P.S. I ♥ PS.

Sunday, May 14, 2017 | 400m

Jeff: I don’t like working out by myself. I’m going to have to join a gym.
Me: I like working out by myself!
Jeff: You enjoy doing most everything by yourself.
Me: <Silence>

I warmed up the movements and then completed the following:

5th Ave.
Deadlifts 185#
1-armed alternating 35# KB hang clean & push presses
1-legged 20″ box jumps
Run 400m

As 84 reps is high volume I settled on 185# for deadlifts, having warmed up to 275#. For KB HC+PP I began with right arm for rounds of 21 & 9 as well as even-numbered rounds and left arm for rounds of 15 & 3. For box jumps I ensured that I landed in a squat, albeit not a pistol as non-standing leg was behind me. In addition, I kicked heel to butt (of non-standing leg, of course) when I stood to full extension. It’s more difficult than it probably sounds.

I was pleased to discover that it’s 200m from garage door to last telephone pole just before 5th Ave. meets Michigan Ave. Yay! It’s quite a hilly course. Boo? No, yay!

Luke is the best dog ever. Truly. I was concerned that he might try to run with me. I only needed to tell me to stay the first round. As it was a hot afternoon, he did often rest inside the garage. I didn’t mind navigating around him!

I completed all rounds in unbroken reps, including deadlifts, even though I hadn’t set out to do so. This was a fun and challenging workout!

Time = 30:19

I enjoy programming for myself. I continue to look at WODs at CFA thinking I might actually attend a session if the workout is interesting. That hasn’t been the case. Lots of couplets, though!

My mother, brother Steve, and niece Mary visited so I didn’t work out Saturday or Sunday, although I did take Luke for long walks. Uhm, even though we usually walk at least 7 miles a day it still doesn’t feel like exercise. Mother is still visiting but doesn’t mind if I get in a workout.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017 | Power Snatches

I’ve been itching to do power snatches now that it’s been just about 6 months since surgery. Today was the day!

KB Burpees
21 (X3) – 15 – 9
Double unders
Power snatches 65#
KB 53# 6-count burpees

Kettle bell burpees what? Whilst standing in front of KB, bend over over and place both hands on KB handle. That’s count 1. Jump back to strict plank. That’s count 2. Complete a strict tricep pushup, ensuring that chest touches KB/hands. That’s counts 3 & 4. Jump to a squat with hands still on KB. That’s count 5. Stand and complete an American KB swing. That’s count 6.

I completed rounds of 63 & 45 dus in unbroken reps but then missed the 27th — the very last! — du. Dammit. I completed snatches in reps of 11 & 10 for round of 21 and 8 & 7 for round of 15. The round of 9, of course, were done in unbroken reps. Although I did occasionally rest before jumping to plank, my hands didn’t leave KB for any of the rounds.

This was a gasser, and I enjoyed every moment!

Time = 12:50

I’m looking forward to impeachment but fear Pence. He’s just as big of an asshole and just as dangerous. The only think going for him is that he can usually speak in coherent sentences.

Jeff and I took Mother for a trolley tour of Asheville, and I learned much! Asheville is amazing, and I grow to love the town more and more each and every day.

Visit! Some of you, that is.




Basic Building Blocks

Wednesday, May 10 | Trails at Biltmore

I mistakenly set Spark 3 to record indoor cycling. Ha! I biked for an hour, focusing on control of the bike. I would have never imagined that the Biltmore grounds would have such challenging single trails! I approached an unseen switchback too quickly and did fall off my bike whilst attempting to make a sharp left turn. Yup, scraped my left knee. I’m beginning to get my “bike legs” back. Once I do I’ll join my BBF for a ride at Dupont.

Thursday, May 11 | Bear Basics

Bear Complex
5 Rounds
7 reps
PC + FS + PP + BS + (behind the neck) PP

Faithful readers know that I’m a stickler for proper form. As prescribed, one’s hands are not to leave the bar for the 7 reps. In addition, I ensured that I did not reposition my feet or my hands. Thus, with the exception of heels leaving floor for power clean, both feet remained in the same spot and both hands remained on the barbell for all 7 reps each round. I didn’t even drop the final rep from the top, instead bring the barbell to shoulders, mid-thigh, and then floor. It would’ve been easier to reposition hands for behind the neck push press, as the closer the hands the longer the distance the bar has to travel.

