This week

Saturday and Sunday, long hikes at Mt. Rainier. About 5 miles on Saturday evening and about 10 miles on Sunday. Tom said this was the most strenuous hike he’s ever done.

Tuesday: Bench press PR, a set of 5 and a set of 3 at 120. Ran a mile. Karate. (Also ran a mile on Monday.)

Wednesday: Ran a mile, nothing else.

Today: back squat to 2 x 5 at 195. Press to 2 x 6 at 77 (~85% of the 90 from last week which I lifted for three singles). Pull-up descending ladder from 6 down to 1 with minimal rest between sets. It was fairly hard. Ran a mile 10 minutes later, 8:56, 1533 steps in the FitBit.


Catching up

This week on Tuesday we had belt testing at karate. I had to perform two katas on my own for the first time, as well as lots of movements with other people. It went well and I felt great, and I passed, so now I have second blue belt or 8th kyu. Afterward I felt so stretched out and loosened up that I could almost put my nose on my knees while sitting on the floor, and even after I got home my whole back and hips and lower body felt like that of a flexible little kid. I wish I could distill that process down to its essence and achieve that feeling in less than 90 minutes of karate. I wonder if the warm gi that we have to wear has something to do with how limbered up I get. I want to put some dojo flooring in the basement now.

I bench pressed this week up to 3 x 5 at 110 and on the same day I front squatted up to 2 x 5 at 145 lbs. Was that Tuesday? I think so. Same day as karate testing, which is why I didn’t do a third set of front squats.

Wednesday and Thursday I did almost nothing except teach my classes and bask in the good feeling from karate. Today I did shoulder press up to 3 singles at 90 lbs and deadlift up to 2 x 5 at 175, just before the noon class, then during the 4:30 hour I back squatted up to 1 set of 8 at 175.

Since Monday I have not run my mile per day because my right knee was just a bit puffy inside from the running and the karate practice. I practiced a lot over the weekend and ran the mile twice on both Friday and Monday. So this weekend we’re going hiking and I wanted to make sure my knees were good for that. I’ll resume running on Monday, a mile a day.

I’m trying to be disciplined about lifting weights. If I’m going to do fewer CrossFit workouts during certain weeks while I do more karate and running, I have to remember those are not true workouts, only exercise, and I have to be sure I do my barbell lifts so that I get all the planes and ranges of motion.

Daily 1 mile run + WOD

Very fun WOD from Kyle’s programming today in the gym. “Bulgarian split squats” (a/k/a “bleacher lunges”) with dumbbells, 5 x 5 per leg. I did my final set with the 25 lb dumbbells. This wasn’t hard. It seemed like people earlier in the morning found it harder. Maybe I was misreading their reaction, as it was also new to them, and they were also working to find the right foot positions and depth.

WOD part 1: AMRAP 10 minutes of 3 wall walk, 10 box jump. I got 8 rounds plus 1 wall walk. My wall walks were pretty good, but not the ultimate ones with hands 1 inch from wall.

WOD part 2: with the jumprope, 75 single skips on 1 foot; stand one-footed on that foot 1 minute; 2 rounds per side. I did this without shoes and it tired out my legs, lower legs, and feet in an awesome way. I really want to do that some more. I started on my right. On my first round, right side, I broke up the skipping into about 3 sets, and I broke up the 1 minute of standing also into 3 sets if I recall correctly, though I did accumulate the full minute. On the left, first round, I did all 75 skips with no stops. I can’t remember if I broke up the minute. I think my total time was 7:58.

An hour later with my Fitness Within Reach class we did not jump rope on one leg, but we did try standing on one foot for a minute, and we all succeeded no problem. One new person this month is a yoga enthusiast and teacher. It has been fun to work with her, and she told me today that she thought she would have aches and pains from all this new stuff such as barbell lifting and “CrossFit,” but she feels great. She has a little skepticism in that she hasn’t seen for herself how fit we get in CrossFit in a way that is meaningful to her. So when she saw that I and the other two or three people in the room could all stand on one leg for a full minute, she was really impressed. Standing on one leg is one of those things that either seems, or is, diagnostic of someone’s health trajectory, similar to “how fast can you walk” or “how many times can you get up off your chair with no hands in 30 seconds” or “can you run for five minutes.”

