29 November 2009

Working Off TG Weekend

10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 reps (scaled)
Deadlift (115#)
Bench Press (75#)
Clean (60#)

What a gorgeous sunny day. Went for a short walk also.

28 November 2009

Thanksgiving Road Trip

Visited the Inlaws (and Mongo) for the holiday weekend.

Very nice dinner out on Thursday and then celebrated Del & Mary's anniversary on Friday night.

24 November 2009

Deep Thoughts (Politically Incorrect)

A group of mothers watching daughters practice cheer routines in the Tactical Fitness Gym. Sitting on the benches, munching on bags of chips or chocolate covered granola bars. Instead of taking this time as an opportunity TO MOVE THEIR MORBIDLY OBESE BODIES and walk around the gym for an hour.


My time in the gym:
Warm-up 1000m row, 15 pullups (blue band, no stopping), 45# deadlift x 10, mid-hang clean x 10, front squat x 10, push-press x 10, back squat x 10. 20# medicine ball cleans x 10. Set up the equipment for the WOD.
2 laps (~300m)
30 back squats 65#
10 kettlebells 25#
3 laps (~500m)
20 back squats 55#
20 kettlebells 25#
4 laps (~675m)
10 back squats 55#
30 kettlebells 25#
22:00 min

I'm now officially tired, if not exhausted. Still favoring my right elbow, the Lateral epicondylitis is still bothering me but not keeping me from exercise (like it did at the end of September). I believe the fish oil (Omega 3) has been helping to reduce the inflammation.

22 November 2009

CrossFit WOD Turned into OUCH!

Back in August when I found CrossFit Las Vegas:
Had my baseline evaluation today with Mike. After watching me jump rope, row, airsquat, do crossfit situps & pushups and demonstrate a pullup, he had me to the baseline workout: 500m row, 40 airsquats, 30 situps, 20 pushups, 10 pullups (used the purple band) in 6:45.

This was the WOD today. I thought I was doing pretty well until I got to the last exercise. I could not get my foot into that damn blue band. It slipped off my foot (before I could get it into the proper position)! Picture what happens when you snap a rubber band. Yah, pretty much that, landing across my chest - with the initial slap direct on my right nipple. OUCH!!! Going to leave a bruise I'm sure.

So I was disappointed when I got unhooked and jumped down to stop my watch; to see my time of 7:35. I'm sure if there was a trainer looking over (with the usual encouraging words), helping to get into the band quickly (and safely), and stopping the timer at the end of the last pullup, I could have at least equaled my previous time. I'm sure I'll have a chance to do this again soon. My goal will be <6:30.

The CFLV blog TTOD (Trainers Topic of the Day) was about starting clean lifts from three positions. I watched instructional videos on the main site and realized I was not really getting under the bar properly. But now I'm much better. Did 1 lift in all three positions for 3 rounds, then went to 65# for the last round. I want to have a trainer watch my form before going heavier.

21 November 2009

Saturday in the Park

Volunteer Project
National Park Service (NPS)- President's Park (The Ellipse) by the
White House - Washington DC
Joint Base Andrews Naval Air Facility Washington (JBANAFW)
Sponsored by the Culture of Responsible Choices (CoRC)

CoRC promotes healthy lifestyle activities to prevent JBANAFW member DUIs, undersage drinking, and substance abuse
Project duties: laying Ecotrack for accessible seating, tent floor installation, litter removal. The purpose of the project is to assist the NPS prepare for the annual President's Park Christmas Tree Pageant (White House Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony and Concert)

18 November 2009

Back to the Workouts and Making the Clubhouse Turn

The past two days I've been involved in an AF Dietetics Strategic Planning Video Conference. It was hosted in the Central time zone so we'd finish at 5:30p and then I still had some local stuff to do back in my office. By the time I was done it really was too late for me to go to the gym (not if I wanted dinner before 8p).

