When Your Cheat Meals Cheat You!

Artsy shot I took of the sunrise on our condensation-filled bedroom window this morning

Artsy shot I took of the sunrise on our condensation-filled bedroom window this morning

Alright everyone, enough with the artistic distractions. It’s confession time:

My eating hasn’t been on point for the past two weeks and I can definitely feel it in my performance / energy level. I have had pasta, bread and dairy, increasingly more over the past week and it showed up today.

I walked into the Box and felt like I hadn’t been there for 2 weeks. That’s how low my energy level was. Again, I didn’t have high expectations about the skills or the WOD for that matter because I already felt so drained…

I had Béatrice with me and I was a little worried about being able to focus on my stuff with her there, but the Coach AJ parted the skies and brought out the big box of giant Legos! Combined with her snacks, I had a happy, content kid and I was able to really focus on the work to do! Yay for Coach AJ! 🙂

While I was warming up, I managed a very good TTB, followed closely by an almost successful 2nd rep. Rob Black, I’m definitely coming for you! (Rob and I have a friendly competition going: 1st one to manage 10 TTB consecutively. He’s been cheating lots by doing lots of Team comps, so I don’t feel bad at all at practicing my TTB!)

Skill: Back Squat 3×10 E2M

I had gone up to 100# last time on these and managed to get a little higher today with a last set at 105#. My reps were: 95#-100#-105#. The last set was hard, but I tried to keep my chest up as best I could and really keep my knees out as well on the up. I think I managed ok.

WOD: Flash

It was all women except for Mike today and I felt bad for him because we all started talking about bladder leakage and well, he couldn’t really relate, could he? To keep with the topic, I received this email yesterday. My heart always sinks when I get this email from my period-tacking app. Maybe I should just remove the app, but then, how would I track my cycle?

Worst email ever...

Worst email ever…

Ok, back to Crossfit

This looked like it was going to be easy on paper, but man, it did me in. My quads were pretty beat up from the squats and I had nothing in me. I have been trying to up my weights during the WODs to 65# (I used to do 55# all the time) and I’m not sure if it’s because I was using that weight or because of my less-than-desired nutrition, but I did not do very well on this one, at all! Here were my times for each rounds:

1:41 – 2:00 – 2:11 – 2:11

After my second round, Coach AJ told me to start again at the 5min mark so I could get some rest. It was a blow on the ego for sure, but I had a cutie who kept smiling at me and kept cheering me on with her enthusiastic “Go Maman!, Go maman! so I really didn’t have any other choices than to smile back and pick up the darn barbell back up. Ugh! Kids! Can’t fail in front of them and certainly cannot give up either, because what would I be teaching them then?!?

That’s exactly what I did, I picked up the barbell and managed through my 3rd round. Thank God Coach AJ was there to tell me to pick it back up. I’m honestly not sure I would have otherwise. That was such a hard WOD for me. 3 round wasn’t better so I took until 8mins to rest and then picked it back up for the last round. It was ugly, but I finished it and added my best and worst rounds for a total of 3:52. Before the WOD started, we were joking that I could easily bring this WOD to 10-mins, even though there was a time cap of 8min. See Coach AJ, I told you I would do this one in 10 mins! Lol! Who’s part of the special Crossfit class now?!? I am!

I cleaned up after Béatrice and came back home, ready for a shower.

Sweaty and tired, but yet, I still have to entertain this little munchkin!

Sweaty and tired, but yet, I still have to entertain this little munchkin!

Once I was done with the shower, it was time to go get Rina new running shoes as well as a mattress cover for Béatrice’s new mattress. She has now graduated to a big girl bed and we have new furniture for her room as well. I’ve been cleaning bed sheets, etc and my legs still haven’t fully recovered from the skill/WOD. I am very much looking forward to sitting on the couch and not doing anything after the girls have gone to bed. Until then, I mother on and plan on cleaning up that diet of mine (aka working on paleo)! Lol!

 

Barbells and Princesses

I had such a full day yesterday!

Crossfit in the morning followed by more house cleaning (I’m almost done deep cleaning the kitchen), interrupted with a lovely at-home pedicure by a mobile pedicurist /fellow crossfitter, more cleaning and finally, falling asleep on the couch while “watching” TV.

