Christmas Cold

I haven’t posted in a bit. My last night shift, Rina got sick with a fever and a sore ear and Ben brought her to the ER to get checked out. It turns out she is fine and we have been managing her symptoms with Tylenol and Advil, but I finished my night with a sore throat and when I woke up from my nap, I had a full blown cold. So, to recap, Rina is sick, Béa is sick and I’m now sick as well. To top it all off, Ben has finally caught it as well and we are a couching/sniffling/sneezing mess of a family.

A little head cold didn’t stop me from making my way to the Box on Saturday and this morning as well. I probably could have gone lifting on Thursday morning, but Ben was able to come home early and we spent the evening together, just chatting about life and things. It was nice and by the time he reminded me about lifting in the morning, I had missed my bedtime by about 2 hrs in order to get up at 0500, so I chose not to go.

This morning though, the girls didn’t have school so I took the opportunity to go back to the 0600 class and that meant waking up at 0500. It was nice to see the old crew again! Here’s what we did:

Skill: Back Squat 5×3 (Tempo 3-2-1) E2M

I had done these 2 weeks ago and had finished at 100#, with a 10# PR. I remembered I was struggling with these and I wanted to try 105# for a new PR. I paired up with Gail and we got working. Here were my sets:

85#-90#-95#-100#-105#

I was pretty pumped about this new PR!

WOD: Thriller

We had tackled this one last June and I had done FG1 @55# on the 20″ box. Today, I was really wanting to try 65#, but with my cold and being back on the 20″ box for the first time since my rehab, I chose to stick to 55#. Good thing I did too because I kept gripping the bar unbalanced and that screwed up some of my reps. I had to re-adjust my grip at the top of the thruster and it made for some lost time.

The first round went well and I was really focusing on trying to be explosive from the hips on the BJ instead of just pulling my feet up onto the box. It was hard since I also had to focus on bracing my inner abs while stepping down from the box in order not to jut my butt to the side (which aggravates my sciatic pain). Sometimes when I think too much about a movement, it’s almost like it’s too much for my little head and then my body is all wonky. That’s what happened today.

My third round was horrible for my grip on the thrusters and I had to put the bar down after 6 reps. I was also really cramping out at the bottom of the squat on the BJ and Coach Caleb came by to remind me to use my hips. I was tired and not sure I could do just that, but I made a mental note to try it on the next round.

My 4th round was better. I didn’t have to put the bar down, I just rested at the top of the thrusters and kept going and was trying to be more explosive on the BJ. I’m not sure I managed, but Coach Caleb told me he could tell I was at least trying. I guess, that’s “A” for effort! Lol! 😉

Here were my reps today vs. back in June:

  • 1:29 today  vs. 1:29 in June
  • 1:34 today vs. 1:35 in June
  • 2:03 today vs. 1:36 in June
  • 1:41 today vs 1:48 in June

Had it not been for me dropping the bar on my 3rd set, I think I could have PR’d this WOD, but I didn’t do so bad considering I’m stuffed up and coughing a bit. My time for today was 3:32 vs. 3:17 back in June, which is only 15s slower. I’m not too upset about that one and so far, no sciatic pain from the BJ step down! I’ll take it!

The girls are home with me today and surprisingly enough, I don’t have any cooking, cleaning or laundry to do. I had planned on taking them on a short hike, but it’s raining outside so we are doing collages and playing with Play-Doh. I’m hoping to get to wrap some Christmas presents today and tonight and be done with that before I head back to work tomorrow.

So Close I Can Taste It

I’m tired. I have been on mommy duty by myself since Friday and I’m pooped. The girls are good, but I’m exhausted and trying to get the last-minute purchases done for the girls while I am married-single-parenting is exhausting. Thank goodness I had planned ahead and booked Nanny to the rescue for today. She came in just in time for me to go to Crossfit and since she was curious about the whole thing, we packed everybody in the car and Béa and Nanny came to watch me workout!

