What Have I Done To Myself?

I had plans with Kath to meet up at her Jim’s Gym for a post-marital WOD today (Kath and Jim got hitched earlier this week ;) ) Unfortunately, I had probably the crappiest sleep in a long while last night. Here’s how it went:

2130: in bed reading. Dozing off about 10 mins later, so I turned down and fell asleep quickly.

0100: wide awake. I read in bed, hoping it would help me fall back asleep.

0300: Finally dozing off, only to be awaken by the smoke detector going off right outside our bedroom. The nice thing is Ben woke up this time around, so I wasn’t alone awake this time.

0330: Just as I was dozing off (again), Béa woke up crying, asking to “rock with mommy”. She was holding on so tight to my neck that I made sure to hug her tight before putting her back into bed

0400: Dozed off, only to be woken up by Ben snoring. I grabbed my pillow, sweater, slippers and eye mask and made my way downstairs. It was cooler down there, so it took me a while to get comfortable (hood on my head, 2 wool blankets, eye mask on) and I was off for some sweet slumbers.

0625: Rina comes downstairs and wakes me up, shortly followed by Béa. They both tried to cuddle with me and I finally gave up on sleep after Béatrice wouldn’t stop digging into my leg with her toes.

I got up, showered and started laundry before we all headed out for breakfast with Grandma who is visiting from Ontario. We got some groceries on the way back and then I got ready to go meet Kathleen at her place.

I had asked Kathleen is we could do the Friday WOD from the Box since it had running in it and I felt like challenging myself.

Who is this person ASKING to run???

Who is this person ASKING to run???

When I arrived, Kath showed me the few running options we had for the 2nd part of the WOD and I chose the out-and-back with the steep hill at the beginning. We then warmed up for a bit and then moved the barbells in the backyard. I was debating using 55# or 60# for the bar work and I’m glad I settled on the 60# because I felt like I was sandbagging it after 3-4 rounds. I probably should have gone up to 65# or even 70# in order to really get some work done. It was nice to work outside though and we both did our work and chatted in-between sets. Her “garage gym” is pretty impressive and I felt lucky to be able to work out with a good friend on such a hot sunny day. I was slowly dreading the 2nd part of the WOD and was trying to not let my head win over my determination.

We determined a line in the middle of the street as our starting point and Kathleen took off on her gazelle legs. I could see her putting the distance between us, but I wasn’t upset about it. It wasn’t a competition between us two and I was kind of happy to see if I could run my longest distance since starting Crossfit all by myself. Don’t get me wrong, I love when some of my fellow Crossfitters join me on my runs, but today was going to be a true testament as to what I was made of. Just my legs and my head. Who was gonna win?

That hill came about quickly. It was something else though and it felt like it would never end. Looking back on the elevation graph, it was probably more daunting for this crappy runner than it really was:

Screen Shot 2015-08-02 at 4.19.30 PM

Yep! Just a small hill after all!

Once I got over the hill, I picked up the pace a little and kept an eye out on the address Kathleen had given me as our turnaround point. I had it written down on my thigh with a dry-erase marker, to make sure I would remember. Kathleen came back and gave me another visual pointer for the turnaround point and kept making her way back to her place. I had yet to reach the turnaround point and although it was really hot, I felt like I could maybe do this. I finally reached the turning point and started making my way back. It felt like more downhill and I was trying to pick-up the pace a little without losing control of my short little legs. Regulating my breath on the faster pace was hard and I managed to get a good rhythm going.

Kathleen was done and she came back to provide encouragement. She told me I was in at 9:15 and urged me to lengthen my stride and pick up the pace. I felt like I had nothing left and said so out loud. Kathleen would have none of this nonsense and urged me to keep going. I chugged along, picked up the pace and crossed the line in the street before putting my hands on my knees and chasing my breath. Kath told me my time: 9:56!

