An Anniversary Getaway in Vail

Two years ago this weekend, my husband purposed to me in Vail, CO. After spending the day at Gourmet on Gore, a culinary festival in Vail Village, we dined at the legendary Sweet Basil and then walked the cobblestone streets of the quaint mountain town. Then, he pulled me aside and asked for my hand in marriage. It was everything a girl could dream about!

Two wedding dresses and twelve months later, we were married at Space Art Gallery surrounded by our closest friends and family. Let’s all be glad that I did not have a blog throughout the course of my wedding planning because it was absolute mayhem. I was a crazy Pinterest, Craigslist, Bravo TV obsessed DIY bridezilla. In the end, my black and gold Art Deco/Gatsby inspired theme surpassed all my expectations and turned out to be well worth it, complete with a wall of string lights, candy table, champagne Jello, signature cocktails, champagne fountain, and cigar bar. My husband was handsome as ever in his James Bond looking custom suit and my boys stole the show with their dance moves. It was the perfect start to our life together as husband and wife.
For our first anniversary we decided to go back to Vail for a beautiful weekend in the mountains. For those of you that have not been to Vail Village, it is nestled at the base of Vail Ski Resort and is something out of a fairytale. The local shops and hotels are reminiscent of European chateaus; charm and luxury is the status quo. With grand chandeliers, award winning cuisine, and apres hot spots, it is wonderful belief.
We headed out of town Friday afternoon with just enough time to make our evening reservation at Mountain Standard, a new modern American restaurant from the creators of Sweet Basil. We started off with a celebratory oyster shooter. If you like oysters even in the slightest, I would highly recommend this. I’m not one for the taste of hard alcohol, but the cocktail sauce seemed to cut through the vodka quite well.
We took the recommendation of our server and went with the Stone Fruit appetizer – grilled nectarine, goat cheese, pickled cherries, cashew granola, and surryanno ham. This was fresh and innovative and simply divine. The Korean BBQ Steak Tartare was equally fantastic.
Mountain Standard_2014 3

For entrees, we shared the Colorado Lamb Sirloin with ratatouille vegetables, crisp polenta, truffle fondue, black olive oil and the Cedar River Ribeye Steak with
crisp fingerling potato, salsa brava, mushroom and asparagus salad. We were thoroughly impressed with everything and our empty plates were proof of our satisfied tummies.

Mountain Standard_2014
After an evening of feasting, I was adamant about working out on Saturday morning, but as fantastic as our hotel was, it did not come complete with a fitness facility. I made the less than sensible decision to pay the $35 day rate at the Vail Vitality Fitness Center in order to have access to their gym. I did the following workout, a compilation of missed Invictus Competition Programming workouts of prior days.
A) Chest Press x 3 rep
Loading per set (by %): 50, 55, 60, 65, 70, 75, 80, 80+, 80+, 80
I haven’t done chest press since before starting CrossFit back in January at which time I typically did 6-8 reps at no more than 65 pounds. I was happy to see that my 80+ loads equaled 85 pounds.
B) Shoulder Press x 1 rep
Loading per set (by %): 50, 55, 60, 65, 70, 75, 80, 80+, 80+, 80
I completed my 80+ loads with 30 pound dumbbells.
C) 3 Rounds for time:
6 Strict Pull-ups
3 Dips
12 Pistols (alternating)
I completed part C in about 4 minutes time.
Before enjoying the open air tasting and world class wine of Gourmet on Gore, we strolled past the very spot he proposed. #romantic
Gourmet on Gore_2014 3
After scoping out all the culinary delights, we cashed in for gourmet dollars and proceed to try everything from etoufee to ahi tuna. I washed it all down with a glass of my all time favorite drink, champagne. I love bubbly, a lot!
Gourmet on Gore_2014 2
Gourmet on Gore_2014 1
Our last stop was Batter, where we picked up two cupcakes that would be sure to satisfy our late night sweet tooth. Naturally, I opted for the banana cake topped with peanut butter frosting and  maple bacon crumbles. Mmmmm, bacon. The last time I had a non-Paleo dessert was our honeymoon, so this was a well deserved treat! And yes, we share food all the time.
Gourmet on Gore_2014 4
Before heading out of town on Sunday, we made a quick stop for some breakfast and then proceed to the Vail Farmer’s Market. I love going to Farmer’s Markets and Vail has quite an impressive one, but the drizzly rain and chilly temperature made it a bit difficult to enjoy. I was more interested in warming up at the local Starbucks.
Vail Farmers Market

Revisiting Vail was an amazing way to celebrate our first year of marriage and I look forward to celebrating many more to come, hopefully back in the same charming mountain town. It is hard to believe that it has already been a year, but I guess time flies when you’re having fun!

Gourmet on Gore_2014

As for the rest of the weekend, it was committed to grocery shopping, food prep, laundry and other not so blog worthy tasks. Sad, but true. I hope everyone had a fabulous holiday weekend, and I can’t wait to hear all about it.

What did you do this Labor Day weekend?

What was the best thing you ate this weekend?

Wod Love Wednesdays – Invictus Competition Programming & A Box Jump Blunder

Wod Love Wednesday

A) Max Height Box Jump – I didn’t actually do this part. 

