one day it'll all make sense.

Archive for January, 2014

100% mental

Saturday Jan. 25

Today is a rest day.  Like, a real one.  No sneaking in a little run at Goodlife this time.  Yesterday’s WOD kicked my butt so hard I struggled to just function for the 2-3 hours following it.  When thoughts of “why does the safe have to be way down on the floor?  My legs don’t want any more squats.” and “maybe I could just keep my lunch in the office today instead of walking up the stairs to the lunchroom” cross my mind, I realize it’s due time for a legit rest.

Sunday Jan. 26

Today was another crossfit rest day thanks to my ball hockey schedule making it impossible to do both :p  On the bright side, we crushed ’em 8-4.  Or possibly 9… I got a sweet goal to tie things up early in the game and we just gained momentum from there.  When I signed up to play co-ed, I was super pumped for the learning experience.  Guys are just faster and rougher than an all women’s league.  I’m learning to play smarter, but I’m also learning to get out of the way when a shot barrels at you.  I’ve never been one to hide when it comes to blocking shots, but catching one in the ribs was a whole new experience.  Lesson learned.  Still tender.

image Monday Jan. 27

After a mental throwndown, I did it:

cfgamesopenI’m both terrified and incredibly excited to put myself to the test.  I’ve spent a decent amount of time watching open WODs from previous years and have realized I have some serious work to do over the next five weeks.  I’ve also seen a few that have been encouraging though too.  This morning Coach Dave made a comment that I totally believe is the deciding factor for me in terms of how successful I will be at any given task.  It’s all in your head.  If I can get my mind to commit to something, there’s nothing I cannot do.  Some days, that IF is bigger than others, but I’m getting better at my own acts of mental buy in.  This morning, as we were all warming up with a light 5 minute row, my mind was already throwing in the “but your body is tired…”  After two days off, I decided I had no excuse.  Scaled the WOD, but kept moving and finished first 🙂  Tried 85lbs for the bear complex after getting through a few with that load in the warm-up but failed round 1 and stripped down to 75lbs.  Success.  Even busted through the warm-up pull-up portions as strict without the use of a band.

Monday Jan. 27

5 Rounds for time:
15- Pullups
20- Kettlebell Swings 32kg/24kg  16kg
3- Bear Complex #225/#155  75lbs

Time – forgot to record it 😦  16 something I think?

a04d11ee61e7d7ff92c1a48b1b7dd617[1]Last bit for today…. FOOD.  Zone Diet, week two starts tomorrow.  It’s going well, but one thing I’ve noticed is my coffee intake has increased :s  Not sure if this is a good thing, but a good cup of coffee keeps my mind away from thinking about food.  The challenge has been I used to “graze” fairly steady throughout my day rather than set meal times.  That foodless span between noon and 4pm can be a tough one.  Lame, I know.  Have made some amazing meals though 🙂

crockpot curryMy CrockPot is my best friend.  Threw in 3 chicken breasts, some chopped up baby carrots, a diced onion, some chopped celery, a can of diced tomatoes, 1/2 tbsp sea salt, 1 tbsp cumin, 1 tbsp curry and out came a kick-a** chicken curry dish!  🙂  Super-easy, super-tasty.  Served with some cauliflower rice.

danielssauceOk, I can’t really take full credit for this one.  One of my staff made the tomato sauce for me 🙂  I just cooked it with some minced turkey and served it with a spiralized zucchini.  So good.

BUTT? Of course.

I had all kinds of randomness I wanted to ramble about yesterday, but the nerve pain has escalated in my leg again and it’s making me bitchy and all brain scattered  :p  Not that that’s a reason not to write anything really…

The only reason I find myself still happy that I have a gym membership since also joining CF Division, is for the crossfit rest days when mother nature is being a complete b*tch.  With the temps hovering around -20 yesterday, I was actually happy to jump on the treadmill.  Don’t get me wrong, I’d way rather run outside, but not on a day where your nose hairs turn to icicles just walking to the car!  So I started my Wednesday with a nice little 5km run followed by 100 walking lunges.  With the addition of the 100 lunges after Sunday’s WOD and how my BUTT felt for the next two days, I was pumped to do it again :p  Sicko?  Yes.  But when I read today’s WOD online last night, I realized Karma might be biting me in the butt for not resting on my rest day :s

warm-up included a twisted 60 seconds with the bar in the back squat rack position, completing as many squat jumps as possible.  I got out 32 but my quads were screaming bloody murder after maybe 5.  The “21X1” refers to the amount of time to complete each part of the squat.  2 seconds to get down to the bottom, 1 second hold at the bottom, X-plode back up to standing, then 1 second to rest for next rep.  Sounds simple enough, but gets challenging quickly!  🙂

