My Pursuit of Happiness and Skinny Jeans

My journey to a smaller jean size

The Friday Five


It has been quite some time since I’ve done a Friday Five (apparently my last one was October 16!) Yikes!  Oh well…let’s get to it.

  1. I am on vacation!   Next week is March Break here in Ontario, and as has been tradition for the last 9 or so years, we are off to Okemo Mountain in Ludlow, VT for our annual ski week with friends and family.  It should be an interesting trip, since the weather isn’t exactly cooperating for skiing.  While Okemo makes snow and has some of the best conditions in the East right now, they can’t do much when it’s well above freezing!  The snow is melting and the forecast continues to look warm for the week (those temps are in Celcius, by the way)
    okemo forecast
  2. From the slopes to the beach!  When we get back from Okemo, we are home for a day or so, and then we are off to Cuba for a week of fun in the sun.  We went to Cuba last year with some friends in May, and they wanted to go back.  This week works well since Easter is in there, so the kids only miss a few days of school.   We are going back to the same resort – Iberostar Mojito.  It is not the best resort we have ever been to, but it’s cheap, clean and will do the trick.  We had a good time there last year, so we’re pretty confident we will again.  Two more families are joining us this year, so we are pretty much guaranteed to have a good time!. Can’t wait for this view again!
  3. We are smack in the middle of the CrossFit Open.  Tonight I will be hitting Friday Night Lights at our gym to do 16.3.
    This should be an interesting one, since I’m pretty sure I can’t do a bar muscle up.  I’ve actually never done a jumping chest to bar pull-up either, so that will keep things fun!  I’m thinking I will end up going scaled for this, although, there have been lots of video’s posted on the gym facebook page of people getting their first bar muscle ups, so I may have to take a little time to give that a try.  I’m pretty sure I can be at least this graceful: (click the image to be taken to the’s quite funny)
    16.3 graceful

  4. I’ve been a reading machine!  While my blogging record for the year has been pitiful, my reading game has been on point!  I finished my 20th book early this morning (after midnight while reading before going to sleep).  I’ve enjoyed all but one book that I read.  I did not like book 19 – How Should A Person Be, by Sheila Heli.  I just couldn’t get into it.  I thought about stopping, but it was supposed to be good, and I saw it on a list of 21 books from the last 5 years every woman should  by the Huffington Post, so trudged through.  I was so happy to finally be done.  In the end, I have no idea how a person should be!
  5. I’m hoping to stick to my macro plan while on vacation.  I’ve been doing a pretty good job lately of sticking within my macro ranges.  The scale has not been plummeting, but I’m feeling pretty good, sleeping like a rock, and feeling strong in the gym.  I realize that there will be some indulgences on vacation (beer and Vermont Sharp Cheddar while at Okemo) and blender drinks in Cuba, but I’m hoping I can eat well around those treats.  I’m also going to pack my workout gear for both trips. I know for a fact I will have to do at least 1 workout in Cuba since 16.5 happens while I’m there and scores need to be submitted before I get back.  I’ve got my fingers crossed that it’s a simple workout since I’m going to be at the mercy of the resort gym.  I’ve looked online, and from what I can tell, they have a rowing machine and some “free weights” which I hope means barbell and plates.  Dave Castro, if you are reading this, please make 16.5 7 minutes of burpees, then I won’t need any equipment at all!

Happy Friday, everyone.

If you are doing the Open, how’s it going so far?  

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The Friday Five

It’s Friday…let’s get to it!


1.  I am on vacation!  🙂  Tomorrow we leave for our annual March Break trip to Vermont to ski at Okemo Mountain in Ludlow, VT.  We always have a fantastic time, and I’m sure this year will be no exception.  The ski box is loaded  with 4 sets of skis and 3 snowboards.  I’m bringing my board again this year, but haven’t decided if I will use it or not.  My knee still hurts from the wipe out I took last year, so I’m a bit nervous about it.  I will see how I feel and see what the snow is like and play it by ear.  I’m not too sure how much blogging I will get done next week.  If you are looking for me, check Wardance…it’s my favourite Okemo run!