B) 12 minute AMRAP:
3 Strict HSPU
6 Front Squats (95/65)
9 Box Jumps (30/24)

Caution Box Jumps

I completed part B RX with 8 rounds and 6 sets, and walked away with one heck of a bruise that stretches nearly the entire length of my shin. Ouch! 

A) 1 RM Snatch
B) 2 minute max Double-unders
C) 100 Plate Burpees for time 

My 1 RM Snatch was 73# and a new PR! I completed 130 double-unders in 2 minutes time, 73 of which were unbroken. Part C I was less than thrilled to complete after having just did 75 burpees over the bar in my competition, but I learned that plate burpees aren’t quite as bad as over the bar burpees. I finished in 8:30. 

Invictus Competition Programming:

A) EMOM for 10 minutes:
Back Squat x 1 rep
Sets 1-2 – 55%
Sets 3-4 – 65%
Sets 5-6 – 75%
Sets 7-8 – 80%
Sets 9-10 – 85%

This translated to loads of 89, 89, 105, 105, 122, 122, 130, 130, 138, 138 pounds.

B) Every 90 seconds, for 15 minutes (10 sets):
Split Jerk x 1 rep
Loads per set (by %): 55, 65, 70, 75, 80, 85, 90, 95, 95+, 95+

This translated to loads of 55, 65, 70, 75 80, 85, 90, 90, 90

C) 12 minute AMRAP of:
40 Double-Unders
2 Muscle-Ups 
4 Power Cleans (185/135 lbs)
8 Push Press (185/135 lbs)

I did Part C with 65 pounds and subbed the Muscle -Ups for 6 C2B and 6 Ring Dips. 

Invictus Competition Programming: 

A) Three sets of:
60 seconds of L-Seated Ring Support Hold (accumulate as much time under tension as possible)
Rest 30 seconds
60 Seconds of Handstand Walk (accumulate as much distance as possible)
Rest 30 seconds

B) Complete as many rounds and reps as possible in 6 minutes of:
3 Squat Snatches (175/115 lbs) *I used 65 pounds 
6 Burpees Over the Barbell
9 Chest-to-Bar Pull-Ups

Rest exactly 4 minutes, and then . . .

C) Complete as many rounds and reps as possible in 6 minutes of:
3 Squat Snatches (155/105 lbs) *I used 60 pounds 
6 Burpees Over the Barbell
9 Chest-to-Bar Pull-Ups

Rest exactly 4 minutes, and then . . .

D)Complete as many rounds and reps as possible in 6 minutes of:
3 Squat Snatches (135/95 lbs) *I used 55 pounds 
6 Burpees Over the Barbell
9 Chest-to-Bar Pull-Ups


monday 2
Invictus Competition Programming: 

A) E2M for 12 minutes (6 sets):
Hang Snatch (mid-thigh) + Snatch @ 80-85% of 1-RM Snatch

I used 60 pounds for Part A. 

B) E2M for 10 minutes (5 sets):
4-Stop Halting Snatch Deadlift @ 95-105% of 1-RM Snatch
(Pause for 3 seconds at each of the following positions: 2″ off the floor, mid-patella, mid-thigh, “pockets”/high hang – USE STRAPS)

I did 105% of my 1 RM Snatch for a total of 82 pounds. 

C) Every 2 minutes and 30 seconds for 20 minutes (8 sets): Back Squat
Set 1 – 6 reps @ 60% of 1-RM
Set 2 – 4 reps @ 70%
Set 3 – 2 reps @ 80%
Set 4 – 6 reps @ 70%
Set 5 – 4 reps @ 80%
Set 6 – 2 reps @ 90%
Set 7 – 4 reps @ 85%
Set 8 – 4 reps @ 85%

My 1 RM Back Squat is 163 pounds, which translated to 98, 114, 130, 114, 130, 147, 138, 138. 

 A) EMOM for 12 minutes:
1 – Handstand Walk
2 – x10 Ring V-Outs 
3- x8 Strict Pull-ups 

B) Strict Press

Completed with 65, 70, 70, 85, 65, 70, 70, 85, 55 pounds. The 85# rep was a new PR by 5 pounds! 

C) Against a five-minute running clock
Row 750 Meters, immediately followed by, as many reps as possible in the remaining time of:
Muscle-Up + 2 Dips *Substituted with 3 C2B Pull-ups and 2 Dips 

Rest 2 minutes, and then…

Against a five-minute running clock,
Run 800 Meters, immediately followed by, as many reps as possible in the remaining time of:
Chest-to-Bar Pull-Ups

Rest 2 minutes, and then…

Against a five-minute running clock,
Row 750 Meters, immediately followed by, as many reps as possible in the remaining time of:
Muscle-Up + 2 Dips *Substituted with 3 C2B Pull-ups and 2 Dips 

I completed 2 full sets of C2B Pull-ups/Dips for both the first and third round, and 8 C2B for round two. 

Part C was pulled from the Invictus Competition Program, but the rest was customized by my coach. I have come to absolutely love the Invictus workouts. CJ Martin’s extensive knowledge is evident in the success he’s had training some of the “fittest on earth,” including Josh Bridges and Camille Leblanc-Bazinet, to name a few. The workouts prescribed are long, typically requiring 90 minutes, include a lot of foundation strength work, and are ultimately designed to warrant a level of fitness that exceeds the general level of preparedness. 

