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?

 

 

 

 

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January 2019 Goals : The Year of 1% Better

crossfit, dissertation, goals, reading, running, year of 1% better

If you missed it, last week I declared 2019 the Year of 1% Better. Because so many things this year are to be determined (motherhood, post-graduate school life, where I will be working to name just a few big ones), I have decided to take things month-by-month and do little things to improve and, well, be better.

As you might have guessed from yesterday’s post, my January goals are already side-tracked. Excruciating pelvic pain at the end of last week has moved me to plan B: do what I can. That said, yesterday I felt pretty much fine, worked out and felt fine, and still feel fine today. So maybe, just maybe, it was an end of the first week of 2019 thing and will not derail my whole January. Fingers crossed!

Ok, ok. So here are the goals for this month:

SUBMIT MY DISSERTATION. This is the goal of all goals — the goal where all goals must be sacrificed to, if need be. This is what I have been working on for the last year and a half. And yes, it is finally happening. I am done with going through editing and formatting three chapters, with two to go. This one will probably be done next week, but it is the most important. I have been a Ph.D. student since 2013. 2019 will be the year I graduate. Six years.

91 Miles. This is one of those goals on Strava that different company’s post. Apparently 91 miles in January is 2x the amount of the average Strava runner in 2019. I do not care if I ran these or walk these (most likely both). I just want to do it while I can.

Do not, do not, DO NOT go out to eat at all for the entire month. We are so bad at this. One of us (ok, it is me. It is always me.) will be like, “I don’t feel like cooking.” Next thing you know, I’m eating a cheeseburger at a restaurant in town. It is not even like this place has a ton of delicious places to eat, so usually I’m eating a meal that is just ok. There are loopholes with this – if someone invites us out to eat and Culver’s custard when we do our grocery shopping on Sundays.

Double-under practice 3x week. Last week, I only did two days. I’m going to try to pick it back up this week. Note I did not say “accomplish double-unders.” I cannot guarantee that, but I’m hoping by putting in a little bit of time, I will get better and manage to do more than one every single time I try to do them.

Swim 1x week. I missed swimming, so I just want to incorporate it back in and do just a little session in the pool every week. So far, so good.

CathLIT2019. I guess this is more of a 2019 goal, but the idea is to read one book on Catholicism a month. The blog Carrots for Michaelmas put together a whole list with categories that I am going to try to follow. I’m trying to do what I think may be more denser, more time-consuming books prior to baby C’s arrival. This month’s category is a book about Mary, so I’m reading Louis de Montfort’s True Devotion to Mary (which arrived just yesterday…hooray!).

Poach an egg. Categorize this in random, but seriously, I do not know how to do this. I should know how to do this. I want to know how to do this. I will learn how to do this, even if it takes me more cartons of eggs than I expect. My favorite breakfast in the world is eggs benedict and I’m not gong to be able to do it without going out to eat if I do not figure out how to poach some eggs. This is the year, people.

What are your goals for January? For 2019?

 

 

 

 

 

Monday Miles : December 31, 2018 – January 6, 2019 (18 Weeks Pregnant)

crossfit, monday miles, running, swimming, training

This week started out strong. I ran. I swam. I continued the process of finishing my dissertation. I had a few goals on Strava I was hoping to achieve, because well, I felt so good.

Then, boom. Hello, pelvic pain. Thursday night while sitting on the couch, one minute I was totally fine and the next I was in excruciating pain. I’m not kidding. I could not even walk upstairs to go to bed. Bruno had to bring me down some blankets and a pillow. To try to even get off the couch, I felt just a pull in my pelvic/tail bone area that I honestly thought I would have to crawl to get anywhere. I woke up on the couch around 2 in the morning and slowly, slowly made my way upstairs, but I think cried from the pain for like an hour until I was able to fall asleep again. I’m a lot of fun, people!

It felt a little bit better Friday morning, but only enough that I could hobble upstairs very slowly to use our bathroom. I did not work out (obviously). Every movement felt like a pull on my tailbone and the pain in the front seemed mostly on my right side. I went to get a massage in the afternoon, which helped dramatically. Saturday was much better, but still painful. Sunday I went for a walk. And today, well today I can tell something happened, but the pain no longer makes me feel like I have to get sick, but instead is very faint.

