Thursday, December 31, 2009

Jealous; Rrrrrrrrrr...

Me today? Two pianos tuned (thanks, glad to.) Athletically, sod all.

Kirsten, however, had the day off. Here is her tale:

I basically spent the entire day playing in the snow! Starting with a general crossfit warmup of situps, pushups, supermans, squats, pullups and dips, I proceeded to the Tech trails with my skis. I wanted to do some hill work and some of the more technical parts of the trails today. The conditions for me were ideal, I enjoy fresh powder. It was around 20 degrees with 2 inches of fresh powder on the trails. I was out for a little over an hour. Not too many skiers out today, what with the lake effect snow warning; however, I tend to enjoy a little stormy weather. It was beautiful in the woods! Loops covered: Oak to Pine, Core, Skidder, Tanglewood, Ridge, DownUnder, Maple, Balsam, Core. I didn't time it, a little over an hour, I think. Lots of hills to play on, the ones on Maple especially got to me today. The Maple loop would be good for hill practice, doing rounds of it would be challenging. Upon returning home, the driveway had started to fill up, so after a quick bowl of soup, round one of scooping commenced. The snow is still falling, we'll see when round two begins...Happy New Year, everyone! Here's wishing you a healthy lifetstyle!


Yesterday, Wednesday, a half an hour at the gym rowing easy. After being used to pushing the tempo it was a challenge to stay slow.
5050 meters
2:58.6/500m avg.
18 spm

My back is sore, but more functional now. continuing stretching, icing.

Kirsten had the day off, but yesterday she did Hill work on Hairpin.



Sunday, December 27, 2009

Pretty good...

Good. Things worked out good. Today was not 'ooh, all better!,' but neither was it 'ow,ow,ow!'

So, a day of rest? Yeah, I shoulda, but we wanted to go, so to Swedetown we went. Today's goal, an easier skate over a long distance. Kirsten is nervous about being able to cover the distances necessary for a longer race. I'm not worried...yet. An easy loop, the Valley Trail and Greenstone Loops. Here's a map. I'm staying very cautious, so for Kirsten to get a workout, I sent her on the Mama Bear Loop as well. I wish I could have gone with her! I kept going, slow with many stops. I met an older guy trying his first time on skating skis and helped him out with his technique - He looked 100% better in less than 5 minutes! Then, to pass the time and let Kirsten catch up with me, I did 4 easy repeats up a short hill, working on V1 technique. It all felt pretty good.

CW 6.4k 54:51
KW 9k 54:40

Upon getting home, I found a great email in my inbox from Crossfit Appleton coach Theresa Rosenquist. She's been getting my posts. Summary of a quick reading:

Get it looked at.
Ice it.
Lighter activities, walk or easy rowing.

I iced it tonight and did my usual stretches; I'll get into the info she sent me more in depth tomorrow. Theresa is fabulous! If you're ever in Appleton, bring some gym clothes and get together with her - she knows her Crossfit and lots of other stuff besides. A real stickler for technique and form.

Here's us stopping for milk on the way home:


Saturday, December 26, 2009

Good Idea, or Bad?

So, the back has been bothering me. Lately I've been walking around crooked. Yesterday I saw myself in the bathroom mirror before a shower, sans clothes. Amazing! I was standing 'straight' but my pelvis was cocked to the left. My body above that was straight but the rib cage was offset to the right. Holy cats!

The day we did Angie (3 Bars of Death) my back was feeling better but the next day was nasty. Since then I've only been 1) stretching out, especially legs, 2) tuning pianos, 3) scooping snow or 4)motionless.

Going skiing today was a crazy idea. The 'thinking' behind it was to get active and loosen things up. It seems that some combination of stretching, rest and activity gets my back put together again. Mainly, though, I was getting tired of just sitting around.

It felt too soon to be out on skis. As soon as we pushed off into a warmup, I could hear my back talking about the alternating stress from side to side, "What the heck do you think you are doing?" We did twice around the island, then on the back straight of the Oak Loop, we did drills; free skate emphasizing an ab crunch then sprint, finishing with a couple of short sprints.

