2015 Training Diary – Week 13

2015 Training Diary – Week 13
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I‘m not a superstitious person. Sure, we all have our slight quirks, like avoiding triple drains, or not opening umbrellas indoors, but I don’t often let superstitions change my behaviour. However, this week (the 13th week of the year…) hasn’t really gone to plan.

Firstly I was more tired and achy from Reading Half Marathon than I thought I might be, then there was a mix up with our class schedule resulting in a missed class on Wednesday, we had a family emergency mid-week involving trips to hospital and panics about heart health, and then had a weekend with no heating and ended up spending Sunday waiting in for a boiler engineer.

Is it to do with it being week 13? I don’t think so, but you never know…

Week 13: 23rd to 29th March 2015

Monday – Rest day. My calves and quads were aching from the half marathon on Sunday. I don’t know why I hadn’t expected this, it’s pretty obvious that when you put in max effort in a race you’re likely to hurt the next day! I think I’d let Brighton lull me into a false sense of security on that front.

Tuesday – Rest day. Still aching! I had two sports massages to do this evening, so got a bit of active rest from that. One of my clients had run Brentwood half on Sunday so we caught up on races. She did really well with a PB around the 1hr 30 mark.

A little while ago I won a competition on Instagram to win a pair of fantastic Laurie Nouchka leggings, designed with Bishopsgate as inspiration. They arrived today and I am totally in love. I think I’ll wear these for the City of London Mile in June… it seems like a fitting place!

Wednesday – Rest day. I was supposed to go to CrossFit this morning, but unfortunately there was a mix up with the timetable and we were left without a coach. I could have run instead, but a blister I’d developed on the ball of my foot from Sunday kind of put a halt to that.

My brother had to go into hospital in the early hours of this morning with chest pains. They ran tests, including an echo and blood tests, which both showed that there was some damage to the heart, which at first we all feared was a heart attack. Luckily, as the day drew on, the angiogram showed that the arteries were all clear and healthy and they concluded that the damage was actually caused by viral inflammation. They booked an MRI for Friday just to be sure and kept him in so they could monitor his pain levels, despite him feeling mostly well.

Thursday – CrossFit 6am. A replacement class was put on for us today. We started with a warm up on the rowers and then a 250m time trial. I could row all day – I love it. I got to 250m in 51.5 seconds. I’m hoping to get under 50 seconds one day. After the row we moved on to ground to overhead with the bar, so basically a clean and push press. We worked up to a heavy weight with 3 x 5 reps. I worked at 50kg. After that we had a double WOD; the first was a play on the CrossFit benchmark WOD “Karen”, which is usually 150 wall balls. We did it as a partner WOD with 150 sit ups thrown in for good measure:

150 wall balls (7kg)

150 sit ups

I worked with Ricky and we finished in 5:25. After that we had an individual 4 minute AMRAP of:

8 burpees

8 mountain climbers (8 each leg)

8 press ups

This was pretty killer on our arms and I managed 3 rounds and 2 reps.

I went to the hospital in the evening to visit my brother. He seemed fine in himself, even saying he felt silly at having to stay in hospital as the pain had really gone down and he felt fine other than a slight ache, but they wanted to keep him in until they’d done the MRI to confirm what had caused the damage to his heart.

Friday – CrossFit 6am. We worked on some pistol squat progressions. Pistol squats are one of the movements people struggle with the most in CrossFit as they’re a real test of flexibility, balance and strength. I suffer with really tight calves and so unsupported pistols are just not possible for me (at the moment…). I worked holding on to the rings for support. After that we did 6 x 8 reps of bench press at 70% 1 rep max, which for me was 35kg. I tend to be able to work at quite high percentages of my 1RM, The final WOD of the Open… I’m really sad it’s over! 15.5 was 27-21-15-9 of:

Calorie row

Thrusters (29kg minimum)

I worked at 30kg for the thrusters, which is pretty heavy for that movement for me, but I was determined to RX it. The rowing wasn’t a problem for me as I’m tall, but I found the thrusters really hard and had several moments where I had to pause to stop myself from throwing up! I broke the thrusters into sets of 5 from the off and kept that going through the whole 13 minutes and 49 seconds it took me to finish. On the last set of 9 my coach said “come on George, you can do these unbroken” – I can’t remember exactly what I said in reply, but I know I swore!