So 2019 started with a big bang. I have tried to keep in mind while the running has been good that things could change and I may just not be able to run anymore. Of course, that is easier said than done. Even while eighteen weeks pregnant and not able to work out, I had a hard time just being “nice” to myself and letting it go.

I’m trying to be nicer to myself this week. I’ll probably be walking with my runs — just trying to get the time outside in, not the miles. We’ll see.

Anyway — here are last week’s workouts.

12-31-18 : Run. 15 minutes. 1.29 miles. 11:43/mile.

1 – 1 – 19 : Run. 45 minutes. 4.43 miles. 10:10/mile.

1 – 2 : Run/walk. 30 minutes. 2.35 miles. 12:45/mile. I walked two minutes, ran three. CrossFit. It was so good to be back. However, I can always really feel it when I haven’t gone in awhile. 20 minutes – AMRAP – 3 wall walk planks, 15 toes-to-kettle-bell, 200m run with 14 lbs. medicine ball, 25 Russian kettle-bell swings @ 35 lbs., 45 second double-under practice. 3x + 3 wall walk planks (try saying that fast) + 2 toes-to-kettle-bell. I actually really liked this one, although I had to keep checking the board — “wait a second, what am I supposed to be doing now?” I did not think the run with the medicine ball was that bad — just awkward. Like, where should I put this damn thing? I will admit that in each of my 45 seconds of double-under practice, not a single double-under was accomplished. Yikes!

1 – 3 : Swim. Yes, yes, yes, yes. I missed the pool so much. I have not swam since my triathlon in August. I look like a beluga whale in my swimming suit right now (but you look at how expensive maternity swimsuits are). My new Garmin goes into the pool with me — so that was a lot of fun because it meant I do not need to count anymore. Anyway — I did 100m breast stroke warm-up, then 10 minutes of 25m repeats free-style with 30 seconds rest. Then another 100m breast stroke. According to Strava, which puts everything in yards — I did 437 yards, 2:37/100 yards. Later I learned that for pregnant women, breast stroke can be very irritating and cause a lot of pelvic pain. The more you know. Run. 18 minutes. 1.62 miles. 11:06/mile. Practiced double-unders. Actually managed to do a few. Redemption!

1 – 4 : Pain. Recovery. Massage.

1 – 5 : Pain. Prenatal yoga for pelvic floor. I am going to try to start doing this once a week now.

1 – 6 : Morning walk. 30 minutes. 2 miles. 15:45/mile. Still pain, but significantly less.

Totals: Running/walking – 12 miles. 2 hours, 18 minutes. CrossFit – 1 hour. Swim – 437 yards, 11 minutes. 3 hours, 29 minutes.

Onward!

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

Monday Miles : December 3 – 9, 2018 (13-14 Weeks Pregnant)

crossfit, monday miles, pregnancy, running, training

You know how I know Baby C is growing? I woke up three times last night to use the restroom. Three times. This has been the new hurdle in my running and work-outs too. All first trimester, I was completely fine and did not have to stop at all. All of the runs for this week needed a break somewhere, even the short twenty-five minute one.

Still — this was a good week of running and CrossFit. I feel strong. Aside for Wednesday, I felt really energized during my runs. I never felt completely exhausted or drained afterwards. I’m hoping this continues!

12 – 3 : CrossFit. WOD – 20 minute time-cap for 40 calorie row, 75 single-unders, 150 lunges, 75 single-unders, 40 burpees. It was supposed to be 50 burpees and another 75 single-unders (double-unders if RX’d), but I did not make the cut off. I was kind of bummed that I did not make it. It felt like it took me a 150 years to do those 150 lunges.

12 – 4 : Rest.

12 – 5 : Run. 27 minutes. My legs would not go. I just felt wiped out. I ran five minutes, then walked for two. Repeat. 2.2 miles, 12:11/mile. I’m glad I just went with it instead of forcing myself to just run it. There are days like this. CrossFit: WOD – 5 rounds: 1 minute bike, 15 knee-ups (toes to bar option), 15 over-head squats at 35 lbs. 17 minutes 28 seconds. I had no idea if I was going to be able to do this work out. Over-head squats are hard. I mean I was only using the barbell and I would look at it as I walked towards it as the scariest thing in the world. But I did it. Nobody is more surprised than me.

