Monday, June 27, 2011

Ashley's Workout of the Day: The Assignment

Ashley, the form queen coach at Cross Fit, tasked us with the following assignment

The rules are simple. We have to list 10 physical things that we like about ourselves regarding our looks or things that we can do. Characteristic traits aren't allowed because they're too easy of an out.

I love my nose.

I can pull off short hair (I especially like my left side profile)

I’m a pretty swimmer (I have thirteen summer at camp and synchronized swimming to thank for that) and my endurance is pretty good too (just placed 34th out of 152 women for the swim portion of a triathlon)

I’m also a really good skier. I was on the ski team in high school. I can do squats while skiing.

I like to be upside down (handstands) or in the air (aerials). I laugh when I do either.

I’m left handed and which makes me a better candidate than expected to open a jar of something (lefty-loose-y).

I find my weaknesses & flaws (physical and otherwise) more amusing than frustrating. I laugh at myself easily.

I have no doubt that with training and time I will be able to do a pull-up. This has been my goal since 2007.

I’m bold enough to “play” to my weaknesses. Instead of improving what I’m already good at, I work on areas where I need improvement (kinesthetic activities like running, dancing and almost everything we do at Cross Fit).

I’m just a touch above average height. Given that I'm the shortest person in my family it took me a while to realize that. I like my height.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Smile Train Triathlon Take Two. Two years later.

  • I lost a contact lens in the pool. So, I the ride and run with one eye closed.
  • On Friday and Saturday my Achilles were on ice and I was hobbling around. I was able to run the whole damn hilly course.
  • My swim rank was #34 out of 152 women. Had I not got stuck behind slowpoke I might have trimmed down my time further but learning to pass is a skill in and of itself.
  • I set a race personal record for biking.
  • I did the Tri with my extraordinary pal Barb. This whole Tri thing two years ago was her idea. I got hooked on the triathlons she got hooked on running and did a marathon. She was kind enough to share her magic marathon socks with me. It was our special bond. Barb needs a different bike but otherwise the girl rocked it.

Here's the video story of the triathlon set to none other than Dar Williams and Lindy Hop.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Pulling Up

In early 2007 I decided it was my goal to do a pull-up.  This goal appeared on whatever list provided me the opportunity to broadcast it (New Year's Resolutions, intakes with trainers, etc).  Four years later I still can't do a pull-up.  I don't wake up every morning fretting about this or anything.  I've got lots of goals and my focus on them varies.

Since I started a Cross Fit I actually haven't really focused on the pull-up.  That's part of the program.  Constantly varied.  At Cross Fit I use a green band to assist me with a pull-up.  I love those damn bands.  They allow you to experience the motion of a move while you're building up strength to do the move.

Anyway, today I graduated.  I showed up for the 11:00 workout of the day and was the only person in attendance (no church or Father's Day plans for me).  So, I had the Coach all to myself.  He customized a workout for me that included pull-ups.  I grabbed my trusty green band and did a few pull-ups while Coach Paul observed.  It was apparent to him (and a few folks hanging around from the 10:00 that I was ready to "graduate" to a band that made me do more work.  Blue/Red combo as pictured below.   

Hip Hip Hooray.  Progress.  Actually, if I want to sound like I kind of know what I'm talking about that would be "Kip, Kip, Hooray!"

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Monday, June 13, 2011

Rare footage from the 1923 Pan American Coaster Tossing Championship in Bayonne, New Jersey

Back in March I posted about a morning on farm in Hillsborough wearing vintage clothes and a mini-pony (Foal Foehl). Here's what it was all about.

Rare footage from the 1923 Pan American Coaster Tossing Championship in Bayonne, New Jersey. The gold medal that year went to America's sweetheart, Little Lurleen LaChance.

Enter the 2011 Coaster Tossing Championship on June 18th at the Big Boss Brewery, by registering at

I don't know why the screen gets so big on my blog. It blocks my headshot, damnit.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

No flip turns.

After an 8 year hiatus, I did an one mile open water swim race.
The last time was in the Hudson. I think I needed to show proof of shots for that one.

This morning's race was in Lake Jordan (North Carolina).

Of course, it started off with a live pre-race broadcast. With me interviewing me.

It was kinda neat to look out and see the whole mile. Somehow looking at the pool and thinking "X number of laps" isn't quite the same.

After the pre-race interview of course there was the pre-race photo shoot featuring me and my classic LL Bean catalog pose. I am leaning against a pole on the dock that didn't make it into frame. The "photographer" had been up early. I am trying to look wistfully off into the distance but I can't help grinning.

