Change Of Pace

Yesterday, my lovely husband and I got to spend the entire day together… without the girls. My sister-in-law had offered to watch them for the day so we could just go hang out like we used to before we had the girls! :) It was a lovely day. We went out for breakfast like we usually do on Sunday mornings when I’m not at work or sleeping post night shift and came back home for a bit before my SIL arrived. We then spent the morning walking downtown, browsing stores and doing some light shopping… for the girls! Haha! We grabbed a good lunch, walked some more and headed home so I could remove my contact lenses before heading for an afternoon showing of Gone Girl. That movie was spooky, but it made us realize that we were doing very well, almost 5 years into our marriage! Way better than the characters in the movie! ;)

Our plan was to go out for dinner after the movie, but we weren’t really hungry and I was starting to miss the girls (I know, pathetic, right?!?) so we headed back home just in time to bathe them and tuck them into bed.

This morning, I didn’t have to wake up at 0500 because I have registered for the Masters Functional Fitness League October competition. We have a small group of women from the Box registered and I had plans to meet with one of them today to knock out Workouts #4 and #5.

Here’s what I did: (Scaled Division)

Workout #5: Happy Birthday Tara Coulter and Sally Goldman

I used the 45# bar and managed to do 58 reps in 3 minutes!

 

I took about 10 minutes to rest before I dove right into:

Workout #4: Stackin Up

I did the Scaled Division which consisted of:

1000m row followed by

5 rounds of

  • 20 jumping pull-ups
  • 7 shoulder to overhead (45#) (I did push presses for mine)

I finished in 12:44. The jumping pull-ups were the toughest for me. I felt like it was all legs and after the back squats and the rowing, I didn’t have much left in the legs department! I’m glad Heather was there to coach / coax me through it! ;)

I’m feeling good about the workout today and am hoping to get at least another one under my belt tomorrow. Let’s hope I’m not too sore for it!

Upside Down And Pumpkin Farm

I was awake again at 0400, for the second night in a row. Nothing else to do but get ready to WOD!

Skill: Hand stand push-up (HSPU). That was a new thing for me. You go into a handstand, then lower your head and try to push back up, like a push-up upside-down. Yeah, that was tricky! I managed to lower my head onto 2 yoga blocks stacked up one on top of the other, doing a strict HSPU, but I couldn’t figure out the kipping HSPU to save my life! :) Oh well, practice will make things better in time, I hope! ;)

WOD: DIANA I ended up doing the FG1 because of the following modifications:

5 rounds for time of:

  • 5×105# deadlifts
  • 2x strict HSPU onto yoga blocks
  • 9x kipping C2B with red and blue band

I finished in 10:34 and, for once, wasn’t the last to finish! I think I was the 3rd or so to finish today and I must have surprised Coach Caleb because he was cheering me on to keep going when I replied I was done! Haha!

I came back home and got ready for a fun outing with the girls. Rina’s preschool was going to Galey Farms and although it’s not a usual preschool day for Rina’s class, we were all invited to tag along. It was actually more fun than I expected and the girls had a blast riding the train, going on a hay ride and picking their pumpkins. I managed to get a few good pictures of the girls and it was fun to watch their faces while we were discovering everything!

Béa, unsure about the train moving

Béa, unsure about the train moving

Rina is loving it!

Rina is loving it!

The Blenkinsop Trestle and all the geese

The Blenkinsop Trestle and all the geese. One more reason I love Fall so much!

Train ride!

Train ride!

BeZU, enjoying the bumps on the hay ride

BeZU, enjoying the bumps on the hay ride

My very own Pumpkin Patch kids!

My very own Pumpkin Patch kids!

A rare picture with me in it!

A rare picture with me in it!

Marital Thanks

It is Thanksgiving here in Canada and I thought I would take this opportunity to give thanks to the most important and amazing man in my life: my husband.

We both work crazy schedules and hours and he is most understanding of my need to escape and get some alone time. Lately, I’ve been struggling with being a full-time mother and although I love my daughters to no end, I also sometimes wish I wasn’t a mom. Let’s get real here.

We moved 5000km away from friends and family 6 years ago and have made the decision to start a family knowing full-well that we wouldn’t have any family support. We are adults and understand the consequences to our decision, but that doesn’t mean it’s always a walk in the park. Wanna go out for coffee with your friends? Oh wait, either you drag along the kiddlets (forget about uninterrupted grown-up talk) or, even worst, even going together as a couple since that involves getting a babysitter (make that coffee about $25 please and thank you).

