Aegon Targaryen

Monday, August 28 | Anne

Luke and I began our day with a nice, cool, 5-mile walk on the grounds of the Biltmore estate. Stupid people use retractable leashes. There, I said it.

As this is the fourth day in a row of exercising, I took it relatively easy. One could even say it was a day of active recovery. Yeah, one could say that. By that way, that’s what I’m saying.

100-80-60-40-20 double unders
25-20-15-10-5 knees to elbows & Abmat sit-ups

Somewhat like Annie, I know. Yes, Annie is one of my least favorite benchmark workouts because, well, it’s too easy. This was a little more challenging.

I completed all rounds of sit-ups in unbroken reps. Duh. I also completed rounds of 60, 40, and 20 double unders in unbroken reps and broke seldom and rested naught during rounds of 100 and 80. Knees to elbows were a bit more difficult because of yoke. Dammit.

Time = 13:12

Tuesday, August 29 | Nine Years

I received a text from my mother-in-law congratulating Jeff and me on our nine-year anniversary. Ha! We’ve been together going on 24 years, but got legally married in San Bernardino, CA nine years ago today.

Luke and I began our day with a 4.5-mile walk in the neighborhood as well as Carrier and French Broad parks. I can tell that we’re about to experience a change in seasons, and I’m none-too-pleased. The reason I don’t like Fall is that Winter follows. Perhaps I’ll have a more positive experience now that we live in the mountains? Yes, that was a question.

My intent was to program an exhausting workout today. Uhm, this was one of the most challenging and exhausting workouts I’ve completed in a very long time.

For Accumulated Time
Every other minute on the minute
2 strict HSPU
3 strict pull-ups
4 30″ box jumps
5 25# wall ball shots to 10′ target
14 double unders

Each round built in intensity, i.e., strict handstand pushups aren’t that aerobically challenging, pull-ups are slightly more aerobically challenging for (even if strict) you complete them faster than HSPUs. Then box jumps, wall ball shots, and double unders, all increasing in intensity — and heart rate. I was gassed as the end of each and every round and was often still catching my breath when the next round began.

I completed unbroken double unders 12 rounds, HSPU, pull-ups, and wall ball shots all rounds. I missed the VERY LAST box jump! I broke the skin, but my shin feels fine and I’m not experiencing any pain. That’s good.

I was dreading the wall ball shots each and every round, and I’m convinced that that is why I missed the last box jump. I lost my focus! Dammit.

The second was my slowest round (1:12), as I hadn’t set up my jump rope and I kept missing reps due to frustration. My fastest round was the sixth (54 seconds) and I completed most rounds in 56 to 58 seconds.

Accumulated time: 19:54

Today was my first day teaching at AB Tech, and I had a blast! I truly feel like I’m in my element when teaching at the college level. Students seemed responsive and receptive, and I hope this continues to be the case. The classroom was unbearably hot, and I’m glad I won’t likely be wearing a tie again this semester.

I also get a sense that things might be a little different than they were 20 years ago. You think? I intentionally yet casually mentioned my husband and nary an eye was batted.

Wednesday, August 30 | Bear Crossing

Yup, the title says it all. As Luke and I were traveling to Shut In trailhead we had to slow down and eventually stop to allow a rather large black bear cross the Blue Ridge Parkway. That makes the 4th bear sighting and 9th bear we’ve seen this year. So far. Luke and I went for about a 5.5-mile walk (I forgot to wear TomTom) and I rested the remained of the day. I needed it.

I did indeed scrape my shin, but I’m happy to report that the wound is healing nicely.

Tuesday, August 30 | 150

Luke and I went for a 5-mile walk around the neighborhood and neighborhood parks. With the expected spike in gasoline prices, I’m driving as infrequently as possible. ‘Twas overcast and began to drizzle as we enjoyed another Thursday morning spent together.

I don’t often share my dreams, but this one is too funny not to share.

I was wearing a cooking apron. And that’s it. And it wasn’t even tied in the back. Ha! I was sweeping the driveway and Jeff cautioned me that the neighbors might be offended. “This is Asheville,” I replied.

I was then suddenly in Jaclyn’s home, still wearing just a cooking apron. She asked, “Will you clean the inside of the windows? Only the top windows need cleaning, so you’ll need to stretch and go on your tiptoes.”


Back Squat

Yup, that’s 60 back squats, not counting warm up reps. I wore weightlifting shoes and belt, and I recorded all sets. My post-surgery 5RM is 195, so I set a goal of 180#. I successfully completed set @ 105, 115, 135, 155, 170, & 180#. That last rep was a struggle. I don’t know if it’s psychologically a good or bad thing that I couldn’t have had bailed on the lift, as if I did so the plates would’ve likely hit Luke. And I certainly don’t want that!

10-8-6-4-2 parallette pass throughs
10-20-30-40-50 air squats

Yup, fast and furious and unbroken. Uhm, that’s 150 air squats in addition to about 100 I did including warmup.

Luke didn’t budge the entire workout.

Time = 6:23



Barely a Bear in Sight — Until Sunday

Friday, August 25 | Tight Space

I rested yesterday. I didn’t want to, but I did. Luke and I did begin our day with a 6-mile walk at the Biltmore Estates. By the end of the day I had taken over 30,000 steps. Yup, that’s a day of rest for yours truly.

