WHOA lansi

francophile, oenophile, logophile, turophile

Tag: CrossFit Page 1 of 2

Early Rising

Edmonton Kinsmen Center 1999
Rookie Party 2003

I’m no stranger to early morning workouts. Competitive swimming was a huge part of my life growing up & the sport is known for it’s grueling practice schedule. I resisted these morning practices for as long as possible, citing every excuse from not having a ride to too much homework. Eventually I got my licence & started driving myself to morning practices. I’d wake up around 4:15 am, eat breakfast, & head out for the day. I was often the only car on the highway as I headed down to Lindsay Park (I’ll never get used to calling it Talisman Center, guys).

We were expected to be on the pool deck by 5:15 to warm up before jumping in the water. Practice started at 5:30 sharp & none of our coaches were very understanding if we weren’t in the water by then.After practice, we’d do weights before getting ready for the day at school. At 4:30 pm, we’d be back on the poll deck for round 2.

Dinos 2003
We did this every Monday, Wednesday, & Friday unless we had a swim meet that weekend. I’m still impressed with myself for making those practices, but sometimes I’m ever more impressed with my coaches for making them. Jumping into a pool has a way of really waking you up quite quickly. Watching kids swim back & forth in a pool for a couple hours doesn’t have quite the same effect.   

It’s no surprise that I didn’t have too much of an issue with opening shifts at the Y or Starbucks once I left the competitive swimming world. 5 am wakeups are a walk in the park when you compare it to my former swimming schedule. I took a lot of open shifts at both of those jobs. I still prefer working early to staying late.

This morning I relived a bit of that crazy competitive swimming life. We’re heading out to Panorama this weekend with some friends, so I won’t have the opportunity to do the )pen workout tonight or Sunday morning. They run a 6 am class throughout the week so I hauled myself out of bed at 5:15 am this morning to complete this week’s workout (14.4).

Richmond, BC 2003
Richmond 2003

Honestly, I was dreading getting up at that hour. Surprisingly, when the time came I didn’t even have to hit snooze (N would probably tell you I’m a slave to that snooze button). The only downside to weekday morning CrossFit is that it’s pretty hard to make it back from Airdrie during rush hour.

It’s nice to get the workout out of the way right away. Now I can focus on enjoying our ski weekend. I scored 139 reps (not amazing, not terrible) &, as usual, am replaying the workout in my mind. What things I could have done differently in order to get a better score (uhh row faster, pick that med ball back up right away)? That’s the nature of competitive sports though &, if you ask me, half the fun of it.

ps. I hope you’ve enjoyed these hilarious old swimming photos. Nothing says beautiful like goggle marks & dry skin.

The CrossFit Open 2014

I’ve been doing CrossFit for a couple years now, mostly on my own, but I’ve also at a couple boxes around the city too. I was never able to find the money to fully commit to a gym though, so I only did a few workouts a week & mostly chose ones I was comfortable with. It’s hard to improve much when you’re only doing workouts you’re comfortable with.

