Rest Day, a Little Frustration

So, with the exception of a little mayonaise in my diet, I’m going strict No Bread for this challenge.  I haven’t lost any weight (or my scale is broken), and like I said yesterday, I definitely have weight to lose.  I’m not at a place where gaining weight is healthy because I’m losing fat and gaining muscle.  I’m pretty frustrated right now, and I think I need to have my husband hide my scale from me so I don’t obsessively weigh myself every day and hopefully start seeing results with my own eyes or something for the next 40 days.

Today was a rest day for me.  I’ve worked out every day since Friday, so that was 4 days working out in a row.

Last night, I went to a Paleo Dinner at The Biltmore Bar & Grill in nearby Newton.  It was sponsored by Crossfit City Line and the chef at the Biltmore is a member there (Johnny Burke).  It was a five course paleo meal and it was AMAZING.  I went with fellow Craic ladies, Susie Diesel and K-Luv.  Here’s what we ate (pardon the crappy iPhone quality):

Paleo version of the "bread basket" - only this was homemade grassfed beef jerky, dried apricots, roasted walnuts, and pistachios

Paleo version of the “bread basket” – only this was homemade grassfed beef jerky, dried apricots, roasted walnuts, and pistachios

Duck and Pistachio Sausage with Black Mission Fig Reduction, Mustards

Duck and Pistachio Sausage with Black Mission Fig Reduction, Mustards

Pan Roasted Cod with 3 PEI Mussels, Fellel and Piquillo Pepper

Pan Roasted Cod with 3 PEI Mussels, Fellel and Piquillo Pepper

Misty Knoll Chicken on top of a cold Broccoli Rabe, Golden Raisins, Walnut and Kefir Pesto

Misty Knoll Chicken on top of a cold Broccoli Rabe, Golden Raisins, Walnut and Kefir Pesto

House-made Almond Joy (OH COMMA MY GOD, this was amazing)

House-made Almond Joy (OH COMMA MY GOD, this was amazing)


There was also a Local Greens Salad with Mesclun, Pepitas, and Miso – but it wasn’t really interesting to photograph.  It was still absolutely delicious.  Johnny Burke (the chef) told us that he was going to try to do the Paleo Dinners monthly.  I am so excited.  It was really an amazing meal and filled with good company.  If you live in the Boston area, I highly suggest you get your booty to one of his Paleo dinners.  It’s totally worth the money spent and the Almond Joy at the end…amaze-balls.





Cleaning, lots of cleaning!

Yesterday, I wanted to use Open Gym to do some of the skill work that John suggested I do.  I also ended up meeting with Ben (one of the latest editions to the Craic staff, and resident mobility expert!) to talk about some things I could do for my wrist, ankle, and shoulder mobility.

I ended up doing a mini-workout – 3 rounds, at increasing weight:

  • 3 hang cleans
  • 3 power cleans
  • 3 front squats

I did 75, 95, 105.  Form felt better and then I did mobility work.

I should have known that Mondays were going to be clean workouts.  Today’s workout was:

  • (A) 20 minutes to work to a heavy 5RM
  • (B) AMRAP 8 – 5 hang cleans, 7 no push-up burpee box jumps

I ended up working up to 115#, but my footwork started to fall apart and I decided to stop at 115# because I didn’t want to lift any heavier with shitty form.  My right foot just likes to step away.  I don’t even realize I’m doing it until I’ve caught the bar at my chest.  Need to just drill, drill, drill that into my head.

Then, I did the AMRAP and for some reason decided to do the Rx weight to challenge myself.  The first and second rounds went well, and then it fell apart during the hang cleans.  The last two rounds I did, I ended up having to break up the cleans.  I ended up with 5+1 as my final score.

This below, is how I felt during my box jumps:

gifjumpI’m still sticking with No Bread, strictly – but I’m not seeing any number movement on the scale, and even though I know I’m building muscle, I know that there is a decent amount of pounds that I need to lose.  It’s a bit frustrating at the moment, I’m not going to lie.




