Tuesday, October 28, 2014


I really like it when people know what they are talking about.  There are people who can bluff with the best of them, but when I know material that someone else is talking about and what they say matches what I already know, and it's something that not everyone knows, I'm impressed.  (Did you follow that?)

This morning Blair (operations manager at ITF) talked to us about why they support the Paleo "lifestyle".  He didn't get fuzzy on why, he spelled it out in technical terms and was spot on with what he was saying.  This "fireside chat" was after the WOD...which was after the instruction for the day.

So...let me back up.  I got to the gym a little early so I could see what goes on in a regular class.  I got to see a friend, who is a little bitty thing, clean and jerk what looked like more than her own body weight! (I don't know if it was, but I'm fairly confident it was...)  I got to see big burly guys using straps to do a pull up (which is comforting because I know that's the only way I'll be able to do them--at least for a while...).  I got to see a girl trying really hard to clean and jerk and just not making it, but she kept trying.

As I was wrapping my mind around the possibility of actually EVER being able to attempt any of that, Blair told me it was shoulder day.  I have to admit, I almost suddenly remembered a meeting I had to get to...it crossed my mind to say I could hear my mother calling, but he must have seen the panic in my face because he told me it was going to be fine.  I explained that I had surgery in January and my shoulder isn't 100% just yet.  He reminded me that any movement could be scaled down.  And then it was time for 101 to start so I couldn't duck out.

There were only three of us there (you can go at 6:15am or 7pm Monday/Tuesday/Thursday--either time you want...apparently 7pm is a much more popular time to work out.)  We started with a little 200m warm up jog and did some dynamic exercises to get our bodies ready.  Then we learned how to do a proper "strict press" (shoulder press) and a proper push up.  I can really tell I haven't been doing my shoulder PT because I couldn't even do ONE regular push up.

Today's WOD was three rounds of run/presses/push ups.  I was feeling pretty good the first round even though I had to break it down into chunks (I couldn't do 21 shoulder presses at one time, I had to take "mini-breaks".)  It was timed again.  I was feeling fairly decent for the first set.  The second set was a little more taxing and I ended up having to use a thing for the pushups that kept me from going all the way to the floor (because I couldn't get back up!).  The third set did me in.  I came in last this time.  There's a slight chance I lost count.  If so I did extra because I wasn't sure, but I don't think I did...I'm just THAT weak in my shoulders (well the left one anyway).

I'm reminded again why I'm doing this crazy thing.  Is it really important to me to be able to lift heavy things?  Not really...although it is pretty cool to be strong.  But getting stronger will surely help me swim, bike and run faster.  At the very least it will help prevent injury.  As a side note, I'm really thrilled they promote Paleo too.

...after I left the gym I got a beet juice from The Juice Bar before meeting Daisy for a run.  We didn't get to run more than the warm up together because I had a mile repeat workout and she was running steady.  But it was nice to know she was there and we got to cool down together afterward.

Tomorrow is a recovery ride that I will probably replace with a nap.  I'll update you on the "diet" tomorrow as well.

Until next time...

**Not sure what a "clean and jerk" is...watch this...

Monday, October 27, 2014

I Think I'm Going to Like it Here

Tonight was the first night of 101 at Iron Tribe Fitness.

Let me first say how much I love the space we work out in.  I know it's a silly thing to start off with, but it's a first impression that hits you when you first pull in from the street.  It's a cool industrial red brick building with an interior that says "I'm here to sweat" (no, not literally).  I'm not a "reviewer" so I won't pretend to be able to describe things about the place in a way that will give you a good mental image. I'm there to work out so I won't be taking pictures either.  I did scroll through about a hundred photos on the Iron Tribe Huntsville Face Book page and came up with this one to show you want the outside looks like.  (I don't know who any of the people are so I blurred out the faces.)

I met some nice people before we got started.  We met the coaches and then we introduced ourselves, telling a bit about why we're there.  (I said "I'm here to practice what I preach.")  We got warmed up with some dynamic movements and then learned the proper way to perform three every day functional movements-the air squat, the kettle bell swing and the sit up.

