May Goals Update & June 2019 Goals : The Year of 1% Better

goals, Harry Potter, motherhood, postpartum fitness, reading, running

If you’re new here, I declared 2019 the Year of 1% Better. Here’s a list of all previous goal posts.

January: Goals | Outcomes

February: Goals | Outcomes

March: Goals | Outcomes

April : Goals | Outcomes

May : Goals 

Henry is taking a nap, so I thought I would try to get in a quick post. Most of my May goals were about wrapping things up. I wanted to work on consistent academic writing/editing and getting my class notes scanned. I was more successful on the former than I was on the latter. By the end of the month, I was so uncomfortable the last thing I wanted to do was stand by a scanner and scan. I suspect that boxes of notes will be traveling with us to Texas.

Nor did I finish re-reading Harry Potter, but I will probably have the seventh book done by the end of this month of early July. I came close, but I think I became distracted by other reading. Plus, it has been nice reading Harry while Henry naps or I pump. As usual, I’ll be kind of sad when I finish the seventh book — having lived in the books again the past couple of months. 

As for June — well, I’m not sure you can blame me for not really having any goals on the to do list. I think being a mother makes me more than 1% better. I think focusing on Henry and figuring out a baby has been goals enough! That said, I did start walking a mile a day this week — which was the big postpartum goal I planned before I start running again. I look forward to having more focused plans and goals come July!

What were your June goals?

 

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Monday Miles : June 17 – 23, 2019

monday miles, postpartum fitness, training

Week three postpartum: The biggest struggle was overcoming the temptation to run. I feel really good. I would put my discomfort at a 1 or a 2. I can tell that I am not 100% yet, but I do not feel run down or sore or anything. That said, I know this does not mean I’m ready to go out for a run. I know this does not mean I’m ready to walk into a CrossFit gym and start squatting (what is for me) heavy. I’m trying to be patient, but when the sun is shining (finally!) and I am feeling so good it is tempting, really tempting to not just try a minute or two of a shuffle.

This week I added some core exercises to the routine. I know enough to avoid planks, crunches, anything that will cause coning and exacerbate diastasis recti. I did a test — though I’m not sure how accurate it is — and I felt maybe a pinkie finger width of separation in my abs. I’ve never had clearly defined abs, but I will say this post-pregnancy — it is weird how squishy my stomach is and that my core strength is completely gone. I’m hoping to build it back up with bridges, pelvic tilts, and clam shells. I did very little this week, but I’m hoping to increase every week — just creating the habit now.

6 – 17 : Pelvic floor/Core exercises – 1x 10 bridges, 10 pelvic tilts, 10 clam shells. Walk – 11 minutes, .64 miles. Followed by Romwod.

6 – 18 : PF/Core exercises. Walk – 15 minutes, .84 miles. Followed by Romwod.

6 – 19 : PF/Core exercises. Walk (with Henry!) – 25 minutes, 1.14 miles.

6 – 20 : Yoga with Adriene – Yoga for Pelvic Floor

6 – 21 : PF/Core exercises. Walk – 15 minutes, .85 miles. Followed by Romwod.

6 – 22 : PF/Core exercises. Walk – 15 minutes, .89 miles. Followed by Romwod.

6 – 23 : PF/Core exercises. Walk – 15 minutes, .91 miles.

Totals : Walk – 1 hour 36 minutes, 5.3 miles. Yoga – 40 minutes.

This week I’ll increase walking time to twenty minutes — hopefully managing to get a mile in each walk.

Onward!

Favorite Things : June 1 – 21, 2019

favorite things

Happy Friday! Since Henry, most of the days feel like they are sort of melting together. I am starting to not know what day it is! We have no big plans for this weekend, which is kind of nice. The last two weekends have been filled with visitors and it will be good to have a quiet, normal weekend.

While Henry is taking a nap (for now), I figured I would get out a few of my favorite things for not only this week, but since the beginning of June.

I loved this essay on running in the morning.

Mr. Coffee will always be the best.

Another good one from Cal Newport: on the pleasures and sorrows of life without screens. 

An ode to that hill you love to hate.

Paddling the Colorado River from source to sea. 

Laura Vanderkam’s thoughts on frugal living and the FIRE world.

Best cookbooks for beginners. 

I agree. If you’re not early, you’re late.

What are your plans for this weekend?

