Monday, September 30, 2013

License to Suck

The Out of Steam Punks finally did their first Elite (6 hour) Pangea Adventure Race. And lived to tell the tale. I'm not going to lie, I only went along with this because Dave really wanted to...and as I've mentioned before, I've dragged him into enough stuff over the years, I owed him.

The day dawned bright and sunny. It rained off and on a lot of the day. But honestly, since it's still hot as balls in Florida, it was nice. We pulled Boat to start. I like the canoe well enough, I think it's actually my strongest of the three, but that doesn't mean I necessarily love it. But the water was beautiful, calm and the best part of moving up to Elite came into play: we got to use our kayak paddles! Yay! That made for a really pleasant paddle. We noticed that not only were we going faster with less effort, we were tracking much straighter as well.  It took us a few more minutes to find CP 13 than I would have liked,  (it was on an island, in from the shore line a bit) but not too bad. CP 14 was up a little creek and feeling pretty confident that we would NOT clear the course on our first Elite anyways, we let it go to save time to use elsewhere.

I'm sure there were lots of gators and turtles on the river here, but I didn't see a damn thing. I did startle a heron on the island near CP 13, so there's that.

Back to the Main TA and off on the Foot/Tube section. Tube? Whaaaaa? Yup, the race was held at Blue Springs State Park. So after grabbing a few CPs on foot, we had to grab a tube and find four CPs near the boil and along the spring run. As a result, I saw something I have never seen, nor likely will ever see again. Dave, who is usually the biggest weenie in the history of ever when it comes to getting in the cold, spring water, jumped right in! It was way refreshing and a great little addition to the race. Not that it was a relaxing float. Unless you have ever wandered too close to a gator, I doubt you realize how difficult it is too move swiftly on a tube. And I didn't even get to see the manatees the other teams reported were in the area. Dang.

A tragedy, really.

After that it was time for the Bike portion. Blue Springs has several miles of really nice, beginner friendly single-track. Earlier in the summer we went there with our son and we all really dug the trails. Of course, we could have done without all the "tiny spiders" back then. Every time we stopped for a quick break my son would say, "I've got these little spiders on me." I, not paying attention because I am a failure as a parent, would say "Oh, just brush them off." It wasn't till we stopped for a snack I looked down at my feet and the "little spiders" were ticks! Lots and lots of them. Needless to say I think we rode the last bit of the trail that day faster than I did on Saturday. Well, I know I did. The gearing on my bike was frozen and as a result when were weren't on the single track (pavement or hard dirt road) I couldn't ride anywhere near as fast I would have normally because I couldn't change gears most of the time.

I felt like reenacting the Bike Toss from the Boar AR.

Onward and upward, we got all the CPs and headed back. Seriously though you guys, those trail were really cool. Great for families and those wanting some single track but aren't ready for big obstacles and challenges, like yours truly.

After getting our final punch card we took off on the bike again. Not gonna lie, I wasn't tired really, or cramping up or anything. I was just over the bike. Between the gears not working properly and that dang tiny seat turning me into a...what's the female equivalent of a eunuch? And let's be honest, I hadn't even ridden my bike for the past couple months. No, I'm not kidding. And I only run two or three miles every week or two. But as you know if you are a regular reader of this blog, I Crossfit. So it was a bit of an experiment personally, to see just how far Crossfit alone would get me. 

I'm so sorry, guys. 
No, I'm not.

So we rode the couple of miles on a grassy/sandy road. Not my finest moment, but we got there. Dave and I switched bikes about a mile in, and oh sweet relief! Once we got to the Bike TA we got additional coordinates and took off into the swamp. Fine, only part of the trail was swampy, and the water was cool at least. So I had that going for me at least. Which is nice.

On the way to the swamp we did our good deed of the day for another team who may or may not have lost the slip of paper with the additional CP coordinates/clues on it. As if I can say no to cute Adventure Racers. 

No. No, I cannot.

