Monday Miles : April 15 – 21, 2019 (33 Weeks Pregnant)

crossfit, lifting, monday miles, pregnancy, training

I cannot help but start each week with a countdown as baby’s due date gets closer and closer. This week I wrote down in my planner “42 days//6 weeks.” There are days where it feels like each week moves quickly and others where it drags. I am beginning to not enjoy the limbo position I am in – I am ready for so many things to start – the baby, moving to Austin, teaching. At the same time, I am trying to be patient and not wish the time away. It is a hard balance to keep.

I thought this week of work out’s went excellent. I wish I were better at doing things on the weekend, but maybe those breaks are good for me. I actually took part in the WOD four times this week instead of my usual two. That said, watching the Boston Marathon results come in last week Monday, I still miss running with all my heart. Every day I miss running.

4 – 15 : CrossFit. Every 1:30 minutes for 12 minutes – 3 position power snatch – 35 lbs. Followed by power snatches and burpees – 15 power snatches, 15 burpees, 12 power snatches, 12 burpees, etc. Power snatches and burpees are probably about the most awkward movements for a pregnant lady. Add my shoddy aerobic system and I was wheezing and huffing and puffing. The weight was fine — 35 lbs. — but I just could not catch my breath. We had a twelve minute time cap and I made it to the second-to-last amount 6 power snatches, 6 burpees. I tried not to be frustrated with myself. I mean come on, I’m 33 weeks pregnant, right? But I was still frustrated.

4 – 16 : CrossFit. Back squats are still my favorite. Also — after huffing and puffing through yesterday’s work-out, I like strength days because it seems to be the only area that hasn’t been declining due to pregnancy. In fact — even though I have not lifted heavier than what I could prior to being pregnant — all my lifts feel easier. Today — with 3 minute rests after each set — 10 back squats at 95 lbs.; 8 back squats at 100 lbs.; 6 back squats at 105 lbs. 4 back squats at 115 lbs.; and 2 back squats at 135 lbs. I should throw out there that 135 lbs. is my one rep max PR. Two at 135 felt hard, but I did not feel like I was struggling or straining or had to do anything wonky to get the bar up.

4 – 17 : CrossFit. 3 Rounds for Time – 100m walk with 14 lbs. medicine ball (everyone else ran 200m, but this was my accommodation), 20 hang power-cleans at 35 lbs., 100m walk with 14 lbs. medicine ball, 20 front squats at 35 lbs., 100m walk…, 20 push-press at 35 lbs. 25 minutes 12 seconds. I liked this work-out and thought it was a lot of fun. I always feel like I can get in the zone in these longer work-outs. My power-clean form is wonky, trying to avoid the belly, but for the most part I thought I probably actually could have added more weight instead of just using the barbell.

4 – 18 : CrossFit. I still managed to spend some quality time on the rower this week. This time for 3 x 1000m rows. I was super happy with how this went mainly because I was able to get faster with each round: 4:33, 4:29, 4:28. And it hurt. I tried to stay at 2:10/500m pace for that last one, but I could not hold on because it was so painful. I have never been able to do under 2 minutes for 500m, but I’m wondering if this is what I can do with a baby pushing under my lungs and a shoddy aerobic system, if I might be able to finally get under two minutes post-baby.

4 – 19 : Rest.

4 – 20 : Rest.

4 – 21 : Rest (unless eating counts as a work-out).

Totals : 4 hours CrossFit.

Onward!

 

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Monday Miles : April 8 – 14, 2019 (32 Weeks Pregnant)

crossfit, health, monday miles, pregnancy

Last week was kind of a wash. I did have one very good and very hard work-out (involving thrusters!), but for the most part being sick prevented me from doing much of anything. Every day I would put “Crossfit” or “Work-out” on my to-do list and each day it just did not happen. Thursday and Friday I hardly left the couch, watching more Netflix than I have seen in probably the last couple of months.

Thankfully, after some benadryl-induced sleep I am feeling much better although a cough and a stuffed nose still remain. This week should be better, but I still want to take it easy so that I don’t become miserably sick again.

4 – 8 : I was not feeling very well. Rest.

