Womanhood

*Sorry gents, this one will discuss women problems/issues. You’re more than welcome to read through, but I doubt you’ll be able to relate much*

So, I haven’t blogged in a little while and there’s a few good reasons for it.

  1. Sometimes, I just need a break from the blogging world. I try to cram so much in a day and instead of giving you crappy posts, I just take a time out and focus on me instead
  2. I have been having pretty painful sciatic pain for 8 days now and I’ve been trying to deal with that, hence the title of my post. I did my first WOD since last Wednesday yesterday and will talk about it more below

I have breached this topic before, but let me dive in today. I have had pretty consistent sciatic pain since my pregnancy with Rina, 5 years ago. I have done chiropractic treatments before that have given some positive outcomes, but it always ends up coming back. It has seemed that over the years, it gets aggravated, no matter what I do. It was painful when I was an inactive mom, it is painful whether I work out or not, so before you go thinking that it’s all because of Crossfit, let me tell you right now, it isn’t. It does flare up when I squat or deadlift heavy (over 100lbs), but this last flare-up started after a WOD where there wasn’t any heavy lifting involved.

I just happened to mention to fellow Crossfitters that I’d been dealing with this for a while now and what I’d been doing in order to try to get better, when Michelle mentioned she was a PT and I should go see her. I was able to get an appointment with her the same day and I’m hoping to be able to solve some issues.

After 2 visits with her, here’s what we have discovered.

  1. My sciatic pain might not be related to my sciatic at all.
  2. I may be too flexible for my own good.
  3. I may benefit from pelvic floor physiotherapy.

I have breached the topic lightly before on the blog, but as a Crossfit woman, it’s no surprise that I suffer from “leakage” when lifting heavy or doing box jumps or attempting DUs or even sneezing, if I’m not careful. Apparently, this could all be improved with some pelvic floor PT.

You see, apparently childbirth can be traumatic and damaging to a body (no sh** Sherlock!) I’m diving deep right now so if you’re squeamish, STOP READING NOW!

When I delivered Rina, I tore my perineum (the area between your anus and your vagina. Not sorry about the TMI right now because I’m sure I’m not the only ) to the 3rd degree and required 15 stitches in my nether region. Also, I attempted to push her out for 3 1/2 hrs. That may (or may not) have injured my coccyx. Add to that a second pregnancy with a second tear (only 7 stitches this time around!) and some baby carrying on the same hip (I am right-handed and have a tendency to carry my girls nicely propped on my left hip in order to have my right hand free for other stuff) and I have a slight shift (about an inch or so) between my hips. My left hip sits higher than my right one, resulting in an imbalance on EVERYTHING I do when I move.

Because I am so limber, I haven’t really felt the imbalance before, but after a few years of having to do extra work, my left hip, pelvis and sciatic have finally said: “Enough!” and I’m listening. It turns out that the Pelvic Floor Physio could help with what my PT thinks is mostly a coccyx injury that needs decompression. She is, unfortunately not allowed to do such a thing, but a pelvic floor PT is. I have an appointment next week and I will keep you posted when I go. As for now, I have also been told to stop stretching (just until we figure out the origin of my sciatic pain), which means I haven’t done any ROMWOD since last week. 😦 I have to say, I kind of miss it, but I’ll listen to the expert’s advice until further notice.

In the meantime, I dream of a day when I wouldn’t need to sit on the couch with my hot water bottle up my butt/lower back in order to obtain some relief. That and no leakage would be awesome too! 😉

After Kath canceled our Kitty and Cougar WOD yesterday (turns out she had too much on her plate and couldn’t fit this in her schedule), I decided to do the Box WOD at home, since it didn’t give me much time to get my stuff together for the 0930 class. Kath felt super guilty about backing out of the competition, but to me, it was just an excuse to get together with her and WOD together, we can do that anytime and don’t need the extra stress of the competition in order to do that!

Here’s what I did yesterday:

We only had a 25# KB at home so I went out and decided to get myself a little treat: a brand new 35# KB! I had both girls with me (Rina had stayed home from school with a cold and Béa was on a day off from preschool) and Rina didn’t want to be left in the dust, so she convinced me to get her a cute little 5# KB.

