No lamb, no garden, no immaculate conception but there IS something about me.


Crossfit week 3: Jello arms and a progress picture

Yesterday was a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. One of my top 5 worst, to be quite honest.

The good news is I have many amazing friends. Friends who let me hang out in their kitchen for hours and cry into a bottle of wine while holding their adorable brand new boxer puppy.

You can't be sad for long with a sleepy, cuddly, farting puppy on your lap. Well you can but then they lick you in the nostril and you can't help but laugh.

I don't have a ton I want to say today but I didn't want to not post on a crossfit day. The workout was hard and my arms are jello which was good and I forgot about life outside the box for an hour and a half. Hot Coach saw I was down and kept telling me lame jokes which was sweet of him until I nailed him with the classic, "What do you call cheese that isn't yours?".

The answer? 

Nacho cheese.


Gets them every time.

Warm up was a 200m run, 10 push ups, 10 kettle ball swings, 10 weighted walking lunges x3. Workout was 5 clean and jerks then 3 jumping pull ups and 3 knee to chests then 5 clean and jerks and 6 pull up and knee to chests then 5 clean and jerks and 9 pull ups and 9 knee to chests and so on for 20 minutes. I got through 7 rounds because I was just killing it today. I killed my hands too despite using enough chalk to be on the Olympic Gymnastics team.

End of class was a series of planks, V ups, medicine ball V ups and all sorts of other things I have blocked out. Oh yeah, and 12 rounds of burpees, 20 seconds on and 10 seconds rest.

If I can brush my hair tomorrow it will be a miracle.

I made this comparison picture the other day to show my progress. Maybe you don't see it (I'm looking at you, Justin) but I do and I'm pretty happy so far with how I'm progressing. That dress never used to have wiggle room so now that it fits more loosely I can definitely see the difference. How funny is it that I stand the exact same way without even thinking about it?

I hope you all have a wonderful labor day weekend. I've heard that Labor Day's workout (there's only one class all day) is killer and involves a 10 mile run so I'm counting the minutes until then.

And don't let this post worry you, I'll be fine, everything happens for a reason.


Crossfit week 3: The day I almost killed myself. But not intentionally.

What to say about yesterday.

Oh, yesterday.

Let me start at Tuesday night. I got a text around 5 asking if I wanted to go for an easy 4 miles at 8pm and I said no. I said no, people. I thought it would be a good thing to take an entire rest day since I ran the half marathon on Sunday, went to Crossfit Monday, yesterday was the dreaded/beloved Wednesday and in the middle of all of that I had been spending a lot of hours scraping wallpaper glue off my friend's dining room walls and painting them. Should you need proof here is what I discovered when I got home on Tuesday night:

What paint on my arm? What toilet in the background in an otherwise legit selfie? I am a classy gal.

So yeah, full rest day. I took one. And I was ready for Wednesday! But then I got a text asking if I wanted to go running yesterday morning and of course I said yes because saying no twice in two days is against my religion. We did almost 4 miles and it was an ok 4, not my best. My legs were/are tired and it was crazy hot (for me, I've been all about the 65 degree days so 84 wasn't my happy place) but I did get to run a trail I really love (and get lost on it) with someone I don't get to run with often so it was worth it. I walked some of it, not gonna lie, but I'm not going to beat myself up over it since I ran 13 miles on Sunday (aka I'm totally mad at myself for it).

As soon as we got done running I had to rush right over to crossfit where the warm up run a mile. Really, guys? To be fair my friend called to tell me the WOD but I was running and missed it but it wouldn't have changed anything anyway. I was already stretched out and warmed up which was good so the mile was going much better than the 4 I had just finished but at the half mile turn around I saw a girl really struggling. I asked her if she was ok and she said it hurt to breathe so I taught her some breathing techniques and then stayed with her while she ran/walked back. We were the last in by a long shot and Ralph (the coach who looks like the Karate Kid so that's going to be his name here now) yelled, "Oh, there they are!" when we got back. Thanks dude, I'm sure that made her feel better.

The actual workout was to row 500m for time which we did in groups of 5. I talked to the new guy some that started last week and he said he was scared of the rowing machine, ha! But I noticed he ran a lot better today than he did Monday so he's already doing better and he killed the 500m. It's funny how crossfit can worry you when you first see the workout but once you're in the middle of it you just go for it.

After the rowing we broke into partners and had to do four excercises at 21 reps each and then 15 reps and then 9 reps. We had to get on our knees and push a barbell with weights on it as far out as we could go and then pull it back in, throw wall balls over the pull up bar to our partner, do push ups with one person doing them regular and the other person putting their feet on their partner's back and doing the pushup that way (which hurt, a lot) and then do waves on the battle rope. My partner is a personal trainer and she is beyond ripped so we got done pretty fast and she helped me work on my form a lot which was awesome. She also teaches a spin class on Wednesdays and invited me to come try it so I probably will because I'm crazy and don't work out enough, right? But really, it was super nice of her to invite me to her class and I've always wanted to try it so I'm excited about that.

Then last night was run club, as I've mentioned/whined about before and I warned the people I was running with that I was probably going to end up on the side of the road somewhere and to just send someone for my body. The whole way to the bar I was praying that we weren't running Tipp Hill (I have no idea why, all of our other routes are just as hilly but I really didn't want to do Tipp Hill) but of course that's what we ended up doing. I got two miles in and had lost my people because I was running easy so I decided to stop at the top of a hill near Coleman's and sit on some church stairs until I saw them again. I waited 15 minutes and started to see the fast runners who usually do 8 miles come back through (Will even asked if I needed help, embarrassing) before I realized they probably went another way. So I ran back to the bar and there they were, already slugging water and eating all the flatbread. Jerks ;) It wasn't a bad run though, I just clearly did too much in one day. If you're keeping track (because I was) I ran 9 miles and went to crossfit yesterday. My shoulders are on fire this morning and I would pay someone a significant amount of money to rub them out although as soon as they touched me I would probably punch them in the face because they're that sore. My feet are pretty shredded too, I got some blisters at my race and the 9 miles I did yesterday did nothing good for that situation (I'll spare you the details, it's not pretty).

