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Crossfit Challenge – Geek Turned Athlete

Crossfit Challenge

So, I will continue with our Greek Cruise and Italian vacation pics tomorrow, but I wanted to give you all an update on my training the past week since I have been home.

I went for an absolutely wonderful run in the rain last week. I had a headache, and it had been raining off and on all day. I looked at training schedule, realized that I had my first triathlon of the season in 5 weeks, and decided to get my butt out there to run. I don’t have time to “wait” for the perfect weather. The run was rejuvenating, and I discovered that my what I thought “rain proof” jacket was really just rain resistant since I was soaking wet and freezing by the time I made it home after my 5 mile run in the pouring rain and mud.


I tried to take of a pic of the wetness, but failed. Just believe me when I tell you I was soaking wet, okay? It was still a really good run. I would prefer to do it in a little warmer temperature though.

Besides running, there has been some swimming and cycling. Swimming is kicking my butt as usual.

Kate and Tina have teamed up for Yoga Pose May. I was chosen along with a bunch of other bloggers to do the Dancer’s pose for today! Yesterday, Steve and I went out on a nice little bike ride around our village, and I decided to get my yoga shot out in the fields since it was beautiful! According to this pose:

  • Stretches the shoulders and chest
  • Stretches the thighs, groins, and abdomen
  • Strengthens the legs and ankles
  • Improves balance

Obviously, I’m not perfect at this pose, but I get the job done!


This is my “hurry the F@#k up and take the shot” face.
Then, try to not get hit by cars crossing the street to jump back on my bike. Thanks babe, for being my paparazzi!

In addition to running, cycling, swimming, and yoga, I have tried a new weight lifting routine. Now, if you are a long time reader of the blog, you know that I absolutely loathe weight training. I most certainly never thought that I would ever want to try Crossfit. Here in Germany on the air force base, it is sort of a cult where the “crossfitters” all hang out and talk about nothing but Crossfit with each other. Most of them (and I’m friends with some of them) are quite weird, and have been trying to get me to do it for a long time. I have always said no because there is a high rate of injuries associated with the routines (mainly because idiots take on too much on especially in the beginning without knowing how to do the exercises). I have also strayed away because pretty much all the women at my base who do Crossfit look like men they have bulked up that much. I know there are a few women out there doing Crossfit who don’t look like men, so I don’t want any angry emails, okay? I’m just telling you what I’ve seen.

So, why have I had a sudden change of heart?

  • I’m bored with normal resistance programs. I can’t seem to stick to any. I really dislike lifting weights. If I had to choose between weight lifting for 20 minutes and running10 miles, I would most certainly pick running 10 miles. This program changes EVERY day.
  • I NEED to get on the ball with resistance training. I’ve got some soft spots that didn’t used to be soft due to my slacking on this. I’m willing to try anything that won’t take too long right now. Plus, I know that it will help with my speed and power on the bike, running, and in the water. I don’t want to be left in the dust on any of these events, and I really want to improve.
  • My husband promised me that we were not going to hang out with any weird Crossfit people or go to any Crossfit parties. Yes, the parties DO exist. Kari, one of my friends, does crossfit, and she of course is excluded from the weirdness!
  • I tried doing Monday’s Crossfit workout just to test the waters. It only took me 30 minutes. It was a full body workout, and I’m so sore today! And… I actually really enjoyed it. Ack! I never thought that I would ever say that especially regarding Crossfit!
  • I did a bunch of research on Crossfit and triathletes, and most reviews say that it is a good thing. Most experts think that doing Crossfit 6 days a week is crazy if it isn’t during the off season with all the training that I need to be doing now mid season, but 2-3 times a week should suffice. During the off season, I might do the recommended 3 days on, 1 day off.
  • I love the fact that Crossfit focuses on full body workouts and plyometrics. I have been wanting to try plyometrics for a while, and they are suggested in many of my triathlon books.

So, that is my plan. Two times a week, I’m doing Crossfit, and then I’m doing yoga once a week. I think that is a good mix of strength training and stretching in addition to my weekly goal of swimming, cycling, and running 3 times a week each. I want to try Crossfit up until the Baumholder Triathlon in 5 weeks. If I’m seeing the results that I’m happy with, I will stick with it. It is my little Crossfit Challenge. If you want to try it with me, go to this website for the workout of the day (WOD).

