Two Hundred

Saturday, April 22 |Muddy Mess, Part 1

Damn Garmin Forerunner 25. I have tried everything to upload courses; alas, to no avail. And Garmin Help is anything but helpful.

I ran some of the trails at the Biltmore, and according to the 25, I ran about 4.5 miles. I’m certain that I ran more. By the way, what a wonderfully muddy mess!

Have I mentioned that I have no sense of direction? I have no sense of direction. Instead I rely upon visual or auditory cues, e.g., the interstate and the sound of the interstate. I don’t, however, pay attention to the location and/or path of the sun. I should really do that.

The hills, the hills, all of the hills, hills, hills, hills! Fortunately I love running both up and down all the hills, hills, hills, hills.

Monday, April 23 |Muddy Mess, Part 2

I rested Sunday, although Luke and I always go for 3 or 4 walks each and every day. I also purchased at TomTom Spark 3. ‘Twas supposed to rain all day Monday, but Luke and I headed to Bent Creek anyhow. As we were starting our run a biker commented, “Looks like we may get a break in the rain.” “Yes,” I replied, “but we’re going to get muddy anyway you look at it. And that’ll be fun!”

According to the TomTom, Luke and I ran almost 6 miles! It was relatively cool, although of course somewhat muggy. And very, very muddy! I don’t think I’ve smiled so much during a 6-mile run in my entire life, as Luke was quite comical. He’d trail behind me, I’d glance backwards and make eye contact, he’d run and catch up to and then often pass me, slow down, and trail behind me again. Ha! We encountered many dogs, and he was friendly to all. He’s such a marvelously wonderful dog. We both sincerely enjoyed running through the puddles. According to the TomTom, I averaged a slow 9:28 mpm. Given how treacherous the conditions were, I’m okay with this. Ragnar is this weekend, so I’m being somewhat cautious. I also burned more than 600 calories. That’s all?

Luke was out for the rest of the day.


Tuesday, April 24 |Muddy Mess, Part 3

Luke and I went for a 5-mile walk at the Biltmore. We stayed mostly on the the paved path, part of which was immersed in water. The French Broad River is raging!

As I knew he’d be tired and would nap, I immediately head to the NC Arboretum/Bent Creek for a bike ride. Yup, I was itching to ride. And what a fun 10-mile ride it was! I rode 5 miles out and back.

And the strangest thing happened, and it truly played with my mind. I knew I was on the correct trail, yet on the return I approached a dead tree that had fallen and blocked the path. I thought, “That wasn’t there 30 minutes ago. Am I on the wrong path? Have I gotten turned around once again?” I was convinced I was indeed on the correct path. ‘Twas then that I thought, “I wasn’t there when the tree fell, so I wonder if it made a sound.” Ah, the solitude of solo biking allows for existential moments such as this.

I didn’t fall off the bike a single time, although the back wheel did spin out of control a few times and I had to step off of the bike.

The ride lasted 1:07. It’s been fun to review my heart rate, as whilst riding downhill heart rate will get as low as 100 and whilst riding hard uphill heart rate will approach 160.


I do enjoy mountain biking, but I enjoy running more. Much, much more.

A 5-mile walk and a 10-mile bike ride. Yet I still wanted to work out. As both yesterday’s and today’s programmed WODs were too focused on legs, I decided to attend Open Gym and, well, do my own thing. Luke joined me! He got much attention. He nonetheless always kept me in his sight. Again, he’s such a good boy.

10 RFT
– 5 burpee plate presses (45#)
– 5 twisting burpee box jumps (27″)
– 5 burpee toes to bar
– 5 burpee pull-ups

I began well before the start of the 5:30 session and attempted to stay out of the way.

I took it easy, focusing on working at a nice, steady pace unit the last round.

Time: 37:49
Time of last round: 2:19

Proof that I didn’t push things unit the very last round. I kept a watchful eye on Luke, I moved equipment, I waited for people to get out of my freaking way, and I even coached a young man attempting bar muscle ups.

I ♥ burpees, even 200 burpees.

I was a sweaty mess nonetheless, and that’s exactly what I wanted. That, and an egg salad sandwich. And a beer.



Stronger Every Day

It’s becoming an everyday occurrence that I do something amazing. (See what I did there?)

Wednesday, April 19 |Scott

I took Luke for an hour-long walk at the Arboretum. He is really enjoying walking off leash. I then purchased a Scott Genius mountain bike from Mustasheville Bikes! It’s like the bike was named after me. It’s carbon wih full-suspension and an adjustable seat. An adjustable seat! In my attempt to get my sea legs back, I went for a 90-minute ride at the Arboretum. I thought Hard Times Hills was challenging to run, but I do believe it’s even more challenging to ride. I. Love. The. Bike! I know me well enough that I need to rein in my enthusiasm and do much of my riding on service roads instead of trails. I’ll feel much more confident once clips and shoes arrive.