Happy Training! 

What was your favorite workout this week? 

Have you heard of Invictus? Want to know more? 


Enter to Win $500 in Reebok Gift Cards

Want a new pair of Reebok Nanos? New workout attire? A new gym bag? How about all of it, all for free?  That’s right, FREE! 

Reebok is hosting a Fall Fitness Giveaway where both you and I can each win $500 in Reebok gift cards! To enter, simply check out from now through 8/31, pick out your favorite fitness item (apparel, shoes, accessories, and more) and post a link to that item in the comments section below. It’s that easy! 

Reebok will announce their winner on 9/2, and if we win, I’ll announce my winner on 9/3!

I could use a pair of CrossFit Plus 2.0 Lifters, how about you? 

*Open to US Residents Only
**This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

Good luck and happy shopping! 

Paleo Angel Food Cake with Strawberries & Coconut Whip Cream

Just because I eat mostly Paleo doesn’t mean that I don’t love and crave sugar. Sweetness is and always will be my flavor of choice.

Luckily, there are so many alternatives out there that actually do sugar justice. Coconut palm sugar, stevia, agave syrup and raw honey are all acceptable substitutes in my opinion, and I’ve come to know and love them all.

That said, I am human. I know the pleasurable sensation that accompanies the taste of sweetness; the activation of taste receptors, the immediate release of dopamine, and the uplifting effect of serotonin. There’s no denying the rewarding feeling that accompanies the consumption of sugar; it is divine. For a sacchariferous fiend like myself, it is this very flavor explosion and chemical reaction in my brain that makes it difficult to abstain from indulging in candy-coated, syrupy, chocolaty, delicious, sugared goodness.

Eating Paleo has done wonders for my sweet tooth. Keeping my blood sugar in check is no longer a vicious cycle. With a balanced diet of adequate protein, carbohydrates and fat, I am able to ward of fatigue and substantially diminish any insulin dependency that is likely to strike as a result of low blood sugar. I have more energy, better mental clarity and very rarely experience cravings of any kind.

But let’s be real, Larabars and sweet potatoes don’t always satisfy my insatiable appetite for sugar. Paleo Angel Food Cake with Strawberries & Coconut Whip Cream, however, does! So, every now and again I have to channel my inner Betty Crocker and put my Paleo pastry skills to the test. This faux dessert was simple, required only a handful of ingredients and was an easy clean up. My family absolutely loved it and had no clue that it was Paleo-friendly, grain free, sugar free, dairy free and gluten free. Trust me, it’s that good!

Paleo Angel Food Cake with Strawberries & Coconut Whip Cream

Paleo Angel Food Cake with Strawberries & Coconut Whip Cream
Serves 4
Paleo, Grain Free, Gluten Free, Sugar Free, Dairy Free
Write a review
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 20 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 20 min
For the cake
  1. 1/2 cup Arrowroot Powder
  2. 1/2 cup Coconut Flour
  3. 11 Egg Whites
  4. 1-1/2 teaspoon Cream of Tartar
  5. 1 teaspoon Baking Soda
  6. Pinch of Salt
  7. 1-1/2 teaspoon Vanilla
  8. 3/4 cup Sugar substitute (I used Coconut Palm Sugar)
For the topping
  1. 1 can full fat Coconut Cream, refrigerate overnight (I used Organic Thai Kitchen)
  2. 2 cups sliced Strawberries
  3. Zest of Lemon
For the cake
  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine coconut flour, arrowroot flour and salt, sift if necessary. Set aside.
  3. In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until soft peaks begin to form. Add cream of tartar and continue to beat for 1-2 minutes. Add vanilla and baking soda, followed by 1-3 tablespoons of sugar substitute at a time, continue to beat until firm peaks form, approximately 5 minutes.
  4. Using a rubber spatula, slowly fold dry ingredients into the egg whites. Do not complete this step using a mixture as you do not want to flatten the egg whites. Cut and fold, people.
  5. Pour batter into an ungreased pan of your choice (bundt or similar) I used two mini muffin tins.
  6. Bake 50–60 minutes or until the top in nicely browned and cake springs back when firmly pressed.
  7. Allow to cool upside down on a cooling rack .
For the topping
  1. Open coconut can and carefully drain the liquid. Note: Open the can from the bottom.
  2. Scoop cream into a small bowl and mix until firm. Add sugar substitute and vanilla for taste.
  3. Top cake with sliced strawberries, coconut whip cream and zest of lemon.
  4. Enjoy!
Beauty and the Box | Exploring CrossFit, Health and Real Food One Blog Post At A Time
Eating Paleo does not mean never eating dessert! If it did, I would seriously have to question my own sanity. There are countless Paleo friendly dessert recipes out there that will satisfy your sweet tooth. This is just one of many!

What is your flavor of choice? Sweet, Sour, Bitter, Umami, Salty?

What is your favorite Paleo dessert?

What do you crave most?

