February 2019 Goals : The Year of 1% Better

books, crossfit, goals, pregnancy, reading, running, year of 1% better

I officially have 364 days left of being in my twenties. Yes, yesterday I turned twenty-nine. I celebrated by taking the day off any dissertation/Rousseau-related/job search work. I read books on the couch, did my first Cindy wod at CrossFit, and Bruno made crab cakes for dinner and homemade brownies for dessert. I was in bed by nine — a great start to my 29th year.

If you’re new here, or if you just need a refresher, I declared 2019 the year of 1% better. You can read January’s goals here and how I did here.

And now we are in the second month. January seemed to go on forever, but we already only have around three weeks of February left. I assume, because it is a big month for, that it will fly by.

Here are the goals/things I want to work on this month:

GET MY PH.D. I defend my dissertation next week Wednesday and give a public lecture on my dissertation research on Thursday evening. I’m not sure if that makes me “officially” a Ph.D. or if I still have to use Ph.D. candidate until I graduate, but one thing is for sure — if all goes well, I will be finished with my requirements for my doctorate. As with last month’s goal to submit my dissertation, this is the most important goal. All else can go to pieces, but this, this is years and years of work about to come to an end.

DIGITAL MINIMALISM. I am reading Cal Newport‘s new book, Digital Minimalism at the moment. I have always had struggles with social media. I’ve never been a Twitter person, but I can find myself sucked down the facebook, instagram, and just web-searching wormhole too frequently than I care to admit. I have failed too often in my battles against the internet, so I’m hoping to use some of the advice from this book to help. For now, the goal is to keep my social media use restricted to Saturdays — so far this has been working. I have not even been on facebook to see my birthday messages. Look ma, no facebook or instagram on my phone!

BIKE 20 MINUTES/WEEK. I know in the grand scheme of things is not very much, but as with running and swimming I am not sure how my hips and pelvis will react to time on the trainer. I’m starting here and if it goes well, next month I will increase. I suspect this also for mental training, because in case you did not know, cycling on a trainer is one of the most boring things you could ever do. It makes running on a treadmill seem like an entertaining time.

WALK (OR RUN) 30 MINUTES 2X WEEK. Like I said, trying to be moderate in my expectations. Some days I feel great, some days I really do not. I would really like to start running again, especially after I defend, but I am just not so sure if it will happen. Walking, at the very least, will get me outside.

PRE-NATAL YOGA 2X WEEK. Jasyoga has a few prenatal videos that I need to be more consistent about cycling through. I am hoping that if I hold myself accountable maybe, just maybe, those ligaments will start to feel better.

CathLIT2019. I am still working through some of the suggestions on Carrots for Michaelmas’s Catholic reading plan. I am currently reading Jesus of Nazareth by Benedict XVI and I love it. The one book a month plan is working out well for me thus far, but we will see what happens when baby gets here.

I think those are goals a-plenty for the month I’m planning on completing my doctoral requirements. What are your goals for February?

 

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Monday Miles: January 28 – February 3, 2019 (22 Weeks Pregnant)

crossfit, monday miles, pregnancy, training

I am still not running, nor doing much of anything except for going to CrossFit. For whatever reason, this is the only thing that does not exacerbate my pelvic pain at the moment. I can modify everything that does. I cannot really modify running. Either I’m running, or I’m not. There is not in between. And frankly, the pelvic pain is getting worse anyway. I had a hard time all this weekend just simply moving around and I did not work out at all. A phone call to the chiropractor is on my to-do list for today, so hopefully she will get me straightened out.

This upcoming week I would like to focus on doing a little more Jasyoga to see if that helps with the pain. I have not been as consistent at stretching as I frankly should be, so that will definitely be something to work on as the weeks get closer and closer to the due date, even if I cannot run or do anything else.

The good news is my ankle is feeling a million times better. I barely even notice that there is a problem with it today, so hopefully the next time we have double-unders in programming I can keep working on them. Plus, that will give me a good idea on how cranky or not cranky my ankle is from the hopping up and down.

