Till I Collapse

There is something in this world that I love and sends me into fright mode immediately-TRIATHLON. It is challenging. I love it. It tries every ounce of will in me. Open water swims are frightful, it is like a bunch of sharks are out there ready to swim over ya, the bike portion is seriously the worst part for me, I shake during the entire time, just thinking that I will crash and bleed to death on the road, the run it is the easy part, unless I kill my legs during the bike portion. BUT there is still nothing else that I love more. It is raw. It is pure mental power. The will to survive. The will to get to the end and cross that finish line, even if its just with your fingertips. Triathlon--pure love of testing your body.

This video portrays it and pumps me up! I want to do a full Ironman but before I must conquer a half one. I did do a half one before but I didn't conquer it, it conquered me and that is not the way things should be, not in my book!


Jack

Benchmark day is here! It was a busy Friday. I spent it on the phone and at the computer working CFSTmost of the time. Then, I had planned all day to go to the 4:15 class time and 15minutes before 4pm, my phone reminded me that I had Parent Teacher conferences, crappers! My entire workout was out the window and I got crabby right away. I don't like missing my workouts and if I didn't go at 4:15pm, it meant I couldn't go at all as I had to teach class at 5:30pm.

After parent teacher conferences, I hurried and changed and showed up at the box, crossing fingers that I could be squished in and be able to do the workout.  Awesome coach Josh, started a clock just for my hubby and me, so that I could get my workout done before heading to work.Thank you Coach!

Jack was on the menu--it consists of a main course of push and presses, with a side of kettlebell swings and for desert-box jumps! 

I am terrifed of box jumps, have been from the moment I went into the box and saw them. They Camera December 053intimidate me and make me double guess myself all the time. I have fallen from them and had a nice black and purple bruise on my quad from them and I have had a more misses than I can count. It is my achilles tendon in the box. Whenever there are box jumps, I know for sure that I am going to be dead last. I fear falling. I fear hitting my shins and being out of running for a few weeks, especially right now that season has started. My coach as suggested, I go down in box height while my running season is going, but I am stubborn and I want to keep trying to get better at them. I will probably go down in the middle of the season when my legs are super tired. Speaking of box jumps, I found this great article about box jumps and its benefits/cons.

Jack calls for Push & Presses of 75 lbs. I can't do that. I can lift 75 lbs as my max but doing it more than 4 times would send my right shoulder into the ER. Therefore, scaled down for me until my shoulder can get stronger. I lifted a 55 lb bar. It is low, probably the lowest in the box but it is all my shoulder can handle without me screaming for my Mom. Kettle bell swings were easy this time around, 35 lbs. On my first round, I grabbed that kettle bell and it literally felt super light. Perhaps, it is time to go up to a 38 and get a little stronger. Box jumps, well you already read about my nemesis. She is a 20 inch B!*%# who makes me double guess my abilities each and every time.

My stats for today's benchmark: no RX for me this time around. Gotta get stronger to be able to lift that 75# bar more than a couple of times.  I was joking with hubby that I could have probably RXed but would have probably completed 1 rep during the whole 20 minutes.

Jack


Body Stats


ToolforfatLast year, I had a chance to use this little gadget at the gym that tells me body mass index and body fat percentage. It was neat to have that done and find out more details about my body.

Today, I had the same chance and I ran with it. I entered all my details and I got the following stats:

BMI=20.5
Body fat percentage=18%

Last year, my body fat percentage was 2 points higher and I weighed the same exact weight I am now. Yes! Progress!


Benchmark Day: Karen

RX

I have come to love Friday's, not only because it is the end of the work week, but also because it is CFSTthe day when we do our benchmarks at crossfit. I love to keep track of my workouts just to see if I have improved and benchmarks allow me to just that. I can look back and see my progress.

I have been wanting to time myself throwing the 14lb ball up to the line for just 100 times, well, today, I got the chance to do that, except 150 times! I have had a cold for a few days and being under the weather is good thing at all but I still went in there hoping to do my best under the circumstances. I prepared myself this morning by drinking my green smoothie :). I know, I am a dork but it does make me feel better when I drink it. It somehow makes me feel healthier, stronger, cleaner.

