Monday, January 27, 2014


Let's start with protein. I historically do not eat enough of it. I grew up with a vegetarian/non-cooking mom. I am a ramen noodle, mac n cheese, sugary cereal foodie. If you can microwave it, I ate it. If it came out of a can, I ate it. Favorite meal I could make myself? Bennie wennies. Yep. Gross. (but secretly delicious). When I went off to college I didn't really eat meat. Eggs, sure, but that was about it. I lived on noodles, salad, and Kool-aid. Picture of health, right? I played Division 2 sports in college and noodles were not cutting it. My first meat meal? Veal Parmigiana from the dining hall. Scary, but delish! I haven't looked back since. When my husband and I started dating he basically had to introduce me to meats meal by meal. I had not had a fast food hamburger (!). My first one? Five Guys. Mouth watering. I still have some chicken issues. I can NOT reheat meat (barf).

When I started Crossfit I knew I needed to clean up my eating habits. I kept a food journal for a few days and had a coach/friend look at it. It drew a crowd. Not kidding, I think I had logged 40 grams of protein. FOR THE DAY! Now, I didn't realize how absurd that was until I Googled  "how much protein should I be eating?" The answer? 63 grams!!!!!! This is based on .8 x's bodyweight in kg. That's without trying to build muscle, working out, lifting heavy shit.....Well, I had work to do. I began keeping a VERY detailed food journal, writing down fat, carbs, and protein. It's hard to get that much protein in when you aren't used to it. I mean, eat meat.....right? Well, some meat is better than others. Some meat has the protein you want, but tons of sodium. Some meat is gross. Sorry, it is.

I started my protein journey with eggs and veggies in the morning, meat, meat, and more meat throughout the day. Did I mention I hate turkey? I do. I have chicken issues and I hate turkey. Makes lunches at work a tad more difficult and I had to get creative. Insert toaster oven. Yep, I cook in my office. I cook steak, sausages, veggies, eggs......people always tell me how delicious it smells. I also began incorporating protein shakes into my daily routine. One for a snack or emergency "I might pass out if I don't eat" and then always right after a workout. The ones I use and like:

 Optimum Nutrition Whey Gold Standard. This guy is my go -to (and is on Amazon Prime). I typically do chocolate (can't go wrong there). Protein: 22 grams, 2 grams of sugar, and it is creamy and delicious. I did just order, for the first time, cake batter. I can't wait. This is what my 7 year old has for breakfast in the mornings before school. He doesn't like breakfast foods, he is a SLOW eater and he LOVES this shake. We were giving him Carnation Instant Breakfast - do you know how much sugar is in that?!?! We mix the Gold Standard in some milk and send him off.

The other one is SFH Whey protein. I have not had all the flavors, but I've tried Pina Colada, peach-mango, chocolate, and coconut. The coconut is my fav.......I LOVE a coconut. These are low in sugar, high in protein, and taste great. They also come in individual serving sizes, which is nice for traveling. I've had the Pre-race, Recovery, and Pure - any time I can get more specific options like that I love it. All of them tasted good and sat well in my stomach (gotta be careful with that nervous poo). They have a Crossfit Team, which I love, and they are a locally based (Maine) company that promotes a clean diet, high protein/low sugar, and exercise. How can you not support that? Sounds good to me!

My husband eats protein all day....perhaps that's why his beard is so manly?

Now for baby food. I've heard other people eat it during long runs, competitions, etc. I've never been interested because the glass baby food jars freak me out......but now so many come in pouches. Less freaky. Right? At competitions, take Superfit for example, I tend to not want to eat real food. I get nervous that I will puke, it wont sit well, or I'll be in the bathroom (which will happen any way). I saw Happy Tots in the store and grabbed a few. Not gonna lie, they were deliscious, and exactly what I was looking for. I had apple, sweet potatoe, and carrot. Tasted great. Nothing added. Just those three foods. I wished they had the coconut one.......LOVE coconut! I will keep a look out for these for future events. I felt much better eating this rather than the standard GU, gel, power bar, etc. Felt good and tasted good - and no glass jar.

Competitions. I just want to say this. If you are running, crossfitting, swimming, biking, etc.......I think you should do a competition. Even if it's just one. They are fun. You meet a lot of people. You get to see what other people are doing, wearing (my fav), and how you compare. Who cares if you are last - you are out there. Odds are you get a shirt no matter what (maybe this is where my t-shirt obsession has come from?). I love a competition because it gives me a goal, it gives me a reality check (am I working hard enough, could I do something different, am I where I thought I was?), and I'm competitive. As far as crossfit goes you cannot realistically go 100% on every WOD and there are times you think you went hard, but had that been in a competition environment I bet you could have pulled way more out of you. Same goes for triathletes, runners, etc. Training is not meant to be 100%. That's what "Game Day" is for. I love it. It sends me right to the bathroom with nervous poo - but I love every second of it.

