Thursday, March 29, 2012

Huskey Basketball with Salmon & Artichokes

Good morning!

If you are here looking for a great might be new.

I am a spoiled woman whose husband cooks and bakes.  I make a mean salad and a great brown bag lunch.  He makes me mimosas and protein pancakes on the weekends.

Yup, that is the face of Yoda you see above.  And a teddy bear with a lingon-berry tummy.  I am well-loved, folks.

Protein pancakes = the way to my heart
We just finished going through a sermon series on marriage at our church, and one of the sermons focused on being a servant to your spouse.  This starts with an attitude/heart change of recognizing Jesus as the Great Servant and being willing to do menial or thankless tasks out of love for your spouse.  This can also be going out of your comfort zone to do something they would appreciate.

So a few weeks ago, I decided to encourage Jared to watch the Husky game instead of making dinner, and I would make dinner and bring it over to him.  I got his advice on what to do with the salmon, and put together the following meal:

Cheese is important at any meal, I think

This stuff is a life-saver!

My childhood fave veggie

I packed up all the pieces to take dinner to the clubhouse where Jared was watching the game.  (Yes, as I may have mentioned, we live in the dark ages and don't have TV in our apartment.  We do archaic things like reading and talking.)  Somehow I managed not to spill or ruin anything!

I panicked when I realized I'd gotten all the way up the hill without the beer opener thing.  (Big technical words R Us.)  But with Jared's resourcefulness and a set of keys, we got it taken care of.


You tell me: What is something you've done lately to let someone know you appreciate them?  Do you find it easier to serve or to be served?  Do you microwave artichokes?

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The Last of the Open/CrossFit Endurance

The End of the 2012 CrossFit Games Open

Go team!  Us after Open WOD 12.4
Many thanks for all the congratulations I've received this week on my newfound inch

While I'm not laboring under any misconception that further bicep curls will propel me to NBA heights, I'm really quite pleased and almost amused.  If I had know at age 13 the effect of good health on a person's stature, I would have started working out long ago!

My 5' 2" self (and my taller half) have now officially completed our first CrossFit Games

So nice to have a built-in workout buddy!

I have to say that my favorite of the 5 workouts was WOD 4:  

Workout 12 . 4

MEN - includes Masters Men up to 54 years old
Complete as many rounds and reps as possible in 12 minutes of:
150 Wall balls (20lbs to 10' target)
90 Double-unders
30 Muscle-ups

WOMEN - includes Masters Women up to 54 years old
Complete as many rounds and reps as possible in 12 minutes of:
150 Wall balls (14lbs to 9' target)
90 Double-unders
30 Muscle-ups

One of my least favorite CrossFit exercises has always been wall balls.  I dread them, in part, because I tend to end up with a medicine ball falling smack into my face.  I usually use a 10lb ball for whatever workout we are doing on a given day at the box.

Somehow, with the comraderie of having the hubby there and our friend Joel judging my reps and cheering me on, I managed to get through 90 wallballs with the 14lb ball.  I was so proud of myself!  (And this was less than 30 minutes after running 5k to get to the box from work!.)

Jared was a total beast and made it through some of the muscle-ups before our time ran out:

The best part is, I no longer dread wall balls.  I know that the odds of Coach Corey coming up with a 90+ wall ball WOD are very slim, so I feel like after WOD 12.4, I can do anything!

I'm so glad I let Jared and Coach Corey talk me into the CrossFit Games Open this year.  It pushed me to try things I normally wouldn't (toes to bar, the 20" box, 14lb wall balls), got me even more involved with the CrossFit community (cheering on folks at our box and our sister box in Stoneway), and gave our marriage another challenge (communicating about no-reps and expectations for a WOD SO applies to real life).

Next year, my goal is to RX every Open WOD movement.  This year, there were some where I had a very low score or no score at all because I couldn't handle the weight (WOD 3), or couldn't do unassisted pull-ups (WOD 5) or double-unders (WOD 4).  (Almost wrote double undies...I guess wise if you expect to soil your pants mid-WOD?) 

I realize it might take me more than a year to get to muscle-ups...but at least I have something to strive for! 

CrossFit Endurance

Obviously since the Open is over, we are on to the next big event on the health-and-fitness horizon.  (Well, for Jared, baseball season is starting up, and he's got his first triathlon of the year on Sunday - wish him luck!)  But for me, it's the Portland Rock'N'Roll Half Marathon in May.

I have done 2 half marathons to in Kirkland and one in Bend, OR.  I used the Fitness magazine training plan for both - great resource.  It incorporates speedwork, long runs, rest days, cross-training, and recovery runs.  However, it has the trainee running 4-5 days per week.  And unlike Ali On The Run, it is not my workout-of-workouts-favorite-way-to-sweat. 

Training + helping to fight Crohn's

Currently, I run 1-3 days a week...emphasis on the 1.  I focus more on hot yoga and CrossFit, and of course, my weekly racquetball dates with my dad and friends at the J.

Because, like all y'all, I have a busy schedule as it is, I couldn't add in my go-to training plan without cutting a lot of box jumps and downward dogs out of my life.  Which I don't want to do.