Part 1. Front Squats: 5-5-5-5@ 21X1    #85

Part 2. Row 1000 Meters
20- Overhead Walking Lunge #45/#25 plates
30- Burpees
20- Overhead Walking Lunge #45/#25 plates
Run 800 Meters

Run.  Yes outside, in the bitter cold.  However after making it through the rest of the workout, no one was complaining.  There was a 15 minute sort of target for this one and I ran through the door to complete in 14:56.  To the wire, but made it 🙂  2nd out of 5 too.  My row and run must have been my saving grace today, cause the lunges and burpees were pitiful.  Haha

One note to self… Zone + 15 minute metcon = 1 tired kitten!  I was completely spent after this one.  Like, I might need a nap before work tonight.  Had my now typical breakfast, which I split into pre-WOD and post-WOD segments.  Pre-WOD is 2 cups kale, 2 cups spinach, 1 frozen strawberry and water blended into drinkable form.  Post-WOD is 1/2 cup scrambled egg whites, 1/4 cup sweet potato and 1 homemade breakfast sausage.  Even after my post-WOD chow down, still bagged today.  However I will give the Zone diet some credit here as I once again feel justified in using the “weight loss” tag on my posts.  First week following the program, down 2.5lbs.  As long as it’s body fat, we’re cool.  Two more weeks till vacay, so I’ll be sticking with the program till then for sure.

For lunch I used some Romaine lettuce leaves as “shells” for my spicy turkey sauce and a few slices of avocado.  I called them tacos… ish, although a friend didn’t agree.  :p  Perception is reality my friends 😉




^of course there would be a few Brussels sprouts on my plate too.  I don’t know how I got through the first 29 years of my life without them.  Plus, they held up my “tacos” during assembly :p

deep freeze

Decided today to give the immediately-post-WOD post a shot.  When I leave the box, I’m all pumped up and have lots to ramble about so this could be a crazy one.

I knew they were calling for a 4-5 day run of COLD days in Southern Ontario… this morning lives up to that.  By the time I had my car scraped off to head to the box, my pre-WOD greens drink had frozen itself into a popsicle.  Had to use a fork to break it up!   Thankfully Coach Dave’s threats yesterday that we would be outside today were reconsidered with the lung shatteringly low temps.  Want a sure sign that today I will be showering at HOME after the WOD, not at the box?


Gym towel, frozen solid.  That would do it.

Still fighting to shake this cold or whatever and my lung capacity is that of a pack a day smoker.  Part 1 of today’s WOD was killer!  My rowing felt great, kept my split under 2:00 for the first 2 rounds and under 2:05 for round 3.  But the wallballs were brutal.  I couldn’t get enough air into my lungs at times, but I didn’t quit.  Our team of 3 finished in 10:32 🙂  Part 2 was wicked.  Like, in a good way.  Although, I went way too light on the loading.  Decided to keep things light, keep moving fast and make it through a respectable number of rounds.  Granted, accomplished that, but had Coach Dave not put a time cap, I might have been there for an hour.

imageAs for the Zone diet, I’ve officially made it through my first week 🙂  and with 2 weeks until vacation, I have no intention of stopping.  I’m getting a better system for food prep in relation to the blocks.  Last night I made a batch of turkey spaghetti sauce with zucchini “noodles” that was incredibly awesome.  It hurt my heart a little to have to weigh out my sauce portion, but it’s worth it.  This morning I tried on my board shorts and they almost fit again.


weekend re-cap

I’m finding stride with the Paleo/Zone idea thankfully 🙂  This being said, I woke up with a cold last Thursday and left work early Friday to sleep it off for a few hours.  Thankfully Saturday my appetite returned after two days of very minimal nutritional consumption.

