Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Christmas and Lake Mountain!!

I hope everybody had a Merry Christmas!

I know I did!

From my wife AND from my brother - I got Slacklines!! I'm SO excited for the weather to warm up so I can get tied onto a tree and work on my balance. Now I have a VERY long (25m!) Red Gibbon Classic Slackline and an ENO Slackwire Slackline with carry case. (Affiliate links) I'm looking forward to taking that one with me all over the place

I also got my boys Daisy Red Ryder BB guns which will help me get THEM out and interested in the mountains and outdoorsy-type stuff.

This morning I woke up early and we drove way down South, ultimately to the West side of Utah Lake.

It was a blizzard! Finally Winter!

Although in a lot of ways - I'm not that excited about that... I've been liking the warm and dry season!

We met up with the Crew in American Fork and drove out to Saratoga Springs to head up to the top of Lake Mountain (2nd picture there on the Wiki was where we ended - it did NOT look like that!)

The past few trips I have taken a hat and didn't use it. This morning I didn't take a hat.

I would DEFINITELY have used it!

Matt had a hat I could use - but it was just a baseball-type hat, so no ear coverings.

For the first mile or so I had one hand up blocking my ear so the wind and snow wouldn't get in! If not for the blustery snow, my ears would have been cold but not unbearably so!

Once we got up past the mouth of the canyon, the wind didn't bite as much - but we were still trudging through close to 2 feet of snow - or more - the entire way up.

The wind was CRAZY at the top, and I had major beard-cicles going on!

Once we made it up - we were VERY quickly ready to head down.

Downhill was FUN! Also very difficult because it was like running on sand, so finding proper footing was interesting. (I'm in the red hat... Credit to Craig for the vid, although Blogger KILLED the quality... his is better sheesh)

I only fell 2 times, not counting the purposeful fall after "PARKOUR!!"-ing over a gate near the end.

While I feel like I was extremely slow trudging UP the mountain - I made up for it on the way back!

My watch died before we even started, so I was unable to get an accurate measurement of my own overall pace, but others measures put us at 8.4 miles in 2 hours and 25 minutes, which is not too bad considering the weather! 7,645 feet is the peak. Another Peak! Yay!

Now, Behold!

The Beardcicle! AKA IceBeard!!

Yes - it DID deserve 4 pictures. For it is Majestic. And Amazing.

And here are more pictures from the ridiculousness!

Yay, see that mountain behind me!?

Really I promise it is there!


Or I'll just knock you down...

Okay at least I'll help you up!
Fantastic and cold morning!

Really snow CAN be fun...

Mount Olympus in December!

Saturday morning I had the chance to bag another peak - one that my brother had also never been on.

Matt picked me up and we drove down to the Mt. Olympus trailhead - where we met Craig and Jeremy. Craig handed me a pair of hardly used Altra Lone Peaks, and I switched to them from my much used and bald New Balance Minimus while everybody else put on their MICROspikes. Since I didn't have any spikes - my brother brought me his trek poles to use. Boy were they useful to have!

Craig, Matt, and the poles

Even in my new Lone Peaks there were a lot of really slick spots. Also - I wore short socks so my ankles were COLD!

If it hadn't been so windy at the top - I totally would have taken my shirts off because... How often do you get to be shirtless at the top of a mountain 3 days before Christmas?!


Woohoo! I'm on top of the world!!
The wind is trying to blow me away!

The weather really was great, except for that wind - the wind continued from when we got to the top and on - heralding the storm that was to come on Christmas Eve.

I still got in a Mayurasana at the top!

On the way back down, we had some fun taking some downhill pictures and having fun!

Then out of the snow, I grabbed a few more fun yoga-type pics!

Find the Sasquatch!
The Wilderness? Really!?

Fallen Angel

Brothers! (Literally)

I ran into a tree...

The total for the trip was 6.86 miles in 3 and a half hours! Steep and slow! But a lot of fun.
It was really interesting to see hikers in full gear and we passed them while we were halfway up - they were going down - and we beat them to the bottom! People don't realize that you don't need as much STUFF to be up in the mountains. It is good to know your own limits and requirements - but with a little planning and effort and faith in your own abilities (of course, don't be STUPID!) you really can do amazing things quickly and with a more minimal approach.

That was Saturday. Next up - Christmas and Lake Mountain the next day!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Cindy and Clean and Press!

