Enjoying the Journey, Strength, Open Water Swimming, Recovery

If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter,

for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself,

Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.

The intense beauty of Istanbul is all well and good but it did smash through my workout plans for last week. There was little strength training beforehand and none out there at all although I did manage 7 miles on a Treadmill and a WOD that I’d programmed for long haul flights.

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Unfortunately, the run was in minimalist shoes…cue getting up for my flight the next day and collapsing in a fit of one-legged agony at 0430, my left calf as solid as the marble on the mosque roof on the other side of the dawn-bathed Bosphorus. It wasn’t exactly funny at the time but imagine the inevitable pain that comes another 24 hours later! Saturday morning, trying to get down the stairs to the Action Princesses was hysterical. Trying to get a cup of tea up to the Chief Warrior Princess was even funnier! It turns out that walking backwards up stairs isn’t very clever either (unless you like Early Grey covered carpets).

I want to highlight my last post. Before heading out to the continental bridge between Europe and Asia last week, I got a new Clean PR baby! 103.5kg! I kind of brushed over it in my last musings, covering the Level 2 CrossFit Trainer course instead. But hell, I got my first major PR in AGES! Boom and, indeed, SMASH! I put it down to the strength programme, CF Watford’s programming, good nutrition and adequate recovery.

Having a goal is really keeping me motivated at the moment. More than that though, I’m enjoying the process. I’ll be honest, I do enjoy weighing and tracking my food. I love seeing my power output in workouts and I’m pushed to keep writing this blog in the vain hope that someone might read it 😉

Anyway, back in to it today with Day 24 of the AMRAP Plus One Strength Programme and my first proper Open Water Swim training.

Strength

  • Cleans 5 x 1 @ 75% – 77.5kg
  • Cleans 5 x 1 @ 80% – 82.5kg
  • Cleans 5 x 1 @ 85% – 87.5kg
  • Clean Pulls 3 x 3 @ 90% – 92.5kg
  • Halting Clean Deadlift (3 x Knee), Finish (x1), Floating Clean Deadlift (x1) @ 87.5kg

I didn’t warm up completely this morning and felt it in the catch, in the lumbar. It took me all day to unknot it. However, each rep was strong. I’m enjoying this programme.

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Swim

1km Open Water @ Denham Water Ski

Time: approx 24 mins.

Nothing fancy, a chance to try on the new DHB wetsuit (which I love) and get in to the cold water (11C). I plodded around (is there a ‘slow swimming’ verb?) and made my way out in good order. Of course, what noone tells you (unless you actually read triathlon websites! – Ed) is that trying to walk after a 1km swim is REALLY funny! 😀 How I’m expected to run 15km, I’ll never know. Still there’s about 5 weeks until the event – plenty of time 😀 😀

Nutrition

  • Pre-Strength – Banana
  • Breakfast – Porridge, Whey Protein, Milk
  • Snack – Brazil Nuts and Cherries
  • Lunch – Turkey Burgers, 2 x Eggs
  • Snack – Seed Mix
  • Dinner – 2 x Organic Bramley Apple Pork Sausages, tonnes of carrots, broccoli and parsnips.
  • Post-Swim – Whey Protein & Milk, Chicken, Rice, Egg

Total Carbs: 202g (808 KCal)

Total Protein: 211g (844 KCal)

Total Fat: 73g (657KCal)

Open WOD 17.4, Travel WODs

There’s always room to work out


Another work trip this week, another break in training but a welcome one. After conducting 17.4 last Friday, after 4 hours of judging it in total, and after an awesome engine-building session on Monday  (plus more judging), I’ve not been too disheartened to take a little rest this week while off on travels once again.

17.4 was just brilliant, right? Genuinely, I loved it. Back on 16.4 (same workout), I was suffering with flu quite badly. I was also visiting a new job and so decided to Drop-in to CrossFit Watford for the very first time. Charlie (Owner) took one look at me and openly questioned my sanity; I was baggage. Idiotically,  I took my place at the start and proceeded to very slowly lurch my way through 55 Deadlifts. The wallballs made me almost vomit and the rower….did…actually make my vomit. It was criminal. I ended up in a pool of my own fluids, retching, coughing, and 145 reps for the worse.

