Barbells and Princesses

I had such a full day yesterday!

Crossfit in the morning followed by more house cleaning (I’m almost done deep cleaning the kitchen), interrupted with a lovely at-home pedicure by a mobile pedicurist /fellow crossfitter, more cleaning and finally, falling asleep on the couch while “watching” TV.

After I made my way to my bed, I woke up at 0500 and got ready for Oly lifting class this morning, because it’s “just lifting”!

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The tall snatch was a struggle with just the empty bar and it’s still something I need to work on. Why is everything snatch-related such a struggle? I guess we all have our weaknesses and the snatch truly is one of mine.

Since I missed the last testing session, I’m still using 65# as my 1RM for the snatch and that meant I used 55# today for the Snatch EMOM x 10 @85%. I think it went well overall, but I was feeling fatigued on my last rep.

For the hang clean, I really wanted to attempt 90# on my last set, just to prove to myself that I could do it without catching it on my sternum. Coach Caleb wanted us to focus on not dropping the bar in-between reps and get back into the hook grip.

My

My “wings” (as Ben calls my bruise) are healing nicely. And yes, I know, I look exhausted!

Everything went peachy until my 6th set. I managed all my reps without hesitation and after a pointer from Coach Caleb, I reminded myself to keep my chest and elbows up in the catch. When I got to 90#, I was in my head and really afraid of failing the lift.

1st attempt: failed.

I came back to the bar and approached it. Pick up the bar. Exhale. Inhale. Block breath, dip and lift.

2nd attempt: failed.

I walked away from the bar. Sat on the bench for about 30s, then approached the bar again. Pick up the bar. Exhale. Inhale. Block breath, dip and lift.

3rd attempt: failed.

This time, I sat down right away and had a chat with myself. I knew I could do it, I had managed 2 reps earlier this week. Yeah, I’m tired, but I can totally do this. Just get to the bar and DO IT! You just need to drop into the squat to catch it.

Approach the bar. Set my hands. Pick up the bar. Exhale. Inhale. Block breath, dip and lift.

4th attempt: 1st lift successful! I wanted to celebrate, but there was still another lift to do. I reset the bar on my hips and reset my hook grip. Dang! That bar is heavy. All you have to do is repeat what you just did! You got this. I can barely hold on to the bar! Just do it, don’t think about it. JUST DO IT!

Hook grip. Exhale. Inhale. Block breath, dip and lift.

2nd lift caught very deep at the bottom of the squat and I was afraid I would crumple into the bottom, but I managed to push out of it and managed my 2nd lift! I threw that bar on the floor and was beaming! I had just done 2 reps at my 1RM C&J!!! Whoot! Whoot! Also, that was a 15# PR from my previous attempt at this only 3 short months ago!

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I couldn’t stop smiling! Looks like even though I’m exhausted, I can still find it in me to push hard and improve!

I came back home for a shower and a hearty breakfast before taking the girls to Hatley Castle for their surprise Princess Day! No cleaning today, I’m taking a break from being a housekeeper and I’m taking time to rest and enjoy my last few days off before my vacation is over! We went to pick up Nanny as I had asked her if she wanted to come with us (not to work, but to enjoy the day and be tourist in her new town).

The day had started a bit cloudy and cooler, but the sun came out and the heat did too. I chose to only pay for the garden tour as I highly doubted the girls’ attention span would last enough for the indoor guided tour. I think it was the best decision, even though I will have to go back one day to visit the inside of the castle.

We toured the Italian garden, the Japanese garden, the Rose garden and the green houses. The photographer in me had a blast taking some shot and editing them. Below is just a small sample of the 140+ shots I took today! 😉

Cuba Sì

As promised, here’s a review of our week-long vacation in Cuba.

We were traveling from Victoria to Montreal, in order to meet up with everybody else on our trip at the Montreal airport. We made our way the day before our Cuban departure, sleep in a hotel by the airport that had a shuttle service and had no issue with that at all. We repeated the same experience on the way back with the same service. I had to call for the shuttle bus to come and get us and it was there within 20 minutes. From Montreal, our flight to Santa Clara was close to 4hrs-long, followed by a bus ride of about 90 mins to the resort. I was ready to go sit and relax when we finally got to the resort. The girls traveled beautifully, sleeping on my lap at times, playing, eating, iPad-ing, and signing songs. Béatrice was being potty-trained and we put her in pull-ups for the flights, but she was good about asking to use the washroom and mostly ended up with a dry diaper after the flights.

