But First, Coffee

Just so you know, I now offer a free service. 


According to my sister, I have a superhuman ability to find a quality Starbucks or coffee shop anywhere. I don’t care where you are; I will find coffee for you. It’s my gift to humanity.
Saturday we took the kids to the California Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate Park to meet up Amanda and her husband for a day of gettin’ our learn on. Squish was super interested in the exhibits (especially the Earthquake interactive display) until he discovered that there were interactive iPads with games on them at every turn. Then he just played games instead of, like, looking at the exhibits. At least I think he’s learning.


Buttercup was a lot more interested than I thought she would be. We made it in time to see them feed the Penguins, and she sat still in my lap through the entire presentation, watching them gobble fish from the biologist (Squish was long gone into iPad Land at that point). Then we checked out the huge aquarium and she was just mesmerized with the giant reef exhibit.


Then Sunday I went to CrossFit. Yay! At our gym Sundays are for hero WODs, so the suck factor is always at full-throttle.

“Donny”

For time, sets of 21-15-9-9-15-21 reps:

  • Deadlift (men=100kg, women=70kg)
  • Burpees

I scaled the weight on the deadlifts down to 50kg (110 lbs) because I recall 70 is my 10-rep max, and this workout requires, like, 90 reps. So, nope.

I started out trying to pace at sets of 5 deadlifts, which worked out okay for approximately 2 minutes. I hit the “pain cave” hard and fast, and it was one of those workouts where I about started crying because when I go that hard I get super emotional (It’s no wonder that they call it “barbell therapy”!), but I didn’t cry, my hands didn’t rip, and I was done in 17:11.

That’s it for now, go make it a great day!

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This Week’s Workouts and Hold My Calls

I almost missed posting today. For a good reason.

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It’s here! My “Food Freedom Forever” book arrived yesterday, and I’ve been curled up with a mug of tea devouring – nay, savoring – it the moment I had all of the Life Responsibility stuff tucked away. Which means I blasted home from work, threw pizza at the kids, told Hulk to pretend I’m not home, and locked myself in my room. Obviously.

Last week I was feeling run down, so I took it easy, sleeping in a little and going a little lighter on workouts. I had anticipated to hit it hard this week, but what is it with me and taking a week off where I have the hardest time firing up the motivation engine again? I know I love to go to CrossFit, I feel fabulous when I’m there, but getting the shoes on and getting out the door. I’d rather stay home and read in bed. So this week has seen more general lifting and hiking and less CrossFit.

Friday – rest day, I think. I can’t remember

Saturday – Saturday WOD:

  • Partner WOD for time,
    • Complete 300 double-unders,
    • THEN:
  • Complete the following in sets of 21 – 15 – 9 -15 – 21:
    • Pull-ups (I did ring rows)
    • Dumbbell Squat Cleans (I used 20# dumbbells)

Hulk and I took the kids to the gym together, so we partnered up for the WOD, which was great for me because I love double under practice and he’s really been nailing the kipping pull-ups lately. We cranked through the full workout in about 20 minutes, but I was getting a bit … “wifey” with Hulk. I was trying to be all focused and super serious, while he was just there to get a sweat on and have a good time. He would be, “what rep are we on?” and I would scold him back, “We’re on 8 of 15! You need to keep track on this!” What didn’t help is Buttercup’s cries from the kids’ area, where I could only see from my vantage point that she wasn’t wearing pants. I couldn’t tell if the diaper was off as well or not, so my only focus was to get the workout done so I could run over there and check to make sure she didn’t discard a poopy diaper in the play area (as she sometimes does if we don’t catch a dirty diaper fast enough for her comfort). Note to self: next time, put Buttercup in a dress. There are no pants to take off when you’re wearing a dress.

Sunday – home gym workout:

  • “Death by weight” back squats at 5 reps per set:
    • Start with the bar and increase 10 lbs per set

I made it to 125 lbs and only squeaked out 3 reps, so that was 10 sets total. And now the garage is clean enough to work out in again!

