My Pursuit of Happiness and Skinny Jeans

My journey to a smaller jean size

Motivational Monday

Well, it seems I am not getting any better at posting regularly.  😦  Not sure I ever will.  Random, infrequent posts seems to be the new normal around here.  Oh well!

Here’s a quick Motivational Monday to kick off the week.

motivational-monday1.pngI’ve got a killer workout ahead of me tonight at CrossFit:
angieI have never done Angie before.  On paper, it looks wicked.  I’m pretty sure I will be doing Ring Rows in place of the pull-ups, and that even sounds killer! But, I will just tackle this beast one rep at a time and hope for the best.

Ditch the fearAngie doesn’t scare me!  (Well, maybe a little :))

Happy Monday, peeps!  Here’s to a great week ahead.

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Motivational Monday–FRAN!

Happy Monday, peeps!
motivational-monday1

I had a great weekend with birthday celebrations for my son, great dinner out with hubby and my sister, and watching my kids play hockey.  Now it’s back to work and the chaos that is my weekday life! 

I’m back to CrossFit tonight at 8:30, where I will get to tackle Fran.
fran4letter_thumb

For those not familiar, aside from being a 4 letter word, Fran is a benchmark CrossFit workout of Thrusters and Pull-ups with a 21-15-9 rep scheme.  So 21 thrusters, 21 pull-ups, 15 thrusters, 15 pull-ups, 9 thrusters, 9 pull-ups.  You are supposed to do it as fast as you can.  RX weight for girls is 65#. 

I’ve done with WOD a few times before:

    • Feb 26, 2013 – very early in my CrossFit life, used an empty training bar (15#) and a super thick blue band for the pull-ups.  It took me 7:01.
    • July 29, 2013 – moved up to 35# and used a purple (thinner) band for pull-ups.  Time 9:50
    • Oct 4, 2013 – this was CFNC’s 3rd anniversary and we did Double Fran.  so 21-15-9-21-15-9.  It was HELL!  I used 35# and the purple band again and it was a brutal 25:18!

We did Fran this past May too, but it I didn’t go to class that day, so I don’t have a very recent Fran time to go by.  One of my CrossFit goals for 2014 was to do Fran RX.  I’m not sure I’m quite ready for that yet.  65# thrusters are super hard for me and I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t finish the WOD in the 10 minute time cap if I tried that weight tonight.  I did the same rep scheme of deadlifts and pull-ups a few weeks ago and managed to do all the pull-ups RX, but since them my pull-ups haven’t been so good.  Hopefully tonight will be a good pull-up night for me.

Regardless, I need to remember this…fran2

I’ll show up, do the work, and hope for the best!  Whatever happens, I’m sure I will leave sweaty, exhausted, and ready for bed!

What’s your Fran time?

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So Many Pull-ups!

I went to CrossFit last night for the first time since the weekend.  I was planning to go on Tuesday, but I was just not feeling it.  I was tired and had some stuff that needed to get done at home.  Plus, Tuesday is usually a day off from CrossFit for me, and I decided that even though I wasn’t there on Monday, since the gym was close for Thanksgiving, I would stick to my usual routine and take Tuesday as a CrossFit rest day.

That meant yesterday’s class was my first one in 4 days.  I was a bit nervous since I haven’t been feeling the best in classes lately.  I’ve been feeling like I’m stalled and not making any progress….and I hate that. 

Last night’s workout was:
wod oct 15

My back has been a little sore – I tweaked it at my first hockey game of the season picking up my bag after our game – so I haven’t been going too heavy on deadlifts lately.  I’ve just been focussing on good form and not stressing my back.  It’s getting better, but I don’t want to push it. 

For the MetCon last night, I used 85# for the deadlifts.  I probably could have done heavier, but didn’t want to risk it.  The part I was more concerned about was the pull-ups.  I haven’t been doing very well with them lately.  I’ve been needing to use a band after only a few reps.  Not good. 

When it came time to set up our stations for the WOD I grabbed a couple of black bands and got them ready on the bar for my pull-ups.  I tried a few unassisted kipping pull-ups and they felt okay, but I wasn’t sure how many I would be able to do in total.

When it came time for the WOD, I did my deadlifts without too much difficulty and then headed to the rig.  I hopped up and did 4 pull-ups (without the bands) and they felt okay.  I dropped and took a short rest and then hopped back up.  In the end I did the 21 reps all without a band!  I was exhausted but super pumped.  I don’t remember the last time I did more than 5 pull-ups without a band, so this was great.  I used the 400m run around the building to recover a bit and then back to the barbell for 15 more deadlifts.  For the 15 pull-ups, I actually moved the bands completely out of the way and just tackled them kipping 3 or 4 at a time.  I couldn’t believe that I was actually doing them RX.  Insane!  Another 400m run and then the final set.  Deadlifts were no problem and then it was back to the pull-ups.  Only 9, done in 3 sets of 3. They were not fast, but they were solid.  One last 400m run and I was done. 