Never. Again.*

On a side note, if you read my blog last year you may remember my unholy love of Nalgene bottles. I probably haven't been seen without one since 1999 when I declared my major as geoscience the second I was able to in college and the head of the department gave me one and since then I always have one with me and usually 3-4 in my fridge at any given moment. Well look at the coolest one of all time:

That's the bar I run at, BTW.

It GLOWS in the DARK. And I need one. Because that's not mine, I have bought two for other people and don't own one of my own yet but it was pretty awesome at the bar once it got dark.

So if you're looking to buy me a present EMS carries these....just saying.

*Who am I kidding? We all know it will probably happen again.


Crossfit week 3: You should run with me. No, really.

If you let Ben and Jerry's chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream melt to the consistency of a protein smoothie it's basically the same thing, right? Asking for a friend....

If you want me to sum up crossfit today (but I'm posting this tomorrow, Tuesday, so stay with me) it would go like this:

Yeah, I called it easy. What has become of me?

I was a little worried about going today because my body was tired. Really tired. Crossfit has been wearing me out (in a good way) and running a half marathon isn't a small feat (even though I keep my base mileage around that range so it's not going to kill me) so I wasn't sure how much I could do. Right up until the second I walked through the door I didn't want to go but I'm glad I made myself.

Warm up was a half mile run and then we did what they called Partner Gauntlet. We each had a partner and we moved through different stations. The first person had to do the exercise for 30 seconds, then we had 15 seconds to switch and the next person tried to beat their time. Then we moved on to the next station and the person who finished the station before was the first person to go at the next station. The stations were the ski machine, biking, rowing, box jumps and burpees. After we went through an entire round we had to run a half mile and then we did it again but this time for 40 seconds. After that round we ran a half mile then did it for 50 seconds. When we were done with that we finished the class with 3 minutes of Up Downs or as I like to call them, Mary Face Plants. It was fun to see my entire body outlined in sweat on the black floor mats like some sort of crossfit crime scene especially since it was my first time doing them and a minute and a half in I was convinced I was dead anyway and was ready to contact the police to report a homicide. Although if I am paying for it would it be suicide? Hmmm.

Anyway, if you followed all that then you will see that it was all cardio, aka my bread and butter. Hallelujah because I had tight legs to work out and I wasn't interested in lifting anything heavier than my Nalgene bottle to my mouth. My partner was a girl I met my first week, she is one of the slower girls at cardio but she is a power house with weight lifting. She also has a dinosaur skeleton tattoo on her back which is why I geeked out the first week and decided we should talk (turns out she went to school to be a geologist/paleontologist too but she likes vertebrates... I am trying not to hold that against her though).

I did really well with the workout which surprised me. I was definitely tired but not lifeless after and nothing really hurt. I am starting to get good enough at box jumps that I'm almost ready to try it full out (I step up on the box, I don't jump on it with both feet but it's getting too easy so I'm almost ready). Burpees still killed me but they are getting easier too somehow, who ever thought that would happen? I salivate when I see the rowing machine, we're now in a committed relationship and I don't want to look at any other piece of equipment because I love it that much. And I could take it or leave it but it's a fun change. The ski machine is the same, it doesn't seem that hard but I may not be doing it with the correct form (I used to think squats were easy before I started crossfit and learned proper form and now I can only do 30 before I want to die). So I did work out hard and I loved it but it wasn't one of the workouts that had me in a fetal postion on my bedroom floor the second I got home.

Despite feeling really good during the workout I got a splitting migraine the second I got in my car.  Like it felt like someone had an ax and was trying to break through my skull from the inside out. I drove right to McDonald's and got a Coke and that took care of it, I think because I was on top of it so fast (I can't have caffeine because it will give me migraines but if I have one it will sometimes take it away if I can get a soda ASAP). I guess it defeats the purpose to work your butt off to go and drink a half gallon of soda but it doesn't happen often so I'll deal with it.

The running was really easy because I'm never interested in pushing myself really hard with it at crossfit, why would I? I've got nothing to prove there with running. I do feel bad though whenever we run in class and there are people who are clearly not runners struggling. My mothering/helper instincts kick in and I always try to run at the back of the pack and help encourage people. They don't always like it but I don't care ;) The first half mile I ran really easy and at my warm up pace. The second I ran a quarter mile easy and then pushed myself in at the end (I was probably at about an 8mm pace) but my partner was the last one so I went back out to get her as soon as I hit the door. She told me it wasn't necessary because she is always the last one in but I told her that's not how runners are, we stay with our partner. My coach (I have three that rotate and today was the really hot one) said he really liked that I did that so I stuttered something unintelligible at him as per usual because I was gross and sweaty and he and not. Plus I didn't even really think about it, she wasn't back yet and I was so I went back out to run her in, we do it all the time in my run clubs. The third time she and a guy that is newer than me (I think he started last week) were last so I sprinted to the turn around point just to stretch my legs and then stayed with them on the way back and convinced them to sprint in at the very end. They may have done it just to shut me up (and they complained about it a lot) but I'll take it.