 

 

 

 

 

Postpartum Running Goals

crossfit, goals, postpartum fitness, races, running

Though I have been anxious to get back to running and CrossFit the last two weeks, I have not been anxious to jump the gun. I have no idea if I have pelvic floor problems or diastasis recti, but I do not really want to take the chance. I’m not sure what my return to CrossFit will look like yet, especially considering we are moving at the end of my fifth week postpartum. However, running I have a bit of an idea. I’m going to ease into it very, very, very slowly.

That said, that does not mean I have not been active. After we arrived home from the hospital, I started taking just five minute walks. And frankly, that was about all I could handle. I still waddled a bit, but within a few days I could tell I felt significantly physically better from labor. When Henry was a week old, I added another five minutes. I did a week of ten minute walks followed by RomWod stretching.

This week I’ll do fifteen minutes of walking, but I’ve added a few core movements to do before including just one set of ten bridges, clam shells, and pelvic tilts. At this point, I’m just trying to establish good habits. I’m getting closer to being able to walk a mile and I’m still following the walk up with some RomWod.

So far, this has been working for me and I’ll keep it up until six weeks — just adding five minutes of daily walking every week. After six weeks, I’ll start adding in some running. I’m not sure what that will look like yet, but I will continue to ease into it slowly and cautiously.

I do have a race goal. I would like to build up my running fitness enough to finish the Mosaic Trail half-marathon in Liberty Hill, Texas this year. Note I said finish, not race — so if I’m still run/walking so be it. The race is in December, so who knows where I will be fitness-wise. I don’t want to put any sort of time goal pressure on myself. I’m just ready to enjoy running outside and enjoy the trails. Plus, it will be my first Texas race as a Texas resident!

I’ll start posting Monday Miles again next week, especially considering I’m starting to accumulate a few!

 

Introducing Henry

daily life, family, motherhood, pregnancy

I’m back! I’m not five-posts-a-week back, but I think I am ready to go back to regularly updating on here.

So — the big news is — its a BOY! Early in the morning on June 4, Henry made his arrival into our now three person family. He is a beautiful and relaxed baby. People ask us how we are sleeping and seem amazed that between the two of us we’ve been able to get four hours continuously (for now).

Henry

Henry 2.jpg

I do not have the words to express how thrilled I am about Henry. Every cliche seems applicable. I am amazed sometimes that we made such a beautiful boy. Even though he has been with us for less than two weeks, it seems he has always been apart of us. I cannot imagine a life without him.

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Sometimes I imagine Henry thinking as Bruno and I try to determine if he is hungry or gassy, “What a bunch of newbs.” But mostly he just eats and sleeps. I’ve taken him on a few walks, but it will be another couple of weeks until he is big enough for the Bob. I am excited for our first run together and all the good things to come.

Henry 3.jpg

I’m going to try to post three times a week for the rest of this month and see how it goes. Right now, teaching prep is a priority, so I’ve been trying to get as much reading done as I can during naps. I have not worked out yet and will most likely wait until I reach those six weeks, but I have been walking — increasing the walks by five minutes every week. I miss CrossFit and running. Life seems full, in all the best ways, especially as we try to figure things out.

 

 

Favorite Things : May 25 – 31, 2019

favorite things, pregnancy

Contains Amazon affiliate links. 

This will be my last post for the next few weeks. After my ante-natal appointment yesterday, I was told I probably would not go beyond this weekend, but if I did to show up Monday morning bright and early to be induced. It is strange to think that there is an actual end in sight. In fact — it made everything seem so much less abstract. We came home and I immediately started cleaning. Must be prepared! Constant vigilance!

This week will mainly involve waiting. I do not think I will be able to finish the Harry Potter series as I had planned, but I should be able to finish Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. I started Emily Oster’s book Cribsheet this week — so hopefully I can get through some of that to “prepare myself.”

I’m hoping to pop in to check-in in about two weeks! Until then, here are this week’s favorite things:

Cities are not the only location where innovation happens — turns out most of it is in rural areas.

30 lessons of 30 years.

I always feel terrible when I travel. Here are nine tips that can help.

Modern Mrs. Darcy on the writing process.

As someone who wants to do all the things (run, cycle, swim, lift, etc.), I like the idea of being a generalist in sport.

Have a great weekend and enjoy the early weeks of June!