I was so freaking proud of that time! I used to average 13:00/km back in 2011 and now, I had just done a mile (1600m) in 9:54! Don’t get me wrong, there’s no way I could have sustained that pace for very long, but if you compared that when I started Crossfit 2 years ago, I had to sub running for 200m run-walk, I’m pretty happy with where I am today! Not to forget that it was after doing some barbell work!

After I caught my breath, I was overwhelmed with this proud feeling of great accomplishment! We went back inside and Kath lent me some books that I could take with me on our Cuban vacation. I cooled off a bit and came back home to shower and finish up laundry. I fuelled up on a delicious lunch and am now feeling my legs getting slightly heavy. We are all relaxing on the deck and I’m kind of looking forward to bedtime! Tomorrow, we have a little hike planned for early morning! Here’s to a great way to spend the long weekend!

I’m Out!

I woke up at 0430 this morning and as much as I tried to fall back asleep for 30 minutes, I just couldn’t. I finally got up at 0500 and got ready for the WOD. As I made my way downstairs, I realized we were out of chicken and I had no back-up plan for my pre-workout snack. This morning was just not panning out as I had anticipated.

I made my way to the Box and warmed-up for the WOD. My hamstrings were still tight from the lifting class on Sunday and I was apprehending the front squats.

Skill: Front Squats EMOM x 10

We were supposed to work to 85% of our 1RM (120# for me) and that meant 102# for me. I warmed-up to 105# and although it felt hard, it was only 1 rep with lots of rest in between, so I thought I could pull it off and so did Coach Caleb. We started the first round and I felt ok. On my 2nd rep, I had a pinch in my right quad. I rubbed it off once I was done my rep and was hoping the rubbing would make it go away. On my 3rd rep, the pinching came back stronger and as I finished my rep, I knew I was done for today. I talked it through with Coach Caleb, went to the foam roller, the Lacrosse ball and the Airdyne (very slow and just as a recovery), but even with all that, I still couldn’t squat more than 25º without any pain. We had to split the class in two heats and Coach Caleb asked me if I was in. “I’m out!” was my answer. I went to sit myself down and ice my quad while cheering on the others.

It was frustrating, but there was nothing I could do about it and I’m smarter than to push through the pain. Maybe my quad was just over-compensating for my tight hamstrings. Hopefully, some rest will mean a quick recovery and I will be able to join Kathleen on our planned WOD over the weekend.

I came back home and shared my frustrations with my hubby. He made things better by making me coffee. There’s no word for how such a small gesture in the morning can remind me how much I am loved. It’s not a big thing, but I am always thankful and I never take it for granted. Babe, you are amazing and I love you! Not only did he make me coffee, but he also helped me out with the cleaning and the laundry and went out to get more chicken as well! That meant I was done with my chores early and was able to spend some time with the girls and treat them to a lunch out. They were pretty stoked and making my girls happy makes me happy in return, so even though the day started on a crappy note, it definitely got better. Now, I am looking forward to rubbing my quad with some arnica gel and relax on the couch before going for my nap and heading in for my night at work tonight.

Change Of Plans

I had RSVP’d for the Olympic lifting class today with Rachel Siemens and I have to say, I was starting to regret it a little bit after breakfast. I really was in the mood to sit down and do nothing and my sciatic was acting up (the left one today, it changes frequently), so I was kind of feeling Meh! about lifting today. I still showed up though because once I commit to something, I usually see it through.

Here’s what we did, although we modified it for one of the exercise outlined:

Photo 2015-07-26, 1 19 30 PM

I warmed up beforehand and then tackled the front squats and the push press. I think I finished off at 65# on those.

Then, we had to work on our Jerks from a back rack position and I worked my way up to 67.5#. I love having the smaller plates as I can now hit my targets accurately. We were told to work up to 75% of our 1RM and that’s just what I did.

