becoming infinite

always learning. always growing. always lifting heavy things.


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raid my ipod.

i study music for a living. however, i have really eclectic tastes when it comes to my life outside of the classroom. lately i’ve realized that my lifting/training playlists are getting more and more bizarre – it’s not always old-school eminem that pumps me up for lifts. it could be a ballad that just really digs in my gut. so i bring you…a peek into my ipod!

 

coconut skins – damien rice

i’ve been perfecting my forearm balances to this song for a week now. : )

 

latch – disclosure ft. sam smith

this song is just straight-up sexy. done and done.

 

sail – AWOLnation

i admit it, it heard this the first time on a jon north/attitude nation training montage. but dang it’s catchy.

 

sing – ed sheeran

again, this song is just sexy. plus i love ed sheeran.

 

orange sky – alexi murdoch

here’s an example of a ballad-y song that just locked itself into my gut and gives me chills. and yes, i have squat 200+ to this song.

 

breezeblocks – alt-j

a yoga student turned me onto alt-j and i’m obsessed.

 

welp there ya have it – listen, watch, and enjoy!

 

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we are here.

we are here to drink beer
laugh at the odds
and live our lives so well that
death will tremble to take us.

-charles bukowski

 

the past few weeks i have really, truly felt as if i am living well. i just finished up my last semester of doctoral coursework. i have two good, strong plans for what to do once i pass my quals in the fall. my transition from post-meet to a new, high-volume training cycle has made me feel awesome, physically and mentally.

i laugh a lot.

i go out for burgers and pizza with friends.

i do a little dance before i make a big lift because this sport is fun, darn it!

sometimes i look around and i’m amazed. all those years buried by an eating disorder, and all of the years of restrictive “healthy” eating and vigilant “healthy” exercise veiled as recovery…i can’t believe i was missing out on all of this. last saturday my friend stopped me after i got done training and said, “hey wanna go grab a burger?” and we went and sat at the bar and had burgers and fries and i laughed so hard that i lost my voice.

six years ago my greatest concern was maintaining my thigh gap and burning a minimum of 750 calories on the cardio machines every morning before class. now every day i wake up just wanting to be a better version of myself than i was the day before. i still work hard at the gym, but it’s a different focus, a different energy. i’m an athlete; i love that and i own it.

i’m turning 30 in two weeks and i finally feel like i am living life well, living it fully and the way it ought to be lived. i’m healthy and strong and i’ll always be a work in progress but dammit i am living.


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a quest for a 700 total.

just beginning Week 4 of meet prep, and training has been going well. like…really well. a few form tweaks here and there are messing with my head a bit, but the weights have been moving and i’m getting stronger by the day.

i had 5×5 programmed for bench on saturday. coach told me to try and hit 2 sets @ 110# and the last 3 sets @ 115#. i know i can get 115# for as many as 7 reps, but that was when i was running 5/3/1. on that particular day i had done maybe twelve total reps before i pushed 115 for 7. my coach’s programming is a lot more volume than 5/3/1, so hitting 115 for 3×5 was a little daunting.

it was a wee bit ugly on the last set – two grinders on reps 4 and 5, my right shoulder came untucked a little – but the spotter was totally hands-off.

i texted coach afterwards to tell him and his response: “we could shoot for 700 at the meet.”

i’ll admit i laughed. my total at the irontoberfest was 562. granted i went 5/9 but still – a 100+ jump is crazy!

i asked him the split. “225 150 325.”

all i have to say to that is: let’s get after it.

i squat 5×3 on friday – 165, 175, 175, 175, 185. i’m working towards my 3RM on bench this week. we’re pulling on friday so i’ll have a little better of an idea on what i should work on as we move from speed pulls to heavier sets in the next few weeks.

(and as an aside: a 325# pull in a meet would but me just 5# off the national record in my weight class. but that’s not the point!)

the point is: i haven’t felt this strong, this good, in a really long time. it’s goosebump-inducing thrilling to think about the fact that i get to go out there and potentially be awesome in just eight weeks. i have a lot to work on between now and then – middle back strength to help my pull and my squat, getting my bench stronger in the initial inches off my chest, learning to harness my nerves – but it’s going to be an awesome ride, and i am so excited.

