Benchmark Update

“I wish it need not have happened in my time,” said Frodo.
“So do I,” said Gandalf, “and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.” ― J.R.R. Tolkien


4 of the 5 Benchmark workouts are complete. While we have until April 5 to submit results I’m on a strict timeline and must have all benchmarks completed by Sunday. The only thing left to do as of this morning, 1RM Back Squat as well as attempt a 300lbs. Deadlift since that too has been a long time goal.

Last night I tackled the 10K Row after Strongman and beat my last time by about a minute. PR! Amazing the things you can do when you have no time to waste.

4 of 5 Results as follows:

Benchmark WOD 1/1/13 3/31/13
1. “Fran” – RX at 65lbs. 5:24 5:19
2. 1RM Snatch 85 lbs. 105 lbs.
3. 7 Minute AMRAP: Max Burpees to 6” target 64 total 69 total
4. 10K Row 44:40 43:53
5. 1RM Back Squat 165 lbs. 185 lbs.
6. 1RM Dead Lift 260lbs. TBD


“Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.” ― Lao Tzu
Why is it some WODs haunt us more than others…?
Scene, Starbucks, 7:30am this morning:
Me: Could I have a Venti Coffee, please?
Barista: Room for cream?
Me: I have to do 7 minutes of burpees tonight.
Barista: – ** –
Me: Yes, room for cream. Thank you.
I. Strength:

Establish a 1RM Snatch

* 20 Minute Time Cap

Completed: at 85lbs. not a PR. But given Sunday’s John North Seminar and PRing at 105lbs. I’ll take it. I’ve been on a non-stop WOD train since last week and I’m getting tired. The goal is to finish all the Benchmark WODs, plus WOW 13.4, concluding with a final Strongman, by Sunday.

II. Conditioning:

7 Minute AMRAP of:


* Burpees are done to a 6″ target.

Completed: 69 total. Woot! Beat my January score by 7. Thanks to Mike I. for standing by and cheering and counting as I lost count somewhere around burpee no. 29. You would think one wouldn’t lose count during reps during a WOD, but you do, oh, you do and more.

Change. It’s inevitable. We usually do not see it coming. It can be unsettling and is altruistically unpredictable. Out past the surprise and joy or heartbreak or blithe indifference in reaction to change there ultimately lies acceptance. While change may be difficult and unsettling I’m of the mind-frame that it is always, always for the best. It is brought to life by the thoughts and actions and karma of hundreds of thousands of millions of souls, including yours, all reaching and moving and colliding an infinite number of times per second in the blink of an eye and you are best served accepting its inevitability and focusing more on how you react to it. It’s how we react that defines us and set us out on our next path.

Change is in the air, there are changes with our beloved coaching staff at ACF, changes in my personal life, changes in my health, changes that suddenly happened by surprise and certain unnknowns to come as a result. My job is to maintain focus and do the best I can with what I’ve got.

Fran. That is all.

“A painter should begin every canvas with a wash of black, because all things in nature are dark except where exposed by the light.” ― Leonardo da Vinci 


For Time:


Thrusters (95/65)


*8 minute cap

Completed: RX at 65lbs. with ring rows. Time: 5:17. 7 second PR from January. Thank you to Andrew the strong voice in my ear that walked up and stood next to me during the 15’s and said;

‘I’m going to stand here and count each and every rep Mary, Do NOT put that bar down.’

When someone, when your coach, says things like this to you in the middle of a WOD you do exactly what they say. So I did not put that bar down and each round went unbroken in that I never lowered the bar to the ground until the round was over – even though every fiber of my muscles and joints screamed, please put the bar down.. please.

Fran is cruel and unforgiving and turns the world black. It is also oddly delightful but only when it’s over. It leaves you feeling like a deer in the headlights that was just run over and wondering how it is that you are still on planet earth. In Fran you are racing against yourself and if you let yourself get consumed you will end up pushing harder than ever thought possible only to find yourself on the other end with a faint understanding of that which you are actually capapable.

Too wordy? Fran has this affect too.

