Friday, May 30, 2008

VO2 Max Thursday

Went extremely well. I did a 15:15 of swings, 10 Left, 10 Right for 25 minutes using the 16 kg (35 pound) kettlebell.

After that I did pullup negatives - 4 x 2
Then I did pistols - 4 x 2 Left, Right

This time I did the pistols while standing on a bench so my nonworking leg could go down and out. I want to find a groove to grease and nothing felt comfortable on the floor. I hope these soon become as natural to me as snatches. I remember when I felt I would never get the snatch form down. I just need to give it time.

I've been thinking a lot about how far I've come over the past year. What a year of change I've had. It's been tough getting used to a new me, yet somehow I'm starting to feel comfortable in my skin. Sure, there are a few more things I want to work on for vanity's sake (the saddlebags and the area on my arms above the elbow - still holding that mommy weight!) However, all-in-all, I'd say I've created a lot of positive change in my life.

The sun is finally peeking out. I'm planning on a trek on my Harley this weekend. Finally!!!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

It's Not a Video, but Here You Go!

Today I snatched the 20 kg 8 x 2 L, R. I had to do a swing between each snatch to get enough hip snap, but I got er done!!

Here I am getting ready. That's my growl.

Okay, I can do this with my right arm.

Sure enough! I can do it with my left too!!

Celebrating my victory over the 20 kg snatch.

Let's see if my left shoulder is celebrating tomorrow. I had to abort a couple snatches on the left. Yee ouch!!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Twenty Tuesday

It was the day of the 20 kg (44 pound) bell. This is BIG for me!!

Squats - 20 kg - 8 x 3 L, R
Inverted Rows - 8 x 8
Pullup Negatives - 4 x 2
Burpee to Clean - 20 kg - 15 L, R

I keep trying to find my groove on the squats. Today a narrower stance and deep ass to grass depth felt the best. At the cert, a wide stance and shallower depth felt best.

The pullup negatives went better last week when I did them on the rings. I felt I could really create tension. On the the straight bar, I felt awkward because I couldn't stretch out my torso. I also found myself getting arch cramps - yeah, in my feet and my feet weren't even on the ground. Sup wit dat?

Oh, the burpee to clean. I was supposed to use the 16 kg bell and do 20 each arm; however, I felt adventurous and used the 20 kg. Yay me! They were tough and I made a lot of noise, but I got em done.

I was supposed to do 10 minutes of TGUs, but I wasn't feeling the best, so I decided to forego those. Perhaps tomorrow.

Tomorrow I will snatch the 20 kg bell. I am positively giddy about it. I can't wait to see what I've got. Send me strength vibes.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Double the Fun

My double KB drills were actually fun - challenging, but fun.

Clean & Push Press - 16 kg - 10 x 2 L, R
Double Clean to Squat - 12 kgs - 5 x 4
Double High Pulls - 12 kgs - 5 x 10

Burpees - 10
Mountain Climbers - 20 each leg
Pushups - 8
BW Squats - 15

3 Rounds - 20 secs between drills - 40 secs between rounds

Did you see the weight I used on the push presses? Yep! 16 kg. That felt amazing. I'm seeing hope that I will be pressing that puppy regularly soon.

The double high pulls were actually easier to do than the singles. I think that's because I had to ground myself better and really swing it hardstyle. I don't know if I'll ever go back to singles (unless Brad makes me).

Changing subjects.........................

Life with Penny the pup is going well. Here's a couple pictures.

Yes, she's spoiled. Yes, she's cute. Yes, she sleeps through the night. No, she doesn't like being left alone. No, she doesn't like being tied up. No, she doesn't always make it outside. BUT, she's only had a few accidents in the house. She's already figured out the doggie door (without any help from us). She's pretty smart and reminds us a lot of our last boxer Sophie. It's nice having a dog around again. I'll just be glad when she's out of the puppy stage!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Can You Say "Ouch!"

Thursday's training is sticking with me. I could feel it when I woke up. Here's what I did:

Swings - VO2 Max 15:15 - 16 kg 10 L, R for 20 minutes
Lunge 45, Rotate and Press - 12 kg - 5x4 L, R
Pullup Negatives - 3 x 2
Pistols - Bodyweight - 3 x 2 L, R

The VO2 Max swings were great. They get my blood pumping! The lunge, rotate and press is a killer. It's amazing how much more difficult it is to press the 12 kg when your body is twisted. Try it sometime!

The pullup negatives were challenging, but rewarding. I don't have a bar at home, but I do have rings hanging from the floor joist in the basement. (Don't ask.) So I used the rings. I found that using the hardstyle method of generating tension really allowed me to hold myself up for a long period of time, well, long for me. :-)

Pistols, what can I say about those? I don't know if I'm the right bodytype for those things. I felt incredibly awkward and weak. Going down went fine. I have an iron rod I hang onto. Getting back up, not so good. I think I used my upper body to pull me up. Brad - you're going to have to help me out on those bad boys!

