First day on the slopes!

Today someone found my blog by Googling “fattie meatloaf”. To that person – I applaud you.. Hope my Bacon Meatloaf helped make your day that much better.

Sunday was my first day up on the slopes this year! When I moved to CO I had wanted to get really good at snowboarding. I went twice my first year and three-four times my second. Turns out, you have to actually practice something regularly to get good at it. Fancy that. A month ago I went to this ski/snowboard movie with some friends and was totally inspired. Not that I ever have any plans of jumping out of helicopters to fly down a mountain, but being able to get off the easy greens would be nice. So, I decided to get my ass in gear and get up on that mountain early in the season so I can really make some progress this year.

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My amazing friend has come with me the past couple times I went to help teach me, since she rocks the mountain and makes it look easy. She is super patient and encouraging, yelling out “Yah Fiona, you go it!” super loud and drawing attention so that people zooming by me began to comment “you got i!” and “making progress”.  I’m getting better at connecting my turns and not making it so I have to go super wide, but I still am petrified every time I start picking up speed and throw on the brakes. I’ve been told it’s like riding a bike and it’s actually easier once you have some speed, but I still just picture myself rolling down the mountain and breaking my face every time I get going. Anyone have any tips for getting over that?

We were there for about 4 hours, but then it started to get dark, icy and cold, so we decided to call it a day. I love driving through the mountains at night, nice and warm in the car staring at the dark snow covered trees. It was the perfect way to close out the weekend and, hopefully, just the start of many days up in the mountains this winter.

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Olympic Lifting Competition – Review

I did it. I competed in my first ever Olympic Lifting Competition. I waited a couple days before writing about it so I had time to reflect on the experience. I know that I have a habit of being very hard on myself, especially if I don’t live up to my high expectations. To cut to the chase, I didn’t PR at the comp, nor did I hit weights I had previously hit. I was surprised by how incredibly nervous I was, how much I got in my head and just how much it affected my abilities. I was pretty upset at myself at first, but after spending some time thinking about how far I had come in the past couple months I decide beating myself up wasn’t productive and it was better to be proud I had taken the risk and just focus that energy on further gains instead of negative thoughts.

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I got to the box that the competition was being held at at 8:30 for registration check in and weigh in. We lined up as they weighed us, confirmed our starting lifts and wrote it all down on a card. Maybe it’s just because I have a history of distorted body image, but I loved the fact that all of the women weighed in and had their weights said out-loud without batting an eyelid. I remember a time where stepping on the scale could make or break not only the day, but the whole week. To be surrounded by women who didn’t care what the number was and finding myself to be one of them was empowering. 

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Next I hung around with the two girls from my box who were also competing. They were definitely in a class above me, really strong girls and very inspiring. We did a typical Oly stretching warm up followed by individualized barbell warm ups our Oly coach had written for us depending on our starting lifts. They consisted of: good mornings, front squats, press, overhead squat, jerk, rdl and cleans (all with just the barbell). Then we slowly added weight doing 1-3 reps until we reached 5 lbs below our starting weight. 

They organized us from lightest start weight to heaviest. For the snatch I was 4th from the top, for clean I was 8th from the top. For each lift you stand on a stage, in front of a room of people in dead silence. There are three judges in front of you who determine whether the lifts counts or doesn’t by flashing a red or white card. You get three total chances at both the clean and jerk and the snatch. I missed the first attempt (what should have been very light) at both the clean and jerk and the snatch because I was so incredibly nervous. Both of them I missed because I didn’t lock out my arms at the top, but instead got the weight up with a bend in my elbows and finished by pushing it overhead until my arms were straight.  I got stuck at 70lb snatch and 110lb clean and jerk, neither of which were what my current PRs are. That was frustrating, but once again I just have to keep reminding myself it was my first competition and, hopefully, the next one will mean less nerves and more PRs. 

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A lot of people came to watch, both from my box and my coworker and the girl I used to workout with prior to joining crossfit. It was really nice to have all that support and people to distract me in between lifts. It also felt really great that they could have been anywhere on a nice saturday morning and chose to come cheer us on. Gotta love the CF community.

Originally they said that I had gotten 8th place (out of 18), but they later sent out an email correcting themselves and bumping me down to 11th. Another little bummer moment, but moving on from that. Now it’s time to focus on new goals. I want to get my “engine” in better shape. I went trail running the other day and died and I’m determined to go back and run the same loop in a couple months and have it not be a problem. As of now there are no competitions on the horizon (running or lifting) for the first time in like 7 months. I’m sure that won’t last too long though. I love having those goals to push me in my training.

How was your weekend?

Do you like competitions?

What motivates you to work harder?

