Friday, September 30, 2011

Row is me.

September 30, 2011

What happened to September? Wow… time really flew by. I think the last I remember it was sometime in August and Hubs had just said “hey I found this CrossFit place in Westminster… wanna go on Saturday and check it out, maybe try a workout?” The rest has been history. I cant believe we just finished week 7 of our training. I am feeling fantastic, sore, but a fantastic sore!

This morning I was definitely feeling better. I am on the upswing of this cold and have no need for cold medicine anymore. I was also  happy about sleeping through the night without waking up coughing 100 times. I know that this isn’t the last time I will be sick, but I have to say,  I am really happy that I was able to get up and go to CFW every morning and push through my workouts. My times may not have been the best that they could have been, but at least I gave it my all. I didn’t want to let it get me down and I thought if I was able to push through maybe it would help me recover faster. I am pretty sure that it did.

My alarm went off and I hit snooze. Never a good idea. The next thing you know my “back up” (yes I have a back up alarm) went off on my cell phone. This is the first time I have actually had to hear it. I jumped right up and said a few explicit things and quickly turned it off so it didn’t wake up Hubs. Oops, I was now rushing to get out the door. I wasn’t actually late, I plan to be there 15 minutes early every day. You never know when things are going to happen, or when you aren’t going to get up when your alarm goes off.

K was waiting when I got there. I of course checked the workout on the website last night. It was going to be a good one and since I was feeling better I knew I was going to have fun with it. The warmup included double unders again…. Someone (not mentioning any names… Hubs) has been using my jump rope at the gym… BUT, he is making it shorter when he uses it… I didn’t realize it until I couldn’t get a double under. It’s the second time it happened and as soon as I adjusted it I banged out 20 double unders in a row! I still cant link them back to back, I have an intermittent jump in between. I did try on the last set of 20 to get them, but was not successful. I will work on this!

The WOD as I expected was so much fun. K and I set up the OH squat with 65lbs. This is  quickly becoming one of my favorite exercises, it is right up there with deadlifting for me. Something about having the weight over head is what makes me like it. I feel really strong. Se adjust ed the rower to the calorie setting and I was ready to go. Once I made it through the first set (21 reps) of OH squats without rest I knew I was going to be able to keep that pace through the rest of the WOD.

Back and forth I went from the OH Squat to the row. I had a great pace and rhythm. I was feeling awesome! I kept my water bottle right at the end of the row machine so when I got up to head to the squat rack I could take a sip, my throat is still a little dried out from the cold meds. I am really grasping how to get the most distance out of one pull on the row machine. K was watching me making sure I was pushing through the heels and pulling back the row as far as I could. She keeps reinforcing that the forward movement does nothing, so I should not exert much on that. It really helps to keep that in mind while rowing.

She coached me through my  OH squats and rowing like she always does. If you have never had a personal trainer or a coach for anything in your life, you should try it. I have talked to some people who have said that they prefer not to have someone watching, or that they prefer to do it on their own since that person will annoy them. I think that’s BS… I think that person is just scared that they will get pushed out of their comfort zone and will not know what to do with themselves. Working out with the right people, like K and M behind you is AWESOME!  Yes, they hold you accountable to pushing to your limit, yes, sometimes they want you to do something that you think you cant do… the trick is, they KNOW you can do it and they are helping you to realize that you in fact can do whatever you want to do!

I finished up  with skill, today is was toes to bar (or knees to elbows). This, and pull-ups are two things I really want to work on. I think in general it is all things that involve me hanging from the bar. I need to toughen up my hands and  get comfortable with the feeling of hanging. So today, I attempted some toes to bar. Guess what? I did it. Not a ton of them, and since it was only a 5-5-5-5 , it was only a few attempts. I did a few real ones, than I would get tired and not be able to get my butt up. I am working on it though. The kip will come, I can feel it!

10 Double Unders
10 Inchworms
20 Double Unders
2X9 Funfamentals
10 Double Unders
Shoulder Mobility (Lax Ball)

Oh Row
21-18-15-12-9-6  for Time
- OH Squat (65lbs)
- Calorie Roa
(My Time 12:30 Rx)

Toes to Bar 5-5-5-5
(starting to learn how to kip!)

7:30am: Banana
8:30am: Green Tea
11:30am: Flank Steak with Balsamic Bacon Glaze and Sweet Potatos
9:00pm: Chef's salad with oil and vinegar and 3 Blue Ribbons ($1.50 drafts!)

Thursday, September 29, 2011

So, what CAN you eat?

September 29, 2011

If I had a dollar for every time I have been asked this question since Hubs and I started eating Paleo I would be able to go out and buy a few of those $40 a whack bacon packages that I want to try (but am too cheap)! There is such a common misconception that eating paleo is boring, or limited... when in fact, since switching to this lifestyle I have had some of the BEST foods. This is thanks to some fantastic websites we have found as well as the fact that Hubs actually likes to cook and he experiments with all the foods we like and has created some excellent meals!

I have shared some of the recipes that we have tried... some of my favorites being the Bacon Cole Slaw, Chicken ScallopiniShepard's Pie, Flank Steak with Balsamic Bacon Sauce, Paleo Pancakes, and my new favorite dessert... the Paleo Brownies I posted two days ago! We have also made Paleo Chicken Poppers and mixed up the above recipes on our own to come up with some great things! Spaghetti squash has become a pretty common staple as is my go-to, "hubs isnt home to make me dinner" bacon and eggs.

I have tried my share of "diets" in the past... I've eaten plenty of wheat bread (and if you know me you know that this is a feat within itself because I despise wheat bread)... drank 2% milk (rather than my beloved whole milk) and tried to "lower my carbs" many of times. Its actually painful to think of all the yo-yo diets I have been on where I gained 10lbs, lost 10lbs, gained 7, lost 8... I have always convinced myself that these were a "lifestlye change" and not a "diet" each of those times, but when it was all said and done I would wind up binging and gaining it all back in the end.

Paleo IS a welcome "lifestyle change" for sure. I have never had an easier time sticking with a change in my eating habits. I think its a two part deal for me. One, I am really enjoying crossfit and the changes in my body that are happening from it, so sticking with the Paleo way of life is enhancing those changes. When I am faced with a challenge my mind snaps into "this isnt going to be good for your body" mode and I would rather just not eat it. I know I am going to feel like crap after and  "cheating" wont be worth it. I am also seeing the results of Paleo in conjunction with CrossFit which is certainly making it easier to stick to.