Once again I was last in the class to finish, and based on times I saw on the board, the slowest person of the day….but I don’t care…

I DID 45 RX PULL-UPS!!!  Woohoo!

getting-stronger

Tonight I’ve got hockey, so won’t be going to CrossFit.  I’ll be back at it tomorrow, when I see the has more pull-ups in it – chest to bar this time.  I can’t do C2B yet, but hopefully I will be able to keep it going and do kipping RX again.  Fingers crossed.

Does accomplishing something at the gym make you as ridiculously happy as it makes me?

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Totally Random Tuesday

totally random Tuesday

It’s been a while since I’ve posted.  Life had been busy and I just don’t seem to have time, or the energy, to post all that regularly.  Hopefully I will get you all caught up on what’s been going on with my in another instalment of Totally Random Tuesday.

1.  I have bumped my CrossFit up to 4 times a week.  This started when I got back from March Break.  I’m loving the extra class, but my body sure felt it for the first few weeks. To help my body cope, I am trying to attend a Mobility Class each week.  My hockey for the season has finished, which means I can go to CrossFit on Thursdays and there is a mobility class that I will try to regularly attend.  I went for the first time last week and it felt good.  Tomorrow I am going to do a WOD at 7pm and then hit mobility at 8.  It should be a good stretch and I’m hoping it helps me make it through 4 days in a row at the Box.  This week I will be going Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. so a good stretch might be just what I need to help me survive! 
stretch its good for you

2.  The Corona Crushers went to Brockville this past weekend for our annual tournament adventure.  This is our 4th year going to this tournament.  We always have a good time, and this year was no exception.  Our game times were pretty good (10pm Friday night, 3pm Saturday afternoon, 9am Sunday and then finals 12:15 Sunday afternoon if we made it).  We got smoked by a very good, young team on Friday night, but we didn’t let that bother out post game celebrations.  We headed back to the hotel and did what the Crushers do best…we partied…hard!  We finally went to bed at 5:30 or so Saturday morning!  Good thing we didn’t play until 3!  Despite the late night, we were up around 10:30 and hit a local diner for a great “morning after the night before” breakfast:
photo 1 (1)
We did a bit of shopping and then we were back on the ice at 3.  We won that game pretty easily and then got right back into party mode.  We went out for dinner and then back to the room for more drinks, laughs and fun.  Saturday was an earlier night, since we played at 9 and needed to win to make the finals.  Sunday’s 9am game was another strong game for us and we did win, which meant we were in the finals at 12;15.

In true Crusher fashion, we enjoyed a few bevvies between games…we may have broken a few rules in doing so!
photo 4

In the finals, we played the same team we played Friday night.  They are a very strong team, and were much better than we were, and once again, they beat us quite handily…but we played a fantastic game.  We played much better than we did Friday night, and even though we lost, we were pretty happy with our performance.  We are already looking forward to next year’s tourney!  Maybe next year we will do a better job lining up for the team photo! 
crushers brockville 2014

3.  I’m back to CrossFit tomorrow…after 4 days off.  I’m a little nervous about how I will feel after being away from the Box for 4 days in a row.  I did play 4 games of hockey during that time off, but it’s not the same as CrossFit!  Tomorrow’s WOD looks like this:
wod apriil 8

For the last few weeks, the WODs have been different than we’ve been used to.  There are now advanced, intermediate and beginner levels to the strength and usually the met con as well. This is following an Optimum Performance Training theory of programming.  I’m not exactly sure what it’s all about or how it is better than what we did before, but I will trust my coaches that they know what they are doing and are programming so we can all make gains. I will either do intermediate or beginner tomorrow. I will decide after the coach gives her pre-WOD talk.  So far, they’ve recommended we go one level below what we think we are until we get a feel for the new programming.  If that is still the case, I will probably do Beginner.  I’m sure it will still be a killer workout!

For the MetCon, I’m pretty sure I will row, since the driveway at the gym is a complete disaster after this brutal winter.  There are giant potholes, heaves and dips all over the place.  I don’t need to roll and ankle or wipe out during the run, so I think I will keep it safe and hit the rower.  Can’t wait to get back at it.