My focus was not on lifting heavy weight. Again, the focus was on form. I completed sets at 65, 70, 75, 80, & 85#. That’s 35 power cleans, front and back squats, and 70 push presses. Shit was not that heavy but shit certainly began to feel heavy.

I plan on completing the Bear Complex once a month. Just because.

Friday, May 12 | Couplet

There’s a time and a place for couplets. Uhm, but programming shouldn’t only include lifting heavy weight followed by a couplet.

100 double unders
25 power cleans 75#
90 dus
20 PCs 85#
80 dus
15 PCs 95#
70 dus
10 PCs 105#
60 dus
5 PCs 115#
50 dus
5 PCs 125#
40 dus
5 PCs 135#
30 dus
5 PCs 145#
20 dus
5 PCs 155#
10 dus
5 PCs 160#

This was quite challenging! Changing the weights was welcome recovery. I missed 1 PC rep at 155#. Given that 165# is my current 1RM, I was pleased that I completed 5 @ 160#.

Time = 32:32

That’s 550 dus & 100 PCs. And a hell of a lot of fun.

I’m giving Sense8 another try. I’ll definitely be binge watching Master of None.

It’s incomprehensible to me that the supposed leader of the free world is such a blatant liar.


CrossFit Pottrell

Things I like about having a garage gym (in no particular order):

  • I can work out whenever I’d like.
  • I can spend as little or as much time as I’d like on any given skill.
  • As I warm up on my own the warmup addresses the skills I’ll be working on, e.g., stretching glutes and hamstrings for deadlifts.
  • The only person I’m competing with is myself. Faithful readers know that one of the things that pisses me off the most is being watched by others as I work out. Of course the thing that pisses me off the most is being cheered for as I work out.
  • The equipment is clean — and cleaned.
  • Luke is always by my side. That’s the one thing that hasn’t much changed.
  • I can take off my shirt if I’d like. I don’t usually care to do so.
  • My coach is dreamy. And he actually coaches me (although seldom out loud).
  • I can play show tunes as I work out!

Sunday, May 7 | Thwarted

Jeff and I went for a bike ride at the Biltmore. It was Jeff’s first time on the bike and, well, he’ll need to get his “sea legs.” Thus, I didn’t get much exercise, as the ride was leisurely. I decided to take Luke for a run at the NC Arboretum. For whatever reason, Luke just wasn’t interested in running, and after running less than 2 miles we began to walk. How did I know he wasn’t interested? Because he lallygagged too far behind me. I kept having to stop and wait for him, and instead of becoming frustrated I let him walk at a pace that was comfortable for him. However, I really wanted to at least feel like I had exercised, so I finally began to set up garage gym. There were cobwebs on the barbell. Ha!

Not For Time; rest 2 minutes between activities
– 50 push presses (75#)
– 50 power cleans (85#)
– 50 deadlifts (135#)
– 50 med ball cleans (30#) 

Given my recent experiences, I just wanted to go light and fast, as that’s what I did. Uhm, I did have a timer but I can’t recall finishing time. Surprisingly, the med ball cleans were the most challenging of the activities, perhaps because I completed them last.

Monday, May 8 | Horse Stall Mats

Luke and I went for a 5.5-mile walk (and sometimes run) at the Biltmore. What a beautiful morning! I checked out the inventory for horse stall mats at the very local (1.7 miles from our home) Southern States and discovered they had just the mats I was looking for, so Luke and I purchased two 6X4 mats. What’s so great about them? Flat surface with grippers on the bottom. (That sounds like the title of a gay porn film.) I programmed a fast and furious metcon.

10, 9, 8…3, 2, 1
SDHPs (85#)
HR pushups

As to be expected, I completed all rounds in unbroken reps in a time of 7:05.

Tuesday, May 9 | MTS

I was concerned that Luke would miss being at CFS, but it appears that he’s truly enjoying our very long hikes/walks/runs together. I parked the Renegade on the Blue Ridge Parkway and we went for a 4.5-mile hike/walk/run on the Mountains to Sea trail. Whilst somewhat overcast, ’twas nonetheless a glorious morning! There are few things I enjoy more than seeing Luke run all out, and he had the opportunity to do so on many occasions. He never lets me out of this sight.

I was itching for a metcon that lasted longer than 20 minutes.

