Progress Update and Goals

Since it’s my 1st post in the new year, I thought I’d share yet another progress update report as well as some goal for the upcoming year. I don’t do resolutions because I don’t believe in them, but goals, I can do!

What has the past 2 1/2 years of my life have looked like? Well, in numbers, it has looked like this:

Screen Shot 2016-01-04 at 2.15.16 PM

 

Not much change in size and weight since my 1st Whole30, but the fact that I have maintained the progress for the past 6 months is something new for me. I have felt myself slip up from my healthy eating habits and have reeled myself back into them by doing a second round of Whole30 back in November-December and it has paid off.

In terms of what I look like now vs then, well, here it is:

2016-01-04

My biceps have finally made an appearance and I can see a faint shadow of upper abs starting to shoe as well. The most dramatic changes remain my back and my butt and I have to say, I love all the ripples created by new muscles on my back. I may have lost “only” 11 lbs, but I know I’ve lost more fat that I have replaced with muscles and I’m very happy with where I’m at today!

In terms of goals, I have a few that I have rolled over from year to year, but the list is getting smaller now and I will focus on these 2 for a bit:

  • Consistently managing at least 20 DUs in a row
  • 10 TTB without getting off the rig

The Open is coming fast upon us and it’s made me realize that 2 1/2 year into my crazy fitness adventure, I shouldn’t be struggling with my DUs anymore. So I’m working on them and doing drills to prepare for the open. TTB are a consistent part of my warm-ups and my max so far is 3. Much better than 0 last year for the Open, if I do say so myself! 😉

This morning was back to school for the little ones and back to work for Ben, which meant back to the crazy morning rush of getting everybody ready and out the door in time, cleaning up the house and getting myself to Class for 0930. I was pretty excited because I saw this on the WOD website last night:

image

I sure love me some deadlifts! Lol! I don’t know if I like deadlifting or squatting more, but those are definitely my favourite top two lifts! It shows too! I have added 80# to my back squat (from 65# to 145# last week) and 75# to my deadlift (from 85# to 160#) and 70# to my front squat (from 45# to 115#). This BabyMama’s got booty and apparently, I know how to use it!

Here’s what I did today:

Skill: Deadlift 5×5 E90s

I started at 120 and increased by 5# for every round, finishing up at 140#. Not too bad considering my 1RM deadlift is 160# (back in August 2014). I’d be curious to re-test this as I have a feeling I could maybe get heavier. 5 x 140# felt good today and it felt like I could have gone heavier on those as well.

WOD: Gritty

I was excited to see it was mostly bodyweight stuff for today, but I knew it would be a lot of work. I managed to do RX, but some people who were doing the Comp Prep still managed to beat my time. It’s all good though as I was cautious on the BJ and I managed to do all of them RX! I didn’t do any step ups. I also managed to do most of the burpees RX as well, with maybe 5-6 granny-style to catch my breath. I finished in 7:50 and I was pretty happy with that, even though that still puts me way after everyone else. After those heavy DL, my legs got sore fast and my plan of attack went out the window very quickly once I started the WOD. I really wanted to do all exercises with only a break in the middle point, but I had to take way more breaks than anticipated. It’s ok though, I’m ok with that.

I then talked to Coach Caileigh about the Open and what to do about registration. I know for a fact that I will have to miss one of the WODs because we have a planned vacation in a remote area for March break and I’m just not willing to drive for 3.5hrs in order to kill myself compete and drive back afterwards. So unless an affiliate miraculously opens up in that neck of the woods between now and February, I will score a big fat “0” for 16.4 and that is ok with me. It’s not like I’m going anywhere fast, but it’s always nice to keep track of progress!

I Did It!

I woke up yesterday with a stuffy nose and a swollen ankle from my last Crossfit endeavour (remember when I slammed the barbell in my shin? Fun times!) and I was NOT in the mood to go out and run a 5km. However, I pledged I was going to do it, so out I went and drove to UVic to get my butt going. The sooner I would start, the sooner I would finish, right?