Yesterday, I was trying to explore our neighbourhood and going out to see a park with some walking trails. I was trying to capture some of the fall foliage with my camera and decided to give my husband a break by taking both girls to the park with me and luring them by calling it a “hiking park”. I packed Béatrice in the hiking backpack (it’s mostly uphill from our house to the park) and carried her until we got to the park. Once there, I let her walk since the grounds were mostly levelled. We did very little exploring because as soon as we hit the trails, Rina had “to go poopoo” even though I asked her repeatedly if she needed to go before we left home. I asked her if she could hold it in for a little bit and her answer was “Maybe”. Hmmm.  A bit dodgy coming from an almost 4-year-old.

A few minutes of snapping some shots and walking around exploring before I recognized the all too familiar wiggle of the “I need to go” quickly followed by some whining and more wriggling about (is she a human or a dog?!?) before she finally announced she “really had to go now”.

I didn’t have any bags with me, wipes or any toilet paper and this child has been hiking since she was a newborn, so we did the natural thing: I dropped her pants down in a bushy area, got her to squat and she did her business in the grass while I foraged for some wet leaves to wiper her bum with… See what I mean? A little 1hr-long walk and you can’t even leave the house without an arsenal of equipment! ;) After that little poopisode, Rina was pretty much done with hiking and wanted to go back home. Here are a few of my shots before we made our way back home

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So this morning, I was very thankful for my lovely husband to let me off the hook for the morning. I got to go to Crossfit AND coffee with a friend without having to worry about the girls. I knew he would get them to run around the squash club chasing and hitting balls with rackets (perks of marrying a squash pro) and I got some greatly needed “me-time”. Did the girls have McDonald’s cupcakes and cookies for lunch? They sure did! Do I mind? Not one bit! It’s all about give and take and I needed alone time more than I needed my kids fed nutritious foods. I’m very grateful for my husband taking notice that I was in dire need of some alone time and for him to make sure I TOOK this time for myself. It’s not always easy parenting when you live away from family, but having a wonderful and understanding husband helps a ton. I am grateful to have you in my life and to give me breaks when I need them. Babe, you truly are the best and although I nag and complain a lot, know that I love you and am tremendously grateful to have you in my life. I wouldn’t have it any other way, good days and bad ones! :)

Skill: Handstands and Kipping Pull-ups

I chose to work on those two skills for the 15 mins. I started with the kipping pull-ups. I was trying to make them a bit more challenging seeing as I’ve been using the red and blue bands for a long time now. I tried doing them with the red only, but no such luck. I had to add the purple band to it as well. I managed to string 3 in a row and once I got to talking to Coach France about the movement, I got too much in my head and focused about the pushing back down and couldn’t figure it out anymore. I’ll just need to practice them more!

As for the handstands, I managed to prop myself up on the wall very easily and according to Laura, My kick-up was very fluid and graceful. It felt good and almost felt like I won’t need the wall for much longer. Once I stabilized off the wall, I also managed a few reps of balancing on my own! :) Progress!

WOD: Turkey Trot

This one was tough and I somehow knew running would be involved in today’s WOD. I even called it to Ben last night before the WOD was posted! ;)

I did the FG2 with the following modifications: 5 rounds for time of

  • 400m run with a 14# ball
  • 15 Taters with a 26#KB

The 3rd round was the hardest and although I was completely exhausted and dead last to finish, the 5th round was good. I managed to run for the entire stretch. Mind you, I don’t know if walking with a slight bounce could be qualified as running, but that’s what I did nonstop before heading back inside and doing the Taters non-stop as well. Looking back, I feel like I should have strategize a little better and set a goal for this WOD: either run all the rounds non-stop or do my Taters non-stop for every rounds. I feel like I was all over the place with both parts of this WOD and it might have been my demise. I brought back the rear and finished in 25:49. Good times!

I wish all my Canadian a happy Thanksgiving and may you be as lucky as I am to have an understanding partner who allows you to focus on yourself once in a while! :)

 

Barely Mobilizing

I flip-flopped around going to the Box this morning all night, literally. Rina woke up at 0100 demanding medicine for her mouth. Then it was Douchebag Neighbour’s turn to be having arguments outside at 0230 and again at 0400. At that point, I angrily got dressed and was outside, ready to let him know that some people would like to sleep at night, but he had gone back inside his place… To say I was fuming would be minimizing my feelings…

Since I never fell back asleep and was ticked off to no end, I figured I’d go do the WOD, scale things wayyyyyy down (I still can barely move my legs from the competition last Sunday) and get some of my frustrations out. On the plus side, It also guarantees I get a good nap before heading in to work tonight. I felt a bit less enthusiastic and a little more deflated when I saw this:

Warm-up: I picked up the women’s bar (35#) and I could have sworn it was a men’s bar (45#). I actually had to look at the weight on the side to make sure. The empty bar felt so heavy. That didn’t bode well for the warm-up… Those deadlifts and front squats got a few good grunts out of me. My quads, glutes and hamstrings are all still very angry at my tied 3rd place on Sunday. :(

Skill: After warming up with 2 mandatory wall-walks, I was ready to go! The wall-walks are still way scarier to me than the actual handstand practice, but I feel a lot better about them, now that I have broken through the barrier of putting my abdomen to the wall when I do them.