30-min AMRAP
– 10 UNBROKEN power clean & jerks (75#)
– 10 UNBROKEN box jumps (24″)
– 10 UNBROKEN 8-count burpees
– 10 UNBROKEN Abmat sit-ups

First, 75# is more than half of my bodyweight, and as my intent was to complete reps very quickly I wanted to ensure that I lifted a manageable weight. Rest assured that by the 9th and 10th reps of each rounds, well, shit started to feel heavy. I also ensured that reps were cleaned & immediately jerked, i.e., receiving the bar for cleans was initial dip for jerks. I’ve been experiencing a little pain in right achilles, so I did not rebound off box for jump, but I did nonetheless immediately begin next jump when feet touched the ground. Eight-count burpees just take a shitload of time to complete, and were perhaps the most demanding of the activities. Sit-ups were a welcome relief.

I had completed 4 rounds with about 16 minutes remaining, so I set a goal to complete 8 rounds. Whilst completing 8th round of C&Js I thought, “Thank god this is the last time I”ll have to do these.” I was wrong, for with about a minute remaining I had completed the 8th round. I quickly transitioned to barbell and completed 10 unbroken reps. There was still time remaining on the clock! I finished with 5 box jumps.

Score = 8 rounds + 15 reps; 90 power C&J, 85 box jumps, & 80 burpees and sit-ups

I listened to “Dear Evan Hansen.” Yup, show tunes, bitches!

Luke slept on his bed just outside the garage door.

I’ve been wearing my TomTom Spark 3 watch 24/7, and it’s been interesting to see sleep patterns (still wake up after 6 hours of sleep) and resting hear rate (about 48 ppm). I also enjoy reviewing heart rate during WOD. For example, I averaged 128 bpm during 30-min AMRAP with a maximum of 163 — that I hit during very last minute of workout.


Ragnar Trail Richmond-VA

(From L to R): Heather, Laurie, Jaclyn, Alex, me, Brian C., and Nick. (I think that’s Brian F. behind Nick.)

April 28 & 29, 2017

After sensing the excitement I had after running a Ranger race last year, many members of CrossFit Surmount, the box I used to own, mentioned they’d like to run a race as well. At one time we had more than enough interest for two teams of 8. Uhm, at least Team 1 was able to secure 8 members: Alexandra (Alex), Brian C., Brian F., Heather, Jaclyn, Laurie, Nick, and me. Our number one goal was to have fun, and whilst I can’t collectively speak for all of us I can unequivocally state that I had fun. For the most part.

Before I begin to gather thoughts and compose recollections, I must give a very special thank you to my BBF (Best Brian Friend) Brian F. for agreeing to run the race with us. I’ve known Brian and his wife Danielle since we met the day I ran my first first Umstead Marathon a decade ago. Brian and Dee moved to Brevard a few years ago, and it’s been wonderful spending more time with them.

Back to the team…

As the team captain I carefully chose the order of runners:

  1. Jaclyn — As it was her birthday weekend and I know she likes being one of the first runners in a relay, I assigned her this position. You’re welcome, Jaclyn.
  2. Brian C. — Brian C. can be counted on to run a nice, steady pace. I knew this would help set the stage for later runners. Whilst he’s my LFB (Least Favorite Brian) he’s most BCF (Best Covington Friend).
  3. Laurie — Laurie and Jaclyn are joined at the hip; thus, I couldn’t place the two of them too far apart. I’m pretty sure they spooned as they slept.
  4. Nick — Nick is also a good, consistent runner. I hoped that this would help keep and possibly build momentum.
  5. Heather — Heather is a very strong runner. (She unfortunately sprained her ankle during her very first leg and wasn’t able to run as fast as she normally does.)
  6. Brian F. — I selfishly wanted Brian to run close to the time that I’d be running, that way we’d be able to spend more time together. He is, after all, my BBF.
  7. Alex — Alex is a spitfire! I selfishly wanted a fast runner to pass the bib to me, knowing that she would finish strong and would transition quickly.
  8. Me — I hate running the last leg. However, as the team captain I knew that no one would want to run the last leg. I fell on the proverbial sword. You’re welcome, all.

Our start time was 5:30. I had created a spreadsheet with estimated start and finish times and we modified as needed. As the race progressed we determined that it’d be likely that we’d finish near 3 pm; thus, we’d be running fewer than 24 hours.