After I made my way to my bed, I woke up at 0500 and got ready for Oly lifting class this morning, because it’s “just lifting”!

Photo 2015-08-27, 5 53 29 AM

The tall snatch was a struggle with just the empty bar and it’s still something I need to work on. Why is everything snatch-related such a struggle? I guess we all have our weaknesses and the snatch truly is one of mine.

Since I missed the last testing session, I’m still using 65# as my 1RM for the snatch and that meant I used 55# today for the Snatch EMOM x 10 @85%. I think it went well overall, but I was feeling fatigued on my last rep.

For the hang clean, I really wanted to attempt 90# on my last set, just to prove to myself that I could do it without catching it on my sternum. Coach Caleb wanted us to focus on not dropping the bar in-between reps and get back into the hook grip.

My

My “wings” (as Ben calls my bruise) are healing nicely. And yes, I know, I look exhausted!

Everything went peachy until my 6th set. I managed all my reps without hesitation and after a pointer from Coach Caleb, I reminded myself to keep my chest and elbows up in the catch. When I got to 90#, I was in my head and really afraid of failing the lift.

1st attempt: failed.

I came back to the bar and approached it. Pick up the bar. Exhale. Inhale. Block breath, dip and lift.

2nd attempt: failed.

I walked away from the bar. Sat on the bench for about 30s, then approached the bar again. Pick up the bar. Exhale. Inhale. Block breath, dip and lift.

3rd attempt: failed.

This time, I sat down right away and had a chat with myself. I knew I could do it, I had managed 2 reps earlier this week. Yeah, I’m tired, but I can totally do this. Just get to the bar and DO IT! You just need to drop into the squat to catch it.

Approach the bar. Set my hands. Pick up the bar. Exhale. Inhale. Block breath, dip and lift.

4th attempt: 1st lift successful! I wanted to celebrate, but there was still another lift to do. I reset the bar on my hips and reset my hook grip. Dang! That bar is heavy. All you have to do is repeat what you just did! You got this. I can barely hold on to the bar! Just do it, don’t think about it. JUST DO IT!

Hook grip. Exhale. Inhale. Block breath, dip and lift.

2nd lift caught very deep at the bottom of the squat and I was afraid I would crumple into the bottom, but I managed to push out of it and managed my 2nd lift! I threw that bar on the floor and was beaming! I had just done 2 reps at my 1RM C&J!!! Whoot! Whoot! Also, that was a 15# PR from my previous attempt at this only 3 short months ago!

Photo 2015-08-27, 7 17 19 AM

I couldn’t stop smiling! Looks like even though I’m exhausted, I can still find it in me to push hard and improve!

I came back home for a shower and a hearty breakfast before taking the girls to Hatley Castle for their surprise Princess Day! No cleaning today, I’m taking a break from being a housekeeper and I’m taking time to rest and enjoy my last few days off before my vacation is over! We went to pick up Nanny as I had asked her if she wanted to come with us (not to work, but to enjoy the day and be tourist in her new town).

The day had started a bit cloudy and cooler, but the sun came out and the heat did too. I chose to only pay for the garden tour as I highly doubted the girls’ attention span would last enough for the indoor guided tour. I think it was the best decision, even though I will have to go back one day to visit the inside of the castle.

We toured the Italian garden, the Japanese garden, the Rose garden and the green houses. The photographer in me had a blast taking some shot and editing them. Below is just a small sample of the 140+ shots I took today! 😉

Tidal Pools And Black Bears, But No Starfish

We all got up early this morning as we were on a mission. I had seen a post on Facebook advertising that some very low tides would be happening in Port Renfrew and we were hoping to go explore the tidal pools at Botanical Beach. I thought it could be a fun family activity to do since Rina is spending the month talking about the ocean and ocean wildlife at preschool. We left a little later than originally planned and after a quick stop for breakfast, I took the wheel we hit the road towards Port Renfrew. It had been a while since I had actually driven towards the Juan de Fuca Trail (I usually let Ben do the driving) and it was nice to drive my car along the winding road. Rina complained mildly that she “had been in the car forever” and she was really hoping to see some starfishes today (we didn’t see any 😦 ).

