Do Not Stop!

I’m still on my days off from work so after I sent Rina off on the school bus, I came back home and got ready to go to Crossfit. I knew it sounded easy, but those WODs are usually deceptive and a soul/body crushers. I was glad Kathleen was going to be coming at 0930 with me because I knew this one would be a great one for her!

Photo 2015-09-21, 1 34 51 PM

This girl can erg like a beast and she was excited about the whole thing. Me, on the other end, not so much! The hate-hate relationship I have with the erg is still very much alive!

Skill: Back Squat 3×10 E2M

Last time we had done those, I ended up at 95# on my last set so today I was hoping to get to 105#, but my freakin’ sciatic had other plans. I took it a bit lighter and finished at 100# and I’m glad I did since Coach AJ told me I needed to work on keeping my shoulders back and my chest up. I think I managed to correct that on my last set and that was another PR for a 3×10 on these!

WOD: 2x500m Row

My heart sank when I saw this post last night, but I knew I could defeat my mind going into this. I always struggle when we erg and I always want to quit. The only thing keeping me from actually quitting is to imagine my girls drowning and the only way to rescue them is for me to row to them.

No way I'm letting this little cutie drown (not even if it's only in my head!)

No way I’m letting this little cutie drown (not even if it’s only in my head!). Do Not Stop!

So I was in the first heat and Kathleen had suggested I stick around 2:12/500m for this one and try to up it up to 2:03/500m on the second one. That plan went to hell at 3-2-1-Go!

I started up way too strong and I hung around 1:57/500m for a bit, only to end up around 2:03/500m. Yeah, that was gonna backfire on the 2nd round! 1min isn’t a long time to rest at all and I think I rowed most of it with my eyes closed. I came to a spot where I almost stopped completely. Kathleen was behind me and she said: “No, Val, you don’t stop now.” And that was all I needed to get going again. Thank goodness too, otherwise, I honestly think I would have been done there and then. I closed my eyes again and was the last one still working on my 2nd attempt and the inner animal was making its way out in terms of guttural screams, but I finished it. I was done, that’s all that mattered to my little legs and body. It took a while for me to catch my breath and I tallied my score:

  • 1st round: 2:05.5
  • 2nd round: 2:15.9
  • Total score: 4:21.4

Seems to me like I did the opposite of what Kathleen had planned out for me! Way to go loser! 😉

Kathleen came to me and she said my 1st round must have been a PR for me. I honestly couldn’t remember and didn’t have that info on my phone so I had to wait until I got some free time at home to check if she was right or not. Well, she was! My previous PR for 500m was 2:07.3 and I had done 2:05.5 in my 1st round today! Not surprising I tanked out on the second round! Still, 2 PRs in one day, I’ll take it!

I came back home where my husband had made protein shake and had some to share with me! How amazing is he? I showered and made some food and put Béatrice to quiet time after lunch. You know you’re a Crossfit mom when your kids tell you they don’t want your cuddles because “your hands are scratchy and you should go scrub them”. I obliged and polished my calluses to my daughter’s request and we are now able to cuddle again! #truestory

For now, I am sitting on the couch and warming-up my sciatic with the hot water bottle while BeZU rests upstairs. We will go get Rina at the bus stop later!

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!

 

WallBalls… ‘Nough Said!

Béatrice has fallen back into her old patterns of waking up in the middle of the night and it’s taken its toll on this Mama… My alarm woke me up at 0500 for this:

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Albert said it best!

 

Skill: Those we new today and it was fun to learn new technique. I teamed up with Marika, Tracey and Telsey and we got to learn the different techniques. We worked up to about 105# for the trap bar and that was enough for me. As for the axle bar, I think Telsey and I were working with around 60# and my grip was definitely challenged with this weight, even with a reverse grip.

WOD: Money Ball

The last time I had done this one was back in December 2013 and I had scaled it with 10# wall balls. Today was my first attempt RX and I teamed up with Telsey. I had forgotten that 14# wallballs were RX for women and I thought I was still scaling it down. Telsey stuck with the 14# ball even though she had been off for 6 weeks for an ankle issue. I realized mid-WOD that we were both doing RX and the rowing was killing me slowly. I tried to break down the wallballs in sets of 5, but the erg was just sucking the life out of me. My pace was beyond crap and I was hanging on to the handle for dear life.

Telsey had to drop the erg on the second go at it because her ankle was bugging her too much and she switched to the Airdyne and pushed through the wallballs. She managed to finish her last stint on the Airdyne, but had to leave, so Tracey was kind enough to finish the wallballs (unbroken, such a BAM!!!) after I was done with mine.

