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!

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!

 

Putting In The Work, Reaping The Slow Progress

I’ve been at this Crossfit craziness for a little over two years now and to say that I absolutely love it is an understatement. Don’t get me wrong, there are days when I truly don’t enjoy the WODs (ahem, crazy warm-up sesh followed by DT, ahem), but I know and trust my coaches and I know that, in the end, no matter how much I scale back, I am still working towards becoming fitter.

From the beginning of my little journey, I have always wanted to make sure that I understand the mobility behind a lift before I start increasing my weights. It has sometimes been frustrating to see others progress faster, to see them putting heavier plates on the barbells or to see them master a lift or a gymnastic move that still evades me, but, overall, I have managed to stay true to my promise of moving properly before adding weight. Two years into this, I am between Novice and Intermediate (as per this chart) for all my lifts. I’m sure I could probably be a solid intermediate or even higher if I trained more, but I am a wife, a mom and I have a job, therefore, I am pretty happy with where I stand today.

Up until recently, I was using 55# for all my lifts during WODs and I kind of promoted myself to 65# a few weeks ago. It has been challenging for certain WODs, impossible for others and has felt comfortable for some. See? Intermediate! 😉

Here’s what we did today:

We really warmed-up our hips and ankles and the mood was pretty cheerful throughout the warm-up. Then, it was time to get serious and tackle this WOD.

Triple Treat

I warmed-up with 55# and although the thrusters felt somewhat easy and the deadlifts were truly easy, I knew it would become taxing towards the end. Still, I unloaded my bar, put on 15# plates on each end and was ready to tackle this one at 65#. Coach AJ came by and told me she wanted me to really be explosive from the hips in the BJ and actually move my hips. I have a tendency to keep my hips at the same height and only pull my legs up like  a frog jumps. It makes things easier for this short stuff to get on the box, but it’s not proper form. I did a few reps and it was definitely more challenging, but it gave me something new to work on, form-wise.

I managed to do all 6 rounds with a squat thruster for my 1st rep of every thrusters and keep going from there. The deadlifts were definitely the easiest (for me) in this WOD and I tried my little heart out to really engage my hips in the BJ. That made for some very noisy landings on the box, but I think, overall, I did ok. I could tell on my last round that my form was slowly reverting to my old habits, but I was still determined to work on these! Even though this WOD was a “no score” one, we were able to keep track of our times for each rounds. Here’s how I did:

  1. 0:52
  2. 0:50
  3. 0:46
  4. 0:45
  5. 0:43
  6. 0:42

I was pretty pleased that I was able to shave off 10 secs of my initial time for this!

After the WOD, Coach AJ came by and told me I made her “want to try that ROMWOD thing. You’re moving so well and your squats are so good!” It’s nice to know that what I’ve been working so hard on for the past 2 years is finally paying off and people are noticing.

She asked me if I felt any different in my performance and, funnily enough, today is the first day that my sciatic is truly killing me post WOD since I have started the ROMWOD. Is it because I changed my BJ? Not sure, but it sure is (literally) a giant pain in my butt. I went to the mall with Béatrice after my workout and I couldn’t walk while holding her in my arms, it was hurting too much. Even with her walking by herself, I was limping next to her while we walked really slow. I guess it’s really time I book a chiro appointment for some active release therapy!

As for ROMWOD, I can definitely see an improvement in my flexibility, but I’m not sure how it’S helping me in my performance overall. I really enjoy the increased flexibility I have gained in the past 2 weeks and am looking forward to keeping it up, even if it feels like relaxation most of the time.

Seated Straddle, 2 weeks ago, after 4 minutes into the pose.

Seated Straddle, 2 weeks ago, after 4 minutes into the pose. Head isn’t touching the forearms, shoulders are up.

Seated Straddle, 2 days ago, at the beginning of the 4-minute hold of the pose

Seated Straddle, 2 days ago, at the beginning of the 4-minute hold of the pose. Forehead is almost touching the forearms

Seated Straddle, 2 days ago, at the end of the 4-minute hold. My head is almost touching the ground. Definitely and improvement!

