Thursday, April 26

Back Squat
5X5 @ 65%

I completed @ 165# and did a sixth set @ 175#. Just because. As is typical, back squats hurt my neck more than my legs.

10 RFT
Row 5 calories
5 WBS, 20# & 10′

I worked consistently and completed in 8:23. I completed 5 calories in 6 strokes.

Friday, April 27

3 presses every minute until 95#, the 3 presses every 90 seconds until failure

I completed 3 # 132, a 1# PR. I then attempted 2 @ 136 but lost my balance when pressing. I locked it out, so I put 137 on the bar and pressed (with knees locked and ass tight), a 2# PR. Yay! I’ll take a pound or two gains with anything overhead. And, my 1RM PR was 135 just four months ago. So there’s that.

35 unbroken double unders
5 PS, 65#

Ah, double unders and power snatches, a shoulder burner. It’s also a mind game finding just the right amount of rest before starting a round of double unders, knowing that if I missed I’d have to start from 1. I did miss the very first rep the second round, but that was because I was too close to the North side of the “box” and the rope got caught on a dog leash. I’m happy to report that I completed all rounds unbroken. Yup, I’m even counting the second round. Because my coach said I could. He’s dreamy.


Saturday, April 28

Jeff and I took Luke for a walk at Richmond Hill Park! Whilst not my favorite park in Asheville, we nonetheless enjoyed a nice hike.

I then made “Crack Pie.” I’ve been binge watching Chef’s Table on Netflix and the most recent season focuses on pasty chefs. I particularly enjoyed learning about Christina Tovi and the Milk Bar. I tried a thin sliver of one of the crack pies I made earlier this afternoon and can’t stop thinking about it. Yup, it’s like crack.

5-min AMRAPs; rest 3 min between rounds

  1. Sprint 50m (25m to the end of the driveway and back)
    10 rebounding box jumps, 24″
    5 deadlifts, 155#
  2. Sprint 50m
    10 KB SDHPs, 70#
    4 deadlifts, 175#
  3. Sprint 50m
    5 burpees
    10 power C&J, 75#

This was quite exhausting, particularly after the arduous task of making crack pies (I made two).


  1. 5 rounds + 25m
  2. 4 rounds + 10 SDHPs & 1 DL
  3. 4 rounds + 50m run


“You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.”

That’s bullshit. I’m learning to cook, bake, write a novel, play new songs on the piano, and just be an all around badass.

BTW, I hate when people refer to someone as a “bad ass.” “You’re such a bad ass, Sally!” means something entirely different. Language is important.



Thursday, April 19

Sumo Deadlift
Establish 5RM

I set and achieved goal of 5 @ 320, a 5# PR. Lifts felt okay so I went for and achieved 3 reps @ 340, again a 5# PR. And then I was done.

20-40-60… 160-180-200m shuttle sprints (10m up & back)
2-4-6…16-18-20 24″ burpee box jumps

My goal was to work continuously and, other than an occasional brief rest before beginning box jumps a few rounds, I achieved goal.

Time = 20:56

I rested Friday. And I needed it.

Saturday, April 21

I needed an endurance workout. My coach listened to my needs and programmed the following.

30-25-20-15-10 pull-ups
60-50-40-30-20 strict pushups
90-75-60-45-30 no arm assist air squats
Run 400m after each round

That’s a total of 100 pull-ups, 200 pushups, 300 air squats, and 2K of running.

I completed rounds of 15 & 10 pull-ups as well as 60, 45, & 30 air squats in unbroken reps. I didn’t complete a single round of pushups in unbroken reps, but completed no fewer than 4 at any one time. Running after air squats is never fun.

I kept track of time each round, recording times of 11:32, 21:17, 29:42, 35:06, & 40:34. That’s consistent.

In addition, every last rep was good. I don’t count shitty reps. I also ensure that I don’t execute shitty reps.

Sunday, April 22

Jeff and I began our day by taking Luke for a long walk at the Arboretum. We then had KK donuts. I had forgotten how much I dislike KK donuts.

