Something New

Remember last week when I said to you all that Rachel Siemens might start a weightlifting class at CFVC? Well, she did and her first class was today. I signed up for 3 classes, to see how it would feel like to be coached by a different coach on my Oly lifting. Some different things:

  • the class today was at 1230, therefore, I am a little more awake than my 0600 class, but it also means I have to manage my meals accordingly.
  • I have to “check with the husband” before I go. If we’re both off on weekends, it’s unspoken knowledge that we normally have “family-time” for most of the weekend. I just wanted to make sure he was ok with me going to lift heavy things for 1hr on a Sunday when we’re both home.
  • Coach Rachel isn’t Coach Caleb. Duh. No kidding. They both have a different approach at Oly lifting and it’s nice to have a different perspective, or cues on my lifts. Some of the things are very similar, but some are very different.

Overall, I had fun (that is, until Rachel brought out the whip because I was being a smart a**. That got me to shut up quickly! 😉 )! The class was very fast-paced, yet it felt like we really worked on plenty of things. Here’s what I ended up doing for reps and weights:

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Pause OHS: Rachel wanted us all to start light for these and she went according to our 1RM Snatch, so I had to start with the training bar with 2×5#. That felt light. Pausing at the bottom of the squat for 3secs was easy.

Hang Power Snatch: Again, I started with an empty bar and worked my way up to 50#. I think I could have gone up to 55# easily, but we ran out of time. Rachel gave me a good tip to start on my toes and curl my wrists towards my legs, elbows slightly facing forward on my last rep. That felt weird, but she said she was pleased with the results. She also said I would be able to do 65# Squat Snatch in no time. What she doesn’t know is my hesitation to drop into the squat has been my major issue all along and she didn’t get to see that in the power snatch. We’ll see! 😉

Hang Power Clean: Those felt good. Again, I just need to remind myself of keeping contact on my legs with the bar on the pull. Still struggling with this as the weight goes up.

Snatch Grip DL: Those were hard, but I did manage to go up to 65# which is technically 100% of my snatch weight (although I have never successfully managed a squat snatch at that weight). You could really feel your posterior chain working hard and I had to drop my butt much lower on my set-up. It felt weird at the beginning, but then I kind of got used to it. Something to keep working on.

 

In other news:

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I officially start the Whole30 tomorrow! Yay! Although, it will probably end up being a Whole60 or maybe even a Whole100 (with some modifications when we go to Cuba for a week). I’m really hoping this will be a new way of living for me and not just a fad. I know I already feel better and I sleep so much more soundly at night (that is, when BeZU isn’t puking in her bed at 0400… Which happened last night, ugh!) and, already, I feel like I have more energy.

But why doing the Whole30 and why now you might ask? Here are my reasons:

So long, trustee crutch!

So long, trustee crutch!

I have been popping one of these bad boys pretty much on a daily basis ever since I got pregnant with Rina, 4 1/2 years ago. Heartburn is something I’ve come to consider normal for me. THEY AREN’T! I have been doing the Whole30 unofficially since last Sunday and haven’t had the need to take a Zantac since Tuesday. It may not be much for you all, but that’s a whole 5 days without me resorting to medication to relieve my upset stomach. WIN!

I already have talked about it previously, but energy levels are a big thing for me. I’m usually up at or around 0500. Every day. Whether I have to be or not. I also do Crossfit and have  2 daughters who like to be on the move (as should they, at 2 and 4)! Sometimes, I admit that keeping up with them is a struggle. However, since starting my Whole30, I’m usually in bed at 2130 (on a good night when I stay up late), which means I get close to my 8hrs of Zzzz. It also means that I have the energy to, let’s say, take them to the playground, go for an Oly lifting class (by myself) and then take them to the pool before putting them to bed. (Exactly what we did today). All that, on top of laundry and only having coffee this morning (no caffeine after noon, except on night shift duty). So yes, higher energy levels will always be welcome for me!

The third one is particular to me. Don’t be afraid by the picture below, but I’m trying something here. Here’s a picture of me, no make-up.

Not smiling because when I do, you can't see my dark circles...

Not smiling because when I do, you can’t see my dark circles…

Notice the dark circles under my eyes? They have lived there pretty much since my early 20’s and I’m just curious to find out if doing the Whole30 will help lose those. Maybe it won’t, but I’ll check back in 30 days. 😉

Another reason is purely about gainz. I want to see if I’ll be able to PR on certain lifts or WODs at Crossfit. I’ll also keep you posted on these as we go along!

Finally, let’s face it: losing some weight or some pudge would be awesome! I’ve always said that I will be wearing a bikini on the beaches of Cuba (I am very comfortable with who I am thanks to Crossfit and self-confidence), but if I could really rock that bikini, that would be gravy on top, right?!?

