Weekly Workouts March 23-29

Is my house ever going to be finished with the remodel?? This week we didn't have contractors in the house, but I still had a ton of work to do. I had to prep the last two rooms of our house to be worked on this coming week. I had to arrange appliance deliveries. My girls both got braces on Tuesday. It's just been such a challenging 6 weeks with my schedule being so wacky. Thank goodness it's almost over!!

So how did I do with my weekly workouts?

Sunday-REST DAY!! Well, kinda. I spent the day down in Venice with my mom and dad and we took the #TampaTrio to the North Jetty Beach.

Total Steps: 17,231

Monday-CROSSFIT!! Today I did the CrossFit Open WOD 14.4 I modified the WOD after the rowing portion so that I could continue to work, yet still record a score for the Open. It was a FUN WOD.

Calories burned: 579

Total Steps: 13,201

Tuesday-CROSSFIT!! Wozers. This WOD was a foreshadowing of what was going to be appearing for the Open WOD 14.5

But it was a lifesaving WOD for me. FINALLY after MONTHS of not being able to squat below parallel, I finally got it on Tuesday and it was all because of this WOD!!

Total Calories: 733

Steps: 16,479

Wednesday-CROSSFIT!! This was supposed to be a recovery WOD. We started off with a fun obstacle course warm-up. We had box jumps/step-ups then went to a gymnastics mat for somersaults, then 5 burpees, then 10 hanging knee raises, then we climbed under 2 bench press benches, and then we did a bear climb. 2 rounds. It was fun! Here I am posing at the top of the box, showing off my new Reebok Skyscape shoes. I love these shoes!!

And even though this was a "for time" WOD, I went a little slower because I wanted to go heavier on the KB swings, so I chose the 35 pound bell. And tire flipping is always fun! I picked a heavy tire, too.

Total Calories: 586

Steps: 23,999 (seriously had I checked this before I went to bed I would have walked one more freaking step!)

Thursday-REST DAY!! I have no idea what I did today.

Steps: 13,743

Friday-CROSSFIT!! Open WOD 14.5 Oh my word!! You can read all about it here!!

It was a calorie burner that's for sure!

And I didn't stop most of the day. It was an exhausting day and I couldn't wait to get to bed!

Total Steps: 14,086

Calories: 1157

Saturday-REST DAY!! And I did rest. I even took a nap! Though I also pulled up carpeting in the master bedroom. I also went to the box and celebrated the end of the Open!

Total Steps: 11,470

Overall it was a pretty decent week, but I'm really looking forward to my schedule returning to normal!

How was your week in workouts??

Burping and Thrusting my way Though the CrossFit Open 14.5-Recap

Like I had the previous 4 weeks, on Thursday night, 8pm I anxiously sat on my couch, Surface tablet on my lap, headphones in my ears, as my husband watched some awful show on TV, and my kids ran around behind me playing with the dog.

But I blocked that all out. Dave Castro was about to announce CrossFit Open WOD 14.5 and then 5 CrossFit Games winners were going to complete the WOD against each other live on TV.

Dave announced the WOD with that little smirk that he has when he knows he's about to throw down the gauntlet.

FOR TIME! The clock was not going to save me on this WOD.

Eerily, I had done a similar WOD at my own box CrossFit En Fuego on Tuesday. Having done this WOD on Tuesday was FANTASTIC prep work for me for 14.5. If you remember, I scored a ZERO on 14.2 because I could not break parallel with my squat. I have been working hard on my squats by doing lots of wall balls. And then on Tuesday, I worked with my coach who totally helped with my foot placement, and really showed me how to squeeze my butt, and push up with those legs. By the end of our squat session, I was breaking parallel multiple times on my front squat, and at 75 pounds. That's a huge increase for me. I had been struggling around 35-55 pounds for a LONG time.

So here's this Tuesday workout. And I modify it. I start with 35 pounds for the first 2 rounds, then I don't jump over the bar, I jump over a crack in the floor. For the next two rounds, I went up to 45 pounds, and continued my jump over the crack. I kept the 45 pounds for the 3rd round since there was only a short time on the clock, and I wanted to spend that time working, not changing out weight.

I have never done a thruster with more than 45 pounds. And I have never done a front facing burpee bar jump over. By the end of this 18 minute WOD, I was done. Toast.

Watching Sam Briggs, Annie Thorisdottir, Rich Fronning, Jason Khalipa, and Graham Holmberg complete this WOD in 8-11 minutes was simply awe inspiring. I was focused on Briggs and Fronning as they are both the current CrossFit Games 2013 Winners. But mainly I was watching Briggs. She's a woman, and well, I'm a woman so I wanted to see what an elite of the elite athletes was capable of doing. She did it unbroken. I couldn't believe it.

