What’s In A Name?

I had a hard time going to bed last night and that meant I was still awake at 2330. With a 0600 wake-up call to get Rina for school, that meant I was slightly sleep-deprived and waking up was hard this morning. Turns out Rina stayed home from school again today as she is still sick (fever yesterday and sore throat today), so I tried to get back to bed, but my dreams have been filled with Ryan Gosling, so that was a bit disturbing. I guess that’s what you get when you google “Ryan Gosling Crossfit Memes” before bedtime! Lol! 🙂 Speaking of weird dreams, it seems I have crossfit on my mind a lot lately. Earlier this week, I dreamt that I managed my 1st bar MU and then, manage a couple more. I was kind of sad when I woke up, but at the same time, it leaves me hungry for the Open coming up!

Here’s what we did this morning:

Skill: Tempo Back Squat (4-2-1) 6×2 E90s

Coach Caleb was coaching the 0930 today and he said to go lighter than what we had done last time we did the tempo (3-2-1). I didn’t bother to check and I thought if I finished at 120#, that would be close enough. The reps were hard and I was struggling at the bottom, but managed to do all 6 sets with the following weights:

95#-100#-105#-110#-115#-120#

When I came back home, I looked back on my log and realized I had actually gone HEAVIER on the tempo than the last time. 15# heavier to be exact. No wonder I was struggling! I must have been on the Gainz Train or something! Maybe I was thinking of my recent PR (145#) and thought I’d be ok at 120# today! Oh well, more fitness in for me today!

Yes, Ryan! Whatever you want!

Yes, Ryan! Whatever you want!

WOD: Gripper Ripper

I wasn’t quite sure how to tackle this one. I have been struggling with my American KBS at 35# lately and I’m not sure if it’s because I’m rebalancing my sciatic or what, but I keep losing my grip and the bell keeps flipping backwards. I also wanted to try the pull-ups with the blue band only (instead of blue and purple) so I discussed my issues with Coach Caleb and after he told me to slightly cock my wrists forward in the hold of the KB (while maintaining my arms straight), I decided to set-up with a 35# KB and a 26# one as a back up, in case I couldn’t manage the 35# for all 4 rounds. It was just me and 2 newer male members (that sounds wrong for some reason…)

3-2-1-Go!

I managed the first round of AKBS without any breaks and moved onto the rig for the pull-ups. The boys passed me very quickly as I was doing 2-3 at-a-time. It was slow and painful, but I got my 1st round done.

I went onto my 2nd round of AKBS and managed 4 before the bell flipped backwards on the 5th rep. I no-repped myself for that one, chalked up some more and made it for 5 more reps before I took another break. Once I regulated my breath, I picked up the KB and managed the remaining 8 swings left. Onto the rig again for the pull-ups. I think the boys were onto their 3rd and 4th rounds while I was in the middle of my 2nd. Still, I kept going with mostly 2 pull-ups before coming off the rig for a breather.

I chalked up well before starting my 3rd round and managed my goal of doing the KBS into splits of 9-8. I quickly (for me) moved onto the rig for the pull-ups and was trying to keep my sets of 2 alive, but I couldn’t keep it up. I had to break them into singles and that also when I realized I was well into my 1st hand tear into my “Crossfitter career”. That WOD was aptly named! I had a huge bubbling white blister in my right hand and I knew it wasn’t going to hold on for much longer. I kept going with my single reps and chalked up for the last round.

I’m pretty sure the boys were done by then and I was working solo. Again, I managed to do my AKBS into splits of 9-8 and I was super happy I had managed all 4 rounds with the 35#, with only 1 no-rep! I went onto the rig for my last set of pull-ups and did them all single. I was able to catch my breath faster in-between and Coach Caleb and Phil’s cheering helped me to finish them all. I got it done in 12:45. Much slower than everyone else, but I had kept up with the increased difficulty (for me, anyways) of the heavier KB and smaller bands for the pull-ups. All 3 of us got tears today, so I don’t feel too bad about it!