The workout was 3 x 1 minute on (85% of max effort,) 1 minute off, for distance. We used the back straight on the Isle Royale Loop. The idea was to skate down for a minute, turn around and skate back the exact distance in the same time, then again for a total of 3 times.

CW 300 meters
KW 320 meters

We did them all the same and a good thing, too. There was a penalty of 2 minutes of max-rep pushups if we failed!

I was going to have Kirsten do another set of 3 intervals, but we both decided to call it there. I went back to the truck and Kirsten did a loop and then to the truck.

Temp was 33F. Snow was groomed, rained on and refrozen crusty. Hard, fast and a little dicey!

It feels great to have gotten out and done a workout! I'll let you know tomorrow whether it was a good or a bad idea...



Thursday, December 24, 2009

Wacky yooper alert

Submitted today by Kirsten!

Today, Charles proclaimed what he calls an "active rest day". For him, it meant sleeping in this morning! For me, it meant getting up and getting some work done before going for a ski. For some reason, my best times out on the ski trail occur during snowstorms. Today was no exception. The forecasters were right on the mark when they said that it would start snowing at 7 AM. At 8:30, I thought, "Now would be the best time to ski today!" As it turned out, the groomer had been there about 15 minutes before I started my skate. The snow was coming down hard by then and there were about two inches of fresh snow on top of the hard pack. The glide was superb. It was exceptionally fun. I did a quick 30 minute swing around the Isle Royale/ Superior Loops. The wind, from the East, really sandblasted my face on the return. I can see why men like their beards in the winter! This afternoon, returning from work, I joined Charles in round 1 of the favorite yooper fitness pastime of scooping snow...the wet, heavy kind...a great total body workout! We'll see how many rounds are called for with this storm...Merry Christmas to all!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Three Bars of Death

This morning at the Aspirus Fitness Center: Linda, aka the Three Bars of Death

In each round:
Deadlifit/bench press/clean
in reps of:
for time.

Reps: 10-9-8-7-6-5 (form problems, so we stopped early - stay safe!)
Time: 24:54
Weights: 70 then 45,65,45#

Reps 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1
Time: 23:05
Weights: 115,85,75#

Our backs, which have been bugging us, felt just fine!

We'll keep stretching out legs and the back.



Monday, December 21, 2009

XC Active Rest

Skiing classic for an active rest tonight at the Tech Trails. Those poles seem short after skating!
Some drills: no poles, double poling. Fun!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

A short jaunt around the Core Loop

We were both pretty stiff from the butt-whipping we recieved at the hands of Theresa of Crossfit Appleton (it was a fun butt-whipping. Thanks, Theresa!) so just a short ski today. Warmups were around the island of trees behind the wax building.

Warmup drills around the 'Island.' 2 rounds of:
1 lap double pole
1 lap skate V2
1 lap no poles
1 lap skate V2

Then once around the Core Loop.
KW 5:50
CW 6:00
I think that this is the first time that we've done just the Core Loop and nothing else. One corner of it dips down, making for some coasting and some climbing. The phone says 1.17k.

Warmdown up and down the straight away section at the end of Oak Loop. On the way up, alternating 4 each of double pole/skate/no poles/skate. On the way down, it was too much fun not to double pole.

KW: return your poles out in front of you like you were dumping 2 cups of coffee on the ground in front of you (read that somewhere, the Master Skier I think.)
CW: When double poling, crunch in the abs - yes, but then, instead of bending over at the waist, sink down into the ankles and the knees. Will this compression help get more leg drive into the skating? Stay tuned!



Another fine day in Appleton

So, Kirsten and I went down to Appleton to pick up a new drill press for the shop (goodie!) Theresa at Crossfit Appleton was gracious to let us in to her Saturday 7am class. We've been at this for a little while, but this was our first class ever. It was good to meet and work out with other enthusiastic athletes; we met Ann, Kathy and Sara (no picture for Sara, she was gone before I could take her picture; she may be in the Witness Protection Program. ;^))
That's Ann in the red shirt, the blur is Theresa (she's always in motion.) Here's Kathy.