A family that lifts together... gets strong together! Lol!

A family that lifts together… gets strong together! Lol!

I packed the girls in their double stroller and set off for my run. I had a choice between running a 720m or 920m in my neighbourhood, so I aimed high and went for the 920m loop. Because I have the memory of a fly, I couldn’t remember that I had to do taters and did AKBS.  Pushing the stroller up the hills was interesting, seeing as the girls and the stroller combined added close to 80# of lump I had to get up 3 little hills. 1 was short, 1 was medium and long and the third was short but at a steep incline which had me walking. The fun part was that I also had to go a steady downhill on my way back home. I had to pause my timer, get the girls out of the stroller and get Béatrice set up with something to occupy her while Rina and I got to work on the AKBS. Rina was more interested in chalking up her little hands than actually lifting the KB, but she did about 20 reps with me. I broke mine up in sets of 10 and only started to lose my grip on rep #47. I finished my 3 reps and looked at my timer: 9:52. Not too bad considering I had last done this one RX (without having to push a heavy stroller up a hill) so I’m guessing I probably could have done a similar time as well!

So there you go, I should be back for more Crossfit tales tomorrow, if I feel like blogging about it! 😉

Shoulda, Woulda, Coulda

I came home late from a long day at work. I stayed a few hours extra to help out a co-worker who had some family business to attend (don’t worry, she’ll come in early for me next week, so I’ll have a short day!), but that meant I did 14hrs at work yesterday. I managed to squeeze my ROMWOD in during a short break and it felt good to be stretching at the end of the day!

Pigeon pose in my scrubs!

Pigeon pose in my scrubs!

I got home after Ben did and we hung out a bit on the couch before I headed to bed. I fell asleep around midnight and the night seemed very short when Rina came to wake me up at 0600 this morning. I got up, made her lunch, got breakfast going, started with my weekly cleaning and had to leave it unfinished because it was time to head into the Box.

I felt like quitting and heading back home during the warm-up so I knew I would struggle today to get it all done!

Skill: 3RM Front Squat (12 mins)

We had 12 minutes to find out our 3RM on the front squat and although I had planned on reaching 120#, I stopped after I did crappy reps at 115#. Energy was low, I was stripping my butt on the up and I knew the WOD would be brutal (for me) so I saved what little I had left in the tank for the WOD.

WOD: Nancy

I decided to do FG1+ yet again today. That’s what I had done the last time I did this one and considering I felt drained of life, I knew it would be a definite challenge. To add to all that, it was also raining. Perfect weather for my crappy mood and to go running outside!

3-2-1- Go!

There was no way I would keep up with Linda today: she’s a faster runner and I’m pretty sure she managed her OHS non-stop for all her rounds as I had to break mine mostly into sets of 5 (with the occasional 7 in there).

I knew I was in trouble when I started bawling on my 1st round of OHS. I tried to regulate my breathing as best I could on the run and finally got things somewhat under control, but mentally, I had already checked out. You know it’s bad when I get it into my head that “I’ll recover in the run!” Ha! Yep! That thought actually crossed my mind quite a few times during the WOD. Everybody was done by the time I reached my 4th round of OHS, so I kept going and went out by myself for my last run. I came back in with everyone cheering me on I finished at 24:53 and crumpled to the floor to get a good cry. Who knew I was this tired? After I left a puddle of tears on the floor, I got up and put my stuff away, all the while thinking I should have listened to myself and gone home after the warm-up. I. AM. SPENT! It took me 1:36 longer this time around to finish Nancy at the same weight I had done previously. However, apparently our 400m run isn’t 400m. It’s somewhere between 440-460m, depending on who you talk to. Therefore, I guess I PR’d today even though I really didn’t!

Well, maybe I'd done better if Ryan had actually been there for me today! ;)

Well, maybe I’d done better if Ryan had actually been there for me today! 😉

I came back home to finish my cleaning, had a quick bath, made lunch and roasted pumpkin seeds (’tis the season!) Béatrice refuses to play nicely upstairs so I’ll try to fit in my ROMWOD for today and will relax a bit before going for a nap before my night at work tonight.

