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!

 

Modified Fitness Is Still Fitness

My sciatic has been acting up since Monday and hasn’t let up really. I was limping badly yesterday and even though I did my ROMWOD, foam rolled, LaCrosse-balled it, it is still pinching. I showed up to the Box this morning and didn’t have high hopes of being able to perform the WOD, but after I spoke with Coach France, we came up with a plan of attack on how to modify the WOD and still get a good workout in. The only warning she gave me was: “If it’s not feeling good, don’t push through, just do some push-ups instead.” With those modifications and that one rule, I was ready to go. Anxious, but ready! 😉

I started modifying during the warm-up when the air squats were a bit much for me. I could feel a pinch and therefore, dropped and did push-ups instead.

As for the WOD, here’s what I did instead:

  • 800m run x 1 (non stop, at an easy pace) followed by an AMRAP of
  • 10 x push press @55#
  • 10 burpees (no bar hop for me)

I tried my best to bounce back quickly on the turnarounds on the run, instead of taking a few walking steps, I just pushed off and bounced back into it. I managed to complete only 43 reps of this one, but I was still happy to just be moving at all!

We then had a 10-mins rest before we tackled the second part of the WOD:

  • 1200m on the Airdyne (non-stop and I never let go of the handles either, pretty proud of this new feat!) followed by AMRAP of
  • 10 pullups (blue and purple bands)
  • 10 air squats

I completed 82 reps on this one and it felt good. I know I probably didn’t spend as much energy as everyone else, but like I said, I was sweaty, I worked hard and managed to get some fitness in, even though I had a pretty bad bum bugging me. The air squats felt good on the last part of the WOD, maybe because I was warmed up a bit?

All in all, I was pretty pleased with my work today. The pull-ups were banded perfectly and I was able to string 4 and 3 of them throughout the whole workout. I was in a good place mentally and blocked out all negative self-talk during the workout. The Airdyne was sure challenging, but when it got too much, I just closed my eyes, focused on breathing and kept going. I was truly happy to be able to move and get my heart pumping for a bit!

I am now back home, showered and ready to go to a short meeting at work. When I come back, I will try to book myself a physio appointment and see if they can give me pointers to help out with my sciatic! In the meantime, I will keep up with my ROMWOD tonight, without pushing it. After all, I have my Kitty and Cougar Throwdown comp I need to be ready for with Kathleen! Look for us , we are team Beasty Belles!

Mental Fortitude

Like I mentioned in my previous post, there’s been a lot of stress in our lives recently and there’s been a resurgence of it last night. Ex-Nanny sent me a nasty message on Facebook, calling me names and saying stuff about my husband and children. I won’t share the screen caption because it’s truly not worth it. I know who I am, I am confident in my marriage with my husband and my relationship with my daughters. I won’t lie, I was upset when I first read her message, but that’s probably what she wanted and I won’t play her game. There was plenty I wanted to say to her, but I held back. SHE IS NOT WORTH MY TIME OR ENERGY.

Instead, I used those bottled up emotions as fuel for this morning’s workout.

Skill: Push Press 6×3 E90S

I teamed up with Kristin this morning and we started with 70#. She looked so good doing them! She made it look effortless. She ended up going up to 100# and those looked like easy reps as well. Here’s what I did:

70#-75#-80#-85#-90#-95 (failed my last rep)

I was so close to a new PR! I had to fight for my first 2 reps and failed my last one at 95#. It’s ok though, I still managed to keep my previous PR and considering I hadn’t done these in 9 months, I’m very happy with having kept my progress up!

WOD: Squander

I attacked this one with 3 goals in mind:

  1. do all my running intervals without stopping (a challenge for me on the new running route)
  2. pick up the bar as soon as I get to it and do at least one rep
  3. use 65#

We started off and I stuck to the back of the pack because, well, I’m slow and didn’t want to be in anybody’s way. I stayed at the back of the pack, but I was somewhat keeping up without gassing myself, so I felt good about it. I came back in, picked up the bar, did 2 reps, took a little break and managed the first round.

Back outside for my running. I was pacing myself, trying to take advantage of the downhills in order to lengthen my strides in order to make up for my slow uphill, short strides. Our running route consists of 2 downhills and 2 uphills, finishing up with an uphill. The old running route was an out and back that consisted of an uphill and we came back to the Box on a downhill, so it was easy to “rest” on the last part of the runs. Not so much with the new running route. I struggled, but manage to keep running for the whole interval. Back to the bar for one rep, before resting a bit and finishing up my 2nd round.

I was getting winded, but again, taking advantage of the downhills to recover as much as I could and picking up the speed as well. I came back to the Box at a slow pace, but I was still moving and picked up the bar right away. I kept hearing Kathleen’s voice in my head, saying: “It’s just one rep, Val. Pick it up! Anybody can do just one rep!” It helped! I pushed through, finishing up with 3 reps in a row before heading back out for my last run.

