This week’s workouts

Shoulder press in Kyle’s class up to 90% which was three reps at 85. (Calc 1RM: 93)
Then a pairs WOD: as a team, AMRAP 20 minutes: 6 pull-ups, 8 wallball 12#, 10 box jumps. Bethany C and I got 25 rounds plus 8 reps. It was fun.

Yesterday (Friday): Shoulder press, only 4 sets: 6 x 55, 6 x 65, 8 x 75, 6 x 75.

Thursday: back squat up to 3 work sets at 160. I did 5, 5, and 8 reps. (Calculated 1RM at 8 x 160: 199 lbs; but I had already done 2 x 5 so I was tired; maybe I could squat 205 once)

Tuesday: (Morning) Press, intending two work sets at 74 x 8. Actually broke those sets so it was really 74 x 6, 2 and 74 x 7, 2. Then in the evening: Tabata burpees. 53 total.

I also worked on muscle-up pulls a whole lot this week and am getting higher. This opinion was corroborated by witnesses! I’ll get there.

Swimming in lakes = awesome

Tom and I spent four days at Lake Crescent and did a ton of swimming the first two days. The water was sooo good. Chilly, but the sun was really hot, I think it was around 90 in the afternoon on Thursday and Friday last week. We swam and snorkeled in front of the lodge, off the trail bridge across the lake at Devil’s Punchbowl, and off the big fallen log we swam on last year. Snorkeling was really fun (though I did not see one fish) because the water is clear and you can see the breathtaking drop so close to shore where the bottom just disappears. Looking down into the water when it was really deep was a deep blue like the sky in the early evening, amazing, but with nothing else to see I chose to stay close to shore in hopes of seeing fish under a tree or something.

I was comfortable snorkeling and swimming with other people around, and swam for short distances without getting too tense. Snorkeling is so much easier. Anyway, it was a great vacation for swimming. On the morning we left Seattle, we went first down to Leschi and jumped off the dock. Volunteer divers were cleaning up trash from the bottom, but it’s deep enough that we could swim around without getting in their way. I swam from the police dock to the private dock to the empty dock like I had the day before (no snorkel).

The water was great. We’re lucky to have such a beautiful lake so that on the rare day it is hot out, you can have these beautiful swims.

Today I swam with Liz off the south side of Seward Park at the kayak put-in. I snorkeled there for the first time today and there are no weeds until you get way out, most of the way to the buoy. The water is great. I took off the snorkel and swam with my normal goggles and did well! I decided to follow Liz swimming parallel to shore, and I found myself actually NOT thinking about breathing for several strokes. I am breathing every third arm stroke so the breathing side alternates. I get so nervous every time — ┬áhave I exhaled enough so that I can get adequate new air?? Etc. So when I could actually not think and just breathe for a short while, it was really nice! I eventually swam fourteen “breaths” worth of distance, breathing every three strokes. Last year I think I only did twelve. If I swim again this year in the lake I’ll make fifteen. To do this and move relaxedly and not panic is a big deal!


Yesterday I went in the morning to Seward Park, to the kayak put-in area on the south side of the park. It’s a gravel beach on the sunny side of the park, nice and clean, little or no weeds growing in the water. When we have hot weather the wind is mostly from the north for some reason, so this beach is sheltered and the water is like a mirror. It’s amazingly beautiful. With the calm water, I swam pretty well (able to stay more relaxed in the water). I easily swam past a landmark I chose as a target. The water felt sooo good! I was in for about fifteen minutes.

I dried off in the sun a little and then drove to the gym without changing out of my bathing suit. I went out on the big public dock and jumped in again. So nice… I swam across a short distance to some boat docks with no trouble, and back, without my fins. I got out and then jumped back in one more time. There were a few kids on the dock and swimming also. Two teen girls were swimming all over the place, just playing. Today I went back at 9:30 AM to the dock and had it completely to myself. The sun and air were warm and the water felt so good! This time I swam the whole triangle that I’d seen the girls do yesterday. I went to the boat dock, then out to an empty boat dock, and back to where I started on the police dock. These are not far distances, but for me to have the confidence to do it is really good.

Before I left, I walked out to the far end of the large dock and jumped off the short railing, paddled around in the swells for a minute or two, and climbed out via the ladder. It was all such a great experience! Swimming outdoors in a beautiful place is such a dream.

Yesterday’s handstands and Tabatas

Yesterday was a good day! We had five or more people in every class but one. I was happy with the way the handstand (and related drills) practice went during my classes, and I had fun working out with Jim’s group. I did some decent handstands. I still try to practice the really tight way of kicking up that I learned at Carl Paoli’s seminar. It feels great when it works, but I’ve not achieved the same degree of balance that I did when he had me “chasing” his hand with my feet while handwalking. That was pretty great.

We did Tabata Something Else: pull-ups, push-ups, sit-ups, squats. My pull-ups were butterfly kips and I think I got 50 in the eight rounds. My push-ups did not hold up well for long. My sit-ups were slowish, and my squats were fast. Score: 300 total.

This week continued

Shoulder press up to work sets of 74 x 5, 3, and 3; front squat up to two work sets of 8 at 140. That was on Thursday. I will stick with 74 for shoulder press next time until I can do two sets of eight.

Today: team workout, AMRAP 15 minutes of 10 wallball, 10 HP cleans, 10 hand-release push-ups. I did my cleans at 95 lbs, started the wallball at 12 lbs and changed to 20 lbs, and was teamed with Tom and Pearson. Fun!

Strength workout today

I’m not doing anything that seems like it would aggravate my always-sore upper left hamstring. Today: press up to 1 set of 8 at 73 lbs. Then an un-timed WOD: 3 false-grip pull-ups, 3 press at 70, 3 toes to bar, 10 rounds. I warmed up my shoulders with PVC-stick rotations and pass throughs, and with internal rotation mobility drills (lying down with the barbell immobilizing the shoulder while I internally rotated the arm).

For the false-grip pull-ups, I focused on attempting to do two in a row without losing the false grip. I was able to do this about half the time. On the presses, I focused on trying to use the hips-forward “whip” per Rippetoe’s semi-“Olympic”-style press method. On the toes to bar, I focused on not relaxing at the bottom for an extra swing, but coming right back up. I was not fast at that. To do it at all, I have to come down slow and controlled, tighten my glutes at the bottom, and then I can do another rep without a swing. I’d like to be able to string them together efficiently like the good CrossFitters do, so that’s why I’m exploring what it is I need to engage.

I haven’t logged all my workouts. Since last week’s “Fran,” I did a few press workouts and a bunch of muscle-up attempts. The Fran really flared up the sore hamstring and made me realize I needed to see a therapist for it (which I am) and let it rest. I haven’t even walked to the gym since then.