This morning Luke and I went for 7-mile hike/walk beginning and end at the Arboretum and including most of the miles in Pisgah. ‘Twas a cool 60 degrees at the start and the cooler temperatures mean that Luke has a spring to his step. Yup, a spring to his step when Fall approaches. It took us about 2:15 to traverse that distance, and this included stopping for pee breaks (me, not Luke), taking pics (me, not Luke), and conversing with passersby (me, not Luke).

Thursday’s workout was all barbell, so no barbell today.

5 ring burpee + toes to bar
5 ring burpee + chest to bar pull-up
5 ring burpee + toes to bar
5 ring burpee + chest to bar pull-up
Complete 5, 4, 3, 2, & 1 air squat(s) after burpee & before T2B/C2B pull-ups for rounds 1, 2, 3, 4, & 5, respectively

Count 1 | bend and place hands on rings
Count 2 | jump feet to plank
Count 3 | chest to rings
Count 4 | pushup
Count 5 | jump feet to hands
(5, 4, 3, 2, & 1 air squat(s) rounds 1, 2, 3, 4, & 5, respectively)
Count 6 | T2B/C2B pull-up

That’s 120 burpee, 60 T2B and C2B pull-ups, and 300 air squats. Yes, 300 air squats.

As air squats decreased in number and became easier to complete the rest time between T2B and C2B pull-ups decreased and those two activities became increasingly difficult. I did mistakenly complete T2B a rep but did, of course, complete C2B pull-up as well.

I counted out loud until 10, with reps 1 through 5 being T2B and 6 through 10 being C2B pull-ups, obviously, and used the abacus to keep track of what amounted to be 12 times, with a different color representing each subsequent round. Makes sense to me even if it doesn’t make sense to all of you.

Time: 26:52
Average heart rate: 117 bpm

Saturday, August 26 | Mah Legs

I didn’t pick up Jeff from the airport until close to midnight last night and then didn’t fall asleep until after 1. I slept until almost 8. Wow! Jeff surprised me by offering to go for a morning walk with Luke and me. As Jeff’s knee is still healing, we only went for a 3-mile walk in Carrier and French Broad parks. We all enjoyed breakfast at Taco Billy and then I   retired to the garage for a workout.

Yesterday’s 300 squats left my legs feeling somewhat tired, but I focused on legs today nonetheless. Functional movement, folks. Functional movement.

Strength & Skill
Deadlift & Box Jumps
5 X 10 increasing weight and height

I set up box before beginning deadlift so that I could quickly transition from deadlift to box jumps. I completed deadlifts @ 135, 185, 225, 275, and 305# and box jumps @ 20, 24, 27, 30, & 32″. I stepped down for 20 & 24 but did not rebound for any jumps. In addition, I landed in squat with elbows inside knees and both feet firmly on box.

I set a goal to complete 10 deadlifts @ 300 so was pleased that I was able to complete set @ 305# (a post-surgery PR). I honestly don’t know if I could’ve lifted any heavier, as the last two reps were a struggle.

10 44# alternating arm Russian KB swings (5/arm)
10-second waiter’s hold alternating arms

This was meant to be fast and furious, and it was. I also didn’t place the KB on the ground during workout.

Time = 4:44

Sunday, August 27 | Constantly Varied

I’ve spent numerous hours preparing for the upcoming semester, including updating 19 PowerPoint presentations. It astounds me that a professional publisher (not AB tech) would create such amateurish slides. And anyone who uses text boxes to create bulleted lists doesn’t know what they hell they are doing. And don’t get me started on the slide masters. Or graphics.

Jeff was once again able to join Luke and me (not “me and Luke” or “Luke and I”) for a morning walk, 3 miles on the Biltmore grounds. We then enjoyed a wonderful meal at King Daddy’s where everyone commented on what a good dog Luke is. Don’t I know it. For the second day in a row I worked out on a full stomach. And it matters naught to me!

Rounds of up to 5 reps
Begin @ 75# increasing weight by 10# each round
7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, & 1 rounds

In other words, 7 rounds of up to 5 reps @ 75#, 6 rounds of up to 5 reps @ 85#, etc. Again, I’d never program this at a box. It’s one of the reasons I’m enjoying working out by myself, i.e., I can complete my own programming! And not have to explain (or justify) it to anyone else.

I completed all 5 reps/round @ 75, 85, 95, & 105#, i.e., 35, 30, 25, & 20 reps, respectively. I completed 3, 1 & 2 @ 115, 1 & 1 @ 125, and 1 @ 130#.

That was 119 strict presses.

Bear Complex
For load:
5 rounds of 7 reps:
1 power clean
1 front squat
1 push press
1 back squat
1 behind the neck push press

You may not drop the bar between reps but may rest between rounds.

Yup, I’m completing the Bear Complex once a month, only this month I decided to mix things up. And I just ended a sentence with a preposition.

Begin at 75# on barbell and 20# weight vest, increasing weight 5# on barbell and weight vest (10# total) each round; 75 & 20, 80 & 25, 85 & 30, 90 & 35, and 95# & 40#. 

Why? Because I had just completed 117 presses, so no need to continue to overly taxi arms. Uhm, but I did focus on legs both Friday and yesterday, so there’s that. I found completing the complex whilst wearing a weight vest to be much more challenging than, well, completing as prescribed.

