The past week was a pretty good one all around. I cleaned up my diet as Regionals are getting closer and the immediate effects were wonderfully rewarding. I trained hard, feeling pretty good all around. And, Lindsey and I went out to Catoctin for some hiking and camping. As we move on to another week here, I am feeling excited for the revved-up week Rudy at Outlaw has planned for us, and am looking forward to all the athletes that are coming in to train! Lots of good things all around it seems. So, let me share some of the highlights.
Last weeks training was nothing to write home about; it was a de-load week of sorts, so nothing too intense except for a threshold training day. My body officially loves this style of workout for some reason, and this one was no different. It was 5 rounds of 250 meter row, 10 squat clean to thrusters with 95# and 15 burpees, with 3 minutes rest between rounds. And it was all done with a 20# vest. I felt like crap through it, wanting to quite after the 2nd, 3rd and 4th rounds. But I just kept on trucking and that night, when I posted my results, I found that I had the 2nd best time posted. Blew my mind. I think that I actually react much better to all out gassers then I originally thought, and it has shifting the way i think about my approach to most workouts. I need to stop getting so caught up in gaming each and every little thing, and just go all out. I react better to that perspective for the most part (exceptions would be for workouts with muscle ups, handstand push ups and things like that.
I took Saturday off, even though it was a great collection of workouts, I had the opportunity to head out to the woods, and to be totally honest, I would say that most of the time being out in nature is going to win out over pretty much anything. With the big three-oh coming up in a couple weeks, Lindsey hooked up a trip to the Catoctin mountains. The idea of what they had out there was about as perfect as I could imagine: hike about 3 miles into the woods and find a ice little pre-built lean-to. Set up camp, hang out, and have some fun in the woods! In the end, the location was a bit of a let down, just nothing at all to do any where near the site. We hiked about 2 hours, then drove another 15 minutes the next day to get to some awesome hiking, bouldering, waterfall-ing and lake-chilling-next-to-ing that made the whole trip more than worth the time! I think the camping location would have been way better had there been a decent sized group with us, but with absolutely nothing around there at all, it led to some restlessness for sure. It inspired me to build something like that for people on a ridge with a view, or on some water somewhere. No that would be damn cool. Anyway, on our way home we stopped for dinner in Frederick, MD; absolutely lovely city if you've never been.
So, this week coming up is supposed to be a crazy intense one for all us in the mid-Atlantic region. Next week is a taper week, and then it's only one week after that until our regional competition, pretty exciting all around. While I'm pumped up for the week of training, i already got off to a shaky start by using today (Tuesday) as my rest day. i ended up spending all day moving equipment from my temporary gym space (officially closing at the end of this month) to The Garage. It took some serious planning, but I was somehow able to cram almost double the equipment in the garage while opening space up. This summer is going to be absolutely EPIC with all the athletes coming into this place. My goal is to have the smallest location that has 65 members or more (and I am certain I'll have upwards to 100 athletes come through the 200 square foot space by the end of the summer!). While the mornings and afternoons are quickly being filled, I have begun taking classes out at outlaw CrossFit as well. With the success of Rudy and Laura's The Outlaw Way, they have been looking for some support at their gym, and I am super stoked to be able to help them out. It also allows be to be able to train with the group there on a more regular basis, and I am feeling the positive effects of training with others on an almost daily basis.
Well, there's an update for you all, no PR's, no crazy, insane news, just a boring ol' update show. I have a few topics that I am itching to write about, so I expect to get to at least two of them by the end of the week. Oh, and Regional workouts are announced tomorrow!
Never Stop, GET FIT.
This past weekend I was out in the Bay Area visiting old friends, training a few people, workout out like crazy and enjoying the absolutely incredible California wilderness! here is a little rundown of the 5 days I spent out there:
Showed up mid morning on Wednesday, grabbed some food with CrossFit San Mateo's owner and head coach Brendon Mahony, then stocked up on some food, Courage Bar ingredients and soon enough hit the gym for a good workout. Thursday and Friday were much of the same, with Lindsey getting in Friday, and one of the toughest workouts I have ever done crushing me so badly that I am still feeling the effects of it as I write this post today! It was a descending ladder of rope climbs and DB squat clean to thrusters, and that damn rope climb beat me down like nobody's business! I took my time on the climbs as I knew my technique was not spotless and I wanted to conserve the grip strength. But, no matter what the approach, by the third round my grip was so far gone, I basically had to take almost a full minute to recover between each one to be able to get back up. The crazy part of this whole thing was that I never had the ability to cardiovascularly recover. i think I was so worked up by the whole thing that my heart rate just never came down. 19 and a half minutes later I finally finished, and it took me close to three hours ot actually feel like i was somewhat normal again! And to top it all off, I ripped my ankle up so much I was having a tough time walking! The one positive takeaway from the workout was my 345# back squat for 13 resp, AWESOME!
