Well, well well. Hello again! Somehow, we find ourselves already one week into June! I don’t know how that happens! On that same note, here I am 74 days into my restriction of refined and added sugar, WHAT! At this point, there’s less than 20 days left in my own little challenge, less than 3 weeks until the Pleasant Prairie Triathlon, less than 2 weeks left in the Lurong Summertime Living Challenge, and most importantly, a few days until my little sister Jenny returns from South Africa. As you may recall (or may not know) this whole “let’s give up added sugar” challenge began on Easter, the day before Jenny left for SA, when I was sitting with her as she packed, pondering if in the 10 weeks she was gone, I could try to better myself by eliminating my refined sugar intake. After I began my own challenge, I learned my crossfit gym would also be partaking in the Lurong Summertime Living Challenge, which began in mid-May and extended into mid-June. This would extend my “challenge” another week, bringing me to June 19, but as I looked at my calendar, I realized that I was registered for the Pleasant Prairie Triathlon on June 26th, which would make an even 90 days of no refined sugar. 74 days in, I am still going strong, and remarkably happy I decided to make this change in my life. I am also training for Ironman 70.3 Steelhead, and race day is QUICKLY approaching. I’ve been testing my body and asking it to work really hard for me, so giving my body the right foods both for recovery and in preparation for the next workout, without adding any crap in there, is the best practice for me. Sure, sometimes it seems as though I am no fun (especially since I made one of my goals for Lurong to be alcohol free), but by this point, I don’t really care, because I know what’s best for me.
someone is enjoying S.A.
So that’s a brief recap on the last 70ish days, and now to update with more specifics. Though it sometimes feel like we never stop moving, Kevin and I have done A LOT of different things over the past couple weeks! Of course, we’ve been swimming, running, and biking, but in the process, we’ve also been able to try a couple new and exciting things! And because I like lists, I’ll pick my top 3 and go from there.
#3 Hydrostatic Body Fat Testing
A few weeks back, our crossfit gym hosted a company that comes in to various gyms to do hydrostatic body fat tests. How this works is you are weighed once on dry land and then a few times on an underwater scale. Since body fat is less dense than water, it floats, as opposed to your bone density, muscle mass, connective tissue, things of that nature, which is more dense than water. Comparing you dry land weight, to your underwater weight, your percentage of body fat can be measured! I’ve never undergone this before and jumped at the chance to try. It was pretty cool, getting in this tub, submerging myself, and trying to exhale as much as possible (in order to get the most accurate reading). My results weren’t too surprising, as I know I have things to work on, and they were definitely motivating. However, the test provided more information than just “this is how fat you are.” It also provided my metabolic rate, indicating based on the amount of weight I have for my muscles, bones, and tissues, how many calories I need on a daily basis just for basic function alone. So, if I were to lie in bed and do nothing all day long I would still burn 1633 calories! What a fun fact! Based on this number, it also provided information about the amount of calories I should aim for on a daily basis. The test also indicated how much weight in pounds of fat I would need to lose to get to various body fat percentages. Overall, it was a pretty interesting experience. I learned a lot of useful information that took a lot of guess work out of figuring out caloric needs, along with caloric expenditure. Helpful in terms of meal planning, especially on hard training days when I know I’m burning a couple thousand calories from long workouts! This information, along with my recent purchase of an AMAZING food scale has definitely made life substantially easier for me, which is an all around A+.
#2 Memorial Day: The Murph
Not to make this post all about Crossfit, but the Murph definitely was a force to be reckoned with, and therefore earns a spot on the list. For those who are unfamiliar, the Murph is a workout done on (or around) Memorial Day in remembrance of Lieutenant Michael Murphy, a Navy SEAL who was killed in June 2005, in Afghanistan, after exposing himself to enemy fire in order to get a clear signal to communicate with his headquarters to provide his unit’s location and request support. He died from the wounds he received, and post humorously was awarded the Medal of Honor and the Purple Heart.
The workout, said to be one of his favorite workout, is: a one mile run, 100 pull ups, 200 push ups, 300 air squats, and a one mile run, for time. It is also to be completed with an 8-20lb body weight vest, but that’s not required.
