In The Nick Of Time

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

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

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

Skill: Back Squat 6×2 E90s

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

425.the.incredible.hulk.033108

 

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

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

YYYYYYEEEEEESSSSSS!

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

I've never been prouder of a yellow star!

I’ve never been prouder of a yellow star!

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

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

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

WOD: You Lift Me Up

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

5 And 3! Oh My!

If you’ve been a reader of my Ramblings for a while, you’ll know that my wonderful daughters share a birthday, 2 years apart. If you’re new to this little blog of mine, well, now you’re in the know as well! 😉

Today is the girls’ birthdays. They are turning 5 (Rina) and 3 (Béatrice). I have been busy trying to organize their special day, getting birthday and christmas presents done and finding a good paleo cake recipe.

I have managed to get the birthdays all done and under control and I still have a few items to pick up for the girls for Christmas. I have made a futile attempt at writing my Christmas cards with high hopes of sending them out later this week and I managed to only write up one so far! Man! I tell you, I feel like I’m somewhat organized in my day-to-day life, then December rolls around and all hell breaks loose! I get nothing done and stress levels go through the roof. Fortunately, the hubster has been pitching in a lot lately and I’m secretly hoping it will be a trend that lasts. 😉

We went to the truck light parade on Saturday evening and I think the girls enjoyed it very much. Rina was squealing like the most high-pitched piglet out there and Béatrice was dancing on my shoulders. Then, yesterday, we celebrated the girls since Rina had school today.

 

I'd say they managed a decent loot!

I’d say they managed a decent loot!

After we were done with lunch and it was time for me to bring out the less than impressive cake I made. I really don’t enjoy baking. To make it worst, I’m not really talented at it either. I’m just not crafty that way! I tried really hard to make them a cute birthday cake and it turned out more like a laughable mommy-fail of the year. I made a paleo cake from PaleOMG’s book and although I was told the cake and icing tasted good, the decorating was similar to Rina’s drawings… Not quite what I was going for. We sang “Happy birthday” twice and the girls blew their candles. BeZU even hugged me while she said: “Thank you for my cake Maman!” Bless her heart, that kid is simply amazing!

Once we were done eating lunch, cake and opening presents, we decided to go to the park atop the reservoir and have a little walk. We split up into two groups and somehow, lost Rina by doing so. I thought she was with the husband’s group and vice versa. A quick run along the trails surrounding the park and I found her sitting at the lookout, just waiting there. She got a quick scolding and I thing she was pretty scared off as she was all teary when she ran back to me. I told her she did good by waiting in one place and we went over other safety things before rejoining the rest of the group.

Before we lost Rina

Before we lost Rina

This morning, I went to Crossfit and even though I wasn’t feeling it at all (still sore from 1/2 Cindy on Friday), I was determined to get the juice flowing again in my sore body. Here’s what we did:

Skill: (1 Hang squat clean + 3 Front squats) x 5 E90s

I was aiming for 95# on my last set, with a realistic goal of 90#. I ended up doing this:

75#-80#-85#-85#-85#

I was stripping my butt out of the squat and I really wanted to focus on NOT doing that in order not to screw up my sciatica even more. Also, I was using the slam ball as a guide as to how low to get to at the bottom and hoping to create muscle memory without going lower than I need to. It’s still a work in progress, but it’s getting better, I think. It’s so hard to have to re-program all my lifts and not dropping as low as I can go into them, but I know I’m taking a few steps back in order to keep moving forward injury-free.

WOD: Swing And Pop

That was my first attempt at this one and what was written on our white board is different from what’s written on our blog so I’m a little confused, but I ended up doing what was on our white board, FG:

8min AMRAP:

  • 5  DUs + 15 singles
  • 15 AKB @ 26#
  • 5 KB push press / arm @ 26#

I didn’t think I would be strong enough to do all my rounds with the 26# KB for the KB push press and I had the 18# on my mat as a back up, but I managed just fine. It was a lot of hard work and my reps were low compared to everyone else, but I am so skittish of injuring my sciatic again, that I really don’t mind. I’m still working hard and making the best of it all while remaining safe. So far, so good!

I came back home, showered, ate lunch with Béa and then I was off to finally deliver baby Bailey’s blanket. I finished it a while back and finally managed to deliver it today. She’s such a cutie and so friendly! She was singing and cuddling and just adorable! I could have squeezed her all day, but I had to go back to my chores. I made some food for dinner and then it was time to pick up Rina from school and our evening routine. Hopefully, I can get to my christmas cards tomorrow and get those done and over with! Here’s to hoping! 😉

 

 

Mere Mortal Amongst Gods

I finished work yesterday morning and slept very little before being a mom to the girls and crashing early in bed. We have a busy day today: Béatrice is getting her big girl furniture delivered and we have to go buy her a mattress for her new bed. Ben also has to work this morning which meant I couldn’t go to the 0930 Crossfit class. I managed to convince him to let me go to the 0600 and that meant he had to get Rina ready for school, yet again today. He’s a good hubby and he didn’t mind, just for today!