Today I'm back on schedule and got to the Fitness Center tonight for a modified version of "Eva". My WOD was 3 laps around the gym (~500m), 15 kettlebells (25#) and 15 pullups (blue band) x 5 sets. I started out pretty strong (got the first 3 sets done in 15min) but I stopped after set #4 to help a new person with kipping pullups so didn't finish the workout until 32min. I have the feeling it's going to be a little difficult to lift my arms tomorrow. But I love the "tired after a good workout" feeling.

Got my plane ticket for the trip home. Can't believe that it's getting that close now. Sort of like a horse going around the clubhouse turn. So much left to do for the flight and really only two working weeks left (cause next week is so short). Every day coming up is full of outpatient appointments so project time is going to be tight. Guess there will be some "homework" over Thanksgiving.

15 November 2009

Ravenchase Quest Around the Capital Mall

A great way to see some sights around the main park. Had lots of fun solving puzzles, saw a couple of museums, and got some exercise.

Here's just a taste of where we went today. And then a great lunch at Matchbox (on H Street). And what a gorgeous sunny day!

The bulk of the photos (including the clues) are posted on my flickr starting HERE.

14 November 2009

Row Row Row

No, the rain didn't flood out Joint Base Andrews. But it sure caused a lot of damage up and down the coast (mostly it was the winds). I think the worst is done for now - we're suppose to be clear tomorrow and then it will start again later in the week.

Meanwhile, the gym is still open. So to pass the time today I grabbed this WOD from LasVegasCrossFit.com (from earlier this week).
30 PullUps (used the blue resistance band)
1500m Row
20 PullUps
1000m Row
10 PullUps
500m Row (21:45)

Followed by Overhead Press (65#) 3-3-3-3-3

The rest of the day involved catching up on missed TV shows by finding them online (and waiting through the buffering).

Tomorrow is a fun treasure hunt through Washington DC and the Capital Park area.

11 November 2009

It's a Day Off and Just Another Workout

Wednesday was a day off work, but not off workout. I did the "Filthy Fifty".
50 Box Jumps (24")
50 Jumping PullUps
50 Kettlebell Swings (25#)
50 Walking Lunges
50 Knee-to-Elbows
50 Push Press (45#)
50 Back Extensions (18#)
50 Wall Ball (12#)
50 Burpees
200 Single Jump (rope) (Suppose to be 50 doubleunders but while I tried to do them, they are not happening for me right now).

In between sets I was helping someone doing a different WOD with their form on the push press or the air squats. For me it was 46 min so no improvement (except taller box and heavier KB. Last time I did this it was 35 min (June 2009).

Afterwards I met Megan (the eye surgeon from JBB who is stationed here at Andrews) for lunch in Alexandria, VA and then we went to see "Men Who Stare At Goats". Cold Stone Coffee/Choc Chip/Caramel afterwards and then we watched "Battlestar Galactica: The Plan".

10 November 2009

New USAF Fitness - Mock Test Results

The 779th MDG/MDSS is running mock Fit Test this month - allowing us to compare our current fitness levels to the new criteria (which goes into effect the first of the year).

Here are my results from this morning. Looks like my sporatic CrossFit workouts are still paying dividends. It will be interesting to see how others do with these new standards. The bar got pushed pretty high for pushups. In the past people could still pass by doing well enough in other areas to make up for poor performance in just one (like women who cannot do many pushups). But now there is a set minimum and I fear many women will fail the pushups (and a lot of heavier men may have a hard time with the abdominal circumfrance and/or the run).

Here's an article from Air Force Times about the new fit test, and the whys behind it (hint: It's NOT testing our potential ability in combat, it's all about health risks).

PT designer explains Air Force’s new test

By Michael Hoffman - Staff writer
Posted : Wednesday Oct 28, 2009 14:16:18 EDT

Teed off about the PT test? Scratching your head over why there’s still a waist measurement? Or how come your run time counts six times more than your pushup score?