21-15-9 unbroken deadlifts @ 135#
Immediately row 500, 350, & 150m after each round of DLs; rest as needed after row

18-12-6 unbroken deadlifts @ 185#
Row 500, 350, & 150m after each round

19-9-3 unbroken deadlifts @ 225#
Row 250, 150, & 100m after each round

12-6-1 unbroken deadlifts @ 275#
Row 250, 150, & 100m after each round

How absolutely exhausting, and that very last DL felt like a 1RM attempt. That’s 124 deadlifts. Talk about quantity and quality…

I truly enjoy strenuous strength/conditioning workouts that aren’t timed. There is far less risk of injury and there’s just the right amount of rest.

As I’m currently obsessed with the music of “The Greatest Showman,” I listened to the soundtrack all three workouts.






Fifteen cubic yards of mulch was delivered to the house Thursday morning, and I spent most of that and the next two days loading and unloading the wheelbarrow. I was exhausted by the end of each day. I must also be getting old, as I also felt slightly sore and even finished working before the sun set. Dammit.

I also spent time making the fence on the East side of the property (the only part of the fence that isn’t new) look more presentable. I should’ve probably just bought a new fence, as that task was also exhausting.

I did NOT run a 5K Friday, Saturday, or Sunday. Friday because I was exhausted, Saturday because I unexpectedly took a trip to Tennessee to retrieve a friend’s sick adult child (and I’ll be driving to TN tomorrow to return him to the Appalachian Trail), and Sunday because it rained most of the day. And I just didn’t feel like to today. It’ll be the first challenge that I haven’t completed and, well, I’m okay with that.

Running is the only thing that causes pain.

Sunday, April 15

Row 10 strokes for meters
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 65# bear complex
Maximum time handstand hold

This was surprisingly challenging and just the type of active recovery that I needed.

For bear complex neither hands nor feet moved, i.e., I didn’t drop the bar or change grip and feet remained in same position. As both hands and feet should.

I was pleased with rowing, as I rowed 161, 171, 180, 182, 183, & 191 meters the first 6 rounds. I closed my eyes for duration of remaining rounds, focusing on just feel and the sound of the chain, and rowed 194, 201, & 202 meters. Yay! I held handstand for 5 seconds at the longest. Boo.

10-20-30-40-50 unbroken double unders
1-2-3-4-5 burpees

Uhm, the burpees were rest. So there’s that.

I messed up round of 30 but fortunately missed reps in the lower numbers.

Time = 4:35

Monday, April 16

11 rounds for time; rest as needed between rounds
6 reps of press, bent over rows, hang power cleans, and stiff-legged deadlifts
Begin @ 65# and increase weight 5# each round
Hands and feet may not change position

This was tough, and my forearms were on fire when all was said and done. The presses, of course, became more and more challenging as the weight increased. I did indeed successfully complete last round @ 115#. That’s also a total of 66 reps of each activity. Times ranged from 50 (first and last rounds) to 41 (sixth round).

But I wasn’t done…

Row 100 calories; complete 3 strict T2B at the top of each minute

Oops, I forgot to begin with T2B. Oh, well. After first round, I usually began rowing at around 20 seconds after the start of the minute and rowed between 9 and 10 calories in remaining time. Damper was set at 1.

Time = 9:45

Tuesday, April 17

5 rounds for reps
Bodyweight floor presses
Chest to bar pull-ups
Strict HSPUs

I weighed myself prior to workout and am happy that I’ve lost a few pounds. I’m at 146, just 3 pounds heavier than goal.

FP: 10, 10, 10, 9 & 8; 47
C2B pull-ups: 12, 12, 10, 9, & 9; 52
HSPU: 2, 3, 3, 3, 3; 14

Total = 113 reps

My strength with floor presses has significantly improved! I’d like to complete benchmark WOD Lynne but would also like a spotter for BP.

I paused between FP and pull-ups but only the length of time it took me to move barbell out of the way.

Oh, and Luke didn’t want me to start FP the 4th round and then decided to rest on the gym mat the 4th and final rounds. And that’s more than okay!

Trust Her

Friday, April 6

As I knew I’d be traveling the next couple of days and that I may not have access to standard gym equipment, I made sure to get in a very good work today. And I did just that. My workout consisted of nothing but thrusters, wall ball shots, and ring dips.

