2018 is here!

Wow, you blink and suddenly the last blog post you wrote was four months ago. Whoops!

2018 is here now and I feel like I don’t even know where the time has gone. I started a new role at work two months ago, and although it’s not what I expected, I am enjoying work more now.  This year, I’m coming up on five years with my company.  I’m pretty proud of that, being a millennial and all.  Where’s my gold star?

Once a week, I’m teaching a restorative/yin yoga class for crossfitters at CrossFit Sunalta (my home away from home still). 75 minutes of glorious stretching with loads of props – I have two hockey bags full of bolsters, foam and wood blocks, blankets, and straps – and a delightfully relaxed environment.  I play random music like (too much) Jack Johnson and sometimes Simon and Garfunkel, and I tried The Piano Guys this week and they were a hit.

People chat amongst themselves, and ask me “where am I supposed to feel this stretch?”  We have some laughs, and then towards the end of class, everyone properly settles in and we do long restorative poses and just veg.  I’ve run two 6-week sessions, and I’m in the midst of teaching a 3 class session.  I still take forever to class plan, but I definitely feel more natural teaching now.  If this type of class sounds up your alley, you don’t need to be a Sunaltan to come and I would be glad to have you!  Message/email/talk to me!

On the CrossFit side of things, I’m definitely still going to class around 4x per week. That quantity seems to be ideal in terms of not being too beat up.  With that said, I strained my low back at the beginning of December so I’m seeing a chiropractor (Dr. Brad) weekly for treatment, and also seeing a physio (Gina) weekly to heal up a strained tricep.  I highly recommend them both!  So forget what I said about not being too beat up.  Clearly I need to check my ego at the door.  But I’m still going to class – just lots of modifications right now, and that’s fine.  There’s a season for everything.

The biggest bummer about being so injured right now is that the 2018 CrossFit Open is nearly upon us! Clearly I’m a bit of an enthusiast as evidenced by my weekly Open write-ups in both 2016 and 2017.  18.1 drops in about a month’s time, and I’m getting nervous that I won’t be able to participate.  Although laughably I get nervous either way – the Open is very fun and very stressful for me.  Another option could be doing the scaled division, but I may wait to see what Castro has up his sleeve.  I may heal up in time too – who knows?

What else do I usually write about? Oh, hiking!  Naturally, due to the white stuff, we haven’t been doing much hiking of late.  Penny’s cardio is shot at this point.  It’s going to take months to get her back up to our end-of-season hiking standards (let alone her poor owners…).  Dana is of course already trying to get some weekend backpacks planned for the summer months (while I’m over here like “take me on a hot holiday with some time lazing on a beach!!!”).

My sister came home from work for a month and a bit, and we had so much fun!

I’ve been hella busy every weekend meal prepping lately. It seems the only way Dana and I can eat moderately healthy food during the week, as by the time we get home from the gym and walk the dog, it’s 8:00 pm and we’re both hangry.  My two approaches are: batch cooking enormous pots of something stew-like, like chili or West African peanut chicken, and also I’ve been trying recipes out of a meal prepping cookbook this month.  I’m not 100% sold on the “Healthy Meal Prep” cookbook as far as time-saving/efficiency, but I do like the variety and emphasis on balanced meals with vegetables.

 

I’m mentally bracing myself for my usual bout of [undiagnosed] [seasonal?] depression. February and March are historically the hardest two months of the year for me.  If I can make my birthday (March 30th, don’t forget!), I’ve made it through the worst part, but until then, I’m using every tool in my box to keep my spirits up.  What’s in my mental health toolbox?

  • Exercise
  • Eating healthy
  • Supplements: vitamin D, 5-HTP, magnesium, fish oil
  • Spending time with friends and family
  • Yoga/meditation
  • Time outside
  • Seeing my therapist

I don’t bring this up to make people uncomfortable, but rather, to start the discussion. Depression is nothing to be ashamed of, and I’ve struggled with it in spurts for the past decade.

Whew, that conversation got heavy fast. I’m not suffering right now, so don’t worry about me!

If you’ve made it this far, thanks for reading!

Hope that 2018 is off to a fun start for you, and I’ll be back sooner rather than later with another post (I promise)!