My First CrossFit Competition

Over the weekend I competed in my first CrossFit competition, the 2nd Annual Fossil Games. It was a team master’s competition consisting of teams of 4 (2 men/2 women). The only requirement was that all team members had to be 30+ years old. Yep, they used the word “fossil” to define those of us that were eligible to compete, as in someone or something that is old and outdated. When the heck did 30 become old? I thought 30 was the new 20. I would hardly consider myself or any other CrossFit competitor an antiquated or stubbornly unchanging person or thing – just for the record. ;) 

I didn’t post too much about the competition over the last few weeks – probably because I was more nervous than a pig in a bacon factory. Luckily, the closer competition day came, the better I was at channeling my emotions into motivation. I trained hard, ate clean, and ultimately knew that there wasn’t anything else I could have done to prepare.

My First CrossFit Competition

The night before the competition, I was surprisingly calm. After packing all of my food, supplements, gear and clothing, which was a task in and of itself, I went to bed early in hopes of waking bright eyed and bushy tailed.

Packing for a CrossFit Competition Picture26

Unfortunately, my pre-contest jitters could only be suppressed for so long. I woke up well before my alarm, before the sunrise, and probably before any seemingly normal human being. Before leaving, I had my go-to morning protein shake with 1 cup unflavored coconut milk, 1 cup berries and 1 scoop natural whey protein, followed by half a sweet potato. I think one of the best pieces of advice I received was to not try anything new on the day of competition. I chose to pack stuff that I knew would be appealing – ground chicken sausage and sweet potatoes, apples, bananas, almond butter, Larabars, Quest Bars, and protein powder. Food aside, this is not the day to try out a new pair of shoes, take a new supplement or change to using a hook grip. This is a great time to follow the KISS principle: keep it simple, stupid.

My nerves seemed to perk up en route to the competition. Apparently, I was taking in some really big deep breaths because my husband kept asking me if I was going to be okay. Haha! At least my erratic breathing seemed to distract him from the fact that I was nervously fidgeting and tapping my foot incessantly. When we arrived, the butterflies in my stomach seemed to dissipate some. It was silly being nervous in a place full of smiling faces, lawn chairs, coolers and knee high socks. It was a great place to be, among other able-bodied 30+ athletes.

My First CrossFit Competition

It was during the athlete orientation that I learned that the 75 burpees I was about to do were going to be burpees over the bar. What is it with CrossFit competitions having last minute twists and turns? In the scheme of things, it wasn’t a big deal, burpees are burpees, and they suck no matter what.

WOD 1 “The 4’s”
75 burpees
1 mile run
½ mile run with kettlebells (weight must total 70lbs)
50 clean and jerk (ranging from 95 to 155 pounds)

Each team member had to complete one leg of the workout and tag the hand of the next partner before they could begin the next leg.

My First CrossFit Competition

3 . 2 . 1 . GO!

In my case, jumping the over the bar translated to an additional 1 minute and 15 seconds. After 6 minutes time, I stumbled out the door to tag my teammate, Stephanie, for her portion of the relay, a 1 mile run. I was immediately hit with a horrific case of Fran Lung, which proceeded to stay with me for the next 48 hours. Not so much fun. Andrew was tasked with the ½ mile run and then Jake completed the 50 reps of clean and jerks at 115 pounds. We finished in 13th place.

My First CrossFit Competition

75 Burpees Over the Bar

My First CrossFit Competition

We had a little over an hour before our next event. It was still a bit early for chicken, so I opted for a protein shake and apple to refuel.  With the first wod behind me, I was able to relax and enjoy the experience with the friends that came to cheer us on. And, a huge thanks to those that did!  It was so great to have the support. My husband was especially amazing that day. He was in bed early and up at the crack of dawn with me, and didn’t complain once about having to take photos all day long.

WOD 2 “The Ladder”
Women – Clean ladder 3 rep max touch and go from 65 pounds to 145 pounds, jumping up in weight by 10 pound increments.

Men – Deadlift from 225 pounds to 465 pounds, jumping up in weight by 30 pound increments.

Both athletes had a total of 50 seconds to perform 3 touch and go reps with 10 seconds to transition.

Even though I wasn’t able to finish the ladder, I thoroughly enjoyed this wod. I like the fact that it gave athletes the chance to improve their personal bests. If you’re ever going to hit a PR, this is the best place to do it.


My First CrossFit Competition The Clean Ladder

I recently attempted this ladder during a workout, so I was pretty confident as to where I would fall off the ladder. I completed one clean at 115 pounds, but I was unable to perform the other two in succession. Stephanie had a huge PR and completed the ladder through 135 pounds! The guys destroyed the deadlifts, both making it to 435-465 pounds. Another 13th place finish for us. We were consistent, if anything.

With an hour and a half until wod 3, I figured I better try and eat something a bit more substantial, so I ate ground chicken sausage and half a sweet potato. It’s a good thing I had a Kill Cliff on ice because the down time definitely stole some of my thunder. At one point, my hubby and I took a corner of the indoor soccer field and attempted to rest. It was a failed attempt. Who was I kidding?

WOD 3 “Jumpy”
The third wod was a bouncy house obstacle course. Yes, the inflatable kind complete with jump through openings, pop ups, log jams, squeeze walls and crawl tubes. Seriously. Each team member had to traverse through the course, sprint back to the starting line and tag the next person. Once all members were through the course, everyone had to sprint down the field and the total time was marked. It looked a little something like this: Jumpy.