So there. Those are my reasons for doing the Whole30 now. My “pre-Whole30” pictures and measurements are done. I will keep them to myself until I do the comparison in 31 days! I hope you stick around for the joyride! 🙂

When A PR Disappoints

We had a busy weekend, spent family-style and running around. Saturday, we got up early and did our errands. We had intended to go to the Quadra Village Community Celebrations, but we had so much running around to do that we ended up missing the festivities. That’s ok, we ended up planting our herb garden and I was reminded that gardening, sometimes, feel like a workout:

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Burpee… Why you gotta haunt me so?

 

However, after Friday’s WOD, my sciatic was brutally letting me know that it was angry with me and things didn’t improve much over the weekend. 😦

We went out for breakfast for Mother’s Day. Who am I kidding, we went out for breakfast because it was Sunday! LoL! Afterwards, we decided to bike downtown and Ben hooked up the stroller to his bike. The girls traveled in style with the Jambox speaker in the stroller with them and music playing while poor Ben had to pull them through town. We parked the bikes and stroller while we strolled around. Rina got a blister on her toe from her plastic sandals and took them off. Béatrice didn’t want to be left behind so she copied her big sister. Their feet were filthy when we came back home! I thought the bike ride would help with the sciatic pain, but it didn’t. It didn’t make it worst either. It was just a constant throbbing, burning pain in my left buttock. We came back home to a late lunch and I took the girls to bed with me. Nobody slept, but it was nice to get some cuddles and relaxing time together. Ben also made me a stand for my iPad Mini and, although it wasn’t the costliest of Mother’s Day presents, I was really thankful for it. He had made one for himself a few months ago and I kept hogging borrowing it when he wasn’t using it. Now, I have my very own and don’t have to steal his! 😉

I was excited to see the WOD last night. Funny enough, I had been thinking about Baseline lately because it was my 1st WOD ever and I was curious to see where I stood compared to my humble beginnings. Well, here it goes:

Skill: Back squat 5×5 with HSPU 5-7reps E60s

Since I could feel EVERY butt giggle (not in a fun way, but in a “my sciatic is painful” way) on the warm-up run, I decided to avoid the squats today. Coach Caleb suggested I try some deadlifts instead. I chose a low weight to not irritate my sciatic even more, but even at the low 85#, I had to stop on the 3rd round. It was burning and pulling and hurting, so Coach Caleb said to just rest during the squats and keep working on the HSPU. I managed those with 1 yoga block and 3×5# plates. I did them strict and they were hard. During the back squats, I stretched and tried to do some active release in my glutes and hip flexors.

WOD: Baseline

I was ready for this one. Tracey and I paired up in order to score one another. I had a strategy and was ready to tackle it. I really wanted to get the most of my row and I extended back and reached forward as much as I could which resulted in me keeping my average stroke per 500m around the 2:10. Unheard of for me. I went above that towards the end as I fatigued, but I was able to bring it back for the last 50 metres. So far so good.

For the air squats, I wasn’t overly fast, but I only stopped twice if I remember properly and for only a few short seconds.

Then, it was onto the sit-ups. Again, I wasn’t overly fast, but I only took 2 short breaks before completing the 30 reps.I also no-repped myself for a rep because my hands didn’t touch the ground behind me on one rep. I was honest and corrected Tracey on her count! Accountability, people, accountability! If you cheat on a rep, you only cheat yourself! 😉

The push-ups were hard. I had a hard time stringing them along at the beginning, but managed to do 5 in-a-row towards the end. I did them all RX though and didn’t need to drop to my knees. Onto the pull-ups we go!

I had set-up with the red band and only managed a max of 2 in-a-row. They were mostly done singles and I think that’s where I lost most of my time. I never looked at the clock during the WOD (and waste precious seconds turning my head around?!? No siree!, Not me!) and I was expecting to finish around the 8:00 mark. I was incredibly disappointed when Tracey called out 8:37. Yep, even though it was a PR, I was angry. Yes, I had done the push-ups RX and my band for the pull-ups was the smallest I’d ever used for Baseline, but I was still mad that I wasn’t closer to my goal. Below is my progression for my multiple attempts at this WOD (The most recent on top):

Baseline progress

Baseline progress

I tried to shake it off, came back home showered and did my hair. I was still upset:

Not a happy camper

Not a happy camper

Then I thought: You have your lovely cozy yellow hoodie on and your freckles make you look good and you’re wearing funky leggings that show off your hamstrings and quads. Turn that frown upside-down and celebrate the fact that you can pull off wearing a banana-yellow hoodie and rock the rest of your day, even if it’s grey and chilly outside!

Burpee... Why you gotta haunt me so?

Mindset is everything! Focus on the positive, let go of the negative!

I took my own thought to heart and decided that even though I wasn’t close to my goal, my score is still progress and I can only achieve progress with some failures thrown into the mix. Failure is growth and growth is progress!

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Now, if I could just get rid of my sciatic pain, life would be just peachy, cuddling on the couch with my little Béa! 🙂

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

My Birthday Girls!

Today is a very special day in our household. Why, you may ask? Well, it’s our daughters’ birthdays!