4.  Here’s a funny for anyone who has a cat:  It’s funny, because it’s true!  This has happened more than once at our house!

photo 2 (1)

5.  I have fallen off on my reading lately. I was going great guns until the last week of March and I haven’t read much at all since I finished my last book March 24. I just can’t seem to find anything that seems like something I want to read. I have no shortage of books available, as hubs got a jump drive with about 5000 books on it from someone at work. I just need to take some time to go through them all and find something that looks good.

Any suggestions on what I should read next? 

Hope your Tuesday was Totally Random!

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I’m A Machine?

So, a while back I celebrated my first year of CrossFit.  My coaches sent me an email to commemorate the occasion:

“Congratulations, Cathy, you have officially completed one year of training at CrossFit Newmarket Central!

Your very first day with us was January 30, 2013.  Did you imagine on that day that you would be where you are today?  Every year on your anniversary, we suggest you take a moment to look over your training journal to see where you’ve been and what you’ve accomplished — you might just surprise yourself!  In any event, the year mark is significant — congratulations on your persistence and consistency.  Keep up the great work and we look forward to seeing you in many more classes to come!
Good work and happy anniversary!

Ryan, Michelle & all the staff at CrossFit Newmarket Central”

I thought it was funny that they suggested I go back through my WOD book and see how far I had come during this first year of CrossFit, since I had done exactly that just a couple of weeks before when I had finished my first WOD journal.  I wanted to let Ryan and Michelle know how much I enjoyed my year, and share a few of my highlights, so I replied back to their email.  They liked my reply so much, they asked if they could share it with the other members of CFNC.  I said sure, and didn’t think much about it.  Ryan took a pic of me before class one night so he could include it with my reply.

Well, last week (on March 26) he posted my reply to the CrossFit Newmarket Central Facebook page and I was floored by the response!  Here’s the post from the CFNC Facebook page. I’ve added in links to my original posts where I talk about each one of these highlights.

Cathy is a machine!!

“Thanks Ryan and Michelle.
This has been the best year! I am so much fitter, stronger, happier, and healthier than I was last year at this time…and a HUGE part of that is thanks to CrossFit and the amazing coaches.

I absolutely LOVE everything about CrossFit! CrossFit class is truly one of the best parts of my day. The WODs are tough, challenging, at times killer, but they work…the changes I see in my body prove it! I leave (almost) every class with a smile on my face and the satisfaction of knowing I am doing good things for my body and my life. The classes that I don’t leave smiling – take Nov 18 Barbara WOD as an example here…58 minutes and 26 seconds of pure, fucking hell – I leave knowing I survived and even though things may be tough, they are making me stronger.

I just finished my first WOD book a couple of weeks ago and I did go back and look at everything I have accomplished this past year. I may not be the strongest, or the fastest, or the leanest person at CFNC, but I am certainly stronger, faster and leaner than I was last year at this time. A few of the highlights for me this year:

1. May 3: Finishing the WOD – 200m walking lunges with 5 thrusters every 10 lunges. This WOD made me want to cry. It was so hard. I remember being so far behind the group and thinking I am not going to be able to finish. I wanted to stop and cry, and then Ryan came around the corner and started talking me through the last 50 metres or so. I honestly believe that if he hadn’t come around that corner and started to encourage me, I may still be standing there holding those fucking dumbbells – since I didn’t realize I could put them down along the way! I remember telling Ryan I wanted to cry. He told me I could cry when I crossed the finish line (and I think I did). I remember turning the final corner and heading towards the garage door at the old gym. I was so slow that my whole class had finished and the next class already outside finishing their warm up. That just meant there were 20+ people there cheering me on. I was on the verge of tears…from the pain, but also from seeing everyone there encouraging me to keep going. That was the day I truly understood the “family” that is CrossFit.

2. Aug 16: Getting unassisted kipping pull-ups. Seriously, this made me ridiculously happy and the fact that Ryan captured it on video was awesome. I still go back and watch the video every once in a while and can’t help but smile.

3. Nov 11: Finishing the Filthy Fifty in 37:33. The first time I did it (May 13) I only made it through 6.5 stations in the 35 minute time cap, so finishing the whole thing in only a couple minutes more proved to me that I was getting better. (There was a 30 min time cap that I didn’t finish under, but I just kept going because I was determined to finish the WOD)

4. Nov 25: Clean & Jerk 100lbs. I finally got 100lbs over my head! I didn’t make a big deal about it when it happened. Just had a huge smile and gave myself a little round of applause, but inside I was so proud of myself.

There are plenty more highlights from my first year of CrossFit, but these are 4 that really stand out for me. They show me that I can do so much more than I thought possible. I still have a mini panic attack every once in a while before class as I watch the class before me finish the WOD. But once I get out there on the gym floor the panic goes away and I know I will get through it.

