Saturday, December 26, 2015

L1 Certification and the Best Random Reunion EVER

On December 5th I walked into CrossFit Reston, not for a WOD but to do something that I never thought I would find myself doing, attending the CrossFit Level 1 Certification course.  I had flirted with the idea on and off, but with never any real weight to it.  Since joining Hydraulic, I found myself seeing new members doing things that could be corrected, me giving subtle pointers, support, and encouragement, and it was pretty freaking cool. 

I randomly checked Hydraulic's website and right on the front page it said, looking for coaches, email for more information.  Just out of curiosity I emailed Frank asking what the requirements would be.  He stated the at the least, all coached MUST have a L1 Certification, which at that time, I did not.  

I kinda laughed at the idea of coaching because, let's be real here, who was I to coach?  I'm not the strongest, the fastest, and I certainly are not perfect when it came to all of my lifts.  The more I attended class and helped out here and there, the more and more I thought, well maybe I COULD make some type of difference.  So I looked up to see when and where the next courses were and finally I decided to sign up.  I didn't tell anybody (besides my husband and a few close friends) that I was taking the course in case I failed and wanted to save myself the embarrassment.  

The course was AMAZING.  I left on Sunday thinking, even if I didn't pass the test, the information was awesome and I learned a ton of things that I would be applying in my every day working out.  Also because that test wasn't the cake walk I thought it would be and I was slightly nervous I wasn't going to pass.  (Spoiler Alert, I passed).  

So anyway, I walked into CF Reston super scared and nervous, not knowing what to expect and pretty much nothing could have prepared me for what happened next. 

Class started promptly at 9am which was quickly approaching.  Since I am nerdy I decided to set up camp in the front row of the class and a few minutes before class was to start, I turned around to see how many other students were in our group.  And then I saw a very petite person in a puffy winter coat and hat scooting to her seat that looked oddly familiar.  I couldn't see their face, as their back was towards me.  I waited for this person to turn around so I could see if I knew them, and out of all the people on the face of the planet, it was Trainer Molly.

When she finally settled into her seat, she saw me and we both kinda did a ??? looked.  She stood up, walked over to me and we hugged without even saying a word.  I was filled with emotion and fighting back tears.  I had so many questions for her, but 9am hit and class was starting.  

For those of you who aren't familiar with my relationship with Trainer Molly, or don't understand why seeing her at the LCert was mind blowing, here is the quickish version.  

In 2011 in PA, when we first joined CrossFit, Trainer Mike & Molly were pretty much our adoptive fitness parents.  They are the ones that got us hooked on the sport, trained us from the start and held us to the highest performance standards.  In addition to being the kindest and nicest friends a person can have. A few years later they moved to Long Island (which we visited!) then to Up State NY, and since then have been participants in the CrossFit Games and the GRID League.  So the fact that Molly lived in Up State New York and some how was sitting in the seat behind me at an LCert Course in Virginia, was just beyond unreal.

When we finally got a couple minutes to quickly chat, I asked her how the hell she wound up in this particular class.  Coachs have to get recertified every 5 years and hers was due at the end of December.  She luckily was able to squeeze into this class, using her family in Baltimore and an Anthem friend who lives in Leesburg as hotels for the course of the class.  I couldn't believe it.  

I told her how my new box has invited me to become a coach and how I was excited to do so.  I explained to her my reservations and she assured me that regardless of my doubts, I was going to change lives and it's a pretty awesome thing.  I was so happy to have her there!!

We stuck together during the certification classes and enjoyed each other's company during the lunch breaks.  It was just so cool to catch up with her.  I am forever grateful that Molly is a part of my life and even though we are on completely different ability levels, she continues to support me and encourages me.  

After the weekend, I eagerly waited to hear if I passed or failed the test and then finally I got the word!  I passed and officially hold my Crossfit Level 1 Certification and will be coaching at Crossfit Hydraulic.  2015 was full of things that I'd never imagine happening, but did.  I had another son, upgraded my full time job, and got my certification.  Very much looking forward to see what 2016 holds!

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Thanksgiving 2015 and the Filthy 50

Since we do the family tour for Christmas, Dennis and I have made it our tradition NOT to travel for Thanksgiving anymore.  We casually give friends and family the option to visit us for Thanksgiving Dinner and this year was no different. 

Knowing that this is a "Food" holiday, the effort to get AT LEAST 4 workouts in this week was in full force.  The challenge was accepted!  

