Higher Intensity, Lower Reps

My alarm woke me up this morning and I felt like I could have used another 5hrs of sleep. Meh! I got up and instantly felt the soreness in my hamstrings, shoulders and butt from yesterday’s Beach WOD. I could also feel the bruises on my biceps and forearms from the KB thrusters. I had a feeling today was gonna be a little ugly at the gym!

Skill: Back Squat 6×3 E90S

I had worked up to 130# the last time I did these and I was determined to attempt 135# today, but my body had other plans. Here were my reps:

110#-115#-120#-125# up to then, I had no problem. I then loaded my bar with 130# did my 1st squat and, although I struggled to come up from it, I managed my 1st rep. I couldn’t get out from the bottom on the second, so I bailed out safely. Coach Caleb came by to help me re-rack my bar and after we chatted about the weight, He suggested I go back to 125#. I did just that, did my 1st rep successfully, but had to bail out of my 2nd rep because I couldn’t come out of the bottom. It’s all good, I know my body was tired and I had that piece of cake as well yesterday… 😉

WOD: Over Under Up

I decided to go with FG1+ on this one with the following modifications in order to challenge myself:

  • 75# Shoulder to overhead (I did press jerks). We had to clean the bar up from the ground and I had never used that weight for a WOD until today. My 3RM for push jerks was 80# back in January and I knew using 75# today would be really hard, but I was determined to give it a go.
  • DUs (I had a feeling I would struggle to get any reps on these, but still wanted to challenge myself to doing them Rx)
  • banded pull-ups with the red band only (1st time I let go of the red and purple bands combined)

To say my score was very low is the understatement of the year. I ended up with a combined total of 58, but I really pushed myself out of my comfort zone. The DUs really killed me. Here’s how my rounds broke down:

  1. 5 push jerks, 3 DUs, 3 pull-ups
  2. 7 push jerks, 7 DUs, 4 pull-ups
  3. 5 push jerks, 6 DUs, 4 pull-ups
  4. 7 push jerks, 2 DUs, 5 pull-ups

Like I said, not the best numbers, but I managed to increase my pull-ups on each rounds and finished strong with the push jerks, so I’m happy with that.

baby-steps-morning-motivation-beautysecret-crossfit-crossfitlove-crossfitgirls-fit-fitchic-fitness-f

Since Rina is now done with preschool for the summer, I had the luxury of taking my time after the WOD and I even went to get some groceries. I had a plan in mind and, boy, am I glad I stuck to my plan. Ever since Tracey had us over for our little Whole30 girls’ night, I have been craving ribs (she had made a delicious recipe on that night). I perused my cookbooks and the internet and finally settled on this recipe, from Holly Would If She Could, since it is Whole30-compliant AND slow-cooker friendly. We had a bit of a break in the heat wave yesterday, but it came back in full swing today and there is no way I would turn on the oven to cook anything in this heat. The girls are having quiet time in their rooms, fans are blasting on full-speed and Béa even asked that she just stays in her diaper. Poor munchkin is HOT! As I was driving to the grocery store in the early morning, I rolled down my windows and there was a faint breeze coming in from the ocean and you could smell the sea breeze in the air. It lingered around until around 10am and every time the wind would pick up gently, you could smell the ocean. It was lovely and it made me thankful I get to live so close to the ocean that I get to smell it in the air, once in a while, without having to leave my house!

The ribs are filling the house with a lovely scent (I didn’t change anything to the recipe and used the same BBQ sauce. The only difference is I didn’t boil the sauce. Nobody got time for that and I figured the slow cooker would take care of that step for me! 😉 I will serve this on a bed of lettuce because it’s too hot to eat anything else. Tomorrow, I plan on making Salmon À l’Afrique Du Nord that was recommended from Kathleen. You can find the recipe in Well Fed by Melissa Joulwan, or on her blog here. I have everything at home to make it and using the BBQ means avoiding turning on the oven = WIN! I also plan on grilling Blueberry Breakfast Sausage on the BBQ, but I will replace the pork with ground turkey. You can find the recipe on the Whole30 FB page, in their photo album.

That’s it! The girls have decided that quiet time is over and I must go back to being a mom! See you all in a few days!

Where’s My Tiger Blood At???

We had a busy Father’s Day yesterday, biking downtown to the first Victoria’s Car-Free day in the downtown core. There were tons of vendors out in the streets and the girls were in heaven when they got balloons (purple ones, obviously)! I was also pretty stoked to find myself a second bikini for our upcoming trip and I also found 2nd bathing suits for the girls for the same trip as well as new sandals for Béa (her toes were curling over the sole at the front of her old ones)! Overall, it was a nice sunny day, filled with lots of people and I was glad to come back home for dinner. Let me just say, there’s isn’t much Whole30-approved when you’re out and about in the real world! I came home to cook some hamburgers with my sous-chef (Rina) and I was surprised when she asked for “Maman’s meat” for dinner. Not only did she finish her 1st serving, she asked for seconds! Victory!

