Pushing The Envelope

Well, actually, I’ve been pushing weights, more than an envelope, but you get my gist, right?

After a restful night of sleep where NOBODY woke up in the middle of the night (Whoot! Whoot!), I woke up at 0500 again for the Oly class.

I wasn’t sure I was gonna make it there as my gas light turned on, on my way to the Box, but I managed to make it and there’s a gas station across the street so my plan was to fill up after class. Worst comes to worst, I knew I would be able to push my car to the station! 😉 BAM!

Today marked my 8th training session in 14 days. I’ve never trained this much in my life! It’s my last week before my month-long vacation comes to an end and my plan was to squeeze as many workouts as I can before I go back to my usual 2-3 sessions/week. I am definitely starting to feel it though and combined with it being my 1st week back on the Whole30 and all the cloudy/rainy weather we’ve had this week, all I want to do is sleep. Unfortunately, I have 2 cuties that have other plans for me:

Every time I tried to nap on the couch, they would come bother me!

Every time I tried to nap on the couch, they would come bother me!

Who needs sleep, right?

Anyway, back to Oly class, here’s what we did today:

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I wonder if those Forehead Jerks made me look as stupid as they made me feel??? Those were weird!

C&J EMOM X10 @85%

That meant 76.5# for me. Coach Caleb told me I had soft elbows on my jerk during my warm-up to that weight, but apparently, I corrected once I reached my target weight. Maybe I just needed more weight in order to really lock my elbows? I was trying not to pause between the clean and the jerk all while keeping the lift smooth and I was tired by rep 7. I started to take a few breaths in the transition and I was glad when we were done.

OHS 6×2 E3M

I teamed up with Linda who saved my hair crisis this morning. You know the drill: you go to put your hair up and your elastic just breaks in your hand and you realize you don’t have a spare one? Well, Linda gave me one of hers and my life was perfect again! So, we teamed up together and we started low (I’m not strong and Linda is recovering from a back injury.

I knew I could do 65# since I had done that weight for 15.2 during the Open. Looking back, I should have aimed for 70# or 75#, but I’m sore everywhere and my wrists have taken a huge hit with all the freakin’ cleaning I’ve been doing lately. Here were my reps:

40#-45#-50#-55#-60#-65#

My wrists were hurting on the last set, but I felt stable in my core and getting out of the bottom of the squat felt relatively easy. Oh well, my previous number for OHS was 6×3 @60# so I think that’s a new PR for me. I’m amazed I can still have PRs this week as I’m feeling so sore everywhere! I can’t wait for my massage Friday!

I came back home and did some laundry with the hubs (OK, he did most of the laundry while I cleaned and vacuumed the upstairs).

Look Mom! I'm hiding!

Look Mom! I’m hiding! (Typical Béa on laundry day)

I also did some food prep for the Whole30 since I had nothing but eggs and avocados left (I had thawed some chicken thighs and ground turkey) and I feel better now that I have healthy options in the house.

I managed to close my eyes for about 10 minutes after lunch and I tried to cuddle to the girls on the couch while they watched Frozen (I may have turned the TV on with hopes of napping next to them. Don’t judge!) but they kept poking me, pulling my hair and staring at me. Major fail, but we still watched the movie! 😉

I just have to make it through tomorrow’s class and possibly a last training session with Kathleen on Sunday and then I can go back to slacking off my regular training/work schedule.

 

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.

Bruiser In The Fog

We’ve been surrounded by a thick orange fog since yesterday due to the raging forest fires occurring up island and it makes for gloomy, yet cooler days. After the heat wave we’ve had, I’ll take the cooler weather. It’s just weird to wake up to the smell of campfire all over the city…

Orange sunrise

Orange sunrise

I was early at the Box so I got my speed rope out and worked on my DUs outside the door. My goal was to do 10. I only managed singles except for once, I got 2 in a row. Obviously, I still need to work on those! Lol!

Coach Caleb let us in and we warmed up a little before getting ready to tackle these 3 WODs. I say 3 because, look at that warm-up, it felt like a WOD in itself!:

Felt true today!

Felt true today!