So this year, at full capacity, I was determined to deliver something better. The aim was 4 Handstand Push Ups.

  • Deadlifts. 4 sets of 10. 1 x 8, 1 x 7. Strong, good form, rapid.
  • Wall Balls. 20, 15, 10, 10. Solid, rapid.
  • Row. Over 1200 cals per hour average.
  • Tiebreak Time: 9:09
  • Handstand Push Ups: 5, 5, 3, 2, 3, 2 (20)

Yes! Yes, I did get 20 HSPU and an increase of 40 over last year, with a final total of 185!  💪 What impressed me most were the Deadlifts; I never expected sets of 10, having planned for sets of 5. I remember last year really struggling with 5s. The atmosphere in the box was absolutely amazing too; we kept the tempo high and energy soaring. By the end of  night, I had definitely my bed.

That score puts me in the top 17% of Individual Men and Top 15% of Masters 35-39 worldwide! 😎

One to go.


But on to this week, and a trip overseas again. Knowing the hotel well, I anticipated the lack of a gym and took playing cards instead. 

Shuffle well. Start clock, turn card over and do what the card tells you, for Time. 

  • Clubs = Push Ups 
  • Hearts = Sit Ups 
  • Diamonds = Burpees 
  • Spades = Air Squats

Aces = 14

Completing it in 22:55 at 7am, I got bored at 5pm so did it again in 22 mins.😂 It’s a little toughie. You might end up with 2 or 3 cards of the same type, which really sucks the strength and happiness. Of course, the beauty of this particular WOD is that it is always different and impossible to get a firm hold on.

I then finished off the day with underwater laps of the small hotel pool, overlooking the beautiful city of Istanbul.

Do you have a ‘go to’ WOD for when you’re away from the box?

Pistols in Turkey, Max Out at Home

Wake up with Determination

Go to Bed with Satisfaction.

Last week saw me traveling again, out to Turkey once more. Knowing the lack of gym, but abundance of space, I decided to make use of what was around and work on some of my weaknesses. As I mentioned in my last post, Handstand Push Ups and Pistols were on the menu. Both of these movements can be practiced anywhere and have considerable gymnastic, strength and agility benefit. However, I personally like to do them on top of a great hotel, overlooking a beautiful city.

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5 Rounds for Time:

  • 10 x Handstand Push Up (Strict)
  • 20 x Pistols (Single Legged Squats, Alternating)
  • 30 x Sit Ups

Time: 15:13 Rx

I really got the hang of pistols for the first time ever. The left leg is by far the most stable at the bottom but I got a good rhythm up; not fast but consistent. The Handstand Push Ups were unbroken for the first 2 rounds,7+3 in the third and then 5+5 and 5+3+2 for the final 2. All Sit Ups were unbroken.

And then a swim 😉

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Despite having fun out there, I didn’t get long and still only had 3 workouts last week. So, getting home I had to put in a bit of ‘catch up’ work. Again though, without being able to get to any equipment, it was a return to bodyweight work over the weekend.

  • Max Effort Push Ups (neither hands nor feet moved throughout, knees never touched the floor)
  • Max Effort Sit Ups (non stop, completely unbroken)
  • Max Effort Air Squats (non stop, completely unbroken)

115 / 300 + (I got bored) / 200+ (daughters got border)

That left me with a nice, relaxing Sunday before heading back to work.

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Monday

AM Snatch Work

20 mins to work to a 1RM

  • 5 x 45 / 45 / 50
  • 3 x 50 / 50 / 55
  • 2 x 60 / 60
  • 1 x 65
  • 1 x 70

After the confidence boost of last week’s Power Snatching, this was another. Ok, so 70kg isn’t a lot but 75kg is my 1RM and it was 0630hrs! Essentially, I’ve not become weaker over this year but have really increased engine. Superb.

