Tuesday, February 4, 2014

The evolution of a plan

I've been thinking lately about incorporating daily yoga.

Plan A is the dreamer in me, the ideal, which includes being able to afford both Crossfit and unlimited yoga:

Get up at 6:00am, out the door by 7:00, arrive at work around 7:30
Take an hour + lunch for Crossfit
work until 5:00pm
attend the 6:00 yoga session

At first glance, this would allow me to attend Crossfit every weekday, and Yoga at least 3 weeknights (plus the Saturday class with Superman). Depending on my year end bonus, I might actually be able to swing this and still pay off all my credit cards this year, which is a priority. 
I don't see my year end bonus until March though, and I doubt it will be sizable at all. Also, looking more closely at the schedules, it turns out Yoga only has the 6pm classes Mon-Thurs, and I currently donate plasma Thurs/Sat. I have a standing Wednesday night that I could do after Yoga, but that means driving past where I want to be, then having to backtrack. This wouldn't be such an issue if I weren't already over my lease mileage for the year. 

As much as I like to dream this plan is possible, in reality it's not that simple. I'm reduced to Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday yoga, and Wednesday is not ideal. Also, the 12:00 Crossfit class requires I leave work at 11:45, already dressed for a workout. It's not uncommon for me to have 11:00-12:00 meetings, which means I'd have to shift things around on the fly. I do this anyway, but I'd have to be sure I could attend enough Crossfit classes mid-day to make paying for unlimited yoga worthwhile. Crossfit > Yoga, though not by much. 
I want to be her!
Plan B requires quite a bit more motivation on my part. It's easier to get up and get out than it is to get up and work out.

Get up at 6:00am, do an hour of yoga. 
Out the door by 7:45, at work by 8:30. (This is close to what I'm doing now, except I get up at 7:00 and leave around 8:00.)
don't take lunch, which is what I’m doing now.
work until 5:00pm
attend Crossfit at 6:00pm.

The benefit of this plan is I do yoga every day, and it doesn't cost me anything. I've actually made some progress with this schedule, this week.  I scheduled a task on my computer to simply shut it down at 10:00pm. When the computer shuts down, it's time for bed. Not time to do dishes or laundry or pick up my phone. Time to go to bed. According to http://sleepyti.me/, I should be asleep by 10:30pm in order to wake up easily at 6:00am. Sunday I had some trouble getting to sleep, probably because I napped that afternoon. I was still awake without my alarm at 6:00am, and out of bed by 6:15. Last night I was tired so went to bed at 9:30pm, and was out of bed by 6:30am.

I originally envisioned a full on hour of yoga, complete with mat and music and sun salutations. This is not happening. What happens is I get up and stretch my calves on the stairs. Then I fold over and stretch my hamstrings. At some point I grab my pullup bar and stretch my arms/shoulders/back. I have a towel set up on a banister at the top of the stairs to help stretch out my quads. I putter around for the next half hour, getting things together, getting things done, and stretching every once in a while in the process. It's not as intense or focused as an hour of yoga would be, but at least I'm stretching. This is progress. Bonus points for making it to work earlier, since I’m getting everything done before 7, which is when I was waking up before. 
So close!
I haven't completely given up on running, either. I'm not really running right now, but I'd still like to participate in the Cleveland 10 Miler at the end of April. At this point it will have to be a walk/run, and I’m OK with that considering. I'll have to work out a schedule and see how running fits into Crossfit, which is much more exciting and feels much more doable at the moment. Right now I see the schedule something like this:

What I would like to happen
Monday: AM Yoga, PM Crossfit & Run
Tuesday: AM Yoga, PM Crossfit & Run
Wednesday: AM Yoga, PM Crossfit
Thursday: AM Yoga, PM donate plasma & Run
Friday: AM Yoga, PM Crossfit
Saturday: AM Yoga class, PM donate plasma
Sunday: AM Yoga,  PM Long Run

What will probably happen
Monday: AM stretching, PM Crossfit
Tuesday: AM stretching, PM Crossfit
Wednesday: AM stretching, PM Crossfit
Thursday: AM stretching, PM donate plasma & Walk/Run
Friday: AM stretching, PM Crossfit
Saturday: AM Yoga class, PM donate plasma
Sunday: PM Long Run

I included the plasma donations because they take up those timeslots, and because they affect my other workouts.

The "What will probably happen" may change as I get stronger, as it gets warmer, and as we have more daylight. I might actually run after Crossfit, or in the mornings. I'll be happy if I can get 2 weekday runs in, and the weekend long run. Hopefully, I can increase those over time. I have to be careful though, that I don't overdo and hurt myself again, as I'm prone to do.



Monday, February 3, 2014

So I guess this really is happening

 
Last Tuesday, Superman and I went to visit a local CrossFit box. I've been interested in CrossFit for a while, but only recently figured out I might be able to afford going. According to the website, "The aim of CrossFit is to forge a broad, general and inclusive fitness." I like the whole body experience. I like the community they are supposed to embody. I like the idea of classes, and the types of exercises. I've actually incorporated a few of the exercises in my workouts already, though not to the intensity I'm certain I should. I'm hoping that will come in classes and with encouragement.