 

The majority of the people had done this WOD back in January, but I must have been working because it was my 1st go at it. I chose to do Clurpees with 65# on my bar. I broke my reps like this:

  • 15: 8-7
  • 12: 6-6
  • 9: 6-3
  • 6
  • 3

The burpees were slow and painful, but I felt good in the hang power cleans at 65#.I don’t know that I could have done Rx since it took me 8:29 to finish at 65# and that meant I had about 9 minutes of rest before diving into WOD #2. I noticed though that my left side is much weaker than my right. I have bruises on my left thigh and left collarbone, but none on the right ones. That means my left side is weaker and I seem to bang the bar onto my left since I can’t control it as well as the right… It’s nice that I have the knowledge to recognize this, but I have no clue on how to go about correcting this weakness. Any tips?

Tracey and I got to talking during our “rest” and she shared something Kathleen had taught her about how to tackle the start on the erg:

  • 1st pull: make it a full one
  • 2nd pull: only go halfway
  • 3rd pull: go 3/4 of the way
  • remaining: make it full ones

I tried this on my 1st 300m attempt and something magical happened. After 101 weeks of Crossfit (who’s counting? I am! 2-year anniversary coming up!), I managed to break the sub 2:00/500m for the first time ever. Not only did I break it, but I stayed under for my 1st row, oscillating from 1:57/500m – 1:59/500m! This is huge for this short stuff right here! Tracey was so stoked, I think she was more excited than I was! I finished my 1st attempt at 1:11.4.

I was struggling to catch my breath on the 1 min rest and tried to apply the same strategy on my 2nd attempt. I had nothing left though and my pace crept back up to 2:07/500m. That’s when I closed my eyes and just rowed as hard as I could. Some very guttural/animal/primal screams were coming out of me during the row (seriously, I don’t think I ever screamed like that, even during labour). I was in pain, my body wanted to quit, but my mind wouldn’t let it. Tracey wouldn’t let me either. She told me to get back in the zone, calm down and keep going. I tried and finished with 1:14.3.

I rolled off the erg and went down on all fours, but my quads couldn’t even take the abuse of that position so I let my body fall into the ground and bawled my little heart out. It took me a while to get back up afterwards. My mind was ready to get up, but my quads weren’t. For the first time in a long time, my mind was stronger than my body… Some kind fellow crossfitter came to stroke my hair and try to calm me down. It worked. Unfortunately, I’m horrible with names and can’t remember for the life of me what her name is . Thank you, though, your soothing touch was all I needed. I got back up and made sure I didn’t forget any equipment behind (no burpee penalty for me today) and got my scores on the board.

I came home, had a scrumptious Day-30-of-my-Whole30 breakfast before getting the day under way. I plan on taking an easy one with the girls and relaxing while they go for their quiet naps. We’ve already been for a walk and played outside for over an hour this morning. This BabyMama is exhausted!

 

I’m Back!

After yet another busy morning, I was lucky enough that Cindy invited me and the girls to go spend some time on her boat, swim in the lake and jump on her trampoline. The girls were so stoked about it all and Cindy even let them drive the boat! They had a blast and Béatrice even came for a little swim in the lake with us, while Rina refused categorically to get in, but she dipped her feet in from the boat though.

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Rina was trying to touch the waves

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BeZU was so happy and really enjoyed her time on the boat!

I don’t know how Cindy gets the energy to do this day in and day out, because after our little jaunt in and on the lake, I was ready for nap! Unfortunately, I had to go to Rina’s school for the parents info session about kindergarten. I came back home and was determined to get Béatrice to sleep early. So much so that I camped myself at the desk atop our stairs and did some computer work while she fell asleep. It works, I was able to go back downstairs around 2015. It was pretty useless though because I went to bed super early last night. There was no point in staying up as I was dozing off on the couch. I dragged myself to bed and was under the sheets at this early hour:

Yep,  was in bed and it wasn't even 2130!

Yep, was in bed and it wasn’t even 2130!

I slept soundly through the night and got up at 0500 feeling refreshed and back to my usual self. I was glad to see I wasn’t sore anymore and my energy levels were back up to normal! Ready to tackle this WOD:

The power cleans felt very familiar since we had done them just yesterday morning at Oly class. Since I was feeling back on track with my energy levels, I really wanted to push it on those and wanted to try to finish at 90#. Here were my reps:

65#-70#-75#-80#-85#-90#

I failed the second lift @90# twice so I no-repped myself on that weight and only recorded 85#. Still, it felt much better than it had yesterday! 🙂

I had read the WOD early this morning and had misread it as TTB and burpees, not burpee box jumps. It really didn’t matter since no matter what the WOD was, I was there to work hard! I went into this one with a little bit of strategy: I would try to do all rounds of hanging knee raises unbroken (still don’t have my TTB) and I would keep moving on the burpee box jumps as much as I could.