 

 


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happy monday! let’s get conditioned.

happy monday everyone! we start classes on wednseday of this week, so meetings and bypass exams and such things are beginning to creak to life today and tomorrow.

i had to give some exams at 8:00 this morning, so i figured that would still leave me plenty of time to bang through my conditioning this morning – as long as i dragged myself out of bed on time and got to the gym right at six. ’twas a miracle, but it did indeed happen!

i spent about 10 minutes foam rolling and doing some dynamic warm-ups before i got going. today’s chosen path was:

5 rounds, not dropping the bar until completion of each round, of
10 deadlifts
10 hang high pulls
10 front squats
10 overhead presses
10 back squats

for me obviously the limiting factor was going to be the overheads – there are very few weights i can put over my head for 10 consecutive reps, especially when those reps come after my delts just got destroyed during high pulls.

i did this entire thing with just the bar and i swear i thought my shoulders were going to explode, and my legs were actually shaking. i took about 2min rest between each round. using just the 45# bar sounds kind of lame, but when you get right down to it, it’s a 250-rep metcon.

it was so so hard but so worth it. my heart rate was through the roof and i was sweating up a storm. (plus i had a sick shoulder pump going on, with some vein action, but that just sounds douchey so i saved it for last.) i did some hanging leg raises and then foam rolled some more, and was in the shower at 7:05.

not too shabby for an hour’s work! and i made it to the office to give my exams with enough time to eat my bacon and eggs before anybody showed up! : )

i’m actually home now for a few hours – i teach a yoga class later tonight. i have a few odds and ends to do, but i’m mostly just relaxing and tidying.

on the P:GK front, i’ve found myself getting hungry more frequently lately – more so than i was when i initially began keto. i think part of that is due to the fact that i got the plague/a head cold those first few days of my transition, which in effect killed my appetite. now that i’m healthy again, and back on a 5-day training schedule, my appetite has ramped up. once i add in classes and teaching, it’s only going to get stronger. which means i may need to re-address my macros. not a huge deal; it’ll be a lot of trial and error, i’m sure.

since i have no interest in being in caloric deficit (i’m okay riding around 60kg until march; then we need to start whittling me down towards 58kg or so and i can waterload out the last 2kg the week of the meet) i still think it’s interesting that my body has definitely changed a bit since starting keto all of 10 days ago. i did drop about 1.5kgs (of water i’m sure), and my muscle definition has begun to pop a teeny bit. (remember, i’m still a noodle.) but i can definitely tell in my quads and triceps that there are some baby lines peeking out.

not the goal of keto for me, but definitely a nice fringe benefit!

it’s crazy windy outside and i have a very drafty apartment, so i do believe that’s my sign to throw some coffee on. i hope everyone has an outstanding start to their week!


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derby half marathon: what went down.

we all know i was going into the race with a moderate goal of a 1:50:00 finishing time. i also was REALLY sticking to my guns about not going out too fast. the course is relatively flat, but the only hills come in the last four miles. the first three miles are net downhill, in fact. but i made the mistake of running a sub-23:00 for my first 5k split last year, and that did NOT bode well for the next 10 miles.

i had been placed in the A corral due to my time last year, and i hung out waaaay in the back. the gun went off and i trotted out nice and easy. my legs felt really good, and the pace felt super comfortable. i guess-timated i was running a mid-8:00; when i looked down at my garmin i was really surprised to see a 7:58 looking back at me.

i kept chatting with myself to keep it easy…but my pace felt really comfortable, and my HR was nowhere near alarmingly high, so i just kind of rolled along. miles 2, 3, 4, and 5 passed in 7:49, 7:45, 7:46, and 7:43. it was perfect running weather, and for the first race in my life i wasn’t trying to “beat” anyone. i barely noticed the people around me, in fact.

at the beginning of mile 6 i walked a water stopped and shoved 2 juju fish in my face lol. chewing and running is a bit of a struggle, and it took a bit to get back into my rhythm, but that mile clicked by in 7:57. miles 7 and 8 were both sub-8:00, as well.

it was about here that i thought – “holy crap, i might run this in 1:45:00!” my legs felt great; my fueling plan was working out (i also walked a water stop during mile 8). we got to chruchill downs right at the start of mile 9 (great scenery; nothing like the smell of horse poop to get you moving!).

i literally almost cheered out loud at the beginning of mile 10 because we were finally in double digits and i still felt awesome. the last couple of miles on the course are where the uphills generally exist. i started mile 10 with a little bit of a kick, which i started to regret about halfway through that mile. i started to fight a little bit around mile 11, and that was my first (and only!) super-8:00 mile, at 8:02.

i inhaled an orange slice at the beginning of mile 12, and from there on out it was just all out. i hit the mile 12 marker and realized that i was not only going to run sub-1:45:00, but i was going to come damn close to my time from last year.

my last 2 splits were 7:49 and 7:50, and a 6:28 pace for the final tenth haul.

i clocked 1:42:54. just 2 seconds slower than last year – with a surgery, rehab, and a 30-pound weight rebound in the middle. i have never had runner’s high like that before.

i have never run such a smart race before, either. i took 30+ seconds off my mile time from the railrunner early last month. my splits were unbelievably even, and only slightly positive. (contrast to last year, when i was about as positively-split as i could get).

my feet fared well – only one teeny blister – and my knee was only minimally stiff yesterday. today my legs were a bit stiff and sore, so i made today shoulders and back instead of squats and deadlifts.

i have other stories to tell from the race – one in particular from while i was in churchill downs – and other things to talk about. but i wanted to right about the race while it was in my mind, and because i’ve spent the past four months boring you all with my training!

