Lighten Up!

I got off night shift yesterday morning and only slept for 3hrs before giving up on sleeping. The house was noisy, but I knew it would be so I made peace with it and got up for the day at 1pm. Needless to say I passed out on the couch at 2130! I had planned to get up at 0500 for the 0600 class this morning (the girls don’t have school today) and I was regretting that decision when my alarm went off! I got up anyway and made my way to the Box for this:

Warm-Up: Cindy x 3 rounds (5 pull-ups, 10 push-ups, 15 air squats)

I couldn’t get my pull-ups with just the blue band so I added up the purple band and was n’t impressed with how I was doing, but at least, I was warming up.

Skills: Handstand push-ups: 4-5 x 6-10 reps

I’ve been struggling to find the ideal “tripod” position between my hands and head and I only managed one successful round of 5  strict reps from a yoga block + 3×5# plates. I’ve done better in the past, but I just wasn’t feeling it today. I did try a kipping rep and it is SO MUCH EASIER!!! I guess I should master a strict without any scaling before I start thinking about kipping my reps though, right?!? 😉

 

WOD: Lift Up Step Down

Coach Caleb said we should aim at 75-80% for our DL. That meant I should have gone with 120#-125# for my reps, but as I was warming up, 105# felt challenging enough as it was and I stuck with that for the WOD. My DUs are still elusive and I can only manage one-at-a-time interspersed with single skips in-between. I aimed at the FG for 8 DUs + 16 SUs for each rounds.

We got going and I managed the 1st round doing all the BJ Rx. I did, however, scale it back to step-ups for the rest of the rounds as I felt my form was suffering and I didn’t want to make my sciatic angry. I know DL usually make it angry, so I wasn’t gonna push it too much with the BJ.

Here were my times for each rounds:

1:55 – 1:40 – 1:37 – 1:32 – 1:37

fastest + slowest = 3:27

Was I happy about my performance today? Nope, but at least I went and did the work. Sometimes, you have to cut yourself some slack and not allow a crappy workout to turn your day into crap. Funny enough, the Box blog post was all about scaling and how there’s no shame in scaling movements or weights once in a while!

I realize I haven’t blogged at all last week. I made a conscious decision to deal with more important family affairs and that meant the blog took the back burner. Our nanny is moving at the end of February, so I’m trying to find a suitable replacement. It feels like my days off are spent working out, cleaning, cooking and having nanny interviews. Not my idea of a fun day off and since the girls have a pro-D day today, I’m cutting this post short so I can make the most of our day together!

In other news, Béatrice drew this this morning. It’s her 1st “character” drawing where you can actually recognize the features. Apparently, I’m the one on the right because I’m “the angriest!” Lol!

Budding artist makes me so proud!

Budding artist makes me so proud!

 

The one at the top reminds me of Barbapapa!

Anybody else used to watch this show as a kid?

Anybody else used to watch this show as a kid?

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!

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!

 

Sigh

It’s been a busy week and I’ll try to recap quickly.

Last Monday was a Civic Holiday here and we enjoyed the day at the beach with Ben’s mom who was visiting from Kingston. We hiked to Mystic Beach and had fun in the sun and sand before we headed out for the typical lunch at Mom’s Café.

Bra's natural summer highlights! I'd kill for these!

Béa’s natural summer highlights! I’d kill for these!

Rina, swinging from the rope swing on the beach

Rina, swinging from the rope swing on the beach

Cutie pie!

Cutie pie!

Rina, wave jumping

Rina, wave jumping

I had only 2 days at work before I was officially on vacation and although I was counting the hours on Wednesday. Let’s be real though, I kind of clocked out mentally around 1500, even though I was working until 1930. Nothing fazed me on that day and I was happy and lighthearted to make my way to my car at the end of the day! Off for a full month and I was more than ready for some time off. I already had 2 overtime calls to come in to work tonight so far… Not gonna happen!

I’ve spent yesterday and today getting some last minute shopping and making packing lists, getting everything organized and packed for our Cuban vacation! I can now say we are 98% ready to go, with little adjustments left to be done for our carry-on luggages.

I went to the Oly class yesterday morning and I was stoked to see Ryan show up: I wasn’t absolutely certain if there actually was a class or not and I was starting to think I’d gotten up at 0500 for nothing! Here’s what we did:

Photo 2015-08-06, 5 54 20 AM

High hang, low hang, full squat snatch x6 E3M

Lots of rest for these and we were to work up to 75% of our 1RM. Mine was supposed to be 48.75#, but the closest I could get to was 48.5# (not enough small plates to make it a real 75%, but close enough). I was struggling on some reps and had to repeat a few, but as I warmed up, it felt smoother towards the end.

Squat Clean, Front Squat, Split jerk x6 E3M

Again, we were supposed to only go up to 75% of our 1RM so I used 67.5# for all my reps. The split jerk was unstable at times, but I managed all my reps. I was exhausted by the end! So much rest and yet, I was done for!

 

This morning, I woke up at 0500 again and I was still tired. I’ve been going to bed a little later than usual and I could definitely feel it this morning:

I had misread the WOD last night and thought it was only 1 round. Gulp! There was no way I could do this RX seeing as my 1RM DL is 160# and my 1RM clean is 90#. That would have been cutting it too close to exhaustion and Coach Caleb wanted us to do close to 30 reps/30 secs. Sometimes, the guy cracks me up! 😉 No way I was going to achieve that either, but I was happy that I managed some pretty stable rep scheme throughout all rounds. I did FG with the following reps:

DL @ 115#:8-8-9-8-8

Front squats @ 65#: 9-9-9-8-8

DUs:5-7-8-11-12

Sometimes, I look at my reps and feel a bit discouraged at how low they are. Then, I analyze them in a different way and I’m pretty happy with my work. For example, my reps are low on the DL, but if you tally it all, it comes up to 4715 lbs moved in 2:30. For the front squats, it comes up to 2797 lbs squatted in the same amount of time.  As for my DUs, I only managed to string 8 in a row (last round), but they felt smoother with each rounds. Funny how I can do those better when I’m more physically tired. Maybe it’s because I’m not as tensed up?

I’m ready to put a hot pack on my shoulders and real for the evening before yet another busy day tomorrow!

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