One of the challenges was keeping the bar close during power clean, as the weight vest protruded and impeded ability to do so. I recorded last round and was surprised to discover that I completed muscle instead of power cleans.

I counted each rep out loud to ensure that I completed the requisite seven each round.

The first round (75 & 20) was relatively easy. The last round was not. Yup, the behind the neck push press was the most difficult of the activities, although both front and back squats were also challenging, you know, because of the added weight. I was in essence squatting almost 190# the last round. No wonder it was tough!



Path of Totality

Monday, August 21 | Making It Up As I Go Along


It’s the day of the solar eclipse! I didn’t expect traffic to be so heavy until later on in the day, but by 7:15 traffic on the Blue Ridge Relay was already heavy. Oh, and there was a line of automobiles PARKED ON THE ROAD waiting for entry to the Arboretum. Uhm, and the Arboretum doesn’t open until 8.

Luke and I went for our somewhat usual 5-mile hike, today in a counterclockwise and more difficult direction. It was a reasonably cool morning, and we had a delightful time, only seeing three runners about two miles into our journey.

Bench Press
Establish 3RM

I hate the bench press less and less the stronger I get. Imagine that!

After warming up, I did sets of 3 reps @ 95, 105, 115, 125, 135, 145 (previous post-surgery PR), 150 (goal), and 155#. Again, I didn’t lift to failure as I didn’t have a spotter.

– 10 unbroken wall ball shots, 20# & 10′
– 10 24″ box jumps with step down
– 5 unbroken knees to elbows

Okay, I had originally programmed 15 rounds of 5 reps of all activities, but as I was completing the very first round of wall ball shots I thought, “Five unbroken reps is far too easy and of little to no challenge. Make it 10. Make it 10 box jumps, too.” So that’s what I did, also deciding to decrease the number of rounds to 10. Thus, five fewer rounds but 25 more wall ball shots and box jumps.

This is one of the many joys and advantages of working out alone and doing my own programming. It’s hard for me to imagine ever working out in a group setting again.

I had no failed wall ball shots or knees to elbows.

Time = 16:38

I spent most of the afternoon on the deck carefully observing the eclipse. What a tremendous experience, and certainly a memory of a lifetime! I’m very happy that I chose to view the eclipse from the deck, as there were very few clouds and, as the deck is on the West side of the house, I had a clear view from start to finish.

Tuesday, August 22 | Twenty-Five

‘Twas a busy morning! Luke and I went for a 4-mile walk at Carrier & French Broach parks and then I worked out in the garage. With Luke with me, of course!

Back Squat
5X5 @ 75% of 1RM

After warming up I completed 5 sets @ 165#. The 1st rep felt fine, but by the 4th and final reps shit felt very heavy. I recorded all lifts to ensure I squatted below parallel. I did. Yay!

25 reps
8-count burpees

  1. Bend and place hands on floor
  2. Jump fee to plank
  3. Mountain climber (both legs)
  4. Chest to floor
  5. Push up
  6. Jump both feet to wide plank and back
  7. Stand and clap
  8. Handstand pushup

No strict pushups today! I tried to work continuously but often had to shake out arms before completing HSPU. I also attempted to count rounds in reps of 5 but may have very well completed 6 reps not 1 but 2 rounds. Ha! Counting to 5 and counting to 8 was just too much for my brain, right-dominated as it is, to handle.

Whilst completing the workout I thought how much more focused I am when I work out alone, as I’m not competing with anyone (or much more likely no one is competing with me). I only completed a HSPU when I knew I was recovered enough to do so without failing.

Wednesday, August 23 | The Three Bears

Someone in the neighborhood evidently left a dog outside and said dog whimpered and barked most of the night. Even though I wore earplugs and covered my head with a pillow, I was awakened at least a half a dozen times. ‘Twas a very restless night of sleep, and this also meant that I slept until 7:30. That’s late for me!

Last night I decided that Luke and I need to hike at places other than the Arboretum, Pisgah, the Biltmore, and (less frequently) Montreat, so I did a bit of research and decided upon Craven Gap trail. Okay, we had to drive 20 minutes North to get to, but it was well worth it! The trail runs mostly parallel to the Blue Ridge Parkway, although it does occasionally cross side roads. There were quite a few rocky sections, steep inclines, and narrow sections of the trail. Just like we like it! The TomTom didn’t get a signal until about a quarter mile into the hike, so I’d estimate that we traversed 5.5 or more miles.

Uhm, as we were running down this part of the trail (pic below) we encountered a mama bear and her two cubs, and one of the cubs was climbing a tree! Luke and I quickly turned around, walking backwards with bear spray in hand until we were out of sight. As we had to travel in that direction to get to the car, we made much noise, waited a few minutes, and then were on our merry way. Sans bears, of course.


I was no less surprised this, our third encounter, but I was certainly less concerned for my safety. Oh, just 10 or so minutes before the encounter I had ordered Luke a bell to wear on his collar. Ha!

Yup, I really wanted to stop and take a picture. Nope, I did not. Next time, perhaps?

I had a bowl of oatmeal at 10:45 and then began working out after 11.

This workout is kind of confusing, so pay attention.