Gave it a good effort and only took breaks after the first 35 or so then I took a break every 10 or if I dropped the ball, I would take a mini break. My time for 100 was 5:10 and I was stoked! :) My final time, 7:57!!!

Yes, I kind of slid down the 8 minute mark and I am so proud of myself. It is my first time doing Karen and now I have a benchmark to beat. I am so stoked about it, I want to go back again this afternoon with my hubby and do it again, but I shouldn't. My arms are tired from this week's workouts and I should rest up and get rid of this cold.

Karen

The peeps from WOD Love send me this awesome tank top this week for entering a contest on their FB page. It is my new favorite!!! Of course, I just had to wear it to benchmark day :) and I jumped up on the bar to snap a few pictures with my phone. Thank you at WOD Love. I truly love my tank top :). I am also sporting my new sockies from SockittoMe.com, love the fact that they have an actual heel, hate tube socks! I would just like to see them in smaller size. I am a size 6 and the heel to toe length is a little bit too big for me but still the socks are amazing!

 

Photo(2)

And in other crossfit progress: I can now do 3 chin ups unassisted! For two weeks now, I have been testing the arms to see if I could pull myself up and for two weeks, I have been able to do pull myself up 3 times, full extension on the way down and then all the way up. Next--see if I can do 4 :)

Chin up

 


Tabata Something Else

CFST

Tabata Something Else

RX--So freaking proud of this one. It was difficult and it truly took everything in me to stay focus, especially in the push ups (thanks to Hubby for pushing me through it all)


20 seconds of work 10 seconds of rest
8 Rounds of each movement

  • Pull-ups
  • Push-ups
  • Sit-ups
  • Squats

Add all the reps for total score.

My total: 411

Kipping pull ups killed me this time around. My arms are tired from swimming this week and I felt it on the pull ups. I knew that if I could get thru the pull ups, the rest would be easier. Then half-way through the pull ups, I hit my bottom teeth on the bar-ouch!

Push ups were easy at first but as I kept going my arms were on fire! I was trying to stay as close to hubby as I could but he is a machine when it comes to push ups.

Sit ups were ok. Again, tried to keep up with hubby but he was just a tad faster. I averaged about 12 in most of the reps.

My strongest part was the squats. I was cranking out 20+ in 20 seconds with a max of 24 in one of them. It was my saving grace in this WOD and the only part were I could make up some reps.


Cat's Paw Headband Stitch Breakdown

Cats Paw Headband

The Cat's Paw Headband is in the current issue (Winter 2012) of Loom Knitters Circle magazine. Hop on over to get the entire pattern. 

I am going to break down the Cat's Paw Chart (see it on the right), rows 1-6. (On the headband pattern, they are rows 5-11).

Catspawchart*Row 1: p2, k1, k2tog, yo, k1, yo, ssk, k1, p2

Row 2: k11

Row 3: p2, k2tog, yo, k3, yo, ssk, p2

Row 4: k11

Row 5: p2, k2, yo, central double decrease, yo, k2, p2

Row 6: k11*

Bear with me, there are 3 rows that I am going to be breaking down: R1, R3, and R5. They are very similar and once you get the hang of it on the first row, you can probably do the rest easily.

Row 1 Breakdown

Note: I am numbering pegs 1-11 from Right to Left

Loom for cats paw

Move stitches as follows:

Step 1. Remove stitch from peg 4 and hold it.

Step 2. move stitch from peg 5 to peg 4.

Step 3. Place stitch from Step 1 on peg 4. Peg 4 has two loops on it.

Step 4: Remove loop from peg 8 and hold it.

Step 5. Move loop from peg 7 over to peg 8.

Step 6. Place loop from Step 4 on peg 8. Peg 8 has two loops on it.

Pegs 5 & 7 are empty.

Step 7: Work the row as follows: purl pegs 1 and 2; knit peg 3; k2tog on peg 4(treat both loops on the peg as one loop); e-wrap peg 5; knit peg 6; e-wrap peg 7; ssk peg 8 (treat both loops on the peg as on loop); k peg 9; purl pegs 10 and 11.

