Sunday, January 31, 2010

Kip and Rip

Kip = Kipping Pull up
Rip = Rip my skin off my hands.

Did this one tonight on the "Pack" level. Ripped callouses off my hands and more on the kipping pull ups. Oh well. I bailed on this WOD on Monday, and decided I had to take another stab at it. Did it in 18:59. And I was pumped to be under a half hour when I saw how long it took me to chip off 35 pull ups.


Running work out of the day. Did the prescribed one on the website.

Ladder, 1 min on, 1 off, 1 on 50 sec off, etc. down to 10 sec and back.

Maintained 5:13 pace for the whole thing. Look out Adam, I am going to smoke you on our little competition in a few weeks.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Weakness & Strength found

Last week the "weakness found" was my lower back. The are better today.

Today, the "weakness found" was.... Overhead Squats. Almost lost the 75lb during one set.

Today's CF workout

Seven rounds for time of:
95 pound Power snatch, 7 reps
95 pound Snatch balance, 7 reps
95 pound Overhead squat, 7 reps

I decided to try this to scale. Made it through the Snatch Balance (not good form, so they really did not count I am guessing). Started the overhead squats... NO WAY.

I guess the shoulder muscles are not developed to hold that while going into a full squat.

So I scaled this one.

Did 5 rounds at 75lbs for a time of 30:02.


On a good note, the "Strength Found" was running.

I did last Sunday's 45 minute run at 85%-90% effort. (treadmill). I decided to start easy due to the squats that morning. Started at 7:03 pace, but after 25 minutes, it seemed easy.

Increased to 6:40 for 10 minutes, then 6:22 for the final 5 minutes. It took work at the end, but I am not sure if my overall exertion was above 90%.

My point in the "Strength Found" statement here is.... 7:03 seemed easy.


I am starting to see the picture here, and it is making sense. Will pay off in a hundred mile race.... better yet, one of Larry's 100 mile races? We will see.

The prescription for ultra training on the CFE website is to do 2-3 of the running workouts per week. NO MORE. They say to do 1 "circuit". 1 interval, 1 tempo, then another interval.

The interval workouts are very intense, but short. I actually got my treadmill up to full power on one last week.

They were tough to get acclimated to because, sadly, I almost never run at that speed.

But, I am starting to see this high intensity paired with the high intensity of the CF workouts simulate, in an abstract, what a 20-30 mile run might do.

And if you don't believe that.... well, I am telling myself that because I have to believe it.

Important thing to consider

This is taken directly from the Crossfit Endurance site.

CrossFit Endurance was created with the belief that you have taken the time to learn the skill of your sport. If you have not, you have no business here, or competing in this sport.

While I might have success with this approach, I do have 12 ultramarthons in the last 4 years under my belt. I have run over 2000 miles each year for the past 3 (could be a lot more, but I don't keep track).

So, I have a strong foundation to build upon. While the Maffetone method and the CFE method seem contradictory, I see them almost as a progression. I say this FROM MY EXPERIENCE ALONE, and am not advocating it as advice for others.

I don't use this blog to preach, I use it more as documentation or "this worked for me". (do I say that too much?)

Whatever the outcome, I am enjoying this is a sick and sadistic manner.

It also fits my demanding travel, work, and family schedule right now.

10 weeks to Zumbro.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Think you are tough?

Try today's workout

10 Minutes - Hand Stand Push Ups
5 Minutes - Squats
2 Minutes - Pull ups
1 Minute - Push ups

Hand Stand Push Ups - To standard (legs against the wall so I don't fall over), I did a total of ........3! How on earth do people so many of these? Once again, a work in progress. I ended up putting my knees on a futon, and simulating the motion but with about half of my body weight. I was able to rip off a bunch of these (140?), but they were way easier than the standard ones. Still, they got really hard after 5 minutes.

Hammered out 150 squats.
20 pull ups
30 push ups

No comments :) At least I didn't quit.

But, not the reason for the title of the post.

Monday commences one of the most Bad Ass races in the country, the Arrowhead 135 Winter Ultra. The Minnesota ultra gang knows this all to well, but for those of you who are not familiar, a quick synopisis.

Very, Very, Very cold. Snow. 135 miles. Pull a sled. Course record is about 40 hours (running). You can bike, ski, or run.

I know a few who are going. One of the faster Matts is running (Matt Long). John Storkamp is running (he is a pedal to the medal runner-always). I believe Scott Meyers is running. So it looks like a "Border Battle". Storkamp better slice and dice those cheese heads. (Long & Meyers).

