Catching up

Forgot to post for a while!

Sept. 12, bench press up to 3 x 10 at 90 lbs. Also, karate class.

Sept. 16, Lurong challenge workout 2, 100 each burpees and 16-kg kettlebell swings, 12-minute cap, partition as needed. I got through 100 swings and 83 burpees. Some people finished them all.

Sept. 17, Lurong challenge workout 3, hang power cleans (95 lbs) and 10-meter-increment shuttle runs. 10 cleans, 2 runs; 8 cleans, 4 runs; 6 cleans, 6 runs; 4 cleans, 8 runs; 2 cleans, 10 runs (100m). Five minute cap. I got through everything except the final 50 meters. I had two no-reps. Lots of people finished it all.

Sept. 19 (today): back squat up to 3 x 5 at 175. It did not feel hard at the time but my legs and back are really tired now, 4 hours later. After 90 minutes or so I bench pressed up to 95 pounds for sets of 10, 7, and 8. I was by myself and stopped each set when it turned into a wobbling mess. In between all my bench sets I practiced karate standing basics and struggled to draw a map of the kata I’m learning.

20130919_135713 20130919_152008-120130919_141713


Barbells, karate

Today I bench pressed up to 3 x 10 at 80 lbs, then back squatted up to 3 x 5 at 165.

Tonight at karate I practiced kihon kata ichi all the way through with no supervision for the first time. It’s fun to have it coming together! Next time I can start focusing on a few details like keeping my arm straight in certain places (prep for down block) and keeping in the same plane without bobbing up and down. I need to “glide.”

I learned today that this karate is the Kataka-ha school of shito-ryu style, one of four schools of Japanese karate.

I want to donate a barbell and a few plates and teach the karate gals the press, push-press, front squat, and bent-over row. I think they could use some pulling in their workouts and some overhead pushing. I wonder if they’d be interested. It’s surely not my place to offer ideas for improvement, but I can’t help myself!


Catching up lots!

Today, Saturday, August 24: I taught two CrossFit classes then went to karate class. I got to practice kihon kata ichi again with Tracey and it was rewarding — I’m starting to be able to do some parts of it without over-thinking it. But not all of it! I came home and started on the project of re-vamping the garden to the left of the patio, including some digging. I’m excited about this project.

Thursday, 8/22: Back squat up to 3 x 5 at 155. I also did some weighted pull-ups. Then a WOD: EMOTM for 10 minutes, 3 power clean + jerk at 95 lbs with Mike, Dean, and Kyle. Then drove to Alki with my bike for a fun and easy bike ride. Later I taught a CrossFit class and went to karate. A pretty active day, as was today.

Thursday, 8/15/13: I deadlifted up to 190 x 5 then did that day’s WOD:
AMRAP 10 mins:
10 double KB clean with two 16 kgs
20 double-unders
9 rounds + 8 reps
That was the fourth day in a row of CrossFit. I don’t do that very often.

Wednesday 8/14: Back squatted to 1 x 7 at 145 with Tam Holland then WOD: “super thief” 6 rounds for time, 5 x 53 lb snatch + 250m run, 11:28, I am a slow runner and don’t try hard enough on running workouts.

Tuesday, 8/13: The skill was the kettlebell snatch, one of my favorites. I snatched the 24 kg for only the second session — I snatched it for the first time in late July or early this month. This day’s WOD was 4 rounds, 1 min each, for total reps:
kettlebell snatch 24 kg, push-ups, kettlebell deadlift 24 kg, AbMat sit-ups, rest. I had a relatively low score of 266 because I used the 24 kg kettlebell and only did five of those per minute. But I’m proud of this workout because it was the first one where I used a 24 kg kettlebell in a WOD.
Monday, 8/12 I did a strength workout of alternating sets of power clean and push-jerk with sets of pull-ups, not timed. Five clean and jerks, five pull-ups, etc. I went from 63 lbs to 103 on the barbell and from 5 horizontal ring-rows to 5 pull-ups with 20 kg added weight. Then I was changing lightbulbs on the 36″ box jump and realized I was too chicken to jump on it right then–had I lost my box-jump mojo, or was I just fatigued from the clean and jerks?–so I re-warmed up with some lower jumps and eventually hit a single max box jump of 38.5″ high from a standstill.


Front squat, deadlift, box jump

Today: Front squat up to 5+ at 90% of 1 rep max. I believe my 1 rep max front squat is about 185 so I warmed up and did six reps at 165. It was really hard — I think my 1 rep max isn’t as strong as I thought it was!

WOD: 21-15-9 deadlift (155) and box jump (20″) for time. 10:44 Rx. A major struggle. My lower back was tightening up and almost feeling numb! Nothing hurt though so I kept going, but very slowly.

I hadn’t worked out in a week! I had karate twice since then and went camping. I did a lot of swimming in beautiful, isolated Blythe Lake. We swam mostly in our super fun inner tubes, with our fins, and kicked all over the lake. I also did some (for me) really good swimming in just my fins. I’m slowly starting to get better at relaxing in the water. It’s pretty satisfying, even though it is taking such a long time. I rarely get “quality practice” because for me, that means a nice peaceful lake where I can relax. Tomorrow I’m supposed to swim here in Seattle with Liz and hope I can swim well again.

Karate is awesome. Last Thursday night I had class for the first time with (sensei) Joanne, who had taught our self-defense class at the gym. She’s an excellent teacher. Also I’m gratified to see my balance improving a little on the kicks, and my memory a little bit on the blocks. Joanne said my left front kick looks like it will eventually have some good snap and power to it.


I’ve had three karate classes so far at the Feminist Karate Union on Jackson St. It’s challenging and fun. The teachers are very patient and consistent in their instruction.

I’m going on faith that I will be able to memorize moves one by one. I was shocked, the first class, at how blank my mind was in trying to remember something that was just shown to me seconds before. In my second and third class, we repeated most of what we’d done, so I did see a little progress in remembering. I still had to move slowly and talk myself through the blocks we practiced.

They lent me a DVD that I looked at last night. Watching that instructor repeat the blocks over and over helped me remember them. Today I practiced by myself in the gym and I was able to remember how to do the up block and the down block. (We’ve learned three others as well that I can’t remember, such as inside and outside block and… what’s the other?… knife hand block — I had to Google it.) Today I also practiced the front kick, the roundhouse kick, and the back kick a little bit. I practiced them slowly or used only parts of them. I held something for balance if I needed to. I tried to kick with and without paying attention to keeping my hands in position. It is hard to recover/maintain balance after a kick, when you have to chamber the foot before putting it down.

It’s really fun to find something new for which I can use my conditioning and fitness. I value being fit for its own sake, but it’s fun to go into this hard new skill with a good conditioning base. I hope that as my ability to remember and hit the positions improves, that my power will be good. I’m sure that will also depend on whether I can be tense versus relaxed at the right times and whether I have the fast-twitch ability that is undoubtedly needed.

They gave me a barely-used gi for free last time. That was nice of them. It will feel strange to work out in something other than shorts and a tank top.