Moving Forward

2015 ended on a high note in my fitness life (finally reached a huge goal of mine to back squat my body weight), but it was very sour and looking bleak on a more personal level. I am taking the appropriate steps to change and that and I’m remaining positive that this year will be better than the last and I’m looking forward to acquiring new tools to make this year better. Always growing and always learning makes you a better person. I’m a firm believer that we should always strive to better our personality and if it’s not a priority of yours, I strongly believe we wouldn’t have much in common.

As such, I made it a priority to get a workout in today and, after discussing it with my other half, I was cleared to make it to the 0600 class this morning. Yesterday was stressful at work and I felt like I was putting out fires all day, but it all comes with the territory of being a charge nurse. I did my best and came home feeling accomplished. Exhausted, but accomplished! I think it is slowly becoming apparent that my fitness is important to me as my co-workers are blurting out comments to me. I had 3 that made me laugh a lot because they were as random and out-of-the-blue as they come.  When I told a co-worker I was going on break, she asked: “Will you be back squatting your bodyweight in the break room?” Then, another (female) co-worker blurted out that “Your ass is tight!” clarifying shortly afterwards that I looked lean and fit and a third co-worked noted how I “Eat healthy all the time”. Preach by example, don’t impose your beliefs on people and answer questions is my way to make people understand that it’s all about hard work and dedication, but the rewards make it worth it by the ten-folds! I came home bone tired, my sciatic was acting up and I was ready for a long night of uninterrupted sleep.

My night was uninterrupted, but didn’t feel long enough with a 0500 alarm! I was happy to be back with my OG crew (the 0600!) and to be surrounded with people who share a passion for hard work. Here are the shenanigans we got up to today:

 

Skill: Deadlift 4-8-12-16 E2:30

I’ve been having a hard time concentrating lately. I read the WOD at night, elaborate a game plan and then, somehow, in the morning, I forget about my plan or can’t focus enough and can’t count plates properly. I was meaning to start the DL at 135# and take off 10# with each set, but instead, here’s what I did:

145#x4

125#x8

105#x12

85#x16

Meh! Can’t win them all. I was also wondering why I was struggling so hard to hang onto the bar on my 1st set and then realized I wasn’t using my mixed grip, like I normally am when DL heavy! See what I mean?!? Can’t focus to save my life!

Not my legs, in case you were wondering! Lol!

Mixed grip demo. Not my legs, in case you were wondering! Lol!

I did manage to hang on to the bar for all my rounds without having to drop it, so I was pretty happy with that!

WOD: Bingo Bango

I could have scaled this the same way I normally do, with banded pull-ups, but I decided to go a little harder. I had talked to Coach Caleb last week about my pull-ups and he suggested doing some building up with this little gem:

It’s more of a strict pull-up drill, but it really recruits the appropriate muscles needed for a pull-up and I was ready to put in the work today. I set-up my bar on the rig and we put a 70#KB in front of my feet so that I wouldn’t slide forward as the reps increased and I was set to go.  I wrote my rep scheme on a small whiteboard and I had written up to 10 pull-ups, thinking I would probably make it to the round of 7. Much to my surprise, I completed the 9th round for an AMRAP of 135. I was really conscious of my BJ and made a strong effort to not become sloppy for my reps. I was pretty happy with the work I put in today and came home to were proudly my new muscle shirt, gifted by the Nanny. She gets me so well and had given me this shirt that says: “Muscles and Mascara” on it.

My muscle shirt! <3 it!

My muscle shirt!

 

BeZU, flexing like a beast with Mama!

BeZU, flexing like a beast with Mama!

Having people who think like you, support and encourage you in your crazy adventures make the world of a difference and I was happy I got to see reconnect with my bunch of fit people this morning. These people are a source of inspiration on a daily basis and I consider myself lucky to have like-minded people in my life who provide friendship, love and support when it is needed! I am lucky to have a bunch of them in my life!

 

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:

Screen Shot 2016-01-04 at 2.15.16 PM

 

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:

image

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!

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.

Snatch-Limited

Today was another fun one at the Box. I walked in apprehending the work, but other than the last 2 rounds, it was right up my alley. I was reminded once again that I need to work on my snatches, but I feel like I have to start from the beginning. Let me explain:

Warm-up: I was happy I was able to get through this one without any leakage in my pants. Could it be that the days of urinary leakage are finally behind me?

