Sunday, May 29, 2011

Week of Weightlifting catch-up mini-mega post

5/23 lift box squat 3x320(assisted) towel close-grip bench 3x240 snatches 5x80,3x100 pull-ups +55lbs
5/26 lift powerclean 3x215 deadlift 3x400
5/27 lift squat 3x275 Hard! close-grip bench press 3x230 atlas stone carries and pull-ups +55lbs

We did back to backs on Thursday and Friday.  I even managed to give myself a migraine in the process!  Decent progress was made all around but my squats are still garbage.  Looks like this coming week might not happen at all between the holiday and family obligations.  Under one month until the Carolinas Super Spartan in SC.  This should be a blistering hot day, so I really need to up my hot weather cardio.  Now I have a good excuse for why I'm dumb enough to run in the mid-day sun.  My mantra, as always:
Consistency and Follow-Through (paper and candle form)

Staying Humble

5/20 lift squat 6x255 close-grip bench press 6x205 saved auxiliaries for the Gladiator...

I started this post awhile ago and I'm just finishing it up now.  Not a lot to say other than we should have done our full workout!  

Gladiator 5k "race" report aka crappiest 5k ever

5/21 race 31 mins @ the Gladiator 5K in New Balance MT101's

your point is moot Gladiator 5K report

It was a sunny 83 degrees by the time our 11:15 start time rolled around, not that it mattered as they started us 25 minutes late.  The Gladiator 5K made many promises of awesomeness and shaming other 5k's.  I think they got it backwards.  The only awesome part was not having to wait for parking.  I really HOPE all the money we paid for this went to charity, as it clearly wasn't put into the course or the staff.  Now, I'm not going to place 100% of the blame on the race director(s) as I read the Town of Cary nixed the fire pit, barbed wire and monkey bars.  Apparently monkey bars are safe enough for preschoolers to climb on but not adults who sign full waivers, but what can you expect from a town that knowingly and willfully violates their own resident's freedom of speech.  Now this does not excuse the fact that they only had 9 obstacles and they were all so poorly constructed that I think an unsupervised Cub Scout troop could have done a better job.  I wonder if anyone involved in the planning and creation of this event has ever done or seen a real obstacle course.  Hell, or even a playground at McDonald's as I could have run through one of those and had a lot more fun.

A triple horizontal balance beam
off to a decent start although it was unsupervised so no one to instruct on how to complete or penalize teams who skipped it etc
a crawl under 1 1/2 foot cammie net
this was supervised at least

a cargo net A frame climb over

probably the best obstacle on the course and supervised
This was about as much of a challenge as you're going to get

a 7ft wall
a 9ft wall
I don't recall either of the walls being supervised and they were of such poor construction I was seriously concerned about the number of competitors that should be on the walls at the same time
some drainage pipes to crawl thru.
These pipe was a challenge, as it's the smallest pipe I've encountered on a course.  Lots of people just running by them and no one supervising the obstacle.
2 sets of A frame balance beams,maybe 3 foot tall at peak.
No one at this obstacle either, I ran and jumped over it not even realizing the side supports were meant as balance beams until one of my teammates started running up it!  Now if someone was here to instruct the participants...but I'm starting to sound like a broken record.
A "mudpit" 
This was basically a backyard slip slide/kiddie pool with a cammie net over it.  The water was kind of dirty but there was no "mud" and I didn't even get my shoes wet.  I don't think it was more than 6 inches, but I guess you can drown in anything!  It was supervised at least...
a tire pit with a hanging tire cage over it.
This "never ending valley of tires" was only about 4 tires deep and the construction was laughable.
Check out that quality construction.

No finish line mud pit or rope bridge.  No finisher dog tags.. they are supposedly in the mail.

Since most of the obstacles were unsupervised, you had people just running around them with no penalty.  On top of that we saw MULTIPLE people cutting through at points where the course intersected.  At one point you come out on the main road and the staff person tells you to run down to the end on your left, touch the gate, cross the road and run back down the other side.  We watched as multiple people would only run down half way or less and immediately crossover and run back.  The staff didn't seem to be marking anyone down or paying enough attention to care.  So basically all the times report on this course are garbage.

Share your thoughts with the douchebag race director:

Wayne Street
1212 Marbank St
Wake Forest, NC 27587

running in a field, this turned out to be a recurring theme
The end

Friday, May 20, 2011

Running with a billion buddies

5/19 run 59 mins @ Eno River on Cox Mountain Trail and Fanny's Ford Trail in MT101's and Balega socks

HR avg 155 max 175

Just driving into the park I started to get excited at the site and smell of the woods before me.  It's been far too long since my last "real" trail run.  As soon as I opened the door on my Jeep I was greeted by the deafening sounds of the world's largest cicada brood.  I'm glad the +1 wasn't along as we would have needed to shout to carry on a conversation.  This made for a very surreal run and a splitting headache later that night!  Apparently cicadas are non-toxic and edible, but I think I'll stick to gu's for now...  I remember getting back in my jeep and closing the door only to be amazed at the silence.  My ears were ringing as if I had just spent an hour front row at Ozzfest.
Brand new GU Energy Roctane Cicada Crunch flavor!