Monday – Strength class:

  • Anderson back squats, 5×3 at 60-70% max (I used 35kg)
  • Russian kettlebell swings, 5×8 (I used 53 lbs kettlebells)
  • Weighted belt squats, 4×15 (I used 53 lbs kettlebells)
  • Farmers’ carry, 5×200 yd resting every 1 min between sets (I used 53 lb kettlebells)

I’ve been wanting to try some of the strength and oly lifting classes at the gym, and Monday was a good opportunity for me to finally get to one. Hulk wanted to do the WOD at the same time, so we packed up the kiddos, he did the CrossFit class and I took the strength class. Mostly I wanted to check out the class format so I can do more stuff at home.

The Anderson back squats were a trip. They’re designed to help you work out of “the hole”, so you rack the bar at the bottom of your squat, using arms or other props. Then you get under the bar, position yourself in your squat, then stand up and bring it back down, sort of the reverse of a standing squat where you go down and come back up. I thought they were really fun, and can’t wait to try this at home.

The weighted belts were fun too, I’ve never used one before. It’s a weightlifting belt with a long chain in the front so you can clip weights (we used kettlebells) to it to add bodyweight. We then stood on boxes to provide clearance for the weight when we squatted, and cranked them out. It’s supposed to work your core and stability, because as you move the kettlebell starts to swing and you have to keep yourself tight to not fall over. I’m filing this one in “stupid human tricks.”

Tuesday – hike with Olive

Olive and I set out on the ridge trail at like 5:30 in the morning, so it was dark the whole time. I forgot my headlamp, but the trail is on an open ridge, and there was plenty ambient city lights to see. Olive loved it.

Wednesday – hike with Squish

I started to get ready to go to CrossFit when I went to pick up Squish from preschool, but on my way there I felt like I’d rather be out in nature with trees instead of the gym. So I asked Squish if he would prefer going to the gym with me or going on the ridge trail for a hike. He choose hike, and I was glad. When we got there, they had a huge herd of goats grazing the dry grass.

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I’d seen them from afar working on the other hills, but this time they were right over the trail. I delighted in being so close to them, watching them munch the grass and casually saunter away from us. Squish wanted to pet them (of course) but I told them that the goats were working and couldn’t be disturbed. So he settled on talking to them. It was a delightful walk to remember. Oh, and he also found a stick.

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It’s his “special stick”. I’m sure Olive will find it special to chew on at some point.

That’s all from me for now. How did you move this week?

Go make it a great day!

So Long, San Francisco!

It’s been a year since my family and I moved from our downtown SF apartment to our “forever home” in the East Bay. I had started this post last year but never published it because, well, we moved and I was totally swamped with moving-related activities. The past few moves we’ve added a child each time, and it’s amazing how exponentially harder it is to move with the addition of each small human. I normally like to move, but after this last one, I’m happy to stay camped out for a while! Anyway, here is a little tribute to our happy little cosmopolitan nest perched on the 31st floor that we enjoyed for 2 1/2 years.

That time is finally upon us. After months of searching and weeks of planning, we are moving out of our little SF apartment to our new home in the East Bay. We’ve had quite the adventures over the past couple of years.

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Moving day view from the living room, 11/25/2012

We came to SF from Sonoma County because I found a job downtown mere blocks from our apartment. It was a dream to have a commute I could walk.

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Then I took another job on the peninsula where I could bike commute to the commuter train. Still pretty awesome.

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Our little Squishy-man celebrated three birthdays in our apartment, growing from a baby to a toddler to a preschooler in a blink.

And let’s not forget that Miss Buttercup made her debut. Followed by Olive’s introduction to the family.

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And we said goodbye to our furry friend, Duke. I still miss you, buddy.

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We had tons of fun in SF events that were in our own backyard.

And had our fair share of good times with our city crew! Plus that New Years Eve 2013 party we hosted on the roof was epic. Just sayin’.

It was also fun to watch Squish become a “city kid.” He had a very different experience than Hulk and I did, growing up in the suburban midwest! That kid will never have a fear of heights, that’s for sure.

And then there was the pool. I’ll miss the pool.

 

And now it’s time to pack it in, and say our goodbyes. It’s been an incredible stop in the proverbial journey of life, but now it’s time for a new chapter. And I do not care that I am mixing metaphors.

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Farewell, San Francisco! We’ve had a wonderful time. And you’ll only be a BART ride away for future adventures and shenanigans!

