Sunday, 2 April 2017

Fitter than last year CrossFitopen 2017

It's great to be able enjoy Thursdays once more and get a full nights sleep. During the five weeks of the CrossFit open,  sleep on a Thursday night was a bit hit and miss. I am no longer having nightmares which consistently starred Dave Castro announcing workouts which filled me with dread (well at least till next year)..  The CrossFit open just flew by this year each workout although individually horrible provided a good overall test of my fitness..

17.1 when it was announced made me nauseous. Dumbell snatches and burpee box jump overs the reps went 10/15 20/15 30/15 40/15 50/15 a 20 min cap.. The dumbell snatches wouldn't be the problem but the bloody burpees. I started off steady enough but the burpees caught me. When I began I was hoping to get to the 50 dumbell snatches but as I was doing it I knew I could finish it. Frustratingly,  I thought I pushed as hard as I could but on reflection I probably didn't and finished 5 short at the time cap. 

The support from my fellow crossfitters was fab.. Hearing your name every now and again cheering you forward, is an amazing part of CrossFit and the support comes into its own during the open. I need someone urging me to push on when all I want to do is lie on the floor, my fellow crossfitters have helped me get to the end on more than one occasion

17.2 I unfortunately couldn't finish still working on my pull ups.  I finished the rounds of dumbell walking lunges, knee raises and dumbell cleans as quickly as I could. Then after doing one more 50ft dumbell walking lunge,  I spent the remaining time trying and trying to put my chin over the bar but to no avail...

17.3 was the jumping pull ups and squat snatches as with the previous two I wasn't jumping for joy at the prospect, does anyone???  It was a short one for me I was two reps short of getting onto the next round... But I was happy as I set a  new 5 rm in squat snatch for me 55lbs/25kg..

17.4 was the retest of 16.4 this was the workout which going to really let me know if I was Fitter than last year. Last year I finished 44 calories into the row which I was happy with at the time but This year I finished 20 reps into the pushups.  I was HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY... Woohoo!!!  FITTER THAN LAST YEAR..
We did the workout on St Patrick's day and it was such a blast. Green was the main colour clothes, hats, hairs, faces (especially after we had finished 17.4)...In fact there is a cool video of the day up on the Belieffit/Crossfit Killarney Facebook page you can see us in all our glory... The workout as anyone who has done it knows is just plain horrible and on more than one occasion during it I thought I'd get sick; it is 55 deadllifts, 55 wallballs, 55 Cals on rower,  55 hand release pushups 13 mins AMRAP. The rower really took my breath away at first but I got it back.  My legs were like lead getting off the rower. This really is a stomach churning workout.. 

17.5 It was a painful little couplet 9Thrusters and 30 singles 10 Rounds.  Simple and effective. Who likes thrusters?? Not me..  The time cap was 40 mins.  I was definitely hoping for under 20 mins and personally under 15 min. I took Eric's advise on board I kept it steady with the thrusters. The worst round for the thrusters were 6/7 I was over half way done but still too far away to see the finish. After each round of the thrusters what little coordination I had seemed to go out the window, I tripped on the rope too many times. I was so happy when I finished I was just under 13 min. I was thrilled!  If I could have jumped for joy I would have but I had to make my way to the bathroom, skipping is not friendly on my bladder...

And so the 2017 Crossfit open is over, finished, done for another year. After all the lack of sleep, worry, muscle ache, new movements it was a good one. The workouts were testing, horrible and fun.  The announcements are always fun to watch as always my favourite part is #rovsboz, they always leave it on the floor . It was great to see Ro win one, you can't beat the support of a home crowd, #teamro.  This year we had a few visitors dropping into complete their open workout throughout the five weeks,  the most epic of which was on 17.5 when Tony Keogh battled Doubleunders to do it RX and finish just under the timecap.. #dedicated #motivation
Yes,  I know what I must work on for the year ahead. Will I enjoy it? For the most part Hell NO!! But no one likes to be bottom of the class so will I do it, YES because I want to improve on my fitness this year..  

