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.

I’m Out!

I woke up at 0430 this morning and as much as I tried to fall back asleep for 30 minutes, I just couldn’t. I finally got up at 0500 and got ready for the WOD. As I made my way downstairs, I realized we were out of chicken and I had no back-up plan for my pre-workout snack. This morning was just not panning out as I had anticipated.

I made my way to the Box and warmed-up for the WOD. My hamstrings were still tight from the lifting class on Sunday and I was apprehending the front squats.

Skill: Front Squats EMOM x 10

We were supposed to work to 85% of our 1RM (120# for me) and that meant 102# for me. I warmed-up to 105# and although it felt hard, it was only 1 rep with lots of rest in between, so I thought I could pull it off and so did Coach Caleb. We started the first round and I felt ok. On my 2nd rep, I had a pinch in my right quad. I rubbed it off once I was done my rep and was hoping the rubbing would make it go away. On my 3rd rep, the pinching came back stronger and as I finished my rep, I knew I was done for today. I talked it through with Coach Caleb, went to the foam roller, the Lacrosse ball and the Airdyne (very slow and just as a recovery), but even with all that, I still couldn’t squat more than 25º without any pain. We had to split the class in two heats and Coach Caleb asked me if I was in. “I’m out!” was my answer. I went to sit myself down and ice my quad while cheering on the others.

It was frustrating, but there was nothing I could do about it and I’m smarter than to push through the pain. Maybe my quad was just over-compensating for my tight hamstrings. Hopefully, some rest will mean a quick recovery and I will be able to join Kathleen on our planned WOD over the weekend.

I came back home and shared my frustrations with my hubby. He made things better by making me coffee. There’s no word for how such a small gesture in the morning can remind me how much I am loved. It’s not a big thing, but I am always thankful and I never take it for granted. Babe, you are amazing and I love you! Not only did he make me coffee, but he also helped me out with the cleaning and the laundry and went out to get more chicken as well! That meant I was done with my chores early and was able to spend some time with the girls and treat them to a lunch out. They were pretty stoked and making my girls happy makes me happy in return, so even though the day started on a crappy note, it definitely got better. Now, I am looking forward to rubbing my quad with some arnica gel and relax on the couch before going for my nap and heading in for my night at work tonight.

Change Of Plans

I had RSVP’d for the Olympic lifting class today with Rachel Siemens and I have to say, I was starting to regret it a little bit after breakfast. I really was in the mood to sit down and do nothing and my sciatic was acting up (the left one today, it changes frequently), so I was kind of feeling Meh! about lifting today. I still showed up though because once I commit to something, I usually see it through.

Here’s what we did, although we modified it for one of the exercise outlined:

Photo 2015-07-26, 1 19 30 PM

I warmed up beforehand and then tackled the front squats and the push press. I think I finished off at 65# on those.

Then, we had to work on our Jerks from a back rack position and I worked my way up to 67.5#. I love having the smaller plates as I can now hit my targets accurately. We were told to work up to 75% of our 1RM and that’s just what I did.

We then moved onto the box jumps (BJ) and the hang squat snatch. We were to start light and work to a heavy. I started with 35# and progressed with 45#-50#-55# and finally onto 60#. I was struggling with the dropping into the squat (as usual) with from 35#-50#, but then, Rachel cued me to move my feet wider at the top of the snatch and, whaddya know, I fared a little better. Good thing too because I was getting frustrated! I was very happy to successfully do 2 reps at 60#, seeing as it is my true 1RM. Coach Caleb has had me working with a “pretend 1RM” of 65# so that I would get stronger, and now, I’m curious to see if I could actually succeed to do a snatch at that weight!

Instead of the SN DL, we ended up doing Snatch balances. It turns out I’m not the only one struggling to commit into the squat, so we all had a good practice. I did 2×5@35#, 3@40#, 3@45# and that was that.

We finished with some squat cleans and we started light in order to finish around 85% of our 1RM. My 1RM is 90#, and I was planning to finish at 76.5#. Here were my reps for these:

55#-65#-70#-76.5#

Again, I was working on landing my feet wider into the squat and keeping my elbows forwards at the bottom. I think I did ok on these and was pretty happy overall with my little lifting sesh of the day. I then rushed over to the pool to meet up with Ben and the girls and I was very glad I had to spend some time in the hot tub and got a jet onto my left butt cheek and, although it didn’t help with the sciatic pain, I was able to work on some pretty bad knots. We came back home, made steaks on the BBQ and stuffed my face. I was FAMISHED! I’ve now packed my lunch for tomorrow, my clothes are laid out for work and I’m really looking forward to catch up on the Crossfit Games before I hit the sack for the night! 🙂

 

Trust Your Body When You Have No expectations

I finished work yesterday morning and managed a little bit more sleep after that last night shift (5hrs instead of 4) and I woke up from my nap with a sore left shoulder. It felt like I pinched something in there which hurt when I did certain movements more than others. I applied a hot bag to it when the girls went to bed and was hoping it would feel better in the morning. It was still sore when I woke up, so I decided to still go to Oly lifting class, but I didn’t have much expectations as to what I would accomplish this morning.