Two, the possibilities are endless. Someone forwarded me this article from Robb Wolfe's website including a "Paleo Matrix"  (check it out here Basically, to sort of quote one of the paragraphs, there is a list of "27 proteins, 24 veggies, 5 fats and 25 herbs and spices in the matrix. If you take one item from each column you get 81,000 different meals. Divide that by 365 (1 meal per day) and you will not see the same meal for 221 years." So, when someone asks me "what CAN you eat?" I basically want to have this little matrix in my pocket. For crying out loud... its not like I am restricted to eating lettuce and chicken.

Besides being asked up-teenth times about what foods I am "allowed" to eat, every Paleo eater struggles with the "out to eat" dinners. There are hundreds of articles about how to eat Paleo when at a restaurant (Mark's Daily Apple has the best one I have read so far but we all know its all a game of will power. Its just like making it to the gym every day. Its just like getting out of bed when you are exhausted and sick and still going to crossfit. If you WANT to figure out how to eat Paleo at a restaurant you can, and you will. You dont have to be a hermit. You just have to have the power to resist the bread that they put on the table, pick the croutons out of your salad or not order the cheesey risoto no matter how cheap it is on special for the night...

Last night I went out to eat. The bartender comes over and asks if we would like to hear the specials. She than proceeds to read off the most unhealthy options I could have ever imagined. Everything seemed to be accompanied by potatos, smothered in butter, deep fried and wrapped in cheese... and dont forget the biscuits. No wonder we all avoid going out to eat... or just assume that its going to be a "cheat" meal if we have do. BUT, the thing is... it wasnt hard for me at all to say "no thanks" and order a steak tip salad with oil and vinegar dressing. Apparently I didnt read the menu clearly since my tips were delivered with a thick layer or American cheese melted on top of them that I had to peel off before eating. I said to the bartender upon its delivery "whats this? I didnt want cheese" and she says "oh did you tell me you didnt want cheese on it" and I said "no, I didnt know there was going to be melted cheese on my salad... who puts melted cheese on a steak tip salad?" Of course I dealt with it, scraped it off onto a plate (it wasnt that hard it came off in a sheet) and stacked the little pieces of bread that came with the salad with it. Seriously though, who puts melted cheese on a salad? Blue cheese maybe... but melted american cheese?

Anyway, there will surely be nights (like last Friday) when I get to go out and have a hamburger and a few beers, but those nights are getting further and further apart. You have to allow yourself a cheat meal every now and again. However, Its important to not let the one cheat meal turn into an entire "cheat day" or "cheat weekend." Its a matter of controlling yourself, your portion sizes and really just getting the idea of a paleo lifestyle in your head. Dont look at it as what you can and cant eat. Just think of how good a slice of pizza will taste if you havent had it in months.

We have basically picked the foods and snacks we love and keep them on hand. We have found good natural substitutions for our usual "cheat foods." The paleo brownies are great and we allow ourselves dessert on the weekends which is usually a Coconut Ice Cream Bar... which are delish!!

We used to order out a lot on Friday and Saturdays... the local pizza guy pretty much knew us by our order. We havent seen him in a few months. We have saved money on take-out and been able to make a pretty consistent grocery list. My lunches at work are more often than not the leftovers from the night befores dinner...

It gets easier by the day avoiding foods that are not included in my lifestyle change, I dont even really miss them. I just hope that people open their minds a little more and see that eating healthy and natural is not "abnormal."

I CAN eat whatever I want, its what I choose to eat that matters.

8:30am: Green Tea
10:00am: Egg Muffins
12:00pm: Chicken and Spaghetti Squash with Organic Sauce and mushrooms

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Two Timer

September 28, 2011

Wow, yesterday was a rough day. I was exhausted and sneezing/coughing/blowing my nose all day! Not good. Apparently this is not allergies, this is a full blown cold! I went home from work last night and laid on the couch trying to sleep before Hubs got home from work and CFW, no success. We wound up eating dinner around 9:00 and than right to bed for me. I knew I was going to get up at 4:45am so I didnt want to waste any valuable Z's.

The alarm went off and surprisingly I felt like I slept pretty good. I am hoping yesterday was the worst of my cold and I was able to sweat some more out at CF this morning. Out the door I went. I had checked the website last night to see the workout and I was so excited to do it. Not so happy that it was on a day I wasnt feeling well, but I was going to take a shot at it and see what I could do. I am proud of my handstand push ups!! K took this shot the other day when I did them for the first time at the new gym...

I was sweating all over by the time I was done with my warmup. I am not to excited about this warm weather we are having in the fall. I love the fall, I love the cool air, so this humid muggy air is not making me happy! My core is sore from the GHD's and my legs are sore a little which I am pretty sure if from the box jumps the other day... or it could have been the air squats yesterday. I guess it dosent really matter what they are sore from at this point!

After the warmup I got right into the hanging power cleans. I think I am finally getting the motion of the clean. K explained that the hanging power clean eliminates the "deadlift" portion of the clean so its all about the hips and high pull. She stressed the speed of the pull and that the explosion is most of the work, than you just have to get under it. I took everything she said and really thought about it. My cleans looked good and I felt strong. I got out all 4 sets of 3 pretty easily and probably should have gone a little heavier. Next time for sure now that I have that motion down.

The WOD was so much fun. I really wish I had been feeling better because this one was right up my ally. I was excited for HSPU's and my all time favorite, deadlifts... AND I have been getting double unders in a row, so this had my name all over it. The problem... this damn cold. I wore out quickly and had a hard time controlling my breathing. It was a 15 minute AMRAP.

The HSPUs were great, next time I have to rid myself of the mats. I think I am subconsciously stopping myself before I hit my head on the mat. I just have to go for it to get them down. I know I can support myself. Deadlifts seemed relatively easy at 115lbs. For two of the rounds I dropped the weight at 6, than picked it up and continued the other 6, but for the first and last two I was able to hang on with K reminding me not to put it down. Double unders were great at first, than I started to get tired. K said by the end I was so heavy on my feet... I was getting so frustrated and didnt want to quit, but my body was so tired. I hate being sick.