I ducked into the Box a bit early Friday to bounce a few questions of Coach Dave and Sharon and I think I managed to simplify the process a bit.  “Don’t geek out too much” Coach Sharon mentioned at one point when I was stressing over the protein I discovered existing in my Brussels sprouts that was throwing off my blocks and counts and all that.  :p  If you think I’m likely to not geek out completely if left to my own defences, you don’t know me too well. haha  Coach Dave suggested adding some sweet potato or other starchy veggies back into my world.  mmm 🙂  Should help me get closer to the carb blocks.  Random useless fact – 3 blocks of Romaine lettuce is 18 cups.  Say what?  Not only would lunch take me 3 hours to eat, I’d need to find a bowl the size of a kiddie pool.  I’m still holding on to the game plan of having definition in my abdominal area in time for my trip.  I know it’s approaching quickly, but I’m not giving up on this.


Enough food ramblings.  Yesterday’s WOD was wicked fun 🙂  And I had a great partner who gave me a little push to leave behind my urge to grab a lighter med ball and just give ‘er.


a whole heap of rounds of deadlifts (3 reps) with increased weight each round and 5 wallballs.  Got up to #165 on the deads.  I love deadlifts.  Today… my glutes are sore.  Love that too.  🙂

AMRAP in 15 Minutes: Teams of 2, Alternating
3- Deadlifts #225/#155   #105
7-Wallballs     #14
One Athlete working at a time

Result – 17 rounds each 🙂  woot!  Take THAT cold!  Or so I thought at the time.  Felt fantastic walking out of the box, then kinda like garbage again a few hours later.  Good thing it was Sunday and all I had lined up for the rest of the day was laundry and a little food prep marathon.

This morning’s WOD was a fun little step out of the ordinary.

3 sets of: Bench Press x 3-4 reps  #85

Rest 2 minutes

Weighted Pull-Up x 2-3 reps  weighted?  How about un-banded?  🙂

Rest 2 minutes

“Lynne”-ish 3 sets for max reps of:

Bodyweight Bench Press (ladies, shoot for 3/4 bodyweight)   or… #85

Pull-Ups   round 1 – blue band, round 2 & 3 – 2 x blue band

Rest 4 minutes between sets

Result – bench press/pull-up – 15/6, 12/11, 9/11

You read that right.  Un-banded 🙂  Oh ya!  We’re not talking 100s of reps, but I actually managed some pretty legit strict pull-ups without the use of a band.  At the end, I actually cranked out a few pretty decent kipping ones too.  🙂  There.  My day is a success.

wandering in the dark

I’m feeing a little lost with this nutritional re-direction.  Read the specs and I’ve decided I should fall into the category of “medium female”.  With this being said, my day should be fueled by a block count of: 3 breakfast, 3 lunch, 1 snack, 3 dinner and 1 snack.  11 blocks in total over the course of the day.  Seems simple enough?  Not quite.  Here’s my food diary for today:


I’m already over my protein snd fat “goals” for the day, and I haven’t even added snacks yet!  Still room for some more carbs, but the calorie count seems drastically low.  This is tougher to get the hang of than I predicted.  Who knew veggies would add for much protein to a meal!  My dear Brussels… you’re messing up my plans.  I could cut back the chicken portion to stay within the 21 grams of protien per meal, but a 2oz chicken breast is like the size of 1 solitary chicken McNugget!  😮  From the portion guidelines Coach Dave posted on the CF Division page, I did laugh to myself when I saw some of the “1 block” equivalent when it comes to fat.  Get ready for snack time… would you like 3 almonds? 3 cashews? or 1 macadamia nut? haha!  Why bother?  That’s just a tease.  Guess if I ate no other fat over the course of the day, I could indulge on 11 macadamias, but filling the rest of my day with nothing but celery makes the macadamias a little less appealing.  “you should lose some body fat with this”  Coach Dave has mentioned.  No sh*t!!  It could be the difference in my ability to do strict pull-ups if I have less body weight to haul up over the bar I guess :p provided the muscles needed for the task stick around in the process.