Today, Rina turns 4 and Béatrice turns 2! We had a pretty fun day in store for them and it started out at our favourite breakfast joint, where the were allowed to open their presents from Aunty Sandy:

They were pretty stoked about the colouring books,stickers, crayons and puzzles and we even had to do some puzzles before breakfast arrived. We then went for a stroll downtown to browse at Capital Iron (another favourite of this little family) where we found some outdoor lights and a timer to decorate for the holidays. While we were browsing through the lightroom, the girls thought it was a blast and I have to admit, I kind of just wanted to stay there for a while. It was such a neat idea to display the different lighting options in a dark room and I love the mood it put me in!

We continued shopping and strolling and I finally found my perfect hydration bottle! (Camelbak PODIUM BIG CHILL in steel blue) I had been looking for this specific bottle for a while now and was elated to finally find one! This one contains 25oz so I know that if I drink 2 or more of these a day, I’ll be well hydrated! 🙂

Look in the background: 2 glass ornaments the girls received for their birthday!

Look in the background: 2 glass ornaments the girls received for their birthday!

We came back home for a quick lunch and then Béatrice went on to punch the birthday cake before I could put the candles on it. Thank goodness I had taken a picture of it last night! Now, I will admit, this cake and icing is from a box. I am NOT a baker. I can take good pictures every once in a while and I can decently knit, but a baker, I am certainly not. I did, however, do all the writing on the cake myself. It wasn’t an extravagant cake, but the girls were happy with it and considering they are only interested in the icing anyway, I’m glad I didn’t fret over it too much!

Ta-Daa!

Ta-Daa!

We cleaned up the cake as best we could and put some candles on it. We sang “Happy birthday” to Rina and she got to blow her 4 candles and then we repeated with BeZU and she got to blow her 2 candles. They were pretty stoked about it! Then, they opened up the remainders of their presents and I can honestly say, I think they were pretty spoiled and happy with what they got!

Having fun with their Jello Kitty dolls!

Having fun with their Jello Kitty dolls!

They are currently napping and we are awaiting a potential nanny candidate to show up for an interview. I am very sad to see Nanny leave (at the latest, she wants to be done on February 1st). She has been the best nanny we have had so far and she has even agreed to train our potential new nanny. We were supposed to interview another one at lunchtime, but she cancelled this morning. I don’t know what it is about nannies, but if it were me and I was unemployed, I would do pretty much everything in my power to make sure I show up for an interview… Rant over. Looking for a nanny is stressful, I’ve talked about it before. I can only hope that Nanny’s replacement will be just as good as she’s been to our family. Wish us luck!

Another Sunday – Fun Day

Today was yet another Sunday – Fun day bike ride into town. This time, we decided to head over to the petting farm at Beacon Hill park. I would have loved to stroll through the park, but no such luck with the toddlers and Ben isn’t such a big fan of the park, for some reason.

Rina fell in love with the goats

Rina fell in love with the goats

She loved grooming them!

She loved grooming them!

BeZU aka Minnie Mouse wasn't convinced at the beginning

BeZU aka Minnie Mouse wasn’t convinced at the beginning

Getting closer to the goats

Getting closer to the goats

They both loved watching the ducks swim around. Ben is also thrilled!

They both loved watching the ducks swim around. Ben is also thrilled!

Loved the colours on those Gouldian finches

Loved the colours on those Gouldian finches

After we were done at the petting farm, we headed on over into town to pick up a lock for the Chariot and then we were back on our way home. I love how close to downtown we are and how easy it is to bike into town using the bike routes and bike lanes. Béatrice fell asleep in the Chariot on the way home and again, sitting at the table for lunch. After lunch, everybody was relaxing before nap time.

Béa is sooooo tired!

Béa is sooooo tired!

Once the little ones (and a grown up, ahem, Ben) had a nap, we took everyone to ride their bikes around the block. Rina managed to make it around the block without any help for the first time (there are a few inclines which Rina calls “hills” to go up and down and we usually have to pull her or slow her down using the yoga strap wrapped around her handlebar). She was so proud of herself, she couldn’t stop smiling! My little girl is all grown up! Meanwhile, we had to pull Béatrice all the way because she doesn’t yet reach the pedals on her tricycle, but she’s getting closer! 🙂

Redemption

I woke up to a rough start this morning. The toilet was overflowing with a nice doodoo. Great. Rina had, once again, used too much toilet paper and plugged the toilet. It took 2 different plungers to fix the damage. As I stepped out of the shower, Béa was having a meltdown because she wanted to put shoes on. At 0715. For breakfast… I know, I know, she gets her shoe obsession from me, but even I, am not that early on the shoe train.

As I was silently counting down the hours until my beloved other half comes back home (40 hrs in case you’re wondering) and making the grocery list for our weekly Costco run, here’s what I saw on the shopping list app we share:

Redemption on a grocery list

Redemption on a grocery list

See the only item currently on our list? Yeah, he’s good that way. Don’t get me wrong, I am my own individual, but this man soothes my nerves just by his simple presence. I miss him and will be whole again once he’s by my side.