Today's training looks challenging. Lots of presses, squats, pushups, burpees, and high pulls. I'm going to have to earn my weekend rest for sure!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Good Training #2

I just finished up my training for the day


Gorgeous day in NW Iowa. It's about 70 degrees and breezy. My hubby is digging in the dirt. My daughter is playing with the new puppy (Penny). And I'm kickin' in Hardstyle!

TGUs - 12 kg - 10 minutes alt. L,R
Squats - 16 kg - 7 x 5 L,R
Burpee to Clean - 16 kg - 15 L,R

For my cool down I get to play a round of golf tonight. It's the first night of women's league. I haven't even swung a club this spring. Jeez! This ought to be fun. Ha! LOL

Good Training

Monday was a good day training.

Clean & Press - 12kg - 6 sets of 5 L, R
Snatch - 12 kg - VO2 Max, 7 L, R 15:15 for 20 minutes

The clean & press didn't feel quite as strong as I had hoped. I found that looking at the KB ala Kenneth Jay helped a lot. It allowed me to hold more tension in my torso. If I want to press that 16 kg consistently, I'll need that tension!

The VO2 Max is really going well. It feels awesome. I probably need to use the 16 kg for that since I knocked out 20 minutes without too much trouble. I'll see what Brad has to say about that.

On the nutrition side of things, I've made a big batch of red cabbage "slaw" with poppyseed dressing. I've been putting that on a bed of mixed greens for lunch. Add a couple hard boiled eggs and Voila! Yummy!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Back to Life

I've been out of town most of this week. Not a big deal except I didn't bring my computer with me, so I couldn't blog or check blogs. I'm back now AND this is my last day of work for the year (until mid-July when I teach a condensed credit course).

Oh the things I'm looking forward to!

1. Lots and lots of kettlebell mania. The RKC cert kind of drained me. I feel like I'm finally recovered. I think my being sick last weekend was a direct result of being wiped out. My CNS put the brakes on so I couldn't overtrain. It kills me to not be able to train physically when I want to mentally. I am looking forward to pushing myself to reach some goals for myself including
--snatching the 20 kg regularly
--doing a pull up
--pressing the 16 kg regularly

2. Bringing kettlebells to the people. Now that I am an RKC, I'm looking forward to creating some opportunities to introduce kettlebells to the folks in northwest Iowa and southeast South Dakota. I am open to any and all marketing ideas!

3. Soaking up the sun at the lake, at the pool, and on my motorcycle. I'm looking forward to some down time devoted to my kids. I'm not going to have a nanny this summer, so I can focus on home. I can also slow down and breathe and enjoy all of my blessings.

4. Discovering new foods and recipes. With my down time I want to find new healthy food options and develop easy recipes for when I am back at work and life is crazy. I will now have the time to go to the farmer's markets and to experiment. I am open to any and all suggestions regarding favorite foods and cooking methods.

So there are just a few things I have planned for the summer. How lucky am I to be able to have three months off every year to get caught up with life? Incredibly lucky, I'd say!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Hey Kate Monster!!

My friend Kate is a triathlete. She's in Florida preparing for the Disney 70.3 on Sunday. She's definitely been on my mind. I know this because last night, I dreamt that I did a 70.3 race!! OMG! It was so realistic. I have no idea where I got the bike, but I was all tricked out. My time was pretty kick butt as well - 4:36:52. I remember that distinctly because it was on my race watch. I was so proud, and Kate was at the finish line jumping up and down like a kid. I remember thinking in my dream, "Wow! All I did to prepare was kettlebell drills. I haven't swam more than 25 meters in years. Those kettlebells are the bomb!"

Kate, if you finish your race in 4:36:52 I will die!!! I will be tracking your Happy A$$ on Sunday. Enjoy the Pain!!
Yes, this is me at Ironman Arizona in April 2007. The racers loved Pavel's signature phrase. It made them smile on the grueling bike course (hot and super windy).

Sunday, May 11, 2008

I Might Have Been Wrong

about the popcorn making me sick. I have been sick all weekend. I can't eat anything without getting nauseous. All I can do well is sleep.

Yeah, Happy Mother's Day to me. I felt well enough to go to church and play bells with my kids. I also had lunch with my mom and dad and Jerry's mom, even though I couldn't eat much. Then I had a date with the couch all afternoon. On the up side, Jerry has been doing the laundry today!! I haven't had to fold any clothes. What a treat!

BTW Jerry - Thank you for the silver necklace with the "Amy Jurrens, RKC" engraving on it. Very chic and unexpected.

Friday, May 9, 2008

An Apology

Dear Body,

I want to apologize for subjecting you to my munchies last night. I will never again subject you to popcorn with fake marshmallow coating. My only defense is that it sounded like a good way to satisfy my craving for something sweet and crunchy. I was wrong. I hope you can forgive me for the awful way I treated you. It will never happen again.