CrossFit is addictive, people!
And so, either out of laziness or craziness (or a generous combination of the two?) I decided I would try CrossFit Endurance and toss traditional training out the window. 

This means, in my case, I'll keep coming to our box for the "strength and conditioning" piece of the training, 3 x per week, and then I'll pick an endurance WOD to do 3 x per week. 

And I get to keep hot yoga and racquetball and the shred of sanity to which I still cling.

All pumped for yoga and sanity!

I am feeling pretty stoked about this plan.  I am a spreadsheets, plans, and rules kinda gal.  In previous training I have stressed out if I couldn't follow the training schedule precisely.  Now, I have no precise training schedule to stress about!  (Although I'm a champion at manufacturing stress, so never fear.  Freakouts will ensue at random but consistent intervals.)  I just have 6 workouts to get in each week, and I can even do 2 on the same day if need be, provided they are at least 3 hours apart.

Last night, I dragged my butt out of the office and went to run in the gorgeous weather at the park.  I jogged the 5 minutes down as a warm-up, and commenced my first official CFE WOD.  And thought I might die.

Here's part of an email to a friend who asked about my run since I don't have any photos of my near-death expeience.

"It was SO HARD!!!  Not counting jogging to and from the park...I ran a grand 9 minutes.  The workout was 1 minute at 95% effort followed by a minute of rest...times 9.  The first set was like, 'Oh, this isn't so bad' but by the end I was dying!!!  Nice to have it only take 18 minutes, though..."

Since I am blogging today, you will be happily assured I did not die.  The workout was UNBELIEVABLY hard for running a grand total of 9 minutes.  But boy did they convince me that you will be ready for a half marathon with these WODs.  I can run 5 miles and not feel as beat as I did last night.  And that would take me close to an hour.

Here's to saving time and sweating hard.  Happy Tuesday!!!

You tell me: Are you training for anything in particular?  Or taking a well-deserved break?  Ever tried CrossFit Endurance?  Tips?  Warnings? Amazing PR success-stories?

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

My Fitness Story/The Inch I was Proud to Gain

Real life = limited posting ops.  So here's a good long one.  Enjoy!

Most people start working out with some sort of goal in mind...I wanna lose 10 pounds, I wanna lose body fat, I wanna lose an inch or more off my waist...

I was no different.  In the summer of 2010, I realized that my first year of marriage, while a very happy one, had included a significant decrease in the intensity and frequency of my workouts...and a significant increase in my consumption of pasta and late night nachos.  We've never owned a scale, and I haven't ever been highly concerned about my my wakeup call came before a trip to the beach with my mom.  I decided to throw on a pair of boardshorts over my bikini. 

My husband had bought the boardshorts for me on our honeymoon in August of 2009...and here I was in August of 2010, unable to get the waist to fasten.

The fateful board shorts...Maui 2009

I kept calm (big deal for me, folks!), grabbed alternate swim gear, and enjoyed the beach...and then sobbed in Jared's arms when he got home that night.  He was, as always, understanding, supportive, and wise.  As the wailing subsided and I started listed all the changes I was going to start making to get back in shape, he told me, "I think that you are beautiful.  I like how you look right now.  If you want to do [x, y, and z], I think that's fine.  But I want you to know I like how you look now."

This guy is my hero

Jared was not a certified personal trainer at that point...he was still finishing up his undergrad work in biochemistry.  But he knew a ton about nutrition and fitness and often shared his knowledge with others.  It meant the world to me that he supported me...but didn't go all Bob Harper on me and lay out a plan.  In the following months, he offered advice whenever I asked for it.  But he never once asked me, "So...don't you have to get to the gym?" or "Do you think you should be eating that?"

I started eating breakfast within 30-60 minutes of waking up...instead of two hours later when I got to work.  I went from eating every five hours to eating smaller meals/snacks every three hours.  I upped my water, protein, and produce intakes.  I started a google spreadsheet to track workouts and progress (nerd - can't help it).  I started lifting weights 4 times a week and incorporated some cardio as well, like running 5ks with friends!

Pumpkin Push 2010 with Dana and Jessica!

I got a little crazy last March and started this blog to post about my goals, experiments successes, and failures.  I became FitFluential, and I'm even considering attending the Fitness and Health Bloggers Conference in Colorado this summer!  Yep, sponsored by ReFuel with Chocolate Milk.  What's not to love???

I subscribed to magazines like Women's Health, Self, Shape, and Fitness.  I got more and more excited about working out as I started to see changes first in how I felt (even how I felt about how I looked) and later in my body itself.  I trained for and ran a half marathon...and then another.  I've taken up racquetball, hot yoga, and CrossFit.  Sometimes I run or bike to work...where I've gotten a standing workstation.  I plateaued a bit, and so eased up on cardio, while ramping up veggies and sleep.  (Sleep will do WONDERS for your fitness goals.) 

In 19 months, I've lost 12+ pounds, 7% body fat, increased definition...and gained an inch in height.

That's right, folks.  I've been 5' 1" since age 13.  But at this year's official bodymetrics testing for work - where you are measured in your socks - I stood 5' 2".  I had joked with a coworker before taking my test, "Oooh, maybe I'll be taller!"  And from the added strength in my back and core, and consequent improved posture, I am!!!