Once we finally arrived to the parking lot, we organized our back packs and snacks, put on our hiking boots and I got Béatrice in the hiking backpack before hoisting her (all 25# of her + about 10# of backpack) onto my back. We made our way down the trail towards the beach and after yesterday’s Crossfit workout, it took no time at all for me to feel my sore lower back from the deadlifts and my sore shoulders from the thrusters. Add to that a little quad burn from having to go downhill with all that extra weight. Once we got on the beach, Béatrice refused to walk so I just kept carrying her.  Here are some pictures I took today while we explored the tidal pools:

So many tidal pools to explore!

So many tidal pools to explore!


Rina navigating the tidal pools

Rina navigating the tidal pools


Ben, guiding Rina

Ben, guiding Rina


Anemone in a tidal pool

Anemone in a tidal pool


Rock cliff wall

Rock cliff wall


Detail of the rock cliff wall. I love the play of the sun and shadows and all the different colors

Detail of the rock cliff wall. I love the play of the sun and shadows and all the different colors


Daddy and his girls. Pay attention to where we are and the driftwood in the background...

Daddy and his girls. Pay attention to where we are and the driftwood in the background…


Mama bear appears on the driftwood moments after I took the previous shot!

Mama black bear appears on the driftwood moments after I took the previous shot!


She wasn't alone! Her 2 cubs were with her!

She wasn’t alone! Her 2 cubs were with her!

We kept our distances while Mama and her cubs made their way towards the shoreline. They fed a little while we had a little snack as well, but both Ben and I kept a close eye on the furry party. We were far from them, but we were still nervous about sharing the beach with them. Once the cubs were done feeding, they retreated to the woods and that’s when we decided to pack up and make our way back, away from Mama bear. We figured she’d be somewhat docile while her cubs were with her, but she might get a little more nervous once they retreated into the woods and we didn’t want to take any chances.

Béatrice refused to walk and after Ben carried her in his arms for a while, Rina wanted to be picked dup as well so I took Béatrice back onto the back pack. It was a lot harder to go back up the trail than it was to go down and I worked up a sweat in no time. I could also feel it in my hip flexors and I was glad when we finally arrived back to the car. We changed into our flip-flops and Ben drove us back. It took about 45 mins before the girls and I fell asleep in the car! 😉 We made our usual pit stop in Sooke at Mom’s Cafe and grabbed some food. We then got back into the car and nobody fell asleep this time!

The girls are now in bed, I had a quick bath to wash away the sweat, but I didn’t wash my hair. I’m now sitting on the couch, next to the window and every time the breeze picks up, I can smell the ocean in my hair. I will leave you with this song. It is one of my favourite Bob Marley cover of all time and it brings back some very fond memories of a weekend spent in Ottawa with my good friend Joanne. It is somewhat fitting with its title: High Tide or Low Tide!

New Traditions

We celebrated Christmas yesterday morning by having breakfast with my in-laws (eggs, sausages and coffee) and then, we all sat in the living room and opened up presents. I have to admit I had so much fun watching the girls opening up their presents. There truly is something magical about re-discovering Christmas though the eyes of a child. I was just as happy as Rina when she opened up the box containing her purple unicorn and to see Béatrice kissing her own pink unicorn was priceless:

Full of love!

Full of love!

After the gift opening, we took everyone for a walk to the closest playground for some fun in the chilly Christmas day:

Her gorgeous brow eyes!

Her gorgeous brow eyes!

Rosy cheeks from the crisp air!

Rosy cheeks from the crisp air!

She kept singing: "Up in the sky!" when I was pushing her on the swing!

She kept singing: “Up in the sky!” when I was pushing her on the swing!

No snow for us, but plenty of dead leaves on the ground for Christmas

No snow for us, but plenty of dead leaves on the ground for Christmas

I would have posted some pics of Rina, but she was making a grumpy face on all the shots I took of her yesterday 😦

We were also able to live some of the Christmas magic as I was able to convince Ben to go walk downtown Victoria to go see the Christmas lights in action at the Parliament. You see, my wonderful husband doesn’t like it when we do non-physical family activities, so I had a bit of convincing to do, but with the help of my in-laws, we all packed up in two cars and headed downtown. It was perfect! Seeing as it was December 25 and around 4-5pm, there was barely anybody in the streets, making it easy to find parking and take wonderful pictures of the deserted streets. Below are some of my favourite shots I took:

The Parliament is on the left, blurry

The Parliament is on the left, blurry on purpose

Some of the Parliament buildings, all lit up.