4 – 9 : Still not feeling well, but went to CrossFit to do the wod anyway (type A coming through). 80 calorie row, followed by 100 thrusters at 35 lbs. We had a fifteen minute time cap, but I asked if I could go over when fifteen minutes was up and I still had thirty thrusters to go. I wanted to finish so badly, so I did sets of ten, put the bar-bell down, persuaded myself to pick it back up and do another ten until the end. I’m sure I finished somewhere around 18 minutes (I’m slow and pregnant). It was one of those “I feel so strong” pregnancy moments.

4 – 10 : All movement feels awkward to me at the moment, so even the “easiest” yoga videos have been difficult for me. I really liked this Yoga with Adriene – Yoga for Beginners The Basics forty minute video.

4 – 11 : One of my favorite Yoga with Adriene videos — Yoga for Hamstrings.

4 – 12 : At this point, I was in a state of sheer misery. I’m proud of myself for even trying to move on this day. I did another Yoga with Adriene video – Yoga for when You Are Sick.

4 – 13 : Felt significantly better, but went down to Ohio to see family and for my baby shower on Sunday.

4 – 14 : Baby shower! And ate too much delicious cupcakes.

Onward!

Taking it Easy During Pregnancy Work-Outs

crossfit, lifting, pregnancy, running

Full disclosure: I am insanely jealous of pregnant women who can work-out throughout their pregnancies. I continue to see women on my instagram log double-digit mile runs close to their due dates. That said, I am lucky to be able to do what I can — which is still a lot compared to most people. For the most part, I was able to run most of my second trimester and CrossFit 2-4x a week throughout the entirety of my pregnancy (including the horrible first trimester). Though I can tell I’ve lost a lot of aerobic fitness, I can also tell I am getting stronger even if I have not pushed myself to the max. The human body is a crazy, amazing, and beautiful thing. If you want to see my work-outs click here.

That said, as I mentioned the other week, I decided to take it back just a bit for the rest of the third trimester. I had been fairly consistent on going to CrossFit 3-4x a week and even took part in my first open. I was feeling great until I didn’t, so the new plan is to wod only twice a week and try to add a day of rowing. Yes, that means less work-out time, but I do think the best thing I can do for myself is relax a little bit more.

How did I come to that decision? Well — nothing dramatic happened thankfully. I think it was mainly based on how tired I would be after the wod (work-out of the day). I would feel absolutely fine in the during — well, as fine as you can possibly feel while working-out. Then, I would go home and be utterly shot for the rest of the day. I’m a nooner, so this means after one I was completely useless. Even with a nap, it was hard to recover the energy spent.

I think this problem was further exacerbated by how much my sleep quality has declined (I know, I know. Every time I mention this, someone has to say, “Just wait until the baby is here!”). Energy-wise I think I was running on empty. I would go into work-out already exhausted and then would completely deplete myself again. Not to mention, I’m also expending a lot of energy growing a human. I think it proved to be too much.

The other reason is that it was taking me so long to recover, like first starting CrossFit recovery time. I tried to make sure I was doing all the right things, eat right after the work-out, stretch, nap. But I would be sore for days after a single work-out that before I would be a little sore but fine. I would put my level of soreness combined with the lack of energy at comatose, quality time with the couch levels. Sometimes, I just could not move.

I can say with two times a week and a day of rowing things have been going well. I cherry-pick, which is not something I would do normally (for example I skipped a work-out that was basically all burpees and jump-rope last week). My energy levels are better and I feel like I can put more into the work-outs I actually do. I make sure to go to all the strength days, because I feel like I have more control over how difficult it will be. I had a great front squat work-out last week that I’m not sure I would have been able to do if I had did the crazy difficult wod the day before (as much as I really wanted to).

One unexpected benefit I’ve noticed about the new routine is less Braxton-Hicks contractions. This is not a small thing, because they would be extremely painful. After showering I would have to lay down for a bit to wait for them to pass. I tried to drink more water, change positions, walk around — whatever, but nothing seemed to make them any better. I just figured I would be stuck with them until the end. They are still around, but less severe. I do not think it is much of a coincidence.