Long Day

0400: Snoring and emergency vehicle alarms going on. The snoring I can deal with by nudging the culprit, the alarms go on for an unnatural long time.

0500: Feels like I just fell back asleep. Time to wake up and get ready for the WOD. Looking forward to this one, even though I can barely walk my quads are still so stiff from the squats and GTO from Wednesday. Pre workout fuel-up of cashews and turkey. Out the door at 0530

0600:

Skill: Trap Bar or Axle Bar DL 4×6 E2M

Last time, I had done the trap bar DL, so today was time to switch it up and use the axle bar one. I wasn’t sure where to start weight-wise on the bar so here’s what I did:

90#-95#-100#-105#

I felt good still at 105# and I think my grip could have taken more. Good to know for next time! ;

 

WOD: Three Fifteen

I teamed up with Telsey and Jenny for this one and it was nice to be able to workout with Telsey again. It was my first time meeting Jenny and she was such  sweet woman! I was really wanting to try this WOD FG at 65#, but I was also very happy to scale it down for my team. I remember too well being the newbie in the class and being terrified of holding people back. I didn’t mind lowering the weight on the bar today, it allows me to really focus on form and being explosive at the hips on the thrusters. I had devised a plan of attack for the WOD and we all agreed on it:

  • switch the thrusters every 5 reps
  • switch the BJ every 10 reps
  • switch the DUs every 30s.

I started us off on the thrusters and was a bit slow on the account that I was cleaning EVERY REP! Coach Caleb came by and corrected my mistake! I’m such a keener! The rest of the rounds were uneventful and we moved through the 6 mins quickly.

Onto the BJ, I managed to jump up all my reps and I was super stoked with that. I also managed not to mangle my shins, so bonus there as well! 😉

The DUs is where we slowed down considerably. I was the only one on our team who could get some reps at DUs, but even at that, all my reps were single ones. I couldn’t string them at all today. Oh well, it is what it is! Honestly, I was just happy to be moving today. My body is so freakin’ sore from Wednesday. I know I’ve said it before, but it’s been a while since a skill/WOD combo destroyed my body this much!

We finished with a total of 214 and my personal stats were:

  • 25 thrusters
  • 50 BJ
  • 14 DUs

If you do the math (or if I do it for you), you’ll see that I was responsible for 41.6% of my team’s score. I’m not doing the stats to brag. I remember doing partner WODs over a year ago and wanting to pull my fair share of the work, yet somehow not managing to accomplish that goal. If it was a 3-person team, I would always hover around the 27-29% mark. If it was a 2-person team, I would hover around the 40-43% mark. The fact that I managed to hit almost 42% of our score today lets me know that I am doing something right.

0700: Rush home, say goodbye to Rina before she leaves for school, shower, breakfast and get ready to head out with BeZU to the pumpkin patch at Galey Farms with her pre-school.

0915: Leave 1/2 of untouched coffee behind (still morning this one) to go pick up other preschool mom and son who live 1 street away from us.

0930-1130: Snacks, train ride, hay ride, pumpkin picking in the field and finish it off with a quick trip to The Root Cellar to pick up ingredients I’m missing for my food prep before work tomorrow.

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1200: Getting lunch ready for Béa and making this Paleo fried rice (I subbed the soy sauce for coconut aminos) 

I also wanted to make this, but by the time I was finished the fried rice, it was time to get Béatrice ready and out the door to pick up Rina at the bus stop.

1545: All the family is back home and I now have to figure out dinner. I am done with cooking at this point, so take-out it is for the girls and I have some of the fried rice for myself (needless to say the kids won’t eat it if it’s not orange). Cleaning up the kitchen, unloading the dishwasher, clearing the table, picking up the toys all over the house, another quick shower for myself before I bathe the girls and then a surprise pop-by visit by my sweet SIL who dropped off this little beauty:

She knows me well!

She knows me well!

I packed my food for tomorrow’s work day, put the girls in bed, did my ROMWOD (Thank you sweet baby Jezus it was only 9mins-long) and am now cuddling with the hot water bottle. I have been awake for almost 15hrs, have been going non-stop all day and I’m ready for bed. A few technicalities to take care of (finish this post, floss, brush teeth, set alarm, triple check that I’ve set alarm to AM mode, not PM, read 1 line of my book on my iPad) before I finally fall asleep for what I’m hoping will be a restful night.