Overall time: 25:43 RX! Pretty happy to add another RX next to that one because that means a new PR for me!

I came back home and kept going with the deep cleaning of the house. I finished the upstairs as well as the staircase and Nanny was nice enough to help me sort out the girls’ crap toys while they were in their quiet time upstairs. 1 full garbage bag of crap was pulled out and will be going to the dump (toys that are useless to other kids, missing parts, broken, etc…) and we can now close the lids of the window boxes. On the books for tomorrow, vacuuming downstairs and then, resting a bit before tackling the downstairs! I’m pretty optimist that I will manage to clean the entire house before I head back to work!

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:

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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!

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!

 

When All Else Fails, Just Do One More Rep

I came home yesterday from an absolutely exhausting shift in the NICU. I had been busy all day, missed my dinner break and was very much looking forward to putting my feet up on the couch and devouring my dinner when I got home. The girls were both asleep and I thought I was in the clear for a relaxing evening. I showered and just as I sat with my dinner, BeZU woke up crying, so I delayed (further) my dinner and went to soothe her and give her some water. When she finally calmed back down, I stuffed food in my mouth at light speed. It was 2100 and I had lunch around 1300. Once I was done inhaling my food, I numbed myself with some mindless reality TV until Ben came home. We did our usual 10mins check-in with one another before I went to bed. I slept like a rock, despite the heat wave still in full force (30-32C in our room last night), but just before I went to bed, I looked up the WOD:

I had vivid dreams of hang power snatches and, in my dream, I could easily do 65#, something I have yet to achieve in real life. In my dream, my reps were fluid and easy and I really nailed it. I woke up and felt like today was gonna be the day I would finally surpass 60#.

Walked in the Box this morning and found beauty in the bare space:

Early morning glory

Early morning glory

We did the warm-up and then I had to demo the hang power snatch for everyone. Once that was out of the way, I set up my bar and my weights and got ready to tackle this:

Skill: Hang power snatch + OHS 6×1 E90s

I started with 40# and worked my way up. Once I reached 50#, I could definitely tell that it was getting heavier. I slowly feared my determination to reach 65# wouldn’t be enough for today. I did 60# and although the snatch felt challenging, the OHS felt really good. I loaded my bar with 65# and waited until it was time to go. I picked up the bar, went into the hang position and had a mental blockage. I got back up, reset the bar into the hang position and just lifted it up. I landed it in the power position, but had to do a double jump to stabilize the bar overhead. Once I did, I dipped into the overhead squat and that felt really good. Could it be that after 7 months of being stuck at 60# for any kind of snatch, I had finally broken through that barrier? Just to make sure, I put the bar down, waited a few seconds and re-did one more rep of just the hang power snatch. Surprise, surprise, it wasn’t a fluke because I got the bar back up, landed it in the power position and didn’t have to do a second jump to stabilize it this time around! Woot! Woot! I was one very happy girl!

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

WOD: Jackita

I teamed up with Tracey and Kelsey for this one and everything that could go wrong pretty much did during this WOD. I set up the red and orange bands for my pull-ups (as well as a box to get myself onto the bar) and was planning on using 55# for the thrusters. Here were my reps:

  • Thrusters: 8-6-5
  • Pull-ups: 2-11-6

I started on the erg and rowed my 1 minute before going over to the thrusters. they felt good at 55# and I moved over to the rig for the pull-ups. I couldn’t do a strict pull-up with those bands, so I rushed back, switched the orange band for a blue one (the 1st band I could get my hand onto) and managed 2 reps before the minute was up. Not good 😦

I went back on the erg and I was breathing heavily. I went onto the thrusters and although I didn’t get as many reps as I did on my 1st round, it wasn’t too bad either. Back to the pull-up rig where I felt like I was sand-bagging the pull-ups as it was clearly too easy with those two bands. Oh well! That’ll teach me to look up what I did previously on the WOD instead of just winging it!

3rd round on the erg. I was wheezing pretty badly. I don’t know if it was because it was so humid this morning, but I had a sudden onset of asthma and I knew I didn’t have my inhaler with me. My last asthma episode was probably about 2 years ago and, although I have my inhaler in my work purse, it is probably long expired! I was really trying to catch my breath on the thrusters, but it took me a long time, hence the 5 reps. I moved onto the rig and, again, was trying to calm myself down. I know that the more I get into a panic about my asthma, the more I wheeze and the more constricted I get. I was just trying to calm down  and I was happy when it was all done and over with. I regulated my breath as best I could and Tracey helped me with her healing powers. I swear, she’s a unicorn in disguise: magical at Crossfit and in life! 😉 All in all, it was a pretty bad WOD for me and I did poorly compared to the previous time I had done this one, but I kept pushing through no matter what and, really, that’s all I can ask of myself.