Currency: If you love in Canada, don’t bother changing your money for some US funds before your departure as you get penalized once in Cuba. Their currency for tourists is the CUC (a tourist cuban peso) and isn’t worth anything outside of Cuba. Bring your Canadian currency and change it once in Cuba (either at the airport or at some local currency office (we had one on the resort with the rate exchange similar to the US $ ($1 CAN = $0.70 CUC). Make sure you get rid of all your CUC before exiting the country as you won’t be able to do so once back in Canada.

Medical Clinic: Yep, I even got to try this one out! I had started an eye infection on the flight from Edmonton to Montreal and despite using Polysporin eyedrops for 48hrs, it wasn’t improving and I ended up with a huge black eye from the infection, so I hired a cab (1927 Ford!) and made my way to the closest medical clinic on Tuesday. I walked in at 1330, saw the MD at 1332 and walked back out with my bill and prescriptions at 1345. It took a little longer because I had been told by the customer service rep at our resort that I could pay my meds with a credit card. Turned out I couldn’t and had to take a cab to the closest ATM to get some money. My cab driver was nice and waited for me while I sorted all of this and even waited for me while I was being seen at the clinic! I was given steroids, antibiotic drops and anti-inflammatory ointment, all for 50 CUC, including the medical consult. Total cost: 60 CUC including the cab rides. Not too bad!

Cuban Accommodations: We went along on this trip with my parents, my brother and my niece and my brother’s girlfriend (one of my friends 🙂 ) and her kids too. All in all, there were 6 adults and 6 children on this trip. Our resorts was Cayo Playa Santa Maria, located in Santa Maria (north or Cayo Coco). The resort itself was nice enough, but not super luxurious. I seem to remember we had chosen this one because they had a “Kids’ Club”, to which we didn’t end up taking advantage of. Live and learn! The rooms were clean. We had issued with the tub and shower draining properly, and although we had someone look into it for us, it never got resolved. The rooms were done on a daily basis, although sometimes, late in the afternoon when we were trying to get the kids to rest a bit. The fridge was filled with beer, pop and water everyday as well. One thing I was missing when we were there were facecloths. Apparently, they are nowhere to be found in Cuba, so I’d bring a couple if you really can’t do without them. I ended up using a bath mat / towel when I needed one. I think the only drawback was for checking-in. Long line-up, with only 2 clerks at the desk to do 2 buses worth of check-ins: fail! The staff we had to deal with were all very friendly and attentive, on the other hand. AC was available in both the adjoining rooms we had (King bed and 2 twin beds for the girls) as well as a ceiling fan.We never had our patio door open (other than to go hang laundry out on the chairs) as it was too hot to do so with temperatures between 32-35ºC everyday. E only had one day of partly cloudy skies, no rain over the 7 days we were there and saw plenty of heat lightning.

Food: We had a choice of 3 À La Carte restaurants for dinner, but were only able to book 2. All the other time slots had been booked solid after our 2nd day on the resort. My advice would be to go on book those early on in your trip. One of our restaurant was the Asian one and the food was ok, with limited choices for kids. The other one was the Seafood one and only 4 of us ended up going to this one because our reservations was for 7:30pm , after a long day on a Catamaran excursion, on the eve of our departure and the children were too tired to come out to eat. (More on that later).

The buffet was ok in my book. Not terribly bad, not amazingly good. I think, overall, there were only 2 dishes I really didn’t like. Most of the fish I had was absolutely delicious, although, I was the unlucky one with all the bones in the fish. They made a pretty awesome fried rice where you could chose your components, same with omelettes in the morning. You had to be there early though as the lines filled up fast. Not a lot of choices for Whole30-compliant food, but I was on vacation, so I didn’t stress about it. I tried to focus on fruits, meats, vegetables and rice.

Lettuce is almost unheard of there and the only “greens” they had were green bell pepper and cabbage. That got old pretty quick.

I can’t really comment on the booze as I’m not a big drinker. We had wine a few times, I had a Sex On The Beach and a few sips of Mojitos and that’s about it. The drinks were good, from the few I had.