In January of last year, a friend of mine gifted me a 6 month pass to a box in Airdrie & I fell hard for CrossFit. I registered for the open, surprising myself with my performance on every single WOD. I was hooked. The excitement of seeing my improvement in a measurable way reminded me of competitive swimming in a lot of ways. (I blogged about hereherehere…You get the point. I had become one of those people.) 
Unfortunately, the gym I was at closed before that six-month membership was up & I was left at a bit of a loss. I’d made some big goals for the next year, but still couldn’t make a membership work. I’d hoped things would come together for me in the fall & I’d still reach some of my goals by the time this year’s Open rolled around. 
In the meantime, I signed up for a weekly CrossFit in the Park class & would drop in at another gym from time to time. N & I were also in the process of training for our half marathon, so I was feeling pretty good about my fitness. 
Fall came & I took a shift at the YMCA so I could use their gym facilities. As the fall wore on, it seemed like those goals I’d made after last year’s Open were slipping further away. 
I realize there are lots of people who make CrossFit work for them without going to a box & I definitely believe that. It’s not that I wasn’t still doing those style of workouts either. I just felt more limited since I was always waiting for equipment or showing up with a couple different workout options in mind for the day. I’m still working at the Y twice a month now, but haven’t found a way to get back into CrossFit on a more frequent & permanent basis. 
I decided to do the Open anyway. I’m not in anywhere near the shape I was in at this time last year, but I signed up about a month ago. I’m trying to keep the fact that I haven’t been doing CrossFit in the same capacity in mind every time I do a WOD & don’t perform at the level I know I’m capable of. I’m a pretty competitive person though so that’s been a bit of a challenge. 
The Open is one of the most inspiring & motivating events I’ve ever participated in though. I’m working out in a gym where most people don’t know me & somehow I walk in feeling like I’m part of something great. Everyone is supportive & encouraging &, most of all, proud of me even when I’m feeling discouraged by my performance. 
Whether you disagree with the principles of CrossFit or are a die hard fan, there’s something to be said for this incredible community. With every single heat, you hear cheering from every corner of the gym. Everyone’s got your back, whether you’ve been there for years or it’s your first few months, whether you’re in peak fitness or coming back after a break. I can’t compare it to any other sport I’ve been a part of.

I’m not going to lie; it’s not easy seeing the people you were at the same level as doing so much better than you this year. (That’s also not to say I’m not happy for them!)But while I am having a hard time when I find myself unable to do the WODs at the level I was able to last year, I’m also happy to be back in the gym, happy to be getting stronger again, & happy I decided to participate. 

If you have the opportunity to check out an Open workout, I highly recommend it. I know it seems intimidating, but it’s honestly one of the most welcoming communities out there. 

May in Instagram

It’s already June? How did that happen? Apparently, I haven’t been very on the ball so far this month seeing as this recap is happening five days into June. Whoops! 
It feels like we got up to a lot this month. We finished out month of Paleo and no drinking (although not entirely free of grains or drinks) so we’re back to enjoying drinks from time to time and have added cheese back into our diets. We still are trying to eat primally most of the time, but we’re certainly not overly strict. Story of our lives. Enough about what I eat though. As if I don’t talk about it enough on here. On to the Instagram Recap!
Follow me on Instagram @wholansi

1. We started the month with a pizza date at Una before heading to Cirque du Soleil with my parents. Totally delicious and totally not following our supposed paleo plan. Oh well!
2. Lobsters with N’s family while his brother was in town. I’d never put one into the pot so we had to capture the moment.
3. I spent three days down at the geoConvention for work. This bird was blind in one eye, but he made for a lovely hat.
4. Treating ourselves to Peters’ milkshakes after hunting for my unjustly towed car.
5. It was N’s birthday this month and I made him this paleo smoked salmon eggs benedict (as mentioned). I’m pretty proud of it.
6. We went out to the lake for N’s birthday and even though the weather wasn’t spectacular, it’s one of my favourite places to be.
7. We had a party at our place for N’s birthday. It was a gong show.
8. Cheering at the Calgary Marathon and Half Marathon. It was a lovely day with lovely people!
9. I’ve been doing CrossFit in the park for the last few weeks. It’s been really fun and one of the coaches sometimes takes pictures. These were burpee broad jumps.

June Burpee Challenge

I’ve talked a bit about the CrossFit-style workouts I organize every week at work in the past. It’s grown quite a bit since I first started it, which makes me so excited. I love that my work lets me run these Fitness Friday workouts every week. They’re really no longer than a smoke break and are significantly more healthy. It’s also expanded to include a Yoga practice what happens a few times a week already. I haven’t checked that out yet since it happens at the same time as Fitness Friday, but I definitely would like to in the future.

For June, I’ve also decided to put a Burpee Challenge out there. I sent this out not only to those on the Fitness Friday distribution, but also to our All Staff distribution list. Fitness Friday is still a relatively small group of us and I wanted to remind everyone that they are all welcome to join us anytime and also challenge them to a month of burpees. Anyone can do burpees! They’re tough, but easily modifiable to suit any level of fitness.

