one day it'll all make sense.

Archive for March, 2016

when it falls into place

First off, this year will be the year of concerts and new experiences it seems.  I have tickets to more concerts in 2016 than I think I’ve been to in my life time, and that’s including Sharon Lois and Braham…  Well, close anyways.  And for the most part, they are for people or groups I never would have imagined I would go see.  This past weekend I saw Garth Brooks, and although I would never consider myself a country music kind of girl, it was such an amazing show!!  We got there a little early and found our seats way up in the 200 level.  Soon a woman parked herself next to Amanda and asked if we liked our seats.  Um… what?  “Would 2nd row be better?” was her next question.  Heck yeah!!  It happened!

gbrooksBelow my photographic standards a bit, but for an old dude the guy moves pretty quick!!  And I totally love how the digital age has converted the old “lighters in the air” ritual.  Looks so magical 🙂  Anyways, what a great show and a LATE night!  Pretty sure I saw 4am, and not in the time-to-get-up sense.  Thank god I had Sunday off 😮 but a nap still would have been appreciated today.

Mon. Mar. 28: Sunshine and rainbows

Night and day really is the best way to describe my 16.5 experience.  As mad as I was at myself on Friday for giving up, today was a totally different story even after a crazy weekend.  Also out of my comfort zone – Amanda saw the reality of my 6am workout routine which starts with the shocking 4:30am alarm clock.  Followed by the 4:40am “no seriously!  Get UP!” 2nd alarm.  Just in case.  Lucky for me, she seemed unfazed.  One thing I did do right to prep for my second chance at this little treat of a WOD was drink a crap-ton of water over the weekend (as per Coach Dave’s recommendation).

Open Workout 16.5

21-18-15-12-9-6-3 reps for time of:
 Women use 65lb

Score – 15:59 Rx

Boo-ya!  (Insert happy dance) I stepped up to the bar this morning alongside a fellow CFD friend.  He asked me before we began – “do you have a goal in mind?”  “Yes!  Don’t die!  And finish it.”  He liked the don’t die part, but truth of the matter… I went into this round with a game plan.  Smaller sets, and just keep moving.  The 21’s were 3×7, 18’s 3×6, 15’s 3×5, etc. until the 6’s and 3’s which were at unbroken set each.  I thought I took my time.  I thought I was resting for longer than I should have, but I just wanted to survive.  And not trip over the bar.  At the end, I realized I actually did pretty awesome!  My previous time to compare to was 22:23.  6 1/2 minutes faster!  Boo-ya!

Sat. Mar. 26: The dark side of the moon

Time to take a lesson from some encouragement I offered a friend earlier this week.  Was talking with DK and he was venting his frustration at having a crappy squat day even though his head was in the right place to crush it.  “Everyone has off days, and there are so many factors that could have been setting you up to NOT succeed.

How has everything else been lately?  Sleep?  Nutrition?  Water?  Stress?  Life?  Don’t beat yourself up over ONE bad day!  Next time will be different. – Me.

Friday I was in his shoes.  Went to the box first thing looking to complete a nasty little WOD that I know all too well.  My only real expectation for myself was to beat the time I got last time through.  Shouldn’t have been too hard considering I was still new to crossfit in 2014.  I’m stronger now and smarter too.  I know what my rhythm is and how to pace a longer workout.  Friday everything went wrong.  FIRST Open WOD ever for me where I’ve given up completely.  Got through the 21’s, 18 thrusters, and like 5 burpees – then told Coach Dave (my judge) “I’m DONE!”  Another grinder of a workout and another chance for me to shine, but it wasn’t in the cards.  Dave told me a few times “control it McDowell!  Use your LEGS!” but it was as if I had none to use.  The numbness effed with my head in this one big time and I couldn’t fight through it.

home stretch

To whom it may concern,

PLEASE let Coach Dave be wrong!  PLEASE let there not be thrusters in 16.5.  please??

Regards, Kate.

I think it was 2 weeks ago that I went to the box on a Thursday morning planning to just stretch and roll out and got suckered into an “aggressive flush” (as designated by Coach Dave.  Don’t think too hard about that or it gets weird.)  Yup.  Did I learn my lesson?  Apparently not cause I went in today with pretty much the same intention and ended with the same result.  That my friends is insanity, by definition.  The only differentiator today was I didn’t hold back and pace myself cause it was a partner WOD.  Went HARD out of the gate, like 1:35-1:40 split time (dumb. even 250m at a time I can’t sprint for 3km), crashed and burned just after the half-way point then got my sh*t together and found my pace.