This blog will focus on the 3 legs that I ran in order: Yellow, Green, and Red, i.e., moderate, easy, and difficult. I’d rate the three legs as moderate, easy and exceedingly difficult.

But first, Brian and I talked nonstop the entire 5.5-hour ride to the Pocahontas State Park outside of Richmond, VA. Brian was telling me about some road races that he had run and even a race that he won!

Me: You won a race? That’s great?
Brian: Yeah.
Me: How’d you do that? How’d you win a race?
Brian: I had to move away from you before I could win a race.

Ha! This still makes me laugh.

Uhm, I made a very novice mistake. I placed 2 pair of trail shoes at the top of the garage stairs, as I always exit through the garage and I knew this would be a great visual reminder. I packed enough shit to last a week, including food, hydration, and clothing. Brian and I exited through the front door, and it wasn’t until we arrived at the race that I realized I had forgotten shoes. I decided to wear Nobull shoes the first leg and ended up wearing them for all 3 legs. As the trails were quite smooth, this ended up not necessarily being a bad thing. Could I have run faster and more confidently had I worn trail shoes? Perhaps. One will never know.

Yellow Loop – Swift Creek Trail | 5.7 mi.

The Yellow Loop runs parallel to Swift Creek Lake for the first 2.5 miles, crossing mini-bridges, and swooping up and down small contours. Then the trail turns away from the lake and starts the clockwise turn back home. But don’t worry, you’re still in for a few more miles of fun, fast, buffed out single-track before and the loop is done. Just past mile 5 you’ll join up with the Green and Red Loops to kick it back into the Village.

The waiting is the hardest part. Jaclyn began the race at 5:30 and it wasn’t until about 11:30 that I finally got to run. It was still rather warm and was very humid. I wore a headlamp that Brian C. was kind enough to loan me. I loved this course! It had lots of twists and turns, and many hills. Yes, running in the dark slowed me down as I was running in unfamiliar territory. Nonetheless, I ran strong. I did, however, forget to start my watch until about a quarter mile into the run. Dammit. I also didn’t turn off my watch until I had placed the bib on Jaclyn; thus, split times are inaccurate.

I’ve previously mentioned that I have a TomTom Spark 3. To save battery life I don’t have the backlight on whilst running, but by placing and then removing a hand over the face of the watch the backlight shines for a moment. And this happened…

I placed my left hand on the face of the watch (I always wear my watch on my right wrist) and whilst doing so fell to the ground. ‘Twas a hard fall. A very hard fall. I skinned my left shin, thigh, and hip, and both my right and left forearms between wrist and elbow. I immediately stood up and began running. A female runner behind me yelled, “Hey, you forgot your bracelet!” I had hit the ground so forcefully that the snap wrist band had been thrown from my personage. I ran back to her, grabbed the band, thanked her, and was on my merry way. Merry, not gay. Well, perhaps a little gay.

I also had a near fall later in the leg as I unsuccessfully tried to jump over a narrow stream. My foot slipped, both hands touched the ground, but I didn’t fall. I said, “Well, that didn’t go well.” I didn’t realize I had said it aloud until I heard a couple of runners chuckle. Ha!

I passed 51 runners, the 51st as we entered the final sprint to the exchange.

I thoroughly enjoyed this leg!

Time = 51:23; 9 mpm 

Yup, I ran this leg faster than my teammates.

Click here for details.

I attempted to get some sleep before my next leg, but to no avail. Why? Because there were a group of assholes in the tents directly behind us. One male burped loudly and continuously. How loudly? I was wearing ear plugs and had placed a pillow over my head yet every time he belched it sounded like a shot gun was begin fired inside my tent. I then had to listen to him talk to a teammate about his bout with diarrhea. The entire team was talking in their OUTSIDE voices. Yes, we were outside, but we were also in very close quarters. And it was the fucking middle of the night. Doza finally approached them and asked if they’d pipe it down a bit. Fortunately there wasn’t an altercation.

But still I couldn’t sleep. Why, you ask? Because we were positioned behind a line of about 40 porte-potties. Just about every person allowed the door to slam as they exited. BANG BANG bang, BANG BANG bang, BANG BANG bang, BANG BANG bang. Over and over and over.


I shan’t talk about the smell. Or the sights. Okay, just this one: someone had obviously stood above the toilet to shit, and the seat had a big piece of shit on it. Some people have no regard for others. Some people are assholes. There were quite a few assholes at this particular event.