Once I was done, I put my equipment aways, wiped my KB and my spot on the rig of the blood and torn up skin I may have let behind, I then cut up the flap of skin that was hanging off my palm and (painfully) washed my hands. The skin is tender and it’s a decent rip, but with a little bit of Polysporin, it should heal in no time. I covered it after my shower, and although it feels fine at the moment, I will keep it covered for a bit in order to promote healing (as per this article in Tabata Times

It doesn't look too bad, right?

It doesn’t look too bad, right?

I’m fairly confident I ripped up just the dead skin layer of my calluses and it will heal up quickly. Keeping my fingers crossed it does as I’m back to work Monday and I have a feeling that the antibacterial soap and hand sanitizer will zing furiously if it’s not completely healed by then! Oh well, we all go through it and it’s a rite of passage as a Crossfitter! Another first I can now tick off my list!

In The Nick Of Time

Let’s be honest here. Why do we put ourselves through Crossfit if it’s not to improve our fitness?

For me, it has never been about me against others (ok, maybe a little bit of secret competition between me and others, but they don’t need to know! 😉 ), but mainly, a quest at getting stronger, both mentally and physically.

From the get-go, I have set goals for myself. One of them was to back squat my body weight. In the past few weeks, I have been so close to achieving this goal, but I was still 5lbs short. I knew I wanted to go in for the WOD this morning because our skill was back squats and it would be my last attempt for this goal for the year (my current deadline for this goal). I have set many goals throughout the year and just roll them over to the next year when they are not achieved. I stepped on the scale this morning just because I wanted to know which weight I needed to hit in order to make it happen. The scale read 144.8lbs. Alright! 145# would have to happen somehow today in order for me to make my goal happen.

Skill: Back Squat 6×2 E90s

Coach Adrianna was coaching us today and I was super happy to get to see her before she leaves us for Seattle. Those Seattle people are so lucky to have her and they don’t even know it. I will miss her terribly and I was gonna take advantage of today to make the most of it. She told me to try to hit 140# on my 5th set and if I missed, I could always lower the weight on my bar for the 6th round. If I succeeded, then I was golden to try at 145# on the 6th round. Ben and the girls also came to cheer me on so that was good too! Marika was there and we were doing stupid shit throughout our warm-up, doing the Hullk pose similar to this:

425.the.incredible.hulk.033108

 

all while grunting and saying stupid things like “Bro sesh!”

We warmed up individually and then we all set off for our sets, just as Mr Lucas Parker walked in. That’s right! He trains at our gym and I get to see him a lot, but I’m still way too intimidated to talk to him, so I go about my business as usual when he’s there.  I started at 120# and made 5# increments with each rounds. When I got to 135#, it started to get heavy. I was nervous about hitting 140# x2 because I had missed my 2nd rep just 17 days ago. I managed to pull through the two reps and got ready to attack 145#. I went down with the bar on my back and started to go up. I got stuck for what felt like an eternity. I was out of the bottom of the squat, but couldn’t straighten my legs anymore. CRAP! I really wanted to hit my goal this year and I didn’t want to let go of the bar! I kept the bar on my back, pulled on it with all my might and, somehow, managed to get out of the squat and get back out.

YYYYYYEEEEEESSSSSS!

I let out a huge victory scream as I had finally achieved the goal I had set for myself 2 weeks after my 1st Crossfit class!

I've never been prouder of a yellow star!

I’ve never been prouder of a yellow star!

I tried to go for a 2nd rep, but I really couldn’t get out of the bottom and bailed out safely. Still though! I was so pumped! I have had this goal for 868 days (2 years, 4 months and 16 days, but who’s counting, really?!?) and I can finally put a check mark next to it, all on the last day of my target date! Nothing was gonna wipe the goofy smile off my face!

Kathleen walked in literally a minute too late to witness my feat, but she was still super pumped for me! As I was getting my stuff ready for the WOD, Lucas commented on my squat and said “That was a good lift!”

