Twenty Six

I’m getting old.  Today I turn 26 which is only a stone’s throw away from 30.  Single tear.

Since I’m a superstitious numbers person, I’m feeling sad about leaving 25 behind.  I liked being a quarter centurion.  25 was such a good year:


  • Dana and I drank lots of wine in Kelowna



  • Meg and I became friends!  And her husband Wade too 🙂



  • Dana and I adopted a Mexican street dog and named her Penny



  • Family Christmas trip to Panama!

Dana and I Panama

mom and dad



My face for pretty much all the Open workouts – AKA “what the hell did I sign up for?”

It’s been a hell of a trip around the sun.  I salute you 25, and bid you adieu.

The next year promises to be a good one too.  Dana and I have the West Coast Trail booked for June 30th so we have lots of training hikes to fit in before then.  We also signed up for beach volleyball again with the gang from last year.  Life will be busy as usual!

As my friend Rob put it, I’m double a prime number, so I must be in my prime now.  Cheers, 26!


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16.5 Accomplished

Well folks, I survived the 2016 Open season.

The gang at CrossFit Sunalta wrapped it up today with 16.5.  Of course, I went in the first heat because I was super nervous (as usual.)

Janne judged me and she was fabulous.  Between her words of encouragement, and Dana telling me to stop laying on the floor, I couldn’t have done it without them.

My plan for the thrusters was 7/7/7 for the 21 round, 6/6/6 for the 18 round, 5/5/5 for the 15, 4/4/4 on the 12, 5/4 on the 9, 6 and 3 for the last two rounds.  This strategy sounds very elaborate, but mentally it helped because, well, anyone can do 7 thrusters.

I hoped to just be consistent with the burpees.  And breathe.

Pain face

I’m pleased to say I managed to stick with my elaborate thrusters rep scheme!  Surprisingly, I found the thrusters to be the rest and the burpees to be hell.  When does that happen?  I was in the twilight zone, for sure.


The 21, 18, and 15 rounds went well for me.  I felt like I had a strong pace and my breathing was under control.  However, my game went to pot in the second portion.  I even found myself resting on the ground at the bottom of the burpee which is the #1 way to make yourself throw up.  Fortunately, Dana and Janne’s encouragement was relentless, plus all the spectators cheered me on.  I felt a moment of jealousy when Anna finished when I was still completing my 9’s round, but I’m really impressed by her speed!

Eventually the 6’s and 3’s rolled around and I pushed through the pain to wrap it up.  17:59!  It was a tough one, but not the worst WOD I’ve ever done.  (That honorable mention goes to 15.5 – the thrusters and rowing WOD.)

It took me a while to cool down after, and I made a point of using the bumpy roller on my quads.  Painful but so good!  This stretch also helps the groin region:

Meg & Laura

I cheered on Dana while I recovered.  He was speedy!  18:25!  He definitely doesn’t love burpees or thrusters, but seemed to push through them just fine.

After I’d caught my breath, I judged for Meg and McKensi.  Meg’s consistency was a thing of beauty, and I marveled at the speed of McKensi’s thrusters.

We spectated the rest of the afternoon, then headed home for a very late lunch.  We’re both pretty dang tired, but I found a bit of energy to go on a 5 km walk with Penny and my pal Linds.  It was a beautiful day in Calgary and I’m sure it didn’t hurt to flush my legs out a bit.  Also always great to catch up with a friend!  Tonight Dana is taking me for my birthday dinner at my favorite restaurant, Cassis.  ❤

Hope you have fun this weekend whatever you get up to!  Let me know how 16.5 is and how it compared to 14.5, if you had the luck of doing both.  Happy Friday!


Tips & Tricks: 16.5

Updated 3/25/2016: 16.5 is in the bag. If you want to read about how it went for me, see here

How is it the last WOD of the 2016 CrossFit Games Open season?  HOW?

ned stark 16.5 open

I’m sure that the whole CrossFit world guessed that 16.5 would involve thrusters.  My bet was 100 thrusters for time.  I was surprised, but not too surprised, when Dave Castro announced:


Standards detailed here

Anyone who’s been in the CrossFit world for a while would recognize this delightful workout as 14.5.  It’s tradition during the Open to repeat a previous year’s workout, although it’s always a gamble which workout it will be.  Repeating workouts helps us measure progress and see how far we’ve come!

I was just starting to drink the crossfit koolaid back in 2014.  I paid my dues to enter the Open, but I was stymied from the first workout on as it was beyond my capabilities then. In 2014, an official scaled option wasn’t offered, so I followed along week-by-week and made up my own modified version so I could tag along.   For 14.5, I modified by using 25 lb dumbbells and jumping over those instead of a bar.  It was hard!

With that said, I am actually pretty jacked to see thrusters and burpees combined.  As sick as it sounds, I actually like both movements.  I’ve been pretty sore all week from 16.4 (those deadlifts…), not to mention a weird kink in my neck (a mousing injury?  Dangers of the accounting world, my friends).  Hoping I can pull myself together for the last big hurrah of the 2016 Open season!

Since 16.5 is a recycled 14.5, there’s a ton of advice out there already in the internets.  Here are some tips and tricks to help you survive “the dark place”:

  • Coach Eric from my box, CrossFit Sunalta, is full of words of wisdom: know how well you can do thrusters and pace accordingly, save the 180º spins (on the burpees) for the last few rounds to conserve your energy, and BREATH.
  • This blogger recommends allowing yourself 20 minutes to complete 16.5  (We can’t all be Rich Froning.)  Be consistent in your burpees – they are your “rest”.
  • Tabata Times always has solid advice on the Open workouts – here’s some of their warm-up advice: “Spend some time mobilizing your hip flexors and front rack position. Spending some time in the bottom of a squat with a barbell on your knees will help with tight ankles as well.”

burpee advice

Although CrossFit Sunalta has hosted the Open on Sundays all month, as this Sunday is Easter, we’re all competing tomorrow instead.  Wish me luck!  Let me know how 16.5 goes for you!

thrusters and burpees 16.5