Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Today's Beat-down


21 Deadlifts
50 Squats
21 Push press

15 Deadlift
50 Squats
15 Push press

9 Deadlift
50 Squats
9 Push press

For this workout, you get one bar and have to swap your weights between the deadlift and the push press.

For the deadlift, I choose what I felt was a good weight - not too light but not too heavy - 115#. But for some reason it felt unusually heavy today and I was not able to do but 1-4 in a row. For the push press, I used 65# which is pretty heavy for me, and I knew was going to be challenging - and it was! The workout took me 22:57 to complete! The deadlifts were just difficult today and I rested quite a bit. The push press was heavy, and I had a couple fails, and one 'jerk' that I had to redo. Ultimately, I just spent a lot of time standing around looking at the bar today. But that's okay - I need to work on my deadlifts and push press - and that's exactly what I got today.

Monday, June 13, 2011

It's Gonna Hurt

Killer workout for tomorrow morning!!

For time:
225 pound Deadlift, 21 reps
50 Squats
135 pound Push press, 21 reps
225 pound Deadlift, 15 reps
50 Squats
135 pound Push press, 15 reps
225 pound Deadlift, 9 reps
50 Squats
135 pound Push press, 9 reps

Monday's Crossfit - No CFE


Today's Crossfit workout was not one of my favorites. It was a 15 minute AMRAP of:

1 Rope Climb
10 Ring dips
20 Wall ball shots (20#10′/16#10′)

I can climb a rope so I had no modifications for that movement. I just wish there was more than 1 ascent per round. Cuz I like it ;) Of course, I had to modify the ring dips, ugh! Ring dips are a problem for me. I can do about 5 dips without a band, but not on a ring, and we're not allowed to use a band during a workout on the rings. So what I end up doing is jumping up to the top of the dip, then try slowly to lower myself. I wonder about this movement. Am I really gaining strength I need to do a full ring dip if I am only working on lowering myself? I think it would be more helpful to work with a little purple band working on both extension and flexion (there may be better terms for the movement). But...I do what I am told to do, best I can. No complaints (but I can still question ;^) And as far as the wall balls are concerned, I went a bit lighter than prescribed. I tossed the 14# to 10' target -- which was hard enough.

The workout went as I expected - I did well with the rope climb, struggled getting through 10 jumping ring dips, and tossed the wall ball one at a time, with way too many re-dos, completing 4 reps shy of 4 complete rounds. A disappointing result, but I worked on things which I need to improve. It's all good :)

Crossfit Endurance

I really liked the CFE workout for tonight but have decided to take a few more days off of CFE workout since I am only 9 days post 54+ mile run, plus serious depletion following a blooddraw only 2 days post ultra run. I am still not feeling myself so I will take a few more days, and maybe hit CFE Thursday.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Paleo Nutrition for Long Distance Athlete

A couple days ago, I responded to a question posed on paleo nutrition for the long distance athlete. I'm regurgitating the question and my response here.

The question posed was, "If you run or bike long distances, I'm hoping you can help answer a question my coworker has. (Or point us to a web link or something.)
My boss and I got her to go paleo after reading Taubes' books. She training for a 120 mile bike race at high elevation (10,000 ft and above) and she's wondering how that's going to work into the paleo lifestyle. She usually loaded up on carbs before a big ride. Is that still what she should do now? She has several 50 mile rides planned before the big event, so she's willing to experiment with different things."

My answer:

Great question! I am an endurance runner and have been eating paleo for a couple of years now. Nutrition while running was something I needed to tackle early on when I switched from the SAD to eating low carb, then to paleo. Traditional endurance "foods" never really sat well in my stomach (Gu, Power Bar, Hammer, etc), and I was making do with consuming granola bars and sometimes cliff bars which I digested better while running. Or, I would not eat at all (very bad idea).

Based on my experience with endurance events since switching to the paleo diet, I do not recommend the traditional 'carb load' the night before an event (or even long training run/ride). Including some healthy starchy carbs
(potato, maybe polished white rice, etc) with your meal the night before is great to make sure your glycogen stores aren't depleted before you start the next day, but 'loading' (big traditional pasta dinners, or carb-only meals) seems unnecessary and likely harmful.