For Time (in parentheses)
EMOM for 23 minutes
3 PCs
3 PPs
9 lateral bar hops

75# rnds 1 & 2 (23, 23)
80# rnds 3 – 5 (22, 22, 22)
85# rnds 6 – 9 (23, 22, 22, 22)
90# rnds 10 – 14 (22, 22, 22, 22, 23)
95# rnds 15 – 18 (22, 22, 23, 23)
100# rnds 19 – 21 (23, 23, 25)
105# rnds 22 – 23 (29, 26)
Other MOM until break in form
110, 115, 120, & 125# (28, 24, 33, 37)

That was 27 total rounds, thus 81 SDHPs, PCs, and PPs and 243 lateral bar hops.

‘Twas so hot and humid in the garage that I actually removed my shirt. You read that right: I removed my shirt.

How did I break form? My forefeet did not stay on the ground (with extension only at ankles, knees, and hips) for last round of power cleans. If you are like me you probably thought form would break for push presses. I surprised myself by completing all rounds of  SDHPs and PPs in unbroken reps. Oh, I forgot to mention that I didn’t ever allow myself to drop the bar. Uhm, and doing so after last PP certainly wouldn’t have been wise, as retrieving and placing the bar before lateral bar hops would’ve been time consuming. I’m smart like that.

I spent the remained of the afternoon preparing for next week and the start of Public Speaking. So. Much. Editing.

Round and Round

Friday, August 18 | Ten Miles


Luke and I began our day with a 3-mile and very moist walk around Echo Park. I then went for 4 loops (clockwise, counterclockwise X2, and clockwise) around Echo Park. The ride was both boring and exhausting. Ha! Splits: 4:16, 4:00, 4:18, 3:47, 4:03, 4:02, 3:53, 4:12, 4:07, 3:30, 3:14. Yup, I finished strong! The ride would’ve been much easier on a road bike.

Oh, and whilst I saw many bikers I was the only one wearing a helmet. WTF?

Distance: 10.82
Time: 43:24
Pace: 14.97 mph
Fastest pace: 19.71 mph

Saturday, August 19 | NFT

Luke and I began our day with a 3.5-mile walk at Carrier and French Broad parks. It was a somewhat cool 65 at the start. The mountains. That is all.

10 rounds NFT
5 95# power clean and jerks
5 strict ring rows
5 PC&Js @ 105, 115, & 125#
5 strict ring rows

Yup, 13 total rounds. Although not for time I nonetheless worked up quite a sweat. I focused on executing proper form; thus, my forefeet never left the floor, i.e., extension of ankles, knees, and hips with no jump. Yay! That’s 65 PC&J and ring rows, and that was enough. I showered and then Jeff and I had a late breakfast and went shopping for school clothes. Ha! I also purchased a new pair of running shoes, the Nike Train Ultrafast Flyknit.

Jeff and I then headed to Carrier Park for a run/ride, with me running and Jeff riding his bike (as he continues his recovery).

I was very aware of the new shoes as I began to run but that fortunately didn’t last long. I like!

I ran 4 miles with split times of 7:36, 7:29, 7:15, and 7:06. My average heart rate was 197 and highest was 220 bpm. I don’t know how accurate the TomTom Spark is, however, because I’m intimately familiar with heart rate and I know I wasn’t going anaerobic. WTH?

This was truly an easy run, so I was pleased with results.

Time: 29:26; pace 7:21.5 mpm

I love running, I truly do.


Sunday, August 20 | Twenty-Two

Luke and I began our day with a 4-mile walk on the Biltmore Estates. About 3 miles into the walk a woman caught up (Luke was lallygagging) and began to pass us. I was listening to music but heard her ask, “May I ask you a question?” I took earbud out of left ear and said, “Of course!” “What breed is your dog?” she asked, “He’s likely a mix of boxer and Great Dane,” I replied. “His name is Luke and he’s very friendly. You’re welcome to greet him.” She did so and we carried on a conversation about dogs, strays, and genetics. “Yes, he’s definitely part Great Dane!” she exclaimed as Luke leaned into her. “In just a moment he’s going to insist that you scratch his hindquarters,” I said. And he did. We both had a good laugh.

The first sign of a dictator and fascist is an attack on the media and free press. Resist.

The Kennedy Center Honors are my favorite awards show. I’m delighted the assholes won’t be attending.

Jeff, Luke, and I enjoyed breakfast at Edna’s and then I began my workout in the garage.

Establish 3RM

Ah, there’s nothing more functional than the deadlift. After warming up I completed sets @ 295, 305, 315, & 325#, about 93% of 1RM. I could’ve attempted 330# but chose not to do so. See how smart I am?

500 double unders
1 strict HSPU anytime there’s a break
Complete same number of strict HSPUs

I began with 65 unbroken double unders followed by a strict HSPU. Uhm, and then I completed just 2 unbroken double unders. Ha! I got my shit together.

The goal was to complete as few rounds of double unders as possible, you know, so one didn’t have to complete too many HSPUs.

Totals per round: 65, 2, 53, 48, 54, 54, 74, 54, 8, 70, & 18. As I kept a running count it wasn’t until now that I realized how many rounds I completed 54 double unders. That appears to be the magic number.

