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Tamara Cohen 06-29-2009 12:06 PM

Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger - Tamara's log
Props to Meghan Waldeck for giving me the most bada** compliment ever, which inspired me to start a log.

Quick background - 33 years old, mother of two (ages 4.5 and 2.5), former serious athlete who had been doing NOTHING since my kids were born, about 20 lbs heavier in April 2009 than when my daughter was born in 2004. Started running in April, got patella femoral syndrome and could barely walk. Switched to personal training at the YMCA, and my trainer introduced me to CrossFit. Started working out at CF affiliate on June 3. Currently doing 3 WODs per week at affiliate and then working out at the YMCA twice a week. As of tomorrow, I will be doing personal coaching once a week for 5 sessions at the affiliate to sub for one of those Y workouts. My goal with the personal coaching is to improve my Oly lifts, since those are brand new to me. Since April 1, I have lost 17 lbs to date. Not doing Zone or Paleo, just portion control.

I talk a lot, and I write a lot.

6/29/09 WOD

5 rounds for time:
400m run
15 OHS

Finished in 18:30. Yes, I was dead last, but I was actually worried that I wouldn't finish.

This was the first time I had done OHS other than with PVC for the warm up. We did skill work first, and I was SHOCKED at how hard OHS are. This is why I am so excited about starting personal coaching tomorrow. Needless to say, I was not excited about this WOD because my running really sucks right now, and OHS were brand new.

Ended up doing the WOD with 16 lbs (11 lb bar and 5 lbs of weights). The only thing that made me feel better about the WOD was that there was one big guy using the weighted PVC for OHS. Not that I am competing with anyone else, but I am dead last in every WOD, so I'll take what tiny motivation I can get. At least I was lifting more weight than one person (even though that was a function of my shoulder flexibility and not my strength).

I've been reading up on POSE running, and I tried focusing on leaning forward from the hips and hitting on the balls of my feet instead of heel-toe. It does feel better, although I didn't think I was running any faster. But, after my second run, one of the coaches said that my pace looked much better than on my runs last week. So, who knows? I can only get better, right? :shrug:

Tamara Cohen 07-01-2009 05:12 AM

Re: Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger - Tamara's log

Had my first private coaching session. Warmed up with a 500m row. It was my first time on the rower, and I much prefer it to running! I prefer anything to running. Rowed 500m in 2:14:18. I want a C2 for my basement.

Worked on the power clean and the snatch. It was my first time with the snatch, which was exciting...because who doesn't look cool doing a snatch? Progressed from PVC to 22 lb bar. Power clean...blah. Felt like I couldn't hit my heels to save my life.

PR on power clean = 73 lbs.

Best part about private coaching is VIDEO TAPE! Watched myself on the camera. I don't look nearly as bad as I think I do, so that was good. Now the video will be downloaded to the computer so we can really pick it apart.

I have to work on keeping my chin down. Also, I was told that I am not allowed to say "I suck" or "that sucked." When I got home, I took a white t-shirt and a Sharpie and made a shirt. On the front it says "I do NOT suck," and on the back it says "Tuck you chin" and "Relax your face."


Wore my new shirt this morning, ha. Now, I see the problem with this log...I need a second notebook to bring home from the affiliate so I actually have my times, reps and weights in front of me at the computer. Duh.

Skill work was handstands. This was my first time practicing handstands, and I am very good at them. It's nice to be good at something. See, my cheerleading experience WAS good for something, mom!

4 rounds of:
40 secs max hang clean (42 lbs)
20 secs rest
40 secs max ring dips (subbed assisted dips on parallettes)
20 secs rest

1 min rest

4 rounds of:
40 secs max kettlebell swings (25 lbs)
20 secs rest
40 secs max pullups
20 secs rest

Of course, my reps are in my notebook at the affiliate. Will have to update here later. This was one of those WODs that I look at and think "that's not going to be horrendous..." because there is no running and 40 secs does not seem like a very long time on paper. Well, we were all laid out on the floor when it was done. Kicked my butt. I need to practice PUs with different grips. I do them with palms facing me, and my biceps totally gave out on me at the end. I know I only got in 5 on the last round.

Tomorrow is a DAY OFF! Woot!

Jason David 07-01-2009 12:35 PM

Re: Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger - Tamara's log
Hey Tamara! Thanks for checking out my log...Looks like you're off to a good start here!!

I am a horrible runner. I think I hate it as much as you but it depends on the day. Sometimes I hate wall balls, sometimes thrusters - you know how it goes.

Good work on 'Nancy' btw!!

Tamara Cohen 07-03-2009 07:36 AM

Re: Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger - Tamara's log

Yesterday was my day off, and it was a super crappy day. My babysitter decided to separate from her husband, so she didn't come, and I couldn't go to work. I realized that I forgot my mom's birthday on Wednesday. My son managed to get poop all over his body, on the floor, and up the stairs. Later in the day, he got a Lego stuck up his nose. Needless to say, I was itching to get out of the house and do anything, even run! I was hoping to make it to the 6 pm class at the affiliate because they were closing Fri-Sat, but my husband wasn't home in time. He was also on ER call and got called back in as soon as he did get home, so I couldn't even get to the Y.

Went to the Y this morning at 6:00 am. They miss me there, so that was the one positive thing about my time there.