I’m hoping that I can keep this up until the end. As I said above, it is hard not to feel jealous of other pregnant women who are able to do so much more. Part of me wonders am I just being lazy? I like being the type-A goal-oriented person and this step back is against my nature. At the same time, I am grateful to have energy and not have my breath taken away by Braxton-Hicks. Taking a step back can be the best of both worlds — allowing myself to move, but also allowing myself to recover so I have the energy to prepare for other things, like, you know, having a baby.

Were you able to work-out throughout your pregnancy? Did you have to take a step-back? How did you feel?

 

 

Monday Miles : March 25 – 31, 2019 (30 Weeks Pregnant)

crossfit, lifting, monday miles, pregnancy, training

Every Monday marks one week closer to my due date. We are currently at nine weeks to go — 63 more days. I’m both impatient, but also overwhelmed by how little time left there seems to be. Nothing baby is set up in the house, although I am in full nesting/getting ready to move mode. It mostly has involved getting rid of as much stuff as possible.

I took it a little easier this week, I think. It ended up being for the best. On Monday I was still shot from 19.5. The WOD called for the Chief, but I knew it was not going to happen without me feeling even more beat up than I already happened to be. It ended up being for the best, because I was really happy with the rest of my work-outs for the week. I do have some things to improve one — mainly, I haven’t been doing anything on the weekends. It hurts to walk for a long period of time. I’ve tried to yoga, but everything seems to be in the way, so it is more uncomfortable than relaxing. This is the part where I tell myself to harden up and do it anyways. Though it is funny that the only exercises that has been “comfortable” has been CrossFit. Maybe it is because wods are always uncomfortable, so I don’t notice?

Anyway — here are my work-outs for this week, which I think are pretty satisfactory for a 30 week pregnant lady.

3 – 25 : I did the warm-up with everyone else at CrossFit — 2 x 10 ring-rows; 10 knee push-ups; 10 good-mornings; 10 air squats; 30 second plank hold; 30 second bike. I followed it up, however, with 30 minutes on the rower. 5667 meters. About ten minutes of mobility work afterwards.

3 – 26 : CrossFit. Increasing kettle-bell swings and box step-ups for 7 minutes (ex. 1 swing, 1 step-ups; 2 swins, 2 step-ups, and so on) – I made it ten rounds plus 3 kettle-bell swings. I used 20 lbs. for kettle-bell. Every 2 minutes for 10 minutes – Sumo Dead-lifts.  3 x 85 lbs., 95 lbs., 100 lbs., 100 lbs., 100 lbs. I don’t love regular dead-lifts and I do not think I like the sumo variety either. Bruno rolled me out — torture.

3 – 27 : CrossFit. Row sprints intervals – 1000 m : 4:43 minutes; 800 m – 3:36; 400 m – 1:50; 400 m – 1:52; 400 m – 1:45. I was happy with this work-out went, especially because my last 400m interval was the fastest. That said, everybody else was running, it was beautiful outside, and I was jealous.

3 – 28 : CrossFit. Every 3 minutes for 9 minutes – 3 x strict press + 3 green band pull-ups : 40 lbs., 45 lbs., 50 lbs. Every 3 minutes for 9 minutes – 3 x push-press + 3 green band pull-ups : 55 lbs., 60 lbs., 65 lbs. Every 3 minutes for 9 minutes – 3 x push-jerk + 3 green band chin-ups : 70 lbs.; 75 lbs.; 80 lbs. I think all three push-jerks were PRs. I was happy with how I executed this work-out, starting really low on the strict presses and adding five pounds until the very end. This work-out was also helpful for educational purposes — I always get the push-press and push-jerk mixed-up. Now I know.

3 – 29 : Rest.

3 – 30 : Rest.

3 – 31 : Rest. See what I mean? I should do something in these three days.

Totals: 3 hours CrossFit; 30 minutes rowing. 3.5 hours total.

Onward!

Tales from my First CrossFit Open : 19.5 Scaled

crossfit, lifting, training

You can see 19.1, 19.2, 19.3, and 19.4 if you click the links!

