A 5-day Bug.

What a miserable week it has been! But first, a couple of workouts to report.

Monday, June 15

I wasn’t the least bit interested in squatting. True story. I completed the programmed metcon and substituted handstand pushups for back squats. The workout was tough nonetheless.

10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 handstand pushups & burpee + 2 lateral parallette hops

That’s 55 HSPUs and burpees. I began by completing 10 strict HSPUs. As I often say, I know not why. I completed the workout in 14:08.

Tuesday, June 16

Every 90 seconds for 10 rounds
Complete 3 TNG power cleans
Begin @ 50 – 65% of 1RM and increase weight as form and execution improve.

You may NOT complete full squat clean for any of the reps. You may NOT release your hands from the bar while completing 3 reps and must bring the bar to mid-thigh and then floor for final rep.

This was fun! I began at 95 and worked up to 155. I completed 2 reps @ 160 but the bar flew out of my hands on the last rep. Literally. Well, not literally, but I’ve heard that word so frequently as of late that I’m compelled to use it. This won’t happen again.

12-min Tabata
Alternate through 3 activities:
Double unders
Back extensions
Score = total reps, i.e., this is not a true tabata

I began count with double unders; thus, I counted 8 rounds. ‘Twas hot in the box. I set aside a gym mat for V-ups and Luke immediately claimed it as his own. Yup, I set up another gym mat. This did mean, however, that I had to hop over him when I completed V-ups in order to get to Abmat for back extensions. I’d estimate that I completed 20 V-ups and back extensions each round. I completed as many as 39 double unders. My scores for rounds were 63, 75, 74, 73, 66 (missed double unders), 68, 70, & 69 for a total of 560. Unless I did the math wrong. I’m not checking. You may do so.

I began to feel out of sorts as I was coaching the endurance athletes Tuesday night. My friend Jason used to say, whenever he experienced diarrhea, that he was “pissing out of my ass.” Suffice it to say that I was pissing out of my ass from Tuesday evening until Friday evening. TMI? Perhaps. Nick and Deborah were kind enough to cover my Wednesday morning sessions. I slept until 11 and, as it’s worked in the past, I mistakenly thought that I had slept off my illness. No such luck.

I nonetheless traveled to NYC Wednesday night and trained from 8 until 3 on Thursday and 8 until 2 on Friday. I was originally scheduled for a 6:30 pm flight Friday evening but got on an earlier flight that was scheduled to leave NYC at 4:30.

And left NYC at 6:45. Dammit.

I had had enough, and I visited FastMed 8 o’clock Saturday morning. The PA, Eric, checked for any abnormalities and fortunately found none. His advice? Let it run its course. This meant shredding the inner lining of my intestines. Again, TMI? A urinalysis was also performed and all results were negative. And that’s positive. It was Saturday (yesterday) evening before I was able to even think about eating anything. Rice. And rotisserie chicken. With no seasoning.

Sunday, June 21

I woke up this morning and felt “solid.” Get it? Solid? Think about it for a moment. Good, you got it.

I decided to test how I felt, as it had been 4 days since I last worked out. I jumped on the scale and wasn’t surprised that I weighed 139 pounds. Gah! I lost about a pound a day.

10-min AMRAP
2 15′ rope climbs
10 ring dips
20 GHD sit-ups

Perhaps the sit-ups weren’t the best idea. I completed exactly 10 rounds. While not spectacular, I was pleased with performance.

I coached the 11 am session, went home, changed into running shorts and running shoes, and headed to the American Tobacco Trail. I really, really, really wanted to try my hand (and legs) at Capoot.

Capoot (Time)
For Time:
100 push-ups
Run 800 meters
75 push-ups
Run 1,200 meters
50 push-ups
Run 1,600 meters
25 push-ups
Run 2,000 meters

In honor of Officer James Lowell Capoot, of the Vallejo Police Department, died Nov. 17, 2011, in the line of duty. To learn more about Capoot click here

I wore my batting globes (see the Burpee Mile) and took a water bottle with me as well. So that I didn’t need a cheat sheet I thought of the running in intervals of 1/4 mile, i.e., 400m. I told myself, “One hundred pushups, 2 times, 75 pushups, 3 times, 50 pushups, 4 times, 25 pushups, 5 times.” It worked! I’m just that smart.

My goal was to complete in less than 40 minutes.