1 – 28 : CrossFit. 3 x 5 Overhead Squats — all at 45 pounds. I tried to go higher, but I failed 50 pounds, even though my PR is 55 pounds. I just did not have it in me. 3 x for reps : 30s air squat, 30s rest, 30s Russian kettle bell swings @ 35 lbs., 30 s rest, 30 s plate over-head lunges @ 10 lbs., 30 seconds rest. For air squats: 16, 18, 20; for kettle-bell swings: 13, 15, 15; for over-head plate lunges: 13, 15, 15. I am glad I ended with a higher number than I started.

51341540_2919396128074328_9088722063346106368_n

Box step-ups. 

1 – 29 : CrossFit. 5 x 10 pike push-ups, 10 box step-ups, 10 box-dips, 100 feet dumb-bell farmer’s carry — first 3 rounds carried 20 lbs., 4 + 5 carried 25 lbs.). I did this in about 16 minutes 27 seconds.

1 – 30 : CrossFit cancelled due to being super cold in Michigan.

1 – 31 : We had a prenatal appointment during our typical Crossfit time, so did not go. Everything on the baby looks good, although we have to get a growth ultrasound in a few weeks to take another look at the kidneys.

2 – 1 : Starting off the month right. CrossFit. 16.3 AMRAP 10 power snatches @ 35 lbs., 5 jumping chest-to-bar pull-ups. I managed four rounds.

2 – 2 : Rest.

2 – 3 : Rest.

Totals: Three hours CrossFit.

Onward!

January 2019 Goals : How Did it Go?

crossfit, goals, pregnancy, running, swimming, year of 1% better

We’ve reached the end of the first month of the year! I’ll admit, it felt like a long month. Not a bad month, but it just sort of felt like it was January forever. I have a suspicion though that February will fly by — not because it is short, but because it is my dissertation defense month.

Inspired by James Clear’s Atomic Habits, I declared 2019 the year of 1% better. Though I did have some big goals like running one thousand miles, mainly I just wanted to work on little things, little habits. Part of this is because so much of 2019 is up in the air with a baby coming late May/early June and not even knowing where we will live, work, etc. (I’m not stressed, I’m not stressed, I’m not stressed) next year. I did not want to make a grand goal, get attached, and have something out of my hands happen. The other reason is that I am still convinced by Clear’s arguments. Do small things and eventually they will make a big difference.

So how did January’s 1% better goals go? Quick review: I wanted to submit my dissertation, run ninety-one miles, practice double-unders 3x a week, do not go out to eat (unless, of course, someone invites us out), swim 1x a week, read a book on Catholicism, and poach an egg.

I’ll begin with the most important. I submitted my dissertation last week Friday. And yes, I feel as weird about being done as I expected. This was the most important thing I had to get done this month. All else could slide (and as you’ll see did slide), but this was my baby, so to speak. A project I began working on in the spring 2017 is beginning to be over, although I suspect I’ll be stuck with Jean-Jacques Rousseau for awhile. I’m committed, ha!

The goals to run/walk 91 miles and to practice double-unders 3x a week did not happen. I am not one to offer excuses, but this was a little bit out of my control. I’ll offer the excuse of pregnancy. A couple weeks ago I had excruciating pelvic pain. I sat down on the couch and just could not get up. It is significantly better now, although definitely still there. It does seem, though, that running aggravates it. I have a pre-natal appointment today and I plan on talking about it, but it was a real bummer. To add injury to injury, I messed up my left ankle while attempting to do double-unders the other week. Granted, it also is doing much better. It was black and blue and swollen. Now, two weeks later, it is just swollen. Still, I’m calling the double-unders a win. Even with the little bit of extra work I did put into them before ankle-gate, I could tell I was improving. They were not beautiful, but my double-under attempts in work-outs actually began to include actual double-under successes. I feel confident that when things start to get better and I work on them again, I will begin to improve in no time. I cannot do double-unders, but I definitely became 1% better.

I only swam twice this month. I’ll admit, I love swimming, but it is really hard to get motivated. Also, currently, my swimsuit does not fit and when I put it on, I can actually hear, “I am the egg man. Whooo. They are the egg man. Whooo. I am the walrus…” I ordered a new one, a bikini even (giving that belly some room!). And it did not fit. Ok, these are excuses. Still, that is two times more than December and I love being able to swim with a watch.