I was happy that I went and happy that I completed the workout. Tomorrow I have a day off from CF so I should be able to get a few extra hours of sleep and hopefully kick this cold by the weekend.

250m Row
2 Rounds
- 10 Back Extensions
- 10 Walking Sampsons
- 5 Pull Ups
2 X 9 Fundamentals

"Green Eggs and Ham"
15 Minute AMRAP
- 6 HSPU
- 12 Deadlifts (115lbs)
- 24 Double Unders
(5 Rounds + 10)

Hanging Power Cleans 3-3-3-3
85, 90, 95, 100

6:30am: Post workout shake
8:00am: Banana
8:30am: Green Tea
12:20pm: Shepard's Pie
2:30pm: Green Tea
4:00pm: Pear
8:00pm: Steak Tip Salad with Oil and Vinegar and 3 Glasses of Peno

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

A "real" GHD!

September 27, 2011

Well, I am still fighting off this cold. It is making me crazy. I am 99% sure it is not allergies, but I have been taking benadryl before bed and sleeping ok. Last night after a horrible pants shopping experience (does anyone woman actually like pant shopping...) I was left wondering what percentage of women can actually wear a pair of pants off the rack. Not only am I completely in between sizes, but the ones that do actually fit in the legs I could fit an entire second person in the waist band... WTF. Who is shaped like that? Alas... I bought two pairs of pants... one of them I am going to return. I can deal with what I have until I lose a few more inches.

I was fighting staying awake once I got home so I made myself some dinner and was in bed at 8:00. hubs came home at 8:30, we talked for a few seconds and as soon as he went downstairs to make his own dinner I was out like a light. Thank you benadryl.

To my own surprise I was feeling a little better when I got up. Off to the gym I went. I looked at the WOD on my way in and was excited to see that we were getting to use the new GHD's! We had done GHD's before but this time it was on a "real" GHD bench!

This is what one looks like...

AND, this is what you look like (well if you had a kick ass body and were competing in the games) while doing a GHD Situp...

Anyway, long and short of it... I was excited while I was on my way to CFW. I was looking forward to taking on the workout and beating this cold.

I got right into the warmup upon arrival. I am killing the double unders 4 or 5 at a time. This is exciting for me since I have been working on them for a few weeks now! I really want to be able to get 10 in a row... and than some. Hopefully soon! By the end of the warmup I was sweating like crazy. It is unseasonably warm for September... and to be honest, I really like fall weather so its not making me very happy. T arrived and I waited for him to complete his warmup so we could do the skill and WOD together.

K had put a cap on the SDHP (sumo deadlift high pull) of 80lbs for women. I did my first set with 65lbs. It seemed really light. K was stressing that the object of the cap was to not allow us to go to heavy and work on form without risk of injury. I added 10 lbs and did the second set of 5 and finally 10 more lbs for the last two sets. I know 85lbs was over the cap but K said that my form was still good so I just hung out there for the last set. She told me to really stress using the same motions as we use in kettle bell swings. I was really working hard at using my hips and pulling high.

Onto the WOD we went. The squats were cake... I was flying through them, I knew that the next exercise was pushups so I was going to lose time on that one. I also knew that it wouldnt wreck havoc on my legs so I was strategic in the fact that they would have a little rest before the GHD's. Pushups were exactly what I thought they would be like, the first set was awesome, I did 15 real pushups in a row without stopping. Than I ran to the GHD. They feel so different on the actual GHD than the rigged up system we used to use, but it felt awesome.

There were 4 rounds. Round two I lost some speed when I rested in the middle of the push ups again. T was ahead of me by a few pushups... I ran to the GHD and caught up to him at the squats. By round 4 I was tired (this cold is killing me). I couldnt catch up with T so he was a full exercise ahead of me. I wasnt trying to race him, but its kinda cool to have someone with you so you have more drive for the competition of finishing first. Its a different kind of motivation than you feel when your are alone. I banged out the squats and struggled with the push ups. I didnt want to modify them so I continued to do them all "real" even if I had to rest in between. T finished his GHDs as I was heading to the GHD bench... and at 8:31 I was done.

It was a great workout! I wish I had a but better time, but that will come with the push ups... not to mention the nasty cold. I am really trying to sweat it out but right now (since I have been at work for a while) I am feeling pretty horrible. I am hoping another good nights sleep tonight and I will be golden tomorrow. I head home from here at 5:00 (hopefully) and I can be in bed pretty early.

Looking forward to tomorrows ass kickin!

3 Rounds
- 10 Double Unders
- 10 Shoulder Dislocates
- 10 Inchworms
2XBergener Warmup
2 min each leg calf stretch

4 Rounds for Time
- 20 Air Squats to Med Ball
- 15 Push Ups
- 10 GHD Sit Ups
(My time 8:31 Rx)

(65, 75, 85, 85)

6:30am: Post Workout Shake
8:30am: Green Tea
9:30am: Egg Muffins
12:00pm: Salad with Chicken and Oil and Vinegar
3:30pm: Pear
9:00pm: Chicken on Spaghetti Squash with Organic Sauce

Monday, September 26, 2011

Paleo Banana Blueberry Brownies

These are soooo good I had to share! I got the recipe at

What you Need:
2 Cups Almond Butter
2 Eggs
1 Cup Agave Nectar
1 Tbsp Vanilla
1/2 Cup Cocoa Powder
1/2 Tsp Sea Salt
1 Tsp Baking Soda
1 Cup Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips
1/2 Cup Dried Blueberries
1 Ripe Banana

What you Do:
- Preheat oven to 350
- Blend almond butter till smooth
- Blend in eggs
- Blend in agave and vanilla
- Blend in salt and baking soda
- Slowly blend in cocoa powder
- Hand mix blueberries and chips
- Slice up banana into really thin pieces and hand mix
- Use coconut oil to grease 13X9 Pan
- Bake 35-40 min (test with toothpick)

I asked for it...

September 26, 2011

... so I got it.