The next bit Dave really dug. It was some real orienteering where you had to find one CP, and then take a new heading from that point to find another, and then another. I understand how he did it, but it was definitely one of those times when I felt like, "Yeah, if you didn't do this with me, I wouldn't find half these CPs." Which, I dunno, might not be totally true. I've been tempted to grab a girlfriend and try a Sport Race without Dave, and do the navigating. One of these days, maybe. It kinda bugs me that I don't really do anything besides try to keep up and be the rabbit. I do hold the punch card and read the clues, ya know the same job our son could do when he races with us. 

Anywhine, time started getting short, so we left two CPs out there and headed for home. It was on that two (?) miles back to the Bike TA that I would say the length of the race made itself known to us. Neither of us could maintain our Adventure Race Shuffle (easy jog we usually maintain for all of the Trek portion of Sport Races) due to our legs starting to cramp up/general muscle fatigue. But we still kept a move-on. I can do a pretty quick power walk, faster than Dave can keep up with. He would jog ahead and then walk, so we kept leap frogging each other until we hit the Bike TA. It wasn't pretty, but it worked.

I stole Dave's bike again on the way back. My legs were definitely getting fatigued by now, but my Crossfitter brain (I'm so, so sorry. No, I'm not.) kicked in, "15 more minutes, tops. You can do anything for 15 minutes." We nabbed CP 34 on the way back. Kinda proud of myself for figuring that one out myself, thank you very much. Then took off for home. It was (literally) all down hill from there.

We ended up in 16th. Out of 24 teams. Hence, the title to this post. Had we placed that low in a Sport Class Race, not gonna fib, we'd be pretty disappointed. But for our first Elite? We'll take it. Since it was our first go and we hadn't done any additional training, hell -we hadn't done any specific training, I figured we'd earned the license to suck. Next time, not so much. 

Will we do another Elite? I wouldn't rule it out by any means. But for now, the Sport Class is more fun and still provides me with a sense of accomplishment upon completion. The Elite's pain to fun/accomplishment scale tipped a wee bit far onto the pain side for my liking, without additional training anyways. So why not do a little more dedicated training? Because life. I really, really enjoy doing Crossfit. That really takes up all of my "fitness" time. And the thing is, regardless of the fact that I actually look forward to going every day, I really do think it gives me, personally, the most bang for my buck in relation to what it allows me to do vs time spent at the gym. Last year, when we started doing Crossfit, we quit regularly just going for runs and riding the bicycles, and that's (oddly) when we started seeing real improvements in our Sport Class finishes. But to place well at Elite? No, I don't think Crossfit alone is enough. A little more endurance work is called for, I think. More work I just don't have the time, nor frankly desire, to do.

All that said, the Super Hero was another wonderfully well organized race by the Pangea Team. Everyone is so super friendly and supportive, the staff and the fellow racers. A shout out to the Canyoneros  for their kind words of welcome to the Elite Class while we were on the Foot/Tube trail and congrats on your awesome finish! 

Also, a big way to go to You're Dead to Me on their great Sport Class finish. They are local friends of ours and we love having a beer with them post race. They rock...and kick my ass when I occasionally get down to Vero for one of the Adventure Training Classes they coach.

We are adorable. And sweaty. And sandy. A lovely combination. 

Till next time, stay dirty my friends. And remember this:

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Going topless

Well that title is sure going to screw with people's search results, no? If you came here for pics of topless crossfitters I apologize for my cunning ruse. Might I suggest r/gonewild? I don't think a lot of those ladies are crossfitters but they are topless. And lots of times bottomless. Bless their hearts. So why the title? 

                                       Because this has been happening off and on at my box:
If you don't like to see imperfect bodies in sports bras then,
I'm sorry f*ck you, you're reading the wrong blog.

