Beast Mode!

I got up early today to get Rina ready for school and as soon as she got up, she came to our bedroom for a muscle flexing throwdown. That’s her new thing lately, she flexes and show me her big muscles. I think she puts as much tension in her face as she does in her biceps! It kills me every time!

So intense!

So intense… Beast Mode!

I cropped out the pic in order to avoid child nudity and what you can’t see in the background is my husband in bed, half awake with a look on his face that says “What the …”! also priceless!

We made it to the bus stop in time, but I swear, that bus gets there earlier and earlier everyday! I ran some quick errands and came back home to get ready for the WOD:

I warmed up and decided to try a TTB on the rig. Something magical happened! I managed one rep on my 1st attempt! After 2 years, I could finally √ that one off my goal list! I was so freaking happy, I may have done a cartwheel! I tried to get a second one and it didn’t happen, but still I was pumped!

Skill: (Widowmaker) Back Squat 1×20

I had been texting with Kathleen and she strongly recommended I used 85# for these, even though I was planning on using 78#. Whaddyaknow! Apparently, friends know me better than I know myself since it felt like I sandbagged it a little. I think I could have gone up to 87.5# or even 90#. The last 2 reps were a bit more of a struggle, but otherwise, it was good.

As for the WOD itself, it was a no score one, but I kept a tally of my reps & cals/rounds and here’s what I ended up scaling down to:

  • Ring rows: 8-7-7-9
  • walking lunges with KB (26#): 11-11-12-13
  • L-sits (instead of strict TTB): 7-8-8-8
  • Row (cals): 7-7-7-8
  • HSPU (from box): 7-8-8-4

On my last round of the HSPU, I didn’t position my hands properly and wasted a lot of time trying to get a rep in, to finally reposition my hands and get going. Oh well, I’ve been on a high ever since I’ve come back home. To look back and reminisce about how frustrated I was 2 years ago to not be able to roll my back on the foam roller because I had no abdominal strength whatsoever, to now finally getting my 1st TTB and doing L-sits is pretty amazing to me. I love how I keep getting stronger and fitter with time by doing Crossfit. I’m so glad I’ve finally found what works for me AND I love doing it and breaking my own limits day in and day out!

I came back home and did some housewifey stuff (food prep for the week, laundry, watched Frozen with Béa and sang the songs with her!, welcomed Rina back from the school bus, you know, the usual!)

Now, I plan on putting the hot water bottle on my back and trying to schedule a chiro appointment (my sciatic has been bugging me for a bit) and see if that could help!

 

What Have I Done To Myself?

I had plans with Kath to meet up at her Jim’s Gym for a post-marital WOD today (Kath and Jim got hitched earlier this week 😉 ) Unfortunately, I had probably the crappiest sleep in a long while last night. Here’s how it went:

2130: in bed reading. Dozing off about 10 mins later, so I turned down and fell asleep quickly.

0100: wide awake. I read in bed, hoping it would help me fall back asleep.

0300: Finally dozing off, only to be awaken by the smoke detector going off right outside our bedroom. The nice thing is Ben woke up this time around, so I wasn’t alone awake this time.

0330: Just as I was dozing off (again), Béa woke up crying, asking to “rock with mommy”. She was holding on so tight to my neck that I made sure to hug her tight before putting her back into bed

0400: Dozed off, only to be woken up by Ben snoring. I grabbed my pillow, sweater, slippers and eye mask and made my way downstairs. It was cooler down there, so it took me a while to get comfortable (hood on my head, 2 wool blankets, eye mask on) and I was off for some sweet slumbers.

0625: Rina comes downstairs and wakes me up, shortly followed by Béa. They both tried to cuddle with me and I finally gave up on sleep after Béatrice wouldn’t stop digging into my leg with her toes.

I got up, showered and started laundry before we all headed out for breakfast with Grandma who is visiting from Ontario. We got some groceries on the way back and then I got ready to go meet Kathleen at her place.

I had asked Kathleen is we could do the Friday WOD from the Box since it had running in it and I felt like challenging myself.

Who is this person ASKING to run???

Who is this person ASKING to run???

When I arrived, Kath showed me the few running options we had for the 2nd part of the WOD and I chose the out-and-back with the steep hill at the beginning. We then warmed up for a bit and then moved the barbells in the backyard. I was debating using 55# or 60# for the bar work and I’m glad I settled on the 60# because I felt like I was sandbagging it after 3-4 rounds. I probably should have gone up to 65# or even 70# in order to really get some work done. It was nice to work outside though and we both did our work and chatted in-between sets. Her “garage gym” is pretty impressive and I felt lucky to be able to work out with a good friend on such a hot sunny day. I was slowly dreading the 2nd part of the WOD and was trying to not let my head win over my determination.