On a positive note, there were also some very friendly people (who may or may have not shat on a toilet seat). Every runner that I passed moved to the right to allow me to do so. Most said encouraging words, e.g., “Great job!”

Green Loop – Beaver Lake Trail | 4.3 mi.

This Loop leaves the Village along with the Red Loop, and takes you out to the main section of mountain bike trails in the park. After ¾ of a mile, you’ll split right from Red and the single-track adventure begins! The trail has a great flow, leaving you with a fleet feet feel. Around mile 2.5 the trail turns to double-track for a short bit before a quick turn that spits you back onto single-track down to Beaver Lake. For the next mile the trail is pretty constant, offering some great views of the lake. Before you know it, you’ll re-join Red , cross the spillway and climb back up to the Village.

Whilst I hand’t gotten much sleep, as the sun rose I began to feel somewhat energetic. ‘Twas time to run the next leg just before 7. And it was indeed easy! I set a goal to run 8 mpm when the terrain allowed, having been warmed that there was a steep hill at the start of the mile 4. I did so, running 7:57, 7:56, 8:06, and 8:56. I ran the last .3 at a 6:54 mpm pace, and had a very strong finish.

I passed 47 runners.

Click here for details.

Time = 35:31; 8:15 mpm

Yup, I ran this leg faster than my teammates.

There was much talk about how the Yellow leg was more difficult than the Red leg, and that I’d really enjoy the Red leg. As the day progressed the temperature continued to rise. But the time it was my turn to run my and the team’s final leg, the temperature was a very balmy 92º. I was dreading this leg, as it’s exceedingly difficult to run fast in this kind of heat and humidity.

Red Loop – Spillway Trail | 5.4 mi.

The Red Loop takes advantage of some of the park’s great single-track trails. After splitting away from the Green Loop ¾ of a mile in, things take a turn, and another turn, and another. This trail twists and turns so much you may lose your sense of direction. But don’t worry–just follow the course signage and let the joy flow. Before you know it, you’ll meet back up with the Green Loop on your way back to the Village, smile fully intact.

I was exhausted. I had eaten a Paleo kit, a few pieces of bacon, and a hard boiled egg. I stayed hydrated, making sure that my urine was clear. I just wanted the race to be over, as again, the waiting was the hardest part. I also somehow managed to break the toenail of my left middle toe. Dammit. I bandaged it and tried to ignore the pain.

I began my final leg at about 2:10 pm. There was little cloud cover, and there were many exposed sections of the course. ‘Twas fucking hot.

As with the two previous legs, I carried a water bottle. I filled the bottle at the water station just before the start of the race, and as time passed the water got warmer and warmer. I felt like I was drinking boiled water, and my thirst was not at all quenched.

The course had many switchbacks. I usually like running courses with twists and turns, but I felt defeated about midway through the run. Yes, I was passing runners. No, I wasn’t being passed by runners. Nonetheless, I felt very slow and lethargic.

I was getting very overheated, so I poured some water on my head. And it felt like I was taking a hot shower. I could feel myself getting hotter and hotter, and I knew I was getting dehydrated. I began to talk to myself. “Don’t stop. That’s you’re only goal. Just don’t stop. As much as you might want to walk, just don’t stop.”

I did stop, but I’m not counting it as a failure, for I stopped at the water station to fill my now empty bottle. The water was slightly cool, so I poured half of the contents on my head and neck and drank the rest.

I was nonetheless growing more and more weary. As I was running mile 5 I suddenly realized that my eyelids were closing. I once again fell to the ground, this time scraping my right knee and palm. My glasses flew from my head and it took me a few moments to gather myself and retrieve my glasses. The only positive thing that can be said is that I didn’t cry. Likely because I wasn’t hydrated enough to cry.

My shirt, shorts, socks, and shoes were all soaking wet.

Uhm, my splits clearly show deterioration: 8:13, 8:47, 9:25, 9:09, and 10:29.

I had a strong finish. And that’s about it. As I was approaching the finish I thought, “Go directly to the medical tent. Get an IV.” I instead exited and walk to an area with some shade. I felt nauseous and my vision was very cloudy. I knew, however, that my teammates were waiting to celebrate so I eventually forced myself to stand and find them. I pretended that things were much better than they actually were. We had our group picture taken and then folks started to depart. I drank a Harpoon UFO (probably not the best idea) and sat with Alex and Brian as my BBF retrieved the Renegade.