hope you all had a splendid weekend!  : )


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deadlifts and deadlines.

i gave myself until 5pm to be unfocused and surf the interwebs until it’s back to working on my evaluation project. so of course i’m going to blog about my fascinating day.

first off – i updated my running page with a photo from saturday’s race. but really…i always look either miserable (which, okay, in this case i was) or, in an attempt to combat the default misery face, i do something ridiculous and then just look stupid. (scroll up to the derby half photo for proof.)

that gentleman next to me was my favorite person of the day. he was ever so slightly ahead of me from miles 4-7. part of that was the 2.2-mile runway, and out-and-back where the back half had some headwind. so i was lazy and dropped behind him and caught his draft/let him shield me. he got way ahead of me when i made my 9375 water/gatorade/pity party stops from miles 7-9.5, and then i caught back up to him with a half mile to go.

i had put precisely enough music on my playlist to take me through 1:20:00 of running; sadly, i was going slow as hell so my playlist dropped out with about a half mile left. i crested this nasty hill and there was my pal, just as my music dropped out. and as i popped up on his left shoulder, he turned and said, “well hello again!” and gave me a big smile. i wheezed a greeting back, and he said, “home stretch! look, we can see the finish line!”

and then for the next four tenths of a mile he chattered along, little encouragements and exclamations of how close we were. with no music to push me along, i had somehow managed to stumble upon the most wonderful impromptu running buddy i could have asked for.

we crossed the finish line together – it was a rather small race, and scanning through the finish line photos not many people finished simultaneously like that – and as soon as we crossed he threw his arm around my waist and gave me a squeeze.

i have no idea who this man was, but he picked me up and carried me across that finish line in every way except the literal sense. those five minutes running with him made the entire 10-mile disaster worthwhile.

and in reference to the second half of today’s title: despite still being somewhat plague-ridden, i moseyed my way into the gym this morning with intent to deadlift, just like every other monday. i was not, however, planning on maxing.

welp, some things just happen. one of my friends was working floor this morning, and he pulled over a plyo box to teasingly gawk while i was doing my 5x140s. then i pulled a single at 175 and another at 190 – at which point he said he was sufficiently freaked out haha. so i popped on ten more pounds and instructed him to yell at me if it looked like i was going to fail my rep.

it was ugly and i probably ramped the last few inches, but that bad boy came off the ground. 200# deadlift in the books.

boom.

 

Photo 74

now with 12 minutes left of my planned procrastination, i’m going to make some coffee and try to detangle the cat from my hair. because she is definitely sitting on my neck, chewing on it. my hair, not my neck.


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tick-tock goes my goal clock.

the past two days i have planned out my lifts very specifically. which has been nice to assuage my anxiety, for starters, but also to help me feel less scattered and more focused on my two main strength goals: 135# bench by summer and 200# deadlift soon. very soon.

sunday i worked towards a max bench. got a double at 110#. failed my attempt at 115#. the very nice brosef who was spotting me was awesome, too – he waited till the last possible second to take the bar because we both thought i had it. came down with tons of control, got it up but it got stuck in the dead zone about six inches off my chest. and stayed there. aaaaaand stayed there. so close!!

i’ve been making ridiculous gains on bench lately. mostly because i’m pushing myself harder, planning more meticulously, and not being afraid to fail. putting another 25# on by the end of summer shouldn’t be too much of a stretch if i continue this way. i’m hoping to push 115# sometime next week!

i worked up to heavy singles on my deadlift today. two singles at 175# came up suuuuper smooth – nice flat back, felt really good. tough, but good. then 185# – it was actually about four inches off the ground before i realized it was in motion haha. guess that was a smooth pull! so i decided to try 195# again – i had pulled it for a single two weeks ago, but it was super-ugly. i felt like i was just pushing to make a 200# pull by the end of february to say i had done it, but i wanted to focus on form and safety more. so for the past two weeks i’ve been just working up to heavy triples, doing deficits once a week, and concentrating on form.

195# came up nice and slow, but smooth and with ten times better form than last week.

boom.

my hands are wrecked. calluses upon calluses. and thanks to squatting, leg pressing, and doing goblet squats out the wazoo yesterday, plus deads and a run today, i’m pretty sure my glutes are in revolt.

i also wore a halter top today and realized that my shoulders and traps make me look kind of like an upside-down triangle in that cut of top…so no more of them for me haha. not a good look.

five days till the railrunner. light front squats tomorrow, but no leg work for the rest of the week. (which means no deadlifts on friday – sob.) i’m fully prepared to get my ass handed to me at the race. i would love to run it in 1:15:00-ish, but that might be a stretch, even if i were on non-post-op legs. i’ll be content with anything under 1:20:00. it’s a flat course, so all of these billy goat hills i train on should give me some good staying power.

feeling excited. strong, and excited. and a little triangle-shaped.