Tomorrow I’m going to ask this group to see “how many different ways can you get up off the floor without using your hands,” and I hope the yoga teacher is there!!

Today is day 9 of the 100 miles in 100 days. I ran the local loop in 8:33. I was really surprised at that faster time because I didn’t feel like I was going any faster than yesterday’s Spectrum run in 10:01. One possible explanation is that today I warmed up with kata practice, which has lots of moderate to quick leg movement. I also warmed up with kata practice on my other fastest day. I’ve been practicing two katas a lot at home the past few days because belt testing is next Tuesday. I will test with Pinan Sandan and Kensei Dai.



1 mile run day 7 and 8

Today: started teaching at 5:30 AM. Stretch and run at 8:50 AM, to Spectrum Dance and back, 10:01. Two hours later, back squat up to 2 x 5 at 175 then overhead squats up to 5 at 73. Tried a few sets of sumo deadlift at noon and did some bar hanging for time. Kyle’s idea. I do think this is good for my elbows.

When setting off for my run I wanted to go slowly. The past four days had each been faster than the last and I don’t want to get ambitious and have knee pain. In less than two weeks, we’re going to spend two days hiking. I don’t think I’ll run the mile on either of those days. I have a spreadsheet to help me keep track of whether I’m going to make the 100 miles in 100 days if at some point I skip days or don’t run the full mile.

Yesterday: Kata practice, 1 mile run at about 4 PM around the block 27th – Jefferson – MLK – Alder – 27th. One time around is .35 mile, so I went twice plus just over two-thirds around. Yesterday’s time was 8:43, my fastest yet. I didn’t think I was going faster. I suspect the Spectrum Dance run is more than a mile because each time, it has been longer than any of my three close-to-home local runs. Thirty seconds of running time might account for 200 meters.

I don’t look at the watch until I’m finished. Mike suggests I look at it at the halfway point. He tries to make just a little more effort on the second half. Halfway on the Spectrum run is of course Spectrum. Halfway on my counterclockwise neighborhood loop would be Yesler and 24th. Halfway on my clockwise around-the-block loop would be in front of Ola’s house or one more house south of her. I should try running half, catch my breath for three minutes, then run the second half and see if it adds up to being faster than usual. I should also try it on a track.

Karate practice, mile run

Today is Sunday. Tom had to go to work so I was home alone for a while. I moved furniture out of the way and practiced two katas for a really long time, in the living room. It was compulsive but felt great to spend the time doing them over and over. I took breaks but not for long. I watched a couple of videos a few times to see if I was doing them right. I must have spent more than two hours. Tom came home and I showed them to him and of course blanked out once each.
We both went outside and stretched and squatted for a while, then I went for my mile run here in the neighborhood. My time today was my fastest yet, 8:48. I didn’t feel any specific discomfort but didn’t think I was going faster. In fact, I set out from the start to NOT try to go faster. Except when I got to maybe 100 meters from the finish (home), I ran that last part faster. I was really surprised at being so much faster over all. This was day 6.

Mile a day

Today I ran my mile (day 5) after teaching my classes and before going to karate. I was fresh but should have warmed up more, because I felt some soreness in my right hip for about the first quarter. It went away. Also, right from the very start I felt I was going slow.   
At about the third quarter I slowed down from discomfort with the cardio — that burn in the lungs.
I tried to speed up for the final fifty meters. My finish time was 9:13, my fastest yet. I was tired.

Today 1 workout, 1 mile day 4 of 100

I arrived at the gym with just time for a 10-minute workout. I was planning to run my daily 1 mile after class so I wanted to work out before class. I quickly set up a 55-lb barbell, started the clock and did 5 strict press, 5 strict pull-ups, AMRAP 10 minutes. I got 9 full rounds. After four, I added weight, so the bar was 65 lbs. After three rounds I started having to break up the pull-ups into 3 and 2, and on my final round, into 2, 1, 1, 1.