Happy Eating!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Superfit Delaware Recap and Awesomeness

 I love to compete. Always have. My mom is very competitive and growing up my siblings and I all played sports. I did the whole tap, jazz, and ballet thing for a while and then made the switch. In middle school I played volley ball and basketball. I'm beyond terrible at basketball - I'm a short white surprises there. I lived in Texas at that time and got into cheer leading. The legit kind. Competitions, tumbling....serious. I mean, it's Texas - Football is life, cheer leading is part of that.

Halfway through 7th grade my family moved to Virginia. I quickly learned it was cooler to play sports. My mom signed me up for a field hockey and lacrosse summer camp and I loved it. I played both through high school and went on to play in college. I played both for two years of college and then made the choice to just play lacrosse my last two years. I even played on an adult lacrosse league for a while until I got pregnant with Sammy. I miss it. I miss the team aspect, the family feel, the daily practice, the games........sound familiar? Yep - then I found Crossfit. Ah. Home.

I get super nervous before competitions/games. You've probably read about my "nervous poo". It's real. It's annoying. It's totally part of the whole experience. I actually didn't realize it was a me thing and not an everyone thing until I started this blog.Oh well. That's my thing. There is not a porta potty around that I will say no to. Competitions/games give me something to work towards. I do much better with an end goal, a time line, and a bathroom.

Saturday was no different. I spent some serious time standing in bathroom lines - thank god they got shorter as the day went on. In a previous competition a workout was actually held for me because I was in the bathroom - oops. It wasn't so bad this time, but it's always there. I get really excited, really nervous, really pumped.......I am my own worst critic and I want to hit the goals I set. All that equals nervous poo.

I also love a theme. This competition rolled my love of going all out with my love of themes. We were Team America and we wore as many stars as we could. My team was awesome. AND Crossfit Annandale had 5 teams!!!! So many friends, so much support, so much fun.

Crossfit Annandale
Now for the workouts:

WOD 1: 8 minutes to row 1000 meters and each team mate worked up to a clean with 2 front squats. Points are all the weights added pressure (where is that bathroom?). My clean max is 120# - so I was REALLY hoping to hit that and then MAYBE 125#. The boys were going heavy and knew they could hit big numbers. I knew if I could clean it then I could squat it. My partner was awesome at pushing me. I was going to start with 85# - but I'm pretty sure she convinced me to start at 105#. I ended up hitting 140#! I couldn't believe it! I was really close to So happy and proud of my team.

We finished WOD 1 ranked 3rd!!!!! Felt so good.This is sadly the only team pic we got.

WOD 2: Every Minute on the Minute for 10:00. 7 pull ups (the boys did them) and 7 hand release pushups (the girls did these) and then as many 65# snatches as you can for that minute. Then you start over. Whew. This was cardio city. We paced ourselves and everyone felt like we could not have gone any faster. It was tough. It was great. It was crossfit.

WOD 3: The great equalizer. This was the hardest mentally. 10 minute cap. 15-12-9 of backsquats (75# for girls) and toes to bar. I knew I needed to mow through those back squats because the toes to bar were going to take me longer. I don't string them together quickly and when you have your own private judge shit gets real. Don't worry, I'm working on them. I have a list. You OTHER thing.

(no video. I know, super sad. Just know we were awesome!)

We finished the competition in 15th place out of 30. We were hoping for top 10, there were a ton of great teams there. Everyone had fun, there were tons of amazing people to watch, Crossfit Riverfront was awesome - and located next to a brewery. :) We also got TONS of outfit compliments - that's always fun.

We rewarded our hard work with meat, beers, shots, and I had a few gummy cherries. Yum! Mouth is watering just thinking about those delicious cherries.....

Now it's back on the Paleo Challenge, lots of mobility, and as always after a competition I can't wait to get back to the box and get to work!

Team America theme basically threw up on me. Wonder Woman shoes and all!

Monday, January 13, 2014

Me against Myself

One of the things I love so much about Crossfit and Weight Lifting is being able to compare. I compare numbers, times, reps, weights, etc. It's hard not to compare yourself to other people, I mean....they are there. They did the workout too. Did they do more weight? Was their time faster? To a point I compare and care, but I don't loose too much sleep over it.

I am a "write it down and look at it and refer back to it" kinda gal. I love to make a list. Favorite part? Crossing off what I did. Sometimes I forget something, write it down, and instantly cross it off. Feels good. I write down every WOD I do, all the weights I lift, times, reps, and the auxiliary work I do to become the most Awesome Ann I can be. Super Cheese.

