Wednesday, June 12, 2013


Amazing how quickly that little (big) attitude problem I'd been having all week was solved by just a little bit of crossfit. ENDORPHINS FTW!  And considering I hadn't done any kind of substantial workout for over 50 days, I really think I came out pretty well.

WOD was:
20min amrap
400m run
20 broad jump burpees
15 box jumps
10 pull ups
5 wall climbs

I only got through 2 rounds (plus another 400m run), but there were other people at the same pace as me. And I probably should/could have used a 20" box instead of 16", but I didn't want to push it. And I didn't ever have to go up to the blue band on the pull-ups, which was good.

Wall climbs continue to be a bitch.

But afterwards I got a little lesson in rope climbing, and I'm going back early tonight to practice some more :D

Saturday, April 20, 2013


Hey yall.  I'm still alive.
And crazy busy:

1) Working full-time.
2) Grad school full-time.
3) Graduate capstone project due June 5th.
4) Ancora board secretary.

other factors:
- crossfit**
- commuting via bike/bus

* Job searching for ESL teaching positions in Seoul - hopefully starting between July 15 and August 31.  Also, doing the HCG Diet in hopes of being able to buy clothes in Korea (the most purposefully skinny country in the world).

** HCG Diet prevents me from doing crossfit for 40 days.  Just like jesus in the dessert.  JUST LIKE THAT.  Also because i don't get to eat very much.  But, like, it's super exciting in many respects.
And i started another blog to chronicle my HCG adventure (just like everyone else who tries it): CLICK HERE.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Hey There

So it's been a while.  Some shit went down, my activities slowed down, and now shit is mending and activities are back on the rise.

My Whole30-inspiried super-strict paleo-for-a-month went very well.  I actually did it for 6 weeks, because at the end of week two I had cake for a friends birthday so I started all over.  It did feel awesome, and it proved to me how drastically effected my mood and my skin are by sugar. No sugar = clear skin.  Guess I better cancel that Proactiv subscription :)

Then for two weeks I ate ALL THE THINGS.  Actually, I started off slowly, just incorporating chocolate and rice cake at the beginning, but the last weekend I ate every bad thing I could get my hands on (a quart of chocolate custard with brownies, caramel, and fudge, and a super-size bag of puffy cheetos.... it was kind of glorious, even if it did give me a headache).  The reason for my crazed eating of all the things was that my crossfit gym was starting an 8-week "Eat Clean Train Hard" challenge after those two weeks, so I knew I had a deadline.

We are now two weeks into the challenge, and I'm not being as strict as I was being during the Whole30, but I'm not going crazy either.  Rice cake in moderation, the occasional piece of dark chocolate, but no straight sugar or milk.  And normal paleo besides that.  But I am having to record everything in (at least for the first 3 weeks), which means I'm keeping track of my calories, which is a good thing for me in small bursts.

So in the middle of the Whole 30, I got into a relatively serious/scary bike-car-car accident, and my foot got crushed by an SUV.
That's a "displaced fracture" in my pinky toe.  
Woo!  This is the exact same toe that I broke before.  But break #1 was just a tiny fracture that took less than 4 weeks to heal.  This is a legit crushing of a more interior bone, splitting it off in a different direction than the rest of my foot. So that meant for two weeks I basically sat on my ass and did nothing as walking was relatively difficult for a while.  Then I got back into the gym and started doing what I could, rowing when everyone else was walking, etc. Six weeks later, and I'm finally allowed to slowly incorporate running and jumping back into my workouts. But the true healing time could be 12 weeks, doctor says, so I'm trying to play it safe and really pay attention to how my foot feels.

That's the healing after 4 weeks.  Still broken, obviously, but at least lined up correctly.

So now that I'm mostly mended, eating well, and am done with grad school for the year (THANK. GOD.), I have time to ramp up the training/physical stuff and get back on track. I'd still like to drop quite a bit of weight, but the more immediate goal is making sure I'm ready for Tough Mudder in September.  I'm really trying to get to CrossFit at least 4 times a week.