I began by completing 25 pushups. I completed no less than 5 reps at any time. Whilst I normally stretch in child’s pose this was difficult to do on the gravel, so I would instead jump my feet to my hands and stretch out my arms and shoulders. While not ideal, it worked. I ran without stopping each and every interval. As it was 95 degrees, this alone was an accomplishment. I completed the last round of 25 pushups unbroken. It appears that the mile run prior to doing so was enough time for my arms and shoulders to recover. I also sprinted the last 200m, breathing every other step. I finished in 39:11. Yay! I needed that. I really, really, really needed that.



Summertime Challenge Reloaded

Less than 24 hours before completing the first of yesterday’s four events, I re-did the Lurong Benchmark Summertime Challenge. I completed this workout five weeks ago with scores of 67 and 22. I did not, however, look up previous scores prior to completing the workout today as I suspected that I might not be able to match, let alone beat, previous scores.

A. 5-min AMRAP (Level III)
– 5 Box jump overs (30)
– 10 Toes to bar 

Rest exactly 3 minutes before completing B
B. 3-min AMRAP (Level II)
Squat clean thrusters (95)

My legs were a little tired. I wonder why? I came this close to missing the 5th rep of the first set of box jumps. I completed the first 4 rounds of 10 T2B in unbroken reps but was completing as singles the last round. I was bringing my toes to the bar for the 10th rep of round 6 when the timer sounded. Dammit. Just 1 rep shy of 6 rounds for a total of 89 reps.

My strategy was to work steadily on thrusters, as my legs are still tired from yesterday’s front squats. I completed 9 the first minute and 24 total. That’s steady work, ladies and gentlemen.

I was quite pleased with performance. No exclamation point necessary.

Post-Event pic!
Post-Event pic!

Masters Classic

Friday was exhausting, as the Situational Leadership “training” truly sucked and It then took me 6.5 hours to drive from Sterling, VA home. Jeff and I then immediately drove to Concord. I feared that if I saw Luke that I wouldn’t want to go to the competition. True story.

We stayed at Courtyard located by the Charlotte Motor Speedway. I have never attempted to sleep in a hotel that was as noisy. There were people partying in the parking lot, drivers drag racing on the main road (I kid you not), and very rude guests who walked the halls talking very, very loudly. I woke up exhausted.

We arrived at the event after 7 and set up our canopy. Even though it was in the 90s I never felt exceedingly uncomfortable. That was a relief!

The organizers changed the order of events and I was unaware that the tire flip & burpee event was scheduled to take place first and that we were in the very first heat! The tire was heavier than I expected. Yes, I could’ve flipped it, but Jeff really, really, really didn’t want to do upcoming front squats due to continued issues with his hamstrings, so he agreed to flip the tire if I’d do front squats. Anthony immediately suggested that I complete the burpees, as he had timed himself at 2.5 minutes and was confident that I could complete the 50 reps faster. He’s a smart man. For a gynecologist. Anthony and I had planned on completing event 1, with me doing tire flips and jump throughs and Anthony doing burpees.

Event 1 – Breathless
On the minute complete 5 tires flips and in remaining time 50 tire step throughs
Tag partner who completes 50 burpees to target

Jeff did an awesome job. He had completed 47 step throughs when the top of the minute was called for minute 5. He completed last 5 tire flips and last 3 tire jump throughs, tagged me, and I was off! I set a goal to complete burpees fast and unbroken, and I achieved this goal. Jay timed me at 1:53. Our total time was 6:35 and we finished in 11th place overall.

Fate was on our side, as we became aware that an athlete could only be the “primary” for one event. Jeff was the primary for Breathless and that allowed me to be the primary for the next activity, Loaded. If I had been primary for Breathless someone else would’ve had to do the first part of Loaded, and I don’t wish that upon anyone!

Event 2 – Loaded

At 3,2,1, GO…. Primary Athlete will have a series of items in front or him/her.  Primary Athlete will perform a required movement with each of those items and then carry them down to a wheelbarrow 40 yards from you.
Sandbag – 10 Ground to Overhead
(2) Wall Balls (20#) – 10 Push Ups with one hand on each Wall Ball
(2) Plates (45#) – 10 Lunges toward the wheelbarrow
(2) KettleBells (70#) – Farmer’s Walk to wheelbarrow

Once wheelbarrow is full, Primary Athlete will roll wheelbarrow back down to start/finish line. Tag in Secondary Athlete.