 

A Review of The Common Rule: Habits of Purpose for an Age of Distraction by Justin Whitmeal Earley

books, catholicism

Contains Amazon affiliate links. 

thecommonrule

It is probably Earley’s misfortune that I read The Common Rule at the same time I have been reading Francis de Sales’ Introduction to the Devout Life. The latter makes the former seem incredibly shallow. I will try to be fair, because I do think if you are the type of person who does have a chaotic, out-of-control life, maybe Earley’s book can provide a beginning place for you — milk before meat for beginners and all that.

After an anxious breakdown Earley creates a rule of life to bring peace for himself and his family. While eating dinner with friends, he vows to practice this rule, determining that limits are the key to freedom. He writes, “I had lived my whole life thinking that all limits ruin freedom, when all along it’s been the opposite: the right limits create freedom.”

It is a Christian book and most of Earley’s advice revolves around ways Christianity and the Bible can help us with bringing order to life. He divides the rules into eight daily and weekly habits — a daily example being kneeling at prayer, weekly one hour of conversation with a friend. The appendix contains how to ascribe some of these rules to different walks of life — for parents, addicts, artists. I thought this was a good idea — one size does not fit everyone.

None of his rules are objectionable. Most — like scripture before phone in the mornings, curating tv to four hours a week — are very good ideas. Also — they are measurable for someone who just wants to try something, anything to make life feel better and more manageable. Sometimes I think advice can seem so vague, but the actionable nature of Earley’s rule I think could be really helpful.

Here is what I had a problem with and I say this tentatively: I am not too keen on the self-helpification of Christianity.

Take habit no. 3 – one hour with phone off (which is small potatoes to any Cal Newport reader). Earley writes about the importance of presence in life — we learn this with the creation and salvation stories. Turning off the phone gives us more time with children, but it also has another important benefit — you can get more done at work! And get into the state of flow! Of course — this is true. But I don’t exactly know what this has to do with living a Christian life. I didn’t realize the point of Christ was to help me be more productive, but ok.

I’m being snarky and perhaps even nit-picky. Still — Jesus is not your self-help guru. I love self-help books. I love books on productivity, I’m not sure the point of living in accordance with the Gospel is to become more productive.

I do not not recommend this book, but after reading it I suggest picking up something else, like a secular book on the same subject (7 Habits, being my favorite) or if living a better Christian life is what you want, pick up Introduction to the Devout Life. It is a good starting point, maybe, but even at that it is lackluster.

Memorial Day Murph at 39 Weeks Pregnant

crossfit, pregnancy

Last year I wrote a “race report” for my first Memorial Day Murph. At that point, I had only been doing CrossFit for less than a month. It was heavily modified with ring-rows and knee push-ups, but I finished and I was proud. I thought I would share a report from this year’s Murph — still heavily modified, because I am heavily pregnant. I am 39 weeks along — waiting any day (any second, really) for this baby to show up.

So what is Murph? RX’d it is 1 mile run, 100 pull-ups, 200 push-ups, 300 squats, and another 1 mile run all done while wearing a weighted vest. Now, even under the best of circumstances, I would not be able to do this work-out RX’d. Last year, it left me completely drained and I could not walk right (from all those squats!) for at least a day or two.

Now I cannot walk right because of the baby. I was not planning on doing Murph at all. But all I have been doing is waiting for the baby. I felt like I had no events or any goals coming on to focus on and this has led to quite a bit of impatience on my part. Plus, I was starting to develop some serious fear of missing out and a little bit of a desire to give myself a nice pat on the back — look at me 39 weeks along, doing the Murph! (Humility is something I should work on.)

I mentioned wanting to do the Murph with another pregnant nooner. She asked if I would want to split it and do a partner wod — team Prego. We talked to our coach, who was encouraging. We signed up for the 10am heat. Here’s the thing, I knew I probably could do the whole work-out if I scaled it (ring rows, wall push-ups, etc), but it was more a question of should. I think doing half ended up being the better choice. I felt tired afterwards, but not drained.

