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Category Archives: Running

Paleo summer fruit custard recipe

summer fruit compoteTo train or not to train…. It turned out to be ‘not to train’. I’ve had another week off. I had a week off lifting (but not training) a couple of weeks ago and hoped I’d get to a substantially improved back squat one rep max this week. But on Sunday I developed a shooting pain in my right knee and the advice was to rest it. So I’m resting it. And bored.

Not so boring, but not much fun either, another trip to A&E on Tuesday. This time though, Tony got a different potential diagnosis: march haematuria. To whit: Causes of Haematuria
Haematuria is the result of bleeding somewhere in the urinary tract, which is made up of the kidneys, the ureters (the tubes that take the urine from the kidneys to the bladder), the bladder, the urethra (the tube from the bladder to the outside world) and, in the male, the prostate.

There are many conditions that can cause haematuria, most of which are not life-threatening. However there are a number of serious causes of haematuria that need to be detected.
·        Trauma. Traumatic injury to any part of the urinary tract, from the kidneys to the urethral opening, can cause haematuria.
·        Urinary tract infection. Haematuria can be caused by an infection in any part of the urinary tract, most commonly in the bladder (cystitis) or the kidney (pyelonephritis).
·        Drugs. Haematuria can be caused by prescribed medications such as blood thinners (anticoagulants) including heparin, warfarin or aspirin-type medications and cyclophosphamide.
·        Cancers of the kidney of bladder (or prostate in males).
·        Stones or calculi. These can occur in the kidney, the bladder or the ureters.
·        Glomerulonephritis. Glomerulonephritis refers to a group of kidney diseases that have inflammation of the glomeruli, the filtering units of the kidneys. It can rarely be a complication of certain viral and bacterial infections. It can also occur in autoimmune disorders such as systemic lupus erythematosis (lupus or SLE) and diabetes mellitus.
·        Exercise. This is also called ‘march haematuria’, as seen in soldiers on extended marches. Very prolonged exercise in athletics, jogging, horseback riding and bicycle riding can cause haematuria, which is a non-serious condition.
·        Bleeding disorders, including genetic disorders such as haemophilia, can result in haematuria.
·        Inflammation/infection of the prostate can lead to haematuria.

Isn’t that all just peachy? But if you had to choose just one of those vile causes, you’d choose march haematuria and that’s what we’re hoping is the cause of Tony’s symptoms, not least because 48 hours or so before every episode he’s done both heavy(ish) squats and double-unders in the same training session.

uncooked pale summer fruit custardMeantime – paleo!

I spent most of today at the allotment, teaching and then tending crops. As a result I came home with lots of soft fruit: tayberries, redcurrants, blackcurrants, strawberries, and red and gold raspberries. We eat a huge amount of this fruit raw, but I decided as we had so much to make a compote. And when I’d made the compote I decided to sieve it, and then to make some compote custards with pistachio maple topping.

Compote

Gently cook a selection of summer fruits with 15 grams of honey for each 100 grams of fruit. No need to add water. Either cook until the fruit breaks down into a loose mass or cook for another five minutes and then sieve to get a thick puree or compote. The former is probably healthier but we eat enough raw fruit not to worry about getting sufficient roughage and trace elements. Once prepared, set aside to cool. Keeps for a week in a refrigerator, not that it’s ever been a problem in our house, we struggle to keep it more than 48 hours as we eat it on everything!

pale summer fruit custard with maple pistachio Topping

1 tablespoon butter at room temperature
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 tablespoon chopped pistachios

This quantity of crumble tops four custards. Blend the ingredients together and set aside.

 

Custard

Two eggs per person
Teaspoon honey per four eggs

20140621_185226Beat the eggs together lightly with the honey. Pour into a pan over a low heat and cook until they just start to ‘turn’ and thicken, you don’t want to leave it a moment longer or you’ll have sweet scrambled eggs! Still good to eat, but not part of this recipe. As soon as it starts to thicken, pour into ramekins, then swirl some of the compote through the custard – don’t over fill as these custards rise (then collapse) during cooking. As you can see, judging how much is too much can be tricky! Drop a spoonful of the topping in the centre of each dish and cook for 15 minutes at 175 degrees. Allow to cool and enjoy!

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Oh frabjous day!

jabberwockyAnd other Carrollisms for those who like them (callooh callay! are the ones that spring to mind) and for those who don’t – tough. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, I don’t really care, you can Google it.

So yesterday I RX’d the WOD (sort of) and didn’t die (but felt like I had).