It was a fun swim. The placement of one of the sighting buoys was a little wonky if you know anything about geometry. Pace was good and seemed consistent.

Here's the post race recap. Equally as thrilling as the pre-race footage.

Next time (I'm thinking next month, not a decade) I won't start in the back even if it means getting kicked in the face and I won't hesitate to pass people who for whatever reason "lined up" for the finish. And, I'll make sure my Martha Stewart anklet is on tight since that thing almost fell off.

I did go to Cross Fit after. Just because I'm that hard core. Actually, I was hardly hard core. I think many of the other swimmers were Ironman trainees. As soon as the swim ended a ton of people were off on bike for who knows how long.

Monday, June 06, 2011

Return to Aerials: Hat Trick and Sack of Potatoes

After a long hiatus (due to schedule, not lack of interest) I finally made it to aerials tonight.

Practiced the "Hat Trick."  You would go into a dance move after this, not the pose I struck at the end.

Also learned a move called "Sack of Potatoes."  I believe this is referring to the flyer (me).  Next time I'll wear burlap.

Sunday, June 05, 2011

Friday, June 03, 2011

This brownie tasted like Rex


You are a welcoming back from the ocean

And the ones that can know you so well
Are the ones that can swallow you whole
I have a good and I have an evil
I thought the ocean
The ocean thought nothing,
You are the welcoming back from the ocean

-Dar Williams

Thursday, June 02, 2011

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Cheesy work & sports metaphors. But for real.

To hell with metaphors.  During our account management outing we were given the opportunity to hit one out of the park.  So, I stepped up to the plate.  For real.

Swing dancing, golf swing, baseball swing, tennis swing.  Not all the same thing.

I made contact with several of the balls you see at my feet.  I just didn't get them out of the cage.

Batting practice was followed by some food, department chat and then a game.  Against the Columbus Clippers.  Man, wherever I go, there you are C-Bus.

A few folks in the department knew what they were doing and did hit the ball almost out of the park.  During games, if this billboard gets hit there's a free salad or steak involved (anyone know how this work - every seen it happen).  I wondered what would happen if one of us hit it.

All in a day's work.

Pimping Out My Saab

I was doing reasonably well with running prior to a hiatus I had to take for medical reasons.  When I say "reasonably" I mean I was putting in some good distances.  I always found the first 3 to 4 miles the toughest and after that it was just a matter of settling in and I just kept going.  But I have always been really really slow. 

Running is part of what we do a Cross Fit, but as Cross Fit Paul aptly pointed out, it's not viewed as a skill.  I do think we take running for granted since it's something we all do - but not well.  What I like about Cross Fit Paul is that he saw a need and now he's running (haha) the Endurance Workout of the Day (WOD) at Cross Fit.  I took my first class today at 6:15am.  I warned Paul that I was good and slow.  He's confident in his method and abilities and assured me I would be just fine with the drills that were part of the program.

First, stretching.  A tennis or lacrosse ball can be your best friend here.  Then an "easy" 800m (1/2 mile) meant to be run as a group.  I was the caboose.  Paul is an advocate of pose running so all the drills and tips were focused on form.  I was pleased to learn he was a fan of minimalist shoes and gave my Vibrams a thumbs up (I love those things - so much easier to respond to a coach saying "On your heels" when you don't have inches of shoe between your heel and the floor).

And then the WOD.   Run up Geer street for 45 seconds, turn around and run down.  Given that it's the second half of the run, but you're doing "downhill" Paul estimated our times up and down should be equal (for a total of 1m 30 s running time).  For all the reading I've done about running I've never been great at understanding things like split & negative intervals but with Paul's timex on my wrist (thank for the loaner) I was kinda getting it.

After the run you went right into tire tossing.  Flip over these monsters five times starting with a squat.  After that, you rest for ninety seconds and then you do the same 45 seconds up the hill and back down but you end with 10 box jumps on the tire.  Repeat Run, Tire Toss, Rest, Run, Box Jump, Rest x 4 and you're done.

Here's me in the midst of a tire roll (and a sunburn).  And major calf pain that would catch up to me on Friday.  Big time.
"That tire isn't going to flip itself.  Nice job!" - Paul, CFD Endurance Coach
I'm getting ready to pimp my ride.  My Saab.  Monster tires.

I'm excited about working on running.  It's a tough one for me and as much as I want to get better, I need a push and some tips.  And now I've got that.