The scenery is stunning. I ensure that I don’t check email, Facebook, Instagram, etc. whilst walking. I will, of course, take pictures of Luke to post later in the day! I’ll also occasionally listen to a podcast. “Reveal” and “Stuff You Should Know” are two of my favorites.

THU APRIL 20, 2017 | HSPUs

Strength/Skill Development
A: Behind the Neck Push Press (5 x 3)
Push press behind the neck.

B: Strict Handstand Push-ups (1 max effort set )

‘Twas a group of six men at the 8:30 session, including Will (who I genuinely like). Drew arrived late, as if often the case. During our warm up he said, “You’re awfully quiet this morning. Do you have anything to say?” I replied, “Fuck you, Drew.” And we all laughed! I’m beginning to feel much more relaxed. Ha!

I informed Coach Marc that I’d need to be especially careful with behind the neck push presses. I worked up to 5 reps @ 120#. (I’m still unsure of the usefulness of behind the neck press, push presses, or push jerks, although I certainly see the usefulness if overhead grip is used.)

Metcon (AMRAP – Rounds and Reps)

-30 KB Waiter Squat
1.5 pood (*15 each side)
-15 T2B
-400m run
-30 KBS 1.5
-15 HSPU

I knew that HSPUs were going to slow me down, so I focused on the other activities. My workstation was set up the farthest from the garage door.

For the first round I completed waiter squats, toes to bar, and KB swings in unbroken reps, and HSPUs in reps of 9, 3, & 3. I was especially cautious whilst completing HSPUs, ensuring that I didn’t place undue pressure on my neck. This did, however, slow me down. It’s a small price to pay.

For the second round I completed waiter squats in unbroken reps, T2B in reps of 11 and 4, KB swings in reps of 20 & 10 (more in a moment), and HSPUs in reps of 7, 3, 2, 2, & 1, with one failed attempt (more in a moment).

I was the only athlete in the box whilst completing both rounds of KB, as the other folks were running. Both Marc and Corey were watching me and when I completed the last KB swing Marc said something that I couldn’t hear. I stopped what I was doing and yelled, “Am I doing something incorrectly with the KB swings?” “No,” Marc replied, “I said ‘Good job.'” My heel came off the wall before fully extending for last HSPU. I glanced and Marc and he smiled knowingly. I said, “You know I’m not going to count that one.” (I’m not sure if he knew that I wasn’t going to count that last one.)

For the final round I completed waiter squats in reps of 15 and 15, T2B in 8 unbroken and then 7, albeit no strung together, reps and then I was out the door. I almost made it back to the box before time was called. Marc informed us that we could count 1 rep for every 25m.

Score = 2 rounds + 65 reps 

Notice how I’m not mentioning how I did compared to others, my placement on the whiteboard, etc. It’s unimportant to me (although it seems to be very important to others).

I met with Corey to discuss coaching opportunities at CFA. He informed me that he is not in need of any coaches, but is willing to see if there is interest in endurance.

CFA is just too damned convenient for me to consider switching boxes. If push comes to shove, I’d quit CFA and not join another box. Walking, running, and biking!

I took the bike for another ride at the Arboretum. A hard rain began just 30 minutes into the ride. I removed my glassed and continued. Owl’s Ridge is much more challenging going West to East than it is in the opposite direction.

FRI APRIL 21, 2017 | One Leg at a Time

I attended the 8 am session, led by Daniel. Luke attended the session, and every one remarked about what a good boy he is! “His eyes are always on you, Paul.” That’s true. I even have to take him with me to the men’s room.

Strength/Skill Development
E3MOM 18 (SLD 6 x 10 /Dip 6 x 5-10)

-10 Single Leg Deadlift
(5 each leg)
-5-10 Ring/Stat. Dips 

I worked up to last set of DLs @ 130#, and shit felt heavy. I worked up to last set of ring dips at 27.5#.

Metcon (Time)
“Power Clean Annie”
-Double Unders
-5 Power Cleans 185/125
*5 PC after each set of DU/SU

*Scale Power Clean to 70% of 1RM

“Annie,” (along with “Fran” and “Grace”) is one of my least favorite workouts. Been there, done that far too many times. The 5 PCs added a little variety, but I was nonetheless unenthused from start to finish.

A new member, Anne, attended the session, as as soon as she placed her Abmat upon the gym mat Luke did what Luke always does and made himself comfortable. Ha! I placed another gym and Abmat beside her.

(As an aside, one of the things that CFA does that I do think is a good idea is that they have a coach shadow a newbie. Marc shadowed Anne.)

Uhm, 185 pounds for power cleans? Another example of programming for elites. I briefly contemplated 135 but instead followed the guideline and power cleaned 125#, a little more than 70@ of all time PR. And the lifts felt light and easy. But 185 would’ve been too much.