Seated Straddle, 2 days ago, at the end of the 4-minute hold. My head is past the forearms and almost touching the ground. Definitely an improvement!

Where’s My Tiger Blood At???

We had a busy Father’s Day yesterday, biking downtown to the first Victoria’s Car-Free day in the downtown core. There were tons of vendors out in the streets and the girls were in heaven when they got balloons (purple ones, obviously)! I was also pretty stoked to find myself a second bikini for our upcoming trip and I also found 2nd bathing suits for the girls for the same trip as well as new sandals for Béa (her toes were curling over the sole at the front of her old ones)! Overall, it was a nice sunny day, filled with lots of people and I was glad to come back home for dinner. Let me just say, there’s isn’t much Whole30-approved when you’re out and about in the real world! I came home to cook some hamburgers with my sous-chef (Rina) and I was surprised when she asked for “Maman’s meat” for dinner. Not only did she finish her 1st serving, she asked for seconds! Victory!

I fell asleep on the couch at 2100 last night.  I woke up at 2130 and went to bed, hoping for a full night of deep sleep. Yeah, that didn’t happen. The husband came to bed before I fell asleep and he fell quickly asleep (ahem, snoring, ahem) and then Béatrice was crying because her eczema was itchy and Rina was also awake with a bad dream. I must have fallen asleep around midnight.  SLEEP FAIL!

I woke up early and grumpy for the WOD:

Skill: Deadlift 10×1 EMOM

We were to use the last weight we had used recently on our 5×5. Mine was 135# and that’s what I used. It felt good and somewhat easy. I felt like I could have gone a little heavier on those.

WOD: Froggy

I was tempted to try this one Rx, but knowing that I had not fueled, hydrated and slept properly yesterday, I went with FG2, with 65# on my bar. I had gone into it with the plan of breaking up my front squats as such, per rounds:

  • 8-7-6 (21)
  • 6-5-4 (15)
  • 5-4 (9)

I stuck to my plan, except on the last round where I did 6-3 before going to the box jumps. Those were slow. I knew I was the last one to work on this, but I was hoping to be closer to the pack. No such luck. I finished at 8:05 and most people were around the 4-6 minutes. I felt discouraged. I sat and mulled on the floor. Mark and I got to talking and he said: “Even though you’re last, you still lapped everyone that stayed on the couch!” I told him this was motivation enough for maybe a year, but at close to 2 years of usually coming in last and so far behind everyone else, I needed something else. He told me to go home and blog about it to get it out of my system. He knows me better than I think he does! 😉

He’s right though. He said you have two options:

  • find newer, slower people you can beat
  • get faster at it

I guess I’ll just have to get faster at it! 🙂

At the same time, I need to cut myself some slack. I am not Wonder Woman and I can’t do it all. I do make Crossfit a priority because I choose to. Maybe I should have a “deload week” like Kathleen suggested where I cut back on my weights. Maybe it will be easier when Rina is out of school for the summer and the girls don’t have gymnastics either. I have to say, parenting has been a challenge for the past few months and I feel like I need a break. Our little vacation in Cuba cannot come soon enough! It will be nice to not have to clean, cook, do laundry and all that crap for 7 days. I plan on getting some much deserved rest, that’s for sure! For now, I just need to get a nap. Although, I think this will have to wait as I just heard Béatrice fall upstairs…

(…)

Tracey is kind enough to host a Whole30-friendly get-together tonight and I’m seriously wondering if it would be totally inappropriate to show up in my sweat pants. What do you think?

Right, nap first, then reassess! 😉

And that's why I show up even when not in top shape!

And that’s why I show up even when not in top shape!

*Tiger blood: As per Whole30:

Days 16-27: Tiger Blood!

You’ve hit the downhill slope of your Whole30 and life is beautiful—which means different things for different people. For some (generally people who came to the program eating well, exercising regularly, and feeling pretty good to begin with), Tiger Blood means someone flipped a switch and turned on the awesome. Energy is through the roof, cravings are under control, clothes are fitting better, workouts are stronger.