It was senseless fun, but it also proved to be a bit dangerous. Everyone came out with rug burns (or rubber burns in this case) and one unlucky fellow dislocated his shoulder. We finished in 11th place with a time of 1:30.

WOD 4 “Floater”
This made “Jumpy” seem like Disneyland. Someone with questionable intentions had the bright idea to weld together two sleds to create for a 4 person sled push. One might argue that this seems ingenious for a team competition, but I would beg to differ. Points were given for every fence post passed and every time you returned to the starting point you had to add a plate, the plates ranged from 15-45 pounds. I don’t know what the total weight was, but it felt like about a billion pounds.

My First CrossFit Competition

Sled Push


We had an air tight game plan that fell apart after the first run, so we improvised. Unfortunately, I don’t think they gave us points for our improvisation. A trial run would have made all the difference, but that’s all I want to say about that. Moving on… :)

WOD 5 “Sprint Grid”
Suicides with 200 pound sandbags
20 clusters with 75 pounds
20 double-unders (unbroken)
20 kettlebell snatch with 65/35 pounds
8 partner squats
20 box jump overs
8 burpees with a 9.5’ target

The only requirement was that you had to return to your team to tag the next person, but other than that, we were allowed to divide it up in any which way.

This was my favorite workout of the day, perhaps because I was only responsible for 20 unbroken double-unders and partner squats, in which I was not actually doing the squatting. It was fun, fast paced, and the epitome of what I envisioned for a team competition. And, a great way to end the day!

My First CrossFit Competition

20 Unbroken Double-Unders

My First CrossFit Competition

Partner Squats

I left the competition feeling happy about my performance and thankful that I agreed to compete even though I was nervous. I will be the first to admit that I wish I hadn’t spent so much time worrying about the maximum weight limits and wods. I wish I had been content in knowing that it would challenging, but more than that a fun and memorable experience surrounded by fellow CrossFit enthusiasts.

My First CrossFit Competition

The Team

The most surprisingly realization that came from my first CrossFit competition was not how much fun it was because I was expecting to have all kinds of fun. I was not, however, expecting to be thinking about future competitions before even getting out of the parking lot. I think CrossFit is one of the greatest sports because of its scalability. Whether you are in your first year of training or your tenth, there is always room for improvement, and there is always a way to satisfy your competitive spirit. In CrossFit, competition is not solely reserved for the elite athletes that are considered the fittest on earth. It recognizes all ages and all levels; it does not discriminate.

The spirited and synergistic atmosphere is reason enough to compete again, but more than that it was a great way to measure myself again my fellow fossils. Not everyone that does CrossFit has the desire to compete and that’s okay, but I most certainly do. For now, it is back to the box for me where I plan to focus on building my strength, endurance and mobility. Till next time…

My First CrossFit Competition

Have you ever competed in a CrossFit competition?

If not, do you have any desire to? What is holding you back?

How do you handle your pre-contest jitters? 

Seven Day Positivity Challenge

A fellow CrossFit junkie and blogger, Chris, tagged me in a Seven Day Positivity Challenge. I accepted this challenge not because he bullied me into it, which he did, but because I am a firm believer that there is power in positive thinking.

Life is about relishing in the small gestures or as Chris put it, “the random and seemingly mundane.” It’s about looking on the bright side, seeing the glass half full and being an eternal optimist. And so, without further ado, I give your my list of small and large positive happenings over the course of last week.

monday 2

  • I woke up to my youngest son’s smiling face and sweet kisses.
  • In 3 months’ time, I increased my 1RM Power Clean and 1RM Jerk by 36% and 38%.
  • We feasted on grass fed NY strips, sweet potato casserole with pecan crumble, and garlic roasted broccoli. Just an ordinary Monday night.


  • I made some major progress on my final research paper that’s due Saturday.
  • I found my new 1RM for Front Squats at 135 pounds. On July 18, it was 120 pounds. PR!
  • My 13 year old ate all of his vegetables without me having to ask.  #proudmom


  • I completed a big project at work that has been causing me unnecessary and unwanted stress.
  • I survived Fight Gone Bad and improved my total rep count by 7.
  • My husband and I ate made our favorite meal for dinner, Sweet Potato Hash.


  • There was little to no traffic on my way to work. Great way to start the day!
  • Treated myself to a new athletic watch, a blacked out Baby G-Shock. <3
  • I found my 1 RM Box Squats at 183 pounds, which was up from 153 pounds.


  • Summer quarter came to close when I finished my ten page research paper on intercultural commutation and diplomacy. Three weeks of no school, whoo hoo!
  • I realized that the large overbearing vines in my backyard produce grapes. Who knew? The clusters are beautiful and fresh and it makes me want to plant a garden.
  • I survived 650m Row x 4 sets, barely.


  • My husband had to leave for a conference in New York and I was missing him before he got all the way out of the driveway. Absence really does make the heart grow fonder.
  • I made a quick trip to the Reebok outlet mall to look at their CrossFit gear. I picked up a new CF t-shirt and got my kiddo some new snazzy sneakers for kindergarten.
  • My long time BFF, Jessie, and her daughter came over for a much needed play date. Our kids played together while we reminisced about our shared childhood memories.