12 – 6 : Run. 45 minutes. So there are days like 12-5 and there are days like this day, where I felt like I was flying. I know, I know. Still going to super slow for most people, but for me this is good. 4.6 miles, 9:46/mile. I felt great. I could have gone faster, but chose not to. CrossFit. 20 x 2 reps back-squats, every 1:30 minutes with increasing weight. Now I cannot go super heavy (my one rep max PR is 135 lbs.), so I had to do a lot of repeat weights, but here they are: 65, 75, 85, 95, 95, 105, 105, 110, 110, 115, 115, 115, 115, 115, 115, 120, 120, 120, 120, 125. I was happy and sore.

12 – 7 : Run. 30 minutes, 2.8 miles. 10:53/mile. We (Bruno and I) literally ran errands on this run. I had some things to do on campus, so we ran out fifteen minutes and made some stops on our way back. Easy, quick. Done.

12 – 8 : CrossFit. Ugly Christmas Sweater Partner WOD. Partner wods make me nervous because, well, I don’t think I’m particularly “good” at CrossFit — whatever that is supposed to mean. I can’t lift heavy. I’m trying to focus more on form than speed, so I’m slow. So yeah, I get nervous even though every single person at my crossfit gym that I’ve talked to has been nice and friendly. It was fun though. 5x 20 hang-power cleans at 55 lbs. (something I’m pretty sure I’ve never done before) and 40 wall-balls at 14 lbs. We split them up 10 and 10 for the hang -power cleans and 20 and 20 for the wall-balls for every round except for the 4th round, where I did only 5 hang-power cleans. 11 minutes 46 seconds.

crossfituglysweaterwod

Definitely jolly. 

12 – 9 : Long run. 1 hour 30 minutes. 8.8 miles. 10:14 mile. Negative splits again! This run was great, but I need to start arranging my routes by how many bathrooms I pass. I ran a local bike trail, but the public restrooms in the park are closed for winter. I was able to run three miles back home to use the restroom (the nearest one) before finishing the last half hour of my run, but there was a very uncomfortable couple of miles in there.

restroomclosed

The horror! 

Totals : Running – 3 hours 12 minutes, 18.4 miles. CrossFit – 4 hours. 7 hours 12 minutes total.

Onward!

xo, Ali

Monday Miles : November 26 – December 2, 2018 (12-13 Weeks Pregnant)

crossfit, cycling, pregnancy, running, training

There were some highs and lows to running this week. I missed two of my runs. I had an excellent long run. Mostly, though, I felt good during my work outs – both running and CrossFit. Right before Thanksgiving, during CrossFit, I felt wiped out. Like so wiped out that we were supposed to five rounds of a work-out and I could only manage four in the time allotted. My energy felt much better this week.

Diet might be helping with that. Leaving my diet of Kraft macaroni and cheese and Ben and Jerry’s for a return to green morning shakes and actually home cooked food has helped immensely. It feels good to be back in the kitchen again. I still crave fried chicken smothered in Frank’s Red Hot, but lately that has been on top of salad instead on two pieces of white bread. That said, I still had two pizzas this week and plenty of dessert — but that was more for social rather than craving reasons.

Ok — so work outs for this week:

11 – 26 : 30 minutes on the new bike trainer. 9 minute warm-up, 4 x 1 minute sprint with 4 minute recovery. Not yet having the fancy accoutrements for knowing how far, how much power, etc. for my bike, I have no idea how much I did except that I sweat a lot.

11 – 27 : Rest. Went to the chiropractor for low-back and tailbone pain.

11 – 28 : Rest. I was not feeling good on this day.

11 – 29 : Run. 20 minutes, 1.82 miles. 10:43/mile. CrossFit: 5 x 500m row sprints with 5 minute recovery. Splits: 2:06.2, 2:04.5, 2:10.7, 2:13.3, 2:08.8. I did this work out in 8-2-18. I did about the same, no PR, but I was happy with how it went given how crappy my aerobic capacity has felt lately.

