Halloween willpower

Madeline stares at the camera in her monkey costume, with Luke in the background.
How did you handle Halloween?

I found myself eating a lot of carrots this week. Luke and Mads brought home a lot of trick-or-treat candy on Monday night, and we didn’t have a lot of trick-or-treaters, so we had leftovers.

The candy is calling my name.

So far I have resisted the candy urge, thanks in part to a ready supply of baby carrots and knowing that Zach will read my food log. But it’s been tough. I’m craving sugar.

I’m also sore. It’s Thursday night, and I’m beat. Training has been really good, especially these past two days, but I’m in need of some serious massage therapy.

Wednesday: Olympic Lifting

Back squats: 70% x 5, 75% x 4 85% 4×4 → 95/100/115
Hip Power Snatch + OHS: 3+3 x 2, 2+3 x 2 → 35/45
Snatch off blocks: 3×2, 2×3, 2×1 → 45/55/60

Things went much better on Wednesday. My attitude was better, and I felt like I improved. This is a hard class — no doubt. It’s one of the most mentally and physically challenging things I’ve ever tried.

Thursday: Crossfit

Push Press: 5-4-3-2-1 → 55/65/75/80/85(scratch)

For Time:
KB swings (M 24kg / W 16kg)
Wall ball shots(M 20# / W 14#)

Time → 8:22 RX

My wall ball shots were kind of a joke. I probably shouldn’t say I did the met-con RX because they weren’t high enough.

But check out that 80# push press — know what? I think that’s the first time I’ve push pressed anything over 75#. Looks like I’m getting stronger.

Hang power snatch and a big fat DNF

I used to HATE not finishing a workout. It still kind of irks me, but not as much as it did.

Now, I make an unfinished workout into a goal to finish the WOD the next time it comes around or I simply appreciate that I got a damn good workout in.

The second option is how I look at Thursday morning’s met-con.

We started with strength:

Hang Power Snatch

Results: 35-45-45-55-55

I kept the weight low to work on my form, which was tough to maintain at 55#.

5 rounds
10 Burpee pull ups
10 wall balls (M 20# / W 14#)

Cut off 10min → Finished: 4 rounds + 8 pull ups @ 14# med ball

My wall ball shots are still low, but I feel like my form was a lot better than it has been — my chest was up, the ball was right in front of my face, squats were deep, and I didn’t have to stop. I did them unbroken.

We did the burpee pullups with the box under the bar, so I stepped up on the box each time (I didn’t feel comfortable jumping up under the bar or with the box on an uneven surface). That slowed me down. Still… I kept going.

After the kids went to bed, I did my core training workout.

Core training:
3 times
5 wheel roll-outs
15 knee hugs
10 Russian twists (25# DB)
12 supermans
80 chinnies

Now I’m ready for rest! Friday is a rest day… yay! Maybe a little wine with dinner?

“Wanda” made me crabby

I’ve been putting off writing about Thursday’s WOD because I walked away from it pretty crabby.

You know how you have certain expectations of yourself?  Well, I didn’t do as well as I expected.  And as a result I was kind of crabby the rest of the morning (until work completely distracted me and I was able to step away from my disappointment).

The WOD was named after one of the women in the Crossfit Women program.

For Time:
200m Farmer’s Walk (M 55# / W 35#)
45 Wall balls (M 20# / W 14#)
200m Farmer’s Walk
45 Burpees

Time: DNF

That’s right.  I didn’t finish.  There was a 15 minute cutoff and I didn’t finish.  I was four burpees away.  I ended up doing the rest of the burpees after time was called, because I’m just like that.  But I didn’t finish.  And that really annoyed me.

You know what slowed me down?  The wall balls.  I struggled to toss the ball above my head.  I used the 14# med ball, and it wasn’t going any higher that the top of the white board.  I think I took too many breaks.

I used the 35# dumbbells for the farmer carries.  That’s definitely the heaviest I’ve used so far, but my grip was lacking on the second walk, and I had to stop and readjust several times.  I wish I had grabbed kettlebells instead, because I think my hold would have been better.

I must not be rested, because I also felt pretty weak on the strength portion of the morning.

Power Clean

Results: 55-65-75-85-(no time)

I know I can power clean 85 –possibly 90 or 95.  But it just wasn’t happening Thursday morning.

I blame my crazy busy week.  With work all day and meetings every night after work or during lunch, I’m spent.  I’m exhausted.  I can’t wait to rest.

Losing time

The weeks are flying by.