Since our Box moved over the weekend, I made my way to the new digs and here’s what we did:

Photo 2015-06-04, 5 50 52 AM

The warm-up was challenging in itself for me. Those tall snatches did not feel natural and my head was struggling to grasp the movements required. I couldn’t really land this in the squat at all, but I kept trying.

Squat Snatch 5×2 E3M @ 87.5%

My 87.5% is 56.875# (my 1RM is 65, even though I didn’t succeed at 65#, Coach Caleb now wants me to use this as my 1RM in order to hopefully progress). Since there’s no way to accomplish that weight with the plates available to us, I went wit 55#. Throughout the rounds, I was really working on two things: my hook grip (see picture below and landing in the squat position (not hesitating at the top of the pull).

I can only wrap my index finger around my thumb (and very badly at that since my hands are small and my thumbs are ridiculously short. Source

I can only wrap my index finger around my thumb (and very badly at that since my hands are small and my thumbs are ridiculously short. Source

My 1st rep of every set was always better than the second one, but I managed ok on both my goals for most of the reps. On my 2nd round, I failed to drop into the squat completely so I reset my bar and was then successful at my 2 lifts. Overall, I’m really happy that I was able to get all 5 rounds in since, technically, these were all done at 92% of my real 1RM (60#). It felt a little more natural to drop right into the squat and I was happy I got to work on that. My shoulder was never an issue for any of the reps and I was happy about that too! 🙂

Hang Squat Clean 6×2 E3M @85%

My 1RM for these is 90# so my 85% = so I used 75#. I felt strong and confident doing these. Funny how the cleans and C&J come easy to me and the snatches are so challenging. I did 75# on all reps and didn’t fail once. Again, my shoulder wasn’t an issue and it actually feels a lot better now. It just goes to show that if you go in without any expectations, sometimes, your body will surprise you!

Once we were done, I had the luxury of sticking around and taking my time for once, chatting with people. Usually, I rush back home to help Ben get the girls ready for preschool or gymnastics, but on Thursdays, they have no preschool or activities which means it’s our “slow morning”. I got to stick around and chat to Tracey and it was nice to just take my time, for once.

I came back home to the usual laundry and a little more free time since we started using our dishwasher on a regular basis. I know, we have lived in the house for close to a year and I wasn’t using our dishwasher until about 2 weeks ago… Why? First of all, we were in the habit of washing everything by hand for the past 7 years. Second, it’s noisy as heck and we have a pretty open concept 1st floor, so it annoyed me to have it running when the girls nap or in the evening. I’m pretty sensitive to loud noises because of all the bing-bong-ing that goes on at my work place. When I get home, the last thing I want is loud noise and the house is noisy enough with 2 kids. I have, however, figured out that having the dishwasher run after breakfast is the logical thing to do and it frees me from having to do dishes after every meal. It is a bit noisy, but the house is usually noisy at that time anyway, so it gets noisier for about 1hr after breakfast! 🙂

I am slowly gearing up to my #Whole30 and trying to clean up my eating a bit and looking up recipes before I officially start on June 15. So far, the recipes I’ve tried are delicious!

I’ll leave you with this, normal life in our household and the girls love it when Daddy plays guitar:

Photo 2015-06-04, 9 49 57 AM

Music time with the girls. Yes, our house is messy, but there’s no way around it. I love the saying that goes: “Excuse the mess in our house, we’re busy making memories”!