2.  It’s the week for 15.3 of the CrossFit Open.  There was lots of internet chatter about 15.3.
15.3For the first time in the Open, a workout started with muscle ups. That takes a huge chunk of CrossFitters out of contention before the workout even starts….me included.  Muscle Ups are the move that everyone dreams of being able to do.  I’ve never even tried one, so knew it was scaled for me!  The scaled workout removed the muscle ups and changed the double-unders to singles.
15.3 SCALEDI was happy to see the muscle ups go, but I wasn’t crazy about singles.  I haven’t done singles at CrossFit ever.  Double-unders are one CrossFit thing I can actually do really well.  In regular WODs with double-unders, I don’t finish last!  So, when they took them out I was a bit sad.  Plus, we have been practicing double-unders before every class for the last few weeks.  Oh well…that’s life!  I was thrilled to see the 10# wall ball.  I hate wall balls, so anything to make them easier is welcome in my eyes.  10# makes them doable for me.

I went to the 9:30am class today, instead of the usual Friday Night Throw Down, since I knew I would have last minute stuff to do for our trip tomorrow.   We did some muscle up progression work for the guys who were going to try RX.  It was interesting and really the first muscle up stuff I’d ever done.  One guy got his first ever muscle up in warm up and then managed to get 8 in the RX wod.  Totally awesome!  I finished with a score of 606.  I didn’t really have any idea how I would do, given my difficulty with wall balls.  I’m pretty happy with my score.  Last time we did Karen, it took me over 16 minutes to just to 150 wall balls and today I did 150 wall balls and 456 skips in only 14 minutes, so I can live with that.

Next week I will have to do 15.4 on Sunday afternoon after I get back from skiing.  Last year I was so tired on Sunday after my week on the ski hill.  It was not my best performance.  Hopefully the workout will be something that isn’t too leg heavy.  Time will tell!

3.  This made me laugh.  I saw this today when I was scrolling through my Facebook feed.  It made me laugh out loud.  Warning…it’s a bit on the potty-side of humour!  That had to feel better!  LOL.

4.  Our kitchen makeover is almost finished!  The replacement counter for the piece that was made too short was installed today.  It looks great.  Half of the back splash is up, and the rest and grout are going up tomorrow.  I will post a picture of the finished product when I see it next Saturday!  Can’t wait!

5.  It’s getting late, I still need to pack my bag, but this is happening!
FullSizeRender (8)
Happy Friday!

Happy March Break!  


The Friday Five

Hello all.  Happy Friday, happy weekend, and happy vacation for me!


Let’s get right to it!

1.  I am officially on vacation!  Wohoo!!!!!  We are off to Vermont for our annual March Break ski trip to Okemo.  This will be our 6th or 7th year going.  We’ve got a great group going that may even be getting bigger as I type as friends of ours are seeing if they can book something last minute and come too.  It is going to so much fun.  This is one of our best weeks of the year.  The hill is awesome, we have a fantastic room, the hot tub is just outside our building, and the snow is going to be the best we’ve had for a few years. We are packing the truck and loading everything up so we can head out bright and early tomorrow morning.  We start skiing Sunday afternoon and I CAN’T WAIT!!!  It’s #OkemoTime! 
okemo time
2.  Today was the last day of the Whole Life ChallengeThe GroundWorx group will be doing the final WOD tomorrow morning.  Since I will be heading to Vermont, I did the workout this morning.  It was the same workout we did 8 weeks ago:
wlc wod

In the preliminary WOD, my score was 238.  My final score was 247…so a slight improvement.  My calories weren’t as good time on the bike (my legs were still feeling the squat WOD I had on Wednesday night).  Last time I got 44 cals, this time just a few shy. This time I was able to do more reps of the rest of it though.  Prelim WOD I made it to 69 push-ups.  Today I got to some improvement there.  By the end of the 11 minutes, my shoulders were toast…they were burning like mad.  Overall I’m pretty happy with the WOD.  I improved, not by a huge amount, but a little bit better, which is going in the right direction.  We also had to take our measurements – waist and hips. I lost 3 inches off my waist, and 2 off my hips…and I think that’s fantastic! 