Cleaning on a Saturday

Went in this morning to get a 1-1 session with John to work on lifting, specifically my clean.  He started evaluating my form and then we talked about what I thought I was doing wrong.

We did a couple sets at increasing weight 3x high hang cleans, 3x hang cleans, 3x power cleans.  And then we did some squat cleans, working on footwork.  My biggest problem is getting under the bar.  I don’t really have any issues with the strength part of it, it’s just getting under the bar.  We dissected that part and there were some things that really clicked today.  He gave me some good drills to work on so that the movements essentially become muscle memory.  Towards the end, he had me do 3x power cleans and built up to a heavy weight.  In between, he had me doing increasing weight of front squats.  My legs are toast from Jackie yesterday, but the squats felt pretty good.  I also need to work on my footwork, as I tend to “starfish” out a bit with my right leg.  Okay, a lot.  Especially when it gets heavy.  Getting my elbows through when it becomes heavy is also a problem, it almost seems like an after thought.  Like I lift the weight and then I’m like “fast elbows.”  And by that time it’s too late.

One thing that I know is true of myself is that I tend to over-think things – especially before I lift.  When I went into the set-up, I would tend to be down there and think about the lift too much.  He suggested that I think about the lift before I go into the set-up and just get down there, set-up and go.  It worked.  I ended up PR’ing my power clean today at 135# 🙂 and did two reps at that weight. I got two lifts at 135#, and then got in my head too much.

I’m excited that I had this session with John and hope to do some more sessions with him.  He had me do some dumb bell work and then I was done for this week.

Getting warmer and using the butt coolers in Niko's car after a workout

Getting warmer and using the butt coolers in Niko’s car after a workout

Getting some No Bread breakfast time from Salem Foods.  Yummy!

Getting some No Bread breakfast time from Salem Foods. Yummy!

No Bread 5.0 Test Three

Jackie.  I hate her almost, maybe more, than Fran.  I think I hate her because of the Craic modification at the end.  This was the last test of the No Bread Challenge.  Jackie, as RX is:

  • 1000m row
  • 50 thrusters at 45#
  • 30 pull-ups

I substituted the AD for the row.  I did 50 calories.  The thrusters I did as Rx and the coaches advised that if you couldn’t do 30 pull-ups you had to substitute BURPEES in for the pull-ups.  Burpees.  After doing the Air Dyne and 50 thrusters.  Ugh.  My pal Rob said at the end of the workout that he would rather do two pull-ups than one burpee.  I agree.  14 minute time cap. (And to be clear, I’d like to be able to do just one pull-up 😉 )

I find for these type of workouts (chippers) it’s easy to, well, chip away at them.  The AD took me a bit longer than I thought it would.  I talked to Glen and John ahead of time to figure out how many calories I was doing to bike for, and initially we thought 60 would be a good number.  But I believe that the airdynes (there are two of them in the gym) might be calibrated a bit off.  Who knows?  John said that if I was at 50 cals at 3:30 I should just go to 50 cals.  So, I was at 3:30 and I was at 40 cals.  I ended up going to 50 cals and it took me 4:23.  Got off the airdyne and I had planned to do 10 rounds of 5 thrusters.  This turned out to be a good strategy, as I was able to break it down into little sets with just a little bit of rest.   I think when I do it next time, I might try to do the first round or two at 10 thrusters.  I then broke up the burpees into rounds of 5.  I really need to build up my stamina.  Blargh.  My goal was to finish under the time cap, at 12:54.

And I’m not sure if I posted this video before, but it’s how to exercise with cats.  I would have no-repped him on the squats, but it’s still very informative if you have cats and need to exercise with them.