There were a few times when I wanted to call it quit today, but I applied my tried and true strategy that I use in Crossfit: it’s just one more rep hour, you can do this. Just finish your meal prep, then you can rest. Just unload the dishwasher, then you can rest. Just get the girls to bed, then you can rest.

Now I rest for a bit. I’m out y’all!

 

When Your Cheat Meals Cheat You!

Artsy shot I took of the sunrise on our condensation-filled bedroom window this morning

Artsy shot I took of the sunrise on our condensation-filled bedroom window this morning

Alright everyone, enough with the artistic distractions. It’s confession time:

My eating hasn’t been on point for the past two weeks and I can definitely feel it in my performance / energy level. I have had pasta, bread and dairy, increasingly more over the past week and it showed up today.

I walked into the Box and felt like I hadn’t been there for 2 weeks. That’s how low my energy level was. Again, I didn’t have high expectations about the skills or the WOD for that matter because I already felt so drained…

I had Béatrice with me and I was a little worried about being able to focus on my stuff with her there, but the Coach AJ parted the skies and brought out the big box of giant Legos! Combined with her snacks, I had a happy, content kid and I was able to really focus on the work to do! Yay for Coach AJ! 🙂

While I was warming up, I managed a very good TTB, followed closely by an almost successful 2nd rep. Rob Black, I’m definitely coming for you! (Rob and I have a friendly competition going: 1st one to manage 10 TTB consecutively. He’s been cheating lots by doing lots of Team comps, so I don’t feel bad at all at practicing my TTB!)

Skill: Back Squat 3×10 E2M

I had gone up to 100# last time on these and managed to get a little higher today with a last set at 105#. My reps were: 95#-100#-105#. The last set was hard, but I tried to keep my chest up as best I could and really keep my knees out as well on the up. I think I managed ok.

WOD: Flash

It was all women except for Mike today and I felt bad for him because we all started talking about bladder leakage and well, he couldn’t really relate, could he? To keep with the topic, I received this email yesterday. My heart always sinks when I get this email from my period-tacking app. Maybe I should just remove the app, but then, how would I track my cycle?

Worst email ever...

Worst email ever…

Ok, back to Crossfit

This looked like it was going to be easy on paper, but man, it did me in. My quads were pretty beat up from the squats and I had nothing in me. I have been trying to up my weights during the WODs to 65# (I used to do 55# all the time) and I’m not sure if it’s because I was using that weight or because of my less-than-desired nutrition, but I did not do very well on this one, at all! Here were my times for each rounds:

1:41 – 2:00 – 2:11 – 2:11

After my second round, Coach AJ told me to start again at the 5min mark so I could get some rest. It was a blow on the ego for sure, but I had a cutie who kept smiling at me and kept cheering me on with her enthusiastic “Go Maman!, Go maman! so I really didn’t have any other choices than to smile back and pick up the darn barbell back up. Ugh! Kids! Can’t fail in front of them and certainly cannot give up either, because what would I be teaching them then?!?

That’s exactly what I did, I picked up the barbell and managed through my 3rd round. Thank God Coach AJ was there to tell me to pick it back up. I’m honestly not sure I would have otherwise. That was such a hard WOD for me. 3 round wasn’t better so I took until 8mins to rest and then picked it back up for the last round. It was ugly, but I finished it and added my best and worst rounds for a total of 3:52. Before the WOD started, we were joking that I could easily bring this WOD to 10-mins, even though there was a time cap of 8min. See Coach AJ, I told you I would do this one in 10 mins! Lol! Who’s part of the special Crossfit class now?!? I am!

I cleaned up after Béatrice and came back home, ready for a shower.

Sweaty and tired, but yet, I still have to entertain this little munchkin!

Sweaty and tired, but yet, I still have to entertain this little munchkin!

Once I was done with the shower, it was time to go get Rina new running shoes as well as a mattress cover for Béatrice’s new mattress. She has now graduated to a big girl bed and we have new furniture for her room as well. I’ve been cleaning bed sheets, etc and my legs still haven’t fully recovered from the skill/WOD. I am very much looking forward to sitting on the couch and not doing anything after the girls have gone to bed. Until then, I mother on and plan on cleaning up that diet of mine (aka working on paleo)! Lol!