I’ll know on Tuesday where I finished up on the leaderboard. I posted a sweaty selfie on Instagram in light of Reebok’s #breakyourselfie campaign – part of the “Be More Human” slogan they’ve adopted. It’s aimed at breaking the culture of perfect selfies and showing a real side to fitness; blood, sweat and tears, and all. I think I deserved my breakfast of Total Greek yoghurt, tropical granola and passion fruit.

Saturday – CrossFit 9am. I haven’t been to a weekend CrossFit class in ages because of training for the half marathon. The weekends usually have quite a different dynamic as there’s more of a mix of people – most people get stuck in a rut during the week as to what classes they go to because of work, childcare or other commitments, but at the weekends you’ll get people who normally come to 6am sessions, or evening sessions, etc. Because it’s also usually a bigger class, we also do a team WOD, with 2-3 or more people. We did some core strength work with an EMOM (every minute on the minute) of hollow rock holds. The hollow rock is a gymnastic drill where you lie on your back with your arms extended overhead and your legs out straight but with your shoulders and legs off the ground. It really challenges the core muscles. We did 30 seconds on and 30 seconds off for 6 minutes, I had to alternate legs for the working time as I’m not strong enough yet to hold both legs out. Then we moved on to the team WOD, which was 3 rounds of:

30 overhead squats (20kg)

30 overhead lunges (20kg)

30 snatch grip push behind the neck (20kg)

30 box jumps (20″)

30 10m shuttles

I worked with Kara and Adam and we finished in 19:56. After the WOD I played around on the rig to see if I could get a strict pullup… usually I can’t move from the dead hang position unless I’ve got a thin red band but today I actually managed to move on my own accord! I got all the way up to nose height but just couldn’t get that last little pull. I tried three times but each time that last little bit was lacking. Hopefully not long now until I get my first strict pullup!

My brother got discharged today. He had hoped to come out yesterday but the results of his MRI hadn’t come back to the doctor until today. The consultant explained that he can tell from the type of scarring what caused it, and he was confident it was caused by viral inflammation and not a heart attack (a relief as my brother is only 31!). There is still a fair amount of damage, and his heart currently isn’t functioning as well as it should, but the good news is that it should repair itself over the next 8-16 weeks (he has follow-up appointments for both these periods) and everything else about his heart is healthy. It’s still quite scary though, as myocarditis can be quite nasty in its own right, and up until this week I hadn’t realised that viruses can affect your heart.

Sunday – Rest day. I had intended to run today, especially as I hadn’t gotten out to run during the week, but I took the easy excuse of tropical-storm style weather and boiler problems which meant we returned home from a day out yesterday to find we had no heating. We did housework as we waited in for the boiler engineer to arrive, and I braved the torrential rain and heavy winds to do some food shopping. The engineer managed to make a temporary fix to our heating so we didn’t have to freeze until they could come back with a new part. I know… a run would have warmed me up, but I’ll run next week!

I took advantage of the spare time today though with a giant protein pancake… one of my favourite breakfasts.


Mileage Tracker

Weekly Miles: 0 miles (whoops!)

Running Total: 129 miles

2015 Fitness Goals Progress

Goal Target/Date Progress
Running Twice per week 10 out of 13 weeks
Inversions Unsupported hand/handstand (end Q1) Can hold unsupported (for a second or two!) once up
Pullups 5 strict (end Q2) Allllllmost one strict (nose height!)
Squat Depth Below parallel (end Q4) Air squat 3/4 depth
Clean & Jerk Body weight (end Q4) 60/72.5kg… slowly getting there!
Snatch 2/3 body weight 40/47.5kg
Georgina Spenceley
Georgina Spenceley


    • Georgina
      31st March 2015 / 8:56 am

      They’re amazing aren’t they!

    • Georgina
      1st April 2015 / 6:02 pm

      Haha, it definitely can be! Have you tried CrossFit?

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