Sunday, July 31, 2016

Weekly Workouts & Painting our Dining Room

This week was a little light on formal workouts.  The gym was closed on Thursday and Friday due to some work being done in another portion of the building.  I considered doing a workout at home but my entire upper body was super sore after Tuesday and Wednesday and I knew I wanted to be fresh for the weekend.  Dave and I spent most of our weekend working on the house with some help from my dad on Saturday.  After a year and a half, it was finally time to get rid of the floral wallpaper and pink walls in the dining room.  Bye Felicia!

M - Rest, long drive home from the beach

T - CrossFit
  • Strength: Power Snatch (EMOM 10) - I started at 55 lbs and worked up to 95.  They felt pretty easy until the last few where it was obvious that my left shoulder is weaker than my right.  I was happy with 95 lbs since I think that's right around my max for the power snatch (I can do more when I get down into a squat).
  • WOD: Every 3 Minutes x 5
    • 20/15 Calorie Row (yay 5 less for women!)
    • 6 Handstand Push Ups
    • 4 Power Snatch (~80% of above - I used 70#)
I wanted to Rx the handstand push ups (ab mat under my head, 15 lbs plates under my hands), but when I failed on the 5th rep in the first round, I took the plates out from under my hands.  I finished the first round in 2:25 and it was all downhill from there.  Each round got slower and slower until I was barely finishing before the clock ran out.  In the 4th round I added a 15 lbs plate under my head along with the ab mat to give myself some relief in the handstand push ups.  This workout left me feeling pretty wrecked and I ended up skipping the sit ups that were prescribed for the after party.
I'm not a huge fan of these every 3 minute workouts, because I often find myself finishing right before the clock runs out so I don't get the rest that most people do.  I am definitely one of the slowest people at my gym which can be super discouraging.  I know I'm not going to be as conditioned as someone going 5x per week, but sometimes I wonder if I'm just not as strong mentally.  A big part of CrossFit is embracing the suck and pushing through when you feel like giving up.  I've never quit a workout, but I do spend some serious time mid WOD doubled over sucking wind.  But the truth is a lot of times taking a longer break doesn't actually make me feel better.  Usually I just have to finish the workout to finally get relief.  If I want to get faster, I think I just need to suck it up and deal.  Easier said than done...
Sunrises like this make getting up for the 6 am class a little easier.

W - CrossFit
  • Strength: Strict Press - 5 at 75% of 2 Rep Max, 3 at 85%, 1+ at 95% - I've been dealing with some wrist pain, so I haven't done anything overhead in a while.  I did a lot of stretching and when I warmed up everything felt good.  My 2 rep max is 80#, but I kept it a little light doing my 5 at 60#, my 3 at 65# and my last set I did 5 reps at 70#.
  • WOD: 5 Rounds for Time
    • 10 Thrusters (95/65) - I did 55#
    • 10 Pull Ups
    • 10 Kettlebell Swings (53/35)
I hadn't done any thrusters in a while because of my wrist, so I kept it a little lighter.  55# was plenty.  I did most of my pull ups in the first half in sets of two, but it's really hard to work on connecting them when I'm so fatigued.  The kettlebell swings were my rest period.  I finished in 16:15.  I thought this workout was going to be quicker than it was, but I did take a lot of rest... see rant from yesterday.
Th - 1 mi walk with Dave & the pups

F - Painting prep, moved all the dining room furniture and emptied the china cabinet

S - More painting prep, sanded the trim, washed all the walls, scrubbed the floorboards, primed

S - 1 mi walk with Dave & the pups + painting, trim & ceiling done!


Picking out a red for below the chair rail.

I also got to catch up with some friends this weekend!  I had breakfast with the girls on Saturday morning and Saturday night we grabbed some drinks out in Phoenixville.

Can you believe July is over?!

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Weekly Workouts & a Weekend in East Hampton

I haven't done one of these in a while, but I really enjoy looking back at these and I miss blogging on a somewhat regular basis.  So here we are!