Everything feels like time is rushing along at a furious pace, and I’m just hanging on, trying to keep up.  I always thought summer was for slowing down, but this year, it feels like life has gone into 5th gear.  Job.  Kids.  Chores. To dos.  It’s harder to keep up with friends, even with my many social media apps.  I just am not as available as I was.  And neither are they.

And so an entire week has passed since I sat down to write about the Garage Gym Throwdown.  A whole week of workouts.  Workouts I loved.  Workouts I hated.  Squeezed in for 45 minutes in the morning or late at night after the kids have fallen asleep.  I just finished one.  I’m sweaty and salty and gross, and it’s 11pm.  I have to be up before 5 tomorrow morning.  I still have to take a shower.

But I want to write about what I’ve done.  What I’ve accomplished.  Where I’ve failed.  I’m proud of my performance this week.  I’m disappointed that I’ve eaten without regard to how it makes me feel.  Lunches out.  Dinners out.  More than just a few indulgences.  It makes me wonder, if I had paid attention, would I have done better?  Would I be stronger now?


Front Squat

Results: 50-55-60-65-75


6-4 Intervals
5x 400m holding best pace possible, not deviating more than 3 seconds from fastest interval
2 min recovery


Comments:  SLOW!!!!!!


Power Snatch (M 115# / W 80#)
Ring Rows

Time: 12:04 @ 55# (ring rows scaled)

Comments:  Ow.  This one really hurt.  I tried 65#, but my form was weak and wobbly, so I dropped back to 55#, which was extremely challenging, but my form was much improved.


Front Squat

Results: 65-75-85-95-105-110

“Jess E”
20 Wall Ball (M20# / W 14#)
1 Inverted Burpee
18/2, 16/3, 14/4, 12/5, 10/6, 8/7, 6/8, 4/9, 2/10

Results: Completed 9 rounds RX in 15 minutes


5K run

Time: 32:27 (easy pace)

5 rounds
12 Deadlift (M 155# / W 95#)
9 Hang Power Clean
6 Push Jerk

Time: 7:54 @ 65#

Comments: Time to bump up the weight!  This is one of my own benchmarks, and this time I cut a significant amount of time off this WOD.  Last time, I was over 10 minutes.  Whoo-hoo!


For Time:
21 Deadlift (225#)
400m run
18 deadlift
400m run
15 deadlift
400m run
12 deadlift
400m run

Time: 13:25 @ 95#

Shoulder Press

Results: 45-50-55-60-60

Comments: I considered trying 115# for a little while, and maybe I should have since I pretty much flew through the workout.  I felt like I had a lot of energy for the runs, but my legs just didn’t want to move.  Andy tried 185#, and me got all the way into round 3 before nearly throwing up.  He finished with the run and called it a day.

We’re going to be hitting it hard over the next couple of weeks.  We’re taking a full week of rest, a very necessary part of training.  And yes, I am in training.  We signed up for the Tough Mudder.  Paid the money and everything.  No turning back now.  At least, not for me.  It’s so important to eat clean and train right from now until October.

What a way to celebrate a wedding anniversary.

Colder than a….

Ya’ll are probably tired of hearing about how cold it is here right now, but it never ceases to amaze me that 1) It actually gets so cold in Austin and 2) that I show up to an unheated gym in frigid temperatures for the privilege of freezing my tush off.  And that I’m not alone.

It was 23 degrees when I left home this morning, according to the thermostat in my car.  And the lady on the radio said the windchill was right around 12.

Good times.

It’s pretty cool that so many people showed up for class despite the temp.  In the past, if it was cold, few people turned out, which really made Zach mad.

Unfortunately, there was no keeping the garage doors closed and the wind out this morning.

5 rounds for time
3 shuttle runs (sidewalk-to-sidewalk and back)
15 wall ball shots (M 20# / W 14#)
21 GHD hip extensions

Being the little goodie-toe-shoes that I am and a total sucker for pain, I pointed out an error when I saw they had written 3 rounds on the board instead of the 5 that had been tweeted the night before.  One of the girls half scolded me, which made me laugh.  Of course, Zach didn’t see how we could finish 5 rounds AND do the strength component — which was shoulder press.  So we skipped the strength.

That was fine with me.  My shoulders were toast.

There weren’t enough med balls or GHD machines for everyone, so we didn’t all start on the same exercise.  I started with hip extensions, and I scoped out where the 14# balls were along the wall so I could make sure to grab one with it was time.

Time: 12:06 RX

We had time for extra work, so Zach came up with this:

4 rounds
20 mountain climber jumps (both legs at the same time)
20 staggered hand pushups (10 per side)
20 sit ups

Then he laughed we would never make it though one of his boot camps.  Hahaha!  I finished nearly 2 rounds in the few minutes he gave us.