Fronning passed her on the last set of 3 and when she was interviewed and asked about what was going through her mind when she saw Rich pass her, she said in her English accent "I let em." Loved it. You go girl.

While 14.5 was going to SUCK, the FOR TIME aspect of it really gave me the extra kick I needed to make sure I finished the WOD. It was going to be all or nothing. Go big or go home. While my scores on the previous Open WOD's haven't been stellar, they've been stellar TO ME, and there was no way I was going to record a ZERO without giving it every ounce of my being.

I knew the WOD was going to take me a while and I knew that most of my 9am workout bud's have kids in the kid's club, so I couldn't ask them to judge me because I knew I'd go longer than the supervisor would be in the kids club. So I asked another workout friend. She's a mom, but her kids are older, so she said yes, she could judge me, and since she thought it might take her a longish time, I'd judge her. It was a great trade off. No pressure about having to run out for children. I did have a stove delivery scheduled, but they'd give me a call an hour before scheduled delivery so I knew I had time to WOD and judge.

We warmed up for 45 minutes. We stretched, we did mobility, I rowed, and I did thrusters. I made sure my coach watched me do a 65# thruster, made sure I broke parallel. She told me I looked great, I was getting down low enough. I made sure my judge knew where I should be hitting, and if needed, to give me a no rep. That's one thing I've really prided myself on these games...being honest.

I started the WOD around 9:45.

Those 21 thrusters started off with a bang. I knocked 5 of them out in a row. Then dropped to 3 at a time, taking a 10-15 second break between sets of 3 to just catch my breath.

And then I was on to the 21 burpees. That first one, that first jump-over, I was so scared. I put my head down, placed my hands between my knees, closed my eyes, stood up, opened my eyes, focused on something and jumped. And I landed on the other side of the bar, 2 feet down. And I did it 20 more times.

At the end of the 21 burpees I looked up at the clock and saw that I was at 11:43 and I laughed out loud. Coach Pete was right there and I just looked at him and said "I just finished the set of 21, and last night Annie was totally done with everything by this time."

He patted my back, smiled, and said "don't even think about it. Get back to work."

And off I went. Set of 18 done. Set of 15. Trouble. In the past I would get exercise induced asthma. It hasn't happened in at least 2 years. But that set of 15 thrusters sent my lungs screaming. I checked my heart rate (I wear a Polar) and while it was high 94%, it was coming down quickly, and when by 70% I still couldn't breathe, I gasped to my judge that I might have an inhaler in my purse. She ran to get my purse, and while she did that, I went to the rig and stretched out my shoulder (I had a shoulder surgery in 2000 and it locks up on me when I go heavy weights overhead.) She came running back with my purse, I checked it, but no inhaler, but it was right around this time I was able to take a BIG breath and suddenly all was right in the world. All in all, I would say that incident took 3 minutes. Maybe longer? But lesson learned. I'll carry an inhaler with me from now on. After thought...honestly I think I had a panic attack! LOL. There was certainly a lot of panic going on in my head!

Then I was up to the set's of 12, and by this time most of the people that started the WOD with me were now finished. Tongue Out I had a tremendous cheerleader in my friend, Chris. She talked me through pretty much the rest of the WOD. Inspiring me to get up off the floor when I was laying there a bit too long for a burpee. To push through that thruster with my legs because really the weight looked light for me (say what????)

Finally I was down to the sets of 9, 6, and 3. And I took those all in sets of 3.

That last burpee was a little slice of heaven. I heard time called 48:41, I started to get teary eyed (but the real waterworks came much later when I was at home alone.)

My coach was right there when I finished. I was so sweaty, but so happy. I just grabbed her and gave her the biggest, sweatiest, hug. Then her husband (also my coach) came over, gave me a high five, and I grabbed him into a big, sweaty hug and together the two of them sort of held me up for just a few seconds.

My judge had me sign the paper, and I quickly had Coach Pete take a photo of me. This is literally less than a minute after finishing the WOD.

I did it! I finished!

I was the LAST one in my box to finish, but I felt like I had WON the grand prize. All the support, cheering, encouragement, made me feel like a champion.

I'll have a full re-cap of the Open up shortly, but suffice to say....it was life changing.

And my Polar really showed me how hard I worked! That includes a warm-up, the WOD, and a cool-down.


How was your Open experience??


Push Away the Screen: SeaWorld's 50th Celebration and Sea of Surprises

Disclaimer: The #TampaTrio and I were invited by Sea World to attend the opening day of the 50th Anniversary Celebration.