My normal gym schedule is Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and then Dennis and I rotate Saturdays depending on how the week went.

Monday - Not a Problem.  Check!
Tuesday - Not a Problem. Check!

Wednesday - I went out for Happy Hour Tuesday night, so I didn't make it in Wednesday morning, but that's ok, I was halfway there.  

Thursday (Thanksgiving) - Dennis' mom arrived the night before and agreed to watch the kids for us while we BOTH caught a 7:00am Thanksgiving Day WOD.  

This workout was especially fun, because Dennis and I rarely get to work out together anymore, it was a Partner WOD, so naturally Dennis and I were partners, and we had the ENTIRE NZone (fitness facility) to ourselves.  What that meant?  8 Rounds of Prowler Pushes (Up the Field was High, Down the Field was Low) and the field was 40 Yards each way.  While one partner pushes, the other runs suicides.  Easy enough on paper, right?

Now I didn't / don't have a lot of experience with Prowler Pushes and thought, ok, no real problem here, but HOLY HELL did it fatigue my quads and my calves. 

I quickly realized that short bursts of energy were not doing me any favors and slow and steady was going to win this race.  On the way up the field I made sure to dig into my heels and on the way back, I kept on my toes as much as possible.  We are unsure how long this actually took, but I assure you it felt like forever. 

Now that we had started our day of gluttony off right, we were ready to prepare for dinner.  We typically just do snacks for lunch which look like this:

I apologize but I don't have a picture of the traditional Thanksgiving Dinner that we had, but I assure you it was amazing thanks to Dennis and his great Thanksgiving Food cooking abilities.  

After we had dinner and relaxed for a while, and since we had a voluntary babysitter, Dennis and I decided to go out for a few drinks and possibly shop before we...........go back to the gym.  

Yup, Crossfit Hydraulic advertised, that if there was enough interest, Frank would hold a MIDNIGHT WOD to end Thanksgiving / Kick off Black Friday.  How freaking cool is that?  Well, as most things in Crossfit, seem cool on paper, but in retrospect, unsure if I would ever do that again. 

After our exhausting day already, we still had a few hours before our midnight WOD so we did what any normal people would do, we went shopping.  We picked up a few good deals here and there (included a $2.00 Selfie Stick) and headed to Hydraulic.  We parked the car and took a 15 minute nap before the gym opened.  

Nobody knew what the WOD was going to be, but Frank did not disappoint when he told us it was the Filthy 50.  A chipper that would help burn off whatever caloric damage we had done to ourselves already.  

For Time:
50 Box jump, 24 inch box

50 Jumping pull-ups
50 Kettlebell swings, 1 pood
Walking Lunge, 50 steps
50 Knees to elbows
50 Push press, 45 pounds
50 Back extensions
50 Wall ball shots, 20 pound ball
50 Burpees
50 Double unders

The WOD took around 30 minutes for the group and we were all happy it was done with!  So we celebrated with a selfie!

Since I had hit my goal of 4 WODs despite the Holiday schedule, I took the rest of the week off from the gym.  The rest of the weekend was awesome. I did have to work on Friday but shortly after we went to a local bar with a spectacular group of friends to see the Elegant Plums perform. Overall it was an amazing weekend and I hope everybody else had a great and healthy weekend too!

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Sabeth's First WOD and Our Winery Tour

When I first started CrossFit, I'll admit, I would try my hardest to get any and all my friends to join.  I'd beg and plead to have them "just try it" to see what they think, but with little success.  As time went on, I realized how annoying I must have been and simply kept the option open that if any of my friends wanted to try CrossFit, I'd be happy to go with them and answer any questions they might have.  

When I travel I will typically scope out the area to see if there is a local CrossFit box that I could drop in at to get in a workout.  When my friends visit me, I tell them if I'm going to a class or not and if I am, they are welcomed to come with, usually with the same response.  No.

However, Sabeth's visit was different!  After years of listening to me speak the CrossFit language, Sabeth was ready to come to a class with me!  I was so excited.  And to make things even better, the scheduled WOD was a partner WOD.  This was perfect because Sabeth and I could work together as a team and help each other through it.  

She arrived here on Friday night and I told her what the WOD was:

200 OH Lunges 45/25
**Partner Deadlift Holds Kettlebell
200 Abmat Sit-ups
**Partner Holds Wall Ball In Squat Position
2,000m Row
**Partner Holds Plank
Every Two Minutes do 3 Burpees

Naturally she was a little nervous about the workout, but I assured her that she would be fine.  The nice thing about Saturday WODs is that they typically are body weight movements and rarely require bars.  