19.5 Scaled

33 x thrusters @ 45 lbs.

33 x jumping pull-ups

27 x thrusters @ 45 lbs.

27 x jumping pull-ups

21 x thrusters @ 45 lbs.

21 x jumping pull-ups

15 x thrusters @ 45 lbs.

15 x jumping pull-ups

9 x thrusters @ 45 lbs.

9 x jumping pull-ups

Of all the open work-outs, I am most proud of this work-out. All I wanted to do, when I saw what it was going to be was finish and not only did I finish, but I finished with time to spare. Not bad for a 29 week pregnant lady! That said, of all the open work-outs, this one hurt the most in the during and in the aftermath. I think today is the first day I feel like a normal human being.

Before going into the wod, I was nervous. I think everybody was. I checked previous Fran-style work-outs to see where I was and thought maybe I could finish, but I was not sure. I figured I would be exhausted (was right about that) and was trying to avoid pre-work-out hubris. I decided I was going to break out each section into thirds 11-11-11/9-9-9, etc. with trying to use the knowledge I was about to finish to get to the last set — if I made it to the last set. Then, I would take ten second breaks.

I think — for the most part — I executed this plan well. My breaks were definitely a little bit longer than ten seconds, but I don’t think excessively so. I broke up 33 and 27 thrusters into thirds. I failed to do this during 21. I’m not sure if this was a physical problem or a mental problem. I actually suspect the former, because I was able to do 5-5-5 for 15 and do the last 9 unbroken.

27 and 21 were difficult for me mentally. With every thruster, my thought was “Are we there yet?” It was…not fun. Normally I love chipper work-outs. When my coach said to think of this as a marathon, not a sprint, I knew I could do that. I like endurance activities. But the thing is — you don’t feel like you are going for aerobic endurance when you are doing thrusters. You feel like you are about to spontaneously combust. And though there was a twenty minute time cap, time felt like it went by so slowly — except, of course, when I put the bar down. It was grueling.

It is strange, because once I got to 15, I no longer mentally felt like I was panicking on the inside. I knew I would finish and it became a little bit easier. Don’t get me wrong — it was not any physically easier. But with my mind calmed down, I no longer was freaking out about how much I had left to go. I just did the thrusters. I did the jumping pull-ups. I just kept moving forward.

The last 9 felt like they went quickly even though I am sure the thrusters were slow and ugly. I did not set the bar down once. This is probably why I am so proud of the work-out. Aside for 21, I did exactly what I wanted to, stuck to a plan, checked off all the boxes, and finished.

My time was 16:51 minutes. I sat on the floor and tried to cheer everyone on for the last three minutes. Tried being the operative word there. I felt like crying, not in a bad way, but in a “that really hurt and now I’m so glad to be done” kind of way.

Now that the open is over, I am planning on taking it even more easy on the work-outs. I have less than ten weeks until my due date — so I think I can give myself some more time to recover and relax!

How did 19.5 go for you? Are you still recovering? Shell-shocked, even?

 

Monday Miles : March 18 – 24, 2019 (29 Weeks Pregnant)

crossfit, monday miles, training

Serious question: Will I ever recover from 19.5? Everything still hurts from Friday. I am planning on working out today, but full disclosure I still feel wiped out. I’m not sure if it is Friday’s work-out, the excessive amount of sugar I ate over the weekend, pregnancy, or a combination of all the above. But I’m so tired.

After several weeks of inconsitent working-out, it was really nice to get back on a regular schedule this week. I have exactly ten weeks until my due date, so I’m hoping to continue to be as consistent as possible in the weeks to come. I suspect I’m going to have to take it more easy though. Though I feel great during the work-outs, it is just taking longer to recover. I’m starting to feel like a train-wreck after every wod. It reminds me of recovering from a long run or Murph. I’m just depleted.

3 – 18 :  Crossfit. 19.4. Yoga with Adriene – Yoga for Anxiety.

3 – 19 : CrossFit. For time – 1000 meter row, 50 dumb-bell box step-overs at 20 lbs. and 16 inches, 5 rope pulls, 50 goblet squats at 20 lbs., bike for four minutes 1.18 miles. 18 minutes 53 seconds. I love chipper work-outs. Yoga with Adriene – Hamstrings.