I had a few good balance off the wall with my 2 spotters and one that was really good until something pinched in my right wrist and made me lose my focus. There’s always next time!

WOD: This was a long AMRAP and it was vaguely familiar since I had done KB lunges just Sunday. Today, however, I scaled it way down, using an 18# KB and although I went really light, I tried to lunge twice and my quads were just too sore. I asked Coach Caleb what to sub it with and we agreed on 20×18# AKBS.

That was me Sunday... I did more of these today!

That was me Sunday… I did more of these today, at half the weight! (Thanks Jenn for the pic! ;) )

I finished with a total of 51 (3 full rounds) even though I was actually running my 4th interval when the timer went off, it didn’t count towards my score. I didn’t really mind because I actually managed to “run” all my 600m non-stop. I don’t think I will ever fly down the road when running is involved, but at least, I seem to have been able to keep the walking breaks at bay. Plus, my goal for today was to just get my body moving and mobilizing. I didn’t go in with any expectations of crushing this one, but I was glad I didn’t stop moving for those 25 mins.

2014-be-better-version-of-you

In other news, the new windows are almost all installed in the house. There’s only 2 left to do and although they are new and efficient, I’m glad we went along with the same style as the original windows of the house. It keeps the character intact and increases the energy efficiency of the house. I can’t wait for it all to be done and then we’ll be able to turn on the heat in here. It’s been a chill day (only 14°C today and cloudy) and having the windows and doors open has made the house very cool! Thankfully, I have my trusted allies: hot water bottle and Padraig slippers!

 

Living Is Hard!

You know when you go to bed early, only to be woken up by your neighbour being stopped by cops and gyrating police lights outside your bedroom window?

Or, when you’re sound asleep you get woken up twice by a child who is sick and dehydrated and just wants to be able to drink water without any pain? Or, better yet, when you get woken up by the snoring love of your life?

You know, when you get up and EVERY. BODY. PART. HURTS you can barely move and showering is an exercise in flexibility because there’s just no way I will squat to go clean my toes. Forget about the circus of washing my hair or getting dressed.

I was thankful I got to go home early from work thanks to a high nurse vs patient ratio. I was also thankful our wonderful Nanny offered to go get the little groceries we were missing so I could do a lot of gymnastics to enter the bathtub without having to squat or put weight on my shoulders and soak, yet again, in Epsom salts.

I am very much looking forward to my date with Ibuprofen and my bed tonight. Don’t get me wrong. I had fun yesterday at the competition, but I am paying the price for all that hard work, those PRs achieved and the effort I put into it. I just hope I’ll be able to move slightly more fluidly tomorrow…

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A Day To Remember

Finally, today was the day of my competition.

It started bright and early with the demo of the WODs and then, the different heats of the different divisions were up. This competition was very well run and I have to say, I was impressed with the timing of the events. It was down to the minute!

Here were the events for my division: Novice women

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These WODs were long and challenging. WOD #1 was also followed by a surprise event at the end of 1c.

WOD 1a: I went in with a strategy of just simply going up with my weight with 5# every rep. I did 5×3 E2M with the following weights:

70#-75#-80#-85#-90#

I failed my 1st rep at 90#, reset the bar on my shoulders and gave it another try. Surprisingly, it worked! All 3 of my reps were wobbly and I had to fight for it, but I PR’d my Push Press 5×3 E2M by 10#! I was stoked!

Push Press 5x3 @ 85#

Push Press 5×3 @ 85#

WOD 1b: Again, I stuck to my strategy of increasing my weights for every rep and it worked. I did 5×3 E2M with these weights:

90#-95#-100#-105#-110#

Again, I PR’d my 5×3 by 10# for the front squats

Front Squat at 85#

Front Squat at 85#

WOD 1c: I managed to get 13 burpees for these. They were hard and I couldn’t jump sideways on the box so I lost a lot of time turning to face the box and turning again to do my burpees…

Surprise WOD: 500m row for time.

My previous PR for this was 2:07.3 and I managed to do it in 2:06.1 today. Another PR by a hairline, but I’ll take it!

Other events went on after our 1st one and then it was lunch time. I felt good, put a lot of food on my plate and only ended up eating soup. I was stuffed after that and couldn’t eat anymore.

I even got a little brush with fame when I took this picture:

Lucas Parker aka Toque Luc stopped by to cheer us on!

Lucas Parker aka Toque Luc stopped by to cheer us on!

 

That’s Lucas Parker, who competed in the Crossfit Games multiple times! We talked a little about competitions and how I was doing. I told him my main goal for today was to have fun seeing as it was my 1st competition.

