Progress Update and Goals

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

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

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

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

2016-01-04

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here’s what I did today:

Skill: Deadlift 5×5 E90s

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

WOD: Gritty

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

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

“Me” Day

I’ve been spending some quality time with the girls over the past few days and I think Rina has appreciated spending a bit more one-on-one time with her Mommy and Daddy. Last night, she came to me with this sweet love note:

Rina <3<3<3<3<3 maman

Rina <3<3<3<3 maman

Last night, I was getting ready to not be able to sleep before my night shift tonight, but the husband had arranged for the girls to spend most of the day with his parents so that I could get some alone time and do whatever I wanted with my day, including nap before night shift! #hesawesome ! I quickly changed gears and planned my day accordingly! On my to-do list:

  • cook a healthy meal for night shift. During the holidays, I see a crazy amount of treats in (and out) of our break room and if I don’t plan my meals accordingly, it’s easier to fall off the wagon. Although my Whole30 is officially over since last Saturday, I have yet to have a “cheat meal”. It’s going to happen tonight with this recipe from Inspiralized
Image credit to inspiralized.com

Image taken from  inspiralized.com

  • Do a little laundry
  • Tidy up the house
  • Wrap-up Christmas presents
  • knit, if I have time left-over!

While I was slowly enjoying a late breakfast, the doorbell rang. I went to open the door and it was a flower delivery!

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The husband surprised me with a nice floral arrangement “just because” this morning! <3! More brownie points for him! I cleaned up breakfast, helped getting the girls ready and packed for the day and Ben drove them to my in-laws. I got going on the laundry and just finished cooking the Brussels Sprouts and Sweet Potato Noodle Bowl with Pomegranate and Maple-Sesame Vinaigrette (long title, delicious meal!) hence, where I will be breaking my Whole30 (maple syrup isn’t compliant to the Whole30). I did add some cooked chicken to the recipe for my night snack in order to bump up the protein content of the meal. I cleaned up my dishes and am now about to wrap up some presents all while attending to the laundry, and it’s not even noon yet! #score

I begged Ben to bring the girls back home for dinner as I will otherwise be away from them for close to 24hrs and I can’t remember when I’ve been apart from them for so long. At the same time, it makes me realize that maybe I SHOULD make it a point to take more time for myself once-in-a-while… Food for thought!

Enough blogging, I have a full day ahead and I plan on making the most of 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.

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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.

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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! 😉

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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!

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:

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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.

 

I’m A Crossfitter

Kathleen is in the process of moving to her new mansion house and she has been wanting to inaugurate Jim’s Gym V2.0 so we all got together today for some special workout she had come up with.

I drove up to her new place and couldn’t help from swearing to myself as I pulled up the her new place. IT IS MASSIVE! Massive and gorgeous and she will have a library and I can’t wait to see it when it’s all done and it has an awesome gym space as well. Even bigger than her previous one. I told her I’d like to move in. She laughed. I don’t think she understood I was being serious! 😉

There were 4 of us today and  I got to meet Lisa (Kath’s friend) and Keith (Kath’s brother). Lisa joined us a little late as she had a previous engagement and when I introduced myself to her, she asked if I knew Kath from Crossfit. Keith’s answer was: “Of course she does, she has the same shoulders as Kath. Crossfire shoulders.” I never thought of myself as having a “Crossfitter’s body shape”, but apparently, I have the shoulders of one and I totally took that as a compliment! Before Lisa showed up, Kath, Keith and I warmed up with this:

Warm-up!

Warm-up!

I can’t remember which weight I did for the KB hold, I think it was 26# in each hand. That was brutal enough for me, especially on the last round. I was having a hard time catching my breath from the erg and my arms were shaking while Keith rowed his last round. I managed to keep my rowing around 2:02-2:04 for each rounds and I was happy with that.

Once we were all warmed-up, we got into two teams (Keith and Lisa, Kathleen and myself) and went through the workout and strategized as to how to break it down. Kath and I decided to split the group work into 10 reps each, but we broke away from the original plan a bit as we went along.

Kath's masterplan!

Kath’s masterplan!

We set up outside of the garage and it was nice to workout in the last sun of the summer!

3-2-1-GO! Everybody took off running with Kath and Lisa literally gunning it. Keith was in the middle and I was bringing up the rear. Kath go back in first and because there was only 1 box to do BJ, she got dibs on it and the other team had to start on the KBS (we all did Russians). Kath did 15 BJs, I did 15 BJs, then she did 11 and I followed suit and she finished off the rest before we moved onto RKBS where we broke them off in sets of 15 (I was using 35#).