As the next step to CrossFit season, I'm also looking forward to  heading to Madrid to watch the Meridian regionals where the best in our region will go head to head....

Sunday, 19 February 2017


Trying to get back into a running routine hasn't been easy,  the not so good runs have outweighed the good ones.  Cold weather is not great for a bad chest and bloody shin pain,  these are just part of most runs at the moment,  so I am just readjusting.
Each Monday I run, I find I am consistently inconsistent in my pace and distance...There is also a lengthening of the day so soon I'll be back to running in the park.  I can't wait there is nothing worse than stopping and starting for traffic lights. I'm woman with little worries.. Thankfully.
I've been putting in some runs at the local track with John I'm improving until I have to lift weight after....
As I usually run on my own its great to get a run in with John,  it's a good to have that pace setter. We got out for a nice 3 miler during the week, it was a beautiful blue sky day.  It was the kind of run you feel refreshed after... I wish they could all be like that.
The next few weeks will be consumed with the Crossfit Open. Each Friday for the next 5 weeks, will deliver a new workout to test my fitness. My hope is that I am fitter than last year..

Friday, 27 January 2017

Old Running Shoes

We all have the saying 'Time flies' and as you get older it seems to move quickly than ever, its four years ago this month that I set out on changing my life. Now it hasn't been all smooth sailing I'm not super fit, fast or slim but I'm healthier, faster and stronger than I could have ever imagined.
I was feeling a bit sentimental today amazingly it wasn't  until 2013 that I bought my first pair of running shoes. I even went to the sports shop and got fitted. I spent more on those Running shoes than I had on any pair of shoes I had previously bought. But I loved them the moment I put them on..
Since that first pair I have bought  a few more too many pairs John would say and now I buy my Reebok's for Crossfit. But I have a soft spot for my first pair. They have served me well I have run numerous miles in them. I just couldn't leave them go...They have treated my feet well and fairly. But now its really time for me to part ways with them.

I know they are only old shoes but to me they remind me of how it felt to run when I started, the first time I conquered a mile, the first injury I got, all the runs, the finish lines, the laughs, tears and everything in between,  the beautiful summers and cold winters, the people I've met and friends I've made So not just old running shoes.
What if your running shoes could talk what memories would they recall??

Friday, 6 January 2017

Running, Crossfit and 2016 summed up

Since I started out running nearly four years ago 2016 was the worse year for me mileage and injury wise. The year seemed like it would be a good one this time last year but an ankle injury at the start of April and recurring shinsplints towards the end of year made it far from a good running year...
That's not to say I  haven't had good runs but I haven't run as much as I would have wanted to. The biggest run of the year was the Run Killarney half marathon, which I was just happy to finish ...

Finish line photos...
Many runs many selfies...
Every year I do I a running sum up...

Total miles ran:- 384 miles
Highest mileage month :- June
Lowest mileage month:- April and October were months of basically no running
Pace :- Overall consistent although faltering  at the end of year

Runs done

JAN - Beaufort 10K
FEB-  Clonakilty 10K
           Tralee 10 miles
MAR- Maurice Collins 4 miles
JULY- Run Killarney Half Marathon
SEPT - VHI Lust for Life Cork Airport 5K

2016 saw me competing in my first Crossfit Open. I really enjoyed it I could have done better but hope to do better this year. 50 days to go... Over the the year I increased my rep max in a number of movements, but gymnastics and overhead movements are not my strong suits they cause me the most mental anguish.. I was lucky to be able to go to the Meridian Regionals in Madrid which was a great experience to see top athletes in action I also got to meet some Crossfit Legends. This is going to be exciting for us Crossfitters who don't aim for a spot at the games as I think the move to Madison Wisconsin will allow Dave Castro to change what we know about the games looking forward to watching it,  there will be some sleep deprived Summer nights (time difference is a killer on the sleep)...

I set some goals in October which I aim to work towards over the next year see the setting goals post.

As I say every year in January #BRINGITON

Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Running pain free..yeah!!!