We determined a line in the middle of the street as our starting point and Kathleen took off on her gazelle legs. I could see her putting the distance between us, but I wasn’t upset about it. It wasn’t a competition between us two and I was kind of happy to see if I could run my longest distance since starting Crossfit all by myself. Don’t get me wrong, I love when some of my fellow Crossfitters join me on my runs, but today was going to be a true testament as to what I was made of. Just my legs and my head. Who was gonna win?

That hill came about quickly. It was something else though and it felt like it would never end. Looking back on the elevation graph, it was probably more daunting for this crappy runner than it really was:

Screen Shot 2015-08-02 at 4.19.30 PM

Yep! Just a small hill after all!

Once I got over the hill, I picked up the pace a little and kept an eye out on the address Kathleen had given me as our turnaround point. I had it written down on my thigh with a dry-erase marker, to make sure I would remember. Kathleen came back and gave me another visual pointer for the turnaround point and kept making her way back to her place. I had yet to reach the turnaround point and although it was really hot, I felt like I could maybe do this. I finally reached the turning point and started making my way back. It felt like more downhill and I was trying to pick-up the pace a little without losing control of my short little legs. Regulating my breath on the faster pace was hard and I managed to get a good rhythm going.

Kathleen was done and she came back to provide encouragement. She told me I was in at 9:15 and urged me to lengthen my stride and pick up the pace. I felt like I had nothing left and said so out loud. Kathleen would have none of this nonsense and urged me to keep going. I chugged along, picked up the pace and crossed the line in the street before putting my hands on my knees and chasing my breath. Kath told me my time: 9:56!

I was so freaking proud of that time! I used to average 13:00/km back in 2011 and now, I had just done a mile (1600m) in 9:54! Don’t get me wrong, there’s no way I could have sustained that pace for very long, but if you compared that when I started Crossfit 2 years ago, I had to sub running for 200m run-walk, I’m pretty happy with where I am today! Not to forget that it was after doing some barbell work!

After I caught my breath, I was overwhelmed with this proud feeling of great accomplishment! We went back inside and Kath lent me some books that I could take with me on our Cuban vacation. I cooled off a bit and came back home to shower and finish up laundry. I fuelled up on a delicious lunch and am now feeling my legs getting slightly heavy. We are all relaxing on the deck and I’m kind of looking forward to bedtime! Tomorrow, we have a little hike planned for early morning! Here’s to a great way to spend the long weekend!

Where I’m At

Something weird happened this morning:

My alarm woke me up!

My alarm woke me up!

I got dressed, ate my snack and made my way to the Box. As I got there, I realized that in 5 days, I will celebrate my 2 years of doing Crossfit! I will do my recap post below because I have time to do so today, but for now, here’s what we did at the Box:

WOD: Pull Popper

I had done this WOD before, back in March and I knew what to expect. I teamed up with Lara and Telsey and they suggested we use 55#!!! I told them to do a few reps with an empty bar to get the feel of it and I wasn’t going any higher than 45# (I had done 40# back in March). My teammates chose to stay at 35# and it was a smart decision! I started us off on the erg and my 1st two rounds were so strong! I kept my pace anywhere between 1:50-1:59/500m and I even saw 1:49 at one point! It scared me a little because I didn’t want to gas out. The snatches were hard and I had to break them into sets of 5 and even did some 3-2 sets thrown in there. Because we didn’t have the big bumper plates on our bars, we had to do erghop burpees. I did all mine Rx, except for one rep in my third round. That 3rd round almost did me in. I was slower on my 1st row, I wanted to quit on the snatches as well as on the burpees and the last row was slow in comparison (2:06-2:10/500m). I used my rest time to reset my mindset and switch it around. Even though I was slower on the last round, I was giving it my all and once I was done, I stepped outside in the cooler air, dropped to my hands and knees, liked that the concrete felt so cool and decided to just belly flop onto it in order to catch my breath and cool off. I was breathing so heavy, my throat still hurts. It literally took me close to an hour after I was done before the nausea subsided. I came close to Pukie the clown a few times, but managed to keep everything down. We finished in 42:49 and although it took us longer than on my previous attempt, I know that my partners gave it their all! Telsey was so freakin’ strong on the erg and Lara made the snatches look easy and flawless.