Gym:  I had a quick look at the gym (usual treadmills, stationary bikes, some free weights and benches for presses) and the AC wasn’t supper effective in the little facility so I decided to make my own WOD on the beach:

4RFT:

  • 400m run
  • 25 burpees

I didn’t time myself, but tried to hustle as best as the 33ºC permitted. I would go in the water to rinse off the sand and cool off before the runs. That was my one and only workout while I was there. My bother had brought his TRX and managed a few more workouts than I did. Good for him for not slacking off!

Spa: Ben and I booked ourselves a 1hr-long couple’s massage and it was nice to go relax while my parents watched the girls. The only thing is they had a musical cue on their CD that told them when to move from limb to limb. It was a bit distracting. We were allowed 1hr of relaxation in the jetted pool, but we hadn’t brought our bathing suits. No problem, we were allowed to come back the next day to enjoy the pool.

Beach: This is where we spent most of our time everyday. We would go after breakfast and never had any trouble finding 12 lounge chairs under the shade. We had brought our own tarp and pegs for shade on the beach and never ended up using it.

There were a lot of big rocks/boulders submerged under the sand where the chairs were and you had to be careful about your steps making your way down to the water. The sand was soft and white and, apparently, the beach had suffered some erosion since the previous year (as per previous vacationers).

The water was a ver clear aqua colour and you spot some barracudas often. We only saw 2 small jellyfish on our entire trip. Depending on the wind, some days the water was calm and others, the waves were a bit stronger.

There were free smaller catamarans excursions (max. 4 people) that lasted about 30 mins and free-kayak rental as well.

Animation was on the beach in the morning and moved over to the main pool in the afternoon. We never partook in the activities as we wanted to sit and relax.

Pools: We had a pool very close to our room and although there was music poolside, I think they closed the pools around 6pm daily, which meant you could get a full restful night of sleep. The pools were well maintained, although lots of sand and oil residue from the sunscreen could be found. The water was hot all the time and even hotter in the afternoons. Finding chairs in the shade was a little harder at the pool than it was at the beach, but we were never there very long and usually retreated to our rooms for some shade and nap time when we’d had enough. The little ones enjoyed the pool more and the big kids enjoyed the ocean more. We compromised by doing the beach in the morning and the pool in the afternoon.

The girls and Ben, playing in the pool

The girls and Ben, playing in the pool

Excursions: There were a few tempting excursions I would have liked to do had we been without kids, but we settled on only the one full day Catamaran excursion. There was one where they flew you into La Havana overnight that I would have liked to do (too expensive with the kids), another one where you went to see Buena Vista Social Club perform live (finished around midnight, again, not happening with the kids) and one where you went into Santa Maria to see the Che Guevara Memorial as well as some of the city and churches. I would have love to learn more about that piece of history, but with temperatures being what they were beach-side, I really didn’t want to drag the kids too far from the water.

The one excursion we settled on was the day-long catamaran excursion. We booked it for our last full day in Cuba, Saturday (so that all the kids could get on for free). Kids are free all the time if they’re 6 and under, and on Saturday, it’s free for kids 12 and under.  We had to be ready to go at 0800 which left us ample time to grab breakfast at the buffet (starts at 0700). We hoped on a bus that took us to the marina (20 mins), where we boarded a super clean catamaran, with a crew of 3 on board. There were 2 bathrooms that were kept immaculate throughout the day. The rest of the boat was wiped off of water often and kept immaculate as well throughout the day. We left using the motor for the first part of the day, making our way to the “reef” where we had 1hr to go snorkelling. All kids had to wear life vests and adults who were strong swimmers didn’t have to. Ben brought his GoPro with him so we were able to capture some pretty cool photos and videos.

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Once we were done with that, they served us a light snack of tuna salad on crackers. It was a hit with everyone and was gone in minutes! We motored around, until they brought us to a the dolphin sanctuary. This would not have been my choice had it not been included in the day. I’m not a fan of dolphins in captivity, but the girls liked the little show they put on:

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Once the show was done, we also had the opportunity to interact with the dolphins. Ben had his gGoPro and took some footage, but it was a bit hard seeing as we had to hold the girls in our arms. We had water up to our chest and the dolphins swam up to us so we could touch them. Our dolphin had one cloudy eye and the other one had plenty of scars on its back… 😦 We had lunch at the sanctuary of lobster tails for the adults and chicken for the kids. After lunch, we got back on board and Rina needed the First Aid kit (she cut her toe and was bleeding) and the staff was quick and attentive.  They teased us with sights of beautiful sandy beaches before dropping us off in a sandbar that was rocky and choppy. Not my favourite part of the day (and I think nobody enjoyed this very much out of our little group).  We quickly came back on board and we set out on the water and finally opened the sails and cut off the motor. That was MY favourite part of the day, fo’ sho’!

