Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Down n' up n' down

I've had a song stuck in my head for a few days. It's not a song I'm proud to know the words to or even admit that I've heard ... but I have to share with you guys - Up n' Down by Britney Spears... you can listen here: Up n' Down - Femme Fatale (Deluxe Version)

Stuck in your head now? Ha! Still in mine too... but I think it's been an appropriate anthem for the past few days.

Yesterday I had a pretty great workout!


500m Row
Dynamic Stretching

Skill: OH Squats

4 min Tabata
OH Squats 45/35


4 Rounds
  • 2 Rope Climbs
  • 4 Power Cleans 65lb (155/105)
  • 6 Burpees
  • 8 Front Squats  65lb (155/105)
  • 10 Deadlifts 65lb (155/105)
This isn't your old-school gym class rope climb! It's not all upper-body strength, and there is definitely technique to it!
When I started almost a year ago, I couldn't get up the rope. We have a "scaled" alternate move where you start standing next to the rope, and keeping your feet planted, you "walk" your hands down the rope until your shoulder blades are on the ground, but your butt is in the air. Then you climb yourself back up to standing. Three of these equals one full-on rope climb.

Yesterday I did both rope climbs in the first two rounds! So I ended up with four rope climbs (I'm pretty sure our gym's are 18' high), and twelve alternative climbs. I probably could have done climbs in all the rounds, but I was starting to get rope burn on my ankle from standing on the rope! 

Today's down n' up n' down was not so great...


800m Run

Dynamic Stretching

For Time:
50 Burpees (4:10)


For Time:
2000m Row
100 Pull-ups

Notes: You make break up work however you would like. For example, row 250m and do 13 Pull-ups, then repeat until finished.

My strategy for the WOD was 200m row/10 pull-ups x 10 rounds... but there must have been too many down and ups because by 1000m I was starting to feel lightheaded, but I pushed on and got through 10 more pull-ups, albeit taking a good amount of time. I did another 200m, but when I moved to the pull-up bar, I knew I couldn't get up. I had to sit down. My mind felt fuzzy. I felt like passing out.

I got a big DNF (did not finish!) today. And the lightheaded-ness never really went away. I used to have problems a few years ago with orthostatic hypotension (a blood pressure drop upon standing that can cause lightheadedness), but it went away until today.

I've also had a lot of trouble with muscle cramping today - both my feet and hands. I've actually been having progressively worse muscle cramps over the past year and a half, with no relief from lifestyle changes or carefully monitoring my hydration (I get 3-5 quarts of water a day), or CoQ10, or magnesium supplements. A few months ago my blood calcium levels were slightly high, and last week I had more blood work done that still showed higher calcium levels, but also high parathyroid hormone levels. So yesterday I was referred to an endocrinologist (with a receptionist that doesn't feel the need to pick up the phone to schedule appointments!). Hopefully he can help me figure out what is wrong, because I'm very good at Google searches ... not helping my cause here.

With the Ragnar Relay race Mr. Crabs and I are doing in early January, and the marathon at the end of January, I hope I can get my calcium and PTH back to normal so they don't derail my training.

Tomorrow's workout doesn't seem too bad - a 1 mile run, some bench presses, and 400m of walking lunges (no weights!!!) so I will try to keep my mind off of the downs, and on the ups of this week!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Hot Tamales!

Let me just say that I am a sucker for tamales.

I'm not sure why - they are SO SIMPLE but they taste SO WONDERFUL!

I found some shredded beef ones at Target awhile back (and by awhile I mean about two weeks ago - we've already eaten half of them for dinner last week). I know traditionally there is no sauce for tamales, but my family always put chili on top of the ones my grandma would send us for Christmas. I need something moist to mingle with the masa.

So today I went on an internet search for "tamale sauce" (ha) and stumbled across a forum at that mentioned Bombero Sauce for tamales. Well, that sounded pretty legitimate and a quick scan of the interwebz showed that someone named Tiny Toodles has been spreading their recipe all over the net. Then I looked up arbol chiles - at least twice as hot as jalapeños! - and realized that a cup of them was a bit more than my sissy tastebuds can handle. So I instead made a "wimpy" bombero (which translates to firefighter) sauce instead!
I had few cups of leftover sauce - it looks like someone will be making chicken enchiladas later this week to use it up! :)

