Christmas Cold

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

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

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

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

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

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

I was pretty pumped about this new PR!

WOD: Thriller

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

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

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

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

Here were my reps today vs. back in June:

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

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

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

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!

Random Béatrice 

For those who know her, you also know that Béatrice can be a little space cadet and random at times.

Today will go down in my little life as one of the shittiest. Let’s see why:

Basement that flooded last Thursday was finally dry, until water started coming in again
I got rear-ended on my way to work by somebody who had expired insurance and registrations. I’m fine, my bumper has a little scratch, we’ll live.
I had to go to work, then pick up Béatrice, rush home, go to physio, go shopping for birthday presents and Christmas, rush back home and decide if I was going to take the girls to Crossfit. I really wasn’t in he mood, but I know Rina would enjoy it so I sucked it up and we went.
It’s been crazy with wind and rain all day and all I’ve wanted to do was curl up on the couch with my hot water bottle and my knitting. Unfortunately, I still have to clean the kitchen, fold the laundry and the girls aren’t even close to being in bed.

As I head upstairs for a quick bath, BeZU calls out to me

Béatrice: Mom!… Mom?… MOM!

Me: (exhausted and a little annoyed) Yeah buddy?

Béatrice: I love you Mom!

Well done, clever girl, well done!

Shoulda, Woulda, Coulda

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

Pigeon pose in my scrubs!

Pigeon pose in my scrubs!

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

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

Skill: 3RM Front Squat (12 mins)

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

WOD: Nancy

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

3-2-1- Go!

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

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

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

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

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

When Your Cheat Meals Cheat You!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Skill: Back Squat 3×10 E2M

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

WOD: Flash

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

Worst email ever...

Worst email ever…

Ok, back to Crossfit

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

1:41 – 2:00 – 2:11 – 2:11

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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?!?

Pushing The Envelope

Well, actually, I’ve been pushing weights, more than an envelope, but you get my gist, right?

After a restful night of sleep where NOBODY woke up in the middle of the night (Whoot! Whoot!), I woke up at 0500 again for the Oly class.

I wasn’t sure I was gonna make it there as my gas light turned on, on my way to the Box, but I managed to make it and there’s a gas station across the street so my plan was to fill up after class. Worst comes to worst, I knew I would be able to push my car to the station! 😉 BAM!

Today marked my 8th training session in 14 days. I’ve never trained this much in my life! It’s my last week before my month-long vacation comes to an end and my plan was to squeeze as many workouts as I can before I go back to my usual 2-3 sessions/week. I am definitely starting to feel it though and combined with it being my 1st week back on the Whole30 and all the cloudy/rainy weather we’ve had this week, all I want to do is sleep. Unfortunately, I have 2 cuties that have other plans for me:

Every time I tried to nap on the couch, they would come bother me!

Every time I tried to nap on the couch, they would come bother me!

Who needs sleep, right?

Anyway, back to Oly class, here’s what we did today:

Photo 2015-09-03, 5 46 42 AM

I wonder if those Forehead Jerks made me look as stupid as they made me feel??? Those were weird!

C&J EMOM X10 @85%

That meant 76.5# for me. Coach Caleb told me I had soft elbows on my jerk during my warm-up to that weight, but apparently, I corrected once I reached my target weight. Maybe I just needed more weight in order to really lock my elbows? I was trying not to pause between the clean and the jerk all while keeping the lift smooth and I was tired by rep 7. I started to take a few breaths in the transition and I was glad when we were done.

OHS 6×2 E3M

I teamed up with Linda who saved my hair crisis this morning. You know the drill: you go to put your hair up and your elastic just breaks in your hand and you realize you don’t have a spare one? Well, Linda gave me one of hers and my life was perfect again! So, we teamed up together and we started low (I’m not strong and Linda is recovering from a back injury.

I knew I could do 65# since I had done that weight for 15.2 during the Open. Looking back, I should have aimed for 70# or 75#, but I’m sore everywhere and my wrists have taken a huge hit with all the freakin’ cleaning I’ve been doing lately. Here were my reps:

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

My wrists were hurting on the last set, but I felt stable in my core and getting out of the bottom of the squat felt relatively easy. Oh well, my previous number for OHS was 6×3 @60# so I think that’s a new PR for me. I’m amazed I can still have PRs this week as I’m feeling so sore everywhere! I can’t wait for my massage Friday!

I came back home and did some laundry with the hubs (OK, he did most of the laundry while I cleaned and vacuumed the upstairs).

Look Mom! I'm hiding!

Look Mom! I’m hiding! (Typical Béa on laundry day)

I also did some food prep for the Whole30 since I had nothing but eggs and avocados left (I had thawed some chicken thighs and ground turkey) and I feel better now that I have healthy options in the house.

I managed to close my eyes for about 10 minutes after lunch and I tried to cuddle to the girls on the couch while they watched Frozen (I may have turned the TV on with hopes of napping next to them. Don’t judge!) but they kept poking me, pulling my hair and staring at me. Major fail, but we still watched the movie! 😉

I just have to make it through tomorrow’s class and possibly a last training session with Kathleen on Sunday and then I can go back to slacking off my regular training/work schedule.