Rest day from the box today.  Back at it tomorrow 🙂  My body is appreciative of the break.  My back has been sore the last two days.


chippin’ away

So this is a “chipper”.  It sounded hellish when I read it last night, but I actually enjoyed it 🙂

time - 24:03 :)

time – 24:03 🙂

The run had the Canadian winter challenges of a slippery route, but the sun was shining and for once it wasn’t -40 out.  Like… I survived comfortably in shorts and a t-shirt.  Basically I told myself, if you’re cold… RUN FASTER.  While I’m still not bad-a** at the whole box-jump-over thing, I’m happy with my progress from stepping up on the box, to jumping but on the 18″ box, to jumping the whole WOD with the legit 20″ version.  🙂

Getting in the Zone… if I thought the Paleo lifestyle was a lot of work, this is even tougher.  Maybe cause I just haven’t got the hang of things yet.  Here’s hoping that’s it!  Lunch and dinner today are the same as yesterday.  With hockey last night I didn’t get home until 10 and wasn’t about to spend time thinking about food.  This morning I did prep all of my meals for the day before heading to the box though.  Including breakfast:

breakfast114Not the most visually appealing, but it was really tasty.  Sautéed some onion, mushrooms, kale and a homemade breakfast sausage patty.  Used it to top my 1/2 cup scrambled egg whites.  One thing I’ve definitely noticed already… I was eating WAY too much protein.  I used to eat probably 3 times the quantity of egg whites every morning with a sausage patty.  No veggies.  While it’s more work this way, here’s hoping it’ll help me shed, pre-trip, a bit of the “chunky monkey” I’ve picked up over the last year :p

finding my Zone

Just taking it for a test drive today, but might be in the “Zone” as of tomorrow. What did I learn from Coach Dave’s nutrition sermon after this morning’s WOD? I’m eating too much protein and not enough carbs.  We’re not talking a big old loaf of bread here, but the leafy green form. Here’s what I came up with today, tomorrow I will be more prepared 😉 note- dinner has a “not pictured” item as the 5 almonds were eaten while the brussels were cooking.

Lunch - romaine, red pepper, avo and 3oz chicken breast

Lunch – romaine, red pepper, avo and 3oz chicken breast

Dinner - spaghetti squash, 3oz chicken breast, tomato sauce, Brussels

Dinner – spaghetti squash, 3oz chicken breast, tomato sauce, Brussels

As for the workout component, first let me fill in the gap from yesterday.  My day started with the 10am WOD:

Cindy XXX

Complete as much as possible in 20 minutes of:
10- Pull-ups
20- Push-ups
30- Squats
15- Pull-ups
30- Push-ups
45- Squats
20- Pull-ups
40- Push-ups
60- Squats
25- Pull-ups
50- Push-ups
75- Squats
30- Pull-ups
60- Push-ups
90- Squats

**OR if you’re not either certifiably insane or of superhuman strenght… there was a “tier 2” which was as many rounds as possible of 5 pull-ups, 10 push-ups and 15 squats.  Still Cindy, just without the XXX craziness.  Thanks to a friendly challenge directed my way from one of my 7:30am WOD buddies, I started the 20 minutes going Rx, but after the 45 air squats, I realized I was smarter to switch to plain old Cindy.  The 30 push-ups were challenging enough, 40 and 50 would have taken me way too long to complete.  In the end, I got through the first two groups of Rx, and 10 rounds of Cindy.  aka 75 pull-ups (with the band), 150 push-ups and 225 squats.  Today… my upper body is SPENT :p

After the WOD I chowed down on my scrambled egg whites and breakfast sausage and headed to my 12:00pm ball hockey game. Ran hard for an hour and sweat like crazy.  After that, I was ready for a nap!  Haha

That brings me to today 🙂  Back to my usual 7:30am WOD:

In 18-20 minutes, work up to a 1-RM Power Clean
Suggested loading pattern:
50% of 1-RM x 3 reps
65 % of 1-RM x 2 reps
75% of 1-RM x 2 reps
85% of 1-RM x 1 rep
90% of 1-RM x 1 rep
95% of 1-RM x 1 rep
More than 100% of 1-RM x 1 rep
More than 100% of 1-RM x 1 rep

Result - #95 I'll take it

Part 2: 5 rounds - 60 seconds work, 60 seconds rest.