Overall, I’m happy with how my Challenge went.  I was very good with my eating, found lots of great new recipes, resisted temptation MANY times, and saw improvements in my workout, measurements and even dropped 8 lbs on the scale. 

Now, the trick will be to keep going with these new, healthy habits now that we aren’t checking in online daily.  I know with our March Break trip, my eating will not be perfect and I will be enjoying a few cold Coronas when I come off the hill each day, but I will do my best and not stress over it.  I will get back to clean/paleo/challenge eating when we get back home. 

3.  I did 14.2 tonight.  This WOD was not meant for me:

I have never done 10 reps at 65lbs in total, let alone in a row, and I can’t do C2B pull-ups.  We spent a good part of class stretching and warming up for the WOD.  In warm-up I did try 65lbs and was able to do it with good form.  I only did 2 in warm-up since I didn’t want to use my good reps when they didn’t count.  We also warmed up our pull-ups.  I attempted some C2B in the warm-up, but barely got my chin over the bar.  I wasn’t too worried about it.  My goal for the WOD was to get through the first 10 OHS.

When it came time for the WOD, I did 8 great OHS in a row.  Number 9 was dicey, and I didn’t get low enough so it was a no-rep.  I dropped the bar and regrouped.  I didn’t want to try snatching that much weight up, so I cleaned and pressed overhead, then lowered to behind my head, adjusted my grip to the wider snatch grip and them pressed up into the overhead position.  I kept thinking “keep it all tight” and managed 2 good, clean OHS to get to my 10!  I had about 1:45 left to try to get a C2B.  I got close, but it didn’t happen Sad smile.  After the time was up, I kept trying and on my third or 4th extra try I GOT IT!  I felt the bar touch my chest!  It was awesome!  Smile I tried to do another one, but never quite got it again.  That’s okay.  At least now I can say I’ve done 1 Chest to Bar pull-up.  It’s too bad I didn’t get it during the 3 minutes of the WOD as I’m thinking that 1 C2B rep will be a big rep in the scores.  Oh well.  I’m happy with my 10.

4.  I’m on vacation!

5. I’M ON VACATION!!!  For the next week, you can find me on one of these trails…if in doubt, check WarDance.  It’s my favourite trail on the mountain.  It’s often closed for racing, so whenever it’s open I’m on it!

Now I need to go finish packing.  We head out tomorrow morning at 8am. 

I will try to post a bit while I’m away, but no guarantees. If you want to see what I’m doing, be sure to follow me on Instagram @collerhead as I’m sure I will be posting pictures…it’s just so easy!

Did you do 14.2?  How did it go?


Totally Random Tuesday – March Break Vermont Edition

Happy Tuesday, everyone!

Totally random tuesday 2

I’m in Vermont on a ski vacation this week…hence the lack of posts.  I’ve been too busy shredding, eating and drinking to post!  Today it is raining – pouring, actually – so we took the afternoon off and I have time to write a post.  Here of some random things that have happened so far this week.

1.  We are having a fantastic trip so far.
Image (1)

The sun was shining Sunday afternoon when we arrived at the hill and we had a great first day of skiing, and some great Apres Ski beverages as well!  The run you see in the middle of the bottom row in the pic above is my absolute FAVOURITE run at Okemo.  It is called WarDance and a lot of the time it is not open for general public skiing as it is closed for racing.  Yesterday it was actually open, and I made the most of it, skiing it at least 5 times.  I love, love, love this run. I get in my grove and just fly down the hill.  I skied it as much as I could on Monday, since you never know if it will be open again.