Thank you to you and all the other amazing coaches for all your help this year. I’ve come a long way this past year and I can’t wait to see what I can accomplish in the next year.
See you in the gym!”
Cathy

— with Ryan Abush and 8 others at CrossFit Newmarket Central.

 

crossfit pic with post

The comments that people made on the post just further went to show me why I love CrossFit and the members of CFNC.  They are so supportive and encouraging.  If you want to see what I mean, just click on the link to the CFNC Facebook page and read the original post…the comments are below it.

I”m not sure I would call myself a machine, but I don’t think I’m a broken down wreck at the side of the road anymore!

I can’t wait to see what my second year of CrossFit has in store!

Lift happy, my friends!
peace love and crossfit

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CrossFit Open 14.2 Announcement

Tonight was the big announcement for 14.2.  Like everyone else competing in the games, I was anxious to see what this week’s Open WOD would be.

Tonight was also my hockey night, so I didn’t get to watch the announcement live, or watch Camille Leblanc-Bazinet and Talayna Fortunato go head to head with the workout.  But, as soon as I walked in the door, I headed straight to my laptop to see what the 14.2 WOD would be..and here’s what I found:

14.2

I have to say…this is not a good WOD for me. I should be able to do the overhead squats, but it won’t be easy. 65lb is the max OHS I have ever done and I’ve only done 10 of them in total at that weight.  I’m hopeful that tomorrow I will be able to do 10 in a row.  And that might be the end of my workout.  I have never done a chest to bar pull-up without a band.  The only pull-up I can do unassisted is a kipping pull-up, but I don’t get my chest to the bar.  I guess tomorrow will be an interesting WOD…if I can get just one C2B pull-up I will be thrilled.  I guess I will spend some time tomorrow searching for YouTube videos about how to do a C2B pull-up. 

Aside from tomorrow being the day I will do 14.2, it will also be the last day of my Whole Life Challenge.  Since I will be away when the group is doing the finale WOD on Saturday, I will be doing mine tomorrow morning.  I was a bit worried that doing the WLC finale WOD might impact my performance on the Open WOD that I will do later in the afternoon.  Now that I’ve seen the Open WOD, I won’t have to worry about that being a problem.  I’m pretty sure I will be taking a 10 as my score for the Open WOD, and the WLC WOD in the morning isn’t going to change that.

Are you looking forward to 14.2?
Can you do C2B pull-ups?

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Totally Random Tuesday

Totally random tuesday 2

Hey kids.  Once again, it’s been a while.  Oh well…I’ve come to accept my infrequent blogging as the way things will be around here.

Anyways, here are a few random things going on in my world lately.

1.  I saw this video the other day.  Can’t remember how I was directed to it, but it made me smile.  The drummer in this band is having way too much fun.

This guy is good!

As I was searching for the link to put into the post, I noticed that he actually has his own website and that he sort of “shot to fame” after this video went viral  back in 2010.  If you search YouTube for him, there are tons of other videos.  The guy has some mad skills! He also has a website:  http://www.maddrummerinc.com/mdhome.htm

2.  I’ve signed up for a CrossFit Competition this Thursday!  It is a partner competition at my friend Marina’s CrossFit and her coach, Alli, thought we would be good together.  It is at the CrossFit that I am doing the Whole Life Challenge with.  I haven’t actually met Alli in person yet, but have emailed and communicated with her through Facebook quite a bit the last 4 weeks, so it will be nice to meet her in person.

I am pretty nervous about the competition, since I’ve never done one before.  Alli assures me it will be fun.  Today the WOD’s were posted.
vday wod 1vday wod 2

I’m not really looking forward to the first WOD, but the second one looks like it will be fun.  I will let you know how it goes.  Regardless of how we do, it should be a ton of fun.

3.  I’ve finished my third book of 2014.  I just finished Allegiant, the final book in the Divergent Series by Veronica Roth.

allegiant
It was pretty good.  I won’t spoil it, but I wasn’t happy with some of the way it ended, but overall, I enjoyed it.  I’m now reading The Dinner, by Herman Koch.
the dinner
I don’t know too much about this book other then it was on the top 50 list of Chapters Indigo for 2013, so figured I would give it a go.  (I did not read the review that the book cover image is linked to, since the first line of that review said if you want to enjoy the book don’t read anything about it, just read the book)  I’m not far enough into the book yet to decide if I like it, but it seems okay so far.