Secondary Athlete will then choose any 4 items and one by one shuttle those items 40 yards back to the other end of course. After the 4th item is dropped in designated area, Secondary Athlete sprints back to start/finish line.

As planned, I was the primary and Anthony was the secondary athlete. This went very well.

I began at a steady pace and was the last in the heat to complete G2O. I’m a fast runner, though, and quickly sprinted to starting line. I can also complete pushups very quickly, and that’s what I did. Whilst lifting wall balls, well, I fell on my ass. I looked at the spectators and said, “My balls appear to be on the ground.” I picked them up, ran with them, and placed them in the wheelbarrow, giggling the entire time. I knew the lunges were going to be the hardest part, as bare knees on asphalt is never fun. I had taken the lead by this point. I completed lunges, sprinted to wheelbarrow, placed plates in wheelbarrow, and sprinted to KBs. I was surprised by how quickly I was able to move whilst farmer’s carrying almost my bodyweight. I certainly didn’t walk. I began at a slow, steady pace and once I knew that I had the wheelbarrow under control I sprinted to the mat and tagged Anthony. He did a great job a carrying and sprinting, and we finished 6th overall with a time of 3:55.

Event 3 – Clean & Carry

At 3,2,1 GO…… Primary Athlete will load bar to 1st Clean weight by him/herself.  He/she will then Clean the weight to the Front Rack position and carry it 30yds where the Primary athlete will drop the bar and load weight, clean and carry back to Start/Finish line.  The Primary athlete will perform this process a total of 4 times, finishing at the Start/ Finish line.  Tag to Secondary Athlete.

The Primary and Secondary Athlete will then load the bar to appropriate Front Squat weight and the Secondary Athlete will complete 30 Front Squats. Time completed is your score.

For those of you keeping score at home this was Jay’s first event. Jeff and Anthony had completed 1 event. This was my third event. Yup, my third event.

Jay did a great job with cleans and carries. Uhm, when Jeff and I first discussed me taking his place and completing front squats he informed me that the prescribed weight for my age was 125#. Uhm, the prescribed weight was 135#. Doable, as I had done a workout with 135# front squats this past Monday at Verity.

I completed about 10 unbroken reps and then my legs started to feel very heavy. On the 25th rep my middle fingers slipped from under the bar. Dammit. I finished the 28th rep but dropped the bar. Dammit. I didn’t rest long enough and attempted to clean the bar THREE times before I was successful doing so. As I was failing at cleans the athlete who had finished ahead of me decided that he’d coach me. “You got this. Get under the bar. You’re pulling too soon.” I said (and very loudly, I might add), “Shut up!” Jeff informed me that everyone laughed. I then said under my breath, “Shut the f@ck up.”

I really let the team down. We finished in 15 place in a time of 4:20. I felt pretty miserable afterward.

Event 4 – Tag Team

Segment 2
Prowler: 80 yards
Deadlifts for remaining time

Jeff was the tagger, meaning that he could help any of us with our activities. Jay began Segment 1 with 750 m row and 95# thrusters and Anthony completed Segment 3 with 90-second L-sit and 95# ground to overhead.

The weight for the prowler was 210# and deadlifts 205#. I was very worried about the prowler, as I hadn’t had an opportunity to practice. As I had already had a disappointing performance I didn’t want to, well, have yet another disappointing performance.

Anthony and I quickly loaded the prowler and I very easily pushed it 40 yards up and back, easily finishing before the other 2 teams in my heat. Jay later commented that he didn’t expect me to return so quickly and that they had to rush to put the plates on the bar. Jeff and I worked very well together and completed 97 deadlifts, placing 7th overall.

CrossFit Surmount Masters finished 12th out of 16 Rx masters teams, and I’m delighted with our performance! Our goal was to have fun, and we most certainly did. Would I do things differently next time? Yes, but only for the front squats.

Upon returning to our canopy after burpees an athlete slapped my ass and said, “You killed those burpees!” It took me quite off guard, as I can honestly not recall the last time someone slapped me on the ass.

After completing sandbag ground to overhead the judge said, “Those were the best reps I’ve seen all day.”

I had mint chocolate chip & dark cherry ice cream on a waffle cone.

I saw a lot of shitty form and poor judging. The most glaring were squats not below parallel and hips not open at completion of deadlift. As with most events, some judges were better than others. It certainly makes for inconsistent results.