Then, it was time to warm-up again and all I wanted to do was nap. The rush of the adrenaline had worn off and the soreness was settling in. Just before event 2, I rushed to the bathroom to puke. I think it was nerves more than anything else.

WOD 2: This one was actually modified from what’s written above with box push 2 lengths at the end instead of one.This WOD killed me and I misread and misinterpreted it. I was totally parched at the beginning of it and I lost precious seconds at the beginning before I clued in and tried to catch up to the others. It was too late. I DNF’d that one. With the time cap of 12:00, I still had to do my box push 2 lengths. :( I really wanted to at least finish all the events today, but you live and learn for next time. I wanted to really push myself in honour of Mamie and I felt like I let her down somehow. I will need to fuel better and eat earlier for the next competition.

I finished in a 3-way tie in 3rd for the Novice Women division out of 5 women. All three of us finished with 18 points.

It was a really well-run competition and I loved that I got to compete with women who share the same passion and enthusiasm for Crossfit as I do!

I also managed to raise another $210 for the Run for the Cure and was truly moved by people’s generosity. A tangent example that Crossfit is a sport, but it’s also a community and I felt surrounded by love today; from my husband and kids who came to see me, to all my friends and family who came to cheer as well as my crossfit family who cheered me on. Your kind words of encouragement gave me strength and determination. I am now sore beyond words and am unsure how I will function at work tomorrow, but I will push through, one rep at a time…

 

New Gear Review and PRs All Around!

When I head outside early in the morning to go to the Box, my first instinct is to look up to the sky. This morning, as I looked up, I clearly saw the Big Dipper… at 0530… in the city. That’s how dark it was. The sky was full of stars and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky. Unbeknownst to me, I would be out of the Box with the sun barely just starting to rise on the horizon. Autumn has officially arrived!

Warm-up: I managed to string 4x DUs in a row today! Wahoo!

Skill: Hang Power Snatch + OHS

I started low with these, but manage to PR by 10# when I was done. My last rep at 60# was ugly for the Hang Power Snatch, but very decent for the OHS. My reps were: 35#-40#-45#-50#-55#-60#

WOD: Row 2K

That’s right… 2K! I chose to go in the second heat because I knew I’d be slow and didn’t want to hold back anybody who had to go to work early. I thought for sure I would be around 15:00 for this one as I couldn’t remember what my 1K time was. I know I’m usually slow at rowing and I’m only 5’1″ so that’s a double whammy! Here was my strategy for this WOD:

  • I started slow for the 1st 750m, trying to maintain around 2:35 split.
  • From 750m to 1000m, I tried to up it to 2:30.
  • from 1000m to 1500m, I was aiming for 2:20, but often fell back to 2:25
  • from 1500m to 1750m, I was trying to maintain 2:15, but it was hard to maintain at times
  • from 1750m to 2000m, I tried to go below 2:10, which is pretty fast for me in the shortest distances. It was hard, but my head was in the right place and I just kept fighting for it. This was all mental and I went in with a fighter strategy / mantra and it seemed to work. I was able to keep my split low and I finished in 9:36.1! I was so happy to be sub 10:00!

Earlier last month, Fabletics finally became available in Canada and I signed up for it, not expecting it to be anything out of the ordinary. For my 1st order, I ended up ordering 3 pairs of capris, a t-shirt, a tank top and a cowl. Everything fits beautifully and I’m keeping it all. I haven’t updated my capris for working out since before we moved from Montreal (over 6 years ago) and it is time for me to spoil myself with a new wardrobe, now that I’m feeling more comfortable in my new body. I’ve worked hard for it and I’m proud of it!

The capris are all wonderful quality, thick, but not too thick and soft and they all pass the “squat test”, meaning, they don’t go see through when you squat deep! I like that at 5’1″, they are still capris, even on my short person! They do fall off a bit when you do high impact activities and I found out quickly doing DUs and burpees in the warm-up today.

As for the tank top, I put it through the test this morning at the WOD. It has a built-in bra that offers medium support. Although it looks nice, it is definitely not a bra I will wear for high impact WODs. I will probably keep this one for around the house or for chasing the girls!

Here are the pictures of the outfits I’m keeping:

Capris I wore today

Capris I wore today

The tank top with built-in bra

The tank top with built-in bra

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Super cozy outfit for lounging around!

Super cozy outfit for lounging around!

I came back home after the WOD and went to run some errands before setting out to cook lunch. I had a friend coming over and even though Rina isn’t feeling well (fever and sores in her mouth, I guess it’s her turn to have hand/foot/mouth disease), it was a very lovely lunch with great company!

Tomorrow, I plan on cooking for the potluck on Sunday. Not only am I participating in my 1st Crossfit competition, it’s also a potluck! Gotta make sure to fuel these athletes! ;)