4.  I’ve got a plan for my kipping pull-ups.  Sadly, I did not hit my goal of 10 unbroken kipping pull-ups in January.  I was a little disappointed about this, but not totally crushed.  I figured I would just keep working away at them alone.  Then, this month, my CrossFit instituted what they are calling Coaching Rosters. This is where everyone at the gym is assigned a “Super Coach” that will be checking in with us through email and when we see them at the gym and keeping us on track to meet our CrossFit goals that we set for 2014.
supercoach
My Super Coach is Katrina and we are Team Super Girl.  Katrina has already checked in with me a couple of times.  She asked if I had reached my 10 pull-up goal.  I told her I hadn’t and asked if she had any tips.  Today, she wrote back with 3 things I can work on to get my 10.  Katrina said next time I did pull-ups I should pay attention to where I fail and then work on what’s needed.

1.  Is it my grip?  Improve my grip strength:  do “bar hangs” every other day, trying to increase the length of time I can hang from the bar each day.
2.  Is it my shoulder strength/stability?  Use the crossover bands to strengthen the accessory muscles of the shoulder.
3.  Is it core? Increase core strength by doing hollow body rocks “every damn day” 3 sets of 20.

I’m pretty sure I could use improvement on all 3 of the items above, so I plan to work on all the exercises she suggested.  Hopefully if I work on these I will get my 10 unbroken pull-ups by the end of February. Fingers crossed!

There are other things that the Super Coach teams will be doing…but I’ll get into that in another post.

Now, I’m going to finish watching The Following from last night, and then head downstairs to work on my pull-up exercises before heading up to bed.  Before I go to sleep I need to mediate for 10 minutes and then I hope to read for a bit before finally going to sleep.

So much to do…so little time!

Happy Tuesday!  Hope it was totally random!

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The Friday Five

Happy Friday, kids!  We made it to another weekend – wohoo! And you know what that means….it’s time for another edition of…
friday-five2

Let’s get to it!

1.  It’s the end of week 2 of the Whole Life ChallengeI have been doing very well with all of the components of the program:  nutrition, workouts, mobility, supplement, & lifestyle (first two weeks it was drinking half your body weight in ounces of water).   So far I have all of my points.  That may all change tomorrow.  Tomorrow, the lifestyle challenge changes…and it really will be a challenge for me – get 7 hours of sleep a day.  Most nights I get somewhere between 5.5 and 6 hours of sleep.  Last time I did the challenge, 7 hours of sleep was a lifestyle challenge for only 1 week, i think, and I was so happy when that week was over  Getting 7 hours will not be easy.  Weekends won’t be a problem, but getting 7 hours during the week will be tough.  I will have to make a good effort to get to bed significantly earlier than usual if I’m going to keep my lifestyle points.  Hopefully I can do it.  I really could use more sleep!

sleep solves everything
2.  Today’s WOD was killer:
jan 24 wod

So, the shoulder press wasn’t too bad.  I stuck with 55# for the last 3 sets and just worked on form and squeezing everything as I pushed the bar up.  It’s hard to resists the urge to give a little dip with the legs and help get the bar up.  After the shoulder press strength work, we did some work on muscle ups.  For the first time ever, I was up on the rings.  I worked on the kipping motion from hollow body to super man.  It’s very different doing it off the rings than the pull-up bar as the rings move.  We also got a few tips about how to get the transition from the swing to get your hips up to the rings.  There is a lot going on there.  I will just stick with trying to kip from the rings for the next while. 

After the muscle up work it was down to the WOD.  Since I can’t do a muscle up, my WOD would be pull-ups and ring dips.  RX was 90 of each, but Coach said that number if for the elite athletes.  I am not one of those!  I ended up scaling to 40 of each, and I did all 40 pull-ups unassisted!  I was alternating 10 pull-ups and then 10 dips.  I really wanted to get to 10 unbroken pull-ups, but I could only manage sets of 5, and towards the end that dropped down to a few sets of 3.  My hands are killing me. I really need to find some grips or gloves to help with that.  I didn’t tear tonight, but both hands are pretty tender. 

After all of this I did only 20 GHD sit-ups as my back was feeling a little tweaky and I didn’t want to risk it.  I’m okay with that.  I still got a pretty goof workout in!  Now I’ve got 2 days of rest before going back for more Monday night.  I will need to find something to do at home to get my workout requirement done for the WLC.  I will see what time I wake up tomorrow…maybe I will go for another quick treadmill run.  We’ll see!

3.  I am chipping away at my reading goal.  I just finished reading Orange is the New Black last night.  It was really good and very different from the TV series.  I won’t give anything away, but they have taken a lot of liberty with the TV show!  With this book finished, I’m now at 2 books for 2014.  I will need to find my next book and get right to it if I want to reach my goal of 24 for the year. To keep track of my reads, I’ve created a “Books I’ve Read” page where I will list everything once I’m finished reading a book.  If you have any good suggestions of what I should add to my reading list for the year feel free to comment on my “books” page. 