PM CrossFit Watford

Strength

Strict Press 5/3/1

  • 5 x 60
  • 3 x 70
  • 1 x 75
  • F @ 80

Equaled my 1RM here. Content.

MetCon

In Pairs, For Time:

54 / 42 / 36 / 30 / 24 / 18 / 12 / 6

  • Thrusters @ 42.5kg
  • Over Bar Burpees

This is a pairs-version of a WOD that has come up twice in the Open. I completed the official version (half the numbers) in 19 mins first time, with considerable illness, and then 15 mins the second time. Doing this in pairs, and hitting 5 reps each time, was outstanding and allowed me to really keep up the pace. My partner struggled with lower back issues and it allowed me to add in a few extras too.

I tell you what….I’m as ready as I’m going to be and really looking forward to the Open!

New PRs, a Rest, Christmas Run Up

Success is Different for Everyone.

Keep a Proper Perspective and do your Personal Best.

I know, it’s been a week since my last confession….er….blog post. My apologies. I’m unsure of the exact level of readership to this; I know I have a grand total of 104 official subscribers but how many actually read this, I wonder? There’re the ‘stats’ but that only records those who have come by the page, not those who read in their inbox. Feel free to drop a quick “hi” at the bottom to let me know you’ve stopped by.

“Hi!”

Anyway, last week was one of those odd ones where I’d intended to write but just couldn’t find the words. You see, it was my Dad’s birthday on Thurs 8th Dec and while I was sat in a plush hotel in Istanbul, with all the time to write something decent, I just couldn’t find the right words. The raw emotion I’d expressed when he died (see the 18 May – My Dad Died posts) obviously there now but I’d wanted to pen something ‘reflective’. What came out was just waffle and it felt forced, and it felt wrong. It’s still sat in the drafts folder so maybe it’ll come out when the time is right.

Regardless, even without words, I’ve been putting out quite a bit of stuff on Twitter and Instagram. See @nomadiccrossfit and #flashwod to see the Christmas Advent Calendar of Fitness! 😉

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Last Wed AM

Prior to flying out to Istanbul, I stopped by CF Watford for the 6 AM Session.

3 x 3 Clean. 80kg. It’s early. Not great, I’ve done more than that before.

For Time: 500m Row, 30 x Push Jerks @ 60kg, 30 x Box Jumps @ 30″, 30 x Hang Power Cleans @ 60kg. I’d have to check my book for the time but I came in extremely happy with all of that, I do remember.

A great way to head off and on to the plane to Turkey!

Last Fri AM

After a late night flight back in to London Heathrow, I made it up for the 6am session on Friday.

3 x 5 Push Press.  80kg, a New PR! Not bad!

Nancy. 5 Rounds for Time: 400m Run & 15 x Overhead Squats w/ 42.5kg: 11:37. A New PR!!

I should fly late more often!

MONDAY

Yep, so it’s Monday again today and I’m down in Plymouth, working from my old gaff, so that I can get to eldest warrior princess’s Christmas show tomorrow. So, no wishing to waste the oppotunity, it’s off to CrossFit Plymouth I go!

30mins to 1RM Snatch

I’ll admit straight away that my morning Snatch programme never really took off. There hasn’t been the regularity that I would have liked due to overseas activities and the Christmas silly season. I think this has been inevitable and I’ve just had to such it up. It certainly won’t get better from here on in.

So,  it is without too much upset that I recorded only a 70kg Snatch. Even that was with 4 failures at that weight.

MetCon 

12 min partner WOD

  • 12 x Thruster @ 50kg
  • 12 x Box Jumps @ 24″
  • 12 x Toes to Bar

Total: 7 Rounds + 7

Working 6 reps each throughout,  I went unbroken on everything.

It was nice to be back in CF Plymouth and to see so many new athletes! It’s such a thriving box in a great city.

Cat town, Beautiful Istanbul, WOD

Prior to our conference, I had a pair of hours to make the most of. It would have been a criminal waste not to experience Istanbul and so got out and about.