Before we started we devised a game plan for each movement (which typically goes out of the window within the first few minutes) but it helped us mentally prepare.  The worst part of this was going to be the 3 Burpee interruption.

 Then it was go time.  We were as ready as we were going to be! 3...2...1...Go!

This was a true chipper.  We chipped away what we could during the 2 minutes and then we gave ourselves enough time (debatably too much time) to do the 3 Burpees and then tag team in or out of the movement.  We finally got to the row about 30 minutes into it when we were told there was a 35 minute time cap.  With 2,000 meters owed, it was pretty clear we weren't going to finish.  But we came pretty damn close!

I couldn't have been more proud of Sabeth!!  She really gave it her all and didn't give up.  She said she enjoyed the work out and hopefully this taught her that she is capable of much more than she gives herself credit for!

Immediately following the work out we watched my old son run around and play football.

Once we got back home from this mornings activities we took a little  bit of breather and then started our Wine Tour de Virginia. 

Our first stop was at Quatro Gumba where we did a tasting and then stayed for an additional glass and some cheese.  I ordered my favorite, the wine slushie!

The next winery we went to was closed, so we hopped over to Cana where the wine and tasting room was less than desirable.  After our tasting with the most awkward woman, we got a quick picture and headed out to the next stop, 50 West. 

This winery had a much better atmosphere, but we didn't love any of the wines enough to get a glass, the tasting was enough and we headed out to our final stop of the evening.  Greenhill Winery.

We snuck in just in time to get a tasting and it was well worth it.  I think this was my favorite of the the wineries we visited, and hope to return at some point.  Since we were a bit late arriving they were practicially pushing us out the door, until another party was causing delays and they offered us another drink. LOL.  

I have an awesome weekend with Sabeth full of fitness, wineries, and food!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Guest Blogger about My 1st Crossfit Competition: Festivus

Dedicated.  Hard Working. Passionate. These are words that are used to describe some of the best athletes in the world, but they are also words that describe a good mother.  Karen is both an athletic person (she’ll have to tell the story as to why it is funny to hear me say that) and an amazing mom and this was put on display during the 2015 fall festivus games at CrossFit Verity.

It was quite a different perspective being on the other side of the ropes cheering instead of competing but I was happy to be there to support what Karen put so much hard work into.  The day started with us dressing Karen’s two biggest supporters in their mommy shirts and then heading off to Verity.  

When we arrived we met up with some friends we had not seen in a while before Karen started warming up for the first WOD.  We knew going in what Karen’s strengths were but it was her “weaknesses” where she excelled.  
WOD #1/2 was:

6 min AMRAP
Buy in: 20 Cal Row
5 Shoulder to overhead
10 Ring Rows

Followed by a 2 minute rest and then Max Calories rowed in 1 minute.
Karen is VERY good at rowing so I knew she would be one of the first off the rower but I was a little concerned about her ring rows.  Luckily they were pretty lenient in calling out the “kipping” during the ring rows and Karen finished in the middle on this part.  After the rest, Karen pulled 19 calories in the 1 minute which is great after such a demanding 6 minutes.  She finished 15th in the WOD out of 27 in the division and 7th on the Row. 

Floater WOD

Back squats were something that used to be a regular part of our workout regimen but since being at CFC they have gone the way of the dodo so to say we were a bit concerned was an understatement. Karen attempted this workout a week before the competition and had gotten 26 reps which she was planning on trying to replicate.  As they say, the best laid plans… well this time it was a flawed plan and she GREATLY improved on what she was expecting.  Karen was like a well tuned watch keeping an incredible pace almost all the way through.  She ended up getting 50!!! This put her in 9th place for the event. I was flabbergasted and so super proud of her for not stopping and pushing through any discomfort she had felt. It is also worth noting that I think that she chose the perfect time to attempt the floater WOD.  

WOD 2: 3 30 second sets of DL for max weight moved

Math is supposed to be foreign to meatheads but this workout required some strategy.  The premise was that the athlete chooses their own weight and then performs a 30 second AMRAP at that weight 3 times.  Score is the total weight moved. Karen also attempted one round of this the week prior but was not super confident in the weight she had chosen. Karen went with 115 lbs in order to maximize her reps and to keep moving. In my mind I thought that 125 would be a more appropriate weight for her but in the end, as usual, she made the right choice and came in 9th place on the event!   I would love to say how great it was to watch her on this event but the life of an observer involves taking care of a 3 year old and a 6 month old who required some TLC during this WOD. 