(As another aside, there was much talk about the CFG including muscle ups for masters. It’s about time.)

I completed all rounds in unbroken reps in a time of 11:55.

Uhm, I had taken Luke for a 45-minute walk first thing in the morning, and then a 30-minute walk (to CFA and back) a little later. I then thoroughly cleaned the house as he relaxed. He gave me that “When are we going for our long walk?” look. As I needed to purchase cat food (thanks for letting me know we were out, Jeff), I took him to Bent Creek Experiment Forest after getting supplies at Petco. As it was a warm, muggy day and as rain was expected, I decided we’d go 25 minutes up and back. Things began to look unfamiliar on the way back, but I was certain we were headed in the right direction. No worries. A biker passed by and I asked, “Is the trailhead in that direction?” pointing in the direction I was headed. He replied, “No, you’re heading in the wrong direction.” I turned around, but things didn’t feel right. I got out my phone and said, “Siri, give me directions to my car.” Stupid Siri will give you directions — to the nearest road! Dammit. I at least could see if I was heading in the right direction. Uhm, we were pretty far away from the car by now, so I asked a very pregnant women, “Where is the trailhead? I may be turned around.” “Keep following this to the neighborhood.” I didn’t recall passing a neighborhood, but I did what she said. And reached boundary of the park. I got out my phone once again and saw that we were now farther away from the car. I was beginning to feel concerned. I turned around and after running for a while saw the pregnant woman once again. I said, “That may not have been the correct trailhead. I’m looking for Pinnacle Road trailhead.” “Oh,” she said, “I’m sorry that I sent you in the wrong direction! You’re about a mile and half from your car. Stay on this path until it ends. Take a left and that’ll take you to a gravel road. That’s Pinnacle Road. Take a left and that’ll take you to your car.” As I was concerned that the storm was approaching, Luke and I ran fast to the car. Our 50-minute walk ended up lasting one hour and 45 minutes. He got in the car and fell fast asleep.

If I’m going to be exploring unexplored paths I’d better start using my compass. And paying better attention.

We nonetheless had a wonderful time!

Kicking Up Gravel

Friday, April 14 | Dupont Forest

I sent my BFF Brian a text Thursday evening asking if he’d like to go for a walk the following day. I was delighted when both he and his betrothed, Danielle, expressed their availability. We met at Dupont Forest at 9 and walked and talked for the next two hours. It was wonderful! The falls were incredible — and loud.

I enjoy discussing politics, religion, and even sports with Brian and Danielle, as we all agree the three topics are strongly intertwined. At least in NC.

Luke was exhausted. We nonetheless went for our evening walk! As I mentioned to Jeff, Luke is spoiled and we are spoiled. He’s such an awesome, well-behaved dog!

Saturday, April 15 | Effortless

The Ragnar race is just two weeks away, so I decided to go for a 4-mile run focusing on speed, turnover, and breathing. I parked in the last marked space at the trailhead (can’t remember the name) and began my run. The trails at the Experimental Forest are well worn and sometimes treacherous. Just the way I like it.

I’m still surprised by the thoughts that go through my mind whilst running…

But first, ’twas a glorious morning! There were quite a few times when, whilst glancing toward my surroundings, my breath was literally (and I don’t often use that word) taken away. I ♥ the mountains. I truly do.

I ran mostly uphill and as I approached 2 miles I thought, “Run 2.5 and make it a 5-mile run.”

And it continued…

“Run 3 and make it a 6-mile run.” Run 3.5 and make it a 7-mile run.” “Run 4 and make it an 8-mile run.” I continued to run mostly uphill. I also wasn’t carrying any water or nutrition. Uhm, and I hadn’t yet eaten breakfast. “You must turn around at 4.5 miles. A 9-mile run is long enough.”

I made myself stop at 4.5 miles, as I knew that the was the only way that I’d make myself physically turn around. Yes, I was enjoying the run that much! This is not to say that the run was easy, as when the course was on single trails (about 2/3) the terrain was undulating, there many exposed roots and rocks, and there was often a steep drop off.

And I loved every single moment.

As I had been running mostly uphill for 4.5 miles this meant that I got to run mostly downhill for 4.5 miles. There were times, however, when the terrain was difficult to navigate and the hill was steep; thus, I had to put on the brakes just a bit.

However, when I ran downhill on the service road I let it fly. Not literally, but at times I felt like I could actually fly. As if often the case, I had to yell “Runner up!” to far too many mountain bikers who, for whatever reason, felt compelled to take up the entire road.

Also whilst running downhill on the service road I began to hear a noise as if someone was approaching. The sound was made by gravel hitting the ground. Yes, I was kicking up gravel. So that’s where that expression comes from! Me!