Seriously? Could this day get any better? Not only do I reach a massive goal, but Lucas Parker compliments me on it! Hell yeah! I thanked him and got my spot ready for the WOD.

WOD: You Lift Me Up

That was a tough one as you were supposed to go all out at max effort for 2 mins and use the built-in rest after. I was gonna try the FG with my bar at 65# for the thrusters and use the 35# KB. It was my 1st time doing thrusters at 65# outside the Open and I was struggling. I managed 24 reps (2 cycles) on the 1st round and 19 reps on the 2nd cycle. Coach Adrianna came by and switched my KB down for a 26# for the other 2 rounds. On my 3rd round, I managed another 24 reps and I was then able to do the AKBS without breaking them, but I was getting tired. The struggle became real on my last round when I couldn’t push the bar overhead for the thrusters and had to set it down. Most of my thruster reps were muscled overhead and that got exhausting really fast. I only managed 15 reps for that round before I slumped on the floor, tired, giggling with happiness and exhausted!

Sweat angel! I got junk in my trunk, but that butt helped me squat my body weight, so there!

Sweat angel! I got junk in my trunk, but that butt helped me squat my body weight, so there!

I celebrated a little more with Marika, Adrianna, Kathleen, Ben and the girls before I got cleaned up a bit. I then met “new Adam” (a new coach at our Box) and he seems very friendly! We spoke French a bit as well since he’s from Ottawa! I then had to say goodbye to Coach Adrianna. She asked if she could hug me. I wasn’t even going to offer because I was afraid it would tip both of us into a puddle of tears. It felt like I could have hung on to her hug forever. She has been an amazing coach and supporter and her encouragements and tips haven’t gone into deaf ears. I will make sure to remember her advices and hopefully will go to visit her in Seattle sometime in the next 2 years.

We left the Box and got groceries, ran errands downtown, finished laundry at home and made dinner. My legs are shaking when I get on my tippy toes and for some weird reason, my right heel hurts. My traps are also sore from all those muscled thrusters and I can’t wait to sit with my hot water bottle, my blanket and my knitting in front of the TV. I’m not sure I’ll be up to ring in the new year as I can feel my body slowly shutting down from the adrenaline and excitement from today.

In all honesty, it’s been a very rough end of the year for reasons I won’t get into on the blog (what? I’m allowed some privacy, no?!? Lol!) and I certainly wish 2016 will get better for me. In any case, the only resolution I plan on making for the next year is to put myself and my needs at the top of my list, just below my children’s needs. I have proven to myself that I am strong and that when I have something in mind, nothing will get in the way of my determination. I will now apply that in my personal life as well. If people around me thought I was ruthless before, they ain’t seen nothin’ yet!

I'm currently holding on, but will hopefully soon exhale...

I’m currently holding on, but will hopefully soon relax and exhale…

May your celebrations of the end of 2015 be merry and safe. May your 2016 be bold, relentless and strong. I know mine will be because that’s what I want it to be.

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?!?

Motivation

Some days, I feel super motivated to keep going in my journey towards being healthy. I’ve managed to keep on track with the Whole30 for the past week (my second round at it) and having 8 days off from work means I can get my workouts in easily. Not having to deal with sciatic pain is a lovely added bonus and still a welcome novelty to me.

Some days weeks, however, it is harder to find the motivation. I get stuck in a funk at times and I wonder why I put myself through all of this. What is the benefit of all this torture fitness known as Crossfit. Why did I keep waking up at 0500 for 2 whole years, paying good, hard-earned money to subject myself to workouts that are so demanding, I sometimes end up crying on the mat at the end. Nowadays, the 0500 wake-up call have been replaced by rushing through the morning routine for school for the girls, WOD at 0930, then rushing to get ready to pick up Béa from preschool, or groceries or cooking. Some days, I sit down for the first time at 5pm and I’m exhausted. Why do I suck up all of the precious energy I have and go “waste” it all on a workout? Why, you say? I’ll tell you why.