By the way, I did some research on Crossfit Endurance and did not find good reviews for getting good times in triathlons. It is a bunch of speed workouts essentially cutting the endurance factor out. There is no substitute for a 20 mile run except a 20 mile run.

That is enough for now. I will be posting more vaca pics, my vegan/gluten free month update including a Veganomicon book giveaway and foodie pics, and my updated exercise schedule this upcoming week!

Have you ever tried Crossfit? How do you feel about weight training in general?

{ 39 comments… add one }

  • genesis May 25, 2010, 11:03 pm

    that first picture could be used for an ad! seriously, pretty good picture!

    crossfit…only read about it from another blogger……she does Crossfit a lot. as for weight training, just starting to get into it because i seriously need to build some muscle….did a body comp test and im listed as obese!

  • Lisa May 25, 2010, 11:05 pm

    You looked drenched! Did your jacket help at all? I’ve been searching for the right running rain gear.

    I’ve never done Crossfit but I was interested in it for awhile. One of my friends was doing it on a regular basis and said it kicked her butt. My schedule just never allowed for me to take the class.

    I have a hard time doing weights too. It’s just not something I enjoy doing. I know I should do it. I force myself to do weights about once or twice a week. I just prefer cardio and faster exercises or outdoors activities (like hiking).

    • Nicole May 26, 2010, 1:58 pm

      No, it did not! It was sticking to me the whole time because it was soaking wet!

      I don’t plan on taking any classes. I just want to either do it by myself or with a friend or my hubby!

  • Erica May 25, 2010, 11:11 pm

    BEAUTIFUL pictures. I actually kind of love running in the rain. There is something strangely comforting about it 😉 The yoga pose in the field looks super pretty good. Glad you enjoyed the crossfit. I love a workout that hits the whole body (part of the reason I love love and teach Body Pump). Can’t wait to hear how the new eating plan is going

  • Jessica @ How Sweet May 25, 2010, 11:17 pm

    Holy smokes! Love the first pic – you should be a model!

    • Nicole May 26, 2010, 1:59 pm

      haha. You are so sweet!

  • Nicole May 25, 2010, 11:31 pm

    Hi Nicole!! OMG great picture, BEAUTIFUL. Love your yogi pose. I’m so glad your husband is home and your vacation pics are beautiful. Good luck with training.

  • adrienmelaine May 25, 2010, 11:33 pm

    I love those pictures of you from your run! Too funny- I would never even think to take a photo of myself after- though it’s much appreciated!

    I’ve never been to crossfit- I prefer to just hear about it from all the die hards out there- it’s like the bikram yoga of weight training.. in my mind anyways

  • Heather (Where's the Beach) May 25, 2010, 11:57 pm

    Interesting. I’ve actually never heard of CrossFit (checking out the website though). I am definitely for lifting. There are lots of benefits and I think that it can benefit athletes. My husband does tris and he has a book that has weight rotations just for triathletes as the goal isn’t bulk, but strength. Anyway….I love the yoga pics 😉

  • Ashley May 25, 2010, 11:59 pm

    Umm, you look gorgeous in that first photo!!! Good luck with the new workout routine!

  • Gracie May 26, 2010, 12:01 am

    I’ve never heard of Crossfit! I’m interested in learning more…especially because I’m actually a huge fan of strength training. And I think that after a few weeks…you will be too! There’s something really gratifying about seeing your strength and muscle tone improve. Not to mention it will probably make you an ever *better* runner! If that’s even possible, hehe :)

  • Julie @ Pickley Pear May 26, 2010, 1:45 am

    Love the Dancer’s pose! I have heard of Crossfit, but never done it. I do enjoy weight training, it makes me feel stronger and leaner.

  • Anne @ the doctor takes a wife May 26, 2010, 3:46 am

    I’ve never heard of Crossfit before, but I’m definitely going to check it out :)

    I’m impressed by your dancer’s pose–I’m awful at yoga!! I think you and a few other bloggers may have inspired me to check it out.