We had to split our class into 2 heats and I was selected to be in the 1st heat. I managed to stick to my strategy for the hanging knee raises and took very minimal breaks atop the box during the burpee box jumps. I even slowed a few reps to “granny-style burpees” in order to catch my breath, but as soon as I could somewhat breathe better, I went back to jumping them. It sure paid off in the end since I didn’t finish last for once and looked at the clock when it displayed 7:30. I had to look at my little white board to make sure I didn’t skip a round or something, it seemed so unnatural for me to be done so early! I think even Coach Caleb was a bit surprised as he came around to give me a “Nice work today!” 🙂 Yeah, it felt pretty awesome to feel like I was finally back to myself!

I came back home and made myself a hearty breakfast of ground beef (tex-mex seasoned), grilled zucchini, an egg and an apple. I did some accounting for the house and now, I’m ready to spend another sunny day with my little family!

I will chose the gym any day (except when I'm actually working the floor at the hospital!) ;)

I will choose the gym any day (except when I’m actually working at the hospital!) 😉

Rest

Last night, I thought about going in to the Box for a workout… for about 3 mins. Then, I painfully made my way upstairs to go brush my teeth and considering it literally took me 2 minutes to make it up the 16 steps, I decided against. While I was brushing my teeth, I thought about doing this workout instead, the one with the burpees and the double under from stayfitmom.com once I was done with all my cooking and food prep for the week, then I had to sit down on my bed and since I did it the geriatric way (keep your legs straight as long as possible, then collapse onto said bed), I decided to just have a rest day today.

Rest should probably be in quotation marks however, since I was still up at 0630 to go on my walk with Duke. Although, 0630 is now considered “sleeping in” for this BabyMama who’s used to waking up at 0500 now. I quite enjoy those early walks with the pooch. Everything is still sleepy, there’s nobody at the reservoir, which means, I’m an outlaw and let him run off-leash. He likes it and it allows him to burn some energy as well. Here are a few shots I took as I was listening to the birds. I even heard (but couldn’t find) a woodpecker.

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I came back home, showered and helped out with breakfast before heading out to get groceries and work on my menu for the week:

Yummy food for the week

Yummy food for the week

In the midst of all this food prep, I managed to go get Rina from school on time, avoid “accidents” in the house from both Béatrice and Duke and write this blog post. I only have to make the curry dressing for the salad and cook dinner and then, I’ll be ready to go back to work tomorrow.

A friend of mine sent me some pics she took of me during 15.5. Some of them are funny, others slightly embarrassing as they were taken during my meltdown. Although, the more I think about it, the more I feel like I shouldn’t be embarrassed about them. They show strength when I felt like quitting, relentlessness when faced with adversity and through it all, even when I was sobbing and tears were flowing down my cheeks, I managed to do every rep successfully, without ever getting a “No rep” from my judge. I showed the hubby last night and he said something pretty sweet.

You’re an entirely different person than who you were when you first started. It’s a pretty big transformation, babe.

Now, my husband is a man of few words and not someone I would qualify as romantic, but to me, that was the epitome of romance coming from him!

Below are the pictures, so you can see by yourself:

On the erg, at the beginning. Rowing at 5'1" is never pleasant

On the erg, at the beginning. Rowing at 5’1″ is never pleasant

"Deer stuck in headlights" look on my face as I just realized my original game plan will not work and I have so many reps of thrusters to do. I was on the round of 27...

“Deer stuck in headlights” look on my face as I just realized my original game plan will not work and I have so many reps of thrusters to do. I was on the round of 27…

Pushing through the pain on the round of 21

Pushing through the pain on the round of 21

Meltdown in full force. The mind wants to quit way before the body does

Meltdown in full force. The mind wants to quit way before the body does

Trying to get a grip on my emotions and finishing this one, once and for all.

Trying to get a grip on my emotions and finishing this one, once and for all.