  • We celebrated my brother’s 18th birthday at the park with friends and family.
  • I was able to control my poor impulse control and not put my face in his birthday cake.
  • Since my husband and oldest son were out of town, my little one and I invited Grandpa over for a BBQ. My dad makes a mean turkey burger.

So there you have it, my week in rewind featuring all the positive moments both big and small. This was a great exercise and I encourage you all to do it, regardless of whether or not you share it with anyone.

What was your greatest moment last week?

Wod Love Wednesdays – 75 Burpees Under 5 Minutes, Rowing & Nancy

Wod Love Wednesdaywednesday
A) 2 Rounds for time
Pistols x 12 reps
Muscle-up progression x 5 reps
Barbell v-outs (aka ab roller) x 10 reps

B) For time: 75 burpees

This was programmed into my workout because my portion of the first competition wod is just that. So, we timed how fast I could do it so that I had a time to beat on the big day. Phew, 75 burpees is no laughing matter, but I finished in 4:46.

C) 4 Rounds for time:
3 Deadlifts @ 165 pounds
9 Strict Dips (stationary)

When I saw deadlifts at 165 pounds, I  chuckled. My 1RM is 155, so how am I going to be able to do 3 reps four times? Much to my surprise and liking, I performed all four rounds without having to scale the weight. :) I finished this portion in 5:05.

D) 3 Rounds for time:
5 Thrusters @ 75 pounds
10 Pull-ups (kipping)
40 Double-unders

“I like thrusters,” said no one ever. I finished this portion in 9:49.

A) 5 Rounds of:
Narrow grip overhead squats x 3 reps at tempo
5 Chest to bar pull-ups (C2B)
*Rest 2 minutes between rounds

B) 4 Rounds of:
650 meter Row
20 Weighted walking lunges with 25 pound dumbbells
53 pound Kettlebell swings x 10 reps
*Rest 3 minutes between rounds

2,600 meters of rowing is a whole lot of rowing. Each round took me about 4:20 to 4:49 to complete.

Apparently I forgot to take a photo of my workout on Friday, my bad.

“Pet Rock” Partner Wod
We opted use a 44 pound kettlebell for our “rock”. There was a 10 burpee penalty if the kettlebll touches the ground. Luckily, that did not happen. We finished in 30:31.
Pet Rock CrossFit Wod

A much needed rest day.

monday 2
My box is in between programming this week, so it was dedicated to “The Girls.” First up, Nancy.

5 Rounds for time:
400 meter Run
15 Overhead squats (95/65)

I used 55 pounds for this wod, however next time I think I will RX it seeing as I never broke up the 15 overhead squats. I finished in 16:33.

A) Power clean ladder x 3 reps each
65-75-85-95-105-115-125-135-145 pounds

This is wod 2 from the competition. You have 50 seconds to complete 3 reps of each weight with 10 seconds to transition. I was able to complete this ladder through 105. I could only get 1 rep at 115 pounds. I’m hoping I can dig deep and make the 115 pounds during the competition!

B) Every 8 minutes for 24 minutes
500 meter Row
10 Burpees over the bar (rower)
20 Push press @ 65 pounds

How fast can you do 75 burpees?

What is your favorite “Girl” benchmark wod?

What was your favorite workout this week?


The Emotional Phases of Facing Competition

I spent a good deal of my childhood training rigorously as a Rhythmic Gymnast and competing nationally against other Olympic hopeful youth. Then, in my twenties I became engrossed in the world of Fitness & Figure Competitions, training alongside other motivated women looking to build lean muscle and perfect symmetry. Now that I am in my early thirties, I’ve found myself wildly passionate about CrossFit, one of the toughest strength and conditioning programs in the world. Unlike my other athletic endeavors, I did not start CrossFit with the intent to compete. I started because I was bored and unmotivated in the gym, because my body was no longer responding to training, and because I wanted to see what all the hype and hoopla was about.

It was during my third month of CrossFit that I was introduced to the 2013 CrossFit Open, a worldwide competition consisting of five workouts over five weeks where athletes post their scores online in real time.  I immediately fell in love with the energy, camaraderie and ambition of these athletes; it was magnetizing to me. Naturally, my competitive spirit took over and I knew right then that I eventually wanted to compete in CrossFit competitions. I set my sights on the 2014 CrossFit Open with the hopes of simply feeling confident enough in my abilities to register and officially partake in the five weeks of Open workouts. I was comfortable with the fact that I had an entire year to devote to making gains, hitting new PRs, improving my Olympic lifting technique and mastering kipping pull-ups, among other things.

Then, about a month ago one of my coaches asked if I’d be interested in doing a competition with him and two other fellow CrossFitters from another box. My initial reaction was yes, Yes, YES! I love competition! Even more than that, I love having something tangible to work towards. I was immediately full of rampant excitement to push myself even harder and hone in on my nutrition, but since that initial reaction I have gone through a myriad of emotions. So without further ado, I give you the emotional phases of facing competition and how to funnel pre-contest nerves…


There is something utterly exciting about training with a purpose. Unlike having loosely defined goals, this looming event ignited my competitive spirit generating a sense of urgency and added purpose to maximize my potential in a shorter amount of time.  If you ever find yourself in a rut, I’d suggest signing up for an event to give you that extra oomph. Whether you want to compete in your first CrossFit competition, run a 5k or marathon, chose something that has a hard deadline, set measurable goals and objectives, and relish in the experience that is ultimately going to make you realize just how capable you are.