WOD 3: 12-10-8-6-4-2 Plate burpees; reverse lunges; sit-ups

        After much score board watching, and convincing the people running the event that the apostrophe in my last name was mucking up their system and Karen was not showing up on the score board, we knew that Karen was on the verge of cracking the top 10.  This last workout was a burner.  The athlete’s mindset has to be “Just Keep Swimming” and pull through it.  No weight to blame, just simple mental and cardiovascular fatigue.  To be honest, I think Karen could have done better on this wod.  I feel like she mentally checked out prior but she STILL did really well on the workout finishing in the top half of competitors.  It was awesome to watch this event with our almost 3 year old son. 
        It is my hope that he sees how much his mom works and he takes some of that work ethic with him as he begins his own athletic and scholarly endeavors.  The icing on the cake was Shane running up and hugging his momma as she laid on the ground exhausted after a tough day of work. 

Final Thoughts: 

Karen finished the day in 10th place out of 27 competitors.  She was very well balanced scoring well in all the workouts.  I could not have been more proud and more impressed.  She just kept on fighting and kept on moving. I almost feel like I’m a bad person saying that I know that she has more in her!  With more strength and form work she will continue to improve!  Sometimes it takes her being pushed and in front of people to really put her into her killer mode.  I can’t wait to see what lies ahead for Karen and her athletic goals! 

Monday, November 2, 2015

Karen - Reborn

For some odd reason, I've been really struggling trying to write the recap blog about my first ever Crossfit Competition, Festivus.  As of yesterday I had two drafts started but still no real desire to share with the world my experience. 

Then last night before I fell asleep, it hit me.  I needed to think bigger.  Festivus wasn't just my 1st Crossfit Competition, I was setting the bar for what now feels like my Crossfit rebirth.  

I've made some changes in my life since Seth was born, and I feel like I'm on the verge of something major.  The first change was my job.  I had been with the same company for 2 years and I found myself stuck.  I wasn't challenged, I wasn't valued, I wasn't growing professionally, and most of all, I wasn't happy. 

So I finally did something that I now wish I had done a year ago.  I accepted a new position at a different company, and I couldn't be happier with my decision.

Yes, I had to give up my sweet commute, and I had to give up seeing my co-workers on a daily basis that I liked, but now, I like the my work better, I'm good at what I'm doing, and I've already been recognized and rewarded for my talent.  All with only being working here for less than 3 months.  I can only describe it as breaking up with an "ok" boyfriend and then meeting the man of my dreams. 

Now that I improved my professional life, my eyes were opened to the fact that if wasn't happy about something, change IS an option.  

The funny thing about the next change that I made, is mostly this blog's fault.  I started feeling stuck in my Crossfit career.  I, since post pregnancy,  had been consistently going to Crossfit but I wasn't seeing the results I wanted.  I wasn't getting stronger, I wasn't getting thinner, and I didn't feel like I was being challenged in the way I had been challenged years past.  

I started to pull up old blog posts from when I was at 610 (also referred to when I was in the best shape of my life) to compare then to now and my jaw practically dropped.  The entries that I recorded my WODs and my times made me feel like a complete wimp.  Day after day I was putting in 45 - 50 minutes of work.  Strength and Metcons both in 1 day, Long Hero WODs weekly, and of course the Sunday Partner WOD tradition.  Long story short, I wan't getting what I needed.  To this day I both Gush Love and Curse at that same time that I had Trainer Mike and Molly years ago.  Gush Love because they taught me form, worth ethic, and had THE best programming I've ever experienced.  But I curse them because it will never be replicated and as I joked to Dennis the other day, I'll just continue to sing, "And I stillllllllllllllllllll haven't foundddddddd, what I'm looking for."  as far as Crossfit coaching and programming goes.  

So with a heavy heart, I started to research other local boxes.  My qualifiers were:

1. Location
2. Showers
3. Price
4. Programming

Crossfit Chantilly was nailing 3/4 of my qualifiers with the added bonus of great members and Dan being an amazing coach were certainly the reasons I've been a member there the longest since my move to VA. CFC's programming is fine for others, but for me, I needed and was interested in including strength during the allotted 1 hour class time, and needed to move on.  Simple as that.  