For the carries, I sandbagged it down to 26# because I couldn’t do the overhead carry with 35#. We each did 3 rounds and competition was kicking in with Keith and myself doing a little trot at some point to try to gain distance on the other team.

Kath and Lisa, doing some carries

Kath and Lisa, doing some carries. Do you see how gorgeous it is to workout in that scenery?

Kath and I finished the carries first and I hopped onto the assault bike first (after we fiddled with the seat height, me being the shorty that I am, had to drop it down to 2, while Kath had to crank it back up to 8)! We each did 0.6 on the assault bike and moved onto the GTO with the plates (I used 25#, maybe next time I’ll try 35#?)

We then set off for the last 400m run and Kath stayed behind, but I told her I had this and wanted to run by myself. Keith and Lisa had the crappy part seeing as there was only 1 assault bike, they had to start with the GTO plates, THEN do the assault bike, THEN go straight into the last run. With Keith being the last one on the bike, I really felt for him as he had no rest at all between the bike and the run. I went back out with him to help him finish up his run and he totally sprinted the last part! Well done!

I think Kath and mine’s time was around 23:51 and Keith and Lisa was 24:32 if I remember properly. It was fun! I got sweaty for the 5th time this week and it felt good.

Keith and I stayed in the garage and discussed the Whole30 for a bit (I’m starting a second round of it on September 1st) and he seemed intrigued! I will share some of my knowledge with him!

I came back home to an empty house, received a text from Ben that they were at the pool and went back out to meet up with them. It was a nice way to relax after a sweat fest and I even enjoyed some of the sprinklers in the kids’ pool on my Crossfitter’s shoulders! 😉

As we normally come home after the pool for dinner and the girls’ bedtime, I had only packed my PJs to wear afterwards (sweat pants and a tank top. This is something we normally do as it’s easier to just get the girls in their PJs at the pool, instead of having to change them back once home). Ben had other plans though and we ended up going out for dinner, me in my sweats and all! Super classy!!! Oh well, I didn’t care (too much)!

We are now back home, relaxing on the couch and the girls are already in bed. I think the pool tuckered them out and I will follow suit soon as I have Crossfit in the morning, followed by our suite inspection (our tenants are moving out) and I’m fairly sure I’ll have some cleaning to do in the suit before our new tenants move in! Yay! More cleaning, said no one ever!

Feeling Accomplished

I came home last night and French Nanny had done the laundry, baked a cake and cupcakes with the girls, cleaned the 1st floor, went to the pool with the little ones and played basketball with them. I could get used to that!

I went to bed exhausted and was looking forward to sleeping in until 0600, except our smoke detector chirped twice at 0515 for no reason. Of course, nobody but me work up from he smoke detector… So much for sleeping in!

I went to the 0700 WOD this morning and was surprised to see another 0600-er! Bo had missed the WOD yesterday so he was there to do it today, just like me.

Skill: Kipping pull-ups practice

As per Coach AJ, if we were using band, she wanted us to do strict pull-ups and work on our swing instead. I tried using the red and purple bands, but had to increase to red and blue since I couldn’t do a single rep. I managed well considering and felt good doing those. Below are my reps:

5-6-7-7-7

WOD: Deadlimp

I had done this one back in May and had used 115# for the DL and had to go down from 35# to 26# for the reverse lunges as well as do step up box because my quads were seizing back then. My goal for today was to use 120# for the DL and 35# for the reverse lunges for all rounds. I had the 26# KB next to me, just in case. Midway through, I had to resort to doing step up boxes again, for fear of face planting on the box. I ploughed through with the reverse lunges and even though I had to break them into 2 sets of 6 for most rounds, I managed all rounds with that 35#KB! I was so happy! It was the 1st time I ever managed a full WOD with weighted lunges at that weight. For some reason, I’m still pretty weak on those and they are a struggle, but I pushed through and managed to finish it all with an average of 45s rest for each intervals!

I came back home and text Kathleen about the WOD. We had been texting back and forth about it last night and she wanted to know how I fared this morning (she had done it yesterday). I love how we can be “juiceheads” together and discuss and strategize over WODs! Strong women unite! I ate myself a lovely breakfast and got to work cleaning the rest of the house that French Nanny didn’t have time to do yesterday. I managed to do that while Ben finished the laundry (Thanks Babe! You rock!) and then got cooking. I am adapting this Beef Stroganoff recipe from The Paleo Mama for my slow cooker. I used ground beef and threw the beef, onions, garlic, mushrooms and seasonings in my InstantPot and sautéd it until the beef was cooked. I then shut off the sauté function, added 1 can coconut milk, 2 tsp of vegetable Better Than Bouillon, about 1-2 tsp of arrowroot powder, and about 2-3 tbsp of tomato paste (I usually freeze my left-overs from the can flat in a ziplock bag and cut whatever I need for recipes. Today, I just threw in whatever I had left in the freezer). Turn on my InstantPot on the slow cooker function on high for 4hrs. While this is stewing and filling the house with lovely comfort-food fragrance, I prepped a cauliflower head into rice and stir-fried my “rice” in the Wok. Now, everything will be ready for me to pack into work tonight when I get up from my nap! I’ll add some frozen kale in my container when I pack it up and that will be perfect, convenient and healthy! I’ll update with a picture once everything is ready to be photographed!

