Thursday, December 12, 2013

i tried crossfit again...

whoops, i did it again!

tried crossfit, i mean. at a different box. after posting my experience, several people told me that the experience k and i had was not typical. to recount my complaints:
1. it was unfriendly
2. it was late getting started and ran long
3. it was a road to being injured (coach would not correct our form and had us repeat the exercises until we magically got it right)
4. just the warm-up was super exhausting, making the (fairly simple) wod feel almost impossible
5. there was no cool down/stretch

yes, i know i complain a lot.

i feel that complaint 3 was the worst though. being told to repeat an exercise that you have never done before without individual correction is a recipe for disaster. i have goals and being injured because of stupidity does not make my list.

i was very apprehensive about trying out big horn crossfit. really? how different can one box be from the other?

apparently, A LOT DIFFERENT!

big horn crossfit was different from the moment k and i walked in the door. we were greeted with a smile. we were asked our names and felt like the people asking them genuinely cared. class started on time. our warm-up was a simple 4 minute row/jump rope, 25 burpees and some stretching. the atmosphere was light and jovial.

the wod was 500m row, 40 air squats, 30 sit-ups, 20 push-ups and 10 pull-ups. it wasn't easy, but i didn't feel like it was going to kill me either. i felt like i could modify and not be judged for not squatting my rear all the way to the ground or taking a break in the middle of the push-ups.

in all honestly, i would go back again.

i do have two complaints. (i know, i know!) the first is that there was no group cool down. possibly i am too spoiled by other group fitness classes, but i need a cool down and, baby that i am, i hate doing it by myself. the second is cost. i am aware that crossfit is more expensive than typical gyms, but dang if the price isn't way out of my budget at this time. i could make it work if i gave up yogacycle, but let's be honest... that is not going to happen.

so until i win the lotto (or big horn offers a groupon), i guess it's complaints and yogacycle for me. :) p.s. i have one more complaint. why haven't i won the lottery?!? (c'mon now. you knew that was coming.)

**thanks to brian and heather for encouraging me to come try big horn crossfit. if anyone is looking for a legit crossfit box in the denver metro area, i highly recommend these guys. it is a really good group of people!

Friday, November 8, 2013

my first time at crossfit: a review

I bought a voucher for a month at crossfit. I went to my first workout last night. I was nervous, but I went with the expectation that I would love it since my sister-in-law and her husband, my brother and his wife, and a good friend all rave about it.

I got there at 7:20 with my friend K as the class was supposed to start at 7:30. Except... It didn't. The class before us run late so it was 7:50 before we got going.

It didn't seem like the owner/instructor wanted to be there and was brusque. It was some person's last night there and the class before us was going out for drinks. I felt bad for him, but at the same time, don't take it out on me.

We started with a warmup and an intro to the gym/box ideals. He described their philosophy as 70% crossfit, 30% bootcamp. He showed us newbies (four of us) the exercise and had us do it. He had us repeat the exercise until everyone did it right. He said he would not call us out if we were doing it wrong, he would just make everyone repeat it. One particular exercise was repeated so many times, that my friend and I finally spoke up and said "If I'm the one doing it wrong, please just tell me." His words back to us were, I quote, "Don't tell me how to run my class!"

Listen, I get not wanting to embarrass anyone, but if I have done the exercise wrong 20+ times, chances are it feels like I am doing it right. Especially if I have never done it before. Tap me on the shoulder, say "Your form needs help. Try x, y, z." Don't keep have me repeating my mistake, ya know? I'm not learning from that.  Not only that, but encourage the people that ARE doing it right, so they can repeat it.

So fine, class was late to start, the guy didn't want to be there, and he snapped at me for wanting more clarity on doing the exercise right. I can still love the workout, right? Right?

I didn't. It wasn't horrible or anything, but the atmosphere was more boot campish than I was anticipating. The workout was 10 box jumps, 10 pull-ups, 10 wall balls, 20 crunches as many times as you could until he told you you could be done. It might have been fine without all the warmup exercises (jump rope, squats, box jumps, pull-ups, several (!) exercises with the barbell that I have already forgotten the name of, walking lunges, crunches, and kettle bells); I was a pile of goo about 3 minutes in.

At the end of class, which was 9:30 (*ahem* supposed to have ended at 8:30 *ahem*), he asked if we had any questions. The website says that classes are 55 minutes long. I am planning on going to the 6am class (I know! Stop laughing!) so I asked if you can leave early if you need to. He said, not a quote but close, "No. You have to stay for the whole time. No leaving early." What?!

He clarified that 6am was the only exception, but wow, that rubs me the wrong way. Isn't it better for me to come in and get a partial workout done than to not come in at all because I can't stay for the whole class? Maybe I don't get it, but I thought crossfit was supposed to be a quick workout. 55 minutes is not quick. Neither does that work if classes are continually running over. (I have no basis for this other than the two classes I observed. Still...) If I have to stay there the whole time, you had better start and end on time.