Click here for details.

Time = 51:18; 9:30 mpm

Yup, I ran this leg faster than my teammates.

Brian was a lifesaver, as he drove from Richmond past Greensboro, about 3 of the 5.5 hours. He even allowed me to sleep for an hour. This was for the best, as I was certain that I was going to have to tell him to pull over so I could puke. I also had an empty Sheetz bag at the ready. Yup, I felt that bad.

We did eventually stop at a Sheetz and I forced myself to eat 2 hot dogs and drink a large cream soda. We stopped once again just before I began to drive and I had McDonald’s coffee and fries. Fries! I hadn’t had McDonald’s fries in years! Uhm, they were delicious.


Finish Time: 21:30:10 
Overall: 13/241
Category (Mixed): 3/98

We came in third place!

A few weeks ago Jeff and I had the following conversation…

Me: I’m running with folks who are in the twenties and thirties, yet I’m in my fifties and will likely be the fastest person on the team. That shouldn’t be the way it is. The younger runners should be the fastest runners.
Jeff: But you’re Paul. You’re not like everyone else. 

I think he was complimenting me. I think.


Two Hundred

Saturday, April 22 |Muddy Mess, Part 1

Damn Garmin Forerunner 25. I have tried everything to upload courses; alas, to no avail. And Garmin Help is anything but helpful.

I ran some of the trails at the Biltmore, and according to the 25, I ran about 4.5 miles. I’m certain that I ran more. By the way, what a wonderfully muddy mess!

Have I mentioned that I have no sense of direction? I have no sense of direction. Instead I rely upon visual or auditory cues, e.g., the interstate and the sound of the interstate. I don’t, however, pay attention to the location and/or path of the sun. I should really do that.

The hills, the hills, all of the hills, hills, hills, hills! Fortunately I love running both up and down all the hills, hills, hills, hills.

Monday, April 23 |Muddy Mess, Part 2

I rested Sunday, although Luke and I always go for 3 or 4 walks each and every day. I also purchased at TomTom Spark 3. ‘Twas supposed to rain all day Monday, but Luke and I headed to Bent Creek anyhow. As we were starting our run a biker commented, “Looks like we may get a break in the rain.” “Yes,” I replied, “but we’re going to get muddy anyway you look at it. And that’ll be fun!”

According to the TomTom, Luke and I ran almost 6 miles! It was relatively cool, although of course somewhat muggy. And very, very muddy! I don’t think I’ve smiled so much during a 6-mile run in my entire life, as Luke was quite comical. He’d trail behind me, I’d glance backwards and make eye contact, he’d run and catch up to and then often pass me, slow down, and trail behind me again. Ha! We encountered many dogs, and he was friendly to all. He’s such a marvelously wonderful dog. We both sincerely enjoyed running through the puddles. According to the TomTom, I averaged a slow 9:28 mpm. Given how treacherous the conditions were, I’m okay with this. Ragnar is this weekend, so I’m being somewhat cautious. I also burned more than 600 calories. That’s all?

Luke was out for the rest of the day.


Tuesday, April 24 |Muddy Mess, Part 3

Luke and I went for a 5-mile walk at the Biltmore. We stayed mostly on the the paved path, part of which was immersed in water. The French Broad River is raging!

As I knew he’d be tired and would nap, I immediately head to the NC Arboretum/Bent Creek for a bike ride. Yup, I was itching to ride. And what a fun 10-mile ride it was! I rode 5 miles out and back.

And the strangest thing happened, and it truly played with my mind. I knew I was on the correct trail, yet on the return I approached a dead tree that had fallen and blocked the path. I thought, “That wasn’t there 30 minutes ago. Am I on the wrong path? Have I gotten turned around once again?” I was convinced I was indeed on the correct path. ‘Twas then that I thought, “I wasn’t there when the tree fell, so I wonder if it made a sound.” Ah, the solitude of solo biking allows for existential moments such as this.

I didn’t fall off the bike a single time, although the back wheel did spin out of control a few times and I had to step off of the bike.

The ride lasted 1:07. It’s been fun to review my heart rate, as whilst riding downhill heart rate will get as low as 100 and whilst riding hard uphill heart rate will approach 160.