I did my usual solo warm-up and then I went onto the rig to try some TTB. I managed the usual 2 and went for an extra one and managed this one as well! I got greedy and tried for a 4th, but no luck. Still, a PR during the warm-up was nice! I teased Rob about it on Facebook (we have a bet as to whom will get to 10 TTB first. Although, now that I think of it, I don’t think we’ve ever established what the winner gets… Rob, if you’re reading, I say bragging rights!) and then moved onto the team warm-up:

I teamed up with Marie who recently graduated from the OnRamp and since we’re about the same height, I figured it would take us similar time to get through the erg.

 

Skill: Back Squat 5×3 E90s

I was trying to PR on this one and go for 140#. It would have been a 5# PR. It didn’t happen, but I was close and considering I was still feeling my new depth at the bottom of the squat, it felt REALLY good. I felt strong, more able to keep my chest up and didn’t feel like I was “butt-stripping” getting out of the squat. Here was my progression:

120#-125#-130#-135#-140# (managed 1 rep and bailed coming out of my 2nd).

I think there was a lot happening for me on these:

  1. I was seeing stars coming up from my 1st rep @ 140# and I didn’t take a long enough pause to breathe and recoup at the top
  2. I was in my head a lot. I knew that if I managed to do this today, I was literally 5# away from my bodyweight back squat and I’ve been chasing this one for close to 2 years now. My heart was pumping fast and I could tell I was in a hyper mode.

I may not have PR’d my 5×3 and I don’t have a 1RM, but I’m confident that 140# was an amazing 1RM for me! The fact that I felt so good and strong during my reps gave me a ton of confidence. Also, being able to bail out of the lift safely made me feel good too. It’s nice to know that I not only have the technique to do my lifts in a safe manner, but I also have the knowledge to get out of them if I can’t complete a rep.

WOD: 4 Hundred

I paired up with Marie again and even though she was doing the FG+, I firmly believe that we both were working equally hard at it. I decided to try this one RX and it did not disappoint! I started us off on the wallballs because, well, in all honesty, I just wanted to get them done and over with! Lol! We broke them up in sets of 10 and I then had to break my sets into 2×5, pretty early in the game. Marie was doing squats while holding the med ball because of shoulder issues, which meant that she was done a lot quicker for her sets and I had less time to recover. She was nice enough to get us started on the push-ups and surprisingly to me, I was really struggling through those. We both did them all RX and Marie was so strong and straight throughout them all, I was super impressed! We split them up into sets of 5.

I took over for the reverse lunges and I was apprehensive about those as any split movement is usually what gives me sciatic pain. I tried my best to brace my deep abdominals and so far, *knocks on wood*, no butt pain! We split those up into 10s and got through them fairly quick.

I started us off for the Plates ground to overhead and it was my 1st time using the 25# plate for those. They felt really strong. It felt like I was really able to keep the plate close to my body and really use my hips to get it overhead. There were two reps towards the end where I struggled to get the plate to actually touched the ground, but even if we finished last, I felt really good about our work today.

Once I was done, I clean dup quickly in the bathroom and BeZU, Nanny and I were off to hit the stores. I managed to find one item on the girls’ Santa list and I was happy with that. I hid my purchases in the trunk and Béa was none the wiser.

After lunch, we came back home where I finished laundry and relaxed a bit on the couch. We then went to pick-up Rina at themes stop and we trooped everyone to a smaller mall where I was hoping to get the girls’ picture taken with Santa.  I had scoped the hours ahead of time and I knew the big guy was supposed to be there until 5pm. To my surprise, there was nobody in line when we got there. I forked out the $14 for one 5×7 pic (not without some grumbling) and approached the jolly red dude. Béatrice was scared to death and wanted nothing to do with him. She kept hiding behind my legs and I could feel her little body shaking against my leg. I asked Santa if I could sit next to him to warm her up to him and once he said it was fine, she climbed on my lap. I tried to get her to sit on his lap: No. I tried to get her to sit next to him: No. I tried to get her to stand in front of here sister (who was, by then, telling Santa everything she wanted for Christmas): No. In the end, I decided it was going to be a family picture and I got in there with the girls. After all, I wanted them both to have their picture taken, but I wasn’t gonna hang around there forever!