Some of the Parliament buildings, all lit up.

The Empress Hotel from the Inner Harbour

The Empress Hotel from the Inner Harbour

The Inner Harbour

The Inner Harbour

Christmas day sunset on the Inner Harbour

Christmas day sunset on the Inner Harbour

The moon, the Parliament and the Inner Harbour

The moon, the Parliament and the Inner Harbour

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!

This morning, I was able to lounge in bed for a bit before I had a hearty breakfast and headed out for the Box for this:

Skills: Back Squat 6×3 E2M

I paired up with Tracey for these. My last PR for these were at 110#. I was going for 115#, but my math being what it is, I ended up my 6th round at 120# and even though my last rep was hard and I struggled to come out from the bottom, I managed to do it! Yay! A 10# PR on a 3-rep isn’t too shabby! The amazing Tracey managed 150#!!! I was in awe! She made it look easy too! Something to aspire to, fo’ sho’!

WOD: Baseline

This one is a basic one for our Box. I had first done it at the beginning of my On-Ramp program and finished in 7:55, using the black (widest) band and doing knee push-ups. The last time I did it was at the end of my On-Ramp program and I had done it in 6:55, using the black band and doing my HRPU from my knees. We had to separate into two heats today and I was part of the second one. I took two short breaks during the air squats (one after 10 reps, just to catch my breath, the other after 25 reps, to stretch my hip flexors a bit) and managed to do all the sit-ups unbroken. I was struggling through the push-ups, but I managed to do them all full HRPU, no knee push-ups for me, no siree! 😉 I then moved onto the pull-ups and they were hard. I broke them into 3-3-2-2. I finished in 7:35. Smack between my 2 previous times, but really, this was a PR for me as well, considering I did all my HRPU Rx and used way smaller bands for my pull-ups! A good day of hard work! 🙂 When the girls wake up from their nap, we will be going out to buy our new sectional for our living room! I’m so thrilled to say that I will finally be rid of our futon! It has served us well over the years, but at 36-years-old, I am ready for a REAL couch in my life! 🙂

I hope you all have a wonderful Holiday season! Mine just keeps getting better and better!

New Skills

This morning, I awoke to something new at the box: my very first Skills Plus class.

I have been wishing for this to happen for a while now and the day was finally here. These class focus on olympic lifting and work through the progression and form of the lift in more depth than we do in regular class. Up to now, these classes were only offered in the evening and it was impossible for me to attend them as I’m too busy / tired with the girls in the evening. However, the box has now created a 0600 Skill Plus class and Coach Cam has agreed to let me attend even though I don’t quite fit the criteria : you need to attend 6 months of 3 days/week training  (I have 16 months at 2 days/week) and be able to do most WODs at the Rx level (hum, say what? I do FG most of the time).

I must admit, I was glad to see all familiar faces as I walked in this morning since I felt like the biggest fraud showing up for a Skills Plus class. We needed to know our 1RM for the squat snatch(35#) and squat clean and jerk (65#). I know. My numbers are not impressive, but I’m here to learn and what better place to improve than in a lifting class!?! On the other side, Ben thought it was hilarious whenever I said snatch or clean & jerk when I came back home and was talking about my lifting session today. For once, he didn’t stop me from talking about Crossfit! 😉

I had so much fun working on these this morning. The squat snatch DOES NOT come naturally at all. I was going to warm-up with the 15# bar and Coach Caleb stopped me dead in my track and told me to warm up with an empty 35# bar. Yikes! Warming up with my previous 1RM. I was afraid of tiring quickly, but I managed to increase my weights by quite a lot on this one. Here were my reps:

45-45-50-55 and a very ugly rep at 60# so I’m no-repping myself on that one and therefore achieving a new 1RM at 55# (20# PR)

The squat clean & jerk came a little bit easier and it felt way more natural. Here were my reps:

55-60-65-70 and, again, one failed attempt at 75#. Coach Caleb made me repeat it as I didn’t even get the clean part properly. On the repeat, I managed to do it, but it was all broken down into sections and not flowing at all so, I no repped myself again and still come out with a new 1RM (5#PR). I’m very much looking forward to going to these classes again. I’m so glad I finally get the chance to attend and improve on my lifts! If you can’t already tell, I am one very happy Crossfitter right now! 🙂

I came back home and got the girls downstairs while I got breakfast ready. I was hoping to give Ben a break since he stayed home with a nasty cough last night and coughed for most of the night. I really wanted him to sleep in, but he got up quite early (0800) all things considered. I made pancakes for Rina and eggs for myself (a version of huevos rancheros and scrambled for Béa).