Almost quite literally the very first thing I noticed when strolling in to town were the cats. Street cats. Tonnnnnnnes  of ’em. Quite comfortable within the bustle of such a wonderful city, they can be quite vicious when approached directly, especially the tiny kittens. Fed and watered by the locals,  they do make an unusual attraction.

Stopping to take photos, a street vendor approached and said, “You are from England?”. “Yes”, I replied, expecting to be pressed in to buying sugar – crusted bread things.  “Sorry about Europe”, he said, and walked off!!!  Hahaha!!!!! Pitied by the Turks for the collective calamity of a nation. 

Airport Bombing. Ataturk airport was attacked last night by adversaries as yet unidentified.Some 41 were killed, with 239 or so injured. Yet another terrorist incident designed entirely to attack the tourism and economy of this beautiful country. It reaffirmed my desire to fight this fight, to protect those who cannot or will not. Security about town is heavy but relaxed, vigilant but not oppressive, balanced. They’re getting it right. A determined adversary will always find a way through.

Beauty. I cannot emphasise enough the contrasting beauty of this city. Built and rebuilt by conflicting invaders and visitors over the centuries, the influences of the furthest reaches of Asia and Europe are clearly in evidence in the many, many Mosques, bridges and street architecture . This balance and acceptance of all faiths and beliefs is what makes it a target by some but is what makes it such an example to all. It must be supported to continue. 

Before my eyes were able to take in even the cats, the smell got me first. The humidity amplifies the smell of real life in a such a town. Not dirty, life, not sanitised. It’s a warm, musky blanket of sweet, spices, sour, sea salt, local trees and, quite likely, some cats. I have in fact been very taken by the very clean streets. So much effort is made to keep it clean, it us very impressive.

Turkish Delight. It would be quite churlish to visit Turkey and not take back some Turkish Delight.  In fact, I think it would be quite dangerous to return to Mrs Nomad or GrAnnie Nomad without some fresh TD. It’s just not a risk I’d like to take 😉 On going to pay, in broken English came the question, “From England?” Half expecting another Brexit sympathy pat on the back, I actually had, “Prince William? Kate? “. “Yes!” I smiled, leaving with 750g of Almond, Rose and Pistachio.

Workout of the Day

I had planned on visiting CrossFit Taxim but alas it is shut for Ramadan. The hotel gym has treadmills and some dumbbells but nothing else. Therefore, I quickly put put together :

3 Rounds For Time:

  • 10 x Pistol Squats
  • 30 x Push Ups
  • 50 x Mountain Climbers

Time: 7:56

Very staccato and broken.  Challenged by the single leg squats and the push ups today.

But what a view!

Istanbul, Bottling Motivation, Attacks

Ok, so I opened my eyes at 0300 but the day didn’t really start until I sat down in Blumenthal’s for Poached Eggs and Bacon (Nitro Cafe) and lots of Black coffee. On my way to Istanbul for a conference.


Sugar cravings. Standing, waiting by A17, I just couldn’t get over pining for sugar. Nipping in to WHSmith, i treated myself to a cocoa Naked Bar and Upbeat protein drink. Treat.

Plane food. Egg cheese pastry thing with red pepper and spinach. Tiny plum cake. 

Creed. I’ve never been a boxer, and boxing tends to bore me like football, but the Rocky series is always such a motivational movie franchise. Watching Creed on the plane, I feel like I want to train right now, on the plane. How Do You Bottle This Feeling??!! Start using physical anchoring techniques, I think. Comment below for details

Istanbul Airport Attack. The airport here has just been attacked. 2 bombs and small arms fire, at least 10 dead. We flew in here this morning and are now further West. All safe. Monitoring news. Have not felt this this motivated in my career since 7/7 attacks. I am right here. I HATE that my daily work in the military has no genuine effect to the security of my country or partners. Sitting beyond a f’ing keyboard all day long. REALLY? ??

They Will Be Defeated.

I

Training. No training today. I was planning on a run tomorrow morning but will remain close to hotel.