Thurs. Mar. 24:

For Time:
In Teams of 2,  Row 6000m
*Every 1000m completed as a team:
30- Wallballs #20
2- Rope Climbs
*Partition as needed*
*Must switch athletes every 250m completed on the rower*

Can’t tell you what our time was, but the last time I looked at the clock during our final row it said 33 something… so I know it was more than that lol!  Another new experience – rope climbing with still numb calves and feet.  Quite possibly the weirdest yet and my inner thighs and knees are not overly impressed with how tightly they had to squeeze the rope, but tough.  Oh!  And the 20lb wallball SUCKS!  Thank god this workout wasn’t judged, cause I’m pretty sure even though I jumped hard for every rep I still missed the line often.

Like previous years, this is the time I’m ready for the Open to be over.  One WOD stands between getting back to my regularly scheduled program and I fully anticipate it to be a rough one.  Unlike previous years, my regularly scheduled program will most likely see a re-vamp after tomorrow.  Summer is coming.  Shorts, and tank tops and beach weather… and some races with my chick.  Running has already resurfaced in my life and is about to take up a more significant part in my story soon.  If only it would stop with the icy, wintery sh*t outside already cause I can’t wait to get back on the trails.

roll with it

Thank you crossfit.  More to the point, thank you Crossfit Division for inspiring me to give it another chance forever ago now.  Today I proved to myself just how far I’ve come and reaffirmed a big part of WHY I do this.  It’s been a week now since most of my hands, forearms and legs from the knee down have been numb, yet I still kinda killed 16.4.  Don’t get me wrong, it was mutual, but still happy with the determination I dug up to get through this bitch of a WOD despite all the self-doubt swimming around in my head.  I will admit, I went against my game plan for this year’s Open a little… I was nervous going into today.  Biggest fear was probably not being able to catch the wallball.  Oh and I dreaded the push-ups (rightfully so).  I had more than one coach mention to me “this is YOUR WOD!” and they were totally right.  The weight was light, and I dig a grinder.  But the game was different.  Thankfully my lungs kept it together and the annoying cough didn’t resurface till I got to work.  Thankfully the time I spent last week figuring out how to work with the whole numbness thing paid off.  Thankfully the WOD didn’t involve skipping or box jumps!  (That’s a big one)  My coordination isn’t the greatest right now.

Open WOD 16.4

Complete as many rounds and reps as possible in 13 minutes of:
55 deadlifts
55 wall-ball shots
55-calorie row
55 hand release push-ups

Women deadlift 95 lb. and throw 10-lb. ball to 9-ft. target

Score – 231

I can’t think of another crossfit moment where I’ve felt so close to barfing after a WOD.  My legs gave up and I sat on the floor for what felt like forever, but I survived.  Coach Dave asked before the WOD “what’s your goal McDowell?” I couldn’t come up with a response at the time, but all said and done whatever it was I think I crushed it.  I got through a full round and back to the deadlifts.  I didn’t catch a wallball with my face.  And although I’m pretty sure I back-talked some profanity when Dave encouraged me to keep my split time above 900, I was happy with my row.  I survived  🙂  MS messed with the wrong girl 😉

fill in the gaps

Ok, it’s been a while. Well, not that long I guess although all day I’ve been convinced today is Friday. Still adjusting to Sport Chek being a Tuesday gig maybe, or could be the mental fog daylight savings always seems to cause. Monday I wanted to kill my phone at 4:30am… Then yesterday I woke up with a sore throat.  The morning was ok, killed the morning WOD (except the double unders, but I’ll get back to that), got in an 8k run before work that felt easy and comfortable, but by probably 3pm I felt like a truck ran me over.  WTF?! Bad timing!! In bed early and felt much better this morning… Except for my voice!  “You sound like a DUDE!” Said DK.  Thanks! Lol. Left work early and haven’t left my couch since, except to warm up some soup I stashed in the freezer the last time I made crockpot chicken soup. Good call on my part 😉