We only went out to eat by ourselves once this entire month. Our reason was to celebrate me finishing and submitting my dissertation which it seemed required a little more fanfare and getting out of the house. With other people, I think we went out to eat twice. We used to go out to eat about three times a week, whether that was picking up sandwiches or whatever. I am calling this a huge success and I’m hoping to keep it up. As I said, it is not like the food around here is spectacular. It is just sheer laziness that led us to eat out as much as we did. Plus, not eating out has had led to other good habits such as finally starting to meal plan and prep. Successfully.

I’m doing the Carrots for Michaelmas CathoLIT2019 reading challenge, as a sort of over-all goal for the year. I finished my first Catholic read for the year with True Devotion to Mary. I usually read in the mornings, so this has actually been a pretty easy habit to incorporate.

Did I poach an egg? You should know better than to even ask. Those eggs have only been boiled (eaten with some delicious Maldon salt, oh my goodness the best discovery of 2019 so far) or fried over-medium in January. Maybe next month?

How have your 2019 goals been going? Did you have specific January goals?

 

 

 

 

Twenty-Two Weeks Update

crossfit, daily life, pregnancy, running

As I mentioned yesterday, we went in for our twenty week ultrasound. Our sonographer said everything looked good, but we’ll learn more next week during our regular appointment. While the best part was being told everything looked good (relief), the second best was being told that baby was measuring bigger than they expected. Instead of being due early June, I’m due late May. While I am not sure it makes a difference, it is kind of nice to know things are moving along. It all still feels so far away, but as I told Bruno when we got home, technically if the new due date is right, we only have three full months (February, March, April) sans-baby left. Not only that, but I’ll be walking for my doctoral graduation exactly two weeks before I am due. That might be a long ceremony.

50943337_331896447427239_4665557234875367424_n

But how is it going? I mentioned last week I was dealing with pelvic pain and yesterday that I think I did something to my ankle — probably due to the change in ligaments (I’m falling apart). But aside from that, what is going on?

I keep waking up at 3 in the morning. At least two to three times a week, I am up at three. I have determined it is better to just roll with it instead of fighting it in bed. So, I wake up, do my morning thing. I’m lucky to have a flexible schedule, so I can take a nap later if need be, but I actually try really hard not to so I can still get to bed at nine if I can.

Nightmares. The waking up at 3 is not so bad. It just means more quiet time in the morning and I’m more tired. What is not so fun are the nightmares. Sometimes I do not even know what I dreamt about, but just that it was not good. I get that it is hormones, but I look forward to these stopping whenever they do.

Iron-hard immune system. When Bruno was sick with the flu the other week, I was nervous I would end up getting it too. After all, we live and sleep in close proximity. I figured it was only a matter of time. I braced myself, but never got it. I’ve always had a freakishly good immune system (I get sick — but from migraines and apparently beets and spinach), but this might be one of the more impressive times the system has shown me it won’t let me down.

The nesting has begun. Though Marie Kondo is a little too woo-woo for me (though I might read her book to learn how to fold socks ha!), for the first time in awhile our house is clean. Not immaculate, but clutter is starting to disappear, a rhythm for the days I clean certain things has begun to emerge (today is laundry day), and yes, I’m throwing things out. Of course, I am. It has shown up in other ways too. Though one of our goals was to not eat out in January (unless it is for social event — which has so far only happened twice), I think the urge to cook is probably related to the nesting urge. I like cooking, but making my own yogurt? Definitely a little different.

Running has diminished/strength has improved. One of the interesting things about being pregnant is how differently it affects my running and how differently is has affected my weight-lifting at CrossFit. I had about ten good weeks of running and then boom, slower, painful, and more walking. However, anytime I have lifted weights, I have either been consistent or improved. I have PR’ed both my back-squat and my shoulder press during my second trimester, not to mention a few other movements (although this is a change from maybe the barbell to putting weights on…still a big deal for me). It probably helps that strength-wise I am starting from nothing, so I do not know if it would be the same if I had been doing crossfit for years. But — it does feel good and I cannot help but be impressed with my body. Like holy cow, I am making a baby and pushing seventy pounds over my head. Crazy.