I turned out much better than I thought and at least both girls are smiling. I look like an exhausted, sweaty mom (because I am), but I couldn't care less!

It turned out much better than I thought and at least both girls are smiling. I look like an exhausted, sweaty mom (because I am), but I couldn’t care less!

Once we were done, I went to get the envelope with the picture and noticed there was another sheet in there. At first I thought it was an order sheet to order extras, but when I took it out, I saw this:

Rina, handing Santa a drawing she had done

Rina, handing Santa a drawing she had done

I was so unaware that the photographer had taken this one and I was really touched that she had included it in the envelope. I thanked her profusely and we all went on our merry way home, where we had dinner, I bathed everyone, made lunches for tomorrow, took my work clothes out and now, I’m about to make myself a cup of broth with my hot water bottle on my back and do my version of #NetflixandChill which is #Netflixandbroth 🙂

 

5 And 3! Oh My!

If you’ve been a reader of my Ramblings for a while, you’ll know that my wonderful daughters share a birthday, 2 years apart. If you’re new to this little blog of mine, well, now you’re in the know as well! 😉

Today is the girls’ birthdays. They are turning 5 (Rina) and 3 (Béatrice). I have been busy trying to organize their special day, getting birthday and christmas presents done and finding a good paleo cake recipe.

I have managed to get the birthdays all done and under control and I still have a few items to pick up for the girls for Christmas. I have made a futile attempt at writing my Christmas cards with high hopes of sending them out later this week and I managed to only write up one so far! Man! I tell you, I feel like I’m somewhat organized in my day-to-day life, then December rolls around and all hell breaks loose! I get nothing done and stress levels go through the roof. Fortunately, the hubster has been pitching in a lot lately and I’m secretly hoping it will be a trend that lasts. 😉

We went to the truck light parade on Saturday evening and I think the girls enjoyed it very much. Rina was squealing like the most high-pitched piglet out there and Béatrice was dancing on my shoulders. Then, yesterday, we celebrated the girls since Rina had school today.

 

I'd say they managed a decent loot!

I’d say they managed a decent loot!

After we were done with lunch and it was time for me to bring out the less than impressive cake I made. I really don’t enjoy baking. To make it worst, I’m not really talented at it either. I’m just not crafty that way! I tried really hard to make them a cute birthday cake and it turned out more like a laughable mommy-fail of the year. I made a paleo cake from PaleOMG’s book and although I was told the cake and icing tasted good, the decorating was similar to Rina’s drawings… Not quite what I was going for. We sang “Happy birthday” twice and the girls blew their candles. BeZU even hugged me while she said: “Thank you for my cake Maman!” Bless her heart, that kid is simply amazing!

Once we were done eating lunch, cake and opening presents, we decided to go to the park atop the reservoir and have a little walk. We split up into two groups and somehow, lost Rina by doing so. I thought she was with the husband’s group and vice versa. A quick run along the trails surrounding the park and I found her sitting at the lookout, just waiting there. She got a quick scolding and I thing she was pretty scared off as she was all teary when she ran back to me. I told her she did good by waiting in one place and we went over other safety things before rejoining the rest of the group.

Before we lost Rina

Before we lost Rina

This morning, I went to Crossfit and even though I wasn’t feeling it at all (still sore from 1/2 Cindy on Friday), I was determined to get the juice flowing again in my sore body. Here’s what we did:

Skill: (1 Hang squat clean + 3 Front squats) x 5 E90s

I was aiming for 95# on my last set, with a realistic goal of 90#. I ended up doing this:

75#-80#-85#-85#-85#

I was stripping my butt out of the squat and I really wanted to focus on NOT doing that in order not to screw up my sciatica even more. Also, I was using the slam ball as a guide as to how low to get to at the bottom and hoping to create muscle memory without going lower than I need to. It’s still a work in progress, but it’s getting better, I think. It’s so hard to have to re-program all my lifts and not dropping as low as I can go into them, but I know I’m taking a few steps back in order to keep moving forward injury-free.