♥ Kait

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16.4 Accomplished 

Whew, what a weekend! My parents came down to Calgary for a visit on Thursday.  We met them for a very late dinner at Open Sesame (dinner was so-so, but conversation was good).  I was beat from our 20 min AMRAP earlier in the day, and getting up at 5 AM for work, but somehow managed to stay awake until midnight visiting once we got home.

Friday was a marathon shopping day! Mom and I spent pretty much the entire day at Chinook shopping up a storm.  After months and months of living frugally (see: Dana gets laid off), having some new things to wear feels wonderful.  My sister came to join us shopping mid-afternoon and helped me find some different things to wear.  She’s good at picking a million things off the rack at nightmare stores like H&M so that I can at least find a few awesome items.  I don’t have the patience for that kind of stuff on my own.  For dinner, we hosted a family dinner at our place.  In a brilliant stroke of genius, Mom suggested ordering food in, instead of frantically cooking after a day at the mall, and so we ordered pizza from Village Flatbread and it was so, so good.  For dessert, Haley made a cookie layer “cake” with peanut butter icing and it was EVERYTHING and more.  I live for cookies.  And peanut butter.

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Saturday morning, Mom and I went for a walk, then Dana went to our niece’s bday party and my folks went to Haley’s Iron Ring ceremony. She is finishing her engineering degree this semester!  While the house was empty, I got busy crafting a wearable box costume for Sunday’s 16.4 Intramurals (our team is “Jacked in the Box”).

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After I got cleaned up, we all headed to the Hyatt for the engineering grad banquet.  It was actually more entertaining that it sounds.  #wine  Also, the guest speaker was a U of C alumni who is an astronaut.  So that was pretty cool.


And then it was Sunday! Mom and I walked Penny, then Dana and I raced out the door to CrossFit Sunalta to get warmed up for 16.4.

I was feeling super nervous about it since I knew I was doing the RX, but was scared about hurting my back again.  All the other ladies in my heat were scaling which made me second-guess my original plan to RX, but I stuck with it.  Coach Tim came over before we got started to help me get my handstand push-up (HSPU) station set up, although I wasn’t sure that I would get that far in 13 minutes.  The pressure was on because Dana and I had a team of spectators come to watch – his parents, my parents, my aunt, and Haley and her boyfriend (thanks for coming guys!).


3,2,1… go! The deadlifts actually felt pretty light!  I did them in sets of five, with 5 seconds in between (roughly).  It was definitely a manageable way to break them up.


My wall balls weren’t horrifying. I stuck with my plan to do small sets of roughly 5-6 per round.  Slow and steady.  I only got no-repped a few times.  Which was entirely fair.

The row though. I knew it would be an eternity and it was!  I think I got on the rower at 8:30 (ish).  I reckoned the row would take about five minutes (sad but true) so I definitely didn’t think I’d make the HSPU at that point.  The row was hard – I was tired and out of breath.  As the pros say, I was redlining.  Dana kept telling me to take deep breaths and to do big, hard pulls.  Occasionally I would actually stop rowing because I was dying, but Dana and everyone else kept yelling at me to keep going.  I remember peeking over my shoulder at the clock and realizing I had a minute left and less than ten calories to go – that really helped push me as there was a chance I could finish the row!  I pulled hard and just as the buzzer was going my 55th calorie turned over on the rower.  Yay!

Score: 165

Out of all the 2016 Open WODs, I think I’m most proud of 16.4. I really felt like it was my jam, despite the rowing.  My only regret is not getting to the wall – I know I could have done a few HSPU at least.  But I never would have guessed I would finish the row, so there’s that.

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Dana and I actually tied scores for 16.4. He finished his row with about 2 minutes remaining on the clock, but he’d never done a HSPU before so didn’t set up a station beforehand.  Quickly, his judge, Laura, and I raced over to the wall to measure out his HSPU target, and Dana got in a few attempts before the buzzer went.  It was exciting!

After the WOD, we hung out for a bit to cool down and cheer. I got to explain a bit of crossfit stuff to my family, who are pretty new to the whole Open/crossfit thing.  It was nice to share a bit of my world with them.