Started the morning off with a private yoga lesson...

Nobody else showed up to the class!

It felt really good and was nice after a crazy pre-holiday week.

I had to leave to attend to a family matter after that, so I was unable to climb. Probably all right because I tweaked my elbow and shoulder on my right arm... so a little rest would be good.

Since it was the last day of working this year - and I didn't want TOO MUCH rest - I decided I wanted to make it to the Crossfit class one last time.

Half Mile run (treadmill) - 3.5 minutes
20 KB Goblet Squats
10 KB Push Press each arm

1 Round of Cindy (5 pullups, 10 pushups, 15 bodyweight squats)
1 Clean and Press (I used 2 35lb Kettlebells because of the number of people there using the other bars and stuff)
1 Cindy
2 Clean and press
1 Cindy
3 Clean and press
... continued up to 10 reps Clean and Press with a Cindy at the start of each round.

at the 6th rep of the round of 7 clean and press - I had changed to an 80 lb curling bar for a few rounds - I pinched something in my lower back... OUCH! So for the remaining 3 sets I went back to the 2 kettle bells.

In the end I finished in 23:45 seconds - which was 2nd fastest overall.  My arm was twitching from my elbow up to my neck... and it hurt. Thankfully the majority of that pain went down pretty quick.

Unfortunately that back pain! YOW! Stiffens the whole spine up pretty quick!

Here's what I looked like after:
Not bad.

I'm not sure why but I've been taking progress shots like this in the locker room mirror for comparison lately... And while I'm quite happy with my progress...

It's just...

So weird.

Oh well!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

BJJ's North South Position

Man, I'm having a somewhat rough patch of Seasonal Affective Disorder or something. As soon as the sun goes down I start getting GRUMPY!

In some ways it's because my body is REALLY wanting to be out in the great outdoors feeling the sun - but it's COLD and DARK really fast now. Grrrrr. In other ways things just keep getting canceled or not happening, like yesterday's yoga class. THAT's why you get two BJJ Specific entries in a row!

At least I have other endeavors that still shine a different kind of light!

Today we worked on submissions and escapes from North South not to be confused with the British Television series of a similar name! (wiki)
  1. If they push on your hips sit into their arm so their arm is up around your hips - trap their leg and get them with an Americana (or an armbar) - This video explains it pretty well, with a slightly different beginning. (This one talks about the basics of Kimura, Americana, and armbar - so it's a good supplement)
  2. Same move can be done from cross body any time they have their arm underneath like the first escape from crossbody we worked on Tuesday - if they aren't quick and solid you can get their arm and sit it into the Americana - also it is useful that after trapping the leg lift the leg under their knee for a better submission.
  3. From North South - push on one arm so the bottom person turns a bit, slide your hand under the other elbow and trap their arm in a figure four, lie back when they sit up follow and hook their leg, taking their back with seatbelt grip.
  4. From 3 instead of them sitting up trap their opposite arm and lock your legs putting them into Crucifix.
  5. From 3 scoot your lower knee up behind their back and your other leg over their head to put them into an armbar
  6. From 3 when he sits up scoop your arm down over their neck (bicep down across their throat) flatten out into the Monson Choke 

    Monson is a scary crazy dude. I found a how-to from the namesake of the choke.
  7. If you don't quite get the choke or he doesn't tap, overhook the arm and pull it back over your hips so you are back into #1, scoot down more to get the right leverage, hook the leg and lift with the other leg like before.
  8. Escapes from North South - Most important is to make space and get away from the opponent
  9. Just like the Crossbody escape we learned Tuesday, push away on the guy on top's hips, swing your legs around, trap their leg and put them in your guard (or take their back or whatever you can get!)
  10. Pushing on their arms, make some space and bring your knees up through and backwards roll to put them into guard OR backwards roll enough to immediately take their back. (I could use some drilling on this!) If you get stuck on the backwards roll and are flexible enough you can hook their leg to help complete the movement.
  11. if you can't roll you can also bring your knees/shins to their elbows, grab their wrists and push them down so they fly towards the ground with their face. Yeehaw!
  12. If you can roll quick enough (again, drilling this somehow could be useful!) you can swing around and catch them in a triangle.
In Grappling I was pretty successful today actually! I was able to get one or two armbars, including a textbook mount to s-mount and armbar. Woot! Feels good to actually feel stuff kind of working. I still have a VERY long way to go. Unfortunately I crunched some knuckles and rolled funny on my bad shoulder, even though I was being careful to submit early if that arm got caught - and it usually does with Micah! I may add more videos to the techniques above later!