As I saw it, my option was Hammer Down, due to the "Must have Showers" qualification and then something magical happened.  Just before I signed an agreement with them, a new box was opening and Dennis and I were all over it. 

We immediately searched their website to see how exactly they ran their classes and were eager to visit the facility.  We were pleased to see that strength was a consistent part of the day, and if there was no strength, a Hero WOD would be in it's place.  Saturday classes were typically longer Metcon's done with a partner, which was simply music to my ears, showers were available and the location and price were simply perfect.  And just like that, my unicorn appeared.

So a week before Festivus, I walked into Hydraulic and was reborn.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Britney Day!

The Crossfit community is a strong thing and no matter which box I call my home, all (but one...Captial Crossfit) have had an amazing community factor.  

It wasn't until I joined CFC that Dennis and I started making friends here in VA.  As I've mentioned before in older blogs that Crossfit friends have no ages.  We come in, do work, socialize, and talk about today's results and tomorrow's hopes.  One very big reason why I am happy I joined CFC was I met this lovely lady and her adorable dog Hank:

Brit (pictured above), myself, and Erin (to complete the trio) have spent many early mornings together cranking out those PRs and lifting "all the light weight" together.  It's been fun, it really, really has.  

I think what makes this trio work so well is that despite our age differences, we all love the same thing.  Pizza. Burritos. Kesha. And the Elegant Plums.  

The cool thing about working out with these two is that we vary greatly in our strengths and our weaknesses.  I'm not sure there ever was a WOD where I didn't bounce thoughts about the workout off of one or the other (or both) to gauge where we should be in terms of Reps, Rounds, and Times.  

UNFORTUNATELY for us, but fortunately for Brit, she recently accepted a new job in a land far, far away (Baltimore) which has forced her to resign from CFC and semi break up the trio. I say semi because we are going to stay in touch FOREVER.  CFC, as per usual, sent her off in they way in which we do so we had a "sad-erbration" of Brit WOD on her last day at CFC. 

Run 1 Mile
Brit's Mile Time = AMRAP Time of:
5 Power Cleans, 5 Burpee Box Jumps

Brit's Mile time was 7 minutes! 

The WOD was fun as expected and in order not to be sad we listen to Kesha, did human pyramids, and ate pizza post work out.  

The 6am Bunch!

I am at my happiest when I am in a human pyramid. 

I'm not going to say that I'm going to miss you, because we are going to be keeping in touch and hanging out.  I will say that I will miss having you at the gym and I'm looking forward to seeing you kick ass at Festivus! 

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Lynne in VA

In preparation of our 100 Mile Bike Ride coming up,  Lynne and I decided/planned to do a long bike ride down here in VA.  If you remember, Lynne, Dennis, and I had done a 50 mile bike ride in Philly which turned out to be as eventful as expected.  

Lynne arrived Friday night and we planned to head down to Falls Church Metro Station Saturday morning and bike to Purcellville on the W&OD trail.  Sounds like a flawless plan, right? RIGHT!

We ate breakfast and headed down to the car to install the trunk bike rack that I assured myself (and Dennis) that I knew how to install.  Nope, I did not.  So we tried loading both bikes into the trunk of Lynne's car and they didn't fit, shocker.  So we attempted the bike rack again and from what it looked like, we were able to secure the rack and my bike to the car without it falling.  

Our first stop was Starbucks and we parked next to a car that legit had the same bike rack as us installed, properly.  But it was too late to try to fix it and after getting some caffeinated beverages, we were ready to go!

We entered the parking lot the wrong way and ended up in a bus loop and it just spit us back out onto the main road.  Once we figured out how to get in the metro station parking lot, we unloaded our bikes, packed our stuff and we were off!  On the wrong path, none the less, but we were off!  

We finally figured out where we needed to be (with the help of some bikers) we were on the W&OD trail, heading the correct direction. 

The day couldn't have been more beautiful.  The sun was out, the path was semi shaded and the temperature was slightly warm, but nothing unbearable.  This is when our joy ride started to take a turn.  

Lynne started to notice that her chain would randomly become slack for no real reason.  We decided to stop and take a look at it (which is pretty funny since neither of us know how to fix a bike) but I did the only thing I knew how to do which was turn the bike upside down set it down on the seat.  And what do you know, the problem magically fixed itself!  I am amazing!!