Anyways, Saturday morning brought even more fun. Core Foods owner Corey and his girl met up with me and Lindsey and we all got workouts in at the gym. Mine was a 5-workouts-within-one-hour mes that left me craving 10 pounds of meat and a 6-hour nap! But, we all geared up and drove down the Peninsula for a few hours of trekking though the woods! this turned out to be such a a blast. We explored the different paths, talked about all sorts of different things, interacted with a buck within 15 yards or so (so much fun to see wildlife that close up!) and stayed out there as the fog and darkness began to cover us completely.
We then wandered back to our cars and drove down to Half Moon Bay to see if we could find some camping at the beach. Seeing how it was the famous Pumpkin Festival weekend, the known camp-site was totally booked up; but, with a couple phone calls we were directed a couple miles south to Cameron's Pub. This was one of those placers that causes sensory overload with the amount of crummy, hoarded items they keep hanging on walls and tucked into corners. The place was like a haunted museum of beer cans and tin signs; and in the back, a huge field set aside for RV's and campers to hang out for a night or two (or weeks or months as it seemed some were doing). We found our way to the very far end of the field, just outside a spooky abandoned greenhouse and set up shop. Corey got a great fire going and we enjoyed flank steak, asparagus and grilled bananas before catching a few eukaryote songs at the pub and then crashing for the remainder of the night.
After meeting up up another friend Lisa (check out here awesome blog here) for breakfast, we connected with Justin Gubser and his buddies to hit the Pacifica surf for a couple hours. This was an all around blast! And the best part: our last wave had Lindsey and myself riding all the way to the beach, literally side by side, pretty freaking sweet! The cold water and the entertaining crashes and here-and-there wave catches worked our appetites up enough to feast at Guerrilla BBQ and it was off on our separate ways after that. Lindsey and I hot up our favorite burger joint, Roam Burger, in the city before catching our red eye back East. Man what a trip!
I must admit, it'd been a real long while since I've been able to just spend some good quality time with a small group of awesome people, and while I was a little bummed out that the Into The Wild weekend didn't take off like I had planned, and that a few people never showed up for the weekend that had said they would, it turned out to be a weekend I will never forget. Sharing that deep connection to the great outdoors with Lindsey and another couple;e that clearly appreciated being out there just as much as me was so energizing. It inspired the need to do this sort of thing WAY more often! Oh, and yet again, surfing is one of the most fun things to do in the world! Yet another reason to head back out to our second home-town on a regular basis!
Miss all my West Coaster already, but I'm excited to get back to training in The Garage with all my awesome athletes and friends here in the DC area! This is going to be a crazy brutal week of training for everyone, so let's all keep up the support and get after it!!
Never Stop, GET FIT.
After a new client came in for some work early Saturday morning, I hopped in the car with JP and we began our drive out to around Massanutten Mountain in the Shenandoah's for a bit of a camping trip. This was a great time with a group of really cool people and, despite a couple potential strange moments at the start, we all had an awesome time, even though it was such a short trip!
We paused at a Safeway in Fairfax, VA to meet up with an additional 10 people and stocked up on some extra food and such for the trip. This is where the strangeness began. For a trip that would turn out to be only about 17 total hours, we were sitting in that parking lot with enough gear for at LEAST a full week! No joke, here is a list of some of the stuff stuffed into the 5 cars:
2 x 8-person tents
4 x 2 person tents
A few other tents
1 full gas grill (yep, an actual gas grill)
3 large coolers filled with food
4-6 full shopping bags filled with food
1 fold-out table
A 2-stove gas stove
Um, a luger (like, the gun. Not only was it strange enough to bring a gun on a 1-night camping trip, but the fact that it was a luger was actually slightly frightening)
This is the short list. But after a bit of passive-aggressive conversation on what and what not to bring, we decided we would just bring it all (yep, 5 cars driving out to the woods...) and just get out there and set up. So, our organizer gathered us together and briefed us on the 2-hour drive ahead of us (Geez! We literally got a pre-written briefing on how we would all drive out to this location!)