Medium Bombero Sauce


  • 3 serrano chiles, seeds and stems removed, diced
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, ribs and seeds removed
  • 1 beefsteak tomato
  • 1/4 red onion
  • 2 chipotle chiles ( packed in adobo)
  • 2 teaspoons adobo sauce
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 8 oz (1 cup) sour cream
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil


  1. Place all of the ingredients except for the oil in a large sauce pan. Bring to a boil and cook uncovered for 15 minutes.
  2. Pour the ingredients in a blender and blend on high for 5 minutes or when all of the chiles are completely pureed.
  3. Heat the oil on medium heat in the sauce pan you were using. Pour the chile back into the sauce pan and cook stirring occasionally for 10 minutes. I may have cooked mine longer to reduce it to a thicker sauce

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Surprise guests and a hurricane party

I woke up this morning and it was SO NICE outside - mid 70's, not too sunny, with a soft cool breeze. Mr. Crabs left on a 45-mile bike ride, and I got dressed and was getting my stuff together to take Grizzly on a run with me when she started whining at the door. Usually when people or cars go down the street, she'll bark so I thought it was a little funny that she just whimpered.

I went to the front door and looked out - there was a black lab roaming around our front gate! I thought it was our next-door neighbor dog that got out but then I saw a brown hound close behind it. They sniffed around the gate and came in our yard! I watched as they sniffed around and came close to the front door. At this point Grizzly was fixated at the front door, her ears pulled back on high alert. The black lab came up the front steps and I could see it had thirsty-foam around its mouth, so I found one of Grizz's old stainless steel bowls and took it out the side door. I started filling the bowl with water from the hose when the hound came bounding toward me and attacked me with kisses. Whew - these were nice dogs (though I did tell Mr. Crabs I wouldn't have gone outside to give them water if they looked agressive).

They both had collars on with tags with phone numbers - the area code was three hours away! I looked up the address on one tag and it was also a few hours' drive. I left a message on the one working number and went and fished Grizzly's old playpen out of our storage room. I got the brown hound in pretty easily, but the black lab was a little wary of my antics. Even bribery with treats only got her front paws in the gate! I was able to pull her in by the collar and close the door behind so I could let Grizz out of the house without worrying about a confrontation.
They were so cute! All they seemed to want were kisses and playtime. I tried to call the Department of Animal Services but they didn't open till 9 (the hound had a tag saying she had a microchip, but no serial number on the tag!). I tried calling the owner again but no luck. I didn't want to turn them into DAS, because if they're not claimed within five days they go to a shelter. I called Mr. Crabs and got a quick "we're NOT keeping the dogs!"

At 8:58 I got a call from the owner - they had just recently moved one street over and their electric gate latch didn't catch right. The sweet dogs were reunited with their family!

UNFORTUNATELY... it was already 9:15 and getting HOT - I lost almost two hours to the dogs-capade. So Grizz and I will have to wait till tomorrow for a run... because I had to start getting ready to have some friends over for a Hurricane Party, in honor of Tropical Storm Isaac.

I made some 100% whole-wheat hamburger rolls, my grandmother's guacamole, Jarlsberg cheese dip (though it didn't taste as good as the real thing!), and some whoopie cookies from The Cookie Dough Lover's Cookbook. I did substitute whole wheat pastry flour and honey for the all-purpose flour and white sugar, and demerara sugar for the brown sugar... but there is no "real" substitute for marshmallow creme and mini chocolate chips :) They did turn out pretty awesome. I also made my other grandma's mac and cheese, using brown rice penne from Trader Joe's. If I didn't know any better, I would have thought it was regular wheat pasta!
I am stuffed after tonight's dinner!

Grandma Lydia's Guacamole

- 10 grape tomatoes, quartered
- 1 small white onion, finely chopped
- 2 small jalapeños, ribs and seeds removed, finely chopped
- Juice from 1/2 a lime
- 4 ripe avocados - save the pits!
- Salt and pepper to taste (just a bit)

Mix together all the ingredients until the avocado is as creamy or chunky as you like. Push the pits gently in until the tops are flush with the guacamole. Press saran wrap onto the surface, and place in the fridge for a few hours for the flavors to integrate. Remove the pits before serving, but save them in case there are leftovers - the pits help keep the avocados from browning!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Working for the weekend

So glad the week is over!