I doubt I will ever run this race as it violates one of my tenants of running;
* I don't participate in races where death is a possibility (or the loss of body parts).

The Race Director for this race, Pierre, is a humble guy. Very strong, and seemingly endless endurance. 2 or 3 Badwater finishes. He rides his bike to local ultra marathon races, then rides home.

So good luck to all who are going. You can follow the race here.

Happy training

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Too Much, Too Quick

After boldly stating I will be doint 3-4 Crossfit "WOD's" per week to standard, I am already backpedaling.

I did 2 in a row over the weekend, and am still sore. I have called upon muscles I have not used in a long time, or never used.

I think back to Ice Age 50 last year. I ran the last 10 miles pretty hard, and came in with a 20 minute PR. Better yet, I was not wasted at the end. I was still walking and able to function like a normal human. I thought to myself "I guess I am finally strong"


What I am now learning is that I am completely disproportionate in my strenght. My legs are stong, part of my upper body is okay, but my core is weak. My lower back muscles feel like a bus ran over them. My abs feel like a bunch of thugs went to town on me with a baseball bat.

I had been doing sit ups, crunches, rowing sit ups, leg lifts, etc. But the killer was Friday nights "GHD Sit ups". 3 sets of 30.

Check out the demo here

My back is suffering from the clean and jerks from the same workouts, the deadlifts from earlier that week, and the deadlifts I failed at completing on Monday.

Oh yeah, I totally suck at jump roping. Not sure how I will ever do 50 "double unders" but I am a work in progress. If I filmed myself jumproping, you would all get a serious laugh out of it. Maybe I will do that for motivation.

Last night I did the "Sumo Deadlift Pull Ups" Legs were fine, but my lower back was screaming after the second set of 50. I decided to stop and let my body recover.

So this has been a wakeup call on how weak I am overall.

After Kettle last year, I seriously thought I was "strong". I laugh at that thought now.

On the bright side, all of the workouts that challenge the legs don't give me sore legs, quads, calfs, etc. And if they do, they recover quickly.

So I am still in the adaptive phase, and that could take a while. It is worth it, though.


I recieved a few emails on how I came to the conclusion of this training switch. I will attempt to post frequently, linking to articles and research I have found and read which has intrigued me or challenged me.

Here is one. Heavy on the science stuff, but leaves me thinking "Could this be true?"

Sunday, January 24, 2010

The strategy further explained


The change in strategy brings skepticism, questions, confusion, and flat out disagreement.

I have been through those stages throughout my life as a runner in almost every phase of training I have participated in.

One of the greatest things I have learned as an adult is that there is a lot I do not know. And every year I get older, I realize even more how much I do not know. I also have come to the realization that "experts" usually know a lot about a subject, but often are wrong on their conclusions. If one looks back over my lifetime of 39 years, look at all of the things we (as a society) were truths and absolutes are now looked at by many with question.

Diet, exercise, and overall health are some of the best examples of these constantly changing "absolutes".

I will give one example - High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS). Ask any nutritionist how they feel or what they think about HFCS and more often than not it will be received with some level of evil. Many people have gone to great lengths to blame obesity today on the entry of HFCS into the american food supply.

What one has to conclude with this think is that people gain weight because of HFCS, not the carbohydrate or caloric intake.

In my opinion, this idea is pushed so people can blame their obesity on soft drink companys, fast food companys, etc., instead of taking the ownership of their own obesity. Yes, this is hard for many people to accept, but it takes discipline and work to live a healthy lifestyle. I am guessing I will get some hate mail from this, but think long and hard about this before burning me at the stake.

Disclaimer - I consume almost Zero HFCS in my dieat. Reason - They are bad calories & bad carbohydrates. I avoid them the same as I avoid cane sugar and starchy foods.

So, what the heck does this have to do with Crossfit Endurance?

Answer - It bucks the current trend so many people believe in and have signed on to. MYSELF INCLUDED!

Yes, I look at the claims and the explanations and think "This can't be right, are these guys nuts?" (same response I get from dieticians when I say HFCS aren't any more harmful than cane sugar)

Well, like my argument with HFCS, I needed to dig deeper and do the research. I had to ignore the people who take shots at it just beacuse it doesn't fit into their fitness paradigm.

Could this work? Well, I figured there was enough data and evidence to give it a try, so that is what I am doing.

And... if you are going to say "I am doing X,Y,Z program", you have to do it to standard. So I am pushing my chips forward and going "all in".

