Friday, October 26, 2012

"Meghan" WOD (Birthday Part I)

Mom, Jess B, & Patti helped me celebrate.
Workout details below!

On Tuesday I hit my first quarter century (and no, I don't mean in cycling terms).  Between early presents and belated celebrations, October is turning into Birthday Month!

I have been so blessed by my family and friends - here's some of my swag so far.

Jared bought me chocolates.

Taryn got me a cute purple tote...I think it was meant as a gym bag, but I eat so much that it's now my lunch bag.

My parents got me new Nike workout pants... 

...and a new lululemon top.

You can't see very well from the photos above, but the bra of the top is the awesome blue print I was in love with:

And of course, what is a birthday without CrossFit?  (Well, for most people, probably a good one.)  I was stoked that Coach Corey made a birthday WOD for me - our whole box did it all day on the 23rd in my honor.  It was a fun mix of stuff I hate (wall balls, thrusters) and stuff I like (pullups, cleans).  It was kinda brutal - very deceiving.  The weights aren't super heavy so it doesn't seem too first.  Apparently everyone at our box hates me now...go figure.

My goal was to finish in under 25 minutes...and I made it! 

I also ended up with kind of a nasty blood blister...but I felt super proud of myself for doing 50 unassisted pullups in a workout! 

More gifts and festivities to share with you next week...boy am I getting spoiled.

Celebrate with me!  Here are two ways you can join in the birthday festivities:

1. Take on "Meghan."  You can do my birthday WOD in your box or gym!  If you are not familiar with the movements in the workout, PLEASE enlist a certified personal trainer or CrossFit coach to walk you through these.  And by all means, scale if you need to!


Row for 25 calories
(be sure and set your rower to show calories and not meters)

Then, 2 rounds of:
(guys use a 20 pound ball, girls #14)
(it's me as a CrossFit newbie in the video!)

Then, when you finish your second round,
(75 pounds for guys, girls #50)

If you workout at home but still wanna join the fun, try this one instead - no equipment needed!

"Meghan Lite"

25 jumping jacks

Then, 2 rounds of:
25 pushups
25 sit-ups
25 air squats

Finish it up with:
25 burpees

2.  Send me a present!  In November, our CrossFit team will be running the 7th Annual Winter Pineapple Classic - a 5k run with obstacles along the course followed by a luau. 

100% of the proceeds go to The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.  Please support me by going to > click donate > type in Meghan Matson > complete the donation process.  All donations are 100% tax deductible.  If your company has a matching gift program please request a match of your donation.  Thanks for supporting me!

Monday, October 22, 2012

The Other CrossFit Girls

 Ever have one of those weeks?

You know, where your normal workout-fiend personality takes a hike and you want to skip the gym in favor of Gilmore Girls reruns and snacks?

Well, last week, that was me. 

Normally I am the kind of girl who annoys everyone else by bringing healthy food to work and blabbering on about how much I love CrossFit.  Last week started out with my typical zeal, but by Friday I was NOT feeling stoked for my after-work WOD.  I am all for rest days when you physically or emotionally just need one.  But I knew I didn't really need one.  This was just a: "well, I don't really feel like it for no particular reason so I wish I had an excuse to bail."

Rather than just skip class, I decided to get myself some serious motivation.  I texted one of my fave WOD buddies, Jess, to see if she was going to CrossFit.  She said she planned to go to the 5pm class, so I promised I'd be there.

And I was so glad I went!  Not counting Coach Jared, it was an all-girl class: Jess, Joan, Patti, and me.  We got a great workout in and I felt so much better afterwards!

Post-WOD with Jess B!

Coach Jared helped me scale some of the movements so I wouldn't aggravate my calf, which has been bothering me.  I did box step-ups instead of jumps, #35 kettlebell swings instead of the double-unders (which kinda made me sad since I want to keep working on them!), and pullups instead of the burpees.

The pullups were tough, since in the warmup I was doing kipping chest-to-bar pullups with a band, and then strict dead-hang pullups to work towards one of my end of year goals.  I was kinda toast from the dead-hang pullups - yikes, those are hard!

I really worked having good clean form on the V-ups.  They kill me, but they're SO good for your lower abs if you do them correctly!

Saturday morning I usually go to the Olympic lifting/Girl WOD class at 8...but I slept in until 8:30.  I was surprised that, yet again, I wanted to just skip working out.

I knew that I would be happy I went, but it was hard to get myself to the 9:30 team WOD - I'm not exactly a big team player - I like peace during my workouts, and the smaller the class, the better.  Team WOD days are usually PACKED, but I had hopes that I would get a great partner and end up having a good time.