I haven't wanted to jinx it but I finally believe my shin splint hell is behind me (fingers, toes etc.. crossed)..  Having taken a complete break for most of October I started to get out again in November. Now I'm never going to break any speed records but I'm feeling much more comfortable when I run.
The weather was just perfect for running throughout the month of November.
But not always, one weekend myself and John headed to the track Sunglasses on hand as it was lovely when we left home but by the time we finished the rain was falling ...#irishweather

Mid lap selfies..

I've tried to run most Monday evenings the first few were not pretty
My breathing which is always a problem for me was shocking.. years of bad living and smoking take a toll. Also as it is November we had some cold crisp evenings which are fabulous to run in but can be hard on bad lungs after getting caught unable to catch my breath on one of my earlier runs I took to covering my face with a running neck cowl which really helped. I met up with Michelle and Mags on a few nights its harder to cancel or find an excuse not to run when you are meeting up with someone.
I started doing the lengths of the track into the National park by the Gleneagle Hotel slowing down and walking as I needed to and then just heading in towards town building up the mileage. Building the mileage isn't  really my biggest problem as I could push myself forward if I have to but its doing the mileage comfortably and consistently.. yes my favourite running word consistently. I know I can and have done a faster mile but then I can pop back to a slow/nearly walk mile oh frustration!! I am once more searching for a middle ground... My struggle for that elusive consistent pace continues...
Even though I have been running in the dark the view has changed alot over the month as the Christmas lights began to go up and have added an extra twinkle to each run..
Christmas lights make me smile..
The lights aren't the only things twinkling hi-viz is high fashion on these winter runs...
I'll be seen
In Crossfit I managed to conquer the BOX JUMP.. I am what my godson terms a 'scaredy cat' when it comes to anything vertical and throw in a jump and I break out in sweat.. In happened on a Friday evening I had been working at conquering the fear and I it is a genuine fear of missing the box hitting my head, getting the jump falling off hitting my head., hitting my head  plays a big role in this fear, why I really don't know! So I had taken on all the advice which was working and I had slowly built up the height using plates ignoring the box but soon or later I had to try and so I decided to give it a shot.. And after some much inner talk which no one needs to hear about it happened my legs left the floor and landed on the box..Woohoo!!  I left crossfit on a cloud, of course I fell down to earth fairly quickly when box jumps were in a WOD and the fear once more wono out.. But I did it so I will do it again..
Last weekend we did a great charity workout at Belieffit/Crossfit Killarney to raise money for Focus Ireland a homeless charity it was 300 rounds of 10 movements. It was great fun as we all partnered up, the music was pumping  and there was just a great buzz around especially as we were all looking forward to the Christmas shindig later that night..

Put on my Christmas t shirt for added fun...
I'm hoping the weather will be dry over the Christmas as now I have my running mojo back I hope to get out and about to get some nice runs done over the holidays. #christmasrunning..

Friday, 21 October 2016

Setting goals....

Setting goals is usually done at the start of the year for the year ahead but I've decided to put down a list of my long term goals..
I haven't been running lately (shinsplint hell...) Although I did run at Crossfit during the week and my shins held up,  no pain, progress yeah!!
So goal setting where do I start, I have so many...should they be realistic or not? how long is longterm? Are they goals or dreams?  I'll just list them and see what happens....

Run a marathon just to cross the finishline...
Pull ups of anykind...
A Handstand
100kg deadlift
Run a 2.15 half marathon
80kg Backsquat
Run a 10k/half marathon or marathon outside of Ireland
Conquer the snatch..
Do a hero Wod like Murph and finish it before everyone goes home...
Go to the Crossfit games
Meet Rich Froning because his the champ and seems like a nice guy. I loved his book...
Meet the all the Dottirs.. (met Annie only Katrin, Sara and Thuri to go..)
Sam Briggs because it's Sam Briggs
Hang out with Brooke Ence
Go to Iceland to see the Northern lights and see where the Dottirs train..
Go to watch one of the big marathons; New York, Chicago, London, Boston, Berlin...
Run a sub 30 min 5k
Conquer the Double under..