The kids and I arrived bright and early, were warmly greeted by our personal host, Britney. The trio munched on cupcakes and orange juice while we watched a montage about the history of Sea World. Fun fact: My MOM was kissed by Shamu in 1976. She was picked from the audience, dressed up like George Washington, taken up high on a platform, and Shamu jumped straight up out of the water and kissed her (more like licked her.) She has a photo somewhere and I remember always loving to look at it when I was a kid.

The kids watched the facts being presented across the screen, but what they really wanted to do was get on that roller coaster that they could see behind the screens.

The fact show ended promptly at 9am, and we were granted admission into the park. We immediately headed over to guest services to get Ronin his special needs pass. They also measured him, and put a 54" green bracelet on his wrist. He was SO EXCITED!! He had been wanting to ride Kraken since our visit in November.

We walked with our friend, Tampa Mama Marisa who was there with her wee one. Along the way we saw some of the new interactive exhibits that Sea World is adding to further engage visitors!

  • Park pathways come to life with spontaneous entertainment. “Bubble Blowout” is sure to be a guest favorite with a fantastical vehicle creating bubbles of all sizes and shapes throughout Shamu’s Happy Harbor. Engaging performances with sea-inspired costumes and props will pop up at unexpected moments to surprise guests throughout the day, like “Splash Dance,” near Nautilus Theater.
  • On June 21, a new nighttime Shamu show, “Shamu’s Celebration: Light Up The Night”, debuts. The high energy show will include new, original music and production elements, as well as new killer whale behaviors.
  • The “SeaWorld® Surprise Squad” will roam SeaWorld Orlando on a daily basis giving away, at random, prizes and special gifts, including exclusive access to rides, behind-the-scenes experiences, Shamu-themed merchandise, reserved show seating and more.*
  • SeaWorld guests are often greeted by an animal ambassador, many of whom were orphaned or injured in the wild and given a second chance thanks to the SeaWorld Animal Rescue Team. As part of SeaWorld’s 50th Celebration, there will be more surprise encounters with animal ambassadors throughout the day.
  • Share the wonder of close-up encounters with amazing animal friends and learn how SeaWorld cares for the natural world at the all-new SEA Garden. Completely re-designed, the SEA Garden is where guests can learn more about SeaWorld’s animals, many of them rescued, including eagles, spoonbills, opossums, and more.
  • To showcase SeaWorld’s commitment to the environment and passion for protecting the ocean, four giant sea life sculptures will be displayed at the SEA Garden. SeaWorld commissioned environmental art group The Washed Ashore Project for a collection of larger-than-life sea-themed sculptures – many weighing more than half a ton. The material used to create these pieces comes from the billions of pounds of garbage – mostly plastics – that wind up in our oceans. These amazing works of art point to the urgent need to protect marine animals from such dangers and preserve their ocean habitats. On display at SeaWorld Orlando are a parrot fish, sea horse, sea anemone reef and octopus.
  • As part of its continuing commitment to new technology that enhances the guest experience, SeaWorld’s 50th Celebration will include new ways for fans to connect to the parks and each other though digital devices. The parks will be launching a variety of enhancements, from interactive apps that provide fun new ways to experience the park to new games and video content.

But my kids were on a MISSION for roller coasters. But they weren't open yet!! Ack! We made a pit stop at the Dolphin Nursery, but after receiving a behind the scenes tour in November, the Tampa Trio were quickly ready to move on!

We parted ways with Marisa and made it over to Manta. It was open, we quickly got on! Whoa!

We were sat in the LAST ROW!! I have never been on the last row in a roller coaster like this. It was FREAKY! We sat Ronin, me, Ella, and Haley. Haley knows right where the cameras are, and you can see her sticking out her tongue! Silly Pixie.

After Manta, off we went to Journey to Atlantis. Which is an amped up log-flume type ride. WATCH OUT! MEDUSA might get you!! That's Ella in the front row with her hands up in the air!!

We ended up going on Atlantis a total of 6 TIMES!! Well, I made it 5 times. The last round I sat out!

Who knows what round this one was!

Or this one!

Or this one, where is Ella is rolling her eyes at the bottom of the large splash zone. She barely got wet, looked back, rolled her eyes and said "is that all you got, Atlantis." That kid cracks me up.

But during one of these trips through Atlantis, we decided it was time to try Kraken. Off to went to put our stuff in a locker and this happened.


Yes, we are in first aid. I slammed Haley's thumb in a locker. It was bleeding. It was bruising. I felt so awful. Thankfully we had paramedic Raul who made Haley feel (and me too!) all better. He wrapped up her thumb and gave her a dose of Tylenol and an ice pack.

She rebounded quickly and off we went to Kraken.