I broke 11 times and thus completed 11 strict HSPUs as I worked up to 500 double unders. I completed the 11th HSPU in a time of 13:28. I rested briefly (with the clock still running) and began 11 HSPUs. I completed in reps of 3 and 2 and then singles. I wanted to make sure I didn’t fail any reps!

Time = 17:28


Wilmington and Beyond!

Monday, August 14 |Upper Body

Yesterday’s workout was hard on the legs, people. There, I admitted it. Luke and I began our day with a 3.5-mile walk around Carrier and French Broad parks and then I got in a quick workout before Jeff, Luke, Meg, Zac, and I headed to Wilmington for a few days of relaxation.

The kitties do not travel well. Even though we gave them both tranquilizers and Xanax, Jeff, Luke, and I were exposed to 6 hours of meowing and caterwauling. And Zac shit in his pen, so there’s that.

Anyhow, back to the workout. Sometimes it’s just fast and furious.

Strength and Conditioning
100 65# bent over row + hang muscle clean + strict press

Yes, anytime the bar was lifted from the floor I stood to full extension before completing first bent over row. This was a shitload of pulling and pushing, and it was just what I needed. I completed as many as 10 (first set) and as few as 4 (last set) unbroken reps and usually completed 6 or 7 reps each set. Yup, I used abacus to keep track of reps.

Notice muscle and not power cleans. That’s why the weight was kept @65#.

I set a goal to complete in 15 minutes and managed to complete all 100 reps in 13:38. 

Tuesday, August 15 |100 Reps

Luke and I went for close to a 3-mile walk around Echo Farms. ‘Twas a sticky AF morning. Jeff is feeling under the weather, so we had a quick (albeit late) breakfast and I took him to Urgent Care. That was our morning.

Uhm, Jeff knows when I need to work out. I recalled that Hugh MacRae Park had pull-up bars, so I grabbed a towel, Abmat, bottle of water, and headed there.

Air squats
Abmat sit-ups

I set up the towel in front of the pull-up station so that I could easily transition from one activity to the next. It was so f@cking hot and humid. The most difficult part of the workout was the pull-ups, and this was due to the bar being thicker than a standard pull-up bar (but certainly much better than the yoke at home) and sweating so profusely that I couldn’t keep a grip of the bar. The most unbroken pull-ups I completed was 21 at the start of the workout. By the end of each round I was completing doubles and sometimes finishing with just a single.

Pushups went much better, although I only completed the last round of 10 in unbroken reps. I completed all rounds of air squats and sit-ups in unbroken reps, and that should be expected.

My goal was to complete in 20 minutes and I was able to complete all 100 reps of the activities in 17:48.

I continue to be exceedingly bothered by the hypocrisy of the orange monster and all of his cronies. I truly fear that he is doing irreparable damage to our democracy.

Wednesday, August 16 |A Mile In My Shoes (even though I was barefoot)

Yup, Luke and I began our day with a 3-mile walk around the neighborhood. ‘Twas already 77 degrees and felt like 100. It was so f@cking sticky.

After enjoying a nice breakfast (except for the fact the Fox News was playing, albeit san sounds, on the televisions), Jeff and I headed to Halyburton Park. Jeff joined me for a 4-mile ride and than was kind enough to allow me to do the loop again. Thirty minutes with Jeff, 15 minutes solo. Ha!

Jeff and I then took Luke to Fort Fisher for another enjoyable day on the beach! Yesterday was the first day Luke saw and today was the first day he swam in the ocean. He’s such a wonderful dog, and wasn’t the least bit bothered by other people, dogs, birds, etc.

I measured 10m and placed a beach towel near where Jeff and Luke were seated and the workout began.

2-4-6-8-10-12-14-16-18-20-50 burpees & 10m shuttle sprints

I set a goal to complete in 25 minutes. I had many onlookers.

Thus, the workout began with 2 burpees and 20m (10m up and back) sprint. Notice that after completing 20 burpees and 200m or sprinting the workout ended with 50 burpees and 500m or sprinting. The workout was difficult in that he was so miserably hot. I often briefly wiped my brow on the towel during count 1 of burpees. To ensure that I turned on both right and lift sides I always turned toward the ocean, thus a right turn on odd- and left turn on even-numbered sprints. I also touched the ground each sprint.

Although I didn’t begin the workout with the goal of working continuously and in unbroken reps, that is indeed what I did. Yup, I finished with 50 unbroken burpees and 50 shuttle sprints. As I no longer needed the towel I began to zigzag toward the beach whilst sprinting, completing the last 10 or so sprints ankle deep in the ocean. What a relief!

I glanced at my watch during the last 10 sprints and knew I’d have to pick up the pace to finish within time goal. Uhm, I had 2 seconds to spare!

That’s 160 burpees and 1600m, i.e., a mile, of sprinting. Luke and I went for a mile walk on the beach right after I finished the workout and had enjoyed a beer.

Time = 24:58

BTW, PM me if  you’d like password for blog. K? K.


Tuesday, August 8 | Until Failure

It’s been rainy and dreary, and unfortunately yesterday was also a rest day. Luke and I went for an early morning walk in the rain at Carrier Park. I attempted to get Luke to walk farther, but he wasn’t much interested in doing so. As it was also raining this morning we once again went for a walk at Carrier Park. I’m used to walking 10,000 steps by 8, and that hasn’t been the case yesterday or today.