I have a month there and I am not looking forward to going back. Maybe I'm just a whiner. Maybe I'm not cut out for the intensity of crossfit. But honestly? I just feel like I was mislead. :( Of course, maybe this was an anomaly. <--- I am willing to give them the benefit of the doubt.

Oh, and last complaint. I promise. There was no cool down or stretching after the workout. That really bummed me out. After using your muscle to fatigue, I imagine that stretching is pretty important for minimizing soreness. Yes, I can do it by myself, but it seems like a 55 minute workout should include it. Keep your fingers crossed that the rest of the month goes better.

***What is your experience at crossfit? Is this the norm or did I have a bad experience? Do I need to give it more time?

Monday, October 28, 2013

seasonal depression

when it gets dark and the days become shorter, i lose my energy and focus.  i want to sleep more and run less. (and let's be honest, can i afford to run less? no.) my average sleep a night jumps from 6 hours to needing 10 or more, and still feeling tired.  seasonal depression is not fun.  this year, i am going to purchase a sunlamp and take more vitamin d to see if that helps.

does the change in seasons affect you? do you have any suggestions to help combat the depressed feelings?

Saturday, October 26, 2013

i run 4...

have you heard of this awesome organization called 'i run 4'?  it is so cool!  it is a charity that pairs up a runner with a person who is unable to run.  the person who runs does so in honor of the person who can't.  they dedicate their run to that person.  i find that so inspiring and motivational.

go get paired up!  your runs will never be the same again.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

could i be a ragnar ambassador?

i got an email that they are looking for ragnar ambassadors for 2014.  i am not sure i am the most qualified, but i think it would be fun to promote the ragnar relay to other runners so i am going to apply.

i joined twitter and would love to have you follow the adventure.  @WhyNotRun50

Thursday, September 12, 2013

nighttime running

before the ragnar, i had never run in the dark.  at dusk? sure.  at dawn? ha!  you know me better than that!  not a chance.

i was nervous about the nighttime run.  if we all ran on schedule, i would be running at about 3:00.  in. the. morning.  it's fine to stay up until then, but run at that time?  i wasn't sure how that was going to go.

i probably should have practiced running at night.  after all, there was the reflective vest to maneuver, the blinking light to figure out, the headlamp to get adjusted to.  but i didn't.  because... well, i have no reason for why i procrastinated.

i ended up running at 2am.  the nighttime run ended up being my favorite part of the ragnar!  although i had my ipod with me, i never once turned it on.  i listened to the crickets.the river.a passing heartbeat.the wind in the grass.the runner's footfalls behind me.the silence that wasn't silent.  everything had a surreal quality to it.  it was absolutely amazing.

what is your experience with nighttime running?  do you incorporate into your running schedule or avoid it?

Sunday, September 8, 2013

post ragnar

i am not sure what to say about the ragnar.  was it something incredible?  yes.  was it something challenging?  yes.  was it something fun?  yes.  kinda. sorta. maybe?  was it something i would do again?  i... i really don't know.  i'm tired and sleep-deprived and tired and sore and tired. i'd like to say a resounding 'yes' because it was incredible and challenging and fun, but i am not sure i am there yet.  give me a day or two to sleep and my answer will probably be different.

my teammates were fast.  that is a good thing because as a team we needed to average under 11 minute miles.  as my team was speeding along, breaking their proposed times, i was plodding along, right at pace or a little better.  i felt like i held the team back.  i don't think they minded and they never made me feel like a burden, it is just something i felt.  i often feel inadequate as a runner and i am not sure why ...especially considering i am doing something that many runners never even think about attempting.

my first run was an 11:39 pace and my nighttime run was 11:32 (<--- check out that bad-ass time!).  it was all going okay until the third run.  and just let me get my excuses out of the way first.
1) it was hot, right at the noon-time sun.
2) it was hillier than i expected.  yes, even though i saw the elevation changes and practiced running hills, this was more than i bargained for.
3) it was steeper than i expected.
4) i ran out of water.
5) my legs were shot from not having enough time to recover.
the third run sucked.  it sucked, it sucked, it sucked!  15:09 minute miles and i am surprised it was even that fast.

i got to the leg exchange and was so thrilled to be done.  i just stopped functioning after that.  i stopped thinking, i stopped comprehending what everyone was conversing about, i stopped talking, i wasn't hungry, i didn't want to walk anywhere.  i didn't even care about crossing the finish line when j came through (although we all did as a team).

maybe that is a normal reaction for a first time ragnarian.  i don't know.  i have never felt that way after any other race.  so in addition to running an unique 200-mile-relay, that makes completing the ragnar unique.

the ragnar is over.  i did it.  it took me to my limits as a runner.  and the view from here?  wide open with possibilities.  so would i do it again?  yes.
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