I got lost on the campus and couldn’t pinpoint the exact parking lot where the Run for the Cure was starting from so I parked in the one in front of the student council and got on my way. It took me a while to figure out that I wasn’t going the right way, I fiddled with my phone to start MapMyRun and finally knew where I was supposed to go (or closer to). I started my music and got going for the second time around. Once I was warm enough, I removed a layer of clothing and slowly settled into my rhythm. I always find it takes me 10-15 minutes to breathe easier when I start running. I don’t know why, but it’s something that I was reminded of today. Before Rina was born, I used to run a little and I remember having to deal with the same issues then.

It was a beautiful autumn morning with just a little bit of sun, the air was cool and that’s my favorite weather to run in. I settled into the music, trying to focus on the scenery around me as much as I could in order to get out of my head and the feat ahead of me.

The lady on MapMyRun announced I had already done 1km and that meant only 4 more to go. I got a little confused about my running route and decided to just stick to the university circle and repeat that in loops until I reached 5km. That was my plan and I felt better about knowing where I was going, sort of. I kept going for a bit, still struggling with finding my rhythm and taking minimal walking breaks. I didn’t have any goal in mind other than finishing the 5km before my parking ticket expired. I had 1hr to do that and I was fairly confident I could finish somewhere between 30-40 minutes. 2km were announced and I kept going.

I was taking little walking breaks here and there throughout and I decided to see if I could run my next split without stopping. The lady said I had reached 3km and I kept going. It was tough for me to keep going, but I made it 1km without any pauses! I was definitely out of breath though and my hip flexors were getting sore so I took a small walking break afterwards and kept going. When the next split was announced, I couldn’t contain my joy! I was so happy I had managed to run a 5km without having trained for it and I did so in an ok time (for me). I kept going for a little bit since I wasn’t quite back to my car yet and I did so running! All in all, I was happy I got to do this in order to raise funds for the Canadian Breast Cancer Society ($300 total), but that doesn’t mean I enjoy running any more than I did before. I know my form needs some work because my shins are a bit sore today and I feel like I may have bruised the sole of my right foot. No big issues, but just little things I noticed during my run.

There it is! 5km done!

There it is! 5km done!

 

Details of my splits

Details of my splits

 

These legs are made for... running?!?

These legs are made for… running?!?

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!

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:

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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!

Winning All Around

But really, I’ve also been losing all around. Proof in number and in pictures below:

Screen Shot 2015-07-07 at 3.06.24 PM

 

2015-07-07

In 31 days, I’ve lost 3.4lbs and lost 4.5″ overall. I’ve also lost some cellulite, some bloating and some sluggishness.

In 31 days, I’ve gained 2 guns (I’ve been waiting 2 years to see my biceps bulge and today, they’re very visible and I couldn’t be happier!), there’s a faint sighting of abs beginning to show, my back fat has decreased a lot, my shoulders are more defined and my butt has also lifted (soon, it’ll be right by my neck!)

Whole30 has done some wonderful things for me: I sleep better, I don’t crave processed foods (most days), I’ve dropped under 2:00/500m on the erg (huge for me) and I’ve created bonds with Kathleen, Telsey and Tracey who have joined and supported me through this crazy idea of doing the Whole30. Other than the 1st week, it’s been awesome and I plan on keeping it strict until July 15. That was our little group’s official end date (I started early) and I will stick by my girls through the end. Afterwards, I plan on maybe adding 1-2 cheat meals/week, but no more than that. It will be hard as I’ll be vacationing in Cuba, but I’ll try to make healthy and smart decisions about my food choices.

For the first time in years (we’re talking almost a decade here) I feel comfortable in my body. I know some parts are sagging and not as toned as they could be, but I’ve also had 2 humans take over my body for 18.5 months and I’m pretty stoked with how I look today. I have this newfound confidence and I feel like nothing can stop me. It’s onwards and upwards from here!

Kathleen was gracious enough to invite me to her garage gym (aka Jim’s Gym) for a WOD in order to get extra fitness in. I was nice to be able to have the girls play alongside us while we were working out in the sun. Here’s what we did:

Here's what Kath had planned for us!