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Is Butter a Carb?

Today I took a rest day. I decided a day spent being sore instead of becoming more sore was a good idea. Also, I slept horribly last night. It’s a bad idea to take Sudafed before bed, no matter how stuffed up you feel. I sort of laid there in a half-coma all night, tired but not actually falling asleep. It was weird. Anyway, Olive scored with a nice walk around the neighborhood this morning.

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I’ve also been experimenting with different food plans. One of the coaches put together sort of a macros-based performance eating group for anyone interested. I decided to play around with it. Why not? I’ll probably do a full post on what all it entails when I’m not so brain-dead tired, but basically you calculate out an estimated grams of protein, carbs, and fat to eat in a given day. Sort of like calorie counting, but the type of food matters more than just the calories. Anyway, I’m giving it a whirl for funsies. I’m logging my food in My Fitness Pal and it’s curious to see where I end up.

Breakfast was eggs, spaghetti squash, and broccoli.

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Lunch was a few corn dogs because I sort of got distracted while working and just ate what Hulk put in front of me. I was surprised; since going paleo I’ve sort of learned to “embrace the fat” and include dietary fat with abandon. Turns out that corn dogs really check in on the fat content. Now that my meal template is decidedly less fatty and more carb-heavy, I’m having to do some reassessing of my go-to staple foods. Which means corn dogs might now earn a place into “once in a while for a treat” rather than “emergency can’t-even food.” Tragedy.

Dinner was some “paleo spaghetti” with meat sauce and spaghetti squash. And a beer. Because carbs.

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Yeah, I know. They’re not buying it either.

That’s it for today. Go make it a great day!

Friday Favorites #1

Hi again. It’s Friday, and I’m feeling a bit festive. Why not jump on the “Friday Favorites” theme?

Favorite #1: Snapchat.

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I’m on Snapchat now! I have no idea what I’m doing. Follow me at @emilyrocksroad if you dare. There will probably be mostly snaps of food and children doing silly things.

Favorite #2: My BBB time

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Lately I’ve invented some “me time” which I call BBB – Book, Bath, and a Beer. I soak in the tub with a beer while reading whatever book catches my interest at the time. Last night it was an epsom salt soak with lavender and ylang ylang essential oils, our home-brewed oatmeal stout, and “A Brief History of Time” by Stephen Hawking since I was feeling a bit smarty pants.

Favorite #3: Toddler Hair

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Buttercup’s hair is almost to a point where we can style it now, which is giving me such a squeee-able assortment of possibilities. It was pretty hot last weekend, so I experimented with a couple of ways to get her hair off her face and neck. Which she promptly tore out, but that makes it fun, right?

That’s it for now, go make it a great weekend!

Happy Pi Day!

It’s Pi Day!

Pi Day

Mmm, pi.

Along with 3.14, how did 16.3 go?

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That well, huh?

For the Women’s Scaled division, here was the workout for me:

WORKOUT 16.3

Complete as many rounds and reps as possible in 7 minutes of:
10 power snatches
5 jumping chest-to-bar pull-ups

Men use 65 lb.
Women use 45 lb.

That’s it. What, like it’s hard?

Yeah, it’s hard. While warming up, I couldn’t get a single chest-to-bar. Not a one. Turns out between my stumpy legs and my complete lack of being able to generate any sort of power resulted in a weight-to-power ratio of “Well, it’s cute that she’s trying.” Whatever, I figure I’ll land a score of 10 with the power snatches and spend the rest of the time trying to land a pull-up.

The cool thing about the Open is that it doesn’t feel like a regular workout. There’s still the atmosphere that it’s a competition, and sometimes that works to your advantage. While I couldn’t land a pull-up while warming up, once the buzzer rang and the workout started, suddenly I sort of feel superhuman. While I was jumping toward the bar desperate for contact and being so close to making it, at one point I adjusted my feet and angle while I jumped, and my chest about slammed on the bar. I got my first chest-to-bar! I went from thinking I wouldn’t be able to finish a round to nearly completing three; for every C2B I succeeded, I had about 5 or 6 no-reps. But at the end with a score of 41 I was pretty happy. I am eager to see what score I can get up to once I have the technique down!