Once the initial excitement wore off, I was smacked in the face with a healthy dose of trepidation. This was by no means my favorite phase.


Even the most elite athletes experience pre-contest nerves; it is an inevitable and expected part of showcasing your abilities, especially in the presence of others. A couple days after committing to this competition, I began to question my decision. What if I’m not ready? What if I’m the weak link in the team? What if I can’t make a lift? What if, what if, what if? I drove myself crazy for the better part of a week until I suddenly realized that I was psyching myself out for no good reason.

Stop listening to the voices in your head! Research suggests that poor performance is associated with negative self-talk, whereas positive self-talk solicits a more favorable outcome. Re-frame your thoughts into affirming messages that will boost your self-confidence and alleviate undue stress. As with anything, change takes a lot of practice. Be patience, be consistent and be diligent. The phrases and words you chose will impact your performance, so chose them wisely.

It took a whole lot of positive self-talk and maybe even a few sleepless nights before I was able shift into the next phase, my favorite, motivation.


After getting my mind right, I funneled all my anxiety, fear and doubt into my training and nutrition. I knew that I had to dig deep and take my mental toughness to a whole new level. Mental toughness, a term we CrossFitters are all too familiar with, is what gives you the will to power through even when you think you have nothing left to give. It’s about overcoming yourself, blocking out your weaknesses, and pushing yourself harder than you did the day before.

Your mind will fail faster than your body will.

I used all this new found motivation to push myself mentally and physically, both in and out of the box. In terms of nutrition, I know that protein is the building block of muscle, growth and repair. If you want to make gains, you have to fuel your body accordingly. So, I immediately adopted an eating regimen that really focused on restoring and refueling my glycogen storage. What does this mean? I became diligent about what and when I ate for my pre and post workout meals.

From a training perspective, there’s only so much you can do in four weeks time. I, by no means, expected to increase my squat snatch by 50 pounds in order to be able to do the competition’s prescribed weight. I did, however, begin to train directly with my coach in order to work on technique and quick transitions.

Like in any athletic endeavor, it’s not about how bad you want it, it’s about how hard you are willing to work.


Self confidence gives you the ability to overcome your fears, defeat stronger opponents, and perform at your absolute best. It is the mark of a champion. In terms of competition, there are some key things to remember here: 1) Don’t compare yourself to others. Sizing up your opponents is a confidence killer. Instead, remind yourself of all you’ve done to get to this point and know that you are only responsible for you. 2) Visualization. This is a powerful technique that produces actual results. In fact, research has revealed that mental imagery is almost as effective as true physical practice, and that doing both is more effective than either alone. 3) Acknowledge your victories, all of them. Whether you knocked a couple seconds off previous finish time or performed your first ever double-under, give yourself the credit you deserve.

the emotional phases of facing competition

Competition inspires many emotions and physiological responses in athletes, which can make preparing for a competition a daunting task, especially if it is your first one. It requires focus, consistency, patience, time and commitment in order to become both mentally and physically prepared. Getting to this point isn’t always easy or pleasurable, but it is necessary if you want to maximize performance and control anxiety.

Different people have different ways of managing the emotional phases of facing competition. With just one week until my first CrossFit competition, I am openly embracing my anxiety and channeling it into my training and nutrition. My experiences in preparing for this competition have raised my anxiety threshold to a new level. I am still a bundle of nerves, but I am also genuinely excited, motivated and confident that I made the right decision to compete.

Have you ever competed in a CrossFit competition?

How do you combat pre-contest nerves?

What is your favorite way to de-stress?


Wod Love Wednesdays – Fight Gone Bad and PRs by 36% & 38%!

Wod Love Wednesdaywednesday
“Fight Gone Bad”
Three rounds of:
Wall-ball  (Reps)
Sumo dead-lift high-pull, 35 pounds (Reps)
Box Jump, 20″ box (Reps)
Push-press, 55 pounds (Reps)
Row (Calories)

In this workout you move from each of five stations after a minute.The clock never stops. This is a five-minute round from which a one-minute break is allowed before repeating. I completed this wod in April and finished with 211 reps. Last Wednesday, I completed this wod with 218 reps. This is just a brutal wod, period.

A) 5-5-5-5-5 Box Squats
X-WOD 1.2.3. Sprints

B) 12 minute AMRAP:
5 Pull-ups
10 Pistols (alt legs)

I love box squats! I love box squats because I can go so much heavier on them than regular squats. I ended Part A at 183 pounds at 5 reps, which was up from 153 pounds on June 26. A nice 30% PR!

I was able to get 7 rounds and 11 reps on Part B. This was the first time I completed HSPU with not two, but one abmat.