I had been talking to Dave awhile ago about the idea that, judging from what I've seen and heard on the interwebs, there are a lot more chicks just sporting the sports bra during/after WODs at other boxes than our own. Which kinda makes me a sad panda because I am a nudist at heart, and more importantly, did I mention I live in Florida and there is no air conditioning at our gym? And let's be honest it's the first damn time in my life I feel comfortable taking my shirt off in public! But noooooooo, even the fittest chicks at our box rarely take their tops off. As a result, and I don't think I'm speaking for myself here, those of us with less than perfect bodies are left thinking, "Well, hell. If SHE isn't taking her shirt off, I sure as hell can't."

And then one day during a Team WOD I looked over and my friend (in green above) was rocking just the sports bra. So I told her how I had been feeling about it. We both agreed that if chicks like us lost their tops every now and again, then other women (who wanted to, but were too intimidated) would feel more comfortable doing it. Or at the very least, we would. 

So now we do. Not everyday mind you, but when we are especially overheated and/or feeling bad-ass. Which we were yesterday. Both over-heated and feeling bad-ass. The first Lurong Challenge WOD was yesterday's WOD for our gym. Coach smoked us of course, but we all finished well under the time cap. 

So yeah...the shirts came off.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Looking good, Billy Ray!

So I got to see this guy Saturday night:
Oh, to be those hands.

With these guys:
Thank you Holden, for being into Maroon 5 and not One Direction. Thank you.

Badger judges the author for putting a naked pic of Adam Levine so close to one of her family.

Anyways, the Lurong Paleo Challenge (finally) started on Monday. Yay! Seriously you guys, I really needed the rigidity of the program; knowing I gots to do right by my team, really helps get me back on track. Now I'm back to feeling like my old Badass-self again.

Gratuitous tire-flipping-beast-mode pic.

I got on the scale on Monday for the first time in weeks. Yeah I know, very weird for me. That's how off the rails and in denial I was, I. Didn't. Even. Want. To Know. That's how I know I've wandered back into disordered-eating land. As a result, I was perilously close to hitting a number I swore I would never see again. Like, one pound from it.


But that said, I weighed myself this Wednesday morning and I am already down 5.5lbs. Which sounds crazy, but not when you understand the Paleo/Not Paleo thing. Major water retention/bloating. Let's not beat around the bush with these numbers shall we? I hate when people do that. I was 199 Monday morning, 193.6 this morning. There I said it. I fully intend to get into the 170s by the time this Challenge is over, I'd really like to see some 160s, but that may be pushing it. We shall see. I am willing to trade any new Crossfit PRs (for the next couple months) in exchange for losing more fat. I've been dabbling a bit in r/fitness and other like-minded places around the intertubes. My big takeaway has been that you don't have to lose muscle to lose fat, but it's extremely difficult to build muscle and lose fat at the same time. Thanks to the past year of Crossfit, I have a lot of muscle. More than I have ever had in my entire life. But it's time for a "cut" as they say in the weight-lifting circles. I'm ready. It's time.

That said, here's the plan for this Challenge. All the meats and vegetables. Only one (two, if I really need it) servings of fruit per day. No nuts as snacks. If they are in a recipe, fine. I reserve the right to check new recipes/food combos on Myfitnesspal to make sure there are no surprises. However, I will not be logging every meal on MFP. Though I will be paying much closer attention to portion/serving sizes. There will be no more "Just cause it is Paleo, I get to eat as much as I want." I sorta did that on the Whole 30, and even though it was a very good experience, I did not lose any weight on it. Which I could have had I known then what I know now.

"You know better, you do better," as Ms. Angelou so eloquently put it.

So what have I eaten the past few days? I'm so glad you asked! 

Breakfast -  Bacon and eggs, with 1/2 an avocado one morning, a banana a different morning.
Lunch - Canned tuna with a salad of romaine and carrots w/ balsamic vinegar/olive oil. Raspberries.
             Left over tuna steak and a hard boiled egg over a salad. Raspberries.
             Left over brussel sprouts and sweet potato/ground beef hash with a hard boiled egg and an apple.
Dinner -   Tuna Steak and Spinach
                Brussel sprouts and sweet potato/ground beef hash
               Tonight looks like a shrimp stir-fry with zucchinni and probably half a sweet potato.