2.  Beer is VERY cheep down here!  As you know, I am a big fan of Corona.  At home, its about $48 for a 24 pack.  Down here, it is about $13 for a 12 pack.  SWEET!  I have been enjoying them …and this is what I’ve got left:

Actually, now there is only one, since I’m enjoying one as I type up this post.  Good thing hubs has gone into town for a grocery top up and is picking me up another 12 pack!

3.  I remember how to snowboard!  Since the weather today was crap – seriously, it is POURING – I decided to take my snowboard out for the morning.  The snow would be soft and make my wipeout landings softer.  I am still a very novice snowboarder, so I’m slow and still have some pretty spectacular wipeouts.  I started out with a few runs on the small hill to make sure I remembered how to do it, then I got brave and headed up the big hill.  I was slow, but I managed to cover a lot of the mountain, and even got to board on WarDance!  It was supposed to be on hold for racing, but when I got over there, it was open, so off I went!  it was awesome! Check out the trail map to see where I’m skiing & riding this week.

4.  I am not doing so great with my clean eating this week.  But you know what….I don’t really care!  I am getting lots of fresh air and exercise – especially when I board…it is hard work for me – so I’m not too worried about things. Plus, I’m on vacation!  One week off won’t kill me.  We have actually been eating quite well so far.  We’ve had a lovely chicken and veggie fettuccini alfredo and a taco salad.  Tonight we are having pulled pork…mmm mmm…can’t wait!   It is simmering in the crock pot as I type!
photo (1)
5.  I’m missing my CrossFit.  I’ve been following along on the CrossFit Newmarket Central website to see what the WOD’s are that I’m missing.  tomorrow I need to check in to see what the Open 13.2 WOD will be.  I’m enjoying my week of skiing and boarding, but looking forward to getting back to the CrossFit routine next week.

6.  Vermont has the BEST cheese!  This Cabot cheese is the bomb!  Sharp Cheddar deliciousness!  We have eaten a giant brick already…and cheese was on the grocery list that hubs has as well.  I need to remember to grab a couple of bricks to take home with me.
photo (2)

Now, I think it’s time that I get back to my Corona!

Hope your Tuesday has been totally random!
Are you doing anything fun for March Break?



It’s All Downhill From Here!

Happy Hump Day, peeps! The weekend is creeping ever closer!

If you’ve been following along, you know that I am a huge fan of weekends. I’m looking forward to this weekend even more than usual, since it will be the start of our March Break ski vacation to Okemo Mountain in Vermont. Only 2 more days of work and we are off to hit the slopes!

Today was a much better day for me food-wise:
Breakfast: microwaved egg sandwich with Havarti on whole wheat toast
Lunch: Leftover Clean Eating Cauliflower, Goat Cheese & Chicken casserole. Just as yummy today as it was for dinner last night. Added a little Sriracha to give it a little kick. That was a good move!

Dinner: Tonight it was hubby’s turn to cook. By special request from the kids, he made his famous Taco Salad. As usual, it was delicious! Especially with a few extra jalapeños to kick it up a notch! Yummo!!

Snacks: a banana this afternoon and a handful of PC Blue Menu pretzels after my CrossFit WOD. (I was starving!)

Tonight was another CrossFit night. Tonight’s workout was front squats as the strength move, followed by a 7 min AMRAP of 10 wallballs and 10 ring dips. Here’s how it looked:

I had only done front squats once before and lifted 55lbs. Tonight I was quite happy to get up to 85lbs…a new PR! For the 70% max set I went to 70lbs. I think that was probably more than I was supposed to lift. I’m still not quite sure how to read that chart they have to figure out what all the different %ages should be. Oh well…I was able to do 7 reps at that weight before my wrists felt like they were going to snap! That was the worst part of the whole thing. My wrists were killing me. I may have to look into getting some wrist wraps that I see other people wearing during the workouts.

For the AMRAP I got through 3 full rounds with a 14lb med ball (first time i actually did the wall ball at the Rx weight) and did the ring dips with a purple band, plus another set of 10 wall balls and 5 ring dips, for a total of 75 reps. I’m not sure how this compares to what others in the class did…I will have to take a look on Friday morning and see. There was a lot of excitement at the end of class so I didn’t get a chance to look too closely at the board.