I do enjoy mountain biking, but I enjoy running more. Much, much more.

A 5-mile walk and a 10-mile bike ride. Yet I still wanted to work out. As both yesterday’s and today’s programmed WODs were too focused on legs, I decided to attend Open Gym and, well, do my own thing. Luke joined me! He got much attention. He nonetheless always kept me in his sight. Again, he’s such a good boy.

10 RFT
– 5 burpee plate presses (45#)
– 5 twisting burpee box jumps (27″)
– 5 burpee toes to bar
– 5 burpee pull-ups

I began well before the start of the 5:30 session and attempted to stay out of the way.

I took it easy, focusing on working at a nice, steady pace unit the last round.

Time: 37:49
Time of last round: 2:19

Proof that I didn’t push things unit the very last round. I kept a watchful eye on Luke, I moved equipment, I waited for people to get out of my freaking way, and I even coached a young man attempting bar muscle ups.

I ♥ burpees, even 200 burpees.

I was a sweaty mess nonetheless, and that’s exactly what I wanted. That, and an egg salad sandwich. And a beer.



Stronger Every Day

It’s becoming an everyday occurrence that I do something amazing. (See what I did there?)

Wednesday, April 19 |Scott

I took Luke for an hour-long walk at the Arboretum. He is really enjoying walking off leash. I then purchased a Scott Genius mountain bike from Mustasheville Bikes! It’s like the bike was named after me. It’s carbon wih full-suspension and an adjustable seat. An adjustable seat! In my attempt to get my sea legs back, I went for a 90-minute ride at the Arboretum. I thought Hard Times Hills was challenging to run, but I do believe it’s even more challenging to ride. I. Love. The. Bike! I know me well enough that I need to rein in my enthusiasm and do much of my riding on service roads instead of trails. I’ll feel much more confident once clips and shoes arrive.

The scenery is stunning. I ensure that I don’t check email, Facebook, Instagram, etc. whilst walking. I will, of course, take pictures of Luke to post later in the day! I’ll also occasionally listen to a podcast. “Reveal” and “Stuff You Should Know” are two of my favorites.

THU APRIL 20, 2017 | HSPUs

Strength/Skill Development
A: Behind the Neck Push Press (5 x 3)
Push press behind the neck.

B: Strict Handstand Push-ups (1 max effort set )

‘Twas a group of six men at the 8:30 session, including Will (who I genuinely like). Drew arrived late, as if often the case. During our warm up he said, “You’re awfully quiet this morning. Do you have anything to say?” I replied, “Fuck you, Drew.” And we all laughed! I’m beginning to feel much more relaxed. Ha!

I informed Coach Marc that I’d need to be especially careful with behind the neck push presses. I worked up to 5 reps @ 120#. (I’m still unsure of the usefulness of behind the neck press, push presses, or push jerks, although I certainly see the usefulness if overhead grip is used.)

Metcon (AMRAP – Rounds and Reps)

-30 KB Waiter Squat
1.5 pood (*15 each side)
-15 T2B
-400m run
-30 KBS 1.5
-15 HSPU

I knew that HSPUs were going to slow me down, so I focused on the other activities. My workstation was set up the farthest from the garage door.

For the first round I completed waiter squats, toes to bar, and KB swings in unbroken reps, and HSPUs in reps of 9, 3, & 3. I was especially cautious whilst completing HSPUs, ensuring that I didn’t place undue pressure on my neck. This did, however, slow me down. It’s a small price to pay.

For the second round I completed waiter squats in unbroken reps, T2B in reps of 11 and 4, KB swings in reps of 20 & 10 (more in a moment), and HSPUs in reps of 7, 3, 2, 2, & 1, with one failed attempt (more in a moment).

I was the only athlete in the box whilst completing both rounds of KB, as the other folks were running. Both Marc and Corey were watching me and when I completed the last KB swing Marc said something that I couldn’t hear. I stopped what I was doing and yelled, “Am I doing something incorrectly with the KB swings?” “No,” Marc replied, “I said ‘Good job.'” My heel came off the wall before fully extending for last HSPU. I glanced and Marc and he smiled knowingly. I said, “You know I’m not going to count that one.” (I’m not sure if he knew that I wasn’t going to count that last one.)

For the final round I completed waiter squats in reps of 15 and 15, T2B in 8 unbroken and then 7, albeit no strung together, reps and then I was out the door. I almost made it back to the box before time was called. Marc informed us that we could count 1 rep for every 25m.