However, a few miles back into the ride, the chain kept acting up.  We were just at Reston Town Center by this point so I suggested we stop at the only bike shop I knew to have the bike looked at and hopefully fixed.  

So we turned off the trail and headed to the bike store.  The mechanic looked at Lynne's bike, made a few tweaks and we were good to go.  After they sent Lynne's receipt to her aol account (LOL) we were back on the trail!  

Well sorta.  In order to get back onto the trail we had to go through a development and for whatever reason I assumed that Lynne knew where she was going and this caused, let's call it, crash #1.  Lynne was on the inside of me and I started turning right and there was contact.  Luckily not enough contact to cause either of us to fall,  but in any case it was not good.  

We laughed it off, commented how it was crazy that neither of us fell and started back on the trail.  

So now it was about 1pm, we hadn't eaten since 8am, and the day was getting warmer and warmer and little did I know, the trail in the direction we were biking was basically uphill.  Not like you can see how steep the hill is, it was so slight that to the naked eye, you wouldn't think it would be challenging, but with all the previous elements I just mentioned, it was getting bad.  Fast.  

Fast is a bad way to describe it because at one point a person jogged past me.  I was on a BIKE and a human being running, was running faster than I was biking.  We had about 10 miles to go and at the rate I was biking, it was going to take over an hour.  So Lynne shouted some encouraging words and I powered through as best I could.  Until we got to the 40 mile marker and Lynne saw a sign that said "Purcellville 5 Miles."  We wanted to die.  But we had no choice but to keep going. 

At this point it was legitimately up hill.  Like the kind of hills that you see and say, oh fuck.  This was just horrible.  On we pedaled until we got to an area with some road traffic.  We as bikers had a stop sign so I came to a halting stop, with Lynne close behind me.  Obviously neither of us were thinking clearly, because that was stupid to do and there we have crash #2.  Lynne hit me and "bounced" off into the stop sign, nearly missing another fall to the ground.   It was clear that we were hungry, fried from the heat, and tired.

After what seemed to be forever, we made it to our final destination and ate at the first place we could find.  A horrible mexican restaurant.  We were both starving and inhaled our food reguardless and we decided to treat ourselves to ice cream.

After indulging, we waiting for Dennis to pick us up and the bad day and the bad food was catching up with us and this is how we felt for the rest of the day. 

Even though we both thought were going to die at some point in the ride, we enjoyed each other's company and I was happy to have a kid free long bike ride.  We learned many things on this trip and are looking forward to our 100 miler in early October. 

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Adios Adam

I'm sure I've blogged this before, but as soon as I find consistency in my life, something changes and then I'm forced to adjust.  I'd like to think that I adjust to things pretty well by now but that doesn't mean that the things that change don't suck.  Today I was hit with another major bomb.  Coach Adam was leaving CrossFit Chantilly.  UGH!

When I first joined CFC my main coaches were Ethan and Rob.  I can't remember which of the two of those left first, but they phased out and then Kyle and Adam phased in.  Then Kyle phased out and my main 6am regular coaches became Adam and Dan. 

When I first met Adam I thought he was a "surfer dude" mostly because he laughed a lot and was very chill about things.  When the clock hit 6am, he turned into Coach Adam and you could tell he took himself very seriously when it came to giving us direction, suggestions, and instructions.  

As time went on and I got to know him more and more, the more I came to love him as a friend and respect him greatly as my coach.  He knew when to push me during WODs, test my limits with weights, all while keeping my safety in mind. Even when I questioned his madness, it turned out that he was always right.  (Boy do I hate that).

Adam had basically coached me from the early months that I started at CFC, while I was pregnant, and then helped me get back to where I wanted to be post pregnancy.  So he's seen me at all stages of my fitness journey which is pretty cool.  

When Adam told our beloved 6am class that he was leaving, it was clear on his face he wasn't prepared for the emotion that announcement was going to cause. I started crying immediately.  Not an ugly cry, but an "Adam, your breaking my heart cry."  But as I've gone through this before with Molly (Molly Leaves 610)  and I needed to stop being selfish and be happy for him.  

The one nice thing that Adam did for us was give us tons of notice of when his last day at CFC would be.  And honestly, his last class was one of the WODs I will never forget.  Adam appropriately named it "A WOD to Remember" and forced us to do all the movements to a play list of sad sappy songs about people leaving/dying.  (BTW every time I hear See You Again by Wiz Khalifa I think of you Adam).  