  • Andy M May 26, 2010, 4:41 am

    I have done yoga (mostly Bikram) and it is kinda awsome. Actually one of my friends is completing her test on June 5th (her test class) and my girlfriend and I are attending! As for crossfit, my girlfriend does it and she loves it. The important thing about that is that she wants to stay in shape but hates to run, bike, swim, aerobics, etc… everything but yoga. However, she has stuck with crossfit since february and has loved it! I have tried it out, and it works, but feel it is not the right thing for me at this time. Also time is of the essence and I can barely make yoga, so resistance training is out the window until the off season.

    • Nicole May 26, 2010, 2:01 pm

      I know the feeling!!

  • Marisa May 26, 2010, 9:37 am

    So will you be wearing the Ramstein Crossfit t-shirts?? lol I’ve seen them in the gym and yes some are a little weird. And what is the deal, pulling a bus as one of the wod’s? I read an article that the Air Force banned crossfit from regular PT b/c someone got injured really bad during a WOD. Too bad your jacket wasn’t water proof, it’s cute though :)

    • Nicole May 26, 2010, 2:03 pm

      Haha. NO. I’m not surprised that they banned it. I do know that spec ops teams are doing crossfit now though. They are usually much more trained in working out then the average AF Joe though– less chance of injury since they know what they are doing!

  • Julia @ May 26, 2010, 11:52 am

    WOW – You look SO invigorated! Fab post


  • Alanna @ Blood, Sweat & Cupcakes. May 26, 2010, 1:08 pm

    you’re soaked! There is something about running in the rain that makes me feel totally at ease and super hard core all at the same time :)

    Good luck with crossfit, i’ve never tried it but it sounds tough.

  • Joanna Sutter (Fitness & Spice) May 26, 2010, 1:27 pm

    I have never done Crossfit but I can’t wait to give it a whirl! It’s bada$$!!!

  • Ryan May 26, 2010, 1:30 pm

    Last year as the clouds were building and the rain was imminent, my neighbor curiously asked, “you going running now? It’s gettin’ ready to rain.”

    When it’s 90 degrees outside running in the rain is the perfect time to do high intensity speed workouts because I won’t die of heat stroke. Training in inclement weather is what separates the runners from the joggers…well that and 3 minutes per mile.

    Weight training has some positive values but if you want to be better at swimming/biking/running, nothing will make you better at it than actually swimming/biking/running

    • Nicole May 26, 2010, 2:04 pm

      You are right. You are right, oh Hawaii Ironman Qualifier!!

  • Tiffany May 26, 2010, 1:49 pm

    Crossfit is amazing! I used to do it semi-regularly, and I really need to get back into it. As endurance athletes, it’s really hard to overcome the fear of other activity affecting performance. Resistance training offers flexibility in joints and works synergistic muscles that endurance will not do; it’s simply smart to keep a regular dose of it within your weekly training.

    I miss those yellow flowers, though they started one of the biggest allergy attacks I’ve ever felt in my life and I was sick for weeks each year…but I still miss them. Haha!

    • Nicole May 26, 2010, 2:06 pm

      Yeah, I’m usually really sick with cold like symptoms every year for about two weeks b/c of allergies here. Then, I don’t feel anything for the rest of the year. Allergies have hit the hubs hard this year!

  • Nicole of Raspberry Stethoscope May 26, 2010, 5:30 pm

    I just found your blog through CaitlinHTP and love it!
    Your pics from the cruise are amazing. I would love to know the company you went through for future reference??

    • Nicole May 27, 2010, 3:33 pm

      Thanks for visiting!! We went with Norwegian cruise lines. They are so much better than the last cruise we took with an Italian cruise line!

  • Graze With Me May 26, 2010, 7:48 pm

    I really like circuit training with DVDs but I hate plyometrics. It’s funny you posted about this because my dad just started doing CrossFit earlier this year (he’s 60!) and has been raving about it. He keeps directing me to that same website and telling me to try it. I haven’t yet but I am interested in learning some new moves since my DVD’s just aren’t cutting it for me anymore.