Moral of the story: don't run with me if you don't want me to push you. Even if I say I won't I will, you just won't always know it at the time. I'm tricky like that.

Actually, you SHOULD run with me for two reasons:
1) I want everyone to run because running makes me happy and I think it will make you happy, too
2) I am awesome and you will get to spend time with me and listen to me sing Will Smith or Rob Zombie or Bon Jovi on repeat and who doesn't want that?



Turning Stone Half Marathon review

The best and worst shower you will ever take is one directly following a double digit run. The best because getting all the dried salt off is amazing (especially if you're like me and forget that it's on your face and then go through the sprinklers at the finish line and scream silently inside when your eyes feel like they're melting out of your head) and the worst because you figure out every spot you should have put Body Glide on but forgot to. Thankfully for me it wasn't many yesterday.

So yes, race! It happened! And it was great!

It was at the Turning Stone Casino so how cool is the medal that's supposed to be three cards? The same image is on the tech shirt I got but I'll never wear it so I will probably give it to a friend of mine who I force all of my race shirts on.

Ironically I forgot my Body Glide yesterday. I got home pretty late on Saturday night but I laid out (what I thought was) all of my stuff for the next morning since I was getting picked up at 6:30am but I forgot my running sunglasses, my Body Glide and to load my new running play list on my phone. Sunglasses and playlist I can live without, Body Glide I can not. Luckily there was a vendor at the race that was selling it so I forked over $10 for a stick and lived a happier life (Body Glide is an anti chafing substance, it looks just like deodorant but doesn't really feel like anything on your skin but it protects all that needs protecting. It's a gift from God and I use it for everything including when I am breaking in new high heels).

I was pretty excited about running when I got up yesterday and told my friend that was running with me (and who gave me the bib) that it was just a mental health run. I realized on the way there that I hadn't run more than 9 mile since the Mountain Goat in May because of my asthma issues I was having for a few weeks and I really just wanted a nice easy run to clear my head out. I took my phone and headphones with me but didn't use them (which I didn't think I would). It seemed like a pretty small race, the half marathon started at 8am and the 10k at 8:30am and I am really bad at number estimates but it wasn't large by any means. Which is nice, I hate jostling for a good comfortable spot (I'm looking at you, Boilermaker and you, Nike Women's Half).

The course was beautiful, it was near where I grew up and was all rural running so no cars to compete with. It was also pretty easy, all rolling hills and the "serious" hills were gradual so it didn't really feel like I was putting in a ton of effort to get up them. The first 10 miles I felt great, I kept a really easy pace (about 10:30-11 minute miles) and just enjoyed running and talking to people. Oh, and singing. I like to sing when I run easy and I am 100% sure everyone around me appreciated it. There were a good amount of water stops every two miles or so and every one had water and Gatorade as options.

At mile 10 things got a little hairy for me, I told my friend (he stayed with me until that point) that I felt like I hit a wall. Not "the" wall, just a wall. He asked me if I needed a Gu and I said no, I literally felt like I was running against a wall and not going anywhere. So he left me. Typical (I would have done it to him).

I got through mile 10 and mile 11 was a little rough mentally (which is exactly what I have been using crossfit to try and work through). At one point I remember thinking, "I either need a downhill, some shade or some water...or a gun". The gun part was just me trying to be funny in my own head, it was nowhere near the hardest mile I have ever run. That, in case you are wondering, is tied for first place. Hardest physical mile was during the Yuengling half marathon in VA Beach in 2012 when I wasn't trained for it at all and did it anyway and hit the literal running wall so hard at mile 9 that I was shuffling along looking for a place to lay down on the side of the road and never get up. Hardest mental mile was the Mountain Goat this year when at mile 9.25 of 10 it finally hit me that that was the day I was supposed to get married (but obviously wasn't) and I had a total meltdown on the side of the road about it for 15 minutes straight in the middle of downtown Syracuse .75 miles from the finish. Not one of my best moments for sure but I lived.

Anyway, THIS mile 11 was just mental and I thought to myself, "Can I keep going?" and the answer was, "Yes but I don't want to" which was  fair assesment seeing as I was running it for fun. So I walked for a little bit, encouraged some people who were running a half for the first time and enjoyed the scenery. At mile 12 I got back on it and ran it in and only finished 5 minutes after my friend. Up until mile 11 I was set to PR (personal record) it but I decided I didn't want to anyway because I was running under someone else's name. Right before I crossed the finish line I saw my mom which made me happy that she came, she's a hit or miss on such things so I crossed, got my medal and Gatorade and then went to see her. I got a lecture about life for about 15 minutes (she can't help herself) and then I went inside to drink my weight in (free!!) chocolate milk (My love for chocolate milk knows no bounds and I rarely share it, FYI. So don't be asking).

Overall it was a really fun race and I'm glad I did it. I was pretty tired yesterday afternoon because I spent the entire day before at the state fair so my legs were shot but I feel ok today and am still going to go to crossfit. I'm not sure yet if that's a good idea or a bad one so I'll let you know tomorrow if I live through it today.


Crossfit Week 2: Guess what I'm doing on Sunday?

Today I yet again give thanks to Urban Decay's 24/7 liquid eyeliner that somehow made it through my entire workout without budging. This stuff is miraculous, I tell you. But don't ask me why I was even wearing it to crossfit, I know not what I do (ok fine, I was too tired to wash my face when I went to bed last night).

And that face I'm making...lord have mercy.