 

 

Draining Snatch Work

I had a couple of busy day shifts at work and I was absolutely spent when I arrived home last night, to my 2 girls who just wanted some Mama time before they went to bed. After I spent some time with them, I showered and fell asleep on the couch watched some TV. I got off the couch only to drag my sore body to bed and almost fell asleep as my husband was tucking me in (he comes to bed later and has tucked me in ever since we’ve started dating). I woke up a few hours later to the sound of snores in my ears (the hubs) and had about 30 mins left before the alarm would go off. I managed to fall back asleep and it was a struggle to get up for the Oly class this morning. I hate showing up when I feel like I have nothing left in my tank. It makes for a difficult class…

To make things harder, today was Snatch Testing Week. Eesh… The format was different from the previous testing weeks I had done and although it was super challenging, I liked it much better. Instead of testing both the Snatch and the Clean & Jerk in the same session, today was a self-led test of the Snatch  only. Here’s how we ran things:

Photo 2015-05-14, 5 49 50 AM

The top was our warm-up, the % were the weights we had to use in order to build up to our 1RM

Considering my previous 1RM was 60#, here were the numbers I had to play with:

My low attempts at a 1RM snatch

My low attempts at a 1RM snatch

Because my 1RM is so low, it didn’t give me much room to play with my weights and I had to modify as above. The numbers on the right were just times on the timer for me to start my reps at. As you can see, there was plenty of time for rest. Here’s how it all went down:

  • 3×40#: Felt good and easy to actually drop into the squat
  • 3×45#: More challenging, but I was still able to drop straight into the squat
  • 2×50#: I was planting my feet too early in the catch. My feet planted when I was still upright, instead of down into the squat
  • 2×50#: That was my worst set. When the weight increases, I get this mental blockage about dropping into the squat. Had a good chat with Coach Caleb and he explained why it was actually SAFER to drop into the squat with locked elbows and fail a rep than to catch it upright, without locked elbows, and then trying to control the drop into the squat. I was exhausted and frustrated. I feel like every week I attend the Oly class, poor Coach Caleb repeats himself ALL. THE. TIME! I know what I,m doing wrong, I just have a real struggle fixing it. I felt like I had nothing left. I wanted to quit and go home. This lift really frustrates the crap out of me and it challenges me and pushes my buttons. I took a longer rest and reset my mind frame before attempting the next one.
  • 1×55#: I really committed to this lift and, although it was a fail and I had to bail out of it (too much on my heels), Coach Caleb was way happier with this one because I had actually dropped into the squat with locked elbows.
  • 1×55#: Success! It was hard, but somehow felt smooth.
  • 1×60#: Success and much more efficient than my previous 1RM attempt. I actually dropped. I caught it higher than a squat, but much lower than I’m used to. Coach Caleb said it was now time to go for my 1RM

Snatch 1RM: We had 3 attempts for each weight. If you succeeded, you then had 3 attempts at a heavier weight until you reached failure on all 3 attempts.

3×1 @ 105% = 65#.

Tracey wanted to film my attempts. I think it made me a bit self-conscious, but it was nice to see where my mistakes were.

1st attempt: No problem pulling the bar up to my shoulders, but I didn’t commit to dropping, therefore failed.

2nd attempt: I couldn’t get the bar high enough.

3rd attempt: I managed to pull the bar and somewhat dropped underneath it, but I was too much on my toes and therefore had the bar too much in front of me and couldn’t correct it.

Below is Coach Caleb, doing a Snatch from the box. I cannot get over his speed in pulling the bar upwards, all the while, dropping into the squat! I’m in awe! He’s so fluid! This is what it should look like, but from the ground up instead.

 

So, my 1RM remains at 60# for now. However, for the purpose of %, Coach Caleb now wants me to use 65# instead of 60#, otherwise, I will never progress.

I came home to wrestling kids and even though all I wanted to do was go back to bed, it wasn’t gonna happen. I had to laugh at some of the things you say as a mom sometimes. For example, Rina was in the process of getting dressed and was walking around, butt naked. Béatrice kept on head butting her in the groin and I, very matter-of-factly, said to her: “Béatrice, don’t put your head in your sister’s vagina!”

Yeah, this is the kind of stuff you can hear more often than I’d like around my house…

 

Games Standing And Family Life

As promised earlier, here’s my standing in the Games. For some reason, every time I check my standing, it keeps changing. I don’t know why people are still allowed to enter/validate their scores, but I’ll keep with the standing I had as of earlier this morning (0900) for the purpose of this post:

Open 2015 standing

Open 2015 standing

51760 out of 108,764 women worldwide places me in the top 55% (I was in the bottom 14% last year).

I also managed to place 1538 out of 2777 women on the Canada West division, which places me in the top  44% (I don’t have those stats from last year). Just to give you an idea of how strong my little Box is, I came in at 76/83 total registrants, placing me in the bottom 8% (I was in the bottom 6% last year). Now do you believe me when I tell you that I work out with fit/beastly people?!? Lol!

Looking back at those numbers, I’m pretty happy about my accomplishments on the worldwide front, that’s a huge improvement! I also noticed the number of women registered worldwide has more than doubled from last year (from 52550 to 108,764)! That’s insane!