Post WOD we had the best CrossFit photo shoot of all time (Including a 10 person human pyramid!):

The O'Donnell's couldn't let Adam leave without a proper good bye celebration so we offered our house up for a Adios Adam party consisting of CFC friends, lots of food, South Riding fireworks display and of course the slide show (that I may or may not of have been forced into doing as per request of Adam).

Adam, I cannot thank you enough for the training/encouragement you've given to me and to Dennis.  We will continue to apply all that you have taught us in the future and we wish nothing but the best for you in your future endeavors!  

Monday, July 27, 2015

50 Miles of Philly Fun

With our 2nd 100 Mile Bike Ride coming up in October, long bike rides have become a priority for us on the weekends.  Obviously thing's don't always work out that way, but this particular weekend, even though we had 2 social commitments, we were able to plan and execute a decent 50 mile ride.  

Normally we'd have to tow the kids with us (which is SO MUCH EFFORT) but when we travel to PA we also get babysitters (aka Grandparents)!  This is a mutual benefit!!

So with that all in mind, our friend Lynne and us decided to bike from Valley Forge Park to Philly and back, for what we hoped to be a 50 mile-ish ride. 

And so began our journey to the "City of Brotherly Love."

The ride started out really nice.  A bit warm, but nothing we weren't prepared for.  Lynne told me she was trying out her camelback for the ride, so I decided to dig mine out of the garage and gave it a go as well.  Verdict?  I loved it!  Way easier than a water bottle and I drank way more during the ride than I have in the past.  

The bike path was really great until we hit.....

Even though Manayunk is a "biker" town, it was extremely scary biking on these roads.  Dennis nearly got hit by a car, Lynne got stuck in car traffic, all while we were weaving in and out of lanes in order to follow the trail into Philly.  We all made it through ok, but we were not looking forward to that return part of the ride. 

Once we got out of Manayunk, things definitely start to improve bike path wise and we all felt much more comfortable. 

The 1st stop on the list was the Rocky Stairs.  This is a "must do" with your bike.  A few years ago I climbed the steps with my bike and took a killer pic with my bike over my head (Click Me and Scroll Down) and now being a Crossfitter, I wanted to OHS my bike on the stairs.  Mission Accomplished:

Jeeze Dennis, Could you Zoom out Any More?
 From there, we really didn't know where to go to get in a few miles so we decided to bike around aimlessly which proved to be way more frustrating than it was worth.  After the Rocky Stairs we went to the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall for some quality photo opps.  

Biking the streets of Philly is WAY more fun than it sounds.  Highlights included seeing a grown / older man in an orange shirt trip on the side walk and fall (I wanted to stop to help but Dennis and Lynne assured me he was ok and his wife would take care of him), watched the slowest woman on the planet with 10,000 grocery bags get into a cab that was in front of us, using the "bike" lane that was also the "bus" lane, and getting passed by a horse and carriage because of all the traffic / red lights.  I thought DRIVING in the city was stressful, this took stressful to a whole new level.  

Once we got out of the city and back on the trail, we had one goal in mind, to get to the Manayunk Brewery.  Once there we were promptly greeted with dirty looks (because of our athletic attire) and the slowest waitress ever.  Besides those two things, the food and drinks were pretty delicious.

With only about 20 miles left to hit our 50 mile goal, we returned to the bike path and on we went back to Valley Forge Park.  We knew once there, we'd have to go about 2 miles down the path and then back 2 miles to our cars to get the full 50, and holy hell did those last 4 miles feel like eternity!  

During those "bonus" miles Lynne and I got up close and personal with nature as I ran over a dead chipmunk and almost came face to face with a deer hovering along side the trail.  Pretty sure that is one of my worst bike fears and I was glad not to see that deer on the path on the way back. 

We did hit our 50 miles, and it was a good time!  If this was any indication of how the 100 miles was going to be, boy are we in for a treat.  Also, we were very thirsty at the end of the ride.

All the liquiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiids

Lynne - Thanks again for joining us on our wild ride into Philly!  You were a good sport and we hope you had as much fun as we did.  Looking forward to the 100er and any other rides we do in between.  :)


Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Week 6 - My Last Weekend of Freedom

Ladies and Gentlemen, this is it.  This is the last weekend of my Maternity Leave.  It's been a wild ride, but I almost feel as if the time is right for me once again be a contributing person in society.  