Monday, April 17 | Mo’ Deadlifts

I slept until 7 and, as rain was in the forecast, took Luke for a 90-minute walk on the grounds of the Biltmore Estates. Luke enjoys walking, chewing sticks, occasionally running, and pooping and peeing.

I wasn’t looking forward this workout as (wait, what?) the metcon included components of strength. Uhm, what wasn’t listed was box jumps interspersed with deadlifts.

The coach had us warm up with a 1K row and then some dynamic stretching, including burpee broad jumps, bear crawls, and inch worms.

Uhm, I took my time with the row, focusing on proper form and breathing, and was nonetheless the second person off of the rower. Catch, drive, finish, recovery.

Strength/Skill Development
Deadlift (5 x 5)

1st set @75%. Maintain or progressively build in weight.

I warmed up to first set @ 235, then completed sets @ 245, 255, 265, & 275. Yup, that’d be the weight of the deadlifts for the 4th round of the metcon.

We completed 5 box jumps each set, and I jumped 30, 31, 33, 35, & 36″. The coach said, “Perfect. You’re landing in a squat with a nice, soft landing.” He later said, “Begin your jump with a wider stance.” I replied, “This stance works well for me.” I wouldn’t begin a jump with my feet wider than, at the most, shoulder-width, so why would I do so for a box jump?”

The coach encouraged me to jump on the padded boxes. I did so, completing an additional set of 5 reps @ 36″. I don’t like the less-than-solid landing.

Running total:
40 deadlifts
46 box jumps

CrossFit Games Open 14.3 (AMRAP – Reps)

8-Minute AMRAP:
10 Deadlifts, 135# / 95#
15 Box Jumps, 24″ / 20″
15 Deadlifts, 185# / 135#
15 Box Jumps, 24″ / 20″
20 Deadlifts, 225# / 155#
15 Box Jumps, 24″ / 20″
25 Deadlifts, 275# / 185#
15 Box Jumps, 24″ / 20″
30 Deadlifts, 315# / 205#
15 Box Jumps, 24″ / 20″
35 Deadlifts, 365# / 225#
15 Box Jumps, 24″ / 20″

I’ll admit that in my haste I didn’t read the title of the metcon nor the time cap. I was relieved that we’d only had to work 8 minutes. In the dark recesses of my mind I remember having completed the workout more than 3 years ago. I didn’t, however, remember my score. Given that I’m building strength, I knew that the 275# deadlifts were going to be a struggle.

I turned my back to everyone, as I wanted to work at my own pace. It appears that I was being watched even if I wasn’t watching others.

I completed all rounds of box jumps in unbroken, rebounding reps. I also completed rounds of 10 @ 135 and 15 @ 185 deadlifts in unbroken reps. I did, however, drop each and every deadlift @ 225 from the top.

The coach had suggested that we not use clips. The plates were really getting away from me so, after completing just 4 reps @ 225, I put on the clips.

Deadlifts at 275 felt incredibly heavy, and I was only able to complete 3 at the most and usually just completed 2 at a time. I. Was. Being. Watched. As I had my back to everyone how could I know? When I rested I’d glance to my right and left. I. Was. Being. Watched.

With just 5 seconds remaining I completed the 20th rep @ 275#.

Score = 110

Dammit. I just looked up my previous score and it was 110.

The coach congratulated me, as did many of the athletes. I wasn’t sure why, as my performance certainly wasn’t my best. I’m still recovering, folks!

Running total:
105 deadlifts
91 box jumps

Tuesday, April 18 | Shopping for Bikes

I was unable to attend any of the morning sessions due to house projects. I was, however, able to take Luke for a nice, long walk on bike trails in the Bent Creek Experiment Forest. We love it there!

I’ve been researching mountain bikes. My BFF recommends that I get a full suspension bike with 27.5 or 29 ties. He’s smart, so I trust him. One bike reviewer stated that it’s as much about where you buy the bike than it is about the bike itself. I kept that in mind.

I stopped by Motion City Bicycle Shop and looked a Specialized bikes. It’s a HUGE store, yet they had no bikes in my size. Dammit. The shop also felt very much like a department store. Whilst I didn’t have a negative experience, I also didn’t have a positive experience.

I next stopped by Carolina Fatz. What a world of difference! The salesperson spent more than 30 minutes with me explaining all of the components of the bikes. Sadly, they also didn’t have a bike in my size. Dammit. I did, however, have a very positive experience. The salesperson informed me that he was a technician, and that the only day the owner wasn’t at the store was on Tuesdays. He invited me to come back another day. I’m drawn to the Santa Cruz Tallboy, although I fear it’s a misnomer. Uhm, my BFF has a Santa Cruz.