I’m tired. ALL.THE.TIME. It doesn’t matter that I get to sleep in one day a month or not. I’m the wife of a husband who travels a lot for work which means I’m “single-married” (married, but alone at home with the kids for extended periods of time) a lot.

I’m a NICU nurse and I work shift-work and have been doing so for the past 10 years. 10 years of switching between nights and days on a dime. It takes its toll on a body. More recently, I have gone into a Charge Nurse position. I love the challenges it has brought upon me, but it can be added stress at times. That also doesn’t help making me feel less tired.

I’m a mom to 2 lovely, cuddly, active little girls. They like to be on the go and we try to accommodate that as much as possible. Some days, I crave 5 mins to myself. Even if we don’t do something big, they constantly want us to be involved in their little play, which means I can’t focus on anything I’d like to be doing for myself. That’s ok though, if I have a little bit of energy left in the evening after they’ve gone to bed is when I usually try to focus on myself. If the energy is AWOL, I usually just sit and watch TV and find some other time to do MY things.

When you put all those realities of my life together, it’s only normal that I need an outlet to REALLY focus on myself: my physical, emotional and mental well-being. THAT’S why I do Crossfit. When I am there, it’s usually 1hr of my life where I only need to make minimal decisions: Will I use 55lbs or 65lbs for the WOD? Do I need my wrist wraps or not?, etc. Nobody’s life hangs in my hands and I can let out of all the emotions that have been bottled up inside my short little body. Am I exhausted at the end of a WOD? For sure! Then again, I’m always exhausted and at least, I’ve done something for myself to get in better health!

Lately, I have struggled to find the motivation to get going. Whether it’s because the PRs don’t come as easily as they used to or because I have struggled with my sciatica, I’m not sure. I was talking to Kathleen about that a few weeks ago and I was debating taking a break. It is a scary thought. I feel like I would probably get lost if I didn’t do Crossfit. Either that, or I’m afraid I would never go back and all the hard work (and money) invested in myself for the past 2 years would be a total waste. Because of those fears, I have kept going, pushed through the struggles and injury and keep telling myself things will look brighter again soon (hopefully). When I really struggle with my motivation, I like to “check-in” with myself. I did one of those “check-in” 2 days ago and it has lit up a small fire of determination to keep going:

Top is on my 1st day of Crossfit, bottom is a few days ago. 28 months in between pictures

Top is on my 1st day of Crossfit, bottom is a few days ago. 28 months in between pictures

Sure the progress could be a lot better, but like I said, I’m a wife, a mom and a nurse. My diet isn’t always the best and I workout 1-3x/week at best. Progress is progress and seeing it helps re-focus my drive.

This morning was my first day back at the Box for Oly lifting in over a month. I was debating going at all as I feel like I have to re-learn everything about my snatch and C&J as well. I decided to go in anyway with the philosophy that everyone has to start somewhere. I don’t want to make the coaches feel like they are wasting their time with me, but I also would like to move past my injury and finally get proficient at those Olympic lifts. Coach Caleb wasn’t there this morning and we had the lovely Coach Val to guide us through our session. Karen and I struggle with dropping into the squat in the snatch and Coach Val has given us some pointers to fire up our hips and drop quickly.

I was trying with an empty 35#-bar this morning and Coach Val suggested I get a training bar (10#) and put some plates on it so that I would get the proper feel of the bar. That meant I started my snatch work at a very low weight, but I was at peace with that. I got my Dynamax ball for my butt depth into the squat and got working on things.

Photo 2015-11-26, 6 11 51 AM

Snatch 6×2 E2M: Here were my reps for this one:

30#-35#-40#-45#-50#-50#

I stayed at 50# for my last 2 rounds and had to drop the bar in-between all my reps in order to reset my form, but I managed to get it done and somewhat drop into the squat. I was happy with that. Not quite at the 90% target of my 1RM (50# was 77% of my “fake 1RM of 65# and 83% of my real 1RM of 60#), but not too bad considering I’m re-learning to move safely for my sciatic. I was glad I managed to get up that high as I was expecting to stay at 45# and just work on form.