We then moved onto the box jumps (BJ) and the hang squat snatch. We were to start light and work to a heavy. I started with 35# and progressed with 45#-50#-55# and finally onto 60#. I was struggling with the dropping into the squat (as usual) with from 35#-50#, but then, Rachel cued me to move my feet wider at the top of the snatch and, whaddya know, I fared a little better. Good thing too because I was getting frustrated! I was very happy to successfully do 2 reps at 60#, seeing as it is my true 1RM. Coach Caleb has had me working with a “pretend 1RM” of 65# so that I would get stronger, and now, I’m curious to see if I could actually succeed to do a snatch at that weight!

Instead of the SN DL, we ended up doing Snatch balances. It turns out I’m not the only one struggling to commit into the squat, so we all had a good practice. I did 2×5@35#, 3@40#, 3@45# and that was that.

We finished with some squat cleans and we started light in order to finish around 85% of our 1RM. My 1RM is 90#, and I was planning to finish at 76.5#. Here were my reps for these:

55#-65#-70#-76.5#

Again, I was working on landing my feet wider into the squat and keeping my elbows forwards at the bottom. I think I did ok on these and was pretty happy overall with my little lifting sesh of the day. I then rushed over to the pool to meet up with Ben and the girls and I was very glad I had to spend some time in the hot tub and got a jet onto my left butt cheek and, although it didn’t help with the sciatic pain, I was able to work on some pretty bad knots. We came back home, made steaks on the BBQ and stuffed my face. I was FAMISHED! I’ve now packed my lunch for tomorrow, my clothes are laid out for work and I’m really looking forward to catch up on the Crossfit Games before I hit the sack for the night! :)

 

Gentle reminders

I went to bed last night petrified. I had looked up the WOD for this morning and saw that it was Mini Murph. Yikes! I woke up before my alarm and made sure I fuelled up appropriately for it:

  • 1/4 cup ground turkey (Tex Mex seasoned with lime juice)
  • 1/2 oz cashews
  • 1/2 banana (normally, I don’t do the banana, but this morning, I felt I could use the extra carbs. I’m glad I did this!)

I hopped in the car and tried to get my head in the game. My butt was still sore from all the lunges on Monday so my head slowly started to tremble with fear. Just e gentle reminder that my butt still needs working on. I tried to keep a cool attitude though. Fake it until you make it kind of attitude!

Bo showed up and then there were two of us dreading the WOD. He also kindly gave me a 2-month supply of multivitamins for free. His wife had extras and he figured: share the love!

Coach AJ showed up and we warmed up. We discussed the WOD and strategy and I chose a plan of attack: 800m run, 10 x (5 pull-ups, 10 push-ups, 15 air squats), 800m run. That seemed a little more decent than trying to do everything at once. The warm-up had some running in it and that made me dread the WOD even more. Just a gentle reminder that I am not an efficient runner.

We came back inside and set up our pull-up stations. I tried to do a few with just the red band, but seeing as there were 50 to do, I added the purple band as well. I was already tired and the WOD hadn’t even started. Just a gentle reminder that shift work, no matter the amount of sleep you get, wreaks havoc on your body.

3-2-1-GO!

I let everybody pass me easily and held out at the back. I did my 1st 800m run without stopping. It had rained earlier and although it wasn’t raining anymore, the air was cool and it felt good to run in cooler weather.I came back inside and jump don the rig to tackle my 1st set of pull-ups. I pretty much went with little rest for the 1st 5 rounds. I then allowed myself a sip of water and went back to work. I was determined to do all my push-ups RX and as I rested on my 6th set, I inhaled deeply and could smell the very typical rain smell in the air. It calmed me down and I kept going. Rounds 7, 8, 9 and 10 were a struggle. Not so much for the push-ups as I had anticipated, but the pull-ups were slowly doing my head in. I kept staring at the bar and my head was just telling me “Nope! No more!” Thank goodness, Coach AJ and Tracey were there to tell me to get back onto the bar. I listened to them, instead of my head and keep going.

