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Hump Day is Hill day – Wachusett Dam 4/3/19

Last time I ran here, I made it up ~75% of the way and totally gassed out.  My buddy was showing off hopping every two steps up and came down to walk up with me.  I was out this time to make it to the top and made it 7x!

Total elevation gain ~755′.  Note that the death march in the spartan ultra is around 1.25 miles with 1700′ elevation (~26% incline) so is 2.5x what I just did just less incline and longer.

The entire course I think is around 6500k elevation gain so 10x what I just did (that seems more daunting!).

A little progress with a lot more to go.  A few more pics from yesterday:



The elusive rope climb…touched ceiling after 8 years

Coach helped me with technique and to get up to the ceiling for the first time March 21, 2019 in 8 years of trying.  Being 45# lighter helps.  Having pullups back helps.  Re.peat at the box on Saturday.  Note that I was pretty scared both days – not sure why but pretty happy that I did it.


Keep at it my friends –


After Activity Report Week 12, 187 days to train

Dear Coach,

End of training week 12:  This was a good but hard week – I am tired and sore today.  Not sure how but I had a very sore left calf all week so worked that daily.  Long run in snow went well (9 miles @ 11:45 pace) as prep for next Sunday. Moved aerobic workouts to morning which is huge – fitting all this stuff in has been a learning process. I was psyched to realize by moving to morning I could run in daylight and then we turned clocks ahead this weekend!!!!

Note that I compared my 9 miles today with previous runs and it was a little discouraging – I know we are slowing things down so I can go further at a slower pace, but hard to quantify progress when my times are worse -maybe progress is having slower and predictable splits with better form as I have learned HR training and how to control what I am doing 🙂

  • Oct 14, 2018 ran 8.1 miles, 9:57 avg pace
  • Nov 4, 2018 ran 9 miles, 10:42 avg pace
  • March 10, 2019 ran 9 miles, 11:45 avg pace (exactly the target!), Cadence 155, HR 127 avg

This is my life:

  • Sunday:  always meal prep for the week (this is not new), long run, extra mobility, study/read
  • M-F:  Wake up before 5am, workout 1-2 hrs, do a ROMWOD, drive hour to work, work 8-10 hrs, drive hour to crossfit gym, try to get there with time before last workout at 7:30 so I can do strength (this has been a fail), get home around 8:45pm, eat and go to bed.  I don’t want to abandon my husband so need to leave work earlier and have a little more time at night.
  • Note:  I watch zero TV


  • Moved aerobic workouts to before work.  This took me too long to do as 2+ hours of workouts could not be crammed in after work, after my hour drive home and with dinner which resulted in some very late nights!
  • Discovered the irrigation box – a small thing made a big difference in squat confidence and my back feeling better got me to 125lb backsquats this week
  • Good mobility work – rejoined ROMWOD as I like the sustained holds and do at least 1-2 a day.  I did a 9 mile run today and was NOT crippled for the rest of the day in my lower back – this is huge although crossfit on Thursday with KB swings and KB lunges did make my lower back pretty sore.
  • Started experiment on supplemental nutrition during races.
    • Tried some at 1:18 today with 30 min left – didn’t notice much difference. Don’t like anything too sugary, the sport beans are out! Need blander flavors also …a barrage of stuff is coming this week to try over the next weeks
  • Lesson learned:  for more complicated workouts with intervals over a long time, need to write out time changes so I don’t get lost during workouts – I think I may be losing it as although I have a Masters in engineering from MIT, I unsuccessfully wrote this out in the middle of “bike3″ as somehow 67″ +10″ equalled  107”!  I still find myself also forgetting to do things sometimes – like keep up the cadence or I’ll forget I’m in the middle of a Z3/Z4 interval…losing it 🙂


  • I feel great about enlisting my two young proteges (14 and 17 yrs old) to do a spartan sprint this summer and helping them do it
  • My equipment failed me in the very cold (7deg F weather) so I will likely buy some Garmin watch in the next weeks – thinking either Forerunner 935 or Felix 5.
  • Water intake way better as I leave glasses all over my house now
  • Shoulder made another step better with just slight twinge now when hanging – did at least 50 strict pullups during a wod last week.