Have a session with John McEvoy tomorrow with the focus on form for my lifts.  After the struggles I had earlier this week, I definitely need it.  He’s probably one of the best lifting coaches around, so I’m fortunate he’s the owner of my gym 🙂

No Bread 5.0, Test 2

Today’s test was a running test, and the alternative was rowing.  I couldn’t really do either because the amount of impact on my ankle / foot for both ankles was not really great at a long distance and my wrist gets all effed up after about 750 meters. For the regular peeps, the running test was run 3K for time and if you can’t run, row 2K for time.  I was thinking that I might run, just slow and even wore my running shoes to Craic – but I wanted to be smart  and not  “ease” back into running by just going out there and running 3K meters!  In addition, my wrist / grip issues aren’t so great, so rowing 2K didn’t seem like a treat either.  Airdyne it was!

I went to the track with my fellow 6:30AM classmates and cheered them on.  To test a bit, I did the 400m warm up with the group, but my right ankle felt like something was cracking and snapping a bit.  So without a doubt, it was the airdyne for me. After discussing with John, he told me to do 15 minutes on the airdyne for calories.  I hate the airdyne.  Pedaling to nowhere.  I ended up getting 156 calories and it was rough.  Not going to say I’m looking forward re-testing this one, but it will be great to see how I progress over these next 50 days or so.

Taking Tuesday and Thursday off this week because John suggested we do so – so that we are primed for all the tests.



AM: Kids banana / apple slurper (pre-workout), bacon, eggs

MID: Salad w/chicken salad, veggie mix, bacon

PM: Sausages, avocado, almond crusted pork chops, unsweetened appple sauce

Snack: Handful almonds


AM: bacon, eggs

MID: salad, lots of veggies and chicken salad

PM: pork chop, salad greens with balsamic, avocado

Snack: bell peppers, almonds, taro chips, mixed nuts

I’ve been trying to drink a ton of water.  As Thug Kitchen will tell you:



I’m already starting to see some numbers go down on the scale, showing that this stuff actually works.  Still dedicated to pushing pretty hard during this challenge.  The one major thing I’m struggling with is mindless snacking.  I’m trying to just chew gum more and distract myself that way.  And also fill my tummy with water, lots of free fucking water.



NB 5.0 Test Workout #1

So we are going to have a series of three benchmark / test workouts for the No Bread Challenge.  Today’s was the first workout was, what I thought, a nice re-entry into Crossfit given I had just taken the week off.

The test was:

A) 20 Minutes to get 1RM power clean

B) AMRAP 8 90% of part A weight power cleans

My squat clean 1RM is 135# and my power clean is 125#, so I went in hoping to get at least 125#.  I was, and still am, a bit jetlagged, so this post will be short as my capacity to put thoughts down coherently is diminishing by each letter I type.  It went like this:

95, 115, 125, 130 (my fifth attempt), 135 FAIL

I was happy with 130, and even though it took me 5 attempts, I was oddly calm.  While it was frustrating in the moment to fail, I knew that I could only get better over the next 50 days.

I did the maths wrong and ended up doing 120 for part B.  I was aiming for 16-20 reps.  Turns out, this was not in the cards today.  I got the first two reps and then failed and failed and failed.  In the entire 8 minutes, I got 5 reps and even on them, my form was crap.

I scheduled a session with John for this weekend to do a little more direct work on my form.

Yesterday’s NO BREAD Eats:

AM – Egg scramble with kebab leftovers and avocado

MID – Vegetable mix from salad bar at Whole Foods

PM – Chartucerie plate (sans bread), pork loin wrapped in pork belly, ramps

Today, I started breakfast off with some good ol’ bacon!

photo (3)



No Bread 5.0

Craic’s NO BREAD 5.0 challenge started Friday.  Since I was on vacation in Italy, I decided that I was going to start it today – as Italy isn’t really the proper place to start a challenge like that (nor is a transatlantic flight).



