get a goo night's sleep rather than going to CrossFit. But first, I stopped at the cell phone store to get a new cable for my iPhone. I left the other cable in PA a couple months ago. When I left the store, I realized the fastest way home would take me right past the CrossFit gym. And, I still had five minutes to get there.

So, I went and had a fun workout - a slightly different kind of workout than we normally do. I've mentioned before that I rarely do the workout exactly as prescribed, but instead pick a lower level. We have the Rx'd workout, then Level 1, Level 2, and Level 3. Normally, I do Level 2, unless a workout hits my strengths, and then I'll do Level 1. Late last week, when I was feeling wiped out, I did Level 3 twice. So, last night I did Level 2, and it turned out I should have done level 1.

Here is the workout:

Clean and press - two minutes, as many reps as possible. Level 2 was 65 pounds and level 1 was 95 pounds. I should have picked level 1. The coach said that if we picked the right weight, we'd get 15-25 reps. I got 29, the most in the group, so I clearly had a weight that was too light for me.

Then, a five minute rest. Then, a 5-4-3-2-1 with the following exercises:

Box jump

You do 5 reps of each, then 4 of each, then 3, etc., as quickly as possible. It took me 3:06 to do this segment - fastest in the group, but everyone else was doing a harder variation.

Then, five minutes rest. And then the killer, Tabata air squats (aka bodyweight squats). T he Tabata protocol is 20 seconds of all out work, followed by 10 seconds of rest, done 8 times. When I do Tabata running workouts, I do 10 sets, rather than 8. But, with 8, a 4 minute workout segment can seem like an eternity. Then, just to make it more fun, the coach decided that our ten second rest intervals would be done in the down position - squatting, which was a quad burner. In the first 20 seconds, I got 19 squats. But, I slowed down, of course, and had 74 after six segments. I picked it up a bit the last two and got to 99.

Our score for the workout was our time in seconds in the middle segment minus our rep totals from the other two segments. So, I had 186 - 29 - 99 = 58. That was a good score, but I'd only done level 2, so the people with higher scores but with the Rx's workout did a much better job than I did.

For the day, I ate as planned - eggs and chicken sausage for breakfast, chicken thighs in a coconut curry sauce for lunch, two burgers on lettuce, without cheese but with avocado and other veggies for dinner.

I'm only stepping on the scale once per week right now. After my first week of eating better, I had dropped 3 pounds, from a weight that was the highest I've ever been. I'm hoping to see that number continue to go down, but I can already feel that my clothes are fitting better.

I'm on a listserv group related to ultrarunning. Some people there have been talking recently about putting down the heavy weights, giving up CrossFit, giving up the gym and other forms of cross-training, and focusing more on pure running workouts to improve their running. I'm guessing that's the right decision for them. But, improving my running seems to be a very distant goal right now, and a very low priority. I need to reduce my bodyfat percentage significantly right now before I even consider running longer distances again.

Plus, it's ski season!

Tonight will be CrossFit. Tomorrow might be a rest day, or at the very least, a light workout before two full days of ski instruction this weekend.

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