11 – 30 : Run. 45 minutes, 4 miles. 11:18/mile. This was pretty slow, but I took a pretty hilly route and underestimated how much those hills would wind me. There was a lot of walking on this “run.” CrossFit: Strength. Shoulder press – 3 sets for every 2 minutes 30 seconds: 55 lbs., 60, 60 (could only do 2), 60 (could only do 1), 55 lbs. My one-rep shoulder press is 60 lbs. so I guess I improved by now being able to do three?

12 – 1 : Rest. Horrible headache and eyesight problems.

12 – 2 : Run. 75 minutes. 7.44 miles, 10:05/mile. I may be running while pregnant and feel like I’m sucking air through a straw, but I can still negative split like a boss: 10:37, 10:26, 10:21, 10:14, 10:06, 9:57, 9:24, 9:00 (for the last .44). I cannot express how happy I am with this run. I know I will get slower through the months, but this run made clear I didn’t lose all the fitness I developed when I took a break during my first couple months of pregnancy. It may have been a very foggy and creepy looking run (see below), but I felt so much joy!

bawbeeseinthefog.jpg

Baw-Beese Trail in the fog. 

Totals : Running. 2 hours 50 minutes, 13.2 miles. CrossFit. 2 hours. Cycling. 30 minutes. All – 5 hours 20 minutes.

Onward!

xo, Ali

 

Monday (Ok, Ok, Tuesday) Miles : November 19 – 25, 2018

crossfit, monday miles, pregnancy, races, running, training

There’s a new game I like to play: What is Causing Ali’s Aches and Pains? Working out, sitting too much at a desk, or pregnancy. This has been the story the last two days as my tailbone aches and I wonder if this is from dead lifts last week or just general pregnancy or the fact that I did a lot of driving over the weekend. Or perhaps all of the above? After this post I’m making a call to the chiropractor.

This was my second week of consistent running. I’m not training for anything, but following Hal Higdon’s Winter training plan. A lot of the “running while pregnant” advice I read suggested going by minutes instead of miles. Supposedly, as you grow slower, it is less disheartening. I’m so grateful to be back at it again, I’m not sure how disheartened I would even be.

I will admit that first week out there was hard. I huffed and puffed. This week, the second week, was significantly better. I know I will continue to get slower, but I felt good. I did not feel like I was huffing or puffing. Instead, it felt leisurely, enjoyable, even if slow.

11 – 19 : 15ish minute run, 1.45 miles. 10:46/mile. CrossFit: Strength – build to three rep max for push-press in seven minutes. I managed eighty pounds, a PR. WOD – AMRAP 7 minutes, 10 push-presses @ 35 pounds, 30 single-unders, 3 double-under attempts. I managed six rounds plus five push-presses. I even managed successfully some of those double-unders.

11 – 20 : 45 minute run, 4.36 miles. 10:19/mile.

11 – 21 : 30 minute run, 2.8 miles. 10:34/mile. CrossFit: WOD – 40 calorie bike followed by 4 rounds – 8 split jerks (45 lbs.) and 8 dead lifts (85 lbs). This was hard. Dead lifts are hard for me. I have improved so much in my back squat, in really almost everything I have done in CrossFit except for the deadlift. I was supposed to do five rounds and could only manage four in 19 minutes 8 seconds.

11 – 22 : Thanksgiving! You know what this means…Turkey Trot! I was not planning on running one and then decided at the last minute to run the hometown trot. I’m glad I did, because I did much better than I thought I would be able to and felt damn good too. 3.15 miles in exactly 28 minutes, around 9ish per mile. Race report here.

11 – 23 : REST.

11 – 24 : REST.

11 – 25 : 60 minute run, 5.5 miles. 10:57/mile.

Totals: Miles run – 17.2 miles, 3 hours. CrossFit, 2 hours. 5 hours.

Onward to next week!

xo, Ali

The One with the Baby News

blogging, books, daily life, Harry Potter, health, pregnancy, running

Ok, ok so it has been almost three months since I have posted and with good reason too!

Things have been going on. And I am very happy to say that all of them are good.