Today I learned what squat cleans are. And then I learned what a thruster is. And then I learned what a squat clean thruster is. And then I tweeted my chiropractor as soon as class was done and asked him if it's normal for my hands to be tingly or numb after I lift weights (I only recommend using social media to contact your doctors unless you graduated high school with them...and possibly if you dressed up as them for Halloween in the 10th grade...although that's just heresay). If you want to see what move I'm talking about I found it for you here...

Our warm up today was to run a half mile outside and at every corner we turned on to do 5 squats. There were about 5 corners and the way there so I did around 50 squats I think. The work out for today (WOD) was 1 squat clean thruster and then run 200m, 2 squat clean thrusters and then run 200m, 3 squat clean thrusters and then run 200m all the way up to 10. We had 35 minutes to complete it and I did it in about 26 minutes which I was happy with. My legs were SOLID today, they haven't felt that good running in a long time which made me insanely happy. I even finished the 10th round of running much faster than the first and was pushing hard which is so good for me. I'm really trying to focus on my endurance and not killing myself at the beginning so that I have more to give at the end of a race. I left not feeling like a shell of myself which is good and bad, bad because I really love pushing myself and good because...

I didn't mention this but as soon as I got to run club the other night a friend of mine said, "Do you want to run a half on Sunday?" and I said, "Uhhh......sure" to which he said, "Wow, you must still be sick because you actually hesitated" and he's partially right. My hesitation was because I'm still not eating great (I usually carb load 4 days or so before a half) and I have been focusing more on Crossfit the last two weeks and haven't logged a double digit run in a few weeks but eh, I'll give it a go since he has an extra bib and because I rarely, if ever, turn down a run invite. Plus I managed to eat pretty well yesterday and my legs are feeling awesome today so I'm starting to look forward to it now. So it looks like I'm running a half marathon on Sunday which will be my third of the year. I think I will probably end up running with music since I am not really doing it for time, I'm doing it just to do it and I just made a friend of mine an awesome running playlist that I haven't actually tried out yet. Or I'll just listen to this on repeat which is much more likely...

I'll let you know how it goes on Monday, have a great weekend!


Crossfit week 2: It's hump day!

I'd like to start this post off with a moment of silence for one of my surround sound speakers and my third Wii sensor in a year and a half.

I'd also like to extend that moment of silence to the bun who will be in a pot as soon as I google a delicious recipe.

She will be missed.


The other day I cut four inches off my hair. 20% of this was powered by it being too long and heavy that it was pulling the curl out whenever I curled it (which is 5 days out of 7) and 80% of it was because I was tired of it being so long that it was whacking me in the face like a big sweaty tail whenever I was doing burpees and planks. Crossfit is already taking over my life.

My hair grows crazy fast though so it will be back in two months, never fear.

I am really starting to dread Wednesdays. Other than that awesome hump day commercial I have no use for them and that's because I go to crossfit and I have run club on the same day. Yesterday was sliiiightly less painful than last Wednesday but my legs were still really fatigued and my thighs were again not having it. We ran the SU Hill which is not *a* hill but more of a series of many hills and I only did 4 miles and then retreated back downtown to lay on the bar surrounded by glasses of water and a bunch of unsuspecting parents and freshman who were moving in and had no idea that their dinner would be interrupted by a bunch of sweaty runners who get excited over ice and mini cupcakes (shout out to Will for those...and for his amazing Irish accent that sounds like talking to an angel).

If you're wondering to yourself, "If you hate working out twice on Wednesdays then why are you doing it??" then you are asking yourself the same thing I asked through all 4 miles yesterday. But there is one main reason I am doing it: to condition my body more to pushing through fatigue. During the last three miles of any half marathon I run my body tends to get really tired from pushing so hard. Regular training runs aren't a problem, I could go forever, but I instinctively push it more in a race so it's hard to break through that wall sometimes. I am really trying to get used to mentally and physically pushing past that so that I can get closer to my goal. I usually run about a 2:20-2:30 half marathon (told you I was slow) but I want a sub 2 by next summer. I was hoping for it by this summer and was on course to do that but then we got a really nasty heat wave for a few weeks and my heat induced asthma that I haven't heard from in years kicked in and I couldn't run for a while. I had gotten myself back down to 9 minute miles (before I stopped running for a year due to my heart issues I ran 7:30-8 minute miles) and now I am hanging out in the 10-11 minute mile range. So one of the things I am working on is pushing through it so I can keep my pace up and keep pushing towards my goal.

The other reason I ran yesterday was because my anxiety level was at a mach 5 on a scale of 1-10. I can (and do) take in a lot of stress and take it and take it (sometimes for months) and then one day I just crack and hang out in a massive ball of anxiety for weeks. I'm in the middle of that right now and running really helps me focus but I haven't been running as much because of crossfit. Which is fine for me physically but mental it's killing me. Therefore I'm trying to get back into it as much as my legs (and back) will let me because I really miss not thinking...and for the most part I don't think at all when I run.

Cliff notes version:
Blah blah blah Mary runs too much blah blah she cut her hair blah blah talk more about the cupcakes.

As for crossfit yesterday it was another tough day but still awesome. Warm up was 15 minutes of running drills, workout was 5 stations of exercises (kettle ball, ring dips, sandbag squats, mountain climber type things but you had to bring your feet up next to your hands and box jumps) in rounds. First it was 35 seconds straight then 10 seconds to transition to the next station, then round two was 45 seconds with 8 seconds transition, round three was 55 seconds with 6 second transition, round four was 60 seconds with no transition. In between each round we did planks and I now have rug burn on top of rug burn which feels amazing (ha!). We ended the workout by playing cards which sounds fun but is not. Each of the four suits was a different exercise (V ups, full body sit ups, leg lifts and toe touches) and each card had a value. Jokers were 15 burpees. We tried to go through as many cards as possible (I think we got through 25?) and did that for 15 minutes and I am pretty sure I have never stared at a clock so much in my life. And the ring dips? I have to do them with the help of resistance bands (you loop the bangs through the rings and then put one knee in it and that helps you dip up and down when you have the upper body strength of  gnat) and I kept losing my balance to begin with so I was swinging all over the place like Tarzan except far less attractive and slightly less hair. It was fun though and I really liked it by the fourth round when I finally got my balance.