I might need to backtrack a whole bunch here and fill in some gaps.  Otherwise my randomness could make even less sense than usual.  Around the middle of January I came to the point where I was just DONE with Tecfidera (MS drugs).  The reaction I had to it every day for the past year and a half finally pushed me beyond my breaking point.  So I stopped taking it.  Since then, every day I’ve been thankful that everything seems to be great.  For a long time I’ve wanted to know if the healthy lifestyle I live could possibly be enough that I don’t need the drugs anymore and there’s really only one way to find out.  Near the end of my life with a dose of the Tecfidera twice daily, I’d wake up every day feeling good, take the morning dose and feel ill for the next 8-10 hours, start feeling good again just in time to take the second dose and feel sick until bed time.  Friends used to tease me for going to bed before 10, but if you felt like you had the flu every day you might too! I couldn’t take it anymore.  I’m sure my neurologist will beat me up about it at my next appointment, but it’s the life I have to live.  Anyways, after almost 2 months drug-free I woke up Sunday with limited feeling in my hands.  I mean they still work, I just can’t feel when I’m touching or holding something.  I’ve dropped my phone so many times Otterbox deserves my gratitude for the fact it still works.  Monday morning I also added minimal feeling in my legs from the knees down.  See where I’m going with this yet? Tuesday’s WOD had double unders in it and Coach Dave suggested spending 90 seconds practicing DU for those who didn’t have them (aka ME).  Generally I would, but Tuesday I couldn’t manage more than 2-3 single skips without tripping and that’s usually my jam.  Ah well, you can’t win ’em all.  Thankfully there’s so much more to crossfit than double unders.  And we’ve already seen skipping in the Open. And I can still run 🙂


Pure chaos

First post in like forever that has nothing to do with crossfit! Say what?!  I know, but it’s a rest day.  Also out of character. Actually, both of those comments might make you wonder if my blog has been hacked but it’s legit. So prepare for some pretty random stuff. This is why my brain needs crossfit. Left un-influenced, it’s pure chaos.


Speaking of chaos… Kaos was the best teal Cavalier a girl could have.  Don’t judge.

I want another tattoo.  Actually, I’ve wanted another one probably since the day after I got my last one but I’ve still not come up with something that I’m really committed to spending the rest of my life with.  Don’t read into that too deeply, I really am talking about a tattoo. I have 2 currently, both of which made sense to me at the time and still do.  I carry happiness on my shoulder and strength and energy on my wrist… all of which life can try to strip you of at times and most of which you have the power to chose whether to fight to keep or surrender.  So what next?  One day I’ll figure it out… I like the ones that are a symbol of the activities you are in to like hockey, or soccer, or baseball… Or the ones that represent a passion for a pet or whatever. But I’ve been into so much and my hobbies are constantly evolving and changing.  Do I go in to a tattoo artist and say “ok here’s the deal. I figure I should represent everything over the years cause if I get a tatt of what I’m in to right now it will probably change in the next year or 2 and then it won’t make any sense. A collaboration I can build on. So… I want a something to do with swimming, something musical, horse riding, snowboarding, running, mountain biking, ball hockey, a cat, a dog, and crossfit.  Probably heavy on the crossfit… Maybe skip the cat. Ideas?”  Pretty sure I’d get the “this chick is crazy!” look.  Maybe I’ll just stick with words.

Went to see The Trews last night.  I wasn’t much of a fan of their music and a little skeptical of the venue, but it was AWESOME!  First, an outstanding group of performers and second, a standing ovation in a public library?! Crazy, right?  Incredible night 🙂



Post-concert the drive home turned into live carpool karaoke with Amanda and her bestie Brad. Also quite entertaining. Before they even got into it Brad asked if I was going to sing along too! Um, no. Not unless the music is loud enough that I can’t be heard :p I wish I could sing, but happy to listen to those who can 🙂

Slept in today after the late night last night. Like, slept through my alarm. Well, technically my alarm didn’t go off and when I did wake up and realized it was like 7:48 and I was in Burlington and had to get to work for 9 an hour away THAT was alarming! Threw clothes on in record time, Amanda handed me a bag of snap peas, a banana and a bottle of water (breakfast and lunch?) and bolted out the door. Made it to work, but just on time! Amendment… Made it to work with a large Tims coffee just on time. Necessity, and still made it. Actually got another large coffee around 10 and wanted to curl up under my desk probably around 2 when the caffeine high wore off.  Not an option. We were short staffed so I had to dust off my selling skills and go be awesome lol!