4.  I think I’m taking Belly Dancing lessons!  One of my girlfriend’s saw a TeamBuy for 4 belly dancing lessons for $20. She thought it might be fun if we did it as a group.  It sounds like 4 or 5 of us are in.  No idea what I may have gotten myself into, but I’m sure it will be good for a few laughs!  I will let you know how it goes when we actually get our lesson with the Desert Belles
.
5.  The CrossFit Open is coming up.  Everyone who does CrossFit knows about the CrossFit games, and the route to the games starts with The Open

The Open is really just that.  It is the qualifying round that is Open to anyone who wants to enter.  Sign up on the website, pay your money, and then wait for the Open WODs to be announced and then hit the WODs for 5 weeks in a row.  Top scorers from each region will go to regional semi-finals.  The best from there go to the Games.  There is no way in hell that I will be going anywhere, but I’m considering signing up for the Open just to see how I can do and to challenge myself a bit.  Coaches at my Box are encouraging everyone to sign up. 

I started CrossFit just before the Open last year and did a few of the Open workouts.  They are tough and I scaled just about everything last year.  Since we have no idea what the WODs will be, I have no idea if I will even be able to do them RX, which you need to do to score any points.  Still, I will consider signing up. If nothing else, the Open WODs should be some pretty good workouts. 

Happy Friday, everyone.  Have a GREAT WEEKEND!

Do you have any recommendations for good books I should read this year?

Are you signed up for the Open?

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The Friday Five

We made it through another week! Phew!!  Hello weekend! And welcome to another edition of…
friday-five2

Let’s get right to it!

1.  I need to get back to regular blogging.  It’s been over a week since my last post.  And before that I wasn’t posting anything regularly either.  I’m finding that by the end of the day I just don’t have it in me to write a blog post.  By the time I get to sit on the couch and relax it is usually about 10pm at night and I’ve had a full day of work, made dinner, done some stuff around the house and gone to my 8:30pm CrossFit class.  I just don’t have anything left in the tank by the time I hit the couch.  I need to find a way that writing a post can be quick and dirty but still be interesting.

I’m starting to think I should start writing more posts on my lunch break at work.  Most days I bring my lunch to work so I could write while I eat.  I will give that a try and see how it goes.  

2.  I’m 1 week into this round of the Whole Life ChallengeSo far, things are going really well.  I lost a couple of points last weekend for not squeezing in a workout while away at my kids’ hockey tournament, but other than that, all has been good.  I’ve even earned those 2 points back by posting my scores and reflecting each day.  I’m enjoying being back on the challenge and really focussing on my eating again.  I got a bit lax and could feel it.  After only a week, I am noticing changes all ready.  I’m down 4 pounds (back to my post-challenge weight last time), I’m sleeping like a champ, and I’m eating really good food.

I’ve been meal planning and making sure I’ve got everything I need to stay on track.  One thing I need to do is find some better snacks.  This weekend I’m going to try to make a few treats that I enjoyed last time: No bake coconut brownies, pumpkin chia pudding, almond butter banana cookies and Chookies Cookies.
photo-3 (1)photo-4 

photo-2 (1)photo-1
I also need to hit Costco for some Lara bars and apple chips. 
This girl needs her snacks!

3.  Although I haven’t been writing about it, I’ve been hitting CrossFit 3 times a week faithfully.    I am still totally loving CrossFit.  I’m coming up to a year and I can’t wait to keep going for another year and beyond.  Currently I’m going 3 times a week.  When I renew (i think in March), I am going to bump that up to 4 times a week.  I’m not sure I can get there 4 times every week, but the difference in cost is only $10 a month, so even if I make it only 1 extra time, I’m coming out even.  I’ve set all sorts of goals for 2014 with respect to CrossFit  and I can’t wait to get to them:  10 unbroken kipping pull-ups, 20 RX push-ups, RX Fran, Hand Stand Push Ups, and 1 dead hang pull-up.  I’d also like to start working towards a muscle up.  (see here for my post outlining them all),
you get stronger

4.  We’ve been drinking quite a few green smoothies.  The Vitamix has been blending almost daily. With a base of spinach, kale or chard, and carrots we add a variety of fruit and create some tasty, nutritious drinks. We are enjoying quite a few colours in our smoothies….green, pink, red, orange…and my least favourite so far, brown, that I refer to as the “dirt smoothie”. 
smoothies
The “dirt smoothie” was not that good.  I tried to drink it, but just couldn’t choke it down and ended up dumping it down the drain.  I’m not sure what gave it the dirt flavour…maybe too much chard, or too much lemon juice, but really did kind of taste like dirt..or what I would imagine dirt to taste like.  Hubs is enjoying making them each morning and it’s an easy way to get a couple of servings of fruit and vegetables in. 