I checked the CFW website last night before heading to bed and K had not yet posted the WOD for today. While we were talking yesterday she said "so, which one do you want to do?" So I was pretty sure I was going to be faced with one of the Garage Games WODs this morning. I was not feeling well at all last night. My throat is sore, my nose was stuffed and I was exhausted... I keep telling myself its allergies but I am not so sure. As soon as I was done uploading the (well over) 400 pictures I took this weekend I made a CD for K and off to bed I went. Poor Hubs was still in the kitchen making our meals for the week, but I couldnt wait anymore. It was almost 10:00pm and I had to get up at 4:45am! I popped a benadryl and was asleep in seconds.

What felt like seconds later... the alarm went off. I dragged myself out of my benadryl coma and got dressed. I was thinking that this was going to be a tough one as I was still all heavy in the chest and my throat was dry. At least I got some sleep... as I got in my truck I decided to check the website with my phone to see what I was about to face. There it was... The Chipper!!

K and I talked a bit when I got there recapping the weekend and how awesome she and M did! They still havent posted the final standings... but just having seen them, I know they did awesome! Right onto the rower I went to start the warmup. Funny how just watching and talking to M while K was competing and talking to K while M was competing about form when you are rowing and seeing how different people attack the same workout make a huge difference. I was really concentrating on my pull and pushing through my heels, making sure I get a full pull in on each row. Its amazing how much more efficient that is.

Finally I was ready for the "Chipper." My whole way there I was thinking "I am going to get this. I am going to attack this one... and I am going to do it!" Being scared of it didnt even cross my mind. I wanted to do it so bad while I was there, it was going to be great to see how I would have stacked up with the competition. K got the 65lb bar ready for my thrusters (Rx weight for the women) and the 20" box (also Rx). I wanted to give the toes through rings a shot so I practiced a few. I like the rings so even if I wound up doing K2E that was ok. Than I practiced 65lb thrusters... seemed light, but that was only 2... I was about to face 30 of them!

Three... two... one... GO! I started. Got my feet pretty high in the toes through ring attempts a few times, but wound up mostly doing knees to elbows. Its the motion on the rings that I am not used to yet. They make it look so easy when you watch it, but no... it is not that easy to kip your body like that. The 20 were done and I was off to the thrusters.

Punched out 10 thrusters with no break and dropped the weight, 20 more to go. K was cheering me on telling me to push through the hips and explode on the movement. The weight definitely seems to get heavier as you move along. I did the last 20 in sets of 5, I couldnt let myself drop the weight before I had 5. The very last one I was sort of "stuck" at the top of the thruster. K was yelling for me to get it. I couldnt fail at that point so I pushed out one more. Done... all 30.

Now, let me tell you, the worst part of this whole WOD is the burpees... 40 burpees. Good lord. The trick, and the key was not to stop. No resting. It was fantastic to have K standing there telling me to keep going. "No rest, No Rest, keep that pace" was all I heard and it was enough. I did not stop. Not once in all 40 burpees. I will admit while I was counting to 20 I thought "I will rest at 20" but when I got there, I just wanted to keep going to get them done. Following K's advice I just kept getting down on the ground because you dont want to rest there, and all you have to do is get back up. Damn, before I knew it I was done with all 40.

The box jumps were hard as well, my legs were sore and tired from the thrusters and burpees but I needed to finish. I purposely didnt face the clock because I didnt want to know where I was standing. I just hammered through. I took maybe one or two breaks for some water because my lungs were killing (damn cold) and finally... the last one... and I was done... 11:31!! Whaa Hoo!!

Yesterday there was a 10 minute cap on this WOD. Had I competed I would have had to be in the scaled division because of my Toes through Rings... that means I would have only had to thrust 45lbs rather than 65lbs... so probably I would have been able to get under the 10 minutes!! Next time, I will do it Rx (all the way) and I will get under 10 minutes!! I have to master those hanging movements.

The skill was L sits. They hurt. I guess thats all I can say. They look like this...

... and today the goal was to just hold it for 3 sets as long as you can. K challenges me to hold each set longer than the last. I was pretty excited that each of my holds were 10 seconds LONGER than the last! Pretty exciting!!

I am looking forward to tomorrow and kicking this cold to the curb... hopefully if it is in fact a cold I sweat a lot of it out this morning! One good nights sleep tonight and hopefully I am golden!

Oh... and 4 more lbs to go to my goal weight (and two weeks left). I saw a number on the scale this morning I havent seen in 5 years! I have decided that since I only have a half an inch on my hips to loose to be the same size I was when I was that goal weight, I will be perfectly happy even if the number on the scale isnt where I want it, as long as the number on the measuring tape is! I wore a pair of shorts yesterday I havent worn in 5 years! Feeling awesome!

Words of advice... pick up a tape measure and if you are working out, track not only your weight, but your inches!!

Row 500m
2X9 Fundamentals
Row 500m
Hip Mobility (2 min each leg)

Garage Games "Chipper" for Time
20 Toes through Rings
30 Thrusters (65lbs)
40 Burpees
50 Box Jumps (20")
(My Times 11:31 Rx)

3 X Max L Sit Hold
(26, 33, 42)

6:30am: Post Workout Shake
8:20am: Green Tea
10:00am: Egg Muffins and Green Tea
12:00pm: Shepards Pie
3:30pm: Pear
6:00pm: Three Eggs and Three pieces of Bacon

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Garage Games Day Two

September 25, 2011

Second day of true inspiration at the Garage Games. Today hubs and I watched K, M, Sam, Morgan and Cole as they competed in two more WODs.

4.  “Row/Sandbag”
5 Rounds for time of:
Descending Row (500-400-300-200-100 meters)
30/20 Push ups
100 meter Sandbag Carry
Descending Double unders (50-40-30-20-10)

5.   ”The Chipper”
20 Toes through Rings
30 Thrusters (95, 65)
40 Burpees to Target
50 Box Jumps (24, 20)

As I said yesterday there was an amazing display of athleticism from athletes of all abilities. Men and women of all ages and of all different stages in their training again hammering away at these workouts was so motivating.

In previous posts I have talked about all the reasons why I love crossfit and these last two days have just absolutely solidified its place in my training and life in general for a long long time to come. Every athlete as tired, sweaty and in pain as they were, were right back up and cheering on the competitors as soon as they had a breath in them to do so. There were lots of fist bumps, high fives, hugs and congratulations after workouts were complete and in passing from one event to another.