Did 3 rounds of warm up:
Back extensions

After the first round, I wasn't feeling it. Felt like I got run over...not by a mack truck, maybe a Mini Cooper or something. I think the 3 days in a row at the affiliate, especially with the personal coaching on lifting on Tuesday, was just a lot for me. I haven't taken more than one day in a row off since the first weekend in May. Blah.

Rather than bag it entirely, I rode the bike for 20 minutes, then practiced knees to elbows. At least I burned some calories and got to listen to some new tunes on my iPod.

Now, I'm in the car, on my way to Georgia to hang with my parents for the weekend. Grilling, beer, and relaxation all sound good to me.

Tamara Cohen 07-04-2009 12:40 PM

Re: Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger - Tamara's log

Well, I wasn't planning to do anything today. Figured my body could use the rest. But, I woke up feeling fine, and my 4.5 year old wanted to go running. We're in Georgia hanging with my parents, so we headed to the park near their house. They have a 1/3 mile dirt/gravel track there. My daughter ran with my mom first. I had a plan to test if the 400m and 800m runs I've been doing have improved my mile time. Well, really, I think just my weight loss and overall improved level of fitness have most definitely improved my mile time! Plus, I hate to run. I hate to run. I hate to run. I can only get better if I actually run.

So, I ran a mile. Of course, I forgot to grab my dad's stopwatch before we left, so I have no idea how long it took. I felt better and faster, so who knows? I'm planning to run a mile again tomorrow and remember the stopwatch.

Thanks to all of the men and women in military service and law enforcement who keep our country free and safe. If anything, CrossFit has certainly given me a newfound respect for all of these brave individuals. Happy Fourth of July!

Tamara Cohen 07-05-2009 07:54 AM

Re: Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger - Tamara's log

Remembered the stopwatch. Ran one mile.


I know that might not be an impressive time for 99.9% of the people on this board. But, the last time I ran a mile (before yesterday) was April 5, exactly 3 months ago. And, my mile time on April 5 was 11:00. I basically did no running at all from April 17 to June 3 because of patella femoral syndrome. From June 3 until today, I have only run a handful of times during 200m and 400m runs. And, I have done two 800m runs on a treadmill since June 3.

So, my weight loss (18 lbs) and my overall improved fitness level due to CF have cut over 2 minutes off my mile time, and I didn't even have to run a lot (which is fantastic, since I hate to run. Have I said that before?).

Heading back to Asheville this afternoon. Will be at the affiliate bright and early tomorrow morning!

Tamara Cohen 07-06-2009 09:37 AM

Re: Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger - Tamara's log

Skill work: Find 5, 3 or 1 rep max for thrusters. Haven't found a max yet, so I was working on 5 rep. I ended up at 45 lbs. I made the jump from 45 to 55 lbs because of my partner, who was going for 3 rep max. I really should have gone to 50 lbs instead. Anyway, I got 55 lbs up 5X, but my form really sucked, so I'm not counting it. I totally wore myself out doing too many reps at the lower weights. Lesson learned for next time.

I also practiced handstands because our warm up had HSPU. I'm psyched about my handstands. Really. I'm going to have an awesome handstand before long. It's nice to be good at something!


3 total rounds of AMRAP in 3 min, 1 min rest in between rounds
3 squat cleans (55 lbs)
6 pushups
9 squats

I ended up with II+3, II+3+1, and III.

The reason my second and third rounds were more was that I switched from full PUs to knee PUs halfway through the second round. I just got to 6 consecutive full PUs the other day, so I was actually thrilled to get 12 in the first round and 6 in the second round before I failed. I started a grease the groove PU program, and it is working. I was only at 4 last week, and I couldn't do ANY full PUs in April.

Tamara Cohen 07-08-2009 08:04 AM

Re: Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger - Tamara's log

Skill work - kipping pullups or muscle ups. Obviously, I'm working on my kip. My swing is so not clicking yet. I can see how it is supposed to look when other people do it, but my body is not interested in doing it.

Front squat (45 lbs)
Pull ups


I learned my lesson from my first Fran. I did sets with the pullups so I wouldn't work to failure. I was at failure for the last round anyway, stringing together 1s and 2s to get to my 9. The prescribed weight for front squats was 125% of last Fran weight or 5x max for thrusters. I had done Fran at 35lbs, just got a 5x max of 45 lbs for thrusters on Monday. I've got to get over the mental issue of thinking that 45 lbs isn't "enough" weight...because it is plenty of weight when I'm doing 45 front squats total. I was a little disappointed with my time on this because my Fran time was 10:30.

Maiko Davidson 07-08-2009 11:06 AM

Re: Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger - Tamara's log
Hi Tamara! :) I just stumbled across your log and just wanted to comment on this your 7/05/09 entry...I'd be SO happy with a sub-10min mile!!! LOL

I'm not an "elite" Crossfitter by any means, but I don't think I was ever able to get my mile under 10 minutes. Congrats on the PR (shaving off ~2mins in 3mos!!) AND congrats on the continued weight loss!

Keep up the good work!

Tamara Cohen 07-09-2009 04:41 AM

Re: Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger - Tamara's log
Thanks, Maiko! I was very happy about that 8:51. I definitely couldn't sustain that pace for a second mile, but my goal was to run one yay!

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