Powered by Bacon Meatloaf – Paleo Recipe

I eat a lot of bacon. Real bacon, not the stringy little packaged kind. The thick cut, meaty, smokey delicious kind. So much so that the guy at the meat counter recognizes  me as the bacon girl. On Monday night I order 2 lbs of it. I came back in on Wednesday to grab some chicken and he asked if I was back for more bacon. I jokingly told me I still had a 1/2 lb left and he believed me. I’ve probably eaten that much in 48 hours before.  I used to shun bacon like the evil fatty devil I thought it was, so I think I’m just making up for 26 years of deprivation. 

Last week I was growing PaleoOmg for now recipes and stumbled across a bacon meatloaf recipe. I started salivating like Pavlov’s dog and I knew I had to make it right away. I spent an hour I had between classes getting the ingredients and prepping it so all I had to do when I got home was pop it in the oven. I give to you Paleo Bacon Meatlof. I literally forgot to take a picture after it was cooked because I was too excited to try it, so you are stuck with the precooked version. Imagine that just crispier. If you’re a vegetarian/vegan (Hi Liz) I am not quite sure why you click on a link called Bacon Meatloaf, but you might want to stop here. 

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Precooked Heaven in a Pan

There is both a meatloaf and a delicious sauce to cover the meatloaf with. Here are both ingredients:
 
For the Meatloaf:
  • 2-2.5 lb grass fed ground beef
  • 1 cup almond meal/flour
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 3 tablespoons onion powder
  • 11 sliced uncured bacon, 2 sliced cooked and diced
For the  Sauce:
  • 1 (6oz) can tomato paste
  • 1 onion, minced
  • ½ cup apple cider vinegar
  • ⅓ cup water or broth
  • 2 tablespoons apple butter (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon ground mustard (no sugar added)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon allspice
  • pinch or two of ground cloves
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • splash of hot sauce, to taste
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Dice up your 2 pieces of bacon and throw in a frying pan to cook up for about 5-7 minutes.
  3. While the bacon is cooking, mix together all other ingredients (except for your 9 slices of bacon) in a large bowl. Once your 2 pieces of bacon are done cooking, add them to the bowl and fully incorporate into the mix.
  4. If you are me, now layer the remaining bacon and meat mixture in a meatloaf/bread pan so that you have meat/bacon/meat/bacon. Or, just do it the way Paleoomg says and put the bacon on top. But that is less fun. 
  5. Cook for 45 minutes.

NOW, onto the sauce.

  1. Brown onions in frying pan with some form of fat (olive or coconut or bacon grease)
  2. Add the garlic and stir together to cook a bit more.
  3. Add all other ingredients and mix together, then let simmer for 10-15 minutes (or longer if you have time-I usually want to eat as quick as possible).
  4. Now sit around and wait hungrily for the meat loaf to be done so you can pour the sauce on top and get to nomming.

 

Do you like Bacon?

What are your favorite ways to eat bacon?

 

 

 

The Shoes Make the Woman – Reebok Lifters

My Oly shoes came just in time for my last practice! I ended up going with the pink simply because it turns out the black and white didn’t come in my size. I think they are pretty snazzy though.

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I spent the first half hour after I got them using them around my apartment, overhead squatting my dog and such. They make SUCH a huge difference. The have a good sized heel in them, so if you have tight calves/hammies like I do they make it easier to get into a deep squat when you are actually a bit elevated on your toes. Cheating? Maybe a little, but I’m hoping they help me get used to being in that position so I eventually won’t need them as much.

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This morning I was able to use them for my final Oly Training before the competition Saturday Morning. We did some light snatches, jerks, clean pulls and snatch deadliest.  They definitely helped and it made me wish I had gotten them a long time ago. SO, if you are considering getting some – DO IT. They are amazing. I can’t wait to train in them for my next Oly Comp, whenever that may be.

I am off to be productive in the less fun part of my life, aka school and work. But check back tonight for a delicious Bacon Meatloaf recipe. Layers of beef and bacon, what could be better?

Five Days Till Olympic Lifting Comp

Five Days. 5. That’s all I have until my Oly Comp. I can’t believe it’s finally this close. I am incredibly nervous and get knots in my stomach just thinking about it. Two and a half months ago when I decided that I wanted to make this a goal, I had snatched an empty bar twice, had never jerked and was cleaning 80lbs. I know I have come a long way, but it’s hard to focus on that instead of how much further I have to go. I’m hoping this competition just sparks more of an interest and isn’t discouraging.

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I have to submit my starting and attempt weights by Wednesday evening. You get three chances at each lift and I’m still not 100% sure what I want to go for. I was talking to my Oly Lifting Coach today, trying to figure out where to start/what to attempt. He’s gonna come up with a warm-up plan for me Saturday and he wants me to not go heavier than 60% of my max weight during practices this week. It’s really hard to stick to that weight, I’ve gotten slightly addicted to trying to go heavier and heavier. But I know it’s best to let my muscles rest a bit, and I’ll probably focus more on running/hill sprints to get my energy out while going light.