Fran gets under your skin and takes root and it’s a place I have no desire to visit any more than maybe twice a year, if that.

cold nights. warm soup.

soup1“When you know my love, my love will warm you.” ― Ruby Dee

It takes time to eat healthy. Yes, there’s prep involved; chopping and slicing and dicing. For me, Sundays are a good day to do this. But it has been so cold recently and I’m just ramping back up out of the Holiday into eating healthy mode that the fridge still remains relatively sparse and there’s only so many days you can rely on Chipotle. I love you Chipotle, you know who you are, but even I can grow weary of your scrumptious ways.

So when I found myself home from work with an hour to spare before the WOD I discovered it’s actually fairly quick and simple to make butternut squash soup. From scratch. Yes, I said simple and quick soup from scratch. The ingredients to make butternut squash soup stay good for over a week if not longer so you can keep them on hand and not feel rushed to make something before they go bad.

Peel and dice the following: a whole onion, green apple, handful of carrots, cloves of garlic, and a one butternut squash. Put them in a pot with some chicken stock, couple of bay leaves and a teaspoon of ginger. Slowly bring to a boil while you put away your stuff, get changed into your WOD duds, throw the ball for the dog, thumb through the news.

Once the pot boils, cover it and turn off the hot stove top. Set the covered pot aside and let it simmer.

Head out to CF and hit the WOD.


I was gone a total of an hour and a half. By the time I came home all the ingredients were cooked and ready. All I had to do was puree. Easy to do with a simple immersion blender, mine did stop working mid-puree last night so I ended up using a traditional old blender, a little more messy and time consuming but the last step.

soup 2

Nothing beats hot soup on a cold winter night post WOD. Nothing.

3rd 90 Day Benchmark WOD:

1RM Backsquat. Completed: 165lbs. PR!

2013 Row.

“Anyhow, I’ve learned one thing now. You only really get to know people when you’ve had a jolly good row with them. Then and then only can you judge their true characters!”  ― Anne Frank

holiday cheer

This was in the break room this morning. First day back to work in the New Year. I understand how baking and sharing is a form of love, it’s just I struggle to find the logic in sharing something that is a vice. Something the majority of us struggle against. Except the world would be a dim place without any cookies. Just the word ‘cookie’ is such a happy word. Think, Cookie Monster.

Doesn’t get much more loveable.

The 90 Day Challenge is up and running. It is Day 2. I feel sleepy as I write this, imagine it’s due to all the gluten and sugar and tequila draining from my system. Not that the wheels completely came off over the Holidays, but there were moments of indulgence. When you’re with friends and family and feeling festive it just feels damn good to join in the merry making. It just feels good.

It’s a part of the connecting process.

But now I’m ready to get serious. I’m ready to clear my head and my body and reach some new goals. It doesn’t happen all at once this clearing of mind and body. It’s a slow determined process. Small steps at a time. Day by day of one healthy choice after another. Momentum being gained in the direction you are determined to head, towards a more healthy strong clear-minded you.

There are four specific goals I would like to achieve within the first 3 months of 2013, the 90 Day Challenge period. Achieving these specific goals will solidify the ground beneath my feet on a new path paved in the direction I intend to go:

  1. Get a real pull up
  2. Apply to Grad School. Deadline March 1
  3. 24% body fat
  4. 300lbs. Deadlift

2nd 90 Day Challenge Benchmark WOD:

Row 10K for time.

Completed: in 45:22

let’s get on with it.

“You can only become truly accomplished at something you love. Don’t make money your goal. Instead pursue the things you love doing and then do them so well that people can’t take their eyes off of you.” – Maya Angelou

It’s 2013. And the 90 Day Challenge has begun. While I have been having a nice holiday filled with family and friends and lots of extra curricular activities and time away from work, I’m happy to see the season come to a close as I am ready to get on with it, get on with the new year.

Today, the first of the Benchmark WOD’s for the 90DC: Fran. If you’re a CF’er, you know Fran. She’s the most famous of all the girl WODs. Of all the WODs, period.

Today I was determined to go RX on my weight at 65lbs. even though I do not have pull-ups yet. My heart was pumping out of my chest, my arms burned, and the lungs strained, but I finished. I had one of the best partners and friends along the way as we cheered one another on to the last.




Thrusters (95/65)


Completed: at 65lbs. with ring dips at 5:24.