I fell asleep on the couch at 2100 last night.  I woke up at 2130 and went to bed, hoping for a full night of deep sleep. Yeah, that didn’t happen. The husband came to bed before I fell asleep and he fell quickly asleep (ahem, snoring, ahem) and then Béatrice was crying because her eczema was itchy and Rina was also awake with a bad dream. I must have fallen asleep around midnight.  SLEEP FAIL!

I woke up early and grumpy for the WOD:

Skill: Deadlift 10×1 EMOM

We were to use the last weight we had used recently on our 5×5. Mine was 135# and that’s what I used. It felt good and somewhat easy. I felt like I could have gone a little heavier on those.

WOD: Froggy

I was tempted to try this one Rx, but knowing that I had not fueled, hydrated and slept properly yesterday, I went with FG2, with 65# on my bar. I had gone into it with the plan of breaking up my front squats as such, per rounds:

  • 8-7-6 (21)
  • 6-5-4 (15)
  • 5-4 (9)

I stuck to my plan, except on the last round where I did 6-3 before going to the box jumps. Those were slow. I knew I was the last one to work on this, but I was hoping to be closer to the pack. No such luck. I finished at 8:05 and most people were around the 4-6 minutes. I felt discouraged. I sat and mulled on the floor. Mark and I got to talking and he said: “Even though you’re last, you still lapped everyone that stayed on the couch!” I told him this was motivation enough for maybe a year, but at close to 2 years of usually coming in last and so far behind everyone else, I needed something else. He told me to go home and blog about it to get it out of my system. He knows me better than I think he does! 😉

He’s right though. He said you have two options:

  • find newer, slower people you can beat
  • get faster at it

I guess I’ll just have to get faster at it! 🙂

At the same time, I need to cut myself some slack. I am not Wonder Woman and I can’t do it all. I do make Crossfit a priority because I choose to. Maybe I should have a “deload week” like Kathleen suggested where I cut back on my weights. Maybe it will be easier when Rina is out of school for the summer and the girls don’t have gymnastics either. I have to say, parenting has been a challenge for the past few months and I feel like I need a break. Our little vacation in Cuba cannot come soon enough! It will be nice to not have to clean, cook, do laundry and all that crap for 7 days. I plan on getting some much deserved rest, that’s for sure! For now, I just need to get a nap. Although, I think this will have to wait as I just heard Béatrice fall upstairs…

(…)

Tracey is kind enough to host a Whole30-friendly get-together tonight and I’m seriously wondering if it would be totally inappropriate to show up in my sweat pants. What do you think?

Right, nap first, then reassess! 😉

And that's why I show up even when not in top shape!

And that’s why I show up even when not in top shape!

*Tiger blood: As per Whole30:

Days 16-27: Tiger Blood!

You’ve hit the downhill slope of your Whole30 and life is beautiful—which means different things for different people. For some (generally people who came to the program eating well, exercising regularly, and feeling pretty good to begin with), Tiger Blood means someone flipped a switch and turned on the awesome. Energy is through the roof, cravings are under control, clothes are fitting better, workouts are stronger.

For others, this Tiger Blood stage feels more like a real sense of self-efficacy. It doesn’t mean things are perfect (or even easy), but you’re proving to yourself that you can do this, things are getting better, and you’re seeing improvements (small or large) almost daily. Your energy is steadier, you’ve got a firmer handle on the cravings, and you’re experimenting with new, delicious foods.  You may notice that your ability to focus is keener, your body composition is changing, your moods are more stable, you’re stepping up your exercise, or you’re just plain happier these days.

Of course, this may not happen like magic at the halfway point. There are a huge number of factors that influence which benefits you see and when. If you’re one of those folks who has hit the halfway mark and isn’t seeing or feeling the dramatic changes others have reported*, know this: You’re not doing it wrong. If you began the Whole30 with a medical condition, a long and rooted history of unhealthy food habits, or a chronically stressful lifestyle, your “magic” may take longer to appear, and probably won’t be a “light switch” moment. Don’t stress about whether you’re feeling honest-to-goodness “Tiger Blood”—be patient, and be on the lookout for small, gradual improvements to keep

– See more at: http://whole30.com/2013/08/revised-timeline/#sthash.sHD2loAh.dpuf

Prove Your Fitness

“Prove your fitness” is the slogan for the 2015 Crossfit Games. Since the Open has started, I haven’t really thought about how this has applied to me because:

  1. I have done 2 of the 3 WODs scaled
  2. The only Rx WOD I have attempted (15.2), I only got 10 reps (the OHS).

So yeah, not really proving anything there! I did, however, prove some fitness this morning for the team WOD. I also proved I can accomplish almost anything even when suffering from sleep deprivation. Béatrice was up to no good again last night and she kept me up until 0130. That made for a long day considering I had been up since 0500 and had to get back up at 0530. I get up early, go walk Duke for 30 minutes, feed him and then go about my normal routine. So far, it’s working great. If I need to leave the house, I put him back in his crate until Ben gets him out. The lucky dog got breakfast twice this morning… We are all adjusting to our new routine and Ben didn’t know I fed him before leaving for Crossfit, so he fed him again! 😉

Alright, back to proving my fitness:

WOD: Pull Popper

I teamed up with Megan and Tayna for this one and we all did a version of TG+. We all had different bar weight to start with on the hang power snatch, but I started mine at 40# and stayed there for the entire WOD. We all did 4 rounds of:

  • 150m row
  • 10x hang power snatch (40#)
  • 5 bar hop burpees
  • 150m row

I volunteered to go first and I gave too much too fast on my 1st row, with a pace close to 1:59 (way fast for this tiny turtle). I was gassed for the hang power snatches and 40# felt real heavy, real quick. The burpees were fluid and I managed to do them all throughout without ever resorting to “granny” burpees. I went back to the erg and keep a pace closer to 2:06, more reasonable, but still a sprint for me.

2nd round came about and I did kept my first row close to 2:05. My new goal was to keep my first row pace somewhere 2:05-2:10 go do the hang power snatched and burpees, come back to the erg and keep my second pace around 2:10-2:15. It worked. I was able to maintain those paces and somewhat pick up the speed on the 3rd round of hang power snatches and burpees. I love how fluid the burpees felt today, no struggle at all. I felt strong doing them, mind you, it was only 5, so maybe that’s why. I was pooped when I was done with my fourth round and was glad I only had to cheer my partners now that I was done! We finished with a team total of 36:24. My throat was dry and sore for breathing so heavy and no amount of water helped 😦 Had I just experience my first Firebreather moment? I looked it up online and here’s what I found:

Firebreather – Fie-r’-brë-th-er: (n) 1. One who faces the triumphs and tribulations of great physical opposition with an indomitable spirit. 2. An optimistic energy associated with the heart of an athlete. In the modern fitness culture, every athlete yearns for the day they will be referred to by their athletic capacity as a Firebreather. However, as the definition implies, the term “Firebreather” is representative of both body, mind and spirit. Any athlete who strives valiantly during exercise while displaying an indomitable spirit is walking the path of a true Firebreather. (Source)

Come to think of it, I may have been a Firebreather all along without my knowledge. I sure never quit during a workout and I try to remain positive through the tough ones… Learn something new everyday!

I cam back home, helped the girls get ready for gymnastics, enjoyed a lovely cup of coffee before I tackled the “pre-night shift cleaning and laundry” tasks. Duke was sad when the crew left fro gymnastics:

Photo 2015-03-17, 9 04 23 AM

I was almost done with the cleaning when they all came back and then I took everyone for a walk to to the grocery store to get us some lunch. I could tell everyone was tired and Béatrice has been sleeping ever since I put her down for nap. Rina hasn’t, but she is playing quietly upstairs. Duke, is catching some weed deserved Zzzs.

Photo 2015-03-17, 12 46 26 PM

I think everybody is slowly falling into their new routine with the dog being our newest addition to the household and Béatrice is slightly less neurotic today about the dog being in the house… Slightly is the key word. I am hoping everybody goes back to normal within reasonable delays and we all learn to live as a united family with a dog very soon!

 

 

Easy Gives Nothing

What a busy two days it’s been.

It started off at 0700 yesterday morning for this:

Skill: HSPU Practice (I did 5 sets of 5).

I started off with a yoga block and 5×5# plates, then I slowly decreased it to a yoga block and 3×5# plates. It was hard to do the reps and I need to remember to push my head through at the end of the push.

WOD: Mindy

I had done this one back in March and I had done so much better back then. I’m not sure what happened yesterday, but I did poorly. Maybe it was because I did 4x strict pull-ups with the red and blue bands for each round instead of 6 kipping one. Anyway, I finished with a score of 183 (6 full rounds + 3 box jumps) whereas I had done 209 back in March. It seemed like I was keeping a good pace too, conscious about not taking too many or too long breaks. I was a bit disappointed, but I still felt good about getting out there and moving.