Now that I’m back home, I almost wish I had decided to stay home. I forgot how beastly the 0600 crew is and how slow I am to all of them. The WOD was long and hard and I struggled with all my might to finish. I felt like a mere mortal amongst gods! These people are real beasts!

Pre-Crossfit 5am cuddles with my little sleepy head!

Pre-Crossfit 5am cuddles with my little sleepy head!

 

Skill: Squat Thrusters 8×1 EMOM

I warmed up to 75# and that’s what I chose to do for these. They felt good. I had tried 85#, but could only power clean it, so that wasn’t going to fly. I stayed at 75# for all my reps and made sure I had good form for them.

 

WOD: Midline Basic

There was a lot of people this morning and I did my Box Jumps off of 6×45# plates stacked on top of another. I chose the 35# KB for the American swings and I knew the DUs would be my weak area. My shins ares still very sore from the 5k I ran on Tuesday and from slamming the bar into my leg last week.

Bruising up nicely!

Bruising up nicely!

As I was warming up my DUs, I could feel my shins protesting heavily so I decided to do FG with 5DUs per rounds and single skips for the rest. My goal was to do all the AKBS without any breaks and do all my BJ Rx (we jump up but do step downs in our Box as a safety measure). 6 rounds was gonna be hard and Trevor joked that it would be an easy WOD. At least, I think he was joking, but then again, maybe not! 😉 I already felt tired and low energy before we even started, so I didn’t have high expectations in terms of time.

3-2-1-Go!

1st round was uneventful other than I was in pain from whipping my butt so hard with my skipping rope. Round 2 was a little slower, but I was really trying to keep things moving. Only 3 deep breaths to recover and low though. Round 3 was such a mental struggle. My head just wanted to quit so badly. I had to really convince myself to just do one more rep and snap out of it. I won that battle against my head, but the rest was a struggle. I finished well after everyone else, but I finished nonetheless and I accomplished my goals: I managed to jump all my BJ and did all my AKBS without taking a rest at 35#. I also managed 5DUs per rounds, but they were mostly 1s and 2s. I couldn’t string them along. I was glad when it was over!

I put away my equipment and hurried home to send Rina off to the school bus.

I have now cleaned up and moved out Béatrice’s old furniture and am awaiting the delivery guys who will bring in her new furniture! I am also very much looking forward to nap time! 🙂

3 Little Steps

Im back!

We had a lovely week in Cuba, filled with fun family times, sun and ocean! I will do a photo recap a little later, but for now, it was back to business as usual this morning for a challenging WOD:

WOD: Six by Five

I was really hoping to do this one Rx and it was close, but my little noodle arms couldn’t do the KB push press at 35#, so I settled for FG with the following modifications:

6 RFT of:

  • 400m run
  • 15 AKBS @ 35#
  • 10 reverse KB lunges @ 35#
  • 5 KB push press @ 26#

I was expecting this to hurt bad after my week of lounging on the beach (I did only 1 WOD I made up while in Cuba, more on this in my Cuba recap post) and I was right. Rounds 1 through 3 went fairly well. I was slow compared to others, but I didn’t let it affect me. I kept up with my inner positive dialogue of “just one more rep, one more step”. It worked until round 4. When I first took off on the run, I stopped and took 3 walking steps. I don’t know why I did that, obviously, 3 steps is nothing and it was only a mental block I had to get through as those 3 little steps really didn’t offer any rest. I picked it up again and managed to not stop for the remainder of the runs. When I came back in from my 4th run, that KB was playing mind tricks on me. I did not want to pick it up again. I took a much longer rest, and finally, I won over my head and got back to work. I typically broke my AKBS in sets of 9-6 0r 10-5, lunges were broken into 5-5 and push press were done without rest.

Round 5 went a little smoother than round 4 and I tried to “recover” on the runs, taking advantage of the downhills and picking up the speed. Round 6 destroyed me. I did NOT want to go back out and run again, let alone, do another round of this. Tracey and David came out to run with me and, although I didn’t want to disappoint them, I also didn’t want to push anymore. I was crying with exhaustion and I’m pretty sure I looked somewhat like Kara Webb during Murph at the Games this year. Although, to Webb’s credit, she probably still looked better than I did! I came back in and picked up the KB right away, I knew that if I hesitated, there was no way I would pick it up later so I just went straight to work with it. I finished my last rep at 34:14 and I was so freakin’ happy with that time.