Today's workout:


1 Mile Run
15 minuntes of Mobility


EMOM (every minute on the minute) for 15 minutes
5 Power Cleans 65lb (155/105)
7 Box Jumps 24"/18"

Time left in the min burpees

Notes: Burpees are bonus reps. Total reps in the 15 min is your score. (12 reps x 15 min = 180 reps without burpees)

My total score: 206 reps!

Tonight's dinner:

Scrounging around, feeling too lazy to cook :) 100% whole wheat sourdough bread with peanut butter and fruit spread, and with Justin's Chocolate Hazelnutbutter spread. Almonds on the side. YUM!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Thou shalt not covet...

...unless it is brand new CrossFit shoes at the Reebok store!


Closing in on September

And I have a turr-ible post record. :(

Today's workout:


400 m Run
Dynamic Stretching


Rowing Technique

4 rounds of
1:00 Row
30 seconds rest


10 Rounds
3 Deadlifts 135lb (225/155)
6 KB Push Press 20lb (35/25)
9 Bar Jump Over (over and back is one rep)

Time: 12:27


Chimichurri steak fajitas (no picture - sorry I ate them too quickly!)

Layer in a 1.5-qt. crock pot 1/2 an onion, sliced.

Brown 6 oz. of skirt steak in a little olive oil. In a bowl, whisk together 1/4 c. chimichurri sauce, 2 tbs olive oil, the juice of one lime, and salt, cumin, and cayenne pepper to taste (1/8 tsp, 1/2 tsp, 1/4-1/2 tsp, respectively). Coat browned meat with chimichurri mix and place on top of onions in the crock pot. Slice one green pepper and place slices on meat. 

Cook on high 2-1/2 to 3 hours; or low 5-7 hours. Chop steak before serving.

Heat up some white corn tortillas and fill with onions, peppers, steak, and cheese (we used cheddar and Boar's Head Chipotle Gouda for a little kick!). Also salsa if desired.

We had Cuban cristianos y moros (black beans and {brown} rice) - leftovers - on the side.

On another note...

I made my weight loss goal of 20 pounds! Actually, I've dipped a little past 20 pounds. Something is working! :)

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Grace under fire

Grace: 30 Clean & Jerks (135/95lb) for time. (4:00 flat! at 55lbs)

I don't remember having done a clean & jerk before and after watching a bunch of OLY (Olympic) c&j videos on YouTube, I was more confused about the difference between a clean & jerk and a clean & press. Especially since the Rx was 95lbs - I have trouble cleaning more than 55 pounds (and pretty much can't clean more than 65).

This is why I love my gym: I didn't feel stupid for asking the head trainer, which is good, because it saved me what could have been a lot of misery. A clean and press is when, after you clean and get the bar in the rack position, you dip a little to give yourself momentum to push (press) the bar over your head. In a clean and jerk, once the bar is cleaned into the rack position, you dip and move yourself under the bar (so you end in a half overhead squat).

I was a little nervous about weight setting up my bar - I'd only done 50lbs last week on push presses, but I was feeling good so I set it up at 55lbs since I just had to get through 30. Turns out they are definitely easier than a press - I could have done at least 60lbs, if not 65! I know for next time now...

There were a bunch of bars of varying weight set up for others in the room, so after everyone was done I went around and tried some out... first 65 (no problem to clean!) then 75lbs... and then 85lbs! I cleaned it too!

Tomorrow's workout is a doozy - two separate 1,000m rows with a bunch of squat cleans, lunges, and box jumps sandwiched in! Oh my!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Back in the habit!

Sorry for my absence! I got caught up in life, between getting a new computer (yay for no more lost wireless connections!) and then getting ready for and going on


Mr. Crabs' family has a lake house in the Ozark mountains in southern Missouri (pronounced Miz-zor-ah ... ha!)

It was a nice, relaxing break from the stress of work... and the oppressive heat of Florida summers. We really lucked out; they were having highs over 105 for weeks on end until we arrived. The first day was around 95º, but then after that the temps dropped to the mid-80s. We even had one night dip down to 54º!

We left last Tuesday after work, driving seven hours to Tallahassee, and continued on to Missouri and got in just in time for a late dinner. Because I know setting up high expectations for vacations is never a good idea in terms of eating and weight loss, I decided I would not pay attention so much to my fasting (not like I was working out every day anyway), but I did want to keep eating real food. So in preparation, I packed my maple almond butter, Justin's Chocolate Hazelnut Butter, Triscuits, and a pack of "pancake" and "crepe" mix I made by combining the dry ingredients of the whole-wheat-no-white-sugar recipes I have.