WOD: Metabolic HEAT

This one looked daunting when I peaked at it online last night, but I was determined to give it a go. I was thinking of using 55# for the snatches, but I quickly realized I would struggle enough with 45#. I was also using 4×45# plates as a box in order to really work on not jutting out my hips when I step down.  It feels like I’m starting to control my step-down better, but when it comes to the snatch, I am back to square one. I have to relearn how to squat using my deep abdominals and controlling how low I allow myself to get at the bottom of the squat. In order to do that, I did a few rounds of the WOD using the MedBall as a guide for the depth of my squat. It’s hard to correct something that you have been doing wrong from the beginning and even more so to keep my internal ab muscles contracted when my legs are open at the bottom of the squat. And for all those reasons, I decided to stay at 45# and work on form instead of weight. It made for a fairly easy WOD (we were to use the same bar throughout), but, again, I focused on form and re-learning my snatch, squat and box jumps. I’m still weak in the stepping-down of the BJ, but I met with my physic again today and we’re working on that. It is pretty much a return to the basics for me in all of the lifts, but at least, I’ll do them right this time around.

I got sweaty on round 3 and the last 2 rounds were horrible for the snatches as I just couldn’t drop below my bar fast enough anymore, but I was glad I went and got to work on technique!

On the home front, Ben just got over a bout of food poisoning that kept him in bed, sleeping for 30hrs. Must be nice! When I get sick, I still have to keep up with the house and the kids! Women are the weaker sex my butt! 😉

Our basement is slowly getting dried up from the flood we had 2 weeks ago, then they’ll start the rebuilding and replacing what needs to be replaced. The fans and dehumidifier are going on full blast 24/7 and it’s driving me bananas. I can only imagine the noise level for our tenants who have decided to stay in the chaos for now! They are troopers! I’d be out of there in a heartbeat!

 

Long Day

0400: Snoring and emergency vehicle alarms going on. The snoring I can deal with by nudging the culprit, the alarms go on for an unnatural long time.

0500: Feels like I just fell back asleep. Time to wake up and get ready for the WOD. Looking forward to this one, even though I can barely walk my quads are still so stiff from the squats and GTO from Wednesday. Pre workout fuel-up of cashews and turkey. Out the door at 0530

0600:

Skill: Trap Bar or Axle Bar DL 4×6 E2M

Last time, I had done the trap bar DL, so today was time to switch it up and use the axle bar one. I wasn’t sure where to start weight-wise on the bar so here’s what I did:

90#-95#-100#-105#

I felt good still at 105# and I think my grip could have taken more. Good to know for next time! ;

 

WOD: Three Fifteen

I teamed up with Telsey and Jenny for this one and it was nice to be able to workout with Telsey again. It was my first time meeting Jenny and she was such  sweet woman! I was really wanting to try this WOD FG at 65#, but I was also very happy to scale it down for my team. I remember too well being the newbie in the class and being terrified of holding people back. I didn’t mind lowering the weight on the bar today, it allows me to really focus on form and being explosive at the hips on the thrusters. I had devised a plan of attack for the WOD and we all agreed on it:

  • switch the thrusters every 5 reps
  • switch the BJ every 10 reps
  • switch the DUs every 30s.

I started us off on the thrusters and was a bit slow on the account that I was cleaning EVERY REP! Coach Caleb came by and corrected my mistake! I’m such a keener! The rest of the rounds were uneventful and we moved through the 6 mins quickly.

Onto the BJ, I managed to jump up all my reps and I was super stoked with that. I also managed not to mangle my shins, so bonus there as well! 😉

The DUs is where we slowed down considerably. I was the only one on our team who could get some reps at DUs, but even at that, all my reps were single ones. I couldn’t string them at all today. Oh well, it is what it is! Honestly, I was just happy to be moving today. My body is so freakin’ sore from Wednesday. I know I’ve said it before, but it’s been a while since a skill/WOD combo destroyed my body this much!

We finished with a total of 214 and my personal stats were:

  • 25 thrusters
  • 50 BJ
  • 14 DUs

If you do the math (or if I do it for you), you’ll see that I was responsible for 41.6% of my team’s score. I’m not doing the stats to brag. I remember doing partner WODs over a year ago and wanting to pull my fair share of the work, yet somehow not managing to accomplish that goal. If it was a 3-person team, I would always hover around the 27-29% mark. If it was a 2-person team, I would hover around the 40-43% mark. The fact that I managed to hit almost 42% of our score today lets me know that I am doing something right.

0700: Rush home, say goodbye to Rina before she leaves for school, shower, breakfast and get ready to head out with BeZU to the pumpkin patch at Galey Farms with her pre-school.

0915: Leave 1/2 of untouched coffee behind (still morning this one) to go pick up other preschool mom and son who live 1 street away from us.

0930-1130: Snacks, train ride, hay ride, pumpkin picking in the field and finish it off with a quick trip to The Root Cellar to pick up ingredients I’m missing for my food prep before work tomorrow.