When I got home, I was sore and cold, and very grateful that the heat works just fine.  I had already done my time outside and that was plenty.


Even though I run every week, even though running is no longer torture, even though I can hold my own in an endurance workout — seeing running in a WOD still gives me butterflies.

You would think that knowing I CAN do something would ease the fear.  But no — running still worries me.  And Tuesday, all the old fears — the ones I had when I first started at my gym — came rushing back.

5 rounds
400m run
10 pull ups
20 wall balls (M 20# / W 14#)

My coaches said the programming was mixing things up again.  We’re going to start doing more long workouts, whereas before most of our WODs had a 15 min cutoff.  So we had 25 min to do this one.

I was pretty tired anyway — only 5 hours of sleep to go on — and I stood in front of the wall (we were staggered so not everyone started on the run), staring.  I knew I had a dull expression on my face.  All I could think was — “It will soon be over.  Just keep going.”

Round 2 felt awful.  Wall balls wear me out pretty quickly, and this time was no different.  I slogged through the run — my breath coming fast.  But on Round 3, I was shocked to feel stronger.  The same thing happened Round 4 and Round 5.  I was OK!  I was even passing people!  What the hell?!

Time: 21:28 (12# med ball, blue+purple bands for pull ups)

Return to the gym

My week off from the Crossfit gym came to an end this morning.

The gym had closed, partly because it was a 5th week of the month and partly because of the Crossfit Games.  Honestly, I rested much of the time, thanks to exhaustion and my back.  I needed it.

But it was good to return.  As I said on Facebook this morning, my workouts are the only time I don’t feel like I’m 8 months pregnant. It has been 32 weeks, the belly is huge, and I’m feeling the strain.

My classmates started with some handstand walking – which I can’t do right now, but I WILL as soon as I’m able in the fall.  Then we did this:

3 rounds
400 m run
21 Wall Ball (M 20# / W 14#)
12 Push Press (M 95# / W 65#)

Time: 14:15

I subbed rowing for running, used a 12# med ball (there weren’t enough 14# balls) and the 45# bar (only) for the push press.

It was brutal.  I left soaked in sweat, sucking down water, but feeling elated that I showed up when I’ve been feeling so run down lately.  The workout managed to give me enough energy to make it through a day of running errands with the little one, and my daily dose of exhaustion didn’t kick in until 5pm.  Yay!

Fight Gone Bad returns

It’s the first week of the new month — time for a benchmark to see how we’re doing.

I figured out the schedule a long time ago, so I knew it would be Fight Gone Bad.  I love this WOD.

Fight Gone Bad
1 min Max Reps (2 rounds only in class)
Rowing (kcal)
Wall Ball (M 20# / W 14#)
Sumo Deadlift High Pull (W 55#)
Box Jumps
Push Press (W 55#)

I was really glad to be working out.  I’ve been feeling really stiff and achy lately — what happens to me when I don’t exercise significantly while I’m pregnant — and I knew a really hard workout would do this body good.

I also knew I would not be able to attack the WOD the way I might when I’m not pregnant.  I am off-balance enough now where I can’t do box jumps anymore.  I have to scale to step ups.  I set an 45# barbell to the side of push press just in case I needed it.  And I approached the workout a little different mentally.

Max reps would be nice, but I know it’s more important for me to focus on strength right now, rather than intensity.  So that’s how I went into it.  I didn’t try to do any of the exercises particularly fast.  But I did try to do as many Rx as possible and I tried like hell to make form count.

I’m very happy to report that the wall balls were some of the best I’ve ever thrown — higher on the wall, deeper squat to start.  I was able to do Rx the whole time on SDLHP, and my form felt strong.  I also felt stronger on push press.  I started with 55# and was doing pretty well… until I hit my chin with the bar pretty hard on the third rep of round 1.

Ouch.  After that, I decided it wasn’t worth it — I’m so clumsy!  So I dropped to 45# for the rest of the WOD.

I managed to get 67 reps on each round for a total of 134.

Last time my reps were 121.  Honestly, I wasn’t expecting to beat my reps, even though I knew dropping weight and stepping up would make me faster.

This Crossfit stuff appears to be paying off.  I’ve been wearing my pre-pregnancy jeans with a band — just wearing them without buttoning, and I haven’t needed to buy new jeans yet.  In fact, all of my old maternity clothes are too big for me.

Plus, another woman who happens to be pregnant told me in a shocked voice that my backside still looks amazing (after apologizing that she even noticed — haha).  Gotta love this stuff.