Now, I know what you are probably thinking.  "I don't do squats or sit ups every day...she's crazy."  But, my guess is that you do.  Almost everyone sits on (and gets up from) the toilet at least once a day (maybe you have to use hand rails to lower/raise yourself?), everyone gets out of bed (maybe you roll out?).  ...I've been trying really hard to think of a movement that resembles the kettle bell swing, but I don't think I do that movement at all much less every day.  But, here's the thing...my hips are SUPER weak so just like a person who might roll out of bed and not use their ab muscles (for what ever reason), I don't use my hips as much as I "should" so it's not surprising I can't think of anything I do like that.

After we learned how to do the movements properly, we did a baseline test to get an idea of where we are starting from.  As soon as I found out the test would be timed my competitor kicked in.  I started sizing up the room to see who might be the biggest "threat".  Then I remembered to keep myself in check because I will be getting up in less than 12 hours to go back to the gym for day two, then I'm doing a seven mile run tomorrow (mile repeats, so not a leisurely stroll), not to mention I have an 18 miler -after my strength workout- on Thursday).  ((No, I'm really not doing too much...and I'll explain why I'm saying that in tomorrow's post...))

We started with a little run then did descending sets of the three exercises we learned, and finished off with another little run.  I started a bit slower than I needed to because I didn't know what to expect.  I've got to say that's the most squats I've done in one workout in well over a year and I've never even held a kettle bell before tonight.  (Sit ups aren't an issue, but the way we did them was a little different than I'm used to (in order to get a full range of motion).)  When I got to my last set I realized just how easy I was taking it and picked it up to finish strong.  I felt like I probably gave about 90% effort (knowing I have a heavy workout week ahead and this is not all I'm doing made a difference in what effort I was willing to lay out there).

Well...time for bed because I'll get up early tomorrow to join the morning group at 6:15.  For now I'll leave you with this:

Yeah, yeah, I know it's pretty darn funny...no one is going to be drawing me a bath at the gym...but as I drove away I couldn't help but sing to myself, "I think I'm gonna like it here..."

Until next time...

((In case you were wondering, I came in "third" (out of maybe 15ish?) but I'm pretty sure no one really cared; they didn't have medals or awards and there were no ranking or scores being kept.  They did make note of the time because we'll do the same test at the end of the 101 month to see how far we progress.  And, in case you're wondering, the person I thought was going to give me a run for my time came in second.  She's training for the marathon so she probably didn't give all she had either but I want to beat her at the end...I can't help it.  Even if I didn't say it, if you have been reading my blog at all you know, I'm thinking it.))

Friday, October 24, 2014

Who Wants Easy?

not me, not my kitchen
It's been eight days!  I think I may have cooked more home made meals (things that involved measuring and reading a recipe) this week than I did all last month! I have never been a "cook" but I have always wanted to be one.  I finally realized it's like anything else...if you want to do something well, you have to keep doing it and REFINING the way you do it.

I remember the first time I made chicken pot pie (no, not in my current way of eating...this was almost 25 years ago).  I went to the store, bought all the ingredients, went home, followed the recipe and made the dish.  As my husband and I were eating we were talking about how good the flavor was but that it was dry.  I went to the fridge to get something to drink and realized I completely forgot to add the milk!!  FOUR CUPS OF MILK!!!  No wonder it was dry!!  The second time I made it I made sure to pour the milk into cups where I was mixing the veggies on the stove so I wouldn't forget.  That would have worked if only all the milk was in one cup/bowl.  Unfortunately for me it was in two cups...and I only used one of them!!!  But, hey-at least that time it wasn't as dry!

You'd think the third time for the chicken pot pie was a charm...it was if you think following the recipe to a T is what it takes.  I used all the ingredients and I followed the recipe, and found it to be WAY too runny!!!  If I had never had it as dry as I had I might not have realized what I needed to
change in order to fix it to make it better.  I might have thought it was good enough.  Instead I knew that 3 cups was about right.

Anything in life we desire to do well will require some mistakes and a learning curve.  Some things have a steeper curve than others.  I have found doing those things to be well worth the time and effort more than doing the easy things.

I am beginning to feel really good again.  I'm breathing easier and I've had a few pain free day, some good runs and a good swim.

MONDAY is the day I go back to kindergarten!!  I better go buy my sleep mat...

Until next time...