I’m participating in the Lean Out Division of the challenge.  I’ve not been consistent about my eating habits since the new year hit and have definitely packed on some unwanted weight.  Niko took my “Day 1” pictures this morning and it was humbling to stand in a sports bra and shorts to pose for them.  My body is not anywhere near where I want it to be, and the pictures were a stark reality of that.  It’s no one’s fault but my own and these next 50 days are about taking full responsibility of this, without excuses.  The “rules” overview of the lean out division:

The Leaning Out Division

AKA:I’m So Close I can Taste It:

 This is the intermediate group.  You can feel your six-pack just beneath some extra fat.  You know you are close.  You may have been through a NO BREAD challenge already.  Chances are you Know what you should and shouldn’t be eating you just need a solid 50 days of discipline to get the results you know you’re capable of.

ALLOWED FOODS: meat, veggies, nuts, seeds, some fruit, little starch

 NOT ALLOWED: Sugar, salad dressings, dairy, bread, ice cream, pasta, cookies, crackers etc…….And if you’re really looking to lean out, NO FRUIT.

Judging Criteria:  This group will be judged on body composition results with before and after photos.  There will also be a test/retest workout or workouts (TBA) that will not be FRAN this go round (though Fran may show up in the 50 days)  We expect the winner of this group will not only look and feel better but that this 50 day challenge will lead them to a special place where everything they touch turns to gold and PR’s and confidence and self esteem and all kinds of awesomeness.

Stay tuned.

Boston via Roma i Venezia

I’m currently sitting on a train as I type this, headed from Roma to Venice for the second leg of our vacation. Grateful that I have this opportunity to spend some quality time with my husband and experience parts of the world that I know I’m lucky to be able to explore.  However, as I sit on the train, my heart is heavy.
On Monday, I awoke in Rome, thinking about my friends who were running in the Boston Marathon.  All of them were fellow Craic heads. I knew that while I was six hours ahead, they were all getting up in a few hours to start the race in Hopkington.  Carleen, who’s been chronicling her ups and downs via an email blog and was about to become a 2-time Boston Marathoner…I remember meeting her when I was in Jarrod’s on-boarding class and she was training for her first marathon. She had stopped in to Craic at the tail end of her run and waited for Marc (her cat-loving husband) to pick her up.  Karen, who is one of the best female runners at Craic. She does Craic’s run club at always gives the gents a run for their money on the running WoDs. Her mom, who looks like an older sister of Karen’s flew in from Colombia just to watch her daughter in the Boston Marathon.  Jay, who is a fellow 6:30am guy. He’s the “old guy” of the group, usually kicking everyone’s ass in the workout.  Hence, my putting “old guy” in quotes. He usually smokes all the young ones in the workouts. And finally Brian “Burger” – for the longest time, I thought that Berger was his last name and we called him “Burger” because of that.  Turns out that in the 2012 Boston Marathon, he ran for the b.good foundation, and ran the entire race with a burger around his waist.  He was doing the same thing this year and Jay was running with a burger around his waste as well.  I am so proud of my friend’s hard work and dedication that got them up to the marathon and was sending them good thoughts from Italy.
After a nice breakfast at the hotel, we met up with one of my best friends, Katy, and her boyfriend, Aaron at the Colosseum. Just by coincidence, our Italian trips were overlapping for one full day in Rome and we opted to spend it together.  We really had no set plans and spent much of the day wandering around the city, stopping occasionally for a beer or a snack.  We walked to the Trastavere and weaved through the endless alleyways and did some sightseeing and more snacking.  We ended the day eating a delicious meal at Sora Lella, a restaurant featured on Anthony Bourdain’s The Layover.  Quite honestly, that day with Katy was  the highlight of our trip and a time that I will hold dear forever.
Stuffed and exhausted from our day, we arrived back at the hotel and turned on the television.  The only stations in Rome that are in English were news stations, so we tuned to CNN.  What I saw on the television did not process in my head.  Two bomb explosions in Boston.  No wait, Niko said, looks like old footage from some other bombing that happened…Wait, is that the Prudential?  We watched the television for a few more minutes.  Yes, there was a bombing during the Boston Marathon.  Casualties unknown.  Definitely 2 dead, 45 injured (the number has since risen to 3 dead, 145+ injured, some critically). I immediately went on Facebook.  My brain thought of all my friends back home – Carleen, Karen, Burger, Jay – and the countless others that were at the race cheering them on.  They kept on replaying the explosion on the news and as I was in Facebook updates from friends and loved ones were streaming in.  I was panicked.  I texted and massaged everyone I could. Constantly refreshing my feed and watching the news.  I texted Leila, knowing she had a huge posse with her of Craic heads, everyone was fine.  Statuses were trickling in.  All my friends and family were safe…but so saddened and heartbroken that a day that was supposed to be about personal triumph and happiness was marred by this act of terror.
But my friends and the city of Boston are full of resilient people.  Many are running the last five miles of the Boston Marathon on Friday in tribute to those that were killed or injured…and to show the world that an act of terrorism like that cannot keep us down.  I will still be in Italy at this time, but will be thinking of everyone back home. They are not letting the fear over take their lives.  They are finishing the race on their own terms and for those that could not.  As for me, I’m going to take everything I can in on these last few days in Italy.  I am not going to let what happened ruin the rest of my trip.  I’m going to relish every moment spending it in one of the most romantic cities in the world with my husband. On Friday we celebrate our 5th wedding anniversary and as my friend Kelli always told me, “Live once, live well.”
Sending mad love to all my friends and family back home.