I had also purchased a hot yoga punchcard right before I broke my toe, so I'm trying to get back into that at least a couple times a week.  I really like hot yoga, but it's going to take some time before I'm able to finish a class and then not immediately want to take a nap.  But I love the heat and really sweating everything out.  It also ensures that I'm drinking enough water, because you're pretty much fucked if you go in there dehydrated.

The next step is trying to run a bit more and get cardio back into my life.  While this will certainly help with any weight-loss goals, I also need to step it up (as soon as my foot is up to it) and get back on track with my ToughMudder team - who've always been faster than me, but I would like to be able to keep up for at least short distances.  I've realized if I started running to CrossFit instead of biking a couple of times a week, that would be pretty perfect - it's a nice 2.5 mile run along the Burke Gilman Trail from my work.  Running back would be optional depending on how much that day's WOD killed me :)

The other aspect of running is that it is an extension of walking, which is becoming a TOTALLY NEW EXPERIENCE for me. ^_^  I've known for about the past 8 years that there is something wrong with the way I walk, the most obvious symptoms being that I used to get near shin-splints from walking quickly for 10 minutes, and it really shouldn't make me near-vomiting to run a mile in 9:30 minutes when I'm in the best shape of my life.  I knew there were big parts of my legs that I wasn't using, but I wasn't sure what they were or how to start getting them involved.  Luckily, my BFF Heidi recommended that I see the Exercise Anatomist she'd been going to, as she could probably help me fix my walk.

And 4 weeks later, wow.  Amber. Is. Magical.  So far she's really changed my posture and how I hold myself, and in doing so she's also caused me to gain about 1/2 an inch in height.  My walk is also getting much better, but it's not super-natural or as good as it could be yet.  And it still requires quite a bit of thought/concentration to make sure I'm doing it right.  But I'm really excited for the possibilities of how much better my body could work.  She also immediately pointed out that I don't use my hamstrings or glutes AT ALL when I walk (and probably run), which is why my quads are GINORMOUS and why I would be struggling so much when running - as I'm not using the main powerhouse muscles in my legs.

Anyway.  There's more that could be said here (I'm at least very close to one of my goals - my strict press is up to 65lbs and I'm making good progress on pull-ups, finally!), but it doesn't fall into the organizational schema I've set up, so I'll save them for another day.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Pushing Myself

I probably am not doing it enough.  But maybe I am.  It's so hard to judge!

Like yesterday, our WOD was:

4 rounds, max time 25:00
Hill Run (300m, very steep)
50 Air Squats
30 Kettle Bell Swings

My 25:00 finish: 3 rounds + Hill + 10 Squats

Earlier this week I tweaked out my leg/hip, and then made it infinitely worse by running on it (Monday was a 3x800meter run) so I was a little worried (our Coach advised me to just power walk the hill if it felt bad, as that could feel better and would potentially be just as quick).  But running felt pretty good, so I totally made it (running) up the hill the first time.  I decided to walk it times 2 and 3.  By the fourth round though, I knew I wasn't going to be able to finish the whole round in under the max time, and I had walked the flat-ish 150 meters leading up to the hill, so I decided to see if I could run it one last time.  And turns out, I totally could.  I blasted up that mofo, and felt awesome about it.

So the question is, should I have pushed myself to run it on rounds 2 and 3?

I don't know.  The KB swings were also killing my lower back (still using the 35lb bell, go me!), which really made itself apparent on the way up that hill, and so I was kind of trying to pace myself for those.  Also, after my workout I had to walk to the bus stop, and after pausing for maybe 10 minutes to check my phone and the bus schedules, I found myself literally HOBBLING down the street, practically unable to move my legs with the added weight of my backpack.

Even with the slightly modified way that I did it, the workout was obviously incredibly effective.

But I RAN that last hill, no problem.  Ughhh.  I just don't know. 

I don't like vomiting but I like the idea of pushing myself hard enough that I would, at least once. Then I would really KNOW I had pushed (too) hard.