Whether you are a newcomer at your first competition, or this is your 10th year doing crossfit and its your 30th competition, it dosnt matter. Everyone is in everyones corner. Everyone is there to cheer on and encourage everyone. The pure energy at these events is enough to make anyone on the fence about crossfit convinced that it is an amazing sport that pushes the individual to being the absolute best that they can be. I may have heard a lot of swearing and a lot of grunting and spitting... but not once did I hear anyone say "I cant" and I certainly didnt see anyone give up. Not with 50 people standing watching cheering and encouraging them on... people they might have known, some they might have just met... and some might be total strangers. There was lots of yelling going on!!

There were many teams from many different affiliations at CrossFit New England this weekend. Lots of T-Shirts with some great sayings.... CrossFit Rt 1 has a shirt that says "Stronger People are Harder to Kill" which was one of my favorites. Of course there was the "My Workout is your Warmup" and the new "Will WOD for Boobs" by CF Southie for breast cancer awareness. But when its all said and done, I proudly walked around all weekend sporting my CrossFit Wachusett t-shirt with a phrase I stand behind 100%. "My Gym Makes Me Better."

Back to CFW tomorrow morning and I am ready for my ass kicking!! 

Here are some of the pics from todays WODs:

8:00am: Coffee
12:00pm: Lara Bar
2:00pm: Paleo Brownies
8:00pm: Pork Loin and Spinach
8:00pm: Coconut Milk Ice Cream Bar

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Garage Games Day One

September 24, 2011

What an inspiration!! Today was an amazing day. Originally I was going to be away this weekend and going to miss this fantastic display of athleticism, I am so glad that I got to see it. Hubs and I decided to go to The Garage Games at CrossFit New England to cheer on K and M while they compete amongst a few hundred crossfit athletes from all over. Previously I had only been to the one "mock" games at CF EXP a few weeks ago, but still I had no idea what to expect. This was phenomenal.

Every athlete, male or female, started at the exact same place that Hubs and I are at. At one point they were the "new guys" learning all the movements and lifts. I will not lie, it was very hard to be there and watch and now having the competitive bug that comes with CF not compete. I cant help but see the WODs and think how I would do in any particular event. I am bummed that since I originally planned to be away for the weekend or I could have easily been "convinced" by M and K to fill out that application to compete.  Next time... next time I am in! Of course not to say I wouldnt be scared to death, but I know I would give it my all and sweat with the rest of them.

So the way Garage Games works, lots of different heats of both mens and womens... scaled competitors (meaning they use less weight or modified lifts) mixed in with the Rx (prescribed) competitors. If you enter the competition as an Rx competitor you have to compete in all of the WODs in that category. Day one (today) consisted of two WODS and a "Floater" that you had to either complete today, or you could get it in tomorrow as long as it was before 4:00.  Todays WODS were:

1.  “The Lark”
3 Rounds for time of:
16 Power Cleans (Rx:155/105) (Scaled: 115, 80)
600 meter Run

2.  “OHS/MU”
A.  Establish a 1 rep max Overhead Squat in 3 minutes
B.  Complete as many reps as possible of Muscle ups (Scaled: Pull ups) in 3 minutes
1 point will be awarded for every pound on the OHS and 5 points will be awarded for every muscle up completed.  Your score is the total of both.

3.  “Floater”
30 meter Prowler Push
30 meter Sprint
5/4 Very High Box Jumps
30 meter Sprint
30 meter Prowler Push

(taken from

I was so inspired as I watched in awe as heat after heat powered through each workout. Personal Records (one by our very own K) were set all over the place. The thrill of watching people finish workouts and lay in "death stance" on the pavement... all so unbelievable. The drive and passion that is driven out of you as you try to get one more set, or push to finish every workout I am not sure where it comes from, but I know, having been in that position that it just happens.

We will be heading back tomorrow to watch the remaining 2 (or 3 if they qualify) WODs. We are looking forward to cheering on K, M, EXP friends, Rt 1 friends and every single other competitor we see for another day. Here are a few pics from today...

Inside set up for the mens overhead squat and muscle ups...

The "very high" mens "box jumps..."

One of the ladies heats of the power cleans...

K during her power cleans...

This... is a muscle up... this guy was flying through them...

M's OH Squat...

M's Power Cleaning...

K's last OH Squat!! Whoot Whoot!!

8:00am: Coffee
12:00pm: Lara Bar
3:00pm: Split Organic Jerkey with Hubs
5:00pm: Paleo Brownies
8:00pm: Salmon and Salad with Oil and Vinegar
9:00pm: Coconut Milk Ice Cream Bar

Friday, September 23, 2011

Conquer the HSPU

September 23, 2011

What a nice change. I had originally planed to take today off and head to the cape, but one thing lead to another, plans changed and I was blessed with a Friday off and no plans. What a wonderful thing. Not only did it allow me to sleep in a bit, but it allowed me to head to CFW for 7:30am rather than 5:30am... its amazing what 2 extra hours of sleep does for me.

I worked late last night and had another meeting, so when I got home at 10:00pm I checked the website. For the first time in a few weeks I wasnt sure what every exercise in the WOD was. I was excited to try something new! So after sleeping in a little later than usual I headed over to see what K had in store for me.

It was great to see double unders in the warmup. I am really happy with my progress with them and the more I do them the better I am going to get at them. The first set of 25 in the warmup I did wound up doing more than necessary because I didnt want to stop when I got on a roll. I think I did 30 or so... 5 at a time! It was great. Each set of double unders got better and better.

I was ready for the WOD. I have already done a TABATA workout a few weeks ago. To explain, its basically 20 seconds on, than 10 seconds of rest for eight minutes straight. K explained what a "bottom to bottom" was, basically an air squat however, when you get to the 10 second rest portion you rest at the "bottom" of the squat. Easy right? Yeah... thats what I thought. Good lord. The first 20 seconds were cake. I flew through the squats and the rest wasnt so bad, by the time I got to the 4th rest my thighs were burning and my squats were slowing down.

The 5th through 8th working set were tough, during the rest period my legs were on fire. It felt like it was almost impossible to get up from the squat position at the beginning of the 20 seconds, and again almost impossible to stay in the "bottom" squat position for the rest. It was much harder than I expected. Not to mention I knew following the TABATA I had a 1500m row for time.