So there are some of the goals more pragmatic and reachable but some more are decidedly dream like..
Stay tuned I let ye know as I reach them, hopefully it won't be too long before I can start crossing them off my list...

Monday, 10 October 2016

A Lust for Life Cork airport 5k

The first day of the month saw John and I heading to Cork to take part in the airport runway 5K for a Lust for Life. To find out about this great movement check out The run was to begin at 2am after the last flights had arrived, I have never run this early so didn't know what to expect.  It had been showery all day and in the early part of the evening but as we headed to Cork the rain was holding off . As with all runs what you wear plays a big part in how you feel during the run, as it was on in the early hours of the morning and it can be windy there, the advice was to wrap up. Now anyone who has read this blog or knows me knows that I am a #sweatybetty, so wrapping up wasn't an option for me, I did layer up a light tank top with longish sleeve top over it.

Selfie fun.
The Airport provided free car parking to all those taking part we had to be at the airport before half twelve to get our race packs. As we entered the terminal there was a great sense of excitement in the air. We had found a phone in the carpark and handed into customer service someone had already come in search of it hopefully they have been reunited.. There was music playing, people were in the cafes getting a blast of caffeine and there were some girls at one of the doors dancing literally non stop, I saw them later during the run they hadn't worn themselves out. We headed to a designated check in to collect our numbers and we also recived a lovely t shirt which John added to his many layers...

As we were running on the runway we couldn't bring anything onto it with us, no water bottles which was a  bit disconcertaining to me as I carry water on most runs also any extra bags/jackets etc.. I had a small bag in which I put the t shirt I had received,  John had zipped pockets in his shorts in which he kept the car keys so while we were in the terminal I sipped on water and after a while John took the bag out to the car. 
Then all we could do was wait and as the time went on even though I was excited  I found myself yawning a bit too often. Its long day waiting to run at two in the morning. We sat, we moved around and stretched. There was a lovely gentleman playing the piano which kept us entertained.  I also tried to hold off going to the bathroom for as long as I could because like any run the queues were big needless to say here was no queue for the mens.. As the time neared 2 am  you could feel the restlessness in the air and then suddenly we were being directed outside towards the start area.

Runway bound but not for a flight..
At the start area it was separated into different sections under 25min, 25min plus, Joggers/walkers  we headed into the 25min plus area, there was music blasting on a truck ahead of us and we were all  put  through a mass warm up.. Bressie (@nbrez) said a few words he is one of  the founders of Lust for Life. And then after some Happy Birthday wishes to Lust for a life which was celebrating its 1st birthday, we were led out on to the runway. You could feel the temperature drop and the fog was down, we walked on and after a quick rule check no dispensing of clothers or anything else on the runway, soon enough we heard the run start,  as we were in the middle we could see the lead runners sprinting off into the fog. We crossed the start it took a while to adjust to running into the fog in the dark.
We started off well a good even pace I was running well enough. John was feeling the heat not long into it, even though it was foggy and cool it didn't warrant the layers John had on... After the first mile we decided to run to each of the large lights that were set up every so often and we stretched it out to every second light.  Also along the route were stewards who offered words of encouragement, they were great fun.  The route was an in and out route. So as we were heading out the lead runners were coming back, everyone cheered them on. Spirits were high by everyone and I was feeling great when I turned the corner to head back. There is something so eerie about running in the fog at night with intermittant light but it was so Cool!!!  The last mile was by far our slowest the heat lack of training and shin splints hadn't help our pace as the run went on. From a kilometre out we could here the announcer at the finish line wanting to finish strong we powered on.
We crossed the line I have to say I felt great my partner in crime didn't feel the same...
After we finished we headed back into the airport terminal where we were given a goody bag much needed water, banana and yoghurt. It was early morning before we reached home tired but still high from our runners buzz. It will be my last run for a few weeks, I finally have to give in and not run through my shin splint pain as I have been doing because I want to clear  them up and be able to run pain free.
The VHI Lust for life Cork Airport 5K isn't the biggest run I have ever done but the time of day, the fog, the people, John, everyone there to support a great movement, it gave me the greatest sense of satisfaction crossing the finish line