I hurt FAR less this week than I did last week and that's saying a lot so I am proud of my progress so far. My shoulder still hurts though which is a little concering but I'm pretty excited my abs hurt today. Why? Because I didn't know I had any, I thought the area between my chest and my thighs was just a Doritos reservoir. Crossfit is teaching me new things all the time.

On that note I will leave you with what I came home to yesterday...


Crossfit week two: The day I changed my thinking

Today was brutal, to put it mildly. Have I whined that whine before? I'm sure I have but I'm so new that every workout seems tougher than the last. I can't even remember our warm up out of an act of self preservation because it was rough. I know it started with 100 jumping jacks with 5 push ups after every 25 and went downhill from there. The actual workout was 20 seconds of getting as many reps in as possible then 10 seconds of rest for 8 rounds and then you move to the next station. The stations were a ski machine (I'm not good with the crossfit jargon yet), barbell lifts, sled push, TRX mountain climbers, rowing and box jumps. In between each set of 8 we had to do things like run 200m or planks into walking planks or leg lifts. The last two rounds were a lot of running and I FINALLY felt like I was good at something. I guess it's easy to sprint at the beginning of class but when you have to do four laps of the parking lot (including going up stairs) I finally saw some endurance drop on people while I was feeling fine. Not that it's a competition....oh, who am I kidding, everything I do is a competition.

If you're keeping track of my random rug burn then today it was my arms that got hit from doing planks and walking planks. Part of the floor is this weird, stiff velcro type rug and it just destroys my sensitive redhaired girl skin. And it buuuuuurns! At one point I had both my arms again the metal pull up racks like a bear itching on a tree just to get the burning to stop.

I also got a splinter in my palm within 3 minutes of class starting and was bleeding everywhere so that was a good time.

Injuries aside, today is the day my mentality changed. Last week I had a total survival mentality, just get through it and I have nothing to prove. This week out of nowhere I started challenging myself. As in, "Ok, the last 20 second set you only did 8 box jumps, let's go for 9" or "the last 20 seconds of rowing you were at 2:21, let's try to keep it under 2". And I was dying, don't get me wrong, but it was cool to see myself already pushing. I can also finally see where this is going to help the mental aspect of my running because it's easy for me to tell myself, "eh, I'm just not feeling it today, I'm gonna walk a tenth of a mile". Those days are going to be done soon! I really like the coaches too, they push and encourage but not too hard. If I'm laying on the floor dying in the middle of sled pushes they just let me lay there and die but if I'm actually doing reps then they're really supportive.

A little of topic but one of my favorite movies ever is Bloodsport, my cousin Kurt and I used to watch it on repeat when we were little (no, I'm not sure what our parents were thinking either but it was a time I used to ride on my dad's lap in the car to the babysitter every day so what can ya do?). Anyway, in the middle of sled pushes I got really dizzy and kept trying to keep going but I was so disoriented. All I could think of for some reason was the final fight scene of Bloodsport, around 3:30. You're welcome for that visual.

I currently have two ongoing pains, one in my shoulder and one in my right sciatic nerve. Not sure how I injured either of them specifically but I am hoping they correct themselves soon. I'm looking forward to Wednesday though! I decided not to be superwoman and try to go for 5 days this week, maybe next week. I'm not throwing up anymore but I am still not able to eat a lot so I get fatigued fairly quickly (I can really notice it in my running). I'm hoping by Friday to try running to and from crossfit for the first time since it's only a mile away. I'm playing it by ear though.

Hope you all had a good weekend :)


Crossfit day 3: How the first week went

Well kids...I made it through the first week. And I have one thing to say about it:

Remember my talk of turning beet red? I wasn't lying (this is right after I got home today).



I am already noticing improvements so that counts for something! I was able to do far more burpees than I was during my into last week and my hands are nowhere near as chafed.

I ended up going to crossfit three days this week, Mon/Weds/Fri and I think that was a good decision. Wednesday night my usual running partners bailed on me but I went to run club anyway because it starts and ends at an Irish pub and is therefore my most favorite run club I am in so I am always sad when I miss it. Besides it always gives me a reason to talk to new people when I show up alone. I ended up running 4 pretty brutal miles (my thighs were not on board with any of it) but I made it through and then spent the next few hours doing this around the downtown area:

I was FREEZING, what happened to August?

It turns out that running a few hours after crossfit is something I'm going to have to keep building up to.

Yesterday (Thursday) I did nothing. I didn't factor in a few key things when signing up for crossfit:

-How I feel about getting in and out of the car

-How I feel about walking up and down stairs

-How I feel about walking. Period.

At one point I actually walked from Petsmart clear across the massive parking lot to Target and back because that seemed easier than getting in and out of the car because my butt muscles hurt SO BAD. By bad I mean that I spent the whole night last night having to wake up to roll over because it was a conscious process. But I've always like the saying, "Pain is just weakness leaving the body" and next week will be better. It's a good pain, I promise (she tells herself as if that will convince her otherwise...).