I came home, went straight to bed and cuddled next to my husband. the thought of washing my hair made me want to scream (arms over head? I don’t think so) and the calluses in my hands were burning so bad. I still can’t do a hyper-extension of my fingers as it pulls too much on the calluses. I can just walk around with claw hands for today, I’m cool with that!

True story!

True story!

OK! Back to serious business: My 2-year anniversary at Crossfit! I can’t believe I have kept this up for so long! For the first time in my life, I have been consistently physically active. Not only that, I now plan my life around the times I can squeeze in a workout. Working out has become a priority in my life (Who am I? Really???) and it is now second nature to wake up before any other creature does in order to go sweat my little(r) butt out! (Who am I kidding, I don’t have a little butt, I squat for goodness’ sake!)

In order to keep the tradition alive, here’s is my comparison in numbers and pictures:

Screen Shot 2015-07-17 at 9.04.04 AM

As you can see, I haven’t lost much weight. Really, some people lose that amount of weight just thinking about it (Ahem, my husband!). 11.4lbs is nothing. I know some other people would probably have way more dramatic results, but this is me on MY journey. I have to say, I am so freakin’ proud of where I am today: I work full-time (shift work), have two young daughters, a husband whom I adore and still manage to keep up with this madness that I’ve come to love! Plus, a total of 12.5″ of fat loss isn’t anything to spit at either! Wanna see what those numbers look like in pictures?

2015-07-17

Here it is!

I don’t really like to look at my Day 1 pictures. Not because of my physical appearance, but look at my facial expression. You can tell that I really struggled through those pics. I was not in a good place mentally (never mind physically) and I’m pretty sure depression wasn’t too far off my radar. I’m so, so glad I walked into Crossfit VicCity on the day that I did. I may not be at my best physically, but man am I stronger mentally and emotionally. I honestly cannot see the day when I won’t want to wake up at 0500 in order to go shed some blood, sweat and tears with my second family. I’m so happy with where I’m at because even though I’m still pudgy in some areas, I am comfortable in who I am because I know what my pudgy body can accomplish. And for that reason, I will strut my stuff in my bikini in a few weeks on the Cuban beaches!

Like I said, I am stronger mentally and walk taller too. I know I can carry both my kids up the stairs at the same time and that gives me confidence that I am doing the right thing in order to be the best mom and wife I can be. Realizing that, I know I have ticked the biggest goal on my Crossfit Goal list!

What will the next 2 years will have in store for me? Stick around! I know I’m excited to find out!

One Of Those Weeks

This week has been one of those weeks. You know the ones: Your workouts couldn’t have gone any better, you train hard, eat clean-ish, get some rest, spend quality time with the kiddos and make the most of it. Today is my last day off before going back to work tomorrow and I have yet another lovely day planned. Coffee with a friend all while letting the girls running in the water fountain at Uptown. Then, getting some groceries and stuff at Walmart, finishing up laundry and preparing for work tomorrow.

Already, I feel accomplished. This morning was Oly lifting class and I was mentally prepared for Clean & Jerk testing week. We kept the same pattern as we did for the Snatch last week and I was struggling a bit more with the rep scheme, but it went really well in the end. Here’s what we had to do:

  • 3x@75%
  • 3x@80%
  • 2x@85%
  • 2x@90%
  • 1x@95%
  • 1x@100%

Since my 1RM for the C&J is 80#, below are the weights I worked with:

Photo 2015-05-21, 6 16 15 AM

I had to modify some of the weights (either rounding up or down), but it worked well. The numbers on the right are just time cues for me to start my reps at. On my 1st set at 70#, Coach Caleb came by and told me I was doing a weird jerking motion from the ground up. I needed to slow my pull from the shin to the knee in order to work that kink out. I did and managed to do all my rounds, up to 80#.

Coach Caleb told me to switch and put 25# plates on my bar, but I knew that would psych me out, so I kept the 15# and added 2×10# on each side for my test. We had 3 attempts for a 1RM and I went for 85# on my 1st attempt and nailed it. I was so excited that I dropped the bar before bringing my feet back under my shoulders. Oops! I asked Coach Caleb if he wanted me to repeat it and he said to just increase my weight on the bar.

I obliged him and went up to 90#. I was starting to fatigue and coming out of the squat was hard. I managed to do it, I jerked it (and didn’t forget about my feet) and dropped that bar to the floor! Yes! 10# PR! Apparently, I do a little nod before I throw the bar down. I guess that’s my way of acknowledging that I destroyed this weight, now I will drop it like a fly! BAM!

I then tried to go for 95#.