5.  Pull-up progress update.  As you saw above, one of my goals for CrossFit is 10 kipping pull-ups in a row.  I was at 3 for a long time, and then earlier this month got to 5 and that’s where I stand today.  Today’s WOD was a combination of hang power snatches, hang squat snatches and then some touch ‘n go power snatches.  I’m slowly improving on my snatch…especially the squat snatch.  Every class I seem to pick up another tip to help pull it all together.  Anyways, back to the pull-ups.  After class I stayed for an extra 15 minutes or so and worked on my pull-ups.  I started with a few sets of 3, then worked my way up to 5.  I was chatting with a fellow class member and she said that I’m looking solid.  Another coach-in-training was also there and I asked him how I can string more together…was there something I could do to get past 5.  He said one way was just volume…keep practicing.  He also said I should some other drills to my practice sessions beyond doing multiple sets of kipping pull-ups.. 

The first was to do eccentric,or negative, pull-ups.  This is where you start at the top of the pull-up and lower yourself as slowly as you can. 
eccentric pull-ups
We have done this in WODs before and I have never been able to hold myself up and always just drop down quickly.  Today I gave it a try and I did it!  I jumped up to get my chin over the bar and then took 10 seconds to lower myself down.  I was so happy with that. 

When I could do the eccentric pull-up for the 10 seconds, Coach said I could probably even get a dead hang soon.  He showed me how to use my hollow body position to help tighten things up and make it easier to pull up. I gave it a try, but could not pull myself up at all.  That’s okay…I will just keep practicing and one day it will click. 

I am still trying to get 10 kipping pull-ups in a row by the end of January.  I’ve got 2 weeks left to practice and hopefully hit my goal.  Wish me luck! 

In other news…tomorrow I’m going to a fellow Corona Crusher’s baby shower.  This will be a bit of a test of my will power as I can’t drink, or have sugar, or wheat…which means no Corona, no treats, and no cake.  Hopefully there will be a veggie tray so I can at least have a few nibbles.  Despite this, I am really looking forward to this shower.  Crushers and other friends I haven’t seen for a while will be there, so it will be nice to catch up and I’m sure a good time will be had by all.

Do you have any tips on how to make blogging easier?
Have you got any good sugar free, wheat free snack recipes you can share?
Have you ever had a dirt smoothie?  LOL 

Happy Friday, everyone.

Enjoy the weekend!

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Full Steam Ahead

Yesterday I took a quick look back at 2013.  All in all, 2013 was a good year for me.  Today, I’m all about looking ahead and making 2014 even better.

My overall goal for the year is to end it in better shape than I start it.  Ideally, that means being a little lighter, a little tighter, and a LOT stronger!

While being active is a key part of that, perhaps even more important is diet and how I fuel my body.  So, 2014 is going to be another year of EATING CLEAN and ensuring my body has what it needs to keep up with tough CrossFit workouts and all the other crazy stuff I put it through!

To help get me off to a a good start with both diet and exercise, I have joined the Whole Life Challenge again. My gym isn’t participating in the challenge this time, but I have friends who go to a different CrossFit and their gym is doing it this time…and they convinced me to join with them.  It’s a bit last minute, since the challenge starts on Saturday, so I’ve got some logistical things to figure out.  I will be away with the kids at a hockey tournament this weekend, so can’t go to the preliminary measurement and workout class that is being held Saturday morning.  I looked into finding CrossFit gym location in London (where the tourney is) to see if I could squeeze in a WOD Friday afternoon between games, or Saturday morning before games.  Then I got an email from the coach running the challenge and they have set a makeup class on Tuesday night…this works perfectly for me!  So, I will be weighing in, getting measured and doing the baseline WOD Tuesday at 7:45pm.  The coach is announcing the WOD they will be doing on Friday night.  I’m dying to see what it will be.  From what I can see on the WLC website and emails I still get sent from the WLC folks, the suggested WOD this session is:

WLC baseline wod

It looks harmless enough on paper, but I’m sure it will be 11 minutes of pure hell.  Starting with 1000m row should make my legs nice and tired going into 75 squats!  Fun Fun!  There is no guarantee this will be the baseline WOD I will be doing, since gyms are free to set up their own WOD.  As long as it is something that can be replicated and tracked at the end of the WOD just about anything goes.  I can’t wait to see what we will be doing!