M - 1 mi dog walk + CrossFit
  • Strength: Back Squat 6 x 3 at 80% with 8 Push Ups between sets - I did these at 155 lbs and the squats felt great.  The push ups were extremely challenging and I felt sore through my chest and shoulders immediately.  I never thought push ups were that hard until I joined CrossFit and I had to change to the CF standard with my arms tucked in tight, chest hitting the floor every time.  3+ years later, you think I'd be better at them...
  • WOD: For Time (15 Minute Cap)
    • 30 Calorie Row
    • 20 Burpee Box Jump (24"/20")
    • 10 Power Snatch (115/75)
    • 20 Burpee Box Jump
    • 30 Calorie Row
I took my time on the first rowing section because I didn't want to completely burn myself out right at the beginning.  The burpees didn't feel great since those muscles were already torched from the push ups, but I kept chipping away.  I was half way through the snatches when I saw the clock hit 7:30 and decided I needed to kick it up a notch if I was going to finish under the cap.  Apparently I did, because I flopped off the rower at 13:11!  I was also happy I was able to Rx this because I've been having some wrist pain but the snatches didn't bother me at all.
T - 1 mi dog walk

W - 0.5 mi dog walk + CrossFit

Apparently there was some discrepancy between the website which said 4 minutes and wodify, the workout tracking app we use, which said 3 minutes.  Our coach tried to estimate and decided we would go with 4... until everyone finished the first round before 2:30 and he switched it to 3!  Fun times.  My back has been in great shape lately, but deadlifts are something I definitely don't mess around with.  I kept the weight super light at 105 lbs and made sure my form wasn't compromised.  I was in the middle of the pack during the runs today, which is not usually the case!  It was really nice not to bring up the rear.  My times were 2:18, 2:24, 2:28, 2:24, and 2:10.  I killed that last round :)
I thought I needed a band for my chin ups, but I was doing each one jumping up on the bar, which gave me a little head start and they were going well.  My coach told me I should try from a fully extended position, so I did and I made it about half way up.  So close, yet so far.  When I got off the bar I realized I had seriously strained something in the left side of my neck.  I had pain from my neck all the way down my shoulder blade.  Thank God I already had a trip to the chiropractor scheduled for that evening!
Th - CrossFit
  • Strength: 1 Hang Power Clean (EMOM, aka every minute on the minute, 10) - My right wrist had been bothering me for a few weeks when I finally went to see my PT Sue last Thursday.  She told me my wrist isn't injured, but my shoulder and forearm are so tight that my wrist is forced to compensate.  After she put me through some torture, she gave me some stretches to do and told me to keep my weights on the lighter side.  My wrist felt better immediately and has continued to improve.  I wasn't sure how cleans were going to feel, since the catch position was painful before I saw her, but I started super light and everything felt great.  I worked up to 120 lbs!
  • WOD: 5 Rounds for Time (10 Minute Cap)
    • 20 Double Unders
    • 10 Wall Balls (20/14)
My dubs have been great lately, but I'm thinking I should probably take some time to warm them up before any WOD.  I spent the first two rounds really struggling, but rounds 3, 4, and 5 were great.  Wall balls always suck, but my coach told us we weren't allowed to break and I was glad for the mental push.
F - 100 Burpees for Time - A nice little better than nothing workout done in my living room before work, I finished in 9:19.

S - Rest

S - Random Yard Workout - 10-15 minutes of whatever moved me at the time including sprints, push ups, handstands, squats, stretching, and more.

When my coworker Hannah extended an invite to her family's house in East Hampton, we absolutely could not say no.  The town was beautiful, the beach was gorgeous, and we stuffed our faces at all of Hannah's favorite local spots.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Our Trip to Italy Part 4: Etruscan Tunnels, a Winery Tour, & More

Catching up?

Our morning started with a lovely breakfast at our B&B, Villa delgi Ulivi.  The spread was incredible, satisfying me with a selection of meats and cheeses and Dave with a variety of homemade pastries.

After breakfast, Daniele dropped us off at the elevator into town.