Good day

Today is a good day, and it’s about time I’ve actually thought that.

The sun is shining.  It’s cold as heck out there, but I’m warm.  My muscles are tired, but only that one glut muscle is bothering me, so I’m OK.  I’m not exhausted for once in my life, and my stomach doesn’t feel sick, so I ate a real breakfast for the first time in weeks, rather than a couple of small snacks.  I didn’t have to get Luke dressed this morning, AND we got everything done and STILL didn’t have to rush out the door to leave for school.

It’s a good day.

And, I finally got around to changing the look of my blog, which I have renamed “Red in the Face.”  It just feels like a better fit.  I have been waiting to relaunch my blog in WordPress, but the server engine has been too slow to handle it (Thank you, WebHost4Life!) So instead of waiting, I finally decided to change the old one and later I’ll make the move over to the fancy, new-fangled one.

Ahh, yes, good day.

I wasn’t so sure it would be a good day when I saw the WOD this morning.

150 wall ball shots


1k Row

Hmmmmm….. well, I did say I need to work on wall balls, did I not?  I started with the row, which went pretty well.  I wouldn’t call my rowing “sprinting,” but I was putting out some significant effort.  Time: 4:49.

I was feeling very apprehensive about the wall balls as we waited for the other group to finish.  Rx weight was 14# for women (20# for men).  I decided to use 12#.  There’s another Cindy in my class, and I joked to her that I would pretend Zach was yelling at her, and she could pretend Zach was yelling at me.  The first 25 were strong, then it got really hard.  I started to fall apart, but eventually I would do 5, catch my breath for 5 seconds, and start again. My shots started getting lower and lower on the wall, and they weren’t high to begin with.  I was praying that Zach wouldn’t call me out for the couple of times it landed only just above the red square, because that is REALLY low.  Luckily, Zach’s been laying off me lately.  I wonder why ;).

I don’t know how I finished in 9:37.  Did I miscount?  No, I couldn’t have, but sometimes I wonder.

I did an challenge workout with Andy last night when I got home from work.

AMRAP 12min
10 Dumbbell deadlift
10 Dumbbell shoulder press
10 Dumbbell hang clean

I wanted to go fast, and shoulder press is a weakness, so I chose the intermediate weight — 10#.  I wasn’t disappointed with my final total: 8 rounds + 3 deadlift.

Andy loves these workouts and wants to continue doing some twice a week after the challenge is over.  I’m up for it, but I think I’ll take a week off.  I need rest.

We meet again: Fight Gone Bad

I’ve been rushing about the house in the hours since my workout ended this morning, and I haven’t had much time to reflect on how I did.  Now, sipping my tea, I can think about it, even though the dogs are running through the house, playing, and making a huge racket.

They’re fun to watch.

Where was I?  Oh yeah, the WOD:

Fight Gone Bad
1 min max reps
Wall Balls (W 14#)
Sumo Deadlift High Pull (W 55#)
Box Jumps
Push Press (W 55#)

My reps per exercise were written down on my sheet that gets kept in my folder at the gym, and I neglected to write them down. I do know my total reps: 121.

It was low compared to my class, and a little lower than the last time I did 2 rounds of Fight Gone Bad three months ago (126).  Disappointing at first glance.  But here’s why I’m not disappointed.  This time I did the whole thing as prescribed.  I used the Rx weight and I jumped on the box — I did not scale it to step ups, which is what I did last time.  Jumps are slower for me, so I’m not surprised the reps went down.  The fact that they only went down by 5 is amazing to me, considering how crappy I felt this morning.

I felt stronger on push press, which is where I started the rounds, but I felt weaker on the SDLHP.  Wall balls continue to be a struggle for me — something else I need to work on — because I was hitting so low on the wall.

I’ll take 121.

Last night I took on a challenge WOD at home.  Andy did this one with me, and I must have been really off, because I really struggled.

AMRAP 12 min
8 shoulder press (15#)
12 renegade rows
15 situps

I only got through 4 rounds.  Yikes!  Of course, I didn’t read the directions all the way through, which stated clearly that you should do 6 rows with one arm and 6 with the other each set.  I did 12 with both.  No wonder I was slow.  Oh well, great workout.

I also returned to Kung Fu yesterday morning for the first time in 2 weeks.  Testing is getting really close, and I really shouldn’t take any more time off between now and then.  I have my material, but I need to make sure it’s solid and fluid.  I’ll probably start practicing weekends at home in the backyard for a few weeks. 

There’s no backing out now — Master Joe knows I’m testing, and he’s expecting me to be there.  Plus, why back out if I’m ready?