I began with 10 thrusters @ 65#, 10 WBS @20# (always with 10′ target), and 10 unbroken ring dips. I rested briefly between activities (just a few seconds to transition and catch my breath) and paused between sets, often reviewing the recording to ensure proper form and execution.

I completed 6 additional rounds, increasing the weight on the barbell by 5# each round but keeping the weight of the WB the same and continuing to complete 10 unbroken ring dips. Thus, I had completed a grand total of 70 reps of each of the 3 activities, working my way up to 10 thrusters @ 95#, by the end of the 7 rounds.

I then completed 5 thrusters at 100, 105, 110, & 115#, 5 WBS @ 25#, and 5 strict ring dips (with no bend in knees) for a grand total of 90 reps of each of the activities.

I then completed 3 thrusters at 120, 125, & 135#, 3 WBS @ 30#, and 3 strict and weighted ring dips @ 30, 35, & 40# for a grand total of 99 reps.

I finished with single thrusters @ 140 # 145#, single WBS @ 30, but continued with 3 strict and weighted ring dips @ 45 & 50# for a grand total of 101 thrusters and WBS and 105 ring dips. And that was more than enough work, you know, as the grand grand total was 307 reps.

I hate thrusters.

Jeff and I traveled to PA to visit my mother who is recovering from surgery. I didn’t have time to run my Friday 5K. And that’s okay. Read on.

Saturday, April 7

Jeff and I were awake at 8 and, after a light breakfast, worked out in the Best Western “gym.” Jeff used the elliptical as I ran 5K on the treadmill.

So as to make it interesting, I increased my pace as the distanced increased, ending at 8.9 mph. Fun? Hardly. I hate running on a treadmill much more than I hate thrusters or even rowing.

Monday, April 9

1 strict L-sit C2B pull-up
1 deadlift, beginning at 245 & increasing weight 10 each round to 335# 
1 strict HSPU

2 strict and unbroken L-sit C2B pull-ups
2 deadlifts, beginning at 245 & increasing weight 10# each round to 315#
2 strict and unbroken HSPUs

3 strict and unbroken L-sit C2B pull-ups
3 deadlifts, beginning at 245 & increasing weight 10# each round to 285#
3 strict and unbroken HSPUs

This was tough. That’s a total of 39 reps of each of the 3 activities. I deadlifted almost 10.5 tons. Yes, tons. And no failed reps of any of the activities.

I then played the “Target Practice” game on the rower. Gah!


I’ve almost completed the DuoLingo Spanish lessons, so I’m delighted that the app was just updated to include additional levels, e.g., more vocabulary, phrases, very tense practice, etc. Sueno en Espanol.


Yesterday (Tuesday, April 3) I worked on OHS and then 20 rounds of 3 stiff-legged deadlifts, 3 hang power cleans, 3 bent over rows, and 50m (25m up and back) sprint, resting 30 seconds between rounds. My goal was to complete the workout in fewer than 20 minutes and I did just that, with the slowest round taking 31 and the fastest taking a mere 24 seconds. Oh, Luke and I began our day by enjoying a 75-minute hike at the Arboretum. We also stopped by A.C. Moore to pick up paint supplies for the mailbox.

It was raining this morning (Wednesday, April 4) so Luke and I went for a short walk around the neighborhood. For a change of pace I ate breakfast. Yup, I ate before I worked out. I had some difficulty getting motivated to take my ass downstairs and work out, and that’s unusual. I began my workout at 9:30.

Floor Press
Establish 1RM

I warmed up doing sets of 5 and decided to go for 5RM as well. And I did, completing 5 reps @ 180#. I then did 2 @ 195 (current 2RM) and put 205 on the barbell. And failed the first attempt. I knew I had the strength to complete the lift. My arms didn’t feel evenly spaced and that caused me to hesitate after removing the barbell from the rack. But not on the second attempt! Yup, I floor pressed 205#, an all-time PR.

When you push, be sure to pull.

I enjoy programming for myself, and I wouldn’t program the following for others. Why not? Because as it’s not an AMRAP or an AFAP and there’s thus no “competition,” box members wouldn’t enjoy. And would likely complain. Or just not show up.