Overall, I’d say things are going well. Like I have mentioned, patience has been key. I want to type-A and do all the things, but physically, especially with running, I have to take a step back. I have to be patient on the days I wake up at three and be ok with the fact that probably after lunch, not a thing will get done because I will be so tired. I can confirm that at least for myself everything I read about the second trimester being better than the first is absolutely true.

 

So What is Good?

crossfit, daily life, dissertation, pregnancy, running

After yesterday’s whine, I must admit I am feeling much better today. Not physically (I’m still in pain), but mentally. I also did not wake up at 2 am, but at 5:30 today — the difference between five hours of sleep vs. eight hours!

So here is what’s good:

I sent my final dissertation chapter to my committee yesterday.  All had read it before, but this was the official and final version. I wrote a conclusion today. All that is left is to make sure formatting and citations are in order and I can officially submit my dissertation.

It is looking like I will defend before I turn 29. Age is arbitrary, but when one of my options was to have my defense on February 4th (my birthday is the next day) as opposed to dates later in the month, I took it. Ph.D. before thirty here I come!

I received a revise and resubmit from a peer-reviewed academic journal. After two rejections, this one felt good! I read through the comments and they look interesting and useful. I will probably not work on it until I’m officially all done with the dissertation — one thing at a time, people! — but I am hoping to get my edits and changes in by the end of February. If it gets accepted, it will be my first academic publication (not a small deal). Huzzah!

Credit at the chiropractor’s office. I will not see my chiropractor until Friday afternoon (get here soon, please!). However, all my visits are financial-guilt free. Years ago, back when I was on my mom’s insurance (thanks Obama!), all my visits were covered, yet I still paid out of pocket for them. Then they would credit me for my next visit, etc. I don’t know, it got confusing, but I still went all the time. I am a real bone-crackin’ believer. Anyway I did not go for several years. Turns out I had a several hundred dollar credit. It is like a gift from past me to future me. Like “Hey future self, you’ll be pregnant, probably in pain, and trying to save in a few years. This is for you.”

Taking a walk outside. Today I did some walking and about a mile and a half of running outside, totaling around three miles. I do not care about the cold. It feels so good to be outside. Yes, I feel stiff and sore and running does not feel lovely, but not being indoors, not being on the treadmill is its own gift. I listened to my dissertation-writing playlist and generally felt joyful.

So yeah, my running is declining. I landed weird (like actually felt a pop) on my left foot while attempting double-unders at CrossFit today and my ankle is swollen (help me ice and ace bandage!). My pelvis hurts. Physically I feel like a mess, but I’m grateful. I’m grateful to just be moving. I’m grateful that I managed twenty-five double-unders today during the work-out which is twenty-five more than the last work-out where I attempted to do them. I’m grateful that today was spent writing and not editing.

So, there you go. That’s what’s good.

Making Peace with the Deluge

crossfit, pregnancy, running

“Après moi, le deluge.”

— supposedly said by Louis XV of France (who preceded Louis XVI who was king during the French Revolution — the deluge)

I am in a state of frustration. For the last few weeks, I keep waking up at 2am. I cannot fall back asleep, so I find the easiest thing to do is to just roll with it. I get up. I make the coffee. I do the morning things. I start working. By mid-morning I’m frazzled and exhausted. I typically work out around noon, so as you can imagine that works out really well.

Today I planned to run sixty minutes, then go to CrossFit. It was icy outside so I went to the rec center and ran on the treadmill. Now — I’m not someone who is normally super physically insecure. Trust me I’m insecure about plenty of other things, but that is not usually one of them. Today I felt it. You see, I am definitely in that phase where if you know that I am pregnant, I look pregnant. However, if you do not know I’m pregnant, I just look like I really indulged over the 2018 holiday season and am a New Year Resolutioner atoning for my gluttonous ways. I walked into the rec with all the skinny college girls on the treadmills and I just felt fat and bloated, not like a pregnant bad ass. So, as you can tell my attitude was fantastic.