It was hard. I took 2 walking steps and let a car go through at the crosswalk, then picked it up again. The last uphill was slowly doing me in, but I kept pushing through. I probably looked like I was walking, but it felt like running to me! 😉

I came back to my bar, picked it up for 1 rep and dropped it down. I was last, but I didn’t care. I finished my reps and I have to say, I felt really, really good about this WOD. It felt like I took fewer breaks” and the ones that I did take felt shorter. Maybe it’s all in my head, but I don’t care. I was really proud of my performance on this one!

After we were done, I could tell Lara was struggling with how she performed. She was really defeated that she didn’t go for the 4th round. I tried to explain to her that it took me a year before I could put 55# on the bar and she had done 3 rounds with that weight today, with only a few months of doing Crossfit.

More often than not, Crossfit is mental first, physical second. I really wanted to go do the WOD yesterday, but I knew my body needed the rest and proper fuel. I’m so glad I chose to rest yesterday as I felt really good on the WOD today. Since I plan on doing 3 days in-a-row, I think it was the smart decision to rest yesterday.

I had a good day with the girls yesterday, all the way up until bedtime. They had a massive meltdown because I wouldn’t knit them winter hats right then and there. I took this pic, because I’m an #assholeparent (according to ex-Nanny!) She must be right! 😉

Screen Shot 2015-07-15 at 9.47.03 AM

 

 

Shin Guard Musings

Lately, I have been using my shin guards a little more, whether it’s for box jumps or simply for deadlifts (I have shin splints and even just brushing the bar along my shins is painful) and although I have perused the sayings on them, I really paid attention to them yesterday, when I took them out of the wash. Here’s the ones I have and I will elaborate on the motivational quotes that are on them:

 

Here are the quotes on them:

  • The harder you work, the harder it is to surrender
  • Life doesn’t have a dress rehearsal, make it count
  • A goal is a dream with a deadline
  • Luck is the time when preparation and opportunity meet
  • The most powerful weapon on earth is the human soul on fire
  • Work will win when wishing won’t
  • Discipline is remembering what you want
  • When it’s all over, it’s not who you were. It’s whether you made a difference
  • Pain is weakness leaving your body
  • It’s not the will to win but the will to prepare that makes a difference
  • Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm*
  • Pain is nothing compared to what it feels like to quit

I was wearing them again for the WOD this morning (deadlifts) and I felt so at peace. I don’t know if it’s because I was inspired by the quotes or whatnot, but I’m feeling a ton better than I was last week, both physically and mentally and I like where I am right now!

Since we didn’t have any skill work today, we had a longer warm-up and the WOD was pretty much all skills.

 

 

Deadlift 5×3 EMOM: When I had looked at it at home this morning, I was thinking 135# for the DL, but I settled for 105#. I didn’t have time to warm-up for a higher weight and although they felt easy, I was happy with my technique.

Hang power clean + push press 5×3 EMOM: For this one, I chose 60# and I think it was a good weight for me. I wanted to pay more attention to having quick elbows and pushing the elbows out on the hang power clean and the press felt good, yet somewhat challenging towards the end. Maybe I should have gone to 65#…

Hang power snatch + OHS 5×3 EMOM: For this one, I chose 55# and really wanted to take the opportunity to work on my snatch. At 55#, the snatch is challenging and so were the OHS. I really needed to remember to brace my core and block my breath on the squat. The snatch was a bit only for the first 2 sets, but I think it improved on the last 3.

I like barbell work. I like feeling the control needed in order to get the bar to move the way you want it too. I like that it is much more than just lifting the bar, it engages your core, glutes, quads, shoulders, traps, etc. It is so much more intricate than just “lifting the bar overhead” and although I still very much struggle for most lifts, I like the challenge it offers.

A few days ago, the sun was shining bright and I wanted to put my favourite shorts on. To my surprise, they were way too big and I couldn’t locate the only belt I own (which is also too big now):

Photo 2015-04-20, 11 13 56 AM

That only meant one thing: Shopping!

I ended up going to Old Navy with the girls and managed to find a few tank tops and 4 pairs of shorts (shorts that have nothing to do with Crossfit, that is ;)!) To my dismay, I went from a size 12 / large last summer (in the green shorts above) to a size 8 / medium. As for the tops, I went from a medium to a small. I was so happy with the progress! I also realize that my favourite Lululemon shorts and crop leggings are getting too big. I need to cinch the drawstrings to the max and I still have to pull them up all the time. Oh well, I will replace those gradually as they are quite costly $$$!

Last, but not least, Béatrice asked for pig tails this morning and she is just too darn cute for me not to share a few pics with you all (as you can see, I am making the best of my week off with my girls!):

Dancing in the wind

Dancing in the wind

Cuteness overload!

Cuteness overload!