Next week I won't be coming into work - so anything I do will be at home. I will definitely miss the Yoga and BJJ classes - but it will probably good to let my right arm have a little bit of a break!

I'm trying to put together some comparison gifs of my torso muscular progress since starting Primal at the beginning of the year. It's kind of interesting to see!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

BJJ Cross Body Escapes!

Writing down what I learn in Jiu-Jitsu helps me remember techniques a LOT better. 

The other day I read this intriguing blog entry on The Jiu-Jitsu Vortex, a new BJJ blog I'm following, about keeping a BJJ notebook and thought it was a good idea that I've kind of already am doing by recording it here on TFAOWLB.  (Now THAT's a spiffy acronym! I should us it more often. However, I should also use the word 'spiffy' less often.)

I know I miss stuff in trying to remember this - So I try to send it to the guys I train with as well and get their feedback before I'm finished here. If I ever get more serious, like actually paying for a BJJ gym membership somewhere (I'm SO lucky to get what I'm getting!) I think I will definitely implement an actual moleskin or something - practice drawing some too! However typing it up and looking for Videos of the relevant techniques has also been really useful.

Tuesday we went over escapes from cross-body, a quite unpleasant position to be in:
  1. Trap their outer arm, thread YOUR inner arm under and through and grab as high on their back as possible. Swing legs towards their body/legs, then swing back the other way to create force and slip out to try to take their back. This is pretty much the movement - but you can do it without the BRahttitude and Heavy Metal. Although practicing the finishes like that could be very good!
  2. Pop hips/Bridge up to get them to push down, then sweep them over the opposite way - kind of like this.
  3. Start movement 2 above, if they sprawl , step the legs out 2-3 times then flip to your front keeping your neck and arms up to control their hips, so they are putting pressure on your upper back with their chest. In this position if you let them flip around they’d have your back – but this is before they can do that
  4. From the opponent sprawled position one arm posts, the opposite leg posts up, and then throw the non-posted arm’s elbow up and around to drop them on their face, then take their back or whatever
  5. From them sprawled again grab their leg, scoot it out, then pull the knee and take them backwards onto their back
  6. From the Sprawl, if they try to flip around to take your back sit into them and put them in to Guard - OR do something more advantageous from there that I can’t remember at the moment!
I was actually able to succesfully execute #1 multiple times against the Kung Fu guy who has been training with us. I actually ended up submitting him with the same leglock I got him in a few weeks ago - gotta remind him NOT to cross his legs when hooking somebody's back. Then again - I should NOT have allowed him to get my back like that so easily sheesh!
I was lucky.
But I AM still improving - I hope that doesn't stop! Continuous Education in the art of BJJ sounds good to me!

Friday, December 14, 2012

A Week of Fitness Failures

I guess it isn't really a 'Failure' of a week - but I definitely didn't do as much as I wanted to.

Like I mentioned lasted entry - Monday nothing happened because I was home sick, Tuesday nothing happened because I didn't want to share whatever might have been lingering with any of the BJJ fellas.

Wednesday I did make it to Yoga, and my legs really needed it because they were still pretty sore from Grandeur Peak on Saturday, but it kind of just made me antsy to do more.

Thursday I was excited to go back to BJJ, but then work got really busy and some sudden 'MANDATORY MEETINGS' popped up due to executive leadership changes that made me unable to attend.  D'oh!

I was determined to have a good fitness day with Friday early morning Yoga and Climbing.

Crossfit didn't happen for me today because I had got to leave early to go see the HOBBIT movie (good show, but not quite the same feel as the older - other than a few standout performances and stuff)

Yoga was good - in some ways (even though it is frustrating) it is probably a good thing that I've missed stuff this week - my elbow has been slightly unhappy throughout both yoga classes I attended this week - so the break from BJJ probably allows for a little more rest and recovery.

But that doesn't mean I have to like it!!

Otherwise in yoga, while I still very much enjoy the hard work and other benefits I get from Yoga right now - I don't think I'm progressing in ways that provide as much satisfaction. I'm not dissatisfied with Yoga in any way - I'm just not happy with my own personal progress - or more accurately, with my own personal attempts at improvements... since there haven't been any attempts other than just going and doing. If that makes sense.