I had stocked our itinerary for the day full of sightseeing all that Orvieto had to offer.  We started with a trip into the gorgeous Duomo.


We had a little time before our next tour, so we grabbed a cappuccino at a cafe in the square with a cute little patio.  This cafe was also my first experience with a European toilet with no seat haha.

Our next tour was with Orvieto Underground where we went under the city to sneak a peek at the labyrinth of tunnels built by the Etruscans, 600 years before Christ!  The tunnels were used for many things, storage of goods since it is cooler underground, there were large spaces where olive oil was made, as well as entire rooms dedicated to housing pigeons.  They told us that when the city was under siege and they couldn't access any crops or animals below, the people would utilize pigeons as a food source.  They also said the tunnels were used as bomb shelters during World War II.  It was pretty neat.  They have only excavated a very small percentage of them so far.

The view from the entrance of the tunnels wasn't so bad either.

After we wrapped up our tour, my legs were feeling pretty exhausted, but we forged ahead.  Our next stop was the clock tower.  We took the elevator up a floor or two (as far as it would go, not far enough lol) and then had to climb the rest of the way.  The stairs were wide and even so it was a much easier climb than the Duomo in Florence the day before, but it was still challenging!  When we got to the top, we were rewarded with awesome views.  There wasn't a soul at this attraction, so we had the top of the tower all to ourselves.  We hung out and took some pictures and I tripped on a step I didn't see and got a nice bruise on my arm.

We had one more stop on our itinerary, St. Patrick's Well, but we decided it was going to be more climbing, look at the thing, climb again and we were over it.  It was time for pizza!  We walked across the town to check out a pizza place Daniele had recommended, but unfortunately it was closed.  We looped back to a place we had spotted earlier, getting a little lost in random alleys on the way.  My legs were aching and I was pretty hungry, so I was beyond thrilled to sit down for some pizza and wine!

The menu was full of funny pictures and a million choices.  We settled on two pizza choices and of course the house wine.  The pizza was extremely thin and crispy.

After lunch we headed back to our B&B to get ready for our winery tour!

When we arrived at Madonna del Latte, we expected to find a group of people meeting for a tour.  However, we only found the owner Leon waiting for the two of us.  The property was breathtaking, with a beautiful refinished farmhouse surrounded by fields of grapes.  Our tour began with a walk through the vineyard, where we stopped and sampled grapes off the vine and Leon explained that the only fertilizer he can use is crushed up grape skins as to not ruin the natural water source below the winery.  He also taught us that the harsh soil is actually key for growing good grapes, that the more the plant struggles, the better the offspring will be.

Next we headed into the distilling area.

Then he showed us the wine cellar, a tunnel that was full of the town's junk when Leon and his family purchased the property.  It had been abandoned for a while, so apparently the neighbors though this would be a good place to get rid of old washing machines and other trash.  When they finally cleared everything out, they realized they had a perfect place to age the wine.  He also mentioned that the tunnel may or may not have had some ancient religious history, but he had no desire to confirm that since he didn't want to possibly condemn his winery to archaeologists and historical preservation.

Afterwards we headed into his beautiful house and tasted all the different wines at his kitchen table.  Conversation came easy and it was like hanging out with an old friend.  I was totally disappointed that we had scheduled our ride back already with our driver, because apparently he would've driven us back and I have a feeling we probably would've hung around for a little while longer.

It was an amazing experience and we're still enjoying the case of wine we had shipped back to the states!  I took these photos of the city on our way back.

When we got back, we headed to our favorite spot to sit and enjoy some more wine.

Until it got too chilly and we moved inside.

And then it was time for dinner, in another Etruscan tunnel!

The restaurant was cool, but there was a large family letting their children run around screaming which was ruining the experience.  We really only enjoyed our dinner after they left and we could relax.  The food was decent, but after our life changing meal the night before we were a little disappointed.  We were stuffed full by the time we finished the platter of grilled meats and ended up skipping dessert.  We headed back and went straight to bed knowing we had a big day arriving in Rome ahead of us.

To be continued... Part 5

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