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#bicepslikekait #tomatoface

 We took some Jacked in the Box team photos, and then went to National for a late lunch with my family. After saying good bye to my parents who were flying home, Dana and I headed home for Epsom salts baths.  We were both so bagged from 16.4 and the crazy-busy weekend.  I took Penny out for another walk, then made this AMAZING recipe for supper.  We watched Walking Dead then headed to bed.  It was one helluva weekend!

CrossFit Total & Weekend

Whew, another busy/relaxing weekend over and we’re in to February!

Friday

On Friday, I was just on the tail end of the cold I’d had all week (and subsequently had missed crossfit because of), so I was dying to get to class after work. We went to the 4 PM and it was a real doozy, especially because I couldn’t fully breathe.

For the jerks, I shared a bar with Meg and McKensi, and we worked to 105#. Which felt pretty dang heavy.

The WOD was what really slayed me though. I got through 4 rounds and 19 reps into the fifth, panting the whole time.  I did RX it though, double unders and all.  (Although I’m sure they weren’t pretty!)  I can string together about 10 at a time now, so I’m slowly making progress.  Sometimes they really click and I can do more!

For my first WOD since Monday, I certainly felt the pain more than usual. It took a long “after WOD moment” (AWM for short) with Meg and Dana to cool down and get my heart rate normalized again.  We’ve started doing group AWMs after crossfit to work on our mobility and actually cool down.  And socialize.

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Dana and I were absolutely wiped after. We’d had big plans of cleaning the house and maybe going to a movie, but we voted in favor of dinner in and a couch night.  We’re pretty exciting these days.  The movie of the night was “About Time” on Netflix which is equal parts wonderfully British and hilarious, but also terribly sad.  I was sobbing by the end.  But it is a great movie, I swear!

Saturday

I woke up and felt like I’d been hit by a truck from crossfit, but seeing that the CrossFit Total was programmed… well, I had to go!

The Total is your combined best lifts for back squat, strict press, and deadlift, and is a great benchmark to see progress on.  I did the Total back in July and was eager to see my #gainz.  In July, my Total was 480.

With my new Christmas present lifting belt on, Meg and I shared a bar and worked up to our max. back squats. I was really happy to PR by 5# for a total lift of 190#.  It felt really good!

Strict press is a bit of a write-off for me as I don’t have much of a range. I worked to 85# and called it a day, but maybe I could have done 90#?

I was excited to test my deadlift, and really pleased when I successfully lifted 240#.

My new Total is 515 now! I’m very happy with my strength #gainz of late.  Dana PR’ed his strict press which was big news for him because with his shoulder issues, anything overhead is a royal pain.  Yay Dana!

When we got home, we had a cleanathon. Poor Dana.  Two hours later, the house looked 110% better.  Turns out owning a dog leads to a lot more vacuuming and floor washing… especially in the winter.

Dana elected to stay home, but I took Penny out for a very icy walk after and we both enjoyed the sunshine. It was 3 o’clock before I was eating my lunch!

Eventually I made us fish tacos from my Performance Paleo cookbook for supper, but I’m sad to say they were pretty mediocre at best.

Sometime after that we fell down the extended edition Lord of the Rings rabbit hole and watched part of the first movie. I love those movies!

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Sunday

After a brilliant sleep, I got up early-ish and let Penny out, and eventually hustled Dana out of bed for a big 5-6 km walk with Penny near the reservoir. It was really nice out, although still quite icy in places.

The soreness of our workouts was really catching up with us, and by the time we got home, we were both pretty tired!

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We got ready, and headed down south to Milestones for brunch with the Kinnaird siblings. SO GREAT to see those guys and the kiddos.  Brunch was so-so (I could only eat the fruit bowl and bacon though so I’m not the best judge), but after we went to see Dana’s sister Jenna’s new home.  It’s beautiful!  We got to play a bit with my nephew Kade after which was very entertaining.  He just started walking!  We had fun letting him walk back and forth between us, then applauding his efforts which made him exceedingly proud and happy.  So, so cute.

After, it was the usual adult weekend business of grocery shopping, but then we took a Lord of the Ring break and didn’t get up from the couch other than to make dinner. I made Ottolenghi’s roasted butternut squash with za’atar chicken thighs and OMG it’s so good.

Back to the couch we went for more LOTR until bedtime.

Monday

Now another week has started and it will be a busy one for me as it’s month end in the accounting world. Hopefully I’ll be back soon with another post!