I’ve been reading up on the Zone diet and although I’m not done reading all the principles and calculations behind it, I’ve tried to apply it to my menus with the help of menus suggestions provided by Formula Zone. I’m not quite there yet, but I’ve lost 1.5lbs this week and 0.5% body fat. Hopefully, I’ll get the hang of things and it will become second nature quickly!

Once I was done cleaning and doing laundry, I took the girls to play outside and ride their trikes around the block and around the house. I love the perfect fall lighting after it’s been raining, it makes for the best lighting for close-up portraits!

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Marital Thanks

It is Thanksgiving here in Canada and I thought I would take this opportunity to give thanks to the most important and amazing man in my life: my husband.

We both work crazy schedules and hours and he is most understanding of my need to escape and get some alone time. Lately, I’ve been struggling with being a full-time mother and although I love my daughters to no end, I also sometimes wish I wasn’t a mom. Let’s get real here.

We moved 5000km away from friends and family 6 years ago and have made the decision to start a family knowing full-well that we wouldn’t have any family support. We are adults and understand the consequences to our decision, but that doesn’t mean it’s always a walk in the park. Wanna go out for coffee with your friends? Oh wait, either you drag along the kiddlets (forget about uninterrupted grown-up talk) or, even worst, even going together as a couple since that involves getting a babysitter (make that coffee about $25 please and thank you).

Yesterday, I was trying to explore our neighbourhood and going out to see a park with some walking trails. I was trying to capture some of the fall foliage with my camera and decided to give my husband a break by taking both girls to the park with me and luring them by calling it a “hiking park”. I packed Béatrice in the hiking backpack (it’s mostly uphill from our house to the park) and carried her until we got to the park. Once there, I let her walk since the grounds were mostly levelled. We did very little exploring because as soon as we hit the trails, Rina had “to go poopoo” even though I asked her repeatedly if she needed to go before we left home. I asked her if she could hold it in for a little bit and her answer was “Maybe”. Hmmm.  A bit dodgy coming from an almost 4-year-old.

A few minutes of snapping some shots and walking around exploring before I recognized the all too familiar wiggle of the “I need to go” quickly followed by some whining and more wriggling about (is she a human or a dog?!?) before she finally announced she “really had to go now”.

I didn’t have any bags with me, wipes or any toilet paper and this child has been hiking since she was a newborn, so we did the natural thing: I dropped her pants down in a bushy area, got her to squat and she did her business in the grass while I foraged for some wet leaves to wiper her bum with… See what I mean? A little 1hr-long walk and you can’t even leave the house without an arsenal of equipment! 😉 After that little poopisode, Rina was pretty much done with hiking and wanted to go back home. Here are a few of my shots before we made our way back home

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So this morning, I was very thankful for my lovely husband to let me off the hook for the morning. I got to go to Crossfit AND coffee with a friend without having to worry about the girls. I knew he would get them to run around the squash club chasing and hitting balls with rackets (perks of marrying a squash pro) and I got some greatly needed “me-time”. Did the girls have McDonald’s cupcakes and cookies for lunch? They sure did! Do I mind? Not one bit! It’s all about give and take and I needed alone time more than I needed my kids fed nutritious foods. I’m very grateful for my husband taking notice that I was in dire need of some alone time and for him to make sure I TOOK this time for myself. It’s not always easy parenting when you live away from family, but having a wonderful and understanding husband helps a ton. I am grateful to have you in my life and to give me breaks when I need them. Babe, you truly are the best and although I nag and complain a lot, know that I love you and am tremendously grateful to have you in my life. I wouldn’t have it any other way, good days and bad ones! 🙂

Skill: Handstands and Kipping Pull-ups

I chose to work on those two skills for the 15 mins. I started with the kipping pull-ups. I was trying to make them a bit more challenging seeing as I’ve been using the red and blue bands for a long time now. I tried doing them with the red only, but no such luck. I had to add the purple band to it as well. I managed to string 3 in a row and once I got to talking to Coach France about the movement, I got too much in my head and focused about the pushing back down and couldn’t figure it out anymore. I’ll just need to practice them more!