Yoga isn't a competition and you're more likely to hurt yourself if you push too hard - and that's not really what I mean. I'll have to think about it more so I can better explain it and so I understand it better myself!

After yoga I put on my harness and shoes and climbed for a bit. I had fun and as I looked at my phone to see how much time I had left - I took a few pictures and even stuck my phone on the ground and videoed one of my ascents. From below it really doesn't look that high, but it is 30-35 feet up to the top!

Here is the video and some pics/screencaps from the vid... it's for fun!

Coming down on the auto-belay is fun!

I probably spring off the wall a little more than I need too...

It sure is fun!

Ooh look, a monkey!
I was kind of hoping a nice Saturday Trail Run or Baggin' another peak would make up a bit for this week - but with a Family Christmas party tomorrow and members of the Wasatch Mountain Wranglers (not me) already doing a lot of running this week which I couldn't attend, it doesn't look like it is happening.

Excuses, excuses!

SOMETHING must be done! We will see what tomorrow brings!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Grandeur Peak

With the onset of Winter and the darkening skies, or weekly trail running and dinner nights have fallen to the wayside.

Too dark, too cold!

So instead we've decided to start up a Saturday Morning Brunch and Run!

The first one was documented back in my Turkey Leg entry, the next was the View Benchmark, and then on Saturday - I again went with the Wasatch Mountain Wranglers (WMW) on my first REAL 'Peak Bagging' adventure up Grandeur Peak in the Wasatch Mountains just east of Salt Lake City.

My brother picked me up at FIVE-THIRTY AM on Saturday and we drove down to the trailhead. It was dark and cold, but not unbearably so. I couldn't find my headlamp so I didn't take it - and really with the lights from the city I didn't really need it anyway. We headed up the West Slopes trail - which is a quite ridiculous climb. Adding to the difficulty, I was up late with my two year old the night before as she had the stomach flu, so I didn't get much sleep AND my stomach wasn't feeling anywhere near 100%

It is only a little over 2 miles from the parking lot (4900'ish) to the top (8299')
That's a brutal climb! It took me an hour and a half to get up there, I was the last one to the top!

Wasatch Mountain Wranglers at the top! From Left, Matt, Craig, Me, Scott, Matt

7:30 AM, can you tell?

We started running down the Church Fork trail - Wow what a fun trail! Next thing I new it, we'd reached the bottom of Church fork in Millcreek Canyon - 5 miles in. That 3 miles took about a half hour, but went by very quick.


Next we ran along the Millcreek pipeline trail, looking down over some cub scout camps I attended as a kid, and BOY was I tired. My legs were still moving though, and I really felt pretty good until we headed uphill again at about mile 7. I felt like a slug!

I guess I need to work more hills...

Then we hit another steep downhill for a bit, a thousand feet in a bit over a half mile, which was a lot of fun and ran around some trails and dirt roads until we made it back down to the parking lot.

Grandeur is right above the middle of my head - I was up there?!

Here it is from a different angle on the Freeway.

Total distance, about 9.4 miles. For some reason Runkeeper shows the right paces and times on the map, but the total says 11.2.

Maybe it's adjusting for difficulty! HA!

I feel like I can improve on the uphill, but I felt pretty good overall about the run. Not too sore, not too beat up - oh yeah!

Unfortunately that changed pretty quick - as my achilles tendon on my left leg flared up the next morning and my legs were SORE. Could barely walk!!

The rest of Sunday we were trying to recover from the flu that hit our family - and that night it hit me hard right before bed. I was in the bathroom until 5:30 AM... Yikes

Late Monday I'd slept a lot, and my Achilles had loosened up a bit, but my calves were still super sore.

Because of the sickness I skipped BJJ to make sure I didn't get anybody else sick - but I sure would have liked to go! I feel stagnant having 2 days (not including Sunday - I don't normally do much that day) of nothing. I mean I did stretch and foam roll and try out one deadlift of about 215 lbs... but still. Like a slug. Hopefully I can change that tomorrow and the rest of the week.

My calves are still sore, as are my quads, but that just means I need to go loosen them up, right?

It has been great to get out on some more challenging runs with my brother and his crew of crazy ultra marathon trail runners. You can check out more of their adventures over at Refuse2Quit!

It was great to bag my first real peak! I look forward to a few more!