Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Back at it

In the photo above, I was back at CrossFit after a 2+ week break, doing deadlifts in workout called Bradshaw (more below).

I seem to finally be over a cold that lingered for about two weeks. Most years, I deliberately plan a 2-3 week downtime, where I basically give myself permission to do nothing at all, unless I'm really motivated. Usually, this break comes in the winter, so I will do some skiing, but not much else for a few weeks. I think the rest is good for me, and it helps me (mentally and physically)from getting burned out on training. But, about 14 months ago, I discovered CrossFit. And somehow, last winter, I forgot to take a break.

I looked at my training logs over the past couple weeks, since I wasn't training. I was curious how long it had been since I'd gone more than a week with no workouts at all. The answer was 13 months - much longer than it should have been. Between a lot of stress at work and the training I was doing, I think everything just caught up with me. And, after about two weeks with no workouts at all, and then a week to ease back into things, I am feeling much better.

During the past three weeks, I got past some major hurdles at work. I was faced with a few really difficult technical issues around a new product and how to generate reports in a totally new software architecture, and I managed to solve all of the problems (no thanks to one of the hugest software companies in the world, who will go unnamed here). I caught up on sleep. Over a four day Thanksgiving break, I slept more than 10 hours for three straight nights.

And last Wednesday, after no workouts for two weeks, I hopped on the rowing machine after work. I rowed my second fastest 5K ever on the rower. Then, I took a rest day and cooked Thanksgiving dinner for my family and my wife's family. The day after Thanksgiving, I did a workout on my own - some lifting and Abmat sit-ups. The next day, I went to CrossFit, and did a scaled down version of a tough workout named Bradshaw. And then, I rested for two days, despite the fact that I had the option to ski on those days. I simply felt like I needed the rest and there will be many days to ski starting very soon.

Last night, I went to CrossFit after work, ready to do a hard workout for the first time in a while, and I most certainly got a hard one:

30 minutes, as many reps as possible:
5 deadlifts (I did 205#)
13 push-ups (I switched to knee push-ups within the first 10 minutes)
9 box jumps (18")

I think I completed the fewest rounds of anyone in the class, doing 12 total rounds. I was averaging 2 minutes per round for the first 8 rounds, and then suddenly, it was taking closer to 3 minutes per round. Despite switching to knee push-ups, my triceps are still shaky this morning from 156 push-ups. My legs are also feeling the 108 box jumps.

Tonight's workout starts with heavy back squats. After that, I'm guessing we'll do a much shorter main workout, given what we did last night.

This coming weekend I will be doing pre-season ski instructor training. Hopefully, some of it will be on snow, but the weather is making that look less and less likely. It's been ridiculously warm, and after being open for 4 days, Sugarbush had to close on Monday. Even if I spend the weekend just talking about skiing, it will be nice to spend time with my ski instructor friends and get ready for the upcoming season. I'm probably going to have a different role at the mountain this season. Rather than spending the season with a fixed group of students, I'm going to be a fill-in coach, a trainer for newer coaches, and then spend a lot of time in training with our most experienced coaches. By the end of the season, I would like to take my PSIA level 3 skiing exam. In order to get ready for that exam, I need to have a more challenging season than my normal job, and I need to spend time improving my skiing, with feedback from our best instructors. My boss suggested that a different role this season should challenge me more than my normal job, allow me to take the training I need, and also help out with some of our newer coaches. I'm looking forward to a very different kind of season.

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