For races, my goal is to keep my glycogen stores from getting completely depleted, to consume enough salt, and to get enough fat, protein, and potassium to keep me going. Since I don't do the commercial endurance foods, I worked with Greg to come up with a good mix for me and my needs. I shoot for
about 250-300 calories per hour. The Perkins Goo recipe (per hour) is: 1TB almond butter, 10 grams' worth of a scoop of protein powder, 1TB glucose syrup (Karo), some salt, and some water to make it your preferred texture. Mixing the banana in is good (flavor and a little fructose for liver stores), but on a bike it may be easier to drink the goo and eat about 1/2 banana. When I premixed my goo for a 12 hour event this past weekend, I mixed a big batch based on what I needed for 12 hours, then added enough water so that I could easily judge how much I needed to consume each hour, which ended up being 1/3 cup.

A really big lesson I learned firsthand at an endurance event back in March was how important to stay ahead of dehydration and glycogen depletion curves on longer events (you can get away with all sorts of goofiness if it is less than 2-3 hours, but you can seriously hurt yourself if you aren't careful in events longer than 4-5). At that event, I just wasn't feeling good so I was skipping the goo and not drinking enough water; and half-way through the race I was dehydrated and couldn't catch up. I had to stop running completely after only 9 hours because of severe
leg pain (diffuse, on every footfall, even when walking). In contrast, this past Saturday I ran another 12 hour trail run (w/ total of 54 miles) diligently drinking enough water and eating my goo every hour, and I didn't have any troubles.

The Paleo Diet for Athletes is a great resource for endurance athletes (though I am more limiting in my carb intake than is recommended in the book). I used it to better understand my needs in endurance events, and the dangers of not meeting those needs, to design a lot of the above -- the rest was basically trying things out to see what would let me perform my best.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Completely worn out!

Could it have been the 54 mile trail run? Perhaps Monday's Crossfit workout, or even Tuesday's workout? Perhaps it was the blood donation on Monday? Whatever it is -- I'm d e p l e t e d !!!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Crazy Ultra-Endurance Fun, CrossFit Style!

Tammy was excited to discover that a local pack of ultra-endurance runners had set up a 12-hour event where participants try to complete as many laps as possible of a 6-mile trail right here in our foothills (Boise has a fantastic network of running/mountain-biking trails). This format lets ultrarunning crazies at different levels of development all play together: the newer crazies can do just a few laps, while more seasoned crazies can go for substantial distances, all in the same event.

As her "support crew," I was thrilled that this would be happening just a couple of miles from our house (hey, it was a loooong drive to those the two 12-hour trail races in Moab she did, awesome as they were).

And Tammy was thrilled to report that they would have a mountain-biking division. Uh, oh.

But, dear, I'm the crucial support crew for you on your crazy ultra-endurance runs! See, I need to mix your custom goo for you and reload your water and... Well, yes, I suppose you could pre-mix it the night before and manage your own water... But you're forgetting that I've only done maybe two quick rides this season. You know that with no conditioning my rear couldn't handle any kind of time in the saddle, much less 12 freaking hours! Well, yeah, I suppose I could just do a few laps to participate a bit while I cheer you and the other crazies on...

So we took my bike.

6:00am Saturday morning. They all counted down and took off while I was messing with getting my front brakes to work right, and I was able to hit the trail 15 minutes later.

It turned out to be a moderate single-track mountain-bike loop, with about 800 feet of climbing and of course 800 of downhill. Soon I was back at the trailhead to record the lap, then I headed out again going the opposite direction.

My rear wasn't complaining too badly after a few laps, so I thought I'd maybe try to work in a solid six laps over the course of the day. That seemed like a respectable amount of time/distance/elevation for the "support crew" to Represent. Besides, it was kind of fun checking in on all of the runners (especially my runner) with each pass of the course, going back and forth in alternating directions.