I have to admit, I did pretty well with the food, EVEN WHEN we went out for ice cream, or ice cream bars were passed out for dessert. I did eat too much, but except for the night after I made my one exception for Sharky's Taco Pizza (which wasn't as good as I had hoped), I didn't feel physically bad about the food I had.

Now, back to the fun. Mr. Crabs and I rented paddle board for the first two days, and Grizzly decided to join us.

We had fun on the boards, on jet skis, and even playing Mexican Train in the evenings.

I wasn't totally worthless though! The in-laws live at the bottom of an uphill road, which is 2.38 miles from the main road... so I ran it! I did a few loops of the driveway at the end to come in at an even five miles, and even did a short WOD: burpees and sit-ups, 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 (i.e. 10 burpees & sit-ups, 9 burpees & sit-ups...). No substitute for the gym, but a nice alternative!

Today I was back at the box for the first time in a week, and we had some skill work in the warm-up (cleans in preparation for tomorrow's Gracie workout: 30 Clean & Jerk (135/95lb) - yikes!). It was tough, but I felt good during the WOD!

I made a quiche tonight and it was pretty scrumptious; I took pictures and hopefully can have a whole slew of food posts (I just found some artichoke pictures on my phone too...) this weekend. Now it's time to pack for the gym and work and lunch tomorrow!

Today's Workout


500m Row
Dynamic Stretching

Skill - Cleans

On the minute for 5 min:
3 DL
3 Hang Cleans

Rest 1 minute

On the minute for 5 min:
3 Power Cleans
3 Squat Cleans

I did 45lb for the warmup.


8 min AMRAP
200m Run
10 Lateral Box Jumps 24/18
10 Pull-ups

2 min rest

6 min AMRAP
200m Run
10 Lateral Box Jumps 24/18
10 Pull-ups

2 min rest

4 min AMRAP
200m Run
10 Lateral Box Jumps 24/18
10 Pull-ups

My total: 6 rounds + 350m (50m/100m/200m in each AMRAP) + 4 lateral box jumps (18"). I used the red band (and ONLY the red band) for my pull-ups. Red is the second-thinnest. Soon I should be down to purple, and then FINALLY unassisted! I'm hoping that happens by the time we go to Maine at the end of next month.

Friday, August 3, 2012

It's been a long week!

Hang on tight... I will be back to blogging tomorrow!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Lightbulb moment!

First of all, I want to say that I had this post all typed up on my phone and I tried to post it... and it appears to have gotten lost in interweb limbo. So here's my second attempt; I hope they both don't publish all of a sudden!

Do you have a daily routine each morning to get yourself out the door? I do. Alarm goes off at 4:30, I go to the bathroom and get dressed, brew coffee (the Keurig turns on automatically at 4:30), then go to the fridge for my splash of milk in the coffee, and get out my packed-last-night lunch box so I can add some ice packs from the freezer. Then it's out the door, where I load up the back of my car with my gym bag and put my cup of coffee in the cup holder in the trunk of my RAV-4 - where the optional 2nd row of seats would go if I opted for them! - to drink after the gym on the way to work because it's too hot to drink on the way there.

Do you also ever have a fleeting idea that might disrupt your routine, but possibly in a good way? This weekend, I had a lightbulb-JUST-turned-on-in-my-brain ah-ha moment. By the time I leave the gym, my coffee has been sitting in the back of my car for two hours. It's not too hot, and it's not too cold, but it's not Just Right. But you know what might be really refreshing after a workout?


I'm not talking about the iced coffee full of milk and sugar you get in your grocer's refrigerator section, or at the Dunkin' Donuts two doors down from your gym (ahem), but plain and simple coffee with ice.

So I tried it out Monday morning. I made my coffee the night before, brewing it one volume setting smaller than usual. I added my splash of milk, covered the top with saran wrap - I don't need my fridge to reek of coffee! - then put the lid on and stored it in the fridge overnight. In the morning, I added enough handfuls of ice to bring the liquid level just below the rim of the cup.

I was a little nervous that it would warm up in the two hours it waits for me (after all, it is already about 80º when I leave for the gym at 4:45), but it was PERFECTLY cold and refreshing! About half the ice had melted, and I was able to enjoy my morning java for once.

So my morning routine has definitely changed - for the better! And if you're looking for an easy no/nearly-zero calorie way to jump start your steamy summer mornings, try it out!