Here’s how we did it — we walked 800m and split 20 rounds of 5 ring rows, 10 wall push-ups, and 15 squats between the two of us and finished with an 800m walk. I can honestly say that last 800m was super slow on my part. After each round, one of us would catch our breath while the other did a round. It ended up being a good plan, because I never felt winded or exhausted. I never had that “so much left to go, will I ever be done?” feeling.

murph2019no6

Murph2019no5

It ended up being a lot of fun. I got a good work out in, but was able to cheer for my partner and other members of my heat. I still felt impressed with my body, especially the fact that I could manage to do 150 squats a week before my due date. I thought I would feel jealous of everyone doing the full thing, but I ended up feeling just fine with the amount I did. Plus, I figured I still was wearing my own version of a weight vest!

murph2019no4

One thing I was hoping, which did not happen, was that doing half Murph would help encourage baby to make his or her appearance. A lot of people from my gym joked that I would have to name the baby “Murph” if a boy. I joked that I was trying to create an inhospitable environment in order to encourage baby to leave. It is Wednesday. Still no baby!

Did you do the Murph this year? How did it go?

 

Monday Miles (On a Tuesday!) : May 20 – 26 (38 Weeks Pregnant)

crossfit, goals, monday miles, running

Contains Amazon affiliate links. 

I feel drained. I still am not sleeping much at all. I thought I knew what heartburn was, but these last few weeks are showing me what heartburn really can be. It is more than an unpleasant annoyance. It rages. I get up at 3 in the morning, sit on the couch and pop tums, waiting for it to go away. Today was not one of those days.

I keep looking at half-marathon plans, dreaming of a post-partum running come back. My best half last year was a three times a week plan. I think that really worked for me and my body, so I’m thinking about getting Run Less, Run Faster and following one of those plans, after I’m all recovered of course.

I am less than a week until my due date. I did half Murph yesterday (will post about that soon — you can see last year’s here) and will keep working out, however modified, until this baby decides to make his or her appearance.

5 – 20 : CrossFit – Helen (modified) – 3x 400m row, 21 kettle-bell swings @ 15 lbs., and 12 ring rows. Even though I heavily modified Helen, I loved this work-out. Every time I would get back on the rower, I would feel another swing of energy and would try to sprint through it. I think it was just hard enough — I did not feel like I was overdoing it, but I also did not feel like the modifications made it too easy. 12 minutes 4 seconds. Walked – 1 mile, 20 minutes.

5 – 21 : CrossFit – for time – 4x 3 hang squat-cleans @ 50 lbs., 6 box step-ups @ 20 in.; 2x 6 hang squat-cleans @ 45 lbs., 12 box step-ups @ 20 in.; 1x 12 hang squat-cleans @ 35 lbs, 24 box step-ups @ 20 in. 12 minutes, 29 seconds. Another fun one. I think the hardest was the second set with the two rounds of six. It got just spicy enough.

5 – 22 : Rest.

5 – 23 : CrossFit – Row for 120 calories. 9 minutes 56 seconds. I did actually come in with a goal for this. I wanted to stay under ten minutes. I thought 60-100 calories was the hardest part, but after 100 calories I could muscle through it and just get it over with.

5 – 24 : Rest.

5 – 25 : Rest.

5 – 26 : Rest

Total : 3 hours, Crossfit. 20 minutes, 1 mile walk. 3 hours and 20 minutes.

Onward!

Favorite Things : May 18 – 24, 2019

favorite things

View at Medium.com

Two things will be done this weekend: 1) We will organize and go through everything we can donate to the church rummage sale this week. 2) We will wait for the baby. I’ve been waiting for the baby for awhile now, but with every day that passes the waiting intensity increases. Will you or will you not arrive today? Though I know it is likely I will go past-due (after June 3), I keep hoping that I will be an exception to the first time mother rule and baby will show up just a little bit early (I start my 39th week on Monday).

For now, I’m sitting on the couch, compression socks on, feet propped up, and have spent most of this morning reading, internet searching, and kitchen cleaning. It has not been the most productive day, but I’m doing a little bit here and there. Plus, it has been hard to concentrate with the baby on my mind.

Here are this week’s favorite things:

Laura Vanderkam answers a reader question: can I pursue my own interests after having a baby? Thankfully, that answer is an emphatic yes.

My idea of a good time.

I’ve always been fascinated by the catacombs of Paris.

I kind of want to make this cake…with ice cream.

As I prepare for the baby, I really enjoyed this post and its accompanying resources on the one parent rule for a less hectic home.

What are your plans for this weekend?

 

 

 

View at Medium.com

View at Medium.com