<Insert comment about people attempting CFG workouts and getting injured doing so.>

Bench Press
Rounds of up to 10 reps and then establish 1RM

Pressing or any kind was nearly impossible prior to surgery, so I’ve been taking my time building up my strength. Today went much better than I anticipated.

Keep in mind I don’t have a spotter, so I’m reluctant to lift until failure.

10 @ 65, 75, 95, 105, & 115#
8 @ 125#
6 @ 135#
3 @ 145#
1 @ 155, 160, 165, & 170#

As my goal was 160, I’m pleased. Whilst I could’ve possibly lifted 175# I didn’t want to attempt without a spotter. Why? Because I was concerned that plates would fall on Luke if I bailed.

EMOM for 45 minutes or until strict HSPU failure (accumulated time)
1 strict HSPU
2 70# Russian KB swings
3 strict ring rows
6 air squats

I completed all 45 rounds, i.e., I completed strict HSPUs without failing. This workout got progressively more challenging, and it wasn’t just the HSPUs. My slowest round was the first in :23 and I completed 12 rounds in :19, my fastest time. I completed rounds 26 through 45 in 20 or 21 seconds.

Whenever I complete ring rows I think back to some of the first workouts I did that included the movement. Why? Because dudes would kip the hell out of the reps. Was it allowed? I can’t recall. Strict ring rows are a shitload more difficult.

Whilst not a noteworthy accomplishment, I completed all rounds in unbroken reps.

Accumulated time = 20:42

Wednesday, August 9 | Until Failure

Susan Dilts Burpee Brown visited, and the three of us (including Luke, of course) enjoyed breakfast at Sunny Point Cafe and then a visit and hike at the Arboretum! It was a beautiful, cool morning, and we had a lovely time.

EMOM for 50 minutes
A. Min 1-14
1 185# deadlift
2 20# medicine ball cleans 
3 medicine ball sit-ups
B. Min 15-24
2 185# deadlifts
2 20# medicine ball cleans 
3 medicine ball sit-ups
C. Min 25-34
2 185# deadlifts
3 20# medicine ball cleans 
3 medicine ball sit-ups
D. Min 35-44
2 185# deadlifts
3 20# medicine ball cleans 
4 medicine ball sit-ups
E. Min 45-49
3 185# deadlifts
4 20# medicine ball cleans 
5 medicine ball sit-ups

Average times were 17, 18, 20, 21, and 27 seconds for A, B, C, D, and E, respectively. I did, however, complete the very last round in 23 seconds. Always finish strong. That’s 90 deadlifts, 130 medicine ball cleans, and 170 sit-ups. That was plenty enough of a workout.

Thursday, August 10 | Three Bears Sans Goldilocks

As Luke and I hadn’t been for a long walk in a while we headed to the Experimental Forest first thing this morning. If you recall, the Experimental Forest was the location of our first bear sighting. I have diligently carried bear spray since that day. I’m smart like that. Luke was lallygagging more than usual from the start, so I mapped out a 4.5-mile loop.

If I wear headphones whilst walking, hiking, or running (I never wear whilst biking), the volume is always low enough that I can hear any noise. Safety first. Luke and I had just begun the last leg of our walk when a female biker came blazing down the trail. Yes, we had to jump out of her way. Uhm, bikers are supposed to stop for hikers and allow them to pass. Uhm, this seldom happens, as most bikers are assholes. She mumbled something in passing. A greeting, perhaps? We continued our walk and not a minute or two later saw three bear cubs. Was she calling a warning? If so, wouldn’t it have been nice for her to actually stop and ensure that I received the message? I know that I would’ve done so.

Luke and I stopped, I reached for bear spray to have at ready, and we slowly and carefully walked backwards and away. I ever so briefly considered taking pictures. There, I admitted it. Luke and I backtracked (and ending up traversing 6.5 total miles). There was a large group of young bikers about to begin their journey and I made sure to let them know about the bear sighting. See what I did there? Did I mention that most bikers are assholes? It’s worth repeating.

I had a quick breakfast when we arrived home and then I headed to the gym, aka garage.

Strength and Skill
Power Clean & Jerk 
With a running clock, up to 18 T&G (hands may not leave bar) PC&J every 5 seconds until single rep achieved; increase weight 10# per round

My goal was 155# and I made a major blunder and did not come close to achieving goal.

I completed 18 @ 65, 75, 85, & 95, 12 @ 205, 7 @ 115, 4 @ 125, and 1 @ 135#.

Okay, having to complete a rep every 5 seconds was quite challenging, as all reps took less than 5 seconds to complete; thus, my grip strength and forearms were taxed.

Oh, receiving the bar was the dip for jerk, i.e., standing to full extension and then dipping was not allowed. I’m working on this skill.

And perhaps this is why I only got one rep @ 135#. I dropped the bar from the top instead of setting up for next rep. Dammit. Nonetheless, that’s 96 total reps.

5 toes to bar
5 forward facing & twisting bar hops
5 45# plate burpees
5 27″ box jumps

Was a rainy, humid morning, and I sweated profusely from start to finish.