3 – 20 : I felt worn out from the last two days, so I went with Bruno to CrossFit. However, I decided against doing the work-out and instead parked myself on a rower for a half hour. Row – 30 minutes – 5500 meters. I miss aerobic exercise. I miss running. Rowing is kind of boring, but honestly, I loved just getting into the rhythm of doing the same thing over and over and over again. Constant forward motion. Afterwards, I did a ton of mobility. I loved this day so much, I am hoping to make it a recurring feature of my week.

3 – 21 : Rest.

3 – 22 : CrossFit – 19.5. I was happy with how it went, but still feel like I am recovering. I’ll write more about it tomorrow.

Totals : CrossFit – 3 hours. Rowing – 30 minutes. Yoga – about an hour.

Onward!

 

 

 

Tips and Tricks for Working Out During Pregnancy

pregnancy, training

Shameless plug alert!

I have an article on Evie Magazine published this week called Tips and Tricks for Working Out During Pregnancy. With a little over ten weeks to go, I have been thinking a lot about what has been working and what has not been working for me as I continue to be active. Please do check it out!

Monday Miles : March 4 – 17, 2019 (28-9 Weeks Pregnant)

crossfit, lifting, monday miles, pregnancy, training

Not the best two weeks for work-outs. Forewarning: I only had two work-outs for the entirety of this time. No excuses. I’ve just been wiped out. Then we had a big travel week for a job interview and I was sick and, well, continued to be wiped out. I’m still sick and will be doing 19.4 today. I’m hoping that my energy levels return and I quit being such a mucous monster, so that I can be as consistent as possible for the next several weeks of pregnancy.

I cannot express how much I miss running. It is not warm yet in Michigan, but there are signs of spring. I keep looking at training plans, race, and thinking about the future (post-baby goal: 50k). I miss those hours with myself outside, listening to music or a podcast. I miss that post-run feeling and the routine of a training plan in my life. I’m not sure how soon after baby I can expect to go back to that, but it is one of the things I am most looking forward to in the months to come.

3 – 4 : CrossFit. Every 4 minutes for 12 minutes — back squat – 5 @ 95 lbs., 5 @ 100 lbs., 5 @ 105 lbs. Despite my complaining about all the squats last week, they are still my favorite. My hope for today was to stay above 100 lbs. I did. I did hurt quite a bit the rest of the day and the next day, but dare I say it was worth it? AMRAP 10 minutes – 100 ft. kettle-bell front rack carry – 40 lbs., 20 lunges, 10 hanging knee-raises. I managed four rounds with an additional 50 ft. carry. Finished up with some Yoga with Adriene for the Psoas.

3 – 5 : My notes say I did not work-out this day because I was in pain. Rest.

3 – 6 : Rest.

3 – 7 : Rest.

3 – 8 : CrossFit – 19.3.

3 – 9 : Travel day.

3 – 10 : Travel.

3 – 11 : Travel.

3 – 12 : Travel.

3 – 13 : Return to Michigan.

3 – 14 : Sick.

3 – 15 : Sick.

3 – 16 : Sick.

3 – 17 : Sick.

Hopefully this next week is much better health and consistency-wise.

Onward!

 

 

 

Tales from my first CrossFit Open: 19.3 Scaled

crossfit, pregnancy, training

Sorry to be so quiet over here, but it has been a crazy week! We took a long trip for a job interview which required a lot of preparation, so a lot of extracurriculars (like this blog) were put on hold while we prepared, packed, and traveled. I’ll post this week’s and last week’s “Monday Miles” next week — though, admittedly, this has not been my most physically active week. Aside for a lot of walking around, 19.3 is the last time I’ve worked out, which will make 19.4 tomorrow pretty interesting. Life gives you rest days and sometimes rest weeks.

You can see 19.1 here and 19.2 here.

19.3 Scaled

200 ft. dumb-bell front-rack lunge @ 35 lbs.

50 dumb-bell box step-ups @ 35 lbs.