Being fit and healthy is by no means the be all and end all of a fulfilling life.  Jesus and Jesus alone can bring life and fulfillment.  But He's used this new aspect of my life to help me fight my quitter-at-heart attitude, poor body image, and severe anxiety.  And being an inch taller sure doesn't hurt.

Walking tall in spirit and stature!


You tell me: Why did you start working out?  What achievements are you especially proud of?  Did YOU know you could get taller by getting stronger?

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Happy Birthday/CrossFit Games 2012

Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you, happy birthday dear little blooooooggggggg!  Happy birthday toooo yoouuuu!!!

This week, TheMeghaMix turned one.

Thanks to all my readers for your interest, comments, and support.  " biggest fan."

For those of you who are just joining name is Meghan.  I have a great husband (Jared)and a desk job...and I spend my free time mixing all kinds of workouts...including a recent self-defense/karate stint.  Currently I keep busy with Crossfit (2-3x per week), racquetball (1-2x per week) running (2-3x per week), and glorious hot yoga (2-3x per week).  I eat a mostly "clean" diet which includes at least one square of uber-dark chocolate today.  I love encouraging people to find the healthy, fit lifestyle that's enjoyable and sustainable for them.

Me and my fave running buddy
Right now, we are in the middle of the 2012 CrossFit Open!  I am still not entirely sure how I got sucked into it...Jared had been planning on it for months, and he's a champ: competitive, strong, and fast.  I am not highly competitve and I'd never RX'ed at CrossFit before.  I tend to do well at things like hot yoga because I'm flexible and detail oriented, where Jared excels at Crossfit because, as I mentioned...he's strong and fast:


Mr. Incredible

But the first WOD of the games was burpees.  I'm a sucker for burpees cause (shhh!) I really like pushups.  Weirdly enough, I got stoked about pushups through a summerstock-type musical early in college.  Our director said, "I am too busy to go to the gym this you guys are my workout," and would have us do as much as 50 pushups in a row.

Burpees are to me glorified pushups.  And with a little encouragement from the hubby and our CrossFit coach...I took the plunge and registered for the 2012 CrossFit Games competition.

Here are some photos from our first Open Wod!  WOD 1 was as many burpees as possible in 7 minutes.  You had to touch something 6 inches higher than your standing reach for the rep to count.  I got 73!!!

On me: headband, tank, pants - lululemon;
sports bra - Victoria's Secret;
shoes - New Balance

Our coach had us judge each other...which didn't go so well on WOD 1.  It was a good spouse challenge, though.  We realized we needed to communicate clearly beforehand about our expectations and how we would help each other most effectively...which applies pretty much to any aspect of marriage, huh?

On Jared: tee, shorts - lululemon;
compression leg warmers - Sports Authority;
shoes - Nike

Due in part to some miscommunication between us...Jared felt like he could've gotten a better score.  So we went out to Stoneway Crossfit on Saturday morning so he could retest.  This time, one of our coaches judged his reps, so I could just worry about cheering him on!

He did even better than his score the day before!  109 burpees...this dude is a beast.

Post-WOD 1 retest
The following week, we tackled WOD 2!  We didn't get to test together since Jared was out of town.  We go to Crossfit as a team when we can...

...but that isn't always possible.  Jared tested the night before he left, then retested at a box in Colorado to bump up his score (yet again).  Here's the official notes for WOD 2:

Proceed through the sequence below completing as many reps as possible in 10 minutes of:
30 Snatch (M 75 / F 45 lbs)
30 Snatch (M 135 / F 75 lbs)
30 Snatch (M 165 / F 100 lbs)
Max Rep Snatch (M 210 / F 120 lbs)

This workout begins from the standing position. The athlete will complete all reps at the first weight before advancing to the next weight. Score is total reps completed in 10min.

I made it through 30 snatches at 45lbs, and tried to get a few at 75lbs, but it wasn't happening for me.  So I had an official score of 30, and then cranked out 18 more reps at 55lbs. 

Last Friday found us at WOD 3...this means we're already halfway through the Open!  Official description:

Complete as many rounds and reps as possible in 18 minutes of:
15 Box jumps (M 24" box / F 20" box)
12 Push press (M 115 lb / F 75 lb)
9 Toes-to-bar

You are allowed to count individual reps instead of just completed rounds.  My official score was 15, since I had to scale the weight for the push press...but I was stoked because I did 20" box jumps and toes-to-bar for the first time since starting Crossfit in the fall!  I dropped the weight to (if memory serves) 55lbs.  I completed 3 rounds, another set of box jumps, and 5 of the push presses (which could be done as push jerks) before the time was up.

Jared and I judged each other on WOD 3, and our communication and teamwork improved a ton since WOD 1.  Go team!

They will be announcing WOD 4 tomorrow evening.  I'll be sure to keep you posted on how we do...hopefully I'll remember to officially record my score this time.  (I forgot with WOD 3.  Oops.)

You tell me:  Are you competing in the 2012 CrossFit Games?  Any scores or milestones so far you are particularly proud of?