Judging and Some Snatch Work

So this video I’m about to post has nothing to do with Crossfit, but it’s really embarrassing for this dog and I felt compelled to share:

Anyway, some good news to share. As mentioned in my previous posts, I’ve been judging like a crazy woman at Craic to get credit and standing in order to judge at the Northeast Regionals  this year.  I knew I would be stoked if I actually got selected to judge, but also I knew I wouldn’t be disappointed if I didn’t get in this year – as I went to the Regionals last year and it was blast to just watch the competition and cheer people on (and that would afford me more free time and flexibility over the weekend).  But I got the email yesterday and I was accepted as a judge at the Northeast Regionals!  I’m super excited and nervous all at the same time.  While I take judging seriously all the time, this is on such a larger stage!  I’ll be sure to blog about my experience when they come around (in May).

Today went in for the workout and Glen was coaching.  Sometimes when I’m in a class, one of the coaches will say the littlest thing and it makes things just click!  This morning before the workout, we did some snatch skill work.  I opted to use the PVC pipe since snatches are a little tricky for me and Glen took us through.  We were working on the hang power snatch and instead of the usual cues like “Bend your knees” Glen said “Slide your knees forward” and something just clicked about my initial dip before the lift.  Loved that cue.

After the skill work, we had 20 minutes to get to a heavy 3 reps of hang power snatch.  I opted to do hang power cleans instead to not aggravate my shoulder.  I managed to get to 105# but when I went to 110#, I failed twice on the third rep.  Blargh.  Frustrating.  Glen said my first two reps looked good, I guess I just didn’t have it in me for the third.  Oh well, another day!

Then we did 5 rounds for time of (with my revisions):

  • 5 deadlifts with snatch grip clean grip
  • 7 hang power snatch cleans
  • 9 burpees

Rx weight was 55#.  Since I was doing hang power cleans, I did 65#. The first set was a breeze, I was able to do everything (yes, including the burpees!) unbroken.   Then second set the deads and the cleans were unbroken but I had to break up the burpees.  The third round is when things started going off the rails and I had to break up the cleans and the burpees.  The fourth round was a mess, the burpees were really slow and it took me a little too long to start that fifth round.  I had to break up the cleans into 4 and 3, but I managed to do all the burpees unbroken for the last set.  Final time was 8:11.