50 in. elevated strict hand-stand push-ups

200 ft. bear crawl

10 minute time-cap

I went into this work-out with a better attitude than the last. I’m not sure if it was just better sleep or I was just feeling physically better. I went with more of a “let’s see what I can do” attitude instead of the “I can’t do anything and everything hurts” attitude of last week. I think it made all the difference.

The first 100 feet of the lunges were perfectly fine and went (for me) quickly. But after awhile, I kept doing that weird after lunge hobble and kept having to start my lunges back over for them to count. That Bruno, he’s a ruthless judge.

19.3 3

19.3 4

After every 25 feet, I would take a break and a sip of water. My Braxton Hicks have been kind of nasty lately. I read drinking more water helps, so I would swig some, but they never acted up during the work-out and not too bad after. And unlike the many squats we’ve been doing lately, I did not have any pelvic problems. Thank goodness. I’ve never loved lunges before, but they may become my new favorite — they still hurt, but you know, in the normal way.

I thought the box step-ups were the hardest part. I quickly discovered my left leg is a lot weaker than my right. Huffing and puffing, I was pretty ready for it to be over at this point and my quads were on fire. When I realized I was going to actually get fifty box-step ups in — something I did not think I would be capable of doing — I went faster. Bruno yelled — I think something like “get mad at it, like it’s Bill Kristol or John McCain is back from the dead and wants to invade another country.” The things that motivate me.

19.3 5

I finished the box step-ups at 9:50. I am really happy with that. I sat and huffed and puffed, making sure to drink more water. It was nice to end the week on a solid win and a solid work-out before the dearth of physical activity that happened this past week.

19.3 6

We took a baby bump picture (this is 27 weeks!) and head out. Three out of five work-outs done and two left! I’m excited to see what will happen next. Hopefully, the positive attitude from this week will hang around for the next two.

Monday Miles : February 18 – 24, 2019 (25-26 Weeks Pregnant)

crossfit, lifting, monday miles, pregnancy, running, training

After the previous week’s “lost week” where everything was sacrificed to the dissertation gods, this week was more consistent. I decided last minute to sign up for the CrossFit Open and did my first open workout scaled. I’ll write more on that later, but it felt good to work out more than just two times. It also felt good to wake up and not work on my dissertation, but those two things are not necessarily related.

A big win this week was more yoga. I would like to thank Yoga with Adriene. Every time I try out a subscription service like Romwod or Jasyoga, I’m happy with it for a little bit, but Adriene has been my go-to for years. And most importantly, she is free. Even Bruno joined me for a yoga video on Friday before the open work out and asked, “So, why do we pay for these other subscription services again?”

2 – 18 : CrossFit. 7 x 2 power-cleans : 40 lbs., 45, 50, 55, 60, 70 (PR). AMRAP : 10 minutes – 20 alternate dumb-bell snatches @ 15 lbs., 10 no-push-up burpee box step-overs. 3 rounds + 11 alternate dumb-bell snatches. Romwod.

2 – 19 : Yoga with Adriene – Deep Stretch. I cannot believe this yoga video is forty-five minutes. It just flies by. There were some stretches I had to adjust because hello growing belly, but I think it really helped me this week to add this in to the routine.

2 – 20 : Rest.

2 – 21 : CrossFit. 5 Rounds for Time : 5 strict pull-ups with green band, 12 renegade rows with 10 lbs. dumb-bells, and 1 minute on the bike. 12 minutes 56 seconds. The work-out called for a 200m run, but I tried to do a 100m run in the warm-up and I just was not having it. Did you know I miss running?

2 – 22 : Yoga with Adriene – Deep Stretch. Yes, again. Bruno joined me this time around. We wanted to be all nice, loose, and limber for what was to come later that night. CrossFit. My first ever open work-out – 19.1 (Scaled) AMRAP 15 minutes 19 wall-balls at 10 lbs. to 9 feet, 19 calorie row. I’m going to write more on this work-out tomorrow, but I can tell you this: it hurt.

2 – 23 : Rest.

2 – 24 : Rest.

Totals : Crossfit – 3 hours. Yoga/Stretching – around 2 hours. 5 hours.

Onward!