My diet got even weirder.

After my paleo instincts came back with a vengeance, I stumbled across Whole9's website once more, and decided to finally do it.  So I'm spending experimenting* with a no-sugar, no-dairy (and no added-salt) diet on top of my normal no-starches, no-processed foods way of eating.  The no-sugar thing I've done before, but never so strictly (no fake-sugar this go 'round, which means no stevia, which means no black tea T.T).  It was the no-dairy part that scared me, because I have a fear that cutting dairy out will reveal that any lingering health issues I have (like acne, for instance) are a result of dairy, and thusly I wouldn't be able to reintroduce it into my diet after I was finished. Which would just make me cry profusely.  I can happily (?!?) say, though, that after almost two weeks, my skin has not gotten better, so I think dairy and I remain friends when all is said and done.

The results so far have been pretty great.  I'm definitely eating less, although over the last few days I'm sure if you cut me open you would not find blood and guts but rather just almond paste.  Mmmmmm, nuts. I'm probably eating more fruit than Gary Taubes would recommend, but I can't eat baby carrots all the time, and those are the only vegetable I can really "snack" on.  I do like that banana chips (freeze dried, not normal dried) have become candy to me now.  I'm a lot more sensitive overall to sweet and salty - when I come across a salted macadamia in my trail mix it's almost unappetizing because it's too salty for me now.

Another benefit has been more money in my wallet.  I usually go out to eat 2-4 times a week, but restricting what I can eat to this level means that unless it's a build-your-own salad bar, I really can't eat out.  This means I have to plan ahead more and make sure I bring food with me where ever I go, but it's really not to difficult to throw a bag of nuts, and apple, and some roasted chicken into my backpack before I leave the house.  And provided I get my morning egg scramble, that is plenty of food until I get back home.

Also, I've been cooking most things in bacon fat for the past couple of months, but now that I'm not using butter (dairy), I use bacon fat for ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING.  And let me tell you, that's the way it should be.  Everything is better with bacon fat.  I made a giant batch of my own trail mix the other day (raisins, cashews, macadamias, walnuts, pecans, almonds), and needed to roast the pecans and almonds.  Usually I'd use olive oil or butter. But then I thought, "is there any way this could NOT be MORE delicious if I were to use bacon fat?"  And I thought right.  Oh, I thought so, so right.  (Which is why I am now more almond than human, because almonds roasted in BF are pretty much the best things on the planet.)

FYI, this bowl is HUGE.

When I talk to my parents I sometimes get the impression they think this no-starch thing is a phase that I will get over and then get back to eating pasta and bread like a normal person before too long.  Um, sorry guys.  Not the case.  The extreme no-sugar/dairy/salt is a phase, because I enjoy being more sociable in my eating habits, but I'm never actually planning on returning to anything that resembles a "normal American diet."  And really, that's for the best.

Oh, and did I mention I've lost some weight?  I haven't actually stood on a scale in months and months so I don't know how much exactly (and I don't intend to stand on one until I've finished this), but it's a visible difference.  I'm also working out like crazy, so it's difficult to tell what percentage is coming from the diet, but I think it's making a difference. 

* As far as a time commitment, I say I'm "experimenting" because the Whole9 program wants you to go a full 30 days.  When I started, I had a goal of a week, and then I'd take it from there depending on how I felt.  Now, at the end of my 2nd week, I would feel fully prepared to take it the whole month, but I have a VERY SPECIAL birthday party to attend this weekend, which includes a supa-fancy dinner.  Luckily, it's so fancy that the entree's and sides are ordered separately, so other than cooking additives like butter, oils, salt, etc, I should be fine (omigodimsoexcitedforsteak).  It's just the matter of dessert/cake, etc, if that happens.  And that part I'm going to play by ear.  My main goal for the weekend is to not completely derail myself and decide it's a sugar free-for-all after having a single piece of cake or something. Then I'm going back to no-sugar/dairy/starches, with the hestitant intention of doing a full month post-cake, and the solid goal of a full month including cake-day.