Next up was the closest store, Asheville Street and Dirt, located near Biscuit Head on Haywood. The music was incredibly loud, and I had a difficult time having a conversation with the salesperson. In addition, they didn’t have a carbon bike with full suspension, and he was only able to show me pictures and specs from the website. He recommended the Pivot Mach 4 or the Transition Scout. Without being able to physically see the bikes, well, I’m not so sure. The shopping experience was mildly positive.

With a name like Beer City Bikes, you know you’re in for a treat! I was the only person at the store other than the salesperson, Zac. (I remember his name for obvious reasons.) I asked, “Is the store dog friendly?” Zac replied, “Yes!” Luke enjoyed visiting, and most enjoyed when the FedEx deliveryman gave him a treat. Again, no Focus bikes in my size. Zac also couldn’t locate a catalog, so we both ended up looking at bikes on our iPhones. I was surprised by how excited he became when I told him about the other bikes that I was looking at. Uhm, a had somewhat positive experience at the store but won’t be purchasing a bike there.

The last place I visited was Mustasheville Bikes. Get it? Mustache? The salesperson’s name is Jeff. (Again, an easy name to remember.) Jeff was exceedingly friendly, knowledgeable, and approachable. I later discovered that he’s also the owner. He warmly welcome Luke, and he let me know that his wife is involved with rescuing boxers. Jeff showed me a Scott box in my size! I plan on test driving tomorrow.

So, it’s likely that I’ll purchase a bike from Fatz or Mustasheville.

Back to CrossFit, I suppose.

Whilst I could’ve worked out a noon I instead waited until 5:30 — so that I could work out with Jeffy!

Strength/Skill Development
A: Squat Clean (20min. to build to today’s heavy single. )

 B: Double-Unders (2 attempts at max reps )

Jeff cleaned 230#! That reminds me: I need to make an appointment to see my dentist. I cleaned 160, 20# shy of all-time 1RM. I didn’t even attempt a heavier weight. I’m being smart, folks. You should try it.

I started round of double unders with a double under, telling myself I’d warm up and then attempt max reps. Twenty-five, 30, 35, 40, 45, 50. I can easily complete 50 double unders. I kept going. Fifty-five, 60, 65, 70, 75, 80. “Keep going,” I thought. Eight-five, 90, 95. “Your PR is 113. Keep going. Don’t fuck it up.” One hundred, 105, 100, 111, 112, 113, 114, and 115. A PR!

Uhm, I didn’t even consider attempting more than 115.


2000 m Row (Time)

I had little interest in completing a time trial, so I set one and only one goal: Finish in 8 minutes. I kept strokes per minute about 20, and took 3 breaths per stoke. A relatively easy row.

Time = 7:58.3

Hate isn’t an emotion I experience often. I hate Donald Trump. And his progeny as well.

A New Hope…


WED APRIL 12, 2017 | S2O

I set the alarm for 6 am. The alarm sounded. “Alexa, cancel alarm. Alexa, set alarm for 6:30 am.” The alarm sounded at 6:30. “Alexa, snooze.” Nine minutes later: “Alexa, snooze.” Nine minutes later: “Alexa, snooze.” Nine minutes later: “Alexa, turn off alarm.”

And I slept until 7:40. I could’ve still easily attended the session at 9, but, well, I didn’t want to. Why, you ask? More freaking shoulder to overhead! I’m truly concerned that I’m going to get injured, so I have to constantly remind myself to scale the shit out of most everything.

I took Luke for a 2-hour walk at The Biltmore where we continue to discover new paths to explore! I also listened to Radiolab podcasts “Lose Lose” and “The Girl Who Didn’t Exist.” I recommend that you do the same. Oh, yesterday I listened to the first 2 Nancy podcasts. If you’re LGBT (or LGBT-friendly) I suggest that you subscribe.

After the walk I visited Hole Donuts and quickly consumed 2 moist (I love that word) and delicious donuts.

Anyhow, I kinda sorta forced myself to attend the well-attended noon session. There were 10 males and 4 females present, and the space very quickly got tight. (There were at least 6 people who showed up after the session had begun, 1 of them arriving at 12:10.)

Coach Amber led the session. The warmup consisted of 3 rounds of 2 minutes of rowing, 5 pull-ups, 5 ring dips, and 2 wall walks. Yup, felt like a mini metcon. I kept thinking, “Good thing we’re not rowing or doing muscle ups later. Wait, what?”

Strength/Skill Development
A: Shoulder Press (10min to find 1RM)

B: Push Press (10min to find 1RM)

Coach Amber reviewed movement standards. Yay! I set up my rack and barbell and began to warm up. The clock began and I completed a few reps @ a mere 75#. As I was getting more plates I noticed a group of 4 men at one station, with one of the men struggling with a rep @ 95#. Uhm, we were just 2 minutes into the 10 minutes of pressing. I said, “I’m working by myself. As it looks like we’ll be doing similar weights, would you like to join me?” He said, “Yes, I’m Cory.” He then informed me that he had only been CrossFitting for 6 weeks, and he was sick 2 of those week. In addition, he had not yet completed presses or push presses.