Here’s what Kath had planned for us!

 

This WOD was hard for me and I used a 25# plate for it. I now know another weakness of mine is lunges with added weight. My quads and glutes were burning after this one! I finished in 9:12 and Kath was done way before me!

Following the WOD, we took some rest (I needed it!) and then did some work on the erg. Gotta work on those weaknesses!

We did 3x200m on the erg with rest of 1:30 in-between. It was closer to 2:30 rest since we were alternating between the two of us on the erg. You can see I kept my splits all below 2:00/500m for all 3 attempts, so yesterday wasn’t just a fluke! Apparently, I really have improved my fitness! Kathleen destroyed this, just like she did the WOD before. That woman is seriously fit and an inspiration, I tell you! Once we were done, Rina hopped on the erg and was trying to row so hard. She had pretty decent technique for a 4-year-old. She was complaining that she “wasn’t making any wind”. Already has a competitive side to her… I wonder where she gets this from?!?

Mandatory selfie and Kathleen and I with Jim's Gym sign in the background!

Mandatory post-WOD’s sweaty selfie of Kathleen and I with Jim’s Gym sign in the background!

So happy to have made new friends with whom I can share a passion with and the friendships are not drama-related! Tomorrow, Telsey and I have planned to get together so the kiddos can have a play-date while we mamas can hang out! Very thankful for having all those new people in my life! Couldn’t ask for a better day to have it, really!

Being Bloated Blows

Notice the nice alliteration in the title?!? Yep! That’s what you get from someone who almost finished her B.A in English Lit! Nice to see those 3 years of university REALLY paid off! Lol!

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Yep, if you refer to the Whole30 timeline, I’ve hit the bloated stage, right on target! Bleh! My abdomen is already not the smallest to begin with, now I look like a stuffed sausage when I try to fit in my workout pants and shorts. Still, it didn’t deter me from going to the 0600 WOD for this:

Skill: (Hang power clean x2 + Push press/ jerk x2) EMOM x10

I may have been bloated, but dang, I was ready for this fun stuff. My left shoulder and trap have been bugging me lately, but I still wanted to work somewhat hard on theses. I settled for 65#  and did Push jerks all the way and it felt really, really good. I felt like I could have kept going for more rounds when we were done and I managed to correct my landing on the power clean after Coach Caleb gave me tips. I wasn’t landing wider than my beginning stance and felt comfortable correcting that little thing!

WOD: Pulp

There were 14 of us so we split up into two random heats and I was into the 1st one. I decided on FG with the red and orange bands for the pull-ups and made the mental commitment to do all my HRPU Rx. Here’s how it went.

First round of HRPU I did 10, rested and then did sets of 5 to the end. My left shoulder was getting unnerved and I was happy when I was done this round. Onto the rig I went and I split up my reps as such:

4-3-3-3-3-2-2

Those were hard, I won’t lie. Back on the floor I went for my second round of HRPU:

5-5-5-5-5-5

Onto the rig I went. I split up my pull-ups like this:

2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2

I was the last one of my heat to finish (not surprisingly) at 8:44. Not bad. My shoulder was really bugging me by then and I was glad I was done. Ryan killed it doing it the Comp version with the weighted vest and Tracey was simply amazing to watch as she fought for every pull-up Rx. She was doing them with a 2-kip motion and she was out of this world!

I came back home and felt like I had a ton of energy left. I showered, made breakfast for the girls while my other half made me coffee (with Whole30 unsweetened almond milk!) and once everybody was good for breakfast, I made myself this wonderful plate:

Photo 2015-06-17, 8 30 15 AM

That was the perfect breakfast. AS you can see, I had already started to eat it but still wanted to capture all the gorgeous colours of this plate! My breakfast consisted of:

  • 2 eggs, over easy
  • unsweetened salsa
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1 yellow bell pepper
  • my hubby-made coffee

It was perfect and it hit the spot. I have no problem getting my pre-WOD snack in (usually chicken and a few nuts) in the optimal time range, but I really struggle to get my post-WOD one in on time. It’s usually around 1hr post WOD that I’m able to sit down and get some fuel in my body. Meh! I’m a busy mom/wife and will always make sure the little ones are fed so my hubby can get out the door on time for school drop-off or gymnastics. When they’re older and more autonomous, I’ll work on getting my recovery meal in on time! 🙂

Once I was done with breakfast, I loaded up the dishwasher, finished the laundry and cleaned upstairs. That took 2hrs and then it was time for school pick-up! Phew! I think I will crash when I nap before work tonight!