Physically, I just felt trashed. My legs felt trashed. Every muscle and joint felt trashed. It just felt stupid hard. I gave up running the whole time after twenty minutes. I quit at around 53 minutes (yeah, I had seven minutes left and I quit). At this point, my groin and pelvis were aching and I went home, ate, and passed out for the next several hours.

I’m frustrated. I don’t love “wogging” — switching back to walking and running. I am frustrated about the fact that I’m just looking at a slow decline between now and June. I am frustrated that my pelvis will not stop hurting. If you mention this, the response is “oh if you are tired now, just wait until the baby comes” or “good luck working out post-baby, so why bother now?” I get it. The great message is that come June life is going to hit the fan, so everything I’m complaining about now is irrelevant. It is (not) very helpful.

Moreover, even though I know, I know physically things are just going to be going downhill for awhile (and not in that fun way), I am having a hard time having patience with it and patience for myself. I know I’m going to have to go slow, but do I really have to take walk breaks? After I make peace with the walk breaks, now do I have to have so much pelvic pain? Even CrossFit related (which frankly, has not been too affected by pregnancy because I have to do everything modified already anyways) — burpees are hard and painful, but should I basically walk like I have saddle legs afterwards because of my cranky pelvis?

I think I envisioned myself being one of those pregnant runners who would run the whole time. And when I had those few amazing weeks November through December, I thought no problem. Even though I knew it might not last, I thought maybe, just maybe, I would be one of those lucky people where it would. And trust me, I’m still going to try. Can’t keep a Type A girl down! I just think I’m going to have to adjust what that looks like with the pelvic pain, because it is painful and not a joy at all.

Most importantly, I think I’m going to have to make peace with the deluge, but aside from re-reading this Katie Grossman article, I still have no idea how to do that yet.

 

 

583.5: 2018 Running in Review

crossfit, pregnancy, races, running, swimming, training, triathlon

According to my Strava, I ran 583.5 miles this year. This is not a large number. Nor is it a particularly pretty, nice round number (I mean if I did not take this last week off, I could have at least made it to 600 miles). That is an average of a little over eleven miles a week. In a world where I am in constant admiration of women who call fifty mile weeks low mileage, I know it does not seem like much.

I started this blog with two big goals: run consistently and finish the Serious Series.* The past few years since my first and only marathon were filled with plenty of hopes and goals, but no finished races. Usually my hamstring and hip would act up and I would back off, give up, then start again.

I am not exactly sure what changed this year. My goals were humbler to be sure. I never had a single time goal for any of my races other than to finish. I did just that in April at the Trail Half-Marathon in Pinckney, Michigan. I cried at the finish line.

On the way though, I started new things and as the stress of “can I just make it to the race?” started to diminish, I rediscovered joy.

I started CrossFit — Bruno’s idea, but it did not take me long to love adding it to the schedule, something social to offset to my usually headphones in the ears, solitary running. I did my first Murph a month after starting and survived.

Then out of nowhere, I decided I wanted to try out a triathlon. By fate it seems, I found a beautiful used Trek bike at a shop near my local hometown. I started swimming again. I rode my bike down the same country road and bought a pair of those biker shorts.

And all the time, I kept running usually four times a week, sometimes three. Hills became easier (thanks, CrossFit). I won my age group for an August trail half-marathon. A friend of mine and I decided to run sixteen miles on a random weekday, just to see if we could (we could). I did my first triathlon later that month, deciding that yes, definitely, I would try for a sprint next year 2019 (now, as a pregnant lady, I say — we’ll see, ha!).

After several years of wanting to, I finally went to Run Woodstock in Pinckney. Bruno and I camped out, drank beers, hung out with fellow trail runners, listened to sixties and seventies cover bands, and cheered for ultramarathoners as they made their way through the finish line. I ran a 5k and then a miserable half-marathon, the slowest of my entire year. Little did I know, at the time I was racing for two!

