Category Archives: Rest Day

Day of Fathers

Today Yael let me sleep in (I slept until almost 8:00 am!). Then she brought me coffee and the Sunday NYT in bed. According to me, this is the holy trinity.

Later, brunch at Jesse and V’s with their baby Annalise. Beautiful. We all went on a walk, and I had a good time walking around with Lena.

Then: Lena took a good nap. I talked with my dad, then managed finally to rebuild and restore my old blog, which I had crashed pretty badly two days ago. Then I took the dogs out for a good long 2 mile walk in the neighborhood. I wore my Vibram Five Fingers. It was a light rest day walkabout, really fun. I met some guy named James riding his longboard. The whole walk got me thinking about skateboarding. I haven’t gone in months.

In a few minutes: a 3 year old’s birthday party and father’s day gathering at Mike’s. Later: relaxation and some yoga stretching, getting ready for the return of the WOD tomorrow.

Happy Father’s Day everyone!

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Yoga to the Rescue. Swimming at the YMCA.

Crossfit is great. I love it, and, barring actual physical disability, at this point in my life I plan always to do it, or apply its principles to what I do.

Did you sense the “however” approaching? Yes, it’s here. “However,” I see this morning that there are times when CrossFit will not be enough. In particular, CrossFit seems ill equipped for relief and recuperation from pain associated with acute injury. For that you need something else.

Two days ago, I sprained the muscles of my lower ribs (both sides) on my back during the CrossFit Asheville WOD “In the Fight.” I regard this as my own fault. Four problems contributed to the injury. (1) rushing the movement; (2) Straining with my face and body beyond the force required to complete the motion; (3) a lapse in form caused by fatigue; (4) itself exacerbated by training on what should have been a rest day. More simply put, on Thursday am I was already stiff and sore in my lower back from the previous day’s workout, and I should have stayed home; instead I worked out and pushed myself too hard and hurt myself.

You can’t deadlift yourself out of back pain… I think. (Actually, I’ll ask Corey, Shanna, and Randy what they think about that.) But in any case, I knew yesterday morning immediately, as I cringed just getting out of bed, that a CrossFit WOD was probably not the correct prescription for my aching back. After all, the WOD was a “back squat” and then a grueling partner WOD involving two men lifting 7000 pounds from ground to overhead (in somewhere between 52-156 reps). Even if the reps are shared, I needed rest, first and foremost.

I also needed some kind of movement to get blood flowing in my back, to keep range of motion going, and to relieve acute pain. YOGA to the rescue. It’s days like yesterday, and today, where I am grateful that I have several years of Yoga practice under my belt.

Saturday AM Yoga Practice

Today, I began the day with posterior-chain focused Yoga stretching. Cat Cow, Child’s Pose, Warrior 1, forward bend, pigeon, cobbler, hurdler’s stretch, etc. Basically, trying to get full range of motion into a mid-back that feels fused and frozen.

Swimming at the Y

Yesterday, I spent some time in the pool with my family. That was fun, and in the pool all my back pains went straight away. It’s amazing what some zero-gravity play can do.

So today, I went to the YMCA during Lena’s nap. I swam maybe 10 to 12 laps, with various strokes, in the lap pool, and then did some stretching and pool calisthenics in the warmer family swim pool, using some pool noodles as flotation aids.

Then some time in the steam room.

Yoga Stretching in the Evening

I did some rolling and stretching and sitting again in the evening. It was good for me. By the end of the day it began to be clear that the pain I have been suffering is muscular rather than skeletal (thank god) and will inevitably subside if I care for it properly.

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Laying Low

Oh my back hurts. I think I will survive and recover fully. I’ve dealt with this combination of stiffness and immobility with aching pain before. It’s muscular and connective tissue related, as far as I know. It’s like I sprained the lower ribs of my back. It WILL get better.

So today I rest. Update tomorrow.

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Rebuilding Sites (Rest Day)

I’ve been trying to listen to my body lately. And this morning, when I got out of bed, it was telling me it needed 24 more hours to recover and rebuild from yesterday’s WOD (and last week’s fullness).

I am so sore today: especially my traps and lats and other upper back muscles. I guess it was the hang power cleans (30 reps total is a lot of work) combined with the pull-ups and squats. A tiredness and soreness aggravated by the 600 pounds of concrete I emptied out of my truck on a run to the dump.

I ate a lot of food yesterday and plan to eat more today. “Not too much,” to paraphrase Michael Pollan. But enough to help rebuild all the broken down sites on my body.

I’ll be going down to CrossFit Asheville to help them with the re-installation of the blog later today. I hope that goes OK!

I guess that means my WOD is: team install a custom WP site, for time.

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The Reset Button

I think it’s interesting that people still use the phrase “hit the reset button” (I find around a hundred thousand hits for this phrase on google) when it has been decades since electronic devices actually included an official “reset button.”