5 power cleans 
10 box jumps

Oh goody.  Power Cleans.  Another chance for me to battle with my brain to figure out the "open your HIPS", "keep the bar closer to your body", "use the jump to get the bar up", "stop trying to muscle it up"... the list goes on.  I've tried many mind games to trick myself into really understanding this one.  After 6 months of frustration, I think today we figured it out!!  I got set up and Coach Dave stood right in front of me, facing my bar.  "Don't hit me with the bar McDowell." he said.  Success!!  I got that b*tch off the ground and got under it pretty smooth too!  :)  The whole part 2, all that played through my mind was "don't hit Dave with the bar..."

by the way... not sure why the font went all weird?  Ah well ;)  Hockey again tonight!

matter of time

It really is interesting in how the timing of things can sometimes just seem incredibly appropriate.  A few weeks ago I got involved in a little group discussion at the box about good reads and Coach Sharon highly recommended picking up a copy of this book:

e squared

Just before Christmas I found myself in Chapters picking up a last minute gift, and grabbed myself a copy.  Very interesting read.  Also very appropriate for the events that have unfolded in my life over the last few days.  It’s no secret that more and more people are happily using their smart phones to capture life’s little moments rather than purchasing an actual camera.  I won’t lie and say I’m not guilty of this as well.  Times are changing…  sigh.  I’m also smarter than to get into too much depth with that comment as I do like my job.  The connection to the book is the process of learning to change the way we think and use these thoughts to create the reality we want.  Sounds far-fetched maybe, but worth a shot.  😉

This morning was my favorite Friday class again 🙂  Coach Dave didn’t stick around like he usually does though…  but there was another discussion in which Coach Sharon mentioned a little dream of becoming a “life coach”.  Can’t think of a better fit!  Crossfit Division has been a huge life-changing experience through her help, and all of the coaches and community there.  It’s not just about the lifting 😉 but the more lasting results are the mental growth from human interaction.  Again I go back to the element of timing.  The discussion couldn’t have fallen on a more appropriate day as my mind has been spinning with ideas of what I would consider a dream career path.  Not to suggest that I’m planning any career changes at this point, but with all the years growing up and looking for opportunity to teach, coach, or mentor on whatever platform fit at the time, the mention of a “life coach” sparked my interest.  I have always found the opportunity to help others accomplish things they once thought impossible is incredibly rewarding.  Do you have something that leaves you with a sense of fullfilment?  As Coach Dave often says “do something today to make someone else better.”

Back to the grind.  Sometimes, it is about the lifting:

Friday Jan 10.  For Time:
21- Thrusters #135/#95    #55
800m Row
15- Thrusters #135/#95
400m Row
9- Thrusters #135/#95
200m Row

time – 10:33

Yesterday we did “Lift Up Luke”.  A spicy little 5 minute AMRAP of 4 power cleans, 72 single unders (ya, cause I still haven’t figured out the doubles), 10 pull-ups.  Sounds pretty simple, right?  Like, 4 power cleans.  Who can’t manage that?  Well, when the rep count is so minimal, the loading is NOT.  And when the loading is heavy, what’s super important?  OPEN YOUR HIPS!  Here we go again.  I made it through the first round, and 3 reps into the second round with my classic “muscle it up” style.  Then I simply could NOT get the bar up high enough to drop under it.  I was so frustrated :p  but the Coach stripped some weight off for me and I kept going.  After thinking a bunch after leaving the box I realized I have to find the key to get my brain to play along.  After today’s WOD, I spent some time a doing a few kettlebell swings, followed by a few power cleans.  I WILL piece it together.  It’s all about timing 😉

let it rest

Today is a rest day.  Parts of my body are definitely screaming “thank gawd!” while my brain is hating the idea, as usual.  With the heavier front squats thrown into the mix yesterday for the first time in quite a while, my quads are sore today.  I didn’t even go that heavy?  Almost went even lighter, but one of my fellow crossfitters (and also one of my heroes when it comes to heavy lifting cause she’s little and lifts crazy weights like it’s nothing) called me out on “under-loading” my bar.  When Coach Dave asked “could you have done a 4th rep?” and I hesitated to answer, “add MORE weight!” was the verdict.  My quads are… thanking?… me today.  Love the feeling 🙂  and the squats felt great too.  I’m just not reaching for any new PR’s right now since my vacation will be here soon enough and I already have big quads.  Don’t know if I’ve mentioned it yet, but I tell myself every day – I WILL have abs for this bikini session.  Like, visible ones.  Part of the reasoning behind the scrapping of the sweet potatoes and butternut squash.  I think I was just enjoying them a little too much and I’ve gotten squishy again.  I work too hard to be squishy.  It sucks.  :p