Every 15 seconds for 20 rounds (5 minutes)
1 strict pull-ups & 1 SDHP @ 115#

Every 15 seconds for 20 rounds (5 minutes)
1 strict K2E & 1 power snatch @ 85#

Every 30 seconds for 20 rounds (10+ minutes)
1 strict T2B & 1 power snatch @ 95#

I certainly worked up a sweat! Fifteen seconds was just the right amount of time for the first 2 workouts, as I wasn’t able to catch my breath but I was able to recover and complete all reps as prescribed. Power snatches @ 85# felt good.

As did power snatches @ 95#. As the third workout was progressing I decided that I’d continue the workout with a slight modification.

After completing the 20th round I began to 60 instead of 30 seconds, i.e., I began each round 30 seconds after the top of the minute with the first round beginning at the 20:30 mark. I increased the weight 5# each round. I still completed strict T2B (with continued slow and controlled contraction and extension) and then would grip it and rip it. I completed rounds @ 100, 105, 110, 115, 120, 125, & 130#. Uhm, and as 123# was my previous PR I achieved a new (and all-time) PS PR. Without even programming. And without hardly trying.

I’m pleased with my progress and know that much of it is due to the fact that I can work out when and for how long I want.

I’ve begun the second stage of the AB Tech TOY process. As I told Jeff, it truly is an honor just to be nominated after having taught just one semester.



Monday, April 2

The bad kitties ensured that I was wide awake before 7. I had planned on taking Luke for a walk at the Biltmore but, as the gates don’t open for members until 8, we enjoyed a leisurely walk at Carrier Park instead. We then visited Ace Hardware and the Starbucks drive-thru. I was anxious to begin today’s programmed workout, as it’s been two years almost to the date since my last attempt! ACDF surgery prevented me from attempting. That and forgetfulness.

CrossFit Total
1RM back squat, press, & deadlift

Okay, so I didn’t recall the correct order and, if anything, it made the workout more challenging. How so? I completed press, BS, and then DL; thus, two consecutive leg movements. And that’s okay. And I’m still counting it.

I did not intend to attempt and/or establish 1RM for any of the lifts, but sometimes things just fall into place.

I rowed 500m and then began to press. I didn’t waste energy completing numerous reps (for any of the lifts) but instead quickly got heavy weight on the bar. The press @ 135# felt heavy, so I settled on 145# for total weight. Uhm, 145 felt easier than 135 so I put 152 on the bar. The_stuggle_was_real. I sent video to my very good friend (and CF coach) Evelyn to confirm that the rep was good, you know, since you’re supposed to have a judge for reps. A mere 1# PR, but I’ll take it. An athlete is allowed 3 attempts at any one weight but I had no desire to attempt a heavier weight.

I’ve been struggling with the back squat and today, while the lift went better than expected, was no exception. As previously noted, I’m cautious with this lift as the barbell resting on my traps & neck is, well, too close to the fusion for comfort. I decided that 145 would  be a good weight to squat, and I completed a rep at the weight with somewhat of a struggle. I decided to go for 247, a mere 1# PR and 10# less than previously lifted weight when I last did total. The_struggle_was_real. But I got it! Yup, Evelyn reviewed lift. Again, I didn’t attempt another lift.

Two for two! My legs were tired so I thought it unlikely that I’d get a deadlift PR. I set goal of 375, as that would nonetheless be 10# more than weight lifted last attempt (and would more than ensure a new CFT PR). As 375 went up more easily than expected, I put 381 on the bar. The_struggle_was_real. But I got another PR! Three for three, bitches. And I didn’t attempt a heavier weight.

2014 = 735
2015 = 745
2016 = 752
2018 = 780 

Yup, that’s a 28# PR! (The comma and “bitches” at the end of that last sentence is implied).

I needed to work up a sweat.

11-min AMRAP
5 power snatches (65#)
10 Abmat sit-ups
15 lateral bar hops

I set a goal to complete a round a minute and did just that plus 3 reps. And I worked up a very good sweat.

I listened to chorale music composed by Gorecki. Because I can.

I’ve begun to flesh (not “flush”) out my memoirs.

According to DuoLingo I’m not 55% fluent in Spanish. I do well with vocabulary. But those damned verb tenses…