As for the handstands, I managed to prop myself up on the wall very easily and according to Laura, My kick-up was very fluid and graceful. It felt good and almost felt like I won’t need the wall for much longer. Once I stabilized off the wall, I also managed a few reps of balancing on my own! 🙂 Progress!

WOD: Turkey Trot

This one was tough and I somehow knew running would be involved in today’s WOD. I even called it to Ben last night before the WOD was posted! 😉

I did the FG2 with the following modifications: 5 rounds for time of

  • 400m run with a 14# ball
  • 15 Taters with a 26#KB

The 3rd round was the hardest and although I was completely exhausted and dead last to finish, the 5th round was good. I managed to run for the entire stretch. Mind you, I don’t know if walking with a slight bounce could be qualified as running, but that’s what I did nonstop before heading back inside and doing the Taters non-stop as well. Looking back, I feel like I should have strategize a little better and set a goal for this WOD: either run all the rounds non-stop or do my Taters non-stop for every rounds. I feel like I was all over the place with both parts of this WOD and it might have been my demise. I brought back the rear and finished in 25:49. Good times!

I wish all my Canadian a happy Thanksgiving and may you be as lucky as I am to have an understanding partner who allows you to focus on yourself once in a while! 🙂

 

Fogtober Dreams and Ocean Breeze

After I was granted a LOA (Leave of Absence = an unpaid day off) for my night shift yesterday, I had a peaceful night in my bed. When my alarm went off this morning, I was right in the middle of a dream where I was hanging out with my girl (Camille Leblanc-Bazinet), just enjoying a beach day.

Source

Beach day with my girl crush… In my dreams! Source

I took it as a sign and got myself ready for the Box. I remember when I would wake up in the morning and dread getting ready for the workout. Now, I do it automatically. It’s become part of my routine and I don’t even question it anymore. It’s just something I do, without any doubt or question. Even if I know what the WOD is in advance, I rarely dread it anymore. I just show up and give it my all. No more questioning why I’m doing this to myself, but instead, I look at it at my chance to better myself. It’s something I am now looking forward to and it’s become easy to make it a priority in my schedule!

Skill: I’m still struggling with the snatch and OHS. Never mind combining the two together! 😉 I warmed up with 35# and ended up with only 40# before my bar. Form before weight.

WOD: IntervOHS 2

Pretty straightforward.  6 rounds of 4 x Hang Squat Snatch (40# for me) + 8 Box jumps (20″) on a 2-min timer. Your score is total of your fastest and slowest times together. Here were my rounds:

  1. 1:03
  2. 1:04
  3. 0:58
  4. 0:57
  5. 0:54
  6. 0:55

Total score = 1:57

I struggled with my 1st two rounds. Getting the bar stabilized overhead was eluding me and therefore, I was doing hang power snatch + OHS for those rounds. Then, it sort of clicked that I had to get under the bar all while pressing the bar overhead. It got a little easier, but it was still challenging at 40#.

I have to say, I’m looking forward to 2 days of rest. My legs are simply beat this week. From my glutes to my hamstrings and quads.  I’m very much looking forward to stretching and mobilizing throughout the weekend, whiteout doing a WOD. On the plus side, I guess all this soreness means I’m using my legs properly when squatting and lunging! 🙂

As I walked out of the Box after the WOD, the fog had rolled in, bringing with it the lovely sea breeze from the ocean, very much typical of October on the island. The parking lot smelled like the ocean. One perk to coastal / island living in Canada! 😉 Here was the view when I parked back home:

Fogtober at its best!

Fogtober at its best!

Also, I made a little u-turn to snap this picture on my way home. I drove past that scene and thought it was too cute to pass by without taking a picture:

Biker Chick!

Biker Chick!

Hope you all enjoy your long weekend and Happy (Canadian) Thanksgiving!