For the record, I only get into this "what I stuff in my mouth hole posts" during Paleo Challenges. I always have non-Paleo friends asking, "So what DO you eat?" Umm, lots of stuff? So this is just a way to say, "SEE! HERE! It's not all bacon and steak." 

Though to be fair...there is a lot of bacon and steak.
                                           The Oatmeal is my hero. (pic more bigger here)

Thursday, September 12, 2013

I'm ready to get dirty, how about you?

It's Fall! Ok, not really...but the oak trees outside my house seems to think so. Do you know the mother-loving oak trees in Florida will lose their leaves more than once a year? Can you believe that? Assholes.

I take that back. I'm sorry, big shady oak trees. You are beautiful and keep my house cool(ish) and protect my house from high winds and you let me hang swings for my son, and wind chimes and birdhouses from you. And you house the squirrels which are so entertaining to both me and Badger. But you also harbor those little murderous bastard raccoons, too.

Huh. You're complex allies indeed, Oak Trees.

Anyrambletoinatimateobjects, Dave and I sat down and (just about) figured out our fall race schedule so here goes...with bonus what-I-hope-to-accomplish for each:

September 28th -  Pangea Super Hero Adventure Race - 6 Hour Elite Class

Check it out here.

Honestly, I really have next to zero interest in doing a 6 hour race. We normally do the 3 hour races. But we won 50% off an Elite Class registration months ago, for coming in 3rd in a SC race. And Dave really wants to do it. (sigh) I've dragged him into enough crap over the years, so it's the least I can do. Ok, well clearly it's not the least I could do. But it won't kill me. Well, not likely anyways.

The cool part is it is at Blue Springs SP, which we visited early in the summer. The bike trails are actually really nice single track MTB trails, so I'm looking forward to hitting those again. Hopefully not literally, but probably. I always end falling at least once a race, somehow.

Goal = Same as our first Sport Class two years ago; don't die and try not to finish too pathetically far behind everyone else.

October 19th - So here's our conundrum, do we do the Savage Race in Tampa?

Info here.

or the Lighterknot Adventure Race in Bunnell?
Aaaaand here.

It sounds like the Savage Race, in regards to obstacles, is on par with the Tough Mudder. But it's only 5-6 miles. If we do the Lighterknot, we're just doing the three hour, because for some ungodly reason the Elite Class is 8 hours for this race.  

To which I say:

Savage Race = No pressure. Goal = to have fun.
Adventure race = Parts of every race make me question my sanity and choice in life partner, but we always have a huge sense of accomplishement when we are done regardless of how we finish on the leaderboard. Goal = to win.

Decisions, decisions. Dave says he prefers the Lighter Knot, but if some friends are going to do the Savage, he'll do that. So hit me up people.

November 2nd - Tough Mudder
Because why the hell not?

Seriously. It's only an hour away from us this time. For the record, I am NOT doing the electric obstacles this time. Screw that noise. But I'm down with the rest. The shorter Mud/Obstacle races don't usually compare to Adventure races in terms of "accomplishment" with the exception (to me) of the Tough Mudder. 
Goal= Jog a LOT more between obstacles (if conditions allow) and finish in under 4 hours. 

November 9th - Vero Beast
Local Crossfitters click this.

Hoooooly kettlebells boys and girls! The Riding Librarian is entered in her first Crossfit Competition! Because I still kind of suck, I'll be doing the Scaled Division, but whatevs. Incidentally, it is apparantly only open to members of the Ft Pierce, Vero and Sebastian boxes, but feel free to show up and cheer for me/carry me to the waaaaahmbulance aftewards. 
Goal = to win. Yeah. Really not likely to happen, but since I am competeing comfortably within my skill set, I am planning on really giving it my all. 