For this event masters were consider anyone 35 and older. Thirty-five? That seems too young to be consider a master. This was the first competition that we completed Rx!


No Burn in Ashburn

There are many boxes around the Sterling, VA area, and I’ve been selecting the box to visit based upon the programmed workout. Uhm, no more high box jumps, please.

I arrived at Ashburn CrossFit 20 minutes before the start of the 9 am session, and was immediately and warmly greeted by Lee and Janice (aka JJ), the  co-owners of the box. When I informed Lee that I was also a owner of a box he waived the drop-in fee. Unfortunately, they ran out of size medium tee shirts. Next time!

Lee, JJ, and I spent the next 20 minutes in deep conversation about what it’s like to be a box owner. ACF has been open about six months, and it’s a relatively small box. It is well equipped and, as you’ll read, the coaching is very good. Oh, and the members are nice, too!

There were six in attendance, including yours truly. We warmed up with an easy run around the box three times. No matter how slowly I run (and I really ran slowly) I’m usually the fastest runner. Today was no exception. We then did pass throughs, OHS, and inch worms.

Next up was a pull-up progression. Uhm, more pull-ups. I choose level 16 (if I recall), the highest level. I completed 10-7-7-6-5 strict pull-ups. ACF has a Speal bar. Yay!

The skill was headstands, handstands, and handstand walking, and Lee gave me some good tips on spotting while walking on my hands.

100 double unders
20 KB swings (53#)
10 burpees

Lee led the group through a double under progression. Yup, we began with single unders. I warned him about my weird du style and also warned the group about my grunting and occasional swearing.

Lee reviewed all movement standards. Yay! That’s what a good coach always does.

I completed 85 unbroken dus the first round. Not bad. I completed as many as 30 unbroken dus and only as few as 20 the remaining 2 rounds. Again, not bad. Or should I say “good”?

I completed unbroken KB swings the first and second round and in reps of 10 the last round. The KBs had slick handles and I had a difficult time keeping my grip, even with chalked hands.

Burpees are never a challenge, and today was no exception. I love burpees. You may not know that. (If this is the first entry you’ve read.)

I completed the workout as prescribed in 10:31. I said “shit” just one time and truly limited my grunting. ‘Twas such a quiet class.

Lee, JJ, and I continued our conversation and had our picture taken.

I felt right at home at Ashburn CrossFit!

JJ, Paul, and Lee
JJ, Paul, and Lee

No Rest in Reston

I made it through day two of Situational Leadership training. I was generally well behaved. I continue to be discouraged and disillusioned by the rude behaviors of others. The knuckle cracking, gum popping, and pen clicking continued today, as did the poor table manners. Here’s a simple rule to follow: eat with your mouth closed.

Training ended at 4, so this allowed ample time to travel to CrossFit Reston. While not as close as some of the other boxes, the workout looked interesting.

I entered the box, many people looked at me, and not a single person approached me. I finally asked a group of people to tell me who the coach was. “He’s probably in the office.” I peeked into the office, introduced myself, and was warmly greeted by the bare-footed Buzz, the coach of the session.

Buzz was very friendly. I signed the waiver and purchased a tee shirt.

There were 18 in attendance. The session began and Buzz led us through mobility. Uhm, I wasn’t introduced. Uhm, I didn’t feel very welcome.

After the warmup, Buzz said, “Those of you have pull-ups can establish maximum height box jump.” Gah! Too many high box jumps as of late. I jumped 37.5″ and called it a day. And then stood around and waited for the metcon to start. (I continue to see athletes take run and then leap onto the box. I’d call that a no rep.)

We were asked to set up rings if we were doing muscle ups. I selected a pair. No movement standards were discussed or demonstrated. Coach Buzz announced that someone would have to complete 111 reps Rx to post the highest score. Folks gasped. I did not.


With a 15 minute clock running:

0 to 5 min:

  • 400m Run
  • Max Muscle Ups with remaining time

5 to 10 min:

  • 400m Run
  • Max C2B Pull-ups with remaining time

10 to 15 min:

  • 400m Run
  • Max Pull-ups with remaining time

Running? I don’t mind if I do! I made sure to ask what the 400m course was before the workout started. I may not always be the fastest but I’m often, well, one of the fastest.