The rest of September, October, and the first half of November, I ran very little, if at all. I found out Baby C was on his or her way and while excited about the pregnancy, I felt horrible. I continued going to CrossFit, which I think helped maintain some fitness, as I didn’t really lose that much speed when I started running again (well, aside for the sudden lack of aerobic capacity that comes with being pregnant — but I’m still faster than what I was at the beginning of the year).

I have been consistently running, along with CrossFit, again for the last six weeks. In those six weeks, I ran a 5k — the first race I knew I was running pregnant. I honestly did not think I would be able to run it under thirty minutes, but managed to do about two minutes better than that (and only around two minutes slower than what I was able to do this summer). While that made me happy, mostly I was and have been just grateful to be outside running again. I’m not kidding. It is cold and Michigan and in six weeks of running, I have ran on the treadmill only once.

So, yes, 585.5 miles might not seem like much, but to me those miles brought me to a lot of places and a lot of joy in 2018. At the beginning of this year, I did not know if I could consider myself a runner anymore. Now, at the very end, I not only consider myself a runner, but a CrossFitter, and a triathlete.

If 583.5 miles could bring me to all that, who knows where the miles will bring me in 2019?

xo, Ali

*I had a third goal in mind for this blog: de-stressing from my dissertation. I’m happy (relieved) to say it helped.

Monday Miles : December 17 – 23, 2018 (15-16 Weeks Pregnant)

crossfit, monday miles, pregnancy, running, training

This will probably be my last consistent week of running for 2018. I’ve never been very good at keeping up with workouts when I travel and so this year, I’m just not going to worry about it and get back in the swing of things when we return to Michigan in a couple of days. It is only about a week off and I think time off can be necessary and maybe even good. By the time January 2019 comes around, I will be very much ready to go. Guaranteed.

This final week of workouts was really good. We had a running interval workout during CrossFit on Wednesday, so it was fun to see where I actually am for my 800s (answer? better than I thought). My mom’s new house is on a country block, so it was the perfect place to run while we were in Ohio. I’m glad because Minster can be a great, flat running town, so I was hoping the new place would have places to run.

I still feel pretty good and grateful to be running. It seems like I am very slowly getting bigger. I feel like I am starting to look pregnant, but I’m sure to the outside world I just look like I indulged on one too many Christmas cookies. The quality of my runs is definitely uneven, but my goal is just to get out there and I’m still doing that, so I’m content.

12 / 17 : Run. 15 minutes. 1.4 miles, 10:40/miles. CrossFit. WOD – 5 rounds for time, 10 pike push-ups, 10 hang power-cleans at 45 lbs., and 10 box step-overs. 9 minutes 40 seconds.

12 / 18 : Run. 30 minutes, 2.6 miles. This felt like a hard run. My legs felt tired so I took a few walk breaks. CrossFit. 7 minutes to thruster one rep max. I just stayed at 55 lbs. and worked on form. WOD – Jackie. Hahahahahahaha. Ow. 1000m row, 50 thrusters at 35 lbs., and 30 jumping pull-ups. This work-out was so hard and so painful, I honestly did not think I would actually be able to finish the thrusters. After ten, I started to have plenty of negative thoughts. But I did finish them. Somehow I did. I have no idea what my time was for sure, but I think in the 11-12 minute range.

12 / 19 : Run. Around 20 minute warm-up, little over ten minute pace. At CrossFit, 5 x 800m repeats with a three minute break. I had one goal — try to stay under four minutes per repeat. I did it and frankly, felt really good during all the intervals. 3:46, 3:47, 3:48, 3:58; 3:52. I’m not “good” at much in CrossFit, so it was nice to follow such a humbling day (see above about “Jackie”) with a day with something I’m actually ok at.

12 / 20 : Rest.

12 / 21 : Rest.

12 / 22 : Run. 1 hour 15 minutes. 7.2 miles, 10:22/mile. This was my first time running around my mom’s new house. One lap around the country block was a little over three miles and it was windy, but flat. There is one side with a lot of traffic, but I’m only on the road for about a half mile. I did two laps and then explored further. This was also the first run with my new watch, a Garmin, but I already forget what type. I’m not sure how accurate the heart rate monitor is, but I like it. I also like I do not need all this extra equipment to check my foot stride. So far, so good.