I’m looking forward to doing the challenge again.  It will be a tough start to it, since I’ll be in hotels and eating out for all meals over the first weekend, but I’ll just do my best and not stress about it too much.  I do need to get organized food-wise when I get home Sunday.  Planning and preparedness is key to being successful in this challenge.  I learned that last time, and I plan to be just as successful at this challenge this time around!  I will have my iPad loaded with paleo cookbooks and my Clean Eating magazines and planning next week’s menu between games and while we drive to/from London.  I’m looking forward to some good eats for the next 8 weeks.

Aside from starting my year with the Whole Life Challenge, I’ve also got some help from my CrossFit box to make sure the year get off to a good start .  The coaches at the box have created a goals list for all members.  We need to fill in the Google Doc with a CrossFit goal for January and then 3 goals for the rest of the year.  This is perfect, because I had planned to set up some CrossFit related goals for the year anyways.

The CrossFit goals I’ve set are:

January Goal:  10 unbroken kipping pull-ups.  Since finally getting unassisted pull-ups in August, I haven’t practiced them as often as I should.   I seem to be stuck at only 3 in a row and then I need to drop off the bar and re-group.  I think my goal of 10 in a row, unbroken is quite doable.  Last week we had an  EMOM WOD that was 1 heavy squat snatch and 6 pull-ups.  My coach suggested I scale to 3 pull-ups so I would be able to do it and still have time to rest before the next minute started.   I was able to do all rounds with 3 in a row and even did 4 in a row the last 2 rounds.  After class I stayed to do a few more pull-ups to get closer to the 60 that the WOD was meant to have.  I managed to string together 5 in a row 4 times and then 4 in a row twice…which brought my total number of Rx pull-ups for the night to 60…right where I wanted it!  So, I am now working off a base of 5 in a row.  I’m confident I can hit 10 in a row by the end of the month.

Goals for 2014:

    1. 20 Rx Push-ups.  Push-ups are another weakness of mine.  When the reps get high, I have to drop to my knees…and I hate that!  I can do maybe 3-4 solid, perfect form Rx push-ups and then it all goes to crap.  My goal is 20 good ones by the end of the year.  I will have to see if I can find a push-up app.  I should get my workouts folder on my phone…I probably already have one!
    2. Rx Fran:  Fran is one of the benchmark workouts.  It is 21-15-9 of Thrusters and Pull-ups.  Rx weight for girls is 65#.  So far I’ve only ever done it with a 35# bar.  My goal is to be able to do it with the 65# prescribed weight and unassisted pull-ups. 
    3. Handstand Push-up:  The handstand push-up is another killer move.  I can get up into the handstand no problem, and can dip a little bit, but can’t come all the way down to touch my head to the floor and then push myself up…I get stuck at the bottom.  For any WOD with HSPU in it, I always do them off a 24’ box.  My goal for the year is to do one at the wall.  It can be with a kip or strict – it doesn’t matter to me.  I will just be thrilled if I can do it at all!
    4. 1 Dead Hang Pull-up:  Now that I can consistently do unassisted kipping pull-ups, my next goal is to get a dead hang pull-up.  Of all my CrossFit goals this is the one that I think will be the hardest.  Hopefully as I strengthen my upper body I will eventually be able to get a dead hang.  I don’t need to crank out 20 or anything…just one will do!

I didn’t put this one on the official CrossFit goal file, but I do have one more thing I would love to accomplish:  do 1 MUSCLE UP.  This is the mother of all CrossFit moves and there are some really strong and experienced CrossFitters at my box who still haven’t gotten a muscle up.  I will admit, I’ve never even tried to do one.  They scare the crap out of me.  Swinging like mad from the rings and then somehow getting your body up into the press.  I am terrified of falling off the rings during the swing part of it!  I have no idea if I will be able to get a muscle up or not, but I think I should at least start trying.

One other goal I would like to set for the year is to read more.  I enjoy reading, but just never seem to have enough time for it.  I am going to try to regularly read before bed each night – and read books, not blogs!  My goal for the year is to read 24 books.  I’ve already read one, so only 23 more to go.  I just finished reading Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn.  I had started this book a couple of times before, but never made it past the first chapter or two.  This time, once I got going, I couldn’t put it down.  I think the next book I read will be Allegiant, the final book in the Divergent trilogy.

So, there they are, all written down and official, my goals for 2014.  I’m looking forward to working hard and achieving all of them.

Have you set any goals for 2014? 

Do you have any suggestions for any good books I should read this year?

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