I left you September 5 with some thoughts on working from home. Soon after, I ran Run Woodstock 5k and half-marathon. I ran just ok, actually terribly. I ran that race a half hour slower than I did at Run Legend. I knew it would be harder, but that I was that much slower bummed me out. I felt tired and exhausted. I had no idea why. I thought, perhaps, I was over-trained. This is probably true. I took some time off running.

runwoodstock

Me after the Hippie Half-Marathon at Run Woodstock. Probably pregnant here!

I focused on teaching and my dissertation. I only have two more classes to teach right now and all my dissertation chapters are approved — I need do some edits and revisions, but I should be able to defend in February!

A little over two weeks after Run Woodstock, I still felt tired and exhausted. I was starting to get a little suspicious. On a Wednesday morning, I asked Bruno if we could pop by a Walgreens to grab a pregnancy test before we went to campus. Later that morning, I informed Bruno that yes, I was indeed pregnant. Very pregnant. Those lines were dark!

I’ll admit that I was surprised, but very pleased. We had wanted to start having kids as soon as we knew that I would have my dissertation done before baby no. 1 arrived, so the timing is very good (especially now that chapter five is approved). Baby C is due next year in early June. I will be waddling across that stage mid-May to get my Ph.D. diploma. Proudly waddling.

I want to be careful about how I write what I say next, especially because I know that I am very blessed and happy to be pregnant. I do not want to seem like I am complaining thoughtlessly or without compassion for women who have been struggling to get pregnant or who have lost babies.

That said, from about three days after I found out I was pregnant until probably about a week or two ago, I was having a very hard time. Normally, I’m an anxious person, but the increase of hormones made me well, frankly, depressed. I felt like a complete mess of vomit for the last several weeks and felt sick all the time. I could barely eat anything, barely cook anything because the smell of anything sent me running (the only running I did) to the toilet or trashcan. I regularly had severe headaches and was exhausted. I know. I know. All of this is normal. Many have gone through this before me and will do so afterwards. I feel silly for even complaining. And I’m lucky, happy, etc., but I would be lying if I said it was not hard.

The little energy I had was directed to prepping for class and crawling to the finish of writing this fifth chapter. I barely did anything else. I have no idea how women who go to regular jobs do it. There was a week that aside for teaching Tuesday night class, I barely left the house because I was afraid I would spend most of that time in a public restroom getting sick. This did little for the depression problem.

Quick shout out to Bruno for taking care of the majority of cooking and cleaning and having incredible patience during this time. Marry a man who, when you are having a meltdown because of how terrible you feel and how you feel bad for having a meltdown for how terrible you feel, surprises you by taking you to get a professional massage that very afternoon. Then, for his birthday, when you regain your ability to function like an actual human being bake him a layered coconut buttercream cake.

I feel better. I only get really sick every three days now, instead of what felt like every hour. Full disclosure: I worked with an orange Home Depot bucket that said “Let’s Do This!” next to my computer for just in case. I still went to CrossFit about 2-3 times a week, but the week before last I started running again. Last week I ran a Turkey Trot 5k. I am cooking again. I went on a full-blown baking spree last week in the kitchen. I’m doing my holiday re-read of Harry Potter. Rejoice! I am starting to feel, at least for now, like myself again. It feels good.

With that said, I’m hoping to finish the 2018 year of blogging and running strong. I am interested to see how running as a pregnant lady goes. It will be a new chapter in my life, one that I’m very happy to begin.

pregnant

xo, Ali

Alessandra Pichelli on that Rower

crossfit

Yesterday marked the beginning of the 2018 CrossFit Games. I’m not a big sports fanatic. I don’t have a football or baseball team (I come from a Bengals and Reds family). I cheer for the Cavaliers out of affection for all the Cleveland people I knew in undergrad. But I don’t really think about it much. That said, we (Bruno and myself) are avidly watching the CrossFit Games this year. I’m not cheering for anyone in particular, because I love them all. However, I might love someone a teensy more today than I did yesterday.

Beginning of the day yesterday I had never heard of Alessandra Pichelli. Even before we started CrossFit, Bruno and I used to watch the games documentaries on Netflix just because it is inspiring. So I knew the big names. I knew Katrin. I knew Annie. I knew Tia. (Full disclosure: I do not really follow the males. Same with running. I’m not sure why that is.) Pichelli I had never heard of until they showed her suffering on the rowing machine last night.

