Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Running + CrossFit: Before and After 11 Weeks

Photos my box just posted but from back on December 9th.
Today marks the beginning of Week 12 and this morning was a big 'ol slice of humble pie. Ever had that? It's not the kind of pie you eat with manners and a fork. It's served over your head and you feel like the only one partaking in it. While I lifted more in this particular lift (the hang power clean) than ever before, it was dwarfed by most and even some of the women. Progress? Sure was and I'll be sure to learn from it. I have to. Yesterday was a heart-out-of-my chest workout. I actually joined the afternoon class where I knew no one due to a conflict in the morning and I nearly passed out during the strength portion of the workout. It involved back squats at 75% of our max but we held it for 5 seconds at the bottom of the squat...and we did that for 4 sets. I don't know if I was pinching a nerve or what during the final set but the lights nearly went out. During the workout (WOD) itself, it was an all-out go-as-fast-as-you-can workout that lasted 11 minutes. Burpees, jump rope and squats...I loved the burn!

So to the subject of today's post in my CrossFit Journal...Before and After. Let's see how long I can leave this post up. I'm certainly the one who is on social media a lot but definitely NOT the one who posts photos like this. I am stepping outside my comfort zone, for sure. I asked around and couldn't find someone to say "nope...shouldn't post that" so here it is. Below is a photo from earlier in 2014 or maybe even late 2013. I'm not 100% sure but regardless, it's representative of me prior to November 4, 2014 when I first stepped into a CrossFit box. One of my frustrations in running (where I had very, very few) is that I never physically changed. I essentially flat-lined as far as physical progress. I could run for hours....40 miles...62.4 miles...even some 100-milers back in 2009 but I never looked any different and I never shed weight (unless returning from a period of being sedentary). During the past several years, CrossFit came on the scene and no doubt, I hated on it...often snubbing my nose at it. I just kept running and LOVED it. I seriously did. I'm not sure the actual trigger for beginning in November but it was pushed forward by talking with friends of my ours who have been going together for the past year and progress they've made. Seeing them going together (read: spending more time together), them reaping benefits, and the personal accounts of community within the box was enough to go for the one free session and see what happens. That free session was on November 4th and I have missed very few weekdays since then. I'll never forget that first free session. All Lisa (one of the trainers) did was have us row, do air squats, and swing a kettlebell around...and create a nice puddle of sweat below us. It was a piece of humble pie like today was. I committed, wrote the membership check the next morning and today, Week 12 begins.

Outside of the 60min workout each weekday, I have reduced my running to 1-3 days per week and well under 100mi a month. Regarding diet, I eat "well" but don't follow any specific off-the-shelf plan like the Zone Diet or Paleo. I will say that a lot of what I eat resembles Paleo but overall, it's not. I have done things like having a goal of a gallon of water a day, completely avoid high fructose corn syrup, focus on natural from-the-earth foods and for meat, we recently purchased a quarter of beef that was grass fed and free of any antibiotics, etc. Do I cheat? Sure I do. I love those Reese's Peanut Butter Eggs/Trees/Hearts. I also love the occasional craft brew and trip to Outback Steakhouse where I indulge a bit. Overall, though, I "behave," work hard, still enjoy what I like...within limits. I don't measure anything (unless within a recipe), count calories, or anything like that. Back to the running, I'm still doing my best at keeping my endurance up and finished 10th overall at a trail 50K about two weeks ago and focusing on getting a solid 15-20 miler in over the weekends. I'm not sure what the future holds for future running events, though. I'm still a runner...but I'm debating on if I want to continue my previous trajectory. The two paths can't really totally co-exist since there are 23 other hours in my day and while I love this, it doesn't define me. I'm a husband, father, and sailor first. I love this new path, though...not just because of the photo below (although that does fuel the fire!), but for many reasons: Community, new challenges, "it never gets easier," more time with my wife of 22+ years, and these size 32 pair of jeans below. First.pair.ever. :)


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