For others, this Tiger Blood stage feels more like a real sense of self-efficacy. It doesn’t mean things are perfect (or even easy), but you’re proving to yourself that you can do this, things are getting better, and you’re seeing improvements (small or large) almost daily. Your energy is steadier, you’ve got a firmer handle on the cravings, and you’re experimenting with new, delicious foods.  You may notice that your ability to focus is keener, your body composition is changing, your moods are more stable, you’re stepping up your exercise, or you’re just plain happier these days.

Of course, this may not happen like magic at the halfway point. There are a huge number of factors that influence which benefits you see and when. If you’re one of those folks who has hit the halfway mark and isn’t seeing or feeling the dramatic changes others have reported*, know this: You’re not doing it wrong. If you began the Whole30 with a medical condition, a long and rooted history of unhealthy food habits, or a chronically stressful lifestyle, your “magic” may take longer to appear, and probably won’t be a “light switch” moment. Don’t stress about whether you’re feeling honest-to-goodness “Tiger Blood”—be patient, and be on the lookout for small, gradual improvements to keep

– See more at: http://whole30.com/2013/08/revised-timeline/#sthash.sHD2loAh.dpuf

Pushing Through

Thank goodness we have a king-sized bed because we ended up sleeping the 4 of us in it last night. Béatrice is having a hard time with her molars (finally) coming through on her lower gums and Rina was having bad dreams. At 0130, both Ben and I gave up and took the girls to bed with us. It took me a while to fall asleep because, as per her usual, Béatrice kept snuggling me and stroking my face and hair. Just as I was about to storm out of bed to go sleep downstairs on the couch, she finally settled. I was exhausted and I knew I would need to be rested for today’s WOD:

 

 

Skill: Deadlifts 5×5 E90s

Last time we did these, I did 115# for all reps. This time around, we were to increase our weight as we went along. I managed the hook grip on all reps and didn’t drop the bar on the last rep. I managed a nice 20# PR on these today. Here were my weights:

95#-100#-105#-115#-135#

WOD: Thriller

The Box was full this morning and I managed to find a spot below the rig.

0600 crew represent!

0600 crew represent!

The only problem was, I couldn’t see the clock so I had to move my box around in order to get a clear view of the clock when I was done. I really wanted to try 75#, but that would have given me no rest at all and that wasn’t the point of this WOD, so I went with 55# for the thrusters. I managed the first round unbroken,  then round 2 and 3 I took some rest at the top of the thruster. Round 4 was a struggle. I had to actually drop the bar after my 9th rep. I picked it back up and finished my last 3 reps before getting to the box jumps. I had to no rep myself on my 5th rep because I almost didn’t make it to the top of the box and had to balance myself with my hands. That was scary and it brought back flashback to that one time I mangled my shins:

Never want to experience that again!

Painful Memories!

I settled my nerves (and thanked the little man above I was wearing my shin pads) on top of the box and kept going, but that ate a lot of my time on that round. Here were my times for each rounds:

  1. 1:29
  2. 1:35
  3. 1:36
  4. 1:48

For a total combined (fastest and slowest interval) of 3:17. Not stellar, but considering my lack of sleep, I’ll take it. Thank goodness I’ve been gearing up to the Whole30 nutrition-wise, I’m pretty sure that’s what helped me today! Weirdly enough, my scar on my left shin from my fall back in November was throbbing and hurting once I was done. Phantom pain?!? Coincidence? In any case, it took a while for the throbbing to go away. I’m just glad I managed to finish this one without falling! 🙂

 

Inspiration…Me? Who Knew?

Look what I got in the mail yesterday:

Class act post card from Coach Be over at Crossfit Stasis

Class act post card from Coach Be over at Crossfit Stasis! I love the French Thanks at the bottom! 