The girls have been absolute angels all morning. They’ve been playing together quietly while I was cleaning and I didn’t have to discipline them once! They sure are growing up!

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! 😉

Winning All Around

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

Screen Shot 2015-07-07 at 3.06.24 PM

 

2015-07-07

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

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

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

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

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

Here's what Kath had planned for us!

Here’s what Kath had planned for us!

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bruiser In The Fog

We’ve been surrounded by a thick orange fog since yesterday due to the raging forest fires occurring up island and it makes for gloomy, yet cooler days. After the heat wave we’ve had, I’ll take the cooler weather. It’s just weird to wake up to the smell of campfire all over the city…

Orange sunrise

Orange sunrise

I was early at the Box so I got my speed rope out and worked on my DUs outside the door. My goal was to do 10. I only managed singles except for once, I got 2 in a row. Obviously, I still need to work on those! Lol!

Coach Caleb let us in and we warmed up a little before getting ready to tackle these 3 WODs. I say 3 because, look at that warm-up, it felt like a WOD in itself!:

Felt true today!

Felt true today!

 

The majority of the people had done this WOD back in January, but I must have been working because it was my 1st go at it. I chose to do Clurpees with 65# on my bar. I broke my reps like this:

  • 15: 8-7
  • 12: 6-6
  • 9: 6-3
  • 6
  • 3

The burpees were slow and painful, but I felt good in the hang power cleans at 65#.I don’t know that I could have done Rx since it took me 8:29 to finish at 65# and that meant I had about 9 minutes of rest before diving into WOD #2. I noticed though that my left side is much weaker than my right. I have bruises on my left thigh and left collarbone, but none on the right ones. That means my left side is weaker and I seem to bang the bar onto my left since I can’t control it as well as the right… It’s nice that I have the knowledge to recognize this, but I have no clue on how to go about correcting this weakness. Any tips?

Tracey and I got to talking during our “rest” and she shared something Kathleen had taught her about how to tackle the start on the erg:

  • 1st pull: make it a full one
  • 2nd pull: only go halfway
  • 3rd pull: go 3/4 of the way
  • remaining: make it full ones

I tried this on my 1st 300m attempt and something magical happened. After 101 weeks of Crossfit (who’s counting? I am! 2-year anniversary coming up!), I managed to break the sub 2:00/500m for the first time ever. Not only did I break it, but I stayed under for my 1st row, oscillating from 1:57/500m – 1:59/500m! This is huge for this short stuff right here! Tracey was so stoked, I think she was more excited than I was! I finished my 1st attempt at 1:11.4.

I was struggling to catch my breath on the 1 min rest and tried to apply the same strategy on my 2nd attempt. I had nothing left though and my pace crept back up to 2:07/500m. That’s when I closed my eyes and just rowed as hard as I could. Some very guttural/animal/primal screams were coming out of me during the row (seriously, I don’t think I ever screamed like that, even during labour). I was in pain, my body wanted to quit, but my mind wouldn’t let it. Tracey wouldn’t let me either. She told me to get back in the zone, calm down and keep going. I tried and finished with 1:14.3.

I rolled off the erg and went down on all fours, but my quads couldn’t even take the abuse of that position so I let my body fall into the ground and bawled my little heart out. It took me a while to get back up afterwards. My mind was ready to get up, but my quads weren’t. For the first time in a long time, my mind was stronger than my body… Some kind fellow crossfitter came to stroke my hair and try to calm me down. It worked. Unfortunately, I’m horrible with names and can’t remember for the life of me what her name is . Thank you, though, your soothing touch was all I needed. I got back up and made sure I didn’t forget any equipment behind (no burpee penalty for me today) and got my scores on the board.

I came home, had a scrumptious Day-30-of-my-Whole30 breakfast before getting the day under way. I plan on taking an easy one with the girls and relaxing while they go for their quiet naps. We’ve already been for a walk and played outside for over an hour this morning. This BabyMama is exhausted!