1st attempt: Tracey recorded my attempts. When I reviewed the video, I saw that I could totally pull it high enough, but I wasn’t committing to dropping under the bar. Sounds familiar since I struggle with the same issue on my Snatch.

2nd attempt: Same thing happened here. Pulled high enough, didn’t drop. I had a chat with myself, trying to convince me that the worst I could do would be drop on my bum, so, just commit to it already!

3rd attempt: After reviewing the video, Coach Caleb noticed I hesitated a fraction of a second on the pull before dropping into the squat. I did drop though, but I fell down, since I wasn’t fast enough. Still! I was super happy I had committed to dropping since that’s a big issue for me.

Failed 95#, but I'm gunning for triple digits!

Failed 95#, but I’m gunning for triple digits!

Like I said, I may have failed at 95#, but I’m hoping to get into the triple digits this year! The perfect end to a perfect week of training. I love how supportive my Crossfit peeps are and how encouraging they are. I may not be at my ideal fitness / weight / appearance, but I feel strong as heck and I’m proud of my achievements this week. Not too shabby for someone who can only attend class 2x/week on a normal basis!

 

Proud Mommy Moment

It’s dinnertime.

Amongst other things, the girls have homemade roasted pumpkin seeds on their plates (they are crazy for them). I have shared the last of our lot between the two of them. Béa finishes hers and asks Rina in her broken english:

Béa: Mina (that’s how she says Rina) share with me?

Rina, splitting her loot with her sister: Before I give you some, what do you say?

Béa: Peas! (Please)

Rina: And now, what do you say BeZU?

Béa: Thank you Mina.

 

We are still working hard on Rina’s please and thank you’s, but it looks like she’ll be helping out with Béa’s! 🙂

W38D3: Your daddy

My sweet Monkey!

I have to say that I’ve had a hard time sleeping over the past couple of nights. I find myself waking up often, having a hard time falling back asleep and therefore, I read and think a lot during my waking hours. Every time I wake up, I go through the same silly routine of asking myself 2 questions: “Did my water break?” quickly followed by “Am I cramping/contracting?” When I answer no to both, I usually get up to go to the washroom and come back to bed to cuddle your dad while I stay awake and catch up on my blog-reading. Repeat the scenario 4-5 times a night and you have a pretty good idea of what my sleeping pattern is.

Sometimes, I just lay in the dark and think about how great my life is. I don’t mean to brag, but you and I are pretty lucky, my little one. I’ve had a very healthy and uneventful pregnancy and I thank the angels that granted me such good fortune. Last night, while I was lying in the dark, listening to your daddy’s steady breathing while he was asleep, I was also thinking about how much I love this man of mine!

As you grow older, we will surely fill you in on how we met over the Internet, how easy it is to just be together, and that, it was from the beginning. Your dad has this uncanny ability to make my heart melt at the most inconvenient times. For example: Last night, while I was having a bout of cramping while lying in bed, your dad thought it would be a good idea to poke and probe at you. Not so much. It just added to the discomfort of the cramping. I just had to give him “the look” to make him understand that it wasn’t the idea of the century and to please leave my belly alone for half a second. He gave me this sheepish/adorable look and I just couldn’t be mad at him and I told him he wasn’t allowed to play tricks on me like that. He also makes me laugh a lot. So much so that our landlord has mentioned it in the past (she lives right above us in the house we live in). She said that we seemed pretty happy as she can hear us laugh a lot and she was happy to hear those burst of laughter coming from our basement suite! I think it’s pure luck that we are great friends on top of being good to one another in our relationship.

Add to this that your dad is quite the hot stud-muffin and I feel very lucky that he loves me the way he does. We might not have the perfect relationship (who does, really?), but we have the perfect relationship that works for us. I am so very proud of him in all his accomplishments. He is currently ranked #118 (out of 1147) in Canadian Squash rankings and he is #36 in the province (out of 1727). I think he thinks he could do better, but as a true groupie, I am very proud of him.

Last night, we took the opportunity of your dad getting off work early because of Remembrance Day to go out for a dinner-date (probably the last one in a little while) and your dad was insisting on picking up the tab. We usually split things equally or I’ll pick up once and he’ll pick up the next time around, but lately, he won’t let me pay for anything. I guess that’s his way of providing for this pregnancy and your imminent arrival! Such a proud papa-bear!

You see, you got very lucky. Your dad is an amazing person and he loves you so very much already. I just thought I’d let you know how lucky you are to have him as a dad. I sure feel like the luckiest on the planet to have him as my husband!

Love,
Mom & Dad Xxo
P.S. Don’t be shy to come out anytime now!