The challenge started today. Yes, I realize that it’s technically still May, but since this challenge is happening with coworkers, I thought it made more sense to start it on a workday. So May 31 it is. We’re starting at 5 burpees today. From there, we’ll be adding one burpee a day until June 30. That means on June 30 we’ll be doing 35 burpees. It’s pretty simple.

I’ve also added that you can break them up into sets. So when they numbers get higher, everyone can still get them done. Obviously, your fitness will improve more from doing them all in one go, but that can be a bit intimidating. I figure doing them at all is a step in the right direction, so I wanted to make it attainable.

Anyone reading this blog is also more than welcome to join us in this Burpee Challenge as well! I’ve already challenged N to it.

If you’re not sure what a burpee is, you can check out the video below. Emad’s burpees could use some work, especially towards the end, but mine are mostly ok.

The main rules are that your chest needs to touch the floor and you need to jump up at the end. In the video, I’m always jumping my feet forwards and back, but you don’t have to. You can step forwards and backwards and it still counts. You also don’t have to do a push up. You can get down the floor and then worm your way back up. Check You Tube for more variations. There are plenty out there.

I made a little calendar that makes it a bit easier to understand how the challenge works. Check it out if you’re interested and leave a comment if you’d like to participate!

Have a great weekend and Happy Burpee Month!

CrossFit Open Games

I’ve blogged quite a bit about the CrossFit Open. It wasn’t something I originally had any plans to participate in, but a few of the girls at the box I go to were all doing it and talked me into it. It’ll be fun to see how you rank, they said.

I probably sound like a broken record, but I’m really glad they talked me into doing the Open. I don’t have a problem pushing myself in work outs, but I’m sure I pushed harder in the Open than I would in a normal workout. It definitely helps to have people cheering for you (or sometimes yelling).

Workout 13.3
12 min AMRAP
150 Wall Balls
90 Double Unders
30 Muscle Ups

When this workout was announced, I felt ok about the wall balls. I’d done 150 wall balls before and it had been awful, but it hadn’t taken me 12 minutes. I didn’t factor in the fact that I’d done them with less than a 14 pound med ball. On my first attempt at this workout, my shoulders gave out well before my legs did. I only got 136 reps. My legs weren’t too sore, so I decided to re-do the workout on Sunday and scored 154. From now on, I think I’ll be doing wall balls with a 16 pound ball.

Keegan and I doing Toes to Bar

Workout 13.4
7 min AMRAP
3 Clean and Jerks (95 lb.)
3 Toes to Bar
6 Clean and Jerks (95 lb.)
6 Toes to Bar
9 Clean and Jerks (95 lb.)
9 Toes to Bar
…if you complete 9, move on to 12, and so on until 7 minutes is up.

Keegan’s Clean and Jerk

This workout was pretty fun for me. Most people were worried about Toes to Bar, but those have never been something I struggle with so I was more worried about the Clean and Jerks. I’d never Clean and Jerked more than 75 pounds before. I guess I’m getting stronger because 95 pounds didn’t feel nearly as bad as I thought it would (at least at first).

Noel doing Clean and Jerks

I’d also convinced N to come take photos for us. He got lots of great shots of everyone at the gym. There were lots of people around to cheer and support. It was great!

Toes to Bar
Clean and Jerks

The coaches at CrossFit Airdrie organized a potluck to celebrate the end of 13.5. The workout got pushed a bit later and I ended up getting there a bit late, so I didn’t get photos of anyone else doing the WOD. I did bring my SLR that day though and one of the guys who’d already done it took some photos for me so I have some pretty entertaining one of myself. The faces I make while I’m lifting heavy things are pretty entertaining.