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The music was blaring, people were dancing and drinking and we all had a blast! We came back to the marina, back on the bus and everybody was tired. I debated about going for our dinner reservation (at 7:30pm) at all, but Ben offered to take the girls to the buffet and put them to bed so I could enjoy a last dinner with my parents and brother. His girlfriend fed their brood at the buffet as well so it was just our little family of 4 that night. It was nice to reconnect with that part of my life and although the food was ok, we laughed a lot at my mom’s fear f the gecko that was inching closer on the ceiling and just life in general.

We had to check out at 0545 the next morning, back on the bus at 0645 (late as per Cuban time) to make our way to the airport for our flight at 1145. That was a long wait at the airport, but we managed fairly well. Béatrice sang the whole time she was on the plane and it was bittersweet to say goodbye to all my lovely family. It had been almost 2 years since I’d seen them all and with the cost of flights to go back home, who knows when we’ll be able to afford to go back? That’s also why I didn’t really care about our accommodation or the quality of the food. To me, this trip was about spending time with my family, for my daughters to get to know their cousins and for us all to really soak in the sun and relax. I’d say our goal has been surpassed x 100 and to me, that means a very successful trip!

Mentally Gone

I had a long weird day at work yesterday and I was hoping a good night’s sleep would set my head straight, but it didn’t. Maybe I am still jet lagged or maybe I’m still just on vacation mode. Who knows?

What I do know is that I woke up bracing to face Fran.

You know you are struggling in the warm-up when you try jumping pull-ups from a 35# plate and Coach AJ come by and adds a 45# plate under your feet. I’m vertically challenged and the struggle for pull-ups is real! #truestory

Skill: Power clean 6×3 E90s

Originally, I was gonna aim for 85# on my 6th set. Even though I was a bit tired, I figured, maybe I could go for 90#? I managed my first 2 reps beautifully with maybe a slight early elbow bend in the pull (according to Coach AJ) and I was getting tired. I didn’t dip low enough to catch the bar in the proper position and I landed it on my boobs, instead of on my collar bone. Needless to say it knocked the wind out of me and I dropped the bar then and there. I was working on catching my breath and stopping the dizziness that had begun when Coach AJ came to check up on me. I didn’t try again and got my stuff ready for Fran. I also realized that 90# used to be my 1RM and I had done 2 successfully before failing my 3rd rep… Food for thought.

WOD: Fran

I was tempted to try my pull-ups with the red band only, but then thought better and added the purple one as well. I also toyed with the idea (for a very brief time) of trying the thrusters at 65#, but then revised that down to 55#. I was already tired and dropped one bar today. No need to try to repeat that a second time around.

I’m not quite sure what happened to me, but I clocked out mentally during the WOD. I don’t go into negative self-talk, I don’t repeat my mantra (“one more rep, just one more rep”), I just zone out. I don’t care about where I’m at and how long I’m taking. I’m just not in the moment. It’s a weird place to be and I’ve felt that way on Wednesday as well. I was talking to Tracey and she said it was because of my vacation and I just need some time to get back into the rhythm of things. I was in the first heat and I was so slow, that people from the second heat were finishing their 21 thrusters before I was done with my round of 9. Oh well! I got to the pull-up bar and finished my 9 reps painfully. My time was 12:21. I had done it back in December 2014 with the same modifications, but using the box to get onto the pull-up bar and finished in 12:03. I was hoping to beat that time today, but it didn’t happen. Still, Bo thought it was pretty good to do Fran so close to my PR time not even a week after coming back from vacation.

I felt just Meh! about it all and made my way home. I showered and could feel a nice little egg on my chest where I landed the bar and it had started to bruise up nicely. Whoops! I’ll have to camouflage those bruises tonight as we are going to a birthday party for a little while before putting the girls to bed.