One of the things I've learned from Crossfit Appleton, the meaning of 'your workout is our warmup.'
Warmup I:
jumprope 1 min
POSE drills -pony, hop
jumprope (alt legs) 1 min
15 air squats, squat stretch (backend)15 sec, squat hold (knees out) 15 sec
walking lunges, sampson stretch 15 sec
arm circles, chest stretch (against wall).

Warmup II: 2 X 15 of:
Squats - front/overhead
Back extension superman/standing
Abs abmat/KTE
Box jump for height

I got through the box jumps and the overhead squats from the second set and then took refuge in the bathroom. I was back just in time to read the workout, get ready and go.

As many rounds as possible in 20 minutes:
5 burpees
10 pullups
15 wallballs

CW: 4 rounds + 2 reps. Jumping pullups, 14# ball, 10' target.
KW: 7 rounds + 5 reps. 14# ball, 8' target. (ooh, those kipping pullups - yummy!)

I was worried about my back not being 100%, but that went great! The thing that got me was simply too much time off. The ladies all left me in the dust. Hopefully next time I'll be in better shape and give a better accounting of myself. I'm still not out of the woods with the back, but I am pleased that I could start moving again. After we shop our way home, maybe tomorrow we can do a little skiing!



Thursday, December 17, 2009

The Kirsten Ski Report...

I've been pretty laid up since my back went out last Sunday; missed some work, couldn't do more than scoop a little snow! Back at work tuning pianos today, felt better. I hope I have something to show by Saturday - we're visiting Crossfit Appleton in - you guessed it - Appleton!

I've been encouraging Kirsten to get out and do stuff, even (sniff) without me. She's doing great. Here's her report from this week:

I will go backward, from most the most recent to the most previous...

Tonight I did:
Crossfit warmup: 2X10 reps each of 6 excercises, pushup, situp, superman, air squats, pullups, dips.
Then, a short run down to the ski shop and back, nice and relaxed, paying attention to technique and footing. The good news: My knee feels strong again!

On Tuesday night:
Crossfit warmup as above. Then skiing:
The wind was blowing, it was a blustery 10 degrees, and lots of fresh snow. A double-pole interval workout. Warmup, crunch technique, paying attention to using the abs, and not overusing the arms.
Two times double-poling up the Oak Loop straightaway, for four lightpoles. One minute off, double-poling down the straightaway, then turn around, rinse and repeat. Remembered the water bottle, yay!
Warm down with skate technique, no poles.

On Monday night:
The snow was fresh, about 2" of new fluff, and it was coolish, around 18 degrees. I skated the "Dog" loop, Superior loop, Pine loop, Core to Portage loop and then Core again back to the parking lot. Forgot my water bottle, won't do that again, the air is dry!

There, now we are up to date!
Great work, baby! I am pleased and also jealous. I'll have to remember to start from where I am an progress from there.



Saturday, December 12, 2009

XC skiing up and running!


Night XC ski. Kirsten's been out several times already. This night was a blizzard. Hello powder skating! It's funny when you look down and all you can see is your boots cruising through the snow.
Drill - 3 times up the wax hill.

12/12/09 2nd day of XC skiing. Rolled, tilled and tracked! 22F, Snow medium speed - it makes that crunching sound under your skis.

Time trial; Dog Loop 2.14k in 11:35. That includes putting my iPhone away (it was my timer,) putting on my glove and ski-pole. That means I can cut down my time just by getting a watch!

I have no timing data from last season, but my performance felt better than the same loop at the end of last year. Not as much improvement as I wanted, but this is after about 2 weeks of no training. First it was a couple of extra days off, then it was my back, then came the concerts; throw a bit of just plain laziness in there and you've got a full-blown hiatus! At least this last week I was scooping the snow out of the driveway a couple of times a day.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Where we've been and what's happened since

Those last three WODS really toasted us. Then our backs were sore. Add to that a busy schedule (I'm singing the tenor solos in the MTU concert of Handel's Messiah,) and we haven't done any workouts. Finally the snow arrives, and we're both out scooping out the driveway. Like magic, the backaches disappear! I had rehearsal tonight, but Kirsten got out XC skiing. Crossfit and our dryland workouts really helped her be in shape on her first day out. After tomorrow's concert, I'll get back to doing stuff.

I hope you're working out!