Need to do better:

  • Am struggling getting the lifting routines in – not because I don’t like them/these are my favorites (except squats!) but sometimes when I get to crossfit early, the bars are taken, or I don’t get there early and it is pretty late after.  Am thinking I may want to join some typical gym like Fitlab just to have more flexibility for weight training. It is not easier with them spread out over days and would rather plan for 2 days with 2/day then 4 with one day on weekends.  I am working/workout out continuously – not slacking off
  • Need to get on crawling and grip strength – am wondering if I should get something to use while at my desk/in meetings at work.  How can I work this stuff in while at work….maybe take a trip thru the shops carrying something during the day….we are buying a pullup bar for work
  • Having trouble getting run cadence up to 170, no issues with bike

thank you for all your advice!



I am in love with an irrigation box

I’ve been living in fear of squats for two reasons:  My achey lower back and the fact I’ve always felt a little unstable because of my flexibility and tendency to have issues with an upright upper body while in a squat (remember I cannot do an overhead squat – yet).  My coach recommended that I use a box at a height that I’m comfortable squatting to.

After running my head into the end of the 45 lb bar in the rack while reaching for my training routine papers on the ground (rookie mistake), I set it up on a few 10 lb plates so that the top was set if I was in a full squat parallel to ground.

LOVE IT – I don’t know if it just makes me feel safer and not lost in space as I’m awkwardly going down but it is like a magic confidence builder.  I went up to 125 lb squat for a pretty easy 3 reps!

Squat on my friends!


Again, a Life Lesson – How Many Times Do I Need to Be Told?

Sometimes when you expend less energy and slow down you accomplish more.  After a week in Bonaire, on the last dive I realized that if I totally exhale, I sink like a rock and totally managed my buoyancy on my own floating and going up and down at will easily.  This also applies to initially getting in the water as you descend – instead of flailing around, just relax and lean forward.  It reminds of a day many years ago at GE when I was in some type of battle with the Italians and Vincenzo Di Leva told me that I didn’t realize I had already won….

Pausing and being in the moment is also something I am working on.  Doesn’t mean I don’t work hard but it means that you need to make the work count by being focused.

I did run six miles roundtrip to Crossfit Flamingo and do the 19.1 workout – heat kicked my a&& and my calves were cramping during wallballs.  I did this while the rest of the group was out diving and before I had my initial, assisted dive en route to certification the next day.  I was told you weren’t supposed to exercise too much before diving – this was a test 🙂  Here’s a pic of me and the awesome guys who judged/supported me:

So on this note, let me get back into it and meditate daily.  OHm, one more thing, 5 pounds up – I am hoping it is airplane weight and we’ll see in a day or so.  I am also determined to get back to the weights – my 7.7 miles yesterday crippled me with the lower back again so I need to continue to work through that and fix it as well.

A few more pics from the trip:

An awesome time and in my new swimsuit!!

Honest reporting and en route to being better,



The Elusive Dead Hang T2B after 8 Yrs

I have finally done a real T2B!!!!

Started out in Friday Crossfit doing a 50 cal assault bike which DID NOT steal my soul this time…


and ended with some T2elbows and I realized I could just go to bar…. Last year just before my shoulder injury I did T2B but with a jump and swing in front of it. This is what wore out my shoulders a ton before I ultimately tore one.

Pretty dang happy I can do 2 in a row and I also did 6×5 reps dead hang pullups.  Getting Stronger!


Oh The Drama…Ups and Downs

Now that I am succeeding without fear in my scuba class (4 of 6 classes complete), I did my run test after it around 10:45pm.  This is a 5k to see how I do vs. a month ago.  My lower back hurt and I felt like I was stuck at a slow pace I’d been training at for low HR training during the warmup.  First night trying my headlamp also.  Kenny saw me on the way out the door and said he was going to bed.

First mile I just tried to pick it up vs. the warmup and when I heard it was 8:57, I was psyched!  Middle part always the toughest so stayed steady and tried to pick it up at the end.  I was afraid when I passed our house the lights would be out (total deflater as it would be truly me all alone in the middle of the night next to a bunch of woods containing who knows what!) but they were not.

Results below – took off 1:30 off my time with 8:46 pace!  YES!

Week of 12/17/18 Week of 1/23/2019
Avg HR 156 159
Max HR 169 169
Avg Pace 9’12” 8:46
Time to complete 29’39” 28’08”
Rating 3 (1 is best) 3 (if I slowed pace after, could have run a lot after)
Conditions 33F, neighborhood loop 3.2 miles, after work 39F, started at 10:45pm, neighborhood loop, did 10 min warmup. Each mile is a bit faster. (8:57, 8:43, 8:42)
SPM 155 Avg 157