Ok, ok, I know some of you might be sick of me gushing about my newest obsession...Crossfit. Hey, at least I'm not talking about how great Paleo is anymore (even though it really is, and I have to fight the urge to post about how great it is everyday. HA!) So yesterday I was shown/proven how fast my first seven Crossfit workouts result in marked improvement in performance.
There is a lake here in Seattle, Greenlake, and it is a popular place to run. There is an inside paved track (2.7 miles) and an outside loop trail (3.1 miles/5K). I've always run the outside because the inside loop is always packed with people. Since I've lived in Seattle, Greenlake has always been a constant for me. My nine years here in Seattle can be broken down into "being able to run the full loop without stopping" and "not being able to." I remember when I first moved here, I could run the outside loop in 30 minutes.
I like Greenlake because its so familiar. I know what to expect at every turn. Its a benchmark for my fitness, as when I'm out of shape I can't complete the loop without walking, and when I'm "in shape" I can. One year ago I tried to run Greenlake because I knew I needed to see where I was at. I could not run the whole thing. It took me 39 minutes to do the loop. In March, 3 months after I started this blog/journey, I had lost 15 pounds and had been exercising regularly. I headed to Greenlake to see where I was at after 3 months of exercise, and I ran the loop non-stop in 35:41 minutes. I was ELATED! I knocked 3.5 minutes off my time. March - June I continued to run, but really never got faster then a 35 minute loop.
In June, I started eating Paleo, and my exercise pretty much fell off a cliff, even though my weight loss accelerated. I was fine losing weight with no exercise. It was like a dream come true! Somewhere in late July or early August, I decided to try a Greenlake loop. I had to do some walking, but still finished the loop in 36 minutes. Anyone that has spent a lot of time running, or doing any other sport knows how quickly the cardiovascular ability disappears if its not kept up. I definitely was not keeping it up.
September 1, enter Crossfit. As of Friday, September 17, I had completed seven Crossfit sessions.
Yesterday, I decided to hit up Greenlake to see where I'm at. In the back of my mind was how I haven't run distance in weeks. In the back of my mind was the time in July when I couldn't make it around without stopping.
I decided I would just take it slow. I would go as far as I could go, and if I had to walk, fine. I started out and focused on finding a rhythm. A rhythm for my breathing, for my steps, for my thoughts. I felt strong, I felt good. At about the half way mark, I looked at my watch and was blown away to see that I was only at 17 minutes...normally the watch says something entirely different. I realized I was on track to have a really good time, and that motivated me to keep going. I pushed on, I felt like I was moving at a snails pace. I finished the outside loop in 33:33!
Holy shitballs. You mean to tell me that I can essentially do no exercise for 3 months, then do 7 Crossfit workouts and beat my time from prior to 3 months ago when I was running consistently?!?!??! If that isn't amazing, I don't know what is. If that isn't efficiency, I don't know what is. If that isn't proof that Crossfit does exactly what it claims to do, I don't know what is. Crossfit is no joke.
I know it sounds crazy, but even after my first 3 Crossfit workouts, I felt like I was getting stronger.