Death by Power Cleans: It was my 1st time doing this one and since I don’t even have a 1RM at 92.5# for my C&J, I was definitely going to scale down for this one. After discussing with Coach Val, I decided on 65# and warmed up to that. Coach Val told us to aim for 10 rounds and I felt like I would probably bail out before then, but I went it anyway. I managed to go unbroken for rounds 1-7 and then things started to slow down a little after that. I had to drop the bar a few times during my round of 8, then started introducing singles into the round of 9. I was pretty pumped to complete the round of 10 and still have 15s to catch my breath before diving into the round of 11! 😉  I had to do them all as singles and there were a few reps that I caught really high in my neck, but I pushed through and squeezed in my last rep with 1s left in the round. Technically, I could have started right away on the round of 12, but I had nothing left in the tank. My for was getting wonky, my neck was catching the bar more and more and my left wrist was getting slow in the catch so I chose to stop there.

Photo 2015-11-26, 8 24 41 AM

What do you get at a 5am lifting class? Bruised neck and dark circles, that’s what you get!

I came back home and jumped right back into the realities of motherhood. Béa had tried to go pee by herself. She managed to get her pants off, hoist herself onto the toilet and couldn’t figure out the toilet paper, so she called out for help. I’m just thankful she didn’t put that pile of paper in the bowl as that would have been a nice plug! 😉

Photo 2015-11-26, 9 20 57 AM

See? Finding balance and purpose is what keeps me motivated! 😉

PR During Rehab

*More about women’s health and pelvic floor stuff in this post. Dudes might want to skip this one too*

Let’s be honest here. I’ve been in a funk. I fairly certain that I have SAD (seasonal affective disorder) and the gloomy/rainy weather isn’t helping a ton. I was also having a little pity party regarding my sciatic pain and I was secretly afraid this would mean the end of me squatting, deadlifting, thruster-ing, clean & jerk-ing and snatching. It made me really sad that I was thinking about giving up, but the butt pain was annoying to no end. Ok, maybe I wasn’t really sad about never having to snatch ever again, but that’s a different story. I have a tendency to keep quiet when I feel this way because my Mom always said to keep your mouth shut if you have nothing nice to say…

So yeah, annoying funk. When I get in a funk, I eat. Not always good food choices. My new jeans are feeling snug and so are my scrub tops again. In order to snap myself out of the funk and emotional eating, I reached out to Kathleen and Courtney and we have embarked on a (second for me) Whole30 together. If one of us falls off the wagon, we ALL have to do 15 burpees… per cheat snack. We started last Thursday and so far, everyone has been on plan! Way to go ladies!

I have also had my 1st appointment with the pelvic floor physic. It was interesting and mildly uncomfortable at times. I mean, where else do you get little stickers (electrodes) put next to your bum hole and vagina, hooked up to an ultrasound and get to see the strength of your inner abdominal muscles and rectal muscles as well. Add to that the presence of an almost 3-year-old who was peeking under my gown and asked A LOT of questions and you have a pretty good picture of my appointment.

The findings were interesting though:

  • I have weak rectus abdominis (front abs)
  • My abdominal muscles remain contracted too tight, even at rest.
  • I can’t hold a deep abdominal contraction for 10s during kegels
  • I get better control of those contractions if I think more about contracting my anus than if I focus on my abdomen.
  • My internal obliques and transversus abdominis are working overtime in order to compensate

In terms of regular physic, here’s what’s wrong with me as well:

  • I have too much mobility and squat too low, curving my spine at the bottom of the squat, resulting in my obliques taking over and adding a toll onto my lower back
  • Too much mobility on the erg as well, resulting in the same outcome as in the squat

What I’m doing to fix this:

  • Lots of kegels (we’re talking 60 reps of 10s contractions with holding and 10s rest)
  • a weird contraction of the deep abs while lying on the floor and opening my legs sideways, then extending the leg out straight.
  • firing the small deep posterior chain before doing any squatting or any heavy lifting
  • contracting my pelvic floor muscles when lifting heavy, or even lifting the girls
  • one-legged step-ups in the stairs and focusing on not tilting my pelvis
  • Squatting down to a med ball to limit my squat depth and ensuring I don’t squat too low (still below parallel, but not ass-to-the-grass

It doesn’t sound like much and when I do my keels and pelvic floor exercises I pretty much look like I’m just standing or lying down and staring into nothing-ness, but it’s a lot of hard work. I also started these on last Thursday.