Finally, a little comparison from a year ago to this year. Crazy how much straighter my back is (not so much of a “stripper butt” thing going on) and how much more relaxed my shoulders are, even in full effort! Progress is progress!

2015-03-30

Crossfit Open And Childbirth: A Similar Experience!

The Crossfit Open Games are officially over for 2014. We now move onto the Regionals in a little over a month. Don’t worry, yours truly didn’t qualify (never had any aspirations of making it either! 😉 )

I finished 45260 worldwide out of 52550 women registered and 65/69 at my little box. I know that puts me at the bottom, but all I wanted to do for these games was finish. Goal accomplished!

Here’s where I reflect on my 1st ever Crossfit Open Games. I have found that from my personal experience, the Open is very much like labour in the following ways:

Physical pain and a lot of mental toughness is mandatory in order to get through both. 

In the Open, just like in labor, it doesn’t matter how well you think you are prepared for the journey, you will suffer some physical pain. I’ll admit, the pain suffered in the Open workout is a lot shorter than labour, but it really helped me to keep the same mentality I had during labor: every rep (or every contraction) brings you closer to your end goal. I never looked at the workout as  “Oh No! Here comes another rep.” Instead, I just kept thinking “One more closer to the end, just one more, and another. You can do this. Just breathe and get through the next one.” Child birth, just like the Open WODs are all about mental toughness. If you set your mind in the zone, it is a lot easier than being defeatist about it all.

You forget quickly about the pain.

As soon as 14.5 was over, I vowed to myself never to register for the Open ever again. Now that I have had a few days to recover, I am slowly starting to think about next year and how exciting to see my progress from one year to the next. I guess, just like childbirth, you forget about the struggle and the pain with time and you focus on the elation and pride you feel once you’ve accomplished the WOD / delivery! 😉

Both the Open and childbirth teach you about how strong you really are.

You discover quickly what kind of person you are when you go through childbirth or an Open WOD. I have found out that I internalize a lot of the entire process. For childbirth, I needed peace and quiet in order to get through my contractions. I realize now that I was going through my reps in the same way. I’m not a big fan of being cheered on, I’d rather just breathe and get through it all on my own rather than have a cheering section urging me on. Don’t get me wrong, I was thankful for having people cheering me on, it’s just weird for me to acknowledge these people while I’m working on the bar of Erg or whatever. It truly is a battle between me myself and I when I’m in the midst of it all.

SO there you have it. My very own analogy about the Open and childbirth! Not to mention that all those squats really get you nice and ready for childbirth!

This morning was the first morning I could walk somewhat normally since 14.5 and I finally wasn’t afraid to pick something I’d drop on the floor! 😉 What did I chose to do? Well, go to Crossfit, of course! My goal for today wasn’t to PR in anything, I just wanted to move and get my muscles warm and stretched out a bit.

I kept the push press very light since my shoulders are still very sore from Sunday with the following reps:

55#-55#-65#-65#-65#

For the WOD, I paired up with Tracey and did the TG+, meaning we did 1min. of Airdyne (Tracey couldn’t do the Erg), wall balls at 14# (a first for me as I usually do 10#, they were tough) and I did single skips for every rounds. I divided my single skips by 2 and finished with a total of 290. I was spent after that. Looking forward to Friday’s WOD and then a lovely 5 days off without any training. I need the rest to rebuild myself both physically and mentally. I love the physical exertion if Crossfit, but I’ll be real and admit it can be draining and I don’t think I’ve taken more than a week’s rest since I began Crossfitting last July. Although it’s hard to stay away from the Box, I will make the most of my 5 days of rest!

 

Change of Pace

I did the responsible thing this morning and skipped the WOD as per Coach Caleb’s advice on Wednesday. I’m still stuffed up and coughing so I decided to take a rest day. That also meant that we were able to hit the road a little earlier for our Girls’ Weekend Getaway to Parksville! My mom and I decided to go away for the weekend and we took the girls with us since Ben is working at a social event at the club anyway. I am currently sitting on a couch, next to the fireplace and with a wonderful view of the ocean. I think it will do me the world of good and we will be able to relax on this grey and rainy weekend!

I plan on walking along the beach with the girls tomorrow, rain or shine and will post some pics then! For now, my knitting needles are calling me!