Thursday, November 20, 2014

Running + Crossfit, 2 Weeks+ Down

They say, and by "they" I mean popular opinion, it takes 21 days to form a new habit to get it to stick. However, if you pose that question to the almighty Google, that number is quickly debunked and called a myth. I dug a little deeper and ran across this healthy living post from the Huffington Post that sums up a study done on this very topic. Well, the span of days went from 18 to 254 days...or in other words, an average of 66 days...or in other words, it's different for everyone! Regarding my new "habit" of hitting the box every single weekday morning, today was Day 3 of Week 3 so day #13...lucky #13. (actually, I prefer #5 but I digress...) It sure does feel like a habit at this point, or routine as I prefer to say. It also helps that my bride goes with me. It's much easier to crawl back in bed if it's only you but when you have someone to answer to, the chances are much better than success will follow. It's also cool to debrief the workout on the way home. That's always an interesting conversation, to say the least...and sometime it's silence like today.

I have been working through the book I mentioned before, Inside the Box by T.J. Murphy and am learning a lot. It's nice to read his experience and bounce it off of mine. One chapter I just finished was on nutrition. While not a word has been spoken to me where I go every day, it doesn't make sense to start this new routine while not paying close attention to what I'm eating and fueling with. Eating and consumption is half of the equation. No way is someone going to get the results they want if they only do the workouts. Well, I have been eating quite well. I'm not following a specific plan but I think it's extremely close if not dead on Paleo. Lots of fresh, colorful veggies, meats, fruit, nuts, etc. Paleo also calls for the abandonment of milk and cheese. We now drink almond milk and quite honestly, we love it. Cheese...that's still sneaking in here and there but not much. I have even cut back on my PB&J sandwiches because of the bread. Instead, if I have a craving for peanut butter, I put it on some celery sticks. This morning, my one Navy uniform that is the perfect check for physical mass is my khaki polyester uniform. No stretch, no grace, no give at all. There is no hiding in that uniform. Well, I could absolutely notice a difference today. The best way I can describe it is less mass in my mid-section...just slightly. I'm also downing a gallon of water a day which is a real struggle with me at times. Often, I'm chugging the last gulp as I lay down to bed (which results in a bathroom break 3 or 4 hours later).

Regarding effort and comparison: Dang, this is a dangerous area that needs to be met straight on. For effort, I love this quote from the book. It's by Leon Chang, the co-owner and co-founder of CrossFit Elysium in California. He offers one-on-one coaching but he has the following pre-requisite:


By entering here, you agree to give 100% of what you have. There are no excuses or second chances. Every day, every moment is an opportunity to excel, to be more, to achieve your best. Do not squander your time going through the motions. Train hard and get results. At the end of the day, look in the mirror and ask yourself if you gave your all. If you don't have that level of commitment, don't waste your time or ours.

That's how I walk in every day and honestly, I'm downright angry if I leave the box without giving it my all. Take this morning for example: I am struggling with my flexibility in my arms and it's negatively hurting my ability to do a front squat as I should. Late in the strength section this morning, I learned that I wasn't the only one and there is another way of doing this while still increasing the weight. I ended up not putting the weight on because I ran out of time and remain a bit ticked at myself for that right now. For the following WOD, it was timed and consisted of a back-n-forth pattern of doing air squats and sit-ups. 50, 40, 30, 20, 10 squats and 10, 20, 30, 40, 50 sit-ups. I did it in 11:08 and felt nauseous at the finish which honestly, made me quite happy...and totally wiped out. Those frickin' sit-ups got really tough and the squats got easier while I got lower and lower. If you know me, that's huge. My flexibility to lower deep with my heels on the ground has been a struggle. So, I really "enjoyed" today's WOD and where it took me. I look forward to the confirmation of this when I wake up tomorrow and feel it. :) In shameless fashion, I grabbed this selfie immediately post-WOD sneakily. Yesterday, a friend (who is quite responsible for getting us to start this whole new 'routine') texted me and mentioned how he looked over at me mid-WOD and the expression he interpreted was "what the heck am I doing here?!". Perfect! We were doing box jumps, kettle bell swings and T2B (toes to bar). I could do the first two things but toes to bar? Ha! Not even close yet. I'll keep working on them.

Then to comparison: Well, I was put in check by one of my trainers earlier this week after comparing myself to someone else. It's a dangerously slippery slope. I really have to NOT do it and simply execute every day to the best of my ability and what I can do. Everyone is built differently and has different abilities...and what they bring to the table (age, habits, past experience, physical makeup, genes!) is all unknown. I will say this: the women at my box are KILLING it. I'm just in awe at watching many of them. The guys are bringing it, too, but I think society in general would have their jaws on the floor if they saw what I see and from what I'm reading in the book and online, it's more the rule rather than the exception across the country. 

As for running? Talk about a change in daily life. I was streaking for about 4 months, not missing a single day on the roads and now it's been reduced to 2-3 days a week max. When I do run, I feel strong and confident and feel less "flab" bouncing I'm tightening up physically. Make sense? I'm still thinking about 2015 heavily and what it holds. The Kettle Moraine 100 Mile Run opens up on January 1st. That is the race squarely on my radar. I am anxious to take a new, fitter me into the 100 mile trail race environment and see what happens.

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