I took the first 3 steps to the row machine and thought I was going to fall over. My legs were like jello as I sat down and strapped in. K was behind me setting me off on the row. She encouraged me through to keep the pace time below 2:10 for 500m. I did pretty well and managed to keep pretty steady. She was reminding me that its the "pull" of the row that does the work. I have a tendency to do the entire motion to quick, this takes a lot more energy and it doesnt make you go anywhere distance wise. Geeze it felt like 1500m was never going to appear on the screen. When I concentrated and took a long pull, tightened my core, flattened my back and pushed through the heels the result was clear. Finally 1500m was complete at 6:15. I was beat.

I took some time to relax, stretch and talk to K about the rowing and how deceiving I thought the TABATA workout was. I couldnt help but laugh when I thought of the last time I attempted HSPU (hand stand push ups) when we were at the garage... if you forgot you can fin it HERE). K had rigged up some bands to create an assist for them, but I wanted to see what I could do without it. She set up some abmats and I was faced with the same situation as I was weeks ago. All I had to do was get up there. Wouldnt you know it. My first attempt there I was, upside down doing a hand stand!! K was so excited (and I was too, but I was upside down)!! Than, to my very own surprise I completed 5 pushups!!

I couldnt believe it. I came down and was in total shock!! Both K and I were wondering how it was that after the last time I couldnt even get the handstand and here I was doing both the handstand AND the pushups!! I went for set number two and completed that too and followed it up with the last two sets! Four sets of 5 hand stand push ups! What the!?!?

Right than and there I had one of my favorite moments of crossfit thus far. I have had quite a few moments when it comes to weights and pushing to a heavier weight, but when I was able to do those HSPU's I was just filled with satisfaction! Accomplishment. The fear dissipated, I conquered a goal I set for myself. It felt amazing.

25 Double Unders
10 Inchworms
15 Double Unders
2X 9 Fundamentals
5 Double Unders
10 Shoulder Dislocates

TABATA "Bottom to Bottom"
+ 1500m Row (for time)
(My Time 6:13)

HSPU 5-5-5-5

P.S Good Luck to my coaches K and M who are competing in the Garage Games this weekend!! We will be there to cheer you guys on!!

10:00am: Paleo Pancakes
11:00am: Coffee
4:00pm: Wake Up Wrap
8:00pm: Ale House, Bacon Portabella Burger, Salad and a few Sweet Potato Fries

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Body by CrossFit

September 22, 2011

Anyone remember Nike's "My Butt is Big" campaign that started in 2005? I found what is actually a "fake" add for a 2010 replica of the poster but the words on the add got me thinking.

Personally, I love the add. It has nothing at all to do with shoes and it wouldnt actually make me buy a pair of Nikes but I think the words send a great message to women with curves. The model in the add is not your average stick thin model. She has thicker thighs and a somewhat "big" butt (though still pretty small) and is a start to showing off that strong is beautiful.

These are the words on the add...

My butt is big and round
and like the letter C
and ten thousand lunges
has made it rounder
but not smaller
and thats just fine.
Its a space heater
for my side of the bed.
Its my ambassador
to those who walk behind me.
Its a border collie
that herds skinny women
away from the best deals
at clothing sales.
My Butt is big
and thats just fine
and those who might scorn it
are invited to kiss it.
Just do it.

If you click on the link below the pic you can see where I found it, and what the original add looked like.

We all have things about our bodies that we want to change. Some women think they are too fat, some too skinny, some dont like their hair and some wish that they had blue eyes. We should all be looking in the mirror loving the things that make us strong and individual women. Yes, its hard to look in the mirror sometimes and be "in love" with yourself. Yes, when Hubs tells me "yes that looks great on you," after the 5th time I have asked him, for some reason I dont believe him because "hes my husband and he is suppose to tell me that." I think as women we also have a hard time actually saying the words "I am beautiful," because we were somehow taught through our lives that if you say that about yourself you are conceded and self absorbed. So immediately our response to how we feel about our self image is a laundry list of all the things we would change about ourselves. Why does it feel so wrong to look in the mirror and say "damn, I look good?"

As my body is changing with crossfit it is much easier to look in the mirror and see the positive changes that are happening. I am looking less at the tummy that has only shrunk a bit and looking more at how much more solid my legs are getting and how my hips seem to have shrunk a bit overnight. It feels good to have clothes that are too big and a big pile of "skinny" clothes that I can almost fit into. All of these changes are encouraging me to continue, to push through the pain, tiredness and soreness and wake my ass up at 4:35 in the morning every day for a kick ass workout.

I am not crossfitting to "lose weight" thats just a bonus. I love being strong. I love seeing muscle definition on my body. I dont ever want to be a skinny girl. I love my callouses, my bruises and most of all my curves...

8:30am: Green Tea
10:00am: Egg Muffin Fritatta
12:30pm: Chicken Scallopini and Spaghetti Squash
3:30pm: Apple
6:30pm: Shepards Pie

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Cleaning Day

September 21, 2011

I knew this morning was going to be a rough one. As it was approaching 11:00pm last night and I was still a the Historic District Commission meeting 30 minutes from my house for a project my firm is working on. I was watching the clock thinking... "tomorrow morning is going to suck getting up for..." I arrived home around 11:45, dragged myself up the stairs and into bed by midnight. I think I fell asleep in 30 seconds. Than what felt like 30 seconds later the alarm went off at 4:45... Oh.My.God.

I pulled myself out of bed and headed to Fitchburg. I have been battling what feels like it could be allergies this week. My throat is sore and I am sneezing... I know I have fall allergies so I am going to chock it up to that. I think I need to get a few good night sleeps in so I can fight it off if it is in fact a cold. I havent had a cold in ages, I would have to totally blame it on the Dr office if I did get one. I was there last Friday. We shall see. I have been taking my vitamins and what not, so I think I will be ok.

When I got to the gym I saw the workout... I have stopped getting that "scared" feeling. I was going to do it. I was there and I wasnt going to fail at it no matter how tired I am. It is not an option.

I did the warmup and to my surprise had no problem doing pullups with the black band. All the way up and no toe on the ground. Hm, maybe today wouldnt be so bad!