Soon I had been adopted as the runners' Token Biker for the day. Many asked how many laps I was going for as I passed, and I would explain that I was just there with Tammy, having a little fun, and that I would stop when she did.

After five or six hours, though, I noticed that I still felt fine -- and I wasn't slowing down at all. So naturally I started flirting with the idea of just going for it and seeing if I could really keep riding like that for the entire 12 hours and complete 12 full laps, whether or not Tammy wanted to keep going! Since I had no ultra-endurance experience or preparation, this unusual effort would also be a great test of the "ready state" that CrossFit is supposed to be giving me.

Well, apparently Tammy knows me too well! She had mixed twice as much goo as she needed the night before, just so I could fuel a very long day right along with her.

In the end, we had a great time with a nice group of folks, and we enjoyed a clean sweep of both the running and the mountain-biking divisions that day. Woo! Team Perkins brings it! :^)

I was able to ride steadily through all 12 hours, from 6:00am to 6:00pm, covering 12 laps. That's about 73 miles, and almost 20,000 vertical feet of elevation change.

More difficult in my opinion was Tammy running all 12 hours, covering 9 laps. That is just shy of 55 miles with almost 15,000 vertical feet of elevation change. On foot!

We were certainly depleted, but not disabled, and we recovered quickly. In fact, I didn't suffer any soreness to speak of, despite becoming a spontaneous ultra-endurance athlete for a day. Heading as usual to the CrossFit gym early Monday morning, we turned in decent performances, smiling through the strain because we knew it was preparing us for the next fun challenge to come our way.

(Thanks to Longrun Picture Company
for photographing everyone that day!)

Polecat Gulch 12 Hour Trail Event

On Saturday, June 4th, Greg and I participated in a 12 hour event held at Polecat Gulch trail in Boise. This particular trail is a 6 (or 6.1) mile loop. The goal was to see how many 6 mile laps you can do in 12 hours. There was a running division, a biathlon division for those that choose to mountain bike and run, and then there was the mountain bike division.

Below is a map of the Polecat Gulch trails and the elevation profile for the loop:

Greg and I arrived at the trailhead at about 5:45am. The only one at the trailhead was Dennis, the race organizer. I was a bit worried that we were the only ones participating in the event that day - thankfully I was wrong.

Despite my persistent pleas for Greg to do a run/bike event, or to do the 12 hours of mountain biking, he was just as persistent that he had no desire. He would do a couple laps, but wanted to just be there and be my support for the day. Therefore, Greg had not eaten breakfast so when his stomach began growling, he grabbed from the limited supply of food we brought for the day - a bag of potato chips made with avocado oil.

Without much preparation, I was just ready to get the 12 hour day started!

With a few minutes until 6am, a few of us gathered together for a photo - nothing formal - as you can see there are three checking or setting their Garmins. Within a few minutes, we all geared up and headed out when the event director said "Go"!

I took my iphone with me on the run for a few photos of the trail, but took very few photos.

By 6:15 (after a little bike troubles), Greg was on his bike and hitting the trails! To my surprise, after only a few laps, he decided on a goal - 1 lap per hour for the entire 12 hours!! Woo Hoo!! Thankfully, the night before I had made my own homemade goo (a mix of almond butter, protein powder, glucose, and salt), and subsequently made goo for Greg just in case he decided to bike more than a couple laps -- in fact, I made enough to last him 12 hours even though he had not planned on doing the event :)

I had not been feeling that great running Saturday, and after lap 5 (30 miles), I took an extended break for additional stretching and nutrition. I even contemplated stopping after 30 miles. But feeling refreshed after the break, I threw more water into my camelsback and headed out. I am glad I did!

Here I am coming in at Lap #8.

Feeling good, I decided to run 1 more lap.

After 12 hours of effort, I completed 54 miles. I was a bit disappointed as I was hoping to get in 10 laps, for a total of 60 miles, but it just wasn't my day. But Greg - wow - he did awesome not having prepared for this event at all! He biked 12 laps for a total of 72 miles!!