Compared to last maternity leave, this one rocked.  I can happily say that I did not waste the time I was given to get myself on a good, healthy routine.  

My PRE Pregnancy weight was 145.
My Peak Weight During Pregnancy was 185.

and right now, I weigh 152.  Less than 10lbs from my PRE Pregnancy weight.  I couldn't be more proud of myself.  

The biggest accomplishment (besides birthing a child) was that even though I didn't have to, I still went to the 6am Class to keep my body in a routine that wouldn't go into shock on June 8th.  And that has made all the difference.  

This weekend we weren't able to go on a bike ride because we had some very special visitors:

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Week 6 WODs - Cerdo Loco

After our fantastic bike ride on Saturday, Sunday was spent at our community pool.  Shane has been slowly becoming brave enough to enter the pool by himself and Seth, well he just sleeps in the shade and occasionally wants to be fed.  

At lunch time, we packed up and headed back to the house to get some food.  I had made pulled pork during the week and had a ton left over.  The problem was that after I made the pork, I put it in a container and kept it out for it to cool.  I forgot to put it in the fridge and it sat out over night.  Dennis and I figured if we reheated it, we'd be fine.  Yeah, we were wrong. 

Hours after eating the "Cerdo Loco" I was its first victim.  Without going into great details, I pretty much wanted to die.  Dennis had already left to bartend and between cramping and vomitting, I texted him warning him that he is going to be experiencing extreme pain and when it strikes, get to a bathroom as soon as possible.  He left early to come home, and thankfully he did as the "Cerdo Loco" started attacking him as soon as he got home and we were pretty miserable for the next 48 hours.  

To look at the bright side, I got a FULL body cleanse in the most horrible, violent way possible.  I jump started my weight loss (5lbs in 2 days) and literally was scared to eat anything for the rest of the week.  I wouldn't wish that on my worst enemy.  

As far as the week of WODs went, even though I was sick Monday - Tuesday, I was still able to get 3 work outs in (1 less than I prefer) but given my condition Sunday and Monday, I think that is damn impressive.  


WOD: 5 Rounds for Time
10 Hang Power Snatch @ 55lbs
25 Wall Balls @ 10lbs
Score: 18:17

Strength: Front Squat 3x2 (85lbs, 95lbs, 105lbs)
WOD: 4 Rounds for Time
10 Handstand Pushups w/ 2 Matts
15 Kettlebell Swings @ 53lbs
Score: 7:55

WOD: 3 Rounds - 1 minute at each station
Row Cals
Over Head Walking Lunges @ 35lbs
Double Unders
Tire Flip
Strict Press 35lbs
Score: 207 Reps

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Week 5 - Baltimore & Annapolis Trail - 25 Miles

Today's bike riding goal was to get at least (if not more than) 25 miles which would be a challenge since today we would have both kids with us, but Dennis and I were up for it and decided to give it a go. 

Last year, Dennis got us lost on the BWI trail and we ended up on another trail and we always wanted to rediscover that mystery trail, which happened to be the Baltimore and Annapolis trail, 13 miles up and 13 miles back.  Perfect for what we were looking for in today's ride.  

So we loaded up our kids and bikes and off we went!  This trail was amazing!  The first 13 miles were cake.  Slight downhill slant, paved, and lots of shade.  The only issue was that I knew the way BACK was going to be the harder part. An hour later, and at the end on the trail we took a pit stop. 

At the end (or beginning) of this trail there was this neat thing where they put a statue of the sun:

And as we biked back, there were markers for all the planets placed by relation of the sun.  It was a cool little nerdy thing to help pass the miles on the grueling way back.  Yup, I was right, the way back was much slower and harder than the way up and if I were to do this trail again, I would reverse our trip to prevent the burn out I was experiencing.  

The other nice thing about the trail, there was a spot with rear facing food places for bikers to stop and enjoy a refreshment.  On our returning trip we stopped and got some amazing Sorbet to cool us off.  

The return trip took us about 2 hours 20 minutes which was only 20 minutes MORE than the 25 mile bike ride we did last week without the kids.  (I know it says 13 miles and 13 miles, but it was more like 12.5 and 12.5).  

This was one of my favorite trails and I eventually hope to do this trail and then connect it to the BWI trail (which we've rode before) for a lengthy 36 mile bike ride.  I'm not sure my legs are up for that, just yet!!