  • Claire May 27, 2010, 4:19 am

    That first photo is amazing! I haven’t tried crossfit but would definitely try! I can get bored with resistance training pretty often so I try to change things up and create plans to keep me motivated! Can’t wait to read more about your GF/vegan life!

  • Pure2raw twins May 27, 2010, 4:56 pm

    Your Dancer pose is perfect!!! Hope you are doing well!!

  • Skyler Meine May 27, 2010, 10:06 pm

    I have been hearing about crossfit for sometime, but have decided to stay away from it due to some of the top Strength and Conditioning Coaches saying that it has done more harm in the athletic world than just about anything else. Mike Boyle was the primary person talking about CrossFit.

    Injury is a huge issue and the lack of emphasis on form and technique can set you up for it. The workouts aren’t terrible but you better be able to perform them correctly.

  • Holly May 28, 2010, 1:05 am

    i have NO idea what crossfit is! but it sounds like a killer workout. look at you and your bad workout self. totally workin’ it. i wonder how many times i can incorporate the word work into this comment :)

    going to check out your cruise pictures and become horrendously jealous of you, haha!

  • kate May 29, 2010, 6:46 pm

    So glad you took part in my and Tinas Yoga Pose May. We didnt team up with Yoga Journal, but thats a fabulous idea for next year :) I love checking our cruise photos by the way. Greece is my favorite place in the world.

  • Jason May 30, 2010, 9:44 pm

    I’ve never tried Crossfit. The workouts sound like they’d be pretty good if you have all of the equipment handy. I’m not about to go out and buy a few Kettlebells and an olympic weight set though. I used to read but got tired of reading about her Crossfit posts constantly. I was turned off by the “Church of Crossfit” vibe she gave off. I might try it some day.

    I really enjoy free weights. I’m at the gym a couple of days a week at lunch lifting when I’m not out running. I don’t have the time/desire to bulk up but it sure helps my bodyfat% and helps protect me from injuries.

    • Nicole June 1, 2010, 7:04 am

      Don’t worry, I’m not going to become a freak about it!!! If I can’t find what I need to workout, I think that substitutions are just fine!

      • Jason June 1, 2010, 7:06 am

        Sorry, didn’t mean to imply that you’d become a freak about it. That didn’t come out right. :) I hope you enjoy it. I may give it a shot some day.

        • Nicole June 1, 2010, 7:14 am

          Don’t worry, I didn’t take it that way!! I just meant that I see a lot of people joining that “church,” and I don’t plan on going anywhere near that. I know exactly what you mean!

  • Keri May 31, 2010, 7:08 pm

    My husband and I live @ Fort Benning and there are some Crossfit junkies here as well! (a military thing I guess?) We love it though! I was a bit hesitant to try at first b/c I didn’t want to look like a dude either (no offense–just not my goal). I started in April though, and I love it! I was a cardio queen (swimming and running/doing races). I have to scale the weight quite a bit but I still get a great workout. I do it about 3 days a week w/ 2 days of yoga as well as swimming, biking, and running (not currently training for any big races).
    I wish we lived on the same post! My crossfit partner just PCSed to Hawaii! Good luck!

  • Katie H. June 11, 2010, 10:37 pm

    LOL at your crossfit description (everyone sitting around talking about crossfit) because it describes my husband to a T. He’s been doing it for years and recently got certified as a Level I trainer and is very much into it. So into it that he went contacted the local crossfit affiliate in my hometown and scheduled a special “wedding WOD” for all of the groomsmen to participate in the morning of our wedding. He was wearing a crossfit sweatshirt when we were flying back from our honeymoon back in April and while I was resting on the chair next to him two other travelers came up to him and excitedly starting talking about the crossfit adventures they had in Hawaii. Once people start crossfit they definitely start sipping the koolaid! I’ve done some WODs with my husband and participated in an actual WOD at his gym once. Intense! I was going to start attending on my own while he was deployed but have fallen in love with hot yoga…and I can’t justify spending $125 a month on crossfit AND $100 on classes at the yoga studio.

    Good luck with your training :)

    • Nicole June 12, 2010, 7:59 am

      Your comment made me laugh so much. Your husband would fit in great around here! lol! I have a good friend who is into to it, and she knows I still love her after all the joking!


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