WOD: Swing And Pop

That was my first attempt at this one and what was written on our white board is different from what’s written on our blog so I’m a little confused, but I ended up doing what was on our white board, FG:

8min AMRAP:

  • 5  DUs + 15 singles
  • 15 AKB @ 26#
  • 5 KB push press / arm @ 26#

I didn’t think I would be strong enough to do all my rounds with the 26# KB for the KB push press and I had the 18# on my mat as a back up, but I managed just fine. It was a lot of hard work and my reps were low compared to everyone else, but I am so skittish of injuring my sciatic again, that I really don’t mind. I’m still working hard and making the best of it all while remaining safe. So far, so good!

I came back home, showered, ate lunch with Béa and then I was off to finally deliver baby Bailey’s blanket. I finished it a while back and finally managed to deliver it today. She’s such a cutie and so friendly! She was singing and cuddling and just adorable! I could have squeezed her all day, but I had to go back to my chores. I made some food for dinner and then it was time to pick up Rina from school and our evening routine. Hopefully, I can get to my christmas cards tomorrow and get those done and over with! Here’s to hoping! 😉

 

 

Asking For Help

I am renowned for rarely asking for help. I am mostly in charge at work and people come to me for help and answers most of the time. Ever since we moved to the west coast 7 years ago, it has been just the hubster and I managing our little family. When the hubby is away, I have been handling the house, finances and kids all by myself, with the occasional help from our Nanny. I tend not to ask too much from Nanny because, well, we need to pay her and I refuse to fork out money if I don’t need to. I have always been somewhat independent and let’s just say that asking for help is not something that comes naturally.

A few weeks ago, I had a nice chat with Kathleen where I kind of lost my composure a bit. We got talking about Crossfit and I became a puddle of tears when I mentioned that I wasn’t getting much feedback from the coaches and it was affecting my motivation to keep going. I don’t mean that I need feedback on every move I make when I’m at the Box, but it just feels very unnatural for me to ask for help on my lifts/form/modifications, etc.

Kathleen, in all her wisdom, suggested I give it a try and maybe I’ll feel differently about it all. Well, today was the day I grabbed the bull by the horns and I actually asked for feedback on my back squats. I’m still in rehab from my sciatica and I want to make sure I am not tucking my tailbone under at the bottom and that I stay engaged when I drop down and not lose momentum. Today, we were doing tempo squats (3 seconds to get down, hold for 2 seconds at the bottom and get back up in 1 explosive second) and it was important to me to make sure I didn’t make things worst for my sciatic. On the fourth set, I gathered my courage and asked Coach Caleb to make sure my technique and form were ok. Having to learn a new depth into the squat is still somewhat challenging. The tricky part when you’re too flexible (Ha! Who knew being too bendy would ever be a disadvantage?) is to know not to stop at your max squat depth, but to still be below parallel. It turns out, I was just at parallel and Coach Caleb advised me to drop further 1″ to make sure I was below parallel. It was hard holding that position. All my abs, gluteus and hamstrings were screaming to get back up, but I managed and I was very happy I had ask for feedback. After all, that’s why I pay to go sweat my little heart out! I’m glad I have good coaches who are knowledgeable at what they do.

Here’s what I did as a progression for the skill:

Skill: Tempo Back Squat (3-2-1) 5×3 E2M

80#-85#-90#-95#-100#

That was a 10# PR for the Tempo Back Squats for me today! Oh yeah!