K asked as we started what my power clean was... I said "well I power cleaned 95lbs 45 times at the EXP games..." so she didnt hesitate to get the 100lb Rx weight ready for me for this WOD. I got out the 14lb med ball for wall balls and was ready to go. The clock was set for the 20 minute AMRAP, of course with the time counting down (I am convinced its faster that way). Three... Two... One... GO....

That first set of 5 power cleans was tough. K was coaching me on and could see what I was doing wrong on the ones that I was failing at. I kept going right back in for attempts after failure with no rest. I wanted to get through these. I got all 5 out and moved to the pullup bar for 10 knees to elbows (which should really be toes to bar... but I scaled it). Onto the 15 wall balls... powered through that first set like nothing. No rest.

As the cleans went on I was taking all that K was saying and applying it in the very next rep. She could see me falling forward so she stressed to keep my butt under, use my hips to push and make sure I get the high pull and shrug in before getting under the bar. Once she started saying that I need to speed up the pull/push I was golden. I think I was trying to hard and using too much pull and not enough push (if that makes any sense) to get the weight up, so it was harder to get under it. With her guidance I was getting better with each set of 5.

I did take some mini breaks during the T2B and wall balls. My throat was on fire so while I was breathing heavy it was hurting. I was trying to get past it but sometimes my mind still takes over. The last round was pretty awesome. I had the best of 6 sets of 5 power cleans, I only missed one... got in all ten T2E and than dig right into the wall balls. I knew it was the last round. I was totally exhausted but I just wanted to get in the last set and challenge myself.

When I was finished I was beat... but man did it feel good to do that prescribed weight!

I laid on the floor ready to take a nap for a few minutes. Than I started moving... I was thinking people were going to have to step over me the rest of the day if I just stayed there! I did some hip mobility, which is my favorite and some shoulder mobility for the soreness I am feeling from Thrusters and OH Squats. I think I am going to have permanent bruises on my chest from cleaning! The ones from EXP just went away. My "cleaning wounds" seemed to hold up without taping for this WOD, but my hands are in rough shape... feels good though!

3 Rounds
- 5 Pullups
- 10 Walking Sampson
- 10 Shoulder Dislocates
2X 9 Fundamentals

20 Minute AMRAP
- 5 Power Cleans (100lbs)
- 10 Toes to Bar (or K2E)
- 15 Wall Balls (14lbs)
(5 rounds + 25)

Shoulder Mobility
Hip Mobility

6:30am: Post Workout Protein Shake
8:30am: Green Tea
9:30am: Two Egg Muffins
11:00am: Green Tea
12:00pm: Sweet Potato, Sausage and Green Onion... and a small salad
3:30pm: Pear
8:00pm: Chicken Scallopini and Spaghetti Squash

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Feeling "Chipper" Today!

September 20, 2011

Amen for a good nights sleep last night. I was absolutely so best from the weekend and such a short nights sleep on Sunday night I am not sure how I actually functioned through the day. I was doing everything I could to stay awake. I had to stop on the way home for some cauliflower so Hubs could make the Shepard's pie he wanted to make when he got home and a soon as I walked in the door I wanted to crash. Nope... not so much! Three loads of wash, put away the clothes that were washed over the weekend, loaded and unloaded the dishwasher... and finally cooked (eerrrr burnt) my dinner! 8:00 rolled around and I was so tired I said forget it, why fight. Washed my face and was asleep by 8:30-8:45. Dynamite... 8 hours of sleep! Yay!

The 4:45am alarm is early and is going to take some getting used to. I want to make sure that I am up and out of the bed by 5:00am the latest, but I dont want the snooze to go off to many times so it dosent wake up Hubs. I snuck out of bed and was ready for day #2 at the new gym!! The ride there is actually relatively nice... meaning, I get a little more of a chance to wake up and get going.

K was already setting up for the WOD when I arrived and T showed up about 5 minutes into my warmup. After the warmup we got the weights and bars ready for overhead squats. Its pretty awesome that the pull up rack has the squat rack built into it too so we can both set up and workout at the same time. I got started with a warmup set of 35lbs. I wasnt sure where I would be for this one, we did OH Squats on 8/18 but I really dont think I can go by those weights anymore (plus I was so tired leaving work yesterday that I forgot my notebook... oops). The second set and first "real" set for the 3-3-3-3 was with 65lbs.

I knew I was going to be able to get up at least 95lbs for the last set of three. I probably could have gone a little heavier, but this will at least open some room for improvement next time. K told me to start the movement like a back squat, keep my grip pretty wide on the bar and give a little push press to get the weight up. She watched and reminded me to keep a tight core through the exercise and not to over extend my shoulders back and push my chest out. I kept decent form through all 4 sets and felt really good to get the 95... Oh excuse me... 96lbs!

Onto the WOD we went. When I looked at the board I thought this was going to be a long one. I am hoping that the trend dosent continue all the way to 30's on the 30th!! I was excited to try the ring pushups, something we can do now that we have the kick ass pullup bar!! I was also gearing myself up to do 24" box jumps. I have this irrational fear of the simple 4" that separates the two boxes. I was going to do it though!

We got set up and K started the clock. The ring pushups were hard. I have been taking all the pointers from K and M about pushups, but the hard part is... you cant screw you hands into the ground! So, I had to drop to my knees to do the push ups modified. Right out of those into the box jumps. I heard T start the box jumps before me, but I just kept pushing. "Mind over matter." I know if I dont think about it I can clear the 24" box. 20 times... without a break. Felt pretty awesome. Moved right onto the next...

I have been working on my double unders. I am completely convinced that if I keep attempting I will be able to do them. Today... I had a breakthrough. I did 5 in a row 4 times to complete my 20! It was so exciting, but I didnt have time to celebrate (till after). I had to concentrate on the jumps and I needed three little jumps between the double unders. But I was doing it! After double unders right down into abmat situps. K was pushing us both along and reminded us to touch the ground behind our heads. Walking lunges were next. I took the steps as long as I could get them. I could really feel my hamstrings and quads from thrusters yesterday.