You’re not alone.

Complaints and questions are still pouring into the Air Force, even though the service unveiled the new standards five months ago.

The man with the answers is Neal Baumgartner, a retired Air Force major and exercise physiologist now working as a civilian with the 342nd Training Squadron at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas.

Baumgartner helped design the Air Force’s “Fit to Fight” fitness program in 2003 and he’s the one who two top leaders —Maj. Gen. Darrell Jones, director of force management policy, and former Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force Rodney McKinley — turned to when they wanted to revamp the service’s PT test.

Scheduled to go into effect Jan. 1, the test is what service leaders tout as the only one in the military based on scientific research — done by Baumgartner. The Army, Navy and Marine Corps based their tests on normative standards, or the averages from past results.

Baumgartner answered some of the questions airmen still have for Air Force Times, but first he wanted to clear up the misconception that the service’s PT test measures an airman’s ability to perform his job. It doesn’t.

“[The Air Force’s fitness test] measures your health,” he said. “We are providing a standard that will test the forces fitness and health levels that should reduce health care costs and increase duty time.”

The new PT test even correlates an airmen’s run time and body composition with a low, moderate or high health risk.

Waist not
Questions always come up about the waist measurement. Airmen want to know why it doesn’t factor in height or age. Or why it’s even part of the test when the other services leave it out.

Baumgartner’s response: It’s the second best test to gauge an airmen’s health.

Other than the run, Baumgartner said, research shows an airman’s waist size predicts his overall health better than the PT test’s two other events — the pushups and sit-ups.

The larger the waist, the more intra-abdominal fat — what Baumgartner calls “dangerous fat” — a person has. It’s dangerous because it sits next to your organs. A recent study in the Netherlands found that waist size helps predict susceptibility to cancer.

Leaders chose not to scale a waist size against an airman’s height or age, Baumgartner said, because research didn’t show either factor should affect waist size.

“Your stature has no influence on the health outcome variable,” he said. “A person’s height doesn’t alter their abdominal circumference.”

And to the older officers and senior non-commissioned officers who think they should get a break on their waist, forget it, Baumgartner said. If anything, he said, the waist measurement should be smaller for older airmen.

Baumgartner explained the older you are, the less muscle and more intra-abdominal fat you have. Air Force leaders didn’t want to give airmen the impression they can get fatter as they got older — although the other PT test events are scaled for age.

The service did relax the waist measurements needed to score the maximum number of points, from 32.5 to 35 inches for men and 29 to 31.5 inches for women.

Research shows that larger waist sizes pose significant health risks, Baumgartner said. The service also didn’t want airmen pushing too hard to cut weight to reach those waist sizes, he said.

As with keeping the waist measurement, the Air Force wasn’t out to impose cruel and unusual punishment by changing the age ranges for PT scores from five to 10 years. The science just didn’t back up having 5-year groupings, Baumgartner said. After all, scientists never want to get ahead of their data and “our data separated airmen in 10-year groups,” he said.

Run with it
Plenty of conspiracy theorists wonder if the Air Force wants to train marathoners, not good airmen, with a PT test that gives 60 possible points on a 100-point test to the 1.5-mile run.

Baumgartner’s other job as a high school cross country coach certainly won’t help quell those theories, but he said the run is still the best test to judge an airmen’s health.

It best measures how a person’s body transports and uses oxygen while exercising. The better your body can do that, the more fit you are, Baumgartner said.

This is why the Air Force bumped up run scores from 50 possible points to 60.

It’s also the event where airmen need to focus hardest if they want to pass the new test. However, the run is also the most difficult event to improve on quickly.

Baumgartner recommended airmen start slow and not expect to drastically change their score in one week. It takes a disciplined approach to improve your 1.5-mile run time.

Depending on age, gender and skill level, airmen will have to devise their own running programs, but Baumgartner advised working with the fitness experts at base health and wellness centers.