Yup, I provided much (and much needed) coaching. I made sure to ask both his and Coach Amber’s permission. (As an aside, I heard much shitty “coaching” by other athletes. If you want to provide coaching, make sure it’s specific to the movement. For example, “Ensure that the bar is resting on your shoulders. Take a deep breath, lock your knees, squeeze your butt, and aggressively push the bar upward. As soon as the bar passes the top of your head, push your head through slightly. Lock at your elbows at the top of the lift and ensure that your feet are in line with your knees, hips, and shoulders.”) Cory was very appreciative of the coaching provided. Uhm, and I enjoyed coaching. I’ll just leave that right there.

I surprised myself by completing rep @ 120#, just 15# shy of PR. And, I almost pressed 125#. I surprised myself once again by push pressing 145# (yup, that’s a few pounds more than my body weight), just 15# shy of PR. And, I almost push pressed 150#

Big Wind Day (AMRAP – Rounds and Reps)

50 Cal Row
40 Deadlift 155/105#
30 T2B
20 STO 155/105#
10 Ring Muscle Ups

There was no freaking way that I was going to press, push press, power jerk, and/or split jerk 155# today. Uhm, it took almost 3 and a half minutes to power clean & jerk 30 reps @ 95# just 2 days ago. I settled on the women’s prescribed weight, 105#.

Mado was on the rower to my immediate left, and as the rowing began she said, “You’re rowing a calorie per stroke.” Yup, although I did end up rowing 55 strokes. I then completed 40 unbroken deadlifts. I know, 105# is light for deadlifts, but go ahead and complete 40 fast and unbroken reps at that weight and see if that shit doesn’t get heavy. Go ahead, I’ll wait…

Shit got heavy, didn’t it?!

I completed 10 unbroken T2B and was completing singles by the last 7. My shoulders were on fire.

And then shoulder to overhead. I power cleaned & jerked the 1st rep and then completed an additional 10 reps for a total of 11. I completed the remaining reps in 3 sets.

And then muscle ups. Did I mention that my arms and shoulders were already achingly tired? I had 3 minutes to complete 10 muscle ups but was only able to complete 5 singles. Gah!

I nonetheless enjoyed myself, and I’m bound and determined to have fun when I work out.

Read “About” me. I’ll wait.

Yup, I don’t just blog about running, CrossFit, and dog walking.

Three NC Republicans filed a bill declaring all same-sex marriages “null and void.”

In the immortal words of Shakespeare, “The lady doth protest too much.” In other words, I’d like to see their browser history, as it’s likely to include searches for what might be deemed “immoral” activities. Assholes. Yes, I know it’s just a stunt to solidify their already homophobic base, but still: assholes. There are times when I’m embarrassed to live in NC.

It’s all a distraction, folks. Pay attention!

Wait, what?

IMG_0304You can skip to the end of this blog if you’d like. I know that since I stated that you’ll likely do so. Go ahead. I’ll wait.


I’m having a difficult time dragging my ass to the box (usually when I see the programmed workout).

TUE APRIL 04, 2017 | BS

Strength/Skill Development
Back Squat (10 – 8 – 6 – 6 – 6 )

Set 1 – 10 reps @ 60%
Set 2 – 8 reps @ 65%
Set 3 – 6 reps @ 70%
Set 4 – 6 reps @ 75%
Set 5 – 6 reps @ 80%

I didn’t, of course, lift prescribed percentages. I completed last set of 6 reps @ 185#, and was pleased. That’s a lot of back squat reps. Good thing the metcon didn’t include back squats. Wait, what?

Metcon (AMRAP – Reps)

3 rounds for Reps:
-One minute of
 back squats 135/95
-Rest one minute
-One minute of
chest-to-bar pull-ups
-Rest one minute
-One minute of
 power cleans 135/95
-Rest one minute

This is a main site WOD. I scaled to 115#, and that was plenty heavy enough. I completed 22, 18, and 17 back squats (a rather precipitous drop), 17, 16, and 16 chest to bar pull-ups, and 13, 12, & 12 power cleans.

My legs were toast, and not the raisin kind that I like so much.

Uhm, 150 wall ball shots, along with rowing, were programmed Wednesday. Even though I prepared to go a session, I just couldn’t rationalize more freaking squats. Not two days in a row.

THU APRIL 06, 2017 | DL

Strength/Skill Development

15 minutes to find 1RM

The warm up consisted of double unders and med ball carries. Don’t get me started.

Heavy deadlifts today. Good thing the metcon didn’t include heavy deadlifts. Wait, what?

I worked up to a heavy (for this stage of my recovery) 315#.