Nice Game Face

Workout 13.5 
4 min AMRAP
15 Thrusters
15 Chest to Bar Pull-ups

Thrusters hurt so bad

This workout was crazy. It’s basically an infinite Fran. Fran is one of the CrossFit benchmark WODs and is notorious. The workouts named after girls are always pretty beastly, but Fran is in a league of her own. There’s something about the combination of Thrusters and Pull-ups that just makes you want to puke. So Dave Castro took the worst set of Fran and changed the Pull-ups to Chest to Bar Pull-ups and gave elites the possibility of extending the workout. For every 90 reps completed, the workout would be extended another 4 minutes. I don’t think anyone made it into the 16 minutes range, but getting through 8 minutes is beyond impressive.

Chest to Bar Pull-ups make for hilarious photos

I got through 31 reps the first time I tried. I didn’t think I’d have as much trouble with Chest to Bar Pull-ups as I did. For someone who hasn’t mastered kipping, I’m pretty good at pull-ups. I really struggled with them though, as evidenced by my post last week. I watched tons of videos online for tips on Chest to Bar Pull-ups before re-doing it Sunday. It definitely helped, but I still hit a wall pretty quickly in the workout. My final score was 36 reps. Fran, you are one terrible lady!

Last Thruster. 

Now that the Open is over, I miss excitedly tuning in to the WOD announcements at 6 pm every Wednesday. It was really fun to watch two elite athletes go up against each other a few minutes after learning what the WOD was.

The results are all officially up on the website now. I am 657th in Western Canada and 18 426th in the World for Individual Women. It’s unbelievable how many people participated this year! I’m already looking forward to next year!

This post is ridiculously long now, but I wanted to get all my CrossFit Open talk done for this year since I know not everyone cares about the subject. Congratulations if you made it this far! I know I’m very long winded.

Chest to Bar Pull Ups

I was going to hold off on posting about CrossFit until the Open was over. N took some photos of the WOD on Sunday and I’m trying not to come off as too CrossFit obsessed (although I am, I know). 

Open workout 13.5 was announced last night though and I did it tonight. One of the movements is Chest to Bar Pull Ups. I’ve never attempted a Chest to Bar Pull Up. I currently can do strict pull ups, but I haven’t figured out kipping and I definitely haven’t figured out Butterflies. Since I didn’t have time to learn either of these things tonight before attempting 13.5, I did whatever I could to get my chest up to the bar, as many times as possible. This mostly involved a lot of leg swing, hip drive, and sheer determination. 
We all had a pretty good laugh about my “technique” (or lack-there-of) afterwards. So now there are kipping pull ups, butterfly pull ups, and my method: Alanna pull ups. I got one of the coaches to video an example of what this looks like so I could share. 
Enjoy, have a laugh, and, if you’re doing 13.5, GOOD LUCK

March in Instagram

Spring seems to finally arrived in Calgary and I couldn’t be more excited. Of course, it’s supposed to snow tomorrow, but until then I will enjoy every last ounce of sunshine that I can! H & I went for a gorgeous run at lunch and N and I plan on meeting up at the delicious Village Ice Cream after work.

April is here and I hope she doesn’t have many showers for us! March was filled with CrossFit Open Work Outs (I bet you didn’t see that one coming), delicious Big Taste meals, fun nights with friends, and lots of Fitness! I’m trying out a different way of sharing this month’s photos, so we’ll see how I like this. Here’s what we got up to in March.