WOD: Half Cindy

I was debating whether to go for the full or the half and after reading the blog, I figured the half would be challenging enough as it was! I remember the last time I did this one, I had managed 181 reps with the red and purple bands for the pull-ups back in August. Today, I knew I was going to use the blue and purple bands for the pull-ups (smaller than last time) and I was hoping to get at least as many reps in as last time. Coach Caleb told us to have a strategy for the pushups and he was right. I started with 2 rounds of 5-5, but had to resort to 4-3-3 from the 3rd round on. I also managed to do my 5 pull-ups without letting go of the bar for the first 4 rounds, but then had to break them into 3-2. The air squats were where I tried to haul butt and catch my breath at the same time, if that makes any sense. I was happy to finish my 6th round with a little less than 2 mins left on the clock. That meant I would definitely get more reps in this time around than I had last August. I was trying desperately to hang onto the bar for my pull-ups and managed to do 5. The pushups were getting to me, but I managed to stick to my formula of 4-3-3 and quickly moved on to the air squats. I really wanted to finish my 7th round  and with 15s left on the clock, I was 1 rep shy of making my goal. I finished with 6 full rounds + 29 reps.

I was exhausted, but happy! Another PR during rehab always feels nice!

I came back home, showered and did my hair and I was still high from the PRs and felt really proud to rock my CFVicCity t-shirt! 🙂

#greenwithpridenotenvy

#greenwithpridenotenvy

I then had another physic appointment and we have decided that I am done with my regular physio for now. I have all the tools and exercises that I need to keep practicing in order to get better. Only a few appointments of Pelvic Floor physic left as well and then I should be as good as new!

I have also been better at asking for help from my husband lately. With the girls’ birthday celebration approaching on Sunday and Christmas, he’s been really helpful running errands for me and it has decreased my stress level by A LOT! I guess there’s something to say about asking for help! Who would have thunk it?!?

Living The Life!

I have to admit, having 2 weeks off from work feels pretty fantastic! I will have gone to Crossfit 4x this week by tomorrow (3 WODS and 1 Skills Plus class) and I’ve had time to cook some pretty fantastic meals, which, in return has given results in my fat loss (almost 3lbs since last week). 🙂

Below is my favourite breakfast as of late: Nuevos Rancheros

Yum!

2 scrambled eggs, 2 tbsp grated cheddar, 2 tbsp salsa, cherry tomatoes and a tangerine. Add a coffee and you’re good to go! Yum!

 

Here’s what I plan to cook for tonight:

From The Formula 40-30-30 book

From The Formula 40-30-30 book

To top it all off, I’ve had a really good time just hanging out with my girls and we’ve been up to some pretty cool adventures this week. We’ve had their picture taken with Santa at the mall, we’ve browsed through the toys section at Walmart and Toys R Us.We’ve put up our Christmas tree:

She's so excited about Santa!

She’s so excited about Santa!

Christmas wonder

Christmas wonder

We’ve sang some carols:

and Rina even wrote a letter to Santa (with some help):

Photo 2014-12-03, 4 01 26 PM

I’ve gotten tons of cuddles from the girls and it warms my heart whenever they tell me: “Mama, you’re my best friend”.

This morning was my Skills Plus class at Crossfit and I had no idea what we were up to, but I was ready for it! We did Power Clean & Jerk 5×2 E2M @75%. My 75% weight was supposed to be 52#, but I rounded it up to 55#. It was challenging. I need to remember to keep the bar along my body in the power clean and split a bit wider in the jerk.

Photo 2014-12-04, 9 19 18 AM

Then, we moved on to the Bear complex 5×2. It was my first time actually tackling the bear complex and I was a bit apprehensive. I decided to stay at 55# for this. It was challenging, but in a good way. Again, I need to remember to keep the bar close to my body during the squat clean and actually drop under the bar to catch it. Also, I have a tendency to cushion the bar on my spine in the back squat portion of the complex and I need to remember to cushion it on my shoulder muscles instead. So much to learn, but I’m really glad I get to learn the technique in a more detailed fashion!

Photo 2014-12-04, 9 46 59 AM

You see! I’m having such a blast when I don’t have to work! I also find that I’m a lot more patient with the girls too! Win-win! If only I could find a way to keep it up for the rest of my life! 😉

Good To Be Back

We had a wonderful Christmas and it was so nice to see Rina get in the spirit of Christmas and Santa! Ben and I kept it simple, yet it was a lovely Christmas with his sister and parents. It took me 4 days to be able to walk/sit/stand normally without any pain in my bum after Monday’s WOD, but I was glad to be back at the Box today! I looked at the WOD last night and I thought:

Either I’m not going or I’ll finish an hour after everyone else. This WOD looks brutal!