What I have noticed so far:

  • I haven’t had a flare up in my sciatic pain since Thursday.
  • The numbing I felt in my lower back has decreased tremendously. So much so that I recently sat down and was amazed to notice what it felt like to sit down and not have that low numbing pain in my back
  • I did thrusters today, PR’d my 1RM and there was no leakage
  • I sneezed twice today without crossing my legs and also without experiencing any leakage
  • I’m not feeling any discomfort in my sciatic or lower back at all after doing the thrusters today
  • The pelvic floor PT gave me the green light to start doing my ROMWOD again, now I just have to clear it with the regular PT!

This is huge people! After 5 + years of lower back pain/ butt pain/ sciatic pain, I’m walking almost pain-free and it feels awesome. It has brought back a little of positiveness in my life and it makes the world of a difference in my day-to-day life.

Ok, enough about my lady bits and let’s now focus on the WOD today:

1RM Thruster: I warmed up to 65# before the timer went off and I planned on doing those E2M with 5# increases on each rep. I was hoping to hit 90# on my last rep, which would have been a 5# PR. Here’s what I ended up doing

65#-70#-75# with the assist of a med ball behind me in order to know when to stop dropping. I almost tripped on it when I did 80#, so I decided to try without any assist on the last 2 reps. 85# went well and Coach AJ told me I had good speed. I failed 90#. I managed to squat it and get up with it, but I couldn’t press it overhead. I was slightly disappointed. I humm-ed and aww-ed for a little bit and then decided to try for a 2#-PR anyway and go for 87#. I went to get the fractional plates and added them onto my bar. I had about 20 seconds left before the 12 minutes were up and i took a deep breath and went for it! I was so happy to get it up and above my head! I didn’t have much expectations that I would PR while rehab-ing my sciatic, but this was a nice welcomed surprise! 🙂

Double Tabata Row: A Tabata is an interval workout. You do 8 rounds of 20s work / 10s rest. Because it was so intense for my sciatic, I chose to go for the Assault bike instead of the erg. I probably could have done a regular Tabata, but not a double one. I set myself up next to Marika (who was on the Airdyne) and off we went. For the 1st Tabata, I managed to keep my intervals at 4 cals for all but the 7th interval! I was disappointed, but kept going and managed to get 4 cals for the 8th round. As soon as we entered the second part of the Tabata, I was just trying my best to keep each interval at 3 cals. I surprised myself by getting 4 cals for a few rounds, but I mostly stayed at 3. I was glad when It was over and my quads were throbbing nicely and seizing up slowly. I got off the Assault bike, got on all fours and then slumped onto my belly on the floor. I caught my breath and went to write my score on the board. I was shocked when I saw that Marika’s lowest score was 6 cals! Holy crap! I thought I’d worked hard for all my rounds, but my score was a measly 3! Coach AJ told us that they don’t count calories the same way and after doing some research online, I found in some forums that people mentioned the Assault bike was scoring about 1/2 the cals and distance when compared to the Airdyne. Good to know I wasn’t so far behind then!

I’m just happy with how today’s session went. I know you can’t always have great workout days, but it sure start the day the right way when you do well on the Skill and WOD!

Rough One

I had planned on going to the morning Crossfit class today. With it being Remembrance Day, there are only 2 classes being held today and I really wanted to go to the morning one. This being said, Ben had scheduled himself a lesson at around the same time and I made the decision to take the girls with me to Crossfit. I told them they had to stay in the play area, that there was going to be a lot of people and that it would be dangerous if they moved. I got them toys and snacks and got to warming up. The girls were total little angels during the long WOD and I was glad I didn’t have to discipline them at all. The WOD was brutal, even with me scaling it the way I did. I probably scaled a little too much seeing as I was in the first few to finish it. You know there’s something wrong when I finish first! Lol! The WOD was one they had done last year (I was probably at work and unable to do it last year)

Here’s what we did and how I modified it.