Follow me on Instagram @whoalansi

1. We started off the month with a pretty big snowstorm. Luckily it was on a Sunday so it didn’t bring the city to a grinding halt and I went out frolicking thanks to my AWD! 
2. Fitness Fridays have continued. We’ve recruited a few more and have been keeping things interesting every week. I love seeing new faces come out!
3. D and I at Wurst for Z’s birthday. As always, it was a great time. Who doesn’t like 1L beers and beer hall style tables. 
4. Big Taste is one of the best weeks for dining in Calgary. $35 set menu at 70 different restaurants in Calgary? Mom, Dad, N, and I went to Charcut this year. By far one of my favourite restaurants!
5. The girls at CrossFit Airdrie talked me into doing the Open and I’m so glad that they did. It’s been such a great experience. I’ve seen such improvement in my lifts and confidence and am so humbled by the amazing CrossFit athletes all around the world. 
6. H, N, and I headed out to Lake Louise for once last day of skiing this season. Gorgeous snow and great company! 
7. Saturday Coffee Dates are just the best! 
8. It’s been warm enough for bare legs lately. I’ve been busting out the dresses and booties at every opportunity. I’m so ready for Spring!
9. Stars put on another great show last weekend. I’ve seen them four times and this was by far my favourite show. Thanks for the amazing night, Stars!
Tomorrow they announce the last CrossFit Open WOD. I’m both excited and sad for these weekly workouts to end. N very kindly came out to Airdrie with me on Sunday to take some photos, so I’ll hopefully be posting those soon. I make some pretty awesome faces when I work out! 
We’re planning on cutting back on a few things this month, so cross your fingers for beautiful weather so we can spend out time outside and maintain some type of social life! 
What did you get up to this month? Anything exciting planned for April? 


I tried to take a little break from the fitness talk, but with the 13.3 announcement coming up tomorrow at 5 pm PST I figured it was time for a little update.

We didn’t go skiing the Sunday of 13.1 so I redid the workout. I’m so happy I did because the snatches that had been nearly impossible that Thursday were suddenly so much easier. I went from 107 reps to 120 reps, which was a goal I didn’t expect to attain.

My ranking after 13.1
Canada West vs The World

My first thoughts when they announced 13.2 on Wednesday night were, “It looks simple. That definitely means it’s going to hurt a lot.”. That was a pretty accurate assessment.

Workout 13.2
AMRAP 10 min
5 shoulder to overhead (115#/75#)
10 deadlifts (115#/75#)
15 box jumps (24″/20″)

This was one of those workouts that forces you to question any thoughts you may have had about how strong your cardio is. I’ve always done well at cardio-based CrossFit WODs and this one destroyed me. After ten minutes, I was literally sprawled on the floor wondering why I’d put myself through that. One of the coaches came over to high five me and said something about how he guessed I’d be re-doing it Sunday. I didn’t understand what he meant at first since I had no idea about the number of reps that I’d done. 

It turns out that I’d done 197 reps. Obviously I was going to have a hard time accepting that as my final score. 

We went skiing on Saturday at Lake Louise, so I wasn’t sure how I was going to feel on Sunday. I put on my compression socks though and hoped my legs wouldn’t be too sore. N and I both knew I was going to try for 200 reps. 

I went in the second heat this time and watching the others do this WOD again made me wonder what was wrong with me. The look of pain of their faces had me second guessing my decision to do it over. What if I didn’t get a better score? What if I did the whole WOD over again and nothing changed? I had to try anyway. At least I’d know I’d be getting a good work out in. 

I beat my score by 12 reps. It hurt just as much and I ended the workout flat on my back again, but at least I got over that 200 mark. I know I would have been really disappointed if I hadn’t redone it. 
The best part of this whole story is probably the fact that I almost didn’t end up submitting my score. I watched one of my coaches do it (297 reps! Insane!) and then had to run home to shower and get ready to head to N’s parents’ for dinner. It was only once I got there and was showing him the video of my coach doing part of it that I realized I hadn’t actually submitted my new score. 
I added my score to the website from my iPhone with 38 minutes to spare. Fewf! 
Tomorrow they announce 13.3 and I’m excited to watch the showdown and see what’s in store for me this week. I’m betting on pull ups. There’s got to be some pull ups coming up somewhere. 
Until then, I’ve been having some fun on the Reebok and CrossFit websites. You can customize your own CrossFit shoe! I was bored the other day so this is what I came up with. 

Again Faster

I’ve been on a CrossFit posting kick lately. I apologize. This blog really isn’t going to be only about Fitness and CrossFit. It’s just a really exciting time for CrossFit right now! Don’t worry, I’ve got some recipes and photos and non fitness things coming.