So, all that aside, we hit the road, and immediately things started to loosen up. For those of you who have not driven out towards the Shanandoah's in Virginia, it is a breath-taking drive. JP and I talked and gazed at the scenery as we left the bustling city behind and disappeared into the dense forest and mountains. We set up camp about 100 yards of a gravel road in the mountains. The clearing was perfect and while most of the crew moved from another site we were thinking about using to this site, myself and another guy strung up a tarp and began clearing away some areas for our tents (almost forgot to mention, it was raining pretty hard at this point). Once the rest of the crew got there it began to clear up a little and we unpacked the mulitple car-loads of gear we had and set up our site before headed out, now in the wonderfully blazing sun light, for a hike down the path that split our site.
The rest of the trip was your basic camping experience: a long hike, a quick cool down in a near by creek (JP and I ran the 3.5 miles to it, making the cool down that much more rewarding), lots of grilled meat and snacks, and chilling by the camp fire until the wee hours of the night talking, singing songs and just chilling out. Then it was up bright and early for eggs and bacon and JP and I hit the road to get back to civilization in time for our scheduled doings (I had a double header I had to coach!).
A few moments stood out to me while out there this weekend. First, it was our little run down to the creek. Running in an area that is completely void of anything remotely human (besides the trail/path/road you are on), no houses, no cars, no planes, nothing, is an experience everyone should have at some point. When the only things you can hear are your feet, your breath and whatever nature has going on, you get overcome with a sense of security and peacefulness. It's awesome, it's exciting, and it's so calming. Second was a small walk I took, probably around midnight, out to a clearing that overlooked, well, everything it seemed. JP had walked out there and I went out to join him for a bit. While trudging down the thickly covered single-track, I decided to turn my light off for a little and just feel myself completely alone in the woods. The second the light went off I got scared. Not being able to see anything, and knowing there is basically endless mystery completely surrounding you is scary feeling. But after a few seconds that scared feeling dissipates as all your senses heighten. It is a natural high. Endorphins flood your body and you instantly recognize what it must have been like to be primal. For those handful of minutes before you snap your light back on and break the experience, it is just you and the rest of the world. Nothing in between. Just writing it gives me a little burst of energy! And third, it was the people. While it was a group that I generally would not go out of my way to hang out with (they were all from JP's church, and I am in no way an avid church goer) there is still something so wonderful about connecting with people like that. Even though it's in a totally different setting, and for totally different reasons, it feels very similar to when you are with a large group of people for a workout. The extreme aspect of the workout, and the for last night, the extreme aspect of being way out in the woods, adds a desire to connect with your fellow humans for comfort and to share in the experience. And while I do love being in the wilderness alone, AND, I do find it kind of sad that a group of people being out in the wilderness is considered an extreme in this day and age, I can not deny the warmth a group of good people brings you.
I look forward to many, many, yeah, many, many more wilderness excursions in the coming months!
Never Stop, GET FIT.
Yesterday brought a good little workout, after a delay. My plan was to get after the first portion of the session in the AM, but my energy levels were just not there. So, I read my body and did what I needed to do throughout the day so that I had proper energy at the workout. And when workout time came, it was great:
3 x 10 forward rolls
3 x 5 skin the cats (2 rounds on the bar, 1 on the rings)
3 x 3 max handstand holds
3, 3, 3, 3 Power Snatch
4 rounds of:
300 meter row
15 toes to bar
The gymnastics at the start were great, the skin the cats felt very strong and controlled and the handstands are feeling more secure as well. The best part of the handstands was that I was able to adapt to falling off balance really well. The snatches lacked in a little focus but I pulled 165# with relative ease. My feet splayed open a but, but I was able to lock it out overhead fast and strong. After a bit of a breather I hit that metcon...
My goal was in the 5 minute range and after the first round I realized that was just NOT going to happen. This got me so bad in fact, that with the final round, after the first four toes to bar, I finished the rest with just singles. I squeezed in the last rep at 9:05 and was wonderfully spent! I stretched a bit and headed home to catch the end of the NCAA championship game. Today, after resting up and cooking up a huge breakfast after Lindsey headed out for work, I hit the trails for a 50 minute run. This turned out to be WAY harder then I was expecting, not because the trail was brutal, but because my ankles and calves were still so brutally sore from the Sectionals workout. I felt like I had no control over my legs as I ran, they just thumped along getting heavier and heavier with each step. Ugh. So I guess a whole heap of rolling and stretching is in order tonight!
But what is best about tonight (potentially) is that I plan to run off all alone to camp out in the wilderness! Have no clue where r how it might turn out, but I have a sleeping bag in the car and after my last session tonight I plan to just drive out to the mountains and find myself a little secluded spot to hang and connect with nature. Hope it works out!
Never Stop, GET FIT.
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