I was most certainly the fastest today. I took an early lead and kept that lead for the first 400m. And the second 400m. And the final 400m. Each time I entered the box Coach Buzz would compliment me. (As with most boxes, not coaching was provided during running.)

My station for muscle ups and pull-ups was the farthest away from the entrance, i.e., start and finish, of the box. The rings were a good 50m from the entrance, so I continued to run once I entered the box. I completed 17 muscles up. Coach Buzz made sure to ask me how many I finished as I was starting the second run!

My running count at the end of the chest to bar pull-ups was 67; thus 50 chest to bar pull-ups. Coach Buzz approached me, complimented my pull-ups, and said, “It looks like you’re going to complete more than 110 reps.” I said, “Not very likely.”

I reached 111 reps with 30 seconds remaining and completed an additional 6 reps for a total of 118, Rx. That’s 68 pull-ups.

And then folks wanted to talk with me. I received more fist bumps then, well, I think I’ve ever received. I finally discovered that members were quite friendly. Coach Buzz invited me to visit anytime. And I might very well do that.

Coach Buzz said, “I was surprised that you didn’t do butterfly pull-ups?” I wanted to say, “Uhm, did I need to? Would my socre have been any higher?” I did not.

Yes, I can do butterfly pull-ups. Given that I’ll be competing this Saturday I thought it best to not f@ck up my shoulders. Okay? Okay.



Game of Thrones. Wow. Just, wow.

I attended the 6am session at CrossFit Sterling. The box is very nice, although difficult to find with Google maps.

Coach Rick, the co-owner, led the session, and there were eight in attendance. We got a late start.

The session started with a group warm up. Yup, a mini metcon.

3 rounds
Bird dog x 10 r/l
Waiter’s walk x 25m r/
Tempo pull-up 1-2-3

I took it easy so as to not appear like a showoff. Or a dick. I was somewhat successful in not appearing like a showoff. I was less successful in not appearing like a dick, as I had completed the 3 rounds while many were on second round. I did like tempo pull-up: 1 second to pull-chin above the bar, 2-second hold with chin above the bar, and 3-second negative. No bands for me. I used 35# KB for first and 44# for remaining rounds of waiter’s walk.

Run 600+m
15-12-9 heavy KB swings

Uhm, running, KB swings, and burpees? I don’t mind if I do. I used a 62# KB. I am surprised by how good my legs feel just two days after that grueling half marathon. I took an early lead and was the first to finish. Coach Rick was complimentary. I completed the workout in 9:12.

The session closed with ab work. Uhm, not much work for yours truly. Yet again I my have appeared to be a showoff. And a dick. I was able to complete all of the assigned tasks as others struggled to do so. The session ended 10 minutes early.

I did get a tee shirt.

I attend Situational Leadership training from 8 to 5. It was all I could do to not punch some folks in the throat. Pen clicking, knuckle cracking, gum popping. Gah! I really needed another (more challenging) workout, so I attended the 6:30pm session at CrossFit Verity.

The box reminds me of CFS in that it’s in an commercial park and the members are very friendly. CFV also has Wodify!

Coach Scott, one of the two co-owners, warmly greeted me at the door, as we had exchanged messages earlier in the day. We also exchanged tee shirts as I had brought some CFS tee shirts with me, you know, just in case.

Coach Jim led the session. I very much like his style!

4×3 front squats @ 75-80% of 1RM
3 high box jumps

A young man name Chad offered to share a bar. (CFSers, we have many, many more squat racks that most boxes.) I lifted 175 and jumped 36″. Lifts felt great as did jumps.

21-15-9 front squats (from the floor) & double lateral burpees over the bar

The prescribed weight was 155#. In retrospect I probably should’ve gone that heavy. I instead settled on 135.

How did I know that I should’ve gone heavier? Because I finished the first 21 reps without dropping the bar and by resting only a few times with the bar on my shoulders. I was the first to finish front squats. Yet again I didn’t want to seem like a showoff or a dick, so I took my time with burpees.

But I can only do burpees so slowly.

Uhm, Chad glanced my way more than once. He was also lifting 135# and by the look on his face he was upset that I was, well, beating him.

I completed the round of 15 front squats in reps of 9 & 6 and the round of 9 in reps of 5 and 4. The last 4 reps felt heavy. Very heavy. I finished in a time of 9:23. Yup, I was the first to call time.

I’ll be visiting Verity again very soon!