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A Visit to CrossFit Shadyside

15 Oct

A few weeks back, while traveling for work in Pittsburgh, I had some unexpected free time.  So what did I do?  Immediately googled local CrossFit gyms.  A quick search revealed a box not even 2 blocks away from the hotel I was staying at! Boom! I took my chances that they’d let me drop-in without advanced notice and showed up at a 6:30am class.  I was greeted by Erin, one of the coaches, filled out a quick waiver and had no issues joining the class.

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Crossfit Shadyside is actually located in the bottom part of Ryer Martial Arts Academy. and initially was less than half the size it currently is.  I snapped some pictures of the space to give you an idea of the layout, but it’s a decent size and has lots of equipment tucked away that you can’t see.  IMG_9418[1]

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One of my favorite parts of the gym (and something that immediately caught my attention) was the “Box Rules”.  They’re so perfect for anyone just joining CrossFit and a good reminder for those who have been doing it for a while.  🙂IMG_9415[1]

The WOD (workout of the day) started with 10 minutes of mobility work (rolling, stretching), followed by 4 rounds of max effort Handstand Push-Ups (for me, modified by using a box), 2 minutes rest, then 8 bent over rows (using barbell), 30 russian twists (I used a 20lb med ball).  Finally, we completed a max effort 1000 m row, rested 5 minutes and finished with 4 RFT (rounds for time) of 3 push presses (85% of our 1 rep maximum weight) and 15 toes-to-bar (knees to chest for me).  I can’t remember the weight I used for push presses (maybe 55lb?), but I know my shoulders and armpits were sore for days after this WOD.  Hello, handstand push-ups!

There were probably only 5 people in the class I took, so I can’t say how it is during more crowded sessions, but Erin made sure to check everyone’s form and give us feedback, critiques and encouragement during the workout.  She also made sure I knew where to grab equipment from, which was much appreciated because I was so unfamiliar with their gym.  At first, I couldn’t figure out where the med balls were–they’re kept in a wooden box built into a wall!  Erin has been a coach at Shadyside for about two years and really seemed to know her stuff.  I definitely think it’s important to have someone coaching who not only knows about crossfit movements, but isn’t afraid to correct you or make sure you have proper form.

After class, I got to chat a little more with Erin about the history of CrossFit Shadyside, and she took me upstairs to the giant martial arts area.  Of course, I also took the time to snag some Shadyside tees for the boyfriend and myself!

I’m so glad I was able to check out another box during my work travels (see my last box review here), and highly recommend CrossFit Shadyside if you’re in the Pittsburgh area.  I know I’ll definitely be back!

Do you like to explore local gyms during travel?  What do you look for most in a coach or fitness instructor?  Tell me about it!

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Brooklyn Half Training Week 10

12 May

Week 10 of training…AKA the week I lost all my confidence.  I’ve had a great training cycle, up until this week when my runs were just plain bad or non-existent.  I no longer feel like I’m capable of my Brooklyn goals (which I’ll be posting soon).  Someone tell me this is normal and I’m not totally crazy!  Let’s recap this past week:

Monday 5/5: CrossFit.  We did more squat lessons, then a tabata workout that didn’t look so bad at first glance…but was actually pretty brutal.
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It was 8 20 second rounds of each: squats, KB swings and flutter kicks with a 10 second break in between.  Holy crap…my hips, abs and lower back were on fire after this!  And in a post-WOD blur, Liz and I finally signed up for CF…dun dun dun!

Tuesday 5/6 (AKA My Birthday!) Coach had 5 miles with ten 1-minute pick-ups at 8:00 pace on the sched.  I did nothing like that.  I was super sore, didn’t feel well and was tired the entire time.  I did 5 pickups (barely getting down to 8:00 pace) and then mentally gave up.  I even ended up walking my last mile because my mommy called and I chatted with her instead.  Oh well, shitty runs happen…right?

Wednesday 5/7: CrossFit.  You guys!  This was supposed to be the very last beginners class for us…THANK GOODNESS!  But I was in no mood for it.  The classes had become repetitive for CF buddy Liz and I because of the way we were able to attend them and I just wasn’t interested in push-pressing a PVC pipe anymore.  The CF gods must have been listening to us before class, because Logan (owner/coach) told us to just jump in with the regular class!  Woohoo!  I was pumped at first…and then realized I had gotten just what I wanted.  I wasn’t push-pressing a PVC pipe…I’d be doing it with a real bar (plus weight) 150 times.  Ha!  The WOD was:

A) 5 RFT with 4 minutes rest between each round:

30 Push Presses (I used 35lb)

20 KB Swings (I used 25lb KB)

10 Burpees

B) 3 x 400m run with 4 min rest between

Score= Slowest of A+B

For me, that was 3:24 and 2:24.

Although I’ve done “real” classes before, this was my first one with CrossFit 516, which I feel marks my start as a legit CrossFitter.  Onward and upward from here! 🙂

Thursday 5/8: 4 easy + 4 strides  Rest. Oops.  I was just exhausted and had a lot to do….and didn’t feel like it.

Friday 5/9: Rest.  I had to drive upstate after work, so no time for a workout!

Saturday 5/10: The plan was 8 miles (6 easy, 2 @ 8:45).  The reality was awful.  I was upstate for my friends baby shower so I headed over to the Auburn Trail, an awesome 9 mile stretch that crosses streams, a golf course, etc.  It’s really pretty.

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Great place to run…awful run!  Here come the excuses:  I headed out a little late, and it was already 72 degrees when I started running.  I was still tired, probably from working 8 hours Friday then jumping in the car and driving for 6.5!  My first 2 miles felt okay, there was a little bit of a breeze so it wasn’t too warm.  Then I fell apart.  I got hot, I had no water, my head hurt and I knew there was no way I could do 8 miles.  Oh, and I stepped on a snake!  So I once again, I quit.  I just wanted to be done and get back, get ready and celebrate with my friends.  A failed last long run is a good sign, right?

Sunday 5/11: Rest.  And 6 more hours of driving.  But I got to spend some time with my family and see this little guy too:

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The cutest.

That’s that.  5 DAYS UNTIL BROOKLYN.  And hopefully plenty of sleep til Brooklyn! 😉

Have you had a bad week of training?  Tell me I’m not totally crazy and my race will be fine….PLEASE.

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