Even though I finished almost last, I knew I had accomplished so much in those 34 minutes. I used to “run” 3km in 30 minutes before I had kids. Today, I ran 2.4km in 34:14, but I also knocked down some serious work as well, so to me, this is great. It’s a true testament of my fitness and where I’m at right now. I can honestly say, even though I don’t look my fittest (heck, I’ll never have my 18 year-old body with a 6-pack ever again), I’m probably in the best shape of my life and that means everything to me. I was elated when I made that realization and I couldn’t stop the happy tears from flowing. Onwards and Upwards my friends!

I may not have abs, but that smile is everything! Happy and comfortable with myself!

I may not have abs, but that smile is everything! Happy and comfortable with myself!

Meeting Inspiration

I am so lucky to get to work out next to people I really look up to for inspiration! Most days, I am coached by an amazing Coach, but he is also a very strong competitor, the one and only Caleb Woiwod. Sometimes, I get to work out next to Lindsay McCardle who is just warming up on the floor (no big deal, this girl makes it to Regionals on a regular basis)! I also get to tackle some lifts while Lucas Parker drops his barbell when he does DL in the corner. I try not to cringe at the noise his bar make when it hits the floor. That bar is HEAVY, let me tell you! Then, there are the lesser known (to you)  people I look up to, like Tracey, Mark, and all my buddies in the 0600 class.

This morning, I got to meet Rachel Siemens. Rachel started as a Crossfitter and is now solely focusing on weightlifting. She is mighty(!) good at it too! She is ranked 3rd in her weight class in Canada and is pretty down to earth. I’ve been following her on Instagram and her lifts are impressive and she seems pretty goofy too! I bit the bullet and introduced myself. I’m pretty sure I sounded a little star-struck (combined with the high of my new PR, more on that below!), but I don’t really care. She talked about setting up a weight lifting class on Sundays and that would be awesome!

Let me back track and have a look at what we did this morning:

Skill: Back squat 6×3 E90s

I was a little apprehensive trying those again. I’ve been missing a lot of the back squat skills on this rotation (a girl’s gotta work!) and the last time I tried these, I couldn’t repeat my PR of 125# and had to settle for 120#. I wasn’t super optimistic about surpassing 125# today, but I was still going to try it. Here were my reps:

105#-110#-115#-120#-125#-130#

That’s right! Not only did I manage my PR weight, I ended up with a new one! I was really focusing on keeping my knees out on the “up” and even though I was shaking in between rounds, I managed to get all 3 reps! I was beaming! That means I’m only 18# away from √’ing another one of my goals: hitting a bodyweight squat! 🙂

WOD: Boulder Shoulder

Sarah Showed up for the WOD this morning. I can’t remember if I’ve ever worked out with her, but she looked really good! I think she is recovering from an injury, but even in recovery mode, she kicked some serious butts! I was mesmerized by her pull-ups! I still finished dead last, but I was happy about my work today. Maybe I was flying high from my squat PR! 😉 Coach Caleb said that the previous times were from 4-5 mins to about 10. I was aiming for around 12:00 since I’m usually a lot slower than the average.  Here’s what I ended up doing:

  • red and orange pull-ups
  • full HRPU
  • Rx AKBS @ 35#

I was really trying to hustle on this one, but the pull-ups did me in. I broke them into 4-3, 3-4, 3-2-2, 3-2-2, 3-2-2. As you can see, I wasn’t able to keep my consistency throughout the rounds. I did manage all the HRPU Rx, but I had to take breaks throughout the rounds: 9, 5-4, 9, 6-3, 6-3. I was pretty proud that I did manage to do all the AKBS Rx non-stop for each rounds. That’s probably what stopped me from reaching my original thought of time of 12:00 and I finished at 10:27. Not stellar by any means, yet I am super happy with this time! Celebrate the little victories in life!

Overall, it’s been another great day at the Box and I was energized to come home to do my usually pre night shift cleaning, laundry, blah, blah, blah! Ben took the girls to their gymnastics class this morning, which helped a lot. At one point, the washer and dryer were both off and there was absolutely no noise in the house. It was something I’m not used to, but it was nice while I finished my coffee! Hope your day is going well too! Until next time!

Earning My Stripes!

So, this happened this morning:

BAM!

BAM! Earning my stripes, one failed DU at-a-time! 🙂

50 shades of whip!

My lovely husband has finally come home from his long trip away and I was very much looking forward to spending the night snuggled up to him in bed… until he started snoring at 0230. He kept it up with me nudging and poking him for another hour before I headed downstairs to sleep on the couch. The heat was down in the living room and I was freezing. I think I fell asleep 15 mins before my 0500 wake-up call to go to the Box. Ugh. I was slowly regretting those two glasses of wine I had at dinner with my lovely Krista last night. She had asked me if I wanted to go out to dinner after my last night shift and I was very much looking forward. We tried a new-to-us restaurant/pub called Little Jumbo where the vibe was really nice and the food was excellent! I enjoyed the dinner, the company and the wine, but this morning, I was slightly regretting the second glass of wine I had last night! Oh well, I would sweat it out at Crossfit, right?!?