We were in the 7th row! Me, Ronin, Ella, and Haley. And again Haley knows right where the camera is and has her tongue sticking out!! But on that ride I got stung in the neck by a bee. Seriously? Yes. Seriously. Undecided Apparently it's quite common, and it didn't really bother me too much, but really?? First a finger slam at the Kraken lockers, and then a neck sting while riding ON Kraken. Should have took those two signs that Kraken wasn't our ride. But they loved it, and that's what counts!

We did a few more things. Ate lunch, went through the penguins (man...that was COLD!!) did Atlantis once or twice more, and then around 1pm we decided to head back to Kraken for another ride. I had decided that I didn't want to ride it again, but the trio did. So I brought them up, told them I'd wait right there for them when they got off and this time they were in row 2. They climbed in the seats, but suddenly Ronin was "flagged" by a staff member who told him he needed to get out of the seat and be measured.

He looked at her like she was nuts, said "but I have the band, look, see!!" She said it didn't matter, she needed to measure him. He climbed out of the seat and went to the measuring tool. And he was too short. Surprised Say what?? He had been measured, went on Manta twice, had already been on Kraken, and suddenly he's too short?

Ronin has autism, and the news that he wasn't going to be able to ride did not go over well. He went in to a position that we call "Tucker Turtle" which is basically him on the ground where he tucks himself into a ball on his knees, covering his head with his hands. Like a turtle going into his shell. He was sobbing, uncontrollably , his sisters were looking on so very confused.

The ride attendant said she was going to call over a supervisor if we wanted to wait. I told her to let the ride continue on, and Ronin and I would wait. I got down on the ground with Ronin, was rubbing his back, and trying to get him to come out of his shell.

He suddenly popped up, snot running out of his nose, eyes full of tears, face red from sobbing, walks over to the measuring stick and says in a pretty loud voice "MEASURE ME AGAIN MAMA" I measure him, and he's not tall enough. Back down to Tucker Turtle.

Fairly quickly the area supervisor came up. She got down on her knees close to Ronin and told him she'd like to measure him to make sure the ride was safe for him. She had a very nice calming voice. Ronin responded to her, and back to the stick he went. She explained how the stick needed to be stopped by his head, and the stick was being stopped by his beautiful blond hair and he was too short. But not by much. By 1/4 of an inch.

But rules are rules. The girls had come back from the ride by then, and were so concerned for Ronin. They too were hugging him and telling him it would be okay.

He was standing up looking around, and quite confused. I had managed to clean up his face and nose, and he had stopped crying hysterically. Hannah bent down again on one knee, looked Ronin in the face and said she'd like to take him down to the measuring tool at the entrance to Kraken. He agreed, and held her hand as they walked down the ramp to the entrance. Again, he was 1/4 of an inch too short. She explained that we SHRINK throughout the day, so he was tall enough at 9am when he was first measured, but as the day went on, he lost 1/4 of an inch. Poor dude. He started to get teary eyed again, but Hannah quickly asked what she could do to make it better. Could she take him over to see the penguins, did he want to ride on Journey to Atlantis, did he want VIP seating at an animal show? He said YES, he wanted it all. Tongue Out And Hannah said OKAY. Smile

We first headed over to Journey to Atlantis, they again held hands and chatted. We quickly got on the ride, and Hannah was right there waiting for us when we got off. Then we walked over to the penguins. Hannah pointed out the different types of penguins in the exhibit, but the Tampa Trio got cold quickly. We exited the exhibit and Hannah walked us over to a gift kiosk where she told the kids they could each pick out a stuffed animal.

And then she wrote us a VIP pass for the 4:30 dolphin show. Hannah spent nearly an hour with us. Just us. She listened to what Ronin was saying, she responded to his needs, and made what was an awful experience into something that he hasn't even brought up since we returned home. Instead he talks about his cool stuffed animal that he got at Sea World.

The dolphin show was amazing. Our seats were front and center. And we saw amazing feats from one of my favorite ocean mammals (Beluga Whales are my favorite.)



There was also an animal who refused to participate in the show. Normally a large crane (gosh I think it's a crane) flies through the audience. But this guy refused to budge, and the acrobats were waiting so patiently.

Eventually the show continued without the big bird.

Dolphins are such smart mammals and they reminded us of our puppy back at home, sweet Matthew, so playful and who will do anything for a treat.

The finale of the show was amazing. I always love seeing pods of dolphins jumping together.

It had been a very stressful day for this mama at Sea World. From paramedics, to a bee sting, to an autism meltdown, I deserved this beer. And it was so good. My son was smiling, I was smiling. The day wasn't a total wash.

We left the park right after the dolphin show and chatted in the car about what a fun day we had. And then suddenly we were one voice short. Ronin had fallen asleep, exhausted from the #SeaofSurprises we had experienced at Sea World.