 

Shin Guard Musings

Lately, I have been using my shin guards a little more, whether it’s for box jumps or simply for deadlifts (I have shin splints and even just brushing the bar along my shins is painful) and although I have perused the sayings on them, I really paid attention to them yesterday, when I took them out of the wash. Here’s the ones I have and I will elaborate on the motivational quotes that are on them:

 

Here are the quotes on them:

  • The harder you work, the harder it is to surrender
  • Life doesn’t have a dress rehearsal, make it count
  • A goal is a dream with a deadline
  • Luck is the time when preparation and opportunity meet
  • The most powerful weapon on earth is the human soul on fire
  • Work will win when wishing won’t
  • Discipline is remembering what you want
  • When it’s all over, it’s not who you were. It’s whether you made a difference
  • Pain is weakness leaving your body
  • It’s not the will to win but the will to prepare that makes a difference
  • Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm*
  • Pain is nothing compared to what it feels like to quit

I was wearing them again for the WOD this morning (deadlifts) and I felt so at peace. I don’t know if it’s because I was inspired by the quotes or whatnot, but I’m feeling a ton better than I was last week, both physically and mentally and I like where I am right now!

Since we didn’t have any skill work today, we had a longer warm-up and the WOD was pretty much all skills.

 

 

Deadlift 5×3 EMOM: When I had looked at it at home this morning, I was thinking 135# for the DL, but I settled for 105#. I didn’t have time to warm-up for a higher weight and although they felt easy, I was happy with my technique.

Hang power clean + push press 5×3 EMOM: For this one, I chose 60# and I think it was a good weight for me. I wanted to pay more attention to having quick elbows and pushing the elbows out on the hang power clean and the press felt good, yet somewhat challenging towards the end. Maybe I should have gone to 65#…

Hang power snatch + OHS 5×3 EMOM: For this one, I chose 55# and really wanted to take the opportunity to work on my snatch. At 55#, the snatch is challenging and so were the OHS. I really needed to remember to brace my core and block my breath on the squat. The snatch was a bit only for the first 2 sets, but I think it improved on the last 3.

I like barbell work. I like feeling the control needed in order to get the bar to move the way you want it too. I like that it is much more than just lifting the bar, it engages your core, glutes, quads, shoulders, traps, etc. It is so much more intricate than just “lifting the bar overhead” and although I still very much struggle for most lifts, I like the challenge it offers.

A few days ago, the sun was shining bright and I wanted to put my favourite shorts on. To my surprise, they were way too big and I couldn’t locate the only belt I own (which is also too big now):

Photo 2015-04-20, 11 13 56 AM

That only meant one thing: Shopping!

I ended up going to Old Navy with the girls and managed to find a few tank tops and 4 pairs of shorts (shorts that have nothing to do with Crossfit, that is ;)!) To my dismay, I went from a size 12 / large last summer (in the green shorts above) to a size 8 / medium. As for the tops, I went from a medium to a small. I was so happy with the progress! I also realize that my favourite Lululemon shorts and crop leggings are getting too big. I need to cinch the drawstrings to the max and I still have to pull them up all the time. Oh well, I will replace those gradually as they are quite costly $$$!

Last, but not least, Béatrice asked for pig tails this morning and she is just too darn cute for me not to share a few pics with you all (as you can see, I am making the best of my week off with my girls!):

Dancing in the wind

Dancing in the wind

Cuteness overload!

Cuteness overload!

Roar!

Roar!

 

* Having failed A LOT, this is probably my favourite one!