New Year’s, new PRs, and why it’s called a detox diet

I should say that I finished of 2011 in true binge style … home-made clam chowder and Dunkin Donuts coffee with milk inclusive. By the time supper was ready at (you guessed it … 10 minutes to midnight!) I was actually not even very hungry. Or maybe that was the red wine.
I specifically found what I hoped would be the smallest New Years’ party around because everyone seemed to want to ‘go big,’ out to a club or a music festival or something and I wasn’t in the mood for any of it. I could probably have stayed home but that didn’t seem quite right either so I went over to my friend Babett’s place where we had a beautiful view of the city and could hang out outside all night, braaing in the streets of District 6 and making fun of all the people trying to get to the Waterfront the entire night.
But it’s strange. New Year’s doesn’t feel the same without the Times Square broadcast and the ball drop. Even in California we watched that played back. Here, of course, it wasn’t happening for another 7 hours. I think when I woke up the next morning and was chatting to LaaLaa in Hawaii it was still 10 minutes to midnight. Funny how that works; such a thing that we mark in our heads as being such a momentous thing … a new year! A chance to start over! Well, whatever. As I said on facebook, nothing changes New Year’s Day, unless you decide to change it. Same as every other damn day of the year.
But, my desire to be social and drink on New Year’s Eve out of the way, I have now started my detox diet. I was feeling fine the first two days, today I now understand why it’s called a detox because my body just wants to chill. I even took a nap this afternoon which is unheard of for me, and I’ve been sleeping like crazy. I think it will take a week or so for my body fully to adjust to my now mostly vegetarian diet but so far so good. I’m also pleased to report no caffeine withdrawal symptoms such as headaches.
Yesterday, however, was a training day and I’m happy to report that two days into the new year I managed to achieve two of my strength goals for the first quarter, and hit a PR for clean & jerk. Unfair in a way because I hadn’t tested 1 rep max overhead squat ever (but I knew I kinda sucked at it so to get 5kgs above what I was hoping for was a bonus), and my back squat max was from maybe 6 months ago. Overhead squats were interesting … my biggest problem there is getting the bar into the right overhead position to get the right balance, because oddly enough my 40kg squat was easier than 30kgs! The 45kg PR was appropriately challenging so I stopped there.
Back squat was similarly amusing: I started singles at 70 going up in 5kg increments to 80. 80 felt easy, so I added weight then failed the next lift, decided it was a mental fail, re-loaded the weights and hit the lift. It was only then that I realised I had actually gone up 10kgs by accident (no wonder 85 felt so damn heavy!). Good way to get through a mental block, though, by not realising the amount of weight on the bar.
Found out that my max strict pullups I can do in a set is 3: this is one of my weaknesses that I want to work on this quarter.
After some shopping, went by Obs for swim technique coaching with Kerry. That took about 45 minutes because that was all the time I had, but she made some major corrections to both my kick and stroke, so now once we fix my breathing I can practice. It was amazing the difference that 45 minutes made in terms of power output. Wow, coaching and learning is cool (when you don’t completely suck). In other news, despite daily practice, my double-unders still suck. Ha.
So, after swim lessons I drove out to Somerset West to train with the crew at Ballistix Fitness. They have some super weights there so I decided not to deadlift but rather to do some power snatches (went up to 40kgs but then my shoulder was feeling tight … probably all the overhead squats in the morning), so I moved onto power cleans because my legs were feeling too tired for good form on squat cleans. 55kgs was amazingly easy, 60 flew right up and I put it overhead for a new clean & jerk PR. Mental fail on the next lift because we were rushing to set up for the workout (death by pullups).
Ripped my hand in the round of 6 or so, and afterwards gave one of the guys at the gym his first experience with New Skin. Apparently: “I’m telling you, this REALLY hurts” isn’t a sufficient warning label. At first I thought he wasn’t going to speak to me again then he came right back over when I told him he needed a second coat. Finished up the day giving Hes some tips on how to learn the kipping pullup. Happy to say she made major progress on the kip, but transitioning from the kip to the pull needs work. Practice makes perfect, as they say.
Now I’m off to watch Mona lift for a bit, and chill on the other side of the mountain. Tomorrow is bound to be an interesting one, which I will tell you all about once it happens.

  • “Let me just wipe the blood from the bar.” – Hes
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