Bruising up nicely!

Bruising up nicely!

We went to play mini-golf with the girls this morning before going to look at patio furniture in town, but the sales are crap and we didn’t find the “perfect bench” for our front porch. Next year, maybe.

We came back home after lunch and I cleaned up our entire bedroom (ceilings, walls, mouldings, etc) as well as go through my clothes and got rid of a ton of stuff. I plan on going through every room in the house for the remainder of my vacations. I’ll go slow and hopefully, will have time to get it all done! For now, I’m very much looking forward to a weekend of rest!

Sigh

It’s been a busy week and I’ll try to recap quickly.

Last Monday was a Civic Holiday here and we enjoyed the day at the beach with Ben’s mom who was visiting from Kingston. We hiked to Mystic Beach and had fun in the sun and sand before we headed out for the typical lunch at Mom’s Café.

Bra's natural summer highlights! I'd kill for these!

Béa’s natural summer highlights! I’d kill for these!

Rina, swinging from the rope swing on the beach

Rina, swinging from the rope swing on the beach

Cutie pie!

Cutie pie!

Rina, wave jumping

Rina, wave jumping

I had only 2 days at work before I was officially on vacation and although I was counting the hours on Wednesday. Let’s be real though, I kind of clocked out mentally around 1500, even though I was working until 1930. Nothing fazed me on that day and I was happy and lighthearted to make my way to my car at the end of the day! Off for a full month and I was more than ready for some time off. I already had 2 overtime calls to come in to work tonight so far… Not gonna happen!

I’ve spent yesterday and today getting some last minute shopping and making packing lists, getting everything organized and packed for our Cuban vacation! I can now say we are 98% ready to go, with little adjustments left to be done for our carry-on luggages.

I went to the Oly class yesterday morning and I was stoked to see Ryan show up: I wasn’t absolutely certain if there actually was a class or not and I was starting to think I’d gotten up at 0500 for nothing! Here’s what we did:

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High hang, low hang, full squat snatch x6 E3M

Lots of rest for these and we were to work up to 75% of our 1RM. Mine was supposed to be 48.75#, but the closest I could get to was 48.5# (not enough small plates to make it a real 75%, but close enough). I was struggling on some reps and had to repeat a few, but as I warmed up, it felt smoother towards the end.

Squat Clean, Front Squat, Split jerk x6 E3M

Again, we were supposed to only go up to 75% of our 1RM so I used 67.5# for all my reps. The split jerk was unstable at times, but I managed all my reps. I was exhausted by the end! So much rest and yet, I was done for!

 

This morning, I woke up at 0500 again and I was still tired. I’ve been going to bed a little later than usual and I could definitely feel it this morning:

I had misread the WOD last night and thought it was only 1 round. Gulp! There was no way I could do this RX seeing as my 1RM DL is 160# and my 1RM clean is 90#. That would have been cutting it too close to exhaustion and Coach Caleb wanted us to do close to 30 reps/30 secs. Sometimes, the guy cracks me up! 😉 No way I was going to achieve that either, but I was happy that I managed some pretty stable rep scheme throughout all rounds. I did FG with the following reps:

DL @ 115#:8-8-9-8-8

Front squats @ 65#: 9-9-9-8-8

DUs:5-7-8-11-12

Sometimes, I look at my reps and feel a bit discouraged at how low they are. Then, I analyze them in a different way and I’m pretty happy with my work. For example, my reps are low on the DL, but if you tally it all, it comes up to 4715 lbs moved in 2:30. For the front squats, it comes up to 2797 lbs squatted in the same amount of time.  As for my DUs, I only managed to string 8 in a row (last round), but they felt smoother with each rounds. Funny how I can do those better when I’m more physically tired. Maybe it’s because I’m not as tensed up?

I’m ready to put a hot pack on my shoulders and real for the evening before yet another busy day tomorrow!

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:

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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!

Gentle reminders

I went to bed last night petrified. I had looked up the WOD for this morning and saw that it was Mini Murph. Yikes! I woke up before my alarm and made sure I fuelled up appropriately for it:

  • 1/4 cup ground turkey (Tex Mex seasoned with lime juice)
  • 1/2 oz cashews
  • 1/2 banana (normally, I don’t do the banana, but this morning, I felt I could use the extra carbs. I’m glad I did this!)