Meanwhile, children. Because I know for some of you this is the only reason you check out my blog.

Squish was getting all ‘stached up at preschool the other day.

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The other night I was participating in the rare activity of watching TV, and the characters were playing poker. Squish was interested in the game they were playing, so I decided to break out the ol’ poker set and make sure my kids know how to win their lunch money back someday.

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It will probably be a while until I post some good pictures of Buttercup. She has firmly hit the stage where 1) she doesn’t stop moving long enough to take a photo and 2) once she sees the camera/phone out, she immediately wants it. I remember this stage with Squish, too. Pretty much ever photo ends up like this:

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Precious memories.

That’s it until next time. Go make it a great day!

 

By Special Request

I returned home late last night to the much anticipated family-bomb. Hulk and the kids picked me up from the airport all smiles and a few screams. During the drive back home from SFO, Squish filled me in about the goings-on from the week while repeatedly requesting me to sing his favorite songs (Jingle Bells and Puff the Magic Dragon); Miss Buttercup just screamed because she was restrained in her car seat, not cuddled in my lap where she wanted to be. “Get used to disappointment” is the common phrase we throw around in this situation. Once we got home she was all giggles again.

I ended up working from home to accommodate some weird meetings, and since Hulk had been single-parenting it all week he arranged the kids to go to Gramma and Grampa’s house for the weekend so he could have a breather. Gramma came to pick the kids up over lunch, and Squish was super excited he gets to use his new “going to gramma’s house” suitcase!

One exciting part about having the kids at the grandparents’ this weekend is Hulk can join me in Friday Night Lights for the Crossfit Open 16.2 tonight! Yay! Who’s ready for some double-unders?!?

Time to head to the gym, I’ll be back later with a 16.2 recap … Go make it a great day!

My First Jackie

Guess who signed up for the Crossfit Games.

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Yup. This girl.

Last week I was nailed with a stomach bug. It was awful; I was out of commission for three days. Now I’m slowly resurfacing back to humanity with the help of all the bone broth.

Yesterday’s workout was super hard and super fun. It was my first “named” workout, Jackie! I’m glad I didn’t start with Fran, that’s all I’m saying.

After the usual mobility and drill warm-up, our strength skill was 5×5 back squats. I was super stoked, because it’s been forever since I’ve worked a skill that’s vaguely familiar to me, and back squats are my jam, next to bench press. I settled on a weight of 35kg. I probably could have gone more, but since I was sick week I figured I would keep it simple for now.

WOD: “Jackie” for time:

  • 1000m row
  • 50 thrusters with just the bar (15kg)
  • 30 pull-ups

My time: 8:48

I was stoked at my time! At first I figured I would still be out of it from three days of not eating and being bedridden, but once we started I was just feeling it. For the pull-ups I used both the black and red bands since there were so many of them and as it was I had a hard time getting my chin over the bar toward the last few reps. But I was the first one done in my heat, which amazed me. The secret? I’ve starting drinking coffee with my pre-workout meal! It makes such a difference in my energy during the workout. There is always time for coffee.

In food-related news, I roasted radishes for the first time. And cauliflower for the 47th time.

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For the radishes, I found a recipe in this month’s issue of Oxygen and it looked interesting. Roasting radishes? They’re are a veggie where while I don’t dislike them, I just never think to buy them and eat them. But roasted, they take on sort of a potato-like consistency and loose a bit of the peppery bite that sometimes turns folks off. Super good with a couple of fried eggs cracked on top!

And now what you’ve been waiting for, kiddo updates.

Little miss is now walking! One day about a month ago, she suddenly realized that walking is, like, a thing, and way faster than crawling. So she stood up, and never looked back.

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Squish has no big updates as of late, other than his obsession with sprinkle pancakes. On weekends I make the kids paleo pancakes, the kind that’s just banana and eggs. For Valentines’s Day, I made some festive heart-shaped pancakes with red and pink sprinkles. This sprinkle introduction opened new doors to what decorations may be requested on foodstuffs, and ever meal is preceeded with “can I have sprinkles on that?” Even on hamburger night.

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And that’s it for now. Go make it a great day!

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