 

“If It’s Hard, You’re Doing It Right!”

I was happy Ben and I came to a pact that I could still go to the 0600 Oly class on Thursdays if I wasn’t working. The evening classes were just impossible for me to attend having to deal with the girls and Ben has agreed to be on “school duty” an extra morning so that I could go lift some weights! He is pretty amazing! Over the weekend, he told me he loved my determination at getting fit and doing Crossfit. If that’s not a supportive husband, I don’t know what is! #hesakeeper

 

I got up before sunrise (hello autumn) and made my way to the Box for this:

Photo 2015-09-17, 5 57 04 AM

The snatch balance from the warm-up somehow were hurting my neck, but I was fine afterwards.

Snatch 10×2 OTM

I am still using my “fake 1RM” of 65#, therefore I went with 52# for these. I failed 2 reps total (I repeated one and half made up for the other one) during the 10 rounds and the hardest was catching my breath during the rest. That little sequence got my heart pumping and I got sweaty fast doing these. Still pretty happy with having managed to do all 10 rounds, even though it was hard. Coach Caleb said: “If it’s hard, you’re doing it right!” 😉

Hang Snatch 6×3 E2M

Since I had managed 90#x2 a few weeks ago (90# is also my C&J 1RM), I used that to calculate my weight and did 76.5# for all 6 rounds. The last rep was hard and I was having a hard time hanging onto the bar (we weren’t allowed to drop the bar between reps) and I could definitely feel it, but I managed all reps successfully. Getting up from the squat was much harder on some reps, but I managed to get up for all!

I rushed home so I could walk Rina to the bus stop and then, Ben dropped Béatrice at preschool. I had time to take a bath and cook some food for my night shifts uninterrupted. It was nice, but weird to have the house empty of kids. Something I will have to get used to for sure… For now, I get to enjoy some alone-time with Béatrice and it’s quite nice to focus on be able to spend some one-on-one time with her. She’s such a cuddle-bug!

Our New Normal

So, I have two kids in school as of today! Rina is in kindergarten full-time and Béatrice has started preschool 2 mornings a week yesterday.

When it was time for us to leave Béatrice in her classroom yesterday, Rina burst into tears. She didn’t want to leave her little sister! That almost broke my heart, but she soon forgot about her heartache once I took her to the playground! 😉

These are the best pictures I could take of Béatrice on her first day of pre-school! Typical Béa!

These are the best pictures I could take of Béatrice on her first day of pre-school! Typical Béa!

This morning, we had to wake up much earlier than our usual. Rina was starting school and the bus comes by really early to pick her up.

Rina is now in kindergarten!

Rina is now in kindergarten!

She did really well getting on the bus, sat next to another little girl and forgot all about us! She’s so freakin’ independent that one!

With her starting school early, that also means that I won’t be able to go to the 0600 WOD anymore because Ben isn’t an early riser and I need to pitch in to get the girls ready to go in time when I’m not at work. I’m hoping to still be able to go to the Olympic lifting class at 0600 though, but I’ll have to negotiate that with my other half! We do things very give and take and since he’s not an early riser, I’ll pitch in A LOT when I’m not working. When I’m at work, he’ll have to do it all by himself, so I feel it’s only fair! Parenting is a 2-person job in this household!

After we dropped her off on the bus, I went to get some groceries, came back home and rested a bit before I headed out for the 0930 WOD. I was not excited because to me, it’s a new class, which means, new people who I don’t know and also, the WOD was crazy. I looked at it last night and thought: “I may need 45-60 mins to finish this one.” And there you have it: my goal was to finish sub 45:00!

 

WOD: The Pyramid Effect

We all got ready outside and we took off for the 1st mile (1600m, broken into 4x400m out and back). That was brutal, but I managed to do it without rest. Of course, everybody was done before me, but I didn’t care!