It’s one of those Benchmark WODs – other workouts in my diary.

Christine (on the run)

• Run 500 metres
• 12 bodyweight deadlifts
• 21 box jumps 24/20 inches

Three rounds.

The bit I didn’t RX was box jumps. I really don’t know if I will ever be able to do box jumps again. I did box step ups, and apparently that counts.

It took for-flaming-ever! 17 minutes and 15 seconds to be precise. I hated every single second. But I did it.

15 aug 13I weigh 52 kilos. I really really know exactly how much I weigh!

So … that was tough. Today was even tougher, as it’s day 16 of the 100 day burpee challenge and every damn one of those sixteen burpees hurt! Mental toughness and all that aside, it’s excruciating to burpee when you’re all DOMS.

But I’m happy – I can see I’m making progress.

8 August WOD

8 aug 13 2Still no more double unders. Everybody I speak to tells me that it’s like this: you get a couple of double unders one day and then no more for a while. I’m unconvinced – I think I fluked it once and may never get another (pessimist, moi?)

The focus today was pull ups and ring dips – both strict. I had to use a red band for the ring dips and a purple one for the pull ups which was a disappointment to me as I am on a red band for non-strict pull ups, but with a hint of tendonitis and a desire for perfect form I pushed my ego down and did the focus as stated – for form.

Today’s WOD was deceptively simple:

• 1 kilometre row
• 1 kilometre run
• 100 double unders

Gold plus
Weight vest

Silver
50 double unders

Bronze
• 500 metre row
• 400 metre run
• 200 skips

Without double unders and with a calf strain I’m still nursing (is there any part of me that isn’t injured?) I was clearly a candidate for bronze and that’s what I did. Barney cracked a joke about me being able to do that level twice and I laughed.

Time = 5 minutes 51 seconds.

Then Sol decided he was going again – he did gold the first time around. Dan kept him company and there was a rower free, so with Coach Barney’s encouragement I jumped on and did the WOD again.

Time = 6 minutes 30 seconds.

I was chuffed with my performance. The extra time in the second round was definitely down to the skipping, my ankles were fried after several hundred skips and quite a few attempts at double unders before we started the WOD, but I was happy to have the mental toughness to tackle the workout twice, even if my times dropped massively.

SolSol, being superhuman repeated the gold WOD even faster than the first time, then launched into a burpee penalty (my bad, I dropped him in it by mentioning it, I really was brain dead at that point) and swapping the burpees halfway through for an insanely fiendish press up game that Coach Barney challenged him to. Like I say, superhuman.

The really big news is that our box is about to double! Not in size so much as in location – Unit 9, where we currently train, is about to be half of Crossfit Connect Hove – the other half will be in Unit 6 (which is not contiguous but you can’t have everything, can you?) and yes, everybody has remarked on the interesting way those numbers stack up. We’re going to have ropes to climb and everything!

The little news is that my new brand new Shock Absorber crop top held up magnificently to the double WOD – I wasn’t confident that it would take the strain but it really was what they claim ‘dry and cool comfort’ – excellent stuff. I might even have to buy another!

Bruises – nope
Wishlist – more of those crop tops!
PB – only in terms of developing a functional fitness mentality.

Still waiting to hear how Jon and Abi are getting on … hoping for good news from them soon!

Kool-aid ingestion results report

Posted on

30 may 13Today I wodded solo. In the rain. At 06:30. That must be a kool-aid phenomenon!

I arrived at the box to find Coach Barney with an even blonder quiff than last week. At 06:32 it became clear I was the only person doing the morning WOD, so I got on with it. There was a nasty little medicine ball warm-up, including cleans, lunges, sit ups and box step ups, then tekkers.

My tekkers was toes to bar development. I’ve really struggled with this movement and although I feel like I should be pretty close to it, I’m not. Barney showed me a couple of reasons why not: I’m not opening my shoulders enough and I need to do more work on core activation to get the movement right. Of course, I have my standard sequencing problem to contend with, but that’s my business, so for now I’ve got hollow body rocks to work on at home and a new way to do my pull up programme, by assuming the t2b position in the band to help me develop the core position.

Finally the WOD. Barney asked if I’d like to row, given the rain, but I’d always rather run.