The first CrossFit Open WOD (13.1) was announced on Wednesday and my first reaction was “Holy #$%*!”. Everyone had been dreading another rendition of last years 7 min of burpees or a snatch ladder. Those were the first two work outs of the Open last year: 12.1 and 12.2. Well, CrossFit did us one better and combined those two WODs to create a beast of a workout.

Workout 13.1

17 minute AMRAP of:
Round 1 – 40 Burpees
                   30 Snatch, 75 / 45 lbs
Round 2 – 30 Burpees
                   30 Snatch, 135 / 75 lbs
Round 3 – 20 Burpees
                   30 Snatch, 165 / 100 lbs
Round 4 – 10 burpees
                   Max rep Snatch, 210 / 120 lbs 

I tuned in right at 6 pm to watch Scott Panchik and Dan Bailey go head to head in this workout right after it was announced. It was intense. If you missed it, this is the only video I can currently find. 

Julie Foucher (the second fittest female in the games last year) also did a great demo of the workout. She is a pretty incredible lady. She’s toned down her training this year to focus on Med School and she still managed to score 195 reps. That’s nuts.
I did the Workout last night. I was pretty nervous and excited before it. I haven’t really done many snatches since last July so I’d practiced a few on Wednesday night, but I still wasn’t super confident about that 75 lb snatch. 

I scored 107 reps. I’m pretty proud of myself. I did really well on the first Round. A 45 lb snatch isn’t that heavy, but after 40 burpees it was significantly harder than usual. I finished that round in 6:27 and moved on to 30 burpees. That also went pretty well so I had plenty of time for the next set of snatches. I failed my first 3 snatches at 75 lbs. It was a bit discouraging. The best thing about CrossFit is that you always have a cheering section to get you going. All I could hear was “You can do it. You’re doing amazing! You’re so close, just get under that bar!”. On my fourth try, I finally got a successful rep. The next 5 or so minutes was a mixture of successful reps and failed reps. I got down to the last minute and got 2 reps in. With 10 seconds left, I tried for another, but just couldn’t lock out my arms at the top so I ended with 7 snatches. I got high fives all around and took my turn to cheer on the next heat. It was a pretty cool experience. 

Once I was able to breath again, I knew I wanted to try the workout again. They’re doing it on Sunday, so if we don’t go skiing I may just have to try again. I know I can get those snatches now! 
My score is officially up on the website, which is pretty cool. I will definitely move down in the standings, but for a time I was in the top 100 in Western Canada, so I’ll just focus on that for now. 

I obviously am not going to qualify for Regionals or the Games, but it was great to participate. I’m looking forward to the next WOD and hoping it doesn’t include things I can’t manage yet! Fingers crossed!

CrossFit Open Games

I went to CrossFit last night for a super cardio-based WOD. It was awesome and painful at the same time. I was the fastest of all the girls (just barely!) and afterwards, as we were stretching (or lying on the floor trying to recover), talk turned to who was going to participate in the Open this coming week. All of the girls said yes except me. I hadn’t decided yet, I told them.

It’s just for fun! You’ll get to see where you’re at and where you stack up next to everyone else. You may even surprise yourself. You did great today. You’ll probably do better than the rest of us, they continued.

I admitted that I’d gotten 3/4 of the way through the Online Registration. Apparently, I wasn’t the only one. They’d all done that at first too. They offered a few more words of encouragement before I headed home to register.

So I guess that’s it. I guess I’m doing the open this year. I really don’t expect to advance past the first workout (13.1), but it’ll be fun to be part of it. I’m pretty sure the gym is going to be packed on Thursday night. The WOD gets announced tomorrow so my box is doing it Thursday and Sunday. You have until Sunday night at 5 pm PST to submit your score. It should be interesting. I created a profile online and convinced a friend to do it as well. So it’s happening. It should be fun!

I’ve been catching up on CrossFit news and videos. This one is pretty awesome. Check it out.

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