 

Yesterday was rough. I only managed to sleep for 3hrs after my night shift and I was so relieved when I was granted the night off (without pay, of course). I swear, the night shifts are slowly killing me. I managed to string another solid 6hrs when I finally went to bed for the night and then, I was up bright and early for Crossfit!

The warmup was Bring Sally Up where you do squats on the Moby song. Overtime he says “down” you squat down and only get up when he says “bring Sally up”. The Rx weight is 135# for men and 95# for women, but unless you have impeccable form, it shouldn’t be attempted at those weights. We did it doing air squats and Coach Caleb let us out of our misery early by cutting the song a little short. My hip flexors were screaming!

WOD: Deadlimp

I was determined to use a little bit heavier for the DL than I normally use (105#), so I went with 115# for all rounds. I was doing ok for the first few rounds, using the 35# KB for the lunges, but on round 4, my left quad started to seize up and I had to resort to stepping up the box jumps and dropped down to 26# for the reverse lunges. I finished all rounds, but I had to roll my quad during the “rest” periods. That was a tough one!

The legs failed me, but I stayed strong and focused until the finish!

The legs failed me, but I stayed strong and focused until the finish!

When we were done, Tracey asked me if she could introduce me to her friend Lara and Kelsey showed up a little later. They have just started in the On-Ramp class. Tracey had been sharing some of my blog posts and tagged both Lara and Telsey in it so that they could see Crossfit is feasible for EVERYONE! We chatted up a bit about being moms, our insecurities and the challenges that Crossfit bring about, but I also mentioned some of the tremendous benefits. It was ver humbling to know that these two women were inspired by little old me and my little blog. Heck, I had just celebrated the fact that I didn’t come last in the WOD on Wednesday (by a mere 7 seconds, but still, I wasn’t last! 🙂 ) So, to know that even though I far from excel at this, but yet can still inspire others to take it on (and surpass my accomplishments) is extremely humbling and it made me feel good about my whole journey.

I came back home, cleaned up and took this pic:

 

 

Hello Traps! :)

Hello Traps! 🙂

Now, I’m looking forward to a relaxing day with the girls and Ben in the afternoon!

 

Reverse Psychology

I was desperately trying to fall back asleep at 0430 this morning, but poor Ben kept coughing next to me, so that was that for my night. I got up and got ready for the Box:

Skill: Deadlift 5×3 E90S

I based my weight on my 5×5, but I should have gone heavier. It still felt really easy on the last round. I’ll know better for next time!

100-105-110-115-120

WOD: Ballox

Yay! Wallballs! Said no short person ever! However, I was determined to do this one Rx and I even managed to use some reverse psychology on my whiteboard:

It got wiped out and so did I!

It got wiped out and so did I!

I’m really trying to convince myself that I Luuuurve wallballs. Don’t know that it worked today, but I think I only no-repped myself on 3 or 4 out of 60, so that’s not too bad! I broke the wallballs into sets of 5. The push-ups were equally as hard. Surprisingly, the step-down box jumps were where I could recover a bit and catch my breath. I didn’t break any time records by any means, but I managed to finish under 15 mins… Barely! I finished at 14:59! I did all my push-ups standard, but I have a hard time doing them consecutively. I broke them into 5 and 3, would rest a bit, and pick it back up. I was just happy to be done, really! It’s always the WODs that look like they’re not going to be too bad that kick you in the gut! Kevin came to me after I was done and said something really sweet:

Skinny Val is way tougher than bigger Val!

I take that as a compliment, my friend and thank you for the encouragement! Speaking of skinny, I know I have to do my body shots, they will come later this week, when I get off work.

I came back home to have a long hot shower, and then hug and kiss the girls. Then it was the whirlwind of breakfast, pre-school, laundry, dishes and now I have to go clean the upstairs, before folding laundry and hopefully, napping before work tonight. I’ve had 2 busy day shifts and I’m hoping things settle down today… Or maybe, I should hope for things to pick up so that they really settle down?!? Does reverse psychology work on patient assignment? Lol!