WOD:

•    400 metre run
•    1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 – box jumps
•    10, 9, 8, 7, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 – burpees
•    400 metre run

Now I’m not currently doing box jumps, so Barney set me up with a nice little lateral hurdle jump, which was fine jumping right to left but really difficult jumping left to right, as my left side is my ‘non-starting’ side. Still, I managed it, which felt like a win.

excellenceThe second run was slow, partly because I could feel the calf muscle starting to pull, but partly because I was just totally flat-lining – wodding alone is weird, without anybody else to focus on, even if it’s just the peripheral focus of seeing the blur of really fast athletes like Dean and Rob or hearing the bouncing bars of massively strong ones like Sean and Will, leaves me nothing but me to engage with. And that is much tougher than wodding in a group. Usually I’ve got athletes ahead of me to aim for, sometimes there’s even a newcomer behind me to encourage, but all on my own there’s just my performance, my laboured breathing, my footfall, and Barney yelling encouragement to me and me alone.

Time – 12:38.

Sense of being dedicated – 100%.

Privilege of having a hour’s one-to-one coaching – priceless.

  • Bruises – nope
  • PB – nope
  • Wishlist – despite the value of getting personal attention for the whole of my tekkers, I’d like more company next time!

Wodly Wonderland

Posted on

23 may 13Not because there was anything wonderful about the WOD, but because the temperature when I drove to the box this a.m. was 5 degrees. That’s ridiculous! I almost expected to see snow.

It was also a chilled out Wendler, with Coach Barney’s new platinum bonce shining like the sun and some kind of weird hippy music going on (don’t ask me, all I can tell you is it’s the stuff I turn off if I’m nearest to the volume dial) but I managed a 57.5 kilo x 6 max out which I’m happy with as it’s above body weight. Hoping for a bit of an increase in my one rep max on deadlifts too, at this rate.

As for the WOD – couldn’t have been simpler:

•    20 weighted lunges
•    100 metre sprint
x 5 (2 minute rest between rounds)

Calf strains and lunges are not good company, so I knew bronze would be my maximum and that even a paltry 7.5 kilo baby bar was going to really weigh heavily. I also knew I was going to jog, not sprint.

Well, I knew that until round two. Then I got fed up with jogging while everybody else sprinted. I didn’t exactly sprint because I could feel the calf muscle crepitating (a writerly word if ever there was one) but I found a pace between jog and sprint where the muscle stopped crackling and I used it for the next run. Then I got back into the lunges and discovered that I’d developed a neural misfire and both my legs were trying to step forward at the same time. (Want to know what that looks like? It looks like a really naff broad jump.) I could get my left leg to step forward and my right to stay still, but not the other way round, so the fourth round I had to do lunges entirely on one side.

I will admit that I was downed by this. In my head I was imagining ‘losing’ lunges the way I’ve ‘lost’ box jumps and not getting the neural script right ever again, but I ran the 100 metres, came back in, picked up the bar for the last round and boom! – straight back into alternate leg lunges.  My time was slow, my weight was light, I got DOMS within about 3 hours of the WOD, but I’m a profoundly happy wodly bunny today – there’s nothing like thinking the worst and having it disproved to raise your spirits.

Sooooo … back home, whilst whacking my way through the undergrowth of the Skills and Employment Report to find something meaty for a client’s blog (oh yes, my life as a ghost blogger is SUCH fun!) I diverted to Facebook during my tea break and came across this profoundly (to me) interesting and unimaginable point of view. Balpreet Kaur is not only one of the most honest and large-spirited individuals I’ve come across for a long time, she’s clearly also a world-changer in the best way, in that the best way to change the world is one person at a time. However (and isn’t there always a however?) I’m completely at sea with the philosophy she lays out so simply.

I don’t actually have problems with my body (image), never have had. I was blessed with a physical form that other people liked, it was attractive enough to earn me money just by my standing still draped in garments (okay, really small garments, but hey … still garments) and it wasn’t just that other people liked it, I did too. If I could have got through life standing still I’d have been blissfully happy. My problem is that my physical appearance and physical capacity have a mismatch: I’m clumsy. I fall over a lot. I can’t do basic things like connect a bat/racket/hand and ball. I don’t remember physical skills.

I’ve always tried to ‘improve’ that aspect of my physical being, or, as Balpreet so delightfully puts it, body-tool because I always felt that I was letting myself down and that if I worked hard enough I could get my movements to match my appearance. And the truth is it never happened. Crossfit is the closest I’ve come to normal coordination  and I’m still a considerable distance behind ‘average’ and a massive distance behind ‘Crossfit average’, which seems to me to be almost superhuman. But I strive and strive. So Balpreet’s assertion that changing the body is a form of rejection (regardless of one’s belief in any given divinity) is fascinating.