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1200: Getting lunch ready for Béa and making this Paleo fried rice (I subbed the soy sauce for coconut aminos) 

I also wanted to make this, but by the time I was finished the fried rice, it was time to get Béatrice ready and out the door to pick up Rina at the bus stop.

1545: All the family is back home and I now have to figure out dinner. I am done with cooking at this point, so take-out it is for the girls and I have some of the fried rice for myself (needless to say the kids won’t eat it if it’s not orange). Cleaning up the kitchen, unloading the dishwasher, clearing the table, picking up the toys all over the house, another quick shower for myself before I bathe the girls and then a surprise pop-by visit by my sweet SIL who dropped off this little beauty:

She knows me well!

She knows me well!

I packed my food for tomorrow’s work day, put the girls in bed, did my ROMWOD (Thank you sweet baby Jezus it was only 9mins-long) and am now cuddling with the hot water bottle. I have been awake for almost 15hrs, have been going non-stop all day and I’m ready for bed. A few technicalities to take care of (finish this post, floss, brush teeth, set alarm, triple check that I’ve set alarm to AM mode, not PM, read 1 line of my book on my iPad) before I finally fall asleep for what I’m hoping will be a restful night.

There were a few times when I wanted to call it quit today, but I applied my tried and true strategy that I use in Crossfit: it’s just one more rep hour, you can do this. Just finish your meal prep, then you can rest. Just unload the dishwasher, then you can rest. Just get the girls to bed, then you can rest.

Now I rest for a bit. I’m out y’all!

 

Get Your Sweat On!

After yesterday’s workout at Kathleen’s, I felt super energized and ready to take on anything this morning. I was pleased when I saw this:

 

Skill: Back squat 3×10 E2M

I paired up with Telsey and Jen and truly didn’t know what to tackle for weight for these. I did 85#-90#-95#. The last round felt challenging, but I think I could have done 100#. Dang! Next time!

WOD: Escape the Trap

That was a fun team WOD and I remained paired up with Telsey and Jen. Because there were so many of us we had to start the WOD with the burpee BJ. I started our trio off by doing 8 true to form, then I did step-ups. At some point, I resorted to granny-style burpees, but picked it back up again. Second round was fairly similar, except we were taking a long time and Coach Caleb told us to go to the Trap DL part of the WOD after our second round and to come back to the burpee BJ afterwards if we still had time.

We were using 75# for the trap DL and that was way too light. I was even able to trot carrying the bar across the gym, so next time, I should go up to 85-90#. Once we were done with the Trap DL, Jen had to leave to get home in time for her hubby to get to work, and Telsey was getting close to her cutoff time as well so she did her 3rd round of burpee BJ and I took it upon myself to finish the last 30 reps (my 15 and Jen’s 15). It was slow, but I tried to keep things moving as best I could and we finished with a time of 23:06. I was pouring sweat from everywhere and even my hair was dripping.

Sweaty deer stuck in headlights. "What the heck just happened to me?!?"

Sweaty deer stuck in headlights. “What the heck just happened to me?!?”

I came back home and had an interesting text exchange with Kath about where I’m at as a Crossfitter.  I feel that even though I still scale pretty much every WOD, I’m definitely out of the “newbie” category, but I’m still worlds away from the true athletes. Which makes partnering with people difficult at times. I love hanging out with new people because I was just there not so long ago, so I understand the struggle. At the same time, I think sometimes it would be worth it to challenge myself and team up with people I consider “beasts”. At the same time, I also would feel very bad if I slowed them down.

The mental struggle is real, I tell ya!

Once I had showered and refuelled with breakfast, I realized I had forgotten to clean the inside of my freezer and fridge last week, during the Deep House Cleaning, so I got right on that. Then, our tenants finally moved out and it was time to start cleaning the suite after they left. We still have a little bit to do tomorrow morning before the new tenants move in, but overall it went well. Except when I broke the telescopic mop. I was vigorously cleaning the ceilings (I was also amazed at how people can get ceilings so dirty, but I digress) and the silly thing broke in two.

I broke that thing like a twig!

I broke that thing like a twig!

I had no time to fiddle with that kind of crap, so I took my step-stool (midgets unite!) and got scrubbing with the old rag-and-cleaner method! 6hrs later, we have the bathroom left, vacuuming and mopping the kitchen floor as well as priming the holes that have been patched and painting the walls.

Yeah, not how I had anticipated my day or my last week off before heading back into work. Hopefully, I can still manage to book myself a massage. I’m pretty sure if Crossfit came out with a WOD involving having to wash walls, windows and vacuum, I would RX the crap out of that! Ugh! One last cleaning boom to do tomorrow and then I should be done for at least 24hrs!

Yeah right, one can only wish!

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!