After round 10, I took another sip of water and headed out for the last 800m run. Mark and Gail came out and ran with me. We did the first 400m and I was trying to potentialize on the downhills as much as I could and tried to pick up the spreed. I was struggling. I took of for the last 400m and Mark stayed with me. I felt like telling him to go back inside, I got this (after all, he had done the WOD with a 20# vest on and had finished way before I did), but I’m glad I didn’t. He was chatting me up while I picked up the speed a little more on the downhills. On the last uphill, Mark told me to give ‘er and not save anything. My head was saying I didn’t have anything left. Once again, I listened to Mark and picked up the pace until I was running full speed and made my way back inside. Just a gentle reminder that your head will want to quit before your body does. I looked at the clock: 31:10! I was exhausted, but so proud! I was expecting this to take me an hour! Just a gentle reminder that I am stronger and fitter than I think. When you doubt yourself, trust in the people who believe and support you.

I came back home on such a high! I showered,  dolled myself up and am now ready to spend a day with my entire family. The rain has picked up now and is a gentle reminder of the fall and winter weather slowly approaching.

Natural high!

All dolled up and on a natural high!

 

Rain on my car and Crossfit on my mind!

Rain on my car and Crossfit on my mind!

I still can’t believe how much my fitness has improved in the last few months. I am stronger, physically and mentally and a tad faster too. I am also more confident in what I can achieve and it is empowering to see how much I can get done. Just a gentle reminder to trust your body more than your head. While your head will screw with you, your body will show you how strong you really are.

In other news, French Nanny (from now on, she will be Nanny) is a delight to work with. She has picked up the slack this week when temporary Nanny got sick and she has raised above and beyond the call of duty. She has cleaned up my floors more than I do myself, has done our laundry, even though it wasn’t asked of her and she plays tirelessly with the girls, so much so that they fall asleep before hitting their pillows at night. To top it all off, she woke me up with coffee in bed yesterday afternoon, after my night shift! I told Ben he had some fierce competition: she makes me coffee AND she cleans! Lol! He said she was Mary Freakin’ Poppin! I will make sure to do everything in my power so she doesn’t fly away from us. Just a gentle reminder that there are still good, loving people out there.

Feeling Accomplished

I came home last night and French Nanny had done the laundry, baked a cake and cupcakes with the girls, cleaned the 1st floor, went to the pool with the little ones and played basketball with them. I could get used to that!

I went to bed exhausted and was looking forward to sleeping in until 0600, except our smoke detector chirped twice at 0515 for no reason. Of course, nobody but me work up from he smoke detector… So much for sleeping in!

I went to the 0700 WOD this morning and was surprised to see another 0600-er! Bo had missed the WOD yesterday so he was there to do it today, just like me.

Skill: Kipping pull-ups practice

As per Coach AJ, if we were using band, she wanted us to do strict pull-ups and work on our swing instead. I tried using the red and purple bands, but had to increase to red and blue since I couldn’t do a single rep. I managed well considering and felt good doing those. Below are my reps:

5-6-7-7-7

WOD: Deadlimp

I had done this one back in May and had used 115# for the DL and had to go down from 35# to 26# for the reverse lunges as well as do step up box because my quads were seizing back then. My goal for today was to use 120# for the DL and 35# for the reverse lunges for all rounds. I had the 26# KB next to me, just in case. Midway through, I had to resort to doing step up boxes again, for fear of face planting on the box. I ploughed through with the reverse lunges and even though I had to break them into 2 sets of 6 for most rounds, I managed all rounds with that 35#KB! I was so happy! It was the 1st time I ever managed a full WOD with weighted lunges at that weight. For some reason, I’m still pretty weak on those and they are a struggle, but I pushed through and managed to finish it all with an average of 45s rest for each intervals!