Metcon (Time)

Three rounds for time of:
10 Deadlift 275#
50 Double-unders

I debated lowering the weight for deadlifts but instead challenged myself. The deadlifts were heavy. I completed all 30 reps one at a time, often needing to recover during the round. I lost count the last round and likely completed 11 reps. Dammit. I completed first and last round of double unders in unbroken reps and the second round in reps of 15 & 35.

Metcon (Weight)

Not for time:
Bear hug med ball carry 400 meters

I  carried 50# med ball 400 meters, and didn’t enjoy a single moment.

FRI APRIL 07, 2017 | DIPS

Just two attended the 8:30 session, Mado and me.

Strength/Skill Development

Good Mornings (10 – 8 – 6 – 4)
Weighted Dip (10 – 8 – 6 – 4)

Uhm, good mornings the day after heavy deadlifts? My legs already felt dead going into this. Good thing we weren’t also lunging. Wait, what? Weighted ring dips? I’m glad the metcon didn’t include ring dips. Wait, what?

I worked up to last set at 135#. Shit felt heavy. I worked up to 35# KBs and probably could’ve gone heavier.

I am ensuring that, at the very least, I have an enjoyable time.

Coach M.: Deeper, Paul.
Me: That’s what he said.

Coach M: Chest to your thighs.
Me: That’s what he said.

Mado (during the metcon): You can lap me if you want, Paul.
Me: That’s not what she said.

Metcon (AMRAP – Rounds and Reps)

15min AMRAP
10 Ring Dips
20 Front Rack lunges 155/105#
200 meter run

Front rack lunges with 15# more than my bodyweight? I don’t freaking think so. I settled on 105#. I completed all rounds of ring dips in unbroken reps. I completed first round of lunges in unbroken reps, and remaining rounds in sets of 2 or 3. I had 2 missed reps in that I lost balance one time (left leg) and stutter stepped another time (right leg). I redid reps.

Total = 4 rounds + 13 reps; 50 ring dips, 113 lunges, 800m run

MON APRIL 10, 2017 | “Grace”

My good friend Kevin visited Asheville and attended the session with Jeff and me! In addition, I brought Luke to the session. He was an angel, as is to be expected. The warmup consisted of biking calories on airdyne and back squats, beginning at 50% of 1RM. I began with 95#, as I have no idea what current 1RM is.

Strength/Skill Development

A: Back Squat (15min to find 1RM)

I worked up to a single at 210#, not even close to previous 1RM. And that’s okay! The lift felt solid.

 B: Weighted C2B Pull-up (10min to find 1RM)

I worked up to rep wearing 25# around my neck. ‘Twas truly a chest to bar pull-up, i.e., chest made physical contact with pull-up bar. I’ll leave that right there and go on.

C: Chest-To-Bar Pull-ups (1 set of max effort reps)

I hate to be cheered for. I was cheered for. “You have two more reps!” (Uhm, I had a lot more than two more reps when this was stated. Sheesh.) I completed 21 reps. Again, chest made physical contact with the bar each and every rep. Again, I’ll leave that right there and go on.


Grace (Time)

For Time: 
30 Clean and Jerks, 135# / 95#

Another overrated benchmark. Oh, how I long for a metcon that lasts longer than 15 minutes! I’m wisely still ensuring no damage to spine, so I lifted 95#, rested frequently, and finished in 3:28.


It was four years ago when I opened CrossFit Surmount and changed the name of this blog from “runpaul” to “crossfitpaul.”

I’ve changed the name to “avlpaul” as, well, I no longer have the desire and/or interest to blog almost exclusively about CrossFit. Thus, if someone searches for blogs about CrossFit, my blog won’t show up on that list.

What am I going to blog about? Likely running, CrossFitting, dog walking, and anything else I feel like writing about.

On a scale of 1 to 10 my current interest levels in running, CrossFitting, and dog walking are 7, 3, and 10, respectively. You read that correctly: just 3 for CrossFitting.

So, why not do and focus on the things that I’m passionate about! BTW, that was a statement and not a question.

Getting Back into the Fight



I’m composing this blog whilst relaxing on the deck and enjoying the sunshine. I grow to love this house more and more each day, as the more personal we make it, well, the more it feels like home. The living room couches finally arrived, and if anything the new layout makes the room seem larger. I’m also tremendously enjoying playing my new hybrid piano. It amazes even me that I can not touch a keyboard for months (and in the past even years) at a time yet still sit down and play though all of the major and minor scales. I can also easily pick up repertoire of precisely mastered songs.

Muscle memory, folks. Sound familiar?

Strength/Skill Development
A1: Suitcase Deadlift (4 x 6 each arm )
*Use farmer carry bar, and stand on 12inch box.

A2: Single Arm Dumbell Press (4 x 6 each arm )

I hadn’t completed suitcase deadlifts whilst standing on a box, so this was a new and generally good experience. I worked by myself, began with 75# and worked up to 125#. Could I have gone heavier? Yup, but I’m erring on the side of caution.