Another Invictus style workout that consisted of:

A) 3 Rounds (not for time):
Wall walks x 2 reps
Wall ball x 8 reps with 20 pound ball
24″ Box jumps x 8 reps

B) EM2M for 12 minutes:
Squat snatch x @ 45-55 pounds

C) Every 4 minutes for 12 minutes:
145 pound Deadlift x 8 reps
Kettlebell swings @ 53 pounds x 12 reps
GHD Sit-ups x 16 reps
45 pound S2OH (shoulder to overhead) x 20 reps

A couple things – 145 pound deadlift is my 1 RM (rep max), so needless to say Part C was a little challenging and 53 pound kettlebell swings are no joke. My shoulders were on fire!


On Saturday, I ran my first 5k, which you can read about here. I followed it up with another 2 mile run and a partner wod, and then a Summer Snatch Party at my box.

I trekked all the way down to Fort Collins to meet the other members of our four person team for an upcoming CrossFit competition. We worked on transitions, timing, rowing, etc. More to come on this in the following days. :)

monday 2
TESTING WEEK!!! My box is testing wods from May so that we can see just how strong we are all getting.

A) 20 minutes to find 1 RM Power Clean
B) 20 minutes to find 1 RM Jerk

In May, my 1 RM Power Clean was 83 pounds and as of Monday my 1 RM is 113 pounds. My 1 RM Jerk was 78 pounds and is now 108 pounds. Just a meager 36% and 38% increase!

A) Every 90 seconds for 10 minutes and 30 seconds:
Hang snatch + snatch @ 45-60 pounds

B) E2M for 12 minutes:
Front Squat
1 – 2 reps
2 – 2 reps
3 – 2 reps
4-6 – 1 rep

I found my new 1RM for Front Squats at 135 pounds. On July 18, it was 120 pounds. PR!

C) 1 mile run for time
I finished in 8:07, 30 seconds faster than my previous time.

D) 5 sets of 40 yard Sled Push at 90 pounds
If you haven’t had the pleasure of experiencing the sled push, well try and keep it that way. I thought 90 pounds would be somewhat easy. Boy was I wrong!

Have you ever competed in a CrossFit competition? or thought about it?

What was your last PR?

What was your favorite workout this week?

Weekend Recap: Union Station and My First 5K Color Run

Last weekend was probably one of the busiest weekends I’ve had in a long time. The good news is that it was packed with all fun things – a fancy schmancy birthday dinner, my first 5K, a Summer Snatch Party with CrossFit peeps, and team training for my first CrossFit competition. Note: The latter CrossFit events will follow in succession. There’s just too many firsts for one post!

On Friday night, I took my husband to dinner at the newly remodeled Union Station in Downtown Denver to celebrate his 33rd Birthday. Over the last two years this 120 year old historic landmark was revamped from a transit hub into a mixed-use space of retail, restaurants, a great hall, hotel, and outdoor plaza. There has been a whole lot of hype and hoopla about this place and so it was time for us to check it out it.

Denver's Union Station

While there are several great restaurants that now call Union Station home, we dined at Stoic & Genuine, a multi-coastal seafood, oyster house and granita bar that sits adjacent to the iconic illuminate facade of  Union Station.

It did not disappoint; the ambiance was as grand as the fresh raw bar and exhibition style kitchen. In a hull-like atmosphere with a lighted glass wall, octopus mural, and salvaged fencing, we dined on big eye tuna tartare with smoked jalapeno, radish, tempura avocado, aioli, and lime, followed by steamed clams with Bilbao chorizo, tomato fondue, fennel and ciabatta. Both were exceptional, but the savory broth that the clams were bathed in was to die for. We finished with a full pound of steamed Alaskan king crab legs and washed it all down with a glass of Jezebel Pinot Noir. If you live in Colorado, you should make it a point to go. If you don’t live in Colorado, well you should still make it a point to go! 

Denver's Stoic & Genuine

In case it’s not obvious, I am a big time foodie. I could talk about food all day long, but I digress.

We woke up at the crack of dawn Saturday morning for our first ever 5K run. This was on my list of goals for 2014 and so my husband signed us up for a color run, aka the #funnest5K. I’ll be honest, I was not expecting hundreds upon hundreds of….teenie boppers. We felt a tad out of our element during the zumba warm-up, which seemed more like a flash dance mob. It was definitely a lively bunch for 6:00am on a Saturday morning.


Before #TCRDenver

My husband and I are not runners nor are we big fans of cardio in general. In fact, I’ve done more running since starting CrossFit than I have in my entire life, but it’s still few and far between, especially since I’ve been focusing on Olympic lifting a lot more recently. Needless to say, I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to run the entire 5 kilometers without stopping, but I was sure as hell going to try. I don’t know if it was the hoards of people in fluorescent plastic glasses or the fact that I was being randomly doused from head to toes with different colors, but the run seemed like a breeze and we finished in about 30 minutes time.

After #TCRDenver

After #TCRDenver

I am pleased to report that the color washed away easily off my skin. My clothes on the other hand did not live to see another day.

Up next: A CrossFit Summer Snatch Party complete with the best ever double chocolate Paleo cookies and then my first team training wod for an upcoming CrossFit competition. Stay tuned…

Are you a self-proclaimed foodie?

What was the best part of your weekend?

Have you ever participated in a Color Run?