I was really hoping to do my pull-ups strict with the blue and purple bands, but even in the warm-up to the WOD, I knew I would struggle. On my 1st round of pull-ups, I asked advice from Coach France as to how to exactly DO a strict pull-up! I have never been really good at doing them and she told me I was kipping them. I paused at the bottom to really stop the swing and plowed through doing that for the rest of the reps. I broke up the pull-ups into sets of 3, the push-ups, I did Rx and broke them up into sets of 5.

Then, I was onto the 100 lunges that I broke into sets of 10. I was much more effective at doing them almost without pause and they were the easy part of this WOD for me.

Back to the push-ups (again, broken into sets of 5 mostly and Rx) and banded pull-ups. I was the last one out on the mile run and I took a lot of little walking breaks. I really was trying to not walk, but my legs were toast! I kept pushing and finished my 3rd and did all of my 4th running round by myself. I tried to pick up the pace on the 4th round and came back inside with a time of 42:19. Goal crushed!I was done though! That was a tough one!

Sweaty mess!

Sweaty mess!

I rushed home to shower quickly before Ben left for work and I’m now waiting for Rina to come back home from school. I can’t wait to hear how her first morning went! Now, I just need to figure out when I’ll have time to do all my cleaning since I was out for most of the morning and I need to nap before tonight’s night shift!

 

 

 

 

 

From Rhino To Rabbit

I went to bed early and had a hard time falling asleep last night. I was then woken up at 2330 by our new tenants moving in. SERIOUSLY!!! I was up until 0130, reading in bed and had just fallen back asleep when the husband walked into the bedroom. No way was he reading in bed, I’d had enough already!

I got woken up again at 0330 by people scavenging the recycling bins that were left out for pickup today (yes, that’s a thing in Victoria, people look for “empties” in other people’s recycling, and they don’t do so quietly).

My alarm went off at 0500 and my first thought was: “Oh, Hell no!” I got up anyway and got ready for some hard work.

It's dark outside at 0540!

It’s dark outside at 0540, but Man, do I love this place!

 

 

Skill: 3RM Strick Press

Before the 12 mins were on the clock, we were only allowed to warm up with an empty bar. Once the 12 minutes started, my strategy was to go E2M and increase by 5# every set. My previous 3RM was 62# and my goal was 65#. I teamed up with Telsey and we got going.

40#-45#-50#-55#-60#-65#

My last rep at 65# was probably the wonkiest, ugliest rep, but I got the bar up and that was a new 3# PR for me! I had my doubts that I would be able to do it, but I pushed through (literally) and was super happy to get the bar overhead!

Telsey managed 1 rep at 65# and she totally had the 2nd one as well, but I think her head said no. We dropped the weight down to 62# and she managed 3 reps! She will be passing me in no time, she’s so strong!

WOD: Run to the Bar

I did the FG for this one and set my heart out on 5 rounds of:

  • 400m run
  • 20 lunges
  • 10 double crunches

It was chilly this morning and my hip flexors were screaming at me on the 1st run (from the squats on Monday) so I took it easy and made sure to warm-up before I pushed it on the runs. The lunges didn’t help, but I felt good during the double crunches.

Rounds 1 and 2 were uneventful. I felt gassed on round 3. Coach Caleb told me not to pause the lunges and, whaddyaknow, I could do them with a full extension at the top without pausing! I made up some time by doing that! Thanks Coach!

On round 4, Tracey passed me during the run and as she did so, she said: “It’s getting harder and harder to catch up to you!” Uhm, I couldn’t speak (Come on, I was barely breathing and was really focusing on keeping Pukie the Clown at bay during this round), but I was determined to become the fastest rabbit she’d ever have to chase. I finished round 4 and set out on my last round.

Instead of picturing myself as  rhino charging out, I kept reminding myself of Kathleen’s cues: Lengthen the stride, stay loose and bend a bit forward. It was hard on the uphill, but Tracey didn’t catch up to me so that was something to me. Mind you, Tracey is a beast and she was doing the Comp Prep version (aka athlete version) while I was scaling it, but still, a goal is a goal!

I came back inside to finish up my lunges and my double crunches and clocked in at 21:01. Not too far behind all the Rxs and the Comp Prep, so I know I worked hard!

Hopefully, I’ll get a nap at some point today, because, guess what? There’s more cleaning to do upstairs! Ugh!