Today my friend called who goes to the same box (that's what a crossfit "gym" is called by the way, a box) and told me that the workout was really hard but he lied. It wasn't easy by any means but I thought Wednesday's was much harder. Here's what we did:

Warm up
30 seconds each of push ups, sit ups, mountain climbers, inch worms, jumping jacks and burpees for 6 minutes (I think there was one or two others in there I can't remember).

20 minutes to run one mile and then do as many sets of these as possible: 5 handstand pushups (I did the modified version so I had to do 15), 10 pull ups, 15 burpees. I got through three sets without dying, praise the lord. When we were done with the 20 minutes we had to do 100 full body sit ups and then 20 jump lunges (ow).

"Cool down" (for the lack of a better term)
We were in teams of 4 and had to do sprint relays carrying a sandbag on our shoulders which has made my left shoulder really unhappy (don't tell my chiropractor...sorry, Russ) for about 5 minutes.

Then I came home and died.

Only kind of joking.

I know its probably boring to read all of that but I know before this week I was so confused as to WHAT exactly goes on in crossfit. I mean, I knew it was a bunch of masochistic people who loved to beat the snot out of themselves and I was completely on board with that but I had no idea what I was really getting into.

And after my first week I have to say that I really do like it. It's not easy by any means and once I get more familiar with things I plan on pushing myself a lot harder but I was trying to keep the pain at a minimum this week (Ha! I say. Ha!).

Oh! But here's a surprising development...they are making me HATE running, at least in the crossfit context. That one mile run? Apparently means full out. And as I have mentioned before it takes me 3 miles to get into a good pace so banging right into a sub 8 minute mile out of the gate makes me unhappy. I don't like to push it when I first go out so it's making me mad that I am getting murdered by everyone else. I would really love to see these crossfit people run 10 miles (that's the anger talking, I am sure some of them would do just fine). It's all good though, I'll be right there with them soon.

Also, my normal coach was gone today so I had two different coaches and they were correcting everything I was doing which was equal parts awesome and annoying. But they played this during warm up so I think I may be in love with both of them...

And if you just want to fast forward that to 1:47 for JT's biceps I completely understand, this is a judge free zone.

I have about 15 miles of running on my plate for this weekend and then I'm ready for next week, who else is??


Edited to add:
I guess I failed to mention this crucial part: I am already obsessed with crossfit. Love it, need it, don't want to think about being without it. I knew before I started I would love it because distance running is all about talking yourself out of quitting and everything I have heard about crossfit says the same thing and it's so true. I am so looking forward to pushing myself harder and farther than I ever have before and more importantly building my core strength to make me a better runner. Because I may or may not have a reason that I need to be the best runner I can be in the next few months... ;)


Crossfit day 2: The time I almost gave myself a concussion

First and foremost thank you all so much for your encouragement on my post yesterday. Last week was just a trifecta of suck so I'm just working through it all. Today was much better though so I'm doing pretty well at that, thank goodness.

In case you were dying of anticipation to know, I DID go to crossfit today and here are a few highlights from it:

-When a red haired girl gets really hot a sweaty she gets red all over in a not-so-attractive way. Think beet red face and arms and everything else which clashes wonderfully with her (my) hair. However it turns out that when a blonde tan girl gets really hot and sweaty they just get... way more attractive? Who knew. I think it's God's way of making it up to them that they weren't born a redhead. Makes sense, not everyone can be this awesome.

-I also learned not to wear mascara to crossfit. I had to go to my friend's work right beforehand which is full of architects and engineers so I didn't want to look like a hot mess but I sure did by the end of class. It turns out that "waterproof" does not equal "butt kicking proof".

-When I first got to class and they told us the warm up I totally gave my coach the side eye when he said we had to run to the end of the driveway and back. I was all, bitch please. The END of the DRIVEWAY?! And then as soon as we started I realized that everyone else understood that in secret code that means "sprint" and I remembered that I haven't done such a thing since tennis practice in high school and despite the fact that I could out run any one of them in distance any day, I got schooled again in suicide sprints that we did at the end of class. Crossfit: 1, Mary: 0.

-When I got home I texted my running partner something along the lines of, "I WAS THE SLOWEST ONE IN THE CLASS AND I CAN NOT HAVE THIS GAHHH!!!" to which he calmly replied, "I will start adding more speedwork into our runs". Bless his heart.

-As the newest girl I got put into a group last by my coach when we were breaking into our team competition for the day (I will spare you the details but it was 20 minutes straight of running, burpees, sit ups, rowing, barbells and dumbbells) and for a second I felt like the fat kid picked last in dodge ball. But then I told myself it's really because they save the best for last and I felt better (yes, I realize this is not true but go with me here, ok?).

-During an "awesome" exercise where I was required to pick a 20lb dumbbell up as fast as I could and swing it over my head I dropped it right on my head on the way back down on one pass and despite standing right next to me my coach didn't even flinch. I knew I liked him.

-I kind of have a headache now, not sure why...

And that's all I've got for you today, I'm heading out to run 4 or 6 easy miles to stretch out my legs because my thighs are feeling tight and then probably walk around downtown Syracuse wimpering for a while. Aka I am making up for the whine fest of yesterday, sorry about that! But thank you for reading it.

Happy Wednesday.


Learning when to give in.

I had mixed feelings about going to crossfit today. I've been researching beginning crossfit a lot (I know you're shocked) and almost everything says to start out at three days a week. But me, being me, wanted to go five days this week just to push through the pain and feel more established in the routine of it and then scale back to three days a week next week. I also have a friend who started crossfit last month and she was really encouraging me to go five days for my first week just to break through any uncertainty I was having and that made sense to me.