So, all the excitement was due to the announcement of what the first WOD for the CrossFit Open would be. It sounds insane!


MEN – includes Masters Men up to 54 years old
Proceed through the sequence below completing as many reps as possible in 17 minutes of:
40 Burpees
75 pound Snatch, 30 reps
30 Burpees
135 pound Snatch, 30 reps
20 Burpees
165 pound Snatch, 30 reps
10 burpees
210 pound Snatch, as many reps as possible

WOMEN – includes Masters Women up to 54 years old
Proceed through the sequence below completing as many reps as possible in 17 minutes of:
40 Burpees
45 pound Snatch, 30 reps
30 Burpees
75 pound Snatch, 30 reps
20 Burpees
100 pound Snatch, 30 reps
10 burpees
120 pound Snatch, as many reps as possible

Our Box is doing the Open WODs on Fridays. I am signed up for the 7am class Friday morning. That was before I knew we would be doing an Open WOD. I’m terrified of the regular workouts…this Open WOD is already freaking me out! Burpees suck on a good day. Doing 100 of them in one workout might kill me! Plus, I haven’t done a snatch yet, so doing 90+ of those, with increasing weights, is pretty intimidating. I’m not competing in the Open, so I will be scaling this workout for sure! I actually came home from the Box tonight and checked if there was room in tomorrow morning’s class so I could switch to that instead. But, going back with less than 12 hours between WODs might be a bit much and I figured I would just suck it up and do the Open WOD. If it doesn’t kill me, it will make me stronger!


How was your Wednesday?
Did you get a good workout in?
Are you as afraid of your next workout as I am?!!!

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Fun Day, Run Day

This was Thursday’s post…for some reason it didn’t load…here it is now.


Today I set my alarm to get up early and go run my 3 miles. The alarm went off, I turned it off, rolled over and went back to sleep for 2 hours! So the pre-ski run did not happen. I was a bit worried about this as I didn’t run yesterday after giving myself an extra day off.

It seemed everyone was a bit tired this morning, because when I finally got up, both of my kids were still sound asleep. We all eventually got moving and out the door, and it’s a good thing we did. The skiing this morning was the best all week. Finally it was cold enough that the snow stayed in great shape until early afternoon. We were all over the mountain this morning and had a great time skiing together.

We headed back out after lunch with the plan to do a few runs and then meet up with our entire extended family group of 20 for waffles at the famous Okemo Waffle House. This is a little shack in the middle of the hill that makes the most amazing fresh waffles ever. They are warm, delicious and come drizzled in melted chocolate. They are an annual tradition for our trip to Okemo. I thoroughly enjoyed mine and could have easily enjoyed another one, but I was good and just had my one super delicious treat.

My mom and I at the Waffle Cabin

After waffles we made a few more runs and then it was off to take a ride on Okemo’s Timber Ripper Mountain Coaster. This is a roller coaster with individual cars that takes you on a fun-filled ride down Okemo mountain. The kids have been dying to take a ride since we didn’t get a chance to do it last year when it first opened. It was quite fun and the kids liked it so much we forked out another wad of cash so they could all go again.

Everyone then went down to the pool and hot tub for some relaxation. That is everyone except me. I laced up my runners, grabbed my iPod and headed out the door for a 3 mile run. My husband commented that he was impressed with my dedication to training while we are away. I’m impressed too. I planned to do most of the runs, but I wasn’t too sure if it would really happen. I’m glad I was able to stick to it.

So, once again it was me, Vermont Hwy 100, and this time a sunset. 3 miles is not that far, but Vermont is not flat (at least not around here!) and my legs are so tired from a week of skiing, so the run was really not all that fun…but i did it! I am quite pleased with the amount of running I got in while on vacation. I did all but 1 of my scheduled runs and I think that is pretty good. Tomorrow is a rest day (yay!!!) and I should be home Saturday by late afternoon to finish my training week off there.