November 23rd - Dirty Girl Mud Run
Info here.
This is just a 5K, but I'm really looking forward to it. And yes, I know how freaking pretentious saying "just a 5K" sounds. But please give me this. I know there are lots of people who are currently training their butts off to get in shape just so they can particpate in this very run. And here I am seeing it as a no-biggee, zero pressure day out with some awesome girlfriends...not a care in the world whether or not I can complete it. But please forgive me and let the Patti of 3 years ago stand agape at the girl of today, and hate her just a little bit. In a good way. 
Goal = get dirty and have a lot of laughs with my Fluff Dog.

Aside from all the races/competitions over the next few months, I'm looking at a getaway to Key West for Fantasy Fest, a FL Chapter Women in the Wind Rally, a Concours Owner's Group Rally, my son's first concert (Maroon 5), and more mayhem to go unmentioned. Life is good.

Oh and did I tell you my neighbor is opening up a bar (tomorrow) within walking distance of my house? 

Yeah. This won't end well. 

Off the rails

The Lurong Challenge is just 4 days away. And it cannot. Get. Here. Fast. Enough. For you see, knowing I'm about to start a fairly strict, two month long eating plan has kicked my particular brand of disordered eating into high gear, the past week or so especially.

"Go ahead, eat what you want...BINGE even!" my brain says. "You're about to get super strict and you're going to lose a ton of weight in the next couple months! You know what? If you eat a bunch of crap now you'll be so sick of it you won't even miss it!"

I've know I've used this pic before, but it's never been more appropriate.

Yesterday for example: two chocolate chip cookies with cream filling in the middle and a bagel with butter (a BAGEL, for the love of Gallifrey!) for breakfast. For lunch, a 1/2 sub (a SUB!?! Though to be fair a couple of years ago I would have bought a whole sub, AND ate the whole thing, so there's that...I guess) along with a cup of watermelon and not one, but two (Because king-size dont'cha know) BIG peanut butter cups. And for afternoon snack, what probably amounted to nearly 2 cups of peanut/raisin/m&m trail mix.


So wrappers have been unsuccessfully hidden, receipts thrown away, the credit card used to buy food (if you can call it that) instead of the debit card, because then my husband will see that I stopped somewhere and how much I spent.

Fuck. Me.

I am not a smart woman.

So, naturally by 4:00 yesterday afternoon I felt like shit. But to be honest, I didn't feel too (mentally) low about it, because again, in the back of my mind, I'm thinking, "This is temporary. I'll get my shit together come Monday and all will be fine." Then I made the mistake of talking to my usually wonderfully supportive husband about how I've been eating and how I've made myself sick with it. To make a long story short, we broke the first rule of martial contentment in that only one of us is allowed to be crazy at a time. I'm not saying he was crazy per se, but he was tired mentally and physically and wasn't in the right frame of mind to deal with my neurosis. So instead of feeling supported I felt, really, really judged. And like I have been letting him down by my eating habits lately. Which of course really sent me down the shame spiral.

It got ugly.

Why a picture of a puppy here? Because I just google-imaged the word "ugly." Don't ever do that.

But thank Glassman, I went to Crossfit after work. And I RXed a workout not many people chose to, and I was really proud of my performance. And I remembered who I was. A badass. A BAMF that can accomplish anything she puts her mind too.

Dealing with my ED is not a one time battle, it's a war that will never completely end for the rest of my life, I imagine. The lines of occupation may shift on occasion, but I have the weapons I need to succeed. I just need to keep fighting.

I hesitated to write about this for the same reason that Dave's choice in words hurt me so much yesterday. I have been told by some really awesome people that I am an inspiration to them. So to lose control of myself so badly the past week has me feeling like a fraud and a failure.


But then again, I'm not being authentic if I let my blog or my FB page make it seem like this whole eating-right, active lifestyle thing is always easy. Because it's not. We all need to realize that the path to wellness is not a straight line. It's a meandering path. And one that you're occasionally going to lose sight of. But it's up to you to keep your eyes open and realize when you've lost the trail and then do all within your power to get back on it. 

Because you will. And so will I.