I ran a little harder than I probably should have with the Gladiator 5k coming up this Saturday but it was nice to power up some climbs again.  I really needed this run to get my head back in the game and I'll probably run the same trails next Thursday.  In addition to the cicadas I got to run around a 4+ foot black snake.  He didn't even have the common courtesy to move off the trail when I yelled, "on your right."  I wasn't going to stick around to argue with him though.  I bet he was thinking here comes another effin' runner!
Random post-run foot shot

Back to Back is hard on the Back

5/18 lift power clean 2x225 deadlift 2x400 plus incline dumbell presses and rotator cuff bands

The power clean felt really heavy as my hips and glutes are still fatigued from yesterday.  I had to get really low to clear the double and my second rep felt a little squirrelly but I got them both without any misses.  I stuck to my 5lb increase on the deadlift, which involved a lot of shin dragging but no hitching (apologies to the video owner, but a great teaching aid!).

This was my first time trying to do a regular elbows out style pressing exercise in awhile and it seems my shoulder is no better.  I'm not sure what is going on, but as soon as my elbows move away from my sides and closer to 90 degrees it feels like my left shoulder is coming apart.  I should just be thankful I can do any pressing at all and stick with that!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Monday workout on Tuesday

5/17 lift box squat 6x295*assisted close-grip towel bench 6x210 plus snatches 5x80,3x100 and pull-ups +55lbs

Struggled on the box again, got all screwed up trying out some new breathing techniques.  Bench was hard but made it through.  Miraculously, another week of easy snatches.  I'm not sure what is going on, but my snatches are stronger than ever.  I think I'm really sticking my form and getting a tremendous leg/hip drive off the floor.  Either way, I'll take what progress I can get!  Today I just felt tired and like the workout was dragging on forever by the time we were done.  I'm not sure what my deal is.  Off to fix my evil mower again...

Yes, I still run or at least jog

5/15 run 46 mins on ATT soft side in New Balance Trail Minimus MT10 and Drymax hot weather socks (first time trying them)

HR avg 130 max 150

I'm finally completely free of all the respiratory/sinus crud. I was actually free of it in time for a Thursday run, but the rainstorms combined with my natural slug-like tendencies transpired to keep me firmly planted on the couch. So I planned to rack up a serious long run on Saturday. I'm not going to bore you with my excuses for why I missed that one too. I think I've been on my longest non-self-imposed running hiatus since I had my foot injury. So Sunday rolls around and thankfully the +1 is game for a run as well. She's battling some injuries of her own and isn't supposed to do any long or high effort runs per her PT. So we set off for a nice, short jog on the American Tobacco Trail.

Wow, I can't believe how unhappy my body was on this run. If not for the heart rate monitor I would have thought I was killing myself. My feet ached, my right knee was killing me, my legs were heavy and even my shoulders were aching. At least my respiration was finally back to normal.  I'm hoping I knocked some junk loose and will be back to normal for my next run.  I'm looking forward to getting in two more runs before the Gladiator 5k on Saturday.

Through their lack of making their presence known, I realized the Drymax hot weather socks were doing a great job.  I never once thought about hot spots on this run.  My feet ached but that was due to some foot issues and not the socks.  I think at least some of the Drymax hype is true.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Feeling Good Again

5/13 lift squat 1x275 close-grip bench press 1x245 plus atlas stone carries and pull-ups +55lbs

Finally started feeling strong in the legs again today. I cut my squat single back by about 20lbs, but at the previous weight I was struggling to get low enough and my form would break down. Added some more weight on the bench again, my shoulders are still feeling really healthy, so I'm going to stick with the close-grip for now as my single was clean and super strong so I could see going up another 10lbs next month. This was our second workout with the 170lb atlas stone aka Satan's left nut. We did three pickup and carries and they all felt strong. I even figured out a way to breath on the last one, which should allow for some longer distance walks with it. I could see us moving up to its 240lb companion in a couple of months at the rate we are progressing.

I've been having some weird issues with my right knee though, it seems to only occur when drop into full squat. It feels like something is catching or pinching in the outside back corner of my right knee. It's like a sudden sharp pain and it feels as if my knee gives out as a response to the sudden stabbing pain. I'm hoping it will resolve on its own as I would really like to warm up with full squats again.