Baumgartner also said PT leaders must design fitness sessions that keep airmen’s attention while providing a complete body workout. He recommended circuit training that focuses on multiple muscle groups instead of just repeating pushups, sit-ups and a short run.

“You can’t use the Johnny-off-the-shelf fix,” Baumgartner said. “It has to be part of your lifestyle.”

Here are some answers/comments/info about the USAF Fit Test, from the AFPC Fitness Program website. (My own comments are included).

Why did the Air Force revise the Air Force Fitness Program?

In the summer of 2008, then Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force Rodney McKinley requested an Air Force audit, and it clearly revealed the fitness program needed significant improvement.

The audit revealed that unit programs did not create a "culture of fitness" needed in the Air Force. In addition, it identified inconsistencies in action taken on members who did not meet fitness standards and implementation of proper fitness testing.

Air Force Reserve Airmen (that's me) will fitness test 12 months after their last calendar year 2009 test date, then again 6 months later to progress to a biannual cycle. (My last test was in Sep 2009, so my first official test under the new system will be Sep 2010 and then Mar 2011 - both nice times of the year for Las Vegas weather).

Will there be any incentives for members who clearly demonstrate fitness excellence?

Yes. Patches are being designed for wear on the PT uniform. Patches will recognize both one-time and sustained (four consecutive tests over 2 years) performance in the Excellent category (composite score of > 90), and for scoring a perfect 100. (That perfect 100 will go to young men who are natural runners, I'm close, but that run time is not designed for a Clydesdale like me. My first 100 points this year will just have to be my only one, I'll still have the satisfaction that I earned it).

How were the minimum requirements for each component determined?

The minimum requirement for the aerobic and body composition (abdominal circumference) components was established at the cut line between moderate and high health risk associated with that component. Air Force officials want Airmen to avoid the high health risk region in order to pass the test. For pushups and sit-ups, the minimum requirements were established at the 50th and 60th percentiles, respectively, for performance among the entire U.S. population based on widely accepted fitness data. (I find that hard to believe regarding the pushups and women - my max score went from 18 to 38!)

Why did the service make the run scores harder to max out for certain age groups?

Air Force officials chose to use proven databases used by the Cooper Institute and recognized by the American College of Sports Medicine. New 1.5-mile run times that assess the most important physical fitness component, cardiorespiratory endurance or aerobic fitness, are based on the most current scientific data for age and gender. (For a max score on the run, I have to train to run a 1:53 quarter mile/7:32 mile - and maintain that speed the second 1/2 mile - I'm not saying it's impossible, but I've never enjoyed sprinting even when swimming, and at the peak of my running experience circa early 1990s I was usually in the 8 min range).

And now it's time to hit the gym.

08 November 2009

Road Trip to Meet Virtual CoWorkers

Yeah, I'm a geek. I have a virtual job at a virtual paper company, DunderMifflinInfinity (a virtual subsidary from the TV show "The Office" that was started in Season 4 in the show by the character Ryan). To make me even more geeky, I happen to be the Regional Manager of the Elizabeth, NJ branch (how I ended up in a New Jersey branch is a long story).

Some of these virtual branch offices include people who do live near to their branch town. And many host actual gatherings or "Meet 'n Greets". Last night the Allentown branch invited me up to East Earl, PA (it's near Lancaster) to have dinner at the Shady Maple Smorgasbord. Yup, I drove 3 hours to have dinner at an Amish restaurant that is so big it hosts over 8000 diners on a typical Saturday (breakfast through dinner).

After two years of chatting with these people, it's great to finally meet some of them in person.

07 November 2009

Retiree Appreciation Day - Nutrition Table

Joint Base Andrews honors local military retirees today. This morning the 779th Med Group provided health screens and information. Nutritional Medicine Flight was well represented. During the two hours our team spoke with many folks and answered lots of nutrition questions. People really like the food models and visual cues for fat & sugar in foods, and how triglycerides thicken the blood.