I came back home to this:

Rina had gotten up to no good while Ben was still in bed and decided to cut Béatrice’s hair. This is what she used to look like:

Photo 2014-09-27, 12 42 59 PM

and now, she looks like she’s sporting the hairdo from Dumb and Dumber. I was lucky enough that  fellow Crossfitter who is also a hairdresser had some free time to try and arrange BeZU’s hairdo today. Her fringe is still very short, but it doesn’t look as bad as it was before. I miss her longer soft hair though!  😦

Then, I had to rush home, shower, stuff my face and take the girls to their gymnastics class, grocery shopping, lunch and nap, followed with play time outside, dinner, shower and bedtime.

This morning, I was up at 0400 and I tried to fall back asleep to no avail. I finally got up at 0500 and got ready for this:

Skill: Tempo Front Squat 6×2 E2M

I paired up with Emily and I worked up my reps like this:

65#-75#-85#-90#-95#-100#

The last rep was hard to get up from the deep squat after 2 seconds at the bottom with 100# on my front shoulders, but I managed to do it and I was quite happy to get 100#.

WOD: Jeepers

I had done this one back in August and I had scaled it like this:

  • 10# wallballs
  • 35# AKBS
  • 200 single unders
  • finished in 17:30

Having re-read my post entry for it, I knew I had to challenge myself more today. I did so by doing these modifications:

  • 1000m row
  • 14# wallballs (all broken into sets of 5. I had to “no rep” myself so many times! They were hard!)
  • 35# AKBS (I failed 2 reps and felt like giving up altogether, but I kept at it)
  • 20 DUs and 80 single skips (I managed the 80 singles unbroken).
  • I finished in 19:52

We had to separate into heats and I was into the second heat. I was still chipping at it by the time the 0700 class started. I then came back home to this:
Rina had been up to no good again and decided to do some wall art with SHARPIES!!! She also decided to put “makeup” on Béatrice and it was all over her face and arms. Ben cleaned up Béa while I was attacking the wall with a Magic Eraser. I had nothing left in my arms after the WOD and it felt like a workout!

 

Once I was done and Rina was ready to go to school, Ben gave me the present of taking both girls with him for Rina’s drop-off while I got cooking on this Chili

I made a few modifications by using

  • 1lb extra-lean ground beef
  • 1 lb lean ground turkey
  • only 3 jalapeños peppers
  • I added 3 carrots 1/2lb mushrooms and 1 medium green bell pepper and 1/2lb crisp bacon

It smells delicious in the house right now and I can’t wait to eat it topped with some green onions, a dollop of sour cream and some grated cheddar cheese! It hasn’t been an easy 2 days, but then again, easy gives nothing!

Rest Day

I went to Crossfit Friday and did my first Hero WOD yesterday. To say that I am sore today is an understatement! My pecs are sore, my lats make it difficult to drink, brush my teeth, lift my arms and pick up the girls. My quads are letting me know they are alive and on fire. My lower back is the usual: sore and cranky. Today is a Crossfit rest day as I plan on attending my beloved 0600 class tomorrow.

We went out for breakfast this morning and then did the usual laundry / grocery shopping / some cooking. Currently in my Instant Pot is this chili recipe:

http://grandmacooks4fun.wordpress.com/2014/02/01/chili-cha-cha-cha/

From the little tasting I did, it will be delicious! I added some red kidney beans on Ben’s request. I also plan on doing some foam rolling, but I’m not looking forward to the pain on my lats. Also on my agenda is finishing folding the laundry, sitting on the couch with my hot water bottle on my back and do some mindless blanket knitting or some yarn untangling in order to prepare for my Shepherd Hoodie. I have finished the leg warmers I was working on and they are currently blocking. I can’t wait to give them away to the special person they were intended for! Will post pictures once she is in possession of her present! 🙂

In the meantime, I will leave you with some pictures I am very proud of… They were taken yesterday during the Regional 11.4 WOD we did. Yes, my bar has no weight on it, but the bar alone weighs 35#. To some, 35# is a very light weight for OHS. To me, it was very challenging. We all have to start somewhere. This is my beginning. There is no telling where my end will take me, but nonetheless, I am very proud of my beginning!

That's me, in the 2nd heap!

That’s me, in the 2nd heap!

Don't worry, I landed with both feet together! Those 60 bar facing burpees were tough!

Don’t worry, I landed with both feet together! Those 60 bar facing burpees were tough!

Focused, breathing hard, but still going!

Focused, breathing hard, but still going! I guess the lifted pinky helped?!? Lol!

All pictures in this post are ©Crossfit Vic City