Speaking of rest… With quite a few years as a photographer, I know how to read a histogram, but I have no idea what this means :p  Other than providing proof that I have a crazy early bedtime.  I downloaded the sleep cycle alarm clock just for fun, but it seems I have to sleep with my phone in bed beside me for 5 nights before it will give me a sleep rating :p  I read months ago that keeping technological devices in your bedroom actually interrupted your quality of sleep?  Now I’m purposely keeping my phone in bed with me?  We’ll see I guess 😉


lesson learned

So, I’m not huge into making new year’s resolutions but this year I’ve got one.  I’m going to work to stop complaining.  Although, what many people seem to not understand is that my tales of sports/crossfit-related bruises or scars are not really complaining at all.  Those are badges of honor that I wear with pride.  So maybe my resolution is to work to keep my “story telling” to a more limited audience.  Such as my blog…  It’s mine, and I can ramble what every comes to mind.  :-p

Today is day 8 of my sweet potato / butternut squash ban.  I’ve come up with a bunch of other stuff to eat instead, but thus far haven’t found anything that’s completely satisfying in the same way.  Sigh.  Breakfast has been the same scrambled egg whites and breakfast sausage, just without the seasoned sweet potato that used to accompany it.  Still tasty, but lacking.  Lunch today was’s Spaghetti Squash Noodle Bowl with OMG Sauce which comes close.


Wicked tasty, although a bit labor intensive to make… but who am I kidding?  It’s January now and now that work has slowed down again, I have time 🙂

That was the culinary highlight of my day.  Dinner was a few pork meatballs and some steamed brocoli.  I’m not hungry per say, but not satisfied either.  :-p  I’ll get over it.  Less than a month till bikini time.

Any girl who has ever cut her hair short and then tried to grow it back out will have to agree with me when I say it’s a rough process.  I’m currently going through an awkward stage.  Ever played Nintendo Mario Kart?  Or any Super Mario Brothers game really?  Ya know the little mushroom guys?  An old friend used to call them “chicken nuggets” which always made me laugh 🙂  anyways, if I don’t put in the time to straighten my hair every day, I look like a nugget.  Not attractive.  haha!  Wait…  here:

nuggetmmm hmmm….

I haven’t posted in a few days, but I haven’t been slacking.  Yesterday the craziness of the last month may have caught up with me.  Or maybe it was my body saying EFFF YOU! after I thought it seemed like a good way to spend part of my afternoon off going for a quick 5km run.  This was a few hours after my usual 7:30 WOD.  The run felt great, but not too long after I felt like garbage.  Lesson learned!  Ended up falling asleep on my couch by 8:00.  After 10 hours sleep I felt awesome again though 🙂 and headed back for another fun little WOD today.

Mon. Jan 6:

5 Rounds for time:
5- Muscle ups (transitions)
10- Shoulder- Overhead #165/#115    #75

Part 2:

10 minute OTM – 3-5 overhead squats, pausing 3 seconds at bottom    #35

Tues. Jan 7:


3 rounds, 3 front squats – 80-85%    #105

Open WOD 13.4
AMRAP in 7 Minutes:
Up ladder by 3,
Clean and Jerks #135/#95     #65
Toes- Bar
3,3 / 6,6 / 9,9/ 12,12 / 15,15 / 18,18….

Total reps: 80

Monday’s little victory for me was my over head squats.  My right arm was all twitchy after the WOD, but I still managed to get my sh*t together and hold on to the bar 🙂  The little victory for today was my Toes-Bar.  Other than a few knees to elbows in there, I got through almost the whole WOD kicking my toes up to that bar 😀  woot!

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