12 / 23 : Run. 30 minutes. 2.5 miles, 12:02/mile. This was slow, but I was tired. I wanted to get a run in before we left for Connecticut. I tried to stay under 160 bpm for heart rate. Like I said, I have no idea how accurate it actually is, but I wanted to make sure I was actually doing a recovery pace.

Totals : Run. 3 hours, 10 minutes, 18.11 miles. CrossFit. 3 hours. Total: 5 hours, 20 minutes (took off one hour for the CrossFit/run overlap on 12/19).

Onward!

xo, Ali

Running & CrossFit While Pregnant : An Update

crossfit, lifting, pregnancy, running, training

As of tomorrow, I will be sixteen weeks pregnant. At times it seems like it is going so slowly (especially when I feel worried). At other times it seems like it is going so quickly. Sometimes I think, I feel like I’ve been pregnant for a long time. And I still got a long way to go.

So what has it been like to run and CrossFit while pregnant?

I’ll begin with CrossFit, because that is what I’ve been able to do the most consistently. Even though it would be a few weeks until my appointment, I told my coaches I was pregnant right away. Initially I only made it two times a week (when before I was making it three times, running three times, biking twice, swimming once a week). As I said, I felt pretty terrible. I used to go to the afternoon work out, but would be so tired by 5:30 that I started going at noon. Now I feel much more energetic and I go around three times a week, but the noon class is the habit at the moment.

When I had my first prenatal appointment, I told him I was still doing CrossFit and I got the go-ahead. I mainly just was told to watch the amount I lifted — don’t do one rep maxes, those sorts of things. I’ve been listening and don’t try to go to failure on anything, but of course, I’m still really new to CrossFit (I started early May) and so I’m in that stage where improving comes probably easier now than it will later. I have still PR’ed on my back squats and other lifts, but I would not squat or lift something if I thought I would not be able to do it. Still — it is nice to be able to see improvements in this area. And even more importantly, what a mood boost. As I also mentioned, I felt really bad emotionally during the first trimester. The biggest thing being able to go work out for me had nothing to do with how fast I went or much I lifted, but just that it made me feel a million times better and, of course, inspired.

It is hard to tell how much pregnancy is affecting what I do, because well, as I said, I’m still newish and it is just hard (in a good way, of course). So it is hard to tell on days when it is difficult because of the work out or hard because of hormones (most likely both). I have nothing really to compare it to. I was asked if I had started accommodating certain work outs and the only thing I have changed is box jumps. We had a work out a month or two ago. I can’t remember, but it featured 3 x 60 box jumps or something like that. Just a lot of box jumps. And I tripped on the last round. I was fine. It really was not a big deal, but I think psychologically my brain was like, “No more box jumps. Box jumps equals scary.” But other than box jumps, nothing else — well, except for all the things I have to normally accommodate like pull-ups and all that fun stuff I will hopefully some day be able to do.

Running has been a different story. It is different, because I do have something to compare it to. Namely, running before. Between September and mid-November I did not run at all. Bruno and I tried to go for a run one day and I puked. There I said it. It gave me a horrible, sloshy, motion sickness feeling that I just could not do it. And frankly, I did not miss it. I think I needed a break. It was nice to do CrossFit alone for a little bit and not worry at all about training. I only had the energy to work on my dissertation and teach and the very few classes I went to a week. It was a rough time.

Inevitably I did start missing running though. I started feeling better mid-November and started running at the exact same time, just short three and four mile runs. I’ve been following the Hal Higdon Winter Plan fairly consistently.

HOWEVER, it has been very different. I have days where I am about where I was prior to being pregnant. And then, I have days where all I am doing is a simple, easy twenty-five minute run and I am huffing and puffing and walking because I’m so completely shot. And unlike with CrossFit I can tell the difference. I know when the type of exhaustion is different, so I just go with it. I will have two days where I have to take a lot of walking breaks and the next day I can do some great (for me) 800m repeats. I also have days where I can tell that if I just get through the first mile I’ll be fine and other days where I’m just am like “we’re going to walk the rest of the time, mmmk?”