I managed 2 TTB during my personal warm-up and I was pretty happy with that. I didn’t go for a 3rd, maybe I should have!?!

Warm-up: As per my PT’s recommendations, I modified the KBS to RKBS. We are diligently trying to avoid any strain on my lower back, hence the RKBS instead of the American ones.

WOD: CSOR

After discussing this with my PT (she also does Crossfit with me, so that is very convenient when I need to ask her advice!), we came up with these modifications:

  • 30 hang power clean @55#
  • 800m run
  • 21-15-9 push jerks @55#
    • pull-ups with blue and purple bands
  • 800m run
  • 30 burpee box jumps
  • 800m run

I felt good during the power cleans and was the first one out for the run (!) which, in my head, was a good indicator that maybe I should have gone heavier, but at the same time, I really didn’t want to irritate my sciatic, so I played it on the safer side. I was soon joined by all the others outside and we worked on getting our specific mileages in. I had chosen to do 800m and I managed to do that non-stop.

I came back inside and got to working on the push jerks. I broke my 21 into 11-5-2-3. Onto the rig for the pull-ups. I broke all my pull-up sets into 3s and that worked well for me. The 15 push jerks were done in 8-7 and the last round was done unbroken.

Back outside for another 800m run. I lost some time on towards the end as I noticed someone in crutches waiting to cross the street. Our box is right across from City Hall and they were having celebrations for Remembrance Day. These people were trying to make their way to City Hall and I asked them if they needed help to cross the street. When they said yes, I slowly made my way into the boulevard and stopped traffic to let them go through. I ran back inside once I was done and got started on the burpee box jumps. I managed all 30, but they were all very slow.

I went back out again for my last 800m run and I was so slow. My left hip flexor was so sore and I finished with a slight limp of my left leg. I couldn’t get over the fact that Mark was doing all this with a weighted vest. He really inspired me to finish strong (at least, as strong as I could). I came back inside and was probably in the first 10 to finish. You know I scaled too much when I finish in the first batch. I’m usually dead last. Like I said, I was just careful and didn’t want to make things worst with my sciatic. I finished in 38:12 and I was just glad I had kept on working with minimal breather breaks pretty much for the whole duration of my time!

After we were done, Michelle (my PT) told me I probably shouldn’t have done the box jumps. I should have done just regular burpees. I didn’t think about it either at the time, but she was right. Since we do step-downs and my dominant leg is my right, I got down on my right a lot which meant a hyper flexion of my left hip and it’s probably why my hip flexor was so bad on the last run.

As soon as I was done, the girls stated to let loose  and started running around and shrieking. Brett and Kim had brought their dog (gorgeous Sherman) inside and both girls and the dog were playing together. I then went to run some errands downtown.

On the way downtown, Béa banged her head on the car door and she then proceeded to fall on the sidewalk while holding my hand, which resulted in me inadvertently stepping on her other hand. She got a good scrape on a few fingers and was inconsolable so I called it a day and brought everybody back home for lunch. Rough day for the little one!

Once lunch was over, I was finally able to go clean myself up. Good thing too because the WOD had left me with some crazy hairdo!

Crazy hair, don't care!

Crazy hair, don’t care!

Now that laundry is folded, I was finally able to finish my morning coffee. Sometimes, I like to drink my coffee in a mug I took from my parents when I moved out. These mugs were purchased at a gas station at some point in the 80’s and it somehow brings me closer to my parents when I stop to think about my mom drinking her coffee from that same mug, a few decades ago! It is pretty ugly, but I love that it says “Mom” in french on it! 🙂

Photo 2015-11-11, 1 20 39 PM

My “mom” mug!

 

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! 😉