Roar!

Roar!

 

* Having failed A LOT, this is probably my favourite one!

Breathe

After the exhausting day we had yesterday and being up for 30hrs+ straight, I looked at the WOD last night and didn’t feel like going to Crossfit. However I knew I’d feel better just stepping foot into the Box so I forced myself to go. It wasn’t pretty, but I got it done.

I was greeted by a huge hug from Tracey and that opened up my floodgates, but I honestly didn’t care.I expected today to be a release of the said gates and I was ready for it.

Source

Source

Skill: Hang power snatch + OHS x 8

We had done something similar in a Oly class so I started at 50# for 4 reps and bumped it up to 55# for the last 4. My 2 middle reps at 55# were ugly, but I had a self-talk about bracing core, punching the bar up and dropping underneath it and finished off with better form.

WOD: Kitty Paws

I knew this would be hard, but I didn’t know just how hard it would be. I did a combo of TG+, which meant I used a 55# bar and decided on doing 10 DUs for each rounds. I may have been able to do 65, but I wasn’t feeling it at all, being on the verge of tears and all… The first round was uneventful and it took me a long time to get my 10 DUs done. It’s different doing them in my lifting shoes. The second round is where everything started to go downhill. I was tearing up a lot and had a hard time staying focused on the task at hand. I closed my eyes for the single skips and repeated that technique for all the remaining rounds in order to regroup. I honestly can’t tell you my time. I think it was around the 19:00 mark, but I didn’t even look at the clock when I finished. I just sank to my knees, put my head on them and bawled. I just needed to release all the sadness about Duke in order to be strong for the girls today. My goal is to not cry today with them, so I had a good go at it this morning. I was way last to finish and I’m sure people were probably wondering what the heck was wrong with me, but I really didn’t care. I have said it many times before, Crossfit is my therapy. I got my money’s worth today! 😉 After a few minutes, I tried to settle my breathing, taking one breath in, one breath out. I got up, picked up my gear and left.

A wise woman (my mom ;)) once told me to focus on the things I had power to change. I can’t change anything about the Duke situation. I can’t dwell on the “what if’s” and I need to be there for my girls. I need to be strong for them in order to let them feel their emotions about the whole thing. So instead, I will focus on the things I have control over: being a wife, a mom, planning my meals, enjoying my workouts and making the most of my days off with my little family all while breathing, one breath at-a-time.

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

Beetlejuice Hard At Work

I woke up this morning and dragged my feet to the bathroom in order to get ready for the Box. I turned the lights on and this is pretty much what I saw staring back at me in the mirror:

 

Beetlejuice hair!

Beetlejuice hair!

I had a bad case of crazy hair going on! I did a half ponytail which helped little to make matters better, but I honestly couldn’t care at this point. It was 0500 and I was heading in to workout. Nobody expects me to look my best when I do a WOD. Another perk of Crossfit! 😉

Jumana showed up for the early morning class and I hadn’t seen her in a long time! It was nice to see her again and to goof around with her. I paired up with her for the skill.

Skill: Push Press 5×5 E90s

Those were hard and Jumana was crushing it like they were nothing. I was struggling a little more, but I still managed a 5# PR with my last reps being at 85#.

My reps: 65#-70#-75#-80#-85#

There was a lot of us gearing up for the WOD and it made finding a spot on the rig to do my pul-lups a little challenging, but we all figured it out and then we were off.

WOD: Chups

14 min AMRAP of:

  • 6 pull-ups (I scaled mine to the blue and purple bands, kipping. I’m sure I could have done the red and purple bands, but all the red bands were being used by other people)
  • 8 HRPU
  • 10 AKBS (35#)
  • 12 reverse lunges (6/leg)

I remembered to keep my feet together for the HRPU and I was able to do 3 rounds without taking any breaks for those. I wasn’t moving very fast through the rounds, but I kept moving for the most part. I tried to use the reverse lunges as a recovery as much as I could. I have come to the conclusion that I’m really not a fan of the American kettle bell swing. At 35#, I can do them, but they are a challenge and I just don’t feel comfortable when I do them. I managed to do 6 rounds even (216 reps total) I was happy with that because, like I said earlier, I tried to keep moving as much as I could throughout this one. I remember looking at the clock around the 6-min mark and thinking I wasn’t gonna make it. I looked at the clock again around the 8-min mark and felt so discouraged that we weren’t further into this one that I just decided to keep working and not look at the clock anymore. It worked! I finished and I was happy with what I’d done!

Rina is back in preschool today and I’m just blogging on the couch with  little Béa snuggled up to me! It’s raining pouring outside and once I’m done folding the laundry, I plan to just rest and relax before heading in to work tomorrow! Wish me luck, I’m on a 28-day detox and that means no caffeine, no sugar and no gluten. Sounds like fun, but I have goals and this is a means to get to my goals!