With Love,

PS - I understand your desire to lash out at me today. I will take everything you give me today and use it as a reminder to NEVER do this again.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Wednesday's Training

Is Brad going soft on me? I finished my training and thought, "Is that it?" I think he forgot the other half of my workout! ;-}

I did the following:
TGUs w/12kg - 10 minutes alternating L, R
Squats w/16kg - 4 L, 4 R
Inverted rows - 10

Since I didn't feel worn out, I did some pushups for Com. Hardstyle (David Whitley). I didn't even get stuck midway through!! If I had, there would have been no one to kick me.

I also gave a go at pressing that 16 kg. Right side: I got one. Left side: no go without ASSistance from my free hand. WTH? Now that's just pissing me right off. I will try again tomorrow!!

Monday's Training

It felt great to pick up my KBs again after a week break. Here's what I had the pleasure of accomplishing:

Clean & Press w/ 12kg - 8 x 3 L, R
Snatch - VO2 Max - 12 kg - 7 L, R 15:15 for 15 minutes

Quick and effective. I noticed that the 12 kg feels light after learning how to properly breathe, support, and apply tension during presses. I pretty much did the 8 sets non-stop. I suppose it's time to start pressing the 16kg.

Make sure you check out Dr. Cheng's blog. He reflects on his KB tour of duty - his Trifecta. A very good read!

On a completely side note: I had the great honor of attending a bill signing by the governor of Iowa. I've been involved with some legislation that applies a penny sales tax statewide for education infrastructure. (I serve on my local school board and on the Iowa Association of School Boards board of directors. ) The signing was definitely a highlight of my week!! And, I got to keep one of the pens Governor Culver used to sign the bill. How cool is that? I need to get that puppy framed with a copy of the bill.

Speaking of puppies, here's a pic of Penny as of Saturday. In a week and a half she'll be home!

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Revealing Kettlebell Commentary (RKC)

Now that I've had a week to take in the entire RKC experience, I thought now would be a good time to reflect. Here are my thoughts in no particular order of significance:

1. I never felt as if I would "die" during the weekend. I truly enjoyed the pain of hard workouts. Each time I made it through something tough, I felt empowered. Each time we were told what we were expected to do, I thought to myself, "Here you go, Amy. This is your chance to prove to yourself that you can do this." Jerry commented every day how surprised he was that I wasn't complaining about the training.

2. Brad Nelson came into my life for a definite purpose. Without his tough love and belief in me, I would never have made it to the RKC cert. I remember being a victim for the April 2006 cert and thinking to myself that it would take a miracle for me to ever be able to do that. Well, I got my miracle. Why does it take someone else to see the potential in you before you can see it yourself? Brad encouraged me, gave me tough training sessions, and supported me when I was hurting. It was a comfort knowing Brad was at the cert if I needed to bounce something off him. He gave me a Z assessment Thursday night in the hotel. Then he worked with me and by Friday, I was feeling fantastic. Thank you for EVERYTHING you did for me Brad, leading up to and during the cert. I hope I made you proud to say you're my trainer.

3. The set up of the RKC is optimal. The days are long and demanding, but that's the best way for it to be done. Your body has to make all the movements normal, subconscious. If you have too much time to think, you'll start second-guessing the adjustments the instructors are making in your technique.

4. The long, demanding days also force you to focus. I never missed my kids because I had no room in my head for thoughts of them. That was beneficial.

5. I didn't mind the military style/feel to the training. I've never been in the military, so I didn't know if I would take to that style or not, but I definitely did. It's part of the "not having to think about anything else" mindset that makes it almost a comfort to be told what to do. I found myself just letting go of my self-doubts and complaints because I knew they would be worthless. There's no use in resisting. It will only waste your energy. Just do whatever you're told to do. It works. And, by the end of the weekend, I was ready to take back control over my life. That's also empowering.

6. The RKC community is amazing. Everyone is supportive. Everyone wants to see you do your best. Everyone roots for you. No one is mean or demeaning. The tough love is assertive and direct, but NEVER destructive or cruel. I was so willing to improve, to strive for perfection because I knew my instructors all wanted me to achieve it. There is no feeling like that. There is no immature attitudes of "I'm stronger than he is. I'm so cool." We celebrated the strength and skills of each other and helped one another push through roadblocks to discover strength. Amazingly uplifting!

7. The graduate workout is not about proving your skill and strength to the instructors. It is about proving it to yourself. When I lined up on that field and looked at how far I had to go, I knew I had a choice. I could doubt my strength and ability and struggle, or I could open up my mind to the FACT that I was able to do this. Kenneth Jay yelled "GO!" and I just focused on pressing those bells until he said stop. Each time I picked up the bells for the presses, I said to myself, "Amy, you are strong. Enjoy the experience. You can do this." And the funny thing is, I believed myself. This is probably the first time in my life that I did believe myself on something positive. I've always believed the negative self-talk. To believe the positive self-talk is a breakthrough. It is revealing and self-affirming. THIS is what makes the RKC certification weekend life-changing to so many people, including me.

So, yes, I'm an RKC. That is sooooooo cool. Even better than that is the fact that I now know I am strong in more ways than I thought possible.