Don’t worry, back to crossfit tomorrow. Order will be restored.

pick it up

I may have hit rock bottom.  Might be at the breaking point I’ve been needing for a while to actually make some real changes.  NEVER do I want to have the thoughts of “oh god!  Please not the sit-down-fat!” when cuddling with my chick.  It’s dumb and awful.  It’s a road I’ve been down before and will go down again unless someone can remove that part of my brain that creates these thoughts… Hey MS!  Time for you to step up and help me out for once?  You’ve effed with useful parts of my mind, how about putting your powers to something good for a change?

Anywho, I’ve said this before but maybe this time I mean business.  Maybe this time I’ll stop starring longingly at the abs I can see in the mirror from just the right angle and actually get my shit together.  Summer is coming… I want to wear shorts and strappy tank tops and the odd bikini and feel good about it.  Amanda and I have talked about doing a few runs this summer, starting with a 10k in April.  That’s SOON!  And she’s speedy!  I need to up my game to get ready for the run and ball hockey starts soon.  So my game plan is to tackle both of these goals together.  I’ve already started running again, now I just need to banish almond butter from my home.  There are way worse things, I know this is how it has to be.  I’m still doing the Whole Life Challenge, but haven’t cared about it at ALL this time around.  Haven’t been cheating, but that doesn’t matter.

My different approach to The Open this year is making for a much more enjoyable experience.  I don’t stress leading up to the announcement to the point I wasn’t even upset last night when I couldn’t get the internet to work so I could watch it.  I sleep like any other night, I don’t eat any different than normal, and I workout like any other week.  It’s pretty chill, and it’s FUN!  Score 🙂  Plus a little added bonus… I’m actually doing pretty well.  Was top female in the scaled division at CFD for 16.1 😀  16.2 I wasn’t as spectacular, but I’m still happy with how this time around feels.

Fri. Mar. 11:

Workout 16.3

Complete as many rounds and reps as possible in 7 minutes of:
10 power snatches
 5 jumping chest-to-bar pull-ups

Men use 45 lb.
Women use 35 lb.

Result – 104 reps

Not beating myself up after this little sprint, although I underestimated it a bit.  OMG my FOREARMS are ruined!  Grip strength is completely gone to the point I’ve had to hold my coffee with 2 hands today to prevent a catastrophe.  I never do chest to bar pull-ups, like ever.  Can’t even get my chest to touch the bar with palms facing outwards, so attacked these palms in.  Once the time ran out, my forearms looked like a snake that had swallowed a softball and screamed bloody murder.  However, I was entirely grateful when the WOD was announced and didn’t include any squats.  My legs are tired from this week… got an 8k run in Wednesday and somehow got tricked into a 35 minute row for calories yesterday, with a side of burpees after I went to the box just to mobilize and stretch 😉

Fri. Mar. 4:

Workout 16.2

Complete as many rounds and reps as possible in 4, 8, 12, 16 or 20 minutes of:
25 knee raises
50 single-unders
15 squat cleans*

Begin with a 4 minute time cap. If 1 round is completed in under 4 minutes extend time to 8 minutes. If 2 rounds are completed in under 8 minutes extend time to 12 minutes. Etc., adding 4 minutes per round completed for up to 20 minutes.

*1st round, 15 reps at 55 lb.
2nd round, 13 reps, 75 lb.
3rd round, 11 reps, 95 lb.
4th round, 9 reps, 115 lb.
5th round, 7 reps, 135 lb.

Result – 339 reps

I will admit I did beat myself up a little after completing this one.  I flew through the first 2 rounds, good pace through the third, then stepped up to the 115lb bar with a whole 4 minutes remaining and couldn’t get ONE little rep!  Once I blocked out all the voices outside and inside my head, I did manage to get under the bar twice but was too far forward to stand it up.  4 minutes… 0 reps.  Thankfully I’ve had the best judge for all of my WODs.  The person who always seems to be able to read the nasty things I’m saying to myself inside my own mind and snap me out of it.  I was mad at myself for what I didn’t do, but was completely forgetting all that I DID.  “Honestly, I expected you to struggle with the 11 reps at 95lbs.  You breezed through those!” she said.  Touche!  Also a little perspective… 115 is my 1RM.

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