I came back home and text Kathleen about the WOD. We had been texting back and forth about it last night and she wanted to know how I fared this morning (she had done it yesterday). I love how we can be “juiceheads” together and discuss and strategize over WODs! Strong women unite! I ate myself a lovely breakfast and got to work cleaning the rest of the house that French Nanny didn’t have time to do yesterday. I managed to do that while Ben finished the laundry (Thanks Babe! You rock!) and then got cooking. I am adapting this Beef Stroganoff recipe from The Paleo Mama for my slow cooker. I used ground beef and threw the beef, onions, garlic, mushrooms and seasonings in my InstantPot and sautéd it until the beef was cooked. I then shut off the sauté function, added 1 can coconut milk, 2 tsp of vegetable Better Than Bouillon, about 1-2 tsp of arrowroot powder, and about 2-3 tbsp of tomato paste (I usually freeze my left-overs from the can flat in a ziplock bag and cut whatever I need for recipes. Today, I just threw in whatever I had left in the freezer). Turn on my InstantPot on the slow cooker function on high for 4hrs. While this is stewing and filling the house with lovely comfort-food fragrance, I prepped a cauliflower head into rice and stir-fried my “rice” in the Wok. Now, everything will be ready for me to pack into work tonight when I get up from my nap! I’ll add some frozen kale in my container when I pack it up and that will be perfect, convenient and healthy! I’ll update with a picture once everything is ready to be photographed!

The girls have been absolute angels all morning. They’ve been playing together quietly while I was cleaning and I didn’t have to discipline them once! They sure are growing up!

Where I’m At

Something weird happened this morning:

My alarm woke me up!

My alarm woke me up!

I got dressed, ate my snack and made my way to the Box. As I got there, I realized that in 5 days, I will celebrate my 2 years of doing Crossfit! I will do my recap post below because I have time to do so today, but for now, here’s what we did at the Box:

WOD: Pull Popper

I had done this WOD before, back in March and I knew what to expect. I teamed up with Lara and Telsey and they suggested we use 55#!!! I told them to do a few reps with an empty bar to get the feel of it and I wasn’t going any higher than 45# (I had done 40# back in March). My teammates chose to stay at 35# and it was a smart decision! I started us off on the erg and my 1st two rounds were so strong! I kept my pace anywhere between 1:50-1:59/500m and I even saw 1:49 at one point! It scared me a little because I didn’t want to gas out. The snatches were hard and I had to break them into sets of 5 and even did some 3-2 sets thrown in there. Because we didn’t have the big bumper plates on our bars, we had to do erghop burpees. I did all mine Rx, except for one rep in my third round. That 3rd round almost did me in. I was slower on my 1st row, I wanted to quit on the snatches as well as on the burpees and the last row was slow in comparison (2:06-2:10/500m). I used my rest time to reset my mindset and switch it around. Even though I was slower on the last round, I was giving it my all and once I was done, I stepped outside in the cooler air, dropped to my hands and knees, liked that the concrete felt so cool and decided to just belly flop onto it in order to catch my breath and cool off. I was breathing so heavy, my throat still hurts. It literally took me close to an hour after I was done before the nausea subsided. I came close to Pukie the clown a few times, but managed to keep everything down. We finished in 42:49 and although it took us longer than on my previous attempt, I know that my partners gave it their all! Telsey was so freakin’ strong on the erg and Lara made the snatches look easy and flawless.

I came home, went straight to bed and cuddled next to my husband. the thought of washing my hair made me want to scream (arms over head? I don’t think so) and the calluses in my hands were burning so bad. I still can’t do a hyper-extension of my fingers as it pulls too much on the calluses. I can just walk around with claw hands for today, I’m cool with that!

True story!

True story!

OK! Back to serious business: My 2-year anniversary at Crossfit! I can’t believe I have kept this up for so long! For the first time in my life, I have been consistently physically active. Not only that, I now plan my life around the times I can squeeze in a workout. Working out has become a priority in my life (Who am I? Really???) and it is now second nature to wake up before any other creature does in order to go sweat my little(r) butt out! (Who am I kidding, I don’t have a little butt, I squat for goodness’ sake!)