My plan was to see how I felt physically when I woke up this morning and surprisingly I don't feel that bad for the ridiculous amount of upper body work I did yesterday (I am estimating I did about 150 reps of different variations of pushups alone). My arms are sore and my back is a little sore and that's it. But what's killing me today is my mental state.

I believe that the thing that gets most people in the end is the mental aspect of working out. If your confidence is down or you're feeling anxious or your body is sore (but not injured) then it's easier to give in to the negative thoughts and not push through them. That is something I have always prided myself on, pushing through the negativity towards myself that is always there. Because trust me, it is ALWAYS there. If you ever run with me you will feel it in the first 2-3 miles of every run. I will be kind of slow, drag a bit, talk a lot because mentally I am hating the run, convinced I can't do it, convinced I'm tired, convinced I've tricked myself into thinking I am a real runner. And then I find my sweet spot and the run clicks and I stop talking, my stride lengthens, my pace picks up and evens out and I can go forever. It is always between mile 2-3 and people who have never run with me before always notice it.

But today I lost the mental battle. I woke up on edge and have been severely anxious all day. My heart won't stop pounding and I can't get a clear thought through my head to save my soul. To be fair, last week was a pretty killer one in my world and I am still kind of reeling from it. It's not always easy to be strong but I'm trying. Despite this I actually got dressed this morning in clothes for crossfit (I even wore capris to give my knees a break from rug burn), did some errands and then drove to the parking lot 10 minutes before class started.

And I sat there.

And I thought about going in.

And I talked myself in and out of it three times.

And so I drove to the lake to try to run.

And I realized I didn't even have it in me to do that.

And so I drove home.

And I cried about it the whole way.

So that happened.

Or didn't, as the case may be.

The thing about pushing your body is that there are good days and bad days. Some are good mentally, some are good physically, sometimes you hit the golden ticket and get both and sometimes it's all the opposite. If you start out before your workout in a rough mental state it's even harder to climb out of. And I can tell you with straight confidence that no one loves to beat themselves up over things than I do. I'm feeling like the lowest of the low right now and I am not sure how to climb out of it right this second and I am being brutal on myself about it which is just compounding the situation.

Why am I telling you this?

Because it would be easy for me to pretend that these days don't exist. That I am always a machine that can bang out a 13 mile run without putting much thought to it. That I can go to crossfit day after day regardless of how badly I hurt because I like to push myself. And both of those things are true. But the mental is such a big part of the game and it's a rare day that I can't push through all my walls but it does happen.

I promised myself that if I restarted this blog that I would be honest about how I am feeling with you. Because the whole reason I went into this a year ago was to help people who wanted to get into running because it's a scary, daunting undertaking (just like crossfit is to me right now). It is really easy to fall into the typical "bloggers" way of only writing about the sunshine and rainbows in life but who is that helping in this regard? I want you to know that it's ok that you have bad days. It's ok if you can't push through it. It's ok if you cry the whole way home because you planned on doing 5 miles but only did one (been there, done that) or because you couldn't kill the WOD in crossfit that day. It's ok to take the pressure off yourself. You have enough in the rest of your life, be easy on yourself when you need it (conversely, kick your ass into submission when you need that, too because these days should be few and far between).

There is a saying that I often see pop up on social media that says, You never regret the workouts you do, only the ones you didn't. And while I agree with that for the most part, some days you have to give in and say, you know what? I just don't have it in me today.

Yesterday during our ab workout my coach said, "Don't quit when you want to, quit when you HAVE to".

I had to quit today.

But tomorrow is going to be better and today isn't going to make or break me.

So that's my message for you.

Remember it.


Crossfit day 1: The time I thought I was going to die but didn't

I got a text this morning saying that the crossfit workout was really hard today.


So I replied, "aren't they all hard?" and he said, "yeah but not like this one".

To which I immediately thought, I am going to die.

Let me rewind a little bit to the last few days.

Friday I did nothing, basically because I couldn't move. You really do forget how hard it is to get up and down from your toilet when your legs are crying hysterically until it happens (again). Saturday I had a 4 mile race which would have been better if I wasn't throwing up right up until the time the gun went off but what can you do? I somehow made it through with a wretched time and face planted right into the cooler full of popsicles where I stayed for 20 minutes and then went home. Sunday I felt better, didn't throw up once, and ran 8.5 miles. Woo hoo, I say.

Today: Woke up at 4am throwing up. Yeah, life is that great. Don't worry though, it's all mental. I think? I have had a fever off and on but nothing major. But really, despite all of this being sick talk I am fine (really, it's stress, I'm under a lot). Anyway, got the text I mentioned above, got scared, went to Crossfit anyway because it was my first real class and there was no way I was missing it. As soon as I walked in my coach (who looks like Ralph Macchio, did I mention that? Like I really want to bring him chopsticks and ask him to catch me a fly to prove his worth) said, "Are you ready?? Did you eat today??". Um, no and no, Daniel son. Let's do this.

First we did a warm up of 45 seconds each of push ups, inch worms and rowing for 3 sets. Then we moved into 15 minutes of push ups, box push ups and back dips (there was a certain number of reps to do and those exercises are the scaled back version, there's no way I can do hand stand push ups yet). My arms were SCREAMING halfway through but it was good screaming (not to be confused with when I see broccoli screaming). After that we were split into teams of three and had to row 1500m collectively as fast as we could. I was with two guys and they were really nice and encouraging and HUGE so we got done pretty fast. It was nice to hear my coach say that I clearly have endurance, thank God for that or else all this running is for nothing, right? After that we did 7 minutes of ab work, one minute each of 7 different exercises.