I completed sets of single arm DB presses at 25, 30, & 35#. I asked Coach Marc if I should complete last set at 35#, given that the previous set was a challenge, and he said, “No, forty.” So 40# DBs ’twas. I did have to pause between 4th and 5th reps, but did complete all 6 reps.

Metcon (Time)

For time:
225 pound Deadlift, 21 reps
400 meter Run
225 pound Deadlift, 18 reps
400 meter Run
225 pound Deadlift, 15 reps
400 meter Run
225 pound Deadlift, 12 reps
400 meter Run

Running, yay! More 225# deadlifts, yay? (Yup, I would’ve programmed Rx at lighter weight and made this a sprint.)

I dropped every deadlift from the top, and I’m glad that I did because shit got heavy by the end. I completed all 21 reps without leaving the bar, but did rest briefly during rounds of 18 and 15 reps. I surprised myself and completed last round of 12 reps without leaving the bar, having told myself just before the start of the round that I should complete if reps of 7 or 8 & the 5 or 4.

Time: 13:10

That’s still pretty fast. Imagine what I’ll be able to do when I’m fully recovered from this freaking surgery!


Strength/Skill Development
A1: DB Box Step-up (4 x 6 each leg )
*Height over weight
*Hip below knee 

A2: Bent Over Row (4 x 6 )

I was the only athlete present at 8 am, and I informed Coach Marissa that I would work out on my own. And then one by one more folks started to arrive. Uhm, there were eventually seven of us, including myself, at the session.

Yup, tardiness pisses me off, as it’s not fair to the folks who arrive on time. Two arrived a full 10 minutes after the session had begun.

I completed box step-ups using 25, 30, 35, & again 35# dumbbells. Half of body weight, bitches.

I completed bent over rows at 95, 105, & 110#. I had planned on completing last set at 115# but Coach Marissa said I shouldn’t since the barbell didn’t touch my chest each rep the previous round. I did, I assure you. I’m not going to get in an argument, so I completed last set at 110#. (As an aside, as a coach I would ask instead of tell, e.g., “Did the barbell touch your chest each rep?”)

Metcon (AMRAP – Rounds and Reps)

10 Burpees
15 T2B
20 Air Squats 

Finally, a body weight metcon! One of the few times I feel strain in my neck is when hanging from the bar, so I got approval to complete toes through rings instead.

That may have been a mistake. Ha!

I was only able to complete the first round of TTR in unbroken reps, and by the final round was completing just 3 or 4 reps at a time. All burpees and air squats, of course, were unbroken. I also made sure to sing, dance, and ask, “Do these rings make my butt look fat?”

Score = 6 rounds + 14 reps

I had planned on running Friday but my BFF Brian made a trip to Asheville to pick up the chaise and I then asked if he’d like to go for a hike. He, Luke, and I went for an awesome 90-minute hike (interspersed with some running) at the Arboretum.


Three rounds of:  
Wall-ball Shots (Reps), 20#
Sumo deadlift high-pull (Reps),  75#
Box Jumps, 20″  (Reps)
Push-press (Reps), 75#
Row (Calories) 
1-minute rest

I’ve completed this benchmark numerous times, that last time whilst wearing a 20# weight vest. That wasn’t going to happen today.

This has happened to me on more than one occasion as of late: Whilst walking to the box I find myself turning around and going back home. On all occasions thus far I’ve managed to talk myself turning back around and getting my ass to the box. Once that hurdle has been jumped I’m good to go.

Coach D. led the session. It took 30 minutes to warm up and get everyone (including the stragglers) set up.

I didn’t look up nor could I recall previous PR. I told myself that I’d take it easy and never get too winded. I accomplished this.

Given that I always keep a running count, the only number of reps for any activity that I can recall is for wall ball shots: 25, 24, & 25. I can usually complete quite a few SDHPs, many box jumps, fewer PP, and well, I can only row so fast.

I set an aspirational goal to break 300. I completed 103 reps the first round, so I had a cushion. I truly surprised myself by completing 101 reps the 2nd round. This gave me a boost of confidence, so I set a goal to match my 1st round score.

And that’s what I did, completing another 103 reps the last round for a grand total of 307. Yay!

Most importantly, I worked at a steady (and for me) somewhat slow pace.

Corey, one of the owners of CFA, reached out to me to schedule a meeting to discuss coaching opportunities. I’m torn, for I’m kinda sorta enjoying not having the responsibility of coaching, and I also haven’t missed coaching (as I was certain that I would). I’m enjoying being a semi-retired househusband who completes projects (more in the pipeline) throughout the year. Whilst I’d like to coach endurance, I don’t think CFA is going to have enough members who would commit to attending on a regular basis. I’ll discuss all of this, of course, with Corey.