I’m happy with this. Those days where I have to walk, it can be kind of hard mentally, but I just try to enjoy the fact I’m outside — even if it is in the freezing Michigan cold. All of my longer-ish runs have gone really well — all of which I’ve negative split. There is nothing like getting into the rhythm of a long run. I would prefer that over a three mile run any day.

Moreover, I am not sure long any of this will last. I see on Instagram and blogs women who are able to run and work out until the day they pop. Others have to stop earlier. I’ve been trying to not get my hopes up and go with the flow. I’m not signing up for any races for just in case. I am just taking it week by week. And if I need a break, like today – I slept terribly last night, I just take one. I’m grateful to be able to do this.

What have been your experiences running and working out while pregnant?

xo, Ali

 

What I’ve Been Eating Lately

food, pregnancy

First, a disclaimer: I am not at all what you would describe as a “healthy eater.” I follow no prescribed diet. I still eat white flour and sugar. I would like to be better, but in the past couple of months nothing has sounded good to me to eat except for McDonald’s, Ben and Jerry’s, and Mexican food. I’ve felt good enough in the past couple of weeks to start to avoid those things again, but I am still having days where I’m just like “nope, need a fried chicken sandwich.” I’m not proud, but that is where I’m at right now. It is also probably why I gained more than the recommended amount in my first trimester. I’m trying not to care, because I am active, but still I care. I can’t help it.

This past week Sunday, I told Bruno that my big goal was to not go out to eat or get fast food for the next two weeks. I told him I did not care how bad the food I was making at home was (bad for you), but I wanted to do whatever it took just to prevent myself from ordering a pizza or eating Ben and Jerry’s from dinner. I figured even if everything I ate was smothered in cheese, even if I ate Eckrich farm sausage (I know it is disgusting and really bad for you, but it tastes so damn good), as long as I was not eating out that was good enough for me. It is Thursday, so, so far, so good. But the weekend is coming.

Anyway — here is a little bit of what I’ve been eating the past few weeks, the good, the bad, and the ugly.

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I’ve been craving buffalo sauce on everything, so I figured I would give this buffalo chicken casserole a try. It was good, but almost too much tomato, not enough buffalo. Also, for whatever reason quinoa has not tasted good to me at all. I blame pregnancy, not the recipe.

breakfast

Here’s a standard breakfast – kale, coconut, yogurt smoothie (from the Eat Slow, Run Fast cookbook), with homemade banana bread with butter and coffee. Frankly, this has not been enough. Within two hours, I am starving. Breakfast is something I need to figure out.

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This soup was a big hit in our house. The only thing I think I would change is I would not cook the noodles in the soup and add them later (making it no longer a one-pot meal, but still pretty easy). The surplus of leftovers was amazing and delicious, but the noodles were so soggy by the end. Still. I will make this again.

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Another breakfast: yogurt smothered with granola and maple syrup.

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When Bruno cooks: ground beef, veggies, and potatoes. Nuun water on the side. I’m having a hard time with ground beef still. I used to love it, as in, I love cheeseburgers especially with bacon. This has been one of our throw together meals for a long time.

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Sausage, kale, sweet potato, and ricotta cheese. I threw this together after grocery shopping on Sunday. It was delicious. Probably not the best for you (hello sodium and sulfites), but still delicious. I love sausage, but I cannot find any “healthy” brands from our local Kroger, or maybe I’m just not aware of it. I would like to think the kale made up for it. Ha!

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Lunch this week — bbq chicken made with Montgomery Inn bbq sauce (because, Ohio!), salad with all the good veggies and all the bad salad dressing (see above about trying really hard to not go out to eat), and homemade sour dough bread with butter.

Not pictured: pizza from a local pizza place, Ruben sandwich from a local restaurant, buffalo chicken sandwich from a local pizza place, McDonald’s fried chicken sandwich, fries, and holiday pie (what is this deliciousness?), and pizza from another local pizza establishment.

I’m trying, people. Trying. And don’t give me that Yoda stuff, I’m pregnant.

xo, Ali