Then I went to my car and died.

No, not really. I actually feel much better than I did on Thursday which is weird considering the workout was longer today. And I am actually really impressed with what I was able to do. I mean, I wasn't breaking any records or anything but I did better than I expected so I'll take it.

Here's the weird thing I noticed about how people were dressed though:
1) No one had a Road ID on (what happens if they go into cardiac arrest??)
2) No one was wearing anything neon pink or yellow or green
3) No one had on shorts with key pockets or built in underwear
4) No one was wearing fancy friction preventing socks
5) No one was wearing Brooks or Nikes or Mizunos. It was all Adidas and Reebok.
6) No one was wearing a race shirt

So....guess what I was wearing?

Looks like it's going to take a while to beat the runner out of me. At least I didn't wear my Garmin, that would have been embarrassing.

Oh, and look at this rug burn! Which I am going to ice as soon as I post this because my hands are on fire.

Those bruises are from the burpees I did on Thursday. Sexy, right?

Verdict after my first real day: is it tomorrow yet? I'm ready.


Do you know that I can't spell the word exercise without spellcheck?

Brace yourselves...this isn't a post about running!

If you've read any of my blog in the past then it's no secret that I handle stress in my life with exercise. It's a gift to be able to work your body so hard that you think you may die but never do (yet...keep reading...I may be marching towards my death). It clears my mind in ways that I can't do any other way and I crave pushing myself so hard that I think I have nothing left and then pushing harder only to find out I do. As a matter of fact that's my running mantra: Go until you think you're going to die and then keep going.

I knew I was going to be having to work through something really difficult soon so last week I bought a month's membership to the Crossfit gym (? I don't think they are called gyms but I'll let you know soon) near my house to take my mind off it. Crossfit is something that has made me curious for a while but I was scared to do it by myself. But another mantra of mine is to turn towards fear, not away from it, so here I am sitting on my chair counting the minutes until my intro class (37, if you are wondering).

I know several people who do Crossfit and love it, including my super badass cousin Todd. I know I've mentioned him before, he's a marine and I am convinced he puts nails in his protein smoothies for a flavor. I mean, I can't prove it since he lives in Hawaii and I live in upstate NY but I have my suspicions. Anyway, he along with several others have tried to convince me to try Crossfit over the past year. And I wanted to, I really did, but I just wasn't ready.

 As it turns out, today I am. Jesus take the wheel.

Here is what I know about Crossfit:

1) It is going to make me hurt.
2) It will probably make me vomit.
3) It is going to challenge me mentally.

Here's how I feel about what I know about Crossfit:
1) I am a distance runner. I eat pain for breakfast. Bring it.
2) I have lost count of how many times I've puked in someone's yard from hill repeats. Bring it.
3) I need this. BRING IT.

Currently I am sitting here equal parts stupid terrified and stupid excited. Add on the fact that I have been throwing up for the last 36 hours and just ate a bagel as my first solid food in that time and I am not sure how it's going to go (I ran four miles last night after 27 hours of no was crying in the bar afterward bad...I'd like to forget yesterday completely. Side story about that: a lady I had just met said to me, "Maybe you shouldn't have run if you're so sick" and my running partner said, "Mary always runs no matter what, you just never know she's sick or hurt until she tells you after she's done". Kind of brought a tear to my eye ;)

I am terrified because I am scared of the unknown. Can I do it? Will it break me? How hard is hard that everyone talks about? What if I don't tone and lose weight from it? What if I hurt myself? What if they find out that I have never been able to do a pull up in my life? What if they find out how much I like cake?

But I am excited because it's new! It's difficult! It's a challenge! It's going to get me in the best shape of my life! It's going to help my running! I'm going to meet so many new people! I bet some of them like cake!

At this point of this post I'm going to stop and come back later to let you know how it goes. Wish me luck!


It's done. And what have a learned?

I think I might just like Crossfit.

It's still a little early to tell since all I had was an intro class but I love how much I am going to be able to push myself. I am still worried about being injured but I am hoping to build upper body strength that I have never, ever had. As in sometimes it's a miracle that I can get a bag of Doritos open, my arms are that weak. Like a trex, they're worthless.

My intro class was just me and an instructor. He showed me how to do a few things correctly and talked to me about them and then gave me a mini routine to complete. I had to row 400 meters, do 30 body weight squats, 50 turns of the jump rope and 15 burpees. Here's the thing about these infamous burpees: I don't love them right now but that's because I can't do them well yet. I think when I can I am going to really like the challenge of them. Call me crazy, it's ok, many have. But I like the difficult things.

And the rowing machine, where has that thing BEEN all my life?!

Anyway, my goal was to do those 4 things in as short amount of time as possible and I kind of failed. During the burpees I was extremely lightheaded and had to break them down into sets of 3 in order to do them with breaks because I had no energy. I guess not eating will do that to you? I finished in 12:28 minutes and my instructor told me he thinks I can do it in under 6. That's still probably a really slow time in crossfit land but I agree with him, I was just worn out. And sweating buckets, did I mention that? I make an awesome first impression.

The good news is that I am looking forward to tomorrow! It will be my first "real" workout and I am still nervous because there is still so much unknown about it all but I can't wait. Although maybe I'll be singing a different tune tomorrow since my legs and arms are already sore right now, I'm not sure how I will get through my run tonight.

Speaking of which I have no intentions of stopping that. I'm going to give it some time but crossfit is only a mile from my house so I may run to and from it some days. I'll also still run at least three nights a week at 4-5 miles and then do my long run on Sundays of 8-12 miles.

Because I'm crazy, I guess. But I dig it.