Row 3 Breakdown

Step 1: Remove loop from peg 3 and hold it.

Step 2. Move loop from peg 4 and place it on peg 3.

Step 3. Place loop from Step 1 on peg 3. Peg 3 has two loops on it.

Step 4. Remove loop from peg 9 and hold it.

Step 5. Move loop from peg 8 and place it on peg 9.

Step 6. Place loop from step 4 on peg 9. Peg 9 has two loops on it.

Pegs 4 and 8 are empty.

Step 7. Work the row as follows: purl pegs 1 and peg 2; k2tog on peg 3 (treat both loops on the peg as one loop); e-wrap peg 4, knit pegs 5,6, 7; e-wrap peg 8, ssk on peg 9 (treat both loops on the peg as one loop); purl pegs 10 and 11.

Row 5 Breakdown

Step 1. Move loop from peg 5 over to peg 6.

Step 2. Move loop from peg 7 over to peg 6.

Peg 6 has three loops on it. Pegs 5 and 7 are empty.

Step 3. Work the row as follows: Purl pegs 1 and 2; knit pegs 3 and 4; e-wrap peg 5, k3tog on peg 6 (treat all three loops as one loop); e-wrap peg 7; knit pegs 8 and 9; purl pegs 10 and 11.

 

And you did it!!! Yay! I am working on a video to demonstrate the steps, but with the breakdown, I think it should be quite easy to get it done.

Happy loomin'

Isela


Back on the road

Hamsterwheel

Training starts tomorrow for my running season and I am very glad it does. I need some sort of distraction and this may just be the ticket. I jumped this year to the Intermediate Marathon training program and I think it is going to kick my a$$. I don't think I am ready for that much mileage but I will give it my best effort. Just thinking that my first long run is this Saturday and it is a 9 miler is already sending my legs into panic mode. Oy! I better strap on the shoe laces really well and get ready for another awesome ride. May the force be with me as I embark on my 4th year of running.

First Month of marathon training

 


Goals Achieved

As you guys remember, I have been attending CrossFit classes and a lot of the movements in there CFST are mostly technique. Once you have the technique down, it becomes a little bit less painful/grueling to do the workouts.

Being new to a box is filled with new challenges: box jumps, kettlebell swings, kipping pull ups, double unders, ring dips, handstand push ups, the list goes on and on.  The first thing I wanted to learn was kipping pull ups. It was amazing to see the gals in the box just wiping them out and me not even being able to swing the proper way. 

At the end of November , I decided that enough was enough and that I was going to learn to kip. I Rippedhandwould stay after the workout and learn to swing on the bar, head through kick legs back, legs forward head back. Gosh, it was grueling not being able to get the rhythm down and once you had it down to keep it going. I worked on it for about 2 weeks continuously, then one day, up and over the bar my chin went. I had done it! I had completed one kipping pull up. It was the BEST feeling ever! I continued practicing on the following days, then one of my coaches saw me and told me that from that moment on, I would only do kipping pull ups for all my workouts, even if it took me an hour to complete it. A few days later, on Dec. 5th I completed and Rx-ed my very first workout with kipping pull ups (17 of them). My hands were tired and I had torn them up but my heart was swelling with pride. Since then, I have completed many workouts that include kipping pull ups and although I can only string about 4-5 in a row, I have completed over 120 in a single workout! Yay me!

CrossFit kipping

Once kipping pull ups were conquered, next the bigger more painful beast came. Double Unders.  Double Unders--jump rope and make the rope go twice under your feet with one single jump. It may sound easy to a lot of you, including my 9 year old son, who can do about 100 with no trouble at all. But for me, just doing singles was a feat in itself. When I started crossfit, I was onCrossFit 115e of those jumpers who would need to jump twice to make the rope go once under her feet. I never played with a jump rope as a kid so this was all new territory for me.

I didn't care if I could only do 1 and then a bunch of singles in between. I worked and worked and after thousands of lashings around my legs, forearms and fingers, I conquered! I am now able to do a few double unders with singles in between. They are not consecutive double unders but I'll take it and keep working on them. It is one of my greatest achievements in crossfit. Yes, I am not smooth and I probably look like a chicken flappin' my wings but it is awesome to be able to Rx a workout when it has doubles.