Finally, we were onto the push presses. I picked that bar right up and went for it. Pressed out 10 right off the bat with K yelling for me to tighten my core, use a little push with the legs and not to quit. I didnt put the weight down but took 2 breaths and thought "all I have is 10 more, I can do this, dont stop." Pushed out 4 more and dropped it. One breath I picked it back up agian and killed the last 6 without rest. It felt so good...

I am feeling like I am improving in my cardio for sure. There are of course things that still make me more winded than others but I am not breathing as heavily after every WOD like I was. I have become a little more hard headed in these 6 weeks and will push myself more than ever before to finish things without resting... and challenging my weights.

I am looking forward to things getting even BETTER!!

Row 500m
2X Bergner
10 Inchworms
10 Spidermans
Row 500m

20's on the 20th
"Chipper" for Time
- 20 Ring Pushups
- 20 Box Jumps (24")
- 20 Double Unders
- 20 Abmat Situps
- 20 Walking Lunges
- 20 Push Press (65lbs)
(My time 6:33 almost all Rx except the pushups)

Overhead Squats 3-3-3-3
65lbs, 76lbs, 85lbs, 96lbs

6:30am: Post workout protein shake
7:30am: Banana
8:30am: Green Tea
10:00am: Two egg muffins
1:00pm: Paleo Shepards Pie
4:30pm: Pear
7:00pm: Lara Bar
11:30pm: Protein Shake with 10 Oz Organic Whole Milk

Monday, September 19, 2011

Good Morning Fran!

September 19, 2011

Wow, what a weekend... I think I might have actually sat still for 5 minutes the whole weekend combined. It was totally my kind of weekend doing things that I love with people who make me happy. So, there is absolutely nothing wrong with that! We got home from the game, I went right to the computer and Hubs said "you are going to blog NOW?! You are crazy... go to bed." Hence the short picture filled post, it was a late night and I knew as I crawled into bed a little before midnight that 5:00am was going to be a blink away!

For some reason I woke up at 4:00am with butterflies in my stomach. I have been excited about using the new gym and anxious about my morning routine, how I would get it all in, where I was going to shower and all that, it was like the first day of school! So, I think subconsciously I was thinking about it in my sleep. I couldnt for the life of me fall back asleep (not to mention those earplugs T has us wear while installing the pullup bar would have come in handy for Hubs snoring!)! Quarter to 5 I was up and ready to go.

It was so great to walk into the new gym and see "Crossfit Wachusett" on the wall!! The space looks amazing! K and M did a fantastic job pulling it all together and getting everything ready for the first day! Just walking through he door I was excited to get started with the WOD! The great big new WOD board is fantastic and right there in front of me was "Fran" and she was ready to challenge me!

I did the warmup and was able to do indoor double unders! I think doing them on the mats will help them to improve pretty quickly. I was able to get in quite a few real ones in a row. What was funny was that I wasnt quite sure where to go to start the warmup... there was so much space and I had the whole matted area to myself. Something I wasnt really used to at the garage. The high ceilings and wide room leaves plenty of options!  K made a comment while I was in the middle of the room doing abmat sit ups that I "looked so small" because I was all alone in this big space! It was pretty funny!

It was time to face "Fran." What I love is that the clock is mounted on the back wall, so it would actually take effort for me to turn and look at the clock while doing the WOD. So I didnt, and I really didnt think about it. K and I loaded up the bar with the Rx 65lbs and hung the black band on the new pullup bar (man I cant wait to do them unassisted), and set the clock. I was off.

Thrusters were first... 21. Thats a lot. I almost did them unbroken, but had to drop the weight in the middle. It was kinda awesome to have both M and K there at the same time since they were both encouraging me to keep going. The first 21 pullups were tough but I was only allowing myself a few seconds of breath if I needed it as rest. Than I got right into the 15's. I broke up the thrusters 5-5-5 again with a second of rest and a reminder from K to "pick it right back up." I love the feeling of "last set" on the 9's. I couldnt get all the thrusters in without breaking but I didnt rest much and went right into the 9 pullups. I knew I was almost done and didnt rest at all on those, I counted 3-3-3 and done. Much to my own surprise I finished in 7:05! Wow. That felt awesome!

My everything hurts... I am tired... sore... and did I mention tired. I was thinking to myself "geeze if I had a few more hours of sleep I might have been able to do a lot better." So when I meet Fran again I have to hope its not the day after a Pats game!

I do want to recap sort of how I handled food at the game. I knew that I wasnt going to stay Paleo all day, but I knew I didnt want to fly off the handle. I was drinking, pretty sure I had 6 beers, 4 outside than 2 inside, and some vodka. The way I handed the food was to stay as far away from the snack table as possible. No chips, no salsa (because of the chips) and no sweets! I love chips and salt so this was a task for me to concentrate on. I was starving when we got there and couldnt wait for some meat to be cooked. I stuck basically with steak tips, our Paleo Poppers and I did have a little chili. I had one bite of macaroni and cheese because it looked dynamite and had a bite of a friends slice of pizza inside the game. Other than that, I did pretty good not snacking. When we got out I had a burger, but I literally stuck my fork in it, added a little mustard and ate it off the fork! I didnt want the bun! I feel like it was a pretty good attempt at keeping what could have been a catastrophic food day relatively healthy! See... its possible to do this!!

25 Double Unders
2 Rounds
- 5 Pushups
- 10 Squat Lands
- 15 Abmat Situps
2X 9 Fundamentals

- Thrusters (65lbs) Rx
- Pullups (black)
(My time 7:05)

4 X 250m Row Sprint

6:30am: Post workout protein shake
7:30am: Banana
9:30am: Frittata
12:00pm: Salad with Chicken and Oil and Vinegar
3:00pm: Apple
7:30pm: Three eggs and three pieces of bacon

Found this and LOVE it!!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Are you ready...

... for some FOOTBALL? Because I am!! Today went a little like this...

We arrived, unpacked and started pregame tailgaiting...

We ate (notice the Paleo Chicken Poppers that Hubs made)...

Than there was a little bit of this...

And some of this....

And a whole lot of this...

Once we were good and "hydrated" into the game we went... I saw half a game like this... with Andrea!

And finished off the game with good ole section 336... my favorite place on earth with some of my favorite people on earth!

What a day!!

I am home, I am tired.... and 5:00am is going to come quick!!