I managed a new 1RM (had never done 1RM before today) higher than my previous PR for the press at 65#. 🙂

My sets were: 40#-45#-50#-55#-65#

65# was a struggle, but I managed to press through the block and made it by bracing my core even more. Coach Caleb told us that bracing our cores would be capital in this and he was absolutely right!

Then, it was time to tackle the WOD. To me, this was a chipper WOD, meaning, something I just needed to take in strides and keep chipping at it.  I ended up doing the FG with the following modifications:

  • 20″ jump box
  • pull-ups with red and green bands (I should have used the purple and green, they felt a little easy with red and green)
  • 26# KB for goblet squats.

It was a tough one and I finished dead last, but I was glad to have done it. I had been sore for a good 4 days after Monday’s WOD (even though I made a point of going for walks and foam rolling everyday in order to get some active recovery in) and yesterday, we hiked up Mt. Doug from the Glendenning entrance. It is a little bit challenging and it was made more so from the fact that I had Béatrice on my back (a hefty 19#) for the hike. Ben was helping Rina who made it all the way up the hiking trail and back down the main road with minimal “pick up” from her daddy. Not a small feat for a 3-year-old! 🙂 The best part about the hike? I came back home and I was fine. I woke up this morning and I was still fine. No soreness whatsoever! I guess Crossfit really is making me stronger! 🙂

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I go back to work in exactly 7 days. I’ll be honest and say I’m not looking forward to it. It will be hard to leave my darling girlies after 14 months of being at home EVERYDAY with them. I like my job, but if I could afford it, I would stay at home with my girls. I know it will get easier and I’ll just have to chip at every work day like I do a WOD, but in the meantime, I plan on making the most of my time with my hubby and the girls…

Christmas WOD aka Screaming Rudolph

I read the Box’s blog last night and I knew I should be bracing myself for today’s WOD. Heck, the warmup felt like a WOD!

I totally wimped out for the warm-up and used the training bar (about 15#, but I’m not sure). I just wanted to save my energy for the skill and the WOD. To be honest, I’m not sure I could have done the push-press with an empty 35# bar…

For the skill, I was aiming for a new PR of 95#, but on my 90# rep, my form left a little bit to be desired, so I stayed at 90#. Not a new PR, but it has been my max so it’s not like I failed either! 😉 Here were my reps:

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

For the WOD, I was paired up with Amrit and Kevin. There were 6 of us that showed up this morning and, once again, I was the only girl, while 2 out-of-towners showed up and someone else who usually comes later in the day. Coach Caleb split us up in two teams of 3 (the usual 0600 class against the “newcomers”). We finished with a total combined score of 638 (my contribution was 175 or 27% of our total score. Not too bad, but not quite 1/3 f our score which is where I’d like to be. Mind you, my partners are STRONG LIKE OX, so I can’t really complain for my share).

I modified with 25# Plate Floor to Overhead and 21# KB Goblet walking lunges.

The lunges killed me. I was grunting and screaming to get through my last set like I never have before. The last time I screamed in pain like this was during my delivery of Béatrice into this world. It was that bad! It just felt like everything today was focused on hamstrings and glutes and my glutes were seizing by the time we were done with the WOD. I have never been so happy to roll my butt and sit on a Lacrosse ball in my entire life! There is no Crossfit on Wednesday as it’s Christmas and I was pretty keen on going Thursday AND Friday to make up for Wednesday, but judging by how sore my glutes already are, I might need the rest! Now, I have to go clean half the apartment and let’s just say I’m glad my mother-in-law has offered to make chill for dinner tonight! 🙂

If I don’t blog until then, Merry Christmas to all my readers. It is a pleasure to know I am not alone in this and, please, leave comments; I love to hear from you all! 🙂

From my family to yours, may you have a very Merry Christmas with your loved ones!

From my family to yours, may you have a very Merry Christmas with your loved ones!