Time = 11:13




And One for Good Measure

Friday, August 4 | Unbreakable

Luke and I went for a 5-mile walk at the Biltmore. ‘Twas another unseasonably cool morning. I listened to Ricky Martin Unplugged and contemplated taking Spanish courses at AB Tech. Seriously.

Front Squat
Establish 1RM 

I’m challenging myself in a variety of ways, including strengthening wrists. From today forward I will only complete front squats with all fingers on the barbell, i.e., no floating pinkies. I have intentionally not been wearing wrist wraps but did wear them today.

Given that I haven’t done heavy front squats since surgery, and this would be a new baseline, I set a goal to lift 200#. I warmed up with sets of 5 until I hit 165# and then began singles, completing reps @ 175, 185, & 195#. I thought, “Lifts feel good. I should just go for 205.” and that’s what I did. And then I lifted 210#. Yay! It’s challenging to do front squats with present set up as when there’s the potential that I might fail and need to bail I need to take a few steps away from the rack. I did fail @ 215. Luckily I was paying attention for the plates bounced and rolled toward me. Yup, I jumped over the barbell.

Take a look at pics. Should be no doubt that squat was below parallel and that elbows were high. K? K.



50 reps
Burpee + 3-second handstand hold + burpee + 30″ box jump + squat (on top of box)

I set up the workspace so that box was near opposite wall used for handstand holds. I completed in sets of 5, often counting out loud. Why? Because somewhere between 5 and 10 I lost count and likely completed 6 reps that round. The abacuses a godsend.

Uhm, yeah, so that’s 100 burpees in addition to 50 handstand holds, box jumps, and squats. I worked at a steady pace, but did need to slow down somewhat at about 35 reps, you know, so I could rest my shoulders.

There were many times when just a heel lightly grazed the wall. There were quite a few times when I was able to achieve 3 or more seconds of freestanding handstand hold. I focused on activating shoulders and looking at opposite wall (in this case box). I didn’t miss a single box jump.

Time = 24:38

I still haven’t watched a single moment of the CFG. I am, however, truly enjoying Ozark.

Saturday, August 5 | Libertango

I finished Ozark. Well done, Netflix!

Luke and I began our day with a 5-mile walk at Biltmore. I can’t believe how cool the mornings have been!

Both upper and lower body were a wee bit sore, so I programmed an “active recovery” workout. And it was just what the doctor ordered.

25-min AMRAP
– 3 pull-ups
– 4 knees to elbows
– 5 hand release pushups
– 6/leg mountain climbers
– 18 double unders*

* Complete an additional rep for each missed rep

I raised the yoke on the squat rack to allow for kipping, and what a difference it made. My goal was to complete all rounds of pull-ups, K2E, pushups, and mountain climbers in unbroken reps. In addition, my secondary goal was to transition from pull-ups to K2E without dropping from the bar and from pushups to mountain climbers without resting. I achieved goal for pushups to mountain climbers but not pull-ups to K2E.

I was able to complete all rounds of pull-ups and K2E unbroken and with no rest as transitioning until round 16. Alas, no matter how many times I wiped off yoke and/or attempted to dry hands, I began to slip off the bar. I was sweating so profusely that by the last round I completed pull-ups and K2E as single reps, with my hands sliding off the yoke after each rep. It wasn’t muscle failure, ’twas sweat. Dammit.

I completed many rounds of dus in unbroken reps and, as prescribed, completed additional rep(s) each time I failed a du. As always, I completed an additional rep each round, e.g., completed 19 reps for round of 18 unbroken. Yup, one for good measure.

Score = 17 rounds + 3 pull-ups, 4 K2E, 5 pushups, 6 mountain climbers, & 6 double unders; 54 pull-ups, 72 K2E, 90 pushups, 108, 132 (plus probably another dozen or so plus 17) double unders

Sunday, August 6 | You Bike, I’ll Run!

Luke and I started our day with a 4-mile hike at Pisgah. We would’ve gone longer, but he let me know he’d rather not. Jeff and I enjoyed breakfast at Biscuit Head, where I had a brisket biscuit and a grapefruit mimosa. I was feeling a bit tipsy (I’m such a lightweight), so I “rested” on the deck. Jeff is now allowed to bike on flat surfaces, so we headed to Carrier Park at around 12:30.

Uhm, I can’t recall the last time I went for a run. Maybe Ragnar? It’s been months, then. It’s not that I don’t love running, it’s just, well, I’ve been biking and working out and, well, not running.

As he didn’t know how long he’d be able to ride pain-free, I set a goal to run between 3 and 4 miles. We began, with me running a bit ahead. I ran the first mile in 7:56, certainly not blazingly fast. The next mile I ran in 7:32, slightly faster. I set a goal to stop at 5K, and ran the last mile in 7:08. Although it took me a few seconds to stop watch, TomTom recorded 23:23 with a pace of 7:32 mpm. Again, not blazingly fast, but as I was running on a somewhat full stomach that also contained alcohol I’m nonetheless pleased.

I took a breath every third step, and my average heart rate was 188, with highest recorded at 201. According to TomTom I spent all but about the first 90 seconds in “peak” heart rate zone. Maybe I can shed a few pounds if I keep running. There’s that.

It was much fun running as Jeff biked. I can unequivocally state that Jeff didn’t set my pace. I did talk with him along the course, although always briefly. “Are you okay?” “How does the knee feel?” “You up for another mile?”