Thank you team for helping out on your day off. Don't they all look sharp in their service dress? Yes they do. Go USAF Blue!

{yes, I know I'm short}

03 November 2009

Clean Computer! And a Day at Work.

$200 and I get my computer back with a clean bill of health Monday night. Thank you Best Buy. (I still want to shoot the a$$wipes who created that Malware).

Keeping busy at work. Seeing lots of outpatients (diabetes, hypertension, gastric bypass patients are the most common). Getting materials ready for the Retirement Appreciation Day on Saturday (Med Group Health Fair will be in the morning). I am blessed with a couple of active, motivated airmen working in the Nutrition Clinic - such a wonderful breath of fresh air to have self directed diet techs. Just SrA but if I went back to Iraq I would want these two working with me.

Today was a little different with revising the diabetes class slide shows and a couple of non-typical outpatients; gastric reflux in the morning and lactose intolerance (possible Celiac) in the afternoon. I also created a "Safe Food Handling for Thanksgiving" pamphlet.

Getting ready for PT (for me every Tuesday at 3:30p) when I got a call from the ICU with an MD consult for diet education. The patient wasn't going home tonight but this doctor said "patient care takes precedence". While I could have visited either after the workout or tomorrow around lunch time....I just said "Yes ma'am" and gathered materials to bring up to the unit. After that I set up my stuff for tomorrow's outpatients and it was about 6p before I got to the gym.

CrossFit WODs
Monday: 3 rounds - 200m run, 6 Deadlifts/5 Hang Power Clean/4 Front Squats/3 Push Jerk 65# barbell (7:45)

Tuesday: "Angie" broken up. 100 pullups (62 using blue band, 38 jumping) in 9:19. 5 min "rest" (I walked one lap around the gym). 100 pushups (as prescribed, straight legs) in 7:45. 5 min "rest". 100 CF situps in 5:14. 5 min "rest". 100 air squats in 4:00.

Tomorrow will be a rest day (and I'm expecting another long day at work).

One nice thing this month is my husband's work schedule. He's on day shift which means he's at home when I get online so we can webcam and chat. The bad thing is my TV schedule is 3 hours ahead (unless we're watching a sports event). Once a week we watch Poker (WSOP) on ESPN at the same time and share comments. The rest of the week I have to keep quiet about our favorite shows (which include Survivor, Amazing Race, Heroes, The Big Bang Theory) until the next day when he has "caught up".

01 November 2009

Computer Viruses Suck! And Playing Tourist - Part 1

Sorry the photos were delayed. My computer got loaded with spyware virus last night (whoever created Personal Guard 2009 can get run over by a Russian tank after I shoot him). Despite 7 hours (didn't go to bed until past 3a) going through the registry & deleting processes and running my antivirus software, I was still infected and probably screwed up some other things. And the virus has corrupted my IE so I wasn't even able to get onto the internet to dl the appropriate AntiMalware. This morning I took it to Geek Squad; hope to get it back Tuesday evening (then I will edit this paragraph & add photos to the blog).

Today was my first tourist day. Aliendial (whom I know from unFiction and ARGFests) took me to brunch in Alexandria. After a detour to Best Buy we headed into the Capital. Destination was the Newseum on Pennsylvania Ave. We spent a lovely afternoon exploring all the exhibits, watching a few videos, playing with the interactive monitors, and I took a few pictures (there are more at my flickr).

It also turned into a bit of an adventure as we got on the 295N instead of South and then she felt something wasn't right with the vehicle. Flat tire. Yes, two women CAN change a tire (sorry, no pictures of this one, we didn't really like the neighborhood).

Now I'm back at the hotel, waiting for my weekend Chinese food delivery, using the computer in the business center. Guess I'll get some reading done the next few nights (no computer also means no DVD player). Fingers crossed Best Buy has it ready for pick-up on Tuesday after work.