I hopped in the car and tried to get my head in the game. My butt was still sore from all the lunges on Monday so my head slowly started to tremble with fear. Just e gentle reminder that my butt still needs working on. I tried to keep a cool attitude though. Fake it until you make it kind of attitude!

Bo showed up and then there were two of us dreading the WOD. He also kindly gave me a 2-month supply of multivitamins for free. His wife had extras and he figured: share the love!

Coach AJ showed up and we warmed up. We discussed the WOD and strategy and I chose a plan of attack: 800m run, 10 x (5 pull-ups, 10 push-ups, 15 air squats), 800m run. That seemed a little more decent than trying to do everything at once. The warm-up had some running in it and that made me dread the WOD even more. Just a gentle reminder that I am not an efficient runner.

We came back inside and set up our pull-up stations. I tried to do a few with just the red band, but seeing as there were 50 to do, I added the purple band as well. I was already tired and the WOD hadn’t even started. Just a gentle reminder that shift work, no matter the amount of sleep you get, wreaks havoc on your body.

3-2-1-GO!

I let everybody pass me easily and held out at the back. I did my 1st 800m run without stopping. It had rained earlier and although it wasn’t raining anymore, the air was cool and it felt good to run in cooler weather.I came back inside and jump don the rig to tackle my 1st set of pull-ups. I pretty much went with little rest for the 1st 5 rounds. I then allowed myself a sip of water and went back to work. I was determined to do all my push-ups RX and as I rested on my 6th set, I inhaled deeply and could smell the very typical rain smell in the air. It calmed me down and I kept going. Rounds 7, 8, 9 and 10 were a struggle. Not so much for the push-ups as I had anticipated, but the pull-ups were slowly doing my head in. I kept staring at the bar and my head was just telling me “Nope! No more!” Thank goodness, Coach AJ and Tracey were there to tell me to get back onto the bar. I listened to them, instead of my head and keep going.

After round 10, I took another sip of water and headed out for the last 800m run. Mark and Gail came out and ran with me. We did the first 400m and I was trying to potentialize on the downhills as much as I could and tried to pick up the spreed. I was struggling. I took of for the last 400m and Mark stayed with me. I felt like telling him to go back inside, I got this (after all, he had done the WOD with a 20# vest on and had finished way before I did), but I’m glad I didn’t. He was chatting me up while I picked up the speed a little more on the downhills. On the last uphill, Mark told me to give ‘er and not save anything. My head was saying I didn’t have anything left. Once again, I listened to Mark and picked up the pace until I was running full speed and made my way back inside. Just a gentle reminder that your head will want to quit before your body does. I looked at the clock: 31:10! I was exhausted, but so proud! I was expecting this to take me an hour! Just a gentle reminder that I am stronger and fitter than I think. When you doubt yourself, trust in the people who believe and support you.

I came back home on such a high! I showered,  dolled myself up and am now ready to spend a day with my entire family. The rain has picked up now and is a gentle reminder of the fall and winter weather slowly approaching.

Natural high!

All dolled up and on a natural high!

 

Rain on my car and Crossfit on my mind!

Rain on my car and Crossfit on my mind!

I still can’t believe how much my fitness has improved in the last few months. I am stronger, physically and mentally and a tad faster too. I am also more confident in what I can achieve and it is empowering to see how much I can get done. Just a gentle reminder to trust your body more than your head. While your head will screw with you, your body will show you how strong you really are.

In other news, French Nanny (from now on, she will be Nanny) is a delight to work with. She has picked up the slack this week when temporary Nanny got sick and she has raised above and beyond the call of duty. She has cleaned up my floors more than I do myself, has done our laundry, even though it wasn’t asked of her and she plays tirelessly with the girls, so much so that they fall asleep before hitting their pillows at night. To top it all off, she woke me up with coffee in bed yesterday afternoon, after my night shift! I told Ben he had some fierce competition: she makes me coffee AND she cleans! Lol! He said she was Mary Freakin’ Poppin! I will make sure to do everything in my power so she doesn’t fly away from us. Just a gentle reminder that there are still good, loving people out there.

How Do They Do It?