I got up before dawn again for my Oly class. Here’s what we did:

Photo 2015-04-02, 12 46 57 PM

For the Squat Snatch, if we failed a rep, we had to drop back to our last successful weight, which is why I dropped back to 50# since I had failed my 2nd rep at 55#. Overall though, it felt a lot smoother than it ever has before and the concept of pulling the bar while dropping underneath it is slowly coming around… if I don’t think about it too much! 😉

Photo 2015-04-02, 12 47 33 PM

 

We had to start at 65% of our PR for our Power Clean and Jerk which meant 40# for me. I progressed with every round and finished at 65#. The Split Jerk comes naturally to me and I was working on really dropping lower under the bar. It felt good to do so and the reps felt strong throughout.

I came back home to walk Duke and was rewarded by this gorgeous sunrise once I reached the park:

Modern Day Rapunzel tower as the girls like to pretend when I take them with me! ;)

Modern Day Rapunzel tower as the girls like to pretend when I take them with me! 😉

Once we came back home, I lounged in bed for a little bit with Ben and Rina and then she decided to blow raspberries on my belly. We were both laughing hysterically. Fart noises are funny at any age! 😉

Then it was onto breakfast, laundry and cleaning. The girls have been easily upset and a puddle of cries and tears all morning. So much so that I had to put both of them in their rooms with the doors closed in order for them to calm down. This BabyMama is very much looking forward to quiet time and nap time before I head in to work before my night shift!

 

 

Compare And Contrast

I was so happy when 15.4 was announced last night. Obviously, not for the Rx category, but for the scaled one.

There was no way I was going to clean 125#, let alone do one unassisted HSPU. I was going to be able to do rounds of 10 Push Press @ 65# and 10 Cleans at 75#, though, so I was super happy with that. I knew that the cleans would be a lot harder than the push press, but I was ready for that.

Krista was also able to come join me this morning and it made the WOD that much more fun. I was glad she was able to meet a few of my Crossfit Family people 🙂

I went on first and I managed to do the first set of push press unbroken. Then it was onto the cleans. Ugh! They were hard, but I managed a full round. Back to the push press. I did 5, dropped the bar, then did 3 , rested the bar on my front rack position and did the next 2 in the same fashion.

I went back to the cleans and they were that much harder. Coach Caleb came by at one point and told me to use my glutes more, I was jerking it with my shoulders. That threw me off my game and I wasn’t able to lift the bar up to my chest. I put it back down, shook my arms out and went on to complete another round.

Back to the push press I went. They were definitely getting harder, but they were still easier than the cleans. I think I strung 5, then 2 then 3x singles (either resting the bar on my front rack position or dropping it on the floor). I had only 30 seconds left and managed to do 2 more cleans for a total of 52 reps.

I was then on to judge Krista. She pounded through it all. It was pretty amazing to watch her just keep going without ever dropping the bar (she has a mental blockage about dropping the bar and puts it nicely back on the floor). She looked so strong working through it and she crushed it with 72 reps. Yeah, she beat me alright! Lol!

I know I say I do Crossfit for myself and it’s to better myself, but it’s hard sometimes not to compare myself to others. Krista started Crossfit after me and she’s already mastering the unassisted pull-ups and the TTB. She also crushed my score today and she can probably lift heavier than me. At the same time, I can’t really compare myself to her. She has a background as an endurance athlete (she’s a runner and a triathlete) and she has years of training behind her belt. Yes, she may have beaten my score this morning, or overall in the Games, but at the same time, I’m not too far behind and, to me, THAT is an achievement in itself. To be so close to such an accomplished athlete when I was the biggest couch potato two years ago isn’t so bad in itself. It’s all about perspective and remaining positive in your outlook, really!

I came back home to a super energetic Duke, so I took him for our morning walk.

Just in time to catch the first sun rays of the day

Just in time to catch the first sun rays of the day

I’m currently reading a book about training him for certain commands and so far, it’s going well. He has also started asking for the door when he needs to go outside, which makes life a little easier on me.

I showered and took this pic because I thought I looked decent for a 37 year-old mom who does Crossfit! 😉 Oh yeah, I celebrated my birthday earlier this week. It wasn’t anything to write home about: I was working a night shift on the day before and the day of my birthday, which meant I turned 37 at work, came back home to sleep and work the rest of my birthday. My co-workers were nice and threw me a potluck dinner of yummy food, so that made up for it!

A few grey hairs, but not too bad, except for the bruised collarbone! #cleans

A few grey hairs, but 37 ain’t so bad, except for the bruised collarbone! #cleans