Uhm, I didn’t watch a single moment of the 2017 CrossFit Games. Yup, I know who won. Nope, I really don’t care.





Tuesday, August 1

It’s hard to believe that we’ve only lived in Asheville six months! I don’t miss Apex one iota.

As I have been unable to take Luke for a long walk in the forest for quite a few days, that’s where we headed this morning. We hiked/ran/walked a 7-mile loop, the farthest distance we’ve traversed, well, maybe ever. He’s been asleep on the couch or outside the rest of the day. A tired dog is a happy dog.

I got on the scale this morning and discovered that I weigh a whopping 147 pounds, 4 pounds heavier than my typical weight. Dammit. When Jeff or company is in town we eat out far too much. That shit is gonna have to stop. The drinking of beer, however, will not stop anytime soon. Because beer.

Establish 1RM

My post-surgery 1RM established six weeks ago was 340, so I set a goal to lift 345#. I lifted 350#, so I’m pleased. Yup, I recorded all lifts. Yup, even deadlifts.

11-min AMURAP
11 150# (bodyweight) deadlifts
5 ring pushups
1 strict handstand pushup
10 DL
6 ring pushups
2 strict HSPUs
9 DL
7 ring pushups
3 strict HSPUs

Like that acronym? As Many Unbroken Rounds (and Reps) As Possible. Again, this isn’t something I’d ever program for others as it’d take too long to explain. And some folks still wouldn’t get it. Do you? See what happens to the reps of deadlifts, ring pushups, and handstand pushups? The abacus is a godsend.

Even though the DLs were relatively light, i.e., my bodyweight, after completing so many reps at heavy weights just moments before shit felt heavy right out of the gate.

Deadlifts, in addition to be in unbroken sets, were from floor to floor, including last rep of each set. I was most concerned with possibly being unable to complete 3 unbroken HSPUs when I began to get tired, but all rounds went well with no missed reps.

Score = 3 rounds + 12 (11 DL & 1 ring pushup) reps; total 101 DL, 55 ring pushups, & 18 strict HSPUs


Wednesday, August 2 | Seventeen Miles

First, a heartfelt thank you to my BBF for demonstrating patience as I have been developing my sea, aka “bike,” legs. I finally adjusted the clips, and what a difference it makes. I can easily step off of bike. Yay!

Whilst I didn’t know at the outset, Brian led the way for a 17-mile and almost 2-hour ride. We stopped just two or three times, and then only for brief moments.

Screen Shot 2017-08-03 at 8.21.29 PM

I had heart rate monitor turned on (red line), and you can see that there was some rather heart pounding riding. Whilst I didn’t always keep up with Brian on the downhills, I most certainly did so on the uphills. My forte.

This was perhaps the most fun I’ve had riding as well as the most confident that I’ve felt. I can hardly wait to ride with Brian again!

(Brian, I’m still giggling like a school girl about “tuck and cover.”)

I was notified by AB Tech that I passed my background check and that I am officially hired. Yay!

Thursday, July 3 | Grasshoppers

My good friend Evelyn has been letting me know about her workouts, and yesterday she informed me that her metcon included mountain climbers. Uhm, WTF haven’t I included mountain climbers in my workouts? I love mountain climbers! I both love and hate grasshoppers even more.

My day began with an 8-mile hike/walk/run with Luke. We began at 8 at the Arboretum whilst the temperature was still a cool 57. My hands were actually cold. As Luke feels more energetic when it’s cooler, I decided to go a different route that included terrain in both the Arboretum and Pisgah National Forest. We even hiked a trail between Hard Times Hill and the Blue Ridge Parkway that up until today I didn’t even know existed. Maybe my observational skills aren’t as good as I think they are. Ha!

I ate a quick breakfast and then Luke and I headed to the garage. I still felt quite warmed up, you know, from the 8-mile hike/walk/run, so I almost immediately began press series.


Establish 1RM

I warmed up by completing 5 reps at 65, 75, 85, & 95# and then began singles, completing reps @ 105, 115, 125, 130 (post-surgery PR), and 135#. I’m calling that a new PR! Lifts felt wonderful today, and I was very pleased with performance. Yup, I recorded all presses and ensured that knees were locked at butt was squeezed.

2-4-6-8-6-4-2 tricep pushup on 70# KB + KB SDHP
8-12-16-20-16-12-8 grasshoppers/leg

I had forgotten just what an ab workout grasshoppers can be. For pushup + SDHP, hands began on KB, followed up kick back to plank, pushups, jump to starting position for SDHP, i.e., legs spread wide (that’s what he said), high pull, and finally KB placed on floor.

Time = 8:21

BTW, you may have noticed that my workouts haven’t included overhead squats or snatches, for when I attempt to do so I experience pain in my right shoulder. And it’s just not worth it. I can complete back and front squats as well as cleans and power snatches with no pain. So that’s what I’m going to do.

Yeah, so the CrossFit Games have begun, and I have zero interest in watching. You read that correctly, zero interest. I don’t at all enjoy the team competition, so there’s that. Am I a CrossFitter? Not really. I work out in my garage, and I complete strength and conditioning. Is that CrossFit? Perhaps.

I also have zero interest in ever again participating in any type of competition.