I came home and then saw this on Facebook:

Burpee Punishment!

Burpee Punishment!

I forgot to put my bands AND my box away after the WOD. 1st time in 2 years that it happens, but I have been a space cadet over the past 2 days, to be honest. CFVC’s policy is a burpee punishment when you forget to put your equipment away. I videoed my punishment and posted it to FB so Coach Caleb would see that I kept my word, and then realized I had done only 28 burpees on the video so I did 2 more in the kitchen. Apparently, not only am I a space cadet, I also cannot count when doing burpees! 😉

I started my day slow and then got into the cleaning and laundry. My energy was dwindling by the time I finished and was glad to sit down for lunch a bit. Now, I can’t wait to go for nap before heading in to work tonight.

Ugliness

I finished work yesterday morning, went to sleep for 4hrs and then got up to take Béatrice to a Dr’s appointment (she has really bad eczema). The doctor told me to keep doing what we’ve been doing for her eczema and referred us to a dermatologist.

I came back home and was über cranky. Lack of sleep will do that to a person sometimes. I had absolutely zero patience and for about an hour or two, I had decided to take a day off Crossfit and not go in this morning. I changed my mind before going to bed, set my alarm and got up at 7am in order to take my time getting ready for the 0900 class. Rina begged to come with and although she was really clingy when I was warming up on my own before class began, she quickly cuddled Hank The Tank (Megan’s dog) on the couch. She didn’t leave his side after that! 😉

Turns out Kathleen was there too as well as Heather, Cindy and Kristin (and more people whom I forget the names, we were 12 in total). Everybody was bubbly and chatty and that gave me a little bit of energy to do this:

Skill: Back squat 5×5 E90S, build to a heavy 5.

I had done 110# back in April and I set my goal for today to 120# with some expectation to fail at 115#. I reached my goal for today, which means a 10# PR on my 5×5! I’ll take it and that was the only good thing about today’s workout…

WOD: Runny Row Buddy

I think this is probably the one WOD I despised the most so far, even compared to 14.5 or 15.5. Maybe it’s because I was running low on sleep and recovery or because I had given so much to my back squats, but this one was UGLY!

I paired up with Kristin and started us off on the erg for 1000m while she hit the box jumps and the running. My pace wasn’t so bad on this one throughout, between 2:10 and 2:30. I then went onto the box jumps and needed to do 10 step-up ones in order to catch my breath before I was able to do them properly. At least, I kept moving. I then headed on outside for the run. It’s an out-and-back route that dips down before getting uphill just before the turnaround point. That means you dip the slope and have to go back up it just before coming back inside. Yeah, I found this one a lot harder than the one at our previous locations (uphill on the out, downhill on the back). Since I’m such a great runner (ahem, not!), I’ll have to build to it I guess! The second go around was absolutely disgusting for me. My rowing pace was between 2:30 and 2:40 and I wanted to quit after the first 200m (800m to go!) I actually took a break with only 110m to go. I kept having to close my eyes while I rowed and got so disheartened when I saw I had only rowed 100m at a time. Let’s just say Kristin got some decent rest! 😉 I went back to the box and had to do 15 step-ups this time around before I could start jumping the box jumps again. I set outside and was the last one out there. Everybody was lapping me on the way back and I made it to the turnaround point all alone. I was determined to not stop though, as hard as it was. I only stopped when a car was oncoming at the crossroad on my way back, but it was my lovely husband coming to join me so he let me go without me having to actually stop (thanks Hun!)

Kathleen came outside to cheer me on and told me to use my long light legs… I think she might need glasses! I told her I didn’t have any of these and tried to pick up the pace as much as my short thick legs permitted! I came in, looked at the clock and I was done! It’s rare that I’m really irked by a WOD, but this one, I REALLY didn’t like! I’m glad I went, but am now thinking maybe I should have used the rest day after all. One thing’s for sure, I am gonna nap on the couch as soon as I’m done with this post! 😉

I would definitely choose squatting over running ANY DAY!!!

I would definitely choose squatting over running ANY DAY!!!