In order to keep the tradition alive, here’s is my comparison in numbers and pictures:

Screen Shot 2015-07-17 at 9.04.04 AM

As you can see, I haven’t lost much weight. Really, some people lose that amount of weight just thinking about it (Ahem, my husband!). 11.4lbs is nothing. I know some other people would probably have way more dramatic results, but this is me on MY journey. I have to say, I am so freakin’ proud of where I am today: I work full-time (shift work), have two young daughters, a husband whom I adore and still manage to keep up with this madness that I’ve come to love! Plus, a total of 12.5″ of fat loss isn’t anything to spit at either! Wanna see what those numbers look like in pictures?

2015-07-17

Here it is!

I don’t really like to look at my Day 1 pictures. Not because of my physical appearance, but look at my facial expression. You can tell that I really struggled through those pics. I was not in a good place mentally (never mind physically) and I’m pretty sure depression wasn’t too far off my radar. I’m so, so glad I walked into Crossfit VicCity on the day that I did. I may not be at my best physically, but man am I stronger mentally and emotionally. I honestly cannot see the day when I won’t want to wake up at 0500 in order to go shed some blood, sweat and tears with my second family. I’m so happy with where I’m at because even though I’m still pudgy in some areas, I am comfortable in who I am because I know what my pudgy body can accomplish. And for that reason, I will strut my stuff in my bikini in a few weeks on the Cuban beaches!

Like I said, I am stronger mentally and walk taller too. I know I can carry both my kids up the stairs at the same time and that gives me confidence that I am doing the right thing in order to be the best mom and wife I can be. Realizing that, I know I have ticked the biggest goal on my Crossfit Goal list!

What will the next 2 years will have in store for me? Stick around! I know I’m excited to find out!

Going With The Flow

Early wake up call for another Oly lifting class this morning.

What we did today

What we did today

Power Snatch + OHS + Snatch x6 E2M

This was supposed to be a repeat of what we did 2 weeks ago, but since I was at work two weeks ago, it was my 1st go at it. Now that we have the smaller plates, I was able to get closer to the exact weights I needed in order to do 75% x2 (48.5#), 80% x2 (52.5#) and 85% x2 (mine was supposed to be 55.25#, but I did 55#).

My first round at 48.5# went pretty bad when I couldn’t do the OHS. I set the bar down and started the whole sequence from the beginning and pulled it off. My second attempt went well too. I felt a little sore on my upper back this morning from yesterday’s WOD, but it didn’t seem to affect my snatch today. It is still my trouble area though and I was glad to succeed both rounds at 55# without too much trouble. Maybe, one day, I’ll feel secure about doing 1 rep at 65#. I was just glad to see I didn’t have my usual fear of commitment about dropping in to the squat on my last reps and it felt a little more natural today.

Power Clean + 2 pause jerk (2s pause) E2M

I was thinking of getting up to my 85% (76.5#) for this one, but it turned out to be more challenging than I had anticipated so I stayed at my 80% (72#). What we had to do was to power clean the bar. Dip as if we were going to jerk, but before splitting, we had to hold our dip at the bottom for 2s. We also weren’t allowed to re-dip before doing the split jerk. Turns out my butt was sticking out on the dip so I chose to stay at 72# and making sure I was tucking my tail in on each pause. I was getting tired towards the end!

I took my time coming back home and had forgotten Béa had her follow-up appointment with the dermatologist this morning. Ben was kind enough to take her in so I wouldn’t have to rush. It was nice! I had a lovely breakfast and then, New Potential Nanny showed up on time (how refreshing!) in order to spend the day with me and the girls and see how our routine goes. So far, so good! I like her. She’s really sweet and energetic and it doesn’t hurt that she speaks French, this way, I’m not the only one speaking French to the girls at home! I was able to run some errands all by myself during the day which is always nice and right now, she has taken the girls to the swimming pool to give me a break. The girls were super wired this afternoon, so it was nice to get an extra set of hands to help out!

Keeping my fingers crossed it will all work out for the best! For now, I will drop to the floor and roll my sore back without having to anticipate some toddler jumping on my belly! :)