I taught my class, did some office work, and got home around 11:45. I walked half of my “leave from home” mile route, started running when I got to 24th and Yesler, and ran the mile in 9:43. Then I took a walk to look at this brick apartment building and its large private garden that I think are beautiful, on 18th and Fir.

I missed a turn on my mile and doubled back about four houses’ distance. Probably my time would have been 9:23 or so if I hadn’t made that error — very close to yesterday’s time.

I was a bit self-conscious running on the neighborhood sidewalks rather than down on the lake shore where everyone’s always running. I forgot to focus on relaxing. I had no pain, no soreness in my left hip where I’d had it yesterday. The discomfort seems to come from my achilles area on both sides, from the pounding in my feet despite trying not to heel strike, and from general tension in my lower legs. It’s not pain and I’m not worried about my achilles — they feel the same on both sides. I stretch them a little before starting, the calf more, and I stretch everything more after I’m done than before I start.

Tom and I were talking about whether running is boring. I and others who don’t like running often say that. But if walking isn’t boring and bike riding isn’t boring, it ought to be easily possible for running not to be boring. I think what I’ve thought of as “boring” in running is actually the tedium that comes from being uncomfortable but feeling you’re required to continue the activity for a specified amount more time. This does happen in cycling and walking — you get to the point where you’re ready to be done, but you still have a long way to go. At that point, it could be described as boring. And this happens sooner when running — for me, anyway. So I’ll say running isn’t boring, but it’s unpleasant. The beauty of running one mile is that it is less than ten minutes! How unpleasant can it be.

Today: run, squats

I ran a mile, day 3 in a row of 100. I ran today before working out, unlike the other two days. Today I was warmed up and stretched and fresh, so I was faster, 9:19. The discomfort came from the cardio. Good to know my cardio endurance can get better.

Two and a half hours later I back squatted up to 4 sets of 5 at 155.

Yesterday after my run, I was worried about having really stiff hamstrings and tight low back going into karate class, but I did my usual stretching and my legs felt fine, and strong, in karate. But today in the back squats, my legs felt fatigued. When I get far into these 100 days of 1-mile runs, will my legs feel normal for lifting? I won’t want running to limit my lifting strength.

100 miles in 100 days…?

I’m so bad at running that I couldn’t really do yesterday’s workout properly. The workout was: in a 2-minute interval, run 100m then finish the two minutes by doing as many as possible of a movement. Rest 1 minute, do 5 rounds. The 5 movements were burpee, pull-up, inchworm, squat, doubleunders. I ran the full 400m the first three rounds and only had about five seconds left for the max-effort movement. So the final two rounds, I ran 250m.

Later that day, I was complaining about how slow I am, and my open-gym-workout pal Mike — who’s also wanting to work on his running — suggested running a mile a day for 100 days. So, a while after yesterday’s workout, I ran a mile in 9:57, from the gym to Spectrum Dance and back.

Today I worked out with the 7:30 class: I deadlifted up to 5 at 185 (my back and legs were stiff from running), then the WOD was 15-12-9 handstand push-up and hang snatch. I did the HSPU’s to two stacked abmats — not full range but still hard — and the snatches with 55 lbs. My time was 12:03. Within about ten minutes of finishing, I went for my mile run, and today it took me 10:46.

Today and yesterday I started my watch and didn’t look at it again until I got back, and I didn’t try to push myself to run faster. What I want to do is feel comfortable running. I focus on sensations in different parts of the body and try to get in touch with what is comfortable and relaxed, and what parts feel uncomfortable and heavy. Somehow it feels like my feet are too small no matter how I try to land on forefoot first, whole foot, or whatever. Of course I try not to reach with my leg and heel-strike because that is so out of favor as to be anathema these days. Who would think something as natural as running could be so complicated. Of course, this probably comes from stopping doing it after we grow up.

I like my early-morning teaching schedule.