Skill: Pull-ups practice

We did a bit of swinging from the rig, getting out shoulders relaxed then engaged, then we practiced the swing and then we practiced a few reps E90S. I had to use the red and purple bands for my reps. I’m really trying to make a conscious effort of hooking my thumb over the bar for pull-ups, but it still doesn’t come naturally. That’s ok, practice makes perfect, right?!?

WOD: DUBKUB

I was excited about attempting this one Rx. It took me a long time to row the 40 cals (about 2:35-2:40, can’t remember) and then, I was really winded for the DUs. I was struggling through the 1st round, but managed a few 3 and 4 in-a-row. I moved on to the AKBS (I used the Rx weight of 35#) and split them into 9-4-2. Not effective and I was going to switch my strategy on the second round. Coach Caleb came by and told me to keep loose during my DUs and keep jumping on my toes. I managed 6 in-a-row (a new PR!) on that round and finished my 30 reps before going back to the AKBS. I decided to split them into 8 and 7 and that worked out way better. Back to the DUs for my 3rd round. I was pooped and kept missing. There were a lot of single reps, but then, I managed another 6 in-a-row and I just kept chipping at them. People around me were finished or finishing up, but I just kept working. I did the AKBS in 8 and 7 again. Everybody else was now done and Coach Caleb was cheering me on, telling me I could finish in under 20 minutes if I worked really hard. I stayed loose, on my toes and got my DUs done, before moving to the AKBS. I split them again in 8 and 7 and I could hear Tracey and Marika, cheering me on. I put the KB down and looked at the clock: 19:22! I was dead last by a huge margin, but I did it Rx! I felt so proud and I was so thankful for Coach Caleb to let me attempt it Rx. I knew it would take me a long time, but I also knew I could get it done! Yay! New PR and a rare Rx next to my WOD today! Not too bad for a tired, hungover BabyMama! 🙂

 

Beetlejuice Hard At Work

I woke up this morning and dragged my feet to the bathroom in order to get ready for the Box. I turned the lights on and this is pretty much what I saw staring back at me in the mirror:

 

Beetlejuice hair!

Beetlejuice hair!

I had a bad case of crazy hair going on! I did a half ponytail which helped little to make matters better, but I honestly couldn’t care at this point. It was 0500 and I was heading in to workout. Nobody expects me to look my best when I do a WOD. Another perk of Crossfit! 😉

Jumana showed up for the early morning class and I hadn’t seen her in a long time! It was nice to see her again and to goof around with her. I paired up with her for the skill.

Skill: Push Press 5×5 E90s

Those were hard and Jumana was crushing it like they were nothing. I was struggling a little more, but I still managed a 5# PR with my last reps being at 85#.

My reps: 65#-70#-75#-80#-85#

There was a lot of us gearing up for the WOD and it made finding a spot on the rig to do my pul-lups a little challenging, but we all figured it out and then we were off.

WOD: Chups

14 min AMRAP of:

  • 6 pull-ups (I scaled mine to the blue and purple bands, kipping. I’m sure I could have done the red and purple bands, but all the red bands were being used by other people)
  • 8 HRPU
  • 10 AKBS (35#)
  • 12 reverse lunges (6/leg)

I remembered to keep my feet together for the HRPU and I was able to do 3 rounds without taking any breaks for those. I wasn’t moving very fast through the rounds, but I kept moving for the most part. I tried to use the reverse lunges as a recovery as much as I could. I have come to the conclusion that I’m really not a fan of the American kettle bell swing. At 35#, I can do them, but they are a challenge and I just don’t feel comfortable when I do them. I managed to do 6 rounds even (216 reps total) I was happy with that because, like I said earlier, I tried to keep moving as much as I could throughout this one. I remember looking at the clock around the 6-min mark and thinking I wasn’t gonna make it. I looked at the clock again around the 8-min mark and felt so discouraged that we weren’t further into this one that I just decided to keep working and not look at the clock anymore. It worked! I finished and I was happy with what I’d done!

Rina is back in preschool today and I’m just blogging on the couch with  little Béa snuggled up to me! It’s raining pouring outside and once I’m done folding the laundry, I plan to just rest and relax before heading in to work tomorrow! Wish me luck, I’m on a 28-day detox and that means no caffeine, no sugar and no gluten. Sounds like fun, but I have goals and this is a means to get to my goals!