I do also love to organize. So, all workouts are written down and kept in an awesome little spiral notebook. Arranged by date, cues from coaches are written down, even the occasional penis drawing (thanks Sam). I will say, the drawings make me laugh. I'm super immature - but sometimes at the gym you  just need to laugh.

I look back, compare, remind myself of how far I've come. It's me against me. No one is going to make me faster or stronger except me. I need to make the choice. I need to put the work in. I need to focus. Me. That is scary. I set goals for myself a lot. I rarely set a goal that I don't run by someone first. Sometimes I'm told that it's too easy, sometimes too hard. I adjust and go for it.

What happens if I don't meet a goal? Does the world end? Nope. BUT I do have a hard time accepting not meeting goals. I do not always disclose goals to many people because I honestly get embarrassed if I don't meet that goal and people *gasp!* know. The worst. I feel very vulnerable when that happens. So, if I have shared goals with you - feel lucky. You are one of the chosen that I truly trust.

This weekend I had such a moment. I wanted to redo 13.2 from last years Open.
5 shoulder to overhead (75#)
10 deadlifts (75#)
15 box jumps (20 inches)
10 minutes

Last year I got 203 reps. I was happy with that. Last year. Now I want MORE. Our gym had this programed, but I missed it due to life events. I went in on Saturday and worked on it again. I did the workout alone, but while people were doing the Saturday workout. Good music. Good Company. Did I improve? Yep. I improved. Goal met. Did I meet the goal I had for reps? Nope. Does it matter. Nope. Did I cry? just a little? like maybe a tear drop or two? Yep. I am proud of improving. I went up to 222 reps. I can do that math, definitely an improvement. I was happy. But then there is always this twinge of embarrassment that I didn't hit the # goal. I mean - who cares? Only two people on the planet even knew what my # goal was. I had a tiny pity party and moved on.

Moved on to what you ask?

My first Mother Flippin Tire Flip!

Tire is estimated to be about 450#. I tried to flip it last spring and could not budge it. Not even a little. Decided to try it Saturday and see what would happen.....I flipped it. That's what happened. It was awesome! Good thing I got it too - just so happens that it's part of my extra work this week.

Here's to an awesome week of Paleo Challenge, hitting goals, and keep on keeping on. Oh - and Superfit on Saturday! Go Team 'Merica!

Monday, January 6, 2014

2013 was awesome.....I'm coming for you 2014!

2013 was an amazing year. So much awesomeness happened at home, at work, at the box (CFA), with friends.......just smiles. Yes, there was some crap mixed in there. There is no avoiding some degree of tears, yelling, bloating, laziness, and just plain old blah. The good far out weighs all that though.

I'm not even sure I can list all the greatness of 2013 - surely it's been blogged about, so you can just go back through it if you need some reminders. It was a great year and I'm looking forward to an even better 2014.

Every year I make resolutions, then revise them, then forget them.......stupid. This year I have made just one. It's a big one, and super important for my family and me. No yelling. I have a tendency to be a loud person when I get mad. Somewhere I learned that loud = better. Guess what? It just makes everyone upset, mad too, or ignore you. So, that's it. No yelling in the house - for anger. I do reserve the right to yell for emergencies, danger, and excitement. So far I've done pretty darn good. My kids are VERY happy this is my goal. Just gotta break that habit.

I do have GOALS for 2014. I don't think of these are resolutions though. Some goals I like to keep to myself, or only tell a select few. There are a few only Sam knows, a few only coaches at CFA know, and one or two I keep for myself. I can't put them all out there....that's no fun. Where's the surprise in that? :)

The first thing I'm going to tackle for 2014 is the Paleo Challenge. You may remember Sam and I won this challenge at our gym last year. It was awesome. It was hard. It was totally worth it. We are starting Jan 12th and we are going hard. We both have some holiday weight and beer and wine weight to loose. I think this challenge is a good way to get back to basics, test yourself, and see what you can accomplish.

Second thing I'm doing in 2014 is a 4 person team Superfit Competition in Delaware. I have goals for this one.....but I have kept them to myself. Stay tuned......

Also - The Open. It's almost here!!!! Thanks to my competitive nature I love and hate the Open. Yes, I know I'm not headed to Regionals this year. But why not compete like I am? Does it hurt anyone? Nope. Well, my stomach.....nervous poo........I think sometimes people use "I'm not a games athlete" or "I'm not going to regionals" as an excuse for what they think might not be a good performance or a reason not to participate in The Open. Who cares? Just go out there and kick ass!

I am am working on some other things for strength, gymnastics, life, family.........lots of good stuff coming to Team Hardman this year.

Make this a great one!