One thing I’ve gotten used to while prepping for this Oly Comp is being constantly bruised. If you follow me on Instagram then you may have seen the pic of my bruised and tattered legs. Every time after I jerk and I bring the bar down, I catch it slightly with my legs to absorb the weight. This means lots of little bruises above my knees from receiving the weight. Also, bruised pelvic/hip bones from thrusting during snatches.

Bruises on my collar bones/shoulders have also become the norm from receiving the weight during cleans. I’ve been promised these bruises will stop happening as much once the scar tissue forms and I have to admit I am looking forward to that day so I don’t look like I am getting beat up on the daily.

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The rest of this week I just need to focus on mobilizing, improving form with light weight and visualizing getting a new PR. And not vomittng from nerves when I step on the platform, thought that’s really out of my hands.

Do you like to compete?

How do you deal with the nerves?

BOX REVIEW: CrossFit St. Paul

At CrossFit St. Paul if you ask “am I doing this right?” you will get a reply of “you betcha!”. There is not “about 2 minutes left” there is “aboot 2 minutes left”, and you will most likely have some men who look like lumber jacks cleaning 285 like it’s light weight. Since I’m currently in St. Paul for the weekend, and didn’t wanna miss out on the last weekend before my Oly Comp, I decided to drop in for a WOD. The coach was friendly and welcoming when I said I was a drop in, having me quickly sign a waiver and jump in without having to pay first.  The gym is affiliated with two other gyms in Minnesota, CrossFit Minneapolis and CrossFit St. Louis Park. They all have the same WODS every day and (I think) have events together. I got a CF St. Paul shirt with a female, overhead squatting and it says “Strong”. I’m a fan.

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The box itself was a lot smaller than what I was used to, and currently under renovation, but had everything I could need from rings to kettle bells to bands to slam balls to the obvious barbells.

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The workout started with a bear complex (clean, front squat, shoulder press, back squat, jerk, all in a row, then repeat that 7 times). It was followed by 5 rounds of power clean –> 2 hand cleans –> 2 jerks. I did these with 105-110lbs. They felt relatively light, which made me hopeful of reaching 120lbs this  Saturday at the Oly Competition. We followed that with a 10 minute EMOM (every minute, on the minute) of a back squat at 90%. I am not good at squatting, so my squat was only 135lbs. The CrossFit St. Paul coach was very amused that it was only 15 lbs heavier than my clean. I don’t get it either, lumberjack Coach!

 

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There happened to be an open gym afterwards, so I stayed around. My coach from Colorado had sent me a WOD to do, with some snatches, overhead squats, kettle bell swings and burpees. It reminded me how Sanitas WODS always seem more to involve more cardio than any other CF Box I have been to. I was winded after and ready for some brunch.

There were a lot of people who showed up for the open gym. A lot of people with the “ATHLETE” shirts on, signifying their participation in the games. Seeing as how CrossFit St. Paul got an award for most involved (or something along those lines, can’t remember exactly) from last year’s games, I thought that made pretty good sense. Overall, it was a friendly atmosphere, smaller but with sufficient space to move around, a nice coach (might have benefited from a little more in motion instruction), mixed clientele and good hours. AND  they played my current favorite song. So that gained them some points. In case you haven’t heard it, it’s below. Hope you are all having a great Sunday!

 

Minneapolis Competition and Pomegranate Trick

Hello from Minnesota! Remember that law school  contract competition I did way back when? Well, it turns out I qualified to go to another competition in Minnesota that happens to be this weekend. That’s part of why I have been so MIA this week, as I’ve had to practice arguing and negotiating all week. Nerd Overload.

So far, the land of 10,000 lakes has treated me well. The airport had iPads EVERYWHERE, really bright neon lights and it was felt very futuristic.

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One of my teammates loves the fact that there are so many lakes here and has asked every driver/waiter so far “What’s you favorite lake?” and not one of them has thought this was a strange question. In fact, our waiter actually had his favorite lake tattoo’d on his forearm. So my teammate turned it into a meme:

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(did I mention we are nerdy?) Depending on how my schedule is (I don’t find out until Saturday morning) I might try to make it to a CrossFit gym here. I looked them up before I came out and, while the weekend classes are limited, there are a couple available if I”ll be free during those times. If not, my hotel room is conveniently located right next to the fitness center, so I can sneak in there for a workout of my own if need be.

Lastly, as it’s pomegranate season, I thought I’d share a little trick to getting out those delicious seeds without making your kitchen look like a murder scene. First, cut the pomegranate in half. Then place one half in a bowl of water. Scrape all the seeds out under the water, repeat with the other side. This makes all the juice end up in the water, not all over you, and you can just strain out the seeds.

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Ta-Da! I have to hit the hay so I can get some rest before attempting to use all my brain power tomorrow. Hope you all have good weekends!!

What is your favorite lake?