Score = 2 rounds + 65 reps 

Notice how I’m not mentioning how I did compared to others, my placement on the whiteboard, etc. It’s unimportant to me (although it seems to be very important to others).

I met with Corey to discuss coaching opportunities at CFA. He informed me that he is not in need of any coaches, but is willing to see if there is interest in endurance.

CFA is just too damned convenient for me to consider switching boxes. If push comes to shove, I’d quit CFA and not join another box. Walking, running, and biking!

I took the bike for another ride at the Arboretum. A hard rain began just 30 minutes into the ride. I removed my glassed and continued. Owl’s Ridge is much more challenging going West to East than it is in the opposite direction.

FRI APRIL 21, 2017 | One Leg at a Time

I attended the 8 am session, led by Daniel. Luke attended the session, and every one remarked about what a good boy he is! “His eyes are always on you, Paul.” That’s true. I even have to take him with me to the men’s room.

Strength/Skill Development
E3MOM 18 (SLD 6 x 10 /Dip 6 x 5-10)

-10 Single Leg Deadlift
(5 each leg)
-5-10 Ring/Stat. Dips 

I worked up to last set of DLs @ 130#, and shit felt heavy. I worked up to last set of ring dips at 27.5#.

Metcon (Time)
“Power Clean Annie”
-Double Unders
-5 Power Cleans 185/125
*5 PC after each set of DU/SU

*Scale Power Clean to 70% of 1RM

“Annie,” (along with “Fran” and “Grace”) is one of my least favorite workouts. Been there, done that far too many times. The 5 PCs added a little variety, but I was nonetheless unenthused from start to finish.

A new member, Anne, attended the session, as as soon as she placed her Abmat upon the gym mat Luke did what Luke always does and made himself comfortable. Ha! I placed another gym and Abmat beside her.

(As an aside, one of the things that CFA does that I do think is a good idea is that they have a coach shadow a newbie. Marc shadowed Anne.)

Uhm, 185 pounds for power cleans? Another example of programming for elites. I briefly contemplated 135 but instead followed the guideline and power cleaned 125#, a little more than 70@ of all time PR. And the lifts felt light and easy. But 185 would’ve been too much.

(As another aside, there was much talk about the CFG including muscle ups for masters. It’s about time.)

I completed all rounds in unbroken reps in a time of 11:55.

Uhm, I had taken Luke for a 45-minute walk first thing in the morning, and then a 30-minute walk (to CFA and back) a little later. I then thoroughly cleaned the house as he relaxed. He gave me that “When are we going for our long walk?” look. As I needed to purchase cat food (thanks for letting me know we were out, Jeff), I took him to Bent Creek Experiment Forest after getting supplies at Petco. As it was a warm, muggy day and as rain was expected, I decided we’d go 25 minutes up and back. Things began to look unfamiliar on the way back, but I was certain we were headed in the right direction. No worries. A biker passed by and I asked, “Is the trailhead in that direction?” pointing in the direction I was headed. He replied, “No, you’re heading in the wrong direction.” I turned around, but things didn’t feel right. I got out my phone and said, “Siri, give me directions to my car.” Stupid Siri will give you directions — to the nearest road! Dammit. I at least could see if I was heading in the right direction. Uhm, we were pretty far away from the car by now, so I asked a very pregnant women, “Where is the trailhead? I may be turned around.” “Keep following this to the neighborhood.” I didn’t recall passing a neighborhood, but I did what she said. And reached boundary of the park. I got out my phone once again and saw that we were now farther away from the car. I was beginning to feel concerned. I turned around and after running for a while saw the pregnant woman once again. I said, “That may not have been the correct trailhead. I’m looking for Pinnacle Road trailhead.” “Oh,” she said, “I’m sorry that I sent you in the wrong direction! You’re about a mile and half from your car. Stay on this path until it ends. Take a left and that’ll take you to a gravel road. That’s Pinnacle Road. Take a left and that’ll take you to your car.” As I was concerned that the storm was approaching, Luke and I ran fast to the car. Our 50-minute walk ended up lasting one hour and 45 minutes. He got in the car and fell fast asleep.

If I’m going to be exploring unexplored paths I’d better start using my compass. And paying better attention.

We nonetheless had a wonderful time!