Next on the agenda, handstand push ups....this one is going to take me at least two months to master. I don't like the feeling of being on my head, having my feet higher than my head. The blood rushes to my head and I hate the feeling. Not to mention, I can't even do a handstand, hahaha!


2011 Highlights

I am a little late but I wanted to write something down about 2011 and all the different things we did. The year was full of adventures, trials, and more work than I would have ever imagined.

2011 included a wonderful gift to me: Boston 2011. It was an amazing experience that I would never, ever forget. Hubby and I traveled there and although it was an adventure getting there with our Flight from NY to Boston getting canceled and having to rent a car to get to Boston, I would not change it at all. I loved it. I want to go back. I got into Boston 2012 and I am crossing my fingers that I can go once more.

The jacket

2011 was a big year of races for me. I ran a total of 4 marathons: Boston, Ogden, TOU and St. George. I ran a couple of halves: TOU 1/2, Pink Series 1/2, and Halloween Half. I also raced a few 5K and 10Ks and 15K as well as participated in a couple of small triathlons. Even did Ragnar, although I wasn't planning on doing it in 2011. It was my first year placing: got 3rd in AG in a sprint triathlon, 4th in AG in a 15k, and 3rd in a 10K. It was a fabulous racing year. One of my strongest for sure. I don't know if I can replicate it due to the high amount of fitness classes I am teaching and the lack of time/energy left for training.

Races 2011

In 2011, my fitness classes took off. As a spin instructor, I have now 4 regular classes. They are super fun and I love the atmosphere of them. My Zumba classes have a life of their own! I love to teach this format, it is freeing to the soul. I have 7 Zumba classes weekly on my schedule. It gets to be a little too much when combined with the Spin classes but I sure do love it.

I had two little books published, one a tiny little booklet, Loom Knitting Made Easy, and Loom Knitting Scarves, Hats & More.

LoomKnittingMadeEasy LKA

My lovely children have gotten so much bigger and they are so responsible. My son turned 9 and with that it seemed like he got the personality of a 12 year old. He has always been a responsible little one but now he is even more. He can cook rice, he can do dishes, he can vacuum and  clean the entire house if you let him. One day, it was his day off from school and I decided to sleep in. Both him and my daughter had cleaned the entire kitchen and living room. They are amazing little individuals

Christmas 2011 006

In all, it was a wonderful year. I was with my family and I love spending time with them. :)

 

 


Grace

Second time around for me. First time, I lifted the 45 lb bar and it killed me. Today, I went up 20lbs and I did it :).  Rx weight is 95 lbs and I don't know if I can even lift that much, I weigh 115 lbs, so 95 is like lifting one of me off the ground and holding it up over my head. I have a long ways to go but I am looking forward to getting stronger.  Hey, I should be happy that I can lift a little bit more than half my weight :)

30 Clean and Jerks @65 lbs

Time: 5:40


Fluffy Pleats

Tinseltown Scarf for Blog
Another gorgeous yarn came rolling down my way. Tinseltown yarn. I couldn't pass it up! It kept taunting me with its fluffy, silvery pleats. I had to have it! I saw it a few weeks ago at my local yarn store and I just couldn't forget about it. Days will pass and the fluffy pleats kept coming back to my mind. Finally, this weekend I gave up and went and got a couple of skeins. I was not disappointed! I LOVE IT!

If you are a needle knitter, it is pretty simple to use and you can find a few videos online on how to use it. Loom knitters, don't despair. I've got you covered. I have written a pattern and prepared a video for you. Again, this is the way I use the yarn, there are other ways out there so feel free to experiment and find the one you like the most.

Fluffy Pleats

 


Got Ruffles

Scarf 019

Quick and super easy. 1 skein of yarn and about 2-3 hours of knitting time. We are talking simple garter stitch. Definitely a project that you can watch tv and not get all confused...unless you grab the wrong strand.

Don't knit with needles? No worries, I've got you covered!

Gotruffles

 

I put together a a video that demonstrates how to use this yarn on a loom.