Conservative Estimates

5/11 lift power clean 1x230 deadlift 1x410 plus dips +50lbs and curls

We've decided to stop getting greedy on lifts and to adjust the weights back if we miss a workout. With that in mind, I stayed the same on power cleans and added 5lbs to my deadlift. This keeps me moving in the right direction. We seem to do better making conservative increases and hitting our numbers each week, as opposed to missing a lift at a heavier weight.

I'm still not running, but I should run on Thursday as I seem to be almost completely well! (knock on wood)

Monday, May 9, 2011

Feets don't fail me now

5/9 lift box squat 3x275 towel bench 1x245 plus snatches 5x80,3x100 and pull-ups +55lbs

I should probably say "legs" instead of "feets" as it seems I'm still struggling with squats. Hopefully it's just the combination of getting over sickness, traveling and lack of consistency the last couple of weeks. My snatches were the best I've had in weeks though.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Soft Focus

5/6 lift squat 5x245 close-grip bench press 4ishx225 plus pull-ups +55lbs and 3x170lb atlas stone pickups

Once again, my squats are sliding thanks to some sporadic workouts and being sick.  I'm not eating enough quality calories either.  Due to my busy work schedule today my lifting partner had to go it alone and he was kind enough to roll in the atlas stone from the garage.  I figured I couldn't let him have all the fun, so I did the same auxiliaries with it tonight.  Talk about a beast, admittedly it takes very good technique to move it, but once it's on your chest trying to extend or walk with it is serious fun.  I tried to simulate lifting it to a high platform, so I would pick it up to chest height and arch my upper back to get it as high in the air as possible before returning it to the ground.  On the last lift I did a short walk to the other end of the mats.  Wow, it is really hard to breath when you are death gripping a giant concrete ball into your chest.

I got greedy on the bench and tried to move up 20lbs, which was more like 2.75 and 1.5 reps, as I get the bar well above the rack points but I struggle with locking out my triceps when using the close-grip.  Once again, another poor performance due to sporadic training... My body seems to be craving routine, structure and moderated intensity.  I need to start building again and get out of this mix of travel, improvised training and excess intensity.  Yet here I sit committed to do Philosopher's Way with the +1.  I really really really need to run this as a recovery controlled run.  I'm still coughing up crud and I feel like I wouldn't be getting out of bed but for the antibiotics.  Oh well.  enough whining for one night :-)

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Patient Zero visits Fullsteam Ahead! Run Club

5/4 run 37 mins @ Fullsteam Brewery with Fullsteam Ahead! Run Club in New Balance Trail Minimus MT10 with Balega socks

HR avg 159 max 173

Fullsteam Ahead! Run Club ACTUAL 4 mile loop
The +1 has been wanting to hit up the Fullsteam Ahead! Run Club for awhile and I was running out of excuses, so Wednesday turned into a double workout day.  Since I have no personal interest in running on pavement or drinking alcohol, this event has never really appealed to me, but there is something to be said for social running events.  If I can figure out what food trucks have gluten free options I could see us hanging around afterwards next time.

Being sick but not contagious (I think...) I was curious to see how I would fare in a group run setting, especially with the race this weekend.  Pre-run I made sure to try and hack up whatever I could in the bathroom in order to avoid grossing out the other participants.  This strategy worked pretty well as I didn't have too many issues until the end of the run and by then the group had thinned out.  My breathing was more of a wheezing but I only had a few coughing fits and I tried to save those for stoplights.  Overall I think it went well and I could see making it a biweekly thing perhaps.  I'm not ready to commit to doing it every week, as it falls on my lifting days and pavement always hurts my knees and feet.

Grunt, Cough, Hack, Repeat

5/4 lift power clean 5x200 deadlift 5x385

Other than hacking up green goblins between sets, today went about as well as I could expect.  I felt weak, but I managed to hit all my lifts.  The cleans and deadlifts were REALLY REALLY heavy and I attribute this to being sick.  I feel like my body burns more muscle when I'm sick and develops a preference for storing water and fat.  This is more likely the outcome of the behavioral changes that occur during illness.  Reduced food intake, huge increase in the amount of time spent seated or lying down etc.   All I can say is I would like to thank antibiotics for making all this possible.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Sicky Sick, Sick Sick

4/29-?? sick

Well, my plan to work out my congestion on Friday with a run had the opposite effect.  I seem to have sucked it into my lungs and sinuses instead.  I managed to escape the frozen wasteland clinging to life and I'm finally back to some natural heat and humidity in NC.  Hopefully the doctor's office can work me in tomorrow, as I don't see myself running, much less racing this coming weekend without some pharmaceutical assistance.  Here's hoping they don't test for PED's at Philosopher's Way, otherwise my coveted last in age group results could end up going the way of Marion Jones...

I miss the in-laws but clearly they are built for Minnesota winters