Do I reject my body? No, absolutely not. At the age where many women are supposed to be hating the way they look more than ever in their lives, I accept and like the way my body is changing: grey hair, wrinkles, sagging bits and all. I am very happy in my own skin. Do I reject my physical form though? Ah … that’s a nasty one. Yes, in truth, I do. I hate being clumsy, I loathe being unable to pick up techniques and follow along with exercises, I despise my own inability to remember physical performance patterns.

And so, although I know I’m not going to stop striving to achieve a more graceful, swift and powerful way of being, because the alternative is not stasis, it’s degeneration (failure to maintain neural pathways leads to degradation of physical performance, ask any stroke victim) I’m opening my mind to a new idea that my approach to this is to face my own body with hostility and shame, and that nobody ever performed well under the eye of a hostile watcher, even if (especially if?) that eye is their own.

•    Bruises – both knees
•    PB – nope, but I don’t care, happy bunny etc
•    Wishlist – nope, Balpreet’s given me more to think about than just my wishful thinking, for once!

The joy of injury

25 mar 13Meh.

Yesterday’s WOD – in 3 minutes:

  • 400 metre run
  • Max rep pull ups for remainder of 3 minutes
  • Rest 1 minute
  • X 4

I was on silver, because it’s assisted pull ups and on the last run of the four, I actually thought I could overtake one of the guys ahead of me and I went for it – really went for it! About 5 yards from the box I did something to my left calf, limped in, did my pull ups and then sat back to assess the situation.

It feels like exactly the same injury I had in the summer, the one that had me rowing rather than running for 12 weeks. I’m gutted.

Except … I knew, a split second before it happened, that something had gone wrong. I didn’t know in time to stop myself but when somebody asked what happened I was able to describe the incident and what it felt like, perfectly.

Now that might not be good news to most people, but last time I did this, I didn’t realise there was a problem for a couple of seconds. Because it’s my left side, my feedback is slow and sometimes unreliable so to get an neurological message before the pain is a major step forward (pun intended) in my ability to get messages from my peripherals to my brain in real time. I might be quite unusual in seeing an injury as a measure of success, but I didn’t come to Crossfit to get faster or stronger, I came to see if it could help me link coordination and biofeedback so that I wouldn’t get so many injuries and I would be able to attempt more complex motor tasks than I was able to.

So … maybe it’s not working perfectly on the injury front, but complex motor tasks that were beyond me when I arrived are now (almost) easy. And the feedback (which I’ve never had, so I didn’t think it was possible for me) seems to be developing. Joy of injury indeed!

I shall be seeing my excellent physio, Paul, who introduced me to Crossfit, on Thursday and until then I am being extremely conservative in treatment. RICE is as far as I’ve gone.

I can’t even read the time on the whiteboard, so I don’t know how I did, I’m just pleased to have finished the WOD.

•    Bruises – I hit my chin with the bar on split jerks even before the calf problem, and I have a nice abrasion from the bar on my collarbone too.
•    PB – what’s the opposite of a PB? PW? Personal Worst? I got one of those.
•    Wishlist – that it won’t be a 12 week layoff from running … please?

Whitten

28 feb 13 whittenWhen I saw there was no lifting on the whiteboard I knew it was going to be tough! And it was.

Whitten:

22 kettlebell swings
22 box jumps
400 metre run
22 burpees
22 wall balls

5 rounds, for time

The scaling was:

Bronze
•    8/12 kilo kettlebell
•    12” box
•    4 kilo wall ball

10 reps for 5 rounds

Silver
•    16/12 kilo kettlebell
•    18/12” box
•    7/4 kilo wall ball

15 reps for 5 rounds

Gold
•    24/16 kilo kettlebell
•    24/18” box
•    9/7 kilo wall ball

22 reps for 5 rounds

I said I would do Silver but with box step-ups as I’m still not even thinking about box jumps.  But I didn’t. I did gold, with a 12 kilo kettlebell and a 4 kilo wall ball.

It took 41:16 minutes and the worst part, by far, was the burpees. There is something about kissing the ground 22 times in a row that is utterly demoralising. 5 x 400 metre runs was a joy, by comparison. The wall balls were okay too, but those burpees were hell.

Still – Gold!

•    Bruises – burpee knee on the right
•    PR – nope
•    Wishlist – to find some pleasure in burpees … if such a thing is possible.

MPLS MAMA BEAR

Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

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Elizabeth Merritt Abbott

Short posts by a midwestern, writer, reader, and occational crossfitter.