With that said, here is what I will be doing. My goal is to do 3 Crossfit Endurane workouts (running) per week, and 3-4 Crossfit Work Out's of the Day (WODs) AT FULL SCALE. At times I will have to scale them down using this forum for a variety of reasons, will strive to do the standard WODs. (main reason - I am driving the wimp out of my body, but he still exists)

I did three "WODs" to scale last week, and my body feels trashed (in a good way). Never thought I would be deadlifting 285 lbs in an effort to run better.

Another reason for this change is minimizing burnout. I was mentally bored and burned from all of the daily 8-12 milers. This change has actually been fun.

I will be using this forum as I have in the past "This is what I am doing" or "Here is what has worked for me in the past" instead of a preaching platform.

What does success look like?
- Hard to measure, but Ice Age 50 Mile will be the best way to test my success with this program. This will be my 4th year running it, and I have improved every year. If I could run at or above my slowest time, I would call it a success.

My goal at Ice Age is to GO HARD. I want to KILL my pr of 8:41.

- Zumbro 100 Mile. It is practically around the corner. If I could break 30 hours there, I would also claim success. Although, I might take a "just finish" on that bad boy. (I really want to beat the fastest Matt who is also running)

- Kettle 100M - Will figure that one out later.

So that it is it. It is a leap of faith, but I am game for it.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

A change in strategy

First of all. Thank you to all for the kind comments about Grandma.


After all I have preached and advocated for in the last year about low intensity training, I am experimenting with the opposite.

I have been following Crossfit, and Crossfit Endurance for a while now, as well as listening to some of the podcasts on Crossfit Radio. It is interesting stuff.

There is a lot of debate about weather one can do ultra events on a Crossfit Endurance (CFE) training schedule. What I find kind of cool is, they don't really care. In fact, they say point blank "This might not be for you" to those who disagree.

I kind of like that attitude. They believe the proof is in the pudding, and they don't try very hard to convince you. I kind of like that.

But, on the flip side, I don't think they have a large base of testimonial to support some of what is said. Before any CFE or CFer goes ape on me, this is what I mean.

Like many, they refer to an Ultra as anything longer than a marathon. But, most of the testimonial I have read and heard about refers to 50k runners. That is cool, that is awesome, but is hard to coorelate to 100 Miles.

I could care less about the debate of "what is an ultra", I am just trying to interact with people who have gone 50-100 miles on Crossfit Endurance. I am having a tough time finding many. (they are out there... 2nd place Javelina Mark Mayazic did it).

I even posted a thread on their forum earlier this week. One guy responded (thanks Joe T). This leads me to believe that it either is not a high traffic forum, or there are few people who have used CFE to improve their 50M and 100M performance.

I do like the intesity and challenge the workouts present.

In fact, I have only been able to do a few CF workouts to scale.... and they were FREAKING HARD!

I have met a lot of people who call themselves Crossfitters, or refer to it as though they do it. What I have learned, is if you are doing it they way they see it, you will look a certain way. It will show.

I don't claim to be a Crossfitter, beacuse I have not yet hit a level where I feel worthy, but I am making progress. But I think this change in approach might help.

Part of the change is due to my lengthy travel schedule, and inablility to put in the heavy Long, Slow, Distance runs. I would rather do it this way right now.


And on other notes, looks like I suckered the Fastest Matt into running Zumbro. I am working on the Long one. He claims to be volunteering, but he will probably succomb to the pressure. That leaves 1-2 more Matts

Game on


Oh yeah.... Ran with the Lapham boys last night.

Good time. Tater Todd and I bombed some down hills and The Big Grabowski got "bitched" on his own course.

(Those were his words)

Sunday, January 17, 2010

A farewell to my last grandparent

Grandma Patten passed away this morning after a battle with dementia, old age, cysts, & tumors.

I was able to see her down in Kansas on Thursday night, and she was quite frail. It was also my first opportunity to say goodbye to a loved one before they passed.

She was 97, so a very full life.

She has 4 great grandchildren with her last name and 7 others.

Not a sad time, but a time to reflect and celebrate a great life. She hang on a lot longer than others thought she would or could (maybe that is where I get it).

The next race is for her

Saturday, January 16, 2010

The 2010 race schedule is in

So far it looks like the following;

Zumbro 100
Ice Age 50M
Kettle 100

I just can't resist going back to Ice Age and Kettle. Too many emails from the "Sconnies" egging me on.

Looks like I might be changing me training strategy significantly.

After Kettle I will evaluate the rest of the year.

Zumbro sounds like a good idea now, but at 12am on April 10th, it will probably fell like a real bad decision.

At least I will get my birthday miles at that race. More than double.

Lots to post, little desire to do so.