Turns out Hopeful Meghan beat out Whiny Meghan for the win.  I got to partner with Joan for the workout, and it was SO motivating!  I'd forgotten how hard I work when I don't want to let one of my buddies down on our score!

I got to work on my form for the row and was proud to link all 5 reps of my handstand pushups each round I got.  Plus, Joan's not only a hard worker, but a great sport - so we sweated a ton and had a good time to boot!

People talk a lot about the great family at CrossFit, and I couldn't agree more!  So thankful for these women who have my back and help me kick my butt into shape!

Other weekend highlights:

Finally visiting the Doughnut Factory with Jared,

joining my mother-in-law in Seattle to watch a documentary for one of her classes,

and visiting my folks out in North Bend for an early birthday celebration.  Yum.

Salmon, artichokes, wine, and salad

Chocolate cake!

You tell me:  Who are your workout buddies?  How do you motivate yourself on the days when your interest in fitness flags?  Have you noticed an abundance of doughnut photos on this blog?

Friday, October 19, 2012

SELF Day 10.12

Last fall, I picked up the November issue of Self Magazine on a whim at a bookstore.  I love health and fitness magazines and I especially love Julianne Hough & Footloose, so I had to have it.  A big theme of the issue was "Self Day" - taking a day off work and stress and doing things that you enjoy instead of just being busy with the "have-tos" of life.  I thought it was a killer idea and I had a great time celebrating my first Self Day on November 1st.  (Incidentally, it was the day I tried CrossFit for the first time and got hooked.  Double win!)

Now, every month or so, I try to designate one Self Day so that I can relax and get a little rejuvenated to jump back into life.  The past few weeks at work have been stressful, and I realized I was overdue for my day off!

Yesterday was a treat from the get-go.  I got to sleep in a little, and then started the day off with mobility at CrossFit.  It was my day off, but since I had to drop Jared off at work anyway, I figured I'd go in and make use of the equipment (and prevent squeezing mobility out of my day completely).  It's so peaceful to just work out stiff or tight muscles and get a little blood flowing without the pressure of a full-on workout.

Next I headed to Target to pickup a few things and ended up finding a sale on some Method products!  Yay hippie soap!  I also stuck to my list except for the soap, which at Target is a real challenge for me.

On my way home, I got a treat at Great Harvest and hit up my beloved Bellevue Library for some returns and some new reads:

Then instead of jumping into chore-mode like I normally would, I sat on the couch with a cup of tea and my raspberry cream cheese scone for some Gilmore Girls.

Unfortunately I had some "business" to take care of besides just watching Rory's bad date at Yale and Luke's first experience with "Casablanca."  I had to pick up my license tabs at the local licensing office.  It was a little frustrating but thankfully didn't take too long, and I was able to blow off the momentary cloud in anticipation of the next item on my agenda!

I have some dear friends whom I've known since the days they were born.  They're brothers and were the ring bearers in our wedding. 

The younger one's been having a rough week, so I took him out to lunch at Subway!  We've always gotten along great, and it was awesome to catch up with him - I think it made both of us feel a lot better about life.

After my lunch date, I met up with Tina (the gal I teach with) and we went over some plans for our musical theatre class.  I will get to choreograph "Greased Lighting" and I'm stoked.  Then it was time for class, and it was great to see the opening number of the show coming along so well!

I listened to the soundtrack for Wonderland and sang my little heart out in traffic on the way to pick up Jared from work.  After we got home, we decided we HAD to start in on season 4 of Jared ran out to get it while I did some serious work on the dishes (sometimes getting chores done actually helps me relax).

We finished off the evening with turkey, roasted veggies, and two killer episodes.  Life is good.

You tell me: How do you unwind when life gets crazy?  Are you in love with the library?  What's your favorite type of scone?  Gilmore Girls or Castle?

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Portland Rock 'n' Roll/Upcoming Races

Let's take a little trip down memory lane.

This spring, Jared and I ran the inaugural Portland Rock 'n Roll Half Marathon.  (If you are not interested in a 5-month late post, scroll to the bottom to see what's on the horizon.)

I trained by loosely following the CrossFit Endurance blog.  (I say loosely because I did WODs at my box instead of their prescribed WODs.  And because I was busy and missed some of their outlined training.) 

It was spring in the Northwest when we started training.  At the time I was also volunteering with my musical theatre class, going to hot yoga several times a week, and CrossFitting regularly.  (Oh, and that full time job thing.)  But we had signed up for the run a year in advance because we love Portland, and the entrance fees were on sale!