Monday, April 2, 2012

just some updates

Todays WOD:

10 rounds of:

8 Kettle Bell Swings
8 Squat Hops
8 Burpees

This pretty much knocked me on my ass.  But I did finish all 10 rounds (in 17:40 min), and with a heavier kettle bell than I usually use - I've been trying to move up to the 35lb weight, but this is the first time I've used it for a full WOD.  I'd like to remember to try and do this again in a month or so to see what my time is.

I'm also thinking of buying myself a kettle bell to use at home.  During warm-up we moved to swinging the KB around our bodies (and in figure eights through our legs) and the coach pointed out that round-the-worlds are an excellent way to tire out and work your core, perhaps especially your obliques.  And it's something I can do while I watch tv or korean dramas, etc more easily than holding planks... so... yeah... that's almost a plan.

Also, next week I'm starting back up at SWLBC, which I started last summer and really loved, but took a break from this winter.  It's outside at green lake in the morning, and it's a really great program that focuses more on women's bodies and achieving the shapes/lines they are after (as opposed to crossfit, which is more about overall awesomeness and less about shaping your waistline).

I'd like to work in some runs at greenlake or somewhere, too, so that Saturday mornings with the TM crew aren't my only runs, but I'm not sure where on earth I'll be able to fit that in, especially since school has started again.  Meh.  It's still not a top priority for me.  I figure I'll work more on running once school finishes and it gets a little nicer out.  If I find time, great, if not - there will be time later.

And I was not doing too good paleo-wise for a while, but not concerning myself with feeling overly guilty.  I just kind of felt like those eating habits would come back when I was ready for them to come back.  And then the other day I watched a lot of Gary Taubes' lectures, and lo-and-behold, my desire to eat better magically re-appeared just like I thought it would!  Thanks, Gary.  :D

Monday, March 19, 2012

Loughing, feet, and tiaras

Had one of those successful workouts today that proves its worth by making you cough every time you try to laugh for the 4 hours immediately following. Which I think should be appropriately called... uh, loughing?

Also I am very aware of just how freakishly sore my lower back is going to be tomorrow. Oh god, it will be bad.  Very, very bad.  I stepped to the next weight up for my kettlebell today (from 24lbs to 35 lbs), which is something for which it was definitely time.  But this was the workout (or rather, the version I did):

75 KettleBell swings
with 5 burpees every minute on the minute (till you finish the KB swings)
1000 meter row

(time: 13:35)

That's a lot of KB swings at a new weight.  And riding home (the ride is getting easier, yay!) my lower back started screaming in pain.  Tomorrow may suck lots.

And a foot update!  Because for no apparent reason I feel that all blog posts are better with photos.

My toe is broken!  Totes broken!  I got the x-rays to prove it (only because I've never actually broken a bone before and I wanted to be sure). So that means I get to keep on rowing/walking instead of running.  Which I don't mind, because I dislike running, but I'm pretty sure that will come back to bite me in the ass when it comes to catching back up to the TM team.  Here's a picture of my buddy-tape recovery method (pretty much the only method available for fixing a broken pinky-toe):

The other foot update is that I got a pair of wonderful new shoes on Saturday after our Discovery Park workout.  They are utterly adorable and the most comfortable things to ever grace my feet (and that's including all the very nice slippers I've worn over the years).  They are called Lemings (Stem is the old brand name, these are apparently a vintage model) and they're barefoot running/exercising shoes.  (FYI there's an entirely barefoot running store in Seattle, called Born to Run, and it is awesome.)  I can literally roll them up the sole is so flexible.  I wore them today at crossfit and they felt great. :D

And now, with my first weekday of spring break (and perhaps the only night I'll have to myself), I am off to do dishes, laundry, make myself some eggs, watch some k-dramas, and learn how to dance like T-ara (yes, pronounced "tiara"). Because holy-hell, I'm so excited for JKPop night in Seattle that I can hardly stand it, and this is the group dance they're encouraging us to learn ^_^