The last event for day one was to row a marathon. Athletes had a four hour time cap and none of the usual tools (like headphones and your own music) to get through an incredibly mentally and physically taxing event. We had the event on as background, but for an event that seemed dull, we were glued to the television.

When they showed Pichelli she was rowing with one hand. The commentators were questioning whether she would be able to finish within four hours. She was cramping in her legs and her arms. I have tried to find pictures, but I can tell you this. She looked in agony.

But she just kept going. Later they showed her back to using two arms, still in pain, but looking better. Pichelli was the last female to finish, but watching her fight to finish was the best part of the games yesterday. I mean, how do you continue when your body is telling you to stop? How do just keep going on when you know you have so much left to go? When there is nothing to take your mind from what is going on? The amount of mental strength she showed was more courageous, more impressive, and more inspirational than the women that seemed to have a much easier go of it.

3:34:22.00 and no quit in @alessandrapichelli. #MarathonRow

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Sometimes the way to success is to grit it out and just not quit, whether that is in a marathon row, an actual marathon, or even, dissertation writing and graduate school. I cannot count how many times in the last five years I also “cramped” up, didn’t think I could do it, and would just try to do whatever I could to have some forward progress. In whatever form, we’ve all been there and will be there again.

And the next time I reach that point, I’ll think of Alessandra Pichelli on that rower.

xo, Ali

Monday Miles : June 4 – 10, 2018

crossfit, monday miles, running, swimming, training, triathlon

We are about to start a full week. We are moving all of our stuff from our current house to the new house this week, but because the landlord wants to put some new stuff in the kitchen (a cause for delay I am totally fine with) we cannot move in for another two weeks yet. So at the end of this week we are picking up my mom and step-dad from the Detroit Airport on Friday afternoon — they will be moving back to the states after two years of working in Spain — and heading back to Ohio for two weeks. Add to all this that I managed to mess up my left elbow again (it was previously broken a few years ago) and lifting anything, straightening it, holding anything with my left hand leads to a lot of pain. So, yes, it is a little chaotic over here.

Workouts for last week (or lack thereof) were heavily influenced by my non-functioning left elbow/forearm/wrist. I tried to take it easy in preparation for the Dirty Duo Flirt with Dirt on Saturday. It is better, but still not optimal.

6 / 4 : Crossfit — 2x 100m run, 15 morning glories, 15 air squats, 30s/30s ankle stretch. Movement prep with PVC pipe for cleans. 4 x 5 cleans with 35 lbs. bar bell. My form was pretty atrocious for the movement, so the coach just had me working from the mid-thigh to jump motion over and over again. WOD – For time. 15 cleans (same mid-thigh to jump motion) and 21 calorie row. 2 minutes and 53 seconds. Romwod.

6 / 5 : Morning — 700m swim. 200 m drills/breast stroke warm-up. 500m 10 x 50m swim w/ 30-45s recovery. I was really happy with this swim. But afterwards, this is when my elbow started bugging me. Crossfit — RUNNING! Hoorah! Warm-up was a bunch of different mobility walks — lunge twists, kick-butts, high knees, hurdle walks, etc. WOD: 4 x 200, 1 minute recovery in between, 3 minute recovery after last 200, 3 x 300, 1 minute recover in between, 3 minute recovery after, 2 x 400, 1 minute recover. It took me 22:06 minutes and I ran about a 7:00-7:30 pace for each interval. I am really loving crossfit, but sometimes I get so overwhelmed with how much there is to learn, so it was nice to have a day where I knew what to do — just run. Romwod.

6 / 6 : Rest. Here begin the onslaught of elbow woes.

6 / 7 : Rest. Elbow.

6 / 8 : Rest. Lots of stretching and hamstring prep for the race on Saturday.

6 / 9 : Flirt with Dirt Dirty Duo 5k and 10k. I will be writing a race report this, but for now, I can say it was a very humbling (and muddy) experience.

6 / 10 : Rest.

I’m hoping to get back to more training this week, the elbow feels a bit better (but not much). Running, though, my main love, should be fine.

xo, Ali