In celebration of Memorial Day, our box hosted the workout followed by a BBQ the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend. As soon as I received the invite I was all in for this! It sounded super rough, but at the very least I knew I could handle the mile before and after. It was the in between that was going to be tough, and oh man, it was. After finishing the first mile in about 7:30 (2nd person in) I got to work, breaking up the workout into 20 sets of 5 ring rows (because, sadly, I STILL cannot do push ups, grr), 10 push ups, and 15 air squats. Woof. The push ups were the worst. I tried to do strict pushups the entire time, but after about 10 or so sets started breaking them up with knee push ups. FINALLY, after like FOREVER, I finished the 20 sets and started on my mile. As predicted, the run was where I was strongest. Even though I was 2nd in on the first mile, a bunch of people completed the 100-200-300 portion of the workout and left for their last mile before me. This was helpful because I just kept my sights on the next person and kept my pace strong enough to reach them, picking people off until finally I came to the end of the final mile, back at the gym, with those that had already finished cheering us on! My finishing time was 42:23. THANK GOD I finished with a Coach who was paying attention to time, because I finished and didn’t pay any attention to the clock. Instead, went outside to gasp for air. My goal is to continue doing crossfit so that next year I do the Murph with actual pull ups and NO knee push ups. In all, it was tough, but great to do it with everyone from my box, and fun to watch everyone else come in and finish. There was a palpable sense of community and support in the air. It was a great day at Crossfit 88. Plus, did I mention the BBQ after?!?! Never have I ever been to such a healthy BBQ, it was amazing. And LET ME TELL YOU, my arms were sore until Tuesday. It was those damn push-ups, woof.
finishing the Murph, the face of pain.
Crossfit 88 ❤
#1 Udder Century
I’ll start out being upfront – we didn’t actually do the FULL century ride. In fact, we never even intended to. We actually signed up for the 75 mile ride. Alas, didn’t even end up completing that much. But let’s back up for a second. The Udder Century is put on by the McHenry County Bicycle Club, starting in Union, Illinois which is about an hour outside of Chicago (without traffic). Now what does one hour outside of Chicago get you? Farms, cows, horses, farmland, and LOTS of it. We heard about the ride from our pseudo-coach, Tommy, who recommended we try it, being a past participant for many years. He spoke highly of the event, promising beautiful scenery, a well organized event, yummy treats at the rest areas, and a great lunch after the event. With such high accolades we gave it a shot, and were not disappointed. As soon as we arrived we ran into quite a few people we knew, including a couple from our racing team that encouraged us to start with their group. We did, though we were nervous because Kevin and I almost exclusively ride only with each other and so really have no idea how that relates to other riders in terms of speed, except that we KNOW aren’t fast. In any event, we rode with them for a few miles, but eventually it got really challenging to talk and ride at the same time because it was pretty windy. I couldn’t hear anything beside the wind rushing past my ears. So, we parted and Kevin and I took off at a comfortable speed, nothing too crazy since it was only the beginning, and that wind, ugh. As we continued to ride, the wind definitely picked up and the sun, which had initially started to break through the clouds, was nowhere to be seen. We hadn’t even made it to the first rest stop, less than 20 miles in and I was starting to get that, ‘this is miserable’, feeling. Flashbacks of the Wisconsin Half Marathon were rolling through my head, and I was getting pretty crabby. That said, I also reminded myself that on race day, YOU CANNOT CONTROL THE WEATHER CONDITIONS, so suck it up. This slightly worked. As we continued to ride, we started changing directions a lot more, so we weren’t solely riding into the wind all the time. The clouds also broke apart and the sun came out, which helped a lot. Finally, there was no denying it, the scenery was absolutely gorgeous. Rolling pastures, beautiful barns, old farm houses, and even though we were on roads, there were very few cars. It was truly ideal.
Once we reached the 2nd rest stop at mile 42, we had a decision to make, 75 or 62. Normally I’m the one who is gung-ho to do more and push the limit, but I was hesitant. That wind got to me, and while 20 more miles seemed like no big deal, 35 seemed…rough. We timidly decided on 62 as we left the rest stop, and then when we came to the fork in the road where the volunteer was ushering the 100 & 75 mile riders to the left, and the 62 mile riders to the right, we once again stopped. The man volunteering offered the final solidifying statement, in saying, “If you go left, once you turn around the wind will be at your back!” Ha, yea sir, and if we go right the wind IS at our backs. So, we went right and took the 62 mile option. Yes, it would have been a much cooler story if we had gone 75 (which would have been our longest ride to date!) but it was much better to finish just over an hour later, smiling until the end. Who knows what could have happened over those last 13 miles had we rode them, but we finished happy and content with our ride. As if that wasn’t enough, we were greeted post ride by a catered lunch! Kevin filled up on pasta and fresh donuts while I inhaled a (couple) plates of salad. Man, when you are hungry, even the simplest of things taste AMAZING. Bellies full, we headed back to Park Ridge, where we lounged the rest of the day.
End of ride SELFIE
June has definitely been off to a fun start! With my sister’s return from Study Abroad, and Kevin’s sister’s final days of pregnancy upon us, and our first triathlon for the season (or for Kevin EVER) coming up, the remainder of the month promises to be just as busy!
Stay tuned for more details!