The introductory class consisted of a 10 minute warm-up (shoulder stretch, sit-ups, lunges), a 12 minute workout (5 burpees, 10 low level pull-ups, 5 box jumps and 10 squats), and a 5 minute cool down (8 sets of 20 second plank, 10 second rest). For those who don't know, burpees are 1) lay full body on the floor, 2) get to your feet and jump, 3) repeat. The low level pull-ups used rings. You scoot your feet in, pulling against the rings and slanting your body to increase resistance. The closer to horizontal you can get, the more body weight you're actually pulling. We flipped playing cards each round we completed, so we didn't have to count rounds and reps. 
I made it through 5 rounds plus 1 burpee. This workout kicked my butt a little, but not completely. I'm sure that's exactly what it was designed to do. I was breathing heavily, but at no point did I have to stop and rest. Were the workout 20 minutes, that may not have been the case.

Predictably, I'm excited about the idea of paying $100+ to get my butt kicked like this. I'm the one who uses all the gadgetry to run. Superman just throws his shoes on and goes. He's not so thrilled with the idea of paying that much $$ to work out. He wants to run and bike. Also, he has a gym workout in mind that worked for him in the past. I'd hoped we would do this together, but I kind of knew going in that wasn't going to happen. We approach this type of thing differently. I need the extra motivation of a class. He doesn't. I am interested in this type of exercise. He is not.

However, this particular Box (that's what CrossFit calls their gyms, mainly because that's exactly what they look like inside) is not for me.

Pros
Cons
Located halfway between work and Superman's house
There is only one trainer: the owner
It's CrossFit
Ideally, because I donate plasma on Thursdays, I'd like to attend a class Thursday mornings. Thursday morning and Friday night are the only times this box has no classes
CrossFit requires everybody go through Foundations training, to learn the lifts and moves. This box doesn't charge for the Foundation training. It's one class for about an hour, where other boxes charge $100 for 6 classes over the course of 2 weeks
The Foundations class is only 1 time, for about an hour
There is no contract. I can pay for a month, and if I decide this Box or even CrossFit itself is not for me, I'm not out a full year's dues
I'm not sure how other Boxes do it, but this one only has 2 shower rooms, 1 bathroom, and no other changing room facilities. Also, no lockers.
They have a couples discount, if Superman changes his mind
The website listed a $100 fee for a 3x a week schedule. The website is woefully out of date and the fee is now $125 for unlimited classes

I don't know how boxes are supposed to be stocked, but I didn't see any weight plates. Just the 45 lb bars and kettlebells. I thought there would be squat racks, at least.

There is a Box closer to work, which I visited Friday night. If Superman were excited about CrossFit, we would definitely go to the Box closer to his house. Without him in attendance, I'm inclined to frequent the one closer to work. The space is smaller, but brighter, and there were definitely more people around. This may have to do with the fact that the introductory class Superman and I went to was after the regular classes, while the one I went to Friday was during a regular class. Friday's Box has more classes available and also a much busier white board, both of which imply they have more people working out there.

Friday's workout was 20 minutes of warmup, including pushups, bear and crab crawls, suicide drills, and some time spent rolling out sore muscles with a lacrosse ball. The actual workout was descending reps (15-12-9) of 12" box jumps (I jumped a 20" 2x, but was afraid I'd miss when I started getting tired), 18 lb overhead kettle bell swings (I swung a 25 lb., but again was concerned about form when I started getting tired), and burpees. It was work. I definitely got my heart rate up and sweat going. I don't now if Friday's class was less intense than Tuesday's or if I just needed to get things moving earlier in the week, but I was less sore come Saturday.
Part of the reason I'm excited about CrossFit is the hope for a community like I had in Tae Kwon Do. I did not feel that community at the Box I visited with Superman. Granted there were only a few regular CrossFitters around, but I basically felt ignored unless interacting with the owner. Friday's Box, people randomly came up and introduced themselves, the trainer introduced me to everyone in the class, and people came up after class to comment on the workout and my participation in it. THIS is what I was looking for!
It also helps this box charges $10 less per month than the one Superman and I visited.

I'm trying to temper my excitement to spend money I don't necessarily have. I can afford this through donating plasma, but that doesn't mean I SHOULD spend that $$ at CrossFit. The gym I already belong to will offer CrossFit-like classes soon, for a fee. I'm not sure yet what the schedule will look like, but I know the Zumba classes (for which there is also a fee) are only available Wednesdays. I can't attend on Wednesdays. With a CrossFit gym I'll get the type of exercise class I want (interval, whole body training), just about every day. 

That said, I've already arranged to start the essentials classes. These are the classes where they teach me the different lifts and moves. There are 6 of them I have to complete before I can begin attending regular classes. My first is tonight. 

Guess this really is happening!