The “reset button” is a powerful concept. One switch allows the whole program or system to reboot from scratch. Thus it removes the influence of any malicious codes or unfortunate circumstances arise in the course of use, causing the machine to falter and malfunction.

Yesterday morning, while groping through the mental and physical fog that Friday night’s indulgences had earned me, I knew I would need to “hit the reset button” on my diet and health program. In other words, I needed to take a decisive and effective action that could give me a fresh start.

On Friday I had managed to binge on more than 3400 calories, and drank too much alcohol. Even though the alcohol was all consumed in the name of having a fun and social time with friends — and it didn’t ever seem excessive at the time — the hangover it gave me was a sure sign that I was off track with my dietary program. I hadn’t felt anything like that in many months. Binge drinking and excessive eating easily go together. Alcohol contains a lot of empty calories (there are about 14 grams of alcohol per conventional “drink,” and each gram contains 7 calories), and it also blunts your judgment. So if you are a person who has ever shown tendencies towards over-eating, they are likely to emerge and take control during an alcohol binge.

For me, if I “reset” my program, the “default mode” is alcohol free. Not only does that save you calories, it safeguards your conscious control of decision making around food. So, in the end, I did decide to ‘hit the reset button.’ The result was that I forswore the juice for about ten days. I will make an exception for 2 drinks, a week from today, at a friend’s birthday party, but other than that will not drink again until Thursday the 25th of June. Naturally, I also intend to keep my calories in check during the same period.

It’s a good decision. At least, in the clear and pleasant light of this Sunday morning, my body tells me so.

Running the Numbers: The Past Week in Review

It’s been a big week in numerous ways.

Diet: According to the (estimated) totals found in my food journal, I averaged 2767 calories per day, which is about 40 calories more per day than last week.

Weight and Body-Fat: During the course of the week the lowest weight I observed was 181.6 (Tuesday morning after workout), the highest weight I observed was 186.0 (last Sunday night after dinner). The highest body fat percentage I observed was 16 (first thing Sunday and Tuesday mornings) and the lowest was 13 (Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday afternoon). Today I expect to weigh in at 183 and 13% body fat, which will be my first ever weigh-in at 13%!

Workouts: During this week I did five workouts at CrossFit Asheville, jogged a leisurely 5k with Alex, and completed days 28 (Wed), 29 (Fri), and 30 (Sat) of my Pull-Up Challenge. I created a baseline time for myself on Grace (Tuesday) and a new 1 rep max PR on the Front Squat (Friday). My workouts were focused and intense and fun.

All in all a good week.

Realistically, then, why this talk, above, about “the reset button.” I am looking beyond “good” to “outstanding.” And yes, I am looking even beyond outstanding towards the unattainable ideal.

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Rest Active: Walk, Run and Eat

Stayed up too late and was driven to bed too early. My legs are sore today from yesterday’s sprinting and box-jumps. I would gladly have laid around all day with no activity at all. But it was not to be. My old running partner from Chicago grad school days, Alexander Mawyer, is visiting us with his family in tow, and when you have visitors, it’s always an active time.

Short Walking Tour of Asheville Downtown

And so we spent the morning, after a leisurely breakfast, doing a walking tour of downtown Asheville, about 1.6 miles up and down the hill.

Jogging the Dog Slide 5k

Then, when we got back, Alex insisted on taking me out for a “run,” so I insisted on the Dog Slide 5k Route. I felt incredibly able and light on my feet during this very slow run. To keep things interesting, I worked on my pose running techniques, and also threw in some carioca steps, some wall jumps, and some backwards jogging. Really the “run” was a “jog” because our time was about 34 minutes.

… and Eat

This was a day of moving from meal to meal. A day of treats and feasts. Between the focus on eating, and the rainy weather, it was Sunday on a Thursday. The only letdown was that Friday then becomes… a Mental Monday.

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Reflection and Rest.

A day of rest, and private reflection.

This week… or is it the past three weeks? … I relaxed a number of “controls” on my eating. I have been aware of the problem, but haven’t done anything about it.

The scale reads two and a half pounds higher than it did last week, at the same body fat percentage (184, 14%).

The numbers don’t lie, but I’m not sure how reliable the individual data points may be. Whatever I may have gained, the difference in weight most likely corresponds to a calorie surplus for the week. I do journal all my eating. This week I averaged 2700 calories per day. I don’t know how many calories of that might be surplus. I do know that working out hard five times this week (4 crossfit workouts and the 5k) could have produced an anabolic reaction, a need for new muscle synthesis. But I could not produce 2 pounds worth. So the best that I can say is that some of the weight difference is water, some is digestive system, some is fat, some muscle. The scale data gives a 0.4 increase in pounds of fat for the week, but caveat emptor.

Bottom line is: I’ll have to do better during this upcoming week. I’m going to try to eat and drink and live more like the champion I want to be.

In other, happier news, I did acquire a cool new article of gear, the Vibram® brand “Five Fingers” shoes which are like gloves for your feet.

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