I woke up and made my way to the Box for the 0600 class this morning. I was sore from my little adventures with Kathleen yesterday (Thanks for the torture! 😉 ) and I could definitely feel a very tender spot in my glutes. I looked up the WOD and was sad to see wallballs in the warm-up and squats in the WOD. I wasn’t sure how I was going to handle all that squatting action with such a sore bum. Oh well, better drag that sore bum to the gym anyway.

The warm-up was ok. It was my 1st time doing wallballs in the new space on the rafters and it was an adjustment. I stopped trying after my 7th rep on the 2nd round since everybody was warming up the presses for the skill portion

Skill: Strict press 5×3 E90s

My weights were all screwed up for this as I was looking at my push press numbers. Yeah, not doing 100# strict press anytime soon! I scaled it back down to the appropriate weight and here’s what I did. I was trying to get to 65#, but it didn’t happen:

55#-60#-65# failed my last rep – 65# failed my last rep – 62#. New PR by 2#! Lol!

WOD: Escalator 2

I was thinking of trying to do the FG1+ with 75#, but I reloaded my bar after the 1st round. It was a lot to clean from the ground and there was no way I would be able to squat that weight for 55 reps total. I lost some precious time removing the plates and settled for 65#. My SDBJ were all done at 20″, although I did a few practice jumps at 24″ and managed 3-4 without any problem. I just didn’t think I could do so after squatting and with exertion and I didn’t want to repeat a fall on my shins, so I settled for 20″. My pull-ups were all done with the red band and around round 7, I realized I could easily get back onto the bar without having to use the box or even the clip on the rig. Woot! Woot! Been waiting 2 years to be able to do assisted pull-ups with a band that offered enough resistance to help me do my reps, but without struggling to get onto the rig. Apparently, the red band or thinner is the one! 🙂 Time was called when just as I was making my way to the bar (pretty sure I was the only one left working) for my squats on the round of 9. We were to add 1 second to the 18:00 time cap for each rep missing. I ended up with 18:39 (missed all my reps for the round of 10 + my 9 squats = 39).

I was pretty bummed about my score as I felt I was totally cheating. It would have taken me much longer to finish my reps, but them’s are the rules and I did like everyone else. It’s only now that I entered my score online that I realize I, in fact, did FG1+ because FG1 was only up to 8 reps and I managed to get almost all of the 9 reps done! Yay! Not too bad after all!

I came back home and was not looking forward to the rest of my day. Ben has been leaving early everyday this week as he’s running his camps and that means I’ve been pulling extra weight with the girls. I was already exhausted from 3 WODs in 3 days and my hands have been sore and sensitive ever since I came back home this morning. I have some subcutaneous blisters from all the erg and pull-ups I’ve done this week and it means I have a hard time making a fist with my hands.

Blisters under the skin. They haven't "popped" yet, but they are still painful

Blisters under the skin. They haven’t “popped” yet, but they are still painful

Ben must have felt something was off, he made me a coffee. The man truly knows the way to my heart. I was sad to see him leave for the day!

I managed to muster enough energy to take the girls to the playground on their scooters (that meant me having to carry both scooters and helmets back, since they refused to ride them home, lovely), make them a decent lunch and I was really hoping to be able to nap during their quiet time. I slept for maybe 15 minutes before they started screaming at one another. Nap time was over and I didn’t feel rested at all. I was sore everywhere and über grumpy. It got me thinking: how do athletes do this, day in and day out? Most of them not only train like beasts, they also need to work in order to make a living and they also have families! I had only done 3 little WODs in 3 days and my body was clearly letting me know it was done. I cannot imagine doing this 5-6 days/ week for 4-6hrs everyday! Hats off to the Games athletes!

I managed to cook some more food to prepare my return to work and I made this delicious paleo / Whole30 compliant Butter Chicken from The Primal Desire. The only modification I made was this one: dump everything in the slow cooker uncooked, set for 6hrs on high and voilà! Delicious Butter Chicken for dinner, served on top of cauliflower rice with some bell pepper.

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Mandatory picture because it was delicious!

My lunch bag is packed full of Whole30 foods for tomorrow, my scrubs are out and waiting for me in the bathroom, the house is somewhat clean and I’m just waiting for the girls to be asleep before I can totally relax for the evening. Let’s pray I don’t have to wait too long!

Sorry this post is a bit late, I just didn’t have it in me to blog before now! 😉