Needless to say it may not have been the best time to train for a half, which is why the CrossFit Endurance approach seemed fitting.  Most of the runs are short but brutal, and the idea (in my perception) is that you are packing the intensity of "normal" training into less time.  This meant my longest runs were on the weekend and fairly comparable to other long runs, but my mid-week runs were usually some sort of programmed speedwork (example:
"Run (TUE): 4-8 x 400m, rest 1:30, hold within 3-5 seconds" - so in this case you're only covering 1-2 miles total).  This saved me planning long routes and allowed me to get a lot of running done on the treadmill at my office...which was great since doing track work at that time of year reminded me of the story of Noah's Ark...ya know, where God floods the earth:

The water came up to my ankles at parts of the track

I felt pretty good going into the race.  My previous times for a half were 2:04 and change for the Kirkland Half and 2:05:48 for the Bend Half.  I was reasonably optimistic about breaking 2 hours since I felt like I was in better shape all around than my previous races.

However, it was not to be...we started out too fast for me to maintain, and one thing I had not expected was that my lungs had benefitted from the condensed intensity, but my FEET had not built up their usual toughness.  Partway through the race I had enormous blisters and each step became excruciating.  I told Jared to finish without me when we were about halfway.  Highlights included onlookers with boomboxes playing "Thiller" and "Footloose" (one of my all time faves).  The bands themselves I found disappointing...perhaps because much of the time I seemed to arrive just after a song or set.

Then, a few miles from the end, my knee problem from the previous December kicked in with a vengence (likely because the blisters were throwing off my gait).  I was actually crying at mile 11 because my knee hurt to run, but then if I walked my blisters would hurt for that much longer.  Luckily at that point one of my favorite coworkers caught me.  Her plan was to go slow and walk through all the remaining water breaks. 

I finished with her in one ugly piece at 2:17:29, over 10 minutes slower than my previous times. 

Jared was able to break 2 hours, clocking in at 1:56:17 - so glad I encouraged him to push on alone!

I could barely walk around in the pouring rain to get my awesome swag.  I was impressed that they had "rain ponchos" ready for all of us and great goodies in addition to our medals.

The rest of our trip to Portland was amazing:


Nike store - duh
We hit up lululemon as well as Nike, and in addition to great gear, I got a free headband since lulu was giving them out if you'd run the race!

We read about the Sunshine Tavern in a magazine of Jared's and it was absolutely incredible. 

Fresh air seating

Ginger ale shanty

Dessert as an appetizer

I beat Jared at one of the arcade games!

The enormous burger we split

We spent the first night (before the race) at the Hotel Fifty, since it was affordable and right between the start and finish lines.  The second night, we splurged on a Starlight Guestroom at the Hotel Vintage Plaza.

It was too rainy and cloudy to see the stars, but I was so sore and blistered from the race, that we pretty much spent a day reading and eating snacks in the hotel room.  It was awesome to have so many comfy places to sit and all the gorgous natural light! 

We went out for Stumptown, and I even got coffee!  I'm usually a tea drinker, but this stuff was just delightful.

We woke up early on the final morning to beat the line for Voodoo Doughnut - we planned to go on our first day, but the line looked like Disneyland! 

SO worth it.

Our swag from Nike, lululemon,
Voodoo Doughnut, and Powell's Books!

While the trip as a whole was absolutely amazing, the race for me was horrible.  Nothing like crying on the course and then limping to lunch afterwards with some friends who also ran the race.  I was miserable and felt like CrossFit Endurance had kinda let me down.  I was sure that I would not be running. Ever. Again.

Well, after about 5 months of focusing on other things like paring down my schedule to something reasonable, I have not one, but THREE races on the horizon.

October: Pumpkin Push

 I ran this with friends in 2010 and volunteered with a friend in 2011.  This year, I'm doing both!  (Seriously, they let you run for free and give you a tee shirt!  All you have to do is be there at 5am...oh wait.)  Here's the inspiration for my costume:

I'm stoked! 

November: Winter Pinapple Classic

I ran this with Jared in 2008, 2009, and then missed running it in 2011 because I got the days wrong.

Still dating in 2008...with our pineapple baby!

This time, we will be running as part of a big team with our Mercer Island CrossFit family!  This Hawaiian-themed event is all for a good cause as 100% of the proceeds benefit The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS). Please support us by going to and clicking donate. Type in my name or Mercer Island CrossFit and then donate to the cause. Thanks for your support in the fight against blood cancers!

December: 12ks of Christmas

This has been a holiday tradition for Team Matson ever since we got married. Jared is not huge on Christmas, but he loves running with me and so this was a great thing to start doing in 2009.  2010 we ran again just the two of us, and in 2011, we roped our family in as well!

I'm hoping to have one of my best friends join us this year - this is the only race of the three that I'll really have to train for - eek!

You tell me: Any races coming up for you?  Have you ever cried during a race?  Do you have a favorite VoodDoo Doughnut?