It’s supposed to rain here tomorrow, so we may just get up, pack the truck and head all the way home. If that is the case I should have no problem getting Saturday’s 2.5 miles in. If we do ski tomorrow, then I won’t be home until Saturday night and that 2.5 miles will be a bit more of a challenge. Regardless, Sunday is a “long run” day with 4.5 miles. I’m almost looking forward to it. It will be the farthest I’ve run yet. Hopefully I’ve got some legs back by and I won’t have to walk too much of it.

All in all, it was a pretty fun day at Okemo!

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Do the Mashed Potato

After a very successful start to my day (completing yesterday’s missed training run), it was off to the slopes to get as many runs in before the bright sunshine and ridiculously warm temperatures turned the snow to that dreaded mashed potato consistency.  Unfortunately it didn’t take long for that to happen.  Yet, we were troopers and skied like mad before lunch, knowing that this afternoon would be even worse.

After lunch, I switched from skis to my snowboard thinking it would be easier to tackle the poor conditions on a board as opposed to my skis (I was wrong!).  I headed out to take a few easy runs with my son, who also switched to his board for the afternoon.  We went all the way to the top of the mountain to take a nice easy run called Tuckered Out.  It was brutal. The snow was so slow that I got stopped a few times and had to unbuckle and walk a bit to a steeper part of the hill.  I am still just learning to board and this was such a workout moving in this wet, sticky, clumpy snow.  We had planned to take a few runs, but by the time we got down once, both of us decided that Tuckered Out had tuckered us out and that we should just sit on the patio and enjoy some sunshine for the rest of the afternoon.  We made the right decision….sitting and chillin’ in the sun was exactly what we needed.

I am getting quite the goggle tan, but everyone else around has one too, so I don’t look too silly.  Next week when I’m back to work and client meetings, I’m sure I will look quite ridiculous!

Plan for the rest of the night is dinner, hot tub, beer and bed.  I’ve got to get up early tomorrow and run 2 miles before I hit the slopes.  Tomorrow is also a core day, which should fun.

I’m trying to eat fairly healthy this week, not going overboard with the snacks, but I’m caving in on the beer.  It just tastes so good after a hard day on the slopes.  I figure between my training runs first thing in the morning and skiing/snowboarding most of the day, I’m burning through a few calories and have earned a few nice cold beers as a reward.  Besides, this IS a vacation, so I’m allowed to indulge a bit, no?

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I Missed a Run, and I Liked it!!!

Well, I hate to say it, but I missed my first training run today.  I had good intentions of running my scheduled 3.5 miles after I came off the slopes this afternoon, but the sun was shining, friends were laughing, and the beer was flowing….a bad combination!  Well, actually it was a great combination, just a bad one for running.  I have accepted it. I knew it would be a challenge to get the runs in while on vacation, and turns out I was right.

The beer wins.  It was just too nice on the patio to pack it in and go for a run….plus we had to wait for our room to be ready, which just meant we had time for one more beer while we waited!  So, I’m modifying my schedule and taking today as my “rest day” and will get up early tomorrow and run those  pesky 3.5 miles BEFORE I hit the slopes.

While I may not have run today, that doesn’t mean I didn’t get a good workout in.  We are at Okemo Mountain in Ludlow, VT and we skied this afternoon as a bonus today, since our official lift ticket doesn’t start until tomorrow.  It was very warm out – 56 degrees Fahrenheit, that’s a little over 13 degrees Celcius for my fellow Canadians – which meant the snow was very soft and at times hard to get through as it had the texture of mashed potatoes. It was a good leg workout, that’s for sure. There were times when I could really feel the burn!

So, the plan for tomorrow:  run 3.5 miles at the crack of dawn, ski like crazy in the morning while the snow is still in fairly good shape, then  switch to the snowboard after lunch when things are likely to get pretty soft again. I hope my legs can take it!

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